Columns – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:16:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/chathamjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/10888465-four-newspaper-pile-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Vector-newspaper-icon-headline-5580d7a0v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Columns – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com 32 32 Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Columns – Chatham Journal Newspaper Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Columns – Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://chathamjournal.com/category/opinion/opinion-columns/ TV-G 63016882 President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address http://chathamjournal.com/2018/01/31/president-donald-j-trumps-2018-state-union-address/ Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:34:14 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8380 Washington, DC – US president Donald Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address as prepared for delivery TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and…

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President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Washington, DC – US president Donald Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address as prepared for delivery

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later:  the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world.  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio.  They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education.  Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

This is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.  Our motto is “in God we trust.”

And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.  He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.  Preston:  a job well done.

Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.  Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

Americans love their country.  And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions.  Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act.  Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them.  So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal.  We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades.    Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.  Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country.  This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us.  But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.  In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.  That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities.  Prices will come down.

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

The era of economic surrender is over.

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work.  We want every child to be safe in their home at night.  And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training.  Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.  And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.  They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.  Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers:  Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.  Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island.  But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home.  These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown.  Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders.  Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert:  Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you.  Everyone in America is grieving for you.  And 320 million hearts are breaking for you.  We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country.  We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

The United States is a compassionate nation.  We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world.  But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities.  I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things.  I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.  My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream.  Because Americans are dreamers too.

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country:  Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ.  CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets.  At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder.  But he did not cave to threats or fear.  Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island.  His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

CJ:  Great work.  Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.  Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border.  That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe.  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.  It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.  In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem.  This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first.  So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses:  174 deaths per day.  Seven per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.  The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico.  Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.  He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca.  Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.  When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.  She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him:  “You will do it — because you can.”  He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids.  Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca.  In an instant, she agreed to adopt.  The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca:  You embody the goodness of our Nation.  Thank you, and congratulations.

As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.  In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.  Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.  We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.  Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion.  Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape.  He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway.  He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior.  Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas.  Raqqa is liberated.  And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.”  Staff Sergeant Peck:  All of America salutes you.

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil.  When possible, we annihilate them.  When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them.  But we must be clear:  Terrorists are not merely criminals.  They are unlawful enemy combatants.  And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

So today, I am keeping another promise.  I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.

Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement.  Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before:  I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition.  American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent.  America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.

But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.

We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia.  On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea.  At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state.  After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death.  He passed away just days after his return.

Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta.  You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all.  Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime.  His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea.  One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food.  In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger.  He woke up as a train ran over his limbs.  He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.  His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth.  Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China.  His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians.  He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom.  Most of his family followed.  His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.  Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.  It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness.  But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea:  that they could rule themselves.  That they could chart their own destiny.  And that, together, they could light up the world.

That is what our country has always been about.  That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.

Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.

Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond.  And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.

And freedom stands tall over one more monument:  this one.  This Capitol.  This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  They are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:  The people dreamed this country. The people built this country.  And it is the people who are making America great again.

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 30, 2018.

President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Transcript: Kelly defends President Trump’s handling of call to soldier’s widow http://chathamjournal.com/2017/10/19/transcript-kelly-defends-president-trumps-handling-call-soldiers-widow/ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:45:14 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=8104 Washington, DC – White House chief of staff John F. Kelly delivered an emotional statement on Thursday in the White House briefing room, defending President Trump’s phone call to the widow of a slain U.S. serviceman and responding to criticism…

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Transcript: Kelly defends President Trump’s handling of call to soldier’s widow appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Washington, DC – White House chief of staff John F. Kelly delivered an emotional statement on Thursday in the White House briefing room, defending President Trump’s phone call to the widow of a slain U.S. serviceman and responding to criticism from Representative Frederica S. Wilson, Democrat of Florida.

The following is a transcript of those remarks, as prepared by the White House.

JOHN F. KELLY, White House chief of staff: Well, thanks a lot. And it is a more serious note, so I just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement than an — give more of an explanation in what amounts to be a traditional press interaction.

Most Americans don’t know what happens when we lose one of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, our Coast Guardsmen in combat. So let me tell you what happens:

Their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine, and sends them home. Their first stop along the way is when they’re packed in ice, typically at the airhead. And then they’re flown to, usually, Europe where they’re then packed in ice again and flown to Dover Air Force Base, where Dover takes care of the remains, embalms them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they’ve earned, the emblems of their service, and then puts them on another airplane linked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home.

A very, very good movie to watch, if you haven’t ever seen it, is “Taking Chance,” where this is done in a movie — HBO setting. Chance Phelps was killed under my command right next to me, and it’s worth seeing that if you’ve never seen it.

 

So that’s the process. While that’s happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on. And then he knocks on the door; typically a mom and dad will answer, a wife. And if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places; if the parents are divorced, three different places. And the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until — well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. So that’s what happens.

Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1 percent this country produces. Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them. But they are the very best this country produces, and they volunteer to protect our country when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required. But that’s all right.

Who writes letters to the families? Typically, the company commander — in my case, as a Marine — the company commander, battalion commander, regimental commander, division commander, Secretary of Defense, typically the service chief, commandant of the Marine Corps, and the President typically writes a letter.

Typically, the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they could imagine, and that is from their buddies. In my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. Those are the only phone calls that really mattered.

And yeah, the letters count, to a degree, but there’s not much that really can take the edge off what a family member is going through.

So some Presidents have elected to call. All Presidents, I believe, have elected to send letters. If you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call.

When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. It’s nice to do, in my opinion, in any event.

He asked me about previous Presidents, and I said, I can tell you that President Obama, who was my Commander-in-Chief when I was on active duty, did not call my family. That was not a criticism. That was just to simply say, I don’t believe President Obama called. That’s not a negative thing. I don’t believe President Bush called in all cases. I don’t believe any President, particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high — that Presidents call. But I believe they all write.

So when I gave that explanation to our President three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the cases of four young men who we lost in Niger at the earlier part of this month. But then he said, how do you make these calls? If you’re not in the family, if you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call. I think he very bravely does make those calls.

The call in question that he made yesterday — or day before yesterday now — were to four family members, the four fallen. And remember, there’s a next-of-kin designated by the individual. If he’s married, that’s typically the spouse. If he’s not married, that’s typically the parents unless the parents are divorced, and then he selects one of them. If he didn’t get along with his parents, he’ll select a sibling. But the point is, the phone call is made to the next-of-kin only if the next-of-kin agrees to take the phone call. Sometimes they don’t.

So a pre-call is made: The President of the United States or the commandant of the Marine Corps, or someone would like to call, will you accept the call? And typically, they all accept the call.

So he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could. And he said to me, what do I say? I said to him, sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.

Well, let me tell you what I told him. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me — because he was my casualty officer. He said, Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died, in the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan — when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth: his friends.

That’s what the President tried to say to four families the other day. I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

And when I listened to this woman and what she was saying, and what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this Earth. And you can always find them because they’re in Arlington National Cemetery. I went over there for an hour-and-a-half, walked among the stones, some of whom I put there because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed.

I’ll end with this: In October — April, rather, of 2015, I was still on active duty, and I went to the dedication of the new FBI field office in Miami. And it was dedicated to two men who were killed in a firefight in Miami against drug traffickers in 1986 — a guy by the name of Grogan and Duke. Grogan almost retired, 53 years old; Duke, I think less than a year on the job.

Anyways, they got in a gunfight and they were killed. Three other FBI agents were there, were wounded, and now retired. So we go down — Jim Comey gave an absolutely brilliant memorial speech to those fallen men and to all of the men and women of the FBI who serve our country so well, and law enforcement so well.

There were family members there. Some of the children that were there were three or four years old when their dads were killed on that street in Miami-Dade. Three of the men that survived the fight were there, and gave a rendition of how brave those men were and how they gave their lives.

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.

But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, O.K., fine.

So I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. But it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.

So I’m willing to take a question or two on this topic. Let me ask you this: Is anyone here a Gold Star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a Gold Star parent or sibling?

O.K., you get the question.

Q Well, thank you, General Kelly. First of all, we have a great deal of respect — Semper Fi — for everything that you’ve ever done. But if we could take this a bit further. Why were they in Niger? We were told they weren’t in armored vehicles and there was no air cover. So what are the specifics about this particular incident? And why were we there? And why are we there?

GENERAL KELLY: Well, I would start by saying there is an investigation. Let me back up and say, the fact of the matter is, young men and women that wear our uniform are deployed around the world and there are tens of thousands, near the DMZ in North Korea [sic], in Okinawa, waiting to go — in South Korea — in Okinawa, ready to go. All over the United States, training, ready to go. They’re all over Latin America. Down there, they do mostly drug and addiction, working with our partners — our great partners — the Colombians, the Central Americans, the Mexicans.

You know, there’s thousands. My own son, right now, back in the fight for his fifth tour against ISIS. There’s thousands of them in Europe acting as a deterrent. And they’re throughout Africa. And they’re doing the nation’s work there, and not making a lot of money, by the way, doing it. They love what they do.

So why were they there? They’re there working with partners, local — all across Africa — in this case, Niger — working with partners, teaching them how to be better soldiers; teaching them how to respect human rights; teaching them how to fight ISIS so that we don’t have to send our soldiers and Marines there in their thousands. That’s what they were doing there.

Now, there is an investigation. There’s always an — unless it’s a very, very conventional death in a conventional war, there’s always an investigation. Of course, that operation is conducted by AFRICOM that, of course, works directly for the Secretary of Defense.

There is a — and I talked to Jim Mattis this morning. I think he made statements this afternoon. There’s an investigation ongoing. An investigation doesn’t mean anything was wrong. An investigation doesn’t mean people’s heads are going to roll. The fact is they need to find out what happened and why it happened.

But at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, you have to understand that these young people — sometimes old guys — put on the uniform, go to where we send them to protect our country. Sometimes they go in large numbers to invade Iraq and invade Afghanistan. Sometimes they’re working in small units, working with our partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, helping them be better.

But at the end of the day, they’re helping those partners be better at fighting ISIS in North Africa to protect our country so that we don’t have to send large numbers of troops.

Any other — someone who knows a Gold Star fallen person.

John?

Q General, thank you for being here today and thank you for your service and for your family’s sacrifice. There has been some talk about the timetable of the release of the statement about the — I think at that point it was three soldiers who were killed in Niger. Can you walk us through the timetable of the release of that information? And what part did the fact that a beacon was pinging during that time have to do with the release of the statement? And were you concerned that divulging information early might jeopardize the soldiers’ attempt to be (inaudible)?

GENERAL KELLY: First of all, that’s a — you know, we are at the highest level of the U.S. government. The people that will answer those questions will be the people at the other end of the military pyramid.

I’m sure the Special Forces group is conducting it. I know they’re conducting an investigation. That investigation, of course, under the auspices of AFRICOM, ultimately will go to the Pentagon. I’ve read the same stories you have. I actually know a lot more than I’m letting on, but I’m not going to tell you.

There is an investigation being done. But as I say, the men and women of our country that are serving all around the world — I mean, what the hell is my son doing back in the fight? He’s back in the fight because — working with Iraqi soldiers who are infinitely better than they were a few years ago to take ISIS on directly so that we don’t have to do it. Small numbers of Marines where he is working alongside those guys. That’s why they’re out there, whether it’s Niger, Iraq, or whatever. We don’t want to send tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines, in particular, to go fight.

I’ll take one more, but it’s got to be from someone who knows — all right.

Q General, when you talk about Niger, sir, what does your intelligence tell you about the Russian connection with them? And the stories that are coming out now, they’re —

GENERAL KELLY: I have no knowledge of any Russian connection, but I was not, in my position, to know that. That’s a question for NORTHCOM or for — not NORTHCOM — for AFRICOM or DOD.

Thanks very much, everybody.

As I walk off the stage, understand there’s tens of thousands of American kids, mostly, doing their nation’s bidding all around the world. They don’t have to be in uniform. You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless — sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.

We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our service men and women do — not for any other reason than they love this country. So just think of that.

And I do appreciate your time. Take care.

Transcript: Kelly defends President Trump’s handling of call to soldier’s widow appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Remarks by President Donald Trump at 2017 National Scout Jamboree http://chathamjournal.com/2017/07/25/remarks-president-donald-trump-2017-national-scout-jamboree/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 02:21:05 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=7924 Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve, Glen Jean, WV – On Monday, President Donald J. Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America at the National Jamboree in West Virginia. The Jamboree was held at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Glen…

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Remarks by President Donald Trump at 2017 National Scout Jamboree appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve, Glen Jean, WV – On Monday, President Donald J. Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America at the National Jamboree in West Virginia. The Jamboree was held at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, WV. The 10-day event includes activities focusing on ecology, conservation, and personal fitness.

President Trump began his remarks by thanking the Boy Scouts of America for the work they do across the United States. He stated, “You are the young people of character and integrity who will serve as leaders in our communities, and uphold the sacred values of our nation.” The President recognized the astounding impact that Boy Scouts have made through serving in the highest levels of the Federal Government. The President was proud to indicate that ten members of his cabinet were former Boy Scouts including Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a former National President of the Boy Scouts of America.

President Trump then spoke about how being a Boy Scout sets individuals on a course to achieve great success in their lives. The President stated, “The values, traditions, and skills you learn here will serve you throughout your lives, and just as importantly they will serve your families, your cities, and in the future and in the present, will serve your country.” President Trump spoke about the importance of finding your passion in life and building on the momentum rooted in scouting because, “Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans.”

President Trump closed by expressing his admiration for how the Boy Scouts of America continue to help shape our great nation. He stated, “When natural disaster strikes, when people face hardship, when the beauty and glory of our outdoor spaces must be restored and taken care of, America turns to the Boy Scouts because we know that the Boy Scouts never, ever, ever let us down.” President Trump ended his remarks by telling each and every scout across the nation to “never, ever forget, America is proud of you.”

President Trump’s attendance at the Jamboree marks the first time a sitting President has personally attended the event since President George W. Bush in 2005. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attended the first National Jamboree in 1937.

6:32 P.M. EDT July 24, 2017

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) I am thrilled to be here.  Thrilled.  (Applause.) And if you think that was an easy trip, you’re wrong, but I am thrilled — 19th Boy Scout Jamboree — wow — and to address such a tremendous group.  Boy, you have a lot of people here.  The press will say it’s about 200 people.  (Laughter.)  It looks like about 45,000 people.  You set a record today.  (Applause.)  You set a record.  That’s a great honor, believe me.

Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. — you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that.  (Applause.)  We’re going to put that aside.  And instead we’re going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams.  What to think of — what I’ve been thinking about — you want to achieve your dreams.  I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?  Right?  (Applause.)

There are many great honors that come with the job of being President of the United States, but looking out at this incredible gathering of mostly young patriots — mostly young — I’m especially proud to speak to you as the honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  You are the young people of character and integrity who will serve as leaders in our communities, and uphold the sacred values of our nation.

I want to thank Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, Jamboree Chairman Ralph de la Vega, and the thousands of volunteers who have made this a life-changing experience for all of you, and when they asked me to be here I said absolutely, yes.  (Applause.)

Finally, and we can’t forget these people, I especially want to salute the moms and the dads and troop leaders who are here tonight.  (Applause.)  Thank you for making scouting possible.  Thank you, mom and dad — troop leaders.

When you volunteer for the Boy Scouts, you are not only shaping young lives, you are shaping the future of America.  (Applause.)  The United States has no better citizens than its Boy Scouts.  (Applause.)  No better.  The values, traditions, and skills you learn here will serve you throughout your lives, and just as importantly they will serve your families, your cities, and in the future and in the present, will serve your country.  (Applause.)  The Scouts believe in putting America first.  (Applause.)

You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp.  And it’s not a good place.  In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer.  But it’s not good.  Not good.  (Applause.)  And I see what’s going on, and believe me I’d much rather be with you.  That I can tell you.  (Applause.)

I’ll tell you the reason that I love this and the reason that I really wanted to be here is because as President, I rely on former Boy Scouts every single day, and so do the American people.  It’s amazing how many Boy Scouts we have at the highest level of our great government.  Many of my top advisors in the White House were Scouts.  Ten members of my cabinet were Scouts.  Can you believe that?  Ten.  (Applause.)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not only a Boy Scout, he’s your former national president.  (Applause.)

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence — good guy — was a Scout, and it meant so much to him.  (Applause.)  Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important.  And by the way, where are our Indiana Scouts tonight?  (Applause.)  I wonder if the television cameras will follow you.  They don’t like doing that when they see these massive crowds.  They don’t like doing that.  Hi, folks.  (Applause.) A lot of love in this big, beautiful place.  A lot of love, and a lot of love for our country.  There’s a lot of love for our country.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is here tonight.  Come here, Ryan.  (Applause.)  Ryan is an Eagle Scout from Big Sky Country in Montana.  (Applause.)  Pretty good.  And by the way, he is doing a fantastic job.  He makes sure that we leave our national parks and federal lands better than we found them, in the best Scouting tradition.  So thank you very much, Ryan.  (Applause.)

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, of Texas, an Eagle Scout from the Great State.  (Applause.)  The first time he came to the national jamboree was in 1964.  He was very young then.  And Rick told me just a little while ago, it totally changed his life.  So, Rick, thank you very much for being here.  And we’re doing a lot with energy.  (Applause.)

And very soon, Rick, we will be an energy exporter.  Isn’t that nice — an energy exporter?  (Applause.)  In other words we’ll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe.  So that’s good.  (Applause.)  We will be energy dominant.  And I’ll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise.  We are going on and on.  So we love West Virginia.  We want to thank you.

Where’s West Virginia by the way?  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Secretary Tom Price is also here.  Today Dr. Price still lives the Scout Oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our Secretary of Health and Human Services.  And he’s doing a great job.  And hopefully, he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us, folks.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  By the way, you going to get the votes?

He better get them.  He better get them.  Oh, he better — otherwise, I’ll say, Tom, you’re fired.  I’ll get somebody.  (Applause.)

He better get Senator Capito to vote for it.  You got to get the other senators to vote for it.  It’s time.  After seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare, we have a chance to now do it.  They better do it.  Hopefully they’ll do it.

As we can see just by looking at our government, in America, Scouts lead the way.  And another thing I’ve noticed — and I’ve noticed it all my life — there is a tremendous spirit with being a Scout, more so than almost anything I can think of.  So whatever is going on, keep doing it.  It’s incredible to watch.  Believe me.  (Applause.)

Each of these leaders will tell you that their road to American success — and you have to understand, their American success, and they are a great, great story was paved with the patriotic American values as traditions they learned in the Boy Scouts.  And some day, many years from now, when you look back on all of the adventures in your lives, you will be able to say the same:  I got my start as a Scout just like these incredibly great people that are doing such a good job for our country.  So that’s going to happen.  (Applause.)

Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans.  As the Scout Law says: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal” — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.

AUDIENCE:  “helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That was very impressive.  (Laughter.)  You’ve heard that before.

But here you learn the rewards of hard work and perseverance.  Never ever give up, never quit.  Persevere.  Never, ever quit.

You learn the satisfaction of building a roaring campfire, reaching a mountain summit, or earning a merit badge after mastering a certain skill.  There’s no better feeling than an achievement that you’ve earned with your own sweat, tears, resolve, hard work.  There’s nothing like it.  Do you agree with that?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m waving to people back there so small I can’t even see them.  Man, this is a lot of people.  Turn those cameras back there, please.  That is so incredible.

By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight?  One percent or zero?  (Applause.)

The fake media will say:  President Trump — and you know what this is — President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.

That’s some — that is some crowd.  (Applause.)

Fake media.  Fake news.  Thank you.  And I’m honored by that, by the way, all of you people they can’t even see you.  So thank you.  I hope you can hear.

Through scouting you also learn to believe in yourselves — so important — to have confidence in your ability, and to take responsibility for your own life.  When you face down new challenges, and you will have plenty of them, develop talents you never thought possible, and lead your teammates through daring trials, you discover that you can handle anything.  And you learn it by being a scout.  It’s great.  (Applause.)

You can do anything.  You can be anything you want to be.  But in order to succeed, you must find out what you love to do.  You have to find your passion.  No matter what they tell you — if you don’t — I love you, too.  I don’t know.  It’s a nice guy.  (Applause.)  Hey, what am I going to do?  He sounds like a nice person.  He, he, he, he.  Thank you.  I do.  I do love you.

AUDIENCE:  We love Trump!  We love Trump!  We love Trump!

THE PRESIDENT:  By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’ll be back.  We’ll be back.  The answer is no, but we’ll be back.

In life, in order to be successful, and you people are well on the road to success, you have to find out what makes you excited.  What makes you want to get up each morning and go to work?  You have to find it.

If you love what you do and dedicate yourself to your work, then you will gain momentum, and look — you have to, you need to.  The word momentum — you will gain that momentum, and each success will create another success.  The word momentum.

I’ll tell you a story that’s very interesting for me when I was young.  There was a man named William Levitt — Levittowns, you have some here, you have some in different states.  Anybody ever hear of Levittown?  (Applause.)  And he was a very successful man.  He was a homebuilder — became an unbelievable success, and got more and more successful.  And he built homes, and at night he’d go to these major sites with teams of people and he’d scour the sites for nails and sawdust and small pieces of wood.  And they’d clean the site so when the workers came in the next morning, the sites would be spotless and clean, and he did it properly.  And he did this for 20 years, and then he was offered a lot of money for his company.

And he sold his company for a tremendous amount of money.  At the time especially — this was a long time ago — sold his company for a tremendous amount of money.  And he went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life.  I won’t go any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what he did.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Should I tell you?  Should I tell you?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life.  You know life.  So — look at you.  Who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?

So he had a very, very interesting life, and the company that bought his company was a big conglomerate.  And they didn’t know anything about building homes, and they didn’t know anything about picking up the nails and the sawdust and selling it — and the scraps of wood.  This was a big conglomerate based in New York City, and after about a ten year period they were losing a lot with it.  It didn’t mean anything to them, and they couldn’t sell it.

So they called William Levitt up and they said, would you like to buy back your company, and he said yes, I would.  He so badly wanted it, he got bored with this life of yachts and sailing and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places.  You won’t get bored, right?  You know, truthfully, you’re workers.  You’ll get bored too.  Believe me.  (Applause.)  Of course, having a good few years like that isn’t so bad.  (Applause.)  But what happened is he bought back his company, and he bought back a lot of empty land.  And he worked hard in getting it zoning, and he worked hard on starting to develop.

And in the end he failed, and he failed badly.  Lost all of his money.  He went personally bankrupt, and he was now much older.  And I saw him at a cocktail party, and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party.  It was the party of Steve Ross who was one of the great people — he came up and discovered — really founded — Time Warner, and he was a great guy.  He had a lot of successful people at the party.

And I was doing well so I got invited to the party.  I was very young, and I go in — but I’m in the real estate business — and I see 100 people, some of whom I recognize and they’re big in the entertainment business.  And I see, sitting in the corner, was a little old man who was all by himself.  Nobody was talking to him.  I immediately recognized that that man was the once great William Levitt of Levittown, and I immediately went over — I wanted to talk to him more than the Hollywood show business communications people.

So I went over and talked to him, and I said, Mr. Levitt, I’m Donald Trump.  He said I know.  I said, Mr. Levitt, how are you doing?  He goes, not well, not well at all.  And I knew that, but he said not well at all.  And he explained what was happening and how bad it has been and how hard it has been.  And I said what exactly happened?  Why did this happen to you?  You’re one of the greats ever in our industry.  Why did this happen to you?  And he said, Donald, I lost my momentum.  I lost my momentum.  A word you never hear when you’re talking about success.  When some of these guys that never made ten cents, they’re on television giving you things about how you’re going to be successful, and the only thing they ever did was a book and a tape.

But I’ll tell you, it was very sad, and I never forgot that moment.  And I thought about it, and it’s exactly true.  He lost his momentum.  Meaning, he took this period of time off long — years — and then when he got back, he didn’t have that same momentum.  In life, I always tell this to people, you have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum, and if you don’t have it that’s okay.  Because you’re going to go on and you’re going to learn and you’re going to do things that are great.  But you have to know about the word momentum.

But the big thing:  Never quit.  Never give up.  Do something you love.  When you do something you love — as a Scout I see that you love it.  But when you do something that you love you’ll never fail.  What you’re going to do is give it a shot again and again and again.  You’re ultimately going to be successful, and remember this, you’re not working.  Because when you’re doing something that you love like I do — of course I love my business, but this is a little bit different.  Who thought this was going to happen?  We’re having a good time.  We’re doing a good job.  (Applause.)  Doing a good job.  But when you do something that you love, remember this, it’s not work.

So you’ll work 24/7, you’re going to work all the time, and at the end of a year you’re not really working.  You don’t think of it as work.  When you’re not doing something that you like or when you’re forced in to do something that you really don’t like, that’s called work.  And it’s hard work and tedious work.

So as much as you can, do something that you love.  Work hard, and never ever give up, and you’re going to be tremendously successful.  Tremendously successful.  (Applause.)

Now with that, I have to tell you our economy is doing great.  Our stock market has picked up — since the election November 8th.  Do we remember that date?  (Applause.)  Was that a beautiful date?  (Applause.)  What a date.  Do you remember that famous night on television, November 8th, where they said — these dishonest people — where they said there is no path to victory for Donald Trump?  They forgot about the forgotten people.  By the way, they’re not forgetting about the forgotten people anymore.  They’re going crazy trying to figure it out.  But I told them, far too late.  It’s far too late.

But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say?  (Applause.)

And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier.  Because New York, California, Illinois — you have to practically run the East Coast.  And we did.  We won Florida.  We won South Carolina.  We won North Carolina.  We won Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)

We won and won.  So when they said, there is no way to victory, there is no way to 270.  I went to Maine four times because it’s one vote, and we won.  But we won — one vote.  I went there because I kept hearing we’re at 269.  But then Wisconsin came in.  Many, many years — Michigan came in.

And we worked hard there.  My opponent didn’t work hard there because she was told —

AUDIENCE:  Booo!

THE PRESIDENT:  She was told she was going to win Michigan, and I said, well, wait a minute, the car industry is moving to Mexico.  Why is she going to move — she’s there.  Why are they allowing it to move?

And by the way, do you see those car industry — do you see what’s happening, how they’re coming back to Michigan?  They’re coming back to Ohio.  They’re starting to peel back in.  (Applause.)

And we go to Wisconsin — now, Wisconsin hadn’t been won in many, many years by a Republican.  But we go to Wisconsin, and we had tremendous crowds.  And I’d leave these massive crowds.  I’d say, why are we going to lose this state?

The polls — that’s also fake news.  They’re fake polls.  But the polls are saying — but we won Wisconsin.  (Applause.)  So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  And I’ll tell you what, we are, indeed, making America great again.  What’s going on is incredible.  (Applause.)

We had the best jobs report in 16 years.  The stock market on a daily basis is hitting an all-time high.  We’re going to be bringing back very soon trillions of dollars from companies that can’t get their money back into this country, and that money is going to be used to help rebuild America.  We’re doing things that nobody ever thought was possible.

And we’ve just started.  It’s just the beginning.  Believe me.  (Applause.)

In the Boy Scouts you learn right from wrong, correct?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  You learn to contribute to your communities, to take pride in your nation, and to seek out opportunities to serve.  You pledge to help other people at all times.  (Applause.)

In the Scout Oath, you pledge on your honor to do your best and to do your duty to God and your country.  (Applause.)

And by the way, under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying, merry Christmas again when you go shopping.  Believe me.  Merry Christmas.  (Applause.)

They’ve been downplaying that little, beautiful phrase.  You’re going to be saying, merry Christmas again, folks.  (Applause.)

But the words duty, country, and God are beautiful words.  In other words, basically what you’re doing is you’re pledging to be a great American patriot.  (Applause.)

For more than a century that is exactly what our Boy Scouts have been.  Last year you gave more than 15 million hours of service to helping people in your communities.  (Applause.)

Incredible.  That’s an incredible stat.

All of you here tonight will contribute more than 100,000 hours of service by the end of this jamboree — 100,000.  (Applause.)

When natural disaster strikes, when people face hardship, when the beauty and glory of our outdoor spaces must be restored and taken care of, America turns to the Boy Scouts because we know that the Boy Scouts never, ever, ever let us down.  (Applause.)

Just like you know you can count on me, we know we can count on you because we know the values that you live by.  (Applause.)

Your values are the same values that have always kept America strong, proud, and free.  And by the way, do you see the billions and billions and billions of additional money that we’re putting back into our military?  Billions of dollars.  (Applause.)  New planes, new ships, great equipment for our people that are so great to us.  We love our vets.  We love our soldiers.  And we love our police, by the way.  Firemen, police — we love our police.  (Applause.)   Those are all special people.  Uniformed services.

Two days ago, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to commission an American aircraft carrier into the fleet of the United States Navy.  (Applause.)  It’s the newest, largest, and most advanced aircraft carrier anywhere in the world, and it’s named for an Eagle Scout, the USS Gerald R. Ford.  (Applause.)  Everywhere it sails, that great Scout’s name will be feared and revered, because that ship will be a symbol of American power, prestige, and strength.  (Applause.)

Our nation honors President Gerald R. Ford today because he lived his life the scouting way.  Boy Scouts celebrate American patriots, especially the brave members of our armed forces.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

American hearts are warmed every year when we read about Boy Scouts placing thousands and thousands of flags next to veterans’ gravesites all across the country.  By honoring our heroes, you help to ensure that their memory never, ever dies.  You should take great pride in the example you set for every citizen of our country to follow.  (Applause.)

Generations of American Boy Scouts have sworn the same oath and lived according to same law.  You inherit a noble American tradition, and as you embark on your lives, never cease to be proud of who you are and the principles you hold dear and stand by.  Wear your values as your badge of honor.  What you’ve done, few have done before you.  What you’ve done is incredible.  What you’ve done is admired by all.  So I want to congratulate you, Boy Scouts.  (Applause.)

Let your scouting oath guide your path from this day forward.  Remember your duty.  Honor your history.  Take care of the people God put into your life, and love and cherish your great country.  (Applause.)

You are very special people.  You’re special in the lives of America.  You’re special to me.  But if you do what we say, I promise you that you will live scouting’s adventure every single day of your life, and you will win, win, win and help people in doing so.  (Applause.)

Your lives will have meaning and purpose and joy.  You will become leaders, and you will inspire others to achieve the dreams they once thought were totally impossible, things that you said could never, ever happen are already happening for you.  And if you do these things — and if you refuse to give in to doubt or to fear — then you will help to make America great again.  You will be proud of yourself, be proud of the uniform you wear, and be proud of the country you love.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  And never, ever forget, America is proud of you.  (Applause.)

This is a very, very special occasion for me.  I’ve known so many Scouts over the years.  Winners.  I’ve known so many great people.  They’ve been taught so well, and they love their heritage.  But this is very special for me.  And I just want to end by saying very importantly:  God bless you.  God bless the Boy Scouts.  God bless the United States of America.

Go out.  Have a great time in life.  Compete and go out and show me that there is nobody — nobody — like a Boy Scout.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END
7:10 P.M. EDT

Remarks by President Donald Trump at 2017 National Scout Jamboree appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Data shows Chatham County has more registered voters than eligible adult citizens http://chathamjournal.com/2017/04/13/chatham-county-has-more-registered-voters-than-eligible-adult-citizens/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 14:36:42 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=7569 Washington, DC – On Tuesday, April 11, Judicial Watch announced it has sent notice-of-violation letters threatening to sue 11 states having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens, as calculated by the U.S.…

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Data shows Chatham County has more registered voters than eligible adult citizens appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Washington, DC – On Tuesday, April 11, Judicial Watch announced it has sent notice-of-violation letters threatening to sue 11 states having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens, as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey. According to the letters, this is “strong circumstantial evidence that these … counties are not conducting reasonable voter registration record maintenance as mandated under the [National Voter Registration Act] NVRA.”  Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls.

The 11 states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.  The states have 90 days after receiving the letters to address the problem and provide Judicial Watch documentation showing that they have conducted a “statewide effort to conduct a program that reasonably ensures the lists of eligible voters are accurate.” Judicial Watch informed the states that should they fail to take action to correct violations of Section 8 of the NVRA, it would file suit.

Locally, Judicial Watch found that Chatham County in North Carolina has more registered voters than eligible adult citizens.

Fifteen North Carolina counties have more total registered voters than citizen voting age population

Based on a Judicial Watch review of 2014 Election Assistance Commission (EAC) data, the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the November 2014 and November 2016 North Carolina total voter registration records, North Carolina is failing to comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements of section 8 of the NVRA. For example of the five-year American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2014 EAC data shows there were more total registered voters than there were adult citizens over the age of 18 living in each of the following 15 counties: Buncombe (registration rate 101%), Camden (101%), Chatham (101%), Cherokee (101%), Clay (106%), Dare (107%), Durham (111%), Guilford (101%), Madison (100%), Mecklenberg (108%), New Hanover (101%), Orange (111%), Union (106%), Watauga (105%), and Yancey (104%).

A comparison of the November 2016 total voter registration records of these 15 counties obtained from the North Carolina state website with the 2011-2015 U.S.Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data shows that this trend has either stayed constant or has increased. The data shows 13 of the 15 counties have increased their total voter registrants by a greater percentage than the rate of increase of citizen voting age population, thus only adding to the disparity. Further, 14 of the 15 counties still have more total voter registrations than citizens eligible to vote, even accounting for the U.S. Census Bureau’s margin of error.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires states to make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from official lists due to “the death of the registrant” or “a change in the residence of the registrant,” and requires states to ensure noncitizens are not registered to vote.

Based on its review of Election Assistance Commission (EAC) data, and more recent U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey and the states’ voter registration records, Judicial Watch found the following counties have more total registered voters than the citizen voting age (18) population:

  • Alabama: Choctaw, Conecuh, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Washington, Wilcox.
  • Florida: Clay, Flagler, Okaloosa, Osceola, Santa Rosa, St. Johns.
  • Georgia: Bryan, Columbia, DeKalb, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Lee, Marion, McIntosh, Oconee.
  • Illinois: Alexander, Bureau, Cass, Clark, Crawford, DuPage, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Jersey, Massac, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Pulaski, Rock Island, Sangamon, Scott, Union, Wabash, Washington, White.
  • Iowa: Scott, Johnson.
  • Kentucky: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Breathitt, Caldwell, Carlisle, Cumberland, Fulton, Gallatin, Greenup, Hancock, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Livingston, Magoffin, McCracken, Menifee, Mercer, Monroe, Oldham, Powell, Russell, Scott, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Wolfe, Woodford.
  • Maryland: Montgomery.
  • New Jersey: Essex, Somerset.
  • New York: Nassau.
  • North Carolina: Buncombe, Camden, Chatham, Cherokee, Clay, Dare, Durham, Guilford, Madison, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, Union, Watauga, Yancey.
  • Tennessee: Williamson.

In its notice-of-violation letters, Judicial Watch warns that the failure to maintain accurate, up-to-date voter registration lists “required by federal law and by the expectations of [state] citizens” will “undermine public confidence in the electoral process.”

Judicial Watch asked the states to “conduct or implement a systematic, uniform, nondiscriminatory program to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of a change of residence, death or a disqualifying criminal conviction.”  The states are also asked to remove from voter registration lists “noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully.”

“Dirty election rolls can mean dirty elections,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “These 11 states face possible Judicial Watch lawsuits unless they follow the law and take reasonable steps to clean up their voting rolls of dead, moved, and non-citizen voters.”

As part of its commitment to the enforcement of the NVRA, Judicial Watch struck a legal victory for clean voter rolls in Indiana, forcing the state to clean up its voter registration lists and overhaul its list-maintenance procedures. Judicial Watch also filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of its existing agreement with Ohio to ensure that its voter rolls are up to date.  This case is still under way.

Robert Popper is director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. Popper was formerly Deputy Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

Data shows Chatham County has more registered voters than eligible adult citizens appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Saul Alinsky’s 12 rules for radicals http://chathamjournal.com/2016/09/13/saul-alinskys-12-rules-radicals/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:34:54 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6872 Here is the complete list of Saul Alinsky.’s 12 rules for radicals: * RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots”…

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Saul Alinsky’s 12 rules for radicals appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Here is the complete list of Saul Alinsky.’s 12 rules for radicals:

Saul Alinky's rules for radicals* RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

* RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)

* RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

* RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

* RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

* RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

* RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

* RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

* RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

* RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)

* RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Saul Alinsky’s 12 rules for radicals appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Time to vote – How much time is enough? http://chathamjournal.com/2016/09/09/time-vote-much-time-enough/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 11:41:56 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6860 by Susan Myrick Raleigh, NC – After the progressive Left in North Carolina prevailed in their lawsuit against the State of North Carolina in regards to election reforms passed in 2013, you probably thought the battle over voting is finished.…

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Raleigh, NC – After the progressive Left in North Carolina prevailed in their lawsuit against the State of North Carolina in regards to election reforms passed in 2013, you probably thought the battle over voting is finished.

Early voting voter IDNot so fast! The battle is not over.  And maybe you haven’t quite come to terms with why they call the radical Left “progressive” – they never quit and they’re always out for more.

In an article written by Colin Campbell for the News & Observer detailing the  process by the county boards of elections to determine early voting sites and schedules, Campbell goes to the mainstream media’s darling on liberal election policy, Bob Hall.

One of the results of this latest court battle was re-instituting an additional seven days of in-person early voting (one-stop voting), bringing the total days of one-stop voting days now to 17 up from 10.

Hall is director and lobbyist for Democracy NC, a liberal advocacy group that specializes in community organizing. Hall is also the architect of North Carolina’s most liberal election laws and is the behind-the-scenes collaborator who long has been the go-between for liberal activist groups, liberal legislators and the State Board of Elections (SBE).

In his latest article, Campbell writes, “Hall said some of the schedules could be challenged in court if the state board upholds plans that limit minority voting by dropping Sunday voting or polling sites in African-American communities.” Note the threat of lawsuits. Lawsuits are all that liberals have left in North Carolina politics. They have essentially been voted out of the majority in the legislature, Council of State seats and Congress since 2010. Unfortunately, the mere threat of lawsuits may be enough to sway the SBE in siding with the minority on any given local board of elections.

It’s important to note that according to North Carolina law, it is the local boards’ responsibility to choose one-stop sites and their schedules. Unfortunately, and purposefully, the local boards’ early voting plans must be approved by a unanimous vote; if not, the SBE will make the final decision. In fact, the SBE will be meeting today (Thursday, Sept. 8) to decide on up to 33 county’s plans.

While Bob Hall speaks of Sunday voting as if it is a standard and statutorily recognized voting process, it is not and never has been. Sunday voting has always been a possibility if a county board votes to open early voting sites on Sundays. Interestingly enough, the first Sunday voting occurred in 2008, the same time same day registration (SDR) was implemented. You might well live in a county whose board doesn’t think they need Sunday voting to accommodate all the county’s voters. According to the N&O article, 75 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties have never opened a site on Sunday.

You see, Hall doesn’t like the fact that nine counties that have offered Sunday voting in the past and have decided that, now that they will be required to add seven days to their one-stop window (from 10 to 17), that was enough and didn’t see a need to open voting on a Sunday.

So why is Sunday voting so important to the liberal Left?

Democracy NC and the groups that sued the state over election reform – the ACLU, NAACP, League of Women Voters and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, etc. – work to get-out-the-vote (GOTV) in the communities they use most often. Many of the groups receive millions of dollars from foundations to turn out targeted groups, mostly minorities. They devised a scheme called “Souls to the Polls” because it’s easy for them and they will get the most bang for their GOTV buck by transporting a voting bloc that has traditionally voted for Democrats from their churches on Sunday to an early voting site. As a result, leftist organizations have increased the number of minorities using early voting and ultimately used that fact as a weapon against the state, claiming that since minority voters “choose” to vote early, any change in the process is targeting them because of race. That’s a win-win for the radical Left.

Campbell ends his piece with another Hall threat: “The state board has to weigh the reality that the 4th Circuit is looking at what they’re doing.” Hall’s threat on behalf of the federal court of appeals unfortunately may go a long way to sway the SBE members’ decisions today.

While Hall and his other left-wing comrades will call the move a partisan foul if the Republican majority decides against his views, it’s the Democrats on the SBE who have shown their partisan bias in the last four years. They are the ones that have made decisions regarding early voting sites (always toward the liberal agenda), often times without considering facts.

Most recently Joshua Malcolm, one of the two Democrats appointed by the governor to the five-member SBOE, decided that he would unilaterally deny any changes to one-stop hours requested by the local boards of election. He made this decision even before the meeting to hear requests from the local boards!

The move by Malcolm is not unprecedented. In 2014 the other Democrat on the SBE did essentially the same thing. Maja Kricker, former chairman of the Chatham County Board of Elections, devised a set of rules that counties seeking to reduce their early voting hours had to comply with in order for her to vote in favor of their plans. Since the vote had to be unanimous, her “no” vote would ultimately deny any county requesting a variance.

So, this little story about the Democrat board members’ behavior on the SBE brings us to what the battle is now. Bob Hall wants more: He not only wanted (and got) elections to go back to the way they were before the 2013 legislation was enacted – with no safeguards, no voter ID, open registration with no way to verify eligible voters, and open precincts adding to general chaos, but he also wants what he liked about the law he worked to defeat – a requirement that local boards offer the same number of hours they did in 2012, whether they need them or not.  And, as to “minority voting sites,” there should be no such thing. Voting sites should be made as accessible as practically possible to all voters no matter what color, gender or age.

One-Stop Site Numbers (from the N&O):

  • 23 counties proposed cutting hours from 2012
  • 70 counties proposed increasing hours from 2012
  • 9 counties with Sunday voting in 2012 voted to drop it
  • 4 counties that didn’t have Sunday voting in 2012 voted to add Sunday hours
  • 12 counties kept Sunday voting from 2012
  • 75 counties haven’t offered Sunday voting
  • 1,800 written comments received by the SBE on early voting

This last battle over election reform is between, on one side, liberal groups (including the NAACP-NC, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, ACLU and the League of Women of Voters) who believe that everyone (regardless of eligibility and jurisdictional assignment) should be able to vote when and wherever they choose, and, on the other side, conservatives who believe that security in the form of voter photo ID and eliminating dangerous practices such as same day registration are reasonable and would ensure accuracy and integrity in our elections.

It’s not enough that the Left prevailed in the lawsuit. It’s never enough for them. In fact, according to their radical activist playbook, this is the perfect time to push for more of their radical agenda.

So how much time do North Carolinians have to vote in this year’s presidential election? Voting by mail has already commenced – 60 days before Election Day. That means any registered voter may now request a ballot to be mailed to him or her – wherever they are. In-person early voting (one-stop) begins the third Thursday before Election Day. That means 17 days of voting at a site in the county where the voter resides and is registered to vote. And then there’s the last day to vote – once called Election Day. Election Day offers 13 hours of voting at a voter’s assigned precinct. Unless, now that a key element of the election reform has been blocked by federal judges, the voter decides not to go to his/her home precinct and wants to just stop by any precinct in the county. In that case the voter will be given a ballot, but this is not a smart choice because it is very possible that, because of jurisdictional assignments, some of the voter’s votes may not count.

Do you have enough time to vote, or do you feel disenfranchised because your county does not have Sunday voting?

Time to vote – How much time is enough? appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Microaggression: More politically correct silliness on UNC campuses http://chathamjournal.com/2016/07/14/microaggression-politically-correct-silliness-unc-campuses/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 22:45:07 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6687 by Bob Luebke Raleigh, NC – Microaggression – that’s a fancy term many radical college students and administrators are using these days as a means to supposedly call out racism and protest unsafe and hostile environments for minorities. But what…

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Raleigh, NC – Microaggression – that’s a fancy term many radical college students and administrators are using these days as a means to supposedly call out racism and protest unsafe and hostile environments for minorities. But what is it really all about?

You say you’ve never heard of the term microaggression? Don’t worry, you will. While combatting racism and keeping a safe environment may be laudable goals, the problem is the process for identifying microaggression essentially shuts down free speech on campus and produces individuals who are easily offended and unable to navigate environments where people are different than they are.

According to Professor Derald Wing Sue of Columbia University, one of the foremost experts on microaggression theory, microaggressions  can be described as brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities, whether intentional or not, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative, racial, gender, sexual orientation and religious slights and insults to the target person or group.

On a recent much-publicized post at a UNC-Chapel Hill employee web site forum (see here and here), staff cautioned employees against “brief and commonplace” displays of “implicit bias.” Such bias could include sex-specific dress codes, staff meetings at country clubs and religious vacations.

UNC says "Christmas Vacation" is a MicroaggressionThe post identified several examples of microaggressions. These included saying “I love your shoes!” to a woman in a leadership position.  Why is this offensive? Microaggression advocates say what you’re really saying is: I notice how you look and dress more than I value your intellectual contributions. Having  man/woman or male/female as options for gender on office forms is a form of microaggression because it is telling people they must fit into the gender binary among pre-selected categories.

Having celebrations, calendars or vacations centered on major religious observances (i.e., Christmas or Easter) is also a microaggression because it “further centers the Christian faith and minimizes non-Christian spiritual rituals and observances.”

Christmas and golfing are microaggressions at UNCAs you might expect, once the guidelines were made public, UNC was the recipient of a torrent of bad publicity. The post was removed and UNC-Chapel Hill officials appeared to back away from the controversy. Commenting on the blog post, Joel Curran, vice chancellor for communications and public affairs, issued a statement that said:

Those opinions were wrongly reported as university policy and/or guidelines; they are not. . . UNC-Chapel Hill has no policy, formal or informal, about microaggressions. The Employee Forum has since decided to remove the post because it was misconstrued as University policy.

Interestingly, UNC-Chapel Hill removed the post and password protected its microaggression guidelines after one site reported on the changes. Only UNC employees and students with a school ID and password can access the list.  Of course, that makes you ask: why the need for secrecy?

UNC Diversity ThinkPosium on MicroaggressionsWhile it seems UNC-Chapel Hill administrators are trying to distance themselves from the controversy, it’s interesting to note that in August the campus will be hosting a Diversity Thinkposium on Microaggression. According to the event’s web site:

The day-long program is designed for participants to explore and understand the nature and impact of microaggressions in the higher education enterprise. Participants will explore language, behaviors, policies and practices that impact the classroom, workplace and educational experiences for students, faculty/staff at Carolina. The discussions and keynote should help them reflect on their own practices, understand the concepts and behaviors that perpetuate oppression of marginalized identities; and be part of facilitated conversations to develop capacity and skill to address the issue within their own units and departments.    

The fact is UNC-Chapel Hill is using microaggression training as a tool. It may not be university policy, but UNC doesn’t seem to mind that a major conference on the subject will be on campus. They are doing nothing to stop it.

Some may be inclined to shake their heads and merely say, “Well, that’s UNC-Chapel Hill.”  If only that were the case!

The Daily Caller, a conservative national online news site, recently reported on a microaggression tool touted by North Carolina State University faculty “ombuds” Roy Baroff. (Apparently the “man” part of ombudsman is a microaggression.) The tool informs the school’s employees that phrases like “America is a land of opportunity” or “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are microaggressions and should be eliminated.

According to Baroff, the phrase “America is a land of opportunity” is a problem because it perpetuates a myth of a meritocracy, which says everyone can succeed in America if they merely work hard enough. According to the microaggression mindset, such thinking conveys the message that people of color are lazy and/or incompetent and need to work harder.

Subscribing to the belief that the best person should get the job supposedly also furthers the myth of the meritocracy. It is a microaggression because it implies that people of color are given extra benefits because of their race.

As you might expect, the story received considerable attention from the national press, most of it unflattering. Baroff did not respond to requests for comment from reporters.

It’s difficult to wrap yourself around a topic as broad and gauzy as microaggression. And that’s part of the problem.

People suffer racism and all sorts of indignities daily; some intended, some not. Of course we should do all we can to minimize or eliminate these problems. The question then becomes: what is the best way?

Microaggression techniques are not the best tool to reach that goal.   Those who advocate for microaggression use bias and racism in the name of eliminating bias and racism. Microagression falsely assumes racism and indignity is in every conversation and in every environment. Believing so is as bad as believing none exists.

For those concerned about eliminating implicit bias, it’s hard to ignore the reality that the arrow on microaggressions always goes only one way. Aggrieved parties are always minorities, whites are always the offenders and never a class worthy of protection.

Eliminating microaggression allows advocates a platform to hammer home their real claim: the fundamental injustice of American society and the racism that permeates it at every level. But monitoring perceived transgressions on campuses and public places turns students into lifelong victims and requires an army of bureaucrats to control thought and behavior.

Colleges are supposed to be the place where differing ideas are explored and people learn to relate to and contribute to the larger society. Microaggression theory stamps that surrounding society as toxic. It finds racism and injustice behind every interaction and swings the same heavy hammer at every injustice – real or perceived.  Microaggression theory destroys free speech and weakens the free exchange of ideas. It’s an idea at odds with the values of college campuses in North Carolina and elsewhere.

And it’s time we treat it as such.

Microaggression: More politically correct silliness on UNC campuses appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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School choice is social justice http://chathamjournal.com/2016/07/09/school-choice-social-justice/ Sat, 09 Jul 2016 21:10:36 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6639 By Dr. Terry Stoops Raleigh, NC – Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interact with undergraduate and doctoral students at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. My charge was to address the intersection of education policy and advocacy.…

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By Dr. Terry Stoops

Raleigh, NC – Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interact with undergraduate and doctoral students at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. My charge was to address the intersection of education policy and advocacy.

school choiceThe discussion inevitably led to the subject of school choice. I explained how and why Republicans created private-school scholarship programs for low-income and special-needs students, removed some of the regulatory shackles on public charter schools, and provided greater flexibility for homeschool families.

I argued that the rapid growth in all three suggested that Republicans responded to a pent-up demand for choice, which their political opponents had ignored for a very long time.

But the growth of these choice programs worried one student. Shortly after my talk, I received an email that outlined some of her concerns. The student, who confessed that she “leaned liberal,” wrote:

If all parents were involved in their kids’ educations, school choice seems like a great option. But, many parents aren’t involved and can’t afford to drive their kids to school if their school of choice doesn’t offer transportation. Personally, I want choice of where I send my kids, but I’m also educated and informed.

Set aside, for the moment, the insinuation that families offered educational options are not “educated or informed” or that only those who are “educated and informed” should be able to choose the school that best meets the needs of their children.

She raised two legitimate concerns. First, what happens when schools of choice are unable to offer the same level of services as district schools? Second, how do we ensure that parents have the information needed to make an informed choice?

Some have argued that schools that do not participate in the federal school lunch program or lack a formal transportation system discourage low-income families from seeking admission to a school of choice. Lawmakers have proposed legislation requiring North Carolina charter schools to provide these services.

I haven’t found any compelling evidence, however, that the absence of particular services is a deterrent. In fact, charter schools that do not operate buses offer reimbursements for transportation services, encourage ride-sharing, or look for others ways to ensure that children get to school.

Indeed, by choosing a school for their child, parents are joining a community that often works to solve problems through voluntary cooperation. Moreover, the school choice community cares deeply about the school selection process, not just legislative and legal victories.

There is universal agreement that all families must be supplied with information that is readily accessible and easy to understand. Some school choice organizations and advocacy groups, as well as government agencies, have set up multilingual websites, toll-free hotlines, and community meetings to assist parents as they make the best choice for their children.

Academic research confirms that parents, regardless of their economic circumstances, are willing and able to compare differences in student performance, class size, and student services in the school choice marketplace. In their 2008 Quarterly Journal of Economics study, “Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments,” Justine Hastings and Jeffrey Weinstein found that low-income parents were much more likely to choose higher-performing schools when given basic information about the school.

More recent studies have found that low-income parents tend to transfer out of low-performing schools when labeled as such, but the benefits of those choices are dependent on the availability of superior options.

By opposing school choice in the name of social justice, many “educated and informed” liberals stand in the way of allowing low-income parents to improve the education of their children. Doing so denies those families the economic opportunities and social mobility that they so desperately seek.

Surely there is no justice in that.

Dr. Terry Stoops (@TerryStoops) is director of research and education studies at the John Locke Foundation.

School choice is social justice appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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Would UNC Chapel Hill rather educate out-of-state students? http://chathamjournal.com/2016/06/30/unc-chapel-hill-rather-educate-state-students/ Thu, 30 Jun 2016 18:52:39 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6599 by Bob Luebke Raleigh, NC – If you’re a Conservative or Republican there’s a lot to like in the state budget. As usual however, there are still things that make you want to pull out your hair.  One such item…

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by

Raleigh, NC – If you’re a Conservative or Republican there’s a lot to like in the state budget.

UNC-Visit-landing-3-736x364As usual however, there are still things that make you want to pull out your hair.  One such item is a provision that reimburses UNC Chapel Hill $500,000 for penalties for exceeding the cap on out-of-state enrollment.

The specific provision reads:

REIMBURSE FINE ASSESSED AGAINST UNC-CHAPEL HILL FOR EXCEEDING OUT-OF-STATE STUDENT ADMISSION LIMIT SECTION 11.9. Of the funds appropriated by this act to the Board of Governors of  The University of North Carolina for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) shall be allocated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a reimbursement for the fine assessed against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for exceeding the eighteen percent (18%) limit on the admission of out-of-state students in the entering freshman class for the 2015-2016 academic year.

This is budgeting of the worst kind. Why? The provision weakens the UNC Board of Governors authority to set tuition policy, treats one campus differently than others and conveys the notion that Chapel Hill would rather educate students from outside North Carolina.

Steve Long, a member of the UNC Board of Governors also dislikes the provision. Long said the Board of Governors assessed the penalty against UNC-Chapel Hill for exceeding the 18 percent camp for two consecutive years. Long also said:

If we had not acted, the 18% nonresident cap would have no meaning. This budget item undercuts the Board of Governors in implementing policies to govern the University and raises the question whether other campuses will also receive this treatment if they are penalized for exceeding the cap.  UNC-Chapel Hill should not get preferential treatment.  

According to Long, the penalty funds that were assessed still benefit the University because they were added to a fund that finances the UNC Need-Based Grant Financial Aid Program for resident undergraduate students. See the attached memo from the Board of Governors Budget and Finance Committee

Memo from the Board of Governors Budget and Finance Committee

 

The reimbursement provision is an offense to taxpayers and UNC institutions and it creates two different sets of rules. The cap was started as a way of ensuring state students were not shut out of UNC- Chapel Hill in favor of out-of-state students whose higher tuition brought in more revenue.  Now it’s not hard to see how certain schools develop elitist images.

Conservatives and Republicans should know better.

Would UNC Chapel Hill rather educate out-of-state students? appeared first on Chatham Journal Newspaper.

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UNC: Saying ‘Christmas vacation’ a microaggression http://chathamjournal.com/2016/06/27/unc-saying-christmas-vacation-microaggression/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 04:50:48 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=6556 Chapel Hill, NC – At the University of North Carolina, it’s not just the students walking on politically correct eggshells. Guidelines issued on the university’s Employee Forum aim to help staff avoid microaggressions in their interactions by cautioning against offensive…

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Chapel Hill, NC – At the University of North Carolina, it’s not just the students walking on politically correct eggshells. Guidelines issued on the university’s Employee Forum aim to help staff avoid microaggressions in their interactions by cautioning against offensive phrases such as “Christmas vacation,” “husband/boyfriend” and “golf outing.” The guidebook, first reported by Campus Reform, categorizes examples of potential…

UNC Career corner: Understanding microaggressions
Contributed by Sharbari Dey, assistant director for education and special initiatives in the office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

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