Why the Democratic Rust Belt in Northeastern Pennsylvania voted for Trump

The Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), November 12-13, 2016 presented the latest in a series of articles on The Great Unraveling.   Formerly Democratic rust belt counties, devastated by economic and social decline that swung the electoral victory for President-elect Donald Trump, “The Places that Made Trump President.”  The WSJ characterized these areas as:

Rust Belt counties facing declines in manufacturing, shrinking populations, rising immigration and fraying social fabric moved heavily toward the Republican candidate and his message of national restoration

This latest in the WSJ series dealt with counties in the devastated hard coal and industrial areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania from Scranton south from the New York Line on I-81 across the Delaware River along the spine of the Poconos.   We knew the area well from stops on our journey south to Florida in Wilkes Barre, Hazelton and Saylorville, where former all of Islamist Turkish President Erdogan, Sheikh Fetulleh Gulen is ‘holed up’ in his compound.

We asked two cousins, former residents of the area, American ex-pat in Paris, France, noted European commentator and author Nidra Poller and lawyer activist, Debra Glazer in Irvine, California for their recollections of growing up in these Northeastern Pennsylvania rustbelt communities.

Nidra Poller

I had the privilege of experiencing the Great Depression! Though I was born in 1935, the Depression had never ended in Jessup, PA. They distributed very small apples to the schoolchildren (and I always prefer very small apples) and caned grapefruit. Those who came from affluent families brought their own sugar to sweeten the grapefruit.

We had so few material possessions… young people today couldn’t even imagine how we lived. And we had a store! I suppose we belonged to the middle class.

Our mother z”l (if blessed memory) made my clothes…turning my father’s worn out suits into itchy tweed and his shirts into blouses.

We’ll see what the dispossessed voters of 2016 think in 2019. Can a president, Trump or otherwise, undo the consequences of the entire postwar economic and social development of the US?

Debra Glazer

All through the 1970s and even into the 1980s, I would do much of my clothing; shoe and purse shopping at the various outlets in town (remember Leslie Fay, London Fog, Suburban Casuals, Old Mill, David Crystal Izod, and Rex Shoes?). My mother and I (and my cousins) spent hours going from place to place, stretching from Dickson City, Scranton, and down to Wilkes-Barre. These were real no-frills outlets, often times situated within the factory walls, with merchandise that had mostly tiny imperfections or that were a season old. All those sewing and piece goods jobs disappeared to China and elsewhere.

Then Scranton launched into the telemarketing craze. Many of those annoying dinner-time calls originated from workers sitting in the old, converted Globe, Scranton Dry Goods, or Samters downtown department stores, until the FCC intervened (thankfully) with the do-not-call lists.

When I was a young girl, Scranton had over 100,000 populations, with a strong and large Jewish community, a spanking JCC and many thriving synagogues.  Today, it’s mostly the Orthodox Jewish community that is holding its own, while the other Jewish denominations in town suffer from an aging membership. Almost all of my Jewish high school friends are no longer in Scranton, as there was little for those of us without family businesses to come back to after college.  The overall population dwindled, the poorly educated or blue-collar workers stayed behind, city services crumbled, bankruptcy loomed from time to time, and corruption reigned in NE PA.  Although Scranton boasts several decent universities (the Jesuit University of Scranton and the Catholic Marywood College), those institutions expanded their campuses while causing the erosion of the property tax base. It was really sad for me to go back home when I would visit my aging parents. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Avoca Airport is a gorgeous building, built with loads of federal funds, but almost no airlines service there and if they do, flights are often canceled at the last minute. If one really needs to get somewhere, one is usually forced to drive to Newark, Philadelphia, NY, or even Allentown airports.

So yes, I can see that those folks I grew up with were the backbone of the Trump victory, maybe less so in Scranton because of the Hillary and Biden connections, but still much more than expected in this Democratic stronghold.

Here are selections from the latest WSJ article on what motivated the residents of the rust belt counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania to vote for President-elect Donald Trump in 2016:

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Tamika Shupp twice voted for Barack Obama as the candidate best equipped to shake up Washington. This year she chose Donald Trump for the same reason.

“Obama tried to do well, and it didn’t turn out how we thought,” said Ms. Shupp as she prepared Polish dumplings at Mom & Pop’s Pierogis in this Rust Belt city. Mr. Trump should do better, she figures, by cracking down on illegal immigration and upholding American values like hard work.

Mr. Trump “is going to be another Obama,” said the 43-year-old Ms. Shupp. She considers both men to be agents of change. As for the crude remarks Mr. Trump made during the campaign, especially concerning women, Ms. Shupp said she dismissed them as bragging and “shoptalk,” and she didn’t believe the women who accused him of sexual assault.

[…]

Foreign competition largely wiped out the area’s dress and shoe industries. Many in the county bitterly remember pencil maker Eberhard Faber moving a plant to Mexico in the mid-1980s and other manufacturers closing factories. A plan in the mid-2000s to capitalize on computer-network technology and turn the county into “Wall Street West” proved a bust after few financial firms moved back-office processing to the area. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce is hatching a new plan to attract businesses by involving the local colleges in recruitment efforts, but the program is too new to have much effect so far.

The unemployment rate in Luzerne County, now 6.2%, has generally exceeded the national average since 2000, and manufacturing employment in the county is down by around one-third since 2000. Many of the jobs that remain are low-wage service ones in local hospitals, colleges, chain restaurants and stores. Median income, after accounting for inflation, has been flat in Luzerne County since 2000.

Young people are leaving the region in search of jobs elsewhere, leaving an older, more conservative group of voters. In Luzerne, the population has remained steady since 2000, at about 320,000, but the number of people age 25 to 44 fell by about 10,000, according to Moody’sAnalytics.

The weak economy has, over the decades, contributed to a tattering of the county’s social fabric. Church attendance is down since 2000, opioid addiction is up, and civic organizations like the Rotary Club and the Masons have trouble recruiting young members, say local residents. Of the four Evangelical Lutheran churches in Wilkes-Barre in 2000, says Rev. Peter Kuritz of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, one closed and two other don’t have full-time pastors.

Meanwhile, the county’s Hispanic population has climbed nearly 10-fold since 2000, to 31,000, adding a layer of ethnic tension to a place where 84% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

“There’s a sense that the new residents don’t look like us or sound like us,” says Rev. Kuritz. “People feel it’s not like it used to be.”

The region had been drifting from its New Deal Democratic roots for years, and Mr. Trump took full advantage with its working-class voters. They had long been sympathetic to conservative arguments on issues such as gun control and abortion, while skeptical of the GOP’s perceived catering to the wealthy. Mr. Trump’s brand of populism bridged that divide.

County GOP leaders say they looked to boost turnout by shifting two paid workers to Hazleton, a city that gained national prominence by passing an ordinance penalizing landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, which was later blocked by the courts. “Immigration is a big issue there,” says Luzerne County Chairman Ron Ferrance. “There are so many passionate people” who were ready to make phone calls and canvass for Mr. Trump, who takes a hard line on immigration, he says.

