Editor’s note: Many readers admired the high school students who stood up for a teacher who was fired for declining to use male pronouns to refer to a transgender student who was born female. Those comments lead off this week’s mailbag. Don’t forget to write us at [email protected]—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: Bless the hearts of the Virginia high school students who noticed something wrong and, as Rachel del Guidice reports, bravely and with good manners defended the Christian teacher who was mistreated by his school board (“2 Students Explain Why They Defended Teacher Fired Over Transgender Pronouns”).
Looking at the warped psychological reasoning of the school board in firing teacher Peter Vlaming reminds me of the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”: Don’t believe what you know you see, but believe what you’re told to see. This is the same old well-used method of unethical powermongers throughout history.
Those who wrangled through and wrote our Constitution were astutely aware of human nature and history. We must protect it and our Bill of Rights from those who invent excuses to persecute individuals over what word to use in addressing someone who looks and sounds like a man but wants to be a woman—or vice versa.
Kind of like if I dress up like a dog because I want to be a dog, and you’ll be punished if you don’t acknowledge I’m a dog. It’ll hurt my feelings, so you’re bad and need to be punished.
Where’s the legal sanity? Isn’t this a dangerous form of discrimination against common sense and all our rights? And this physical changing of the sex of children is abuse because they are under age and don’t know any better.—Bonnie McGuire
Though accused of showing “hate,” this French teacher was, in truth, showing love for all his students at West Point High School.
Young people are buying into the LGBT agenda and the lemming-like mentality of school administrations that believe these measures put in place by unelected officials are legitimate. This is nothing short of an attack on the mental and physical well-being of our youth.—Dahn Carey
As I read Rachel del Guidice’s story, I became extremely proud of these two high school students. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe when it goes against the status quo.
They have shown a courage that I did not exhibit at their age. I believe these students are true leaders, and it gives me hope that it’s not too late for our country to return to its roots, where “freedom of speech” actually meant freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech is worthless without the freedom to disagree and to reach a compromise that benefits everyone.
This teacher should never have been fired. When someone refuses to comply with a standard because of moral or religious grounds, an exemption should be made for him or her, and he or she should be left alone. Claiming to stand for moral and religious liberty is meaningless unless you can defend a person’s right to disagree with you.
As a Bible-believing conservative Christian, for example, I believe that no matter what changes you make to your physical body, you cannot change who God made you to be. If you were born a biological male, you will always be a male no matter what changes you make physically; if you were born a biological female, you will always be a biological female no matter what changes you make physically.
Even in saying this, I will defend with my last breath a person’s right to make those physical changes. But don’t expect me to call you by the gender you choose for yourself. I will call you by the gender that God created you to be.
I also believe that Superintendent Laura Abel and the other decision makers know they were wrong to fire the teacher. He did everything short of violating his conscience to show respect to this transgender student. His free speech was definitely violated, and the decision makers have the audacity to call him insubordinate.
The teacher did not deny the student free expression. He simply chose not to participate in it.—Keri Lynn Siegel, Delray Beach, Fla.
Thank you for the excellent and balanced report on student support of their French teacher at West Point High School.
It was so good to see a positive report on the future generation and their beliefs. I feel there is some positive hope for the future of this country.—Barbera Haslage, Stuart, Fla.
Most of the people who originally came to this country did so for religious freedom. You will find religious freedom as a protected right.
You will not find protected your desire to declare that today you are a different sex, or that you’ve decided to share an intimate relationship with one of your own sex.
I am not religious and I have always supported the LGBT community. But I will stop supporting any group that demands rights for themselves yet seeks to strip others of their rights.—Anthony Alafero
The teacher refused to use any pronoun for the transgender student. Pronoun: “The part of speech that substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and designates persons or things asked for, previously specified, or understood from the context.”
It is a linguistic construction. Like the fact that I do not use contractions when I am writing comments. You cannot force me to use them, and you cannot force a teacher to use pronouns instead of proper nouns.
No, it is not about the teacher’s having “harassed and discriminated against the student.” That is a cheap, prima facie claim covering the leftist agenda, which is that it is not sufficient to tolerate this behavior, but required that you enthusiastically celebrate and support their deviant behavior.
Superintendent Laura Abel’s statement supporting student involvement is also a lie, in light of the confiscation of the students’ petition. “Social” interaction of students in the school cafeteria is not disrupting learning.—Donald Campbell
If Superintendent Abel were telling the truth, she would have been outside on the picket line with the students, protesting the firing of teacher Peter Vlaming.—Drew Page
I am reminded of my favorite children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in which the entire town is shamed into pretending to believe in something that is not true. In that case, just as in this news story, it is a child who sets things right by stating the obvious.
A girl does not become a boy just because everyone collectively agrees to change her pronouns. A person can no more change his or her gender than change race or species.
If a child is supported in the elective change of her gender at will, then society would be very intolerant toward that same girl if it did not equally embrace every other imaginary construct she elects to devise.
With that in mind, what would the workers in the school cafeteria do if that same mentally ill child declares she is now a male cat? A cat needs a different diet than a person. Are cafeteria workers discriminating against her when they do not add cat food to the menu?
To take it a step further, a cat does not have to go to school. Could the girl complain that the school board is discriminating against her when she is not allowed to quit school and embrace being a cat?
If you think this is too far-fetched, you need to research a group called Otherkin. If this transgender nonsense is not classified and treated as the mental illness that it obviously is, you will hear a lot more about them in the coming years.—Ana Justice
Public school officials have been duped by progressives (who are for the most part socialists) and politicians, and are now acting as thought police. As history has shown us, thought police are key to the subversion of the people in communist, fascist, and socialist governments.
The Democratic Party leadership rails against Nazi organizations and hate groups, but these leaders in fact are acting in the same manner as those groups. By pushing identity politics, they are undoing all the significant progress since the 1960s in opportunities and rights for women, minority groups, and gays.
These Democrat leaders are in effect pitting women against men, minorities against non-minorities, and gays against non-gays to create anarchy and chaos so they can justify a government, run by their party, that takes control of our daily lives and tells us what we can and cannot do and think.
In other words, they want us all to be subservient to their will, much like the dictators, monarchies, and emperors of the past.—W.K. Derickson
If the student who claims to be transgender has First Amendment rights, then the teacher who is compromised by conscience for a label has rights dictated under the First Amendment as well.
These two young men were constitutionally sound in their actions. Plus, they did not hide their faces, there were no damages, no one was physically hurt.
They did their protest to support the teacher in the correct manner. Stay true to yourselves and maybe one day you will be president or a senator or representative.—Karin Callaway, Florida
With all of this PC ordure, society is fast degenerating into a rabid mob seeking someone to destroy. Wake up.—David Rumbaugh
If school officials ordered math teachers to teach that 2 + 2 = 5 and a teacher refused, should he or she be fired for insubordination?
If a kid in school believes himself or herself to be Batman or Wonder Woman and demands to be addressed by that name, should school officials force teachers to comply with that demand or be fired?
I hope the fired teacher sues the school district for millions and wins. Perhaps that might encourage local property taxpayers to elect a new school board.—Drew Page
Another shameful example of the 4 percent of the population identifying as LGBT running roughshod over the 96 percent of the population who identify as God and nature made us.
Kudos to the students who stood up against the school board. The public school system is sick and broken. School vouchers need to be made the law of the land so that parents and teachers can enroll their children in private or charter schools that do not have to follow the politically correct dictates of public school boards.
Time and time again it has been found that private and charter schools provide better education than public schools. With school vouchers, parents can afford to send their children to these private and charter schools. Then the public school system either will be forced to change their curriculum and administration or shutter their doors.
We, the 96 percent, need to take back control of our lives from the 4 percent.—Marion E. Daniels-Price
Why should a statistically negligible and mentally ill minority be able to change the language of the vast majority, let alone the truth of science? Physical plumbing can be changed, but not sex. It is encoded in a person’s DNA.—Maud St. James
This school board is the one in error. Obviously board members have not studied their biology of late. If they had, they would have noted that females are born with two X chromosomes while males are born with one X and one Y.
At present, that is unchangeable. So the whole concept of changing from female to male or male to female is not possible.
People can think any way they want, dress any way they want, act any way they want, and can alter their physical characteristics to reflect who they would like to be. But their gender remains the same as it was at birth.—Rockne Hughes
This gay rights nonsense is going too far. If you want to be the opposite sex, do it at home. Keep it out of the schools.
That teacher should be reinstated with back pay. Our schools are there to teach kids how to get along and make a living, not to harass others just because you have different beliefs.—Estell Newton
How to Ensure Discipline, Safety in Schools
Dear Daily Signal: Jonathan Butcher’s commentary (“Obama’s School Discipline Guidance Could Be Doomed. Here’s Why That’s Great News.”) brings to mind a personal example of school discipline. My son was caught vaping in a bathroom with his friends.
I don’t condone this, and I gladly let my son suffer the three-day suspension he got for “possession of a banned substance.”
None of the students involved was observed by anyone but the student who reported them. They were punished based on their own confessions when asked about that report.
Fast forward a few weeks. A student, who has caused problems in the past, is agitated and argumentative in his classes one day. He finally explodes, yelling that he is going to “shoot up the school.” This is witnessed by many students, some of whom then struggled with anxiety about his being in school in the future.
His punishment? The same as my son and his friends got—three days’ suspension.
I am not at all suggesting my son and his friends should not be punished, but how are equal punishments valid for these two very different incidents?—Tanya Beckel Redfield
Obama administration officials called it “policy guidance to schools to prevent discrimination against minority students”?
This is just another example of Obama’s two-tiered justice system. One for Democrats and another for Republicans, as demonstrated by Obama’s attorneys general and his FBI director.
Kicking out trouble-making students who refuse to follow school rules of deportment and discipline is perfectly OK, if limited to nonminority students.
Minority students, on the other hand, most likely will turn out to be Democrat voters, and we certainly don’t want to alienate prospective Democrat voters.—Drew Page
When I was a teacher in a high school classroom, discipline was important to set for maintaining a proper learning environment.
Before smartphones gave me immediate lifelines to parents during class time, school disciplinarians and guidance counselors brought parents into school for me to have a discussion about class conduct.
After smartphones became ubiquitous, I sometimes called parents while misconduct was occurring so parents could actually hear their child’s nonsense over the air. I had few problems after that. Simply knowing his or her parent was on the line at the misbehaving time was mostly enough to stop wacky behavior.
Fewer parent conferences were held; fewer students were recommended for removal from class or school; students became more self-disciplined. Average grades rose in my classes above others in math or computer classes; mine were required, the latter were optional.
No school or district discipline policies were necessary. No guidelines were required when I got parents more directly involved. Take a hint, policymakers.—Bill Lemoine
When school discipline is severely restricted or dumbed down, those bad actors feel emboldened to create more havoc in classrooms and bully both teachers and other students because the Obama guidelines protect them.
However, that problem started long before in the mandates of the “Robin Hood” school districts in Texas. Behavioral problems don’t stop on their own. There must be consequences for the bad actor.—Christina Paul
There are very few federal agencies that are not a cause of more problems than they were supposed to solve.
Dispatching a bunch of these agencies and decreasing the sway of more would be a good deal.—Thomas L. Stafford
It’s normal in the liberal mindset to sacrifice the welfare of the vast majority in favor of the small minority. In this case, Obama sacrificed most of the real students in favor of the juvenile delinquents.—Wayne Peterkin
For decades, moronic legislatures have been systematically destroying our education system. First, they created the federal Department of Education and used our tax money to corrupt by threatening to remove funding unless local schools met the department’s demands.
Next, they began dumbing down the schools by insisting that teachers tailor their instructions to the slowest and least intelligent students instead of the average. The gifted students were completely bored, and the average kid learned very little.
Following this brilliance, the all-knowing liberals began to rewrite our history books, invented “new math” and “eubonics,” and generally failed our children by trying to reinvent tried and true subjects and teaching methods.
Finally, along comes Obama, who decides that miscreants, bullies, and outright criminal students should be tolerated in the classroom environs rather than suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined. How stupid is that?
The whole Education Department should be dismantled and full authority returned to local control. Even then, getting back to a real education system will take years.—Steve Fowler
Apparently the socialist liberal Democrats refuse to consider that a disproportionate number of minority students are disciplined because a disproportionate number of minority students misbehave.
Schools should be focusing on all students learning to the extent of their ability—not the “feelings” of those who deliberately and sometimes dangerously act out. School is for learning facts and proper behavior, not for social justice or feelings.—Maud St. James
Parents have less power than the powermongering unions. The parents are just looking for a decent education for their kids.
The parents are not there as power brokers. But the unions are. And the unions don’t want to yield any power to anyone.—Wayne Harmon
As one parent at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, put it: Sad as it may be, it is important for our children to learn how to protect themselves in a dangerous world (“5 Takeaways From the Trump Administration’s School Safety Report”).
Truer words were never spoken. Now let’s see the return of standards of behavior in the classroom for all students, regardless of any perceived “special” class.—Allie Davis
There are over 100 million gun owners in the U.S. And they have over 1 trillion rounds of ammunition. Believe me, gun owners and guns are not the problem.—David Lisk
We need to restore corporal punishment to schools.—John Pack Lambert
Meanwhile, Back at Mueller’s Russia Probe
Dear Daily Signal: Special counsel Robert Mueller, the subject of Fred Lucas’ report, is a Trump-hating Democrat operative (“At Year’s End, What We Know About Mueller’s Probe of Trump and Russia”).
Mueller has a shady history. He is operating on the basis of finding nitpicking “crimes” to use as blackmail, to get people to say what he wants. At least that is the appearance and the basis of a lawsuit against him.
The Democrats have gone crazy and refuse to accept the election results, probably because they can’t understand how anyone could beat all their cheating.—James May
What we know is that Obama had weaponized numerous agencies of the government as political tools for the Democrat Party. This was totally illegal.
As such, these government employees worked to help Hillary Clinton get elected and, failing at that, to destroy Trump. The destroy-Trump part of that is known as sedition—an illegal plot to remove a sitting president.
Every excuse they used to get warrants was bogus. None came close to meeting the standards. Mueller himself was hired when justification for a special counsel was not met. He did not qualify because he was an insider with lots of conflicts.
Instead of legally hiring unbiased investigators, Mueller hired a hit squad, loaded with ex-Hillary henchmen. The people they squeezed to turn on Trump were ambushed, spied on, unmasked, and more, without legal justification. Many of these people should be going to prison for the worst government plot in U.S. history.
Under Obama, they hacked the White House, Congress, the National Security Agency, and even the Pentagon, and no one seemed to care. This ruse is the most transparent thing you’ll ever find in D.C.
Everyone capable of thinking knows it’s a desperate attempt to get rid of Trump, like the efforts of those loony women who lied about Brett Kavanaugh to try to keep him off the Supreme Court.—Anthony Alafero
After all of this juvenile, banana republic food-throwing, the only proven corruption and Russian collusion was by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and Obama.—Redigo Gubernatio
If I hired an investigator to find out if something was out of whack somewhere, I would fully expect to get continuing reports on progress. Since the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general decided to hire Mueller, and is paid for by the taxpayers, why are there no known progress reports to those in charge?
Neither the DOJ nor we the people have any information on this, other than indictments. The cost, after this period of time, warrants a question of who is robbing the bank.—Karin Callaway, Florida
Here's the Daily Signal piece @realDonaldTrump referenced during his interview with @HARRISFAULKNER: @HvonSpakovsky – Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws—and Neither Did the Presidenthttps://t.co/yBqu6aNAha pic.twitter.com/q5wNvrydrA— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) December 13, 2018
The President’s Former Lawyer Cops a Plea
Dear Daily Signal: What everyone seems to be missing is that the real reason President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was charged with campaign finance violations was to put him into “a criminal conspiracy” with Trump to justify his violating attorney-client privilege.
In reality, as explained in Hans von Spakovsky’s commentary, “Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws, and Neither Did the President,” there was no violation as there is no evidence of criminal intent. Remember former FBI Director James Comey’s tortured finding that Hillary Clinton had no criminal intent, even though the statute she violated does not require such intent?
Cohen’s plea is in effect a fraud on the court. The Supreme Court would find it thus.—Gerald Sornee, Florida
Perhaps the reason that Republicans haven’t halted liberal policies before they became law is because, up to two years ago, they haven’t had a leader with the guts to fight against those policies.
I can’t speak to why Republicans have failed to do what they should have for the past 50 years. I live in Illinois and don’t know what a Republican senator looks like. We haven’t had a real Republican senator since Everett Dirkson in the 1960s. We have had so few Republican congressmen from Illinois in the House, it didn’t matter.
Today, we have a Republican president in office and I believe he has done quite a lot in two years in reversing liberal policies. If you can’t see that, you haven’t been paying attention.—Drew Page, Illinois
The case Hans von Spakovsky is making in his commentary doesn’t matter one little bit.
The majority of American voters will listen to whatever the Democrats’ press-titutes tell them and swallow it whole. Facts and truth don’t even come into it.—David L. Stinson
Cohen pleaded guilty to something that is not a crime, as expressed by the people who make election law, the Federal Election Commission. He did so because he had no deal if he didn’t and faced 20 years for his long list of other crimes unrelated to Trump.
This attempt to bury Trump is a nonstarter. Most of the prior FEC commissioners say that hush money payoffs are not campaign contributions at all. Bradley Smith, who was considered the top campaign law expert in the nation, was appointed by President Bill Clinton at the end of his term. The GOP strongly opposed Smith.
Smith says that Trump broke no laws. So the problem for special counsel Robert Mueller is that the issue is far too unsettled but clearly leaning in favor of Trump. Add to this the fact that this isn’t some small-time politician but a sitting president, and you will never take down a president with a “may be illegal or may not” scenario.—Anthony Alafero
This was “all over the news” for the same reason that Russian collusion, Stormy Daniels, trash talk on a bus, tax records, etc., were “all over the news”: because a bunch of Dem sore losers can’t accept the fact that they are losers, and they’re grasping at straws trying to come up with something, anything that might lead to the overthrowing of this presidency.
Good luck with that, Junior. Not going to happen. And if you think those weaselly liberal cowards out there are causing mayhem, destruction, division, and unrest in the country now, wait till a duly elected president is unfairly and illegally overthrown.—J.A. Haskins
What we are seeing is a dark chapter in American history—the harnessing by a corrupt Democrat Party of abusive government prosecutorial power against political enemies who committed no crimes. Result: Why would anyone of sound mind ever want to serve in public office in America?
Who would put their families through such slime? Look at how Robert Mueller’s fellow thugs treated a patriot general who served 33 years in the military, five of which were in harm’s way. Mueller is not a patriot. He is a street thug and a disgrace to the legal profession. He has soured more than half the country on the government. He is the poster child for corruption.
I would love to see Clinton, Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Ohr, Brennan, Clapper, Power, and Rice get rousted in the middle of the night by an FBI raid and then watch them do perp walks. As a citizen, I am thoroughly disgusted by our corrupt government and its media cohort. Clinton, Obama, et al., are not above the law. Until they are brought to justice, justice in America is fake.—Brian Bacon
I’ve asked a hundred times why the women involved would not be guilty of extortion. Then, on Tucker Carlson’s TV show, I saw constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz say this “is absolutely textbook extortion.”—Michael Langlinais
The Government’s Latest Take on Climate Change
Dear Daily Signal: From Nicolas Loris’ commentary, it looks like proponents of climate change would be happy to spend 30 or 40 percent of our annual gross domestic product to prevent a 10 percent loss in GDP by 2100 (“4 Problems With the New Climate Change Report”).
That’s 82 years from now. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
As for forest fires and their economic impact, there is no proof, let alone evidence, that global warming has any effect on forest fires.
There is ample evidence that leaving a lot of fuel on the ground for the fire to consume has a great effect. The economic impact is a result of more and more people building in and near the forests. A hundred years ago, a fire could burn until it burned itself out without impacting many people because there were fewer people.
After a fire, the forest begins to rejuvenate immediately. I have been in areas that had major growth within a couple years of a fire, and you couldn’t tell there had been a fire by looking at it.
Climate change? Global warming? A new ice age? These are all political constructs intended to prevent man from advancing. They are pure hokum.—Ken Marx
The entire concept of global warming or climate change is a bunch of hogwash. The planet goes through a 1,000-to-1,500-year cycle of warm and cold periods. These cycles are caused by solar maxima and minima cycles, and have been going on for eons. Mankind has nothing to do with them.
If you don’t believe science, then believe history. The so-called Roman Warm Period allowed the Roman Empire to grow. That was followed by the disastrous Dark Ages Cold Period, during which people starved because of a very limited food supply.
The Medieval Warm Period followed, allowing the Norse to explore the North Atlantic and colonize Greenland. The following Little Ice Age ended the Norse in Greenland—even New York Harbor froze.
The Modern Warm Period, in which we live, followed. It has allowed the world to prosper once again. It too will be followed by a cold period in 300 years or so. Warm periods are times of prosperity and cold ones are times of suffering due to a great reduction in food supply.
So, tell the climate change activists to use their gray matter for something other than as filler material for their skulls. We don’t need to listen to their bull.—Randy Leyendecker, Kerrville, Texas
The costs are only going to accelerate for all control measures due to greater inflation today; resurgence of coal use; lack of Trump administration support for mitigation now; and relaxation of regulations on sea, air, and land.
Seven times in the past decade,1,000-year climate events have occurred, so taking extreme stances isn’t really extreme. It’s here.
Everyone who goes outside knows change is here, not theoretical or deniable. This means no further delay is conscionable for our children.
Instead of piecemeal taxes for selected industries’ mitigation acts, we need a national, long-term plan to spread the costs. We need to get busy now with cheaper costs, and work in concert with the rest of the world that hasn’t withdrawn from the Paris climate accord.
Any delay, whining about costs, denial of reality, or complaint about costs is extremist in the opposite direction from what is needed. Let’s lead the world, not withdraw from it when evidence already inundates Miami and Norfolk Navy Station, California burns with wildfires, carbon gases proliferate from other nations, and the technology already exists to start.—Bill Lemoine
How many realized that only the U.S. was going to give millions of taxpayer dollars to Africa for green industries?
India and China were given 30 years to change their behavior with no penalty. The Paris accord was a joke.—Bill Cowart
Lefty enviro-extremists won’t admit that it is a fool’s errand to develop desert, scrub-filled hillsides, where there is little rain and endless high winds.
It is also a joke to build homes right next to the ocean (although I always dreamed of having one). The ocean can’t be tamed, even in cooling cycles.—Anthony Alafero
The fifth problem is the apparent assumption that there can be no ameliorative effects of a warmer planet, which is patently false.
In that scenario, there would be longer growing seasons to provide more food. Currently, cold weather causes far more deaths than heat, but the effects are not considered.
Also, one of the largest uses of fossil fuels is to heat our homes and businesses during winter. If the average wintertime temperature increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit, fuel use would drop by about 5 percent, meaning that carbon dioxide emissions would decrease commensurately.—Steve Muckler
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: Regarding the commentary article by Xavier Underwood about modern socialism (“What the New Socialists in Congress Need to Know About Poverty”), I have a daughter, 20, who has been indoctrinated wholeheartedly by her elementary, middle, high school, and college experience to hold capitalism responsible for all of our major problems.
My daughter is a Bernie Sanders voter, and the nonsense that she articulates is nearly amusing if it were not for the hypocrisy that she demonstrates—because she knows that she has to work for the extra things beyond the basic needs that we provide her.
Furthermore, she says she is actually a male, and desires the transsexual process. This is something that I feel so sad about. I continue to tell her that she will always be my daughter. And that socialism doesn’t really work, even though it sounds so good.
I’m a 58-year-old conservative baby boomer who agrees totally with what I read in Underwood’s article. I’m flexible and (to be fair to the opposition) try to understand many liberal views. In a two-party system one has to decide which of two boats to jump in. The divide in this country is basically a choice like that.
I believe nothing is actually “free.” President Lyndon Johnson had many popular socialist inputs, and these youngsters don’t study the history and effects of social programs. It is not in their paradigm. It isn’t taught.
There are more liberal teachers and school mentors than not, and yes, Bernie was a hit with these students. I call that very unfair to parents as well as the kids.
My point is that my daughter got her values from public educators. When she was growing up and “learning” in school, I didn’t know the public schools were indoctrinating these young minds so effectively. Common sense doesn’t soak in, and she can’t believe a Republican father.
Xavier Underwood would be a nice role model for my daughter. Thank you for supporting solid, responsible, conservative values. I wonder when or if the tide ever will turn away from the feel-good promises of the left. The division between the left and right will not close when educators, even professors, are shoveling utopian ideals at a very young age.—Cary Thompson, Des Moines, Iowa
Walter Williams’ recent commentary, “Our Ignorance of Socialism Is Dangerous,” pointed out the problem but gave no solutions.
The answer is education. There are tons of information about how free college, free housing, free everything will bankrupt America. These facts need to be put out frequently.
Xavier Underwood’s commentary, “What the New Socialists in Congress Need to Know About Poverty,” is an excellent piece of writing from one who knows its failures. Best of all, he offers solutions. You need more articles that do that.
Discussions are good, but solutions are better.—Pat Ellis, Clinton, Miss.
Kudos to Jarrett Stepman for the article “The Green Agenda Burns to Ashes in Paris.” It is well written and, from observation, it is so true.
My husband is a French immigrant. He closely watches the news from his former home. He told me the rioting would happen because in France this is the only way to get attention from the elite government.
Do some research into how many elected representatives they have in France’s government. My husband is a retired school teacher. His pension, which he paid into all his life, was reduced by his government to 40 percent of what he should be getting. And they are calling for a further reduction this January. How would we react to such a thing?
Back to the representatives in France. They have more than we do here. They get paid more, each has several assistants, who also have assistants. Usually family is hired. And so much has been revealed lately about government officials who have been scamming money from the people.
I pray our country does not go down this road. If the American left would go and live in France’s economy, I wonder how their cries would change. God bless America.—Tonie Dalton, Ivanhoe, Va.
Listening to a recent discussion on The Daily Signal’s podcast, it troubled me that there was such ready acceptance of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s position (“What It’s Like in France, Amid Heated Protests Over Green Tax”).
Clearly, Daniel Davis and Katrina Trinko are more accepting, or maybe it is tolerance of the Apple position, as they offered less pushback than what is needed.
So let me posit this to The Daily Signal: The internet and social media platforms are different than what has come before in communications. They function differently with respect to what they are, how they work, and their reach. They have the ability to impose censorship, control commerce, and reduce freedom by forced trade-offs and offers of security and convenience.
At the time of the American Revolution, communication was limited to face-to-face verbal exchange, written private communication, and publication through pamphlets, newspapers, and books.
The Founders were nothing if not protective of our individual rights. They understood there can be no group rights unless the rights of the individual are protected … and protective they were. The Constitution would not have been ratified without the Bill of Rights. How would censorship have been carried out then, and how is it being done today?
In the 19th century, the telegraph came to prominence and radio was invented. In the 20th century, telephone, television, computers and the internet were added.
Communication still includes face-to-face verbal exchange, written private communication, and publication through pamphlets, newspapers, and books. But the passage of time has diminished the importance and relevance of each older form. The technology of communications has changed.
The issue before us, which Mr. Cook spoke to is: Have our values and principles changed? His position is yes and perhaps he is right, but therein lies the problem.
The Fourth Amendment reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Another current example of the danger to our right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects is the merger of Microsoft and MasterCard.
Think of the impact of putting that level of detailed personal and financial information about each individual in anyone’s hands.
There are implications beyond annoyance with having an information source made unavailable. The threat is to privacy, the conduct of business, and the ability to hold and express political opinion.
The technology industry is adopting and promoting the Chinese form of censorship and social order through personal rating and valuation. The Apple position, which its CEO clearly advocates, is that our values and principles have changed. Hopefully he is wrong.
As just a poor dumb truck driver, please allow me to observe that what is coming is a huge change. It is being installed; it is being sold with a facade of convenience and a side of security. We all should be able to grasp what has arrived in our homes and businesses, and we don’t need an Alexa to do so.
This is civil asset forfeiture on steroids. This is censorship on steroids. This is social engineering like nothing we have ever seen before. This is economic microcontrol.
This is going to be worse than the weaponization of the branches of government. We are giving up our exceptionalism, our liberty, for a pocketful of mumbles.
Hopefully you can sit a little taller in the saddle moving forward.—Marc Abear, Meredith, N.H.
President Trump is correct that forest management practices play a role in California’s tragic wildfires. However, climate change also has a profound impact.
It’s important to take note of a 2015 issue of the Forest Service’s journal, “Fire Management Today” and a report titled “Climate Change: The Future is Here.” This publication states: “Increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation and snowmelt patterns are increasing the severity and size of wildfires in the West.”
It also expresses concern about “the occurrence of fire that is outside the range of our existing experience” and the danger this poses to firefighters and communities.
Hotter temperatures evaporate soil moisture and dry vegetation, making it more likely to burn. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, over the past three decades human-caused climate change has doubled the area affected by forest fires in the Western United States.
Given the devastation caused by these fires, it’s not surprising that the Department of Defense calls climate change a national security threat. President Trump has said his “highest duty is to keep America safe.” Fulfilling this responsibility requires U.S. leadership on climate action.—Terry Hansen, Hales Corners, Wis.
We should stop taking care of all the illegal people with free food stamps, education, health care, and housing. With all of the homeless American citizens, many of whom are our veterans and elderly, shame on us!
How in the world have we let this happen? We need to change some of our outdated laws, build the wall, and let President Trump do his job.
Another thing that would help is charging the companies that hire these illegal people with stiff fines and loss of their business license. Maybe jail time.
If we not take hold of these problems, we may end up being a Third World country. We are stronger than that.—Pat Manje
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Dear Daily Signal: I so enjoy your articles. They are a breath of fresh air and sanity in the news today. I do want to know, however, why media outlets like yours and other ethical media outlets are not setting some standards for all of the media to follow.
Have the schools of journalism been so brainwashed that being soap operas or tabloids is more acceptable than honestly reporting the news? President Trump and America deserve better than these poor excuses of immaturity.
Are they so ignorant of truth that they just make up lies to justify their time on the air? We must pray for them and set America free. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to set the captives free.—P. Lange, Salem, Ore.
I love The Daily Signal, but I am retired and have time to read. If conservatives want to win with busy people, they need to provide a place to find facts.
When I talk to friends about newsworthy topics, I want to go to a conservative site that lists only facts about immigration, abortion, the Electoral College, the Second Amendment or whatever, so I have facts to share. It doesn’t do any good to tell them to read a column or two about the subject. They don’t have time.
Where can I find a conservative Snopes? I need to be able to say, “Let me look that up” and then answer: “Obama used pepper spray at the border in 2013.”
Or, “X number of prisoners are illegal aliens” or “X number of illegal children are not with their legal parents when they cross the border.”
Is there a central clearinghouse for facts for conservatives? If we can look them up, we can get around the mainstream media.—Sheila Eyster, Quincy, Ill.
I thank The Heritage Foundation for providing The Daily Signal. My husband and I read it every day.
I had a thought on illegal immigrants and all the U.S. churches and social groups who encourage and help them settle here. Those groups should instead go to Mexico and other countries, and put their efforts into teaching them how to be activists in their own countries and clean up their governments.
The many young men flowing into the U.S. could summon their courage to fight for their own soil, as our brave Founders did. They need leadership from outside to do this.—Maxine Scott, Mesa, Ariz.
Thank you for keeping the heat on the unions over the government employees who continue to be billed, in Oregon and elsewhere, when they officially canceled their union memberships.
Liberal states will continue to flout the Supreme Court decision in the Janus case. The Daily Signal’s watchdogs will derail their efforts. Keep up the good work.— Suzanne Kelly, Barnstable, Mass.
Keep up the good work. I will be sending in a donation shortly.—Robert Porter
Sarah Sleem helped to compile this edition of “We Hear You.”