Hi, Andrew

Does it seem to you that there’s no real conversation anymore? People stick with like people or just go straight to social media or just ignore others all the time. It’s rare to see a big table of friends in the evening eating, drinking, laughing, and sharing their life’s experiences with each other. But you see everyday people sitting alone in Starbucks or Panera with a laptop and smartphone that they’re glued to.

It bugs me that people prefer to send texts more than to making a phone call. Just in practicality, making a phone call would be much better: you can “say” the same thing you’re going to text so much faster. Why not just call? After all, it’s hard for the person on the other end to understand your state-of-mind in a text. That’s pretty easy to do on a call.

Our social discourse has just changed. It’s changed in every way. It may have started at Starbucks, but it’s found its way into our homes. And it’s changing the way we treat each other: husband with a wife and vice versa, parents to kids and kids to their parents, and all in discourse with their friends, fellow workers, and even extended family members. And it’s not a good change.

I think what is happening in social media and satellite television and the internet have become the replacements in our lives for personal interactions — especially between parents and children. Diversions multiply in number almost daily.

When we were kids, we played in the dirt, grabbed a beat-up baseball and bat and marked off bases and home plate in the dirt and played a pickup game of baseball every day! We put clothespins on playing cards on our bicycle spokes to make it sound like a motor scooter and were inseparable from our “buds.” When the sun went away and we had to go home, Mom had dinner prepared to die for already set at the dinner table. We as a family sat around that table, recounted the day’s dramas, and talked about whatever was on the television on those only three channels: NBC, CBS, and ABC. And our parents’ politics were our politics. Why? We didn’t know any other.

Who would ever think we’d get cross with our parents after we left home, got educated, and found out how little our parents knew about the “real” world that we lived in. It’s funny how the older kids get how much smarter their parents get.

But kids today get their social interactions, social skills, and politics from social media. Forget about Mom and Dad — they know nothing! And for this generation, Cuomo, Cooper, Colbert, and JayZ have all the political perspective kids need to know everything about politics. Mom and Dad are really stupid on that topic.

Pause for a second and read the following letter written by one of those “kids” about his father to a social columnist. the short letter will certainly resonate with you. The response may turn on a lightbulb in your head.

Hi,

I’m writing because I just can’t deal with my father anymore. He’s a 65-year-old super right-wing conservative who has basically turned into a total asshole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics. I’m more or less a liberal democrat with very progressive values and I know that people like my dad are going to destroy us all. I don’t have any good times with him anymore. All we do is argue. When I try to spend time with him without talking politics or discussing any current events, there’s still an underlying tension that makes it really uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love him no matter what, but how do I explain to him that his politics are turning him into a monster, destroying the environment, and pushing away the people who care about him?

Thanks for your help,
Son of A Right-Winger


Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

At its best, politics is able to organize extremely complex world views into manageable and communicable systems so they can be grappled with and studied abstractly. But even the noblest efforts to organize the world are essentially futile. The best we can usually achieve is a crude and messy map of life from one particular vantage point, featuring a few grids, bullet points, and sketches of its various aspects and landmarks. Anything as infinitely complex as life, reality, and the human experience can never be summed up or organized in a definitive system, especially one based on “left or right,” “A or B,” “us or them.” This is the fatal flaw of binary thinking in general. However, this flaw isn’t just ignored, it’s also embraced, amplified, and deliberately used as a weapon on the very people who think it’s benefiting their way of thinking.

Human beings crave order and simplicity. We cling to the hope that someday if we really refine our world view and beliefs, we can actually find the fully correct way to think — the absolute truth and final side to stand on. People and systems craving power take advantage of this desire and pit us against each other using a “this or that” mentality. The point is to create unrest, disagreement, resentment, and anger — a population constantly at war with itself, each side deeply believing that the other is not just wrong, but also a sincere threat to their very way of life and survival. This creates constant anxiety and distraction — the perfect conditions for oppression. The goal of this sort of politics is to keep people held down and mesmerized by a persistent parade of seemingly life-or-death debates, each one worth all of our emotional energy and primal passion.

But the truth is, the world has always been and always will be on the brink of destruction. And what keeps it from actually imploding is our love for life and our deep-seated desire not to die. Our love for our own life is inextricably connected to our love of all life and the miracle of this phenomenon we call “the world.” We must give all of ourselves credit every day for keeping things going. It’s an incredible achievement to exist at all.

So we must protect and respect each other, no matter how hard it feels. No matter how wrong someone else may seem to us, they are still human. No matter how bad someone may appear, they are truly no worse than us. Our beliefs and behavior don’t make us fundamentally better than others, no matter how satisfying it is to believe otherwise. We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it’s nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it. And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures.

Love your dad because he’s your father, because he made you, because he thinks for himself, and most of all because he is a person. Have the strength to doubt and question what you believe as easily as you’re so quick to doubt his beliefs. Live with a truly open mind — the kind of open mind that even questions the idea of an open mind. Don’t feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love. It remains our only real hope for survival and has more power to save us than any other belief we could ever cling to.

Summary

In closing, I need to say this: “Naaay…he said it all.”

Whose Truth: Yours or Mine?

As you know, we at TruthNewsNetwork have committed from the very beginning that what you see and hear in our stories and podcasts will be based on 100% truth that we have confirmed and verified. Certainly you understand that making such a commitment means the requirement of significant research, re-research, and multiple confirmations. Why is that required? Because typical news sources today do not share that same commitment.

And it’s not just news sources. Have you heard the latest from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) discussing her latest examples of racism and police violence? Here it her tweet about the subject:

That tweet ignores the incontrovertible truth of the matter inserting political narrative calling it “the truth.”

First, Michael Brown was NOT murdered. Secondly, there was NO police violence in that instance. Both were confirmed as the result of not some Ferguson rednecks hurriedly convened to reach a pre-determined result based on a racial bias. A Ferguson grand jury after significant and lengthy investigations concluded they could not find justification for charging the Ferguson officer who shot and killed Brown with a crime. Then after a significant Obama Justice Department investigation into the matter, the DOJ too declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting. At the completion of an 86-page DOJ report, Attorney General Eric Holder concluded with these cryptic remarks: “Because Wilson did not act with the requisite criminal intent, it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt to a jury that he violated 18 U.S.C.§ 242 when he fired his weapon at Brown. For the reasons set forth above, this matter lacks prosecutive merit and should be closed.”

According to that Missouri grand jury and according to the Obama Department of Justice, the Ferguson, Missouri reference point of Warren’s above tweet does not substantiate her allegation. According to those two investigations, Warren’s statement is false. Yet millions in America concur with her statement that Michael Brown WAS murdered and that his death WAS a direct result of police violence. Warren and those millions of Americans “feel” her statements are the truth. But they’re patently false.

But we can’t stop there. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) weighed in saying pretty much the same things as did Warren about the Michael Brown/Ferguson shooting:

Harris too called Brown’s death “a murder,” which exhaustive investigation contradicts.

America’s mainstream media (to no one’s surprise) ramped up their charges against Officer Wilson which not only lighted but continuously fueled the flames of anti-police and anti-racism that sparked riots in Ferguson and other American cities like Baltimore in which tens of millions of dollars of store owners in both cities were destroyed and many were injured. The Black Lives Matter organization was birthed from the Michael Brown incident. All of this happened as the direct result of fake news, and mischaracterization of facts by some and lies by many who purposely  gave their false stories to the media for personal reasons. But none of it happened as the result of police brutality or a murder.

Who is Right?

Were either Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren truthful in their tweets? We’re beginning to more and more hear answers given to different questions that go like this: “MY truth is that…..”

What does “My truth” mean?

I’m a south Louisiana Cajun from a family where when my brother or I decided to lie to a teacher and got caught, it would have been fruitless when confronted by our parents to respond with this: “I didn’t lie about it. I just gave her MY truth.”

It comes to this: there are NOT two or three versions of the truth on any issue. Truth is Absolute.

I befriended a young African American man not long ago who became a REAL activist in our cities. He took extremely aggressive public positions against not just police brutality, but the police — period. He decided to take on City Hall for any number of issues in the Mayor’s Administration and personally attacked other city leaders. He demonstrated, carried protest signs, posted prolifically on Facebook, attended every city council meeting, and even made himself homeless, living on the street. Freddie was quite a spectacle.

Most thought he was trying to do something that would get him arrested so he could somehow through that further his causes. He did just that. But his now two stints in jail still haven’t boosted his cause. They’ve just resulted in a criminal record.

