Moral Progress? On the fallacies of progressive utopianism.

Christopher Akers on the fallacies of progressive utopianism. We’re not called to leave a better world but to leave the world as better people.

It has become a kind of drumbeat in debates concerning moral issues to hear that “it’s the 21st century, get over it!” Or: “it’s 2017, not the Middle Ages!” Those who assert such things seem to think that they have made a point that cannot be rebutted; a veritable killer blow to an opponent’s position. This attitude has also seeped into our political discourse. Politicians seem to greatly enjoy castigating the Church, demanding it “keep up with the modern world” on a variety of moral issues.

As a so-called “millennial,” however, I look around me and find this line of thought to be absurd. There is no reason at all why living in the year 2017 should automatically confer upon us moral superiority. The reality is that individual men and women are just as good or evil as they ever were. And we have good evidence to back that up. As G.K. Chesterton once opined, to discover the truthfulness of original sin, all we have to do is step out of our front door. To my eye, this truth hasn’t changed a lot.

History is a crooked path, in part cyclical, rarely and only in short bursts linear. All the easy talk of the progressive “arc of history” has to ignore the most obvious evidence. Great civilisations – including our own – rise and fall. The horror and mass-murder of the twentieth century should have dispelled the naïve belief in constant moral and material progress. Ideologies replaced faith, men forgot God, and both peacefulness and refinement have been in retreat. Yet the drums of the “progressives” beat on, though what we are progressing towards, no one can exactly say.

The disparagement of Western history and culture is at the centre of this unexamined modern worldview. It is unnerving to consider that our forebears may not actually have been as ignorant or corrupt as is often claimed. We’d much rather pretend to admire the latest architectural monstrosity than admit that classical structures might reflect admiration for certain public virtues or that the medieval cathedrals are actually effective in raising the soul to heaven. Indeed, it has become passé or downright offensive to speak about the glories of Western civilisation. We don’t want Augustine, Dante, Shakespeare, or Bernini anymore; that would be too “Eurocentric” and “elitist.”

Click here to read the rest of Mr. Akers’ column . . .

About the Author

Christopher Akers

Christopher Akers

Christopher Akers is a writer living in Scotland and is a graduate of Edinburgh University. He is currently a graduate student in Literature and Arts at Oxford University, and his work has appeared in National Review and Reaction.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Monsignor Alfred Newman Gilbey.

Trump’s EPA Chief Charts a New Course: An Interview With Scott Pruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke to me earlier this week at The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting in Washington. We discussed his leadership of the EPA, the agency’s top priorities, and what Pruitt considers true environmentalism. An edited transcript of our interview, along with the full video, is below.

Bluey: You’ve had a busy week. On Monday, you took a decisive action and ended the sue and settle process that has been plaguing the EPA and our government for a number of years. Can you explain to this audience why that is so significant and what it actually means?

Pruitt: Yes, well, it’s good to be with you. In fact, I see [former Attorney] General [Edwin] Meese here in the front and it’s always good to see General Meese. He has served as a great inspiration to me over the years.

With respect to this particular question on sue and settle, it is actually something General Meese talked about back in the 1980s. We’ve seen agencies at the federal level for many years engage in rulemaking through the litigation process, where a third party will sue an agency and, in the course of that lawsuit, an agency will agree to certain obligations. Maybe take a discretionary duty under statute and make it nondiscretionary or there will be a timeline in a statute and they’ll change the timeline.

But suffice it to say, they engage in what we would call substantive rulemaking, and then the court blesses it without much inquiry. The agency will take that consent decree and go to the states and citizens all over the country and say, ‘Thou shalt,’ and sometimes that mandate is totally untethered to the statute—the obligations that Congress has passed for that agency to engage in.

My job is to enforce the laws as passed by whom? Congress. They give me my authority. That’s the jurisdictional responsibilities that I have, and when litigation is used to regulate … that’s abusive. That’s wrong.

It is fifth-grade civics. I don’t know if they teach civics in fifth grade anymore, but at least they used to. I hang out at the executive branch; we’re an executive branch agency. My job is to enforce the laws as passed by whom? Congress. They give me my authority. That’s the jurisdictional responsibilities that I have, and when litigation is used to regulate … that’s abusive. That’s wrong. We took the first step under the Trump administration [Monday] to end the sue and settle process entirely at the EPA.

It is not just an attitude shift, not just a commitment to not engage in sue and settle and regulation for litigation. We actually put directives in the memoranda, safeguards if you will.

For instance, if there is settlement that we are engaged in, settlement discussions with a third party that sued the agency, we will post that settlement for all the world to see, for at least 30 days, for people to comment on it across the country so that there is transparency with respect to those discussions.

If a state seeks to intervene in litigation with respect to issues that impact them, we’re going to have a very generous and accommodating attitude to our states participating in those settlement discussions. But here’s one of the more important ones: in the past the sue and settle process has been affected by third parties. They would go to the EPA and they would say, ‘Let’s work out a deal,’ and, as I indicated, go to the court, put it within a consent decree without any type of transparency.

But then here’s the kicker: They would pay attorneys fees to the group that sued them. So the group is effectively engaging in rulemaking and they get attorneys fees to get paid to do it.

In my directive to the agency, I said this: We’re not going to pay attorneys fees anymore in that regard. If we have a settlement and there’s no prevailing party, there shouldn’t be attorneys fees. We’ve directed no attorneys fees as part of the end of this sue and settle practice. It’s been a busy week already but every week is that way.

Bluey: The left, over the past generation, has defined environmentalism in a way that is counter to freedom, conservation, even science. I want to ask, what do you consider true environmentalism?

Pruitt: That’s a great question, and it’s one our society needs to ask and answer. The past administration told everyone in this room at some point, told the American citizens across the country, that we have to choose between jobs and growth and environmental stewardship.

We’ve never done that as a country. To give you an example, since 1980, there are certain pollutants that we regulate under the Clean Air Act, criteria pollutants, they are called. … We’ve reduced those pollutants over 65 percent since 1980, but we’ve also grown our [gross domestic product] substantially.

We, as a country, have always used innovative technology to advance environmental stewardship, reduction of those pollutants, but also grown our economy at the same time. It was the past administration that told everyone that you had to choose between the two. That just simply is a false narrative. It’s a false choice, so we need to ask ourselves, what is true environmentalism?

True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with.

True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with to feed the world, to power the world with the sensitivity that future generations cultivate, to harvest, to be respectful good stewards, good managers of our natural resources, to bequeath those natural resources for the next generation.

It would be like having this beautiful apple orchard that can feed the world and the environmental folks of the past would say, ‘Build a fence. Don’t touch the apple orchard, though it can feed people.’ That’s not the proper approach. They would say it’s so pristine and we shouldn’t touch it. That’s not what we should do. We should harvest that apple orchard. We should use it to benefit our fellow mankind, but with environmental stewardship in mind for future generations. We can do both. That’s what we need to do with the EPA going forward and we are doing that.

Bluey: I’m glad you brought up [former President Barack] Obama and his administration because the media often portrays him as an environmental hero and you’re portrayed as the villain. What are you most frustrated about with the media’s coverage of you personally and the EPA in general under President Trump?

Pruitt: Well, I don’t like the hero-villain thing that you put me through there, but when you look at the past administration and what they actually achieved as far as environmental outcomes, they did not achieve very much.

In fact, look at those criteria for what we do regulate. One-hundred-twenty-million people in this country live in areas that don’t meet air quality standards. That’s what the previous administration left us with. They had Flint, Michigan, and Gold King, Colorado, with respect to water. With respect to those areas that we regulate that have land waste, we have more sites than when President Obama came into office.

[W]hen you look at the past administration and what they actually achieved as far as environmental outcomes, they did not achieve very much.

They tried to regulate carbon dioxide twice and struck out twice. So really when you look at that agenda, what did they actually achieve other than uncertainty and adversarial relationships with those across the country?

When you look at farmers and ranchers, for example, they are our first environmentalists. They are our first conservationists. When you look at the greatest asset that they have it is their land. They care about the water that they drink. They care about the air that they breathe. We should see them as partners, not adversaries. We should see them as states in the same vain. They have expertise and resources that we don’t have. We have resources that they don’t have. It should be a partnership and collaboration.

I’ve been on a 25-state tour over the last two to three months with respect to the Waters of the United States rule. We’re withdrawing that rule. We’re getting that right. As we’ve gone through that process, I was in Utah with Gov. [Gary] Herbert talking about issues there, the second driest state in the country. The very next day, I was in Minnesota; [there are] different issues in Minnesota with respect to waters than in Utah.

As we do our work in D.C., we should do our work in collaboration and in partnership, in cohesion with states so that we can work on environmental issues from Superfund to air quality to water quality across the full spectrum in things that we do in partnership with those folks. That’s the failure of the past administration. They saw them as adversaries and not partners.

Kayakers find themselves surrounded by the toxic mine waste that flowed into Colorado’s Animas River from the Gold King Mine in 2015. (Photo: Jerry McBride/Durango Herald/Polaris/Newscom)

Moreover, they acted outside the scope of their authority, which created tremendous uncertainty. President Trump, who is doing a fabulous job, is leading with great courage and conviction. He’s in the White House today because of two primary things: the American people want courage and they want action, and he embodies both of those in his leadership.

But as we look to these issues in areas that we regulate with respect to air land and water, these are issues that we ought to be working together to achieve and setting clear objectives. Where should we be in air quality in two to four years? Where should we be in investment of air and water infrastructure? How do we improve remediate those sites with respective to the Superfund?

Let me give you an example. There’s a site just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It’s a site that has 8,000 tons of uranium from the Manhattan Project commingled with the 38,000 thousand tons of solid waste dispersed over this large geographic area outside of St. Louis.

We’re getting back to the basics and we’re operating under the rule of law.

It was discovered in 1970. In 1990, the EPA listed that site on the national priority list. Twenty-seven years later, as we’re in this auditorium together, the agency still has not made a decision on how to remediate that site, excavate, or cap the site. Twenty-seven years … to not even make a decision? That’s totally unacceptable. In fact, that’s one of the things that as I came into this position, I was so stuck by.

As I was engaged in meetings at the office, there just appeared to be a lack of urgency, a lack of focus, a lack of energy to do what’s right to serve the American people—the fundamental way to provide real, tangible environmental outcomes in water, air, and Superfund.

We’re getting back to the basics and we’re operating under the rule of law. We’re respecting process and we’re also engaging in federalism principles to ensure that we’re partnering together. It sounds like a pretty good agenda to me and I think in this country, we ought to be adopting that, not vilifying it to your question.

Bluey: I want to ask specifically about the Waters of the United States rule you raised. At Heritage, it’s an issue that we’ve done a lot of work on. It’s something we recognize that has a tremendous impact across this country. You’ve made a decision that you were going to conduct a reevaluation. What are your goals as you go through that process and coming out of it?

Pruitt: Clarity. I mean, that’s what’s so crazy about the past administration. … Let me give you a little background. The last time we defined that was 1986 as far as Waters of the United States. We provided guidance in 2008; that’s about as far as the definition of a water of the United States is. So the past administration said we need to provide clarity across the country when federal jurisdiction begins and ends. If that was their objective, they failed miserably. Because people all over the country have no idea today where federal jurisdiction begins and ends under that 2015 rule.

I mentioned Utah. I was in Salt Lake City with Gov. Herbert with an Army Corps of Engineers representative about two months ago. We were standing outside of this subdivision and this Army Corps of Engineers representative pointed to this thermal drainage ditch and said, “Scott, that is a water of the United States,” and I said, “It’s not going to be anymore.” That’s really the challenge here—that you had so much confusion and uncertainty about what waters were in [and] what waters were out.

They call this deregulation. This is regulatory reform, this is regulatory clarity. We’re getting rid of the deficient rule and then we’re going to provide a new definition that provides bright line criteria by which to define where jurisdiction begins and ends.

So what does that mean? That means land use across this country is held hostage because folks aren’t going to deploy capital. They aren’t going to allocate resources They aren’t going to put capital at risk and then face a fine five or 10 years from now saying you should’ve had a permit because this is covered under Waters of the United States.

The No. 1 objective is to get the definition right and to provide clarity across the country on when federal jurisdiction ends and we’re going to do that in 2018. We’re going to withdraw the rule that’s in place right now and that will be finished by the end of the year. Then we’ve got a substitute definition, and this is where the environmental left misses it. They call this deregulation. This is regulatory reform, this is regulatory clarity. We’re getting rid of the deficient rule and then we’re going to provide a new definition that provides bright line criteria by which to define where jurisdiction begins and ends. That’s so key and that’s what we are going to accomplish in 2018, and it’s not going to be the federal drainage ditch.

Bluey: The Clean Power Plan is another major action you’ve taken recently. In the same context, what are the implications of doing away with that? And where do you see it going next?

Pruitt: For the first time in history, the Supreme Court entered a pending litigation and issued a stay of enforcement against the Clean Power Plan. That case is being litigated in the D.C. Circuit. The Supreme Court intervened and said stop the enforcement of the rule because it’s going to impact the marketplace in ways that we don’t think meet the statutory criteria or authority of the agency.

So again, uncertainty. We had uncertainty in the utility sector, so let me say this to you: generally, from a regulatory perspective this is going to be a very profound statement, regulations should make things regular. That’s our job to take a statute and administer the statute and make things regular across the full spectrum of people subject to the statute or subject to the regulation. It’s not to pick winners and losers.

The president made a tremendously courageous decision by saying we’re going to get out of the Paris accord, put America first, and make sure that we lead with action and not words.

It’s not the job of the EPA to say to the utility company in any state of the country, you should choose renewables over natural gas or coal. We need fuel diversity in the general electricity. We need more choices, not less. No agency at the federal level should use their coerce power to force business utility companies to take those fuel sources away. They should be making it on cost, stability, and I would say resiliency of the grid.

The president talks a lot about economic growth. We’re already at 3-plus percent and this tax cut package is going to provide tremendous growth. When you grow your economy at 3 to 4 percent as opposed to 1 percent, the power grid, the resiliency of the power grid takes more significance, so when you reduce fuel sources that takes on more vulnerabilities.

President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in June the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Newscom)

We need solid hydrocarbons like coal to be stored onsite to address peak demand. We need natural gas, we need renewables, we need all that. Chancellor [Angela] Merkel, in this Paris accord situation, I know you didn’t ask about this, but I have to get this in, when we talk about this Paris accord issue, if Germany is so concerned about this reduction of CO2, why is Chancellor Merkel getting rid of all nuclear in Germany? Its hypocritical and, by the way, we’re at pre-1994 levels in this country and from 2000-2014 after we exited Kyoto, we reduced our CO2 footprint by 18 percent, almost 20 percent, and that’s in the same timeframe.

This country has alway led with action, not words and labels like Paris. The president made a tremendously courageous decision by saying we’re going to get out of the Paris accord, put America first, and make sure that we lead with action and not words.

Bluey: What is your strategy for rolling back cumbersome regulations that hurt small businesses?

Pruitt: There has been a threefold strategy that has been introduced to the agencies since Day One. In fact, as I addressed the agency on the first day, I talked about three primary things.

One, respect for rule of law. The only authority we have is the one Congress gives us in the statutes, which enhances regulatory certainty when we act congruent to statutory guidelines.

Secondly, we are going to respect process, which means that as we go through rulemaking, we’re actually going to do what Congress says. We’re going to propose a rule. We’re going to take comment and it’s our responsibility to respond to that comment. Then, we’re going to finalize that rule by being informed of how it’s going to impact folks all over the country. That’s good. That’s how consensus is built.

Thirdly, we’re going to respect federalism. Congress is prescribed into the Clean Air Act, into the Clean Water Act certain responsibilities placed upon states. They imagined and really believed that we can work together.

[Trump is] in the White House today because of two primary things: the American people want courage and they want action, and he embodies both of those in his leadership.

Those are the three primary principles by which we are doing our work. I think as we do that, it’s going to create better outcomes for air, land, and water, as far as environmental outcomes.

But as far as when you look at the disrespective process—that’s the reason the sue and settle aspect makes the remedy there is so important. I think if we get back to the basics there and focus on those three cornerstone principles, we’re going to see better outcomes as far as air attainment, water infrastructure, sites being remediated on the Superfund list, and it’s going to be very encouraging.

And for small business, we’ve also done something else. President Bush introduced something, and it actually dates back to the Clinton administration. It was called the Common Sense Initiative. President Bush built on that and called it the sector strategy, where we bring in sectors of our economy—farming and ranching, chemical companies, energy, oil and gas, and others.

We’ve updated that because it went by the wayside under the Obama administration. We’ve revived that and we’ve created something called the smart sector strategy. Those businesses are now dialoguing with us on how we can work together going into the future to achieve better outcomes in the environment.

Bluey: What’s an issue that you are engaged in that isn’t getting the attention it deserves—that you think this audience should know about?

Pruitt: Well, I think one that isn’t talked about a lot is last year Congress adopted some amendments to the Toxics Substances Control Act, TSCA, and created new responsibilities for our agency. For instance, chemicals that enter the flow of commerce, we have to approve those chemical before they enter the stream of commerce.

When I came into this position, we had a backlog of over 700 of those chemicals. We cleared those out by July of this year. We focused resources and we provided certainty to folks across the marketplace on whether those chemicals could be used in an effective way. We’re implementing those changes to TSCA that I think provides certainty to those that are regulated.

There’s great optimism across the country, except in Washington, D.C., so that means things are going really well.

The other area I want to talk about is the Superfund arena. I mentioned the one site in West Lake, Missouri. I’d love to tell you that is an isolated example—that that is just one of many of the 1,336 sites that we regulate. We have many, unfortunately, sites that have languished on that list since inception of the program in the 1980s—sites that been there for decades with respect to no decision and very little action.

The American people deserve, in my view, answers and leadership in how to remediate those sites. That’s the most tangible benefit that we can provide to folks environmentally.

Just recently, San Jacinto, a site in Houston that is off of I-10 in a harbor there, where there is a bunch of barge traffic. There was a site listed around 2009-2010, and it has dioxin on the site. When the hurricane came through there was much concern about the dioxin being released into the barge traffic and it impacting folks’ health. The remedy that has been in place for the past 10 years was literally putting rocks on top of the site to prevent release. It sounds crazy but that’s exactly the case.

A tanker arrives in the Houston Ship Channel near a spot where the road dead ends into water at the San Jacinto battlefield. (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters/Newscom)

When I was there after the storm, I said that is not acceptable. We’re going to make a decision for the betterment of the community to fix that site and provide permanence. Just last week I signed that record decision giving direction on how we are going to provide that relief to prevent the release of dioxin into the water supply in Houston, Texas.

We’ve got to take concrete steps to prevent those environmental issues. We’re doing such good work that no one, I really shouldn’t say no one … folks see it in the communities. There’s great optimism across the country, except in Washington, D.C., so that means things are going really well.

Bluey: Can you describe the shortcomings of the scientific evidence for climate change and the type of data that would be needed to convince you that climate change is happening?

Pruitt: Well, a couple things. Let me address something a little bit big picture and then I’ll get into the specific question.

I have advisory boards at my agency. The CASAC, the science advisory board that advises me on air quality issues. I have BOSC and I have the Science Advisory Board.

The scientists who make up these bodies, and there are dozens and dozens of these folks, over the years those individuals as they’ve served those capacities, guess what has also happened? They’ve received moneys through grants and sometimes substantial moneys through grants.

I think what’s most important at the agencies is to have scientific advisers who are objective, independent minded, providing transparent recommendations to me as the administrator and to our office on the decisions that we’re making on the efficacy of rules that we’re passing to address environmental issues.

If we have individuals that are on those boards that are receiving money from the agency, sometimes going back years and years to the tune of literally tens of millions of dollars, over time, that to me causes questions on the independence and the veracity of the transparency of the recommendations that are coming our way.

Next week, I want you to know something, and I’m not trying to get ahead of myself too much, but next week we are going to fix that. Next week, I am going to issue a directive that addresses just that, that’s much like the sue and settle, to ensure the independence, transparency, and objectivity with respect to the scientific advice that we are getting at the agency.

It’s not a question about whether climate change occurs. It does. It’s not a matter of whether man contributes to it. We do. The question is how much do we contribute to it and how do we measure that with precision?

Now, on this issue with respect to climate change, it’s not a question about whether climate change occurs. It does. It’s not a matter of whether man contributes to it. We do. The question is how much do we contribute to it and how do we measure that with precision? It’s a little bit more difficult questions like when we have individuals telling us in 2017 that they know what the ideal global average surface temperature should be in the year 2100, I think there should be a debate around that. I think there ought to be discussion around that very issue.

There are some, perhaps in this very room that believe that it poses an existential threat. If it poses an existential threat, I want to know. If it’s more important than ISIS and North Korea, I think we better know about it. So let’s have a real, meaningful discussion about it.

The American people deserve, in my view, an objective, transparent, honest discussion about what we know and what we don’t know, with respect to CO2. It’s never taken place. That’s the reason I’ve been proposing a red team, blue team exercise where we bring red team scientists in and blue team scientists in and they would engage in a multi-month process asking of each other these very difficult questions to help inform the American public on these issues to help build consensus toward this very important issue.

The American people deserve, in my view, an objective, transparent, honest discussion about what we know and what we don’t know, with respect to CO2. It’s never taken place.

Here’s the last thing I will say about it. That is a very important exercise and it’s something that Steve Koonin actually published in the Wall Street Journal about three or four months ago. I think it was a well-written piece and you ought to go read it. There’s actually another piece that Bret Stephens wrote in the New York Times about this very issue where politicians have taken information that we know and stretched it so far on this issue that it strains credibility.

We need to have a very honest and open discussion about this as a citizenry and as a country with respect to what we do. But here’s the other thing, what are the tools in the toolbox? That matters. Remember what I said earlier: the only authority I have is the one Congress gives me.

We have to ask and answer the question, What does the Clean Air Act say to this issue as far as regulation of CO2? The last time the Clean Air Act was amended—anyone want to guess when that was? I know you study this every day—1990. Twenty-seven years ago. If you go back and read post the amendments, the Clean Air Act from 1990, Congressman [John] Dingell is not the most conservative member to ever have served in Congress. Congressman Dingell said to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act of 1990 would be a glorious mess. The Clean Air Act was set up to address local and regional air pollutants, not the global phenomena of GHG and CO2.

Where is it in the Clean Air Act that the EPA has the authority to declare war on any sector of our economy? I don’t see it. And that’s what the last administration did. It ended under President Trump.

We have to ask the question, one, What do we know? And let’s inform ourselves about it. But we also have to ask ourselves, What can we do about it and what tools are in the toolbox? I can’t make that up. That’s what the last administration did. When they made it up, they got sued and they got stays of enforcement like the Clean Power Plan, which does not achieve any environmental outcomes and creates uncertainty in the marketplace. It was part of their war on coal, their war on fossil fuels.

I have to ask you a question rhetorically. Where is it in the Clean Air Act that the EPA has the authority to declare war on any sector of our economy? I don’t see it. And that’s what the last administration did. It ended under President Trump.

Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to EPA employees in February. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom)

Bluey: I have a couple of questions about what it’s like to work at EPA headquarters. Specifically, are you running into any internal or political challenges with a staff that might not be willing to carry out the mission you articulated earlier?

Pruitt: Let me say a couple of things. One, having led a business, having been in that space and whatnot, I didn’t start from the premise that folks weren’t willing to be partners. In fact, the very first day I was there, I talked about rule of law and process and federalism, as I indicated to you. But also said to the folks there that I was going to listen and I was going to learn from them, but that we were going to lead, we were going to make decisions.

And so I’ve tried to exercise good will in working with folks. I don’t want people presuming certain things about me that are not based in fact and I shouldn’t presume certain things about others. I’ve tried to lead that way at the agency. That being said, I do think that there is a lack of urgency in some of these areas with respect to Superfund and otherwise, and we’re revitalizing those areas actually. And we’re actually getting the things done that matter and holding folks accountable.

I don’t want people presuming certain things about me that are not based in fact and I shouldn’t presume certain things about others. I’ve tried to lead that way at the agency.

There’s a gentlemen I brought into leadership. He worked for Gov. [Doug] Ducey in Arizona, and I was with Governor Ducey a couple of weeks ago and I thanked him for his contribution. But this individual came to me—he led the [Department of Environmental Quality] there in Arizona, and then he went into the Cabinet under Governor Ducey—and when he came into leadership at the DEQ in Arizona he said, Scott we had over 700 people that we employed and I started focusing on metrics and performance and everyday asking and answering what progress are we making? Are we actually remediating sites? And measuring that every single day. And there were some people in the agency, he said to me, that weren’t into that. They weren’t into accountability. And those folks just kind of left. And at the end of that process, it went from an agency of around 700 to an agency of around 350.

He said Scott, what’s amazing to me is that when that happened we were actually producing better results with the 350, measuring outcomes, than we had with 700. Now, that person is now at the EPA, and I’ve given him a charge. We have a dashboard that we’ve created, a dashboard of measuring results every single day. His name is Henry Darwin, by the way. I call this the ‘Darwin Effect,’ And I say, ‘Henry, how are we progressing today? How are we doing in air quality?’

Let me ask you something, What’s Republican and Democrat about improving air quality? Where’s the political issue around that? Where’s the political issue around avoiding Flint, Michigan, and Gold King, Colorado? Where’s the Republican/Democrat approach to remediating Superfund sites and actually making sure they’re actually reused and communities can enjoy those areas once again?

LeeAnne Walters of Flint, Michigan, shows water samples from her home amid growing health concerns in 2015. (Photo: Ryan Garza/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

Their shouldn’t be any political margin on any of those issues. These are not controversial things. We ought to focus on the good work of the agency, respectful of law, engage in partnership. And you know what’s going to happen? Good things. We ought to celebrate that as a country. So the Darwin Effect is in full force and we are going to make sure that we achieve accountability.

Just one other thing—permitting. Permitting has been a big issue with respect to infrastructure. Permitting, sometimes, at our agency, has not been, ‘Is there an issue and how do we fix it?’ It’s been obstructionism. It’s taken a decade, or 12 years or 15 years—and I’m not making this up—where it takes that long to make a decision on a permit. That’s not a decision. That’s simply no, just cloaked in no decision, right?

When I met with Henry, I said, ‘Henry we’ve got to have an outside time where all permits are processed. Let’s establish a timeline that all permits are going to be processed within X number of years or whatever.’ This was one of our first meetings and I decided two years or something; let’s find the right time. He said, Scott, ‘I was thinking more like six months.’ I said, ‘I love you Henry.’ So by the end of 2018, every permit that we issue, up or down, you’re going to know within six months.

Bluey: What has it been like working with President Trump? What can you tell us about it?

Pruitt: It’s been wonderful. As I shared with you earlier, the president is full of courage and he’s full of action. He wants results. That’s what the American people want.

They don’t like all the blather, they don’t like all the labels, they don’t like all the bumper stickers. Let’s actually achieve things. That’s what he’s done his whole life.

[T]he president is full of courage and he’s full of action. He wants results. That’s what the American people want.

I seek every day, and I mean this sincerely, to bless him. I want to bless him and the decisions he’s making. I want to carry out my responsibilities at our agency in a way that is respectful of the things I’ve talked about today. There’s so much optimism across our country—with respect to all the various states and stakeholders that there’s a different trajectory.

You know, several years ago there was a book that I picked up called “The Culture Code.” It’s a book written by a French sociologist, and I don’t normally pick up those books, but this was an interesting book where his business, his career is that he engages in surveys and focus groups. Coca-Cola or IBM will hire him and say, ‘OK, you go out and find the code, the one word that describes my company.’ He did that, that’s his whole career.

He wrote this book and he talks about these various areas, but he spent one entire chapter on America. He surveyed all these people across the country, focus groups, asking questions. He boiled the code word for America down to one word—one word. Anybody want to guess what it is? Dream.

We have nothing to be apologetic about as a country. We’re the best in the world. We feed the world, we power the world. And oh, by the way, when it comes to environmental stewardship, we’re better than anybody else.

And I’ll tell you as a country, we’ve lost that a little bit. We’re a little bit more risk averse than we used to be. We don’t dream and aspire like we used to be. This president is reinvigorating that. This administration is reinvigorating that.

We have nothing to be apologetic about as a country. We’re the best in the world. We feed the world, we power the world. And oh, by the way, when it comes to environmental stewardship, we’re better than anybody else. And that’s the Gospel truth.

Let’s not be apologetic. Let’s lead with action. And that’s what the president is doing. I love serving with him. I love serving him. And there’s much optimism, much hope ahead.

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

Sameness versus Equality

David Carlin: Girls in the Boy Scouts? Another step towards one of the goals of “progressivism”: abolishing the differences between males and females.  

I see that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has decided to allow girls to become members. This, I submit, is a momentous development in the great American culture war, as was the BSA decision a year or two ago to allow openly gay men to be scoutmasters. I have no inside information regarding the BSA decision-making process, but I think it’s not hard to figure out for anybody who (like me) has been paying attention to the culture war for the past thirty years or so.  Here’s what I think happened.

(1) There has been a decline in BSA membership in recent years.

(2) This decline is partly the result of the introduction of openly gay scoutmasters, for this led many parents, especially Christian parents, to be skeptical of the moral soundness of the BSA.

(3) The BSA decided that this decline in numbers could be stopped and even reversed by allowing girls to become members.

(4) The executive leadership of the BSA was pressured to move in this direction by many of its big corporate sponsors, who earlier pressured the BSA to admit gay scoutmasters.

I don’t know what the top executives at the BSA get paid, but I’m willing to place a wager on two things: first, that they get paid pretty well; and second, that their pay is heavily dependent on contributions from big corporate sponsors.  Therefore they don’t like to displease their big corporate sponsors, and they are pretty good convincing themselves that what the big sponsors want is, when you really think about it, good for the BSA.  Most of us are pretty good at this kind of thing – convincing ourselves that what is for our personal advantage is also good for the world.

Click here to read the rest of Professor Carlin’s column . . .

David Carlin

David Carlin

David Carlin is professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

VIDEO: Hollywood Sex Scandal Tied to Hillary Clinton State Department

Kevin Jackson in a column titled “Hollywood Sex Scandal Tied to Hillary Clinton State Department” reports:

2013 Report, Partial transcript:

According to internal State Department memos the agency might have called off or intervened into investigations into possibly illegal, inappropriate behavior within it’s ranks allegedly to protect jobs and avoid scandals. This concerns a time when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

“There is an old saying in Washington that the cover-up is worse than the crime. But in this case both parts of it are disturbing.”

Allegations of prostitution and pedophilia, and allegations that those crimes were somehow covered up or not looked into. So the State Department this morning is having to respond to those claims, and those investigations involve misconduct by State Department officials, including an Ambassador and security agents attached to then secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. The allegations are that these investigations were whitewashed, quashed altogether, and that those orders came from high up.

NBC has obtained documents relating to ongoing investigations into some disturbing allegations involving State Department personnel and at least one ambassador. A State Department memo says, quote, “the Ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children. The memo also says a top State Department official directed State Department investigators to “cease the investigation” into the ambassador’s conduct.” [Emphasis added]

It’s just one of what another document describes as “several examples of undue influence” from top State Department officials.

In a June 11, 2013 New York Post column titled “Hillary’s sorry state of affairs” S.A. Miller reported:

WASHINGTON — A State Department whistleblower has accused high-ranking staff of a massive coverup — including keeping a lid on findings that members of then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s security detail and the Belgian ambassador solicited prostitutes.

A chief investigator for the agency’s inspector general wrote a memo outlining eight cases that were derailed by senior officials, including one instance of interference by Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. Read more.

Watch this video by NBC: Hillary Clinton Shut Down Pedophile Investigation at State Department (2013).

RELATED ARTICLE: ABC, NBC Minimize New State Department Sex and Drugs Scandal

This info graphic is provided by the New York Post:

VIDEO EXPOSE: History repeats itself — Hollywood as Sodom and Gomorrah

Hollywood, California is burning and there is nothing they can do about it. The proverbial cat is out of the bag. The secrets of Hollywood are making headlines daily. Sexual predators, pedophiles, pederasts and Hollywood go hand in hand.

This revelation is not new, its just that today the media can’t keep Hollywood’s dirty laundry from public view anymore. Social media is exploding with old revelations and new videos are being highlighted that show the hypocrisy of of those who have worked to protect these rich and powerful predators. The only question is how deep does this rabbit hole go?

Here are just a few of the videos that have surfaced since the Harvey Weinstein story broke.

In an article titled “Flashback VIDEO: Barbara Walters Scolds Corey Feldman for Calling Out Hollywood Abuse” Katherine Rodriguez reports,

video clip from a 2013 episode of The View where he shares these revelations about the abuse in the industry has resurfaced after allegations came to light that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and abused those working in the industry:

In the article “Awkward: Compilation Video of Celebrities Thanking Harvey Weinstein Goes Viral” Regis Giles published a Quartz video of Hollywood actors Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Penélope Cruz, Renée Zellweger, Michael Caine,and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has since accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing her when she was younger, praising him:

How do millennials look at this issue of Harvey Weinstein being a sexual predator? The Young Turks analysed Weinstein’s apology in the video below titled “Harvey Weinstein’s Sexual Harassment Apology: But I’m A Liberal!The Young Turks panel members Brett Erlich, Nando Vila and Hannah Cranston conclude, “After numerous accusations of sexual harassment Harvey Weinstein has issued an apology that insinuates that he should be forgiven because of his liberalism”:

Harvey Weinstein was at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. One of the speakers at the Womens March was Ashley Judd, who has since accused Weinstein of sexual harassment/abuse. Ashley Judd told the crowd, “Our Pussies Ain’t for Grabbing.” Below is Ashley Judd’s full “I am a nasty woman” speech at the January 2017 Women’s March:

Weinstein has donated to Planned Parenthood and numerous Democrat politicians including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Weinstein is the epitome of the liberal Hollywood mindset – anything goes in terms of my sexual desires. Morals, values have no place. I am to be forgiven because I support liberal/feminist causes that have been designed to destroy the family unit.

Perhaps the most prophetic video is of Weinstein’s interview with former President Bill Clinton. During the interview Weinstein says to Bill Clinton, “I always learn amazing things from you.”

Hollywood is not new. It’s lack of sexual mores is not new. It’s embrace of homosexuality, pedophilia, pederasty and sexual abuse has been told before in the Old Testament, Genesis 19 when the God of Abraham destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It is prophetic that Harvey Weinstein is Jewish and his actions, which are not unique in Hollywood, have lead to its decline and fall. Hollywood has lost its glitter. It has been exposed for what it really is a den of perverts without moral standards.

Hollywood is facing what Sodom and Gomorrah faced. As Genesis 19:15  and 29 read:

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.

29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

The city of Hollywood is being swept away and punished. History repeats itself. Those who ignore it are doomed to repeat it.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

All the Other Harvey Weinsteins by Molly Ringwald – New Yorker Magazine

VIDEO: The Truth About Hollywood

VIDEO: My Linda Sarsour ‘Interview’

Thanks to the magic of Facebook Live, I was able to have an “interview” with Islamic supremacist Linda Sarsour!

Listen to her opine on the 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Progressives, the LGBT community and more!

How Donald J. Trump became the leader of ‘America’s Second Revolution’

Unprecedented, impossible, stunning were words used to describe the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. On November 9th, 2016 world leaders reacted to the election of Trump with everything from congratulations to trepidation. However, Dutch MP Geert Wilders tweeted, “Congratulations, @realDonaldTrump! A historic victory, a revolution!”

On November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall and with it on December 26, 1991 the former Soviet Union fell. Twenty-eight years later on November 9, 2017 Donald J. Trump was elected. During his inaugural address President Trump stated:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

[ … ]

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

[ … ]

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

How did this happen? Why did this happen? What should we do now? Can one man return power to US? If you want the answers to these and many more questions read John Michael Chambers’ latest book “Trump and the Resurrection of America – Leading America’s Second Revolution.”  

John Michael Chambers’ book reminded me of  “Common Sense” a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 advocating independence from Great Britain to people in the Thirteen Colonies. At the time Paine wrote “Common Sense,” most colonists considered themselves to be aggrieved Britons. Before the election of President Trump most citizens considered themselves to be aggrieved Americans.

John Michael Chambers considers himself “a long-term optimist but a short-term realist.” Chambers tasks us to:

Observe the obvious, trust but verify, practice critical thinking, question authority, question everything, and think for yourself. Surround yourself with people of like mind who do indeed truly understand the times in which we live, and expand those circles of relationships.

Being a realist can be challenging. One must first be able to recognize truth from something other than truth.

Chambers warns that, “We are living in the age of an increasing number of smarter phones and an increasing number of dumbed-down people.”

John Michael Chambers

Chambers identifies the enemies of America. He unequivocally notes,

“The trouble, as outlined in this book, is the shadow government’s systems and institutions such as central banks and the debt-based monetary and economic systems. Governments, international bankers, corporations, Hollywood, “big pharma”, secret societies [Skull and Bones], religions [Radical Islam], and others preventing forward progress in exchange for both profit and control and are again using a world of betrayal after trust while utilizing clever deceptive techniques [Hegelian dialectic].”

Chambers predicts that President Trump will continue to come under attack from what he calls “merchants of chaos” who “take our space and make it small.” They, according to Chambers, “[S]tamp out free will and keep us tied and bound. They direct our attention and control our minds for their evils deeds.” Many see this happening with the growing violence perpetrated by groups such as: Black Lives Matter, Antifa and Organizing for Action.

But Chambers gives us hope. Chamber says his mission is, “to awaken, inspire, and motivate people.” Chambers notes:

We must realize that [with the election of President Trump] a major paradigm shift is underway and that we have been living in a web of  deceitful lies designed to entrap us and move us away from the spirit and more toward vanity and worldly possessions as we march blindly like useless idiots down the road to serfdom.

Chambers concludes with this, “The opposite of love is not hate; it is fear. So choose to love. As you obtain more and more truths, then take the correct steps in implementing change, the fear subsides.”

I recommend this book to all those who are dealing with a world that seems to have gone mad with envy, corruption and fear. I chose love.

EDITORS NOTE: John Michael Chambers will be one of the speakers at the America – The Truth Conference: ELECTION DAY 2018 — Truth or Consequences? being held in Sarasota, Florida on October 21st, 2017. Below is a short video introduction to the three speakers and information about this event:

More Bad Defenses of Amoris Laetitia [On Divorce and Adultery]

Fr. Gerald E. Murray on more attempts to justify giving Communion to those remarried without annulment: assertions in opposition to Jesus.

The claim was widely made during the two Synods on the Family that the innovation of allowing persons living in adulterous second unions to receive Holy Communion, as proposed by Cardinal Kasper and others, was not a change in doctrine, but simply in discipline. I did not believe this to be true then (or now) and, apparently, neither did many of the supporters of this innovation.

The first evidence of that was the seemingly universal refusal to identify these unions as adulterous in fidelity to Christ’s words: “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) Instead of adulterous these sinful relationships were called “irregular” unions. This tactic reduces Christ’s teaching to the level of a regulation. The use of scare quotes further diminished the stature of Christ’s teaching by casting doubt on whether we should really consider these unions to be irregular at all.

A conference on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was recently held at Boston College. Further evidence of the rejection of Christ’s plain teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is found in the reported comments of two speakers: Professor Cathleen Kaveny and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.

Kaveny used curious language to describe Our Lord’s teaching on marital fidelity: “Jesus clearly disfavored adultery.” No, Jesus forbade adultery. One can disfavor things that are good in themselves, but simply do not appeal to one for a variety of reasons. One can never claim as good and right something that God has clearly forbidden.

Kaveny continued: ”It’s clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God. But nothing in Jesus’ words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance.”

Well, the original will of God remains in force unless God himself has indicated otherwise. Jesus clearly reaffirmed the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, harkening back to God’s original plan for man and woman as revealed in the Book of Genesis.

Click here to read the rest of Father Murray’s column . . .

Fr. Gerald E. Murray

Fr. Gerald E. Murray

The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. is pastor of Holy Family Church, New York, NY, and a canon lawyer.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery by Guercino, 1621 in the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Gun Rights Are Women’s Rights

The right to bear arms isn’t just a constitutional issue — it’s a women’s rights issue. Author and commentator Katie Pavlich explains why guns are the great equalizer between men and women.

RELATED ARTICLE: NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch Forced to Flee Own Home After Anti-Gun Advocates Make Death Threats – American News

TRANSCRIPT:

GUNS RIGHTS ARE WOMEN’S RIGHTS WITH KATIE PAVLICH

Do you want equality between men and women?

I do. Which is why I own a gun. My Glock 43 is my equalizer.

Too NRA for you? Then, let’s take a step back and think about this. I will start with this premise: Men are physically stronger than women.

I know: even this is controversial these days. But men have more muscle mass and greater bone density; they run faster, and punch harder. It’s called “biology.” If a woman is going to protect herself against a man who intends to do her serious harm, she needs to even the odds. And what’s the best way for her to do that? Own a gun — and know how to use it.

Given this, you would think that feminists would be lining up in front of gun shops, spending quality time at the shooting range, and filing for concealed carry permits. But when was the last time you heard a feminist speak out for women owning guns? You haven’t, because
feminists aren’t for gun ownership. They’re for taking guns away from women.

Well, you might say, if no one owned a gun, then everybody would be safer. Yes…and it would be nice if cheesecake was a diet food.

There are over 300 million guns in the United States and that’s not going to change any time soon. But even if we could build a giant magnet, fly it across the country and snap up every gun, it wouldn’t much matter to women’s safety.

In Great Britain, where it’s almost impossible to get a gun, a woman is three times more likely to be raped than in America, according to a study by David Kopel, a professor of constitutional law at Denver University.

Here’s another telling comparison between gun-free UK and gun-owning US: In the United States, only about 13 percent of home burglaries take place when the occupants are home, but in the UK, almost 60 percent do.

Professor Kopel explains the disparity: “American burglars . . . avoid occupied homes because of the risk of getting shot. English burglars prefer occupied homes, because there will be wallets and purses with cash.”

And, by the way, an assailant doesn’t need a gun to be dangerous. What do you do if you’re a woman and a man comes at you with a knife? Or just his bare hands? If you want to depend Free Courses for Free Minds.com on pepper spray or a whistle, okay—but I think your finger on the trigger of a gun would be more effective.

Take the example of mail carrier Catherine Latta. After she had been assaulted and raped by her ex-boyfriend, Latta tried to purchase a firearm. She was told it might take a month to get a permit. “[I’ll] be dead by then,” she recalls telling the clerk. That afternoon, she went to a rough part of town and bought a handgun. Five hours later, her ex-boyfriend attacked her outside of her home. She shot him in self-defense, and saved her life.

