News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles.Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Giuliani Leads but Huckabee Catches Thompson & Romney
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday (11/23) shows a three-way tie for second behind national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Giuliani attracts 24% support from Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide while Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee are each preferred by 13% of Likely Primary Voters. John McCain is close behind at 11%, Ron Paul's is at 6% and no other Republican candidate reaches 2% (see recent daily numbers).
Texas court: Fetus death can be murder Killing unborn baby a crime unless mother consents
Texas laws allow the killing of a fetus to be prosecuted as murder, regardless of the fetus' stage of development, but they do not apply to abortions, the state's highest criminal court has ruled. Wednesday's ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal by Terence Lawrence, who said his right to due process was violated because he was prosecuted for two murders for killing a woman and her 4- to 6-week-old fetus.
The court ruled unanimously that state laws declaring a fetus an individual with protections do not conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that protects a woman's right to an abortion. "The Supreme Court has emphasized that states may protect human life not only once the fetus has reached viability but 'from the outset of the pregnancy,'" the court said. "The Legislature is free to protect the lives of those whom it considers to be human beings." . . . [Read More]Tags:abortion, legal ruling, Texas, unbornTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update: Not all bad for Hope! Trailers of Hope Stuck in Hope, Arkansas
Update 11/24:Hope finds out FEMA trailers at airport not all bad: Hope collects $25,000 monthly rent. Salaries are paid to 75 workers FEMA has at Hope - monthly payroll costs are $416,755. They stay in the local motels, they eat in the local restaurants and buy things locally.
Originally Reported 11/18: Evidently 20,000 trailers of "hope" are still stuck in Hope, Arkansas. They were prepositioned in Hope for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. Evidently, not many victims did not want "low-bid" government trailers. A year ago, Congress gave permission to FEMA to donate the homes to municipalities or nonprofit groups. Evidently Sen Mark Pryor want the trailers out of Hope. Don't know why, after all the city airport is receiving $400,000 a year in rent for the land on which the trailers sit. I guess Hope is feeling hopeless even with the cash. Below is the scoop on the pending legislation:
by Aaron Sadler, Stephens Washington Bureau: Sen. Mark Pryor introduced legislation giving FEMA nine months to put together a plan to use, store, sell or trash the nearly 20,000 mobile homes and travel trailers.The trailers intended for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina have sat vacant since 2005 on land owned by the Hope Municipal Airport. FEMA pays $400,000 a year rent for the land. Pryor said security and maintenance costs put the total spent on the trailers in the millions of dollars. . . .The legislation, the FEMA Accountability Act of 2007, gives the agency three months to determine how many mobile homes it needs to keep for future disaster victims.FEMA would have six months to provide a plan for storage of those housing units, sale of usable surplus units and disposal of the rest. Implementation of the plan would be required nine months after passage of the legislation . . . [Read More]
People Before Prophets - We're making too much of politicians' religious faith
ARRA Editor:You may not always agree with Peggy Noonan, but her opinion definitely get attention. She an the unique ability to express what many people are thinking and to do so in relatively few words. Although this Op/Ed piece appears to address Gov. Mitt Romney and his faith, it is clearly more than that. To illustrate the point, all references to current and previous named candidates have been removed. After reading these edited insights, you may wish to to read her complete article and to consider the article in light of all candidates - people made of clay and not prophets from on high.by Peggy Noonan, WSJ Opinion Journal: I was talking with an old friend . . . and she asked if I knew what religion a certain presidential candidate was. I replied that I didn't know and hoped I'd never find out. We started to laugh, and she nodded. I didn't mean it and yet I meant it, for we have come to an odd pass regarding candidates and their faith. It's not as if faith is unimportant, it's always important. But we are asking our political figures--mere flawed politicians--to put forward and talk about their faith to a degree that has become odd. We push them against the wall and do a kind of theological frisk on them. We didn't use to. . . . In 1968 we were, as now, a religious country. But when we walked to the polls, we thought we were about to hire a president, not a Bible study teacher. . . .
There are some people who believe faith doesn't belong in politics. But it does, and it is there inextricably. The antislavery movement, the temperance movement, the civil rights movement, the antiabortion movement, all were political movements animated in large part by religious feeling. It's not that it doesn't matter. You bring your whole self into the polling booth, including your faith and your sense of right and wrong, good and bad, just as presidents bring their whole selves into the Oval Office. I can't imagine how a president could do his job without faith. But faith is also personal. You can be touched by a candidate's faith, or interested in his apparent lack of it. It's never wholly unimportant, but you should never see a politician as a leader of faith, and we should not ask a man who made his rise in the grubby world of politics to act as if he is an exemplar of his faith, or an explainer or defender of it.
