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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, May 29, 2020

Minneapolis Burning Is No Justice for George

. . . The grossly destructive rage on display has nothing to do with rectifying a wrong.
by Douglas Andrews: When rioters burned South Central Los Angeles to the ground in 1992, they at least had the decency to wait for due process to run its course. No such luck, however, with the looters, anarchists, arsonists, thugs, and imported agitators currently running roughshod over South Minneapolis.

Thankfully, Minnesota’s largest city has so far been spared the death and destruction that visited LA nearly three decades ago. But things are far from quiet in the wake of George Floyd’s deeply disturbing death at the hands of four Minneapolis cops Monday night.

How bad is it? As the Associated Press reports, “Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S.”

It’s a sad sign of the times that our law-enforcement personnel and institutions are now the target of lawless behavior rather than a reliable force for putting it down. And it’s another sad sign that our mainstream media no longer refers to rioters as “rioters.” Instead, they opt for the more genteel “protesters.” As George Orwell himself put it, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”

Speaking of murder, we should focus for a moment on the cause of all this — namely, the indefensible actions of one Minneapolis cop and three cops-turned-bystanders. As Fox News reports, “Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer caught on camera kneeling on the neck of George Floyd as he gasped for air, has been the subject of 10 conduct complaints and three police shootings that led to no disciplinary action during his 19 years on the job.”

Suffice it to say that Chauvin’s record seems troubling enough without the help of Trump-deranged social-media sickos who couldn’t wait to begin circulating a fake photo of a man who looked like Chauvin wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat.

As for the lack of disciplinary action meted out against Chauvin over the years, it may well be that he conducted himself lawfully in every instance. Or it may be that the state’s top prosecutor was simply incompetent, or lacked sufficient fortitude, or both. That prosecutor’s name? Minnesota Senator and former Democrat presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, who’s rumored to be on the short (and getting shorter) list of Joe Biden’s potential running mates.

Biden has, of course, pledged to put a woman on the ticket — which would likely disqualify Reverend Al Sharpton, the race-baiting agitator of Tawana Brawley and Freddie’s Fashion Mart infamy who showed up in Minneapolis yesterday to foment a nationwide “We Can’t Breathe” movement.

Somehow lost on Sharpton (and the mainstream media) amid all the strife in Minneapolis, however, are the killing fields of Southside Chicago, which saw its deadliest Memorial Day weekend since 2015, and bloody Baltimore, which weighed in with seven shooting deaths of its own.

It’s understandable that, for the moment, Minneapolis is sucking all the oxygen out of press rooms around the country. But there’s still much to be said about the misplaced priorities of the Left, about the failure of Democrat leadership in our nation’s urban areas, and about the runaway death tolls in cities with the strictest gun-control laws in the land.

Perhaps it’s nothing that we haven’t already been saying for years.
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Douglas Andrews writes for the Patriot Post.

Tags: Douglas Andrews, The Patriot Post, Minneapolis Burning, Is No Justice, for George Floyd To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

George Soros Christians

by Mario Murillo: I want to show you a nasty comment someone posted concerning one of my blogs: “I honestly don’t understand how God-fearing Christians can defend this repugnant, amoral, adulterous, whoremonger, toddler of a President. Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, told His followers not to judge. And Trump’s cruelty knows no bounds. Locate your moral compass. It’s failing you right now.”

Let me point out how hypocritical it is for this person to say Jesus’ followers are “not to judge,” while this person proceeds to judge, condemn, and speak evil of the leader of our nation!

Here’s another nasty comment, “Total lies. Any real Christian would not support the evils and sins of this current President. Mario, you and your Fake ministry are all about the money, the root of the devil. You have sold your soul.”

These two comments were written by people who are infiltrators, who go on social media and pose as Christians. The reason they are doing this, is because the church is slowly and finally awakening. More and more believers including Black Americans and Hispanics are realizing that God has put Donald Trump in power for this very hour.
I promise you, those who made these comments are not believers, but infiltrators, who know some church lingo. Their goal is to rattle impressionable Christians. Don’t buy it! The Left is struggling to gain support among Christians. That is why they have resorted to these tactics. Their chief narrative is to bring up President Trump’s past.

Recently, I had a message passed on to me from a pastor. The note was from a concerned woman who eloquently, (a little too eloquently), described how dismayed she was by the lack of love among Trump supporters, and she added that the people of God had been fooled for following such a wicked leader. I don’t have space or time to show you how subtle and deceptive her message was. It shook some who read it.

Later, it was revealed that she was not a believer at all, but an activist from a local Islamic and Leftist consortium. She and others were being trained to insinuate their way into churches and social media, in order to spread anti-Trump lies.

It’s obvious that this is one of many attempts at creating distraction. They are trying to distract the church away from the nation-killing evil that is at the door. If we let voices like these fool us by shaming our faith, it spells doom for America. Trump, like him or hate him, is virtually the last firewall against the Satan inspired villainous policies of the Left.

Another even more subtle approach of these posers is to spread apathy by telling believers that political involvement shows they are guilty of not trusting God. Some of these deceivers say, “It’s all in God’s hands. Don’t interfere in His work”

Don’t believe them! And don’t you say you believe it is all in God’s hands while at the same time you oppose the solution He has sent. Trump isn’t our pastor, don’t ask him to do the job of the church. He is the wrecking ball sent to destroy those ideas that promote hatred for God, Israel, you, and your children.
Just look at the headlines. The Democrat controlled House voted to remove the phrase, “so help me God” from the oath taken by those sworn in to testify. New York legalized killing an unborn child right up to the moment of birth. Kamala Harris, presidential candidate for the Democrat Party, said she would abolish all private health insurance. According to Kaiser, that would wipe out coverage for 49% of Americans…not to mention throwing 500,000 people out of work. Ms. Harris, along with Corey Booker and every single Democrat candidate, also hates your God given right to defend yourself, and would abolish the Second Amendment of the Constitution, leaving an unarmed populace at the mercy of criminals and an all-powerful government. And by the way, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says, “The world is going to end in 12 years.”

The enemy doesn’t want you to see the disaster that is right now at our door. Satan wants you to fixate on Trump’s past so he can destroy your children’s future. The demonic engine that drives the Left, hides the Socialist world they want for your children and grandchildren.

They don’t want you to see how their Marxist-socialism will tax us into oblivion. Most of all, they don’t want you to see that they are everything they claim they are against.

