Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The New Deal is long gone; let’s leave it to its place in history

Few people alive today experienced “The Great Depression,” that period brought on by the stock market crash of 1929 and made worse by the Dust Bowl of the 30s. It was a time of great misery for America, and much worse than what today is referred to as “The Great Recession” that followed the market’s steep downturn beginning in December 2007.

While the latter event was the longest recession since World War II, lasting until June 2009, and its severity notable, it was not comparable to the Depression from which it got its name.

In the 30s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to the severe economic conditions with programs known as the New Deal. Those who lived through it may well regard FDR’s efforts in a positive light, as they “gave the country hope.”

But as is often the case, those memories do FDR more justice than he deserves. His program of high taxes and spending prolonged and deepened the misery. Though the country suffered longer and more severely, however, it did survive.

Democrats still entertain ideas similar to Roosevelt’s. In a nation created with specific limits on government’s size and power, a major political party does its best to increase government’s size and influence over its citizens.

A current proposal harkens back to the dark days of the 30s with a new “New Deal,” this one called the “Green New Deal,” combining the horrors of FDR’s missteps with the equal horrors of the manic climate change faction.

Typical of leftist/liberal prescriptions for a better world, this one touts and focuses on a set of desired results, but avoids paying any real attention to the enormous costs those desired results would create.

The Green New Deal is only a draft resolution at this point, but it proposes to do away with all fossil fuel use by 2030, just 10 years after its legislation is supposed to be completed.

The proponent of this measure is – surprise, surprise, surprise! – the newly elected Democrat Darling, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has raised the ire of her Democrat colleagues with her behavior, which pays little deference to the Party leadership, as she stumbles in and out of controversy.

Her methodology for this grand idea asks questions like “wouldn’t it be nice if,” or “shouldn’t we?” But it pays little attention to the answers to those questions, such as “at what cost” or “who will this hurt?”

On the subject of “wouldn’t it be nice,” the Green New Deal proposes making the nation run on only renewable forms of energy, as well as upgrading every residential and industrial building to improve comfort and safety.

And it goes further beyond the green aspects of our lives. It also proposes to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one. And we must establish additional measures, such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others that the select committee, which will be formed to flesh out the draft, deems appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.

The cost of these pie-in-the-sky goals runs about 40 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, roughly double the current national debt.

Fossil fuels have weaknesses that make them undesirable. But renewable energy sources have weaknesses, too. Windmills kill birds at alarming rates, and large solar arrays also kill birds. You might expect these factors to upset green organizations that work to protect animals.

Solar panels only work when the sun is shining, and windmills only work when the wind blows. As it turns out, according to the Department of Energy, the most advanced wind turbines only reach their rated capacity roughly 42.5 percent of the time. And the most advanced, motorized solar panels achieve their rated capacity roughly 26 percent of the time.

Currently, fossil fuel backup systems turn on when wind and solar can’t work, but the plan is to stop using them. If we are to be prohibited from burning coal and natural gas, the other options are using more nuclear energy, which attracts strong opposition like that of fossil fuels, or store energy in batteries in humongous numbers.

Further, banning fossil fuels from all agricultural, manufacturing, and transportation uses would dramatically increase the cost of every product in the United States and make it difficult for American businesses to export products at reasonable prices.

This proposal, like so many liberal creations, sounds wonderful, but poses substantial problems.

What works best in such monumental transitions like this is a gradual evolution from the old to the new. That, however, is not part of the plan. The left/liberal method is not gradual evolution, but government force, as we saw in former President Barack Obama’s war on coal, with all the unemployment and extraneous human costs associated with that which were, unfortunately, not accompanied with any semblance of pity for the negatively affected thousands.

As science, technology and manufacturing processes evolve and improve, green energy will gradually and naturally replace burning fossil fuels for many of their uses. America already leads the world in carbon reduction. It should not punish its citizens further by implementing unnecessary and painful measures.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Democrats re-take the House: It is just as bad as we expected

She’s baaa-aaak! Imagining herself suddenly somehow equal to the President of the United States, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, basked in the glory of getting the gavel returned, after Democrats won back control of the House in the mid-term election.

Anxious to get back control of the House and wallowing in the glory of things to come, prior to the opening of the 2019 Congress caucusing Democrats, led by Maxine Waters, D-CA were overheard singing: “Investigate! Salivate! Dance to the music!”

And right on cue, the political foolishness began. The bad ideas Democrats had been discussing and preparing to unleash were officially unleashed.

Barely after members were sworn in and the election of the Speaker was completed, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, rushed forth to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as his first order of business.

Not long after that, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, introduced a few new bills, one of which proposes the elimination of the Electoral College.

