Krull’s Folly

It is crystal clear: Dr. John Krull, Director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and author of the Statehouse File column in the January 10th issue of the Kokomo Tribune, lives on a different planet that the rest of us. He used his column to blast President Donald Trump for his position on a border wall claiming Trump proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist. The problem: Krull is dead wrong.

The Center for Immigration Studies recently reported that each illegal immigrant costs the United States taxpayers an estimated $82,191 over the time residing in this country. This accounts for taxes paid by the illegal immigrant verses the use of social services; this is a net cost. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated illegal immigrants are costing the United States taxpayers about $16.4 Billion annually. They did not count the $59 Billion sent back to home countries.

Then there is the drug issue with the Mexican border. There were close to 70,000 deaths in the US last year from drug overdose on illegal drugs. Over 70% of illegal drugs cross from Mexico into the United States.

And the weapons: example of rifles, assault weapons, knives, and handguns were displayed at the recent meeting with President Trump and the Border Patrol this week. The Border Patrol said the seizure of weapons is a regular event at the Mexican border.

And the make up of persons attempting entry includes criminals, terrorists, transnational criminal organization members, MS-13 and other gang members. And on and on. People we do not want in this country.

Then there is the human trafficking. The sex trade involving both women and children goes on. Children have died as a result of having been pushed into horrendous travel or kidnapped for selling. It is estimated there is a 30% chance of a woman being raped by a coyote or mule during the course of travel.

And disease. We already know that a high percentage of those in the caravans have required medical care. Medical professionals are seeing diseases that are rare or not present in the US population for years. Diseases like unusual strains of TB and Dengue fever and more are showing up.

We have the cost in human lives of US citizens. There have been a total of 127 Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty. There have been countless lives lost at the hands of illegal aliens that should not have been in the United States in the first place.

The fact: a wall is effective. It is a deterrent to traveling to the border in the first place. The Border Patrol is asking …. maybe even pleading…. for a wall on our southern border. Even the Chief of the Border Patrol under President Barack Obama has gone public recently on the side of constructing a wall. In an unintended way, CNN Anchor Jim Acosta promoted the WALL by showing there was no chaos, no one trying to cross the border, and no hordes along the section of wall from where he reported.

Conclusion: A WALL WORKS. BUILD IT.

Citizenship and Census

There seems to be a big debate over a question proposed for the coming 2020 nationwide census. The question asks people whether they are citizens of the United States of America. This is a legitimate question if the count of folks in this country is supposed to be counting citizens; not illegal aliens, visa overstays, visitors, and others who happen to be in the country.

Those who are complaining about this question say it would worsen the undercount of Latinos and non-citizens compared with other groups. If they are in the country illegally, I would hope this would exactly be the case. This is the point. Do not count non-citizens.

Why is this important? Millions of dollars of federal funding, that is your tax-payer money, is allocated to areas of the country based upon population count. The money is supposed to be for programs and projects that benefit citizens, not those here illegally or temporarily. Too much of that goes on already.

The other huge reason is representation in the United States House of Representatives is based upon population count. Congressional seat apportionment is based upon population. The more people in an area, the more Representatives they are allowed in Congress. This is across the country but I think you probably can guess who is complaining the loudest about the citizenship question being included in the census questionnaire: Democrats in California and New York.

Democrats want illegal aliens to be counted. More voters for them and more Representatives in Congress for the Democrat Party. Not counting non-citizens would result in a shift away for Congressional representation from Democrat strong holds and back to states with citizens.

It must be noted a question about citizenship is not new to the census process. It was asked in the 1950 census, so a precedent was set. It was not declared un-Constitutional then and should not be now. It remains to be seen, however, given challenges have been filed in courts located where….. California and New York…. where liberal judges remain in the majority on the bench. Likely, the issue will wind up before the Supreme Court of the United States.

There is zero logic to support counting those in an official census that are not citizens of the United States. Congressional representation should be for citizens only. Monies allocated back to states by Congress should be for the benefit of citizens only. Citizens only should be the ones allowed to vote in elections. Citizens only should be the ones who benefit from tax-payer services and benefits.

This is not to say we should not know about all others who are in the country. We should. We must. Only then can the millions here illegally be held accountable under the laws of the USA. So, the question is a good one: citizen or not. Respond or not.

The Wall Revisited

A local Kokomo Tribune columnist and well-known Democrat lawyer is critical of President Trump and his adamant stance on obtaining funds for the building of a WALL along the border between the United States and Mexico. A problem is he mis-states several “facts” in his recent column. The worst is his claim a wall did not work for the Chinese or the Romans or the East Germans. The truth: a wall did work as intended for extended time periods in every case. Check your history. And even if you agree with him, check out the modern experience of the Israelis whose wall is working just fine. And check out the more recently reported experience along the US/Mexican border where there is a new wall: over 90% reduction of illegal crossings. No one is suggesting the building of a wall like the Chinese or the Romans or even the East Germans. Modern designs are proposed; not earth berms, rocks, or even only concrete.

The building of a WALL has been a keystone issue for President Trump ever since he was nominated for, then elected President. If you look back just a few years, Democrats who now are railing against a wall were for a wall or barriers between the US and Mexico. They have reversed positions not on effectiveness of a wall but on purely obstructionist grounds of not giving the President funds for a wall. They rather want a continuous flow of what would become a permanent underclass of uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking, government (taxpayer) dependent population they believe would further their goal of bigger, more controlling government. More voters for Democrats in short.

No one is suggesting other technology to stop illegal immigration, human trafficking, and illegal drugs would not be used in conjunction with a wall. Certainly increased border patrols, cameras, electronic detection equipment and drones overhead would be implemented. But, a wall is a physical barrier difficult to cross. All the others just provide seeing rather than stopping crossing in the first place. More border patrols with the other technology are for catch, not stop before entry. Get it? And as laws now stand, if one foot touches US soil, there is a long legal process required before deportation can happen.

Oh, but I forgot. The local columnist in an earlier column proposed sending hundreds more “magistrates” to process claims at the border. Magistrates are lawyers. Great for employment of lawyers, but a lousy way to deal with illegal crossings and no way to stop smuggling of illegal drugs that are killing people. The vastly better way is to stop the crossing in the first place.

And the local columnist mentions DACA. What a hypocritical comment. The President long ago proposed a solution for DACA that would have provided a path to citizenship for even more than were registered under the Dream Act. The Democrats rejected it.

The USA needs skilled, educated, English-speaking immigrants; not the opposite. Stand firm, Mr. President!

Christmas

No snow outside for us this year, but Christmas is here! This is a time to be reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Jesus taught forgiveness and love to all. He is the way-shower for us and Christmas is a time for gift giving to those we love.

Marcia has spent untold hours in the kitchen baking and decorating Christmas cookies and making fudge the way taught to her by her father, Harvey.

The fudge recipe is the best. The fudge and cookies, too, are savored by all who receive them. I am a lucky one since there are cookies and fudge in our own abode. Nothing like satisfying a sweet tooth in the holiday season. Love it!

I think, too, it is a time to reflect on the past year. There have been some significant challenges along the way. We pray 2019 will be smoother sailing. We pray for our country and for our President. We pray that those in power will choose the honest and upright ways to lead us to a better future.

God bless all….

The Wall

Soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says building the WALL on our southern border is “immoral”. She says she will never allow funds to go to the building of any wall. Local Tribune columnist and well-known Democrat lawyer and professor at Ivy Tech Community College, Ken Ferries, whines about seeing shoeless kids in diapers “pounding on the gates” at the border. What planet do Nancy and Ken live on? The days of mass migration into the United States of America are and should be long gone.

And take a look at what is lined up at our southern border. It is not a bunch of shoeless kids with or without their mothers. It is mostly masses of young uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking MEN. More are coming our way. One does not have to look any farther than the images on the electronic media to know this. Apparently, Nancy and Ken cannot see.

It is reported that 63% of illegal aliens in the United States are on public assistance and that for non-citizens in the country for 10 years or more, over 70% are on public assistance. “Public Assistance” — nice term for in the pockets of tax payers like you and me. I prefer tax money go to benefit American citizens, not incoming immigrants.

Now the story is a significant number of the caravan members are sick. Diseases that would threaten the health of our citizens, particularly our children, are showing up. Reportedly, well over half of those in the first wave of the caravans have sought medical treatment. Allowing mass crossings would assure an increase in demand for free health services in the USA; another expense we cannot afford.

So, get real. Those supposedly running from hardship, violence, and “economic ruin” in their countries of origin need to turn around and go back to fix their own countries. The United States is not the land of milk and honey for the world. We have our own issues with hunger and poverty and employment to deal with.

Yes, there are thousands of jobs in the US waiting to be filled. But, these are jobs for the educated and skilled, not what we see lined up at the southern border. Our resources should be directed toward education and skill development of American citizens of which there are plenty who do not now qualify for open jobs.

Ferries suggests a possible solution to “processing asylum claims” would be to hire a few hundred more magistrates (that’s lawyers). We already know that something between 80-90% of all claims that come before existing courts are denied and the claimants are sent back to their countries of origin. We already know that there are thousands of cases backed up awaiting adjudication and that many of those thousands have been released into the interior of our country never to show up again. Great system, don’t you think?

When Nancy and Ken and all others wailing against a WALL are willing to sign up for taking personal legal and financial responsibility for aliens, they might be worth listening to. Otherwise, what is immoral is to not fund and build the WALL. Thousands are already in the legal immigration waiting line. They deserve first consideration.

Oceans in Trouble

Current world human population is 7,600,000,000 and increasing. Of this, more than 1 billion people worldwide depend on seafood as a main source of protein, and about 100 million people rely directly on fishing for their income according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The problem: 93% of ocean fisheries are either fully fished or over fished! It is estimated current catch is 250% of the level that is maximally sustainable. In other words, we are killing off the very resource so many depend upon. One large reason for this is subsidies from governments to industrial size operators for fuel, fishing gear, and vessel construction. The problem is not with the little guy but with those who run out miles of net and/or suck up everything from the ocean via large trawlers. This cannot continue. The piper will be paid.

Over fishing is not only a threat to fish stocks but also to the health of the oceans themselves. Healthy fish stocks are vital to health marine ecosystems and to the food security and livelihoods of billions of people. Healthy fish stocks contribute to the balance needed for the oceans to remain viable as a human resource.

Simply, there are too many boats chasing too few fish. One way to correct this is by curtailing capacity-enhancing subsidies to reduce pressure on fish stocks. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is encouraging members to adopt a binding agreement that will limit or eliminate harmful subsidies that cause over fishing.

My thought is this will not happen on any enforceable level, but the cost of inaction is high. What can happen is for the United States of America to aggressively enforce sustainable fishing limits in its territorial waters and eliminate any and all taxpayer subsidies to the fishing industry. We can do that. We can manage and allow scientifically calculated harvest of the marine resources in our waters.

There will be some who will vociferously oppose any limits for catch or exposure time. They will say it never has been so and that they are being robbed of their livelihood. But the problem as with about all environmental problems is too many people and too few resources. Hard decisions by government — the only means of control — are required.

GOP Agenda

According to FOX NEWS, the legislative priorities for the US Congress between now and January 2019 when the Democrats take majority in the House of Representatives are budget resolution, border wall funding, immigration reform, tax cuts, and health care. This a really big bite to accomplish in such a short time, but it is now or never. The Congress is going to become a deadlocked mess with the House having a Democrat majority and the Senate a Republican majority. If these priorities are going to get done, it will take a Herculean effort on the part of leadership in both houses.

Let’s take a look at each of these “priorities”. The first is budget resolution. It seems to me this is the last of the priorities to get settled. About all else requires a consideration of money. The last Omnibus funding bill passed was a joke. One would have thought it to be a Democrat bill with the level of spending it contained. The goal needs to be a reduction of government spending with a heading toward a balance budget. Wouldn’t that be nice. Thanks to former President Obama, we are over 20 trillion dollars in debt.

The second is border wall funding. Congress needs to bite the bullet and fund the WALL, something they promised in the last two election cycles. This is something the public very strongly wants. The Caravans that have arrived at the southern US border with Mexico plus the ones coming make quite poignant the need for the wall. It should have been funded long ago. Concertina Nato Razor Wire and US troops are not the answer. Illegal immigration must be stopped. We do not need more young uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking males.