We have the emphasis wrong. It's out of kilter. . . . We should lighten up on demanding access to their hearts. It is impossible for us to know their hearts. It's barely possible to know your own. Faith is important but it's also personal. When we force political figures to tell us their deepest thoughts on it, they'll be tempted to act, to pretend. Do politicians tend to give in to temptation? Most people do. Are politicians better than most people? Quick, a show of hands. I don't think so either. . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, Peggy Noonan, Politics, religionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Thompson Details Border Security & Immigration Reform Plan
ARRA Summary:The Thompson Plan goes far beyond platitudes of other candidates and shows interest and understanding of what it would actually take to bring back order into our immigration system: End Chain Migration! - Eliminate The Visa Lottery. - No Amnesty. - Attrition Through Enforcement. - Mandatory Use of E-Verify by All Businesses to Keep Illegal Aliens Out of U.S. Jobs. - Deny Tax Deduction to Employers for the Wages They Pay to Illegal Aliens. - Finish Building The 854 Mile Wall on the Mexican Border As Authorized by 2006 Law. - Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking of Legal Visitors. - Target Smugglers, Gang Members and Speed Up Deportations. Enforce Existing Federal Laws. - End Sanctuary Cities & Benefits to Illegal Aliens.[Since other candidates have not presented detailed plans that do not waffle on the issues, we are presenting the Fred's plan in full to benefit both our readers and to encourage other candidates to get serious about immigration reform and border security.]
Fred Thompson, Republican Presidential Candidate:Border Security and Immigration Reform PlanIn the post-9/11 world, immigration is much more of a national security issue. A government that cannot secure its borders and determine who may enter and who may not, fails in a fundamental responsibility. As we take steps to secure our borders and enforce our laws, we must also ensure that our immigration laws and policies advance our national interests in a variety of areas, and that the immigration process itself is as fair, efficient, and effective as possible.
Securing the Border and Enforcing the Law
A fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to secure the nation's borders and enforce the law. The following policies and initiatives will put the nation on a path to success:
No Amnesty. Do not provide legal status to illegal aliens. Amnesty undermines U.S. law and policy, rewards bad behavior, and is unfair to the millions of immigrants who follow the law and are awaiting legal entry into the United States. In some cases, those law-abiding and aspiring immigrants have been waiting for several years.
Attrition through Enforcement. Reduce the number of illegal aliens through increased enforcement against unauthorized alien workers and their employers. Without illegal employment opportunities available, fewer illegal aliens will attempt to enter the country, and many of those illegally in the country now likely will return home. Self-deportation can also be maximized by stepping up the enforcement levels of other existing immigration laws. This course of action offers a reasonable alternative to the false choices currently proposed to deal with the 12 million or more aliens already in the U.S. illegally: either arrest and deport them all, or give them all amnesty. Attrition through enforcement is a more reasonable and achievable solution, but this approach requires additional resources for enforcement and border security:
Doubling ICE agents handling interior enforcement, increasing the Border Patrol to at least 25,000 agents, and increasing detention space to incarcerate illegal aliens we arrest rather than letting them go with a promise to show up later for legal proceedings against them.
Adding resources for the Department of Justice to prosecute alien smugglers, people involved in trafficking in false identification documents, and previously deported felons.
Maximizing efforts to prosecute and convict members of criminal alien gangs, such as MS-13 and affiliated gangs. These gangs have brought unusual levels of violence to more than 30 U.S. states and have also become very active in drug-smuggling, gun-smuggling, and alien-smuggling.
Implementing fully and making greater use of the expedited removal process already allowed under federal law.
Enabling the Social Security Administration to share relevant information with immigration and law enforcement personnel in a manner that will support effective interior enforcement efforts.
Enforce Existing Federal Laws. Enforce the laws Congress has already enacted to prevent illegal aliens from unlawfully benefiting from their presence in the country:
End Sanctuary Cities by cutting off discretionary federal grant funds as appropriate to any community that, by law, ordinance, executive order, or other formal policy directs its public officials not to comply with the provisions of 8 USC 1373 and 8 USC 1644, which prohibit any state or local government from restricting in any way communications with the Department of Homeland Security "regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States."
Deny discretionary Federal education grants as appropriate to public universities that violate federal law by offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens without also offering identical benefits to United States citizens, regardless of whether or not they live in the state, as required by 8 USC 1623.
Deny discretionary Federal grants as appropriate to states and local governments that violate federal law by offering public benefits to illegal aliens, as prohibited by 8 USC 1621(a).
Reduce the Jobs Incentive. Ensure employee verification by requiring that all U.S. employers use the Department of Homeland Security's electronic database (the E-Verify system) to confirm that a prospective employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Now that the technology is proven, provide sufficient resources to make the system as thorough, fast, accurate, and easy-to-use as possible.
Add to the Cost of Hiring Illegal Aliens. Deny a tax deduction to employers for the wages they pay to illegal aliens, thereby dramatically increasing the real cost of employing illegal aliens. Businesses that do not play by the rules should not be rewarded under our tax system.
