Mid-Day Digest

May 16, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • North Korea’s threats are part of the same old game.
  • Seattle’s “head tax” on jobs is the latest in a string of horrible policies.
  • There should be no compromise on the truth, even when it comes to transgendered.
  • Palestinian “demonstrators” were hardly innocent bystanders.
  • Trump is right that China is to blame for lost American manufacturing jobs.
  • SNAP: Off the dole and back to work.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison (1816)

IN BRIEF

NoKo Threatens to Cancel Summit, but Will China Let It?

Thomas Gallatin

Predictably, North Korea pulled out of ongoing talks with South Korea yesterday as well as threatened to cancel the upcoming summit between dictator Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump in Singapore next month. Why? Ostensibly because of annual U.S.-South Korea military drills. North Korean state-run media reported, “This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula. The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.” This announcement runs counter to earlier reports that Kim did not object to the military exercise. However, it’s worth noting that North Korea’s language condemning the annual military exercises is significantly more reserved than in prior years.

Truth be told, this moving of the goalposts is nothing new for the rogue nation. Kim’s primary goal is to maintain his grip on power, while at the same time working to relieve the extremely debilitating effects of the U.S.-led international sanctions. He is now angling for concessions from the U.S. ahead of any deal. It’s the classic bait-and-switch play. China, while understandably desiring to avoid any real possibility of war in its region, still wants to maintain its North Korean puppet as a bargaining chip, which it can regularly rattle for its own geopolitical aims.

But do these reports signal that the highly anticipated summit talks are essentially over or for naught? Not at all. The two countries that have the most to lose should the summit collapse are North Korea and, even more significantly, China. Trump has kept the pressure on China by continuing to threaten increased tariffs should China not concede to playing fair with trade, while at the same time he has offered juicy carrots such as a willingness to reexamine the U.S.‘s export ban on ZTE issued last month. The ban will have a massively crippling effect on the Chinese telecom giant, as last year alone ZTE imported over $2 billion worth of components from U.S. companies.

So while Kim would love to play the same old game North Korea’s leaders have always played, proclaiming their willingness to turn from their threatening ways in exchange for sanctions relief and economic benefits only to later renege, China is unlikely to let Kim play the old charade this time if doing so provokes even more of Trump’s trade squeeze. In the meantime, expect to hear continued rumblings and threats to cancel from North Korea right up until the summit occurs.

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Jobless in Seattle

Nate Jackson

Here’s irony for you: Seattle is penalizing the companies most responsible for employing people while rewarding the city officials most responsible for creating a crisis of homelessness. What do we mean? We’re referring to Seattle’s new “head tax” of $275 per full-time employee for companies earning at least $20 million in annual revenue. Nearly 600 employers will be hit by the tax, which was dialed back from the initially proposed $500 per job. It was unanimously passed by the Democrat-run city council this week with the ostensible aim of raising nearly $50 million per year to pay for affordable housing and other “homeless services” — services needed because Democrat policies cause poverty. Seattle and King County, “home” to the third-highest number of homeless people in America, already spent $200 million on the problem last year.

The resurrected and greatly expanded tax is significant for two reasons: First, and most important, it serves as a Democrat model for other cities. Democrats always aim to punish the successful so they can redistribute to their favored constituency groups in return for votes and, thus, power.

Second, Seattle is home to both Starbucks and Amazon, two of the nation’s largest employers, both of which oppose the tax. Now, don’t get us wrong, we have little sympathy for either company. Starbucks has been at the forefront of leftist social justice battles, albeit recently getting a taste of its own medicine. And Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man and a stalwart financier of leftist causes, not least of which is owning The Washington Post. Amazon recently justified some anti-conservative discrimination based on the work of the radical leftist hate group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener sounded downright conservative in denouncing this “tax on jobs.” He hammered the city, saying, “City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $4.2 billion in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem — it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.” Indeed, Amazon is looking to expand elsewhere.

A letter signed by more than 100 Seattle business leaders likewise nailed it: “We oppose this approach, because of the message it sends to every business: if you are investing in growth, if you create too many jobs in Seattle, you will be punished.” Companies won’t hire more workers, and they’ve stop shy of earning $20 million.

As Fox News dryly notes, “Seattle once had a $25-a-year per head tax, but killed it in 2009 because leaders said it sent the wrong message to businesses during the recession.”

Back to homelessness, again, Seattle’s city council helped create the problem. Investor’s Business Daily reports, “From 2010 to 2013, the city saw an explosion in the construction of 'congregate housing units’ — basically, affordable, dorm-room size apartments with shared kitchen and living areas. Within those three years, private developers constructed 1,800 units. But by 2015, not one was built. Why? In 2014, the city stepped in and smothered this option with regulations that required the apartments to be bigger, banned them from more desirable areas, and forced builders to jump through costly design reviews.” Voila, housing shortage.

And that’s on top of Seattle’s job- and pay-crushing $15/hour minimum wage, its income-redistributing tax on high-earners (that was struck down as illegal), its tax on property owners to pay for political speech, its soda tax and its gun tax, just to name a few.

It sure seems Seattle’s Democrat overlords are doing everything possible to follow in the footsteps of the socialists killing Venezuela.

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Top Headlines

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Call for Compromise in Transgender Debate Demands Rejection of Reality

Louis DeBroux

By its very nature, truth exists independent of our beliefs, opinions, prejudices and superstitions. It does not bend to our will and is not subject to a majority vote. We may reject truth, we may rage against it, but truth remains, unfazed. “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” as Ben Shapiro put it.

It is curious, then, that the conservative National Review would publish an article calling for a societal rejection of biological truth in the name of compromise. Conservatism, after all, is a philosophy rooted in the pursuit of objective truth.

In “Time for a Compromise on Transgenderism,” NR’s J.J. McCullough calls on conservatives, in the name of compromise, to set aside rational thought and biological reality and embrace the delusion behind transgenderism; namely, that sex/gender is not rooted in our DNA, but in our feelings. Though laudable in its attempt to strengthen social cohesion, it is nevertheless a study in falsehoods and contradictions.

McCullough declares, “Homosexual people are unavoidable and common. … Through education, and especially exposure, homosexuality is no longer regarded as bizarre, threatening, or mysterious.”

First, homosexuals and transgenders are actually only a tiny subset of the population. According to ULCA’s Williams Institute, just 1.7% of the U.S. population identifies as homosexual, and just 0.3% as transgender. Other studies put the number of homosexuals at 3-4%. But fewer Americans identify as transgender than have heterochromia (two different colored eyes). It should also be noted that both homosexuality and transgenderism are behaviors, not biological traits.

Second, social acceptance of a behavior does not convey moral validity. The Communist Chinese implemented the one-child policy, but social acceptance of the policy does not make the tens of millions of abortions it brought about any less murder. Or you could go the Nazi Holocaust route. Enough said.

McCullough declares resistance to the normalization of deviant sexual behavior is an “immature, demagogic phase” of American life, ignoring the fact it is the LGBT proponents who are aggressively trying to overturn thousands of years of social order and proven biological science.

Americans who hold to traditional morality and biological reality are accused of hatred and bigotry, forced by the state to deny reality and violate deeply held religious beliefs, or face hate-crimes charges, public vilification and even the loss of their livelihoods.

McCullough’s “compromise” is for the reality-based population (i.e., “cultural conservatives and traditionalists”) to extend “broad tolerance for the reality that transgender men and women exist, and are entitled to basic human dignity, just like everyone else.” This is a straw man. No conservative calls for mistreating transgenders or denying basic human rights. Just the opposite; Christians proclaim the eternal worth of every soul as a child of God.

However, dignity is a subjective term. It flows outward from dignified people, and cannot be granted. Despite being mocked, cursed and spat upon, Christ could not be robbed of his regal dignity by the offending Jews. On the other hand, those engaged in the most flamboyant displays of sexual deviancy during LGBT parades cannot obtain dignity, regardless of the coercive power of the state.

Though McCullough claims transgenderism is a “persistent aspect of humanity,” that is demonstrably false. Examples of effeminate homosexual men, or “butch” lesbians, have long been with us, but the claim that a biological male is an actual woman, or vice versa, is very recent, not to mention delusional.

More important than these battles in the culture wars are the implications for life itself.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the first U.S. institution to perform “sex reassignment” surgery, “The belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.”

Furthermore, studies show a staggering 41% of transgendered people attempt suicide in their lifetimes, and that suicide rate is relatively constant regardless of other variables, like living in an area where homosexuality/transgenderism is widely accepted. Nurturing their delusion, rather than providing treatment, is cruel and deadly.

Even McCullough admits, “The risk of psychologically and physically damaging children by encouraging or enabling them to embrace transgender identities before pubescence must be acknowledged as a valid concern backed by credible evidence.”

Yet if the first phase of the compromise is for conservatives to accept the delusional altered reality of transgenderism, then on what basis does one then reject allowing a sexually confused child to “transition”?

The problem with McCollough’s entire argument is that the Rainbow Mafia is not interested in compromise; they simply demand our surrender. Prior to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling, LGBT proponents mockingly asked conservatives to tell them how our lives would change if same-sex marriage was legal. As we predicted, so they have done. Christians are being persecuted by the state, ostracized by society and denied their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of religion, speech and association. Their livelihoods are being destroyed.

So while McCullough’s intentions are worthy, his approach is completely wrong. No person should be forced to accept biological falsehoods, nor violate their moral and religious beliefs, to appease a few militant, biologically confused people. We should never, ever allow the compulsive power of the state to silence debate, especially when one side is rooted in delusion.

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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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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “The notion that the City of David isn’t the capital of Israel was an impolite fiction, honored by the U.S. and the West for fear of provoking Arabs hostile to the very idea of the Jewish state. Its prime minister, parliament and highest court are based there, and it’s unimaginable that Israel would ever agree to any peace deal that didn’t recognize it as the capital. The tired, conventional arguments against it haven’t held up well in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to move our embassy. The Arab street hasn’t exploded. The West Bank has been relatively quiet. Arab capitals haven’t erupted in outrage. The flashpoint has been in Gaza, the terror statelet ruled by Hamas. Israel pulled out of Gaza more than a decade ago and has been rewarded with constant attacks emanating from a territory where the infrastructure of mayhem and destruction — rockets, tunnels and the like — is the only growth industry. Hamas has goaded rioters to storm the Israeli border, defended by Israeli soldiers who fire on them if necessary to protect local communities (more than 50 were killed on Monday). This isn’t ‘the caravan’ that arrived at the U.S. border with peaceful migrants seeking asylum but a violent provocation that is a function of Hamas’ commitment to Israel’s destruction. For now, that poisonous ambition looks more fantastical than ever. Trump’s move is an acknowledgment of reality. It is also a symbolic statement of permanence, that Menachem Begin was correct when he said at the ceremony for the Bar Kokhba rebels 36 years ago, ‘Glorious fathers, we are back and we will not budge from here.’”

SHORT CUTS

Food for thought: “I believe [the FBI] never should have opened a counterintelligence investigation into a political party. Counterintelligence investigations are — very rarely do they happen, and when they do happen, you have to be very careful because you’re using the tools of our intelligence services and relationships with other countries in order to spy on a political campaign — probably not a good idea.” —Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)

For the record: “Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.” —U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

Dunderhead: “Nikki Haley is on [television] talking about Hamas being responsible for the Palestinians protesting yesterday. These people had no weapons. They had tires to burn. There was a dead baby. While Netanyahu celebrates.” —Chelsea Handler

Braying Jenny: “In 2016, nearly three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump — but Trump took the presidency. That’s not exactly the sign of a healthy democracy. Democracy hangs on the idea that whoever gets the most votes wins.” —Elizabeth Warren (Good thing we’re a republic and not a democracy.)

Village Idiots: “I’m undeterred [in trying to get a carbon tax in Washington] because I think if you look at the arc of history, you know Nelson Mandela didn’t win for 22 years and then he became president.” —Washington Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee

Yay-Ya Sisterhood: “If it wasn’t Lehman Brothers but Lehman Sisters, we might not have had the financial collapse.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (If it wasn’t for Democrat fiscal policies, we definitely would not have had the financial collapse.)

And last… “Funny, how all white people are racist when two black men are arrested in Starbucks, but when a black man wearing a MAGA hat is harassed & threatened in a Cheesecake Factory, the media is just like, ‘BUT IVANKA IS A GHOUL.’” —Liz Wheeler

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher