D.C. and Virginia Do NOT Want Federal Shelters for Unaccompanied Alien Children

This is an update of a story I posted here in August where we learned that even the Washington Post was calling out local Leftwing politicians for their hypocrisy!

It is your classic ‘Not-in-my-backyard’ tale.

Washington, D.C. and its wealthy (Democrat-run) bedroom communities of northern Virginia do not want shelters for the mostly teens coming across our borders illegally.

Send them to Arizona and Texas instead!

From the Washington Business Journal:

Trump administration drops plans for Northern Virginia immigrant shelter

The Trump administration has called off its plans to bring a new shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children to Northern Virginia.

Federal officials are “no longer conducting exploratory assessments of vacant properties to lease” in the region, according to an email from spokespeople with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. The agency revealed in August that it was considering a variety of Northern Virginia jurisdictions for a new, 110,000-square-foot facility.

But that move prompted fierce pushback from local leaders…

[….]

The HHS officials did not say why they ultimately declined to pursue a shelter in the region. They added in the email that they’ve also stopped searching for space in Atlanta, Central Florida and Los Angeles, and will likely pursue new facilities in Texas and Arizona instead.

The mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, Justin Wilson, said if the feds send some bucks to the city he might consider discussing it further.

“If the federal government wished to provide the city with the resources to care for these children, in partnership, I would be open to discussing such a scenario,” Wilson wrote. “But as it has been presented to the city at this point, I do not believe this is something the city should be a part of.”

The Trump administration’s plans for a similar immigrant shelter in D.C. are considerably more unsettled.

Separately from the search for space in Northern Virginia, HHS also plans to work with Maryland-based contractor Dynamic Service Solutions to open a new shelter in Takoma. Mayor Muriel Bowser, however, has rolled out new regulations in a bid to block that project, though it remains unclear whether federal officials have a way to sidestep her efforts.

More here.

Trump administration threatens funding for UNC/Duke course promoting Islam

This is long overdue: “The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, claiming that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance ‘ideological priorities’ and unfairly promote ‘the positive aspects of Islam’ but not Christianity or Judaism.”

There are courses of this kind in universities and colleges all over the country, and have been for years without any pushback. None of the academic institutions that promote this Islamic proselytizing should receive any federal funding at all. Universities and colleges from great to insignificant, from Stanford University in California to Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, have long been radioactive wastelands of Leftist indoctrination and Islamic apologetics in an increasingly totalitarian and threatening atmosphere. They need to be cut off. They need to be cut off immediately. They need to be cut off yesterday.

As it happens, I took a UNC/Duke graduate course on Islam back in 1985, when I was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Even that many years ago, the violent aspects of Islamic doctrine were downplayed and whitewashed. There is no doubt whatsoever that in the intervening years, the impulse to absolve Islam of all responsibility for the crimes committed in its name and in accord with its teachings has only intensified.

“Jay Smith, a history professor at UNC and vice president of its chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said that the Education Department official who signed the letter threatening funding, Robert King, “should stay in his lane and allow the experts to determine what constitutes a ‘full understanding’ of the Middle East.”

“Experts.” Yeah. Everyone at this point should be wary of what historian Christopher Dummitt calls “the so-called proof presented by alleged experts.” He notes, in a fascinating article about his own promotion of currently fashionable gender fictions, that his “own flawed reasoning was never called out—and, in fact, only became more ideologically inflected through the process of peer review.” Yes, and that is happening in every academic department.

“DeVos Threatens College Funding Due to Islam Course,” Associated Press, September 20, 2019 (thanks to Henry):

(AP) — The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, claiming that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance “ideological priorities” and unfairly promote “the positive aspects of Islam” but not Christianity or Judaism.

An Aug. 29 letter from the U.S. Education Department orders the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies to revise its offerings by Sept. 22 or risk losing funding from a federal grant that’s awarded to dozens of universities to support foreign language instruction. The consortium received $235,000 from the grant last year, according to Education Department data.

A statement from the UNC-Chapel Hill said the consortium “deeply values its partnership with the Department of Education” and is “committed to working with the department to provide more information about its programs.” Officials at Duke declined to comment. The Education Department declined to say whether it’s examining similar programs at other schools.

Academic freedom advocates say the government could be setting a dangerous precedent if it injects politics into funding decisions. Some said they had never heard of the Education Department asserting control over such minute details of a program’s offerings.

“Is the government now going to judge funding programs based on the opinions of instructors or the approach of each course?” asked Henry Reichman, chairman of a committee on academic freedom for the American Association of University Professors.

“The odor of right-wing political correctness that comes through this definitely could have a chilling effect.”

More than a dozen universities receive National Resource Center grants for their Middle East programs, including Columbia, Georgetown, Yale and the University of Texas. The Duke-UNC consortium was founded in 2005 and first received the grant nearly a decade ago.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ordered an investigation of the program in June after North Carolina Rep. George Holding, a Republican, complained that it hosted a taxpayer-funded conference with “severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

The conference, titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities,” included a rapper who performed a “brazenly anti-Semitic song,” Holding said in an April 15 letter….

In the UNC-Duke case, the department’s findings did not directly address any bias against Israel, but evaluated whether the consortium’s proposed activities met the goals of the National Resource Center program, which was created in 1965 to support language and culture initiatives that prepare students for careers in diplomacy and national security.

Investigators concluded that the consortium intended to use federal money on offerings that are “plainly unqualified for taxpayer support,” and that foreign language and national security instruction have “taken a back seat to other priorities.” The department cited several courses, conferences and academic papers that it said have “little or no relevance” to the grant’s goals.

“Although a conference focused on ‘Love and Desire in Modern Iran’ and one focused on Middle East film criticism may be relevant in academia, we do not see how these activities support the development of foreign language and international expertise for the benefit of U.S. national security and economic stability,” the letter said.

Investigators also saw a disconnect between the grant’s mission and some academic papers by scholars at the consortium. They objected to one paper titled “Performance, Gender-Bending and Subversion in the Early Modern Ottoman Intellectual History,” and another titled “Radical Love: Teachings from Islamic Mystical Tradition.”

The letter accused the consortium of failing to provide a “balance of perspectives” on religion. It said there is “a considerable emphasis” placed on “understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East.”

It added that there are few offerings on discrimination faced by religious minorities in the Middle East, “including Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Yadizis, Kurds, Druze and others.” Department officials said the grant’s rules require programs to provide a “full understanding” of the regions they study.

Jay Smith, a history professor at UNC and vice president of its chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said the letter amounts to “ideologically driven harassment.”

He said the Education Department official who signed the letter, Robert King, “should stay in his lane and allow the experts to determine what constitutes a ‘full understanding’ of the Middle East.”…

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

California: America’s First Third World State by Black Pigeon Speaks [Video]

Posted by Eeyore video by Black Pigeon Speaks

VIDEO: Who are the real racists?

