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Edition #114! 
Thank you for reading and sharing!
January 2, 2018

Here's how your tax bracket will change in 2018:  Link
The Tax Code explained in beers:   Here  (Thanks, Larry)
Equal Benefit NOT equal payment:  Short video Here
Our Amazing Debt! Born owing $69k+  Video  (Thanks, Cory)
If you have time for only one short reading, scroll to the bottom and read the Jedidiah Morse quote in the Kirk section

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In This Issue
Renewing our Spirit!
Short Notes
We pray you are enjoying the Holydays with family and friends. Thank you for your commitment. Please accept our best wishes for a Healthy, Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year.   NRH 
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Rep. Martin Howrylak is looking for a full time legislative assistant for his Lansing office. Here are some details -  Link 

Safe Winter Driving Tips from MI SOS 
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US Air Force AC130 gun ship  Video
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Contempt of Congress Complaint Likely in Dossier Demand
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What's Behind Iran's Massive Anti-Government Protests  - Protests erupted in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, on Thursday. Hordes of Iranians took to the streets, angrily decrying dismal economic conditions, rising inflation and unemployment, and allegations of widespread corruption .
   Protesters are disappointed by the limited economic improvement the nation experienced as a result of Iran's historic 2015 nuclear agreement with six other countries. After decades of diplomatic friction between Tehran and the West, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from stifling economic sanctions.
  President Hassan Rouhani, a key architect of the deal who was re-elected in May, promised it would revive the economy and create millions of jobs.  More
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No other political figure has so dominated our discourse  writes Patrick J. Buchanan.
 
  And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early '50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate
coverage and commentary as has our 45th president.
   Whatever one may think of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken, and remained as cocky and confident?
   And looking back on what may fairly be called The Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.
   With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.
   The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.
  With deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.
   Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U.S. (Thanks. Larry)
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Stops SCAM  - WALMART EMPLOYEE REFUSES TO LET MAN SEND MONEY TO HIS GRANDSON.  Link   
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Conservatives - Can and MUST win!
   The ONLY chance we have is to change public policies by changing attitudes and perceptions of We The People. That is the primary purpose of this Newsletter. Please capture a talking point or two from each issue and share it among family, friends, co-workers and other contacts. 
   When people quit thinking government is the answer they will look to themselves and quit feeding at the public trough. Pushing our government extravagance today but racking up more debt for the next generations is antithical to centuries of caring and thrift. "The best government is that which governs least" - Thos. Jefferson
  Conservatives must work together.
   Michigan Conservative Union has fought this battle since we formed in 1975. It has assembled some of the brightest, most principled patriots we are totally committed to less government and more freedoms - as invisioned and set up by the Founders.     MCU works with all factions of the movement. MCU is where we will make the difference, if anywhere.  Please join today on the form below or Join on line
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Sponsored by Michigan Conservative Union - Southeast MI. chapter. 
OFF FB
(What members are thinking)

Matt Seely  Trump Middle East strategic impact:
-stabilized Syria with missile air strikes
-meets with all Arab leaders and signs anti terrorism accord
-negotiates Russian neutrality in Syria
-Liberates Iraq
-Drops MOAB destroying Isis headquarters in Afghanistan 
-eliminates ISIS by 90%
-exposes Iran's noncompliance to the Obama Nuclear Agreement 
-Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital 
-withdraws funding of all countries opposing our recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
-singles out Pakistan for supporting the terrorist state and stops all future relief funding
-supports the people of Iran protesting Islamic State Rule, which may lead to an overthrow of the Ayatollah....other than that nothing is new!

Marcy JankovichWhat do we call an investment program that relies on future investment capital?
Pon·zi scheme  ˈpänzē ˌskēm/Submit
a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.
   Now, what is social security? Is the money you contribute now invested in ANYTHING tangible? No. It is money invested for payout from the contributions of future investors. A Ponzi scheme. Illegal everywhere except the social security program. 

More charts   Here

Comment:  In 1980 we wrote into the Reagan Platform a voluntary opt-out requiring nothing more than a certificate attached to your 1040 showing you had an equivalent private sector policy or investment that would provide for your future. The savings would have been about 10% of income. What a  shot that would have been to the economy and jobs!
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Among Bills we are WATCHING:
HB 4220 - Right to choose and opt out of "smart meters"
SB 637 
- Michigan's 5G wireless infrastructure bill allowing electrical rights of way to be cluttered with small cell towers every 500 ft in the right of ways outside your home and/or place of work; refrigerator-sized telecom equipment in the right of ways outside your home and/or place of work; telecom companies to install more robust utility poles to handle the weight of their small cell towers right outside your home and/or place of work; increased levels of radio-frequency radiation in the environment, cap fees for telecom companies (while WE are charged to "opt-out" of radiation-emitting "smart" meters); give our right of ways away to telecom companies. These utility rights of way are often on your property that you pay taxes for, but restrict your use and enjoyment and freedom to control. Some communities get kick-backs and accept the revenuw but still tax you.
House Bill 4968 to prevent conflicts of interest for local officials related to potential wind farm developments. ...Glenn's bill would prohibit local government officials, including planning commission members, from voting on issues where they might financially benefit. 'Public officials should act in the public's best interests, not their own financial interests,' said Glenn on Tuesday in a release. 'Government officials shouldn't be voting on wind farm developments if they stand to personally profit from the projects.'"                
HJR V - National suicide misnamed Convention of States - This is the biggest threat we have seen to our US Constitution.   ++++++

We are disturbed by what appears to be a rush of Republican legislators who ran on limiting government (e.g. Tedder and Lucido), who have introduced bills to require licensing, fees, continuing education, etc. - more regulations and costs for workers. Some are House members running for the Senate. More government interference we do not need! 
WE ARE WATCHING!
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Guest Comments: 
Allen Majorovic - For all the blab about literacy there's not a word about phonics in the Detroit Education Coalition's report. If you're not using phonics you're not teaching kids to read. Worse, if you're not using phonics you're not interested in teaching kids to read. If you're an education professional you're putting on display your cutting edge mentality without any regard for what it does to the kids.
   Charlie Smith - Sad, but especially sad that DPSCD kids' reading performance is not simply lowest according to that chart... it is dramatically lower. A 3rd grader who cannot read has zero chance of succeeding later in K-12. If DPSCD cannot fix this K-3 failure then all of its higher grade level efforts are for naught.
   Norm Hughes - No collective has ever worked effectively. Teachers share the blame. They can option out of the collective and demand merit pay for excellent results. The Governor's 21st Century group concluded our education system  is producing less results (reducing student outcomes), but that we must double down on this failure and spend more for less. Until We The People take over their governments and  school boards it will continue to get worse.
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FootBowling us over!

MSU - Congrats on getting it done to end the season with 10 wins.

UofM Football  - What an implosion! This one is on Coach Harbaugh. The Big10 is 7-1 in bowls after M blows a 16 point lead with the game in hand, losing 26-19. The "great defense" gave up 23 unanswered points. Some teams are happy with an 8-5 record. This one had so much potential but blew it again.

WHY they play Bowls: CFB Playoff Payouts for 2017-18 by conference
Big Ten ($89.5 million): $54M in base payout, $4M for Ohio State in Cotton, $4M for Penn State in Fiesta, $27.5M for Wisconsin's Orange Bowl berth + contract
ACC ($87.5 million): $54M in base payout, $6M for Clemson's semifinal berth, $27.5M for Miami's Orange Bowl berth + contract
Group of 5 ($81M collective): These five divide their pool each year pursuant to an agreement and formula devised by those conferences with revenue shared equally.
SEC ($70 million): $54M in base payout, $6M for Alabama's semifinal berth, $6M for Georgia's semifinal berth, $4M for Auburn in Peach
Pac-12 ($62 million): $54M in base payout, $4M for USC in Cotton, $4M for Washington in Fiesta
Big 12 ($60 million): $54M in base payout, $6M for Oklahoma's semifinal berth  More

The Big Ten finished 7-1 in 2017's bowl season. The conference finishes with the best bowl winning percentage of any FBS conference. More

Wyoming took advantage of Central Michigan's eight turnovers to cruise to a 37-14 victory Friday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. (Each teams gets $ 325,000).

Playoff Revenue Pool: Each of the Big 5 conferences will receive an estimated $50 million, whether or not it qualifies a team for the playoffs. An estimated $6 million bonus will be paid for each team a conference sends to the semifinals, $4 million for participating in one of the "Big 6 Bowls", but no additional dollars for reaching the championship game where each school will receive an estimated $2 million for expenses. Sample payouts:
Citrus $4,250,000
Alamo Bowl $3,825,000
Outback Bowl $3,500,000  (UofM 19 gave the game to South Carolina 26)
Holiday Bowl $2,825,000   (MSU beat Washington State)
Music City Bowl $2,750,000 Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23
Foster Farms $2,212,500 (Purdue 38, Arizona 35)
Pinstripe Bowl $2,000,000 (Iowa beat Boston)
Quick Lane Bowl $1,200,000 (Detroit) 
 More

The UofM payoff covers about half of the coache's annual compensation

Wow! All this money! Tuition going down?
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country, but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'tis dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Fellow Americans, our nation faces a new crisis today. Once again, our freedom will come at the price of courage, strength, and faith. The future is in our hands." Thomas Paine.  
   On Christmas Eve, Washington ordered  that Paine's words be read to the troops to inspire them as they prepared to attack a much larger troop of enemy forces. The message was effective; the next day, the four thousand American soldiers surprised the twenty thousand Hessian fighters and won a victory that restored American morale.  (Thanks, Ben and Gail)

++ "Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors"  
More  (Thanks, Nick)

++ USA plays Santa Claus around the World with Billion$ of tax dollars - 
Afghanistan: $5,060,306,050
Albania: $27,479,989
Algeria: $17,807,222
Angola: $64,489,547
Armenia: $22,239,896
Austria: $310,536
Azerbaijan: $15,312,389
Bahrain: $6,573,352
Bangladesh: $263,396,621...
$ 324,015 on a clown 

(Thanks, Joni)

$324,015 on a clown school in Argentina

++ State Department Releases more Huma Abedin emails - Hillary's private server holding public documents enabled the leaks.  Link
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   We change public policies by changing public knowledge and perceptions.  You may notice as you scan the articles and information that some are submitted by readers, facebook friends, and interested individuals. Feedback is always welcome by emailing norm@mcu.today.
  Because we receive so much information daily, it is not possible to include everything. We try to include links to some of the most important and interesting.  Let's keep the faith and fight for a free USA and opportunities for our children and grandchildren as we had. 
    THANK YOU FOR READING, SHARING AND CARING!
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National and International
++ White House Briefing on 
A few of the 2017 highlights:
  • Kicking the American economy into high gear with $5.5 trillion in tax cuts, 1.7 million new jobs, and more than 60 record highs for the Dow Jones index
  • Putting America first in trade by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and working to modernize NAFTA
  • Making government more accountable, including by nominating 73 conservative federal judges
  • Promoting peace through strength by rebuilding the U.S. military and repelling ISIS across Syria and Iraq
++ Donald J. Trump - The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years , and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!  Article

++ US Budget to increase throughout Trump Administrations?  The 2018 Trump budget projects increases through 2027. This, to conservatives, is not acceptable. Trump promised to cut, cut, cut. That is what is needed and what we accept. 
   One are of interest is cuts in foreign aid - The Budget proposes to reduce or end direct funding for international programs and organizations whose missions do not substantially advance U.S. foreign policy interests.
  The Budget also renews attention on the appropriate U.S. share of international spending at the United Nations, at the World Bank, and for many other global issues where the United States currently pays more than its fair share. In addition, this Budget request focuses on making the Department of State and USAID leaner, more efficient, and more effective, and streamlines international affairs agencies more broadly through the elimination of Federal funding to several smaller agencies. White House Budget pg. 13.  Budget HERE
 

++ UN Budget CUT - U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the plan calls for a $285 million cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year.. Calling it "a big step in the right direction," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday night announced a historic reduction in the U.N. biennial operating budget.
   USA gave $121 Billion Dollars to nations who voted against us at the UN. blob: Source
  The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked."
   The United States was seeking a $250 million cut to the U.N. budget for 2018-19, on top of $200 million in savings already proposed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, capping the U.N. biennial budget at $5.4 billion, shaving off $200 million from the 2016-17 budget. The U.S. pays about 22 percent of the U.N.'s budget, or roughly $1.2 billion, and fully 28 percent of its peacekeeping effort. Source
   The final tally in the UN against the USA was 128-9, with 35 nations abstaining, including five members of the European Union. Among the National voting AGAINST the USA were Great Britain, France, Germany and Japan; Egypt, Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan are among major recipients of American aid that defied Mr. Trump's warning and voted for the resolution. Abstaining were Australia,  Canada,  and  India (less concerned with shunning USA than Arab  Nations Link )   See vote Here

   Aside from Israel, the only countries to side with the United States by voting no were Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau - mostly tiny countries heavily dependent on American aid. Article

++ More on UN Cuts! Funding CUTS AT THE UNFormer U.S. Ambassador John Bolton Tuesday applauded cuts to the United Nations budget, saying they are a "real opportunity" for President Donald Trump's administration to rethink the United States' share of what it contributes to the world agency and possibly even pulling out of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
  "There are plenty of parts of the U.N. system that don't deserve any U.S. funding, let alone a cut," Bolton told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "I think if the administration really wants to review what the options are available to us, they should think about having the U.S. in the international taxation [plan] that burdens us with a 22 percent share of most U.N. budgets, and move toward voluntary contributions."
   Bolton said he also believes the United States should withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and "totally defund it."
  "There are a number of other U.N. programs and agencies I think we could zero out and we stay in the ones that we think are actually providing value. It is a revolutionary principle." Many American were shocked to see U.S. allies standing with adversaries to criticize the United States for moving the embassy.   More

++ President Tweets about fake dossier:
WOW, @foxandfrlends "Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED." And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign! 5:24 AM - 26 Dec 2017
   Trump commented on the dossier after former Congressman Jason Chaffetz dismissed the document as "bogus" in an interview on Fox & Friends, pointing to  reports  that the FBI refused to reveal who funded the opposition research document.  More  (Thanks, Mike)

++ State Department Releases more Huma Abedin emails - Hillary's private server holding public documents enabled the leaks.  Link

++ Economy hits 85 new highs since electionMore

++ Under President Donald J. Trump, Americans Are Getting Back To Work  -   White House Briefing

++ National Security Strategy  - "Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens-to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values." President Donald J. Trump
   Four vital, national interests-organized as the strategy's four pillars-form the backbone of this commitment:
+ Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life
+ Promote American prosperity
+ Preserve peace through strength
+ Advance American influence
   This NSS and its four themes are guided by a return to principled realism.  Link
   Summary of the Strategy  Here
   Full National Security Strategy Paper  Here

++ FBI Uses Riot Footage to Charge 209 Rioters With FELONY Rioting, 10 YEARS In Prison - many are college students who traveled to riot.  More


 
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There are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning." 

  The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.
   "Here's a copy of the service," the pastor said impatiently. "But, you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."
   During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."
   At that moment, the substitute organist played "The Star Spangled Banner."
   And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!  (Thanks, Maureen)

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   You may not like Donald Trump, but we suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:
(1) he is antithetical to the "good old boy" method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;
(2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a candidate speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who owe them vis-a-vis donations;
(3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology; and
(4) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.
Michigan Brief 

Thank you to those in the legislature who have seen through the COS.   "It is equally certain that there are others who urge a second Convention with the insidious hope, of throwing all things into Confusion, and of subverting the fabric just established, if not the Union itself." Letter Madison to Jefferson 12/8/1788

++ Human Trafficing happening in MI - Video 
Don't take these things on alone. Call 911. (Thanks, Amy)

++ Corruption -  Ex-Detroit deputy police chief Celia Washington cuts deal in Gasper Fiore towing scandal - Article

++ FBI wiretaps reveal how towing titan Fiore built his empire - Towing titan Gasper Fiore was so politically connected that his daughter last year helped write an amendment to the Michigan Department of Transportation budget that ensured his company would win a multimillion-dollar contract, federal documents show.
  In the end, the amendment wasn't necessary. MDOT backed down - and Fiore was told nearly a month in advance that he would get the contract when it was awarded, which he did, according to FBI wiretap evidence.
  Along the way, Fiore, who for years dominated the towing industry in southeastern Michigan, appeared to have gotten help from then state Rep. Brian Banks, D-Detroit, and, possibly, state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, the wiretapped conversations show.  More
(Thanks Sabastiano)

Detroit Schools Spend More, Educate Less -
Eighth-highest spending delivers nation's worst reading scores for low-income children. Detroit $14,259 per student per year and climbing. Even with all that money, the district still generated the nation's worst reading scores among low-income students. The Miami-Dade district spends $8,725 per student (some $5,500 less than Detroit), and children from low-income households there had the best literacy rates among large cities.  (Thanks, CapCon)  More

WAKO  University of Michigan training session used 'Privileged Identity Exploration Model" A two-day professional development conference included a training session that aimed to help white employees deal with their "whiteness" so they could become better equipped to fight for social justice causes. 
(Thanks, Jodie)      OUR TAX DOLLARS?

"May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy." - George Washington  (1790)
Please read what you can, and pass some on!


Dr. Russell Kirk's   
The Conservative Mind  began the modern conservative movement and was the guide Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Wm.F. Buckley, Jr., and others looked to for clarity and focus on "the permanent things."  
 
Linked here a
   
Condensation
 
  "Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion and those which affect our government. They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated...
    To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedomand political and social happiness...mankind now enjoys. In proportion, as the genuine effects ofn Christianity are diminished in any nation....in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom...It follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown , our present republican form of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them." Rev. Jedidiah Morse in a 1799 sermon. Jedidiah's som Samuel invented the telegraph and Morse code. 


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