Pre-socialism

By Steve Woodward

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (to be a member of the ruling government elite). It’s the end of another long year (for the thousands of Americans who live in the shadows, in despair, far removed from anything wonderful).

Here in Moore County we are surrounded by poverty within rural hamlets that are so close and yet so far. So far removed from our daily lives. So frequently ignored. But in Moore, and across North Carolina generally, we take on poverty across political lines through many faith-based and charitable organizations committed to providing services and hope to those in need, those in the grip of addiction, those who are victims of domestic and street violence. This has not been eradicated, not by a long shot, but we soldier on even as human trafficking and drug smuggling courtesy of illegal immigrants strain our defenses.

Common sense and human decency dictate that citizens must engage in a relentless war on poverty. But the hard socialist Left, specifically its leaders, would prefer that we stand down. Look no further than the state most associated with the Democrat party, California. Known for it’s breathtaking beauty and year-round mild weather (interrupted by deadly wildfires and mudslides), California’s major cities are, in fact, cesspools of human suffering. No matter how many hearts are left in San Francisco, lawmakers and leaders are not prone to affection or compassion when faced with acute homelessness

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I have a personal connection to the futile war on homelessness in Los Angeles. My take is that the war being waged is losing. I say this with regret because a former college roommate is the one waging it, and he has for two decades. The Giving Spirit enlists throngs of successful, healthy L.A.-area women and men to look the homeless in the eye, offer a glimpse of hope and supply them with life-critical sustenance kits. More than 53,000 have received these kits since 1999, during which TGS has deployed more than 18,000 volunteers and raised north of $3.7 million.

Despite a fractional 1% decline overall in  California’s homeless population in 2017-18, one quarter of the nation’s homeless — close to 140,000 people — are found in California, 50,000 in Los Angeles County alone. This year upon receiving TGS’s annual email soliciting a donation, I paused to wonder if, despite loyalty to my ex-college roomie and my admiration for his dedication, writing another check made any sense. The organization is addressing the immediate needs of people without shelter and basic needs fulfillment, but state lawmakers have for years done little to get them off the streets once and for all. I replied to the email something to effect of, “God bless you, but when are you Californians finally going to wise up and free yourselves from Democrat control?”

I meant it. My friend replied, “We don’t get stuck on policy and partisan rancor.” I reconsidered and submitted my donation. But is it not deeply troubling that my friend likely reflects the thinking of many fellow Californians? This is how the thinly veiled threat of socialism creeping into political agendas on the Left make advances.

Despite benefiting from robust tax revenue, California “is far from flourishing,” wrote  Manhattan Institute scholar Steve Malanga in The Wall Street Journal on November 23. The state is “increasingly beset by social and economic problems, from homeless encampments to rubbish-strewn streets to (Pacific Gas & Electric) blackouts.”

Meanwhile, California Democrats take pride in having transformed The Golden State into The Sanctuary State, with politicians earlier this year even considering Medicaid for all undocumented aliens. Brilliant. (Not even Medicaid expansion warrior Gov. Roy Cooper in Raleigh has dared go that far!) Meanwhile, there are plenty of bad policies already in place, wrote Malanga. Decriminalization of property crimes and drug offenses. Shelters that welcome pets. Free needles. All resulting in California becoming “a magnet for unstable street people from around the country, and disorder is growing.”

In June, California’s uber-liberal Governor, Gavin Newsom, approved a staggering $215 billion budget for the state. Money has been flowing for decades to address every need imaginable, but signs of improvement, even progress, are hard to find. This is socialism on full display. It fails every time.

 

Loathing hatred

By Steve Woodward

Trump Derangement Syndrome came to the fore in 2016 when angry marchers screamed at the sky, when so-called comedian Kathy Griffin depicted a decapitated Donald Trump, and when so-called entertainer Madonna publicly acknowledged her inclination to blow up The White House.

But now, two years in, what was formerly laughable is devolving into a degree of contempt for the President of the United States, for Republicans, for American values, for Constitutional principles and, most sadly, for Christianity few have witnessed in their lifetimes.

