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My biggest problem with government is not SIZE, but SCOPE

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What size are you?

It’s hard to answer that question if you’re not sure exactly what I’m referring to. I could be talking about height, weight, shoes, jeans, dresses, collars, rings, underwear, or cowboy hats. Context matters, and the word “size” is not one-size-fits-all.

With that in mind, what is the size of the government? I think we can all agree that the government is too big, but we need to specify what we mean by that — simply that the government has too much power in general, or that it has power over too many things? Both are troublesome, but I tend to place priority on the latter. So while many people complain that the government is too tall — that wherever it has jurisdiction it seizes excessive control, which I agree with — my primary health concern is that the government is too fat. This is why I adore the term “bloated government.” It imagines one that is too wide, spread too far over too many areas.

Issues of government height call for analysis, argumentation, and compromise. Defense, for instance, is a legitimate function of the federal government. But the appropriate amount of military spending, which wars to enter and when, and how many soldiers to enlist are all circumstantial. Standards of engagement must be decided case by case, and peacetime spending will certainly decrease, but by how much? There is no universal answer, so in that area, government height is subject to rational debate and vigilant scrutiny.

We should, however, know how to settle with relative ease whether the government should be involved in a particular field at all — this is government width. We babble ourselves breathless about cutting taxes and government spending, but not all revenue is created equal.

Why would we even consider slashing defense spending when the federal government has already proposed Social Security expenditures topping $1 trillion for fiscal year 2018, nearly one third of the government’s total estimated revenue of $3.654 trillion? Medicare and Medicaid account for an additional $986 billion of the FY2018 budget, meaning that these three welfare programs alone make up over 54% of projected spending. Before we can make the federal government any shorter, we have to trim the fat.

So when we say we need to cut spending, that doesn’t mean “reduce spending in all those areas in which we’re currently spending.” It means “cut out entirely those areas in which the federal government has no business spending.” And if we can cut out almost $2 trillion on just those three unconstitutional social programs, imagine what that will do for your tax rate.

Suppressing bloated government (federal or state) and securing power to those to whom it rightfully belongs is the essence of federalism. Reserving certain powers to the states doesn’t magically grant states the authority to violate our unalienable rights, as I’ve discussed previously, but matters of health, education, and welfare (among others) cannot be handled at a federal level for a bevy of reasons: 1) The federal government stinks at it. 2) We must respect the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law. 3) Local authority is much easier to restrain.

This is the beauty and genius of our separate but equal system of government: the judicial, legislative, and executive branches keep each other in check both federally and locally; federal and state governments maintain balance between themselves; and the people place checks on all of the above. Somehow we always forget about the second — there must be balance between federal and state powers. Historically, when one has been so powerful that the other could not bridle it, we’ve ended up with the Civil War, Japanese internment camps, and a crippling welfare state. Extremism on both sides is detrimental to the foundation of our republic.

The United States of America has endured progressive politics for over 100 years from both Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, as well as Democrats like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Party tribalism is not and has never been the answer. Devotion to principles — particularly those on which this country was built — are the only hope we have of recovery.

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Immigration

Being against illegal immigration is NOT about being against immigrants

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Being against illegal immigration is NOT about being against immigrants

The propaganda machines (mainstream media) and indoctrination institutions (schools and leftist activist groups) have been spreading a false narrative for decades. They want opposition to illegal immigration to become tantamount with opposition to immigrants. This is so far from the truth for most conservatives, but there’s a problem we’re facing in opposing this notion. Some who claim to be conservatives have embodied the tenets that leftists try to paint on all of us.

I am a legal immigrant. I am one of many conservatives who believe if we dramatically reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, we can systematically creak open the doors to allow more legal immigration. As President Trump often says, we need them. We need the best that other countries have to offer. We make a huge mistake by educating health, tech, and engineering professionals, then sending them back to their original nations to utilize their talents.

But none of this is possible as long as people come to and/or stay in our nation illegally. The recognized number of illegal immigrants currently in the country is 11 million, but as many experts point out, this has been the number for a long time despite reports that the flow of illegal immigrants has increased. We’re not deporting fast enough to maintain the 11 million number for years, so with estimates as high as 30 million, let’s put the actual number somewhere in the middle.

If there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the nation, that accounts for a huge part of the population that is receiving benefits through taxpayer dollars without contributing any of their own dollars. It’s indefensible even in the most generous socialist utopia.

We need immigrants. But those who come across the border illegally or overstay their visas are not immigrants. The whole purpose of immigration is to expand our culture, increase our productivity, and build a stronger society. Immigrants help us achieve these goals. Illegal immigrants hamper our efforts.

Much has been talked lately about the term “nationalism.” In its true form, nationalism is a great thing. It’s what helped us win WWI and WWII. It’s that pride in American exceptionalism that turned our young nation into the greatest beacon of hope and prosperity the world has ever known. As leftists often say, our nation was built by immigrants, and they are correct. However, it is through legal immigration that prosperity and exceptionalism can continue. Illegal immigration represents one of the greatest threats to this hope.

The bigots who claim the mantle of nationalism are false. Their visions of white nationalism is the opposite of what true American nationalism represents. The pride of being an American is one that can and should be shared with the people of the world who truly want to be part of our nation, share in our traditions, assimilate to our culture, and add to it by including their own.

There was a time when immigration was represented by a group of people holding up their right hands and stating their oath of allegiance. Today, leftist mainstream media has painted the image of pregnant mothers climbing border fences as the new representation of immigration. This mockery of the system is one of the reasons we have thousands of migrants suffering at the border as we speak. They were told lies and promised things that cannot and should not be delivered.

But it isn’t just the left that’s making a mess of the system. White nationalists who claim our sovereignty is tied to race have defaced the very laws that hold our nation together. They share the blame for every battle we lose in the fight against illegal immigration by polarizing people away from common sense. By attempting to share the conservative mantle on the topic of immigration, they associate their bigotry against all immigrants with those of us who actually embrace legal immigration.

The nationalism promoted by most conservatives is not the same as the white nationalism promoted by hate groups. To claim they’re the same is like claiming opposition to fascism is the same as the ideology of intimidation and violence employed by Antifa.

Legal immigration is a part of American nationalism in its truest form. Both illegal immigration and white nationalism pervert the tenets of our sovereignty and the rule of law that make true nationalism possible.

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Guns and Crime

Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

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Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 32 people at a demonstration Monday that was organized by a Quaker group on the border with Mexico, authorities said. Demonstrators were calling for an end to detaining and deporting immigrants and showing support for migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum seekers.

A photographer for The Associated Press saw about a dozen people being handcuffed after they were told by agents to back away from a wall that the Border Patrol calls “an enforcement zone.” The American Friends Service Committee, which organized the demonstration, said 30 people were stopped by agents in riot gear and taken into custody while they tried to move forward to offer a ceremonial blessing near the wall.

Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said 31 people were arrested for trespassing and one was arrested for assaulting an officer.

More than 300 people, many the leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, participated in the demonstration at San Diego’s Border Field State Park, which borders Tijuana, Mexico.

The rally held on a beach divided by the border wall was the second confrontation for Border Patrol agents since a caravan of more than 6,000 migrants, predominantly Hondurans, reached Tijuana last month. A confrontation with rock-throwers from Mexico led to U.S. agents firing tear gas into Mexico on Nov. 25 and a five-hour closure of the nation’s busiest border crossing.

Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after undertaking a grueling journey from Central America to the U.S. border. Many face waiting weeks or months in Mexico while they apply for asylum. The U.S. is processing up to about 100 claims a day at the San Diego crossing, which is creating a backlog.

The demonstration Monday was meant to launch a national week of action called “Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice,” which falls between Human Rights Day on Monday, and International Migrants’ Day on Dec. 18, the group said.

“Showing up to welcome and bless children, mothers and fathers seeking asylum from very difficult and dehumanizing circumstances is the right and humane thing to do,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano, from the San Francisco Area United Methodist Church. “How we act in these moments determines who we will become as a nation.”

The group also is calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

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Entertainment and Sports

Latest Godzilla: King of Monsters trailer may mean it’s actually getting released next year

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Latest Godzilla King of Monsters trailer may mean its actually getting released next year

One of next year’s early blockbusters will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It is scheduled for May 31 after being pushed repeatedly to position it against the competition. This newest release date will give Marvel’s Avengers: End Game plenty of time to eat up audience dollars before passing the baton.

Originally slated for this year, executives kept looking for the best window for their second installment of what they hope to be a franchise similar to the successful Planet of the Apes reboot. The first installment of Godzilla in 2014 was widely seen as the first legitimate blockbuster featuring the Japanese monster after a handful of clunky attempts. It did well with a strong cast (including Bryan Cranston) and chalked up over $500 million at the worldwide box office against 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This installment features Millie Bobby Brown who has experience fighting demonic beasts in Netflix Stranger Things.

My only concern is that they seem to be putting out all the major bad monsters in this one – Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. It lends to the notion that this will be limited to a trilogy with the climax being Godzilla vs. Kong, crossing over the giant ape’s own franchise.

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