Why a Trauma Kit is essential and what it should contain

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Tiny SquirrelGun shows are great places to meet kindred spirits and at the last one I went to I met David Dietrich who is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He was selling a fantastic range of Trauma items (although I admit he got my attention with a small pack on his stall labeled “Vasectomy Kit.”) Anyway, I asked him to come up with something that would really be of use to you guys and he produced a doozy. Check this list out. Thanks David, this is really useful. 

Most people likely think about equipment for trained specialists in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when they hear “Trauma Kit.”  Other terms used are “Blow-Out Kit,” and “Individual First Aid Kit” (IFAK).  However, they would be wrong.  Such kits are instead designed to be used by the first responder, whether he is a police officer, infantryman, or just a Good Samaritan.

A Trauma Kit is a far cry from a typical First Aid Kit.  While the latter is designed to support minor injuries and medical issues, the former is essential for saving someone’s life in the next ten minutes.  That means such kits are focused on major bleeding from gunshots, stabbings, and amputations.  In addition, they address breathing obstructions from anaphylaxis or massive tissue damage.

For the purposes of post-disaster preparedness, a Trauma Kit provides coverage where there will likely be no medical services for some time.  That means we will be on our own.  We ourselves may be not only the first responder, but also the last.  So, acquiring and learning to use the components of such a kit is a critical capability.  This is one reason why so many military combatants have survived serious wounds in our recent wars.

One axiom is indisputable – all bleeding stops.  The question becomes, how it will stop?  Do you want to let it stop on its own, after the casualty has bled out, or do you want to play an active role, stopping the bleeding yourself in sufficient time for the casualty to become an asset once again?  The Trauma Kit provides a means to that end, through various included devices.

jbc-corporation-medical-assault-kit
Image: Pictured are the JBC Corporation Medical Assault Kit, costing over $200, and the GetReady! Field Trauma Kit, listing at $99.95.

So, what does a Trauma Kit look like?  First of all, it is relatively small, easily carried on a belt, armor plate, or in a backpack.  Secondly, it does not usually contain the items we expect to see in First Aid Kits.  Rather, they include tourniquets, pressure bandages, blood clotting agent, occlusive dressing, tension pneumothorax needle, and nasopharyngeal airway. There may be a few other odds and ends as well, but those are the basics.

 

Let’s take a look at components of a trauma kit, to better understand why they are used:

 

tourniquets
Image: Pictured are rubber tubing, RATS, SWAT-T, and CAT-T.  Others to consider are are SOF-TT, and TK-4.  They range in price from approximately $6 to $32 each.

Tourniquet.  There are many designs and brand available, from simple rubber tubing to complex windlass or ratcheting designs.  But, they all have one purpose – to constrict or eliminate blood flow to the bleeding extremity.  While these used to be a tool of last resort, military experience has proven their worth in saving lives as the tool of first choice.  If properly applied and combined with other devices, they can be safely removed later.

 

compression-bandages
Pictured are the H&H Medical H-Bandage and the ubiquitous “Israeli Bandage.”  They range in price from approximately $6 to $15 each.

Compression (Pressure) Bandage.  There are several commercial brands out there, typically based on the original Israeli Bandage.  As the tried and true method for staunching blood flow is pressure and elevation, their purpose is to maintain pressure at the injury site, as well as provide a clotting medium.  This is accomplished through an integrated dressing and pressure device.  The hands are then left free to perform other functions. Here are some examples of commercially available Pressure Bandages:

 

Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.
Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.

Hemostatic (Clotting) Agent.  There are mainly two commercial brands out there, found in three forms.  These are QuikClot and Celox, using sponges, gauze wraps, or poured granules.  The key component is either a clay mineral (kaolin), used in QuikClot, or a crustacean derivative (chitosan), used in Celox.  Both types interact with blood plasma to rapidly form clots.  They work independently of blood platelets or thinning drugs.

 

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.

Occlusive Dressing (aka Chest Seal).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to block inhalation through the thoracic cavity, rather than normally, into the lungs.  If such a condition, known as a “sucking chest wound,” is allowed to continue, the lung on that side will likely collapse, putting pressure on the aorta and heart, resulting in painful breathing and associated circulatory problems.

 

 

 

Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.
Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.

Tension Pneumothorax Needle (TPN).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to release air and/or fluid pressure in the external thoracic cavity that may lead to the same conditions described under Occlusive Dressing above.  So, this device is for closed, versus open chest wounds.  The TPN is probably the most difficult of all the Trauma Kit devices to apply, and should by studied and practiced.

 

Naso-Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)

Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.
Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used to maintain breathing in the event of an airway blockage due to anaphylaxis or tissue damage.  They are basically comprised of a stiffened rubber tube, beveled on one end and enlarged into a bell shape on the other.  Assisted by accompanying water-based lubricant, they are fully inserted into a nostril up to the bell.

compressed-gauzeCompressed Gauze.  Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to absorb and aid in the clotting of blood.  Almost always comprised of cotton, they are the most versatile Trauma Kit component.  And it cannot be overstated that you can never have enough gauze.  Additional uses include absorbing other bodily fluids, covering burns and lacerations, wrapping dressings, and securing splints.

 

Trauma Shears

Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.
Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to cut away clothing and other accessories (eg bra underwire) to quickly access the point of injury.  Their unique design provides a safe and easy method to cut through almost anything, including coins!  The major take-away regarding arterial bleeding is that saving clothing comes in a distant second to saving a life.

 

 

 

 Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical (Duct) Tape.  This ubiquitous resource really comes into its own in a medical kit.  Not only can it be used to secure bandages and dressings, but it also has applications for foot care (eg prevention and treatment of blisters), wrapping splints, making snow goggles, and repairing medical gear and other items.  Mini rolls, primarily for storage purposes, are the best configuration.  Don’t leave home without them!

 

 

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.
Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical Gloves.  These are included in Trauma Kits primarily to protect the responder, not the patient.  Bodily fluids can carry many dangerous diseases, and having additional barriers during treatment may keep the responder from becoming a casualty.  In addition, they may preclude the need for further cleansing following treatment.  Simple glove removal and disposal may be sufficient action under tactical conditions.

Marking Pen

Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.
Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.

This is important not only for recording information on a Casualty Card, but also for marking other information, such as the date and time of a tourniquet application.  Such marking can be on the device itself, or even on the forehead of the patient.  There are other uses for such pens, such as taking notes on environmental conditions, and descriptions of agents (eg animals, plants, suspects) involved.

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.

Casualty Response Documentation Tool (CRDT).

This is an event recording card, containing information describing patient and injury, treatment (including drugs) administered, mental state, circulation, respiration, mechanisms of injury (MOIs), medical conditions, and overall patient medical status, from routine to critical.  It’s always good to keep track of what’s happening in such cases, for reference prior to future treatment.

 

 Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pouch.  Typical military kit dimensions are 8 inches long by 6 inches wide by four inches deep when full.  It uses the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to fasten to Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) configured backpacks.  Made of rugged Cordura nylon, this Pouch can be used under adverse environmental and tactical conditions.  It should be readily accessible for immediate use.

 

Other Components.  A number of other items may be included in a Trauma Kit for various reasons.  For example, if the owner would like to access the kit for minor injuries, and not dip into important trauma components, then adhesive bandages may be included.  In addition, medications (eg aspirin) should be considered.  Sterile wipes and water for cleaning wounds, flashlight for nighttime, and CPR shield round out the list.

 Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

_________________________________________________________________

 

David Dietrich is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He has been preparing for uncertainty since he was a youth, recognizing that backpacking is about smaller, lighter, and multi-capability.  His experiences in the Boy Scouts and military have given him an appreciation for the real meaning of the Scout Motto – “Be Prepared.”  Today, David runs a disaster preparedness business that is focused on the creed – helping you help yourself.  It is about delivering resources, training, education, and consulting in preparation for a failure of civility.  Prepared people are survivors.

 

 

 

 

What you didn’t learn in Conceal Carry Training. And how this information could change your life.

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Image: Target shooting, Kelly McCarthy. Now’s the time to think about the consequences of pulling the trigger in a defensive situation

Pulling that trigger is something you need to have thought about BEFORE you ever have to do it. Could you shoot a kid? No? Could you shoot a kid with a gun aimed at your wife? Maybe? Could you shoot a pregnant woman? Never? Could you shoot a pregnant woman with a gun to your kid’s head. Would you shoot a gunman threatening a clerk in a convenience store if you’re safely hiding at the back and in no immediate danger? Could you shoot your wife? Are you going to risk your life for a stranger? Are you willing to endure the court case? The massive hit to your finances? To even, possibly, have to move town because people won’t believe that what you did was necessary. So many ifs, right?

Here are the steps that COULD follow a defensive shooting:

  • Shots Fired
  • 911 Call
  • First Responders
  • Local law enforcement supervisors
  • Detectives – In some places the ADA will be dispatched
  • Investigation/Questioning
  • Prosecutor Determination
  • Trial Phase
  • Sentencing
  • Appeal Process
  • Civil Trial

See what I mean. Being the hero can get you in a whole world of trouble? That’s why I am probably only going to draw and shoot if I’m saving someone with the same last name as me.

Reporting a defensive shooting

So you pulled the trigger. You need to prepare for how you would report a defensive shooting. Rule No. 1. Don’t incriminate yourself. The 911 operator is not your friend but is trained to keep asking questions which are being recorded. Keep it simple.

  • Dial 911
  • Report there’s been a shooting.
  • Give them your name and the address you’re at
  • Tell them who is in the house/building. (Maybe send the kids next door if they are present.)
  • Describe any injuries and whether you need EMS
  • Describe yourself, your clothes. Put your weapon on the floor or in clear sight. (Unless you are using it to subdue a criminal.)
  • If you are insured with an organization that provides an attorney, call them. If you have an attorney call them.
  • Tell the police the bare minimum. Be cooperative but spare the details. Say only:
    • Officer, I was in fear of my life/my family member was threatened and at risk of losing their life. (You would not pull the trigger to save property. The fallout is NOT worth it for something insured or inanimate.)
    • I will sign the complaint.
    • Be helpful and show them what the assailant used to attack you.
    • Introduce any witnesses.
    • Tell them you are invoking the Fifth Amendment until you have had time to talk to your attorney and calm yourself down. You should say you’ll be back within 24 hours to talk to them. Be prepared to be arrested. And be prepared to spend a long time being questioned.
    • Remember to say: “If he/she survives I want to press charges.” Remind everyone that you’re not the aggressor here. 

Shock: The Truth behind the Caravan

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Ami Horowitz journeys to Mexico to find out the real reason why there is a caravan of migrants on its way to the United States’ border with its southern neighbor. You’ll see that asylum is not the number one reason for coming here. And you can’t help but notice that 95% of the migrants are male. The women and children story is for the cameras.

Someone is backing this. Watch. This is an assault on American Sovereignty. It’s a test to see whether these people can get through to the USA by skirting or ignoring the current regulations.

Please notice that the United Nations are in place. Against the USA.

The Art of the Veto

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Now we get to see if the new House Republicans have more backbone than the last lot. 

By last count, Republicans lost at least 32 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is once again poised to be elected House Speaker. This means all legislation will now have to be worked out between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

To navigate these new waters in 2019, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to negotiate but he must remember that his greatest leverage could come in the House minority if he wishes to plot a more conservative path, writes Robert Romano

Veto power

Certainly there will be last-minute attempts in the lame duck session to get things done with Republican majorities, which may or may not work. Time is not a luxury. Democrats will believe they can get a better deal in January and will block legislation in the Senate. It’s up to Trump to convince them otherwise.

Looking forward, then, with at least 199 members in the House, Trump and the GOP should have enough votes to sustain any presidential vetoes if they play their cards right. All Trump needs are 145 members who are willing to stand with the President.

It’s how Reagan got tax cuts and defense spending done with a Democratic House in the 1980s, and it’s how Trump can still get things done in 2019.

In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote, “The worst thing you can do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” He was right. It was the major reason why Republicans, besides increasing defense spending, were not able to accomplish much in enacting the President’s agenda — including fully funding and building the southern border wall — despite having majorities in both houses of Congress.

So terrified were Republicans in Congress were of a partial government shutdown, they never even tried to deliver full funding for the wall. It would cost them control of the House, the sage advisors in the D.C. establishment warned.

And therefore the wall was never funded. The government was not shut down. And the House GOP lost the election for the House and their majority anyway. Go figure.

This time, Trump does not have to make that mistake. Instead of relying on a Republican House majority to deliver the wall, he can instead use the art of the veto. He can veto the spending bills until he gets what he wants — as long as one-third of the House is willing to stand with the President and sustain the veto.

As Trump wrote in his book, “The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.”

Trump added, “Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” Well, a presidential signature is needed to pass legislation in Congress.

But to get the legislation he wants, the President must be willing to say no deal. Veto the spending bills in 2019. To ratchet up the pressure, Trump and House Republicans could threaten not to provide back pay for federal workers deemed non-essential in a government shutdown situation, but this will require spines of steel by members.

The President should therefore consult with Republican leaders in both chambers on any potential negotiating strategy with Democrats in 2019, but in the end, Trump must be willing to go to bat legislatively for his agenda if he want to see it through.

The first two years of Trump’s term, he relied on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to deliver key parts of his agenda. That failed, and Republicans arguably lost their House majority because of it. They didn’t fully repeal and replace Obamacare. The wall was not built. Non-defense spending was not cut as in Trump’s proposed budget. And so forth.

It wasn’t all the House’s fault. Obamacare repeal and replace actually passed the House, but it ran into a stone wall in the Senate. Once the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against the bill, it was done. Still, it was House Republicans who paid the price on Nov. 6. Since then, they certainly did not do much to advance their cause. Where’s the wall?

Trump should be able to leverage that failure now to galvanize House Republicans behind the proposition of sustaining his vetoes. He may have to retool his legislative team at the White House to adjust to the new reality — and to exploit Pelosi’s weak position. If Congress cannot override the veto, Pelosi will have to come to the table to deal on the spending bills. She cannot impose her will on the Senate and the White House, something House Republicans had to painfully learn in 2011 and 2013. Now it’s Democrats’ turn to learn the same lesson.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Bitch slapping Michael Moore

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Do you like Michael Moore? I think he’s an idiotic shill. So watching a takedown amuses me. And watching an epic takedown amuses me even more.

LANGUAGE ALERT!

Ebola on the move

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Since our last report:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said last week (November 2018) that the Ebola outbreak in conflict-ridden Congo has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control and instead will become entrenched.

By extension we believe this means it can spread. There are concerns that Ebola could mutate into an airborne strain, if an outbreak remains active for long enough in human populations. Currently, authorities claim it is passed from person to person and is not airborne although some believe it can be transmitted this way. The implications for airborne Ebola are horrifying.

If the current outbreak cannot be brought under control, it would be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an Ebola outbreak led to the widespread presence of the disease, says Eric Worrell. The current outbreak is entering its fourth month, with nearly 300 cases, including 186 deaths.

If Ebola becomes endemic in North Kivu province, in northeastern Congo, “this will mean that we’ve lost the ability to trace contacts, stop transmission chains and contain the outbreak,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which hosted the briefing on Capitol Hill that featured the Ebola discussion with Redfield.

In that scenario, there would be a sustained and unpredictable spread of the deadly virus, with major implications for travel and trade.

War zone

To compound issues, the outbreak is taking place in a part of Congo that is an active war zone. Dozens of armed militias operate in the area, attacking government outposts and civilians, complicating the work of Ebola response teams and putting their security at risk. Violence has escalated in recent weeks, severely hampering the response. The daily rate of new Ebola cases more than doubled in early October. In addition, there is community resistance and deep mistrust of the government.

Read more (paywalled): https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2018/11/05/cdc-director-warns-that-congos-ebola-outbreak-may-not-be-containable/

Could it become a global threat

1. Ebola can spread without visible signs of illness. In some cases Ebola has a long, symptom-free infectious period. People who survive the lethal infection sometimes become symptomless carriers, shedding large numbers of virus particles for months, even years after their own personal encounter with Ebola.

2. Ebola is lethal, estimated at 50% mortality. Even “mild” versions of the disease are often fatal. Importantly, survivors can still carry and shed the virus.

3. Ebola has an extremely rapid mutation rate. 

4. Can it be transmitted without a carrier?

From an epidemiological study in 2016;

Aerosol Transmission of Filoviruses

Berhanu Mekibib and Kevin K. Ariën

Although there is strong debate on the potential aerogenic transmission of filoviruses, it should be stressed that the transmission by air is not similar to influenza or other airborne infections. The viral particles are limited in the health care units and affected villages or households having direct or indirect contacts with patient(s), if it was really an airborne virus like influenza it would spread rapidly and involve wider geographic area and population. Based on the existing literature, filoviruses have very little to no capacity to be airborne (i.e., inhalation of infectious particles at a distance from the source). The virus does not transmit from an infected person to a susceptible person that is located at a distance [25,70]. First, the virus will not remain viable by the time it gets to the distant point because the aerosol is already desiccated. Secondly, the viral load or aerosol particles in the air gradually decrease with distance from the source to the extent not sufficient to induce infection. However, Chiappelli et al. [33] stated that there is a distinct possibility for EBOV to become airborne because of the customary and high mutation rates of negative sense RNA viruses. According to Brown et al. [99] although it is unclear that these mutations carry any fitness advantage or not, EBOV in western Africa is not behaving differently than what has previously been reported [100]. There is no change in route of transmission, no suggestion of airborne spread, no significant differences in disease presentation. Besides, none of the 23 viruses that cause serious disease in humans have been known to mutate in a way that changed their mode of infection.

At any moment, an unknowing Ebola carrier, the sole survivor of an outbreak which killed their family and friends, a carrier with no visible signs of illness, might decide to build a new life in another country. The potential consequences of such a carrier successfully reaching one of the Western World’s less sanitary cities, triggering a lethal outbreak amongst homeless people and people with compromised immune systems, an outbreak which could pass to the general population of that city, are too horrible to contemplate.

The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart

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While I have great fondness for some of the visuals I’ve created over the years (especially “two wagons” and “apple harvesting“), I confess that none of my creations have ever been as clear and convincing as the iconic graph on education spending and education outcomes created by the late Andrew Coulson.

I can’t imagine anyone looking at his chart and not immediately realizing that you don’t get better results by pouring more money into the government’s education monopoly.

But the edu-crat lobby acts as if evidence doesn’t matter. At the national level, the state level, and the local level, the drumbeat is the same: Give us more money if you care about kids.

So let’s build on Coulson’s chart to show why teachers’ unions and other special interests are wrong.

Gerard Robinson of the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Benjamin Scafidi from Kennesaw State University take a close look at this issue.

…education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. …Schools need extra money to help struggling students, or so goes the long-standing thinking of traditional education reformers who believe a lack of resources – teachers, counselors, social workers, technology, books, school supplies – is the problem. …a look back at the progress we’ve made under reformers’ traditional response to fixing low-performing schools – simply showering them with more money – makes it clear that this approach has been a costly failure.

And when the authors say it’s been a “costly failure,” they’re not exaggerating.

Since World War II, inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent. Where did all of that money go? One place it went was to hire more personnel. Between 1950 and 2009, American public schools experienced a 96 percent increase in student population. During that time, public schools increased their staff by 386 percent – four times the increase in students. The number of teachers increased by 252 percent, over 2.5 times the increase in students. The number of administrators and other staff increased by over seven times the increase in students. …This staffing surge still exists today. From 1992 to 2014 – the most recent year of available data – American public schools saw a 19 percent increase in their student population and a staffing increase of 36 percent. This decades-long staffing surge in American public schools has been tremendously expensive for taxpayers, yet it has not led to significant changes in student achievement. For example, public school national math scores have been flat (and national reading scores declined slightly) for 17-year-olds since 1992.

By the way, the failure of government schools doesn’t affect everyone equally.

Parents with economic resources (such as high-profile politicians) can either send their kids to private schools or move to communities where government schools still maintain some standards.

But for lower-income households, their options are very limited.

Minorities disproportionately suffer, as explained by Juan Williams in the Wall Street Journal.

While 40% of white Americans age 25-29 held bachelor’s degrees in 2013, that distinction belonged to only 15% of Hispanics, and 20% of blacks. …The root of this problem: Millions of black and Hispanic students in U.S. schools simply aren’t taught to read well enough to flourish academically.  …according to a March report by Child Trends, based on 2015 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 21% of Hispanic fourth-grade students were deemed “proficient” in reading. This is bad news. A fourth-grader’s reading level is a key indicator of whether he or she will graduate from high school. The situation is worse for African-Americans: A mere 18% were considered “proficient” in reading by fourth grade.

But Juan points out that the problems aren’t confined to minority communities. The United States has a national education problem.

The problem isn’t limited to minority students. Only 46% of white fourth-graders—and 35% of fourth-graders of all races—were judged “proficient” in reading in 2015. In general, American students are outperformed by students abroad. According to the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, a series of math, science and reading tests given to 15-year-olds around the world, the U.S. placed 17th among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in reading.

This is very grim news, especially when you consider that the United States spends more on education – on a per-pupil basis – than any other country.

Here’s a table confirming Juan’s argument. It lacks the simple clarity of Andrew Coulson’s graph, but if you look at these numbers, it’s difficult to reach any conclusion other than we spend a lot in America and get very mediocre results.

Juan concludes his column with a plea for diversity, innovation, and competition.

For black and Hispanic students falling behind at an early age, their best hope is for every state, no matter its minority-student poverty rate, to take full responsibility for all students who aren’t making the grade—and get those students help now. That means adopting an attitude of urgency when it comes to saving a child’s education. Specifically, it requires cities and states to push past any union rules that protect underperforming schools and bad teachers. Urgency also means increasing options for parents, from magnet to charter schools. Embracing competition among schools is essential to heading off complacency based on a few positive signs. American K-12 education is in trouble, especially for minority children, and its continuing neglect is a scandal.

He’s right, but he should focus his ire on his leftist friends and colleagues. They’re the ones (including the NAACP!) standing in the proverbial schoolhouse door and blocking the right kind of education reform.

P.S. This is a depressing post, so let’s close with a bit of humor showing the evolution of math lessons in government schools.

P.P.S. If you want some unintentional humor, the New York Times thinks that education spending has been reduced.

P.P.P.S. Shifting to a different topic, another great visual (which also happens to be the most popular item I’ve ever shared on International Liberty) is the simple image properly defining the enemies of liberty and progress.


Discover FEE’s Programs for Homeschooling Families

Republished from Dan Mitchell’s blog.

Image: Homeschooling Flikr CC0

MUST READ: “There not there” Armistice project 2018

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It has been my privilege to lead our nation’s finest warriors and I believe it is our duty to remember each and every hero who sacrificed their life for our country. I am extremely proud to support There But Not There, a nationwide tribute commemorating the centenary of World War One and raising money for today’s Veterans. It is my honor to support this project, not only remember the more than 100,000 Americans lost in WWI, but to help veterans who need it today.

General Stanley A. McChrystal

There But Not There is the 2018 Armistice project for the British charity Remembered. As There But Not There has launched around the world, their Soldier Silhouettes, which are made by veterans in the UK, have been seen in some iconic locations and purchased by communities across The Commonwealth, USA and Great Britain.

Remembered aims to:

  • Commemorate the Fallen through installations of Soldier Silhouettes.
  • Educate all generations about why they made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Raise substantial funds through sales of our 10-inch Soldier Silhouettes to help those suffering from the mental and physical wounds of their service.

The funds raised through the sales of the Soldier Silhouette figures will contribute directly to the work of the following charities:

The Invictus Games Foundation

The Royal Foundation

Walking With The Wounded

Combat Stress

Help for Heroes

Project Equinox: Housing Veterans and Medical Students

Image: The inspiration for “There but Not There”

‘Multiple Men’ Were ‘Ready to Take a Bullet for Any Single One of Us,’ Says Woman Who Survived California Shooting

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Multiple men reportedly put their bodies on the line to protect patrons at the club in California where a gunman entered Wednesday night, killing 12 and reportedly taking his own life.

“While we were all dog-piled at the side, there were multiple men that got on their knees and pretty much blocked all of us with their backs towards the shooter, ready to take a bullet for any single one of us,” Teylor Whittler, a woman who had been in the club during the shooting, said Thursday morning, reported ABC News.

“And just the amount of people who made sure everyone got out OK or if they were out … they made sure, they went around to every single person around them and asked them if they were OK and if they needed a phone to call their family … just in general any way they could help. It was awesome,” she continued.

The gunman entered Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks Wednesday night around 11:20 p.m. and opened fire at a crowd of mostly college students using a semi-automatic pistol. It was “country night” at the bar.

The suspect is identified as 28-year-old David Ian Long, who reportedly dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt. The gunman and Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Helus is among the dead, according to NBC News.

Hundreds of people attended a procession for Helus Thursday.

Eighteen other victims were injured while trying to escape from the club during the shooting. They are being treated at local hospitals, according to Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Stan Ziegler.

 

 


“This kid was mentally disturbed in high school. There were signs and the administration knew it.”

News is now breaking that the murderer had a history of violence going back to high school where he allegedly attacked his coach. (More here) The PTSD take on his reasons for perpetrating this heinous attack may lie deeper than we think. 


Grace Carr @gbcarr24

Grace Carr is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Reproduced from The Daily Signal. 

Why is America Divided?

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Image: Flickr-Kurt Bauschardt CC BY-SA 2.0]

In one sense political divisiveness has always been with us. The United States was birthed in political animosity. If you doubt it, go read about the contention between figures such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, or between Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

And, of course, there was that little matter between Hamilton and Aaron Burr that resulted in a duel–a fatal one for Hamilton.

So why do we think the divisiveness of modern politics is so historically unique? How can some people say that the debates of our own time are worse than those which not infrequently consummated in two men firing pistols at each other?

Is there some sense in which contemporary political debates are divisive in a way the older ones were not? How exactly does the attack on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s home differ from a duel?

Although the debates of the founding era were indeed divisive, their worst excesses were largely the result of personal animosities, many of them cases in which confidences were broken or in which there was a personal insult that required satisfaction.

The political debates too–whether there should be a national bank, or what kind of relations we should have with revolutionary France–were largely matters of how some particular end might be accomplished. It was seldom about the end itself.

And this is the difference between today’s politics and the politics of yore: It is now not only the means that are in contention, but the ends themselves.

The American founders were revolutionaries not by nature, but by circumstance: They sought not to throw off, but to exercise the rights and values of their colonizers (unlike the French, who are the precursors, in this respect, of the modern left who did dispute them).

