VIDEO FROM 2015: Astroturf and manipulation of media messages by Sharyl Attkisson

TEDx Talks published the below comments and video featuring Sharyl Attkisson on YouTube in 2015. Fast forward to fake news in 2018.

In this eye-opening talk, veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how astroturf, or fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.

ABOUT SHARYL ATTKISSON

Sharyl Attkisson is an investigative journalist based in Washington D.C. She is currently writing a book entitled Stonewalled (Harper Collins), which addresses the unseen influences of corporations and special interests on the information and images the public receives every day in the news and elsewhere. For twenty years (through March 2014), Attkisson was a correspondent for CBS News. In 2013, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her reporting on “The Business of Congress,” which included an undercover investigation into fundraising by Republican freshmen. She also received Emmy nominations in 2013 for Benghazi: Dying for Security and Green Energy Going Red. Additionally, Attkisson received a 2013 Daytime Emmy Award as part of the CBS Sunday Morning team’s entry for Outstanding Morning Program for her report: “Washington Lobbying: K-Street Behind Closed Doors.” In September 2012, Attkisson also received an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for the “Gunwalker: Fast and Furious” story. She received the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for the same story. Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2009 for her exclusive investigations into TARP and the bank bailout. She received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2002 for her series of exclusive reports about mismanagement at the Red Cross.

EDITORS NOTE: This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx. The featured photo is by rawpixel on Unsplash.

 

Tanzanian Cardinal: Better to Starve Than to Embrace Homosexuality

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (ChurchMilitant.com) – An African prelate is warning his people that it’s better to starve than to embrace homosexuality.

In an appeal to Tanzanian lawmakers last month, Cdl. Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam lashed out at Western aid programs that force poor countries to promote LGBT ideology in exchange for development aid.

At a thanksgiving Mass celebrating the November harvest, Cdl. Pengo denounced the threat by post-Christian Western nations to choke off economic and humanitarian aid to Tanzania unless the country decriminalizes homosexual acts and rallied government leaders to stand firm against secularist coercion.

“It is better to die of hunger than to receive aid and be compelled to do things that are contrary to God’s desire,” he declared.

“We cannot accept such displeasing things to God; and if we are starving because we have refused to engage in such acts, then we would rather die with our God.”

Increasingly, Western activists and their allies are injecting LGBT and pro-abortion ideology into foreign policy, pressing developing nations to overthrow traditional religious and cultural norms in favor of post-Christian social re-engineering.

But as Cdl. Pengo demonstrated, multiple Catholic leaders are fighting back.

Pope Francis frequently slams coercive development programs, warning they represent a corrosive “ideological colonization.” In an address to the United Nations earlier this year, the Pope denounced emerging “new rights” that disrespect “social and cultural traditions” and ignore developing nations’ “real needs.”

“Somewhat paradoxically, there is a risk that, in the very name of human rights, we will see the rise of modern forms of ideological colonization by the stronger and the wealthier, to the detriment of the poorer and the most vulnerable,” Francis warned.

Likewise, Culture of Life Africa founder Obianuju Ekeocha is a fierce critic of the new imperialism.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register last year, the Nigerian-born pro-family advocate observed: “The western world has been — and is still — undergoing rapid and radical moral shifts especially with regards to human sexuality, marriage, family and of course the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”

Image

Obianuju Ekeocha, founder of Culture of Life Africa.

“These changes have been toxic to society,” Ekeocha reflected, “as casual sex, abortion and contraception have become acceptable in many western countries, just as gender fluidity, same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual lifestyles are being supported and normalized by the same wealthy and powerful western leaders who hold and control the purse strings of foreign aid.”

In 2015, 45 prelates from more than three dozen African countries came together to issue a “Common Declaration of the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar,” demanding an end to foreign efforts to cultivate a Culture of Death across Africa under the guise of economic and humanitarian aid.

“By what right do Western NGOs, who only represent their own ideological interests, claim to legally bind African states to their world vision?” they asked. “Why such a programing and will to pollute and pervert, extending throughout the African continent?”

“This is a new type of slavery!” they exclaimed. “We want the dignity of our people to be respected.”

Speaking to his congregation in Dar es Salaam last month, Cdl. Pengo reminded his flock that the stakes involved in their fight run very deep.

“The sin of homosexuality,” he warned, is “contrary to God’s plan in creation,” and was “the cause of destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

COLUMN BY

STEPHEN WYNNE

Stephen hails from the City of Fountains, Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University, and an E.M.B.A. from the University of Missouri.

His interests include international relations, cultural diplomacy, and theology; he is fascinated by Church history, particularly crisis points such as the Protestant revolt and the rise of modernism. Particular sounds — the crashing of waves, the wind in the trees, the pealing of bells — turn his thoughts toward God.

Stephen likes bullet trains, BBQ, and the works of Hieronymus Bosch. His favorite places include Iceland, Britain and above all, the Netherlands.

He is fueled by prayer and Red Bull, in that order.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column by Stephen Wynne with images originally appeared on Church Militant. It is republished with permission.

Getting Our Creation Wrong

Anthony Esolen: The sick need mercy, especially a man at odds with his own body.  But compromise principles? Never.  Jesus never did.


When the Pharisees came to Jesus to ask for what reasons a man might put away his woman, Jesus does not refer to the opinions of Hillel or Shammai, the titans of the previous generation of rabbis – the one liberal, the other conservative.  He goes even behind the law of Moses, which he says does not express the intention of the Creator from the beginning, but which was, in this matter, a concession to the hardness of men’s hearts.

“From the beginning of creation,” he says, echoing the first word of Scripture, “he made them male and female.  And for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his woman, and the two shall be one flesh.  So they are no more two, but one flesh.  Then what God has yoked together, let man not put asunder” (Mark 10:6-8; translation mine).  When the disciples, stunned, ask Jesus about it privately, he does not soften his judgment: “Whoever puts away his woman and marries another, commits adultery with her.”

That is as stunning a condemnation as you can find. The Greek verb moichaomai is used in the Septuagint to refer also to unfaithfulness to God, as in the worship of idols.  The association is common in the Old Testament.  If you worship Baal or Moloch or Dagon, you are like a man going after whores.

We must not think that the authors have in mind only an attitude of unfaithfulness.  Baal and Moloch and Dagon are not gods: they are not the Creator.  It is an offense to the Creator to worship them, and stupid to boot, because they are the works of man.  You might take a block of wood and carve an idol or a chamberpot; it does not matter to the wood.  You might take your idol and toss it into the fire to warm your fingers.  How stupid, to worship a thing like that!

To get creation wrong, to fall in adoration of your chamberpot, is as filthy a thing, then, as to go a-whoring, and as stupid and self-destructive; but to go a-whoring, which is what Jesus says a man does when he puts away his woman and marries another, is to get creation wrong, and the Creator.

Here we see the apostasy of our time, tumescent and foolish, in broad daylight.

The Pharisees were seeking a good social custom. Jesus does not refer to custom. He refers to creation, and the intent of the Creator as manifest in the creation.  He points out the plain fact: we are made male and female, and male and female are what they are so that they will come together and become one flesh.

The word one and the idea it expresses are central to Jewish and Christian faith: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord, the Lord your God is one,” not two, and since that is so, we must love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, not parceling out our love, some to God, and some to Baal or the chamberpot. Because the Lord our God is one and not two, we must love our neighbor as ourself; the same God who made us made him too.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, 1907-8 [Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna]

In none of this do we hear anything about a man’s feelings.  For we are not talking about interior dispositions, but about bodily beings, obvious to all.  The man is for the woman, the woman is for the man.  Indeed, there is no special word, in Hebrew or Greek, to denote “husband” and “wife,” because a man is to be a man for a woman, and a woman to be a woman for a man.

Many languages reflect that ontological fact: in German, a woman who refers to her “Mann” means her husband, and a man who refers to his “Frau,” his “woman,” means his wife.  Early modern English too: the word “wife” in “I now pronounce you man and wife” meant “woman” in the general sense; a “fishwife” is not the wife of a fish, but a woman who sells fish.

That being-for, in the mutuality of sexual distinction and sexual congress, is inscribed in the forms of our bodies. Every sexual sin is in some way an attack on the body and its objective meanings, which are conferred not by man but by God.

If I believe, however, that I am the one who endows my body with its meaning, even if I appeal to feelings over which I think I have no power, I have displaced the Creator.  Nowhere does Scripture suggest that God has created our passions, and nowhere does Jesus suggest that our passions are justified because we happen to have them.

To commit fornication, even with the best will in the world, is to deny the obvious, that the child-making thing is for making a child.  To commit adultery is to tear the one flesh in two.  To riffle through a porn magazine, one-handed, is to turn sex into a disembodied and lonely passion.

Sodom now forges the artillery of attack against the body created by God.  Soon it will be scientists in the grip of ennui and ambition, denying a meaning to “human,” and longing to merge us with the beast or the machine.

The intermediate term between Sodom and the Borg is the madness of the “transgender,” replacing natural sex with the mechanical and pharmaceutical, all to be dictated by the individual will, which says, as in all sins, “I am my own.”  Beneath it all lies a hatred of created reality.  It is either evil or meaningless, mere stuff for our manipulation.

Persons warrant our mercy, especially the sick, and who is sicker than a man at odds with his own body?  Principles, never.  Jesus never gave up one inch to an evil principle.  It is hard for us wretches to be both merciful with men and merciless with evil principles.  Too bad; it is our task.

COLUMN BY

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. His latest books are Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child and Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture. He directs the Center for the Restoration of Catholic Culture at Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. © 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. The featured photo is by Benjaminrobyn Jespersen on Unsplash.

PODCAST: On Gender, the Science Is Deafening

Reading the headlines this week is like taking a trip to an alternate universe. Ten years ago, if you’d have said that in 2018 teachers would get fired for calling a girl a girl, most people wouldn’t have believed you. Unfortunately, that’s the ridiculous world Americans are waking up to every morning. But to most people’s relief, not everyone is playing along with this charade. And that includes President Trump.

Almost two years in, this administration is still trying to mop up the mess made by Barack Obama. And considering the huge disaster they inherited, it’s amazing how much progress the White House has already made rolling back the absurdity of Obama’s LGBT legacy. After squashing the government’s gender-free bathroom mandate, President Trump moved on to the military. Now, he’s directed his agencies to make one of the most important changes of all: protecting the 54-year-old Civil Rights Act.

Barack Obama chose to read the law the way he wanted — not how it was written by Congress. For the last few years of his administration, he started using his own interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to give special protections to people who identify as transgender. There’s just one problem: that’s not what the 1964 Congress meant — and it’s not what the statute says. So, President Trump issued his own memo. For the purposes of his administration, the Justice Department explained, “sex discrimination” would not include “gender identity.”

That was music to the ears of a lot more than conservatives. In the medical community, experts were relieved to see that the president’s policy matched what was wise and prudent for patients. In a letter to the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services, a coalition of doctors, bioethicists, therapists, academics, and policy groups all praised the president for taking a scientifically-sound approach.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, head of the American College of Pediatricians, explained why that’s so important in an interview on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” The letter, she points out, represents the views of more than 30,000 physicians who all understand that gender identity is a very real threat to modern health care. “Transgenders are saying, ‘I think and feel this way, therefore, I am.’ And it’s one thing for us to, as physicians, treat the person with respect and honor their name change, but it would be a complete malpractice to treat them as the opposite sex.”

As she explains, there is nothing any of us can do to change our binary, biologically-determined-at-conception sex. “A man on estrogen is not a woman. He is a man with a male physiology on estrogen, and that’s how a physician must approach him.” The very serious problem, she points out, is that people are so ideologically-driven that they want to ignore the medical research. More than ever, Dr. Cretella says, “Medicine is at the point now where we understand that men and women have — at a minimum — 6,500 genetic differences between us. And this impacts every cell of our bodies — our organ systems, how diseases manifest, how we diagnose, and even treat in some cases.”

Treating a person differently based on their feelings isn’t just harmful, she argues, but deadly. In cases like heart disease, certain drugs can endanger women and not men. Even diagnoses present differently in men and women. The symptoms for certain diseases, she explains, can manifest themselves in completely opposite ways. “And these are nuances that medicine is finally studying and bringing to light. And it’s actually ironic that the transgender movement [is] so anti-science.”

“There is absolutely no rigorous science that has found a trait called ‘gender identity’ in the brain, body, or DNA. Now sex — I can show you that. It’s in our chromosomes. It’s in the body. It’s in the reproductive organs. Over 99.98 percent of the times, our sexual development is clearly and unambiguously either male or female.” The sex differences, she explains are real and consequential.

If she had one message for America, Dr. Cretella said, it would be this: “Stick with science.” Thank goodness for us, the president has.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images and podcast is republished with permission.

The Blood Sugar in Your Vision: Stages and Treatments of Diabetic Retinopathy

People with high sugar level or diabetes are prone to eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy. High sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye that can cause blurry vision or even vision loss.

It is essential that people who have diabetes get annual eye exams from an ophthalmologist to detect diabetic retinopathy before reaching the advanced stage. You may already have DR before you even notice any visual problems.

This eye disease can affect your vision depends on its stage. With that, here are the two main stages of diabetic retinopathy you might experience.

  • Nonproliferative Retinopathy. Nonproliferative retinopathy comes to the earliest phase of diabetic retinopathy and is not a sight-threatening condition. It is where Microaneurysms in the blood vessels may leak into the retina that can cause swelling of the macula. Non-proliferative will develop from mild to moderate to severe.
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. PDR is a sight-threatening phase of this diabetic disease. In this stage, the retinal blood vessels are blocked and damaged. It results in a newly generated blood vessels that grow in the eye. Unfortunately, these newly generated blood vessels are abnormal and may go into the retina that can block the vision.

Treatments

Treatments of diabetic retinopathy will depend on the stage of your eye condition and how severe it is. It is necessary to seek for medical consultation from your doctor and ophthalmologist before you undergo eye treatments and surgery.

You can also search for websites like https://eyesinthevillage.ca/ and other sites about diabetes and eye problems to learn more about your condition. Depends on the stage of diabetic retinopathy, here are some treatments that can prevent eye damage due to diabetes.

Medical Control

For the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, controlling the blood sugar and blood pressure is the most common treatment to stop the progress of the disease and avoid vision loss. If you have diabetes, you need to follow the diet recommended by your nutritionist to maintain sugar levels.

Take the prescribed medicine from your medical doctor to manage your blood sugar.  Controlling your blood pressure and sugar level can prevent the risks of diabetes including diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems.

Photocoagulation or Focal Laser Treatment

Photocoagulation is a laser treatment for an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy which can stop or slow the leakage of fluid and blood in the eyes. This treatment is using laser burns to treat the leaks from the abnormal blood vessels that grow in the retina.

If you have blurred eyesight from macular edema before surgery, you might not recover your normal vision through this treatment, but it will reduce the risk of macular edema.

Panretinal Photocoagulation or Scatter laser Treatment

Panretinal Photocoagulation is also a laser treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This treatment is using scattered laser burns on the area of the retina away from the macula. This laser will destroy the dead areas of the retina where the blood vessels are blocked. After the treatment, the retina will stop the production of new blood vessels.

You will experience blurred vision for about a day after the procedure.

Vitrectomy

Vitrectomy is a treatment for an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy which uses a tiny incision in your eye to remove blood from the vitreous as well as the scar tissue in the retina.

Takeaway

Treatments of diabetic retinopathy should involve both an ophthalmologist and a medical doctor. Your medical doctor will help you control your blood sugar and can treat complications on diabetes that may worsen your eye problem. An ophthalmologist will determine the stage of your diabetic retinopathy and will give you the proper treatment for your eye condition.

Even after the treatment for diabetic retinopathy, you need to have regular eye exams. Diabetes is a lifelong condition. There are still possibilities that you will have retinal damage if you cannot control your blood sugar level.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Does Legalization Increase Marijuana Use?

The new 2016-2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health State Estimates is out this week. The below graphs illustrate a few of the findings from this annual survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Numbers in graphs are percentages. The graphs can be downloaded starting Thursday, December 6 here. National Families in Action grants permission to reproduce them for educational purposes.

RELATED ARTICLE: America’s Invisible Pot Addicts. More and more Americans are reporting near-constant cannabis use, as legalization forges ahead.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Grav on Unsplash.

The Word “Mean” is the Leftists’ Lethal Weapon

Founded upon Christian principles, Americans have always eventually done the right thing – freed the slaves, gave women the right to vote and so on. While we are an extremely compassionate people, throughout our history we have made adult commonsense decisions to preserve our homeland; good stewards of God’s gift of America.

Today, leftists’ (Democrats, Hollywood and Fake news) most powerful weapon to overrule commonsense and further their anti-America agenda is the word “mean.” Far too many Republicans and conservatives regard being declared mean by leftists an immediate stop sign; preventing the enforcement of our laws and blocking the implementation of commonsense solutions good for America.

Fully supported by American leftists, illegals are saying screw you America. We are invading your country whether you like it or not; arrogantly breaking our immigration laws. They demand to feed on our welfare safety-net set up for Americans. Outrageously, Obama gave illegals freebies unavailable to Americans; free attorneys and more. Obama used taxpayers’ money to spend over 60 grand per illegal to settle them in America. We spend $11 to $22 billion each year on freebies for illegals

Obama spread illegals around the country, irresponsibly putting medically untested children of illegals into our schools infecting our kids with strange diseases. That was mean. Leftists like Obama are consistently mean to Americans.

Can you believe illegal students in our schools are allowed to demand that U.S. students not wear clothing to school that features the U.S. Flag on Mexican holidays? Illegals claim wearing U.S. gear on a Mexican holiday is racist, insensitive and mean. Incredibly, leftist school administrators agree and send U.S. students home for wearing t-shirts which feature our flag

We welcome people who had a burning desire to become Americans and entered our country legally. For years, I witnessed the character and passion of such migrants when I performed my original song, “Celebrate America” at Immigration Naturalization Ceremonies in Maryland. Many wept after taking their oath of allegiance.

The illegals invading our country today have no desire to become Americans; no desire to assimilate. Quite the opposite. Illegals give learning English, embracing our culture and honoring our flag their middle fingers. Fake news hides the fact that many of the thousands of young men illegally invading our country are known gang members

Irresponsible foreign parents send their children unaccompanied to make the extremely dangerous journey to the American border armed with abortion pills because the chances of being raped are high. Fake news hides the truth that illegals are committing horrendous crimes on Americans including decapitating a 13 year old girl in Alabama. Leftists attempt to silence anyone who states these truths by calling them mean racists.

Leftists hide the truth that the illegals invading our country are defiant; demanding rights while disrespecting our homeland. Fake news media and Hollywood flood the airwaves with images and lies portraying the invaders as good people simply seeking a better life. Therefore, it is mean and racist to attempt to stop them. Republicans, Conservatives and Trump voters who understand that without borders we do not have a country are branded mean racist haters by the American left.

Leftists strategically use the word mean to block the enforcement of immigration law. However, leftists have no problem being mean to Americans. For example: Leftists hide and financially support illegal felons who murder, rob and rape Americans in their sanctuary cities; extremely mean to Americans.

Thirty-two year old Kate Steinle was shot and killed by Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, an illegal with numerous felons, deported numerous times. Sanctuary city San Francisco kept welcoming Zarate back and outrageously acquitted Zarate of Kate’s murder

Republicans and conservatives sought to pass Kate’s Law which would give mandatory jail-time to deported illegal felons who keep coming back. Democrats fought Kate’s Law tooth and nail, in essence, saying screw you to protecting U.S. Citizens.

Imagine returning home from vacation. To your shock and horror, your backyard has been transformed into a ghetto tent city with women, children and a large number of young men. Gang symbols are spray painted on your house siding. There are piles of trash. Invaders have broken into your home. Valuables have been stolen. The invaders run a massive number of extension cords from inside and outside your home to power their electrical needs. Your wife and daughter are sexually threatened. Your middle school son has developed a strange cough.

Upon contacting law enforcement and your Democrat mayor to remove the invaders from your property, you are excoriated; called a mean racist. Your mayor demands that you purchase more homeowners insurance, upgrade your electrical power and make various other concessions to accommodate your poor guests who are only seeking a better life.

Local fake news TV shows up. Keeping the mob of tattooed young men flashing gang signs off camera, the leftist reporter interviews a women holding a child. Overwhelmingly sympathetic to the invaders, the reporter airs a news story portraying the invaders as good people who are simply seeking a better life. You are branded the villainous mean white racist homeowner who refuses to share your stuff. More illegals arrive daily invading other homesteads throughout your community.

My fellow Americans this is exactly what is happening to our country. Fake news media is attempting 24/7 to brand president Trump the mean bad guy for not opening our border to the free-flow of illegals. Democrats, Hollywood, social media and fake news media are doing their part to convince Americans that attempting to stop the invasion of our home is mean and racist.

Thank God president Trump is not deterred or intimated by leftists’ never-ending campaign to brand him mean and racist. Trump continues to make adult commonsense decisions in the best interest of Americans.

RELATED ARTICLE: Study: More than 7-in-10 California Immigrant Households Are on Welfare

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Giorgio Encinas on Unsplash.

A Marriage Message Made in Taiwan

Taiwan was supposed to be the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Then, they asked voters. And like countries the world over, the island’s leaders got the same answer: No.

Of the 10 questions on the Taiwanese ballot, none got more attention than the five dealing with LGBT “rights.” “Do you agree that marriage defined in The Civil Code should be restricted to the union between one man and one woman?” voters were asked. An overwhelming portion of the country — 70.1 percent — said yes. Of course, you’ll have a hard time finding the actual number in American newspapers, since our media is doing its best to ignore the landslide. But the message from the country off the east coast of China could not be clearer: there is no significant international movement toward same-sex marriage.

Some people might see the results and think the island has a massive Christian population. They’d be wrong. Less than five percent of the country are Protestants or Catholics. And although they were vocal about their opinion on the issue, the fact of the matter is, most of the world’s population knows how unnatural the idea is. Until 2015, when the Supreme Court forced same-sex on America, LGBT activists here at home insisted the U.S. was outside the mainstream. But the irony is, we’re only outside of the mainstream now that it’s legal! There are 195 countries on this planet, and only 27 of them allow same-sex marriage. That’s 13 percent — hardly the stuff of global consensus.

Besides, not even global consensus is a substitute for truth. And as the Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei told his church’s leaders, no law can change God’s design for marriage. While the Church does not condone discrimination, he said, “We cannot support same-sex ‘marriage’ and same-sex unions,” he insisted. “The legalization is… not in line with our teachings.”

Seven thousand miles away in America, the vote is having an interesting effect on our own debate. In a country where natural marriage is still the popular view, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to voice those views without backlash. Scott Chen, who was educated in Taiwan, found that out when he posted a message about the vote in Chinese. “Some people think that marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman, I think so too, but that’s your own business.” You can imagine how well that would be taken by the LGBT movement if Chen were an average businessman. They’d demand his resignation. The problem is, Chen isn’t just an average businessman. Three months ago, he was named president of an app facilitating same-sex dating. For how much longer, after this backlash, no one knows.

Chen tried to defend himself. “I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” he said. “I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage. Different people have their different feelings about their marriages. You can’t deny my feelings about my marriage.”

Now, we expect that kind of backtracking from a lot of people in corporate America. The problem for believers, however, is that some Christians are doing the same thing. They become so intimidated by the cultural bullies that they put the fear of man above the fear of God. They shrink back and go silent on truth that is found not only in the Bible, but history and science as well. If Christians, who know the truth and are called to speak the truth ignore the truth, then what hope do we have? As a church in this country, we need a clarion call for courage. In a culture where 62 percent of student conservatives are too afraid to share their ideas in class, America is in a crisis situation.

Fortunately, this country has a president who, when it comes to doing and saying the tough things, refuses to be intimidated. That kind of courage breeds courage. It only takes one person — an Isabella Chow — doing something radically brave, to help others find their voice. And before you know it, people like Isabella won’t be standing alone, because tens of thousands of people will be standing with them and behind them, inspired by their bravery. We need more Isabellas in this country — and if we’re going to change anything, we need them now.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

Bohemian Rhapsody: A Case Study Of The Destructive Gay Lifestyle

I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody a 20th Century Fox film about the British rock band Queen from its formation in the 1970s to its 1985 Live Aid performance.

I came away with a feeling of deep sadness watching the tragedy of the life of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, played brilliantly by Rami Malek. If anything Bohemian Rhapsody is a case study of the decline, fall and untimely death of a bi-sexual individual because of his promiscuous gay lifestyle.

The acting was excellent. The script and images depicted in great detail the path of Freddie from a heterosexual male into the darkest and deepest world of homosexuality.

If anything the lesson of Bohemian Rhapsody is about temptation and the weakness of the flesh.

From fame and fortune to alcohol and drug abuse to homosexuality. From rejection of a homosexual relationship with one of his employees to his full participation is the promiscuous gay lifestyle that leads to the breakup of the band Queen. We witness the tragic loss of Freddie’s reputation, the loss of his family (the band), the breakup with his fiancee and finally the shortening of his life when Freddie learns that he has contracted HIV/AIDS.

This is not a film for the faint of heart but it is a must see to understand how one person can be groomed by another homosexual to truly become something that he is not – a bi-sexual gay man. It is clear in the film that homosexuality is a choice, not something one is born with. For in the end Freddie disengages from his homosexuality and returns to what really drove him, to make great music.

I found it refreshing that Hollywood showed the darkest side of being gay. But is also showed how many of Freddie’s friends and his former fiance, played by Lucy Boynton, could still love him. For a Christian watching this film it is useful to understand that while they hate the sin, they love the sinner.

What is truly tragic is that there were many opportunities to save Freddie from his ultimate fate and certain death. We can only hope and pray that Freddie was redeemed and forgiven for his sins. We can only pray that he is in Heaven singing his songs.

Bohemian Rhapsody trailer.

RELATED DATA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – HIV by Group

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image and video are courtesy of  20th Century FoxNew RegencyGK Films, and Queen Films.

5 Key Themes at the First Lady’s Opioid Town Hall With Eric Bolling [+Video]

FLOTUS: ‘We Need to Change’ Arc of Opioid Crisis,


First lady Melania Trump welcomed media attention to how the administration is confronting the opioid drug crisis during her appearance Wednesday at a “town hall” on the subject at Liberty University.

That would be a change of approach, she said.

“I would like that they’re focused more on what we’re doing, and what we want to achieve, and spread awareness. It’s very important for the country and the whole world,” the first lady said of the news media.

Political commentator Eric Bolling, host of CRTV’s “America,” invited Trump to the town hall discussion, which also featured Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Pop singer Demi Lovato’s mother, Dianna De La Garza, was scheduled to appear but had to cancel. Lovato nearly died from an opioid overdose in July.

Family tragedy prompted Bolling to raise awareness of the opioid crisis and to look for solutions after his 19-year-old son Eric Chase died in September 2017 from an accidental overdose of Xanax laced with fentanyl.

“The fight against opioid deaths in America just took a turn for the better,” Bolling told The Daily Signal before the town hall. “There is no doubt in my mind that first lady Melania Trump joining me in this war on the deadliest health crisis to ever hit the United States will have a significant and positive effect.”

In a statement provided to The Daily Signal, the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said of Bolling:

The first lady has been inspired by his commitment to combating the opioid epidemic. To use his own personal family tragedy to help save lives is the epitome of strength and selflessness

Here are five big moments from Trump’s appearance and other portions of the town hall:

1. The First Family’s Compassion

After recounting the night he found out his son had died from opioids, Bolling reiterated that it was never his desire to become an “accidental expert.”

“I’ve made it my passion to talk to people, to talk to young people,” he told the students at the university n Lynchburg, Virginia.

Bolling said President Donald Trump and the first lady called him while he and his wife Adrienne were in Colorado to retrieve their son’s body.

The president, he said, told him: “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but whatever you need we’ll take care of it.”

The Trumps called again on Thanksgiving last year to check in on the Bolling family and express their condolences.

2. The First Lady’s Motive

Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative aimed at American children has three prongs: general well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse.

Until recently, she has focused mainly on young mothers and babies afflicted with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when a baby is born addicted to opioids because of the mother’s use of the drugs while pregnant.

“When I took on opioid abuse as one of the pillars of my initiative Be Best, I did it with the goal of helping children of all ages,” Trump said.

The first lady commended the Bolling family for their activism in the wake of Eric Chase’s death:

It takes such a strength and grace to take the grief I know you and Adrienne deal with each day and use the loss of your son Eric as a catalyst for good. You honor him every day through the lives that you are saving. I am inspired by the work you are doing, and hope you know that my husband and his entire administration are committed to fighting the opioid epidemic.

And, Bolling asked, what about those red Christmas trees inside the White House that have drawn some criticism?

“We are in [the] 21st century, and everybody has a different taste. I think they look fantastic,” the first lady said with a laugh.

3. The Demographic Is Everybody

Azar, the president’s health and human services secretary, told the audience that addiction awareness is key.

The administration has released a series of public service ads in a campaign called “The Truth About Opioids.”

“Frankly, they ought to scare you,” Azar said of the ads.

Azar, who has a pharmaceutical background, said the targeted demographic is “everybody,” unfortunately, with nearly 133 Americans dying each day from opioids.

He did point out one optimistic statistic, saying that under the Trump administration, legal prescribing of opioids is down by 23 percent.

“The majority of people who become addicted to opioids today were prescribed a legal painkiller for wisdom teeth, a knee surgery, something like that,” Azar said.

4. A Pound of Fentanyl Can Cause 150,000 Deaths

Nielsen said the Department of Homeland Security is focused on stopping illicit drugs from coming across the border, including on ships or airplanes.

She singled out fentanyl, one of the most dangerous opioids on the streets.

“The most difficult part to get at is most of the fentanyl is still coming from China through the mail,” Nielsen said.

The president signed legislation called the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which gives the U.S. Postal Service the ability to prescreen international shipments for illegal substances.

To help private mail companies such as FedEx or UPS, homeland security officials use the agency’s National Targeting Center to spot shipping patterns that seem off. China also has cooperated by providing advance information about shipments so the department can better target resources.

5. Getting Rid of the Stigma

The first lady also addressed a major obstacle in the battle.

“We must commit to removing the stigma of shame that comes with addiction and helping change public opinion, so that people find evidence-based treatment before it is too late,” she cautioned.

It’s a sentiment that Bolling has shared and discussed in depth over the past year.

Addiction “is not a moral failing, it is a medical issue,” Azar said.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny. Twitter: @GinnyMontalbano.


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Photo: Douliery Olivier/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom.

For every dollar gained in tax revenue, Colorado taxpayers paid $4.50 to mitigate the effects of marijuana legalization

A comprehensive new report by the Centennial Institute analyzes what marijuana legalization costs Colorado taxpayers. A few highlights:

  • The highest costs are connected to marijuana-related ER admissions, hospitalizations, and school dropouts.
  • There is a connection between marijuana use and the use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Calls to Poison Control increased dramatically after legalization for medical use in 2000 and recreational use in 2014.
  • Adult marijuana users generally have lower educational attainment than nonusers.
  • Some 69 percent of marijuana users say they have driven at least once under the influence of marijuana.
  • Some 27 percent do so on a daily basis.
  • In 2016, the marijuana industry used enough electricity to power 32,355 homes.
  • That year, the industry was responsible for 393,053 pounds of CO2 emissions.

Read full Centennial Institute report here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Denver City Council Thinks Helping Heroin Addicts Shoot Up Will Stop Them Shooting Up 


Greater risk for frequent marijuana use and problems among young adult marijuana users with a medical marijuana card

With funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, researchers conducted a multi-year study of southern California children from middle school through high school.

At age 19, 28 percent (188) of 671 young adult marijuana users possessed a medical marijuana card.

  • Card holders showed steeper increases in frequent marijuana use (20 to 30 days in the past month) from ages 13 to 19 than those who did not have a card.
  • They also reported more problems in young adulthood than non-card holders, including negative consequences, selling marijuana/hashish, and driving under the influence of marijuana.
  • In addition, they were more likely to have tried to cut down or quit using marijuana in the last three months than those who did not possess a medical marijuana card.

The researchers conclude that given expanding state legalization of marijuana for medical use, this issue warrants further attention.

Read Science Direct summary of Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal article here.


FullMeasure takes a look at Colorado’s marijuana legalization

This 8-minute video and transcript presents a picture of the results of marijuana legalization in Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. We hear a lot about the up side of legalization, not so much about the down side. This reporting team set out to examine both.

The biggest surprise has been the expansion – rather than the demise promised by legalization advocates – of the black market. Cartels rent homes in upscale neighborhoods, rip up carpeting, tear down walls, and push up wooden floors to turn them into grow houses, totally destroying half-million-dollar homes in the process. And those are rented homes.

There has also been a spike in crime. In 2016, Colorado’s increase in its crime rate was eleven times more than the average 30 biggest US cities. Homicides are up by almost 10 percent.

Read and see FullMeasure story here.


Cannabis use and suicide attempts among 86,254 adolescents aged 12-15 years from 21 low- and middle-income countries.

Researchers analyzed data from the Global school-based Student Health Survey taken by 86,254 adolescents from 21 countries to assess whether suicide attempts in the past year might be associated with lifetime and past-month marijuana use.

Overall prevalence of past-month marijuana use was 2.8 percent (varying from 0.5 percent in Laos to 37.6 percent in Samoa).

Overall prevalence of lifetime marijuana use was 3.9 percent, while overall prevalence of suicide attempts was 10.5 percent.

The researchers found that past-month marijuana use was significantly associated with suicide attempts. Lifetime marijuana use was also independently associated with suicide attempts.

They call for the causality of this association to be confirmed or refuted in prospective studies to further inform policies for suicide prevention.

Read European Psychiatry abstract here.


Mount Sinai researchers conduct study of second-hand marijuana smoke in children

Researchers found that nearly half of children whose parents smoked marijuana showed evidence of second-hand smoke exposure.

Their study was a secondary analysis of data and samples collected in a larger study evaluating the effectiveness of a tobacco cessation program for parents whose children were hospitalized in Colorado. Some of the parents also reported that they smoked marijuana.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested urinary biomarkers in the collected samples. They found that 46 percent of the children had detectable levels of a THC metabolite; 11 percent had detectable levels of THC itself.

“There are worrisome results, suggesting nearly half of the children of parents who smoke marijuana are getting exposed and 11 percent are exposed to a much greater degree,” says lead researcher Karen Wilson, MD, MPH of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The parents of one-third of the marijuana-exposed children said they had stepped outside to smoke pot, but the children still were exposed, suggesting that their exposure may have come from third-hand smoke. Third-hand smoke is smoke that lingers in hair, clothes, even on skin and results in biological exposure that can be detected.

Read Mount Sinai press release of Pediatrics article here.

Abortion in US Reaches Lowest Level on Record, Report Finds

The pro-life movement had a good year in 2015: Fewer American women reported having abortions than at any other time since abortion was legalized in the U.S., according to a new government report.

Using the most recent data available, the abortion surveillance report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 638,169 abortions were reported in 2015, a 2 percent drop from the 652,639 abortions reported in 2014.

“This is welcome news. Medicine and technology continue to shape how we view children in the womb and underscores their undeniable humanity,” Melanie Israel, a research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

The abortion rate also dropped 0.3 points during the same time period, dipping from 12.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2014 to 11.8 for the same age group in 2015.

