New York Times Gets the Facts Wrong on Land Mines

Every year, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) publishes a report on the number of casualties caused by land mines—or so it says.

And every year, gullible journalists take the report’s headline figure at face value.

But this year, the worst offender is a particularly prestigious outlet: The New York Times, whose Editorial Board authored a column titled, “Why Do Land Mines Still Kill So Many?”

The Gray Lady writes:

The world is rolling backward, and at a disturbingly faster pace, in the struggle to limit carnage from land mines and other booby-trap explosives. The most recent numbers, covering 2016, are appalling. Known casualties that year came to 8,605, including 2,089 deaths… .

According to the Times, 8,605 people were injured or killed in 2016 by land mines and “other booby-trap explosives.”

Well, 8,605 is the ICBL’s headline figure, no doubt about that. But were all those people actually injured or killed by land mines?

Absolutely not.

If you turn to page 57 of the ICBL’s report, you’ll find that only 732 people were injured or killed by an anti-personnel land mine, another 495 by an anti-vehicle mine, and another 538 by an “unspecified” mine.

That’s 1,765 people, not 8,605.

The Times says that casualties to land mines are rising. But the ICBL’s report says that in 2015, 2,002 people were injured or killed by these kinds of mines. So casualties are actually down by 237, not up.

You’d think this would be a cause for modest celebration—but no, apparently it’s not.

True, measuring casualty trends by using the latest ICBL press release is a fool’s errand, because its own reported numbers fluctuate. A lot.

Last year, the ICBL asserted that 2015 saw 6,461 casualties. Now, it says that 2015 had 6,967 casualties.

I don’t object to updating these figures over time as better information becomes available, but comparing this year’s casualties to last year’s based on the latest ICBL report is not going to produce reliable calculations.

The Times’ Obsession With Cluster Bombs

The Times goes on to claim that “[o]ne subset of the menace, cluster munitions, is singularly vicious. … All too often, they fail to detonate right away and thus become time bombs…. Cluster munitions alone caused 971 known casualties in 2016.”

Clearly, the Times asserts that dud cluster bombs are responsible for those casualties.

But the ICBL’s report contradicts this claim, saying that the number of people killed and injured by dud cluster munitions was 114—not 971. The 971 figure includes the people who were directly and immediately killed by cluster munitions that exploded on impact, mostly dropped by the Syrian Air Force. That’s completely different from dud munitions.

The Times’ fixation on cluster munitions is puzzling to me. I don’t see how being killed by a cluster bomb is any worse than being killed by a 500-lb bomb. In fact, the bigger bomb would probably cause more damage, and casualties, than the smaller ones.

Let’s go back to those 8,605 casualties. Where does the Times get that number from?

Well, what the ICBL has done is the same thing they do every year: combine all land mine casualties together with all casualties from improvised explosive devices and all explosive leftovers (known as “explosive remnants of war”).

And then, journalists come along and report that all those casualties were caused by land mines.

Don’t believe me? Well, it happened in 2014. And in 2015. And in 2016.

Now, it’s true that some improvised explosive devices do qualify, legally, as land mines. But that’s not what caused the big jump in 2016 casualties, when casualties from improvised explosive devices increased by only 257.

The casualty increase came almost entirely from the “Unknown mine/explosive remnants of war item” category, which leapt from 1,410 in 2015 to 3,843 in 2016.

We can’t say whether these casualties were caused by land mines and, in fact, it’s likely that most of them were caused by dud bombs, not land mines at all, as almost all these casualties came in Yemen and Libya. Both of those countries saw heavy fighting in 2016.

The Times then moans that “perhaps the saddest part of all this is that for well over a decade the world seemed to have gotten a grip on what are referred to generically as the ‘explosive remnants of war,’” for which it thanks a 1999 treaty banning victim-activated anti-personnel land mines.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That 1999 treaty isn’t about explosive remnants of war. It’s about anti-personnel land mines only. If casualties from explosive remnants of war are going up (and they seem to be), it’s got nothing to do with the treaty.

There is, however, an explosive remnants of war protocol, adopted in 2003. Too bad the anti-land mine activists hate the process that produced it. Why do they hate it? Because they don’t want agreements that control weapons. They just want to ban them.

Of course, the Times doesn’t know that context. It also doesn’t seem to know the context on funding for land mine clearance—even though they reported on it in 2016.

Back then, the Times cheered, “32 donors, led by the United States, contributed nearly $480 million … for mine clearance and victim aid. That was an increase of 22 percent from the year before.”

But the year before, funding dropped by 14 percent. So actually, funding—after a three-year drop that began in 2013—is now almost exactly where it was back in 2010. U.S. funding did fall slightly, but most of the decline came from Japan, the European Union, and especially Norway.

Now most of those donors have restored or increased their funding. There’s not much of a story here.

Treaties Will Solve Everything, Right?

So what does the Times propose we do about these supposed 8,605 casualties? Well, sign more treaties, of course.

Says the Times:

[T]he land mine and cluster munitions treaties are undercut by the refusal of some of modern warfare’s most powerful players to sign them. … Washington is not immune to moral suasion… . [Signing would be] a moral statement encouraging others to follow suit.

Are you seriously telling me you believe that, if the U.S. got rid of its land mines, ISIS would stop using improvised explosive devices and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would stop bombing his own population?

You have to be very stupid to believe that. But apparently, the New York Times Editorial Board does believe it.

It gets better. Why hasn’t the U.S. gotten rid of its land mines? Because South Korea uses mines to defend itself against North Korea, and South Korea is an ally of ours.

But according to the Times, “given the North’s nuclear buildup, a mined DMZ seems to be a Cold War vestige of diminished value.”

So because North Korea has nuclear weapons, we should abandon our land mines? I’m glad the Times wasn’t advising NATO on how to defend Western Europe during the Cold War.

One of the successes of 2017, according to the land mine ban advocates, was that Sri Lanka joined the 1999 treaty in December. According to the banners, that was because Sri Lanka did not “want to be associated with such an obsolete, abhorrent weapon.” Hah.

Actually, what happened was that in 2009 the Sri Lankan government won its brutal, 25-year-long civil war, during which it used land mines in enormous quantities. Now that it’s crushed its rebels, it doesn’t need land mines any more, so it joined the treaty. That’s the way these things work.

The Real Reason for Casualty Increases

Let’s cut to the chase. Why are the casualties that ICBL tracks going up?

Not because of land mines, or the 1999 treaty, or the fact the U.S. hasn’t signed it. They’re going up because the last few years have seen a lot of very bloody and indiscriminate wars during which a lot of improvised explosive devices were used, and those wars have left a lot of dud bombs lying around.

If those wars continue, and if improvised explosive device use continues to spread (as it assuredly will), casualties will go up. If they stop, casualties will in time go down. That’s it.

To be fair, the ICBL mischaracterizes its own findings too, so we shouldn’t just blame lazy, left-wing journalists. When the ICBL released its report back in December, it claimed that “a few intense conflicts … have resulted in very high numbers of mine casualties.”

If you took the word “mine” out of that sentence, it would be correct. But the ICBL can’t resist hyping its own cause.

Back in 2014, the land mine banners were crowing that their favorite treaty was making land mines a “weapon of the past.” But in the same year, when I looked at this issue for the first time, I made this prediction. It’s turned out to be completely correct:

The amount of unexploded ordnance in the world—and the number of [improvised explosive devices] used and [anti-personnel land mines] laid—is a lagged function of the number and viciousness of the world’s wars. The late 1980s and 1990s saw a lot of these wars, in Afghanistan, Colombia, Ethiopia/Eritrea, and the former Yugoslavia, among other places.

It’s not surprising that, as some of these wars cooled and unexploded [ordnance] was cleared, the number of casualties recorded by ICBL for its Landmine Report has declined. As war has come to Syria and Ukraine, and returned to Afghanistan, the next decade is likely to see more casualties. The anti-land-mine treaty is largely irrelevant to these trends.

Of course, the Times closes by blaming President Donald Trump. If only he wasn’t such a meanie, it sniffs, the U.S. would give up on cluster munitions, sign the land mines ban, and that good old moral suasion would kick into effect.

Nonsense.

Leaving aside the fact that moral suasion isn’t going to work on Assad and ISIS, all of these 2016 casualties—every one of them—occurred when President Barack Obama was leading from behind.

Maybe what was needed then—and now—wasn’t more U.S. signatures on treaties. Maybe it was more U.S. leadership to stop, or to win, those wars in Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

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Trump’s National Security Strategy Boldly Reasserts American Leadership

In the Obama White House, the mantra of “leading from behind” was so deeply embedded that America’s allies were often left confused and disoriented when it came to U.S. foreign policy.

President Barack Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy was a curious mishmash of lofty idealism and outreach to dictatorial regimes such as Iran and Cuba, combined with a refusal to even acknowledge that an ideological war existed against Islamists.

Obama’s National Security Strategy listed climate change as a “top strategic risk to our interests” alongside use of weapons of mass destruction, while the threat posed by ISIS and al-Qaeda was simply dubbed “violent extremism.” Just as Obama himself began his two term presidency with an apology tour across the world, his strategy warned that America’s own values had been under threat in the post 9/11 era in the war on terror.

The new National Security Strategy released early Monday by President Donald Trump’s White House sets a very different, distinctly unapologetic tone. It takes a clear-cut view of the immense challenges faced by the United States from an array of actors, from Russia, China, and North Korea to transnational, largely Islamist terror networks. In addition, the strategy emphatically rules out the idea of extending the hand of friendship to rogue regimes such as Iran.

The projection of American leadership is front and center in the new strategy. The document contains a strong rejection of the idea that the United States should share global leadership with Moscow and Beijng in a supposedly multipolar world:

The United States will respond to the growing political, economic, and military competitions we face around the world. China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.

These competitions require the United States to rethink the policies of the past two decades—policies based on the assumption that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners. For the most part, this premise turned outlateral to be false.

Trump’s National Security Strategy, which runs to 70 pages (in contrast to 2015’s 29 pages), outlines four pillars for advancing and defending America’s interests on the world stage: protecting the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life; promoting American prosperity; preserving peace through strength; and advancing American influence.

At the core of the new strategy is an emphasis on controlling America’s borders, rebuilding America’s military, and competing and leading in international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations, while pressing to make them more accountable and effective.

As the new strategy makes clear, America’s enemies should be under no illusions regarding U.S. resolve:

We must convince adversaries that we can and will defeat them—not just punish them if they attack the United States. We must ensure the ability to deter potential enemies by denial—convincing them that they cannot accomplish objectives through the use of force or other forms of aggression. We need our allies to do the same.

The document is a bold reassertion of American leadership and a refusal to bow to the siren calls of isolationism. It is a robust defense of the principles of national sovereignty and self-determination, as well as a recognition that the United States can best lead on the world stage by upholding its own sovereignty and that of its allies.

The document also includes powerful support for religious freedom, an important message to send both at home and abroad, as well as a welcome call to rethink foreign aid, by basing foreign assistance on free market principles and private investment.

The 2017 National Security Strategy should reassure America’s friends and allies that the United States is firmly committed to leading the free world. At the same time, it should serve as a stark warning to America’s adversaries and strategic competitors that the U.S. will renew its military might, reject failed strategies of engagement, and use its resources to challenge and where necessary defeat those who threaten the security of the American people.

The post Trump’s National Security Strategy Boldly Reasserts American Leadership appeared first on The Daily Signal.

We Hear You: A Thoughtful, Informative Chat With Trump Champion Sebastian Gorka

Editor’s note: Response to former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka’s on-camera interview with Rob Bluey, The Daily Signal’s editor-in-chief, was overwhelmingly positive from our audience. Here’s a generous sampling. Remember to write us at letters@dailysignal.com.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: I am so tired of the “mainstream media” having only specific topics that are inane at best and totally manipulative in their divine estimation (“Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media“). Thank you for Rob Bluey’s informative and thoughtful interview with Sebastian Gorka.

In the commentaries and interviews I have seen in The Daily Signal, I have never thought that there was any kind of trap-setting. And the answers are nontargeted because the questions are nontargeted. Opinions are expressed as such and are not taken as a “source” for phony or adjusted fact.

I love Mr. Gorka and his dry wit. It is uplifting for me to see the dialogues without the defensive/offensive attacks.—Karin Callaway

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Sebastian Gorka’s intelligent observations speak to his qualifications and perspective. Men of like minds can help make America great again.

President Trump should end all benefits for Congress, from Obamacare exemption to military transportation, to reserved parking at airports. That would give him good headlines or popularity with the people, and he would never run out of wrongs to right. He could make government transparent by requiring public access to department spreadsheets of all spending.

Congress and the deep state and the lobbyists all function on honor among thieves. Besides building the wall, nothing more than taking on congressional corruption would assure re-election.—Michael Watson 

As a dedicated American, it was with a happy heart that I was able to catch Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka. Finally, I have all the reason to go on believing in America’s principles set down by our forefathers.

This interview made that possible, and I want to thank Mr. Bluey and Mr. Gorka. I will be making a copy of the transcript and keeping it with me to refer to for a long time to come. Godspeed.—Sylvia Rachel Quinn, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

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Thanks for keeping us informed with the interview with Sebastian Gorka. I was disappointed when I learned about his having to leave the White House, and then started to see shady (to me) new appointees.

I hope to read more of Rob Bluey’s work. Lucid and with a good number of questions providing the reader wonderful insight into the subject. Merry Christmas!—Tessie Pasa

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Thank you to Rob Bluey for his to-the-point questions to Sebastian Gorka. I thoroughly enjoyed the questions and answers.

All pertinent and relevant to President Trump and national concerns. Gorka’s answers regarding threats were a beautiful example of his ability to explain complex issues in tight, concise language.—Norma Berrios

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Excellent piece, with well-thought-out questions. And naturally, Dr. Gorka’s responses were very insightful, introspective, and reassuring. Thank you to Rob Bluey and all his colleagues at The Daily Signal for being the medium of truth, justice, and the American way.—Sanford P. England, Indian Land, S.C.

What a great interview. Gorka’s views on foreign affairs were insightful. Thank you for the transcript. I did not vote for Trump, as I did not feel his conservative track record was all that steady. But from everything he has done so far, I am warming up to voting for him in 2020, if he runs.—Joseph Vander Jagt 

***

Legal immigrants appreciate this country more than Americans sometimes, because they know what it is like to live under oppressive governments without the freedoms we enjoy here.

Our public school system is indoctrinating students with progressive nonsense rather than teaching students to be critical thinkers and teaching them the truth about socialism and communism.—Marilyn Regan

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The Daily Signal has a great opportunity to educate us to deal with the left’s Marxist “talking points.” I would like to see a list of Gorka’s statements that make evident the distortions of the left’s lie-laden propaganda.

It’s difficult to respond to the craft of lie-making of the left because the way they form their statements can be difficult to entangle. I know something is twisted in what they say, but can’t always find a way to cut through the fog. Apparently Gorka has that ability. There are others.

The Daily Signal should give us these educational points with the people with whom you come in contact. Help us to clarify the lies with reality and their illusion of relativity (including moral relativity).—Mark Bigley, Luling, Texas

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All you have to do is take the oath to protect this country against enemies both foreign and domestic, and the “clear responsibility” to preserve human rights and equality becomes paramount in your thinking.

Gorka experienced this through schlepping into the White House daily, and I’m glad it provided him the feeling that many of us whom have sworn the oath have realized since 1776.—Drew Molina

Rob Bluey, editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, poses questions to Sebastian Gorka, a national security and intelligence expert and former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. (Photo: Ginny Montalbano/The Daily Signal)

A recurring trope of the right-wing media is that “the mainstream media is unfair, dishonest, and controlled by liberals to promote their agenda.” But it is a false trope.

Gorka’s story in this interview of one journalist, whether true or not, can’t be reasonably extrapolated to tarnish all members of the “mainstream” media. Further, Gorka doesn’t identify this journalist, nor does he even describe the person as “mainstream,” whatever that means.

The right wing has made a major effort to undermine trust in our republic’s basic institutions, including the media, federal courts, scientists and academic institutions, public schools, elections, and on and on.

The damage to our nation’s credibility, psyche, unity, and strength is as palpable as it is repugnant. But these attacks depend on honest people and patriots remaining passive. We won’t.—John Levin

***

It is a breath of fresh air having a president who actually wants to solve problems instead of simply talking them to death or kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with. The left has won virtually all of the arguments because we have not had a leader since Reagan who would debate them.

That’s one reason Reagan was so despised by the left: He made them look stupid and sought the support from the people via periodic TV broadcasts. Trump is doing the same thing, except he uses Twitter and is far more aggressive than Reagan. However, this is justified because the left is far more aggressive today, even though they were not exactly meek back then.

I for one have had enough of milquetoast politicians. I respect people who proudly state their beliefs even if I might disagree. At least I know where they stand. Also, actions speak far louder than words. It’s called character and integrity, which have been scarce over the past eight years.Randy Leyendecker

***

Sebastian Gorka is a foreigner, as am I.  Both of us committed to becoming United States citizens,  unlike those who acquired their citizenship merely by being born here and didn’t have to give anything up to do so.

So, effectively, most who become naturalized are more patriotic and refuse to cede our rights to the left for perceived safety. We know what it is like not to have the freedoms everyone here takes for granted.—Marine Lt. Col. Klaus von Faustheim (retired)

***

Rob Bluey conducted an insightful interview with Sebastian Gorka on how he sees today’s world. The nuances about the Middle East threats, as well as China’s 2049 ambition, are corroborated by the widespread terrorist incidents that happen on a weekly basis, and by China’s intrusion into Africa and South America for natural resources and to buy influence and enterprises.

If the U.S. does not place its fiscal house in order, China has a strong probability of achieving its objective of replacing the U.S. as the world’s ultimate superpower.—F.G. Voltz, Carson City, Nev.

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Great job, Rob Bluey. I love this guy as a true-blue conservative and Trumpist.—B.D. Cook

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Compliments to  Bluey for a great interview with  Gorka.—Neil Goodman

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Sebastian Gorka is 100 percent right. President Trump is a fighter, and he wins. All the losers like Romney, McCain, and Bush can’t stand him. Trump shed light on the corrupt American government. He could become the greatest president in U.S. history.—Thomas Mathew

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I love The Daily Signal. Thanks for the terrific Q&A with Gorka. He is brilliant. Hope guys like Rob Bluey and Ben Shapiro become major forces in the media.  Keep up the great work.—David Nicholas

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Excellent interview. I learned a lot about Gorka through it. Job well done.—Nancy Culkin

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Thank you so much for this article. Bluey is a great writer and Gorka is a great man.—Claude and Linda McLean

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I have listened to Gorka on Fox News Channel a few times and know of his eloquence. Now I know the depth of his awareness.

I find that so many people do not read beyond the headlines and never reach the depths of thought I am alluding to. But, you must keep trying. It is our lot in life.Air Force Lt. ColMichael Fitzgerald (retired)

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I found Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka exceptionally encouraging. Thanks for asking super questions and providing Gorka’s superb responses. Very enlightening.—Peter Jensen

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Thank you for The Daily Signal as an instrument of truth for the American people. I especially liked Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka. Inspiring and so hopeful for our country. With prayers for massive circulation for The Daily Signal.—Sr. Grace Anne Wills, TOR, Toronto, Ohio

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I certainly appreciate Gorka’s candor. He is a great American.—Miguel (Mike) Escobar

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Thanks for putting the interview with Gorka online. It was an excellent interview and really caused me to respect Gorka even more.—Robert Brenner

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Appreciate the insightful Q&A. Really needed to hear what Gorka said.—Nancy Gaenssley

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Great questions and great article about someone who brings clarity to the insanity. I absolutely loved it.—Richard Kelsheimer, Grand Prairie, Texas

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Thanks for cutting to the truth. A very good interview. Sending to friends. God bless you.—Gary and Linda Witt, Buhler, Kansas

Questions About Uranium One

Great article on the Clintons and Uranium One by Fred Lucas (6 Key Elements in Understanding the Tangled Uranium One Scandal”). Please stay after this crime against America. There’s so much swamp and so few honest investigative journalists. I hope you and yours stay true to the cause.—Brannen Edwards

***

The FBI had plenty of evidence to prosecute this case in 2009. This was a Justice Department cover-up perpetrated by Eric Holder, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe and others. How do you keep something hush-hush? You have an ongoing FBI investigation. Sorry, can’t talk about that!

When the case was closed, where was all the handshaking and backslapping followed by the “Aren’t we great” press conference? The FBI busts an international (Russian) racketeering scheme—money laundering, kickbacks, and extortion—involving uranium in the U.S., and they’re not going to take a victory lap?

Think about this as well: The FBI announced the closing of the investigation after dinner on Friday. We all know why this sort of thing happens. Sssshhhh!—Danny Lee Cosat

***

Aren’t most all of these so-called government officials basically just puppets answering to the puppet masters? In that case, this entire event is a show, meant to keep the masses in a tangled maze, thus creating more confusion followed by apathy. It’s the divide and conquer game. We’re all screwed.—Tom Varano

***

Will they get away with it? Sadly, yes. Back in the day, the exposure of wrongdoing was enough to bring down the wrongdoer. Bill Clinton changed all that; now we willingly accept wrongdoing, as long as the state propagandists (media) give their blessing.

Clearly, we are living in an age when despite truckloads of evidence against the Clintons, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Robert Mueller, and others, the coup against President Trump must continue no matter what.

We thought we would have a true champion in  Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but tragically, he’s turned out to be an unwitting dupe of the deep state.—Vicky Kay

***

This proves how corrupt the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton are. Our FBI and Justice Department have been so politicized they are incapable of investigating anything. We need to clean house and drain the swamp and prosecute all of them.—Lisa Chaumont

***

It is becoming clear that cronyism has been resident in the Justice Department and FBI for years, even decades. Recent revelations threaten to kill the trust of the public in government, law enforcement, and more.

Those in power within public service, the Congress, the courts, and the presidency, are playing with the existence of the country. The honor and trust of the nation, and our system of government, is on the docket. “Have they no shame?”—Jaime Manzano

***

My questions have been these: Did the FBI, Justice Department, Homeland Security, and others know about this? If not, why not? If they did, did they investigate? If not, why not?

If they did investigate, did they inform Congress and/or any of the agencies tasked with approving the sale of those uranium assets in a timely manner? If not, why not?—John Besharian

***

I’m praying the truth will be exposed very soon. The corruption dating back decades needs to be rooted out. America can take the blow as long as truth is the outcome. Examples need to be made in many areas of government, past and present.—B. Younger

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Thanks for clarifying that there is no there there.—Warren Coats, Bethesda, Md.

***

Great  article, based on fact and not sweeping, smearing generalizations. Like other readers, I am most interested in where the trail of facts ultimately leads.—Mike Lee

On Teaching Kindness and Tolerance

Dear Daily Signal: Kelsey Harkness should lengthen her 6-minute video report on Delta Street Academy (“Through God, This Mississippi Boys School Is Working to Heal the Racial Divide”) to encourage teachers to concentrate on keeping frustration and anger out of the classroom and put the emphasis on helping students to be peaceful, good citizens. Teachers should teach kindness and tolerance, not hatred and racism.

I taught for two years in the Greenwood, Mississippi, schools. They are indeed failing, not only because the students have given up but because the teachers have. The teachers are as poorly trained as the students.

Of course, I generalize. I had AmeriCorps teachers tell me the schools were the worst they ever served in. I agreed, and after two years went back to college, got my master’s, and remained teaching at a college. I have since retired and moved back to Greenwood. The school are worse yet.

I helped a teacher at Delta Street Academy by giving him my curriculum, books, and PowerPoints. Our local library is very close to this academy, and the students visit often. One librarian said the academy students say that academy teachers “listen to them and encourage them to succeed, while they are shouted at and put down in local public schools.” I know this to be true from when I was in the system.

Black teachers put their frustration and hate with their situation onto the students. This does not create good citizens. I applaud Delta Street Academy for listening and being kind to these abused students. They are helping to heal the racial divide.—Persistent Professor

***

Kelsey Harkness has done it again, producing another blue-ribbon piece full of joy, hope, optimism, and true life characters who personify courage, resilience, hard work, perseverance, humility, Christian charity, grace, and virtue. Why can’t all the news be like hers? —Jeffrey L. Gainey

Physics and Climate Change

Thanks to Kevin Mooney for his story, “Climate Change Alarmism Is ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out,’ Retired NASA Physicist Says”). Like Hal Doiron, I also have a degree in physics. It is getting a little old now, but I did learn the scientific method and how to evaluate data. I have been telling everyone I know that the climate model being used is nonsense.

Without access to the quality of information referred to in your article, my objection was based on the fact that the data being used was literally garbage, unreliable and frequently skewed intentionally. My other objection was that, even with manipulated data, the result never matched the claims. Thank you for a knowledgeable approach to this issue.—Lloyd Wentworth

***

Keep it up and repeat often. Because I live on the coast in Savannah, Georgia, we are inundated with front page articles about doomsday. I even have requested that the editors of our newspaper at least do point-counterpoint, to no avail.

Snowbirds continue to move south and bring their need for big government with them, which means they’re never going to be happy until we look like what they left.—Brannen Edwards

This and That

Rob Bluey’s reporting on the findings of the Axios-Survey Monkey poll about government’s role really shows the true nature of the people of America (“Growing Number of Americans Oppose Government Regulation of Social Media”)The government should never regulate any business entity or media outlet, except in cases such as mergers of companies of like kind that will, in the end, cause a definite monopoly on a particular item or service.

Way back, the government “broke up” some businesses because they got too big to allow competition (AT&T, or “Ma Bell”).  Now businesses have gotten smarter by not staying within their own venues and instead gaining ownership of various other entities with a possible competing service (AOL/Time-Warner).

As an ultraconservative, Constitution-loving, flag-waving, Republican, Christian woman, I am appalled at the way government has been taken over by certain beliefs, that the seated representatives think they know more of what people should have, rather than keeping America and its people safe.Karin Callaway

***

Nolan Peterson’s article on Ukraine and U.S. coal is a bit of an eye opener (“Ukraine Turns to American Coal to Defend Itself Against Russia”). Now I think I understand why the dark state communist and radical Muslim sympathizers have fought so hard to curtail American coal and oil companies from expanding into a state of global energy independence.

American energy independence and worldwide energy abundance directly undermine the economies and influence of all the Middle Eastern nations and Russia. This also explains the Russians’ trying to infiltrate North American uranium resources.

The only problem with capitalism is it has been intentionally mismanaged and obstructed by the “progressives” working to subvert it. Otherwise, it works everywhere it’s tried.—John Emmi

***

Good for Fred Lucas to write about dreaded communism (“Trump White House Recognizes 100 Years of Victims of Communism”). Just read Mike Walsh’s book, “Trotsky’s White Negroes.” Makes me ill to think about the millions that were killed. So you did the world a favor.—Vilma

How Are We Doing?

As members of the President’s Club at The Heritage Foundation for 25 years, we love referring to The Daily Signal as The Daily Truth. Can’t thank its presence enough.—Bryon and Sandra Odhner

I am grateful for accurate news such as the reports by Fred Lucas. I no longer can trust the major media or TV news. As a retired geologist and combat veteran pilot in Vietnam, I am extremely disappointed in our Congress and in our judicial system. Trump is doing the best he can to drain the swamp.—Fred Hankinson

Many thanks for The Daily Signal. I just read my first Morning Bell. I make my donations to The Heritage Foundation the old-fashioned way, by paper check.—Walter Ling

I urge Fred Lucas and The Daily Signal to help expose the corruption of “the swamp.” Be cooperative and innovative in telling the voters what’s going on in your neck of the woods regarding improprieties.—Craig Schwartz

Casey Ryan helped to compile this column.

The post We Hear You: A Thoughtful, Informative Chat With Trump Champion Sebastian Gorka appeared first on The Daily Signal.