Day: November 14, 2017

Attacking Judge Moore's Morality Is a Dirty Leftist Trick


Black Christian Conservative Republican Lloyd Marcus here. I call upon all my fellow Christians not to abandon our brother Roy Moore who is running for U.S. Senate Alabama. Right before the election, 40-year-old sexual misconduct allegations have come out against Judge Moore, which he has denied.

Judge Moore is hated by Leftists and establishment Republicans because he is an outspoken, character-driven Christian conservative; a faithful courageous defender of our Constitution, principles and values which have made America great. Moore elected to the U.S. Senate would be extremely helpful to Trump draining the swamp and making America great again.

Judge Moore’s unwavering commitment to biblical morals and support of Trump’s agenda makes Moore the last person fake news media, Hollywood, Democrats and RINO Republicans want to see in the U.S. Senate.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Leftists and RINOs are clamoring for Moore to drop out of the race; claiming Moore is morally unfit to serve. These same people told us president Bill Clinton having an intern perform oral sex on him in the White House was none of our business. To defend Clinton, Leftists threw all men under the bus by claiming any man in a powerful position would say yes to sex with a starry-eyed young woman. Their narrative was particularly offensive to me because my dad and brother were men in powerful positions. Dad was the pastor of a large congregation and my brother was commissioner of a kid’s football league. Neither of them would mimic President Clinton’s adulterous philandering, sexual harassment, and sexual assaults.

Leftists sold America their lie that president Clinton’s serial adultery was no big deal. Sexual immorality was the acceptable new normal for men in power (if they were democrats). Now, these same people who circled the wagons to protect Clinton are pounding on Moore’s political door with axes and pitchforks, demanding that he get out of the race over unfounded 40-year-old allegations.

But what if the 40-year-old allegations against Judge Moore are true? Judge Moore became a Christian several years ago. His consistent behavior, standing up for religious liberty and freedom strongly suggest his conversion to Christianity was real. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” In other words, when Moore put his trust in Jesus and repented of his sinful life, Moore became a new man.

Before his encounter with Christ, the Apostle Paul was a bad man who killed Christians. Forty years before God used Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses murdered a man. The Bible says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). After becoming new people via their new birth in Christ, God has used everyone from former prostitutes to murderers in extraordinary ways. So how on earth can any Christian join Leftists in deeming our brother in Christ, Roy Moore, morally unfit to serve today based on 40-year-old unfounded allegations?

It is pretty obnoxious watching the same people (Leftists) who seek to normalize and legalize every conceivable sexual perversion trying to disqualify Moore on moral grounds. As Rush Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions, Leftists view sexual misconduct as résumé enhancement for Democrat politicians.

Check out the glaring hypocrisy. Leftists are calling for Moore’s political head on a platter. And yet, they gave the following Democrats, for the most part, a pass for their sexual misconduct: Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, David Wu, Kwame Kilpatrick, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, David Paterson, Antonio Villaraigosa, Marc Dann, Paul J. Morrison, Gary Condit, Tim Mahoney, Roosevelt Dobbins, Neil Goldschmidt, Jim McGreevey, Bob Wise, Paul E. Patton, Mel Reynolds, Brock Adams, Chuck Robb, Gavin Newsom, Sam Adams, and Barney Frank. Fake news media did not collectively declare that the sexual misconduct of these Democrats made them unfit to serve. 

That’s the case even though Barney Frank’s boyfriend ran a prostitution business from Frank’s home. Were there serious calls for Frank to resign? Nope.

This attack on Moore’s morals (right before the election) is a dirty trick to get a rock solid, bold, brave, and courageous conservative warrior out of the arena. My fellow Christians, please do not fall for it.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American

Author: “Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America.”

Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist

http://LloydMarcus.com

Black Christian Conservative Republican Lloyd Marcus here. I call upon all my fellow Christians not to abandon our brother Roy Moore who is running for U.S. Senate Alabama. Right before the election, 40-year-old sexual misconduct allegations have come out against Judge Moore, which he has denied.

Judge Moore is hated by Leftists and establishment Republicans because he is an outspoken, character-driven Christian conservative; a faithful courageous defender of our Constitution, principles and values which have made America great. Moore elected to the U.S. Senate would be extremely helpful to Trump draining the swamp and making America great again.

Judge Moore’s unwavering commitment to biblical morals and support of Trump’s agenda makes Moore the last person fake news media, Hollywood, Democrats and RINO Republicans want to see in the U.S. Senate.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Leftists and RINOs are clamoring for Moore to drop out of the race; claiming Moore is morally unfit to serve. These same people told us president Bill Clinton having an intern perform oral sex on him in the White House was none of our business. To defend Clinton, Leftists threw all men under the bus by claiming any man in a powerful position would say yes to sex with a starry-eyed young woman. Their narrative was particularly offensive to me because my dad and brother were men in powerful positions. Dad was the pastor of a large congregation and my brother was commissioner of a kid’s football league. Neither of them would mimic President Clinton’s adulterous philandering, sexual harassment, and sexual assaults.

Leftists sold America their lie that president Clinton’s serial adultery was no big deal. Sexual immorality was the acceptable new normal for men in power (if they were democrats). Now, these same people who circled the wagons to protect Clinton are pounding on Moore’s political door with axes and pitchforks, demanding that he get out of the race over unfounded 40-year-old allegations.

But what if the 40-year-old allegations against Judge Moore are true? Judge Moore became a Christian several years ago. His consistent behavior, standing up for religious liberty and freedom strongly suggest his conversion to Christianity was real. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” In other words, when Moore put his trust in Jesus and repented of his sinful life, Moore became a new man.

Before his encounter with Christ, the Apostle Paul was a bad man who killed Christians. Forty years before God used Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses murdered a man. The Bible says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). After becoming new people via their new birth in Christ, God has used everyone from former prostitutes to murderers in extraordinary ways. So how on earth can any Christian join Leftists in deeming our brother in Christ, Roy Moore, morally unfit to serve today based on 40-year-old unfounded allegations?

It is pretty obnoxious watching the same people (Leftists) who seek to normalize and legalize every conceivable sexual perversion trying to disqualify Moore on moral grounds. As Rush Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions, Leftists view sexual misconduct as résumé enhancement for Democrat politicians.

Check out the glaring hypocrisy. Leftists are calling for Moore’s political head on a platter. And yet, they gave the following Democrats, for the most part, a pass for their sexual misconduct: Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, David Wu, Kwame Kilpatrick, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, David Paterson, Antonio Villaraigosa, Marc Dann, Paul J. Morrison, Gary Condit, Tim Mahoney, Roosevelt Dobbins, Neil Goldschmidt, Jim McGreevey, Bob Wise, Paul E. Patton, Mel Reynolds, Brock Adams, Chuck Robb, Gavin Newsom, Sam Adams, and Barney Frank. Fake news media did not collectively declare that the sexual misconduct of these Democrats made them unfit to serve. 

That’s the case even though Barney Frank’s boyfriend ran a prostitution business from Frank’s home. Were there serious calls for Frank to resign? Nope.

This attack on Moore’s morals (right before the election) is a dirty trick to get a rock solid, bold, brave, and courageous conservative warrior out of the arena. My fellow Christians, please do not fall for it.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American

Author: “Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America.”

Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist

http://LloydMarcus.com



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The Trump Administration Must Amend the Ethanol Mandate


President Donald J. Trump campaigned on saving the forgotten men and women from the heavy hand of government. Trump won the presidency in a historic upset because of strong blue-collar support from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Many of these workers earn their paychecks from small, local refineries, which provide thousands of jobs to ordinary Americans.

Although Trump has made significant progress with his economic growth agenda, a recent, seemingly unilateral assurance by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Edward S. Pruitt is threatening to put his pro-jobs plan in jeopardy.

After receiving backlash from midwestern lawmakers, Pruitt sent a letter to them on October 18th stating that the EPA would hold off on reducing the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates and perhaps even increase the blending requirements.

Like many government programs, the RFS started small under the Bush administration, grew ever larger during eight years of President Barack H. Obama, and is now threatening to explode in size under the Trump administration.

The RFS’s ethanol mandate forces refineries to blend a set amount of ethanol into 15 billion gallons of fuel annually.

Because the ethanol lobbyists who advanced the regulation had the sole objective of forcing more people to buy their product, this bureaucratic decree does not specify that every refinery must mix the product into their fuel. All that matters to them is that the 15 billion gallon minimum is met.

Accordingly, instead of blending the fuel at sky-high costs themselves, small plants can opt to buy transferrable credits, commonly referred to as Renewable Identification Numbers, from larger refineries to meet their share of the burden.

In doing so, these plants are essentially paying someone else to produce their required percentage of the 15 billion — a concept comparable to the healthcare individual mandate, only worse.

Unlike the individual mandate, RINs are bought and sold on a secondary market, where speculators have made millions through price gouging. Although the credits have become unaffordable for small, local refineries, this hard truth does not matter to the ethanol lobby, which made its money either way.

In this way, the RFS is nothing more than a backdoor, government-mandated transfer of wealth from Middle America to ethanol lobbyists, and it is one that threatens to derail a much-needed reform for America’s middle class.

To date, this draconian mandate has caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs, even after decades of working at the same plant. For all but the biggest and most powerful refineries, it has simply become too expensive to comply.

Scrapping the RFS altogether does not yet seem to be feasible given the current political climate; however, this year, the EPA has considered reforming the regulation to make it more tolerable.

For a time, the administration seemed poised to move the mandate’s “point of obligation” off the backs of every small refiner and exclusively onto the voluntary producers of the ethanol blend — the ones that the government allows to charge exorbitant costs for RINs credits.

To make the lift even easier on these manufacturers, they also deliberated allowing foreign purchases of the mix to count towards the quota, a move that was expected to produce 26,000 new jobs and 1.2 billion gallons of exports.

Unfortunately, it seems that Pruitt changed his tune on this policy switch once midwestern lawmakers threatened to hold up Trump’s EPA nominees unless the RFS is not only maintained but expanded.

Crony capitalist special interests are not simply demanding that the federal government continue giving them their handout; they want the EPA to provide them with even more than what they received during the Obama administration.

Thankfully, conservatives are not giving up without a fight. Nine GOP senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James N. Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), sent a letter to the president requesting a meeting so they can share their side of the Renewable Fuel Standard story.

Sens. Cruz and Lee have gone so far as to put William H. Northey’s nomination for a senior United States Department of Agriculture post on hold until they receive their meeting. Kudos to the GOP for trying to keep the White House honest.

Hopefully, the administration will take the senators’ up on their request, because the ethanol mandate is not just wrong on a fiscal level. It is wrong on a moral level and threatens the living standards of low and middle-income Americans.

Anyone who claims to want to “drain the swamp” would be wise to start with repealing, or at least amending, the Renewable Fuel Standard.

We are better than this.

Peter Van Voorhis is a conservative activist, commentator, and journalist. He is a weekly contributor to iHeartRadio’s PowerTalk 96.7FM.

President Donald J. Trump campaigned on saving the forgotten men and women from the heavy hand of government. Trump won the presidency in a historic upset because of strong blue-collar support from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Many of these workers earn their paychecks from small, local refineries, which provide thousands of jobs to ordinary Americans.

Although Trump has made significant progress with his economic growth agenda, a recent, seemingly unilateral assurance by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Edward S. Pruitt is threatening to put his pro-jobs plan in jeopardy.

After receiving backlash from midwestern lawmakers, Pruitt sent a letter to them on October 18th stating that the EPA would hold off on reducing the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates and perhaps even increase the blending requirements.

Like many government programs, the RFS started small under the Bush administration, grew ever larger during eight years of President Barack H. Obama, and is now threatening to explode in size under the Trump administration.

The RFS’s ethanol mandate forces refineries to blend a set amount of ethanol into 15 billion gallons of fuel annually.

Because the ethanol lobbyists who advanced the regulation had the sole objective of forcing more people to buy their product, this bureaucratic decree does not specify that every refinery must mix the product into their fuel. All that matters to them is that the 15 billion gallon minimum is met.

Accordingly, instead of blending the fuel at sky-high costs themselves, small plants can opt to buy transferrable credits, commonly referred to as Renewable Identification Numbers, from larger refineries to meet their share of the burden.

In doing so, these plants are essentially paying someone else to produce their required percentage of the 15 billion — a concept comparable to the healthcare individual mandate, only worse.

Unlike the individual mandate, RINs are bought and sold on a secondary market, where speculators have made millions through price gouging. Although the credits have become unaffordable for small, local refineries, this hard truth does not matter to the ethanol lobby, which made its money either way.

In this way, the RFS is nothing more than a backdoor, government-mandated transfer of wealth from Middle America to ethanol lobbyists, and it is one that threatens to derail a much-needed reform for America’s middle class.

To date, this draconian mandate has caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs, even after decades of working at the same plant. For all but the biggest and most powerful refineries, it has simply become too expensive to comply.

Scrapping the RFS altogether does not yet seem to be feasible given the current political climate; however, this year, the EPA has considered reforming the regulation to make it more tolerable.

For a time, the administration seemed poised to move the mandate’s “point of obligation” off the backs of every small refiner and exclusively onto the voluntary producers of the ethanol blend — the ones that the government allows to charge exorbitant costs for RINs credits.

To make the lift even easier on these manufacturers, they also deliberated allowing foreign purchases of the mix to count towards the quota, a move that was expected to produce 26,000 new jobs and 1.2 billion gallons of exports.

Unfortunately, it seems that Pruitt changed his tune on this policy switch once midwestern lawmakers threatened to hold up Trump’s EPA nominees unless the RFS is not only maintained but expanded.

Crony capitalist special interests are not simply demanding that the federal government continue giving them their handout; they want the EPA to provide them with even more than what they received during the Obama administration.

Thankfully, conservatives are not giving up without a fight. Nine GOP senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James N. Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), sent a letter to the president requesting a meeting so they can share their side of the Renewable Fuel Standard story.

Sens. Cruz and Lee have gone so far as to put William H. Northey’s nomination for a senior United States Department of Agriculture post on hold until they receive their meeting. Kudos to the GOP for trying to keep the White House honest.

Hopefully, the administration will take the senators’ up on their request, because the ethanol mandate is not just wrong on a fiscal level. It is wrong on a moral level and threatens the living standards of low and middle-income Americans.

Anyone who claims to want to “drain the swamp” would be wise to start with repealing, or at least amending, the Renewable Fuel Standard.

We are better than this.

Peter Van Voorhis is a conservative activist, commentator, and journalist. He is a weekly contributor to iHeartRadio’s PowerTalk 96.7FM.



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How to Teach the Young about 'Change'


I was talking to a young skull full of mush last week, opining on how I felt we were in a time of confusion. Then he uttered the word “Change.”

That’s when I made my mistake. I should have drawn him out on his understanding of the word Change instead of closing him down by saying that the only real recent change was from the agricultural era to the industrial era 200 years ago. Then I could have taught him a thing or two about his Change.

“Change,” we all know, is a totemic word for the left. It means the hope of transformation from the present hell under the oppressors and exploiters through the emancipation and liberation of left-wing activism. It is why Barack Obama ran under the banner of “Hope and Change” and named the website of his presidential transition Change.gov. It is the faith in the power of politics to change lives.

In fact, as Scott Adams suggests, politics is just a form of hypnotism, for hypnotism is a technique of persuading someone that wants to be persuaded.

[H]ypnotists rely on our irrational brain wiring to persuade. The most effective politicians do the same.

People believe in Change because their irrational brain wiring wants to believe in Change. That is why everyone was all excited when President Obama became the First Black President. African Americans, in particular, thought they had gone to heaven. Only they hadn’t. They had just been hypnotized.

It’s simple. Change doesn’t change your life: you just want to believe it will.

So the way to plant a little seed of doubt in that skull full of mush is to rehearse the hypnotic Changes of the last century or so.

There was wage-and-hour legislation to stop employers from forcing workers to work long hours. What a great idea! In Massachusetts they reduced the work week in 1912. But when the employers lowered the weekly wage to reflect the shorter hours, the textile workers in Lawrence were outraged and went on strike. Like today’s minimum wage activism, wage-and-hour legislation is a magic incantation. That’s Change for you.

There was union legislation, to allow employees to organize against their employer. Fabulous! So union workers thrived for a season, and then broke their private-sector employers with work rules that made their employers non-competitive and bankrupted them with unaffordable pensions. Today the only thriving labor unions are government-employee unions that are in the process of bankrupting the states and ruining little old ladies holding municipal bonds. But for now, public employees can retire on magnificent pensions. This is Change?

There was public education. Horace Mann told us back in the 1840s that the “common school” would reduce crime by 90 percent. That was just before the Irish headed up the big crime wave of the 1840s. And today’s schools are particularly bad in inner cities where poor people live. What kind of Change is that?

There was civil rights. Fifty years ago it was going to end race discrimination. Yet just last week a black college professor told the world in the New York Times that her children could not be friends with white kids and liberals keep telling us racism is alive and well. So what was the point of the Civil Rights Acts, affirmative action, diversity and inclusion? My liberal friends tell me that the cops are still out there killing black kids. If all this Change didn’t change things for the better, if all whites are still racists 50 years later, what was the point?

Oh yeah. Health care? How’s that ObamaCare doin’, kid? Change got your tongue?

Here’s a frightening thought. The problem is not racists, sexists, homophobes, and deplorables. The problem is a ruling class that keeps trying to do things that don’t work, keeps reinforcing failure for decades, and then screams Fascism! when a Donald Trump comes along and wants to drain the swamp.

That’s why my Perfect Plan is directed like a laser beam at our ruling class.

Part One: Hey ruling class! Just teach the migrants to the city how to become middle-class city people. Don’t bribe them with benefits; don’t poison them with identity politics; don’t mew them up with taxes and regulations; and don’t hypnotize them with talk about Change. And don’t buy their votes with free stuff. I’m talking to you, New York Times readers.

Part Two: Learn to be tolerant of ordinary middle-class deplorables, just as you insist that the deplorables tolerate your Rocky Horror freaks. I’m talking to you, ruling class.

Now I don’t pretend that my Change Talk will cure young millennials and Z-generationers of their ruling-class indoctrination. But it might shake them up a bit.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

I was talking to a young skull full of mush last week, opining on how I felt we were in a time of confusion. Then he uttered the word “Change.”

That’s when I made my mistake. I should have drawn him out on his understanding of the word Change instead of closing him down by saying that the only real recent change was from the agricultural era to the industrial era 200 years ago. Then I could have taught him a thing or two about his Change.

“Change,” we all know, is a totemic word for the left. It means the hope of transformation from the present hell under the oppressors and exploiters through the emancipation and liberation of left-wing activism. It is why Barack Obama ran under the banner of “Hope and Change” and named the website of his presidential transition Change.gov. It is the faith in the power of politics to change lives.

In fact, as Scott Adams suggests, politics is just a form of hypnotism, for hypnotism is a technique of persuading someone that wants to be persuaded.

[H]ypnotists rely on our irrational brain wiring to persuade. The most effective politicians do the same.

People believe in Change because their irrational brain wiring wants to believe in Change. That is why everyone was all excited when President Obama became the First Black President. African Americans, in particular, thought they had gone to heaven. Only they hadn’t. They had just been hypnotized.

It’s simple. Change doesn’t change your life: you just want to believe it will.

So the way to plant a little seed of doubt in that skull full of mush is to rehearse the hypnotic Changes of the last century or so.

There was wage-and-hour legislation to stop employers from forcing workers to work long hours. What a great idea! In Massachusetts they reduced the work week in 1912. But when the employers lowered the weekly wage to reflect the shorter hours, the textile workers in Lawrence were outraged and went on strike. Like today’s minimum wage activism, wage-and-hour legislation is a magic incantation. That’s Change for you.

There was union legislation, to allow employees to organize against their employer. Fabulous! So union workers thrived for a season, and then broke their private-sector employers with work rules that made their employers non-competitive and bankrupted them with unaffordable pensions. Today the only thriving labor unions are government-employee unions that are in the process of bankrupting the states and ruining little old ladies holding municipal bonds. But for now, public employees can retire on magnificent pensions. This is Change?

There was public education. Horace Mann told us back in the 1840s that the “common school” would reduce crime by 90 percent. That was just before the Irish headed up the big crime wave of the 1840s. And today’s schools are particularly bad in inner cities where poor people live. What kind of Change is that?

There was civil rights. Fifty years ago it was going to end race discrimination. Yet just last week a black college professor told the world in the New York Times that her children could not be friends with white kids and liberals keep telling us racism is alive and well. So what was the point of the Civil Rights Acts, affirmative action, diversity and inclusion? My liberal friends tell me that the cops are still out there killing black kids. If all this Change didn’t change things for the better, if all whites are still racists 50 years later, what was the point?

Oh yeah. Health care? How’s that ObamaCare doin’, kid? Change got your tongue?

Here’s a frightening thought. The problem is not racists, sexists, homophobes, and deplorables. The problem is a ruling class that keeps trying to do things that don’t work, keeps reinforcing failure for decades, and then screams Fascism! when a Donald Trump comes along and wants to drain the swamp.

That’s why my Perfect Plan is directed like a laser beam at our ruling class.

Part One: Hey ruling class! Just teach the migrants to the city how to become middle-class city people. Don’t bribe them with benefits; don’t poison them with identity politics; don’t mew them up with taxes and regulations; and don’t hypnotize them with talk about Change. And don’t buy their votes with free stuff. I’m talking to you, New York Times readers.

Part Two: Learn to be tolerant of ordinary middle-class deplorables, just as you insist that the deplorables tolerate your Rocky Horror freaks. I’m talking to you, ruling class.

Now I don’t pretend that my Change Talk will cure young millennials and Z-generationers of their ruling-class indoctrination. But it might shake them up a bit.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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American Consumers Must Have the Right to Control Access to Their Credit Information


While the Internet has made shopping, bill paying, and financial transactions much more convenient for American consumers, at the same time the Internet has been used for identity theft: consumers find that their personal information can be accessed by hackers who steal their personal data such as date of birth, name, address and Social Security number and can use this to obtain access to financial accounts as well.

Identity theft has become the major type of crime committed against American consumers.  The reason identity theft is possible is that internet hackers can gain personal information about consumers, then use that information to make online purchases and worse; take out credit cards and steal from savings and other financial accounts.  These losses amounted to an estimated $15.4 billion in 2014.

But it may be time for consumers to assert themselves and demand that credit agencies such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion no longer have a monopoly on control of access to their personal credit information.  Historically, whenever people applied for a personal loan such as a mortgage, or tried to open a credit card, the credit card issuer or mortgage lender has always had the right to determine if the person is a good credit risk; if their past behavior proves that they have the financial management skills and income to pay back the loan.  They went to the credit agencies for this information.

But the recent hacking of personal information from Equifax’s database may signal that it’s time for American consumers to control their own personal information, that their most important, hard earned possession is their credit history, and assert that a third party such as a credit agency does not have the right to control who has access.  The time has come for American consumers to have complete control over who owns their personal information, and under what conditions this information is released to other persons.

In response to the Equifax database hacking many state attorneys general have told consumers in their states that they should contact the agencies and close down access to their credit information.  But this raises the question: who gave Equifax a monopoly on the personal information of consumers in the first place? How did this practice get started, and how did it become legal for a third party, without the consumer’s permission, to keep their personal financial information in their data base?

No doubt at some point, such as when first applying for a credit card, consumers unknowingly signed off to give Equifax and other credit agencies the right to keep their personal financial information.  But it may be time for this to be revisited — whether identity theft has become so damaging to the finances of individuals and the nation that consumers should insist that they, and only they, have the right to control when their personal financial information can be accessed.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that an estimated 17.6 million persons or 7 percent of the US population age 16 and older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2015, about the same as 2012.

In 2014, 85 percent of people took active measures to prevent identity theft, such as checking their own credit reports, shredding documents with personal information or changing passwords on financial accounts.

But identity theft is usually only financially harmful if the thief can steal the personal information and then open up a new credit card or take some further measure to cash in on the stolen identity. The big items such as a home mortgage can’t be done so easily since the mortgage application process requires that the person show up at the lender’s place of business and sign a number of papers. But savings accounts and other financial accounts are vulnerable.

What is needed is a consumer movement to seize control of credit information, similar to what was done with personal health information.  The HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and finalized in 2002 is designed to protect the privacy of individuals and limit access to personal health information. The Act covers every health care provider who electronically transmits health information in connection with certain transactions.

The same thing can and should be done with personal financial information, that can be used to open up credit cards or access savings accounts. .  The question is: why aren’t consumers the primary guardian of their own personal financial information right now? Why are third parties allowed to collect and hold onto the personal financial information of virtually all consumers.

The proof that consumer control is possible is the fact that a consumer can contact a credit agency such as Equifax and request a “credit freeze.”  If consumers can shut down access, why can’t they have complete control, and only “allow” access when they wish to open up a credit card? Right now, the personal financial information is controlled all the time by the agencies; in effect it’s open to identity theft all the time.

The default setting should be not that your personal financial information is open to identity theft all the time, but that’s it’s “closed” all the time, and only if you give specific, encrypted permission can anyone use your credit history and financial information. This way, if you apply for a credit card, you can open up your record to that company. Right now anybody can access that credit history.

This approach needs to be pursued. While it may be impossible to deny someone access to your personal information, that personal information can only hurt you financially if it’s used to open up a credit card or access a financial account.

Of course, the credit industry won’t like giving up their control, but it can be argued that they never had the right to control access to your personal information in the first place.  The vulnerability of credit agencies like Equifax now demonstrates that if consumers have to suffer a personal loss, they should have personal control. 

It’s time for consumers to have the right to impose a permanent default “credit freeze” on their files.  This way, it will be far more difficult for hackers to use the internet to exploit your information.  Consumers can release the credit freeze to only one institution at a time through use of a one time, encrypted code. This is already done with many types of transactions.  Only if consumers give the credit card issuer or mortgage lender access to their credit history will access be allowed.  The only loss to the credit agencies will be that their current policy of unlimited access will deny them the profits they make by allowing credit card companies to see your credit rating, name and address so they can mail you credit card offers or refinancing offers.  That can also be easily corrected; you can access, on a secure website, credit card info and then choose what credit cards you wish to apply for.

While the Internet has made shopping, bill paying, and financial transactions much more convenient for American consumers, at the same time the Internet has been used for identity theft: consumers find that their personal information can be accessed by hackers who steal their personal data such as date of birth, name, address and Social Security number and can use this to obtain access to financial accounts as well.

Identity theft has become the major type of crime committed against American consumers.  The reason identity theft is possible is that internet hackers can gain personal information about consumers, then use that information to make online purchases and worse; take out credit cards and steal from savings and other financial accounts.  These losses amounted to an estimated $15.4 billion in 2014.

But it may be time for consumers to assert themselves and demand that credit agencies such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion no longer have a monopoly on control of access to their personal credit information.  Historically, whenever people applied for a personal loan such as a mortgage, or tried to open a credit card, the credit card issuer or mortgage lender has always had the right to determine if the person is a good credit risk; if their past behavior proves that they have the financial management skills and income to pay back the loan.  They went to the credit agencies for this information.

But the recent hacking of personal information from Equifax’s database may signal that it’s time for American consumers to control their own personal information, that their most important, hard earned possession is their credit history, and assert that a third party such as a credit agency does not have the right to control who has access.  The time has come for American consumers to have complete control over who owns their personal information, and under what conditions this information is released to other persons.

In response to the Equifax database hacking many state attorneys general have told consumers in their states that they should contact the agencies and close down access to their credit information.  But this raises the question: who gave Equifax a monopoly on the personal information of consumers in the first place? How did this practice get started, and how did it become legal for a third party, without the consumer’s permission, to keep their personal financial information in their data base?

No doubt at some point, such as when first applying for a credit card, consumers unknowingly signed off to give Equifax and other credit agencies the right to keep their personal financial information.  But it may be time for this to be revisited — whether identity theft has become so damaging to the finances of individuals and the nation that consumers should insist that they, and only they, have the right to control when their personal financial information can be accessed.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that an estimated 17.6 million persons or 7 percent of the US population age 16 and older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2015, about the same as 2012.

In 2014, 85 percent of people took active measures to prevent identity theft, such as checking their own credit reports, shredding documents with personal information or changing passwords on financial accounts.

But identity theft is usually only financially harmful if the thief can steal the personal information and then open up a new credit card or take some further measure to cash in on the stolen identity. The big items such as a home mortgage can’t be done so easily since the mortgage application process requires that the person show up at the lender’s place of business and sign a number of papers. But savings accounts and other financial accounts are vulnerable.

What is needed is a consumer movement to seize control of credit information, similar to what was done with personal health information.  The HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and finalized in 2002 is designed to protect the privacy of individuals and limit access to personal health information. The Act covers every health care provider who electronically transmits health information in connection with certain transactions.

The same thing can and should be done with personal financial information, that can be used to open up credit cards or access savings accounts. .  The question is: why aren’t consumers the primary guardian of their own personal financial information right now? Why are third parties allowed to collect and hold onto the personal financial information of virtually all consumers.

The proof that consumer control is possible is the fact that a consumer can contact a credit agency such as Equifax and request a “credit freeze.”  If consumers can shut down access, why can’t they have complete control, and only “allow” access when they wish to open up a credit card? Right now, the personal financial information is controlled all the time by the agencies; in effect it’s open to identity theft all the time.

The default setting should be not that your personal financial information is open to identity theft all the time, but that’s it’s “closed” all the time, and only if you give specific, encrypted permission can anyone use your credit history and financial information. This way, if you apply for a credit card, you can open up your record to that company. Right now anybody can access that credit history.

This approach needs to be pursued. While it may be impossible to deny someone access to your personal information, that personal information can only hurt you financially if it’s used to open up a credit card or access a financial account.

Of course, the credit industry won’t like giving up their control, but it can be argued that they never had the right to control access to your personal information in the first place.  The vulnerability of credit agencies like Equifax now demonstrates that if consumers have to suffer a personal loss, they should have personal control. 

It’s time for consumers to have the right to impose a permanent default “credit freeze” on their files.  This way, it will be far more difficult for hackers to use the internet to exploit your information.  Consumers can release the credit freeze to only one institution at a time through use of a one time, encrypted code. This is already done with many types of transactions.  Only if consumers give the credit card issuer or mortgage lender access to their credit history will access be allowed.  The only loss to the credit agencies will be that their current policy of unlimited access will deny them the profits they make by allowing credit card companies to see your credit rating, name and address so they can mail you credit card offers or refinancing offers.  That can also be easily corrected; you can access, on a secure website, credit card info and then choose what credit cards you wish to apply for.



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The Leftist Herd


The fundamental difference between ourselves and the left isn’t that we believe in smaller government and they don’t. Nor is it that we believe in the practical necessity of borders and they don’t. It is that we believe in a life with absolute standards… and they don’t.

Take the transgender issue for example. Ten years ago, the notion that a man should be allowed to use the women’s restroom simply on the grounds that he has “declared” himself a woman would have been an absurdity to almost everyone in this country, right and left. What we didn’t realize until recently is that the two sides believed the same thing for entirely different reasons. Conservatives have access to certain moral resources progressives lack. Most of us have at least one foot grounded in the Bible, which, despite the corrosive power of liberal churches, tendeth not to move around much on the fundamentals. Things that are Biblically wrong remain Biblically wrong — forever. Even nonreligious conservatives have a sort of visceral skepticism about change – a feeling in their bones that change is at least as likely to be for the worse as for the better. Conservatives who don’t believe in God, in other words, at least believe in not reforming what isn’t currently broken. Progressives lack such standards to guide them. Cut off from any permanent underpinnings by a quixotic belief in change, they move as a herd guided only by their loudest members. Yesterday the herd believed that women’s rights were paramount, so any intrusion into a woman’s restroom by a male, especially a deviant one, was an outrage. But now — presto change-o! — the merely female has been outranked by the more trendy and interesting transgender, and women must shift a row toward the back of the progressive bus. For the progressive, any moral idea is merely a passing fashion — something to be discarded when last year’s victims start to get a little boring. To take a permanent stand on any issue would be to deny that we must follow our leaders down the perpetual road of progress — or, as an earlier generation of leftists put it a bit more honestly, a permanent state of revolution.

Progressives live on a kind of moral roulette wheel, ready to conform to whatever emotional imperative the ball happens to land on next. It was quite ironic that, during the 2016 elections, progressives launched a campaign to smear conservative Trump supporters as sharing one unique characteristic — a marked tendency toward authoritarianism. Really? This observation came from a leftist electorate so pliable to authority that they can believe even a person’s gender is merely a choice — if their opinion makers so decree. I know of no one who supported Donald Trump because he was an authority figure. He wasn’t. If that was what we wanted we would have rallied behind some senior general — not behind a real estate tycoon with orange hair. Far from voting for a human master, we picked the first candidate in decades with the courage to articulate our standards — even if the man himself hadn’t always conformed to them. We will, no doubt, abandon Trump should he betray us. We are not the people who backed Hillary Clinton, no matter how obviously crooked she was, on the grounds that, as a woman, she had a right to the presidency — at least as long as there wasn’t a candidate of color or a trendy pervert in the race. Far from being pro-authoritarian, we back those who are willing to fight for our interests and our deeply held beliefs. It is the left, not we, who grovel in cult-like groupie worship before their celebrity victim candidates du jour.

While they help themselves to a self-image of intellectual and ethical sophistication, progressives are often no more sophisticated than teenagers trying desperately to maintain their places in the “in” group. The ideal of the Christian is to live a Godly life — even in the face of humiliation, ostracism, and persecution. The ideal of the progressive is to go with the flow. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We should not be in the least surprised about any of the recent scandals in Hollywood. Such events are scandals only by our standards — not by theirs. It was precisely the general notoriety and acceptance of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual appetites that protected him. If his predations had been a secret, some woman would have had the courage to come forward much sooner. Since they were not secret, anyone coming forward had to be willing to risk fighting Hollywood itself — not a man, but an entire subculture of people who accepted both the man and his behavior. The same phenomena has produced the Teflon-like immunity of the elites to prosecution. Any prosecutor or law enforcement agent, no matter how exalted his status, understands the risk entailed by proceeding against members of the political class. When there is no higher authority to whom one can appeal, humans succumb to their own weak and venal natures. This, too, is why progressive morality is often so amazing shallow — saying the right thing rather than doing the right thing. Keeping the dream of the welfare state on life support decades beyond its demonstrable failure. It does not matter what reality is, but only what the New York Times says reality is. The illusion, not the nation, must be protected at all costs. What is virtue to a progressive but a feeling of being in sync with of the anointed herd?

As a Christian, I am compelled to see the gulf that divides our country in Christian terms. The unity of God’s people lies in our common membership in the Body of Christ. Globally, we are genuinely diverse — yet we are all one people by the extraordinary mystery of God’s saving Grace. We all are guided by His immutable will. Collectivism, in any of its forms, is merely a sham for the Body of Christ. It is a counterfeit community lead by a group of cynical human beings who exploit a real, God-given need for belonging. Progressivism, paradoxically, fills this spiritual void by dividing its followers into an ever-expanding catalog of interest groups — often groups who really have no natural basis. There really is no such thing as a “genderqueer” community in exactly the same way there has never been such a thing a “schizophrenic” community. There is only an uneasy herd of confused, unhappy individuals who, rather than being given help and firm direction, have been given the lie of their own unique but nonexistent polities. Left to their own devices, it would be only a matter of time before progressives actively and openly courted the pedophile vote. They’ve already stood in solidarity with felon community. What standard could there be to hold them back?

The fundamental difference between ourselves and the left isn’t that we believe in smaller government and they don’t. Nor is it that we believe in the practical necessity of borders and they don’t. It is that we believe in a life with absolute standards… and they don’t.

Take the transgender issue for example. Ten years ago, the notion that a man should be allowed to use the women’s restroom simply on the grounds that he has “declared” himself a woman would have been an absurdity to almost everyone in this country, right and left. What we didn’t realize until recently is that the two sides believed the same thing for entirely different reasons. Conservatives have access to certain moral resources progressives lack. Most of us have at least one foot grounded in the Bible, which, despite the corrosive power of liberal churches, tendeth not to move around much on the fundamentals. Things that are Biblically wrong remain Biblically wrong — forever. Even nonreligious conservatives have a sort of visceral skepticism about change – a feeling in their bones that change is at least as likely to be for the worse as for the better. Conservatives who don’t believe in God, in other words, at least believe in not reforming what isn’t currently broken. Progressives lack such standards to guide them. Cut off from any permanent underpinnings by a quixotic belief in change, they move as a herd guided only by their loudest members. Yesterday the herd believed that women’s rights were paramount, so any intrusion into a woman’s restroom by a male, especially a deviant one, was an outrage. But now — presto change-o! — the merely female has been outranked by the more trendy and interesting transgender, and women must shift a row toward the back of the progressive bus. For the progressive, any moral idea is merely a passing fashion — something to be discarded when last year’s victims start to get a little boring. To take a permanent stand on any issue would be to deny that we must follow our leaders down the perpetual road of progress — or, as an earlier generation of leftists put it a bit more honestly, a permanent state of revolution.

Progressives live on a kind of moral roulette wheel, ready to conform to whatever emotional imperative the ball happens to land on next. It was quite ironic that, during the 2016 elections, progressives launched a campaign to smear conservative Trump supporters as sharing one unique characteristic — a marked tendency toward authoritarianism. Really? This observation came from a leftist electorate so pliable to authority that they can believe even a person’s gender is merely a choice — if their opinion makers so decree. I know of no one who supported Donald Trump because he was an authority figure. He wasn’t. If that was what we wanted we would have rallied behind some senior general — not behind a real estate tycoon with orange hair. Far from voting for a human master, we picked the first candidate in decades with the courage to articulate our standards — even if the man himself hadn’t always conformed to them. We will, no doubt, abandon Trump should he betray us. We are not the people who backed Hillary Clinton, no matter how obviously crooked she was, on the grounds that, as a woman, she had a right to the presidency — at least as long as there wasn’t a candidate of color or a trendy pervert in the race. Far from being pro-authoritarian, we back those who are willing to fight for our interests and our deeply held beliefs. It is the left, not we, who grovel in cult-like groupie worship before their celebrity victim candidates du jour.

While they help themselves to a self-image of intellectual and ethical sophistication, progressives are often no more sophisticated than teenagers trying desperately to maintain their places in the “in” group. The ideal of the Christian is to live a Godly life — even in the face of humiliation, ostracism, and persecution. The ideal of the progressive is to go with the flow. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We should not be in the least surprised about any of the recent scandals in Hollywood. Such events are scandals only by our standards — not by theirs. It was precisely the general notoriety and acceptance of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual appetites that protected him. If his predations had been a secret, some woman would have had the courage to come forward much sooner. Since they were not secret, anyone coming forward had to be willing to risk fighting Hollywood itself — not a man, but an entire subculture of people who accepted both the man and his behavior. The same phenomena has produced the Teflon-like immunity of the elites to prosecution. Any prosecutor or law enforcement agent, no matter how exalted his status, understands the risk entailed by proceeding against members of the political class. When there is no higher authority to whom one can appeal, humans succumb to their own weak and venal natures. This, too, is why progressive morality is often so amazing shallow — saying the right thing rather than doing the right thing. Keeping the dream of the welfare state on life support decades beyond its demonstrable failure. It does not matter what reality is, but only what the New York Times says reality is. The illusion, not the nation, must be protected at all costs. What is virtue to a progressive but a feeling of being in sync with of the anointed herd?

As a Christian, I am compelled to see the gulf that divides our country in Christian terms. The unity of God’s people lies in our common membership in the Body of Christ. Globally, we are genuinely diverse — yet we are all one people by the extraordinary mystery of God’s saving Grace. We all are guided by His immutable will. Collectivism, in any of its forms, is merely a sham for the Body of Christ. It is a counterfeit community lead by a group of cynical human beings who exploit a real, God-given need for belonging. Progressivism, paradoxically, fills this spiritual void by dividing its followers into an ever-expanding catalog of interest groups — often groups who really have no natural basis. There really is no such thing as a “genderqueer” community in exactly the same way there has never been such a thing a “schizophrenic” community. There is only an uneasy herd of confused, unhappy individuals who, rather than being given help and firm direction, have been given the lie of their own unique but nonexistent polities. Left to their own devices, it would be only a matter of time before progressives actively and openly courted the pedophile vote. They’ve already stood in solidarity with felon community. What standard could there be to hold them back?



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