Mid-Day Digest

May 24, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • The NFL’s new rules on kneeling are meant to placate angry fans.
  • A judge says Trump’s Twitter habits violate the First Amendment.
  • Why are New York City students holding a minute of silence for the Palestinians?
  • Ireland is about to vote on allowing abortion for the first time.
  • A prominent black jazz artist rags on hip-hop.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

EDITOR’S NOTE

For some readers, recent Digest editions were missing some quotation marks in the Short Cuts section. We’ve solved the technical issue that was causing the problem. Thanks for your patience and we apologize for the inconvenient formatting glitch.

THE FOUNDATION

“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.” —Benjamin Rush (1773)

IN BRIEF

NFL Nixes Kneeling but Funds Leftist Causes

Clearly feeling the financial squeeze of tanking viewer ratings, the National Football League on Wednesday announced a new policy forbidding players from kneeling during the national anthem. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated, “This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed.” He added, “We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it.” Teams who allow their players to violate the new rule will face fines from the league. How much? Reports don’t say, and that’s significant. If the fine doesn’t substantially hurt teams, why not just pay it? The Jets owner has already said he will.

While not directly confirming that plummeting ratings and the resulting revenue loss spurred the rule change, Goodell essentially admitted the move is just to placate fans. “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic,” he complained. “This is not and was never the case.” While it may be true that “thousands of NFL players” are not unpatriotic, why did Goodell and the NFL not also call out the false narrative behind these players’ protests — the demonstrably false claim that law enforcement across the nation are guilty of institutional racism against black Americans?

The reason why tens of thousands of football fans turned away in disgust from the NFL was because the league so spinelessly bowed to malcontents who used the sport as a platform to propagate a divisive and pernicious lie. And sadly, even as it was making its apparent about-face, the league committed itself to promoting leftist politics by announcing an agreement to contribute millions of dollars for “social justice” causes.

What has driven most fans away from the game they had previously enjoyed was the absolutely unnecessary injection of politics into the sport. The fact of the matter is most NFL fans watch the game to be entertained by the amazing athletic spectacle of football. Goodell allowed for it to be ruined by leftist politics and anti-American activists. Will this new policy do anything to stop the league from hemorrhaging more fans, let alone win them back? Time will tell, but something tells us the two-part cop-out — allowing locker room protests and funding social justice — still fumbles the ball.

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Trolling Judge Blocks Trump From Blocking Twitter Trolls

Thomas Gallatin

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s practice of blocking trolls and critics from his Twitter feed is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. In her 75-page opinion, Buchwald declared that since Trump had become president, his private Twitter account could no longer be deemed private but was now a “designated public forum,” and therefore “the blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment.”

There are obviously several problems with this ruling, one of which is the effective reclassification of Twitter from a privately controlled company to government-run utility. Does the judge’s ruling comport with Twitter’s user agreement? Not in the least. Buchwald has unilaterally taken away control of a social media company’s forum and turned it over to the government. National Review’s David French explains, “Using Twitter isn’t like renting out a concert hall or reserving space in a public park. Twitter is in command, not Trump, and to the extent that Trump does anything, he does so only with Twitter’s permission. Twitter can alter his account — and his account alone — in its sole discretion and according to its corporate whims. ‘Control’ is simply not a word that applies to anyone’s Twitter account. Twitter’s terms of service are so sweeping, that even Trump’s speech isn’t solely Trump’s speech any longer. Twitter can use his words at will.”

Declan McCullagh of Reason notes, “The judge’s logic turns the traditional way of viewing the First Amendment on its head: Your right to free speech doesn’t extend to a right to make someone else, even a politician you have good reason to loathe, listen to you. The Supreme Court expanded on this in a 1984 case, ruling that a ‘person’s right to speak is not infringed when government simply ignores that person while listening to others.’” The First Amendment prevents the government from silencing the speech of individuals. It does not obligate Trump to listen to anyone.

Finally, Trump’s blocking certain Twitter followers from his personal account — an account he set up eight years before becoming president — does not preclude those individuals from following his feed outside of their personal accounts. It simply makes it more inconvenient for them and prevents them from posting their comments to his account.

Trump has yet to tweet a response, but we’re betting it’ll be entertaining.

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Top Headlines

  • Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump’s desk (The Hill)
  • That’s a big “crumb”: United Tech to invest $15 billion, hire 35,000 in U.S. over next five years thanks to GOP tax cuts (Reuters)
  • ICE director on Trump’s “animals” remark: “MS-13 kills for sport” (National Review)
  • Chicago PD protest against “anti-police” Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Fox News)
  • Trump cancels North Korea meeting — for now… (National Review)
  • North Korea claims to have demolished nuclear test site (Fox News)
  • This just in: Iran may be building ICBMs after all (The New York Times)
  • DOJ declines to prosecute FBI agent who mishandled classified information, gave misleading testimony, provided false information to IG (CNS News)
  • Humor: Nation willing to give up any and all privacy if the policy update emails would just stop (The Babylon Bee)
  • Study: The No. 1 reason any Americans are poor is they’re not working (The Federalist)
  • Policy: Finally, the NFL makes the right call (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: How Trump can make a better deal with China (Washington Examiner)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

A Beacon (High School) of Moral Relativism

Arnold Ahlert

Few things warm the cockles of progressive hearts more than moral relativism. And few things make them prouder than inculcating children with that odious concept. Thus it should surprise no one that students at Beacon High School in Manhattan were asked to observe a moment of silence for the Palestinian “victims” of the violence that took place in Gaza last week.

One outraged father cut through the nonsense inflicted on his child. “I am extremely upset because I did not send my child to a New York City public school to pray for Hamas operatives,” said the father, who is Jewish. Another student’s mother was equally illuminating. “I just don’t think any school should be promoting a moment of silence for terrorists,” she said. “What if it was Islamic terrorists in ISIS? No school would be having that over the loudspeaker.”

But it was Islamic terrorists the school was honoring. Hamas was designated by the State Department as a terrorist group on Oct. 8, 1997, and last Wednesday, Hamas official Salah Bardawil admitted that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during the Gaza border riots were members of that group. Other casualties were claimed by the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another designated terror organization.

Moreover, a rioter captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) revealed the contemptible machinations Hamas undertakes to maintain the victimist narrative — the one swallowed whole by a purposefully uncurious media. “They tell women to go forward,” he explained. “They say to the woman: Go ahead, you are a woman, and the Israeli army does not shoot at women. They tell small children: Go ahead, the army does not shoot at small children. They tell a child to go ahead and he goes; it’s a little boy. They deceive him.”

It’s not the first time. In 2014, during the war between Hamas and Israel, Hamas finally admitted to using schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip to launch rocket attacks on Israel, effectively turning those locations into human shields. Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad claimed the terrorist group made every effort to keep civilians away from the violence but that “there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with.”

Mistakes? In a July 8, 2014, interview on Al Aqsa TV, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri insisted that sacrificing innocents attests to the “character of our noble jihad-fighting people who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and blood.”

Predictably, a 2015 UN inquiry blamed Israel for attacks on UN schools in Gaza. Yet the board of inquiry conceded that Hamas stored mortars and other weapons in at least three of those UN schools during the war — and fired rockets at Israel from two of them.

In a better world in 2014, Hamas thugs, along with their contemptible enablers in the mainstream media, the Democrat Party and the progressive movement might have been asked to explain why the terrorist group should be entitled to retaliation-free missile launches against the Jewish State, simply because they purposefully locate their launchers in an area to maximize Palestinian casualties. In a better world in 2018, they might have been asked why it’s acceptable for Hamas to pay Palestinians to riot, and to make sure women and children were pushed to the front of a throng of approximately 40,000 to 50,000 protesters, many of whom were attempting to breach the Israeli border — while their more militant allies placed explosive devices at the fence and opened fire on IDF forces.

In this world? A tony NYC high school embraces moral bankruptcy masquerading as compassion.

Such faux virtue-signaling is hardly surprising. “The highly selective Hells Kitchen school tends to lean left,” the New York Post explains. “Students, some with the permission of their teachers, walked out of school in November 2016 to protest Donald Trump’s election.”

No doubt.

Nonetheless, junior Sophie Steinberg was somewhat perplexed by the school-wide announcement. “As a Jewish student, I could see a lot of my Jewish friends get very weird when the moment of silence started,” she said. “They don’t know how to feel. They don’t know how to fit into all of this.”

Feel? If anyone still wonders why American education has become an international laughingstock, look no further than the paradigm shift that occurred when schools dominated by progressive ideology began teaching children what to feel instead of how to think.

And if those feelings don’t align themselves with the progressive agenda? “More than anything, high school children fear not ‘fitting in,” writes columnist Rick Moran. “Leftist activists play on that fear by ostracizing anyone who might have a different opinion on any issue. This not-so-subtle form of pressure to conform to the dominant liberal view of the world discomfits children and prevents most of them from speaking out.”

It is a dominant liberal view backed by the New York City Department of Education. “We support civic engagement and advocacy amongst students, and encourage schools to provide inclusive environments where students are able to respectfully discuss current events,” declared DOE spokesman Doug Cohen in a statement.

Maybe they should discuss the reality that Hamas’s founding charter calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State.

It is not known whether the announcement, made by a student, was sanctioned by the school. Principal Ruth Lacey has not returned media requests for a comment, and parents who’ve reached out to Lacey said she’s been unresponsive. The Patriot Post also tried contacting her, but access to her voicemail was unavailable. She is also the only member of the faculty with an unpublished email address.

Pro-Israel group Zionist Organization of America plans to send a letter to the school demanding an apology. “It is disgraceful to mourn the death of Hamas terrorists,” said organization president Morton Klein.

At Beacon, “disgraceful” is apparently in the eye of the beholder. “A lot of us are really concerned with what Israel is doing,” stated junior student Matt Klass, who is Jewish. “I think there is some disparity in how the parents feel and how the students feel.” Despite having a large contingent of Jewish students, Klass further noted the school is sympathetic to Palestinians and a two-state solution.

The same two-state solution Palestinians themselves have rejected for decades.

Junior Rosie Hendricks thought the announcement “was fine,” but she felt students could have “given more context” about the history of the ongoing conflict.

Here’s more context. “When we talk about 'peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public,” stated Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, in an interview with Al Jazeera on May 13.

Only that part of the public that chooses to be deceived — along with an NYC Department of Education that likens rank propaganda to “civic discussion,” to defend a high school where the progressive agenda reigns supreme.

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Op ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Is Now Op ‘Backfire Tornado’. The next chapter in how Obama’s Deep State principals have endeavored to take down Donald Trump.

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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

Marc A. Thiessen: “Many of the same people expressing outrage that Trump would dehumanize vicious gang members have no problem dehumanizing innocent, unborn children. Trump has stood up for the humanity of the unborn child like no president in recent memory. And this is why so many Christian conservatives stick with him. Witness the foot-stomping standing ovation the president received Tuesday night at the annual Campaign for Life gala of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Not only was Trump reportedly the first president to address this incredible organization in its 26-year history, he used the occasion to deliver on yet another pro-life promise, one that his Republican predecessors could not, or would not, fulfill: He announced a new rule to stop indirect taxpayer funding of abortion through the Title X family planning program. … Since taking office, Trump has taken many steps to ensure our tax dollars are not used to subsidize the taking of innocent human life. He got a record number of conservative judges confirmed during his first year; allowed states to defund Planned Parenthood; defunded the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund; restored and expanded the Mexico City policy banning taxpayer funds for groups that perform abortions overseas; and exempted organizations with moral objections against providing abortifacient drugs from the Obamacare Health and Human Services mandate. He is, as SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser put it Tuesday, ‘the most pro-life president in our nation’s history.’”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.” —John C. Calhoun (1782-1850)

For the record: “Many of the same people expressing outrage that Trump would dehumanize vicious gang members have no problem dehumanizing innocent, unborn children.” —Marc A. Thiessen

Upright: “I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have … music talking about n—rs and b—es and hoes. It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee.” —Prodigious jazz musician Wynton Marsalis

Zero tolerance: “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.” —Donald Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un

It’s on: “I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country.” —Donald Trump on the NFL kneeling “solution”

And last… “Pretty sure if Jesus called the pharisees a brood of vipers, it’s ok for us to call MS-13 animals.” —Allie Stuckey

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor Mark Alexander, Publisher