Democrats’ message to America: “We don’t like God. We don’t think about God. We don’t even mention God. If you don’t like God either, be a Democrat.”

Democrats continue to grow spiritually darker to the point of actually proclaiming themselves the party of the “religiously non-affiliated.”

Two years ago, in 2017, Selena Zito claimed in the New York Post that, “The Democratic Party has a God problem.”

Remembering what happened in 2012, when it was widely reported that the Democrats booed God” (during the platform hearings), Zito argued that the Democrats have since “pushed away religious voters not simply by ignoring them but by actively repelling them with accusations of bigotry and backwardness.”

And, she added, “Unless they change that, Democrats haven’t got a prayer of solving their God problem.”

The DNC has now issued a resolution stating that “religiously unaffiliated Americans overwhelmingly share the Democratic Party’s values, with 70% voting for Democrats in 2018, 80% supporting same-sex marriage, and 61% saying immigrants make American society stronger.”

Yes, the Democratic Party is the party of the religiously unaffiliated, and this is now seen as something to celebrate. “If you have no religious affiliation, we’re the party for you!”  (“Religiously unaffiliated”  is the polite way of saying “godless.” And as we all know, being godless ultimately leads to some pretty severe consequences. When God believes in you, it’s pretty stupid not to believe in Him.)

The Democrats would like us to know that, in contrast with conservative evangelicals who are branded as religious hypocrites and who are abusing their religious power, it is the religiously non-affiliated who really hold to ethical values and truly care about all Americans.  (If you truly believe that, you’ll believe just about anything the Dems tell you.)

We also need to remember that the militantly pro-abortion (pro-death, as opposed to pro-life) pro-LGBTQ activism party is the party of those without religious affiliation, the godless Democrats.

 

[From an article published by PROPHECY NEWS WATCH]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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“Jewish Flesh Is Cheap” – It’s important to know the truth surrounding the Middle East conflict

Two facts we have to keep firmly in mind: The Jews have been fighting evil lies, prejudice, and terror since modern Israel was born in 1948. And the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will end only when Palestinians realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.

  • The Oslo Accords were based on the illusion that the PLO could totally change and suddenly become a “partner for peace”… It soon became clear that the Palestinian Authority was still the PLO: terrorist attacks quickly multiplied. The money received by the Palestinian Authority was used to continue incitement to murder and payments to incentivize it.
  • In 1967, a change of strategy took place. No one, the PLO decided, would speak of a “war for the destruction of Israel”. Instead, they would call it a “war of national liberation”. From then on, the PLO was presented as a “liberation movement”.
  • Arabs who had left Israel in 1948-49, many of whom remained in refugee camps, were defined as the “Palestinian people”; in this way were the Palestinian people invented. As PLO Executive Council member Zuheir Mohsen said in 1977: “The Palestinian people does not exist… Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…”
  • The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have, in fact, never stopped resorting to “armed struggle”, the name they give to terrorism and murdering Jews. To “frustrate all the schemes of Zionism”, they invented the Palestinian people; their “struggle for national liberation” gave them international recognition. By renaming terrorism and murdering Jews “armed struggle”, they made their use of terrorism and murder acceptable. By signing the Oslo Accords, they could appear interested in peace without having to renounce terrorism. They could even demonize Israel and give it the image of a barbaric and cruel country while continuing to murder Jews.
  • “If you look at history… what ends conflicts is one side giving up…. and then it’s over…. in World War II, [the Germans] were forced to give up… and note how much they benefited by giving up.” — Daniel Pipes, historian, November 19, 2017.
  • No U.S. president had ever told Palestinian leaders that they were lying, or had required them to stop inciting murder and financing terrorism, and no U.S. president had ever decided to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to incentivize terrorism. President Donald J. Trump did.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron accepted using taxpayer money to reward murdering Jews. Macron also still accepts the United Nations’ (UNRWA’s) unique definition of Palestinian “refugees”: that they must include endless generations of descendants.

August 7th. Israel. When Dvir Sorek, an 18-year-old student returned from Jerusalem to his school after having bought some books for his rabbis as an end-of-year gift, he was stabbed to death by two Arab terrorists.

As his funeral took place, while his father was delivering the eulogy, the inhabitants of the Arab village of Silwad, two miles North, to celebrate the murder, were setting off fireworks.

Sorek was apparently a peaceful teenager who had never hurt anyone. Among the books he brought was one by an Israeli left-wing writer, David Grossman, supporting the need to create a Palestinian state.

Sorek’s “fault” was to be a Jew.

His name extends the long list of Jews killed or wounded by Arab terrorists. Some murders are even more cruel. The man who raped and murdered Ori Ansbacher in February in Jerusalem said, “I wanted to kill a Jew and be a martyr.” In 2011, five members of the Fogel family, including three young children, were slaughtered. In 2014, two murderers with axes, knives and a gun entered a synagogue in Jerusalem during morning prayers and massacred five worshipers and a policeman who tried to stop the attackers. On December 13, 2018, at a bus stop near Ofra, two young Jews were shot dead by terrorists. Four days before that, another gun attack injured seven Jews. A wounded young woman survived, but despite the efforts of doctors, the baby she was carrying died. Last week, in a terrorist bombing on a hiking trail near Dolev, north of Jerusalem, a teenage Jewish girl was murdered. Her father and brother were seriously wounded.

After each murder, celebrations like those in Silwad take place. Candies and sweets are passed out in the street. If the murderers are shot by the Israeli soldiers or the police, they are proclaimed martyrs, and are celebrated. Their portraits are displayed in Palestinian towns. Whether the terrorist murders are killed or whether they are arrested, tried and imprisoned in Israel, they or their families are awarded a generous monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority — an amount higher than the average Palestinian wage. Sometimes, the mothers of the murderers say how proud they are of the act their sons committed.

The depravity built-in to murdering civilians, the celebrations that follow, the prestige granted to racist murderers, the alluring payments granted as a reward, and the pride of the mothers all stem from an incitement to hate Jews that is injected into the minds of the Palestinian Arabs by the people and institutions that lead them.

Textbooks used in Palestinian schools are filled with calls to murder Jews, even if the topic is math. Newspapers of the Palestinian Authority regularly publish anti-Semitic cartoons worthy of those published by Nazi Germany’s Der Stürmer. The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination devoted an entire day, August 13, 2019, to studying the anti-Semitic propaganda broadcast by the Palestinian Authority’s media. The data gathered was overwhelming. The legal adviser of UN Watch, Dina Rovner, showed the committee how the Palestinian Authority’s media “perpetuates antisemitic stereotypes such as that Jews are greedy, that they are part of a conspiracy to control the world, that they are baby killers, and that they poison Palestinians and steal their organs”.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority is still fundamentally a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying Israel and Israeli Jews by all means.

Until they issued the Venice Declaration in 1980, the nine member states of the European Community saw the PLO as a terrorist group, and for good reasons: in December 1973, a Palestinian attack at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport resulted in the deaths of 34 people, and two Palestinian attacks also took place at Orly Airport in Paris, one in January 1975, another in May 1978. The US and Israel, until 1991, defined the PLO as a criminal terrorist organization, and contacts between Israelis and PLO leaders were prohibited by Israeli law.

The Oslo Accords were based on the illusion that the PLO could totally change and suddenly become a “partner for peace”. The Palestinian Authority was created a few months later and became the new name of the PLO.

It soon became clear that the Palestinian Authority was still the PLO: terrorist attacks quickly multiplied. The money received by the Palestinian Authority was used to continue incitement to murder and payments to incentivize it.

The leaders of the Western world pretended that it did not matter, and looked the other way. They insisted that the Israeli leaders negotiate, as if there were no terrorism and as if incitement to murder did not exist.

So, Israeli leaders negotiated. The negotiations failed.

Since 2008, the Palestinian Authority has stopped negotiating with Israel, thereby nullifying its commitments in the Oslo Accords. Instead, the Palestinian Authority is conducting an international diplomatic offensive. According to the Palestinian Authority, the non-existent “State of Palestine” is now recognized by 139 countries, including several member states of the European Union and the Holy See. The State of Palestine was granted non-member state observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and the opportunity to join various UN agencies. In 2018, the Group of 77, the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the UN, chose as its leader the “State of Palestine”.

As leaders of the Palestinian Authority see that the fantasy among most of the leaders of the Western world is still strong, they no longer even hide their refusal to renounce terrorism. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, now approaching the 14th year of his four-year term, proudly announced that he will continue to reward the murderers of Jews and the murderers’ families. Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, recently said:

“Palestinian society holds a completely different attitude toward those whom Israel calls ‘terrorists.’ These militants are, instead, regarded by us as people who sacrifice themselves for the liberation of the Palestinian people”.

Palestinian leaders, without anyone ever blaming them, also deny Israel’s right to exist. On August 14, Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador to the UN, said. “What we face is the Zionist movement, I would like to remind you that in 1975, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379, indicating that Zionism is a form of racism”. He left out that the resolution had been revoked in 1991 and that the Zionist movement reached its goal: Israel does exist. Khraishi spoke as if the state of Israel still did not. His defamation and attempted erasure of Israel were not even mentioned in the Western media.

Hamas, a more violent and radical organization than the Palestinian Authority, is often used as an example to try to float the idea that the Palestinian Authority is, by contrast, “moderate”. Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim said in 2014 that Hamas has “chosen fast jihad”. However, just because the Palestinian Authority proceeds more slowly, does not make it fundamentally different.

The Muslim world in general has never accepted the existence of Israel. On the day the birth of Israel was proclaimed, May 14, 1948, the armies of five Arab countries invaded Israel to destroy the newborn State. Israel survived. Another war to destroy Israel took place in June 1967, then another in 1973. Each time, Israel won.