They also introduced a bill that many people would support to fund government agencies affected by the shutdown. Too good to be true, however, the bill also contained a hidden element that would provide more than a half-billion dollars in pro-abortion funding, including repealing a provision implemented by the Trump administration that would not fund NGOs that engaged in pro-abortion activities.

On the matter of impeachment, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, wasted no time in calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump just hours after being sworn in.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters Thursday night, Tlaib said: "People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says, 'Momma, look you won. Bullies don't win.' And I said, 'Baby, they don't, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the [vulgarity deleted].'”

Where the comment immediately placed her high in the running for the “2019 Classless Congressional Comment” award, it also garnered her much attention, but also a little welcome Democrat criticism.

Defensively, Tlaib pointed out that her “colorful” language should not overshadow her message. Well, if your message is really important to you, don’t use colorful language that interferes with it.

While we are on the topic of newbies, the freshman Democrat Darling and self-described socialist and radical, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has danced and talked her way into the limelight.

Her dancing may well be the strongest of her talents, with economic understanding bringing up the rear. The 29 year-old Representative has displayed a great lack of understanding of her country’s Constitution and government organization, characteristic of many others of her age.

She has expressed strong support for raising taxes on the highest wage earners to as much as 70 percent to pay for her list of socialistic freebies. As ridiculous an idea as this is, it wouldn’t make a dent in the costs of the programs she favors.

A 70 percent tax is punitive, and would shift a great deal of money to government use rather than use by those who earned it, and has very little support. It heaps unjust obligations on the top earners, who already shoulder a hugely disproportionate share of America’s tax bill.

Democrats apparently have been forbidden from discussing the death of Police Officer Ronil Singh, the most recent American to be killed by an illegal alien. Nancy Pelosi reportedly responded to a question about this senseless crime, “No comment.”

The ban on discussion is apparently complete, prohibiting even the expression of sympathy to Singh’s family and fellow officers, lest they admit indirectly that we have a true and serious illegal alien problem that includes sanctuary cities/fugitive cities. They didn’t even allow the automatic reaction to a gun death: the call for gun control.

As the 18th partial shutdown of the federal government since 1976 continues into its second week, there is no agreement between Congressional Democrats and President Trump to end it, as this is written.

Ranging from a few days to more than a month, under six presidents, both Democrat and Republican – Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush and Obama – government shutdowns are not uncommon. The longest one lasted 32 days under Bill Clinton.

The responsibility for the security of the United States and its citizens falls upon the shoulders of the Executive Branch: the President, not the Speaker of the House or the Senate Minority Leader.

Following the advice – the sincere and desperation-prompted pleas – of the people who are on the border trying to secure it, Trump wants an impenetrable barrier along sections of the border.

Under those conditions, Congressional Democrats, who voted to fund a wall previously, are instead acting to support the status quo, which includes the horrible things illegal aliens have done and will do, while Trump is working to secure the border and improve the immigration process.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million people in exchange for the promise of border security. But border security was not achieved. Reagan said that was his biggest mistake. Trump does not want to make that same mistake.

In other news, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, introduced a Congressional term limits bill.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Costs of illegal immigration demand significant reform measures

That a sovereign nation should be able to control people coming into it is a no-brainer. So is the idea that in setting criteria for entry by immigrants a nation should consider what sorts of people will be good for the nation and its citizens.

The United States is under no obligation to let anyone come here; it is a completely voluntary thing that we can do or not do as we choose. The United States has benefitted greatly from immigration in the past, and if we a smart about it, we can benefit from immigration now and in the future.

As the most generous nation on Earth we can help people from other countries that really need help, but only under circumstances that are beneficial to us, or at least that are not harmful to our country and its legal residents and citizens.

We should not allow those to come here who carry disease, who are violent, who wish to undermine our way of life, or in other ways will do harm of some kind to the country. That such standards must exist is not even arguable.

Right now, and for many years, our immigration system has been a mess. The southern border is dangerously porous, and is routinely breached by persons wanting to come here illegally. Despite Border Patrol efforts, people routinely cross into the country. Others get visas to come here legally, but stay beyond the expiration date. These people by their very existence inside our borders are lawbreakers, and some of them commit crimes.

Answers for how much illegal aliens cost the country cover a broad range, depending upon whose numbers you use and exactly what kinds of things comprise the total. Estimates range from a bit over $100 billion to $338 billion annually.

A 2017 cost analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) puts the figure of illegal immigration costs to U.S. taxpayers at $155 billion annually. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, however, that cost is much higher: $338.3 billion. 

Some estimates of particular elements of illegal immigration costs are: $22 billion on social services; $2.2 billion on food assistance; $2.5 billion on Medicaid, $29 billion on education; $3 million per day to incarcerate illegal immigrants who comprise 30 percent of all federal prison inmates; $90 billion for welfare; $46 billion for deportation; and $200 billion in suppressed American wages. reported in October that the U.S. is currently spending more to cover costs of illegal aliens having children here than for President Trump’s border wall this year. A new report tells us that illegal alien women had 297,000 children in 2014 at a cost of $2.4 billion.

Technically, illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare services. But the report explained, "Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income. ... Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months."

Forbes magazine’s Chris Conover ran the numbers in November and determined that at least $18.5 billion of tax money is spent on health care for illegal immigrants.

And there’s this from CNS News: “The federal government spent more money on the food stamp program in October, which was the first month of fiscal 2019, than President Donald Trump now wants the Congress to approve for the border wall for the entirety of fiscal 2019,” according to Editor-in-Chief Terence P. Jeffrey.

Dollar costs are not the only price Americans pay for our sloppy immigration control; crimes committed by illegals are a serious problem. One assault, one robbery, one rape or one murder is one more than we should accept.

Figures provided by Customs and Border Patrol as of August 31, one month before the end of FY 2018, include convictions of illegal aliens for:
Assault, battery, domestic violence = 506
Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud = 322
Driving under the influence = 1,062
Homicide, manslaughter = 3
Illegal drug possession, trafficking = 816
Illegal entry, re-entry = 3,637
Illegal weapons possession, etc. = 98
Sexual offenses = 78
Other offenses = 1,298

These 7,820 convictions are approximately half the number for FY2016. However, assuming the last month of FY2018 saw the average convictions of the first 11 months, the total for FY2018 would be 8,531. FY2017 also saw numbers significantly lower than FY2016, so things are moving in the right direction.

However, the fact that more than 8,500 people in the United States were direct victims of illegal aliens is inexcusable. 

We desperately need immigration reform and the first step is to secure the southern border so that the only people who enter the country are those who ask permission by coming to an official entry port, and after vetting receive permission to enter. 

The people who work on the border say, “Walls work!” We need to listen to them and erect walls/fences in places where they are most needed, to keep immigrant numbers under control, and to maintain the security of our people and our nation.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all “please lighten up!”

Christmas, as most of us know, is an observance celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It was a joyous and very special event from which Christian religions grew. Wise men came from afar to give the baby gifts, and over time that spirit of giving gradually evolved from a religious observance to include the giving of gifts between family and friends that occurs in many countries across the globe. 

The giving of gifts to children is an aspect that came to include the Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus, or some other “bringer of gifts,” who delivers presents to the “good little girls and boys.” 

The celebration of Christmas is both a religious observance with annual programs in churches, and a wondrous display of lights and other decorations, benevolent giving, and good will. 

For centuries in the U.S. and elsewhere the religious and secular observances existed together in perfect harmony. Everyone enjoyed Christmas for what it meant to them and those that observed the birth of Jesus were also most often eagerly involved in the giving and receiving of gifts, putting up the tree and decorations, and the gathering of family.

But as the evolution progressed, more and more Christmas observers honored the secular aspects of the day more than its religious origins, and a lot of folks who celebrate Christmas today are not Christians and do not celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th.

And now in this, the Age of Hypersensitivity, Christmas religious traditions have become unpopular with many people, and instead of quietly and politely leaving alone those who celebrate the religious meaning of the day to enjoy it as they have for so long, a faction now has determined that religious elements are offensive to them and demand their removal so they will not be made uncomfortable by their presence.

This now widespread Christmas discomfort is not quite to the level of full-scale protests, but headed in that direction, particularly where public displays are concerned. 

Religious symbols are becoming, or perhaps are already, as unpopular as symbols of the Civil War, despite the historical value of those symbols of our past. For example, a 34-foot cross that was erected nearly 50 years ago at Pensacola, Florida’s Bayview Park has been ordered removed by a federal judge after 4 people started an action because they saw the cross when visiting the park and were unable to cope with that experience.

A federal appeals court ordered another large cross to be removed last year. Constructed in 1925 at a busy intersection in Bladensburg, MD to memorialize soldiers who died in World War I, it was deemed offensive because some saw “religion” when driving through the intersection, rather than the purpose for which the monument was privately financed and constructed.

A three-judge panel heard the case, which was decided by a two-to-one vote. Chief Judge Roger Gregory dissented, noting that the government is not required by the First Amendment to “purge from the public sphere any reference to religion.” This point no doubt will zoom past the complainers, who see only their personal displeasure and discomfort, which, of course, is more important than anything else.

The First Liberty Institute, which supports religious freedom, and represented the American Legion in the matter, said the decision “sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history.”

