Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Resigns After Pressure from Nationalist Matteo Salvini…


Italy is one of the key economies within the EU. In the past several years, driven by both economic challenges and unfettered immigration challenges, the populist revolt has gained ground. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, a nationalist-minded politician, has won the hearts of Italian voters.  Matteo Salvini is a proud Italian populist.

Several months ago Matteo Salvini challenged current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to hold a snap election; and followed-up with continued pressure on the Italian government by advancing populist positions of economic patriotism, sovereignty and tougher immigration rules.

Amid a revolt against globalism writ large, it was not accidental that Nancy Pelosi traveled to Italy recently with a coalition of U.S. leftist politicians to organize a strategy to fend-off Salvini and assist Prime Minister Conte. Pelosi is an opportunist. Part of the plan for Conte to hold power was a shift within his party (Five Star Movement or 5sM) to form an alliance with the Italian left-wing Democratic Party (Pelosi’s ideological allies).

To pull off their plan, Conte and the Democratic Party would align; Conte would then resign and hold the snap election where 5sM and the far-left Democratic party would re-elect him. This approach would strategically counter the 36 percent of support currently held by Matteo Salvini (the League). Today Giuseppe Conte resigned.

(Wall Street Journal) […] Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation in a speech to the Senate on Tuesday, blaming far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for causing a political crisis as Italy looks to draw up a challenging budget to keep its parlous finances on track.

[…] Leaders of 5 Star are exploring the only plausible alternative to snap elections the League would likely win: a new coalition government with their longstanding foes, the mainstream center-left Democratic Party. Talks in coming days could show whether such a coalition is possible or early elections are needed.

Italy’s power struggle is a symptom of Europe’s continuing political upheaval after a decade of crises including the economic depression in the periphery of the eurozone and the pressures of rising immigration from poor and war-torn parts of Africa and the Middle East.

[…] The political upheaval has gone further in Italy than in most other EU countries. In March 2018 elections, Italy’s mainstream parties suffered a heavy defeat. In a country tired of economic stagnation and ineffectual political incumbents, one in three Italians backed 5 Star, while the League won 17% of the vote. Since then, however, 5 Star has struggled in government and its support has halved, while Mr. Salvini’s tough stance on immigration has helped double support for the League.

If Italy holds early elections, Mr. Salvini could become the first leader of a major EU nation who comes from a self-described populist party to the right of Europe’s mainstream conservatives. Mr. Salvini, an avowed admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has challenged the EU’s rules on fiscal discipline, accusing Germany and France of hypocritically breaking the rules while imposing austerity on Italy. Some League officials have advocated Italy’s exit from the euro, although Mr. Salvini says it isn’t on his agenda. (read more)

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In the background of all of this we have: (1) Italy’s involvement in “spygate” and the U.S. intelligence operations in/around Joseph Mifsud (Malta).  (2) The pending Brexit at the end of October, a threat to Pelosi’s ideological group.  (3) The possible defeat of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, another threat to Pelosi’s ideological group; and (4) the economics of Trump’s trade strategy, more threats to Pelosi’s scheme team.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is traveling the world in an attempt to block rising nationalism, and the consequences of economic trade deals therein, wherever possible.  Her domestic political interests in the 2020 election are predicated on stopping the deglobalization process underway by President Trump.

The Rising Tensions: Kashmir – Hong Kong – Korea


The War Cycle is by far on schedule. We have tensions rising almost everywhere. In Asia, we have the Kashmir Crisis as hundreds of people took the streets in Srinagar, the main Indian city, to protest New Delhi’s decision to lift the special status of the territory.

In Hong Kong, there are fears that China will send in troops and take military action, which would trigger an international crisis as fear in Asia as a whole will rise sharply over the future of economic stability. This could send the yuan crashing and even force the break of the Hong Kong peg. The Hong Kong share market peaked in January 2018. It has not made new highs in 2019 and remains at risk of breaking the 2018 low of 24540.43. That gives way and capital is showing its concern for the future of Hong Kong.

In South Korea, the high in the share market remains that of November 2017. We are trading below the 2017 low. A closing at year-end below that warns of lower lows into 2020. Here, the concern is the economic pressure on North Korea. North Korea holds a Tree Planting Day every March. The question is whether it could help regreen a largely deforested nation whose people face food shortages, deadly natural disasters, and bitterly cold winters. These economic pressures will eventually push the Supreme Leader into perhaps an attack on South Korea or face an overthrow himself.

We have a serious crisis building in Asia on three fronts. Then there is the chaos of Europe. The Democrats are complete idiots for claiming if Britain exits the EU, they will block any trade deal to punish Britain in support of Brussels. Instead of helping to solve the crisis, they are encouraging the EU not to renegotiate. The Democrats are basically saying — screw the Irish.

Right now, I am working from Asia in the middle of a real crisis with a front-row seat.

 

Universal Virtue: Nearly Everyone, Everywhere, Returns Cash-Filled Wallet


Published on Jun 24, 2019

 

SCOTUS Rules 7-2 The Bladensburg Memorial Cross Does Not Violate Establishment Clause…


The Blandensburg Cross, aka The Peace Cross, is a war memorial, located in the three-way junction of Bladensburg Road, Baltimore Avenue, and Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Maryland.

The American Humanist Association had sued the American Legion to have the cross removed, arguing the memorial represented a Christian symbol on public land and violated the establishment clause.

Lower courts had agreed with the plaintiff, against the American Legion, and the memorial was to be removed.  The American Legion appealed the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.

Today the Supreme Court reversed the lower court rulings (full pdf below).  In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Alito, the court acknowledged the Bladensburg Cross -as a memorial- represents more than religion and does not violate the establishment clause.

“The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent.  For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home. For others, it is a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation. For others still, it is a historical landmark. For many of these people, destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.”

~ Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Happy Father’s Day


 

Fatherhood is the job that pays the least in monetary terms and the most in benefit to the world, along with motherhood. When a man chooses to become a father, biologically or with his heart, he makes a commitment that is lifelong and its impact is to be felt longer than his own life, into the future of his children, grandchildren, and yes, even great grandchildren.

Through his steadfast presence, his wisdom (most of it on the job, but maybe lots of it gained from his own father), his protection, his teaching, his prayers, sacrifice, love, discipline, encouragement and pride he tempers and builds the character and lives of his children.

Today, in gratitude and love, we pause to thank God for His precious gift of fathers, modeled in His own image. For all of you, we give thanks, we pray, we love you. And please, keep up the good work dads, in your job that has no off days, but great benefits.

Australian Conservatives Win by Thin Margin


Australia’s center-right government won a surprise victory over the left. Voters backed the center-right government in a slowing economy for another three years and rejecting the opposition’s progressive agenda which has been really pretty out there at times. Despite trailing in most opinion polls for years, Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition won attacking Labor’s pledge to take tougher action on climate change and strip tax perks from wealthy Australians. Many are calling Labour’s loss for its leader Bill Shorten, the shock of all time up there with the loss of Hillary Clinton because the polls just got it wrong again.

Conservatives Celebrate Stunning Win in Australian Elections…


The Australian election was held today; voting is compulsory as everyone over the age 18 is required to vote; turnout was greater than 95%…  and all the media and pollsters are stunned, shocked, jaws-agape, as the conservative coalition has received a stunning, unexpected, unanticipated victory.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has won the election.  Yes Alice, 2019 media in Australia look identical to media in the U.S. circa November 2016.

The economy, immigration and push-back against the insufferable climate-change nonsense appear to be the top issues that led to Morrison’s surprising win.  None of the pollsters or media saw it coming.  The BBC are stunned:

BBC – […] The final result of the election may not be known for some hours, but with more than 70% of votes counted the [Conservative] Coalition has won, or is ahead in, 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, with Labor on just 66 seats.

[…] Try finding someone who says they saw this result coming.

For well over two years, the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor’s turn to govern.

But somehow Scott Morrison managed to turn things around at the 11th hour – and he did it largely on his own.

