The New York Times Best-Seller List: Another Reason Americans Don’t Trust the Media

About half the American people do not believe the mainstream media tell the truth. They believe the media are more interested in promoting their left-wing views than reporting the truth.

I am, I note with sadness, a member of that half.

Here is but one more example: The New York Times best-seller list.

As a writer (who, for the record, had a previous book on that list), I have long known it isn’t a best-seller list, and I don’t pay attention to it. But I paid attention last week to see if my recently published book, which opened up on Amazon as the second best-selling book in America, was on the list. It wasn’t.

The book, “The Rational Bible: Exodus,” the first volume of a five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible (the Torah), was No. 2 in nonfiction on The Wall Street Journal best-seller list; No. 2 on the Publishers Weekly nonfiction best-seller list; No. 1 on Ingram, the largest book wholesaler in the country; and, according to Nielsen BookScan, the organization that tracks 75 to 85 percent of book sales, No. 2 in hardcover nonfiction.

In fact, according to BookScan, it outsold 14 of the 15 books on The New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list. But again, it is not even listed on The New York Times best-seller list.

I was told years ago that the Times best-seller list almost never includes overtly religious books. I believe it but cannot prove it. I was told the Times doesn’t even monitor Christian bookstore sales (though many Christians have bought my commentary, few of its sales thus far have been through Christian bookstores).

At least as suggestive of bias is that the No. 1 hardcover nonfiction book on The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly lists, “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson, is also not listed on The New York Times best-seller list.

Is it a coincidence that Peterson is a conservative, and that I am a conservative and my book is a Bible commentary?

In order to think it is mere coincidence, you have to believe The New York Times more than reality itself, which about half the country seems to. While the Times occasionally lists conservative books and, very rarely, religious books, after comparing the list and the BookScan list, the Observer concluded in 2016:

If you happen to work for The New York Times and have a book out, your book is more likely to stay on the list longer and have a higher ranking than books not written by New York Times employees. … If you happen to have written a conservative-political-leaning book, you’re more likely to be ranked lower and drop off the list faster than those books with a more liberal political slant.

In other words, The New York Times best-seller list is not a best-seller list—which even The New York Times once acknowledged.

In the early 1980s, William Peter Blatty, author of the monumental best-seller “The Exorcist,” sued The New York Times for only listing his novel on the list one time, even though it sold in the millions. In defending itself before the court, as reported by Book History, the annual journal of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (Penn State University Press), the Times said, “The list did not purport to be an objective compilation of information but instead was an editorial product.”

Yet when asked last year about the announcement by Regnery Publishing (my book publisher) that it was no longer referencing The New York Times in any author publicity, New York Times spokesman Jordan Cohen told the Associated Press: “Our goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers. The political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings, and the notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous.”

According to The New York Times, it is “simply ludicrous” to question why a conservative book and a religious book, which are the No. 1 and No. 2 books, respectively, on every best-seller list other than that of The New York Times, do not even appear on the Times list.

Here’s a different view: What is “simply ludicrous” is wondering why the “fake news” charge against mainstream American media resonates with half the American people.


Portrait of Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a columnist for The Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of PragerU. Twitter: .

The Changes That Made California Become a Liberal Fiasco

Is America destined to become like California?

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey created a stir recently when he tweeted out an article calling for an end to bipartisanship and the beginning of nationwide, one-party rule—similar to the Golden State. He called it a “great read.”

A Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Signal in an email, “Twitter’s tools are apolitical, and we enforce our rules without political bias.”

Nevertheless, the tweet certainly brings up concern over Twitter’s political bias.

The article, titled “The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War,” argued that due to the intractable division of worldviews in America, bipartisanship is unworkable. It’s time to simply obliterate the other side.

The article was authored by Peter Leyden, the CEO of a media company called Reinvent, and Ruy Teixeira, a progressive political scientist. Teixeira argued after Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory that the GOP would go extinct for a generation because demographic trends would make Democrats unbeatable.

Needless to say, that didn’t come true.

But in a larger sense, it’s worth dissecting what a disaster the Californization of the whole country would be.

The authors point to California as a model for America’s political future. They explain how a once-bitterly divided state transformed into a state dominated by one party in a very short period of time—and they tout this as a good thing.

The problem in their analysis is that they essentially compare apples to oranges. The factors involved in California’s swing to one-party dominance were unique to California and can’t necessarily be applied to the country at large.

Moreover, Democratic Party dominance in California doesn’t necessarily mean Californians have become more progressive or that progressive policies have worked.

As a native Californian who has left the state, I witnessed California’s terrible turn firsthand.

Several factors went into this political sea change.

‘Jungle Primaries’ and Redistricting

California hasn’t always been a deep blue state. At one time it voted consistently for Republican presidential candidates, even up into the 1990s. But the state has gone leftward since that time, a situation fueled by both electoral and cultural changes.

In 2006, the state passed a new law requiring candidates to participate in a single consolidated open primary, often called the “jungle primary.” In these primaries, the top two vote-getters end up on the election ballot, where they square off against each other. This system has driven many Republicans off the election ballot, as the top two slots are often won by Democrats.

Some Republicans originally backed the jungle primary law, including then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They hoped it would help moderate candidates in elections and thus make the state more bipartisan.

But what has happened is the exact opposite. This law made California ripe for one-party rule.

As The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas wrote in The American Conservative, it led to bizarre absurdities, such as Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein being labeled the “Republican” option in a Senate race due to the fact that her only opponent was a more militant progressive than her.

Real political challengers are simply drowned out by the number of progressive voters in these primaries, and so a single ideology with only minor variance gets represented in the general election, as was the case in 2016 where Donald Trump was the only Republican on the ballot for a statewide election.

Larry N. Gerston, a professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University, wrote for the Los Angeles Times that the jungle primary not only wiped out the Republican Party in California, it wiped out third parties that previously could challenge the status quo.

“California reformers argued that the major parties were dominated by extremes on the left and the right, and that a top-two system would attract centrist candidates, especially in districts where one party was dominant,” Gerston wrote. “They also contended that more competitive races would increase turnout. Early studies show that neither expectation has been met.”

In addition to the one-sided jungle primary system, a redistricting plan in 2010 tightened Democrats’ grip on the state. Initially billed as a nonpartisan effort to do away with gerrymandering, the plan was hijacked by state Democrats who stacked the commission with progressive activists posing as “Republicans.”

This further wiped out opposition to the Democratic Party in the state over the last decade.

Middle-Class Californians Flee in Droves

Another major factor in California’s shift to the left is changing demographics. Many point to immigration as the primary reason for this shift, but flight has also played a significant role as people leave the state.

For a state that progressives tout as the ideal, there has been a remarkable amount of migration away from California in the last decade. Discontented Californians are voting with their feet, and those feet are moving with a quickening pace.

Though Leyden and Teixeira wrote that Republican policies have “engorged the rich while flatlining the incomes of the majority of Americans,” it’s actually been middle-income Californians who are fleeing the state while rich Americans from the Northeast trickle in.

“People making $55,000 or less a year were mostly moving out of California between 2007 and 2016 … while people making more than $200,000 a year moved in,” according to one report described in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

According to real estate website Curbed:

Due in large part to the state’s housing crisis, California is becoming wealthier and more economically stratified, as more of its citizens find it difficult to make ends meet. Every year, the state falls roughly 100,000 units short of what it needs to keep up with housing demand. That’s driving many middle-class residents out of the state, with little hope of returning.

With so many middle-income people leaving, what is left over in California is a two-tiered system of rich and poor in which the rich thrive and the poor muddle along.

Amazingly, this amazingly rich state now has the country’s highest poverty rates and lowest rating for “quality of life.”

How can this be?

A Basket Case

“California’s de facto status as a one-party state lies at the heart of its poverty problem,” wrote Kerry Jackson, the Pacific Research Institute’s fellow in California studies. “With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch, and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.

With their opposition made toothless, progressives have been free to conduct their policy experiments unopposed. The results leave much to be desired.

The irony is that California now veers closer to the repressive Republican caricature that Leyden and Teixeira described in their piece rather than the progressive utopia they say they want for the whole country.

The state increasingly stands out in the union as an extremist and increasingly dysfunctional basket case. Wealthy residents can withstand the state’s failures, but everyone else is paying the price of bad policy.

While the harmful effects of progressive policies are statewide, and often fall hardest on the redder communities within the state, no city better reflects the end result of California-style progressivism than San Francisco.

Though it is one of the wealthiest cities in the country, San Francisco is becoming known for its notorious homelessness problem, escalating crime rates, and various other pathologies.

One FBI report noted that while overall property crime rates were down around the country in 2017, San Francisco’s rates had jumped by 20 percent in just a year.

The Federalist’s John Davidson wrote in an expose on the disintegration of this marvelously wealthy, yet increasingly dystopian city.

Here was the perfect chance for progressives to create their ideal society. With no political opposition for a generation and fabulous wealth coming in through the tech boom, it should have been easy to transform this iconic and perfectly located city into exactly what they wanted.

But Davidson poignantly notes that San Francisco fails when judged by the standards of progressives themselves.

“The absence of any organized political opposition, combined with its vast wealth, makes San Francisco a kind of proof-of-concept for progressive governance,” Davidson wrote.

“ … That’s why the housing and homelessness problems besetting the city open it up to more than mere mockery from conservatives but substantive criticism of progressive governance writ large,” Davidson continued. “It’s not just homeless encampments that bedevil San Francisco, but also the flight of the middle class and the emergence of a kind of citywide caste system: the wealthy, the service class, and the destitute. In some ways, San Francisco is becoming something progressives are supposed to hate: a private club for the super-rich.”

San Francisco has managed to create an environment that progressives claim to abhor most. It is a tragic display of how bad ideas, regardless of intentions, lead to dysfunction.

And those very ideas that are eating away at San Francisco are increasingly the dominant ideology in the state capital.

It’s no wonder that so many middle-income Californians are fleeing to more hospitable states like Nevada and Texas.

Some of these states, like Texas, are now actively encouraging California citizens and businesses to leave California to escape high housing costs, overbearing regulations, and punitive taxes.

Not only that, but some conservative expatriates have actually created organizations to help conservative Californians settle into Texas communities that better reflect their values.

And it’s working.

The result is that the state’s blue politics is rapidly becoming bluer as conservative constituencies ditch the state for greener pastures.

Resisting the #Resistance

California may be losing residents, and it may have institutional barriers that make it unlikely to see a serious change in state policies.

However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a significant portion of the population that resents and opposes the actions of the state government.

While the California government is resisting the federal government and the Trump administration, many Californians are themselves resisting “the resistance.”

As The New York Times reported of the mostly rural, northernmost parts of California:

Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Mr. Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic governor and legislature. California’s strict regulations on the environment, gun control, and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.

It’s not just the rural north and central valley that oppose the state’s direction. Several counties have come out in opposition to the state’s sanctuary policies that have provoked a legal battle with the Trump administration’s agenda.

Orange County in Southern California recently passed measures aimed at aiding the federal government in immigration enforcement. More cities and localities have joined it and others are likely to follow suit.

There have even been a few proposals to break up the state into a few smaller states. One such plan has been proposed by tech billionaire Tim Draper, though this will likely have difficulty getting approved by Congress.

The fact is, California is not so monolithic as it often appears to outsiders, despite the one-sided vision coming from the state’s capital and from Hollywood.

California may have one-party rule, but there is a festering opposition among the governed, many of whom are resentful that their voices are ignored in the halls of power.

This cauldron is a far cry from the blissful one-party rule that Leyden and Teixeira have predicted for the future.

And good luck bringing California-style governance to its red-state neighbors, which are now filled with ex-Californians who, like Paul Revere, are sounding the alarm about what’s to come.

As former California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who now lives in Texas and serves as vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, wrote for Fox News, “California isn’t the future, rather, it’s what America’s 2016 election of Donald Trump saved the nation from becoming. It’s not a harbinger of things to come, but it will soon be an example of the fate we narrowly avoided.”

California’s fall from being the quintessential American dream to a series of gated communities surrounded by poverty is no model for the rest of the country. To the contrary, it is a dire warning.


Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .


Podcast: California Shows Progressive Policies Don’t Work

Eliminating Partisan Redistricting Will Make Politics Worse, Not Better

VIDEO: 3 Student Journalists Sue University for Covering Up Teacher’s Role in Anti-Trump Campus Rally

Three student journalists have filed a lawsuit against their Illinois university and an instructor, alleging that the teacher grabbed and broke a smartphone as they tried to report on an anti-Trump rally.

The three students’ federal suit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and instructor Tariq Khan says that the university got a restraining order preventing them from reporting on Khan’s involvement in the November protest against President Donald Trump.

Khan, 39, was charged with destruction of property after taking and smashing a student’s smartphone on the pavement, an action caught on video.

The suit contends that the instructor and university officials violated the students’ constitutional rights to free press, free speech, and due process, according to the law firm representing the students, Mauck & Baker, LLC.

Transform “Tax Day” into “Freedom Day.” Support the campaign to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent >>

“The First Amendment should not be a partisan issue or something only conservatives are willing to defend,” the law firm said in a formal statement.

The suit claims that the school punished freshmen Joel Valdez and Blair Nelson and senior Andrew Minik for reporting on the anti-Trump rally, the organizers of which included the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

The university’s restraining order on Valdez and Nelson was “to prevent them from reporting on Tariq Khan,” their lawyers said in a press release.

A video of the incident appears to show Khan, a doctoral candidate and graduate instructor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, yelling at students, physically assaulting one, and taking and throwing the phone to the pavement.

“Our attorneys are reviewing this,” a university spokesman said Friday, declining further comment to The Daily Signal on the lawsuit.

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Khan is seen in the video saying “f— Donald Trump” and telling Valdez and other members of Turning Point USA, a conservative student organization present during the demonstration, that he will “go tear down one of your flyers right now.”

The video shows Valdez appearing to anger Khan by suggesting the instructor had nothing better to do than protest Trump and asking, “Don’t you have kids to look after?”

Khan then accuses students of threatening his children at least 25 times in a span of about three minutes. He is seen raising his hand and apparently attempting to hit Nelson, who is recording him with a phone.

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The video shows Khan shouting at students when they ask him how they have made a threat, accusing them of threatening his children.

Other times he chooses not to reply, as shown in this six-minute video, which contains language many viewers may find offensive:

“Say something about my kids again,” Khan yells at Valdez. “Say one more thing about my kids, bitch.”

The university instructor is seen saying to students: “You’d better check yourself, OK? Check yourself. I’ll f— you up.”

The broken phone reportedly had an estimated value of $700.

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University police charged Khan with criminal destruction of property. His case is pending.

According to the lawsuit, the university secured a restraining order on the three students at the request of Khan after Minik, a senior, reported on the incident for Campus Reform.

“I was told that if I wanted the ‘situation to improve,’ that I should stop writing about Khan,” Minik told lawyers, according to the law firm.

The Daily Signal was not able to reach Khan, whose contact information was removed from the university’s website after the incident, and Campus Reform has said he has not responded to its requests for comment.

In February, the university’s Campus Faculty Association issued a statement supporting Khan, describing him as an Air Force veteran who is “an engaged, thoughtful, and committed scholar and a wonderful and effective teacher.”

The lawsuit alleges that Khan is “affiliated with a number of extreme left-wing groups including the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, an ‘Antifa’ group advocating revolution and expressly justifying political violence.”

Khan also is backed by Campus Antifascist Network, a far-left group that organizes protests against conservatives on campus, The Daily Signal has learned.

Campus Antifascist Network released a statement in support of Khan in January that accused Turning Point USA of instigating his actions.

The statement sought to link Turning Point USA to Campus Reform, saying the news organization is its “associated media arm.”

In fact, TurningPoint.News, not Campus Reform, is the group’s media arm.

Editor’s note: Kyle Perisic, an intern at The Daily Signal, is a former reporter for Campus Reform.


Kyle Perisic

Kyle Perisic is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of college instructor Tariq Khan, right, confronting student Joel Valdez. (Photo: YouTube video screenshot)

Andrew McCabe Lied. So Will the FBI Apply the Same Rules Against Him That It Applies to All of Us?

It’s official: Andrew McCabe lied.

The new report from the Justice Department inspector general concludes that McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, lied to then-FBI Director James Comey, to other FBI agents, and to officials of the Office of the Inspector General. Some of those lies came when McCabe was under oath.

What did he lie about? Unauthorized disclosures about the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The information was leaked to a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

The inspector general has completed his work. The question now is, will the Justice Department prosecute McCabe? Or, put another way: Will the FBI and the Justice Department follow the same rules they apply to members of the public who lie to a federal agent?

Remember, the only charge brought against Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was lying to the FBI, a felony. And Flynn wasn’t even under oath when he supposedly lied to the FBI.

Given that recent history, failure to prosecute McCabe would tell the American people that officers of the Justice Department and the FBI think they are above the law.

According to the inspector general’s report, “law enforcement sensitive information” appeared in an Oct. 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal article titled “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.” Until that time, the FBI had publicly refused to confirm that an investigation into the Clinton Foundation was underway.

Despite that official stance, the inspector general determined, McCabe told his special counsel and an assistant director in the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs that they could give information about the probe to Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett.

In particular, McCabe told them to disclose a phone call he had received in August from the Justice Department’s principal associate deputy attorney general. The report does not identify the person by name, but the principal associate deputy attorney general at the time was apparently Matthew Axelrod.

McCabe claims that the official called him and “expressed concerns about the FBI agents taking overt steps in the [Clinton Foundation] Investigation during the presidential campaign.” According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking, “Are you telling me to shut down a validly predicated investigation?”

McCabe told the inspector general the conversation was “very dramatic” and that he had never had a similar confrontation with a high-level Justice Department official “in his entire FBI career.”

The way The Wall Street Journal reported this was that a “senior Justice Department official” called McCabe “to voice his displeasure” that the FBI was “still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season.” The “Justice Department official was ‘very pissed off,’ according to one person close to McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant.”

What spurred McCabe’s disclosure, according to the inspector general, was a prior Wall Street Journal story “that questioned McCabe’s impartiality in overseeing FBI investigations involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.” This was due, according to that Oct. 23 story, to the fact that a PAC run by longtime Clinton friend and associate Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., had donated nearly $675,000 to the unsuccessful 2015 state Senate campaign of McCabe’s wife.

Friday’s report from the inspector general presents a series of findings. It concludes that McCabe lied when he told Comey that he had not authorized the disclosures to The Wall Street Journal and did not know who did. He repeated that lie when questioned by agents from the FBI’s Inspection Division and again when questioned by the Office of the Inspector General.

Only in a second round of questioning by the inspector general did McCabe finally acknowledge that “he had authorized the disclosure to [The Wall Street Journal].”

The inspector general notes that McCabe could have authorized the disclosure of the existence of the Clinton Foundation investigation if it were in the “public interest.” However, the report concludes, that was not his motivation.

Instead, it finds, McCabe violated FBI policy because the disclosure was “designed to advance his personal interest at the expense of department leadership.” Therefore, what he did “constituted misconduct.”

The inspector general cannot prosecute. All he can do is provide his office’s report to the FBI “for such action as it deems appropriate.” And so we wait to see what, if anything, is next.

Flynn was charged with lying to FBI agents about conversations with the Russian ambassador. Lying to a federal agent is a felony, even if—like Flynn—you are not under oath at the time. It is clear from the inspector general’s report that McCabe lied to federal agents multiple times, including while under oath.

Will he be prosecuted as Flynn was? It seems as if the FBI and the Justice Department have no choice—unless they believe that their colleagues are somehow above the law.

And if the Department of Justice no longer believes in the rule of law, the whole notion of America is turned on its head.


Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: How 4 Big Comey Claims Stack Up to His Senate Testimony

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifing before the Senate intelligence committee on May 11, 2017. (Photo: Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom)

ROAD RAGE VIDEO: Illegal alien rams a motorcyclist in Sarasota, FL

This video of a car intentionally swerving into a motorcyclist in Sarasota, Florida went viral. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) the cost to educate, incarcerate and medicate illegal aliens in the state of Florida is:

Cost Per Alien: $4,919
Annual Total Cost of Illegal Aliens: $6,290,429,108

ABC News WFTS’Jake Peterson reported:

The driver who was involved in a motorcycle road rage incident in Sarasota on Sunday evening was arrested on Tuesday night.

Magdiel Medrano-Bonilla, 30, who police identified as an illegal immigrant, has been charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and aggravated battery. His bond has been set at $20,000.

“He was following the story and he was doing everything he could to do destroy the evidence involved in this, which almost killed a motorcyclists,” said Sheriff Knight.

Knight said Medrano-Bonilla is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.  ICE has placed a hold on him.

Read more.

Magdiel Medrano-Bonilla should never have been in Florida. This incident is certainly not the first and will not be the last in the Sunshine State.


The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers

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Help Get E-Verify on the Florida Ballot in 2018!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of illegal alien Magdiel Medrano-Bonilla is courtesy of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

What to Expect as Trump Sends the National Guard to the Border

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, drew surprising praise from President Donald Trump regarding plans to send the state’s National Guard troops to the southern border.

However, Brown seems to be placing many restrictions, according to an Associated Press report Monday. The report says the anonymous federal officials told the AP that California will not allow Guard troops to fix and repair vehicles, operate remotely-controlled surveillance cameras with the Border Patrol, or provide “mission support,” which could include buying gas and handling payroll.

Still other border states, with Republican governors, are stepping up, according to the Military Times.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s office said the first 80 Guard troops will arrive this week. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was expected to deploy 300. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to send 300 troops a week and wind up with 1,000 on the border.

Brown previously had exchanged harsh words with Trump in signing a sanctuary state law to protect illegal immigrants and opposing most of the administration’s initiatives to enforce immigration law.

But Brown drew thanks from Trump after the Democrat committed to sending 400 National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico.

States were reporting an initial force total of 529 National Guard personnel as of Thursday to support Southwest border operations by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Governors have committed to more troops.

States reportedly committed to about 2,000 National Guard troops at the border, about halfway to Trump’s goal of 4,000 troops. Defense Secretary James Mattis said the troops would be covered by the Defense Department budget but remain under the authority of their governors.

That goal of 4,000 Guard troops is fewer than President George W. Bush sent to the border, but more than President Barack Obama sent.

Brown previously wrote a letter stating the state’s refusal to enforce federal immigration laws and to oppose construction of a border wall, but didn’t provide the level of details in the AP story on Monday.

Using the National Guard isn’t ideal, but is one way to address a border crisis, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that advocates securing the border and enforcing immigration law.

“They will be in a supportive role, and that frees up the Border Patrol to do their jobs on the front lines,” Mehlman told The Daily Signal. “It’s a stop-gap measure. When you call up the National Guard to defend the border, it means you should have done more to prevent illegal immigration to begin with.”

Mehlman said he is glad Brown isn’t resisting on deploying the National Guard, but that the California governor is taking too little action.

“Jerry Brown is sending National Guard troops, but he should have done a lot more in cutting off the incentives for people to cross the border illegally,” Mehlman said.

The Trump administration hasn’t laid out the cost, but past deployments of the Guard could offer an idea.

Cost and Benefits for Bush and Obama

Bush’s Operation Jump Start involved 6,000 National Guard troops on the border from June 2006 to July 2008, and cost taxpayers $1.2 billion, according to a Government Accountability Office report in 2011.

Obama’s Operation Phalanx, from July 2010 to June 2011, put 1,200 Guard troops on the border and cost taxpayers $35 million.

Under Bush, the Guard assisted in 11.7 percent of the captures of 186,814 illegal immigrants and 9.4 percent of the 316,364 pounds of marijuana seized, according to the GAO.

Under Obama, the Guard assisted in 5.9 percent of the captures of 17,887 illegal immigrants and 2.6 percent of the 56,342 pounds of marijuana seized.

“What happened under Bush and Obama actually did work and had a deterrent effect,” James Carafano, vice president for national security and foreign policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“People aren’t stupid,” Carafano said. “This frees up the CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection]. It’s not a permanent solution. But it’s a deterrence and is part of a larger strategy. The president has said no DACA, no more loopholes, and is calling for workplace enforcement.”

Carafano said he doubted the Trump administration’s operation would have a significant effect on the military budget.

There are notable differences, Steven P. Bucci, a former top Pentagon official who is a visiting research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an earlier interview.

“Today, the crisis is less well defined, although People Without Borders has promised continued marches with the intent of ‘busting’ our border,” Bucci said. “There is also a steady stream of illegal alien crossings estimated at 1,000 a day. Not the huge numbers of the earlier periods, but not a trickle either.”

The costs could be significantly different, Bucci said:

Another difference is that during Operation Jump Start, the Bush-era operation, we had much lower levels of Border Patrol agents and much less infrastructure/tech. The force-multiplier effect then was larger than we could expect today. Combined with the fewer border crossings than in 2006, the bang for your buck would be lower today.

Additionally, the military today is significantly underfunded and has been for years. Funding the entire thing with Defense Department money will be a serious drain on a budget that got its first chance at health only recently. If the operation drags on too long, this could be a detriment to our overall national defense.

The National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, supports having deployment of National Guard troops at the border. But in 2014, the union questioned the effectiveness of a plan pushed by Republican lawmakers.

Governors Responding

Before Brown committed California to the effort, the Associated Press reportedthat other border state governors had committed 1,600 National Guard troops.

Governors of nonborder states, including the Republican governors of Arkansas, Mississippi, and South Carolina, have suggested that their National Guard would be called up for assistance.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican whose state has a large immigrant population, reportedly said he hasn’t been asked.

Texas’ Abbott, a Republican, committed to 250 Guard troops in the first phase of the Trump administration’s action.

Arizona’s Ducey, a Republican, announced he would deploy 225 Guard troops.

New Mexico’s Martinez, a Republican, committed 250 troops.

In a recent poll, a plurality of those surveyed, 48 percent, said they support sending National Guard troops to the border, compared to 42 percent who said they oppose it and 9 percent with no opinion.


Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of troops meeting April 12 with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the National Guard armory in far south Texas as they prepare to deploy to the border with Mexico. The soldiers will play a supporting role to federal Border Patrol agents and state troopers. (Photo: Bob Daemmrich/Polaris/Newscom)

Next-Gen Social Network Launched: No Ads, No Tracking and No BS!

Facebook is falling and can’t get up. But there is hope. There is a new social media platform for those tired of being sold like slaves. It is called MeWe.

It is simple to become a part of this “next-gen network.” Just click on this link and sign up on MeWe.

MeWe is the brainchild of leading online privacy advocate and social media founder Mark Weinstein, along with co-founder Jonathan Wolfe, and the platform comes with the full backing and support of major technology innovators such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a member of the MeWe Advisory Board.was created by Mark Weinstein and Jonathan Wolfe. As of April 16, 2018 over 4,200 people have downloaded the MeWe app from the Apple store.

Here is a short video about MeWe.

According to Business Wire:

Online privacy company, Sgrouples® Inc., announces the launch of the world’s private communication network, MeWe™. MeWe delivers breakthrough performance and cutting-edge features that advance social sharing, cloud storage, and both individual and group communication—within a simple-to-use, powerfully private platform. Built on safety, trust, and respect, MeWe provides an online environment for people to be authentic and uncensored, the way they are in their real lives.

“The power to abuse the open Internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies. MeWe gives the power of the Internet back to the people with a platform built for collaboration and privacy,” says MeWe advisor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

“MeWe represents the next generation in communication technology,” says Weinstein. “We provide a safe and private platform where people can easily connect, freely share their everyday lives, and have fun being themselves.”

Read more.

MeWe is touted as “the decline of Facebook—the rise of the Privacy Revolution.”

Robert Mueller Is Following The Infamous Playbook of Patrick Fitzgerald

We’ve seen this before, just on a smaller scale.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is following the infamous playbook of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who managed to convict an innocent man while the guilty one walked free — and Fitzgerald knew it.

They both went after and indicted people who either did not commit any crimes or were indicted for things unrelated to the purposes for which they were appointed. Both were in hotly political environments with supportive media. Both were open-ended investigations. And, it seems, both were hungry for convictions for the sake of convictions — not truth or justice.

Fitzgerald is the special counsel appointed in 2003 to investigate the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame (who it turns out was a desk jockey in the D.C. area, not an undercover agent who was endangered by the outing as the media liked to imply.) Nonetheless, there was a leak that identified her.

At the time it was thought this was done by the Bush Administration, and specifically Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, in retaliation for Plame’s husband writing an op-ed in the New York Times saying he doubted Saddam Hussein had bought uranium in Africa before the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The purchase, along with other intelligence, was part of the case for invading Iraq. Two weeks later, Plame was outed.

Fitzpatrick was appointed to find out who did it, and soon fixed his eyes on Cheney and his staff, for what appeared to be political reasons. In the end, he wrongly identified the leaker as Scooter Libby, Cheney’s Chief of Staff. Libby’s crime? Not being the leaker, but providing false or misleading information to the special counsel, for which he actually went to prison.

So we can draw a lot of comparisons between Mueller’s current investigation and Fitzgerald’s four-year-long investigation — it can take a long time to get someone to even accidentally contradict themselves. The one comparison that is not there is that Fitzgerald had an actual crime he was investigating in the illegal uncovering of a CIA agent, whereas Mueller’s original appointment was to investigate collusion, which is not a crime. So from the start, there was more legitimacy to the Fitzgerald appointment than to Mueller’s.

However, both prosecutors are following a similar path.

Fitzgerald’s long investigation came up with one indictment, that against Libby. Libby was not charged with leaking, the actual crime Fitzgerald was investigating, but with a “process” crime of misleading the FBI. That is exactly what Mueller charged Gen. Michael Flynn with. Not Russian collusion or really anything related to Russian collusion, but lying to the FBI (or not correctly remembering) about the timing of an event for which there was also no underlying crime. So it was a clever form of entrapment.

The tragedy of the Libby case is that apparently, Libby didn’t even lie or mislead. Much of his convictions were based on the testimony of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who testified that she believed it was Libby who told her about Plame. Her testimony was the key to convicting Libby. However, after Miller read Plame’s autobiography “Fair Game” she realized that she had been misled by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

In April 2015, Miller published an autobiography in which she, “now concluded, after reviewing old notes, that her testimony about her conversations with Libby that led to his conviction may have been false … Had I misconstrued my notes? Had Fitzgerald’s questions about whether my use of the word Bureau meant the FBI steered me in the wrong direction?”

She realized that she was wrong and her testimony “made no sense.” However, her recantation meant nothing to Libby’s conviction during Obama’s presidency and was roundly ignored by the media.

In the same way, Flynn pleaded guilty to making statements inconsistent with tapped and taped conversations he had with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak during the transition. However, Flynn’s conversation was legal. He was not charged with the content being illegal, or even having the conversation with Kislyak. He was charged with giving the FBI the wrong time for the conversation, and part of his reason for the plea was because the investigation was bankrupting him personally. He has had to sell his house to pay his legal bills. But why was the FBI even questioning Flynn when they had the entire transcript of a conversation that they knew contained nothing illegal, and that conversation took place legally? Because they were looking to entrap him in a process crime, just as Libby was entrapped.

Worse yet, we later found out that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that actually outed Plame. Apparently he did accidentally in a long interview about the intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Many news outlets thought they knew it was Armitage, not Libby. Fitzgerald also knew it was Armitage, but was going after Libby for lying under oath, and asked Armitage not to go public with the information. But Armitage, who had testified to the grand jury that indicted Libby, asked Fitzgerald again if he could go public and on Sept. 5, 2006, Fitzgerald relented. Two days later, Armitage admitted publicly to being the source in the CIA leak.

On March 6, 2007, six months later, a jury convicted Libby and to this day many people think that Libby was the one who leaked.

That’s why Trump rightly pardoned Libby, although even pardon seems like the wrong word.

Both investigations were also broad and open-ended, meaning the prosecutors could go after about anyone or anything. We see that with Libby, who had nothing to do with the outing and was charged relating to nothing to do with it.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was so negligent drafting the appointment of Mueller that he failed to limit the investigation in either scope or time. Totally open-ended. It appears that Mueller can investigated Trump until he dies. This resulted in Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump presidential campaign, being indicted for alleged financial crimes that happened years before he was on team Trump. Both the Flynn and Manafort charges have zippo to do with Russian collusion, just as Libby’s had nothing to do with leaking Plame’s identity — and he didn’t even do what he was charged with.

Another comparison is that they were and are both all political. There is no search for truth or justice. There is a search for political targets. Fitzgerald knew it was Armitage who leaked, but he accepted it was just an accident, but after four years, he had to show something. And so Libby.

But look at the comments from Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame on the pardon of Libby:

Wilson told the Huffington Post:

“Libby’s problem was with the Justice Department. He was indicted, tried and convicted on obstruction of justice and perjury charges for basically violating the national security of the United States of America…Now he’s being pardoned for it, which suggests of course that Mr. Trump is willing to allow people to violate the essence of our defense structure, our national security, our intelligence apparatus and essentially get away with it.”

Plame told MSNBC that “you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned.”

There is no way that Wilson and Plame don’t know that Libby neither lied nor was the leaker. They are both misleading, shall we say, to make Trump look bad just as Wilson maneuvered with the New York Times to make Bush look bad.

In the same way, we see Mueller’s investigation going far and wide to get indictments for people that have nothing to do with the original charge he was given. And they all make Trump look bad.

Finally, the man who had oversight of Patrick Fitzgerald was none other than James Comey, a close friend and confidant of Mueller.

None of these comparisons bode well for actually getting to the truth of Russian collusion. Just as Fitzgerald let the actual leaker off the hook, it seems Mueller is not interested in the actual colluder, which resides in the Clinton campaign, DNC and the Russian dossier.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. Please join The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube Channel.

A Modern Day Gideon: Is President Donald J. Trump a ‘mighty warrior’ who is delivering us from evil?

 Washington Times column titled “Evangelicals, under fire, still stand by Trump” wrote:

Evangelicals have been taking quite a hit in the media for standing by President Donald Trump.

But why should they?

Simply put: Putting those of faith in a box and expecting they only support the candidates who meet the moral codes and standards imposed by the media — the morally adrift media — means they’d never vote.

And very likely, that’s exactly where the media like to see those of faith — cowering in corners, afraid to be called hypocritical for daring to stand by a politico who’s been accused of impropriety.

But the campaign’s not working.

To this day, evangelicals are still supporting Trump. [Emphasis added]

The anti-Trump media is trying to drive a wedge between those of faith and President Trump. As we pointed out in our recent column “A Wedge: An Adversary’s Most Powerful Tool“:

Divisions are used to gain power over others. Many create a division when there is none. Division is used to start wars, oppress one group, pit one group against another group. Division is the most powerful tool ever created.

The way one begins to create divisiveness is to use a wedge.

We read about wedge issues every day via the media, in newspapers, on television, in our neighborhood and within families. Wedge issues are used in politics, business, by organizations and even between religions.

Chuck Swindoll in his overview of the Book of Judges notes:

The time of the judges brought about great apostasy in Israel. The nation underwent political and religious turmoil as the people tried to possess those parts of the land that had not yet been fully conquered. The tribes fought among themselves, as well, nearly wiping out the tribes of Manasseh (Judges 12) and Benjamin (20–21).

The pattern of behavior in the book of Judges is clear: the people rebelled through idolatry and disbelief, God brought judgment through foreign oppression, God raised up a deliverer—or judge, and the people repented and turned back to God. When the people fell back into sin, the cycle started over again. [Emphasis added]

The primary message of Judges is that God will not allow sin to go unpunished

President Trump may be the modern day Gideon who delivered the Israelites from evil. In Chapters 6-8 of Judges God sends a messenger, an angel, to Gideon. God’s message is:

11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” [Emphasis added]

On November 8, 2016 Evangelicals and Americans were looking for a mighty warrior. Did God deliver Trump, a flawed man like Gideon, to save America from “the people [who] rebelled through idolatry and disbelief?” Has Washington, D.C. turned it’s back on God? Has America experienced foreign oppression?

Has God raised up a deliverer, a judge, in the most unexpected of men, Donald J. Trump?

How else to you explain his miraculous win? How else do you explain the hateful arrows slung against him?

God gave Gideon a small army of 300 to defeat the enemies of Israel. Are Evangelicals his small army?


The Problem of Identity Politics and Its Solution

The Top 20 Uncontested Absurdities of Today

A Wedge: An Adversary’s Most Powerful Tool

Fake News and Real Consequences

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of President Donald Trump speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road To Majority conference in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Minnesota: Another Somali migrant arrested, this time it’s a plot to bomb the St. Cloud City Hall

However, perhaps more interesting is the lack of mention of the arrested man’s name, a critical omission in the first St. Cloud Times version of the story.

Apparently, only after a local radio station posts his pic and names him, did the politically correct St. Cloud Times bother to report that vital information.

Mayor welcomes Somalis, so why would they want to bomb city hall?

Remember when you read this first account on the 11th, which quotes the great defender of all things Somali, Mayor Kleis, that this office ostensibly targeted for a bomb, is the very office that is silent on anything relating to crimes involving Somalis the office welcomes to St. Cloud with open arms.

The “suspect” (the man) had already been arrested when the St. Cloud Times said this (hat tip: Bob):

Law enforcement has taken a suspect into custody in connection with a bomb threat at St. Cloud City Hall, according to authorities.

mayor Kleis

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis

Mayor Kleis: no threat to the public

Officers responded to city hall at approximately 10 a.m., according to a press release, and conducted a K9 search of the building.

Mayor Dave Kleis said the building was searched after an individual “posted threatening comments and made statements about a bomb in St. Cloud.”


Officers found the suspect on St. Cloud State University’s campus at 110 Atwood Center. The suspect is not enrolled as a student there, according to the release.

Local investigators are working with the FBI, according to Kleis, on the active investigation. The area where the man was found was also searched, according to a press release. No suspicious items were found.

The suspect is being held in the Stearns County Jail in connection with charges of terroristic threats.

However, here we see that KNSI radio reported the arrested ‘man’s’ name and picture.

Listen to the nutty story the man’ is telling investigators.

(KNSI) – A man who says he felt he was being radicalized is accused of making a bomb threat that referenced St. Cloud’s city hall.


Abdalle Ahmed Ege

According to the criminal complaint, Abdalle Ahmed Ege, of St. Cloud, posted on his Facebook page “Im bouta bomb this town” on Wednesday morning.

Police found a duffel bag next to a gas can outside city hall. Investigators say the duffel bag contained Ege’s personal items. Police found no explosives when they searched the building.

According to the complaint, the 25-year-old told police that he was being radicalized and posted the threat on Facebook to get attention from the FBI.

He has been charged with two felony counts of making terroristic threats.

A couple hours later the St. Cloud Times got around to publishing his name and photo, see here.

So we are to believe that Ege wanted to get the FBI’s attention to what?—protect him from being radicalized!  Why not just walk in to a local police station and describe what you think someone is doing to you. This is nuts, or he is nuts (a distinct possibility!).

We don’t know when Ege arrived in the US, but just know that mental illness is not a reason the feds use to screen out prospective refugees to place in your towns and cities.

See my ginormous St. Cloud archive by clicking here.

Updating Just-War Theory

Note: This column was written and uploaded prior to the U.S. attack on Syria late last night [April 13, 2018]. The questions it raises about further developing just war theory, however, remain current – now perhaps even more than earlier. – Robert Royal

Over the centuries, “just war theory” was proposed and developed by a series of great thinkers – Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Suárez, Hugo Grotius, and others.

In the past, what they had in common, aside from the intention of combating the incessant plague of wars, was a standard vision of what wars were like: namely, some nation with a formidable military force threatened another nation(s). The latter would have to deliberate whether their military resources were adequate, or whether non-military means might remove the threat; or whether, as a last resort, military action would protect them or make things worse.

The principles “just-war” theorists emphasized include: the urgency of the threat, whether negotiation might still be feasible, identification of the proper authority to declare and initiate war in various forms of government, whether the consequences of war might be worse than surrender, and also ethical considerations regarding lethal weaponry, treatment of war prisoners, the harm of noncombatants, etc.

A vision of massed armies, sometimes with allies, facing down and conquering other armies on the battlefield, was common to all these theorists – even in World War I and World War II, with the addition of powerful infantry and explosives, air power, submarines, and other products of modern engineering.

But the scenario began to change sharply during and after WWII – nuclear arsenals, guerilla warfare, tremendously lethal chemical and biological agents – in short, the possibility of mayhem in quantities and intensities never previously conceived. If Julius Caesar or Ghengis Khan had had the atomic bomb, they might have hesitated using it to conquer territories they planned to occupy.

Just this week, after discussing abandonment of Syria “very soon,” President Trump threatened to launch missiles against Syria, because of the deadly chemical gas attack on civilians in the rebel-held town of Douma. Russia’s foreign minister claims that a “foreign intelligence agency” staged this attack, and a member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry points to evidence that rebels trying to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad were responsible.

It is indeed strange that Assad, who has been winning the war against rebels, would invite international retaliation at this time. But the United States along with allies Britain and France are all but convinced that Assad ordered the attack, and that that there must be a response both to punish Syria and deter future attacks of a similar nature.

But it’s precisely here that the kinds of “prudential judgments” (which were never very easy even in simpler times) have become quite complicated. An initial question in just-war theory would be: is there any clear threat to our country? There is obviously no direct threat to the U.S. from Syria. But in fact an attack on Syria, allied with Russia, could trigger a new cold war, or worse.

President Trump launched a successful missile attack on Syria in April, 2017, and is apparently confident that this could be repeated without enraging the Russian Bear. But such acts of brinkmanship not only challenge Constitutional war-making powers, but “throw away the script” on justifying wars. And deposing Assad, instead of improving the situation, could pave the way for a takeover by ISIS or Islamist rebels, certainly no improvement over Assad.

And such complexities are not limited to the Middle East. Traditional just war theory seems impotent in dealing with several contemporary realities and is desperately in need of further development if it is to continue to provide guidance to nations and their leaders. For example, here are some situations needing careful analysis:

  • Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), in which two nuclear powers in a war could easily annihilate each other – or even bring about a “doomsday” state of affairs if other nuclear powers entered the combat – still prevails. Is there any contemporary crisis so dire that would justify a nuclear power to make a preemptive nuclear strike on a rival?
  • Thousands of terrorist “cells” sprouting up throughout the world. Could any conventional army, navy or air force be effective against these?
  • Widespread use of “human shields” – missile launchers set up in hospitals, explosive caches stored in schools, terrorists setting up shop in cities surrounded by innocent noncombatants, and refusing to allow any noncombatant to exit from the city. What could justify destroying a hospital occupied by terrorists manning artillery?
  • Possible accidents as “the wrong button is pushed,” and war begins willy-nilly. The recent incident in Hawaii reminds us that similar incidents, which could have sealed the fate of the world, have happened in the past.
  • Insane and/or suicidal leaders of nuclear-armed states, who don’t care about mutual annihilation. MAD is based on the supposition that world leaders are rational actors and not misanthropic and suicidal.
  • Jihadists under the influence of religious beliefs bent on converting the world, by force, if necessary.

In an ideal world, we might seek:

  • Universal nuclear disarmament and absolute prohibition of proliferation – although this is difficult to imagine after what happened to Muammar Gaddafi who obligingly disarmed in 2003.
  • Fail-safe international intelligence systems capable of foiling electronically transmitted plans for attack.
  • Refusal of any further building of mosques unless reciprocity in building of churches prevails in the Middle East. The prevailing lack of reciprocity has facilitated importation of violent religious operatives under the cover of uni-directional “religious freedom.”

But several more practical and less idealistic strategies might be: 

  • “Surgical” bombing of nuclear reactors in “rogue states,” as Israel did to Iraq in 1981 and to Syria in 2007– which would require incredibly accurate intelligence resources.
  • Identification and destruction of all chemical and biological arsenals, as well as dismantling arsenals capable of producing a high-altitude nuclear explosion, causing an “electro-magnetic pulse,” which would disable electrical resources throughout nations.
  • A nuclear “Marshall Plan” offering aid in transforming dangerous nuclear facilities to peaceful nuclear power plants – thus advancing the Biblical prophecy about “swords” being transformed into plowshares (Is. 2:4).
  • Taking a cue from the targeted assassination of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, the assassination of the most demonic leaders, who both enslave their populations and threaten destruction of the United States.

According to the famous Doomsday Clock published by the Atomic Scientists, mankind is now at “two minutes before midnight.” So those of us who dream of world peace feel a certain urgency. If this is not a starkly exaggerated urgency, it may be time to think “outside the box.”

Recent diplomatic developments indicate that an unprecedented meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un may take place in May. The president has insisted that denuclearization is a precondition for such a meeting, and Kim seems to accept that precondition, saying, “The ‘issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved’ if the U.S. and South Korea respond ‘with goodwill’.”

After so many failed diplomatic efforts at removing one of the most serious threats to world peace, can we attach any realistic hope to such a meeting?

Kim is not in the vulnerable position that Gaddafi was in disarming. He has China at his back and South Korea open to reunification. Turning “swords into plowshares” in that area is not completely unimaginable – although certainly “outside the box.”

But actually, the most “impractical” strategy for world peace would probably be the most effective: I am thinking of the battle of Lepanto in 1571 in which a small Christian fleet defeated a Turkish Armada, as well as the nationwide Rosary crusade in Austria in 1955, leading to the withdrawal of Soviet armies. In other words, a worldwide Rosary Crusade. But I know, I know – this is too far “outside the box.”

Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz, Emeritus Professor at Marquette University, is the author of twenty-five books on German philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, and religion, and over a hundred articles in scholarly journals, print magazines, online magazines, and op-eds. He was a recipient of an NEH fellowship for 1977-8, and Fulbright fellowships in Germany for 1980-1 and 1987-8. His website is at Marquette University.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a mourning man in Douma Syria [Photo by Mohammed Hassan/UPI]. © 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.

VIDEO: Does Facebook send Christians to jail?

I had the pleasure of being on PIJN News to discuss how Facebook censors those that do not fit its mold.

During the first two segments I discussed with Dr. Chaps how Facebook uses its algorithms to censor. The last segment is a comparison of two films “Paul – Apostle of Christ” and “Chappaquiddick.”

To learn more about Facebook censorship visit Letters From The Facebook Jail.


VIDEOS: Chappaquiddick – Guns Don’t Kill People. But Ted Kennedy Did.

LAUNCHED: Letters from the Facebook Jaill

Paul, Apostle of Christ: Ancient Rome is a grim reflection of Today’s World

A Wedge: An Adversary’s Most Powerful Tool

VIDEO: The Ultimate Republican Betrayal

Are the Republicans trying to lose the mid terms?

Here’s why that is possible.


Mrs. Janna Little Ryan: A Liberal running the show from the family kitchen table?

The Enemies Within: Ryan, Rubio, McCain and Graham funded by George Soros

House Speaker Paul Ryan — America’s worst nightmare

VIDEO: The World vs American Freedom

Trump Issued a Call for Welfare Reform. Here Are 4 Actions Policymakers Can Take.

President Donald Trump this week signed an executive order calling for reforms in the welfare system to promote work and strengthen marriage.

The president is right to address this pressing issue. Welfare reform is needed.

Today, the welfare system aggressively penalizes marriage among low-income parents and discourages work and self-support. We have spent $28 trillion on welfare programs since the War on Poverty began, yet the ability of the poor to achieve self-sufficiency has actually decreased. Government spends $1.1 trillion annually on the same failed programs while hoping for different results.

Over this same time period, we have seen a decline in marriage that has exacerbated poverty. The proportion of children living in single-parent families has more than tripled since the 1960s. This family context is ripe for continued poverty, as about 80 percent of all long-term child poverty occurs in single-parent homes.

Marriage is one of the two most powerful factors in sustaining adult happiness, and it is the single most important factor in promoting upward social mobility among children. The collapse of marriage in low-income communities, abetted by the welfare system, has directly undermined the well-being of the poor.

In his executive order, the president directed his agencies to report back in 90 days with recommended actions that would implement his pro-work, pro-marriage goals. Here are four specific actions the Trump administration and Congress can take to achieve the president’s objectives and ensure the welfare system helps the people it serves rather than hurting them.

The administration can take these first two steps without legislative action.

1. Provide contract funding based on successful outcomes.

Agencies should insist that federal grants pay for outcomes, not services. Surprisingly, payment based on outcomes achieved by certain programs is almost completely nonexistent in the present welfare system.

Ten percent of spending in welfare goes to programs intended to increase human capabilities. These include drug rehabilitation, child development, educational, and job training programs. Studies show that these programs rarely produce positive outcomes for recipients.

Agencies should fund contracts based on whether a contractor provides successful outcomes. This would make programs more effective and weed out the contractors who produce subpar results.

2. Accurately account for welfare spending.

Additionally, the administration should provide accurate information about poverty and inequality by correctly counting, for the first time, the massive government funding provided to low-income populations.

The government spends $1.1 trillion a year on assistance for poor and low-income people through cash, food, housing, medical care, and other social services. Yet 97 percent of that is not counted by the Census Bureau as income for purposes of measuring either poverty or economic inequality.

It is impossible to accurately evaluate our welfare system without good information about spending and benefits.

To close this information gap, the president’s annual budget should include an aggregate welfare spending figure across all 89 means-tested programs that provide services across 14 government departments and agencies.

Faulty measurements of household income misleadingly give the impression that we spend very little fighting poverty. Despite trillions of dollars of spending, only 3.3 percent of all welfare spending is counted as income in the Census poverty surveys.

The federal government spends more than enough to eliminate all poverty in the United States. Current inaccurate measurements show much higher levels of poverty than actually exist.

3. Strengthen work requirements.

The president rightly recognizes that the goal of any welfare program should be to help move work-capable recipients toward greater self-support. Work requirements are a tested policy that offer a path toward self-sufficiency while still providing care for the truly needy.

Ninety-four percent of Americans believe that able-bodied adults who receive cash, food, housing, or medical care from the government should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving that aid. In the past, work requirements have been successful in reducing welfare rolls and increasing work and self-support.

Policymakers should strengthen work requirements by eliminating waivers that exempt certain counties and states from enforcing the current work requirement on able-bodied adults without dependents.

Sixty-seven percent of able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are in a waived area and do not have to fulfill any sort of work requirement. Eliminating these waivers will encourage 2.9 million unemployed, work-capable, childless adults who are on food stamps today to re-enter the economy by working, volunteering, or participating in training programs.

4. Stop penalizing marriage.

Marriage is extremely important in combatting poverty and promoting human well-being. When the War on Poverty began, only 7 percent of children were born outside of marriage. Today, the number is over 40 percent.

Children born into homes without married parents are five times more likely to be in poverty—and adults who grew up in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty than those who grew up in intact married homes.

When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems, to smoke, drink, and use drugs, to be aggressive, and engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior. They are also more likely to have poor school performance, be expelled, and drop out of high school.

Children raised in single-parent homes are almost five times more likely to experience physical abuse and seven times more likely to suffer childhood sexual abuse when compared to those raised by married biological parents. Children raised without a father in the home are three times more likely to engage in crime and end up in jail.

While marriage is one of the best antidotes to poverty, the current welfare system, ironically, penalizes it. A mother and father with two kids making $20,000 each will lose $6,302 a year in benefits if they marry, which amounts to 15 percent of their total combined earnings.

The president should call on Congress to address these problems immediately, starting by reforming the earned income tax credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to ensure that working adults can marry without a hefty financial penalty.

Long-Needed Reform

The president has issued a bold call to action on a critical problem: Despite its generosity, the welfare system is failing both taxpayers and the poor.

Encouraging self-sufficiency and well-being through work and marriage is the most effective and most compassionate way to approach those in need. A few simple, time-tested reforms would be a great start at improving the system.

Note: This piece has been updated to correct a typo in the amount of money spent on welfare since the War on Poverty began. The number is $28 trillion, not $28 billion.


Portrait of Mimi Teixeira

Mimi Teixeira is a graduate fellow in welfare policy at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

Portrait of Robert Rector

Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty, welfare programs and immigration in America for three decades, is The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in domestic policy.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of President Donald Trump speaking after signing an executive order calling for agencies to recommend policies that would advance pro-work, pro-marriage goals. (Photo: Alex Edelman/UPI/Newscom)