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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

Democrats Kick the American People Under the Bus in Another Attempt to Hurt the President

If ever there were a Congressional vote which gives the lie to the notion that Democrats are the party of the average, working man, surely this is it. On the heels of multiple efforts to overturn the democratic will of American voters, Senate Democrats have now demonstrated that they will even use the hardship and suffering of the American people to seize the only thing that drives them, unbridled power. The choice we have in November has never been more stark.

BREAKING: Stock Futures Plunge As Every Senate Democrat Votes Against Bill Giving Families Direct Cash, Grants, Emergency Loans To Small Businesses

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Father Rutler: Keep on Playing

Father George W. Rutler
Geniuses often are thought to be absent-minded. Archimedes was so preoccupied with a mathematical diagram he was constructing during the invasion of Syracuse in Sicily in 212 BC, that he told a Roman soldier about to slay him: “Let me finish my numbers.” He was not professorially absent-minded, but present-minded. His obligation to truth took precedence over life itself.
   In our exceptional times, the President has declared a national emergency. This is not unprecedented, and I have an oral tradition of my own family witnessing to the influenza epidemic of 1918, when my grandparents’ venerable parish rector survived the infection while ministering to the ill, but whose two daughters died. The causalities were much higher than now, with a much smaller global population.
   We pray for our leaders, and the scientists enlisted to mitigate the spread of infection. We also deplore those who would exploit this crisis for political gain. Our Lord had the greatest contempt for demagogues. It is thankworthy that months ago, our government prudently imposed barriers on immigration from China, in spite of criticism from politicians who faulted that policy for what they called “xenophobia.”
   In any generation, crises provoke a reaction to the fact of human mortality. In their anxiety, those unwilling to acknowledge that tend to decry catastrophes as if they were intrusions into the obvious circumstance that life is a fragile gift. So they become paranoid about disease, demographics, climate change and other metaphors for the simple reality of impermanence.
   Death is nothing new. Until now, everyone has done it. Our Lord would speak of it with a strange mixture of gravity and nonchalance. It is prelude to a permanent realm of which every anatomical breath is an intimation by virtue of its impermanence. Anxiety ignores the promise that accompanies the warning: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
   Saint Charles Borromeo led a procession in prayer to mitigate the plague in Milan in 1576, caring for upwards of seventy thousand dying and starving people. Death meant nothing to him, save an opening to Paradise. For all his mystical intuitions, he also enjoyed playing billiards, and when asked what he would do if he had only fifteen minutes more to live, he responded, “Keep playing billiards.”
   One of the Church’s youngest saints, Dominic Savio, told Saint John Bosco that if the Holy Angel blew his trumpet for the end of all things while he was on the playground, he would just keep on playing. That is how we should want to play each day of our lives, in a friendship with God that will not find Heaven unfamiliar. In 1857, fourteen-year-old Dominic’s last earthly words were: “Oh, what wonderful things I see!”
   A saint is one who can stand at the eternal gates and say, “Hello. I am home.”
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Father George W. Rutler

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Message from Her Majesty The Queen on the World Pandemic

Published 19 March 2020

As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.

We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals -- today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe.  I am certain we are up to that challenge.  You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.


Punish Putin, But Not at the Expense of South Carolina’s Business Community

By Tom Swatzel

South Carolina has a strong tradition of supporting our national security, and no one embodies that heritage more than Sen. Lindsey Graham. His efforts to crack down on Russia for election interference and other bad behavior are motivated by the best of intentions.
But economic security is an increasingly important part of national security, especially in this era of cross-border travel and trade. Unfortunately, a bill in Sen. Graham’s committee — the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act — would imperil our economic security, especially in South Carolina.
DASKA does the opposite of its stated purpose: it would actually target U.S. companies instead of the Kremlin. As it is written, DASKA would force many of the nearly 3,000 U.S. companies doing business in Russia to leave joint ventures with Russian firms or exit the Russian market. The Russians would then take over those projects, enriching them at our expense, or partner with other U.S. adversaries like China.
How does that help our economic and national security?
Even worse, DASKA’s effects would ripple down the global supply chain, disrupting and damaging the tens of thousands of small U.S. businesses that equip major companies with supplies and parts. Many of those companies are in South Carolina.
Take Boeing suppliers, for starters. Boeing’s decision in 2009 to choose South Carolina for its first commercial airplane assembly plant outside of Washington state was a huge development. 
The aerospace giant has since followed through by investing more than $2 billion in South Carolina, building a vast presence that includes a 787 Dreamliner assembly and delivery facility; a research and technology center; and a decorative paint facility.
But DASKA would undo much of that economic progress. With Boeing having also invested billions of dollars in Russia, the legislation would make it much harder for the company to acquire crucial titanium needed to build its planes, since Russia is the source for the vast majority of that titanium.
That would mean negative effects for Boeing and for the nearly 300 South Carolina firms that are Boeing suppliers and vendors. Among them are Safran Electrical and Power Charleston, which doubled its square footage and moved into a new facility to accommodate Boeing work, and Composite Resources, a 50-employee Rock Hill-based Boeing supplier that has hired new workers in recent years.
Why would we hurt vital South Carolina small businesses in the name of punishing Vladimir Putin?
Aerospace is not the only crucial South Carolina industry that DASKA would target. The bill would also severely damage the agribusiness sector, especially firms such as Cargill, which has a major presence in Russia.
As employers across our state know, agribusiness is “the true homegrown industry of South Carolina,” with an annual economic impact of more than $41 billion. Cargill is among the agribusiness players in South Carolina which in 2016 purchased a Columbia-based beef processing plant, then invested further in the same facility.
As if all that weren’t alarming enough, DASKA would also significantly harm U.S. energy companies that employ hundreds of thousands of Americans and help ensure our energy security. Among them are ExxonMobil and other American energy companies, which have extensive business in Russia. 
That won't help the largest energy economy in the eastern United States - located right here in the Carolinas.  With South Carolina’s economy booming and the state’s unemployment rate significantly below the national average, it makes little sense to put at risk all we have accomplished with a well-intentioned but deeply flawed sanctions bill. Congress can and should fix DASKA. We need to sanction Putin, not U.S. companies.
Tom Swatzel is a former Georgetown County councilman and county Republican Party chairman who lives in Murrells Inlet.