Urban Violence Begins in Broken Homes

The Chicago Tribune reported a big drop in violence in Chicago this past weekend. Forty people were shot.

This down from the weekend before, when 74 were shot.

The Tribune’s Steve Chapman rejects what he calls the “popular myth, cynically promoted by Trump and other outside critics” that Chicago is an “exceptionally dangerous city.”

Yes, 674 people were murdered last year in Chicago, more than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. But that is much better than 1991 when, says Chapman, 920 were murdered, and the 674 killed in 2017 was down 15 percent from 2016.

Whether or not we call this violence “exceptional,” it is certainly unacceptable. It should concern us all, particularly its racial characteristics.

As Chapman notes, “Chicago’s crime problem is concentrated in a small number of poor, blighted, mostly African-American neighborhoods.”

He continues, “Those areas owe their plight largely to a sordid history of systematic, deliberate racial discrimination and violence, endemic poverty, and official neglect over the years.”

For sure, misguided government policies have contributed to this sad state of affairs. But these policies were supposed to help these communities, not destroy them.

Policies, such as excessive taxation and government housing, that have fostered indifferent absentee landlords and crime-ridden neighborhoods.

If there is any “deliberate racial discrimination” that drives violence and crime in black urban areas, it is the racial discrimination of the left. It is the racial discrimination of identity politics, which promote the idea that different ethnicities should live under different rules and receive special treatment.

Let’s recall that the unfairness that blacks had to deal with in America’s history was unequal treatment under the law. This is what needed to be fixed, and this is what was fixed in the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

The problem was that liberals wanted to use their agenda not to fix the law but to change the country. And in the name of racial fairness, the era of big activist government, financed with oceans of taxpayer funds, was born.

But government can’t fix anybody’s life. It can only make sure that the law protecting life, liberty, and property is applied fairly and equally.

The beginning of big activist government fostered the demise of personal responsibility.

The perpetrators, and victims, of violence in Chicago and other urban areas are largely young black men. They mostly come from homes with no father and from communities where this reality is the rule rather than the exception.

Making a child is not hard to do. Raising a child and conveying the values and rules that make for a successful life and responsible adulthood is. Particularly now that popular culture largely dismisses these truths. And in black communities, politics and media are dominated by the left, whose message for them is that life is unfair because of racism and the answer is big government.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of black children under 18, compared to 74 percent of white children under 18, live in a household with married parents.

And according to Pew, 30 percent of households headed by a single mother, 17 percent of households headed by a single father, 16 percent of households headed by an unmarried couple, and 8 percent of households headed by a married couple are poor.

Data from the Cook County Department of Health show that, in suburban Cook County and in Cook County under Department of Health jurisdiction, in 2016, 86 percent of babies born to black women between 18-29 were born out of wedlock.

President Donald Trump is doing his job. We have robust economic growth that we haven’t seen in years, with unemployment rates at record lows.

Black leaders need to start doing their job and convey that marriage, work, education, and personal responsibility are the only things that will fix black America.


Portrait of Star Parker

Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Twitter: .



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Trump Foes Assail Mexican Restaurant Chain After Jeff Sessions Eats There

A popular Mexican restaurant chain in Houston faced such a backlash for serving Attorney General Jeff Sessions that its owners disassociated themselves from Trump administration immigration policy and disabled all social media accounts.

Sessions ate Friday night at the family-owned El Tiempo’s Montrose location, one of eight in Houston.

That night, someone posted a photo on the restaurant chain’s official Facebook page showing executive chef Domenic Laurenzo with Sessions and captioned: “We had the honor to [serve] Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.”

El Tiempo is owned by Roland Laurenzo and his son, Domenic, also the executive chef.

Soon after the photo with Sessions was uploaded on Facebook, a barrage of hateful comments and harassment directed at the Houston eatery began. The reaction prompted Roland Laurenzo to disable all social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, over the weekend.

In a later deleted follow-up post on Facebook, Roland Laurenzo wrote that El Tiempo served Sessions without “thinking about the political situations”:

El Tiempo does not in any way support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration. The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions.

The secret service contacted us that a government official was coming to dinner at our establishment and his identity was not know until he walked through the door. The man came to dinner and he was served without us even thinking about the political situations. We were preoccupied with the secret service and catering to their wants and needs.

The only thing on our minds was serving great food and giving great customer service. It was posted without review or approval by ownership and this has lead [sic] to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter. We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.

Sessions was in town on government business, including a speech about violent crime and measures his Justice Department is taking to reduce gang violence, delivered to local law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., among others on the left, has urged those who disagree with Trump and his policies to confront his Cabinet officials in public places and cause disturbances.

“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” Laurenzo told KTRK-TV, the local ABC station. “At least temporarily I had it [social media accounts] taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”

The backlash wasn’t limited to online. A small group of protesters targeted the restaurant’s Navigation location earlier this week. KTRK (ABC13) reported that fewer than 20 protesters stood outside.

A University of Houston law student, Jessica Lorena, organized the protest. She told Click2Houston: “What we’re trying to do is make sure that we make the people that are attending this restaurant, and its managers, and its owners, uncomfortable.”

One El Tiempo manager reported threats to employees and a suspicious dumpster fire.

Sarah Isgur Flores, Sessions’ public affairs director, declined to comment on the situation to The Daily Signal.

A silver lining for the restaurant chain: The outrage and calls for boycotts prompted folks across Texas to make a special stop at an El Tiempo restaurant, according to local news stations.

El Tiempo was not the only Mexican restaurant where the attorney general ate during his visit to Houston.

The general manager of La Mexicana, Zulema Gonzalez, confirmed that Sessions had a meal there and told the Houston Chronicle: “We treat everybody the same.”


Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano

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

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Energy Conferees Shut Down Fuel Economy Mandates as Costly to Consumers

NEW ORLEANS—Sterling Burnett doesn’t always want to sit next to someone he doesn’t know on a train, plane, or bus.

But he’s willing to fight for the freedom of those same strangers when it comes time for them to purchase a motor vehicle.

“What I care about is … your freedom to choose the vehicle of your choice,” Burnett, an environmental policy expert for the Heartland Institute, said during a panel discussion at the free-market think tank’s America First Energy Conference that took a critical look at fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

“I don’t think government should be in the business of deciding the characteristics of the vehicle you drive,” Burnett said of the so-called Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. “That’s what CAFE standards do. Automobility is a form of freedom.”

Burnett, a senior fellow on environmental policy at the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization based in Illinois, espoused the virtues of automotive freedom:

I take the train, I enjoy the train, and we all fly. And I take buses. But sometimes that’s not my alternative and quite frankly, I don’t always want to sit next to strangers. And maybe I want to listen to a particular kind of music or a news program, and I don’t want plugs in my ears.

When I used to commute to work, I enjoyed my time in the car because it was my time and it wasn’t dominated by work. Cars allow [you] to have the freedom to live outside of inner cities, and to visit distant relatives whenever you want. One hundred years ago, you couldn’t do this.

‘Victory for Consumer Choice’

Congress first enacted Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 that limited gasoline supplies and drove up prices. The idea was to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.

The latest version of CAFE and emissions standards for light-duty vehicles is called SAFE, an acronym for Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks.

The Trump administration has proposed a rule change that is a joint initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The two agencies are seeking public comment on regulatory options, according to a press release, “including a preferred alternative that locks in [model year] 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases.”

Nick Loris, an economist with The Heritage Foundation who focuses on energy, environmental, and regulatory issues, credits the Trump administration with moving forward with a proposal that he sees as beneficial to consumers.

“Without a doubt, the Trump administration’s recent proposal is a welcome victory for consumer choice, but also for people who are just concerned about the upfront costs of new cars and new trucks,” Loris said during the panel discussion at the Heartland Institute conference.

“It would be nice if Congress demonstrated similar fortitude and recognized that energy use mandates for vehicles, for dishwashers, and [for] clocks on microwaves are all unnecessary and repealed these standards, but I think that’s wishful thinking.”

Challenging California

The Trump administration’s preferred alternative “reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction” and is expected to reduce road fatalities and injuries, the EPA and highway safety agency say in the press release.

The rule change begins a process to create a new, 50-state standard for fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions for cars and light trucks with the model years 2021 through 2026.

The Obama administration permitted California to set its own auto emissions standards under a federal waiver, but the Trump administration could seek to eliminate the waiver as part of the change.

Twelve states concentrated in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest follow California’s lead with stricter emissions standards, as does the District of Columbia.

The Obama administration worked with state officials in California to set fuel efficiency standards, a key component of Barack Obama’s efforts as president to address climate change.

If the Trump administration proposal is implemented, California and the 12 other states would need to observe the new federal rules on emissions.

 ‘Relics of the Past’

Loris, the Heritage economist, described energy use mandates and CAFE standards as “relics of the past” and byproducts of “politically concocted problems” that put energy consumers at a disadvantage.

Loris said he sees a “systemic problem” in how politicians, pundits, and lobbyists view energy markets.

“The inability of the federal government and regulators to predict what’s going to happen in energy markets” often leads to counterproductive regulatory policies, he said.

For instance, Loris noted, predictions about the price of oil tend to be off the mark.

For a 2008 article, The Wall Street Journal asked “a wide range of economists, energy analysts, and other experts to predict what the price of oil would be at the end of year,” Loris recalled.

Their predictions ranged from a low of $70 per barrel to a high of $167.50. The actual price: $44.60.

Sam Kazman, a panelist who is a lawyer with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discussed a legal victory he secured on behalf of the Washington-based free-market public policy organization.

A federal appeals court ruled that federal transportation officials illegally concealed how fuel-efficiency standards jeopardized public safety on the highways.

The court found that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration illegally tried “to paper over” the safety issue through a combination of “fudged analysis,” “statistical legerdemain,” “lame claims,” and “specious arguments.”

Keeping Costs Down

Kazman expressed disappointment that avowed consumer-safety champions such as former presidential candidate Ralph Nader didn’t support the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s position against the fuel-efficiency standards.

But to improve public safety through CAFE standards requires officials to “get rid of a government program, rather than expanding it,” he said.

With the proposed rule change, Trump administration officials say they anticipate consumers will experience reduced costs and improved safety.

“The current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families,” the EPA’s release says, adding:

Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years.

Officials also point to a study earlier this year by the highway safety agency that found newer vehicles are safer than older vehicles now on the road, and their wider use would result in fewer fatalities and injuries.

“What the Trump administration has done is stunning,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said during another panel examining the administration’s progress on energy policy.

“They have kicked California out of setting the CAFE standard,” Ebell said. “They have done everything right, and it is great for consumer choice.”


Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of A woman pumping gas at a station in Falls Church, Virginia December 16, 2014. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

Film about Abortionist Kermit Gosnell, America’s Biggest Serial Killer, opens on October 12, 2018 [Video]

In a Life News article titled “‘Gosnell; Movie Trailer Released, Horror Story of Abortionist Showing in 750 Theaters in October” Steven Ertelt reports:

The trailer for the new movie “Gosnell” has just been released and it will surely make watchers want to see the intense new film.

The feature film, “Gosnell,” which is scheduled for release in October, unmasks the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Kermit Gosnell, a man who performed countless illegal, late-term abortions and murdered several born children as well.

He is the abortion practitioner who killed babies in live-birth abortions that were more akin to infanticide than abortion. The media virtually ignored Kermit Gosnell until the pro-life movement launched a concerned effort to call them out on their bias during the early stages of his trial for murder.

Now, Gosnell is prison, having been convicted of murder in the deaths of multiple babies,though he was accused of killing thousands of viable babies. Still, one report from Gallup showed a large percentage of Americans still have no idea who Gosnell is and what he did.

Read more.

Watch the trailer for the docudrama “Gosnell”:


Chelsea Clinton Headlines ‘Rise Up for Roe’ Event, Thanks Planned Parenthood and NARAL

Chelsea Clinton is Wrong. Killing 61 Million Babies Has Caused a GDP Deficit of $62.6 Trillion

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Hillary Clinton pushing a ‘Free Kermit Gosnell’ t-shirt at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in July 2013.

VIDEO: Human Trafficking Targets ‘Young Intellectually Disabled Girls’

Human Trafficking Research reports:

The Department of State lists the top three states with the most human trafficking activity are CaliforniaNew York and TexasCalifornia Against Slavery reported that 3 of the ten worst child sex trafficking areas in the United States are in CaliforniaSan FranciscoLos Angeles and San Diego.

The below video titled “Human Trafficking” was produced by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. While the focus of this production is Texas specific, similar stories and cases can be found across the United States.

According to Texas AG Paxton’s website:

Human trafficking is a media buzz word that often conjures images of brothels in Thailand or confusion with the ongoing immigration debate. This innovative digital training tool cuts through the confusion, arms the viewer with an understanding of what human trafficking is and is not, and helps them recognize that this is a Texas problem with Texas buyers, sellers, and victims. It refocuses our attention on adults and children who are regularly exploited but are unlikely to self-identify as victims or seek help. This video walks the audience through actual cases prosecuted in the state of Texas, identifies the tools of traffickers and how they are typically utilized to obtain and maintain victims, and equips viewers with red flags and a reporting protocol. Most of all, it challenges Texans to change the culture in which we live from one that identifies with and honors perpetrators to one that provides safety, security, and genuine reintegration for the survivors of trafficking.

