VIDEO: Leading the Battle Against Illegal Immigration

In this edition of “Judicial Watch On Issue,” Senior Attorney James Peterson explains the issue of illegal immigration & its impact on the United States.

Former sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson charged with child neglect, culpable negligence & perjury in connection with Parkland school mass shooting

Fort Lauderdale – Former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson is facing 11 criminal charges – including child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury – in connection with his lack of response to the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz announced Tuesday.

Following a 14-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, 56, was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. The investigation examined the actions of law enforcement during and following the Parkland school mass shooting.

Peterson will be booked into the Broward County Jail. His bond is set at $102,000. Under the terms of his bond, Peterson would be required to wear a GPS monitor, must surrender his passport and is banned from possessing any firearms while the case is pending.

If convicted, the 11 charges technically carry a maximum potential punishment of 96 ½ years in state prison.

Six of the seven child neglect charges are second-degree felonies and carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. The seventh child neglect charge is a third-degree felony (because the child was not severely injured) with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The perjury charge is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. The three charges of culpable negligence are second-degree misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail.

During the investigation, FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed countless hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports, totaling more than 800 hours of investigation on the case to determine the actions of law enforcement as they responded to the February 14, 2018 school shooting. The investigation received the full cooperation and assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coral Springs Police Department and all other agencies that responded to the school shooting.

Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly is handling the case for the Broward State Attorney’s Office (17th Judicial Circuit).

Click here for Scot Peterson arrest warrant.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sheriff’s Deputy Who Fled Parkland Shooting Charged With Neglecting Children

VIDEO: Ocasio-Cortez’s Gardening Advice Echoes the Hubris of Mao’s Great Leap Forward

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to extend identity politics to vegetables.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wants to extend identity politics to vegetables. For Ocasio-Cortez, some vegetables are too “colonial” to grow.

Community gardens are a component of the Green New Deal, and having projects “make sense in a cultural context” is important, says Ocasio-Cortez.

If “communities of color” are “resistant to certain environmentalist movements,” perhaps it’s because they are concerned about taxes and jobs? The reason Ocasio-Cortez gives is far different:

When someone says that it’s too hard to do a green space that grows yuca instead of…cauliflower or something, what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism.

Yuca grows best in hot, dry regions. In many areas of the United States, including her home district of New York City, it would be an enormous challenge to grow yuca. I may like grapefruits, but I wouldn’t plant a grapefruit tree in the cold climate where I live.

Cauliflower is used in many Caribbean cuisines. Only Ocasio-Cortez knows why some vegetables are “colonial.”

Yuca is a starchy root vegetable with over double the amount of carbohydrates in a potato. If Ocasio-Cortez cares about the obesity and diabetes problems in her district, she may want to think again about her gardening advice.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the first member of Congress to offer inane advice. Yet she is fair game because she wants to use coercive force of government to remake the country in the image of her Democratic Socialist and Green New Deal programs.

We may laugh at Ocasio-Cortez’s boundless hubris, but let’s learn from history. Mao is perhaps history’s most famous despot who was eager to dispense agricultural (along with much other) advice. The result? During his Great Leap Forward (1958-1962), at least 45 million lost their lives through starvation, neglect, and violence.

Mao was a despot who had the power of the Chinese military power behind him to enforce his edicts; Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t.

Today, some see Ocasio-Cortez as a brilliant new voice in politics. With enough support, she and her fellow Democratic Socialists might have the power they crave to command people’s individual decisions. Ocasio-Cortez will never have absolute power, but she may gain enough power to do real harm.

In his book The Fatal Conceit, F.A. Hayek warned of the “naïve mind that can conceive of order only as the product of deliberate arrangement.” To such a mind, Hayek wrote,

it may seem absurd that in complex conditions order, and adaptation to the unknown, can be achieved more effectively by decentralizing decisions.

We are all naïve about many things; a dose of humility and respect for the rights of others keeps us out of trouble.

In his book, Mao’s Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter explains the horrors of the Great Leap Forward. Mao was intent on dramatically increasing both industrial and agricultural production, and the Great Helmsman was sure he knew the way forward. Here are some of the agriculture “reforms” commanded by Mao.

Mao commanded the planting of more than one rice crop a year even though the weather didn’t support it:

Mao asked, on a visit to the provincial capital Changsha. “Why do the Hunan peasants still plant only one crop of rice a year?” After Zhou explained that the weather permitted only a single crop a year, Mao pointed out that Zhejiang was on the same latitude as Hunan and planted two crops of rice. “You are not even studying other experiences. That’s the trouble,” Mao continued.

Mao ordered deeper plowing of the soil and destroyed the topsoil in the process:

Deep ploughing was another revolutionary recipe meant to free the farmers from the capricious soil. The deeper the planting, the stronger the roots and the taller the stalk, or so ran the logic behind this experiment. “Use human waves, and turn every field over,” commanded Mao.

Goaded by cadres… villagers now and then burrowed through the earth to bedrock, destroying the topsoil.

Then Mao ordered a heavier concentration of seeds:

Explained Chairman Mao: “With company they grow easily, when they grow together they will be more comfortable”… Villagers, of course, knew better: they had tilled the land for generations, and knew how to care for a precious resource on which their livelihoods depended. Many were incredulous, some trying to reason with the cadres: “You plant the seedlings too closely, there is not enough breathing space between them, and then you add ten tonnes of fertiliser per field. It will suffocate them to death.” But advice was ignored: “It’s a new technique, you don’t understand!”

Mao believed he could conquer nature, but nature had the last word. The killing of sparrows led to insect infestations, worsening the famine:

Sparrows were targeted because they ate grain seeds, depriving the people of the fruits of their labour. In what is one of the most bizarre and ecologically damaging episodes of the Great Leap Forward, the country was mobilised in an all-out war against the birds. Banging on drums, clashing pots or beating gongs, a giant din was raised to keep the sparrows flying till they were so exhausted that they simply dropped from the sky. Eggs were broken and nestlings destroyed; the birds were also shot out of the air. Timing was of the essence, as the entire country was made to march in lockstep in the battle against the enemy, making sure that the sparrows had nowhere to escape.

Farmers were organized into large communes with ignorant political cadres issuing capricious orders based on “little knowledge of agriculture.”

In 1959 in Luokang commune a local leader decided to replace the existing crop with sweet potatoes on half of the available acreage, only to change his mind later and substitute the potatoes with peanuts. These were then torn out to make room for rice instead. The previous year the commune had tried deep ploughing, using vast concentrations of manpower on small strips of land to dig deep furrows, much of it by hand. Huge amounts of fertiliser were applied, in some cases up to 30 tonnes a hectare. It all came to nothing. In Kaiping county, Guangdong, thousands of villagers were repeatedly forced to plant a crop in the early spring of 1959 despite bitterly cold weather: the seeds froze on three occasions.

Agriculture was militarized:

The militia movement and a small corps of trained fighters brought military organisation to every commune. All over China farmers were roused from sleep at dawn at the sound of the bugle and filed into the canteen for a quick bowl of watery rice gruel. Whistles were blown to gather the workforce, which moved in military step to the fields, carrying banners and flags to the sound of marching songs. Loudspeakers sometimes blasted exhortations to work harder, or occasionally played revolutionary music. Party activists, local cadres and the militia enforced discipline, sometimes punishing underachievers with beatings.

“Every conceivable kind of nutrient” was used as fertilizer:

Animal and human waste was carried to the fields by endless rows of people, sometimes until deep into the night…. Human waste extended to hair, and in some Guangdong villages women were forced to shave their heads to contribute fertiliser or face a ban from the canteen.

The demand for higher yields meant houses were razed for their value as fertilizer:

But most of the time buildings made of mud and straw were torn down to provide nutrients for the soil. Walls of buildings where animals had lived and especially where they had urinated, such as stables, could provide useful fertiliser. At first old walls and abandoned huts were destroyed, but as the campaign gained momentum entire rows of houses were systematically razed to the ground, the mud bricks shattered and strewn across the fields.

Later, houses were wantonly destroyed to make room for new buildings that were never built:

Most quietly stood by, sometimes in tears, as the local leader walked past without uttering a word, simply lifting his finger to mark out a house for destruction. In Dianjiang county, Sichuan, a team of eleven people went around torching hundreds of straw huts. “Destroy Straw Huts in an Evening, Erect Residential Areas in Three Days, Build Communism in a Hundred Days” was the leading slogan. Some villages were emptied altogether, although somehow nobody quite managed to get beyond the destruction phase of the plan.

Pots and pans and farm implements were confiscated and melted down to be used in industrial production:

Many of the farming tools had been destroyed in the iron and steel campaign, labour was still diverted to building dams, and communal granaries in the people’s communes were poorly managed. In Liantan, the model commune where a slogan praising the Great Leap Forward had been chiselled in the mountains to welcome an inspection team, several thousand farmers were conscripted to deep-plough seven hectares during the autumn harvest; as nobody was available to collect the crop, some 500 tonnes of grain were abandoned in the fields.

As starvation spread, ersatz foods such as chlorella and wood pulp were promoted:

In China [chlorella, a form of algae] the watery slime was elevated to the status of miracle food during the famine. It could be cultivated and skimmed from swampy ponds, but more often than not it was grown in vats of human urine, the green stuff being scooped out, washed and cooked with rice.

Prisoners were used as guinea pigs. Besides the green plankton, which sickened the inmates, they were also fed sawdust and wood pulp. Bao Ruowang – also known as Jean Pasqualini, the author of a memoir about life in a Chinese labour camp – remembered how brown sheets of the stuff were ground into paper pulp and mixed with flour. Mass constipation followed, killing the weaker prisoners. But even in the cities the spread of substitute foods caused obstruction of the bowels or rupture of the sphincter.

Villagers “scavenged for carrion, rummaged through rubbish, scraped the bark off trees and in the end turned to mud to fill their stomachs”:

It was a vision of hell, as serried ranks of ghostly villagers queued up in front of deep pits, their shrivelled bodies pouring with sweat under the glare of the sun, waiting for their turn to scramble down the hole and carve out a few handfuls of the porcelain-white mud… Once eaten the soil acted like cement, drying out the stomach and absorbing all the moisture inside the intestinal tract.

As the country starved, Mao opened a party meeting in the summer of 1959. The party leaders were not hungry. They “referred to the gathering as a ‘meeting of immortals’. Immortals lived far above mere humans, seated on the clouds of heaven, playfully gliding through the mist, unencumbered by earthly restraints.”

Propaganda insisted

the country had witnessed an unprecedentedly rich harvest in 1960, there was absolutely no famine and rumours to the contrary were slanderous.

Humanitarian offers of food aid were rebuffed. The contempt the leaders had for their own countrymen was as boundless as their hubris.

COLUMN BY

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. To receive Barry’s essays subscribe at Mindset Shifts.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission.

Cooperation Between ICE and Police Essential to Combat MS-13

Immigration law enforcement provides heavy artillery to fight transnational crime.

On May 26, 2019 the local radio station in New York, 1010 WINS reported, Nassau police union: Dozens more detectives needed to combat MS-13.

That report began with this excerpt:

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Two days after the body of a suspected MS-13 victim was discovered at Massapequa Preserve, Nassau PBA president James McDermott says gang units in the county are understaffed and ill-equipped to deal with the violent gang.

“Our gang unit is undermanned and not provided with the necessary resources to deal with this threat,” he said Sunday, speaking near the location where the body was discovered Friday.

The remains are believed to be from one of a number of people murdered by MS-13 several years ago.

In any battle, more “boots on the ground” can help to insure victory.  Where the battle is against transnational criminals, it would be most helpful if those “boots” were worn by ICE agents.

What was not discussed in this article is how ICE agents can be of a huge assistance in effectively combatting MS-13 and other transnational gangs and how sanctuary policies have the exact opposite impact.

Indeed, effective immigration law enforcement can support law and assist enforcement efforts to combat gangs, human trafficking, prostitution drug trafficking and other serious crimes.

Years ago INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) agents worked in close cooperation with the NYPD.  Back then I frequently participated in joint operations with the NYPD to shut down houses of prostitution.  Many of the clients and prostitutes of these brothels were illegal aliens.

The police would arrest the prostitutes and their clients and we would lodge detainers or simply take them into custody.  The word on the street was that illegal aliens might find themselves being deported by the INS agents.  Business dropped and many of these locations were permanently shuttered.

Additionally, many times the prostitutes would cooperate with our efforts to identify human traffickers so that we could target the pernicious traffickers and ultimately dismantle their operations and bring them to justice.

It is obvious that ICE agents are empowered to arrest illegal aliens on administrative charges that result in the deportation of illegal aliens from the United States.

To this point, immigration anarchists frequently refer to immigration laws as “civil laws” minimizing the true importance of our nation’s immigration laws and the actual authority that ICE agents have.

What is seldom, if ever discussed, is that there are also criminal laws that are a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and violations of these laws carry serious prison sentences.

In fact, on May 13, 2019 The Washington Examiner published an opinion piece, Feds: Immigration top US crime, one-third of all sentencings that was based on the official report of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics that reported that immigration law violations accounted for 34.4% of all federal prosecutions and that 94.7% of immigration prosecutions resulted in prison sentences.

The 9/11 Commission determined that visa fraud and immigration fraud figured prominently in the ability of international terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparation, and not only with the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 were concerned.

Visa fraud 18 U.S. Code § 1546 is an extremely serious crime and when it is committed in conjunction with terrorism exposes the alien who perpetrates that crime to a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

Visa fraud committed in conjunction with drug trafficking carries a maximum of 20 years in  prison.

Human Trafficking/Alien Smuggling 8 U.S. Code § 1324 addresses crimes that relate to illegally bringing aliens into the and/or harboring, concealing, aiding, abetting, inducing and encouraging aliens to enter the United States illegally or to remain in the United States illegally and these crimes carry hefty jail sentences.  In fact, if such activities lead to the death of any individual, the punishment, upon conviction, can be life in prison.

Re-entry After Deportation, 8 U.S. Code § 1326 carries a maximum of 20 years in prison if the alien in question meets the definition of an “aggravated felon.”  (On a personal note, I worked with then-New York Senator Al D’Amato to first convince him of the need to change the law that had previously made no distinction about the criminal history of deported aliens who reentered the United States after being deported.  Previously the maximum penalty was two years in prison.  The twenty year maximum is intended to deter aliens from returning illegally to the United States.)  Given the nature of this particular crime, it is all but impossible for an alien who has been deported and subsequently reentered illegally to deny that the charges are true.

While it may take years to put many criminal cases together and involve many agents and resources, the crime of unlawful reentry can be investigated and completed in just a few days.  It is cost-effective and provides a huge hammer to combat criminal aliens who make a mockery of our borders and immigration laws.

Illegal aliens who are found in possession of ammunition or a firearm in interstate or foreign commerce, 18 U.S. Code § 922(g)(5) face up to ten years in prison.  Again, this is a simple case to investigate and the jail sentence is significant.

Where all of these federal criminal charges are concerned, they will all ultimately also result in the deportation of the criminal aliens after they complete their prisons sentences.

The goal of law enforcement is to protect the property and lives of those who would fall prey to criminals.  Prison sentences are established to accomplish a few commonsense objectives.  First, to punish those who violate our laws, second to deter those who might contemplate violating our laws and finally to get dangerous criminals off of the streets of our towns and cities to separate them from those who would otherwise fall victim to their criminal behavior.

One of the challenges for law enforcement is the challenge presented by recidivists, that is, criminals who repeatedly commit crimes, get arrested and convicted, serve prison sentences only to return to the street to commit more crimes and hurt/kill more victims.

Prisons are often optimistically referred to as “Correctional Institutions” where the inmates are hopefully rehabilitated by addressing their sociopathic conduct through training, counseling and other such measures.  Unfortunately, all too frequently these efforts fail.

Where criminal aliens are concerned, deporting such criminals provides a means of removing them permanently from the streets of American towns and cities.  The severe penalty for unlawful reentry of such criminal aliens was intended to deter such aliens from returning to the United States.  This deterrent factor would be far more effective if there were more ICE agents who could arrest such aliens so that more would be prosecuted.

Sanctuary cities have the precise opposite affect, encouraging aliens to run our borders and thus endanger the lives of innocent victims.  It most be noted the most frequently those at greatest risk are the members of the immigrant communities where these criminal aliens live and ply their sociopathic “trades.”

Sanctuary policies shield and embolden the gangs and imperil innocent victims, often teenage immigrant children.

With “friends” like the politicians who create “Sanctuary” policies, or want to end ICE altogether, immigrants don’t need enemies!

RELATED ARTICLES:

FLASHBACK: Pew Research Confirms 6 In 10 Illegal Aliens Live In These Areas

Top 10 Reasons MS-13 Should Terrify You

Report: DHS Agents Are Being Sent To The Guatemela-Mexico Border 

It’s All About the Open Borders, Stupid

EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission.

In Fact, Neither France Nor The U.S. Belong To Illegal Aliens

It appears that illegal aliens in France (known as “les sans-papiers,” which translates to “the ones without papers”) have begun imitating the tactics used by illegal aliens in the United States.

A few days ago, roughly 500 sans-papiers invaded Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to protest France’s immigration policies. According to the New York Post, “The migrants reportedly refused to let passengers board [outgoing flights]until their demands were met….” They also insisted that Air France immediately cease, “any financial, material, logistical or political participation in deportations.”

That’s become pretty standard stuff in immigration protests. However, it was the demonstrators’ slogans that should give pause to the citizens of the developed West, whose countries are being overrun. As they were surrounded by riot police, the sans-papierschanted, “France does not belong to the French! Everyone has a right to be here!”

That’s a shocking claim. At present, the world is organized around a system of independent nations described as “sovereign.” Sovereignty, is the notion that people may form political bonds and govern themselves any way they choose. It acknowledges that there is a philosophical wall around nations. Within that border, the nation-state is the highest political and legal authority. And no single nation has the authority to dictate how another conducts its internal affairs.  As such, France does, in fact, belong to the French, just as the United States belongs to Americans.

As an element of sovereignty, nations have the unfettered right to determine who may enter their territory. The Supreme Court of the United States summarized this very neatly in Ekiu v. United States saying, “It is an accepted maxim of international law that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.”

In plain English, that means any time outside forces are permitted to dictate who a particular nation must allow within its borders, that nation is no longer in control of its own political destiny. And it must always be wary of its sovereignty being slowly eroded by uncontrolled mass migration – and the political shifts that inevitably accompany rapid demographic change.

Europe’s “Syrian Refugee” crisis and America’s southern border crisis continue to drag on. Therefore both France and the U.S. should be asking themselves just how long they are willing to tolerate foreign trespassers who feel entitled to make unreasonable demands and dictate how immigration laws should be enforced. A failure to answer that question may very well lead to a loss of meaningful sovereignty and the dissolution of both France and the United States as we currently know them.

RELATED ARTICLES:

France: 13 injured in a nail bomb blast, police launch investigation into “terror conspiracy”

No Place Like A (Federally-Subsidized) Home for Illegal Aliens?

New York Politicians Ignore Public’s Opposition To Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Aliens

The $150 Billion Drain On The U.S. Economy

EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR column is republished with permission.

The New Pro-Life Moment

Robert Royal: Pro-life opportunities abound, and Church leaders and laity must seize them, if we don’t want history to say that we did nothing. 


Something out of the ordinary happened this past week. On Saturday, over 10,000 people walked the streets of Rome in defense of children in the womb. Italian lay people have organized a march for nine years now, and it grows – despite no support from the Italian bishops – including the pope.

On Friday, Francis did encourage members of the Catholic Medical Association to “defend life,” though so vaguely that you couldn’t tell whether he was talking about abortion, euthanasia, immigration, climate, poverty – or all of them (more of this below).

But as usual no Italian bishops participated in the Marcia– they’ve been saying that they don’t want it to be seen as only “Catholic,” though why is not clear. And that they prefer to work through elected officials rather than public protest (though they seem to support other public demonstrations, e.g., on immigration and poverty, and don’t have any natural partners in government now that the Christian Democrats have splintered). Italian television, accordingly, didn’t even mention the march occurred.

The lone Italian prelate in the past, Archbishop Viganò, was missing, for good reasons.

None of this was out of the ordinary. And neither, basically, were the large pro-life marches in London last week and Ottawa. There are marches in many other countries in Europe and Latin America as well, though we rarely hear about them outside of the Catholic press, and not very much even there.

No, the real novelty is that Alabama essentially banned abortion last week with a  bill that was passed by the legislature and signed into law by governor Kay Ivey who, like large numbers of women, believes abortion is the taking of innocent human life.

Numerous states have now passed law restricting abortion, so we’re about to see a titanic battle in the Supreme Court – and American society.

Pro-abortion commentators are worrying about a reversal of Roe v. Wade, though the swift discrediting of the Center for Medical Progress’s videos showing Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parties suggests that it’s still easy to gaslight the public about such matters.  (Remember when Groucho Marx’s line – “Who you gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes?” – was a joke?)

But pro-lifers too are nervous, several wondering whether such “extreme” legislation makes it easier for courts to strike down such measures.

In any case, we’ll shortly know whether our legal system is entirely captive to anti-scientific ideology or still capable of rational moral debate. The Supremes may only send questions on abortion back to the states, where – as Justice Antonin Scalia often argued – it belongs, since the Federal government has no constitutional jurisdiction over such matters. The fundamental right to life will probably be addressed, if ever, further down the line.

But there’s reason for hope here.

Abortion supporters are beginning to deploy arguments that may delay but will not dispel the main question. Some states, for example, have tried to draw a line at the point where the fetus has a detectible heartbeat or some other biological marker.

A writer in the Washington Post this weekend elaborated on a new formula now appearing everywhere from Hollywood to Manhattan; “Lest I be chastened for daring to humanize an embryo, let me state for the record that the correct term for ‘heartbeat’ is ‘fetal pole cardiac activity,’ because at six weeks, said embryo doesn’t have a cardiovascular system and, therefore, no fully formed beating heart.”

Valiant effort, but if people – and the courts – start to pay attention to such details, we will inevitably have to decide, “So when do we have enough ‘fetal pole’ motion and vascular system to call what’s going on simply a heartbeat?” It’s not long after.

Similarly, as even outlets like The New York Times have been conceding for more than a decade, there is rudimentary brainwave activity detectible about as early as “fetal pole” motion – not a developed brain of course, but by ten weeks an articulated brain is forming.

These defenses of early abortion will look increasingly weak as people (and courts) look more carefully. Is there anyone who thinks that as science advances we will discover less rather than more complexity and activity in the early embryo? I’d be nervous, too, about the science if I supported abortion.

The Church – and especially the Vatican – should get squarely behind this burgeoning pro-life pushback. Commentators recognize that the radicalism of new abortion laws in New York, Virginia, and Canada have provoked the current reaction.

And anyway, protecting human life in the womb has been and remains the central human-rights question of our time.

Respect for human life is never merely a numbers game. But we need to find ways to take proper measure of the horror. For instance, authorities estimate 2241 people died crossing the Mediterranean illegally from Africa to Europe in 2018. In an average year, on the U.S. border, there are usually 200-400 such deaths.

So some simple math: 2241+400 (to take the high estimate) = 2641. Abortions in America are at a low point, “only” 652,639 in 2015 (though this is clearly an undercount since California and other states don’t report abortions to the Centers for Disease Control).

That’s 1788 per day. So every two days, the abortion body count exceeds the migrant deaths for a whole year. Planned Parenthood alone does almost 1000 abortions per day.

