Cuomo’s ‘Free College’ Gambit Exacts a Heavy Price

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By: Robert Holland

Cuomo’s ‘Free College’ Gambit Exacts a Heavy Price

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) may figure that becoming the first governor to champion and sign “free four-year college” legislation will give him a campaign slogan sure to appeal to fans of the socialist heartthrob of the 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders, if Cuomo decides to run in 2020.

Unfortunately for Cuomo, and even worse for residents of the Empire State, the design for making tuition at New York’s public colleges free for applicants whose parents make no more than $100,000 a year (rising to $125,000 by 2019) is riddled with inequities and structural flaws that should be apparent well before the next Democratic presidential primaries.

The fundamental reality is nothing connected with public higher education is free. Administrators and professors are paid, often handsomely, and classrooms, student unions, and dormitories are big-ticket budgetary expenses. When students and their families are exempted from paying a fair share, that means taxpayers pay extra—in this case, at least the first-year $163 million cost Cuomo estimates and probably a whole lot more.

Moreover, families making less than $50,000 will receive no benefit from the Cuomo largess, because state officials figure federal grants already cover them for college. Many of them are hardworking folks who pay taxes in high-tax New York, so they will be helping subsidize college for middle- to upper-middle-income families (in the $50,000–$125,000 range, ultimately). Even if they don’t have college degrees themselves, they will be helping chip in up to $25,880 per student toward a bachelor’s degree for better-off people who then figure to have an added income-earning advantage over them.

Given the median household income in New York State is $61,000, students whose parents earn up to twice the state median will be receiving free rides at the state’s public colleges.

In short, Cuomo’s grand plan does nothing for needy families. In fact, it rips them off.

Analysts of both right- and left-wing stripes generally agree on other moldy spots in this pie in the sky. A major example is the typically socialistic requirement tuition-exempt students live and work in New York State for four years after graduation. If they fail to do so, the entirety of their tuition freebie becomes a student loan that they must repay without the income-based-repayment softener of federal student aid.

Writing in Fortune, Temple University economics professor Douglas Webber points out the stay-home stipulation figures to “put a significant handicap on the job prospects of middle-class students at a critical point in their careers.” Faced with, in effect, a $30,000 punitive tax, some might even utilize “safety-net services” within the state rather than leave for a good job. It is even possible New York employers could lowball them on pay, knowing that they essentially are being held captive for four years.

They’ll be trapped in a state with one really expensive city, and other regions where good jobs are scarce,” observed New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship, the name of the free-tuition plan, figures to disrupt the higher-education marketplace by creating a tsunami of applicants at state schools while diverting many upper-middle-income students from the state’s 150 private universities, some of which could fold. It will seriously dent the personal responsibility exhibited by young people who work two or three jobs while striving to complete their college degrees over longer than a four-year span. That’s because the Cuomo plan insists on graduation in the traditional four years.

The biggest fly in this statist ointment is the furtherance of thinking that government is the solution to the outrageously out-of-control costs of higher education. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has reported tuition and fees over the past 30 years have increased 570 percent, more than quadruple the spike in the Consumer Price Index and twice the rate of increase for health care.

Government is the cause of the problem, not the solution. Numerous studies have documented how turning on the spigot of federal student aid has prompted colleges and universities to jack up their prices to outlandish levels. Political Washington, DC needs to complete a long-overdue revamping of the Higher Education Act to change that calculus.

Meanwhile, governors could help by ceasing to promote the notion that every student needs to speedily acquire a four-year credential. Instead, they could encourage innovative approaches, such as online learning and education savings accounts, which help individuals craft their own post-secondary pursuits of job training or advanced degrees.

The Cowards of Academia

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By: Dennis Prager

 

The Cowards of Academia

Now that student mobs at universities around America (and elsewhere in the West) have silenced conservative speaker after conservative speaker, it has dawned on a small number of left-wing professors that the public is beginning to have contempt for the universities. As a result, a handful of academics at a handful of universities have signed statements on behalf of allowing “diverse” views to be heard at the university.

These statements are worthless.

While some of the professors who have signed them may sincerely believe that the university should honor the value of non-left free speech, one should keep in mind the following caveats.

First, the number of professors, deans and administrators who have signed these statements is very small.

Second, while no one can know what animates anyone else, it’s a little hard to believe that many of those who did sign are sincere. If they are, why haven’t we heard from them for decades? Shutting out conservatives and conservative ideas is not new. Plus, it’s easy to sign a letter. You look righteous (“Of course, I support free speech.”) and pay no price.

Third, these statements accomplish nothing of practical value. They are basically feel-good gestures.

If any of the rioting students read these statements — a highly unlikely occurrence — it is hard to imagine any of them thinking: “Wow, I really have been acting like a fascist, rioting and shutting down non-left-wing speakers, but now my eyes have been opened and I’m going to stop. Even though my professors have taught me that every conservative is a sexist racist xenophobic Islamophobic hatemonger, next time one of these despicable human beings comes to campus, I will silently wait for them to finish talking and then civilly ask challenging questions.”

Thanks to left-wing indoctrination that begins in elementary school, most American students do not enter college as supporters of free speech. As reported in The New York Times on Feb. 7, 2017, a Knight Foundation survey found that only 45 percent of students “support that right when the speech in question is offensive to others and made in public.”

If any professors want to do something truly effective, they should form a circle around a hall in which a conservative is scheduled to speak, with each of them holding up a sign identifying themselves as a professor: “I am (name), professor of (department).”

If just 1 percent of the professors on campus — that would mean just 43 faculty members at a place like UCLA — were to stand in front of the building in which a conservative was to speak, that might actually have an impact. If they were then attacked by left-wing thugs, other faculty members would be forced to take a position.

But it won’t happen. It won’t because the university is a particularly cowardly place. And it has been so for many decades. In the 1970s, when I was a graduate student at Columbia University, left-wing students took over classrooms and administration offices. But I recall no faculty members objecting; and the college presidents and deans, were, if possible, even more craven.

Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak this week at the University of California, Berkeley. Last week, the university announced it was canceling her speech, providing the usual excuse that it couldn’t guarantee her safety, or others’. This excuse is as phony as it is cowardly. Berkeley and other universities know well that there is a way to ensure safety. They can do so in precisely the same way every other institution in a civilized society ensures citizens’ safety: by calling in sufficient police to protect the innocent and arrest the violent. But college presidents don’t do that sort of thing — not at Berkeley, or Yale University, or Middlebury College, or just about anywhere else. They don’t want to tick off their clients (students), their faculty, leftist activist groups or the liberal media.

Under pressure, Berkeley’s cowardly administration rescinded its cancellation and rescheduled Coulter’s speech during the daytime during pre-finals week, when there are no classes and many students are not on campus. Coulter has rejected these changes and vowed to speak on the originally scheduled date.

So, next time you read a statement by some professors — virtually all of whom, remember, have been silent for decades — on behalf of allowing opinions other than their own to be expressed on their campuses, take it with a large grain of salt. It’s primarily because some alumni are finally withholding funds from their closed-minded alma maters, or because the students they have produced have become so violent even the mainstream media can’t ignore it.

Until they line up to safeguard people like Ann Coulter and stop teaching their students that conservatives are deplorable human beings, their open letters aren’t worth the printer toner that prints them.

Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

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By: Kurt Schlicter

Liberals Want To Kill Free Speech, So We Patriots Must Fight Back

Understand that if America is stupid enough to let liberals take power again, they will persecute and prosecute normal Americans like us who dare to dissent. That’s not a guess or a prediction – that’s a commitment they have made to their fascist followers. They’ve seen what the truth can do to their schemes. After 2016, there’s no way they are going to take a chance on another electoral rejection by us normals, so they don’t even pretend to support free speech anymore. It will be one gender neutral being-one vote, one more time, and then never again.

Hold on. That’s clearly nuts, right? This is obviously crazy talk that’s talking crazy, isn’t it? Don’t liberals love free speech?

No.

We know they don’t love free speech because they tell us they don’t, in both words and deeds. The whole free speech thing lost a lot of its luster for the libs when people like us decided to try it out. The liberals didn’t count on that – free speech was supposed to be their jam, a way to offend, annoy, and outrage us squares, to blow our bourgeois minds with their transgressive, no-holds-barred free thoughtery and critical thinkery. But they never intended for it to allow those banjo-strumming rubes living between I-5 and I-95 to express wrong thoughts and thereby win elections.

So now the progressives are trying to do something about it. Recently, every single Democrat voted to effectively repeal the First Amendment. You see, the words “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” were too expansive for liberals’ tastes because they prevented Congress from making laws abridging the freedom of speech.

This creepy idiocy was in response to Citizens United, a Supreme Court case that, to people who actually believe in free speech and not liberal fascism, conforms to the First Amendment by telling the federal government that no, you can’t put people in jail for making a movie critical of Hillary Clinton.

Yes, you read it correctly. Democrats think that Congress should be able to make laws to put people in jail for making movies critical of Democrat politicians. Roll that around in your head for a while.

Now, they call it “campaign finance reform,” and their argument is that they aren’t really limiting speech – just limiting how people spend their own money. Apparently, under the First Amendment, we are allowed to say anything we want, but Congress can pass a law telling us that we just can’t spend any money to actually be heard.

It would mean the government can tell us we can’t buy paper, we can’t buy ads, we can’t buy video tape, we can’t pay a film crew or writers, and we can’t pay for airtime. Congress could even tell us we can’t buy internet access to post our thoughts on Twitter or Facebook. And Congress, in the Dems’ utopia, could even pass a law not letting you spend a few measly pennies to buy my awesome book about how liberals will split our country in two.

Yes, they want to be able to ban books.

Other than that, under the liberals’ paradigm, we can speak to our hearts content, though only to people within shouting range. But don’t worry. The official, approved mainstream media would be exempt – and unofficial, unapproved media, well, not so much. “Fake news” and all that – “fake” being defined as “critical of liberals.” Fortunately, we’d have such unbiased, nonpartisan, objective outlets like the New York Times and CNN (starring noted free speech scholar Fredo Cuomo) to provide us open forums to air our conservative views. Also, we could get unicorns to skywrite our opinions for free using rainbows spewing from beneath their fluffy tails.

What’s still unclear is what prison sentence Democrats would impose upon someone who breaks the law by exhibiting a film or writing a book critical of Hillary Clinton. One year? Five years? Life in SuperMax? Come on Democrats, how long would you imprison someone for illegal speech?

And what should the penalty be for climate change denial? Since rejecting their weird climate religion is Earth-murder, or something, you would think they’d want to burn you at the stake – or is that too carbony?

Then there’s that clinical moron Howard Dean, who is ironically famous for his own bizarre exercise of the First Amendment. Leveraging all his intellectual fire power, he recently unloaded his mental squirt gun upon those of us who think the First Amendment means what it actually says. “Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,” he announced on Twitter, apparently having discovered a constitutional exception that would allow Democrats to stifle any speech they choose to stick the “hate speech” label on. Which would, of course, be anything and everything we normals want to say.

This “I don’t like what you are saying so it’s hate speech now shut-up” footnote to the First Amendment is well-known at our colleges and universities. These bastions of free thinking freely admit thinking that we normals have no right to think freely at all. The fact that California law enforcement is regularly ordered to stand back and allow conservative speakers and their audiences to be intimidated and beaten in order to silence them is just a preview of the new America that liberals dream of. If you imagine the unholy love child of the economic basket case/police state of Venezuela and the grim intolerance of your local campus, you have a pretty good idea of the new, fascist America the Democrats seek to breed.

Think that analysis is wrong? Well, here’s a complete list of all prominent Democrats standing up against these free speech abominations:

_________________________________________________.

Liberals should be ashamed of themselves, but then they wouldn’t be liberal if they were born with shame genes. So, since we patriots are the only ones who actually support free speech, what do we patriots do to protect it?

Whatever it takes.

We fight peacefully in the political arena, in the courts, and in the shrinking marketplace of ideas while we can, but we must also be ready to fight in the streets when those punky puffboys try to shut us up. No quarter, no compromise, no surrender – we fight and win, or they shut us up forever.

Look, the left has told us what it wants – the power to force us to be silent and submit. That’s not wacky supposition; that’s not fevered imagination. They are open about their agenda, and it’s happening before our eyes. To pretend that our republic is not facing an existential threat from progressives who would use violence to silence their political opponents is to willfully ignore the evidence, just like a climate cultist ignores cold weather. And the violence has already begun: in fact, it is key to their plan for a free speech-free future. Today it’s gangs of masked thugs attacking us. Tomorrow, it’s uniformed men with guns – or at least those few spineless cowards among our security forces will ignore their oaths to defend the Constitution in exchange for a paycheck and a pension – dragging us off to jail for illegal speech. Or worse.

We patriots face a stark choice. We could choose the easy path of submission and hope that the left will leave us be if we just give in to their demands and give up on our right to participate in our own governance. But that won’t ever work – the true joy of leftism comes from imposing the leftists’ collective will upon its designated villains, and one guess as to the identity of those designated villains.

Hi.

No, they don’t want to leave us alone – that misses the whole point of being a leftist. A leftist yearns to be the one doing the bullying and dominating. If we give in, we will spend the rest of our lives with their soft, girly hands around our necks.

And if we are so gutless as to give up our God-given rights in exchange for “peace,” we deserve that pathetic, dishonorable fate.

But we won’t give up. We won’t surrender. No matter how hard they punch, as Instapundit urges, we’ll punch back twice as hard.

It was funny seeing those antifa dorks get wedgies in Berkeley, but our enemies are serious about stripping us of the rights that our Creator endowed upon all men and women. Many of us are veterans or law enforcement, and our oaths to defend the Constitution even at the cost of our lives did not come with an expiration date. Millions more who did not take one of those oaths subscribe to them nonetheless. We promised not to let a fascist regime take hold, and we intend to keep our promise.

The First Amendment is followed by the Second Amendment for just this reason – history will record that our people’s unique refusal to be disarmed by those who seek to steal our liberties was a key factor why we will never be Venezuela II: The Revenge.

Our only chance of avoiding a catastrophe is if our would-be progressive overlords understand that for us normal Americans, there are only two possible outcomes. And living at their mercy as their serfs is not one of them.

The outcome we want is that we normals live free in a democratic republic exercising the rights enshrined in the Constitution, whether because leftists choose to respect our civil rights, or because we force them to respect our civil rights.

The other alternative is that we die on piles of spent brass surrounded by the bodies of our enemies. Either one’s cool – but submission to slavery is not an option.

That un-American, wannabe fascist Howard Dean need only look at a license plate from neighboring New Hampshire to understand how this is going to end. We’ll either live free or die.

End the Income Tax

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By: Katie Kieffer

End the Income Tax

Tell President Trump to ask Congress to end the federal income tax so that you and I can reach our full potential for wealth.

This weekend, President Trump tweeted that a: “Big TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION will be announced [on] Wednesday.” This is great news. However, as we go through the process of improving the tax code, we must encourage our politicians to do two things:

1.) Eliminate the unconstitutional federal income tax.

2.) Reduce hidden taxes that politicians eternally use to offset tax “cuts”—namely .

America turns 241 years old in July. We’re still a “baby” nation in contrast to Rome, which recently celebrated its 2,770th birthday. Now, consider that for the first 126 years of our country’s existence—which is longer than the second half of its existence—there was no such thing as a federal income tax.

How did our country thrive without income taxes for 126 years? Answer: federal spending was significantly lower than it is today. In the early 1900s, government spending accounted for roughly 7% of our GDP; today, federal spending accounts for around 35% of our GDP.

Tom Hanks and Kim Kardashian are more familiar to the average American than tax facts. One in two Americans believes that the federal government relies on personal income taxes to fund at least three quarters of its operating costs, according to a new survey by Ipsos. In reality, income taxes only fund about a third of total government spending.

Most Americans, in other words, greatly overestimate the importance of income taxes. And the only reason there currently is a “need” for income taxes is because our country has dramatically increased overall spending. Solution: eliminate both income taxes and excessive spending.

Not Who We Are

Politicians love to slam policies that they disapprove of as: “Not who we are.” Well, the current tax setup in the United States is certainly not rooted in the foundation of freedom that our Founding Fathers established.

The federal income tax was implemented via the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913—over 100 years after our Founders wrote the Constitution.

A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” Sounds like a simple description of the U.S. tax code, right? Yes, and it’s also a direct quote from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Marx wrote that a progressive income tax was the second-most notable requirement for implementing the “Communist revolution.” Great.

Our founders understood that your first piece of private property is your body and the fruits of any labor completed through the toil of your mind and/or body are exclusively yours. All just human law is rooted in natural law (reason) and there is no natural law indicating that the government has a right to the fruits of your labor. Taxing labor is a form of extortion.

Young People: Get Involved Now

A new Census report finds that the majority of Millennials desire full-time employment by the age of 22, however, only 37% find full-time work by age 22.

Thanks to meager economic prospects and high student debt—one in three Millennials is living at home with their parents. Twelve years ago, in 2005, the majority of young people in the majority of states (35 states) “lived independently in their own household,” reports the New York Daily News. Today, the majority of young people live independently in only five states.

34-year-olds with master’s degrees living in their parents’ basement and 28-year-olds with law degrees working as coffee baristas are becoming startlingly common in what should be the Land of Opportunity.

I realize that only 19% of my generation voted in the 2016 presidential election, but I entreat them to get involved in tax reform now—and demand the elimination of the federal income tax. Otherwise, even when young people do land steady employment, they will struggle to buy a home, start a family, or build a retirement fund if Uncle Sam skims increasingly higher amounts off their income in the form of taxes every year.

Congress has the ultimate power to alter our tax code, but President Trump—like presidents before him—can aim Congress in the right direction by proffering specific tax reform legislation.

Tweet at President Trump and let him know that you support his efforts at tax reform, and particularly wish to see the elimination of income taxes combined with a corresponding decrease in total government spending.

Trump’s Artful Egyptian Deal

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By: Jeff Crouere

Trump's Artful Egyptian Deal

With the release of an American charity worker Aya Hijazi, who was unjustly imprisoned in an Egyptian prison for three years, President Trump’s innovative approach to the Middle East has been vindicated. For weeks, Trump administration officials had been working behind the scenes to secure the release of Ms. Hijazi, her husband and four other humanitarian aid workers. The administration was working to fulfill President Trump’s directive to bring the group back home to the United States.

The negotiations paid off on Thursday when all criminal charges were dropped and the Americans were given permission to leave Egypt and return home to the United States. The President sent his military aide, Air Force Major Wes Spurlock, to personally oversee the transfer of the former prisoners to American custody. On Friday, the President welcomed Ms. Hijazi to the White House and praised her “great strength” during her time in prison.

In contrast to this successful negotiation, the Obama administration completely failed in their efforts to obtain Hijazi’s freedom. Of course, their failure makes perfect sense for the Obama administration was quite hostile toward Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime of Mohamed Morsi.

Despite the documented ties between the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism, Morsi was strongly supported by Obama with military hardware and generous financial assistance. The President’s stance toward Egypt changed dramatically in 2013 when the people of Egypt protested in the streets and drove Morsi from power. Currently, Morsi is in an Egyptian prison facing charges of conspiring with a variety of foreign groups to commit terrorist acts.

In his four years in office, President Sisi has aggressively fought terrorist elements in his country. Instead of being rewarded, President Obama shut off all funding and military assistance to Egypt. Historically, Egypt received military assistance totaling more than $1 billion per year, ranking as the second largest recipient behind Israel.

After four years of icy relations, thankfully the relationship is improving between the United States and Egypt. Under President Obama, Sisi was banned from the White House, but, in early April, he was given a very warm reception by the new administration. President Trump said that the United States was “very much behind” the Sisi government and he praised his Egyptian counterpart for “doing a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.” Once again, the United States is providing military and financial assistance to Egypt. Clearly, this fresh approach toward President Sisi paid handsome dividends with the release of Aya Hijazi, her husband and the other aid workers.

Ironically, during the campaign, Clinton supporters ridiculed Donald Trump for his lack of foreign policy experience. Democrats and their supporters in the media claimed that Trump would lead the United States in a very dangerous direction. Instead, the President has demonstrated impressive skill in navigating the turbulent waters of foreign policy and national security.

The American people are responding positively and his poll numbers have certainly improved since he acted decisively in striking the Syrian government for using chemical weapons. His attack in Syria sent a strong signal to the Syrian government and the Russians that the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated. He authorized our commanders in Afghanistan to take appropriate action in the fight against Islamic terrorism. Thus, the largest non-nuclear bomb in our arsenal, the dreaded “Mother of All Bombs (MOAB),” was dropped on a network of tunnels used by ISIS terrorists to escape to Pakistan. This successful bombing killed approximately 100 terrorists, but not one innocent civilian.

As South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted, “there’s a new sheriff in town.” Unlike Barack Obama, President Trump is demonstrating staunch support for the military and has requested a spending increase of over $54 billion.

While President Obama waffled over his “red line” in Syria and failed to act, Trump is acting assertively in dealing with the threats in the Middle East. He is also signaling a new approach toward North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un by sending the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and a flotilla of ships towards the communist nation. President Trump also dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to South Korea to send a strong signal to the North Korean dictator.

In sum, these new foreign policy and military actions by the President are paying serious dividends for the American people. It is refreshing to have a President who no longer will apologize for our country and is not afraid to project American military power. As we discovered during the Reagan administration, the best way to keep the peace is to project American strength.

While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc

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By: Bruce Bialosky

While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc

As a regular reader, you would know that after the election I spent some time investigating the Alt-Right which was supposedly a major force in the Trump election.  My column put a damper on the relevance of this group despite all the hoopla.  Since the election, the Black Bloc has become a major disrupter in our country yet it is barely written or spoken about.

A friend asked me if I was aware of the group which in itself speaks volumes. The group traces its roots back to Europe during the 1980s.  It had its most pronounced debut in the United States during the 1999 Seattle riots during the World Trade Organization meeting, but really traces back to 1991 protests at the World Bank building during the Persian War.

To be fair, while doing research I did find that the MSM has written about the Black Bloc.  But in their inimitable style, the publications write one or two columns to cover their butts and say they have addressed the issue – only to drop the subject.  Reading accounts in the beacons of the MSM – the New York Times and the Washington Post — did not really address the lawlessness of the group and tended to romanticize the group because of their anti-Trump strains.

It is fascinating how, when covering Republican activities, the MSM almost always injects colorful adjectives or adverbs to characterize the subject.   When addressing the Black Bloc, they seem to revert to being reporters.  A February 2nd NYT article gave the Black Bloc a platform to define and defend their actions.  They quoted the following about their actions in Berkeley, CA, on February 1: “Yes, what the black bloc did last night was destructive to property” wrote Eric Laursen, a writer in Massachusetts who has helped publicize anarchist protests, using another name for the black-clad demonstrators. “But do you just let someone like Milo go wherever he wants and spread his hate? That kind of argument can devolve into ‘just sit on your hands and wait for it to pass.’ And it doesn’t.”

The group is characterized by showing up to events dressed head-to-toe in black.  The only thing you might see are their eyes.  The idea is that the players retain anonymity.  They typically meet near a planned protest like the one that occurred in Berkeley to protest Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech.  They were the ones responsible for the violence there and the violence at the Trump Inauguration.  Though the police were near useless in stopping the violence in Berkeley, over 200 people were arrested in D.C.

A recurrent theme that the press repeats is that the group is not an organization, but kind of an ad hoc spontaneous activity.  An article in The Nation by Natasha Lennard who participated in the January 20th violent protests amplifies this idea.  She starts her column by heralding the beauty of actual Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer being sucker punched in the face.  She goes on to state “The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tactic—marching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary object—the black bloc.”  This theme was repeated throughout multiple articles in the MSM as if it were fact.  Notice elements of the MSM who abhor violence throughout the pages of their publications accept violence against Trump supporters, Republicans and in general white men. 

If we may, let us go over some concepts regarding the Black Bloc:

  • It is not a tactic; it is an organized group.  Ask yourself, how did all those people meet up for the protests, in Berkeley, Seattle, Middlebury and D.C.?  Someone is getting the news out regarding where and when to meet.  Those people are called ring leaders.

  • There is no justification for the violence they perpetrate.  As despicable as you may think Richard Spencer is, we do not solve our issues in our civilized society by sucker punching people in the face.  They also were responsible for Professor Allison Stanger ending up in a neck brace after Charles Murray’s March 2nd speech was cancelled at Middlebury College.

  • The group purports to fight against fascism.  That is a recurring theme in their activities.  Somehow, they miss the irony of the comparison to the Nazi Black Shirts. 

  • The fact that they hide their faces is reminiscent of another group on the scene today – ISIS.  The fact that they do not have the guts to show themselves in public would allow some of their antagonists to call them cowards.  This is how the KKK operated, but hidden behind white garb as opposed to black.  The Black Bloc has not raised itself to the violent level of the other two groups, however. 

The police need to get serious about apprehending and imprisoning these criminals.  If there is a protest planned, they can count on the fact that the Black Bloc will piggyback onto that protest and the police need to plan accordingly.  The FBI should also be tracking the activities of the ring leaders.  If some of these anonymous people are tried and imprisoned, it could deter the others from diverting their lives into this organized hooliganism.   Also, the peaceful protesters have an obligation to either help the police or disband once these criminals show up.

The police and the MSM need to start some hysteria about these people before the violence escalates even further.  That is what we do in a civilized society.

Reading the Kansas 4 and Georgia 6 Tea Leaves

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By: Michael Barone

Reading the Kansas 4 and Georgia 6 Tea Leaves

What to make of the results of the first two of this spring’s special House elections? Start off by putting them in perspective. They pose a challenge to both political parties, but especially to Republicans, who have been used to an unusually stable partisan alignment, an alignment that has become scrambled by Donald Trump.

Those of us who can remember the 1964-84 years have seen much greater partisan churning. Almost half of the congressional districts that voted for Richard Nixon in 1972 elected Democratic congressmen. Some 191 districts split tickets. In 2012, that number was down to 26, the lowest since 1920.

The number rose in 2016, to 35, with another dozen or so on the cusp. That reflects Trump’s distinctive appeal. Exit polling reported he increased the Republican margin among non-college-educated whites, from 25 points to 39, though he reduced it among white college graduates, from 16 points to 4.

Which leads us to the special elections. The first, on April 11, was in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District to fill the seat left by Mike Pompeo, whom Trump tapped to be director of the CIA. The district is composed heavily of non-college-educated whites — with two-thirds of its voters in Sedgwick County, where Wichita is, and the remainder in rural counties. Republican Ron Estes won by a 53-46 percent margin — well below Trump’s 59-32 percent margin in the district in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrat James Thompson carried Sedgwick County, apparently because of switches by college-educated voters. But Estes carried a solid 62 percent in the rural counties, well ahead of the 2014 percentages there for two other Republicans, Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts.

Given the dynamics of special elections (you can cast a protest vote — and for a locally attuned candidate — without turning the whole government over to the opposition), this looks something like a traditional, pre-Trump margin in what has been a safe Republican seat for 20 years.

The turnout was heavier and the race more contested Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to fill the seat of Tom Price, who is now the secretary of health and human services. The district, in the northern Atlanta suburbs, has one of the highest percentages of college graduates in the nation. Mitt Romney carried it by 23 points in 2012. Trump won it by 1.5 percent last year. Despite its Republican leanings, it has heavily Democratic black, Hispanic and Jewish blocs.

National Democrats rallied to 30-year-old filmmaker and former House staffer Jon Ossoff, who raised a phenomenal $8.3 million. When the first returns came in, Ossoff had 71 percent of the vote, while Republicans were split among 11 candidates. But as all the returns poured in, that was reduced to 48 percent. Ossoff faces a June 20 runoff against Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and Fulton County commissioner.

In the end, 51 percent of voters chose Republicans, and 49 percent voted for Democrats. Ossoff got 1.3 points more than Hillary Clinton did in last year’s presidential election. The 11 Republicans got 1.4 points more than Trump. Obviously, either candidate could win in June.

There’s a clear contrast with Kansas 4, whose results suggest that traditional Republican margins in other less educated, nonmetropolitan areas are greatly threatened. Georgia 6 suggests that in places heavy with college graduates, the 2016 Trump numbers are the new norm — at least in races without incumbents who have established themselves as being in sync with the district.

A glance at the list of the 23 Republican districts carried by Clinton shows that a half-dozen are heavily Hispanic with well-known incumbents. But most are heavily affluent and college-educated. Five such districts in Southern California and one in northern Virginia have increasing immigrant populations; three in Texas, like Georgia 6, have affluent traditionally Republican voters repelled enough by Trump to vote for Clinton.

There would be many more such heavily college-educated districts vulnerable to Democratic takeover but for the fact that Democrats have long since taken them over, starting in the 1990s.

The good news for pro-Trump Republicans is that most of his November 2016 voters have stuck with him. His current 42 percent job approval rating is only 4 points below the percentage of the national vote he won five months ago.

The bad news for pro-Trump Republicans is that there is zero evidence that he is making inroads among the slightly larger percentage of those who voted against him. Georgia 6 suggests that the highly educated among them are heavily motivated to get out and vote Democratic. Republican incumbents who considered their districts safe may not have worked them hard enough to survive a spirited challenge.

Trump threaded the needle by winning over enough non-college-educated voters to win 100 electoral votes that Barack Obama had won in 2012. Republicans may need to thread a different needle to hold the House.

The Ugly Face of Socialism

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By: Allen West

The Ugly Face of Socialism

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”   – Sir Winston Churchill

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”  -British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” – President Ronald Reagan

I had my first introduction to the South American Country of Venezuela as a young Army Second Lieutenant at my Artillery officer basic course, class 2-84, in Ft. Sill Oklahoma. There I had as my artillery tactics instructor an exchange officer from the Venezuelan Army, Captain Gonzales. Now, I have to admit, having been born and raised in Georgia and educated at the University of Tennessee, I did struggle a tad at first with his heavy accent. After a week or so I had no problem and would come to admire this strapping professional officer who seemed to just know everything. He was an exceptional representative of a beautiful Nation. When we had down time, Captain Gonzales would share with us the true beauty of Venezuela. We would all ask ourselves, why didn’t the U.S. Army have a duty assignment in this nation of resource richness and extravagant landscapes?

I have recently found myself asking how is Captain Gonzales doing?

If you have been paying attention to the news you will see the ugly face of socialism in Captain Gonzales’ native land. It is as if the aforementioned quotes are being played out right before our eyes, but should we be surprised? Recall how so many entertainment elites flocked to Venezuela when the tyrant and socialist dictator Hugo Chavez came to power. Folks like Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Harry Belafonte, and others celebrated and dreamed of this utopia. However, if these individuals had taken the time to read and study political philosophy they would have realized that socialism is rooted in five basic principles, tenets – wealth redistribution, nationalizing of production, expansion of the welfare state, social egalitarianism, and secular humanism. In my estimation, these are principles not to be admired but feared.

Hugo Chavez promised to take from a certain class, let’s call them producers, and reallocate to the masses. The problem with that is as Margaret Thatcher expressed, and those producers did as suspected, they fled. I lived in South Florida for a little over a decade after retiring from the Army in the City of Plantation. Not far away was another suburban city in Broward County called Weston. In the city of Weston, you will see the American flag and another flag very prominently flying…it is the Venezuelan flag. There are those who affectionately call Weston Florida, “Westenzuela”. It is there that the great economic producers and those who did not share the vision of socialist hell fled, and it is a beautiful city.

Venezuela is without a doubt one of the richest nations in the world because it is blessed with infinite oil resources. Yet, when Mr. Chavez came to power he nationalized those mean, horrible private oil companies. Now, those companies and resources have been poorly managed, and Venezuela is suffering what is possibly the highest rate of inflation in the world. Therefore, the promise of giving everyone the profits from a nationalized oil industry has failed, miserably. To see and read the reports of that Country which made Captain Gonzales so very proud now having citizens, no, subjects, eating from garbage cans, and stores not having basic necessities stocked is appalling.

But, where are the American entertainment elites and advocates of socialism now? Yes, crickets.

Hugo Chavez, and now President Nicolas Maduro (funny thing, Maduro used to be a bus driver) championed the principle of social egalitarianism. You know, everyone is equal so everyone should have an equal footing, meaning status. That reminds me of a simple quote, “a free people are not equal and an equal people are not free”. Socialism does not understand the idea of equality of opportunity, it advances that which is antithetical to individual liberty and sovereignty, the equality of outcomes. Additionally, the outcomes are then determined by people like a Chavez, Maduro, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, or Elizabeth Warren.

Maduro was a bus driver, and just imagine, Bernie Sanders did not truly earn a paycheck until he was almost into his 40s. That fella has done very well in government positions, having a beautiful lake home in Vermont, has he not? Socialism is ripe with hypocrisy as well.

Churchill had it right in that the ugly face of socialism is a “gospel of envy”. It creates a fever pitch atmosphere of hatred to a defined group, the 1 percenters. Then should we not all strive to be champions, the best, exceptional? No, the ugly face of socialism wants to keep us ignorant in order to foster that equal sharing of misery…the result of the equality of outcomes.

And what happens if the people eventually see the ugly face of socialism and reject it? Well first, it is necessary to disarm the people in order to have complete control over them. Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, and remember Nazi stood for National Socialism, began with disarming the German people and unleashing the feared Brown Shirts (SA). In Venezuela today, Maduro is arming his own supporters, creating a militia, to gun down the unarmed protesters against his rule and consolidation of power. And where are the voices of the American entertainment elite, or Bernie Sanders? Perhaps there is a reason why the progressive socialist left in America is so adamant about gun control.

There is nothing trendy, cool, or desirable about socialism. And those who advocate it are, well, let me be blunt, lying, deceptive jackasses – the symbol of the Democratic Party. The ugly face of socialism has destroyed the beauty of Venezuela, turning what could be termed a little piece of heaven on earth into hell.

Let us commit that the beauty that is America shall not fall to the ugliness of socialism. For if that happens, where do we go?

Socialist Party Implodes in French Presidential Race, but Socialism Still Omnipresent

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By: Rachel Marsden

Socialist Party Implodes in French Presidential Race, but Socialism Still Omnipresent

PARIS — On Sunday, France will head to the polls to vote in the first of two rounds of its presidential election. Barring the unlikely event of any candidate winning more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff on May 7 will determine the winner. One of the most remarkable aspects of this race is the stunning implosion of the French Socialist Party.

You might be tempted to ask: Does this mean French socialism is in its final throes? Well, not exactly.

Based on current polls, Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon is struggling to crack the single digits, currently sitting at around 8 percent, according to Opinionway’s PresiTrack poll. All this really means is that current Socialist President Francois Hollande destroyed the brand.

Hollande’s favorability rating is about 19 percent, according to a YouGov poll taken at the end of February. A pragmatist, Hollande might have scored better had he not been surrounded by actual Socialists for the past five years.

French citizens, however, seem tempted by the idea of electing another pragmatist from the Hollande camp, but one who isn’t obligated to surround himself with Socialists.

According to an Opinionway survey from earlier this month, 50 percent of Hollande’s voters now support independent presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron, a former Hollande minister who was with the Socialist party for three years. But Macron is a former investment banker whose program includes an entire section dedicated to making the lives of entrepreneurs easier. Rather than ideology, he’s focused on renewal and the desire to bring outsiders into public life.

So this means that socialism is dead in France, right? Not so fast. French leftists have gravitated to Jean-Luc Melenchon, an independent candidate who wants a “fiscal revolution” that involves taxing at 100 percent any earnings over the “maximum revenue” of 400,000 euros annually. He’s also expressed interest in involving France’s overseas territories in ALBA (formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), founded by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who ran a country that represents the epitome of socialist end times. A recent Opinionway poll showed Melenchon sitting at 18 percent, behind Macron and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, both tied at 22 percent, and center-right candidate Francois Fillon at 21 percent.

Socialism as a French brand is tanking in name only. Almost all of the presidential candidates have integrated socialist policies into their platform. The least socialist option in this race is Fillon, who has a double disadvantage: He’s the establishment candidate at a time when global electoral momentum is trending against the establishment, and he’s facing accusations of the kind of nepotism widely practiced among the French establishment.

“Violent” is a term I’ve often heard used by Fillon’s critics to describe the conservative aspects of his program. National Front Vice President Florian Philippot, who walks and talks like a socialist all over French media on behalf of Le Pen, called Fillon’s attempt at a non-socialist program one “of unprecedented violence.”

Reducing the number of civil servants? Violent. Wanting to give people the option of private health insurance instead of paying a fortune for a crumbling system with poor reimbursements? Violent. Cutting government spending through austerity? Well, if you’re going to do that, then you might as well just go around punching voters in the face.

One way that socialism has been able to justify its continued presence in this race is by using former French President and General Charles de Gaulle, who consistently ranks as the country’s favorite historical figure, as its shield. To those running for high office in France, de Gaulle has become what Ronald Reagan is to American candidates: an anachronistic specter evoked in a lazy attempt to justify questionable policies to the unconvinced. “You don’t like my position? You’re an idiot! It’s Gaullist!”

I’ve only heard Gaullism used to defend socialist policies, however — which is funny, because de Gaulle was hardly a socialist. In fact, the Socialist Standard (the monthly magazine of the Socialist Party of Great Britain) wrote of de Gaulle in its July 1958 issue: “Socialists are opposed to what de Gaulle stands for on principle, because he stands for French capitalism, and Socialists do not support any capitalist faction anywhere or at any time.”

Much has also been made in this race of the role of supranational European Union governance, a socialist straitjacket imposed on the French economy. Nearly all of the candidates agree that it’s a problem, whether they want to leave the EU or just reform it. What’s rarely mentioned is that even if European governance disappeared tomorrow, France would still be stuck contending with its own socialist economic infrastructure.

Sunday’s first round of voting will largely determine the extent to which the French electorate can see through the persistent socialist lie that has long worked against their interests.

FBI Launches Terrorist Probes in All 50 States

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By Jamie White

WASHINGTON (Infowars) – The Department of Homeland Security has revealed that federal authorities have opened investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, warning that the threat of terrorism has reached an all-time high.

The FBI has “open investigations in all 50 states,” and there have been at least 37 “ISIS-linked plots to attack our country” since 2013, said DHS Secretary John Kelly 

The U.S. border remains open and the jihadists are working to exploit that national security weakness and plot attacks “every single day,” Kelly said at a George Washington University address.

We don’t know their intentions,” he said. “We don’t know why they’re here or why they’re coming. We are completely blind to what they’re capable of.”

In the past year alone, there have been “36 homegrown terrorists in 18 states.”

We’ve seen an unprecedented spike in homegrown terrorism,” Kelly pointed out. “These are the cases we know about – homegrown terrorism is notoriously difficult to predict and control.”

I tell you, without exaggeration, they try to carry out this mission each and every single day and no one can tell you how to stop it. No one,” he added. “They’re relentless.”

If that isn’t enough, Kelly estimates that approximately 10,000 European citizens have joined the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and thousands more from Africa and Asia.

They have learned how to make IEDs, employ drones to drop ordinance, and acquired experience on the battlefield that by all reports they are bringing back home,” Kelly said.

The Trump administration’s DHS policies and rhetoric toward domestic terrorism stands in stark contrast to Obama’s DHS.

Last December, Obama gave a speech to the military boasting that there were zero instances of domestic terrorist attacks, while ignoring the eleven homegrown terrorist attacks including the Boston Marathon bombers and the Fort Hood shooter.

And in 2014, Judicial Watch revealed that Obama’s DHS gave more than 1,500 suspected terrorists asylum in the U.S., claiming any crimes committed were done so “under duress.”