Survey: 82% Feel Proud to be an American

The American Culture & Faith Institute produced a report titled American Views on Patriotism. The report was based upon a October – November 2017 a survey that asked, “do you feel proud to be an American?” The results found that 46% answered “completely” and 36% answered “mostly”, for a total of 82%. Here is the breakdown on the “I feel proud to be an American” question.

Cultural view

  • Conservative 65%
  • Moderate 43%
  • Liberal 37%

Political Party

  • Republican 66%
  • Democrat 43%
  • Independent 43%

According to the American Culture & Faith Institute survey:

Beyond those designations, the [American Views on Patriotism] survey also revealed that most adults have lukewarm views regarding their other commitments and self-perceptions. For instance:

  • Slightly less than half “completely” embrace the idea that they “feel proud to be an American.” Another one-third (36%) say that description is “mostly accurate.”
  • Just three out of ten adults (29%) say are accurately described as wanting the government to stay out of their life.
  • Interestingly, most Americans seem aware that their political views are not “clear and unchanging.” Three-quarters of adults recognize their ambiguity on political matters.
  • Only one-quarter of adults (26%) firmly acknowledge their tolerance of different social and political views.
  • Surprisingly few people (12%) strongly affirmed their standing as a “culture warrior.” In fact, a larger share of the public (19%) completely rejects that self-description.
  • While the proportion of people who are proud to be an American is limited, only 10% say that preferring to live in another country is a completely accurate description of their views. Half of all respondents said such a label was completely inaccurate.
  • A mere 8% said they always trust the government to do the right thing.

Why is patriotism important?

In an August 9th, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer article titled Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture Amy Wax and Larry Alexander defined America’s bourgeois (middle class) culture. Wax and Alexander wrote,

That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime. [Emphasis added]

Politicians have wooed the middle class. Politicians woo those who are patriotic and seek opportunities to be seen in the company of the U.S. military. Politicians love photo shoots with veterans and their families. However, once elected politicians tend to favor the funding of social programs over funding the U.S. military (e.g. sequestration). 

Where did America’s patriotism go?

The U.S. military makes up less than 1% of the total population. In 2014, the Veterans Administration estimated there were 22 million military veterans in the U.S. population. This is approximated 15% of the population of the United States. During WWII, Korea and Vietnam the United States had a universal draft. According to Google:

U.S. military draft ends, Jan. 27, 1973. On the day in 1973, as the Vietnam War drew to a close, the Selective Service announced that there would be no further draft calls. … Nixon thought ending the draft could be an effective political weapon against the burgeoning anti-war movement.

In a column titled “10 Arguments In Support Of Bringing Back The Draft” J. Francis Wolfe found that U.S. Presidents and the Congress have deployed U.S. military personnel abroad 6.5 times more in the 40 years after elimination of the draft than the 40 years before.

The problem is few Americans feel the personal and visceral impacts experienced by those sent into harms way.

The draft provided three key functions to our youth:

  1. It gave the youth an opportunity to serve the nation – service above oneself was the ideal. Today’s youth lack a purpose in life because they cannot understand what doing something to serve the nation means.
  2. Those in the military learned team work, punctuality, how to abide by rules and present themselves properly while in uniform. These are traits sought out by companies both large and small in employees.
  3. The military provided a vast number of marketable skills to America’s youth. Skills such as: maintenance of vehicles and aircraft, how to render first aid (corpsmen), plumbing, electrician, radio operator, computer operator, how to drive or fly a variety of military vehicles, the safe use of weapons, cooking, and on and on. Today some technical high schools try to fill this gap but not to the extent nor to the high standards of the U.S. military.

Click here to read Wolfe’s rational on each of these arguments.

If America wants to be its citizens to be patriotic, it must make every citizen feel the real consequences and pain of service above one’s self.

EDITORS NOTE: The American Views on Patriotism survey is drawn from a pair of national surveys conducted online during October and November of 2017 by the American Culture & Faith Institute. Each survey involved 1,000 respondents age 18 or older. The sample in each survey reflects the demographic profile of the US adult population. The questions shown are one portion of a larger survey conducted each month. These questions relate to the concept of patriotism in America.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CULTURE & FAITH INSTITUTE

The American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) is a division of United in Purpose, a non-partisan, non-profit organization. The mission of United in Purpose is to educate, motivate and activate conservative Christians to engage in cultural transformation in ways that are consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The organization does not support or promote individual political candidates or parties.

ACFI is under the leadership of veteran researcher George Barna, who serves as the Executive Director. The ACFI team includes several experienced research professionals who assist in the development and completion of each project. Much of the team’s research is accessible on the ACFI website, located at www.culturefaith.com.

Announcing the ‘Trump Box’ Meal Delivery Service

Trump wants to slash food stamps and replace them with a ‘Blue Apron-type program’

Obama had his ObamaPhone; now Trump has his Trump Box.

We are surprised to announce that government services are expanding with the Trump Box: A meal delivery service for those who can’t afford food. The goals of the Trump Box are to promote healthier eating, save money by purchasing food in bulk, and prevent fraud.

lettuce.jpg

The price of lettuce just increased on the black market.

White House Spokesperson Mick Mulvaney has described the Trump Box as similar to Blue Apron meal kits. But New York Times op-ed writer Bryce Covert – who does not like his meal kits co-opted by Republicans – was not happy about this comparison:

“With Blue Apron, you get to pick your meals and decide when they come. And it gives you all the ingredients you need to complete it. Under Trump’s plan, the government decides what you get and when you get it.”
Isn’t this outrageous? It’s horrifying that we should have to take what the government feels like giving us, even though we’re not paying for it ourselves. It’s what Marie Antoinette would call “Cake,” or what Nancy Pelosi would call “Crumbs.”

Usually we like it when the government tells us what to do. We liked when Michelle Obama told our kids what to eat. But this is different, because a Republican is president.

obama-produce.jpg

Obama was a fierce defender of produce.

Many people, who have not really cared that much for fresh fruits and vegetables, are now concerned that “half their benefits” each month will arrive at their door “in the form of government-purchased, nonperishable food items.” All of a sudden, they want to give peas a chance.

When asked for a sample menu of what the non-perishable items may be, Trump’s spokesperson provided this list, which sounds like an MRE from 1945:

  • Stale crackers
  • Ramen noodles
  • An MSG packet
  • Can of sardines
  • Chopped meat spread
  • Brick dust
  • Dog food for granny, before she gets shoved off a cliff
  • Vitamin C tablets for scurvy
  • And a voter registration form, with Republican Party pre-marked.

The responses from current food assistance recipients have ranged from indignant to passionate:

  • “This will not work for me. I don’t want to be told what to eat, unless a Democrat is president. I want to eat what I want, when I want it, and I want someone else to pay for it.”
  • “I have an aversion to Republicans and whatever they provide in the Trump Box. If the boxes include a jar of peanut butter, I will spontaneously develop a peanut allergy.”
  • “Where is the fresh produce? Oh, only half of our benefit is non-perishable? Well, I don’t want the other half if I have to use it on fresh produce. That is racist.”

It’s not surprising that Trump wants black people to starve (even though statistics show that Caucasians take the most government benefits.) But we at the Cube regretfully admit that the Trump Box is a good idea.

No longer will you have to travel to the store to get half of your food. Now that we think about it, it was racist to give people a card and insist that they find their own way to the store.

Complaints have surfaced that Trump Boxes would harm Walmart, Target and Aldi, who “stand to lose billions” when the Trump Boxes start arriving. This is puzzling. Never before have we seen progressives defending the bottom line of huge corporations.

What do you plan on cooking with your Trump Box items? Share your recipes below.

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire by  first appeared on The Peoples Cube.