Here’s how lies become truth: you call in “experts.” You speak your lie with a straight face. Devoid of facts, you command the audience to believe you. This is all easier when the media never challenges anything you say.
Trump is the racist? Take a deep breath and prepare for what history is going to conclude about many things in our time. They will say the events that excluded whites on campus were racist. That terms like ‘white privilege’—like any other categorical statement that includes a color—is itself racist. They will ask how a nation that elected a black man to its highest office for 8 eight years can be accused of being “systemically racist.”

By the way, this charge of racism is coming to you from the Party that owned all the slaves and that started the Klu Klux Klan.

History will ask the same thing about hate and violence. An agitated feminist told a black man to take off his MAGA hat “because it makes us fearful.” That’s a statement in search of a fact. You don’t see roving gangs of youth donning MAGA hats and assaulting people in the streets. What you do see is violent Antifa thugs wearing masks and assaulting those who wear those hats.

In fact, you see Nick Sandmann and the young men from Covington High school terrorized and falsely accused because they wore MAGA hats. The lives of these boys have been changed forever. They have been vilified. Their families have received death threats. They’ve been forced to hire an attorney to protect themselves from further slander. The Left is having a veritable field day of violence… and you are worried about Trump’s past?

Ponder the breathtaking hypocrisy and cruelty of Mueller and Comey. How they blatantly ignored the mountain of evidence of treason and obstruction against Hillary Clinton, but nit-pick trivia about Trump and the Russians. The crimes they claim Trump did—but that the Mueller Report proves he didn’t do—are the very ones Hillary did do. It is absolutely mindboggling!

Future thinkers will scratch their head at Leftists who excoriated Trump falsely and accused him of separating children from their parents at our borders, even as these evil liars celebrate that new law I mentioned above that allows a woman to dismember her child in the womb, and even kill her baby at the point of birth.
Questions burn in me:

The noise, smoke and mirrors of today’s propaganda machine, amazes me on so many levels. The Democrat Party’s hard left turn promises massive new spending. All the free stuff they intend to force on you will bankrupt a nation already drowning in massive debt. When the beast starts eating, do you really believe only the rich will be taxed? Your children will give up most of what they earn to the socialist machine that will hand it over to those who earn nothing. Why wouldn’t we try to stop this?

They know robots will soon replace millions of jobs. Why are they anxious to open our borders to millions of unskilled laborers? Is it because they need more potential Democrat voters?

In Iran, they just hung a person for being homosexual, but in the Leftist universe it is the Christians, not the radical Muslims, are the real moral bigots. And you worry about standing with Trump?

I could go on forever, and no doubt you could throw in some real zingers I have overlooked. But I need to get to the point I wish to make: you need to take a look at the Left—they can destroy America—and if they are allowed to go on unopposed, they will. What do you think Trump is trying to stop?

We must not look the other way and ignore the doom the Left spells for all we hold sacred. Don’t ignore the changes that have occurred in this man since he began running for President. Most of all don’t let infiltrators posing as Christians dredge up Trump’s past. It is evident to many who knew him that he is not the same man. Don’t join those who hate him—continue to pray for him! (1 Tim. 2:2).

Your children’s future is far more important than Trump’s past.
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Mario Murillo is an evangelist Mario Murillo, minister, blogger.

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College Finances

by Kerby Anderson: Many colleges in America face a bleak financial future. They may have survived campus riots and protests in the past, but they may not weather the financial challenges they will face starting this fall.

The virus pandemic has already altered university education, and that trend is likely to continue for the near future. College campuses are empty as more and more students are learning over the Internet. When colleges open again, will all of the 20 million college students return to the campus? A sizable number of those students may decide to take a year off rather than pay nearly $50,000 a year to take a limited number of classes online. Some colleges have indicated that they might not open in the fall.

Either or both of those scenarios could spell financial disaster for colleges. Charles Fain Lehman explains in a recent column that universities have four sources of income: tuition, public funding, on-campus fees, and endowments. Tuition income drops when students decide to take a break from college. Fewer students impact on-campus fees like housing and food service. And financially strapped states may not be able to provide as much public funding for colleges.

A few select universities will benefit from the generous endowments they have put away. Those funds are not equally distributed. One expert estimated that half of the value of all college endowments is held by just 3 percent of the schools.

Small liberal arts colleges might not have survived even without the current economic downturn. This will merely accelerate their departure. But even the state schools will face an uncertain future. If these colleges experience a 20 to 30 percent drop in revenue, many of them will face a financial crisis. We will see a significant change in the college landscape over the next few years.
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Kerby Anderson @KerbyAnderson) is an author, lecturer, visiting professor and radio host and contributor on nationally syndicated Point of View and the "Probe" radio programs.

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FBI Document That Started Russia Investigation Shows . . .

. . . It Was Always An Investigation Of Trump, Not Russia
by Robert Romano: The originating document of the supposed Russia investigation by former FBI agent Peter Strzok, dated July 31, 2016, shows that the investigation was always about investigating then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign, not Russia.

The document, heavily redacted, was obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act request.

It alleged that the Russian government “had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President. One of the people identified was George Papadopolous (although public media sources provide a spelling of Papadopoulos), who was believed to be one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers.”

The hook was Papadopoulos, but not to look into Russia. In his final tweet before heading to prison on a false statement process crime, Papadopoulos on Nov. 26, 2018 posted on Twitter, “Still can’t believe the day I am going to a federal prison camp, mainstream media says am going for my Russia contacts. I have never met a single Russian official in my life. I have, however, met many western intel sources — Joseph Mifsud — who people still call ‘Russian.’ Facts. USA…”

Here, Papadopoulos was alleging that Mifsud — and everyone who he introduced Papadopoulos to — were not Russian officials but “decoys” orchestrated by Western intelligence agencies.

So, was it a sting operation?

According to the statement of offense by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in March 2016 and while in Italy, Papadopoulos met Mifsud, based in London who “claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials.” Soon, Papadopoulos was introduced to Vladimir Putin’s “niece” — Putin has no niece — to supposedly set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

On April 26, 2016, Papadopoulos was told by Mifsud, per Mueller, that “the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos, as defendant Papadopoulos later described to the FBI, that ‘They [the Russians] have dirt on her’; ‘the Russians had emails of Clinton’; ‘they have thousands of emails.’”

Papadopoulos has since said he thought the emails were not DNC or John Podesta emails that appeared on Wikileaks, but from Hillary Clinton’s private server. That is, that it was possible Russia had hacked the Clinton server. No emails were ever delivered to Papadopoulos.

Here’s the thing. In Mueller’s own filings, he never said that Papadopoulos’ contacts were Russian intelligence operatives. All statements included qualifiers.

Mifsud, according to Mueller, “claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials.” On Putin’s “niece,” Papadopoulos “believed that she had connections to Russian government officials…” Or, Papadopoulos was introduced to “an individual in Moscow … who told defendant Papadopoulos he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Nowhere does the statement of offense by Mueller does he definitively confirm these contacts actually had the Russian connections they were purporting. Yet, on July 31, Strzok was convinced that the Russians were “seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President.”

This makes what really happened with Papadopoulos front and center in determining if the Trump-Russia investigation ever was about investigating Russia. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like it was an attempt to frame Trump for crimes he never committed. That’s Soviet-style banana republic show trials, not America.
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: FBI Document, That Started Russia Investigation, Shows It Was Always, An Investigation, of Trump, Not Russia To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

It's Not Up To Big Tech to Decide What's True

by Daniel Greenfield: Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all engaged in political censorship. But Twitter went into the lion's den by stuffing Dem talking points into a Trump tweet under the guise of a fact check. (That is essentially what fact checks are, authorization for Democrat media outlets and partners to determine what can be said and what the facts are.) Facebook's Zuckerberg took pains to distinguish himself from Twitter's Dorsey.

Unlike Dorsey, Zuckerberg has been careful to reach out to conservatives, which doesn't change his politics a whit, but he understands that he's riding the tiger, with Democrats pressing for a Facebook crackdown for not censoring conservatives, and Republicans pushing for a crackdown on Facebook for doing so. I'm not a fan of Zuckerberg, as some of my recent articles make clear, but he's also in an impossible situation.

Facebook has looked for some sort of ambiguous middle ground, with a bit of fact checking, without giving them too much power, creating a censorship supreme court full of lefties, but throwing in one conservative, all the while making it unclear how much power who really has.

But Facebook has a business strategy. Twitter is a trainwreck that happened to become popular and is the disease of American politics. Jack Dorsey made a point of virtue signaling over political ads, getting deeper into bed with lefties, while having no consistent program. Zuckerberg pursues a strategic ambiguity, while Dorsey is just incompetent. That made the events which triggered the White House's 230 draft order inevitable. But it was always inevitable anyway. Too few Big Tech companies have too much power, no limits, and lots of political pressure.

And that takes us back to the whole platform question.

Congress made a mistake with Section 230 and needs to fix it. But the CDA of which 230 was just one of many numbers was long since trashed by judges. The old services, like Compuserve, were platforms. The rise of all-encompassing 'bulletin boards' like Facebook have posed a new challenge. So has Google's effective total control over internet search.

Platforms can take down content that fails to meet clear guidelines and is applied objectively. For example, they can remove nudity. The standards for that are pretty clear. They can remove death threats, offers to sell drugs, child and animal abuse, etc.. There can be complexities in that regard, but it's quite possible to define standards.

Removing things that aren't true isn't the business of platforms. Zuckerberg is correct in that, even if he doesn't really live by it. Outsourcing the job of determining truth to partisan fact checkers just makes the behavior of Big Tech platforms more damning. There's really no way to have truly objective fact checking of political speech in our society. And no one has tried to make that happen. Nor is such an effort healthy anyway.

The public square is for debates about what's true.

When Big Tech starts trying to determine that, there's no debate, no speech, and no public square. Just one point of view.

Platforms which start censoring political speech based on a partisan 'fact checking' agenda are acting as publishers. All the pearl clutching about protecting standards comes down to platforms acting as publishers. If Twitter or Facebook don't want to have "bad information" on their sites that they don't agree with, they're publishers and they should own that status.

Beyond the immediate need to break up Google, Facebook, Amazon, the Big Tech monopolies, all the debate over Section 230 makes it all the more obvious that we need to update our legal understanding of platforms to what the internet looks like today, not during the Clinton era.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Not Up To Big Tech, to Decide What's True, Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Plague in a Time of Partisanship

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: America faces a contagious infection: partisanship. Consider the responses to a poll question about treating the COVID-19 virus with the long-approved and widely used drug hydroxychloroquine.

A Morning Consult poll shows 52% of Republicans supporting the drug and 16% against. At the same time and in the same country, 56% of Democrats opposed it, and 13% were in favor.

You can be reasonably sure that 99% of these respondents had never heard of COVID-19 and/or hydroxychloroquine on New Year's Day 2020.

Their opinions are obviously responses to President Donald Trump's statements that the drug might be useful in treating the virus. There's evidence for and against that but no definitive scientific consensus. Nonetheless, two-thirds of Americans have formed strongly held opinions.

Partisan views are perhaps strengthened because there's a correlation between the impact of the virus and voting behavior. COVID-19 infections and deaths have been concentrated in heavily Democratic million-plus metro areas. Its greatest incidence, by far, has been in the overwhelmingly Democratic New York City metro area. It's had little incidence, apart from in nursing homes, prisons and meatpacking plants, outside these large metro areas, and most of the outer areas voted heavily for Donald Trump.

That coincidence has pushed some partisans into positions at odds with what have been taken as their basic inclinations. Social scientists have long claimed, on the basis of dubious research, that political liberals are more open to new experiences and political conservatives more risk-averse. But it's Democratic governors, by and large, who have imposed restrictive lockdowns and leaned against what they regard as overly risky reopenings.

In doing so, they've taken a narrow, one-dimensional view of risk: that people might die or be seriously injured by COVID-19. They've tended to ignore the public health risks of continuing lockdowns, which include "deaths of despair" from depression and suicide, and cancers and cardiac conditions left undetected because of canceled tests and procedures.

Democrats defending continued lockdowns like to say they're valuing lives over dollars. Or, as the headline over a Paul Krugman column in The New York Times puts it, "How Many Will Die for the Dow?"

But as Krugman surely knows, the Dow has been recovering pretty smartly lately, and there's a large overlap between stock owners and those who have been able to work at home and continue drawing salary checks. They tend to be affluent college graduates, a group that has been increasingly Democratic and anti-Trump.

Those whose jobs and paychecks have suddenly disappeared tend to be blue-collar and service workers. They were starting to see above-average income gains during the Trump years, only to have these gains instantly wiped out. Historically, they were a Democratic constituency. Now they're seen as "deplorables" trending Republican. They may have noticed that risks from the virus are lower than predicted (except for the elderly) and less than the health and economic costs of continued lockdowns.

There's a symmetry between the partisan differences in opinion on the COVID-19 virus and the partisan differences in perception of Trump's supposed collusion with Russia.

Recent declassifications and the government's confession of error in the Michael Flynn case have made it clear that leading members of former President Barack Obama's administration violated longstanding norms by deploying intelligence and law enforcement agencies against the Trump campaign and to undermine the Trump administration.

The pretexts for these actions -- unverified allegations in the Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign, supposedly suspicious behavior by minor Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos -- now seem pathetically weak. Former special counsel Robert Mueller's partisan prosecutor team, with unlimited funds and a cooperative press, uncovered no evidence. "They found nothing," Trump recently and with uncharacteristic accuracy told interviewer Sharyl Attkisson. "No collusion."

Democrats complain with justice that Trump often violates longstanding norms of political behavior. But it's increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that leading members of the Obama administration, and perhaps Obama himself, abandoned the norm of legitimizing the peaceful and orderly transition of power, which goes back to John Adams in 1801 and was followed, grudgingly but faithfully, by Richard Nixon in 1960 and Al Gore in 2000.

The collapse of the Russia-collusion charge seems to have made little impression on partisan opinion. Republican voters never gave it significant credence. Pulitzer prizes were lavished on New York Times and Washington Post reporters for their credulous coverage. Meanwhile, Democrats still make barbed comments and lame jokes about how Russia stole the 2016 election, and partisanship infects legitimate debate about how to deal with a virus whose character and behavior is only beginning to be understood.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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A Fatal Failing of Establishment Elites

by Patrick Buchanan: Biden’s gaffe and Burchard’s slur have this in common: Both manifest a measure of condescension toward a large bloc of voters. Hillary Clinton did something similar in 2016…

In his half-century in national politics, Joe Biden has committed more than his fair share of gaffes. Wednesday, he confused Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, with D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The more serious recent gaffe, a beaut, came at the close of a recent contentious interview with black activist Charlamagne tha God.

A miffed Biden signed off, saying, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Biden was saying that no self-respecting black American would vote for Trump over him this November. Indeed, any such individual would have been labeled in the 1960s with the slur Uncle Tom.

As Biden put it, if you’re for Trump, “you ain’t black.”

Recognizing the damage he may have done with his own and his party’s most loyal constituency, which might object to being taken for granted as knee-jerk Democratic voters, Biden’s staff put in a hasty call to a gathering of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

There, Biden burbled full apologies: “I would never take the African American community for granted. … I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” He had just been kidding.

Now, as a gaffe, this was not of the magnitude of James G. Blaine’s failure to object when a friendly Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Sam Burchard, rose to disparage the New York Irish Blaine had been courting as being “the Party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.”

In 1884, that slur soured Catholics on Blaine, helping to cost him New York’s state’s electoral votes and the White House. Thanks to Burchard, Grover Cleveland would become the only Democrat to win the presidency in the half-century between 1860 and 1912.

Biden’s gaffe and Burchard’s slur have this in common: Both manifest a measure of condescension toward a large bloc of voters.

Hillary Clinton did something similar in 2016.

At a closed-door gathering of contributors, she volunteered, to their amusement, that half of all Trump’s voters belong in a “basket of deplorables” for being “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

Their pathologies are part of their character, Clinton was saying. And while many were “irredeemable,” fortunately, they are “not America.”

During the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama was guilty of the same elitist condescension when he told a San Francisco gathering of gay right advocates why he was not doing well in the Keystone State:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Hard times have curdled the character of these folks, Obama was saying, turning them into bigots and Bible-and-gun nuts.

The people of whom he was speaking would deliver Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and the nation to Donald Trump in 2016.

As for Biden’s remark, “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background,” it is surely true.

But while not mandatory to support someone of the same race, ethnicity gender or faith, it is naive to deny that identity and tribalism are realities in the politics of this nation.

Was it not the possibility that he could become the first Catholic president why JFK won four of five Catholic votes in 1960?

Was the 95-4 thumping of John McCain by Obama among African Americans not due to the fact that Obama was the first African American nominated by a major party?

Much of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign focused on “shattering the glass ceiling.” Did not Clinton see her gender as a primary political asset in winning “the women’s vote”?

And, what, other than a naked appeal to gender, was behind Biden’s declaration during the primaries that, in picking a running mate, he would exclude all white men, indeed, all men, and select a woman? And what, other than an appeal to black and female voters was behind Biden’s pledge to name a black woman to the Supreme Court?

Biden is now under pressure to choose not only a woman, but a woman of color, an African American, such as Sen. Kamala Harris of California or Georgia activist Stacey Abrams as his running mate.

It tells us something about where American politics is going that, to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency, Biden, a white male vice president, like all his predecessors, has now ruled out any white man in selecting his own vice president.

Biden’s message to Middle America:

This may have been your country, but no more. Get used to it. Which might explain why Trump did so well with white men in 2016.
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Fatal Failing, Establishment Elites To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Man in Full - Dan Crenshaw’s Inspiring Story

by Bruce Bawer: I guess I became aware of Dan Crenshaw, the freshman congressman from Texas, when most other Americans did. Three days before the 2018 election, Saturday Night Live aired a “Weekend Update” segment on which cast member Pete Davidson mocked a few House candidates. Among them was Crenshaw, whom Davidson described as looking “like a hitman in a porno” – the purported joke being that Crenshaw wears an eyepatch. Davidson tagged his jest by saying: “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in a war…or whatever.”

Indeed, Crenshaw was a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan, where, on June 15, 2012, a Taliban bomb severely damaged both of his eyes. Although doctors expected him to be totally blind, surgeons at Walter Reed managed – miraculously – to save his left eye.

Davidson’s tin-eared dig at Crenshaw made headlines around the world – that’s why I heard about it (I haven’t watched SNL in years) – and sparked outrage. There were calls for him to be fired. But Crenshaw didn’t join in the pile-on. Instead, on the following Saturday, after he’d won his election, Crenshaw appeared on SNL, graciously accepted an apology from Davidson, and read a few gags at Davidson’s expense.

That display of class and good humor was impressive. During the year and a half since, Crenshaw has become a familiar face on cable news, and he’s been consistently impressive there, too – articulate, unflappable, and very, very smart. Hence I expected Crenshaw’s new book, Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage to be a worthwhile read.

It is. But it’s more than that. It’s a serious, intelligent meditation on a culture in which victimhood is so highly prized that we’ve made an art out of taking offense – discovering racism and sexism everywhere, waging campaigns of personal destruction on the slightest of pretexts, and perpetrating ridiculous hoaxes à la Jussie Smollett. In such a climate, it was only to be expected that after Pete Davidson told that dumb joke, there would be calls for his head.

Not that Davidson was ever in any real danger of losing his job. After all, Crenshaw’s a Republican. Generally, you can get away with insulting, and even libeling, somebody on the right. But offend the left and your career may be over. Indeed, as Crenshaw points out, not long after his cozy SNL appearance, a newly hired SNL cast member turned out to have used supposedly offensive terms about Asians and gays on a comedy podcast, and NBC kicked him promptly and unceremoniously to the curb.

In any event, one thing’s clear: for many leftists, easily triggered outrage is a virtue. Crenshaw recalls seeing a group of protesters outside of the Capitol with signs reading “Stay Outraged.” About what? Anything and everything, apparently. Another time, inside the same building, three of his House colleagues “held aloft a T-shirt that said, IF YOU’RE NOT OUTRAGED THEN YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.”

Crenshaw doesn’t like any of this. In his view, when millions of Americans are capable of being devastated (or are willing to pretend to be devastated) by some offhand remark, and are, moreover, prepared to go nuclear on those who’ve offended them, that’s not good for any of the parties involved, and it’s not good for America, either. Crenshaw approvingly quotes Thomas Sowell’s observation that “we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.”

And almost none of that complaining makes sense, anyway, given that, as Crenshaw points out, we live in “the best time to be alive, period.” Of course, even more absurd is that the people who have it best of all tend to be the touchiest. Crenshaw reminds us that “students at Oxford University voted to replace clapping with ‘jazz hands’ because clapping could, in their words, trigger anxiety.’”

How can this be? Crenshaw’s answer: “today’s society…is swelling with the wrong role models.” Not a new observation, needless to say, but Crenshaw’s approach to the topic – and to the question of whom young Americans should look up to – is fresh, smart, and incisive. Citing sources that range from Dostoevsky, Seneca, Jung, Aristotle, and Marcus Aurelius to the movie Patton, the cable series Game of Thrones, and not least (well, yes, actually least) the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, Crenshaw makes an argument, as Tom Wolfe did in his novel A Man in Full, for the inestimable civilizational value of Stoicism, the third-century B.C. philosophical school that exalts reason, self-control, and fatalism. “Our culture,” Crenshaw writes, “has begun to confuse passion with substance, reward the loudest and angriest voices, and thus incentivize behavior wholly at odds with Stoic wisdom.”

To be sure, Crenshaw readily admits that he himself is capable of getting unreasonably worked up about minor irritations, such as bad Wi-Fi on airplanes. But when this happens, he says, he recalls his ancestor Sarah Howard, who at age sixteen crossed the frontier on foot with the goal of settling in Texas – a weeks-long ordeal during which “she had a run-in with Comanches that resulted in the death of her husband,” then experienced the deaths, “in similar circumstances,” of her second husband and infant child, and finally underwent an Indian captivity from which she “miraculously escaped.” Crenshaw adds: “And here I am, complaining about the Wi-Fi.”

It’s all, he says, about putting things into perspective: “A healthy sense of perspective is an antidote to outrage. It is an antidote to self-pity, despair, and weakness.”

Another woman who helped give Crenshaw a sense of perspective was his mother, who, after a painful five-year struggle with breast cancer, died when he was ten – a torment she faced throughout “with endurance, grace, and optimism.” In the difficult days after his bomb injury, he thought of his mother: “I wasn’t about to let some cheap-ass IED in the ancient killing fields of Afghanistan render me unworthy of her memory.”

For good measure, Crenshaw also holds up as role models the local interpreters whom he calls “the unsung heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They often suffer threats and ostracism for their willingness to endure the battlefield alongside us. Their motivation isn’t money; there isn’t enough money to make it worthwhile facing down insurgents who know where you and your family live. They are idealists. They work and risk death because they believe in our common cause of freedom.”

How did Crenshaw end up as a Navy SEAL? At thirteen he read Rogue Warrior (1992), the autobiography of Dick Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team SIX, and, just like that, decided to become a SEAL. He never wavered in his pursuit of that objective, although the road was hard. Along the way, he put together a pretty impressive résumé. Before joining the Navy, he studied international relations and physics (!) at Tufts University; after losing his eye – and thus his Navy career (he’s still palpably angry at the military brass for jettisoning him) – he earned a master’s at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

No, this is no ordinary politician – and no ordinary political autobiography, either. I confess that un-Stoic tears filled my eyes several times while reading it. Yes, I was moved by Crenshaw’s account of his mother’s fortitude and by his own grit in the face of his eye injury. But I was also moved by the idea that the United States Congress – a body crammed with fools and scoundrels – has at least one member who’s served his country as bravely and selflessly as Crenshaw has done and who possesses the hard-won wisdom and decency of character to write a book like this.

Many of us who consider Donald Trump a vitally necessary world-historical figure have wondered where to turn after his eight years are up. We’ve worried that it will be a case of après lui, le déluge. Could Crenshaw – whose career I find myself following with growing interest, respect, and admiration – fill Trump’s shoes? Increasingly, the idea seems appealing. So far I, for one, can see few other satisfactory candidates.
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Bruce Bauer is a Shillman Fellow at David Horowitz Freedom Center and writes for FrontPage Mag.

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Unmasking . . .

. . . Press Secretary McEnany hammers the press corp into submission and exposing them as the Democrat hacks they are.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Why We Need to Reemphasize America’s Founding Principles in Civics Education

by Katie Gorka: We have a serious problem in this country with civics education and history.

Not only are there widespread efforts to undermine the country’s founding principles, such as Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” but the prevalence of civics and history as subjects in schools has declined.

In a recent conversation, Angela Sailor, vice president of The Heritage Foundation’s Feulner Institute, pointed out that multiple surveys show a negative trend in civic literacy.


Fewer Americans think that our nation is the best place of hope, opportunity, and community. That loss of confidence threatens the sanctity of the American ideal, and its validity and relevance to our self-governing republic.

How do we restore knowledge and understanding of America’s founding values and principles?

Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, said the driving force behind the establishment of public schools in America was exactly that—to cultivate civic knowledge and values.

Horace Mann, a leading advocate of public education in the mid-1800s, when America was still a young nation, said that a republic whose citizens were uneducated would be like an insane asylum. He believed that public education was essential to cultivating civic virtue and character in students.

That was the primary driver of taxpayer-funded public schools.

But today, the data suggests that our schools are not fulfilling that critical purpose. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s report card, recently released its assessment results, which show that only 24% of eighth-grade students performed proficiently on the civics exam.

Those results point to an evident crisis.

Jeff Sikkenga, executive director of the Ashland, Ohio-based Ashbrook Center, which seeks to strengthen constitutional self-government, says that this is a crisis both of knowledge and a personal devotion to our nation.

“When we ask students whether they believe America is a good country or not, we find some disappointing answers,” he said.

Sikkenga said it is not merely that students do not know particular facts, but that “they do not have a deep understanding of what is right and true and good and beautiful about America.”

Part of the challenge is that America’s history is not all right and true and good and beautiful. Slavery, racism, and racial segregation are major blemishes in our history, and are far from the only ones.

The promises of liberty and equality for all are at the heart of our nation, but as David Bobb, president of the Bill of Rights Institute, said, we have not always lived up to those promises.

Nonetheless, those promises, found in the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence, are what Gen. George Washington fought for, and Americans have continued to fight for over the decades and centuries.

They are still not fully realized, but that is what civic education can do: Civics can equip young people—indeed, all Americans—to say we share in those promises, and we will not give up on them.

As a nation, we must be more intentional about reaffirming, illuminating, explaining, and disseminating the founding principles of freedom and individual liberty in compelling ways to prompt the next generation to safeguard our republic for generations to come.

That means going beyond the rudiments of civics. We must teach the next generations a deeper understanding of why our Founders risked their lives for the right to govern themselves, why they believed a Constitution and the Bill of Rights were necessary, and why they committed to equality for all, but then failed to codify that in the Constitution.

Sailor, Burke, Sikkenga, and Bobb all agree that the solution lies in education, and in particular, in a return to primary sources.

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other key documents from our founding are easy to read in their original form. The ideas in the founding documents speak for themselves.

We must enable students to learn from the Founders themselves what is right, true, good, and beautiful about America.

To watch the full discussion, “Teaching American Exceptionalism and Overcoming Impediments to Teaching the History We Need,” click here.
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Katharine Gorka (@GorkaKatie) is director for civil society and the American dialogue with the Edwin J. Feulner Institute at The Heritage Foundation.

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The Media Wants America to Stay Closed Forever

by Daniel Greenfield: CNN doubled its audience in April, while MSNBC hit its best total-day ratings. Network news programs rose 39% since last year, gaining over 8 million viewers for their best numbers in over a decade. Cable news networks have become the most watched channels on cable and network news has been beating prime time programming. The pandemic is the next best thing to Walter Cronkite rising from the dead.

The New York Times is up to 6 million subscribers with an increase of 587,000 digital subscriptions that it attributes to "widespread interest in news of the coronavirus pandemic". Last year the paper was struggling to make it to 5 million subscribers. Digital subscriptions are up across the industry. Digital subscriptions rose 29% at the Dallas Morning News, 17% at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and the Poynter-FactCheck's Tampa Bay Times boasted of tripling the rate of digital subscriptions.

(That didn’t stop the Tampa Bay Times from getting an SBA loan at the expense of small businesses.)

With 87% of Americans saying that they’re closely following news of the coronavirus pandemic, while many of them are trapped indoors, the media is experiencing an unprecedented boom. And with millions of kids out of school, it’s even begun launching new ventures to exploit the pandemic like NBC News' coronavirus newscast for kids. It’s a terrible time for Americans, but a great one for the media.

The only thing that could rain on the media’s pandemic parade would be the country reopening.

A Captive Audience
Right now, the media has the American public right where it wants it, trapped indoors, and closely following whatever combination of reporting, propaganda, and lies it chooses to feed to them.

And the polls show that it’s working.

Most of the country is afraid. A not insignificant percentage of the electorate is convinced that it will die if its cohort leaves the house without a mask, and would like to keep receiving government checks forever. Media hysteria not only trashed the economy, but sold millions on the socialist lifestyle.

After the Russia hoax, a botched impeachment, and more hit pieces than even historians will be able to count, the media is achieving its grand ideological goal of endangering President Trump’s reelection.

All the media had to do was scare the public within an inch of its life into crawling under the bed.

To quote the nation's first Republican president, "you may fool people for a time; you can fool a part of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” That’s always been the problem with the media’s business model. It has a core audience that it can fool all the time. But it can’t have any real power unless it reaches beyond the urbanites and suburbanites concentrated in a few blue areas.

As the warmer weather swept in, social distancing began to collapse, accelerating reopenings in red states, and putting pressure on blue states to step up. Even New York and California have been forced to move up their timetables while struggling with the crowds headed to the beach or socializing in parks.

Every state has now moved toward lifting their lockdowns to one degree or another.

And the people aren’t waiting for the politicians to act. The median distance people have been traveling, based on cell phone data, doubled from half a mile to a mile. The shutdown is being shut down.

Now it’s the media’s turn to be afraid.

The Atlantic condemned Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen Georgia as an "experiment in human sacrifice". But, Coronavirus cases have dropped 20% since the reopening. So, the media has doubled down on its false claims by spinning conspiracy theories about the Georgia and Florida numbers.

After a Florida state employee who had been inputting numbers into the state’s virus dashboard was fired, the media insisted that she had been silenced for refusing to cover up the “real” numbers. The media neglected to mention that she had been arrested for cyber-stalking and revenge porn.

It has since moved on to suggesting a cover-up at the CDC.

In a matter of weeks, the media has gone from urging evidence-based policymaking that follows the numbers, to telling its viewers, listeners, and readers to ignore the numbers because it’s a conspiracy.

They’re out to get you… out of the house. And away from your TV.

CNN has taken the lead in spinning conspiracies about Georgia, Florida, and the CDC, while failing to disclose to its viewers and readers that it has a major vested interest in maintaining the lockdown.

Politicians have wrongly deemed the media to be non-essential. That means that CNN can remain in business while calling for lockdowns of countless small businesses and forced unemployment for millions even as its ratings soar because all the people it put out of work are at home watching TV.

Beyond the ideological conflict of interest, CNN has a huge economic conflict of interest.

So does the rest of the media. The lockdowns are a form of economic discrimination that structurally benefits the media, freeing it to produce original programming while most television and film production has been shut down. Now the nerds at the news desk are able to beat everything else. All they had to do was make sure that not a single professional sports league was still playing in the USA.

If only they’d thought of that back when they were working on the high school paper.

And yet, at no point in time, has the media bothered explaining this simple fact to its viewers.

The media is resisting any effort to lift the lockdowns because the closure rules don’t apply to it. They never did. CNN was able to keep its staff working even while the pandemic was ravaging New York City. While viewers saw that top anchors were working from home, that was as much of an illusion as Chris Cuomo’s quarantine. The anchors stayed home, but much of the rank and file workforce did not.

Another way of looking at the lockdowns is that they act as media rent-seeking programs, providing a lifeline to a struggling industry by shutting down its rivals and creating a captive audience.

The media wants America to stay closed forever. And if it were up to it, that’s what would happen.

The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the corrupt media cartel have nothing to gain from the country reopening and everything to lose. And the cartel is corruptly influencing public policy with propaganda, with disinformation, and with conspiracy theories in order to serve its own interests.

The pandemic has been a disaster for America and a huge gift for the media’s fear-based programming.

Americans look out at a country that they no longer recognize. They see a place where the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply, where neighbors and loved ones have been indoctrinated by the media to fear each other, and where the recent economic boom seems like a distant memory. But the media sees a vast captive audience and it has no intention of releasing its #StayAtHome captives without a fight.

Every media article, segment, and story against the lockdown is nothing more than digital slave owners fighting to keep its captive audience on the plantation. The reopenings are a liberation, not only allowing people to go back to work, to school, and to reunite with their loved ones, but freeing millions of people hiding indoors, in thrall to the media’s fear campaign, and releasing them into the light.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

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Minneapolis Burning

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Minneapolis is up in smoke, after protests became rioting became looting became conflagrations became nightmare. At issue is the police killing of civilian George Floyd.

It was the biggest story in the news, this week, and you can see why. Watch the video of a white policeman with his knee on the neck of a black man, Mr. Floyd, as he pled for his life — as bystanders pled for his life.

It is harrowing.

Scott Adams notes that this became a race issue . . . in which everybody agrees that the police were in the wrong. The best kind of race issue?

Except it shouldn’t be merely a race issue. It should also be an issue of accountability. There are too many killings by police where the perpetrators face zero accountability.

Jay Schweikert, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice, advocates a direct, practical approach for restoring police accountability: End what is known as “qualified immunity.”

That’s where police and other public officials are held to a lesser legal standard when it comes to court cases charging them with violating our rights. This is the reason, argues Schweikert, that “members of law enforcement routinely get away with horrific misconduct.”

There are several petitions currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that could lead to a legal reconsideration of the idea.* But without regard to any legal judgement, lawmakers in legislatures and citizens by petition can expressly repeal qualified immunity.

And should.

Without police accountability, what freedom is there?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* “[Q]ualified immunity is a legal doctrine that was invented from whole cloth by the Supreme Court,” Schweikert explains, “in open defiance of Congress’s decision to provide people with a federal remedy for the ‘deprivation of any right[]’ at the hands of a state actor.”
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Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) 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. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Trump Defends Free Speech, Pro-Life Event Hacked, Confronting Communist China, Speaking Of Chinese Influence, Chag Sameach

by Gary Bauer: Chag Sameach
This weekend, Jews will celebrate Shavuot, which commemorates the day God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. To our Jewish friends and allies, we wish you a joyous Shavuot!.

Trump Defends Free Speech
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today going after big tech giants for their censorship of social media, a vital source of news and information in this modern age.

Conservatives have documented voluminous examples of big tech's left-wing bias for years. Prager University has had many of its videos censored by YouTube, even videos about the Ten Commandments!

We have tried negotiating directly with the companies involved. I am part of an informal group known as the Free Speech Alliance, led by my good friend Brent Bozell, who has fought media bias for decades.

I applaud the president's action because something must be done to stop the left from controlling the debate on social media. And let me give you another example of just how blatant the bias is.

Yoel Roth is the Head of Site Integrity at Twitter. That title may sound technical in nature and innocent enough. But it would be more accurate to label him Twitter's "CCO" or "Chief Censorship Officer." Roth created the platform's "fact checking" policies, and he is anything but neutral.

He has accused the voters of "fly over states" of being racists. He compared Kellyanne Conway to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, and made disgusting comments about other Republican leaders. He has tweeted that there are "ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE."

This is the person at Twitter responsible for "fact checking" the president.

Meanwhile, there's virtually no fact checking of the left or even communist China. For months now, operatives of the communist Chinese regime have been tweeting that Covid-19 originated in a U.S. military lab.

Nobody believes that. It is pure communist propaganda. But Twitter never fact checked any of the outrageous statements coming from Beijing.

Columbia University recently released a study suggesting that tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if state governments had acted a week earlier to impose social distancing and other measures. That's fake research masquerading as science.

Will Twitter fact check that study? I won't hold my breath.

Remember when we were told that two million people were going to die? Here's one way to lower death totals: Don't put Covid patients in nursing homes!

Pro-Life Event Hacked
Last week, Students For Life attempted to hold a virtual graduation for pro-life students over Zoom. Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler delivered the commencement address. Her remarks about the sanctity of life would have been impossible to deliver on many university campuses.

But within minutes of Wheeler beginning her remarks, hackers "Zoom bombed" the event and posted Nazi imagery and graphic pornography. Thankfully, Students For Life was able to regain control of the broadcast and continue the virtual graduation.

Sadly, this is just one more example of the radical left attempting to shut down debate and impose its values on the rest of society. Wheeler wasn't speaking at a public university or even in a public forum. This was a private event, hosted by a private organization. Yet intolerant progressives still attempted to hijack the event in order to shut it down.

The progressive movement has no interest in tolerance or free speech. It wants to be the only group that is allowed to speak.

Confronting Communist China
Here's one thing there is no argument about: Once the coronavirus gripped the world, communist China used it to move aggressively on every front. It moved against Hong Kong. It is moving against India. It is moving against Taiwan. It is moving against Australia.

The progressive left sees every crisis as an opportunity. They are using the coronavirus crisis to massively expand government and shut down our churches.

Well, the Chinese communists clearly believe in the same philosophy. They are using the crisis they caused to advance on all the fronts they care about. And the Trump Administration is pushing back.
  • Congress has passed legislation imposing sanctions on communist Chinese officials for their gross human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims.
  • Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Congress that Hong Kong no longer "maintains a high degree of autonomy from China." Therefore, Hong Kong "does not continue to warrant [special] treatment under United States laws."
  • The White House is preparing to instruct the State Department to revoke the visas of 3,000 Chinese students and researchers at American universities. There are at least 360,000 Chinese students in the U.S., but thousands of them have connections to the People's Liberation Army.
Speaking Of Chinese Influence. . .
We've been reporting for some time now about the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party to infiltrate America through our universities. They are using a variety of tactics from the Confucius Institutes, which operate as propaganda centers, to the Thousand Talents program, which essentially bribes American researchers to act as spies.

Now the Justice Department is being asked to investigate the University of Pennsylvania because it has received tens of millions of dollars from Chinese sources in recent years.

Why is communist China suddenly feeling so generous toward the University of Pennsylvania? Well, in 2017 the prestigious school opened the Biden Center for Diplomacy And Public Engagement, and that's when the Chinese cash really started flowing.

Since the Biden Center opened three years ago, the university has received more than $60 million from China. More than $20 million of these Chinese gifts are labeled "anonymous" in financial reports. But federal regulations require all donors making gifts of $250,000 or more to be publicly disclosed.

This is how the Chinese communists operate. They buy influence and use it to steal knowledge.

By the way, Joe Biden has been paid nearly $1,000,000 by the university since he became a visiting professor in 2017.

No one seriously believes that "Beijing Biden" is going to confront China's communist bosses.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  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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Pompeo’s Hong Kong Declaration Shows US Will Hold Chinese Communist Party Accountable

"Any harm that should befall the Hong Kong people is a consequence of the Chinese Communist
Party’s actions," says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured at a press briefing May 20. 
by Olivia Enos & Mike Gonzalez: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Congress that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous from the People’s Republic of China, which may mean it will no longer receive different legal treatment from the United States.

Pompeo’s statement was simply a reflection of reality. The People’s Republic of China is taking away the territory’s autonomy.

The Chinese Communist Party’s equivocation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now China’s announcement last week that it is about to pass a national security law that will allow it to rule Hong Kong without the niceties of the rule of law, were the last straw.

In a briefing with members of the foreign policy community, Pompeo fulminated, “This is a pattern and the Chinese Communist Party will have to be held accountable for the things they have done to endanger the security of the American people.”

Pompeo’s initial statement was issued in response to requirements in the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act and the 2019 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The die was cast when the act was passed: If Hong Kong is not sufficiently autonomous, it will not retain its special status.

It is not yet clear what it will look like to roll back Hong Kong’s special treatment. President Donald Trump is expected to make a statement further explaining the consequences of decertification, which will provide a clearer picture of what this move means for Hong Kong’s future and the future of U.S.-China relations.

But what is clear is that the State Department has crossed some sort of Rubicon with China’s communist leaders.

The Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping did not need to make the former British colony a less free place. A financial center of 8 million people without an army, air force, or navy represents no threat to a country of 1.4 billion people with the second-largest defense budget in the world.

But it was galling to the Chinese Communist Party and Xi that anybody under their control would have freedoms such as the right to free expression, freedom of conscience, the right to property, and the right to gather peacefully.

Having to explain daily to the 1.4 billion inside mainland China that Hong Kongers wanted to retain these freedoms only reminded them that they themselves lacked them in the first place.

The idea of freedom was the threat. After years of eroding these freedoms, China’s national security law announcement forced Pompeo’s hand. In a statement Wednesday, he said, in part:

The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.Pompeo said that China’s “intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong” was a “disastrous decision.” It was “only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed international treaty.”

We at The Heritage Foundation know well Hong Kong’s value as an outpost that demonstrated, every day, and for decades, the superiority of the free market system. Its low regulatory environment, rule of law, strong anti-corruption stance, and flat tax rate gave it a GDP per capita of $62,726. Mainland China, lacking all these attributes, clocks in at $15,376.

For all these reasons, Hong Kong sat atop our Index of Economic Freedom since we started it in 1995. It dropped from its position as the world’s freest economy only this year in part because of its increasingly close integration with the mainland.

Hong Kong has always been an anomaly. Britain pried the tiny island away from China in 1842 as booty from the first Opium War, making the barely populated place a permanent colony. Britain then took a 99-year lease on the adjacent Kowloon Peninsula in 1898.

In the next century Hong Kong became a powerhouse, scrambling up the value-added ladder, first making toys and textiles, then computer equipment and eventually high-end banking.

Britain did not introduce direct elections for a portion of the Legislative Council until the 1990s, but because Hong Kongers were ruled by a free and democratic colonial power, their liberal freedoms were respected.

With the lease’s end coming up, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saw no choice but to agree to hand the entire territory to China during negotiation with China’s then-leader Deng Xiaoping in 1984, but not before Deng gave China’s word that Hong Kong “will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defense affairs.”

That document, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, is an international treaty entered into the United Nations.

China now has broken its word, and for breaking it there will be severe diplomatic consequences. Pompeo’s determination will have implications for U.S.-China relations. It will also affect the business community and the global economy.

But there can be no doubt that the Hong Kong people will bear the brunt.

As Pompeo said in his telephone briefing Wednesday: “Any harm that should befall the Hong Kong people is a consequence of the Chinese Communist Party’s actions.”

As such, it is imperative that U.S. policymakers do all that they can to stand with the Hong Kong people and preserve what is left of their liberty and prosperity while simultaneously seeking to hold China accountable for breaking its word.
----------------------
Olivia Enos (@OliviaEnos) is an Asian Studies Center Research Associate within The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.  Mike Gonzalez (@Gundisalvus) is 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: Pompeo’s Hong Kong Declaration, Shows US, Will Hold Chinese Communist Party Accountable, Olivia Enos, Mike Gonzalez, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, 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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