We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud

Editor’s note:  It’s helpful to know to what’s on the minds of The Daily Signal’s audience. Here’s a sampling of recent emails to letters@dailysignal.com.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Peter Parisi’s commentary, “The ‘Dreamers’ Have No Right to Demand Anything.” Interesting to see this today, as just yesterday I emailed the following to President Trump:

Mr. President: Please do not give amnesty to the illegal immigrants.  My parents came from Mexico many decades ago. They learned English (and did not have a class for English as a second language), became citizens, and grew to love America.

They never went on welfare nor took advantage of our country. They worked hard and paid their own way even for medical. They were never dependent on the government for anything. They became part of the community.

Today’s illegal aliens are making demands on us and they have no right, just as we have no right to make demands when we go to other countries. Today’s illegal aliens wave the Mexican flag and do not respect our laws, nor do they love our country as immigrants from past decades did.

Remember, that for 40-plus years our country even shut down immigration so that people could assimilate and learn English. Why can that not be done again?

Please, Mr. President, do not give in to any form of amnesty, and please stay firm on getting a complete wall built.

These thoughts are shared by many, many of my conservative friends across the country. (I have an email list of over 500 names, plus a whole group of conservative friends on Facebook, so I know this is how they feel.)—Molly Schubert, Raleigh, N.C.

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The problem of sanctuary cities and states is not complicated (“Acting ICE Director: Let’s Charge Sanctuary Cities for Violating Federal Law“). Neither is the solution. All we need to solve the problem is accountability by the politicians responsible for passing sanctuary laws.

If Congress were to pass a law making political entities and individual legislators and administrators personally and financially liable for damages stemming from actions of illegal aliens in sanctuary areas, lawyers would carry the ball from there. They would engage in massive financial damage suits and put an end to all sanctuary entities in a matter of months at no cost to the general public, except to the taxpayers in the political entities promulgating “sanctuary.”

States could also enact statewide laws creating financial liability for all legislators and administrators within their authority. Who would vote to pass or keep sanctuary laws knowing that the Steinle family or other victims could bring suit against them for financial damages and win and collect?—Harold Knowles, North Royalton, Ohio

I was speaking with a former student who began dating a young man from Brazil. After a while, they decided that she would get a visa and travel to Brazil and stay with his family for six months. She shared with me that the Brazilian government knew where she was at all times. She had to make periodic visits to government offices to verify her whereabouts and the continued purpose for her visit.

So Brazil can keep tabs on people traveling there on visas, but liberals in our country think that is against people’s rights, and that our government has no right to do ao as a sovereign nation. It’s as if they do not understand what the purpose of government is.

I think it would be interesting to have a story that shows how other governments around the world track people visiting on temporary visas, and how they handle immigration rather than focusing solely on what we do here. People who have never traveled have narrow perspectives that reflect only their experiences and exposures.

I also think it would be interesting to speak with legal immigrants and publish their stories to include why they immigrated to this country, when they immigrated, how they immigrated, how their lives changed afterward, and what their perspective is on illegal immigration.

I’d like to see a poll of legal immigrants and how they feel about illegal immigration. That information should in turn be shared with the government, so they understand that people who immigrate legally do not take kindly to others cutting in line rather than going through legal channels. The legal immigrants I know do not support illegal immigration.—Robin Greer

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Consider this: The very first thing that must be accomplished to keep this country free is to standardize all voting laws, requirements to be a candidate in any governmental election (city, county, state, and federal), and term limits.

Illegal immigrants and noncitizens should never be permitted to be a candidate for any government position. Our laws need to require having a photo ID and proof of U.S. citizenship for any legal citizen to vote or hold office in any election.

Everyone must be required to have these documents to get Social Security, welfare, and other benefits, and to have their water, lights, and gas turned on at their residence. The only individuals who cannot provide these documents are those who are dead, decide to vote more than once, are convicted felons: fraudulent voters.

Without just and fair voting, there will never be a government without the corruption of foreign control.—P. Panehal

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The other day in Brentwood, Long Island, police arrested five teens, two of whom were covered by the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. They were part of the MS-13 gang, trying to abduct a 16-year-old boy just outside Brentwood High School.

Several months earlier, four boys were brutally murdered in Central Islip, again by MS-13 using teens to lure the boys into the woods where they were beaten and hacked to death.

Do we need DACA? No. Do we need illegal aliens? No.

My grandparents and others came here legally and received no food stamps, no welfare. It was all right for them, but not for these people.—Jack Norris, Bayshore, N.Y.

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Let President Trump know that Americans do not want anything short of deporting every DACA recipient and other illegal immigrant. They broke our sovereign law. No amnesty, no cutting deals, no ands, ifs, or buts. And make Mexico pay for building the wall.

Think of how much taxpayers’ money will not be used to support illegal immigrants. The amount saved can be the advance payment used to build the wall, instead of having to ask the House and Senate to authorize the money.—J. Kin Ng

***

No DACA, period. My vote is no DACA at any cost. Where is this going to stop?

When President Reagan gave the first (and only) amnesty, this was to be fixed.—Kevin Sanders Sr.

Really Reforming Health Care 

Dear Daily Signal: I read the commentary on proposals to fix government (taxpayers)-funded health care by moving to state block grants, and I’ve got some questions (“Americans Need Health Reform to Be a Priority Issue in 2018“). Why must these taxes go through the federal system where Congress and the executive branch reduce the potential impact to those citizens targeted?

What are the administrative costs of federal and state bureaucracies for Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.? What are the administrative costs for businesses and health care providers? How many programs are there, and who are the targets? What are the sources of funding for these programs? How effective are they, and by what measures?

I recently went on Medicaid and was surprised how small a percentage of care providers’ bills were paid. It looks to me that if these costs aren’t inflated, that a provider would be forced to take measures that will not benefit patient care. What are those changes in care we have seen or likely will see?

It doesn’t seem to make economic sense the way things work. Higher demand, price controls, additional patients, increasing costs, and fewer contributors would seem a prescription for disaster.

Are there efforts to look at the way we deliver health care instead of how we pay for it? Will the moves by Aetna and others to provide health care via storefronts lower costs or raise demand? Do restrictions on who can legally provide health care limit supply?—Bob Taylor

Saying No to Assisted Suicide

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for your article and video on J.J. Hanson and his rejection of physician-assisted suicide (“This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide“). He was right to do what he did.

Doctors who provide physician-assisted suicide, I believe, are compromising the Hippocratic oath they took when they became a doctor in the first place. How can patients trust their doctors if they cannot, first and foremost, trust their doctors to save their lives?

Does physician-assisted suicide destroy the physician-patient relationship? I believe it does.

The group that made the video of Mr. Hanson should reach out to medical allies in the pro-life community such as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Catholic Medical Association, and the American College of Pediatricians.

Doctors can do their best to give patients their best advice.  But they can’t accurately predict the future. Further, patients who have a strong faith can live productive lives and can be healed. There are no guarantees.

But, why give up?  As Mr. Hanson pointed out, these families would suffer greatly with the loss of their loved one.

Thanks for your great reporting. Blessings for a great 2018.—Kathleen Goryl

A Danger After Tax Reform

Dear Daily Signal: I am writing to warn of a danger that I don’t think President Trump has noticed regarding the new tax law (“Taxpayers Could See Benefits of GOP Tax Bill as Early as February“). I heard one speaker say after passage of tax reform that taxpayers would see the difference in their filing in 2019.  But even the president is talking as if it will happen in our April 2018 tax filing.

Why is this bad? Republicans have put out so much hype about taxpayers saving money, and I can assure you that most Americans will have not heard, not paid attention, not understood that all this tax-savings hype will not make any difference to them until 2019.

When April rolls around and we process our taxes, what the taxpayer will realize is that nothing has changed.Taxpayers will be teed off.  You had better believe that the Democrats will take full advantage and proclaim that the president lied. Well, there go the 2018 midterm elections to the Democrats.

What the president needs to do is to explain it better and to keep the left from taking total control. He need to act immediately. And to jump-start the new law, he needs to provide a tax rebate or other stimulus that will be received by Americans in 2018, to hold taxpayers over until the 2019 filing. Otherwise voters will run away.—Don P., Richmond, Va.

I’ve been getting into it with some of my liberal friends about AT&T and Comcast {“Companies Announce Bonuses, Raises Following Passage of Tax Reform“). They’re basically saying the new tax law has nothing to do with the companies’ recent announcements of wage increases and business investments. Plus they point out the recent AT&T layoffs as evidence tax reform didn’t save jobs.

I know the layoffs were announced last year, so it had nothing to do with the tax reform bill. But if you could point me anywhere that would debunk their claims, that would be great.—Andy Schatner

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Americans are worried about our growing budget deficit (“Congress Could Soon Face a Budget Fight. Here’s How Lawmakers Can Rein in Spending“).  The national debt will continue to rise as long as Congress doesn’t control spending.  It can take two actions–stop unauthorized appropriations and stop pork from being added to bills.

Our congressmen waive or disregard their own rules against unauthorized appropriations.  The rules of “paygo” don’t preclude them from enacting legislation to increase direct spending. In other words, our congressmen spend taxpayers’ money at will.

Almost every bill that Congress passes has pork added at the last minute. Congress must prohibit any addition to any bill that is unrelated to the topic or adds pork or other spending. This would cut a lot of wasteful spending.

America is becoming enslaved by debt.—Persistent Professor

Fake News and Classified Information

Dear Daily Signal: A review of the code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists indicates to me that fake news including contrived reports or sloppy checkingis unethical (“The History of Fake News in the U.S.“).  I am not interested in hampering a free press or freedom of speech. However, I would like to put a stop to unnamed sources. I believe that is unethical.

Also, when published information is proved to be wrong, I would like to see the correction given the same prominence, frequency, and distribution as the original error.  I would be happy to have a law to that effect.

Likewise, release of classified information ought to require some restraint. The government ought to appear before an appropriate judicial panel before release of such information. The Constitution included the idea of providing for the common defense, and classified information that puts us at risk ought to have appropriate review (whatever that is) before it gets released by anyone.

Those who steal information for the purpose of exposing something should have to show cause why it should be released.  Failing that, we ought to have loss of employment and pension, fines, and prison as deterrents.  It is a criminal offense and without special circumstances, there should be some justice meted out after due process that currently does not exist.

Both the former FBI director, James Comey, and his law professor friend ought to come to grief from application of current law. We should not play favorites with the law.  Let us not be stupid about providing for the common defense.—Frank Steinle

***

Dear Daily Signal: It is refreshing to see the leftist agenda of the New York Times pointed out, as in Jarrett Stepman’s commentary (“The New York Times Left Socialism Out of Its Report on Venezuela’s Devastation“). There are many other newspapers like the Times, and I wonder how can that happen in the “free” USA built on free enterprise and capitalism. (See PragerU.)

Most mainstream newspapers and universities have become leftist. I think it is simply because of the enormous amount of money pouring in. And people, being weak and greedy, accept the payment, live well, and do not care about the future the leftist agenda has in store. It really is a shame.

One just has to follow the United Nations’ Agenda 21 disguised as “sustainable development,” “clean environment,” etc.  The whole global-warming scare and climate change are just tools to the leftist goals: one world government and suppression of the people.

Once we all drive electric cars, all they have to do is cut electricity and we all become immobile. It is total control of the public and elimination of the middle class. The public has to wake up and see what is behind this movement. President Obama was a champion of it and he did a lot of damage in his eight years, including raising the debt level from $10 trillion to roughly $20 trillion.

Cutting coal and giving away control of the internet was designed to cut freedom, and the people do not know it. Germany’s Angela Merkel complied with an Agenda 21 point to allow free movement of African and Middle Eastern young men  to Europe. France’s Emmanuel Macron is also part of the game.

No wonder in Germany and Austria right-wing politicians gain votes. The European Union and the U.N. need to be dismantled. I am glad Brexit exists, and pray it will go through.—Rolf Pfeiffer

This and That

Dear Daily Signal: I’m a retired, 91-year-old man who worked for the telephone company from 1952 till 1989, and I’m responding to Elizabeth Slattery’s commentary, “This Test Claims to Show Whether You’re Unconsciously Racist.”

I spent about 17 years in the South Bronx as a walking repairman and installer of new telephones. The work was in the tenements and projects. The large majority of jobs was for blacks, Hispanics, and new immigrants from below our borders and Europe.

My opinion of most people must be considered by individual experiences encountered in daily jobs. How can a test designed by people, perhaps never exposed to the real world, be relevant? The answers of those taking the test would necessarily be influenced by encounters in the real world. I intend to take the test for my own interest.—George Fischer

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Net neutrality assumes everyone using the internet generally are good people, like all internet service providers and businesses are, and that they never would think of doing anything wrong to people for profits or agendas to control information.

Like Twitter counted the freedom of expression of the pro-life congresswoman as worth nothing, and protected the world from ideas different from their outlook of cultural colonization for the good of everyone else?—Mike Kelley

***

Motivational reform is a great way to reverse decades of throwing taxpayer money at social issues, expanded by government, that would not be tolerated in the private sector (“Trump Administration’s 2 Priorities for Welfare Reform Executive Order“).  The old adage “a hand up, not a handout” is still a great rule.

There should be work-related guidelines for any taxpayer assistance, and they should be very strict. The most important lesson is discipline, and that means we don’t need federal bureaucrats defining rules of engagement.—Brannen Edwards

***

I know that many of your readers enjoy the video reports you produce, and on occasion I find them informative. However, I find it more stimulating and thought provoking if the videos would include a transcript. Including the transcript allows me to think about what is being said and review the actual words more thoughtfully.

The audio text takes too much effort to review.  I also believe our society is getting lazy by watching the news rather than reading the text and getting more engaged with the content rather than watching the images.  The images have a way of skewing your thoughts away from perhaps what is truly being said.

Keep up the good work and continue pursuing journalistic excellence.—Joe Christ

Editor’s note: Hopefully you’ve noticed that we’ve begun including transcripts for many of our videos, Joe.

***

Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s recent commentaries: I think that perhaps Charlottesville, Virginia, can be compared to Ferguson, Missouri, and the University of Missouri.  Outside troublemakers intended to bring chaos into the community and bring down whatever they could.

The cost to the city of Ferguson? Monies taken away from the University of Missouri by benefactors, and enrollment has fallen to where they have closed dorms and new facility. Divide and conquer. America is in sad shape and could already be lost. Those who can bring the cause to the forefront are silent.

History is not being taught in schools, but I am a firm believer that America needs to know exactly how Ellis Island worked. I think it would benefit many.—Connie Harris

***

Walter Williams’ commentary about teachers’ academic qualifications (“The Low Academic Quality of Too Many Teachers“) omits two critical issues: teachers’ pay and the willingness to tax sufficiently to pay enough to make teaching at least competitive with comparable professions.—Jacob T. Chachkes

Appreciation and Feedback

Dear Daily Signal: The Daily Signal is basically the only political or worldview source I monitor daily. I always read through the article titles and occasionally read articles. I value this source immensely. This is saying a lot, since when Barack Obama was elected to a second term it marked a healthy change in my perspective from being a bit of a news junkie.

While I’ve been a committed Christian for many years, I finally very much took to heart the words of Psalm 2, which concludes with the words: Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (I actually teach grades 1-4 at a small Lutheran school in Yakima, Washington, with a 60-year history.)

I’ve just finished reading the excellent commentary on Kay Coles James by Paris Dennard (“What I Learned From The Heritage Foundation’s New Leader”). But what got me to finally send a note is my curiosity about the three ads with links under the heading “Trending,” followed by three links to Daily Signal articles.

I haven’t followed these first three links because they seem like they are sensationalism designed to be provocative. But I’m curious as to whether these are something The Heritage Foundation is endorsing, or if they are just paying the bills.

The important takeaway from this note is my appreciation for the work Heritage is doing. On the side is a bit of feedback.—Marilee Nolte

How Are We Doing?

We recently started to read The Daily Signal and love it. Thank you so much for giving us information on what is happening in our world without a progressive (i.e. left wing, liberal) bias. It is so very refreshing. We look forward to each day’s installment. May God richly bless you.—Steve and Sandy McCuen

Great job by your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas. Finally, people are standing up to the liberal bully press. Glad you are doing just that!—Bob Arthurs

You’re doing great.  We need a bulldog over there at The Daily Signal.  God bless your efforts.—Phil Reich

Thank you all. I look forward to seeing The Daily Signal’s Morning Bell every morning. Very good information from someone who can be trusted. Thanks again. Great job done.—Keith Spiers

I truly enjoy your daily briefings.  Thank you.—Winnie Payne

Let me say it again. Why do conservatives keep pointing out how the left is hurting themselvespointing out their faults and telling them how to improve? Say nothing! In the words of the great philosopher W.C. Fields, “Never smarten up a chump.”—Robert Albanese

Every article in Morning Bell Jan. 4 attracted my attention. I receive many, many email posts, and none has the influence on me that yours does.—Joanie Brown, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

I am a new subscriber, and I have to say I love the article and the contributors. Keep up the good work.—Barb Orcutt

The post We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Washington Post: We Didn’t Attack The Daily Caller, and Don’t Know Why Google Is

Google’s relatively new “fact check” feature proves there’s something fundamentally wrong with at least some of its highly influential algorithms, after an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation found that the widget is both blatantly biased and tremendously faulty.

The most powerful search engine in the world and a massive arbiter of online information, Google has been displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results, while no prominent liberal site receives the same treatment. But even setting aside the exhibition of partisanship, there are other critical and profound problems with the feature.

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One of the “fact checks” on The Daily Caller, which Google alleges was conducted by The Washington Post, was flagrantly misattributed and wrong. The purported “claim” was that in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, “The people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters … ”

Screenshot from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Daily Caller’s article makes no such claim. The quoted language doesn’t even appear in the piece. Worse yet, there was no language attempting to portray that the investigation is entirely comprised of Clinton donors. The story simply contained the nuts and bolts: Mueller hired a Clinton donor to help with the election probe.

But after further inquiry, the Post says while the fact check did in fact occur, it never once referenced The Daily Caller in any way, raising the question: Why was this fact check attributed to The Daily Caller and how did it end up on the sidebar, which is the first Google-offered resource for information of the publication?

A digital receipt of The Washington Post’s submission to Google’s fact-checking feature shared with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We went back and double-checked the story and the information submitted to Google, and The Daily Caller was not mentioned at all, even in links,” Kristine Coratti, vice president of communications at the Post, said. “We clearly labeled the source, so I cannot speak to how The Daily Caller ended up being erroneously listed as the source of the fact-checked quote in this case.”

Google has since removed that single “fact check” from The Daily Caller’s “Reviewed Claims” section, while several other erroneous ones remain and are supposedly being reassessed. The Post’s article is still accessible on Google’s search platform, but only now is the claim ascribed to its rightful owner.

Screenshot from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Coratti said they are making their own inquiries into the matter because Google’s sloppily concocted project apparently made the Post’s fact-checking column look unduly flawed, at least in this instance.

Other publications with conservative audiences were also unfairly targeted. The Federalist, for example, says it has also been essentially victimized by the feature, calling it “partisan garbage.”

“The revelation that Google is peddling demonstrably fake news, disguised as so-called ‘fact-checking,’ unfortunately comes as no surprise,” Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, said. “In the case of The Federalist, Google declared as ‘incorrect’ the indisputably accurate claim that global temperatures have not risen as quickly as predicted by nearly all climate models.”

He continued:

And it did so by citing as debunked a claim never made by The Federalist and using a fact check that never even mentioned The Federalist. Instead, the so-called ‘fact-checker’ used by Google to smear The Federalist specifically addressed a separate claim made by a CNN contributor nearly three years after The Federalist’s article at issue was published. Google’s new algorithmic smear operation targeted at conservative publications is a pathetic disgrace and everyone associated with it should be ashamed.

The Daily Wire, the flagship news and opinion website of conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, was also given a “Reviewed Claims” section.

“This is absurd, insulting, and biased beyond belief,” Shapiro said. “To treat Vox.com as an utterly unimpeachable source while targeting conservative equivalents using left-wing fact-checking organizations like Snopes and FactCheck.org demonstrates a shocking level of political corruption.”

Outlets and organizations spared the scrutiny along with Vox include: Slate, ThinkProgress, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Mother Jones, Vice, and Salon—all undoubtedly on the other end of the political spectrum.

Occupy Democrats was the only popular blog to be subjected to the fact-check program, but that is less of a bonafide news source and more a content provider with often misleading or incorrect messaging.

“This feature was introduced to help people quickly learn more about publications. Google itself does not fact check stories. Third parties do,” a top Google spokeswoman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

But if what The Washington Post is saying is true, then someone (or perhaps something) at some point in the process may have maliciously included The Daily Caller in a fact check that had nothing to do with the publication. It’s either that, or Google’s involved algorithms are very defective and biased—something that seems very possible. After all, as Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky wrote in a recent column, “If Google Is Biased, So Are Its Algorithms.”

“We have seen a few instances where our system for associating claims with articles has some issues that will be addressed,” the Google spokeswoman continued. “Fact checks are not designed to show up more often for sites based on any political leanings.”

When asked what the criteria was for originally accepting fact-checkers when the program was first being assembled and established, Google was unable to answer. It did say that other organizations are able to join, and cited how the conservative Weekly Standard is one of the newest members of the International Fact-Checking Network, a unit of the Poynter Institute.

The Weekly Standard’s fact check “went through a vetting process” in order to be a verified signatory of the network, something that Google says it’s not a part of.

Google’s choice of the International Fact-Checking Network as its go-to source for fact-checking shows that it delegates enormous amounts of power, but wants little to none of the responsibility.

Perhaps most importantly, Google’s design of its algorithms shows how imperfect and reckless such a large company could be, even as it explores or invests in highly ambitious and futuristic projects.

Google refused to discuss the details behind the relevant algorithms, citing company policy.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post Washington Post: We Didn’t Attack The Daily Caller, and Don’t Know Why Google Is appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Twitter Says Employees Were Openly Speaking of Censorship ‘in a Personal Capacity,’ Not for Company

Twitter says that individuals shown in an undercover video casually talking about how they plan on censoring certain viewpoints on the social media platform were speaking only “in a personal capacity.”

They “do not represent or speak for Twitter,” a company spokeswoman said.

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The video in question, secretly recorded by Project Veritas, shows eight current or former Twitter employees explaining how they will employ algorithms and “shadow banning,” the act of blocking certain unsuspecting users from accessing an online forum, according to the conservative activist organization. The ultimate goal, according to the people with alleged inside information on Twitter, is to squash political beliefs that aren’t acceptable to employees.

“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control,” said Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter software engineer. “The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”

Twitter as a company denies the veracity of such statements, saying it “does not shadow ban accounts,” but does “take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive, and mark them accordingly so people can still to click through (sic) and see these information if they so choose.”

Providing further detail, the spokeswoman says this means that if such content is marked as abusive, or flagged as inappropriate otherwise, it makes it “less visible on Twitter, in search results, replies, and on timelines.”

“Limiting tweet visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content,” she continued.

What these signals specifically are, however, is not perfectly clear. The overall process, while ostensibly automated, seems liable to subjectivity and the personal whims of a Twitter employee or engineer, as algorithms are designed by humans and thus susceptible to any biases of the creator.

“Yeah, you look for Trump, or America, and you have like 5,000 keywords to describe a redneck,” Pranay Singh, Twitter’s direct messaging engineer, explained on camera. “Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff,” he continued while describing how shadow ban algorithms could be engineered to specifically target right-leaning content.

“I would say majority of it are for Republicans,” he said.

The video has stoked already-impassioned concerns from those not on the left side of the political spectrum, many of whom have long said that tech companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and others in Silicon Valley are partisan and deceptive.

“We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” said the Twitter spokeswoman. “Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post Twitter Says Employees Were Openly Speaking of Censorship ‘in a Personal Capacity,’ Not for Company appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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.

The post New York Times Gets the Facts Wrong on Land Mines appeared first on The Daily Signal.

I’m a Mormon, and The New York Times Needlessly Defamed My Church’s Leader

Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last week at the age of 90.

Revered as a prophet by the approximately 16 million Mormons scattered across the globe, Monson devoted his life to serving God and his fellow men.

So it was with great sadness that I read The New York Times headline announcing his passing, which cast him in a completely unfair light.

The Times wrote: “Thomas Monson, the president of the Mormon Church who rebuffed demands to ordain women as priests and refused to alter church opposition to same-sex marriage, died Tuesday at 90.”

Compare this to the headline announcing Fidel Castro’s death: “Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who defied the U.S., died Friday. He was 90.”

Or Hugh Hefner’s headline: “Hugh Hefner has died at 91. He founded Playboy magazine in 1953 and became inseparable from his brand.”

The New York Times used an obituary of a man who served his entire life with love to push a political message. In doing so, the Times demonstrated why many Americans cannot and do not take the publication seriously.

Monson was first called as a bishop of the church in his early twenties and served in the church from that time forward. He traveled the globe, administering to the weary and spreading the good word of Christ to all who would listen.

He was even instrumental in the construction of a Mormon temple behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Germany, taking the church to areas of the world where it had been restricted.

Monson was best known for his charitable acts. As a young leader in Salt Lake City, the congregation which he oversaw included more than 80 widows. Monson made it a personal endeavor to regularly visit each and every widow to make sure their needs were met.

Under Monson’s leadership, in 2015 alone, the church responded to 177 emergency situations in 56 countries. The church has spent over $1.2 billion on humanitarian efforts over the past couple of decades.

Above all, Monson was a man of love. I remember gathering around the TV or laptop to listen to his sermons and always leaving with a full heart and a determination to love and serve those around me.

He once said, “Your heavenly Father loves you. That love never changes. It is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is always there.”

His smile was enormous. He often said that love is expressed in many recognizable ways: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment.

Why would the Times mistreat such a moral man as Monson?

As I scoured his full original New York Times obituary, I read much about his views on marriage and women and very little about his years of loving service to the poor, his empowering and uplifting sermons, and his unwavering love for all humanity.

A few days ago, a petition started circulating asking the Times to rewrite the obituary. That petition now has over 190,000 signatures. The petition, along with other online blowback, prompted the Times to address the issue.

Both Mormons and non-Mormons were right to call out The New York Times for its biased representation of who Monson was. But rather than simply apologizing, the Times tried to justify its actions:

In 20/20 hindsight, we might have paid more attention to the high regard with which he was held within the church. I think by his very position in the church, all that was implied. But perhaps we should have stated it more plainly.

But this statement didn’t suffice. After its release, calls continued to pour in for a change to the obituary. The Times eventually relented—it listened, and rewrote the obituary.

It deserves credit for doing so. But it shouldn’t take hundreds of thousands of complaints for the Times to produce fair and balanced content.

When Monson was called as a prophet of the church, I was a missionary serving in California. I’ve been a member of the Mormon church since my baptism at age 8. I have always looked up to Monson. I’m grateful that I know who he was and what he stood for.

He once said: “We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become.” I hope to become a man like Thomas S. Monson.

The post I’m a Mormon, and The New York Times Needlessly Defamed My Church’s Leader appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Must-See Moments: Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Withering Response to the Media

The Daily Signal’s Facebook Live show “Top 10” features the top news stories of the week— many of which went misreported by the mainstream media and some weren’t reported at all.

This week, the media has fixated over author Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury”—but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a withering response to the media. “Every question, basically, that I’ve been asked has to do with that. It’s not like I came out here and read excerpts from the book,” Sanders says.

And a story that went largely underreported: Oregonians have to pump their own gas and they’re not happy about it. Watch our first episode of 2018 above.

The post Must-See Moments: Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Withering Response to the Media appeared first on The Daily Signal.

We Hear You: Term Limits, the Russia Probe, the NFL, Religious Freedom, and Other Obsessions of 2017

Editor’s note: For our roundup of letters at year’s end, we thought we’d highlight some letters from The Daily Signal’s audience that we meant to publish earlier. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at letters@dailysignal.com.Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: In my view, the No. 1 problem in D.C. is that congressmen and senators constantly are re-elected and do not have term limits like the president does. They end up serving for decades, and their focus shifts from serving their country and constituents, if that was ever their motivation, to getting re-elected and gaining more power.

The year 2017 amply demonstrated this issue. The Founders anticipated this, and gave a means to rectify it in Article 5 of the Constitution. Article 5 deals with amending the Constitution, and provides two means.

The one that has been used exclusively to date is that Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment and sends it to the states, three-fourths of which (38) must ratify the amendment for it to be approved.

The other way to amend the Constitution is for two-thirds of the states (34) to propose convening a constitutional convention. If the states approve the same charter, a convention is convened and may consider any amendment to the Constitution.

This has been used as a red herring by opponents who say any crazy thing could be proposed. When the organization making this push convened a mock convention, though, that didn’t happen because of the rules in place. But even if something crazy was proposed, it would be sent tc the states, and 38 would have to approve it before it became an actual amendment to the Constitution.

The organization pursuing this effort is called Convention of States, of which I am not a part. To date, 12 states have approved a resolution calling for a convention, so organizers need 22 more.

All kinds of potential amendments could be considered, including ones requiring a balanced budget, setting term limits for Supreme Court justices, and specifying the ability of Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions. The website lists them. But the single most important amendment is congressional term limits: two six-year terms for senators, six two-year terms for congressmen.

I urge The Daily Signal’s readers to go to the website and, if they support the effort, get involved and pass the word. Congressional term limits are the key to draining the swamp.—George O’Neal, Dayton, Ohio

***

Dear Daily Signal: Americans elected Republicans to stand behind President Trump and work out any plan that needs help being passed. If we had wanted to vote for Democrats to have the numbers to win, we would have voted that way. We gave the power to the Republicans, but they are siding with Democrats and nothing is getting done.

Cleaning the swamp must be done, and Democrats are determined not to let this happen. I never believed in term limits for our elected officials, but I’m ready to vote that way. I think so many elected officials get in office and do nothing to support the president. And why is it that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together on repealing broken-down Obamacare?

I am tired of all the scares we get, day in and out, to take something else from federal employees. We are retired and haven’t had a real raise in years. Every time we get a raise, our health premiums go sky high.

I can tell President Trump a place he can take money from: Look at all the perks our elected officials enjoy. Meal tickets, travel expenses, expense cards that allowed thousands of dollars for a pizza party and Nancy Pelosi’s buying thousands of dollars of alcohol. Why are taxpayers paying for all their perks? They make more than enough money to pay their own way in Washington.—Mary Tuttle

***

Dear Daily Signal: Congress is not going to repeal Obamacare because lawmakers are beholden to campaign donors. You can’t have health care reform unless and until the health care industry stops the price gouging, particularly the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies interested mostly in big profits. These entities and lobbyists all have a seat at the table and donate to campaign funds. This appears to be a racket.

People are forced to purchase generic medications mostly from offshore suppliers. Big problem there, too. What is in these drugs that is causing all the dangerous side effects? And why are there medications that people can’t get off? Time for a full investigation.

It is past time for a cure for cancer and other diseases, but the industry obviously doesn’t want a cure. They make too much money on treatments. Also, fraud and overbilling are not being addressed. Pharmacies are having a field day with nursing homes. Who investigates all of this overbilling?

So many problems in the health care industry easily could be remedied, but there is no real interest. It is all for show.Norma Mabry, Columbia, S.C.

Building a Wall, Paying for Border Patrol

Dear Daily Signal: I’m a retired state trooper. After reading Fred Lucas’ story on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“How GOP Attorneys General Forced Trump to Act on DACA“), I was thinking: What is the big opposition to the border wall?

Answer: Money. Well, how about figuring out the cost and efficiency of a wall versus Border Patrol officers?

The wall would be a solid barrier that could have an assortment of electronic detection and/or cameras rather than wages, vehicles, and retirement benefits for an overwhelming force that so far really hasn’t stopped border crossings.

Border officers still will be needed, but a much smaller force could seek out those detected at the wall. Stopping the action before it happens would lessen costs for holding facilities, hearings, courts, and so on.

It would seem the wall could break even in cost in a short period of time and be more efficient.—Ken Parsons

The Left’s Problem With American History

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Jarrett Stepman’s informative article on Christopher Columbus (“The Truth About Columbus“). I am a retired senior citizen, and I must admit I needed to refresh my knowledge. This article did that.

To me, there are those who wish to strip and tear apart the very fiber of our nation. This is deplorable. In my opinion, most of these divisive, far-left liberals do not even know what they are speaking of.

They need to re-educate themselves on world history and U. S. history, written by truly objective sources. Perhaps in the long run that would not help, because they seem to have closed minds. But at least they could become better educated about which they speak and protest against.

The Daily Signal is a beacon of hope and clarity for me, and I thank Mr. Stepman and all the staff at The Daily Signal. Your articles are always “first class.”

I am disabled and live on Social Security. While I couldn’t contribute due to disproportionate medical costs in 2017, I certainly will be able to do so starting in January 2018. Please continue to report the truth, because the so-called mainstream media is not doing so.—Randolph L. Groninger

***

Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “How a Radical Left-Wing Historian Birthed the Anti-Columbus Movement“: If Howard Zinn is a valid historian, why does he not realize that we have memorial statues of communist mass murderer Vladimir Lenin standing in Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles that are not a part of U.S. history and should be destroyed?—Aubrey Yancey 

The National Anthem and the NFL

Dear Daily Signal: Genevieve Wood is exactly right in her NFL commentary (“The Hypocrisy of the NFL“). When it comes to political statements and acts by employees while on the job, they can do whatever their employer lets them do.

If there are ramifications, the employer will be the first to suffer or benefit and the first to have to explain the conduct to the customers (in this case football fans).

As an employee you have the right to say whatever you want or act however you want (within the law) constitutionally, but your employer has the absolute right to fire you or condone what you do as well.

So it looks to me like some NFL managers and owners decided to take a political stand. That entitles them to suffer the positive or negative consequences as well. It’s a business decision. We’ll see how it goes. As for me, I decided I wouldn’t be watching any games at all. I’m sick of it, and I don’t have to be a victim of their politics.—Dave, Florence, Ore.

***

I have stopped watching the NFL until the league decides to step in and stop these protests during the national anthem.

I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and have no respect for these overpaid athletes who disrespect the things that set us apart from other countries.  If they don’t like it, they should leave with all the Hollywood jerks who threatened to do so after Donald Trump was elected.

President Trump is voicing what many in the country have no venue to do.  Who wants to listen to me or will publicize what I have to say?  You may be surprised how much support he has, as do Genevieve Wood and The Daily Signal for your commentary.—John Cox, North Carolina

***

Thanks for Genevieve Wood’s video commentary, which I shared.  The NFL has successfully branded itself as a home for heroes—bigger, faster, stronger, better. They come into our homes via TV, and we cheer for our favorites. We are loyal to our team and individual players, and believe we know them. We like them and believe they like us.

But fans are slowly beginning to realize that the NFL image is incredibly deceptive—a product of ultraslick marketing. The NFL is all about its fame, fortune, and political agenda—an agenda that many patriotic Americans oppose. Maybe it’s time to question our loyalty to the NFL. Maybe it’s time for a boycott.—Patriotic Moms

***

I have been a diehard NFL fan for over 45 years, since I was a kid.  If these players cannot respect our national anthem when soldiers fought to raise our flag in numerous wars to give them the right to play football and they do not respect that, I do not need to watch them.

Isn’t there a better way to protest than our anthem, which represents the land of the free? Why don’t these players turn in their jerseys and go overseas to Iraq, Afghanistan, or North Korea, so we can have equal rights in our country?

Do they think the women of these countries are treated fairly? Take off your jersey and give away your million-dollar salary and really stand up for what you believe. What a bunch of cowards, kneeling for our flag.—Tommy Van Ess, Madison, Wis.

Equating a Christian Baker With Nazis

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Kelsey Harkness’s video report on baker Jack Phillips, I don’t understand why people think his religious views make his right to refuse service less than their right to have a cake made (“Underreported: Christian Baker Reacts to Government Official’s Comparing Him to a Nazi“). If you, for any reason, force what you want on someone concerning a service they provide, you might as well just say, “And spit in my food while you at at it.”

I wouldn’t want to make someone provide a service for me. Their rights and beliefs should be respected, too. And the happy same-sex couple who caused themselves and this guy so much grief should have just moved on down the road and found a baker that was more than happy to make their cake. Without the spit.—Brenda Reardon

***

I enjoy Kelsey Harkness’ reporting of truthful facts that help give the other side of the story about American values. Much of the rest of the current media does not do that.

Their information is slanted, liberal gibberish found within the circles of biased, talking heads with an agenda taken from scripted, anti-American journalists.

My question to them is: When your freedoms are gone and the Constitution is only a fading memory, who will you turn to when you are silenced?

Please continue to unmask those who will continue to come after our freedoms with a vengeance that is right out of the un-American playbooks of the fascist parties. America needs to wake or be overrun from outside our borders.—John Buckley

***

The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal union, equal to heterosexual marriage in all civil matters such as Social Security spousal benefits, spousal health care benefits, spousal benefits in tax matters, and so on. The ruling did not include a decree that everyone also must accept that gay marriage is a religious union ordained by God.

It’s not included because the Supreme Court is not authorized to speak for God. That’s outside their jurisdiction.

However, because of the First Amendment, if a gay couple wants to believe their marriage is a religious union, they have a right to believe that.  But they don’t have a right to force anyone else to believe that.  The Supreme Court cannot force anyone to believe that.

The court does not have the authority to dictate to anyone what their religious beliefs must be.  So people who believe in traditional marriage—that the only marriage ordained by God is the union of one man and one woman—have the right to that religious belief and the “free exercise thereof.”—Anita Goodspeed

Sessions, Mueller, the FBI, and Russia

Dear Daily Signal: As 74-year-old voter, I always felt that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be weak when it came to prosecuting “his” own people, namely Congress (“Amid Trump’s Threats, Conservatives Rally Around Sessions“).

Rudy Giuliani has the capabilities, the toughness, and the proven fortitude to do the job that needs to be done. This yearlong, ridiculous witch hunt into Russia should be stopped immediately. It is a political vendetta.Maureen Waite

***

Please, someone out there with public exposure, advocate for Jeff Sessions to cancel his recusal from the Russia probe when special counsel Robert Mueller goes beyond his original mandate of campaign-related investigations. That was the context of the recusal, and it should change when that mandate is exceeded.

We are well past that point, with Mueller going into Trump business matters 10 years gone by. Sessions is fully, credibly qualified to reverse his recusal and take control of his department.Robert Toews

***

Trump needs to take the political heat. Fire Mueller and explain why to the American people. If the president leaves Mueller in place, this is not going to end well. He is going to find something made up, half true, a process crime, whatever. Trump should also fire Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein for making such a bad decision and folding under pressure so fast.Bob Trento

***

The attorney general should have done something long ago rather than waiting until now to issue another vague and empty warning (“Jeff Sessions Warns Sanctuary Cities About Missing Out on Help to Fight Crime“).M.D. Barber

***

How about an article on the merits of President Trump’s firing the FBI director and threatening to fire his attorney general and the special counsel due to Trump’s highly questionable relationship with the Russian government (“Legal Experts Weigh in on Trump’s Right to Be Riled at Sessions, DOJ“)?

Your article should deep-dive into the problems for our country if we have a president who has been financed for years by the Russian government and the oligarchs it controls. Of course, you would never write that article.

The Heritage Foundation has become a hypocritical door mat for Trump.  You have lost all credibility on all subjects. Close down shop. Trump’s supporters, like himself, do not read. So unless you are spoon-feeding his cult leaders, Rush and Hannity, no one is reading you. Hopefully your donations reflect this as well.Mary C. Oliver

NASA and the American Spirit

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding the commentary by Bonner Cohen and James Conway, NASA lives in myriads of fantasies and wastes the taxpayers’ money (“How to Make NASA Great Again“) How much more money is going to be allowed to go to waste by NASA?  The foolishness is so extravagant.

The people cannot and will not take care of this planet, yet NASA seeks somewhere else to make a complete garbage dump, and at the cost of their lives in propelling their foolish desires.

Was it ever possible to replenish Mars with plant life and treatable air and water? A child would possibly think in these terms, yet educated clowns are demanding that we try these insidious fantasies.

What does the immense cost for a Mars expedition supply for our nation? Initially a certain cost figure will come out, but it will escalate exponentially in ensuing years. We should stop the whimsical ideas immediately and focus on the real needs of mankind here on terra firma.—Ivars Loce

***

While there are some flaws to this commentary on NASA, the basic concept is accurate. Landing a man on the moon in less than a decade was a great accomplishment, but it was a disaster for the long-term exploration of space.

The correct approach is to build a space infrastructurewhich should include the International Space Stationthat would allow for regular visits to the moon and elsewhere at the lowest cost with the greatest amount of safety.

I’ll also say that NASA should not be deciding where they should go. That’s a job for Congress and the president. NASA is primarily an engineering organization that should be given goals to achieve, not set them itself.—Kevin W. Parker

Future of the Filibuster 

Dear Daily Signal: The parties in the Senate are so diametrically opposed, it is difficult to see how any meaningful legislation will get passed (“Conservatives to Trump: Short-Term Victories From Killing Filibuster Could Be Costly“).

The legislators in each party, particularly the Democrats, march to the beat of their leaders. They are loathe to step out of line, even for the good of the country.

What a bunch of puppets. The common good and logic seem to have departed the legislative process in recent administrations.

It does seem the filibuster is too easy to engage, with 60 votes (20 percent more than a majority) necessary to override one. Perhaps 55 to 57 votes would achieve desired results.

Maybe the filibuster is an excuse for inaction and kicking the can down the road.  The can is getting worn out.Brad Kocher

***

Thanks for being a voice of reason and truth. I would like to see your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas, who I follow closely, do an article on the reasons for getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate.

First, remember that it was then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who got rid of it for federal judges, thus allowing President Obama to pack the courts with liberal activist judges who have been doing everything they can to slow or stop President Trump’s agenda.

Second, it was current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who killed the filibuster for Supreme Court justices.

So here is where we stand. President Trump can’t fulfill his agenda due to opposition by the congressional swamp. If this continues, he will be blamed instead of Congress. We will likely take a beating in 2018.

This is what the Democrats are planning for. And if they win back the Senate, here is exactly what will happen: The new Democrat majority leader immediately will abolish the filibuster, and the liberals will unleash a socialist/communist attack on this country that will destroy us.

Wake up to reality. The Democrats play hardball while Republicans play badminton.

Republicans should get rid of the filibuster and pass every bit of the Trump agenda.  This would give the economy a huge boost, create massive jobs and wealth, and actually make America great again. No Democrat would dare attempt to undo this, as they would be laughed out of office.

The future of our country is at stake, and it seems to me that Republicans are totally clueless. God help America.—Dale Athanas, Old Lyme, Conn.

More on Those Banned Farmers

Dear Daily Signal: The case of Steve and Bridget Tennes, the Michigan farmers banned from the farmers market, is a can of worms that should never have been opened (“Farmer Fights Back Against City Ban of Traditional Marriage Supporters From Farmers Market“).

However, now that it’s opened, I stand with the farmers and religion. It would serve the city of East Lansing right if the farmers all banded together and boycotted the farmers market. But that solves no problems and could hurt everyone.

So the only amicable solution I see is for the city to back off and make amends. Yeah, the city’s feelings are going to be hurt. But more than likely, city officials won’t relinquish their “power.” Then the public will have their say. It might just be the end of the farmers market.Stanley Howey

***

I read with interest Kelsey Harkness’ article about Steve and Bridget Tennes being prohibited from selling their produce at the farmers market in East Lansing, Michigan (“Couple Banned From Farmers Market Over Same-Sex Marriage Views Speak Out“).

I pray the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Colorado baker with similar problems.   Perhaps it will play an important factor in the Tennes family’s case. Keep informing us about the stories we never read about in the mostly liberal press with a biased agenda.Jo Ann Rinaldo

***

Thank you for covering this important story. I fully support the Tenneses in their right to free speech and freedom from an intolerant government. Please keep us up to date.

This is what is hugely wrong with our country today, the intolerance of government. I am a conservative who is extremely disillusioned with Republicans currently serving with my president.Maribeth Hueber, Cincinnati

What’s Great About America

Dear Daily Signal: As sad as it is to see the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it is watching people come together that gives us hope in these troubling times (“Hurricane Harvey Brings Out the Best in Americans“).

Prayer helps. No looting, no marching, no protestsvery reassuring, despite the tragedy. It is wonderful to hear this nice news in the face of all the bad. Thanks for making my day a little lighter.

Now we need to realize we will all have to sacrifice to help our neighbors. God bless us and keep us and make us see we are one.—Susan Rose

No, They’re Not Liberals

Dear Daily Signal: I admire and look forward to your daily reports. I have only one quibble, and it is the use of the term “liberal.” What a wretched misnomer.

“Liberal” once meant a philosophy opposite to that of a “conservative” party, but no genuine liberal party exists anymore. In fact, we have more true liberal politics on the right than anywhere else.

George Will observed that the party on the left are really “progressives” who believe history has a destination known only to them, and they want to take us there. They have zero right to the name liberal.

In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich A. Hayek long ago commented: “It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddle-headedness of many who really believe in liberty, that ‘liberal’ has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control.”

Call them “progressives” or lefties, police-staters or what you will, but please don’t dignify them with the honorable term liberal. They are anything but.Tom Anderson, Eureka, Calif.

This and That

Dear Daily Signal: I just wanted to thank Kelsey Harkness for doing such a great job. The mix of fun and satire on her “Problematic Women” show is wonderful (“Why Wonder Woman Is a Problem for Feminists“).

I know that the issues we face are serious, but fighting the irrational views of the left with a smirk is so much fun.

I loved the Windex commercial too. Maybe it is because I have a 9-year-old daughter, but it actually made me cry. Keep up the good work.—Pastor Dominick Cuozzo, New Egypt, N.J.

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If these “Dreamers” are wanting to stay in the United States, why have they not tried to become legal residents (“Trump Signals Willingness to Trade ‘Dreamers’ Amnesty for Merit-Based Immigration Reform“)?

I believe all they want is free stuff, education we pay for, and food and housing they get free or subsidized by us, the taxpayers. It is time they step up  and admit they broke the laws of the USA. No other country would let this go on.

Americans are taxed above and beyond to pay for those who do not do the right thing, morally or legally.—Cindy Haschke

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I’m writing about Rep. Phil Roe’s commentary, “Union Bosses Have Too Much Control.” I got laid off from my job after 10 years. It was a union job, and our union was useless to say the least. Its only purpose that I saw was to make sure people who should have been fired a dozen times over kept their job over a paperwork technicality.—Ryan Woody

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President Trump should cancel by executive order all exemptions from Obamacare (“How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare“). Congress does not think it is a severe punishment on American citizens, so they should be allowed to live under the program they support.—David Jerome

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Having graduated from a well-known scientific and technology college, I see absolutely no reason why more women are not studying engineering and related subjects. It is their choice and their choice alone.

My school has had an extensive drive the past eight years to enroll more women, with great success. The current freshman class is nearly 50-50. You start at the freshman year in high school trying to convince young women that math and science are not evil subjects to be avoided at all cost.—Merle Southern

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Regarding recent riots and protests, I see many participants dressed in what I regard as terrorist garb such as black-hooded shirts and masks. Anyone dressed like that is asking for a possible deadly response from an old fellow like me. A masked person typically represented someone bent on deadly violence in my day.

What does it take for our law enforcement to react to this sort of ignorant and aggressive behavior? Why is deterrent action not taken before violence begins? Where are the water cannons of yesteryear? This is getting serious, folks.—John H. Ross, Montrose, Colo.

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They say every vote counts, but does it (“Get Involved Locally. You Might Just Save the Country“)? When I was young. I wanted everything done for me, but my parents didn’t agree with me, thank goodness. Today, just where are the parents and are they collecting any and every government handout?

At some point in my life, I came to the realization that if I wanted something then I needed to figure out what it was and how to get it. Somehow, I figured out that if government gave it to me, someone else had to pay for it since government doesn’t earn a dime.

I have nothing against helping people, but if I’m going to help them they need to put something in the pot as payment. States like Maine are changing their laws to require that. Seems when that happens the lazy folk move to another state, and costs to states like Maine decrease.Sinclair Doggett

How Are We Doing?

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for writing about the news the way I hear it and understand it. The Daily Signal is the best. Now I want to know how to get the news across to my liberal friends so they will listen.

One radio commentator suggested that President Trump register to run as an Independent in the next election. I think that would be a good idea.  If 60 percent of the rest of the country splits 30/30 between Democrats and Republicans, Trump would win with his 40 percent.—Susan Rose

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I thank you for your complete, accurate, and honest reporting of cultural and governmental problems.  To add interest, often included in the reports are previous decades’ contribution to the cause and history of an event.  This gives a citizen a way to pray for the event or topic, and for those involved, and for solutions—including things for which the citizens of the country must take responsibility.—Nancy Shaffer, Warsaw, Ind.

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Exactly what have the conservatives done for our country in the past 37 years? There is so much horrible stuff you guys have done to unravel a generally peaceful society, which still does not have health care for all.

And you wonder why the conservatives are not talked about glowingly? The Daily Signal is sending all the wrong signals to the citizenry.—Chris Chalogias

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Thank you for inspiring messages and columns, such as those by Walter Williams.—Don Ranck, Paradise, Pa.

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The blocking of highways, kneeling and raising fists during NFL games, and police shootings all have stemmed from the disruptive  “resistance” movement.  After hearing how good the stock market is, and how a lot of jobs are opening up, just what is the left complaining about? The losers are turning into anti-America.—Carol Crowe

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After 55 years of being a liberal Democrat, having been raised at the altars of FDR and LBJ, I became disgusted and frankly embarrassed by the “Democrat” Party. What happened? So here comes Mr. Trump and brings with him my governor, Mike Pence, and pulls me into his triumph of November 2016.

I now am a contributor to The Heritage Foundation, and am re-reading Robert Rector (no relation, sadly), with a different eye. The Daily Signal is my wake-up paper.—Anne Rector, Indiana

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Love the “We Hear You” page. Many contributions are knowledgeable, articulate, and even eloquent. Many with lots to contribute to our democracy have been silenced already, i.e. no one hears us. Please continue this feature, at least weekly. It’s nice to know we are not alone.Liana Silsby

The post We Hear You: Term Limits, the Russia Probe, the NFL, Religious Freedom, and Other Obsessions of 2017 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Here Are the 5 Worst ‘Fake News’ Reports on Guns in 2017

President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are strongly pro-Second Amendment, which means new gun-control laws were dead on arrival in 2017.

But the mainstream media, not to be quietly defeated, exposed its anti-gun bias more than ever this year.

The national newspapers and left-wing TV networks continued to churn out unbalanced reports on gun crime and laws, while refusing to learn accurate terminology. Here are the top offenders.

1. USA Today

The colorful newspaper that lands outside hotel rooms seized the mantel for this year’s most ridiculous, yet hilarious anti-gun propaganda reporting.

One story, authored by the unnamed “editors,” lists accessories that can be added to the popular AR-15 rifle. The authors include in that list a “chain-saw bayonet.” To illustrate this, USA Today tweeted a video depicting an actual chainsaw attached—somehow—to the bottom of a rifle.

Anyone with common sense knows a chain saw weighs more than a rifle and its weight would pull it down, much less be stuck to an electric socket.

Readers immediately mocked the absurd getup by posting mockups of other “possible modifications” to an AR-15—laugh-out-loud things like a nuclear missile and a full-size F-16.

Andrew Wilkow added increasingly smaller AR-15s under the full-size one, like one of those Russian wood dolls of decreasing sizes.

2. CNN

After the horrifying shooting of Republican members of Congress on a softball field, CNN published a story in June titled, “Where does the GOP baseball shooting leave the gun control debate?” It was not a news report by any definition.

The entire article is an interview—conducted by email—with the president of the (mostly irrelevant) Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

The reporter did not “email interview” any pro-Second Amendment group or activist for any balance. CNN didn’t even include that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who almost died in the politically motivated shooting, had not changed his views on protecting the Second Amendment from any further infringement.

Also, there seems to be no one employed by CNN who has any knowledge of firearms statistics. Jim Acosta, the senior White House correspondent, tweeted: “Since Sandy Hook there have been at least 1,552 mass shootings, with at least 1,767 people killed and 6,227 wounded.”

Acosta, who has almost a half-million followers on Twitter, was not actually citing CNN, but an article in the left-wing outlet Vox.

Click through the article and you’ll see the data it contains is riddled with errors. It takes statistics from a group called “Gun Violence Archive,” which makes up out of whole cloth the definition of “mass shooting” to include people who are shot, but not killed. The group includes “news reports” for media sources instead of citing law enforcement agencies.

Nowhere in the article does Vox mention that there is an official government definition of “mass shooting,” which is four or more people killed outside the home in one incident.

In fact, the number of people killed annually in mass shootings has been an average of 23 over the last 30 years.

Don’t believe me?

That statistic is from leading gun control voice in Congress Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who gets her data from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Acosta never explained his promotion of the bad reporting. The tweet remains on his account, giving the fake news legitimacy to CNN viewers.

3. NBC News

In this story, published five years after the Sandy Hook massacre, NBC reports that Congress has passed no new gun-control laws, even when President Barack Obama was in office. That was true (aside from regulations through the White House), but NBC gives every reason for this, except a fact-based one.

The reason Congress doesn’t pass more gun-control laws is that not one has ever been proven to reduce gun crime.

Instead, NBC puts the blame on anti-gun groups not being unified against the powerful NRA. (That would come as big a surprise to the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and other pro-Second Amendment groups.)

NBC also nonsensically reports that gun control groups can’t compete with the resources of the NRA. They leave out that those groups receive tens of millions of dollars from billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while the NRA is funded by its grassroots members.

To cap off the bias in this story, NBC violates journalism rule 101, which is to ask a representative from the other side of the issue for a response.

4. The Economist

The Economist what was once a reliable source of information on economics and finance. But, as this gun story makes clear, the magazine is now a partisan tool of the left.

In a November story about the tragic church shooting in Texas, The Economist cites “mass shooting” data from Mother Jones, a far-left outlet, rather than government agencies. Then the reporter writes that the shooter used an AR-15, which “was prohibited in 1994, but legalized in 2004 when America’s assault-weapons ban expired.”

That’s true, but not the whole story. The ban expired because Congress determined it was not effective in decreasing the number of homicides by rifle. The reader is left with the false impression that lack of a gun ban was directly responsible for the horrific church shooting.

The Economist does not even include data from the FBI, which would illuminate readers about the issue of gun violence. The most recent statistics available are from 2016. The FBI data show that there were 11,004 homicides by firearm. Of those, only 374 were by rifles of any kind.

5. The Associated Press

Almost every media outlet in the country—TV, print, and online—pays the Associated Press (AP) to use its wire service to supplement or replace its own reporting. This means the AP has an outsized impact on news reports because its work appears in everything from local newspapers to network news.

Eagle-eyed Cargar Dolor recently tweeted to me: “This AP story from today claims that authorities recovered a ‘40mm pistol.’”

Clearly, the reporter knows nothing about the basic ballistics of firearms, and neither do the editors.

I tweeted to AP to correct this to a .40 caliber pistol, which it eventually did. Meanwhile, the more educated public tweeted to me that “40mm” is the size of a cannon or a grenade launcher.

Many of these mistakes would be funny if they weren’t rooted in ideological narrowness. They show how the mainstream media deliberately attempts to confuse the public in order to build support for more gun-control laws.

At a higher level, the repeated bad reporting in just this one area of public debate shows that the top editors and managers in mainstream media assign reporters to cover gun crime, without any expertise on the subject, research into data, or fact checking.

If it weren’t for conservative media and informed social media users, the average American might walk the streets in fear of being attacked by someone wielding a rifle with a chainsaw attached to the bottom.

The post Here Are the 5 Worst ‘Fake News’ Reports on Guns in 2017 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Time for Trump Makeover of Liberal NPR and PBS

At the close of 2017, no less than seven prominent male hosts and editors of influential government-sponsored radio and television shows are out of work amid claims of sexual harassment.

According to their accusers, the alleged Malevolent Seven are powerful pervs and creeps who’ve been running wild at NPR and PBS for decades, sponsored and subsidized by taxpayers and corporate donors.

In August, award-winning broadcast and radio host John Hockenberry departed from his public radio program “The Takeaway” on New York City’s NPR affiliate, which garnered a peak audience of nearly 3 million weekly listeners on more than 270 stations. Female producers and interns accused him of harassment and bullying before and after he deployed his golden parachute. Hockenberry says he’s “horrified” by the allegations.

In October, NPR’s former editorial director and senior vice president of news, Michael Oreskes, was ousted from his perch after several women claimed he forcibly kissed them in the 1990s while seeking jobs at his previous employer, The New York Times.

That same month, NPR launched an investigation of veteran Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keillor, creator of “A Prairie Home Companion.” The liberal icon penned a column defending fellow sexual harassment suspect Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in late November; the next day, NPR fired him for inappropriate behavior involving at least one female co-worker. Keillor says the only incident he recalls involves inadvertently slipping his hand up the bare back of a “friend.”

Also on the Thanksgiving holiday chopping block: PBS fixture and CBS morning news star Charlie Rose, who reportedly groped, grabbed, phone-harassed, and exposed himself to upwards of eight female employees, interns, and job applicants dating back to the 1990s.

At the end of November, NPR canned Chief News Editor David Sweeney following an internal review after four of the public radio network’s female employees lodged formal complaints involving unwanted kisses, attention, and gifts.

In mid-December, Boston-based Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR’s “On Point” live morning show broadcast on 290 NPR affiliates stations for the past 16 years, was suspended after young women alleged he gave “creepy” sex talks, hugs, and back rubs in the studio. Ashbrook says he was “stunned” to learn of the charges.

And last week, PBS suspended weeknight host Tavis Smiley, whose interview show airs in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Southern California, and nationwide—with major corporate underwriting from Walmart. He also hosted a podcast on NPR. Smiley has waged an aggressive campaign defending himself against his employer’s witch hunt “gone too far.”

I can’t tell you who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, but I know with absolute certitude that all seven of these men are left-leaning journalists and pundits encrusted in the public broadcasting establishment.

This is a golden opportunity for President Donald Trump to drain the elitist media swamps and inject true intellectual diversity in the newsrooms of NPR and PBS. Liberal bias at these Beltway institutions is notorious—from NPR legal analyst Nina Totenberg wishing AIDS upon Sen. Jesse Helms and his grandchildren as “retributive justice,” to “Sesame Street’s” Oscar the Grouch mocking Fox News on PBS, to top NPR executives slamming the tea party movement as “scary” and “racist” to the undercover journalists of Project Veritas.

If pushover Republicans can’t bring themselves to fully defund NPR and PBS, can’t they at least step up and advocate for hosts and editors who keep their hands to themselves and refrain from insulting the people in flyover country who keep their rackets afloat?

What better time, in the wake of liberal hypocrisy and sexual harassment self-implosions, to bring real balance to government-sponsored programming?

So far, the moment is being squandered. The replacements announced for Rose on PBS are BBC correspondent Katty Kay and former CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour.

That’s right. Two liberal British female journalists.

Come on, Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Do better, D.C.

All things considered, we could use a little more “America First” and a little less globaloney and groupthink from NPR and PBS. I can think of a conservative female journalist or 12 up to the task.

The post Time for Trump Makeover of Liberal NPR and PBS appeared first on The Daily Signal.