It’s “Banned Books Week.” Pardon my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas.

The folks behind Banned Books Week – a coalition of the American Library Association and allied groups – lost all credibility with me years ago when they conflated “banned” and “challenged,” especially when the challenge is to the use of a book in a curriculum. Get a clue: the challengers aren’t “banning” a book any more than the people who chose the book for the curriculum in the first place were “banning” alternatives.

In this country, you know what to do when a book is “challenged” and removed in school, and you think that’s a bad idea? READ IT YOURSELF. Read it to your kids. Write a review. Milk social media for all it’s worth. Give away copies on the steps of your local school. 

Quit complaining that other people are making choices for you. Make your own choices.

Yes, kids have a right to read. They also have a right to know that questioning authority – specifically the authority to choose curriculum resources – does not amount to “censorship.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more from her at ellenkolb.com/blog and leavenfortheloaf.com.

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UPDATE 9/28/17

Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act to bolster Puerto Rico relief
THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT

While the NFL self-destroys, there are 3.5 million Americans who have more immediate concerns: The ones living in Puerto Rico.

Seven days after Hurricane Maria, most of the island has no electricity, no running water, no internet. Cell phone communications  are going through the US military satellites, since the towers are gone. The storm destroyed airport radar systems. Most roads look like this,

Roads in the mountain areas are worse yet, due to landslides.

Not that you can drive too far, since gasoline can not be delivered to gas stations.

A Facebook friend’s sister described,

our town doesn’t look like a hurricane came through, it looks like a fire burned everything down.

In another town, my grandfather’s house is still standing, roof, doors and windows blown out for the first time in its 100-yr history.

Navy and Marine Corps are working around-the-clock to reopen airfields and clear debris from the main roads of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Thousands of relatives and friends are sending help, among them the rapper Pit Bull, who is sending a private jet to transport cancer patients to the States for treatment – as soon as the airports are functioning.

The governor, Ricardo Roselló, thanked the Trump administration for their prompt response, Patrick Poole lists,

  • Six commercial barges transported and delivered meals, water, generators, cots, and other commodities to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • An air bridge is established, flying three flights per day to St. Croix, each carrying approximately 33,000 meals.
  • The logistics support ship SS Wright arrived carrying more than 1.1 million meals, and nearly one million liters of freshwater.
  • Two shipping barges with 1.2 million liters of water, 31 generators, and more than 6,000 cots arrived in St. Thomas.
  • Two additional shipping barges loaded with food, water, and emergency relief supplies are en route to the Caribbean Sea from Florida.
  • Millions of additional meals are being flown to Puerto Rico from staging areas in Kentucky and Florida.
  • The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is transporting a shipment of 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico, with arrival in the coming days.

In the very short term, the best thing the Trump administration can do is to waive the Jones Act (a.k.a. Merchant Marine Act of 1920).

The law requires that goods transported between U.S. ports be shipped on vessels built, majority-owned and manned by Americans. Think of it as a legally sanctioned shakedown for U.S. shipping interests.

Puerto Ricans pay dearly for this protectionism, which reduces competition and raises costs. A 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of New York report said the Jones Act helps explain why household and commercial goods cost roughly double to ship from the East Coast to Puerto Rico than to the nearby Dominican Republic or Jamaica. Food and energy costs are far higher than on the mainland.

The Act has been suspended after Hurricane Katrina, superstorm Sandy, and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; but, outrageously,

the Department of Homeland Security said Monday it won’t issue a Jones Act waiver for the territory. Spokesman David Lapan explained in an email that there are “sufficient numbers of US-flagged vessels to move commodities to Puerto Rico.” DHS argues that under U.S. law the agency can’t ask for a waiver unless there’s a national defense threat and there aren’t enough Jones Act-compliant ships to carry goods.

Pres. Trump is visiting PR next Tuesday. I urge you to call the White House at Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414, and email, right now urging the President to suspend the Jones Act during this emergency.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

There was a big development in the NFL/Protest story today out of CBS Boston:

Just one week after many members of the Patriots kneeled during the national anthem, a new report indicates that they will all stand together as a team next time out.

A league source told CSNNE’s Gary Tanguay on Tuesday that all Patriots players will stand during the national anthem before next Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Many stood and interlocked their arms during the anthem last Sunday before the game against the Texans, while a large portion kneeled.

Given the fact that even WNBA fans (not known for their conservatism) booed when the LA Sparks decided to protest the anthem and poll results like this…

national survey by Kansas City-based Remington Research Group of about 2,000 voters claims that America is on Trump’s side. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the public opinion survey indicated that NFL players should stand while the national anthem is being played as part of pre-game ceremonies. Against the backdrop of a two-year decline in NFL television ratings, about half of the respondents revealed that they are less likely to watch their favorite NFL team moving forward because of the anthem protests.

Of the 51 percent of the respondents who said they are watching less football, about 70 percent noted that it was because players are using the games “as a stage for their political views.” Some 80 percent want less politics during sporting events, and 60 percent suggest that players should use a more appropriate space to protest other than NFL games.

The same data showed a 46 percent/47 percent favorable-unfavorable opinion of President Trump.

…such a decision would make an awful lot of sense.

However since the initial report was based on a “league source” I decided to check with the patriots and give their media department a call.

The man who answered was very polite.  He acknowledged the existence of the CBS report and was aware of what it said but when asked if it was correct he had no comment on it.  For clarity I asked him directly:

“So you can not confirm or deny that the CBS report is accurate?”

“That is correct.”

So there you have it, the Patriots can’t or won’t confirm that their players will be standing for the National Anthem this week.

Closing thought:   I read dawife the initial report, she said that if true she is obliged as a Christian to give the Patriots a 2nd chance, I suspect that if players are kneeling this week they will not get a 3rd from her.



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After White Nationalists and their counterparts caused violence to erupt in Charlottesville, Virginia back in August, Americans witnessed a very odd occurrence. Suddenly, Virginia bureaucrats sought to impinge on our constitutional right to bear arms.

First, Va governor Terry McAuliffe very publicly and very falsely alleged that “eighty percent of the people here had semiautomatic weapons,” and even went so far as to say that the white supremacists in attendance “had better equipment than our state police.”

As if all of that wasn’t exaggeration enough, Governor McAuliffe claimed that these supremacists had weapons “stashed around the city.”

Not only was his allegation of citywide conspiracy the stuff of comic books but his entire speech missed the mark completely in terms of bedrock reality. As a matter of cold, hard fact, the white supremacists in the Charlottesville incident utilized nearly every form of weapon imaginable…save for guns.

As anyone who’s followed the news can tell you, the chief offender at the Unite the Right rally implemented a motor vehicle as his assault weapon. One witness at the rally was Hunter Wallace, a Right wing blogger at Occidental Dissent who reported being attacked with “mace, pepper spray, bricks, sticks and foul liquids.” But nowhere does he mention firearms.

Much of the anti-gun rhetoric surrounding the incident has to do with a paramilitary group that was photographed at the scene, each of them outfitted with camouflage gear and brandishing assault rifles. But the problem here is one of false identification.

At the height of the tension in Charlottesville, the governor announced a State of Emergency and members of the National Guard were deployed. As such, there is no reason to believe that those who were armed at the protest weren’t actually members of the National Guard or a private security firm.

In fact, state police have even renounced the governor’s claims, insisting that they searched for stashed weapons and came up short. “No weapons were located.”

Despite this, the Internet blew up with rumors that a gun-toting militia had silenced free speech when, on the contrary, those in attendance were more than capable of speaking their minds. And they did. Quite loudly and violently.

Nevertheless, the public outcry over the event triggered a domino effect and, in no time at all, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) was deferring to the Left, announcing that they would no longer “defend hate groups seeking to march with firearms.”