On Russia, Media Sticks to Its Foregone Collusions

There’s the media’s usual treatment of conservatives — guilty until proven innocent — and then there’s the Donald Trump treatment: guilty even after proven innocent. Unfortunately for this president, there’s no winning under this toxic cloud of media bias. Barack Obama could do no wrong — and Donald Trump can do no right. Even after a nine-month investigation proves he is.

Nothing seems to move the needle on the press’s contempt — not even Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 13 indictments in the Russia probe, which should prove what the president has said all along: there is no collusion! Under normal circumstances, the detailed charges should have gone a long way to softening the media’s stance on what they claimed was a coordinated effort between the Trump campaign and foreign nationals to interfere in the 2016 election. “Russia started their anti-U.S. campaign in 2014,” the president tweeted when Mueller’s announcement came down, “long before I announced that I would run for president. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!

But what should have been validation turned to indignation when outlets like the Associated Press and New York Times refused to accept Mueller’s findings as fact. “Trump’s claim of vindication appeared to be unsupported by the indictment and premature,” reporters said, “as Mueller’s probe has shown no signs of abating.” Then, later, “The cries of vindication seem to be more show than substance.” And, “Neither [the Deputy Attorney General] nor Mueller’s office has ruled out any potential collusion in any other plot to disrupt the election.”

Even in the face of the Special Counsel’s own evidence, liberal reporters refused to accept the fact that Trump had no role in teaming up with the Russians to sway the election outcome. “The fake news media never fails,” he tweeted. So, instead of harping on his involvement, they started to attack him for being rightThe New York Times continued to bash Trump for insisting the allegations were a hoax. “The president’s mood began to darken as it became clearer to him that some commentators were portraying the indictment as nothing for him to celebrate, according to three people with knowledge of his reaction. Those commentators called it proof that he had not won the election on his own, a particularly galling, if not completely accurate, charge for a president long concerned about his legitimacy.”

Even now, without a scrap of evidence to stand on, some outlets refuse to give up their bogus theories of Trump’s involvement. Maybe they’re upset about being duped. After all, as Media Research Center (MRC) points out, they were the ones who were played the fool. Liberal networks were airing almost around-the-clock coverage of the anti-Trump rallies after the election — only to learn that the Russians had organized the whole thing! MRC combed through the Mueller indictments and found that, “Like their counterparts at CNN and MSNBC, multiple news outlets were quick to promote anti-Trump protests in New York City on November 12, 2016 — and in doing so became unwitting promoters of Russian propaganda… Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that this protest, as well as one in Charlotte, NC on November 19, 2016, was organized by Russian operatives.”

Congressman Don Bacon isn’t surprised. Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” he explained that Russia does this same thing all over the world. Why? Because, as he explains, “When we turn on each other, we’re less focused on what they’re doing in Ukraine, what they’re doing in Syria, and how they’re threatening the Baltics. And they gain more leeway in their part of the world. This is their way of distracting us from what they’re doing and helps them further their goals, while it undermines our ability to stop that.”

And the media played right into the Russians’ hands. Slate, the Daily Beast, and Huffington Post seized on the rallies, planting seeds of distrust and disunity. “If the goal of the secret Russian organizers was to inject nonsense like that into the American political dialogue,” MRC said, “then their unwitting helpers on CNN and MSNBC certainly gave them plenty of assistance that day.” Even radical filmmaker Michael Moore was suckered into the scam, tweeting photos from a protest that had been secretly orchestrated by the Russians. “If it was the goal of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S.,” President Trump said, “then with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing [at us] in Moscow. Get smart America!”

In the end, this had nothing to do with propping up Trump and undermining Clinton, it was about dividing America. And the media took the bait, ultimately playing a bigger role in tearing the country apart than anyone.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Florida’s Multi-System Failures and the broken ‘Baker Act’

Everyday in Florida, the sun does not shine on the multitudes involuntarily confined via the innocuous-sounding “Baker Act” … the multitudes of harmless elders, in particular. What can cause the sudden detention of an elderly man, 89 years old, inside a metropolitan Florida hospital mental ward?

In the case of my Father, Al Katz was determined to be a threat to others because he pushed his walker against someone, known as “walker abuse,” not normally lethal or catastrophic. Although Al Katz, a Holocaust Survivor of seven years of slave labor in temperatures reaching 52 degrees below zero, had never harmed another human being or himself, the Manatee County judge sentenced my Dad to three weeks of involuntary commitment with a no-contact order placed upon him. Al Katz was prohibited thereby from receiving from or sending to his family any communications of any kind.

Al Katz’s involuntary confinement in the gruesome underground psychiatric ward in Manatee Memorial Hospital would have lasted by law 72 hours, but instead, Al Katz was detained without further court hearings for three weeks, isolated from his family waiting to see him just on the other side of the electronic metal doors guarded by armed officers. Al Katz was re-living the Holocaust, surrounded by men in uniforms with guns and unable to communicate with the ones he loved.

The threshold for Baker Act commitments of elders in Florida is extremely low. For the most minimal of reasons, elders are imprisoned in hospitals and psychiatric facilities for days, reaping enormous funds for these providers of makeshift jail cells, where grandmas and grandpas barely able to walk are kept off the streets as threats to society.

Al Katz could barely walk, could not drive, had no weapons of any kind, and had lived 89 years as an admirable asset to his community, but the court found that he posed a threat to himself or others, purportedly necessitating the Baker Act. On the other hand, Florida’s infamous school mass murder suspect, who shall remain unnamed herein, posed low risk of harming himself or others, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which had visited the suspect and his family following his Internet postings of self-mutilation and express keen interest in buying a gun. DCF records state that the suspect “plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for.”

What else did DCF and multiple other agencies know about the suspect or should have known? He was on medications for A.D.H.D., seeing counselors, and a client at a number of mental health facilities. He was referred for a “threat assessment” due to his long history of fights with teachers and frequent profanity directed against school staff. He posted on the Internet photos of dead and mutilated animals that he had killed; had a Nazi symbol on his book bag; was prohibited from carrying a backpack at school; harassed his neighbors; was investigated or visited by law enforcement nearly 40 times in eight years; attended numerous schools, including a school for students with emotional problems and an alternative high school for at-risk youths; was regularly disciplined for disobedience; made a false 911 call; posted “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” on the Internet using his real name; was uncomfortable with his Hispanic heritage; was suspended multiple times in the 2016-17 school year; shared photos of small animals he had shot; bragged about his intent to bring guns to school; was found with bullets in his backpack; kicked out a glass window at his middle school; had frequent prolonged, unexplained absences from school; had made numerous Internet postings of guns, knives, and other ominous images; and had been referred to a mental health center to be detained under the Baker Act, which center determined that the suspect was not a threat after visiting him at his home and giving him a safety contract to sign.

Al Katz never had a mental health counselor visit him at his home, never was given a safety contract to sign, and was illegally held in the Baker Act for many weeks without the mandatory court hearings. Al Katz never had any warning signs that he would pose a threat to society; the suspect had every warning sign that he would “be a professional school shooter,” including his own word on it signed with his own uniquely-spelled name.

Could dozens of murders have been prevented in Florida? Yes. How are mass detentions of elders in sunless cages lowering the societal threat? How many detained grandmas and grandpas would ever commit a mass murder?

This past summer, I once again alerted the Florida and Indiana authorities about another young man with a violent history who has made foreboding Internet postings for years, including videos of simulated decapitations with blood spurting out of the necks, photographs of assault weapons, and his own ominous poetry reminiscent of past mass murderers, but the evidence and I are invariably ignored. The clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen. Previously, this convicted serial predator mutilated the genital area of one of his victim’s dolls and set it on fire to “release his anger.”

