13 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-28-18

  1. Maybe this guy finally gets some consequences for his inaction.

    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-op-edit-broward-sheriff-scott-israel-20181225-story.html

    “It’s widely believed Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis will remove Broward Sheriff Scott Israel from office shortly after the Jan. 8 inauguration, likely before the one-year anniversary of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    As a candidate, DeSantis twice said that if he were governor, he would have suspended Israel for events around the school shooting. Asked about the sheriff during a WPLG Channel 10 interview last week, DeSantis said he first wanted to see a state commission’s report on the shooting. But from what he’s heard, “there’s a lot of really troubling facts.”

    It’s a big deal for a governor to remove an elected sheriff, especially if the governor is a Republican and the sheriff is the most powerful Democrat in Florida’s most Democratic county.

    We stood up for the sheriff in late February, when Republican lawmakers called for Gov. Rick Scott to suspend him “for incompetence and dereliction.” We did so again in April after the deputies’ union staged a vote of no confidence in him, largely because of pay raises. We’ve suggested all along that people hold their fire until more details are known.

    But after seeing the damning details in the commission’s draft report — and Israel’s troubling testimony — we cannot encourage the governor-elect to wait and let voters decide the sheriff’s fate in 2020. We can only encourage DeSantis to replace Israel with a seasoned law enforcement professional with local familiarity, not a Tallahassee partisan who lacks relevant qualifications, as Gov. Rick Scott did in replacing Broward’s incompetent elections supervisor this month.”

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  2. Bad news for churches.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gallup-poll-clergy-honesty-ethics_us_5c23d864e4b0407e907f752f

    “Americans Trust Clergy Less Than Ever, Gallup Poll Finds

    Americans’ confidence in religious leaders’ honesty and ethical standards has been tanking in recent years.”

    “The level of trust Americans have in clergy members has dropped to a record low, a recent Gallup survey suggests.

    The polling organization found that only 37 percent of 1,025 respondents had a “very high” or “high” opinion of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy, according to a report published on Thursday. Forty-three percent rated clergy’s honesty and ethics as “average,” while 15 percent had low or very low opinions.

    The 37 percent positive rating is the lowest Gallup has recorded for clergy since it began examining views about religious leaders’ ethical standards in 1977.

    Currently, only 31 percent of Catholics and 48 percent of Protestants rate the clergy positively, according to Gallup.”

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  3. California wants to jump to the front of the line to steer the candidate selection process to the far left.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/12/27/official-california-moves-primary/

    “We talked about this a few weeks ago when the measure was still being debated, but now it’s a done deal. Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law which will move California’s 2020 presidential primary election up to March 3rd, the earliest date possible for anyone besides Iowa and New Hampshire. Due to the state’s already “generous” voting possibilities, that means that Californians will have the option of voting at the same time as the early states, raising questions of how and where candidates will spend both their time and money in the early going. (Associated Press)

    The nation’s biggest and second-most-diverse state has long complained about being effectively shut out of the presidential nominating process because its primary usually comes months after the initial four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill moving the state’s primary up to the earliest date permissible.

    California is slated to vote on March 3, the first day allowed for a state that’s not in the traditional early state lineup. And because of California’s early-voting system, voters will get primary ballots starting 30 days before the primary, which coincides with the Iowa caucuses.

    Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state and a Democrat, said there are already “a heck of a lot more calls for people who know California to join certain teams.”

    Because of early voting rules, there will be people in California voting on February 2nd. That’s a day before the Iowa caucus. And once those votes are cast, it’s very difficult (if not impossible for some) to alter them. So it does indeed seem that some of the Democratic contenders will have to be thinking about campaigning in the Golden State instead of camping out in Iowa and New Hampshire. Not all of them will be able to afford it, however. California has one of the most expensive media markets in the country.”

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  4. It’s not just Democrats.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/democrats-trying-to-turn-border-patrol-into-free-babysitting-for-illegal-immigrants

    “Democrats trying to turn Border Patrol into free babysitting for illegal immigrants”

    “Watch the CNN interview that aired Thursday with Rep.-elect Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M, and you come away with two things: A migraine and the inescapable conclusion that Democrats want to turn Border Patrol agents into caretakers and babysitters for illegal immigrants.

    The national news media show no interest in hundreds of Americans killed by illegal immigrants but shift into high gear when two sick Guatemalan children die after being dragged by their fathers 2,000 miles to the U.S. border.”

    ———

    “Torres Small invited Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to her district “to evaluate the medical conditions of these holding cells so that we can work together to fix what we can control” and repeated that the Border Patrol agency should “enforce our laws and reflect our values.”

    She said nothing about preventing hordes of migrants showing up at the border with their children to claim asylum, overwhelming authorities with limited resources. No, instead we’re supposed to eagerly redirect more money from Americans already here to a border that Democrats want to turn into a charity center.

    Democrats oppose a wall. They oppose using the military to secure the border. They oppose fully prosecuting illegals who use their children as shields. They oppose forcing asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases are investigated. They oppose any attempt to stop the endless flood of unknown people coming into the country.

    Democrats don’t want “border security.” They want a free daycare for illegals.”

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  5. I am not sure that is bad news for the churches, AJ. I haven’t trusted clergy in years. I have seen too much to place much trust in clergy. God’s Word, though, is sure and true forever.

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  6. As I said at the end of yesterday’s thread…..

    “Yet we have evidence that men are dragging children on a dangerous trek because the child is their golden ticket. There is evidence of this, from the migrants own mouth, which I posted last week. The majority interviewed all said the same.”

    And it appears that’s exactly what happened with the most recent death.

    ————————–

    https://nypost.com/2018/12/28/doomed-migrant-boys-dad-thought-kid-would-be-his-ticket-into-usa/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter

    “Doomed migrant boy’s dad thought kid would be his ticket into USA”

    “The father of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in US custody took his son to the border after hearing rumors that parents and their children would be allowed to migrate to the United States and escape the poverty in their homeland, the boy’s stepsister told the Associated Press.

    Felipe Gomez Alonzo died Monday at a New Mexico hospital after suffering coughing, vomiting and fever, authorities said. It was the second such death this month. Another Guatemalan child, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, died in US custody on Dec. 8. Both deaths are under investigation.

    “We heard rumors that they could pass (into the United States). They said they could pass with the children,” said Catarina Gomez Lucas, the boy’s 21-year-old stepsister, explaining why Felipe and his father, Agustin Gomez, made the dangerous journey.

    Gomez Lucas would not say who spread the rumors or who transported the father and son to the border from Yalambojoch in Huehuetenango province, a poor community of returnees from Mexico who had fled Guatemala in the bloodiest years of that country’s 1960-1996 civil war. The stepsister spoke to the AP on Wednesday by telephone from Yalambojoch.”

    The boy’s death came during an ongoing dispute over border security and with the US government partially shut down over President Donald Trump’s insistence on funding for a longer border wall.

    The Trump administration has long argued that smugglers capitalize on vulnerable parents because of “loopholes” in American law, such as anti-trafficking legislation passed in 2008 that effectively prevents the immediate deportations of Central American children.

    After hearing the rumors, Agustin Gomez thought he should take advantage of “the opportunity” to fulfill his son’s dreams. He grabbed a few changes of clothing, bought the boy new shoes and left with what money he had, Gomez Lucas said.”

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  7. Even so, that does not mean that the father was uncaring or only “using” his child. The quote at the end above, that he wanted to fulfill his son’s dreams, indicates that it was for his son as well as for himself that they made the trip.

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  8. Economic reasons are not legitimate reasons to claim asylum. He was not fleeing violence. He could have done it on his own, and send money home, like most working age male illegals do. He didn’t have to put his child in jeopardy. But he saw this as a loophole to exploit. And yes, the father stated straight out he was using his son to take advantage of what he saw as a way around the rules.

    ““We heard rumors that they could pass (into the United States). They said they could pass with the children,” said Catarina Gomez Lucas, the boy’s 21-year-old stepsister, explaining why Felipe and his father, Agustin Gomez, made the dangerous journey”

    ——————

    “Agustin Gomez was drowning in debt, Gomez Lucas said. He sold a piece of land to survive, but the money was not enough, so he decided to take out a loan and travel to the United States.”

    Now, as a single male with no legitimate asylum claim, he most likely ends up deported, and even further in debt. And worst of all, his son is dead do to his attempts to illegally enter the US rather than legally apply to do so. It’s sad no matter how you look at it, especially since it was so avoidable.

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  9. Kizzie,

    A counter argument on the supposed “teen vaping crisis” that really isn’t.

    https://www.science20.com/hank_campbell/we_dont_have_a_teen_vaping_crisis_in_the_us-235908

    “With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rightly cracking down on sales of vaping devices to minors and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams making a recent statement of concern, media are again repeating claims of an epidemic of vaping among children.

    It’s not true. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have noted a drop in vaping by teens since its high of 3 million in 2015, so there is no reason that 21 percent of young people claim to have experimented with even one are sending our government into a panic. The response federal officials have standardized on could lead to exaggerating a problem we don’t have.

    Experimenting with an e-cigarette is not a crisis, it just means policymakers have forgotten what being a teen was like. There is concern that one product, Juul, has become so popular that it’s become a generic term, as Kleenex is for facial tissue, but prior to Juul’s rise the most popular product had a scant two percent of overall vaping revenue. It was only a matter of time before free market principles created a winner. However, the market among young people is not increasing so focusing on a product that keeps people from participating in a $900 billion cancer-causing industry like cigarettes is sending the wrong message.

    Despite that, U.S. Surgeon General Adams just warned, “nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain -– which continues to develop until about age 25.”

    What can’t harm the developing brain? Literally every single chemical or product can harm a developing brain in the right amount. Knowing the right amount for trace levels of chemicals versus harmful levels is why scientists came up with the dose-response relationship and why we now know chugging 13 shots of whiskey all at once or 118 coffees in a row might kill you. The dose-response relationship was formalized in 1927 by British chemist John W. Trevan because scientists needed a way to measure toxic potency of compounds. His “Lethal Dose” amount that would kill half of test animals, (LD50) became the standard for measuring how much of a chemical, given at once, causes the death of half of test animals. Guidelines for harmful levels in humans follow from that.

    There is no recorded instance of someone dying from nicotine intoxication. The only example of even an attempted suicide was in 1931, at 500 times the toxic dose, and it failed. The LD50 of caffeine and nicotine are in the same moderately toxic range, but no one can give us a scientific metric for how much caffeine or nicotine “can harm the developing brain” of 24-year-olds. No one can even define “harm”, it’s completely subjective. Cascades of subjectivity are not how government policy should be made. Yet the Surgeon General is not calling out coffee shops and declaring that they are harming the brains of the public, and he is doing it about trace levels of nicotine. That smacks of arbitrary decision-making.”

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  10. AJ – Have I ever shared something against vaping but don’t remember it? (That’s sounds sarcastic, but it isn’t meant to be.) I have tended to be on the side of those who say that vaping is much better than smoking cigarettes. And I think I shared something that said that teen smoking is way down, which is being credited to vaping.

    It certainly is a controversial issue, with some saying that vaping is completely harmless and others saying it is worse than smoking due to the level of nicotine.

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  11. He was fleeing violence. Outside of a war zone, the three countries are the most violent places on the planet.

    Most teenagers don’t smoke and have no interest in it. Vaping here is used with THC and CBD not nicotine.

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  12. I see I missed the immigration debate yesterday. Someone said that immigration used to be simpler with fewer hoops to jump through. Personally, I think immigration is probably easier now than it ever has been. The first immigrants came here and ‘dislodged’ the inhabitants by force. My ancestors from Wales settled in this area circa 1776 when it still belonged to the Cherokee and was a part of North Carolina. Someone said their ancestors were Irish. When my husband moved to Boston in 1978 someone showed him an old sign ‘Rooms for Let, NO IRISH’, yet by the late 1970s the police force was largely Irish.

    Each ethnicity that landed in Boston or NYC had to fight their own battles against the more entrenched. Part of that was economic, and part of it was cultural. What they didn’t have was an economic safety net. I suspect that when US citizens decided that we would like to have an economic safety net, it changed the dynamic of immigration. More bureaucratic hoops were created, and more rules. I don’t disagree with either the safety net or the hoops. They are in place to protect the current inhabitants from being ‘dislodged’. Those rules also help ensure that new immigrants will have a fair chance to survive and establish themselves without many of the hardships experienced by previous waves of immigrants. That is the hope anyway.

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