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It's been nearly 12 years since a major tropical cyclone hit Southtwest Florida, nearly 12 years since locals had to gear up and get out. During those years, it's been quiet. Blessedly quiet. After back-to-back years with hurricanes coming ashore locally, residents were relieved.
 
We had become accustomed to keeping our cars gassed up, our cupboards stocked, our generators checked. We knew what it was like to be without power for days, to spend hours waiting to fill up a gas can, to spend even more time on highways trying to evacuate ahead of a threatening storm.
 
Everyone who lived here when the last hurricanes struck has stories of Dennis, which made landfall July 10, 2005, and Hurricane Ivan, which rolled in less than a year before. Damage was widespread, forcing the closure of U.S. Highway 98 and the bridge to Navarre Beach.
 
We were warned and we were ready.
 
And then, nothing happened. For years, storms have brushed by us to the east or the west, leaving us with nothing more than rain and rip currents.
 
We didn't need the generators we'd queued up to buy. We weren't invited to the big dance and we were thrilled.
 
It's impossible to predict whether our lucky streak will continue. Every season, meteorologists with the National Weather Service make predictions and either they come true, or they don't. Either way, an average resident of Northwest Florida doesn't pay attention to the forecast unless we are in the dreaded cone of probability.
 
Hurricane season officially starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
 
That means we have about two weeks to decide how seriously we will take the potential threat and what we want to do about it.
 
Officials are gearing up, holding hurricane exercises and working through the process that is launched when a storm comes our way. It would be irresponsible for them to do any less. When there is an emergency, we expect them to be there, whether we've done our homework to prepare or not.
 
Hurricanes cause chaos, even when the best plans are in place.
 
So this is a reminder for everyone who has become complacent, who is sure that a storm won't hit Southwest Florida this season, that we hope you're right.
 
But we encourage everyone to take basic preparations in case you're wrong.
 
 
 
Here are some of the basics:
 
-Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and have a plan for where you'll stay.
 
-Put together a disaster supply kit that includes flashlights, batteries, cash, first aid supplies and copies of critical paperwork.
 
-Check your house to make sure your roof and gutters are secure. Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs in your yard.
 
-Keep your cars filled with gasoline and your pantry filled with food that doesn't require a working stove or refrigerator.
 
 
 
We might get lucky. We certainly have before.But if we don't, it's better to be prepared than to wish we had been.
 
Reefer madness, was a film originally financed by a church group that was released in the late 1930’s depicting the potential evils of Marijuana.
 
The madness seems to have reached Washington, Madness indeed!
 
Marijuana is and has been the most commonly used illegal substance in the U.S., and more than half of states in the country allow medical marijuana. Eight states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing its use recreationally.
 
However John Kelly, the Homeland Security Secretary has called marijuana a “gateway drug” and vowed his agency will uphold federal laws against its possession.
 
“Let me be clear about marijuana. It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” Kelly said during a speech about his agency’s mission at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
 
“Its use and possession is against federal law and until the law is changed by the United States Congress, we in DHS, along with the rest of the federal government, are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books,” he added.
 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a longtime opponent of cannabis, remains opposed even for medicinal use “It remains a violation of federal law,” he said. “I don’t think America will be a better place when more people, especially young people, smoke pot.”
 
Medical studies continue to say otherwise, the National Academy of Sciences released nearly 400 page report earlier this year based on 10,000 research studies, whereby the therapeutic benefits and risk factors of marijuana were weighed and compared. The review was conducted by a panel of experts led by Harvard public health researcher Marie McCormack, also 
 
The review clearly states that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that marijuana is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, treating spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, and as a tonic for nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, also providing convincing evidence that marijuana may be an effective treatment for a host of other disorders — such as insomnia relating to painful syndromes, increasing appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, decreasing severe anxiety, glaucoma, and combating the effects of PTSD.
 
The review also looked at the health risks associated with marijuana use, dispelling some popular arguments against it and according to the review, smoking marijuana is not associated with the same cancer risks as tobacco — there was no evidence that marijuana use was associated with lung, head, and neck cancers. Tobacco is recreationally legal nationwide.
 
