Navy sailor who perished in recent collision at sea could have saved himself, chose to save shipmates instead

Gary Rehm, 37, called the sailors on the USS Fitzgerald his ‘kids.’ And when his kids were trapped after the collision with a container ship, he sacrificed himself to save them.

As news spread through the rest of the 7th Fleet that seven sailors had perished when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship, the crew of another hard-luck destroyer assembled on its stern.

The USS Cole had lost 17 sailors to a terrorist bomb in 2000. The current crew gave tribute to their ill-fated comrades from Saturday’s collision by standing in formation in the shape of the digits 62, the hull number for the destroyer Fitzgerald.

“Few words can express our sorrow for the loss of our USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) shipmates—a simple picture must try,” read the caption when the USS Cole—hull number DDG 67—posted the tribute photo on the 7th Fleet website on Sunday.

The word “shipmates” embraced two sailors who had followed family members into the U.S. military, but also one from Vietnam and another from the Philippines and another from Guatemala and another from Okinawa. The sister of the Vietnamese-American, 25-year-old Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc Truong “Tran” Huynh, had another word for those seven sailors as diverse as the country they died serving.

“Our family will never be whole again without him but we are just happy he didn’t die alone, he died with his brothers,” Mary Huynh said in a statement.

And therein resides America’s true greatness, the making of shipmates and brothers of people hailing from seemingly everywhere. Along with Tran Huynh from Vietnam and Oakville, Connecticut, these particular seven included Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia; Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from Okinawa and then San Diego; Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Guatemala and then Weslaco, Texas; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor “Hitch” Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from the Philippines and then Chula Vista, California; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio.

The most senior of the seven, Gary Rehm, had his own particular word for these brothers/shipmates.

“The sailors on the ship he called his kids,” his uncle Stanley Rehm Jr. told The Daily Beast. “He called them his kids.”  And, by various accounts, Gary Rehm had saved at least 20 of them after the collision. He then went down to save more.  “He said, ‘If my kids die, I’m going to die,’” the uncle said.

Gary Rehm perished with the six others.  “He could have walked away and been safe,” the uncle noted.

The uncle reported that Gary Rehm had himself been a kid right out of high school when he joined the Navy, as his grandfather Stanley Rehm Sr. had during World War II.  “He wanted to be just like his grandfather,” the uncle recalled.  The grandfather had also served on a destroyer, the USS David W. Taylor, DD 551.

“[The grandfather] was so proud of that ship,” the uncle said. “He went to all the reunions.”

The uncle said the USS Taylor escorted the battleship USS Missouri into Tokyo Bay for the formal signing of the Japanese surrender in 1945.

So it seemed only fitting that Gary Rehm’s last two-year tour before he planned to retire took him aboard the destroyer Fitzgerald to Japan.  “Where his grandfather was,” the uncle said. “Japan.”

Early Saturday morning, the Fitzgerald was off the coast of Japan when it collided with the container ship ACX Crystal. Gary Rehm leapt into action to rescue his kids.

“He was saving guys,” the uncle said. “He saved quite a few of them.”

One of the ill-fated shipmates/brothers, Xavier Martin, reportedly tried to phone his father back in Maryland but could not get through.  The father, Darrold Martin, spent Father’s Day calling every father he knew and then began calling the families of the sailors who had died.

Darrold Martin and the parents of the six who had been unable to get out could at least console themselves with the thought that in the final moments their sons were joined by a senior man who could have saved himself but chose to save his kids or die trying.

On Monday, the uncle was saying that you did not need to be a sailor for Gary Rehm to come to your aid.  “He helped everybody who needed help,” the uncle said. “He was always ready to help anybody who needed it. He was just that kind of guy.”

But the ones he called his kids were closest to his heart, and when the ship was docked stateside near his home in Virginia, he would invite those who were far from home to join him on holidays.  “Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter,” the uncle remembered.

The uncle reported that Gary Rehm never had children of his own.  “He had the Navy,” the uncle said.

These days, that meant his kids could include sailors of every race, creed, background, sexual orientation, all at least on the way to becoming the greatest product Made in the USA, the essential element of true greatness: Americans.

The uncle allowed that Gary Rehm had suggested he might put off his plans to retire when the tour ended in three months if he somehow managed to secure a promotion to chief.  “And command his own ship,” the uncle said.

That dream ended as Gary Rehm sought to save the rest of his kids. The USS Fitzgerald (DDG62) is named after Navy Lt. William Fitzgerald, who received a posthumous Navy Cross during the Vietnam War for sacrificing himself so his comrades could escape an overwhelming enemy force. Gary Rehm was no less brave and selfless. He is no less deserving of having a destroyer named after him.

If some future destroyer is christened the USS Rehm—and one should be—you can bet that future kids will arrange themselves in a particular formation on the stern.  “62.”

 

[From an article published by the Daily Beast]

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
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New York Times circulation continues to drop…now we know why

“There is not a single good person who voted for Trump. Not one.”

This is a comment made by Patrick S. Tomlinson. This is someone the New York Times pays to write for that venerable newspaper.

Quite obviously Tomlinson is someone who has very few working brain cells left.  To make such a comment and not think he might be quoted as its author is to not think at all.

This is why many hundreds of thousands of former New York Times subscribers are not subscribers any longer.

It’s hard to imagine anyone, let alone a Times-employed writer, saying something so stupid.

We’re going to repost the illustration we ran recently, with its quote from Mark Twain:

Mark Twain said it best...

The New York Times is not worth your time or your money, folks.

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
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SPLC has now inspired two blatant acts of terrorism on US soil, but our media continue to promote the misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the arbiter of what’s good and right in America today

US media have crowned the misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the arbiter of what’s good and right in America today. Ironically, it was the SPLC that inspired an act of terrorism on American soil, when a gay militant opened fire on the Washington office of the Family Research Council. He saw the group listed on an SPLC “hate map.”

Now we learn that James Hodgkinson, the gunman who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three other people on Wednesday, had “liked” the Southern Poverty Law Center on Facebook.

Isn’t it fascinating how a group that is regularly portrayed by the media as an expert on “extremists” is at the center of two terrorist incidents in the Washington, D.C. area?

It doesn’t really matter that the SPLC has denounced the Hodgkinson attack. What matters is that the media should stop using the SPLC as a resource for statements about the supposed extremism of groups other than the SPLC.

The pattern is clear. Those consumed with hatred of conservatives, or motivated by Marxism, are going to the SPLC for inspiration. Like the gay militant Floyd Corkins before him, James Hodgkinson probably used his computer to search the SPLC website and gather “intelligence” on his political enemies.

The SPLC is a despicable organization that in the past has been used as a resource by the Department of Justice and the FBI. Let’s hope those days are over. But considering the turmoil in the department, we really have no way of knowing.

The FBI could, and should, issue a statement noting the role of the SPLC in the climate of violence gripping the United States. Perhaps that might have a salutary effect on this organization.

However, at this point, the FBI is still reportedly searching for a motive behind the Hodgkinson shooting spree. The FBI is even circulating a flier declaring him “deceased” and asking the public to call the FBI hotline if they have information about what Hodgkinson has been doing in the D.C. area over the past several months.

The FBI says, “James T. Hodgkinson, deceased, is believed to be responsible for the shooting in the 400 Block of E. Monroe Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia, around 7:09 a.m. on June 14, 2017. The FBI is asking for the public’s assistance with any information regarding Hodgkinson.”

This is bureaucratic gobbledygook (defined as “language that is meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of abstruse technical terms; nonsense”).

This is an even simpler case to solve than the anthrax letters case, in which the FBI investigators could see on the envelopes the phrases “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Still, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller blew that case, blaming American scientists for terrorism carried out by Al Qaeda.

In the Hodgkinson case, we have pictures of him marching against the rich and glorifying Bernie Sanders. We have his Facebook posts devoted to liberal causes like global warming, “likes” of various far-left groups like the SPLC, and an addiction to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, which has been obsessed with Donald Trump and Russia. Hodgkinson swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, concluding that Trump and other Republicans had to be “terminated” for treason.

“One of my favorite TV shows is ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ on MSNBC,” he said in a letter to the local paper. “On a recent show she stated that 17 very rich men are supplying the Republican Party with more than 60 percent of their campaign contributions.”

Still, the FBI is searching for a motive. We understand the motive. What we need to understand is the Marxist theory of hatred and class warfare that is being promoted by news organizations like MSNBC, and which drives somebody like Hodgkinson to kill.

Like the Islamic terrorists identified by President Trump as losers, Hodgkinson was a loser, too. A typical liberal motivated by Marxist jargon, he had employment and personal problems that he blamed on the rich.

But Hodgkinson was not a loner. He was a proud liberal who openly proclaimed his hatred on the Internet, and belonged to or liked a whole network of left-wing organizations. He had a support apparatus that still exists and which may currently be producing more would-be shooters.

Will MSNBC rein in Maddow’s ranting and raving against Trump and the Republicans? Not likely. Her ratings are too high. The market for left-wing hate is growing, and she’s making too much money for the channel. More money, not less, stands to be made by stoking the fires of hatred.

As for the SPLC, it says, “We’re aware that the SPLC was among hundreds of groups that the man identified as the shooter ‘liked’ on Facebook. I want to be as clear as I can possibly be: The SPLC condemns all forms of violence. We have worked for decades to combat domestic terrorism and violence based on hate.”

That, dear friends, is nothing but more gobbledygook.  Nonsense.  Meaningless unintelligible language.  SPLC doesn’t know any better.  The FBI certainly should.

 

[From an article written by Cliff Kincaid and published by ACCURACY IN MEDIA]

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
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Different plan (finally) from US Defense Secretary…let’s hope the Pentagon can make it work

The U.S. is joining Kurdish and Arab forces to begin an offensive to annihilate the Islamic State terror group.  U.S. coalition forces are honing in on Raqqa, Syria, the so-called caliphate or capital of the Islamic State.

“Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against ISIS,” Defense Secretary James Mattis recently told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Mattis went on to say that the U.S. is beginning to change tactics to aim at completely destroying the Islamic State’s presence in the region.

“We have already shifted from attrition tactics where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics where we surround them,” he said.

A major battle is currently underway in Raqqa.  The Islamic State seized control of Raqqa in 2014, when it took control of many areas in the Middle East, imposing violent rule.

“Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to north Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa.  We are not going to allow them to do so. We are going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate,” said Mattis.

 

[From an article by Veronica Neffinger, published by CHRISTIAN HEADLINES]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  If you remember the Obama approach to the conflict in the Middle East (“We don’t have a plan yet”), you should welcome at least the formulation of something that sounds like a plan from the current administration.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see US citizens support it rather than oppose it?

 

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Four dead and dozens hospitalized in Georgia due to massive overdose of sold-on-the-street painkiller

At least four people are dead and dozens more have been hospitalized after overdosing on what authorities in Georgia believe to be Percocet.

The victims reportedly ingested a “yellow pill,” which authorities have not yet definitely identified.  The Georgia Department of Public Health called the pills “extremely potent” and warned that while the overdoses are concentrated in the middle and southern areas of the state, the drugs may be sold elsewhere, AJC.com reported.

Opioid overdoses, including prescription drugs and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than half of the fatalities involved a prescription opioid.

Georgia Poison Center is currently working with the hospitals and gathering more information to determine whether these additional cases are connected to the cluster of overdoses reported in the past three days.

Emergency workers responded in the last 48 hours to reports of overdoses in Centerville, Perry and Warner Robins, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. However, the drugs might also have been sold on the street in other areas of the state.

Doctor are eagerly awaiting toxicology tests to find out what is in these pills that triggered this mass overdose.  They worry about the possibility of more cases if this drug is still on the streets.  “Difficulty breathing, slurred speech, most are coming through the ambulance,” Dr. Chris Hendry said.

The chief medical officer describes the symptoms of the rash of overdose patients that have arrived at a Macon hospital in the last 48 hours.  They all had one thing in common, they took pills that they thought were pharmaceutical quality pain meds. They were wrong.

“It’s being sold on the street as Percocet, however, when it’s taken, the patients are experiencing significant and severely decreased levels of consciousness, and respiratory failure,” Hendry said. “There have been four deaths associated with this opioid overdose.”

It’s not yet known what the pills contain.

In a recent trend, drug dealers are creating counterfeit pain pills that contain the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl but look like legitimate pain pills. Users have no idea of what they’re taking.  “Someone has developed this particular pill, this substance and passing it off as a prescription medicine. It’s not,” Sheriff Dave Davis said.  Davis said he’s working with state and federal law enforcement to catch those selling the drug, before there are more overdoses and overdose deaths.

“Somebody knows something about the person passing out this poison in our community and someone should make the call,” Davis said.

Doctors have issued an alert warning people not buy pain medications from someone on the street. They could produce deadly results.

 

[From articles published by FOX NEWS and WSB-TV in Atlanta]

 

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“The loser won’t leave…”

The loser won't leave...

If you’re wondering what a failed presidential candidate who deletes files with a hammer was doing at the Recode CodeCon 2017, you’re not the only one. While attendees tried to wrap their heads around the idea of Hillary Clinton headlining an event dedicated to the digital realm, Hillary confirmed their reservations. The old girl herself, whose own relationship with cyber-security is limited to the occasional visit to the bathroom, launched a rant in which she added a bunch of new names to her personal enemies’ list.

Among those whom Hillary fingered for her November faceplant were the usual suspects, villains like sexism and nameless Russian interlopers. But she also made special mention of a new group: the Democratic Party. That’s right, folks. According to the woman whose victory was all but assured, the people who did the assuring lied to her. “I set up my campaign and we have our own data operation. I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party… it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong.”

There’s gratitude for you. The Democrats actively intervened in the primary process to tilt the delegate count to Hillary, and she turned around and kicked them under the bus. And forget about “sisters before misters.” The list of party heavies who publicly disgraced themselves on her behalf includes not one, but two chairpersons; both of whom — Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — are supposedly “strong women” like Hillary. I guess there really isn’t any honor among liberals.

But her own teammates weren’t the only ones to face the fickle finger of failure. Nana also turned her rage on the media. She specifically singled out The New York Times, claiming they covered her embarrassing email debacle like it was Pearl Harbor. Putting aside the incredible arrogance in comparing her own flame out to one of the darkest hours in American history, she allowed classified information to turn up on a sexual predator’s laptop and lied about it repeatedly, but it’s The Times’ fault for noticing.

With every public appearance, Hillary Clinton expands the roster of people on whom she pins the total annihilation of her ambitions. Oddly, one name continues to elude mention. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz didn’t keep Hillary from visiting Wisconsin and a sizeable number of Rust Belt residents during her ill-fated campaign. Donna Brazile didn’t call half the electorate “deplorable.” The New York Times didn’t tell a national television audience half the electorate are her “enemies.” And none of them suggested wiping vital facts from cyberspace “like, with a cloth.”

A great many conservatives react to each stop on Madame Clinton’s Conspiracy Theory World Tour by rolling their eyes and wishing she would check into the old losers’ home once and for all. Her continued public displays of disloyalty help to undermine President Donald Trump’s efforts to undo the damage done by his predecessor’s administration, an administration which notably included Hillary. She inflames an already-emotionally unstable liberal intelligentsia, which leads to the violent outbursts which the Democrats now substitute for public discourse.

I say: “Let the old bat rant!” As long as she remains the Democrats’ top spokesloser, they’ll remain in the past. While it’s true that her public tantrums divert attention from the real problems the nation faces, they also divert attention from the real problems the Democratic Party faces, and a Democrat can’t put a price on that.

 

[From an article by Ben Crystal, writing for the Personal Liberty Media Group]

 

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
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Democrats are now engaged in a complete assault on all traditional American values

About two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton – soon after proclaiming she had recovered from the disappointment of her election defeat and was “back to being … part of the resistance” against the Trump agenda – launched a brand new activist organization called Onward Together. If that name sounds somewhat familiar to you, it’s because it is derived from Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign theme, “Stronger Together.”

Onward Together’s stated purpose is to “advance progressive values” by encouraging ordinary people to become politically engaged in grassroots opposition to President Trump’s policies. The organization’s Internet homepage features a quote where Mrs. Clinton instructs her political allies to “resist, insist, persist, enlist.” Moreover, Clinton has announced that Onward Together will actively support the work of five groups in particular that have recently emerged as part of a broad leftist movement opposed to Mr. Trump and his agendas. These groups include the following:

(1) The Indivisible Project: Established by five former Democratic congressional staffers in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s presidential victory, the Indivisible Project is devoted to providing leftists and liberals with strategies for countering the “radical, racist, and sexist” objectives of President Trump. Rejecting the very legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, the fledgling group’s flagship publication, The Indivisible Guide, portrays him as “the biggest popular-vote loser in history to ever call himself President-Elect.” And because Trump “will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image” despite the fact that he “has no mandate” from the voters, the Indivisible Project pledges to “stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and Members of Congress [MoC’s] who would do his bidding.”

The Indivisible Guide instructs progressives to attend local “town halls” or public listening sessions held by Republican MoC’s and to make lots of noise there – i.e., applaud in response to one another’s questions and/or comments, and collectively boo in response to things said by the MoC. “Every time your MoC signs on to a bill, takes a position, or makes a statement,” says the Guide, “a little part of his or her mind will be thinking: ‘How am I going to explain this to the angry constituents who keep showing up at my events and demanding answers?’” In short, the goal is to “stall the Trump agenda by forcing [Congressional Republicans] to redirect energy away from their priorities,” on the theory that “a day that they spend worrying about [rowdy protesters] is a day that they’re not ending Medicare, privatizing public schools, or preparing a Muslim registry.”

The Indivisible Project’s modus operandi is rooted in the organizing tactics of Saul Alinsky, the late community-organizing guru who wrote:

  • “Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”
  • “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
  • “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. If your organization is small in numbers,… raise a din and clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more than it does.”

(2) Color Of Change: Founded by the revolutionary communist Van Jones to combat what he viewed as the systemic racism pervading America generally and conservatism in particular, Color of Change (CoC) supports race-based preferences in government contracting, college admissions, and hiring/promotion policies. Further, the organization favors the expansion of the welfare state and thus seeks to discredit initiatives that would restore limited government and rein in public expenditures.

In one of its longest-running initiatives, Color of Change has repeatedly smeared the Fox News Channel as a disseminator of racism and bigotry. In a similar spirit, CoC in 2010 began an aggressive effort to discredit what it called the Tea Party movement’s “venomous rhetoric,” “racially charged imagery,” and “paranoid conspiracy theories.” And in the spring of 2012, CoC and its allies tried to exploit the racial overtones of the recent killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin, who had been shot by a “white Hispanic” claiming to have acted in self-defense as permitted under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

(3) Emerge America: Lamenting that “American women are still vastly underrepresented at all levels of government,” Emerge America seeks to address this “big problem” by administering an in-depth, six-month, 70-hour training program for “Democratic women who want to run for public office.” By Emerge America’s telling, women as a whole are much better equipped, temperamentally, to hold public office than men are. Specifically, women in political positions “are more responsive to constituents” and tend, to a greater degree than their male counterparts, to “value cooperation over hierarchical power,” thereby making them better able to “engineer solutions in situations where men have trouble finding common ground.”

Among the more noteworthy members of Emerge America’s advisory board are:

  • Heather Booth, a protégé of Saul Alinsky and a co-founder of the Midwest Academy, a training institute for left-wing activism and socialist ideology
  • Margery Tabankin, another Alinskyite who has held key positions with numerous far-left organizations
  • Ann Lewis, a former adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton
  • Cecile Richards, who has served in leadership positions with Planned Parenthood and several other left-wing groups and foundations
  • Gloria Steinem, the longtime feminist icon

(4) Swing Left: Launched on January 19, 2017—the day before Donald Trump was inaugurated as U.S. President—Swing Left (SL) describes itself as “an online community” whose mission is to thwart the Trump agenda and to help Democrats regain and maintain control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

SL’s modus operandi is to help pro-Democrat voters across the United States become politically active in the “Swing Districts”—defined as places where the last election was won by 15% of the vote or less—that are geographically closest to them. This activism may take the form of making donations, participating in fundraising efforts, spreading the word about candidates on social media, door-to-door canvassing, or working on a phone bank.

In an effort to provide “a financial head start” for Democratic nominees in the general House elections, SL has established a fundraising initiative called District Funds, which provides “pots of money, raised in advance, for the eventual Democratic nominee in each Swing District.”

(5) Run For Something: Incorporated in December 2016, Run For Something aims to “recruit and support talented, passionate young people who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years,” and who are willing to run in “down-ballot races” for offices like state legislatures, mayorships, and city council seats. Toward that end, the organization seeks out people younger than 35 who self-identify as Democrats and “progressives,” and who pledge to be:

  • committed to placing their “primary focus on inequality, raising incomes, and jobs” (i.e., by promoting measures like minimum-wage hikes and “living wage” laws)
  • passionate voices for the notion that “climate change is real, man-made, and our responsibility to fight [against]”
  • supportive of “criminal justice reform” (i.e., releasing, or reducing the sentences of, large numbers of nonwhite prisoners allegedly victimized by racism in the criminal-justice system)
  • “ pro-universal health care” (in favor of a socialist, government-run medical system)
  • “ pro-choice” (supportive of an unrestricted right to taxpayer-funded abortion at any stage of pregnancy)
  • “pro-voting rights” (opposed to Voter ID laws, on grounds that they discriminate against nonwhites and the poor)
  • “ pro-campaign-finance reform” (supportive of government funding, rather than private funding, of political elections)
  • “ pro-immigration reform” (in favor of open borders, amnesty, and access to taxpayer-funded social services for illegal aliens residing in the United States)
  • “pro-gun-violence prevention” (supportive of restrictions to, or the repeal of, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

In summation, the collective values and prioritries of these five organizations are precisely those that would have been advanced very aggressively by a Hillary Clinton Administration – or, for that matter, by the Administration of any other Democrat who might have won the presidency. Today’s Democratic Party no longer bears even the slightest resemblance to the Democratic Party of yesteryear. It is now engaged in a full-throated assault on the traditional American values of individual rights (as opposed to group rights and privileges), limited government, free-market economics, border security, and the right to self-defense. Repelling, delegitimizing, and crushing this Democratic assault ought to be the #1 goal of the Republican Party.

 

[From an article published by FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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