Again, the clock is ticking with his rage, but no one will listen … just like the Florida school shooting case, with flagrant warning signs unheeded. Said the shooting suspect’s public defender:

This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter. If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multi-system failure…

When harmless elders are locked up, this too is a multi-system failure that any decent society cannot condone any more than a mass murderer walking its streets or a serial predator lurking.

United Nation’s Top Children’s Rights Campaigner is a Gay Pedophile

A top children’s rights campaigner at the United Nations was just arrested on charges of raping a boy.

Truly, is there any blunter reason that America shouldn’t belong to this evil international organization?

UNICEF campaigner Peter Newell

He’s admitted to five rape charges.Peter Newell, who once wrote a manual on children’s rights that was published by UNICEF, was arrested and imprisoned for sexually assaulting a male who was just 12 years old when the abuse began.

The Times has more:

A “child rights activist” convicted of abusing a 12-year-old boy managed a charity that received hundreds of thousand of pounds from the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Save the Children and Unicef.

Peter Newell, who wrote a manual on children’s rights published by Unicef, was jailed for multiple counts of historical sexual assault on a child aged 12 when the abuse began.

Newell, 77, was listed as co-ordinator for Approach, a children’s charity active across Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia until the allegations arose in 2016.

He was jailed last month at Blackfriars crown court after admitting five charges relating to the rape and indecent assault of a boy under 16.

The Association for the Protection of All Children, or Approach, lobbies for the protection of children…

The Telegraph has more details:

Newell, from north London, wrote a manual on children’s rights for Unicef and was the co-ordinator of the Association for the Protection of All Children charity, known as Approach, until he resigned in 2016 when the allegations arose.

Approach operates through the Children Are Unbeatable! Alliance in the UK and lobbies for the protection of children from violence, including smacking by parents.

In 2015, the charity brought a complaint to the Council of Europe, the EU’s leading human rights organisation, against France and six other EU countries over their failure to explicitly ban smacking children.

The south London-based organisation said on Friday that until Newell resigned, it was “completely unaware of his actions” and insisted that an independent safe-guarding review had found that no children were at risk through his work there.

According to accounts published on the Charity Commission website, for the five years from 2012 to 2016, Approach received hundreds of thousands of pounds in income from the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Save the Children and Unicef, as well as other organisations abroad and a private donor.

The latest accounts for 2017 show Approach only received funding for its overseas activities.

None of Approach’s funders are believed to have been aware of Newell’s actions and the charity said that since the allegations came to light they have kept funders and the Charity Commission consistently informed.

A 229-page document he co-wrote with his wife Rachel Hodgkin for Unicef, included sections on sex tourism and sexual consent.

It was launched in Geneva in January 1998 and provided a detailed reference of law, policy and practice aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of children.

It states: “Research now testifies to the potentially serious short- and long-term effects on development of all forms of violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation.”

News of Newell’s imprisonment comes as a sex abuse scandal engulfs the charity sector.

Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, and Caroline Thomson, trustees chairman, are to be questioned by MPs next week following revelations that several of its aid workers paid for sex with prostitutes.

Newell pleaded guilty on January 2 to two charges of serious sexual assault between May 1966 and May 1968 and three charges of indecent assault committed between May 1965 and May 1968. He was jailed for six years and eight months.

The Metropolitan Police said his offences were first reported in March 2016 by his victim, who was 12 when the offences began.

They took place between 1965 and 1968 at a number of addresses and locations in south and east England, including London.

The Charity Commission said it was informed by Approach about the allegation against Newell in 2016 and had been in touch with the organisation over safeguarding procedures.

“The charity has confirmed that it has safeguarding policies and procedures in place which are being kept under review and that the charity and the trustees have very limited contact with children and that there is no suggestion that the charity’s beneficiaries were or are at risk,” it said.

Barnardo’s said there was no evidence anyone at the charity was aware of the “terrible charges” against Newell and said they no longer funded the Alliance.

The NSPCC said that its funding for the Children Are Unbeatable campaign was stopped as soon as it heard of the accusations against Newell.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

Patriotism is alive and well with Gary and Kim Racan and the Studio E Band

I had the honor and pleasure to be asked by Kim Racan to be the Master of Ceremonies for the Warriors Rock in Concert held at the Venice Performing Arts Center in Venice, Florida.

Gary and Kim Racan put on this amazing 2-hour concert and donated all of the proceeds from the ticket sales to the Sarasota County Veterans Commission and to have names engraved on the 9/11 and Fallen Heroes monument dedicated on September 11th, 2012 in Patriots Park located in Venice.

Gary and Kim are true American patriots.

Gary Racan formerly lead singer for The Vogues and producer of the Studio E Band.

Gary Racan is the leader and producer of Warriors Rock in Concert. Gary lead the internationally known recording group The Vogues for 16 years. The Vogues produced 14 songs that hit the charts. Gary’s wife Kim was a successful small business owner before becoming a partner in Studio Entertainment with dynamic event planner Bonnie Walker. Kim and Bonnie together manage Studio E Entertainment a nationally known boutique company.

Based on the success and growth of Gary and his Studio E Band, Gary and Kim decided to use their synergy to produce a concert called Warrior Rock, a musical tribute dedicated to our nations warrior veterans. The reason is that both Gary’s and Kim’s fathers were warrior veterans. As Gary said,

“My father was a Marine and growing up with him not only made you a very disciplined child but it made you appreciate the Military and what they did and continue to do for our freedoms!  Warriors Rock is a concert that Kim and I are very proud of using our music to pay tribute to Veterans in a unique production that audiences love.  We will continue these shows for years to come!”

Kim Racan from Studio E Entertainment.

What is unique about this concert is that it features local veterans who are video taped and asked about their military experiences and the song that most impacted them during their service. 

Every concert I have attended is usually about the band and their songs. With Gary, Kim and the Studio E Band the concert is all about honoring local veterans, their families and the veterans community.

The Warriors Rock concert is about the songs that touched the hearts of local warrior veterans and played by the Studio E Band with passion and love! Unique indeed! 

At the Venice concert eight warriors were interviewed and highlighted their service from WWII to the current Global War Against Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans and the songs that they chose, played so beautifully by the Studio E Band, were:

  • WWII Veteran Jack Kurschner – IN THE MOOD, FLY ME TO THE MOON and FIVE O’CLOCK WORLD (a Vogues hit).
  • Vietnam Veteran Ronald Babcock – WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE, MY GIRL and CRAZY.
  • Retired U.S. Navy Veteran George Rothweiler – SOMEWHERE OUT THERE, AGAINST THE WIND and UNCHAINED MELODY.
  • Iraq War Veteran Dr. Jeffrey Daughtry – DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA and SOUL AND INSPIRATION.
  • Retired U.S. Army Veteran Rich Swier – LEAVIN ON A JET PLANE, PERFECT and BEST IS YET TO COME.
  • Iraq War Veteran Lance Pastrana – AMERICAN SOLDIER, AT LAST and TWISTIN THE NIGHT AWAY
  • Iraq War Veteran Jim Kyle – RUN THRU THE JUNGLE.
  • Iraq War Veteran Barbara Vaughn – GOD BLESS THE USA.

The audience was enthralled by the meaningful songs picked by local warriors, the beautiful performance by Gary, Kim and the Studio E Band.

There was laughter, tears and a genuine show of America patriotism. Here’s an interview with Gary and Kim.

I can’t thank Gary and Kim enough for bringing their talent, love and patriotism to Florida. These are real people who care about our nation, its warriors and inspiring every American with the spirit of 1776.

A recent survey by the American Culture & Faith Institute found that 82% of Americans “feel proud to be an American.” I firmly believe that Kim and Gary are responsible for this love of America in great part.

Conservative, Pro-American Policies Are Winning

President Trump’s approval ratings are at their highest level ever, and Republicans have totally erased the 15-point lead in the generic congressional ballot Democrats held just two months ago.

This is telling on a couple of levels, and I hope Republicans are paying attention. Democrats may continue on their merry intersectional way.

First, polls taken on immediate issues are almost always driven by the media coverage. So the tax reform that passed in December was “deeply unpopular” with Americans. All the polls showed it. But what they really showed was how the media was covering the tax package — big tax cuts for the rich and corporations, regular Americans losing deductions — a big giveaway to “others.”

Of course that’s not what it was. That was a total misrepresentation driven by Democrats’ talking points. Americans are now seeing what the tax reform package is actually doing — real news as opposed to you-know-what news — and they are liking what they see. It’s not surprising, as many middle income Americans are taking home a couple thousand dollars more per year — what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously called crumbs in her ever so out-of-touch way.

Priorities USA, the most influential Democratic super PAC, recently released a memo noting the rise in popularity of the tax law. It urged Democrats to message more consistently against the tax law by taking the big picture class warfare tactic of the rich getting more tax money and the irresponsibility of increasing the national debt — a laughably untenable position for people who supported President Obama’s doubling the national debt in just eight years.

“It’s tougher to win when people are seeing more money,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, of Kentucky, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee. “That’s big money for a lot of people.”

Well, yes. So why are Democrats fighting that? They are literally saying the government should have that money — not working, middle-income Americans. Totally out of touch.

But good for Republicans and Trump.

The second lesson is that conservative issues are winners with the American people. Republicans must stop listening to the mainstream media, and listen to the American people. This is a lesson that apparently requires relearning every few years. The problem is that they are too influenced by the cultural elites. But the national media and celebrity class are as out of touch with Americans as the Democratic leadership.

But despite the overwhelming, negative public onslaught by the media and celebrities, the American people eventually see through the cultural nonsense to the real issue. But this is only beneficial when Republicans actually pursue and implement conservative policies with a pro-American attitude.

And the policies of President Trump and the GOP Congress have been overwhelmingly conservative (with the exception of the two-year spending agreement, in part because of the requirement for 60 votes and in part because of desire for re-election first.)

So Trump has been deeply unpopular in his first year, but of course, given the hysterically negative onslaught of media coverage, that is not too surprising. However, his approval ratings have been rising steadily since the tax reform package and the strengthening economy. In fact, his approvals are now equal or better than President Obama’s at the same time in his presidency at 48 percent approval, according to the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll.

What’s truly shocking is that Trump has received close to 90 percent negative media reporting in his first year and Obama had about 20 percent negative media coverage. Again, the American people eventually see through the smokescreen of old media coverage to the actual policies and their effectiveness. And conservative policies are effective and popular.

And the GOP has caught and maybe passed Democrats in the generic congressional ballot polls. Politico reports:

“Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.”

What has changed? Certainly not the media reporting.

Largely, it has been the tax reform package, ongoing deregulation helping the broad economy, a breakthrough in the logjam blocking originalist judges, winning the government shutdown issues by not caving in and standing firm on building the wall and ending chain migration. There may also be a side help as more and more revelations show that there isn’t much to the whole Trump-Russia story, but there may be something to the FBI-DNC-Clinton-Russia story.

The bottom line remains the bottom line. If Trump and Republicans will stick to conservative principles, voice them confidently and expose liberal nonsense, they will win.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.

The Ash Wednesday Massacre: What have ‘we done wrong’ to allow this slaughter of our children?

The Ash Wednesday Massacre

Since the slaughter of 17 faculty and students on February 14th, 2018 by 19-year old Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida the political discourse has been focused on fixing blame rather than fixing the fundamental problem. Please let me explain.

Many media outlets portrayed this as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. What many missed, as portrayed in the above photo of a crying woman with an ash cross on her forehead, is that February 14th was also Ash Wednesday. This is prophetic.

For you see Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church is the first day of Lent marked by services of penitence. Penitence is sorrow for one’s sins.

The fundamental problem resulting in the “Ash Wednesday Massacre” is not government policy. The fundamental problem is not in the slaughterer’s choice of a weapon. The fundamental problem is not which political party is in control of the White House or Congress. The problem is not law enforcement or the lack thereof. The problem is not how the media commentators portray it in their routine fixing blame ways.

The fundamental problem is we are all sinners. The only solution is penitence.

Penitence requires a belief in God, the Father. It requires living a moral life. It requires dedication to not just doing good but being good in the image of Jesus of Nazareth. Penitence requires faith!

Each of us is to blame for the Ash Wednesday Massacre.

It is prophetic that the Ash Wednesday Massacre occurred in a public school. For you see the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1962 case Engel v. Vitale ruled the public recitation of Christian prayer in public schools is illegal.  In the 1963 case Abington School District v. Schempp the Supreme Court ruled corporate reading of the Christian Bible in public schools is illegal.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent. Six weeks after Ash Wednesday Catholics and Christians will celebrate Easter Sunday.

QUESTION: Given the Ash Wednesday Massacre, why is the date Easter 2018 falls upon important?

Wikipedia notes this about Easter:

Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a [Christian] festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary circa 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter falls on April 1st, 2018, also known as April Fools Day. 

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday. It is not a federal holiday in the United States of America. Some Easter traditions continue on the Easter Monday, such as the egg rolling race at the White House.

Joe Zevuloni weeps in front of a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims of the shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Photo by CNS photo/Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters.

In the New International Version of the Holy Bible 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 reads:

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called,both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Those who are fixing blame are the foolish.

They are foolish because they do not believe in “the message of the cross.” Man cannot save mankind from himself. Only the “power of God” can save mankind from himself.

The Ash Wednesday Massacre is yet another example of the foolishness of our “wise” politicians, teachers of the law and philosophers.

The following dialogue appeared on social media after the Ash Wednesday Massacre:

Dear God,

Why do you allow such violence in our schools?

A Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student,

I’m not allowed in schools!

God

American theologian, ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Union Theological Seminary Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr wrote:

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context in history; therefor we must be saved by faith.”

On Sunday, April 1st, 2018 there will be those who celebrate April Fools Day. On Sunday, April 1st, 2018 there will be those who will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fools will remain foolish. The faithful will remain penitent.

RELATED ARTICLE: At Least 20 Students Told Police Nikolas Cruz Threatened To KILL Them—Police Did Nothing

Establishment media slams Clint Eastwood film for not portraying Radical Islamic terrorist sympathetically

The reviewer for the National Post wrote: “15:17 to Paris overly simplifies the attack and its aftermath. The terrorist (Ray Corasani) snarls and wears sneakers, but there’s little more to him.”

Yes, of course. The movie should have dwelt on all the terrible things that racist, “Islamophobic” Westerners did to the poor fellow to drive him to misunderstand his peaceful religion.

The reviewer for the Daily Mail, the worst paper in the Western world, opted for some repulsive moral equivalence between the jihadi and those who stopped him: “In that sacred American way, incidentally, their Christianity is not incompatible with an obsession with firearms…The ­narrative throbs with Eastwood’s ­conviction — shared, as we know, by President Trump — that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Better still, a good guy with a gun and a bible.”

Of course. Every right-thinking person knows that the best way to stop a bad guy is to shower money and special accommodations upon him until he is love-bombed into pacifism.

“Hollywood Elites Blast Clint Eastwood’s Film for Not Portraying ‘Sympathetic Terrorist,’” by Ben Marquis, Conservative Tribune, February 16, 2018:

Islamic terrorist Ayoub El-Khazzani boarded a train headed from Amsterdam to Paris in 2015, wielding an AK-47 rifle, handgun and box-cutter, with the goal of murdering innocent passengers in a jihadist attack.

Little did he know, there were three Americans on that train — Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. When the jihadist experienced difficulties operating his rifle, these brave men sprang into action, thwarting the attack and saving countless lives.

The heroic actions of those three friends was recorded in a book that was then adapted into a film by conservative Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood. Eastwood cast the three friends to play themselves in a movie portraying their bravery.

Despite all this, elitist Hollywood liberals have found reason to hate it, as was evidenced by numerous reviews of the film by left-leaning media outlets, according to Hollywood In Toto.

Liberal film reviewers had already made their opinions of Eastwood and American patriotism known following the 2014 release of “American Sniper,” but they have reiterated their anti-Americanism and sympathy toward Islamic extremists in their reviews of “The 15:17 To Paris.”

The reviewer for the National Post complained that the movie was akin to sitting through somebody else’s vacation, and lamented that the terrorist didn’t receive enough screen time. He wrote: “15:17 to Paris overly simplifies the attack and its aftermath. The terrorist (Ray Corasani) snarls and wears sneakers, but there’s little more to him.”

The reviewer for Slate also griped about feeling like he was watching a slideshow of another person’s vacation in Europe, and took up too much of the film too boot, and wrote, “The sense of wheelspinning only underlines the movie’s failure to make its antagonist more than a cartoon scowl with a Kalashnikov. The geese in Sully (a Tom Hanks film about a passenger jet which crash landed on the Hudson River) were more well-rounded characters.”

The Slant Magazine reviewer, when not sneering at conservatives, Christianity, the military and Eastwood’s method of film-making, took issue with the film’s departure from the “surprisingly visceral and nuanced book,” and wrote, “One misses the prismatic structure of the 15:17 to Paris book, which fuses multiple points of view—including El-Khazzani’s—and which is reduced by (screenwriter) Dorothy Blyskal’s script to cut-and-pasted bromides.”

Over at The Daily Beast, the reviewer stated that the film was “more mind-numbing than his empty chair speech” and called it a “stunning misfire.” Of the terrorist, he wrote, “As for the villain in question, Eastwood primarily films his hands, sneakers, arms, and back, all as a means of making him some sort of faceless existential threat — a symbolic vehicle for Stone’s ‘greater purpose.’ Mostly, though, it’s just another example of The 15:17 to Paris’ regrettable blankness.”…

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review, which did lament the exclusion of “any hint of the terrorist’s motivation,” led the way with an open bashing of American patriotism combined with a not-so-subtle shot at Trump, and wrote, “There’s a certain repellent hubris about (Eastwood’s) patriotic formula: Make America grate again, on the rest of the world, in paint-by-numbers (red, white and blue), which happen to be the same as the Tricouleur — not that Mr. Eastwood makes any use or reference to that.”

The reviewer for the The U.K. Daily Mail wrote of the three heroes, “In that sacred American way, incidentally, their Christianity is not incompatible with an obsession with firearms,” and continued with, “The ­narrative throbs with Eastwood’s ­conviction — shared, as we know, by President Trump — that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Better still, a good guy with a gun and a bible.”

Last, but certainly not least, we have the review from The New Yorker, in which the reviewer called the film a “reactionary fable” and described a scene in which a young Sadler and Stone play with an “arsenal” of toy guns, about which the reviewer wrote, “As I watched the scene, I thought, You could cut it out of this movie and paste it, unchanged, into another one, about a nice suburban kid who grows up and carries out a mass shooting.”

That New Yorker reviewer also criticized the lack of answers to questions about the terrorist, and wrote, “Was this not an ideal opportunity to trace the paths — whether of grievance, paranoia, faith, or wrath — that lead a young man to dreams of slaughter? Was he not, in his way, catapulted toward his purpose no less firmly than Stone and his companions were, and with an equally fervent belief that he was obeying the decrees of his God?”…

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Jihad Watch.

Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution: Part II

Note: This is a slightly edited version of the second half of a paper that our colleague Mary Eberstadt gave at Hillsdale College’s conference, “The Sixties,” on January 30. The first half, explaining the overall thesis and the first two paradoxes may be read here. – Robert Royal

A third paradox has become the dominant social media soap opera of our time, a story that goes like this: The revolution was supposed to empower women. Instead, it ushered in the secular sex scandals of 2017 etc., and the #MeToo movement. In addition to the fact that it made marriage harder for many women to achieve, it also licensed sexual predation on a scale not seen outside of conquering armies.

Take Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, who died last year. His commercial empire was founded, of course, on pornographic photos of a great many women. He made himself an exemplar of his own supposed philosophy – the Playboy philosophy of sophisticated drinks and music and, naturally, easy sex. It was an idea that caught on quickly, and it seems safe to guess that most people didn’t know the sordid truth, which would later emerge from the Playboy mansion and elsewhere, about the exploitation behind the slick advertising.

Nonetheless, when Hefner died, many progressives, including self-styled feminists, glowed with praise for the apostle of the revolution. Why? Because he cloaked his predatory designs in the language of sexual progressivism. As a Forbes writer summarized the record, “Playboy published its first article supporting the legalization of abortion in 1965, eight years before the Roe v. Wade decision that permitted the practice – and even before the feminist movement had latched onto the cause. It also published the numbers of hotlines that women could call and get safe abortions.”

In other words, Hefner’s support for these causes appears inextricably tied up with his desire to live in a way that exploited women. This same Siamese twinning joins many of the secular sex scandals that have been exploding in the news. The Weinstein etc. stories revealed the same strategic role occupied by abortion for numerous men who objectify women and disdain monogamy. Without the backup plan of fetal liquidation, where would such men be? In court, of course, and paying lots of child support.

More and more thinkers, even outside the religious sphere, have come to the same conclusion. The sexual revolution did not deliver on its promises to women; instead, it further enabled men – especially men without the best of intentions. Francis Fukuyama, a non-religious social scientist, wrote almost twenty years in his 1999 book The Great Disruption: “One of the greatest frauds perpetrated during the Great Disruption was the notion that the sexual revolution was gender-neutral, benefiting women and men equally. . . . In fact the sexual revolution served the interests of men, and in the end put sharp limits on the gains that women might otherwise have expected from their liberation from traditional roles.”

With that observation, Fukuyama joins a long and growing list of non-religious thinkers who can now grasp more clearly, in retrospect, what some religious leaders have been saying all along. The revolution effectively democratized sexual predation. No longer did one have to be a king, or a master of the universe in some other realm, to sexually abuse or harass women in unrelenting, serial fashion. One only needed a world in which many women would be assumed to use contraception, and would further be deprived of male protectors. In other words, all one needed was the world delivered by the revolution.

A fourth paradox has barely been studied, at least not systematically, and needs to be: the effect of the revolution on Christianity itself. To look back over the decades is to understand that the revolution has been, simultaneously, polarizing the churches within, and creating tighter ties among some different denominations than ever before.

For decades now, commentators have argued over what “the Sixties” meant for the churches. Some have welcomed the innovations of Vatican II, for example; others have hailed the radical theological transformations of Mainline Protestantism. Still others deplored these changes. Wherever they have stood, though, observers of Christianity today have come to find one central fact unavoidable. The sexual revolution is the single most divisive issue now afflicting faith itself.

And this is true whether one’s Catholic or Protestant. In 2004, A Church at War, by Stephen Bates, a book about the Anglican Communion, summarized the argument on its back cover: “Will the politics of sex tear Anglicans and Episcopalians apart?” A few years later, writing of the same subject in Mortal Follies: Episcopalians and the Crisis of Mainline Christianity, William Murchison concluded with this observations: “For Episcopalians, as for large numbers of other Christians, the paramount issues are sex and sexual expression, neither viewed by the culture as means to a larger end but as the end.”

In his 2015 book Onward, Russell Moore reflected on the tension between evangelical progressives and traditionalists thus: “when it comes to religion in America at the moment, progress always boils down to sex.”

As in our other examples, it seems safe to say that today’s divisiveness wasn’t anything that Christians of the 1960s wanted to embrace. Those voices within the churches decades ago who just wanted Christianity to “loosen up” didn’t know what they were starting, which is today’s figurative civil war, across denominations, within the faith itself.

A fifth, and for now, final paradox: The sexual revolution didn’t stop at sex. What many people thought would be a private transformation of relations between individuals has gone on to radically reconfigure not only family life, but life, period.

Perhaps the least understood of the revolution’s effects are what might be called the macrocosmic implications – the way in which it continues to transform and deform not only individuals, but society and politics as well.

Some of these changes are demographic: across much of the developed world, families are smaller and more splintered from within than ever before in history.

Some effects are political: Smaller and more fractured families have put unprecedented pressure on the welfare states of the West, by reducing the tax base required to sustain it.

There are also social effects that are only beginning to be mapped, like the sharp rise in people living alone, or reporting greatly reduced human contact, or in other measures that make up the burgeoning field of “loneliness studies” – and this too takes place across the countries of the West.

Then there’s the spiritual fallout, which also couldn’t have been foreseen in the Sixties – especially by those arguing that something about a changed moral paradigm for Christians would somehow help them to be better Christians.

I have argued elsewhere that the revolution has also given rise to a new secularist, quasi-religious faith – the most potent such body of rival beliefs since Marxism-Leninism. According to this new faith, sexual pleasure is the highest good, and there is no clear moral standard beyond consenting adults and whatever they choose to do with one another. Whether they are conscious of it or not, many modern people treat the sexual revolution as religious bedrock – off-limits for revision, no matter what consequences it has wrought.

These are just some examples of the new world that needs mapping, and that will absorb intellectual attention for a long time to come. We should be hopeful about those future efforts. After all, it’s taken over fifty years for opinion to re-align about just some of the revolution’s negative legacy. It may take fifty more, or a hundred, for a full and honest empirical and intellectual accounting. Revisionist thinking about the revolution’s effects in the world has only just begun.

In summary, one parting thought. The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy was once sent out by a journal to report back on what happened in a local slaughterhouse. What he saw there moved him deeply. His subsequent description included an immortal line that I think applies widely to us today. After relaying the facts, Tolstoy observed with devastating simplicity, “We cannot pretend we don’t know these things.”

That is exactly where humanity is in 2018 with respect to the sexual revolution. We can no longer pretend we don’t know these things – these things that the revolution has done.

In the heady 1960s, many could plead ignorance, in good faith, about the fallout to come. Few could have suspected how many millions of children in coming generations would grow up without fathers in the home, say; or how many more millions would be aborted; or how many men and women alike from fractured homes would go on to suffer in diverse ways, such as turning to drugs – surely there’s more going on in the opioid epidemic than mere marketing – and other self-destructive behaviors.

Many people, just half a century ago, hoped that the revolution would incur no collateral human damage. And in fairness to them: who, back then, could have foreseen the library of social science created over the fifty years since, demonstrating just some of the human damage out there among men, women, and children of the revolution?

Some people fifty years ago even hoped that the new freedoms, and technological controls, would stabilize marriage itself. The 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which also reaches its 50th anniversary this year, went on to become widely despised across the decades precisely for predicting otherwise – precisely for insisting that the revolution would hurt romance and family, and end up licensing predatory men and malignant governments.

It is a paradox within a paradox right now that a great many people, including inside the Catholic Church itself, have ferociously resisted Humanae Vitae’s rejection of the revolution – or for that matter, any rejection of the revolution – despite all this evidence, even in some pretty high places.

By 2018, can any of us really, in good faith, pretend we don’t know these things that empiricism itself has documented? The answer has to be no.

In 1953, when the first issue of Playboy arrived on newsstands, many people might have wanted to believe its hype about enhancing the sophistication and urbanity of American men. By 2018, we can’t pretend that the mainstreaming of pornography has been anything but a disaster for romance, and a prime mover of today’s divorces and other breakups.

In 1973, even supporters of Roe vs. Wade could not have imagined the evidence to come: some 58 million never-born micro-humans in the United States; and gender-cide, or the selective killing of micro-girls for being girls, in various nations around the world, also numbering in the millions. Nor could supporters back then have imagined the technological leap that would unveil the truth about abortion once and for all: the sonogram.

Can today’s advocates for Roe possibly claim the same unknowing?

To face facts squarely, and use them to tell a truthful story, is not merely to deliver a jeremiad: it is to empower. To reject living under the falsehoods about the revolution, even if they have become the dominant narrative of the age, is to embrace the freedom to write a new narrative – and a truer one.

Just one step is needed toward revising the revolution’s legacy in the direction of truth: ceasing to pretend that we don’t know the empirical and historical record, when every year just reveals it both to science and human reason, more and more.

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute. Some of her previous The Catholic Thing columns (and columns by others in which her work is discussed) can be found here. She is the author of several books including It’s Dangerous to Believe and How the West Really Lost God.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Sharon Tate (murdered by Charles Manson’s “family”), Hugh Hefner, Barbi Benton, and Roman Polanski (accused of statuary rape of a 13-year old girl). in 1968. © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Two Shadows in the Valley

Do all the men of the universe a favor and wear your hair like that for the rest of your life.

In the rolling, wooded hills of Hamilton, Georgia, it was a cold Monday in December 2007. As the three sisters scurried around the house getting ready for Emma’s wedding, the letter arrived postmarked November 21, obviously sent from a mail collection point near a combat outpost in Iraq.

The handwritten message where a stamp normally would have been was apparent: Free mail, Go Gators!

On the other side of the envelope where the flap was, another handwritten message:

Axis of Evil: Iran, N. Korea, Auburn, LSU, Georgia.

Capt. Adam Paulson Snyder (1981-2007)

As the mail was delivered, the busy house stood still to read the contents of this particular letter. Anyone under roof who took one look could instantly identify the envelope as an RSVP to Emma’s wedding from none other than sister Kathryn’s unspoken love, Florida Gator Superfan Capt. Adam Snyder of Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division.

Three years earlier, it was probably one of the toughest days of Ranger School for Adam. Instead of being in the mountains of Dahlonega with his brothers, he was held back for an accidental discharge of weapon, an infraction he knew he did not commit.

A close friend with rank, found out about it and went to bat for him, demanding to speak to the Brigade Commander on his behalf.

“Can you attest to this Lieutenant’s character and integrity?” the Commander asked.

“I’d put my rank on the line,” said the friend.

The Commander agreed to have Lt. Snyder take a polygraph test to determine if he was lying about the accidental discharge.

The interrogating agent asked whether he had ever done anything bad and seemed to be pleased when Snyder answered yes.

“Once, McDonalds gave me an extra hamburger in my bag and I didn’t pay for it.”

The agent became extremely angry and continued to press Adam with intimidating questions, only to find out that he had never lied about anything, most especially misfiring his weapon.

So that Monday of December 2007, there was a hush in the room as Emma’s RSVP was opened.  It read:

Mr. and Mrs. Hill,

Thank you for sending me Emma’s wedding invitation. Unfortunately, President Bush has me on a great mission against terror and I cannot attend. Please send me an email on how I can get them a wedding gift.—Adam.

Though it was supposed to be the most joyous of times, tears filled the eyes of everyone in the room, but most especially Kathryn. Adam had been killed in action five days earlier.

She remembered his words when she had once enclosed a picture of herself in a letter. Do all the men of the universe a favor and wear your hair like that for the rest of your life.

Kathryn attended Adam’s funeral where the the hero was laid to rest with the picture she sent tucked close to his heart, underneath full military accoutrement. Within a few hours of the funeral, she stood as Emma’s Maid of Honor. One sister’s happiest day was another’s saddest, but Kathryn was a tower of strength.

Life has a funny way of creating new pathways when we least expect it. After Adam’s death, Kathryn did what few would have the courage to do when she finished Adam’s mission of service and enlisted in the Air Force.

Shortly after her return, God sent her a Boaz. A simple and pure love, down on one knee on Santa Rosa Beach, “Will you marry me?” he said. And her life began as she knows it today.

She is happily married with a husband who adores her, three precious children, and a lot of memories behind her, but there is rarely time to look back. Kathryn’s life journey has inspired many who have also endured the unexpected storms of life. Challenged to learn a little more about how God works, her example proves the loving nature of a God who restores and never leaves us alone. It was a testimony to everyone she knew that there are always two shadows in the valley of death.

In loving memory, Capt. Adam Paulson Snyder (1981-2007), for his faithful sacrifice to God and country.

101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 1st Brigade Combat Team (Bastogne), 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Platoon, A-Company.

Michelle and Barack Obama: Their Unofficial Portraits


The presidential portrait: Weird, but fitting for a narcissist-in-chief

Demonstrating once again a serious deficit of seriousness, almost alone in taking himself seriously, as most people won’t any longer, Barack Hussein Obama unveiled two portraits of himself and his wife.

One cannot help but be reminded that these two works of industrial design barely adequate for a Hallmark card embarrassingly look like cartoons painted on high-grade canvas. Wholly improperly conceived as either serious art or dignified enough to be hung along the row of presidents similarly honored in the corridors of the White House, not only do we see in these mind-numbingly tasteless works a deficit in seriousness, but we see an absence of cultural depth.

Americans mock Obama portrait with side-splitting memes

A day after the unveiling of the official portrait of former President Obama, who is depicted sitting in a chair positioned amid a wall of bushes, Twitter is having an amusing laugh at the expense of the 44th president’s portrayal.

The social-networking site exploded Tuesday with humorous memes inspired by the portrait that’s set to be displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Obama “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t.”

Obama “Here Comes Homer!”

Obama “Reefer Heaven”.

Obama “I spy” on Trump!

What do YOU think? Sound off on Barack Obama’s official portrait

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire first appeared on The Peoples Cube and World Net Daily.

How the Loud Left Hijacked Hate

One of the most insidious impacts of the “progressive” movement of the last 20 years is the way the voices of the liberal left have imposed politically correct language on the American public by creating new meanings for old words.

For example, in an attempt to quash reasoned dialogue on important cultural and moral issues, the misuse of the word “hate” has worked very well for the left against conservative Christians. Most Americans – especially Christians – recoil at the idea of hating people. Rightfully so. Therefore, if one can establish hate as the motive for opposing a particular issue or behavior, it sabotages any real debate. End of discussion.

The progressive parade is crowded with societal movers and shakers. They control much of our culture – media, education, entertainment, business, and government. The legions are led by a fervent few, religious zealots in their own right.

Their religion is called secular humanism. For them, man is god, and there is no higher power to answer to. They reject Christianity and the morality of the Bible unless they can co-opt and twist it to further their own agenda. Their goal? To crush Christianity and rob it of its historical and traditional impact on our nation.

And it is working within and without the church.

Let’s look at how progressives use the concept of hate against Christians. Think about this for a moment. The idea of hate has no meaningful context outside a biblical one. In other words, if God doesn’t exist to reward and punish, what difference does it make if I hate someone? Why is it wrong? It’s wrong because there is a God, and He defines love and hate.

In fact, God has charged His followers to spread the word that He loves all people and calls them to turn away from their sin and seek Him. When we do this, however, we almost always run into conflict with the progressives’ rejection of God and His standards.

For example, when it comes to human sexuality, progressives have done a masterful job of seemingly turning Christianity against Christians. How? By convincing the general public – and even many Christians – that to speak against homosexuality or transgenderism is in fact hateful. Thus, Christians must be haters, even though their Bible and their creeds teach love. It’s akin to saying that because Christians believe drunkenness is a sin, we, therefore, hate the person who is drunk. The teaching of “hate the sin but love the sinner” is not allowed by the progressives.

One illustration of this is North Carolina’s HB 2, which simply states that on government property, one must use the restrooms, showers, and changing areas that match one’s biological sex. Progressives immediately denounced and declared it a hate bill. End of debate.

Then there are many stories of businesses owned by Christians being told they must participate in homosexual wedding ceremonies or be closed down. Those Christian business owners were motivated by hate, said the progressives. End of discussion.

In Mississippi, where I live, the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a law protecting people of faith from being forced to participate in homosexual weddings. That law, according to the progressives, is a sign of hatred toward lesbians and gays.

It’s hard to fight back against a barrage of lies when they’re repeated 24/7 by the liberal media, and when well-funded LGBTQ activist groups pound on the doors of politicians and corporate executives demanding support and promising punishment if they dare side with those hate-filled Christians.

Unfortunately, many weak-kneed Christians quickly fold on this issue. They either distance themselves from their fellow Christians or they go silent. In either case, it’s shameful and cowardly.

The Bible is clear that the act of homosexuality is a sin. That has been the teaching of the church for 2,000 years. But subscribing to this teaching today, according to progressives, is unacceptable in this new world they are attempting to create. A world without the Christian God, but rather man, as supreme.

The truth: Christians do not hate lesbians, gays, or transgendered people. And without Christians, America would be a much meaner, much uglier place to live. American Family Association has never advocated hate for anyone, nor have we ever said anything but that God loves sinners and calls us all to repentance.

But we refuse to call right wrong or wrong right, and we will continue to stand on the Word of God and proclaim the truth therein.

End of debate.

P.S. If you love our nation, let me challenge you to get The Progressive Threat to the American Republic booklet and companion DVD to arm yourself with a knowledge and understanding of the attempted humanist overthrow of our constitutional republic.

Written by AFA executive vice president Ed Vitagliano, The Progressive Threat to the American Republic reveals the forces that have brought America to the brink of losing our freedoms, and why it is our greatest civic duty to work to restore an understanding of America’s founding principles.

Get the booklet and DVD set with your financial gift to AFA today!

2 Anti-Trump FBI Officials Also Used Private Email, Their Texts Indicate

Two FBI officials who exchanged anti-Trump text messages on government equipment during the 2016 presidential campaign also conducted official business over private email accounts, according to a Senate report.

In one electronic text message on April 10, 2016, FBI official Peter Strzok told agency lawyer Lisa Page: “Gmailed you two drafts of what I’m thinking of sending Bill, would appreciate your thoughts. Second (more recent) is updated so you can skip the first.”

Strzok expressed frustration about being “left out of the loop,” according to the report from a Senate committee. It is not clear who “Bill” is.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal analyst at The Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department official, told The Daily Signal that use of private email makes it possible for federal employees to evade information requests.

“If an employee is using a personal email to discuss official business, then he is avoiding complying with the Federal Records Act and he is avoiding the Freedom of Information Act,” von Spakovsky said.

“I know that when I was at DOJ, we were told not to discuss any official business in private emails for these reasons, and because much of what we discussed was confidential and should not be disclosed. Private emails are notoriously less secure,” he said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads the Justice Department, has said that Page and Strzok, chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section when he investigated the Hillary Clinton email scandal, exchanged more than 50,000 text messages while reportedly having an extramarital affair.

