Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 23, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Government failed at every level, so why are citizens’ rights being targeted?
  • The youth massacre outside Florida should be getting more attention.
  • USCIS changes its mission statement on handling the immigration system.
  • As the Trump economy surges, the new challenge is inflation.
  • Climate accord nations are failing, complaining and … buying coal.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

IN BRIEF

Government Failed, So … Limit Americans’ Rights?

By Thomas Gallatin

On Thursday, the American public learned of yet another failure by government officials related to the Parkland, Florida, school atrocity. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said that the armed school resource deputy assigned to work security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School failed to enter the building and engage the attacker. Based on video footage from the school’s security cameras, Israel stated, “What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position and never went in.” When asked what the deputy should have done, Israel responded, “Went in and addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”

This latest revelation only adds to the growing list of failures by school administrators, federal and state government officials and law enforcement. Not only was the killer a known problem to local law enforcement, but the sheriff admitted his agency had received no less than 23 calls on him since 2008, and the FBI had been warned twice about this teenager and his talk of wanting to be a school shooter. Now we’ve learned that a law enforcement officer already on the scene failed to aggressively respond to the attack. The gross incompetence displayed by public officials is staggering.

Nothing is worse than the loss of life permitted to happen by this inaction. But his failure will also be exploited by anti-Second Amendment activists, who will now claim that having armed security at schools still fails to stop the attacks. Indeed, in its reporting on the story, The Washington Post made that very point:

Israel’s description of Peterson as an armed, trained officer who was present for a mass killing but did not confront the shooter also comes as President Trump, in response to the Parkland massacre, has suggested arming teachers as a way to deter possible threats, while the National Rifle Association has also pushed for more armed guards in schools.

Trump has frequently suggested in response to mass shootings that more law-abiding people with firearms could help stop a shooter and the head of the NRA has repeatedly suggested the same. However, Israel’s announcement Thursday suggested that even if a person is armed, trained and available to help, that may not stop a mass killing that unfolds in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, the Leftmedia and the gun control crowd (but we repeat ourselves) continue banging the drums in calling for more limits on Americans’ Second Amendment rights in the name of protecting children. The irony here is that the Left is calling for more power and trust to be given to those very government leaders who so abysmally failed in their duties. This is a classic example of the leftist mindset, which always entrusts the government with power over and against the rights of the individual. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that limiting law-abiding citizens’ access to firearms will do nothing to stop criminal behavior, especially when those entrusted to enforce the laws and protect citizens fail so abysmally.

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Americans First at USCIS

By Nate Jackson

“America First” has been President Donald Trump’s message from the beginning, and it’s what resonated with so many voters tired of Democrats putting Americans last. Trump’s message isn’t just a slogan — it’s now part of the mission statement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Out with the old: “USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

And in with the new: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

In a memo explaining the change, USCIS Director Lee Cissna wrote, “We are … responsible for ensuring that those who naturalize are dedicated to this country, share our values, assimilate into our communities, and understand their responsibility to help preserve our freedom and liberty.” That’s what U.S. immigration policy should be all about. Americans, by and large, have always welcomed immigrants who love this country and want to make it and themselves better. The problematic ones come in illegally, commit other crimes and create an economic drain by demanding services they don’t pay for. How hard is it to tell the difference when discussing policy? Impossible if you’re a demagoguing Democrat.

In related news, as we reported in January, California is now a “sanctuary” state because Democrats there put illegal aliens first. Trump fired a shot across the bow yesterday, saying the situation is “a disgrace” and that he’d even consider pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of the state. “If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” the president said. “And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.” To be sure, this is far more likely Trumpian hyperbole meant to make a point than it is his actual policy recommendation. But it sure does make that point, does it not?

It’s pretty simple, really. Trump puts America first and Democrats don’t.

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Top Headlines

  • Trump: I never said I wanted to arm all teachers (The Daily Wire)

  • Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates (The Hill)

  • Growing body of research rejects transgender movement (The Washington Times)

  • Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military (The Washington Post)

  • Marine Corps again eases infantry officer standards, this time for hiking (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Trump launching “largest-ever” package of sanctions against North Korea (Reuters)

  • Seattle residents complained about a “Confederate flag,” but it was actually the flag of Norway (The Daily Wire)

  • West Virginia’s teachers walk off the job, protesting low pay and benefit cuts (NPR)

  • Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted for felony invasion of privacy (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  • Humor: Study: 90% of Americans strongly opposed to each other (The Onion)

  • Policy: Public unions are violating workers’ constitutional rights (Real Clear Policy)

  • Policy: Universal basic income harms recipients and increases dependence (The Heritage Foundation)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Youth Massacre Outside Florida

By Michael Swartz

The tragic loss of 16 students and one coach from one high school in a single incident is bound to dominate the news for days. But who knew that the five cities with the highest number of murders in 2017 combined to match that terrible total in just three days?

Chicago led the way with 650 murders last year, and while Baltimore was second with 343, its per capita total of 55.8 per 100,000 residents was the highest in the nation among its 50 most populous cities. As Baltimore partisans were quick to point out, though, St. Louis, whose steady population decline has put it outside that top 50, had an even higher murder rate of 65 per 100,000. It matters little — the vast majority of the cities on the list have been run by Democrats for decades. So where’s the outrage?

Bear in mind that many of these cities have stringent gun laws. But while the Left’s answer is to blame guns, there’s truly much more to the story. One key element is the issue of gangs: “Some young men take precautions appropriate to Beirut, circling their home block three or four times in search of any person or car that is out of place, before they will park,” writes Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. “Others must be smuggled out of the city to avoid revenge killings.” A lucrative drug trade and a lack of respect for human life are clearly fertilizing these killing fields.

Yet too often among these “war zones within the borders of America,” young men grow up without a dad. Whether that’s because the father has left the mother voluntarily (or was never really “with” her in the first place), has since been imprisoned, or was a victim of violence himself doesn’t necessarily matter — the issue is the lack of positive male influence in the these children’s lives.

As marriage and family expert Suzanne Venker points out about divorce, “More often than not, children lose contact with their fathers — for two reasons. One, mothers remain the default custodial parent in the average American divorce and thus retain most of the control. Second, it is usually women who consider themselves the aggrieved party, as evidenced by the fact that wives initiate 70 percent of divorces.” She continues, “The unfortunate result is that some divorced mothers use any opportunity to undermine their children’s relationship with their father or, if not that, dismiss the significance of a father’s role.”

Government fosters this behavior with its longtime financial encouragement of single motherhood through generous welfare programs — some “Great Societythat’s turned out to be. Popular culture has done likewise with the “girl power” theory that men aren’t even necessary to raise children. If your male role model is the drug dealer on the corner or the violent protagonist of a hardcore video game, it’s likely that your disagreements are being settled with bullets, not banter. These kids will get the guns, by hook or by crook.

Democrat-run urban poverty plantations are the petri dishes of this lab experiment to create a society where life is disposable. But those who prosper from this politically would rather blame the NRA and tell us how its money and influence won’t allow for “common sense” gun legislation that invariably includes restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms. It doesn’t matter that the NRA badly trails a number of left-wing groups in terms of annual spending on political activism — the Left needs a convenient scapegoat.

As Mark Alexander wrote Thursday, Democrat “common sense” is a non sequitur.

The kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been omnipresent in the media since the day of the shooting, and their plight is inspiring them to march and protest for gun control — which leftists are more than happy to exploit. That, however, is not the issue. As we find out more about the perpetrator and his story, we find out there were many missed opportunities for intervention from school officials and law enforcement that could have prevented this. But there are thousands of shooters and victims in America’s inner cities, most of whom you’ll never hear about from the 24/7 crisis media. Media reporting or no, we can’t address the problem unless we reverse the policies that created it.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “Christians understand that we have free will and that we live in a fallen world. Some people might use their free will to kill fellow students. Some people will use their free will to save their fellow students during a school shooting. Prayer cannot repeal free will. God allows man to follow his own desires. But I believe prayer works in ways that we do not fully comprehend on this earth. It also comforts and heals. It is sad but telling that so many on the Left feel it is necessary to attack the faith of millions of Americans after such tragedies. Celebrity physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson mocked Christians with this tweet: ‘Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.’ For those who worship at the altar of science, here is a fairly easy study to do: Look at the shooters who have attacked American schools in recent decades. Identify how many of them were Bible-believing Christians who prayed and how many were into dark, anti-religious secular, humanist philosophies. I believe any fair study will find that what we ought to be asking is how we can get more of our children to believe in a loving God and spend more time praying. I guarantee that the more our children embrace faith the fewer school shootings there will be.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “I want to say from my heart: Any leader who says that $1,000 in the pockets of working families is ‘crumbs’ is out of touch with the American people.” —Mike Pence

Political futures: “Republicans enacted a tax cut in December and any day now, most of the country will find out about it. … To paraphrase an old advertising slogan, an educated voter could be the Democrats’ worst customer this fall.” —James Freeman

Good question: “Asking a teacher to be ready to confront a school shooter with a firearm is an enormous, almost unthinkable request. But is it any better to ask a teacher to be ready to confront a school shooter with a fire extinguisher or chair?” —Jim Geraghty

For the record: “I had to have a security detail to get out [of the CNN town hall]. I wouldn’t be able to exit that if I didn’t have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming, ‘Burn her!’” —NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch

Non Compos Mentis: “The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement.” —Clayman Institute for Gender Research’s Marcie Bianco

Come again? “Let’s talk about where a more serious structure might be necessary, where fencing will do or mowing the grass so that people can’t be smuggled through the grass.” —Nancy Pelosi on immigration and border security

They got tired of waiting for him: “Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.” —Barack Obama

And last… “If the government at any level had even attempted to do its job, the shooting never would have happened. This was perhaps the most preventable mass shooting in American history. But the people tasked with preventing it were incompetents and cowards.” —Matt Walsh

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Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher