Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 21, 2019


“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” —Cesare Beccaria

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New Zealand’s Knee-Jerk Response Threatens Liberty

Less than a week after New Zealand suffered one of the worst crimes in its history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that she would act to ban “virtually all” types of semiautomatic rifles. Ardern sought to justify her knee-jerk decision by stating, “To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.”

Meanwhile, authorities in New Zealand have been busy arresting several individuals for sharing a 17-minute video the perpetrator live-streamed as he engaged in his massacre. New Zealand’s Chief Censor — yes, you read that right — David Shanks justified the arrests on “hate speech” grounds, stating, “It is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda.” One of the individuals arrested has been charged with two counts of distributing objectionable material, with each offense carrying a possible 14-year prison sentence should he be found guilty.

The irony here is simply dumbfounding, and it should make all Americans thankful for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. First off, following the massacre, Ardern publicly vowed that she would not name the perpetrator so as to deny him notoriety and instead “give him nothing.” Her desire not to give this criminal notoriety is certainly commendable, but the true irony lies in the fact that she has actually given in to his stated objective. She has acted to revoke the individual rights of innocent Kiwis by acting to ban semiautomatic rifles. In so doing, she unwittingly accepts and implements the murderer’s goals, written down in his trolling manifesto. So much for not naming him.

Among the myriad of motives the perpetrator lists were attacks against individual rights and specifically America’s Second Amendment. Speaking like a true neo-Nazi, he advocated for race-based collectivism over and against individual liberty.

The sad reality is that the New Zealand government’s knee-jerk reactions to this horrific crime only further the impact of that crime. Officials have caved to the will of a madman by robbing the entire population of New Zealand of their individual rights, all in the name of providing the impossible — “safety” from evil. What will result is not greater safety, but rather a greater authoritarian governance where the rights and dignity of the individual will be regularly sacrificed for the desires of the political overlords.

And it comes as no surprise that the Leftmedia in our nation celebrates Ardern’s Liberty-crushing actions. The Washington Post’s editorial board sanctimoniously lectures, “New Zealand is showing America how to respond to mass shootings.” Wrong. New Zealand is showing America how life and Liberty would suffer with no constitutional protections.

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No Wonder Trump’s Judicial Nominations Are Important

Having judges who will interpret the law as written instead of what they would prefer laws to be is paramount for the preservation of our republic. Thus, it’s no wonder that Democrats, who advocate for activist judges to turn the judiciary into what their party’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, called the “despotic branch,” are voting against the nominees of President Donald Trump in record numbers. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s Thomas Jipping reports, “Trump’s 91 judges have received more negative confirmation votes than the 2,653 judges confirmed to the same courts during the entire 20th century combined.”

Two cases this week once again highlight how important the judiciary can be.

First, the Supreme Court overturned yet another Ninth Circuit Court ruling, this time dealing Trump a win on immigration. In Nielsen v. Preap, which The Wall Street Journal editorial board called “an immigration case that turned on a clear-cut question of statutory interpretation,” the High Court’s “5-4 conservative majority read the law as it was written.” In short, The Washington Times explains, “Immigrants living in the U.S. with serious criminal records can be held without bail while awaiting deportation even if ICE didn’t immediately pick them up when they were released from prison or jail.” Why would ICE not immediately pick them up? The nation is littered with “sanctuary” cities and even states, where local authorities are often not permitted to communicate with ICE.

Naturally, leftists are outraged both at the detention itself and the Supreme Court’s (correct) stamp of approval. But if it were President Hillary Clinton now in office, this wouldn’t have even been a case. Moreover, two Supreme Court justices would have been her picks, not Trump’s.

Second, “A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing in the West,” reports The Washington Post. “The decision by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras of Washington marks the first time the Trump administration has been held to account for the climate impact of its energy-dominance agenda, and it could have sweeping implications for the president’s plan to boost fossil fuel production across the country.”

Did we say “reports”? We meant “editorialized.” In a news story.

The ruling temporarily blocks drilling on about 300,000 acres of land in Wyoming until the Trump administration does its climate homework. All oil and gas drilling on federal lands — of which the Wyoming land is but a tiny part — accounts for something in the neighborhood of 10% of total U.S. carbon output. That is to say Contreras, an Obama judge, blocked drilling on account of emissions roughly equivalent to a few cow farts. This isn’t about, as Contreras opined, “the national, cumulative nature of climate change.” It’s about judicial overreach, trampling the law, and obstructing Trump.

Once again, we see how critical it is to nominate and appoint judges who will uphold the Rule of Law.

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95-Year-Old WWII Vet to Run Across U.S. for Second Time

Move over Forest Gump. At the spry age of 95, World War II veteran Ernie Andrus is embarking on his second run across the U.S.

“No one wants to feel like old news, like their glory days are gone. But Ernie Andrus says that’s exactly how he felt in the months after his celebrated, record-breaking run. Back in 2016, then 93-year-old Ernie became the oldest person ever to run across America — from San Diego, California, all the way to Saint Simons Island, Georgia. A huge crowd joined him at the end, as the World War II sailor stormed the beach to fervent chants and flying colors. It was pure joy.”

“That all happened about two and half years ago. Today, Ernie still runs for exercise and still dreams of the glory.”

Read more at CBS News.

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


  • “Blue states are getting crushed by red states, and it’s a big source of embarrassment for the liberals because they don’t have a very good explanation for that,” according to economist Stephen Moore, coauthor of “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” As The Daily Signal explains, “The latest report ranks Utah at No. 1 in economic outlook for the 11th year in a row. New York landed at the bottom of the list at No. 50.” The corollary? “Every day in America, [Moore] said, 1,000 people flee states with high tax rates and migrate to states with lower tax rates.”
  • A new report in the New York Post piles on additional evidence: “41 percent of city dwellers … say they can’t cope with New York’s high cost of living, according to a Quinnipiac poll published Wednesday. Separately, 41 percent fear they’ll be ‘forced’ to pull up stakes and seek greener pastures where the economic climate is more welcoming.”
  • Overwhelmed: “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Tuesday released 50 migrants recently detained at the border near Mcallen, Texas due to a lack of space in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers they would otherwise be sent to while awaiting their asylum hearings,” according to National Review, which also says “the migrants released Tuesday represent just the first wave of a group of hundreds whom they will be forced to release in the coming days due to a lack of resources.” As one CBP official put it, “It is a crisis. It’s not a self-proclaimed crisis.”
  • According to an analysis by Heritage Foundation economist Tori Whiting, “In 2018, the Council of Economic Advisers reports, $14.4 billion in revenue was collected from goods subject to new tariffs. Put another way, the Trump administration increased taxes on Americans by $14.4 billion last year. Tariffs typically benefit a small group of people, leaving these costs to be dispersed across the economy.” Trump unquestionably has good intentions, but tariffs inevitably hamper the U.S. economy.
  • The central bank has made some relatively major changes to its agenda. According to CNBC, “The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to hold interest rates steady and indicated that no more hikes will be coming this year,” which represents “a sharp dovish turn from policy projections just three months earlier.” Additionally, “The move came along with reduced expectations in GDP growth and inflation and a bump higher in the unemployment rate outlook. For a central bank not so long ago intent on normalizing policy from its financial crisis-era accommodation levels, the developments at this week’s meeting represent a striking change in direction.”
  • The Leftmedia is looking for anything it can get to cudgel Trump’s EPA. According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The number of Freedom of Information Act requests the Environmental Protection Agency received from mainstream outlets … spiked immediately after Republican President Donald Trump took office.” The New York Times has already bombarded Trump’s EPA with 100 FOIA solicitations. Obama’s EPA was hit with just 13 of them between 2013 and 2016. The Washington Post solicited Obama’s EPA just once from 2013-2016, which jumps to 43 under Trump. The same goes for Politico, The Hill, CNN, BuzzFeed, and ABC News, and others. This is a search-and-destroy campaign borne out of policy disagreements with the EPA’s current overhead.
  • Good news: “Kentucky governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a bill that bans abortions chosen on the basis of an unborn child’s sex, race, or disability. … Physicians must now certify in writing that the patient did not request the abortion for a reason related to the baby’s sex, race, or disabilities. Flouting the new law puts doctors at risk of losing their medical license or being prosecuted for a felony, although the mother of the unborn child would not be targeted.” (National Review)
  • Humor: Candidates propose changes to fix a flaw in the Constitution that allows Republicans to be elected (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Packing the Supreme Court would have harmful ramifications, but why, exactly? Pepperdine University professor Gary M. Galles provides a comprehensive explanation at the Foundation for Economic Education.
  • Policy: National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis reveals why “The Lee-Ernst Paid-Leave Plan Would Be a Win for Working Families.”

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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Victor Davis Hanson: “Trump does not exist in a vacuum. In 2016, many voters preferred Trump because he was not the unpopular Hillary Clinton. In 2020, there will be an even starker choice. Trump, now an incumbent, will likely run on the premise that he is the only thing standing between voters and socialism. The power of that warning will depend on whether the Democrats continue their present hard-left trajectory or the eventual Democratic nominee manages to avoid getting tagged with what are as of now extreme progressive talking points.”


For the record: “Let it come out. Let people see it. That’s up to the attorney general. We have a very good attorney general. He’s a highly respected man. And we’ll see what happens. … But I want to see the [Mueller] report. And you know who I want to see it? The tens of millions of people that love the fact that we have the greatest economy we’ve ever had.” —Donald Trump

Observations: “The left refers to the skeptics of ‘climate change’ alarmism as ‘anti-science.’ But when it comes to left-wing passions like the $15 minimum wage, a ‘universal basic income’ and the ‘wealth tax,’ it is the left that ignores evidence.” —Larry Elder

Upright: “The Electoral College is the last remnant of the Founders’ vision for a state-governed republic, rather than an all-powerful central gov’t. The 17th Amendment eliminated state authority in Congress. Killing the EC will officially eliminate state authority over the presidency.” —Sean Davis

Flashback: “President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the Court. … But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of … the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.” —Joe Biden, 1983

For the umpteenth time: The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting: “Nobody needs an AR-15 to hunt. Nobody needs a semi-automatic rifle to defend their home. But mass shooters NEED these weapons in order to murder as many people as efficiently as possible. And so nobody will miss them when they are illegal — except for the killers.” —Sen. Chris Murphy

Non Compos Mentis: “If you are in this country now, you must have the right to pay into Social Security, to pay your taxes, to pay into the local school system, and to have a pathway to citizenship.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

And last… “Beto’s excuse for writing sick stories about killing children: he was just a dumb 16-year-old who didn’t know any better. But hey, let’s lower the voting age to 16!” —Mike Huckabee

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



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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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