Three Things You Need to Know – December 7, 2017

Franken Stepping Down

December 7th, a Day of Infamy on so many levels. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, AND today – in 2017 – Senator Al Franken will show the world what it looks like to be thrown under the bus. Now to be clear, he deserves every bit of what he’s getting. Character matters and Franken clearly doesn’t deserve the title of United States Senator. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think groping and fondling women against their will is conduct becoming an elected official. An immoral man won’t suddenly become moral just because his secret has been outed. He can’t just sit in front of a mirror and say… “look, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me” and wait for the ethics committee to declare no harm no foul.

However, Franken is clearly the sacrificial lamb here. Do I doubt the sudden newly found scruples of the Democrats? Absolutely. Franken’s announcement was conveniently chosen a full day AFTER a whole slew of Democrats called for his retirement. The intent was clearly to allow a good portion of the party to be able to say, “Hey, this guy really is bad. We decided to to do the right thing for women and for America.” Um yeah. I’m sorry but if you were really sincere and cared about the safety of women you would have done this after the first woman came forward, ok the second, well maybe after the third, fourth, fifth… YOU WAITED FOR THE SIXTH COMPLAINT!

I don’t think this was for the safety of women or for morality at all. What made this even more convenient was that all this comes just a couple days after Republicans, en mass, decided to start endorsing Roy Moore again. The motive for this announcement today seems clear. Franken was thrown under the bus as a sacrificial lamb to regain the moral high ground they’ve been losing since September. And I’ve got to tell you, with the way the GOP has been handling things lately, the Left will not only own the high ground, they’ll be entrenched and fortified in it with concrete bunkers.

Look, it’s absolutely justified to have Franken step down, but it’s also justifiable to call the Left out for their motivation here. Regardless the Democrat’s intentions, if the GOP doesn’t focus on character, and if they continue to handle things like Roy Moore the same, they can kiss the moral high ground goodbye. Character matters, and if the GOP doesn’t start acting like it, December 7th 2017 might be known as their new “Day of Infamy.”

US Officially Recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

Two words: Donald delivered.

Yesterday afternoon, Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and vowed to move the US embassy to the Holy City.

I’m really proud of Trump today. It was a brave move—one that he will be praised and remembered for– if he follows through it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m optimistic–with a dash of skepticism. Trump signed the same national security waiver signed by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, which will allow the administration to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for an additional six months. White House officials dismissed this move as “unavoidable because it would take several years to move the embassy staff to a new facility in Jerusalem.”

I can live with that as long as the embassy is moved before Trump leaves office.

The international community can yell and condemn America for recognizing reality all they want. They are wrong. This is a historic step against anti-Semitic hostility in the region and Trump deserves credit for being a strong leader on this. If this is any indication of where Trump is going in the future, I am excited to see what 2018 brings.

Facebook Targets a Younger Demographic

Do you want your six-year-old using Facebook?

This week, Facebook launched a new app called Messenger Kids. It’s an app for children to use on tablets or smartphones, but parents can control it from their Facebook account. Facebook says it’s addressing a need for a messaging app designed specifically for kids, but with the level of controls that parents want.

The app targets users as young as six-years-old. But don’t worry – Facebook says it spent months talking to parenting groups, behavioral experts, and families to develop the app. So it’s safe and probably even healthy for your child. According to Facebook, this “opens up a new world of online communication to families.”

Maybe so, but it also opens a whole new can of worms for American culture. Are we not distracted enough already? Now we need our six-year-olds walking across the playground with their nose in a screen? This app just gives kids one more technology thingamajig to bug Mom and Dad about. And right before Christmas too. Thanks, Facebook!

Another drawback – doesn’t this just provide predators, hackers, and Vladimir Putin with another point of attack?

Facebook says there are no ads in the app and that your child’s information won’t be used for marketing purposes. But that’s all this is, one giant marketing app. It’s marketing Facebook! It’s a massive recruiting tool. Facebook wants to hook kids on their social media product for the long term. You must be 13 to have a regular Facebook account. Facebook says it will not automatically convert Messenger Kids accounts to adult accounts when a child turns 13. But if this plan works, they won’t need to. The kid will already want to be a customer for life.

Part of me wants to resist any new app or technology specifically designed to hook my kids. On the other hand, this is their new reality. It wasn’t for my generation, so that’s why a lot of this stuff seems foreign. 66% of kids age 6-12 have their own smartphone or tablet now. Do we allow our kids to use these kinds of apps to help them be able to swim with the tide? And if so, what age is appropriate?

Each new gadget and app raises new questions. But the technology moves so fast we don’t have time to answer them before the next development.

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