In an October 19, 2015 column titled “Sex trafficking targets young, intellectually disabled girls” Jessica Jagodzinski reported:

In a state that is already notorious as a haven for human trafficking, USFSP professor Joan Reid has documented a disturbing trend: Many of the underage victims are intellectually disabled and “might not even realize they are being assaulted.”

Reid, an assistant professor of criminology, cites a national map compiled by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which offers information, aid and support to victims.

The map shows human trafficking trends around the country, with red marking the areas with the most cases.

“Florida is bright red,” Reid said.

In her research, Reid studied case files of 100 underage victims in Tampa and Miami and found that 30 percent of them were girls with intellectual disabilities.

Women and girls usually become prostitutes “through force, threat, use of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power and vulnerability,” Reid said.

Intellectually disabled girls are even more threatened, she said, because of their inability to comprehend the extremity of abusive treatment.

Read more.

The map above depicts the data collected from calls made to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline from 2007-2012. Florida is the third highest state in sex trafficking reports. Map Courtesy of The Polaris Project.

Escape from New York: Big Government Is Chasing Away the Small Businesses It Doesn’t Kill

Big government is crushing small business owners around the nation, punishing decades of hard work and job creation. Too few people speak up as the burdens of the regulatory and nanny states slam down upon them, but every now and then I hear from someone in trouble.

Most recently, I received a call from New York City businessman Eli Amsel. In 2016, he told a New York State Assembly committee that he was inspired to start his own business thanks to his grandfather—a Holocaust survivor—who impressed upon him the value of freedom and the opportunity to pursue the American dream. “And that’s why I had this inspiration, and I made it work, and I’m here 34 years later, after toiling all these years,” he said. Amsel launched his business in 1982 from the basement of his father’s Brooklyn home.

Since then, Amsel has been selling unbranded plastic and paper bags to a variety of shop owners, and he spent decades building his client base. Certainly not a “get-rich-quick” scheme, it required driving the city from one shop to another, finding the right products, and building relationships with shop owners. As the business grew, Amsel began shipping with UPS, hiring workers, and he bought a warehouse to store his products. He had something he hoped to pass on to his three children and eight grandchildren, but now he’s worried that part of that dream may never materialize.

Despite the growing economy, Amsel says his business is down by 20 percent because New York’s regulatory environment is crushing him. In particular, during the past several years, the regulatory state has delivered a triple whammy: an insanely high minimum wage hike, bag taxes, and now a possible ban on his key product—plastic bags.

Goodbye American dream; hello regulatory nightmare.

In this first of two posts about Amsel, we’ll take a look at one of his biggest challenges: minimum wage laws. Supposedly such laws are implemented to help employees, but they do more to put people out of work or reduce their hours than anything else. These laws kill small businesses that would otherwise provide jobs.

Signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2016, the state began phasing in a minimum wage hike starting in December 2017 that will ultimately increase to $15 per hour over the next year and a half. Businesses with more than 11 employees must comply by December 2018, and businesses with 10 or fewer workers have until December 2019. See the chart below from the New York Department of Labor website for details.

Other states and localities are also imposing such anti-employee, anti-business wage increases, including Seattle, Washington, and the entire state of California. The results are not good.

Minimum wage laws often force employers to make tough decisions to stay afloat, such as cutting the number of employees and/or work hours. A study conducted in the state of Washington showed that minimum wage laws in Seattle actually reduced worker income because employers reduced the number of hours employees could work. Some people dispute the findings of this study with questionable claims of their own, but it’s really only common sense. No one needs a study to understand that when labor costs are artificially increased, businesses have to find ways to offset them, and obviously that does not help workers.

New York’s law created the perverse incentive for small businesses that have just above 10 employees to cut their employee numbers down to 10 immediately to avoid the fee increase for at least one year, after which they may have to cut more or reduce hours.

That’s what Amsel had to do—eliminate four jobs to bring his total employees below 10. So while some of his employees may have gotten a “raise,” four were left without jobs. And he had to drastically cut the hours and eliminate some paid holidays for his remaining employees. And once December 2019 arrives, he may have to consider reducing hours or eliminating more employees.

Amsel is not alone. The minimum wage hike is harming lots of businesses—closing down historic mom-and-pop neighborhood eateries, and forcing other business to flee to other states.

Restaurants are being hit hard in New York as well. As the wage law is phased in, the tip-based approach for wait staff is largely being replaced by a $10-per-hour salary, plus a guaranteed $5-an-hour in tips the employer must pay if tips don’t amount to that much. This will likely change how dining establishments operate. Expect to see more at-table computerized ordering and fewer wait staff. Such automation is fine when restaurants choose to do it, but many restaurants will basically be forced into making such changes because they won’t be able to afford the labor.

It’s no wonder people are leaving New York.

Some local lawmakers have started to catch on. Although Democratic politicians have traditionally supported minimum wage laws, Washington, D.C.’s largely Democratic (eleven Democrats and two left-of-center Independents) city council is trying to repeal a voter initiative increasing the minimum wage to $15 in the nation’s capital. Apparently, they don’t want to see D.C.’s economic health go down the drain.

Amsel tells me that he would like to see Congress and the president take a similar action nationally—essentially repealing such state and local minimum wage laws by passing legislation to preempt them. He’s got a point. If the Democratic D.C. Council is willing to take a stand, why not Congress? You can learn more about his story in this YouTube video and this New York Daily News story.

Reprinted from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The Flames of Envy

The achievements of others can either inspire us to excel or foster envy that brings destruction.  The choice is ours and the Islamic world has chosen the latter.

The so-called Palestinians have devised a new form of terrorism to wage against their highly achieving neighbors.  Motivated by envy that springs from insecurity and bitterness, their youth are launching combustible kites and helium-filled balloons over the Gaza border that explode into an inferno in Israel.  Today, a huge incendiary kite from Gaza landed on kibbutz power lines, causing loss of power for several hours.  The raging fires reflect the Palestinians’ own rage that fills their illiterate, unproductive, empty lives.

During this fire jihad, they have thus far destroyed more than 82,000 acres of forest and agricultural land, with its produce and wheat fields devastated, avocado groves scorched, the bee industry and wild life burned alive.  The 7,000 acres of nature reserves, which also contains the 75-acre Karmiya Reserve, an animal and reptile habitat, are turned to cinders.  The estimate of loss is in the billions of dollars.  The Israelis are dealing with the loss of homes, their every possession, their livelihoods, while also suffering from respiratory illnesses from the fouled air and stench and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the constant barrage of rockets.  Eighteen hundred acres of food are demolished.  The desert and swampland that the Jewish pioneers of almost a century ago rescued and restored from Arab neglect are now in complete ruin.

Who are these despoilers and what motivates them?

Islamic jihadis are raised in a loveless household, forced marriages where the man may have four young wives with severely limited rights, bearing and treating their numerous offspring as objects, and eagerly declaring their willingness to martyr their children for the cause.  From early childhood, Palestinians are taught to hate the miniscule landmass they covet for Allah and learn to detest the citizens for the happiness and innovations enjoyed in Israel.  As youths, they are intentionally deprived of every creative outlet (music, dance, art), forbidden from socializing and celebrating birthdays, and commanded to pray five times a day, so that participation in riots can provide them with a welcomed, albeit perilous, excitement beyond the harsh restrictions of the culture.  This upbringing prepares them for the malignant influence of Mahmoud Abbas, who keeps them distraught, agitated and provoked by announcing the next Days of Rage, rallies to explode into violence, when their lives have little else to occupy them. These are the despoilers and these are their motives.

There’s a psychological reason for their use of kites.  In her book, The Jihadi Dictionary, Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin explains, the “jihadis do not live in an empathic world or in reality, so they misuse just about everything. In their interior world, everyone is a mere object rattling around in their minds.”  They’ll make bombs in the kitchen, a room for nurturing and bonding, stuff them in toys, designed for imaginative play, and weaponize small children, because the Koran says, “slaughter not of the animal but of the infidel.” They misuse knives for cutting food as hard weapons in the Palestinian Knife Intifada, and playthings (dolls and kites) to deliver destruction and death.  Other perversions include sexual distortions, their Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the prevalent homosexuality with Bacha bazi boys, their confusion of good with bad, right with wrong.  Their use of symbolism is a cognitive deficit, a result of their emotional deprivation as children.

Muslims, as a whole, are known for creating little for mankind’s benefit.   Mohammed’s followers were usually acquired at the end of the sword and their supposed inventions were purloined from the conquered non-Muslim world.  Islamic arches were adapted from Roman arches,  Arabic numerals from Hindu symbols (glyphs), and their cryptography from ancient Egypt.  Their physicians were primarily captured Jews who practiced medicine and their astronomers and cartographers were traced to Jewish astronomers and cartographers.  Their calligraphy, although ornamental, is exacting, with no room for imaginative originality.  Their art is geometric and precise. A warring nation encourages conquest, not creativity.

As Sir Winston Churchill astutely declared, “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”  The destruction through the centuries was wrought by the Mohammedans, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Arabs, Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Islamic State (IS), Muslims, Muslim Brotherhood, Moors, Palestinians, Sunni, Shi’a, Wahhabi, all who follow the laws of the militant, proselytizing Islamic faith.  The Arab dons the terrorist’s hat when he prepares to murder but assumes the Palestinian hat when he seeks world sympathy.   

Why does the world continue to send foodstuffs and provisions to those who persist in destroying Israel’s food source and provisions, and where will they send them when the Muslim migrants conduct the same destruction by fire in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, England, the United States?  The Islamic tide is rising worldwide.  They have created nothing that benefits the world and, therefore, have no veneration or will to save it from destruction. Their motivation is misery and resentment; their goal, the destruction of what is not theirs.  Those who choose martyrdom admit their unhappiness in this life and seek escape to 72 virgins in heaven.  If their home environment is not changed, there can be no psychological changes.  They will not plant and care for fruit trees or tend innocent animals; they will not mature into compassionate human beings.  They will have no compunction about their criminality and destruction as long as they are consumed by impotent jealousy and vengeance.

But their non-Muslim neighbors, Israel, will continue to plant new orchards on the ashes of the old.

NOTE:  On the evening of submitting this essay for publication, one of several headlines reads: Sweden is Burning: Migrant Gangs Unleash Coordinated Fire-Bomb Rampage Across Multiple Cities.

DNCC Co-Chair Ellison has ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ according to ex-girlfriend

Ms. Karen Monahan has accused DNCC Co-Chair, current Representative Keith Ellison, who is running for Attorney General in Minnesota, of suffering from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder centers around talk therapy (psychotherapy).

On August 12, 2018 Ms. Karen Monahan released the following statement:

After a several years of being in a relationship with Keith Ellison, It became clear, I had survived narcissist abuse. Unless you have been through narcissist abuse, it is the most difficult form of abuse to articulate. It leaves survivors (if they survive) with serious health impacts, complex ptsd, depression and so many other devastating impacts. It is a slow insidious form of abuse. You don’t realize it is happening until it’s too late. Now that I understand it and have done so much healing, I can look back at certain moments and experiences in this relationship and they now make perfect sense. I or nobody else can diagnose a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). But I am well aware of the traits and I witnessed each one of them.

The complex PTSD started around 2014, I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on it. Every part of me began to change, including my health. I couldn’t remember things as well, my mind was slow at times and then it would race. By time I left the relationship in the middle of January 2017, my hair was falling out, I had severe pain in my neck, back and legs. My social life was suffering due to isolation, my work was slipping and it was all becoming noticeable. I became someone I didn’t recognize, on the inside or out.

I went to the Dr.. as soon as I left the relationship. I was told I was anemic, my red blood cells were very low. My magnesium was low, central nervous system was out of balance and much more. Part of dealing with the aftermath of narcissist abuse is dealing with healing your brain as well. Due to sleeping around with more than one person at the same time as me, I was scared of the possible health impacts. My time, financial cost, lost days just living life daily, my work, family, friendships, mental and physical health and much more, took a toll for a very long time. But I survived and now I am a stronger person than I ever was, even before the abuse.

Throughout the relationship he would say and do things and then gaslight me when I would ask what was going on.. He would make me think I was crazy for suspecting things I had heard or had seen. Come to find out, everything that I would bring up was actually true. The more I would see and hear things, the more I would bring it up. The anger and rage were ramping up. He would say and do things to manipulate me, so I wouldn’t bring certain issue up. A few examples of using power and control, cancel trips, tell me to move on a regular basis and would tell me I made him do it because I wouldn’t stop arguing. Basically, the things I would hear and suspect, which were true, I wasn’t allowed to mention or I would deal with some ramification It got worse as time went on.. The pathological lying, cheating, smearing my name and seeking validation and sympathy from the various females he was preying on, kept getting more and more frequent. He would word certain text where he there was plausible deniability but with everything else, it was so clear. After the relationship, others confirmed various things I was suspect to. That is part of the crazy making with narcissist abuse. One night I confronted him very calm about a lie he had just told me straight to my face. What happened next was a rage that I had never witnessed to that magnitude. He was becoming a person I had never seen before. The next morning, he came into the room I was sleeping in. I was laying across the bed with my headphones on, listening to podcast on my phone. He said he was about to leave town for the weekend and told me to take the trash out. Given the explosive outrage that occurred the night before, I just should shook my head yes. I didn’t look up at him or saying anything. That is when he tried to drag me off the bed by my legs and feet, screaming “bitch you answer when I am talking to you. I said take out the trash, your a bad guest (even though we were living in the same place). He kept trying to drag me off the bed, telling me to get the fuck out of his house, over and over. I froze. He had to leave and get on the plane. He knocked the shoe off my foot and told me I better be gone when he gets back (which was in two days). This happened in 2016. The gaslighting, manipulation, name calling and cheating started in 2014. By time the physical abuse occurred, I was dealing with the PTSD full blown. I secured an apartment within those two days. I borrowed the money I needed and spent that whole weekend searching for an apartment until I found one. I couldn’t move in until a couple months. During the waiting period he asked me several times to please not move out, he would reimburse me for the deposit. In my gut, I knew it was the right thing to do and said “no”.

I saw him morph into a totally different person and was still worried about him. I told him I would go with him if he wanted to get help. There were statements he made that had me afraid for him. We discussed working on our issues and just living in separate spaces. At that moment I was open to that. Things were happening so fast and I still didn’t realize I was dealing with PTSD and had no idea what narcissist abuse was.

He would ask me to stay at his house (most of my stuff was still there) he would come home. The behavior became more irrational and I was truly worried. We were suppose to work on the issues that were occurring in the relationship but more and more odd behavior and texting to various women continued.

Toward the end, I discovered he would have me stay the night and the next night have one of the females he had been cheating on me withal, stay the night.

I needed answers (I am dealing with complex PTSD so nothing seems clear). The last night I stayed the night, ever, I got up in the middle of the night, found one of the ladies scarf and a grocery bag with her name on it. I looked at his text and saw a mountain of lies after lies. Not just to me, but to each of the females. He would send us all the same text in a row. He would lie to one of the women about why he couldn’t see her or go to a movie, etc. but invited me over to go to a movie. That is one example of several. There is much more that I could share but I Won’t at this time. I couldn’t believe this was the person I had been involved with. I was in shock. It was a totally different person. I told him he was lying to not only me but these other women. He wasn’t allowing any of to make a choice with the most sacred parts of who we are. After I found out, there was no remorse. In fact, he continued the lies. He victim shamed me, said I had responsibility in his choices. This is still what he says to this day. About a few days later, the sent me a message stating that if I missed him, we could work it out. That blew me away. For a year and half after I left the relationship for good, he would send text telling me he missed me, he loved me and regretted me leaving. He told me, I would probably regret losing you for the rest of my life. I knew I would never go back. When I would mention what he did or refuse to take him back, I would receive heartless, mean messages or long periods of silence. It took me six months to finally get all my belongings from his place. The silent periods, changing plans, his schedule, needs, etc. left me connected to the trauma for six more months.

When I confronted him about all the lies and texts I saw, he first said I was crazy. I hung up the phone after he made that statement and began sending the screen shots to him. I was met with a cold response, he had no remorse. That was the day I ended it for good . In fact, Given everything that happened, he had the nerve to blame for invading his privacy because I was looking at his text. Invading his privacy and invading his secrecy are two different things in my book. These secrets have serious implications for a person’s health and overall life.

The blaming, taking no responsibility, victim shaming, cruel behavior each time I confronted him, with several attempts to get me to come back to the relationship, lasted this past year and half..

When I mentioned writing about this experience in my memoir, he tried to intimidate and threaten me. After those threats, I would call a couple friends, for about a month after he made them, everytime I left my place, just in case something were to happen to me. I was still dealing with the trauma and aftermath at this time.

I couldn’t silence my gut, in spite of what was happening to me as a result of the gaslighting, constant ups and downs with his moods (which began my ups and downs), the possibility of actually finding something that would end the relationship, I couldn’t ignore the voice inside, telling me something isn’t right. When things were slowly being revealed, he asked me why I wouldn’t stop asking him for the truth. I was met with pushback, circular conversation, manipulation or the silent treatment, each time I would bring it up, then blame me for bringing things up.

I was not the only person impacted by this situation. My kids were also impacted. I tried to hide it from them for several months. They knew something wasn’t right with me when they came to visit but were not quite sure. I told them I was just dealing with depression, that I would be ok. That is until they were using my computer and found substantial evidence showing that I was in an abusive relationship. Imagine how your own children would feel if they found out someone abused their mother. I could barely care for myself much less deal with their pain. They wanted to confront him and ask him why, they wanted to make it public and I had to plead with them and tell them it wouldn’t be good for me, if they did that. They did sent him a text stating they knew what he did to their mom and few other words. I couldn’t stop them from doing that. They also were in shock to watch friends and people who they knew who were part of the political world, sit back and be silent. They watched people who were aware, never reach out, ask if it was true, there were even people willing to find dirt and smear me, all to protect him. That is cruel to do to anu human. Regardless of what a person has or has not done, doesn’t mean they deserve abuse. We see this happen in our criminal justice system everyday. Watching all this, was a wake up call for them, as far as politics and the real world. When things like this happen to a person and family, the last thing they are thinking about is a political party or who is using their pain for political points.

I have offered him restorative justice and for him to seek some sort of help for over a year and half. He would not take me up on it. I told him I have not lost sight of his humanity and he deserved to take that time for himself to heal. I told him time and time again, I didn’t want to share my story publicly, it was more important for healing and restoration to occur with this situation. I told him not only he deserved it, but his family and constituents deserve it as well. For me, that alone would have been justice as far as my situation. But no matter how many times I offered, he wouldnt take me up on it.


SECOND WOMAN Accuses Democrat Keith Ellison of Abuse — Police 911 Report Confirms Incident!

Record of Keith Ellison 911 Assault Call Released

Ellison wins Minnesota AG primary amid late domestic violence allegations

Hypocrites: #MeToo Dems Silent as Vice Chair Ellison Accused of Brutal Sex Assault

The Boston Globe calls for Journalistic Jihad against Trump

Last Friday (Aug 10th), the Boston Globe called on the American news media to produce editorials tomorrow (Thurs, Aug 16th) denouncing what they describe as President Trump’s “dirty war against the free press.” The Globe claims they have already recruited dozens of major metropolitan dailies, as well as several smaller weeklies. Locally, I’m sure our Tampa Bay Times is chomping on the bit for this one.

I am confident tomorrow’s papers will be loaded with aspersions against the president, who will be cast as a Nazi dictator trying to suppress the news media. There will be a lot of whining, cat-calling, and some rather unfortunate comments made. In the end, the press will have finally come out of the closet and shown its true colors as to their feelings about the president. It won’t be pretty. Now, instead of random attacks against the president, it will be an orchestrated effort, which will finally be put on display for all to see.

In the end, this temper tantrum is going to hurt the press as they will lose further credibility with their readers and cause them to lose more subscribers. By forcing a confrontation, the press is ultimately asking the public to choose sides, thereby further dividing the country, for in the end, people will be asked to determine if the press is “the enemy of the people” or if it is Mr. Trump, and I’m afraid they are not going to like the answer they receive.

Here are some realities:

First, the news media has already lost the trust of the people, which has been eroding over the last few years. People realize news is important in order to be good and responsible citizens. A new Knight-Gallup survey shows Americans believe the media has an important role to play, but they do not see that role being fulfilled.

Second, the public understands money drives the press, thereby making it sensational. As such, it appears the press is shooting itself in the foot as newspapers continue to close, subscriptions plummet, and TV viewership declines. As a recent Pew poll reports:

  • The average audience for the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS and NBC decreased by 7% in 2017, down to 5.2 million, compared with 5.6 million in 2016.
  • The average audience for morning news programs from ABC, CBS and NBC also declined over the past year, down 10% in 2017, to about 3 million.
  • The average audience for the four news magazine shows aired by the networks – ABC’s 20/20, CBS’s 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, and NBC’s Dateline – declined in 2017, down 12% from 2016.

All of this means, they are losing the trust of the American people.

As an aside, Pew also reports the news media is more trusted in Europe than it is in the United States.

More importantly, Pew reports 78% of Americans say the news media should never favor one political party over another. Yet, this is precisely what has become of the American news media.

And third, look for a major push back from the Trump administration following the August 16th editorials. I’m sure the president will Tweet his displeasure but look for some other major changes, such as:

  • The White House could distribute news through written press announcements only. After all, if the press is not honest with the White House and often misinterprets the news secretary, why bend over backwards for the press?
  • The White House could insist on granting press credentials only to those who belong to The Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA). This pledge is a sort of Hippocratic oath as applied to journalists. The CFAPA pledge means they will conform to ethical standards.
  • We must remember the press has no “rights” to be in the White House, that it is a a privilege instead. This could result in some changes being made, such as holding a press briefing outdoors, not in the comfort of an indoor facility.

There might also be some possible libel lawsuits or other drastic measures. One thing is for sure, if they want to fight him, Mr. Trump will not let the challenge go unchecked.

Bottom-line, the news media is playing with fire and will likely earn a black-eye as a result of their editorials on Thursday. By announcing their intentions publicly, they only confirm what a lot of people already know, that the press is out to get President Trump at all costs. Their timing couldn’t be any more obvious, just before the midterm elections. What they do not realize though with this president, he is not afraid to do battle with them.

So, is there a war on the news media? Yes, definitely, just as there is a war against President Trump. While other presidents have taken the abuse, Mr. Trump has elected to fight back, and the press doesn’t like it one bit.

Anybody who believes the press is fair and impartial is taking it in the arm. Journalistic integrity is a myth. The rhetoric is already so vicious by the liberal press that drastic measures are likely in the offing. Since the press is not honest with the White House and often misinterprets the news secretary, why bend over backwards for someone whose mission is to destroy the president?

The one sad thing about all of this is that honest and professional journalists will be hurt in the process.

It will be interesting to see how the press fires upon Fort Sumter tomorrow. Expect cannonade in return, certainly not a flag of truce.

Keep the Faith!

EDITORS NOTE: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Black Refutes Omarosa’s Trump-is-Racist Lie

My fellow Americans, I am so weary of people on the national stage willing to sacrifice the best interest of our country and people to serve their egos and personal vendettas. Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman is the latest to show her true colors. Omarosa was fired. Now she is claiming she heard Trump use the N-word.

President Trump has been awesome for minorities; sending black and Hispanic unemployment to historic lows. So what good does Omarosa’s unsubstantiated claim do for anyone other than feed the American left’s lie that Trump is racist? Clearly, Omarosa is another ego and power driven person making it all about her. The American left will treat Omarosa’s claim like manna-from-heaven; promoting it 24/7. The American left is so obsessed with blocking Trump from making America great again that they will use any and every despicable evil low-life tactic necessary.

The American left claims to be outraged over the possibility of Trump using the N-word. Meanwhile, their operatives freely use the N-word and racial slurs to trash patriotic blacks. For years, leftists have called me a “stupid n*****” for loving my country. The American left did not have a problem with Bill Clinton saying this about Obama, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.” The American left was not particularly outraged when former KKK member Democrat Senator Robert Byrd said, “I’ve seen a lot of white niggers in my time…”

When black Republican Michael Steele ran for U.S. Senate, a leftist defaced Steele’s photo to depict him in black face. The caption with the racist photo said, “Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house.”

The American left had no problem with the N-word when cartoonist Ted Nall declared black Secretary of State Condolezza Rice Bush’s “house nigga”.

Years ago, I attended a party in which white guys were freely using the N-word, quoting lines from Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” movie. It was as though the movie made it cool. I was taken aback. In my day, if a white person disrespected you by using the N-word in your presence, as a black person, you were obligated to kick their butt. But somehow, the leftist movie director using the N-word made it okay – even cool. Tarantino’s movies obsessively use the N-word; 110 times in “Django Unchained” and 65 times in “The Hateful Eight”. The American left says, hey it is acceptable because Tarantino is one of us (leftist).

White kids think it is okay to spout the N-word when they are quoting rap songs. Anyone caught criticizing black rappers for using the N-word is deemed racist by the American left for not understanding black culture.

Notice the American left’s glaring hypocrisy regarding who is allowed to use the N-word.

The entire Trump-is-racist-narrative is rooted in smoke, mirrors, lies and spin. On numerous occasions I’ve asked fellow blacks to name one thing Trump has done to confirm he is racist. They cannot. They simply believe Trump is racist because fake news media says he is. In desperation to prove me wrong, they parrot leftists’ absurd lie that make America great again is code for turning back the clock on freedom for blacks and women.

I find it extraordinary that the American left has successfully made Trump saying he wants to make America great again deemed racist in the minds of many. For crying out loud, we live here. This is our country. Isn’t it common sense that every American should want their homeland made great? And yet, leftists call the statement “hate-speech” and are physically attacking Americans wearing “Make America Great Again” caps and t-shirts.

Along with 63 million Americans, I knew presidential candidate Trump had a heart for his country. This is why I am the singer/songwriter of the “Trump Train” music video. In a remarkable short amount of time, Trump has brought back jobs; putting Americans back to work. Our economy is booming. Trump has put the world on notice that they can no long undermine the US and expect us to shower them with money. Trump truly is a new sheriff in town standing up for America’s best interest.

Omarosa obviously cares more about destroying Trump than she cares about the good he is doing for her fellow blacks and fellow Americans. It is time we tell these petty all-about-me people to go away.

RELATED ARTICLE: Remember When & WHY Omarosa Was Fired From The Clinton White House? … We Do

VIDEO: Former Obama Supporter Explains Why She Chose to #WalkAway

A former Obama supporter says she joined the “#WalkAway Campaign,” a movement that highlights stories of why people walk away from leftist ideology, because she could no longer subscribe to what the Democrat Party aligned itself to.

“I did vote for our current president and I will vote for him again in 2020, and just seeing how the left has become or is extremely dehumanizing. They are not into logic; it is all about your emotions, it is all about, ‘I feel like this, so therefore, it is fact,’” a YouTube user whose handle is Tumi Yukii said in a video posted July 10 to the video-based site.