When Kiara appeared in this 2014 video, she was a 30-year-old mother of four in Baltimore. An exceptionally attractive, well-spoken and intelligent young woman obviously capable of making a success of herself, Kiara, now 35, has been on welfare since she was 18.

When asked in the video if she felt bad about not working, she replied, “I don’t need to look for a job because I get a check from the government every month.”

Watch the video, and if you’re angry at her attitude, don’t be angry at Kiara. She’s merely another in the long line of inner city residents who have been lured into welfare addiction by the party of government dependency.

Who are the real racists? Democrats.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Bill Whittle – Racism – Democrats and Republicans switch sides?

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Obama USDA suggested holding food stamp parties to increase participation

To expand food stamp rolls in rural areas, the Obama USDA ran ads that denigrated and discouraged self-sufficiency

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CNN Climate Townhall: Cements the Re-election of Donald J. Trump and insures Republican Majorities in U.S. House and Senate

CNN has done a great service to America. I know, you’re asking yourself why did I write this?

CNN hosted a seven hour townhall with key Democratic primary candidates for president. The topic was climate change. During the CNN Climate Townhall each Democrat put forth policies that would make any American citizen cringe. It seems that Democrats just can’t help themselves. Let’s look at some of the highlights.

Highlights of CNN’s Climate Townhall

Here are some key statements made by Democrats who participated in the Climate Townhall:

  • Socialist presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders says if he’s elected, he wants American taxpayers to pay for abortions in poor countries around the world to limit population growth. Why? Because Sanders claims mass abortions will limit climate change. (Source: BizPac Review)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders tell his town hall audience, his sweeping Green New Deal is a logical and practical response to climate change. But Sanders’ description of how he plans to raise the money to fund his plan — an estimated $16 trillion over the course of a decade — shows he is planning to profoundly transform American society. (Source: CNN)
  • As for the people in the oil and gas business who would lose their jobs, Sanders says he would provide 5 years of income as well as education for displaced workers. (Source: CNN)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren embraced flawed policy priorities during the CNN town hall, rejecting nuclear energy and calling for expensive, job-killing carbon mandates and $3 trillion in new taxpayer spending. Her proposal to ban offshore oil drilling would hike gas prices and the cost of household goods, hurting middle-class families. (Source: CNN)
  • Andrew Yang supports ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. He wants everyone to love driving electric cars, as opposed to “gas guzzlers” and “clunkers.” Andrew Yang said, “This is not a country where you take someone’s clunker away from them. But you are going to offer to buy the clunker back and help them upgrade.” (Source: CNN)
  • Julian Castro highlighted an ambitious plan aiming to get the United States to net-zero by 2045, meaning all coal-generated electricity will be phased out and replaced by zero-emission sources. And while Castro focused on taxing “corporate polluters,” he could not name one of the culprits when asked. (Source: CNN)
  • Senator Kamala Harris, “If Republicans continue to block progress, I’ll get rid of the filibuster to pass a Green New Deal.” (Source: CNN/Twitter)
  • Joe Biden, “I will bring the world together — and that’s what we need to address climate change.”
  • Amy Klobuchar, “[T]alked about the importance of environmental justice for communities of color living on the front lines of pollution; she touted plans for moving money from polluters’ pockets into programs that can lift these communities up with a price on carbon.” (Source: CNN)
  • Julian Castro, “more people are protected by national flood insurance” by subsidizing it. That would be a mistake. Flood insurance encourages people to live in flood zones that should never have been populated in the first place, and are now more vulnerable than ever. It’s sad, but the reality is that climate adaptation will necessarily involve relocating some Americans out of high-risk flood zones. (Source: CNN)
  • Beto O’Rourke promised that he would re-enter the Paris agreement on “day-one” of his presidency. The Texas Democrat announced his climate plan in April, which will cost $5 trillion over 10 years to build out renewable energy and infrastructure, among a host of other pet projects. (Source: The Daily Caller)
  • Pete Buttigieg, Industrial America — including South Bend and the Studebaker cars we once produced — was built on oil and gas. But just as my community has moved forward, so must our country. So we’ll launch a 21st-century Industrial Revolution, investing in mass transit, transitioning to electric vehicles, and making buildings and homes more energy efficient. And with scientists indicating our soil can absorb as much carbon as the global transportation system emits, we’ll put American farmers at the center of our climate revolution. Too often, rural America has been told they’re the problem, not invited to be part of the solution. Through investments in soil management and other technologies, we can make a farm in Iowa as much a symbol of confronting climate disruption as an electric vehicle in California. ( Source: CNN Op-ed)
  • Democrats concur that rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement is important. (Source: CNN)

How CNN became the Committee to Re-elect Donald J. Trump

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords, which every Democrat wants to rejoin. There is a reason for this. The reason is that the Paris Climate Accord punishes America and the American worker and rewards China, the worlds largest polluter.

I have learned three things about the climate:

  1. The climate changes.
  2. These changes in the climate follow natural cycles (e.g. summer, fall, winter, spring)
  3. There is nothing mankind can do to change these natural cycles. Nothing.

The policies put forth during the CNN Climate Crisis townhall are not only inhuman but will certainly lead to greater centralized government control of all aspects of our lives. The goal is to achieve the fantasy of “environmental justice.” At whose expense exactly?

You guessed it, America’s working class.

© All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Fox & Friends hosted Marc Morano on the CNN Climate Crisis town hall.

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The Destruction of the American Medical Industry

“If the government controls your health care, the government controls you. Obamacare was never about health care. It was about government power, dependency, and control.”  – Monica Crowley, Asst. Sec. for Public Affairs for U.S. Treasury Dept.

“Obamacare, without a single Republican vote, cut $700 billion out of Medicare.” – Congressman Louie Gohmert

“Unfortunately, the health care bill commonly referred to as Obamacare is making it more difficult for employers to provide insurance to their employees. It limits individuals’ ability to pick their own doctors and, over time, decreases the quality of care we provide in this country.” –  Congressman Jeff Duncan


Thirty years ago, employer-supplied healthcare deductibles were $250.00 per person before going to an 80/20 payout and then shortly to 100% coverage by insurance.  This was pretty standard across the country.

Today, because of Obamacare, my family, like so many others are hit with thousands in deductibles before insurance covers 80 percent.  This is what Obamacare has done to middle-class Americans who receive their insurance from their employers.  Kaiser Family Foundation claims that over 156 million Americans are insured via employers.  It is breaking middle-class families which is exactly what it was designed to do.

When Obamacare came on the scene in 2010, things radically changed for patients as well as physicians.  The government required paperwork for each patient is astronomical and must be done only by the physician.  Many physicians have taken early retirement.  The changes in our healthcare have been destructive and often deadly.  One of the meat cutters at our local upscale market could no longer afford his blood pressure medication on their new employee healthcare.  Three months later he died of a stroke.

That’s not all, the yearly physicals which used to give women both pap smears and breast checks, along with EKGs and full physicals have disappeared and now the latest is the elimination of labs in the physicians’ offices.  Outside labs are hired for blood and urinalysis and there is no opportunity to sit down with the doctor 20 minutes later to review the results.  Results come via snail mail.

Worse yet, hospitals can no longer carry all the drugs patients use when in hospital.  I would urge everyone to carry their regular drugs with them.  Twice in the last five years the nursing staff has failed to give me the proper medications and told me I could not take my own.  Bring your own anyway and keep them close to your bedside as many of the “substitutes” are not equal to what you normally take.

Getting rid of folks who know what this country was built on, who know the Constitution, who received excellent educations, and who are patriotic Americans is exactly what Obamacare is designed to do.  Basically, the transnationalists (globalists on steroids) want us eliminated.  Remember when Obama said, “Just take a pill.”

The Opioid “Crisis”

The government tells us that 1.7 million Americans are addicted to opioids, but what they don’t tell you is that marijuana, heroin, cocaine and meth amphetamines are included in the overall list and those drugs are illegal in most states.  That is .0485 percent of the American public.  So, what is the real number of opioid addictions from prescribed drugs?  We don’t know, but what we do know is people who have gone through surgeries like knee, hip, or shoulder replacements need these drugs and because of the “crisis,” people who will never become addicted are being deprived of temporary use of drugs that will help them through the first few days or weeks of pain. Here is the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 national drug threat assessment.

Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States, while Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion’s (CJNG) domestic presence has significantly expanded in the past few years via illegal aliens. Although 2017 drug-related murders in Mexico surpassed previous levels of violence, U.S.-based Mexican TCO members generally refrain from extending inter-cartel conflicts domestically.

The real cause of drug use?  Our elites were incentivized to deindustrialize the upper Midwest.  It’s the reason Donald Trump is President.  J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy says the opioid crisis is directly correlated to the Midwest and upper Midwest loss of factories and jobs that went to China.  Human dignity and self-worth were lost when the ability to support your family was removed.  Wall Street and the Corporations benefited from it via lower costs, but America’s people suffered.  Prior to China joining the World Trade Organization and receiving “most favored nation,” our growth every year was 3.5 percent.  Once China came on the scene our growth dropped to 1.9 percent.  Trump is changing this…and we must stand with him

Chicago Communist Quentin Young

I’d bet few have heard of Dr. Quentin Young… a longtime friend and neighbor of Obama in Chicago and the primary figure who delivered Obama to the single-payer camp.  Young joined the Young Communist League as a teenager in the late 1930s.

From the mid-1940s through the mid-1970s, he was closely associated with the Communist Party. In October 1968 he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was probing the extent of his knowledge about the riots that had erupted at the Democratic National Convention.

Fires raged throughout the city during the Democratic National Convention which spawned an historic collision of politicians, protestors and police in the streets of Chicago.

The Committee accused Young of belonging to the Bethune Club, an organization for communist doctors; the group was named after Norman Bethune, a communist physician who devoted his services to the totalitarian regime of Mao Zedong.

Young founded the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), which initially aimed to secure medical care for civil-rights workers in the South, and later promoted “single-payer,” government-run healthcare. Through MCHR, Young in the ’60s helped establish neighborhood health clinics for the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords, a socialist organization of Puerto Rican nationalists. His MCHR provided emergency medical care to injured protesters and rioters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (including the infamous Chicago Seven, who were charged by the government with inciting to riot).

Dr. Young also was Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal physician.  King was assassinated in April of 1968.

In 1982 Young helped establish the Democratic Socialists of America, (DSA) now the largest socialist group in America, which, as the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, asserts that “many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed.”  The DSA scored a huge number of wins in the 2018 mid-term election, including The Squad.

From 1970 until at least 1992, Young was affiliated with the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (CCDBR), which was founded in 1960 as a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) front group that sought to outlaw government surveillance of radical organizations. CCDBR later became heavily influenced by the Democratic Socialists of America and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

In the early 1980s Young was a leading ally of Chicago Democratic Mayor Harold Washington, who appointed him as president of the Chicago Board of Health. Also during this period, Young served on the board of directors of the ACLU‘s Illinois branch.  In 1983 he sat on the national advisory board of the All-People’s Congress, a group heavily influenced by the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party.

In 1995 Young attended the now-famous meeting at the Chicago home of former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn where Barack Obama was first introduced to influential locals as the preferred successor to Illinois state senator Alice Palmer, a pro-Soviet radical who was planning to vacate her state senate seat. Young quickly became a friend and political ally of Obama, teaching the latter about the merits of single-payer healthcare. He also served as Obama’s personal physician for more than two decades.

Shortly after what he called Barack Obama’s “remarkable and historic victory” in the presidential election of 2008, Young wrote in the CPUSA magazine Political Affairs: “The only effective cure for our health-care woes is to establish a single, publicly financed system, one that removes the inefficient, wasteful, for-profit private health insurance industry from the picture.”

In 1970, Chicago radical activist Mike Soto gave testimony before the “Subcommittee to investigate the administration of the internal security Act…” in the aftermath of Students for a Democratic Society/Weathermen inspired student rioting in Chicago.  When questioned about fellow activist Bernardine Dohrn, Soto said “I have talked to her and she is a violent maniac, because when I talked to her, she said ‘let’s pick up arms, let’s blow up this country apart until we take over.’”

Conclusion

In 1938, Dr. Quentin Young was elected to the national executive committee of the American Student Union (ASU), an organization established by a merger between the Communist Party-sponsored National Student League and its Socialist Party counterpart, the Student League for Industrial Democracy.  After attending Northwestern University Medical School from 1944-47, Young fulfilled his internship and residency requirements at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

Young was Obama’s longtime friend/doctor/mentor and political supporter. As stated above, he was present at the launching of Obama’s political career in the Hyde Park Chicago home of former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, also patients of Young’s.

Quentin Young has explicitly stated that he influenced Obama towards “single payer,” socialized healthcare.  Obama did not conceive of socialized medicine on his own. His acceptance of such a system was cultivated and nurtured by the same types of Marxist revolutionaries with whom he has surrounded himself throughout his entire adult life – and who shaped the major policy agendas of his administration.

Those who wish to permanently change America into a third world socialist country are now working to destroy the very President who stands against it.  We must support him, even when we disagree with something he does.  Our lives literally depend upon doing just that.

P.S. Although not part of this article, I must ask every reader to help us stay alive and well on NewsWithViews.  We are a website who has been blackballed and censored time and again.  Even during the campaign in 2016, our readers would see virus warnings when they opened our articles…warnings that were false, non-existent, but were put there to keep people from reading the truth.  This is a constant fight for truth, for freedom to express that truth.  We need your help, we need funding, constantly because the costs continue to rise for us to fight against the censorship.  Please remember us in your monthly contributions, and tell others to sign up to receive daily articles.  You can donate here.