I should add that firing a gun is very rare. Just carrying it—let alone brandishing it—is a deterrent.

And, isn’t that the issue? Personal safety? How is a woman supposed to defend herself? What if an intruder breaks into her home?

Liberal TV personality Sherri Shepherd answered this question a few years ago.

“At one in the morning, the alarm in our house went off,” Shepherd told her co-hosts on the popular daytime show, “The View.” As the alarm blared, her husband, Sal, went downstairs to look around. If something happened to him, a terrified Shepherd realized, she had no way to protect herself or her son, Jeffrey. “ …All I had was this wicker basket…[I] don’t have a bat, nothing.”

“‘We’re going to get a gun,’” I told Sal. “[This] just made me realize how vulnerable you are if you can’t protect your home. And the police [were] wonderful; they came about seven minutes later, but to me, that’s seven minutes too late.”

Luckily for Shepherd, the incident was a false alarm. But there are lots of cases where the alarm is real, especially in high crime areas. Yet every year, progressives push for more and more gun control without ever considering who will pay the price.

It won’t be the bad guys. They always get the guns they want. It will be the good women who need to equal the odds in a dangerous confrontation with a man.

Women owning guns shouldn’t be a partisan issue. In fact, it’s a women’s rights issue.

I’m all for equality between the sexes. And I practice what I preach.

That’s why I own a gun.

I’m Katie Pavlich for Prager University.

Janet Jackson ‘Felt Like a Prisoner’ in Marriage to Muslim

Islamic teachings command such a relationship. My latest in PJ Media:

Janet Jackson’s now-estranged Muslim husband Wissam Al Mana, according to insiders, “swept in at just the right time” when they first met in 2010, and Jackson was at a low point in her life. Al-Mana “bailed her out and whisked her away to the Middle East.” Soon, however, Jackson began to feel “like a prisoner” in the marriage. Al Mana wanted “a traditional wife who stuck with Muslim traditions,” and Jackson began to chafe in the role.

That’s not surprising. Jackson felt “like a prisoner” because that’s exactly what Islamic law expects of “a traditional wife who stuck with Muslim traditions.” South Carolina Muslim cleric Muhammad Sayyed Adly recently said that the man owns the woman and that women should be “as prisoners in your hands or in your house.”

Adly is no “extremist.” A manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar, the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, as “conforming to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” stipulates:

[A] woman may not leave the city without her husband or a member of her unmarriageable kin accompanying her, unless the journey is obligatory, like the hajj. It is unlawful for her to travel otherwise, and unlawful for her husband to allow her to. (Reliance of the Traveller m10.3)

As a traditional Muslim wife, Jackson could also have expected to be beaten if she got out of line. This is because the Qur’an says:

[M]en have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. (4:34)

Nowhere, of course, does the Qur’an teach that a woman can beat a man under any circumstances.

The Qur’an also likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills:

Your women are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth as you will. (2:223)

It declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man:

Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her (2:282).

It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls (those “your rights possess”) also:

If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, then only one, or one that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice (4:3).

The Qur’an has more that oppresses women. It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter:

Allah directs you as regards your children’s inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females (4:11).

It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).

Islamic law stipulates that a man’s prayer is annulled if a dog or a woman passes in front of him as he is praying. This is because Muhammad’s favorite wife, his child bride Aisha, is depicted in a hadith (a report of Muhammad’s words and deeds) saying:

The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.” I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away, for I disliked to face him. (Sahih Bukhari 1.9.490)

Another hadith depicts Muhammad saying that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women:

I looked into Paradise and I saw that the majority of its people were the poor. And I looked into Hell and I saw that the majority of its people are women. (Sahih Bukhari 3241; Sahih Muslim 2737)…

Read the rest here.

RELATED ARTICLES:

UK: Muslim accused of honor killing 19-year-old woman

Texas: Muslim who joined ISIS first became religious and started spending more time at the mosque

VIDEO: The Truth About Hollywood

Paul Joseph Watson published a YouTube video titled “The Truth About Hollywood” on Oct 15, 2017.

Watson states:

More and more people are beginning to feel jaded by popular culture.

Pop culture is defined as, “modern popular culture transmitted via mass media and aimed particularly at younger people.”

Hollywood has become the global trader in pop culture. Pop culture is miles wide but an inch deep. What has pop culture done for any culture? That is the question that parents, when they take their children to the movies, must ask themselves. What is the social redeeming value of the movie I am paying for? How does it benefit me, the parents, and our children?

QUESTION: What is the value system of pop culture?

ANSWER: It has none.

Pop culture and Hollywood are void of values, morals, responsibility and the worst voice of any culture or society. Values are derived from a moral society built upon long standing and proven beliefs and laws that hold the family in high esteem. Hollywood’s pop culture must tear down these beliefs, laws and the family.

Watch Watson’s short description of Hollywood:

This College Professor Is Under Siege for Challenging Transgender Orthodoxy

A Boise State University professor recently learned what happens when you challenge left-wing social narratives on college campuses.

Scott Yenor, a tenured professor, has been under siege on campus after publishing articles with The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal about feminism and the transgender movement.

In those articles, Yenor explained the similarity in philosophy between the early feminists and modern transgender movement and how they aim at undermining traditional family values.

He wrote in a Daily Signal article on Aug. 2:

Transgender rights activists are seeking to abridge parental rights by elevating the independent choices of young children. Respecting the sexual and gender “choices” of ever-younger children erodes parental rights and compromises the integrity of the family as an independent unit.

In response, studentsactivists, and even staff members at Boise State are now waging a relentless campaign to get Yenor fired or shut down.

petition to have Yenor fired—which has now gained thousands of signatures—has been passed around on campus. Activists have posted flyers attacking him, and some have called for other faculty to come out and officially condemn him.

Despite these calls, Boise State has said it will not fire Yenor, according to The College Fix.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy sailing for Yenor, who continues to be lambasted and isolated.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Yenor explained how the crusade against his work and others that challenge left-wing orthodoxy on campus is undercutting free speech at our colleges and universities.

The result of the reaction to his work, Yenor said, is that “there has been a very chilling effect on not only my speech, but those who would speak in defense of me both on the substance, and on the principle of academic freedom.”

The blowback came in earnest, according to Yenor, when the School of Public Service posted his article on its Facebook page. The dean received immediate negative reactions and anger from students and LGBT activists.

The dean, Corey Cook, then posted a statement on Facebook saying that while Yenor had a right to publish, his work violated the university’s aspirations of diversity and civility.

This didn’t stop the waves of attacks that would soon come upon Yenor.

The campaign against him became a “cause célèbre” for the new student diversity and inclusion hire, Francisco Salinas, according to Yenor.

In August, Salinas wrote an article condemning Yenor and tying his work to the recent events in Charlottesville and to Nazism.

And at an Aug. 29 faculty senate meeting, Boise State professor Lynn Lubamersky said that while she believes in free expression, she thinks that because of the opinions expressed in The Daily Signal article, Yenor “violated clear policies that govern our institution, our statement of shared values, and the State Board of Education policy regarding academic freedom and most important, our concern for our students.”