Yukii said she grew up in a left-leaning household, attended the first presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, and was in Washington, D.C., to celebrate his second inauguration.

She said her political convictions began changing when she saw the party’s inconsistencies.

“I was raised a Democrat, I was raised to believe that, you know, Republicans, conservatives, who are old school, right-wing, racist[s] who wanted to keep America like the 1940s or the slavery times,” Yukii said. “You know, I was brought to different political events as a kid, all that kinda stuff.”

“I got off the Democrat plantation,” Yukii said. “And I noticed that there is a quote that says if you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, that’s insanity, so voting for these Democrats over and over and over and over and [then] they’re doing nothing for inner cities, they’re doing nothing for black people.”

The WalkAway Campaign Facebook page, which has over 60,000 likes, advertises on its wall the “WalkAway Campaign” Facebook group, which includes over 151,000 members and is a place for members to share their story of why they are no longer part of the left.

The movement was founded by Brandon Straka, a former liberal, and is a “video campaign movement, dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the Democratic Party has become,” according to the campaign’s website.

Yukii said the 2016 presidential election showed her how the left demonizes those who it does not agree with.

“Everybody loved Donald Trump, black people included,” Yukii said. “He was an idol to a lot of black people, rappers would make songs about him. Rappers and all different types of people would hang out with him until he became a candidate for the 2016 election cycle, not running as a Democrat. Then everybody said he was a racist, he was so sexist … everybody was coming out of the woodwork with an evil story to tell.”

The liberal-turned-conservative said that many liberals today aren’t even able to come to terms with the history of their party.

“When you try to hit them with the facts, even basic facts like the history of their own party, like Margaret Sanger who started Planned Parenthood … she spoke to women in the KKK and said we don’t want word to get out that we are actually trying to exterminate the Negro race,” Yukii said. “She was into eugenics, she was into sterilizing black women, which she did, giving black women hysterectomies, and Hillary Clinton said that Margaret Sanger was her idol.”

Yukii said that folks like Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who recently called on supporters to harass members of Trump’s administration, are on the wrong side of public discourse.

“I was just in shock because what is she doing; she shouldn’t be running around telling people to hurt Trump supporters, she should go and fix what she is supposed to fix, but she is not,” Yukii said.

“I don’t see myself ever returning to the Democrat Party,” Yukii said.

This video where Yukii details her story, titled “Why I Chose to #WalkAway, My Story!,” has received well over 100,000 hits.

Other videos Yukii has published on her channel have received anywhere from 28 views (“How to Write A Book In Three Months, Part Two”) to a couple hundred views (“Why You’re In the Wilderness”) to a few thousand views (“Candace Owens, Alex Jones, and Liberal Hate”).


Portrait of Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

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LA Shopping Mall Bans Billboard Because It Has a Preacher Holding a Bible

MovieGuide.org in a column titled “Christian Crusade Has Billboard Banished from LA Shopping Mall” written by contributing writer Tess Farrand reports:

Each year, Harvest Christian Fellowship Church puts on a series of special events called the Harvest Crusades. The crusades are a multi-faceted event that takes place around the country where thousands of people searching for a deeper spiritual connection hear the word of God. The crusades include, worship, testimonials and a call to the altar where new believers profess their faith in Jesus.

Harvest is gearing up for their SoCal Harvest crusade which will take place at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California August 17-19. SoCal Harvest will feature MercyMe (the band who inspired I CAN ONLY IMAGINE), Christian rapper Andy Mineo and Phil Wickman, who serves as a staff worship leader, along with many others.

As per usual advertisement strategies, Harvest paid for many billboards detailing the crusade at the Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, California. If you’ve visited the Movieguide® website recently, you’ve most likely seen our banners advertising for the crusade. This same image, of Pastor Greg holding a bible – an homage to Billy Graham – was taken down by the mall.

A formal statement by Greg Laurie reads, “It’s disappointing that billboards advertising the SoCal Harvest – an event that positively impacts people throughout our community each year has done so now for 29 years and running- were removed from the Fashion Island Mall and the Irvine Spectrum Center this past week, all because the ads contained an image of the Bible. Countless people throughout the ages have been transformed by the Bible, and its impact around the world is literally impossible to quantify. Instead of being offended by it, people ought to pick it up, read it and see for themselves what it has to say. I believe our communities, our cities, our nation, and the world will be immeasurably better off the more famous the Bible become.”

Read more.

Ayn Rand in her monograph “Textbook of Americanism” notes:

What Is the Basic Issue in the World Today?

The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism. Individualism holds that man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of other men. Therefore, each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.

Collectivism holds that man has no rights; that his work, his body and his personality belong to the group; that the group can do with him as it pleases, in any manner it pleases, for the sake of whatever it decides to be its own welfare. Therefore, each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.

These two principles are the roots of two opposite social systems. The basic issue of the world today is between these two systems.

God is the enemy of the state and must be silenced. Socialist forms of government work to silence religion and fundamentally transform believers into non-believers.

As Ayn Rand wrote:

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

Removing this billboard because some find a Christian preacher holding up a Bible offensive has become one of the greatest uncontested absurdities of the 21st Century.

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may learn more about SoCal Harvest here.

Is Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Planning to Blame the Russians When He Loses in November 2018? Looks like it!

Florida Senator Bill Nelson unequivocally stated to the Tampa Bay Times,

“They [the Russians] have already penetrated certain counties in the state [of Florida] and they now have free rein to move about.”

Senator Nelson is up for reelection. Making such a statement demands proof in order to protect Florida’s voting systems. Attempts by various news outlets to get the proof have been fruitless.

Miami’s WPLG Local 10 released the following report on YouTube:

Senator Nelson, by his own admission, is vulnerable in Florida. Why would Nelson make such a statement then not at least provide information to Governor Scott and local election officials? Doesn’t Senator Nelson want Florida’s election systems to be safe from hacks by any foreign or domestic entity?

Is Senator Nelson planning to blame the Russians for the loss of his U.S. Senate seat, like the Democrats did in November 2016?

It sure looks like it.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Senate Aging Committee Chairman Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. listening on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, during the committee’s hearing to examine older Americans and student loan debt. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Trust: U.S. bishops appear to await their November annual meeting to craft a new sex-abuse policy.

Robert Royal writes that most U.S. bishops appear to await their November annual meeting to craft a new sex-abuse policy. But we can’t wait months. 

I came across an advertisement for a financial institution recently that, sad to say, displayed more wisdom than we usually find today among many people, including many Catholics: “Trust is binary. Either you have it or you don’t.”

A bold statement these days, by anyone. For the politically correct, “binary” distinctions are not only stupid and simplistic but hate-filled – most notably as in “male and female He created them.”  There are even “Catholic” theologians who argue that such binaries are a mere glitch in our brains.