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Medicare for Bernie

I Was a Physician at a Federally Qualified Health Center. Here’s Why I No Longer Believe Government Health Care Can Work

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

Medicare for Bernie

Preview

  • ​Bernie Sanders is strongly promoting “Medicare for All,” and claims to be its father (“I wrote the damn bill,” he proclaimed to the nation during the second round of Democratic Presidential debates).
  • His plan does not look like Medicare at all. It appears that he hardly knows anything about Medicare. He probably has no experience with it. Despite his advanced age, he does not need to depend on it.
  • If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?

Bernie Sanders is strongly promoting “Medicare for All,” and claims to be its father (“I wrote the damn bill,” he proclaimed to the nation during the second round of Democratic Presidential debates).

His plan does not look like Medicare at all. It appears that he hardly knows anything about Medicare. He probably has no experience with it. Despite his advanced age, he does not need to depend on it. Members of Congress are allowed to receive Medicare benefits, but unlike most other Americans, they can receive other benefits in addition.

Sitting members of Congress can get routine examinations and consultations from the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. And military treatment facilities in the Washington area offer free emergency medical and dental care for outpatient services.

Members are also eligible for the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program, and they won’t be kicked off as soon as they reach Medicare age. They do have to go through an ObamaCare exchange, but it is a small one, the DC Health Link, which reportedly functions well. There are 57 gold-tier plans to choose from, not one or two as in many states. Their portion of the premiums could be as little as 25 percent of the total premiums. Apparently, subsidies for senators don’t run out just because their salary exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Funding for Medicare for All will apparently be vacuumed up from all other sources of payment for “healthcare,” and will go into the big collective pot. Then people can get everything without premiums, copays, or deductibles—so they say. This is not at all like Medicare.

Medicare Part A, for hospital care, is funded through the Medicare payroll tax: a 2.9% first-dollar tax—no deductions–on all employment income, half of which is paid by the employer. Seniors believe that they have been funding this through their working years, as they are constantly told. They have indeed paid, but their taxes were immediately used to pay for the care of older retirees. So, their hospital bill today will be paid from the wages of about 2.5 workers (say the persons pumping their gas, collecting their trash, and repairing their plumbing). Already that is not enough, so the IOUs in the “trust fund” are being redeemed from general tax revenues. That fund will soon be gone, according to the Medicare trustees, as Baby Boomers are flooding into the system. It would vanish in a nanosecond if we loaded in everybody, with or without illegal immigrants.

Medicare has long been implementing ways to curb runaway expenditures. From the mid 1980s comes the Prospective Payment System, or Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), under which payment has nothing to do with services rendered to a particular patient. According to my 1985 “Ode to DRG Creep”:

“Now the pay’s by the head, if alive or if dead,

Diagnosis determines the money,…

We need costs less than average, and discharges quicker

We will get no advantage — For care of the sicker.”

Since “quicker and sicker” discharges might cause a need for readmission, the government penalizes hospitals for readmission. One way to prevent readmission is to discharge to hospice or directly to the morgue. If Bernie were an anonymous Medicare patient, he’d get a consultation on POLST. That’s Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, which translates in the Newspeak Dictionary to “Legally Enforceable Orders to Terminate Life-Sustaining Treatment Including Food and Water.”

Bernie might think he had been admitted—say he had an IV in a hospital room. But if he gets discharged before his second midnight, he might be classified as an outpatient, which is covered under Medicare Part B, and get a “surprise” bill for thousands of dollars, because of the “Two-Midnight Rule.”

Or Bernie might expect to have a little rehab after an orthopedic procedure, but if he is in hospital for fewer than three midnights, rehab isn’t covered. He might have the choice of paying out of pocket, or going home where he will be alone, unable to get out of bed.

Yes, Bernie on Medicare will have free choice of doctors—except for the ones who aren’t accepting Medicare patients.

If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?

Maybe he means the Canadian medicare system. It does have a way out for non-senators—called the United States.

The UN’s Dangerous Sustainability Conference

The United Nations will meet to discuss its dangerous “sustainability” agenda at a conference next week in Salt Lake City.

CFACT will be there!

UN bureaucrats, urban planners, and left-wing activists find our individual freedoms and prosperity unsustainable.  They want us to give up thinking and choosing for ourselves, and move away from such bourgeois conventions as cars, air conditioning, refrigeration and single family housing.

CFACT senior policy analyst Bonner Cohen posted details to CFACT.org:

The forces behind the push toward sustainable cities and communities need to be taken seriously. A new generation of urban planners has come to the fore, and what these people have in mind for the rest of us is truly frightening… 

At the vanguard of efforts to transform our cities into green Utopias are activists whom Christopher F. Rufo has labeled “the new left urbanists.” Their goal is to achieve social justice on a scale that is both local and grand by completely rebuilding the urban environment, including housing, transportation, roads, and tolls.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal (Aug. 22), Rufo points out that these activists, many of whom are urban planners on the taxpayer payroll in municipalities across the country, rally around such slogans as “ban all cars,” “raise the suburbs,” and “single-family housing is white supremacy,” even though the activists themselves are predominantly white and affluent.

“Sustainability” sounds nice, but in the hands of the Left means “control.”

Anyone with a basic grasp on economics knows that we need the growth and prosperity that flows from freedom if we want to sustain both people and the planet.

The UN “sustainability” agenda would take us on the road to privation, danger and decline.

This is not the first “sustainability” conference for CFACT.  Many of our friends and supporters will remember past encounters at these conferences and our ongoing coverage of this important issue.

CFACT is headed to Salt Lake to expose this dangerous agenda and sound the wake up call.

RELATED VIDEO: United Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake – The New American Video.

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

Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Florida, NJ public schools: Islam glorified, Christianity vilified, U.S. bashed

There is nothing wrong with students learning about Islam in school, if what they’re taught is accurate. But it isn’t. Because of the overpowering influence of the multiculturalist ethos and fears of charges of “Islamophobia” and “racism,” public school materials on Islam and other religions are for the most part heavily biased, with scarcely a critical word about Islam, Muhammad depicted as a cross between Gandhi and Sheriff Andy Taylor, no mention of jihad or dhimmitude, and harsh criticism of Christianity.

TMLC Uncovers Tax-Payer Funded Islamic Propaganda Forced On Teachers,” Thomas More Law Center, August 22, 2019 (thanks to R.):

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has uncovered evidence of a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign aimed at teachers in school systems throughout Michigan and several other states.

Concerned about a two-day mandatory teacher-training seminar on Islam conducted by a Muslim consultant hired by Michigan’s Novi Community Schools District, TMLC filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the workshop.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented on the results of their investigation, “We found that the teachers were subjected to two days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed—all funded by Novi taxpayers.”

Moreover, during the past five years the school district has presented no teacher-training seminars focusing on Christianity, Judaism or any other religion – only Islam.

The hired Muslim consultant was Huda Essa, a resident of the Dearborn area and of Arab descent. She appeared before the Novi teachers in a hijab, the Muslim headscarf, billing herself as an expert in “cultural competency” and “culturally responsive teaching.”

Most disappointing was the fact that of the more than 400 teachers attending the workshop, not one teacher challenged Essa’s denigration of Christianity or attacks on America.

TMLC inspected dozens of internal school documents, including audio recordings of Essa’s presentation.

The information on Islam she provided to Novi teachers was riddled with falsehoods and errors of omission that were clearly meant to deceive.

Essa provided no truthful information on Sharia law and jihad, two of the most important aspects of Islam. All references to terrorism were dismissed as having nothing to do with Islam. White Christian males, she suggested, are more dangerous than Islamic radicals.

Essa is the face behind Culture Links LLC, a Michigan-based consultancy. She describes herself on the Culture Links website as an advocate of social justice who encourages children to “take pride in their many identities.”

But, as TMLC discovered from the Novi documents, the one identity Essa does not celebrate is that of patriotic Americans who believe in our nation’s exceptionalism.

And her message extends far beyond Novi.

Essa’s client list reveals she has been spreading her “trash America first” philosophy to colleges, universities, schools and professional educator associations throughout Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Florida and beyond. In Michigan alone her website lists nine school districts as clients – Oakland County Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools, Farmington Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, Birmingham Public Schools and Melvindale Public Schools.

Under the banner of promoting diversity, inclusion and a multicultural approach to education, Essa sets about comparing Islam to Christianity, calling them “mostly similar.” The one big difference, she claims, is that Islam is the world’s “only purely monotheistic religion.”

Islam’s holy book, the Koran, came straight from Allah to the prophet Muhammad and, unlike the Jewish and Christian scriptures, has never been altered or changed, she told the Novi teachers. Significantly, the Koran commands Muslims to “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)

Her message was clear: The Koran is superior to the Bible. But she did not address the fact that it calls for the extermination of Christian and Jews.

While quick to indict America as guilty of “cultural genocide,” Essa was silent on the 1400 years of actual genocides, also known as jihads, in which Muslims wiped out Jewish tribes on the Arabian Peninsula, and slaughtered millions of Christians throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the European Continent. Referring to Islam, Winston Churchill wrote, “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

Novi’s Islamic teacher-training is just the latest example of professional Islamic indoctrinators infiltrating U.S. public schools even as Christianity has been forced out of the classroom.

“This type of infiltration amounts to an Islamic Trojan horse within our public-school systems,” Thompson said. “No other religion gets this kind of special treatment in our schools.”

Only action by patriotic American parents will put a stop to the indoctrination of teachers and students. They must attend school board meetings and call their board’s attention to the existence of unconstitutional Islamic propaganda whenever they find evidence of it in their children’s schools. And when their board is unresponsive, they must be willing to take legal action to stop it whenever the law permits.

TMLC has several active cases involving public schools bending over backwards to promote Islam while trashing Christianity.

In New Jersey, seventh-grade students at Chatham Middle School were taught “Islam is the true faith,” required to learn the Shahada, or Muslim creed, and forced to watch videos that sought to convert them.

TMLC is representing another student at La Plata High School in Maryland, where pupils in world-history classes were taught that “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian” and “Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”

Jihad, meanwhile, was introduced to La Plata students as a “personal” spiritual struggle, having nothing to do with using violence to spread the faith. And, like in New Jersey, the Maryland students were forced to learn the Five Pillars of Islam and memorize the Shahada.

A SERIES OF DECEPTIONS

Essa spent a great deal of time in her Novi presentation talking about Muslim women, whom she described as victims of Islamophobia on the part of bigoted Americans.

She said her own mother’s decision to wear the hijab was met with “rage” from random Americans. Other hijab-wearing Muslim women have been spat upon, had hot liquids poured on them, been beaten and even killed because they wear the hijab, Essa said, without giving details of when or where these atrocities supposedly occurred.

Essa presented no statistics on hate crimes to back up her claims. FBI crime stats show that anti-Muslim attacks are relatively rare in America and actually fell by 17 percent in 2017. Anti-Jewish hate crimes that year out-numbered anti-Muslim offenses by nearly four to one.

Globally, Christians are the most persecuted of all religious groups, according to the watchdog Open Doors. Of the top-ten most dangerous countries to be a Christian, all but two of them are Muslim-majority nations, according to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.

But Essa’s attempts to con Novi teachers into accepting her anti-American, pro-Islamic worldview didn’t stop with the idea that Muslims are the most persecuted and victimized people.

She said any poor treatment of women in Islamic countries should be attributed to “cultural” differences, not the religion of Islam.

She failed to mention that Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, is reported to have said that the majority of hell would be populated by women (hadith by Sahih Bukhari Vol. 1:28, 301, Vol. 2:161, Vol. 7:124-126). Also absent from her presentation was the Koranic instruction for husbands to beat a disobedient wife (Sura 4:34).

Exercising the art of deception, Essa said Muslims love Jesus and refer to him as “messiah.”

But the word “messiah” has a different meaning for Muslims than for Christians. When Christians speak of Jesus their Messiah, they are referring to God’s “anointed One,” who has the power to forgive sin and grant salvation.

Muslims confer no such divine authority to their Jesus. Under Islam Jesus was only a man, a lower prophet under Muhammad, not the Son of God, and he did not die on a cross or rise from the dead as documented in the gospels.

Essa hammered Novi teachers with the Islamic teaching that the Jewish and Christian scriptures are not to be trusted. Although once pure, they were gradually “corrupted” by unscrupulous men. Only the Koran contains the final, “pure” words of God, she said.

Essa also schooled teachers in the proper use of the phrase “Allahu Akbar!” or “Allah is greatest!” While this is widely known as battle-cry of Muslim terrorists, Essa said it’s really just a refrain that Muslims use to convey feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, or thankfulness while praising Allah.

Essa said the word “Islam” is an offshoot of the Arabic term “Salaam,” which means peace. This is a common ploy used by Muslim apologists to deceive uninformed Westerners.

“Islam” is more accurately translated as “submission” and good Muslims know they must submit to Allah and his Sharia (Islamic law), above all other systems of law.

Essa noted Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion without mentioning that Muslims are forbidden from leaving the faith. Considered apostates, those leaving the faith are subject to severe punishment, up to and including death. And forced conversions have been a well-documented fact of history.

The Middle East and North Africa, once overwhelmingly Christian, were Islamized by a series of jihads starting with Muhammad, his successor caliphs and later by the Ottoman Turks.

She completely ignored the jihadi terrorist attacks conducted on U.S. soil: The 9/11 attack that murdered nearly 3,000 people, the Fort Hood massacre of 12 U.S. soldiers, the Pulse Nightclub attack that killed 49 Americans in Orlando, the San Bernardino attack that killed 14 at a Christmas party, the Chattanooga shooting that killed five at a Navy recruitment and reserve center, the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and left hundreds wounded, and the Chelsea, New York, pipe-bombing that injured 30 innocent Americans. Not to mention the countless terror attacks that have been foiled by the FBI.