Where Christmas is concerned, the fact that without the growth of the observance of the birth of Jesus there would be no Christmas for people to enjoy with gifts, parties and decorations. Despite this, the offended masses think that reminders of Jesus’ birth, like nativity scenes with the baby, mother Mary and father Joseph, and the three wise men, send them into a panic, even as they open their presents under the tree.

This penchant for manic criticism of Christmas has come to include complaining about seasonal songs. Some in their imagination see sexual impropriety in the decades-old Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and think that because some relatively small number of people believe this, that the larger number who see it for what it is – a flirty song that they have liked all their lives – should be banned, denying pleasure to the many because of the objections of a few.

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is seen as encouraging bullying, rather than a song describing how Rudolph became the leader of Santa’s crew.

In what may be a sign of “things to come,” the iconic gingerbread man has been attacked by a coffee shop at the Parliament of Scotland. The political body has now demanded they be referred to as “gingerbread persons.”

Some people think that anything that makes them uncomfortable or that they don’t like for whatever reason should be immediately and permanently removed, without any consideration given to the thousands or millions who value and appreciate those things.

And what on this Earth cannot be found offensive by some small group?

However, all that has been said before must not be interpreted as a “Bah, humbug” recitation from Mr. Scrooge.

To those who celebrate Christmas: Merry Christmas!

For those who do not: Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New climate report not very different from other climate reports

There are many legitimate reasons to question the warnings of climate doom, including the millennia long history of alternating periods of warming temperatures and ice ages, demonstrating that warming and cooling periods occur naturally. 

Not the least of those reasons is the problems with climate science itself, as well as its proponents. 

The issue, of course, is for scientists to accurately determine whether and how much human activities affect Earth’s atmosphere. The record on this is spotty, at best.

The famous – or infamous – “Hockey Stick” graph that showed a sharp rise in temperatures over a rather short period of time was wrong: Bad science. But it nevertheless created a great deal of fear of a dangerously warming environment.

In 2007, NASA released data showing that contrary to the opinion of the climate change faction that the warmest year on record was 1998, the warmest year was actually 1934, and the warmest four years were in the 1930s.

NASA also released data in 2015 that challenged the 2013 conclusions of organizations including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that Antarctica was losing land ice. NASA’s data showed the opposite: that Antarctica was in fact gaining ice.

In October, a scientific paper published in the journal “Nature” suggested ocean temperatures had risen roughly 60 percent higher than estimated. However, it was soon discovered that this frightening finding was due to a mathematical error.

And, although he’s not a climate scientist, and doesn’t even play one on TV, we can’t overlook Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” a movie that provided gross misinformation, based upon predictions of doom of the grave threat of global warming. In 2006, The Washington Poststated that Gore "believes humanity may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan."

Well, 2019 is nearing, and things are roughly the same as they were at the time of Gore’s huge miscalculation. But no matter how far from reality his prognostications have been, his bank account swells pretty much in parallel with the growth of his carbon footprint. If carbon dioxide is so grave a problem, shouldn’t people like Gore show us the way to correcting that problem with their own behavior?

While Gore has implemented green energy mechanisms in his own home, he buys “carbon credits” to cover for his other excesses.

The day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday, interestingly enough – the 1,700-page National Climate Assessment went public, re-igniting fears of mass deaths, global food shortages, economic destruction, and national security risks resulting from climate change.

However, in keeping with past climate doom reports, this one also has some problems, which Nicholas Loris of the Heritage Foundation has discussed. Among the weaknesses he found are exaggerated economic costs.

One claim is that the worst climate scenario could cost the U.S. 10 percent of its gross domestic product by 2100, more than twice the percentage that was lost during the Great Recession. This is based on the assumption that the Earth’s temperature will increase by 15 degrees Fahrenheit, even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the IPCC. Is that realistic?

Further, “It estimates nearly impossible levels of coal consumption, fails to take into account the massive increase in natural gas production from the shale revolution, and ignores technological innovations that continue to occur in nuclear and renewable technologies,” according to Loris.

Even if climate data and the predictions resulting from it are accurate, how people react to this crisis is also relevant, and often problematic. See “Paris, December 2018,” where political climate change is actually occurring.

The protests followed the imposition of a fuel tax announced by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb diesel usage and invest in greener technology. For French citizens living in rural areas, where driving is a big deal, the tax would be very painful. Another factor is the immediate pain of higher taxes today for results to be achieved years or decades in the future.

And then there are the celebrity supporters of climate change measures who expect the rest of us to toe the line while they go along their merry way creating large carbon footprints.

Furthermore, if climate change is actually being significantly affected by the activities of mankind, who are the biggest offenders?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that the United States is neither a big offender, nor the least of those imposing carbon emission restrictions on its own citizens.