No one really knows global numbers, but a good estimate is 16 million abortions a year, roughly 44,000 per day. If that many innocents were dying while migrating or in a repressive regime or owing to racism or some climate shift or even in a war zone, the world would be – rightly – in an uproar.

Yet very few people, even those who say abortion wrong – even high Church officials – seem much moved. Some procedures are medically necessary (only 1.5 percent of abortions follow rape or incest). But there’s no getting around the massive, casual, brutal carnage.

We’re all going to need to learn to debunk terms like “fetal pole cardiac activity” and whatever other rationalizations will be coming now. But this is a new and special moment when some real change seems possible. And we – Church leaders, laity, all people of good will – have to seize it, if we don’t want history to say that we did nothing while millions of innocents were being slaughtered.

COLUMN BY

Robert Royal

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

RELATED ARTICLE: I’ve Had 2 Abortions. Here’s Why I Support Alabama’s Pro-Life Law.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

State of “Gun Violence” in the United States

Politicians treat so-called “gun violence” as a lever issue, hoping to energize their base and guilt law-abiding Americans into supporting policies that would have no effect on crime or help the mentally ill. Part of this effort entails presenting as large a number of fatalities as possible, and so researchers, the media, and anti-gun politicians combine suicide, homicide, accidents, legal interventions, and incidents in which the intent is unknown.

They’ve chosen to sensationalize tragedies time and again to advance an anti-freedom agenda. The media misrepresents old data by using current-tense headlines. Anti-gun organizations the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action politicized memorial services held the day after a shooting when the community wanted a chance to mourn properly. Anti-gun politicians ignore pre-existing trend data if it means they can claim gun control works – no matter how many caveats are included in the underlying analysis.

What does “gun violence” really look like? CDC non-fatal injury data is not reliable, but fatality statistics are accurate. The most recent data available is for 2017; there were 39,772 total firearms-related fatalities. Sixty percent were suicides. Thirty-seven percent were homicides, which is a rate of 4.5 fatalities per 100,000 people. The rate held steady between 2016 and 2017, but it has increased slightly since the start of the decade. However, the 2017 rate is 34% lower than it was in 1980 and 36% lower than in 1993. In other words, the firearms-related homicide rate dropped by 36% in the last 25 years for which we have data. Rates don’t tell the whole story; the total population grew by more than 99 million people from 1980 to 2017 and the number of firearms-related homicides decreased by 958.

Let’s look at the specific wording used in a recent article supporting gun control. “In 2017, the United States had the highest rate of firearm fatalities since 1996.” This statement is specifically crafted to make a dramatic point. The rate of all firearms-related fatalities in 1996 was lower than it was in the previous 15 years, and the rate was lower every year from 1997 through 2016. The data tell a clear story, even in the presence of a recent and moderate increase. Perhaps more importantly, the data shows that suicide is increasing as a percentage of all firearms-related fatalities.

Not all charts are as clear. Some seem designed to support a certain perspective rather than to present data without bias. Doctor Eric Fleegler, affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, recently published the above-referenced article titled, “Mass Shootings and the Numbing of America” in JAMA Internal Medicine. He presented firearms-related fatalities by age group and intent. The bars represent the percentage of all fatalities within that age group that involve firearms.

This representation is technically correct, but it suggests at first look that there are more firearms-related fatalities among younger people, specifically those within the 15-19-year-old and 20-24-year-old age groups. The chart really indicates what is not shown: that younger people face fewer potentially fatal injuries and health complications than older generations. In other words, younger age cohorts are generally healthier than older people, some of whom unfortunately pass away due to falls, to heart disease, cancer, or any number of other issues that are not common among teenagers and young adults.

This commentary is not designed to trivialize any deaths, but efforts to address firearms-related fatalities should be targeted and the data needs to be considered sincerely. Unfortunately, we too often see the presentation of data sensationalized to make a point. But, that’s the shell game that anti-gun activists and politicians want to play.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

PODCAST: The Democrats Take Another Swipe At Right-To-Work

Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) recently raised eye-brows by calling for a federal ban on “Right-To-Work” (RTW) laws in the United States. By doing so, she was pandering to American unions to support her candidacy. Other Democrat candidates will likely follow suit, as they do every four years, and by doing so RTW laws are once again becoming a campaign issue. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand what is at stake here.

Right-To-Work simply means a union cannot get a worker fired for not paying union dues. It also means joining a union is voluntary, not compulsory as you will find in a “closed shop.” Such laws started in the south and west, but are now moving north with Kentucky becoming the 26th (2017), Wisconsin the 25th (2015), Michigan (24th; 2012) and Indiana (23rd; 2012).

RTW laws weaken the strength of unions. To illustrate, Boeing’s North Charleston plant employs about 7,500 workers to build fuselages for 747s and 787s. In 2015, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers tried to build support to unionize 3,175 production and maintenance workers. The effort was called off as workers wouldn’t embrace the union. Boeing constructed the plant in South Carolina after several battles with unions at its Washington plant.

According to a February 2011 study by the Economic Policy Institute, the drawbacks to RTW include:

  • Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states.
  • The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance is 2.6 percentage points lower in RTW states.
  • The rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8 percentage points lower in RTW states.

However, it should be remembered that the cost of living in RTW states is less than non-RTW states.

Further, an article in the “Wall Street Journal” (“An Inspiration and a Warning From Michigan”; Dec 14, 2012) claims that “between 1980 and 2011, total employment in right-to-work states grew by 71%, while employment in non-right-to-work states grew 32%. Sadly, employment in Michigan increased just 14% during that time. Since 2001, RTW states added 3.5% more jobs, while other states decreased by 2.6%. Similarly, inflation-adjusted compensation grew 12% in RTW states, but just 3% in the others.”

