“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?” —Patrick Henry (1775)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Dems use a ubiquitous border photo to evoke a desired emotional response.
- There are many factors driving GM’s job cuts.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Carefully managing social-media usage is good for your health.
A photo of a mother running with two young children, both in diapers, fleeing a canister belching tear gas is being used by the mainstream media to characterize President Donald Trump’s insistence on enforcement of the U.S. border as cruel and anti-immigrant. Several Democrat lawmakers even suggested that the U.S. Border Patrol’s use of tear gas constituted a violation of international law regarding chemical weapons. Democrats can only seem to find fault with Patriots enforcing our nation’s laws, not foreign-flag-waving migrants actively engaged in breaking the law as they sought to violently breach America’s southern border.
What about the women and children caught in the fray? Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen set the record straight, stating, “It appears in some cases that the limited number of women and children in the caravan are being used by the organizers as ‘human shields’ when they confront law enforcement. They are being put at risk by the caravan organizers as we saw at the Mexico-Guatemala border. This is putting vulnerable people in harm’s way.” Exactly. As Philip Wegmann of the Washington Examiner bluntly put it, “Don’t want to be gassed? Don’t riot. Don’t want your children to be gassed? Don’t bring them to the kind of protests susceptible to rioting.”
Nielsen also pointed out that the use of tear gas to disperse a mob has been regularly used at the border. “The accepted use of nonlethal force (also used by the Obama Administration in 2013) prevented further injury to agents and a mass illegal rush across the border,” she said. As we noted yesterday, under the Obama administration U.S. Border Patrol agents were authorized to employ the same nonlethal mob-dispersing tactics, including the use of both tear gas and pepper spray. In fact, at times during Obama’s tenure, the Border Patrol used tear gas and pepper spray monthly. Where was the Democrat and media outrage then?
As they did with the photos of kids in cages, Democrats and their media cohorts are appealing to emotion over reason as they intentionally conflate and confuse legal and illegal immigration and asylum. The Leftmedia willfully misinforms the American public as it seeks to promote the acceptance of a globalist, anti-American agenda that is dead set on eroding national boundaries. Never mind the fact that the vast majority of the migrants who violently rushed the border Sunday were in fact young men. The images of helpless migrant children caught in the fray are designed to prey on the maternal instincts of the Democrat Party’s largest voting block: women.
Taxpayers spent nearly $50 billion bailing out General Motors in 2008 and lost more than $11 billion. We argued at the time that the auto giant had been hampered for years by overburdensome union contracts and subpar craftsmanship. Ten years later, that’s still true (albeit to a lesser degree), and now the bailed-out company is laying off 14,000 workers in North America, including eliminating more than 8,000 white-collar jobs and closing five plants (four in the U.S.).
Cue the media outrage … at President Donald Trump.
No doubt GM’s announcement does hurt Trump. After all, two of the plant closures and much of the job loss will occur in states he won — Ohio and Michigan. His campaign was and is centered on bringing jobs back to the U.S and restoring downtrodden towns in Middle America; GM is doing the opposite.
Democrats were quick to blame Republican tax reform. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said in a statement, “GM received record tax breaks as a result of the GOP’s tax bill last year, and has eliminated jobs instead of using that tax windfall to invest in American workers.” That ignores the forest to focus on one tree, but it’ll swing some votes thanks to amplification by the Democrats’ Leftmedia super PAC. We’d like to say that every instance of a corporation paying less in taxes ($157 million less in GM’s case) led to more jobs, but that’s not always the case due to other considerations.
GM itself fairly laid some of the blame on Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, which the company says cost $1 billion over a full year — dwarfing its corporate-tax savings. Tariffs are no doubt a factor in GM’s decision. Tariffs are taxes, of course, and companies pay for them by cutting costs elsewhere; GM’s cutting took the form of 14,000 jobs. It’s going to take more than Trump threatening GM CEO Mary Barra that the company “better damn well open a new plant [in Ohio] pretty quickly” to get those jobs back.
We’re struck by the near-total lack of any media mention of the massive bailout of GM or of the role unions have played in driving up production costs. But another major factor here is what products GM chose to make. GM builds its popular SUV models in other countries, while it struggles to sell the sedans and compact cars it makes in the U.S.