Bill O’Boyle, a veteran reporter and columnist for Wilkes-Barre’s Times Leader, says he figured Mr. Trump was a lock to win Luzerne County when he compared the turnout at political rallies. The area has long been a stopover for presidential campaigns.

“You had Hillary Clinton, 500 people. Teddy Cruz, 300 people. Bernie Sanders, 1,500 people. And then Donald Trump, 11,000. How could those crowds not mean something?”

Nineteen-year-old Jasmine Castillo, who makes tacos at the family’s food truck in Wilkes-Barre’s downtown, says her family’s life has become worse as Mr. Trump’s popularity soared. People now tell her to speak English when she speaks Spanish, and to go back across the border, though she is an American citizen. Someone left feces outside her father’s kitchen-cabinet business, she says.

“People feel empowered now” to make insults and threats against Hispanics, she says. “It’s terrifying.”

Martha Wallace, whose family owns a small manufacturer of crucifixes and other Catholic jewelry, says, “Trump drummed up the enthusiasm, just like Obama drummed up the enthusiasm last time.” Her 7-year-old son has declared himself “a Trump man.” Her 16-year-old daughter also supports Trump. “I’ve encouraged her to dream big,” Ms. Wallace says.

Ms. Wallace says she is worried about the future of the U.S. economy and the threat of terrorism, and is counting on a Trump presidency to ease her fears about both. “We hope some of Trump’s economic policy will make it easier for us compete and still stay true to always being a ‘Made in the USA’ company,” she says.

For Mr. Trump’s supporters, expectations are so high it reminds them of what they once felt for President Obama.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Tamika Shupp twice voted for Barack Obama as the candidate best equipped to shake up Washington. This year she chose Donald Trump for the same reason.

“Obama tried to do well, and it didn’t turn out how we thought,” said Ms. Shupp as she prepared Polish dumplings at Mom & Pop’s Pierogis in this Rust Belt city. Mr. Trump should do better, she figures, by cracking down on illegal immigration and upholding American values like hard work.

Mr. Trump “is going to be another Obama,” said the 43-year-old Ms. Shupp. She considers both men to be agents of change. As for the crude remarks Mr. Trump made during the campaign, especially concerning women, Ms. Shupp said she dismissed them as bragging and “shoptalk,” and she didn’t believe the women who accused him of sexual assault.

[…]

Foreign competition largely wiped out the area’s dress and shoe industries. Many in the county bitterly remember pencil maker Eberhard Faber moving a plant to Mexico in the mid-1980s and other manufacturers closing factories. A plan in the mid-2000s to capitalize on computer-network technology and turn the county into “Wall Street West” proved a bust after few financial firms moved back-office processing to the area. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce is hatching a new plan to attract businesses by involving the local colleges in recruitment efforts, but the program is too new to have much effect so far.

The unemployment rate in Luzerne County, now 6.2%, has generally exceeded the national average since 2000, and manufacturing employment in the county is down by around one-third since 2000. Many of the jobs that remain are low-wage service ones in local hospitals, colleges, chain restaurants and stores. Median income, after accounting for inflation, has been flat in Luzerne County since 2000.

Young people are leaving the region in search of jobs elsewhere, leaving an older, more conservative group of voters. In Luzerne, the population has remained steady since 2000, at about 320,000, but the number of people age 25 to 44 fell by about 10,000, according to Moody’sAnalytics.

The weak economy has, over the decades, contributed to a tattering of the county’s social fabric. Church attendance is down since 2000, opioid addiction is up, and civic organizations like the Rotary Club and the Masons have trouble recruiting young members, say local residents. Of the four Evangelical Lutheran churches in Wilkes-Barre in 2000, says Rev. Peter Kuritz of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, one closed and two other don’t have full-time pastors.

Meanwhile, the county’s Hispanic population has climbed nearly 10-fold since 2000, to 31,000, adding a layer of ethnic tension to a place where 84% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

“There’s a sense that the new residents don’t look like us or sound like us,” says Rev. Kuritz. “People feel it’s not like it used to be.”

The region had been drifting from its New Deal Democratic roots for years, and Mr. Trump took full advantage with its working-class voters. They had long been sympathetic to conservative arguments on issues such as gun control and abortion, while skeptical of the GOP’s perceived catering to the wealthy. Mr. Trump’s brand of populism bridged that divide.

County GOP leaders say they looked to boost turnout by shifting two paid workers to Hazleton, a city that gained national prominence by passing an ordinance penalizing landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, which was later blocked by the courts. “Immigration is a big issue there,” says Luzerne County Chairman Ron Ferrance. “There are so many passionate people” who were ready to make phone calls and canvass for Mr. Trump, who takes a hard line on immigration, he says.

Bill O’Boyle, a veteran reporter and columnist for Wilkes-Barre’s Times Leader, says he figured Mr. Trump was a lock to win Luzerne County when he compared the turnout at political rallies. The area has long been a stopover for presidential campaigns.

“You had Hillary Clinton, 500 people. Teddy Cruz, 300 people. Bernie Sanders, 1,500 people. And then Donald Trump, 11,000. How could those crowds not mean something?”

Nineteen-year-old Jasmine Castillo, who makes tacos at the family’s food truck in Wilkes-Barre’s downtown, says her family’s life has become worse as Mr. Trump’s popularity soared. People now tell her to speak English when she speaks Spanish, and to go back across the border, though she is an American citizen. Someone left feces outside her father’s kitchen-cabinet business, she says.

“People feel empowered now” to make insults and threats against Hispanics, she says. “It’s terrifying.”

Martha Wallace, whose family owns a small manufacturer of crucifixes and other Catholic jewelry, says, “Trump drummed up the enthusiasm, just like Obama drummed up the enthusiasm last time.” Her 7-year-old son has declared himself “a Trump man.” Her 16-year-old daughter also supports Trump. “I’ve encouraged her to dream big,” Ms. Wallace says.

Ms. Wallace says she is worried about the future of the U.S. economy and the threat of terrorism, and is counting on a Trump presidency to ease her fears about both. “We hope some of Trump’s economic policy will make it easier for us compete and still stay true to always being a ‘Made in the USA’ company,” she says.

For Mr. Trump’s supporters, expectations are so high it reminds them of what they once felt for President Obama.

Mr. Ferrance, the Republican county chairman, says he realizes voters expect Mr. Trump to deliver. “If it’s the status quo, people will be upset,” he says. “People want him to govern in the spirit of what he said” during the campaign.

He figures there is some wiggle room in some of Mr. Trump’s more controversial stances, such as his repeated claim that the U.S. would build a wall across the U.S.-Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. Maybe, he says, Mr. Trump could argue that job growth caused by tougher trade policy would be a way of having Mexico “pay.”

It is ironic that in the eight years of the Obama Administration that Vice President Biden, who grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania,  hadn’t recognized the economic and social devastation in Northeastern  Pennsylvania and developed programs to alleviate  and revitalize the communities.  But then Democrat Presidential candidate characterized those in Wilkes Barre who showed up at rallies as ‘deplorables.”

Now the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania and other rust belt communities in the U.S. are banking on the Trump Administration to deliver on the promises he made at those rallies that gave them, once again, “hope.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Trump election good news for science-based energy advocates

The election of Donald Trump (along with the Republican Congressional majority) may be the good news that science-based energy advocates (e.g. wind warriors) have been waiting for — for years now. For example, there is now a good chance that the wind energy PTC will be terminated!

This is like turning a super-tanker: it will take awhile for things to pan out. And make no mistake about it, the forces of entitlement will not go down without major fights. FYI, I’ve put together a few observations pertaining to the election (ranging from Science to computer models), and its consequences .

The latest Energy and Environmental Newsletter, is now available online.

Some of the more interesting energy articles in this issue are:

Gov’t Study: Wind Turbines Cause Sleep Loss, Stress, and Anxiety

Video: Infrasound — What You Are Not Being Told

What if the US had to pay EU energy prices?

Wind Project Ecological Assessments Fail to Reduce Risk of Bat Killings

Epstein’s University Energy Talk and Q&A

America Needs More Nuclear Power, Not Less

Wind an even Bigger Boondoggle than Ethanol

Wind Energy: Our Least Sustainable Resource

Some of the more informative Global Warming articles in this issue are:

Brexit2 Signals the End of the Green Age

What Happened to Climate Science?

University Stole Millions from Taxpayers by Faking Climate Change Research

“Global Warming” or “Climate Change”?

Peer Review — Why Skepticism is Essential

1920s Brit ‘fatally infected’ All Government Climate Models

Deaths Caused by Climate Change

Study: Does the World Need Climate Insurance? No

Myron Ebell Perfectly Suited for EPA

PS: As always, please pass this on to open-minded citizens, and on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our energy & environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off the list, simply send me an email saying that.

PPS: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or our WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

Geert Wilders’ Plan to Make the Netherlands Great Again

Geert Wilders is enmeshed in yet another political trial. This time  brought by the Hague Prosecutors based on 6,400 petitions filed over his 2014 Campaign remarks about “fewer Moroccans” – a reference to the record of criminality by Dutch Moroccans.  This Kafkaesque second trial brought on criminal charges of hate speech is being heard before a biased three judge panel in a secure facility at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. If convicted Wilders would face heavy fines and perhaps a sentence for those 2014 campaign remarks. Remarks, as we have argued that do not come up to U.S. Supreme Court Rulings of protected speech under our First Amendment.

Injustice for advocates of freedom and liberty in The Netherlands unfortunately has a history going back to 17th Century with the establishment of the Orange Republic. In his Final Remarks in his first trial on alleged hate speech violations,  heard before the Amsterdam District Court , of which  he was successfully acquitted on all charges, Wilders said:

Mister President, members of the Court,

I am acting within a long tradition which I wish to honour. I am risking my life in defence of freedom in the Netherlands. Of all our achievements freedom is the most precious and the most vulnerable. Many have given their lives for freedom. We have been reminded of that in the commemorations of the month of May. But the struggle for freedom is much older.

Every day the armoured cars drive me past the statue of Johan de Witt at the Hofvijver in The Hague. De Witt wrote the “Manifesto of True Freedom” and he paid for freedom with his life. Every day I go to my office through the Binnenhof where Johan van Oldenbarneveldt was beheaded after a political trial. Leaning on his stick the elderly Oldenbarneveldt addressed his last words to his people. He said: “I have acted honourably and piously as a good patriot.” Those words are also mine.

I do not wish to betray the trust of the 1.5 million voters of my party. I do not wish to betray my country. Inspired by Johan van Oldenbarneveldt and Johan de Witt I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.

That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.

Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried. And about that I do complain.

I consider this trial to be a political trial. The values of D66 [a Dutch leftist liberal party] and NRC Handelsblad [a Dutch leftist newspaper] will never be brought before a judge in this country. One of the complainants clearly indicated that his intentions are political. Even questions I have asked in parliament and cooperation with the SGP are being brought as allegations against me by Mr Rabbae of GroenLinks [the leftist Dutch Green Party]. Those on the Left like to tamper with the separation of powers. When they cannot win politically because the Dutch people have discerned their sinister agenda, they try to win through the courts.

Whatever your verdict may be, that is the bitter conclusion of this trial.

Notwithstanding, Wilders’ second trial on specious criminal charges denying his free speech, he has updated his plan for the March 2017 general elections. Wilders’ pollitical poll standings have placed both he and the Freedom Party (PVV) in contention against the current ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of VVD.

Here is the latest update of Wilders and the PVV plan for the March 2017 general elections translated from the Dutch that appeared November 5, 2016 in De Limburger. 

Wilders’ Plan: Time for Liberation

Pim Fortuyn, the hero of Rotterdam, the man who shook the country awake, once said, “Do not aim for what is possible, but what is imaginable.” He wanted to make clear that for us, the Dutch, nothing is impossible.

Pim Fortuyn was right. Nothing is impossible for us. We are Dutch.

Look at our country. We have single-handedly created this unique and beautiful land. We are the only people in the world living in a country which for the largest part we created ourselves. A great achievement.

We not only created our own land, but we also explored the world. We have sailed all the seas. We founded New York and discovered Australia. Sometimes, it seems like we have forgotten it all. Forgotten what we are capable of. What we are capable of when we put our mind to it.  And maybe that is our problem. We must dare to think big again. Because where there is a will there is a way.

And yes, I know. Many things are bothering us. There is also much to be angry about, and rightfully so. This government has destroyed our country with its austerity policies and has allowed our country to be colonized by Islam. But let’s start aiming for the imaginable. Let us liberate our country.

Four years ago, Mark Rutte won the election with a campaign based on false promises. With lies and deceit. No more money to the Greeks, 1,000 euros for every Dutch citizen, a strict immigration policy. And the Labour Party was his enemy, as everyone remembers. He recently apologized, but he didn’t draw his conclusions. On the contrary, he apologized but continues destroying and giving away of our country. Perhaps, he will even govern with Labour again for another four years. No one can still believe what he says. And my question to you is: do you want a prime minister like that for the next four years?

At the moment, you are living in the land of Mark Rutte. And for many, that is no longer a pleasant land. Just walk out your front door and look around. Chances are that thugs are hanging around at the entrance of your local convenience store. That you get spit on and robbed there. That your daughters, your wives, and your parents get harassed and no longer dare to go out at night. That you are becoming a stranger in your own country. That must change. Because this is our country. And it is being taken away from you. And I will take it back for you.

A politician like me, who speaks the truth about a huge problem many Dutch are confronted with every day – yes, I am talking about the terror of Islam and the Moroccan problem – is dragged to court. Facing trial, while imams can preach all the hatred they want and the political elites keep silent. They call themselves leaders, but they do not lead; they mislead.

Mark Rutte’s plan can be summarized in one word: Dereliction of duty.

My plan for the Netherlands is called Liberation. And liberation begins with stating the facts.

The facts: Six out of every ten inmates in the Netherlands are immigrants, and of all prisoners more than 10% are of Moroccan origin. Moroccan youths are nearly five times more often suspected of a crime than native youths. The Netherlands has become a continuous live broadcast of Opsporing Verzocht [Wanted Criminals, a Dutch television program]. A politician who keeps silent about this is worthless. I refuse to do that.

And I will not keep silent about Islam either. Never, ever. Because silence is dangerous. Last July, Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel passed away. I met him a few years ago in New York. He gave the world a wise lesson: “When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.” Islam says it wants to kill us. The Koran leaves no doubt about that.

Seven out of ten Dutch Muslims believe that religious rules are more important than the Dutch secular laws. And more than one in ten Muslims in the Netherlands find it acceptable to use violence in name of Islam. That is more than 100,000 people. Many refuse to integrate and show no respect for Dutch authority in areas such as Maassluis or Poelenburg. They give us the middle finger. Islamic hooligans parade with IS flags through the streets in The Hague and occupy bridges with Turkish flags in Rotterdam. This is our country, but their flags are waving.

Look at their flags. And look at our flag. There is no Koran verse and no crescent on our flag, but red, white and blue stripes. The red of our identity, the white of our freedom and the blue of the truth. This is the time that from house to house, from street to street and from municipality to municipality, we must raise our flag. Everywhere. With pride. Because this is our country, our Netherlands! And it cries for liberation.

When I come to power, I will protect our beautiful country. And this is only possible if we de-Islamize. I want to make it the core of my policy. Because I refuse to let this wonderful country of ours perish and I choose our culture and the freedom of our people.

Our values are not Islamic, but are based on the Judeo-Christian and humanist civilization. We have the right and freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, and to never give away this right. Twelve years ago, Theo van Gogh was murdered. He gave his life for the freedom that lies at the heart of our Dutch identity. And that identity must defend itself. We must not allow those who want to destroy our freedom to abuse freedom in order to take ours away. We must stop being naive and defend ourselves. Because this is our country.

The Dutch are fully aware of the fact that while there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam. Two out of three Dutch people say that the Islamic culture does not belong to the Netherlands. Three-quarters of the Dutch people believe that politicians underestimate the problem of the rising numbers of Muslims in our country. More than three quarters believe that Islam is not an enrichment for the Netherlands. Those people are right. But nobody listens to them. Only I do.

Mark Rutte spoke about stubborn optimism, but the Netherlands do not need laughing donkeys. It needs heroes with firm realism. We cannot afford to underestimate the seriousness of the threat. Because the threat is existential: the survival of our country is at stake. Potential terrorists are already among us in great numbers and are coming to Europe on a daily basis, also with the influx of asylum seekers. They walk free here. It is a dereliction of duty to do nothing about it and to leave our borders open to tens of thousands mainly Islamic fortune seekers from the Middle East and Africa.

We must also liberate ourselves from the Europhiles in Brussels who wipe the floor with our identity, our sovereignty and our prosperity. We are no longer in control of our own borders, our own money, our own democracy. If we decide in a referendum that we do not want something, like the association agreement with Ukraine, then they force it down our throats anyways. Because the will of the people is not relevant to the elite. They are laughing at us.

Everything belonging to our culture is being taken away from us. Even Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is not allowed anymore. The elite wants to abolish the word “allochtoon” (foreigner), but it is the native people who are losing their country. I refuse to let that happen. This is our country, our culture, our identity. The Netherlands, this beautiful country, this great nation, this beacon of freedom, it is ours and will remain ours! This is the time to withstand tyranny.

Today, I appeal to all the Dutch. To everyone who enjoys our hard-won freedoms, to everyone who wants to safeguard the prosperity and wealth of this great country for their children and grandchildren: let us show the world that we are Dutch. Stand up – democratically and non-violently – against the elites who are giving away your country. The task that lays ahead of us is immense. But the courage to reclaim our country is so, too. There are many good things to be preserved and there are many things that have to be rebuilt.

This is the time for clear language: Dutch money for the Dutch people! Not a penny to Africa, Turkey, Greece or Brussels anymore. If we do that, so much will become possible. Imagine it! Then we will be able to reduce taxes for everyone, so the purchasing power can rise significantly and the economy can get a tremendous boost. We will be able give our elderly a decent old day. We will be able to can lower the retirement age to 65 again and no pensions will have to be cut.

I also want to keep our nursing homes open and employ thousands of extra nurses. In my Netherlands, we remedy the terrible degradation of healthcare under Rutte II and there will be many nurses taking care for our elderly with dedication, love and respect, day and night. In my Netherlands, we abolish deductibles in healthcare. It is intolerable that Dutch people are avoiding healthcare because they cannot afford it, while asylum seekers, who on average have 1,000 euros more healthcare costs a year, get everything for free. This injustice fills me with disgust.

We will be able to spend more on the police and the army, so they have more resources to keep our country safe and free and to protect our property and borders. We must close our borders to asylum seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries, no longer allow jihadists from Syria return, and denaturalize and expel criminals with dual citizenship. We must liberate our country.

I also want to introduce direct democracy in the Netherlands with binding referendums. Our political system is still that of the 20th century, ruled by the same arrogant political elites with their the false promises and hypocritical apologies. If the mess created by Mark Rutte has taught us one thing, it is this: the people should be able to pull the emergency brake when the political elites violate their will. And not just once every four years.

The past decades, millions of Dutch people have seen how their country was hijacked before their very eyes. It did not take a genius to know that this would end badly. The constant transferring of sovereignty to the EU, the euro that does more harm than good, the endless waste of money spent on the Greeks, the dangers of Islam, the open borders and mass immigration, the growing threat of terrorism, the tsunami of asylum seekers, the tax increases, and last but not least, the budget cuts in healthcare for the elderly and the disabled that have crushed the weakest in our society.

Unfortunately, those who warned have been proven right. But there is hope. Together we can take care of that. When a nation awakes and starts moving, everything is possible. I am not saying that the task will be easy. But it can be done, and it must be done. Because we have no choice. A strong and sovereign country where hard work is rewarded and the weak are protected, where terrorists cannot just cross the border at Hazeldonk [main border crossing with Belgium], where women can walk the streets in skirts without being harassed or sexually assaulted, where care is affordable and pensions are decent, where all citizens – including Jews, homosexuals, women, and critics of Islam – are safe. Where patriotism is not an insult but a badge of honor. Where Islam is shown the door.

This beautiful country, our country, is not lost. In fact, the best years lay ahead of us. If we make the right choices. And say goodbye to those who look away from the problems and give away the Netherlands. It is time for liberation! Let us reclaim our country together.

Starting on March 15, 2017!

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

The Brilliance of the Electoral College

As it appears that for the second time this century the United States will elect a president who did not win the popular vote, there are the predictable calls for killing the Electoral College. The same thing occurred in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the presidency. In fact, this is the fifth time in U.S. history this has occurred.

But as is often the case, the knee-jerk response overlooks well-designed reasoning. In many ways the Electoral College is yet another example of the brilliance of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution.

They purposely avoided a pure democracy majority rule form of governing at every turn. The reason is simple. Pure democracies do not work. Straight majority-rule democracy is sometimes compared to two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. That old saw depicts how a simple majority can tyrannize the minority — and inevitably will.

This is human nature. Mankind could never be expected to act selflessly and self-sacrificially for the greater good, so the Founders built in a tension between the three branches of government that harnessed basic human nature to keep government in check. They believed only a self-checking and self-limiting system could keep the tyranny of human nature at bay. And they actually used human nature to accomplish it.

They employed the same thinking for how we elect our government leaders through a process that ensured presidential candidates had to run in all the country, not just the population centers. This was to make sure that a diverse and growing nation would get representation from all sectors and that a President would have to campaign in all regions and demographics.

Here’s how it works

The president and vice president are not elected by popular vote, but by 538 electors — which is essentially the sum total of the House of Representatives, Congress and the District of Columbia. So there is population representation through the number of congressional districts, and state representation through number of Senate seats. This is the math for spreading out the Electoral College.

So when we vote for president and fill in the oval for our candidate, we are actually voting for the slate of electors in our state, who will then officially vote in December for president. If the Democrat wins, the Democratic electors will vote. If the Republican wins, the Republican electors will vote.

This is why 270 is magical number to win the presidency. It is 50 percent plus one of these electors.

With a straight popular vote, presidential candidates would only campaign in the major population centers along the coasts and some big cities inland. Regions such as the upper Midwest and rural South and western mountains would rarely if ever see a candidate. And worse, presidents would then feel free to ignore the interests of people in those regions. Need to dump toxic waste? North Dakota it is!

But with the Electoral College as the method, North Dakota’s three electors just might matter.

In this system, presidential candidates need to build coalitions and campaign nationally. A regional candidate cannot win nationally. A candidate with a narrow base cannot win nationally.

This creates the phenomenon of swing states, which get a hyper-media focus every four years. But those are not in granite. In fact they change all the time. Florida may well be the longest term swing state going forward because of our in-migration patterns from around the nation. But remember, until 1988, California was a reliably Republican state. Kind of astonishing to think about now. And Texas was as solid blue as the came. Virginia and North Carolina were part of the Democrat South, then became part of the Republican South and now are kind of swingy.

What this means, and this is just brilliant, is that no major party can ignore any state for too long without suffering. Even small states. Remember 2000? George W. Bush won that, hanging chads and all, because of Florida, right? Well, yes. But what is forgotten is that Florida would not have mattered if Democrats had not taken West Virginia for granted. It was a solid blue state, they ignored it, and Bush flipped it. That is what made Florida and its huge electoral count relevant. Yet West Virginia only has four electoral votes.

That is the genius of the Electoral College, forcing presidents to create coalitions, campaign nationally and represent even thinly populated areas. Another grand slam by the Framers that is still working.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on TheRevolutionaryAct.com.

Black Minister Joins the Left in Fomenting Hate

It pains me to say this, but it was truly disappointing seeing Bishop T. D. Jakes on MSNBC helping to further the Left’s lie that the election of Trump is horrible for America. Jakes said, “We are dealing with shock, grief over election outcome.” 

Clearly, Jakes was complicit in helping MSNBC undermine Trump’s presidency by branding him an evil racist and sexist. MSNBC which has no moral bottom wanted to send minorities the message that they should be fearful of Trump and the angry white voters who elected him. These people are scum folks.

Several black Christian leaders have joined the Left in furthering the socialist/progressive agenda, allowing their mission to trump truth, facts and even Jesus. For crying out loud, when you research the term, “abuser of women” Hillary’s picture is there. Her Democrat party has a long history of racism against blacks; the KKK, Jim Crow laws, the bigotry of lowered expectations, planned parenthood founded for the purpose of black genocide and so on.

And yet, MSNBC, Oprah and other powerful blacks choose to ignore Hillary’s multiple crimes against women, blacks and America. Instead, these evil Leftists have launched an all out assault on Trump to convince minorities that white Americans just elected Hitler

I remember my 88 year old preacher Dad saying to us as kids, “While you did not join the devil in committing sin, you held the devil’s coat.” Jakes’ language regarding the election of Trump is not as harsh as MSNBC and Oprah’s, but he is definitely holding their coats.

Publicly criticizing a man of God is awkward territory for me folks. 1 Chronicles 16:22 says, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” I believe Jakes is a man of God. Over the years, Bishop Jakes ministry has blessed me on numerous occasions.

Dishearteningly, Jakes’ behavior represents the baffling and disturbing disconnect I have seen in many black Christians between their politics and their faith. It appears that many black Christians have chosen the false gods of their racial bigotry and their loyalty to the Democrat Party over their commitment to Christ. I am not being provocative. I am simply stating the truth.

A black pastor’s wife relative of mine claims to be devout. And yet, her Christianity takes a backseat to Obama (his picture plastered all over her home) and her loyalty to the Democrat Party. How does she ignore Obama and the Democrats’ aggressive War on Christianity and anti-biblical platform?

Facts proving how Obama’s presidency and Democrat policies have harmed blacks only sparks outrage in her, seemingly to the point of wanting to kill the messenger. Her zombie loyalty is impenetrable. She voted for Hillary, ignoring the fact that Hillary would have led the charge to further ban God from the public square; murder more black babies and push through the anti-Christian LGBT agenda.

One could say, “This black pastor’s wife is simply a product of decades of the Left demonizing Republicans.” Fine. But, why is her mind so closed to hearing the truth? I am not one to run around talking about spiritual possession. Still, I wonder. Is there a spirit of stupidity? Just kidding.

My black pastor’s wife relative is a brain-dead racist fool. However, high profile black Christians such as Jakes and Tyler Perry, who should know better, are Hillary supporters/democrat operatives. They have even adjusted their views to line up with the Democrats’ anti-biblical take on various issues. Tyler Perry joined the Left in calling Georgians bigots for not wanting men to use women restrooms. 

I heard an old Jakes sermon in which he preached against what he called, “the spirit of lesbianism”. Now, Jakes is furthering the democrat’s narrative that gays are among the victimized groups threatened by Trump’s presidency.

As I said, it appears that some black Christians have decided that the Democrat Party’s platform trumps Jesus’ platform.

Not all black Christian leaders worship on bended knee to the false gods of their racial bigotry and loyalty to the Democrat Party. Though attacked as traitors and Uncle Toms, thank God that there are black pastors who stand on the word of God. They encourage blacks to vote for candidates who line-up most with biblical principles; Pastor Mark Burns, Pastor Darrell Scott, Pastor Jesse Lee Peterson and Bishop E. W. Jackson to name a few

I don’t know folks. It is all so sad. All I know to do is to pray for Jakes, my black pastor’s wife relative and other black Christians to abandon their blasphemous loyalty to skin-color and the democrats and return to their first love, Jesus Christ.

Bernie Sanders wants Jew and Israel Hater as Chairman of the DNC?

Bernie Sanders has proposed that Keith Ellison be the next Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. MoveOn.org has created a petition to make Ellison head of the DNC.

The MoveOn.org petition titled “Appoint Keith Ellison as DNC Chair” by Paul Kent states:

It is abundantly clear that the Democratic Party is in need of new leadership. Deborah Wasserman-Schultz, the former chair, was forced to resign after emails showed her interfering in the primary between Sen. Sanders and Sec. Clinton. The interim chair, Donna Brazile, has recently been found to have done the exact same thing: she leaked questions to Sec. Clinton’s campaign to aid her in her debates against Bernie Sanders.

Frankly put, the Democratic National Committee’s last two leaders have been mired in controversy and ineptitude, and after giving away full control of the House, the Senate, and the White House to Republicans, it’s time to appoint a truly strong and progressive leader to take the reins. Someone who has a finger on the pulse of the American middle class, and who has a long track record of standing up for the people in a fair, honest, and unwavering way.

Keith Ellison is that leader, and its time we show the DNC that millions of Americans agree. Please sign our petition.

Damon Rosen posted the above photo of Representative Keith Ellison on his Facebook page with the following comment:

Dear American Jewish Democrats, Please look at this picture. That is Congressman Keith Ellison standing at a podium with the the words “US Campaign to END The ISRAELI OCCUPATION”.

He is a Muslim Brotherhood facilitator, on Capitol Hill and abroad.

Oh, and by the way, he is the front runner to be the next Chairman of the Democratic party! This shouldn’t only worry Jewish voters, but every single Democrat with concerns that a representative of a SWORN ENEMY of the US is the leader of their party!!

Eric Israel Fogelgaren added the following comment:

I am a former democrat now independent. I have seen and heard a growing animosity toward Israel and Jews from the Democrats. While I hear a lot about anti Muslim invective by Trump supporters there is silence about the more and more ominous and, frankly, anti Semitic element among democrats. More and more one hears support for BDS and the indistinguishable rhetoric one hears from Palestinian supporters advocating the elimination of Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian state and a growing number of democrats.

Robin Bass commented:

There is certainly a far-left component of the democratic party..but they are no,worse,than the far right of the republicans who want to destroy the rights of so many people right here in America..

To which Rosen responded:

Robin PLEASE!!! There is a STRONG anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic party, NOT the Republican! It is Hillary supporters going through the streets this week shouting “Free, free Palestine”! Destroy the rights of who? Illegal immigrants? They don’t have rights in this America, sorry! Stop the moral equivalency garbage, only one party is anti-Israel and that is the Democrats. Only one party is about to place an Israel hating Muslim in its’ leadership position. Wake up!!!

PODCAST: Payback Time! And Our (Euphoric) Trump Victory Analysis

We did it! The election of Donald J. Trump vanquishes the corrupt dynasties of the Clintons and Bushes, and may permanently redraw the ideological spectrum. When Trump takes office in January, he will end an eight year national nightmare. We were truly spared a dark fate, more so than many understand.

But the work is just beginning. In the short term, we must not forget how we got here and who is responsible. That includes a vast number of politicians, pundits, “experts,” and activists from both parties. For the good the country, it’s payback time. Let’s settle some scores! George Soros, you might want to take note.

We’ll also look ahead at what the First 100 Days may involve, and who is potentially on tap for Cabinet positions. Which countries will Trump meet with first to restore our tattered relations? What’s in store for the Middle East, the region most devastated by Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Topics of Discussion:

  • Payback Time!
  • End of the Dynasties – Bush and Clinton
  • Legislative Outlook
  • State-level results – “Republicans” win big
  • Rebuilding America’s alliances
  • Who will Obama pardon?
  • Potential Supreme Court picks
  • A reminder of The Betrayal Papers, and what was at stake

and more…

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may listen to USA Transnational Report live on JJ McCartney’s Nightside Radio Studios and on Red State Talk Radio

A Historic Election Night for the Second Amendment

Last week, we observed how the mainstream media – which had become little more than a super PAC for Hillary Clinton – had already tried to write-off Donald Trump and his supporters. “But the media and Clinton campaign … don’t get to write the final chapter to this story,” we noted. “You do.”

And you did. Did you ever.  Once again, NRA’s members and supporters proved to be the most potent political force in America.

In what the Washington Post described as a “cataclysmic, history making upset,” Donald J. Trump shocked the political establishment and the world with a solid trouncing of his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in their contest for the U.S. presidency.

The final statistics will not be known until Arizona and Michigan finish counting votes. But by 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, Trump had surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Clinton called Trump to congratulate him on his victory, and Trump took to the airwaves to address the nation as president-elect. 

“[O]urs was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement,” Trump stated. “It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people — and serve the people it will.”

The Post’s writer called Trump’s victory “the single most stunning political development I have ever witnessed.” Political scientists will likely be studying the 2016 campaign for decades to come.

But many ordinary Americans could see that a movement was afoot and that real change was in the air. Trump signs proliferated, even in normally Democratic strongholds. The crowds at Trump’s rallies dwarfed those of his rival. And repeated media predictions of Trump’s certain political demise unfailingly proved wrong.

Your NRA proved to be one of Trump’s earliest, staunchest, and most faithful friends throughout his historic campaign. That’s because in this campaign, the issue of gun control was front and center in way rarely seen in modern politics. Hillary Clinton made sweeping restrictions on firearms a centerpiece of her campaign. Trump, meanwhile, was just as vocal about his support for the Second Amendment. 

NRA endorsed Trump in May, at its annual meeting in Louisville, KY. After a contentious and crowded Republican primary season, the NRA help unite and focus supporters of the various candidates around the shared commitment to the Second Amendment and our firearms freedom.

NRA went on to release a series of hard-hitting political ads in key battleground states. The ads warned of Clinton’s dishonesty, hypocrisy, antigun policies, and the crucial issue of securing the Supreme Court’s pro-Second Amendment majority. 

And as always, NRA brought a get-out-the-vote ground game that remains one of the best in the business: 38,000,000 election mailings were sent; 1.35 million live phone calls were made; and 170,000 doors were knocked, all in a targeted effort to ensure the highest impact voters showed up at the polls.

Together, these efforts materially contributed to Trump’s victory. NRA’s efforts were so effective, in fact, that they were highlighted by the mainstream media and even by Michael Bloomberg’s own antigun propaganda machine

But none of it would have mattered, had you – NRA members, supporters, and volunteers – not done your part. Your activism, quiet determination, and votes are what ultimately overcame the Clinton Machine, perhaps the most sophisticated, well-funded, and media-embraced political campaign in American history. As a result, the White House will now be back to representing the interests of everyday Americans. 

But it wasn’t just the presidential race where pro-gun forces scored important victories. 

Critically, American voters maintained pro-gun majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. NRA made 249 endorsements in House races, with 233 of those candidates winning (with results from one race still outstanding). And 21 of NRA’s 25 endorsed Senate candidates prevailed.

Protecting our allies in the U.S. Senate and returning a pro-gun majority to that chamber will prove critical in the nomination and approval process to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

A sizeable majority of governorships also remain in pro-gun hands throughout the states and we were able to defeat Michael Bloomberg’s gun control ballot initiative in Maine despite being massively outspent.

Simply put, gun control was on the ballot this election season, and it suffered a resounding loss. A strong Second Amendment firewall remains intact throughout the country. 

As ever, NRA’s members and supporters will be the difference between winning and losing as gun issues move through the Congress.  So stayed tuned as we head into a future that’s looking increasingly bright for the right to keep and bear arms.

Trump’s Data Gurus Anticipated the Election Result

NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “There are no longer any experts except Cambridge Analytica. They were Trump’s digital team who figured out how to win.”  Frank Luntz

No one saw it coming. The public polls, the experts, and the pundits: just about everybody got it wrong. They were wrong-footed because they didn’t understand who was going to turn out and vote last Tuesday.

Except for Cambridge Analytica, the data company at the heart of the Trump campaign, working in collaboration with the RNC and Brad Parscale.

The firm knew that Mr. Trump had a very solid shot at winning, because it saw trends that no else did, and it knew how to interpret them correctly.

“The trends that we saw, a lot of people didn’t want to believe it,” says Matt Oczkowski, who headed the Data Science team.  “The outcome was very difficult to predict, and we didn’t get every state right, but we saw the trends that meant we were quietly confident.”

The team’s internal data saw what was going to happen in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, because it understood who was going to vote on Election Day.

Uniquely, Cambridge Analytica understood how Trump supporters were different from traditional Republican voters such as those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. It knew who those Trump supporters were and the issues they cared about.

Ahead of the election, Cambridge Analytica’s internal data showed the race tightening because its data scientists had seen previously hidden trends in voter sampling, and new trends in absentee ballots and early voting, particularly in rural areas. “This led us to predict a significant lift for Mr. Trump in the industrial Midwest,” says Lead Data Scientist Dr. David Wilkinson.

Among the trends: an increase in the rural vote, a drop in African-American turnout, and a one to three point boost from voters who had hitherto not declared themselves for Trump: the so-called “hidden” vote.

“Their analysis was based not on punditry or the art of politics, but on data science and a rigorously scientific approach to research and polling,” says Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix.

“This is not something that political intuition would tell you,” says Oczkowski, “but our models predicted most of these states correctly. What also gave us an advantage over polling companies is how quickly we were able to react by updating models to take into account where the demographic was shifting.”

“We are extremely proud of the work that we were able to do in collaboration with the campaign. Data’s alive and kicking. It’s just how you use it and how you buck normal political trends to understand your data.”

Bloomberg: “Trump’s Data Team Saw a Different America – and They Were Right”
Wall Street Journal: “The election upset is seen as a coup for Cambridge Analytica”
Mashable: “How a little-known data firm helped Trump become president”
Wired: “Cambridge Analytica stood entirely alone. From Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model to The New York Times’ the Upshot model to the Clinton campaign’s own public projections, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would win.

About Cambridge Analytica:

Cambridge Analytica, the U.S. affiliate of SCL Group, is the market leader in the provision of data analytics and behavioral communications for political campaigns, issue groups and commercial enterprises. With cutting-edge technology, pioneering data science, and 25 years of experience in behavior change, CA provides advertisers with unparalleled insight into their audiences. More information can be found at: https://cambridgeanalytica.org.

Drain the Media — They are ‘Polluted Vehicles’

A copy of the Newsweek magazine with the cover photo of Hillary Clinton with the headline “Madam President” is now selling on eBay for as high as $595.

The biggest story the media is not covering is how the media has failed the American people.

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Barnabas Bidwell, dated 1806 wrote “As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.”

The media has been reporting what is not true and has failed to cover reality. Despite its failure to tell the truth and report the facts, Americans understood that they were being duped and lied to by the media. Americans understood that the media is “rigged.”

I have been watching the media reactions to the historic victory of Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States. The same pundits, pollsters and talking heads that lied to the American people still have their jobs, with the exception of Donna Brazile, who was let go by CNN when WikiLeaks reveled that she gave the Clinton campaign advance notice of presidential debate questions.

The same political pundits and pollsters who failed to accurately predict the winner late into the night of November 8th, still have their jobs as “contributors” to the major news networks. A very few, like University of Virginia pollster Larry Sabato, have confessed their mea maxima culpa (a Latin phrase meaning “through my great fault”).  The rest have failed to, like Sabato, acknowledge having done a great wrong and more importantly they have failed to correct their wrong.

The media is in tears and cannot comprehend how it’s efforts to turn the race for the White House in favor of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats failed.

The reason: The American people do not trust the media.

Jillian Assange wrote on November 8th, 2016:

The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks – an organization that has a staff and organizational mission far beyond myself. Our organization defends the public’s right to be informed.

Now they, the main stream media, continue to wrongly report on the violence in the streets, the hate exhibited by Democrats, the refusal of even President Obama to accept Donald Trump as a man who can lead America into the future. The main stream media is no longer main nor a stream. Rather it is a swamp that needs to be drained.

The real truth tellers were citizen journalists like WikiLeaks and James O’Keefe from Project Veritas.

I close with anther quote by Thomas Jefferson:

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.  Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
I would add to the list of “polluted vehicles” magazines, radio, Google, Facebook, Twitter and perhaps the worst, television news and commentary programs.

FLORIDA: Marijuana Amendment Author Should Now Make Good On Promises

I’m angry, sad, and nervous about what this means for Florida, but the deed is done and Florida voters have chosen to take Amendment 2’s author, John Morgan, at his word. All we can do now is implore Florida’s legislature to take him at his word as well. We may have lost the battle, but hopefully we won’t lose the war.

When I debated Mr. Morgan on WESH 2 News in mid-October he made three bold promises to voters which the legislature should now take as evidence of the authors’ intent. Morgan began the debate by assuring the moderator (Adrian Whitset) and myself: “[Amendment 2] is not the legalization of recreational marijuana. What this is, is a cure – a help for really, really, really sick people.” There’s nothing the legislature can do about the lack of conclusive evidence that marijuana cures, or even effectively treats, any ailment. They can however, take Morgan at his word and ensure marijuana goes only to the “really, really, really sick,” by further defining “other debilitating medical conditions” and effectively shutting down the unscrupulous, pill-mill-style doctors who will take advantage of any and all ambiguities.

Morgan’s second promise was made knowing I would cite the Department of Health’s analysis from the Fiscal Impact Estimating Conference. Namely, their estimation that Amendment 2 would bring nearly 2,000 pot shops to Florida. “They’re going to say there’s going to be a pot shop on every corner …” he began; and in attempt to stop me in my tracks, he promised: “Any municipality can ban it from their cities or county.”

If this was really his intention, he should’ve included a similar clause in his amendment. Regardless, the legislature should take John Morgan at his word and write legislation that expressly gives municipalities the right to limit, restrict and outright ban pot shops in their communities. The same goes for edibles. The legislature needs to take Morgan up on his offer and specifically ban pot candy. Morgan promised: “It doesn’t have to be in candy form. The legislature can say ‘no’ to that.”

