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< If you don’t stand behind our troops, why don’t you stand in front of them.

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Proud to be an American.

Salute a Veteran!

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General information


The Board of the Highlands Republican Women’s Network (HRWN) has cancelled the “Salute to Veterans’ Dinner” and will reschedule to a later date.

The following concerns were brought to our attention.

1.  Some of our members are deeply involved with events/activities which limits their involvement with the Veterans’ Dinner.

2,  Members, attendees, donors and candidates are working 24/7 on the upcoming election on November 6th.

3.  Candidates are financially stressed because of the money spent on the primary and the money required to finish their campaign.



Collins, Manchin say ‘aye,’ all but cementing Trump’s pick for Supreme Court seat

Collins, Manchin say ‘aye,’ all but cementing Trump's pick for Supreme Court seat
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va on Friday said they intend to vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation — two crucial votes that appear to secure Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court.

Leftists’ contempt for middle-class values

The Ledger

Prager: Leftists’ contempt for middle-class
By Dennis Prager / Creators Syndicate

Posted Oct 3, 2018 at 12:01 AM

When I was in graduate school, I learned a lot about the left. One lesson was that
while most liberals and conservatives abide by society’s rules of order and
decency, most leftists do not feel bound to live by these same rules.
I watched the way leftist Vietnam War protesters treated fellow students and
professors. I watched left-wing students make “nonnegotiable demands” of
college administrations. I saw the Black Panthers engage in violence — including
torture and murder — and be financially rewarded by leftists.

Today, we watch leftist mobs scream profanities at professors and deans, and
shut down conservative and pro-Israel speakers at colleges. We routinely
witness left-wing protesters block highways and bridges; scream in front of the
homes of conservative business and political leaders; and surround conservatives’
tables at restaurants while shouting and chanting at them.

Conservatives don’t do these things. They don’t close highways, yell obscenities
at left-wing politicians, work to ban left-wing speakers at colleges, smash the
windows of businesses, etc.

Why do leftists feel entitled do all these things?

Because they have thoroughly rejected middle-class, bourgeois and Judeo-
Christian religious values. Leftists are the only source of their values. Leftists not
only believe they know what is right — conservatives, too, believe they are right
— but they also believe they are morally superior to all others. Leftists are
Ubermenschen — people on such a high moral plane that they do not consider
themselves bound by the normal conventions of civics and decency. Leftists don’t
need such guidelines; only the non-left — the “deplorables” — need them.

In August 2017, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax wrote a
column for the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of middle-class values. She and
her co-author cited a list of behavioral norms that, as Wax, put it, “was almost
universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s.”

They were: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for
their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and
avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready
to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse
language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and

She later wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “The fact that the ‘bourgeois culture’
these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s
social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward
addressing those pathologies.”

For her left-wing colleagues at Penn Law School, this list was beyond the pale.
About half of her fellow professors of law — 33 of them — condemned her in an
open letter. And Wax wrote in the Journal, “My law school dean recently asked
me to take a leave of absence next year and to cease teaching a mandatory firstyear

The Pennsylvania chapter of the left-wing National Lawyers Guild condemned
her for espousing bourgeois values and questioned “whether it is appropriate for
her to continue to teach a required first-year course.”

As regards traditional Jewish and Christian codes of conduct, just read the left’s
contempt for Vice President Mike Pence’s religiosity. They fear him more than
President Donald Trump solely for that reason. One would think that leftists, as
sensitive as they are to sexual harassment of women, would admire Pence’s
career-long policy of never dining alone with a woman other than his wife. On
the contrary, they mock him for it.

With such high self-esteem and no middle-class, bourgeois or Judeo-Christian
values to guide them, many leftists are particularly vicious people.

The opening skit of “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend — Matt Damon’s
mockery of Judge Brett Kavanaugh — provided a timely example. It is
unimaginable that a prominent conservative group or individual would feature a
skit mocking Kavanaugh’s accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Indeed, Kavanaugh noted his 10-year-old daughter’s prayer for his accuser, and
a political cartoonist promptly drew a cartoon with her praying that God forgive
her “angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.”

Is there an equally prominent conservative public figure on the right who has
ever said ”(expletive) Obama!” on national television just as Robert De Niro
shouted, ”(expletive) Trump!” at the recent Tony Awards?

Now, why would De Niro feel he could shout an obscenity at the president of the
United States with millions of young people watching him? Because he is not
constrained by middle-class or Judeo-Christian moral values. In Nietzsche’s
famous words, De Niro, like other leftists, is “beyond good and evil,” as
Americans understood those terms until the 1960s.

In 2016, at a Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe, the butt of the jokes was
Ann Coulter, not Lowe. They mostly mocked her looks, and if there is
something crueler than publicly mocking a woman’s looks, it’s hard to identify.
For example, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson said, “Ann
Coulter, if you’re here, who’s scaring the crows away from our crops?”

There surely are mean conservatives — witness some of the vile comments by
anonymous conservative commenters on the internet. And it is a moral scandal
that Ford has received death threats. The difference in left-wing meanness is the
meanness of known — not anonymous — people on the left. They don’t hide
behind anonymity because they do not feel bound by traditional notions of
civility, for which they have contempt.

Now you can understand why the left hates Mike Pence, a man who has, by all
accounts, led a thoroughly honorable life. He — and other evangelical Christians
and Orthodox Jews — tries to live by a code that is higher than him.
That ethic is what Ubermenschen seek to destroy.
They are succeeding.

Dennis Prager (contact him at dennisprager.com) is a nationally syndicated radio talkshow
host who writes for Creators Syndicate.

Democrats have subverted basic standards of justice

Democrats’ New Anti-Gun Laws Are Also an Attack on Due Process

David Harsanyi
David Harsanyi Posted: Oct 05, 2018 12:01 AM
Democrats' New Anti-Gun Laws Are Also an Attack on Due Process
The notion that certain Americans are pre-emptively guilty of wrongdoing, whether there’s any corroborating evidence to back up an accusation or not, isn’t reserved for conservatives who happen to be in contention for a Supreme Court seat. In the hierarchy of progressive values, due process is a bottom dweller.
Over the past decade, you could see the illiberalism evolving on college campuses, where Democrats subverted basic standards of justice. It was the Obama administration that demanded schools judge cases of alleged sexual assaults under a “clear and convincing evidence” standard rather than on a “preponderance of evidence” standard, allowed accusers to appeal “not guilty” findings and permitted the meting out of punishment before any investigation was even conducted, among other big problems. Democrats are simply shepherding those corrosive standards into the real world.
Another area of American life where we continue to see egregious attacks on the presumption of innocence is gun ownership. You might remember that a couple of years ago, Democrats engaged in a much-covered congressional “sit-in” to support legislation that would have stripped Americans on secret government watchlists — hundreds of thousands of people who had never been accused, much less convicted, of any crime — of their constitutional right to bear arms.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, in fact, proposed legislation that would have restricted not only American citizens on faulty watchlists but anyone who had been on any watchlist at any time during the previous five years and anyone who had traveled to select Middle Eastern countries. Apparently, Democrats believe limiting the number of refugees from Syria is unconstitutional but explicitly restricting the constitutional rights of Syrian immigrants here legally is just fine.
Then again, the entire effort was a frontal attack on about half the Bill of Rights. At the time, even the American Civil Liberties Union, which has increasingly turned away from its guiding principles, argued that policies based on flawed terror lists would undermine civil liberties.
In much the same way they are attempting to sink the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, Democrats relied on theatrics, bombastic rhetoric and a compliant media, which framed the issue exactly how they had hoped. You can imagine such bills will reappear when they’re back in charge. Until then, though, Democrats have been doing some gun grabbing — and I don’t mean it figuratively — on the local level.
California, a state that already features the strictest gun control laws in the country, just enacted a law that raises the allowable age to buy a shotgun or rifle from 18 to 21. The United States might be willing to hand weapons to young men and women who volunteer to protect their country, but Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t believe those young men and women should be able to protect their own property or families.
An even more outrageous new law bans Californians who’ve been hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health issues from owning a gun.


DeSantis – Gillum Virtual Scott -Nelson Virtual Tie’s – VOTE REPUBLICAN RED -WE DO NOT WANT A SANCTUARY STATE

FLORIDA POLITICS: Hermine hangover: Andrew Gillum ‘unfit to lead,’ Republicans charge

The Republican Party of Florida released two powerful new ads that illustrate Andrew Gillum’s failed leadership as Mayor during Hurricane Hermine. Both Tallahassee residents tell their story and explain why Gillum’s failures won’t be forgotten.
Read the story here.

NATIONAL REVIEW: Poll Shows Tight Gubernatorial and Senate Races in Florida
Yesterday, I shared with you that the Tampa Bay Times had noted our positive movement in the polls. Now, even national outlets are recognizing the fact that Ron DeSantis has captured the race’s momentum with only 32 days left.
Read the story here.

THE CAPITOLIST: Gillum supporter calls Florida a “___hole” during a conference call with reporters
Florida is leading the nation in improving education, has been ranked first in higher education and fiscal responsibility two years in a row, and our economy continues to boom. Yet, in a comment that’s consistent with our opponent’s campaign platform, a supporter decided to denigrate our great state. Unacceptable.
Read the story here.

Thank you for your continued to support.


Susie Wiles
Campaign Chair
DeSantis for Governor



Proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot originate from three specific sources: the Florida Legislature, the citizens of Florida, and the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).
Regardless of how a measure makes it to the ballot, all amendments require a 60 percent voting majority to pass. Additionally, each source establishes different hurdles before an amendment can reach the ballot.
 In the legislature, 60 percent of the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate must agree to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. This year, the Florida Legislature passed three Amendments (1, 2, and 5) to the ballot.

The Florida Constitution also has a mechanism for a citizen initiative petition. Floridians can place proposed amendments on the ballot by gaining at least 766,200 signatures from 14 of the State’s 27 congressional districts (the requirement is eight percent of the total number of votes cast in the last presidential election). Two measures made it to the ballot in this method: Amendments 3 and 4.

The final source of ballot initiatives comes courtesy of a group unique to the State of Florida – the Constitution Revision Commission. The CRC meets every 20 years to examine Florida’s Constitution and propose amendments. The 37-member commission spends roughly a year identifying crucial issues across the state. These issues make their way to the ballot via a committee process similar to the method in which the legislature operates. This year, the CRC proposed eight ballot initiatives (Amendments 6 through 13). However, as opposed to other methods, the CRC is not required to have single-subject amendments. Consequently, the Commission chose to combine several initiatives into “bundled” amendments.
This is unacceptable, it becomes a means for legislators to slip in unacceptable legislation that they could not or know would not get through the state legislature. This comment has been validated by Members of the State legislator.
The term for commingling unrelated subjects within a proposed bill or amendment is “Log rolling.”  Combining unpopular provisions with a popular one in the hopes that the voters will not notice and vote for the popular part automatically including the unpopular one.
To stop “log Rolling:, courts have adopted single-subject review. If an Amendment encompasses more that one subject or purpose, it will likely be struck from the ballot or Found to be unconstitutional.
The bottom line is that, as a voter, we have the right to be presented with proposals whose language, purpose and scope is clear. 

Amendments 6-13 originate from the Constitution Revision Commission.

The Highlands Tea Party recommends a NO vote on all submission by the Constitutional revision Commission The reason for this decision is a factor called “log rolling” It will be explained at the final comments.

