The cold blast hitting the U.S. is exposing the absurdity of left-wing energy policies in New England. Natural gas prices are skyrocketing in the region as the gas demand for both heating and electricity exceeds supply.

ISO New England — the non-profit that runs the region’s power grid — issued a “cold weather watch” for January 5 to alert the wholesale power market to a surge in demand for the weekend, as temperatures are expected to plummet. The grid operator believes it has enough power, but the demand could exceed supply.

Don’t blame the weather for soaring energy prices and possible electricity shortages; blame the left-wing politicians and radical environmentalists for engineering a system certain to fail. Instead of promoting an energy policy focused on reliability with a diverse array of power sources for electricity generation, New England adopted a command-and-control energy policy built on feeling good, not reality.

Snow removal equipment operators work the taxiway and runways at Logan International Airport following a "bomb cyclone" the previous day on January 5, 2018 in Boston, MA. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Left-wing politicians concerned about global warming and an aggressive EPA regulatory agenda combined to reduce use of coal in New England from almost 20 percent in 2000 to about 2 percent in 2016. Natural gas is now the primary source of power, providing about 50 percent of electricity, up from about 15 percent in 2000. Burning natural gas emits about half the carbon dioxide emitted by coal.

The dependence on natural gas is a problem in New England because radical environmental activists are blocking construction of new natural gas pipelines needed to keep up with the increase in demand. Predictably, the law of supply and demand kicked in, resulting in an explosion of natural gas prices with plummeting temperatures.

During the first round of severe winter weather at the end of December, the surge in demand made New England “the world’s priciest” natural gas market, where the energy commodity jumped threefold on the spot market.

The so-called “bomb cyclone” storm that hit the East coast is pushing natural gas futures prices up significantly in New England. The Wall Street Journal reported the price for natural gas on January 3 rose almost 90 percent from the prior day and was about 1,200 percent higher than in early December.

The sharp rise in natural gas prices will eventually be passed on to consumers and businesses in New England, which already has the highest electricity prices in the nation. The problems in New England will get worse. Power companies switched to burning heating oil in order to keep the limited supply of natural gas for heating homes and businesses.

Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review and is an authority on energy policy and crony capitalism and frequently comments on political issues from a conservative grassroots perspective. As a columnist he has written for ConservativeReview.com, Townhall.com, The Washington Times, Newsmax magazine, and also hosts radio programs on SiriusXM Patriot with his wife Deneen Borelli.

  





AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 15, 2017) – The Texas Bullion Depository took a step closer becoming operational earlier this month when officials announced the location of the new facility. The creation of a state bullion depository in Texas represents a power shift away from the federal government to the state, and it provides a blueprint that could ultimately end the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

Gov. Greg Abbot signed legislation creating the state gold bullion and precious metal depository in June of 2015. The facility will not only provide a secure place for individuals, business, cities, counties, government agencies and even other countries to store gold and other precious metals, the law also creates a mechanism to facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in business transactions. In short, a person will be able to deposit gold or silver in the depository and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money.

Earlier this summer, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Austin-based Lone Star Tangible Assets will build and operate the Texas Bullion Depository. On Nov. 3, the company announced it will construct the facility in the city of Leander, located about 30 miles northwest of Austin. According to the Community Impact Newspaper, the Leander City Council has approved an economic development agreement with Lone Star. Construction of the depository is expected to begin in early 2018. Lone Star officials say it will take about a year to complete construction of the 60,000-square-foot secure facility located on a 10-acre campus.

The depository will operate out of Lone Star’s existing facilities during construction. It will provide services nationwide beginning in early 2018, with international services to be offered in the future phases, according to Community Impact.

“This state-of-the-art facility will provide tremendous benefits to the citizens of Leander and will give Texans a secure facility right here in the Lone Star State where their gold and precious metals will be kept safe and close at hand,” Hegar said in the press release.

The Texas Bullion Depository has already established an online presence. You can visit the depository website HERE.

According to an article in the Star-Telegram, state officials want a facility ‘with an e-commerce component that also provides for secure physical storage for Bullion.’ Officials say plans for a depository should include online services that would let customers accept, transfer and withdraw bullion deposits and related fees.

By making gold and silver available for regular, daily transactions by the general public, the new law has the potential for wide-reaching effect. Professor William Greene is an expert on constitutional tender and said in a paper for the Mises Institute that when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a ‘reverse Gresham’s Law’ effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes).

“As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”

University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus called the development of a state gold depository a step toward independence.

“This is another in a long line of ways to make Texas more self-reliant and less tethered to the federal government. The financial impact is small but the political impact is telling, Many conservatives are interested in returning to the gold standard and circumvent the Federal reserve in whatever small way they can.”

The Texas gold depository will create a mechanism to challenge the federal government’s monopoly on money and provides a blueprint for other states to follow. If the majority of states controlled their own supply of gold, it could conceivably make the Federal Reserve completely irrelevant.

State bullion depositories are one of four steps states can take to help bring down the Fed.





A professor of law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, has had enough of millennial students who rely on trendy terms so they can deride the wisdom of the ages. Adam MacLeod, associate professor of law at Jones School of Law, wrote an article for The New Boston Post in which he published a speech that warned his first-year law students he would not accept any words ending in “ism.”

MacLeod’s preamble to his speech stated, “For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors. They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison.”

Then, the terrific speech. It commenced like this:

Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason. For many of you have not yet been educated. You have been dis-educated. To put it bluntly, you have been indoctrinated. Before you learn how to think you must first learn how to stop unthinking. Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult. Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.”

MacLeod continued:
Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful.

Noting that the students had “weeds” in their minds, MacLeod asserted:

Each of you has different weeds, and so we will need to take this on the case-by-case basis. But there are a few weeds that infect nearly all of your brains. So I am going to pull them out now.

First, except when describing an ideology, you are not to use a word that ends in “ism.” Communism, socialism, Nazism, and capitalism are established concepts in history and the social sciences, and those terms can often be used fruitfully to gain knowledge and promote understanding. “Classism,” “sexism,” “materialism,” “cisgenderism,” and (yes) even racism are generally not used as meaningful or productive terms, at least as you have been taught to use them. Most of the time, they do not promote understanding.

MacLeod succinctly stated, “In fact, ‘isms’ prevent you from learning.”

MacLeod tore into the idea of what he called “chronological snobbery,” the idea that “moral knowledge progresses inevitably, such that later generations are morally and intellectually superior to earlier generations, and that the older the source the more morally suspect that source is.”

[He] ripped into the importance placed by students on diversity and equality, pointing out, “Some diversity is bad. For example, if slavery is inherently wrong, as I suspect we all think it is, then a diversity of views about the morality of slavery is worse than complete agreement that slavery is wrong. Similarly, equality is not to be desired for its own sake. Nobody is equal in all respects. We are all different, which is to say that we are all not the same, which is to say that we are unequal in many ways.”

Then, the crux of the matter: “You should not bother to tell us how you feel about a topic. Tell us what you think about it. If you can’t think yet, that’s O.K.. Tell us what Aristotle thinks, or Hammurabi thinks, or H.L.A. Hart thinks. Borrow opinions from those whose opinions are worth considering.”

Macleod concluded:

1. The only “ism” I ever want to come out your mouth is a syllogism. If I catch you using an “ism” or its analogous “ist” — racist, classist, etc. — then you will not be permitted to continue speaking until you have first identified which “ism” you are guilty of at that very moment. You are not allowed to fault others for being biased or privileged until you have first identified and examined your own biases and privileges.

2. If I catch you this semester using the words “fair,” “diversity,” or “equality,” or a variation on those terms, and you do not stop immediately to explain what you mean, you will lose your privilege to express any further opinions in class until you first demonstrate that you understand three things about the view that you are criticizing.

3. If you ever begin a statement with the words “I feel,” before continuing you must cluck like a chicken or make some other suitable animal sound.





After nearly forty ;years of ugly mismanagement and carelessly ignoring of basic needs of a normally run sovereign state, the military has placed the crusty despot, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest.  His wife of many years, Grace, has fled, it is said, to neighboring Namibia, to the west.

One cannot rue this turn of events, as a worse situation can scarcely be envisioned than has been the case for decades.

It is barely useful to speculate on the reaction of the U.S. to these developments, since President Obama paid little attention to the country for eight years. It does not seem likely that President Trump will see much benefit to jumping in, since we have few trade arrangements with the country.  Their product lines are marginal at best.  The better part of valor, it would seem, might be remaining observational, hands off.

Since 1980, Robert Mugabe has run Zimbabwe with an eye to enriching himself – and making life for his citizenry, including his European-backgrounded farmers, businessmen, and landowners, unnervingly uncomfortable.  And enduringly poor.

When Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, now a dirty word not ever mentioned in the once bountiful country in southern Africa, it was the breadbasket of that continent.  But Rhodesia stopped existing in 1976, replaced by Zimbabwe, run by the egotistical Robert Mugabe.  When Mugabe took over, his initial intentions sounded beneficent.  He was at that time just ascended to the newly renamed country, something of an idealist.  That ebbed rather soon.  As the years passed, he reverted to perhaps the unhappy African ruler stereotype: greed, avarice, obliviousness to the needs of his people, and his one-time good intentions were extinguished in a rush of takeovers of land and property. Shortages soon eventuated; inflation ballooned.

Cattle belonging to others now became his, to use or hand out to favored underlings.  Food became scarce, as the economy no longer worked, out of balance by decrees that placed price controls unrealistically set and impossible to observe.

My own experience in Zimbabwe, with Canadian friends living in Namibia and Lesotho at the time, was one of sorrow, as we had difficulty obtaining food, bakeries functioned once a week or less, mail was spotty and unreliable, and services were shabby, even in upscale establishments.  Cafés and restaurants were amusing, as the term "waiter" meant a shoeless skinny person without the barest knowledge of where the cutlery went and how to serve water, let alone wine.

One bargained with urchins on the streets for fruit, gasoline, household necessities.

The roads were in poor repair.  The fantastic riches of the country were in its exotic topography, which resembles the rocky likes of the painted desert, but with colossal rock formations that resemble a giant's playroom, boulders perched precariously and impossibly on each other in random and bizarre formations.  And the wildlife, phenomenal clutches of biodiversity and biomass – elephants, zebra, gazelles, dik-dik, antelopes, lions and cougars, and others fleet of foot and hungry of eye.  Water is not plentiful, and many of the herds are skinny, their ribs showing from lack of forage and hydration.

White property owners who have resided in the country for many decades have long been disenfranchised and have seen their property stripped, their livestock stolen, depredated by Mugabe's pets, wholesale squatting becoming the norm.

Former owners have salvaged what they could, sealing their few assets inside their clothing hems, as diamonds, or buying multiple air tickets they will convert back to cash once they have landed elsewhere.  The country has little it can sell.  Industry has languished, unsupported by the rule of dependable law.

Exit restrictions confine the outgoing Zimbabwean emigrant to a paltry few dollars, making selling one's possessions something of a joke.  Smuggling jewelry out is a career endeavor in order to leave with something with which to start afresh elsewhere on the continent.  Inflation long ago ruined the economy, in a bid to outrace the rocket inflation of Germany in pre-WWII Deutschland.  Beer at one point was several million units of local currency.

It remains to be seen what the army can do to correct the misery that has been Zimbabwe for so long.

Meanwhile, the country holds its breath.  What will become of these long suffering tribal people?





Protesters wearing Trump hats and shirts shouted down California’s attorney general and the state’s assembly majority leader during a forum at Whittier College on October 5.

In the video of the altercation, an audience member demands that CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra answer if they’re going to work with U.S. General Attorney Jeff Sessions and with ICE, presumably over arresting illegal immigrants. When they refuse to answer, protesters yell “fraud” at him.

At another point, a protester asks why they won’t have a town hall meeting in Mexico. Police tried to get protesters to stop interrupting, but they continued on. Protesters yelled at the California lawmakers, calling them “morons” and “lawbreakers.”

The pro-Trump protesters yelled slogans like “Americans first,” “obey our laws,” “enforce our laws,” “work with ICE,” and “work with our president.”

Was their protest successful?

If they were just seeking to disrupt, then yes. But it is doubtful that these kinds of aggressive disruptions actually help the political agenda they’re seeking to spread.

Stanley Kurtz at National Review outlined the conservative argument against such protests and why they can be counter-productive:

Whether these disruptors were students or not, this is a very bad sign. Commentators both right and left have warned leftist campus disruptors that they are endangering their own rights by shouting down others. That kind of danger may be hard to take seriously on campuses where the left clearly dominates. Yet in a deeply divided country, the end of free speech for some could easily cascade into chaos, conflict, and the end of freedom for all.

These Pro-Trump disruptors may not have been students, but their methods and message could spread. If we don’t stop the epidemic of shout-downs now, chaos and civil conflict may follow someday soon.

While it may be satisfying to see the left have to deal with the kind of bullying the right has been exposed to, all this does is bring everyone down to the lowest level.





The FBI has “uncovered” documents related to the June 2016 Arizona tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, despite previously claiming documents about the rendezvous didn’t exist.

What happened?

Lawyers for the FBI revealed the existence of the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The new development comes after the FBI previously told the group that no documents related to the June 27, 2016, meeting existed.

However, through a separate FOIA request, the Justice Department revealed that some of its officials had been in contact with FBI officials about the infamous meeting, and were seeking “guidance” about how to properly respond.

It was only after the Justice Department released its documents did the FBI acknowledge that it had documents that Judicial Watch’s FOIA request sought. “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist,” the FBI said.

So far, the FBI has not revealed the contents of the documents, only that 30 pages exist.

How did Judicial Watch respond?

In response, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton lambasted the government for the “stunning” development.

He said: “The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit. Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.”

Fitton added in a video that this revelation is a “scandal” and said he believes the FBI was “hiding” the documents.

When will the documents be released?

The government has until Nov. 30 to review and release the documents to Judicial Watch pursuant to the FOIA request. The FBI will likely wait until that day to release the documents.

Why is this significant?

The revelation is significant because it shows the government was potentially attempting to hide something that the public has the right to know. But it’s also significant because the infamous tarmac meeting came just days before the Justice Department announced it would not pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her private emails scandal.

Lynch and President Clinton denied discussing Hillary’s pending case, but many believe that’s what the meeting was intended for, especially since the existence of the meeting was never suppose to be made public. It’s likely that what Clinton and Lynch discussed will never be truly known, but government records about the meeting may shed light into whether or not something illegal or unethical took place.

Chris is the Weekend Editor at TheBlaze. He resides in North Carolina.





In the Sept. 27 edition of the Indy, we report that those with concealed carry permits has grown by 100 percent since 2012 in El Paso County.

Worthy of note is the growth of those local permit holders who are women. From the end of 2012 to June this year, the number of females with permits in El Paso County increased by 53.9 percent, compared to the increase in men holding permits of 35.9 percent.

Back in 2012, 8,193 women had concealed carry permits in the county, while as of June, that number was 12,610, according to data provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The biggest surge in total permits in the county, 41.8 percent, came in 2013 after the Aurora theater shooting and the slaughter of 20 children and six staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, both in 2012. It's worth nothing that 2013 also was the year that gun control measures became effective statewide on July 1.

The second biggest surge in the county, 15.9 percent, came in 2015 after two shooting incidents here in Colorado Springs — the Halloween shooting by Noah Harpham and Robert Dear's rampage at the Planned Parenthood clinic.


These data come from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and show concealed carry permits issued in 2013.

Pam Zubeck, a journalist for 34 years, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in September 2009 came to the Indy.





Wisconsin could soon become the 14th U.S. state to allow permitless concealed carry of firearms if legislation working its way through the state legislature becomes law.

A bill that would change Wisconsin’s concealed carry law advanced through a committee of the state Senate last week. The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety voted 3-2 along party lines to move Senate Bill 169 to the floor, where a vote has not yet been scheduled. If it passes the upper chamber, it will have to be approved by the state Assembly before being sent to Gov. Scott Walker to be signed into law.

SB169 would modify Wisconsin’s 2011 concealed carry law by removing the requirement for people who want to conceal carry a weapon to obtain a permit and go through training.

If passed into law, the bill would allow concealed carry without a permit or training, although it would retain other restrictions on where concealed carry is allowed.

According to the bill summary, provided by the Legislative Reference Bureau of the Wisconsin legislature, “This bill eliminates the general prohibition against going armed with a concealed weapon without regard to licensure status.”

It also loosens restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in school zones, police stations, “a house of correction, or a secure mental health facility.” In addition, the bill removes restrictions on owning “electronic firearms,” or tasers, and muzzle-loaded weapons and weapons made before 1898.

SB169 does retain licenses but makes them optional. Under the bill, licenses would still be required for federal purposes, such as carrying a weapon in a federally designated school zone, as well as for other states that require gun owners to be licensed.

The bill gives the state Department of Justice the authority to issue a license for non-Wisconsin residents, which it cannot do under current law. It would also make licenses available for those who want them.

“Wisconsin has long allowed open carry without a government permit," Sen. David Craig, R-Town of Vernon, who is sponsoring the bill, said in a statement. "The rules should be no different for those who carry concealed.”

A spokesman from his office said that SB169 would align concealed carry regulations with current open carry law, which allows for unpermitted open carry.

Dominic Lynch is the Midwest News Editor for Watchdog.org, focusing on the Upper Midwest. Previously, Lynch served as an editor at RealClearPolitics. He has also been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Federalist and Chicagoly Magazine.

  





Last Friday, a federal judge issued a stay, ordering a Michigan city to reopen its farmers market to a Christian couple who were barred from selling apples because they refuse to host same-sex weddings at their orchard, a popular wedding spot. The stay will allow the farmers to sell apples at the market while their lawsuit against the city proceeds.

"The City is disappointed in the Court's ruling," East Lansing, the city involved, declared in a statement on Friday. While the city announced it would consider asking for a stay and appealing the ruling, it nevertheless agreed to comply with the judge's order to allow the couple to sell apples.

"This isn't just about our ability to sell at the farmers market, it's really about every American's right to be able to make a living and not have to worry about the fear of being punished by the government," Steve Tennes, owner of Country Mill, told The Daily Signal in a video interview.

After seven years of serving "people of all backgrounds and beliefs," Tennes recalled that last year, a Facebook user asked whether Country Mill would host a same-sex wedding.

"Due to our personal religious beliefs, we do not participate in the celebration of a same sex union," Country Mill responded on Facebook. "We have and will continue to respectfully direct wedding inquiries to another mid-Michigan orchard that has more experience in hosting same sex weddings. We welcome all customers for our other activities and products on the farm. We have friends, family and business associates in the LGBT community."

As if this measured response were not enough, Country Mill added, "We respect other people's beliefs and we can only hope that others will respect ours. We have always tried our best to be respectful in this area."

Even so, East Lansing took the extraordinary step of excluding the Tenneses from the farmers market, citing the Facebook post.

Assistant Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is a conservative commentator. He has written for numerous publications, including The Christian Post, National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Daily Signal, AEI's Values & Capitalism, and the Colson Center's Breakpoint. He enjoys Indian food, board games, and talking ceaselessly about politics, religion, and culture.

  





We recently reported how anti-Jihad websites were the subject of attempts to deprive them of funding and internet access as a result of appearing on “hate” lists from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League.

PayPal cut them off after outreach from ProPublica, as discussed in our post, Charlottesville is being exploited to attack freedom of speech and internet freedom.

This is part of a broader threat to free speech and internet freedom. As documented in my post Gathering Storms And Threats to Liberty, even internet gatekeepers, such as domain registrars, are being pressured to remove “hate” groups from the internet.

The problem, of course, it that “hate” group is a subjective standard, and at least as far as the SPLC and ADL lists are concerned, includes non-violent political opponents of the liberal creators of the lists. For my prior reporting on the SPLC lists, see my post Southern Poverty Law Center “extremist” lists used “to silence speech and speakers”.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation sounded the alarm about this trend:

Even for free speech advocates, this situation is deeply fraught with emotional, logistical, and legal twists and turns. All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with. Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights Era cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked.

Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one—not the government and not private commercial enterprises—should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.

I can now report that two anti-Jihad websites that were cut off by PayPal have been restored, Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Spencer writes, Victory: PayPal removes ban on Jihad Watch:

Congratulations, lovers of freedom: your messages to PayPal and your cancellations of your account worked: PayPal has restored the Jihad Watch account….

The Left, seeing a golden opportunity when a Nazi psychopath plowed his car into a crowd of Leftists in Charlottesville, tried to use the moment as its Reichstag Fire, and crush all dissent from the hard-Left line. And there is no doubt that initiative will continue. But in banning Jihad Watch, PayPal overreached, and encountered a crowd of free citizens.

I have no intention of restoring the PayPal buttons on Jihad Watch. I know where they stand now, and do not intend to place myself at their mercy again. But nonetheless, this is a victory. Free people still exist in the United States, and the fascists who call themselves anti-fascists will not prevail.

  





Union leaders in Washington state who plotted to undermine a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning mandatory union dues are now seeing the other end of that boot in the form of free speech activism and diminished membership.

“What a favorable Supreme Court ruling really means is that our work is just beginning,” @FreedomFdtn’s Brian Minnich says.

It’s illegal to force individuals who provide health care services in private homes to pay union dues.

But the powerful Service Employees International Union partnered with compliant government officials to prevent the caregivers from understanding their First Amendment rights, according to the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit think tank headquartered in Olympia, Washington.

More than 20,000 union members opted to leave SEIU affiliates in Washington state and Oregon, however, after an aggressive outreach involving door-to-door canvassing, targeted mailings, phone calls, and television commercials.

The Freedom Foundation’s Brian Minnich told The Daily Signal that payroll data obtained from the state of Oregon indicate 11,399 out of 28,667 home care providers no longer paid dues to the SEIU affiliate there. That’s a drop of almost 40 percent.

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal

  





Europe’s migration crisis is a lesson in historical and philosophical degeneration, a best-selling British author argues.

“Almost everything in this book is also a warning, in my view, to America,” said Douglas Murray, author of “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” in remarks earlier this summer at The Heritage Foundation.

“All the things I described in my book are processes, which are the same ones that I think [are] happening in this country,” he said.

Murray is the founder of the British think tank Centre for Social Cohesion, now part of another think tank, the Henry Jackson Society. A journalist and commentator who is an associate editor of the conservative British magazine The Spectator, he argued in his speech that Europe has become resigned to a broken immigration system, which ultimately will mean passing down “a total mess.”

To solve the problem, he said, Europeans must ask two questions: “Who is Europe for?” and “What are we doing?”

Who Is Europe For?

Europeans are “profoundly confused and embarrassed” by this first question, Murray said.

In September 2016, Pew Research Center published an article, “European Opinions of the Refugee Crisis in 5 Charts,” spotlighting how majorities in 10 European countries disapprove of the European Union’s management of refugees. The numbers include 94 percent in Greece, 77 percent in Italy, 70 percent in the United Kingdom, and 67 percent in Germany.

Murray referred to this common sentiment as “anti-immigration, but not anti-immigrant.” But, he said, the problem extends beyond the war in Syria.

The author recalled recent travels to immigration entry points, to “see human faces and speak to the humans” in the mass movement toward Europe. He said firsthand experience revealed that Europeans make a “major mistake” by assuming most, if not all, immigrants are Syrian refugees.

Afghans submitted the second-largest number of first-time asylum applications in 2015, according to BBC News.

“‘Why should Syrian migrants get privilege? They’ve had a civil war for five years. We’ve had one for 15,’” Murray said one Afghan man asked him.

What Are We Doing Here?       

The “Tyranny of Guilt,” a concept coined by French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, has undermined Europe’s sense of self, Murray said. Europe has punished itself for standards to which it does not hold the rest of the world, he said:

I’ve particularly never heard, for instance, that the country of Turkey should have a large infusion of Yorkshiremen or people from Wales, Dublin, in order to not only diversify that country but to make some kind of reparation for the Ottoman Empire.

Murray said European culture is changing because migration to European countries does not mean automatic acceptance of that culture.

“We’ve taken a very strange, unhistorical, and uninformed approach in recent years, which is to basically think that when somebody walks into Europe, they become as European as the next person,” Murray said.

This, he argued, is not so.

A majority of those surveyed in eight of 10 European countries said they believe Muslims “do not want to adopt our customs and way of life,” according to a Pew Research Center poll published in July 2016.

“Islam is the most important challenge to the values vacuum in Europe,” Murray said. “The effects of it are obviously most visibly seen now, where terrorist attacks happen every few days.”

To preserve their culture, he said, Europeans must define themselves more precisely.

“If you invite the world to live with you, aside from the fact that if you invite the world’s people, you invite the world’s problems … you’ve got to have the broadest self-description to encompass the whole world.”

Watch Murray’s full remarks here.

Katrina Willis is a member of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.




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