Hopefully by now, you’ve recognized their penchant for shifting blame to the legislature. Yes on 2 claimed throughout this year and last that their amendment was necessary only because the legislature failed to do their job (by “failed” they mean the legislature refused to pass a wide open “medical” marijuana law like Amendment 2). And so, I wasn’t at all surprised how readily Morgan was able to summon his cowardly response to my every objection: “It can only happen if the legislature lets it happen.”

That’s also why I would wager that this bothersome habit of theirs will extend beyond their campaign. Just as they got away with blaming the legislature for their very existence, they will now try and get away with blaming the legislature for all the unintended (and/or intended) consequences of Amendment 2.

In essence, if the state of Florida is witness to the same types of headlines you find in California (“Marijuana candy sickens 19 at quinceañera;” “Toddler rushed to hospital after eating pot candy”), don’t expect Morgan, or his bumbling fraternity of legal pot pushers, to share the blame. After all, when the moderator asked whether the amendment specifically forbids pot shops from opening next to schools, Morgan conceded with an emphatic “No!” But added: “That’s why we elect officials.”

That’s why we elect officials indeed. And that’s why my advice to the legislature is to unapologetically err on the side of caution and regulate this as tightly as they possibly can. Because, whether the legislature likes it or not, the people behind Amendment 2 are going to do their best to shift all the blame away from the authors of the amendment, and onto the men and women who are now responsible for implementing it.

Muslim Brotherhood: Trump victory a ‘disaster’

“Goliath is coming himself, with his horses and men.”

Oh, you’re David now?

Let’s hope that “Goliath” comes for the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators and Useful Idiots in the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and elsewhere in the government.

“Muslim Brotherhood: Trump victory a ‘disaster,’” Middle East Monitor, November 9, 2016 (thanks to Lookmann):

Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections is a “disaster” for the Arab and Muslim world, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson said today.

Mamdouh Al-Muneer, a member of the supreme body of the Freedom and Justice Party, wrote on social media that the results of the elections were a catastrophe as a “racist” has ascended to the White House.

“Goliath is coming himself, with his horses and men… what our nation has witnessed in the last period is something and what is to come is something different. God willing it will be for us not against us.”…

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The People — and No One Else — Have Spoken

No elites, no media. This is a REAL uprising. My latest in PJ Media:

The establishment media and the political elites are reeling, and we have every reason to believe they will never recover.

Considering the massive coalition Donald Trump and his movement had to fight against, it may truly be said that the people — the people alone — have spoken more clearly than they have at any time in recent memory.

Against the always shrill, often hysterical opposition of the establishment media and the leaders of both the Democratic and the Republican parties, the American people have made it clear: they’re tired of politics as usual. It is time indeed to drain the swamp.

Trump’s victory shows that the hegemony of the globalists, the internationalists who have held sway in Europe and North America for decades, is decisively weakening. The Brexit vote in the UK and both the Trump candidacy and his victory show that huge numbers of people on both sides of the Atlantic are fed up with lies, hypocrisy, and self-serving corruption. The free world is fed up with the suicidal policies of the political elites, and their bought-and-paid-for mouthpieces among what are supposed to be objective news outlets.

Not that those elites are going quietly into the night. The upset win, they say, is proof of America’s deep-seated “racism” and “xenophobia.” It’s a sign that Americans are misogynistic, unwilling to countenance a female president and all too forgiving of Trump’s tasteless locker room bluster.

This is the line they took throughout the campaign. Few who opposed Trump — either among the Democrats or among the neo-mugwump NeverTrump faction — ever grasped what made him popular in the first place. They still (still!) have no idea what enabled this man, who had never been a politician and had all sorts of negatives regarding his personal behavior, to defeat sixteen Republican challengers, including several movement conservatives, and then to defeat the Clinton machine.

Trump’s success isn’t a sign that America is “racist.” It’s a sign that significant numbers of Americans want the United States to survive as a free nation. Among all those who excoriated Trump for his proposed temporary moratorium on Muslim immigration never addressed why he actually made the suggestion: not because of their lazy charge of “xenophobia,” but because of the real, rational concern that jihad terrorists will enter the United States among peaceful refugees.

The Islamic State has vowed to embed jihadis among the refugees; refugees were among the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

No one who opposed Trump’s proposal ever offered an alternative way to keep jihadis out of the country. (Of course, the problem of those who learn jihad inside the U.S. is also acute, and must be addressed). Some glibly opined that Trump should ban “Islamists,” not Muslims as a whole, yet never suggested a reliable way to distinguish “Islamists” from ordinary Muslims. Indeed, the Islamic State has instructed its operatives to appear secular — to avoid ostentatious displays of Islamic piety that might arouse suspicions of “radicalization.”

Hillary Clinton promised that the refugees would be “vetted,” but in light of her refusal to acknowledge the Islamic doctrinal roots of Islamic jihad terrorism, it was unclear how she proposed to do this. How could U.S. officials vet for an ideology that they don’t admit exists? Tashfeen Malik, the Islamic jihadist who, along with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, murdered fifteen people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino last December, showed how effective this “vetting” is: she had passed five separate background checks from five different U.S. agencies.

A majority of the American people saw through the same-old, same-old hollowness of Clinton’s proposals, and opted for a real choice, not an echo.

Read the rest here.

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French ambassador to U.S. on Trump victory: ‘A world is collapsing before our eyes’

Muslim migrants are storming into Europe, jihad terror is at record levels, and much more is to come, and Gerard Araud says that “a world is collapsing before our eyes” not about any of that, but about the election of Donald Trump.

Araud is right: a world is collapsing before our eyes. The world of appeasement, accommodation, multiculturalist relativism, and the knee jerk stigmatization of dissenters as “bigots” and “racists.” That world has been dealt a death blow, and a welcome one..

“French ambassador to the US says the ‘world is collapsing’ as Donald Trump looks set to become President,” by Anthony Bond, Mirror, November 9, 2016:

The current French ambassador to the United States has tweeted that the “world is collapsing before our eyes” as Donald Trump looks set to become US President.

Gerard Araud, who is the serving ambassador, tweeting his remarks as forecasters predict the Republican billionaire will defeat Hillary Clinton.

The 63-year-old said: “After Brexit and this election, everything is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes. Dizziness.”

The experienced diplomat would need to work with Trump and his team if the Republican becomes President, making his remarks all the more astonishing. He later deleted the tweet….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Robert Spencer in FrontPage: President Trump: Now What?

Muslims in U.S. on Trump: “We know he sees us as less than human”

Conference of Catholic Bishops: Faithful Citizens Have Responsibility to Strengthen Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding last night’s election of Donald Trump as President-Elect.

Full statement follows.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2016 – The American people have made their decision on the next President of the United States, members of Congress as well as state and local officials. I congratulate Mr. Trump and everyone elected yesterday.  Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.

We, as citizens and our elected representatives, would do well to remember the words of Pope Francis when he addressed the United States Congress last year, “all political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.” Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard.

Our response should be simple: we hear you.  The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.

The Bishops Conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.

Every election brings a new beginning.  Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.

Let us pray for leaders in public life that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage.  And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses to the healing love of Jesus.

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