Daily Archives: August 1, 2017

The golden rule of business – Samoa Observer (press release) (blog)

Posted: August 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Think a minute…This is the true story of a boy named Jim who started working on farms at the young age of eight. By the time he was 20 Jim was training as a store manager, and within a year was a successful salesman. Then in 1901 he married a young woman named Berta. After a couple of more years, Jim was put in charge of a brand new store. He put a big sign on the front that read Golden Rule.

He worked hard to manage his store from early morning until late at night. He and Berta lived in a small room above the store that was an unfinished attic. Their dining table was just a box turned upside down and shoe cases for chairs. But their Golden Rule store was on its way. Jims wise, hard work paid off. After 12 years he had 71 stores. Three years later he had 177 stores. And 11 years later Jim owned and a chain of more than 1,000 stores across America!

Maybe you have heard this true story of the J.C. Penney stores and the young man, James Cash Penney, who built it all from nothing. But you probably have not heard of the terrible suffering and disappointments he had to overcome to accomplish it.

Back in 1910, Jim lost the most important partner and person in his life when his wife Berta died. Then came the famous stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression in America. So by 1931, J.C. Penney was in the hospital from a physical and nervous breakdown.

When he woke the next morning, he heard music and followed the sound to the small chapel in the hospital. There Jim met God who began to heal his broken heart and restore his purpose for living. Jim had lost 40 million dollars! But that day he discovered wealth greater than any amount of money. So at the age of 56, with his new-found purpose and passion, he started his life again.

Jim traveled everywhere speaking about the power and principles of Jesus Christ, including The Golden Rule. In fact, Jim rebuilt his company even bigger! No matter what disappointments you have had in the past, you can start all over again today. But this time you live your Makers way. Remember, His way is the only way you can have real prosperity and peace that can never be taken away from you. Just think a minute

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The golden rule of business – Samoa Observer (press release) (blog)

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The West’s anti-liberal backlash can’t escape its racism – The … – Washington Post

Posted: at 6:41 pm

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The turbulent politics of the past year have hinged on a grand historical premise: Theliberal status quo of the West is in crisis. Figures such asPresident Trump swept into power promising jobs for the disaffected, closed borders for migrants and economic protectionism; kindred spirits in Europe preached an even more xenophobic message.

But in thechaotic months sinceTrump’s inauguration, Europe’s far right suffered electoral setbacks and the president’s own agenda provedsomething of amuddled mess. His campaign-trail populism quickly gave way to policies that favored the mega-rich. What has endured are the identity politics the resentments toward multiculturalism and immigration that galvanized his base, which has remained loyal to Trump even while the president racksup historically low approval ratings.

And although the Trump administration tries to distance itself from “white nationalism” and its supposedly fringe adherents, ethnic grievances anchor the West’s anti-liberal backlash.It’s at the heart of the “traditionalist” Christian nationalism embraced by White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who despite various rounds of West Wingpurges has held onto his post.

“I think Trump was a legitimatizer,”said William Regnery II, a secretive funderof a slew of “alt-right” organizations that champion extreme anti-immigration politics in the United States. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Regnery said that white nationalism has gone “from being conversation you could hold in a bathroom to the front parlor.”

Over the weekend, a group of committed white nationalists, including some figures directly connected to Regnery’s funding networks, held a conference in Tennessee, debating everything from Trump’s record on race tothe prospect of fashioning some chunk of America intoa whites-only “ethno-state.”

Jared Taylor, the founder and editor of American Renaissance, the far-right website that staged the event, spoke to the Guardian about the millennials turned on by his message. “These young white guys,” Taylorsaid, “they have been told from infancy that they are the villains of history. And I think that the left has completely overplayed its hand.”

A similar argument ismade by considerably more powerful people in Europe.Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivered a speechin a leafy Romanian town where a majority of the population is ethnic Hungarian. Not many international outlets covered the event far-right website Breitbartwas an exception,gleefully quoting the right-wing premier at length for his call to stop a “Muslimized Europe.”

This rhetoric is familiar coming from Orban, an outspoken leader among the European statesmen railing against immigration and the challenge ofMuslim integration into Western societies. (No matter that the E.U. refugee quotas Orban resists would do little to change his nation’s demographic composition.) But this time, he offered a shout-out to Trump, whose nationalist speech in Warsaw in early July clearly thrilled the Hungarian leader.

Orban quoted from Trump’s Warsaw address, in which the president warned of anexistential threat facing the Westand appealed to a narrow Christian cultural identity in the face of enemies at the gates. “Our freedom, our civilization and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory,” Orban said, echoing Trump. (Absent in either of their remarks were similar paeans to Western ideals such asdemocracy and the rule of law.)

The Hungarian prime minister also celebrated the fact that such statements are being made in public at all: “These words would have been inconceivable anywhere in the Western world two years ago,” he said.

He went on to bemoan what is afflicting Europe. “Christian democratic parties in Europe have become un-Christian: we are trying to satisfy the values and cultural expectations of the liberal media and intelligentsia,” Orban said, swatting at the transnational commitments of technocrats in Brussels and growling over his bete noir, Jewish American financier George Soros.

“In order for Europe to be able to survive and remain the Europeans continent, the European Union must regain its sovereignty from the Soros empire,” Orbansaid. “Until that happens, we have no chance of retaining Europe for the European people.”

Others on the far right are taking matters more directly in their hands. This summer, a group called “Generation Identity” set about trying tochallengethe efforts of NGOs such asDoctors Without Borders that are operating ships in the Mediterranean to rescue migrants whose own vessels have sunk or become inoperable. Hoisting a “Defend Europe” banner, they tried to disrupt rescue efforts and even threatened to tow stranded migrants back to sea. Over the weekend, they were confronted by leftist activists in the Sicilian port city of Catania.

Britishjournalist Rossalyn Warren described Identity Europe inThe Washington Post’s Global Opinion section:

“The group is known for its publicity stunts andcreepy promotional videosshowing white Europeans playing sports in what looks like summer camp for fascists. Their reach hasnt just been limited to Europe either. Though the group is small around 400 to 500 members in several countries including Austria, France and Germany theyve since been joined in Sicily by high-profile, far-right activists from Canada and the United States. Theyve also been supported by neo-Nazi leaders, including former KKK headDavid Duke, a vocal supporter of the Defend Europe mission.”

Duke, of course, was also a vocal supporter of Trumpduring last year’s election. The president may disavow these links, but leading far-right ideologues, including Regnery and Bannon, aremore coy. Bannon, after all, once described Trump as a “blunt instrument” for his agenda. And althoughthe effect of months of bludgeoning isstill hard to measure, it’s impossible to ignore the rhetoric that binds politiciansin Central Europe to once-fringe radicals in Tennessee and Washington.

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The Unexpected Value of the Liberal Arts – The Atlantic

Posted: at 6:41 pm

Growing up in Southern California, Mai-Ling Garcias grades were ragged; her long-term plans nonexistent. At age 20, she was living with her in-laws halfway between Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, while her husband was stationed abroad. Tired of working subsistence jobs, she decided in 2001 to try a few classes at Mount San Jacinto community college.

Nobody pegged her for greatness at first. A psychology professor, Maria Lopez-Moreno recalls Garcia sitting in the midst of a lecture hall, fiddling constantly with a cream-colored scarf. Then something started to catch. After a spirited discussion about the basis for criminal behavior, Lopez-Moreno took this newcomer aside after class and asked: Why are you here?

Garcia blurted out a tangled story of marrying a Marine right after high school, seeing him head off to Iraq, and not knowing what to do next. Lopez-Moreno couldnt walk away. I said to myself: Uh-oh. Ive got to suggest something to her. At her professors urging, Garcia applied for a place in Mt. San Jacintos honors programand began to thrive.

Nourished by smaller classes and motivated peers, Garcia earned straight-A grades for the first time. She emerged as a leader in diversity initiatives, too, drawing on her own multicultural heritage (Filipino and Irish). Shortly before graduation, she won admission to the University of California, Berkeley, campus, where she could pursue a bachelors degree.

Today, Garcia is a leading digital strategist for the city of Oakland, California. Rather than rely on an M.B.A. or a technical major, she has capitalized on a seldom-appreciated liberal-arts disciplinesociologyto power her career forward. Now, she describes herself as a bureaucratic ninja who doesnt hide her stormy journey. Instead, she recognizes it as a valuable asset.

I know what its like to be too poor to own a computer, Garcia told me recently. Im the one in meetings who asks: Never mind how well this new app works on an iPhone. Will it run on an old, public-library computer, because thats the only way some of our residents will get to use it?

By its very name, the liberal-arts pathway is tinged with privilege. Blame this on Cicero, the ancient Roman orator, who championed the arts quae libero sunt dignae (cerebral studies suited for freemen), as opposed to the practical, servile arts suited for lower-class tradespeople. Even today, liberal-arts majors in the humanities and social sciences often are portrayed as pursuing elitist specialties that only affluent, well-connected students can afford.

Look more closely, though, and this old stereotype is starting to crumble. In 2016, the National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed 5,013 graduating seniors about their family backgrounds and academic paths. The students most likely to major in the humanities or social sciences33.8 percent of themwere those who were the first generation in their family ever to have earned college degrees. By contrast, students whose parents or other forbears had completed college chose the humanities or social sciences 30.4 percent of the time.

Pursuing the liberal-arts track isnt a quick path to riches. First-job salaries tend to be lower than whats available with vocational degrees in fields such as nursing, accounting, or computer science. Thats especially true for first-generation students, who arent as likely to enjoy family-aided access to top employers. NACE found that first-generation students on average received post-graduation starting salaries of $43,320, about 12 percent below the pay packages being landed by peers with multiple generations of college experience.

Yet over time, liberal-arts graduates earnings often surge, especially for students pursuing advanced degrees. History majors often become well-paid lawyers or judges after completing law degrees, a recent analysis by the Brookings Institutions Hamilton Project has found. Many philosophy majors put their analytical and argumentative skills to work on Wall Street. International-relations majors thrive as overseas executives for big corporations, and so on.

For college leaders, the liberal arts appeal across the socioeconomic spectrum is both exciting and daunting. As Dan Porterfield, the president of Pennsylvanias Franklin and Marshall College, points out, first-generation students may come to college thinking: I want to be a doctor. I want to help people. Then they discover anthropology, earth sciences, and many other new fields. They start to fall in love with the idea of being a writer or an entrepreneur. They realize: I just didnt have a broad enough vision of how to be a difference maker in society.

A close look at the career trajectories of liberal-arts graduates highlights five factorsbeyond traditional classroom academicsthat can spur long-term success for anyone from a non-elite background. Strong support from a faculty mentor is a powerful early propellant. In a survey of about 1,000 college graduates, Richard Detweiler, president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, found that students who sought out faculty mentors were nearly twice as likely to end up in leadership positions later in life.

Other positive factors include a commitment to keep learning after college; a willingness to move to major U.S. job hubs such as Seattle, Silicon Valley, or the greater Washington, D.C., area; and the audacity to dream big. Finally, students who enter college without well-connected relativesthe sorts who can tell you what classes to take or how to win a choice summer internshipbenefit from programs designed to build up professional networks and social capital.

Among the groups offering career-readiness programs on campus is Braven, a nonprofit founded by Aime Eubanks Davis, a former Teach for America executive. Making its debut in 2014, Braven already has reached about 1,000 students at Rutgers University-Newark in New Jersey and San Jose State University in California. Expansion into the Midwest is on tap. Braven mixes students majoring in the liberal arts and those pursuing vocational degrees in each cohort, the theory being that all can learn from one another.

One of Bravens Newark enrollees in 2015 was Dyllan Brown-Bramble, a transfer student earning strong grades in psychology, who didnt feel at all connected to the New Jersey campus. Commuting from his parents home, he usually arrived at Rutgers just a few minutes before 10 a.m. classes started. Once afternoon courses were done, hed retreat to Parking Lot B and rev up his 2003 Sentra. By 3:50 p.m., hed be gone.

Brown-Brambles parents are immigrants from Dominica. His father runs a small construction business; his mother, a Baruch College graduate, manages a tourism office. Privately, the Rutgers student is quite proud of them, but it seemed pointless to explain his Caribbean origins to strangers. They typically reacted inappropriately. Some imagined him to be the son of dirt-poor refugees struggling to rise above a shabby past. Others assumed he was a world-class genius: an astrophysicist who could fly. There wasnt any room for him to be himself.

When Brown-Bramble encountered a campus flier urging students to enroll in small evening workshops called the Braven Career Accelerator, he took the bait. I knew I was supposed to be networking in college, he later told me. I thought: Okay, heres a chance to do something.

Suddenly, Rutgers became more compelling. For nine weeks, Brown-Bramble and four other students of color became evening allies. They met in an empty classroom each Tuesday at six to construct LinkedIn profiles and practice mock interviews. They picked up tips about local internships, aided by a volunteer coach whose life and background was much like theirs. They united as a group, discussing each persons weekly highs and lows while encouraging one another to keep trying for internships and better grades. We had a saying, Brown-Bramble recalled. If one of us succeeds, all of us succeed.

Most of the volunteer coaches came from minority backgrounds, too. Among them: Josmar Tejeda, who had graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology five years earlier with an architecture degree. Since graduating, Tejeda had worked at everything from social-media jobs to being an asbestos inspector. As the coach for Brown-Brambles group, Tejeda combined relentless optimism with an acknowledgment that getting ahead wasnt easy.

Keep it real, Tejeda kept telling his students as they talked through case studies and their own goals. Everyone did so. That feeling of being the only black or Latino person in the room? The awkwardness of always being asked: Where are you from? The strains of always trying to be the model minority? Familiar territory for everyone.

It was liberating, Brown-Bramble told me. Surrounded by sympathetic peers, Brown-Bramble discovered new ways to share his heritage in job interviews. Yes, some of his Caribbean relatives had arrived in the United States not knowing how to fill out government forms. As a boy, he had needed to help them. But that was all right. In fact, it was a hidden strength. I could create a culture story that worked for me, Brown-Bramble said. I can relate to people with different backgrounds. Theres nothing about me that I have to rise above.

This summer, with the support of Inroads, a nonprofit that promotes workforce diversity, Brown-Bramble is interning in the compliance department of Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical maker. Riding the strength of a 3.8 grade-point average, he plans to get a law degree and work in a corporate setting for a few years to pay off his student loans. Then he hopes to set up his own law firm, specializing in start-up formation. Id like to help other entrepreneurs do things in Newark, he told me.

Organizations like Braven draw on the power of the cohort, said Shirley Collado, the president of Ithaca College and a former top administrator at Rutgers-Newark. When students settle into small groups with trustworthy peers, she explained, candor takes hold. The sterile dynamic of large lectures and solo homework assignments gives way to a motivation-boosting alliance among seat mates and coaches. You build social capital where it didnt exist before, Collado said.

For Mai-Ling Garcia, the leap from community college to Berkeley was perilous. Arriving at the famous universitys campus, she and her then-husband were so short on cash that they subsisted most days on bowls of ramen. Scraping by on partial scholarships, neither knew how to get the maximum available financial aid. To cover expenses, Garcia took a part-time job teaching art at a grade-school recreation center in Oakland.

Finishing college can become impossible in such circumstances. During her second semester, Garcia began tracking down what she now refers to as a series of odd little foundations with funky scholarships. People wanted to help her. Before long, she was attending Berkeley on a full ride. Her money problems abated. What she couldnt forget was that initial feeling of being in trouble and ill-prepared. Her travails were pulling her into sociologys most pressing issues: how vulnerable people fare in a world they dont understand, and what can be done to improve their lives.

Simultaneously, Berkeleys professors were arming Garcia with tools that would define her career. She spent a year learning the fine points of ethnography from a Vietnam-era Marine, Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, who taught students how to conduct field research. He sent Garcia into the Oakland courthouse to watch judges in action, advising her to heed the ways racial differences tinged courtroom conduct. She learned to take careful notes, to be explicit about her theories and assumptions, and to operate with a rigor that could withstand peer-review scrutiny. Her professors would stay in academia; she was being trained to have an impact in the wider world.

What can one do with a sociology degree? Garcia tried a lot of different jobs in her first few years after graduation. She spent two years at a nonprofit trying to untangle Veterans Administration bureaucracy. After that, she dedicated three years to a position at the Department of Labor, winning many small battles related to veterans employment. She had found job security, but she couldnt shake the feeling that a technology revolution was racing through the private sectorand leaving government far behind.

Companies like Lyft, Airbnb, and Instagram were putting new powers in the publics hands, giving them handy tools to hail a ride, find lodging, or share photos. By comparison, trying to change a jury-duty date remained a clumsy slog through outdated websites. Instead of bemoaning this tech gap, Garcia decided to gain vital tech skills herself. She signed up for evening classes in digital marketing and refined that knowledge during an 18-month stint at a startup. Then she began hunting for a government job with impact.

In 2014, Garcia joined the City of Oakland as a bridge builder who could amp up online government services on behalf of the citys 400,000 residents. This wasnt just an exercise in technology upgrading; it required a fundamental rethinking of the way that Oakland delivered services. Buffers between city workers and an impatient public would come down. The social structures of power would change. To make this transition, it helped to have a digitally savvy sociologist in the house.

Over coffee one afternoon, Garcia told me excitedly about the progress that she and the city communications manager were achieving with their initiative. If street-art creators want more recognition for their work, Garcia can drum up interest on social media. If garbage is piling up, new digital tools let citizens visit the citys Facebook page and summon services within seconds.

Looking ahead, Garcia envisions a day when landing a municipal job becomes vastly easier, with cities Twitter feeds posting each new opening. Other aspects of digital technology ought to help residents connect quickly with whatever part of government matters to themwhether that means signing up for summer camp or giving the mayor a piece of ones mind.

This article has been adapted from George Anderss new book, You Can Do Anything.

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The Unexpected Value of the Liberal Arts – The Atlantic

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We Have More Choices Than Liberal Or Conservative – Huffington Post Canada

Posted: at 6:41 pm

You’re either a liberal or a conservative, right? And once you choose, it governs everything about you. Your political viewpoint. Your bias. Your circle of friends. How awkward your Thanksgiving dinner will be. That’s how it’s always been, and how it will always be…

Or, at least it’s been that way (kind of) since the Enlightenment, which happened mostly in Europe, around 250-300 years ago. In fact, there were many philosophers back in the 1700s, and only a few of them were what we might call “liberals” or “conservatives.” On the liberal side, you had a lot of Johns and Jeans (John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau), while the conservatives had good old Edmund Burke.

But there were many other philosophers around the world with wildly different views on politics, ethics, ontology, epistemology, and other philosophical words. In those days, philosophers did it all! Science, ethics, mathematics, engineering, politics, relationships, medicine…you name it, some philosopher had an opinion about it. As we moved into the 1800’s, there were more specialists. There were people who really focused on chemistry, biology, medicine, anthropology.. and there were political philosophers as well. We debated, theorized, and tested millions of ideas, theses, philosophies, and perspectives.

We’ve progressed a lot since the 1700’s, but we still hold onto many antiquated belief systems. Some people believe the earth is flat. Some people are afraid of vaccines. Some people are afraid of ghosts (I am one of those people). And many of us (at least in North America) consider ourselves to be liberals or conservatives. Of course, those terms have changed so much over the years that a modern-day conservative might sound more like John Locke than Edmund Burke.

It’s weird that we’re so beholden to these concepts of liberal and conservative. It’s weird that our political parties fall along this arbitrary spectrum.

This false dichotomy has resulted in a lot of acrimony and hatred. There’s a real “us vs. them” attitude in political debate, because you supposedly only have two choices.

But we’re all amateur philosophers, aren’t we? Our belief systems are cobbled together from our religious upbringing, our friends, our parents, our experiences, and what we’ve read, watched, and listened to. I’m not a liberal anymore, I’m a “Joshist,” following the Josh philosophy. It’s a mix of Socrates, Chuang Tzu, and Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino. And if I learn something new, that is incorporated into my ever-evolving beliefs.

Donald Trump isn’t beholden to traditional conservative values, just as Justin Trudeau isn’t beholden to traditional liberal values. Is Xi Jinping liberal? Is Emmanuel Macron conservative? All of these leaders have made decisions that break from these respective philosophies, and their actions can and should be evaluated independently. No matter how you identify, you should be reflective enough to recognize and be critical when someone you like does something you disagree with, and vice versa.

The way it is now isn’t how it has always been, and it isn’t how it must always be. So be free and break away from tradition. You can be anything you want to be.

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Is this the face of a liberal? – Amarillo.com

Posted: at 6:41 pm

Amarillo Globe-News columnist is being taken to task for the piece he wrote July 29 about the bathroom bill the Texas Senate passed last week.

For background, you can take a second look at that column here.

Tex Kopke of Spearman wrote this letter to the editor that took an opposing view:

Letter to the Amarillo Globe-News editor in response to Saturday, July 29 front page Amarillo Globe-News article by Jon Mark Beilue

Apparently the liberal editorials have now been moved to the front page with the Saturday editorial by Jon Mark Beilue concerning the state transgender bathroom bill.

In his first paragraph of the story Jon Mark states that he is not a liberal, he is a part of a growing group he would call embarrassed conservatives and he wonders what has happened to sane, reasonable conservatism in the wake of the election of Donald Trump and what has drifted down further to the statehouse.

Well I know exactly how he feels, except that I feel I am among the growing group of true area Christian conservatives, the silent majority, who is embarrassed by Jon Mark claiming he is a conservative and that he and the Amarillo Globe-News represents our thoughts.

Yes we wonder what has happened to our sane, reasonable newspaper and editors that we used to have. Have they all been replaced by a news staff from New York, San Francisco or by Austin liberals. Would the Globe-News have dared print such a liberal pro transgender rights and anti parents rights article even five years ago.

Jon Mark says that the bill states that people will be required to use the bathrooms and changing rooms at public and charter schools, and buildings overseen by local governments, based on the sex listed on their birth certificate or state-issued ID card.

What the bill states is obvious common sense to us Christian conservatives but is somehow beyond Jon Mark Beilus understanding.

Would Jon Mark seriously want transgender males using the changing room and showers with his school age daughters if he had any? Yet he wants schools to be able to force your daughters and sons to shower and change with transgenders in order to protect the rights of transgenders, rather than protecting the rights of parents and their children. Very mixed up priorities if you ask me.

Jon Mark goes on to state that transgenders obviously have emotional issues they have confronted to want to change their sex, but Jon can promise us that none of them involve the idea that it would make it easier to assault young girls in restrooms.

How Jon Mark knows what transgenders think I can only guess but I can be sure he is wrong if he thinks most parents want their children exposed to naked or partially exposed transgenders in changing rooms or bathrooms.

The area silent majority voted overwhelmingly for conservative federal and state leadership. If the Amarillo Globe-News cant accept this perhaps they should start selling their newspaper in a more liberal part of the country and stop trying to cram all these liberal points of views down our conservative throats.

Enough with all the liberal stories, editorials and editorial cartoons. Why should we pay for the privilege of having you insult and ridicule our conservative Christian values every day.

Conservatives now is the time to speak up before we get to the point that the Amarillo Globe-News is only fit to use in the bottom of cat boxes and you are embarrassed to even have your neighbors see it laying out in your yard.

Advertisers are soon going to have to start posting warning notices in their ads that the liberal anti Christian views of the Globe-News do not reflect their own values.

Jon Mark ends his article saying that at least as an embarrassed conservative he hopes the Texas House will be more of a voice of reason and respect.

I too hope that they will use a voice of reason and keep transgenders out of our opposite sex childrens restrooms and changing rooms and to respect the wishes of parents.

And finally, Jon Mark doesnt need to be worried about being an embarrassed conservative because he isnt a conservative to begin with.

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How a liberal blitzkrieg from Hollywood and the press got the Boy Scouts to surrender – Fox News

Posted: at 6:41 pm

Liberals have learned that if they attack, attack and attack some more, they can pressure organizations into surrender. Just like France.

That was the case with the Boy Scouts, a group that has repeatedly caved to alt-left pressure. President Trump spoke to more than 40,000 Scouts, leaders and volunteers Tuesday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and the media and left went insane comparing the Scouts to the Hitler Youth. Anyone who cheers this president gets thrown under the Panzer by liberals.

On Thursday the Scout leadership bowed to the assault. “I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree,” said Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “That was never our intent.”

President Trumps speech caused a media firestorm because the president tying his shoes would cause a media firestorm. He was attacked by liberals, and both news and entertainment media.

The New York Times headlined that Late Show host Stephen Colbert Says Trump Attacked Boy Scouts Belief in Our Democracy. Colbert built his career on attacking conservatives and recently drew criticism for making an obscene reference to President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Compared to that, saying the Boy Scouts were like Hitler Youth was mild for the left. But liberals were angry that the Scouts cheered President Trump. So they compared them to Nazis. That sounds reasonable to no one except libs.

Liberals have been calling Trump a Nazi since 2015 when he first began his race. One of the most obvious examples of that stupidity was ABCs The View star Whoopi Goldberg. In response to Trumps opposition to bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S., she compared the two and said: Hitler was a Christian. She also made a similar comparison to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

That was amateur hour compared to this week. Liberals call Trump Hitler or say hes a Nazi at the drop of a hat. But liberals went from attacking Trump to attacking kids with the same ferocity.

Heres how Newsweek set the order of battle. As the scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal, Trump said, before adding, We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that. As he spoke, the crowd chanted U.S.A and applauded.

Oh geez, they chanted U.S.A and applauded. The social media battle began. Twitter hashtags filled the space that sanity sometimes occupies. Terms like #Hitler Youth #Hitler and #HitlersYouth were flooded with comments from humans and bots.

Far-left filmmaker Michael Moore cited a famous Nazi propaganda movie in his comparison: I’m an Eagle Scout. Trump using the 30,000 BoyScouts as his props tonight was a scene out of Triumph of the Will. Shocking abuse of children.

John Haltiwanger, senior politics writer for the obscure Elite Daily (The Voice Of Generation-Y) started making comparisons between President Trump and Hitler. Haltiwanger said both wanted loyalty and didnt like the press. But he didnt stop there: Trump is not Hitler. Would be irresponsible to say they’re the same. But he did make the Boy Scouts feel a lot like the Hitler Youth today, he tweeted.

Soap opera star Nancy Lee Grahn joined in. Tragically, #boyscouts in 2017 applaud Trump just like the all blonde blue eyed youth did for Hitler in the 30’s.

Medium ran a piece by S. Novi headlined: Deranged Trump Emulates Hitler Youth Speech to Boy Scouts.

Igor Volsky, a vice president at the George Soros-funded Center for America Progress, was slightly more subtle. Trump is trying to turn the Boy Scouts into Trump Youth, he wrote. There were so many Nazi references running around on the left, it looked like Joseph Goebbels was running their media machine.

Even the outlets commenting on the trend embraced their biases. Of all of the outrageous and reprehensible things Trump has said and done over the past six months of his presidency, this seems to have really struck a raw nerve with people for a number of reasons, wrote Uproxx. Buzzfeed focused on angry Scout leaders, who naturally made the Hitler Youth comparison.

CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza listed the 29 most cringe-worthy lines from Donald Trump’s hyper-political speech to the Boy Scouts. But remember, CNN only thinks conservative media have opinions.

The left has long hated the Boy Scouts, bullying the organization into accepting first gay scoutmasters and now pushing to let girls join the Boy Scouts. Because boys arent allowed to have any spaces where they can just be boys. And every organization must push a left-wing agenda, or be destroyed. Or surrender. And then be destroyed. The left is OK with either.

Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.

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Overcoming Economic Downturns and Fiscal Distress Part II: Alternatives Available to the State of Illinois and its … – MuniNet Guide

Posted: at 6:41 pm

In theprevious part of this series on Overcoming Economic Downturns and Fiscal Distress, MuniNet Guides James Spiotto took us through the Gathering Storm of financial and economic challenges in state and local governments. Particular attention was paid to the casesof the State of Illinois and its municipalitiesfrom 2000 through today. In this next part in the series, focus is kept on the State of Illinois and its municipal governments,and the policies and institutions available to provide relief and solutions.Local Government Protection Authorities are explored in detail.

by James Spiotto

States that Provide Oversight and Assistance. At least twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have implemented some form of municipal debt supervision or restructuring mechanism to aid municipalities.These range from Debt Advisory Commissions (e.g. California) and Technical Assistance Programs (Florida) which provide guidance for and keep records of issuance of municipal debt to the layered approach of Rhode Island and Michigan of oversight commission and fiscal manager or receiver.Examples of state oversight, supervision and assistance for fiscal emergencies of local government.

Evolution of Past Mechanisms that Worked. Under consideration by some states is the use of a local government protection authority utilizing some of the best aspects from the mediation process of the neutral evaluator and the oversight and supervision of financial control boards, emergency managers, and receivers.

State-Created Quasi Judicial Function. Under this municipal debt resolution mechanism, the state would establish an entity that would have a quasi-judicial function and power similar to a commission or special master appointed by a state supreme court or other objective nonpolitical process. The members of the authority would be independent, experienced experts in governmental operation or finance as well as in mediation and debt resolution techniques, including bankruptcy.

Initiation of Proceedings. The authority would start with those municipalities that petition for help or those municipalities that have triggered certain established criteria where the jurisdiction of the authority may be mandated by state law.

First Phase Mediation and Consensual Agreement. The first phase is mediation and consensual agreement by the municipality and the affected creditor constituencies similar to the neutral evaluator process.

However, participation by the authority may be voluntary by petition of the municipality or other affected constituencies asserting that a financial emergency exists or, under the most direct circumstance could be required, and negotiation and discussion of positions are strictly confidential.The state law establishing the authority may have an exception to its open meetings law and its freedom of information law to allow for open discussion of any sensitive and confidential topics.If additional tax revenues or loans or grants from the state are needed, recommendations to the state by the authority may be made. The authority may be empowered to likewise call for a referendum on a local basis for increased taxes or other actions.Specified time periods for resolution will be set forth and, if the voluntary process is not successful, the second phase may be requested or may be mandatory if the authority so requires.

Second Phase Determination of a Recovery Plan. In the second phase, the authority and its designated members turn into a quasi-judicial panel, and the municipality is required to set forth the actions proposed to be taken to address its specific financial problem (recovery plan) for authority approval.

Creditors, workers, and taxpayers will have the ability to comment and to attempt, through negotiation, to modify the recovery plan within a set period of time.Then, the recovery plan is presented to the panel members of the authority for determination of the plans feasibility and whether it is reasonably fair to creditors interests in relation to the requirement that, under all circumstances, essential governmental services, at least at an established necessary level, must be funded and maintained for the reasonable future.One of the triggers for the authoritys jurisdiction is the petition by the municipality, its workers, or taxpayers that a governmental function emergency exists. The municipality or petition must state that essential services as to the health, safety, and welfare of its residents are being threatened and that the forced reduction in services, given the municipalitys financial condition and its limited revenues, impairs the health, safety, and general welfare of its residents.

Power of the LGPA. The authority, after hearing all sides (municipality, workers, taxpayers, affected creditors), will determine:

Determination Process of the Authority.

To the degree state has effective and applicable mechanism to help prevent default or provide funds or assistance to prevent default or methods of solving financial problems of municipal issuers this is information important to the investor and should be considered to be disclosed to the investor. Such information may improve the perception of the issuers credibility in the market.

For a summary of what the various states have provided to assist their municipalities in financial distress, see the following chart summarizing a 50-state survey which indicates whether the municipality (i) can file Chapter 9, (ii) has debt limits and allows refunding bonds, (iii) has access to municipal restructuring mechanisms, (iv) allows for receivers, examiners, financial control boards, coordinators, etc. (v) has default resolution remedies, permits creditors to obtain through court proceeding an accounting, foreclosure, injunction, a writ of mandamus to levy taxes or other remedies, (vi) permits special revenues bonds, and (vii) authorized statutory liens. The chart provides an overview of the 50 state survey from the book Municipalities in Distress?:How States and Investors Deal with Local Government Financial Emergencies (2nd edition, 2016). For more information, including information on Municipalities in Distress, please visitChapman & Cutlers website.

* The language of the statute appears to strongly support a determination that it is a statutory lien

** While the language of the statute may appear to create a statutory lien further clarification would be helpful to reaffirm the intent to create a statutory lien

*** While the language of the statute may appear to create a statutory lien it is insufficient and additional language is required to clarify the intent and to create a statutory lien. The language could be read as just providing for perfection of a pledge or lien without the intent and effect to create a statutory lien

**** These numbers include both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico where applicable and totals may differ from other materials that only review 50 states.

James E. Spiotto, Co-Publisher James E. Spiotto. All rights reserved. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the position, opinion or views of Chapman and Cutler LLP or Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC.

Up nextSolving Financial Distress with Economic Development and Stimulus from Needed Infrastructure Improvements, Reinvestment in States and Municipalities, and the need to Address Legacy Costs of Unfunded PublicPensions and Deferral of Updates to Infrastructure.

Click here to read the introduction to this series,How State and Local Governments Can Overcome Economic Downturns and Fiscal Distress

Click here to read Part I:The Gathering Storm

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Overcoming Economic Downturns and Fiscal Distress Part II: Alternatives Available to the State of Illinois and its … – MuniNet Guide

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Calexit Group Says It’s Time for Californians to ‘Take Back Those Tax Dollars’ From the US – Newsweek

Posted: at 6:41 pm

A group seekingCalexit believes secession is possible as it pushes for a new ballot initiative and a plan to unite Californians to take back those tax dollars from the U.S.

The California Freedom Coalition is attempting to raise funds for the initiative, and its members are aiming to collect the required 585,407 signatures from Californians to move ahead with the planat the ballot box.

We feel like this current initiative is more feasible and will hold up more to scrutiny and legal challenges, a member of the group, Steve Gonzales, told The Sacramento Bee of the push for Calexit.

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A previous attempt at California nationhood was dumped in April after failing to find enough support, but the CFC believes things could be different with a new ballot initiative.

The initiative would seek to repeal a provision in the California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States, it says, adding that there would be an agreement to establish California as a fully independent country.

But secession would come at a cost, includingat least $1.25 million in state funding for an independent commission to research the ballot initiative, the Office of the Attorney General of Californiasaid,as well as unknown, potentially major, fiscal effects if California voters approved changes to the states relationship with the United States at a future election after the approval of this measure.

However, the group and other supporters of Calexit believe such financial risk would be worth it, particularly given that Californias political leanings are so at odds with the current administration and that California sends more tax dollars to the federal government than any other state.

We feel that California has been neglected and left out of the political process for many, many decades, Gonzales told the Bee.

With current politics the way they are, clearly theres a recognition that many in the United States have disdain for Californians. They call us out of control. So this is a time for us to take back those tax dollars and really unleash the potential California has, he added.

Following Trumps election victory, it appeared that support for Calexit was increasing, with a January poll from Reuters showing 32 percentof Californians would back a break from the U.S.

However, secession is ultimately unlikely, given that the majority of Americans do not support the proposal and that a Calexit would also face major legal hurdles regardless of public opinion.

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Robert Kennedy Jr. Is Leading in Polls. No, Not That One – NBCNews.com

Posted: at 6:41 pm

Robert Kennedy Jr. teamkennedy2017.org

With just two weeks to go before the August 15 primary, some Democrats worry Kennedy could win the nomination on a fluke, thanks to his name, recalling Alvin Greenes

“Theres suspicion that hes here to bust up the vote and help secure the race for the Republicans,” said Beckerle.

The poll showed Kennedy with 49 percent of the vote, outpacing his closest competitor nearly two-to-one in a race that has been entirely overshadowed by

“Really all this shows is youve got a guy with a famous name,” said Doug Jones, Kennedy’s closest competitor.

Jones is a former U.S. attorney appointed by Bill Clinton who has been involved in Alabama politics since he was president of the Young Democrats chapter in law school.

Alabama papers have dubbed Kennedy a ”

But Kennedy his full name is Robert Kennedy Jr. in case you were wondering if his middle initial were “F” would like to clear a few things up.

First of all, hes named after his father, Robert Kennedy Sr., who was born before the other Kennedy family rose to prominence. Second, Alabama Democrats dont know him because he left his Mobile-area home at 18 to join the Navy and then worked for big multinational companies. Third, the Naval Academy graduate with an MBA from Duke University may be a political novice, but hes no dummy.

And, no, hes not a Republican plant. Yes, hes a gun-owning fiscal conservative who emphasizes “faith,” “family,” and “freedom” as the three key tenets of his campaign. But as an African-American whose parents were raised in the Jim Crow South, he wants an activist federal government to help even the playing field.

“I understand that my name will give me some points,” he said. “But to suggest that my name in that particular poll gave me 49 points is disrespectful to the voters.”

Anthony Terrell contributed reporting.

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The Entire Republican Agenda Now Hinges on This One Decision – The Fiscal Times

Posted: at 6:41 pm

Republicans have a huge choice to make, an unusually binding decision on the next steps for their legislative agenda. It will determine the campaign promises they will be able to keep, and more importantly, the lived experience of millions of Americans. And it all comes down to one simple bill.

That bill is the Congressional budget resolution for 2018. It doesnt make specific policy, just sets the course for the federal budget for the next year. But because of the unusual procedures Republicans have used to cut Democrats out of governing and avoid the Senate filibuster, they can either pass the budget resolution, and give up on repealing the Affordable Care Act until at least 2019, or put this bill aside, and commit to a far more moderate tax cut policy than currently envisioned.

Related: How Trump Could Still Win the Health Care Fight

Republicans used the 2017 budget resolution to set instructions for a health care overhaul through reconciliation, which requires only a majority vote in each chamber of Congress. The idea was to use the 2017 reconciliation bill for health care, and the 2018 bill for taxes (and potentially infrastructure investment).

But last weeks failure of the health care reconciliation bill in the Senate creates a dilemma. If theres no 2018 budget resolution, Republicans can return to the health care reconciliation bill at any time before the end of next year. Circumstances could change, votes could flip and, not to be ghoulish, but John McCain could no longer be a U.S. senator. Republicans can wait out that process. But if they pass a 2018 budget resolution with reconciliation instructions, it would nullify the 2017 resolution. That would mean the health care bill is dead.

Now, the GOP could simply write health care instructions into the 2018 resolution, keeping the process alive. But they really want to move to cutting taxes, the one thing practically every elected Republican agrees on. And conservatives want the option of passing those tax cuts with a majority vote, without requiring Democratic input in the Senate.

Related: The Health Care Fight Isn’t Over, Despite Democratic Cheering

The party leadership wants to move on from health cares wreckage and show they can get things done efficiently. And the big money behind the scenes is pouring millions of dollars into advertising and public events supporting tax cuts, air cover that didnt exist on health care.

But theres a huge split among the Republican faithful. While polling shows the general public wants Congress to move on from health care, conservatives dont. They are threatening retribution in next years primaries for members of Congress who fail to finish the job on health care. And Republicans generally fear their conservative base tossing them out as much as, if not more than, losing gerrymandered, safe seats to Democrats.

The Trump administration has sent mixed messages. Trump has tweeted that senators shouldnt be total quitters on the health care bill; hes even threatened to revoke subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs if theres no action. Over the weekend, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney restated Trumps position: The Senate shouldnt vote on anything else until it moves on health care. And Sen. Lindsey Graham has entered discussions with the White House over a new bill, which would simply deliver all health care funding to the states and let them figure it out. Graham believes it can garner 50 votes in the Senate and advance the process.

Related: What Do Democrats Stand For? The Party Finally Has the Right Answer

At the same time, Trump has events planned this week promoting a tax overhaul, and a proposed schedule of speeches across the Rust Belt in August. And the business community, which has only tepidly sold the Trump agenda, stands ready to spend massive resources to get their tax cuts.

So that would appear to be the choice: health care or taxes. But theres a third option: If Republicans could strike a tax deal with broad bipartisan support, they wouldnt need a budget resolution to enable a 50-vote threshold in the Senate. They could build a big-tent tax policy while keeping the 2017 reconciliation bill on ice and waiting for the winds to shift on health care.

What would a bipartisan tax deal look like? There are plenty of pieces floating around that Congressional Democrats have supported in the past, even if I dont. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer co-authored a repatriation tax proposal with Republican Rob Portman in 2015, which would tax one-time revenues from a small tax on overseas profits and put the money toward infrastructure investment. In that deal, Republicans would get a permanent tax rate cut on overseas earnings. A middle-class tax cut would probably sway some Democrats, and if Steve Bannons desire for a 44 percent tax bracket for multi-millionaires is legitimate, that would attract liberals, too.

Related: Democrats Have One Big Idea in Their Better Deal That Should Worry the GOP

Billionaires funding ads on tax reform are not interested in higher tax rates on the rich, and ideologues in the House Freedom Caucus balk at increases in any part of the tax code. But a bipartisan bill might be the only path to deficit-neutral tax reform, which House GOP leaders claim to want. Last week, Republicans issued a joint statement on tax reform in which they killed the main revenue-raiser in their proposal, a so-called border adjustment tax that would have favored exports over imports. Without anywhere else to turn, raising money by taxing the super-wealthy could serve as the price for big business tax cuts, as Jeff Spross argued on Monday.

This kind of compromise would keep health care in the mix. Plus, the joint statement on taxes was surprisingly weak on details, revealing how ideological constraints could paralyze the effort and further expose the GOP as unable to govern. Republicans might need a bipartisan deal to succeed at getting anything passed.

This kind of deal would cut against the totality of Republican actions since the Trump inauguration: scornful of compromise, neglectful of Democratic input, determined to go it alone. There are bipartisan solutions staring Republicans in the face on several issues and they havent taken the plunge, whether out of stubbornness or fear of reprisal from their base.

That has put them in this quandary. If they want a Republican-only tax bill, theyll have to give up on seven years of dreams to repeal Obamacare. If they want to keep repeal on the back burner, theyll have to work with Democrats on taxes. Because Republicans dont want to do either of these things, they may end up with nothing.

P.S. This is my last column for The Fiscal Times before I head off to other opportunities. I want to thank everyone at the operation for great encouragement and support the past three years.

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