“It just reinforces what our policy makers should already know, This is a product with significantly lower risk factors than other things that we regulate and consume, like alcohol.” said McCormack. “
 
Marijuana is also far less risky than another common pain relievers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Tylenol, generically marketed as acetaminophen is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers across the states., more than 100,000 per year and is responsible for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure.
 
Acetaminophen poisoning is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the US and can be toxic to your liver even at recommended doses when taken daily for just a couple of weeks.
But, unlike cigarettes, children can easily buy it over the counter.
 
During his campaign, President Trump said he supported the use of medical marijuana. Earlier this month, after signing his $1 trillion spending bill, he publicly objected to a provision in the bill that would prohibit the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories.
 
Despite the fact that a government sponsored poll conducted earlier this year showed that 57 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana, Attorney General Sessions expressed astonishment.
 
To my knowledge, there has never been a recorded overdose death associated with marijuana, meanwhile the death toll from cigarettes, alcohol and Acetaminophen combined run to the millions.
 
And now, Kelly, Sessions and even President Trump, who have never had to experience being on chemotherapy and crawling to a bathroom in order to vomit from its effects, now seem to be making marijuana a major problem.
 
All the while, ignoring what the majority of the American public, we the people they work for, want.
 
It make you wonder, what are THEY smoking?
 
Tournament will be held at the Port Sanibel Marina located at 14341 Port Comfort Rf. Fort Myers, Fl 33908 and starts at first safe light on May 27th, with weigh-in at the Marina between 2pm-4pm
 
"This event is open for no costs at all to all veterans, caretakers, first responders, our main goal is for this event to be one of the largest displays of Patriotism ever during a tournament." Captain Esteban Gutierrez
 
 
This tournament will have the following divisions:
 
Boats: all boats in this division
 
Paddle craft division: canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and self propelled vessels etc are in this division.
 
Calcutta division: the object fish species for this division is announced the night before the tournament at the captains meeting.
 
Trash can slam: teams must catch a lady fish, a Jack and a catfish, team with highest weight for all three fish wins. 
 
 
The 4th Annual Heroes Inshore Slam Tournament is organized by a team of volunteers and business owners to benefit the Southwest Florida Heroes on the Water Chapter.
 
"Heroes on the water, the mission there is that we treat wounded veterans to triple threat therapy; mental, occupational and physical therapy, we take them out Kayak fishing, so it helps with their rehabilitation and reintegration back into society." Tim Zimmerman
Thursday, 25 May 2017 08:28

Solomon’s Castle

 
Using what others have thrown out, this 12,000 sq ft castle is complete with towers, a moat, 80 stained glass windows (each with a story) and an electric elevator built from from junk. Thousands of aluminum printing plates discarded by a local newspaper down the road in Wauchula cover the entire shiny silver castle.
 
''I have a different perception of the concept of patience than most people,'' says Solomon, who built every square foot of the castle by himself, working with metal scraps he got for free, old car parts he got from a junkyard and rebuilt machinery he bought for 10 cents on the dollar." 
 
''To me, patience is something that you need when you are doing things you don't like to do. My secret is that I just don't do things I don't like to do.''
 
The sculptor Howard Solomon bought the land in 1972 at the age of 47 for $350 an acre “because it was cheap and he was too” it was in the dry season, little did he know that it would become a swamp during the rainy months. Yet Howard is a resourceful guy; he built a levee and pumped the water out.   He started building in 1974 with his out-of-the box thinking, he envisioned building a castle that would be his home—his dream of paradise. It took Solomon 21 years to create his dream. Then in 1993 he built a moat and as though his castle was not enough, Howard built a boat. Howard does things big, he built a full size 16th Century Spanish Galleon, complete with mast, sails, cannons, rigging, and decks. There are at least 200 pieces of Howard's work on display.  He purchased adjacent land as it became available, and now family members live in the five houses on the 90-acre property and run the business. 
 
