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Most of my American readers who are pro-life will remember the horrifying case of Dr Kermit Gosnell, a serial abortionist, who was convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder and felonies various.

Actor and director Nick Searcy has an excellent article on the doctor whose medical procedures on babies shocked a nation: ‘Gosnell 2: The Exoneration’. He directed the 2018 film, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.

Let’s look at Gosnell’s convictions first (emphases mine):

On May 13, 2013, Dr Kermit Gosnell was convicted in Philadelphia of 3 counts of first degree murder for snipping, with scissors, the necks of infants who had been born alive, and 21 counts of felony late-term abortion, among other charges. His unlicensed staff members were convicted of “theft by deception” for performing medical procedures — abortions — for which they were untrained and unqualified. Stephen Massof, an unlicensed medical school graduate, pleaded guilty to two counts of third degree murder for snipping the spines of babies born alive according to Dr. Gosnell’s instructions. Many other members of his staff testified, in exchange for immunity, that they had participated in countless acts of “snipping.”

Ugh! The nation was shocked.

Six years later — 2019 — and we read that New York State recently passed a law that allows abortion up to birth. That is infanticide. It will probably be done via one, if not two, injections of poison inside the baby’s torso. Any babies undergoing this will be suffering a slow 24- to 48-hour tortured death.

Infanticide is also up for consideration in a handful of other states. I will have more on this as time permits.

Kermit Gosnell would say that he accurately predicted this would happen all along, as the Townhall article states. After his conviction, he said:

I continue to feel optimistic of the eventual outcome…the vindication of what I’ve done, why I’ve done it and how [it] will become accepted within my lifetime.

He was not wrong.

Further to the New York law, anyone can participate in a late term abortion, à la Gosnell:

He was convicted of killing breathing infants that had already been born. It is now legal in New York to kill an infant that survives an abortion.

He was convicted of allowing untrained and unlicensed non-medical personnel to perform abortions. It is now legal in New York for non-physicians or any “health professionals” (undefined) to perform abortions.

He was convicted of performing at least 21 late-term abortions past the legal limit of 24 weeks. It is now legal in New York to terminate a pregnancy up until the due date. In New York, there is no longer any such thing as a “late-term” abortion.

Nick Searcy is no doubt right with this prediction:

I would bet that Gosnell is now in his prison cell preparing his appeal for when the State of [Pennsylvania] follows suit and passes their own version of New York’s law.

Searcy’s article points out the totalitarian, Communist regimes that also murdered on a massive scale. Those rulers and the authorities under them believed they alone had control over life and death. He says that Gosnell feels the same way.

Ultimately, he says, none of these people — from totalitarians, to Gosnell, to New York State legislators — believe in God, because, if they did, they would know that a child is His creation. Because of this, we should be mindful of what the future brings:

What the Left ultimately wants to acquire is the power over life and death at ANY age, and that is why they have decriminalized Kermit Gosnell.

And history shows that they will not stop there.

This came up for discussion last week on a Fox News show. The star of Searcy’s movie said that Gosnell will indeed be vindicated. Check out the bit about Oregon — insurance will cover such a murder:

Here is the powerful trailer for Searcy’s film, which premiered on October 12, 2018:

One week after it opened, The Daily Wire had a good article on the film’s trajectory.

It was a box office phenomenon during that time:

“Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” surpassed box office expectations upon its release last week by entering into the Top 10 grossing films with a revenue of $1,235,000 on just 668 screens.

Then, cinemas across the United States stopped showing it:

Despite the solid performance for an independent film of this sort, nearly 200 theaters have inexplicably dropped the film, including those in major cities where it was performing the strongest. Coming into its second week, “Gosnell” has dropped from 668 theaters to 480 theaters — a full 188 theater drop, 15 of which were top-performing multiplexes.

John Sullivan, the film’s marketing director and one of its producers, told The Daily Wire that it was probably because of the film’s hard-hitting content:

“It’s hard not to believe it isn’t about the content of the movie,” he added. While some of the smaller theaters may have dropped “Gosnell” to make way for “Halloween” this weekend (a major release projected at number 1), the same could not be said for multiplexes housing 20 or more theaters where the film performed in the top 10.

Sullivan and others involved in Gosnell had also received reports that these multiplexes were actively discouraging customers from seeing the film:

Conversely, the filmmakers have received varying reports of theaters actively preventing customers from buying a ticket by not advertising the film or declaring it “sold out” before capacity is reached. While some of those situations may be the result of human error, Sullivan says the apparent blackballing is too consistent to go ignored

He continued: “One report out of Nashville had people being told the movie sold out simply because they didn’t have the staff to cover the theater, and they chose our theater to do that to. Why? Too many things have stacked up and it just doesn’t smell right.”

Sullivan directed the top-grossing “2016: Obama’s America,” and while that film certainly faced some resistance, the box office numbers were too strong for theater chains to simply toss it aside.

In a public statement on Facebook, the film’s producer, Phelim McAleer, said he had received “worrying reports from across the country” regarding customers’ inability to buy tickets.

People are saying that they are going to the box office and being told that the film isn’t being shown when it is,” McAleer said. “We are being told that people are also not able to buy tickets online. Some theaters are trying to cut this down, trying to exclude people from going to see it.”

The Daily Wire article also included first-hand accounts of people attesting to the fact that they could not buy tickets — or that, when they had, tickets were cancelled and customers refunded.

I have no explanation other than to say that, when movie theatres try to prevent Americans from seeing a successful, truthful film about a brutal, unrepentant abortionist, it’s time to start questioning the moral shift that is going on in the United States today.

If there is more about the mysterious disappearance of Gosnell, because there’s sure to be a back story to it, I’ll write a follow up.

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On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, President Trump will address the nation about the situation on the southern border of the United States.

The main networks, including cable, will broadcast his address, which is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Whilst many Americans are coming round to Trump’s idea of ‘the Wall’, about half as many (depending on what national surveys one reads) think such a physical barrier is overkill.

On January 7, Ryan Saavedra of the Daily Wire tweeted statistics from the GOP (‘Grand Old Party’, Republican Party) about the chaos along the border with Mexico:

Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, says that terrorists are also entering the United States via Mexico:

The GOP is helping raise awareness of the very real danger of a nearly uncontrollable flux of people entering the United States illegally. The advert is powerful (also see the YouTube version):

The latest tragedy involved the December 26 shooting of a police officer from Newman, California, Ronil (‘Ron’) Singh, who was on shift but looked forward to spending time later with his family. That time never came, sadly for him and his family.

Ronil Singh, a legal immigrant from Fiji, was murdered in cold blood, allegedly by an illegal alien suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Singh’s tragic story is also in the GOP advert:

Ryan Saavedra reported on the stubbornness of Democrat leaders who refuse to help safeguard the American people:

The video was released as part of a new website launched by the RNC called Borderfacts.com, which was created to combat misinformation from the media and Democrat Party.

“President Trump is committed to fighting for American citizens and our national security,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Meanwhile, Democrats are committed to fighting President Trump.”

Saavedra pointed out that Democrats used to believe that a secure southern border was a high priority.

Here’s more from Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, back in 2009:

On January 7, the retired sheriff of Milwaukee, David A Clarke Jr, wrote an article about Officer Singh’s murder for Townhall: ‘Enabling Criminal Aliens’. I encourage everyone to read it, especially those who think that all and sundry should be allowed to cross the border and take up residence.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Singh, 33, legally immigrated to the United States, became a U.S. citizen, and then became one of Newman’s finest citizens serving as a police officer for twelve years. Singh’s legal entry into the U.S. added value to our country. Sadly, this husband and father of a 5-month-old son was allegedly murdered by an illegal criminal alien gang member on Christmas Eve.

This tragedy was preventable.

Singh’s suspected murderer had “prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson had said. “Law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with (Cpl.) Singh… the outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted or had their hands tied because of political interference.”

California is a state that provides a safe harbor for people illegally in the country. California boasts its status as a sanctuary state in violation of federal law and the supremacy clause in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. California cities have passed laws prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with law enforcement officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the apprehension of illegal immigrants even after they have committed a crime. Many of these illegal criminals continue on to murder, rape and rob U.S. citizens post-release from a local jail under the catch-and-release policies before notifying ICE officials.

Such criminals, Clarke writes, are detained only for the most serious of crimes while they await an immigration hearing. Most are handled on a catch-and-release basis. Anything could happen between their being caught and their hearing date.

Several serious offences do not require detention of an illegal alien:

Typically the definition to detain involves only crimes such as murder, rape, and armed robbery. That’s about it. Serious drug dealing or gun possessions are not considered crimes of violence under this strict definition. Neither does burglary or the severe crime of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Do these lenient rules apply to American citizens? No, they do not:

Burglary is a felony and as far as I am concerned a crime of violence. It’s not merely a property crime that results in minor victimization. It involves forced entry. It is a category Part I crime by FBI statistics. Part I crimes are serious felonies. Anybody whose home has been broken into suffers a traumatic mental experience. I have seen it when investigating burglaries. People who once felt safe in their homes lose that sense of security after their home is burglarized.

Drunk driving, which Singh’s alleged killer was stopped for, is hardly a minimal offence, either:

Another offense that is marginalized by sympathetic lawmakers is driving under the influence. It is not merely a traffic offense. Tens of thousands of people are killed and maimed by impaired drivers every year. I have arrived on the scene of crashes involving impaired drivers. Seeing lifeless and mutilated bodies is not pretty. This is why most states take it so seriously that a first offense is a crime punishable by imprisonment. Many make a second and third offense a felony. It’s worth mentioning that the illegal alien who allegedly murdered Cpl. Singh had two prior arrests for DUI and was being stopped by Cpl. Singh for suspected driving under the influence again.

Clarke cited data from a Pew Research Survey which looked at crimes illegal aliens committed in 2016 and 2017:

the bulk of those arrested in 2016 and 2017 had prior criminal convictions. It indicates that in 2017 illegal immigrants with past criminal convictions accounted for 74% of all arrests made by ICE which is a 30% increase from the year before. The study points out that those with no previous conviction increased by 146% compared to a 12% increase of those with a past criminal conviction. They have demonstrated a propensity to victimize. This conviction rate includes nearly 60,000 arrested for drunk driving and approximately 58,000 arrested for dangerous drug dealing (opioids). The other classification of convictions are as follows:

Assaults: 48,454

Larceny: 20,356

General Crimes: 17,325

Obstructing Police: 14,616

Burglary: 12,836

Clarke rightly says that crime is expensive, not only for the victim and the victim’s employer, but also for the criminal in terms of law enforcement, incarceration and court costs. Therefore, when it comes to illegal aliens:

the policy on when to deport and for what reasons also needs to reflect these costs to the American people. The time to deport is before they go on to serious offenses, not after.

He would like to see more offences allowing illegal aliens to be detained:

Redefining what constitutes deporting a criminal alien is needed. By changing the definition from what is considered a ‘violent act’ to a ‘serious act’ would be more inclusive of the dangerous crimes I have highlighted in this article. Our laws need to reflect the protection of the American people not sympathy for criminal aliens.

He also says, rightly, that were Americans committing such crimes in foreign countries, punishment — and deportation — would be swift. You bet it would.

Clarke warns against watering down the definition of crime:

When we water down the standard for what is criminal behavior, we are heading toward a very dark place. Crime is crime. Period. This should be the standard for automatic deportation for criminal aliens.

Clarke is a strong supporter for building a wall:

Once we get the criminal illegals out, a wall is required to prevent these thugs from running back in and continuing to victimize Americans like Cpl. Singh who hours before his death stopped home to visit his family on Christmas Eve, kissing his wife and child for the last time.

Here is the final Singh family photograph taken during that visit, re-tweeted many times since his death:

Let’s look at the grief:

Let’s end by considering the following:

Furthermore, he thought enough of his adopted country to serve his local citizens in a dangerous job. Millions of people not only in the US but also around the world are so sorry he suffered that danger by being killed on duty.

In closing, President Trump is scheduled to visit McAllen, Texas, a border city on Thursday, January 10. His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted:

A border wall sounds cruel until we start to look at all the criminal statistics involved.

Another serious crime taking place along the border is human trafficking, including (especially?) that of children, but that topic will be covered in a separate post.

Over Christmas, I received one message from a loved one worried that President Trump will lead the US into war.

It was a bit surprising, as he had already laid out his policy to withdraw from Syria and would begin a troop draw-down in Afghanistan. That said, my loved one is a faithful MSNBC viewer. I have tried but cannot persuade her to get news from other sources.

As the American president noted yesterday:

As Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA — an organisation for university-aged Trump supporters — says, President Trump had a very successful 2018 despite his opponents’ best efforts to thwart him:

As an article in today’s Tennessee Star (initially posted on ConservativeHQ.com) pointed out:

President Trump’s been remarkably successful in a short time — through legitimate means. Democrats and the media relentlessly peck at him for his brash personal style and reflexive tendency to punch back via tweet, but if the success of a president is measured in actions performed, Trump rates extremely high.

It’s important to look back at Donald Trump’s personal history through his outstanding career in real estate. He knew anybody who was anybody. He went to all sorts of parties and receptions. People told him all manner of secrets in conversation.

The important thing to remember here is that Donald Trump does not drink. Nor has he ever used drugs. So, he remembers all sorts of details about what people — his friends, at the time — told him.

Shortly before the election on November 8, 2016, he held one of his many campaign rallies. At this particular one, he explained why his notional friends hated him for running for president:

He won the election he was not supposed to win. He became the leader of the free world, in traditional parlance.

It was more than just the media who had it in for him. A coup of sorts has been going on ever since he was elected, so please read the text inside the box:

At some point, however, one has to question the abject hatred. Is it just about President Trump — or is it about something more?

Because it’s about more than Trump.

This visceral hatred from the Left — media included — is also aimed at half of the US population:

President Trump spent all of Christmas and New Year at the White House:

All of the legislators have been on holiday, except for one, a Republican.

President Trump — and this Republican legislator — were hoping for an early return of senators and congressional representatives in order to press ahead with urgent legislation regarding the southern US border. But to no avail. Here is the Speaker-Designate of the House of Representatives:

Meanwhile, the First Lady hosted the Trumps’ New Year party on her own:

So, when the Democrats rail against President Trump come January 3, remember why the media and political elite — including his own Republicans — are doing so. They are being duplicitous in their rants.

Regardless, 2019 promises to be a ‘fantastic’ one for the United States, and, by extension, the world!

Perhaps less so for the president’s detractors.

If we want peace in the world, we need to continue to pray for President Trump’s safety and well-being.

On Thursday, December 27, the good Lord took Richard Arvin Overton, America’s oldest veteran and living male, to his heavenly rest.

Mr Overton was 112 years old and died of pneumonia-related complications.

A God-fearing churchgoer, he was of the old school in his daily habit of smoking Tampa Sweet cigars — up to 12 — and enjoying whisky. He was still driving a car at the age of 109.

This intriguing video shows us more about this good man, who served his country during the Second World War:

Black History Heroes honoured him on Veterans Day this year:

Prior to that, Richard Overton, a lifelong Texan, received other public honours, as Wikipedia tells us:

Overton gained media attention during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day “smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee.”[11] On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Overton was also invited to the White House where he met with President Barack Obama, and to the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was singled out by name for praise by the President.[5][12][13]

During an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies on March 24, 2017, Overton was honored during a half-time break.[14]

Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary, Mr. Overton, in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service.[15][16] On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston.[17][18][19]

On his 111th birthday, the University of Texas club feted him with a luncheon. Biography reports that he said:

111, that’s pretty old, ain’t it. I can still get around, I can still talk, I can still see, I can still walk.

His home city of Austin — the Texas state capital — even officially designated his birthday as Richard Overton Day. How cool is that?

Richard Overton was born to Gentry Overton, Sr. and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters on May 11, 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas. He was a great grandson of John Overton Jr., whose father served as a political adviser to President Andrew Jackson.

Wikipedia provides us with details about his tour of duty during the Second World War:

Overton enlisted into the U.S. military on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[8]

He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima. He left the U.S. Army in October 1945 as a technician fifth grade.[9]

He earned several service medals, including the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the US Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

After the war ended, Overton worked in furniture shops before taking on a position with the Texas Department of the Treasury, as it was known at the time.

He married twice and had no children.

In 2016, his relatives launched a GoFundMe campaign so that he could continue to live in his own home rather than go to an assisted living facility. The GoFundMe campaign was wildly successful and raised more than $200,000 as of 2017. Biography says that Home Depot and Meals on Wheels also made their own donations. Ultimately, Richard Overton was able to have his house refit to accommodate his changing health circumstances and enable round the clock care at home.

Biography tells us that, when asked if he had any secrets to a long life:

Overton simply replied that he has none. “I don’t have a secret,” he told People. I am here because the man upstairs wants me to be here… He put me here, and he decides when it’s my time to go.”

Well said!

His funeral will take place in Austin on January 12, 2019; KXAN has details. His house could well be turned into a museum — his dying wish.

Richard Overton honoured God, his country, his family and his fellow citizens.

One cannot say better than this …

… other than to add: may he rest in peace.

President Donald J Trump and First Lady Melania Trump gave a Christmas message on December 25, taking turns in relating the Nativity story and how this season brings out the best in the American spirit of giving to and caring for others. They also remembered those who serve in the military.

This is a very Christian message. I applaud them for it:

President Trump also participated in his customary Christmas conference call with selected military bases:

On Christmas night, America’s first couple travelled to Iraq to meet and greet US troops serving there. Contrary to what Big — Fake — Media say, this trip would have been planned weeks, if not months, in advance.

This is a superb video of their entrance:

This is my favourite photo:

Mrs Trump is the first wife of a US president to visit Iraq since 2003, at which time Laura Bush went:

Trump gave a short speech to the troops, discussing his foreign policy decisions in the Middle East:

He also said:

In a private meeting with military officers, Trump made this revelation about the trip there:

After the Trumps left Iraq, they flew to Ramstein Air Base in Germany:

Cameras were out in force:

Neo-con national security adviser John Bolton also made the trip:

However, it does not look as if Bolton was in this particular meeting aboard Air Force One:

Then it was time to return home:

Mrs Trump is wearing leather trousers, by the way — not a miniskirt.

In closing, everyone involved put together a painstakingly involved, whistle-stop overseas tour that, thankfully, went beautifully and brought all concerned home safe and sound. For that, we can thank divine providence.

As ever, we watched the Queen’s Christmas Message when it was broadcast at 3 p.m. on December 25:

The choir of King’s College Cambridge opened with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.

The Queen then discussed the first ever service of Nine Lessons and Carols held at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The service was 100 years old this Christmas Eve. The Revd Eric Milner White, who had served as a military chaplain in the Great War, devised the service as a means of conveying peace and goodwill so shortly after Armistice Day. As Her Majesty said, it:

spoke to the needs of the times.

She noted that the service, watched by millions around the world every year, begins with a chorister’s solo of the first verse of Once In Royal David’s City. The Queen’s Christmas Message ended with just such a solo. This video is well worth watching for the choral music alone — unsurpassed!

The Queen went on to speak of the great events of the past year, including the Royal Family, with its two weddings and two births that took place this year. She noted that the Prince of Wales celebrated his 70th birthday this year.

She had a spiritual message:

Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have been not only a constant for me but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.

The Queen also reflected on the number of Commonwealth nations, the strength of which:

‘lies in the bonds of affection it promotes’ and a ‘common desire to life in a better, more peaceful world’.

She also acknowledged the tireless work of the British Armed Forces stationed abroad at Christmas.

She concluded with a message about peace on Earth, which:

is “needed as much as ever” and also called for people treat others with respect, even in situations where there are “deeply held differences”.

I always look forward to hearing what the Queen has to say. This year’s message did not fail to impress.

It is not often that President Trump’s genius son-in-law Jared Kushner, his senior adviser, gives an interview.

However, Kushner did agree to appear on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Monday for a brief segment:

Hannity was very good and did not interrupt once.

Jared Kushner speaks in complete sentences, which is a rarity in today’s English-speaking world, especially the US.

His main points were about the necessity for prison reform and achieving a far-reaching, peaceful solution in the Middle East.

This is well worth watching. Who knows when he will appear again on the airwaves?

Sean Spicer, President Trump’s former press secretary, tweeted this USA Today editorial about what it is like caring for her veteran husband, disabled after he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan, and doing battle with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Click on the image to see her editorial in full:

The VA has been in very bad shape for decades. Under the Trump administration it is gradually improving, but there is still a long way to go.

Please remember these veterans and their families in your prayers this Christmas season. Thank you.

On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participated in their second ceremonial lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC, near the White House.

Earlier that day, the First Lady defended her choice of red Christmas trees along the main corridor — the Grand Foyer — inside the White House:

This was the president’s official schedule for the tree lighting ceremony at The Ellipse in President’s Park:

Entertainment was provided and, afterwards, the tree was lit:

President Trump then gave a six-minute address, in which he thanked everyone who decorated the tree and made the event possible:

Tonight’s ceremony is only possible because of the hard work of the many talented individuals. They were working late at night. They were working early in the morning. They were working all the time. And my sincere thanks to everyone at the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. (Applause.)

He also thanked the entertainers:

There’s great talent. They’re going on to big things, many of them. I’ve seen them and they are something very special. Thank you very much. That was a great job tonight. (Applause.)

And this includes one very special group that has topped Billboard charts multiple times: the Dominican Sisters, who I met backstage, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Applause.)

These, by the way, are traditional Dominicans, not the ones who have gone trendy in recent years. These women are doing very well in expanding their community. This is one of the orders women want to join. May God bless them in their work.

You can read more about their 2017 Christmas album here. It was recorded in their chapel at the Ann Arbor Motherhouse:

But I digress.

President Trump retold the Christmas story beautifully — as he did last year (emphases mine):

For Christians all across our nation, around the world, this is a sacred season that begins 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born. An angel declared to the shepherds tending their flocks, “Behold, I bring you good tidings, great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is a born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Applause.) There in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph held in their hands the son of God; the light of the world; and, through Him, the promise of eternal salvation.

He then went on to discuss the time that Americans selflessly give to each other and a spirit of national unity. I am certain that Stephen Miller helped to write this speech, evident in the fourth paragraph:

No matter one’s faith or beliefs, the Christmas season reflects all that is best in the American spirit. This is a time of the year for rejoicing with our family and friends, for spreading charity and goodwill in our commitment all over this country in all of our communities, and for giving thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.

We are especially thankful for the countless Americans who have given their time and passion to help those in need. Here in the audience today are a number of extraordinary foster families and guardians joined by the beautiful children they have welcomed into their homes. And beautiful children they are. Your devotion inspires us all. To every child in foster care: You are the precious loved one and gift of God. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Very, very special.

At this time of the year, we renew the bonds of affection between our fellow citizens, and we awaken the faith in our hearts that calls each of us to action. As we gather loved ones, our thoughts turn to those who are rebuilding their lives after devastating wildfires, destructive hurricanes, and terrible tragedy.

We are one American family. We hurt together, we heal together, and we will always pull through together. This is the United States of America. We are the best in the world, and there’s nobody close. (Applause.)

He ended with these words:

We ask God to watch over this nation’s heroes, and to shed his almighty grace upon our nation. And we pray that America’s light will shine more brightly and stronger than ever. And it will.

On behalf of Melania and myself and the entire Trump family — many of whom are with us tonight — I want to again wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas. May this Christmas season bring peace to your hearts, warmth to your homes, cheer to your spirit, and joy to the world. Merry Christmas, everyone. Merry Christmas and God bless you. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Something must have been on the radar, because the Trumps left quite quickly:

The press corps moaned:

Well said.

The Trumps’ safety deserves more concern than the inconvenience a back-biting member of the press corps experiences.

One hopes that the 2019 tree lighting is free from threats, real or anticipated.

The funeral for former president George Herbert Walker Bush took place on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at the National Cathedral (Episcopalian) in Washington, DC.

I’m not featuring too much on this, because a) most people have seen the funeral coverage in the media and b) Bush I was the only American over 60 who said he could not remember where he was when John F Kennedy was assassinated. I certainly remember where I was, and I was only a small child at the time.

That piece of Bush history came to light only a few years ago, thanks to the online world. Others might have already known it through lesser-known political writings.

Until that point, I admired Bush I a lot. I was delighted with the ‘Thousand Points of Light’ speech, which Peggy Noonan (Obama supporter, anti-Trumper) wrote. Bush delivered the speech when accepting the Republican nomination for president in 1988.

On the whole, I think he did a good job as president and was certainly worlds better than his opponent, Michael Dukakis from Massachusetts, would have been.

My two objections to Bush I’s presidency were ‘no new taxes’ which, strangely, ended up as new taxes, thereby enabling Clinton’s victory four years later. The other was the end of the first Gulf War, which seemed a bit incomplete. It was not surprising, therefore, that a second Gulf War ensued.

Historian Doug Wead appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss Bush’s presidency:

My condolences go to the Bush family, which is large and close-knit. They lost their two most important family members this year. Barbara Bush died in April. I believe that the former president, despite his chronic ailments, died of a broken heart.

Before moving on to Bush’s funeral, one must look at John McCain’s service, which was held three months to the day earlier: September 5.

Something happened at his funeral that recurred at Bush’s.

At McCain’s funeral, George W Bush passed a piece of candy to Michelle Obama:

Caption: ‘Thank you!’

Now on to the former president’s funeral. President Trump was informed of his death whilst at the G20 in Buenos Aires, on the evening of Friday, November 30. He and Melania issued a joint statement. He also spoke with Bush II and Jeb the following morning.

President Trump took this event very seriously, as he said at the G20 summit, when he cancelled his press conference:

A media moratorium on any in-depth interviews ensued. On Monday, Dennis ‘Nate’ Cain, who underwent a six-hour raid on his home, even though he is a protected government whistleblower, tweeted:

Meanwhile, the Bush family assured President Trump that no one speaking at the service would criticise him. They did that because the notional eulogies at McCain’s funeral were a Trump hate-fest.

The morning of the funeral, President Trump recognised the service as a time to celebrate life as well as to mourn:

The Secret Service paid a final tribute to the 41st president of the United States:

His Secret Service code name was Timberwolf:

At the funeral service, once again Melania Trump was seated next to Obama, just as she was at Mrs Bush’s funeral. On that subject, a group photo of presidential couples appeared after Mrs Bush’s funeral. Mrs Trump was cropped out in many articles using it. Here is the full photo, with Mrs Trump standing next to Michelle Obama.

On Wednesday, Bush II was not seated with the Obamas, as he was giving his father’s eulogy. However, he remembered Mrs Obama with candy on his way in:

It looks undignified to me, too, but I know nothing of Washington DC funerals for dignitaries.

A few unusual things happened.

One was the representation from Saudi Arabia:

Another is that Hillary Clinton had a moment:

Yet another was this silent exchange between former first lady Laura Bush and her brother-in-law Jeb:

And, finally, for whatever reason, the Trumps refused to recite the Apostles Creed.

That aside, President Trump, in the media’s eyes, could do nothing right.

The media are wrong. He shut down Washington DC — and post offices across the nation — on December 5.

Here’s another thing the media falsely criticised him for:

In closing, may President Bush rest in peace.

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