Guilty! I Support the Iranian Protestors

As protests continue to wreak havoc in Iran with a breadth and intensity not seen since the 1978 revolution against the Shah, Tehran’s clerical rulers and their Revolutionary Guards enforcers have become increasingly desperate.

That could be seen in videos that recently surfaced of the horrific massacre of hundreds of unarmed protestors in Bandar-e Mahshahr, an oil town on the Persian Gulf near Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his top Iran advisor, Brian Hook, both condemned the regime for sheer evil of this deed, worthy of Hitler’s executioners.

So what is the regime to do? Why, blame the Americans, of course!

In every Iranian media today you will find articles and columns blaming President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and yes – even me! – for fueling the protests.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the executive editor of Kayhan, a daily that is run by Iran’s intelligence ministry, is a top regime propagandist. When things go wrong for his clerical brethren, he reassures them that it’s not their fault: it’s the Americans.

Over the years, he has repeatedly identified me as the head of some secret-spooky CIA HUMINT program to assist the Iranian opposition.

I’m flattered he thinks that one person, unfunded, unsupported, with only a voice, can have such an impact. And I’m positively thrilled that he actually believes that the CIA has such a program (alas, they do not).

Nevertheless, in his latest screed, published in Kayhan on December 4, he positively fumed.

“Didn’t Trump officially support the protests as soon as they started? And didn’t he announce that America will meet the needs of the rioters? I say, Damn him! Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, and Kenneth Timmerman, former CIA member and currently director of the American institute NED [National Endowment for Democracy], also acknowledged that the CIA has not only helped the Iranian rioters by providing software systems but also has delivered them hardware.”

For years, the State Department has funded software developers to provide Persian-language messaging apps and encrypted web-browsers for Iranians. That’s a matter of public record.

Early iterations of these apps were woefully deficient, and actually caused more harm than good, since Iranian statehackers were able to penetrate them and expose the Iranians who were using them.

I am guessing that the technology has gotten better since then. Why? Because the regime felt so threatened that immediately when the protests erupted in response to the gasoline price hikes on November 15, they cut off all access to the Internet nation-wide, starting with the popular Telegram app that reportedly is now used by forty million Iranians (half the entire population).

Iran’s so-called Cyber Army monitors traffic on these apps on a regular basis. And they monitor opposition news sites, especially those that have tentacles into the regime itself and expose the abject corruption of the regime’s leaders.

Iran’s intelligence services goes to great lengths to neutralize these opponents, not just by hacking their websites, which they do frequently, but by sending assassins out to kill them.

In early November, an Iranian regime assassin gunned down a cyber activist, Massood Molavi, in the streets of Istanbul, in a brazen attack caught on live video surveillance cameras. Molavi’s sin? Exposing secret documents from within the regime’s intelligence services on a Telegram channel known as “Black Box.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to Molavi in a recent press conference where he blasted Iran’s clerical and military leaders for their murderous crackdown on protesters and dissident.

Just one month earlier, the regime boasted of capturing the publisher of a popular opposition news site, Ruhollah Zam, luring him from Europe to Iraq with promises of big money. After they forced him to make a televised confession, he disappeared.

But no amount of bluster, and clearly, no amount of bullets, can check the will of the Iranian people to resist the tyranny of their usurper rulers.

As I wrote in 2009, on a previous occasion when IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Shariatmadari and others in the state-run media in Iran tried to lay the “blame” on me and my foundation for an earlier run of nation-wide protests, I would be happy to accept such an honor, however misplaced.

However, neither I nor my board can take credit for such power or influence. As I wrote then,

“The people of Iran have shown through their courage, independence and determination that they don’t need help from anyone outside their country to get them to take to the streets. I have full confidence that they will get rid of the dictators of Tehran. Apparently, so do the regime’s leaders.”

Wonder if they’ve started fueling the Leader’s escape jet yet?

EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Muslims Reject Hijabi Model Halima Aden

Making headlines as the first mainstream hijabi model who appeared on Kanye West’s runway then again in Sports Illustrated, Halima Aden is turning heads again — this time as a headline speaker at the Reviving Islamic Spirit conference.

Taking place December 20-22, 2019 in Toronto, Canada, the choice of hijabi model Halima Aden has drawn mixed reviews from Muslims. While there’s always the group that loves the fanfare of celebrity Muslims, there is also the group of Muslims who are interested in faith for the sake of faith rather than the next fashionable identity brand (which is how some see Halima and social justice Muslims).

Though I don’t wear the hijab and understand that Muslim women who do wear one tend to have their own reasons for it, I can sympathize with the frustration of seeing items of faith reduced to markers of diversity or fashion, or embraced by businesses as a marketable item. On that, conservatives, traditionalists, a reformer like myself and even Islamists disinterested in social justice causes, can all agree: Stop fetishizing what some women in Islam choose to wear as part of their faith.

While I’m sure Halima Aden is a wonderful person, leaning into bringing on board celebrity Muslims to draw an audience is against what I imagine is the spirit of Islam. We should be led by our ethics and ideas, and not by how loved we are by the material world.

RELATED STORIES:

Sports Illustrated: Halima Aden Poses in Burkini

Hijab, Female Oppression and the Left

Why I’m Sick of Talking About Hijab

Weaponizing Hijabs: A Slippery Slope to Fascism

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Abortion Pills: The Do-It-Yourself, Back-Alley Methods by Patrina Mosley

It’s been no coincidence that the latest mainstream media, women’s magazines, and even Teen Vogue have been advertising abortion pills as the new wonders of women’s healthcare that can be taken in the privacy of their homes.They even have the audacity to applaud purchasing illegal abortion pills online. A New York Times columnist, a man at that, found that ordering illegal abortion pills online was quite easy during his investigation. Nothing should be scarier than a man ordering abortion pills and then titling his investigation piece “Abortion Pills Should Be Everywhere.” There have been numerous documented incidents (herehere, and here) of women being unknowingly slipped abortion pills by partners who were unwilling to become fathers or by family members who were unsupportive of the pregnancy. The abortion industry markets the abortion pill as straightforward and safe. In reality, chemical abortions are a multi-day traumatic process that comes with over 4,000 documented life-threatening and health endangering risks.

The rate at which chemical abortion is being used is currently at an all-time high. The latest statistics on abortion from the Guttmacher Institute show that 39 percent of abortions in 2017 were chemical (reported as “medical” or “medication abortion”), a 25 percent increase since 2014. This rapid increase in chemical abortions is part of the abortion industry’s long-term strategy to make abortions “self-managed” and unrestricted — despite the profound dangers such poorly-supervised medical care poses to women’s health.

Abortion lobbyists regard drug-based, do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around the many state-level pro-life laws being enacted around our country. Such abortions are accomplished through the abortion pill regimen, distributed under the brand name Mifeprex, which is subject to the FDA’s drug safety program — Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) — because it carries such life-threatening risks.

The abortion industry wants to remove the FDA’s REMS in order to have abortion pills available through the pharmacy, the mail, and even on college campuses (also currently being proposed in New York), making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the abortion industry. They have strategically discussed how the absence of the REMS would significantly expand abortion locations and providers, broaden remote prescription (in which a woman is never even examined by the prescriber), and eventually achieve over-the-counter (OTC) status for Mifeprex.

Abortion advocates once claimed that legal abortion would alleviate the danger of “back-alley” abortions for women, but now they want to place the burden of inducing abortions completely on women — despite the fact that the health complications that often result from an induced chemical abortion are eerily similar to those of “back-alley” abortions. They include severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, the need for emergency surgery, and even death. In addition, the woman, who may or may not have health insurance coverage, is expected to bear the additional cost of these “chemical coat hanger” abortion complications.

Yet, abortion activists continue to market the abortion pill as “safe,” “effective,” and “simple” for women with visions of “privacy” and “simplicity.” This is demonstrably false, but it’s the lie they have to sell women so that the abortion industry can cut costs, expand their reach, and remove themselves from the pain and hurt they cause women. With all the documented dangers, it is increasingly evident that the advancement of the abortion industry’s agenda for the Mifeprex regimen is about political, ideological, and financial goals — not care for women.

To read more about the radical implications that OTC abortion drugs could have for women’s health and safety, especially as it pertains to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and sex trafficking, and accurate patient assessment, see our new publication: The Next Abortion Battleground: Chemical Abortion. If you or a woman you know needs to know the facts about abortion drugs or wants to share their experience of a chemical abortion, please visit Abortiondrugfacts.com.

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School Tests Parents’ Limits with Prostitute

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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column by Patrina Mosley is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

School Tests Parents’ Limits with Prostitute

If it’s okay for drag queens to host story hour, what about prostitutes? At one Austin, Texas elementary school, students got both! In what some parents are calling “a sign of things to come” under the city’s radical new sex ed, the kids at Blackshear Fine Arts Academy had an unexpected visitor — with an even more unexpected background. But as shocked as parents were to learn that “Miss Kitty Litter ATX” was a convicted criminal, they were even more horrified to find out that the school district knew it!

That’s the most astonishing revelation from the open records request that Texas Values filed. Thanks to internal communications between Miss Kitty Litter (real name David Robinson) and the school librarian Roger Grape, moms and dads now know that not only did Blackshear expose their children to this wild and deviant ideology but to a felon too! In texts to Grape, David admitted that he might not pass the school background check. “the guidelines for submission automatically disqualify me if the deferred adjudication for prostitution is considered a conviction… so I don’t know if [it’s] ethical to submit.”

So either the school didn’t go through with the background check — or ignored it altogether. Either option is equally distressing. “According to emails sent to parents,” Texas Values points out, “the reading event was scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. and all readers had been screened by Austin ISD.” No one knows what that screening could’ve possibly entailed, since an arrest and conviction are the first things a basic search would uncover. Or maybe Austin officials don’t see the problem in bringing in a man who sells himself for sex as an acceptable guest speaker. Based on their latest curriculum decisions, which are stunningly pornographic, it wouldn’t surprise us.

Just as startling, the records from the October 7th day when Robinson came to school show that neither he nor the school were in any hurry for him to leave. Dressed head-to-toe as a woman, he walked through the doors at 7:25 a.m. and didn’t leave until the bell almost rang at 2:11 p.m. Why was he there for so long? No one seems to know. Maybe he did more than read to the first-, second-, third-, and fourth graders. Maybe he was consulting on the recently adopted lessons about anal sex (“What’s the best way to have it?“) or contraception (“What ages you can get birth control, abortions, or other health care without your parents“).

Unfortunately for the moms and dads in the area, this isn’t their first brush with the extreme. On the Willis side of the district, a man with the stage name Lynn Adonis also visited class — this time as a guest cosmetologist. There’s just one problem: he isn’t one. He’s an entertainer — and a drag queen one at that. Like Robinson, he spent twice as much time at the school as other visitors that day. When the inviting teacher was asked, she admitted that Jerred Bridges (his legal name) spent the day putting make-up on kids, “despite having no license to do so.”

Usually, the fact that a district is willing to host one of these drag queen events is sickening enough. Imagine finding out that the person they invited wasn’t even vetted — or worse, a confirmed sex trafficker. Schools are supposed to be safe learning spaces, not a catwalk for prostitutes. Their actions would suggest that Austin officials are more interested in the sexual exploitation of kids than their actual wellbeing. In any classroom, including this one, the only thing these drag queens should be reading are the directions to the nearest exit.


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


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EDITORS NOTE: This   column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Quote of the day: The hoax that started it all

Moment by moment, the truth about corruption in Washington is coming out.

In a Senate hearing today, Michael Horowitz—Inspector General of the Justice Department—delivered a scathing blow to the narrative pushed by Democrats and their media allies about the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

The Beltway media’s initial reaction to the report was predictable. Pundits cherry picked the parts they liked, while ignoring 17 separate falsehoods and omissions found across three surveillance applications used to justify the FBI monitoring a former Trump campaign adviser.

Fortunately, the truth often finds a way of coming to light. In today’s hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked the tough, obvious questions that most reporters didn’t.

“Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment?” Sen. Graham asked Horowitz.

His reply: “I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”

Rolling Stone: Horowitz report shows “years of breathless headlines were wrong.”

More: CNN grilled for refusing to cover opening statements in Horowitz testimony


A huge win for peace through strength!

Americans finally got some good news from Congress this week. In addition to an upcoming vote on USMCA, legislators have agreed to terms for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will fund our great American military.

All of President Trump’s top priorities were agreed to in the final deal, including:

  • The biggest pay raise for our troops in a decade
  • More funding to restore our military preparedness
  • More resources to secure our border
  • Paid parental leave to take care of our military families
  • Establishing the cutting-edge United States Space Force

After far too much obstruction from Congress this year, President Trump wants to close out 2019 with huge wins for working Americans. That includes this historic deal to fully fund our troops. Congress shouldn’t wait any longer to send it to his desk.

Something to share: President Trump is ready to sign the NDAA!


WATCH: The Swamp can’t take credit for President Trump’s work

Decades ago, as a private citizen, President Trump saw that Americans were being treated unfairly by NAFTA. So he ran for office—and won—on a promise to replace it.

Now, right on cue, Democrat career politicians are trying to claim credit for President Trump’s work. The reality is that he negotiated a new deal, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and then House Democrats let it languish in Congress for more than a year. Finally, under pressure, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has at last agreed to bring the new deal to a vote.

That’s great news for American workers, and it should’ve happened long ago. After years of broken promises by Washington to fix NAFTA, it took President Trump to get it done.

Watch: Promises Made, Promises Kept!

The Swamp War

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D CA-12) made a formal request for articles of impeachment against President Trump on December 5th, it was tantamount to a declaration of war with the Republicans. As if the division between Democrats and Republicans wasn’t already bad enough, Speaker Pelosi drove a spike between the two sides that may never be repaired. Just about everyone understands this was politically motivated and certainly not a bipartisan effort. Of my liberal friends, I could only find three who honestly believed the Speaker did this as an unbiased move. Everyone else, including most Democrats grudgingly admit it was political in nature.

This was the same Nancy Pelosi who said in a Washington Post article from March 11, 2019,

“I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this, impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country. He’s just not worth it.”

This was echoed by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D NY-10) who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee and has the responsibility of producing the charges of impeachment. Back in 1998, during the impeachment of President Clinton, a younger Rep. Nadler said,

“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other.” He added, “Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”

No bipartisanship has surfaced, yet the Speaker and Rep. Nadler persevere with impeachment, meaning they are hypocrites and are pushing forward for political gain. Rep. Al Green (D TX-9) confirms this by stating in an interview, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.” Let us not forget Rep. Green has been calling for the President to be impeached since May 20, 2017, more than two years before any alleged whistle blower surfaced.

As Republicans have known for a long time, this is all being orchestrated to negate the President’s election in 2016 and his re-election in 2020. Deep down, Democrats admit this as well.

All of this was predictable the moment the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in 2018. It has become glaringly obvious they have no evidence of any impeachable offense, no smoking gun, but they have painted themselves into a corner and must move forward with it. If they drop impeachment now, they lose face among their left-wing constituents and the news media. However, when the case is turned over to the Senate, their allegations will be overturned, the charges dismissed, and the House’s method of jurisprudence will be severely criticized. In other words, they will lose face with the American public who will likely vote them out of office in 2020.

I call this the “Swamp War” for there is more to it than just the Democrats at work here. Because he is an outsider, the President has been impeded by the Democrats, the Main Stream Media, Republicans In Name Only (RINO), and government bureaucrats (the “Deep State”). Plain and simple, President Trump represents a genuine threat to “The Swamp,” and naturally, they are fighting back. As such, we are witnessing a cultural revolution of huge proportions.

There has always been a political divide in this country, but not as pronounced as it is today as the underpinnings of America are being undermined, e.g., The Constitution, Capitalism, Christianity, and Conservative values (4-C’s).

Perhaps the best book I have read predicting this state of affairs was “This Town” (2013) by Mark Leibovich, the Chief National Correspondent for “The New York Times Magazine.” In the book, Leibovich describes an incestual relationship between the news media, journalists, and politicians. This was well before the expression “Fake News” was ever coined.

The reality is the Democrats have dug themselves into a hole, which will be impossible to crawl out of after the Senate trial. When it is over, they will not have destroyed the President’s political chances, but their own. Rep. Al Green (D TX-9) is correct, this will only serve to provide President Trump with a landslide win, and re-taking the House of Representatives.

One last thought, ever wonder why Speaker Pelosi made her announcement on December 5th? She knew the government’s jobs report was coming out the next day and wanted to give a big splash to her announcement in order to cloud the remarkable jobs report which indicates the economy is booming under President Trump. The announcement was all about misdirection. In a way, it was like the end of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” – “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Today it is, “Pay no attention to the booming economy.”

The impeachment is nothing more than a clever subterfuge to keep people’s attention away from the President’s biggest achievement; the economy. Fortunately, it will backfire and likely cost the Democrats the Congress.

Make no mistake, this is war.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

RELATED ARTICLE: IG’s Report Reveals 4 Spurious Allegations as Basis for FBI Spying on Trump Campaign Aide

RELATED VIDEO: New Hoax. Same Swamp

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

Those territories are not “occupied,” and there is no “West Bank” and no “Palestine”

This article makes supremely important points that are all too often overlooked. Find out how and why the “Palestinians” were invented in The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process.

“Losing the Semantic War on ‘Palestine,’” by Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, December 5, 2019:

I have written before about the importance of semantics in the discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how frustrated many people are about losing various battles over nomenclature, such as references to the disputed territories as “occupied,” and “Judea and Samaria” as the West Bank. An arguably more important semantic battle regarding this area has gone largely unnoticed — and been lost without a fight.

Many of Israel’s detractors, professors, the media, and others now routinely refer to the conflict as “Israel-Palestine.” Here are a few examples:

  • Jewish Voice for Peace has a web page for Israel Palestine Conflict 101.
  • Human Rights Watch’s website has the header “Israel/Palestine” as does the respected journal Foreign Policy.
  • The Global Policy Forum goes one better with its page on “Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories.”
  • Brown University’s newspaper headlined its coverage of a discussion by two Middle East analysts, “Policy experts talk Israel-Palestine conflict.”
  • Tablet ran the story, “How To Talk About Israel And Palestine.”
  • Haaretz, Newsweek, NPR, and The Independent are just a sample of media outlets listing articles under “Israel-Palestine.”
  • The Middle East Studies Association routinely has panels and papers such as “Regional Politics and the Palestine/Israel Conflict” and “Memory and History in the Palestine/Israel Conflict.”
  • The University of Colorado has an endowed professor of Israel/Palestine Studies in the Program in Jewish Studies.

Why is this a problem?

Any scholar who is not pushing a political agenda knows Palestine ceased to exist in 1948 when Israel won its war of independence, and Jordan (which is also part of historic Palestine) seized the West Bank and Egypt captured the Gaza Strip.

The use of the word “Palestine” is sometimes unclear. Is it referencing the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, Gaza, or some combination of these areas? Depending on the interpretation, this could delegitimize the existence of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland.

It is also problematic because it can imply that the conflict is over an area where the Palestinians were once sovereign. This feeds the narrative of Israel as an occupier. The Palestinians have never had a state, and had no interest in one during the Jordanian occupation.

Referring to the Israel-Palestine conflict also reinforces the idea that the dispute is over land. Often misleadingly described as a fight by two peoples over one land, the reality is more complex, as it involves politics, psychology, history, and religion. In recent years, the Islamization of the conflict has eclipsed other factors, as many Palestinians reject the historical Jewish connection to the land and will not contemplate Jews living on Islamic territory or ruling over Muslims.

The most pernicious aspect of the reference to “Palestine” is to create a false equivalency with the sovereign nation of Israel. Israel is a democracy that shares the values and interests of the West. Palestine does not exist; it may one day in the future, but for now, there is only the Palestinian Authority, which is autocratic, denies its people their basic rights, and does not share the values or interests of the West…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Marriage and Pregnancy Reduce Crime

There’s a general assumption in public policy discourse that economic policy and social policy are separate universes.

When economic policy is the topic, we think about taxes, government spending, business, jobs, etc. When social policy is the topic, we think about marriage, family, children, abortion, etc.

But, in reality, the line between economic policy and social policy is ambiguous, if it exists at all.

In recent years, for instance, family structure has gotten increasing attention as an important factor to consider in policy discussions about poverty.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


Now we have a new academic paper by economists—Maxim Massenkoff and Evan Rose, both doctoral candidates in economics at the University of California, Berkeley—that makes it even clearer that what we generally think of as social policy can fall into the realm of economic analysis.

The paper—”Family Formation and Crime”—examines the connection between the incidence of pregnancy, childbirth, and marriage, and the incidence of crime.

The conclusion, in the words of the authors: “Our event-study analysis indicates that pregnancy triggers sharp declines in crime rivaling any known intervention. For mothers, criminal offending drops precipitously in the first few months of pregnancy, stabilizing at half of pre-pregnancy levels three years after the birth. Men show a smaller, but still important 25 percent decline beginning at the onset of pregnancy, although domestic violence arrests spike for fathers immediately after birth.”

Marriage, according to the authors, “is a stopping point, marking the completion of a roughly 50 percent decline in offending for both men and women.”

The analysis, again per the authors, is “by far the largest such study ever conducted in the United States.” They tapped information on over a million births and, using data in the state of Washington, matched records on “criminal offenses, births, marriages, and divorces.”

George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok discusses the work on his enormously popular blog Marginal Revolution.

Tabarrok notes his own research on crime deterrence, which shows that in the case of three-strikes laws, the prospect of an additional 20 years to life imprisonment reduced criminal recidivism by 17%. Compared with this, notes Tabarrok, “the effect of pregnancy is astoundingly large.”

Of course, demonstrating statistical correlation and explaining why the occurrences correlate are different things. Why is incidence of pregnancy followed by significant drops in criminal activity in both women and men?

What is it about birth and marriage that contributes significantly to reducing crime?

Tabarrok conjectures it’s about “socializing and civilizing both men and women.”

I would speculate that it is similar to why, when a pregnant woman sees an ultrasound image of the child developing within her, she is less likely to abort that child.

It’s a wake-up call to the awe and mystery of life, which produces a sense of meaning and personal responsibility.

It follows that we ought to be concerned about the decline in Americans’ sense of importance of marriage and children.

In a newly published survey from Pew Research Center, 57% of men and 46% of women said “having a job or career they enjoy” is “essential for a … fulfilling life.”

Compared with this, only 16% of men and 17% of women said marriage is “essential for a … fulfilling life.”

And only 16% of men and 22% of women said children are “essential for a … fulfilling life.”

I love my work and agree that satisfying and meaningful work is rewarding. But I think something is wrong when Americans are saying work is three times more important for a fulfilling life than marriage and children.

The public policy implications of this research showing a drop in crime after pregnancy are not clear. But what is clear is we should be thinking more about how our culture can do a better job conveying the importance of marriage and children.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

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

RELATED ARTICLE: Problematic Women: Beginning Motherhood in the NICU


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

2,291 vaping-related lung injury cases in all 50 states, 2 US territories; 48 deaths in 25 states

These data as of December 3, 2019 were adjusted by removing 175 non-hospitalized cases from previously reported national cases. From this date forward, CDC will report only hospitalized cases but deaths regardless of hospitalization status.

THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA. While Vitamin E acetate is a chemical of concern, 152 different THC products have been used by patients.

An article in the December 6, 2019 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) provides more information about the kinds of THC products patients have used.

Of 2,291 patients, 1,421 vaped any use of THC, 956 vaped any use of nicotine, and 214 vaped any use of CBD.

More than half used Dank Vapes. The next popular brands were TKO, Rove, Smart Cart, Kingpen, and Cookie. “Cart” refers to the cartridge that is inserted into a vaping device.

Ten percent of patients in the Northeast and West regions reported using Dabwood and Brass Knuckles. From one percent to five percent of patients nationwide reported using the following brands: Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Mario Carts, Cereal Carts, Runtz, Dr. Zodiac, Eureka, Supreme G, and CaliPlug. Use of 134 other products were reported by 1 percent of patients.

While the marijuana industry insists that the THC cartridge brands making people sick are purchased exclusively from illicit, black-market dealers, several individual states report some patients have bought them from licensed dispensaries. Worse, anyone, including underage young people, can buy most of these products without even being asked their age before entering online stores.

Read CDC December 3, 2019 vaping-related lung injury update here.

Read CDC’s December 6, 2019 MMWR article here.


Every person who touches the lives of teenagers should watch “E-Cigarette Microlearning Video,” a 6-minute, 35-second brief produced by the nonprofit American Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Dr. Brian King of the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health narrates the video.

We highlight key points here to encourage you to watch it.

It begins with the news that e-cigarette use doubled in just one year (2017-2018) as shown above.

Every other kind of tobacco use has dropped since 2011, while e-cigarette use skyrocketed among kids who never smoked before, but became addicted to nicotine via e-cigarettes.

The primary driver of this escalation in use is Juul.

Several factors contribute to encouraging youth use. The first one is advertising.

Dr. King sums it up this way, “Advertising will bring a horse to water, flavors will get him to drink, and nicotine [and marijuana] will keep him coming back for more.”

The second factor is flavoring.

The third factor is nicotine. And nicotine is not the only thing e-cigarettes contain.

Cartridges containing THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, can also be inserted into vaping devices. One-third of high-school e-cigarette users vape THC.

The Surgeon General says both nicotine and marijuana act on the brain and can change it. It’s not like you can buy a new brain. No adolescent or young adult should use either drug.

Prevention strategies we know work for cigarettes and other forms of tobacco can be applied to e-cigarettes.

National Families in Action adds:

Cigarettes are legal, but you cannot buy them online. So why can you buy e-cigarettes online?

Marijuana is illegal nationwide. So why can you buy THC vape cartridges online?

Watch “E-Cigarette Microlearning Video” here.


CDC nicotine and marijuana resources

Many resources for parents, healthcare professionals, and communities are available from CDC.

You can find them here and here.

Visit The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page

In addition to current issues of The Marijuana Report, we post several more marijuana messages each month on our Facebook page. Search Facebook for nationalfamilies to access it.

RELATED ARTICLE: My Son Was Addicted to Pot Vaping. Now, Congress Wants to Aid the Industry.


Looking for a past issue of The Marijuana Report?

Find it here.


Did you know that in addition to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter, National Families in Action also publishes The Marijuana Report website? There you can find summaries of (and access to) scientific marijuana studies, the growth of the commercial marijuana industry, and what families and communities are doing to restrain it. Begin at our Welcome Page to access all the resources The Marijuana Report website offers.


The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter.

Trump Secures Freedom for American Jailed in Iran

President Trump secured the freedom for an American jailed in Iran.

Xiyue Wang was a 37-year old graduate student at Princeton doing research in Iran in 2016 when he was jailed for spying. The U.S. denied those charges.

By May 2017, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison and sent to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison used for political prisoners.

Just days ago, Wang was flown in a Swiss government airplane from Tehran to Zurich. He was  met by Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran.

Wang was traded in a prisoner exchange for Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist who was arrested at a Chicago airport last year and was convicted on charges of violating American trade sanctions against Iran.

The charges against Soleimani were dropped by the Justice Department.

The New York Times reports, “American officials said that Mr. Soleimani’s release was a low price to pay for Mr. Wang’s freedom because Mr. Soleimani was expected to be released from prison as early as next month under a plea agreement.”

For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran was “fully ready” for a full prisoner exchange with the U.S., prompting political analysts to wonder if the move signified a thawing in relations between Iran and the U.S.

Iran is still holding a number of American citizens, also falsely arrested as spies. These citizens include Baquer Namazi, 81, and his son Siamak, 45, who were sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison each for “collaborating with an enemy state [the U.S.],” charges that were never detailed.

Siamak was arrested just a short time after the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was concluded. His father, a retired official with the United Nations, was arrested in February while visiting his son in jail.

Ironically, Siamak, a businessman, was connected to the National Iranian American Council, a pro-Iranian lobby group in Washington, D.C. He spoke out against U.S. sanctions on Iran and advocated for closer business ties between the countries. He was arrested in October of 2015 while visiting relatives in Iran.

As pointed by The Wall Street Journal, the payment by the Obama administration to Iran of $1.7 billion in cash received on the day a number of U.S. hostages were released “has created an incentive for them to imprison more Americans to trade for some future concession.”

Even considering the fact that Siamak was promoting the Iranian regime, the Journal continued, “the mullahs put their need for U.S. hostages above gratitude for such political assistance. Revolutions tend to devour their foreign sympathizers.”

The Namazis are held separately in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, where their health is said to be significantly deteriorating.

Other Americans being held by Iran include:

  • Karan Vafadari, an American-Iranian dual national who owns an art gallery in Iran.
  • Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent and CIA contractor, who went missing while on a trip to Iran’s Kish Island in the Persian Gulf in 2007. Pictures of Levinson taken in 2011 were broadcast on Fox News in 2013. They showed a haggard Levinson with unkempt graying hair and beard in chains and wearing an orange jumpsuit.
  • Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen and a permanent resident of the United States who is an information technology expert was arrested while atending a professional conference in Iran. Zakka, whose appeal was denied, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of spying.

RELATED STORIES:

Iran Jails US Citizen for 10 Years

Iran Upholds Convictions of Americans

While Iran Hacks Treasury Officials, Look Who We Let Into the US

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

President Trump keeps his promise to fix NAFTA!

President Donald J. Trump has fought for better trade deals for American workers since his first day in office. In addition to new agreements with Japan, South Korea, and the European Union, the President has long argued that NAFTA must be reformed.

More than a year ago, he kept that signature campaign promise when he signed a modern, rebalanced trade deal with Canada and Mexico. And today, after a year’s worth of stall tactics, House Democrats have finally acquiesced to the will of the American people and agreed to vote on the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).

That’s big news. It’s time for Washington to put American workers first and get USMCA over the finish line!

When President Trump took office, he inherited all sorts of poorly negotiated trade deals that heavily favored global competitors over American citizens. Of all the agreements that put U.S. workers and businesses at a disadvantage, undoubtedly the biggest culprit was the outdated, deficient NAFTA.

For years, NAFTA rules have helped incentivize offshoring, which led to manufacturing jobs leaving the United States in bulk. As a result, politicians from both parties have called to reform our trade terms with Mexico and Canada ever since the deal first passed in the mid-1990s. As usual, Washington promised voters one thing and then did another.

It took President Trump to get Mexico and Canada to sign a new deal. Here are just a few ways it updates and improves NAFTA:

  • Auto and manufacturing: With new rules of origin, 75 percent of auto content must be produced in North America, stimulating U.S. vehicle and parts production.
  • Labor protections: Unlike NAFTA, labor rules are enforceable, not voluntary. Workers will benefit from provisions that incentivize the use of high-wage manufacturing labor—supporting better jobs for American workers.
  • Digital trade: USMCA includes the strongest terms on digital trade—a booming and growing sector of the U.S. economy—of any trade deal. NAFTA had none.
  • Farmers and ranchers: In just one example, USMCA protects our farmers by eliminating a loophole that allowed Canada to undersell American dairy products.

In short, Main Street won. Democrat leaders tried to stall, desperate to avoid giving President Trump a signature win on one of his core issues. But USMCA highlighted the divide between far-left Washington partisans and practical, results-minded local officials who supported the deal. In the end, a growing chorus of diverse voices—everyone from labor leaders to small business owners—finally forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand.

USMCA is a promise kept to America’s working class. For that, we should all celebrate.

Something to share: President Trump has fought for better deals since day one!


House Democrats make their 3-year impeachment scheme official

The Swamp outdid themselves today, surprising no one that Washington can always find a way to stoop lower than ever before. At a time when Congress’ approval rating is mired in the low 20s, House Democrats announced they will proceed with a partisan impeachment of President Trump—despite finding no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued the following statement in part to reporters today:

House Democrats have long wanted to overturn the votes of 63 million Americans. They have determined that they must impeach President Trump because they cannot legitimately defeat him at the ballot box. The Democrats’ use of a phone call with the president of Ukraine – with a transcript the President himself released – served as their excuse for this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election.

The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the President, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our Nation. The President will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong.

Ultimately, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats will have to answer to their constituents for manufacturing an impeachment inquiry and forcing unfounded accusations down the throats of the American people.

“IG Report Confirms Schiff FISA Memo Media Praised Was Riddled With Lies”

More: Top Ukraine official casts doubt on key impeachment testimony

© All rights reserved.

Swing Sets of Polling on Impeachment

Democrats were supposed to be impeaching the president for political gain! But now, pollsters say, they can’t even claim that. New numbers warn that the bottom’s falling out of the Left’s support — and the battleground states are the first to go.

What a difference an impeachment makes! Nine months ago, Donald Trump was trailing Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Today, Firehouse Strategies says, “he beats every Democrat.” What changed? Nothing, and that’s exactly the problem. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and company gear up for a vote to boot the president from office, most Americans want to know when they’ll get back to the country’s real business.

Months into the Democrats’ charade, voters in purple states have had enough. In a trend that spells disaster for the 2020 candidates, clear majorities of people in these must-win states (from 50.8 percent to 57.9 percent) oppose the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump. The numbers are a frightening sign for Pelosi, who’s betting her party’s chances on the serious misconception that Americans hate the president as much as they do. Or at least support the idea of taking him out before he can win another term.

In an interview with Axios, Firehouse partner Alex Conant warned, “Democrats racing towards impeachment are at serious risk of leaving behind the voters they need to retake the White House next year.” Although they differ on what Congress’s priority should be (immigration for Republicans, health care for Democrats), the consensus is that it’s time to “focus on policy issues” (59.4 percent of Michigan agrees, followed by 63 percent of Pennsylvania, and 67.2 percent of Wisconsin).

Making matters worse for liberals, Firehouse is just one of the organizations tracking this trend. A slew of polls in the last week all point to the same conclusion:

Democrats are in for a 2016 sequel where moderate states are concerned if they don’t change course — and fast. According to the Hill, Arizona and Florida can be added to that list, along with North Carolina. People there may have been receptive to an investigation of Trump, but this all-out crusade to unseat him on the slimmest of evidence is extreme by anyone’s measure.

“We’ve known for a long time that everybody in California and New York want Trump to be impeached,” said one of the president’s campaign officials. “They’ve wanted that since the day he came into office. But in these states where the election is really going to be fought, we’re seeing that voters oppose impeachment, and there’s an intensity to that opposition.”


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


RELATED ARTICLES:

The FBI Report: More than Meets the Spy

Hill Puts a Bow on Military Funding

Will Democrats Accept the Results of the 2020 Elections?

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Why Capitalism Is Morally Superior to Other Systems

Richard Ebeling, professor of economics at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and my longtime friend and colleague, has written an important article, “Business Ethics and Morality of the Marketplace,” appearing in the American Institute for Economic Research.

Its importance and timeliness is enhanced by so many of America’s youth, led by academic hacks, having fallen prey to the siren song of socialism.

In a key section of his article, Ebeling lays out what he calls the ethical principles of free markets. He says:

The hallmark of a truly free market is that all associations and relationships are based on voluntary agreement and mutual consent. Another way of saying this is that in the free market society, people are morally and legally viewed as sovereign individuals possessing rights to their life, liberty, and honestly acquired property, who may not be coerced into any transaction that they do not consider being to their personal betterment and advantage.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


Ebeling says that the rules of a free market are simple and easy to understand:

You don’t kill, you don’t steal, and you don’t cheat through fraud or misrepresentation. You can only improve your own position by improving the circumstances of others. Your talents, abilities, and efforts must all be focused on one thing: What will others take in trade from you for the revenues you want to earn as the source of your own income and profits?

For many people, profit has become a dirty word and as such has generated slogans such as “people before profits.” Many believe the pursuit of profits is the source of mankind’s troubles.

However, it’s often the absence of profit motivation that’s the true villain.

For example, contrast the number of complaints heard about profit-oriented establishments such as computer stores, supermarkets, and clothing stores to the complaints that one hears about nonprofit establishments such as the U.S. Post Office, the public education system, and departments of motor vehicles.

Computer stores, supermarkets, and clothing stores face competition and must satisfy customers to earn profits and stay in business. Postal workers, public teachers, and departments of motor vehicles employees depend on politicians and coercion to get their pay. They stay in business whether customers are satisfied with their services or not.

In a free market society, income is neither taken nor distributed. Income is earned by serving one’s fellow man.

Say I mow your lawn. When I’m finished, you pay me $50. Then, I go to my grocer and demand, “Give me two pounds of sirloin and a six-pack of beer that my fellow man produced.”

In effect, the grocer asks: “Williams, what did you do to deserve a claim on what your fellow man produced?”

I say, “I served him.” The grocer says, “Prove it.”

That’s when I pull out the $50. We might think of dollars as “certificates of performance,” proof of serving our fellow man.

Free markets are morally superior to other economic systems. To have a claim on what my fellow man produces, I’m forced to serve him.

Contrast that requirement to government handouts, where a politician says to me: “You don’t have to get out in that hot sun to mow your fellow man’s lawn. Vote for me and I’ll take what your fellow man produces and give it to you.”

Ebeling says that those deserving condemnation are those who use government coercion to gain at the expense of others.

There are thousands of such examples: government subsidies at taxpayers’ expense, paying farmers not to grow crops or guaranteeing them a minimum price paid for through tax dollars and higher prices for consumers, regulations that limit entry into various professions and occupations, regulations that limit consumer choice, and corporate handouts and bailouts.

In a word or so, our protest should not be against capitalism. People should protest crony capitalism, where people use the political arena to buy government favors.

If millennials and others want to wage war against government favors and crony capitalism, I’m with them 100%. But I’m all too afraid that anti-capitalists just want their share of the government loot.

COMMENTARY BY

Walter E. Williams is a columnist for The Daily Signal and a professor of economics at George Mason University. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

Native Venezuelan, Now Proud American, Warns of ‘Fruits of Socialism’

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A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


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

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump’s Rally in Hershey, PA on December 10, 2019

President Donald J, Trump held a “Keep America Great Rally” at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019.

The following is the full video of the KAG rally by the Right Side Broadcasting Network (NOTE: President Trump appears at the 6:22 mark):

Students’ Test Scores Unchanged After Decades of Federal Intervention in Education

 

Federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” mandates. Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Smaller learning communities. Improving Teacher Quality State Grants. Reading First. Early Reading First. The dozens of other federal programs authorized via No Child Left Behind. School Improvement Grants. Race to the Top. Common Core.

All of that has been just since 2000. Over those past two decades, while federal policymakers were busy enacting new federal laws, creating mandates for local school leaders, and increasing the Department of Education’s budget from $38 billion in 2000 (unadjusted for inflation) to roughly $70 billion today, the math and reading performance of American high school students remained completely flat. That is to say, stagnant.

The U.S. is now above the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average in reading, but alas, not because U.S. reading performance has improved. Rather, other countries have seen declines in reading achievement, despite increases in education spending.

In mathematics, however, U.S. performance has steadily declined over the past two decades.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


Those are the findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA exams, released last week.

As The New York Times’ Dana Goldstein reported:

About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old, according to Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the exam.

What’s more, the achievement gap between high- and low-performing American students has widened.

The international findings mirror last month’s National Assessment of Educational Progress report, which revealed that math and reading scores across the country have continued a yearslong stagnation, with students largely showing no progress in academic achievement.

Just one-third of students in the fourth and eighth grades reached proficiency in math and reading nationally on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is administered every two years.

As with the Programme for International Student Assessment’s findings that the achievement gap stubbornly persists for American students, the National Assessment of Educational Progress highlighted similar findings within the U.S.

The scores of students who are among the lowest 10% of performers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have dropped significantly since 2009.

The stubborn achievement gap is not new, but the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Programme for International Student Assessment provide additional data points on its persistence.

As Harvard professor Paul Peterson writes in The Heritage Foundation’s new book “The Not-So-Great Society”:

The achievement gap in the United States is as wide today as it was in 1971.

The performances on math, reading, and science tests between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged students differ by approximately four years’ worth of learning, a disparity that has remained essentially unchanged for nearly half a century.

One of the more recent, major pieces of federal intervention sold as a way to improve American standing in education was the Common Core State Standards Initiative promoted during the Obama administration.

Common Core national standards and test, proponents argued, would catapult American students to the top of the math and reading pack. It was time, they argued, for the U.S. to have the same “epiphany” Germany did in the late 1990s, and adopt centrally planned national standards and tests.

Germany now lags the U.S. in reading, according to the new Programme for International Student Assessment data, and is far below Canada, a country that does not have national standards.

Indeed, our neighbor to the north has performed consistently well on the Programme for International Student Assessment since 2000, significantly outpacing the United States, and has neither national standards, nor a federal education department.

Canada’s is a decentralized education system, in which Canada’s 10 provinces set education policy.

The fact that Common Core didn’t catalyze improvements in the U.S. isn’t surprising. Large-scale government programs rarely, if ever, do.

But neither have the myriad federal programs created since No Child Left Behind in 2001, nor have the more than 100 federal K-12 education programs created since President Lyndon Johnson launched his Great Society initiative in 1965 designed, ostensibly, to narrow opportunity gaps between the poor and the affluent.

Heritage’s Jonathan Butcher and I detail Yuval Levin’s theory of government failure in “The Not-So-Great Society.” Levin explains that large-scale government programs fail for three reasons:

  1. “Institutionally, the administrative state is ‘dismally inefficient and unresponsive, and therefore ill-suited to our age of endless choice and variety.’”
  2. “Culturally and morally, government efforts to ‘rescue the citizen from the burdens of responsibility [have] undermined the family, self-reliance, and self-government.’”
  3. “Fiscally, large-scale federal programs supporting the welfare state are simply unaffordable, ‘dependent as it is upon dubious economics and the demographic model of a bygone era.’”

Federal government efforts to improve education have been dismal. Even if there were a constitutional basis for its involvement—which there isn’t—the federal government is simply ill-positioned to determine what education policies will best serve the diverse local communities across our vast nation.

The sooner we can acknowledge that improvements will not come from Washington, the sooner we’re likely to see students flourishing in learning environments that reflect their unique needs and desires.

COMMENTARY BY

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: FL Gov. DeSantis sets plan for high school seniors to take civics exam


 

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