I felt it was incumbent for me to introduce myself to him and take him to lunch. I wanted not to confront him about any of his “stuff,” but I just wanted to let him know there was a local adult who cared about his zeal and fervor and was willing to hear him out.

It was a pleasant lunch: no raised voices, no arguments. Of course I disagreed with some of his causes and certainly his methods, but I could not question his zeal. But the heart of THIS story revealed itself when he asked me about my opinion of racism. I responded to him immediately with my definition. He then replied with this, “I respect your opinion. But that’s not MY truth.” (By the way, Freddie’s back in jail)

There you go! “My truth.” Freddie was simply parroting what millions are hearing every day, so much so that it’s becoming commonplace: “This is MY truth.”

Can there be more than one truth about things? Can you have a truth that’s not the truth to me? Let’s get some thoughts from the pros.

Summary

I think maybe this practice that is becoming more and more prevalent may be a purposeful happening. How so? If we adopt such a philosophy of life, no one can ever be held accountable for any of their actions or things they say. 

Just look at the examples above by two very prominent leaders in American politics, Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. They obviously know beyond any doubt and it was confirmed by a grand jury in Missouri AND by the Department of Justice that Michael Brown was NOT murdered by Ferguson police office Darren Wilson. Yet here they are years later, both running for president and campaigning, and they tweet that Brown was murdered. They claim that their statements are “their” truth.

As the video stated, in a world in which that could be true, our society could not function: no laws, no rules, no answers, and no accountability. Such an environment DOES exist. It’s called ANARCHY.

When Freddie responded to me about “his” truth, I immediately made it clear that truth IS absolute, that right AND wrong are absolute, that FACTS cannot be facts without being absolute.

Nor can the Truth — period.

Fact: Democrats Control Mainstream Media Content

If you questioned our claims that the Mainstream Media are the communications arm of the Democrat Party and nothing more, STOP! It was made abundantly clear that Democrats DO control on the most part Mainstream Media. How so?

Here is the Tuesday, August 5, New York Times front page first edition: “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM:”

Please note: this was the ORIGINAL headline that The Times published early Tuesday, August 5th. But it did NOT last long: a number of Democrats — several of which are 2020 presidential candidates — did not like the headline and lashed out at the paper on Twitter:

  • Democrat presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, “Hey, @nytimes — what happened to “The Truth Is Worth It?” Not the truth. Not worth it.”
  • Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) wrote, “Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do.”
  • Democrat presidential candidate and former El Paso Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke commented, “Unbelievable.”
  • New York City Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), leader of The Squad, commented, “Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by – and often relies upon – the cowardice of mainstream institutions.”

And, of course, The Times complied. After the above Twitter assault, the NEW headline in the second edition said: “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS.”

“Where’s the Beef?” That’s a great question. The “beef” is the “meat of the matter,” which is that Democrats control the Mainstream Media. TruthNewsNet began making that point at least two years ago. Many laughed at what was then just our “allegation.” But this snafu and immediate correction by The Times proves that the premiere Leftist media outlet in the U.S. — The New York Times — is afraid of the Democrat Party. That could only happen if there was some type of at least benign control or coordination of the New York paper by someone at the DNC.

This confirms the suspicions of many. But, more importantly, it reveals why so much of what Americans have seen and read in The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other print and internet sources for so long have seemed to not be news, but in many cases actual contrived and prepared talking points. Suspicions of Conservatives grew as they daily watched the Democrat Party mantra play out verbatim beginning on the East Coast in New York across the nation each day through newspapers in large and small cities throughout the U.S.

It has been orchestrated! And it certainly has been at least guided by someone or some group that has power — power over Mainstream Media print news outlets.

Not Just Newspapers

Ever wonder why the big three network news divisions plus CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC seem to parrot the New York Times and Washington Post assault on conservative politicians, conservative causes, and even everyday conservative voters? Their doing so actually confirms the tie between the Democrat Party and Mainstream Media.

We could play video clip after video clip, audio soundbyte after soundbyte, that prove this is NOT a conspiracy theory. For once, this one IS true. We won’t play a bunch, but how about the “parrot” (or coordinated) use of the words “Concerned” and “Propaganda” by “in your face” Democrat news hacks?

Still don’t believe someone coordinates these anti-conservative news stories? Let’s throw Rep. Adam Schiff’s analysis of the Mueller Memo into the picture to start an alliteration of the seldom-used term “Cherry Picked:”

Summary

It is clear that someone with at least the nation’s largest newspapers and cable television networks that lean left or that are simply in the tank for the Democrat Party are taking story content and even stories themselves from the Democrat National Committee and shoving them down the throats of their “intellectual” readers, watchers, and listeners. Need we say that NONE of these stories are slanted toward the right. They are very obviously all hard-left, anti-Conservative and anti-Trump. And these “stories” therefore cannot even be considered “news” at all. Guess what they are: FAKE NEWS!

Uh-Oh: now you’ll say we’ve gone off the deep end here. No. What we do is follow the stories and dig until we find facts. Honestly, these were pretty easy to ferret out and give to you. That in itself is pretty scary. The ease of identifying what these major news sources are doing shows just how callous, caustic, and so political ideology-driven these people are.

Think about it: for decades in America, newspapers were the friends of the common man. They were charged with informing the working people of the United States with the facts of all things important to citizens that were not readily available for consumption. There was no television as we know it today, radio and certainly no internet. Americans relied on impartial, unbiased newspaper reporters to find out what things that were happening were important to the people. Then daily or weekly put that information in some format and deliver it to Americans.

True journalism was once a well-respected vocation. And many true journalists were revered by millions. But what we have today are people who are nothing more than political pundits who each have a political perspective and ideology that is the foundation of their news reports. And, sadly, “truth in reporting” is no longer an intrinsic element of what we see and hear. Those political perspectives are all that matters.

I’ll close with this: often we encourage you to read, watch, and listen to today’s news outlets of your choice, but to never accept what you see and hear as “fact.” Make it your responsibility to fact-check them all! And “fact-check” does NOT mean go to Snopes.com or Politifact.com to get your proof. These both and most other fact-checking sources are themselves operated by political hacks and organizations that disseminate “facts” that are actually propaganda and nothing more.

I know: it’s really sad that we cannot do as our parents and grandparents did to get the news. They just went to the street in the morning, grabbed the paper and read the truth while drinking a cup of coffee. That was a long time ago — way before Al Gore invented the internet!

Let’s cloud this picture a little more. Tomorrow, TruthNewsNetwork will present sworn testimony and actual proof that the current cries for a government investigation of social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google are absolutely necessary. Why? Tomorrow the evidence we show  will prove that in the 2016 presidential election, vote tallies were actually fiddled with. Doing so actually resulted in vote changes in the millions! And you won’t believe who those vote changes were in favor of!

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Twenty Die — Senselessly

I’ve never done this before today. Today’s story is NOT going to be a written story — it’s impossible to express 100% of one’s feelings by writing. So today at TruthNewsNetwork the story is simply a podcast.

I apologize in advance to those of you who prefer to read. This will NOT happen often going forward. Nevertheless, it IS important — no CRITICAL — to our World today and where it appears we are headed. What you are about to hear addresses a national crisis that is spiraling out of control. Not me, not you, not your family are exempt. And it impacts us all. And it has changed our lives. I wish you were here in the studio to chat with me live about this story. Maybe we can do that — at least talk live to each other — very soon. But for today, click on the button below and join me.

We’ll be back in the saddle tomorrow.

Dan

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Baltimore is Burning

Baltimore IS on fire — and it HAS been for some time. We’ll get into specifics in a moment that bears this out. The last few days have found the President and Baltimore resident Congressman Elijah Cummings going after each other in the press. And it’s ugly.

It’s ugly, not because Democrats and their communications arm — the Mainstream Media — pipe in and all in unison cry “Trump is a racist! His attacks on Rep. Cummings and the city of Baltimore are racist! He’s a racist…..”

Racism is NOT Baltimore’s problem! Or is it?

The “Problem”

Baltimore’s problem is not unique. In fact, large cities across the nation face the exact same problem. The problem is NOT that they need more money. The problem is the money they have that comes in total from taxpayers is NOT being used wisely. AND THERE’S NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE WASTE AND CORRUPTION THAT THOSE DOLLARS FUND!

