HHS Announces New Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pleased to announce the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  The announcement took place at an event at HHS headquarters from 10:30 a.m. to noon on January 18, 2018, see below video.

Speakers included Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representative Vicky Hartzler, Senator James Lankford, OCR Director Roger Severino, and special guests.

The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.  OCR is the law enforcement agency within HHS that enforces federal laws protecting civil rights and conscience in health and human services, and the security and privacy of people’s health information.  The creation of the new division will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights.

OCR already has enforcement authority over federal conscience protection statutes, such as the Church, Coats-Snowe, and Weldon Amendments; Section 1553 of the Affordable Care Act (on assisted suicide); and certain federal nondiscrimination laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion in a variety of HHS programs.

OCR Director Severino said,

“Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced. No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice. For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now.”

Acting HHS Secretary Hargan said,

“President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom.  That promise is being kept today. The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”

To learn more about the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, visit us at www.hhs.gov/conscience.

To file a complaint with OCR based on a violation of civil rights, conscience or religious freedom, or health information privacy, visit us at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints.

Burdened by Debt: The Best and Worst States at Managing Debt

How does your state rank in terms of debt management? A new study by Credible exposes where people are best (and worst) at managing their credit card bills, student loan debt, and housing costs.

Read on to see how your financial profile compares to the average person in your state—and across state borders.

Key highlights

  • Michigan, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri have the highest scores in the U.S., with low debt-to-income ratios: on average, Michigan residents in this dataset spent just 25.3% of their monthly income on credit card, student loan, and housing payments—the lowest percentage in the U.S.
  • Hawaii, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana came in towards the bottom of the list with the highest average debt-to-income ratios: Residents of Hawaii spend, on average, 36.2% of their monthly paychecks on credit card, student loan, and housing payments—the highest percentage in the nation, and over 43% more than residents of Michigan
  • Monthly credit card payments were highest in Minnesota ($241/month), Hawaii ($238), Nevada ($234), New Jersey ($231), and Connecticut ($231)
  • Conversely, those in Mississippi ($154), Louisiana ($157), Washington, D.C. ($160), Arkansas ($174), and South Carolina ($181) spend the least on paying off credit card debt
  • The data showed average student loan payments to be highest in D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, and New Jersey, and lowest in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming, and North Dakota

Map: debt and income by state

Toggle through the menu below to see the overall score, average monthly credit card, student loan, and mortgage payments, and average annual income for each state.

Financial health is relative

On average, Americans included in this dataset paid $207 on their credit card debt, $370 on their student loans, and $906 on their housing each month, while taking home an average salary of $60,671.

But what’s the special sauce that makes some states’ residents so much better at debt management than others?

Well, it depends.

In Michigan, for example, cost of living plays a large role. Low average monthly housing payments relative to average income (combined with lower than average credit card and student loan payments) push the state up the rankings.

At the other end of the spectrum, some states rank lower because of particularly high payments made in one category or another.

Residents of Hawaii, for example, pay the second highest amount on monthly credit card bills and fourth highest amount on housing costs and their average income isn’t high enough to offset those costs.

$207

Average monthly credit card payment of all Americans included in this dataset

$370

Average monthly student loan payment of all Americans included in this dataset

$906

Average monthly housing payment of all Americans included in this dataset

One in five borrowers is a homeowner

Mortgage debt can increase a resident’s debt-to-income ratio. The vast majority of the 540,000 borrowers included in this analysis are not homeowners but nearly 19% have one or more mortgages.

Of that group, the average housing payment increases to $1,705, nearly double the average housing payment for all borrowers, a group that includes renters, homeowners, and people living with parents.

You are not your state

While this new ranking sheds light on how residents of various states perform in terms of debt management, keep in mind that these are average numbers — and that your debt is a personal matter.

No matter how your state ranks, find a debt payoff plan that fits your budget and lifestyle, as well as minimizes what you’ll owe in interest as you pay off each loan.

For example, balance transfer credit cards can be useful to begin paying off your credit card debt. These cards will often offer you six to 18 months of 0% APR for balance transfers, giving you some time to get your finances in order without accruing a ton of interest. If paying off credit card debt is one of your goals, Credible can help you find the best balance transfer credit cards of 2018.

Methodology

We used proprietary data from over 540,000 borrowers with student loan debt from all 50 U.S. states and D.C. to calculate average monthly credit card, student loan, and housing payments as a percentage of average monthly income. Therefore, the debt-to-income ratio we used to rank all states included credit card debt, student loan debt, and housing costs (such as rent or mortgage payments).

That percentage was then assigned a normalized score from 0-100 for each state, 0 being where debt payments are the highest percentage of monthly income, and 100 being where monthly payments are the lowest percentage of monthly income.

Full rankings and data

Overlooked in the Immigration Debate: Gender-based Violence

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security released a report this week showing that 3 out of 4 individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016, are foreign-born individuals who entered the United States through our immigration system.

Recent reports from DOJ and DHS also draw attention to an issue often lost in the immigration debate: gender-based violence.

  • A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that criminal aliens were convicted of 69,929 sex offenses between fiscal years 2003 and 2009.
  • A 2014 study estimated that approximately 1,500 forced marriages occur in the U.S. every year.
  • That same 2014 study showed there to be an average of 23 to 27 honor killings in America each year—with 90 percent of victims murdered for being “too westernized.”

Numbers like these show that regardless of political affiliation, all Americans should want an immigration system that supports and defends our values.

Read more about how our current immigration system jeopardizes American security.

For Planned Parenthood, Abortion Is a Black and White Issue

Plenty of movements have tried to hitch their wagon to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For years, people across the political spectrum have claimed him as one of their own — in part because it’s convenient and in part because he isn’t here to dispute it. But no cause is more antithetical to King’s than Planned Parenthood’s. And yesterday, when the group founded by an open racist tried to suggest otherwise, we weren’t the only ones who noticed.People across the social media spectrum lashed out at Cecile Richards’s group for daring to suggest that they were carrying on King’s vision.

The idea that Dr. King would have stood by — let alone embraced — Margaret Sanger’s legacy is outrageous. Yet still, @PPact had the audacity to tweet:

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to the idea that racial and economic justice are foundational to our democracy. Today we honor his courageous vision and radical action — and commit to furthering his dream by continuing the fight for justice.”

If you know anything about Planned Parenthood, you know that it was built on the back of Sanger’s eugenics.

Years later, her legacy lives on in the group’s business model, which intentionally preys on minority women. How do we know that? Simple: the majority of Planned Parenthood’s facilities have been built in urban areas within walking distance of African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. And that’s no coincidence. Richards knows better than anyone that black babies are aborted at a rate five times higher than white babies. So while she likes to say “black lives matter,” she’s not telling the whole story. They matter because it’s a part of her business model.

Despite making up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, the CDC’s 2016 report points out, black babies made up a whopping 35 percent of the total abortions reported in 2013. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, the group that profits most from that statistic, continues its scam as a defender of African Americans.

“Please tell us more about how you’re honoring his courageous vision,” one of many pro-lifers fired back. “Are you going to plant yet abortion clinic in a black neighborhood or something?” Alexandra DeSanctis piled on. “Your group was founded by a eugenics enthusiast who peddled birth control in black and impoverished neighborhoods “Today, more black babies are aborted than born alive in NYC, your headquarters. You have no business coopting MLK to push your propaganda.” Alexandra is right. With just a 40 percent survival rate, the womb is one of the most dangerous places for New York City’s African-Americans. Yet Planned Parenthood will cover up that statistic with the same proficiency that it’s covered up years of abuse, organ trafficking, partial-birth abortions, fraud, and countless other crimes against humanity.

The only connection Richards’s group has to MLK is its butchering of the basic civil rights for which Dr. King died.

“It’s not so much about labels — liberal, conservative and all of that,” his niece Alveda has said. “But he was someone who lived and gave his life to help all humanity. And so that definitely would include conception until natural death.” As she told reporters last December, “Martin Luther King Jr. never accepted the agenda of Planned Parenthood. They lie… They put their abortion mills on or near streets that are named after Martin Luther King, and they want to attach that to the civil rights movement of the 20th century — but it doesn’t belong.”


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


RELATED ARTICLES:

Founders’ Keepers: U.S. Celebrates 232 Years of Freedom

NASA Nomination Isn’t Rocket Science

Pro-Life Nation: New Poll Shows Heavy Majorities in Favor of Substantial Abortion Restrictions.

PODCAST: Why the March for Life Matters

Susan B. Anthony List’s Mallory Quigley joins us to discuss pro-life priorities in 2018, and why the March for Life, happening this Friday and featuring a live video from President Donald Trump, matters. Plus: a fashion designer’s flirtation with skirts for men, and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., compares Trump to Josef Stalin.

Portrait of Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. Send an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

Portrait of Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is the commentary editor of The Daily Signal. Twitter: @JDaniel_Davis.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers

Tobias Peter, senior research analyst at the AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance, wrote the following blog post: Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers.

In it he explains how “another government housing policy intended to open “the door to home purchase mortgages for large numbers of new buyers” has failed.  Instead of bringing income-constrained borrowers into the market, it making housing less affordable by adding more fuel to a national house price boom that is pricing them out of the market, while providing a windfall to home sellers and real estate agents.”


Connecting the Dots: How the Latest Affordable Housing Policy Benefits Homeowners and Realtors, not First-time Buyers

Tobias Peter (Tobias.Peter@AEI.org), Senior Research Analyst

AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance

January 16, 2018

The numbers are in and yet another government housing policy intended to open “the door to home purchase mortgages for large numbers of new buyers” has failed.  Instead of bringing income-constrained borrowers into the market, it is making housing less affordable by adding more fuel to a national house price boom that is pricing them out of the market, while providing a windfall to home sellers and real estate agents.

Let’s connect the dots.  As of the weekend of July 29, 2017, Fannie Mae, one of the two government sponsored housing enterprises (GSE), started buying and securitizing many more mortgages with a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of up to 50 percent.  The DTI measures the ratio of monthly payments to income.  The higher the ratio, the greater a borrower’s monthly debt payments and the greater a borrower’s likelihood to default.

Prior to the policy change, the large majority of Fannie borrowers were limited to a DTI of 45 percent, with only a few borrowers allowed to go as high as 50 percent with compensating factors such as a certain number of months of cash reserves or a higher down payment.  Fannie’s move thereby allowed borrowers to take on more debt relative to their income.  Freddie Mac, the other GSE, had been buying more mortgages with DTIs over 45 percent than Fannie, but it too ramped up its purchases after Fannie’s announcement as data from the AEI National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) show.

Sensing an opening for income-constrained borrowers to now enter the housing market, housing advocates hailed Fannie’s move as a “win for expanding access to credit.”  Yet this line of reasoning was always flawed.  Access for income-constrained borrowers already existed.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), another government housing entity, already guarantees loans with a DTI up to 57 percent and with less stringent credit score and down payment requirements than Fannie or Freddie ever would.  By offering this service at a lower cost to certain borrowers, Fannie’s (and Freddie’s) move thereby pitted one government guaranteed insurer of mortgages against another.

The effect of the change has been stunning since it took effect.  First, the share of Fannie borrowers with a DTI above 45 jumped 11 percentage points to 17 percent within just three months after the program’s implementation.  Yet precious few of these borrowers were new market entrants while the large majority were Fannie borrowers taking on more debt.

This is problematic.  In today’s seller’s market, prices have been rising rapidly.  The measures from a variety of sources all show prices rising 6 to 7 percent over the past year, and as much as 10 percent for entry-level homes.  DTIs function as a friction slowing the increase of house prices through binding limits.  Remove the friction and house price increases will pick up.  This happens the following way: First, income-constrained borrowers take advantage of the higher limits, as they initially no longer have to settle for lower priced homes.  Then, because supply is limited, the extra debt ends up raising prices – either directly through more aggressive bidding for houses or indirectly through appraisals when inflated home sales become comparables for other sales as our research shows.  Soon, the cycle feeds on itself and everyone, not just income-constrained borrowers, has to take on more debt.  This is exactly what happened as the NMRI data also show (see chart).

What is driving up prices so rapidly today is the combination of a seller’s market, which is now in its 63rd month, and more liberal access to credit through, for example higher DTI limits, or generally looser lending standards as documented by the NMRI.  Since 2012, national house prices have risen by around 50 percent as shown by the Case-Shiller index, but in the bottom tier of the market, where supply is more constrained and credit more liberal, prices have doubled.

And so, what started as a policy change by Fannie Mae to close the growing affordability gap has added yet more fuel to the house price boom, especially at the lower end of the market.  Thereby this policy will benefit existing homeowners, realtors, and builders, but it will hurt first-time buyers and those with limited resources as they will have to stretch further to afford homeownership or be forced to remain on the sidelines.

Why We Are a Republic, Not a Democracy

The Founding Fathers designed a system that places heavy checks on the power of the majority. 

Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, “What Happened.”

Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the most dangerous institutions in American politics.

Why? They say the Electoral College system, as opposed to a simple majority vote, distorts the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes are not distributed according to population.

To back up their claim, they point out that the Electoral College gives, for example, Wyoming citizens disproportionate weight in a presidential election.

Put another way, Wyoming, a state with a population of about 600,000, has one member in the House of Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate, which gives the citizens of Wyoming three electoral votes, or one electoral vote per 200,000 people.

California, our most populous state, has more than 39 million people and 55 electoral votes, or approximately one vote per 715,000 people.

Comparatively, individuals in Wyoming have nearly four times the power in the Electoral College as Californians.

Many people whine that using the Electoral College instead of the popular vote and majority rule is undemocratic. I’d say that they are absolutely right. Not deciding who will be the president by majority rule is not democracy.

But the Founding Fathers went to great lengths to ensure that we were a republic and not a democracy. In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or any other of our founding documents.

How about a few quotations expressed by the Founders about democracy?

In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wanted to prevent rule by majority faction, saying,

“Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

John Adams warned in a letter,

“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”

Edmund Randolph said,

“That in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.”

Then-Chief Justice John Marshall observed,

“Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

The Founders expressed contempt for the tyranny of majority rule, and throughout our Constitution, they placed impediments to that tyranny. Two houses of Congress pose one obstacle to majority rule. That is, 51 senators can block the wishes of 435 representatives and 49 senators.

The president can veto the wishes of 535 members of Congress. It takes two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override a presidential veto.

To change the Constitution requires not a majority but a two-thirds vote of both houses, and if an amendment is approved, it requires ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Finally, the Electoral College is yet another measure that thwarts majority rule.

It makes sure that the highly populated states—today, mainly 12 on the east and west coasts, cannot run roughshod over the rest of the nation. That forces a presidential candidate to take into consideration the wishes of the other 38 states.

Those Americans obsessed with rule by popular majorities might want to get rid of the Senate, where states, regardless of population, have two senators.

Should we change representation in the House of Representatives to a system of proportional representation and eliminate the guarantee that each state gets at least one representative?

Currently, seven states with populations of 1 million or fewer have one representative, thus giving them disproportionate influence in Congress.

While we’re at it, should we make all congressional acts by majority rule? When we’re finished with establishing majority rule in Congress, should we then move to change our court system, which requires unanimity in jury decisions, to a simple majority rule?

My question is: Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Why We Use Electoral College, Not Popular Vote

Liberals Claim Electoral College Is Biased. Here Are the Facts

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

VIDEO: Twitter Security Engineer, ‘It is a creepy big brother.’

Before you watch Part III of our investigation into Twitter, I have to warn you that the discussions held by these Twitter employees IS NOT family friendly.

If you’re at the office, turn down your speakers or put on your headphones.

If the children are in the room, ask them to cover their ears.

With that warning out of the way, here’s what you should be really worried about . . .

If you have held a private conversation on Twitter, and possibly any other social platform, your conversation was NOT private.

Even if you deleted sensitive discussions you held privately online, not only are they still there, the information you discussed — attached to your personal profile — is being traded like a commodity.

Have you discussed personal family matters with others over private messages?
Have you talked about your health or the diagnosis of a loved one?
Have your vented relationship challenges to a close friend?
Have you expressed intimate sentiments to your spouse or partner?

If you’ve done any of those things, and again, even if those messages have been deleted, they are now attached to your personal “virtual profile” and bought and sold thousands of times over.

As one Twitter employee called it, “it’s creepy big brother.”

WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE BY TWITTER EMPLOYEES:

witter has over 300 million users across the world and in essence has turned itself into a giant database of virtual personalities with preferences, likes and dislikes all attached to each and every one of us . . . . even if you don’t use Twitter!

Clay Haynes, Twitter’s Senior Network Security Engineer, admits that “You leak way more information than you think… Like, if you go to Twitter for the first time, we have information about you.”

I’d guess that 99.8% of people never read Twitters terms and conditions, and those that do have a 99.9% chance of not understanding the depth and implications of them.

That’s why, as an avid Twitter user myself, I was shocked to hear what is really going on behind the closed doors of this tech giant.

Watch this video and tell others to do so, and we will wait and see how Twitter responds to this one.

Our video is already being featured at the top of the Drudge Report site, which has had over 890 million site visitors over the past 30 days alone.

Drudge Report

Thanks again for everything and as always . . . stay tuned.

In truth,

James O’Keefe
Project Veritas

VIDEO: What Did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Think About Israel?

Today, our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his courageous advocacy of nonviolent activism on behalf of the civil rights of African AmericansMost of us have read or seen a video clip of his powerful August 28, 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech. Many of us have read his eloquent and compelling April 16, 1963 “Letter from A Birmingham Jail,” which defended his nonviolent resistance to racism.

But few know what Dr. King thought about Israel.

In a 1967 interview, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated:

“…the whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.”

See video here.


Dr. Martin Luther King on Israel – 1967 from Thomas More Law Center on Vimeo.

During a panel discussion at the March 25th, 1968 Rabbinical Assembly, Dr King stated:

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law in 1983.

In accordance with that law, this past Friday, during the signing of the Proclamation declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Trump commented:

“Dr. King’s faith and his love for humanity led him and so many other heroes to courageously stand up for civil rights of African Americans. Through his bravery and sacrifice, Dr. King opened the eyes and lifted the conscience of our nation. He stirred the hearts of our people to recognize the dignity written in every human soul.

Today, we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God.”

Read the full text of President Trump’s official Proclamation Honoring Dr. King here.

Read Dr. King’s April 16, 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail here.

Watch Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech here.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- I Have A Dream Speech from Virgilyo de Souza on Vimeo.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece: ‘My Uncle Would Have Been Very Pro-Life’

Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece says her uncle’s legacy as a civil rights leader has a strong impact on the pro-life movement today.

“As the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I emphasize the ‘reverend’ because history has not always recorded his spiritual aspects … I have been mostly impacted by his messages of unity, of racial reconciliation, of course nonviolence, and the strongest has always been and will always be for me the agape love message,” Alveda King told The Daily Signal in an interview Friday. “One of the things that we would say [is], ‘We must learn to live together as brothers,’ and I’ll add, as sisters, ‘or perish together as fools.’”

Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life, said her uncle’s words show his commitment to respect for life.

“He said the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety,” King said. “Abortion, of course, forces us to do exactly that.”

King, who formerly served in the Georgia state House of Representatives and was a college professor, said she had two abortions herself.

“I actually had a miscarriage that was related to those abortions during my younger life, and so of course through the years I have become a born-again Christian, repented, and been healed and delivered, but I always think about those words from my uncle,” King said.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, received an award from Planned Parenthood in 1996 on behalf of her husband, but Alveda King says she knows her uncle would not have believed in the mission of Planned Parenthood:

His wife accepted that in his stead, because she was like me, she had accepted that agenda without understanding, I believe, but my uncle would have been very pro-life today.

The 31st annual March for Life in Washington will take place Jan. 19, and King said her uncle’s crusade for civil rights applies to the pro-life movement today.

“I really believe that if my uncle were here today, he would encourage us to find solutions to the problems, even women’s problems, and all problems, without having to do violence to babies in the womb. I am just convinced that he would agree with that,” she said.

Portrait of Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

The Humanitarian Hoax of Common Core: Killing America With Kindness

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Obama, the humanitarian huckster-in-chief, weakened the United States for eight years presenting his crippling Common Core advocacy as altruistic when in fact it was designed for destruction. His legacy, the Leftist Democrat Party with its “Resistance” movement, is the party of the Humanitarian Hoax attempting to destroy the capitalist infrastructure of American democracy and replace it with socialism.

Common Core is a deliberate information war targeting American children. It is a deceitful campaign to undermine established American Judeo-Christian cultural norms celebrating patriotism, the meritocracy, and American sovereignty. The Leftist/Islamist axis is promoting collectivism in preparation for one-world government. This is how it works.

Serious educational reform enacted by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 was designed to provide high standards and measurable goals to improve individual outcomes in education. Federal funding was correlated to test performance. Rather than improving education the net effect of NCLB was education reformatted to teach to the tests. Education critic Alfie Kohn argued that the “NCLB law is ‘unredeemable’ and should be scrapped – its main effect has been to sentence poor children to an endless regimen of test-preparation drills.” There were loud calls for reform.

Enter Common Core State Standards (CCSS) launched under Obama in 2009 deceptively marketed by a propaganda campaign emphasizing the positive benefits of national standards and uniformity in curriculum guidelines with measurable effectiveness for American public education K-12. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are mistakenly understood to be a derivative of the No Child Left Behind Act – they aren’t.

Obama’s 2009 Race To The Top program was introduced as a competitive grant program that awarded points to states for satisfying performance-based evaluations of teachers and principals based on measures of educator effectiveness. Sound familiar? It should because measurable effectiveness = student test scores. Even though Race to the Top did not mandate adoption of Common Core, to receive federal stimulus money states had to “commit” to adopting Common Core standards. Forty-two states now operate public and private education under the Common Core program.

So, what makes Common Core a humanitarian hoax? Let’s review.

Common Core Standards Mission Statement:

“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. . . These Standards do not dictate curriculum or teach methods.”

Sounds great. The problem is the deceptive language referring to the “real world” the “global economy” and the misleading statement that the Standards do not dictate curriculum or teaching methods. This is how it works.

Common Core State Standards are not a derivative of America’s No Child Left Behind. Common Core State Standards are a derivative of the United Nation’s Global Education First initiative (GEFI). The 3 Priorities of GEFI are:

Priority 1:  Put Every Child in School
Priority 2:  Improve the Quality of Learning
Priority 3:  Foster Global Citizenship

It is Priority #3 that is most problematic and the basis for the humanitarian hoax of Common Core.

Obama’s Common Core is not teaching American children about the world and how to be effective and competitive in a global marketplace. Obama’s deceitful Common Core initiative is propagandizing American children toward collectivism, globalism, and one-world government with its anti-American, anti-Judeo-Christian, pro-Islamic bias. American public/private education no longer advocates American patriotism, the meritocracy, American exceptionalism, or American sovereignty. America is no longer in control of American education. This is how it happened.

Obama’s infamous Cairo speech launched an eight-year initiative  Connect All Schools that was fraudulently presented as a program to help different people who believe different things be able to communicate and understand one another.

Bethany Blankley’s stunning 4/2015 article exposes Obama’s Common Core as “originating from the One World Education concept, a global goal orchestrated by the Connect All Schools program to globalize instruction. Its origin is funded by the Qatar Foundation International (QFI). The director of QFI’s Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics is Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan al-Banna.”

World Net Daily WND reported that in 2011 Qatar Foundation International “partnered with the Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate matchmaking between classrooms in the U.S. and international schools through. . . the ‘Connect All Schools’ project.” QFI proudly states on its website that the initiative was founded in response to Mr. Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech with the Muslim Brotherhood prominently seated in the front row.

The conspiracy of the Leftist/Islamist axis to re-educate American children away from America-first patriotism toward global governance and Islam is well underway and well funded.

Qatari Foundation International unapologetically states its mission of advancing global citizenship through educational curricula on its Q&A page:

Why is your global presence limited to a select few countries? 

While QFI’s mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education, our current focus is K-12 public and charter schools in the United States, Canada, and Brazil. To find out if a school near you is a QFI partner, see our map to find other resources that may help your child learn Arabic, visit Al Masdar.

Most parents have no idea what their children are learning in school unless their child asks for help with homework or relates an experience at school. Parents in any of the 42 states that have adopted Common Core State Standards need to start reading their children’s textbooks immediately. It is up to parents to decide if they support American sovereignty and fair trade in the global marketplace or if they support global citizenship and a globalized curriculum promoting one-world government. It is a matter of informed consent.

This brings us to the United Nations Agenda 21 initiated in 1992 and described in a lengthy report titled United Nations Sustainable Development. The entire document can be summarized in one sentence:

The United Nations Agenda 21 is a plan for a New World Order that internationalizes the entire world into a global society under its own UN global governance for our own good of course. Its lofty Preamble reads like the lyrics of John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” In the old days power grabbers for world domination were not so soft spoken. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini did not sing lullabies of peace – but this is the 21st century and requires a different approach. We have “Imagine” and the updated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Culture War is an insidious information war being waged on America through the political correctness, moral relativism, and historical revisionism embodied in the informational materials supplied by the pro-globalism enemies of national sovereignty at the UN. Stealth jihad is quietly being fought in classrooms with the educational propaganda of the World Core Curriculum – not with bullets or airplanes.

In 1989 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded its prize for peace education to the father of global education and creator of the World Core Curriculum (WCC) Robert Muller. He accepted his award saying, “I dream that UNESCO will study and recommend by the year 2000 a world core curriculum for adoption by all nations.”

Why is a world core curriculum desirable? Most people understand the mission of the United Nations to be promotion of mutual respect and understanding between sovereign nations with differing cultures. Were we mistaken or mislead? Was the goal of the UN always universal citizenship? Muller says, “In the final analysis… the main function of education is to make children happy, fulfilled, and universal human beings.” Universal human beings?? Really?

In November, 2010 Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed UNESCO praising universal education without ever mentioning educational content. Educating the world’s children is a laudable goal. Putting every child in school and improving the quality of learning is an altruistic undertaking. The problem is that most people naively assume universal education advances literacy and do not realize it is a propaganda tool designed to advance global governance. It is a humanitarian hoax.

In a world of technology where hard copy books are increasingly being replaced with software and lessons taught on computers it is incredibly simple to alter, censor, and manipulate original texts. Having the world’s children literate and able to read about the world to better understand other cultures and live together in peace is not the same thing as having the children of the world literate to be propagandized by manipulated curriculum content.

There are 193 member states in the United Nations and only 86 are full-fledged democracies. The G77 has 134 members (69% of member states) and functions to advance the economic well-being of the Third World. It should surprise no one that UN educational objectives are in conflict with traditional American educational objectives.

Curriculum content for American educational materials must be developed by Americans for Americans with an unapologetic America-first foundation. Parents endorsing the Common Core State Standards are unwittingly endorsing the pro-Muslim anti-American globalized educational products designed by British publishing giant Pearson Education. Pearson Education supplies educational materials to Connect All Schools.

When the UK froze Muammar Gaddafi’s assets in 2011 The Sovereign Fund of Libya had a 3.27% stake in Pearson. Libya was the second largest shareholder in Pearson Education. CAIR, designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates, was also an investor. The anti-American, anti-Semitic, pro-Muslim Pearson educational products must not be allowed to propagandize American students.

Words matter. It is essential that Americans understand what one-world government global citizenship means in the Arab world. To Qatar and the Islamic world it means the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate that rules the world under religious Islamic sharia law. It is equally important for Americans to understand what one-world government means to the secular globalist elite.

Secular one-world government was described in chilling detail 65 years ago by English aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell in his alarming book, The Impact of Science on Society. Neither the secular nor the religious version of one-world government is the fulfillment of John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine.” Both are regressive returns to feudal infrastructures consisting of the few ruling masters, the mass of ruled slaves, and an army of soldiers to enforce the pyramid. Both see the United Nations as the instrument for imposition and management of their own version of global governance.

If American parents do not become actively involved in discovering what their children are learning in school they will be unable to oppose the radical education initiative currently transforming the children of the world into “green” or “global citizens” prepared for the New World Order. The humanitarian hoax of Common Core will successfully propagandize American children to reject American citizenship and become citizens of a world dictated and governed by the United Nations. Ignorance is not bliss and willful blindness is not a position of strength – it is submission.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Goudsmit Pundicity.

VIDEO: ‘Warriors Rock in Concert’ Coming to Venice, Florida — February 18, 2018

Florida is home to twenty-one military bases, perhaps the most well know being MacDill Air Force Base, home of U.S. Central Command, in Tampa. Given the fact that there are 1,533,306 veterans in the Sunshine State, it is fitting that a concert honoring our active duty military, veterans, wounded warriors and their families be held in Venice, Florida. The concert is appropriately named “Warriors Rock in Concert” with Gary Racan and the Studio-E Band.

Patriotism and respect for our veterans from all military branches has become a hot topic. If you truly want to pay tribute to our active duty military, veterans and their families then attending this concert is a must.

The concert will be held on February 18th, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in the Venice Performing Arts Center located at 1 Indian Avenue in Venice, Florida. To reserve your seats please go to:

VenicePerformingArtsCenter.com/Events/Warriors-Rock

This is a must-see concert that will make you smile, shed a tear and renew your patriotism- all while tapping your foot to the fabulous sounds of Gary Racan and the Studio-E Band! Gary (formerly led a national act) and his 13 piece band will be performing songs from all the decades – after Veterans from Florida reveal “the song that reminded them of home when they were deployed “and the band kicks into that song!  The finale will lift you out of your seats!

Hope YOU will become a WARRIORS ROCK groupie!

ABOUT THE WARRIORS ROCK IN CONCERT

The mission of the Warriors Rock in Concert is:

More than 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured while serving our country and many, many more have suffered psychological effects and bear the burden of those effects on our behalf.

Warriors Rock In Concert with Gary Racan and the studio e band’s mission is to honor and empower these warriors and make this the most successful well-adjusted generations of Veterans in our Nation’s history.

Who died?

I started watching Miss America and Miss Universe competitions when I was a little girl, mostly because I loved the gowns. To this day, I still tune in, especially toward the end, when all the gowns are on display. A couple of years ago, I saw my all-time favorite! As the expression goes: TDF––to die for!

I also love the Country Music Awards shows because it’s the only time I hear genuinely thrilling voices without the caterwauling and preposterous over-production that camouflages the dearth of talent in the pop-music industry.

But with rare exceptions, I never tune in to the orgies of self-congratulation, self-importance, and self-indulgence known as the Golden Globes, the Emmy’s, and the Academy Awards, not only because the presenters and winners are so insufferably narcissistic and vapid but because movies and TV shows have devolved to such a point––with notable exceptions, of course––that this past summer, according to The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood suffered its worst-attended summer movie season in 25 years!

Apparently, this is because the moguls who now run Hollywood and TV and the print media are so out of touch with mainstream America––unlike their bête noire, President Trump, who has his finger on the very pulse of America’s wants, needs, and desires––and so obsessed with leftwing politics, and so hysterical that all their efforts to undermine and sabotage and defeat and impeach him have utterly failed, that they’ve done what millions of losers have done in the past, i.e., doubled down on their efforts.

Who are these desperate people? They are not just the moguls, but all the lefties, including the pussy hat women who have now given up that symbol because it’s too pink and not sensitive enough to perhaps darker colors of the female sex organ and not transgender enough to be “fair” to all women. Can’t make this up!

CHOOSING COLORS

Flag of Poland

When our Founding Fathers chose the colors of the American flag over 240 years ago, they chose white to signify purity and innocence, red to signify hardiness and valor and the blood they spilled in the cause of freedom, and blue to signify vigilance, perseverance and justice.

On Israel’s flag, the blue lines symbolize the stripes on a traditional Jewish prayer shawl and the Star of David is the widely acknowledged symbol of the Jewish people and of Judaism.

When Lech Walesa, who led the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s, flew the red and white flag of his country, red stood for blazing a trail and white for the movement’s pure motives.

WHO DIED?

To let the world know that they were speaking out in solidarity with the #MeToo movement against the sexual harassment they had not said one word about for 20 years, and in some cases 40 years, they chose to dress in provocative, breast-baring dresses with skirts featuring split seams strategically displaying an entire leg right up to the crotch.

The message to the men in the worldwide audience and to the men in their lives––boyfriends, producers, directors, publishers, editors, et al––was clear:

“You can look, drool, desire, salivate… but don’t you dare tell me I look great or smile at me in any way I consider lascivious, or suggest, even subtly, that you have sexual interest in me––or else I’ll remember it and use it against you in a lawsuit with the express intention of ruining your career and your life.”

And what color did these angry feminists choose to wear to demonstrate their “solidarity” with their victimized sisters?

  • Not green, the color of renewal, nature, energy, growth.
  • Not blue, the color of trust, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, truth.
  • Not yellow, the color of hope, positivity, optimism, enlightenment, honor.
  • Not purple, the color of stability, power, wealth, creativity, dignity.
  • Not orange, the color of enthusiasm and determination.

Uh uh. They put their collective heads and, ahem, IQs, and evolved life experiences together and came up with––ta da––black, as in mourning.

Significantly, the oh-so-caring women of Hollywood could find not one microsecond in the entire evening to salute and support the freedom-loving, freedom-seeking women in Iran––whose black hijabs are the ultimate symbol of true oppression––many of whom have lost their lives in this struggle and now lie in coffins wrapped in black shrouds.

Come to think of it, where are the voices of the leftist women in the U.S. Congress in support of the female Iranian freedom fighters? Clearly, they have more important things to do, like announcing that they too will wear black to President Trump’s upcoming State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

I can just see the political cartoonists having their most energetic field day in years with this travesty!

Meanwhile, what will the net result of this moment in history be?

I predict that the glut of animated films will increase, to the point that fewer and fewer movies are made because of the disgust that movie producers have toward the women who willingly complied and got everything they wanted from them and then turned on them when the phony baloney #metoo movement came along.

Heads up, you starlets––look up the fate of the buggy whip!

I also predict that Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump and KellyAnne Conway and Sarah Sanders and Hope Hicks and Nikki Haley and all the other fabulous women––many of whom occupy among the highest positions in our government––will not be wearing black to the president’s State of the Union address, but will be decked out in the gorgeous and colorful and optimistic colors that are emblematic of America!

#MAGA!

Of Television – and Liturgy

One of the biggest consumers of time in our culture is television, whether on the home screen or our computers or on our phones. TV, in its various forms, delivers all kinds of experiences that suck us in, whether it’s watching sports or a drama, a detective story or a cute cat video. For convenience here, let’s just call all of this TV.

Since – obviously – TV claims many of our waking hours, with our complicity, when we could be doing other things, it demands careful attention. What might seem harmless collapsing in front of the TV after a hard day begins to raise issues that go way beyond merely wasting time. The great theologian Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the first who studied entertainment theologically, says that “in [theater or TV] man attempts a kind of transcendence, endeavoring both to observe and to judge his own truth, in virtue of a transformation . . . by which he tries to gain clarity for himself.”

In other words, in TV, which is a kind of mirror on society: “Man [as a spectator] himself beckons, invites the approach of a revelation about himself [from the drama on the screen]. Thus parabolically, a door can open to the truth of the real revelation.” Even a nature video, for instance, can tell us something about the Creator if that’s the way we approach it. But notice that von Balthasar is expecting us to be actively responding to the light patterns on the screen.

By real revelation, he means the revelation of God that comes through Creation and, the presence of Christ, who is the fullness of revelation and is witnessed to in Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. He only says that the deeper revelation can happen, because what can also happen – and knowing how most of us watch TV, most often does happen – is that we are mesmerized by something shallow and unworthy of the dignity of the human person, which produces either a sluggish stupor or an adrenaline rush. Either way, it’s mindless passivity.

Actively responding, in von Balthasar’s sense, means approaching things with our minds fully engaged. We’ve all gotten accustomed, for example, to watching serious news reports interrupted by ads for weight loss programs or fast food deals, that mock real human suffering or serious catastrophes or reports of major historical events. We should not let this disconnect pass unnoticed because it subtly insinuates itself into our minds and hearts. The commercial structuring of the TV experience lacks the solidity of real life, which demands deliberate language and gestures for the really important things.

The great French Catholic poet Paul Claudel says that we go to the theater (or watch TV) to “learn about how things begin and how they cease.” Even an ordinary detective story teaches us something about life and death – particularly about the great void left when someone dies and the most the world can do is, perhaps, find the killer and exact justice.

Properly handled, the liturgy – strange as this may seem to many of us – should be the standard of how we treat important things; it is a steady corrective to TV’s superficial handling of human experience. It can be a school – provided we go dressed for the occasion and spiritually attuned – for learning to develop a proper sense of formality in the presence of the great human truths.

Understood in this way, the liturgy is not separated from life, but takes us into the disposition to see how things really stand, the beginnings and endings as God sees them.

Religion or even prayer are rarely part of television coverage of human tragedies and crises. But prayer and liturgy are – and ought to be – part of good times and bad for God’s creatures such as ourselves. Outside of the mostly secular newsrooms of the developed world, religion bulks large in the lives of people from various faith traditions all over the world.

Unfortunately, TV floods the viewer with inauthentic images of real-life situations. This is why the Church has always had her doubts about theater and other forms of entertainment, not just because they can be bawdy, but because of the false vision of life that they present in such convincing ways. It’s our task to remain vigilant, to maintain a different way of viewing things, even when the spiritual dimension has been suppressed.

We should recognize the role and value of theater (and TV) in cultural life. But responding authentically to what it brings us means actively maintaining a fully Christian perspective. Unlike the television, Christianity does not have an off switch. Being a Catholic involves learning to be a Christian in the world.

Watching TV is not a time-out from our role as followers of Christ. It is just another occasion to practice Catholicism. Will this program show me something of the beginnings and endings of man? Will it take me beyond the TV show to the horizon of the world the way God views it? Will I become a better Christian in the process by not sitting passively with my mind in neutral but rather making connections to the great vision of life, the one found in the psalms and in St. Paul’s Letters?

Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Fr. Bevil Bramwell, OMI, PhD is the former Undergraduate Dean at Catholic Distance University. His books are: Laity: Beautiful, Good and TrueThe World of the SacramentsCatholics Read the Scriptures: Commentary on Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini, and, most recently, John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae: The Gift of Catholic Universities to the World.

EDITORS NOTE: © 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.

NY Times: Trump’s Immigration Remarks Outrage Many, But Many Others Quietly Agree

President Trump is trying to prevent America from the destabilizing immigration mistakes Europe made that they are now trying to correct.

President Trump Is Not A Racist. One can not say the same about a number of his critics who seek to impeach him.

While President Trump’s immigration remarks outrage many, many others quietly agree. Unfortunately most Democrats and a number of Republican hypocrites like to use confusing diplomatic language to obfuscate their true feelings and meaning. Trump doesn’t choose to use language to obfuscate reality and they don’t like it.

There is no reason to believe that if the subjects of immigration came from a lawless uneducated white nation who don’t speak English with many contagious health problems and seek to immediately go on welfare Trump would oppose such immigration as well. Would his opposition call Trump a Black racist?  No they wouldn’t. Trump’s position all along is that he welcomes people who can contribute to America.

People who use racism for political or personal gain are more likely to be the racists themselves.

Based on the New York Times report most of Europe who have been inundated with immigrants from countries that are destabilizing their societies are taking steps to stop  such immigration. Europeans are reevaluating their immigration policies based on what is happening and thus must also be labelled ‘racists.’

Read what’s happening in Europe now  trying to correct its mistakes:

Trump’s Immigration Remarks Outrage Many, but Others Quietly Agree

LONDON — The Czech president has called Muslim immigrants criminals. The head of Poland’s governing party has said refugees are riddled with disease. The leader of Hungary has described migrants as a poison.

This week, Austria’s new far-right interior minister suggested “concentrating” migrants in asylum centers — with all its obvious and odious echoes of World War II.

So when President Trump said he did not want immigrants from “shithole” countries, there was ringing silence across broad parts of the European Union, especially in the east, and certainly no chorus of condemnation.

In fact, some analysts saw the remarks as fitting a pattern of crude, dehumanizing and racist language to describe migrants and asylum seekers that has steadily edged its way into the mainstream. Coming from the White House, such words may be taken by some as a broader signal that racism is now an acceptable part of political discourse.

“What we see now is a conscious policy to reintroduce language that was previously not acceptable in debate,” said Gerald Knaus, the director of the European Stability Initiative, a Berlin-based research organization that has played a leading role in forming recent European migration policy.

Read more.