CDC began surveillance of legal induced abortions in 1969 and compiles voluntarily reported state data to produce national estimates every year since 1988, according to the agency’s website.

The number of legal abortions skyrocketed in the years following the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the country. This trend reached its climax in the 1980s. Since then, the annual number of abortions has been decreasing slowly, rising only slightly between 2006 and 2008 but continuing its downward trend to today.

The CDC report did not indicate a reason for the decline in abortions, but Heritage’s Israel said improved access to pregnancy resource centers and new legislation at the state level likely contributed.

“Thousands of pregnancy resource centers across the country provide services, education, supplies, counseling, and compassionate options—including adoption—to women experiencing tough pregnancies who may feel that abortion is their only choice,”  Israel said in an email to The Daily Signal. “Pro-life legislators across the country are elected to office and pass legislation that protects the health and safety of women and their unborn children.”

The report did not contain data from California, Maryland, or New Hampshire, which opted not to participate.

The report also did not present information about deaths from complications arising from legal abortion in 2015; officials reportedly are analyzing that information.

Six women died as a result of undergoing legal, induced abortion in 2014, according to that year’s surveillance report.

COLUMN BY

Troy Worden

Troy Worden is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Photo: Willie Deutsch/CrowdSpark/Newscom.

VIDEO: Three Facts Those Promoting Transgenderism Ignore

The rush to embrace the transgender agenda is based on ideology, not science, and children struggling with gender dysphoria may be the most vulnerable victims.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Gender Police: Colorado’s New ID Policy Will Leave You Seeing RED [Video]

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EDITORS NOTE: This column with video is republished with permission. The featured photo is by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash.

Cuba’s Exit From Brazil’s “More Doctors” Program Reveals the Exploitative Nature of Socialism

Socialists always prove to be greedier and more eager to exploit human labor than any capitalist could ever be.


One of the many propaganda claims made by advocates of socialism is that in free markets, health care is just a privilege instead of a human right. Socialist candidates routinely demonize profit and private initiative and promise a “humanized” cost-free health care system for everyone.

And of course, it’s one thing to promise health care to everyone and quite another to actually deliver it. In Venezuela, health care is declared a right, but it’s one of the last places on earth anybody would want to go to get it.

A few remaining dictatorships such as Cuba’s still sponsor state doctors to go on mission trips to sell socialized medicine across the globe. Besides using these missions to make money for their unsustainable state-run economies, they take every opportunity to criticize capitalism and lure young people into the socialist orbit. This strategy relies upon the myth that only socialism can get individuals to manifest their virtues and “help” others, but Brazilians are now realizing that these are just empty words.

After five years of participating, the Cuban government has just withdrawn from “Mais Médicos” (“More Doctors”), a Brazilian public health program designed by former socialist President Dilma Rousseff back in 2013. At the time, she promised that by partnering up with foreign countries, the program would increase the number of medical professionals in underserved areas of Brazil.

The socialist regime in Havana saw a money-making propaganda opportunity and dispatched nearly 20,000 Cuban medical professionals to Brazil—by far the largest contingent that various countries sent. More than 8,300 are in the country as of early November. But, unlike physicians from other nations, Cuban medics did not directly receive their salaries from the program. Instead, the government skimmed 74 percent of those salaries right off the top. Moreover, Cuban medics were not allowed to bring along their family members with them to Brazil. Why? The families were essentially kept as hostages to ensure their doctor relatives wouldn’t go to Brazil and defect from Cuba’s socialist “workers’ paradise.”

Just days after his election in late October, Brazil’s incoming President Jair Bolsonaro announced some new but long overdue conditions for the program. To maintain the partnership, including validation of certificates to offer medical care in Brazil, full payment for services would have to be sent straight to the doctors themselves, and their families would have to be permitted to accompany them to Brazil if they so wished. Bolsonaro also offered asylum to Cuban doctors who wished to stay in the country.

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health immediately rejected the new terms, alleging that the “dignity” and “altruism” of Cubans could not be questioned. But of course, Havana’s very action itself raises those questions. It also answers them: The socialist regime beats its collectivist chest espousing discredited Marxist concepts like “surplus labor” and “worker exploitation” but rips off its own workers and imprisons their families in the same breath. When their “humanitarian” ventures no longer provide cash or propaganda value, they’re “outta here!” (to borrow an American expression).

At the end of the day, socialists always prove to be greedier and more eager to exploit human labor than any capitalist could ever be.

COLUMN BY

Rafael Ribeiro

Rafael Ribeiro

Rafael Ribeiro of Salvador, Brazil, is a pro-liberty activist and Fulbright alumnus. While at the University of Georgia for a year recently, he worked with organizations such as Turning Point USA and Young Americans for Liberty and published an article on FEE.org about Brazilian economist Roberto Campos. Rafael has translated Mr. Reed’s interview with Brazilian candidates for Congress into Portuguese.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission.

DEA REPORTS RECORD DEATHS FROM DRUG OVERDOSES: How a broken southern border allows narcotics to flood America.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) just published the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment that provides an extensive analysis of the drug crisis in the United States.

Here are a few quick “takeaways” published in the report that paint a disconcerting picture:

  • In 1999 drug poisoning in the U.S. accounted for 16,849 deaths, while deaths from suicide, homicide, firearms and motor vehicles accounted for more deaths than did drug poisoning.
  • In 2009 deaths attributed to drug poisoning moved into first place with 37,004 such fatalities.
  • Since 2009 drug poisoning has accounted for more deaths than did the other causes of death, with a sharp upward trend in the number of such fatalities.  In 2013, 43,982 deaths were attributed to drug poisoning, in 2014 that number increased to 47,055, in 2015 the number jumped to 52,404 and in 2016 that number had skyrocketed to 63, 632 deaths.

Here are excerpts from the report that are of extreme importance:

Heroin: Heroin use and availability continue to increase in the United States. The occurrence of heroin mixed with fentanyl is also increasing. Mexico remains the primary source of heroin available in the United States according to all available sources of intelligence, including law enforcement investigations and scientific data. Further, significant increases in opium poppy cultivation and heroin production in Mexico allow Mexican TCOs to supply high-purity, low-cost heroin, even as U.S. demand has continued to increase.

Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids: Illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids — primarily sourced from China and Mexico—are now the most lethal category of opioids used in the United States. Traffickers— wittingly or unwittingly— are increasingly selling fentanyl to users without mixing it with any other controlled substances and are also increasingly selling fentanyl in the form of counterfeit prescription pills. Fentanyl suppliers will continue to experiment with new fentanyl-related substances and adjust supplies in attempts to circumvent new regulations imposed by the United States, China, and Mexico.

Cocaine: Cocaine availability and use in the United States have rebounded, in large part due to the significant increases in coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia. As a result, past-year cocaine initiates and cocaine-involved overdose deaths are exceeding 2007 benchmark levels. Simultaneously, the increasing presence of fentanyl in the cocaine supply, likely related to the ongoing opioid crisis, is exacerbating the re-merging cocaine threat.

Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine remains prevalent and widely available, with most of the methamphetamine available in the United States being produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southwest Border (SWB). Domestic production occurs at much lower levels than in Mexico, and seizures of domestic methamphetamine laboratories have declined steadily for many years.

Gangs: National and neighborhood-based street gangs and prison gangs continue to dominate the market for the street-sales and distribution of illicit drugs in their respective territories throughout the country. Struggle for control of these lucrative drug trafficking territories continues to be the largest factor fueling the street-gang violence facing local communities. Meanwhile, some street gangs are working in conjunction with rival gangs in order to increase their drug revenues, while individual members of assorted street gangs have profited by forming relationships with friends and family associated with Mexican cartels.

Clearly our porous borders, particularly the U.S./Mexican border, enable narcotics to flood into America with disastrous results including violent crimes, loss of life, lives ruined by drug addiction, and the impact on families and especially children, and money that finances criminal organizations and terror organizations. As I noted in my recent article Trump Connects the Dots on Dangers of Illegal Immigration, terror organizations such as Iran-sponsored Hezbollah increasingly have been working in close coordination with Latin American drug trafficking organizations to move drugs and aliens, including terrorist sleeper agents, into the United States.

Although I was an INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) officer for my entire federal career, I spent roughly half of my career assigned to work with other law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations into narcotics-related crimes. Consequently my 30-year career with the former INS, the forerunner to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), provided me with an intimate view of the multifaceted immigration system. It also provided me with an insider’s understanding of the drug crisis in the United States.

Back in 1988 I became the first INS agent to be assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York City. For nearly four years I worked in close cooperation with the DEA and numerous other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. I also worked closely with foreign law enforcement agencies of countries such as Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

While I was assigned to UID I conducted a study of arrest statistics and was startled to find that back then, approximately 60% of the individuals arrested by the DEA Task Force in NYC were identified as “foreign born.”

In 1991, I was promoted to the position of INS Senior Special Agent and was assigned, for the final ten years of my career, to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) where I continue to work with diverse law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations into large-scale drug trafficking organizations from around the world.

The issue of border security has been one of the key issues frequently discussed by the media and by a succession of administrations. For decades efforts to determine border security have been linked to the number of arrests made by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Of course those statistics are not as effective a metric to determine border security as many believe. Arrest statistics generally act as sort of Rorschach test where you could say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

If the Border Patrol arrests more illegal aliens, does it mean that more illegal aliens are attempting to run our borders or that the Border Patrol is becoming more effective at finding and arresting illegal aliens, perhaps because new technology has been brought to bear?

If the Border Patrol arrests fewer illegal aliens, does it mean that fewer aliens have been running our borders or that the smugglers have gotten better at evading the Border Patrol?

Several years ago when I was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his program at Fox News he attempted to draw conclusions about the level of illegal immigration based on Border Patrol arrests. I told Neil that attempting to use arrest statistics to accurately gauge the number of illegal aliens present in the United States is a bit like taking attendance by asking those not present to raise their hands!

I told Neil that the best and most reliable metric to determine border security is the price and availability of cocaine and heroin since those narcotics are illegal and are not produced in the United States. In point of fact, every gram of those and other such substances are smuggled into the United States and provide graphic and incontrovertible evidence of a failure of border security.

The fact that heroin is as available and as inexpensive as it is provides clear evidence that our borders are as porous as a sieve.

Furthermore, because those substances are smuggled into the United States from foreign countries, the leaders of most of the drug trafficking organizations are foreign nationals who send their workers to the United States to set up shop.

These aliens are often long-time associates they have come to trust and, because their family members remain in their home countries, if they commit transgressions, their relatives will pay a heavy price indeed.

Finally, as drug use has skyrocketed and as the Drug Trafficking Organizations have become more sophisticated and violents and have gained ever more control over the smuggling routes, human trafficking is now often linked to the drug smugglers who often use the aliens they smuggle as “mules”– beasts of burden who carry drugs on their person when they cross our borders.

Those involved in the drug trade not only violate drug, finance and weapons laws; they violate immigration laws.

Meanwhile politicians from both parties have refused to fund the vital border wall to help protect America and Americans from the influx of illegal aliens and narcotics.

The Democrats have created “Sanctuary Cities” and have unbelievably called for the disbanding of ICE altogether. However, neither political party has ever sought to actually hire enough ICE agents to deter illegal immigration or contribute the sort of resources to such multi-agency task forces as OCDETF or the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), where the unique authorities and tools that our immigration laws can uniquely provide to help investigate and dismantle transnational gangs and international terror organizations.

I addressed the nexus between sanctuary policies and the drug trade in my article, New York City: Hub For The Deadly Drug Trade.

This willful failure of our political elite to bring our immigration laws to bear to protect America and Americans, and to combat transnational gangs and international terrorist organizations, was the focus of my recent article, Sanctuary Country – Immigration failures by design.

It is time for Americans to find true sanctuary in their towns and cities.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bolivia: The Next Explosion After Venezuela and Nicaragua

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine. It is republished with permission.