Howard is skilled in over twenty trades that include welder, carpenter, painter, shipbuilder, cabinet maker, tinsmith, plumber, electrician, carver, artist, and others. Even though Solomon's teachers in Rochester, New York public schools told his parents he was borderline retarded. He failed 2nd grade but could do anything with his hands. 
 
He wasn't mentally handicapped he was just bored.
 
"I was expelled from high school in the 10th grade, and the punishment was they sent me to an industrial school," he says. "That was a lucky break. I learned to be a machinist and a draftsman. I learned about woodworking and sheet metal. But before I graduated, they expelled me because my true calling was being a comedian, and nobody recognized that but me.”
 
He was an unlikely soldier but served in Korea. Later he followed his parents to Florida, settled in St. Petersburg with his wife and toiled as a carpenter. In 1962, Solomon moved his family to the Bahamas and began his career as an artist, he had galleries in Freeport, Bahamas and Miami, Fla. and engaged in a multitude of trades to hone his skills. 
 
"The common thread of my art," he says "is I have to keep my hands busy."  
 
Solomon's castle has been featured on numerous television programs and in publications around the world.   It has appeared on CNN, HGTV’s ‘Extreme Homes’, and in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. 
 
You don’t need to be art connoisseur to admire a Solomon sculpture. All you need is a pair of eyes and a sense of humor.  
 
Also on the property is an antique car museum that includes two cars Solomon was especially proud of — a 1915 ford Model T Speedster and a 1925 Ford Model T.  The car museum is not accessible on the individual tours, but groups can make prior arrangements for it to be included on their visit.
 
Howard Solomon was born on May 27, 1935 and passed on August 23, 2016, the family had this to say about his passing: “Howard's Dear old heart just gave out at the age of 81. Surrounded by his Family, he peacefully passed away at home in his castle,  just the way he wanted.”  
 
Howard's Big Kingdom of Fantasy is really a 'Family Affair' including Daughters, Sons, Grandchildren and even a few friends and his wife Peggy who takes care of all the natural botanical wonders. 
 
You don't always have to look to Ireland and Scotland if you want to explore a castle. Standing in a central Florida swamp, shining in the sun, is a hand-built medieval castle complete with a moat.  Visit the home, galleries and workshop of internationally renowned artist Howard Solomon. Tour the Castle, walk the beautiful nature trails and enjoy a delightful lunch at the Boat in the Moat Restaurant. A wonderful place to spend a few hours, be entertained and have a great lunch.
 
For a unique overnight adventure spend the night in the castle's quarters available for rent. (occupancy of 2)
 
The Castle is also available for Weddings and private events & functions. 
 
We spoke to Dean and Alane (Solomon) Murphy current proprietors who invite all to come visit the Solomon Castle. Located at 4533 
Solomon Rd, Ona, FL 33865
 
Hours: 
-10 AM–4 PM Tuesday - Friday
-11 AM-4 PM Saturday & Sunday
-Closed on Mondays, 
-The Castle is also be closed all  
  month in August & September.
   
For more info Call: (863) 494-6077
 
 
 
Jennifer VanderWest
Thursday, 25 May 2017 07:23

Local Motor Corps Wins Again!

 
.......................................... 
Last year, we reported that the Araba Motorcycle Escort Team took first place in the Shriners Statewide Motorcycle Drill Team Competition for the Florida Association of Shrine Motor Corp (FASMC).
 
This year they participated in the 2017 Shriners Statewide Motorcycle Drill Team Competition representing our local Araba Shriners Center, to defend their first place title.....and defend their title they DID !!
 
You have probably seen the Araba Motor Escort Drill Team performing their signature figure 8's, criss-crosses, circles, and other exciting maneuvers during the local parades. Making their home here in Fort Myers at the Araba Shrine Center on Hanson Street, they are a favorite with parade goers throughout Lee County.  
 
These daring riders from Fort Myers the City of Palms competed this month in the Statewide Shrine Competition and once again the Araba Motor Escort Team has taken first place in the State Drill Team Competition.  The State Drill Team Competition can be best described as synchronized motorcycle maneuvers, like that in synchronized swimming, only with Full Dresser Harleys.  For the second year in a row they have also taken first place in the "Overall" Team Competition which encompasses the drill maneuvers and the inspection of the team and their motorcycles.
 
