“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before,” writes columnist Paul Mulshine.
“Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore walked into a brothel … and then he walked right back out.”
“That’s the account I got from Bill Staehle, a lawyer living in Asbury Park [N.J.] who served in Vietnam with Moore in the early 1970s,” Mulshine continued.
Mulshine spoke to Staehle after the attorney wrote a recent open letter to Alabama voters relating his knowledge of Moore’s character. Staehle, now 70, knew Moore from a base just outside Da Nang. Both men were captains in the 504th Military Police Battalion at the time.
Staehle considers Moore a man of sterling integrity, writing, “I served with Roy Moore in Vietnam in 1971-72, where I knew him to be an altogether honorable, decent, respectable, and patriotic commander and soldier.” One incident in particular, however, stands out in his mind. As he related in his open letter:
While in Vietnam, there came a time when another officer invited Roy and me to go with him into town after duty hours for a couple of beers. That officer had just returned from an assignment in Quang Tri Province north of Danang, and we were interested to learn of his experiences.
I had not met him before, and I don’t believe Roy had either. On other occasions with other officers, we would go to the officers’ club at the air force base, but on this occasion, he told us he knew of another place in town.
When we arrived at the place and went inside, it was clear to Roy and me that he had taken us to a brothel. That officer appeared to know people there, as he was greeted by one or two young women in provocative attire.
The place was plush. There were other American servicemen there. Alcohol was being served. There were plenty of very attractive young women clearly eager for an intimate time.
In less time than it took any of the women to approach us, Roy turned to me and said words to this effect, “We shouldn’t be here. I am leaving.”
Moore and Staehle, just 24 years old at the time, did in fact leave.
Staehle doesn’t believe the allegations against the Senate candidate. And while he hadn’t heard from his old buddy in years since Vietnam, his letter prompted a call from Moore. As Staehle related to Mulshine, “He said to me, ‘Bill, I’m telling you, these allegations are not true.’”
This satisfied Staehle. As he put it, “You don’t lie to a guy you went to war with.”
Nonetheless, Staehle has more informing his opinion than just a brother-in-arms bond. He has his experience, too, having been a lawyer for 42 years and currently supervising 44 attorneys in his position at a major insurance company. And this background causes him to wonder about one of Moore’s accusers, Leigh Corfman, who claimed Moore behaved inappropriately with her when she was 14. Referring to a recent televised interview with her on the Today Show, Staehle told Mulshine, “I know when somebody is meticulously prepared and when the witness is using words that don’t seem to suit where she’s coming from…. I prepare witnesses as well as depose witnesses. It was clear she was very well prepared.”
Staehle said that this doesn’t mean Corfman is or isn’t lying. But with “‘the passage of time, the story changes,’ he said. ‘I see that in my litigation all the time. People exaggerate things. They add to the story,’” related Mulshine.
In fact, it seems much has been “added” to the Moore allegations. Last week I reported on how the claims of Moore’s most damning accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, have apparently unraveled; most notably, Nelson and her attorney, Gloria Allred, have refused to allow the third-party analysis of a signed yearbook entry they claimed is Moore’s but that is now widely considered a forgery. In fact, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who lost to Moore in the GOP primary, thus asserts and says that Nelson is “clearly a liar.”
Brooks isn’t the only one making this claim. Nelson’s stepson, Darrel Nelson, said that his stepmother’s allegations are “100 percent a lie.”
Nelson is not the only accuser whose credibility has been called into question, or who may have an axe to grind. Tina Johnson, who claims the judge grabbed her buttocks in 1991, was unable to wrest custody of her 12-year-old son away from her mother, Mary Katherine Cofield, who had hired Moore to help her obtain permanent custody of the boy. Johnson has had drug problems and once pled guilty to felony fraud for check forgery.
Then there’s ex-Gadsden, Alabama, police officer Faye Gary, who claimed she’d been told to watch Moore in the late ’70s and keep him away from “cheerleaders” but then admitted she was just relating “rumor.” Not only did my news-making conversation with her reveal that she’s a staunch anti-Moore ideologue, but she also reportedly has ties to the drug-dealing underworld. Her two sons, who have different last names, both were arrested for distributing illegal drugs; one was shot to death before he could go to trial while the other is currently in a federal penitentiary, reported One America News Network.
Perhaps even more telling, Gary’s brother, Jimmy Wright, was arrested in 1981 for distributing controlled substances — and Roy Moore was the prosecutor in his case.
In fact, with Moore’s senatorial opponent being far-left Democrat Doug Jones, who’s pro-prenatal infanticide, pro-“transgender” agenda and pro-amnesty, it just may be that the judge is one of the only people of integrity in this sorry saga. This would include the politicians, Democrat and Republican, who’ve condemned him. As Mulshine put it, “If elected, Moore will be the first senator in memory to have eyewitness evidence that he exited a brothel without having sex. That may not sound like much. But by Beltway standards, it’s a lot.”
For sure. And the only question remaining is whether Alabamans will be stopped from electing a man who stands above the Beltway by a focus on matters originating below the belt.
New York, 3 October 1789
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Innumerable blessings have been bestowed upon the United States of America. Concerning these blessings President Lincoln wrote: “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” President Lincoln went on to set apart the last Thursday of November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”1
While President Lincoln established America’s official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, it was the Pilgrims who first celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in this land in 1621 and who set an example that many followed in the succeeding years.2
As the Pilgrims gathered their harvest in the autumn of 1621 and looked back over the preceding year, they had so much for which to be thankful that they decided to set aside a day of Thanksgiving unto God, Whom they acknowledged as the Giver of all blessings and the only reason for their survival. It was indeed a miracle that they did survive their first year in the wilderness of New England and had a good harvest. Desire for a home where they could freely worship God, and the desire to “propagate… the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ” and be stepping stones for others to do the same, motivated a band of Christians later called Pilgrims) to set out on a hazardous voyage to plant a colony in the new world of America.
After sixty-six perilous days at sea, where the storms were so great that they were blown unknowingly hundreds of miles north of their intended destination, they reached Cape Cod. The captain attempted to sail south to Virginia, but the weather forced them to settle in New England. They later learned that the site they chose for a settlement – Plymouth – had been the home of the Patuxet Indians. Had they arrived a few years earlier, there would have been no place for them to settle, but a plague had mysteriously wiped out the Patuxet tribe in 1617, and no other tribe would settle in the area for fear of the same thing occurring to them.
Winter had already set in as they started to build houses to protect themselves from the unrelenting cold. Scurvy and other diseases began to infect the settlers due to the long voyage, lack of provisions, and unaccommodating conditions People began to die so rapidly that in two or three months’ time only half of the original 102 persons remained. While this was quite a tragedy, they still fared much better than the early settlers at Jamestown, who saw nine out of ten persons die in the first years of colonization.
During this dark winter in America, the Christian character of the Pilgrims shone brightly. At the time of greatest distress, there were only six or seven persons strong enough to move about. With the sick they “spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes clothed and unclothed them; in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren. A rare example and worthy to be remembered.”3
Though half of their number survived, the prospects of the coming year looked very bleak – they were surrounded by Indians, some hostile, they were short of food and supplies, and they knew little of how to survive in the American wilderness. But to their astonishment, and gratitude to God, an English-speaking Indian named Squanto came among them, took them under his care, and taught them how to survive in the new land.
He showed them how to plant corn, assuring its growth by setting it with fish; he taught them how to catch fish and the times when they could find the creeks stocked with fish (for the Pilgrims had only caught one cod in the preceding four months); he taught them to stalk deer, plant pumpkins, find berries, and catch beaver, whose pelts proved to be their economic deliverance.
Squanto was also helpful in securing a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and surrounding Indian tribes, which lasted over fifty years. In the words of William Bradford, “Squanto… was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”4 His life story is amazing in itself.
In 1605, Squanto, a member of the Patuxet Indian tribe, was captured by an English explorer and taken to England. He remained there nine years, during which time he learned to speak English. In 1614, Captain John Smith took him back to New England, but shortly after this he was again taken captive and sold into slavery at a port in Spain. Providentially, some local friars bought and rescued him.
From Spain, he eventually went to England where he remained until 1619, when he obtained passage back to his home in New England. As Squanto went ashore at what was to become Plymouth, he found his entire tribe had been killed by a plague. He was the only survivor of the Patuxet tribe. Joining himself to a nearby tribe, he remained there until the spring of 1621 when he joined himself with the Pilgrims, determining to see them survive at the place where his tribe had not.5
Thanks to God, his instrument Squanto, and the character and determination of the Pilgrims, half of them had survived an unimaginably difficult first year. Moreover, they harvested a sufficient food supply for their second winter at Plymouth. Even though there was no surplus food, things looked much better than the preceding winter.
Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving and invited the nearby Wampanoag Indians (Squanto’s adopted tribe) to celebrate and give thanks unto God with them. Chief Massasoit and ninety of his men came and feasted with the Pilgrims. They ate deer, turkey, fish, lobster, eels, vegetables, corn bread, herbs, berries, pies, and the Indians even taught the Pilgrims how to make popcorn. The Pilgrims and Indians also competed in running, wrestling, and shooting games. Massasoit enjoyed himself so much that he and his men stayed for three days.6 It is easy to see where the American tradition of feasting at Thanksgiving began.
While many people today follow the Pilgrim’s example of feasting at Thanksgiving, they too often ignore the entire reason that the Pilgrims set aside a special day – that was to give thanks to Almighty God and acknowledge their utter dependence upon Him for their existence. While many today take ease in having plenty, never seeing a need to cry out to God, the Pilgrims relied upon God in their lack and thanked Him in their abundance. Their trust was in God and not in their abundant provisions. This was seen even more fully in the two years following their first Thanksgiving.
Shortly after their Thanksgiving celebration, thirty-five new persons unexpectedly arrived who planned to remain and live at Plymouth. These being family and friends brought much rejoicing, but when they found out they had no provisions it also brought a soberness. Yet their reliance was upon God, so they gladly shared their food, clothing, and homes. With the new additions, their food, even at half allowance for each person, would last six months at most.
Their provisions had almost completely run out when they spied a boat in May of 1622. They hoped the English Company who had sponsored their colonizing Plymouth had sent provisions; however, this boat not only did not bring any food (nor the hope of any), but seven more hungry people to stay in Plymouth. In their extreme hunger, as in times of plenty, they put their complete trust in God to provide.
No one starved to death yet, it would be over a year before famine was completely removed from their midst. During that time there were many days where they “had need to pray that God would give them their daily bread above all people in the world.”7
That spring and summer of 1622 God miraculously fed them, even as the ravens fed Elijah in the wilderness. He provided because the Pilgrims had determined to walk in the way of their Lord Jesus. This was most evident in early summer when sixty “lusty” men (as Bradford called them) came to them for help. Even though these men showed no gratitude, the Pilgrims still gladly took care of them, for many were sick. They gave them housing and shared their meager provisions. This they did for almost the entire summer until the men left.
Like the year before, the harvest of 1622 proved insufficient to meet the Pilgrims’ needs. Outside help appeared doubtful, so the Pilgrims considered how they could produce a larger harvest. Through God’s wisdom they chose to replace the collective farming they had practiced the two preceding years (being imposed upon them by their sponsoring company) with individual farming, assigning to every family a parcel of land.
Bradford wrote: “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than other wise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use… and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and.”8 As they were freed from economic communism and entered into individual enterprise, abundance began to come upon these people.
The Pilgrims learned the hard way that communism doesn’t work, even among a covenant community. Bradford wrote that “the experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos & other ancients, applauded by some of later times; – that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”9
The Pilgrims’ hard work, resulting from them being able to directly benefit from the fruit of their labors, caused them to plant about six times more crops than the previous year. While labor certainly increases our prosperity, there are other factors. God wanted the Pilgrims to never forget that it is the Lord that gives men the power to get substance or wealth (Deut. 8:18).
The Pilgrims had great hopes for a large crop, yet as Bradford wrote, “the Lord seemed to blast, & take away the same, and to threaten further & more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat (for the most part) insomuch as the corn began to wither away.”10
In response to this, “they set a part a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble & fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was dear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn & other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.”11
An Indian named Hobamak who witnessed this event said to a Pilgrim: “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.”12
The harvest of 1623 brought plenty to each person, with the more industrious having excess to sell to others. From the time they started a biblical economic system, no famine or general want ever again existed among them.
That autumn of 1623, the Pilgrims again set apart a day of Thanksgiving unto God. They had much to give thanks for and knew Who to acknowledge.
Each year when we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the heritage of that day and why the Pilgrims, as well as President Lincoln set aside a day of Thanksgiving. In the words of Lincoln, proclaiming the second National Thanksgiving Day: this is “a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”13
- A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. 8 (New York: Bureau of National Literature, Inc., 1897), p. 3374.
- Some colonists in Virginia actually observed the first Thanksgiving celebration in America. This occurred at the Berkeley plantation in 1619. It is the Pilgrims, however, who provide us with the tradition of a Thanksgiving celebration. Lincoln’s proclamation for a day of thanksgiving was certainly not a new event in our history, for various colonies, congresses, and presidents have made many such proclamations throughout our history.
- William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation (Boston: Wright & Porter Printing, 1901), p. 111. Spelling has been changed to modern usage in this and the other quotes from Bradford.
- Ibid., p. 116.
- Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory (Old Tappon, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1977), pp. 130-132. See also, Bradford, pp. 116-117; and Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims of Plymouth (Plymouth, MA: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1985), p. 48.
- Mourt’s Relation, pp. 72-73; Marshall and Manuel, pp. 135-136; see also, The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, by the editors of American Heritage (New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1961), pp. 102-103.
- Bradford, p. 164.
- Ibid., p. 162.
- Ibid., p. 163.
- Ibid, p. 170.
- Ibid., p. 170-171.
- Nathaniel Morton, New England Memorial, pp. 64-65.
- Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. 8, pp. 3429-3430.
Statues Represent History and Provide Lessons To Be Learned – Good Or Bad Statue of Controversial Surgeon to Be Moved From Central Park Alicia Ault January 17, 2018 The statue of gynecologic surgeon J. Marion Sims, MD — steeped in … Continue reading
Thank you Mr. President for honoring your oath of office by protecting and defending the original intention of the Constitution of the United States of America!
November 13, 2017
If Republicans don’t appreciate Donald Trump now, they will later. That’s when his biggest accomplishment — the courts — will reap the most rewards. For the last 10 months, the White House has been working at a frantic pace to confirm originalist judges, a quest that’s not only making history — but securing it.
Not since Richard Nixon has any president moved faster or more strategically on judicial nominees than Donald Trump. And while the Supreme Court is what captures most people’s attention, the real work is being done a step below — on the appellate level. That’s where, experts say, the real genius comes in.
In a fascinating article, even the New York Times can’t help but notice (with reluctant admiration) how the Trump team has intentionally gone about balancing the courts from the Obama years. “There has never been anything like what we’ve been able to do together with judges,” the president said recently. He’s right. By filling the appellate courts with constitutionalists, Trump’s team is making sure that Americans get a fair shake from the judges who hand down the majority of the country’s rulings. As the Times points out, “The 12 regional appeals courts wield profound influence over Americans’ lives, getting the final word on about 60,000 cases a year that are not among the roughly 80 the Supreme Court hears.”
While most of the country only tunes in to the SCOTUS fights, the reality is that most of these hot-button issues are being decided in the circuit courts below. That makes the president’s focus all the more important. In its interesting article, “Trump is rapidly reshaping the judiciary. Here’s how,” the Times explains that this plan dates back to last year, when legal experts huddled to talk about a “secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges.” With the help of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Republicans have delivered plenty of victories on that front, confirming eight — with more on the horizon. Thanks to Grassley, the Senate has kept up with the White House’s frantic pace, despite the Democrats’ stalling tactics.
And while the GOP is used to obstruction from Democrats, it was surprised to see some from its own party. For reasons few understand, Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) is standing in the way of Trump’s ninth federal court win — Kyle Duncan, the White House’s pick for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a rare move, the senator from my home state refuses to endorse Duncan, a man many call a “conservative superstar.” As a solicitor general and law firm partner, he expertly tackled some of the most difficult issues, including marriage, the HHS mandate, bathroom bills, and gender identity. The Judicial Crisis Network calls him “one of the best lawyers of his generation.” I would hope that Senator Kennedy would join his fellow Republicans in moving on Duncan’s confirmation — and send another stellar judge to the bench.
In the meantime, conservatives who said the courts were the deciding factor in the 2016 elections have to be happy with the results. Even the New York Times can’t help but notice: “Mr. Trump is poised to bring the conservative legal movement… to a new peak of influence over American law and society.”
For more on the president’s judicial accomplishments (and otherwise), cut through the fake news with this Daily Wire’s column, “Trump’s First Year in Office Has Been Wildly Successful.”
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Branden Camp / Stringer
November 10, 2017
A full 365 days of covfefe have passed since Hillary Clinton grudgingly conceded the 2016 presidential election. According to Democrat press releases and the mainstream media — but I repeat myself — the nation lies in ruins. Reality tells a different story.
On the economic front, consumer confidence has hit its highest level in 17 years. Over one million jobs have been created. The post-election stock market rally is the second largest since the Kennedy administration. The destructive tariffs and trade wars conservatives feared have not materialized. Tax reform awaits congressional Republicans’ whipping the votes.
On the so-called social issues, Trump repealed the Obama mandate that forced states to fund Planned Parenthood, and he reinstated the Mexico City Policy that protects U.S. taxpayers from having to fund abortions overseas. Unlike his predecessor, Trump has refrained from refashioning the White House into a giant glowing rainbow to celebrate activist judges’ abuse of the Constitution. Quite to the contrary, Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, an originalist justice in the tradition Antonin Scalia. He’s also appointed 12 other textualist judges to the lower courts, and many others who await confirmation.
On immigration, President Trump has added more agents to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He’s expanded deportation priorities, moved to end Barack Obama’s executive amnesty program DACA, and signed an executive order directing the Justice Department to defund sanctuary cities. As a result, illegal immigration rates across our southern border have dropped to a 45-year low, according to the acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. On corruption, Trump has imposed a five-year ban on lobbying the government by former White House officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments by former White House officials.
On foreign policy, while we were promised President Trump would recklessly plunge us into nuclear war, instead he’s wrangled trade concessions and collaboration on North Korea out of China. Trump ably handled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s chemical test of American resolve five years after Barack Obama failed to follow American threats with action. Trump oversaw the return of American high school student Otto Warmbier from North Korea, dropped the “Mother Of All Bombs” on ISIS, over which Syria just yesterday declared victory. He approved the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines after years of Obama-era red tape and pulled the United States out of the environmentally ineffectual Paris Climate Accord. Obama’s strategies of “strategic patience” in North Korea and “leading from behind” in the Middle East are finished.
On the environment, at the EPA Scott Pruitt has overturned 52 burdensome regulations. While a net 13,000 new federal restrictions have been added annually for the past 20 years, under Trump, the number of net new regulations sits around zero. The New York Times, a “former newspaper”, summed it up in May: “Trump Discards Obama Legacy, One Rule at a Time,” including Barack Obama’s disastrous so-called Clean Power Plan, which as the Heritage Foundation explains, would have resulted in higher energy prices, fewer jobs, less growth; disproportionately hurt poor families; and offered virtually no environmental benefit.
Most important of all, Trump has cracked the patina of credibility that Democrat operatives masquerading as journalists once enjoyed and “sophisticated” Republicans once indulged. As a result, nearly two-thirds of Americans now recognize that mainstream outlets shill for Democrats rather than present unbiased reporting. And Hollywood lies in rubble as the preening moralizers who hold their countrymen in contempt are caught, literally, with their pants down.
All in all, an unexpectedly covfefe year. And if you’ve enjoyed all of these improvements — the protection of our First and Second Amendment from the claws of Hillary’s Supreme Court pick, less government, more freedom, and credibility abroad — thank a Trump voter.
On OCTOBER 15, 1788, James Madison warned:
“As the COURTS are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was NEVER intended and can NEVER be proper.”
On OCTOBER 15, 1991, the U.S. Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas as a Justice on the Supreme Court.
When questioned during the hearings by Senator Thurmond regarding judicial activism, Clarence Thomas replied:
“The role of a judge is a limited one. It is to … interpret the Constitution, where called upon, but AT NO POINT to impose his or her will or … opinion in that process.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804:
“Nothing in the Constitution has given them (judges) a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them …
The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional … not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive … would make the judiciary a DESPOTIC BRANCH.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary included in it definition of “Despotic”:
“DESPOTIC: ABSOLUTE and ARBITRARY AUTHORITY … Absolute in power … Arbitrary in the exercise of power … Unlimited and uncontrolled by men, constitution or laws, and depending alone on the will of the despot.”
