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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 30, 2013
The Common Core Steamroller
Article Summaries by Eagle Forum's Educational Reporter - Schools around the nation continue to roll out Common Core, but many are experiencing complications. Some parents are surprised by the new national standards and many teachers are ill prepared. There is confusion surrounding curriculum. Funding hurdles abound. Parents’ questions are not being answered and opposition continues to grow. Common Core proponents are left trying to defend the implementation of untested, unproven standards that seek to make education a one-size-fits-all national reality. Michelle Malkin says, “When parents and educators in dozens of states started challenging the privacy intrusions posed by and the constitutionality, cost, quality, and validity of Common Core, its architects went on the attack.” (National Review, 10-17-13)
Opposition from the Left
Although the news media and Common Core proponents claim that opposition to the standards comes uniquely from Tea Party sources, across the nation parents with left, center, and right political leanings are joining together to oppose Common Core. They are bonding over concern for their children’s education. One left-leaning group with about 25,000 members, The Bad Ass Teachers Association (BAT), is against Common Core because they believe it overemphasizes standardized testing. BAT founder and Fordham University professor Mark Naison says, “The liberal critique of Common Core is that this is a huge profit-making enterprise that costs school districts a tremendous amount of money, and pushes out the things kids love about school, like art and music.” (Miami Herald, 8-24-13)
Common Core is dependent on standardized national testing. Whether the state chooses a test from SBAC, PARCC, or AIR, it will test the same standards.
Every issue of Education Week showcases a multitude of ads promoting “Common Core aligned” products, and the same is true of other education-related media. But school districts don’t have enough employees qualified to determine what “Common Core aligned” actually means, which products are Common Core aligned and which are not, let alone which are best. “A multibillion-dollar industry of competing vendors is promoting a dizzying array of new products — textbooks, curriculum, teacher-training workshops, software, laptops, iPads, nonfiction kid magazines, games, even Lego blocks,” and competing for education dollars. (Los Angeles Daily News, 10-15-13)
A kindergarten teacher and a man who graduated from Oxford University as an 18-year-old were among many adults stumped by a Common Core kindergarten vocabulary exercise in New York City. Kindergarten students were to “draw” vocabulary words, including “responsibility” and “distance,” in a workbook. The child is to interpret the word by making it into a drawing. Previously having listened to a reading of the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings was intended somehow to help with the process. One teacher, noting that the students were to put their drawings in a two-inch-by-four-inch box, said, “[Kindergarteners] can’t make anything in that small little space. That to me is a setup for failure.” Adults were given much more space, but still didn’t fare well. A New York Department of Education spokesman defended the Pearson-created curriculum, saying it is “100% optional.” 90% of schools have adopted the suggested workbooks. (New York Daily News, 10-18-13) Child development specialists have noted that much of Common Core is not developmentally appropriate.
Common Core is a Money Pit
Theodor Rebarber of Accountability Works estimates that national implementation of Common Core could cost as much as $15.8 billion. The Pioneer Institute estimates it will cost $16 billion over seven years. The cost is about four times the federal government’s “carrot” Race to the Top funds, which were awarded to only a handful of states. The Pioneer Institute Executive Director said, “With state and local taxpayers footing 90% of the bill for K-12 public education, the federal government’s push to get states to adopt national standards and tests amounts to one big unfunded mandate.” (2-22-12)
The director of Murfreesboro, TN City Schools told the city council that they should approve her request for iPads for kindergartners and 1st-graders and laptop computers for students in grades two through six. This meant $5.2 million in bonds to upgrade technology needed to “help prepare our children for future entry into the workforce and for future state online assessments,” according to the city education director. (Fox News, 9-18-13) Common Core tests that will be administered using a computer mean that every student needs either a computer or a tablet with a keyboard.
Wanted: Professional Development
Authors of a study of English language arts Common Core standards found that teachers will need “substantially more professional development around the Common Core, not just in understanding what the new standards include and how they differ from states’ old standards, but also to fill the gaps in instructional strategies that will be needed for students to write well.” (Education Week, 10-10-13) Researchers published their findings in School Psychology Review after analyzing Common Core writing standards, along with those of Texas and Virginia, two states that did not adopt the new standards.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction claims that “theoretically” teachers over the past three years have had 60-80 hours of Common Core training, which a $400 million federal “Race to the Top” grant helped fund. But NC Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is a member of the state Board of Education and a Common Core opponent, says teachers are struggling with Common Core. Forest says some teachers “say they are not prepared for this. The only information they are getting is from Twitter and Facebook chat rooms.” Forest continued, “I am unclear how education with a national one-size-fits-all standard will serve our students well and allow our parents the ability to be engaged in educational decisions.” (Fayetteville Observer, 10-20-13)
Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance has admitted that Common Core implementation is a dis-aster in his district. Dance, who was at the center of the controversial arrest of a parent at a Common Core meeting in September, stated in a letter to teachers and administrators that he accepts blame for the problems encountered in the first month of school. Teachers only received computer access to the rewritten curriculum that adheres to Common Core standards a few days before school started. Dance stated that he “[felt] the high levels of anxiety throughout [the] organization.” (Baltimore Sun, 9-20-13)
Opposition Temporarily Silenced
Common Core forums are back on the schedule for New York Education Commissioner John King. At the first New York state PTA-arranged forum, parents became outraged when, after listening to King for an hour and a half, he began to encroach on the parents’ comment time, which was limited to two minutes each. King canceled all future forums across in the state, stating that racial slurs were hurled at him and that the forum was coopted by “special interests.” Numerous attendees, including other people of color, stated that no such thing occurred. Parents and legislators called for King’s resignation. Democratic state Assemblyman Tom Abinanti accused King of having “closed off all meaningful conversation with parents, educators, administrators and elected officials.” The state Board of Regents became involved and admitted that King should have allowed more time for public comment. King will now hold 16 forums across New York, including 4 that will be aired on Public Broadcast TV. But apparently at least some of the meetings will be “invitation only” and not open to the public. (EAG News, 10-18-13 & 10-21-13)
Too Little Too Late
Several state legislatures are investigating Common Core implementation and taking citizen concerns seriously. But many worry that opposition to Common Core has come too late to stop the forward motion. Others fear that it can’t be stopped because states have already spent too much money on implementation.
Michelle Malkin commented about Common Core in the National Review: We, [parents of school-age children], not the Obamas or the Bushes or the Gateses or educrats in Washington, D.C., are our children’s primary educational providers. Control over our children begins and ends with us. It is not easy to stand up and challenge sovereignty-undermining, curriculum-usurping, privacy-sabotaging education orthodoxy, especially when it is furthered by a toxic alliance of big-government and big-business interests. (10-17-13)
------------ ARRA News Service articles on Common Core Tags:Common Core, articles, steamroller, Eagle Forum, ARRA news ServiceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Rick Manning: This past week our nation celebrated the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Once a staple in schools, where kids learned the words by heart and delivered them before the whole class, modern education has apparently deemed the soaring words of Lincoln unworthy of being taught.
A video by Media Research Center on the George Mason University campus located just outside of Washington, D.C. revealed a stunning ignorance amongst students of Lincoln’s seminal speech as they admitted time and again to be unfamiliar with the opening phrase “Four score and seven years ago.”
Harvard University students fared as poorly on a video trying to name the capitol city of Canada, which is actually located closer to their campus than Washington, D.C.
In a 2011, Wall Street Journal article, Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough who has spoken on more than 100 college campuses flatly states, “’We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate.”
Not having even a basic knowledge of our nation’s history, the struggles to establish liberty, the unique freedom to practice religion, the sacrifices made to preserve the nation against threats both foreign and domestic leaves upcoming generations with no common thread that ties them together with their countrymen.
If you never learned, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the concept that individual rights are bestowed by God, the creator, and not by government.
If you are unfamiliar with the inspirational Declaration of Independence, our U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and how they came about, how will you even know when they are being betrayed with the resulting loss of freedom?
A nation stands on common threads, principles and underlying beliefs that bind the people together. The Fourth of July is just a fun day off with fireworks if you don’t understand your own history of freedom and independence that it celebrates.
Yet modern education ignores these common threads as boring or outmoded.
When college students have no clue about the contents of the Gettysburg Address on a day when that very speech is being highlighted nationally due to its 150th anniversary, it is reasonable to ask if that common thread is merely frayed or has it been severed?
The disconnection of America’s youth from the very principles that have made America a beacon for the world and the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind bodes ill tidings for the nation’s future.
A generation unaware of their natural rights will not miss them when they are taken under the guise of the common good.
And that same generation will worry more about their “right” to force others to pay for contraception, than whether their government’s expansive intrusion into the economy on every front is destroying their chance at an America dream of which they are unaware.
This Thanksgiving, say a prayer of thanks, let your family know that the thanks is to God who has bestowed so many blessings on our nation. Do not shy away from sharing the common thread values that have made bound our nation together from generation to generation. It just might be the first time your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren have ever heard about it.
This seems to be a lot more worthwhile than watching another boring Detroit Lions game on television.
--------------- Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. This article was also shared on NetRightDaily. Tags:Unwinding of America, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
In Washington, members of the budget conference committee are considering several options that could increase spending by up to an additional $100 billion.
What’s standing in their way is sequestration: the automatic spending cut mechanism President Obama signed into law with the Budget Control Act (BCA). Sequestration enforces spending caps on the discretionary budget, which includes those domestic programs that brought you the infamous IRS Star Trek parody video and the $325,000 RoboSquirrel. The reductions disproportionately fall on defense, and lawmakers should do a better job of prioritizing this core constitutional function while staying within the agreed-upon spending levels.
According to news sources, some budget conference members are considering a compromise dealto bust the sequestration spending caps by up to $100 billion. In an attempt to find offsetting mandatory spending cuts and revenues to entice both sides into such a deal, lawmakers are reportedly considering an increase in “user fees.” This is simply a disguised tax increase.
Raising these fees to cover the cost of providing services is one thing. Increasing them to pay for more spending is just another Washington gimmick. Using gimmicks like this one to get around necessary spending reductions is a destructive habit that has helped fuel the now $17.2 trillion national debt.
Lawmakers suspended the debt limit through February 7 in the deal that ended the government shutdown. With no dollar amount to limit their spending, there is little to stop Washington from piling even more spending and debt on taxpayers. Imagine hitting the Black Friday deals with an unlimited credit card at your disposal.
A budget conference “compromise” may sound like progress in this era of congressional gridlock, but when it means higher spending and continuing on the current fiscal collision course, it will do more harm than good. Washington is already on track to spend nearly $150 billion more in 2014 than it did in 2013, largely due to growth in entitlement spending—the key driver of spending and debt.
Instead of spending even more of taxpayers’ money, lawmakers should address future debt by controlling the growth in entitlement spending, sticking to the Budget Control Act, and enforcing lower levels of spending. If the committee fails to begin solving America’s entitlement problem, this means spending and debt will continue to go up and harm the opportunities of all Americans.
The credit card has been maxed out too many times already. This is the season to curb Washington’s spending spree. Tags:BCA, budget, budget control, debt, entitlement spending, Romina Boccia, Heritage Foundation, national debt, sequester, Sequestration, Spending Caps, spending cutsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
An UNconventional Approach to Abortion, Parents' Rights
Tony Perkins' Washington Update: Judging by the ObamaCare mess, Congress has enough to worry about without adding U.S. sovereignty to the mix. But in the Senate, where inefficiency is an art form, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is choosing to waste more of the chamber's time on an international treaty that could be one of the greatest threats to parents' rights that no one knows about.
Like most U.N. treaties, this one sounds harmless enough. But behind its innocuous name, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), is dangerous language that cedes parental authority, expands abortion "rights," and chips away at U.S. sovereignty. Democrats say the U.S. should ratify the treaty to encourage other countries to "catch up" to our standards of treating everyone fairly, regardless of their handicaps. But America can be an example to the rest of the world without signing away our rights. After two decades of living under the strongest piece of disabilities legislation in the world, we don't have anything to prove. Nothing the United Nations ratifies -- including CRPD -- could compare with the Americans with Disabilities Act in providing protection for people with special needs. So why bother?
Because, as Senator Harry Reid well knows, U.N. measures like this one help get his party's radical policies through America's backdoor. Under CRPD, the U.S. would be forced to recognize so-called rights that even our Constitution does not. What's more, those "rights" would be subject to U.S. courts interpretation -- or worse, unelected bureaucrats'. And, of course, it wouldn't be a U.N. proposal if it didn't include a loophole to greater abortion access.
As pro-lifers point out, this is the first-ever U.N. treaty to include the words "reproductive rights" -- a phrase that hasn't slipped past Senate conservatives like Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). During yesterday's Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Sen. Rubio put Secretary of State John Kerry on the spot and demanded to know if the treaty would be used to promote abortion as an international right. Kerry insisted it would not. To the packed room, Kerry promised, "Nothing in Article 25, or anywhere else in this treaty, creates a right to abortion."
Unfortunately, that doesn't change the facts -- which is that once a treaty is ratified, it is (as our Constitution explains), "the supreme law of the land." Any U.S. judge could use CRPD as grounds to expand abortion in America (and now that Democrats have lowered the standards for confirming those judges, we're likely to have plenty who will try!) Not only does the treaty bind America to the U.N.'s views on abortion, but it also takes a big bite out of parental rights.
As former Senator Rick Santorum, the father of a special needs daughter, explained, "CRPD, if ratified, would effectively put the U.S. under international law when it comes to parenting special needs children. One provision in the treaty would give the government, acting under U.N. instructions, the ability to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. I don't know about you, but I believe that in America, that is the parents' job, certainly not the government's."
Home-schooling families would be the obvious targets. In the United Kingdom, one mother already lost the right to continue teaching her 18-year-old son at home, despite his cerebral palsy. The local council determined that it wasn't "in his best interests." Imagine the leverage this treaty would give to liberals looking for ways to usurp the authority of moms and dads. Meanwhile, the dangers to life, parental rights, and U.S. sovereignty are just some of the concerns conservatives have over CRPD. This is a treaty with dozens of Articles, and anyone who suggests -- as John Kerry did -- that it doesn't require "one change to U.S. law" must be waiting to pass it to find out what's in it!
Anyone who's still undecided on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities needs only to look at the first two letters of the legislation for a reason to oppose it: U.N. Other countries may be willing to sign over their sovereignty, but the United States should know better. To pass, the treaty needs 66 votes. Make sure your senators aren't two of them. Contact your leaders and urge them to vote no on CRPD! Tags:United Nations, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UN CRPD, Abortion, parent's rights, UN agenda, Treaty, contact your U.S. Senators, Tony Perkins, Family Research CenterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: On Thanksgiving 2013, it may have seemed that the nation has little to be thankful for, but if you pull back from the headlines and other news, it is clear that Obama’s presidency is seriously damaged and will remain so until and after he is gone. That’s worth celebrating.
I must confess I am luxuriating in the knowledge of Obama’s present misery. I am enjoying it as someone who predicted he would fail — and fail spectacularly — and yet I know, despite his present unhappiness, he has no idea why it is happening.
The German word for taking pleasure in another’s failure or ill fortune is “schadenfreude.” Since this is generally regarded as unseemly, one usually keeps it to himself, but there is no need for that in Obama’s case. A small legion of conservative pundits has been warning about the consequences of Obamacare since Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010.
The bill is so badly flawed that, even with three years to prepare for its rollout, the administration made a mess of that. Those who know more about it than I predict that it will simply implode for lack of people — mostly the young and healthy — who will not participate in the exchanges. The horror stories will begin to mount as we learn of those who lost their insurance coverage, were unable to pay huge, increased premiums, and die as a result.
In October, Daniel Henniger, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, described it this way: “Let us try to understand what is happening now with the Obama presidency. On display to everyone watching this week is not merely the failure of a federal website or a software program or Ms. Sebelius’s management skills. This is the failure of the very idea of progressive government. Not liberal government. Progressive government.”
That’s an important difference. Henniger is talking about communism because “progressive” is the term that has been adopted to disguise communism. In the 1950s, when I was growing up, communism was called communism because people knew the Soviet Union was communist and that it was the enemy, It is still the enemy, most particularly of freedom and, beyond that, of free market capitalism that facilitates better lives for those who live in nations that exercise it.
The problem for America has been the way it has moved to the left since the dawn of the last century, adopting all manner of “entitlement” programs, but both Social Security and Medicare will be insolvent soon unless they are reformed to reflect the changing demographics of a growing, aging population. The move to the left increased the size and scope of the federal government in ways the Founders would never have imagined or wanted.
Our present miseries are rooted in the failure of communism aka progressive government. In perfect synch with the failure of his “signature” legislation is its living embodiment, the failed presidency of Barack Obama. He is an example of those people who, despite their limited skills, continue to be hired for jobs higher up on the ladder until their failures are catastrophic.
This is now commonly called “the Peter Principle”, formulated by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in a 1969 book of the same name. They postulated that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted to positions beyond their abilities; what they identified as “their level of incompetence.”
It’s worth noting that Obama’s college records have been sealed, so we only know that he attended Occidental College from the fall of 1979 through the spring of 1981. He then transferred to Columbia University. He graduated in 1983, spent about a year in Chicago as a “community organizer” before attending Harvard Law School. There is no need to examine his “career” after that except to note that he surrounded himself with radical friends and made his way up the Chicago political ladder until becoming a junior Senator from Illinois, He served from
January 2005 until he was elected President in 2008. None of this demonstrates much preparation to be President and none of this suggests a level of competence for the job.
In 2012, a Washington Times editorial noted that “Since Mr. Obama took office, the opinion of the United States generally has declined in every country surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, according to a report released in June.” Especially in Middle Eastern nations, his favorability ratings were below what they were when he took office. The Times concluded that “There’s a reason Mr. Obama has not been a strong leader internationally. He never set out to be one because he never believed in the exceptional mission of the United States…He would rather bow to foreign leaders than stand up for America.”
In sum, Obama has displayed a talent for campaigning for office, but has proven to lack all the attributes necessary to act effectively in office. This wouldn’t be a problem if he had remained an obscure junior Senator from Illinois, but has failed to solve the problems that come with any presidency.
Fouad Adjami, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, recently noted that “Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted, probably most powerful, aide, once said in admiration that Mr. Obama has been bored his whole life. The implication was that he is above things, a man alone, and anointed. Perhaps this moment—a presidency coming apart, the incompetent social engineering of an entire healthcare system—will now claim Mr. Obama’s attention.”
It has taken notice of the debacle. He began by lying about it and has progressed to lying about his lies. With three years to go, we are witnessing and being victimized by the election of a man who, in the parlance of Washington, D.C., has been “failing up” his whole life. He is the ultimate example of an “empty suit.”
Democrats up for election and re-election in 2014 will not want to be seen on the same stage with Obama. Those in Congress are already voting for any kind of band-aide to “fix” Obamacare, but no one is fooled by that. It can’t be fixed. It can only be repealed.
I am surprised that it took this long for the voters to realize the mistake they made, but America has a Constitution that enables them to overcome such errors and the economy is robust enough to resist much of the damage he has inflicted on it. We’ve had presidents in the past that were not up to the job. They were replaced. The nation moved on. It will do so again.
------------------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:Schadenfreude, President Obama, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Please note that the ARRA News Service will not publish Thursday and on will be minimum on Friday, and there are low expectations for Saturday and Sunday. It is time for some R and R and catching up with family!
Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!
President George Washington
City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Tags:Thanksgiving, 2013, George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
War and Rememberance - The Passing of George "GM" Roper
George "GM" Roper (Sept 20, 1946 - Nov 27, 2013)
Bill Smith: George "GM" Roper, a fellow blogger, a patriot, and all round great guy, lost his battle with leukemia this morning at age 67.
I will miss GM ,but I'm certain we will see each other again. GM believed and trusted in Christ and often said "God doesn't make mistakes" (which he doesn't) and he knew that he would be with Him and others that trusted in Christ.
My prayers are for his family and close friends. May the Lord give them a special grace and may the Holy Spirit comfort you during this hour of their suffering.
Jeremiah Duboff said today, "George Roper was one of the kindest, classiest people I've ever "met" on the Internet. Almost 10 years ago, we lucked into the same online discussion group, and there began one of the most cordial acquaintances I'll ever know. Mostly we hashed out political topics, during which he distinguished himself by neither spewing nor tolerating any inflammatory or abusive comments. By occasionally sharing family news, you always knew there were human faces behind any smiley face. (George didn't do smiley faces, of course. Plain English was good enough for him.) He shared the joy of watching his family grow, which I'm sure was a great inspiration to him during the health battles he shouldered honorably. George was also, in his low-key way, helpful and fun-loving. He deserves to live forever in your and our memories."
As a fellow blogger, I appreciated the way GM could 'turn a phrase" and also his desire for a better America. George was born into a career military family and he respected both America and those who serve it. He had a way of connecting with everyone he met. Although we were the same age, because of the respect he had for his dad's 32 yrs of military service (and GM also served), he openly showed an appreciation for my military service.
On May 25, 2013, GM posted his last article on his blog,The Constitutionalist's Corner, which showed his heart, love and respect for his father and his father's military service. The article also reveals some of the life that helped shape George in the travels with his parents. In memory of George "GM" Roper, below is his article:
War and Remembrance by GM Roper: This is not about national news, partisan bickering, stupidity of government, comedy (oh, wait, is that the same thing?) or any other post I have done. This is about a boy and his dad. I’m was the boy and this is about one of my heroes, my Dad. Forgive me if the title is a little misleading for some, it’s not about the current war, but on the effect of war on a single man, one who is gone, but not forgotten. On the cusp of another Memorial Day, its important for me to put this down, and I hope it’s message is important to you, because my dad was one of the “Greatest Generation” so eloquently described by Tom Brokaw. A career Army Officer, a patriot, a deeply religious man and my hero.
re·mem·brance (P) Pronunciation Key (r-mmbrns)n. 1.The act or process of remembering. 2.The state of being remembered: holds him in fond remembrance. 3.Something serving to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or event; a memorial. 4.The length of time over which one’s memory extends. 5.Something remembered; a reminiscence. 6.A souvenir. 7.A greeting or token expressive of affection.
This is my remembrance of a man who fought in three shooting wars, so that his kids and grand kids and generations beyond would have a life better than his own.
Dad was born in McAlister, Oklahoma where his dad was an assistant warden at the Oklahoma State Prison. He used to say that he wasn’t born in Texas, but got here as soon as he could. Grand Dad was a career army officer who after WWI was assigned to “non-military” duties temporarily following a reduction in forces. Grand Dad was recalled to active duty the following year and stayed in the Army until his retirement in 1949. Growing up on a number of military bases, all Calvary units, gave dad an early inside look at the functioning of the Army. He decided in High School that he would be a career soldier like his dad, and his dad before him. Joining what would become ROTC in High School, Dad spent his summers training. He graduated from H.S. in 1939 and was off to the University of Texas to obtain a degree in Political Science. He enlisted in the US Army in 1940 recognizing then, even if few else did, that we would soon be involved in a growing war in Europe and possibly in the pacific. He was stationed at Fort Sam Houston as an EM and was commissioned in July, 1941 as a 2nd Lt.
Immediately following dad’s commissioning, his dad was ordered to take charge of a battalion of Philippine Scouts on Mindanao Island, Republic of the Philippines.
Dad met mom, got married in 1942 and in 1943 had their first child, my sister Pamela. In 1944 long after Grand Dad had been imprisoned in a POW camp by the Japanese, Dad was sent to England for the invasion of the mainland. I have written about some of the exploits of Dad’s unit, the 405th Infantry of the 102nd ID here, here and here.
I don’t remember anything about WWII having been born in Germany after the war, but I remember Korea and Vietnam.
We lived in former Army hospital housing in Fort Benning, Ga. where my two brothers Doug and Bert were born. In the fall of 1950. Dad was an instructor at The Infantry School at Fort Benning. The message came down via the routine channels. Ship out to Korea, assignment, communications officer for a Tank battalion, not a great assignment for an Infantry Officer and Dad recounts that he worried about the effect on his career as an Infantryman.
Moving to San Antonio, Texas for the duration of the war, we settled down in a house across the street from my Dad’s parents.
Dad landed in Korea where he took part in the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter. As allied forces pushed the PRK forces back Dad was there.
I don’t know all of the details of his time in Korea, I recall him talking about the push to the Yalu River with his troops and the “Frozen Chosin” and the battle with the Red Chinese in December 1950 when they crossed the Yalu river in force. One story related the fate of a rather selfish captain who, having received a bottle of booze hid it outside rather than share it with anyone. In the middle of the night, he decided to sneak out for a quick nip. The alcohol was unfrozen of course, but still below zero when the unlucky captain swigged a mouthful. The freezing cold liquid froze his esophagus and stomach and he died in severe pain. After being pushed back from the Yalu Dad given a chance to “volunteer” for a dangerous assignment, one more in keeping with his training in “The Queen of Battle” as the Infantry is known. The assignment? Training and taking Republic of Korea troops behind enemy lines and into North Korea.
In the following summer, Dad and a force of ROK commandos were “escaping” from a mission in North Korea on a powered junk with the North Koreans hot on their trail. The PRKA began lobbing mortar shells at the junk, one of them hitting it amidships and tossing dad and a couple of others into the water. Dad didn’t swim thanks to a real fear of water after nearly drowning as a child. Grand Mom wouldn’t let him “go back in the water” and he developed a phobia of water deeper than a coffee cup. Waking up on the deck of the destroyer or some other navy craft sent to pull them out, Dad looked up at an Ensign and asked who he had to thank for pulling him out of the water. The Ensign looked at him quizzically and said “Captain, you were the first to swim to the boat.”
Dad returned to the US in 1952 and we moved back to Fort Benning where I entered the first grade. Moving to Germany in 1954, Dad was stationed at 7th Army Headquarters in 1956 when in October, ’56 the Hungarian people rose up against their Soviet Oppressors. On November 4, ’56 Soviet forces entered Hungry with a mind to crush the Hungarian Revolution. At the same time in Egypt, Israel, France and England invaded and took over the Suez Canal. Crisis on two continents, was World War III about to begin?
Our emergency travel bags were packed, and the possibility of war with the Soviet Union over the invasion of Hungry necessitating the evacuation of American Dependents was a real possibility. Dad worried about our safety, at the same time he had to plan for possible war.
War was averted and the intervention of Eisenhower forced Israel, England and France to withdraw from the Suez. In the summer of ’57 we headed home again and Arkansas was our next stop as Dad became the Adviser to the Arkansas National Guard.
More troubles, not long after we moved to Arkansas, the Governor called out the guard to prevent integration at Central High School in Little Rock. All of us had gone to school for years with children of other colors, other races, other religions; we didn’t understand the hatred we saw. Years later, Dad recalled the relief he felt when Eisenhower called in the 101st Airborne to protect the students, and Dad did everything he could to keep the Arkansas National Guard in check.
Summer of ’61 brought more problems. Despite growing up in a very much “Happy Days” environment in Arkansas, South East Asia was heating up. Our new President ordered American Advisers to Vietnam to assist the RVN forces, Dad received his orders in June and in mid August he landed in the RVN. The next 12 months were an agony for Mom and the four kids. Usually once a week there was a news cast about Vietnam, most of my fellow 10th graders had no idea where Vietnam was or why we were trying to help. That would change.
In March, we received a phone call from a friend who told us to quickly turn to CBS news; Dad was on! Quickly we changed channels, but were too late. I remember Mom crying that night, fearing that after surviving two shooting wars, Dad may not make it home from the third one. He did though and in late July, 1962 Dad returned home two weeks earlier than scheduled, his mom had died and the Army opted to let him come home early for the funeral.
Next assignment, the Pentagon and Washington D.C. Actually, Building T-7 one of the Temporary buildings built during WWII to last 5 years. At 20, this one was still going strong.
Missiles of October, Kennedy assassination, the Congo. I lived in fear that he would once again have to go somewhere and put his life on the line. But the next three years passes without major family disruption. I graduated from H.S. and headed for college. Dad was assigned to Panama. He returned to Fort Sam as Post IG for his final tour of duty. In May of 1972 Dad submitted his retirement papers. “I’m tired he said, I want to enjoy my granddaughter and spend time with your mom.”
In June he received a phone call from a Lt. Col. in the Pentagon asking for a copy of his medical records; he was being considered for promotion to Brigadier General. “Go to hell Col.” Dad said, “I’ve put in 32 years in this Army, I’m retiring in 20 days. Of course, the family was disappointed. Knowing Dad would have gone from Private E-1 to General without benefit of a college degree would have been quite an accomplishment, but Dad was adamant.
His retirement years were good ones, he and Mom spent the next 26 years sharing time with each other. He had a stroke in ’84 but substantially recovered though now he felt much “sicker”. He survived a bout of thyroid cancer. Mom had multiple mini-strokes over a years time and died in ’98. Dad was devastated
He never got over his love for mom though, each night he would kiss her picture and say “good night, I’ll be with you soon enough.” Dad’s cancer returned with a vengeance and he refused treatment. “I’m old and tired,” he said, “I want to be with your mom.”
On September 3, 2000 in mid afternoon, and in his sleep, he gasped one last time and “Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth.”
I learned a lot from my Dad, and the older I got, the wiser he got. I learned to love my God, my family, my country. I learned that all men are created equal and though equal outcomes are impossible, if you try to be the best that you can, you never lose.
I learned that there are truly evil men out there, governments that trample on the rights of their citizens, governments that would love to crush America. I learned too that the American people are the most generous in the world, that we have a way of life that really is, as Ronald Reagan noted “The Shining City On The Hill.”
I miss you Dad, and I want you to know that you were really and truly a hero to me, and to others. You didn’t die in war, but you gave your life for your country in the best possible way, by living, but by also willing to put your life on the line. Thanks Dad, you will ALWAYS be my hero.Thanks George. In your kindness and respect you showed others, you evidenced that we could all be better people. I'll be seeing you on the other side the vale. Tags:GM Roper. George Roper, blogger, veteran, age 67, died, Nov. 27, 2013To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: John Kerry is turning out to be an even more dangerous Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton. He just took it upon himself to unilaterally proclaim that the Monroe Doctrine is dead, saying, “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”
The Monroe Doctrine has been a fixed star in American foreign policy since December 2, 1823. Its essential words are: “The political system of the allied powers is essentially different from that of America. We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.”
The operative words are: “this hemisphere,” “dangerous to our peace and safety,” and “system.” The Monroe Doctrine is not limited to military aggression; it prohibits extending the “system” of foreign powers to the Western Hemisphere, recognizing the fundamental difference between our constitutional republic and Old World empires and dictatorships.
The Marquis de Lafayette called the Monroe Doctrine “the best little bit of paper that God ever permitted any man to give the world.” The Monroe Doctrine has been successful over the centuries in keeping Old World dictatorships out of our hemisphere.
In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine was specifically directed at Imperial Russia when Czar Alexander was trying to colonize our Pacific coast. President James Monroe made his courageous declaration at a time when America had no standing army and our navy had only five sailing ships.
But we had a proud sense of national identity and national security. Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, stated, “There can, perhaps, be no better time for saying, frankly and explicitly, to the Russian government that the future peace of the world cannot be promoted by Russian settlements on any part of the American continent.”
During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the problem was Russia again. The American people fully backed President John F. Kennedy in forcing Khrushchev to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba.
In October 1983, the Soviet Union tried to turn the island of Grenada into a Soviet base. The American people fully backed Ronald Reagan’s use of U.S. troops to counter this threat in the Western Hemisphere, and we can look back on Reagan’s rescue of Grenada as the turning point in official American policy toward Soviet Communism.
The U.S. State Department later published a selection from the 35,000 pounds of captured documents proving how the Soviet Union had planned to use Grenada as a base of operations and supplies. Grenada was being prepared as an air base for Soviet military jets, a port for Soviet vessels, and a base for exporting revolution.
One document quoted a Soviet military chief as gloating, “Nineteen years ago we had only Cuba. Now we have Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada – we are making progress.” But Communist progress was halted when Reagan ended the Cold War, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “without firing a shot.”
Like Kerry’s repudiation of the Monroe Doctrine, he is selling out U.S. interests in other negotiations, many of which are conducted in secret such as the current ones with Iran and Afghanistan. The Associated Press reported that “The U.S. declined to release specific details about the negotiations” with Afghanistan, and John Kerry confirmed this week that “We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga.”
Kerry didn’t define “we,” but we know it does not include the American people, who certainly have not agreed on any terms of a treaty with Afghanistan. Much as the American people don’t want to put our fate in the now-dictatorial hands of Harry Reid’s Senate, we surely don’t want to be subject to the 3,000 Afghans called the loya jirga.
According to what has leaked out about this treaty and exposed by Diana West, U.S. forces will be forbidden to conduct combat operations in Afghanistan, or even counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida-brand terrorists, without Afghan approval. This agreement commits America to prop up a hostile, corrupt Sharia state, with all our training and equipping of Afghan military forces subordinate to Afghanistan’s approval.
The treaty includes this passage: “The United States shall have an obligation to seek funds on a yearly basis to support” the defense and security of the Afghan state. This massive new entitlement program even specifies that “relevant Afghan institutions” will dole out the dollars, so perhaps we should call them “navigators” who will be expediting Afghan-o-care.
During Obama’s 2008 campaign, he said that George Bush “had taken our eye off the ball” by invading Iraq instead of concentrating on Afghanistan, and Kerry charged that Bush “hoodwinked the American people” into the Iraq war. Obama presumably wanted us to look upon the war with Afghanistan as a good war with which he was glad to be personally identified.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, John Kerry, representing whom, Monroe Doctrine, Iran, AfghanistanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Small Business Health Plan Website Delayed Until November 2014
. . . Oh My, Did they know this was after the Elections? Of course, they did!
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: UPDATE: The process really won't get better anytime soon. Politico reports that the federally-run SHOP Marketplace website will be delayed until November 2014:“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” according to an HHS notice issued a day before the long Thanksgiving weekend. Those features give workers more choice of health plans, rather than having the business owner choose it.
The administration originally delayed online enrollment in the federal-run small business exchanges just days before the failed Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov. At the time, HHS said online enrollment would be available “sometime in November.” Weeks ago, administration officials said online enrollment would be ready by the end of this November.In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services explains how small businesses can buy health plans for their employees without a functioning website:For small businesses in states with a SHOP Marketplace that’s run by the federal government, we are making changes to make sure that you can take advantage of SHOP coverage and the tax credit as soon as possible. Specifically, for 2014, small employers will enroll their employees in coverage through an agent, broker, or insurer that offers a certified SHOP plan and has agreed to conduct enrollment according to HHS standards.
This process, called “direct enrollment,” is similar to how most small employers get insurance today. You don’t need to apply for SHOP eligibility before enrolling, or to use HealthCare.gov, unless you’d like to see information on your plan options, including which insurance companies offer SHOP Qualified Health Plans in your area.The post also notes that the enrollment period to begin coverage on January 1, 2014 has been extended to December 23.
------------ Sean Hackbarth is a blogger at Free Enterprise and does policy advocacy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:Obamacare, small business, healthcare plans, delayed until, November 2013, Sean Hackbarth, Free EnterpriseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: You might not be able to keep your plan and you might not be able to keep your doctor. Even President Obama has now apologized for his infamous statement to the contrary. But the promise was worse than untrue. It was used to obscure a moral wrong at the heart of Obamacare.
Democrats usually send more competent apologists to the national Sunday talk shows, but a couple of weeks ago they sent the junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand.
“Were you misled?” asked ABC host Martha Raddatz about the famous Obama lie.
“No,” Gillibrand replied: “We all knew.”
So why did they all lie?
“This is life-or-death stuff,” President Obama recently said. “Tens of thousands of Americans die each year just because they don’t have health insurance.”
If Obama is correct on this point, the lie was absolutely central to obscuring something monstrous at the heart of the law: millions of Americans were to intentionally and deliberately have their insurance taken away. According to a RAND Corporation analysis 3.8 million of the people losing their existing insurance because of Obamacare will not be able to replace it and will become uninsured.
By Obama’s own “life-or-death” logic, he and his Democratic allies were sentencing innocent Americans to die – so that others might live. Even if the latter number is greater than the former, such a proposition would make most Americans squeamish, and for good reason.
Since 1996, federal law has included guaranteed renewability in the individual health insurance market. The Democrats knew they were repealing that guarantee for millions of Americans while publicly stating precisely the opposite. It was “a social policy decision the government made,” explained Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber. A “social policy” to decide who lives and who dies.
On September 26, 2013 – just five days before the failed launch of Healthcare.gov – President Obama was still clinging to the lie.
“About 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance – either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market,” Obama said. “So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you -- especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”
He said it even though millions of Americans had already received cancellation letters. Millions more were coming.
Now the administration’s propagandists have retreated to euphemizing the lie away as an “incorrect promise” or, in the almost comically corrupt formulation of the New York Times, just 35 times the president “clearly misspoke.” They want to move on, act as if it doesn’t matter that this was done intentionally, and simply tally up the bodies on both sides like so many matchsticks.
“Why are we so fixated on 4 million insured people who may lose their current and mostly sub-standard health insurance policies,” MoveOn.org asked in an blast email explicitly calling for the “needs of the majority” to be put ahead of those who acted responsibly and paid their premiums but will now be made uninsured.
We’re fixated, to answer their question, because it is immoral to intentionally sacrifice people in the service of a perceived greater good. And that wrong is only further compounded when, knowing that being honest about this aspect of the plan would have shocked the moral conscience of America and prevented the bill from ever passing, Democrats chose to lie instead.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) identified an overstuffed turkey just in time for a Thanksgiving feast fit for the taxpayers, naming Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) its November 2013 Porker of the Month for his bird-brained statement that the Obama administration had solved all of the Affordable Care Acts problems. Rep. Israel’s unrealistic and uninformed statement occurred on November 14, 2013 in an article published in The Hill regarding the botched roll out of the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov.
Israel’s comment preceded by one day House consideration of H.R. 3350, which “permits a health insurance issuer that has in effect health insurance coverage in the individual market as of January 1, 2013, to continue offering such coverage for sale during 2014.” When reporters asked his opinion on the legislation, Rep. Israel stated that the Obama administration already had everything under control, and that the Republican legislation was just another move to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “It is no longer necessary to fix the problem because the administration has fixed the problem,” Israel said. “It (the Republican legislation) is only necessary if it is designed as yet another attempt to ambush and sabotage the law.” H.R. 3350, the “Keep Your Plan Act,” was passed with bipartisan support on November 15 by a 261-157 vote.
Rep. Israel’s argument certainly came as a surprise to the American people. McKinsey & Co. warned senior White House officials in April of the inefficiencies that would occur if the Obamacare website roll out was launched as planned. Between 4 and 5 million Americans (and counting) have lost their existing healthcare plans since October 1, and just over 106,000 have enrolled since November 1, which is far below the administration’s estimates. In the face of both growing discord from even members of the Democratic party, and anger from the American people, who were misled by President Obama’s pledge of “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” it seems as though the administration is far from securing a permanent fix to anything.
President Obama’s approval ratings have reached a record low of 37 percent, while only 7 percent of Americans think Obamacare is working well and should be kept in place. Rep. Israel is the man tasked with winning back the House majority for Democrats in 2014. As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), his statement indicates that he is desperately trying to salvage the political hides of those panicky members who unwisely supported Obamacare, and to advance the political interests of his own party, instead of wrapping up the rotted parts of ACA and throwing them out. But he probably can’t even give away the DCCC’s free “I Love Obamacare” bumper stickers at this point.
Although there have been an array of dishonest and downright misleading claims made regarding Obamacare in the last month, Rep. Israel’s statement is not only ignorant of the truth, but blatantly disrespectful to the majority of Americans who look unfavorably on the law. Obamacare is the over cooked, dry turkey of a federal program that Democrat’s are trying to shove down the taxpayers throats for Thanksgiving dinner.
For having uttered this patently partisan and preposterous statement, CAGW names Rep. Israel its November 2013 Porker of the Month.
----------------- Citizens Against Government Waste CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers. Tags:Rep. Steve Israel, Democrat, New York, CAGW, November, 2013, Porker of the MonthTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Supreme Court Takes Up HHS Employer Abortion Mandate
Update 6:10 PM House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision: “I’m pleased the Supreme Court has decided to address this important issue. Faith-based employers, including Catholic charities, schools, universities, and hospitals, should not be forced to provide services that contradict their faith. The administration’s mandate is an attack on religious freedom, and I’m hopeful it will be reversed by the Court.”
Liberty Counsel : Today, the United States Supreme Court agreed to take up two cases involving challenges to the Obamacare Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring employers to fund abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. The two cases include a claim brought by Hobby Lobby, where the federal court of appeals blocked the HHS mandate, and a claim brought by Conestoga Wood, in which a different federal court of appeals upheld the mandate.
“Americans are awakening to the fact that Obamacare is far from a done deal,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The courts are just now beginning to respond to the many constitutional challenges, including the constitutionality of the employer mandate and also the free exercise of religion that applies to individuals. Obamacare, the biggest funding of abortion in history, is on a collision course with the sincerely held religious beliefs of many individuals and businesses. The HHS mandate presents a classic conflict with the free exercise of religion. I think it is apparent that the Obamacare abortion mandate will be struck down because it violates the free exercise of religion.”
Striking down the HHS mandate will not stop Obamacare, but it will prevent the federal government from forcing abortion and contraceptive funding upon religious employers or companies operated by people of religious conviction.
---------------------- Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono legal assistance and representation on these and related topics. Tags:Supreme Court, HHS Employer, abortion, Obamacare, mandate, Hobby Lobby, Conestoga WoodTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
One thing Democrats hate more than a conservative male is a conservative female and if you toss in a Hispanic surname, the heat on the hatred rises even farther. In the liberal Northeast, one state has stood out in recent years for their growing conservative voice. This state has even worked to "import" conservatives - to convince conservatives to move to their state via the Free State Project. The state is New Hampshire. Thus the following story coming out of New Hampshire proves to be interesting evidence of the continued blueprint of derogatory behavior by Democrats in their war on conservative women.
by Amelia Chasse, New Hampshire Journal: New Hampshire Democrats were quick to attack Republican State Representative Marilinda Garcia once she made her intention to seek the her party’s nomination for the second congressional district seat official. Garcia announced her candidacy via a press release on Monday morning; she joins former Republican State Senator Gary Lambert in the race to take on Democratic Congresswoman Anne Kuster.
Within moments of her announcement, prominent Democratic State Rep. Peter Sullivan attacked Garcia on Twitter using sexist language and imagery. Sullivan compared the three-term State Representative, who holds a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, to reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian. He went on to refer to her as “[Republican State Rep.] Al Baldasarro [sic] in stiletto heels” and “a lightweight.”
Throughout the 2012 and 2013 election cycles, national Democrats launched repeated attacks accusing Republicans of using rhetoric they claimed was demeaning to women.
Sullivan’s tweets are below:Bill O’Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia #nhpolitics
— Peter Sullivan (@CitizenSullivan) November 25, 2013
@katbeep She’s Al Baldasarro in stiletto heels, a lightweight and O’Brien clone.
— Peter Sullivan (@CitizenSullivan) November 25, 2013UPDATES: Facing heavy criticism, Sullivan refused to walk back his remarks about Garcia, even issuing a mock apology to Kim Kardashian “for comparing her to a right-wing extremist like Marilinda Garcia.”After careful consideratin, I want to apologize to Kim Kardashian for comparing her to a right-wing extremist like Marilinda Garcia.
— Peter Sullivan (@CitizenSullivan) November 26, 2013New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released a statement Tuesday morning calling on Rep. Kuster to denounce Sullivan’s rhetoric:"For too long women in our society have been judged by their appearance rather than their accomplishments and made subject to the ignorant assaults of men like Peter Sullivan. If our daughters are to have any chance of pursuing their dreams in a society that is free of fabricated limitations and unjust personal assaults then so-called leaders like Representative Annie Kuster must call upon her fellow Democrats to put an end to their offensive and chauvinistic rhetoric.”Tags:Democrat, Peter Sullivan, War on Women, Republican, Marilinda Garcia, 2014, candidate, US Congress, New Hampshire, 2nd District To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Let me begin by saying that the deal the U.S. struck with Iran on November 24 is so criminally stupid that mobs with torches and pitchforks should be surrounding the White House and Department of State demanding that the President and Secretary of State resign.
How many times does the United States have to make really bad deals with really bad nations? And then call it progress!
In 1994, former President Clinton announced that a deal with North Korea had agreed to “freeze the major elements of its nuclear program.” A new round of talks was scheduled—in Geneva—to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Virtually the same language was used by President Obama in his late evening announcement of a fundamentally useless, but extremely dangerous agreement with Iran.
Worse than accepting Iran’s deception, it is as if Obama knew nothing of the North Korean deal that subsequently resulted in its development of a nuclear weapon despite some costly bribery exacted for promises it never intended to keep. The worst part of this is Obama’s deception of Congress and the American people. Efforts to grant Iran the status of a new nuclear power had been secretly going on for a year behind the back of Congress.
On hearing of the deal, Rep. Mike Rogers said “That’s the one thing the whole world was trying to stop them from doing,” referring to the permission granted to continue enriching uranium. “We made this mistake in Pakistan. We made this mistake in North Korea. History is a great judge here and great teacher. Why would you make the same mistake to a nation that will proliferate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East if they are successful at getting a nuclear weapon?”
It is important to keep in mind that not just the U.S. is a signatory to this agreement, but also the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China. It was facilitated by the European Union. The lessons of history were totally ignored. The sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Iran were ignored.
For years many have taken comfort in the knowledge that, in the past, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactors that were being built in Iraq and more recently in Syria. An attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities was assumed to have the support of U.S. military power in the event that Iran would retaliate either directly or through its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
It is clear now that Obama has abandoned Israel as well as Saudi Arabia which also regards Iran as its enemy. Obama has embraced America’s enemy since the Islamic revolution in 1979. He has not brought us closer to peace. He has brought the world closer to World War Three.
I am not a military strategist, but one need not be to understand Israel’s peril or the limits on its ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, many of which are underground or heavily defended.
Iran has a population of 78,868,711. Israel has a population of 7,765,700.
Of these, those fit for military service are 39,556,497 in Iran and 2,511,190 in Israel.
Comparing active military personnel, Iran has 545,000 and Israel has 187,000.
Iran has 650,000 in military reserves. Israel has 565,000.
Iran’s annual defense budget (in USD) is $10,687,000,000 and Israel’s is $15,209,000,000.
The comparison of their military capabilities is equally daunting. A sobering analysis is offered on the website of the Jewish Virtual Library.
Even if Israel were to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, it would also have to fend off massive rocket attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas.
What defies Obama’s reasoning is Iran’s long history of attacks on the West. It has specialized in taking hostages, initially in Lebanon from 1984 through 1992. It seized the American embassy in 1979 and held American diplomats for 444 days. It holds an American cleric as this is being written.
In 2011, the U.S. discovered that Iran had conceived and funded a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C. At the time, the State Department said that the thwarted plot “underscored anew Iran’s interest in using international terrorism—including the United States—to further its foreign policy goals.”
Obama’s ability to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its intent to become a Middle East hegemon through diplomacy does not exist.
A race to acquire nuclear arms has begun in the region where Israel and Pakistan already have them, as does India and China. Saudi Arabia has announced its intent to secure nuclear weapons.
One can only conclude that this interim agreement is a repeat of the appeasement that occurred in Munich when European nations sought a similar agreement with the Nazi regime. The lessons of history are unforgiving.
------------------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:World War Three, Iran, appeasement, Alan Caruba, Warning SignsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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