The "traveling trophy" which comes with that honor, will once again reside at the Araba Shriners Center on Hanson Street for the year of 2017.  It will be up for grabs in the 2018 Shriners Statewide Competition when the local team will ride with anticipation of a win for the third year in a row.
 
Members of this years Drill Team are Captain Ed Lawler, Dodd Skipper, Gary Manning, Dave More, Fred Peterson, Gill Drake and Bobby Mimmo.
 
The team would like to thank all of those who have supported them through their training and preparation.  Captain of the Drill Team, Ed Lawler added, “I want to thank the team members for all their hard work and a successful weekend, and I'd like to also Thank all the Shriners that came out to support our practices and those that were there for our victory,  it takes a team working together to do great things.” 
 
Last year this team went to the International Shrine Association Competition (ISA) to represent the state and came in third place in the Drill Competition and third place in the obstacle course.
 
On July 9th, 2017 at the Daytona International Speedway the Araba Motorcycle Escort Team will be competing at the International Shrine Association Competition (ISA).  As the State of Florida Champions for FASMC Araba Motorcycle Escort Team will be competing with all Shrine Centers Nationally and Internationally.  All event will be held in the infield at the Daytona International Speedway.     
  
As a fundraiser, the speedway will allow all desirous racing "wanna-b's" to do a lap on the track in the vehicle of your choice for only a $25 donation to the Shriners Hospital For Children.  I don't know about you but that is definitely on my bucket list.
 
All are welcome to come out and support your local champions and take part in this fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital For Children by taking a spin on the track. 
 
Shriners have long been known for their charitable work, particularly with their well-respected Children's Hospitals and Burn Units. There are over 22 hospitals in North America alone and it is estimated that the cost to operate these medical facilities is in the billions of dollars annually.
 
Al DiPasquale
 
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 20:15

Tim Allen's Hit Gets Canceled

 
In January, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told a Television Critics Association session in Hollywood that she wanted to retool ABC programming to include more shows for Trump-voting segments of the population: men, rural America and working-class families.
 
"If we're talking about diversity and inclusion, I want to make sure we're inclusive of everyone," she declared. "When you think about the name, we're the American Broadcasting Company."
 
We've seen this movie before. The commitment to wholesome values is perhaps the emptiest statement in Hollywood.
 
This month, she broke that campaign promise like a politician by canceling the Tim Allen sitcom "Last Man Standing," a show appealing directly to that Trump electorate. A Change.com petition protesting the move has nearly 300,000 signatures. Allen tweeted that he was "stunned and blindsided" by the bad news.
 
Why was Allen fired?
 
The show didn't have a ratings problem -- it averaged 6.4 million viewers this season, and that should be graded upward on a curve, since the show aired on Friday and the overall Friday audience is typically smaller than other weeknights. Dungey said the job of a programming executive was "managing failure," but this wasn't a failure. "It was a steady performer," she admitted. However, she added, "Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that's where we landed."
 
Instead, they're moving in the drama "Once Upon a Time," which averaged 3.2 million viewers this year, or half of Allen's number. In the second hour, ABC is eventually placing its show "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which this season averaged 2.3 million viewers.
 
What about Saturday to Thursday? Apparently, there wasn't a slot on ABC prime time for Allen's show.
 
What constitutes a success at ABC? Dungey declared herself "optimistic and excited" about a third season of "Quantico," which, according to creator Joshua Safran, is opposed to "Trumpian instincts." The series just concluded with a plot that the Trump-like president wanted to merge the FBI and CIA into one giant agency and was exposed as a tool of the Russians. And the ratings? This cartoonish liberal claptrap averaged 2.7 million viewers this season, just over a third of Allen's total. It was renewed.
 
These surviving shows with mediocre ratings are owned by ABC. That means there are business reasons for Allen's show to be dismissed, since it's owned by 20th Century Fox. But it's the second-highest-rated ABC sitcom behind "Modern Family," which is also owned by Fox. (This season, it was ABC's third most watched scripted series behind "Modern Family" and "Grey's Anatomy.") But ABC is keeping Fox-owned "Fresh Off the Boat," which on Tuesday night drew less than 4 million viewers. Pro "diversity" ABC wasn't going to cancel an Asian-American sitcom -- one with an episode last November during which a character proclaimed, "This country was founded by illegal immigrants," meaning the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.
 
ABC also claims it is renewing these less-popular shows due to "critical acclaim," and that's one way Hollywood liberals can cite liberal TV critics in defense of their decisions. Tim Allen is not a critic's darling. They dismissed this show as retreading his 1990s ABC smash "Home Improvement."
 
So if Tim Allen's hit show is produced by Fox, why can't Fox pick it up? Deadline reported that Fox isn't airing traditional multicamera sitcoms anymore and is leaning toward "edgy" comedies to try to attract younger viewers. Fox only had two weeknight sitcoms this season, both of which struggled: the beyond crass "The Mick" (2.9 million average viewers) and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (2.1 million average viewers). Both were renewed.
 
Looking at all this, you can see why Tim Allen is stunned ... and why it's easy to think that a pro-Trump TV star is suddenly out of fashion largely for reasons that have nothing to do with ratings or business.
 
L. Brent Bozell III 
and Tim Graham
 
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 20:03

No Bonus for Vets

 
I'm guessing there's something floating around on the internet giving veterans false hope that they are due some kind of extra Social Security benefits for serving in the military. Vets around the country are marching into their local Social Security office with their DD-214 (military discharge papers) demanding that this hyped up bonus be added to their Social Security checks. Or they are sending me emails asking me to help them get the extra money. 
 
As is so often the case with these online rumors, there is a tiny kernel of truth to the story. But then exaggerated claims and false information take over and things get blown way out of proportion. 
 
Here are the facts in a nutshell: If you were in the military anytime up until 2001, the government may add a small amount of additional earnings to your Social Security record. And here is the good news: Those earnings are added automatically. There is nothing you need to do to get the extra credits. But here is the bad news: The extra credits are relatively minimal and usually will have little or no impact on the eventual amount of your Social Security check. Now here are the details. 
 
If you served on active duty or active duty training in the military service any time after 1956, you paid Social Security taxes on your earnings just like anyone else working at a job covered by Social Security. And since 1988, inactive duty in the armed forces reserves, such as weekend drills, has also been covered by Social Security. That's the simple part.
 
What leads to all the confusion is that Congress decided to add extra earnings credits to the Social Security records of military personnel. And the amount of those credits varies depending on the time served.
 
If you were in the military between 1957 and 1977, the government adds $300 to your Social Security records for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
 
From 1978 through 2001, the government adds an extra $100 to your Social Security account for each $300 you earned in basic pay, up to a maximum of $1,200 per year. There are times when these extra credits aren't granted. For example, if you enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980 and didn't complete your full tour of duty, you won't get the extra credits. Check with the Social Security Administration for more exceptions.
 
Beginning in 2002, the government stopped adding extra credits to Social Security records for military service.
 
As I said above, if you are due extra credits, you usually don't need
 to do anything to get them added to your record. If you served from 1968 through 2001, those credits are automatically added to your Social Security account. If you served from 1957 through 1967, the credits will be added at the time you file for benefits. In some cases, you may be asked to provide your DD-214 (discharge papers) to verify your military service.
 
The story is a little different for older vets. If you served in the armed forces between 1940 and 1956, Social Security taxes were not deducted from your military paychecks. But in most cases, the government did add $160 per month in earnings to your Social Security account for the time you served. These credits were automatically added at the time you applied for Social Security benefits. 
 
So that's the story. There are no big Social Security bonuses for vets. You don't need to go to your Social Security office waving your DD-214 and expect to get a big pile of cash. (Although, as I pointed out above, folks who served between 1957 and 1967 may need to show their discharge papers at the time they file for benefits to get those extra earnings added to their Social Security account.)
 