Bolster Border Security. Finish building the 854-mile wall along the border by 2010 as required by 8 USC 1103. Extend the wall beyond that as appropriate and deploy new technologies and additional resources to enhance detection and rapid apprehension along our borders by 2012.
Increased Prosecution. Deploy the additional assets outlined above to prosecute alien smugglers ("coyotes"), alien gang members, previously deported felons, and aliens who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws much more vigorously.
Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking. Complete the implementation of a system to track visa entrants and exits, as has been required by federal law for more than ten years, and connect it to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), in order to curb visa overstays and permit more effective enforcement.
Improving the Legal Immigration Process
The United States is a nation of immigrants. We must continue to welcome immigrants and foreign workers who come to our country legally, giving priority to those who can advance the nation's interests and common good. Immigrants and foreign workers who play by the rules need to be rewarded with faster and less burdensome service, not delays that last years. Advancing the following initiatives will require close cooperation between all levels of government, the business community, and concerned citizens:
Maximize Program Efficiency. Reduce the backlogs and streamline the process for immigrants and employers who seek to follow the law. Also, simplify and expedite the application processes for temporary visas. This can be accomplished by hiring more personnel at Citizenship and Immigration Services and the FBI. Caps for any category of temporary work visa would be increased as appropriate, if it could be demonstrated that there are no Americans capable and willing to do the jobs.
Enhanced Reporting. Improve reporting to the government by businesses that rely on temporary workers so that the government can track whether the visa holder remains employed.
Modernize Immigration Law/Policy. Change the nature of our legal immigration system to welcome immigrants who can be economic contributors to our country, are willing to learn the English language, and want to assimilate.
Reduce the scope of chain migration by giving family preference in the allocation of lawful permanent resident status only to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, and no one else (no siblings, no parents, no adult children, etc.).
Eliminate the diversity visa lottery.
English As Official Language. Make English the official language of the United States to promote assimilation and legal immigrants' success, and require English proficiency in order for any foreign person to be granted lawful permanent resident status.
Freedom from Political Oppression. Preserve U.S. laws and policies to ensure that the United States remains a beacon and a haven for persons fleeing political oppression, while assuring appropriate admission standards are maintained.
Service to Country. Place those foreign persons who are lawfully present in the country and who serve honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States on a faster, surer track to U.S. citizenship.
Tags:border security, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, immigration reform, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Abraham Lincoln (1863): The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed, Done at the city of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth. ABRAHAM LINCOLN By the President: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State
Tags:Abraham Lincoln, President, Republican, Thanksgiving ProclamationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Our American Thanksgiving began with our Pilgrim fathers, to be sure. But our national holiday of Thanksgiving, often observed on a cold, gray day in November, was the result of Presidential Proclamation. First, from President Lincoln in 1863; then with President Roosevelt and the Congress, permanently fixing the date in World War II. So it is fitting that we acknowledge our thanks to God on this day. And remember those whose blood and sacrifice make it possible for us to do so in freedom. Many of them will eat their Thanksgiving dinner on metal trays, ducking incoming mortar rounds.
Paul encouraged Believers at Colosse to "continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." (Col 4:2) With the Apostle word in mind I would like to encourage you to spend a few moments in prayer with your family and friends as you gather for Thanksgiving dinner. Pray for our men and women serving in our nation's military. Pray for our leaders that they would make wise decisions that would honor the sacrifices made throughout the history of our nation. Pray for the pastors and priests of this nation that they would be as bold and courageous to defend truth here at home. Finally, pray that as Christians here in America, we will seek God and do our part to make this country a nation deserving of His divine protection. May God bless each of you. May you be surrounded by your loved ones. And may He bless all our valiant soldiers until that Day of Thanksgiving in which the whole world will share.[Tony Perkins, FRC]
The members of the Arkansas Republican Assembly and the ARRA News Service wish you and yours a most blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Tags:Arkansas Republican Assembly, ARRA, military troops, Pilgrims, prayer, Thanksgiving 2007, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
An Eyewitness Description Of The First Thanksgiving
In a letter to a friend in England, Edward Winslow described the first Thanksgiving in these words:
Our corn did prove well, and, God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom.
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
by Fred Lucas, CNSNews: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wants to know why it took so long to charge the drug dealer -- used as the star witness in putting two ex-Border Patrol agents in prison -- with a second smuggling offense. Critics of the prosecution of former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively, have long asked why the drug smuggler wasn't prosecuted.
The indictment and arrest of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila last week for smuggling drugs into the country in the fall of 2005 did not alleviate criticism of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of the Western District of Texas. . . . Rather, some critics say it affirms their suspicion that Sutton, who prosecuted the border agents and is now prosecuting Aldrete-Davila, delayed bringing charges against Aldrete-Davila because he feared prosecuting him would jeopardize a conviction in the jury trial of Ramos and Compean. The two agents were convicted for shooting Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks in February 2005 when he tried to evade arrest. . . .
"The recent arrest of Aldrete-Davila raises serious questions about decisions that were made in the trial and incarceration of the two agents," Cornyn told Cybercast News Service. "The attorney general should review the circumstances of this case immediately and forward a recommendation to the president."Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Michael Mukasey last month if he would look into the matter after taking office. Mukasey agreed to review it . . . [Read More] See Also:Agents' pardon urged of Bush, The Washington Times: In a letter that was delivered today to the White House, 31 major conservative petitioners joined a campaign led by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and presidential candidate, asking President Bush to pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean before Thanksgiving. Tags:Alonso Compean, Attorney General, Duncan Hunter, Ignacio Ramos, John Cornyn, pardon, Texas, US Senate, US SenatorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Human Events: Let's face it. Some people, especially liberals, just don't like the U.S. Constitution. Every few years, they come up with wild or devious plans to make major changes. The would-be rewriters of the Constitution do not merely propose amendments to remedy a problem, as allowed for in Article V. They seek structural change after hurling put-downs such as archaic and out-of-date. The latest to imagine that he can write a 21st century improvement on our great Constitution is Univ, of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato . . . Here are some of Sabato's 23 proposals . . .
Make all former presidents and vice presidents "National senators."
Give the 10 most populous states two additional senators, the 15 next most populous states one additional senator, and the District of Columbia one senator.
Doesn't like the Electoral College - change to reduce the chances that a president will win without a majority of the popular vote. Because of third parties, we've had many elections (including three of the last four), when no presidential candidate received a popular-vote majority.
Abolish the constitutional provision that the president and vice president shall be "a natural-born citizen."
Elect the president and all Senate and House members at the same time.
Give federal judges guaranteed cost-of-living pay increases.
A four-month presidential primary system into the Constitution.
Allow the House of Representatives to be appointed (rather than elected) in the event of extensive deaths or incapacitation.
Two years of mandatory national (military) service for all young men and women
Taxpayer financing for congressional campaigns.
Automatic registration system for U.S. citizens in order to guarantee that their right to vote is not "abridged by bureaucratic requirements"?
Scrap our present Constitution and start over from a clean slate.
When Sabato recently gathered a few people to discuss his proposals, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito summed up the reaction not only of those at the meeting, but of the rest of us, too. "I'm pretty fond of the Constitution we have now," he said. Thank you, Justice Alito. So are we. . . . [Complete Article] Tags:Human Events, Larry Sabato, Phyllis Schlafly, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Senator Mark Pryor Introduces Version of "Save Act"
by Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and David Vitter (R-LA) have introduced Senate versions (S.2368 and S. 2366) of the SAVE Act (Secure America with Verification Enforcement -H.R. 4088). Arkansas U.S. Representatives John Boozman (R), Marion Berry (D) and Mike Ross (D) have signed as cosponsors of H.R. 4088. In reviewing the list of co-sponsors it is evident that many in the U.S. Congress received the message sent by the American people in regard to the need for "real" actions to reduce illegal immigration.
ALthough the SAVE Act will not satisfy everyone, it is the middle-ground answer to the illegal immigration issue. This not only will be the most effective solution, but it is what polls show most Americans want. When given the choice among (a) mass roundups and mass deportations, (b) mass legalizations, and (c) Attrition Through Enforcement & Self Deportation, the public chooses the middle-ground Attrition option which is what these bills offers.
The SAVE Act would increase our border security and help with interior enforcement. Our greatest excitement is in the promise of finally protecting American workers, legal foreign workers and law-abiding businesses from the unfair competition of massive hiring of illegal workers throughout our economy. And by requiring every worker to be run through the E-Verify system within four years, the SAVE Act would greatly reduce the opportunities for national origin-based discrimination.
Senator Pryor, thank you for sponsoring the SAVE Act and taking a leadership role on this issue! Leadership is obviously lacking at the top in the current US Congress. Current congressional leaders appear inept and have failed to grasp the concerns by the "majority" of the American citizens. This is very evident by their low polling numbers.
Also, thank you Rep.s Boozman, Berry and Ross for you signing on as co-sponsors of the House version of the SAVE Act. Your sponsorship identifies that you know that a majority of Arkansans are concerned about how massive flows of foreign labor have allowed unscrupulous businesses to squeeze American workers out of their livelihoods.
Now, where are Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Vic Snyder in regard to increasing border security and assisting with interior enforcement? For the moment at least - they are out to lunch! Tags:border security, employment verification, illegal immigration, John Boozman, Marion Berry, Mark Pryor, Mike Ross, Save ActTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Linda Greenhouse, The NY Times: The Supreme Court announced today that it would l decide whether the Constitution grants individuals the right to keep guns in their homes for private use, plunging the justices headlong into a divisive and long-running debate over how to interpret the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” . . .
The federal appeals court here, breaking with the great majority of federal courts to have examined the issue over the decades, ruled last March that the Second Amendment right was an individual one, not tied to service in a militia, and that the District of Columbia’s categorical ban on handguns was therefore unconstitutional. Both the District of Columbia government and the winning plaintiff, Dick Anthony Heller, a security officer, urged the justices to review the decision. Mr. Heller, who carries a gun while on duty guarding the federal building that houses the administrative offices of the federal court system, wants to be able to keep his gun at home for self-defense. . . .
The District of Columbia law not only bans ownership of handguns, but requires other guns like rifles and shotguns that may legally be kept in the home to be disassembled or kept under a trigger lock. The capital’s newly empowered City Council enacted the law in 1976 as one of its first measures after receiving home-rule authority from Congress. . . . [Read More]Tags:2nd Amendment, DC, gun control, gun rights, US Supreme Court, SCOTUSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrat Lead Congress Ratings in Toilet; Fail to fund DOD, Iraq War or VA
The latest Gallup poll shows Congress’ approval rating dropped 9 points in November, to 20%. According to Gallup, this is just 2 points above the lowest approval that poll has ever recorded, dating back to 1974. Americans have clearly noticed the Democrats’ record of failure over the last month.
At a press conference this morning Reps. David Obey (D-WI) and John Murtha (D-PA) tried to blame the lack of a bridge funding for the troops on Senate Republicans for not approving the House bill mandating withdrawal requirements. Of course, it is Democrats’ insistence on coupling Iraq funding with unacceptable withdrawal timetables that has prevented our soldiers from getting the funds they need.
The Christian Science Monitor reported yesterday, that Congress’ failure to pass funding may force the Pentagon to “close dozens of domestic military bases and imperil the livelihoods of tens of thousands of defense workers” to keep U.S. forces fighting.
Murtha went on to charge the administration with allowing veterans to return to inadequate military facilities and care. But Democrats have refused to send the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill to the president, even though it is complete and supported by overwhelming majorities of both houses.
Continued Democrat demands for withdrawal requirements and pronouncements of futility regarding Iraq can no longer even be justified from the front page of The New York Times, which reports today that “The security improvements in most [Baghdad] neighborhoods are real.” Tags:Christian Values, David Obey, federal funding, Gallup Poll, Iraq War, John Murtha, military funding, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Wounded Soldier: Military Wants Part Of Bonus Back
by Marty Griffin, PITTSBURGH (CBS KDKA-TV2): The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments. To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases. Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back. One of them is Jordan Fox, a young soldier from the South Hills. . . . Fox was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. He was knocked unconscious. His back was injured and lost all vision in his right eye. A few months later Fox was sent home. His injuries prohibited him from fulfilling three months of his commitment. A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back. "I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they're telling me they want their money back," . . . he can't believe he's being asked to return part of his $10,000 signing bonus. . . . [Read More] [What is Your Opinion - Comments Please] Tags:Iraq War, support troops, veterans, woundedTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Election 2008, Fred Thompson, global war, Pajamas Media, presidential candidate, video, War on TerrorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
GQ or Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine, is a men’s general interest magazine, announced today the honorees for the magazine's 12th annual "Men of the Year" issue, featuring three separate covers and hitting news stands nationwide Nov. 27, 2007. Selected from the worlds of politics, motion pictures, and hip-hop, the December covers showcase an impressive trio of gentlemen. Former president Bill Clinton, actor and new James Bond star Daniel Craig, and producer/hip-hop artist Kanye West head up this year's group of honorees. We expect Hillary Clinton felt slighted for not being allowed to join her husband on the cover of GQ.
On the list of GQ 36 real "men of the year," the only presidential candidate for 2008 making the list was Ron Paul the 10-term Texas Congressman Ron Paul who was listed by GQ magazine as “Dark Horse of the Year.” The GQ list represented a select group of 38 entertainers, athletes, politicians, and other icons. Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton related, “Dr. Paul is humbled and honored to be chosen as a ‘man of the year.’ According to GQ, Dr. Paul is the dark horse to win the presidency, and with support steadily rising each day, we are moving closer to winning the Republican Party nomination.” See Also:GQ Announces 2007 Men of the Year&MEN OF THE YEAR 2007
Tags:Election 2008, GQ, men, presidential candidate, Republican, Ron PaulTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Below are three independent but related short stories byTony Perkins, Family Research Council that makes one realize that as illustrated by Greek mythology, Pandora's Box has truely been opened. Christians address these items as faith, ethics and sin issues. Since the the early times of man, these and other issues have plagued us in the forms of man's continued desires for more knowledge be it good or evil and of mans continued lust of the flesh.