With some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public on the campaign trail, ScoMo made this election about him, and his ability to be the trustworthy, daggy-dad Australia needed.  (read more)

Labor leader Bill Shorten , who has led Labor since it lost office in 2013, conceded defeat and congratulated Morrison.  Shorten’s losing moonbat platform was centered on creating a “fairer society”, similar to the social justice movement in the far-left U.S. Democrat party.

The labor movement planned to increase taxes on the wealthy and bring social justice demands to central government.  Their agenda was counting on strong support from college-aged students and climate change activists.  However, the majority of Australians saw the predictable economic damage that was certain from the proposals to raise taxes and institute the Australian version of the Green New Deal.

Australian left-wing media is going bananas….

The progressive movement is crying in the streets.

As A Mother Grows


This post was written in 2012. I have made some additions, but left the bulk of the post intact. For clarity, since my changes involve people and time, the additions are in italics.

This has been a very special year in our family, this past year since Mother’s Day 2011. First, we had a beloved addition to our family in May 2011, Sarah Isabella. She arrived several months early, and many of you Treepers prayed for her and her mother after her birth. Then, in March of this year, the arrival of Sadie made me a grandmother for the first time. These two births, as well as some challenges other friends and family members have faced being mothers has made me think a great deal about motherhood, and the unique challenges it brings.

A recent conversation with another mother whose children are now adults added more perspective. Last year, I did a post about the history of Mother’s Day. Most people think about their mother or grandmother, or perhaps a favorite aunt,  when the topic is Mother’s Day. We adults tend to think of our mature mothers, or perhaps even an elderly mom.

Because two young mothers have been in my thoughts and prayers this year, as well as my heart, I thought about writing something to honor those young women, the mothers who struggle so hard with the demands only a young family faces. A recent conversation inspired me to take it a little further. So, I would like to write about the stages of motherhood, and perhaps, for the sake of coherence and the story, I will make assumptions about families that may not match everyone’s experience. That does not mean I value your experience less.

With the first baby comes overwhelming love, awe, fear, joy, and the gushing happiness specific to motherhood. You have had 9 long months to prepare for this precious little miracle God is entrusting to you, and yet you are not ready, you can never really be prepared. How can you be prepared for that first embrace, the soft, sweet skin, the way your heart just stops at the first cry? How can you anticipate  the perfection of the unfocused stare of your baby? The completion of your family, the way your love for your husband, and his for you, is multiplied and increased, the way that three people have become a little universe of love? How can you possibly imagine the utter weariness of night upon night without sleep? The fear at the first cough or hiccup? The inner warrior woman you never knew existed who is ready to leap into action at any threat to that child? The hopes, the dreams, the plans you and your husband share as you hold that little part of you?

And so a family grows, and so does a mother. She learns that a cry is not a notice of imminent harm to her child, that a sneeze does not require a call to the doctor, that she can indeed care for a family, go to work, pick up the laundry, and live with spots on her clothes, all on four hours of sleep on a good day. Perhaps a year or two down the road, she is blessed with another child, and the cycle of life and love continues.

The little family again finds that love’s multiplicative power is infinite. The second child arrives with a little less fear, but just as much love. This time, Mom knows what she is in for, and she knows that she also has this first little one to care for, as well as the new baby. Now she has gained confidence, emotionally, and physically. She is able to carry a toddler in one arm and a baby in the other, with a diaper bag, purse, and a bag of groceries, all while using a foot to block the dog and open the door. Home life has a routine, and things are not perfect, but very good…and that is fine. Each additional child is a perfect blessing, adding much to the family, each special and needed and loved.

The school years start, and the real juggle begins. School clothes, homework, lunches, field trips, friends, hurt feelings, report cards. Mom learns to be a tutor, a defender, a referee, and an advocate. She must stand strong, proud and often alone, in defense of what is right, which often differs from what is wanted. All of these demands are like Mom boot camp. Hopefully, they have partially prepared her for the teen age years. Nothing short of direct intervention by God could actually prepare a mother for those years, never mind that she herself actually once was a teenager, in a time and land far, far away.