The Problem’s Source

The source seems to be the plethora of money from the Feds to help Baltimore fix itself: fix its high crime rate, raging unemployment, incorrigible public education, homelessness, corruption in local government, etc. Baltimore’s political leadership can cry “foul” as loud as they want against the Trump Administration, but those cries fall on deaf ears. The federal government has buried Baltimore in free taxpayer dollars. And it began with President Obama.

Free Money

President Barack Obama said, ”Massive investments in urban communities could make a difference right now.” Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “We have to invest in our cities and our children.” And House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who also represents Maryland, said, “But we’re going to have to as a country invest if we’re going to have the kinds of communities we want.”

But the idea that we haven’t been “investing” in Baltimore is nonsense.

Federal and state money poured into the city for decades. From fiscal years 2003 to 2013 (the last year for which these reports are available), Baltimore received at least $2.4 billion in federal assistance and another $1.8 billion in state aid. The city also received roughly $1.8 billion in federal stimulus money. And this doesn’t count the billions of dollars received directly by the people who live in Baltimore through various social welfare programs.

Yet nearly a quarter of the people in the city still live in poverty, 65 percent above the national level. We’ve clearly been throwing a lot of money at poverty in Baltimore with very little (if any) positive results.

Part of the problem, unsurprisingly, is that the city does not make very good use of the money it receives.

Under Obama, Baltimore received $9.5 million in federal funds to deal specifically with the city’s growing homeless problem. But according to an audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city did not properly monitor the homelessness funds, paid providers according to a preset formula rather than actual expenditures, lost track of money in several instances, and paid city staffers based on estimates, not the actual time they spent on grant activities. The city ended up having to repay nearly a third of the money. Not to worry, though: Baltimore expects to receive another $20 million+ in homelessness assistance from the feds this year and EVERY year.

Similarly, the city may end up having to repay a federal education grant designed to help the city’s poorest schools, after an audit by the Department of Education found that much of the money was actually used for dinner cruises, makeovers, and meals.

And a new audit of a city program to help low-income families with heating and energy bills found that nearly 20 percent of payments were unsupported by paperwork, and others had missing or incorrect information. Some bills were paid multiple times, while still other payments were made to families that didn’t live in the city.

But it’s not just a question of waste, fraud, and abuse. Even when the money was spent as intended, it has done little good.

Remember that $1.4 billion in federal stimulus spending? $1.4 Billion: how many thousands of jobs should that have created? Well, according to the government’s official website Recovery.gov, that spending generated just 64 permanent jobs. (you do the math)

The Washington Post reported how the federal and state governments spent more than $130 million rejuvenating the Sandtown area in Baltimore where Freddie Gray was arrested. Barely half of the working-age population is employed, according to a recent report from the Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative. The neighborhood lacks a supermarket or a single restaurant, not even a fast-food outlet. More than 60 percent of people over 25 have less than a high school diploma, and almost half of current high school students are chronically absent. Life expectancy is 10 years lower than the national average.

Baltimore spends $16,578 a year per pupil in schools, roughly 52 percent above the national average, and the fourth most of any major city. The majority of that money comes not from the city itself but from the state and federal governments. Yet more than a quarter of Baltimore students fail to graduate from high school. Fewer than half of Baltimore high school students passed the last Maryland High School Assessment test. SAT scores for Baltimore students are more than 100 points below the national average.

Why do we think it will be any different this time if we simply throw more money at the problem? Worse, the focus on spending more money distracts us from those things we know actually do lift people out of poverty.

There are few better routes out of poverty than a job. Fewer than 3 percent of those working full time live in poverty. Yet Maryland has one of the most anti-business tax and regulatory climates in the nation. And Baltimore adds its own layer of excessive taxes and regulatory bureaucracy.

Education reform is another key to lifting people out of poverty. Drop out of school and you are likely to be poor. Graduate from college and you won’t be. Yet, Maryland radically restricts parental choice and teacher accountability.

And any effective anti-poverty program will try to reduce out-of-wedlock birth and single parenting. Households headed by a single mother are more than five times more likely to be poor compared with married-couple families, but in Baltimore two-thirds of the births in the city are to unmarried mothers, and almost 60 percent of households are headed by single parents. Yet our welfare system continues to discourage family formation.

Of course, we need to do something to lift the people of Baltimore and other struggling cities out of poverty. But that something is not continuing to throw good money after bad.

Baltimore’s Current “Numbers”

Real estate: The median home value in Baltimore is $113,500, according to Zillow. Baltimore home values have declined 3.2 percent over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall 4.2 percent within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Baltimore is $144, which is lower than the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Metro average of $190. The median rent price in Baltimore is $1,400, which is lower than the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Metro median of $1,650.

Jobs: The unemployment rate in Baltimore city was at 5.10 percent in May. Compare that to Maryland state’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate in June, while the national average sits at 3.7 percent.

Income: The typical household income in Baltimore was $46,641 in 2017, while the average family in the U.S. saw annual earnings of $57,652, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Poverty: According to Census Bureau data, the poverty rate in Charm City came in at 22.4 percent in 2017, compared to the national average of 12.3 percent.

City leadership ranking: Baltimore ranked as No. 129 out of 150 — (or 21 spots from the bottom of the list) — in WalletHub’s list of 2019’s best- and worst-run cities in America.

Crime: The city also took the No. 3  spot on 24/7 Wall Street’s recent list of the most dangerous cities in America. The No. 1 spot went to St. Louis, Missouri, while Detroit, Michigan took the No. 2 spot.

Retail sales per capita: In 2012, Baltimore rang in $5,871 in retail sales per capita, compared to the national average of $13,443, according to the Census Bureau.

The Cummings/Trump Feud

It has been brutal! It is no secret that Rep. Cummings as head of the House Oversight Committee has steadily attacked President Trump personally and professionally since 2016. Mr. Trump ratcheted up the feud last week with a series of tweets excoriating the deplorable conditions in Baltimore placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the MD Congressman. It’s not surprising that Cummings has continually fired back in like kind.

But what is shameful is that the allegations made by the President were not original. In fact, Trump’s statements of Baltimore being “rat-infested,” and in “horrible condition” have been previously touted by numerous others in politics — and not Republicans — several of which are Maryland resident politicians. In fact, the Baltimore mayor (who recently resigned) stated herself that the city was rat-infested. Of course, Democrats and members of the Mainstream media immediately turned Trump’s criticism of Baltimore into pure racism. Why? Cummings is African-American, so any criticism of any kind of him professionally, the city of Baltimore or the state of Maryland could certainly be driven only by racism, right?

But here’s a word for Mr. Cummings, all other Democrats, and Baltimore residents and politicians: Baltimore IS burning! It’s on fire with racism, crime, poverty, poor public education, healthcare, much homelessness, and government waste and corruption.

Summary

Let’s end this today with a topic that is political, personal, divisive, and controversial at best: Racism. The cries of “Racist” have been hurled at President Trump nonstop over his very visible public attacks against the conditions in Baltimore. Of course, he has labeled as primarily responsible Baltimore’s leading federal advocate and resident, Representative Elijah Cummings. The Democrat heavyweight wields significant power in D.C. He’s Chairman of the House Oversight Committee which supervises pretty much every department in the Executive Branch of government. And in his gun sights has been this president who Mr. Cummings detests vehemently and never misses an opportunity to tell those on the other end of a network microphone and tv camera. Cummings didn’t just recently start his Trump attacks. And they’ve been extraordinarily crude and derisive since the 2016 election.

Naturally joining Mr. Cummings in his cries of racism against this president are most Democrats in federal and state offices and, of course, the fawning media. And this topic is what we will close this story with today.

Elijah Cummings and the rest of American Democrats are either innocently or purposely missing what’s really going on in this spat between Trump and Cummings. And what’s going on has NOTHING to do with racism. Further, it is beyond disingenuous for Cummings, all these Democrat presidential candidates, House and Senate Democrat leaders, and EVERY Democrat who has joined in the mob cries of racism. Why is that? Pay close attention to what we are saying:

  • First, Mr. Trump is by far not the first to reference the rat infestation in Baltimore. In fact, Baltimore’s mayor — an African American female — stated just months ago she could smell the rats infesting the city;
  • Secondly, Mr. Cummings in all of his hate-filled attacks against President Trump has NEVER sought actual and real and specific federal government assistance. In fact, in the Freddie Gray demonstrations-turned-riots, Baltimore made very clear they did not want federal help. And regarding additional federal financial support, Cummings has been virtually quiet. Why is that?
  • It could be because Department of Housing and Urban Development regional administrator Lynne Patton appeared just days ago on Fox News and took note of just how much federal money has been steered into Cummings’ district, which is nearly 53% percent black.“President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings’ district in federal grants,” Patton explained. “We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more money in ‘community development grants.’”Patton then asked, “What are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocket, crooked politicians?”

