The Daily Signal http://dailysignal.com/ Policy News, Conservative Analysis and Opinion Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:40:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://dailysignal.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-favicon-32x32.png The Daily Signal http://dailysignal.com/ 32 32 The Growing Racial Divide Within Black Lives Matter http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/growing-racial-divide-within-black-lives-matter/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/growing-racial-divide-within-black-lives-matter/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:40:02 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352899 After the events in Charlottesville and Boston of recent days, expect Black Lives Matter to be both energized as a movement and for the broader... Read More

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After the events in Charlottesville and Boston of recent days, expect Black Lives Matter to be both energized as a movement and for the broader left to double down on race as a means to achieving radical social upheaval.

Yet even as the movement regains steam with a focus on the physical dismantling of statues and artifacts, a fissure is expanding within the ranks of Black Lives Matter.

I’m a behavioral science researcher who studies the deeply held values and motivations that drive mass movements. The recent reemergence of Black Lives Matter in Charlottesville, Boston, and beyond dovetails with the findings of research I conducted with adherents of the movement over this past year, which explains what draws both the professional and grassroots activists to associate with this cause.

The Frontier Lab conducted in-depth research interviews with Black Lives matter activists and organizers. This analysis, a report titled “Privileged and Oppressed,” mapped their psychographic connections to the movement.

The findings allow us to evaluate what types of stimuli will cause the movement to wane or become energized—a helpful lens through which to view current events and to explain what they mean to those on the inside of Black Lives Matter.

With this mass movement, as with other mass movements we’ve studied (such as the protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Occupy Wall Street, and the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), it is crucial to distinguish the behind-the-scenes operatives from the activists.

These two groups have wholly distinct reasons for affiliating with the movement.

Many operatives from Black Lives Matter had previously participated in Occupy Wall Street. They described emerging from the failure of that movement disheartened, as it failed to achieve lasting societal change.

At the very least, they had sought some kind of legislative signal that their efforts had not been in vain.

As these professional activists refocused their energies toward a new cause—Black Lives Matter—they told us how they hoped that, this time, they would be able to seize tangible victories. The four motivating operatives values we identified were “pride,” “confidence,” “excitement,” and “purpose.”

This hunger for tangible victories is exactly the context within which we must evaluate the current focus on statues: a “concrete” demonstration of the power of their movement, most importantly to its own adherents. This is precisely what Occupy had failed, psychologically, to provide to them.

While some on the outside may criticize the destruction of statues as being utterly useless for the black community, which Black Lives Matter purports to serve, our research shows that it is best to understand this approach as an internally focused strategy to energize supporters.

Operatives also viewed tangible victories as a signal that their activism careers were not time wasted, and would allow them to be capable and effective at their organizer roles. Without these victories, they were left questioning whether their sense of purpose in life was being achieved.

Two women partake in a Black Lives Matter rally in Charleston, West Virginia. (Photo: Marcus Constantino/Reuters/Newscom)

A corollary to Black Lives Matter has been the emergence of the new Emancipation movement. This movement places the left’s current-day struggle for equality of outcome (as opposed to the prior notion of equality of opportunity) within the historic context of the abolitionist movement of the 19th century.

This should be immensely satisfying to operatives, who told us that one of the most appealing aspects of Black Lives Matter was its “renewal of the historic anti-racist struggle.”

Importantly, placing the Black Lives Matter agenda within a historic lineage appealed to them not because they would finally be achieving freedom or even equality of outcome for black Americans, but rather because it signaled to the watching world that they were on the “right side of history.”

In this way, Charlottesville has been a psychological victory for operatives on the left who had most recently attached themselves to Black Lives Matter as a means for fulfilling deeply held desires for the aforementioned values of pride, confidence, excitement, and purpose.

But recent events are playing out much differently for another segment—the rank-and-file activists. Their identified values of “empowerment,” “hope,” community,” and “excitement” suggest they are energized by the events in Charlottesville and Boston for wholly different reasons.

One aspect that the movement most provided to them was the ability to circumvent the media in getting their message out. The media attention of the past week, which presented their action alongside Antifa within a race-based narrative, will be reassuring that their messaging is within their control.

The media attention will also fulfill another value held by activists: the deeply held desire for excitement that comes with being involved with historic action—actions they will be able to tell their grandchildren they were involved with.

Even as the operatives and allies take energy from Charlottesville and Boston, the third segment we tracked, “allies,” is experiencing more tension than ever with their fellow adherents.

Allies, who are the non-black (often “white,” as most interpret) activists who desire to further the cause of Black Lives Matter, are motivated by “guilt,” “security,” “community,” and “fear.”

Operatives described to us how careful they were in considering the optics of their mass action. White allies recounted to us being told either to make their presence unobtrusive, or to stay at home when public events were being held.

An “ally” participates in a Black Lives Matter rally in Boston. (Photo: Kenneth Martin/Zuma Press/Newscom)

For the operatives managing the perception of the movement internally and externally, it is problematic to have a white face, even momentarily.

With the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, this tension only became more pronounced.

One black activist described the problem on the Black Youth Project website, complaining that activists were “appropriating” the #SayHerName hashtag—which had been used to honor black women who had died—in order to bring attention to Heather Heyer, a white woman.

White people and those who love them and their promised-but-never-fulfilled hope for solidarity are telling you that you should know that there are Heather Heyers in the world. They are telling you to #SayHerName, appropriating the work of the black feminists who created this call to action in response to black women’s deaths at the hands of the state routinely going ignored. They are saying that you must appreciate Heyer. That you must hold space for her. That she does more than some of y’all, as if this isn’t just again erasing the deaths all black women are withstanding at the hands of the state at every moment.

Allies of Black Lives Matter, who exhibit a keen desire to signal that they are speaking out against injustice are now being met with resistance from others within Black Lives Matter, who wish to downplay or remove their presence altogether.

Another author has observed the same values among allies that we tracked in our study: the desire to further their own claims to being oppressed, be they related to gender, sexual orientation, religion, or economic realities:

I suspect that a sizable majority of white people outraged by the events in Charlottesville are not fighting for black liberation; they are expressing discontent with explicit white supremacy. They do not wish to overthrow white supremacy in its totality; they seek to keep it wrapped up in euphemisms. White supremacy “#IsNot(Them)”—except it is.

I am even more suspicious of white people who do put their bodies on the line because they do so in a warped sense of self-interest. Many are actively involved with extensive pro-black organizing because they believe their aspirational “freedom” is attached to ours—but it’s not.

For the allies, when one oppressed cause is elevated (in this case, the cause of oppressed black lives), their own cause will similarly be strengthened.

Taken together, these psychological explanations for why people affiliate with Black Lives Matter can help us predict how recent events will affect the movement’s internal dynamics and external optics.

For operatives and activists, Charlottesville and Boston will be energizing and fulfilling. But this may also be the beginning of a stronger internal push to silence the voices of white allies, as the broader movement cultivates a more pervasive race-based narrative.

As the research shows, the allies desperately desire a way to identify as standing up against injustice. How they will navigate their way to this end within Black lives Matter—a movement organized by ranking levels of privilege—remains to be seen.

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My ‘Sex Change’ Was a Myth. Why Trying to Change One’s Sex Will Always Fail. http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/sex-change-myth-trying-change-ones-sex-will-always-fail/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/sex-change-myth-trying-change-ones-sex-will-always-fail/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:14:34 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352886 Recently, during a radio show on which I appeared as a guest, a caller posed a question I frequently get asked: “Do the administration of... Read More

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Recently, during a radio show on which I appeared as a guest, a caller posed a question I frequently get asked: “Do the administration of cross-gender hormones and genital surgery change a boy into a girl or a girl into a boy?”

The answer is simple: biologically, not at all.

Underneath all the cosmetic procedures, vocal training, and hair growth or hair removal lies a physical reality. Biologically, the person has not changed from a man into a woman or vice versa.

Sex is an indelible fact of a person’s biology. Specifically, it describes one’s biological makeup with respect to its organization for reproduction. As Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh explain in The New Atlantis:

In biology, an organism is male or female if it is structured to perform one of the respective roles in reproduction. This definition does not require any arbitrary measurable or quantifiable physical characteristics or behaviors; it requires understanding the reproductive system and the reproduction process.

The authors go on to note that “[t]here is no other widely accepted biological classification for the sexes.” Sex pertains to the two different ways males and females are structured for reproduction, and these structures are permanently engrained in one’s biology. They cannot be chosen at will.

A man can mutilate his body, but he can never transform it to be organized as a female—and vice versa for the woman.

This makes sense of the head-snapping (and false) headline many of us saw about a man having a baby. The “man” featured in the story is simply a biological woman who kept her childbearing anatomy intact.

My Sex Change Fiction

My “sex change” surgery from male to female was performed by Dr. Stanley Biber in Trinidad, Colorado.

His unusual field of expertise drew clients from around the world and earned the small mountain town the nickname “Sex Change Capital of the World.” The surgeon estimated that he performed over 5,000 such surgeries during his career.

I lived legally and socially as a female for eight years, but I came to the realization that I wanted to go back to living as a man. To legally change my gender back to male, I needed to file a petition with the California Superior Court that verified I met certain criteria. (The process has since changed.)

My surgeon wrote a letter to the court stating that I met the medical criteria for the courts to legally change my birth certificate back to male. The very surgeon who earlier said that hormones and surgery had changed me to female, now admitted that it did not.

In the letter, he testified that the surgery and cross-gender hormones had the effect of neutering my external appearance and genitalia, but my internal biological structure and my genetics were still male.

>>> Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong

That’s the key to understand: Hormones and surgical changes can affect one’s external appearance, but no innate biological change of sex occurs.

This truth should seem obvious, but discontented trans women contact me who say they didn’t know that they could never become a “real” woman. They are unhappy and opting to go back to the gender of their birth.

False Hope Could Lead to More Suicide

A 2004 U.K. Guardian article, “Sex Changes Not Effective,” points out: “While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatized—often to the point of committing suicide.”

Too many post-surgical patients contact me to report they deeply regret the gender change surgery and that the false hope of surgical outcomes was a factor. For children, the focus on encouraging, assisting, and affirming them toward changing genders at earlier and earlier ages, with no research showing the outcomes, may lead to more suicides.

Others Advocate Less Surgery

A growing number of people like me, 50 years after the first surgery at Johns Hopkins University Gender Clinic in 1966, are advocating the scaling back of the radical, irreversible, often unnecessary genital mutilation surgeries.

Rene Jax, in his 2016 book, “DON’T Get on The Plane!” says, “Sex change surgery will ruin your life.”

Jax and I have had similar experiences. Both of us were approved for hormones and surgery to resolve our gender dysphoria, and after following the medically prescribed full regimen of hormones and genitalia surgery, and living as women, both of us came away with the same conclusions:

  • Gender change surgery was a destructive body mutilation and a waste of time and money.
  • After the medically-certified gender change, life didn’t improve.
  • Gender dysphoria, that feeling of unease with one’s gender, persisted, and was not relieved as promised.

Surgery as a Last Resort

Based on the emails I receive, I would urge the person who thinks that gender change is the answer in their situation to delay any surgical changes, or at the very least to restrict any physical changes to ones that are reversible.

This is especially important for younger people who may want to have children one day.

>>> I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

Today in 10 states, only a verbal declaration and a doctor’s letter supporting the change are needed to legally change the gender on a birth certificate. Cross-gender hormones or surgery are not required. Only 10 states affirm that surgery and hormones do not change biology.

Studies show that two-thirds of people with gender dysphoria have co-existing disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

I’ve become an outspoken critic of gender reassignment surgeries because many people are not being treated for other co-existing problems first. Instead, they are quickly prescribed cross-gender hormones and shuttled on a path toward surgery.

But as noted earlier, this surgery cannot succeed in delivering what it promises. It will only mutilate the body, a far cry from the promised “sex change.”

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Lack of Leadership Has Crippled Our Universities http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/lack-leadership-crippled-universities/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/lack-leadership-crippled-universities/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:14:26 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352862 Our university leaders and faculty need to grow a spine. Our times demand it. We have too many learned cowards lining once-hallowed halls of learning.... Read More

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Our university leaders and faculty need to grow a spine. Our times demand it.

We have too many learned cowards lining once-hallowed halls of learning. Fewer and fewer voices have the courage to stand and speak the truth and simply say “I disagree.”

Those who dare to do so are ignored or silenced by the “tolerant” who deem the rare voice of dissent as intolerable.

A professor at Wake Forest University admitted:

The problem is that whenever you are on the liberal left, to some degree, you don’t really see conservative ideas as even valid or worth the time and effort to allow because you have a sense that you know more and you know better. This arrogance creates an ‘ideological vacuum.’ In this vacuum, professors do not acknowledge counter-arguments on issues or challenge their own assumptions.

Vapid leadership allows this ignorance to be the norm. A vacuum will be filled by something. In today’s culture, it’s being filled by snowflake insanity, and our culture is paying a high price.

College and university presidents, board members, and faculty have let this travesty occur. Our schools are permeated with anti-Christian and nonsensical, dare I say suicidal, ideas.

Even worse, Judeo-Christian words have been stolen. Love, freedom, equality, justice, truth, and compassion are all changing before our very eyes.

Too many academic leaders stand idly by, content to drink the Kool-Aid of false compassion. We have bought the lie that confrontation and compassion are antithetical rather than complimentary. It’s nonsense.

Discipline and love are complementary, not antithetical. Our unwillingness to help students by confronting and disciplining them reveals our lack of love for them.

>>> Purchase Everett Piper’s new book, “Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth

We don’t coddle because we care about students. We coddle because we don’t care enough to bother. We care more about our own feelings of comfort or desire to be popular than their growth and readiness for the challenges of real life.

Confrontation is not synonymous with hate. Any decent parents know if we love our kids, we’ll confront them. Failing to confront will result in them compromising body, mind, and soul.

But, today we have parents who don’t know how to rear or confront their children properly. We have professors who don’t know how to confront their students with good ideas and challenge their bad ideas.

We have college presidents who get caught like deer in the headlights when there’s a cultural conflict. They don’t want to call a spade a spade because they’re afraid of being labeled a hater.

Search online for university presidents who will take a stand for truth, and you’ll find a very short list of those willing to stand tall in the face of the snowflake rebellion.

Sadly, even evangelical Christians, who are supposed to be the ones proclaiming the truth, either stand by and do nothing or actively attack those with the courage to stand.

Their criticism simply proved my point. Their solution was to criticize me for being too critical; to confront me for being too confrontational; to write a blog about tolerance while calling my blog intolerable.

They seemed to think the best rebuttal to my public critique was to write their own public critique rebutting public critiques. They seemed only too ready to argue that comfort is more important than repentance and support is more important than challenge.

Their solution was and is to coddle and enable more—to confront and challenge less .

I hardly even need to respond. Any schoolboy can see the self-refuting nature of their argument.

Even a self-described atheist from the psychology department at the University of Central Florida wrote, “I don’t agree with your religion, but thank you for saying what needs to be said … Please carry on!”

While much of the secular world recognizes the lunacy of safe spaces, the church condemns those who love young people enough to speak the truth and confront them. Sad. Shameful.

As you watch the snowflake rebellion play out on campuses across the nation, ask yourself this: Have university presidents indeed become essentially irrelevant? Do you see strength or weakness in their leadership?

Do they show any evidence that they have the convictions to stand in the face of this nonsense, or does your gut tell you that they are simply more concerned with keeping their job?

Or even worse, do they seem to actually believe that giving Play-Doh, bubbles, and coloring books to a bunch of 20-year-olds who don’t like the results of an election is a good idea?

This article was adapted with permission from Everett Piper’s new book, “Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.”

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The Origins of Fake News at The New York Times http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/origins-fake-news-new-york-times/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/origins-fake-news-new-york-times/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:21:07 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352853 Newsflash from The New York Times: Women may have starved under socialist regimes, but their orgasms were out of this world! That’s the creepy gist... Read More

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Newsflash from The New York Times: Women may have starved under socialist regimes, but their orgasms were out of this world!

That’s the creepy gist of one of the Grey Lady’s recent essays this summer hailing the “Red Century.” The paper’s ongoing series explores “the history and legacy of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.”

When its essayists aren’t busy championing the great sex that oppressed women enjoyed in miserable Eastern Bloc countries, they’re extolling Vladimir Lenin’s fantabulous conservationist programs and pimping “Communism for Kids” propaganda.

Since this is back-to-school season, it’s the perfect time to teach your children about faux journalism at the Fishwrap of Record. As the publication’s pretentious own new slogan asserts, “The truth is more important than ever.”

While the Times hyperventilates about the dangers of President Donald Trump’s “art of fabrication” and “Russian collusion,” this is the same organization whose famed correspondent in Russia, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer Prize for spreading fake news denying Josef Stalin’s Ukrainian genocide.

An estimated 10 million men, women, and children starved in the Stalin-engineered silent massacre between 1932-1933, also known as the Holodomor. Stalin had implemented his “Five Year Plan” of agricultural collectivization—confiscating land and livestock, evicting farmers, and imposing impossible grain production quotas.

At the peak of the famine, about 30,000 Ukrainian citizens a day were dying. Untold numbers resorted to cannibalism.

But you wouldn’t know it if you perused all the phony ground reports filed by Duranty at the time. Based in Moscow since 1921, Duranty gained access to Stalin for a rare interview in 1930.

Two years later, Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize for 13 typewritten tongue baths with titles including “Stalinism Solving Minorities Problems,” “Industrial Success Emboldens Soviet in New World Policy,” and “Stalinism’s Mark is Party Discipline.”

And the rest is whitewashed history.

“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition,” Duranty asserted in March 1933.

Five months later, he wrote: “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.”

Meanwhile, Duranty “had all the Beluga caviar that he could eat,” Lee Edwards, a distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation and chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., told my CRTV.com show, “Michelle Malkin Investigates.”

Historian Ron Radosh of the Hudson Institute added: “What [Duranty] did is file totally false, fake stories about how the people were thriving and doing well under Bolshevism and nothing was wrong and any rumors you hear of a famine in the Soviet Union were totally false, made up by enemies of the regime who wanted it to fall.”

Robert Zapesochny, a New York writer and historian whose own grandfather survived the famine, blasted Duranty’s pursuit of the prize over pursuit of the truth: “As long as there was an award that he could get for his coverage he would do anything.”

Zapesochny minces no words about Duranty: “The guy was a whore.”

But Robert Conquest, the whistleblower who chronicled Duranty’s agitprop in his book, “The Harvest of Sorrow,” noted that the Times still clung to its Commie correspondent and his lethal lies, lauding his “dispassionate, interpretive reporting of the news from Russia” a half-century after being debunked.

Now, 85 years after Stalinist tool Duranty snagged his Pulitzer (which the journalism pooh-bahs refuse to withdraw and the Times’ editors refuse to renounce), the paper has the gall to lecture everyone else about truth, lies, and accountability. And it’s still shilling for collectivism.

The Red York Times: First in fake news and progenitor of alternative facts.

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Police Inaction in Charlottesville Only Enabled the Race Hustlers http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/police-inaction-charlottesville-enabled-race-hustlers/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/23/police-inaction-charlottesville-enabled-race-hustlers/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 04:01:30 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352733 Charlottesville, Virginia, a city named after Britain’s first black queen, was the scene of a bloody riot Saturday, Aug. 12. The fray resulted in the... Read More

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Charlottesville, Virginia, a city named after Britain’s first black queen, was the scene of a bloody riot Saturday, Aug. 12.

The fray resulted in the death of one woman, who was mowed down by a car—plus, there were many other people injured.

Have politicians and the news media told the correct and complete story about what happened, or have Americans been deliberately misled? Let’s look at it.

One does not have to accept the racist and nationalist vision of the Unite the Right organization to recognize and respect its First Amendment rights.

Moreover, the group obtained a city permit to hold a peaceful rally to protest the lawful removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park.

It was the leftist protesters who did not have a city permit to assemble for a rally on that day.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said: “There has got to be a movement in this country to bring people together. The hatred and rhetoric that has gone on and has intensified over the last couple months is dividing this great nation.”

He denounced “the white supremacists and the Nazis.” However, when asked a question about whether he would include the left-wing, pro-violence Antifa in his condemnation, he ignored the question and walked out of the room.

Here’s a question for you: Did the authorities of the city of Charlottesville have a duty to protect Unite the Right rally attendees?

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia said they had a right to rally, saying, “The First Amendment is a critical part of our democracy, and it protects vile, hateful, and ignorant speech.”

Thus, the ACLU of Virginia defended the white supremacists’ and neo-Nazis’ right to march and rally against the removal of the statue of Lee.

Both the Unite the Right organizers and the leftist counterprotesters charged that the Charlottesville police did not do their job. They just stood back and watched the melee.

This was documented in several reports. The Daily Caller article titled “Why Were The Police Held Back in Charlottesville?” reports:

Law enforcement was on hand at the dueling demonstrations on Saturday, decked out in riot gear and looking prepared for the worst. Except they weren’t allowed to do their job.

According to the ACLU of Virginia, police on the scene were reported to have been ordered to “not intervene until given command to do so.” That kept them from suppressing the numerous scuffles that broke out.

I’d like to ask any policeman: Since when did the police need a command to intervene when they are witnessing people assaulting one another?

In a ProPublica article titled “Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville,” the authors reported that “state police and National Guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counterprotesters.”

ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, who was on the scene, reported that “the authorities turned the streets of the city over to groups of militiamen armed with assault rifles.”

Instead of owning up to his dereliction of duty—by not having ordered his police force to protect life and limb—Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer chose to demagogue the situation by blaming the rise of white nationalists on President Donald Trump.

Many politicians, racists, hustlers, and tyrants have an agenda that consists mostly of making the U.S. Constitution meaningless and giving government greater control over our lives, thereby destroying personal liberty.

The alt-right and white supremacists seek to achieve their goals through racist propaganda. The leftists seek to achieve their goals by tricking Americans into believing that all they want are brotherhood and multiculturalism.

If either group achieves its goals, we Americans will lose not only our liberty but also our civility.

Few Americans recognize and respect the fact that multiracial societies are inherently unstable. What we’ve been doing for decades, through various government policies, is stacking up combustible racial kindling awaiting a racial arsonist to set it ablaze.

There are too many historical examples of what happens to a nation when race hustlers are allowed to take over.

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Where 7 of Trump’s Key Immigration Policies Stand http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/where-7-of-trumps-key-immigration-policies-stand/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/where-7-of-trumps-key-immigration-policies-stand/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:07:49 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352757 President Donald Trump toured the U.S. Customs and Border Protection outpost in Yuma, Arizona, ahead of his “Make America Great Again” rally in Phoenix on... Read More

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President Donald Trump toured the U.S. Customs and Border Protection outpost in Yuma, Arizona, ahead of his “Make America Great Again” rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, in a border state that has borne much of the country’s illegal immigration problem.

“He’s been massively successful in deterring anarchy at the border, and he’s done it by jawboning,” @RoyBeck_NUSA says.

Phoenix was the site of one of his early rallies in 2015, in a campaign that was based in large part on promising to combat illegal immigration.

The White House points to results, with illegal border crossings down by more than half since this time last year and the arrests of convicted criminal aliens up by about 20 percent during the same time period. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted about 40 percent more enforcement and removal operations, such as detentions or deportations, compared with the same time last year.

Critics have noted there were more deportations at the border last year, but the administration notes that is because of the decline of illegal border crossings.

Tom Homan, acting director of ICE, told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday, “If you [were] lucky enough to get back past the Border Patrol, in the [previous] administration, you were home free, unless you committed another crime and get put in jail and get convicted of that crime.”

“Now, the message is clear: If you happen to get by the Border Patrol, someone is looking for you.”

ICE also removed more than 2,700 criminal gang members so far in fiscal year 2017, which began in October, according to White House numbers as of July 20. That’s compared with 2,057 criminal gang removals in the entire fiscal year of 2016.

“He’s been massively successful in deterring anarchy at the border, and he’s done it by jawboning, using the bully pulpit,” Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, an immigration reduction group, told The Daily Signal. “Come across the border, and the American people will take care of you. That used to be the story. He’s changed the story.”

However, Beck said Trump hasn’t done enough to curb the jobs magnet, by either prosecuting what he called “outlaw employers” or pushing to make E-Verify mandatory.

“The bully pulpit only works as long as it’s credible,” Beck added. “He gets an overall negative mark for dealing with the long-term problems, but in the short term, he has really cut down on illegal immigration.”

Here’s an overview of promises kept, progress on some, and what’s the holdup on others:

1. Build the Wall

The wall was arguably Trump’s central campaign promise, and one of the biggest crowd pleasers with his audiences.

Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal calls for $1.6 billion as a down payment to pay for a double-layered wall across parts of the southern border with Mexico, with the long-term goal of having Mexico reimbursing the United States Treasury for the wall.

Days after taking office in January, Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to immediately begin planning for “a physical wall on the southern border.”

Customs and Border Patrol posted a pre-solicitation notice asking for a request for proposal “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

The wall is already authorized by the 2006 Secure Fence Act, but needs funding to build it. However, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has threatened to shut down the government before funding the wall.

“The $1.6 billion is a pittance of what it will ultimately cost, but it costs $100 billion in benefits to illegal immigrants, so a wall will be a good investment,” Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which is tracking the status of Trump’s promises, told The Daily Signal.

2. More Border Agents

The same day as Trump’s executive order for the wall, Jan. 25, the president signed a second order calling for the hiring of 5,000 new U.S. Border Patrol agents. However, the number of agents today is down by 220 compared with what it was when Trump took office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times article noted problems in staffing for the Border Patrol since 2010, currently with 2,000 vacancies. Also, the agency has to increase screening for agents, according to recent audits by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General.

Customs and Border Patrol would have to screen 750,000 applicants to hire an additional 5,000, according to an inspector general report released on July 17. Another inspector general report released on Aug. 4 found the agency spent more than $5 million to give polygraph tests to applicants that already admitted to committing crimes, which included illegal drug use, drug smuggling, human trafficking and rape.

“Hiring those border agents is going to be a significant challenge, regardless of funding and resources,” David Inserra, a homeland security policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

3. Catch and Release

Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented new charging guidelines in April to end the catch-and-release policies of the Obama administration for illegal immigrants entering the country by prioritizing criminal immigration enforcement to deter illegal entry into the country.

Catch and release is when either ICE or Border Patrol would apprehend an illegal immigrant, then release the offender with a notice to appear in immigration court. The illegal immigrant often wouldn’t show up for the court date.

“The argument for catch and release is, there are only a finite number of jail cells and alternative detentions,” Inserra said.

The problem, he added, was that the Obama administration made that argument while at the same time pulling funding from detention facilities.

4. Blocking Funding for Sanctuary Cities

The state of California and the cities of San Francisco and Chicago have announced plans to sue the Trump administration for withholding some Justice Department grants from cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials.

Sessions was in Miami-Dade County, Florida, last week to praise jurisdictions for moving into compliance with the new Justice Department rules and to excoriate jurisdictions suing the federal government.

One of Trump’s first executive orders told sanctuary cities that failure to fully abide by federal immigration laws would jeopardize access to certain federal grant money. In July, the Justice Department laid out new guidelines.

The Justice Department hasn’t withheld funds from any jurisdiction yet.

Mehlman says the policy needs to be codified through the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, with versions in both houses of Congress, sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., respectively.

“There needs to be real legislation,” Mehlman said. “[Trump] isn’t going to be president forever. We’ll be subject to the whims of a future president.”

5. Reversing DACA

The Trump administration canceled the Obama administration’s 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA. The program sought to shield from deportation the parents of children protected from deportation under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.

However, in a split Supreme Court decision, DAPA essentially died last year when a lower court decision striking the policy down was upheld.

“The real question is DACA, which appears to be headed for a states’ [legal] challenge,” Inserra said. “If the administration doesn’t defend the policy, that would be a long way of canceling [it], through the courts.”

In June, 10 state attorneys general wrote the Justice Department threatening possible legal action. The Justice Department hasn’t indicated whether it will defend DACA, but Inserra has his doubts.

 6. Merit-Based Immigration

Mehlman, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said he expects that the Trump administration could attempt to offer an extension of DACA as a bargaining chip with congressional Democrats to pass a bill that would implement a merit-based immigration system.

As a candidate, Trump mostly talked about stopping illegal immigration. But earlier this month, the president backed a bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Purdue of Georgia to shift from a family-based immigration system to a merit-based system. The bill, which would also limit legal immigration, is called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or the RAISE Act.

Beck, of NumbersUSA, who was critical of Trump for not going after employers of illegal immigrants, praised the president for throwing the weight of the White House behind the RAISE Act.

However, the proposal is reportedly facing Republican skepticism or outright opposition from GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

7. Extreme Vetting

Courts have all but stopped Trump’s plans for extreme vetting, a policy that opponents call a “Muslim ban” because it affects majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa that lack a functional government.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order for a 120-day pause to temporarily block immigration from seven terrorism hot spots—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. He issued a new order  in March, dropping Iraq from the list.

The Trump administration sought to suspend issuance of visas to any country where screening can’t occur. The policy is on its way to the Supreme Court.

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Here Are 8 Monuments That Have Been Attacked Since Charlottesville http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/8-monuments-attacked-since-charlottesville/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/8-monuments-attacked-since-charlottesville/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:43:12 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352763 Since the awful riot that took place at the base of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, activists and... Read More

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Since the awful riot that took place at the base of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, activists and vandals have responded throughout the country by looking for 100-year-old monuments to destroy.

While it may be bad enough to strip down history, the process should rightly remain in the hands of local communities and be done through a legal and democratic process. Many of these statues are indeed of great men, but what truly makes America great is that we are a nation of laws and not men.

The monuments targeted for destruction are not just of Confederates—they are of Founders, explorers, emancipators, and religious men as well.

While polls have shown that most Americans want to keep the Confederate statues, lawless mobs and vandals have decided for us that history must be destroyed and dumped, perhaps literally, into the ash heap of history.

>>> Poll: Most Voters Want Confederate Statues to Remain

The following are some of the most egregious examples of monument defacement and destruction that have taken place in just a single week.

1.) Columbus Monument Smashed in Baltimore

A 225-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer who opened up the New World to colonization, was smashed by an individual wielding a sledgehammer in Baltimore, Maryland.

The act of vandalism was filmed, narrated, and posted on YouTube.

In the video, the narrator said:

Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere. Columbus initiated a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation, and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas.

A sign was placed in front of the monument that read, “The future is racial and economic justice.”

2.) Durham Statue to the ‘Boys Who Wore Gray’ Toppled

Immediately following the Charlottesville incident, a crowd assembled in front of a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina, dedicated to the young men who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

The protesters tied a rope to the bronze statue and pulled it down as police looked on.

Once the statue had been brought down, the gathering kicked and spat on it.

A number of the activists who participated were arrested afterward. One of those arrested, Taqiyah Thompson, a student at North Carolina Central University, is a member of the Workers World Party, according to The Daily Caller.

The Workers World Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization that defends the North Korean regime.

3.) Atlanta ‘Peace’ Monument Attacked

A mob in Atlanta attacked and damaged a monument constructed in 1911. The “Peace Monument” depicts a Confederate soldier laying down his arms.

A protester climbs the Confederate Peace Monument in Atlanta Georgia in an attempt to topple it. (Photo: Curtis Compton/TNS/Newscom)

The memorial wasn’t devoted to the Confederacy. It was instead built to pay tribute to unity between North and South as the Civil War generation faded from memory.

That didn’t matter to the activists who unsuccessfully tried to tear it down.

4.) Lincoln Memorial Spray Painted

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was defaced with spray paint.

The vandal, or vandals, painted the words “F— Law” on one of the stone columns that adorns the front of the structure.

The National Park Service began cleaning up immediately, but so far, no arrests have been made in connection to the incident.

Sadly, this wasn’t the only tribute to the Great Emancipator that was attacked in the days following Charlottesville.

5.) Abraham Lincoln Bust Vandalized in Chicago, Twice

A giant bust of Lincoln that had been sitting in a Chicago neighborhood for 100 years was burned and badly damaged.

“What an absolute disgraceful act of vandalism,” Alderman Ray Lopez wrote, according to The Epoch Times.

But shortly thereafter, the bust was vandalized again when someone slacked thick tar on it.

City officials are now looking to remove the piece of history to a safer location.

6.) Father Junipero Serra Covered in Red Paint

A statue of Father Junipero Serra was plastered with red paint and the word “murder” in a Los Angeles park.

Serra was a key figure in building a series of Spanish Catholic missions in California in the 1700s and was declared a saint by Pope Francis in 2015.

“Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people,” the pope said at the canonization ceremony.

7.) Glass of Boston Holocaust Memorial Shattered Again

A teenager allegedly threw a rock through a glass pane of the Boston Holocaust Memorial.

The glass shattered, but the vandal was detained by bystanders who said they saw the incident take place.

Workers clean up broken glass after the Holocaust Memorial was vandalized in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters/Newscom)

Though the statue had been unmolested since its construction in 1995, this was the second such incident since June.

8.) Robert E. Lee Statue Attacked, Removed at Duke University

A visage of Lee carved into limestone at Duke University was badly mauled.

The statue, which was above the entryway of Duke Chapel, was carved up and had a chunk of its nose removed.

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue at Duke University’s Chapel was damaged.(Photo: Jonathan Drake/Reuters/Newscom

Instead of repairing the statue, the school simply removed it.

“I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university,” Duke University President Vincent Price wrote in a letter to students and faculty, according to the Associated Press.

BONUS: Man Tries to Bomb Confederate Monument in Houston

An attack on a Houston statue was fortunately thwarted by police before it could be carried out.

A 25-year-old man, who was allegedly carrying materials that could be turned into explosives, was arrested near the statue of a Confederate soldier.

The man had previously been arrested and convicted for improperly storing explosives.

According to the Associated Press, when asked why he was targeting the statue, the accused said he didn’t “like that guy.”

The statue was dedicated to Irish immigrant Richard W. Dowling, and was “erected in 1905 to honor rebel soldiers who died at the Battle of Sabine Pass,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

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Paul Ryan Calls for Tax Reform, Letting Americans ‘Keep More of Your Own Money’ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/paul-ryan-calls-tax-reform-letting-americans-keep-money/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/paul-ryan-calls-tax-reform-letting-americans-keep-money/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:41:23 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352770 House Speaker Paul Ryan called for tax reform Monday night at a town hall in Racine, Wisconsin. “We are losing businesses left and right and... Read More

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House Speaker Paul Ryan called for tax reform Monday night at a town hall in Racine, Wisconsin.

“We are losing businesses left and right and this is among the reasons why we have to have fundamental tax reform,” Ryan, R-Wis., said. “But also it is a matter of economic growth … also it’s fairness.”

The Specifics for Tax Reform  

“What we are proposing on the individual side is get rid of the loopholes, get rid of the carve-outs, just lower people’s tax rates,” Ryan said. “Let you keep more of your own money. And simplify the code so much that you can fill out your taxes on a postcard.”

Tax reform will be a significant aid to helping the economy, Ryan said.

“We want a tax code built for growth, built for economic activity, we want a tax code that raises wages, keeps American companies in America, gives us faster economic growth,” he said.

In July at an event hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said tax reform would happen within the year, and Marc Short, President Donald Trump’s director of legislative affairs, said in July that he expects efforts for tax reform to kick into high gear after Labor Day.  

>>> Treasury Secretary Says Tax Reform Will Happen Within the Year

The Wisconsin lawmaker said he thinks “it’s going to be far easier for us to pass tax reform than it was, say, for health care reform.” He added:

It gets a little weedy, but one of the challenges we had with health care reform particularly in the Senate is that we had to use the Senate rules to write that bill, and all the health care items that we want to put in a health care reform bill, we couldn’t because of the Senate rules.

Instead, Ryan said the tax reform package “can go in one bill in the House and the Senate, so procedurally it makes it much easier.”

Called on Senate to Pass Obamacare

“The House has passed its bill,” Ryan said. “We’re waiting for the Senate to pass theirs.”

Three Republicans, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats June 28 to defeat the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill, and Ryan called on the Senate to make good on its promises.

The failed “skinny repeal” would have dismantled some of the most disliked aspects of Obamacare, including the individual and employer mandates, and the medical device tax. It also would have defunded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, The Daily Signal previously reported.

“Who was disappointed that the Senate failed to pass that bill by one vote the other day?” Ryan said. “We all are. The reason we are disappointed that they failed to do it … the reason I am disappointed is because the status quo is not an option.”

Condemned Charlottesville Violence

Ryan decried the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed and 19 were injured during a white supremacist rally on Aug. 13.

“I have a hard time believing that if you are standing in a crowd to protest something and you see all these anti-Semitic slogans, and ‘heil Hitlers’ and the swastikas, that you are good with that and you are a good person,” Ryan said. “You are not a good person if you are there, that is just so very clear.”

Support for Trump’s Agenda

Ryan voiced support for Trump’s agenda, saying, “I want this president to succeed … because I want our country to succeed.”

He added:

That’s why I work very closely with this president to make sure he succeeds so our country succeeds. We have a very important agenda that we are trying to put in place to improve people’s lives, to lift the economy, to make it healthier, to fix our military … so these are the things we are working on and those are the things that my kids see me working on.

The town hall, hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, was the first town hall Ryan has participated in in almost two years that was open to the public, the Associated Press reported.

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We Should Be Talking About Tax Reform, Not Instagram Posts http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/we-should-be-talking-about-tax-reform-not-instagram-posts/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/we-should-be-talking-about-tax-reform-not-instagram-posts/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:39:17 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352782 Once again, we’re not living in boring times. This time the Twitterverse and the media are up in arms over an Instagram post and comment... Read More

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Once again, we’re not living in boring times.

This time the Twitterverse and the media are up in arms over an Instagram post and comment from Scottish actress Louise Linton, who is married to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Posting on Instagram, a social media site that allows you to share photos online (and encourages glamorous shots by providing an array of filters and editing tools to help you polish your photos), Linton shared a photo of herself getting off a government plane, captioning it, according to screenshots circulating the internet, “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!” and then mentioning some of the designer brands she was wearing, including Tom Ford, Valentino, and Hermes.

Linton was on the trip with her husband and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents the Bluegrass State.

But one woman, identified by The New York Times as Oregon mom of three Jenni Miller, took issue with Linton’s Instagram post, writing, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”

Linton fired back.

Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”

“You’re adorably out of touch … Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute,” she continued.

Now, to be clear, Linton herself didn’t fly on the government’s dime. “A Treasury Department spokesman said Monday’s flight was cleared by appropriate government channels, and that the Mnuchins covered the cost of Linton’s travel,” reported The Washington Post. And on Tuesday, she apologized, saying in a statement obtained by CNN that “I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

However, Linton has a point about taxes.

Setting aside Linton’s bizarre assumptions (what if the woman commenting had been, say, a veteran?) and original lamentable tone (even if Linton was right that she and her husband have paid more in taxes, it’s a bit much to assume they have felt the pinch more), it’s true that rich Americans do pay a lot in taxes.

According to The Heritage Foundation’s research, the top 1 percent of Americans, based on annual income, earned 19 percent of all income, yet paid a whopping 38 percent of all income taxes in 2013. Look at the top 10 percent of earners, and they make 45 percent of all income—and pay 70 percent of all income taxes.

Nor is it clear that hiking taxes on the rich would necessarily lead to more revenue for the government, as this chart from Heritage’s “Federal Budget in Pictures” shows:

But all that being said, it’s unfortunate it takes a social media exchange to capture attention on the issue of taxes.

Too many Americans, likely including Miller, are being hurt by our current tax code. And Americans aren’t just hurt by the amount they have to fork over to Uncle Sam each year. They’re also hurt by the reduced opportunity that occurs because of the current tax code.  

For instance, a 2016 Tax Foundation analysis found that a House Republican tax reform plan would lead to, if implemented, “7.7 percent higher wages, and an additional 1.7 million full-time equivalent jobs.”

In other words, the status quo is leading to fewer jobs and lower wages than we could have with tax reform.

“The current tax system is economically destructive, overly complex, and unfairly treats similar taxpayers differently,” write The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia and Adam Michel in a May report.

“Responsible tax reform can increase economic prosperity and produce welfare gains for all Americans through increases in job creation, investment, output, and real wages.”

When it comes to matters that affect most Americans, it’s not one throwaway Instagram post that matters, but the broader issue of our broken tax code.

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Disagreement Isn’t Hate, Despite What the Left Says http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/disagreement-isnt-hate-despite-left-says/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/disagreement-isnt-hate-despite-left-says/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:24:36 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352724 Last week, I made a short video about how the media and the Southern Poverty Law Center were getting “hate” wrong, slandering good groups such... Read More

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Last week, I made a short video about how the media and the Southern Poverty Law Center were getting “hate” wrong, slandering good groups such as the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom by calling them hate groups.

Liberal activist groups do this because they disagree with conservatives on marriage and gender identity. But it’s wrong to think every disagreement is the result of hate.

Anti-gay bigotry exists. It’s wrong. And we should condemn it.

But support for marriage as the union of husband and wife isn’t anti-gay. Believing the truth about marriage—that it unites a man and woman as husband and wife in an act that makes them one flesh—isn’t “anti” anything.

Believing that men and women aren’t interchangeable, and that mothers and fathers aren’t replaceable, that children deserve both a mom and a dad—that’s not hate. It’s truth. And even if you disagree, you should acknowledge that it’s motivated by love, not hate.

Anti-trans bigotry is real—and it’s wrong. And we shouldn’t tolerate it.

But biology isn’t bigotry. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy conclude that sex is a biological reality and that gender is the social expression of that reality. And it’s entirely reasonable to have concerns about privacy and safety when males who identify as women can go into the ladies’ and girls’ bathroom and locker room.

Likewise, having concerns about giving children puberty blockers, or performing sex reassignment surgery on adults, isn’t anti-trans. It’s a disagreement about medicine.

The most helpful therapies for gender dysphoria focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.

These are difficult questions. We need to be able to disagree about them without smearing our opponents, on either side.

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Harvard Professor Calls Out Antifa for Trying to ‘Tear Down America’ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/harvard-professor-calls-out-antifa-for-trying-to-tear-down-america/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/harvard-professor-calls-out-antifa-for-trying-to-tear-down-america/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:19:32 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352695 Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that liberals should not treat Antifa members as heroes for tearing down Confederate monuments because they are trying to... Read More

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Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that liberals should not treat Antifa members as heroes for tearing down Confederate monuments because they are trying to “tear down America.”

“Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues. Many of these people, not all of them, many of these people are trying to tear down America. Antifa is a radical, anti-America, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard-left sensorial organization that tries to stop speakers on campuses from speaking,” Dershowitz said on “Fox & Friends”

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“They use violence. Just because they are opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments, should not make them heroes of the liberals,” he added.

Dershowitz warned there is a danger to tearing down these monuments because it creates a slippery slope regarding what is acceptable and what is not.

“Of course there is a danger of going too far,” Dershowitz said. “There is a danger of removing [George] Washington and [Thomas] Jefferson and other Founding Fathers who themselves owned slaves.”

He compared the movement to remove Confederate monuments to Josef Stalin, and accused the agitators of trying to rewrite history.

“The idea of willy nilly going through and doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes does pose a danger. And it poses a danger of education malpractice,” Dershowitz said.

The professor added that both sides of the aisle have a responsibility to condemn the extremes that occur on their particular point of the political spectrum.

“I’m a liberal, and I think it’s the obligation of liberals to speak out against the hard-left radicals, just like it’s the obligation of conservatives to speak out against the extremism of the hard right,” Dershowitz concluded.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Big Labor Donates to SPLC Following Charlottesville http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/big-labor-donates-to-splc-following-charlottesville/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/big-labor-donates-to-splc-following-charlottesville/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:17:20 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352707 Some of the nation’s largest labor unions have pledged to fight hate and violence in response to the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. The... Read More

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Some of the nation’s largest labor unions have pledged to fight hate and violence in response to the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees announced contributions to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Following President Donald Trump’s response to the violence, numerous business leaders and union leaders left the president’s manufacturing council citing concerns with Trump’s initial statement.

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Groups also used the opportunity to support liberal causes and nonprofits.

“Now is a moment for all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance, and inclusion to stand up and speak out,” AFSCME president Lee Saunders and secretary-treasurer Elissa McBride said in a statement shortly after the events in Charlottesville that left three dead and scores injured. The group also announced its support for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

AFSCME, which represents 1.6 million current and retired public service employees, was not the only group to come out against Charlottesville.

“The [United Auto Workers] condemns the hate and intolerance of the alt-right groups that led to such violence in Charlottesville,” United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said in statement Aug. 15. “Every woman and every man is equal in their civil and workplace rights regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation in society and in the workplace.”

Teachers unions also voiced their opposition following the events in Charlottesville, including Chicago teachers.

“Our position remains unchanged: The Chicago Teachers Union condemns any hate action and speech based on race, religion, citizenry, gender, and gender identification,” the union said in a letter. “We embrace dialogue and debate in our union, but we will never waver when it comes to fighting racism. To sit idly by and do nothing would make us just as guilty as those we condemn.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten also denounced Trump’s initial response, calling on him to call out racism by name.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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ACLU Goes Soft on First Amendment Rights of Gun Carriers http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/aclu-goes-soft-first-amendment-rights-gun-carriers/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/22/aclu-goes-soft-first-amendment-rights-gun-carriers/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:11:47 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352715 On the heels of deadly protests and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union has stated it will no longer defend the First... Read More

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On the heels of deadly protests and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union has stated it will no longer defend the First Amendment rights of “hate groups” seeking to lawfully exercise their right to openly carry firearms.

This announcement followed a highly circulated article published by Slate, which accused open carry militias of stifling speech through threats of violence and accused those exercising open carry of bringing firearms with the intent to “hurt people they want to see extinguished.”

It called for a re-evaluation of Second Amendment jurisprudence and decried the idea that “guns won” against the First Amendment in Charlottesville.

Apparently, the guns won without firing a single bullet or causing a single injury. Despite Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s claim that 80 percent of protesters came armed with semi-automatic weapons, he readily admitted that not a single shot was fired.

It seems once again the fear of open carry is misplaced.

To be clear, the ACLU is a private organization and has every right to decide who it will and will not represent. Similarly, Slate is a private online magazine and can freely advocate any position on gun control it finds most appealing.

It is nonetheless disheartening to see the ACLU, one of the staunchest defenders of the First Amendment, determine that the lawful exercise of the Second Amendment is a disqualifying factor in the organization’s decision to take on a case.

It lends support to Slate’s false assertion that the First and Second Amendments are at war—a complete misunderstanding of the relationship between these two cornerstones of American liberty.

Far from negating the First Amendment, the Second Amendment gives teeth to the First Amendment.

The Second Amendment acts as an insurance measure for the person seeking to exercise free speech, as it serves as a visible deterrent to anyone who would try to suppress that speech using physical aggression.

Even more discouraging is that opposing open carry for those who hold unpopular or offensive views gives voice to the false idea we are hearing more and more: that “hate speech is not free speech.”

There is simply no room for debate over whether so-called “hate speech” is protected. The First Amendment protects the right of anyone to publicly voice support for even the most outrageous and offensive ideologies without being forcibly suppressed by either the government or private individuals.

No matter how disgusting most Americans find the viewpoints of the tiki torch-carrying white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville, even they have a constitutionally protected right to espouse their repugnant views.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly and unequivocally held that hateful, offensive, and unpopular speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Neo-Nazis have a constitutionally protected right to parade with swastika flags down the streets of Skokie, Illinois, as a purposeful affront to Holocaust survivors, just as pro-abortion advocates have a constitutionally protected right to demonstrate with blood-smeared pants as an intentional means of offending nearby pro-life marchers.

Speech is not criminal simply because the speaker intends to provoke anger, alarm, or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, or creed. The First Amendment exists to protect speech, not subjective feelings.

The First Amendment does, of course, have some limits. It does not protect fighting words or incitement to imminent violence (though it does protect inflammatory speech that generally advocates violent actions).

In Virginia v. Black, the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional state laws that criminalized the burning of crosses where such actions were meant as intimidation, but it also ruled that a state cannot determine by law that the burning of such crosses constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate.

At the very least, Virginia v. Black provides a tenuous connection to the question of whether open carry during speech is intimidation. At best, it arguably asserts a defense for open carry advocates against those who would automatically deem the carrying of firearms evidence of intent to intimidate.

The case for restricting open carry during public rallies is even further dismantled by the Second Amendment itself. While the open carry of firearms can certainly be construed as “unprotected speech” for First Amendment purposes, for the 45 states permitting some form of the practice, open carry is protected under right to keep and bear arms in a way cross-burning is not.

Slate seems to suggest a balancing test for determining whether the exercise of the Second Amendment is outweighed by the risks of gun violence. This type of test, however, was explicitly rejected by the court as insufficient for protecting an enumerated right.

This is important. There are, unfortunately, individuals whose explicit goal is the use of physical violence as a means of suppressing views they find abhorrent.

In a twisted notion of tolerance, they assert the “right” to suppress nonviolent but offensive speech with actual violence. They show up prepared to inflict bodily harm with any means available, from fists and pepper spray to baseball bats and improvised flamethrowers.

There is no legal basis for this dangerous ideology, and it is in fact the hallmark of all historical reincarnations of tyranny.

Violent suppression and censorship of ideas is a dogma that has justified book burnings and authorized re-education camps. It has vindicated the most vicious of ideological purgings and ushered in the most oppressive of dictatorships.

It now undergirds the expressed motives of supposedly valiant and liberty-minded “anti-fascists.”

Just as the First Amendment protects the right of those with unpopular beliefs to publicly convey their beliefs without the threat of violent suppression, the Second Amendment protects those wishing to actively deter such threats of violent suppression.

It is not only disheartening for the ACLU to demand that socially ostracized groups forego their Second Amendment rights or forfeit the organization’s defense of their First Amendment rights. It is dangerous.

It emboldens counterprotesters who would fight subjective offense with objective violence, and it perpetuates the notion that those with socially disagreeable viewpoints are entitled to a lesser level of constitutional protection.

The ACLU, Slate, and other open carry objectors misidentify the problem. They wrongly implicate those carrying firearms as the people who are suppressing free speech and are liable to cause a wave of violence.

This is, statistically speaking, absurd. On the whole, legal gun owners are not the cause of most gun crime.

In Charlottesville, not a single bullet was fired by those exercising their right to open carry. Not a single injury was attributed to firearms. Not a single arrest was made for improper use or threatening behavior associated with the lawful open carrying of guns.

There are undoubtedly some people who will view this appeal to constitutional protections for socially offensive groups as an endorsement of their messages. But this is not only false, it is intellectually dishonest.

Leading conservative outlets no more endorse the views of the white nationalists whose rights they defend than the ACLU defends the message of the neo-Nazis, racist fraternities, or funeral-protesting churches, whose constitutional rights the ACLU routinely defends.

Rather than weakening the protection of fundamental First and Second Amendment rights, the proper (and constitutional) response to abhorrent ideas is to bring them to the intellectual woodshed and break them to pieces on the chopping block of reason.

Moreover, the solution is never to pit the Second Amendment against the First Amendment. The two mutually support each other and together strengthen individual liberty, just as the Founders intended.

The ACLU would do well to recognize that.

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Trump Lays Out a Winning Strategy for Afghanistan http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/trump-speech-on-afghanistan/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/trump-speech-on-afghanistan/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:09:46 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352547 After months of speculation and delay, President Donald Trump has sided with the expert advice of his military and national security team on the way... Read More

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After months of speculation and delay, President Donald Trump has sided with the expert advice of his military and national security team on the way forward to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

In what was by far his best and most statesmanlike speech since taking office, Trump outlined a new approach Monday night to the ongoing war in Afghanistan: a laser-like focus on counterterrorism, jettisoning the quixotic nation-building rhetoric of the past, helping the Afghans defeat the Taliban insurgency (not doing it for them), lifting onerous restrictions placed by the Obama administration on the way the military conducts warfighting, and pressuring Pakistan and its support for certain elements of the Taliban.

Crucially, Trump made clear that under his watch, progress in Afghanistan will be measured by conditions on the ground and not by a politically driven and artificial timeline—a major departure from President Barack Obama.

What Trump outlined in his speech tonight was a reasonable, realistic, and responsible strategy to ensure America achieves “an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made” in Afghanistan.

There were three important takeaways from Trump’s speech.

First is his commitment to send more trainers to Afghanistan and stay committed to the mission there, even though, in his own words, it went against his initial instincts. This shows that he trusts his commanders and national security team.

The commitment to send more U.S. trainers is particularly important. The war being fought in Afghanistan today is not the same war from 2001 or even 2009, when the U.S. was leading combat operations.

Today, the Afghans are in the lead, and the U.S. mission is one of training, advising, and assisting.

Ultimately, it is the Afghans’ country and their war. We are not there to fight for them, but to help them fight and win.

The Afghan security forces are that country’s ticket to long-term security and stability. If we continue to mentor, train, and fund the Afghan military, the Afghans will be able to take on the insurgency themselves.

Not only will this help the Afghans prevent their country from becoming a hub for transnational terrorism, this will eventually establish the security conditions inside which a genuine political process can take place.

This is why Trump’s decision to increase the number of U.S. advisers and mentors is so important.

Second, the president was right to state very clearly that the U.S. is no longer in the business of nation building, and that we do not seek to bring our way of life to Afghanistan.

We are there for national security alone—ours and the Afghans’.

For many years, America’s mission in Afghanistan was often defined by lofty rhetoric of “nation building” and “bringing democracy.” Consequently, the inability to produce what public opinion considers tangible and achievable results 16 years on has disappointed many.

Success in Afghanistan is not when 100 percent of its districts are under the complete control of the Afghan government, or when there are no more suicide bombings. Nor is success in Afghanistan achieved when every road is paved, every girl goes to school, or everyone gets the right to vote.

These things are very important in themselves, and we should hope for them, but they are neither the reasons why we went to Afghanistan nor the reasons we should remain there. It is welcome that Trump gets this.

Finally, another important aspect of Trump’s speech—and arguably the most important in the long run—was the emphasis on a regional strategy.

The main focus here, of course, is Pakistan and its nefarious role in harboring and providing succor to elements of the Taliban. As Trump stated very clearly: “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups.”

This will likely be the hardest aspect of his strategy to achieve. Both of Trump’s immediate predecessors also made overtures to the “regional” approach to Afghanistan, but neither delivered.

Pakistan cannot have it both ways, and the U.S. has a great deal of leverage to use to help Islamabad change its ways. If Trump is seriousness about this and has the political will to truly pressure Pakistan, then his regional approach will succeed where it has failed for others.

So can Trump’s strategy bring success in America’s longest war?

Success will be achieved when Afghanistan is stable enough to manage its own internal and external security to a degree that stops interference from outside powers, allowing the country to resist the establishment of terror bases that were there before. Nothing more and nothing less.

In that context, the current war in Afghanistan is winnable.

We need to start measuring success by achievements on the ground and not by unrealistic expectations based in nation building. Trump’s speech is a great place to start.

We also need to realize that patience is required. Success in Afghanistan will be measured in years and decades, not 24-hour news cycles and 140-character-long tweets.

The strategy Trump outlined is a prudent way to assure that we can meet our strategic security objectives. It will send all the right messages to our allies and foes alike, be they in Europe, Afghanistan, or the rest of South Asia.

Now is not the time to turn our backs.

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6 Takeaways as Trump Recommits US to ‘Defeat the Enemy’ in Afghanistan http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/trump-recommits-us-to-kill-terrorists-and-defeat-the-enemy-in-afghanistan/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/trump-recommits-us-to-kill-terrorists-and-defeat-the-enemy-in-afghanistan/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 02:29:54 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352526 President Donald Trump announced an unspecified surge of  troops in Afghanistan to “kill terrorists” and “defeat the enemy” during a prime-time address Monday night to... Read More

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President Donald Trump announced an unspecified surge of  troops in Afghanistan to “kill terrorists” and “defeat the enemy” during a prime-time address Monday night to soldiers at Fort Myer, Virginia, at the same time rejecting nation building and promising “principled realism.”

The president also touted a regional strategy, warning that he expects more responsibility from Pakistan and reaching out for more help from India to crush the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and 17 other organizations in the region that the U.S. regards as terrorists.

“Terrorists, take heed: America will never let up until you are dealt a lasting defeat,” Trump said, speaking nearly 16 years after President George W. Bush led the nation to war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks.

“We will not talk about numbers of troops, or our plans for further military activities,” Trump said at another point, in a clear rebuke to his immediate predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Most reports ahead of the 25-minute speech said the president planned to send another 4,000 troops to bolster the 8,400 already in Afghanistan.

But he pointedly declined to specify a number. The primary goal of the stronger commitment, he said, will be to train and advise Afghan forces as a more formidable military.

While departing from a core plank of his campaign, Trump sounded like a candidate when he said, “I’m a problem solver. In the end, we will win.”

Initial response from conservative lawmakers and policy analysts was positive.

James Carafano, a national security expert at The Heritage Foundation, voiced support for the new policy.

“An Afghanistan that is free, stable, and governable is in America’s best interest,” Carafano said in a prepared statement, adding: “Achieving that end can only be achieved with results on the ground—not by a calendar set by political expediency, and it can only be achieved by resetting America’s strategy in South Asia. The president was right to make a commitment to the American people to do the job right, and should remain committed to enhancing security in the region in the coming years.”

Six key takeaways from the president’s remarks:

1. A Change of Mind

Trump noted his position as a candidate for president, when he was opposed to escalating the conflict in Afghanistan.

Americans, he said, are “weary of war without victory.”

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” the president said.

“So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.”

2. Three Conclusions

“I arrived at three fundamental conclusions about America’s core interests in Afghanistan,” the president said of the results of his meetings with military leaders and his national security team.

“First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made.”

He referred to the final departure of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, which he said led to the rise of the Islamic State, or ISIS, as well as the fact that Afghanistan was a safe haven for terrorists before 9/11.

“Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said, adding: “A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists—including ISIS and al-Qaeda—would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11.”

“Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense. Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan—the highest concentration in any region of the world.”

3. No Telegraphed Exit Plan

Trump repeated what he said many times as a candidate.

“A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions,” he said. “I’ve said it many times, how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin, or end, military operations.”

“Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on,” he added. “I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.”

The president said he would not micromanage his commanders but instead free them of burdensome rules of engagement.

“Our troops will fight to win,” he said.

But, he said, the Afghan government must do its part by making the “real reforms, progress, and results” necessary to bring “lasting peace.” America’s patience, the president said, is limited.

4. Putting Pakistan on Notice

Pakistan gives safe haven to terrorists, the president said.

“In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear: We must stop the re-emergence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America; and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us.”

The president said the administration will change its approach to Pakistan.  

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said. “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists.”

He also called for more help from India in the form of economic development and assistance.

“India makes billions of dollars from trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan,” Trump said.

5. No Nation Building

Trump stuck with his rejection of nation building.

“We are not nation building again,” the president said. “We are killing terrorists”

“We will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands, or try to rebuild other countries in our own image,” he said.

“We are not asking others to change their way of life, but to pursue common goals that allow our children to live better lives. This principled realism will guide our decisions moving forward.”

6. Unity at Home

Although the president didn’t directly talk about the Aug. 12 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the political storm over his piecemeal reaction, he clearly referred to it when he said the military’s sense of unity should serve as an example of unity for the rest of the country.

“When one part of America hurts, we all hurt and when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together,” Trump said at the beginning of his speech.

“Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. … We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.”

Trump returned to this theme at the end of his remarks, noting the sacrifices of those at rest in nearby Arlington National Cemetery and the need to honor them as a nation.

“In every generation, we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed,” he said, “because we know who we are and what we are fighting for.”

“We must unite to defend America from its enemies abroad,” the president said.

“We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts, courage in our souls, and everlasting pride in every one of you.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

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We Hear You: White Supremacists, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa in Charlottesville http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/we-hear-you-white-supremacists-black-lives-matter-and-antifa-in-charlottesville/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/we-hear-you-white-supremacists-black-lives-matter-and-antifa-in-charlottesville/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 01:01:39 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352263 Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s coverage of the violence in Charlottesville and its political aftermath, including President Trump’s hotly disputed comments, stirred responses from our... Read More

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Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s coverage of the violence in Charlottesville and its political aftermath, including President Trump’s hotly disputed comments, stirred responses from our audience. Here is a sampling. Write us: letters@dailysignal.com—Ken McIntyre

Throughout and beyond Donald Trump’s election, we have witnessed unacknowledged left-wing, violent protests against the invented “fascism”  and “white supremacy” of Trump—both utter distortions meant to color Trump as a racist as well as Hitler-like (“1 Dead, 9 Seriously Injured as Car Slams Into Pedestrians at White Nationalist Rally“).

Fascism, anyone? The left protests with violence against ideas they regard as a physical assault. Huh? So speech equals physical attack? And shutting down speech is fascism. So who, really, is a fascist?

Has any major figure on the left come out to denounce Black Lives Matter or Antifa? Black Lives Matter was a movement pretty much created by Obama, and is as racist as you can be. Black lives matter? OK, so do other colors. But do you see them forming ridiculous hate groups like warring tribes?

If black lives matter so much, why don’t they do something about saving them? Where don’t they matter? I guess in the inner city, where they kill each other. So who don’t they matter to? It’s not whites or Asians killing them.

Sure, Trump has had a big mouth, especially during his campaign. And if the neo-Nazis or KKK are his supporters, he should denounce them without hesitation, just the way President Obama denounced the Black Panthers. Oh, wait, I forgot, he didn’t do that.

And was big ignorant Don saying anything about that? Certainly not, since he’s only inclined to say dumb things about those whose ideas he doesn’t seem to comprehend.—Brad Gillespie

***

Let’s hear it for those white nationalists mowing down pedestrians and causing death to innocent victims. The scum has always been there, but now they have been emboldened by one of their own being elected president.

Trump tweets: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

But he has done nothing but insult, lie, and divide for his entire life. He preached violence in his campaign.—Don Smith

***

When I was very young, my father taught me that the bite of a rattlesnake could be deadly (“Justice Department Opens Civil Rights Probe of Violence in Charlottesville“). He told me to never antagonize a rattler, as it would strike back if provoked.

This is a lesson that the racist Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the rest of the groups in Charlottesville, Virginia,  should have been taught. Just like a rattler, the neo-Nazis, KKK, and their followers struck back after being provoked.

The protesters and counterprotesters both came looking for a fight. They all brought weapons. Both sides are equally guilty in this mess and especially the Virginia governor and Charlottesville mayor along with the lamestream media.—Alan Brandenburg

 

Arrest those on both sides who caused violence, and provide the public with their names and addresses. Include who paid for their violent involvement. The Antifa participants should not be allowed to hide behind the Democrats’ BS.—Tony Curran

***

After watching these confrontations on TV, I was struck by the complete lack of law enforcement. Almost as if those in charge of the city wanted a confrontation to occur, for whatever reason. As despicable as white nationalists are, I never once heard the media mention the communist anarchists Antifa.—Don Oates

***

There were no problems until liberals entered the demonstration. They and the young woman who got killed were there to try to prevent the white supremacists from exercising their First Amendment rights as guaranteed by our Constitution. Did the Justice Department ever investigate Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter groups?—Albert Guzicki

There definitely were problems before the counterdemonstrators arrived. If you do not see the neo-Nazi movement as a problem, then you are showing very poor judgment. There is no moral parity here. White supremacists, the KKK, and every form of racist behavior is evil and without excuse.

The leftists have been accusing all conservatives of being in league with and sympathetic to white supremacist ideals. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is not a political issue, it is a moral and legal one and should be handled accordingly.—Bill Tanksley

***

My life experience tells me that when a large-scale altercation breaks out, like the one in Charlottesville, it takes two to tango.  That means that the Nazis were on one side and someone else was on the other.

That other group was Antifa, a violent, ultra-left group of thugs that pals around with Black Lives Matter. Were these people just peacefully counterprotesting and were then set upon by the Nazi thugs?

The Nazis/white supremacists applied for and received a permit from the city to hold their rally in a park, and were quietly holding their demonstration when Antifa and BLM showed up. I wonder who came to fight?

Both groups, ultimately, were involved. So, why is all I’m seeing in the media, and even from some Republican politicians, is condemnation of the actions of just one of the two groups involved?—Stephen Smith

***

Racism works on both sides, extreme right and extreme left. Why aren’t these Black Lives Matter and black-clothed violent protesters of the left, who have caused such mayhem, considered racists and terrorists as well? I hold with neither, but it should be brought out that both sides are racist and violent and unacceptable.—Tonie Lesia Dalton

***

The whole mess could have been avoided if everyone had merely ignored the original marchers. So what, a small group of neo-Nazis wanted to parade down the street. Look the other way.—Michael Pierce

***

Darn. President Trump is wrong if he says something and wrong if he doesn’t. At least he does not jump to conclusions, like our former so-called leader.—Cheryl Detar

Activists affiliated with Antifa insert mouthguards Aug. 12 before confronting white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo: John Rudoff/Polaris/Newscom)

There is just something too pat about this. It is almost made to order. Both sides are really leftist when you examine them. “Neo-Nazi,” for example. In Germany, Nazis were the National Socialists, and as such were allied with Marxism.

Black Lives Matter and other such “rent-a-mob” groups also are leftist Marxist groups. What better way for George Soros, and his like-minded allies bent on the destruction of the United States, to keep the division going than this?

The essence of the First Amendment is that it protects speech, especially political speech, which you may disagree with and not want to hear. In today’s society, the movement is to stamp out any speech and anyone with whom the left disagrees. Of course, that leaves them in total control of thought and lives—their goal. 

I sincerely hope the Justice Department thoroughly investigates. I hope they find out just who was behind each side. They may find that both sides were funded and motivated by the same entity.

I also would remind the left and Democrats in general of your past history, which seems to be repeating itself. We had a Civil War because you would not accept the duly elected president, Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and resisted the dissolution of slavery.

You have managed to put the black population back on plantations of the inner cities, the projects, and destroyed the black family through welfare and drugs. As usual, you seek to blame those who object to your aims.

Public Law 810, approved by Congress on Feb. 26, 1929, directed the War Department to erect headstones and recognize Confederate grave sites as U.S. grave sites. By an act of Congress, approved May 23, 1958, Confederate soldiers, sailors, and marines in the Civil War were made U.S. veterans (Public Law 85-425 Sec. 410).

Under these two U.S. laws, when you remove a Confederate statue, monument, or headstone, you are removing the marker of a U.S. veteran. Mob rule, rather than the rule of law, is accurate.

Removing statues to men who were Confederates is wrong. You cannot erase your history by demonizing them and seeking to put the blame on the Republicans.—Joan Gibson

Your story reports: “Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, a Democrat, appeared to blame Trump for the violence in his city.”

And yet the mayor’s Police Department didn’t keep the protesters separated, allowing the agitators to close and physically engage the white supremacists. Trump is absolutely correct: There is blame here on both sides, with the left intending to incite, once again, violence at a rally they intended to suppress by any means necessary.

The mayor, his minions, and the first aggressors are the proximate cause of this incident evolving into a homicide. Let’s be honest here: Antifa is a much larger terrorist and hate group than these wanna-be Nazis.

The left in is intent on fomenting violence at every turn and every opportunity, to break down American government and create anarchy. They hope to create an American revolution, similar to the Russian revolutions of 1917 thru 1920—ushering in a Marxist-Leninist prelude to their desired one-government New World Order.

The incident in Virginia was, in fact, Nazis against fascists. How ironic is that? Two leftists forms of lunacy clashing.—George Dean

***

Black Lives Matter and Antifa have the right to protest the protesters peacefully, but not the right to become violent. The media is hypocritical by condemning the protesters but not the anti-protesters who started the violence. They should be arrested and prosecuted, just as the man accused of driving into the crowd was.

Every American has the right to speak, no matter how hateful that speech is. That right ends when you revert to violence. Ultimately, the Charlottesville mayor should be held responsible because if he prepared for the protests as he should have, no one would have been physically harmed and the only thing hurt would be feelings.—Barbara Paolucci

Regarding Sen. Ted Cruz’s commentary: As I despise racism, period, from anyone, I have yet to hear these words uttered when Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, the Black Panthers, Antifa, or any other racist, bigoted left group blocks roads, loots businesses, and administers their hate (“White Supremacists Will Not Tear  America Apart”).

Either is terribly wrong and due to the recent eight years of hate hailed by our previous administration, which catapulted Trump’s campaign, this all has to stop. Yes, everyone has First Amendment rights. However, when your freedom incites unrest, you should be held accountable.

Treat all people as equal. Then we will start healing. But it won’t happen until then. Just a fact.—Fritz Barowsky

***

And where was Ted Cruz when Antifa was doing all of the rioting, burning, looting, and pillaging in an effort to kill free speech? Where were any of the politicians? Oh, I forgot that a number of Democrats actually came out and embraced Antifa’s destructive actions, right along with our Pravda West propaganda media.—Michael Winkler

***

I agree with Senator Cruz’s words. However, I want to know why he didn’t come out and speak the same truths against the Black Lives Matter people or the so-called Antifa fascists. Violence is violence, period. Hate is hate, period. There should be none of this allowed in our country from either side.—Jasl Bird

***

Here’s, to paraphrase Al Gore, an inconvenient fact: Racism isn’t a one-way street. Certainly in the history of this country, it was predominantly racist attitudes by some whites against anyone with a different skin tone. To label an entire group, whites, as racist is racist in itself.

At Charlottesville, I saw people of different races taunting and threatening each other. It wasn’t just whites. If people can’t admit that was the case, any discourse would be futile. Let’s just grab our weapon of choice and have it out in the town square. That would be the uncivilized thing to do, don’t you think?—Suezue Bartlett

***

Sad and deeply disappointing. I am not sure that we are big enough to overcome this; I fear that we are approaching the tipping point for civil war. Each side hates those on the other, and those of us in the middle know we stand in the way of harm aimed at others, so we will be forced to pick the lesser of evils. I consider this as threatening, or even more so, as North Korea.—Thomas K. Pedersen

***

Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but this country has already been divided in more ways than one can imagine. You really only need to open your eyes to see it all. It comes down to one thing: We are too much into ourselves. We forget that in reality we are human first before we are our race or our wealth.

We want things our way, and no other way will work. Even our government officials cannot compromise. Rich, poor, middle class, black, white, brown, etc., we allow this to control who we are. We need to learn from our babies. If you put a bunch of babies together, they could care less about any of that, but they do need to learn to play together and not fight over a toy.

That’s where the adults come in and teach. But we not only teach them to play nice; as they get older we teach them race and wealth matter more than our playing together. Our ancestors did it, so we do it. We are to blame for our divisions.—Joe A. Elizand

***

Regarding President Trump’s formal remarks: White supremacists are vile (“White Supremacist Violence Has No Place in America”). But first off, I’m not sure all the protesters were white supremacists. I agree that the Confederate statues should stay, as well.

Second, leftist paid agitators are just as vile, even more so because they instigated the violence. They, along with the white supremacists are the scum of the earth.  Third, the media are ignoring the parts the ACLU (which sued to have the counterprotesters be able to occupy the same space as the protesters, and won) and the inept police (who didn’t keep the two groups separate) played in this fiasco. The media are totally in bed with and enabling the paid leftists.—Ira Ravitz

In response to Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, I am not much about monuments of any regard; nonetheless, we are not seeing what Lincoln envisioned in reconciliation (“I Went to Charlottesville. Here’s What I Saw”). Now maybe they will strike down the bricks from the buildings of Washington and Lee University next, and then take a wrecking ball to the Lincoln Memorial.—Richard D. Smith

***

What a load of horses—. Why is it so hard for some people to unequivocally condemn the white nationalists that are the cause of everything that happened in Charlottesville? Why do they equivocate and try to diffuse the blame? This one is on the white nationalists.—Pete  Siete Uno

***

Instead of understanding that America is a never-ending experiment that improves upon itself because of its failures, it is believed we should erase all our failures and be a house without a foundation. That house cannot stand and will fall.—Shane Todd

***

Jarrett Stepman’s article was well written. My complaint is that groups want to forget history. Abolishing flags and statues will not do this. What is next? Removing the USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor, as if this did not take place? The left will do anything to control the message to their slant. None of the groups involved is mainstream and most are either paid anarchists or are just misled idiots.—Larry Vowell

***

A few years ago I visited Germany and toured Eagles Nest, which was Hitler’s home in the Alps where it’s believed his war was planned. I visited a concentration camp in Munich and saw the history of that place.

After World War II ended, Britain was readying to blow up Eagles Nest. At the last minute, they were convinced not to, as its history was important to learn from. Additionally, the Germans were forbidden to remove the concentration camps. I’m grateful for cooler heads so we have that history today.

Throughout Europe are statues, paintings, and palaces of people who were brutal tyrants and committed terrible acts. Throughout the Middle East and Egypt are statues of rulers and pagan gods where slave labor was likely used to create them, and where humans were sacrificed to them. How terrible it would be to remove all those statues and paintings throughout Asia and Europe.
In fact, al-Qaeda and ISIS have been doing just that. Hopefully we can be smarter.—David Norton

***

What’s going to happen when these ignorant leftists come to find out that most of the black slaves were bought and sold before there ever was a Confederate flag? Bought and sold with the American flag flying in the wind.

Where does it stop: the White House, the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Washington Monument? Wall Street was specifically designated as the place for the slave market in New York. What’s the left gonna do, blow up Wall Street? It’s a sad day for America when politicians allow idiots to try to erase our history.—Kevin Jean

***

Perhaps these statuary and notices of the Confederacy should be relegated to private lands and buildings for preservation by those treasuring them. Public notices might focus on plaques that inform of the sites of important engagements and their significance, only without including statuary. Statuary of military and civil leaders, particularly Confederate leaders, are not themselves historical except in the sense that they preserve something of the defiance that remained in many quarters of the South in the wake of Confederate defeat.—Thomas G. Johnson

***

This quote in Stepman’s commentary says it all: “A local gas station attendant told my wife: ‘These people from out of town, Nazis, [Black Lives Matter], they’re all hate groups to me.’” Which is exactly what those left of common sense do not want to hear. Both sides are hate groups.

President Trump pointed this out and was royally dissed for it. He was dissed to the point of having to spend Sunday and Monday explaining what he meant by “all.”  Trump’s decision to cave to the mainstream media and backpedal on his original comments did not sit well with me.—Margie Miller-Anglen

***

The violence in Charlottesville was tragic but should not come as a surprise. Antifa has been on a violent path since President Trump’s inauguration. White supremacy is vile in my opinion, but the First Amendment protects their right to free speech just as it protects the right of Antifa. But violence is not free speech.

The police are charged with the duty of keeping law and order. They are given that authority by us and to ensure that authority, they carry a badge and a gun. The police should not stand back and watch. There should have been mass arrests and that should have started long before the mowing down of people marching. It should have started on Inauguration Day.

I am a Trump supporter, but on this, the administration has failed. Trump ran on a platform of law and order. Yet, as far as I can tell, he has not gone beyond using words to address these situations. Appealing to stupid people on the far left and right doesn’t cut it. They only listen to themselves anyway. Put them in jail for a year, you have a shot at getting their attention.

News media reporting one-sided stories also need to be held accountable. Government whose primary purpose is to keep its citizens safe needs to be held accountable. And we the people will be held accountable by future generations for protecting the rights of future Americans and their children by our success or failure at preserving the guiding principles that make this country unique and great.—Nathan Bannister

Anyone notice that since we have had 24-hour newscasts we have become more and more divided? Hate groups are given three, four, five days of attention. Friends against friends on social media. Maybe we need to turn off our televisions and smartphones and talk to our neighbors and friends.—Les Jordan

***

Jarrett Stepman sums up pretty well what’s in the making for the near future of America (“I Went to Charlottesville. Here’s What I Saw”). And he has a valid point when he mentions that the downing of statues is a direct taunting of some elements of the populace. The past is there to stay and not to be rewritten as some are trying to do.

The internal war has started, with the divisive campaign where those who lost the election didn’t respect the verdict of the nation. Why would those who respected the verdict in 2008 and 2012 welcome the abuse thrown at them by the losers of the 2016 election?

As Stepman writes: “In a country of 320 million people of stunningly diverse ethnic backgrounds and philosophies, this is a fire bell in the night for complete cultural disintegration. The end result will be uglier than the already sickening events that took place this weekend.” I second the observation.—Peter Riden

***

It can be argued that this country returned to a form of normality only because of men like Gen. Robert E. Lee, who put aside division after the Civil War and convinced his compatriots that they should do the same. Aside from that fact, tearing down memorials is tantamount to book burning. We cannot improve on history if we choose to ignore it.

We are also a country that protects the minority against the tyranny of the majority. There may be only a handful of people who revere some aspect of Confederate history, but that reverence should be protected, not torn down.

Many are going out of their way today to protect members of the very small LGBT community. Ironically, these are the same people who are going out of their way to deny Confederate history. Why is one worthy of protection and the other not?

This is why a pure democracy is a dangerous thing. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. It is subject to the whims of the moment. For this reason, our wise framers created a constitutional republic with the hope that its checks and balances would keep us in balance. We were able to advance the country as long as we held to our founding principles, but we saw them slowly erode starting about 1916, when the so-called progressives took full command (from Woodrow Wilson on down).

If the United States of America is to survive, we must get back to adherence to our constitutional principles. Otherwise, well, there can be no otherwise.—Ken Marx

Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary: Why not raise funds to erect a statue of Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, or Frederick Douglass in a public square in Durham, North Carolina (“Mob Rule Prevails in Durham Toppling of Confederate Statue”)? Why not do something positive instead of destructive? How does destruction of public or private property help anyone’s cause?

History is history, there is no changing what happened. Why are we being told to be on the “right side” of history? No one in their right mind supports slavery. There is no need to re-fight the Civil War. Didn’t enough Americans die in it?

A conservative speaker gets invited to speak on a college campus and that is supposed to justify rioting in the streets, smashing store windows, looting, setting people’s cars on fire, and fighting with police who are trying to restore order and stop illegal activities. This is supposed to convince rational people to accept the point of view of these rioters?—Jerry Zacny

***

So, I guess if you want to commit multiple felonies without being bothered by the police, you just have to go to Durham.—David Verrinder

***

The local police allowed this to happen by watching the destruction in Durham. I guess if some college kid was drunk and urinated on the statue, he would have been arrested. All this is happening because the left is trying to rewrite history.—William Abbate

***

Keep playing identity politics, keep self-segregating ideas and cultures. Then take a look at pictures from Mao’s cultural revolution in China, and look at Charlottesville and Durham. They are the same. The mainstream media is 100 percent in bed with the radical left and sees no crime. Divide and conquer. Think not? Then watch our democracy crumble.—Al Korzen

Regarding Katrina Trinko’s commentary: Can you imagine the uproar if there were a group just like the Southern Poverty Law Center that targeted only liberals, progressives, and assorted communist-backed organizations (“In Misguided Response to Charlottesville, Apple Donates to Liberal Group That Endangers Conservatives”)?

The media would be up in arms. There would be arrests and congressional investigations and heads would roll over it. But since the Southern Poverty Law Center targets only conservatives and especially Republicans, nothing bad is ever said about it. Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat.—Bob Terrell

***

Just like legislators need to evaluate with promoting freedom and personal responsibility as the main criteria, doing good for people who need help, not mind-shaping, should be the basis of altruistic efforts.  Literacy and job skills are the true lifters of society. You would think Apple would be able to identify what brought their success and want to distribute it.—Michael Watson 

***

Wow, how dare there exist in this nation a group that is against racism? The Daily Signal says that is a threat to conservatives. Hmm, so The Daily Signal and conservatives embrace the right to disrespect minorities and their civil rights that could be a threat to them.—Audrey Fisher

***

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown that he is an unrepenting liberal extremist from the day he assumed the top position. I am considering not replacing my iPhone with another Apple product.—Herrmann Glockler

***

If you’re smart enough to run Apple, you should be smart enough to know that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a leftist, treasonous clique.—Jim Noonan

***

Hmmm, blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center for the shooting at Republican lawmakers’ baseball practice because he “liked” SPLC is a real stretch, and because a gunman found the name of a conservative group [the Family Research Council] indirectly by viewing the SPLC website doesn’t quite rise to the level of causation.

The SPLC can be criticized for wrongly labeling two conservative groups as “hate” groups, but to blame them for the actions of two deranged individuals is just plain wrong. I understand that you’re certainly not fans of SPLC, but to blame them for others’ violent actions is going too far.—Mark Fleckenstein

***

With that $1 million it gave SPLC, Apple could help American graduates pay their private student loans. This would be a better decision.—Marleny Rubio

The Antifa fascists are simply mirror images of Nazi extremists on the “other” side (“Far-Left Antifa Agitators on the Rise in the Age of Trump”). Both are somewhat like a dog attacking himself in a mirror.

The only difference between those two groups of extremists (or any other violent, anarchic extremists) is ideology, as both are driven by hate, willful ignorance, bigotry, victimology, extreme polarization, etc., openly reflecting a profoundly diseased intellectual and moral state of being.

And neither group occupies the moral high ground, though they like to think that of themselves. They are actually among the worst among us.

So both extreme, highly polarized ends are just being used and played against the middle in an attempt to polarize or stampede the vast majority in the middle to one extreme or the other, in the process undermining or destroying the stability, decency, freedom, and order of our society. Sounds like the work of a master manipulator known as the evil one, using his willing human accomplices.

Probably the Russian government could not be happier with Antifa vs. Nazis, or anything else that weakens or at least distracts America and Americans.—Doug Wallace

 ***

If they traveled from Mars to fight American white supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK in Charlottesville, I’m OK with that. Trying to fix blame on “violent” resisters whether they lean left, right, liberal, conservative, libertarian, or Christian is really dumb. There is no defense possible considering human history. Please put aside fake news and religious dogma that comforts you. This is serious stuff for serious people.—John Kominitsky

***

CNN loves Antifa. Although they have been causing havoc all over the country, CNN never even uttered the word Antifa until they had to—and then, only to defend them. Disgusting fake news is fooling too many people and they are the biggest threat right now.—Joanne Bailey

***

Peacekeeping officers ought to keep the peace. Free association and peaceable assembly is destroyed by these groups.—Mary De Voe

***

These groups, Antifa included, are hellbent on the destruction of the USA. Don’t leave out Black Lives Matter either. They should be declared domestic terrorists and a bounty put on their heads. They’re a continuation of the Obama regime and have many aiders and abettors from the mainstream media, Democrats, and do-nothing Republicans.—Pete Julian 

***

I don’t entirely get why the media, including this article, mislabels left and right. Left means more government control, right less. So if you’re a communist, you’re far left, leaving room for only despots and dictators to your left (which is really what most communist countries are run by).

And if you’re an anarchist, there is no room to the right. Nazis routinely are labeled as far right, but in reality they’re far left, unless you honestly think the likes of Hitler didn’t control every facet of government. But the media and political revisionists have succeeded in redefining the label, equating violence with the right, when in fact it has been the left for the most part that embraces violence—from Mao to Lenin to Stalin to Hitler, and now to Antifa.—Paul Johnson 

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The New York Times Continues Its Tradition of Whitewashing Communism http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/new-york-times-continues-tradition-whitewashing-communism/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/new-york-times-continues-tradition-whitewashing-communism/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:17:01 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352451 It seems communism is back in vogue at The New York Times. A sad but common issue in the modern West is that progressives have... Read More

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It seems communism is back in vogue at The New York Times.

A sad but common issue in the modern West is that progressives have created a fanciful and distorted picture of socialism to make it seem like an intriguing alternative to American-style capitalism.

Ikea socialism—with Sweden as the model—is an utterly distorted, but at least understandable, example for leftists to trot out as a demonstration of success.

And it’s even a bit amusing how they try to dance around the fact that Venezuela—which is utterly collapsing and egregiously abusing human rights—is a socialist country they praised just 10 years ago.

>>> Socialism Has Destroyed Venezuela

But The New York Times now has actually found a way to create fanciful notions of Soviet-style authoritarianism—and whimsical tales of its influence in America—in a new section dedicated to the “Red Century,” which explores “the history and legacy of communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.”

Romanticized Tyranny

While some of the pieces explore the horrors and failures of communist rule, others delve into topics that would seem funny if the subject matter weren’t so horrifying.

For instance, the Times ran what can aptly be described as a “puff piece” on Vladimir Lenin, the man who led the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and is linked to the death and murder of millions of people.

The article, titled “Lenin’s Eco-Warriors,” paints the man as some kind of Siberian John Muir, and incredibly concludes that leaving “landscapes on this planet where humans do not tread” was the Soviet dictator’s “legacy.”

As absurd as that piece was, the Times managed to outdo itself with another article on, no joke, “Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism.”

This piece is an idealized account of how life under an absolutist government could be liberating and possibly a better model for the feminist movement.

The author wrote:

Those comrades’ insistence on government intervention may seem heavy-handed to our postmodern sensibilities, but sometimes necessary social change—which soon comes to be seen as the natural order of things—needs an emancipation proclamation from above.

The absurdly romanticized account of life under tyrannical government explains little of the hopelessness of a system where an individual has no hope and no future.

These examples certainly weren’t the first, or the worst, instances of the Times engaging in communist revisionism. One of the most egregious examples of “fake news” in the mid-20th century was conducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Duranty in the 1930s.

Fake News

Duranty, who was the Times’ Moscow bureau chief, wrote a series of glowing pieces about the USSR’s policies under General Secretary Josef Stalin in 1931.

While millions of people were starving in Ukraine, Duranty reported back that things were going swimmingly under the communist regime despite a few bumps in the road.

“Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please,” Duranty wrote. “Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin’s program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.”

He attacked reports that portrayed the Soviet policies in a negative light as “malignant propaganda.”

Though the total number of deaths due to forced starvation in the Holodomor is unknown, estimates are generally around 3 million from 1932 to 1933.

Despite his blatant misreporting, Duranty was never stripped of his Pulitzer and has still been listed on the Times’ honor roll.

It would be good on The New York Times if it ran a piece about Duranty’s egregious reporting and disinformation campaign that gave Americans a distorted picture of communist reality, but, alas, that hasn’t happened amid the various fables about socialist “successes.”

It may seem easy to dismiss The New York Times accounts as eyerolling fantasies of the left trying to defend a broken ideology, but the danger of this historical revisionism is real.

Dangerous Historical Fantasy

A worrying study sponsored by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that millennials are generally clueless about communism.

“Just 37 percent of millennials had a ‘very unfavorable’ view of communism, compared to 57 percent of Americans overall,” according to a Daily Signal report.

Perhaps even worse, a full third of millennials say they think that more people were killed under former President George W. Bush than under Stalin.

Historical ignorance of communism’s crimes is ultimately dangerous.

>>> ‘Communism for Kids’ Turns Deadly Ideology Into a Fairy Tale

As The New York Times joins with others to peddle a warped image of what communism is really about, generations that have never witnessed its horror may be lulled into buying the clichéd line that “real communism has never been tried.”

As historian Sean McMeekin wrote in his book, “The Russian Revolution,” after communism’s “century of well-catalogued disasters … no one should have the excuse of ignorance.”

Communist revival is growing in Western countries even as it is nearly extinct in places it was tried. This is folly fueled by historical blindness.

“Today’s Western socialists, dreaming of a world where private property and inequality are outlawed, where rational economic development is planned by far-seeing intellectuals, should be careful what they wish for,” McMeekin wrote. “They may just get it.”

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How New York City May Be Shortchanging Its Poorest Students http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/new-york-city-may-shortchanging-poorest-students/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/new-york-city-may-shortchanging-poorest-students/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:57:53 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352445 Last year, 822 public school employees sat idle in “rubber rooms” in New York City. Well, perhaps not entirely idle. Some played Scrabble, others slept.... Read More

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Last year, 822 public school employees sat idle in “rubber rooms” in New York City.

Well, perhaps not entirely idle. Some played Scrabble, others slept. On average, a quarter of these taxpayer-funded employees have sat in these rubber rooms—places where teachers who have been dismissed from the system but can’t be fired spend their days—for five years.

The average salary of these teachers—who are not working—is $94,000 per year. Their counterparts in the district who are working every day earn $10,000 less each year.

Yet, as the poorest and most disadvantaged children in New York head back to school in the coming weeks, they’ll find these union-protected employees have been shuffled into their classrooms, likely moved into unfilled teaching slots in the worst-performing schools in the city.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a vocal opponent of school choice, has not only backed policies that prevent low-income children from leaving these schools. His administration will now transfer teachers who had previously been fired from the district system for disciplinary reasons or poor performance—a rare occurrence, indeed—into classrooms across the city, likely to schools that are already underperforming and have trouble filling teaching slots.

“You’re going to force the worst teachers in the system into the schools that are struggling the most,” one Manhattan principal told The New York Times.

These teachers cost New York City taxpayers $150 million last year alone, the result of a deal struck initially by the Bloomberg administration with the teachers union to provide more autonomy to principals over personnel decisions, without unionized teachers facing the threat of actual firing.

If, come October, schools still have unfilled teacher slots, some 400 teachers currently filling rubber rooms—or what the city refers to as “Absent Teacher Reserves”—will be transferred in, with no input from school principals.

Instead of moving these teachers out of the system entirely—as would happen in the private sector, private schools, and many charter schools—these teachers are retained due to policies pushed by union special interest groups, and will now make their way back into the classroom.

It is a crystal-clear instance of union policy protecting adults in the government school system instead of working to ensure children have access to a quality education—and in this case, quality teachers.

While union heads argue that the new policy of moving these idle teachers back into hard-to-staff schools will provide “stability” for students, principals, understandably, see things differently.

According to The New York Times:

“I have had over the past five years a lot of [absent teacher reserves] come in,” said the principal, who spoke anonymously for fear of repercussions for the school. “And I have to say, less than 10 percent of them—way less, maybe 5 percent of them—would I hire.”

This in a city where just 28 percent of fourth-graders are proficient in reading, a figure which falls to fewer than 2 in 10 black and Hispanic students.

It is a further injustice to the children already trapped in the worst-performing schools in New York City to double down on the lackluster education they currently receive by transferring these individuals—previously relieved for poor teaching performance, among other things—into their classrooms.

Stanford scholar Eric Hanushek has identified how important teachers are to children’s future success, particularly for poor children. As Hanushek has found, children in classrooms with teachers near the high end of the quality distribution experience an entire additional year of learning.

He also found that having a good teacher—as opposed to an average teacher—for three to four consecutive years would close the mathematics achievement gap between poor and non-poor children.

Access to a quality teacher can also have a dramatic impact on a child’s future earnings potential. According to Hanushek, relative to an average teacher, a teacher in the 75th percentile would increase each child’s average income by $14,300 over the course of her lifetime, or $358,000 in a classroom of 25 children.

Access to quality teachers is one important feature parents look for in a given school.

It’s unbelievable then, that in an American city today, policymakers would assign children to government-run schools based on their parents’ ZIP code, consigning the poorest among them to the worst schools. And then to top it all off, would send some of the worst-performing teachers into their classrooms.

Yet that is exactly what will happen this fall in New York.

If only parents could exercise school choice.

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Kaepernick Makes Black History Smithsonian Before Clarence Thomas http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/kaepernick-makes-black-history-smithsonian-before-clarence-thomas/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/kaepernick-makes-black-history-smithsonian-before-clarence-thomas/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:56:44 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352389 Free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be featured in a Black Lives Matter collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture,... Read More

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Free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be featured in a Black Lives Matter collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, museum curators announced this weekend.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the nation’s longest-serving black justice, remains absent from the museum.

dcnf-logo

USA Today Sports reports items belonging to Kaepernick will be incorporated into the museum’s Black Lives Matter collection. The quarterback became a symbol of the nation’s complicated racial politics and social relations when he declined to stand for the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season. The quarterback said his gesture signaled solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture has nearly 40,000 items in our collection,” sports curator Damion Thomas told USA Today. “The Colin Kaepernick collection is in line with the museum’s larger collecting efforts to document the varied areas of society that have been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Featured items will include shoes and a game-worn jersey.

The quarterback’s protest inflamed racial and political tensions around the country. He returned to San Francisco’s starting lineup in advance of its week six game against the Buffalo Bills in October 2016. Anti-Kaepernick displays outside the Bills stadium before the game prompted allegations of racism.

Kaepernick was released from his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017 and is currently a free agent. He finished the 2016 NFL season on 2,241 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and four interceptions.

The quarterback’s admission into the nation’s premier black history museum was fairly speedy relative to Thomas, only the second black man in American history to serve on the Supreme Court. The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Thomas was not included in the museum in 2016. His exclusion prompted resolutions in both houses of Congress urging his incorporation in the museum.

Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah speakers. By his own account, he did not master English until his early 20s. He came of age in Jim Crow Savannah, Georgia, where he was ridiculed by white neighbors and classmates for his unpolished style. During this period, most public spaces in Savannah were segregated by race.

Despite the startling racial injustices of his youth, he went on to the College of the Holy Cross and Yale Law School. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

The museum has consistently denied that it applies ideological litmus tests in preparing its exhibits.

“There are many compelling personal stories about African-Americans who have become successful in various fields, and obviously, Associate Justice Thomas is one of them,” a spokesman said. “However, we cannot tell every story in our inaugural exhibitions.”

“We will continue to collect and interpret the breadth of the African-American experience,” the spokesman added.

Editor’s note: Ginni Thomas is a contributor to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Closure of Kerch Strait Is Russia’s Latest Attack on Ukrainian Sovereignty http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/closure-kerch-strait-russias-latest-attack-ukrainian-sovereignty/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/closure-kerch-strait-russias-latest-attack-ukrainian-sovereignty/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:34:57 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352397 In May 2015, Russia began constructing a planned 11.8-mile bridge across the Kerch Strait, a body of water that sits between the Black Sea and... Read More

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In May 2015, Russia began constructing a planned 11.8-mile bridge across the Kerch Strait, a body of water that sits between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The Russian bridge project is meant to connect the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula, the region of Ukraine that Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Two weeks ago, Russia announced temporary closures of the Kerch Strait to accommodate bridge construction. The closures have cut off Ukraine’s southeast coast, including Berdiansk and the strategically important Mariupol, Ukraine’s 10th-largest city and a key port for exports like Ukrainian steel.

Currently, Russia can only access the Crimean Peninsula by air and sea. The bridge project would create a rail and road link, and further entrench Russia’s position on the annexed peninsula.

Part of a December 2003 bilateral agreement signed between Russia and Ukraine is a stipulation that “mercantile vessels and other state non-commercial vessels flying the flags of the Russian Federation and Ukraine have free navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.”

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuriy Lavrenyuk recently stated that Ukraine would sue Russia over the closure of the Kerch Strait pursuant to the agreement.

While this is not the first time Russia’s navy has closed the Kerch Strait, it is the latest example of Russia’s ongoing illegal aggression against Ukraine.

Last September, the U.S. Treasury expanded sanctions on Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea and specifically targeted companies and individuals associated with the Kerch bridge project. U.S. policymakers should now condemn Russia’s closure of the Kerch Strait, as well as its ongoing occupation of Crimea.

Working conditions for construction workers employed on the bridge project have been described as slave-like. Some residents of the Ukrainian town of Kerch in Crimea were reportedly expelled from their homes and moved to shabbily built apartments to make way for construction of the bridge and an adjoining highway project.

Despite significant doubts about the economic viability of the bridge, which may cost as much as $5 billion to build, the aggressive timeline to completion (currently scheduled for the end of 2018), as well as the geological suitability of the strait as a site for a bridge, Russia continues to build.

For Russian President Vladimir Putin the geopolitical symbolism of the bridge far outweighs its bloated price tag.

Since the time of Crimea’s annexation, almost 5 percent of Ukraine’s landmass and more than half of its coastline have been under illegal Russian occupation. In addition, Russia has also claimed rights to valuable underwater resources off the peninsula.

Militarily, Russia greatly expanded its military footprint in occupied Crimea, allocating $1 billion to modernize the Black Sea fleet by 2020 and stationed warships equipped with Caliber-NK long-range cruise missiles in Sevastopol. Last August, Russia deployed S-400 air defense systems to Crimea.

Recent reports that the Trump administration is considering sending lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine are promising. Every country has the right to self-defense, and the U.S. should supply these weapons to Ukraine.

However, such a move should be incorporated within a larger strategy for assisting Ukraine. This larger strategy should include the issuance of a nonrecognition statement on Crimea, as well as the condemnation of Russia’s ongoing illegal actions in Crimea and the Black Sea region, such as Russia’s closure of the Kerch Strait.

As with Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, Putin has often found the lazy days of August when many Western leaders are on vacation a convenient month to initiate some new aggression against a neighboring state.

In the case of the closure of the Kerch Strait, American policymakers should make clear they are still watching.

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Progress for Women’s Legal Protections in Jordan and Lebanon http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/progress-for-womens-legal-protections-in-jordan-and-lebanon/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/progress-for-womens-legal-protections-in-jordan-and-lebanon/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:35:28 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352373 Many Arab countries have legal provisions that allow men accused or convicted of rape to avoid punishment. Often called “marry your rapist” laws, these provisions... Read More

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Many Arab countries have legal provisions that allow men accused or convicted of rape to avoid punishment.

Often called “marry your rapist” laws, these provisions generally state that a rapist will not be prosecuted if he marries his victim. Proponents believe that these laws protect women from stigmas surrounding rape.

However, most people—including some Arab leaders—view them as a major human rights violation.

The specific “marry your rapist” provisions are generally found in cultures where a woman’s chastity is tied to the honor of her family. They are not isolated to the Muslim world, although some interpretations of Islamic law and social attitudes make them more common there.

In most of these countries, rape is significantly underreported and often considered to be the victim’s fault as much as the perpetrator’s. Individual countries’ criminal codes often reinforce this belief.

Some countries have provisions that require a woman to prove she was raped by having multiple male witnesses. Even more egregious, a woman can actually face charges for illicit sex even if it was proven that the act took place against her will.

In other countries, someone who rapes a child can avoid punishment by marrying the victim.

Despite these antiquated attitudes, Arab countries are increasingly re-examining their criminal codes, repealing the “marry your rapist” laws, and in some cases instituting harsher penalties for perpetrators.

This is largely due to internal social pressure. For example, Bahrain is currently considering removing its “rape clause” and introducing stricter punishments against rapists.

Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia have all repealed their versions of the law. Jordan and Lebanon are now the latest Arab countries to follow this growing trend.

Jordan, a pro-Western but socially conservative kingdom, debated the repeal of its marriage rape law—Article 308—for four years.

Wafa Bani Mustafa, a female member of Parliament, first proposed the abolition of Article 308 in December 2013. Her proposal ignited a campaign in the private sector that reached every district in the country.

Well-known academics, journalists, and activists all took part in the effort to repeal Article 308. Their work came to fruition when Jordan finally abolished the law in August.

The Lebanese Parliamentary Committee for Administration and Justice announced in December 2016 that Lebanon would move to abolish its version of the “marry your rapist” law, Article 522. Prime Minister Saad Hariri also expressed his support of repeal.

Not long after the announcement, Abaad MENA, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization, launched its official campaign, “A White Dress Doesn’t Cover the Rape.” Abaad MENA sought to raise awareness about the physical and psychological trauma that victims experience when they are forced to marry their rapist.

The Parliamentary Committee for Administration and Justice approved a proposed repeal of Article 522 in February. On Aug. 16, Lebanon officially abolished the law.

While there is still progress to be made regarding women’s legal protections, Jordan and Lebanon have taken a significant step forward in repealing and reforming their rape laws.

As public opinion evolves, more countries will be pressured to re-examine their criminal codes. Many, including Mustafa, remain hopeful. She believes that civil society will continue to play a key role in pressuring governments to change the law.

While social attitudes may evolve more slowly, legal change is a good first step.

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Ukraine Says Its Rocket Engines Not Behind North Korea’s Missile Success http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/ukraine-says-rocket-engines-not-behind-north-koreas-missile-success/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/21/ukraine-says-rocket-engines-not-behind-north-koreas-missile-success/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:22:19 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352251 KYIV, Ukraine—In 2011, Denys Antipov, who was then a Korean language student at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, received an unusual request from the... Read More

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KYIV, Ukraine—In 2011, Denys Antipov, who was then a Korean language student at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, received an unusual request from the Security Service of Ukraine—the country’s successor agency to the KGB.

The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, needed Antipov’s help in a delicate counterintelligence operation. In an undercover sting, the security agency had nabbed two North Korean spies trying to steal rocket technology from Ukrainian engineers at the KB Yuzhnoye Design Office in the city of Dnipro, called Dnipropetrovsk at that time.

“We believe that this anti-Ukrainian campaign was provoked by the Russian special services,” Oleksandr Turchynov of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council says.

Ukrainian counterintelligence officials needed a Korean interpreter for the interrogation and trial of the captured North Koreans. Suddenly, Antipov—who is today 28 years old and a Korean language instructor at his alma mater—was thrust into a spy drama of Tom Clancy proportions, which is now at the center of a geopolitical crisis for Ukraine.

The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, or IISS, released a report last Monday that said North Korea’s recent rapid leap forward in liquid-propellant rocket engine technology—which led to the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States—was likely due to its purchase of modified variants of mothballed, Soviet-era RD-250 rocket engines smuggled out of either Russia or Ukraine.

An article last Monday in The New York Times quoted the author of the IISS report, Michael Elleman, as saying: “It’s likely that these engines came from Ukraine—probably illicitly. … The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I’m very worried.”

Referring to the Ukrainian Yuzhnoye Design Office, the Times article reported: “Mr. Elleman makes a strong circumstantial case that would implicate the deteriorating factory complex and its underemployed engineers.”

The Times article and the IISS report sparked a flurry of impassioned denials from Ukrainian officials. And for good reason.

Any proof of Ukrainian complicity on North Korea’s missile program would irreparably damage U.S.-Ukrainian relations. And the timing couldn’t be worse for Kyiv—an American arms deal that Ukraine has sought since Russia launched a proxy war in eastern Ukraine in April 2014 is now on President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko posted a statement on his Facebook page in which he both denounced the Times report as inaccurate and said he had ordered a probe into the accusations.

“No matter how absurd the charges against Ukraine may look, being responsible partners, we must carefully verify the information published by The New York Times on alleged deliveries of missile engines or related technology to North Korea,” Poroshenko wrote in the Facebook post.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman called the Times story a “provocation.” And Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, attributed last Monday’s reports to a Russian intelligence cabal.

“Ukraine has never supplied rocket engines or any kind of missile technology to North Korea,” Turchynov said. “We believe that this anti-Ukrainian campaign was provoked by the Russian special services to cover up their own participation in the North Korean nuclear and missile programs.”

The Yuzhmash factory at the heart of the controversy published a statement to its website Wednesday, saying the factory “expresses sincere regret over the article, which was published by The New York Times’ provocative nature, based on an incompetent ‘expert’ opinion.”

The Yuzhmash factory is the main manufacturing facility for the KB Yuzhnoye Design Office, both of which are located in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

Security

In his IISS report on North Korea’s missile program, Elleman analyzed photographs published by North Korea of missile engines it ground-tested in September and March prior to flight tests on Hwasong-12 and Hwasong-14 missiles in May and July. (The Hwasong-14 is an intercontinental ballistic missile designed to reach the U.S. mainland.)

Based on design characteristics observed in those photographs, Elleman ruled out liquid-propellant engines from any source other than the former Soviet Union. Out of that narrowed range of possibilities, only the RD-250 had the performance and external features to match recent North Korean tests.

“No other country has transitioned from a medium-range capability to an ICBM in such a short time,” Elleman wrote in the IISS report released earlier this month. “What explains this rapid progression? The answer is simple. North Korea has acquired a high-performance liquid-propellant engine (LPE) from a foreign source.”

Denys Antipov, 28, is a Ukrainian war veteran and a Korean language instructor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. (Photo Courtesy: Denys Antipov)

The RD-250, however, is a two-chamber engine. And the North Korean engines used on its recent Hwasong-12 and -14 ICBMs had single chambers. According to Elleman’s line of thinking, North Korean engineers do not have the expertise on their own to modify RD-250 engines from a double to a single chamber engine.

“Such expertise is available at Russia’s Energomash concern and Ukraine’s KB Yuzhnoye,” Elleman wrote. “One has to conclude that the modified engines were made in those factories.”

Elleman’s premise that modified RD-250 rocket engines were smuggled out of Ukraine or Russia into Pyongyang’s hands is founded, in part, on the premise of lax security at both the Russian and Ukrainian rocket sites.

“Because the RD-250 is no longer employed by operational missiles or launchers, facilities warehousing the obsolete LPEs [liquid-propellant engines] are probably loosely guarded,” Elleman wrote.

He added: “A small team of disgruntled employees or underpaid guards at any one of the storage sites, and with access to the LPEs, could be enticed to steal a few dozen engines by one of the many illicit arms dealers, criminal networks, or transnational smugglers operating in the former Soviet Union.”

Antipov, who is familiar with the SBU’s operations to monitor the rocket production facilities in Dnipro, said Elleman’s assessment is not accurate when it comes to the Yuzhmash factory or the Yuzhnoye Design Office. Both are under constant “external and internal” SBU overwatch, Antipov said.

“You can’t just sell the rocket engine without the government knowing it,” Antipov told The Daily Signal, adding that the SBU’s tight surveillance and its penchant for undercover stings would deter such an audacious plan as Elleman suggested.

“Imagine you’re a scientist and some North Korean guy contacts you trying to bribe you,” Antipov said. “And you know the Security Services of Ukraine is watching you 24/7. You could assume it’s some sort of a check or a test of you.”

History Repeating

In 2011, two North Korean spies, Ryu Sonchelle and Lee Thakel, traveled by train from Minsk, Belarus, to Dnipro under the guise that they were agricultural specialists in Ukraine to study how sunflower seeds are farmed.

“The plan was to come early in the morning from Belarus, cross the border, and after getting the information, return on the same day,” Antipov said. “But, unfortunately for them, and fortunately for us, they never made it back.”

Ahead of their trip, the two North Korean agents tried to bribe Ukrainian scientists working at KB Yuzhnoye to hand over classified documents related to the design of solid fuel and liquid engines, fuel supply systems, rocket separation units, relevant computer software, and other specific information that comprised Ukrainian “state secrets.”

But the Ukrainian workers refused the North Koreans’ bribes and reported their entreaties to the SBU. “The scientists were quite patriotic,” Antipov said.

The SBU subsequently set up a sting operation. The North Korean spies were given decoy documents. Then, Ukrainian agents clandestinely observed the agents trying to copy the dummy information with a digital camera. They caught the North Koreans red-handed.

Because the North Korean agents only had access to dummy documents as part of the SBU’s ruse, Antipov explained, there was no chance that they could have surreptitiously managed to get any classified information back to Pyongyang prior to their arrest.

Antipov said one of the North Korean agents spoke Russian fluently, but the other requested an interpreter for his interrogations and trial. Under Ukrainian law an incarcerated foreigner has the right to ask for a government-appointed interpreter.

They were “definitely military,” Antipov said of the North Korean agents, adding: “You can see it in their behavior, and how a person sits, actually. They were military for sure. Of course, they denied everything. At first they asked to be repatriated to the DPRK [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North Korean regime’s official title].”

“Of course, it was not possible,” Antipov continued. “You can’t just release a burglar from your country. Even if it’s for a cellphone—or an RD-250.”

In July 2012, a Ukrainian court sentenced Sonchelle and Thakel, the two North Korean spies, to eight years in jail for espionage. The two North Koreans remain in Ukrainian custody at a prison in Zhytomyr.

North Korea’s 2011 gambit to steal Ukrainian missile technology was not a one-off event, Antipov said. Rather, it highlighted Pyongyang’s long-standing, dogged effort to steal Ukrainian missile technology.

“There were a number of North Korean attempts to get the secret rocket information from the Yuzhmash factory, they just desperately needed that technology,” Antipov said. “And of course, the Security Service of Ukraine works well to protect our national security and the world’s security as well. And those attempts were stopped.”

North Korea closed its Ukrainian Embassy in January 1992. According to a 2016 report by the National Committee on North Korea, a U.S. think tank, the official reason for the closure was financial belt tightening by Pyongyang after financial support from Moscow dried up in the post-Soviet years.

Yet, some say Ukraine shuttered the embassy in retaliation for repeated attempts by North Korean agents to steal nuclear weapon and missile technology from Ukraine in the ensuing chaos of the immediate post-Soviet years.

“It was a governmental decision that we don’t need a nest of spies in our country,” Antipov said.

A New Chapter

The RD-250 rocket engine was produced at the Ukrainian Yuzhmash factory until 2001, Yuriy Radchenko, head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine, told journalists in Kyiv on Tuesday.

At the Ukrainian facility, the double chamber, liquid-propellant RD-250 engines were mated with the Soviet R-36 ICBM during the Cold War. The engines were also used for the Cyclone 2 and 3 rockets, which Russia used to launch satellites into space until 2006 and 2009, respectively.

After the Soviet Union’s breakup in 1991, the Ukrainian Yuzhmash factory continued to produce RD-250 engines, but solely for use in space rockets supplied to Russia.

Both the RD-250 engines and the Cyclone rockets “were made at Yuzhmash in the interests of Russia,” Radchenko said. In total, 233 Cyclone rockets were produced in Ukraine and sent to Russia.

Russia cut its orders of the Cyclone rocket in 2006, and the Yuzhmash factory has not found another buyer. Only Russia currently possesses the rockets, all of which are mated with Ukrainian-made RD-250 engines.

Russia has between seven and 20 of the Cyclone rockets stored in unknown locations, Radchenko claimed on Tuesday.

If North Korea did in fact receive modified RD-250 engines from an outside source, Ukraine’s space chief claimed it was from Russia, not Ukraine.

“They [Russia] can supply these engines from the finished rockets to whomever they want,” Radchenko said.

Russia shares a 10.5-mile-long land border and shipping routes into North Korea. In the 1980s and 1990s, Moscow supplied Pyongyang with missile technology for the regime’s Scud, Nodong, and R-27 (Musudan) rockets.

Elleman, the author of the IISS report cited in The New York Times story, later took to Twitter to walk back the quote attributed to him in The New York Times in which he said the engines more likely came from Ukraine than Russia.

“Let me be clear about DPRK’s source of ICBM engine: Yuzhnoye is one of several possible sources, there are other potentials in Russia,” Elleman wrote on Twitter on Aug. 14.

“I don’t believe Ukr gov’t condoned or knew, if the engines were sourced in Ukr. To the contrary, Ukr arrested North Koreans in 2012!” Elleman wrote on Twitter.

Means

On Tuesday, the U.S. intelligence community refuted Elleman’s finding that North Korea could not have produced on its own the liquid-propellant rocket engines used in recent ICBM tests.

“We have intelligence to suggest that North Korea is not reliant on imports of engines,” one U.S. intelligence official told Reuters. “Instead, we judge they have the ability to produce the engines themselves.”

Michaela Dodge, a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, was skeptical about a Russian plot to pin a RD-250 smuggling cabal on Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops on the front line pay tribute to U.S. Marines in World War II. (Photo Courtesy: Denys Antipov)

But she said North Korea likely has the technical savvy to produce a rocket engine on par with the RD-250 without having to illicitly purchase the hardware from abroad.

“The North Koreans test a lot and they are far from dumb,” Dodge, who specializes in missile defense, nuclear weapons modernization, and arms control, told The Daily Signal.

“They are not afraid to fail,” Dodge continued. “Funny thing about missile tests, you learn more from failures than successes. So North Koreans could certainly improve a lot, especially if given help—not necessarily involving hardware transfers.”

For his part, Radchenko, the Ukrainian space chief, echoed Elleman’s line of thinking that North Korea’s technological leaps were too far and too fast to have been accomplished autonomously.

“Two years have passed since the beginning of the development of technology until launch, these terms are exceptional,” Radchenko said, referring to North Korea’s missile program. “No one can … implement this project in such terms, even a space power … But they succeeded. They used the finished product. That’s all we can say.”

Fallout

More than 10,000 Ukrainians have died in the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, and about 1.7 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the fighting.

In Ukraine’s southeastern Donbas region, Ukrainian troops have been engaged in constant combat against a combined force of pro-Russian separatists and Russian regulars for more than three years. The war is now static, fought mostly by indirect weapons. Troops on both sides of no man’s land are hunkered down in trenches and in fortified redoubts along the approximately 250-mile-long front line.

The Kremlin denies it is  involved in the war.

Due to Russian military aggression in Ukraine, however, relations between Russia and the U.S. nosedived in 2014. The U.S. levied punitive economic sanctions on Moscow for its seizure of Crimea and subsequent proxy war in eastern Ukraine. And since 2014, the U.S. and NATO have built up their military presence in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression against NATO’s eastern flank.

Ukrainian officials are worried that allegations, or even suggestions, of Ukrainian complicity in North Korea’s missile program could derail a deal for the U.S. to sell Ukraine lethal, defensive weapons like the Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Front-line Ukrainian troops say U.S. weapons like the Javelin would make a difference on the battlefield, and, more importantly, would deter Russia from more military aggression. Congress has approved the weapons deal, and the departments of Defense and State recently sent Trump a plan to implement it.

The parallel timing of the North Korean missile story with the U.S. weapons proposal entering its final stage of approval has many in Ukraine openly suggesting that the whole North Korean affair is a Russian gambit to sully Ukraine’s reputation and derail U.S. military aid.

“The probability is high that the report in the media could be inspired by our ‘friends’ from Russia because they are interested in lowering the rating of our country in the projects in which we participate,” Radchenko, Ukraine’s space chief, said on Tuesday.

The U.S. reaction to last Monday’s reports has so far been measured. “We’re certainly aware of those reports that have come out,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington on Tuesday. “That’s an issue that we would take very seriously if that were to be the case.”

Today, Antipov is a combat veteran of the war in eastern Ukraine. From 2015 to 2016 he served as an officer in the Ukrainian army’s 81st Airmobile Brigade, where he commanded a reconnaissance drone platoon. He balked at the notion that the Ukrainian government would willingly authorize or turn a blind eye toward a covert scheme to sell North Korea such valuable technology.

“What is the point for Ukraine to risk not getting international help, and to risk not to get the Javelins?” Antipov said.

He added: “You would risk the whole thing for a few million dollars in engine sales? It doesn’t sound logical to me. Ukraine needs America’s support more than it needs money.”

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‘Hillary-Lite Administration’? Conservatives Worry About Bannon Ouster http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/20/hillary-lite-administration-conservatives-worry-about-bannon-ouster/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/20/hillary-lite-administration-conservatives-worry-about-bannon-ouster/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:38:39 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352353 The exit of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon doesn’t bode well for conservatives or those who just wanted to see President Donald Trump stick... Read More

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The exit of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon doesn’t bode well for conservatives or those who just wanted to see President Donald Trump stick to the economic and foreign policy message that he ran on, some on the right fear.

“There is no question that Steve Bannon was one of the only people who could keep Trump true to Trumpism,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal. “Without Bannon, you have mostly bankers, generals, and liberal Democrats in the White House. It could be a Hillary-lite administration.”

Trump was in line with some of the policies promoted by the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that backs enforcement of immigration laws. However, it’s not just immigration where Krikorian fears President Trump could waiver from the policies of candidate Trump.

“Bannon pushed hard in the other directions to keep the president from drifting toward the establishment on foreign policy and trade or confronting China,” Krikorian said.

However, Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin had a less dim view of the Bannon exit.

“We will miss Steve Bannon in the White House because he helped President Trump keep many of the promises he made on the campaign trail, like replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a trusted conservative in Justice Neil Gorsuch,” Martin said in a statement. “President Trump is his own man and we are confident he will keep working to deliver on those promises and we will continue to advocate for the Trump agenda that propelled him to victory.”

After initial reports Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general, and Bannon came to a mutual agreement that Bannon should leave his post. Bannon has returned to Breitbart News, a media company he ran before joining the campaign.

Bannon’s resignation comes almost exactly a year after the former chief executive of Breitbart News took the helm of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Bannon was the leading figure of the populist nationalist message, amid reported pushback from Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, Trump’s National Economic Council chairman. Bannon also reportedly clashed on foreign policy with Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.

Bannon offered his resignation on Aug. 7, the Associated Press reported. The resignation was set to go into effect on Aug. 14, but was held back because of the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots.

Bannon himself told The Weekly Standard: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else.”

Bannon’s departure marks the fourth major change in the White House staff in less than two months, after press secretary Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and newly hired communications director Anthony Scaramucci were ousted or left.

Krikorian noted that Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, and senior adviser Steve Miller have been targeted by the establishment.

Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser, are also viewed as two more conservative voices in the current White House.

Fox News conservative host Tucker Carlson made a similar point regarding Trump’s brand of conservatism.

“Bannon was one of the relatively few senior staff in the White House who wouldn’t feel at home in a Hillary Clinton administration,” Carlson said on his prime-time show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Friday. “Indeed, he was one of the rare Republicans there and the only, if one of the very few, populist conservatives. That’s strange, since populist conservatism was one of the platforms his boss ran on.”

Liz Mair,  a Republican consultant and Never-Trumper in the last presidential election who started the “Make America Awesome” super PAC, said the Bannon departure will make little difference.

“Trump is Trump; no matter what the staffing looks like, in terms of ideological profile or otherwise, he’s still the same guy with the same impulses, instincts, and outlook,” Mair told The Daily Signal in an email.

Bannon’s exit won’t change Trump’s ideology, she said.

“Trump has always—over the decades he’s been weighing in on public policy and related debates—been anti-free trade, for greater government involvement in health care,” Mair said.

In a series of tweets from one of Trump’s most early and vocal supporters, conservative commentator Ann Coulter seemed to have low expectation that Trump would stick to his promises. In three examples, Coulter tweeted:

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Why Patricia Heaton Is a Problem for Feminists http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/20/patricia-heaton-problem-feminists/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/20/patricia-heaton-problem-feminists/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:20:56 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352332 Every week, The Daily Signal’s Facebook show, “Problematic Women,” highlights strong conservative women, current events, and the hypocrisy of the “feminist” left. On this week’s... Read More

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Every week, The Daily Signal’s Facebook show, “Problematic Women,” highlights strong conservative women, current events, and the hypocrisy of the “feminist” left. On this week’s episode, the mainstream media can’t stop talking about President Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville and Iceland is eliminating Down syndrome—not through medicine, but through abortion.

We also address actress Patricia Heaton’s reaction to CBS News’ report that Down syndrome is “disappearing” in Iceland, crowning her “Problematic Woman of the Week.” Check out the video above.

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What 1 Charity Organization Is Doing to Save 1 Million Unborn Babies http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/one-charity-organization-save-one-million-unborn-babies/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/one-charity-organization-save-one-million-unborn-babies/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:38:16 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352283 An international Catholic charitable organization has announced a goal of saving 1 million unborn babies by expanding its ultrasound program. “We know from experience that... Read More

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An international Catholic charitable organization has announced a goal of saving 1 million unborn babies by expanding its ultrasound program.

“We know from experience that a woman who sees an ultrasound image of her child is highly likely to keep her baby,” Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, said at the organization’s 135th international convention in St. Louis on Aug. 1-3.

In 2009, the Knights of Columbus began working with the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council in New Haven, Connecticut, to pay for 829 ultrasound machines for pregnancy centers or in mobile medical units.

Since 2009, Anderson says the program has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

When the ultrasound program gets to its 10th anniversary in 2019, Anderson hopes to have 1,000 machines in service.

“If each machine saves the lives of just four unborn children each week, the Knights will have saved more than 1 million lives,” Anderson said. “Let us continue this great effort by reaching the goal of 1,000 machines as quickly as possible.”

With almost 2 million members, the Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by the Rev. Michael J. McGivney.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, praised the goal of the Catholic charity organization.

“Ultrasounds are a window into the womb that give mothers the ability to see the life that is within them,” Perkins said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal, adding:

Ultrasounds make crystal clear the humanity of these children. Expectant mothers are much more likely to choose life for their babies once they get to see with their own eyes their babies in the womb. I applaud the Knights of Columbus for their efforts to provide ultrasounds for pregnancy care centers.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, which hosts the largest pro-life rally each year to mark the legalization of abortion on Jan. 22, 1973, said the Knights of Columbus ultrasound program is a significant aid to the pro-life cause.

“Their wonderful ultrasound program literally saves lives by using modern technology to testify to the beauty of life,” Mancini said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal, adding:  

Thank you, Knights of Columbus for seeking to build a culture of life through prayer, words, and action. Since the very first March, the Knights have helped provide over 100 volunteer marshals to manage and control the event, in addition to countless other helps, including financially supporting the March for Life.

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Hollywood Wants to Force This Profanity-Filtering Service Out of Business, and May Succeed http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/hollywood-wants-force-profanity-filtering-service-business-may-succeed/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/hollywood-wants-force-profanity-filtering-service-business-may-succeed/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:39:11 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352241 The ideological and philosophical divide between Republicans and Democrats has seldom, if ever, been broader and deeper, and the divide between partisans in the degree... Read More

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The ideological and philosophical divide between Republicans and Democrats has seldom, if ever, been broader and deeper, and the divide between partisans in the degree of their aversion to swearing in feature films is just the latest manifestation of that.

A new Harris poll—commissioned by the makers of a forthcoming faith-based film, “Generational Sins,” that itself reportedly contains 32 profanities—found that Republicans are offended by swearing more than Democrats are, by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.

Nearly half (45 percent) of Republicans surveyed, compared with just 1 in 4 (25 percent) Democrats, find the “F-bomb” objectionable, for example, the poll found.

Among all respondents, however, the poll found the use of “Jesus Christ” as a profanity and “G.D.” both narrowly edged out the four-letter F-word as vulgar dialogue that would keep them from seeing a movie if they knew ahead of time they were used in the film.

One in three (33 percent) of those surveyed objected to using “Jesus Christ” as an expletive. Thirty-two percent said the same about “G.D.,” while 31 percent said “f—” would keep them from buying a ticket.

Among evangelical Christians, the corresponding numbers were 90 percent, 86 percent, and 74 percent, respectively.

The poll also found a divide along other demographic lines, with Christians, not surprisingly, objecting more than non-Christians. More women object to the use of the “F-bomb” in movie scripts (37 percent to 26 percent).

Objections also increased with age, with more than half of those over age 72 telling the pollster they would shun movies with strong profanity.

“Milder” profanities, among them “sh–,” “p—,” “damn” and “hell,” were found objectionable at lower rates across all demographics.

It’s all a far cry from the days of “Gone With the Wind,” when in 1939, producer David O. Selznick agonized over whether to tone down Rhett Butler’s famous retort to Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” out of concern for moviegoers’ sensibilities.

Given today’s anything-goes ethos in Hollywood, it seems positively quaint that Selznick would have to defend the line before members of the film industry’s self-regulating Hays Code.

“It is my contention that this word as used in the picture is not an oath or a curse,” Selznick said. “The worst that could be said of it is that it’s a vulgarism.”

Alas, that was then, and this is now.

At one time, not so long ago, it was widely believed that swearing represented intellectual poverty or at best, the sign of a stunted vocabulary. But revisionism apparently is no longer limited to history.

In the April 2016 article “Is Swearing a Sign of a Limited Vocabulary?” Scientific American reported on studies that sought to debunk the “poverty of vocabulary” explanation for the use of profanity.

“This research has led to a competing explanation for swearing: Fluency with taboo words might be a sign of general verbal fluency,” Piercarlo Valdesolo wrote. “Those who are exceptionally vulgar might also be exceptionally eloquent and intelligent.”

Thus, with the mainstreaming of the acceptability of swearing, and movies, cable TV, and streaming services arguably leading the charge, what the “bleep” is a person who doesn’t want to hear all the “@#$%^&*” to do?

One recourse is VidAngel, a video-filtering service that enables subscribers to filter out profanity and other graphic and objectionable material (nudity, sex, violence, drug use, and the like) from content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, making them more family-friendly.

VidAngel has said that 96 percent of its customers filter at least two items—and an average of 17—from a typical film.

Regrettably, however, VidAngel—begun by four brothers who grew up in Idaho—is in an existential legal battle with leading production companies, including Disney and Warner Brothers. They accuse the Palo Alto, California-based company of copyright infringement.

VidAngel argues that viewers should “have the choice to watch however the bleep [they] want,” and insists that it “just facilitates that.” It contends that the federal Family Movie Act of 2005 protects its customers’ right to use its service to filter films.

Federal court rulings—as recently as Aug. 2 at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—have consistently gone against VidAngel, however.

If VidAngel is forced out of business, the large numbers of people who told the Harris pollsters they found film profanity objectionable will be left with little recourse but to stick their fingers in their ears.

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Trump Justice Department Ends Operation Choke Point http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/trump-justice-department-ends-operation-choke-point/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/trump-justice-department-ends-operation-choke-point/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:20:03 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352217 Republican House members announced Friday that the Justice Department has ended the controversial Obama-era program targeting payday lenders, gun shops, and other legal businesses, in... Read More

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Republican House members announced Friday that the Justice Department has ended the controversial Obama-era program targeting payday lenders, gun shops, and other legal businesses, in response to several House Republicans who requested Operation Choke Point be shut down.

“This is no way for law enforcement to operate,” House Republicans say.

“We share your view that law-abiding businesses should not be targeted simply for operating in an industry that a particular administration might disfavor,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote the GOP lawmakers in a letter dated Aug. 16.

The letter continued, saying the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation “subsequently rescinded its list of purportedly ‘high risk’ merchants. The Department of Justice (Department) strongly agrees with that withdrawal. All of the Department’s bank investigations conducted as part of Operation Choke Point are now over, the initiative is no longer in effect and it will not be undertaken again.”

In a joint statement, four House Republicans praised the decision.

“We applaud the Trump Justice Department for decisively ending Operation Choke Point,” said the joint statement by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas; and Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pa.; Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; and Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

“The Obama administration created this ill-advised program to suffocate legitimate businesses to which it was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses,” the GOP lawmakers said.

Last week, these five House Republicans wrote a letter to agencies asking for the program to end.

Critics said Operation Choke Point would unfairly target politically unpopular industries such as gun sellers and payday lenders. The Obama administration under Attorney General Eric Holder established Operation Choke Point in 2012 to attack internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking off access to the banking system.

The program uses federal banking regulators to pressure banks out of doing business with entire industries the government declares to be “high risk.” The program expanded to legal business owners who complained they were unfairly denied credit for loans.

The letter from House Republicans signed onto last week to the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve, and the comptroller of the currency said:

We request that your respective departments and agencies issue clear and public formal policy statements repudiating Operation Choke Point and the abuses by financial regulators of the ‘reputation risk’ guidance they developed and promulgated under Operation Choke Point’s auspices. Financial institutions should be given explicit assurance that they may serve these unfairly targeted industries just like any other legitimate businesses. Institutions should also be encouraged to restore long-standing relationships with lawful, targeted industries.

The response issued Friday from the five Republicans continued:

We applaud the Trump Justice Department for decisively ending Operation Choke Point. The Obama administration created this ill-advised program to suffocate legitimate businesses to which it was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses. Targeted industries, such as firearms dealers, were presumed guilty by the Obama Justice Department until proven innocent, and many businesses are still facing the repercussions of this misguided program.

This is no way for law enforcement to operate and runs counter to principles enshrined in our Constitution. By ending Operation Choke Point, the Trump Justice Department has restored the Department’s responsibility to pursue lawbreakers, not legitimate businesses.

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Planned Parenthood Loses Legal Battle Over Medicaid Funding in Arkansas http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/planned-parenthood-loses-legal-battle-medicaid-funding-arkansas/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/planned-parenthood-loses-legal-battle-medicaid-funding-arkansas/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:58:59 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352214 This week, a federal appeals court upheld Arkansas’ decision to cancel its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood, which allowed Medicaid recipients to receive non-abortion... Read More

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This week, a federal appeals court upheld Arkansas’ decision to cancel its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood, which allowed Medicaid recipients to receive non-abortion services at Planned Parenthood clinics.

This is good news for other states that decide to stop allowing taxpayers’ money to flow to Planned Parenthood.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in August 2015 that the state would terminate its contract following the release of videos that raised disturbing allegations of Planned Parenthood profiting from the sale of organs from aborted babies’ body parts.

The state Department of Human Services informed Planned Parenthood it would cancel its contract within 30 days and that Planned Parenthood had a right to an administrative appeal under state law.

Instead, Planned Parenthood rounded up a group of patients (known as the “Jane Does”) to file suit in federal court.

In their lawsuit, the Jane Does argue that, under the Medicaid Act’s “free choice of provider” provision, the state cannot prohibit them from obtaining medical care from the qualified provider of their choice—unless that provider is unfit to provide medical services.

The main question at issue is whether the Jane Does have a judicially enforceable right to select their health care provider. Several federal courts have weighed in on this issue in cases out of Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, and Arizona.

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23)(A), state Medicaid plans must “provide that … any individual eligible for medical assistance (including drugs) may obtain such assistance from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required … who undertakes to provide him such services.”

The Jane Does claim this language allows them to sue the state for seeking to deprive them of receiving services from any qualified health care provider, even though Planned Parenthood had been decertified as an approved provider.

A federal district court in Little Rock, Arkansas, granted the Jane Does’ request for a preliminary injunction, preventing the state from cutting off Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding.

>>> Stay up to date with the latest at the Supreme Court by checking out SCOTUS 101, a new podcast hosted by Heritage Foundation scholars Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 8th Circuit overturned the injunction in an opinion by Judge Steven Colloton (one of President Donald Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees).

In the 2-1 decision, Colloton concluded that a law directing government officials to take an action (as § 23(A) does) “does not confer the sort of ‘individual entitlement’ that is enforceable” in court by beneficiaries of that law.

Further, reading § 23(A) in light of the broader statutory text, Colloton found that it’s not clear Congress intended to create an individual right—and Congress’ “unambiguous” intent is a prerequisite for the Jane Does’ lawsuit to move forward.

Other courts, including the 7th Circuit in a 2012 decision out of Indiana by Judge Diane Sykes (another Trump short-lister), have reached the opposite conclusion.

Furthermore, the 5th Circuit is currently considering Texas’ appeal of a district court ruling that prevented it from blocking Medicaid funds from going to a Planned Parenthood affiliate that was previously forced to pay the state $1.4 million in a settlement for allegations of Medicaid fraud.

If the 5th Circuit joins the 8th Circuit in ruling against allowing private rights of action to enforce the Medicaid “free choice of provider” provision, that would tee the issue up for Supreme Court review. A split among the federal appeals courts increases the odds that the justices will decide to review a case.

Now the ball is back in the Jane Does’ court, as they weigh whether to ask the full 8th Circuit to rehear their case or go straight to the Supreme Court for review.

A Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to freely terminate Medicaid agreements would deal a major blow to Planned Parenthood, which receives half a billion dollars from taxpayers each year.

As Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report showed, abortions at its clinics are on the rise, while cancer treatment and screenings, HPV vaccinations, contraception, and prenatal services have rapidly declined.

Though the Hyde Amendment prevents Medicaid funding for abortions in most circumstances, money is fungible. That means the taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood receives for non-abortion services free up other resources for abortion.

If states choose to decertify Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider, scarce government funds could instead be directed to the thousands of centers that actually provide health care for women without entanglement in abortion on demand.

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Late Night Joins Mainstream Media in Attacking Trump http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/late-night-joins-mainstream-media-attacking-trump/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/late-night-joins-mainstream-media-attacking-trump/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:39:30 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352170 Mainstream media’s not alone in attacking President Donald Trump. Late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Stephen Colbert, and Jim Jefferies have joined in this... Read More

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Mainstream media’s not alone in attacking President Donald Trump. Late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Stephen Colbert, and Jim Jefferies have joined in this week. Meanwhile, cities across the country are bracing for the “apocalypse,” formerly known as the solar eclipse.

Every week, The Daily Signal’s Facebook Live show “Top 10” features the top news stories that often go underreported by the mainstream media. We covered all of this and much more on this week’s top 10 must-see moments of the week. Check out the video.

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Steve Bannon Out at White House http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/steve-bannon-out-at-white-house/ http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/18/steve-bannon-out-at-white-house/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:05:24 +0000 http://dailysignal.com/?p=352176 Steve Bannon, White House chief political strategist and adviser to President Donald Trump, was fired from his post Friday afternoon, according to the Drudge Report.... Read More

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Steve Bannon, White House chief political strategist and adviser to President Donald Trump, was fired from his post Friday afternoon, according to the Drudge Report.

The political strategist reportedly submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, The New York Times reports. While it was scheduled for Monday, Bannon’s resignation was delayed in the aftermath of the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. Trump and administration officials have been deliberating for some time as to when and how to release Bannon.

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Bannon was one of the first people to jump on board the president’s political team when he announced his bid for the presidency in 2015. Rumors floated Thursday that Bannon might lose his job after the political strategist landed in hot water after The American Prospect released an article Wednesday in which Bannon made some unsavory comments regarding members of the administration.

Trump refused Tuesday at Trump Tower to say whether or not Bannon’s job was secure, but the president defended the political strategist as “not a racist.” The president told reporters that “we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

White House chief of staff John Kelly and Bannon mutually agreed that Friday would be his last day serving in the Trump administration.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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