President Trump Speech Transcript at Arab Islamic American Summit May 21, 2017

Arab Islamic American Summit

I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today’s summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.

You also hosted me in the treasured home of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom who united your great people. Working alongside another beloved leader – American President Franklin Roosevelt – King Abdulaziz began the enduring partnership between our two countries. King Salman: your father would be so proud to see that you are continuing his legacy – and just as he opened the first chapter in our partnership, today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to our citizens.

Let me now also extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of the distinguished heads of state who made this journey here today. You greatly honor us with your presence, and I send the warmest regards from my country to yours. I know that our time together will bring many blessings to both your people and mine.

I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith.

In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America’s oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.
Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity—in this region, and in the world.
Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.

And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders—unique in the history of nations—is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.

For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies – many of whom are here today.

Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you. My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.

This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase – and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.

We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond.

Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology – located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.

This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.

I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.

America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership – based on shared interests and values – to pursue a better future for us all.

Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.

Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East – and maybe, even all over the world.

But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.

Few nations have been spared its violent reach.

America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks – from the atrocities of September 11th to the devastation of the Boston Bombing, to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.

The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.
But, in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.

Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.

We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure.
The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.

The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.

This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock.
Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world’s great faiths. Each year millions of Muslims come from around the world to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj. In addition to ancient wonders, this country is also home to modern ones—including soaring achievements in architecture.

Egypt was a thriving center of learning and achievement thousands of years before other parts of the world. The wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria are proud monuments to that ancient heritage.

All over the world, people dream of walking through the ruins of Petra in Jordan. Iraq was the cradle of civilization and is a land of natural beauty. And the United Arab Emirates has reached incredible heights with glass and steel, and turned earth and water into spectacular works of art.

The entire region is at the center of the key shipping lanes of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Straits of Hormuz. The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.

But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.
Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
This is a battle between Good and Evil.
When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims – we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.

But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong – and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.
Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.
America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security.

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

For our part, America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked—and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.

Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes – not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms – not sudden intervention.
We must seek partners, not perfection—and to make allies of all who share our goals.
Above all, America seeks peace – not war.
Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.
The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.

Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.

As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.

I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.

I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.

Of course, there is still much work to do.

That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don’t kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.

The United Arab Emirates has also engaged in the battle for hearts and souls—and with the U.S., launched a center to counter the online spread of hate. Bahrain too is working to undermine recruitment and radicalism.
I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees leaving the Middle East depletes the human capital needed to build stable societies and economies. Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.

That means promoting the aspirations and dreams of all citizens who seek a better life – including women, children, and followers of all faiths. Numerous Arab and Islamic scholars have eloquently argued that protecting equality strengthens Arab and Muslim communities.

For many centuries the Middle East has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side. We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again—and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope.

In that spirit, after concluding my visit in Riyadh, I will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican – visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible – including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.
But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.
From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime – launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.

Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.
The decisions we make will affect countless lives.

King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.

This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success – a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence.
We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.

Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time.

Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have.

The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.

Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.

These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples.

I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together— BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL.

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Your Countries. And God Bless the United States of America.

First Month of the Trump Administration

The Trump Administration has posted a summary of their first month –

President Donald J. Trump’s First Month: Achieving Results for the American People

After one month in office, President Donald J. Trump is already achieving results for the American people.

Jump starting Job Creation: President Trump is looking out for American workers that Washington has left behind.

  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and agreement
  • Hosted the CEO of Intel to announce Intel’s plan to invest $7 billion in a United States factory that will create 10,000 American jobs
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline Signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering that all new pipeline construction and repair work use materials and equipment from the United States
  • Signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to block the burdensome Stream Protection Rule from causing further harm to the coal industry
  • Signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 41, to eliminate a costly regulation that threatened to put domestic extraction companies and their employees at an unfair disadvantage

Saving Taxpayers Money: President Trump is fighting to save Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.

  • Saved Americans $700 million on a new batch of F-35 fighters
  • Capped the cost of Boeing’s next-generation Air Force One fleet at millions below that which was agreed to by the Obama administration

Restoring Public Safety: President Trump will work to reduce the threats of crime and illegal immigration to public safety.

  • Signed an Executive Order to enhance the safety and security of the United States by, among other things, constructing a wall on the southern border
  • Signed an Executive Order to make sure Federal immigration laws are faithfully enforced throughout the country and that Americans’ tax dollars do not go to jurisdictions that obstruct the enforcement of immigration laws
  • Signed an Executive Order that directs the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who engage in crimes against law enforcement officers
  • Signed an Executive Order that establishes a task force, led by the new Attorney General, to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America
  • Signed an Executive Order that re-focuses the Federal Government’s energy and resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations, such as drug cartels

Getting Government Out of the Way: President Trump understands that excessive regulations stifle job-creation and harm our businesses.

  • Signed an Executive Order instructing Federal agencies “to minimize the burden” of the Affordable Care Act Required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated
  • Directed the Commerce Department to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers
  • Signed an Executive Order expediting the environmental review and approval processes for domestic infrastructure projects

An America First Foreign Policy: The President’s first priority is the safety and security of the American people.

  • Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to work with other Cabinet members to develop a plan to defeat ISIS
  • Called or met with more than 30 foreign leaders

Draining the Swamp: President Trump has taken action to ensure that all members of his Administration are working for the American people.

  • Signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments, so appointees serve the American people instead of their own interests
  • Put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees to stop the growth of a bloated government

Keeping His Promise to Defend the Constitution: President Trump promised a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

  • Nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because of his consistent record defending the Constitution

Helping Women Succeed in Business: President Trump knows the country cannot reach its potential unless every American has a chance to prosper.

  • Launched the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

President Trump has spent the last 30 days fulfilling promises and helping the American people. He’s looking forward to the many more successful months and years of action to come.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/02/20/president-donald-j-trumps-first-month-achieving-results-american-people

Sharing a Rant Over the Current Political Climate

I’m sharing this post from a friend of mine – we’ll let her be known as “A Patriot Grandmother”.

To tell you a little about her… The writer is a wife, mother, grandmother, author and political observer.

~*~

Be warned. I’m about to go on a rant. Probably a long rant. So, you might just want to keep scrolling. Nothing to see here. Nothing new anyway. Same old stuff. Same old destructive garbage that’s been dividing the American people and destroying our trust in our country and one another. Exactly what is that garbage? I think it’s hatred, agendas and flat-out lies. I think we, as a society, are losing the willingness to try to understand other points of view much less empathize with them. And the election of Donald Trump seems to have shown a spotlight on that inability.

I did not vote for Barack Obama. And yet for eight years I fully believed that he was my President and I hoped that he would make decisions that were in the best interest of the country, not just the Democratic Party or his own political career. One can always hope, right? I have read what many of you have written about your belief that the Obama family was delightful to have in the White House and without scandal. I actually agree with some of that. The Obama daughters seem to be delightful, articulate, accomplished young women. As a family, they did appear to be without scandal personally. Professionally and politically, however, the Obama Administration was far from scandal free. I have no intention of citing those scandals here. I simply want to do a little comparing and contrasting.

While Barack Obama was in office the Democrats in the House, Senate and Media repeatedly told the American people that Republicans were obstructionists if they didn’t go along with and vote for every policy and bill put forth by the Democrats. If Republicans, Conservatives or your average Joe or Josephine disagreed with an Obama policy they were called hate-mongering, knuckle-dragging racists. While George W. Bush was President they considered it patriotic to disagree with the President and his Administration. Disagreement with Obama however, was punishable by severe name-calling and shunning. Enter Donald Trump. And the Left has changed the narrative, again. It’s cool, once more, to “resist”, to stand up to the evil that has taken over our government. Well, I’m resisting your resistance and waving the BS Flag.

Donald Trump calls the left-leaning-media to task, accuses them of being partisan, having an agenda, downplaying stories that put the Right in a good light and spotlighting the ones that make the Left look righteous. Hmmm? I’ve heard all that before, except it was Obama saying the exact same things about the right-leaning-media. He wanted Fox News removed from the White House Press Corps. For months and years, he refused to call on any right-leaning media representatives in his press conferences. He ignored them and their questions and seldom agreed to be interviewed by any of their news people or pundits. He said Fox News was not a legitimate news organization and that they were destructive to the growth of the country. You know what I think is really destructive to the growth of our country? Left and right leaning media promoting their agendas.

Another example. Kellyann Conway and her use of the word massacre. How many times a day can the Left Wing Media replay that video? Clearly often enough to make everyone on the planet believe that Kellyanne Conway is a lying sack of blithering incompetence. “She should know better. What an idiot.” Okay. Shouldn’t our President know how many states we have? Simple question with a straightforward answer. Go to YouTube and type in “President Obama says we have 57 states.” Huh? Guess I must have slept through seven of them. Blithering incompetent or exhausted and misspoke? The difference? The Left Leaning Media didn’t shove that video down our throats by the hour. Their guy got a pass. They pick and choose who they promote and who the skewer. I happen to believe that both were exhausted and had a word-slip. Goodness knows I slip up and I understand that other people do as well.

Now, let’s make a distinction between a word-slip and a straight up lie. Fifty, not fifty-seven = word-slip. Massacre, not terrorists = word-slip. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Straight up lie. Never happened. None of it. How about “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at our embassies because of an awful Internet video.” Word- slip or straight up lie? You decide.

And then Hollywood jumps on the “Resistance Bandwagon” and Meryl Streep goes on her well-publicized tirade. “What bravery.” “What courage.” “Truth to power.” I’m scratching my head saying, “What bravery?” “What courage?” “Truth to power?” Meryl Streep IS the power in Hollywood and she was speaking to a group of predominantly like-minded people. What courage did that take? For future reference, Meryl. Please just learn to say, “Thank you” graciously.

Compare and contrast. So, here’s my example of truth to power. Her name is Patricia Smith. Who is she? She is Sean Smith’s mother. Sean Smith was murdered in Benghazi. Patricia Smith had no money, no power, no influence, no connections, no authority, no platform. She had only her voice and her convictions. And she took on the Secretary of State, the Obama Administration and the Clinton Machine. Why? Because she wanted the truth about what happened to Sean. She wanted justice for her son. She didn’t want what happened to her child to happen to anyone else’s. So, she stood up. She spoke. She demanded answers. And she was vilified by the Left for it. But she didn’t let that stop her. Courage. Bravery. Truth to power.

I happen to believe in our Constitution and in our system of checks and balances. That system gives the authority to write law and change law to the Legislative Branch of government. That means the Congress and Senate should be responsible for enacting new laws. Our system also gives the President (the Executive Branch) the authority to, from time to time, write laws using Executive Orders or Executive Memorandums. It does not, however give that authority to the Judicial Branch. That means judges are responsible for UPHOLDING the law, not changing it. President Trump starts issuing Executive Orders and the Left goes crazy. I’ve read several posts questioning whether or not the current President understands the Constitution and who has the authority to write law. I wondered the same thing during President Obama’s two terms in office. Look at the number of Executive Orders and Memorandums that he wrote. Look at the number George W. Bush wrote. And check out Bill Clinton’s whopping numbers. The precedent is set, people. If you don’t want someone from the other team taking the law into his own hands, then you can’t let your guy do it either. No one gets to have it both ways.

And while we’re on the subject of who has the authority to do what…where on earth, or in the Constitution, did Michelle Obama get the authority to change dietary policy in our public schools and our military? Her involvement with nutrition actually cost the taxpayers money! Schools had to meet her dietary guidelines. Many complained that it was costing them more, they were throwing away too much of it and had hungry kids going home at the end of the day. For some of those children school was the primary source of their daily meals.

Michelle’s food initiative also changed the “chow” in the military “chow halls”. I attended a Basic Training graduation in 2010 right after the changes were implemented and had the chance to talk to some of the graduates. Let’s just say that many of them were not happy campers. Basic Training is grueling mind and body training. Imagine yourself doing hours of classwork, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, obstacle courses and forced marches. Every day for roughly ten weeks. Now imagine not being fed enough to have the strength and stamina to do that. I heard more than one graduate say, “The Chow Hall sucks. Thanks, Mrs. Obama.” The First Lady. A powerful role model and spokesperson, but NOT an elected or appointed official. So where did she get the authority to change policy? You might want to hope that this doesn’t set another precedent because you’re not going to like it when the other side does it.

Speaking of not liking it… when the Right didn’t like President Obama’s policies, they protested them. There were protests all over the country that were completely nonviolent and without profanity or demonizing of the Left. There was one in Washington DC that close to a million people attended. The media and President Obama largely ignored those protests. Why? Maybe so they could focus on the handful of protestors who truly were violent racists. Then they painted everyone who disagreed with the President with the same brush. Now, the Left disagrees with President Trump. Some of the protests are nonviolent and make their points admirably. Many, however, are straight-up riots. There is an attitude of entitled lawlessness that has taken over this country. Once more, is a precedent being set? My way or you can watch the place burn down around you?

Now let’s talk about free speech for a minute. Safe zones so you don’t have to hear things you don’t want to hear, shouting down guest speakers you don’t agree with, name-calling and demonizing those who voice politically incorrect ideas and opinions. Seriously? Do you not see that all those behaviors are destroying free speech? And guess what? We have Freedom OF Speech, not Freedom FROM Speech. That means that I can speak from the Left or the Right, about religion or atheism. I can talk about Pollyanna or the devil. I can be kind or offensive. If you do not like what I have to say, you have the right to walk away. You do NOT have the right to stop me from saying it. I hear many people talking about their fear of losing their right to free speech. Everyone in this country has been losing that right for years. But no one cared, as long as they agreed with what people were being told not to say. If we want the right to speak freely, we must give the right to speak freely. Even if we find it offensive.

I’ve seen several posts recently offering ideas for confronting bullies, particularly those bullying Muslims. Bullying of any sort is unacceptable. That means Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, children, teenagers, adults, Democrats, Republicans, Hillary Supporters, Trump Supporters, Liberals or Conservatives, Vegans and Meat Eaters! I’ve seen zero videos of Muslims being bullied since Donald Trump’s election but I’ve seen several of Trump supporters being yelled at, harassed, spit on and even beaten. Some of the antibullying suggestions will work very well in those situations.

Some of them might even be applicable to the bullying I’ve seen on FB the last couple of years. Check your Newsfeed. Look at the last time someone turned their back on their child at the zoo for just a moment and that child fell…into a gorilla cage or a pond. The vile, hateful comments are beyond belief. On the worst days of people’s lives, the scars they are left with are not just the memory of what they did do, didn’t do or could have done. Now, it’s also the memory of the judgmental cyber hatred that rained down on them while they went through it. We are becoming a nation of faceless bullies, brave enough only to be nasty from behind a computer keyboard. Wake up, people! The Left says “Love Trumps Hate”. But all I see is hate. And it’s not trumping anything.

Rant over.

New Jobs – The Tally So Far

One of the things President Trump said he would focus on is jobs. He started on that even before we was sworn into office. I’m going to work to keep that information posted on this blog. If I miss an update, please feel free to send a link to a news update to aretheykidding@gmail.com and put “New Jobs” in the subject line or something similar that will catch my attention.

Here’s where we are so far and if I miss any – share others in the comments and I’ll add them. Definitely want to be sure to give the president and his administration credit for their work AND their accomplishments.

  • 2/08/2017: Intel pledged $7 billion investment in Arizona, creating 10,000 jobs!
  • 01/17/2017: GM pledges $1 billion in manufacturing to create 1,500 new jobs (see #10 below)
  • 12/28/2016: Sprint and OneWeb announces it’s creating and saving 8,000 jobs (see #6 below)
  • 11/29/2016: Carrier pledges to create 1,000 new jobs (see #8 below)

This is from an article from one of my favorite Economic blogs

The following are 10 companies that have promised to add jobs in the United States since the election of Donald Trump…

#1 Kroger says that it intends to fill 10,000 permanent positions in the United States this year.

#2 IBM has announced that it will be hiring an additional 25,000 workers in the United States over the next four years.

#3 Foxconn is considering setting up a 7 billion dollar plant in the United States that would create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs.

#4 Amazon.com has pledged to add 100,000 full-time jobs in the United States by mid-2018.

#5 Wal-Mart has announced that it plans to add approximately 10,000 retail jobs in the United States in 2017.

#6 Sprint has announced that 5,000 jobs will be brought back to the United States instead of going overseas.

#7 After meeting with Trump, the CEO of SoftBank stated his intention to create 50,000 new jobs in the United States.

#8 After a phone call from Trump, industrial manufacturing giant Carrier promised to keep hundreds of jobs in the United States instead of moving them out of the country.

#9 Hyundai has promised to spend 3.1 billion dollars supporting their current factories in Georgia and Alabama, and they have said that they are now considering adding an additional factory in the United States as well.

#10 GM has pledged to invest a billion dollars in U.S. factories and to add or keep 7,000 jobs in the United States.

(Check the links above for articles with more details.)

President Trump’s Inaugural Speech

Today President Donald Trump was sworn into office and I’d like to share the content of his inaguration speech. It was unique and is definitely worth sharing –

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.
Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.
We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered — but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes — starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.
The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.
But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future. 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 moment on, it’s going to be America First.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
I will fight for you with every breath in my body — and I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected.
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.
In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.
We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action — constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.
We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:
You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, We will make America strong again.
We will make wealthy again.
We will make America proud again.
We will make America safe again.
And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.