VOL. 27 | No.2

AFANY Newsleter Fall 2020

Oct 1, 2020 | Newsletters

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School Choice

After 140 years of having anti-religious bigotry present in 37 state constitutions, the US Supreme Court ruled in June that such anti-religious “Blaine” Amendments were indeed unconstitutional. NY is one of those states that now can find it permissible to give parents the right to select any state accredited school, including religious schools, and receive government funding, always at levels below the cost per PS pupil. Without the two new USSC appointees, this would not have happened. Now, with NY facing enormous financial problems because of COVID-19, funding education in private/religious schools at levels below current PS costs would save taxpayers billions of dollars every year!

New York is Losing People

New York is continuing to see more people leave the state than entering. A major cause is the high level of taxes paid in NY.
A key cause of NY’s high taxes is the high level of pensions paid to many NY public employees who retire. The Empire Center reported 6,178 state and local government retirees in 2019 received pensions above $100,000/yr, with many over $200,000/yr. !
Pension costs are a key factor contributing to NY’s fiscal stress, likely requiring even higher NYS income & local property taxes.
Another problem for NYC is the increase in gun violence. As of Sept. 20, 2020, 1362 people were shot in 2020 and 209 people killed. In 2019, over the same time period, 674 were shot & 109 killed—about half those shot & killed in 2020. (NY Post, 9/21/20)

Oldest Living Paulist Priest

The world’s oldest Paulist priest is Fr. Jim Lloyd, CSP (Cong. of St. Paul). Born to Irish/Jewish parents, Fr. Lloyd lives in NYC & has been a Chaplain for the Courage Apostolate, a guest on one of our AFA Public Access TV Programs and on our AFA-NY mailing list for many years. Father Lloyd was ordained in 1948 & will turn 100 on April 3, 2021!

AFA of NY’s New 2021 President — Connell Friel

After serving 30 years as head of AFA of NY, Frank Russo will be passing the torch to Connell Friel in 2021. Connell has been AFA of NY’s VP for 13 years. Here’s his short bio & AFA of NY Support Statement:
“I hail from a large Catholic family and attended Our Lady Help of Christians grammar school in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, NY. For High School, I attended and graduated from Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Brooklyn in 1977. I received my Bachelor of Science in Financial Management with a minor in English in 1982, and my MBA in Finance in 1986, both from St. John’s University in Jamaica, NY. I worked my early career in the banking industry but transitioned into Facilities Mgmt. after acquiring the requisite certifications & licenses to operate & manage large commercial buildings. I currently work as a Facilities Director at Stony Brook University.
Some 13 years ago, I was drawn to the American Family Association of NY when I became aware of their incredibly important work in defense of the family. I was extraordinarily impressed with the dedication and passion of Frank Russo, founder & Pres. of AFA of NY. For 30 years Frank & the AFA-NY have been advocating, and fighting for, the most important issues of our time. Some of these most important things are: the sanctity of marriage, the right of the pre-born to life, the right of school choice for parents, the right of the faithful to freedom of religion, and the right of taxpayers to a small, sensible, and unobtrusive government. It’s not an exaggeration to say, at this pivotal moment in salvation history, that all of these rights are under a withering attack. And it is more important than ever to vigorously oppose the evil forces trying to eradicate our Judeo-Christian heritage & values.”

Presidential Convention Viewers Down, but FOX NEWS wins Big!

Pres. Trump’s talk : 23.8 million viewers-
(down 26% from Trump’s 2016 talk.)
Joe Biden’s talk: 24.6 million viewers- (down 17% from Hillary’s 2016 talk).
Viewership of RNC 2020 Talk by Pres.:
39% on Fox News alone
37% on CBS + NBC + ABC + CNN
24% on all other channels
Fox News had more viewers than the other 4 key news channels combined! (WSJ, 8/31, p A4)
Fox News leans in a conservative direction.
CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN& MSNBC all lean in a liberal direction.

