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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]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The War on America’s Independence

by Steven Groves, The Daily Signal: They called it the Declaration of Independence, but what Jefferson, Adams and the other Founders actually did 238 years ago today was separate the United States from a foreign nation, severing itself from the sovereignty of King George III.

U.S. sovereignty was hard-fought. The Declaration was just the beginning. It took seven years of war and tens of thousands of American lives to secure the 13 colonies under a single flag. What was once British territory became American territory. Sovereignty over one’s territory is key to maintaining a nation’s independence—just ask Ukraine about Russia’s “acquisition” of Crimea. Protecting one’s borders is equally important—just ask Syria and Iraq about their border, a portion of which was recently bulldozed by ISIS.

But just as important as territorial sovereignty is legal sovereignty, which is how a nation’s independence truly is measured. A people technically may possess their territory but be under the dominion of another nation. A nation under military occupation by a foreign nation is not independent. Even when the U.S. returned sovereignty to the government of Iraq in 2004, the country was not truly independent until many years later.

So as America celebrates its birthday today, let us take the measure of our sovereignty. Territorially, Americans need only look to the south for a reminder of how lax border enforcement can lead to chaos as more than 50,000 children have streamed over the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. It is difficult to call a nation sovereign if it is unable to control its own borders. Why is it that an additional $2 billion and a “sustained border security surge” is necessary to prevent tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from entering our nation? Such negligence indicates, at best, a serious lack of commitment to our territorial integrity.

And what about our legal sovereignty? The Obama administration has urged Congress to ratify treaties that would make the drafters of the Declaration blanch. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea would subject the U.S. to baseless international lawsuits and require the U.S. Treasury to transfer millions of dollars in offshore oil royalties to the International Seabed Authority in Jamaica for “redistribution” to the so-called developing world.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would subject U.S. disability laws to the scrutiny of a committee of supposed experts holding court in Geneva. The administration also is preparing to sign the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, which would require the U.S. to ban its anti-personnel landmines, depriving U.S. armed forces of a key tool for shaping the battlefield. Again, ask Ukraine, which ratified the Ottawa Treaty in 2005, how its zero-tolerance landmine policy is working for it as Russian tanks roll into its territory.

In the Declaration, the Founders complained about being subject to foreign taxation, to being subjected to “a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution,” and to being transported across the seas to face criminal charges in a foreign land. The Declaration gave notice that these infringements on American sovereignty would not stand. Yet the Obama administration would have Americans subjected to taxes from the International Seabed Authority and U.S. laws and policies adjudicated by international committees sitting in Switzerland. Some American progressives would even have our military leaders and servicemen tried by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in The Hague, Netherlands.

Today, as in 1776, such infringements on American sovereignty must not stand. The drafters of the Declaration would be shocked to find Americans submitting themselves to the will of international organizations. The United States should, of course, work with other nations in a principled way that advances its national interests. But the Founders would be amazed by the extent and depth of the threats to American sovereignty posed by this new progressive vision.

The Founders did not risk their lives, fortunes and sacred honor casting off the rule of King George III so that, more than 200 years later, America could subject itself to the whims of unelected foreign bureaucrats. Sovereignty was essential to the founding of America in 1776, and it is essential to America today. Happy Sovereignty Day!

Tags: War on America’s Independence, U.S. sovereignty, infringements on American sovereignty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Carbon Free 4th

 Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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The Re-Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2014

 by Jon Hubbard, Contributing Author:
In America, July 4, 2014
The Re-Declaration of the People of The United States of America
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one nation’s people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with their unresponsive and out-of-control government, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal situation to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.

 --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right and the duty of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing those forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

-- Such has been the patient sufferance of these citizens; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their present System of Government. The history of the liberal Democrats, pseudo Republicans, and the administration of Barack Hussein Obama, who was, and is even now, unqualified according to the Constitution of The United States of America to hold the high office of President of These United States of America, has a history of repeated injuries and usurpations to the legitimate citizens of this nation, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let these facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused to honor his sworn duty and obligation to observe, protect, and defend The Constitution of The United States of America, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has repeatedly refused to provide requested and legitimately documented evidence that he is indeed qualified, according to Article II, Section I, Clause 5 of The Constitution of The United States, to hold the office of President of These United States of America.

He has forbidden the Sovereign States of this nation the protection of Laws passed and granted under The Constitution of The United States for immediate and pressing importance, and he has utterly neglected to enforce and execute these Laws on the behalf of these Sovereign States.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation and protection of large districts of people, requiring those people to relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has intentionally bypassed the legally and Constitutionally elected Congress, for the sole purpose of circumventing and bypassing this legally constituted Branch of Government, in the implementation of mandates, and to force the people of this nation into compliance with these mandates.

He has repeatedly bypassed our Representative Houses, for the purpose of implementing his invasions on the rights of the citizens of this nation.

He has, as a result of such bypasses, denied the People their Representative Legislative powers and protections; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions from within.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices (Czars), and sent hither swarms of officers (IRS) to harass our people.

He has intentionally and systematically caused great harm to our national economy, thereby creating the loss and protection of economic value, to both individuals and corporations alike.

He has endeavored to obstruct the enforcement of the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; thereby refusing to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this nation from those who are in this country illegally, and has even encourage the sanctuary of such illegal aliens by making available to them benefits here-to-fore reserved specifically for citizens and/or otherwise legal residents of this nation.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing to order his Attorney General to enforce the legally constituted Laws of this nation, and for the refusal and failure to bring to justice those who have broken those Laws.

He has made Judges rule out of fear of reprisal for decisions rendered against his will and dictates.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power, and in doing so has intentionally and systematically depleted the resources, equipment, and will of our Military establishment, thereby greatly diminishing their ability to defend this nations from its enemies, both foreign, and domestic.

He has combined with others to subject us to the jurisdiction and influence of an ideology foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation;

For quartering large bodies of armed foreign troops among us;

For protecting these, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders or crimes which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States;

For negatively effecting and diminishing our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our Representation and consent;

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For creating conditions for us to be tried for pretended offenses.

For ignoring and abandoning our System of Constitutional Laws, and thereby establishing an arbitrary and absolute rule of government by expanding the powers of his office so as to render our Constitution to be ineffective, and of no consequence;

For abolishing the rights of our Christian heritage, customs, principles, and values, while recognizing the ideological customs of a religion which is totally contradictory to the Christian principles under which this nation was founded. In doing so, he has fundamentally altered our form of government;

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring them divested of their power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

In order to reverse the perceived wrongs of the former institution of slavery, he has exploited the economic gains of those whose visions and initiative have created the possibilities of livelihood for millions of American families. In doing so, he has, in effect, waged economic war against The United States of America.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our sworn enemies, Islamic terrorists, whose known rule of warfare is the undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A false Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which defines a Tyrant, and is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our civilized brethren. We have warned them of attempts by this unqualified usurper, to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of a history of our value to their own hopes for freedom to control their own destinies, but they neglected to protect their own circumstances to enjoy both religious and individual freedoms. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, but friends in peace.

We, therefore, the Citizenry People of The United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good People of this nation, solemnly publish and declare, that these United States of America are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that we are absolved from all allegiance to this liberal-socialist Administration, and that all political connection between us and this same liberal-socialist Administration, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, we have full power and authority to do all acts and things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Re-Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
----------------
Jon Hubbard is a former Arkansas State Representative for Dist 75, Jonesboro Arkansas. He is also a former Air Force veteran, school teacher, coach, small businessman and is a conservative writer and contributor author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Jon Hubbard, Re-declaration of Independence, July 4, 2014, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Friday, July 04, 2014

What Has Happened to Protests in America?

D.C. TEA Party Protest
 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The U.S. began with protests that evolved into a full scale rebellion we call the Revolution. Throughout our history, there have been many protests and those against slavery evolved into the Civil War. War—whether for or against it—has been a prime generator of protests.

On the evenings of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Megyn Kelly of Fox News interviewed Bill Ayers, the leader of the Weather Underground, a group he cofounded in 1969 as a self-described communist revolutionary group. These days he calls himself “a Communist with a small ‘c’”

During the early 1970s the group engaged in bombings to protest the war in Vietnam. During the interview, Ayers insisted that he and others only bombed property and did not kill anyone, although at one point a group he described as breakaway was planning to kill officers, their wives and girlfriends attending a dance at a military base, but instead they were killed when their bombs went off in a New York townhouse. Neither Ayers nor his wife, Bernadine Dohrn ever served time for their bombings. Both entered academia. Ayers taught at the University of Illinois for many years.

As Jerome R. Corsi reported in his 2008 book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality”, he noted that when Alice Palmer, an Illinois state senator decided to run for Congress, “she went out of her way to name Obama as her handpicked successor.” Palmer was a dedicated Communist and admirer of the then-Soviet Union. In 1995, “To get Obama’s state senate race off to a good start, Palmer arranged a function for a few influential liberals in the district, at the Hyde Park home of Weather Underground activists, Ayers and Dohrn.”

Corsi wrote, “Palmer would never have introduced Obama to the Hyde Park political community at the Ayers-Dohrn home unless she saw an affinity between Ayers and Dohrn’s radical leftist history, her own history of far-leftists politics, and the politics of Barack Obama.” Ayers and Obama would serve together on the board of the Woods Fund for three years, beginning in 1999, the year Obama joined it.

Megyn Kelly did not explore the Obama-Ayers relationship. When he campaigned in 2008, it was brushed off as their just being “neighbors” in Hyde Park and it was pointed out that Obama was about eight years old when Ayers was bombing in the name of his leftist revolution. Between then and when he met Ayers in 1995 Obama had grown up in a family of far-leftists and had been mentored in Hawaii by Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA.

It did not surprise me to hear Bill Ayers say on Wednesday evening that he was not proud to be an American and did not consider it an exceptional nation. In both cases, he was reflecting the result of a recent Pew Research poll that indicated that self-described liberals expressed these views.

I recall the bombings of the 1970s. There were lots of them, along with massive marches in Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. I recall the Civil Rights movement that used marches and other non-violent means to achieve their goals. Earlier the suffrage movement and secured the vote for women.

It strikes me that the present generation of both young and older Americans seem to be devoid of much, if any, rebellion against an intrusive government, except for expressions of it on their blogs and in their tweets. We surely do not need bombings, but only the protest against Obamacare in 2009 managed to evoke a significant turnout in Washington. D.C. Since its passage it has proven to be a nightmare for everyone.

Much has changed from the era of the 1970s and the resistance to the war in Vietnam. The wars that followed 9/11, first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, did not evoke much protest. Initially they were popular. The first Iraq conflict, 1990-91, drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and was so swift and successful that the troops were welcomed home with parades. The 2003 invasion, however, devolved into a sense of weariness as 4,500 casualties and over a trillion dollars seemed to achieve nothing
substantive.

What was different? In the 1960s the leftist teachers unions had begun to exercise increasing control over the curriculums being taught. By 1979, Jimmy Carter signed off on a Department of Education that began operations in 1980. Earlier, conscription for military service was replaced by an all-volunteer military in the 1970s. Those of us that served prior to that understand the value of the draft and the service it required because it forged a bond between a man and his nation. These days, of course, it is a very different military with females, as well as openly gay members.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the economy was robust. The generations being born and coming of age received a relatively poor, but thoroughly liberal education regarding U.S. history and civics. On graduation they could focus on jobs, family, and “the good life.” There was little to protest and even less initiative to do so. Even Bush 43’s Iraq war generated little by way of an organized protest.

The 2008 financial crisis left no room for protest in the lives of Americans because the economy left millions unemployed and/or dependent on a government welfare program. It was a perfect time for Obama to suddenly emerge as a candidate for President. He had a celebrity’s personality and he was black, affording generations of liberals the opportunity to fulfill the promise of equality that had begun in the 1960s. He promised “hope and change.” He delivered years in which one scandal after another occurred.

Still, so many Americans devoted so little time to news of the Obama administration and received such a biased version of it from the mainstream media that they reelected him in 2012. That is indifference to the welfare of the nation. That is an apathetic approach to national politics. That is the failure to distinguish between character and celebrity.