It is spreading, it is vile. The mainstream media fans its flames, daily. Democrats, now openly and willfully embracing Socialism as the foundation of a soon-to-be remade America, are deliberately wreaking havoc, sewing seeds of chaos and resisting all calls for civility. They relished the partial federal government shutdown. They cheer on a growing crisis at the Southern border still. They want only to stop Trump and Republicans from delivering on pledges to get serious about border security. Desperate asylum seekers are mere pawns, not unlike federal employees working without pay. So what? You’ll thank us someday, you saps.

Hatred is more alarming than delusion, more dangerous than derangement, more corrosive than disillusion. And it’s everywhere.

Rush Limbaugh: “They have become poisoned by a loathing hatred for us. … This is unchecked, unabated hatred. … Folks, that’s who these people are, and one of the reasons they exist today is that we have never stood up to oppose them. Well, we have. The Republican Party has not stood up.”

ky student
In 2019, a KY high schooler is ridiculed as a “punchable face” for wearing a MAGA cap.

The Left in 2019 tells themselves they are acting to save the country. They are the patriots. They must hijack journalism, as television host and Trump hater Joy Behar said on the air, because “we’re desperate to get Trump out of office,” even if that means shamefully distorting events surrounding the March for Life in Washington, and smearing the Catholic high school students who wandered into a firestorm afterwards. The left seems to believe that it will prevail only by laying bare its deepest held disgust for God and country, decency and tolerance. The self-proclaimed party of tolerance of transgenderism, gender neutrality, illegal immigrants committing crime and acts of murder, endless abortions and organ harvesting, has no tolerance for the millions who duly elected President Trump and other duly elected Republicans. None.

Writing for New York magazine (Jan. 25, 2019), Conservative author Andrew Sullivan decries “the abyss of hate versus hate” in a piece bearing the same headline. Sullivan watched all of the available video of the March for Life, where Native Americans beat drums and Black Israelites shouted anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-white smears. More appalling than these groups and their unprovoked confrontations with the Kentucky kids, Sullivan concludes, was the media’s inclination to twist the narrative, write about it breathlessly as “white privilege” run amuck and, then, defend it unapologetically after video analysis debunked virtually everything that was initially reported.

“There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press,” Sullivan writes, “Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.”

And what was the reaction to Sullivan’s conclusions? A hate-spewing George Mason University law professor who, as of this moment, still has his job, defied facts on the ground as irrelevant.

“These were wealthy, privileged, white teenagers in MAGA hats marching against abortion. That is plenty of reason to want to skullf— all of them until there is nothing left but giblets and red jelly. I don’t hate them for smirking and (peacefully!) protesting against people they disagree with, and I don’t hate them for (what) they did necessarily, I hate them for what they are and what they represent. F— these kids for their politics, f— them for their Catholicism and their kkkuntserveatism, and their hateful hats. You shouldn’t need a video of some s—heel with a punchable face to know that.”

You can dismiss this demented individual as just that, but we must not forget that he is interacting with young people every day, and that George Mason is collecting tuition in order to pay Prof. David Bernstein. Perhaps he should be designated a non-essential employee.

But the threat to our democracy is not limited to rogue academics. Americans are electing people of this mindset to govern in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol. This has come to the attention of economic and cultural commentator Ben Stein, who denounces the blatantly Socialist positions espoused by the media’s newest political darling, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), recently sworn-in to her first term at age 29. She is an avowed Socialist who, even as Venezuela crumbles, advocates for a 70% marginal income tax rate for America’s highest earners, free public college, the abolishment of border and immigration control, and Medicare for all.

Stein went on Fox Business to challenge the Socialist tide. He was skewered for referencing historical truths, that “there are an awful lot of people (emphasis, ours, on awful) who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that (AOC) is promising. … These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.”

Meanwhile, do not hold your breath waiting for re-empowered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rein in Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. AOC is, not unlike government employees and would-be immigrants, a useful idiot.

Collateral damage

By Steve Woodward

Should any intelligent, proud American be shocked or dismayed by the staggering number of (left wing) politicians, and their disengaged constituents, feigning compassion for children of illegal immigrants while expressing disdain for U.S. border security? Our mutual security.

Not in an age when the recent former editor of The Wall Street Journal, no less, writes that radical socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “one of the most important political figures of our age” while he questions “capitalism’s limitations in answering deeper human needs.” Will Gerard Baker, now Editor at Large, soon entertain an offer from The New York Times? He certainly seems to be auditioning.

Not in an age when Gillette, decades long maker of men’s grooming products, launches a campaign likely to enrage many of its customers across multiple generations. The campaign boils down to, “Buy our razors but, please, stop being masculine, male and a societal toxin.” It’s a safe bet that the best a man can get for shaving soon will be another brand, any other brand. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, might be forced to rename Gillette Stadium, perhaps inking a naming rights deal with #MeToo.

Admittedly, these are trivial examples in contrast to the real world tragedies imposed by illegals pouring across our southern border. But the mainstream, drive-by, anti-Donald Trump media, appendages of the “new” Democratic Party, are far more invested in decrying “income inequality” or “toxic masculinity” than reporting on a 14-year-old girl forced to work as a prostitute.

It happened just outside of Washington, D.C. The ABC television affiliate (WJLA) reported it, but not Associated Press, not The Washington Post, not The Washington Times, and other local TV stations. Many digital outlets picked up on the WJLA report, including The Western Journal:

Felix Silva-Zuniga is an alleged associate of the MS-13 gang who was in this country illegally, according to WJLA-TV. He’s accused of paying a gang leader $100 for access to a 14-year-old girl, raping her, and secretly recording the encounter to blackmail the teen into providing more sex.

Silva-Zuniga, 52, is a native Honduran. Before she was raped, the girl had been trafficked to the D.C. area, where she was forced to work as a cocktail waitress during drug deals.

Meanwhile, out on Long Island in New York the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has tied a legal loophole that is exploited at the southern border to the recent beating of a Huntington, N.Y., teenager by MS-13 thugs. DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman explains what happened:

Two of the suspects entered into the country illegally through the unaccompanied alien child loophole in the Rio Grande Valley. … Not only are the alleged assailants MS-13 gang members, but they entered the country illegally as unaccompanied alien children from the Northern Triangle. The Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act incentivizes unaccompanied alien children to enter the country illegally with little to no chance of ever being removed.

Democrats need to drag Hillary Clinton away from her Chardonnay barrels and make her their anti-border security spokesperson. She could dust off one of her all-timers: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

That, sadly, seems to be the prevailing Democrat illogic. We do not need to close loopholes; we need to open our arms to the “children” (but only the ones CNN camera crews discover). We do not need border security; we need to secure a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. We do not need a wall or barriers because that is so unenlightened, so 2013, so Trumpian.

If there must be, now and then, collateral damage such as 14-year-olds threatened and raped, so be it. If there must be federal employees denied pay, so be it. What difference does it make?

Pittsburgh steel

Unless you have retreated to a rural cabin to focus on pottery, it is impossible in every day life not to feel bombarded by the unrelenting foot soldiers of the extreme Left, aka, the mainstream media. But something incredible happened recently in Pittsburgh, in a state President Donald Trump won against all odds by picking up 20 electoral votes on an historic evening in November 2016.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hired a new editor. He observed that the newspaper’s political cartoonist, Rob Rogers, was obsessed with anti-Trump cartoons, including several that simply ignored reality. Rogers was fired in June. The Left’s collective head exploded. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner! This is a travesty!

Post-Gazette cartoon.Trump

Naturally, the extreme Left was outraged by the rejection of cartoons such as this one (above), that grossly mis-portrayed the Trump administration’s enforcement of existing immigration laws at the southern U.S. border. In short order, a George Washington University apparatchik arranged an exhibit of Rogers’ never-published cartoons in the Corcoran School of Arts and Design beginning July 18.

Post-Gazette editorial page editor Keith Burris, who fired Rogers, should be saluted for carrying out what used to be known as “doing your job.” He demonstrated a steely will to honor his profession, dying though it may be. Newspapers that are agenda-driven are not delivering news and when their opinion pages are entirely invested in Trump-hating vitriol, that’s a departure from journalistic standards, too. (Go back and review the work of Washington Post legendary cartoonist Herb Block).

Those who choose to visit the Corcoran exhibit will have the advantage of finding a D.C. tourist destination with no line, no waiting.

Meanwhile, there are other political cartoonists who are paying close attention to what actually is happening during the countdown to the November mid-terms.

Red Wave Rising.png

 

Trump rising

The Trump Era meltdown among far left, water carrying members of a once proud profession called journalism has arrived at a critical juncture. They have transformed years long chaos along the United States’ southern border into a humanitarian crisis — perpetuated, they shriek, by a President who believes in enforcing immigration laws already on the books. The nerve!

Sadly, these media drama makers know well that few average citizens have been aware of the hell facing border security officials for many years, dating to the Bush 43 and Obama administrations. It’s more complicated than ever now, with the border runners having been joined by upturns in “families” falsely seeking asylum and child traffickers.

The left has ginned this up because it was running out of fake narratives, and because more Americans have begun to understand that Trump means what he says and gets results. And as his Great Red Tsunami builds toward the fall mid-terms, it not only threatens the presumption of a Blue Wave but simultaneously diminishes Obama’s legacy.

In fact, the June Limbaugh Letter quotes none other than New York magazine observing, “Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed”.  Writes Limbaugh, under the headline, Obama’s Vanishing Legacy:

“Amazing what a year and a half under confident, unapologetically pro-American leadership can do to set things right. The impulse to bow has been expunged. No more ‘leading from behind,’ ‘strategic patience,’ or ‘strategic restraint’ on the battlefield. ISIS is being obliterated.  Appeasement has been replaced by strength abroad, prosperity at home.”

But the media’s despair is not limited to Obama’s failure ultimately to transform (undo) our nation. The momentum of Trump’s presidency is adding converts, and that’s really finding many talking pro-left heads ready to detonate.

Writes Mark Alexander, editor of The Patriot Post ( https://patriotpost.us/subscribe), a conservative digital digest, “Some of my politically astute friends, who have always been economic conservatives but political moderates, have gone through something of a metamorphosis.” Turns out, even more surprisingly, it’s not merely a reaction to tax cuts and deregulation.

“My friend explained his newfound enthusiasm for Trump in this context: ‘He dropped a bomb on Washington. He dropped a bomb on the status quo in Congress and its special interests. He dropped a bomb on the regulatory behemoths and their bureaucratic bottlenecks. He dropped a bomb on the trade and national security institutions and alliances that have failed miserably over the last eight years’.”

Alexander further notes that there is “a gradual realization percolating to the surface that, despite the grossly biased caricature of Trump projected by the (mainstream media), and too often corroborated by Trump’s social media handlers, this president might be a lot smarter than the buffoon the Leftmedia insists he is.” In fact, Trump is quite comfortable in his own intellectual skin, and said as much to an adoring rally in Duluth, Minn., earlier in the week.

So as for the critical juncture facing this unhinged Leftmedia, what lies beyond it? We might have seen a preview courtesy of Time magazine’s current cover. It features a manufactured (false, in other words) image of a towering Trump glaring down stoically at a now viral photo of a sobbing toddler. (In the original, un-doctored photo she is accompanied by a mother seeking asylum from Honduras).

Perhaps the sobbing girl is less emblematic of an immigration crisis and more symbolic of what the media has become. Diminished, fully melted down and dwarfed by Trump.

 

Heaven’s gates in Carthage

Much of political debate is policy debate. Lifelong Republicans go the polls to elect lawmakers who believe in limited federal government, the importance of the institutions of marriage and the family, the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law, to name the basic pillars.

But we know all too well that governments and lawmakers can not intervene in every struggle that a citizen or a family will face. Thankfully, Americans are generous and caring. Many work in complete obscurity with faith-based organizations to help those who come to them in desperate need.

One such group are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, and here in Moore County these victims find support and hope through Friend to Friend, which provides resources to rebuild lives.

A woman taken in by Friend to Friend described arriving at the Carthage-based facility as an experience similar to passing through “the gates of Heaven.”

Connie Lovell recently had a conversation with FTF’s children’s program coordinator, who devotes her days to interacting with the children of women who’ve escaped abuse. Click here to hear her story and more about the mission of Friend to Friend

Community in Action introduces local agencies that offer assistance that builds opportunity. Spots air at 10:20 a.m. Saturdays on 102.5 FM, and at 12:50 p.m. Saturdays on 550 AM.