Thomas Jefferson to William Jarvis, September 28, 1820:
“You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the DESPOTISM of an oligarchy …”
“Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so …. and their power (is) the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.
The Constitution has erected NO SUCH SINGLE TRIBUNAL, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become DESPOTS.”
President William Henry Harrison warned in his Inaugural Address, 1841:
“The great danger to our institutions does … appear to me to be … the accumulation in one of the departments of that which was assigned to others. Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a DESPOTISM if concentrated in one of the departments.”
World War I fighter Ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who was owner of the Indianapolis Speedway and Eastern Airlines, told the Chicago Economic Club in 1961 (Eddie Rickenbacker: An American Hero in the Twentieth Century, by W. David Lewis, The John Hopkins University Press, 2005):
“Every time the liberals discover a brand new misinterpretation of the Constitution, every time they invent a new way to circumvent the constitutional limits of the Federal power, they pile up more power in Washington at the expense of individual liberty across the land.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, 1835, warned:
“The President, who exercises a limited power, may err without causing great mischief in the State. Congress may decide amiss without destroying the Union, because the electoral body in which Congress originates may cause it to retract its decision by changing its members. But IF THE SUPREME COURT is ever composed of IMPRUDENT MEN or BAD CITIZENS, the Union may be plunged into ANARCHY or CIVIL WAR.”
The Union was plunged into a Civil War by Democrat appointed Justice Roger Taney, who gave the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857 that slaves were not citizens, but property.
President Abraham Lincoln alluded to this decision in his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861:
“I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court … The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made … THE PEOPLE will have CEASED to be THEIR OWN RULERS, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of the eminent tribunal.”
Jefferson warned Mr. Hammond in 1821:
“The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in … the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body … working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be USURPED from the States.”
Jefferson lamented, September 6, 1819:
“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
Jefferson explained to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson, June 12, 1823:
“On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be SQUEEZED OUT out of the text, or INVENTED AGAINST IT, conform to the probable one in which it was passed … But the Chief Justice says, ‘There must be an ULTIMATE ARBITER somewhere.’ True, there must … The ULTIMATE ARBITER is THE PEOPLE.””
The Tennessee Supreme Court stated in Carden v. Bland, March 9, 1956:
“Great stress is laid upon the need of maintaining the doctrine of ‘separation of church and state’ … but it should not be tortured into a meaning that was never intended by the Founders of this Republic, with the result that the public school system of the several states is to be made a Godless institution.”
Baron Montesquieu, the most quoted writer by the Framers of the Constitution, warned of the dangers of uncontrolled judicial power in his Spirit of the Laws, 1748:
“Nor is there liberty if the power of JUDGING is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the JUDGE would be the legislator. If it were joined to executive power, the JUDGE could have the force of an oppressor. ALL WOULD BE LOST if the same … body of men … exercised these three powers.”
Mercy Otis Warren in wrote in Observations on the new Constitution, & on the Federal and State Conventions, 1788:
“The origin of all power is in the people … They have an incontestable right to check the creatures of their own creation … And if certain selected bodies of men … determine contrary to the wishes and expectations of their constituents, the people have an undoubted right to reject their decisions.”
Regarding the danger of concentrated power, Colonial leader John Cotton stated:
“For WHATEVER transcendent POWER IS GIVEN, will certainly OVER-RUN those that GIVE IT … It is necessary therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited.”
James Madison stated at the Constitutional Convention, 1787:
“All men having POWER ought to be distrusted.”
John Adams wrote in his Notes from an oration at Braintree, Massachusetts, Spring 1772:
“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with the power to endanger the public liberty.”
President George Washington stated in his Farewell Address, September 17, 1796:
“And of fatal tendency … to put, in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party – often a small but artful and enterprising minority …
They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to SUBVERT the POWER OF THE PEOPLE and to USURP for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
President Andrew Jackson, July 10, 1832, stated in his Bank Renewal Bill Veto:
“It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a CONCENTRATION OF POWER in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people. Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power.”
James Madison summed up the dilemma in Federalist Paper #51:
“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
President Andrew Jackson stated in his Seventh Annual Message, December 7, 1835:
“All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power, and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it.”
Lord Acton, April 5, 1887, wrote in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton:
“All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
President Woodrow Wilson stated in 1912:
“Concentration of power always precedes the destruction of human liberties.”
Yale President Ezra Stiles stated in 1783:
“Most states of all ages … have been founded in rapacity, usurpation and injustice …
The Nimrods … (were) the first invading tyrants of the ancient ages … The spirit of conquest had changed the first governments …
All succeeding ones have in general proved one continued series of injustice, which has reigned in all countries for almost 4,000 years.”
Boasting of concentrated power, King James I told Parliament in 1609:
“Kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself they are called gods …
Kings are compared to the head … of the body of man …
It is sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power …
The king is overlord of the whole land, so is he master over every person that inhabiteth the same, having power over the life and death of every one of them … so the power flows always from himself.”
France’s Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” reportedly stated:
“It is legal because I wish it.”
“I am the State” (“L’État, c’est moi”).
Santa Anna declared himself Mexico’s dictator-for-life and insisted he be addressed by the title “Most Serene Highness.” He wrote to U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett:
“A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty … a despotism is the proper government for them.”
Franklin Roosevelt stated of Stalin, February 10, 1940:
“The Soviet Union … is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.”
Describing America’s colonial founding, President Franklin Roosevelt stated in 1939:
“Rulers … increase(d) their power over the common men. The seamen they sent to find gold found instead the way of escape for the common man from those rulers.”
Yale President Ezra Stiles stated in 1783:
“All the forms of civil polity have been tried by mankind, except one: and that seems to have been reserved in Providence to be realized in America.”
President Millard Fillmore, December 6, 1852, explained of America’s founding freedoms:
“They were planted in the free charters of self-government under which the English colonies grew up …
European nations have had no such training for self-government, and every effort to establish it by bloody revolutions has been, and must without that preparation continue to be, a failure.”
President Franklin Pierce stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1853:
“The dangers of a CONCENTRATION OF ALL POWER in the General government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded …
Liberty rests upon a proper distribution of power between the State and Federal authorities.”
President William Henry Harrison stated in his Inaugural, March 4, 1841:
“The TENDENCY OF POWER TO INCREASE ITSELF, particularly when exercised by a single individual … would terminate in virtual monarchy.”
President Harry S Truman stated April 3, 1951:
“Without a firm moral foundation, freedom degenerates quickly into selfishness and … anarchy. Then there will be freedom only for the rapacious and … more unscrupulous than the rank and file of the people.”
President James Monroe stated in his Inaugural 1817:
“When the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate … they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. USURPATION is then an easy attainment, and an USURPER soon found.”
President George Washington stated in his Farewell Address, 1796:
“USURPATION … though … in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
Secretary of State Daniel Webster stated in 1852:
“Are we of this generation so derelict, have we so little of the blood of our revolutionary fathers coursing through our veins, that we cannot preserve, what they achieved?
The world will cry out ‘shame’ upon us, if we show ourselves unworthy, to be the descendants of those great and illustrious … men, who fought for their liberty, and secured it to their posterity, by the Constitution of the United States …”
“The Constitution has enemies, secret and professed …
Friends of the Constitution must rally and unite …
I hardly know … the manner of our political death …
We shall die no lingering death … An earthquake would shake the foundations of the globe, pull down the pillars of heaven, and bury us at once in endless darkness. May I never live, to see that day!
May I not survive to hear any apocalyptic angel, crying through the heavens, with such a voice as announced the fall of Babylon.”
Lies and Deceptions Accompanying Atrocity
Repeating the statement from our article on The Myth That Climate Change Created Harvey, Irma, “The [mass slaughter in Las Vegas] drew the liberal elite, pundits, and politicians out of their holes. Spewing the continuous lies and deceptions promoting their liberal agenda, they again ignore [truth, reality,] and valid history.”. Following the horrible tragedy accompanying the sounds of evil raining down on the innocent in Las Vegas, the same irrational voices, moving beyond reason, place blame on the weapons used to commit crimes rather than the cause of the evils that have plagued humanity throughout history.
Stephen Paddock is a perfect example of why gun control legislation or any attempt to legislate morality will never work. He was entirely off the grid. More, all studies have shown that criminals obtain illegal weapons illegally. How hard is that to understand???? Hitler’s medical experiment atrocities pale compared to partial birth abortion!!!!!
Confirming their unjust, morally bankrupt political agendas promoting their attack on America, those who choose to ignore truth and reality continue to try to blame the President for even this. As God used Cyrus, the President elected by a political miracle has attempted to keep every promise he made to the American people during his campaign. His fight with the political establishment, both Republican and Democrat, in his attempt to “drain the swamp” is only partially reflective of the intention of the moral majority electing him trying to free itself from the slavery of the culture of unrighteousness corrupting and contaminating this one Nation under God.
2 October, 2017
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get”, Hillary Clinton tweeted, adding, “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again”.
The horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas began around 10 p.m. local time, or 1 a.m. EST. Eight hours later, Clinton dropped her tweets.
And she wasn’t the only one to quickly promote gun control in light of the terrible news about the shooting, which has left at least 58 dead and another 500 wounded.
While the facts are still entirely unsettled as of this writing, that didn’t stop gun control activists from immediately jumping to conclusions or answers on how to fix everything.
And while too little is known about the Las Vegas shooting to make judgments about what could or could not have prevented it, the reality is that gun ownership does not lead to more crime in the United States.
Yet, in the chaotic wake of the horrific mass shooting that took the lives of at least 50 in Las Vegas, proponents of gun control quickly turned the event to fit their agenda.
For instance, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., accused those who didn’t act on shootings of “cowardice.”
Other lawmakers on the left weighed in as well. And, there were numerous other hot takes from nonelected politicos and celebrities that veered into various levels of blaming gun rights supporters for allowing events like Las Vegas to happen.
And all of this before even the most basic facts have been ascertained. The Associated Press reported that ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting, but the FBI says there is no connection. The details of the case are simply a confusing mess and it is difficult to ascertain the shooter’s motives, how he acquired the firearm(s), or even what firearm(s) he used to conduct the attack.
While it is unwise to draw too many conclusions about what happened in Las Vegas, in the face of the relentless assault on gun rights and misinformation it is important to note some false narratives that have been spread in the last 24 hours.
Take Clinton’s claim about silencers. She was immediately denounced for this statement as being “ignorant” of how suppressors work. Even a Washington Post reporter wrote that the debate over silencers “isn’t really relevant” to what happened in Las Vegas.
And, both The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler and conservative pundit Dana Loesch pushed back on Clinton’s claim. Kessler tweeted, “Actually, even with a silencer, it’s pretty loud. An AR-15 rifle would have a noise equivalent to a jack hammer, and Loesch concurred in her tweet, “Suppressors only reduce by a few decibels, still same decibel level as a jackhammer”.
A study released earlier this year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives found that while there were 1.3 million registered suppressors in the country last year, there were only 44 suppressor-related crimes recommended for prosecution.
However, federal laws dating back to the 1930s already on the books strictly regulate the sale and purchase of these kinds of firearms.
Sean Davis at The Federalist did an excellent job of explaining how tightly controlled automatic weapon sales are in the United States:
Only licensed entities are permitted to manufacture, sell, or own [fully automatic weapons]. Private civilian ownership of machine guns is illegal unless the individual has been explicitly permitted by the federal ATF to own them. All fully automatic weapons must be registered with the federal government in a central registry with no exceptions.
There is also a tax on these items—and they’re not cheap since only weapons produced before 1986 are allowed to be sold.
Of course, with the right tools and skills, it is still possible to create a fully automatic weapon, which some experts say may have been what the Las Vegas shooter did to carry out his murders.
Nevertheless, these weapons are incredibly difficult to obtain.
The events that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday night were an atrocity. But it must be noted that wicked individuals have found ways to conduct mass murder and terrorism through a variety of means both legal and illegal: guns, knives, acid, planes, and trucks.
The list goes on and on.
As numerous studies have shown, gun ownership is not necessarily connected to crime rates, and in fact may make crime go down. A 2016 report from the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action noted that:
As gun ownership has risen to an all-time high, the nation’s total violent crime rate has fallen to a 44-year low and the murder rate has fallen to an all-time low. Since 1991, when violent crime hit an all-time high, the nation’s violent crime rate and its murder rate have decreased by more than half, as Americans have acquired over 170 million new guns, roughly doubling the number of privately owned guns in the United States.
Furthermore, concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding of any demographic group in America.
For these reasons and many others, gun control has fizzled as an issue even as its proponents continue to push the narrative.
The fact is, a majority of Americans just don’t see gun control as the answer to crime, violence, and terrorism.
As Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Ky., put it on Twitter, we live in a fallen world and ultimately can’t regulate evil.
Congress Has Failed Again
America is in the economic and political crisis in which it finds itself, because those elected to represent us have failed to protect and defend the original intention of the Constitution of the United States of America.
We are engaged in a great new civil war raging here in our homeland and around the world. It is a war of ideologies seeking the hearts and minds of those responsible for authorizing their political power to those holding the reins of political power. We the people, bribed and deceived by the politicians seeking political power, are responsible for our government. Swayed by the false propaganda of the liberal media, we have failed to hold those we elect to an immutable standard of truth and justice for all.
The soon to be released book, Set My People Free, written by the author of The Attack on America and Beyond Reason, details where the governments we empower have failed us. Relying on the truths revealed by adhering to the confirmations of science and valid uncorrupted history, the new book discusses, in detail, solutions and alternatives to reclaim the heritage intend by the Framers and Founders. We have had the privilege of reviewing Set My People Free before publication.