It is a very different America today and one which is sharply divided between liberals and conservatives. It is an America being led by a President who has tossed aside the Constitution and announced his intention to govern with “a pen and a phone.” Such an intention would have been greeted with a huge outcry of rage in the past.

The one issue that is evoking protests these days is illegal immigration and the protest in Murrieta, California that turned away buses filled with illegal aliens may lead to larger and more numerous protests to end this practice and reform immigration starting with more and higher walls on the southern border.

Today protest, except for signing a petition or participating on an Internet chatroom, is all that too many of today’s Americans can manage to perform. We don’t want to see a return to the bombings of the Ayers’ era and we may not fill the streets, but it would be nice if more serious-minded Americans would show up to vote in the November midterm elections.
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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.
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Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue

Toby Keith:

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Happy 4th of July! - Independence Day 2014

The ARRA News Service editor and contributing authors Thank You for reading and sharing our articles, commentaries and cartoons.

The ARRA News Service joins you in celebrating our nation's 238th Independence Day Celebration. God Bless America, our modern say Patriots and our armed service men and women.

Below are two of the editor's favorite Independence Day Editorial Cartoons and a few brief words. Enjoy!

"Hey Grandpa, What Are We Celebrating" by AF Branco (2012)
"We Hold These Truths" by William Warren (2011)
The Fourth of July is a day that is usually a time when families get together for sunshine hot dogs, fun, and fireworks. Every American regardless of race, gender, income, and political party celebrates the day that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, spurring the start of the American Revolution. Like many other national holidays, the meaning can often be lost in the festivities. And so it is up to each of us to, in the words of Jefferson, "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

The American system of government, with the Founding Father's emphasis on "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," has inspired almost every country in the world to rise up and take control of their own destiny. Constitutional Republics have spread throughout Europe, and just this year fellow freedom fighters as far away as Iran and as near to us as Honduras are standing up for their own independence much like our Founding Fathers did more than two centuries ago.

This is America's lasting legacy. Before 1776, only two Constitutional Republics even attempted to bring any form of freedom and liberty to mankind: The Greek and Roman Empires. But the people of these great nations became apathetic, not realizing, as John F. Kennedy wisely warned, "Complacency is the jailer of freedom."

So, while the Fourth of July has become a day of festivities (celebrating if nothing else, a day by the pool or at the beach), what Americans really are observing is the fact that a relative handful of courageous citizens lit a flame of liberty and installed a form of government that has governed over unprecedented prosperity and individual liberty. And even today, "the glow from that fire can truly light the world." [ Americans for Limited Government (2009).]

Tags: 2014, 4th of July, July 4, ARRA News Service, Independence Day, editorial cartoons, Tony Branco, Hey Grandpa, What Are We Celebrating, William Warren, America's Birthday, We Hold These Truths To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Declaration's Self-Evident Truths

 Bob Morrison, Contributing Author: The enemy fleet was nearing Philadelphia. Many delegates to the Continental Congress knew that if they were arrested, they would be tried for treason against the British Crown.

The punishment for treason was hanging, drawing and quartering.

Massachusetts' Samuel Adams was not afraid. He moved that the delegates pray for God's protection and guidance. But we are not all of one denomination, responded the devout young New Yorker, John Jay. Sam Adams said he could pray with any man who sought his country's good. With delegates from all the other colonies, Sam Adams prompted America's first national prayer session. We might even term Adams's motion the original call to fall (call2fall) on our knees before God.

Within two years, Sam Adams and his cousin John had pressed those delegates toward Independence. We celebrate their Signing with our July 4th holiday.

The Signers put their lives on the line when they affixed their often beautiful signatures to that parchment. "We had better hang together, or we shall all hang separately" is a bit of gallows humor long attributed to wise old Ben Franklin. They vowed to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

How many of us on this two hundred thirty-fourth birthday of our nation can truly say that we would rather be killed than give up the sentiments embodied in that ancient Declaration?

As a young man, I was unchurched. I was not taught the story of that first prayer session in Congress, but I was thoroughly imbued with the ideals of the Declaration they signed. So when I was running for office and urged to back abortion, I refused to support the slaughter of innocents.

I believed, I still believe, we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that the first of these is the right to life... So, it seemed to me I should not go along with alienating the right to life. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time," wrote Thomas Jefferson just two years before he was chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence.

When did our endowed life begin? That was easy: at conception, when sperm joins with egg. I took Biology 1 at Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia. Dr. Howard Hamilton gave us two weeks on human reproduction. There was no mystery in 1963 about when human life begins. There was no mystery in 1859, when medical science widely reported the beginnings of human life.

The confusion has only come about since 1973, when Harry Blackmun wrote his opinion for the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. Suddenly, we began to unknow the truths we had always known. Self-evident truths then became inconvenient.

TIME Magazine's Joe Klein noted in a 2012 column about Rick Santorum's "inconvenient truths" that ultra-sound has made it "impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being." Actually, Joe Klein, all of contemporary liberalism is based on that denial.

Liberals deny the child in the womb is a human being every day. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) infamously answered a question from Sen. Rick Santorum in a colloquy. When did the child become a human being, worthy of legal protection, the Pennsylvanian asked her? When you bring it home from the hospital, she replied. Sen. Boxer gave us the Front Porch Doctrine. Until then, she maintains, it is open season for hunting them.

It gets better. Liberalism now moves from this First Great Denial of a Self-Evident Truth about human life to a Second Great Denial. This time, they deny another phrase from the Declaration: "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." They want us to believe that the coupling of man and man is equal to the union of man and woman. No matter that the union of man and woman has produced seven billion human lives and the coupling of man and man has produced zero. You must chirp their belief and bend the knee to their notion of equality.

In fact, if you don't go along with that, you are scourged as a "bad person." Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent charged the Supreme Court's majority in Windsor had branded defenders of marriage "hostis humani generis" -- enemies of all mankind. That 2013 ruling, penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, invalidated major portions of the Defense of Marriage Act

How strange. When the author of Windsor blasted marriage defenders for demeaning, hurting, degrading, and otherwise mistreating those who seek to end marriage, he might have gone further. Tony Kennedy might have confessed his own sinfulness.

That's because when Kennedy married his wife, Mary Davis, in 1963, not he, nor his bride, nor the priest who married them, nor any of the bridesmaids, nor any of the groomsmen, nor any of the guests who attended their wedding, nor even the boys in the band would have recognized marriage as anything but the union of one man and one woman.

Was young Tony Kennedy a bigot? Should he have been driven from his law firm the way Brendan Eich was driven from Mozilla? Yet Tony Kennedy today demands we all join him in condemning all those who defend true marriage. He wants us to call them bigots.

I won't do it. Perhaps I'm stubborn. Maybe I just hold some truths that are still Self-Evident.

John Adams pressed the Second Continental Congress toward the break with England. He nominated Washington to lead the armies that would fight for independence and tapped Jefferson to draft the document that declared it.

"Facts are stubborn things," honest John Adams wrote. Indeed they are. Human life begins at conception. That's a fact. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. That's a fact. These facts are stubborn things. We knew these facts at our origin.

Our religious freedom secures our right to state these facts, freely and without fear. As the Library of Congress has noted of our origins:

The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."

Today's a good day to reflect on these enduring Self-Evident Truths. We can remember Sam Adams's prophetic words, too:

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

We can declare our own Independence -- from those vain and aspiring men whose words mean whatever they want them to mean. And we can emancipate ourselves from the politically correct nostrums of the left. Independent we can remain. John Adams's last words of encouragement for a long ago Fourth of July were: "Independence Forever!"
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Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. He is an ARRA News Service contributing author.

Tags: Declaration of Independence, self-evident truths, Sam Adams, John Adams, Bob Morrison To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Deepest Sand Trap

Editorial Cartoon by William Warren

Tags: editorial cartoon, William Warren, editorial cartoon, deepest sand trap, Barack Obama, golfing, sand trap, record low, approval rating To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Happy Fundamental Transformation Day

Forget a Happy Fourth of July Day! Under the reign of Barack Obama it is now "Happy Fundamental Transformation Day."

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Barack Obama, Happy Fundamental Transformation Day, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Say No To Billions Being Sent To Overseas Corporations!

Americans For Prosperity: The Export-Import Bank interferes with the economy by providing loans to politically-connected foreign companies. This is exactly the kind of government meddling in the economy that free-market advocates should reject! Sign our petition today to let our elected officials know that they should let the Export-Import Bank expire.

Break the Bank


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The Immigration Crisis is Victimizing the Tax Payer

by George H. Rodriguez, Voices Empower : Last Saturday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that as many as 2000 illegal alien minors would be coming to Dallas County to be sheltered indefinitely. His announcement highlights the problems taxpayers will be facing in communities across the nation.

First, there is the ridiculous comment by politicians that local taxpayers will not pay for the cost, but rather the “federal government will be responsible for the cost”. Excuse me…but where do these politicians believe the federal government, or the state and local governments, get their money? All that money comes from tax payers. They will pay the bill.

The next question is what is the tax payer funding? Besides paying for the normal apprehension and processing by the Border Patrol, because these minors will be in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time, they must be housed, fed, clothed, educated, and provided medical care. Local communities are already being impacted as the City of Hidalgo ran up a bill of $68,000 in ten days for provide only port-o-potty services and bus transportation for illegal aliens being processed in their community. Local communities will see the bills for their public schools, public housing, and public health care system rise.

Third is who is getting this money. America already has a robust and ever growing “poverty industry”. This industry is comprised of federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit groups who provide social services. An October 2012 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) indicated that as of 2011, federal spending on these programs had reached $746 billion per year. Much of this money went to programs that duplicate each other or that are not properly audited for accountability. The Heritage Foundation has estimated that each illegal alien student cost the tax payer an average $12,300 per year. If you multiply that figure by 50,000 minors, the cost soars to $615 million to for one year of education. Nonprofits groups and social service agencies are “anxious to help”, and of course arguing the need to keep the minors in the U.S. indefinitely for “humanitarian reasons”.

In a time when tax payers are saddled with an $18 trillion federal debt, a Texas state debt of $341 billion, and a local total debt of $192.7 billion (as of 2011 according to the Texas Comptroller’s report), can we afford to take on the burden of people who willfully broke the law to enter our country?

Furthermore, let us also not forget that, according to ForeignAssistance.gov, Mexico received $265 million, Guatemala received $84 million, Honduras got $52 million, and El Salvador received $27 million in foreign aid from the U.S. in 2013. How much more must the tax payer pay? How about we use this money to buy tickets to return the illegals, and to secure the border to keep more from entering?

Politicians and the mainstream media have played this event as a “humanitarian crisis” and portray the illegal aliens as “victims”. It is obvious the state and federal governments have failed us, while the poverty industry is preying on us. If there is any victim is this crisis, it is the tax payer. Aren’t we “Tax Enough Already”? Wake up America! The defense of liberty and freedom starts in your backyard.

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Americans Lose While Immigrants Gain

Illegal immigrant children from Central America
Overwhelming Texas facilities (The Right Scoop)
 by Phyllis Schlafly: American-born workers have had a net loss in jobs since 2000, while all of the job growth since then has gone to immigrants, according to a remarkable new study by the Center for Immigration Studies. This revelation comes as some Republican politicians continue to flirt with amnesty and the disastrous proposal of so-called “immigration reform.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll proves that the American public is increasingly fed up with the high levels of immigration flooding our job market and our nation. By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, Americans want less immigration now, rather than more: 41% would like to see a decrease in immigration, while only 22% want to see immigration increase.

Among the 22% who want to expand immigration are Democrats who view illegal immigrants as a way of expanding their party’s political base. But that short-sighted political motivation is certainly not good for our country, and it is devastating for the dwindling job opportunities available to Americans.

In 2000, 114.8 million Americans who were born in the United States had jobs here. Nearly a decade and a half later, in 2014, that total had decreased to 114.7 million, and millions of Americans have been unemployed for many years.

Millions of new jobs were created during that same period in the United States, but immigrant workers soaked up all that job growth. There was a net gain of 5.7 million in jobs during those 14 years, from 17.1 million in 2000 to 22.8 million in 2014, but the overall net effect was that 100% of the job growth went to immigrants and zero percent went to workers born in the U.S.A.

Steven A. Camarota is research director for the Center for Immigration Studies and the lead author of this startling report. His investigation proves that there are now 58 million Americans born in our country who do not have jobs, and that 34% of working-age Americans are without work, a number far higher than in 2000 when the number of out-of-work Americans born here was 26%.

Despite the scandal of so few jobs for Americans, the legislation pushed by Democrats for so-called immigration “reform” would vastly expand job opportunities for immigrants at the expense of American-born workers. The Senate’s misguided “Gang of Eight” bill would sharply increase the numbers of legal and illegal immigrants in our country, far above the 40 million who are already here, plus adding an incentive for many more to enter our nation illegally.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has been a leader against expanding immigration under the guise of the phony “immigration reform,” and he persuasively explains how hurtful unrelenting immigration is for our nation and especially for U.S. workers. He observed that the recent findings in this report by the Center for Immigration Studies “are shocking, and represent a dramatic indictment of immigration policy in Washington, D.C.”

In the last presidential election, Mitt Romney lost because he failed to attract the support of millions of working-class Americans who have been hit the hardest by the harmful consequences of liberal demands for more and more immigration. Senator Sessions wisely advises Republican leadership to “sever themselves from these demands and present themselves to the American public as the one party focused on everyday working people.”

Senator Sessions is obviously right in counseling that “the sensible, conservative, fair thing to do after 40 years of record immigration is to slow down, allow assimilation to occur, allow wages to rise, and to help workers of all backgrounds rise together into the middle class.” Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in a landslide in his own primary after failing to heed this advice; will other Republican leaders finally get the message?

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ and media demands for “immigration reform” have had another devastating effect on our nation: attracting a projected 100,000 children to cross our Mexican border illegally in this year alone, and bringing with them contagious diseases that could “spread like wildfire” according to Jane Orient, M.D. “Legal immigrants have always been required to undergo health screenings,” Dr. Orient explained, “but these kids coming have no medical screenings and no vaccine records.”

The doctor observed that many childhood diseases have been largely and wonderfully eradicated from our country, such as measles and chicken pox, but that leaves Americans without natural immunity against them. If they are brought into this country by unlawful immigration, then they can spread quickly, and young doctors who have never seen some of these diseases may be slow to recognize them.

Noroviruses are highly contagious infections which carry symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. “All we need is one outbreak of that virus and we would have an overwhelming public health crisis,” Dr. Orient warned.
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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, Gallup poll, Americans lose, illegal immigrants gain, illegals, children, childhood diseases, no parents To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obamacare Still Breaking Obama Admin Promises: Eligibility Not Properly Checked Healthcare Premiums Exploding

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 3, 2014
Congressional members are in their districts meeting with constituents and attending 4th of July events.

While it’s no surprise to most Americans anymore, this week marks yet another week of Obamacare failing to live up to the promises made by its creators and supporters.>

The New York Times wrote yesterday, “An independent audit of insurance exchanges established under the health care law has found that federal and state officials did not properly check the eligibility of people seeking coverage and applying for subsidies, the latest indication of unresolved problems at HealthCare.gov. In a report to Congress on Tuesday, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson, said that the exchanges, which enrolled eight million people, did not have adequate safeguards ‘to prevent the use of inaccurate or fraudulent information when determining eligibility.’ Moreover, in a companion report, the inspector general said that the government had been unable to verify much of the information reported by people applying for insurance coverage and financial assistance to help pay premiums. ‘As of the first quarter of 2014,’ Mr. Levinson said, ‘the federal marketplace was unable to resolve about 2.6 million of 2.9 million inconsistencies’ — 89 percent of the discrepancies — because its automated eligibility system was ‘not fully operational.’ Most of the discrepancies involved citizenship, immigration status or income.”

Two months ago, The Washington Post noted, “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised to thoroughly vet the salary information that people submitted as part of their health insurance applications.”

Today, Business Insider writes, “Insurance companies operating in New York State's marketplace are expected to ask for double-digit premium hikes next year, according to new filings from the companies. Capital New York reports the average requested increase was 13%. The New York Post reports that number at about 12%. But the bigger insurers are seeking a bigger premium hike — according to Capital, the six most popular plans in New York are requesting an average increase of almost 15%. The Post reports that Excellus Health Plan, which has about 24,000 customers, is requesting a 19.7% hike.  MVP Health Plan, which has nearly 33,000 customers, is seeking a 19% increase. New York's largest insurer — Health Republic Insurance of New York, which has 68,000 customers — is requesting a 15% increase.”

Of course, Americans remember President Obama promising that “[f]amilies will save on their premiums” and “All this is going to lower premiums. It's going to make healthcare more affordable.”

Meanwhile, the state-based exchanges are still struggling to live up to the visions Democrats laid out for them. The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper notes a report from 9News in Denver where the station “reviews its state's Obamacare exchange and finds that it's ‘clunky, counterintuitive, and confusing.’ The site was built with a $179 million grant from the federal government, but even the sign in button doesn't work. ‘Clunky, counterintuitive, and confusing, that's the review of the website for Colorado's health care exchange written by 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman,’ says the anchor. ‘Brandon managed to get a plan he and his family were happy with from the Connect for Helath Colorado but he argues that happened despite the state's website. For starters, the sign in button on the front page doesn't work. Here's what customer support told Brandon about that.’”

And then there’s the black hole that has been the failure of Oregon’s highly-touted exchange. Clearly one of the worst performances in the entire country, KGW-TV in Portland reported last week that exchange staff are getting over $650,000 bonuses anyway. “Workers at the failed Cover Oregon health care exchange will receive bonuses to keep them on the job as a transition is made to the federal Affordable Care Act. . . . The bonuses will total $662,752, according to Cover Oregon spokeswoman Ariane Holm. There are 161 remaining employees and 38 workers will get bonuses of one to three months of pay. Most will get at least a bonus of two weeks pay if they stick around until next spring. The state spent about $250 million on its failed exchange web site.”

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

What Hobby Lobby Shows About Obama’s Fundamental Abuse of Executive Power

David Green, CEO & founder of Hobby Lobby
by John Yoo via NFRA:  This should have been an easy case, as Justice Alito’s straightforward analysis demonstrates. The logic is simple: 1. corporations are persons because Congress said so in the Dictionary Act; 2. Hobby Lobby’s right to religious freedom is violated, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because the contraceptives requirement for mandatory insurance supplied by employers contravenes the owner’s sincere beliefs; 3. the government did not explore any less burdensome alternatives to the mandate. This is a straightforward vindication of Hobby Lobby’s rights under the laws of Congress, not the Constitution.

But more important, this case shows the extreme ideological ends pursued by the Obama administration through its legal powers, and so is of a piece with the Noel Canning recess appointments clause case of last Thursday. In both cases, the president pursued extreme arguments in court to advance an ideological agenda — today, it was to sweep religious minorities into Obamacare; on Thursday, to create a union-friendly NLRB.

In both cases, the policy preference of Democrats was broadly at work. Most employers who supply insurance under Obamacare will not have religious-freedom rights at stake. The NLRB and labor law already gives unions broad rights to organize. But in order to push its ideology to extremes, the administration had to pursue even the small number of religious-oriented small businesses to force them into the contraceptives mandate. To guarantee unions a 100 percent win rate, rather than say 75 percent win rate in the NLRB, Obama had to illegally appoint its officials.

To me, that is Obama’s fundamental abuse of presidential power. He is not broadly interpreting his powers to respond to emergencies or national-security challenges. He is relying on extreme interpretations of his powers to play small-ball politics and win for ideological supporters. It is not only a misuse of power, but it damages the institution of the presidency for times when it will really matter.
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NFRA Editor's Note: We have reproduced the full text of "What Hobby Lobby Shows About Obama's Fundamental Abuse of Executive Power" by John Yoo from the American Enterprise Institute

Tags: NFRA, National Federation of Republican Assemblies, Hobby Lobby, President Obama, abuse, Executive, Power, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Mr. President: Keep Your Promises to Camp Liberty!

Ken Blackwell
 Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: One hundred years ago this summer, the German Chancellor reacted with shock and dismay when the British ambassador brought him news of his country’s declaration of war. Germany had invaded Belgium, a country whose independence Germany had pledged by treaty to respect. The Chancellor was distraught. He said he could not believe Britain would go to war over “a scrap of paper.”

Americans this summer are not so much war weary as war wary. We certainly do not want any further entanglements in the Mideast. But we do know that great countries keep their word. If they don’t keep their word, they cease to be great countries. Our pledges must not be "a scrap of paper."

We have a situation at Camp Liberty in Iraq where some 3,000 refugees from Iran, all of whom are opponents of the brutal Mullahs’ regime in Tehran, are being held. These refugees are being told to sever their ties to a group called MeK before they can be considered for asylum in the U.S. or Europe. They are being ordered to renounce their beliefs.

But it is their beliefs and their loyalty to MeK (Mojahedin-e Khalq) that have led many of these Iranian dissidents to sacrifice their very lives. It is this commitment that has caused the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki to repeatedly attack these disarmed Iranian resistance fighters.

MeK was blacklisted for a time by our own State Department as a terrorist group. But numerous investigations have shown that this listing resulted from an extensive and false disinformation campaign in the West run against MeK by the Mullahs in Tehran. It is the Mullahs who are truly the world’s leading exponent of terrorism. But, fueled by oil revenues, they can bribe or beguile credulous journalists here. MeK has been taken off the list of sponsors of terrorism. But the Obama administration continues to block resettlement of any of these Iranian resistance fighters in the U.S.

In preparation for a recent Paris Congress of the Iranian Resistance movement, thirty-eight distinguished Americans came together to sign a joint letter to President Obama. We respectfully asked the president to support H.R. 3707 and to sign this bill when it comes to his desk.

Our joint letter was itself something of a miracle. Its signers include Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, retired senior military officers, and many national security and homeland security experts.

In Washington in these days of gridlock, they say you couldn’t get the two parties to agree on yesterday’s weather report. But in our Joint Letter to the President of the United States, we signers have joined hands across the aisle and across the partisan divide.

We want President Obama to honor his word and our word to these Camp Liberty dissidents. It is a bitter truth that these refugees agreed to disarm if given a Protected Person certificate by the U.S. occupying authorities in Iraq. Now, with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from that country, some of these same Protected Persons have been murdered by Nouri al-Maliki’s elite, U.S.-trained military units.

The purpose of H.R. 3707 is to allow a portion—certainly not all, or even a majority—of the 3,000 Iranian dissidents to be re-settled here. If the U.S. says yes to its fair share of these opponents of the Mullahs’ regime, we can press Europe to accept the greater part of them.

This is not a welfare scheme. Most of these regime opponents are highly educated and will bring skills America can use. More than that, they can bring vital intelligence about what is going on in the Iranian nuclear program and their terror networks. In doing justice to the Iranian refugees, we can benefit ourselves.

In 1939, Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Roosevelt alerting him to the danger of Hitler and his capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. FDR turned to his military aide, Gen. Edwin “Pa” Watson and said: “Pa, this requires action.” Thus was born America’s nuclear deterrent.

Albert Einstein was forced to flee from Hitler’s brutal Jew-hating regime. We gave him asylum and we Americans were blessed by doing so.

We must not allow our solemn promises, our Protected Persons certificates, given and accepted in good faith by the Iranian resisters, to become mere “scraps of paper.” America’s word must be respected. By giving asylum to a number of the Mullahs’ Iranian resisters, we may find we have helped ourselves once again through mercy and justice.
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Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.  He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: President Obama, Keep Your promises, Camp Liberty, protected persons, Iraq, H.R. 3707, 3,000 Iranian, Ken Blackwell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

For Too Many, It's a Very Unhappy Fourth of July

 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: As Americans pause to celebrate the 238th signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it well may be one of the saddest Fourth’s in decades. The six and a half years of the Obama regime has failed to unleash the nation’s capacity to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and has left the nation saddled in debt and dependency.

This is not what freedom is about, nor did the Founding Fathers conceive of a President who ruled with “a pen and a phone.”

As The Wall Street Journal reported on January 13, “The year began with the news that “World economic freedom has reached record levels according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top ten most economically free countries.” What this means is that “those losing freedom risk economic stagnation, high unemployment, and deteriorating social conditions.”

That is a description of life in America today. It is a nation in which regard for Congress and the mainstream media has plunged to new lows.

In February, CNSnews reported that “The debt of the U.S. government has increased $6,666 trillion since President Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, according to the latest numbers release by the Treasury Department.” When he was first inaugurated, the debt was $10,626,877,913.08 and as of January 31, 2014 the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61.” Looking back in time, the total debt of the U.S. did not exceed $6,666 trillion until July 2003, meaning that the U.S. has accumulated as much debt as it did in its first 227 years.

As the year began, the unemployment figures cited by the government were in dispute. One influential Wall Street advisor, David John Marotta, calculated that those not working when the year began represented 37.2% of the labor force as defined by the portion of people who did not have a job, had given up looking for one, and those who had no intention of working for a living. The government calculated the unemployment rate at 6.7%.

Being a native-born American offered no advantage for those seeking work. The Center for Immigration Studies released a study that said that “Since the year 2000 all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16-65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal)” even though native-born Americans accounted to two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.

Since 2000 more than 17 million immigrants arrived in the country, a time period in which native employment “has deteriorated significantly.” Given the wholesale invasion of illegal immigrants that is occurring, this calls for the enforcement of existing immigration laws and a secure southern border.

Since Obama took office, all manner of government benefit programs have been expanded. They include Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, and temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Census Bureau calculated that there were 109,592,000 who lived in a household that included people “on one or more means-tested programs.”

Contrast that with 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers and it means that 14,802,00 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered those whose taxes support them by a rate of 1.7 to 1.

There are more Americans, 10,982,920, receiving disability benefits than the individual populations of Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, and Burundi. November 2013 was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States increased.

We live in a welfare state in which the federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted toward low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. The Cato Institute said that “Congress and state legislatures should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work.” Keep in mind that welfare benefits are not taxed while wages are.

This is not to say that people on welfare are lazy. Surveys consistently demonstrate their desire for a job. The reality in America on the Fourth of July 2014 is that jobs do not exist and the cause is Big Government and policies that thwart the creation of new businesses and add costs to those that do. In America, corporations are taxed at a rate higher than most other nations.

Over recent years, the U.S. government has given our taxpayer money to a long list of other nations and even to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, a Palestinian non-state entity, which annually receives $440 million. Others include Mexico which has received $662 million, Kenya which received $816 million, and Nigeria which received $816 million. Pakistan has received $2 billion and Iraq which received $1.08 billion.

As the Fourth of July arrives, we have learned that American veterans are dying for lack of care by the Veterans Administration, conservative groups seeking non-profit status have been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, and Obama immigration policies have deliberately triggered a wholesale invasion by illegal aliens. We have witnessed the failures associated with the introduction of Obamacare and are learning that it is filled with taxes while destroying what was regarded as the best healthcare system in the world.

As of late June, Gallup polls put the disapproval of the President at 52%. Confidence in the President was only 29% while Congress received only 7%.

It is not a happy Fourth of July in America and far too many Americans—nearly half—still believe the President is doing a good job despite ample evidence that his “transformation” of America has harmed the nation in countless ways.
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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: unhappy Americans, 2014, Fourth of July, warning signs, Alan Caruba To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Could Gang Violence End Mexico's Shale Dream?

 by Nicholas Cunningham, OilPrice.com: Violence in Mexico could thwart hopes of a budding shale boom, as oil and gas companies operating in Texas may think twice about moving south of the border.

Mexico holds an estimated 545 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas and 13 billion barrels of shale oil, but progress in developing those resources has been slow.

The obstacles to kick-starting Mexico's shale industry have dampened the once lively enthusiasm surrounding Mexico's historic energy reform. Mexico passed legislation last year that opened up the country's oil and gas sector to private investment, ending a 75-year monopoly by state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

But the secondary laws that the government must pass to actually implement the legal framework for oil and gas development are proving much more contentious.

Political disputes over what could be 21 separate laws have thus far delayed passage, threatening to push back Mexican President Enirque Pena Nieto's goal of producing 3 million barrels of oil per day by 2018. That would be roughly a 25 percent increase from the current output level of 2.4 million barrels per day, but it is looking increasingly difficult to achieve.

"We can increase, of course, but not enough to arrive at 3 million [b/d]," Fluvio Ruiz Alarcon, an independent board member at Pemex, told Platts on June 24 at a Wilson Center event in Washington, D.C. "I'm sure we're going to produce over 3 million [b/d] but not by 2018. Maybe 2020, but not before," he added.
Even if the country's congress can reach an agreement and move forward with the energy reform, there are other obstacles.

In order to access the potentially abundant oil and gas from Mexican shale, the government will need to rely upon the private sector. Under the energy reform, Pemex is given first refusal over any projects – meaning that it can keep the assets it really wants, but allows the rest to go to bidding for private companies. Pemex will likely stick with its wells that are already producing, and leave drilling new shale wells to incoming private companies.

However, many areas in the Burgos Basin – which lies just south of the rich Eagle Ford formation in Texas – are suffering from intense gang violence. Bloomberg News reported on the conditions in Tamaulipas, a state in eastern Mexico, which at times resembles a "war zone." A power vacuum left over by the arrest of the leaders of the Zetas and Gulf Cartels last year has the eastern coast dealing with heightened violence – shootings along highways and burned down buildings are commonplace as rival drug gangs jockey for territory.

Further north, shootings and kidnappings plague Highway 2, which runs parallel to the border with the United States.

The violence poses an immediate threat to the oil companies working there. The Mexican Army is now escorting workers of Weatherford International, an oilfield services firm, to and from their drill sites after a drug gang shot up a hotel where the workers were staying.

Aside from violence, theft of oil and gas by drug cartels poses another threat to companies. In 2013, Mexican gangs stole around $790 million worth of fuel, which is siphoned off from pipelines and smuggled.

Perhaps more importantly, the violence will undermine Mexico's attempts to boost oil production over the longer term. The Mexican government doesn't believe that Pemex will be able to increase production. The state-owned company's goal is to merely keep production steady as wells age and decline. Instead, the government will be relying upon the private sector. Over the next four years, the government expects 500,000 barrels per day to come from non-Pemex sources.

But that goal will prove elusive if independent oil and gas companies are scared off by violence.

"It does raise the cost of doing business when you have to face the threats of kidnapping and extortion," Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told Bloomberg.

If Mexico is to achieve its goal of reviving oil production, which has declined by more than one-third over the last decade, it will not only need to get the legal framework right, but the government will also need to ensure drug violence drops to a level that doesn't scare off private oil and gas companies.
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This article was contributed to the ARRA News Service by James Stafford, Editor, OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site. Its news and analysis covers all energy sectors from crude oil and natural gas to solar energy and hydro. Nicholas Cunningham is a Washington DC-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1.

Tags: gang violence, drugs, Mexico, shale, oil production, oil and gas companies, oilprice.com, Nicolas Cunningham To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Open Borders Backlash, Supreme Shellacking, Bad News For Obama

 Gary Bauer, Contributing AuthorOpen Borders Backlash -  Monday Obama pledged to "go it alone" on immigration reform, and now left-wing Democrats are urging Obama to "go big." According to various reports, pro-amnesty advocates are calling on Obama to unilaterally rewrite the nation's immigration laws "to essentially legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for work permits under the bill passed by the Senate last summer."

Nearly two-thirds of Americans already disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling immigration. Unilaterally granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants would be politically explosive.

We have suggested recently that civil disobedience would become more likely as left-wing elites in politics, media and big business aggressively continue their mad rush to "fundamentally transform" America. You can only push a patient and tolerant people so far.

Yesterday we saw the first signs of a possible backlash against Obama's open borders policy in the small community of Murrieta, California. The federal government has tried twice to relocate illegal immigrants to a processing facility in Murrieta, but backed down after objections from local officials.

When the federal government ignored the people and tried to bus in more than 100 illegal immigrants yesterday, flag-waving citizens of Murrieta blocked the roads. The buses were forced to turn around. There have been similar, if less dramatic, episodes around the country, even in predominantly liberal communities like Baltimore.

Randon Lane, a Murrietta City Council member, commented, "We have money to take them from Texas, fly them to San Diego, bus them up to Murrietta, and then turn around and ship them off to some other place -- we have the money to do that -- we just don't have the money to secure our borders? So, yes, it seems very odd."

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long wrote in a statement, "Murrieta expects our federal government to enforce our laws, including the deportation of illegal immigrants caught crossing our borders, not disperse them into local communities." 

Millions of Americans share the outrage of Mayor Long and Councilman Lane. Unfortunately, Obama and his left-wing, pro-amnesty allies could care less, and the simmering frustration of the American people is beginning to boil over.

Civil disobedience tends to happen when government actions are seen as overbearing and unjust. There is often a second condition too: people engage in civil disobedience as a last resort when they see no countervailing power willing to confront the injustice.

People go to a town hall to yell about deficit spending when they fear their children's futures are being stolen and no one is stopping it. They stand with a rancher, march for marriage or block buses because they don't see a political party aggressively defending their rights, values and the sovereignty of their country.

Congressional Republicans would be better off if they stopped paying so much attention to D.C. lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce, and paid more attention to their constituents back home!

A Supreme Shellacking - The Hill, a leading inside-the-Beltway publication, has a story today that begins: "President Obama has endured a painful Supreme Court term, suffering a series of bitter defeats at the hands of justices who, at times, took direct aim at his policies. … the White House found itself on the losing end of most of the term's biggest cases."

This is big news and you'd think more Republicans would be echoing this theme about Obama's rogue presidency.

Yesterday I complained that too few Republicans were championing the Hobby Lobby victory, allowing the left to dominate the airwaves, while some (like New Jersey's Chris Christie) were actively undermining it. I'm not alone in that frustration.

Here's an email I received yesterday from an attorney, and a loyal Republican voter, I have known for years:
"I am thrilled, as I presume you are, by the result in the Court yesterday.  I am just as mystified, however, by the thundering silence of the leadership of the Republican Party that is routinely lambasted for its imaginary 'war on women' as it fails to respond to the outright lies and distortions...  The claim that somehow the Supreme Court has ratified the denial of contraception to women, tantamount to a 'war,' is so repugnant and so grossly dishonest… Is the Republican Party once again going to stand silent; allow the Democrats to shamelessly lie; and, by remaining silent, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory??"

There was more to his message, but I think you understand his frustration. In fact, I know you do. I get messages like this every day. The party leadership had better get a clue.

More Bad News For Obama -   A new Quinnipiac poll asked registered voters to identify the worst president America has had since World War II. Whom did they choose? Not Jimmy Carter (8%). Not Richard Nixon (13%). Not even George W. Bush (28%). Thirty three percent of voters said Barack Hussein Obama has earned that dubious distinction. In fact, one newspaper recently apologized for endorsing Obama.

Voters also expressed a lot of buyer's remorse. Asked whether the country would have been better off or worse off if Mitt Romney had won the 2012 election, 45% said America would have been better off, while just 38% said America would have been worse off.

By the way, when asked which president since World War II was the best, Ronald Wilson Reagan finished first with 35%.

More Nuggets From The News: 
  • The border may be open, but the government wants health care workers to shut their mouths. Fox News reports that medical workers and doctors treating illegal immigrants at the border have been threatened with arrest if they warn the public about the health risks they are witnessing.
  • More than 50 VA whistleblowers have lodged complaints alleging retaliation for their attempts to expose wrong-doing.

    Corruption and incompetence appear to be endemic throughout the bureaucracy. Two weeks ago, Suzanne Chase received a letter notifying her that the VA finally had an appointment available for her husband, Doug. There is just one problem: Douglas Chase passed way from brain cancer TWO YEARS AGO.
  • A new audit highlights colossal problems with Obamacare. For example, as the government attempts to process what it claims are 8 million sign-ups, it reports finding nearly 3 million "inconsistencies" in the data, such as infants being reported as "incarcerated."
Moreover, nearly half of these inconsistencies concern an individual's "Citizenship/national status/lawful presence."

Tags: open borders, supreme Court, rulings, news items, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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