Three Things You Need to Know - October 27, 2017

Is your cereal racist?

Do you find yourself inexplicably offended this morning? If so, I think I have the answer. Quickly, retrace your morning routine in your mind. I’m guessing you probably ate a big bowl of Corn Pops for breakfast. I know, I know. It’s uncanny. How could I possibly know this?!

On Tuesday, Marvel Comics writer Saladin Ahmed suddenly found himself feeling just as you are now. He was chowing down on his big bowl of Pops, and as he was wiping the sleep from his eyes, gazing at the back of the cereal box, something caught his eye. There, in the midst of a cartoon depiction of little corn pops playing and shopping in a mall, was a darker corn pop sweeping the floor.

Excelsior! He had found the reason why a sudden creep of offense had now ruined his morning routine. Ahmed sprang into action quicker than one of his superheroes. He needed to wield the power of Twitter! He tweeted:

“hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism.”

He sat by his phone. Furiously refreshing his timeline. The offense was boiling at this point! But at 3:26pm, a response came. There on Ahmed’s twitter feed, was a response from @KelloggsUS:

“Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”

Victory!! Cue the slow-motion superhero walk away from, what was now, an exploding twitter timeline.

So, if you suddenly find yourself offended this morning, pull out your phone and compose that tweet. Maybe you're not even offended by the same thing that triggered Ahmed. I mean, there’s just so much to get offended by on that cereal box. Not only is the slightly darker corn pop a janitor, he’s also the only one wearing clothes! Why does Kellogg hate clothes? And the janitorial arts?

There’s just so much to get offended over these days. I don't want that to kill your spirit though. Just like Ahmed, there’s a superhero in us all. Take to social media and cry racism, sexism, feminism, transgendersim, offense-ism, whateverelse-ism, and you too can manipulate a company just as powerful as Kelloggs. To arms everyone, to arms!

The opiod crisis is at a fever pitch.

21 people will be dead before this show is over.

Why?

In America, seven lives are lost every hour to drug overdoses.

It’s not hyperbole to say that the current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history. It’s so bad that President Trump declared the crisis a national health emergency yesterday.

I am impressed with Trump and Melania’s dedication to this issue. It is an honorable cause that desperately needs to be addressed. The opioid addiction is suffocating this country. That stats are truly horrifying.

Overdoses killed more people last year than guns or car accidents, and are doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak.

In 2015, 2 percent of deaths, one in 50, in the United States were drug-related. Opioid addiction is so bad that it contributed to the US life expectancy dropping for the first time in decades. Trump’s plan to fight this epidemic is clunky, yet noble. Of course, he is going to produce “really tough, really big, really great advertising” to discourage people from getting hooked in the first place a la Nancy Reagan.

But he also said his plan would include a requirement that federally employed prescribers be trained in safe practices for opioid prescriptions, a new federal initiative to develop nonaddictive painkillers, and suspending a rule that currently prevents Medicaid from funding many drug rehabilitation facilities.

It’s a step in the right direction. But the government alone cannot end the opioid epidemic.

Only individuals have the true power to end their addiction.

Ultimately, it falls on us to dig ourselves and our loved ones out of this opioid mire.

Leave politics out of Halloween.

“Burn in Hell” read the tombstone.

It is a rather harsh epitaph.

You’d have to be a really despicable human being to deserve that on your grave. Just think, this person was so odious that someone actually spent money on the gravestone and the unforgiving engraving.

Thankfully, it only cost Fabian Vergara ten bucks at Party City. The tombstone is a Halloween decoration on his front lawn. The scene is complete with bright yellow caution tape and a fake corpse rolled up in garbage bags.

It’s a half-hearted attempt as far as Halloween decorations go, but his yard has had some scary reactions so far. In fact, it’s tearing the neighborhood apart.

Why? Above the “Burn in Hell” part on the tombstone, Fabian wrote President Trump’s name. Fabian’s neighbor Theresa was so disgusted by the scene that she called the town officials to see if they could force Fabian to remove the foam headstone.

"I want to know how far freedom of speech goes…Fabian needs to be removed from the neighborhood," she said.

Fabian responded to his neighbor’s threats by saying, “I'm doing it for fun. It was a joke. I like Halloween, so I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a free country."

This little rift in small-town America over stupid Halloween decorations is a microcosm of what is happening in this country.

Fabian and Theresa are both wrong here.

Look, it’s just distasteful to make a display about any President’s death—let alone call for him to “Burn In Hell.” It’s not cool. But Fabian is entitled to be as repugnant as he wants. As he said, it is a free country.

Theresa is wrong because you don’t have the power to eject someone from your neighborhood just because you don’t like them. Our first amendment protects Fabian’s free speech and that’s the way it should always be.

And I hate that I even have to tell you this story.

Can we please leave politics out of a kid’s holiday? Let’s remember Halloween is for them and they don’t give a Pixy Stick about your political agenda. Just give them the candy.

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This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.