No Embryos, No Cloning, No Eggs--No Problem! Two prominent embryonic stem cell scientists today published results showing that they can produce cells with the qualities of embryonic stem cells directly from human skin cells, without the need for creating or destroying embryos, without cloning, and without the need for eggs used in cloning. The groundbreaking news by Dr. James Thomson, first to grow human embryonic stem cells, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Japan, was that they produced what are called "iPS" cells (induced Pluripotent Stem cells) using a simple recipe that involved adding four genetic factors to a human skin cell. When comparing these new cells with existing embryonic stem cells, Thomson noted that iPS cells "meet the defining criteria" for embryonic stem cells "with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not derived from embryos." Yamanaka and Thomson are to be congratulated for pushing forward the frontiers of science and demonstrating that good science can also satisfy ethical requirements. Coupled with the recent announcement by Dr. Ian Wilmut, cloner of Dolly the sheep, that he is shelving cloning as an unproductive technique in favor of this new ethical method, dubious experiments involving embryo cloning and embryo destruction are being rendered obsolete. Scientists can now work with "embryonic-like" stem cells without ethical concerns, while for patients the adult and cord blood stem cells continue to treat thousands of patients now. Congress should move swiftly to ban all human cloning by passing the Brownback-Weldon human cloning prohibition. See Also:New Stem Cell Method Could Ease Ethical Concerns
No Miracle on This Street - Philadelphia Mayor John Street is slamming the door on the Boy Scouts this holiday season, all while he is putting out the welcome mat for homosexual activists. Yesterday I talked about a triumph over unconstitutional hate crime laws in Pennsylvania. However, that victory happened despite the city mayor's efforts to promote the homosexual lifestyle at the cost of religious liberty and freedom. Philadelphia has given the local Boy Scouts chapter until December 3 to renounce their belief that it is morally wrong to have homosexual scoutmasters, or the city will break a longstanding lease on the city-owned facilities the local chapter rents. Mayor Street has made it clear that the faith behind the Boy Scout policy is not his concern, and neither is the safety of the children whom the Boy Scouts implemented the policy to protect. If you need to know more of where the Philly Mayor's sympathies lie, just look for him this Saturday at City Hall in Philadelphia, where he will be presiding over a same-sex commitment ceremony. While Philadelphia might be known as the City of Brotherly Love - that love is not shared for the good work of the Boy Scouts. See also:Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum
The Rouge Baron - Recently FRC, working with the Louisiana Family Forum, was involved in successful efforts to defeat a pro-homosexual resolution in my home town of Baton Rouge, called One Baton Rouge. As the measure was going down in defeat the mayor, Kip Holden, lashed out in anger at area pastors who had opposed the measure. According to news reports and council meeting transcripts, Mayor Kip Holden accused Pastor Dennis Eenigenburg of the Chapel on the Campus of "not speaking as Godly person," saying Pastor Eenigenburg "is someone who has hatred in his heart." (Read about the Mayor's comments at the link below.) Increasingly government officials are trying to intimidate into silence pastors who speak out against the advancement of the homosexual agenda. When we asked folks in Baton Rouge to contact the Mayor and ask him to apologize to the pastors of the city, his office was overwhelmed with calls--and to our surprise, the Mayor is insisting he never said anything about Pastor Eenigenburg. Whenever something like this happens we, as religious people, need to come together as a community. So I ask you to call the Mayor at (225) 389-3100 to let him know he needs to stop trying to dodge the facts and start apologizing. See also:Council Members Reject "One Baton Rouge" Resolution
Tags:Boy Scouts, Family Research Council, FRC, homosexual activism, Pandora, stem cell research, stem cells, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition:During World War II, Hollywood produced hundreds of patriotic films to support the war effort. Many actors and actresses also enlisted to serve their country on the front lines. One of the most famous Hollywood directors of the time, Frank Capra, produced the “Why We Fight” series to help explain why our nation was fighting the Nazi and Japanese.
Hollywood was united in our nation’s joint effort to defeat the threat of worldwide fascism. But, times have changed. Now, Hollywood producers and directors are still going to war but this time they’re waging war against our own military and against our nation’s intelligence gathering agencies. Does the word “treason” have any meaning?
One of the latest despicable films to be produced against our military came from the twisted mind of Brian de Palma. The film, “Redacted,” was funded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. It was produced through Cuban’s Magnolia Pictures. (Cuban also founded HDNet, which airs on DirecTV. “Redacted” was shown repeatedly on this network a week ago.) “Redacted” portrays our U.S. Marines as a bunch of boozing, dope smoking racists, murderers and rapists. Film critic Michael Medved saw the film recently and described it this way: “It could be the worst movie I’ve ever seen … the out and out worst, most disgusting, most hateful, most incompetent, most revolting, most loathsome, most reprehensible cinematic work I have ever encountered.” Medved says he “was close to vomiting when I saw the film … It is a slander on the United States of America … Everyone associated with this film ought to be ashamed.”
“Redacted,” however, isn’t the only Hollywood attack in recent months on our battle against worldwide Islamo-fascism. Hollywood has given us “The Shooter,” with Mark Wahlberg, which attacks our intelligence services; “The Bourne Ultimatum,” another attack upon our intelligence agencies; “Lions for Lambs,” an anti-military diatribe starring ultra-liberal Robert Redford; “In the Valley of Elah,” about a man who fights the military bureaucracy; and “Rendition” starring Reese Witherspoon. In this film, she plays the wife of an Egyptian man who is kidnapped by our government and sent to a secret “torture” camp overseas.
The themes of these films are all the same: Our counterintelligence efforts against Islamic terrorism are evil and should be exposed; and our soldiers are murderous thugs. Soon, we’ll be seeing movies about psychotic ex-soldiers back from Iraq who become serial killers or rapists on our nation’s streets. This is how Hollywood treated ex-Vietnam veterans. I expect the liberals in Hollywood to follow this same strategy in demeaning the courageous men and women who risked their lives for us in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Frank Capra would be ashamed of what’s happened to Hollywood. We should express our anger at these attacks on our military and our counterterrorism efforts by refusing to purchase tickets to these hateful, treasonous films. And, we should let Mark Cuban and Brian de Palma know exactly how we feel about their horrific film smearing the U.S. Marine Corps. Tags:anti-military, anti-war, Hollywood, Louis Seheldon, Tradional Family Values Coalition, TVATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update on Filings - Arkansas Republican Party Presidential Ballot Tax: $15,000
Update Nov 19: The Arkansas filing period for the Presidential primary ended today. Six GOP candidates filed: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson. The following candidates did not file: Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and Alan Keyes. Tancredo cited the high RPA filing fee and that he felt Huckabee should win his home state. ARRA Editor:The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) has been expressing to potential donors that they need money. I guess they decided to fill their coffers using "ballot taxes" - oops I mean filing fees. Since the RPA Charman Dennis Milligan has "personally" endorsed Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, maybe the RPA will give Huckabee an RPA in-state "membership" discount on his filing fee.Hat Tip to Ballot Access Newsfor the following background story and to Stephen a commenter who used the term "Ballot Tax:"
Until 2007, there had never been a party-imposed fee for running in a presidential primary in any state, higher than $5,000. However, the South Carolina Republican Party broke that pattern by setting its filing fee at $25,000 for candidates who filed before May 2007, and $35,000 for candidates who filed later.
Now the Arkansas Republican Party has copied this idea, to a certain extent, and is charging $15,000. The Arkansas Republican Party does not pay for the presidential primary; the fee is just a way for the party to make money. So far, the only Republicans who have paid the Arkansas $15,000 fee are John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. However, filing doesn’t end until Monday, November 19.
The Democratic National Committee has set a ceiling of $2,500 that any state Democratic Party may charge presidential candidates. Of course, in most states, filing fees don’t go to the parties anyway. In most states they go to election administrators.
Tags:Arkansas, Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis Milligan, filing fee, GOP, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidates, RPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
German court: Homeschooling is 'child endangerment'
Gives two kids to government, castigates social workers for letting family flee.
WorldNetDaily: A court decision that categorized homeschooling as "child welfare endangerment" has assigned custody of two children to the government and criticized a social services agency for allowing a family to flee Germany, where homeschooling remains illegal. The decision from the Federal High Court in Karlsruhe, Germany's highest court, was reported by the German edition of Agence France-Presse, as well as Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit, an organization that advocates for homeschoolers against the repression in Germany . . . The court found the city and its social services agencies were "obviously unsuited" to the task of enforcing mandatory public school attendance and rather than protecting against "child welfare endangerment," the city allowed the family to move to Austria where the two children now are being educated by an "uncertified" mother. . . . [Read More]ARRA Comment: This court ruling sound like German decision in the 1930s and 40s that oppressed its people? God help the German people - their courts an governments are not! Tags:Germany, home school, parent rightsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Nov 19, 2007 Ex-Klansman Honored by Sen. Harry Reid
The Senate is on Thanksgiving break for the next two weeks. However, there will be no formal recess, as Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to hold the periodic pro forma sessions instead of a typical recess to prevent President Bush from making any recess appointments during the Thanksgiving break. The Senate reconvened at 9 AM today for a pro forma session; will also convene pro forma sessions on Nov. 23, 27 & Nov. 29. The Senate is scheduled to resume legislative business at 2 PM on Dec. 3. But with Reid's track record who knows!
In the wake of the latest failed Iraq votes in Congress, an astonishing number of articles appear in the mainstream media today with positive news from Iraq. The New York Times and The Washington Post both report a sharp decline in attacks today (though the Post has put it on page A14), the Los Angeles Times reports “war-weary Sunnis and Shiites are joining hands at the local level to protect their communities from militants on both sides,” Reuters notes that Iraqi ambulance drivers are no longer quite so busy, and AFP even profiles a revitalized nightlife in Baghdad.
In fact, it seems as if the most negative news concerning Iraq this morning comes from Washington rather than Baghdad. Thanks to Congress’ failure to pass dedicated funding for the troops into next year, The Christian Science Monitor reports the Pentagon may be forced to “close dozens of domestic military bases and imperil the livelihoods of tens of thousands of defense workers” to keep U.S. forces fighting.
ICYMI On Friday: Senate voted on a series of cloture motions, all of which failed to garner the 60 votes needed.
- In the first vote the Senate failed, 45-53, to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the GOP emergency supplemental appropriations bill (S. 2340), which would have provided $70 billion in war funding through the spring.
- Cloture on the motion to proceed to the House-passed supplemental funding bill (H.R. 4156) also failed, 53-45. The House bill would have provided $50 billion in war funding but included irresponsible troop withdrawal requirements.
- The Senate also failed, 55-42, to invoke cloture on the Harkin substitute amendment to the farm bill (H.R. 2419). Work on the bill remains stalled.
However using limited floor time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led democrats to express their enjoyment over attending ex-Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd's surprise birthday partythe previous evening. First elected in 1958, making him the longest-serving member of the Senate. Byrd is currently the President pro tempore of the Senate and third in the line of succession for the Presidency. It is interesting that in 2007, liberal Sen. Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could wax nostalgically on the Senate floor about Sen. Byrd (D-WV) birthday before the whole world on C-SPAN without repercussions. However, when Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) nostalgic words at a birthday party in December 2002 about Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), who ran for president as a segregationist in 1948, caused a public uproar and cost Lott the majority leader's post. Tags:Harry Reid, Ex-Klansman Honored, Robert Byrd, birthday, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Bobby Eberle: Over the past year or so, every time the phrase "immigration reform" was uttered in Washington, the American public knew to brace for the worst. No matter what we said, it appeared that our "leaders" weren't listening. The wishes of Americans were clear: border security first, no amnesty, and enforce existing laws. It's not rocket science. Now, it appears that Congress may actually be listening. With all the time wasted on "comprehensive" immigration reform, a new plan moving through the House of Representatives has garnered bi-partisan support, and it addresses immigration reform from a border security perspective.
Known as the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act, the plan was introduced by Immigration Reform Caucus Chairman Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and "Blue Dog" Rep. Heath Schuler (D-NC). As noted by Human Events, "The bill emphasizes an e-verification program, which requires federal agencies, contractors and employers to verify the eligibility of all employees within one to four years, depending on the size of the company. In the process, identity fraud wrought through fake social security numbers and stolen credit cards would be downsized significantly." . . . [Read More] Tags:Bobby Eberle, immigration reform, Save ActTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:economic cost, illegal aliens, political cartoon, political humor, political satire, Rob Smith, US DebtTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
During an exclusive interview on Fox News Sunday this morning, former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee unveiled a new television ad featuring actor Chuck Norris that will begin airing in Iowa on Monday, November 19. The 60-second TV ad, called 'Chuck Norris Approved," features Norris' endorsement of Huckabee as a "principled, authentic conservative." The ad also discusses Huckabee's support for the Fair Tax, securing the border, and the 2nd amendment.
Tags:campaign ad, Chuck Norris, Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, RepublicanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Farm Subsidies Going To The Wealthy including Rep.Marion Berry?
$20B In Tax Dollars Is Allocated To Keep Farms Afloat - And Some Lawmakers Are Benefitingby Sharyl Attkinson (CBS News):Each year, taxpayers fork over about $20 billion in farm subsidies to help keep America's farms up and running. But over the years, more and more of the payments have gone to Fortune 500 companies, the wealthy - and even members of Congress, CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports. Ken Cook, who researches the issue, says it makes about as much sense as putting a milk bucket under a bull. “The big farms get most of the money. Ten percent of the beneficiaries get over 70 percent of the payments . . .
Even the members of Congress who vote on farm subsidies and earn $165,200 government salaries can get payments. A dozen of them or their close family have gotten a total of $6.2 million dollars over 10 years. One of them is Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry. He's grown rice his whole life, and has collected subsidies from the start. Today, he and his family members have interests in several farm corporations. Attkisson asked him: “You and your family’s interests received almost $2.4 million in federal payments from 1999 to 2005 according to records?" Berry said: “I don’t have any idea. That sounds like an awful lot of money to me.” Whatever the amount, most Americans would hardly envision Berry as the disadvantaged farmer. “Can you tell me what your net worth is?” Attkisson asked. “My net worth? I don’t have any idea,” Barry replied. “Well, it’s not very much I know.” "This range says $1.7 million to $6.6 million,” Attkisson read to him. “That’s probably pretty close,” Berry said.
The new farm bill working its way through Congress attempts to cut off some of the wealthy. Under one version, no one earning more than $1 million a year could get subsidies. That wouldn't affect Berry. He's worth a lot, but says his yearly income falls below the million-dollar mark. There's nothing illegal or improper about the wealthy receiving farm subsidies. Cook says it's just not fair to taxpayers . . . [Read More]Tags:Arkansas, CBS, Congressional Pork, farm subsidies, Marion Berry, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Personal Tweets by the editor: Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
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