“America First” is a Smart Negotiation Tool, Not Selfish or an Isolationist Policy

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Strange, that liberals condone the killing of the most innocent human beings and the legitimizing of same-sex “marriage”, but freak out when President Trump says:  “America First.”

Three quick points:

A) Trump’s putting our nation’s interests first is what all nations’ leaders should do. Trump’s first responsibility is to the U.S., not Germany, Russia or Iran.  In the same way, Angela Merkel is primarily responsible to the German people, not to the E.U., China or Syria.

B) Secondly, “America First” is not a descendant of Hitler’s metastasized version of nationalism. That has already been addressed in https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/trumps-patriotism-is-nothing-like-hitlers-concept-of-nationalism/.

C) Finally, “America First” is simply a solid negotiation strategy — something we haven’t seen from the Oval Office in quite a few years. Disagree?  Then check out the infamous Obama-Kerry deal with Iran.

Whom  Should  We  Trust  to  Represent  Us  With  Other  Nations?

When one is negotiating, the wise individual begins with a position which allows some losses through compromise without losing key “wants.”

It’s no different from selling a house or a car.  One doesn’t open with his “must have” price, but begins above that mark so that he has room to negotiate downward and maintain his “must have” price in the end.

What is surprising is that so many fear our nation’s negotiation future in the hands of President Trump who wrote, “The Art of the Deal.”  In it, he said:

“I don’t hold it against people that they have opposed me.”1

“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”

He’s determined and sticks to the issues without allowing personalities to sidetrack him.

And yet, many felt more comfortable with his predecessor who wrote these two quotes from “Dreams of My Father” and other statements.

“Churches won’t work with you, though, just out of the goodness of their hearts.  They’ll talk a good game-a sermon on Sunday, maybe, or a special offering for the homeless.  But if push comes to show, they won’t really move unless you can show them how it’ll help them pay their heating bill.”3

“I had given her a reassuring smile and patted her hand and told her not to worry, I wouldn’t do anything stupid.  It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned:  People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves.”4

“Because what we are confident about is that when people look and see that they can get high-quality, affordable health care for less than their cell phone bill, they’re going to sign up.” [Good thing our phone bills aren’t that high or we’d all need subsidies.]

“During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage…. But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.” 6

Conclusion

Obama had difficulty being honest with issues confined to our homeland – no wonder he did a poor job abroad.  Trump, on the other hand, vows to look out for the needs of our entire nation.  From his style, neither our allies nor our adversaries will have to decipher what he’s up to.  In this way, we will have a chance at reasonable international agreements.  Obama won the presidency in 2008 on a promise of change.  Little did his fooled supporters realize that the beneficial change he spoke of was still eight years away!

 

1http://www.bankrate.com/finance/politics/clues-to-trump-presidency-from-the-art-of-the-deal-4.aspx

2 – “A paragraph from ‘The Art of the Deal’ gives insight about a Trump administration,” by Jacob Pramuk, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/01/a-paragraph-from-the-art-of-the-deal-gives-insight-about-a-trump-administration.html, 12/1/2016.

3 – “Dreams from My Father Quotes,” https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/86032-dreams-from-my-father?page=2

4 – “Dreams from My Father Quotes,” https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/86032-dreams-from-my-father?page=3

5 – “Top 10 Quotes From Bill Clinton and President Obama Chat At CGI,” by Dan Munro, http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/09/27/top-10-quotes-from-bill-clinton-and-president-obama-chat-at-cgi/#f7e13213860f, 9/27/2013.

6 – “Book Challenges Obama on Mother’s Deathbed Fight,” by Kevin Sack, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/us/politics/14mother.html, 7/13/2011.

The Ill-Advised Blending of the Sexes, including Gender-Neutral Names

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For a number of years, an increasing disdain for the wonderful differences between men and women has led to a number of inventions ranging from unisex clothing to gender-neutral names (which have increased by 60% in the last ten years1).  In most cases, the blurring of the sexes is not a conscious challenge to God’s wisdom in creating two genders. It is, nevertheless, surprising in that celebrating the differences between men and women has been has been the healthy norm historically.

Why  Not  One  Blended  Gender?

But society’s changes seem to be asking this:  “Why not move toward making ourselves androgynous2 beings instead of having the two genders?

A Jewish insight understands a need for two genders:  “The answer is that in order to maximize giving, the recipient must be different from the giver.  If the two are identical, giving can occur, but it is limited.  One would give based on his or her own needs, since the receiver would have the exact same needs.  To truly be a giver, the person must take into account what the receiver needs and not only what the giver wants.  By giving to someone with different needs, a person is trained to think and give on terms other than his or her own.”3

Summarized from a Christian source:  “’Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God.”4

Trends  Making  it  More  Difficult  to  Distinguish  Between  Male  and  Female

Thus, there seems to be no reason to oppose the manifestation of two distinct genders unless one has an agenda.  Unfortunately, they exist.

It can arise from a resignation as a result of society’s faults:  “Strange as it sounds, this simply states what religious rhetoric assumes; that the men form the legitimate body of the community, while women are allowed to participate only when they assimilate themselves to men.”5

In some cases, it springs from a dislike of marriage as the Communism has:  “The Party did all it could to push women into industry.  The bourgeois family as a social unit was to be made obsolete .”6

It can simply come from a clothes designer who has no concern for the ultimate well-being of those who are unsure of their “gender identity” but profits from it under the guise of a desire to prevent the stifling of artistic imagination.7

“This book will train you to think … like a guy.  Because dating has always been a guy’s world, until now.”8

Or it can originate from a trend with no logical purpose:  “Gender neutral makeup is on the rise. Brands like Enter Pronoun are leading the unisex cosmetics category with their selection of concealers, bronzers and eye liners.9

Reasons  Given  for  Blurring  Gender  Distinction

“…masculine names are often associated with success, for instance, which might explain why parents historically chose androgynous names for girls.”10

“Additionally, a study from Clemson University showed that women with more traditionally male names made more successful lawyers and judges than women with more feminine names.”11

“SE Hinton (Susan Eloise), DC Fontana (Dorothy Catherine), PN Elrod (Patricia Nead) and KA Applegate, to name but a few, have all ditched their first names to improve their chances of success in genres dominated by male writers.”12

“You see, I’ve learned that you can’t land a man by reading all those female-empowerment books or women’s magazines.  In fact, you have to avoid those all together.  The way to land a guy is to think, act, and react … like a guy.
“Have you ever seen a man get all goo-goo gaga over a baby in a grocery store line? No!… Have you ever been three dates into a relationship and had a guy tell you his real desire in life is to quit his job and be a stay at home dad? Absolutely not!”8

“Because I felt that being a woman was an obstacle, I wanted to become gender-neutral.  It became my way of tricking the system.” 13

“Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”1

Some  Unintended,  But  Very  Real  Negative  Consequences

To reiterate, most who have joined the gender-neutral parade aren’t intending to challenge the natural complementary design of men and women.  However, the absence of bad intentions cannot insulate us against the inevitable consequences of attempting to redefine the inherent natures of the genders.

Dating:

Psychologist  Dr. John Gray, first renowned for his book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” wrote follow ups including the book, “Mars and Venus on a Date.”  In this one, he included the developing practice that many men and women reverse roles in dating.  These men are under the false impression that women should be pleasing them instead of the other way around.