In 1967, a change of strategy took place. No one, the PLO decided, would speak of a “war for the destruction of Israel”. Instead, they would call it a “war of national liberation”. From then on, the PLO was presented as a “liberation movement”. Arabs who had left Israel in 1948-49 and remained in refugee camps were defined as the “Palestinian people”, and so the Palestinian people were invented. As PLO Executive Council member Zuheir Mohsen said in 1977:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”

A political program, adopted in Cairo, Egypt, at the Palestinian National Council on June 9, 1974, spoke of the need to create a “Palestinian national authority”. The program defined this creation as a “first step”, a basis for moving towards “the liberation of all Palestinian territory”. Twenty years later, the Palestinian Authority was created. The goal nevertheless remains the “liberation of the entire Palestinian territory”, meaning all of Israel.

The program also mentioned the need to “resort to all means necessary” and insisted on the importance of “armed struggle”. It talked about a strategy of “frustration of all the schemes of Zionism”. The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have, in fact, never stopped resorting to “armed struggle”, the name they give to terrorism and murdering Jews. To “frustrate all the schemes of Zionism”, they invented the Palestinian people; their “struggle for national liberation” gave them international recognition. By renaming terrorism and murdering Jews as “armed struggle”, they made their use of terrorism and murder acceptable. By signing the Oslo Accords, they could appear interested in peace without having to renounce terrorism. They could even demonize Israel and give it the image of a barbaric and cruel country while continuing to murder Jews.

The journalist Amotz Asa-El and the historian Moshe Dann recently wrote about the multifaceted war led by the Palestinians in the context of a “war of attrition”.

“Wars of attrition,” Asa-El notes, “are not decided by their parties’ balance of troops, arms or resources, but by their balance of spirit. The winner will not be the one left with more land, population or treasure, but the one whose spirit will last longer”.

Dann writes:

“From a Palestinian perspective, their war of attrition has been successful. Despite engaging in incitement and terrorism, they are recognized and supported by the international community, including their demand for statehood… it encourages the belief that they can win if they are committed and determined.”

The possibility for Israel of turning the tide and prevailing has been defined by Daniel Pipes:

“If you look at history (and I’m a historian), what ends conflicts is one side giving up. Now, think about it; if you and I are in a struggle, it’s only going to end when one of us gives up, and then it’s over. Until one of us gives up, the conflict can resume. The Koreas could be at war today, for all we know, because neither side has given up. World War I, the Germans lost, but didn’t give up, so they gave it another try, and in World War II, they were forced to give up, and they did; and note how much they benefitted by giving up.” [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will end only when Palestinians realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.

For now, Palestinians, with the help of the Iranians and the Europeans, continue to think that they will be able to eliminate Israel.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump is the first world leader to see that Palestinians must understand that they will not win and eliminate Israel.

No U.S. president had ever told Palestinian leaders that they were lying, or had required them to stop inciting murder and financing terrorism, and no U.S. president had ever decided to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to incentivize terrorism. President Trump did.

No world leader had ever before questioned the unique definition of Palestinian “refugees” given by the United Nations (UNRWA): that they must include endless generations of descendants. No world leader had dared to say that there are not five or six million refugees, but only a few tens of thousands, and that the flooding of Israel by people incited to murder Jews would not take place. No world leader had officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or relocated an embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump did.

President Trump is also the first U.S. president since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 never to have affirmed the need for a “Palestinian state”.

Alas, the attitude of other Western political leaders, particularly in Europe, is quite different.

French President Emmanuel Macron promised to give the Palestinian Authority the funding that the United States no longer granted him, and that he would not renounce rewarding Jew-killers and their families. Macron accepted using the money of French taxpayers to reward murdering Jews. Macron also still accepts UNRWA’s definition — just for Palestinians — of being refugees in perpetuity, through the generations. He called President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a “serious mistake”, and stressed several times the urgent “need for a Palestinian State”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adopted the same positions. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in April:

“… the European Union voice, and I can probably say the European voice, has been very loud, clear and consistent all over these years on our constant work for the implementation of the Oslo agreements, and the creation of a Palestinian state… the European Union is and will remain the biggest and the most reliable donor to the Palestinians…”

She did not utter a word of condemnation regarding the Palestinian Arabs’ use of terrorism or murdering Jews.

In 2016, Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech in the European Parliament in which he falsely claimed that “certain rabbis in Israel have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.” He received a standing ovation. No European leader took him to task for him for his lies.

Macron, Merkel and the European Union show Palestinian leaders that as long as the Western world is divided, they can continue to incite and murder.

In the European media, the murders of Jews, such as that of Dvir Sorek, are hardly ever mentioned. When murderers, such as those who killed Sorek, are eliminated by the Israeli army or the police, it is the Israelis who are depicted as having “killed a Palestinian” and as the real murderers.

As a character said in the movie Exodus, “Jewish flesh is cheap”. Jewish flesh was already cheap in Europe 90 years ago. In the eyes of Macron, Merkel, Mogherini and many European journalists, it still is.

The European Union is considering a regulation — it does not yet exist — requiring labels to be placed on products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria, to caution buyers that the product was made in a “settlement colony.” The shape of the labels that would be used has not yet been defined. Maybe a European will suggest a yellow star?

 

[From an article by Dr. Guy Milliere of the University of Paris, published by the GATESTONE INSTITUTE]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Google joins the pharmaceutical industry

Google logo

 

Google’s burgeoning ties to Big Pharma have been exposed with the disclosure of its new pharmaceutical division, which just happens to be led by the former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s global vaccine business. As cautioned by Progressive Radio Network journalists Gary Null, PhD and Richard Gale,

Google today is not only a weapon for promoting the pharmaceutical agenda but now also a drug company itself.”1

Google is Much More Than a Search Engine

Backing up a few years to 2015, Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided the multi-armed behemoth that Google had become would benefit from a drastic reorganization. Consequently, they split their “core internet business” off from their other minimally (or un-) related projects such as X Lab and the Calico life extension project. Along with Google itself, those secondary companies were grouped under the umbrella of a new corporation called “Alphabet.”2

The upshot was that Alphabet now owns Google, although the key players have not changed. Page and Brin now serve as CEO and President, respectively, of Alphabet, while former Google product chief Sundar Pichai is now CEO of Google.

Tracing a line from Google’s reorganization of itself to its structure today, the initial division kept all of the Internet entities under Google’s wing, under one “side” of the Alphabet umbrella. These included Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. Google remained as the largest and most financially robust of Alphabet’s ventures.3

Other semi-independent companies under the Alphabet name included a diverse collection of corporations focused on such wide-ranging fields as biomedical or scientific advances, investment ventures, “smart home” applications, drone technologies and urban infrastructure.3

The Many Faces of Alphabet/Google

As the dust settled at Alphabet/Google, a number of the newly independent or semi-independent companies emerged, wielding some clout of their own. While Google’s revenues in 2017 continued to reap the lion’s share, reaching $110.9 billion, revenues from other ventures reported $1.2 billion. With operating losses reported at $3.4 billion, Google’s “side lines” were not yet profitable but climbing, up from 2016 losses of $4.6 billion.4

Those other ventures include X Lab (research and new ideas), G and CapitalG (investment funds), Sidewalk Labs (focused on urban innovation), Nest (smarthome devices), Chronicle (cybersecurity), Waymo (autonomous vehicles), Access (Internet provider innovations), Jigsaw (technological and geopolitics), Deep Mind (artificial intelligence), Verily (healthcare and managing disease) and Calico (biotech and lifespan extension).

The X Lab, or “Moonshot Factory,” is a research and development lab aimed at, in their own words, creating “radical new technologies to solve some of the world’s hardest problems.”5

Some of their projects include self-driving cars, delivery drones, renewable energy storage technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning robots, among many others. X acts as an incubation lab for cutting edge ideas that, once developed, may either be discontinued or “graduated” to become an independent entity.

Verily’s Pharmaceutical Ties

Verily Life Sciences is one of those Alphabet ideas now launched into independent status. Initially begun as a series of projects exploring the use of technologies including miniaturization and machine learning to create “wearable” devices such as smart lenses, Verily now partners with a number of pharmaceutical companies that develop vaccines on projects ranging from smart lenses with Alcon (a subsidiary of Novartis) and surgical robotics with Johnson & Johnson to early identification and intervention in chronic diseases with Merck Sharp & Dohme and diabetes management with Sanofi.6

Verily is partnered with Gilead on profiling the immune system to clarify the biological mechanisms of autoimmune disease and with Verve Therapeutics on nanoparticle formulations. Verily is also partnered with GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer,7 in the development of bioelectronic medicine.6

With the creation of Galvani Bioelectronics in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Verily now has its own pharmaceutical company that is working to “enable the research, development and commercialization of bioelectronic medicines,” which aim to treat disease using miniaturized implanted devices.8

Another of Verily’s projects is the development of the “sterile insect technique” to manipulate mosquito populations by releasing sterile male mosquitoes that will reduce the populations of insects carrying such diseases as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.9

The company has also entered the clinical study arena, first with its own study called Baseline, which seeks to connect potential study participants with clinical research groups.10

Partnering with Verily initiatives is appealing to pharmaceutical companies, including vaccine manufacturers and developers like Novartis, Sanofi, Otsuka and Pfizer, because of the young biotech company’s focus on modernizing and increasing the efficiency of data collection using tools such as electronic medical study process, as well as getting new drugs and vaccines to market faster. Although the partnered studies are not yet in progress, studies are being explored in cardiovascular disease, oncology, mental health, dermatology and diabetes.

Because anyone can join Baseline and potentially be connected with clinical trials relevant to their own life, keeping patient information private will be a challenge, but the projected market value of the program is expected to reach $69 billion by 2026. 11

As reporter Mark Terry put it for BioSpace, “Perhaps disconcertingly, a company that handles 92.4% of internet searches globally and already has significant amounts of information about your life, now wants to know medical and health information as well.” 12

Alphabet’s Other Medical Venture: Calico Labs

In addition to Verily, Alphabet has another older medical research company called Calico, founded in 2013 and headed by Arthur Levinson, the former CEO of Genentech, another pharmaceutical company that develops vaccines.13

According to Calico’s mission statement, the company wants “to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan” and will “require an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary effort.14

Dr. Aarif Khakoo, Head of Drug Development at Calico (and formerly a Vice President at Amgen, a pharmaceutical company that develops vaccines) said, “With the aging of the world population, there is a pressing need to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular underpinnings of human aging and to translate these insights into new therapies for aging and age-related diseases… I’m looking forward to working with the team and our external collaborators to move the lead therapeutic candidates into clinical studies in the future.”14

It has been obvious for some time now that Google’s algorithms have been adjusted to make it more difficult to find information, including information about vaccines, that doesn’t align with the messages about health and medical care that are approved by government and the pharmaceutical industry. In some cases, no matter how specific a search question is, or how it is worded and re-worded, the search results stubbornly return the same tired but mainstream medical authority-approved results.

 

Evil Google

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Time will tell whether the original “do no evil” Google is still around, or whether we now have a Google which believes, like many other big companies, that it can make its own rules. Personally, we think the original Google is dead and gone and the new evil Google is thriving.

 

[This article originally published by HEALTH IMPACT NEWS]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Protecting religious freedom for America’s veterans…

Like you, we’re always thankful to those currently serving in the active duty military, as well as the millions of veterans who’ve served our country in the past. Many of them had to fight in some of the most difficult and gruesome battles in history, and some even had to endure being captured or tortured at the hands of the enemy.

One of those courageous veterans is U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant (TSgt) Herman “Herk” Streitburger, who spent a year in captivity at a German prison camp during World War II.

And because he sacrificed so greatly for us, we are now fighting for him.

Herk is a living example of American prisoners of war who’ve relied on their faith as a source of comfort and courage during their captivity – which is why he graciously donated his family Bible to be displayed as part of a POW/MIA Remembrance Table at a VA hospital in Manchester, NH.

Currently, we are defending the display after an outside group more than 2,000 miles away demanded the Bible be removed, even so far as to call it “repugnant.”

But they picked a fight with the wrong veteran, a beloved American hero who has the unwavering support of our firm, as well as our growing army of supporters like you.

Here’s what you and other patriots had to say in support of Herk and our nation’s veterans:

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note: When simply displaying a Bible in the United States of America, at any event and for any reason, becomes “repugnant,” then it is time for all of us to stand up and take action against the ignorance and “repugnant” bias of some of our citizens.   If living in this country is so  “repugnant, ” why don’t you just leave?  Surely you can find somewhere in this world that will welcome your bias, ingratitude, and intolerance.  Try Iran first, why don’t you?

 

[Reprinted from an article published by FIRST LIBERTY INSTITUTE]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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American public schools after 35 years? Worse than ever. Here’s the proof.

As a semi-retired business writer who taught in Detroit 35 years ago, I returned to the classroom because a local high school was unable to replace a Latin teacher who had resigned.  I hold an advanced degree in medieval studies and renewed my certification to teach Latin, history, and social studies.  Once in class, I witnessed firsthand the politicized atmosphere of today’s factory-style government-monopoly schools.

My first exposure to school politics came when I renewed my certification.  The 1982 certificate only listed the courses I could teach.  In contrast, the 2018 version had a 300-word “Code of Ethics” that amounted to a profession of faith in collectivism, egalitarianism, state schools, and diversity (typically limited to superficial things like skin color and gender, not ideas).  Nonetheless, I proceeded, thinking that I couldn’t possibly make matters worse.  That much was correct.

Grosse Pointe South High School

Grosse Pointe South High School is architecturally interesting, sits in a higher-income community, and is considered a good school by locals.

After an interview and teaching a few “test” classes to first- and second-year students, I was hired.  Within a few days, however, it was clear that many students did not understand English grammar, much less Latin fundamentals.  In response, I taught remedial grammar and outlined how students could pass my course with a “C” or “D.”  There were some excellent students, but test scores were not distributed in a bell-shaped curve.  It was an “inverted” bell, or bimodal distribution – with scores clumped at the two extremes.

Poor preparation, however, was only the tip of the iceberg.  Students did not bring books to class, relentlessly complained about homework, and expected high grades regardless of proficiency.  And when I asked questions, I uncovered some alarming facts:

  • Latin was a dumping ground for students who already had failed another language; “picking up a few phrases” was the goal.
  • Many teachers expected little but awarded high grades.
  • Students were subjected to parental pressure to obtain good grades regardless of performance.
  • A department head had been demoted for teaching at a pre-college level and refusing to lower his standards.
  • Senior teachers were dropping out in disgust; younger teachers had no choice but to accept the situation.
  • Under parental pressure, the principal was establishing a process to prevent students from having to take more than one test on the same day.  College prep?

In short, the school embraced grade inflation, propelled by the following dynamic:

  • Parents of high-performing students are “satisfied customers.”  Their kids study and bring home good grades, so they think they are getting their money’s worth from high taxes.  But they don’t know that there is no correlation between per-pupil spending and student performance.  And they never complain.
  • Parents of low-performing students also want good “results.”  They hear their children’s tales of woe and complain constantly.

Subjected to this one-sided feedback, administrators tacitly urge teachers to lower standards, despite proclaiming the opposite in public.  Like the Dodo in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “…everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”  Austrian economists, however, have explained this behavior.  Ludwig von Mises, for example, noted the human tendency to place a high value on receiving something sooner rather than later.  He called it time-preference theory.  The desire for immediate gratification with little effort explains the phenomenon of grade inflation.  At Grosse Pointe South High School, however, this practice goes undetected because it hides behind a much broader trend toward low achievement – most recently documented by Bryan Kaplan in his devastating book, The Case Against Education.  This trend is even more pronounced in Michigan, enabling Grosse Pointe students to slip under the radar.

The illusion of competence also explains why – despite falling student enrollment, which should reduce costs – Grosse Pointe and similar school districts succeed in raising school taxes.  Instead of being outraged at paying dearly for abysmal academic results, those who favor school taxes double-down on their support! It’s a combination of psychological denial and fiscal Stockholm syndrome.  In denial, “the faithful” desperately cling to the notion that their elite high-tax district is exceptional despite the data.  They cannot admit they have been duped.  And since they cannot escape the fiscal dragnet of this tax-fed monopoly, in a classic display of Stockholm syndrome, they adopt the stance of their captors and cheer all the louder! But to an outsider, they are playing the part of the fawning mob in Hans Christian Anderson’s fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes: they pretend that the emperor is wearing splendid garments despite his nakedness.

Today’s students are never free of the school district’s watchful eye, which seems to take its cues from the CIA and TSA.  But with so many parents accepting after-school surveillance (and paying for it), children never learn the sense of outrage that healthy individuals feel in the presence of Peeping Toms.  Instead, they learn to love Big Brother.  Likewise, a big-government political bias shapes their views on current and past events:

  • During a presentation about Gutenberg’s moveable-type printing press, a student became upset upon learning that literacy skyrocketed as a result of this invention – not because of public schools.  His mother is a teacher.
  • Trump Derangement Syndrome was widespread among teachers, who frequently vent their political views.
  • When asked about my politics at an otherwise friendly private holiday party, a school counselor revealed a comic-book grasp of and hostility to free markets when I replied, “libertarian-voluntaryist.”
  • In the final minutes of my last day teaching, I finally permitted a political discussion.  Some students were attracted to socialism and Antifa’s violence, but they were shocked into disbelief when I mentioned that Benito Mussolini, who introduced fascismo to modern politics, was firmly rooted in socialism and communism.  They were further outraged to discover that the Nazi party was steeped in collectivism and even included the term socialist in the party name, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte (NSDAP). 
  • Ignorance about slavery prevailed.  Many believed it was isolated to the United States instead of practiced worldwide for ages.  They were more surprised – even resistant – to discover that the word slave is etymologically linked to the word Slav and white slavery.  Moreover, they somehow “learned” that Westerners were the most enthusiastic practitioners of slavery instead of being among the first to abandon it.
  • In March, 2018, Grosse Pointe students walked out of classes to protest the shootings in Parkland, Florida.  This occurred before revelations that the FBI failed to act on tips about the shooter, that school “security” failed to act, that Broward County Public School’s disciplinary practices played a key role in the shootings, and that the school district tried to cover up its deeds by suing the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper for publishing documents that revealed these facts.  Fortunately the Sun-Sentinel prevailed in the lawsuit.  The upshot? This school-approved Children’s Crusade was based on superstitions about guns and hostility to Constitutional rights.
  • Gender dysphoria is the new frontier in virtue-signaling, but we know that young people experiment with new identities – adopting and discarding career choices, hobbies, and friends as they “try them on for size.”  But the gender dysphoria fad requires adherence to a stereotyped view – namely that certain behaviors are appropriate only for boys and others for girls.  Some children, however, have a powerful need for attention and jump on the latest bandwagon to obtain it.  Others want to please “important” adults.  Shortly after I was hired, a counselor asked me to address one student with plural pronouns to acknowledge her/his gender dysphoria.  This request would not have been an issue for me if the student were an adult.  I treat people respectfully as a matter of habit.  But this student was too young to make this choice.  He/she may have been responding to the issue’s trendiness and had demonstrated more than once an interest in fringe politics and behaviors – typical teenage stuff.  I believed he/she was attempting to manipulate adults into playing along – another teenage pastime.  Moreover, he/she was bright but did not do her homework or study; he/she didn’t even know what a pronoun was! Since Latin is a highly inflected language, this request would derail the learning process.  Finally, it was completely unnecessary since I always called on students by name.  No pronouns were needed.  My explanation did not please the counselor, but I continued to treat the student respectfully.

Group identity and outrage culture dominate public schools.  Children learn to pose as victims despite enjoying a standard of living unmatched in human history and by 95% of the world’s current population.  Instead of learning to function as unique beings with free choice and that the smallest minority is an individual facing a mob, they are swapping a legacy of individual rights for group identities that – unlike individuals – don’t bleed and are manipulated by special interests to undercut genuine rights.

If you wonder why students at schools like the University of Michigan cannot tolerate free speech and need trigger warnings and safe spaces, look no further than public schools.  They are a political Trojan horse – a “free” government “gift” with plenty of strings attached.

 

(This article was published by AMERICAN THINKER.  Its author, Lawrence M. Ludlow, provides international location analyses, technical writing, and marketing services to corporate clients.  He holds an M.A. in medieval studies from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies and has lectured on manuscripts, early printing, and art history at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the San Diego Public Library.  He has taught in Detroit and in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.)

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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“They have stepped on me, taxed me more, lied to me, called me names, and demand I give up my rights”

I was brought up a military brat.  My father did 22 years in the United States Air Force.  In 1954 when he joined, they promised if he made a career of it, he and his wife, my mother, would be taken care of for life.  He got out in 1976 after extending his service a couple of extra years so I would not have to switch high schools in Florida.

We moved out west after my father retired and I finished high school.  In 1978, I got a job in the wood products industry at a particleboard factory and began work a schedule that just became normal to me. seven days on, two days off, working nights, weekends, and most holidays.  I wore “save the whales” t-shirts at work.

The industry came under attack because of environmental concerns for the spotted owl.  The lumber and wood products industry in the West was decimated over the next 15-20 years.  We tried to muster support from our government, but our efforts fell on deaf ears.  Eventually after 22 years, the facility I worked at closed.  The ability to do what we did, which was to recycle sawdust and discarded wood into a usable product, became too expensive as we had to go further and further away for our raw materials.  The logging industry was gone because of environmentalism and government policies to put animal concerns ahead of humans.

The spotted owl (the Mexican spotted owl in the southwest) was noted later on to be mating with other ‘species’ of owls.

It occurred to me if they can call an owl of a different color another species, then this should be applied to humans.  By a definition of species, we are all our own species based on external color, size and shape, etc..  Why were we not being looked after by our government in our lives?  We paid taxes and worked our butts off, only to be told we were killing the planet.  Where was the Human Protective Agency?  Why was I paying taxes to have the government pay bureaucrats to work against me?

In the 90s, I watched the Clintons. Bill at that time seemed to be a pragmatist but Hillary, the unelected first lady, tried to take over the healthcare system.  I saw it as a blatant power grab by an overly ambitious person in government.  By this time, we were well into the spotted owl era, and my distaste for the government sticking its nose into our lives was huge.  My save the whales t-shirts were history long before this.

Now, my parents were Roosevelt Democrats who fed on the nightly news: Huntley-Brinkley, Walter Cronkite.  That was the source for news.  In their minds, Republicans were the evil ones trying to take away their VA benefits promised to them in the 50’s.  They believed the nightly news.  There was no internet, no counterpoint.  When I reached adulthood, we argued over politics a lot more than we should have.  My Mother actually believed the SPLC was a conservative organization.  We believed the same things really as she espoused conservative positions, but she thought the Democrats had her back on it all.  I swore to my mother I would never vote for a party that would put a damn bird above a human.

It has only gotten worse.

After securing a job at a hospital, I watched ObamaCare tear through healthcare and then almost immediately watched as our pension benefits were frozen as a result of having to comply with new rules and regulations.  My wife and I lost 3000 dollars a month in future retirement income as a result of her company having to reorganize, and my pension is a private plan. Not a single Republican voted for the ObamaCare scam. But hey, 70 million dollars later the hospital has EPIC.  My Chart anyone?  I understand the CEO of that company has a lot of ties to Obama.

Hospitals now have departments of people working just to make sure all of the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed and the punctuation is correct just so we get paid for taking care of those on Medicare and Medicaid.  I can imagine on the other end that the government bureaucracy has people just looking for mistakes and ways not to pay out.  It is really mindboggling.

I watched my father get piss-poor treatment at the VA hospital, waiting months to get appointments and then just handed more drugs.  He struggled with issues from Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam.  He had back surgery there without any physical therapy follow-up.  He could not straighten out his back to lie down or stand up straight after the surgery.   He died in 2011 after having to live and sleep in his easy chair for years due to the pain. I want to say he was taken care of for life as promised years before without sounding sarcastic.  But I can’t.

I watched as my mother walked away from the Democrats.  She quoted Reagan…. they left her.  She voted for President Trump.

I never went to college, I am totally self-taught.  I am a doer of many trades and master of none.  I have had a great life in the greatest country on earth.  All along the way, the Democrats have stepped on me, taxed me more, lied to me, called me names, and demand I give up my rights.  Democrats were the ones pushing environmental causes at the expense of humans and government takeover of healthcare.  They have mismanaged everything they get their hands on, and then blame others for their own deeds.  I watch them lie and cheat and twist words.  Democrats have alienated their own base to the point they have to argue for foreigners to come into this country illegally in order to vote for Democrats, mainly by calling those of us opposed to this “racist.”

In all fairness, the weak Republicans in our government have hardly stood in their way.  But that is another day, another rant.

I am now called racist, homophobic, misogynist, and Islamaphobic.  A gun-toting, Bible-believing bitter clinger.  A deplorable.  A white nationalist.  Nazi. I can’t remember all of my Democrat party subtitles.

But I am middle class. I have been given nothing by our government and have given too much to it.  And it always wants more, telling me I have to pay my fair share.  It is a sad state when you get to a point in life of maximum dollars earned that it is taken away by higher tax brackets and the loss of deductions.

I will never vote for anyone advocating for more government control.  Or for anyone who is trying to denigrate me by name-calling or label-making.  The reason is my life.

 

[Reprinted as written by Anthony Keith and published by AMERICAN THINKER]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Obama, Clinton, and Kerry bought the Iranian lie about Islam prohibiting nuclear weapons…and Iran still tries to deceive the West with its current “nuclear fatwa”

Iran tells the West that Islamic law does not permit production or use of nuclear weapons.  What Islamic law DOES permit is lying when lies will further Islamic goals.  Obama, Clinton, and Kerry all bought the Iranian lies and promoted them as truth.

  • If history is anything to go by, the Supreme Leader’s statement is barely worth a pinch of salt. It is notable that that the first time Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons took place right after his government was caught red-handed pursuing secret nuclear activities and enriching uranium in two clandestine nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002 in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Having been found out for their deception, the Iranian authorities subsequently adopted deception as a national policy by promoting the narrative of aversion to nuclear weapons to the world while embracing and furthering their nuclear activities privately.
  • First of all, no one, it seems, has ever laid eyes on this proclaimed fatwa.
  • Khamenei’s nuclear fatwa is nothing but a phony decree aimed at deflecting attention from Iran’s nuclear ambitions and activities. It is designed solely to serve the interests of his umma (Islamic community) and the Islamic Republic.

In the world we live in where many things are certain, one of them is the Iranian regime’s recent efforts to invoke a fatwa in an attempt to deceive the West. The declaration of a fatwa by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to serve as “proof” that Tehran is not pursuing nuclear weapons is a move both mischievous and clever.

Recently, the junior Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, met with Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, who in his deliberations with Senator Paul told him about Iran’s unwillingness to seek nuclear weapons because of Khamenei’s fatwa.

Iran’s Supreme Leaders had been previously quoted as saying:

“We consider the use of such weapons as haraam [religiously forbidden] and believe that it is everyone’s duty to make efforts to secure humanity against this great disaster”.

Going even further, the Supreme Leader claimed that the production or use of nuclear weapons are governed by Islamic laws which ban them. On his official website, he adds that “Both sharia [Islamic laws] and aqli [related to logic and reason] fatwas dictate that we do not pursue them.”

If history is anything to go by, the Supreme Leader’s statement is barely worth a pinch of salt. It is notable that that the first time Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons took place right after his government was caught red-handed pursuing secret nuclear activities and enriching uranium in two clandestine nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002 in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Having had their deception found out, the Iranian authorities subsequently adopted deception as a national policy by promoting the narrative of aversion to nuclear weapons to the world while embracing and furthering their nuclear activities privately.

In a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for instance, Iran deployed Khamenei’s declaration of a fatwa to dodge further discussion about its nuclear program. Iran claimed that “the production, stock-piling, and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons.”

Unsurprisingly, some world leaders bought Iran’s lie and began pressing others to follow suit. Former President Barack Obama, for example, in an attempt to appease Tehran and curry the favor of the Iranian mullahs, naively declared in his address to the U.N. General Assembly (September 24, 2013), that “The Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.”

As if to echo Obama’s statement, former US Secretary of State John Kerry also said:

“The supreme leader… says he has issued a fatwa, the highest form of Islamic prohibition against some activity, and he said that is to prohibit Iran from ever seeking a nuclear weapon.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also lent her support to the farce by further pushing the narrative of Iran’s innocence to the word. According to her:

“The other interesting development which you may have followed was the repetition by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei that they would – that he had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons, against weapons of mass destruction. Prime Minister Erdogan and I discussed this at some length, and I’ve discussed with a number of experts and religious scholars.”

First of all, no one, it seems, has ever laid eyes on this proclaimed fatwa.

Second, if only Clinton, Obama, Kerry or other politicians were smart enough to study the fundamentals of Islam, they would be cognizant of the fact that taqiyya can be a reason to issue fatwas under Shia Islam. Taqiyya, which is particularly emphasized in Shia Islam, is an Islamic juridical term which dictates that lying is allowed when one’s interests or the interests of Islamic government or community is under threat. In other words, taqiyya is a type of jihad, the battle to win the fight against the supposed enemies.

For those still willing to grasp at straws by believing the Ayatollah issued a nuclear fatwa, and who know anything about Islam, they would realize that fatwas are not carved in stone; they can be changed at any moment at the discretion of the Muslim leader.

In summary, the quick reference to Ayatollah Khamenei’s nuclear fatwa declaration as evidence of Iran’s innocence in the nuclear arms race amounts to self-deception. Khamenei’s nuclear fatwa is nothing but a phony decree aimed at deflecting attention from Iran’s nuclear ambitions and activities. It is designed solely to serve the interests of his umma (Islamic community) and the Islamic Republic.

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  In other words, can we trust Iran to tell us the truth when the Islamic law it so reveres encourages Muslims to lie whenever it suits them?  (Rhetorical question.)

 

[From an article by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh which was published by the Gatestone Institute.  Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy.]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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