And finally, it's important that I repeat this message: Those extra earnings you get for your military service aren't going to make you rich. Because Social Security retirement benefits are figured using a 35-year base of earnings, a few hundred dollars sprinkled here and there into your Social Security account will have little if any impact on your eventual Social Security benefit.
 
 
Tom Margenau
 
If you want to see what divides Republicans in Congress, don't look at the struggle to repeal and replace Obamacare. Look at spending.
 
The House's narrow passage of a partial repeal of Obamacare dominated media for days. Happening at the same time, but receiving relatively little coverage, was the Senate's approval of a $1.1 trillion spending bill that revealed -- far more than Obamacare -- the deep differences among Republicans in both houses of Congress.
 
The story is in the numbers. On Obamacare, 217 Republicans voted for partial repeal, while just 20 -- a little under 10 percent of the House GOP conference -- voted against it.
 
On the spending bill, just 131 Republicans voted yes, while 103 GOP lawmakers -- about 43 percent of the House GOP conference -- voted no. In the Senate, 32 Republicans voted yes, while 18 GOP senators -- about one-third of the Republican side -- voted no.
 
Lawmakers gave several reasons for rejecting the leadership's spending deal with Democrats. "This bill funds sanctuary cities, funds Planned Parenthood, it funds Obamacare and I think that was unfortunate and it's a real missed opportunity," Sen. Ted Cruz -- a no vote -- told San Antonio radio host Trey Ware. "There is a reason Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are celebrating, because the spending measure funds everything they want and funds virtually none of the priorities we were elected to fund."
 
"I think the Democrats cleaned our clock," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, another no vote. "I'm for comprehensive immigration reform, but sanctuary cities go untouched. Obamacare continues to be funded in a way that we all say is illegal."
 
"Drain the swamp, right?" asked Rep. Dave Brat, another no vote, in Buzzfeed. "Where is that in the budget? Nowhere. We fully funded the swamp."
 
Another House Republican no vote pointed to a provision in the spending bill that would double the number of so-called H-2B visas to allow temporary low-wage foreign workers into the U.S. -- a move a number of experts said would lower wages for American workers.
 
"H-2Bs will be an issue and will cause a loss of conservative support for the bill," the member said shortly before the vote. "Very un-Trumpian to ban border wall construction and fund sanctuary cities while also expanding foreign labor!"
 
Foreign labor was a key factor in the no vote of Sen. Tom Cotton. In a floor speech Thursday, the Arkansas Republican explained that he recognized the good parts of the bill, in particular more defense spending. But he focused on the H-2B provision, not just because it is bad policy -- he explained at length what that is so -- but because it "shows just how bad this process is."
 
"It's not necessary," Cotton said of the visa expansion's inclusion in the bill. "It has nothing to do with funding the government, nothing. It hasn't been vetted. It hasn't gone through the normal legislative process, which would be the Judiciary Committee, where the chairman and the senior Democrat both have written that they oppose this measure. I don't even know how it got in (the bill)."
 
And yet there it was. And President Trump signed it into law.
 
In the end, the spending bill votes revealed significant divisions among Republicans about the amount of spending -- more precisely, the amount of deficit spending -- they can tolerate. Those differences extend far beyond their conflicts over Obamacare repeal. A grand total of 20 GOP House members split with their leadership on health care, while 103 did so on spending. In the Senate, where the Republican majority is so narrow they have just two votes to spare, the GOP lost 18 votes. Those are signs of problems ahead.
 
Byron York
 
Do college students -- and their parents -- truly understand how thoroughly left-wing professors dominate the humanities side of academia?
 
Many people know that most professors are liberal, but the degree to which the left wing rules is jaw-dropping. A study published last September in Econ Journal Watch, "Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology," documents the overwhelming left-wing nature of the voter registration of college profs at 40 leading universities. An examination of voter registration in five departments found that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 11 1/2-to-1. Even in economics, where one would think that views would be driven by data, not politics, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 4 1/2-to-1. History was practically foreign terrain for Republicans, as Democrats outnumbered them 33 1/2-to-1.
 