Top Names for Babies in 2019

(source: ssa.gov)
Top 6 for boys: Top 6 for girls:
Liam, Noah, Olivia, Emma,
Oliver, William, Ava, Sophia,
Elijah, James Isabella, Charlotte

U.S. Family Incomes Up in 2019

(U.S. Census Bureau, WSJ, 9/17/20)
2018 2019
Median Family Income $64,324 $68,709 (+6.8%)
National Poverty Rate 11.8% 10.5% (-1.3%)
The 6.8% increase in median household income is the highest increase on record; the 10.5% poverty rate for USA is the lowest on record since 1959.
Poverty rates were lowest in history for blacks (18.8%) & Hispanics (15.7%) !
The increase in median earnings:
for women : 7.8% & for men : 2.5%.
The 2020 results likely will not be as good due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Moral Topics Discussed at
Presidential Convention

The subject of parental choice in education was brought up numerous times by various speakers at the Republican Presidential convention. Never before has the subject of school choice been discussed like this at a Presidential convention. The subject was not brought up at all at the Democratic convention, and this is probably because the Democrats oppose school choice, largely out of fear of the teacher unions, and they do not want minority voters to know this, since most minority voters are very much in favor of school choice.
Another subject brought up often at the Republican convention was “abortion vs. the right to life”. Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary delivered a key talk portraying unborn children as “the largest marginalized group in the world.”
Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne, who went to Ground Zero on 9/11 to assist first responders, said “Trump was the most pro-life president the US has ever had.”(NY Post, 8/27/20)
There are now a dozen cases in our courts challenging “Roe v. Wade”, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision providing the “right to abortion” ( i.e., the right to kill an unborn child alive in the mother’s womb).
Now with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we’ll either see Pres. Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as our new pro-life Supreme Court Justice, or if she is not confirmed by the US Senate, and our next President is Joe Biden, we’ll see a “pro-abortion rights” Justice named.

China’s Future Problems

China today has the world’s largest population—over 1.4 billion. But it also has a very low birth rate, such that after its population peaks in the 2030’s, its population is projected to decline by over 300 million by the year 2100.
And, its 65+ population is projected to more than double from today’s 200 million (<15% of total pop.) to 400 million by 2050. Later this century, China’s 65+ population will be a third of their total population! As a result, “China’s economic growth is likely to slow dramatically as its population ages and its labor force shrinks.” (George Shultz, fmr. Sec. of State under Pres. Reagan, WSJ, 8/27/20).

School Choice Getting $85M for Poor DC Students

U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, said they will award $85 million over 5 years for DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. This will allow low income parents in failing PS to pick a charter or private school of their choice. Records show 98% of Opportunity Scholarship students graduate from HS (vs. 69% of PS students), & 86% go to college. Over 90% of scholarship recipients are black/Hispanic, with avg. family incomes < $27,000/year.
Joe Biden’s kids went to private schools, but Biden has joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders in calling for elimination of this DC Scholarship Program. (WSJ editorial, 7/25/20).

Is Runaway Inflation Over?

(Kiplinger, 9/20)
For the past 28 years, annual inflation (i.e., CPI) has always been under 4%. For 19 of the prior 28 years, inflation was over 4%!

Transgender Issue Growing

A recent ruling by our federal courts is raising the importance of the “transgender” issue. The court has ruled that a person is now entitled to enter the bathroom that he/she “thinks is the one that fits his/her gender”, not the actual biological gender one actually possesses. Instead, it’s the “gender you think you really are”! (WSJ, 8/27/20. pg. A2)

COVID-19 Problem Still With Us

By the end of 2020, we’ll probably see about 300,000 COVID-19 deaths in our country—about 1,000 deaths per day! Please pray for the thousands of impacted families, as well as the suffering resulting from the huge economic & job impacts on millions of families, and the increase in our national debt of several trillions of dollars!
(FYI: average # of deaths/day from ABORTION for past 50 years has been over 3000/day!)

Related Newsletters

Newsletter Spring 2021 Vol. 28 No. 1

Frank J. Russo Jr. Retires After 32 Years of Dedicated Service, Abortion – The issue That Will Not Die, Joe Biden Places Women and Children in Danger, School Choice Advances in the States, Arizona Stops Sexual Predators , Killing Babies Is Not Health Care , Support for Socialism Plummets.

Submit a Prayer Request

All praise and glory are yours, Lord our God. For you have called us to serve you and one another in love. Bless our sick today so that they may bear their illness in union with Jesus’ sufferings and restore them quickly to health. Bless those who have grown old in your service and give them courage and strength in their faith. Lead us all to eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

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