There is a growing effort to demonize anyone wearing a hat with the capital letters MAGA.
President Trump ran on a platform to make America great. His campaign slogan was Make America Great Again or MAGA. This slogan became a symbol that his administration wanted to change the country’s direction and return power to the people.
There is a growing wave of uncontested absurdities which have become accepted slogans since Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America.
What is an “uncontested absurdity?” Ayn Rand wrote:
“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”
A long held uncontested absurdity is the slogan that America is still a racist nation.
MAGA Hat and Racism
The newly accepted uncontested absurdity is that anyone wearing a red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat is by definition a racist. Actress Alyssa Milano posted this on Twitter.
Any effort to show support for the idea of making America great is evil because racism is evil and the MAGA hat is now the “new white hood.”
Before and since her tweet has there have been a growing number of attacks on people wearing a MAGA hat. Clearly there is a “dint” of constant pressure to prevent anyone from wearing a MAGA hat, anywhere at anytime. Here are a few examples:
Authorities in Chicago on Wednesday approved felony criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, hours after he was “officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation” for allegedly “filing a false police report” in connection with his Jan. 29 attack claims, police said.
Ayn Rand in “Textbook of Americanism” explains, in the simplest terms possible, what made America unique and great. She opens with an explanation of two starkly contrasting ideas.
What Is the Basic Issue in the World Today?
The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism. Individualism holds that man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of other men. Therefore, each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.
Collectivism holds that man has no rights; that his work, his body and his personality belong to the group; that the group can do with him as it pleases, in any manner it pleases, for the sake of whatever it decides to be its own welfare. Therefore, each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.
These two principles are the roots of two opposite social systems. The basic issue of the world today is between these two systems.
Socialism versus Freedom
President Trump during his “Choose Greatness” State of the Union address to congress said:
Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
We are now seeing atrocities committed in the name of an absurdity that the MAGA hat is the “new white hood.”
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/rawpixel-1061397-unsplash-e1550748695780.jpg427640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2019-02-21 07:44:352019-02-21 12:23:03Time To Fight For The MAGA Hat!
While the U.S. Senate gears up for what should be a no-brainer vote on infanticide, the states are nudging their own needles to the pro-life side. Arkansas is the latest, thanks to Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) — and hardly the last.
Tuesday, with a nationwide protest over late-term abortion raging, Arkansas became the fifth state to make it clear where they stand if the issue ever returns to states. The minute Roe v. Wade is overturned, a growing number of states will already be prepared. Under the “trigger law” that Hutchinson just signed, Arkansas would immediately ban abortion if the ruling pro-lifers have been praying for ever came down.
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota have similar laws on the books — and Kentucky and Tennessee may be next. “It’s time for the United States to redress and correct what many believe is a grave injustice and a crime against humanity which is being perpetuated by the decisions of Roe v. Wade,” said the Arkansas bill sponsor. Under the law, abortion will be completely outlawed, except in medical emergencies. It also, LifeNews points out, allows abortionists to be prosecuted.
“In 2017, the abortion advocacy group NARAL predicted that 13 states immediately would ban abortions if the high court overturns Roe. Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights put their estimate at 22 states,” Michaiah Bilger reports. After another year like this one, who knows how high that number could go? If you live in Kentucky or Tennessee, help us get to 24! Contact your state leaders and support trigger laws like Arkansas’s.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column with images is republished with permission.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/022019_arkansas_770x400-e1550746316773.jpg378640Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2019-02-21 05:52:052019-02-21 05:52:07Arkansas Pulls the Trigger on Roe v Wade
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/pelosi-nra-ila.jpg338600NRA Institute for Legislative Actionhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNRA Institute for Legislative Action2019-02-20 12:54:282019-02-20 12:54:30Nancy Pelosi Wants a National Emergency to Confiscate Your Guns in 2020
“Entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance. It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing. It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.” – Edward Snowden
The last thing we need is another swamp creature, but it
appears that is what we’re getting with our new Attorney General (AG). Bill Barr is a DC insider who praised Comey,
Rosenstein and Mueller during his confirmation hearings — how is President
Trump going to drain the swamp if Mueller’s best friend is running the DOJ? Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr
was Bush’s attorney general from 1991 to 1993 and Mueller oversaw the
department’s criminal division.
During William Barr’s confirmation hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham asked the nominee several questions. Barr said he didn’t think Robert Mueller was on a witch hunt, and thought he’d be fair to the country as a whole. He also said he had no reason to stop Mueller’s investigation or terminate it for cause. Barr told Senator Graham that he was committed to allowing Robert Mueller to finish his job, and that he has a very high opinion of Deputy AG (DAG) Rod Rosenstein. Link
Barr has now asked
Rod Rosenstein to stay on for a while, and he has said he would. How special.
Fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and two other people who
have testified to Congress, claim Mr. Rosenstein repeatedly offered to wear a
wire when meeting with Mr. Trump. McCabe
also stated that he and other officials, including DAG Rosenstein, did
headcounts of which cabinet officials might vote to declare the president
“unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” under the 25th
Amendment. Rosenstein never actually
denied McCabe’s claims.
The very suspicion of impropriety should be reason for
Barr and Second Amendment
William Barr served as the 77th United States Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the first Bush administration. He is also a past employee of the CIA. The Bushes represent the establishment globalists in their party and rather than vote for their party’s nominee in 2016, they voted for Hillary Clinton.
It is also
disturbing that Barr has been a big fan of taking people’s property through civil
asset forfeiture without a conviction. Many poor people in our
country have cash taken from them and then the government says, “Prove to us
where you got the cash and then you can get it back,” the burden is on the
individual. Civil Asset Forfeiture is a terrible thing and William Barr is a
Government Theft of Promis Software
In October 1991,
Barr appointed then retired Democratic Chicago judge Nicholas
Bua as special counsel in the Inslaw scandal. Few
people understand the full ramifications of Promis software, and the
undetectable spying apparatus placed in foreign computers. In 1989, House
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-TX, launched a three-year
investigation into the Inslaw affair. In the resulting report, the Committee
suggested that among others, Edwin Meese, while presidential counselor and
later as attorney general, and Democrat D. Lowell Jensen a
former assistant and deputy attorney general and former US district judge in
San Francisco, conspired to steal PROMIS software from Bill Hamilton’s company,
Bua’s 1993 report
found the DOJ of no wrong doing in the matter, despite a 12-year lawsuit by
Inslaw, regarding the government theft of their software. One journalist,
Casolaro, died as he attempted to tell the story and boxes of
documents relating to the case were destroyed, stolen, or conveniently “lost”
by the DOJ. Software piracy, conspiracy, cover-up, stonewalling, covert
action…just another decade at the corrupt DOJ.
Barr was responsible for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, two federal agencies whose misconduct at Ruby Ridge “helped to weaken the bond of trust that must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies,” according to a 1995 Senate Judiciary Committee report.
The family had come under federal siege because of Randy’s refusal to become an informant within the Aryan Nation white supremacist group. Randy had been manipulated by an ATF undercover operative named Kenneth Fadeley into selling a shotgun with a sawed-off barrel. Eight months after that transaction, two of Fadeley’s comrades in that detestable organization demanded that Randy become an informant, threatening his home and family if he didn’t cooperate. Ruby Ridge was considered a kill zone.
In a questionnaire by the Judicial Committee, Barr was asked to disclose his past work including pro bono activities “serving the disadvantaged.” The “disadvantaged” that Barr spent the most time helping was FBI agent Lon Horiuchi who slayed an Idaho mother holding her baby in 1992. Barr spent two weeks organizing former Attorneys General and others to support “an FBI sniper in defending against criminal charges in connection with the Ruby Ridge incident.” Barr also “assisted in framing legal arguments advanced… in the district court and the subsequent appeal to the Ninth Circuit,” he told the committee.
trespassed on Weaver’s land and killed his 14-year-old son, Sammy, and his dog.
The following day, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi killed his wife, Vicki, as she was
standing in the cabin doorway holding her 10-month-old baby. Horiuchi had
previously shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of the cabin to
collect the body of his son. The suspects were never given a warning or a chance
to surrender and had taken no action against FBI agents. Weaver survived.
In August of 1995, the Justice Department paid $3.1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit from the Weaver family. In 1998, they paid Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt $4.5 million for a 26-year false imprisonment and false testimony against him by an FBI informant.
The fourth amendment originally enforced the idea that each man’s home is his castle, secure from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. The Patriot Act was the destruction of American citizen privacy. Both Mueller and Barr are big brothers who love the “all-seeing eye.”
While serving as
attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush in 1992, Barr directed
the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect bulk phone data on
millions of people, most of whom weren’t even suspected of a crime. This
program laid the groundwork for the National Security Agency’s phone record
collection authorized by the Patriot Act a decade later, a misnomer if there
ever was one. Barr continued to be a cheerleader for warrantless
surveillance even after the PATRIOT Act’s passage. During congressional testimony in 2003, he called the bill a “major
He went on to say that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that authorizes foreign surveillance and has been abused to surveil, “remains too restrictive” because it “still requires that the government establish probable cause that an individual is either a ‘foreign power’ or an ‘agent of a foreign power.’” In other words, Barr objects to the idea that the government should need a warrant before it can spy on citizens. Link
Surveillance and the Patriot Act
The Patriot Act
permits FBI agents to write their own search warrants for business records, and
it has been used to induce the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA)
to issue warrants on a made-up basis to read emails and listen to telephone
calls in real time. The members of Congress who voted for it were largely
unaware of the liberties they were sacrificing.
None of them ever read it.
Both the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act unconstitutionally do away with the probable cause requirement for warrants. Those two laws permit the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to issue warrants based on the standard of “governmental needs” rather than probable cause. This is a profoundly unconstitutional standard, and one that has resulted in spying on all people all the time.
The Patriot Act
vastly expanded the surveillance potential of the FBI, the CIA and the NSA
among other intelligence agencies. The
US government contracted with Acxiom, Lockheed, Booz Allen Hamilton and many
others to build new mass surveillance programs.
One program was called Total Information Awareness (TIA), which was an
operation where the FBI and other agencies would build profiles, like Acxiom’s,
on millions of law-abiding Americans. Link
Mr. Barr strongly supports the Patriot Act which violates every American’s fourth amendment right to privacy. The Constitution provides us with more protection and safety than the surveillance state ever will.
An NSA Whistle-Blower tells all in this video to filmmaker Laura Poitras. She profiled William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
Following the June
2013 leak of documents detailing the NSA practice of collecting
telephone metadata on millions of Americans’ telephone calls, former
Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper was accused of perjury for telling a congressional committee
hearing that the NSA does not collect any type of data on millions of
Americans. He escaped prosecution
because the five-year Statute of Limitations ran out.
Birds of a Feather
Barr and Mueller
are birds of a feather. Mueller has
claimed one case to validate spying on all of America. It was a Supreme Court case and the tracing
of a single phone call to a single robber.
Thus, the Supreme Court held that phone metadata is not protected by the
fourth amendment. Mueller has repeatedly
used this. The case is Smith v.
Maryland, which held that people did not have a reasonable
expectation of privacy regarding the numbers they call, because they willingly
give up those numbers to the company to connect their call.
And so, because the
Supreme Court approved the collection of one robber’s phone records in 1979,
Mueller insists it meant it was reasonable for FBI and NSA to collect and
aggregate the phone records for every American today and forever. Link
Mueller implicitly argues that the perpetual and ubiquitous data collection of the digital and telephonic communications of law-abiding Americans is constitutional. For thorough documentation of same, see Louisiana State Senator John Milkovich’s book, Robert Mueller, Errand Boy for the New World Order.
Rand Paul opposed the confirmation of William Barr. He said, “He’s been the chief advocate for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. I think that the Fourth Amendment should protect your phone calls and your bank information. People shouldn’t be allowed to look at it without a warrant.” Perhaps this one Senator knows an inside player when he sees one.
Surely, we’ve all heard foolish folks say, “Well, I have nothing to
hide, I’m not a terrorist.” Edward
Snowden said, “Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have
nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech
because you have nothing to say.”
Americans do not understand freedom or the Fourth Amendment of our
unalienable Bill of Rights. The Jews of
Europe had nothing to hide either, but it didn’t stop the Gestapo, and neither
did it stop the East German Stasi. The
NSA’s algorithms and extensive databases make it far more effective than the
Stasi ever dreamed of being.
Attorney Joe DiGenova believes William Barr is going to be the catalyst who will clean out the filth from the DOJ. I hope he is right, and I am wrong. P.S. Remember during the Trump campaign how NewsWithViews articles had virus warnings appear when you opened them? There was never a virus, it was an attempt by google to keep people from reading truth. Now, Google has removed their ads from NewsWithViews because they don’t like the content of the articles. Those ads help to pay for the cost of running the website. They know that, and that’s why they’ve pulled their ads. We need your help now more than ever. Please tell your friends to sign up to receive the daily emails, and remember NewsWithViews when you pay your monthly bills.
Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and member of the French National Assembly, lived from 1801 to 1850. He had great admiration for our country, except for our two faults—slavery and tariffs.
He said: “Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property.”
If Bastiat were alive today, he would not have that same level of admiration. The U.S. has become what he fought against for most of his short life.
Bastiat observed that “when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
You might ask, “What did Bastiat mean by ‘plunder’?”
Plunder is when someone forcibly takes the property of another. That’s private plunder. What he truly railed against was legalized plunder, and he told us how to identify it.
He said: “See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
That could describe today’s American laws. We enthusiastically demand that the Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American.
You say: “Williams, that’s insulting. It’s no less than saying that we Americans support a form of slavery!”
What then should we call it when two-thirds to three-quarters of a $4 trillion-plus federal budget can be described as Congress taking the property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong?
Where do you think Congress gets the billions upon billions of dollars for business and farmer handouts?
What about the billions handed out for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing allowances, and thousands of other handouts?
There’s no Santa Claus or tooth fairy giving Congress the money, and members of Congress are not spending their own money. The only way Congress can give one American $1 is to first take it from another American.
What if I privately took the property of one American to give to another American to help him out? I’m guessing and hoping you’d call it theft and seek to jail me. When Congress does the same thing, it’s still theft. The only difference is that it’s legalized theft.
However, legality alone does not establish morality. Slavery was legal; was it moral? Nazi, Stalinist, and Maoist purges were legal, but were they moral?
Some argue that Congress gets its authority to bypass its enumerated powers from the general welfare clause. There are a host of proofs that the Framers had no such intention.
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our tenet ever was … that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated.”
Rep. William Drayton of South Carolina asked in 1828, “If Congress can determine what constitutes the general welfare and can appropriate money for its advancement, where is the limitation to carrying into execution whatever can be effected by money?”
What about our nation’s future?
Alexis de Tocqueville is said to have predicted, “The American republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
We long ago began ignoring Bastiat’s warning when the federal government was just a tiny fraction of gross domestic product—3 percent, as opposed to today’s 20 percent: “If you don’t take care, what begins by being an exception tends to become general, to multiply itself, and to develop into a veritable system.”
Moral Americans are increasingly confronted with Bastiat’s dilemma: “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”
Walter E. Williams is a columnist for The Daily Signal and a professor of economics at George Mason University. Twitter: @WE_Williams.
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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/pirate-2750361_640.jpg426640The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2019-02-20 10:38:462019-02-20 10:50:08In America Today, We Plunder and Call It Good
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on YouTube to remove all pornography from its platform, following yet another disturbing account of apparently monetized child erotica on YouTube. This is one of the reasons Google has been placed on NCOSE’s 2019 Dirty Dozen List which names 12 mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation.
Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube. Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by Youtube, brands like McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, and more… Youtube is facilitating this problem. It doesn’t matter that they flag videos and turn off the comments, these videos are still being monetized, and more importantly they are still available for users to watch.
This is not the first time YouTube has come under fire for hosting sexually exploitive content. In April 2018 it was criticized for allowing a pornographic ad to appear on a trending YouTube video, and in November 2017 it was revealed that YouTube’s flagging system to prevent child victimization on its platform was reportedly malfunctioning for a year. Even the YouTubeKids app has been infiltrated with disturbing and often sexual content.
It’s an open secret that Google’s YouTube is a hub for child erotica and is used by pedophiles to network. It’s time for YouTube to make solving this issue their number one corporate priority. Too often, YouTube waits for users or the media to flag degrading and exploitive content on its platform. And then once the media buzz dies down, YouTube reverts to its whack-a-mole approach instead of making sustained improvements.
We know that the technological solutions exist that would be able to prevent this material from being posted and it would save countless man-hours that YouTube currently uses by employing human reviewers.
For instance, Dr. Michael Holm, Chief Data Scientist at Picnix, Inc., asserts “Our team is fully capable of delivering an effective, scalable AI solution for pornographic video detection, building on our seminal patent pending Iris Program (www.meetiris.ai).”
We implore Google and YouTube to collaborate with this company, and others, to find real solutions instead of putting a bandaid on it and waiting for the next blow up.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Copy-of-Monetizes-Child-Erotica-e1550675983706.png366640National Center on Sexual Exploitationhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNational Center on Sexual Exploitation2019-02-20 10:20:132019-02-20 10:21:23Google Allegedly Monetizing Child Erotica on YouTube
This is a story from UPI last week that has been languishing in my posting queue.
It’s a longish story, but worth reading if you want to know more about life (the good life) in a shelter for the “children” who have come across our border illegally and unaccompanied.
I’m only going to bring your attention to a couple of points, one that made me laugh, the other that should infuriate you as it did me!
The point that makes me laugh is this!
The Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter (never mind that they are not refugees!) houses up to 1,600 youths older than 13. However, in almost every paragraph (there are 53 paragraphs!) in the story the teens are referred to as “children.” In fact, the word “child” or “children” is used a whopping 63 times (twice in some paragraphs) while the word “teen” or “teenager” is never used, not even once!
Just that one little linguistic trick is meant to direct your thinking so that you imagine hundreds of little children missing mommy and daddy and crying themselves to sleep each night.
And it infuriates me to read that 670 of the “children” are 17 and older and as they age-out at 18, a big hunt begins to find them “sponsors” to take charge of them so that they aren’t turned over to ICE.
Feb. 13 (UPI) — A month after federal officials removed the last child from a facility in Texas, 1,600 unaccompanied migrant children are being housed at a so-called temporary emergency shelter in Florida.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invited UPI and other media on Wednesday to tour the facility in Homestead, Fla., which is located in a former Job Corps facility near the Homestead Air Reserve Base. It is used as a shelter for what HHS calls “unaccompanied alien children,” or UAC — migrants between the ages of 13 and 17 who have no lawful immigration status and no legal guardians able to provide care in the United States.
Since March 2018 more than 6,000 children have been placed at the site and about 4,450 have been discharged to what the department considers suitable sponsors — generally a parent or some other relative — in the United States, according to HHS.
At the time of UPI’s visit, 1,575 children were being sheltered at the facility — 1,143 males and 432 females.
Now check this out! 43% of the “children” are between 17 and 18 years old! (Or, they could be older, see my next post!)
The south campus houses 905 children between the ages of 13 and 16, including 634 males and 271 females, while all 17-year-olds at the facility live on the north campus, which houses 509 males and 161 females.
In case you wondered what happens when the “children” turn 18:
Three months before a “child” turns 18, the sponsor hunt begins in earnest.
Children who turn 18 while in custody at a shelter are considered undocumented immigrants and are released to authorities, Weber said.
There were 21 such cases at the Homestead facility last month and 90 in the past year, the Homestead program coordinator said.
A team of case managers at the facility focuses on finding sponsors for children within three months of their 18th birthday and the program coordinator receives daily reports regarding their status in the two weeks before those children turn 18.
Remember, YOU are paying for all of this! And, more are on the way! You MUST scream at your elected officials—‘Enough is enough!’—and do it at every opportunity! Today, you might tell the President (again!) by going to the White House comment page and voicing your opinion.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/emotions-371238_640.jpg372640Ann Corcoranhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngAnn Corcoran2019-02-20 10:01:552019-02-20 10:11:30Story about Unaccompanied Alien Children in Florida Shelter is Humorous and Infuriating
Over the last few months, the subject of plastic straws has become a political football, brought about by Democrats who contend they are not ecologically friendly. Not surprising, California was the first state to bring it to our attention. Since then, the subject has surfaced in a handful of cities here in Florida, most notably St. Petersburg, a stronghold for the Democrats. Last December, the St. Pete City Council passed a bill banning plastic straws, not the voters. This is related to their ban on Styrofoam which is commonly used by restaurants to save leftovers. As of this moment, you can only get a plastic straw in St. Pete if you ask for one, but the straws will be totally banned by 2020, and replaced by paper straws.
In my youth, I remember paper straws wouldn’t last any longer than a small carton of milk. As to soft drinks, twelve ounces and up, forget it, they’re useless. People would rather drink a soft drink directly out of a can, bottle or glass than using a paper straw.
The big question though, is the plastic straw a genuine problem? St. Petersburg is respectable in size and is listed as the fifth most populous city in Florida. During the winter months the city probably doubles in size due to the influx of “snowbird” tourists who enjoy the beaches and warm weather. St. Pete is also home to the Tampa Bay Rays, our MLB franchise. As such, there is a multitude of dining facilities in the area, large and small, all presumably providing straws to patrons.
The St. Pete council believes the plastic straw is an ecological threat to the beaches, but there is little, if any, proof that this is true. This begs the question, is this a political fad or is there any legitimate science behind it? So far, the answer appears to be “No.” It is reminiscent of Obamacare and the “Green New Deal” legislation introduced by Democrat-Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) which is a laundry list of items to create a Socialist Utopia, but lacking specifics, such as the costs to implement her program and precisely how it will improve the environment.
Because of this, the plastic straw has become an iconic symbol of Democrats pushing their agenda without any science behind it. Such lunacy would not play well in corporate America where you must quantify the return on investment of a proposal. In other words, the Democrats are weak on doing their homework and are acting on impulse as opposed to fact. Instead, they package their ideas and allow the news media to carry the pitch to the public. Even more disturbing is the public is not truly being consulted on this issue which is commonly used by everyone.
Fortunately, cooler heads are prevailing at the state level in Florida where the legislature is drafting bills to prevent cities from outlawing plastic straws. If passed, this will supersede the authority of the municipal level.
This rhubarb over something as simple as a plastic straw is much ado about nothing. The Democrats have simply not made their case and makes me wonder, don’t we have better things to do? It also disturbs me our government officials will entertain any hairbrain idea that comes along, particularly when it is not thought through and articulated properly. They could probably be more productive by counting the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
We could save a lot of time, money and effort if legislators could learn to draft bills more intelligently, such as how businesses write feasibility studies, but I guess that is too much to ask.
To help in this regard, my next column will be, “The Elements of a Good Feasibility Study,” which is intended to provide insight in the preparation of an intelligible proposal. Until then…
Keep the Faith!
EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce Is Right column with images is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured image is by Pixabay.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/beautiful-1867178_640.jpg426640Tim Brycehttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngTim Bryce2019-02-20 08:26:122019-02-20 08:26:14The Brouhaha Over Plastic Straws
If you are wondering why the leadership in the Democrat Party have given Ilhan Omar and Rashids Tlaib important committee assignments in the House of Representatives; or why all of the Democrats running for president are silent in the face of the Antisemitic and even anti American statements of these two Congresswomen; or why they continue to hold their seats in important Congressional committees and will retain them, read the illuminating article below by Caroline Glick.
If you are a moderate Democrat it will bring you to tears.
Rep. Ilhan Omar is an antisemite and, as the actions of the congressional Democratic leadership last week made clear, hating Jews is a perfectly acceptable position in today’s Democratic Party.
Consider the chronology of events. Last month, Rep. Steven King (R-IA) was stripped of his committee assignments following a statement he made to the New York Times where he seemed to legitimize white supremacism. (King insists his remark was deliberately taken out of context).
Last week, Rep. Omar tweeted another statement that was inarguably antisemitic. Omar argued that the only reason that Congressional Republicans seek to censure her and her colleague Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for their anti-Jewish bigotry is because Jewish money dictates their actions.
That is, she defended herself against allegations of antisemitism by proving, yet again, that she is an antisemite.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/stop-1001138_640.jpg360640Robert Hellerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Heller2019-02-20 06:42:432019-02-20 10:45:41IIhan Omar & Co. Were Elected Because of Their Racism, Not In Spite Of It.
Robert Royal: People are happy that McCarrick has finally been defrocked, but now we need to deal with other abusers and enablers.
February is not high tourist season in Rome. Skies are gray and temperatures low. St. Peter’s Square is relatively empty. But journalists filled the nearby Press Office earlier this week – more, according to one veteran, than since the death of St. John Paul II –because of the summit on the sex abuse crisis, which begins this evening with meetings between abuse survivors and participants, and continues Thursday through Saturday with formal sessions, parts of which will be streamed on the Vatican website. A video of the opening press briefing with remarks by Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop Scicluna, and other key figures is available by clicking here.
To be frank, it’s hard to say why so many journalists are here since no one, including Church spokesmen, expects that anything very dramatic will happen over the next few days – at least not in the formal sessions. What happens outside and around them, however, may be a different matter.
When the summit was announced last September, partly because of papal missteps in handling abuse cases in Chile, it seemed that the Church was going to take some large steps forward. There have been many smaller steps for years in many places around the world, everything from easier reporting mechanisms to better human formation in seminaries to the unprecedented laicization last weekend of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Expectations ran high, not least because the Holy Father asked the American bishops, during their annual November meeting, not to vote on ways to hold bishops accountable – whether they are abusers themselves, like McCarrick, or covered up abuse by people under their authority. They were told to wait until a uniform approach could be developed in February when many of the presidents of bishops’ conferences and heads of religious orders would gather together in Rome.
But Vatican spokesmen have more recently been encouraging people to lower expectations; and the focus this week is quite different: “The Protection of Minors in the Church.” That, of course, is a worthy goal. In many parts of the Catholic world, rules are in place, but there hasn’t been serious follow through. If the next few days bring proven practices to new places, that will be all to the good.
But it’s also much less than we were hoping for. And in America, we’ve already come a long way towards responding to the part of the abuse crisis that involves priests. We have been expecting – and had been told – that the next phase would be figuring out how to hold bishops accountable. That’s been a continuing problem, not only in America, but in Chile, Honduras, Australia, Europe, the pope’s own Argentina, and the Vatican itself.
People are happy that McCarrick has been expelled from the priesthood, for example, but they want to know how it was possible for a man widely rumored to be an abuser to have moved up in the hierarchy and eventually become cardinal-archbishop of the capital of the most powerful nation on earth. Three popes and dozens of Vatican officials are now part of the story. Pope Francis has promised an investigation into the files. It’s almost a year later and we’ve heard nothing of that, not even whether there’s an active inquiry underway.
Meanwhile, a new book, which will be officially released Thursday, the first day of the summit here in Rome, claims that 80 percent of the upper echelons of the Vatican are gay. Some remain celibate, others act out in various ways, but they form what, in local parlance, is called “the Parish,” a network of people who either cover for one another or, given their own inclinations, look the other way.
Or at least that’s what Frederic Martel, the author, says. Martel is a gay activist in France and his motives in publishing this book at this particular moment are suspect – as are some of his wilder claims. But he seems to have conducted thousands of interviews with various figures from high-placed Cardinals to Swiss Guards, and quotes some by name.
The excerpts that have appeared so far raise as many questions as they answer. But the whole matter of the gay presence in the Church and its role as an enabler – which the summit organizers are avoiding, indeed are denying is a factor – will not go away.
Martel says (and there’s no reason to doubt it since there have been no denials forthcoming) that his access to the Vatican was facilitated by Msgr. Battista Ricca, who is Director of the Papal Residence (i.e., Casa Santa Marta) and an official with the Vatican Bank. Ricca was widely known to have had a boyfriend or two when he was a Vatican diplomat in Uruguay. And he was caught in an elevator with a boy prostitute.
It was in response to a reporter’s question about his past on the plane returning from World Youth Day in 2013 that Pope Francis famously remarked, ““If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
But it’s partly the pope’s judgment in such matters that has raised further questions. Not only the bishop he wrongly defended in Chile, but even recent appointments like that of Gustavo Zanchetta – a bishop accused of abusing seminarians in Argentina and a friend of the pope’s – to a specially created post at one of the Vatican financial institutions. He had to be removed while investigations are going on.
And then there’s the recent naming of Irish-American Cardinal Kevin Farrell to the position of camerlengo, the official who declares the pope officially dead and then runs the Vatican, with limited powers, during the interregnum, the period between the death of one pope and the election of another.
Farrell lived for six years in the same residence with then-Cardinal McCarrick and claimed – to widespread skepticism – that he had no knowledge of, had never even heard rumors about, McCarrick’s outrages. It’s curious that the pope would pick a potentially questionable figure for such a sensitive post.
All of this suggests that what goes on in the synod hall this week is the merest beginning to what will continue to be a large and troubling process. More on all that in coming days.
If liberals wanted to sue over the border wall, they’re about 13 years too late. Congress already gave its blessing back in 2006 when it passed the Secure Fence Act. The same goes for the president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel. The House and Senate have been on board since 1995 when they authorized it. If the Left’s being honest, its problem isn’t that the president is moving forward with the wall. Its problem is that the president is Donald Trump.
Back in 2014, the Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry points out, the media had no problem calling it a “border crisis.” Neither did Barack Obama, who stood in the same Rose Garden as Donald Trump did on Friday, and insisted, “We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all.” Five years, one administration, and who-knows-how-many caravans later, and suddenly, this president is doing something “immoral” by addressing the situation. That’s not because the dilemma changed. It’s because the occupant of the Oval Office did.
Take columnists like Karen Tumulty. In 2014, Scarry explains, she had no problem writing about the “current crisis on the Southwest border.” Well, it must have magically fixed itself, because last month, she accused the president of “manufacturing an emergency.” California, New York, and 14 other states want you to think that Donald Trump was acting outside of his constitutional authority when he used his executive power to finish the job Congress gave the green light to over a dozen years ago. But, as Ken Klukowski told me last night on Washington Watch, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“It’s critical for everyone to understand: the president is not invoking any of his inherent constitutional powers — none of his Article 2 powers, like commander-in-chief authority. In this case, you have a president who is only acting under a specific act of Congress, a federal statute called the National Emergencies Act of 1976. It’s been used 59 times before. This is just number 60. In fact, the 59th time was earlier this month — also by President Trump — regarding U.S. relations with Venezuela, because of course the turmoil going on over there. Maybe I missed the press release, but I didn’t hear the sky fall [when he declared that emergency]. I didn’t hear a news story from the National Archives that the Constitution burst into flames. One would almost think that this is just part of the rule of law. And that’s exactly what’s going on here.”
President Trump’s request is simple. He wants to move money that’s already been approved by Congress from one bank account to another. This president hasn’t “conjured funding from thin air (the military construction and Army Corps funding has already been appropriated),” the Federalist argues, “nor is he using funds for purposes explicitly prohibited by Congress (to the contrary, Congress explicitly authorized the construction of a border wall).”
In other words, there’s no constitutional crisis here. The only reason these leftist states are suing Trump is because he wants to protect American sovereignty and security. Juxtapose that with 2012. When conservative states took Barack Obama to court over his health care mandate, it was for the exact opposite reason. Unlike Trump, Obama wasn’t in the business of protecting freedom — he was in the business of undermining it. Obviously, after eight years of Obama, a lot of people are out of practice when it comes to operating within the limits of presidential authority. But in this instance, the contrast between the two parties has never been clearer.
None of this, unfortunately, is a surprise to President Trump. “… I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office. And we will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued. and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling — and then we’ll get another bad ruling — and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake. And we’ll win in the Supreme Court just like the [travel] ban.”
As Ken joked, “We can’t get through our morning coffee without the Left filing a new lawsuit against President Trump — even when he’s just doing things that President Obama or previous presidents have done. Somehow it all becomes illegal when President Trump does it.” But if there’s one thing the other side should have learned by now, it’s that this president isn’t deterred — not by them, not by lawsuits, and certainly not when it comes to doing what’s right.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column with images is republished with permission.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/021919_wall_770x400-e1550656757357.jpg381640Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2019-02-20 05:00:032019-02-20 05:00:05Dems to Trump: Quit Wall You're Ahead
The Trump administration, led by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, is reportedly launching an effort to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of countries across the world.
The administration is launching the campaign Tuesday evening in Berlin and will fly in a number of European LGBT activists to discuss how to end laws in countries that make it illegal to be gay, according to officials who spoke with NBC News. The campaign will focus its efforts on countries in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.
“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” a U.S. official said.
The campaign was at least partially launched because Iran recently hanged a man due to his homosexuality — an incident that Grenell, who is openly gay, slammed publicly in commentary for the German news outlet BILD.
“Politicians, the U.N., democratic governments, diplomats, and good people everywhere should speak up – and loudly,” Grenell wrote. “Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death.”
In November, Grenell called out the United Nations General Assembly for overwhelmingly voting to accuse Israel of human rights violations, suggesting the assembly should instead vote on whether or not being gay is a crime.
“It will out the human rights hypocrites,” he tweeted.
According to officials, the administration will likely be working with the United Nations, along with other international organizations, in its efforts to abolish the criminalization of homosexuality.
The Daily Caller reported Monday that Grenell is also one of three people being considered for UN ambassador after former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert dropped out of the running.
Grenell did not return a request for comment for this article.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders launched his 2020 presidential bid on Tuesday by accusing the president of being “a homophobe,” while gay rights organizations have accused the Trump administration of actively engaging in hate against gay people.
EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission.
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The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled below some of the most outrageous fake hate crimes since Trump was elected, in rough chronological order:
ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIME IN MICHIGAN TURNS OUT TO BE A HOAX (NOV. 2016)
A Muslim woman at the University of Michigan received national attention from national outlets like The Washington Post in November 2016 after she claimed a drunk 20-something man threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab. The university condemned the “hateful attack,” which turned out to be a hoax.
BISEXUAL STUDENT FAKES TRUMP-INSPIRED HATE CRIME (NOV. 2016)
Taylor Volk, an openly bisexual senior at North Park University claimed to be the target of hateful notes and emails following Trump’s election in November 2016. Volk told NBC News that “I just want them to stop.” But the “them” referenced by Volk turned out to be herself, as the whole thing was fabricated.
GAS STATION RACISM GOES VIRAL — THEN POLICE DEBUNK IT (NOV. 2016)
Philadelphia woman Ashley Boyer claimed in November 2016 that she was harassed at a gas station by white, Trump-supporting males, one of whom pulled a weapon on her. Boyer claimed that the men “proceeded to talk about the election and how they’re glad they won’t have to deal with n—–s much longer.” Boyer deleted her post after it went viral and claimed the men had been caught and were facing criminal charges. Local police debunked her account.
WHITE MEN ROB MUSLIM WOMAN OF HER HIJAB AND WALLET — EXCEPT IT NEVER HAPPENED (NOV. 2016)
An 18-year-old Muslim woman in Louisiana claimed in November 2016 that two white men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat, attacked and robbed her, taking her wallet and hijab while yelling racial slurs. She later admitted to the Lafayette Police Department that she made the whole thing up.
CHURCH ORGANIST VANDALIZES OWN CHURCH (NOV. 2016)
A church organist was arrested in May 2017 after he was found responsible for spray-painting a swastika, an anti-gay slur and the words “Heil Trump” on his own church in November 2016. When the story first broke, media outlets tied the hoax to Trump’s election. “The offensive graffiti at St. David’s is among numerous incidents that have occurred in the wake of Trump’s Election Day win,” The Washington Post reported at the time.
“DRUNK WHITE MEN” ATTACK MUSLIM WOMAN IN STORY THAT ALSO NEVER HAPPENED (DEC. 2016)
Another 18-year-old Muslim woman, this time in New York, was the subject of breathless headlines in December 2016 after she claimed to have been attacked by a group of Donald Trump supporters on a New York subway while onlookers did nothing. The woman, Yasmin Seweid, would go on to confess that she made the whole thing up.
WHITE GUY SETS HIS OWN CAR ON FIRE, PAINTS RACIAL SLUR ON HIS OWN GARAGE (DEC. 2016)
Denton, Texas, resident David Williams set his own car on fire and painted “n***** lovers” on his home’s garage, in an apparent attempt to stage a hate crime. Local police investigated the arson as a hate crime. Williams and his wife, Jenny, collected more than $5,000 from Good Samaritans via a GoFundMe page before the hoax was exposed.
PRANKSTER TRICKS LIBERAL JOURNALIST INTO SPREADING ANTI-TRUMP HOAX (DEC. 2016)
STUDENT WRITES ANTI-MUSLIM GRAFFITI ON HIS OWN DOOR (FEB. 2017)
A Muslim student at Beloit College wrote anti-Muslim graffiti on his own dorm room door. The student was reportedly motivated by a desire to seek attention after a Jewish student was targeted with an anti-Semitic note.
ISRAELI MAN BEHIND ANTI-SEMITIC BOMB THREATS IN THE U.S. (APRIL 2017)
Students at St. Olaf college in Minnesota staged protests and boycotted classes in May 2017 after racist notes targeting black students were found around campus, earning coverage in national media outlets like The Washington Post. It later came out that a black student was responsible for the racist notes. The student carried out the hoax in order to “draw attention to concerns about the campus climate,” the university announced.
FAKE HATE AT AIR FORCE ACADEMY GOES VIRAL (SEPT. 2017)
The Air Force Academy was thrown into turmoil in September 2017 when horrific racist notes were found at the academy’s preparatory school. “Go home n***er,” read one of the notes. The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, went viral with an impassioned speech addressing the racist notes.
A student at Kansas State University filed a police report in November 2017 over racist graffiti left on his car. “Go Home N***** Boy” and “Whites Only,” read the racist graffiti, which the the student later admitted to writing himself.
RACIST GRAFFITI CARRIED OUT BY NON-WHITE STUDENT (NOV. 2017)
Another instance of racist graffiti that same month also turned out to be a hoax. A Missouri high school investigated after racial slurs were left on a bathroom mirror in November 2017, only to find that the student responsible was “non-white.”
WAITER FAKES NOTE CALLING HIMSELF A TERRORIST (JULY 2018)
Texas waiter Khalil Cavil went viral after posting a Facebook picture of a racist note that he claimed a customer had left on the receipt, in lieu of a tip. The note described Cavil as a “terrorist.” Saltgrass Steak House, where Cavil worked, initially banned the customers for life, before their investigation revealed that the waiter had faked the racist note. “I did write it,” Cavil later admitted. “I don’t have an explanation. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”
WAITRESS FAKES RACIST NOTE, BLAMES LAW ENFORCEMENT (JULY 2018)
A Texas waitress apologized in July 2018 after blaming local law enforcement for an offensive note targeting Mexicans. She later admitted to writing the note herself.
NEW YORK WOMAN’S HATE CRIME THAT WASN’T (SEPT. 2018)
A New York woman was charged in September 2018 after police determined she fabricated a story about white teens yelling racial slurs at her and leaving a racist note on her car.
STUDENT FAKED RACIST NOTES (DEC. 2018)
Several racist notes at Drake University were actually the work of one of the students who had been targeted by them. “The fact that the actions of the student who has admitted guilt were propelled by motives other than hate does not minimize the worry and emotional harm they caused, but should temper fears,” university president Marty Martin said afterwards.
THE COVINGTON CATASTROPHE (JAN. 2019)
National media outlets pounced on a selectively edited video from the March for Life that showed Native American activist Nathan Phillips beating a drum in front of a boisterous group of boys from Covington Catholic High School.
The exterior of Covington Catholic High School Dennis Griffin stadium is pictured in Park Hills, Kentucky, U.S., January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Madalyn McGarvey
Phillips originally told The Washington Post the students swarmed him while he was preparing to leave the Indigenous People’s March scheduled for the same day. Phillips originally said one student, who later identified himself as high school junior Nick Sandmann, blocked his path from leaving as he tried to do so. The extended video shows that wasn’t the case: Phillips approached the high school boys during their cheers, not the other way around. Some of the people with Phillips were directing racially charged language at the students, not the other way around.
Phillips told a second variation of his story to the Detroit Free Press. Phillips claimed he was playing the role of peacemaker by getting between the students and four “old black individuals,” whom he claimed the students were attacking. “They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillip tolds the Michigan paper. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong.”
“These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that,” he added. Extended video shows that account also isn’t accurate. The four individuals Phillips referenced were members of the Black Hebrew Israelites and they launched racist and anti-gay slurs at the high school students, not the other way around.
BONUS: ANTI-SEMITIC VANDAL EXPOSED AS DEMOCRATIC ACTIVIST (NOV. 2018)
BONUS II: TRUMP-INSPIRED RACIST BLAZE AT BLACK CHURCH WAS CARRIED OUT BY BLACK CHURCH-GOER (NOV. 2016)
This hoax occurred one week before Trump was elected, but TheDCNF is including it as a bonus because it was so egregious. Leftist media outlets ran headlines like “A Black Church Burned in the Name of Trump” after a black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire and spray painted with the words “Vote Trump.” The Washington Post’s original coverage of the incident read in part,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.” But the church was set on fire by one of the church’s own congregants, who is black.
RELATED VIDEO: Glazov on “Why Jussie Smollett Lied – And the Left’s Victimhood Cult.”
EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/hoax-hate-crimes-e1550612899110.jpg386640The Daily Callerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Caller2019-02-19 17:11:222019-02-20 05:49:33Here’s A List Of Hoax ‘Hate Crimes’ In The Trump Era
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the state legislature intends to establish Equal Opportunity Scholarships designed to end the current waiting list on the tax credit scholarship program—a move the Republican chief executive supports.
The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship—which provides scholarships to eligible children to attend a private school of choice, and which is financed through corporate donations—currently has a waitlist of an estimated 13,000 families.
“If the taxpayer is paying for education, it’s public education,” regardless of where the student attends, DeSantis said.
He also said:
We have parents who are lining up for a tax credit scholarship. They would not do that if the program was not succeeding. … The question for us now is, should we be satisfied there is a growing waitlist, or should we build off the successes?
He is indeed correct to want to build off the success of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and end the waitlist. And the announcement follows on the heels of DeSantis’ promise earlier this month to eliminate the waitlist on the state’s education savings account program, which provides those accounts to students with special needs to get a customized education.
DeSantis’ remarks underscore the need to safeguard education choice for those hoping to exercise it; namely, students on the waitlist across the Sunshine State.
Now Florida should take the next step, and make education choice universally available to every student in the state.
Florida policymakers—along with DeSantis and his newly appointed education commissioner, Richard Corcoran (another staunch supporter of school choice)—should establish universal education savings accounts available to all students in the state.
As the Fordham Institute’s Robert Pondiscio explained, Republicans control the governor’s office, the state Senate, and the state House—a “trifecta” bolstered by DeSantis’ appointment of three conservatives to the Florida Supreme Court, shifting the balance on the court from a liberal majority to a conservative-leaning court.
Although Pondiscio notes that some are wary of expanding choice too quickly, “[a]lmost without exception, every state official and school choice advocate I recently met in Florida believes the state will be the first to have ‘universal’ education savings accounts, opening private-school choice options to all who seek them,” he noted.
As Jason Bedrick of EdChoice and I recently explained, Florida’s tax credit scholarship program is benefiting some of the most disadvantaged students in the state, with participating families’ average household income being just 8.2 percent above the federal poverty line (at $25,362).
Participating students scored lower on standardized exams prior to entry into the program than their peers, yet performed up to the national average (and exceeded their demographic peers) after using a scholarship.
Those are likely a few of the reasons parents are highly satisfied with the school choice option. Ninety-two percent of parents are satisfied with the program, including 89 percent who reported being highly satisfied.
Notably, as we found in this study—currently, the largest survey ever conducted of school choice program participants—parents are seeking out things the public school system cannot or will not provide:
Parents place a high value on their child’s character development. When asked to list the top three factors that influenced their decision to have their child attend their chosen school, the only factors to be selected by a majority of scholarship parents were religious environment/instruction (66 percent) and morals/character/values instruction (52 percent).
These two highly influential factors were followed by a safe environment (36 percent), academic reputation (34 percent), and small classes (31 percent).
The least important factor was standardized test scores, which only 4 percent of parents listed as one of their top three factors.
Parents in Florida want expanded education choice options. There are high levels of satisfaction among families in the current programs, high demand for more options (as evidenced by the waitlist), and the opportunity to go bold.
More than 100,000 children currently attend a school of their choice, thanks to the tax credit scholarship program, and 13,000 remain on the waitlist.
If implemented, Equal Opportunity Scholarships would give immediate school choice access to those students.
Florida should also seize this critical moment in time, as Pondiscio explains, to go bold on school choice:
Now the political stars have aligned to allow Florida Republicans—if they choose—to push the school choice agenda even further.
With the election of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a victory credited by The Wall Street Journal to African-American ‘school choice moms’ voting to protect tax credit scholarships and charter schools, choice proponents are champing at the bit to push school choice into the middle class, even making Florida the first state in the nation with universal choice.
Florida should do just that, providing education savings accounts to every child in the Sunshine State. Such a move would maintain Florida’s status as a leader in education choice, and improve educational opportunity to all families.
The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon in the Democratic Party is both scrumptious and terrifying to watch because it either destroys the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future or it cripples America for good.
It cannot be emphasized enough up front: The media has created the pretty AOC monster with endless lavish and uncritical cover stories, Sunday morning interviews and daily coverage verging on adoration. Talk about a Messiah complex — not AOC’s, but the media and sycophantic Democratic Presidential candidates, which are really the problems.
The Amazon fiasco, which I talked about a week ago on my Salem radio show, displays both her inordinately outsized influence, power, destruction and ongoing, astonishing ignorance. It’s important to keep writing and reminding about her train wrecks of bad ideas because again, you virtually cannot find her almost daily knuckle-headed comments in the MSM. Covering as per usual.
So Amazon pulls out of its New York City deal along with its 25,000 pretty good jobs and all the surrounding development and rollover effect, because of the AOC-led charge opposing giant giveaways to corporations. I’m pretty sympathetic to that in principle. But you have to have a modicum of understanding of how these deals are typically structured nowadays (as opposed to the outright gifts given to, say, major league sports teams. That’s not how Amazon or others work.)
In this case, the generally superficial reporting on Amazon said that NYC was providing $3 billion in “incentives.” Apparently, AOC took that to mean the city was giving Amazon $3 billion from the city’s coffers. Now the projections were that Amazon would have created about $26 billion of economic impact and the taxed portion of that would have more than paid back the incentives in just a few years.
But even that was not the deal. These were only tax breaks provided once Amazon had created those 25,000 jobs. So this was tax revenue — and tax break — that would only be realized if Amazon relocated and if they create all 25,000 jobs. But AOC, in her junior high way, thinks that money is just sitting somewhere. Here’s what she said while virtually dancing a jig in the halls of Congress at the news that Amazon will take their development and 25,000 jobs elsewhere, in response to a reporter’s question:
“The district is now going to lose thousands of jobs that would have come there,” a reporter quietly noted in the middle of Ocasio-Cortez’s celebratory dance. “Well one of those things is, A) we were subsidizing those jobs,” she said. “The city was paying for those jobs so frankly if we were willing to give Amazon, so if we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers, we can fix our subways, we can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to.”
Good golly Miss Molly. The money does not exist without Amazon moving to New York City. Those taxes are not being paid by others. It would have been the taxes due because Amazon was there. Ignorance really does kill — in this case, good jobs and economic development for her own district — but she’s going to totally remake the American economy. Riiiight. She does this almost daily. I won’t regale you with the litany. They are everywhere in the non-MSM sphere, where again her daily ignorance is largely swept away.
But the terrifying part is that because she has been propped up as the fresh new face of the Democratic Party and its future by the utterly compromised, irresponsible and untrustworthy American media, she is dragging the Party in her ignorant, socialist direction. (She is a self-proclaimed Socialist Democrat.)
Her Green New Deal is embarrassingly junior high in its thinking and reality, but it had 60 Democratic members of Congress sign on and most of the front-runners in the Democratic presidential campaign also jumped onboard. Sure it was craven politics without probably vetting it first, but that is part of the problem. There really is no substance in the Democratic Party, and far from enough in the Republican Party.
She cannot just be mocked, easy and fun as that is. See, it’s not just that she released a plan to eliminate all fossil fuel use in 10 years, eliminate all air travel and originally cow emissions. It’s that because of her now gigantic platform — a monstrous creation of the media — she has lured a lot of wet-finger Democrats to her. It’s not just that she led the charge against Amazon with the envy card (rich corporation!) it’s that she managed to destroy a demonstrable increase in prosperity for that part of New York through sheer ignorance.
What she did for New York, she would like to do for the country.
If this is the direction of the Democratic Party, if she is the future, the Party is either doomed to self-immolation, leaving us with one-party rule for a season that will go badly, or the Party is actually successful in taking power with this radical agenda, the nation itself is under grave threat of self-immolation.
You see, there is virtually no check. With craven Democrats and dishonest media colluding against Republicans and President Trump, willing to build up AOC and other radicals in Congress while covering up their idiocy and bigotry (Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib) the American people can be too easily misled.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/capitol-2028412_1280-e1550610234417.jpg387640Rod Thomsonhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRod Thomson2019-02-19 16:04:112019-02-19 16:05:46It’s Really Not AOC, Amazon Or The Green New Deal; It’s Democrats And Their Media