Then we have immigration reform. The action of a San Francisco judge punctuates this need. The President must have the authority to protect this country. There needs to be an end to birthright citizenship, chain migration, and immigration by lottery. VISA overstays must be stopped. Immigration should be on a need and merit system. The time for mass migration into this country has long passed. Our population needs to stabilize and our needs are to train, educate, and care for American citizens. Yes, we have thousands of job openings, but those should be filled with American citizens, not more immigrants; legal or illegal.

The fourth is tax cuts. The President in recent rallies has promised another 10% tax cut for middle class tax payers. Easy, doable, and should be quickly passed if the GOP wants to continue to have the support it is experiencing from the middle class. In other words, Congress needs to put money where their mouth is.

Finally, health care. This was a sticky one. Senator John McCain betrayed the country with his thumbs down vote. There subsequently has been a struggle to take apart ObamaCare piece by piece. This needs to be finished with the expansion of private insurance company based plans across state lines under such terms that will reduce health care costs and have full coverage for those having existing conditions. This is a major challenge to get done.

That’s it. The next few weeks will tell the tale. I wonder if the GOP is up to the task. We shall see.

Mid-Terms Over

It is all over but the shouting. The Mid-term election is past tense. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent in electronic media; the media loved it. The Democrats now hold a majority in the US House of Representatives and the Republicans retained a majority in the US Senate. There has been some shake up in which political party holds governorships and state legislatures. A few vote results remain in dispute. Challenges will continue for a time. Democrat strongholds remain the larger population centers on the east and west coasts while Republicans hold about everything in between where regular people, the “deplorables”, live.

But where are we as a country? For the past two years, Democrats have prided themselves on being the “Resistance”. We have heard loud criticism and complaints about everything. “Impreach 45” was a rallying cry from the far left. “Impeach Justice Kavanaugh” was another. The caravans from Central America heading for the United States border are nothing; they are a myth, say some. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, ICE, has been likened to the Ku Klux Klan by Senator Kamala Harris. Most of the electronic media, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have become propagandists for the liberal left. The Democrats in the House of Representatives now threaten to flood the political landscape with investigations upon investigations.

Oh, but the worm has turned. Now that the Democrats hold the House of Representatives, we will all learn whether they have anything to offer but bitching. They certainly have not for the past couple of years. What proposals do they offer to move the United States of America forward to a more productive and positive place? They can hide no longer. Democrats got what they wanted: control of at least part of the Congress. They have two years before the next elections to show whether they can do anything positive. My hunch is they cannot and will not. Their goal will continue to be resist President Donald J. Trump.

Ex-president Barrack Hussein Obama, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their cadre of followers damned near tanked this country. We were on the edge of a cliff and really did not realize it. Our military forces were so depleted that we had to scavenge parts from equipment “grave yards”. We were told manufacturing jobs were gone forever. We were told that Gross Domestic Product growth would stay below 2% annually. We apologized to the world for our past. We continued to be the suckers in financing of organizations like NATO and the United Nations. We continued to allow countries all over the world to abuse us in trade. We allowed this country to be the “piggy bank” for the rest of the world while at the same time neglecting our own needs.

The next few months will be interesting, indeed. The jockeying for power will continue. President Trump is strong. Now we need to see some backbone from the United States Senate and something — anything — positive from the House of Representatives.

The “Caravans”

The hordes may be coming.

Venezuela may seem far from the United State of America, but is it? We are already seeing thousands of people migrating north through Mexico from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and an already large number from Mexico itself. The southern border of the United States has been historically porous; millions have crossed it illegally and are literally hiding out somewhere in our country. It has been reported that over 100 countries are represented presently in our detention facilities, so people we know nothing about are coming from all over the world.

And why the concern about Venezuela? Venezuela is a failed state. Millions have already fled that country. They have gone mostly to Brazil and Columbia and, yes, to the United States of America one way or another. Columbia sits at the southern end of Central America as the north most country in South America and adjacent to Venezuela. Are you beginning to get the picture. There will continue to build a pressure for large populations to migrate.Where will they want to end up: the USA, the land of milk and honey.

Big problem. Too many people. Our social structure will be irreparably damaged by the needs and wants of thousands upon thousands of people we know nothing about. But now there may be a greater worry. Contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is starting to spread to neighboring countries — not financially, but literally in the form of potentially deadly diseases carried among millions of refugees.

Venezuela’s health care system has collapsed. That country has become an incubator for malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue fever, and tuberculosis as well as for AIDS. Measles has returned. Dr. Irene Bosch, a research scientist who has studied infectious diseases in Columbia and Venezuela with the U.S. National Institutes of Health has said the current picture is one of a “perfect storm condition for a catastrophic medical situation”. People are contracting more than one disease at a time.

Since 2014, over 2.3 million Venezuelans have left that country. After Brazil and Colombia have had their fill, you can bet eyes will be turned northward past Central America, past Mexico, and become focused upon the United State of America, if they have not already.

If we want to keep our country, we must do whatever is necessary to prevent migration of millions from south of our border into the United States. The caravans are really tokens of what will come. Most are young men: uneducated, unskilled, and non-English speaking. Few are women and children or families. Doubt this? Just look at the pictures we seen every day in the media. Democrats seem to be totally, or more likely politically, blind to the truth about who is in those caravans.

In truth, we do not need more and more immigrants. The time for massive immigration into the United States is long past. Yes, we have tens of thousands of job openings. The need is for skilled and/or educated people to fill those jobs. That is not what is in the caravans. We need to focus on training our own citizens, not importing from elsewhere. That is what will keep America strong.

Acosta

The White House was ordered by a Federal Court judge to return hard press credentials to Jim Acosta; the CNN propagandist who wanted to lecture, argue with, disrespect, and dominate President Donald Trump at a press briefing. Acosta’s behavior was abominable. He would not relinquish the microphone when requested to do so. He resisted the intern physically when she attempted to retrieve the microphone. He should have been summarily escorted out of the briefing by security.

The 15 day temporary ruling was issued by Federal Court Judge, Timothy J. Kelly. We now have an oral court precedent that says the President of the United States of America does not have unilateral control over who is in or out of press briefings. Judge Kelly issued a verbal order and has obfuscated any request for a transcript of court proceedings. The only details of this matter known to the public are those reported by a biased press.

This begs a larger issue and that is what is the role of a free press in our Republic. It is not to behave like a Jim Acosta; a spoiled, unruly brat. It properly is to gather information and report in an objective and unbiased way to the population of this country. The Founders wanted to be sure the people knew what was taking place in government so they, the people, could make informed decisions about the future of the county.The electronic media, New York Times, and the Washington Post, for example, have lost their way. The record shows false reporting and bias dominate. The record shows over 90% of what has been reported about the President and his administration has been negative.

CNN argued two issues. The first was that removing Acosta violated the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the freedom of the press. Neither the President nor anyone at the White House attempted to limit what Acosta or anyone else in America could print or report, be it fact or fiction. The court did not address this claim.

The second issue, not even filed by CNN but injected by the judge, was whether Acosta and CNN were denied the right to “due process” under the 5th Amendment.

The press briefing is not a court room for a civil or criminal proceedings. It is the White House press briefing room. There is no “due process” or law against which to measure “due process”; yet, this is what the judge hung his ruling on. Apparently the judge believes there must be a set of rules of behavior for the “reporters” to follow and some procedure for discipline if those rules are violated. However, as noted, we don’t know exactly what the reasoning was because the judge will not make public a proceedings transcript.

President Trump says his administration will write up some rules. It is my opinion such rules should say the President has sole authority over who is present at a press briefing and that he may bar anyone he deems appropriate, no questions asked. And…. guess what? The President does have total say over whether there will even be press briefings. He said that if things in his judgment get out of had: he and/or those conducting the briefing will say “BYE – BYE”.

This would be a shame given President Donald Trump has given more access for the press than any President in history. He responds to questions readily about any time and any where in spite of the disrespect and “fake news” reporting. The major national news media have a well deserved label: “The Enemy of the People”.