Beyond this, RTW is an important indicator of a state’s prosperity. To illustrate, according to a report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, it appears financial success in state governments is not by accident. The Mercatus report, examined the financial stability of the fifty states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam. The report considered debt and financial obligations, as well as state pension programs and health care benefits. Of the top 10 states, all had adopted RTW legislation:

#1 – Nebraska
#2 – South Dakota
#3 – Tennessee
#4 – Florida
#5 – Oklahoma
#6 – Wyoming
#7 – Idaho
#8 – Utah
#9 – North Carolina
#10 – Nevada

Of the bottom 10 states in the study, with the exception of Kentucky (which just adopted RTW legislation in 2017), none supported RTW:

#41 – New York
#42 – California
#43 – West Virginia
#44 – Delaware
#45 – New Mexico
#46 – Kentucky
#47 – Massachusetts
#48 – New Jersey
#49 – Connecticut
#50 – Illinois

In another article, I discovered the states reporting the highest levels of worker “engagement,” meaning the employees are motivated and self-starting, were primarily in the South, and the lowest were in the Northeast and Midwest. Again, in this instance, the South includes RTW states, and the Northeast and Midwest are under union control.

Time and again, RTW is somehow related to prosperity. Coincidence? I do not believe so. Bottom-line, it comes down to whether or not you believe trade unions serve the best interests of their constituents. With the passing of Kentucky’s RTW legislation, there are now more states interested in providing work for their people as opposed to trusting the unions.

As an aside, the territory of Guam has RTW laws, as does the Federal Government. Participation in unions is strictly voluntary.

In the upcoming presidential election, you will not hear a Democrat candidate openly support RTW legislation as they need union votes to get elected. However, the day is not far away when living in a non-RTW state will be considered a political liability as opposed to an asset. Therefore, Sen. Harris’ attack on RTW was to be expected, after all she is not a Republican.

Keep the Faith!

RELATED ARTICLE: Socialists Don’t Aim To End Poverty, They Aim To Use It

EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Should We Panic over the Measles Outbreaks?

In general, it is not a good idea to panic about anything. The panic itself often causes more harm than the original threat.

Crisis situations, real or contrived, lead to new intrusive laws that the public would never accept otherwise. We supposedly cherish freedom, but if we believe that the world will end if we don’t act NOW, then we may clamor for the government to save us. Cynical politicians bent on increasing their power never let a crisis go to waste.

Something like the Green New Deal—the end of our comfortable, prosperous lifestyle—takes a truly apocalyptic threat. But to eliminate our freedom to decline a medical treatment, the threat that “millions will die” of measles is evidently enough. Or if not millions (most older people had measles and recovered fully), a few especially vulnerable children, who can’t be vaccinated themselves, might catch measles and die.

There are several hundred cases of measles nationwide, more than in 2014, and bills are being pushed through state legislatures to eliminate all but very narrow exemptions to the 60 shots now mandated for school attendance.

In New York City, people are receiving summonses based on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s emergency order. Everybody, adult or child, who lives in four ZIP code areas must get an MMR shot or prove immunity, or face the prospect of a $1,000 fine ($2,000 if you don’t appear as ordered). Your religious exemption is overridden. The threat of 6 months in prison and the prospect of forcible vaccination were removed before a hearing on a lawsuit brought by five mothers. The judge dismissed the case.

Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said that the purpose of the fines is not to punish but to encourage more people to proclaim the message that vaccines are safe and effective. Get it? If you say something to avoid a fine, that makes it true.

It’s about the need for herd immunity, they say. We need a 95 percent vaccination rate for herd immunity to measles. With only 91 percent or so we are having outbreaks! If we could just vaccinate another 4 or 5 percent!

Mayor De Blasio has a point about vaccinating everyone. Adults are getting measles because their shots have worn off. It is likely that we have survived for decades with a large part of the adult population vaccinated—but not immune. So where do the mandates stop?

Outbreaks have occurred in populations with a near-100 percent vaccination rate. Was it vaccine failure? Or was the vaccine not refrigerated properly? Or was a claimed outbreak real? One in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was called off when a special test, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed a vaccine-strain measles virus rather than a wild-strain measles virus. Some 5 percent of vaccinees may get an illness that looks like measles, but it is just a “vaccine reaction.” Can they shed live virus? Yes. Should you keep your immunocompromised child away from recently vaccinated people? Just asking.

Like all medical treatments, vaccines are neither 100 percent effective, nor 100 percent safe. Read the FDA-required, FDA-approved package inserts. Arizona defeated a law that would have required making these available to parents in obtaining informed consent. (You can get them on the internet.) Vaccine Court has paid out about $4 billion in damages—recently for two children with severe brain damage from encephalopathy (that’s brain inflammation) after a fight lasting about 15 years. Just incidentally, they had an autism diagnosis also. Parents bring their severely injured children to hearings. You won’t see these children on tv, only pictures of babies with measles. No “fear-mongering” allowed about “rare,” possibly coincidental problems from vaccines.

There are trade-offs with vaccines: risks and benefits. But in the panic about measles, the right to give or withhold informed consent—fundamental in medical ethics as well as U.S. and international law—is being sacrificed. And so is free speech. The AMA wants to censor “anti-vaccine” information on social media. I happened on a factual article by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, but was not able to retweet it because it had been removed.

The threat of infectious diseases is real and increasing. We need more robust public health measures, better vaccines, and improved public knowledge and awareness. Deploying vaccine police and shutting down debate will erode trust in health authorities and physicians, although more people may get their shots. But such heavy-handed measures will not defeat the enemy—measles and worse diseases.

A Higher Minimum Wage Fails in California

Issues such as job losses and automation have become concerns for the American people as technology transforms our economy.

Some have proposed universal basic income and other policies  to salve these problems, but they risk sapping the dignity of work and creating a kind of bifurcated warehouse society with huge numbers of people barely skating by on welfare.

The false notion that America must inevitably become a nation of welfare dependents and the super rich is toxic to the idea of the American dream.

Instead, we should look to avoid policies that harm Americans’ potential to enter the job market.

Minimum wage increases are supposed to be great for low-income workers and a boon to working-class Americans. However, mounting evidence suggests that’s not the case.

A recently released study by the University of California, Riverside demonstrates how California’s perhaps well-meaning minimum wage policies produce underwhelming results at best—but more typically create corrosive side effects for business owners and workers alike.

In 2016, California passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the law is being phased in with incremental increases.

At the start of this year, The Sacramento Bee reported, “employers with 25 or fewer employees will be required to pay a minimum of $11 an hour, while employers who have 26 or more employees must pay $12 an hour.”

The minimum wage in California will rise to the full $15 in 2022.

But warning signs already indicate that the policy isn’t working.

Despite huge growth in California’s restaurant industry, some businesses—largely in the full-service category of restaurants—have been hit hard.

Restaurant Business Online reported: “Nearly 1 out of 10 in areas with a recently increased minimum wage have closed an operation since the cost hike, and 71 percent have attempted to pass along the rise to customers by raising menu prices, according to new research.”

It’s not just businesses that have been harmed. The rapidly increased minimum wage has a negative impact on the job market, leading to employment for fewer people, according to the findings of the University of California, Riverside study:

The model suggests that there would be 30,000 fewer jobs in the industry from 2017 to 2022 as a result of the higher minimum wage. Over the period 2013-2022, therefore, the number of new jobs in the full-service industry will grow by 120,000, but would have grown by 160,000.

The study’s authors concluded that this depressing effect on job growth will accelerate as the minimum wage is increased to $15.

For those currently employed—those who presumably benefit most from the law—earnings increases are underwhelming.

“One explanation for a relatively small increase in wages is that lower-paid workers end up working fewer hours as a result of the higher minimum wage, thus offsetting the increase in their hourly rate,” the study says.

The conclusions of this study mirror others that have found that increased minimum wages actually harm lower-income workers.

A notable 2017 study in Seattle, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, found that a “wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent.”

“Consequently,” that study added, “total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016.”

What’s clear from the findings of the Riverside study and others is that the movement to dramatically increase the minimum wage is a false panacea. The massive boon promised to workers hasn’t materialized, and for many the mandatory wage hike has been a barrier to employment.

Boom times in the Trump economy have “masked” the issues with the minimum wage, according to researchers, and job growth could have been much better without it.

The Riverside study concludes:

The data analysis suggests that while the restaurant industry in California has grown significantly as the minimum wage has increased, employment in the industry has grown more slowly than it would have without minimum wage hikes. When the next recession arrives, the higher real minimum wage could increase overall job losses within the economy and lead to a higher unemployment rate than would have been the case without the minimum wage increases.

What’s clear is that minimum wage laws don’t come without their negative side effects, even in good times.

These effects may become more pronounced as automation technology puts pressure on workers in various industries.

And that pressure certainly exists, for example, in the restaurant industry, which is particularly affected by minimum wage laws.

Innovations like kiosk ordering are allowing businesses to avoid labor costs. Pressure to replace jobs with machines will only increase as the minimum wage is driven to an artificially high number.

The truth is that the real minimum wage is nothing. This is what people get if they can’t find work.

The result ends up being a turn to welfare, a drain on society and the individual, which can never replace the benefit of a job.

A government policy meant to help lower income workers may in fact be the bar that makes their employment, and advancement, unlikely or impossible.

Certainly, there are many vexing economic issues to tackle in our future, but it does no good to pursue seemingly idealistic policies that act as an impediment to economic advancement.

As usual, California is ahead of the curve in finding ways to tarnish what is golden. Perhaps that’s why so many middle-class Americans are leaving the wealthiest state in the union for greener pastures.

COMMENTARY BY

Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast.Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Socialists Don’t Aim To End Poverty, They Aim To Use It


With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

Trump Just Ditched a UN Arms Treaty, and He Was Right to Do It

On Friday, at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump announced that he was un-signing the Arms Trade Treaty. As he put it, “The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty.”

He then pulled out a pen and, in front of the entire audience, signed a message asking the Senate to end its consideration of the treaty.

I have followed the Arms Trade Treaty closely since 2009, before the formal negotiations for it even began. The treaty purports to require nations to regulate the conventional arms trade. President Barack Obama signed it in 2013, but the U.S. never ratified it.

I have no doubt that the president has made the correct decision—and no doubt that he will be hammered for it by the progressive left, who loves to praise the treaty as much as it enjoys blaming the United States.

If you would like to read my argument against the treaty, it’s here. More importantly, the White House has released a short statement explaining the president’s decision. It is a model of clarity and accuracy. I doubt that the treaty’s friends will have any time for it, but that is their loss. I would love to see them try to rebut it.

A few points about the White House’s statement:

  1. It notes that the Arms Trade Treaty is “being opened for amendment in 2020 and there are potential proposals that the United States cannot support.” That is correct. The main such proposal was floated last summer at another U.N. gathering on conventional arms. It involves bringing ammunition fully into the Arms Trade Treaty, meaning that the U.S. would have to track or trace the billions of bullets that are sold internationally. The U.S. opposed this last summer because it is utterly impractical.
  2. The White House states that the treaty provides “a platform for those who would seek to constrain our ability to sell arms to our allies and partners.” That is true. Virtually every activist supporting the Arms Trade Treaty proclaims, at the top of their lungs, that it is about stopping U.S. arms sales.
  3. It points out that the treaty has “a track record of … being used by groups to try and overturn sovereign national decisions on arms exports.” That is quite right. The statement notes that the British government—which, idiotically, led the push for the Arms Trade Treaty—has gotten its just desserts by being repeatedly sued by activists in the name of the treaty.
  4. In its only mention of the Second Amendment, the White House states that, by un-signing, the president has ensured that the treaty “will not become a platform to threaten Americans’ Second Amendment rights.” The treaty’s supporters love to argue that it has nothing to do with curbing the Second Amendment. What they don’t mention is that many opponents of the treaty—myself included—urged them privately to make that clear in the treaty text. They refused to do so. The treaty is not a gun grab, but it is precisely what the White House says it is: a platform that gun control activists could potentially do great damage with.
  5. Finally, the White House notes that major arms exporters like Russia and China are not in the Arms Trade Treaty, and that “[t]he [treaty] cannot achieve its chief objective of addressing irresponsible arms transfers if these major arms exporters are not subject to it at all.” That is precisely what the Obama administration said as far back as 2010. It is also indisputably true.

