Cal Thomas

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LIBERIA, Costa Rica — In the ongoing U.S. debate about immigration, the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are mainly in the news because many of those crossing our border from Mexico are from these nations. Why isn't Costa Rica experiencing a similar mass exodus? I put the question to President Carlos Alvarado Quesada. In an email response he writes in part, “8 percent of our GDP is dedicated to education and our main resource is the human talent and well-being of the people who live in our country. Next Monday, for example, we will celebrate 150 years of primary education for free for all kids in the country.”



For the last 27 years, Democrats have been trying to win over evangelical Christians who last voted in large numbers for their party's presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter, in 1976. At the 1992 Democratic National Convention, Al Gore gave it a go, but misquoted Scripture. In his acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination, Gore said, “In the words of the Bible, Do not lose heart. This nation will be renewed.” The verse actually says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Paul is speaking of our earthly bodies and the hope that awaits those who believe in Jesus, not the Democratic Party.



The flood tide of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border cannot and must not continue. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said of it, “The system is broken and overwhelmed. It is a national emergency.” The definition of emergency might help focus attention: “A sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.”



What Sean Davis, co-founder of the web magazine The Federalist, wrote in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal sums up the disgust many Americans are feeling about the way big media handled the Russia collusion story: “It wasn't merely an error here or there. America's blue-chip journalists botched the entire story, from its birth during the presidential campaign to its final breath Sunday — and they never stopped congratulating themselves for it.”



The saga that is the Mueller Report is a consequence of what happens when you begin with a conclusion and then desperately seek evidence you hope will confirm it. The conclusion: Donald Trump was illegitimately elected and that he and/or his campaign conspired with the Russians to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy. A summary of the report delivered to Congress Sunday by Attorney General William Bar says Special Counsel Robert Mueller “found no evidence President Donald Trump's campaign ‘conspired or coordinated’ with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.”



President Trump made a rare appearance at a church last Sunday. It's a safe bet the sermon was not based on Proverbs 15:1 — “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If it was, it didn't appear to have much effect. Before and after church, the president engaged in a tweet storm that insulted several people, including the late Sen. John McCain. 



Last week in New Zealand, a self-avowed white supremacist targeted two mosques and streamed his bloody killing spree on social media. There are at least three condemnations that should result from the massacre. The first condemnation is for the act itself. The callous slaughter of people at prayer is part of an age that has devalued life, from unrestricted abortions, to street shootings and other terrorist attacks. 



One of the rotten fruits produced by what passes for today's American education system is the ignorance some young people have about socialism. According to a new Harris Poll given exclusively to Axios, the news and information website, Generation Z (comprised of those born in 1995 or later), “has a more positive view of the word ‘socialism’ than previous generations, and — along with millennials — is more likely to embrace socialistic policies and principles than past generations.”



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing indictment on charges of fraud, corruption, breach of trust and bribery. He's also running for re-election, and with less than six weeks until ballots are scheduled to be cast in Israel, some have raised suspicions of a political hit, not unlike the various hearings and investigations ensnaring President Trump.



PALM BEACH, FL — While most attention has been focused on immigrants trying to enter the United States over America's southern border, there is legal migration taking place that has been largely ignored, though it may have at least as much economic and political impact as the other. People are moving out of high-tax states to Florida and other states with lower tax burdens.



“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” One might think that after denying the evidence of Adolf Hitler's rise and objectives that resulted in World War II, Europeans might be more attuned to modern threats. Last week on a visit to Munich (oh, the irony), Vice President Mike Pence criticized Europe's continued support of the Iran nuclear deal from which President Trump has withdrawn.



My first reaction upon hearing that hundreds of leaders in the Southern Baptist church had sexually abused as many as 700 people in 400 churches, including victims as young as 3, was “how could they?” It was the same reaction I had when news of predatory priests in the Roman Catholic Church, and the cover-up that followed the sexual abuse allegations, surfaced. I have belonged to Southern Baptist churches in the past, so I know something about their proud “independent” status



The uproar over New York State's Reproductive Health Act, which allows late-term abortions performed by “health-care practitioners” when the “patient is within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or health” should come as no surprise. These and similar efforts in other states are the rotten fruit of a culture that has long-abandoned the sanctity of life. Listen to the rhetoric for proof. 



The major media have gone gaga over the number of women newly elected to Congress and those announcing their run for the White House in 2020, with more female candidates likely to follow suit. But media's bias -- one of many -- is revealed in their focus on mostly liberal women with barely a mention, if they are mentioned at all, of women who are conservative. Reporters, commentators and hosts on major networks, and including some cable outlets, speak of “women's issues,” as if all women think, or should think, alike.



“He who excuses himself, accuses himself.” — Puerto Rican proverb. More than 109 lobbyists and 39 Democrat Members of Congress attended a “winter retreat” last weekend in Puerto Rico, ostensibly to help raise funds for damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, reports Fox News. The fun in the sun was enhanced by a limited run of the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” starring its creator, lead actor, and Democrat partisan, Lin-Manuel Miranda.



When you receive your paycheck and look at the withholding for federal, state and sometimes city taxes, along with Social Security and Medicare, you probably don't think you're underpaying governments and want them to take more. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio believes that if you have played by what used to be called “the rules” and are making a decent living, taking care of yourself and your family and not relying on government, your taxes should be increased.



DUBLIN, Ireland — The Irish government is proposing rebates to a carbon tax it recently imposed to households that comply with what it considers “low-carbon lifestyles.” The rebate, according to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, might be in the form of a check, an increase in welfare benefits or a tax credit for people who live the way the government thinks they should.



LONDON — To Brexit, or not to Brexit, that is the question (apologies to Shakespeare). The answer to whether the UK will pull out of the European Union as a majority of voters favored in a 2016 referendum will be decided this month. Maybe. Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament that debate on the deal would resume on January 7. She has scheduled a vote for the following week. The vote had originally been set for December 11, but May pulled it, fearing the measure would be soundly defeated. 



“Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?” asked Professor Henry Higgins in the musical “My Fair Lady.” It's a good question for Americans, especially millennials. On a recent flight two young women sat behind me, chattering away rather loudly. In just one minute I counted 16 “likes” and “you knows” from just one of them. It went this way: “And then she was like and then he was like and I was like, you know.”



Osama bin Laden predicted it and his prophecy appears to be coming true. In his book, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” Lawrence Wright quotes bin Laden as saying: “Look at Vietnam, look at Lebanon. Whenever soldiers start coming home in body bags, Americans panic and retreat. Such a country needs only to be confronted with two or three sharp blows, then it will flee in panic, as it always has.”