“The majority of our university is made up of women and transgendered people,” Lubamersky continued. “[Yenor’s] public statements published with the byline: Boise State University (BSU) professor of political science, a real violation of the rights of women and transgendered students.”

Lubamersky said:

When someone expresses bigoted, homophobic, and misogynistic views as a representative of a university, I think that we do have the right and responsibility to at least make a statement that we do not share these values and they are not represented of our university.

Since Yenor published the Daily Signal article in August, he received a constant stream of criticism and calls for his work to be shut down.

“The position seems to be that anyone who would do research in areas that don’t affirm the contemporary views, should be shut down,” Yenor said.

Boise State student Ryan Orlando called for his school to “part ways” with Yenor in an article he penned for The Odyssey.

“There are a multitude of morally reprehensible notions in Yenor’s writing which constitute a dangerous ideology that warrants separation from the university,” Orlando wrote.

“In our belief, this is hate speech, and it’s alienating a lot of folks in this Boise State community,” said Joe Goode, a member of the Boise State Young Democrats, according to KTVB.

“We want to show that our university stands for more than hate, we are a community of equality and inclusivity.”

While he has received withering personal attacks over his research, Yenor said that few have engaged with the ideas or have seriously attempted to refute his arguments.

Yenor said the personal attacks don’t bother him, but he worries about the long-term impact on people worried that their views will not be argued with, but simply attacked on campus.

“That’s been one of the most disappointing things,” Yenor said. “Everyone in academia could live with having a debate about ideas, but a debate has to start with an understanding what the other person is arguing.”

“It strikes me that there has really been, first of all, no effort to first understand what I’m arguing, and second of all, to get anywhere beyond name-calling and labeling,” Yenor said.

Yenor said only a handful of students have come out to publicly defend him or even make the simple argument that he should be allowed to speak on his views without getting fired, though he has received a lot of private support.

Yenor said he’s made new friendships, especially among those who privately share his views or actually want to understand what he has to say.

Nevertheless, he said he now feels like an “alien” on campus.

“There’s a kind of feeling that there’s a mob,” Yenor said. “And you don’t run across a mob.”

What’s been worst about all the flak he’s received on campus, according to Yenor, is this larger impact on speech.

While Yenor said he will not back down about writing about gender and other areas that he studies, he is worried about what the attacks mean for free speech and others who are afraid to have their careers derailed.

“The problem with what is happening is that the idea that I’m in violation of the campus civility policies is intended to have a chilling effect on my speech and the speech of anyone who would agree with me,” Yenor said. “That is the bottom line with how I’m being injured.”

This, according to Yenor, will damage institutions of higher learning.

“What is primarily at stake in my case, I think, is the development of a culture of victimization on campus or a social justice framework for understanding education,” Yenor said in a follow-up email.

The article has been corrected to reflect that the quotes from the Aug. 29 faculty meeting were from Professor Lynn Lubamersky.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: 

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

EDITORS NOTE: Emphasis has been added to this column by Mr. Stepman that was not in the original op-ed.

The Freudian Slip – and Fall

Robert Royal writes that the reputation of the founder of psychoanalysis is waning, as it should, being so far from truth.

My friends and family sometimes berate me (gently) for my longstanding habit – since my teen years – of reading the New York Review of Books. And, true, many other things might lay greater claim to your attention. Though it’s America’s premiere book review, NYRB is very ingrown. (It could be called theNew York Review of Each Other’s Books.) Mostly Jewish, secular, New York liberal – and almost always pushing a point of view you can predict without having to read. There are days when I wonder myself if NYRB and most of the American intellectual class are merely fretting and fiddling with frivolous secular obsessions while our whole civilization burns.

But in addition to reviews of books you might not otherwise hear about, NYRB is a convenient way to take the temperature of the culture. And sometimes there’s a surprise, as in a recent article by Frederick Crews about the scholarly demolition of Sigmund Freud. No one talks much about Freud these days. But he’s a prime example of a much bigger phenomenon in modern culture: the way that some dead intellectual, as John Maynard Keynes once famously said, continues to enslave even practical men and women of the world, despite the fact that his theories, once thought the last word in rationality and social revolution, have proven false.

Freud famously wrote about God as the psychological projection of a great big Father in his book The Future of an Illusion, and he’s responsible for no small part of modern secularism – and the sexual revolution. But as is often the case with people who are themselves psychologically disturbed, it was Freud who was doing the projecting – projecting a whole raft of notions he claimed were scientific but have increasingly been shown to be peculiar to a certain sector of Vienna in his time and, even more telling, to his own peculiar psyche.

Several biographers, even some who want to continue defending Freudianism, have noted the inconsistencies and outright contradictions in Freud’s work, beginning with his lack of careful observation or real insight into the people and world around him. Though he worked hard to make his daughter Anna his intellectual as well as physical heir, for example, he never noticed that she was lesbian.

But that’s just for starters.

Click here to read the rest of Robert Royal’s column . . .

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is a portrait of Sigmund Freud from Madam Tussauds, Vienna.

What Is The Biggest Threat We Face?

So what is the biggest threat we face? It’s ignorance.

Seems it is most difficult to confront who we are, how we tick and then breaking the non-optimal and non-survival habits. We are habitual in nature. People are 100% disciplined and committed to their existing habits. Change your habits-change your life, change the world. Let’s talk about ignorance as the biggest threat we face and how to begin to overcome this. This link covers an important aspect of this subject and this link can help us identify truth from lies. A nation led by lies dies. Also be sure to pick up your copy of the newly released book Trump-“What One Man Can Do”. A link has been provided at the end of this post.

What Is The Biggest Threat We Face

I talked about this in “The Process” under “Discovery and the Evolution of Change”. Arriving at the truth: This is where one begin to question things as they are and begin to embark upon what can be an uncomfortable journey as deceitful lies are revealed and truths come to light. This is where the change really begins as one acquires a new operating basis as a free critical thinker and truth seeker. This is the first and most important grounding and empowering step.

We are a busy people. There are all the things and complications that life seems to place before us. It is most difficult in this fast paced world as we are bombarded with images and information to actually sort out and sift out fact from fiction. But we must. We must realize that the biggest threat we are facing is our own ignorance. Seek the truth.

“The searching-out and thorough investigation of truth ought to be the primary study of man”- Cicero, 106 BC-43 BC. I would suggest becoming a truth seeker. Become a critical thinker. Think for yourself. Question everything and break your habitual circuits of believing what it is you are being spoon fed. Forget about acceptance and group-think. Come to understand exactly which people and organizational structures are in control and wreaking all this global havoc and know who they are and what they are setting out to accomplish as their end goal for humanity. I wrote about this to some extent in this blog post titled “Creating A Better World For Posterity”. In order to shift the direction we are heading in and to have the pendulum swing in the other direction, we must combat our own individual ignorance, the biggest threat we face, then help others. Start now before its too late.

Free Book

Subscribe here and I will send you a complimentary copy of my 2015 book “Misconceptions and Course Corrections – A Collection of Critical Essays for Our Times”. This eye opening book may be a great tool to pass along to others in the effort to shift the pendulum from division to unity against the real merchants of chaos. And on a more direct political note, pick up your copy of my latest Donald Trump book, “What One Man Can Do”, 10% of all book sales go to the Trump campaign. Learn more.