And it's getting worse. A 1968 study put the Democrat-to-Republican ratio in history departments at 2.7-to-1. This latest study found that among profs 65 and older, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 10 to 1. But for scholars under the age of 36 the ratio is 22.7-to-1.
 
In 2012 the California Association of Scholars published the results of a two-year study about the bias of professors in the University of California system. The study claims that professors' bias "corrupts" education, turning schools into indoctrination camps. According to the National Association of Scholars: "The report documented curricula that promote political activism, in violation of UC regulations. For example, one course aims to be a 'training ground' for 'advocates committed to racial justice theory and practice.'" The CAS report also cited earlier studies that found that associate and assistant professors, those waiting in the wings, are ever more likely to be registered as Democrats. Among UC Berkeley's associates and assistants, said the report, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 49-to-1 in all departments -- including sciences. 
 
What about commencement speakers?
 
Of the political speakers, left-wingers dramatically outnumber conservatives. The student political advocacy group Campus Reform looked at last year's commencement speakers for the top 100 colleges and universities from U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of best colleges. Of the then-announced speakers associated with political messages, 40 were liberal and 10 conservative, a ratio of 4-to-1 in favor of Democrats. 
What about political contributions?
 
In the 2012 presidential election, a Campus Reform study found that 96 percent of the Ivy League's faculty and staffers who made campaign donations sent their checks to Barack Obama. At Brown University, just one professor contributed to Mitt Romney's campaign. Employees of the eight prestigious schools sent more than $1.2 million to President Obama, but contributed just $114,166 to Romney's campaign -- a ratio of more than 10-to-1 in favor of Obama.
 
This brings us to what can only be described as Trump Derangement Syndrome, campus style. UC Berkeley claims, in effect, that it cannot protect students and property, therefore "incendiary" conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and David Horowitz -- who actually attended graduate school there -- had to cancel their proposed speeches. Meanwhile, at Claremont McKenna College in California, students blocked entry to those who came to hear pro-cop researcher Heather Mac Donald. "Activists" called Mac Donald a "white supremacist fascist," among other things, for researching and concluding that, no, cops are not engaging in illegal racial profiling. At Middlebury College, a professor who co-sponsored the invitation to conservative Charles Murray, which prompted a riot, apologized -- to the rioters! Another California human psychology professor called Trump's election "an act of terrorism." 
 
Dartmouth recently conducted a field survey of nearly 500 of its students and found that 45 percent of the students who self-identified as Democrats said they would be "uncomfortable" rooming with a conservative, while only 12 percent of Republican students said that they would be "uncomfortable" with a liberal roommate. 
 
The question is whether left-wing professors create left-wing students. To say there is no effect is to say teachers don't matter. Consider this. In an attempt to quantify the effect of media bias, UCLA economics and political science professor Tim Groseclose writes: "(The) average voter received approximately 8.2 percent of his news from Fox, and 79.9 percent from establishment media (defined as all outlets except Fox, the internet and talk radio). Thus, the 'reach' of establishment media is approximately 10 times that of Fox News." He says in presidential elections, liberal media bias gives Dems an advantage of eight to 10 points. Were the media truly fair and balanced, concludes Groseclose, the average state would vote the way Texas does.
 
Is it not reasonable to assume that professors have at least some measure of influence on their students? Have many professors crossed the line from education to indoctrination? Will opposing views be tolerated and respected? Does a student run a risk of facing grade retaliation by a Trump-hating poli-sci professor?
 
Campus activists have long complained about "microaggressions," for which they demand "safe spaces." Is there any place where a left-wing student can feel safer than a college campus, where conservatives are not just unwanted but cannot even speak?
 
Larry Elder

  David Horowitz, one of the nation’s foremost conservative commentators and a mentor  to many of Donald Trump’s key advisers, unveils his new book, Big Agenda 

— an assessment of the challenges the new president faces and a road map for an agenda that addresses them.  Rich Zeoli of Talk Radio 1210 WPHT moderates.

 

The program will be streamed live tonight at 6:30pm @  constitutioncenter.org/live.