Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Santa Fe School Was Victimized by Censorship of Prayer

Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Another tragic shooting at a public school leads to another round of liberal demands for gun control.  But missing from their clamor is how this shooting by a former football player occurred at the very same high school where the Supreme Court censored prayer at football games in a ruling in 2000.

The ACLU insisted that student-led prayer be banned at this same high school, and the Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the ACLU and against the school in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe.  Ever since, prayer has not been allowed over the loudspeakers at games, prayer that the shooter would have heard because he played in many football games there.

Liberals are notably quiet in commenting on how prayer was eliminated at this same school by judicial activism from the Supreme Court.  The gun control typically proposed would not have stopped this crime, because it was perpetrated by a shotgun, which is not semi-automatic, and a revolver.

The student killer should have attracted immediate scrutiny for how he would wear a black trench coat on hot Texan days, and had postings on Facebook that included a “Born to Kill” t-shirt and images of Satan and atheistic communism.  Likewise, the former student who shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was widely known to be a risk for violence, and multiple complaints about him to law enforcement fell on deaf ears before he massacred 17.

Had either student been profiled based on his public behavior, then both tragedies might have been averted, or at least curtailed.  A reasonable dress code would have prevented hiding a shotgun in a black trench coat on a hot day, or at least allowed immediate preventive action to be taken.

Nobody wants airport-style security at every entrance to a public school, but no one wants more carnage either.  Yet rather than suggest workable approaches to prevent copycat incidents, senseless attempts to blame President Trump fill the airwaves.

Entering stage left is Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night comedian who broke the record for the lowest Oscars audience ever when he hosted it in March.  He insisted that Trump and the GOP are somehow “cowardly” because they supposedly “care more about the support of the NRA than they do about children.”

But none of the usual liberal remedies such as banning assault rifles, a ban on high capacity magazines, stricter background checks, tougher mental health screening, or closing the so-called gun show loophole would have prevented this tragedy.  Yet that hasn’t stopped gun controllers from proposing the same litany of legislation.

Knee-jerk appeals to political correctness might boost Kimmel’s career after tanking in his Oscars performance.  In his record-setting ratings failure for the annual show, Kimmel paid homage to the feminist Me Too movement without challenging the industry for the hypersexual content of so many of its movies.

“The only way we can make a meaningful impact,” Kimmel pontificated, “is if we vote for politicians who will do something,” without saying what that “something” might be.  If he meant banning shotguns and revolvers in Texas, perhaps Kimmel himself was too “cowardly” to propose something so absurd.

An assistant secretary of education in the Obama administration suggested that parents keep their kids out of school until Congress passes “background checks for all gun purchases, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and funding for gun research.”

His former boss Arne Duncan, who was Obama’s longest-serving Cabinet member, tweeted: “This is brilliant.  What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?”

Not attending public school is something some conservatives have been saying for years, after witnessing the rapid deterioration in culture and values there.  It is ironic that Obama’s Secretary of Education might finally be right for the wrong reason.

But missing from the script is any criticism of Facebook for how it has been the common denominator for many of these school shootings.  The killers use Facebook to publicize their wanton desires in seeking their “15 minutes of fame,” to paraphrase Andy Warhol.

Meanwhile, if anyone hoped that the courts would defend the Second Amendment based on Justice Scalia’s 5-4 decision in D.C. v. Heller, that optimism has proven to be unfounded.  Only one Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, defends the Second Amendment there, and he alone dissented in criticizing his colleagues’ refusal to review a pro-gun control decision from the Ninth Circuit.

Make no mistake: if the Democrats take control of Congress and have the votes to block Trump’s nominees for judges, courts will toss out the Second Amendment by permitting severe restrictions on gun ownership, and mandatory gun registration to be followed by gun confiscation.  This has already happened in Great Britain and Australia, followed by predictable rises in non-gun crimes.

John and Andy Schlafly are the sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Floodgate Opens to Sports Gambling

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

The $250 billion domestic gambling industry gains access to a new $150 billion market, thanks to the Supreme Court.  The 6-3 decision by the Court in Murphy v. NCAA opens the floodgates to sports gambling, while naively inviting Congress to clean up the mess that the Court just created.

Gambling wrecks families with a vengeance.  The suicide rate among gamblers is higher than for any other addiction, and estimates are that a wagering habit pulls down ten people associated with the addict.

A family can lose its entire savings in one gambling binge, and many do.  Gambling also corrupts our political system more than other addictions, as casino owners toss donations to candidates who then return the favors in spades after their election.

Gambling afflicts the poor more than the rich, and the uneducated more than the college graduates.  Minorities and youth are particularly exploited by gambling.

Congress and most states have repeatedly expressed the strong public policy against gambling, which was illegal nationwide at the turn of the 20th century but expanded during the Great Depression.

Today 60% of Americans are sports fans, most of whom rearrange their schedules to watch their favorite teams.  Until now, it has generally been illegal to target those sports fans with solicitations to bet on games.

But the Court dealt the gambling industry a royal flush on Monday, when the Court held that Congress was wrong, the Trump Administration was wrong, and conservative groups (including these authors) were wrong in urging the Court to uphold the federal law against sports gambling.

Justice Sam Alito wrote this decision that struck down an Act of Congress, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which has worked well for 26 years in limiting sports gambling.  This ruling illustrates that when the Court makes headlines, it is almost never in a good way.

As a result, the task of defending against the scourge of sports gambling falls on state legislatures and the Department of Justice.  Families will need to be more vigilant to keep their sports-fan children from getting pulled into the dark underworld of gambling that will destroy their lives.

Professional sports leagues, from the NFL to Major League Baseball, are making a colossal mistake if they think gambling will boost their declining attendance.  Changing Yankee Stadium from “The House that Ruth Built” to “The Casino that Gamers Built” is not a way to fill seats in a ballpark.

It was nearly a century ago when professional baseball saved its sport by taking a strong stance against betting on the World Series, and college basketball did likewise in the 1950s.  But future scandals seem inevitable under the Court’s decision allowing nationwide wagering on sports.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions should beef up enforcement of the Wire Act, which is a federal law enacted in 1961 to limit interstate betting.  Professional and amateur sports are inherently interstate, and the Department of Justice should announce that it will enforce the Wire Act to shut down all attempts to ramp up betting on interstate sports.

State legislatures should pass strong laws prohibiting betting in their states, and can do even more than that.  States should require all the teams based in their jurisdictions to take affirmative steps to discourage wagering on games by fans.

Perhaps Justices on the Supreme Court thought they were doing something good for states’ rights, but what about states wanting to be free from the plague of gambling?  Texas has long stood strong against gambling, but soon its beloved Dallas Cowboys football team could become the object of multi-million-dollar gambling schemes nationwide.

Absent from the 49 pages of opinions of the Court was any observation that gambling is a vice, for which there is voluminous evidence about the enormous harm it causes to individuals and communities.  Instead, the Court did selective research on the internet to paint an illusion that gambling somehow has a respectable history in our country.

The Court espoused euphemisms like “Americans have never been of one mind about gambling,” which is a vacuous statement that could be said about anything.  Three hundred million Americans, of course, are not “of one mind” about anything, and that is a meaningless cliché.

The Court’s opinion epitomizes a “law without values” judicial philosophy, which is as morally bankrupt as it sounds.  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a famous advocate of this approach a century ago, and it led to some dreadful rulings such as upholding the forced sterilization of a woman because she supposedly had a very low I.Q.

Hopefully Attorney General Sessions, state legislatures, and families themselves will stand up now against gambling.  They have trump cards of their own they can play to halt sports gambling.

John and Andy Schlafly are the sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. John and Andy Schlafly are the sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Standing Up to Globalism

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump’s stand against world pressure for him to continue the one-sided deal with Iran is a defining moment in world history.  His announcement at 2 p.m. on Tuesday to terminate the agreement is a watershed as the end of globalism.

One small event for man, one big moment for mankind, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong’s words when he landed on the Moon.  It is not the interaction between the United States and Iran that is so significant here, but the rejection of the world order that has reigned supreme since World War II.

The wrong path of globalism will no longer be the road for our country, as President Trump wisely charts a new course in which international deals must be as fair to the United States as they are to foreign countries.  Just as important is how the United States will no longer bow to pressure from Western Europe or anyone else about how we manage our foreign policy.

A few days earlier, the use of the word “Orwellian” from the White House in rebuking China for trying to boss around our airlines likewise signaled the dawn of this new era.  Communist China insisted that airlines stop referring to Taiwan because China is in denial about the independence and freedom of that island nation, which was formed by those who fled the communist Chinese revolution in 1949.

In 1971, globalists seeking to appease communist China arranged for the United Nations to expel Taiwan, whose real name is the Republic of China.  Early the following year, globalist Henry Kissinger persuaded President Richard Nixon to turn his back on Taiwan by visiting communist China and giving it legitimacy.

Then, in over-the-top bravado by Nixon that would have made Trump blush, Nixon declared that his trip to China was “the week that changed the world.”  Eight months earlier Phyllis Schlafly published her P.S. Report warning that Nixon could lose the confidence of the grassroots, and the subsequent Watergate operation that got him in trouble arose from doubts about his winning reelection.

China and globalists have been trying to ostracize Taiwan ever since.  They have even prevented Taiwan from competing in the Olympics as the independent country that it is, since 1976.

But the sentiment on the island of Taiwan is increasingly independent, as globalism is being rejected there like almost everywhere else.  Taiwan’s current president, Tsai Ing-wen, is more willing to assert the nationalism that Trump asserts for Americans.
Recently China demanded that businesses stop referring to Taiwan, Tibet, and Hong Kong as countries.  Quickly Marriott, the hotel chain associated with globalist Mitt Romney, caved in and pandered to communist China by apologizing to it.

China made its demand on 36 foreign airlines, insisting that they stop referring to Taiwan as a country.  Many of these airlines are American carriers, such as Delta which has already apologized.

But President Trump, more so than any president since World War II, rejects globalist pressure like China’s demand.  Trump will “stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced.

Sarah Sanders declared that the Trump Administration is telling China “to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens.”  That’s right:  China has no authority to push around our citizens and our businesses.

Then Sanders used the “O” and the “C” words, which not even past Republican presidents were willing to do enough.  “This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” Sanders observed.

George Orwell was a visionary in criticizing the communist mindset, as a former Leftist himself.  It is doubtful that any press secretary has ever applied Orwell’s truths so properly to the communist attempts at mind control, as Sarah Sanders just did.

Meanwhile, the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is up for renegotiation, and Trump’s rejection of globalism bodes us well for this issue also.  Far from seeking to renew that deal, Trump should look to terminate as much of it as possible.

Economically, NAFTA has been far more harmful to the American economy than the Iran deal was.  Trump’s criticism of the Iran deal as one-sided applies with greater force to NAFTA.

The flood of illegal drugs into our country, along with illegal aliens, has been facilitated by NAFTA.  The loss of manufacturing jobs to south of the border is the result of NAFTA, too.

NAFTA was never properly ratified as a treaty because it never had the necessary support in the Senate.  The agreement should be terminated and any replacement should only be considered under the 2/3rds ratification requirement of the Treaty Clause, which is the provision that globalists hate most about the Constitution.

John and Andy Schlafly are the sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New Trump-hater book

About once a month, the news media promotes some new anti-Trump book by some Trump-hater. Here is the latest:
THE SOUL OF AMERICA: The Battle for Our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham. Random House, 416 pp., $30.

Historian and journalist Jon Meacham has written biographies of, among others, George H.W. Bush, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson; that last book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. With “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” Meacham addresses a decidedly loftier subject: the very essence of the nation. He does so by documenting the words and actions of presidents and other historical figures who helped shape the nation’s culture and politics to make the United States into the country it is today.

Meacham’s book arrives at a time when much about the American political system seems broken. People are angry, ambivalent, anxious. But Meacham, by chronicling the nation’s struggles from revolutionary times to current day, makes the resonant argument that America has faced division before — and not only survived it but thrived. “This book,” Meacham writes, “is a portrait of hours in which the politics of fear were prevalent — a reminder that periods of public dispiritedness are not new and a reassurance that they are survivable.”
I heard this guy on the radio plugging his book, and his two favorite presidents were FDR and LBJ!

Historians like him credit FDR with getting the USA out of the Great Depression, but you get a different story from economists. The consensus there is that almost all of FDR's policy made the economy worse.

LBJ was a terrible president for a long list of reasons.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Visas Plague Baseball Like Everything Else

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Alarm bells are sounding across Major League Baseball as attendance at ballgames has plummeted.  One recent game drew less than a thousand fans, prompting some to wonder if there were more players than spectators.

Half of the major league teams have already broken their records of 2017 for their smallest attendance at a game, including traditionally popular franchises like the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.  The Miami Marlins are doing so poorly in attendance this season that they have repeatedly drawn less than 50% of their record-low attendance for all of last year.

Baseball has been in a slow slide in fan attendance, and the dismal attendance last year was the lowest in 15 years.  But the particularly poor start this year should spark some soul-searching about what has happened to our national pastime.

The rules of baseball have not significantly changed over the past century, but the players certainly have.  Today baseball has become a sport for foreigners playing on workers’ “P-1” visas, which are every bit as objectionable as the “H-1B” visas that Phyllis Schlafly and other Trump supporters have complained about for years.

Roughly a quarter of Major League Baseball consists today of foreign-born players, and an even higher percentage of foreigners have flooded the minor leagues.  Today, some minor league rosters look more like a World Cup soccer team than a baseball squad.

Owners have figured out that they can sign foreign players to smaller bonuses, and have greater strings attached, than give nice contracts to American youngsters.  The foreigners do not play baseball any better than Americans, and few of the foreign players are genuine Hall of Fame candidates.

In sharp contrast with a quarter-century ago, every baseball team today has a high-paid foreign player.  Free traders brag about this as a model that Americans should imitate in other industries, but the reality is that fans prefer rooting for hometown heroes like Lou Gehrig, who grew up in New York City, played baseball for Columbia University, and then became the “Pride of the Yankees.”

The primary reason given by the so-called “free traders” for workers’ visas is that they are supposedly needed to fill jobs that Americans refuse to do.  That’s a comical excuse when it comes to professional baseball, which are the most desired jobs in all of the American economy.

With less risk of injury than football, basketball, or boxing, professional baseball players enjoy a greater career income than any of those other sports.  Players are not even required to be in particularly good physical shape to play the game, as Babe Ruth famously demonstrated.

Images of near-empty baseball stadiums during games leaves a lasting impression in sports fans thinking about where to spend their money.  Atlanta saw an attendance boost in its new stadium last year, but a city cannot build a new stadium every year to try to prop up the fan base.

Baseball owners have exploited the P-1 visa to get bargain players who are cheaper than the top American talent.  Apparently no one told the owners that foreign players with names no one can pronounce are not going to fill a stadium the way that Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson did.

Jackie Robinson, and Willie Mays and Hank Aaron after him, inspired a generation of young African-Americans to become baseball stars like them.  That motivation is gone today with the deluge of foreign players on P-1 visas, and without enough black baseball stars hardly any young African-Americans play the sport anymore.

While major league teams have an oversupply of foreign players, and even more in the minor leagues, nearly one-third of the Big Leagues today have only one black player on their roster.  Last year there were fewer black players in major league baseball than 1958, shortly after Jackie Robinson retired.

Like the H-1B worker visas for ordinary employment, the P-1 visa rules are twisted to allow foreigners to take jobs away from Americans despite how that was not the original intent.  P-1 visas were supposed to be limited to athletes who want to come to the United States "temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition," such as the Olympics, explains the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

But later the same website says that P-1 visa holders can stay for a whopping five years in order to "complete the event, competition or performance," even though no athletic events last anywhere as long as five years.  Even worse, the government website explains further that the total stay can actually be up to ten years, by which time the professional baseball player will have found another way to stay here permanently.

Baseball was a fabulous way to inspire multiple generations of boys to play a healthy game that emphasizes the virtues of teamwork, patience, discipline, and following rules.  But something is lost in the translation, and the motivation is lost, when the visa program is abused to reward foreigners rather than American youth.

John and Andy Schlafly are the sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.