Want more educational success? Support charter schools – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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Self-styled Progressives love to mock America as a “laughingstock” compared to the rest of the world in terms of obesity or gun violence or whatever topic they can obfuscate. 

One area where our great nation truly does lag behind the world is public education, a business solely owned and operated by the Left. And they have zero interest in remedying the failures; only the Right does.

Whereas the USA leads the world in everything from charitable giving, military might and medical innovation to technology, natural gas production and so many more laudable areas, any intellectually honest observer will note we fall far short in K-12 schooling.

In the wealthiest nation on earth, this is rather troubling. But the shortcomings in public education have nothing to do with money or results would have improved long ago. 

American taxpayers pay an absurd $20,000 per student per year from Kindergarten through 12th grade. That ridiculous amount is nearly double the global average of around $11,000. We also pay public school teachers on average more than any country. Yet the average student in Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and other nations that liberals tend to admire, consistently outperform the USA in every subject — despite spending less per pupil!

While no single policy solution can ameliorate these historic pitfalls going back nearly a century, because the issues are so vast, one area achieving grand success are charter schools and voucher programs. These initiatives, which began in 1992 in Minnesota, have long been deemed by scholars and conservative politicians as the “civil rights issue” of our time. The left talks a good game about “civil rights” when they seek votes and power, but on real matters, they balk.

I taught for five years in our country’s second largest school district — with one of the most aggressive and powerful teachers unions — and witnessed public education’s myriad issues firsthand in Los Angeles. I’ve documented them now for nearly two decades with a book and dozens of published articles in various newspapers.

Intense resistance to proven educational successes such as merit pay, tenure extension and any needed reform was intense; charter schools were specifically anathema. While Republicans have long supported charter schools and voucher programs, most Democrats are beholden to corrupt teachers unions and therefore do not. 

When asked about charter schools during their Sept. 12 presidential debate, leading Democrats, including Cory Booker who’s seen their success in his beloved Newark, conveniently tiptoed around the issue. He and the others on stage preferred to change the subject, bash the education secretary or, in the case of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, angrily shout “pay teachers more” clichés. 

Charter and magnet schools are often based in local townships within a city’s boundaries, and thus, not bound by the bureaucracy and size of sclerotic large districts. Uniforms are frequently donned by diverse populations, discipline is enhanced, while students’ and teachers’ attitudes often change with liberation from outdated guidelines. These schools break the monopoly of “one-size-fits-all” education. Usually located just a few miles from urban decay, it’s a different world. 

Charter schools post higher results across the board than the traditional monopoly we’ve had from time immemorial. Further expansion of school choice options has the potential to liberate children, particularly poorer ones, from a dysfunctional education. The effort is worth it. Most of the country is on board; Democrat powers-that-be, teachers and unions protecting them are not.  They remain adept at perpetuating underachievement.

Evidence also shows more money for schools does not lead to success and often simply ways to waste the funds. In reform circles, there is the infamous Kansas City study, where the large district dramatically increased funding by billions in the 1980s and 1990s. This included increasing teacher salaries, adding glistening swimming pools, fancy computer labs and more. Was there an improvement in test scores and other quantitative results? Of course not. Nor was there more racial integration. Oops. This should be a telling lesson.

In addition to the absurd  “more money for schools” line peddled by vacuous politicians like Harris, a common ignorant retort toward education reformers is that those pushing for change are “anti school” or worse. With urban schools crippling our country’s most vulnerable (minority) children, advocating for experimentation with vouchers is actually “pro child.” It is progress. It is also consistent with America’s free market aspirations.

There were fewer than 2,500 charter schools when George W. Bush came into office. Eight years later, the number had doubled to nearly 5,000, and continues to grow a decade later. 

The former president’s words stand true today:

“These diverse, creative schools are proof that parents from all walks of life are willing to challenge the status quo if it means a better education for their children,” Bush said. “More competition and more choices for parents and students will raise the bar for everyone.”

Between the radical political agendas, insouciance toward students and lack of innovation, I ultimately lost the energy to keep teaching. Attempts to buck the trend and assist students were fought like the Battle of Antietam. I got along well with the parents and loved instructing the kids. But the resistance to change and browbeating of anyone seeking change demoralized me. 

Since leaving the profession and embarking on other careers, I published an entire book and dozens of articles on educational reform in various newspapers. I try so hard. Sadly, I continue to marvel at the preservation of a failed status quo. It clearly does not have to be this way.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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This may be a first in Leftist Lexicon history. I have stumbled across a topic where they don’t have an opinion, but rest assured I will still mock them anyway.

Recently, Hong Kong experienced a somewhat peaceful uprising against government corruption. Unlike Antifa here, though, the protestors didn’t burn/break stuff, attack bystanders, or demand government give them anything. Well, that last part isn’t strictly true because the protestors are asking the US government to intervene on their behalf. So far, we’ve stayed out of the fray with the Trump Administration agreeing that these protests are an internal matter and, thus, not our problem. Meanwhile, the Left has been quiet, instead focusing on important matters like trans-friendly cartoon characters or handicap accessible eco-friendly stripper poles.

My fear, though, is we aren’t taking a close enough look at the implications of ignoring or turning away from Hong Kong right now and how this could cause problems down the line.

Hong Kong

What the Left thinks it means – let me get back to you on that

What it really means – an economic powerhouse that can make or break our economy depending on what we do

If there was a foreign city that rivals America in sheer economic potential, it would be Hong Kong. With a population of close to 7.5 million people and a history of being a trading capitol even today, Hong Kong is a major global commerce hub. After it was returned to China in 1997, there was bound to be a battle looming on the horizon between the socioeconomic ideals of the city and the nation. It’s like what we’re seeing in America right now between capitalism and Leftist ideology, where one side wants government to keep its hands off as much as possible and the other wants government to be involved in every aspect of life and the economy.

On paper, this seems like the kind of battle America would be talking about or even helping fight, but we’ve stayed above the fray as much as we can. A large portion of this, I feel, is due to the relationship the US has with China and the mess we’ve made in addressing the issues between the two countries. Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1989, when Chinese students were standing in front of tanks and attempting to enact similar social and economic reforms in Tiananmen Square. I was a college freshman at the time and seeing people right around my age taking such a bold and dangerous stance against a government not exactly known for playing nice struck a chord with me. (I think it was a G, but I could be wrong.)

At that time, then-President George H. W. Bush threatened the possibility of offering China Most Favored Nation status unless they dealt with their numerous human rights violations. Of course, we walked back the threat. Then, under President Bill Clinton, China was granted Most Favored Nation Status with no human rights strings attached. Heck of a job, Billy.

Since then, China has become a trading contradiction: a testament to capitalism surrounded by a testament to big government, and for the most part, that contradiction has been allowed to remain intact until lately. Also, since then, China has purchased a lot of our debt in the form of redeemable bonds. That means if China thinks we can’t pay back what they paid for the bonds, they can demand payment and we will have to either come up with the money or default. And remember, kids, these are the same folks who think they can do a better job at managing your health care and health insurance better than you can.

This fiscal Sword of Damocles may be staying our hand more than we care to admit, which is sad. There was a time when America could be counted on to fight for freedom around the world, but somewhere along the line we decided to trade in the grit in our bellies for cheap disposable crap made in China by people whose freedoms are being suppressed. But, hey, at least we’re getting cheap disposable crap, right? At least, they’re not deadly to children, pets and oursellll…okay, so they are.

And another fun fact to chew on is China is a hotbed for piracy, and not the Captain Jack Sparrow kind (although it is vastly more entertaining than the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films). Entertainment and computer piracy have been a steady side-hustle, and there are no signs that will slow down anytime soon. Given how left-leaning Hollywood, the gaming, and the computer industries have been or become, you would think the Left would be all over this, but they aren’t. They’d rather protest the President or fight for trans albino Eskimos’ rights to abortions on demand, especially if they’re male-to-female trans people.

The problem is there isn’t a clear and safe option. If we ignore the Hong Kong protestors, the best we can expect is to cut off a major economic port and market. If we engage China, they can call in the bonds, which can put us in dire economic straits. Right now, we need China more than they need us. When realism collides with idealism, the latter usually loses.

In this situation, though, we have more of a responsibility to speak up instead of forever holding our peace because the protestors look to us for inspiration and direction. The longer we stay silent or put off taking a stand, the worse it will be in the long run for everyone involved. I mean, if we can whip out the tariff threat against China more frequently than Joe Biden has a speaking gaffe, we might be able to spare a moment or two to tell China and Hong Kong to knock it off.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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In response to recent mass shootings, the San Francisco City Council decided to tackle the problem head-on by…naming the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. Such bravery!

Whenever there’s a mass shooting, there is a renewed call for “common sense gun laws” (which most often include stuff that’s already on the books), as well as a renewed attack on the NRA to be defunded, defunct, and disgraced. Whether it’s alleged ties to Russian money or promoting gun sales over gun safety, the Left will stop at nothing to make NRA stand for Not Relevant Anymore. (Hat tip to Dennis Miller for that one.)

Strap yourselves in, boys and girls, because this one is gonna get messy.

the NRA

What the Left thinks it means – a domestic terrorist organization that promotes laws and lawmakers determined to put guns in the hands of dangerous people, a Russian asset

What it really means – a convenient punching bag for the Left to cover up their own failings

In the interest of transparency, I am not a member of the NRA for numerous personal and political reasons. However, I do support their general purpose and gun safety efforts because they support the spirit of the Second Amendment as written, not as interpreted by Leftists. This will get me branded as a “low-IQ gun nut” by those who want to see guns more regulated than they already are, but believe me, I’ve been insulted worse by better people.

If you listen to what the Left says about the NRA, you would think Wayne LaPierre is lounging in a pool filled with the blood of innocent children killed by gun nuts and counting his ill-gotten gains as the Congressmembers he’s bought hang on his every word. They also simultaneously believe the NRA is going broke and needs money it gets from Russia to keep the doors open. Say what you will about the Left, they are consistent in making no sense whatsoever.

As you might have guessed, this dual-prong attack on the NRA has a purpose: to take out the biggest dog in the fight. Compared with gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, the NRA donates more to further its legislative agenda than they do, and the NRA is more effective with its money. Therefore, the Left has to turn the NRA into public enemy #1 whenever possible, and with mass shootings, the Left has the perfect foil for their attacks.

By appealing emotionally to the audience (who are most likely less informed than the Leftists, which is no small feat), the fact-finding process is truncated into a blip on the cognitive radar and the seemingly simple solutions are advanced. Universal background checks! Ban assault weapons! Close the gun show loophole! Call the NRA a domestic terrorist organization! And so on and so on, ad nauseum.

But the problem is when those simple solutions run into facts, like the tiny little detail that none of the recent mass shootings have been committed by an NRA member. Zip. Zero. Nada. Eric Swalwell’s chances of becoming President in 2020 (as well as the number he was polling at when the dropped out). Furthermore, and this bears repeating as often as possible, the legislation Leftists propose to combat mass shootings has largely been a failure. Out of all the recent mass shootings, only 2 have involved someone who wasn’t subject to a background check.

But we’re supposed to believe the NRA is the problem here?

The truth is the NRA does have some issues to address, but by and large they’re not the problem; they’re just the easiest scapegoat for the Left to blame for their frequent failures on this issue. The NRA does far more than push pro-gun legislation or debate the Second Amendment with people who want nothing more than to make it a memory of a bygone era. They offer gun safety courses, including ones for children. I’ve seen some of their materials and they’re anything but advertisements for owning guns. They are informative, safety-conscious, and dare I say it…responsible and reasonable. How many gun safety courses do the pro-gun control Left offer?

Zero.

This fact calls into question not only what the pro-gun control Left wants, but also why they spend so much time bashing an organization that promotes actual gun safety, helps save lives through supporting people’s right to keep and bear arms, and hasn’t been involved in a mass shooting in recent memory. It’s simple; the Left needs people to be ashamed to be a part of the NRA in order to disarm the population (and, yes, this is their main goal no matter how much the Left protests or scoffs at the idea). They can’t win hearts and minds with their arguments, so they poison the rhetorical well to dissuade people from supporting the NRA.

But that’s where the Left runs into yet another problem. The NRA is only one organization of millions of members, but there are others who serve the same or similar functions, as well as those who don’t belong to the NRA and still support their ultimate mission. As you might have guessed, I’m in this last group because I understand the Constitution and want people to be armed if they so choose and are capable of the responsibilities that go along with the right to bear arms. And, yes, I know this last part is going to disqualify a lot of current gun owners, but it’s necessary to take away the Left’s ammunition when it comes to gun owners.

My issues with the NRA revolve around their inability to avoid Leftist traps in the media and in perception. They have let Leftists dictate the rhetorical battlefield too often instead of coming out and telling the truth before the Left has a chance to spin it. In many ways, they’re too nice to those who would love nothing more than to see them destroyed. They rely on intellectual appeals that work, but aren’t as snappy as a Shannon Watts interview. One well-informed NRA member could dismantle Watts in no time. Granted, that’s not a Herculean task, but to stand toe-to-toe with her and refute her statements while throwing a little intellectual judo into the mix would be a welcome change to the standard approved-by-the-PR-Department fare we’re used to seeing.

Yet, as imperfect as the NRA is, it is far better and more committed to curtailing mass shootings than the ones who have deemed themselves to be the ones with all the right answers. Let me put it this way. One side of the gun issue respects the individual and fights to retain the right of said individual to be armed. The other side thinks anyone who owns a gun is a maniac just waiting to shoot up a school, or an uneducated buffoon who would shoot themselves because they’re holding the gun wrong, or someone who is overcompensating for a small member with guns. (Boy, that small member argument is going to surprise Dana Loesch!) One side will treat you like an adult, while the other will always treat you like a slow child. One side tries to prevent people from being victims, while the other side needs a constant stream of victims to sustain itself.

Choose wisely. The life you save with keeping and bearing arms might be your own.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Recently, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell presented what he said was proof of President Donald Trump having loans cosigned by, as he put it, “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” And how did O’Donnell prove this? A single anonymous source he claimed was close to Deutsche Bank, the bank that approved President Trump’s loans. Since his show aired, NBC came out and said they could not confirm the identity or the veracity of the claims O’Donnell made. And after a legal threat by the President, O’Donnell tweeted he made “an error in judgement.” Whoopsie!

Great journalism there, Larry. You can expect your Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting on Stories Pulled Out of the Reporter’s Ass any day now.

I know CNN is often slapped with the “Fake News” label (and deservedly so given how many stories they get wrong), but another network may take the crown before too much longer, that being MSNBC. What started out as an alternative to the aforementioned CNN has become the place for Leftists to gather, spread information, and watch like-minded talking heads bring up a laundry list of news stories designed to confirm the biases of its viewers.

As a media observer/critic/mocker, I’ve watched MSNBC’s evolution from news channel to a left-wing InfoWars without Alex Jones’ appeal. And, as you might guess, I have a few opinions on it and the various personalities who inhabit its bubble.

MSNBC

What the Left thinks it means –  one of the only true sources of hard facts and investigative reporting out there

What it really is – what would happen if CNN were run by Millennials

I’ll be the first one to admit I trust MSNBC less than I trust Nancy Pelosi’s plastic surgeon referral, but that’s not without reason. Whatever journalistic practices they had at their inception was removed and replaced with self-important Leftist figure-airheads who can best be called willing mouthpieces for the Left. Whether it’s Rachel Maddow (who I think is Chris Hayes in drag), Chris Hayes (who I think is Rachel Maddow in drag), Lawrence O’Donnell (who I think is a drag, period), or any of the other interchangeable anchors, there are two things that unite them. One, they will advance any and all Leftist viewpoints, regardless of how farfetched they may be. And, two, they suck at real news.

This is going to come as a shock to you Leftists, but some of MSNBC’s critics have an idea or two about what journalistic standards are, or were as the case may be. Take the O’Donnell bombshell mentioned above, for example. Going to press with a single source, let alone a single anonymous source, would get you busted down to reporting on zoning meetings under an editor whose goal is to report news, not rumor. Why? Because newspapers and TV stations can get sued if they get a story wrong and damage a person’s reputation. Yes, even if it’s Donald Trump’s reputation, which is damaged worse than a Ford Pinto gently tapping a wall at Chernobyl.

But that’s not what MSNBC’s editors do. Instead, they allow unfounded and poorly-sourced speculation to go to air without checking the facts first, often with hilarious unintended consequences. Remember when Rachel Maddow hyped a story she had a copy of Donald Trump’s taxes? Turns out she had a portion of the tax forms and it showed…Trump paid taxes. That bastard!

What is also showed was MSNBC wasn’t interested in finding the truth, but was interested in finding a way to get people to talk about their reporting. And after Maddow’s bombshell bombed, it was quickly “memory holed” and her credibility was untouched in Leftist circles. The same will happen with O’Donnell, and the same has happened with other MSNBC hosts like Joy Reid, Al Sharpton, and the late Ed Schultz. No matter what insanely stupid things they said or did, Leftists pretended like those were minor mistakes that didn’t reflect badly on their credibility. Of course, they don’t extend the same courtesy to anyone on the Right…

The problem Leftists face without knowing it is by relying on poorly-sourced information without doing a bit of fact checking on their own because it fits what they believe, they are becoming less informed and more vulnerable to “fake news.” And when it pertains to the President, they will jump on any accusation if it sounds plausible. Granted, the Right does this, too, so it’s not just a problem with the Left. Even so, the Right has relatively few outlets for potential misinformation when compared to the Left. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it harder to find the truth.

Broadcasting 24/7 isn’t a right; it’s a privilege, one that comes with an awesome responsibility to not cause harm to its viewers or listeners. For the second-highest rated cable news network to be so cavalier with the truth as frequently as it does is frightening because it violates the implied contract between the maker and the consumer. We still put our trust (as misguided as that may be) in media outlets from talk radio to cable news to newspapers to give us the facts. Yet, as recent polling data shows, the public’s trust in the media is lower than an earthworm’s belt buckle. That hasn’t come because the media have done their jobs. It’s because they haven’t, and MSNBC is a prime example of what happens when a member of the media get something wrong.

I don’t want MSNBC taken off the air, and the same goes with CNN, Fox News, and other news media. (Although, I do think Hallmark Movie Channel needs to seriously cut back on the Christmas movies. At this rate they could run them every day of the year and never repeat one.) What I want is for the media to get back into the news business. And, yes, that requires a bit more effort than asking a Republican when he stopped beating his wife while asking a known Democrat wife-beater what his favorite color is. It means asking tough questions on both sides, not dismissing one side of an issue because it doesn’t line up with yours, and above all else have a poker face better than the ones on Mount Rushmore. We shouldn’t put up with alleged news anchors rolling their eyes, literally or figuratively, when a guest says something that doesn’t square up with the narrative. As we’ve seen, the narrative can be wrong, and when coupled with ideological fervor that makes the Spanish Inquisition look indecisive create an uninformed populous ready to pick up torches and pitchforks at a moment’s notice because Orange Man Bad.

But you do you, MSNBC.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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By the time you read this, the news of David Koch’s passing will have been circulating for at least 24-48 hours. Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, the fact that David and his brother Charles have impacted society and politics with their charitable and political contributions.

But most Leftists don’t focus on the Koch Brothers’ advancement of science, social issues, and medicine. Instead, they focus on their political activities. And by “focus” I mean “loathe and attack.” I know politics is personal, but the way many Leftists rejoiced at Mr. Koch’s passing was, in a word, orgasmic. They were celebrating as though they won the Lotto, enacted “real socialism”, and impeached President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence at the same time.

The Koch Brothers are a sore spot for Leftists, which makes them the perfect addition to this edition of the Leftist Lexicon.

the Koch Brothers

What the Left thins it means – two brothers who epitomize evil and have used their wealth to endanger the planet, corrupt government, and further divide this country

What it really means – two brothers who lived and acted in accordance with their beliefs

If the Koch Brothers didn’t exist, it’s a good bet the Left would have to create them because they need a stereotypical right wing foil on which to foist all of their conspiratorial delusions. In the 1990s, it was the “vast right wing conspiracy” headed up by Richard Mellon Scaife. After Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House, the Left bopped along from George W. Bush (who according to them was both the dumbest President ever and a criminal mastermind) to Dick Cheney to Halliburton. Then, when the Koch Brothers entered the scene, the Left finally had a brand new pair of Mellon Scaifes and the key to go along with them. (With all apologies to Melanie for a reference so tortured it might be against the Geneva Convention.)

So, why all the hatred? Part of it is political. The Koch Brothers skewed libertarian in their beliefs, which means they wanted big government out of our lives as much as possible. Not coincidentally, it also meant they pissed off Leftists by wanting big government out of our lives as much as possible. And since the Right tends to align better with what the Kochs wanted, the brothers sided with the Right instead of the Left. (There is more to come on this point later, so stay tuned.)

One of the great injustices the Left found with the Kochs was they funded research…to reject the pseudo-science of global warming/climate change/catastrophes/whatever name they’re using this week. Oh, horror of horrors! How dare they fund research that isn’t funded and controlled by Leftists! Seriously, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to Leftists, considering the Koch Brothers have funded scientific research in many areas and even helps fund “NOVA” on PBS. Now, what is one publicly funded network the Left wants to protect again? It’s right on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t think of it right now. I’m sure it will come to me. Probably Before Sunset?

Another part of the hatred towards the Koch Brothers is wealth and the Left’s jealousy of it. As I’ve mentioned previously, the Left is conflicted over wealth. On the one hand, they hate it because it creates haves and have-nots (and three guesses as to who tends to fall into the latter category). On the other hand, they want personal wealth so they can live well and live by a different set of rules than the rest of us have. For all of their talk about equality, the Left doesn’t really want it. They want everyone else to live equally, but they want to live above everyone else.

This begs the question of why Leftists don’t go after wealthy Leftists like Tom Steyer, Bill Gates, and George Soros while demonizing the Koch Brothers. Simple. They’re hypocrites. Oh, and they’re big advocates of punishing people for what George Orwell called wrongthink. Soros alone has had more of an influence on elections than the Koch Brothers ever have (and did so without becoming a wanted criminal in two countries for currency manipulation to boot), but he funds the “right” causes (like Media Matters), so his wealth is okay. But fund something like gun rights and you’re slightly less evil than Hitler, but you’re within spitting distance!

The funny thing about the Left’s hatred of the Koch Brothers is how misguided it is. Once you look at what issues they promoted and funded, including same sex marriage and marijuana decriminalization, the Venn Diagram of where the Left and the Kochs agreed covers a lot of ground. And did I mention they are/were also pro choice?

Now do you feel like idiots, Leftists? Judging from the Twitter accounts from Leftists cheering David’s death and hoping for Charles’ demise to come sooner rather than later, I’m guessing you don’t.

In either case, the Left have maligned people who actually agree with them on important issues, which isn’t that unusual in today’s political climate. Even so, cutting off your nose to spite your face only leaves you looking like Lord Voldemort in a pink knit hat and an “I’m Still With Her” t-shirt stained with overpriced Chipotle food and Starbucks coffee. And while you maintain your self-righteous indignation and amoral superiority over the Koch Brothers, remember this: they put their money where their mouths are, and Charles will continue to do so for no other reason than to piss you off even more. For all the venomous hatred and slander thrown their way, the Koch Brothers continued to do what they wanted on their own terms, and your impotent rage didn’t change that even one micron.

And the world is infinitely better for it.

And that’s what burns Leftists the most. David and Charles Koch acted of their own accord and with their own money while Leftists flapped their gums to try to coerce people to get government government to spend other peoples’ money to make their hot air reality. While the latter approach may tick off the right boxes on the Leftist Ideological Bingo Card, the Koch Brothers actually made things happen.

So much for Leftists being in favor of progress…

Really Setting the Record Straight

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I don’t want my taxes to pay for your health care and poor life/health choices. Everyone’s taxes will pay for any wars or violence your government engages in. You don’t have a choice in the matter. That is just an ignorant statement.

The prices of basic needs is determined by the marketplace, not government which will always make a bigger mess of things if it gets involved. Negotiate with your employer for the wages you want and need. Have skills that are in demand and needed. If you aren’t skilled in anything your wages and opportunities will be limited.

Your vote always counts. Cast your ballot in local elections as they often get ignored. Real change begins at the local levels of government. In the presidential election, the Electoral College ensures that your vote counts. Otherwise the major population centers would elect the president and the “fly over” part of the country would be ignored and unheard. This is how a Republic works we are not a democracy for good reasons.

Businesses are ran by people. And people will be involved in the regulatory and political processes. Over regulation is a burden and harmful to smaller businesses. Without input from the business sector some smaller business would be out of business or wouldn’t be able to be created in the first place. This would then increase the costs of goods and services and be ran by monopoly giants.

What is wealthy? Where is the line, at what measurement is being used? The term is relative in the extreme. The United States has the worlds wealthiest poor. But going off income and I’m not sure who is wealthy and who isn’t. But if we eliminated the Income Tax and implemented the Fair Tax this would solve the perceived problem as most see it. Everyone would pay their fair share.

Entering a country unlawfully is a crime. Age is not a factor, it is still a crime. To enter Mexico illegally can result in up to a 2 year felony prison term and up to 5,000 peso fine. Some other countries will imprison the illegal alien and sentence them to hard labor for decades. Even if the entry was accidental.

The United States is extremely negligent in it’s current immigration policy. In some cases not even enforcing the current immigration laws already in place. This is dangerous to our sovereignty as a nation and to our national security.

There are a number of ideas for granting the “Dreamers” and other illegal aliens citizenship. But it shouldn’t be free of consequences or easy. That isn’t fair or right to those who immigrated to the United States and waited years to get all the approvals to become a naturalized citizen.

Additionally if one comes to the United States waiving the banner of one’s homeland and shouting anti American slogans. These people should be denied access. I don’t waive the banners of my ancestor’s homelands. I don’t speak the languages of my ancestor’s homelands. I raise Old Glory and speak American English and so should any immigrant.

The Statue of Liberty

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These lines from the sonnet “The New Colossus” are raised up as a beacon by the Left. Thinking and attempting to perpetrate a myth that the words are US immigration policy. This is a fallacy.

The poem was written as part of a fundraising effort for the construction costs of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. It was one of many auction items for this event. Written in 1883 and the funding didn’t get completed until 1885.

And from 1885 to 1901 the poem was forgotten about. It wasn’t mentioned with the Statue of Liberty was opened in 1886 or even cared about until 1901 when another individual sought to make it memorable. Only in 1903 when it was placed on a bronze plate inside the pedestal did it become known.

The writer, Emma Lazarus, was a Jewish activist supporting Jewish immigration to the United States and other Jewish causes. Including the creation of a Jewish homeland. She worked with Jewish immigrants to help provide vocational training to those who arrived destitute so the could become self-supporting and not have to rely on the state.

Many of these things the Left opposes today. The Left hates the state of Israel. The Left doesn’t want immigrants that can be self-supporting as their entire ideology relies on the State providing everything.

The Statue of Liberty was not meant to be a symbol of or for immigration. It was created as a symbol for Republicanism. Not the political party, but the Republican form of government that we have in the United States. By fate, it became as symbol for immigration. But it has never been a symbol of illegal activity.

Immigration is a lawful action of leaving one country to settle in another. The Statue of Liberty welcomes those who arrive by ship into New York Harbor and present themselves at the point of entry for immigration into the United States. It does not welcome those who trespass into the country.

If you truly wish to hold of Emma’s poem as a symbol and policy. Do what Emma did.

Support Israel. Support vocational training for those who immigrate here can obtain good jobs and be self-sufficient without relying on the State. Support those that come here lawfully and opposed unlawful entry into the United States.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Remember Stacey Abrams? If so, I’m sorry. If not, she’s a former Democrat candidate for Governor of Georgia who lost the election by 55,000 votes, but contends she was robbed of the election. Well, she’s back, both as an on-again off-again Vice Presidential candidate and as the leader of a relatively new organization called Fair Fight 2020 whose focus is on…get ready for this…election security.

The Left’s overt concern for election security isn’t new. Since President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Left has offered up any number of solutions to what they perceive to be lapses in protecting the election process in America and making sure the current system is reformed to avoid another election debacle.

If you sensed a tinge of sarcasm in my typing, you would be correct. There is a lot to unpack regarding the Left’s newfound love of secure elections, so let’s get started!

election security

What the Left thinks it means – ensuring all votes are counted and all threats to a democratic election are minimized, if not eliminated

What it really means – securing elections so only Democrats can win

The Left hasn’t always had a great track record when it comes to election security. From the dead voting in Chicago to mysterious votes appearing out of nowhere to elect former Senator Al Franken, the Left has always managed to find ways to circumvent existing laws through a combination of registration fraud (i.e. ACORN), favorable judicial rulings that make no sense (i.e. Franken’s election), and controlling who counts the votes (i.e. George Soros’ plan to fill state election officials with individuals sympathetic to Leftist causes). Like I said, there’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Back in 2000, Democrats cheated and still lost. At that time, they started coming up with all sorts of reasons why our elections were substandard (without ever considering the fact Al Gore was a horrible candidate). They insisted upon electronic voting options, which were easily hacked and provided no paper trail of a person’s vote in case of a malfunction. That’s not counting all the glitches in the electronic voting system.

But the interesting part of this isn’t what the Left has proposed, but what it hasn’t proposed. Simple ideas like paper ballots, photo ID required to vote, and limits on early voting aren’t even being considered and are actively opposed by the very Leftists who say they want secure elections. They will give you any number of reasons why these ideas need to be opposed (usually revolving around allegations of racism, voter intimidation, discrimination, or some combination of buzzwords). Yet, none of these reasons make sense if election security is really the name of the game.

But it’s not, and it never has been.

The Left’s dedication to bureaucracy gives them a decided advantage in elections, that being they know the rules inside and out so they know how to circumvent them. That advantage has been threatened by voters deciding not to vote for Leftists because they’re nuttier than squirrel shit. So, instead of finding candidates that can’t be insane, gaffe-prone, or dumb, the Left blames the election process and the voters for “voting wrong.” Why else do you think the Left is okay with publicly naming and shaming Trump donors? Because in their minds, Trump voters should be ashamed of voting and supporting the President.

The fact Trump beat their best efforts to rig an election has been eating at the Left since 2016, and their recent support of election security is a part of that. The Left needs to find a balance between making sure the voting system is as restrictive as possible to outsiders and keeping the systems they’ve put in place to secure more Democrat victories from being discovered and then used against them. Plus, the more screwed up they can make election security, the better their argument that it’s screwed up and needs to be fixed becomes.

Voter ID is a prime example of the Left’s strategy. It’s not that hard to get an ID card, no matter what the Left tells you. Many states offer free or low-cost cards. All it takes is the effort and desire to get one. If election security were the Left’s real aim, they would support it, but they don’t because it screws up some of the mechanisms they have in place to rig elections. Leftists love early voting and absentee voting because they can secure votes from people who can’t vote for one reason or another (usually because the voter is dead, but not removed from voter rolls yet.) With voter ID, people who can’t produce proof of who they are can’t vote, which ruins the Left’s usual tactics. Without it, they can gin up as many votes as they want or need to meet their goals.

One thing the Left can count on, though, is the Right playing by the rules…most of the time. Let’s be honest here. Politics is one of the dirtiest games around and both major parties bend, break, and puree the rules on a regular basis. Having said that, the Right still has some sense of duty to the law that the Left gave up a loooooong time ago in order to win elections. Make no mistake, the Left is as concerned about election security as they are about Pat Paulsen coming back to life and running as a Democrat. Everything they say with regards to election security is designed as a smokescreen.

And the best way to fight it is to support actual election security efforts. Showing your ID at a polling place takes only a few seconds, but it does more to protect the integrity of an election than the Left cares to admit. Same with paper ballots, auditing election rolls on a regular and more timely basis, and any number of other common sense options the Left rejects out of hand. If you want election security, fight for the solutions to make elections more, not less, secure. And don’t be dissuaded by those who call you a racist, bigot, or some other name because you do. Remember the Left’s entire purpose isn’t to improve our election system, but to improve the chances Leftists get elected.

Then, maybe Stacey Abrams can go back to pretending to be Governor of Georgia.

Guerrillas in the Midst

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If you’ve taken a look at the political climate lately, you know it’s uglier than Rosie O’Donnell’s leaked nudes. We’ve gotten to the point where expressing an opposing opinion on any topic can be a dangerous proposition with what political opponents are advocating and/or condoning. We’re not talking about tearing down yard signs or TPing a house. We’re talking doxing, death threats, and even physical violence. Put another way, we’ve entered the period of guerrilla politics.

To be fair, politics isn’t a subject for the weak at heart, but in the past there was always an underlying assumption the two sides only wanted the best for the country, just differed on the way to get there, and could respect the other side’s position even if it countered their own. It’s safe to say that assumption is no longer in play, as political operatives are more concerned with otherizing their opponents than finding common ground.

Although both sides participate in guerrilla politics from time to time, the Left has mastered it. Take Joaquin Castro’s recent decision to post the names and workplaces of businessowners who donated to President Donald Trump on Twitter. Yes, this information was public knowledge as required by election law, but Castro’s purpose for posting it had only a little do to with informing the public of where businessowners stood on the President. The intent was to call out these people for “supporting a racist” (in Castro’s opinion) and trying to shame these people into rethinking their support.

After a few death threats, cases of mistaken identity, and bad news coverage, Castro’s idea backfired on him, making him look like he deserved to be one of the back of the pack contenders for the 2020 Democrat nomination for President. Good thing for him he was already there or it might have been even more embarrassing. Even though the information is public, it was combined with an unspoken accusation: the people and businesses on this list are racists because they support Donald Trump, who is a racist. If the Left would have stopped with a boycott of these establishments, that’s one thing, but it didn’t stop there. The minute death threats started to be uttered, the minute the employees of these establishments started fearing for their lives, that’s when it went from being acceptable to unacceptable behavior.

Of course, try telling Castro and the Left that. They are all about “name and shame” when it comes to Trump supporters. Of course, when it’s Antifa, name and shame goes the way of Castro’s chances of seeing the inside of the White House on anything but a guided tour. As much of a double standard this appears to be, it’s not quite one because being a Trump supporter in and of itself isn’t illegal, but assault is. But if the Left gets their way, being a Trump supporter would be grounds for expulsion from society. And soon, their sights may be on anyone else who disagrees with them, all in the name of ideological purity.

This kind of thinking is folly at best, dangerous at worse. The natural instinct is to give as good as we receive, but that’s not going to work here. In its current state, the Left is wiling to do anything to ruin people who don’t tow the line. If they can’t intimidate you emotionally, they’ll do it physically. They are acting out of pure emotion, which means they may not respond to reason. That limits what we can do in response. If we push back, it escalates the situation and forces the Left to push back harder. If we don’t say or do anything, the Left wins by default and they continue to run roughshod. There has to be something in between these two undesirable results.

And there is, but it will require a little bit of strategic thinking. Comedian Dennis Miller came up with a solution in 2014: keep your politics close to your vest, especially these days. Don’t engage the Left, don’t stick your neck out in political discussions unless you’re ready to deal with the worst possible responses, and think about what you say and do on social media, in public, and in private discussions. But there are two things you can do that will strike a blow for freedom.

Vote, and encourage others to vote.

Until the Left figures out how to spy on how you vote (and don’t take this as a challenge, Leftists), you still retain the privacy at the polling place. When it’s you and your ballot, you still have the power to think for yourselves and act in whatever way you feel will make the country better. Even if you don’t agree with Trump, this constant bullying by the Left won’t get better until they realize the power they think they hold is through force and not persuasion or reason. They are motivated by greed, hatred, envy, and any number of other negative emotions that will lead either to another not-so-civil war or to them eventually burning themselves out. The former will be a bloody end that will not be a happy ending for this country. The latter is the long game, but it is the one that will ensure we can still hold onto the tatters our country has become and maybe, just maybe, we can mend it.

Amnesty International

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Amnesty International’s recent warning comes as no surprise. The organization is a socialist globalist one at heart and anti-American. It’s declaration is showing just how much it is truly against the ideology of Liberty and Freedom as exemplified and expressed by the Constitution of the United States.

This organization is a private British-owned company. Their so-called warning has zero impact on the policies of nations. It carries the same weight if such a warning came from Samsung or some other private corporation. It is meaningless and not worth the paper it was printed on.

There are many countries that prohibit travel to the United States. Not because of “gun violence” but because the United States believes that rights come from our Creator and the job of the state is to protect those rights. Something Amnesty International is wholly against as well as most government systems.

As an American. I really don’t care what opinion Amnesty International has of my country. They are a foreign-based corporation. They can issue whatever nonsense they desire. But in America we keep our firearms to prevent our government or any other from taking them away from us. Because it is our God-given right to do so.