As he wrote:  “A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy.  Her happiness is his happiness… In relating to her, whatever will make her happiest makes him happy.  If he detects that her mission is to please him, he will also focus on how she can please him… If she wants to pursue him, he will happily sit back and passively receive what she wants to give… Whenever a woman pursues a man more than he is pursuing her, he will pursue her less.  Why should he risk failure when she is happy to pursue him?  Automatically, he will relax more and become more passive about the relationship.  Instead of thinking what she may want, he begins thinking more about what he wants.  This turnaround is very confusing for a woman because her assertive approach is successful in the working world but backfires on a date. “14

Negative effects of a “non-traditional” family environment:

An environment which teaches sexual norms different from Natural Law accelerates the incidences of disordered behavior.  Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. noted this a couple of years ago on EWTN radio. Homosexuals comprise about 2.5% of the U.S. population.  However, children of same-sex parents have a 25% rate of homosexuality.  Thus, environment can be a much more powerful force than genetics.

With the increased popularity of gender-neutral concepts, should we be surprised that we also have an increase in gender-confused individuals?

Exacerbating the situation are those who deny the human track record that most adolescents will outgrow these feelings on their own or with moderate intervention.15  Sadly, states and cities have passed ordinances prohibiting any counseling for those experiencing disordered emotions.16, 17

 Children’s names:

Ironically, there’s a comical side to the unintended consequences of gender-neutral trends when it comes to naming children.  It has been the tradition for a multitude of generations to name children with names from recent ancestors, saints or names which had special meaning.

The current trend encourages applying traditional boys’ names to girl children — which have meanings the parents probably would have avoided had they done some research. Examples:

Addison (son of Addy), Campbell (crooked mouth), Carson (son of Carr), Drew (manly), Finley (fair-haired warrior) 18

Dana (from Denmark or fertility goddess), Madison (son of Matthew or possibly son of “Maddy” [Maud]) 19

Bailey (bailiff), Cameron (crooked nose), Dylan (great tide, Welsh god Dylan was son of Arianrhod), Emerson (son of Emery), Kelly (warrior woman), Logan (little hollow), Mackenzie ([Gaelic] son of Coinneach), McKenna ([Gaelic] son of Cionaodh), Monroe (from the mouth of the Roe), Remy (oarsman), Ryan (little king), Whitney (white island) 20

Charlie (free man), Paige (page to a lord) 21

Andi (brave, manly), Hayley (from the hay meadow), Parker (forest ranger), Quincy (born fifth), Torey (from the craggy hills) 22

Kennedy (helmeted chief) 23  

Brinley (hill or mound, from the Welsh “Bryn”), Bristol (place at the bridge), Harlow (dweller in a rocky hill area), Sloan (little raider) 24

CONCLUSION

Without a doubt, men have historically had disproportionate advantages over women in some aspects of life. However, the only effective way to remedy this is through a better awareness of the dignity of ALL humans.  Attacking the problem of disrespect solely with a treatment of the superficial aspects of life has only created new problems.

Take the case of the “unfairness” that women are at greater risk of “difficulties” (i.e. pregnancy) because of sex.

The secular humanistic solution was not to increase the cooperation between men and women and a mutual understanding of the reproductive cycle in order to be prudently open to life.25  Rather, it decided to develop chemical and mechanical means to block conception so that women could be more like men in their approach to on-demand sex.

The result?  As Pope Paul VI predicted in his encyclical Humanae Vitae almost fifty years ago:

“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” 26

In addition, we see birth control leading to increase in some female cancers and a decrease in some.27  Want to gamble?

Lastly, the significant decrease of commitment on the part of men toward women has resulted in many more of babies being born out of wedlock — creating the dysfunctional families which devastate society far more than guns can.

The lesson is that re-engineering the natural world is not going to achieve social and economic fairness with the sexes.   Rather, we need to use our supposed superior intelligence to solve the root problems directly with honest communication and leave the natural order of things to the Creator.

 

 

 1 – “Unisex baby names are nothing new, but they are officially the hottest trend of 2016.

“To prove this, Nameberry combed through U.S. Social Security data and found that gender-neutral monikers have increased by 88 per cent in the past 30 years — in the past decade alone, unisex names have risen by 60 per cent.”  From “Baby Names 2016: The Most Popular Unisex Names Revealed,” by Isabelle Khoo, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/22/unisex-baby-names-2016_n_11652540.html, 8/22/2016.

2 – “1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.

  1. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

(From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/androgynous

3 – “Men & Women:  Jewish View of Gender Differences,” by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, http://www.aish.com/ci/w/48955181.html

4 – From paragraph 369 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

5 – A quote from Elaine Pagels in her book “The Gnostic Gospels,” (1979; New York: Vintage Books, 1989) as listed in “The Da Vinci Hoax, by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004.

6 – Quote of Bella Dodd (1904-1969) who was an “open [Communist] Party leader taken from page 44 of “Takedown,” or how the left has sabotaged family and marriage, by Paul Kengor Ph.D., WND Books; Washington, D.C., 2015.

7 – “I’ve never personally designed anything with the intention of catering only to those who self-identify within a set gender binary.  But as a handmade designer who still sells on Etsy, I’ve noticed there’s no option for posting a skirt or dress or even a body chain that isn’t gendered.  Checking that box makes me feel as though I am imposing limits on my designs and those who want to wear them, which I definitely don’t support. “  From “7 Gender Non Conformist & Gender Neutral Clothing Brands To Support Right Now,” by Alysse Dalessandro, https://www.bustle.com/articles/100668-7-gender-non-conformist-gender-neutral-clothing-brands-to-support-right-now, 8/31/2015.

8 – “Dating game: Women should act more like men,” From an interview with Giuliana DePandi, http://www.today.com/health/dating-game-women-should-act-more-men-wbna14450869, 8/21/2006.

9 – “Does ‘Dressing Like a Man’ Lead to Greater Success?,” by Anna Akbari, https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3021-rethinking-gender-and-fashion-in-the-workplace/2, 10/16/2014.

10 – “What’s In a Name?,” by Sam Kean, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28wwln-idealab-t.html, 10/28/2007.

11 – “6 Ways to Pick a Baby Name That Will Make Your Child A success,” by Gabrielle Karol, https://www.learnvest.com/2012/06/6-ways-to-pick-a-baby-name-that-will-make-your-child-a-success/, 6/15/2012.

12 – “Why are female authors still writing under gender-neutral initials?,” http://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/real-life/why-are-female-authors-still-writing-under-gender-neutral-initials-317458.html, 3/10/2015.

13 – Quote from Heloise Letissier in the 10/17/2016 issue of Time magazine.

14 – Excerpts from pages 43, 178 and 254 of “Mars and Venus on a Date,” by John Gray, PhD, HarperCollins Publishers; New York, NY, 1997.

15 – “Gender identity disorder generally begin [sic] to manifest between the ages of two and four, in which a child displays a preference for the clothing and typical activities of the opposite sex and also prefer playmates of the opposite sex… Most children outgrow gender identity disorder with time and the influence of their parents and peers. Adolescents with gender identity disorder are prone to low self-esteem, social isolation, and distress, and are especially vulnerable to depression and suicide… Both male and female transsexuals may elect to alter their primary and secondary sexual characteristics by undergoing surgery to make their genitals as much like those of the opposite sex as possible… The operation itself is accompanied by hormone treatments that aid in acquiring the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex. While a number of individuals have gone on to lead happy, productive lives following sex-change operations, others fail to make the transition and continue to suffer from gender identity disorder.”  From “Gender Identity Disorder,” http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/274/Gender-Identity-Disorder.html

16 – [New Jersey]  “A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.”  “New Jersey bans conversion therapy,” by Cristan Williams, http://transadvocate.com/new-jersey-bans-trans-conversion-therapy_n_10039.htm. 8/21/2013

17 – “Today, the Cincinnati City Council became the first city to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The historic ordinance imposes a $200 a day fine on anyone practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.”  “Cincinnati Becomes First City to Ban Conversion Therapy,” by Hayley Miller, http://www.hrc.org/blog/cincinnati-becomes-first-city-to-ban-conversion-therapy, 12/9/2015.

18 – http://www.babynamewizard.com/baby-name/girl/

19 – https://en.wikipedia.org

20 – http://www.behindthename.com,

21 – http://nameberry.com

22 – http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/

23 – http://www.babycenter.com/baby-names-kennedy-5415.htm

24 – http://www.ohbabynames.com

25 – “With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.”

From Section 10 of Humanae Vitae, given by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.

26 – From Section 17, Ibid.

27 – “Birth Control & Cancer: Which Methods Raise, Lower Risk,” by Kelli Miller, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/birth-control-cancer-which-methods-raise-lower-risk, 1/21/2016.

Trump’s Victory: Tears and Fears from the Left?

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A news commentator mentioned yesterday that a college dormitory had contacted him and described how they were in tears when Trump’s win became evident.  He was also told that many experienced fear as a result of the Trump’s victory.

Tears of sadness are understandable when one’s candidate loses. People of faith shed their share after the previous two general elections.  However, the presence of fear is interesting.

Are they afraid that “sanctuary cities” will be eliminated, thus making all of our lives safer?  Or that undocumented foreigners will be deported if they commit a serious crime, as law specifies – as it should?

Perhaps they are concerned that the Hyde Amendment will be retained which will prevent taxpayers from being forced to pay for the murder of unborn babies?

Do they fear that existing laws which make it illegal for parents to get help for their children suffering from gender identity will be rescinded?  (No matter that psychologists say that a majority of these children outgrow of this. 1)

What about our borders?  Do the liberals fear policies which will make less likely that terrorists or drugs will enter the U.S.?

It could be that the plans to replace Obamacare are scary for those who want it to proceed to its natural goal of socialized medicine. 2

Or, maybe they are worried that Trump will fix the atrocious agreement we have with Iran. It’s OK to say that Catholics need to change their backward values 3, but we don’t want to offend any Islamic nations.  They would retaliate whereas we don’t have to worry about any Christian group because they are kept in their place in the U.S.4

Fear a Trump presidency?  You can get some help through the (Non-)Affordable Care Act.

 

 

1 – “Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a ‘mental disorder’ that merits treatment, that sex change is ‘biologically impossible,’ and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder… he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically… Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”
From “Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’,” by Michael W. Chapman, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change, 6/2/2015.

2 – “Coloradans to vote on ‘single payer’ health insurance proposal,” by Joe St. George, http://kdvr.com/2016/08/05/colorado-to-vote-on-single-payer-health-insurance-proposal/, updated 8/5/2016.

3 – “Podesta… seems to say that Catholicism, especially in this conservative form, is nothing more than a set of misunderstood ancient beliefs that are mere window dressing for high society types on the Right to justify their ‘backwards’ views on marriage, the family, abortion, contraception, etc.”  By Nate Madden and Joe Koss, https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/10/hey-catholics-this-is-what-team-hillary-really-thinks-of-you

4 – “Hillary: ‘Deep-seated … religious beliefs’ have to be changed for abortion,” by Ed Morrissey, http://hotair.com/archives/2015/04/24/hillary-deep-seated-religious-beliefs-have-to-be-changed-for-abortion/, 4/24/2015.

Major Burden is Not on Trump to Mend Relations with Republicans in Congress

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Trump won without the full support normally given to a party leader in a presidential election. The Republican party needs to be unified.  As President, he will naturally be the leader of that effort. However, the non-Trump Republicans bear the burden of making peace with the winner they rejected.

Trump’s message last night shows he is approaching this healing with a conciliatory spirit:

“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past – of which there were a few people (crowd laughter), I am reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.” 

The responsibility now rests on the non-supporters to set aside destructive pride and focus on fixing the nation as they have been charged to do so by their constituents.

 

Jeremiah Was Criticized for Speaking Truth of Bad State of Affairs — Trump Knows How He Felt

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Two weeks ago, the 20th Sunday in ordinary time for the Catholic liturgical year, the first half of the first reading was taken from Jeremiah 38:4-6 as follows:

In those days, the princes said to the king:
“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin.”
King Zedekiah answered: “He is in your power”;
for the king could do nothing with them.
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah,
which was in the quarters of the guard,
letting him down with ropes.
There was no water in the cistern, only mud,
and Jeremiah sank into the mud.1

The rest of the reading included the part of how the king was approached and he relented to having Jeremiah pulled from the cistern.  The reason Jeremiah acquired so many enemies was what he said:

“Thus says the LORD: He who remains in this city shall die by sword, or famine, or pestilence; but he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be spared him as booty, and he shall live.  Thus says the LORD: This city shall certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon; he shall capture it.”2

CLAIMS  of  TRUMP’S  DETRACTORS

Jeremiah’s was not being sentenced for lying, but for telling the truth of their dire situation which many did not want to hear.  This is the same response Donald trump is receiving, with examples such as:

  • Tony Fratto, a former top Republican official in the administration of George W Bush, said the speech was the “darkest, most negative acceptance speech of a major party” that he had heard in his lifetime.3

 

  • Bloombergwent even further: “Donald Trump completed his hostile takeover of the Republican Party on Thursday with one of the most ominous speeches of his campaignshowing his already dystopian view of America has darkened considerably since he first announced his campaign.3
  • “Tonight, Donald Trump painted a dark picture of an America in decline. And his answer – more fear, more division, more anger, more hate — was yet another reminder that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be President of the United States,” campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement shortly after Trump wrapped his lengthy address.3

 

  • “Donald Trump gambled that Americans share his vision of a nation teetering on oblivion, casting himself as a renegade outsider who is the last, best hope to stand up to a discredited and depleted establishment.”4

But  the  Facts  ARE  Dismal

Let’s examine some of our nation’s problems to see if Trump is exaggerating that if we don’t change our ways, dire consequences will be ours.

A)  FEDERAL  DEBT:  At the end of the fiscal year 2000-2001 (9/30/2000), the federal debt was not quite $5.7 trillion dollars.  As George W. Bush took office four months later, we’ll consider this to be his starting point.  By 9/30/2008, or four months before he left office, the debt had grown to $10.0 trillion.Senator Obama, running for President, said this increase was “unpatriotic.”6

Interesting, as of 9/30/2015, the debt was $18.1 trillion4 and as has passed $19 trillion this year – even with some of the lowest interest rates ever.  As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, it’s even scarier:

Federal Debet as % of GDP7

Political battles aside, here is the true outlook: “Assuming that the economy was operating at its full potential, the researchers estimated the sustainable upper limit of the debt-to-GDP ratio is around 93 percent. ‘A higher debt to GDP ratio is unsustainable and will drive the economy into a succession of lower growth periods accompanied by increased unemployment,’ they concluded.”8

So, Trump isn’t exaggerating here.

B)  WORKER PARTICIPATION RATE:  Although the unemployment rate has been cut in half since Obama took office, it has been known for a long time that this statistic means little as the demographics of our nation have changed since this number started being calculated.  When originally instituted, the unemployment rate was fairly accurate as the unemployed generally continued looking for jobs.  As the decades passed, this is no longer the case.

 The U.S. had a worker participation rate reached a low of 62.4% last September before rebounding slightly, and that was the lowest since 1977.  Retirements cannot account for a significant part of this.9

 Looks like Trump is painting an accurate picture here.

C)  HOME OWNERSHIP:  “High levels of student loan debt, tight mortgage underwriting standards and overheating home prices are all contributing to very low homeownership rates among the nation’s youngest workers.  Homeownership among those aged 25-34 today is nearly 10 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago… Some of this is a long-term shift toward marrying and having children later in life. Some of this is that the recovery has been slow among young adults.”10

 Undue pessimism by Trump?  No.

D)  CHILDREN in  SINGLE-PARENT  FAMILIES:  Crucial point to be made first.  The initial reaction to “children born out of wedlock” should be one of thanks for the parent(s) having chosen life.  Then the second thought  is that the breakdown of the family, the basic unit of a civilized society, is accelerating.  As the data shows:

 Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites.”11

Here is more recent data:

Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women12

But, why should this be a concern?

“The family is the original cell of social life.  It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life.  Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society… The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family.13

 BUT  MUCH  FEDERAL  ASSISTANCE  DISCOURAGES  FORMING  of  FAMILIES

“The marriage penalties that are embedded in welfare programs can be particularly severe if a woman on public assistance weds a man who is employed in a low-paying job. As a FamilyScholars.org report puts it: ‘When a couple’s income nears the limits prescribed by Medicaid, a few extra dollars in income cause thousands of dollars in benefits to be lost.  What all of this means is that the two most important routes out of poverty—marriage and work—are heavily taxed under the current U.S. system.’”

“William Galston, who served in the ’90s as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, estimated that the welfare system, with its economic disincentives to marriage, was responsible for at least 15% to 20% of the family disintegration in the United States. Libertarian scholar Charles Murray has placed the figure at somewhere around 50%.”14

 Has Trump been unnecessarily negative here?  No way.

E)  MILITARY PREPAREDNESS:

“Top Army and Marine Corps generals warned lawmakers their combat readiness is ebbing and expressed concern they would be unable to fight and win another war in the midst of budget cuts, two wars and heightened global threats…”

“Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the Army can meet regional combatant command requirements and do counterterrorism and counterinsurgency missions. But the four-star had “grave concerns” that fighting a “higher-end” foe, such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, risks failure…”

“When we talk about risk, we’re talking about great-power war with one or two countries: China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.”“We can collectively roll the dice and say those days will never come and that’s a course of action; that is not a course of action I would advise,” Milley said. “There is a high level of risk associated with those contingencies right now…”

“According to a committee aide, [Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas] Thornberry is mulling further action on the issue and sees it as linked to maintenance and training shortfalls. ‘The combination of war fighters who aren’t trained and equipment that doesn’t work is a perfect storm,’ the aide said.”15

No, Donald Trump is not being overly negative, just reminding us of things those accountable don’t want the voters to believe.

 

1http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081416.cfm

2 – Jeremiah 38:2-3.  From The New Catholic Answer Bible, Fireside Catholic Publishing; Wichita, Kansas, 2005.

3 – “Trump Accused Of “Apocalyptic” Fearmongering In Speech Promising “Security And Prosperity,” by Tyler Durden, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/trump-accused-apocalyptic-fearmongering-speech-promising-security-and-prosperity, 7/22/2016.

4 – “Trump Paints Dark Portrait of Fading Nation Only He Can Save,” by Justin Sink, John McCormick and Mark Niquette, http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-21/trump-goes-on-cruz-control-with-speech-that-could-transform-race, 7/21/2016.

5 – Data from https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

6 – “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”  From “Flashback: Obama Talks ‘Unpatriotic’ Debt In 2008, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/03/13/flashback_obama_talks_unpatriotic_debt_in_2008.html

7 – ”Only Yesterday – How the Federal Debt Went From $1 Trillion To $18 Trillion In 33 Years,” by David Stockman, http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/only-yesterday-how-the-federal-debt-went-from-1-trillion-to-18-trillion-in-33-years/, 12/5/2014.

8 – From “The Morning After America’s Debt Binge,” by Ronald Bailey, http://reason.com/archives/2013/10/11/the-morning-after-americas-debt-binge, 10/11/2013.

9 – “Record 94,708,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Drops in May,”  by Susan Jones, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/record-94708000-americans-not-labor-force-participation-rate-drops, 6/3/2016.

10 – Homeownership near its lowest in history,” by Diana Olick, , http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/28/homeownership-near-its-lowest-in-history.html, 4/28/2016.

11 – “An Analysis of Out-Of-Wedlock Births in the United States,” by George A. Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen, https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/, 8/1/1996.

12http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=births-to-unmarried-women

13 – Parts of paragraphs 2207 and 2210 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing; November 2013.