Amendment 6 is a good example of “log Rolling”: THTP RECOMMENDS A NO Vote

  • Positive – many citizens would like to see felons who have paid their dues be able to vote again, even the THTP would,
  • Negative – Second totally unassociated with original intent of amendment change in retirement age for justices moved to 75 years.
  • Negative – Third totally unrelated bill on victims’ rights to attend trials and parole hearings. Has nothing to do with Felons who paid their dues getting to vote.

These we feel are legislative items and should not be put into the constitution.

6 Rights of Crime Victims; Judges  – THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

This amendment bundles three separate measures into one. The first would cement into the constitution a series of rights for people who are the victims of crimes. It’s part of a national campaign led by victims’ rights advocates who are pushing similar measures in other states. Among its guarantees is the right for victims to attend trials or any other public proceedings and to testify at pretrial release, sentencing or parole hearings. The second measure would raise the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 but require them to step down immediately upon reaching that age rather than allowing them to complete their terms. And the third measure would forbid courts from deferring to a state agency’s interpretation when considering a challenge to a law or rule if the Legislature hasn’t spoken directly to the precise issue at hand. It’s a legal principle that courts have been following for years. It’s known as the “Chevron defense,” after a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court case involving the oil company.
Pro and Con
The victims’ rights movement was born out of the idea that courts have swung too far toward protecting the rights of criminal defendants and that victims deserve to have a stronger voice in the prosecution of their perpetrators. But some legal scholars and defense attorneys argue that giving victims a greater role in criminal proceedings turns them into emotional rather than legal proceedings — the modern day equivalent of public hangings — that interfere with the rights of defendants to fair trials. The strongest argument in favor of the changes to judicial retirement ages is that it would ultimately avoid situations where multiple judges on a single court have to step down at the same time — as will be the case when the terms of three Florida Supreme Court justices expire simultaneously. And critics of the Chevron defense have long argued that it has increased the power of unelected bureaucrats, while defenders argue that agencies have technical expertise in the fields they are regulating and thus are best suited to interpret laws and make policy decisions when there isn’t explicit legislative direction.
Political Context
The victims’ right measure was a priority for Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott publicly embraced the idea a few weeks after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. Meanwhile, many conservative legal scholars and free-market evangelists — including, most prominently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — have been itching to overturn the Chevron defense for years, claiming that it has contributed to the expansion of an innovation squelching “administrative state.” And the commission, perhaps wary of sinking the whole package in controversy, wrote the amendment so that the judicial retirement changes won’t take effect until July 1 of next year — meaning it won’t have any effect on the looming Florida Supreme Court battle, in which Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince will have to retire on the same day in January that term limits force Scott out of the governor’s mansion.

Amendment 7 has three unrelated items:  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

  • Positive – ensure death benefits are paid out to first responder’s and members of the Florida National Guard who are accidentally or illegally killed on the job Negative – Second proposals has to do with the University system – Totally unrelated,
  • Negative – Third has to do with establishing Florida College system within the constitution – Totally unrelated
    The last two should be done through regular legislative sessions, not put in the Constitution.
  1. 7  First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
This proposed amendment collapses three vaguely related ideas into one. One measure would ensure death benefits are paid out to first responders and members of the Florida National Guard who are accidentally or illegally killed on the job and orders the state to waive “certain educational expenses” for their children who pursue career certificates or higher education. Another would make it harder for universities to impose or raise fees on students by requiring at least nine votes to do so from a university’s board of trustees and at least 12 votes from the Board of Governors. The third would establish the Florida College System within the constitution alongside K-12 and State University System.
Pro and Con
Everybody supports first responders and the military. But while making it harder for universities to raise fees should help with college affordability, it will also limit the schools’ ability to raise money and invest in things like new facilities and faculty recruitment. And establishing the state college system in the constitution affirms that each college should be governed by a local district board of trustees and provides for statewide oversight by the state Board of Education as provided by Florida statutes. College advocates say the measure is designed to cement the current system of governance in place similar to the constitutional governance authority given the K-12 and the State University System.
Political Context
The university fee restriction is another nod to Scott, who has battled with colleges and universities for years over tuition and fees and who has pressed a package of anti-tax constitutional amendments this year to coincide with his run for Senate. The death benefits for first responders and National Guard members were included to get it all passed.

Amendment 8 has three unrelated items:  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

  • Positive- requiring that civics lessons be taught in public schools
  • Negative – Exempting state-created charter schools from any oversight by the local school board.

    8   School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools

This is the amendment that will draw the most passion and fury, pairing two broadly popular ideas with one very controversial and partisan idea. The popular ideas: Imposing eight-year term limits on members of county school boards and requiring that civics lessons be taught in public schools. The controversial element: Exempting state-created charter schools from any oversight by the local school board.
Pro and Con
Voters seem to love term limits, but they come with consequences. While they promise more turnover and inject fresh blood into public office, they also lead to reduced competition in elections and shift power to unelected, but more knowledgeable, administrators and lobbyists. And while most may approve of teaching kids civics, each new instructional mandate from the state leads to a cut somewhere else because schools have only so much time and money. As far as the  main debate: The practical effect of the amendment would allow the state to create a new entity that could approve new charter schools even over opposition from locals. Proponents, who have accused school districts of dogmatic opposition to charters, say charters add more competition, innovation and choice for parents. Opponents say it’s the latest step in an attempt to undermine public schools and privatize K-12 education.
Political Context
Getting this amendment onto the ballot is a big win for House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has successfully advanced a sweeping, and incendiary, package of K-12 changes over the past two years. But it is also broadly supported by the rest of Florida’s GOP leaders, who have embraced the school-choice movement since Jeb Bush was governor. The campaign to pass the amendment is likely to draw significant financial support from the charter-school industry. But it will also face intense opposition from public school teachers and local school leaders. The 60% threshold will be tough.

Amendment 9 has two totally unrelated items,  THTP RECOMMENDS A NO VOTE

 Neither one of them should be in the Constitution. Banning offshore drilling for 20 years could create major issues in the future if we were to have a war and require more need for oil. This is an item that can be regulated by the legislative action. Remember what it requires to get and amendment rescinded, there are five separate avenues for amending the state’s constitution all of which eventually require acceptance in a referendum vote by 60-percent of the electorate.  This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, are trying to push it through on amendment.
  • Negative– a drilling ban, both to guard against spills and to help in the broader movement to wean society’s addiction to fossil fuels
  • Negative Banning e-cigarettes in the workplace

    9  Prohibits Off shore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Workplaces

Probably the oddest pairing on the ballot, this amendment bans offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida’s territorial waters — and vaping at indoor workplaces.
Pro and Con
Environmentalists have been lobbying for years for a drilling ban, both to guard against spills and to help in the broader movement to wean society’s addiction to fossil fuels. The oiland- gas drilling industry argues that fuel development is an important economic driver and that banning offshore drilling increases the country’s reliance on oil from other countries. Meanwhile, a 2002 constitutional amendment already bans smoking in Florida workplaces; supporters of adding e-cigarettes, which weren’t around when the original amendment passed, say it’s a logical extension to protect against second-hand contaminants.
Political Context
Though the oil and gas industry opposes this amendment, it’s unclear whether they’ll invest much money fighting what is likely to be a popular measure. This is an about-face for Florida GOP leaders, who have repeatedly refused to enact an oil-drilling ban over the years. But having it on the ballot gives Scott something green to tout to general election voters.

Amendment 10 has four totally unrelated items   THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

 This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, are trying to push it through on amendment. Don’t allow them to pull this stuff pass it in the legislature, if you can’t it indicates the people don’t want it!
  • Negative– What is the big deal with changing the Session start date?
  • Negative We already have a state Department of Veterans affairs, why does it have to be “cemented” into the Constitution?
  • Negative: – Florida does not need a “Counterterrorism” office we have the FBI, CIA and Federal Government to deal with Terrorism & Counterterrorism, we do not need more costly bureaucracy in Florida

    10 State and Local Government Structure and Operation

A general government grab bag that collapses four issues into one, this amendment also pairs a few benign changes with a controversial change. It would establish a counterterrorism office within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It cements into the constitution a state Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It fixes in place the Legislature’s recent practice of beginning sessions in even-numbered years in January, rather than March. And the controversial part: It would force every county to make its sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections or clerk of courts positions elected offices, rather than appointed ones.
Pro and Con
There’s not really any opposition to the counterterrorism, veterans affairs or session start date changes. But there is plenty of opposition to the fourth provision in Miami-Dade County, where all of those county officer positions are appointed by the mayor rather than elected by the public. There are also a handful of other charter counties that have made some of those positions, such as clerk of the courts, into appointed jobs. Locals say the amendment undermines the principle of home rule; supporters of the changes argue elected officials would be more responsive to the public.
Political Context
This amendment is ultimately about the sheriff’s job in Miami-Dade County, which is the only one of Florida’s 67 counties where the top cop is appointed rather than elected. Some Miami politicians are upset that voters outside of Miami will decide how Miami chooses its sheriff.

Amendment 11 A Three for one totally unrelated items,   THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

It was 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the remaining alien land laws in the case of Sei Fujii v. California, determining that forbidding aliens from owning land was a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause!
  • Positive – Repeal a 92-yearold provision in the constitution barring immigrants who aren’t eligible for citizenship from owning property See comment above;
  • Negative Allow lawmakers to make some changes to criminal laws retroactive for criminals sentenced under stricter guidelines. You go with what you got at the time it was the law. If they feel this is necessary, do it through proper legislation, not by slipping it into a Constitutional Amendment! The NRA is backing this for selfish reason, unfortunately it would not just help the very few people convicted under the stand your ground rule, it would help other more serious criminals.
  • NegativeErase a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a high-speed train that voters had already voted to repeal. Is it really necessary this is just house cleaning

    11 Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provisions; Criminal Statutes

    This three-for-one amendment would repeal a 92-yearold provision in the constitution barring immigrants who aren’t eligible for citizenship from owning property, allow lawmakers to make some changes to criminal laws retroactive and erase a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a high-speed train that voters had already voted to repeal.

Pro and Con
Florida was one of a number of states that adopted Alien Land Laws in the 1910s and 1920s — part of an effort to prevent Asian immigrants from owning property. Critics say it is a racist and antiquated relic, though Florida voters have rejected previous attempts to repeal it. Supporters of the criminal-law change say it would ensure that prisoners punished under older, stricter laws could have their sentences revised when the Legislature makes legal changes like eliminating mandatory minimum sentences. Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment ordering the construction of a bullet train between Orlando and Tampa in 2000, then voted for an amendment repealing that amendment in 2004. Nobody ever bothered to remove the actual words from the constitution, though.
Political Context
Asian-American groups, such as the Organization for Chinese Americans, have been pushing states to repeal alien land laws for years. The Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association calls it the “last vestige of racism” in the Florida constitution. Meanwhile, some of the strongest support for allowing lawmakers to make criminal changes retroactive has come from gun-rights groups such as the NRA-aligned Unified Sportsmen of Florida. The push appears to stem from the hope that it might ensure that an NRA backed law the Legislature passed last year — which made it clear that prosecutors, not defendants, must meet the burden of proof in pretrial Stand Your Ground hearings — can be applied retroactively.


This is something they have not been able to pass in the legislature, this would go a long way toward cleaning up our State Government, and shutting down special interest who go after these people after they leave office, and hire them for big dollars to be Lobbyist…
  • Positive – Would prevent the governor, Cabinet members, agency heads, state lawmakers and local elected officials from getting paid to lobby their former colleagues for six years after they leave office
  • Positive  Would impose a similar ban forbidding justices and judges from lobbying the Legislature or executive branch for six years
  • Positive Requires stricter ethical standards for all public officers and public employees that must, at minimum, forbid them from abusing their positions in order to benefit themselves, their spouses, their children, their employer or their businesses.

    12  Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers

This amendment would prevent the governor, Cabinet members, agency heads, state lawmakers and local elected officials from getting paid to lobby their former colleagues for six years after they leave office. It would impose a similar ban forbidding justices and judges from lobbying the Legislature or executive branch for six years. It also requires stricter ethical standards for all public officers and public employees that must, at minimum, forbid them from abusing their positions in order to benefit themselves, their spouses, their children, their employer or their businesses.
Pro and Con
Most everybody at least publicly favors stronger ethics laws. But there is an argument that imposing restrictions on what public officials can do for a living after they leave office can deter otherwise strong candidates from pursuing public service at all.

Political Context
This amendment was a top priority for Corcoran, who failed to get a similar package of reforms through the Florida Senate. At one point, it looked like Corcoran might share the ballot with the proposed amendment by running for governor, but he recently opted not to run after concluding he couldn’t win.

Amendment 13  NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL ITEM  Should be dealt with in the legislature  THTP RECOMMENDS NO VOTE

Regardless of the claims of either side activist or the race tracks, this is a legislative item to be hammered out in the House and senate, if the required support is there, it will be eliminate, if not it will continue.  This is another politically explosive issue but shoving it into the Constitution is not the proper solution!

13 Ends Dog Racing

The proposal would outlaw greyhound racing in Florida by Dec. 31, 2020, though it would allow tracks to continue other pari-mutuel offerings such as card rooms and simulcast betting on dog races in other states.
Pro and Con
Animal-rights activists have been lobbying the Legislature for years to end dog racing, arguing that animals are treated inhumanely. The tracks counter that activists have made misleading claims and that they support thousands of jobs.
Political Context
Lawmakers have been wrestling for a long time about what to do about greyhound racing. But they remain paralyzed on the issue because every time a racing bill begins to advance, it collapses amid competing amendments pushed by a hornet’s nest of gambling interests. Getting this onto the ballot — assuming it survives a promised legal challenge from the Florida Greyhound Association — is also a win for greyhoundracing opponent Attorney General Pam Bondi, who can’t seek re-election because of term limits.

Amendments 1-5 originate from citizens or the Legislature. 

    The change would save Homeowners a couple Hundred dollars, but cost counties about $645 million in the first year of exemption, counties like Highlands are already strapped for dollars which would mean a cut back or increase in service cost.
 The proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature on a largely party-line vote, would exempt the portion of a home’s value between $100,000 and $125,000 from all non-school property taxes.

2 Non-Homestead Tax Cap:  RECOMMEND YES VOTE

The bipartisan measure would make permanent a Save Our Homes-like tax cap for non-homestead property that prevents taxable values from growing more than 10% a year; if voters don’t approve, the non-homestead cap would expire in 2019. Proposals 1 and 2 combined would save taxpayers — but cost cities, counties and other local governments — more than $1.3 billion a year. State lawmakers are trumpeting the amendments as evidence of their commitment to tax cuts, although local government leaders note that legislators are forcing cities and counties — rather than the state itself — to deal with the fallout that will come in the form of cutting more services or raising tax rates.


The result of a petition drive bankrolled by Disney and the Seminole Tribe, the proposal would prevent the construction of a casino anywhere in Florida unless first approved by voters in a statewide referendum. The overarching goal of the amendment is to prevent the construction of any Las Vegas-style destination resort casinos, which both Disney and the tribe view as competition.

Amendment 4  –   This is your choice YES or NO

I will not speak for the Tea party on this one. I personally do not see why an individual who has paid his dues for his crime of the level they are referencing should not be able to get his voting rights back. Ask yourself this question: If the individual was not penalized for life in his sentence why should he lose that right to vote for life?  Take the racism thing out of it as indicated in the proposal’

4  Ex-Felon Voting 

The proposal, which arose from a petition drive backed by Democratic-leaning activist groups, would automatically restore voting rights of felons once they have completed their sentences, except for those convicted of murder or sexual offenses. Because a disproportionate number of ex-felons are black, and because black voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, the campaign has enthusiastic support from Democratic leaning groups — and so far subtle opposition from Republican-leaning organizations.


  Super-majority Vote Required to impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees

Gov. Rick Scott lobbied this measure through the Legislature just ahead of his U.S. Senate run. It would make it harder for future Legislatures to raise or impose taxes by requiring them to do so by a two-thirds vote, rather than a simple majority. Expect Scott to continually cite the amendment on the campaign trail, which he hopes will help defuse criticism that the state’s overall spending grew to historic levels during his tenure as governor


The Bundling, a technique that has been used before, is controversial. Critics have charged that the way ideas were linked was politically motivated, to “Log-roll” less popular ideas to more favorable ones to succeed, But the chair of the commission’s powerful Style and Drafting Committee Brecht Heuchan, a Scott appointee, has contended the groupings will make it easier for voters to read and save time.

This is a false assumption, the majority of voters will not take the time to read the complete package of amendments as published on the internet, they are only going to look at the brief summary on the ballot, it will not reflect the other items tucked underneath And quite often are not mention in the ballot summary because of the limitation of letters they can use…

This is slight of hand by the Constitutional Amendment Committee! Another simple fact; Voters are in a hurry to get in and out of the Poll!
We had legislators tell us “log rolling” is this is a fact and is done.

Researched and compiled by 8 members of The Highlands Tea Party

Dale Pflug, Lester Lob, John Nelson, Bob Gilmore, Dick Fankhauser, Tina Altic, Jeanne Parzygnat, John Larsen

John Nelson  – Chairman
Bob Gilmore  – Vice Chairman


Paul tells us in Eph. 6:13ff, we need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the evil day, to stand firm, stand our ground.

Open letter to Christians and “Christian” Pastors

Are we part of the church militant or the church impotent? Until Jesus returns, aren’t we supposed to spread the Gospel and oppose evil? When we clearly see good vs. evil, what do we do? Do we seek “middle ground”, agree to disagree, compromise, or remain neutral, i.e.. “luke warm”? Are we ready to get off the sidelines and into the battle?

Paul tells us in Eph. 6:13ff, we need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the evil day, to stand firm, stand our ground. Buckle up with the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. When we fit our feet, it’s not so we can run away fast. It is so that we can wade into battle with a firm foundation and understanding. Take up the shield of faith to extinguish the darts and arrows of the evil one. (Those would be the lies and deceptions of the evil one and his minions.) Put on the helmet of salvation, use our heads. Grab hold of the sword of the spirit, the word of God. Shine the light of truth on the darkness and into the shadows of the realm of evil.

Jesus confronts Peter about his faith in Matt. 16:18. Peter confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus acknowledges Peter’s faith as coming from the Father and says on that Rock of faith He will build His church. And the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Well, what does this imply? Simply that the church should be on offense and the powers of Hell on defense. And that if we, as the church choose to fight, we will win. It’s Joshua time. What do we choose? “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Burke.

Here are some random thoughts to consider.

How is unfounded, vicious character assassination any different from murdering the unborn?

If we allow evil to go unchallenged, do we not also condone it? If we don’t take a stand against evil, do we enable evil?

God tells us through His prophet Ezekiel, that the watchmen, the shepherds, the spiritual leaders must warn the people or be held responsible for the death of the people. If the people choose not to listen, that’s different. But if we don’t warn them, it’s on us.

Would we forsake the truth to retain the tithe? (I know, harsh, but real.) Are we afraid of offending evil? Do we care more about our church than the souls in our church? If we know the truth and don’t speak it, is that like a lie?

Who will take a stand and when? If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Danny Krueger, CCCP

(Christian Conservative Constitutional Patriot)

American Thinker – Obama’s America on Display

Obama’s America on Display at Kavanaugh Hearings

President Trump has been in an uphill battle to reverse Obama’s efforts to “fundamentally transform” America.  Trump’s successes in the past 20 months in erasing the damage of the Obama’s eight years are well documented.  But he has a long way to go based on what we saw in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Trump’s biggest challenge is to push back Obama’s primary legacy of identity politics, which is destroying the fabric of our nation.  Neighbors, family members and old friends have been split apart, by design.  Obama polarized America according to race, ethnic background, sex, sexual orientation, and politics.

Like a deadly cancer, the Obama legacy has metastasized into widespread hatred among Americans that was on display at the Kavanaugh hearings.  Obama’s primary legacy is dangerously malignant and more toxic than ever, fueled by cynical and destructive politicians, the Alinsky Rules for Radicals, and billions of dollars from the evil George Soros.

Statements from the hearings and the left-wing mobs and commentators attempting to disrupt the proceedings tell the story.  “Call your senators and tell them to vote no for Kavanaugh – the future of our country deserves more than a privileged white boy.”  Were you able to catch the code words?  “Privileged.”  “White boy.”

Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono made headlines when she told all men to “shut up and step up and do the right thing for a change.”  In other words, men rarely do the right thing.  Men, did you get it?

Democrat Senator Cory Booker used his “Spartacus moment” to suggest that Kavanaugh was guilty of “racial profiling.”  Racial profiling, presumably against minorities.  Get it?

“Women deserve to be angry all of the time,” said talk show host Andy Richter.  “This country’s government is an abuser.  We live in the most shameful of times.”  Yes, of course, the Trump government is an abuser of women.  Now armed leftists, some with funding from George Soros, are calling for mass violence if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

Here’s one certain to win over a lot of Americans: “The Antifa Website Calls for ‘Slaughter‘ of ‘Fascistic Border Patrol Dogs and Their Bosses.”

In short, the Kavanaugh nomination reveals the obvious: we no longer have a viable two-party system in which both parties embrace our current Constitution-based system, share the same set of core values and fairness, and agree on certain standards of ethical conduct regardless of who wins an election.

This all sums up the primary legacy of one Barack Hussein Obama.  You’ll remember he’s the one who appointed to the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, who famously suggested that a “wise Latina” on the bench would come to more just decisions than a white male.  Did you get the code words there?  Some Republicans in a show of good faith actually voted for her.

Go back to July 2009, when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested outside his home in what was clearly a misunderstanding between him and the police.  Obama, just a few months in office, immediately politicized it.

I don’t know … what role race played in that.  But I think it’s fair to say … the Cambridge police acted stupidly[.] … We know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.

Did you get all of that?  Police acted stupidly.  A long history of black Americans and Latinos stopped by police acting “disproportionately.”

After Trayvon Martin was killed after attacking a partially black Latino who happened to have a “white” name, George Zimmerman, Obama quickly jumped in, noting that if he had a son, he would look like Martin, a black hoodie-wearing 17-year-old.  Get it?  I’m black.  The kid is black.  He must be innocent.  The support Trayvon movement led to the formation of “Black Lives Matter,” an incendiary project funded by George Soros that brags that it is now global network with more than 40 chapters.

When Michael Brown was shot dead after assaulting a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, a large fuss was made over the racial composition of the police department.  Obama wasn’t going to let this crisis go to waste.

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time.  As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials.

The Department of Justice subsequently found no civil rights violations in the case.  But the damage was done. Obama had already identified with Michael Brown, showing “compassion” for his – as it turned out – so-called family.

And who can forget Freddie Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old black man who was arrested by Baltimore police for possessing an illegal knife?  While in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and died.  Obama wasted no time getting involved.  “This has been going on for a long time.  This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.”  Get it?  Black people getting killed by police has been going on for a long time.  Riots followed.  Homicides with a preponderance of black victims spiked.  Ultimately, the six Baltimore police officers involved (three of them black men and one black woman) were all found not guilty or charges were dropped.  But again, the damage had been done.  Obama’s DOJ reluctantly announced it would not bring federal charges against the officers.

It isn’t just race that Obama has used to divide us.  The Obama legacy is also about sexual politics.  Remember when Obama ordered all U.S. public schools to allow students to access opposite-sex restrooms in a move that escalates the national fight over LGBT rights?  That escalated battles at the statewide level.  Michelle Obama has also been part of the effort.  After leaving the White House, she said, “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton, voted against their [sic] own voice.”

Over 60 million Americans saw through this.  Trump was elected president.  But the Obama damage was obvious.  At the end of Obama’s presidency, just 27 percent saw the U.S. as more united, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted after the 2016 election.  Far more – 44 percent – said it was more divided.  USA Today has just reported that a third of American voters think a civil war is coming.

The Kavanaugh hearings were a major opportunity for the left.  Former House speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the Democrats for behaving:

… in an evil way unworthy of the United States.  This has been the most despicable behavior by a major party in modern history.  This is a deliberate, vicious, character assassination – hurt the guy’s daughters, hurt his mother, hurt his wife, hurt his reputation – they didn’t care[.]

Writer Patricia McCarthy called the Kavanaugh hearings:

… [t]he historical low point in American politics – and make no mistake: this was all about politics, not Kavanaugh.  If there was any doubt before, there is no longer: the American left today is malevolent.  The Democratic Party has demonstrated for all to see just how soulless it has become.  The Democrats on the committee disgraced themselves.  The two youngsters, Harris and Booker, are callow, shallow, rude, and power-mad.  We have seen what they are made of: pure narcissism.

But for Obama, they are the future of his America.  New York University professor Jonathan Haidt notes that “diversity, immigration and multiculturalism are right at the heart of the problem in Western democracies[.] … Identity politics is like throwing sand in the gears … a world in which factions are based on race and ethnicity, rather than economic interests, that’s the worst possible world.”

Obama is not stupid.  He knows this.  It’s his road map.

The Obama legacy of hatred among identity groups is a viral cancer in our society.  It pits race, ethnic, and religious groups against each other.  It pits women against men.  It is pitting gays and others who claim LGBTQ victimhood against heterosexuals.  As this disease further metastasizes, our country faces an even more seriously divided future.  It is pushing us toward tribalism, balkanization, and potentially, dissolution.  The hatred of Trump by the left is deep.  He is a forceful barrier to their destructive aims.  We can’t afford to lose him.  But the question is whether even Trump can put the Obama legacy into remission and prevent the left from ripping our country further apart.

Frank Hawkins is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies, and published novelist.  He currently lives in retirement in North Carolina.

Image credit: Adapted from official White House photo by Pete Souza.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/10/obamas_america_on_display_at_kavanaugh_hearings.html#ixzz5Syti3vMm
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Cory Booker – Fondling Breast of women in College
Keith Ellison – Partner Abuse
Al Franken
– Sexual Abuse

John Conyers –  Multiple Sexual Arrangement
Bob Filner – tried to force himself on a women in Elevator
Raul Bocanegra -“put his hands into staffers blouse” at a Sacramento night club
Ron Sheon –  three women accused  of sexual harassment
Tony Mendoza –  was accused of sexual harassment by three women,
Ira Silverstein  – Senate Democratic majority caucus chair  sexual harassment
Steve Lebsock  – Colorado Legislator of sexual harassment. sky while President of the U.S.
Anthony Weiner –  was caught sexting another woman in August, and with a
15-year-old girl in September. The following year, Weiner was charged with
transferring obscene material to a minor
David Wu – U.S. representative for Oregon’s made unwanted sexual advances on
the teenage daughter of a campaign donor and friend,
Eliot Spitzer -54 th Governor of New York from January 2007 Resigned over a
prostitution scandal
John Edwards – Had an affair with a campaign employee while running for President.
Bill Clinton – Had an affair with Monica Lewinsky while President of the U.S.States
David Alexander Paterson – He was the 55th Governor of New York – Extramarital Affairs
Antonio Villaraigosa  41st Mayor of Los Angeles, Affair with television Reporter
Marc Dann – Attorney General of Ohio, had an affair with a staffer.
Paul J Morrision – Affair with administrative staffer while Attorney General of Kansas
Gary Condit  – House of Representatives from 1989 to 2003 Affair with (murdered) intern Chandra Levy
Tim Mahoney – U.S. Rep for Florida’s  Democratic Party – admitted to multiple affairs










Today, America is a bitterly divided, poorly educated and morally fragile society with so-called mainstream politicians pushing cynical identity politics, socialism and open borders.


by Frank Hawkins

America has undergone enormous change during the nearly eight decades of my life. Today, America is a bitterly divided, poorly educated and morally fragile society with so-called mainstream politicians pushing cynical identity politics, socialism and open borders. The president of the United States is threatened with impeachment because the other side doesn’t like him. The once reasonably unbiased American media has evolved into a hysterical left wing mob. How could the stable and reasonably cohesive America of the 1950s have reached this point in just one lifetime? Who are the main culprits? Here’s my list of the 10 most destructive Americans of the last 80 years.

10) Mark Felt – Deputy director of the FBI, aka “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal. This was the first public instance of a senior FBI officially directly interfering in America’s political affairs. Forerunner of James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe

9) Bill Ayers– Represents the deep and ongoing leftist ideological damage to our education system. An unrepentant American terrorist who evaded punishment, he devoted his career to radicalizing American education and pushing leftist causes. Ghost wrote Obama’s book, “Dreams of My Father.”

8) Teddy Kennedy – Most folks remember Teddy as the guy who left Mary Joe Kopechne to die in his car at Chappaquiddick. The real damage came after he avoided punishment for her death and became a major Democrat force in the US Senate, pushing through transformative liberal policies in health care and education.  The real damage was the 1965 Hart-Cellar immigration bill he pushed hard for that changed the quota system to increase the flow of third world people without skills into the US and essentially ended large-scale immigration from Europe.

7) Walter Cronkite – Cronkite was a much beloved network anchor who began the politicalization of America’s news media with his infamous broadcast from Vietnam that described the Tet Offensive as a major victory for the Communists and significantly turned the gullible American public against the Vietnam War. In fact, the Tet offensive was a military disaster for the NVA and Viet Cong, later admitted by North Vietnamese military leaders. Decades later Cronkite admitted he got the story wrong. But it was too late.  The damage was done.

6) Bill and Hillary Clinton— It’s difficult to separate Team Clinton Bill’s presidency was largely benign as he was a relative fiscal conservative who rode the remaining benefits of the Reagan era. But his sexual exploits badly stained the Oval Office and negatively affected America’s perception of the presidency. In exchange for financial support, he facilitated the transfer of sensitive military technology to the Chinese.  Hillary, a Saul Alinsky acolyte, is one of the most vicious politicians of my lifetime, covering up Bill’s sexual assaults by harassing and insulting the exploited women and peddling influence around the globe in exchange for funds for the corrupt Clinton Foundation. She signed off on the sale of 20% of the US uranium reserve to the Russians after Bill received a $500,000 speaking fee in Moscow and the foundation (which supported the Clinton’s regal lifestyle) received hundreds of millions of dollars from those who benefited from the deal.  Between them, they killed any honor that might have existed in the dark halls of DC.

5) Valerie Jarrett – The Rasputin of the Obama administration.  A Red Diaper baby, her father, maternal grandfather and father-in-law (Vernon Jarrett who was a close friend and ally of Obama mentor Frank Marshall Davis) were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government. She has been in Obama’s ear for his entire political career pushing a strong anti-American, Islamist, anti-Israeli, socialist/communist, cling-to-power agenda.

4) Jimmy Carter  – Carter ignited modern day radical Islam by abandoning the Shah and paving the way for Ayatollah Khomeini to take power in Tehran. Iran subsequently became the main state sponsor and promoter of international Islamic terrorism.  When Islamists took over our embassy in Tehran, Carter was too weak to effectively respond thus strengthening the rule of the radical Islamic mullahs.

3) Lyndon Johnson – Johnson turned the Vietnam conflict into a major war for America. It could have ended early if he had listened to the generals instead of automaker Robert McNamara. The ultimate result was: 1) 58,000 American military deaths and collaterally tens of thousands of American lives damaged; and 2) a war that badly divided America and created left wing groups that evaded the draft and eventually gained control of our education system  Even worse, his so-called War on Poverty led to the destruction of American black families with a significant escalation of welfare and policies designed to keep poor families dependent on the government (and voting Democrat) for their well-being. He deliberately created a racial holocaust that is still burning today. A strong case could be made for putting him at the top of this list.

2) Barack Hussein Obama – Obama set up America for a final defeat and stealth conversion from a free market society to socialism/communism. As we get deeper into the Trump presidency, we learn more each day about how Obama politicized and compromised key government agencies, most prominently the FBI, the CIA and the IRS, thus thoroughly shaking the public’s confidence in the federal government to be fair and unbiased in its activities. He significantly set back race and other relations between Americans by stoking black grievances and pushing radical identity politics. Obama’s open support for the Iranian mullahs and his apologetic “lead from behind” foreign policy seriously weakened America abroad. His blatant attempt to interfere in Israel’s election trying to unseat Netanyahu is one of the most shameful things ever done by an American president.

1) John Kerry – Some readers will likely say Kerry does not deserve to be number one on this list. I have him here because I regard him as the most despicable American who ever lived  After his three faked Purple Hearts during his cowardly service in Vietnam, he was able to leave the US Navy early. As a reserve naval officer and in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he traveled to Paris and met privately with the NVA and the Viet Cong. He returned to the United States parroting the Soviet party line about the war and testified before Congress comparing American soldiers to the hordes of Genghis Khan. It was a clear case of treason, giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war. We got a second bite of the bitter Kerry apple when as Obama’s secretary of state, he fell into bed with the Iranian (“Death to America”) mullahs giving them the ultimate green light to develop nuclear weapons along with billions of dollars that further supported their terrorist activities. Only the heroic Swift Vets saved us from a Manchurian Candidate Kerry presidency. Ultimately we got Obama.

Dishonorable Mentions! (Just missed the list)

John Brennan – Obama’s CIA director who once voted for Communist Gus Hall for president. A key member of the Deep State who severely politicized the CIA. Called President Trump treasonous for meeting with the president of Russia.

Jane Fonda – movie actress who made the infamous trip to Vietnam during the war in support of the Communists. She represents hard left Hollywood that has done so much damage to our culture.

Jimmy Hendrix and Janice Joplin – Both revered entertainers helped usher in the prevailing drug culture and personally suffered the consequences. Karma’s a bitch.

Robert Johnson /BET – Helped popularize ho’s, bitches and pimps while making millions on great hits such as “Jigga my Nigga”, “Big Pimpin’”, “Niggas in Paris” and “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”   Many scholars within the African American community maintain that BET perpetuates and justifies racism by adopting the stereotypes held about African Americans, affecting the psyche of young viewers through the bombardment of negative images of African Americans. Who can disagree?

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr./The New York Times – Once the gold standard of American journalism, the paper always had a liberal tilt and occasionally made bad mistakes. As the years have gone along, the paper has slid further and further left and today is virtually the primary propaganda arm of the increasingly radical Democrat Party. Still retains influence in Washington and New York.

George Soros – Jewish former Nazi collaborator in his native Hungary who as a self-made billionaire has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into left wing groups and causes. The damage he has caused is difficult to measure, but it’s certainly large. He has funded much of the effort to kill the Trump presidency.  His groups proclaimed that Trump was a Hitler – when in fact he was the supporter of the real Hitler, and a killer of his own Jews.

Frank Marshall Davis – Anti-white, black Bolshevik, card-carrying Soviet agent.  Probable birth father and admitted primary mentor of young Barak Hussein Obama.

Frank Hawkins is a former US Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies and published novelist. He is currently retired in North Carolina.

WHO ARE THE LOSERS? The Democrats were eager to see Republicans come off as crude and then ensured that they acted so themselves.

Kavanaugh’s Testimony Was His Joseph N. Welch Moment

The entire purpose of today’s hearing was for the Democrats to call for a lengthy “FBI investigation,” and thereby delay the hearings until after the midterms, excusing Trump-state senators up for reelection from having to vote No on Kavanaugh, while giving time for a likely fifth, sixth, and seventh psychodramatic accuser to step forward, whose lurid falsified allegations take days to refute, but insidiously bleed Kavanaugh by a thousand lies.
It is true that Ford was an empathetic witness in recounting what she seems to believe happened.And the argument of her supporters is that, because she sincerely believes that she was assaulted and that on some occasions 30 or more years after the alleged incident mentioned it to others, therefore her allegations are proven — when in fact raising the allegations 30 years and more later confirms only that she believes her own allegations, not that her allegations as they concerned Judge Kavanaugh are valid.
There was almost no attention paid to the Ramirez and Swetnick accusations — apparently because Democrats concluded that the advantages of trying to prove a Kavanaugh pattern of illegal or improper behavior was far outweighed by the utter lack of credibility by subsequent accusers, who, if they were to appear, would make that embarrassing fact quite clear. There was still no adequate explanation of why Democrats forced Ford to lose her anonymity or why they did not prompt an “FBI Investigation” immediately upon receipt of the allegation by Senator Feinstein.
The designated Republican questioner of Ford, Rachel Mitchell, succeeded in sounding sober, judicious, and conciliatory, and was able on numerous occasions gently to draw out inconsistencies in Ford’s testimony.
Ford, for example, seems to have had no problem with flying after all, both for work and leisure — until summoned to follow up her accusations with evidence and potentially to face cross examination. Ford also seemed to suggest that her entire process of pressing accusations against Kavanaugh, her meetings with politicos, her use of counsel, or her lie-detector test came about mostly incidentally and of her own direction and volition — despite references to an array of enablers and handlers.
She had no real explanation of why her various testimonies to her therapist, to the media, and in her initial letter and subsequent statement are in conflict on important details of who exactly was present and where at the alleged attack.Still, Mitchell’s problem was that she never collated her questions into a coherent narrative leading to conclusions, and thus there was de facto no cross-examination of Ford’s assertions. Inferences were not enough. True, the Republicans succeeded in not appearing bullying, but went to the opposite extreme of seeming ineffectual and impotent. That was the morning’s grievous error, given that many of the Republican senators, as evidenced by the later questioning of Kavanaugh, are skilled interrogators and superb attorneys and yet sidelined themselves.
Just when pundits were declaring Kavanaugh’s obituary, he appeared resolute, fiery, and presented an outraged denial that essentially put the entire Democratic effort at destroying him on trial.
He became the proverbial Joseph N. Welch; the Democrats became a collective Joseph McCarthy.
His effort galvanized heretofore somnolent Republican senators into stepping up and decrying the current farce. Lindsey Graham gave the greatest speech of his life, and the most remarkable from any Republican in years. He threw down the gauntlet to remind that any Republican who joined the witch hunt should be ashamed. That moment likely did a great deal to provide cover for a few wavering senators who might have been thinking of abandoning Kavanaugh, and, indeed, seemed to render obsolete some of the old Republican divides over Trump — given a new shared conservative outrage at the progressive efforts at character assassination.Not one Democrat senator could find any inconsistency in Kavanaugh’s testimony, and their feeble attempts to do so had the effect of appearing bullying and crudity — ironically in the manner that the Republicans had feared they might appear if too aggressive in questioning Ford.
Where are we, then, as the hearings wind down?
A paradox.
The Democrats were eager to see Republicans come off as crude and then ensured that they acted so themselves. They had no new argument either in supporting Ford or opposing Kavanaugh — other than the old saw of serially calling for a delaying “FBI investigation.”
Kavanaugh in the end himself proved the most reliable, factual, and transparent witness, and Republican Senators belatedly discovered that they were far better questioners than any expert prosecutor.  Politically, the result is twofold. It is not certain that Kavanaugh will be confirmed, but any Republican who believes that he is a sexual assaulter and unfit for the Supreme Court will likely face ostracism. Second, should he be confirmed, Kavanaugh will not just be a knowledgeable conservative jurist, but a skilled and unafraid advocate in the tradition of Antonin Scalia.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won@vdhanson



If they break so blatantly and without regard to decency, truth, ethics, and respect
for the Republic, all the rules that obstruct their getting what they
want for a
supposedly good cause even when they are but a minority
opposition party, then
what would make you think that they will not do
the same for a bad cause when they
grab a monopoly on political power?

They have totally forgotten about the rule of law especially in the Kavanaugh case.

Under Due Process of law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty it is the
responsibility of the Court/Prosecutor to prove an accused guilty not
the accused to
prove themselves innocent.

Burdens of proof vary, depending on the type of case being tried. 

In a civil case (Which this would be) preponderance of evidence requires the plaintiff
(In this case Ford)
introduce slightly more or slightly better evidence than the
defense (Kavanaugh)
. If the plaintiff does not meet the burden of proof, the defendant
is victorious without
having to present any evidence at all.

Where is the preponderance of evidence that a sexual molestation ever occurred?

The whole nation is in an uproar because a women (Ford) out of the blue accused an
individual (Kavanaugh) of an act
she cannot prove, has no witnesses; the ones she named
apparently out of thin air deny ever having attend such a a party state they did 
not even
know Kavanaugh,

This situation  is a stark indication of the mentality of many Democrats in office, and the
millennial’s in 
America, most of them under 40 years of age, they are drunk with socialist
power being fed to them by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters,Diane Feinstein,
Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and many more, and all being
backed by George Soros
organization “Sixteen Thirty Group” feeding dark
money to a group called “demand
Justice which has one goal, stop Kavanaugh. It just 
happens one of Feinstein’s past
employees Paige Herwig who served as her Deputy General Counsel, 
 as of this March is
Deputy Chief Counsel for Demand Justice a Georges Soros group set up for one
purpose to stop Kavanaugh.

Want to bet there is a connection there bestrewn Sen Feinstein and Soros, I sure see one!

This is not story telling it is documented!

If one Republican votes against this nomination, we America must to see to that he or she
is run out of office at the next election!



If the Democrats can flip Florida in 2018/2020, they will almost certainly win the White House. WAKE UP FLORIDA VOTE REPUBLICAN RED NOT SOCIALIST RED!

Who is Steve Phillips and why is he backing
Andrew Gillum for Governor of Florida?

In a column titled “The Rainbow Conspiracy Part 12: Steve Phillips And Democracy Alliance Team Up To Flip Florida” Trevor Loudon reports:
Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Florida by just under 113,000 votes. For the left, Florida’s 27 Congressional Districts and 29 Electoral College votes are a tempting prize indeed.

If the Democrats can flip Florida in 2018/2020, they will almost certainly win the White House.

San Francisco lawyer and key Democratic Party operative Steve Phillips is targeting the Sunshine State. Florida has an open gubernatorial race this year and Phillips wants to use this election to inspire the state’s black and Latino voting base to vote all the way down to the bottom of the ballot. Phillips realizes that if he can steer his chosen candidate into the governor’s mansion this year, Florida will likely go blue in 2020.
If that happens – no more President Trump.

Who is Steve Phillips?

Loudon’s research found the following about Steve Phillips:  Steve Phillips has known Andrew Gillum for years. Gillum has served on the board of Phillips’ PowerPAC+ since at least 2012.
Steve Phillips wrote in July 2013:

At PAC+, we will continue to work to identify and back candidates in strategic races and states across the country. In Florida, for instance, our Board member Andrew Gillum is running for Mayor of Tallahassee next year, and candidates such as Andrew, who is just 33 years old, can comprise the nucleus of a new group of political leaders who can methodically take power and reorder the state’s policies and priorities in coming years.

Andrew Gillum is an extreme radical. Part of Florida’s existing “political nucleus,” former Florida State Sen Tony Hill endorsed Gillum for Governor, November 9 2017.

“I am extraordinarily excited to endorse Mayor Andrew Gillum for Governor today. I have known him since his days on Florida A&M University’s campus as a student leader and activist — long before he became Mayor of Tallahassee. Back then you could tell he had a special quality that inspired his peers and elders, and he carries that spirit and passion with him in this race to take back Florida. He will deliver solutions to our most pressing challenges and be a true champion for Jacksonville.”

Replied Gillum:

“Senator Hill has long been a mentor and friend to me, and it’s humbling to receive his endorsement today. .. I can’t wait to campaign with him in Jacksonville and all over the state.”

Gillum has an ally, a semi-secret nest of billionaire leftist donors known as the Democracy Alliance.
Gillum’s long-term mentor Steve Phillips was involved in the Democracy Alliance from its very beginning. In 2004, billionaire socialists Herb and Marion Sandler established America Votes in partnership with even richer socialist donor George Soros “to coordinate various get-out-the-vote drives during the 2004 election.” When the Democracy Alliance was formalized the following year, the Sandlers sent their son-in-law Steven Phillips as their representative to the October 2005 meeting at the Chateau Elan near Atlanta, Georgia.

Who is Andrew Gillum?

Trevor Loudon found the following about Democrat Socialist Gillum:
Andrew Gillum, while serving as director of Youth Leadership Programs for People for the American Way, graduated from the same Rockwood Social Transformation Project program in 2012.  Unsurprisingly New Florida Majority endorsed Andrew Gillum over his Democratic competitors.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum released the following statement, June 13 2018:
“I’m honored to receive New Florida Majority’s endorsement! They’re on the front lines of taking back our state for working people, and I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in fighting for our families, jobs with living wages and dignity, a thriving public education system that pays teachers what they’re worth, and quality, affordable health care as a constitutional right for every Floridian.”
Andrew Gillum had previously met with New Florida Majority in April of 2018.

Of the NFM activists named above, Gihan Perera, Valencia Gunder, Renee Mowatt and Dwight Bullard all are affiliated in some way with Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Loudon concludes, “Lifelong revolutionary Steve Phillips is backing Abrams, Gillum and Jealous for good reason. Phillips’ purpose is to realize a goal set back in his student Maoist days – the New American Majority. Phillips understands that ‘candidates of color’ at the top of the ticket will lift the minority vote. That will help flip Congressional and Senate seats in several key states – including Florida.”
EDITORS NOTE: This column is republished with permission. The featured image is courtesy of Trevor Loudon’s New Zeal Blog.

Sooner or later Republicans have to recognize all of this for the political charade it is. Democrats don’t want to find the truth.

Another Kavanaugh Flakeout

The American Bar Association
president tries to sandbag
another nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake speaks with reporters after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol, Washington, D.C., Sept. 28.

Sen. Jeff Flake speaks with reporters after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol, Washington, D.C., Sept. 28.PHOTO: ANDREW HARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Democrats must be secretly delighted, not that they’ll admit it. A couple of GOP Senators fell on Friday for their ruse of seeking an FBI investigation of an assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, and now this Supreme Court nomination ordeal will continue for at least another week. Who knows what new dirt against the judge they can throw on the Senate wall?
On Friday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Supreme Court nominee in an 11-10 party-line vote, with Arizona Senator Jeff Flake the last convert. That should have sent the nomination to the Senate floor and a vote early next week.

The mystery is what new evidence Mr. Flake and Ms. Murkowski expect the FBI to find. The Senate this week heard six hours of public testimony from Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

The potential witnesses Ms. Ford has named have given statements under penalty of perjury saying they don’t recall the 1982 party she describes. No corroboration has materialized, leaving Democrats and the media to pick over high-school yearbook entries from 1983. Ms. Ford said Thursday that she is “100%” certain Judge Kavanaugh assaulted her. He told the Senate that he is “100%” certain of his innocence.

Now the FBI will spend a week redoing all these interviews. To what end? FBI background investigations aren’t criminal probes. They reach no conclusions. The agents conduct interviews, record what the subjects say, and put the summaries in a nominee’s file. The Senators are then expected to draw theirconclusions and vote. After a week Mr. Flake and Ms. Murkowski may find themselves in the same place, since Ms. Ford’s charge is too imprecise in date, place or recollections to corroborate.

Not that even this extra week will satisfy Democrats—or Ms. Ford’s Democratic handlers. Debra Katz, Ms. Ford’s lawyer who was recommended by Democrat Dianne Feinstein, said Friday after news of the delay that “no artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.”

Look for Democrats and the party’s media wing to repeat this like the Rockettes. They’re already floating that FBI Director Christopher Wray attended Yale a couple of years after Mr. Kavanaugh did, so, you know, the FBI probe they demanded may also be tainted.

The truth is that no amount of investigating by the FBI or anyone else will change a single Democratic vote. And if more accusations arise, no matter how preposterous, Democrats will demand another investigation and more interviews.

*Meanwhile, Democrats also received an in-kind political contribution Friday from the head of the American Bar Association, who sent a letter to the Senate calling for an FBI probe and delay. “The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less,” wrote Robert Carlson. Surely it’s a coincidence that Mr. Carlson, according to campaign-finance records at OpenSecrets.org, was a donor to Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Carlson wants to give the impression that the ABA is walking away from its previous expansive praise for Judge Kavanaugh. The ABA has a Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary that reviews nominees, and on Aug. 30 it gave Judge Kavanaugh its highest rating.

This included a glowing report on his character and competence. Dozens of law professors reviewed his writings. Comments were solicited from 471 judges, lawyers and academics. This material was collated into 1,635 pages.

The ABA committee then voted unanimously that Judge Kavanaugh is “well qualified” for the Supreme Court. Its final report quotes unnamed colleagues and observers: “His integrity is absolutely unquestioned.” “He is what he seems, very decent, humble, and honest.” “He is just the best—brilliant, a great writer, fair, and he is open-minded.”

Mr. Carlson is not a member of that committee, and he is not supposed to speak for the ABA unless the legal group has made a policy decision. In this case he is trying to sandbag his own ABA colleagues. Paul Moxley, the Utah lawyer who chairs the ABA’s judicial committee, made that clear on Friday when he wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mr. Carlson’s letter “was not received” by his ABA committee “prior to its issuance.” Mr. Moxley added: “The ABA’s rating for Judge Kavanaugh is not affected by Mr. Carlson’s letter.”

In other words, Mr. Carlson is free-lancing for partisan purposes and the Senate should ignore him. For the rest of us, however, this is one more reason to bar the ABA from any judicial vetting. Some of us still remember the ABA’s shoddy treatment of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

Sooner or later Republicans have to recognize all of this for the political charade it is. Democrats don’t want to find the truth. They want to delay a vote, destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation in the meantime, win Senate control in November and then leave the Supreme Court with an empty seat through 2021.

If the Senate now wants to give the FBI one more week, Mr. Flake and Ms. Murkowski should spend it getting used to the idea that Mr. Kavanaugh can’t prove that something didn’t happen. They’ll have to vote anyway.

Appeared in the September 29, 2018, print edition.


Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

The Judge rightly called out the
politics of ‘search and destroy.’
rather than “Advise & Consent”

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, U.S., Sept. 27.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, U.S., Sept. 27. PHOTO: JIM BOURG/ZUMA PRESS
Thursday’s Senate hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was an embarrassment that should have never happened. Judge Kavanaugh was right to call the confirmation process a “disgrace” in his passionate self-defense, and whatever one thinks of Christine Blasey Ford’s assault accusation, she offered no corroboration or new supporting evidence.
Ms. Ford certainly was a sympathetic witness—by her own admission “terrified” at the start and appearing to be emotionally fragile. Her description of the assault and its impact on her was wrenching. She clearly believes what she says happened to her. Her allegation should have been vetted privately, in confidence, as she said she would have preferred. Instead ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein held it for six weeks and it was leaked—perhaps to cause precisely such a hearing circus.
Yet there is still no confirming evidence beyond her own testimony, and some of what she says has been contradicted. The female friend Ms. Ford says was at the home the night of the assault says she wasn’t there. The number of people she says were there has varied from four to five and perhaps more, but every potential witness she has cited by name says he or she doesn’t recall the party.
She still can’t recall the home where the assault took place, how she got there or how she got home that evening. She has no witnesses who say she told them about the alleged assault at the time—until she first spoke of it at a couples therapy session 30 years later in 2012. Mr. Kavanaugh’s name doesn’t appear in the notes of her therapist.
As for Judge Kavanaugh, his self-defense was as powerful and emotional as the moment demanded. If he was angry at times, imagine how you would feel if you were so accused and were innocent as he says he is. To deny the allegations as he did—invoking his children and parents and so many others who know him—and be lying would mean that he is a sociopath. If he were found to be lying, he would be impeached and probably prosecuted. Nothing in his long record in public life betrays the kind of behavior he is accused of against women.
Had he not been as forceful, his opponents would have said he looked guilty. Because he called the Democrats out for their character assassination, the critics now say he lacks the right temperament. The truth is that there is no answer, and no demeanor, that Brett Kavanaugh could offer that the left would credit. Their goal isn’t the truth. They want to destroy Judge Kavanaugh.
Republican Senators turned over their questioning of Ms. Ford to a trained prosecutor from Arizona, who attempted to clarify facts and fill holes in her testimony. Democrats showed zero interest in getting any facts from Ms. Ford. They spent their question time saying they believed Ms. Ford while badgering Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley to call other witnesses.
Yet those potential witnesses have all given sworn statements to Senate staff under penalty of felony that say they don’t recall the party or the alleged assault. Hauling them before the Senate wouldn’t illuminate the truth any more than Thursday’s hearing did.
Incredibly, Democrats spent their time with Judge Kavanaugh asking about drinking games and lines in his high school yearbook. Once Senator Lindsey Graham made that look foolish (see below), Democrats focused on their only other argument, which is that the FBI should investigate. But they well know the FBI would merely repeat the interviews they and the Senate Judiciary staff have already done.
The real Democratic goal is to push a confirmation vote past Election Day. They can then spare their incumbents running for re-election from taking a difficult vote. If they win the election, they will then try to block any confirmation until they take over the Senate in January. No nominee to the right of Merrick Garland would then be confirmed in the final two years of the Trump Presidency. The Supreme Court would be divided 4-4 until 2021 at least.
Senate Republicans should understand that these are the real political stakes. This nomination isn’t only about the fate of a single man whose reputation can be discarded like some tabloid celebrity. This is about the future of the Supreme Court and who will control the Senate. If Republicans reject Mr. Kavanaugh based on what we know now, millions of voters will rightly be furious.
But as important, a rejection will bring dishonor to the Senate. It will validate the ambush and smear politics that Democrats are using. And it will turn Supreme Court nominations over to the justice of the social-media mob and the politics of accusation. It’s time for Senators to stand up and confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

Appeared in the September 28, 2018, print edition.

People who dare to disclose the true nature of Islam run the risk of being castigated as bigots and hatemongers.

Is Islam Misunderstood?

According to a Pew Research Center study published in 2009, public perceptions depend heavily on a few key factors. Pew’s Gregory Smith explained: “One of the most powerful factors shaping views of Islam is education,” he said. “Those Americans who have more education tend to be more favorable toward Muslim Americans and Islam than Americans with less education. Interestingly, age was also a good predictor of views of Muslim Americans and Islam, with young people tend to be more favorable than were older people.”
Decades ago, Professor Marshall McLuhan observed, “The medium is the message.” As the print and electronic media enter more and more into every aspect of life, their influence increases greatly in shaping the views, deeds and behavior of the public. The power of the media is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it can serve to expose injustices, wrongdoings, and flaws. On the other, it is able to propagate misinformation and outright disinformation and fake news. Manipulation and control of the media is of critical importance to the rule of totalitarian states. Free societies, although less subject to laundered information, are still at considerable risk of being selectively informed or misinformed outright. The public can be deceived more easily by the overlords of the media when political correctness is used as subterfuge for promotion of certain ideas.
A case in point is the media’s portrayal of Islam, articulated by politicians and pundits — the talking heads on television and radio, as well as the analysts who write for newspapers and magazines. Time and again we hear and read that Islam is a religion of peace, in spite of the fact Islam has been a religion of violence from its inception to the present. This mantra, “Islam is a religion of peace” is repeated so often that it has become an indisputable statement of fact in the minds of many. Former President George W. Bush on several occasions repeated the mantra and attributed the horrific violence committed under the banner of Islam to a small band of extremists. The President’s assertion was either based on ignorance of the facts about Islam or was an attempt at political correctness. Perhaps the President’s reticence to speak on the true nature of Islam was due to his desire to avoid inflaming the already charged feelings of many about Islam. In any event, truth was and is sacrificed, and the public continues to be fed the false notion that Islam is a peaceful religion.
People who dare to disclose the true nature of Islam run the risk of being castigated as bigots and hatemongers. Yet even a cursory examination of Islam’s history and Islamic texts conclusively proves the exact opposite of peacefulness. Islam was and continues to be a movement of unbridled violence. Islam was forced upon every people at the point of the sword and the imposition of backbreaking jaziyah (poll taxes) levied on those who were spared death and allowed to retain their religious beliefs. In addition to paying heavy jaziyah, the non-Muslims were treated, at best, as second class in their own homelands.
The abominable persecution of non-Muslims in Islamic countries is a standard operating procedure. In many Islamic countries, non-Muslim marriages are not recognized as legal unions, and the children of such couples are stigmatized as bastards. Never mind the fact that Saudi Arabia, the cradle of barbarism, and even Egypt, the more civilized Islamic country and recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid, treat non-Muslims as second class and deprive them of their legitimate human rights. The pundits, the analysts and the politicians are doing a great disservice to the public, each for its own expedient reasons, by parroting the mantra regarding the peaceful nature of Islam. In reality, the so-called small band of Islamic extremists is the true face of Islam.
Admittedly, from time to time and place to place, Muslims have shown a degree of tolerance for the non-Muslims. This tolerance dates back to the very early years of Muhammad himself. Early on, Muhammad proclaimed, “For you, your religion, and for me, my religion.” This assertion lasted but a few years, until Muhammad’s movement gathered strength and Islam became the only alternative to death or heavy taxation. The imposition of jaziyah was a clever ploy for filling the Islamic coffers to support its armies and to finance its further conquests.
A longstanding Islamic practice is to appear to be meek while weak and to assume despotic intolerant power when strong. The recent migration of Muslims to non-Islamic lands began as a seemingly harmless, even useful, trickle of cheap and much-needed labor. Before long, greater and greater numbers of Muslims deluged the new territories, and as they grew in numbers — by means of a high birth rate as well as new arrivals — Muslims began reverting to their intolerant ways, demanding legal status for Sharia (Islamic law), the draconian laws that resemble the laws of humanity’s barbaric past.
Islam is indeed misrepresented. But Islam is not misrepresented by its “detractors.” It is misrepresented by Islamic mercenaries: organizations and individuals generously funded by states as well as wealthy believers, who are making billions of dollars pumping and selling oil at astronomical prices. Prestigious universities in the West, always looking for handouts, are tripping over one another to establish Islamic studies programs staffed by professors who sing the praises of Islam. Newspapers are routinely intimidated by complaints by Islamic associations if they dare to print the truth about Islam. Legions of lawyers, Muslims as well as hired guns, are on the lookout to intimidate and silence any voice speaking the truth about Islam.
The media that falls in line may receive generous advertising revenue and other incentives from Islamic lobbyists. Hence it is a fact that Islam is misunderstood. It is both misunderstood and misrepresented very effectively by non-Muslim individuals and institutions who are generously rewarded by the modern-day Islamic conquerors. This time around, the Muslims are using the  petrodollars they extract from oil-addicted non-Muslims. The sword is temporarily replaced by just as deadly a weapon — the petrodollar. Before long, the Muslims aim to add a deadlier modern version of the sword — the Islamic bomb. With the bomb in one hand and the other hand on the oil spigot, the Muslims hope to bring the non-Muslim world to its knees before the religion of peace and brotherhood.

The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus

The politicization of higher education is a huge societal problem. Even though there is an overwhelming consensus that universities’ ultimate purpose should be a search for the truth and that it is imperative that inquiry and dialogue be kept free and open, this is increasingly not the case. In many departments, acknowledged communists outnumber registered Republicans. Speakers who dissent from the campus orthodoxy are routinely shouted down or chased off campus, faculty hiring committees weed out all dissent, left-wing dogma makes its way into classrooms, and administrations seem increasingly hesitant to resist academia’s most vocal and radical voices.
But that doesn’t mean we have to submit to this assault on the open society. There are also hopeful signs: state legislatures are enacting laws that guarantee free speech and freedom of association, a wide variety of organizations have emerged to combat politicization, and campus goings-on are coming under greater public scrutiny. It may be that the politicization of academia is bottoming out.
And it certainly can’t hurt to keep the pressure on to restore open dialogue and the pursuit of truth. So we asked representatives of some of the leading academic reform organizations for ideas on how to build on recent successes.
Here are their solutions:

To Depoliticize Our Universities, ‘De-Nationalize’ Higher Education
By Tom Lindsay
Director of the Center for Education Innovation at the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Most college graduates above the age of 55 remember that their best teachers refused to allow themselves to be pigeonholed as mere hawkers of one political agenda over another. They refused to do this not because they were politically indifferent, but because they knew that their job was to teach, not indoctrinate. And they knew that teaching and indoctrination are mutually exclusive.
But that was then. Now, ideology disguised as scholarship has attained Delphic Oracle status on a growing number of campuses. (No surprise, then, that surveys find 40 percent of millennials today favor denying the First Amendment’s protections to those whose speech is “offensive.”) If affirmative action for conservative faculty is not the answer (and I do not believe it is the answer), what can be done to reduce the politicization of our campuses?
The only solution that appears consistent with a free society is this: On both constitutional and prudential grounds, what is required to depoliticize our schools are measures that reduce the federal role in higher education. The main way to accomplish this is by making state accreditation sufficient for receipt of funding authorized by Title IV (of the Higher Education Act). Doing so would break the grip of the regional accrediting bodies, which too often have acted as gatekeepers for the higher-education cartel—blocking the entrance of alternative modes of education and therewith stifling needed innovation.
With states in control of Title IV authorization and free to experiment without the federal government imposing conformity on them, the states would become again the laboratories of democracy that the Constitution intends them to be. As a result, innovation would flower again, as states pick and choose from among the pioneering projects conducted by other states.
By returning to a higher education model based on federalism, college students would be able to capitalize on the different offerings that would flower in the 50 states and to receive funds to attend the school and program that best fit their needs.
To be sure, empowering the individual states to certify their schools for receipt of Title IV federal funding would lead some states to adopt less-than-optimal arrangements. When this happens, the other 49 will take heed and not repeat the mistake. A continuous cycle among the states of trial, error, correction, and imitation stands a better chance of yielding needed reforms than top-down edicts from Washington, D.C. In even the worst-case scenario—where a prospective college student lives in a state whose higher education system is fatally politicized—the student is free to attend a more academically serious institution in another state, one that has capitalized on the opportunities provided by a return to state authorization of schools.
The point here is that there will still be other states with genuine universities if they are allowed to forge their own paths. Currently, with higher education increasingly under federal control, all schools, regardless of their state, are becoming ideological echo chambers. With a restoration of constitutional federalism, more students will be empowered to vote with their feet and pocketbooks. Moreover, the states from which they are fleeing will be forced to take note and reform themselves, if only out of economic self-interest.

Making Higher Ed More Accountable Will Lead to a Better Campus Political Climate
By David Randall
Director of Communications at the National Association of Scholars

The one thing legislators should do to depoliticize higher education is to make colleges and universities co-responsible for student loans—the so-called “skin in the game” policy. If these institutions were responsible for some significant amount, say, 30 percent of each student loan—as the National Association of Scholars recommends—they would acquire several incentives to change in positive ways. None of these incentives are directly political, but each of them would reduce the opportunities for the politicization of higher education.
The main incentive is that, if colleges and universities were responsible for loans, they would be encouraged to admit only well-prepared students. Students who aren’t prepared for college are also bad risks for being able to repay a college loan down the road, as they tend to drop out without improving their chances for well-paid employment. And even those who graduate often do so in majors that aren’t much help in the labor market.
So how does that affect politicization? For one thing, colleges that admit fewer badly prepared students—often in need of serious remediation—won’t need to come up with ideological rationalizations to justify the presence of students who shouldn’t be in college.
Secondly, if you decrease the number of remedial students, you also decrease the number of bureaucrats dedicated to retaining unqualified students. First-Year Experience, Student Life, Residential Life, Office of Sustainability, Office of Diversity—all the “co-curricular” bureaucrats justify themselves in good measure as necessary to help retain unqualified students. Since these bureaucrats are heavy drivers of politicization on campus, pruning their numbers—or at least removing the pressure to increase their numbers even further—will reduce the politicization dynamic.
Reducing the number of unqualified students also reduces the incentive to create hollow politicized courses for unqualified students to take. Identities studies courses, civic engagement courses, and the like, all give students credit for saying I Am My Identity—not least to provide a gut course for unprepared students. The faculty who teach such courses are often the most actively radical; their disappearance from the campus will have a positive effect on the intellectual climate.
Additionally, reduce the number of remedial students, and you also reduce the need for communications departments, heavily politicized bastions that smuggle left-wing propaganda into teaching basic writing.
Make colleges and universities co-responsible for student loans and they will also have an incentive to have students learn skills that actually qualify them for well-paying jobs in the workforce. Junk politicized courses, or junk politicization of solid courses, will run up against the incentive of colleges not to lose money. Colleges will also have an incentive to hire competent professors who teach solid skills, rather than politicized faculty or administrators who only offer ideological catechism.
Making colleges co-responsible for student loans won’t be a cure-all. But I can’t think of a single other measure that can do more.

Inoculate Students Against Indoctrination with Proactive Parenting
By Jennifer Kabbany
Editor at The College Fix

Higher education is past the point of no return. Proactive parenting is the only solution.
Anyone who thinks significant higher education curriculum reform is a real possibility hasn’t been paying attention. The inmates are running the asylum. To be sure, there are some good professors doing good work. But they are few and far between, and the humanities are all but lost.
The older generation of leftist professors is retiring, replaced with younger scholars who are even more radical. Indoctrination has replaced teaching in many classes, and entire schools are prioritizing identity politics. The goal of many courses today—whether history, English, political science or any other—is to set young hearts and minds against the principle that America is an exceptional land of opportunity. (Indeed, that expression is a microaggression on most campuses!)
What is to be done? The ultimate solution is not by legislation or trustee strong-arming. And while vocational schooling, tech opportunities, independent entrepreneurship programs, the military, and other pathways offer strong alternatives to the kindergarten-to-university pipeline, they do not fill all of society’s training needs.
Therefore, the postsecondary academic institution will remain a societal backbone, fractured and infected as it is, in the foreseeable future. So we must prepare our youth for the intellectual battle they will face when they enter the higher education arena. That means that proactive parenting is essential. We may not be able to altogether reform higher education, but we can arm our children with facts, awareness, and logical reasoning that will counteract the half-truths and bias lobbed at them by professors.
I can offer a personal anecdote on what arming our kids with knowledge looks like. My son is 18 and a United States Marine. But before he went out to serve and protect this great country, it was my job to be his teacher. No, I didn’t homeschool him. But my husband and I made sure his public-school teachers were not the only ones influencing his intellectual development. Together we watched PragerU videos, Dinesh D’Souza documentaries, and online Hillsdale College lectures. We listened to conservative talk radio. We studied subjects at home such as intelligent design, conservatism, and free-market economics. We connected him with groups like Young America’s Foundation, which offers right-of-center educational high school retreats. Over dinner, we’d ask him what he learned in school and offered counterpoints.
We supplemented his education so he will not be easy prey for a professor with an agenda, if and when the time comes. All parents must do this. We cannot let public schools—and in effect, the government—be our children’s first and only educators.
It’s not just about higher education. The fate of our great nation is at stake. And maybe de-politicization of higher education can start from the bottom up, with students who have been intellectually inoculated by their parents against the academic left’s designs on their minds and souls.