It’s blatantly clear that what is being heard from the White House about Baltimore certainly CANNOT be initiated by racism. Say what you want about the President’s tweets, his “in-your-face” response to the myriad of personal and political attacks from all sides, screaming about his insistence for federal law enforcement persons to do exactly what they are supposed to do: enforce the law! By the way, every one of those federal lawmakers — EVERYONE — with one hand raised and one on a Bible pledged to support and defend the Constitution — which is the laws of the United States that members of Congress crafted, agreed to, and were signed into law.

How is it OK for ANY of them to want laws of the country to NOT be enforced! And should they not expect this president — ANY president — to see to it that those who serve in the Department of Justice do just that: enforce U.S. laws? These 2020 Democrat presidential candidates are to a person advocating for illegal immigrants AND American citizens to violate existing federal laws. And many of them actually serve in the House and Senate where any laws they don’t like and think should NOT be enforced can be changed!

The problem today is not Elijah Cummings and is not Donald Trump. And it’s NOT racism. No, Donald Trump is NOT a racist. He has a fifty + year business reputation that dramatically evidences exactly the opposite. And think about this: one of the certainties in the life of every bigot and racist is that they not only verbally attack people of other races vehemently, but their attacks are also always the denigration of them specifically because of their skin color. Trump has NEVER done that. And for anyone that disagrees, feel free to send me specific examples — quotations and/or video proof — and we’ll certainly post it here with an apology.

So what is the problem?

When people scream that others are racists without citing specific examples that prove their allegations, what they are doing IS the real problem! Racism IS a serious problem. There are many ways to deal with it. And screaming ad nauseum that someone is a racist is NOT one of them.

But it comes to this: “If” Mr. Trump is a racist, why would he authorize his Department of Urban Development to invest $16 billion in Baltimore for its many issues in just one year? Secondly, if he IS a racist, nothing anyone says will change that.

In case you’ve forgotten, here are the 3 Websters definitions of racism: The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others; Discrimination or prejudice based on race; The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.

Go ahead: send some specific examples that prove Mr. Trump is racist.

In the meantime, do you want to know what really is wrong in Baltimore? The cause certainly is not money. The cause is poor planning, poor leadership, and virtually NO accountability for local and state government. How else can a city receive several billion federal dollars specifically to address those issues followed by $16 billion more and achieve NO POSITIVE RESULTS?

Rep. Cummings, other Democrats, and the Media can cry “Racist!” all they want at the President. But they’re saying that does not make it true. And even if it IS true, how does that cause all the crap in Baltimore? It’s been happening for many years before a Trump presidency.

(I apologize: I said “all the crap” and should have said “all the rats” instead. Sorry!)

 

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The Federal Government Breaking the Law

It happens every day: someone in federal government arbitrarily assumes the responsibility and authority to ignore lawbreaking of every kind. Whether that lawbreaking is the selling or using marijuana, (which doing so is a federal offense) crossing American borders without legal authority, passing along classified government information and/or documents to a media organization, or using open source or unsecured computer or other electronic devices for the dissemination of classified information, each is a violation of a federal law. Apparently, these acts and others are committed daily across the U.S. Yet more often than not, these criminal acts are ignored by authorities.

What has happened to the enforcement of Law in the United States? Aren’t we a nation established on the premise that the United States Constitution was and is a template on which government was established and to function — especially regarding the enforcement of ALL laws passed according to the Constitutional process for doing so? Isn’t that process called “The Rule of Law?”

Rule of Law

In its simplest form, the “Rule of Law” means that “no one is above the law.” It is the foundation for the development of peaceful, equitable and prosperous societies. For the rule of law to be effective, there must be equality under the law, transparency of law, an independent judiciary and access to legal remedy. Yet, about 57% of the world’s population lives outside the shelter of the law. That’s five billion people struggling for basic, human rights on a daily basis.

American citizens and all those who come into our country have access to that “Rule of Law,” even those who cross into the United States illegally. That’s something of a paradox, but it’s true: once here every person Constitutionally is granted certain rights and must adhere to U.S. law.

The rule of law is a critical key to a just society and democracy. It dictates that laws of the land be transparent, known to everyone and applicable to all. No one, regardless of title, position or wealth can be held above the law and government decisions must be predictable because they follow known legal principles and encoded rules known as “laws.”

For most of the 19th century, America was far ahead of the rest of the world in its consistent and thorough efforts to adhere to the rule of law and strive toward equal opportunity for its citizens regardless of class, wealth or title. While politicians and individuals acting in self-interest have frequently violated this key principle (seems to be human nature for some), historically the courts were able to correct back to founding principles. If applying the law of the land results in an amazingly unfair or unjust outcome in a particular set of facts, courts are able to restore balance and respect for the rule of law through the principles of equity.

The “Rub” for Most Americans

What’s the complaint from average Americans about the Law? It’s not enforced equally or it’s not enforced at all!

How many specific instances can you name where lawbreakers — primarily at the federal level — are caught “in the act” but pay NO penalty for their crimes? Can you name a few?

  1. James Comey: fired FBI Director. He transferred classified documents to a member of the media for the express purpose of releasing that information to the public — a felony violation of a federal statute. Comey also lied under oath to Congress which is also a criminal violation.
  2. Hillary Clinton: Ms. Clinton broke multiple laws surrounding her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. First, that server was never tested nor certified by State Department IT personnel to operate for the purpose of sending and receiving emails containing classified information. Subsequent to the FBI’s investigation, Clinton sent numerous emails from that server that the FBI concluded were intercepted and forwarded to a foreign server belonging to an unknown person or persons — all illegal. Her illegal acts did not end there. She or others with her directions destroyed cell phones and other electronic devices that had been used for government business instead of turning those over to authorities.
  3. President Obama: while President, Obama communicated via emails with then-Secretary of State Clinton while knowing he was doing so via her illegal and unauthorized server. The President used a made-up Gmail email account he opened with no one knowing about. All communications of any kind by or with a U.S. President are by law considered “classified.” His doing so violated several federal statutes.
  4. Former NSA Adviser Susan Rice: Ms. Rice using her position in the White House authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to release the names of Trump Associates who were caughtup in communications with foreigners. The NSA legally keeps the names of Americans classified in such circumstances. Rice was discovered giving those names to others. She is the one who (through surveilled telephone conversations) released information regarding General Michael Flynn.

When Americans see and hear the obvious illegal acts committed by those in the highest echelons of U.S. government, it is at least disheartening to know (as an example) ALL four of the above politicians that includes a U.S. president are apparently above the Rule of Law!

A member of the U.S. Navy, Kristian Saucier, 28, of Arlington, Vermont, was convicted of taking photos of classified spaces, instruments and equipment inside the U.S.S. Alexandria, where he was stationed. He sent the photos to show friends where he worked. Those photos were classified. Based on THAT prosecution and his one criminal act, Comey, Clinton, Obama, and Susan Rice should ALL certainly be in prison after being tried and then certain conviction of breaking multiple very serious federal charge and all in federal prison! They would then be receiving (along with Saucier) “Equal Justice Under the Law.”
So why doesn’t this happen? Why are powerful political elites in America give preferential treatment?
  • How does a former U.S. Senator, then Secretary of State and a candidate for President skate by with thumbing her nose at the Rule of Law and accountability for her illegal acts?
  • How does an FBI Director release classified information to the Media and not even be charged for federal law violations?
  • How does a National Security Adviser unilaterally and illegally unmask the name of an American general for the express purpose of digging up dirt on a political candidate?
  • How does a sitting President of the United States over a period of years transfer and receive classified information to his Secretary of State on a non-classified and non-secured email server that transferred every one of his emails to some unknown entity in an unknown foreign country?

How did each do it? In each case there has been NO ACCOUNTABILITY for their acts.

In this short video, notice the fake outrage and demonization by James Comey of Donald Trump, all the while knowing Comey himself had and was breaking numerous laws:

The Rule of Law, Not a Rule of Lawyers

The rule of written law is one of the six pillars of the American republic.

  • One is democracy: We involve the greatest number of people in making government decisions, rather than trust in an elite of “experts.”
  • The second is free markets: We involve the greatest number of people in making economic decisions, rather than trust in central planners.
  • The third is federalism: We put government decisions closer to the people in order to involve a more diverse set of decision-makers who can experiment with different paths for different communities’ needs.
  • The fourth is tradition: We invoke the wisdom of the larger sample of multiple generations by trial and error on matters of common human experience rather than rely on the more limited number of people alive at a particular time.
  • The fifth, which ties together democracy, federalism, and tradition, is deliberation: We have a republic, not a pure democracy, so that government decisions are not the process of hasty panics but are openly debated and resolved with support that is deep, geographically wide, and enduring over a series of elections, so that continuing to enforce today’s laws tomorrow has legitimacy.
  • And sixth, without which the other five are powerless, we have the stable rule of written law so that the democratically enacted decisions reduced to written law by the representatives of the people with due deliberation are honored until overturned by the same process and not easily discarded by a narrow professional elite.

This is not the system designed by Washington, or Jefferson, or Adams, or Hamilton, or Madison, or Franklin, or any of the other Founding Fathers; it’s the system designed by deliberate compromises among all of them, ratified by the people of their day, and changed repeatedly since by the people of the U.S. when the need for changes became apparent. Taken all together, the American system is designed to follow a path down the middle between the self-absorbed elites in Washington and the self-interests of a sometimes dis-enfranchised group of middle-Americans who occasionally act as a populist mob. It is also designed to steer a middle path between the “ancient” rule of the past and the fickle moods of today. The people remain sovereign and can change any law they like — if they act in large enough numbers over a broad enough area across a sustained period of time.

The PEOPLE as represented by the 535 representatives sent to represent each community, district and state have the Constitutional right to change the law in the manner dictated by the U.S. Constitution. But NO ONE has the right to ignore or unilaterally change enforcement of any duly passed law — PERIOD. Least of all are the members of Government.

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Stock Market “Only Rich People:” Want the Truth?

We hear it every day from President Trump: the stock market is at its highest value ever. The stock market continues to climb to record levels with stock prices soaring and those who own those stocks are making millions in the market. But then we see headlines like these:

“The Top 10% Own 80% of the Stock Market,” “The Richest 10% of Americans Now Own 84% of All Stocks,” and “Dow Hits 21,000, Trump Touts StockMarket Success.” I’m certain it comes as no surprise to you that the experts stood in line in the Fall of 2016 making horrific predictions of what the election of Donald Trump would turn United States economics into if he were to be elected.

It might come as a surprise to you that these numbers are NOT factual. (Who would think Mainstream Media would report to Americans fake news?) Let’s look at some “Dire predictions” and actual stock market results. Then will tell you who really invest in markets — and it ain’t just the Rich!

Predictions: Experts Aren’t Always Right

Remember the dire predictions from stock market experts during the 2016 campaign warning us all that the Stock Market would tank if Donald Trump won the White House? Actual REAL experts jumped into the fray with everything they had, foretelling the Trump gloom and doom:

  • Mark Cuban. “I can say with 100 percent certainty that there is a really good chance we could see a huge, huge correction,” Cuban told CNN. “That uncertainty potentially as the president of the United States — that’s the last thing Wall Street wants to hear.”
  • Erik Jones. “You would see incredible pressure on stock prices if Trump wins and everyone flooding into rare metals like gold and into bonds” in the U.S., Germany and the United Kingdom, Erik Jones, professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, told Politico’s Ben White.
  • Justin Wolfers and Eric Zitzewitz. “Given the magnitude of the price movements, we estimate that market participants believe that a Trump victory would reduce the value of the S&P 500, the UK, and Asian stock markets by 10-15%,” University of Michigan professor Wolfers and Dartmouth professor Zitzewitz wrote in a report that supposedly scientifically forecast the market’s reaction to Trump’s victory
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin. The New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor wrote: “In all likelihood, a Trump victory would lead to a swift, knee-jerk sell-off. Many investors will choose to sell stocks and ask questions later.” In fairness to Sorkin he hedged his belief in the sell-off by writing: In truth, it’s impossible to predict how the markets would settle into a Trump presidency, despite the speculation on all sides. In all likelihood, it will take time for investors to truly make sense and “math out” how his policies would affect the economy.
  • Lawrence G. McDonald of ACG Analytics hedged also, predicting a massive sell-off followed by a relief rally. “Trump will create a colossal panic, but the relief rally will be outstanding,” he told Sorkin. Well, he got the rally right, anyway.
  • Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario had perhaps the most panicked reaction, in keeping with his status as America’s most authoritative economists. “With the United States’ presidential election on November 8, and a series of elections and other political decisions fast approaching in Europe, now is a good time to ask whether the global economy is in good enough shape to withstand another major negative shock. The answer, unfortunately, is that growth and employment around the world look fragile. A big adverse surprise – like the election of Donald Trump in the US – would likely cause the stock market to crash and plunge the world into recession,” Johnson wrote on October 29, 2016.
  • Ian Winer, Bridgewater Associates, Tobia Levkovich, Macroeconomics Advisors are all proven stock market experts who each projected dire economic happenings in U.S. and World financial markets if Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

Would you like the “Rest of the Story?” Here are the results that ALL of the experts failed miserably to predict that certainly cost many Americans opportunities to pocket huge stock market profits:

Dow Close 11/7/2016: 17,888.28
Dow Close 7/18/2019: 27,222.97

In the midst of all the pessimistic projections by the above experts and many others, let’s compare the Dow numbers close the day before the 2016 election with today’s numbers. I’ll warn you: They’re not quite what the experts told Americans the results of a Trump victory would look like. Trump’s election instigated a Dow Jones increase of 9334.69 points or 52.2%.

How does that interpret into real dollars? a $50,000 investment in the market the day before the election — 11/7/2016 — would be worth $76,000 on 7/18/2019.

With all of this success the U.S. stock market has had, why is it only the rich and super-rich in the United States that can invest in stock markets? After all, 2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, Joe Biden, and others have made demeaning all those rich white millionaires and billionaires a fundamental in their campaigns. It’s just not fair! They have presented to Americans multiple promises to make multiple important parts of Americans’ lives free: free college, free healthcare, government payoff of all college tuition loans. Free, Free, Free!

How can the government pay for all of these programs? Simple: just tax those super-rich Americans who get richer and richer simply by having investments in the stock market.

Guess what: that will not work. The super-rich collectively don’t make enough money that if all was confiscated by the federal government would pay for these programs. Besides that, the money pot to which those billionaires owe their financial success to — the stock market — is NOT a party-place of the super-wealthy. What 2020 Democrat candidates are preaching to America about the stock market and the evil rich is not the truth! The wealthy don’t fly solo when it comes to stock market investing. There are others who benefit from market investments if not to the same level as the wealthy stockholders, almost the same.

So If Not Just Millionaires Who Invests in Stocks?

In 2018, 55 percent of adults in the United States invested in the stock market. While that is a slight increase from the last two years, it remains below the levels before the Financial Crisis, having peaked at 65 percent in 2007.

It’s easy to think that the stock market is the playground of hedge funds and day traders, but in reality, most of the stock market is owned by the average joe. In fact, the largest chunk is doing one thing: helping people retire. In a white paper, Steven Rosenthal and Lydia Austin of the Tax Policy Center have broken out exactly which kind of investors own the stock market. They found that a majority of corporate stock is owned by different types of retirement plans, the largest being IRAs and defined-benefit plans. Of the $22.8 trillion in stock outstanding (not including US ownership of foreign stock and stock owned by “pass-through entities” such as exchange-traded funds), retirement accounts owned roughly 37%, the most of any type of holder.

Labor Unions

If the stock market is so risky, then why does virtually every union pension fund in America invest the bulk of their assets in the “risky” stock market? Gone are the days when America’s major union pension funds invested most of their money in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They are doing the smart thing by investing workers’ pension funds in real assets that will grow in value over time and be there when its time to pay workers’ retirement benefits.

According to the Federal Reserve, state and local government employee pension funds alone have nearly $3 trillion in assets, 66 percent of which is invested in corporate equities (i.e.: stocks). Indeed, 30 of the nation’s 50 largest pension funds are public employee pension funds. According to Pensions and Investment Magazine Online, these 30 funds have $1.5 trillion in assets, 60 percent of which is invested in the stock market. Remarkably, 13 percent of their assets are invested in foreign stocks. So much for “buy American.”

Most of the trade unions have made similar investment decisions:

  • The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust has 40 percent of its $22 billion in assets invested in domestic stocks.
  • The United Mine Workers Retirement Fund has more than 44 percent of its $7.5 billion in assets invested in domestic stock and 8 percent invested in foreign stocks.
  • The Bakery and Confectionery Union Pension Fund has 57 percent of its $5.2 billion in assets invested in domestic stocks and 7 percent invested in foreign stocks.

How about federal employees, who can choose where to invest their money through the Federal Thrift Savings Plan – the government workers’ version of a 401(k)? The TSP now has more than $85 billion in assets, 59 percent of which is invested in the stock market. Although federal employees can also choose to invest in government bonds, they’ve chosen to invest only 5 percent of their TSP funds in government bonds. Meaning, when given the choice between the stock market and government bonds, federal employees overwhelmingly choose the market.

The value of U.S. pension funds at the end of 2015 was $21.7 trillion. The funds’ managers prudently manage assets in a method meant to ensure that retirees receive promised benefits. For many years this meant that funds were limited to investing primarily in government securities, investment-grade bonds, and a small amount placed in blue-chip stocks. Changing market conditions and the need to maintain a high rate of return have resulted in pension plan rules that allow investments in most asset classes.

Summary

Facts matter, don’t they? All of these facts take us to the point we surely are asking collectively, “Why are Democrats telling the nation over and over that the super-rich ‘OWN’ the stock market and that average Americans have no part of the investment products those billionaires are using to get rich?” The answer is simple: Democrats for all the freebies they have previously, are now, and will in the future promise to those who vote Democrat require massive amounts of new money not from just Democrat voters, but ALL Americans to fund. How does that funding occur? Through tax revenue to the federal government. How does the government get that revenue? Confiscation from Americans and American companies. So they target the most wealthy, painting wealthy Americans as “evil” Americans who are greedy, selfish, and oblivious to the lives of average Americans.

The truth? Democrats in Congress are oblivious to the needs of average Americans!

Democrats during every election cycle concentrate on two things: the demonization of conservativism and conservatives, and the best way to find voters who will give them power so as to maintain control of as much of government as possible.

Democrats all know how important the stock market is to Americans in every financial classification. They know most Americans have stock market investments through their employers on which they rely for retirement. They spin the lie to denigrate wealthy Americans so as to justify increasing taxes.

How good and fair is the stock market? How evil are Democrats for screaming that Americans who make money through stock market investments? I close today with a tidbit of factual information that illustrates Democrat Party lies. Read this and decide for yourself:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) invested as much as $100,000 in the stock market the day after billionaire Republican Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
Warren, a progressive standard bearer who recently held a town hall on income inequality in America, purchased between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of shares in the Vanguard 500 Index Admiral (VFIAX) fund on November 9, 2016, according to financial disclosures filed with the Senate Clerk. At the time of Warren’s investment, VFIAX shares were trading around $200 a share; at publication time of this story, those shares were trading for more than $250 a share.  Warren’s capital gain on the investment could have been as much as $25,000.

During the campaign, Warren sharply criticized Trump’s economic plans as unfair to the poor and overly favorable to the wealthy.

Hypocrisy in the Worst Way!

 

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WRONG!

Nobody says “I’m wrong” anymore. Heck, maybe that’s been an “eternity” truth! It’s fair to say very few if any “enjoy” saying “I’m wrong.” But most of us at least occasionally say that. It applies to most Americans — except politicians! There must be a creed for politicians, a handbook, a rule book, or maybe it’s just understood that politicians are not required by law, by their oath of office, nor by integrity (which few have anyway) to say “I’m wrong.”

Let’s take the most recent and certainly the ugliest “non-admittances of incorrectness” uttered by several of America’s well-known members of “Politica” — that new political fraternity/sorority:

President Donald Trump: “We have a crisis at our southern border.”

Responses from Democrats:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We have no crisis at our southern border. It’s just another Trump talking-point.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: “There’s no crisis. All Trump says that for is to ramp up the hatred in those in his base against all immigrants.”

 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., broke from the earlier party line last week, and said conditions on the border have been so abhorrent, they rose to the level of Nazi concentration camps. She saw women being forced to drink from toilets, babies forced to sleep on concrete floors, and Border Patrol agents following her while making threats against her during her visit to one detainment center. “The Trump Administration must give these immigrant families humane treatment, good food, healthcare, and stop treating them like criminals!”

CNN host Don Lemon described the Trump administration’s immigration policy as an act of desperation this past January on “CNN Tonight” and asked if the American people were buying it. Lemon’s fellow network anchor Chris Cuomo weighed in and said if the crisis were real, CNN already would have investigated the matter and reported on it. MSNBC’S Eddie Glaude Jr. also used the word manufactured to describe the chaos in January on “Morning Joe” and said, “This is a manufactured crisis. At the heart of this whole thing are a whole bunch of lies.” Steve Schmidt, a former adviser to the late Sen. John McCain, accused Trump of going on TV to “lie and lie and lie” to promote a fake catastrophe.

The Truth about our southern border immigration crisis:

“Media pundits and anchors seemingly switched gears in recent weeks and now consider the immigration problems at the southern border a ‘crisis,’ after months of downplaying the issue and blaming President Trump. Recent reporting on the southern border has shown overcrowding of federal facilities, outbreaks of disease, issues with migrant children and general chaos — raising questions of ethics and legality regarding immigrant detention and processing. Grabien News published a media montage earlier this week of various news figures and commentators from major networks minimizing the crisis and accusing Trump of being untruthful. Trump and Border Patrol Officials proposed a $4.4 Billion bill to Congress for emergency border funding for food, clothing, medical care, and facilities for temporary housing of illegals. The funding is additionally to hire a large number of immigration judges and staffing to hurry legal proceedings to process these asylum requests.”

Responses from Democrats:

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer: “Finally the House and Senate have united and pushed the Trump Administration to agree to commit $4.4 Billion of new funding approved by Congress to assist the

poor immigrants living in deporable and inhumane conditions Border Patrol agents force on immigrant families simply seeking assylum.”

AOC: “I have joined with three other members of the House of Representatives and voted NO on the proposed $4.4 Billion bill the Trump Administration has black-mailed House leadership to pass. None of that money is dedicated for exclusive use for immigrants at our border and we cannot trust the Trump Administration to use it for immigrants the way this bill is written.”

Here’s the bottom line: No Congressional leaders — who were ALL wrong in their assessments about the border crisis — admitted they were wrong. Chuck and Nancy tried to take credit for the funding bill that had been begged for by the Border Patrol from Congress for months! And AOC just a couple of days after her visit in which she screamed about the Trump Administration refusing to care for illegal immigrants voted to not give the funding for all of those needs she herself claimed were necessary! (By the way, there were only 4 “No” votes in the House of that bill.)

I paraphrased a little in some of the quotes above. But you get it — you understand. In context, Democrats refuse to accept anything and everything from this White House and perpetuate stories of every sort of wrongdoing they can possibly imagine supposedly happening under Donald Trump. When confronted with the truth, THEY NEVER ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG!

The Bigger Story

Let’s face it: politicians don’t have an exclusive on never being wrong. Everyday Americans are just as guilty. We all know some guy at work who is intolerable to work with. The guy that says stuff all the time, is corrected, and either argues about the correction or just doesn’t say anything. Of course, he never admits he was wrong.

It happens at home, too. Phone charging cables constantly disappear. The wife just grabs any one she can find whenever hers disappears. That happened at OUR house today.

I’m meticulous with my “stuff” — especially electronics. I keep a charging cable for my Ipad, a separate one for my iPhone, another for my iPad’s wireless keyboard: 1 of each in my briefcase and 1 of each on my bedside table.

Today we came home from a two-day trip to a 7-on-7 football tournament. I brought my briefcase in from the car that had all my “travel” cables neatly rolled up and in their places in my briefcase. She confronted me about one of the cables I have kept in my briefcase for over a year. “You have my charging cable in your briefcase. I put it on the console in the car when we left the hotel.” I didn’t bring any cables in other than the ones that had been in my briefcase the whole time. And I told her that. She then repeated her story, only 3 times louder. I reminded her that any cable that came into the house in someone’s hand came in HER hand, not mine. My 3 travel cables were zippered up in my briefcase. As you can imagine, the story wasn’t over!

This time she played the “Well, OK. I guess I’m stupid and left mine somewhere.” But, of course, she didn’t stop there: “But I KNOW I put my cable on the console in the car and it’s that one in your briefcase.”

One more time I wanted to make sure she “heard me” and repeated my story to her. She continued, and I had enough. I opened my zippered briefcase, pulled all three cables out and laid them in front of her. I held each up and showed her that 1 was for my iPad connectors on it, 1 was for my iPhone and had connectors on it, the 3rd — the one she knew for certain was hers — was for my iPad keyboard and had a USB2 connector on it.

I turned around and walked away just as she muttered something really low. Knowing her pretty well, I turned around and asked, “What did you say?” She almost screamed as she said, “THAT CABLE DOESN’T FIT MY CHARGER!”

I knew it didn’t and had already pointed that out to her.

I bit my tongue and said absolutely nothing — as hard as that was. But as I walked outside and calmly slammed my fist through the windshield of her car, (I’m just joking!) I thought of something: She admitted she was wrong, even if it was in a roundabout way. But she didn’t apologize. And it hit me: Admitting we are wrong is a really good thing. And for many of us, we seldom if ever go beyond that: we don’t follow “I’m wrong” with “And I’m sorry.”

Summary

Almost all of us know what the word “repentance” means. In the context of Christianity, defined, repentance is “to turn and walk away from.” Follow along with me:

When we do something wrong — commit a sin — as Christians, we are to in prayer ask God for forgiveness for that sin. But according to the Biblical instructions, we are supposed to “repent,” or “turn and walk away from that wrong.”

Could that possibly combined be the same thing as saying “I’m wrong,” or “To turn away,” and then the follow-up “And I’m sorry,” meaning “To walk away from?”

Relationships are essential to living a good and happy life. Families require relationships not to just exist, but to thrive and grow. We all know those that seem totally dysfunctional that makes us wonder how in the world they have lasted. We certainly do not want our family to exist in that way.

We also know that each of us is certainly wrong — usually more often than we care to admit. Hopefully, we are mature enough to understand when we’re wrong that it’s better for our fellow workers, friends, and certainly applicable family members to hear us admit we were wrong. And it’s good for us when we do that, too.

But in the act of forgiveness, turning from that sin is just part of the process. Walking away from that sin seals the deal.

I really believe that the two go hand in hand just as in a difference with others: admitting wrong is just half of the deal. The other half is to say loud enough for the other to hear,” I’m sorry!”

I know today’s story is shorter than normal. But I have to hurry downstairs. I’ve got to go find my wife — she needs to talk to me. Why? SHE DIDN’T SAY I’M SORRY!”

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It’s All About Me!

It all began in the NFL. Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first professional athlete (or “former” professional athlete since Kaepernick was not playing and has not since) to engage in any type of protest of the U.S. flag or the National Anthem in pre-game ceremonies. Needless to say, responses to his kneeling were mixed, but tens of millions of Americans could not and still cannot comprehend how a NFL player who makes millions of dollars playing a game could justify protesting anything to do with the United States of America, especially its flag and national anthem. Think about it: there’s NO other nation on Earth where several thousand young men are able to make so much money that have so big a platform as in the U.S. as in the NFL. 

What enraged (and still enrages) so many Americans is the protest using THAT symbol of America — the flag that to these days is draped over the coffins of military heroes that after losing their lives in overseas combat come home wearing that Freedom symbol over their lifeless bodies.

What was the Kaepernick protest about? He seemed a bit confused at first. But then when questioned over and over stated that he was protesting police brutality against members of the African American community. That explained the socks he wore at press conference brandishing pictures of pigs in police uniforms.

The Protest

Kaepernick’s first protest was before a pre-season game in the 2016 season. His protests grew and other NFL players picked up the Old Glory/national anthem protests before games. Their continually doing so galvanized NFL fans. What has always been a united fan base was immediately splintered down patriotism lines and remains so 3 years later.

Nike famously immediately tagged Kaepernick as a “consultant,” speaker, and protestor-in-chief for the most popular shoe company on Earth. And Nike has raked in millions capitalizing on Kaepernick and his protests. Many thought Nike’s stock would tank from shrinking shoe sales. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s been just the opposite.

Nike Capitalizes

Through the last year or so not much “new” has happened. Nike’s sales and subsequent stock prices stagnated. Nike needed a new controversy — something to imitate the 2016 Colin uproar. They found it!

For the 2019 July 4th Independence Day celebrations, Nike issued a new shoe bearing on the heel the embroidered U.S. flag named the “Betsy Ross” flag in honor of the creator of the first United States flag that showed a star for each of the original 13 colonies. Kaepernick immediately reached out to Nike to let them know THAT flag is racially insensitive. After all, Betsy Ross was a daughter of America’s Revolutionary War, and “they” were pretty much all “slave folks.”

Nike responded immediately: they cancelled the shoe. The media were all notified, and the media gave Nike “Colin Kaepernick Nike Big Money Part 2.”

The shoes reached resale prices of up to 20 times the original retail price and were reselling online for 20 times the original retail price after the sportswear brand pulled the sneakers. Nike’s stock price? In one day it went from $84 to $86 a share — not a landfall, but a nice one-day move for the shoe giant. Nike’s stock price was at $80 a share at the “first” Kaepernick protest.

Betsy Ross: America’s Racist Flagmaker

What could Betsy Ross could have done to so upset Mr. Kaepernick? She made a flag. On it were 13 racist stars. That’s it. By Colin’s determination, because she was an early American and created a positive symbol for those settlers from those 13 colonies — some of which owned slaves — her symbol of the 13 HAD to be a racist symbol.

The truth is that Betsy was raised in Pennsylvania as a Quaker. She married outside of her religious sect and left it. She was a member of an anti-slavery church, was a devout supporter of her church’s doctrines on the matter, and never had any slave ownership personally or in her family.

Regarding those who maintain that the Betsy Ross flag has been used by white supremacists and is one of their preferred symbols, there is nothing to verify that. In fact, the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism (not at all conservative) has a database with more than 150 “hate symbols.” The Betsy Ross flag isn’t among them.

“The Betsy Ross flag is a common historical flag,” Mark Pitcavage of the ADL told CNBC. While it’s been used by white supremacists “from time to time,” he has “never once thought about” adding the Betsy Ross flag to the list.

To Nike and to Mr. Kaepernick, none of that matters.

By the way: there’s one more thing. Check out this picture:

That’s the Betsy Ross flag hanging on the far left and far right behind Barack Obama at his inauguration. Most doubt that the former President would have allowed such if was actually in any way affiliated with White Supremacy.

Since Colin made his stand in 2016, his doing so has been a symbol: a symbol embraced by many and summarily rejected by many others. Supporters point to the Constitution’s First Amendment that guarantees the free speech for all Americans even regarding causes not acceptable to all.

In the U.S., people can legally support Communism, conduct conventions, celebrate Communist heroes, and espouse the goodness of Marxism. Federal law allows it. But that right cuts two-ways: those in the U.S. who oppose Communism and Marxism have the same right to speak out about their doing so. But there’s a rub.

Today’s Leftists have commandeered the control of who determines what’s O.K. to be for and certainly what everyone MUST be against. The theme for the day of late has been “everything and everyone that had anything to do with Colonialism or anything we THINK had to do with Colonialism is racist…period. Their ideas and ideals are neutered by “our” perception of their being espoused by a racist.

So Betsy is racist today but never was until Colin said so. In fact, Betsy has been a folk-hero for two centuries as something of an icon in American History.

Scratch that depiction from American history books.

It Continues

This latest liberal elitism certainly is not held exclusively by athletes — although there are MORE pros lining up to join the battle. But the outrage certainly is not exclusive to athletics.

A former Navy intelligence specialist recently took a page out of Colin Kaepernick’s playbook and refused to stand for the national anthem during morning colors. However, she quickly learned she’d made a huge mistake.

Conservative Tribune reported that Petty Officer 2nd Class Janaye Ervin was stripped of her security clearance and assigned to menial labor for a few days before she was forced to leave the Navy for disrespecting our country so blatantly.

It all started on September 19, 2018, when Ervin refused to stand for the anthem when she was on reserve duty at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. The International BusinessTimes reported that Ervin claimed she was trying to make a statement about blacks being persecuted in the United States by doing this. “I just didn’t want to stand at that moment,” Ervin said “I can’t stand for this song knowing that the song isn’t for me, being black. The song doesn’t represent me at all. To be honest, I never really thought about the flag my entire life, I had no reason to. It’s just a flag.”

The next day, Ervin’s superiors read her her rights and gave her a warning about potentially compromising her security clearance, which she needed for both her military and civilian job. One day after that, she was stripped of her security clearance and escorted out of the secure area where she was working.

Ervin is now claiming that she was never told which order she was violating, but this is clearly untrue since she violated the 10th General Order for Sentries, “…To salute all officers and colorsand standards not cased..” which is taught in Navy boot camp.

All members of the Navy are required to memorize all 11 general orders in bootcamp, and they are aware that violating any one of them is subject to Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is subject to whatever punishment is decided by court-martial.

On September 21, Ervin took to Facebook to publicly complain about how “unfair” this has been for her. “The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job,” she wrote, according to PopularMilitary.com.

One More Athletic Outrage

Enter Megan Rapino. Who doesn’t know who the purple-haired, self-proclaimed spokesperson for the entire U.S. Women’s World Cup team? She’s probably the most visible female professional athlete in the World today. If you’re unsure that is factual, just ask her: she’ll certainly confirm it.

Megan will not sing the National Anthem before games. She will not put her hand over her heart when it’s played or sung. She refused to visit the White House to be honored by the President for the team’s victory in the World Cup. She hates the White House and, of course Donald Trump. But, whoops! She changed her mind — sort of. She doesn’t hate the White House, just President Trump.

Her post World Cup interviews have been nothing short of bizarre. All of the late-night talk show hosts are clamoring for her appearance. They everyone fawn over anyone who dislikes the President and will say so on national television. Whoopi and the entire View gang foam at the mouth for her! She’s a rock star — no, a women’s star — no, a professional athlete star — or all of the above. Again, if you don’t think that’s factual just ask Megan.

I know she’s gay. I know she’s liberal. I know she hates Donald Trump. I know she hates conservatism. But I wonder if she hates her ability to travel around the world representing the United States in front of millions live and on television to lead her team to the World Championship in Women’s soccer?

Megan as any athlete who excels personally brings many things to the table that qualify her to play a game at that level. But the United States (and the U.S. government through the presidency of Donald Trump) funded a large part of her trips to world fame AND the World Cup. “The U.S. government:” that’s you and me! That’s America and Americans — all of us. Megan’s “stick in the eye” for America started a while ago.

Writer Warner Todd Huston notes, “Rapinoe raised eyebrows in the 2018 season by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem even though she is playing for the U.S. Women’s National soccer team. Her taking a knee only came to an end starting in the 2019 season because the team passed a rule requiring players to stand during the anthem. But she right away said that she would never sing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ again, nor would she place her hand over her heart because she hates America.

She hates America.

Summary

It was sad for me to watch the Women’s World Cup this year to see and hear the stands full of thousands of foreign citizens stand and proudly and loudly sing their nation’s national anthem in tandem with their team members standing on the field to start each game in which their team competed. It was a stark contrast to watch  the U.S. women. There was Megan, stomping on the American symbol of freedom: Old Glory.

There are many appropriate things I could say and ask here. I won’t do that — you know them all. But I will close by saying this: this certainly is the freest country on Earth. Everyone has the freedom to choose many things. And the First Amendment gives all the right to say anything no matter how others view it with no threat of government intervention. That certainly includes Megan.

If Megan Rapino hates the U.S. and its symbols so much that she would desecrate for millions — no tens of millions — the U.S. symbols of freedom, why does she stay?  A soccer player with her prowess could easily go to any of the European or Asian countries and be an instant star constantly in the limelight in that country. And in doing so she would not have to worry about a U.S. President that she hates that 60+ million Americans voted to lead this country. And European countries pay their soccer stars huge amounts of money — which Megan thinks makes U.S. hockey look cheap.

Rapino and Kaepernick should think about cutting a group deal to represent some foreign entities for big money. They’re certainly qualified. They could both move their mini empires overseas and put behind them the horrors they so hate in the U.S. today.

I doubt Janaye Ervin would be qualified to join this pair. She made a mistake thinking that EVERY American institution would run from any type of reprimand for those from their ranks who desecrate any American symbol. The U.S. Military didn’t fall in line like did the National Football League and U.S. Soccer.

Tens of millions of Americans think the NFL and U.S. Soccer should duplicate the Military. I tend to agree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Funeral

There are two specific events which I despise: weddings and funerals. I’m not a hermit and I really love people. But weddings and funerals have always been a problem for me. But no longer. Here’s the story:

I’m a keyboard guy. When I was young I was something of a piano prodigy. My father pastored a really small church in south Louisiana. I started piano at age 7, and by the time I reached 12, I could do a fairly good job playing in church. That was all it took! For every wedding and every funeral at our church, I was automatically “in” as the accompanist.

Just imagine how many Saturdays and Sundays a 12-year-old kid was “coerced” into giving up an afternoon and evening to play for people who I often did not know as they married someone else I didn’t know. Of course, I was stuck losing Friday nights too because there was always the wedding rehearsal I had to attend to get the next day’s plan in place.

And then there were those horrible experiences of sitting at the keyboard looking over at a stranger dressed to the nines lying in a coffin. It’s bad enough to be AT a funeral of someone you did not know, (and even for those who you really DID know) but having to play sad songs for sad people while listening to family members crying their eyes out is horrible.

Funerals were the worst.

Through all of these years and final get-togethers, I’ve heard several hundred funeral messages. Some of those messages have been pretty good, but far more have been less than “good.” Finding a minister with the confidence that he will do a good job at helping the family say their final goodbyes to the deceased is a daunting task. Why is that?

Two reasons: first is that just like in conducting weddings, the deceased more often than not was not a member of the minister’s church. Burying a parishioner is bad, but burying a stranger is a nightmare. Secondly, it’s true that the eulogy and obituary (which are usually read at funerals) are easy enough, delivering a message in a funeral is a tough task. There simply are not an abundance of topics with which a minister can set the family of the deceased at ease about their loss. So ministers often tell personal stories with personal examples of the minister’s relationship and interactions with the deceased. That is seldom consoling to family members. And other funeral attendees are simply lost in that process.

A few days ago, I attended a funeral that in my opinion was the best funeral service of my countless funeral experiences. The minister proved that funeral services can be more than simply sad and tearful send-offs. He has discovered how to draw every funeral attendee through the inherent sorrow and angst to a place of real peace. After all, isn’t that what those who have suffered the tragic loss of a close friend or relative really need?

How does he do that?

Gary Hinton was a quiet family guy. He started and operated a very successful national commercial construction company, employed many, and had a pristine reputation in the construction industry and in our community. Everyone loved Gary. Gary’s pastor conducted the service. Another pastor read the obituary. A tearful eulogy was given by a nephew. The music was extraordinary: great songs and really good singers. Then Gary’s Pastor gave the funeral message.

The pastor, Denny Duron, knew Gary well. I’m certain Pastor Denny had dozens of personal stories he could have shared about events from Gary’s life that included him. But he didn’t tell even ONE such story. But he did tell many stories about Gary — stories about Gary told to him by Gary’s siblings, his children, his grandchildren, and Gary’s wife.  

Pastor Denny had spent hours preparing for the funeral. But his preparations were different from that of most ministers preparing for funerals. His prep is what made this the “best” funeral ever in my lifetime. What’s his secret? Face-to-face conversations with members of Gary’s family in which he draws from them pictures from Gary’s life — Gary’s life with them — individually.

“What was the best moment you can remember with your Dad?” He asked one of Gary’s sons. “What did Gary like to do most,” or “Tell me what Gary said at the Christmas dinner table last Christmas,” or similar questions were asked and answered in those chats with Gary’s family members. Pastor Denny knew that everyone in that family had countless personal interactions with their Dad, Uncle, Grandfather, and Husband. He looked for the special ones — the memorable moments they would never forget with Gary. He wanted to hear those so he could share with us in the audience so we could not just know about Gary, but could really KNOW Gary. And it worked!

How did we get there? By hearing the stories of the personal and intimate experiences these children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, brothers and sisters, and wife had with Gary. It put his family in a peaceful place. It put all of us in the chapel in a peaceful place. And isn’t that what funeral messages should all be about?

Summary

I hope Pastor Denny is still around when I leave this planet. I certainly want him to conduct my funeral. My children, grandchildren, and other family members will certainly be there to say goodbyes. They each have known me well. But somehow hearing their stories from a Pastor will certainly give them a sense of peace and finality at a normally gut-wrenching time.

If it ends up happening that way, I’m certain Pastor Denny will not build his message around his personal interactions with me. I’m certain he’ll instead tell those in whatever crowd assembles for my send-off the stories Kimbi, Kori, Kaleb, Mary Ann, and my six grandchildren will have told him. I hope he does.

But he COULD tell a whole bunch of personal stories about me — He’s my older brother.

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