And so, with the years and experiences, the mother has grown, matured, become someone who is so strong, so powerful, she can withstand the whine of a young lady who is sure she is the only one who doesn’t have a snakeskin belly ring, and the indignant glare of the young man who doesn’t get to take the family car out on Saturday night. She sleeps lightly, if at all, when her children are out, knowing the dangers that await them, the terrible choices she can prepare them for, but never make for them. She rejoices at their triumphs, and agonizes at their pain. She knows she must let them pull away, make mistakes, fall and hurt themselves, just as they did when they took their first steps. But, oh, how that hurts.

One fine day, she sits at the front of the church with tears in her eyes as her child makes the vows that will found a new family. This child of hers is now grown, and she thought she would sigh in relief at the easing of responsibility, the freedom she now has. But she has learned a new lesson, a very hard lesson getting to this point. Her sons and daughters must make their own way in a sometimes cruel world, and she knows that now, the less she does for them, the stronger they are. She must let them take the hard knocks, the heartbreak, possibly even the despair. To interfere would be to weaken them, and that she will not do. She must learn when she is truly needed, as a mother will always be needed, and when she can only pray.

Then comes the day when she hears the most magical words in all of the world. “Mom, we’re going to have a baby.” Or perhaps, as in our family, wonderful new children to love come along with their beautiful mothers who marry into the family. More children to love, children who you weren’t able to hold as a babe, children who already belong to other grandparents as well. Love has brought more wonderful young people into your family. And the cycle starts again, for a new mother, and an older mother. One who must learn to nurture and care, and one to hold, and to let go.

The world turns, the seasons change, the children grow up. A new generation is born, and the same responsibilities must be met. One thing holds it all together,  one thing makes it all possible. Love. It takes a whole lot more than love to raise a family, but it all starts there. Love is the essential spark that starts the fire. Love is the foundation, and it never gets used up, or broken, or tarnished. Love shines brightly with an eternal light. It crosses generations, and it breaches the gap between this world and the next. For each of us who have lost our mother, our grandmother, or a beloved mother in law have seen that light, felt the warmth of love long after the loved one is gone.

For the gifts of my own eight grandchildren my heart swells with love and joy, pride and happiness. My prayers will be with you for all eternity, bound together with you through the Communion of Saints. May you know the love of God that keeps you all of your lives. 

Second update, May 12, 2019. It’s really awesome to be a grandmother, and, to my surprise, a little more difficult than I anticipated. Sure, I am leaving the middle of the night feedings, the real juggling of school, soccer, doctor visits, work, and all the many other demands to my kids, but still…

Age and experience have left me with a heart full of hope and some trepidation as I watch my grandchildren grow up in this fast spinning world. It seems to me that when I was a child, and even when my kids were young, there was time to be just a kid. Time to play dodge ball and jump rope, time to ride our bikes until the sun set and moms throughout the neighborhood insistently called from porches as bathwater was running. 

The world now seems less about play and childhood and more about scheduling and expectations. And so I would like to say to our young mothers, don’t let that happen. Take the time that will never come back and be sure that your kids get to be kids and your family gets to savor this time. 

In a world demanding accomplishments and measurements, I am telling you that childhood and playing matter just as much. Let them stomp through mudpuddles. Let them catch toads and worms and peek at the eggs in birds’ nests. Let them stay up late on a school night to cuddle with you and talk about their world every so often. Don’t loose spontaniety and creativity for the marking off of accomplishments. 

The Treehouse wishes all of our mothers a happy and blessed day. We hope you are enjoying the company of family and friends, and that you will perhaps take a moment and share a special memory or two of a beloved woman in your life, or tell a tale or two about your own children.

NEC Director Larry Kudlow Discusses Exceptional Jobs Report…


National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appears on Fox Business to discuss the most excellent April jobs report and the continued forecast for U.S. economic growth.

Director Kudlow points out the greatest current economic benefits are being felt in the blue-collar Main Street sector; and rebuts former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments on the administration policy.

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He Is Risen


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Gospel LK 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.