Forget that itinerant Palestinian preacher who said, “let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.” We’re much taken just now with gray areas, our superior moral awareness to previous ages, recent changes in public understanding, stylish deliverances of “conscience.”

But that is going to change now, if only because it must. Revelations about the Church leadership in several countries and in the Vatican itself have led us to the point that we wonder whether we can still trust what our own religious leaders say and do. To judge by what I hear from Catholic leaders and lay people, our bishops need to wake up to the sheer magnitude and intensity of the anger out there. Fast.

With few exceptions, they don’t seem to recognize that we may be close to an “inflexion point.” For years, the Catholic Church in America had many and great advantages, not least that ordinary believers – unlike their counterparts in Europe – looked to Church leaders as bulwarks of the true and the good. We admired them for what they did inside the church building, but also outside in the community.

Trust is binary. Our bishops can no longer assume that they have it. Bishops here may be teetering very close to the point at which the Irish hierarchy lost its credibility, to the immense detriment of marriage, family, and the unborn.

It didn’t have to be this way, and doesn’t have to be going forward. We’ve had sixteen years of what has sometimes been quite harsh treatment of priests accused of sexual abuse. That’s almost two decades, and any bishop who covered up misbehavior by priests under his authority over that period is not only incompetent and culpable, but – with all due respect for the Lord’s anointed – a fool.

When the John Jay Report came out in 2004, it estimated that the number of priest abusers was a little over 4,000 out of more than 100,000 men who had been priests over the relevant period. So about 4 percent.

Was/is the proportion of bishops who mishandled abusers or were themselves malefactors higher? Even so, there’s no way back to basic trust without dealing – sharply, if necessary – with something that will otherwise wreck the innocent along with the guilty.

Part of the reckoning has to speak frankly of the homosexual component of the abuse. Eighty percent of the priestly abuse involved young men, not children. Gay abuse, not pedophilia. Former Cardinal McCarrick engaged in both – and there are good reasons to look at both in future investigations. Pope Francis has rightly urged the Italian bishops not to admit to seminary anyone even suspected of same-sex tendencies.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley

Cardinal O’Malley: serious about restoring trust

There are, to be sure, theological questions about how bishops can be disciplined or removed. But once the bishops accept that no one believes they can investigate themselves – and that Catholics and others will be watching – it’s not all that hard to set up truly independent investigators. And stipulate that those who don’t co-operate will be publicly putting themselves under suspicion.

Priests who have been responsible for handling cases of priest abusers tell me that the yearly visits by representatives of the USCCB’s National Review Board can be quite intrusive – and effective. Nothing less will be needed now to handle wayward bishops. It worked with priests; it can be done with bishops.

To date, only three bishops have stepped forward with effective, concrete proposals for holding themselves and their fellows responsible. Many more have expressed penitence and shame – needed, of course, but for most of us that is only talk.

Late last Friday, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley released a statement about two allegations concerning behavior at St. John’s Seminary that were just brought to his attention. Without knowing yet if the charges are true or not, he said:

I am committed to immediate action. . . .First, I have asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, Rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately, in order that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matters. Second, I have appointed Rev. Stephen E. Salocks, Professor of Sacred Scripture, to serve as Interim Rector. . .

And among further steps: “The faculty, staff and students at the seminary will be advised of my expectation that they will fully cooperate with the inquiry.”

That’s seriousness about doing what it takes to retain trust. Can we ask for less from our bishops?

Most American bishops, however, seem quite placid, content to wait until their annual November meeting in Baltimore. They will have to develop a coordinated and well-crafted response – eventually. But to think you can wait months – or for guidance from Rome – may be fatal. Boston is likely to be only the first of many more revelations in coming days and weeks – not months.

The role of Rome in all this is going to be tricky. Pope Francis has said many of the right things. Whether he and the very mixed crew around him will move swiftly to head off disaster remains to be seen.

No financial institution would wait three months to act on questions about credibility. Even the children of this world know you have to act faster than that, even when it’s only a matter of money.

Much more is at stake in the Church. And this is a binary moment, no avoiding it. There are only two choices: to start to rebuild trust – immediately – or to risk letting the opportunity slip away.

Robert Royal

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.


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EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Parents Should Be Free to Choose Safer Schools

As back-to-school time approaches, parents are bracing for school-related trauma. The threat of bullying, violence, school shootings, and mental health maladies looms large as a new school year emerges. A 2018 PDK poll found that one-third of parents are concerned about their child’s safety at school, a sharp jump in recent years. And it’s not just peer harassment that worries parents. The Miami-Herald reported last month that an experienced teacher who was named “teacher of the year” this year in Florida, was caught on video calling a kindergartener a “loser.”

Some parents are fed up. They want options other than a mandatory, assigned district school.

For families who can choose them, private schools offer a safer learning environment than conventional public schools. A new study recently published in the Journal of School Choice found that private schools are much safer than public schools. Study authors M. Danish Shakeel of Harvard University and Corey DeAngelis of the Cato Center for Educational Freedom analyzed a large data set from the most recent Schools and Staffing Survey of school principals across the country. Even after controlling for school type and size, geography, student and teacher demographics, and student-teacher ratio, the authors revealed statistically significant safety benefits for private school students over public school ones.

Voucher programs and other school choice mechanisms can help to make private schools more accessible to more families, granting an exit from an assigned district school to those who want it. Vouchers redistribute to families some or all of the taxpayer money allocated to their local school district, allowing parents to use those funds at a private school of their choice. School vouchers were popularized by Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who saw their potential in loosening the government-controlled monopoly on education. He wrote:

Given, as at present, that parents can send their children to government schools with out special payment, very few can or will send them to other schools unless they too are subsidized.

Critics of school choice argue that parents are incapable of making good choices for their children’s education. This arrogance justifies denying school choice to parents and forcing them to accept their district assignment. Opponents cite reports, like this one released by the U.S. Department of Education last spring, showing that voucher recipients may have lower scores on standardized tests than their peers in public schools. This particular report looked at recipients of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that has been available exclusively to low-income recipients in the District of Columbia since 2004. While math scores were slightly lower for the voucher recipients, the report shows that parents were quite satisfied with the private school their children attended. Most crucially, the report shows that voucher parents felt their children were safe in school.

It’s also important to note that while test scores of voucher students may be lower, other U.S. Department of Education data show that voucher recipients have significantly higher high school graduation rates than their public school peers.

When given the opportunity to make choices about which school their child attends, parents are quite competent. It’s true that they may value qualities like their child’s safety and graduation prospects over exam results, but is that such a bad thing? When it comes to protecting a child’s well-being, parents usually know best.

Reprinted from Intellectual Takeout


Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald (@kerry_edu) has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Kerry is the author of the forthcoming book, Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press). Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.