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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
Friday, January 22, 2016
Blacks and the Confederacy
Dr. Walter E. Williams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: Last July, Anthony Hervey, an outspoken black advocate for the Confederate flag, was killed in a car crash. Arlene Barnum, a surviving passenger in the vehicle, told authorities and the media that they had been forced off the road by a carload of “angry young black men” after Hervey, while wearing his Confederate kepi, stopped at a convenience store en route to his home in Oxford, Mississippi. His death was in no small part caused by the gross level of ignorance, organized deceit and anger about the War of 1861. Much of the ignorance stems from the fact that most Americans believe the war was initiated to free slaves, when in truth, freeing slaves was little more than an afterthought. I want to lay out a few quotations and ask what you make of them.
During the “Civil War,” ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, “There are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down loyal troops, and do all that soldiers may to destroy the Federal Government and build up that of the traitors and rebels” (Douglass’ Monthly, September 1861).
“For more than two years, negroes had been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They had been embodied and drilled as Rebel soldiers, and had paraded with White troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union.” (Horace Greeley, in his book, “The American Conflict”).
“Over 3,000 negroes must be included in this number (of Confederate troops). These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in rebel ranks. Most of the negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabres, bowie-knives, dirks, etc. They were supplied, in many instances, with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, etc., and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy Army. They were seen riding on horses and mules, driving wagons, riding on caissons, in ambulances, with the staff of Generals, and promiscuously mixed up with all the rebel horde” (report by Dr. Lewis H. Steiner, chief inspector of the U.S. Sanitary Commission).
In April 1861, a Petersburg, Virginia, newspaper proposed “three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg” after 70 blacks offered “to act in whatever capacity” had been “assigned to them” in defense of Virginia.
Those are but a few examples of the important role that blacks served as soldiers, freemen and slaves on the side of the Confederacy. The flap over the Confederate flag is not quite so simple as the nation’s race “experts” make it. They want us to believe the flag is a symbol of racism. Yes, racists have used the Confederate flag as their symbol, but racists have also marched behind the U.S. flag and have used the Bible. Would anyone suggest banning the U.S. flag from state buildings and references to the Bible?
Black civil rights activists, their white liberal supporters and historically ignorant Americans who attack the Confederate flag have committed a deep, despicable dishonor to our patriotic Southern black ancestors who marched, fought and died not to protect slavery but to protect their homeland from Northern aggression. They don’t deserve the dishonor. Dr. Leonard Haynes, a black professor at Southern University, stated, “When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you’ve eliminated the history of the South.”
-------------- 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: walterewilliams.com and view a list of other articles and works. Tags:Walter Williams, Blacks, the confederacy, Civil War, black confederate soldier, history, Negroes of Lynchburg, Leonard Haynes, Southern University,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 Regional Cities initiative — enacted by the Republican legislature and heralded by the Republican governor — just awarded grants of $42 million of taxpayer dough to three of seven county consortia in the Hoosier State.
“This is big. This is a big deal in Indiana,” Gov. Mike Pence told reporters, “and I believe it’s part of a third century strategy for growth that will pay dividends for generations.”
Really? Government redistribution will fuel “growth” . . . and “pay dividends”?
The more-spending “strategy” is “geared toward quality of life projects ranging from economic development and job creation, to improved recreational and arts opportunities,” according to WNDU-TV in South Bend, adding that, “The Regional Cities Initiative is aimed at the younger generation and giving those people more reasons to love — than leave the state.”
Love it or leave it, eh?
“The public has been told that we have some sort of $42-million jackpot to spend on wonderful things,” explains Fort Wayne City Councilman Jason Arp in his Indiana Policy Review. “What hasn’t been made clear is that with the award comes [an] obligation not only to match that $42 million with taxpayer and private money but a separate eight-year commitment to a portfolio of $1.4 billion in projects. . . .”
In other words, it’s a classic government-spends-our-money-better-than-we-can program.
The Regional Development Authority will, in the end, “have discouraged actual entrepreneurship, innovation and free enterprise,” Arp explains. In their place? A “sort of unaccountable directorate.”
Growing ever bigger to better spend our hard-earned dough.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Indiana, buying quality of lifeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
No doubt much of the stampede of Republican voters toward Mr. Trump is based on their disgust with the Republican establishment. It is easy to understand why there would be pent-up resentments among Republican voters. But are elections held for the purpose of venting emotions? ~ Dr. Thomas Sowell
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: National Review, a respected publication founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., is widely read by conservative activists and intellectuals in Washington. Today it released an extraordinary edition with dozens of articles by conservative leaders explaining why Donald Trump, in their view, is not a conservative.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether this will have any real impact on the race. The latest CNN poll in Iowa shows Trump opening up an 11-point lead.
The Cruz campaign is skeptical of the poll, as am I, taking comfort in the fact that when you limit the results to regular caucus-goers, the race is essentially tied.
So we are back to the great unknown of this campaign: Can Donald Trump inspire new people to show up on a cold, blustery night in Iowa for what can be an intimidating caucus process? We will find out in nine days.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, National Review, Donald TrumpTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Newt Gingrich: A remarkable revolution has taken place quietly but certainly in the process of electing a candidate for president.
For the first time since the rise of the television networks, the center of power in conducting the national conversation of presidential politics has shifted from the news media to the political party. That remarkable achievement has been driven by years of hard work, shrewd strategy, and courageous decisions led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
The scale of the change is truly historic.
I first came to question the old debate process (which was defined and dominated by the media) in 2008, when I watched Chris Matthews–Speaker Tip O’Neill’s former press secretary and a passionate liberal Democrat partisan–conduct a Republican presidential debate. Chris kept asking questions designed to put Republicans in the worst possible light. He was arrogant and contemptuous and demeaning to the Republican candidates.
After that debate, I began to watch the process critically. It was clear that all too many “news” personalities saw themselves as bigger than the presidential candidates themselves. They believed it was the media who would define what mattered and the media who would decide which candidates were doing well.
When I ran for president in 2012, I was determined from the very first debate to challenge the media every time they got out of line. The result was some very fiery exchanges on both sides.
Then, in 2013, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus began a methodical effort to scrutinize the media’s conduct and insist on a higher standard of fairness.
The first shot was fired in 2013, when NBC and CNN both announced they were going to do films about Hillary Clinton. NBC was going to do a four-part miniseries with actress Dyan Cannon playing Hillary. (No bias there!) CNN was going to produce a feature-length film.
Reince led the Republican National Committee to adopt a resolution condemning this “favoritism”. Both networks backed down when threatened with being blocked from hosting any presidential debates.
Next, in January 2014, an MSNBC employee issued a tweet from the network’s official Twitter account suggesting that Republicans were racist. Priebus fired off a strong letter demanding an apology. To everyone’s surprise, the network apologized and punished the offending staffer.
Those skirmishes set the stage for seizing control of the debate process.
There was a strong consensus within the party that there had been too many debates in previous years. I disagreed at the time, but in retrospect they may have been right. Having 15 debates has raised the value and importance of each one.
Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director, described the shortcomings of the old process in his Wall Street Journal op-ed last summer, as well as the steps the RNC was taking to assert Republican control of the debates. For one thing, the RNC insisted that each debate include a conservative media partner and at least one conservative moderator. Thanks to this policy, more conservative-oriented questions have been asked in this cycle than in all previous cycles combined.
In addition, Chairman Priebus and the RNC were helped in their efforts by a totally unexpected event
From the day he announced, on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump brought a scale of excitement and unpredictability to the race that led to an explosion of viewership.
The very first debate, on Fox News in August, drew 24 million viewers. This may have matched the viewership of the ten least-watched 2012 debates combined. It was an astonishing result.
The scale of debate viewership turned broadcasting the debate into a cash cow for the television networks. Suddenly, what had been a public service became a profit center.
This gave the RNC significant negotiating power. In another debate, CNBC did a terrible job by asking very strange questions, showing clear disrespect and projecting a destructive attitude. Trump, Cruz and the other candidates helped by pushing back strongly on the bias. And the RNC responded authoritatively. Led by Chairman Priebus, it immediately suspended NBC as a future debate host.
Then, after due consideration, the RNC awarded the debate to CNN and the Washington Times.
This decision cost NBC millions in revenue. It also marked an historic shift in power.
The Priebus revolution has recentered control and definition of presidential debates from the networks to the parties. It is a real victory for the principle of citizen organizations rather than elite media defining the process of self-government.
Now it is time for the two parties to build on this achievement and take joint control of the general election debates.
The current Commission on Presidential Debates is an obsolete, elitist approach that dictates endless details about the process to two candidates for the most powerful office in the world.
It is time for the general election to benefit from the same good reforms as the nominating debates.
Go for it, Reince.
---------------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, GOP debates, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Government Shouldn’t Create Business Entities To Compete With Tthe Private Sector
by Nathan Mehrens : Should a city buy concrete trucks and start its own construction company if it doesn’t like the demographic makeup of the employees of the construction companies that could do work on city construction projects? Most people with any experience around government operations would scoff at the notion, yet last year, Akron, Ohio considered doing exactly that.
This is just one of many examples the Business Coalition for Fair Competition recently put together of the government either directly or through the creation of new entities engaging in commercial activities that are designed to compete with the private sector.
In these instances of government competition with private enterprise, taxpayer funds help provide subsidies to the commercial activities that in many instances would not be available to real businesses. These subsidies may range from taxpayer funded staff support to preferences in obtaining business from the government. This is not the way to ensure cost effective governance. These are also activities that the government has no business engaging in at all. Governmental control of the means of production, is, after all, the literal definition of socialism.
Unfortunately, like a lot of governmental activities, the inertia is in the direction of continuing to enlarge the size and scope of what the government does in the area of commercial activities.
Not content with everything that the government is doing, there is in some circles a demand for yet more government programs and entities in the commercial activities sphere. For example, consider that at least one presidential candidate wants to put private pharmaceutical companies “out of business.”
Even trying to determine how big the issue currently is causes headaches.
We live in an era where the bounds of the government have been stretched to the point where it is sometimes difficult to tell where the government ends and the private sector begins whether it be in housing, education or otherwise. The government has created numerous types of entities that share public and private characteristics. Getting a handle on just how many of these types of entities exist is difficult.
A few originating from the federal government are the “quasi-official agencies,” the “government-sponsored entities,” the “federally funded research and development corporations,” the agency-related nonprofit corporations,” the “venture capital funds,” and “congressionally chartered nonprofit organizations.”
Additionally, there are other “instrumentalities of indeterminate character.” In most instances these entities are engaged in activities that would be better left to the private sector. Doing so would save taxpayer money, better enabling the government to focus on what it is supposed to do, i.e., those activities that are specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
A further problem is the tendency of the government, especially during the current administration, to insource activities that could be handled by the private sector. Activities that are commercial in nature and which are not inherently governmental, such as taking out the trash, should be handled by private enterprise. There is no need to create a whole class of new federal employees, with their resulting overhead. including generous compensation packages, to handle tasks that the private sector handles just fine.
Any effort to rein in the size and scope of the government must include a serious analysis of how the government is engaging in commercial activities. This must be coupled with a plan to prevent the government from forming new entities to engage in commercial activities.
If the mayor of a town or a federal official desires to start a new business, that is great. Just make sure that they do so in their personal capacities using private funds and play by the same rules that everyone else in private enterprise must follow.
-------------- Nathan Mehrens is president of Americans for Limited Government and his article was shared on ALG's NetRightDaily. Tags:Big Government, tax dollars, create business entities, compete with private Sector, socialism, Akron, Ohio, Americans for Limited Government, Nathan MehrensTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Threshold Requirements Will Force A Two-Way GOP Race By March 1st
by Dick Morris: When will some of the dozen or so Republican candidates withdraw so we can focus on a two-way race and make a clear decision?
Will Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Christie, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, Paul, Santorum et al ever get the message and pull out?
They won’t have to. The party rules will force them out, de facto, on March 1st.
On that date, 14 states will select their delegates to the national convention. A total of 701 delegates will be selected, more than two-thirds of the total needed to win the nomination. But, of these, 388 will be awarded by proportional representation with a minimum threshold to qualify for delegates. To have a shot at 298 of these delegates (including Texas’ 152) a candidate will need to win at least 20 percent of the vote. Anyone falling short of that total won’t get in on splitting the delegates by proportional representation.
So, if Trump gets, for example, 35 percent in a given state and Cruz gets 30 percent, they will divide the delegates proportionately. But if Rubio, Bush, Paul, Kasich, Christie and the others get less than 20 percent of the vote each, they will get no delegates at all. There is little chance of the field whittling down sufficiently for any of these candidates to break the 20 percent threshold, and certainly it would be impossible for more than one to do so.
Thus, de facto, the GOP nomination process will be a two-way race after March 1. Like a freeway that merges from a dozen lanes to two, there will be a mess of traffic and angry campaign managers, but the process is inexorable.
In Texas, there is a 20 percent threshold for the statewide at large delegates and a separate 20 percent threshold for each congressional district’s delegates.
Another 90 delegates will be selected on March 1 by states with either a 15 percent or a 13 percent threshold, making a two-way race in these states somewhat likely.
On March 5 and March 8, 93 more delegates will be selected in 20 percent threshold states and another 81 from 15 percent threshold states.
So, by March 8, 562 delegates will have been chosen by proportional representation from states with 15 percent or 20 percent threshold requirements — for all practical purposes high enough to keep all but two candidates out.
Over the same period, 370 delegates will be selected in states with low or no thresholds. There would be no bar to Rubio, Bush, Kasich, Christie or Paul getting at least a slice of these delegates, but so will Trump and Cruz.
Combined, the Trump and Cruz vote totals from these states and from the high threshold states will likely be so high that the small number of delegates these candidates might win in low or no threshold states will not matter much in the final outcome.
And then come the winner take all primaries beginning with Florida, Missouri, and Ohio on March 15th. These will deal the final deathblow to all other candidates (especially to Bush and Rubio should they lose Florida).
A by-product of forcing a two-way race at the outset is that the nominee will likely be known by March 16th. We will have a pretty clear idea of who will win by then.
------------- Richard "Dick" Morris is an American political author and commentator who previously worked as a pollster, political campaign consultant, and general political consultant. He has worked on both sides of politics for candidates and his articles can be found at DickMorris.com. Tags:Dick Morris, Commentary, DickMorris.com, Threshold Requirements, Force A Two-Way GOP Race, By March 1, 2016To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ann Coulter: We have never had total war against a candidate like we’re seeing with Donald Trump. All elements of national media are uniting to stop him.
Look for a fake Trump scandal to break — probably from a conservative news outlet — right before the Iowa caucus.
A few months ago, an alleged Trump quote from a 1998 People magazine interview was circulating on the Internet, claiming Trump said that if he ever ran for president, he’d run as a Republican because Republican voters are “the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up.”
I pay a lot for Nexis, and Trump has never said anything remotely resembling this. Snopes.com investigated, too, and also concluded the quote was a fake. But you can probably still find some idiot tweeting it out right now.
Last week, Glenn Beck “retweeted” a post allegedly tweeted by Trump the day after the 2012 election, saying: “I always vote for the winners! Congratulations to My Friend, @BarackObama!”
If that doesn’t sound like Trump, it’s because Trump never said it. Beck’s retweet sure made it look real, but you can check Trump’s Twitter archive.
All the stories about Trump being a fraud keep turning out to be the real frauds. I assume that, like most sentient beings, he’s changed his mind about some things. But the one consistent thread running through his entire life is his love for this country and his fellow Americans.
The attacks on Trump from the “conservative” media calling him a socialist, a Democrat, a flip-flopper, a fake conservative are just name-calling. I notice that the accusers never include examples, not true ones, anyway. Here are some examples of how Trump has always been for Americans first. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who likes us more than he likes foreigners — and the rich donors who employ them?
In 1986, Trump saw a TV broadcast with Annabell Hill, whose 67-year-old husband had committed suicide 20 minutes before their family farm was to be auctioned off in a foreclosure sale, hoping the life insurance money would be enough to save the farm. It wasn’t.
Trump immediately called Annabell, promising to save her farm and pledging $20,000 toward the effort. “Last night when he called, my heart went pitter patter,” Annabell told ABC’s World News Tonight. “I never talked with a man with that much money before. And he assured me that one day the land would be mine. I thought, after I hung up, ‘This can’t be true, this just can’t be true.'”
As Trump explained to The Atlanta Constitution at the time, “I’ve seen what’s happened to farmers, but I was particularly interested in a lovely woman I saw, Annabell Hill.”
Within a month of Trump’s launching a national campaign with two other businessmen to save Annabell’s farm, they had raised more than $100,000. One of the businessmen, Frank A. Argenbright Jr., said, “That is thanks totally to Mr. Trump and his organization. Most of the money has come from the New York area.”
By Christmas that year, Annabell and her entire family flew to New York to burn the mortgage in the lobby of Trump Towers and have Christmas dinner with the Trump family. The lovely Annabell said, “Well, we have a real celebration not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus but also to celebrate the goodness in men’s hearts.”
Thirty years ago, Trump wasn’t thinking about running for president. And yet, this is how he explained his campaign to save Annabell’s farm, as quoted by The Associated Press: “We give a lot of money to foreign countries that don’t give a damn about us, but we don’t help the American farmers.”
Two years later, Trump was interviewed by Larry King at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Please look up this interview — it’s fabulous.
Two things will be of particular interest. First, watch how Trump keeps circling back to praise Dan Quayle. King doesn’t even ask him about Quayle — a figure of media ridicule at the time because of his Midwest conservatism. It’s Trump who keeps doggedly bringing up Quayle, in order to say, he’s a “very impressive guy” who did “a great job — I don’t mean a good job, I mean a great job.”
Ann Coulter signs "Adios America!"
for ARRA News Service editor.
Second, Trump expressly rejects King’s characterization of him as an “Eastern Republican,” or a “Rockefeller Republican,” saying the people he does best with are “the taxi drivers and the workers.”
Trump’s business is real estate, and real estate can’t be outsourced. His flag is planted in this country. If America goes down, his empire goes down.
Conservative pundits keep assuring clueless viewers that Trump is not a “real Republican.” They seem not to grasp that most viewers are saying, That’s fantastic! Thanks for reminding me. (I look forward to conservative talk show hosts 20 years hence billing themselves as “Trump Republicans.”)
Looking at what the party has become, I certainly hope he’s not a “real Republican.” I know he’s a real American. Those used to be the same thing.
----------------- Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is AnnCoulter.com. She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council. Photo above. Tags:Ann Coulter, Liberal Media, Conservative Media, Unite Against Trump, Donald Trump, 2016 Presidential Campaign. GOP Primary Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Trump Staying PowerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
NSSF Addresses President Obama’s Lies About The Gun Industry
by Bob Owens: The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry’s trade association, purchased ad space in the Washington Post this morning to publish an open letter to President Obama.
It addresses Mr. Obama’s frankly duplicitous statements about the firearms industry.Dear Mr. President:
The men and women of America’s firearms and ammunition industry are profoundly disappointed by your statements that we stand in the way of improving public safety.
We are America’s gun safety experts, in the true meaning of that phrase. We provide the firearms to our nation’s military, law enforcement agencies and the civilian market for hunting, target shooting and self-defense.
Mr. President, we share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and enhancing the safety of our communities. We work toward that goal every day.
We launched our FixNICSSM initiative in 2013 to encourage the states to report all appropriate adjudicated mental health and criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We have succeeded in getting legislation passed in 16 states to help enable this outcome. We welcome your administration’s attention to this issue.
We are Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). Most firearm sales at gun shows and over the Internet are made by licensed retailers and currently receive background checks. We support further resources for staffing and increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more responsive.
We have long called for effective enforcement of the many laws already on the books covering the criminal misuse of firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this directive. Our industry’s “Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM” anti-straw purchasing program, 100 percent funded by the industry and run in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, would gain resonance through vigorous prosecutions of offenders.
Through “Project ChildSafe” and our manufacturers’ new-gun sales, the industry has distributed 100 million free gun locks. Run without any taxpayer assistance for seven years, Project ChildSafe’s effectiveness is recognized by its adoption by 15,000 law enforcement departments nationwide.
Our industry has never opposed development of “Smart Gun Technology.” We have serious concerns about the safety and advisability of the concepts involved. Accordingly, law enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to determine whether firearms with this technology “would be consistent with operational needs,” as your team points out. We oppose legal mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well-proven methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at 100-year low levels.
Our traditions are strongly held, underpinned by the constitutionally-protected lawful commerce in firearms. Our hundreds of thousands of employees, and the families that depend on them, are not your enemies, and we deeply resent being cast in that light.President Obama’s administration has long been dishonest about the root causes of violent crime, which are typically the result of poverty, desperation, gang activity, illegal drug dealing, and mental illness.
Despite collusion by this administration with the agenda-driven reporting of the mainstream media, the “gun violence epidemic” so regularly brought up by President Obama and other anti-gun politicians has been conclusively proven to be a lie.
FBI data shows that the nation currently has the lowest per capita murder rate in recorded history, and the lowest rate of accidental gun deaths in U.S. history, while total gun ownership and the total number of firearms in society are the highest they’ve ever been.
------------------ Bob Owens is the Editor of BearingArms.com. A long-time shooting enthusiast, he began blogging as a North Carolina native in New York. His personal blog is bob-owens.com, and he can be found on Twitter at @bob_owens. Tags:National Shooting Foundation, NSSF, Presidenr Obama, lies, Gun Industry, Bob Owens, Bearing ArmsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
A Tale Of Two Countries: What You Aren’t Being Told
Dr. Chuck Balwin
by Dr. Chuck Baldwin: Here are two factual cases involving two separate countries. The cases both begin similarly but have drastically different endings.
A foreign naval vessel is lumbering in international waters. It is flying a brand new 8’x5’ flag, which unmistakably identifies it as a major ally of the country whose coastline is nearest the ship. The ship’s markings are ten feet high on both sides. It is not a warship. It is an intelligence-gathering ship. For all intents and purposes, it is defenseless against any warship or attack aircraft having but four .50-calibre Browning machine guns without shrapnel shields as its only offensive weapons. On board are 286 souls.
Suddenly, and without provocation, the supposed “ally” nation attacks the ship with both warplanes and torpedo boats. For over an hour, the helpless ship is riddled with machine-gun fire, rockets, and torpedoes. Within moments, the ship is completely disabled. As it seems certain that the ship will sink, lifeboats are lowered, but the attacking torpedo boats immediately riddle the lifeboats with gunfire. Helicopters from the aggressive country carrying Special Forces troops hover over the ship, which is now listing at nine degrees. Clearly, the attacking country intends that no one survive.
The ship has no engines, no rudder, and no power. As the Special Forces soldiers from the attacking country are being positioned to launch their final assault, the ship’s Captain barks, “Standby to repel boarders.” One sailor yells, “They’ve come to finish us off.”
The only thing that saves that ship and those survivors that day is eight warplanes from a nearby aircraft carrier that had heard the initial “Mayday” cry from the ship. This caused the attacking country to withdraw. As it was, 34 of the ship’s officers and crew are killed and only a divine miracle and superhuman, Herculean effort from the sailors in the bowels of that steel graveyard keeps that ship afloat. When the attack first began, one general from the attacking country protested to his commanding officer saying, “This is pure murder.”
But what the country whose ship was attacked and whose men were killed did is most curious. It did NOTHING. In fact, the government of that country immediately declared that the attack had been a “mistake” and then proceeded to completely cover up what had happened. And to this day, the citizens of that country know almost nothing about what took place on that fateful day.
Two foreign military boats illegally enter the territorial waters of a nation. These boats represent a country that has declared the nation whose waters have been molested to be an enemy state. National leaders of the offending country have openly called for military action against the state--up to and including nuclear action. The offending nation is anything but an ally of the nation whose waters have been encroached.
The country whose waters have been compromised does what ANY country would do (including the offending country if the tables are reversed) if unauthorized foreign ships (especially military ships) encroach upon its territorial waters: it seizes the vessels. The country did NOT open fire on the sailors. No one was injured. After neutralizing the perceived threat and detaining the sailors, the country provides the sailors who had illegally entered their waters with a meal and then releases them and their boats unharmed.
But instead of being grateful for the way the offended nation had prevented what could have easily escalated into international hostilities, many of the leaders and media spokesmen from the country whose ships had illegally entered another nation’s territorial waters immediately accuse the offended nation of being the “aggressor” and use the incident to further enflame hatred against the alleged enemy state--including the incitement of war against it.
Case One was Israel’s murderous attack against the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967. Case Two was Iran’s incredibly-restrained handling of the U.S. naval vessels’ illegal incursion into its territorial waters not too many days ago.
The verbal attacks against Iran by U.S. politicians and dominate news media truly staggers the imagination. I think Pat Buchanan’s response to FOX News’ Sean Hannity was perfectly stated. After listening to Hannity’s senseless rant against Iran, Pat said, “Sean, you’re hysterical.” Hysterical seems to be the word that best describes most of what we are hearing today.
During a radio interview with Michael Berry, Ron Paul rightly observed, “I think there’s a distortion of the facts, for instance, we have learned and have been conditioned to distrust and hate the Persians and they’re going to kill us, just look at the conditioning we had for Saddam Hussein who used to be an ally and we gave him his first nuclear reactor. So, there is a lot of that that goes on, but there’s no history to show that Iran are aggressive people. When was the last time they invaded a country? Over two hundred years ago.”
ActivistPost.com accurately answers the question, “Is Iran a threat to the health and safety of U.S. citizens?” The report states:
“Iran has never attacked the United States, or even any of her interests overseas. In fact, they have not attacked or invaded anyone in at least 270 years. And they haven’t even threatened to harm the U.S. unless of course they are attacked first. . . . Iran is not an aggressor and certainly not a national emergency threat.”
The report goes on: “Even if they did [have a nuclear weapons program], why is that reason to attack them? Just having a weapon doesn’t make a country a threat. Plenty of countries have nuclear weapons and we don’t consider them a threat.”
The report continues: “Iran will not attack the West militarily with a nuclear weapon, or even conventionally, because they know they would be inviting their immediate destruction. Iran is a sophisticated secular society, much like Iraq was before America invaded. In fact, Iran has the third largest Jewish population in the world who live in harmony with Muslims and others. In other words, they have a lot to lose to invite war with anyone, and they know that any move viewed as aggression would be met with swift and overwhelming force. The West wants the world to believe their leadership is primitive and stupid, but they aren’t.
“Over 45 U.S. bases surround Iran. These bases are in addition to the fleets of U.S. warships parked in waters near Iran. A picture is worth a thousand words. Who’s the real threat here?”
Recall that even when many Arab nations were involved in the Six Day War with Israel back in 1967 (including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, etc.), Iran did NOT participate. And what most Americans do not know is that immediately following the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. (that Iran had nothing to do with), tens of thousands of Iranian citizens held demonstrations, candlelight vigils, and moments of silence in SUPPORT of the United States. (Do the research for yourself.) Americans would be shocked to know that the vast majority of average Iranians actually hold very favorable views of the United States. The “Death to America” rallies we hear so much about actually do NOT represent the views of the vast majority of the Iranian people--no more than the copious “We Are Change” pro-Obama rallies represent the views of a majority of the American people.
Plus, the oft-quoted threat by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “wipe Israel off the map” is in reality a complete fabrication of the Western news media.
The Iranian Foreign Minister tried to set the record straight--albeit most in the U.S. media continue to regurgitate the myth that Iran has threatened to militarily destroy Israel.
“Iran has no intention of destroying Israel and has actually saved the Jews three times in history, but the current Israeli regime is a threat to Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said in an interview with American media.
“Speaking with NBC, Zarif slamed [sic] the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, after he once again said in his Monday’s speech before the US Congress that Iran openly threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
“The Iranian FM urged Netanyahu to refresh his knowledge of history as his comments have not only ‘distort[ed] realities of today,’ but also go against the Bible and Jewish sacred texts.
“‘He even distorts his own scripture. If you read the book of Esther, you will see that it was the Iranian king who saved the Jews…’ Zarif said.
“The Iranian Minister called Netanyahu’s accusations ‘truly regrettable’ stressing that they refer to ‘an entire nation which has saved Jews three times.’
“‘It is truly, truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved Jews three times in its history: Once during that time of a prime minister who was trying to kill the Jews, and the king saved the Jews; again during the time of Cyrus the Great, where he saved the Jews from Babylon, and during the Second World War, where Iran saved the Jews,’ he said.
“‘We’re not about the annihilation of Jews,’ Zarif stressed, reminding the channel that 20,000 Jews reside in Iran ‘in peace’ and even have their own representative in parliament.
“‘We have a history of tolerance and cooperation and living together in coexistence with our own Jewish people, and with Jews everywhere in the world. If people want to espouse fear mongering to fan such hysteria in the world, that’s to their detriment,’ Zafir said.”
Had Case Two referenced above even remotely resembled Case One, we would be in the middle of World War III right now. Yet, President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. government allowed a foreign country to commit a flagrant act of military aggression against a U.S. naval vessel--killing dozens of American sailors and Marines in the process--with no repercussions whatsoever. It even chose to cover up the incident and pretend it never happened. Why? Because the attacking country was Israel--a supposed ally of the United States and a nation that our government often uses to do much of its dirty work in the Middle East. Not to mention the fact that the Israeli lobby is the most influential and wealthiest lobby in Washington, D.C.; or the fact that the false doctrine of “Christian Zionism” (what an oxymoron) literally governs the prevailing politics among a majority of America’s churches--especially the largest ones lead by politically-powerful televangelists; or that a majority of U.S. congressmen and senators are joined at the hip (and bank account) with the Israeli lobby.
In much the same way, the U.S. government has chosen to cover up the attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi. Why? Because the truth surrounding Benghazi would help expose what the U.S. government is really doing in the Middle East and would implicate our government’s role in facilitating terrorists.
It’s time for Americans to start facing the cold, harsh reality that our federal government cares absolutely NOTHING about the lives of American citizens. It didn’t give a hoot in hades about the victims of the USS Liberty, and it didn’t give a hoot in hades about Ambassador Chris Stevens and the others who died in Benghazi. But let Iran (a nation that poses absolutely no imminent threat to the United States) protect its own territorial waters (with no harm to any American citizen), and the national press corps and their neocon cohorts in Washington, D.C., are ready to start World War III.
This is all political theater, folks. It’s not about protecting the United States. It’s not about protecting the American people. It’s all about protecting the government’s hidden agendas and its own derriere.
------------- Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view.and is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News Service. Tags:Chuck Baldwin, tale of two countries, what you aren't being told, Iran, Israel, political theater To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Voters No Longer Accept Spoon-fed Political Noise Against Candidates Like Trump
by Herman Cain: Phenomenon. After seven TV interviews and four radio interviews in two days promoting the release of my new book, The Right Problems, I realized that many media people are still trying to understand why Donald Trump is still dominating the Republican presidential race. After all, establishment politicians and political pundits continue to say he can't win the nomination.
Really! Despite his style and tone that a lot of people don't like, there must be a lot of people participating in the polls who like him as a candidate. Granted, the voters haven't voted yet, but Trump has been at the top or near the top of every presidential poll since he announced his candidacy in June 2015.
It’s the Trump Phenomenon. It’s all about the qualities people perceive as in Trump. Leadership, fighter, and winner. Regular folks aren't asking about "specifics" like the establishment keep bringing up. They just want to feel proud about this nation's ability to fight and win. We have lost those qualities in the last seven years.
Other candidates also project these qualities to varying degrees, especially those candidates who are described as "outsider" candidates – especially Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who are also consistently among the top three in the latest polls.
Despite the negative attacks against each of them from various sources, they remain in the top tier in the polls. Even when they attack each other with spoon-fed media soundbites, they keep on trucking.
I'm starting to conclude that it's because all three have connected with the massive frustration of most voters with establishment politicians who continue to celebrate incremental establishment results. Yes, some of it is due to bitter political partisanship, but some Democrats are openly saying they are going from voting Democrat to voting Trump. They didn't say Republican. They are saying Trump. I've heard it on my radio show many times with my own ears!
These trends are not necessarily predictors of the final outcome of this presidential contest, but they defy conventional political wisdom. Good! Conventional political candidates who win have produced disappointing results for the people of this country for decades.
I'm also starting to conclude that voters are not swallowing the spoon-fed political noise against candidates like they use to. Just this morning, I saw three political attack ads against Marco Rubio for his missed votes in the Senate as a first-term senator. The ad never said he missed critical votes, which means that particular Super PAC was focusing on the wrong problem, which voters don't care about.
The next phase of this unpredictable presidential campaign season starts with the Iowa caucuses and the presidential primaries in February. There will probably be some more results that the media and the establishment can't explain using conventional establishment logic.
If that happens, get ready for an outsider Republican nominee, and an unconventional president! Wow!
That would be great!
------------ Herman Cain is a conservative radio host of CainTV, a 2012 GOP presidential primary candidate with over 40 years of experience in the private sector as an analyst for Coca-Cola, an executive at Pillsbury, a regional Vice President for Burger King, and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Cain served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a supervisory mathematician for the Dept. of the Navy. Tags:Herman Cain, conservative, radio host, CainTV, voters, political noise, against, candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
But I’m not so sure that it’s the side the Times opposes that “hears nothing.”
For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Congressional Research Service, the number of guns in America is up 50% over the past 25 years, and yet the number of gun crimes is down 50%. Now that’s a pretty big problem for the entire gun control argument, since it is based upon the unproved assumption that more guns necessitate more crime: how can there be more guns in more hands and yet not only is there not more crime, there’s actually dramatically less? We are actually at 100-year lows!
Crickets. I have yet to hear a liberal either acknowledge these facts or interact with them in any meaningful way.
Similarly, year after year, we see gun crime drop in states that pass concealed carry or open carry laws. We continue to see high rates in cities like Chicago with strict gun laws. Again, crickets.
And likewise, in the aftermath of San Bernardino, the President called for a host of “sensible gun control measures,” all of which were in fact the law in California already, and thus obviously failed to prevent anything. I have constantly been told by liberal friends that we “need to do more” things that have already been the law for years. They tend to show very little interest in facts like those in the charts above, regardless of the source (our government).
The President’s Town Hall “discussion” with Anderson Cooper was especially telling in this regard. Two highlights:
1. When asked a question by a woman who had been raped, who said it was important to her to have a gun to protect herself and her family, the President barely acknowledged her attack or said he was sorry for her trauma before talking down to her. He jumped right into explaining why, if she had a gun, she’d probably just shoot herself, or have her gun taken from her by the rapist. So first, he has the compassion of a rock, and arguably is a sexist; and second, the tiny chance of a “you’ll shoot your eye out” moment is certainly better than actually getting raped. And at the very least, if listening is the issue, it would make sense to listen to someone who’s actually been raped when you yourself have not been. But the President — to use the New York Times‘ words — “heard nothing.”
2. When Anderson Cooper asked a question about many Americans’ concerns — and when I say “many Americans” I include 100% of the Founding Fathers — that moves toward greater gun control would result in a greater risk of tyranny at some point, the President all-but shouted Cooper down: he got hostile, his body language got aggressive, he even called Cooper “Cooper,” not “Mr. Cooper” or “Anderson,” which was greatly out of character with his demeanor in the rest of the interview. He dismissed everyone who felt differently as a “conspiracy nut” and demanded that “Cooper” dismiss their concerns too. Key words: “demanded” and “dismiss.”
So forgive me if I think the New York Times is being (highly) disingenuous. There is no “listening” by the left regarding any of this. And there is particularly none regarding the chart I’m posting below, which calls into question virtually 100% of the basis for this debate. If a better armed populace empirically results in dramatically less crime over a 25 year period, and if in fact the periods of increased gun control and fewer guns saw much more gun crime in a much smaller population, then gun control is not about keeping people safe, but rather about enacting certain people’s personal preferences without regard to the actual results.
And I don’t see anyone on the left willing to listen to even the possibility of that.
Nearly 500,000 Foreigners Overstayed Their Visas Last Year. What That Means
by Josh Siegel: Almost 500,000 foreigners who traveled legally to the U.S. last year for business or leisure remained here after their visas expired, according to a long-awaited government study on one of the more undertold aspects of the country’s immigration story.
The Department of Homeland Security report, first requested by Congress in 1997, shows that 1.07 percent of the nearly 45 million foreigners who entered the country legally in 2015 overstayed their visas.
The report is limited in that it contains information only from travelers using certain visas and does not include data on others, like those coming here as students or temporary workers. It also includes information only on people who arrived by air or sea, and not foreigners who came by land.
Indeed, while experts warn of drawing conclusions from the report, since it includes only one year of data and can’t be compared to anything, the numbers relating to visa overstays —a population that represents an estimated 40 percent of the roughly 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally—will likely add to the nation’s tense debate over immigration.
“This is an area where Congress for 20 years has been asking for this information, and now we have a roadmap to determine what’s the best way to improve these numbers,” said Stewart Verdery, a senior Homeland Security official during George W. Bush’s administration, in an interview with The Daily Signal.
After receiving the report they sought, members of Congress expressed frustration at a weakness in the system described by the report: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of Homeland Security, does not have the ability to obtain biometric data—such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and iris scans—on people leaving the country.
“If we do not track and enforce departures, then we have open borders. It’s as simple as that,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who questioned Homeland Security officials at a hearing Wednesday put on by the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. “There is no border at all if don’t enforce our visa rules.”
The study sheds light on Homeland Security’s ongoing challenge to build an “entry-exit” system that can accurately track all people coming into and leaving the country.
Foreigners who apply to enter the U.S. on a visa are interviewed and photographed and have their fingerprints taken at a consulate overseas before arriving there. But collecting biometric data on those exiting the country is not as easy.
That’s because U.S. airports do not have exclusive areas for domestic and international flights, which makes it hard for Customs officers to screen out overseas travelers and get their information.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been undergoing tests to obtain biometric exit data, including one that began last year where officers use mobile devices to collect fingerprints from passengers at the departure gate. In addition, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City debuted facial-recognition technology this week.
Verdery, who worked on the entry and exit system at Homeland Security, said the challenge is finding a cost-effective method that does not inconvenience travelers.
“The question is, where do you collect the information? At the jetway? Via a kiosk after security? During the security check? At the airline counter?” Verdery said. “Where do you put them that doesn’t inconvenience travelers and is actually effective in making sure someone has left? None of the options are particularly great. And though the biometric equipment is very mature, there is also a manpower issue.”
At the Senate hearing, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he expected Homeland Security to come up with solutions after lawmakers, he said, provided $2 billion in a government spending bill this year for the exit-entry system.
“Knowing who is going in and coming out is a matter of national security, plain and simple,” Schumer said.
Similarly, Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies wonders how the government has not solidified its entry-exit system so many years after the 9/11 Commission recommended it as a tool against terrorism.
“The implementation on a better exit tracking system is more a lack of will than a lack of viable solutions,” Vaughan said. “It’s not something that can happen over night, but we can definitely do it. The problem is this is an unguarded gate, and it shows how our legal immigration system is being abused.”
Even if the government was better able to get better exit data, experts say, there would still be challenges to enforcing the law against those who have overstayed their visas.
“Even if you had a more precise entry-exit system and even if you are able to capture the exit information on everybody, that does not lead automatically to being able to conquer the problem of overstays,” said Doris Meissner, who leads the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute. “Because though the data tells you who’s left and who’s remained, you don’t know where those people are.”
Foreigners who enter the U.S. on visas do have to say where they are going, but there’s no stopping them from traveling elsewhere when they enter the country.
So the question for immigration enforcement officials becomes whether it makes sense to expend resources on finding people who have overstayed tourist or business visas, when those foreigners have already been screened before coming here.
“The question becomes how much of a problem from a standpoint of enforcement are these people as compared to people you know have committed a criminal act and are able to trace because they are being released from jails where they served their sentences,” Meissner said. “By definition, people here on visas are here as tourists, or they are visiting family or coming to a concert or cultural event. They are part of international mobility. So there has to be a real commonsense element to how you use data like these for enforcement purposes and what makes sense from a cost-effective standpoint.”
Verdery believes that the government can do more to deter visa overstays, by better notifying foreigners when they have been in the country too long and reminding them of the consequences of not leaving on time.
According to federal statute, foreigners who overstay their visas by 180 to 365 days before leaving cannot enter the U.S. again for three years.
Those who stayed more than a year too long can’t come here again for a decade.
The hope among experts is that having baseline overstay numbers provides the government incentive to improve.
“The Coast Guard is not expected to stop 99 percent of drugs, and the FBI is not expected to stop 99 percent of crime,” Verdery said. “I think Customs and Border Protection’s view is that 99 percent [of people not overstaying their visas] is a great start, but where can we find improvement knowing at some point you will reach a law of diminishing returns?”
------------- Josh Siegel (@JoshDailySignal) is a news reporter for Heritage Foundation's The Daily Signal. Tags:foreigners, over stayed visa, Josh Siegel, The Daily SignalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls. He may even beat Hillary Clinton in the first caucus and primary contests for the Democratic presidential nomination.
A cause for celebration! Witnessing a huge hunk of Americans accept Mrs. Clinton, the consummate and corrupt insider, is too disheartening.
Bernie Sanders, for all his faults, is at least not an insider like Hillary.
And even when he's obviously wrong, he's a breath of fresh atmosphere. Take his recent call for turning the credit ratings institutions into non-profits, or into government-run bureaus. It's good to hear someone on the left blame something other than the partial repeal of Glass-Steagall as the cause of the Crash of 2008, and (thus?) of the current "Great Recession." Glass-Steagall was utterly irrelevant to the institutions that were hit hardest in 2008's collapse; it has, nevertheless, served as leftists' idée fixe for years now. Embarrassing.
The ratings agencies, on the other hand, did play a part in the crash.
Still, remember: their prominence and importance (and very existence) in financial sectors rests entirely upon one provision of FDR's New Deal.
More importantly, Bernie's favored solution -- government bureaus -- is no solution at all. Europe's ratings system failed in 2008, too, as Mark A. Calabria has noted, and "it was the international financial regulators, not the rating agencies, who decided that Greek debt was 'risk-free.'"
Earth to Bernie: government regulatory failure is normal.
Calabria agrees that we need to have a political conversation about the ratings agencies, but insists it be "based on facts," not ideology.
I'm all for the facts, but ideologies are inevitable. And ideologies promoting Big Government inevitably fail.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Berating Bernie To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Most of the taxpayers who are subsidizing Tesla cars cannot afford to buy one. ~ Phil Kerpen
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: On January 19 Tesla’s general counsel Todd Maron participated in a panel discussion at the Federal Trade Commission on reforming the laws governing state automotive markets and casually made a jaw-dropping claim: “we make money from one thing: car sales and car sales alone.” The truth is exactly the opposite.
The company has always lost money on every vehicle sold, making its money by participating in government programs, most significantly by selling California Zero Emissions Vehicle credits. And declining oil prices have made the case for electric cars less connected to economic reality than ever.
Last year I laid out the case that Tesla is more in the business of harvesting prodigious subsidies from governments than in selling vehicles in an article at National Review.
A year later Tesla’s prospects for succeeding on actual economic merit look even dimmer. The price of oil has collapsed, and gasoline has followed it down from nearly four dollars a gallon to below two and headed towards one. As Charles Lane observed in the Washington Post, the market for electric cars – despite massive subsidies – has just not developed:
“Now the 2015 car-sale data are in; time to review the bidding. Americans bought a record 17.5 million passenger vehicles in the United States, of which 116,548 — 0.67 percent — were either plug-in hybrids or all-electrics, according to insideevs.com. That was about 6,500 fewer than in 2014.”Lane noted about Tesla specifically:“Tesla did sell 50,580 vehicles worldwide in 2015, just within the 50,000-to-52,000 range that Musk promised investors. Skeptics note, though, that this is a trivial percentage of the global market, and that Tesla’s achievements generally have taken longer than initially promised. Tesla owes its survival to subsidies from taxpayers, who are usually less well-heeled than its plutocratic customers; this Silicon Valley start-up has gotten $4.9 billion in state and federal support over the past decade, according to a May 30 Los Angeles Times report.”So when Tesla runs to the Federal Trade Commission asking them to up-end the automotive market claiming they make their money selling cars, we should be skeptical. When they suggest that their company, which exists only because of government, is a champion of the free market, we should push back. And when they claim, as they did as the same event that “it is imperative that gas powered cars get completely replaced by electric vehicles,” we should watch them very carefully – and hold onto our wallets.
------------------ Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, Tesla, Tesla cars, tells tales, subsidies, FTCTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Hillary Clinton, The Shadow Knows, FBI, Editorial Cartton, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
As we wrote at the time, this would be an abuse of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law — a law designed to go after organized crime, such as drug cartels and the Mafia.
Well, as the late, great New York Yankee Yogi Berra once quipped, “it’s déjà vu all over again.”
This time, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates (the nation’s largest abortion provider, which is government-subsidized) are now trying to use RICO to sue various individuals and organizations who helped expose the attempted sale of fetal body parts for cash by various Planned Parenthood employees. Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.
But rather than handle what’s actually on the video, Planned Parenthood is suing, claiming, among other things, that the undercover videographers violated RICO and federal wiretapping laws. This is an attempt to divert attention from the horrific and potentially illegal acts of Planned Parenthood.
As in the global warming case, this attempted use of RICO also raises serious First Amendment concerns—all the more so because this use of RICO is specifically targeting media activity.
This use of RICO could backfire, for multiple reasons.
First, this case brings to mind the RICO case of National Organization of Women v. Scheidler. There were multiple legal issues in that case, but it involved similar plaintiffs (a pro-abortion group, NOW) and defendants (anti-abortion protesters), and a similar set of facts (the use of RICO to intimidate pro-lifers engaged in fundamental First Amendment activity). After a 28-year legal saga and three trips to the Supreme Court, the pro-life group won over $60,000 from the pro-abortion group, NOW.
Planned Parenthood’s tactic and misuse of the RICO law could also backfire because its legal theory of RICO is incredibly broad and could harm all sorts of advocacy groups in the future.
The theory is that the videographers who caught Planned Parenthood red-handed violated RICO because they intended to harm Planned Parenthood’s business and because their video caused Planned Parenthood to have to spend money on security and other things. But if this legal theory were correct, RICO could apply to routine corporate intelligence and marketing decisions, or the undercover work done by reporters all over the country. CBS’ “60 Minutes” made its reputation with such work.
Often, private businesses choose where to locate a new store based on a desire to harm competitors. One restaurant chain might choose to park next door to a competitor not only to capture the consumers, but also to force the competitor to spend time and money responding to the new business threat. This is not to say that such harm to a business can’t count under RICO if there is other evidence of “racketeering activity,” and certainly, there is a point at which such behavior could might raise questions under the antitrust laws.
But simply causing economic harm to a business by doing something otherwise legal, such as exposing illegal action, cannot qualify under RICO. If it did, everyone from Fox News to MSNBC and other news outlets would be on the hook. PETA would be on the hook. So would a host of other advocacy groups.
It cannot possibly be that Planned Parenthood hopes to actually win the lawsuit. More likely, they hope to harass the whistleblowers, making this a perfect case for California’s anti-SLAPP law, at least with respect to the California state law claims.
Anti-SLAPP laws are intended to stop vexatious lawsuits of this type whose only intent is to shut up the other side. Another reason for Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit strategy may to be give friendly media outlets an ability to stop having to justify the unjustifiable conduct exposed in the videos and go on the offensive—”let’s not talk about the videos; let’s talk about how they obtained the footage!”
Hopefully the lawsuit will be quickly dismissed, and not drag on for 28 years!
--------------- Andrew R. Kloster (@ARKloster) is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, focusing on civil rights, the role of the federal courts and other constitutional issues. Tags:Planned Parenthood, abuses law, to stop dissent, RICO, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, law for organized crime, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., anti-SLAPP law, Andrew R. Kloster, Heritage FoundationTo 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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