The two FBI officials expressed anti-Trump and pro-Clinton sentiments while texting each other. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, removed Strzok from the probe when the texts surfaced.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released copies of Page-Strzok text messages that his committee received from the Justice Department.

Johnson also asked the Justice Department to turn over additional information about FBI communications by Wednesday, which is both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. By publication deadline, his committee staff had not responded to inquiries on whether the department had done so.

The Daily Signal asked the Justice Department for a response to the evidence that Strzok and Page used private email accounts while transacting official FBI business, what policy is on such use, and also whether the department would meet Johnson’s Feb. 14 deadline.

“We have been working with the committee to respond to their request within a reasonable timeframe,” Ian D. Prior, the agency’s principal deputy director of public affairs, said in an email response.

Prior did not address the other issues.

The Justice Department’s Ethics Handbook for On and Off-Duty Conduct tells employees:

You may not use your DOJ contact information including email address for non-official matters except as emergency contact information and for persons such as close family and friends, children’s school, and in similar limited circumstances, where it is clear your communication is not on behalf of the department and you are not attempting to exert official influence.

It is not clear from the handbook what the FBI policy is on use of private email accounts for official business.

In a Jan. 31 letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Johnson inquires about an April 10, 2016, chain of text messages between Strzok and Page suggesting the two agents used Gmail to correspond while engaged in official FBI duties. (Sessions recused himself from matters related to the Russia probe.)

“According to text messages produced to the committee, Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok make references to communicating with other FBI employees via text message, phone call, email, and voicemail,” Johnson writes. “Additional text messages suggest that the FBI officials used non-official email accounts and messaging programs to communicate about official business.”

Johnson has asked Justice to turn over text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017. Those texts were said to be “missing,” but since have been recovered through the efforts of the agency’s inspector general.

Some of the Page-Strzok text messages already public “hint at broader record-retention issues with the FBI’s Samsung mobile devices and that FBI employees sought to procure iPhones for their use,” Johnson tells Rosenstein in the Jan. 31 letter.

Johnson’s committee published a report, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It,” highlighting findings in the Page-Strzok text messages.

“Text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page suggest that FBI officials used non-official email accounts and messaging programs to communicate about FBI business,” the report says, going on to cite the April 10, 2016, text in which Strzok says he “gmailed” drafts to Page.

On Oct. 25, 2016, Page texts Strzok about a letter to Congress regarding the Clinton email investigation, which had resulted in no charges related to Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business when she was secretary of state from 2009 through 2012. The election followed days later, on Nov. 8.

Page: “Remind me I need to ask you something. Tomorrow is fine.”

Strzok: “sure. You can also imsg [iMessage] me.”

Strzok and Page also discussed the possibility that Page would receive an FBI-issued iPhone, for which the FBI information technology office proposed to stop following “security/monitoring” requirements.

These texts raise questions about the FBI’s retention of records associated with its investigation, committee staff say.

Johnson also asked Rosenstein to produce:

all documents and communications, including but not limited to emails, memorandum notes, text messages, iPhone instant messages, and voicemails, for the period January 1, 2016 to the present referring or relating to the FBI’s Midyear Exam investigation, the presence of classified information on Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server, or candidates for the 2016 presidential election …

The committee chairman’s request for information is attached to correspondence involving 16 FBI officials, including Strzok, Page, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Trump fired Comey in May. FBI Director Christopher Wray removed McCabe from his post Jan. 29, after a declassified memo from a House committee underlined a reference to him in a Page-Strzok text.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asking tough questions of the Justice Department, makes a point Feb. 7 during a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee roundtable in the Dirksen Building on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom)

The Ties That Blind: More Hypocrisy on White House Access

Stop the presses. Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has just uncovered the scandal of the century: A conservative administration is consulting with conservative experts! Apparently, this is news to the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, who is outraged that a president would dare to take advice from ideologically-compatible groups. (No one is quite sure where Cummings was from 2009-2016, when Barack Obama should have put half of the Left’s interest groups on the official government payroll.)

Still, Cummings is so sure that voters will be shocked that he’s filed an official complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for soliciting input on a legal document from a conservative legal group: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Insisting that a “whistleblower” inside HHS has exposed some shameful collaboration, he fired off a letter to HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan warning that he may investigate. In particular, he’s worried about ADF’s advice on President’s Trump’s latest guidance that makes it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood. As is sometimes the practice of government agencies, they sought outside counsel from a likeminded individuals and group. There’s nothing immoral, controversial or unusual about it.

Even so, Cummings, whose previous president spent eight years doing the bidding of George Soros and other far-Left lobbyists, is raising a stink about ADF’s involvement, saying it points to a sinister plot of conservatives to infiltrate the government. “The documents provided by the whistleblower raise serious concerns about whether the Trump administration is now taking orders from an extreme right-wing interest group that is trying to deny American citizens the ability to exercise their right to obtain family planning services from the provider of their choice, which is guaranteed by federal statute.”

If it weren’t so astounded, ADF might have been amused. After all, they fired back, it’s “common practice for constitutional attorneys to be consulted regarding constitutional matters.” What should be common practice, the group went on, “is refusing to award Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to scandal-ridden Medicaid providers. HHS’s recent guidance brings the agency back into conformity with decades of federal court precedent and empowers state legislatures to allocate Medicaid funding to women’s health providers not entangled in alleged fraud and abuse.” If you’re looking for the real outrage, that’s it.

The conservative movement’s influence on a conservative administration isn’t a smoking gun – or even a Nerf one. America just emerged from eight years of liberals trading influence from the highest posts in government. Perhaps Cummings has forgotten the suspicious ties of the Obama administration that at best tested the law (and at worst broke it). Over his two terms, investigations uncovered plenty of evidence of wrongdoing from the underground networks between the White House and radical groups. There was the IRS official who leaked confidential donor information to the Human Rights Campaign to smear conservatives. (Disclosing those names, incidentally, was a felony.) Or the shady ties from Google to the Obama State Department, where Hillary Clinton’s emails “show that Jared Cohen, head of Google Jigsaw, has been acting as a secret agent for the state department, turning the world’s most powerful tech company into a private arm of the U.S. intelligence services.”

What about George Soros’s potentially criminal ties to USAID money, where it helped fund aggressive State Department tactics in places like Hungary or Macdeonia? Then there’s the question of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and its obvious collusion with the Obama Department of Justice and FBI to drive conservative organizations underground – until enough people complained about the partnership. Or the SPLC’s influence at the Defense Department, where trainings were tailor-made for the group’s “extremist hate list” until DOD was exposed and forced to sever ties?

Planned Parenthood’s power in the Obama administration was obvious from the president’s top-level hires (in – irony alert — HHS) to Cecile Richards’s regular meetings and fundraisers with the First Family. LGBT activists were so embedded in the Obama administration that their sex-ed and “anti-bullying” campaigns became part of the official White House education curriculum, despite evidence that both were doing more harm to kids than good. Where was Cummings’s indignation then?

The story here is that there is no story. This isn’t about impropriety on the part of ADF or HHS. It’s about liberals like Cummings identifying the groups that help shape the conservative agenda — and trying to silence them. The merits of Trump’s policy on Planned Parenthood and state sovereignty were obvious long before ADF’s involvement. Local legislators should have the authority to carry out the will of voters in their states – especially when it comes to taxpayer dollars. There are plenty of organizations who can provide safer and more comprehensive health care than a group currently under FBI investigation. Surely, Americans can find a better recipient of their hard-earned money than Planned Parenthood, a group more concerned with destroying innocent lives than caring for them. At the very least, they should have the freedom to try.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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