So, if action really needs to be taken to prevent the destruction of mankind and the planet, China and India are the first two places that need to change their ways. And there are many others who have not joined in, while the U.S. heads the list in reducing carbon emissions.

And, we cannot ignore that some of these climate scientists are activists, who have a political perspective that is fertilized by ample research dollars for the “correct” opinions on climate change.

No one, or at least few of us, wants to pursue a path that will actually be harmful to us, or our environment. But we must have truthful, accurate information upon which to determine our course of action. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Just when you think you’ve heard the weirdest thing possible …

Politics is many things: maddening, confusing, dirty, crazy. A recent example is Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a #NeverTrumper who did not seek reelection in November, and has decided that he will oppose every effort to confirm President Donald Trump’s judicial and other nominees during the remaining weeks of his term, unless there is a bill put forth to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired.

This position is odd for a couple of reasons. First, the reason for holding up a vote on a nominee or voting against one is that you believe the nominee is not fit for the position. Second, there is no indication that Trump, after one and one-half years of Mueller’s investigation, intends to fire him, even though he has the clear authority to do so if he chooses, for any reason, or for no reason.

Such a bill raises constitutional questions, as well, since a law that effectively raises an administration employee, which Mueller is, above the authority of the president in effect creates a fourth branch of government.

And then there’s the new Darling of the DNC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young Democrat elected to represent a New York district. The new representative is loved by both the Left and the Right, but for very different reasons.

The Left loves her because she is young and appeals to their idea of shaking things up. The New York Times termed the young member of the Democratic Socialists of America a “28-year-old giant slayer” when she defeated 19-year incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley in the primary.

The Right loves her because of her frequent gaffs; she seems to have little knowledge about the way the country works, among other things. She not long ago informed the country that America’s government has “three chambers of Congress.” Realizing the mistake, she corrected to “three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House."

She champions renewable energy, believing it can cure many ills. “[T]he transition to 100 percent renewable [energy is] the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States.”

And to top it off, in a Twitter dustup with Donald Trump, Jr., she threatened to use the House subpoena power against him. That’s a no-no.

After the 2016 election there was talk of doing away with the Electoral College because were it not for that system Hillary Clinton – the person in all of time who was supposed to win the presidency – would have become president, since she won the popular vote.

Another Democrat wants not only to do away with the Electoral College, but the United States Senate, as well.

As reported by The Washington Times, “Former Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the country’s longest-serving congressman, called for the abolishment of the Electoral College and the Senate, arguing against the ‘disproportionate influence of small states’ that paralyzes the lawmaking and electoral processes.”

Whether Dingell, with more than 59 years in Congress, either was never taught the reasons for the brilliant design of our government, or perhaps just wants to grease the wheels for Democrats to speed transforming the United States of America into another socialist catastrophe, a la Barack Obama, is open to debate.

The Senate’s design of two from each state and the Electoral College as the deciding electoral factor were very deliberate mechanisms to insure that the states maintained some independence and that population centers like New York City and California would not run roughshod over the less populated areas of the country. They both are obstacles the Left would love to eliminate.

A Facebook post laid bare the ignorance of at least some of the legions of Trump detractors. When Trump saluted the flag-draped coffin of former President George H.W. Bush, he was criticized for saluting without having served in the U.S. military. Apparently, no one – or at least not Trump – may salute without having earned the privilege.

The post, however, showed photos of former president’s Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who also dared to salute without having served in the military, which, if memory serves, did not generate any criticisms.

And we find performers in the anti-Trump media, sometimes known as the “fake news” media, who criticize Trump’s combative “take no prisoners” style as offensive, as well as nearly everything else he does, says or even is thought to be thinking. One such performer said during the funeral of George H.W. Bush that Trump’s style, in sharp contrast to Bush’s gentlemanly style, has debased the presidency.

But history shows us that politics has always been a rough and tumble activity, and that Trump has much company in his caustic style. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams may have set the standard in 1796, and the 1828 contest between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson has been called as the dirtiest in American history.

So many of the crazy things that we witness today result from the tremendous amount of things that people don’t know: ignorance. And the poster child for that sad characteristic may be New York’s Representative-elect Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Hypersensitivity and victimhood have risen to epidemic levels

Have you noticed how so many things that lay quietly beneath our awareness for so long have now risen to crisis proportions? And how sensitive people are today; how touchy; how judgmental?

Things from the past that have no bearing on what’s going on today send people into spasms, demanding relief from these things that really have no actual effect on them.

The American south in the Civil War, for example, drives people to want to destroy important vestiges of American history because of something that happened more than 150 years ago.

One does not have to be a defender of slavery or the War Between the States to understand the importance of knowing and preserving history, even those parts of it that are not sources of pride, or may in fact be sources of shame. As wonderful a place as it is, America has not always been and is not now without problems. But why destroy reminders of what actually happened in the past instead of protecting them and using them to learn?

This sensitivity for historical things has expanded to include things that once were mundane, everyday happenings. Some of them were indeed negative, but we had learned to deal with them, rise above them. 

These things were not as serious as bullying, sexual harassment, or other such transgressions. They were minor annoyances: things didn’t go your way; you didn’t win the race; you heard things you disagreed with. These things did not send people hiding from reality.

But recently there has been an epidemic of people reacting strongly to hurt feelings and feeling serious disappointment over little things.  Unfortunately, this condition has found a sympathetic ear on many college campuses, where safe spaces are routine and trigger warnings are to be issued by instructors prior to the delivery of any classroom or other material that may upset someone.

Perhaps this sort of thinking came initially from K-12 education where school administrators decided no student should ever be made to feel bad and therefore every participant in events receives a trophy or other reward just for being there. 

Indeed, some educators have decided that recognizing the two highest academically ranked graduating seniors, the valedictorian and salutatorian, also may cause hard feelings, and has been discontinued so that those that didn’t make the grade will not suffer humiliation.

Now, many subscribe to the idea that whatever someone objects to must be recognized by everyone, even if most people disagree with doing so. This has subverted the idea of working to achieve success and of individual freedom.

Robious Middle School in Midlothian, Virginia has decreed that because some members of the school choir have said they were uncomfortable singing a Christmas song that mentioned Jesus, any Christmas song that mentions him is now verboten. It doesn’t seem to matter to the powers that be that were it not for Jesus there would be no Christmas or Christmas songs, or that Christmas is a traditional holiday going back centuries.

Apparently it did not occur to anyone that merely saying the word “Jesus” or singing it in a musical performance does not mean that a person does or should believe in Jesus, and therefore should not create trauma for anyone. Given the lack of common sense in this case, if the choir cannot sing “Away In A Manger” because the word Jesus is in the lyric, is the band then forbidden to play it?

There are now signs of rebellion to these politically correct over-reactions and the growing degree of personal effrontery. Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a private evangelical Christian university in Bartlesville, OK. Its president, Dr. Everett Piper, describes an event he experienced in a letter to students.

“This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt ‘victimized’ by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.”

Piper, who has been recognized for his defense of intellectual freedom, went on to discuss how our culture has taught young people to be self-absorbed and narcissistic, and when their feelings are hurt, they see themselves as victims.

The title of the letter is a wonderful wake-up call to students: “This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!” 

In it, he offers pieces of advice, such as:
* If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for.
* At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered.
* Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place,” but rather, a place to learn.
* This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.

The practice of coddling young people instead of helping them become mature adults is much more serious than many people understand. And the sooner it is reversed and kids have to confront unpleasant experiences and learn to deal with them, the better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Globalism poses a silent threat to all America is and has been

A word that is used rather frequently these days is “nationalist,” frequently when people refer to President Donald Trump. That term is generally used as a pejorative to accuse Trump of viewing America as the nation superior to all others, but more than that as the country that should dominate all others in every way imaginable.

This point of view is the result either of people who don’t understand Trump, or those who deliberately attempt to gin up resentment and negative feelings toward the president. There are more than enough of both types of these folks to go around.

Trump has even adopted the term for himself, but his use of it is that of “patriotism,” or having strong positive feelings about America, as well as a devotion to it. That is a position that every president needs and must have. 

Many of these folks who call Trump a nationalist are the polar opposite of that mistaken image of Trump; they are globalists. They are One World Government types, who believe and work toward a massive control mechanism everyone on Earth must obey. It would be like the United Nations on steroids. 

If your initial reaction to that idea is, “That’s not going to work. There are too many nations with different ideas of how things should be,” you have a point. 

Sure, some nations will willingly go along, like Germany and some of the others in the European Union, and some others elsewhere on the globe. The United States, however, has for its entire history done things its own way and been very successful doing that. To most clear thinking Americans, globalism is not on their bucket list, though it may be at the bottom of a trash bucket.

The only way the US will be a part of a world government is if we are forcibly made to conform or, more likely, subverted into subservience. Through such a process, strong social elements gradually are taken over and used to feed propaganda to the public. We see the news media and education systems now being transformed from their fundamental beneficial purposes to these socialist tools. 

The global warming/climate change mania is another area that is used to gently induce Americans to accept the concepts of global government through scare tactics of impending global doom. People believe this despite the highly blemished record of the climate change faction that includes outright fraud. Recently, another fallacy in this leftist demagoguery was discovered.

A scientific paper published last month in the world’s premier scientific journal “Nature” suggested ocean temperatures have risen roughly 60 percent higher than estimated. That’s scary, and numerous mainstream-media outlets widely and uncritically reported this finding.

However, mathematician Nic Lewis easily caught an error in this study: Despite the paper being automatically trusted and published in the journal, “a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results,” Lewis said. The authors have, acknowledged their “error.” Have you heard about this in the mainstream media?

Americans were once a group of strong, independent, self-determining men and women. We find many now who are well down the pothole-infested road to surrendering to the socialist pap that grows so quickly, being well fertilized by feel-good leftist propaganda.

Their susceptibility to such venom is in large part the result of failing critical social systems: the family, education, and the information media.

The strong, nurturing nuclear family is in shambles, and our natural defenses, our protection against dopey ideas have been weakened through professional malfeasance in the other areas.

The agenda media, that part of the news media with a clear political purpose in all it says and does, misinforms, and by careful cherry picking of news items, denies important information to the public. Such actions clearly justify President Trump’s declaring this group “the enemy of the people.”

Many teachers, especially in elite colleges and universities, apparently failed or skipped their Integrity 101 class, and now rather than helping students learn basic subject matter, believe it’s more important that they help them learn how to think “correctly” about things. 

Public education at the K-12 level helps in this effort. For some unexplained reason, there is less, or little, emphasis in teaching actual American history and classes in civics where students learn about their government, how it works and why it was established as it was.

Consequently one or more generations of Americans are un-educated or mis-educated about the fundamental principles and mechanisms of their country, which are essential to understanding America, and appreciating it for all that it is. 

Is it any wonder that so many are able to be deceived and accept notions that are contrary to the country’s principles and best interest? These folks are prime targets for the platitudes of the leftist globalist puffery.

Much of this degeneration began back in the 60s and got a boost during the catastrophic Obama administration, where America was routinely dishonored and criticized by the now former president.

Re-educating the mis-educated generations is s daunting challenge, but it can’t be ignored.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Investigators: Coming to the House of Representatives in January

According to historical precedent, the political party that does not hold the presidency makes gains in the mid-term election. That was confirmed earlier this month as the Democrats will take the majority in the House of Representatives when the new Congress convenes in January. 

According to NBC News, “In every midterm election since the Civil War, the president's party has lost, on average, 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate.” While they did not get the benefit of the Blue Wave they had predicted and hoped for, they did post decent gains in the House, with 34 seats won, and five others still undecided as this is written. They did not, however, meet the average gains in the Senate, as Republicans gained one seat and another will be decided with a run-off Nov. 27th.

As Election Day neared, Democrats were expecting to be voted into committee chair positions and expressed their ideas on just what their committees would do should they gain the majority. Investigations headed the list.

The Huffington Post published a list of 52 investigations the Democrats may pursue: Democratic members had asked the Republican majority “to issue subpoenas related to the administration’s conduct 52 times during the first 20 months of Donald Trump’s presidency. Republicans turned down each of those 52 requests. If Democrats held the committee gavel, the subpoenas would be approved.”

The Democrat A-Team is lined up and ready to start investigating. “The Investigators” include: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) the House Intelligence Committee; Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the House Oversight Committee: Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-CA) the Financial Services Committee; all to be led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she indeed is elected Speaker of the House, as she expects.

Following is a list of nine topics that the Post believes will be the focus of investigations: Trump’s corruption; private email correspondence; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; Michael Flynn; the 2016 campaign; government reorganization; security clearances and classification; failure to produce documents; census 2020.

One could not be faulted for believing from the public comments of prominent Democrats that the sole purpose of the Democrat-controlled House will be to investigate Trump into total paralysis. How smart.

Instead of working to secure the border and get control over illegal immigration, we can expect Democrats to work for the status quo, and champion legal status for “Dreamers.”

Unable to understand that the root of “gun violence” is violence and not guns, expect more efforts to weaken Second Amendment protections for law-abiding citizens through ominous gun control measures.

Various Democrats have shown much disdain for the tax cuts enacted last year, and Pelosi has referred to them as “crumbs.” Repealing the tax cuts, or working to undo much of the good they have produced will be high on their list.

The Democrat plan is to increase the top marginal tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent, nearly 3 percentage points, or a 7 percent increase. While they think this will properly punish the “filthy rich,” this is a direct tax increase on small and mid-sized businesses, the group that hires the most Americans.

These things are directly against the best interest of nearly every American.

The Club for Growth, which is no Trump fan club, said this about what has occurred in the first year of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. “So, what have we seen in the year since passage of the largest tax cut package ever? Great things!”

Some examples:
* Despite the “new normal” of 2.0 percent GDP, according to the naysayers in 2016, GDP has grown by 3 percent over the past four quarters, and hit 4.2 percent in Q2 2018.
* The unemployment rate has dropped to 3.7 percent, its lowest point since 1969.
* The ratio of unemployed workers to open jobs hovered at a record low in September.
* Tax collections have embarrassed the Congressional Budget Office’s estimators by being significantly higher than estimates.

What a wonderful thing it would be for the country if the new House majority would take the good things that are going on and work to increase the good things, rather than try to undo them and return to the economic doldrums of the Obama years, one of the slowest recession recoveries on record.

Instead of protecting illegal entrants and punishing law abiding citizens with onerous gun control laws, why not work to reduce the size, negative impact and cost of government, bringing the enormous national debt, that their last president doubled, down at the same time?

True, they must forego the satisfaction they would achieve by hounding the duly elected President of the United States, but perhaps they could soothe their hurt feelings with the knowledge that they are doing the right thing for their constituents. 

Now there’s a novel idea.

But it’s a fool’s errand to expect the Democrats to suddenly get over their hurt feelings of losing an election they thought they were going to win, and then add insult to injury at having their biggest enemy have so many successes.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

News journalism badly needs self-correction

As we consider the state of things in America today, we see important areas of American life that have weakened as the years have passed. Among them are the nuclear family, public education, higher education, and the general sense of what America is all about.

This devolution has also affected news journalism. Today, quite a few of those practitioners are persons who, rather than being committed to professional ethics, are instead folks who pay allegiance to their personal inclinations. And generally they seem to be in some of the most visible and influential news outlets in the country.

Following the dramatic dustup in the White House’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room last week that got all the news folk talking, Al Jazeera’s Jeffrey Ballou said President Donald Trump's remarks to CNN’s Jim Acosta and others "may be free speech, but beyond the pale of respecting the constitutionally enshrined role of journalists."

That statement brought this from a long-time news journalist, Wesley Pruden, editor emeritus of The Washington Times, and a man who worked his way up from beat reporter to editor: “That was a new one to me, though I have been in this business, man and boy, for a lot of years. I never knew I was someone so grand as to be "constitutionally enshrined."

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a free press, and that might be seen as enshrinement of journalism’s role, but the Amendment does not enshrine any person or set of individuals, not even reporters.

Watching the behavior of some of the media personalities in the Brady Briefing Room of late clearly demonstrates that some reporters believe they are personally enshrined. And this fit of egomania explains how someone can cast off the restraints of professional ethics in favor of one’s own political agenda when doing the hard and important work of reporting what is really happening in the country and its government.

News journalists defend an important element in America: They are to provide true, accurate, timely and important information to the people, so that they are properly informed and able to make intelligent decisions.

“The Journalists Creed” is a statement of “the principles, values and standards of journalists throughout the world,” as described by Fourth Estate, and is displayed in the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Creed is the product of Walter Williams, the first dean of the Missouri School of Journalism in 1914.

It reads, in part: “I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.”

The failures of news journalism have been termed “fake news” by the president. That includes which topics are presented or not, taking things out of context, exaggeration, and outright falsities.

The existence of “fake news” and the episode in the Brady Press Room last week are evidence of the waning of professionalism and the advancement of ego among the big names in news.

With television and now the Internet, the face of news journalism has changed. Network news personalities are sometimes viewed as stars, and some have egos to match their celebrity status.

Pruden weighs in on this aspect: “The real reporter is happy to answer to ‘reporter,’" he wrote, and “knows better than to try to make himself more important than he is by becoming part of the story.”

“Newspapermen never aspire to celebrity, even the cheesy celebrity accorded by television,” Pruden commented, “and are willing to abide rebuke and worse, even by a president, if that's what it takes to get the story.”

Tough questions are fair and expected from reporters in all areas of news media. What is not expected or acceptable is what happened that day.

CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta became not just part of the story, but its star, with his statement challenging Trump’s characterization of the alien caravan as an invasion. Making matters worse, he refused to cease and desist his flurry of questions as instructed by the president, who was trying to move on to other reporters.

As he kept shouting follow-ups after being dismissed by Trump, a White House intern, whose job is to get the microphone from one reporter and deliver it to the another reporter, found Acosta refusing to let her have it.

He, and others, as well, either forgot or have not learned that the White House person that is providing the information and answers to questions is in charge of the event, not the reporters. They are not above the rules of good conduct, even as they press for answers.

Freedom of the press is a critical element in our country and must not be infringed. That does not mean, however, that reporters and other news people can do anything they please without being called out for it and/or disciplined.

Continued breaches of the important duty of reporting news will bring about responses that journalists will not like. Therefore, some serious self-correction is advised, and the sooner, the better.