14 – “How the Liberal Welfare State Destroyed Black America,” by John Perazzo, http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/262726/how-liberal-welfare-state-destroyed-black-america-john-perazzo, 5/6/2016.

15 – “Generals Worry Army, Marines Unready For A New War,” by Joe Gould, http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2016/03/16/army-marines-readiness-war-congress/81876210/, 3/16/2016.

“Burkini” Ban Accomplishes Nothing Positive

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There are many things a nation can do to protect its culture, but France’s ban on the burkini (full-body bathing suit) only adds to a perceived image of bigotry and does nothing to help the plight of Muslim women.

Lionnel Luca, the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet:  “In France, one does not come to the beach dressed to display one’s religious convictions, especially as they are false convictions that the religion does not demand.”1

To quote the famous duo of Perry Mason and Hamilton Burger in the 1950’s and ‘60’s television series, “Perry Mason”:  “This is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.”  While some in the West may view this garment as another example of Islam’s “enslavement of women,”2  there are many other Islamic traditional mistreatments of women far more deserving of our concern.

The ban on burkinis says something else about common western attitudes.  It’s not enough that today’s hedonistic society wants no restraint on immodesty, now they have to stretch to complaining about excessive modesty?

OK, if an ISIS sympathizer uses this bathing suit to hide weapons used in an attack, then some sort of security measures may need to be put into place.  Until then, worry about real dangers like Euro open borders, homegrown terrorists, “honor” killings, etc.

 

 1 – “France PM backs burkini bans as three more towns consider outlawing garments,” by Samuel Osborne and Alexandra Sims, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-pm-backs-burkini-bans-as-three-more-towns-consider-outlawing-garments-a7195136.html, 8/17/2016.

2 – “France’s Prime Minister [Manuel Valls] has backed the banning of burkini swimsuits, saying they are not compatible with French values and are based on the ‘enslavement of women’.” He also said he was not in favor of a national law on this subject of burkinis. Ibid.

Trump is Correct — Time to Peacefully Change the D.C. “Regime”

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In his speech in the Milwaukee area last night, Donald Trump reviewed how the “Washington Establishment” (including both major political parties) has become wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle classes over the last five decades.  The effects of this greed are especially evident in the inner cities where crime is up, education is down and opportunity is almost non-existent after billions have been spent.  Trump took umbrage at the Democrats who have been able to assume they have the African American votes in their back pockets despite generations of keeping them dependent and with lessening hope for a better future.  He said:

 “I’m fighting, all of us across the nation are fighting, for peaceful regime change in our own country. The media-donor political complex that’s bled this country dry has to be replaced with a new government of, by and for the people.”1

Regime?

Of course, the MSNBC was immediately indignant at the use of “regime” to describe the Obama/Clinton years we have endured.  Granted, when we Baby Boomers were growing up, such a word would have been considered absurd.  But we are now in absurd times.

Some  of  Our  Third  World  Blues

Stepping back for a moment, how would we describe a third world country run by a party who has taken the votes of its impoverished minority for fifty years without improving its lot one iota?  And, in fact, their lots have worsened.

What would we say about these countries when the party in power gets its leaders off the hook when, as Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA 10th district and member of the Judiciary Committee) said, one of them lies in front of a Congressional oversight committee several times–  yet “lesser” people commit lesser crimes and are given more severe consequences?

How would we describe a ruler who bypasses his country’s constitution with numerous swipes of his executive pen and then criticizes the opposition party when it sues him— the only means it has to obtain justice?

Yes, our constitutional republic has suffered from what is essentially a regime for eight years.  Why should we choose more of the same in November with Hillary Clinton?

1 – “Trump: I’m Fighting for ‘Peaceful Regime Change’ of the ‘Media-Donor Political Complex,” by Ian Schwartz, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/08/16/trump_im_fighting_for_peaceful_regime_change_of_the_media-donor_political_complex.html, 8/16/2016.