Among the bureaucracies and institutions stealing our freedom and robbing us of justice ignored by government is the Social Security system. As the unjustly rich become richer and working Americans become poorer, the Social Security system established by Congress is failing. Most relevant to that issue is the fact that those we elect to represent us have exempted themselves from the retirement security they have imposed on working Americans. This is not an entitlement. Working Americans have earned their right to retire by contributing their wages to it. To have the fruits of their just labors stolen by government is criminal.
Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan
30 September, 2017
People are living longer, more expensive lives, often without much of a safety net. As a result, record numbers of Americans older than 65 are working — now nearly 1 in 5. That proportion has risen steadily over the past decade, and at a far faster rate than any other age group. Today, 9 million senior citizens work, compared with 4 million in 2000.
While some work by choice rather than need, millions of others are entering their golden years with alarmingly fragile finances. Fundamental changes in the U.S. retirement system have shifted responsibility for saving from the employer to the worker, exacerbating the nation’s rich-poor divide. Two recent recessions have devastated personal savings. And at a time when 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day, Social Security benefits have lost about a third of their purchasing power since 2000.
Polls show that most older people are more worried about running out of money than dying.
“There is no part of the country where the majority of middle-class older workers have adequate retirement savings to maintain their standard of living in their retirement,” said Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist who specializes in retirement security. “People are coming into retirement with a lot more anxiety and a lot less buying power.”
As a result, many older workers are hitting the road as work campers — also called “workampers” — those who shed costly lifestyles, purchase RVs and travel the nation picking up seasonal jobs that typically offer hourly wages and few or no benefits.
Amazon’s “CamperForce” program hires thousands of these silver-haired migrant workers to box online orders during the Christmas rush. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Walmart, whose giant parking lots are famous for welcoming RV travelers, has hired elderly people as store greeters and cashiers. Websites such as the Workamper News list jobs as varied as ushering at NASCAR tracks in Florida, picking sugar beets in Minnesota and working as security guards in the Texas oil fields.
In Maine, which calls itself “Vacationland,” thousands of seniors are drawn each summer to the state’s rocky coastline and picturesque small towns, both as vacationers and seasonal workers. In Bar Harbor, one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations, well-to-do retirees come ashore from luxury cruise ships to dine on $30 lobsters and $13 glasses of sauvignon blanc — leaving tips for other senior citizens waiting on oceanfront tables, driving Ollie’s Trolley buses or taking tickets for whale-watching tours.
The Devers have noticed this economic divide. They found their campground jobs online and drove here in May, with plans to stay until the season ends in October. On a recent day off, they took a bus tour near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, where the tour guide pointed out the oceanfront Rockefeller estate and Martha Stewart’s 12-bedroom mansion.
“The ones who go on these ritzy, ritzy cruises to all these islands in Maine, I don’t know how they got all that money. Maybe they were born into it,” said Jeannie, 72. “And then you see this poor little old retired person next door, who can hardly keep going. And he’s got his little trailer.”
On Election Day last November, the Devers expressed their frustration. For more than 50 years, they had supported mainstream candidates in both parties, casting their ballots for John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. This time, they concluded that the Democrat, Hillary Clinton, would be no help to them. And they found the Republican standard-bearer, Donald Trump, too “mouthy.”
So, for the first time in their lives, they cast protest votes, joining legions of disaffected voters whose aversion to Clinton helped propel Trump into the White House. Richard voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson. Jeannie left her presidential ballot blank.
“We are all talking about this, but not politicians. Helping people build a nest egg is not on their agenda,” Jeannie said. “We are the forgotten people.”
‘This job is a blessing’
The Devers first hit the road in their 33-foot American Star RV when Jeannie turned 65. Since then, they have worked jobs in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and now Maine. In addition to their $10-an-hour paychecks, the couple receives $22,000 a year from Social Security, an amount that has barely budged while health-care and other costs have soared.
“If we didn’t work, our money would run out real quick,” Richard said.
On a recent Friday, the Devers met for lunch back at their RV, Richard’s plaid shirt and suspenders dusty from mowing the drought-dried grass. Jeannie had spent the morning working the front desk in the campground office, where she checks people in and sells bug spray, marshmallows and other camping essentials.
As usual, she had arrived a half-hour early for her 9 a.m. shift to make sure everything was tidy for the first customer. Full of cheer and wearing white sneakers, she shies from talking about her macular degeneration and arthritic knuckles. “This job is a blessing,” she said.
President Trump is one year younger than Jeannie and, she said, “has more money than we can even imagine.” She muses that he probably “will hand a lot down to his kids” — another generation of rich people who, Richard and Jeannie believe, tend to be born that way.
The Devers know how hard it is to make it on your own.
In 1960, when John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were running for president, Richard started repairing homes and Jeannie made root beer floats in a drugstore back home in southern Indiana, near the Kentucky border. Later, they ran a business that put vinyl siding on homes and a little start-up called Southwest Stuff that sold Western-themed knickknacks.
They raised two children and lived well enough but never had much extra cash to put away. After a lifetime of working, they have a small mobile home in Indiana, a couple of modest life insurance policies and $5,000 in savings.
The Devers are better off than many Americans. One in five have no savings, and millions retire with nothing in the bank. Nearly 30 percent of households headed by someone 55 or older have neither a pension nor any retirement savings, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
From the camper’s compact refrigerator, Jeannie pulled a tub of meatloaf she had cooked in her crockpot a couple of days earlier.
“Are you good with just a sandwich?” she called to Richard.
“Just a sandwich, thanks,” he said, emerging from the bedroom in a fresh plaid shirt, bought for $2 at Goodwill. His blue-striped suspenders dangled below his waistband.
Without a word, Jeannie leaned over and slipped them over his shoulders — a daily task that keeps getting harder for the man she married 55 years ago.
A Wall Street gold mine
While most Americans are unprepared for retirement, rich older people are doing better than ever. Among people over 65, the wealthiest 20 percent own virtually all of the nation’s $25 trillion in retirement accounts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Employers have gradually shifted from traditional pensions, with guaranteed benefits for life, to 401(k) accounts that run out when the money has been spent. Those accounts work best for the wealthy, who not only have the extra cash to invest but also use 401(k)s to shelter their income from taxes while they are working.
People with little financial know-how often find 401(k)s confusing. Millions of people opt not to participate, or contribute too little, or take money out at the wrong time and are charged huge fees.
Even people who manage to save for retirement often face a grim calculation: Among people between 55 and 64 who have retirement accounts, the median value of those accounts is just over $120,000, according to the Federal Reserve.
So people are forced to guess how long they might live and budget their money accordingly, knowing that one big health problem, or a year in a nursing home, could wipe it all out.
The system has been a gold mine for Wall Street. Brokerages and insurance companies that manage retirement accounts earned roughly $33 billion in fees last year, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Ted Benna, a retirement consultant who is credited with creating the modern 401(k), called those fees “outrageous.” Many people — especially those who need the money the most — don’t even know they are paying them, he said.
Compared with the old system of company pensions, the new retirement system does not serve the average American well, said Ghilarducci, the labor economist, who teaches at the New School in New York.
“It’s as if we moved from a system where everybody went to the dentist to a system where everybody now pulls their own teeth,” she said.
‘The rich help the rich’
A few miles up the road from the Devers, Joanne Molnar, 64, and her husband, Mark, 62, live in their RV and work at another campground.
For 21 years, Joanne worked as a manager for a day-care company in Fairfield, Conn. She said she paid regularly into a 401(k) account that, at one point, was worth more than $40,000.
By the time she left the company in 2008, however, its value had fallen to $2,000.
Molnar said the company’s owner thought he was doing his 100 employees a favor by managing their retirement accounts. “But he didn’t know what he was doing,” she said. Instead of being angry with him, she’s furious with the 401(k) system.
“It stinks,” she said.
As Joanne’s retirement account was further battered by the Great Recession in 2008, the Molnars sold Mark’s share of his piano-restoration business and their home in Connecticut, which had lost value but kept attracting higher and higher property tax bills.
They bought a 25-foot RV for $13,000 and started looking for work near their three sons, one of whom lives near Bar Harbor, and their six grandchildren. After finishing at the Maine campground this fall, they plan to look for work in Texas or Wisconsin, near their other children.
Like the Devers, the Molnars say they are frustrated that the problems of older Americans do not seem to register in Washington.
Last year, the Molnars grew more optimistic when they heard Trump promising in campaign speeches to help the “forgotten people.” Like a majority of older voters, Joanne voted for Trump. She said she thought maybe a businessman, an outsider, would finally address the economic issues that matter to her.
But the Molnars said that with each passing week of the Trump presidency, they are growing less hopeful.
“We’ll see. I’m just getting a little worried now,” Joanne said. “I just think he’s not going to be helping the lower class as much as he thought he would.”
The recent battle to repeal Obamacare was “kind of scary,” she said, noting that Trump supported legislation that would have slashed Medicaid and left more people without government-subsidized insurance. Although the effort failed, Joanne and Mark remain nervous.
“The rich help the rich, and I’m starting to think that not enough will fall down to us,” Mark said, as he methodically bolted together one of 170 new picnic tables.
Mark signed up to begin collecting Social Security this summer. Even with those monthly checks, he figures he’ll have to work at least 10 more years.
“Forget the government. It’s got to be ‘We the People,’ ” he said. “We’re on our own. You have to fend for yourself.”
‘It’s not fun getting old’
At the end of a long day at work, Richard and Jeannie Dever met back at their RV. After mowing the grass in the hot sun, Richard, who is just shy of his 75th birthday, was sweating under his baseball cap. He was tired.
“It’s not fun getting old,” he said.
Asked whether he was more worried about dying or running out of money, Richard thought about it, then said with a shrug, “I guess it’s a toss-up.”
Jeannie took off her sneakers and rested her swollen ankles. Richard recently cut back to 33 hours a week, but she was still working 40 hours, sometimes a few more.
A few days earlier, she had spent four hours cleaning a trailer where the guests had used a fire extinguisher to put out a small stove fire. She got down on the vinyl floor and lied on her stomach to reach the dust under the stove.
In the years ahead, Jeannie said, she hopes to find a job where she can sit down.
Taxation Without Representation – An Egregious Double Standard
Corporate and governmental bureaucracies combined with unbridled capitalism pursue the attack on America. Invoking the cronyism rampant in the unjust political arena, politicians and bureaucrats have sacrificed Americans loyal to the original intention of the Constitution to political power and ambition. Taxed without representation, the enemies of liberty and justice for all enlist the false propaganda of the liberal media to spew a smokescreen of lies and deceptions. The unjustly rich become richer, and the poor, enslaved by a welfare state instituted by the unchecked and unbalanced political power of the parasites feeding on their just labors, become poorer.
Politicians at every level, in every jurisdiction; corporate heads and governing boards have established a double standard displayed in the malignant cronyism, reeking of injustice, infecting our land. This is a swamp so contaminated that it must be drained to protect the public health.
Fred Lucas / September 29, 2017
President Donald Trump accepted the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced late Friday afternoon.
Price had been under fire for his use of private charter flights.
“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted,” Sanders said in a statement released just after 4:30 p.m.
“The president intends to designate Don J. Wright of Virginia to serve as acting secretary, effective at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2017. Mr. Wright currently serves as the deputy assistant secretary for Health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.”
Earlier Friday, Trump had said of Price, “He’s a very fine man,” but had added, “I certainly don’t like the optics. I’m not happy, I can tell you that. I’m not happy.”
He came under fire for many domestic private chartered flights, such as from Washington to nearby locations like Philadelphia and New Hampshire.
Some of Price’s controversial flights were used for travels to Africa to review progress on Ebola, and to participate in global health meetings in Europe.
In his resignation letter, Price wrote, “I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first. I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.”
Because of the controversy Price had said he would pay more than $51,887.31 back to the U.S. treasury, a portion of the total transportation cost, which would exceed $400,000 for the private charter domestic flights. However, Politico also reported that the administration approved another $500,000 in costs for traveling on military planes for health conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe.
During the period from Jan. 20 to Sept. 19, the Trump administration authorized 77 military flights, while the Obama administration allowed 94 flights during the same time in 2009, Fox News reported Friday. Trump also noted this before boarding Marine One in the White House South Lawn.
“We put in an order that no more planes – if you look at past administrations, for instance, if you look at the Obama administration and take a look at the amount of time they spent in the air, they spent a lot of time in the air. But I felt very badly because Secretary Price is a good man. But we are looking into it and we are looking into it very seriously.”
In his resignation letter, released by the White House, Price wrote:
It is an honor and privilege to serve you as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Under your leadership, the Department is working aggressively to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. This includes working to reform a broken health care system, empower patients, reduce regulatory burdens, ensure global health security, and tackle clinical priorities such as the opioids epidemic, serious mental illness and childhood obesity.
I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first. I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.
Success on these issues is more important than any one person. In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services effective 11:59 PM on Friday, September 29, 2017.
You may rest assured that I will continue to support your critical priorities going ahead because failure is not an option for the American people.
In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan called Price “a good man.”
“Price has spent his entire adult life fighting for others, first as a physician and then as a legislator and public servant. He was a leader in the House and a superb health secretary. His vision and hard work were vital to the House’s success passing our health care legislation.”
During the Obama administration, a 2013 Government Accountability Office report found a similar problem, in this case, by the Justice Department. Two luxury jets the FBI had said were needed for security against global terrorism were used instead by Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Holder’s predecessors in the George W. Bush administration, Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, also used the jets. It came at a total cost of $11.4 million, the GAO found.
The HHS secretary isn’t required to use non-commercial flights as some national security officials are.
Fox reported that Holder, in 2014, also took at government-owned Gulfstream and flew to the Belmont Stakes thoroughbred race in New York with family members and two security offices. The trip reportedly cost the government $14,440. Holder reimbursed the government $955. The Washington Times reported that while serving as CIA director, Leon Panetta refunded the government $630 for flights on luxury jets that cost about $32,000 per trip.
Price’s international travels had involved significant work on health issues. On May 17 and 18, Price traveled to Liberia to meet with the country’s leaders and health officials regarding the Ebola outbreak the ravaged the country in 2014. He met Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other top officials where he talked about the partnership with Liberia and United States government.
“Ebola survivors who met with the secretary described the significant stigma associated with the virus and continuing discrimination they face. Secretary Price shook hands with survivors, an important public gesture,” as said in a description by the Department of Health and Human Services.
He next traveled to Berlin to attend the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting, held on May 19 and 20. He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Topics at the meeting included preparations to combat influenza and viruses with pandemic potential, antimicrobial resistance work with World Health Organization, or WHO. His next stop was the 70th annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, the 194-member government body of the WHO, where he spoke on May 22. The next major travel came Aug. 20-26, where he visited China, Vietnam, and Japan.
On Aug. 23, Price delivered the keynote address at the 7th High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Jarrett Stepman / September 26, 2017
The National Football League is now plunged into politics as players throughout the sport kneel for the national anthem and President Donald Trump continues to rebuke them publicly.
Undoubtedly, the situation has left many fans and non-fans of the league conflicted or angry. This fiasco may, however, open the eyes of the public to a serious and generally unchecked issue: billionaire NFL owners sponging enormous amounts of money from taxpayers through crony capitalist schemes. The fact is that a business that raked in $14 billion in revenue in 2016 is heavily subsidized by local, state, and federal money based on dubious claims about stimulating the economy.
The problem is rampant.
One report on Watchdog.org said that over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadium renovation and building. Another study from the Brookings Institution showed that federal taxpayers have subsidized the construction of 36 stadiums at a cost of over $3.2 billion since 2000.
Michael Sargent, an infrastructure expert at The Heritage Foundation, wrote about how sports teams use specially crafted tax breaks to get the public to finance their massive projects.
“Tax-exempt municipal bonds are typically reserved for public-use projects such as bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure, yet because of a loophole in the tax code, private-use stadiums can take advantage of this tax break, and have done so prolifically.”
In fact, only a handful of NFL and other major league teams use privately-financed venues to host their games.
It would seem after sinking enormous investments into sports franchises, cities would reap serious financial benefits in return. But this isn’t the case at all. Research from George Mason University has shown that not only do communities gain almost no economic benefits from subsidized sports teams, but some findings “indicate harmful effects of sports on per capita income, wage and salary disbursements, and wages per job.”
Recently released polls show national anthem protests are deeply unpopular with the American people, but polls also show that the taxpayer funding of sports is also widely disliked. When likely voters in Nevada were asked if they favored or opposed using $500 million in taxpayer dollars to fund a stadium for the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas, they overwhelmingly said “no.” According to the KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll, 60 percent of Nevada voters opposed the funding, and only 28 percent supported it.
Given the massive discontent over national anthem kneeling and rampant politicization of the once unifying sport of football, perhaps now Americans will turn a more skeptical eye toward how their sports teams rely on public money and actually do something about it.
Colin Kaepernick started out taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, but his activism has since expanded to encompass a wide range of leftist causes, including a group named after a convicted cop-killer.
The Colin Kaepernick Foundation donated in April $25,000 to Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago “direct action” resistance organization honoring Assata Shakur, who escaped prison and fled to Cuba after being found guilty in the 1973 murder of Officer Werner Foerster.
The grant includes $2,500 for CopWatch, a program that trains volunteers to follow and video police, and $15,000 for teen training, part of the group’s commitment to “develop and train young people, ages 4-19, in the Black queer feminist tradition and in the spirit of Assata.”
Apparently Mr. Kaepernick is also a fan: He retweeted a July 16 message wishing Shakur a happy birthday.
The contribution came as part of Mr. Kaepernick’s pledge last year to donate $1 million over 10 months to “organizations working in oppressed communities.”
So far he has given $900,000 in grants to 31 organizations, including apolitical services like Meals on Wheels as well as advocacy groups pushing a left-of-center agenda on issues like abortion, climate change, criminal-justice reform and immigration.
Contributions include $25,000 for 350.org, a climate-change group dedicated to fighting fossil fuels, and $25,000 for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-choice advocacy organization.
The foundation gave $50,000 in December for a “health clinic partnership” at the now-defunct Dakota Access pipeline protest, and $25,000 to United We Dream in order to “keep DACA in force,” referring to President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback also has close ties to the Women’s March, including organizers Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour.
The Kaepernick Foundation donated in June $25,000 to the Gathering for Justice NYC, headed by Ms. Perez, while Ms. Mallory and Ms. Sarsour appeared at the Aug. 24 pro-Kaepernick rally outside NFL headquarters.
Part of the Kaepernick Foundation’s $33,000 donation for the Lower East Side Girls Club was designated for travel and lodging for the Women’s March convention in October.
The Women’s March returned the favor with a shoutout Sunday on Facebook with a post saying, “#TaketheKnee [is] on the right side of history today — not just NFL players, but all of YOU. Show your support for the athletes siding with justice.”
The Women’s March has its own Shakur connection: The group came under fire in July for a tweet celebrating the birthday of Shakur. Shakur was placed on the FBI’s most-wanted list as a “domestic terrorist” who belonged to an “extremist group,” the Black Revolutionary Army.
The backlash included a tweet from Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, who said, “Unbelievable that anyone would idolize a cop killer.”
Assata’s Daughters has been upfront about its admiration for Shakur, saying on its website that it “carries on the tradition of radical liberatory activism encompassed by Assata Shakur.”
“Basically our organization is a part of a much larger movement that is fighting for the abolition of prisons, police and anti-blackness itself,” said Assata’s Daughters adult coordinator in a video.
Shakur, who was wounded in the 1977 shootout on the New Jersey turnpike that left two dead, including the officer, has argued that her murder conviction and life sentence were part of a “political prosecution” at the hands of a “racist legal system.”
Formerly Joanne Chesimard, she has since become a martyr on the left, drawing support from high-profile activists, like Angela Davis.
In 2015, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called on the Obama administration to extradite her after normalizing relations with Cuba.
Assata’s Daughters described its role as “one of helping to escalate, deepen and sustain the Black Lives Matter movement.” “We believe it is our duty to fight for our freedom,” the group says on its website. “We come together in struggle as radical Black feminists and organizers, under the shared respect, love and study of Assata Shakur.”
During the 2016 NFL season, Mr. Kaepernick touched off a political uproar over his refusal to stand for the national anthem, citing high-profile shootings of black men by police and what he called “systematic oppression” of U.S. minorities.
Mr. Kaepernick later faced criticism for his defense of former Cuban strongman Fidel Castro and wearing a T-shirt showing a 1960 meeting between Castro with Malcolm X.