Everyone likes to make New Year’s predictions. Just to be a little different, here is a list of things that are exceedingly unlikely to happen in 2018. Although there are scores of pundits, celebrities and other talking heads who will try and convince you otherwise, here are seven things that logic and clear thinking suggest won’t occur in calendar year 2018…
Global Warming. Have you been outside lately? The polar bears will be quite safe in 2018.
Nuclear War. No, WWIII won’t start over a tweet, despite what the pundits from MSNBC and CNN want you to believe. (Gotta hedge a little because we’re talking about Kim Jong Un here after all. ) If it does happen it will be because N. Korea does something tragically stupid, and God-forbid maybe even gets in a single blow before they cease to exist. It won’t happen however, because President Trump calls Kim Jong Un fat or “Rocket Man”.
The Taxpocolypse. Lower Taxes won’t destroy the country. On the contrary, expect more economic growth. The promise of lower taxes has already helped the economy and should continue to do so in FY18.
Immigration Stormtroopers. Democrat scare tactics are just that, scare tactics. There will be no squadrons of ICE rounding up foreigners and people of color for mass deportation. There will be no liquidation of East L.A., or South central Chicago. Yes, plenty of illegal immigrants will be deported, after due process and according to existing law, but if you seriously believe they’re coming for you, and you’re a legal alien- well, you’re a just a little bit gullible.
Venezuela: “A socialist success story”. There’s an outside chance of them becoming a capitalist success story some time in the future, but will take some doing and would probably take years. On a related note, the Che Guevara-T-shirt wearing-die-hard-leftists in this country (still) won’t acknowledge that socialism destroyed that country.
A “wave election” for the Democrats. Conventional wisdom says the party that holds the White House loses Congress during the mid-terms. The Democrats have little to offer except anti-Trump sentiment. If the stock market continues to go up, and GDP growth stays where it is or increases, the public won’t have much incentive to change course. Only if the economy goes south or a major crisis arises and is bungled by the White House will the Democrats have any chance of retaking either branch of Congress. That having been said, Capitol Hill is the Republicans’ to lose.
Impeachment proceedings. Since the Republicans hold Congress and probably will after 2018, Trump would have to have committed an actual high-crime or misdemeanor, not an imagined one to get himself impeached. Sorry left-leaning news media– not gonna happen, not in 2018 and probably not ever.
Those who witnessed it live or on TV will never forget that day. It’s one of those events of such magnitude you remember where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing at the time. Some memories fade over time, this is one we should hope won’t, lest we forget what it is we never want to go through again.
On Wednesday occurred a tragic shooting of Steve Scalise (R) LA, and three others by progressive activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for a baseball game to be played today. It was yet another violent incident perpetrated by a member of the far-left.
In the name of their cause, which has apparently degenerated into blind hatred of President Trump and by extension all Republicans, they have committed many acts of violence from hitting a Trump supporter on the head with a bike lock, to politically motivated riots on college campuses intended to shut down the free speech of conservatives, most notably an incident at UC Berkeley that prevented outspoken Milo Yiannopoulos from a scheduled speech at that campus.
Trump was not particularly beloved at first even among Republicans, who fought bitter primary campaigns against him during last year’s presidential election season. Conservatives for their part have long since made peace with the fact that he is our President and have showed support where they agree, but have also pointed out where they disagree on many occasions. For the most part, they are prepared to coexist with Trump nation.
This hasn’t been the case of the anti-Trump legions on the left. Far from coexisting with him and his fellow Republicans, they have deemed themselves a sort of resistance, fighting, all to often violently, against anything Trump has attempted. They have called for his opposition, his impeachment, his imprisonment, and his death and the death of other Republicans, both implicitly and at times explicitly. The anti-Trump movement on the left has a particularly vicious streak. So called “comedian” Kathy Griffin recently released a photo of her holding up a bloody, fake severed head of the President. Even William Shakespeare has been co opted by the the malevolent Left, with a recent live performance casting a Trump doppelganger in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar, who at the climax of the play is brutally murdered by former supporters to the cheers of the NYC crowd. If you’re at all in touch with conservative politics, you know the list goes on and on. That’s just the problem.
While yes, there have been isolated incidents of violence committed by those on the right, but those sorry displays of misguided fervor pale in comparison both in scope and intensity to those committed by the alt-left. While those acts of violence are both uncommon and roundly condemned by vast majority of conservatives, violent rhetoric and actions have the tacit and not so tacit support of progressives. Malice towards Republicans, especially Trump, is widely and actively expressed by the left, among them was James T. Hodgkinson, who attempted the mass assassination of Republican lawmakers. It was the evil act of an evil man who pursued to the end an evil, malevolent path of hate. It’s a path shared by all too many progressives. While they might not travel it to the farthest destination that Hodgkinson did, they are firmly on it. If they have a shred of decency and civility, they should abandon that path. They can still protest, advocate, speak all they want against Trump or any politician, but if they want to call themselves civilized human beings they will let go of their hate. In short, they need to decide what kind of movement they want progressivism to become; one of malevolence, intolerance and hatred, or one of peace, real progress, and coexistence with those who might disagree with them politically.
Congratulations to Donald Trump, our 45th president.
Just after noon Friday, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as our 45th president. An improbable run for the White House that began over a year ago culminated in President Trump taking the oath of office in front of the Capitol building. Inside the Mall, tens of thousands cheered. Outside the Mall, thousands protested, at times violently, while others showed support. Immediately after being sworn in, he gave his inaugural address that focused on how he would put America first in every decision as president saying, “We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.”
Rebels Without Causes
President Trump’s inauguration was marred by violence as anti-Trump protesters lashed out on the nation’s capital. While much of the protesting was done peacefully, there were many protesters determined to disrupt the proceedings, showing little respect for their fellow citizens attempting to show support and maybe catch a glimpse of our newly minted 45th president. Part of the problem is that for many, protesting has become a sport, a diversion devoid of any real meaning. It no longer seems to matter what the subject is, or even if the problem is real or imagined. These rebels without causes have taken to protesting like others do skiing or rock climbing. It’s just another outdoor sport except it’s borne from societal decay, done not for any real purpose than the adrenaline rush. Perhaps the worst part is that it dilutes the message who peacefully protest for sincere, heartfelt causes that deserve our attention.
Early 2016 saw the presidential race go into full swing. It seems like a lifetime ago, but the year started with Presidential debates, the most interesting being those on the Republican side. 16 men and one woman began their campaigns in earnest. The stage literally was not big enough for all of them, so was created the undercard debate. One candidate, Carly Fiorina, emerged as the only candidate to earn a spot on the big stage with the true contenders. Meanwhile on the Democrat side, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed Socialist caught fire with connecting with of all groups, the far-left leaning youth. Iran became a campaign issue when the extremely dubious nuclear agreement went into effect, coincidently, four American hostages that were held in Iran were freed. Later it would become apparent that their freedom had been purchased in the dark of night with unmarked bills.
The Executive branch was not the only branch to undergo far-reaching change. In February, the country lost one of its greatest jurists, Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice on a split Supreme Court. Before the end of March, three different Republicans had won primaries, including several won by Donald Trump, establishing him as a serious contender for the nomination. Bernie Sanders became the hot ticket on the Democratic side, stringing together early primary victories, showing that there would be no early coronation for Hillary. Meanwhile, terrorism was set to rear its ugly head again in Europe. The attack in Brussels, the capital of the European Union exposed the dangers of letting in millions of lightly vetted migrants and refugees from countries with serious terrorism problems. Further attacks were to come, peaking in the middle months of the year.
It can be difficult sometimes finding a favorite, or best article of the past year. This year one post came immediately to mind. The following is a reblog of an article I wrote back in October. Most of the time I’m writing about broad, abstract ideas like liberty and conservatism. This one was a little different, it was about an ongoing specific problem being faced by a specific group of people. -JP Mac
EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ
During war civilians always suffer, but what happens when neither side has their well-being in mind? In Syria, the Assad government aided by their Russian allies fight a host of rebel factions with little regard to collateral damage done to non-combatants. On the other side are hardline Islamists such as ISIS who have even less compunction against killing civilians and in fact, actively target them. Christians and other religious minorities have been singled out by the Islamic fighters for genocide. This prompted the formation of Christians United for Peace: Syria, a non-profit group dedicated to helping the Syrian Christians and other minorities caught in the crossfire. Recently, the organization held an event to raise awareness of the desperate situation of Syrian Christians in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Atlantic City Councilman and member of the Pastoral Council at the Parish of Saint Monica Catholic Church. Jesse O. Kurtz was asked to help put the event together.
Jesse O. Kurtz explains why he got involved with the effort and what he believes the event he organized accomplished:
“The genocide in the Middle East of Christians is surreal. I think that is one of the reasons that more people are not speaking out about it. The key of this event was to bring awareness to the reality of Christian genocide in the Middle East. The speakers did an excellent job of sharing personal testimonies, as well as offering top quality talks on the history of Christians in the Middle East, the case for why the current violence is indeed genocide, and what life is like for the Church in Syria and Iraq.”
And indeed, the Syrian people have suffered greatly due to the civil war. According to the IOCC:
Since 2011, Syria’s violent civil war has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and displaced more than 7.6 million.
More than half of Syria’s population has been displaced from their homes, often multiple times, creating mass instability and uncertainty for its people.
Secretary of State John Kerry:
“We know that in areas under its control, Daesh (ISIS) has made a systematic effort to destroy the cultural heritage of ancient communities – destroying Armenian, Syrian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches; blowing up monasteries and the tombs of prophets; desecrating cemeteries; and in Palmyra, even beheading the 83-year-old scholar who had spent a lifetime preserving antiquities there.”
The event held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox was attended by approximately 400 persons, including clergy from the Syriac Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church, and Roman Catholic Church. Each of these Christian communities has suffered at the hands of ISIS. Other guest speakers ranged from history professors to witnesses to the strife in Syria who gave firsthand accounts of the human tragedy. It is one thing to watch brief glimpses of the war on TV, but it is quite another to hear accounts of people who have seen firsthand the devastation. As an outside observer, one cannot completely understand the experience of the Christians now in Syria, but one can certainly feel for them and understand that this is more than something that we see unfolding on our TV screens each night, but a real catastrophe affecting millions of real people.
The event of course was more than just about raising awareness; it was about raising contributions to the four key Christian charities Christians United for Peace: Syria. Those aid organizations are:
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
The Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund
Middle East Council of Churches
International Christians Outreach
These organizations provide the following critical and essential supplies:
Basic food supplies
Baby supplies, including diapers
Dignity kits for women
Clothing and shoes
Mattresses and bedding
When we think of genocide, often think of the holocaust and the mass killing of Jews during WWII, or we think of Rwanda, or the ethnic cleansing inside the former Yugoslavia. As with the liquidation of the ghettos in WWII by the NAZI’s part of genocide against the Christians and Yezidis involves the mass theft of anything of value. Not just valuables, but life’s essentials were taken, like medications and even shoes. The victims of the ISIS genocide in Iraq and Syria that were “lucky” enough to be allowed to escape to Kurdish territories were done so in such a way as to cause maximum hardship if not outright death by sickness and starvation. Imagine the liquidation of the Jewish ghettos combined with the Trail of Tears forced upon the American Indians, and you get some sense of the torment ISIS put Christians and Yezidis through.
This was one comparatively small event, held in a small New Jersey shore town, but Councilman Kurtz thinks that with help, some relief can be brought to this ancient Christian community:
“There is now a group of hundreds of people locally aware and looking to bring relief and hope to our persecuted brethren. We shall see what next steps are directed through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”