Empower Alumni to Be Independent Voices
By Jay Schalin
Director of Policy Analysis at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal 

One way to push back against politicization is to empower alternative alumni groups. Currently, most official alumni organizations are controlled by their administrations. As a result, some of the most important voices are missing from the governance of the Ivory Tower.
As academia has great influence on society, society should have some say about the direction that influence will take. Too often in recent years, academia leads in a direction that is antithetical to what the nation stands for. Independent alumni organizations are needed to correct this one-sided movement, as they are more connected to the nation as a whole; their diverse ways of engaging the general society can provide a valuable and differing perspective to university governance.
But such independence is not the case today; instead of influencing their campus, they are managed by the school administration. They are fed propaganda (ever look at your alumni magazine?), encouraged to send money and moral support, and kept in the dark about controversial issues.
A few alumni make it onto their school’s governing boards, but often they are handpicked in some political process that ensures they will be subordinate to the administration. (You can see here what happened at Dartmouth when alumni tried to assert themselves). And school surveys of alumni opinions are essentially push-polls intended to produce the results desired by the administration.
As a result, graduates lack any meaningful input into the way their alma mater is run. Which is a problem since they tend to reflect the nation’s true values much more than the faculty or administration. Alumni who are concerned about the direction the administration is taking at their school have little recourse except to make futile individual gestures, such as writing angry letters or withholding donations.
But, imagine if those angry letters or withheld donations were multiplied a thousand-fold? That could be enough to make schools mend their errant ways, at least to some degree.
Furthermore, enabling alternative alumni groups to thrive could disrupt the administration’s control of information. Since individual alumni (or small groups of them) often have deep inside knowledge of the college, they would be able to spread the word rapidly through the alumni network—and from there enter the public arena. In this way, corruption and politicization could be countered.
The process would be simple; any graduate could gather a fair number of alumni signatures and register the group with the school, with reasonable rights and responsibilities spelled out for both parties. Any concerns, such as privacy issues stemming from providing alternative alumni groups with graduates’ contact information, could easily be worked out. For instance, the school could control the contact information for all graduates—but once or twice a year permit the alternative groups to contact them through a listserv. Alumni who wish to be part of the group could provide contact information to the group’s officers.
To see just how beneficial this idea would be, present it to some high-level college or university administrators and watch their heads explode.

Cultivate Capacity for Constructive Disagreement
By Debra Mashek
Executive Director of Heterodox Academy 

Those of us in academia must work to change campus culture from the bottom up to ensure that there is a free and open exchange of ideas. We can best accomplish this by helping students, faculty, and others develop the skills for “constructive disagreement.”
In constructive disagreement, perspectives are raised, considered, and challenged with a shared commitment to mutual inquiry. It is typified by fearless, respectful engagement with others and their ideas. While essential to learning and strong research, constructive disagreement is not easy. It requires a range of cognitive, emotional, and social skills, including intellectual humility, curiosity, resilience, respect, perspective taking, and empathy.
In a world as complex as ours, it is unlikely that any one person holds a full and accurate understanding of problems, much less solutions. Intellectual humility compels us to at least question the completeness of our understanding while curiosity compels us to seek out and to try to understand the views of others. Resilience, in turn, helps individuals depersonalize difference. Resilient individuals are well-practiced at questioning and reframing their initial reactions to critique and challenge, and finding ways to read people and their actions with generosity and compassion.
Respect short circuits the impulse to dehumanize—and thus delegitimize—those who see the world differently. It sets the stage for understanding other perspectives, compelling us to ask how a fellow worthy, reasonable, and well-intentioned person could come to a different conclusion. Understanding how others’ lived experiences have shaped their views results in deeper empathy.
What can those of us charged with realizing the mission of the academy do to cultivate these capacities? Professors can craft their syllabi to signal their expectations that students practice these habits of heart and mind throughout a course. When curating lists of readings, discussion topics, assignments, and guest speakers, instructors should take care to represent a range of viewpoints and to do so with a commitment to depth and accuracy, as opposed to relying on caricatures or generalizations of divergent views. When feasible, co-teach with others who see things differently—both to expose students to viewpoint variance and to model for them how to navigate that variance with aplomb.
Concurrently, campus leadership must be vocal advocates and visible models for constructive disagreement. Sponsor lecture series that explore heterodox ideas. Fund initiatives designed to promote virtuous discourse across constituencies. Include in job ads language that explicitly states viewpoint diversity is welcomed. Hold campus conversations about the values and limits of viewpoint diversity—and do so soon, before your campus experiences a meltdown.
If this seems like too much to tackle, explore the OpenMind Platform, a free, web-based tool based on psychological research that invites users to practice, and thus develop, many of the capacities described above. Adopt it as a common experience for entering first-year students or assign it in any course that explores social and political issues.
While policy interventions may help depolarize campuses, developing the capacity for constructive disagreement among those who make up our complex college communities offers a localized, durable solution.

Focus on Excellence in Education Rather Than Ideological Diversity
By Karen Hyman
Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni

The phrase “viewpoint diversity” has become the locution du jour for what was long called “ideological diversity.” When it comes to the serious ills besetting our universities, calling for any brand of diversity—be it racial, class, gender, or viewpoint—is a common response. But, as a curative for education’s ills, focusing on creating viewpoint or ideological diversity is bound to come up short.
Higher education reformers need to seek practical ways to solve university problems with a return to the liberal arts: the pursuit of truth, the self-critical and self-reflective use of reason, and humane learning balanced by a sense of humility about human limits.
Professor Robert George’s voice reminds us why we need to look beyond viewpoint diversity. His successful Princeton-based James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions is exemplary. At ACTA’s Fund for Academic Renewal (FAR) conference in June 2017, he talked about how the James Madison Center has helped true dialogue flourish at a school which, like most major schools, is predominantly liberal in its faculty and student body.
To cite but one example, Brother Cornel West and Brother George (as these ideological opposites call themselves with genuine warmth) have come together across their ideological divide for intellectual dialogue. In his remarks to the FAR participants, he emphasized that the Madison Center and similar programs whose aims are commonly thought to be about welcoming more diverse viewpoints were not designed to provide “affirmative action for conservatives.”
That is exactly right. What is needed most is not affirmative action or mandates for viewpoint diversity embracing conservatives, libertarians, Marxists, and free-market thinkers. Instead, we need to build frameworks that will promote the best of the liberal arts, such as more centers like George’s that encourage the free exchange of ideas and help cultivate the kind of education that bolsters truth-seeking activities.
Finally, educators and students should take heart in how educational entrepreneurs are developing innovative ways to help students conduct civil, intellectual dialogue on serious political issues. For example, ACTA has begun working with Better Angels, founded in 2016 as a non-partisan organization dedicated to reuniting our divided country. Together, we are working to help the “better angels of our nature” flourish on college campuses through student-led debates that maintain civility on highly polarizing topics. As a perennial student of the liberal arts, and now as an ACTA leader helping universities flourish in ways well beyond mere diversity, I’m pleased to join with the Martin Center and other education leaders to look at liberal education with fresh eyes for its eternal relevance and practical import on our campuses.
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Becoming a Supreme Court justice is an attorney’s dream. It’s getting there, Brett Kavanaugh will tell you, that’s a nightmare.

Conservatives Looking for Justice in Kavanaugh

September 26, 2018

Becoming a Supreme Court justice is an attorney’s dream. It’s getting there, Brett Kavanaugh will tell you, that’s a nightmare. The father of two girls has endured more than his share in a vicious confirmation fight that ought to scare everyone about the state of American politics.
Senate Democrats have resorted to mudslinging, harassment, and now lawsuits to get their way on a confirmation pick that the American people knowingly handed to the president in the election of 2016. Kavanaugh’s family has had to sit through horrible allegations about a man who’s been widely considered one of the most respected people in the legal profession. Still, liberals, still angry about the courage Majority Leader Mitch McConnell showed in not considering Merrick Garland, are out for blood — and they’ll do anything to stop Kavanaugh from becoming the court’s next justice.
Earlier today, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) took the circus to a whole new level, announcing his intent to sue the Democrats’ way to success in stopping the Kavanaugh vote. “The unprecedented obstruction of the Senate’s advice and consent obligation is an assault on the separation of powers and a violation of the Constitution.” It’s the latest in a series of ridiculous stunts the Left is willing to try in blocking a good judge from the promotion he deserves.
Yesterday, on “Washington Watch,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could only shake his head at the absurdity of it all. “I’ve been a lawyer most of my adult life,” he told our listeners. “I’ve been a judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney, and here’s what I can say without any doubt: The allegations against Judge Kavanaugh are 35 years old. They can’t identify the time they happened or the location, and the people who were supposedly there denied that it happened. And with that fact pattern, you couldn’t get a warrant, much less take this to court.”
Like most Republicans, he’s promising an open mind when Kavanaugh’s accuser comes to testify this week.

“I will take the allegation, scrutinize it, and be respectful of the accuser — but [h]ere’s what I’ve learned. If you’re a creep, you’ve abused women, if you’re a sexual predator — it happens a lot throughout your life. You don’t just do it for a little period of time and quit… Kavanaugh… has been in legal circles at the highest levels of government for 20 years. Not one woman has said he’s done anything inappropriate toward them when he was in charge of their careers… There would be more accusations about his workplace behavior [if this were true] and it’s not.”

But, he warned, just look at what happened to Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. “There’s a pattern here,” he warned. “If you want to destroy someone, it doesn’t matter what you do and how you do it.” What’s more outrageous, Senator Graham points out is the Democrats’ double standard. “I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan because I thought they were qualified. I would not have chosen them if I’d been president. But elections matter — except when it comes to us. When we win, it doesn’t matter. You can do anything to our people. I’ve never been more disgusted with the committee than I am right now. The games they play to put us in this box are unconscionable.”
But if it’s voters Democrats are trying to appeal to with these shenanigans, strategist Chris Wilson explained later, they’re blowing it. “This entire situation has become a net-plus for Republicans,” he said. “The sheer audacity of the Democrats… what it is showing the American people and voters is exactly who the modern Democratic party is… What it’s doing is putting one of the biggest drivers of 2016 — [the courts] — back into play as a key issue.” They see it as a manufactured controversy — the same kind the media uses against President Trump. They’re sick of it. If anything, Chris said, it’s “creating a turnout enthusiasm for Republicans.”
“Democrats have seriously overplayed their hand on this.” But unfortunately for Brett, the Kavanaughs are paying the price.

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


NUKE TIMELINE GONE: At a freewheeling, hour-and-20-minute-long news conference to close his time at the U.N., Trump indicated he has no deadline for when he wants North Korea to denuclearize.  Trump said he does not want to “play the time game” with North Korea, adding he doesn’t care if it takes years for the rogue country to denuclearization.
“I don’t want to get into the time game,” Trump said at a press conference in New York as he ended his visit to the United Nations General Assembly. “We’re not playing the time game. If it takes two years, three years or five months, doesn’t matter. There’s no nuclear testing and there’s no testing of rockets.”
The difference: Administration officials have previously said they were aiming for North Korea to take major steps toward denuclearization by the end of Trump’s first term.  In a statement last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the goal is to have a denuclearization deal by January 2021.  On Monday, though, asked how long it would take to know whether negotiations were working, Pompeo said that “to set a date certain would be foolish.”
On Wednesday, Trump said he told Pompeo not to “get into the time game.”
Pompeo visit: Earlier Wednesday, the State Department announced Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang next month to plan a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  Pompeo accepted invitation from Kim during his Wednesday meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
“Secretary Pompeo accepted Chairman Kim’s invitation to travel to Pyongyang next month to make further progress on the implementation of the commitments from the U.S.-DPRK Singapore summit, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, and to prepare for a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name.
Military exercises: In his news conference, Trump also touched on the canceled military exercises that a top general said Tuesday has caused a “slight degradation” in readiness.  Critics have slammed Trump for giving North Korea unilateral concessions, including canceling the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.  Trump said Wednesday he was looking at canceling the exercises for a while, reiterating his criticism that they were too costly. The Pentagon has said the exercises would have cost about $14 million, a fraction of its $700 billion budget.
“If you asked [Defense Secretary] Gen. [James] Mattis, for a year and a half, I said, ‘Why don’t we stop these ridiculous, in my opinion, the military games,” he said. “Frankly, I told South Korea you should be paying for these games.”

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