I could not have written the White House’s statement any better. It is a slam dunk. I commend the White House for its decision, and for explaining it effectively and correctly.

This is not the end of the story of the Arms Trade Treaty. It still has 101 state parties around the world. The U.S. needs to follow up this decision to un-sign by pulling all U.S. funding from the treaty. And there are other bad treaties and institutions of the same type as the Arms Trade Treaty. We should quit them, too.

Most fundamentally, while it’s excellent to quit bad treaties, it’s even better not to let them get made in the first place. Far too often, the U.S. finds itself in the position of a hockey goaltender, who just has to stand there and stop shots. If you just let the other guy keep shooting, sooner or later you’re going to get scored on.

We need to take hold of the puck, skate down the ice, and put some pressure on the other side.

But first things first. The White House has made the right call on the Arms Trade Treaty, and it’s made the right call for the right reasons.

COMMENTARY BY

Ted Bromund

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., is the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research. Twitter: .


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump’s Speech to the National Rifle Association

President Donald J. Trump addresses the crowd at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, an event of the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana.

VIDEO: The Vortex — Religion Dying! Time for a rebirth.

TRANSCRIPT

No matter how you look at it, religion in America is dying.

In fact, the number of people who now say they have no religion has almost tripled since 1991 and now stands at just about the same level as the number of Catholics and Evangelicals.

According to the General Social Survey, a long-established metric of Americans’ opinions and practices across a wide spectrum of topics, the “No Religion” crowd is 23.1% of the population, Catholics are at 23% and Evangelicals account for 22.5% as of 2018. That is a statistical tie.

Mainline liberal Protestants have taken a massive hit since the day of the WASP establishment, a two-thirds decline to just roughly 11% of all Americans.

So look at the board, with everything on it at the same time.

  • No Religion: 23.1%
  • Catholic: 23%
  • Evangelical: 22.5%
  • Mainline Protestant: 10.8%

Together, that represents four out of every five Americans in one of those categories. The remaining Americans are scattered across other religions like Judaism or Islam.

Catholicism has seen what appears to be a steady erosion, decreasing 4% since 1972.

While that rate of decline is somewhat small, certainly compared to mainline Protestantism with a whopping 68% decline, it still does not bode well for the Church.

While it is true Catholicism is the single largest religious body in the United States, it is not on track to maintain that pace. Less and less are becoming or remaining Catholic, a fact borne out in the drop of the overall percentage of U.S. Catholics from 27% to 23%.

Now, two very troublesome points looming on the horizon.

First: For the past roughly 10 years, hapless U.S. Catholic leaders have been putting all their eggs in the New Evangelization basket with non-Catholic programs like Alpha. That has obviously failed, as even Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea confessed in a letter to his diocesan priests last year.

Secondly: With the constant stream of illegal aliens into the United States, again, another focus of the U.S. bishops, reports indicate that whatever percentage arrive here as Catholic, half of them leave the Faith within one generation.

Something is seriously sick in the Church.

If you look deep into the numbers, a tsunami can be detected picking up huge force. Young Catholics are jumping ship at a frightening rate, with a huge percentage deciding to leave between the ages of 10 and 18.

Older Catholics — mostly those born before Vatican II — are the most likely to have stayed, but they are dying off, and within 10 years, there will not be many left.

All this points to the reality that the Church is undergoing an enormous change — shrinking, becoming less relevant overall and having very little appeal to future generations.

Between sex scandals — mostly homosexual in nature — and now a string of ongoing state and federal investigations, the much-talked-about possibility of a U.S. Justice Department RICO investigation could be what finally pushes the Church over the edge.

It’s taken decades of corruption and dissent to arrive at this point. The treachery of many leaders — treachery against the faithful, the Faith and ultimately Jesus Christ Himself — is finally catching up.

Many of those — in fact, most — of those responsible for this have either died, are retired or approaching retirement in the next handful of years.

They have left behind a trail of tears. When they were in grade school or high school back in the 1950s or so, there was much talk about how America was on the verge of becoming a Catholic country.

But with the infiltration of Communists, homosexuals and theological dissidents, almost all of which was unknown at the time to rank and file Catholics, that possibility never got out of the gate.

It was sabotaged by the demon and his human offspring before it ever got off the ground. For those remaining faithful Catholics, the challenge is enormous.

Only the Catholic Church was established by Christ, and, therefore, only it can lead to salvation.

The forced retreat of the Church on the cultural scene, its movement toward being irrelevant, is going to have to be countered with an even greater resilience than was needed when Catholics first came ashore during the mass migration from Europe.

But for that to happen, the purification inside the Church must happen. The treachery, the cowardice, the incompetency, the emasculated men, the politically minded men in charge, all of it needs to be faced down.

Those are the very elements that have caused this meltdown, which is about to go over the cliff in the next handful of years.

We need to realize that for all intents and purposes, we will essentially be starting over — not quite, but pretty darn close.

Most Catholics sitting in the pews — the one in five who still do — either don’t know or don’t agree with the Church’s teachings, and emasculated, non-offensive, theo-babble garbage like Alpha is not the silver bullet.

When it comes time to finally say goodbye to the squishy, whiny Church of Nice Catholicism, it won’t be a minute too soon. Stalwart Catholicism, as it has always been, is how a culture is won in the long run.

We know. We did it before, and the world was given Western civilization.

We did it once, and though it took centuries, we can do it again.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Our Reason to Exist Is to Protect the Second Amendment

“Our principal purpose of existence is to protect the Second Amendment.” —LtCol Oliver North

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA video is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz on opposition to changes in the Civil Rights Act

EWTN on Apr 9, 2019 published the below commentary with video.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville tells me why Church leaders are against proposed changes to the Civil Rights Act that would include recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity. See the full interview on EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn.