Friday, September 29, 2017
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Thank you, Green Bay!
After last weekend’s fiasco on professional football fields across the country, Middle America recovered the NFL’s fumble last night in Green Bay, Wisconsin. All Packers and Bears players stood last night for the national anthem.
Prior to the game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers said his team would stand and link arms as a statement in favor of “equality, unity and love.”
The team issued its own statement about “justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly.” It urged all fans in the stadium to link arms too.
Rogers is a revered figure in Wisconsin. But as revered as Rogers is, I doubt if many fans have any idea what this “social justice” thing is that many players have been taking a knee for. Very few fans linked arms last night.
Tens of thousands of people were belting out the national anthem, standing with their hands over their hearts or saluting. When the anthem was over, chants of “USA! USA!” echoed throughout the stadium.
Once again, through an ad-lib remark made one week ago, Donald Trump showed just how in touch he is with the American people and just how hopelessly out of touch America’s chattering class is. That might have something to do with why Trump was the first GOP presidential candidate to win Wisconsin in 32 years.
That doesn’t mean that everyone celebrating America last night in Green Bay voted for him. What it does mean is that millions of Americans are sick and tired of seeing everything they hold dear being trashed by the left and our so-called “elites.”
That sentiment crosses racial lines. Fox did many interviews with tailgaters at last night’s game. A black veteran said, “I took three shots for this country. I still stand for the flag.” A black woman said, “I kneel for the Lord, and I stand for the flag.”
This battle is not over. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met yesterday with team owners and selected players to figure out how to get themselves out of this mess that they willingly jumped into. Ratings are down and ticket sales are plummeting. They know if this continues the NFL will come to stand for “No Fans Left.”
I also hope that fans will try to out compete each other, just as the teams do, on who most loves this country and most respects our veterans and police officers. That would be a great sight to see!
I Want Justice Too
When Aaron Rogers and others start spouting off about “social justice,” I often wonder if they could explain exactly what that means.
Remember, this protest movement started over the idea that there was an epidemic of white police officers gunning down innocent black men. That narrative is completely false.
As columnist Jason Riley explained, federal data shows that “the rate at which police kill blacks has fallen by 70% since the late 1960s.” Nearly 80% of police shootings involved criminals armed with a weapon — either a knife, a gun or a car — threatening the officer or someone else.
What is going up, particularly since Ferguson, is the shooting of black civilians by other black civilians. Violent crime is going up. According to one scholar, nearly 7,900 blacks were killed last year. Of that number, 233 were killed by police.
I want social justice for inner city communities too. But I want to get the thugs off the streets.
I think it is a social injustice that minority children in our big cities are often afraid to go to school because of drug gangs that infest their neighborhoods and schools. The solution is more law enforcement, not less.
This week, the Trump Administration arrested nearly 500 illegal immigrants in a number of so-called “sanctuary cities.” Nearly two-thirds had criminal convictions. This will make our cities safer. But the left opposes what Trump is doing.
I think it is a deep social injustice that minority children are often stuck in failing schools. The conservative solution is vouchers, which would allow families to send their children to any school they would prefer. But when it comes to social justice for these children, the left sides with big teachers unions and oppose almost any form of school choice.
I think it is a social tragedy that more than 70% of black children are being raised in homes without fathers. We are the first society in recorded human history to experiment with raising children without fathers. It’s not going very well.
Feminists have told women that men are not necessary. The sexual revolution told men that they could have whatever they wanted without marriage. The abortion movement said you can get pregnant with no consequences.
In New York City, more black pregnancies end in abortion than birth. Black Lives Matter should be protesting Planned Parenthood. Here’s an idea: Let’s all link arms in the NFL to stop the killing of black babies!
Of course, there are single-parent families that beat the odds. There are two-parent families that fail. But the research is clear: Children of all races, raised without a father, are more at risk of every social dysfunction. Families matter!
The passage of the civil rights laws in the 1960s and 1970s ended legal discrimination in housing, employment, etc. These are great accomplishments. Many colleges adopted affirmative action programs to accelerate minority achievement in higher education and career development.
But there are fewer black boys and girls with fathers today than there were in the 1960s and 1970s. And that fact may be negating any gains made by our civil rights laws. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be weeping if he could see what has happened to the black family today.
By the way, one of the contributors to this breakdown of the family has been the loss of manufacturing jobs in big cities, caused by terrible trade deals. Massive illegal immigration has also taken its toll on the black community. If a man can’t make a living wage to provide for his family, he often won’t marry. President Trump is trying to reverse this, but progressives fight him every step of the way.
Day Of Atonement
Jews throughout the world will begin observing Yom Kippur at sunset today. This is the holiest day of the Jewish year and it is a solemn day. It is known as the Day of Atonement because it marks God’s forgiveness of His chosen people for the sin of the golden calf.
Many Israelis remember the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Arab armies took advantage of the holiday to launch a surprise attack against Israel. After intense fighting throughout the month of October, Israel ultimately prevailed.
On this solemn day, please join Carol and me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem and for a peaceful Yom Kippur for our Jewish friends.
The Controversy Continues
The NFL’s national anthem controversy continued last night. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the entire team all took a knee just before the national anthem. They were roundly booed by the fans in the stadium.
Then they immediately stood when the anthem played. A huge American flag was unfurled covering the field. The crowd roared its approval.
The media claimed that Jones, a Trump supporter, defied Trump. No he didn’t. Jones and his team stood during the anthem — and that’s the point.
President Trump tweeted, “While Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made — we all love our country!”
It’s worth mentioning that last Sunday was national Gold Star Mother’s Day. These spoiled football millionaires could not have chosen a worse time to demonstrate their disrespect for our country and those who have sacrificed for it. Not surprisingly, the VFW and the American Legion both expressed their outrage with the NFL.
I’m sure a lot of Americans feel like this controversy is getting tedious. I disagree. As several people have observed, the national anthem is one of the few remaining civic rituals that helps to unite us as Americans. Sadly, these kinds of civic rituals have been under attack by the cultural left for decades.
One of these rituals used to be the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools. In many school districts, it is largely ignored today. The student who refuses to stand is treated like a hero.
The left’s assault has gotten so aggressive that even the idea of sovereignty and a nation with defined borders is labeled “racism.” So these millionaire players disrespecting our anthem may be tedious to some, but it is important that this battle be fought. Trump wasn’t the one who started it. He merely gave voice to what millions of Americans are feeling.
I have had long-time friends here in Washington suggest that the president was wrong to engage this fight because it divides people. They have it backwards. It is the protests that are dividing people.
Sadly, the typical Republican response is to run for the tall grass and avoid the controversy. That’s why typical Republican nominees did not win the White House. But the guy who gave voice to the patriotic instincts and feelings of millions of Americans succeeded, and I applaud him for engaging in the battle to preserve our traditions.
The NFL’s Hypocrisy
One thing getting lost in much of the coverage is the NFL’s history of hypocrisy. The National Football League has rules. A lot of rules, many specifically governing player conduct.
It was announced yesterday that the NFL won’t fine players or teams who skipped the national anthem during the weekend’s growing protests.
Why was it necessary to make that announcement? Because one of the NFL’s rules clearly states that during the anthem players are to be on the sidelines and “should stand at attention.”
The NFL has also not hesitated to shut down speech it opposes. For example, when Jake Plummer wanted to honor his friend American hero Pat Tillman, the NFL said, “No.”
Clearly, the NFL under Commissioner Goodell is an active combatant and ally of the left in the culture war against the values of millions of its most loyal fans. It has no problem bending its own rules to accommodate the left’s ideology.
Social media has lit up the past few days with frustrated football fans burning NFL merchandise. One former Steelers fan posted a video in which he said, “My great uncle’s bones are lying in the bottom of Pearl Harbor.” He then burned his Steelers memorabilia.
Erich Nikischer has worked at New Era Field, home to the Buffalo Bills, for nearly 30 years. After several Bills players took a knee Sunday, Nikischer said, “I took off my shirt, threw my Bills hat on the ground, walked out.”
All of this brought back some memories. As a small boy, I stood with my father during the playing of the national anthem at a county fair. Two ingrates behind us were talking loudly during the music and my father asked them to show some respect. They ignored him.
That’s when Dad, Spike Bauer, a former Marine who fought in the Pacific during World War II, turned around and ended their conversation. In short order one of them was seeing stars, if not Stars and Stripes!
Of course, I am not advocating violence. If my father were alive today, people would say he had an “anger management issue.” But that incident happened not long after our country had lost more than 400,000 men in combat defending the world from fascism and tyranny.
My point is simply that patriotism, the love of one’s country, is a natural impulse. What is unnatural is our cultural elites celebrating the NFL’s disrespect for our nation.
I think it is important to remember how all of this got started. Colin Kaepernick thought he was being really cute. He showed up for practice wearing socks with police officers portrayed as pigs. He followed that up by wearing a t-shirt featuring Fidel Castro, a strange choice to promote social justice.
The party line today is that players taking knee are not disrespecting America or the flag. They are just trying to make a point about social justice. Really? Where is the NFL’s concern for the First Amendment rights of florists and bakers?
But that’s really not what this is all about. Here is Kaepernick’s explanation for his protests:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. . . There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
So, yes, this was and is all about protesting the flag, the country and the police.
Kaepernick’s belief that the men and women of the Thin Blue Line are racists is not supported by the facts.
The police go to work every day not worried about a tackle, an interception or a fumbled ball. They go to work every day hoping they will get to go home at the end of the day alive.
We were reminded of this sad reality again last night. A policewoman in Yonkers, New York, was answering a call about a suspicious vehicle when she was ambushed and shot in the face. Thankfully, she is expected to survive.
The average professional football player will make more in one game — and I emphasize “game” — than this grievously injured policewoman will make all year.
I hope the lights are burning late at NFL headquarters because this issue isn’t going away. So I will give them another free idea, courtesy of the legendary Lou Holtz.
On Fox & Friends this morning, Holtz said he would tell players that they are free to support any cause they want — off the field. But their politics and causes do not belong on the field.
The NFL is about football. It’s a game that many Americans see as respite from the din of life. They don’t want left-wing politics rammed down their throats by athletes paid $125,000 a game.
Millionaire Athletes Revolt
As he often does, President Trump expressed the sentiments of millions of Americans during a speech Friday night. On this occasion, it was his anger that the NFL was permitting athletes like Colin Kaepernick to disrespect our country and our flag by not standing during the national anthem.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he is “proud of our league.” I am disgusted. Gooodell says that the players have free speech rights. Tell that to Tim Tebow who knelt during games to honor God and was pilloried for it. What do you think Goodell would do if an NFL player took a knee and said he did it to protest abortion on demand?
The left-wing media’s ability to control the narrative is infuriating. A Google employee recently protested the suffocating left-wing political correctness in the company by writing a memo. There was nothing offensive or obscene in the memo. He simply asked his bosses to be more welcoming or tolerant of those with differing views.
He was fired. No one in major media defended his free speech rights.
In the wake of the president’s comments about the NFL protests, a revolt by oppressed millionaire athletes exploded over the weekend. Hundreds of NFL players participated in some kind of protest. Many took a knee. Some refused to come out of the locker room rather than face the choice of saluting or bending. Others linked arms in solidarity, although for what was not exactly clear.
Keep in mind, all this is happening as the North Korean dictator is threatening to nuke our country and as brave young men and women of all races in the U.S. Armed Forces are fighting in Afghanistan.
In this spectacle of disgusting images, the one that angered me the most was one from the Jaguars/Ravens game, played in London. Many of the players knelt during our national anthem, but stood during “God Save The Queen.” I guess they were all against the American Revolution.
But just when I was feeling the most anger, one man (in the truest sense of that word) saved the day. Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers walked out and stood by himself during the national anthem. The rest of the Steelers team stayed inside the locker room.
Villanueva was born in Mississippi to Spanish parents. His father, a Spanish naval officer, was stationed in the U.S. while working for NATO. Villanueva later graduated from West Point, joined the Army and the Rangers. He served three tours in Afghanistan and received the Bronze Star for valor.
Villanueva had the courage to stand alone and honor the flag for which he has seen soldiers lay down their lives.
Incredibly, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin reassured everyone that he tried to talk Villanueva into staying in the locker room. “I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team,” Tomlin said.
When Kaepernick was the only player disrespecting the flag, he was treated by the elites as a principled hero. One year later, the one man on the Steelers team who put his life on the line for his country is being attacked by his coach for not standing up for the unity of the Steelers, but instead for the United States.
I am glad Alejandro Villanueva put his country before his football team. And it seems many NFL fans are too. Sales of his jersey are skyrocketing.
Memo to NFL headquarters: Commissioner Goodell, you have a big problem. Your ratings are plummeting and polls show these protests are one of the reasons why. You had better figure out a way to get back on the right side of Middle America.
Here’s my suggestion: Invite veterans who have served our country to stand on both sides of the playing field. Then announce to the stadium that everyone should stand and sing our national anthem in honor of our country and the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for it.
If you think this is a good idea, contact the NFL headquarters at 212-450-2000. Or you can send an email through this page.
Why This Is Happening
Here’s a quick reminder about why this is happening. It began with Colin Kaepernick protesting police shootings, which he and the left claim are indications of racism within law enforcement.
In fact, studies by the Washington Post and Harvard University and scholar Heather MacDonald show that when you analyze police shootings there is virtually no evidence of racism. The overwhelming majority of police shootings happened because some individual — regardless of race — threatened a police officer or someone else with a weapon.
Last week in Washington, D.C., a 16 year-old African American boy was robbed and killed by a 19 year-old African American thug. The 16 year-old boy was a star athlete and exceptional student on his way to college to study chemistry. The thug was on his way to a life of crime.
The name of the young man killed was Zaire Kelly. Say it again in your mind. Say it again. I am asking you to repeat Kelly’s name because the odds are overwhelming that his death will be of no consequence to anyone other than his immediate family and friends. I will guarantee you that few, if any, NFL players know his name.
Colin Kaepernick and other millionaire athletes won’t turn Kelly’s death into a cause celebre because it doesn’t fit their left-wing narrative. They would only notice if he had been killed by a police officer.
But the men and women of law enforcement are not the ones making life in urban America unlivable. That is being done by thugs like the one who took the life of Zaire Kelly.
When professional football players start protesting the thugs who are killing the dreamers in our inner cities, then I will start taking them seriously.
Details are slowly beginning to emerge about a possible tax reform plan. President Trump is expected to deliver a speech Wednesday promoting the plan. Here’s what we understand are the broad outlines as of now:
- The seven existing tax brackets would be reduced to three, with the top tax rate falling from 39.6% to 35%. The other rates are not yet known.
- The corporate tax rate would be lowered from 35% to 20%, while the tax rate on many small businesses would be reduced to 25%.
- The standard deduction is expected to double, a big help to working and middle class families.
But just like healthcare reform, there are some Republicans who want less or more, and they could turn this potential victory into a defeat. Let’s hope they learn how to be team players.
In other news, President Trump issued a new executive order expanding the list of nations covered by travel and visa restrictions. The new order includes Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Trump vs. Kim
President Trump today ratcheted up the pressure on North Korea. He issued an executive order instructing the Treasury Department to target individuals, companies and financial institutions that do business with the rogue regime.
“Foreign banks will face a clear choice: Do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea,” President Trump said today. This will have a major impact on North Korea as companies and countries are forced to choose between Pyongyang and access to the United States.
In a related development, Reuters reports that China’s central bank has instructed the country’s financial institutions to stop dealing with North Korean customers. China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner. By some estimates, China accounts for 90% of North Korea’s trade and 40% of its GDP.
In July, Trump expressed his frustration with China’s coziness with North Korea. In a series of tweets, the president wrote: “I am very disappointed in China. . . they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
I can only hope that China has gotten the message that the weakness and appeasement of the past eight years are over.
Obamacare Repeal Round II?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that the Senate will “consider” another Obamacare reform plan, this one offered by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). There could be a vote sometime next week.
The Graham/Cassidy bill is far from perfect. Sadly, the votes for a full repeal of Obamacare do not exist in the Senate today. So the question is what — if anything — can be accomplished in the meantime.
The legislation is modeled after the 1996 welfare reform effort led by former Senator Rick Santorum. It would restructure Obamacare and block grant the funding directly to the states. It would also enable states to seek waivers from various regulations, potentially lowering costs.
Responding to critics, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who feel the bill doesn’t do enough, Santorum explained, “This is a starting point. The point is that [if] we don’t get this started now we’re going to be stuck with this for a long time. This is really an opportunity to get the ball rolling.”
The White House is fully behind this effort. Vice President Pence was on Capitol Hill earlier this week making the case for the bill, and Trump has been tweeting his support.
Yesterday, Trump tweeted this: “Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing health care. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!”
Meanwhile, Politico reports that the left is on “full war footing” to stop this latest GOP effort. In fact, Barack Obama has even come out of “retirement” to denounce the Graham/Cassidy bill.
Obama said it was “aggravating” that liberals were having to constantly defend his signature initiative, and he accused Republicans of “inflicting real human suffering on their constituents.”
I must say, it is hard to take Obama seriously when he talks about human suffering when he pursued policies that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the womb every year.
Several weeks ago, news broke that one Obama official had been particularly aggressive in demanding the unmasking of U.S. citizens in classified intelligence reports. While it is legal to do so, there has to be a very good reason for it.
As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explained, “It is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of the law. . . Nevertheless, where a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power.”
In late July, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that he had discovered “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”
According to Fox News, that official is former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.
Sources told Fox that Power “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016.”
That is unprecedented and appears to confirm what we have suspected — that the Obama Administration politicized our intelligence agencies in an effort to destroy the Trump Administration.
The Trouble With Amnesty
While much of the media attention about the so-called “Dreamers” has focused on tensions between President Trump and the GOP, Democrats are facing significant divisions of their own. The Hill reports today, “Liberal Unrest Threatens Dem Immigration Strategy.”
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi was recently heckled by radical amnesty advocates who oppose any deals with President Trump that include stronger border security. And they want much more than just protection for “Dreamers.”
In fact, at a press conference yesterday, Pelosi admitted that the DREAM Act was just the first step. “The list goes on and on about how we want to advance and protect the Dreamers until we can pass the bill, and protecting their families, of course, [is] the logical next step,” she said. “Their families did a great thing for our country, bringing these kids here.”
Once again, we are seeing the trouble with amnesty — it never ends! Ronald Reagan tried it, on the promise that we would secure the border. That never happened and the amnesty only encouraged more illegal immigration.
Now if we grant amnesty to the “Dreamers,” what about their parents? What about other family members? Well, according to one analysis, amnesty for the so-called “Dreamers” could easily expand into the millions.