Here are some other facts uncovered by TMLC’s Freedom of Information Act requests:

  • Novi school district has no guidelines for the selection of presenters for teacher-training events.
  • The school district did not fully vet Huda Essa before selecting her as a presenter and providing her with data about the school district and its students.
  • Essa was given access to data from student and teacher surveys.
  • The school district said it had no records that would indicate it ever conducted a factual analysis of Essa’s presentation.
  • The school district signed a contract on August 2, 2017, agreeing to pay Essa $5,000 for her two-day seminar on August 28 and 29, 2017.

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

Are Your Tax Dollars Being Spent on Islamic Indoctrination in Schools?

It sure looks like it, according to a press announcement on their investigative reporting from the Thomas More Law Center yesterday entitled,

TMLC Uncovers Tax-Payer Funded Islamic Propaganda Forced On Teachers

A SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has uncovered evidence of a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign aimed at teachers in school systems throughout Michigan and several other states.

Concerned about a two-day mandatory teacher-training seminar on Islam conducted by a Muslim consultant hired by Michigan’s Novi Community Schools District, TMLC filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the workshop.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented on the results of their investigation, “We found that the teachers were subjected to two days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed—all funded by Novi taxpayers.”

Moreover, during the past five years the school district has presented no teacher-training seminars focusing on Christianity, Judaism or any other religion – only Islam.

The hired Muslim consultant was Huda Essa, a resident of the Dearborn area and of Arab descent.

She appeared before the Novi teachers in a hijab, the Muslim headscarf, billing herself as an expert in “cultural competency” and “culturally responsive teaching.”

Most disappointing was the fact that of the more than 400 teachers attending the workshop, not one teacher challenged Essa’s denigration of Christianity or attacks on America.

TMLC inspected dozens of internal school documents, including audio recordings of Essa’s presentation.

The information on Islam she provided to Novi teachers was riddled with falsehoods and errors of omission that were clearly meant to deceive.

[….]

And her message extends far beyond Novi.

Essa’s client list reveals she has been spreading her “trash America first” philosophy to colleges, universities, schools and professional educator associations throughout Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Florida and beyond. In Michigan alone her website lists nine school districts as clients – Oakland County Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools, Farmington Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, Birmingham Public Schools and Melvindale Public Schools.

[….]

Novi’s Islamic teacher-training is just the latest example of professional Islamic indoctrinators infiltrating U.S. public schools even as Christianity has been forced out of the classroom.

“This type of infiltration amounts to an Islamic Trojan horse within our public-school systems,” Thompson said. “No other religion gets this kind of special treatment in our schools.”

Much more here.

Looking for something to do, see if your school district has employed Muslim consultants to ‘train’ your teachers.  Maybe the TMLC would like to hear about it.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ethnic Studies Latest Ploy to Brainwash Kids

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Large Numbers of Prison Inmates are Muslims Costing Taxpayers Millions

I’m glad to see that someone has done a deep dive into the issue of the costs of incarcerating Muslims, many of whom are immigrants we have welcomed to America.

Of course, although some of the Muslim prisoners being counted are American Muslims and converts to Islam, we can still see that incarceration rates for this segment of the population is on a percentage basis extremely high.

Every time I see one of those gushing reports about how new immigrants to America are causing the economy to boom, I know that the pro-open borders bias of the researchers has kept them from reporting the costs of law enforcement, trials, and incarceration of some of those ‘new Americans.’

I wonder what the cost will be of the investigation and ultimate prison term of the alleged Somali refugee terrorists in my previous post?

Here is Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage earlier this month,

IN 5 STATES, 1 IN 5 PRISONERS ARE MUSLIM

At 1%, Muslims are still a small percentage of the population. But there’s one place in America where they are vastly over-represented.

State prisons.

Take Maryland, which has an estimated 70,000 Muslims, making up over 1% of the population. But of Maryland’s 18,562 prisoners, 5,084 were Muslims.

That’s 27.4% or over 1 in 4 prisoners.

It would also mean that 1 out of 13 Muslims in Maryland may have been in a state prison.

Those are startling numbers, yet they come from Muslim Advocates, an Islamist legal advocacy group. Both MA’s numbers and the number of Muslims in different states may be miscounted, yet these figures raise serious questions about public safety and the toll that immigration is taking on our communities.

While Maryland’s numbers are some of the worst, MA lists similar figures for Washington D.C. where out of 5,219 prisoners, 1,232 were Muslims, so that once again 1 in 4 prisoners were Muslim.

D.C. does have one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, numbering between 2 and 3 percent. Even taking the highest estimate, 6.5% of the Muslim population in D.C. was in jail in 2017.

Muslims make up 1% of the population in Pennsylvania, but 1 in 5 of its prisoners.

[….]

In 5 states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, Muslims make up 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 5 prisoners.

In another 4 states, Wisconsin, Missouri, Delaware, and Arkansas, they make up 1 in 10 prisoners.

[….]

Overrepresentation may be partially a product of the success of Islamic Dawah or missionary activity in prisons. Islamic prison Dawah has produced many converts and at least some terror plots. And it may serve to explain high Muslim prison numbers in some states, but not necessarily in others.

[….]

The MA report also claims that 12% of federal prisoners are Muslims. (CAIR in the past had claimed that it was only 6%.) The current federal BOP population is 177,619. That would mean over 21,000 prisoners.

And over 105,000 Muslims are prisoners in state and federal prisons.

[….]

Using Pew’s growth estimate, which projects that the Muslim settler population will reach 8.1 million by 2050 (a severe underestimation of actual growth), that would mean a quarter million Muslim prisoners.

This is not just an abstract statistic. It’s a compilation of human misery, lives lost, futures taken, a litany of abuse, loss, assault, and the accompanying taxpayer expenditures on trials, prisons and free lawyers.

The current cost of incarcerating Muslim federal prisoners is taking $670 million a year from taxpayers.

By 2050, the cost could climb to over $1.5 billion.

Continue here for much more data-crunching information.

RELATED ARTICLE: Update on the Arizona Somali Refugees Arrested for Supporting ISIS

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

President Donald J. Trump is Ensuring Non-Citizens Do Not Abuse Our Nation’s Public Benefits

PROTECTING PUBLIC RESOURCES: The Trump Administration is taking action to help ensure that non-citizens in this country are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources.  

  • The Trump Administration is releasing a final rule that will protect American taxpayers, preserve our social safety net for vulnerable Americans, and uphold the rule of law.
  • This action will help ensure that if aliens want to enter or remain in the United States they must support themselves, and not rely on public benefits.
  • An alien who receives public benefits above a certain threshold is known as a “public charge.”
    • Aliens will be barred from entering the United States if they are found likely to become public charges.
    • Aliens in the United States who are found likely to become public charges will also be barred from adjusting their immigration status.
  • President Trump is enforcing this longstanding law to prevent aliens from depending on public benefit programs.
    • The Immigration and Nationality Act makes clear that those seeking to come to the United States cannot be a public charge.
  • For many years, this clear legal requirement went largely unenforced, imposing vast burdens on American taxpayers. Now, public charge law will finally be utilized.

ENCOURAGING SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Self-sufficiency has long been a basic principle of our Nation’s immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support.

  • Public charge has been a part of United States immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility.
  • Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed two bipartisan bills in 1996 to help stop aliens from exploiting public benefits.
    • This included the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
    • As Congress made clear at the time, it is our national policy that aliens should “not depend on public resources to meet their needs.”
  • Americans widely agree that individuals coming to our country should be self-sufficient, with 73 percent in favor of requiring immigrants to be able to support themselves financially.

PRESERVING THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET: We must ensure that non-citizens do not abuse our public benefit programs and jeopardize the social safety net needed by vulnerable Americans. 

  • Large numbers of non-citizens and their families have taken advantage of our generous public benefits, limited resources that could otherwise go to vulnerable Americans.
  • 78 percent of households headed by a non-citizen with no more than a high school education use at least one welfare program.
  • 58 percent of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
  • Half of all non-citizen headed households include at least one person who uses Medicaid.

© All rights reserved.

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There Is No Way to “Cancel” Student Loan Debt

We must confront the reality that “cancellation” of student loan debt may successfully serve a political campaign promise, but it fails as serious policy.


America’s polarized political system is ripe for radical ideas. Democratic political systems are based on the notion that politicians must find ways to appeal to voters. As the demographics of a population change, the types of political offerings change. Currently, a growing trend within the Democratic Party is to offer younger voters reforms to the student loan debt situation.

The student loan debt “crisis” has been perpetuated by the myth that one’s best shot⁠—perhaps only shot⁠—at achieving success in life is to have a college degree. One of the long-term benefits of a degree in our skills-based economy is the opportunity to earn more than an individual with a high school diploma or less.

As Daniel Kowalski notes, government helped fuel this demand for higher education. Between 1980 and 2016, the number of higher education institutions increased from 3,231 to 4,360.

As Kowalski writes,

the government’s backing of student loans has caused the price of higher education to artificially rise; the demand would not be so high if college were not a financially viable option for some.

Since the 1980s, costs of education have surged eight times faster than wages. Unsurprisingly, a loan for $100,000 for a degree that may lead to a job with an annual salary of $40,000 per year is financially challenging.

Like other areas of government intervention, the government’s infiltration of student loan markets has produced unexpected trade-offs.

Remarkably, leading Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth have argued that the solution is to “cancel” outstanding student debt, currently totaling $1.6 trillion.

As some scholars, such as Cato’s Corey A. DeAngelis, have pointed out, there is no way to “cancel” these debts. The debt burden would merely be shifted to people who didn’t agree to take out these loans.

These plans have been described, quite fairly, as a “bailout for the elite, as the top 25 percent of households by income hold almost half of all student debt.”

The plans should be described for what really are: an effort to “buy” the votes of student loan debt holders, predominantly younger voters. According to USA Today, “forty-three percent of young voters, ages 18 to 29, surveyed said they are likely to participate in the nominating contests” in 2020. Comically, even Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has said, “I wish—if I was a magic genie and could give that [free four-year college] to everyone and we could afford it, I would.”

Our current political discourse requires some grounding and perspective, as policymakers are right to note that student loan debt has larger implications on the economy writ-large. Given that Senator Warren’s plan is financially dubious and impractical on its face, it is worthwhile to explore alternative ventures this $1.6 trillion could support. That amount of money could:

  • Give each of Los Angeles county’s 59,000 homeless residents roughly $27 million
  • Buy every resident of New Jersey a $175,000 yacht
  • Give each of the United States’ roughly 40,000 homeless veterans around $40 million
  • Buy every resident of Texas a Tesla Model 3
  • Develop 40 bases on the moon

Some or all of these things may be desirable.  Yet to pursue them would ignore basic economic realities, including our growing federal debt. The United States currently owes around $22.5 trillion, a figure projected to rise over the next decade. There must be a concerted effort by members of Congress to address our national debt if we are to avoid a financial reckoning.

In the meantime, politicians ought to look for more grounded ideas to reform the student loan situation:

  • Legislators can amend or remove the provision of federal law that exempts student loans from being discharged during bankruptcy.
  • Thought leaders can promote trades and apprentice programs that will benefit young people in the current job market. (Some companies have promoted their efforts to hire individuals without degrees due to the tight labor market.)
  • Policymakers can continue to promote relationships between online educational tools and higher education institutions.
  • At The Wall Street Journal, Joseph Weinstein recommends that policymakers should reduce the salaries of university presidents and administrators.
  • We can all work to debunk the myth that a university diploma grants a specific status in civil society.

Providing the wholesale cancellation of student loan debt may comfort those affected in the near-term. However, it does not address the underlying ills of our ways. Instead, we ought to look at the flaws in the government takeover of the student loan market and how it has artificially increased the cost of college attendance.

This fact may evade the bartering politicians, but it should not evade the average voter. We must confront the reality that the cancellation of student loan debt may successfully serve a political campaign promise, but it fails as serious policy.

COLUMN BY

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

Democrats Fiddle While Iran Burns

“A serious annual defense budget will have to wait.”Andrew E. Harrod, Ph.D.


Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces seized the British oil tanker Stena Impero on July 19, an outrage that follows Iran’s June 13 attacks on two oil tankers and the June 20 downing of an American drone. Yet rather than focusing on an increasingly volatile Iran, congressional Democrats are more interested in political gamesmanship than national security when dealing with the defense budget.

Cornered by international sanctions, Iran is lashing out with escalating viciousness, as ongoing economic turmoil has truly made both people and government desperate. This has culminated in the regime’s most recent proclamation of capturing 17 “U.S. spies.” Likely untrue, this claim illustrates how Iran’s hunger for conflict threatens American national security.

Accordingly, President Donald Trump correctly announced July 22 that the United States is bracing for the “absolute worst” with Iran. He already came to the brink of an airstrike against Iran following Iran’s destruction of the American drone in international airspace. Concern over Iranian casualties caused him to abort the mission at the very last minute.

While Trump’s administration is wisely taking seriously the magnitude of Iran’s dangers, on July 12 House Democrats passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Department of Defense’s (DoD) annual budget, by strict party-line vote, with not one Republican among 220 congressional supporters. Unsurprisingly, the legislation is a transparently partisan piece of political theater.

The House NDAA amalgamates progressive political amendments that have little, if anything, to do with protecting America from serious national security threats like those posed by Iran. Various provisions regard renewable energy mandates, LGBT defense hiring practices, and other defense-unrelated line items. Where the bill does address national security, the proposal seems more apt to spite Trump than actually keep Americans safe. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), for example, sponsored an amendment that would block Trump from striking Iran military.

While international perils escalate, the House NDAA also hamstrings DoD programs with slashing budget cuts to multiple national security initiatives. The United States Air Force’s (USAF) Next Generation Air Dominance program lost $500 million, a whopping 50-percent budget reduction. Cuts of this magnitude would devastate the program, leading to the cancellation of critical new aerospace technology and substantial production timeline delays.

And the damage does not end there. The bill would also slice $413 million from the Missile Defense Agency and thus limit the agency’s ability to combat potential threats to the homeland. Overall, the NDAA provides $17 billion less than requested by the Trump administration.

Even worse, crony capitalism litters the NDAA. Perhaps most controversially, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith squeezed into the bill his very own $500 million “SpaceX earmark.” This notorious giveaway to an aerospace company rewards an all-too-frequent Smith political donor.

In addition to cutting an enormous check to a partisan ally, Smith’s provision also restructures USAF’s National Security Space Launch program to SpaceX’s clear advantage. The bill would force USAF to reopen the program’s government contracts contest, allowing private companies more opportunities to compete. USAF considers this boon for SpaceX, a loser in initial competitions, a national security disaster, as Smith’s political interests would disrupt meticulous USAF planning, throwing the entire program’s structure into chaos.

Democrats have instigated this politically frustrating situation while Iran’s increased aggression against the West warns that the American military needs sufficient resources to combat any and all potential threats. House Democrats are more interested in playing domestic politics with Trump, irrespective of strategic consequences beyond the water’s edge, rather than assuring America’s security on the world stage. Such congressional leaders might prefer to follow the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill in thinking that “all politics is local. Iran’s theocratic ayatollahs have other plans, unconstrained by lobbying constituencies.”

The House NDAA is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, and, for good measure, the White House has threatened to veto the legislation if brought to the president’s desk. This overwhelmingly partisan legislation delivers ample political pork but fails to secure America’s common defense. Now, Senate Republicans face the vital responsibility of crafting an NDAA worthy of America’s defense.

ABOUT ANDREW E. HARROD, PH.D.

Andrew E. Harrod holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies, and has written over 450 articles in print and online at outlets like the Algemeiner, The American Spectator, American Thinker, Breitbart, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Jihad Watch, and the Washington Times. This article was cross-posted from The American Spectator.

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

Why Florida’s ‘Red Tide Task Force’ is doomed to fail and waste taxpayer’s money

When ever there is a naturally occurring problem, like red tide, the first impulse by politicians is to create a task force to look at the naturally occurring problem.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced in a press release on August 2nd, 2019:

[T]he appointments of 11 expert researchers and leading scientists to the recently re-organized Red Tide Task Force. The Governor was joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director Eric Sutton. For over 15 years, this Task Force had been inactive and without funding until it’s re-organization by FWC today at the direction of Governor DeSantis. Governor DeSantis originally called for the re-organization of the task force on his second day in office via Executive Order 19-12.

The Red Tide Task Force will focus on the causes of Red Tide and will be supported by FWC’s Center for Red Tide Research, which received $4.8 million in the budget,” said Governor DeSantis. “My administration will continue to press forward to find solutions and empower our brightest minds to help protect our environment. The issues of Red Tide are complex, but with the appointments of these leading scientists and researchers, we hope to make a difference.” [Emphasis added]

Read the full press release.

How Government Gets Red Tide (Karenia brevis) Wrong

If you go to the Center for Disease Control fact sheet on red tide (Karenia brevis or K-brevis) you will find this information:

Algae are vitally important to marine ecosystems, and most species of algae are not harmful. However, under certain environmental conditions, microscopic marine algae called Karenia brevis (K. brevis) grow
quickly, creating blooms that can make the ocean appear red or brown. People often call these blooms “red tide.”

K. brevis produces powerful toxins called brevetoxins, which have killed millions of fish and other marine organisms. Red tides have damaged the fishing industry, shoreline quality, and local economies in states such as Texas and Florida. Because K. brevis blooms move based on winds and tides, pinpointing a red tide at any given moment is difficult.

Red tides occur throughout the world, affecting marine ecosystems in Scandinavia, Japan, the Caribbean,and the South Pacific. Scientists first documented a red tide along Florida’s Gulf Coast in fall 1947, when residents of Venice, Florida, reported thousands of dead fish and a “stinging gas” in the air, according to Mote Marine Laboratory. However, Florida residents have reported similar events since the mid-1800s. [Emphasis added]

The first report of red tide was by Angelo Heilprin, an American geologist, paleontologist and naturalist in 1886. Heilprin visited the Manatee River and Little Sarasota Bay and found, “thousands upon thousands of carcasses [of dead fish] heaped up in continuous banks” killed by “red tide.” Heilprin wrote about red tide in his May, 1887 book Explorations on the West Coast of Florida.

For 133 years the world, and Florida in particular, has known about red tide and a fix is not in the offing.

“Red Tide Task Force” is Doomed

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website only shows predictions and areas currently impacted by red tide. The Commission’s website states, “FWC reports on the current status of Karenia brevis blooms using tables, static maps, and interactive Google Earth maps. Archived status maps can be found in our Flickr gallery.”

So does anyone have a solution to red tide?

Surf Rider Foundation’s Mara DiasHolly Parker note:

Red tides are naturally occurring, but there is ample evidence that shows nutrient pollution can fuel blooms, making them larger and longer lasting. Learn more about this here. Worse still, warming waters associated with climate change appear to be helping these blooms thrive in areas that haven’t been affected by algae blooms historically.

The nutrient pollution that fuels algal blooms comes from many different sources- runoff from agriculture and landscaping fertilizers, leaky septic tanks and aging sewage infrastructure, and stormwater and urban runoff.

Note how Dias and Parker try connecting red tide to “climate change” to create a boogeyman effect. Actually according to NASA the climate is cooling as we are experiencing a solar minimum (few or no sunspots), which makes the oceans cooler.

Conclusion

Sid Perkins of the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences of the United States of America reports:

Red tide blooms are natural events, not manmade, notes Robert Weisberg, a physical oceanographer at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, FL, who has been studying red tides in the Gulf of Mexico for decades. The blooms have been known to strike the Florida coasts since the 1500s when Spanish explorers mentioned warnings from Native Americans not to eat fish caught in discolored waters, he adds. [Emphasis added]

So what needs to happen to reduce, but not eliminate the “naturally occurring” red tide blooms is to stop fertilizing, repair leaky septic tanks, fix our sewage systems and stop urban runoff?

But this won’t stop red tide blooms. Why? Because they are naturally occurring.

Florida scientists like Weisberg have been studying red tide for decades to no avail. Spending $4.8 million dollars won’t stop the “naturally occurring” red tide blooms today, tomorrow or in the foreseeable future. Stopping us from fertalizing will only harm Florida’s farming and tourist industries. No one comes to Disney World to see dead plants that have haven’t been properly fertilized, right?

Floridians must understand that like “naturally occurring” hurricanes, red tide blooms are with us forever. We just need to prepare for them both.

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