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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Churches, Mosques, Churches, and Then?

by Newt Gingrich: Callista and I were on a tour of Valencia, Spain when a comment by our guide made me think about our current conflict with Islamic supremacists from a very different historical perspective.

We were standing in front of a church that had previously been a mosque.

And before it had been a mosque, it was a church.

It was an architectural reminder that throughout history there have been religions and cultures that enjoyed proving were on the rise by converting their opponents’ centers of worship to the faith of the conquerors.

Similarly, on the Spanish island of Menorca, where today the cathedral stands formerly stood a mosque. The minaret was modified to become a bell tower.

The transformations and restorations of Spain’s great religious buildings are an artifact of the country’s fascinating past as a nation conquered and reconquered throughout history.

Spain was overrun, and most of it occupied, by Muslims from Northern Africa in the eighth century.

Then, in a long struggle over the next seven hundred years, Christians gradually regained control of Spain.

1492 was not only the year that Ferdinand and Isabella financed Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the New World. It was also the year the Catholic monarchs completed their reconquest of Spain, capturing the great Moorish palace at Granada, the Alhambra.

Now, a little over five centuries later, we are once again witnessing a historic clash of two systems of belief–western liberal democracy, and totalitarian Islamic supremacism. This clash is different in many ways from the events of medieval Spain, but some elements look surprisingly familiar: a surge of migration to western Europe, attacks on the predominant culture, norms and institutions, and even efforts to coerce compliance and force conversion.

This visit to Spain reinforced the impression we got in June when we went down the Danube from Germany to Budapest. At that time we noted how deep into central Europe the Turkish Empire had driven in both the 16th and 17th centuries.

The memory of a Turkish Army whose scouts were west of Vienna is a reminder of how powerful and aggressive the Ottoman Empire was and how disorganized and limited the Christian Europeans were. Twice Vienna was besieged by the Turks and twice it was saved only at the last minute.

These memories of history spanning 1,200 years may help put the current skirmishes with Islamic supremacists in a broader perspective. Perhaps we are not so far removed from the patterns and conflicts of the past as we would like to think.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hillary's McCarthyism

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Hillary's McCarthyism - Since the 1950s, smearing someone through tenuous connections -- guilt by association -- has been labeled "McCarthyism." The term was coined by the left, and named after a member of Congress, Senator Joseph McCarthy, who the left contended was too aggressive in rooting out communists in the government.

Hillary Clinton's speech in Reno, Nevada, yesterday was McCarthyism on steroids. Donald Trump, who had a pretty good idea of what she was going to do, said earlier in the day, "Shame on you." And shame is exactly the right word for Clinton's disgusting speech.

Hillary Clinton began by attacking Trump for his remarks about America's inner cities. Trump has noted that in urban centers like Chicago, Baltimore' Detroit and Philadelphia, black children are trapped in failing schools. Their streets are like war zones. (By the way, at least 35 people were shot in Chicago last weekend.) Youth unemployment is through the roof, and many communities are filled with despair.

Clinton accused Trump of "reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters." But what Trump has been saying is exactly what the left has been saying for the past 30 years.

When rioting breaks out, Clinton and other progressives say, "Well, what do you expect? These cities are run down and people have no hope. They need more investments!" Trump is merely pointing out that the left has been running these cities into the ground.

Trump once went on a radio show with a host who has some wacky opinions. According to Clinton, this means Trump supports the host's views.

The Trump campaign hires Steve Bannon from Breitbart and Hillary Clinton picks a couple of sarcastic headlines from the website and says Trump must agree with the content of the articles.

Some disgusting white supremacists say they support Trump and Clinton says that proves Trump is a white supremacist.

Someone on the Trump campaign uses what is clearly a sheriff's star in a post about Clinton corruption and, because it is the same shape as a Star of David, Clinton says Trump is an anti-Semite. Never mind that Trump has a history of fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry.

After Nigel Farage addressed a Trump rally in Mississippi, Clinton did a twofer. She first marginalized Farage by saying he hates immigrants. In reality, the party he heads simply believes that the people of Great Britain, not European bureaucrats, should decide how many immigrants the country takes in. But then Clinton smeared Trump for having Farage on the stage with him.

Before her tirade was over, Clinton blamed Trump for bullying in our schools.

Two Can Play - Let's subject Hillary Clinton to the same scrutiny. She totally embraces the Black Lives Matter movement, a group which has shouted down anyone who dares to say, "All Lives Matter." Its anti-police rhetoric has contributed to the assassinations of police officers all over the country. So using Hillary's reasoning, she must be in favor of police shootings. Of course, that is absurd.

The Black Lives Matter movement recently issued a scathing attack on Israel. So Hillary must be an anti-Semite. (By the way, she has top advisors who have regularly shared with her anti-Israel diatribes. Not once did she reject that material. In fact she has praised it.)

Hillary Clinton served in an administration that refused to take action against the New Black Panther Party for intimidating white voters in Pennsylvania. Oh, by the way, the American Communist Party is all in for Clinton, so she must be a communist.

If Donald Trump delivered a speech about Hillary Clinton that recounted the things I just wrote, the media would tear him apart. But yesterday, the media regurgitated Hillary's speech as if it was entirely rational instead of complete demagoguery. That includes Fox News host Shepard Smith, who sounded like he belonged on MSNBC.

Clinton continued the theme that Trump is unlike any decent Republican -- George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and John McCain. Really? The left also tried to label Bush, McCain and Romney as bigots!

Having worked for Ronald Reagan, I can tell you the left has been doing this for decades. But I will concede that Hillary sank to new lows of disgust in the rawness of her appeal.

Why This Speech Now? - Hillary Clinton was supposed to give a speech on economic opportunity yesterday, but instead delivered a vile speech that condemned Trump and his supporters as bigots. Why did she go nuclear now? Virtually every commentator insists the election is over and that Trump has no chance.

I believe the reason she delivered the speech is that she was trying to delete the worst week she has had in the campaign. There were more revelations about her emails, more red flags with her foundation, more talk about her health, more polls showing Trump rising. Clinton's only road to success is to tear Trump down.

Here's something else to consider: While the liberal media and progressive left are mocking Trump's outreach to minority voters, privately there is a lot of nervousness. No Republican presidential nominee has made such a direct appeal to black voters as Trump has been making in the last ten days. And some polling suggests he might be getting traction.

For example, the poll I mentioned yesterday that had Trump leading in Florida found him winning 20% of the black vote. If that figure holds on Election Day, Hillary has no chance!

Another reason for Hillary's attack may be the evidence that suburban Republican women are "coming home" to the GOP. The percentage of Republicans supporting Trump, which has been lagging, appears to be strengthening.

The speech could have been a preemptive strike against further GOP unification. The left knows that no one wants to be called a bigot. So Hillary is trying to make Trump radioactive.

By the way, the major #NeverTrump group backing the independent candidacy of Evan McMullin folded this week. Did you hear about that on the evening news?

One Final Thought - Conservatives and Republicans in and out of office, including people like Rush Limbaugh, are regularly accused of using rhetoric that leads to violence. Bill Clinton famously blamed the bombing of a federal government building in Oklahoma City on "hate radio" and conservative rhetoric against government.

When a Muslim gets bacon thrown at him, it is because Republicans are calling terrorists "radical Islamists."

With that thought in mind, consider this: Hillary Clinton said yesterday that Donald Trump is the candidate of white supremacists, the KKK, Nazis and bigots everywhere. If that were true -- and it is obviously not -- there would be plenty of people who might think that Trump's assassination would be justified. There has already been at least one attempt on his life.

Some progressives are justifying the kind of violence that we saw last week against Trump supporters in Minneapolis.

The left is playing with fire.
-------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Hillary Clinton, McCarthyism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ten Immigration Questions for Hillary Clinton

by Center for Immigration Studies: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has not been asked to detail her positions on a variety of immigration-related issues. The following questions raise some of the issues researchers in the immigration field would like to know more about in order to provide better analysis of the candidate’s position.

1. Does Clinton still support construction of the 700 miles of double-border fencing required in the Secure Fence Act of 2006? What type of border security does she support, if any?

Last November, Clinton said the following: “I voted numerous times when I was a Senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders. We need to secure our borders, I'm for it, I voted for it, I believe in it.”1 The double-border fencing she voted for was never constructed, and more recently Clinton has spoken of building “bridges, not walls”. Does she still support physical barriers that would “prevent illegal immigrants from coming in”, and, if so, how does she define them?

2. Does Clinton support increases in immigration, decreases in immigration, or does she think the current level of approximately one million permanent residents every year is about right?

Gallup has released a new poll finding that America continues to be overwhelmingly opposed to increases in immigration.2 Gallup finds that the “relatively small percentage of Americans who want immigration increased ... has edged down this year to 21%” and that only 18 percent of Hispanics want increases in immigration. This is important because a key component of any comprehensive immigration bill is likely to include massive increases in immigration, as was the case with the 2013 Senate bill (S.744) that Clinton voted for.

3. Does Clinton believe there is any limit to what a president can do unilaterally on immigration, and if so, where is that line drawn?

Prior to unilaterally decreeing his Deferred Action program into existence, President Obama declared that the Constitution prevented him from acting unilaterally.3 Clinton, however, said she would “go even further” and would “want to do more” if elected president.4 The Associated Press reported that the Obama administration has “deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006” and that “total deportations dropped 42 percent since 2012.”5 Since Clinton said she would be “less harsh and aggressive” than Obama in enforcing immigration laws, what’s left of our immigration laws if Hillary Clinton becomes president?6

4. Does Clinton believe that sanctuary cities should continue to release illegal immigrants with felony records instead of handing them over to federal authorities?

There are over 300 jurisdictions in the country that operate as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants and shield them from the law.7 This has resulted in local authorities releasing thousands of criminal aliens into our neighborhoods. According to government data, those who were released went on to commit thousands of new crimes. Despite a UC Berkeley poll finding that 74 percent of Californians oppose sanctuary policies, Clinton came out against a measure in North Carolina aimed at ending sanctuary cities.8

5. Does Clinton believe the State Department should deny visas to foreigners who believe homosexuals should be punished with death? What about foreigners who believe apostates should be executed? What about foreigners who support the practice of female genital mutilation?

A big topic of discussion is whether the United States should use ideological exclusion laws to block the immigration of foreigners who support beliefs and practices that most Americans find abhorrent. Clinton has responded to Donald Trump’s support for such measures by calling them a “dismissive and insulting approach” and “shameful and offensive” and “dangerous”.9 As the former Secretary of State, Clinton should be able to provide some clear detail on this subject, but she has not.

6. Why does Clinton think visa-overstayers are entitled to citizenship? Doesn’t amnesty undermine the efforts of visa adjudicators in the State Department?

Clinton is on record supporting legalization of illegal immigrants. It is estimated that around half of the illegal-immigrant population is made up of people who came legally but then broke the promises made to our State Department officials and overstayed their visas.10 Does Secretary Clinton believe that all foreigners should view temporary visas as a pathway to permanent residency in the United States? If so, does she believe that our visa officers overseas should stop looking for signs that an applicant is likely to overstay?

7. In 2006, Clinton said “we need to have tougher employer sanctions” to prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens. What type of sanctions does she support, and will she mandate E-Verify?

In October 2006, Clinton gave a speech calling for an amnesty, but also said the United States must “Secure our borders with technology, personnel, physical barriers if necessary in some places; and we need to have tougher employer sanctions.”11 However, she supports President Obama’s Deferred Action program, which rewards law-breaking businesses by giving work permits to their illegal-immigrant laborers. Does she now believe all businesses should be able to employ illegal aliens?

8. Why does Clinton support a 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees when the FBI and USCIS say there are gaps in the data necessary to do adequate screening?

On the issue of Syrian refugee resettlement, the FBI testified that there are “gaps” in the screening process and that “There is risk associated of bringing anybody in from the outside, but specifically from a conflict zone like that.”12 Testimony from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicates the agency has difficulty doing background checks, doesn’t have the ability to send an investigator to Syria, and that Syria itself is lacking databases U.S. officials can look through. Is Clinton prepared to assure the American people that zero terrorists will slip through the refugee resettlement process?

9. Why has Clinton ignored federal law and allowed tens of thousands of criminal aliens to be released into our neighborhoods?

In 2013, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 36,007 convicted criminal aliens with records that included 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions, 1,075 aggravated assault convictions, and many other crimes — nearly 88,000 crimes in total.13 It is believed this practice of releasing criminal aliens from countries that refuse to take back their nationals existed under Clinton’s entire term as Secretary of State despite the fact that federal law requires the State Department to stop issuing visas to people in that country until the country cooperates.14

10. In light of the controversy surrounding the H-1B visa program, will Clinton end the program or dramatically increase the number of H-1B visas issued each year?

Over the past year, a number of companies have hired foreign workers to replace American workers in tech positions. The New York Times reports that Disney employees were forced to train their replacements, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India through the H-1B visa program.15 Similar replacements were reported at Toys ‘R’ Us, Southern California Edison, Pfizer and other companies.
-------------------------
End Notes
2 Frank Newport, "In U.S., Support for Decreasing Immigration Holds Steady", Gallup, August 24, 2016.
5 Alicia A. Caldwell, "US government deports fewest immigrants in nearly a decade", Associated Press, October 7, 2015.
6 Laura Meckler, "Hillary Clinton Calls Obama’s Deportation Policies Too Harsh", Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2015.
7 Jessica Vaughan, "Number of Sanctuaries and Criminal Releases Still Growing", Center for Immigration Studies, October 2015.
8Clinton campaign wants N.C. immigration bill vetoed", Associated Press, October 2, 2015.
11 Christian Datoc, "FLASHBACK: Hillary Supported Secure Border, Deportations For Criminal Immigrants [VIDEO]", The Daily Caller, June 8, 2016; see also "E-Verify Fact Sheet", Center for Immigration Studies, March 2015.
12 Julian Hattem, "FBI chief: 'Gaps' remain in screening Syrian refugees", The Hill, October 8, 2015; see also, Mark Krikorian, "The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the Security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program", congressional testimony, November 2015; Karen Zeigler and Steven A. Camarota, "The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees", Center for Immigration Studies, November 2015; Nayla Rush, "Meeting Obama’s 10,000 Syrian refugee target, no matter what", Center for Immigration Studies, June 2016.
13 Stephanie Slifer, "Report: 36K criminals freed while awaiting deportation", CBS News, May 13, 2014.
14 Jon Feere, "Why Hillary Clinton & John Kerry Share Responsibility for Criminal Alien Releases", Center for Immigration Studies, May 2014.
15 Julia Preston, "Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements", The New York Times, June 3, 2015.

Tags: CIS, Center for Immigration Studies, Politic, Hillary Clintons To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Another Travel Fiasco Courtesy of the TSA

A House committee study found that $1 billion could be
saved over five years if America’s 35 largest airports
used  private screeners instead of the TSA.
(Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters/Newscom via The Daily Signal)
by Genevieve Wood: I have long been a believer that, in most cases, a private company will do a more effective and efficient job than any government agency charged with the same task. My recent travel experience solidified that belief.

It all started out with a half-empty water bottle at Ronald Reagan National Airport just outside the District of Columbia.

I had checked in the night before, checked my bag at the curbside when I arrived, and now had a full hour to go through security. With Congress gone since late July and much of the District emptied out until Labor Day, I didn’t expect long security lines. I was right. I breezed through in two minutes, until…

Like many airline passengers, I had forgotten to take my plastic bottle of water out of my bag before placing it on the moving belt for security screening. So, naturally, the screener pulled my bag and after I waltzed through the body image scanner with no hiccups, I joined the Transportation Security Administration agent assigned to check my bag.

As I suspected, the water bottle was the culprit but he still had to do a mandatory chemical test of my bag. That’s when they take those little black sticks with swatches on the end and rub them over your belongings, or sometimes the palms of your hands, and then run them through a machine. Fairly routine. Except this time my swatch sent off an alarm. No noise, just a flashing “Alarm” text on the machine’s computer screen. So, they tried again. Same response.

That meant I qualified for a full-body pat-down. I know people who have gone ballistic when asked to have that done, but I go along as I’ve got nothing to hide and I just want to get my purse and get to my gate. Nope. After the pat-down, they do a chemical test on me and my swatches send off the alarm too.

We’re now about 15 minutes and five (yes, five) TSA agents into this little drama. The screener, the guy who first checked my bag, the female TSA agent who was assigned to do the pat-down, the TSA agent who had checked my ID and boarding pass were all there, along with another agent who, as best as I could tell, was simply assigned to stand next to me and make small talk and make sure I didn’t go anywhere.

The agents do another chemical test and decide they need to do another full-body pat-down. They want to do this one in private, assign a new female TSA agent to do it, but tell the original one to also attend as a witness. When I come back out, there is now a manager involved and they are calling the head of something—I could never get the official title—who was supposedly the only person at Reagan airport who could come check my chemical tests and figure out what was going on.

Twenty minutes later, and with no sense of urgency, he arrives. So here we, meaning me and now up to eight TSA agents, go again. Now they are taking out my items one by one to run through the screener—my two lipsticks, eyeshadow, computer power cord, jewelry bag, wallet, sunglasses, etc. Not sure why the original crew didn’t do that, but at this point it was clear most of these folks, bless their hearts, probably had this job because it is one of the few that requires no problem-solving skills or ability to act with speed, and where, heaven knows, customer satisfaction is found nowhere on a personnel review form.

Four gray TSA bins, each holding a few of my items, are then whisked off by no less than three TSA agents (that’s right, it took three people to carry four bins holding heavy-duty items like makeup and hand sanitizer) to a back room. I’m told nothing. For another 15 minutes I sit, not asking too many questions because I still have hope against hope that I might make my flight and don’t want to do anything to take one of these whiz kids off their game.

Now, 55 minutes into this whole process, the back room door opens, out come all my bins and items and I’m told I’m free to go. Dumping everything into my bag and grabbing my shoes, which I had not been allowed to put on, I race barefoot to the gate.

Alas, it was not meant to be. I missed my flight.

The only positive, or so I thought, was that now I’d have time to go back and check in with the TSA folks to find out exactly what it was that caused the problem. I hadn’t taken the time to do so when they finally gave me the all-clear because I just wanted to get to the gate. But now, in an attempt to not relive this experience in the future, I was determined to find out what shampoo I had used or lotion I was wearing that sent their chemical sensors into a frenzy.

No such luck. They can’t tell you that. When I got back to the TSA area, I found the agent who had been the original screener and asked him if he had been told what had caused the problem. “I can’t tell you,” was his response. “It’s a chemical but I’m not allowed to tell you what kind.”

I prodded further, “You mean you know what it is, you must have concluded it wasn’t dangerous because you all finally let me go, but you can’t tell me so that I make sure not to wear it again or have it in my bag again?”

Mr. TSA Agent: “Right. Sorry.”

So how many TSA agents did it take to make me miss my flight yet give no explanation as to why or what to do different next time around?

I lost count.

My story apparently isn’t unique. A man putting on his shoes after coming through security and sitting on the bench next to me as I was working on this article said the exact same thing happened to his wife last summer, except that in her case it turned out she wasn’t sporting some odd lotion or perfume, the machine had simply malfunctioned multiple times. Too bad she missed her international flight while they figured that out.

I wonder if her story, or mine, would have been different if more U.S. airports did what most European airports do, use private screeners. Since 2001, something called the Screening Partnership Program has existed that allows for U.S. airports to contract with private screeners as opposed to using those assigned by the TSA.

A study by the House Transportation Committee found that $1 billion could be saved over five years if America’s 35 largest airports used private screeners. My Heritage Foundation colleague David Inserra has pointed out that “with smaller overhead costs and lower levels of attrition, the screening program is likely a financial boon for most airports.” He also says those airports report improved customer service.

So why do roughly only 20 U.S. airports make use of the private screening option? Because the Obama administration, in one of its “go around the laws we don’t like” moves, suspended the program in 2011 (Congress rightly later reinstated it), because it can take up to four years for an airport to get approval due to government bureaucracy, and because the TSA and its unionized workforce has no interest in competing with the private sector.

The reality is that air travel need not be the fiasco it has become. Congress can rein in the TSA by streamlining the process to hire private screeners and forbidding the unionization of its employees.

Until then, maybe you shouldn’t shower before your flights.
--------------------
Genevieve Wood advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal.

Tags: Another Travel Fiasco, TSA. Heritage Foundation, Genevieve Wood To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Home Schooling Is #SchoolChoice

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: When the topic of "school choice" comes up, most people think of charter schools, alternative schools, or private schools. Yet a rapidly growing number of families are making the choice to educate their children at home. According to latest estimates, over 4% of students nationwide are homeschooled, and the trend is accelerating.

Colorado state senator Kevin Lundberg recently explained to the Franklin Center's #AmplifyChoice Conference attendees why homeschooling is so attractive to parents. "Homeschoolers typically track two grade levels above their peers, their socialization skills are far advanced over students from traditional schools, and they are highly sought by universities and employers because of their great variety of skills and independence of thought," he said.

North Carolina is one of the states that has seen attendance at traditional public schools give ground to private, public non-traditional, and homeschool alternatives in recent years. In fact, the number of homeschooled students spiked 10% just last year, according to the North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE).

My daughter is one of many homeschooling parents in North Carolina, having left a successful professional career to teach her twins (boy and girl), now six years old. Her main concern about traditional schools is the waste of precious time. "Public school kids spend so much time at their desks in class, on testing, waiting in line, and doing homework," she said. "I think children need more time to explore their individual interests and to develop social and personal skills. I worried that my twins wouldn't have the time for sports, advanced science activities, travel, field trips - the things that I had time to do when I was a kid."

And she has not been disappointed. She learned that there is a vast network of resources for homeschoolers, and social media makes finding and organizing educational, athletic and social activities easy. Her children attend foreign language lessons, nature trips, music events and instruction, competitive sports programs, and many other activities on a regular basis, in addition to their structured class-time at home.

The results are promising: one of the six-year old twins reads at grade 4-5 level and the other is advanced at math and pre-engineering skills. That illustrates my daughter's biggest surprise about homeschooling, and perhaps the most significant advantage over traditional schools. "I thought that teaching two children of the same age would be easy, " she said. "But I found out they learn in entirely different ways. In the homeschool setting I can give them a lot of individual attention and structure their work to suit their learning styles individually. I don't know how a teacher of twenty or thirty students could do that."

Parents who are considering homeschooling are often asked whether they are concerned about their children missing the traditional schools' social environment. For many, that's the point - they prefer a setting that reflects their own values rather than the pop-culture, secularism and political correctness they perceive to be prevalent at public schools. And homeschool parents are pleased to find that their children actually get along well with children of all ages, and adults, too. "It's not unusual for young teenagers to engage constructively with elementary-aged kids," my daughter explained. "There isn't the competition and bullying that you find in a group of traditional-school kids who spend most of their time with people their own age."

Some families wonder whether they have the skill set to successfully teach their children at home, but that isn't usually a problem. Children learn very efficiently on their own when provided good materials, environment, and opportunity. And supplemental resources abound, such as online classes and materials, cooperative programs with schools and universities, sessions with private businesses aimed at homeschoolers, and classes shared and organized with other homeschoolers. For the most part, success relies on the parents' motivation.

Homeschooling is not an option for many families whose parents must both work, or who just prefer to not be saddled with the responsibility. But those parents who are able and willing to take the plunge are finding homeschooling to be an outstanding choice for their children.
---------------
Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in North Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

Tags: Home Schooling, School Choice, Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

For A Whiter Whitewash . . .

. . . Trey Gowdy has revealed that Hillary Clinton used BleachBit tool to hide scandalous emails.

Editorial cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Trey Gowdy, Hillary Clinton, Whiter Whitewash, BleachBit tool, email, hide scandalous emails To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Government: New 700,000-Word Regulation is Good for You

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
 sign a 1,690 page regulation that imposes
new "greenhouse gas emissions and fuel
efficiency standards" on vehicles ranging from
heavy-duty pickup trucks to tractor-trailer
 combinations used to haul cargo.
 (Img: Screen grab: signing ceremony)
by Terence Jeffrey: The nine-second video of two federal bureaucrats the White House posted on its blog last week was notable for something it omitted.

That something was very big — and putting it on display might not have fit with the apparent propaganda purpose of the video.

The video itself starred EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who sat side-by-side at a table.

The video starts with McCarthy and Foxx simultaneously scratching their signatures onto separate and apparently singular sheets of paper.

Eight seconds into the nine-second clip, when McCarthy has finished signing her name, she looks up and declares: "Done."

Foxx, who signed even faster than McCarthy, spreads his arms in a gesture that appears to say: That's it, folks. Then he echoes McCarthy: "Done."

So, what exactly had these two bureaucrats done?

McCarthy and Foxx published a blog text that accompanied the video on the White House website. In it, they explained that — as part of President Obama's "Climate Action Plan" — they had approved a regulation that imposes new "greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards" on vehicles ranging from heavy-duty pickup trucks to tractor-trailer combinations used to haul cargo.

A copy of the final regulation is posted as a PDF on the EPA website. The top of each page carries this disclaimer: "This document is a prepublication version, signed by the Secretary of Transportation, Anthony R. Foxx, and the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, on August 16, 2016. We have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this version, but it is not the official version."

The regulation is 1,690 pages long. Page 1,689 is the signature page for Secretary Foxx. Page 1,690 is the signature page for Administrator McCarthy.

When Foxx and McCarthy signed the regulation — as recorded in the video on the White House website — they did not place the first 1,688 pages anywhere within view of the camera.

Was that in deference to trees? Or did the Obama administration not want to show America that these two unelected bureaucrats were signing a 1,690-page regulation.

As this writer reported on CNSNews.com this week, the regulation includes an average of about 420 words per page or a total of about 700,000 words.

According to the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by model year 2027, the regulation will increase the cost of tractor trucks, depending on the type, between $10,235 and $13,749. Trailers will cost from $1,204 to $1,370 more.

The regulation follows from the EPA administrator's determination, made seven years ago under the terms of the Clean Air Act, that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, "endanger public health."

"Climate change caused by human emissions of GHGs threatens public health in multiple ways," says the new regulation.

"By raising average temperatures, climate change increases the likelihood of heat waves, which are associated with increased deaths and illnesses," it says.

"While climate change also decreases the likelihood of cold-related mortality, evidence indicates that the increases in heat mortality will be larger than the decreases in cold mortality in the United States," it says. "Compared to a future without climate change, climate change is expected to increase ozone pollution over broad areas of the U.S., including in the largest metropolitan areas with the worst ozone problems, and thereby increase the risk of morbidity and mortality."

McCarthy and Foxx argued that making truck operators buy the more expensive vehicles the regulation mandates will save these truckers money.

"Today's final standards will promote a new generation of cleaner and more fuel efficient trucks," they wrote. "That means 1.1 billion fewer tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere, and operators will save 2 billion barrels of oil and $170 billion in fuel costs. The additional cost of a new truck will be recouped within 2-4 years, saving truck owners more over the long haul."

The EPA also wants non-truck-driving Americans to believe this new regulation will save them money, too.

"The program will also benefit consumers and businesses by reducing the costs for transporting goods," says an EPA fact sheet. "In total, the program will result in up to $230 billion in net benefits to society over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program. This includes fuel savings, carbon reductions, health benefits, energy security benefits, along with travel benefits, and refueling benefits."

This is the liberal vision for the future: New rules approved by bureaucrats that increase the capital costs to start, grow or maintain a business, will help save the world from climate change while saving Americans money.

Just don't let people see the actual size of the regulation.
----------------------
Terence P. Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of the conservative CNSNews.com. Previously, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events, where he is now an editor at large.

Tags: Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, Government, EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy,Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, 700,000 word regulation, good for you, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Lots of Smoke Here, Hillary

by Patrick Buchanan: Prediction: If Hillary Clinton wins, within a year of her inauguration, she will be under investigation by a special prosecutor on charges of political corruption, thereby continuing a family tradition.

For consider what the Associated Press reported this week:

The surest way for a person with private interests to get a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, or a phone call returned by her, it seems, was to dump a bundle of cash into the Clinton Foundation.

Of 154 outsiders whom Clinton phoned or met with in her first two years at State, 85 had made contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and their contributions, taken together, totaled $156 million.

Conclusion: Access to Secretary of State Clinton could be bought, but it was not cheap. Forty of the 85 donors gave $100,000 or more. Twenty of those whom Clinton met with or phoned dumped in $1 million or more.

To get to the seventh floor of the Clinton State Department for a hearing for one’s plea, the cover charge was high.

Among those who got face time with Hillary Clinton were a Ukrainian oligarch and steel magnate who shipped oil pipe to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions and a Bangladeshi economist who was under investigation by his government and was eventually pressured to leave his own bank.

The stench is familiar, and all too Clintonian in character.

Recall. On his last day in office, Jan. 20, 2001, Bill Clinton issued a presidential pardon to financier-crook and fugitive from justice Marc Rich, whose wife, Denise, had contributed $450,000 to the Clinton Library.

The Clintons appear belatedly to have recognized their political peril.

Bill has promised that, if Hillary is elected, he will end his big dog days at the foundation and stop taking checks from foreign regimes and entities, and corporate donors. Cash contributions from wealthy Americans will still be gratefully accepted.

One wonders: Will Bill be writing thank-you notes for the millions that will roll in to the family foundation — on White House stationery?

By his actions, Bill is all but conceding that there is a serious conflict of interest between his foundation raking in millions that enhance the family’s prestige and sustain its travel and lifestyle, while providing its big donors with privileged access to the secretary of state.

Yet if Hillary Clinton becomes president, the scheme is unsustainable. Even the Obama-Clinton media might not be able to stomach this.

And even Clinton seems to be conceding the game is up. “I know there’s a lot of smoke, and there’s no fire,” she said in self-defense this week.

She is certainly right about the smoke.

And if, as Democratic apparatchik Steve McMahon assures us that there is “no smoking gun,” no quid-pro-quo, no open-and-shut case of Secretary Clinton taking official action in gratitude to a donor of the family foundation, how can we predict a special prosecutor?

Answer: We are not at the end of this scandal. We are at what Churchill called the “end of the beginning.”

Missing emails are being unearthed at State, through Freedom of Information Act requests, that are filling out the picture Clinton thought had been blotted out when her 33,000 “private” emails were erased by her lawyers.

Someone out there, Julian Assange, Russia, or the rogue websites doing all this hacking, are believed to have many more explosive emails they are preparing to drop before Election Day.

And why is Clinton is keeping her State Department calendar secret from the AP, if it does not contain meetings or calls she does not want to defend? She has defied requests and the AP had to sue to get the schedule of her first two years at State.

Moreover, the AP story on the State Department-Clinton Foundation links was so stunning it is sure to trigger follow-up by investigative journalists who can smell a Pulitzer.

Then there are the contacts between Huma Abedin, her closest aide at State, and Doug Band at the Clinton Foundation, the go-betweens for the donor-Clinton meetings, which has opened a new avenue for investigators.

These were unearthed by Judicial Watch, which is not going away.

The number of persons of interest involved in this suppurating scandal, which has gone from an illicit server, to a panoply of Clinton lies to the public that disgusted the FBI director, to erased emails, to “pay for play,” and now deep into the Clinton Foundation continues to grow.

All that is needed now, to bring us to an independent counsel, is calls for the FBI to reopen and broaden its investigation in light of all that has been revealed since Director Comey said there was not evidence enough to recommend an indictment.

If Clinton controls the Justice Department, calls for a special prosecutor will be resisted, but only until public demand becomes too great.

For there were independent counsels called in Watergate, Iran-Contra and the scandals that led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton says there is no fire. But something is causing all that smoke.
--------------------
Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Lots of Smoke Here, Hillary Clinton, access could be bought, not cheap, Judicial Watch, Associate Press To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obamacare ‘Doomed’?

It's Official: 
Obamacare Is Off The Tracks
Healthcare.Gov Is OFF THE TRACKS: Will Offer Shoppers Fewer Options Than Ever,’ ‘Tennessee's Insurance Regulator Proclaimed The State's Fewer Options Than Ever,”’

‘Obamacare’s In Trouble… Many Consumers Will Face Fewer Options And Higher Prices’

‘Princeton health economist thinks Obamacare’s marketplaces are doomed … [have] already entered a death spiral and are heading toward total collapse’ “This Princeton health economist thinks Obamacare’s marketplaces are doomed… Of all the people I spoke with, Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt offered the most dire and pessimistic assessment of the marketplaces' future. Namely, he believes they’ve already entered a death spiral and are heading toward total collapse.” (“This Princeton Health Economist Thinks Obamacare’s Marketplaces Are Doomed,” Vox, 8/25/16)
“...states around the country are grappling with dwindling numbers of insurers willing to sell on the exchange.”
(“Tennessee Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare Exchange 'Very Near Collapse,'” The Tennessean, 8/25/16)
“Healthcare.gov is on track to offer shoppers fewer options than ever before in 2017. … As a result, most Healthcare.gov shoppers live in an area where competition is currently decreasing.” (“Big Insurers Have Quit Obamacare,” Vox, 8/24/16)
“The four biggest U.S. health insurers admit they’re each losing hundreds of millions of dollars on their Obamacare plans. Rather than expand coverage, many are pulling out of the exchanges that were set up… many consumers will face fewer options and higher prices.” (“Obamacare’s In Trouble As Insurers Tire Of Losing Money,” Bloomberg, 8/17/16)

‘Big Premium Increases For 2017’

ILLINOIS: “Illinois Obamacare rates could soar as state submits insurance premium increases to feds.” (“Illinois Obamacare Rates Could Soar…” Chicago Tribune, 8/26/16)
WISCONSIN: “…health insurers in Wisconsin are proposing the largest rate increases yet for health plans sold on the online marketplaces throughout the state. … The proposed increases could range from 5.44% to 37.88% statewide, according to filings with the federal government.” (“Health Insurers Eye Steep Increases As Enrollment Period Nears,” USA Today, 8/21/16)
KENTUCKY: “Kentuckians who rely on the state's health exchange for insurance should brace themselves for premiums that will skyrocket as much as 47 percent in 2017.” (“Some Premiums For Ky. Health Exchange To Increase 47 Percent In 2017,” WKYT, 8/25/2016)
TENNESSEE: “Cigna asked for and received an average 46.3 percent increase. Humana asked for and received an average 44.3 percent increase. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which did not refile its request, asked for and received a 62 percent increase.” (“Tennessee Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare Exchange 'Very Near Collapse,'” The Tennessean, 8/25/16)

ALABAMA: “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is seeking an average rate increase of 39 percent on individual plans offered through the Obamacare marketplace, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The proposed rate hikes will affect more than 160,000 people in Alabama who purchase insurance through the federal exchange . . . Rate increases range from 26 to 41 percent, depending on the type of plan.” (“Blue Cross Proposes Rate Hike Of Nearly 40 Percent On Some Obamacare Plans,” AL.com, 8/08/2016)
NEW YORK: “New York regulators have approved health insurance rates for 2017, hiking premiums about 8 percent for small group plans and almost 17 percent for individual plans. The Department of Financial Services said rising health care costs and the federal reinsurance program's termination are pushing up rates.” (“NY Approves Health Insurance Rate Hikes For 2017,” The Associated Press, 8/05/2016)

CALIFORNIA: “Premiums for Californians’ Obamacare health coverage will rise by an average of 13.2% next year — more than three times the increase of the last two years ... The big hikes come after two years in which California officials had boasted that the program helped insure hundreds of thousands people in the state while keeping costs moderately in check.” (“California Obamacare Rates To Rise 13% In 2017, More Than Three Times The Increase Of Last Two Years,” Los Angeles Times, 7/19/2016)
MONTANA: “The three health insurers selling individual policies in Montana through the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act are proposing large premium increases for the second straight year, state officials said Friday.” (“Health Insurers Propose Big Premium Increases For 2017,” The Associated Press, 7/08/2016)
MICHIGAN: “Health insurers in Michigan are seeking another round of double-digit rate increases next year for plans they sell to individuals...” (“Michigan Insurers Seek Big Hikes For Obamacare Plans,” Detroit Free Press, 7/09/2016)

Tags: Obamacare ‘Doomed, Healthcare.Gov, Is OFF THE TRACKS, less options, Higher Prices, Obamacare’s marketplaces, doomedTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Entrepreneurs and Economics

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: We all benefit these days from the economics of a free market that allows the inventions of entrepreneurs to be manufactured at a small cost so all of us can enjoy them. We may not understand some of the complex economic issues around us, but we can see their impact in the prices we pay for sophisticated technology.

John Tamny gives some great examples in his book, Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics. He talks about a conference he attended where one the speakers displayed a 1989 ad for the Tandy 5000 desktop. The ad proclaimed that it was the “most powerful computer ever!” Monitor and mouse were not included in the $8,499 price.

The computer you have today is far faster and more efficient than one of the best computers on the marker a quarter century ago. You can buy a Dell laptop computer for less the $400 that has a Quad-Core processor, 8 GB of memory, and a hard drive with 1 TB of storage.

The original hand-held cellular phone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. If you have never seen one, you might rent the 1987 Oliver Stone film, Wall Street. I would imagine you would laugh when you see Gordon Gekko pull out this “brick of a phone” to make a phone call. The 1983 price for this technological wonder of the day was $3,995. Today, nearly everyone has a cell phone and expects to pay less than $250 and sometimes less than $200 for a phone that does much more than make phone calls.

We benefit from the inventions of entrepreneurs, but we also benefit from the manufacturing efficiencies of a free market that put these devices in our hands for a fraction of their original cost.
-----------
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

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Naked Came the Pickle

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Last week, Donald Trump's enemies staged an "emperor has no clothes" gag in full view of the public. It was a caricature of Trump, and featured him fat, old, and nude . . . and gave us a full view of the pubic.

Titled "The Emperor Has No Balls," it failed to qualify as highbrow.

Kristin Tate, author of Government Gone Wild, was one of many non-left commenters to take note of the double standard in plain sight: while media folk chuckled and even gloried in the short-lived art placements, their reaction to a similar graven image of Hillary Clinton would almost certainly have been viewed with horror and outrage.

This week, the real (non-effigy) Hillary proffered another stunt.

Facing rumors that she is not well, that her fall several years ago left her with a host of neurological and physical disabilities -- rumors that focus on her weird leave of the stage at one of the Bernie debates, her strange, uncomfortable and borderline autistic bouts of laughter, her exaggerated motions, and much more -- Mrs. Clinton went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to open a jar of pickles.

Considering the pickle she placed America in throughout the Middle East, perhaps there was a message here.

Whatever feat of strength this was supposed to amount to, Kristin Tate is having none of it. On Fox News's RedEye, Ms. Tate insisted she heard no telltale "pop" that would indicate the unsealing of a sealed jar.

Somehow, this whole election season is symbolized in one lame stunt.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Naked came the pickle, Donald Trump, enemies, staged, emperor has no clothes  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

If Hillary Clinton Were Bob McDonnell, She Might Be On Trial Now


Editorial Cartoon by AF  Branco
by Natalia Castro: Former Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell nearly got put away in prison for bribery for $177,000 in gifts and trips from a friend in exchange for their help in allegedly getting state approval for a dietary supplement. That is, before the Supreme Court unanimously stepped in this year to overturn his conviction.

But based on the terms under which McDonnell was prosecuted, Hillary Clinton most certainly would have too for in essence renting out the office of Secretary of State to Clinton Foundation donors. Fortunately for her, in McDonnell v. United States, the Supreme Court unanimously interpreted the definition of an “official act” to be far narrower than what federal prosecutors used, which a public official commits in exchange for a gift or loan.

Because otherwise, if Hillary Clinton were Bob McDonnell, she might be on trial now.

Not to say she’s out of the woods yet. With the Associated Press report of Aug. 24 detailing the link between Clinton Foundation donations and more than half of Clinton’s non-governmental visitors as Secretary of State, an official act may not be far off.

The Supreme Court decided that arranging meetings, hosting dinner parties, and contacting government officials on behalf of a Virginia state university to research a nutrition supplement did not directly correlate with official acts by the McDonnell administration to use government power to put forward a specific agenda.

He’s not out of the woods yet, either, having been returned to the 4th Circuit Appeals Court for further proceedings. McDonnell and prosecutors have until Aug. 29 to file briefs in the case.

Clinton must be subject to the same standard as McDonnell.

The Associated Press very openly notes that according to the state department calendars released so far “At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs.”

The donations to the Clinton Foundation were almost 1,000 time more what McDonnell received, according to the report: “Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.”

McDonnell allegedly connected one company to government officials in exchange for $177,000 and was prosecuted and nearly put away in prison, Clinton has 85 connections who donated $156 million and is running for president.

Judicial Watch has continued the scrutiny of Clinton with 725 pages of emails from Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former Deputy Chief of Staff during her time as Secretary of State. These emails show that donors of the Clinton Foundation received, according to the group, “special, expedited access to the Secretary of State. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.”

In other words, Clinton and her staff set up a clear indication to those eager to meet with her, make a donation and receive access.

It is still unknown what official acts Clinton might have committed as a result of her meetings with donors. But it must be noted that each company, person or group had the ability to say they had a meeting with the Secretary of State. In many cases, the notoriety of their connection to Clinton could have been enough to raise money or achieve other objectives.

For what McDonnell was arrested for, Clinton has committed regularly. She has provided companies and individuals with access to her office and her foundation profited handsomely with millions of dollars. As Justice Roberts remarked about McDonnell, “there is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that.”

Now that same distaste is near the Oval Office — and it is far worse.
---------------
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation, corruption, Bob McDonnell Virginia, Natalia Castro, Americans for Limited government, AF Branco, editorial cartoon  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Arrests, Arson, and Anger: Anti-Energy Protesters Target North Dakota Pipeline

by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: August temperatures aren’t the only things flaring up in the Great Plains as anti-energy protesters try to stop construction of an oil pipeline.

Emboldened by President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015, anti-energy protesters have set their sights on stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A valuable addition to U.S. energy infrastructure, the pipeline will cross four states connecting the oil-rich Bakken region in North Dakota with other pipelines in Illinois, allowing oil to reach refineries and making America less dependent on foreign imports.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says the $3.7 billion project will create 8,000 - 12,000 construction jobs and inject $156 million in sales and income taxes to local economies. Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon notes it has the backing of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).

Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Source: Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Approval of the pipeline’s construction went through the standard process of public hearings and comment periods with four states and the federal government. But the public permitting process hasn’t stopped protesters.

In North Dakota, hundreds of protesters — many not from the area — have built a camp near a construction site where the pipeline will travel under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline’s water crossing there in July.

The protests have turned ugly. Local public radio reports that construction has been halted because law enforcement worried that some protesters had pipe bombs and guns. Dozens have been arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct. The FBI is investigating an incident where someone pointed a laser pointer on a North Dakota state government plane that was watching the protesters.

The protests got so bad that on Friday North Dakota’s Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) issued an emergency declaration in the construction area to make “available other state resources for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and well-being of the general public and those involved in the protest.”

On Tuesday, LIUNA, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Teamsters, and United Association sent a letter to Gov. Dalrymple urging him to allow construction to restart:We strongly encourage you to utilize the power of your office to keep our workers safe and to ensure protestors are following the letter of the law of North Dakota. While they may have a right to protest, we also have a right to do our jobs in a safe environment. Protesters who did not avail themselves of nearly two years of public discourse of the project should not be allowed to continue endangering themselves, construction workers, or law enforcement while trespassing on land legally leased to this project.”North Dakota hasn’t been the only place where violence has broken out. Earlier this month, along the pipeline’s path in Iowa, three arsons were committed, damaging $1 million in heavy construction equipment.

Pipelines are Safe
Protesters argue that the pipeline will threaten local water supplies, but the fact is pipelines safely move oil all the time. A report from the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines finds that 99.999% of crude oil and petroleum products are safely delivered. In 2014, 9.3 billion barrels of crude oil were delivered—a 31% increase since 2010.

While more oil has been transported, there have been fewer spills. “The number of pipeline incidents per year in public spaces (i.e. outside of operator facilities) have declined by more than half since 1999,” the report notes.

What’s more, pipelines aren’t a new thing. Hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines every day safely move energy to households and businesses that need it. For instance, the amount of crude oil pipelines has increased by 29% to 72,400 miles in the last five years.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Part of “Keep It In the Ground” Movement
Given that pipelines have been around for decades, have a strong safety record, and the Dakota Access Pipeline was closely studied before receiving its permits, we should wonder what the protests are really about.

It’s not fears about water pollution. As North Dakota resident Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com, who has been all over this story explains, it’s about stopping oil development period:The protesters say the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River at its confluence with the Cannon Ball river near the reservation, puts clean water at risk. That’s certainly an important issue for the reservation, which draws its drinking water from the river near the pipeline crossing, but it’s worth remembering that the American landscape is dotted with pipelines crossing rivers. There are thousands upon thousands of pipelines in America, and building them would have been impossible if we didn’t know how to get them across rivers.

Which makes the claims of the protesters about the Dakota Access project curious. This project is nothing new. It’s an important bit of infrastructure for America’s renewed energy industry. It’s of particular importance to North Dakota’s oil industry in that it will ease oil transport headaches and make development in this state more resilient to low prices.

As new infrastructure, it’s a game changer. But in terms of its actual construction? This isn’t groundbreaking stuff.

But then, these protests aren’t really about the pipeline. They’re about obstructing infrastructure which would support the on-going development of oil resources

The activists air-dropping into North Dakota from all over the country, and even the world, are not anti-pipeline so much as they’re anti-oil. That’s an important distinction. While it may be within the realm of the reasonable to protest a specific infrastructure project, I think most Americans would consider trying to choke the domestic oil industry to death by blocking infrastructure to be an extreme goal.

Don’t believe me? Consider the website for EarthJustice, an activist group which has filed a lawsuit against the pipeline on behalf of the Standing Rock tribe and is currently seeking an injunction to block legally the on-going construction protesters like Woodley are trying to block physically.

The group describes themselves as “opposing infrastructure development that could lock us into decades of dirty fuels.”

“We are working with affected communities to fight pipelines, export terminals and other major infrastructure projects that will spur more gas drilling and burning for decades to come,” the group says in the portion of their website dedicated to describing their work.

Block the infrastructure, block the development.
The “Keep it in the ground” movement rears its head, not that they're their hiding that fact. Bold Alliance founder Jane Kleeb, one of the ringleaders in opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, told Politico, "What should have happened after Keystone got rejected was a huge influx of resources to local and state groups fighting pipelines."

Stopping the Dakota Access Pipelines and making it more difficult to get oil out of the Bakken—no matter the cost to jobs and energy security—is a means to their radical end of eliminating energy use in the U.S.
---------------
Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and Senior Editor, Digital Content, at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Sean Hackbarth, Chamber of Commerce, Energy, Arrests, Arson, Anger, Anti-Energy Protesters, Target North Dakota Pipeline To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!


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  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
  • 7/17/16 - 7/24/16
  • 7/24/16 - 7/31/16
  • 7/31/16 - 8/7/16
  • 8/7/16 - 8/14/16
  • 8/14/16 - 8/21/16
  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16