In other words, they are threatening to strip Americans of their First Amendment right to march if we exercise our Second Amendment freedoms. It’s a dangerous precedent that they are setting in the name of placating the gun-hating PC police.

What the ACLU’s decision tells us is that even those legal watchdogs who we trust to defend our civil liberties are, in the end, out to save face rather than protect our inalienable right to civil disobedience or organized demonstration.

Their announcement is also an arbitrary one since there are already numerous legal restrictions that limit the places and situations in which bearing arms is acceptable. This is true in multiple jurisdictions. Any responsible gun owner is already fully aware of the consequences he or she faces if they violate extant firearms laws.

The ACLU’s proclamation is one that runs counter to those laws, one that says they refuse to represent organizations that are compliant with those laws. In the case of Charlottesville, the gun laws are less restrictive than in other states. Any person 21 years of age or older can apply for a five-year concealed carry permit.

Granted, the ACLU is a private organization and they have every right to select the clients they represent at their own discretion, but their decision in the wake of Charlottesville is one that perpetuates the current rash of myopic, partisan arguments dividing our great nation.

People want to point fingers at the alt-right, they want to point fingers at the “snowflakes,” they want to shame everyone other than themselves. But what many people are failing to notice is the real danger at play here.

The Republic of the United States and its free speech has sustained itself through awful, unspeakable attacks, many of them far more catastrophic than even the disgusting display in Charlottesville. And through it all, we’ve been able to give voice to all opinions, maintaining unity despite our differences.

All of that is compromised when retreat and surrender become the status quo. What the ACLU has done is take a step in that egregious direction, a step toward compromising the core values and liberties of all for the sake of appeasing the few.

It’s almost laughable that the alt-right or the Democrats would get behind such a move since losing our First and Second Amendment rights would rob us of the privilege of calling America a so-called “democracy.” After all, without a voice, you have no say and without a say, you are no longer living in a free country.

Loud-mouthed political wingnuts, whether ultra-liberal or ultra-conservative, will never be a threat to the fabric of our constitution. On the other hand, a culture that places more value on suppression and censorship than constructive debate will. Once we begin undermining our freedoms, we forfeit what it means to be an American.

As President Trump said after the Charlottesville incident, the violence that was wrought could be blamed on “both sides.” And whether you agree with him or not, one thing that we can take away from that is that violence can come at us from any direction, regardless of our political leanings.

Thus, it is imperative that every American retain their right to own and carry a gun. Law-abiding citizens, even those exercising their freedom to sit in and protest, should be able to protect themselves against the berserkers from both sides of the aisle.

Sam Bocetta is a retired defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. He now teaches at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for GunNewsDaily.com

I’m sure the NBA was just delighted by this statement from Lebron:

James, who stumped for Hillary Clinton last year on the campaign trail, sat contemplating for a few moments, before chalking up his state’s “wrong” choice to a lack of education.

“I don’t think a lot of people were educated,” he responded. “That’s one of the biggest problems we have when it becomes vote time. People are just not educated on either the individual or what’s going on in the state of the world. They make choices and say things that’s uneducated.”

Because nothing sells the advertising that makes the NBA the profit machine that it is like declaring the half of the public that voted Trump uneducated.

Now I like James’ He’s one of the hardest workers in basketball, and in my opinion the way he carried his team down 3-1 to a championship was the greatest display of leadership and effort ever on a basketball court, a signature moment for the NBA. And I think he is both wise and correct in noting that “his voice is more important than my knee” in explaining why he won’t be protesting during games.

But if you are a fan in Ohio who voted Trump, as much as you might admire James’ skill you aren’t going to invest your money in someone who disrespect you and yours.

I think Allahpundit has it pegged:

when asked elsewhere if he thinks there’ll be demonstrations by other players, he says he wouldn’t be surprised. The “take a knee” thing may be just getting started. Good news for Trump.

May the NBA and James like the NFL be happy in the choice they’ve taken.