By the way, the Chevy Volt is on the chopping block. Making that car was not a market-driven decision but a political one, hence the massive taxpayer-subsidized rebates for it. Poor sales are now costing jobs. “When I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself,” Barack Obama promised in 2012. We suppose his dream Obama Car will never become reality now. Likewise for the Chevy Cruze, which he literally signed the hood of as he dubbed it “the car of the future.” That model too was axed.
From a big-picture standpoint, this doesn’t bode well for Americans’ already declining view of capitalism, either. As Main Street workers lose their jobs, GM’s Wall Street stock went up. Now, cronyism isn’t capitalism, and as we’ve already explained above, this is a complicated story. But the socialism captivating so many Democrats these days is much worse. The free market is still the best economic system ever devised, even if there are painful cuts along the way.
ON THE WEB TODAY
- Democrats Oppose the Founders’ Vision for the Senate — The new complaint is that the chamber doesn’t fairly represent the population.
- Some Good News on Abortion — It’s Way Down — The number of independent abortion clinics declines as the total number of abortions is decreasing.
- The Ongoing Saudi Kerfuffle — “Presidents don’t often get the freedom to work with unblemished partners.”
- Video: Illegal Immigrants Rush the Border — As the immigrant convoy is turned away with tear gas, Bill Whittle asks, what is a country, anyway?
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- More clashes and shutdowns expected at southern border (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Three times previous presidents closed the border (The Daily Signal)
- Lawmakers strike deal to double the number of guest-worker visas (The Washington Times)
- GOP chairman releases year-end tax package (The Hill)
- Robert Mueller’s office says Paul Manafort broke his cooperation deal by lying (ABC News)
- Russia-Ukraine crisis: Kiev declares martial law as world powers condemn the seizure of ships by Putin’s forces near Crimea (Independent)
- Four law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents over two-day span (ABC News)
- Trump administration proposes Medicare Part D changes to bolster negotiating power (The Washington Times)
- Top California Democrat takes leave of absence amid inquiry into sexual misconduct allegations (Washington Examiner)
- Humor: Recently pardoned turkey found dead after claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Four problems with the new climate change report (The Daily Signal)
- Policy: Why climate litigation is out of place (The Washington Times)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
The wallet belonged to a 20-year-old who was on his way to his sister’s wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month. It contained his ID, $60 cash, a debit card, and a signed paycheck.
His mom wrote on Facebook that they were “fearing the worst” and assumed that everything would be gone. But to their surprise, her son received a package containing a note and his missing wallet.
“Found this on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver-row 12, seat F wedged between the seat and wall. Thought you might want it back. All the best. PS: I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!” the mystery sender wrote.
Read more at Fox News.
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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
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Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania may have finally proven what people have suspected for years: Social media is bad for your mental health.
Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but professors Melissa Hunt, Rachel Marx, Courtney Lipson, and Jordyn Young at UPenn’s psychology department found that decreasing social media usage can reduce feelings of depression and loneliness. It may also reduce a person’s narcissistic and other self-centered behavior.
The study, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, delved into the social-media habits of 143 University of Pennsylvania students over a period of several weeks. Half the students used Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat like they normally would, while the other half restricted their usage to 10 minutes a day. Both groups where evaluated throughout the course of the study on seven different scales measuring moods and psychological well-being.
The group that significantly restricted their social-media usage demonstrated improved mental health, while the other group showed signs of increased depression and loneliness.
Participants in the study noted feeling happier when they used social media less. “Not comparing my life to the lives of others had a much stronger impact than I expected,” said one student. “I felt a lot more positive about myself during those weeks.”
This report breaks new ground in the study of social media and its effects on human behavior because prior studies only found a correlation between social media and depression, whereas the work at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that social media may be the cause of depression.
More work needs to be done to determine the cause and effect of such behaviors, but we already have the evidence we need to prove that over-reliance on social media is harming our society. Many people in today’s youngest generation, who never knew a world without social media, have become so entranced by the power of social-media platforms that they make most decisions based on gleanings from the online world.
Depression, loneliness, and attempted suicides among adolescents have risen sharply since 2010. There is also a steep rise in the number of people suffering from narcissism. These are not just people who are stuck on themselves in the classic sense; these are people so self-absorbed that it negatively impacts their lives and their ability to have functional relationships with other people.
Social media does have value. It can help spread information, it keeps us connected with people, and it can bring together people of common interest who might not otherwise connect. However, the creators of these platforms have designed it in such a way as to make it addictive.
Facebook’s “like” button, which has since been copied by many other social media platforms, is a perfect example. What started out as a simple feature to show approval for someone’s post became a craving for affirmation. Very quickly, people drew a direct connection between how many “likes” they received with their sense of self-worth. Instead of sharing information on social media for the sake of sharing it, people began crafting posts specifically to draw positive responses from others. The number of likes or followers a person collected on social media inflated or deflated their self-worth, skewing their sense of self-importance, and hampering their ability to negotiate social interactions.
As we have said many times, on platforms like Facebook and Twitter you are the product. The goal of these companies is to rope you in, collect as much data on you as possible, and use that data to make money, either by selling your data outright to third parties or by selling you products or services. The platforms will tell you whatever you want to hear and show you whatever you want to see to keep you coming back.
One way to combat the problem is to exercise personal responsibility and treat social media more like a disease. Throughout history, one of the best ways to combat disease was nutrition. The same can be done for social media.
Proper nutrition creates a healthier body and a stronger immune system, making it harder for disease to take hold. The same can be done for the mind, making people more resilient to the ill effects of social-media addiction. Examples of this include engaging in critical thinking, healthy skepticism to group ideas, and using common sense. That can protect you from the mass hysteria, fake news, and narcissistic impulses that social media so easily breeds.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Gary Bauer: “One commentator said that the scene at the border was bad but the migrants are very frustrated with the slow pace of the asylum process. That may be true, but it’s no excuse for violence or for entering the country illegally. I know millions of Americans are frustrated that we are safeguarding the borders of countries all over the world while we have failed to safeguard our own borders. As a result, there are millions of illegal immigrants living here (we have no clue as to how many and progressives don’t want us to even try to find out), costing taxpayers billions of dollars and massively changing the demographics of the country. No one ever voted for such a radical policy. If there had been a referendum 30 or 40 years ago on open borders, I have no doubt that it would have failed by a wide margin. Even today, the open-borders agenda is widely unpopular. Two recent polls found that voters see illegal immigration as the number one problem confronting the country. President Trump is trying everything he can think of to humanely secure the border, but everything he does is blocked by left-wing judges and politicians who are unwilling to fund a border wall.”
Flashback: “A group of about 100 [migrants] trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico.” —San Diego Union Tribune, Nov. 25, 2013 — during the Obama administration, so no Democrat objections
Non Compos Mentis: “Why tear gas? Is this consistent with the Conventions on Chemical Weapons?” —Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Bad predictions: “Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on, but they’re not going to be doing that.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta to Donald Trump on Nov. 7
Hyper hypocrisy: “This is wrong.” —Hillary Clinton on a pic of a mother running from tear gas on the border (When the same thing happened under Obama, Clinton said, “____.”)
Braying Jenny: “This administration has jailed children and violated human rights. Perhaps we should stop pretending that authoritarianism + violence is a historical event instead of a growing force.” —Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The Clinton Perjury Machine: “[Attorney] Frank Carter explained to me if I’d signed an affidavit denying having had an intimate relationship with the president it might mean I wouldn’t have to be deposed in the Paula Jones case. I did feel uncomfortable about it but I felt it was the right thing to do. … So, the right thing to do, to break the law.” —Monica Lewinsky
Village Idiots: “A lot of women vote the way their husbands vote; they don’t believe enough in their own thoughts. Maybe that woman who’s so articulate, so experienced and so fit for the presidency was too intimidating.” —Barbra Streisand (Actually, they refused to be captives of the Democrats’ dupe-women-voters operation.)
The BIG Lie: “Iran has never threatened to attack Israel, but has vowed to retaliate if it is attacked.” —Associated Press reporter Nasser Karimi
And last… “If I tried to run past a Chinese border patrol agent and got myself pepper sprayed in the process (or worse), would anyone in the world feel sorry for me? Or would they all blame me for being so dumb and reckless as to attempt to bum-rush the Chinese border?” —Matt Walsh
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher