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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)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Remembering the Reason For The Season.
Christ's Birth!
To: All Patriots and Friends,
Merry Christmas!
From: Dr. Bill Smith, Editor & our Contributors
ARRA News Service
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Franklin Graham's Call To Arms

Rev. Franklin Graham
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: An extraordinary statement was issued yesterday by a renowned leader of Christian evangelicals, Reverend Franklin Graham. His statement should be considered as a thunderclap to the Republican Party.

The GOP is already at loggerheads with its more populist economic supporters in the Tea Party, which we have chronicled in this report for the last several years. It has been unable to recreate the kind of message that Ronald Reagan delivered, which brought millions of blue collar workers back to the party's banner.

Its relationship with social conservatives has been strained over bad judicial nominations, the lack of real resistance to the revolutionary change in the definition of marriage and, most recently, the funding of Planned Parenthood.

More and more lifelong Republicans are calling themselves conservatives first and Republicans second -- if at all. I've heard from several friends in the past week who have switched their party registration to independent.

And now Franklin Graham, driven over the edge by the omnibus bill, which significantly increased spending and failed to defund Planned Parenthood, has announced that he too is leaving the GOP. Here is his statement:"Shame on the Republicans and the Democrats for passing such a wasteful spending bill last week. And to top it off, funding Planned Parenthood! A Huffington Post article called it 'a big win for Planned Parenthood.' I call it a big loss for America. After all of the appalling facts revealed this year about Planned Parenthood, our representatives in Washington had a chance to put a stop to this, but they didn't.

"There's no question -- taxpayers should not be paying for abortions! Abortion is murder in God's eyes. Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps! That should've been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding.

"Nothing was done to trim this 2,000 page, $1.1 trillion budget. This is an example of why I have resigned from the Republican Party and declared myself Independent. I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America."
That's where the vast majority of the media commentary stops. The message the left-wing media wants to send to Christian conservatives is, "Stay in your pews and stay out of the voting booth. Even Franklin Graham is giving up on politics."

But that is not what Reverend Graham is saying at all. Here is the next and most important part of his message:"Unless more godly men and women get in this process and change this wicked system, our country is in for trouble. I want to challenge Christians, even pastors, across the country to pray about running for office where they can have an impact. We need mayors, country commissioners, city council members, school board members who will uphold biblical values."Do not misinterpret Franklin Graham's message. He is NOT recommending that anyone abandon the public square, politically or culturally. He is emphatically calling for men and women of faith to get off the sidelines and aggressively ENGAGE in the culture war! He goes on to state that he will be traveling the country and leading rallies urging men and women of faith to action.

Graham wants more Christians to engage in the battle. This is the only hope the country has. And Franklin Graham certainly understands that in the vast majority of cases, the right candidate to vote for when it comes to values and responsible budgeting will be a center-right candidate on the Republican ticket rather than a left-wing socialist on the Democrat ticket.

Not to be melodramatic, but if I were Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell or RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, I would call an emergency meeting and bring in people like Franklin Graham. The party needs a reality check on the mood of its own base.

While I fully appreciate the limitations of divided government, so many conservatives are fed-up with the GOP's seeming unwillingness to fight back.

The last seven years of allowing Barack Obama to violate the separation of powers, abuse the Constitution, insult our Judeo-Christian heritage and values, gut our military, lose two wars and preemptively surrender to the Iranians, has millions of Americans absolutely fuming and demanding a complete course correction! Yet party elders frequently seem to be moving in the opposite direction.

I believe our side has a great opportunity to prevail in 11 months. We have a chance to save the country, but only if our leaders understand the lateness of the hour and the seriousness of America's condition.

2016 will be, in my view, a climatic year for the future of our country. We need all hands on deck to defend our values and save our country!
-------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Words Mean Things. But Things Change

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: I don’t know who was the first to say, “Words mean things.” Rush Limbaugh invoked this truism frequently during his early broadcasting years when analyzing politicians and their rhetoric. People should be held accountable for what they say, according to Limbaugh, and not parse words to escape judgment – like the Bill Clinton gem: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

It’s not all that simple. Words may mean things, but things change. And two words we use with great frequency these days seem to have changed a lot.

From Webster’s Dictionary and WordNet

Conservative (con`serv´a`tive) – noun
  • “One who desires to maintain existing institutions and customs.”
  • “One who, or that which, preserves from ruin, injury, innovation, or radical change; a preserver; a conserver.”
  • “One who holds moderate opinions in politics – opposed to revolutionary or radical.”
  • “One who avoids excess; synonym: cautious.”
Liberal (lib´er`al) – noun
  • “One who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties.”
  • “One who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets.”
  • “One who is tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition.”
  • “One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer.”
  • “One who is free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.”
Wow. My eyes glaze over seeing all the contradictions above, based on what we know of conservatives and liberals today.

Some of the traditional definitions still hold up. Real conservatives on the modern political battleground are desperately trying to “preserve [the nation] from ruin” and “cautiously avoid excess [spending and regulation].” Liberals definitely are “free to excess, regardless of law or moral restraint”, and if you watch TV, witness a foul-mouthed group of protesters, or (God forbid) take your kids to a parade which includes the LGBT crowd, you would define them as “licentious.”

Many of the other definitions no longer hold up. Were liberals really once the champions of “civil liberties” and the “economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets?” What the hell happened there? I’m sure a conservative group that applied for 501(c)3 status from the IRS, or a bakery that doesn’t want to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, or a landowner who tries to defend his property rights from the EPA would not agree with that definition. And parents who would like to hear their kids sing “Silent Night” at a real school Christmas program would probably not define liberals as “favoring greater freedom in political or religious matters”.

I love the definition that says liberals are “not bound by authoritarianism.” Has there ever been a more authoritarian administration than Obama’s? And any mention of “tolerance” in the same sentence as “liberal” is pure oxymoron.

My common-sense wife likes this definition of conserve: “To use or manage wisely; preserve; save.” She asks, “Why do we throw so much perfectly good stuff away? Why do charity programs for kids Christmas toys require only brand-new items? Wouldn’t every needy kid rather have ten slightly-used toys than one new one?” My grandson’s favorite toy at our house is a big metal Tonka truck, so huge he can ride it down the driveway. They cost about $100 new, but his was a buck at a garage sale, and he thinks it’s great.

Words mean things, but things change. Democrats are almost universally liberal – at least until election time. Democrat Senator John Tester from Montana followed the party line in lockstep on every issue, until he voted against the omnibus spending bill last week, saying, “We just can’t keep spending like this.” In contrast, Montana’s Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke voted for the spending bill, showing no concern over the approaching $20 trillion national debt.

I guess the lesson here is that you can’t trust a politician based on his or her words (especially Hillary!) Better to hold our political leaders accountable based on their actions.
---------------
Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

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Hillary's Christmas Gifts for Republicans

by Newt Gingrich: In the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night–which was, by design, almost unwatched, even by President Obama himself–Hillary Clinton gave Republicans three unexpected but delightful Christmas gifts.

Because of these three gifts, the debate that the DNC had scheduled to be obscure and unnoticed on the Saturday night before Christmas may have a very significant impact on the 2016 election.

The first gift was what Secretary Clinton had to say about ISIS:We now finally are where we need to be. We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS which is a danger to us as well as the region, and we finally have a U.N. Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition.”

Second, Clinton asserted during the debate that Donald Trump is becoming “ISIS’s best recruiter.” She went on to charge that “they are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”

Third, Clinton described the growing cost of health care and skyrocketing premiums as a “glitch” of Obamacare.

First, the idea that “we are where we need to be” with ISIS will strike most Americans as delusional in the Obama tradition. Most Americans believe that ISIS is winning. Virtually every week there are new attacks in new countries. People are just beginning to understand how big the problem of Islamic supremacism is.

To have Secretary Clinton assert that we are just where we need to be will strike most Americans as an extraordinarily dangerous statement coming from a potential commander-in-chief.

Furthermore, the logic built into her statement is a reminder of how deeply committed she is to the left’s intellectual worldview.

The left believes that the United Nations is a big deal. To them, a United Nations resolution is a major victory. As Hillary put it, we are “bringing the world together to go after a political transition.” That is the language of the legalistic left dating back to Woodrow Wilson, who thought he was fighting the war to end all wars. Instead, it turned out that World War I was the precursor to World War II which was followed by the Cold War and which has now been followed by the war with Islamic supremacists. Wilson ended, but war didn’t.

So, after six years of failure in the Middle East, the failure of the “Russian reset”, the continued aggression of the Iranians (who have now launched two ballistic missile tests in clear violation of a U.N. resolution), Hillary continues to believe in a legalistic, diplomatic dance as the solution to a violent military problem.

What “political transition” in Syria is Hillary talking about? Who would impose such a transition? And if we are, in Hillary’s mind, where we need to be, Americans should hope we never end up in a bad place because this one seems bad enough.

Hillary’s second gift, her attack on Donald Trump, undermines her in two ways.

First, every fact checker said there was no evidence to back up her claim that ISIS is using Trump in its recruitment videos. This further deepens the sense that Hillary lies and says anything she needs to without regard to facts.

Photo of former President Bill Clinton
 as a "fornicator"appears in ISIS
recruiting video: "No Respite".
Second, somewhat ironically it turned out that while ISIS does not currently use Trump in their videos, there is an American politician they do use. Unfortunately for Hillary, the famous American in the ISIS video is her husband, former President Bill Clinton. If Hillary had not attacked Trump about the ISIS video, it is possible no one would have noticed Bill was in the videos.

Hillary’s third gift, her description of the exploding cost of health care as a “glitch” of Obamacare, may end up hurting her most of all. Secretary Clinton implicitly acknowledges that Obamacare’s failure has caused deductibles to go up by an average of 67 percent and health insurance costs to increase by 27 percent. Obamacare, of course, was supposed to deliver lower costs and more “affordable” care.

Having acknowledged that the government planning model she favors caused the spike in costs, how will Hillary explain that the solution is more government planning?

It isn’t often that a candidate gives the opposition party three gifts for Christmas.

Republicans should be grateful to Hillary for this remarkable, if unintended, performance. The debate the Democrats hoped no one would notice has become a debate that will last for months–possibly all the way to election day.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

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Big Government Leaves Our Nation Poor In Money And Spirit

. . . Discovering the root cause of bad governance.
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: American immorality and contempt for liberty lie at the root of most of the political economic problems our nation faces. They explain the fiscal problems we face, such as growing national debt and budget deficits at the federal, state and local levels of government. Our immorality and contempt for liberty are reflected most in our widespread belief that government ought to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American. Let's examine it.

Suppose there is an elderly widow in your neighborhood. She does not have the strength to mow her lawn, clean her windows and perform other household tasks. Plus she does not have the financial means to hire someone to perform them. Here is my question: Would you support a government mandate that forces one of your neighbors to mow the widow's lawn, clean her windows and perform other household tasks? Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as a fine, property confiscation or imprisonment? I believe and hope that most of my fellow Americans would find such a mandate repulsive. They would rightfully condemn it as a form of slavery, which can also be described as the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.

Would there be the same condemnation if, instead of forcing one of your neighbors to actually perform the household tasks, your neighbor were forced to fork over $50 of his weekly earnings to the widow? That way, she could hire someone to perform the tasks that she is unable to do. Would that mandate differ from one under which your neighbor is forced to actually perform the household tasks? I'd answer no. Just the mechanism differs for forcibly using one person to serve the purposes of another.

Most Americans would want to help this widow, but they would find anything that openly smacks of servitude or slavery deeply offensive.

They would have a clearer conscience if government would use its taxing authority, say an income tax or property tax. A government agency could then send the widow a $50 check to hire someone to mow her lawn and perform other household tasks. This collective mechanism would make the servitude invisible, but it wouldn't change the fact that people are being forcibly used to serve the purposes of others. Putting the money into a government pot simply conceals an act that would otherwise be deemed morally repulsive.

Some might misleadingly argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules. But a majority consensus does not make acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral moral. In other words, if the neighbors got a majority vote to force one of their number, under pain of punishment, to perform household tasks for the elderly widow, it would still be immoral. People like to give immoral acts an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding expressions, such as "spreading the wealth," "income redistribution," "caring for the less fortunate" and "the will of the majority."

If one American can use government to force another to serve his purpose, what is the basis for denying another American the right to do the same thing? For example, if farmers are able to use Congress to give them cash for crop subsidies, why should toymakers be denied the right for Congress to give them cash subsidies when their sales slump?

Congress has completely succumbed to the pressure to use one American to serve the purposes of another. As a result, spending grows. Today's federal budget is about $3.8 trillion. At least two-thirds of it can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another.

I personally believe in helping one's fellow man in need. Doing so by reaching into one's own pockets is laudable and praiseworthy. Doing so by reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation.
--------------
Walter Williams  is an American economist, social commentator, and author of over 150 publications. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the UCLA and B.A. in economics from California State University. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College. He has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980. Visit his website: tsowell.com and view a list of other articles and works. This article was also shared in Contributing Author David Horowitz Freedom Center's publication FrontPageMag.

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Santa’s Wish List . . .

. . . Looks a lot like Donald Trumps campaign promises . . . Nuke Free Iran, Destroy Isis, Repeal Obamacare, Border Security, Better Trade Deals, New Sled.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Team Led By Middle Eastern Woman Caught Surveilling U.S. Facility on Mexican Border

Graphic novelist Leila Abdelrazaq detained
by U.S. Border Patrol agents last week. Her
Sketchbook had drawings of U.S. Port facility
& security and writing in Arabic. She and
2 others were released without charges.
Judicial Watch: A Middle Eastern woman was caught surveilling a U.S. port of entry on the Mexican border holding a sketchbook with Arabic writing and drawings of the facility and its security system, federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch.

The woman has been identified as 23-year-old Leila Abdelrazaq, according to a Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) report obtained by JW this week. Abdelrazaq appeared to have two accomplices, a 31-year-old man named Gabriel Schivone and a 28-year-old woman named Leslie Mcafee. CBP agents noticed the trio “observing the facilities” at the Port of Mariposa in Nogales, Arizona on December 2. Schivone was first noticed inside the entrance of the pedestrian area while the two women stood outside by the entry door, the CPB document states.

When federal officers asked Abdelrazaq why she was drawing sketches of the facilities she “stated because she’s never been to the border,” according to the CBP report. Abdelrazaq resisted showing officers the sketchbook, citing personal reasons, but subsequently handed it over. “During the inspection of the Abdelrazaq sketching book, CBPOs noticed the book contained writings in English and Arabic language,” federal officers write in the document. “There were drawings of what appeared to be vehicle primary inspection area and an additional drawing of pedestrian turn stile gate depicting video surveillance cameras above the gate.” The report proceeds to reveal that the drawings were “partial and incomplete.”

This distressing information comes on the heels of two separate—and equally alarming—incidents in the same vicinity. A few weeks ago JW reported that five young Middle Eastern men were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in Amado, an Arizona town situated about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Two of the men were carrying stainless steel cylinders in backpacks, alarming Border Patrol officials enough to call the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for backup. DHS officially denies this ever occurred, but law enforcement and other sources have confirmed to JW that the two men carrying the cylinders were believed to be taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Of interesting note is that only three of the men’s names were entered in the Border Patrol’s E3 reporting system, which is used by the agency to track apprehensions, detention hearings and removals of illegal immigrants. E3 also collects and transmits biographic and biometric data including fingerprints for identification and verification of individuals encountered at the border. The other two men were listed as “unknown subjects,” which is unheard of, according to a JW federal law enforcement source. “In all my years I’ve never seen that before,” a veteran federal law enforcement agent told JW.

A week earlier six men—one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan—were arrested in nearby Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of the Mexican border city of Nogales. Federal authorities publicly confirmed those arrests after local media learned about them. JW has broken a number of stories involving serious terrorist threats on the southern border that have been disputed on the record by various Obama administration officials. Among these is an April report — confirmed by high-level Mexican authorities — about ISIS operating camps near the U.S. border in areas known as Anapra and Puerto Palomas west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Last fall JW was the first to report on an Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) plot orchestrated from Ciudad Juárez to attack the U.S. with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). As a result of JW’s reporting Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army base in El Paso, increased security. The threat was imminent enough to place agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies on alert. A few weeks later JW reported that four ISIS terrorists were arrested by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

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Flashback: Phyllis Schlafly Speaking on Christmas 1975

by Ed Martin, : Merry Christmas!

One of the great joys of working for Phyllis Schlafly at Eagle Forum is learning from her. Every day, she has insight and wisdom. She has been writing and speaking for over seven decades. Below is the text of her Christmas message from 1975. It was delivered as a radio commentary on the CBS radio network. ​

And best wishes for a happy and holy Christmas.
Phyllis Schlafly (1975)
CBS RADIO NETWORK: CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - December 25, 1975:

I’m Phyllis Schlafly.

“The angel Gabriel said to the virgin engaged to Joseph the carpenter: “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. You shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus.”

Mary said to the angel, "How can this be since I know not man?" The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. The holy child who will be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” And Mary said, ''Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word."

The birth of the Son of God is the most important event in all history. We measure our time from then, nineteen hundred and seventy five years ago. At that time, Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus was the most powerful person in the world. Today, the Emperor is forgotten, but Christmas, the birthday of Christ, is being celebrated everywhere, except in the one-fourth of the world controlled by Communism.

Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, poverty, suffering, disease and death might drive us to black despair if there had never been a first Christmas. Across twenty centuries, we are sustained because the Son of God came on earth and suffered poverty, injustice, pain and death, so that we may all be eligible for eternal happiness.

We should heed the message from the One whose birthday we celebrate today: Love God. Keep His Commandments. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for Me. If you would be perfect, give what you have to the poor and follow Me. 
Amidst all the problems in the world today, let us pause to rejoice in the message that the angels brought to the shepherds on that first Christmas: “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For this day is born a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”-----------------
Ed Martin is President of Eagle Forum, the pro-family education and policy organization founded in 1972 by CEO Phyllis Schlafly. Martin was a former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party and a member of the Republican National Committee. Martin served as Chief of Staff for Governor Matt Blunt and was the Republican nominee for Missouri's 3rd congressional district in 2010 and also ran for Missouri Attorney General.

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This Is Not Politics

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: First, Hillary lied. She said that ISIS was using Trump in terrorism recruitment videos. The Donald responded with contemptuous ridicule, using a vulgar word for her 2008 defeat by Barack Obama.

Then, the Democratic Party presidential contender got all teary-eyed and said we had to treat each other with more respect, be nicer.

This is presidential politics?

Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump are both addicted to telling whoppers. Their “stretchers” are now the everyday stuff of our nightly news.

Mrs. Clinton’s fact-less charge that Trump was being used in recruitment videos is all the more ridiculous considering that Mr. Clinton does star in such a video. Maybe she meant merely that Mr. Trump’s call for barring Muslim immigration will help ISIS paint America as anti-Muslim, telling the tall tale because, well, it “seems true.” Even if it isn’t.

In this, she differs not a whit from Mr. Trump, who not too long ago “remembered” “seeing” “thousands” of “Muslims” in “New Jersey” celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 — a video he cannot produce, either.

Politicians hyperbolize from bigotry to factoid all the time. What’s new is Trump’s foul calumny, in response, and Clinton’s painting of Trump as a bully for belittling her. That’s not how I remember politics. It seems new to adult debate.

But it isn’t new to our experience. It’s children bickering on the playground, then whining and lying all the way to Teacher. Or even Home.

Responsible adults don’t believe every charge lodged by little boys and little girls.

Like Donny and Hillary.

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

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Congressional Black Caucus Turns Back On Its Own Children

. . . The D.C. school voucher program is cut and the Congressional Black Caucus does nothing.

by Star Parker: The omnibus spending bill just passed by Congress is, if nothing else, in the spirit of the season. It's a huge Christmas tree: a grand structure on which every political interest imaginable has hung its own pet program.

This is to the tune of $1.1 trillion to $1.8 trillion in explicit spending and another $622 billion in indirect spending through "tax extenders."

Yet, as lobbyists in Washington showed up en masse for their shares of the fruitcake, one group was elbowed out and left with coal for its stocking.

That would be minority children in our nation's capital.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which for 10 years has provided vouchers for low-income minority children in Washington, D.C., to escape from one of the nation's worst public school systems and attend a private school, was not reauthorized in this latest spending orgy. As result, after the funding runs out at the end of next year, the program will shut down, unless resuscitated from scratch.

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice reported in 2014, regarding this program, that "98.8 percent of students helped this year alone were students of color, most low-income; voucher students were 25 percent more likely to enroll in college than their peers; (there was a) 91 percent graduation rate, making voucher students 21 percent more likely to graduate than their counterparts."

The program started in 2004 under President George W. Bush.

Four years ago President Obama tried to kill the program, but it was saved by Speaker John Boehner.

Now we are hearing some harsh words about the failure of Republicans to save the D.C. scholarship program from hostile Democrats this time around.

But why isn't anyone asking the more logical question?

Where are the black leaders? Why aren't they looking out for the interests of their own children?

The 46-member-strong Congressional Black Caucus supposedly exists to watch for the unique interests of America's black community. CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., issued a press release indicating opposition to the omnibus bill.

"The CBC advocates for African American communities," says the press release. "Historically, black communities and institutions have been victims of budget cuts as Congress attempts to reduce the deficit. We have reached a breaking point. African Americans and other communities of color can no longer absorb the cuts and allow deficit reduction to take place on the backs of our constituents."

This spending bill increases both overall spending and the deficit. Nevertheless, the D.C. voucher program is cut and the Congressional Black Caucus does nothing.

The explanation is that the Black Caucus is more interested in the politics and economics of union power -- the teachers unions oppose voucher programs -- than in the education of black children.

Last month, Hillary Clinton, who as the prospective Democrat presidential candidate can likely count on 90 percent of the black vote, pulled her support for charter schools (which are also opposed by the teachers unions who have endorsed her).

"I am ... fully aware that there are a lot of substandard public schools," she said. "But part of the reason for that is that policymakers and local politicians will not fund schools in poor areas that take care of poor children to the level that they need to be."

But D.C.'s public schools are among the best-funded as well as among the worst-performing in the nation. According to the Cato Institute, D.C. public schools have been spending $30,000 per student in recent years. This compared to an average voucher cost of less than $9,000 per student, with better results than public schools.

As we watch the ongoing stories of crime and violence in urban areas, and the outcries and allegations of racism that supposedly drive all this, let's keep in mind the deepest problem in black America.

Their political leadership is corrupt and too busy feathering their nests to take care of their own children.
------------
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. CURE is a non-profit think tank that addresses issues of race and poverty through principles of faith, freedom and personal responsibility.

Tags: Star Parker, Center for Urban Renewal and Education, CURE, Congressional Black Caucus, Turns Back, On Its Own Children To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama Appeases The Ayatollah, Again

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: During negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama Administration did whatever was necessary to appease the ayatollah's demands. Many on the left hoped that by negotiating with Iran, the regime might moderate its anti-Western attitudes, curb its belligerence and open up to world trade.

Instead, Iran has banned U.S. products and test-fired two ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, clearly violating U.N. sanctions.

Members of Congress, including many who supported Obama's nuclear deal, are now demanding that the president respond to these illegal missile tests. After all, something's not right here: If Iran's nuclear program is truly peaceful, why is it testing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads?

Meanwhile, in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Congress moved quickly to address weaknesses in our immigration program by closing a number of obvious loopholes in the visa waiver program. This program allows foreign individuals to enter the United States with minimal scrutiny.

But the Iranians objected, claiming that changes intended to keep America safe amounted to new sanctions on Iran, in violation of the terms of the nuclear deal.

I'm not making this up, folks. Iran just fired off two nuclear-capable missiles, and now it is lecturing us about sanctions violations!

Evidently, there is no limit to the Obama Administration's appeasement. Rather than telling the ayatollah to take a hike, Secretary of State John Kerry reassured the Iranian regime that the new law intended to keep terrorists out of the country will in no way impact travel from the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism.

This kind of insanity is why a majority of Americans, for the first time ever, believe that the government is failing to protect us from terrorism.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: President Obama, appeases, Ayatollah, 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!

Liberals Threaten Broadband Internet Tax

by Stephen Moore : How's this for an early Christmas gift?

Right before Congress left town for the holidays, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin the Democratic whip, blew up a bill that would have provided Americans with a permanent ban on the taxation of Internet service. Call it his "bah humbug" moment.

Grinch Durbin has promised to hold this bill hostage unless he gets paid a ransom. He says he will only allow a permanent ban on Internet access taxes, if Congress votes to allow state/local sales taxes on Internet purchases.

It's a game of pick your poison.

This may seem arcane inside baseball stuff, but the economic stakes here are gigantic as is the future expansion of Internet services. For example, the tax could delay and disrupt the rapid deployment of high speed broadband service. My colleagues at the Heritage Foundation note that Verizon and AT&T spend about $35 billion a year in broadband wiring and cabling, but a new tax could put this investment in jeopardy. Hold on. I thought the Democrats were in favor of "infrastructure" spending.

That the left is threatening to allow states and localities to tax broadband services is toweringly hypocritical. Liberals love to talk piously about the right to universal Internet access and reducing the "digital divide" in America between rich and poor. This has been their excuse for pushing so-called "net neutrality" regulations on Internet providers.

Yet taxing Internet subscriptions could make web access connection service, much like cable TV, too expensive for millions of Americans to afford. Economist George Ford of the Phoenix Center found that taxing broadband subscribership could reduce the number of Americans with Internet service in their homes or offices by up to 15 million people. The tax would typically range from 2 to 5 percent, but in some areas the tax to be hooked up could go as high as 17 percent. How can any liberal or conservative support that?

Since the late 1990s, way back when Al Gore invented the Internet and the web was still an obscure luxury for a small sliver of the computer geek population, and companies like Google were just getting off the ground, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) has protected Americans, especially the poor and those in rural areas, from onerous state/local taxes on broadband services. The objective of this law was to foster the uninhibited growth of the commercial and educational potential of broadband services.

It's been an obvious success. Today 75 percent of Americans have Internet service. But almost one in four still don't and the danger of a new tax is that with families financially strapped, a new tax could mean millions might drop service. If Mr. Durbin has his way, fewer Americans could be able to go online.

So what is Mr. Durbin's game here? He and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will only allow the Internet Access Tax Freedom Act to pass if Congress votes to allow states to tax online sales - which is an even worse idea than taxing Internet access with far more money at stake. This year goods and services purchased on the Internet are expected to hit $300 billion, according to the Department of Commerce, and account for a record 7.4 percent of total retail sales. See chart. So state and local politicians and left-wing interest groups have long lustily viewed e-commerce the next giant pot of money to get their paws on.

Taxing Internet sales is also a high priority for major retailers like Wal-Mart who want online shoppers to pay the same tax they do when they make their purchases at the store counter. They want to require Internet companies to collect state/local sales tax even if that company has no connection (or "nexus") to the state where the tax is paid. An Internet company in New Hampshire would have to be a tax collector for Illinois and California, even though the company uses no services in those states. That's terrible tax policy that will erode tax competition.

Regardless of how one stands on Internet sales taxes, why hold up a bill that will increase Internet access and widen the digital divide in America? Ironically, Mr. Durbin has been one of the lead voices for universal Internet access. "Broadband access is not a luxury item," he said at a Senate hearing, "but a necessity to compete in the 21st century." He adds: "Quite simply, businesses, hospitals, schools, and even communities, regions and states are better able to compete if they have access to or can offer broadband services.."

Well said. But now the man who once wanted to make the Internet universally available and affordable, wants to tax it to make it more costly. The primary victims if Mr. Durbin's 11th hour tax gambit succeeds will be poor households, which is worth remembering next time Democrats start sermonizing about tax fairness.
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Stephen Moore (@StephenMoore), who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is chief economist at The Heritage Foundation and his article was first shared on The Washington Times. Fair Use Doctrine and past permission by the author applies.

Tags: Stephen Moore, broadband, Internet, tax, sales taxes, threat, Wal-Mart tax, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Truth About Tuition

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Subsidize something, and you tend to get more of it.

But wait, what if you subsidize demand for something, but don't really allow (or continue to disallow) increased supply?

Then prices for that something go way up.

This is elementary economics -- nothing controversial about it.

Except that politicians and bureaucrats who make public policy tend not to acknowledge this aspect of reality when they propose subsidies. Instead, they expect praise for their "heroic" and "caring" program of destruction.

They need to be educated. But, alas, all this applies best to college education. How does one educate the educators?

A new study, which reliable economists tell me is "sophisticated," finds that the bulk of recent college tuition price inflation can, indeed, be directly linked to the federal government's loan subsidies.

This study makes for some opaque reading, alas: "Essentially, demand shocks lead to higher college costs and more debt, and in the absence of higher labor market returns, more loan default inevitably occurs." Yikes.

The college education bubble has been much talked-about for years, at least amongst skeptics of government policy. But in hushed tones -- the big fear, here, is that a bursting of the bubble will lead to -- who knows what? I mean, who-knows-what policy reaction.

Probably just more government subsidy and control. And even higher tuition still. Double yikes.

Thankfully, while the brick-and-mortar higher education institutions suck up more and more government-backed money, the Internet is enabling some great alternatives. The future, I think, does not belong to the university system as we have known it.

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

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, college, tuition, supply, demand, truth about Tuition To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Proof That Obama Was Wrong About Cuba

by Mike Gonzalez: These stirring words came in President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address:To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.It’s taken seven years to make clear they were utterly meaningless.

The right side of history is whatever side the president is on, and America’s enemies don’t need to stop punching dissidents with clenched fists to get a hug.

Exhibit A to prove this is, again, the little state of Cuba, 90 miles from U.S. shores.

Antonio Rodiles, who is the leader of the Cuban democratic movement, was re-arrested for “disorderly conduct” on Sunday for speaking his mind in the open.

Rodiles was just here last week in Washington, D.C.
(he was interviewed by The Daily Signal), and had high-profile meetings with members of Congress and at the State Department.
Meanwhile, the country’s dictator, Raúl Castro, donned this military uniform for an unannounced TV appearance last Friday to denounce the United States and make more demands.

Yes, demands.

Rodiles, and other pro-democracy activists, have said all along that Obama’s decision to grant the Castro regime recognition a year ago would prove to be a costly mistake for Cubans.

By extracting no conditions in exchange for relations, Obama has allowed Castro to act with impunity with his opponents.

He hasn’t been wrong, as Rodiles himself can physically attest, as he was beaten up during an arrest back in July. According to dissidents, political detentions are at a documented total of 7,686 through the first 11 months this year, set to break the worst year on record: 2014, with 8,899 arrests.

It’s a message Rodiles took to Congress last week in meetings with Reps. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. (who all are of Cuban origin), as well as in the State Department, where he met, among others, with Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson.

These meetings took place on Dec. 17, which was of symbolic importance, as it was the one-year anniversary of Obama’s announcement that the United States would stop shunning the Castros and would instead extend the hand of friendship.

The meetings earned Rodiles more wrath from Castro’s regime. Back in Havana on Sunday, he attempted to march with a dissident group of about 60 after Mass, when he and the others were rounded up and sent to prison.

“We were met with the same repression and the same violence,” he told me on the phone from Havana after spending more than five hours in prison. The difference this time is that he was fined and charged with “desorden público.” When they have done this in years past, it has meant that the regime is about to take away his passport.

“It had everything to do with the meetings I had in Washington,” he told me. “They were very upset.” The dissidents suffered other depredations.

One of them, Lourdes Esquivel, a woman in her 50s, was kept for hours in a jail with a naked man, Rodiles told me. The thugs who arrested them also took their money away. When the leader of the group, Berta Soler, returned to prison on Monday to get her money back, authorities re-arrested her. She was still behind bars Monday at noon.

Things are going to get even worse,” he told me at the end of our talk.

And on Friday, Castro took to the airwaves again, this time wearing the uniform of general, to make demands: “During this year we have not advanced to resolve the issues that are essential if Cuba is to have normal relations with the United States.”

Among the demands are ending U.S. broadcasts to Cuba (the only break in the Communist news monopoly in Cuba) ending the trade embargo, and the handover of the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay to the Castros.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Obama last week eerily left open the possibility that this might happen. “There’s no doubt they’d love to have Guantánamo back,” Obama said. “And I suspect that will be a long, diplomatic discussion that will outlast my administration.”

Then again, he also seriously misjudged Castro, saying, “I do see in him a big streak of pragmatism. In that sense, I don’t think he is an ideologue.”

Tell that to Rodiles, Soler, and Esquivel.
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Mike Gonzalez, (@Gundisalvus) a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is a widely experienced international correspondent, commentator and editor who has reported from Asia, Europe and Latin America. He served in the George W. Bush Administration first at the Securities and Exchange Commission and then at the State Department.

Tags: President Obama, got it wrong, Cuba, Raul Castro, proof,  arrest, freedom protesters,  beatings, torture, Mike Gonzales, The Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama’s Gun Jihad

by John C. Velisek, Contributing Author: Our "muslim friendly" president is doing his best to take the guns away from patriots in our country. He has tried over the past six years to force Congress to do his bidding to violate the 2nd Amendment. Congress, to its credit has pushed back and allowed the law abiding people of this country to continue to keep the right given to them in the Constitution.

After San Bernardino, a city 30 miles from my home and the hometown of my wife, it did not take long for the Democrats to bring out the response they always do. It was the guns fault, and therefore, no one should have one. Knee jerk responses to be sure, and even with the assistance of a front page editorial in the New York Times, could not change the thinking of the American people that they have a right to self defense. Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post even went so far as to claim the “Evil Republicans” because they respect the 2nd Amendment.

Of course, according to Ms. Dvorak more gun free zones are the answer. If only everyone would turn in their guns, all would be sweetness and light with unicorns and rainbows. I don’t know what neighborhood these lady lives in, but in any neighborhood I ever lived in, the people I know are very happy to be able to keep their guns.

According to the progressives and socialists Gun free zones work. Should we ask the children at Sandy Hook, or the writers at Charlie Hebdo, or the county workers in San Bernardino how well that works? Obama, that fine bastion of constitutional law, proclaimed that the U.S. is the number one purveyor of these attacks. Actually no, Norway is first, followed by Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland. Sorry, “dear leader,” your numbers lie again.

We have had almost seven years of the truth being a far distant cousin of the Democrats, but they agree that the government needs to take our guns. Obama has already issued 23 executive actions which were never voted on and are clearly unconstitutional addressing rights that can not taken away without changing the founding documents of our country. The National Instant Criminal Background Check, (NICS) is being used by the federal government as the implementation of a national database. This has been admitted by federal officials and openly reported in the news.

The newest step being pushed by President Obama is trying to cause gun manufacturers to fail. Gun sales have skyrocketed, and Obama has now using his federal power via the Security Exchange Commission in a vendetta against Smith and Wesson. Our “dear leader” is asking federal regulators to investigate if the manufacturer Smith and Wesson made adequate disclosures in its financial statements. The public advocate, Letitia James has stated that the SEC “should investigate whether Smith and Wesson misrepresented or omitted information about how often its products are involved in crimes and what it has done to keep its product out of the hands of criminals”.

I would appreciate anyone who can tell me why any company, selling any product, should be forced to be responsible for the misuse of their product? Smith and Wesson provides safety information and a gun lock with each gun sold. No one has explained what more the liberals want – except for the business to “roll over and close its doors.”

This is nothing more than a liberal witch hunt. It is President Obama continuing efforts to circumvent Congress and the Constitution by targeting of businesses to advance his agenda. He acts like a tyrannical king who makes proclamations for what he desires. I believe the American people had enough of that in 1776. What business will be next?

Obama has slightly over a year remaining in office. It is far overdue for the American people, members of Congress, and the Courts to draw “a red line in the sand.” A “red line” that says to President Obama and to members of all the varied agencies and departments of the Federal Government that there will be no more attacks on the Constitutional rights of American citizens, or attacks on American businesses to advance that advance an agenda resulting in diminishing or restricting the Constitutional rights of American citizens.
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John C. Velisek, retired Navy is a California conservative activist writing articles for various publication and is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. You can follow John's work on @sjspecialist on Twitter and One Patriots Opinion on Facebook.

Tags: John C. Velisek, President Obama, gun jihad, gun control, gun manufacturers, Security Exchange Commission, vendetta, Smith and Wesson, 2nd Amendment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ryan Leads Republicans to Defeat

Dear Speaker Ryan, When one of the "Mama Bears of Conservatism" is not happy with your leadership and decisions, it is time for you to reconsider your actions, positions, and explainations. ~ Dr. Bill Smith, Editor

Speaker Paul Ryan
by Phyllis Schlafly: When Paul Ryan ran for speaker of the House of Representatives, he said Republicans "need to move from being an opposition party to being a proposition party." After a record-breaking eight years as the top republican on the House Budget Committee followed by a stint on Ways & Means, Ryan seemed well prepared to lead a newly energized house Republican majority toward reclaiming the power of the purse, which the framers of our Constitution vested in them.

Well, the results are in, and they're not good. Ryan has proved no better than his hapless predecessor, John Boehner, in cutting wasteful spending, reforming the tax system, defunding liberal interest groups, or instituting good conservative policies.

The 2,009-page, $1.1 trillion Consolidated Omnibus spending bill, which the Republican Congress approved and President Obama signed a week before Christmas, violates every promise that Republicans made to the voters who rewarded them with landslide victories in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. It's no wonder that betrayed Republican voters have adopted a throw-the-bums-out attitude that supports the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson.

Democrats lost no time gloating over what Chuck Schumer hailed as a "great victory for the principles Democrats stand for." As Senator Patty Murray explained, "We rolled back the automatic budget cuts ... and we kept out poison pill riders even after the Republicans spent months talking about defunding Planned Parenthood."

Besides Planned Parenthood, which was caught selling body parts from aborted fetuses, the Omnibus continues high levels of spending for such liberal priorities as the Legal Services Corporation, which sues states on behalf of illegal aliens, and Head Start, which the government's own studies prove has no lasting value. It increases the annual budget for the Internal Revenue Service, despite that agency's documented record of abusive misconduct toward tea party conservatives.

The new budget not only fails to stop Obama's executive amnesty, known as DACA and DAPA, which two federal courts have said is illegal, but it quadruples the controversial H-2B program, which imports low-skilled foreign workers for blue-collar jobs that millions of Americans can do. That provision violates Paul Ryan's recent pledge not to push for higher immigration levels, at least until the next president takes office.

"There is a reason that GOP voters are in open rebellion," Senator Jeff Sessions, R., Ala., said when he learned of the surreptitious increase in the number of low-wage guest workers. "They have come to believe that their party's elites are ... openly hostile to them."

Despite the recent massacres in Paris and San Bernardino, both of which were committed by Muslims loyal to ISIS who crossed national borders with impunity, the Omnibus continues full funding for the resettlement of Syrian refugees without additional screening. Despite the deaths of Kate Steinle and other Americans murdered by Mexicans who had previously been deported, there is still no limit on federal subsidies for sanctuary cities.

The recently concluded UN conference on climate change, where Obama committed the United States to reducing our energy use before China does, offered a great opportunity for congressional action. The Omnibus failed to block the EPA's Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule, but it provided plenty of money, which Obama can reallocate to the UN's Green Climate Fund.

Ryan's surrender was so complete that it's no wonder Obama said "kudos to him" before boarding Air Force One for the First Family's annual vacation in Hawaii. As Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel explained, "We ended up with a bill today that has all the good stuff in and most of the bad stuff out. That's the definition of victory."

The Democratic budget victory came despite Republicans winning the largest number of seats they've had in Congress since the 1920s, reinforced by winning a thousand seats in state legislatures across the country. The Republican leaders' failure to make use of their majority, to make good on their promises, supports Rush Limbaugh's theory that Republican leaders "are willing to throw away their current base for the new one they hope to get."

Although the current congressional leadership seems to have lost its will to fight for conservative policies, the 95 Representatives and 16 Senators who voted against the deal provide hope for building a more effective conservative majority next year. Our marvelous Constitution provides many ways for concerned citizens reduce the size of our government.

Meanwhile, some excellent candidates are lining up to challenge the Republican incumbents who forgot why the voters sent them to Congress. Find one of those candidates in your area and give him or her your full support.
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Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is CEO and Chairman 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, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Paul Ryan,v$1.1 trillion, Omnibus spending bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Busybody Left . . .

. . . Liberal Redistribution of Neighborhoods

Redistribution of Neighborhoods - "You didn't "earn that."
Editorial Cartoon by Rick McKee
His New Book:  Painting With A Broad Brush
by Dr. Thomas Sowell: The political left has been trying to run other people's lives for centuries. So we should not be surprised to see the Obama administration now trying to force neighborhoods across America to have the mix of people the government wants them to have.

There are not enough poor people living in middle class neighborhoods to suit the political left. Not enough blacks in white neighborhoods. Not enough Hispanics here, not enough Asians there.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it grant the federal government the power to dictate such things. But places that do not mix and match people the way Washington wants them to can lose all sorts of federal money they currently receive under numerous programs.

Handing out vast amounts of the taxpayers' money is the way the federal government has expanded its power far beyond the powers granted by the Constitution -- thereby limiting the freedom of individuals, localities and states. Washington is essentially buying up our freedom with our own money, taken in taxes.

What makes this latest political crusade so ridiculous and so dangerous is that people have never been mixed and matched at random, either in the United States or in other countries around the world, or in any period of history.

We can see blacks and whites living in different neighborhoods, but many people who look the same to the naked eye also sort themselves out. Moreover, neither blacks nor whites are living at random within their own respective neighborhoods.

The upscale neighborhood called Sugar Hill in Harlem, where I delivered groceries as a teenager, was very different from the neighborhood where I lived in a tenement.

White neighborhoods also sorted themselves out. A man who grew up in Chicago said, "Tell me a man's last name and I will tell you where he lives." Studies of ethnic concentrations in Chicago have backed up his claim.

Back when the Lower East Side of New York was a predominantly Jewish area during the era of mass immigration from Europe, Hungarian Jews lived clustered together in a different part of the Lower East Side from where Polish Jews or Romanian Jews lived. And German Jews lived uptown.

It was the same story in Italian neighborhoods. Immigrants from Rome were not scattered at random among immigrants from Naples or Sicily. Moreover, this was not peculiar to New York.

The same clustering of people from particular parts of Italy could be found in cities across the United States, as well as in Italian communities in Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney and other places around the world

The very same pattern could be found among Germans, Chinese, Lebanese and other peoples living in other countries. People of different ages, different incomes or different lifestyles likewise tend to sort themselves out.

Nevertheless the busybody left has launched a political crusade to make communities across America present a tableau that matches the preconceptions of their betters.

Nor are the true believers deterred by the failures and counterproductive consequences of their previous social crusades, such as busing children to distant schools to mix and match them with children from different racial, economic or social backgrounds.

The theory was that this would improve the education of all -- through the magic of "diversity" -- and promote greater understanding among different races and classes. In practice, however, compulsory busing of children to mix and match them produced more racial polarization and more educational problems.

Undaunted by reality, the left moved on to try something similar in the housing markets, by placing low-income housing projects in middle class neighborhoods and by giving housing subsidies to individual low-income families to go live in neighborhoods where they could not afford to live otherwise.

The counterproductive consequences of these efforts in the housing markets have only spurred on the busybodies of the left to try harder to force people to live their lives according to the preconceptions of the left, rather than according to their own direct personal experiences and preferences.
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Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Visit his website: tsowell.com and view a list of other articles.

Tags: Thomas Sowell, commentary, busybody left, Obama administration, redistribution, neighborhoods, editorial cartoon, Rick McKee, Painting With A Broad Brush To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Farce Is With Us . . .

. . . Obama and Hillary are a Universal Disaster, but will this dark farce continue after the 2016 election.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Totalitarianism Is Infecting Elite Collegiate America

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Trigger warning: Totalitarians will be deeply offended by this column. If you lean totalitarian stop reading now. Although this makes me guilty of a thought crime I shall call it what it is: straight up totalitarianism infecting American elite collegiate culture.

Even a sandbox totalitarian uprising such as this is ugly. While it does not represent “The End of Western Civilization As We Know It” there is a moral and a practical imperative to stand up to it. While Forbes.com‘s John Tamny makes a smart case that growing illiberalism in collegiate America is “much ado about nothing” while admiring his sang froid I beg to differ.

A group at my alma mater, Amherst College, once-upon-a-time-and-perhaps-still a lovely bastion of the liberal arts, has moved to the front of the totalitarian movement infesting America’s college campuses. CampusReform.org sums it up bluntly: “Students at Amherst College are demanding that the school’s president accede to a list of demands that would effectively eliminate free speech on campus.”

Katie Zavadksi, writing perceptively and rather bravely at the left of center Daily Beast, headlined Amherst Students Protest ‘Free Speech,’ Demand ‘Training for Offenders:Students protesting at Amherst College have issued a list of demands to administrators that includes making them apologize for signs that lament the death of free speech.

A group calling themselves the Amherst Uprising listed 11 demands they want enacted by next Wednesday. Among them is a demand that President Biddy Martin issue a statement saying that Amherst does “not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the ‘All Lives Matter’ posters, and the ‘Free Speech’ posters.”

The latter posters called the principle of free speech the “true victim” of the protests at the University of Missouri.

Going further, the students demand the people behind “free speech” fliers be required to go through a disciplinary process as well as “extensive training for racial and cultural competency.”

... "President Martin must also apologize for the college’s 'institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism,” the Uprising says."
The full statement by the “Amherst Uprising” may be found here. Let it be noted that the students who posted All Lives Matter signs were pro-life advocates attempting, as they later explained on Facebook, to add their perspective.

#BlackLivesMatter is an important perspective. That said, it is part of the progressive cultural hegemony and, thus, privileged. Voices committed to protecting the lives of unborn children are marginalized by that same hegemony.

This is is a defining moment for Amherst College. President Biddy Martin, a distinguished academic and herself, as author of Femininity Played Straight: The Significance of Being Lesbian, presumably is uncontaminated by such thought crimes as heterosexism. I am proud to note that President Martin has stood up as both a profile of sensitivity to real issues and also of true liberal courage.

As reported by the New York Times, With Diversity Comes Intensity in Amherst Free Speech Debate:“We can’t guarantee that their points of view aren’t going to conflict,” Carolyn A. Martin, Amherst’s president, said in an interview in her office. “We can’t guarantee that they’re not going to hear things that we really wish they didn’t have to hear or endure.”

Dr. Martin said she was eager to listen to and work with the protesters, but was not in a position to apologize for the sins of history or institutional forces she did not control.
Does free speech matter? And why should a “tempest in a teapot” matter?

The recent series of collegiate uprisings recall George Orwell’s concepts, stated in Nineteen Eighty Four, of Newspeak, thoughtcrimes, and the Thought Police.

What is Newspeak? According to Wikpedia:It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as “thoughtcrime“.Thoughtcrime?A thoughtcrime is an occurrence or instance of controversial or socially unacceptable thoughts.Prosecuted by the Thought Police:The Thought Police (thinkpol in Newspeak) are the secret police of the fictional superstate, Oceania, in George Orwell‘s 1949 dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.We we are now seeing, on campus, Thought Vigilantes. Unless they are stopped it moves us closer to Thought Police, with which the prevailing Progressive PGR +0.00% cultural hegemony already appears uncomfortably comfortable.

In the appendix to 1984, “The Principles of Newspeak” Orwell wrote:The word free still existed in Newspeak, but could only be used in such statements as “The dog is free from lice” or “This field is free from weeds.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or “intellectually free,” since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless.


As we have already seen in the case of the word free, words which had once borne a heretical meaning were sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Countless other words such as honour, justice, morality, internationalism, democracy, science, and religion had simply ceased to exist.
Without free speech many cultural axioms will be lost.

Almost two years ago, I here asked the question, Are Today’s Progressives Actually Totalitarians? My answer:Much of what appears baffling in American politics today is more easily understood if one grasps the unspoken progressive axioms that drive so much of our national conversation. Confusion comes because many axioms that underpin many Democratic and left-wing claims are veiled. Unveiled, the Democratic agenda begins to gain coherence. For classical liberals, that coherence is ominous.

If governing progressive axioms, unveiled, are totalitarian in substance it would explain the baffling assault by progressives on the Constitution. There is an ongoing, relentless, assault aimed at the governance structure of the Constitution, against the civil liberties explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights, and directed at those who take a stand for the classical liberal, small-r republican, political order.

. . . Let us take to heart what George Orwell wrote, in a letter dated 18 May 1944, talking about the world situation:

“the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. … Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side.”

The illiberalism — a too-weak euphemism for totalitarianism — arising on campus was condemned by, among others, leading left wing honest liberals such as New York Magazine’s consistently splendid Jonathan Chait, who in Can We Start Taking Political Correctness Seriously Now? observed:In recent weeks, UCLA, Wesleyan, and Yale have seen left-wing student activism aimed at shutting down the expression of contrary viewpoints.

... The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism. The reason every Marxist government in the history of the world turned massively repressive is not because they all had the misfortune of being hijacked by murderous thugs. It’s that the ideology itself prioritizes class justice over individual rights and makes no allowance for legitimate disagreement. …

American political correctness has obviously never perpetrated the brutality of a communist government, but it has also never acquired the powers that come with full control of the machinery of the state. The continuous stream of small-scale outrages it generates is a testament to an illiberalism that runs deep down to its core (a character I tried to explain in my January essay).

The scene in Columbia and the recent scene in New Haven share a similar structure: jeering student mobs expressing incredulity at the idea of political democracy.
Collegiate America would do well to recall Yale’s 1974 Woodward Report championing free speech:The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable. To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views.What we are seeing on campus now is not mere “political correctness.” It is not mere illiberalism. It is totalitarianism. And let us call to mind the prison writings of the brilliant Antonio Gramsci, a leader of the Italian Communist Party who spent the last ten years of his life imprisoned for his anti-fascism by the Italian fascists.

Gramsci, among other shrewd insights recorded in his Notebooks and in letters, later published, famously called for taking over many small civic groups, such as colleges, to create a beachhead for a later government takeover. Firmly taking a stand against collegiate totalitarianism matters.

Amherst College President Martin demonstrates a nuanced, courageous, championship of liberality against totalitarian assault. Other collegiate leaders would do well to follow her example. And President Obama would do very well to award President Martin the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
-----------------
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Totalitarianism, Infecting Elite Collegiate America 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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