This is what we see today with the rise of what we might call the Jacobin Left (“Jacobin” being the label adopted by the most ruthless of the French Revolutionaries). While conservatives, by the very nature of their attitude toward life, are more inclined toward social and political stability founded on permanent verities, today’s left increasingly sees its purpose as the questioning of these verities.

Today’s left consists increasingly in the challenge to, not the perpetuation of, political and social norms and conventions. Today’s left doesn’t just bemoan a loss in a presidential election: It challenges the legitimacy of the electoral college. It doesn’t argue for better relations between the sexes, it contests what gender means in the first place. It doesn’t just contest conservative policies toward marriage, it questions the definition of marriage itself.

This is why we are likely to see more calls for “political action” that resolve into violent protest. The deeper the disagreement, the more acrimonious the debate. And it’s likely to get worse.

[Image Credit: Flickr-Kurt Bauschardt CC BY-SA 2.0]

This post Why is America Divided? was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Martin Cothran.

Are they stealing the elections? Rubio says yes.

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At the heart of this issue is Broward County and Brenda Snipes. Snipes took over as Broward Supervisor of Elections office in 2003. (Remember Florida was the center of the incompetent ‘hanging chads’ chaos of the Bush/Gore 2000 elections).

Now, following a court agreeing with a lawsuit brought by Gov. Rick Scott that Snipes had violated public records laws, she found herself the target of similar calls for her removal from office, and for the same reasons.

Snipes has not been an outstanding success. Long lines and vote counts that continued long after polls closed marred elections in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2016 and, of course, this year.

According to the Sun Sentinel:

— A court ruled she had broken election law when she destroyed ballots from the 2016 election 12 months after it, instead of the 22 months required by federal law.

— A medical marijuana amendment was left off some ballots in 2016.

— Election results in the 2016 primary were posted on the elections office’s website before polls closed, another violation of election law.

— In 2012, almost 1,000 uncounted ballots were discovered a week after the election

— In 2004, some 58,000 mail-in ballots were not delivered to voters, leaving election officials to scramble to send new ones.

And now, after days passed in which Snipes could not or would not say how many ballots remained to be counted, and failed to give regular updates to the state every 45 minutes as required by law, she was hit with a lawsuit by Scott’s Senate campaign and the National Republican Senate Committee demanding she inform the public how many votes remained to be counted.


Meanwhile in Arizona


So is President Trump onto something? Should we rerun these elections?

Candy in Early America

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A simple and delicious sweetmeat from the 18th Century. Citrus peel recipes were very common in Early America. Here’s a great prepper way to make something sweet. (And save the syrup – it’s great in cocktails!)

The Senselessness of World War I, from Beginning to End

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Wilson's War book cover Jim PowellOne hundred years ago Sunday, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the bloodiest war in history ended. In the New Yorker, historian Adam Hochschild writes about the senseless beginning of the war in an “epic chain of blunders, accusations, and ultimatums” and about its senseless end: “In the five weeks since the Germans first requested peace negotiations, half a million casualties had been added to the war’s toll…. Worse yet, British, French, and American commanders made certain that the bloodshed continued at full pitch for six hours after the Armistice had been signed [at 5 a.m., with the news immediately radioed and telephoned to commanders on both sides].”

By DAVID BOAZ

Cato senior fellow and historian Jim Powell wrote about the blunders and consequences of World War I in his book Wilson’s War: How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and World War IIHe summarized his argument in Cato Policy Report four years ago:

World War I was probably history’s worst catastrophe, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was substantially responsible for unintended consequences of the war that played out in Germany and Russia, contributing to the rise of totalitarian regimes and another world war.

Indeed World War I was a catastrophe, a foolish and unnecessary war, a war of European potentates that both England and the United States could have stayed out of but that became indeed a World War, the Great War. In our own country the war gave us economic planning, conscription, nationalization of the railroads, a sedition act, confiscatory income tax rates, and prohibition. Internationally World War I and its conclusion led directly to the Bolshevik revolution, the rise of National Socialism, World War II, and the Cold War.

On this weekend as we celebrate the end of this tragedy we should mourn those who went to war, and we should resolve not to risk American lives in the future except when our vital national interests are at stake.


David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.

Boaz is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas.” His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism for Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN’s Crossfire, NPR’s Talk of the Nationand All Things Considered, The McLaughlin Group, Stossel, The Independents, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.

Walworth County Goes Debt-Free

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The other day, I wrote about the disadvantages of state and local governments issuing general obligation debt. Those governments currently have more than $3 trillion in overall debt outstanding. Government borrowing enriches financial firms, encourages corruption, and magnifies the ultimate tax burden that citizens will bear for the related spending.

It is prudent and practical for states to operate with very little debt, as Idaho, Wyoming, and a few other states have shown.

Here is an inspiring editorial in The Gazette, published in Janesville, Wisconsin, home of outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan. Walworth County is near Janesville.

Local government officials everywhere take note: Walworth County is proving you can run a government and undertake capital projects without carrying any debt.

The concept—saving money instead of issuing bonds to pay for something you need—is radical in our debt-happy society.

Walworth County has been debt free since March, despite the construction of a $24 million health and human services building.

Taxpayers will be rewarded with a 2.8 percent drop in the tax levy—no small trick at a time of rising inflation and interest rates.

The county’s recent decision to pay off $9.1 million in debt while resisting the temptation to borrow is particularly praiseworthy. As a result, Walworth County might be the only debt-free county in Wisconsin.

Think about the significance of Walworth County’s accomplishment: It is spending within its means while saving money in anticipation of future needs.

It’s unheard of, for example, for a school district to save the money it will need for a new school. School district referendums calling for more bonding are as predictable as they are numerous.

Many of these referendums pass because taxpayers don’t realize they’re paying far more than the advertised price for a project, as Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, noted in his Monday column. He describes bonding as a hidden tax.

If Walworth County had decided to issue bonds to pay for its health and human services building (assuming a 4 percent interest rate over 30 years), taxpayers would have had to fork over nearly $23 million in interest, including an estimated $550,000 in underwriting and advisory fees, according to a municipal bond calculator at the website for Municipal Capital Markets Group.

By planning ahead, Walworth County is saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Any unit of government wanting to follow Walworth County’s lead needs to be forewarned: Saving for a future project requires discipline and clear communication with voters. Many of the fiscal challenges this nation faces are a result of politicians viewing the world in one- or two-year increments, from one election to the next. Unfortunately, politicians don’t plan to be in office when the bills come due and the financial wreckage becomes apparent.

But once in a while, politicians surprise us by exercising restraint. When that happens, like a comet’s orbit approaching the sun, we should all take notice. Kudos to Walworth County for demonstrating government can function debt free.

 


By CHRIS EDWARDS

Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at Cato and editor of www.DownsizingGovernment.org. He is a top expert on federal and state tax and budget issues. Before joining Cato, Edwards was a senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an economist with the Tax Foundation. Edwards has testified to Congress on fiscal issues many times, and his articles on tax and budget policies have appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and other major newspapers. He is the author of Downsizing the Federal Government and coauthor of Global Tax Revolution.

Edwards holds a BA in Economics from the University of Waterloo and an MA in Economics from George Mason University. He was a member of the Fiscal Future Commission of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jordan Peterson: “Let’s fix global warming…it’s the kind of low resolution thinking that gets us nowhere”

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Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. In 2016, shortly before the publication of 12 Rules, several of Dr. Peterson’s online lectures, videos and interviews went viral, launching him into unprecedented international prominence as a public intellectual and educator.

He’s widely regarded at the spokesman for commonsense in an increasingly polarized global environment. I particularly liked his take on Climate Change, which can be seen in the video below at 20.30, but as it’s so unusual to have an hour of someone speaking sense, I thought I’d share the entire video. It was recorded at the Cambridge Union, a debating and free speech society within Cambridge University, UK.

Five Takeaways from the 2018 Elections…and Implications for Liberty

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By Dan Mitchell

Image: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Nancy Pelosi) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
We had an election in the United States (or, as Mencken sagely observed, an advance auction of stolen goods). Here are five things to keep in mind about the results.

First, the GOP did better than most people (including me) expected.

This tweet captures the zeitgeist of last night.

The Senate results were especially disappointing for the Democrats. It does appear the Kavanaugh fight worked out very well for Republicans.

Second, better-than-expected election news for the GOP does not imply better-than-expected news for public policy. Given Trump’s semi-big-government populism, I fear this tweet is right about the increased risk of a counterproductive infrastructure packageand a job-destroying increase in the minimum wage.

For what it’s worth, I think we’ll also get even more pork-filled appropriations spending. In other words, busting the spending caps after already busting the spending caps.

The only thing that might save taxpayers is that Democrats in the House may be so fixated on investigating and persecuting Trump that it poisons the well in terms of cooperating on legislation.

Fingers crossed for gridlock!

Third, there was mixed news when looking at the nation’s most important ballot initiatives.

On the plus side, Colorado voters rejected an effort to replace the flat tax with a discriminatory system(in order to waste even more money on government schools), California voters sensibly stopped the spread of rent control, Washington voters rejected a carbon tax, Florida voters expanded supermajority requirements for tax increases, and voters in several states legalized marijuana.

On the minus side, voters in four states opted to expand the bankrupt Medicaid program, Arizona voters sided with teacher unions over children and said no to expanded school choice, and voters in two states increased the minimum wage.

Fourth, Illinois is about to accelerate in the wrong direction. Based on what happened last night, it’s quite likely that the state’s flat tax will be replaced by a class-warfare-based system. In other words, the one bright spot in a dark fiscal climate will be extinguished.

This will accelerate the out-migration of investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses, which is not good news for a state that is perceived to be most likely to suffer a fiscal collapse. It’s just a matter of time before the Land of Lincoln becomes the land of bankruptcy.

Interesting, deep-blue Connecticut voters elected a Republican governor. Given the state’s horrific status, I suspect this won’t make a difference.

Fifth, Obama was a non-factor. Democrats lost almost every race where he campaigned.

Though I should point out that he deserves credit for trying to have an impact in close races. Many top-level politicians, looking to have a good “batting average,” only offer help to campaigns that are likely to prevail.

That being said, this adds to my hypothesis that Obama was basically an inconsequential president.

No wall, no House, no surprise

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By Natalia Castro

Republicans would have loved to win the House, but unfortunately, they did not deserve it, as they lost at least 26 seats and more like 30 or so. After failing to solve our countries immigration problem time and time again, it should not be surprising that voters were not enthused to head to the polls on Tuesday. Now with a Democratic House ready to take power in 2019, the lame duck is now perhaps the last chance to get the wall built and if Republicans want a chance in 2020 this must be their focus.

President Donald Trump requested $25 billion to fund a defensive wall along the U.S. Southern border. In his first two years in office, with a Republican majority in Congress, only $1.6 billion has been allocated to fund this wall. While Trump has optimistically called this a “down payment” with full funding coming in the near future, that funding has yet to materialize — and the Republican voters knew it.

The truth is, House Republicans had ample opportunity to prove to the American people that building the wall is not just a rallying cry, but an actual policy objective.

Republicans could have leveraged their majority to fund the wall during the 2017 omnibus spending bill.

Republicans could have leveraged their majority to fund the wall during the September 2017 continuing resolution spending bill.

Republicans could have leveraged their majority to fully fund the wall during the 2018 omnibus spending bill.

Or Republicans could have leveraged their majority to fund the wall during the most recent continuing resolution “cromnibus” spending bill.

But they failed to do so. Instead, leaving our border exposed as a caravan of illegal immigrants march toward it days before the midterm elections. GOP voters had some reason to be unhappy, or at least less of a reason to be enthusiastic at the House level. It was a signature legislative promise.

Pew Research from November 2018 shows that immigration remains a very important issue to voters, just like it was in 2016. 71 percent of Republicans considered immigration the most important issue to their vote. So it is no surprise that a lack of action on the wall triggered a lack of action in the voting booth.

As Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning notes, “This is a failure of House leadership to enact the Trump agenda. This is the consequence of failing to keep the President’s promise to build the wall. When the House Republican leadership decided they wanted to spend almost the whole of 2018 at home rather than working in D.C. they should not have been surprised that voters sent them home permanently. The rejection of House Republican leadership now demands a new, more conservative leadership be elected.”

The immigration problem in the US will only get worse with a Democratic House, meaning in 2020 it will be just as large of a campaign issue. Republicans must use the lame duck to push reform in order to give voters another reason to vote red in 2020 and retain the presidency — unless Republicans want to take their chances making a deal with a House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) introduced a bill in October to fully fund Trump’s wall. At the time, many assumed it was just a bill to show voters that Republicans are still willing to keep their promises, now it is their best chance of getting funding.

The Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act would call for $23.5 billion in border wall funding which would be split between the physical barrier and technology, operations, and other infrastructure costs related to border security.

McCarthy has said in a statement, “For decades, America’s inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration has encouraged millions to undertake a dangerous journey to come here in violation of our laws and created huge loopholes in the legal channels we use to welcome immigrants to our country.”

Had this bill and that rhetoric been around in 2017, Republicans might have kept their majority. But since it wasn’t, and now Republicans must use the lame duck to secure our border once and for all. While it won’t not save them in this election, it could help reclaim the House in 2020.

Natalia Castro is the multimedia manager at Americans for Limited Government.

You missed this massive threat to National Security because it was released in the election frenzy

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Photo credit: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain, https://pixabay.com/en/iran-flag-middle-east-grunge-1151139/

Last week an incredibly important story broke. It was covered in detail on YAHOO NEWS! You probably didn’t see it because of the Election coverage, and also because the blame lays at the feet of President Obama and the media doesn’t like to cover adverse stories about their beloved Democratic leader.

Iran executed some of the CIA informants and imprisoned others in an intelligence setback that one of the former officials described as “incredibly damaging.” The CIA successfully exfiltrated some of its Iranian sources, said former officials.

In 2013, hundreds of CIA officers — many working nonstop for weeks — scrambled to contain a disaster of global proportions: a compromise of the agency’s internet-based covert communications system used to interact with its informants in dark corners around the world. Teams of CIA experts worked feverishly to take down and reconfigure the websites secretly used for these communications; others managed operations to quickly spirit assets to safety and oversaw other forms of triage.

“When this was going on, it was all that mattered,” said one former intelligence community official. The situation was “catastrophic,” said another former senior intelligence official.

From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials.

The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy — from multiple intelligence agencies, congressional intelligence committees and independent contractors to internal government watchdogs — forcing a slow-moving, complex government machine to grapple with the deadly dangers of emerging technologies.

In a world where dependence on advanced technology may be a necessary evil for modern espionage, particularly in hostile regions where American officials can’t operate freely, such technical failures are an ever-present danger and will only become more acute with time.

“When these types of compromises happen, it’s so dark and bad,” said one former official. “They can burrow in. It never really ends.”

A former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the compromise said it had global implications for the CIA.  “You start thinking twice about people, from China to Russia to Iran to North Korea,” said the former official.  The CIA was worried about its network “totally unwinding worldwide.”

Yahoo News’ reporting on this global communications failure is based on conversations with eleven former U.S. intelligence and government officials directly familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive operations. Multiple former intelligence officials said that the damage from the potential global compromise was serious — even catastrophic — and will persist for years. …more

Birthright Citizenship Is No Constitutional Guarantee

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Image: Birthright citizenship

By Bob Barr | Former Congressman (R-GA)

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution has been part of our Constitution for 150 years, but the “birthright citizenship” language it contains has never been directly addressed by the United States Supreme Court; the only time it even partially dealt with the issue was in 1898 (in a case that involved foreign parents of a child born in the U.S. who were lawfully in the country). The Congress, which could legislatively define and limit the amendment’s problematic terms, has never developed the political backbone to do so.

President Trump has stepped into this vacuum declaring that he will, by executive order, clarify and limit what it means for a person born in the United States, to also be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” as the amendment requires. This point bears repeating: in order for a person to be considered a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born within the borders of our country, they must also be subject to our sovereign power.

The flash point here is clear: does a child born to a mother who is in the United States illegally, gain American citizenship by the sole fact of having been delivered on our side of the border?

To understand and answer this question, it is necessary to consider the historical and legal parameters within which both our Constitution and the 14th Amendment were crafted, considered and interpreted.

As a starting point, it is important to understand that there is absolutely nothing in the legislative history surrounding the adoption of the 14th Amendment that supports the interpretation that it contemplated granting citizenship to children born of mothers unlawfully in our country. In fact, quite the opposite becomes clear if one studies the records of the actual debates accompanying adoption of the proposed amendment by the Congress.

There is, for example, argument by the very drafters of the language establishing that it was not intended to grant citizenship to foreigners. The amendment’s clear and overriding purpose was to ensure that emancipated slaves born in the U.S. would be considered citizens; it had nothing to do with children born of non-citizens while in our country.

Furthermore, standard rules of legislative interpretation mandate that the amendment’s language in this regard must be afforded meaning consistent with relevant history, law, and intent. As noted in the Heritage Foundation’s Guide to the Constitution, much of the law and rules of interpretation employed by the drafters of the amendment drew on British canons of law, including the seminal treatises of law by Blackstone that declared birthright citizenship a feudal concept and therefore inapplicable to and incompatible with our form of government. This clearly supports the argument that in the drafting of the language of the 14th Amendment, births by illegal aliens were not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the country and therefore not entitled to enjoy the privileges of citizenship.

Thus, even though at the time of America’s split with Great Britain in the last quarter of the 18th Century, our then-mother country recognized citizenship by birthright, the principle was not incorporated by language or intent into our constitutional system of governing; and the 14th Amendment made this clear.

Congress to this point has been unwilling to address the problem. It could do so, for example, by passing legislation making clear that the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, means persons lawfully in the U.S. and therefore subject to our nation’s sovereignty rather than the sovereignty of the country in which they are lawful citizens. Or Congress could, by super-majority in both houses (and after ratification by three-quarters of the states), amend or outright repeal the 14th Amendment.

Absent a successful constitutional amendment, any legislation affecting the meaning of the birthright citizenship language certainly would be challenged in court, and likely quickly reach the Supreme Court. An executive order signed by President Trump to do the same thing, would similarly be challenged and present the question to the Court.

Trump may not have unanimous public support for taking action in this regard, but history and the clear meaning of the Constitution’s provisions are on his side. And, at a time when clarity in immigration policy and law are ever more critical, having a president willing to do something to move the ball forward is refreshing.

 

Bob Barr represented Georgia in the United States House from 1995-2003. He is presently the president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation, which supports law enforcement officers.

November’s closing argument – a perfect jobs report

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By Rick Manning

The 2018 election got its closing argument from an unusual place on November 2: The U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs versus mobs has become a popular slogan in the last month of the mid-term election campaign, but with the October employment report still scheduled, the facts could have become very inconvenient for Republicans touting a strong economy. Then on Friday, America got the big reveal.

One of the best jobs reports imaginable.

250,000 more jobs created in October alone, in spite of the impacts of two major hurricanes. The unemployment rate rests at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate since 1969, the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. More than 4 million jobs created since Donald Trump became President, with more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs created each day during October and nearly 300,000 overall in the Trump time in office. And when it comes to where the rubber meets the road — in the paycheck — America got a raise over the past year which exceeded the inflation rate.  That’s right, a real raise year-over-year for the first time in nine years.

What’s more the latest government report on Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover which measures how many jobs are open showed an astounding 7.1 million jobs waiting to be filled, while there are fewer than 6.1 million unemployed Americans to fill them. Labor is in demand, and that means wages are going to continue northward for the foreseeable future.

But perhaps the most stunning number in the entire set of unemployment reports is that the broadest measure of unemployment known as U-6, is down a full 2 percent since the beginning of 2017 to 7.4 percent, the lowest point it has reached in 17 years.  The U-6 unemployment rate is defined as, “The percentage of the labor force that does not have a job, or is part-time employed and would like full-time employment.”

The U-6 number does not require that you have looked for a job, only that you would like one.  It also considers those who work part-time but want full-time employment to be in the same category as those who are unemployed. Those who were previously being left behind economically are joining the workforce and they are being welcomed with open arms by hungry employers.

Why this matters is because the jobs report is about more than numbers, it is about the lives reflected through those numbers. When jobs are plentiful, people feel free to ask for raises or other benefits like more flexible work schedules. People who have given up, regain hope and rejoin the economy.

People feel safe in asking for these things because they have a confidence that they can leave their existing job and be able to get a new, better one without too much of a problem.  This freedom of individual labor mobility allows people to chase their dreams, change careers, and leave for more money or better working conditions, rather than sticking it out where they are unhappy.

America’s economy is stronger due to lower taxes, less regulation and better trade deals, and the people are benefitting from it.

They also know they have a real choice on whether to go back to the choking taxes of the Obama Administration by voting in a socialism-leaning Congress.

Historically, the mid-term election during a President’s first term should go very badly for that President’s political party. But few Presidents have unleashed an economic boom the way that Trump has. Now we will find out if that is enough to offset pretty deep historical trends.

The October employment report tells a story of a working America, it tells of a prospering America, and it tells of a revitalized America.

The election will tell us if America has yet noticed.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

‘I’ll Never Be the Same’ – Why America is the greatest country in the world.

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‘I’ll Never Be the Same’: My Ukrainian Wife’s First Trip to the United States

For Lilya Peterson—shown here in Boca Grande, Florida—visiting the United States was a lifelong dream. “This is the greatest country in the world,” she said. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

KYIV, Ukraine—How do you measure America’s greatness?

By the size of its economy, or the strength of its military?

By the height of its city skylines, or the audacity of the moon landings?

Perhaps, by the heroism of the Marines who landed on Iwo Jima, or of the Army soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach?

Maybe. But America’s greatness is not always measured like in the movies or a campaign speech. Sometimes, an anonymous act of gratitude is proof enough, even if we, as Americans, don’t always see it that way.

At Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For one month, the author and his wife, Lilya, traveled across the United States for their honeymoon. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

In August, my wife, Lilya, and I were at dinner in Geyserville, California, with my younger brother, Drew, and his girlfriend, Gabrielle.

We’d been wine tasting all afternoon and had rounded off the day with a few cocktails to boot. Feeling a bit loosened up, my brother and I, as is our habit, slipped into a familiar topic of conversation—the war in Afghanistan.

You see, both Drew and I are U.S. military veterans. And, naturally, we get to talking about our wartime experiences whenever we’re together. Often a bit too loudly, as Lilya and Gabrielle gently suggested on that night in Geyserville.

In any case, as we wrapped up dinner and asked for the check, the waitress informed us that someone had already paid our bill. We asked who this person was, but he or she had already left, the waitress explained.

“They asked me to tell you, ‘Thank you for your service,’” she said.

My brother and I were speechless. It is, after all, all too easy to assume the country has moved on and forgotten about our wars when so many of the things that divide us seem to occupy so much of the news.

The United States is an inspiration for many people fighting for their freedom around the world, such as these Kurdish peshmerga soldiers outside Mosul, Iraq, in 2016. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

On the walk back to the hotel that night, my wife, who is Ukrainian, told me, “I’m so shocked and impressed. I’ve never seen such a kind gesture by a stranger. It was magnificent.”

I was moved by the gesture, too. But it wasn’t the first time someone in America had bought me a drink for being a veteran. What I didn’t immediately understand is that from my wife’s point of view, it was a singularly unprecedented, characteristically American, display of gratitude.

A week later, Lilya and I were having a drink at a bar in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida. We chatted with the barman and it came up that I was a former Air Force pilot and a war correspondent.

When it was time to square up the tab, the barman said with a smile that he wouldn’t take my money.

“Thank you for your service,” he simply explained.

On our way out the door, my wife stopped, took my hand, turned to me, and said, “This is the greatest country in the world.”

Love and War

In the summer of 2014, I left for Ukraine to report on the war, thinking I’d be gone for only two weeks. More than four years later, the war isn’t over and I still live in Ukraine. Most importantly, I’m now married to Lilya.

In August, Lilya and I traveled across the United States on our honeymoon. It was her first trip to America. For my part, I’d spent only a handful of weeks in the U.S. since I first left for Ukraine in 2014. So, this trip was a homecoming of sorts for me, as well as a chance to take stock of how much America had changed in the years I’ve been away.

At the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

You, dear reader, surely understand all the challenges facing our country. You’re likely bombarded with reminders of these challenges each time you go online or turn on your TV.

Yet, I want to share with you a perspective of your country that might be as foreign to you as the conflicts on which I’ve reported. It’s the perspective of my wife—a 22-year-old Ukrainian woman who was born in the shadow of the Soviet Union and spent most of her young life amid the backdrop of revolutions and war.

Despite all the broken dreams in her country, Lilya, like so many Ukrainians of her generation, possesses a clear vision of the life she wants and deserves. And you, dear reader, are already living it.

When the jet broke through the clouds and out the window we saw the lights of the New York City skyline, Lilya smiled and said, “This is the dream of all my life.”

Checkpoints

We started in New York City. Despite my best efforts not to, I wept at ground zero, remembering things from my youth I don’t often revisit. Like watching on TV as the towers fell during a morning class at the Air Force Academy. I was only 19, but I understood what that day meant for my future.

The author and his wife, Lilya, in the Cadet Chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

We marveled at the skyscrapers in New York and Chicago, and we visited all of Washington, D.C.’s monuments. Later, under the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, we visited the Air Force Academy, my alma mater.

I won’t lie, I bursted with pride to show Lilya that place.

We walked across the terrazzo—the academy’s massive central courtyard—and Lilya shook her head in disbelief at the spectacle of the freshmen (known as doolies) who ran along the marble strips, dutifully stopping to recite volumes of memorized knowledge at the upper class cadets’ behests.

At the academy’s War Memorial—a black stone monument to graduates who fell in battle—I took a quiet moment alone and ran my fingers across the freshly engraved names of remembered faces.

The U.S. Air Force Academy terrazzo. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

During our visit, I was honored with the opportunity to speak to a couple classes, as well as with the faculty, to share my wartime experiences. During one classroom session, the professor put Lilya on the spot and asked for her impression of America.

Impromptu public speaking in a foreign language isn’t easy. But she nailed it.

Without missing a beat, Lilya replied: “This is the greatest country in the world. But most Americans don’t know it.”

The author speaking to faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. (Photo: Lilya Peterson)

Gratitude

From Colorado we flew to Phoenix and drove across the desert to the Grand Canyon and then on to Las Vegas. In California, we visited Hollywood, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, hiked in the redwood forests, and enjoyed wine country to its fullest. We doubled back across the country to Florida and toured the Kennedy Space Center, where we saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis and a Saturn V moon rocket.

In the end, we traveled from sea to shining sea and concluded our journey in Sarasota, where Lilya met my 93-year-old grandmother, Joan, for the first time.

Lilya with her grandmother-in-law, Joan Peterson, in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

As they held hands and chatted, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that we were able to find a way to America while there was still time. And while more than 70 years separated their lives, I also observed a special bond between my wife and grandmother.

They both possess a unique appreciation for life’s little pleasures. And for good reason. My grandmother has lived through the Great Depression, wars, and societal upheavals. For her part, my young wife has already lived through two revolutions and a war.

Of course, you don’t have to endure such historic challenges to appreciate life’s blessings. But, I must say, it’s all too easy to misjudge the gravity of life’s problems when you’re used to peace and prosperity—after all, there’s no microaggression, no trigger, no slur or verbal insult that could ever compare with the impartial brutalities of revolution and war.

The author with his grandmother, Joan Peterson, in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

The truth is, every American, each and every one of us, is privileged. We’re privileged because we are American.

If you don’t think so then lift your eyes to the horizon, over which exists a world where the overwhelming majority of humanity does not enjoy the self-evident entitlements we so flippantly take for granted—things like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The more cynical among us will likely roll their eyes at the preceding sentence, writing it off as overwrought jingoism. But when hardship and war comprise your daily reality, you don’t take America’s greatness lightly, or for granted.

Whether we want it or not, we Americans have inherited an awesome responsibility. We are the caretakers of the promise of democracy for people around the world who yearn for it.

Of course, we’re not the only democracy in the world. But I’ve seen firsthand how the ideal of American democracy stands alone in the eyes of Ukraine’s soldiers, the Kurds in Iraq, or even octogenarian Tibetan freedom fighters. For them, America symbolizes a dream worth fighting for.

I was proudest of my homeland when I showed it to my wife for the first time and saw her eyes illuminate in witness of a dream foretold. I also silently hoped that America wouldn’t let her down.

The author and his wife at dinner at the top of the John Hancock Center in Chicago. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

Yes, we may fail in our time to realize the promise of our founding for every American.

Yet, despite the long shadow of our past sins and the gravity of our contemporary shortcomings, we haven’t quit yet and better make sure we never do.

Because the world is always watching us. Always. And there are plenty of dark forces in this world held at bay by the simple fact that America is still a dream worth fighting for.

Yes, we aren’t perfect. But if not us then who?

Common Bonds

The front lines against tyranny aren’t always found on the battlefields against goose-stepping armies. Sometimes, that battle is won at the dinner table, in a classroom, in a random encounter on the sidewalk, or even in a Facebook post.

Sometimes, victory is measured by the courage to show decency and respect and to find common purpose with someone with whom you share nothing in common except for being American.

After everything I’ve seen, I still believe that if the better angels of our nature win in America, then they will win everywhere. The world is watching us, remember.

In Las Vegas, Nevada—one stop on a monthlong, cross-country trip for the author and his wife, Lilya. After more than four years of reporting on the war in Ukraine, it was a homecoming of sorts for the author. (Photo: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

So, how do you measure America’s greatness?

My wife saw our moon rockets and our skyscrapers and our monuments and our natural wonders. Yet, in the end, what impressed her most were those unnecessary and unsolicited acts of thanksgiving for my military service by total strangers.

“I never thought that random people would be so kind to strangers just because they respect them,” Lilya told me.  “America really is the greatest country on earth.”

She paused for a beat and then added, “This trip changed the way I see everything, and I’ll never be the same.”


Reproduced with permission.

Obama on a rip against Trump and Republicans

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Former President Obama has also been campaigning this election season. Stumping in Miami, Florida, with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, and Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, the former president tried his best to deliver a home-run speech before Tuesday’s midterm elections. It contained this 90-second rant about the President and Republicans.

In this super tight race, did his observations help or hinder, I wonder?

Once a badass always a badass: Dan Crenshaw

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Dan Crenshaw is a Navy SEAL who lost an eye serving our country in Afghanistan. But the terrorists did not win. This Texan is out to prove he can still live the American dream. And he’s living it large. Right now, Crenshaw is running against Democrat Todd Litton in Texas’s heavily Republican 2nd congressional district.

Crenshaw served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he lost his right eye and severely damaged his left after his interpreter stood on an improvised explosive device right in front of him, six years ago. It didn’t stop him. He came home, suffered agonizing surgery, went to Jardvard, married his sweetheart and made the funny video below.

But on Saturday, Pete Davidson an alleged comedian on NBC’s Saturday Night Life was sharing his thoughts on the 2018 congressional candidates during the show’s “Weekend Update” when a photo of Crenshaw appeared on the screen.

“This guy is kind of cool, Dan Crenshaw,” Davidson said. “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie.”

“I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever,” he continued, laughing.

Crenshaw, was expectedly cool about it.

Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.

 

Trump energizes battleground states with rallies down the midterm stretch

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By Natalia Castro

President Trump is leaving no stone unturned in the battle for Congressional control.  The President is spending the last days leading up to the midterms visiting key battleground states in an attempt to persuade voters to come to the polls and vote Republican. As he rallies voter enthusiasm, he could push the closest races over the finishing line.

Between Thursday, Nov. 1 and Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Trump will visitMissouri, West Virginia, Indiana, Montana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ohio, with double appearances in Missouri and Indiana.

These are all critical states for Republicans hoping to maintain control of the House and the Senate in the 116th Congress.

Real Clear Politics, a group which aggregates non-partisan polling data, identifies Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and Montana as “toss up” states for control of the Senate. West Virginia is considered a left leaning toss up and Tennessee a right leaning toss up. If all of these states went red, Republicans could garner at least 58 seats in the Senate — an historic achievement.

If anyone is interested in making history, it is President Trump.

A Harris Poll conducted by Harvard University last month found that 46 percent of registered Republicans associate with Trump, while 25 percent associate with the GOP itself. The Republican Party is now the party of Donald Trump, and his advocacy is necessary for pushing candidates to victories.

Senior Policy Director with America First Policies, Curtis Ellis told ALG President Rick Manning in an interview, “[President Trump] is doing what he did in the final days of the 2016 election cycle. He is flying nonstop, racking up frequent flyer miles, visiting every battle ground possible and mobilizing voters… It is the Trump voters that will be decisive in this election in the next few days… Trump understands that and that is why he is going out and hitting the voters that need to be hit.”

By visiting these critical states just days before the election, President Trump is reminding voters that voting Republican is voting for the America First agenda.

It might be working, too. NBC News now reports that Republicans hold a 2-point lead in early voting nationwide, 43 percent to 41 percent against Democrats, in what can only be described as potentially ominous sign for Democrats, who had been banking on a Blue Wave on Nov. 6.

In Florida, Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott appears to be trailing Democrat Bill Nelson by a mere two points. And Republican Governor candidate Ron DeSantis is trailing Democrat Andrew Gillum by three. Voter turnout on Election Day itself could determine the election.

Particularly in the panhandle, a right leaning area where Hurricane Matthew continues to displace residents and possibly prevent them from voting. To energize voters to still make it out to the polls, the President will be visiting Pensacola this weekend.

Indiana, a state which Trump won by 20 points in 2016, now leans toward Democrat Tim Donnelly by less than a point. Trump also won Missouri by over 20 points, but Democrat Josh Hawley leads Republican Claire McCaskill by two points. But President Trump’s decision to visit these states twice just days before voters head to the polls can energize the base enough to propel a Republican victory.

While Georgia does not have a key Senate race in the midterms, the Governor’s race has caught national attention and pulled in the President to visit. President Trump won the state by a slimmer margin than other victories, and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp only leads the polls by just over 1 point — making it one of the tightest races.

This race has also become a symbol of ideological division as Kemp — an NRA and Trump endorsed candidate battles against Stacey Abrams — who has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, former President Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

These races are simply too close to ignore and while previously candidates have cooled off campaigning in the days leading up to the election, President Trump has only ramped up his efforts, laying it all on the line. President Trump attracted many new members to the Republican Party in 2016 and it is clear he must continue to sway people to the right in order for a “red wave” to take place.

Over the next few days, Trump’s rallies will liven the Republican base and continue to give them a reason to vote on November 6.

Natalia Castro is the multimedia director at Americans for Limited Government.

The Trump ad CNN refused to run…and more

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Before we get into the midterm campaigning, here’s an ad from 2016. Thoughts in hindsight?

And the most recent GOP/Trump ad. Which wasn’t made by a professional. From splinternews.com

If the video looked slicker than the president’s usual awkward Twitter fare, that’s for a reason: it wasn’t made by his team, or anyone the GOP usually works with. According to Newsweek, it was the work of an anonymous video editor, who put it together in the hopes that someone like Trump might pick it up and use it, with or without credit.

From Newsweek:

The man uploaded the video… onto YouTube on October 17. He tweeted it at Trump, some of the president’s family members, the GOP and several public figures on October 20, and Trump tweeted with the message “#JOBSNOTMOBS! VOTE REPUBLICAN NOW!!” on Wednesday.

The video’s creator told Newsweek that he was inspired by the slogan, and wanted to help the GOP maximize its effectiveness.

“I saw the GOP attempt it and, quite frankly, flounder,” he told Newsweek in a direct message. “They probably wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars on those videos and they came across as flimsy and were ultimately crippled by the old way of advertising by featuring cheesy voice overs and ‘scary’ black and white; those types of ads haven’t convinced anyone to vote any differently since the 60’s. I wanted to see if I could do better with no money or resources.”

The man told Newsweek that Trump had become “the face of the working class.”

“The left seems focused on gender and not job security,” he said. “I haven’t heard them talk about the basic needs of Americans in many years. They live in a bubble and think jobs and security are a given, a default; something that doesn’t need to be maintained, let alone strengthened.”

And then there’s this one that CNN have refused to run as well.

 

Adenovirus Outbreak: 10th Child Dies In New Jersey

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An adenovirus outbreak in a New Jersey rehabilitation center has now claimed its 10th life, another child. So far, at least 27 children have been linked to the outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, the New Jersey Department of Health said.

The viruses causing this outbreak are found on unclean surfaces and medical instruments. Although they may not be eliminated by common disinfectants, they rarely cause severe illness in healthy people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  outbreaks of the disease are common in places with large groups of children, such as child-care settings, schools and summer camps. Those with weakened immune systems have a higher risk for the severe disease and may remain infectious long after they recover from it.

About the outbreak of the adenovirus at the rehabilitation center, the New Jersey Department of Health said: “To date, the individuals associated with the outbreak became ill between September 26 and October 29. The affected children had severely compromised immune systems — including respiratory problems — before the outbreak began,” the NJHD stated.

Health officials are still searching for answers since the 10th death has been reported. According to CNN, in a statement last Tuesday, the Wanaque facility said it “promptly notified all appropriate government agencies when the virus was initially identified.” On Wednesday, an additional statement by the facility said the health department “continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed.”

“The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness,” the state health department said. “It can be difficult to impossible to know how the virus got to the facility, what its source was, or what its specific mechanism of spread is from person to person,” New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “But we are working with the CDC on this ongoing outbreak investigation.”

The state health department said Tuesday that an inspection team at the facility on Sunday found minor handwashing deficiencies.

“Health professionals and other people don’t think of the common cold as being serious, but when you’re a child, disabled, chronic disease, immunosuppressed, elderly, multiple medical conditions, the common cold can be life-threatening,” said Dr. David Gifford, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association.

This is a guest post by SHTFplan and Mac Slavo.

“Nobody needs to know” Beto Campaign Appears to Illegally Spend Funds on Supplies for Caravan Aliens

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• “I just hope nobody that’s the wrong person finds out about this.”

• “It’s f***ing happening.” O’Rourke Campaign Staff Uses Pre-Paid Cards for Honduran Alien Supplies

• “Don’t ever repeat this…” Campaign Staffers Explain How to Hide Campaign Expenditures for Aliens

• “If you get caught in some sort of violation that’s like a $50,000 fine,” “For me I can just ignore the rules and I’m like f**k it.”

• Transporting Aliens to “airports… bus stations,” “None of this is like sh*t there is a rulebook for”

• Staffer Says She Sent Texts to Director; Told Campaign Manager Jody Casey, Who Says “Don’t Worry”

Here’s Why Trump’s Constant Criticism of the Media Resonates With Americans

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Image source: Pixabay, Schwerhoefer, CC0, Public Domain, https://pixabay.com/en/pinocchio-nose-lying-nose-long-lie-2917652/

Americans aren’t fans of their media.

A recent poll shows that while many Americans find President Donald Trump divisive, even more find the media to be divisive.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 56 percent of Americans think Trump has done more to divide the country, while 64 percent of Americans think the media has done more.

Only 17 percent of respondents said that they thought the national media has done more to unite the country.

There were sharp partisan divisions over whether Trump has worked to unite or divide the country, but Americans across the political spectrum gave the media low marks.

Reinforcing this poll about the media is another survey by Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, that says media coverage of Trump and Republicans has been overwhelmingly negative and partisan.

The study found that 92 percent of the broadcast network coverage of Trump was negative, compared to only 8 percent being positive.

While much of the division in America may be natural and intractable, it is telling that the media, which has been so strongly negative toward the president, is being blamed even more for heightening conflict in this country.

If anything, the polls show that the media needs to examine themselves before labeling Trump as the cause of a climate of hate in this country. Perhaps there is much blame to go around, but it’s clear that the media has been a driver of this toxic environment.

There’s perhaps no better example of this than recent comments by CNN anchor Don Lemon to CNN host Chris Cuomo on Monday.

“We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right,” Lemon said, breathlessly. “We have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no white guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

It’s no wonder that polls show eroding confidence in the media as a whole. Some of the biggest personalities in news have revealed themselves as hopelessly partisan and vindictive toward wide swaths of ordinary Americans.

The people have noticed, and their faith in the fourth estate is waning.

As Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner wrote, this perhaps explains why Trump’s attacks on the media have been so effective. Trump’s rhetoric, Klein wrote, “not only works as a way of firing up the base, but it doesn’t really cost him much among the general public, which is sympathetic to the idea that journalists play a large role in dividing the country.”

Lack of trust in media predates the Trump administration, but as I wrote in October, it’s worse now. Polls show that Americans think the media intentionally publishes fake or misleading news—particularly about Trump.

During the hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, in which allegations of sexual assault were lobbed at the now-Supreme Court justice, the media was in rare form, publishing numerous, poorly sourced stories that seemed timed for maximum damage.

Then, as soon as the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh, the media stopped pursuing the story altogether, suggesting that it was part of an agenda rather than the pursuit of the truth.

So, despite the fact that there are still excellent journalists at the local and even national level—and despite the genuine need for a serious press to keep people in power honest—many Americans are outright hostile to what the media has become. And this lack of faith in the media will not be repaired by a media establishment that sees itself as the resistance to Trump and the sole bearer of the truth.

Perhaps the solution is to get back to listening to the American people, and to accept that some of Trump and others’ criticism of the media rings true for large swaths of the population.

Commentary by Jarrett Stepman. Originally published at The Daily Signal.

Police Learn Hard Lesson in Absurdity of Asset Forfeiture

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In the world of public policy, it’s very easy to make fun of politicians (especially Barack ObamaDonald TrumpHillary ClintonBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren).

Image Credit: Twitter

And there are plenty of jokes about certain issues in the public arena, particularly the IRS, but also gun control and Brexit. And I have entire pages dedicated to libertarian humor and communism/socialism humor.

But some topics are so grim that’s it’s not easy to laugh about them. There’s nothing funny about the horror of Venezuela, for instance, though there are examples of dark humor from that unfortunate nation.

Another topic that doesn’t lend itself to laughs is the horrid practice of civil asset forfeiture. I’ve shared many nauseating stories about how governments literally steal property from people who have not been convicted of crimes (or, in many cases, have not even been accused of any crime).

Here’s the latest absurd example, this time from Michigan.

Nearly 400 people in Wayne County who were never charged with a crime still lost property to law enforcement agencies last year through a legal procedure called civil asset forfeiture… Altogether, there were 736 asset forfeiture proceedings in Michigan in 2017 during which someone lost property to the government despite never being charged with any crime; this happened 380 times in Wayne County. …Jarrett Skorup of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who co-authored a recent report on civil forfeiture, said…it’s likely that these forfeitures disproportionately affected low-income individuals, who are less able to afford an attorney or navigate the legal system to reclaim their property. Revenue obtained from forfeited property typically goes to the agency that seized the property.
Yes, you read correctly. The agency that steals the property gets to keep the money, which is why the disgusting practice of civil asset forfeiture is sometimes known as “policing for profit.”

If this sounds like the kind of behavior you’d find in a third-world banana republic, you’re right.

Anyhow, is there any way we can find mirth and amusement in this reprehensible practice?

Actually, courtesy of libertarian Reddit, there is.

Kudos to the clever person who left this comment. Maybe the bureaucrats finally understand what it feels like to have property arbitrarily seized.

I’m not quite ready to applaud the actual thief, however, since a speed trailer only notifies people how fast they’re traveling.

If that person wants my praise, go after speed-trap cameras like this hero.

P.S. There is an example of money-laundering humor, and it features a former President.

This is a guest post by Dan Mitchell.

Hillary’s Racist Joke Gets Big Laugh

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Can you imagine what the Fake News would do if Donald Trump made such a racist joke as Hillary Clinton does in this video?

Endless rounds of CNN talking heads decrying the “coarseness” of his rhetoric, late night hosts spewing hateful “jokes” at his expense and blowhard talking heads on MSNBC claiming Trump should be impeached for cracking wise like this.

But of course since its Hillary, it just flies right by,

 

VIDEO: Hero Cop Saves School Board from Crazed Gunman

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There is so much going on in this video that you have to see to believe.

Crazed gunman Clay Duke seems intent on launching a massacre at the Bay District School Board meeting whom he blames for his wife’s firing.

Watch as Duke clears the room (and watch for the hero woman who tries to disarm the gunman with nothing but her handbag!)

Then see what happens as Duke threatens the superintendent and the bullets start flying!

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