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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, July 10, 2020

The New ‘Systemic Racism’ That Is Coming

by Patrick Buchanan: Is it possible to reflect the “racial composition” of Fairfax County and to remain “the top public high school In the United States”?

Before our Black Lives Matter moment, one had not thought of the NBC networks as shot through with “systemic racism.”

Yet, what other explanation is there for this week’s draconian personnel decision of NBCUniversal chairman Cesar Conde.

According to Conde, the white share of NBC’s workforce, now 74% and divided evenly between men and women, will be chopped to 50%.

Persons of color — Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and multiracial folks — are to rise from the present 26% of NBCUniversal’s workforce to 50%.

What does this mean?

White men will be slashed as a share of NBCUniversal’s employees from the present 38% to 25%, — a cut of one-third — and then capped to ensure that people of color and women reach and remain at 50%.

White men can fall below one-fourth of the workforce, but their numbers will not be permitted to go any higher.

To impose race and gender quotas like this on the workforce at NBCUniversal — half women, half persons of color — would seem to trample all over the spirit, if not the letter, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Why is Conde doing this?

“(W)e have a unique responsibility to look like and reflect all of the people of the country we serve,” he says.

But whence comes this responsibility, the realization of which means active discrimination against new employees because they are the wrong gender or race: i.e, they are unwanted white men?

America has succeeded as a meritocracy where excellence was rewarded, be it in athletics or academics. Our Olympic teams have triumphed when we send the best we had in every event.

This egalitarian and ideological revolt against excellence is also arising in Fairfax County, Virginia, at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which, concedes The Washington Post, “often ranks as the top public high school in the United States.”

Why does TJ have a problem? Writes the Post reporter, the school is “notorious for failing to admit black and Latino students.”

Does TJ discriminate in its admissions against Blacks and Hispanics? Is the school a throwback to the old days of “massive resistance”?

Of 486 students in the freshman class this fall at the school, the number of Black students is tiny, smaller even than the 3% of the class that is Hispanic. Is this yet another example of “white privilege” at work?

Hardly. Whites make up only 17% of TJ’s incoming class.

The problem, if it is a problem, is Asian Americans. Three in 4 members of the fall freshman class at TJ are of Asian heritage.

Why do Asian American kids predominate? Are they being admitted on the basis of their race or ethnicity?

No, again. Asians are 73% of the incoming class because they excelled on the admissions tests in math, reading and science, and on the essay-writing assignment.

They won admission to TJ not based on their ethnicity or race but their academic excellence as demonstrated in standardized tests taken by students all over Fairfax and surrounding counties.

Thomas Jefferson principal Ann Bonitatibus says of her school, “We do not reflect the racial composition” of the Fairfax County Public School System.

No, it does not. But so what, if Thomas Jefferson ranks among the top STEM schools in the entire United States?

And Bonitatibus’ comment raises a legitimate question:

Is it possible to reflect the “racial composition” of Fairfax County and to remain “the top public high school In the United States”?

A related issue is up in California. In 1996, in a state referendum, Californians voted 55-45 to embed a colorblind amendment in their state constitution:

“The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Clear, coherent and colorblind.

The Democratic legislature, however, wants to be rid of this amendment as it outlaws the kind of racial and ethnic discrimination in which Sacramento wishes to engage.

An amendment is on the November ballot to repeal the colorblind amendment and allow California to start discriminating again — in favor of African Americans and Hispanics and against Asians and white men — to alter the present racial balance in state university admissions and the awarding of state contracts.

If this passes, more Hispanics and Blacks with lower test scores will be admitted to elite state schools like UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, based on race, and fewer Asians and whites. Practices that were regarded as race discrimination and supposedly outlawed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will henceforth be seen as commendable and mandatory.

There will be racial and ethnic discrimination, as in the days of segregation. Only the color of the beneficiaries and the color of the victims will be reversed.

And that is the meaning of the BLM revolution, which might be encapsulated: “It’s our turn now!”
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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, New ‘Systemic Racism’, That Is Coming To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Joe Biden's Me-Too Economic Plan

. . . He's no Trump, and his dismal record speaks for itself.

Douglas Andrews: When Joe Biden announced on April 3 that he supports President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China, he was two months late and thousands of lives short. This week, the man who first came to Washington in 1973 made another announcement — this time an economic one. And, once again, he’s both late and short — this time by 47 years and tens of millions of jobs.

Biden, as The Wall Street Journal reports, is unveiling a plan “aimed at reviving the U.S. economy with an America-centric approach to job creation and manufacturing, issuing a direct challenge to President Trump as they compete for working-class voters less than four months before the presidential election.”

If by “issuing a direct challenge to” the Journal means “perpetrating a shameless rip-off of,” then yes, Johnny-Come-Lately Joe is challenging President Donald Trump and his long-held “America First” economic platform. But why would Joe Biden want to do this? Jobs and the economy are more squarely on Donald Trump’s turf than nearly any other issue. Indeed, they’re his most powerful argument for reelection. Perhaps the Biden campaign is somehow unaware of its candidate’s weakness in this area, or perhaps it’s beginning to believe all these polls. Or maybe it’s after the low-hanging fruit of the low-information voter. In any case, this is a fight Donald Trump is more than happy to have. The question is, will the mainstream media actually cover it, or will it continue to treat Biden like a Fabergé egg?

“Mr. Biden is poised to unveil his agenda while campaigning in Dunmore, Pa.,” the Journal continued, “where the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will tour a metalworks plant before making his economic pitch to an American public still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.”

It’s true enough that we’re still knee-deep in COVID-19, but imagine the hole we’d be in had Slow Joe been in the Oval Office. When Donald Trump was quickly cutting off travel to and from China, Joe Biden was attacking the president for having done so and appeasing his politically correct base with cries of “xenophobia” and “fear-mongering.”

The Biden economic plan is called “Build Back Better,” which tells us that he needs to fire his branding team. Setting aside how bloodless it sounds compared to, say, “America First,” it’s hard to imagine Biden reading that tongue-twister off the teleprompter, much less saying it unscripted.

The Journal eventually curbs its enthusiasm for the Biden plan long enough to mention “the embrace of economic globalization that had defined the policies of the Obama-Biden administration and two decades of Republican and Democratic presidents who preceded it.” But what about the real legacy of the Obama-Biden years — a legacy characterized by the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970s, the worst recovery since the 1940s, the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years, an additional 13 million Americans on food stamps, and more than 43 million Americans living in poverty? And that was just eight years’ worth of work. Biden, again, has been taking a government paycheck since well before most Americans were born — and he’s racked up an impressive record of economic failure over that span of time. This would include voting for NAFTA, supporting normalization of trade relations with Communist China, and supporting the job-killing Trans Pacific Partnership before Donald Trump took office and rightly nixed it.

Could a Biden economy be all that bad? You betcha. As we noted earlier this week, intelligent folks on the Left and the Right agree that his would be “the most left-wing administration in history — far to the left of Obama.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale summed up Scranton Joe’s dismal economic record in a single tweet: “Biden spent his career backing trade deals that crushed American jobs & manufacturing. President Trump cleaned up Biden’s mess, secured #AmericaFirst trade deals, & built the strongest economy in history.”

All that is true. And if Donald Trump can step away from the culture wars long enough, he can start drawing some sharp and compelling contrasts between his economic record and that of his opponent.
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Douglas Andrews writes for The Patriot Post.

Tags: Douglas Andrews, Patriot Post, Joe Biden, Me-Too Economic Plan To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

If Risky Chinese Investments Are Unsuitable For Federal Pensioners . . .

. . . They’re Unsuitable For Private Pensioners, Too.
by Rick Manning: The Labor Department has a fiduciary responsibility to end all private retirement investments in dangerous Chinese investments by amending the current pending regulation on Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments to disqualify all companies that do not adhere to the transparency requirements of Dodd-Frank and Sarbannes-Oxley.

As a former Labor Department political appointee under President George W. Bush and a member of President Trump’s Labor Transition team, I have been focused upon the importance of the Department’s oversight role on private pension investments as well as the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation’s solvency.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia’s assessment and decision on excluding risky Chinese assets from the federal employees 401(K) Thrift Savings Plan is spot on. His statement that stopping the inclusion of Chinese assets was necessary because it, “would place millions of federal employees, retirees, and service-members in the untenable position of choosing between forgoing any investment in international equities or placing billions of dollars in retirement savings in risky companies that pose a threat to U.S. national security” is exactly on point.

The obvious question is if these assets are too risky for inclusion in the federal TSP, why would they be allowed to be included in private 401(K) investments where the same argument directly applies?

The answer is that they are not, and under ERISA it is the Labor Department’s job to protect private sector retirement specific investments or pensions from choices that are unsuitably risky.

In the attached July 7 letter from National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council to the head of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, they state, “The NRRI’s Trust’s investment in the PRC exposes the retirement funds of railroad workers to significant and unnecessary economic risk.”

Once again the question is why should private pension investments be allowed to be put into this risk when other public retirement funds are being urged to protect their retirees by ending these investments?

O’Brien and Kudlow continue by citing the exact transparency risk which directly puts Chinese assets in conflict with both the letter and intent of ERISA, “Another key reason why the NRI Trust’s investments in PRC companies expose American railroad retirees to substantial economic risk is because the Chinese government prevents companies with Chinese operations listed on U.S. exchanges from complying with applicable U.S. securities laws, leaving investors without the benefit of important protections.”

Recently, the Pentagon determined that twenty Chinese companies are owned or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. And in May, the U.S. Senate voted to require transparency for Chinese firms listed on American exchanges.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs annually issues a report on countries which use child and slave labor in the manufacture of goods. China is listed not once, not twice but twelve times in the latest report for using children and slaves to make goods, many of which find their place on the shelves of U.S. retailers like Walmart. Artificial flowers, bricks, Christmas decorations, coal, cotton, electronics, fireworks, footwear, garments, nails, textiles and toys are all listed as being made with child or slave labor in China.

The very Christmas ornaments we put on our trees, the toys, clothing under that tree including the latest Colin Kaepernick shoe, and the phone or other Chinese made electronics are likely the product of the blood and toil of children and slaves.

While moral determinations are not part of ERISA, it is sickening to think that American pensions and 401(k) investors are capitalizing the grotesque abuse of helpless and oppressed Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents. Americans would be appalled to learn that they were effectively providing the capital for the enslavement of their fellow man, and the Trump Labor Department can stop it.

Nothing prevents non-retirement assets from being invested in these same Chinese companies, but allowing private retirement investments to continue to invest in non-transparent, risky assets whose reliance on slavery rightfully offends our national sensibilities is not only a violation of the Labor Department’s statutory responsibility under ERISA, it is immoral.

Given Secretary Scalia’s previous statements and those which are currently coming from the National Security Advisor and National Economic Council, I am confident that he and President Donald Trump will come to the determination that Chinese assets and other risky non-transparent assets have no place in America’s retirement portfolios.
----------------------
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government. Adapted from a letter to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, dated July 9, 2020.

Tags: Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, If Risky Chinese Investments, Are Unsuitable For, Federal Pensioners, They’re Unsuitable, For Private Pensioners, Too 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 Bush League

. . . A group of G.W. Bush appointees has vowed to vote for Joe Biden proving they were never really conservative.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, The Bush League, A group of G.W. Bush appointees, has vowed, to vote for, Joe Biden, proving, they were never, really conservative 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 Modest Anti-Capitalism?

Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Socialists are so “modest”!

But how modest?

Ask Rep. Ilhan Omar, who recently proclaimed to be “fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in health care, in employment, in the air we breathe.”

Gasp?

Well, maybe that isn’t so clear. So listen to Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

“I have a message for Jeff Bezos and his class,” Sawant warned. “If you attempt again to overturn the Amazon Tax, working people will go all out in the thousands to beat you. And we will not stop there.”

Does that sound like a threat? Or is it really just a harmless expression of politics-as-usual?

“You see, we are fighting for far more than this tax,” the self-proclaimed socialist elaborated. “We are preparing the ground for a different kind of society, and if you, Jeff Bezos, want to drive that process forward by lashing out against us in our modest demands, then so be it. Because we are coming for you and your rotten system. We are coming to dismantle this deeply oppressive, racist, sexist, violent, utterly bankrupt system of capitalism. This police state. We cannot and will not stop until we overthrow it, and replace it with a world based, instead, on solidarity, genuine democracy, and equality: a socialist world. Thank you.”

And thank you, Ms. Sawant, for making yourself ultra-understandable.

You want to destroy private property and free markets and robust political debate and replace them with . . . well, let’s just say that if you complain about a police state now, wait’ll you get a load of what follows from your “modest” demands.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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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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Mysterious Explosions Escalate Israel, Iran Tensions

by Ben Caspit: Ahead of the US presidential elections, and on the backdrop of mysterious explosions, Israel prepares for various escalation scenarios on Iran’s part.

Several days after the massive July 2 explosion that destroyed the upper level of Iran’s centrifuge upgrading and uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, reports emerged in Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked Mossad Director Yossi Cohen to stay on an additional year once his five-year term expires at the end of the year. However, "the head,” as the spy agency director is known, only agreed to a six-month extension. Shortly after, in the pre-dawn hours of July 3, Israel launched its Ofek 16 spy satellite carried on a Shavit rocket from its Palmachim military base. The satellite significantly enhances Israel’s ability to track events around the world, in particular Iran. Its particularly sophisticated camera enables the identification of items as small as 50 centimeters (19.5 inches) from a height of up to 450 kilometers (280 miles). Ofek 16 joins six other Israeli reconnaissance satellites orbiting earth and transmitting real-time data on developments around the world.

Intelligence officials believe Iran is now reassessing what they dub its “strategic patience policy.” The Iranians themselves admit it. A commentary on Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said, “Iran so far has tried to prevent intensifying crises and the formation of unpredictable conditions and situations.” However, it continued, “the crossing of red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran by hostile countries, especially the Zionist regime and the United States, means that strategy … should be revised.” It now appears that the Iranians are in discussions on recalibrating their course, indeed. They are no longer convinced that their famed patience serves their ongoing military nuclear ambitions and the tense wait for the results of the November US presidential elections.

The series of mysterious explosions in Iran began in late June with a blast at the weapons manufacturing facility in Parchin. It was followed by reported sabotage at a Tehran area hospital and then by the main event, the blast at Natanz that sparked a heavy fire and destroyed significant sections of the aboveground facility at which Iran was manufacturing sophisticated IR-6 and IR-8 enrichment centrifuges.

Israel is closely monitoring the Iranian dilemma. “I have no doubt the Iranians are holding discussions these days about their patience policy,” former Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Yadlin told Al-Monitor. According to a report in Israel, the Iranians had recently tried to plan and carry out attacks against Israeli interests, such as embassies and other targets around the world, mostly in Europe, but the Mossad, along with its Western partners thwarted these attempts. “Israel is preparing for every possible Iranian response,” a senior Israeli security source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It could be carried out by one of Iran’s proxies, it could be carried out on an Israeli target abroad and it could also come in the shape of a cyberattack, the likes of which we already experienced in recent weeks.”

However, even an overt Iranian response indicating that Tehran had run out of “strategic patience” will not sway Israel from its declared goal of foiling by all means possible Iran’s ongoing attempts to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Western intelligence sources assess that the blast at Natanz set back Iran’s nuclear weapons race by two years. “They were about to complete the manufacture of the sophisticated centrifuges at Natanz,” Yadlin, currently the director of the Institute for National Security Studies, told Al-Monitor. “These centrifuges were supposed to greatly speed up Iran’s nuclear ‘breakout’ time. They are six to eight times faster than the old centrifuges, which operate in the underground part of that same site. Whoever was behind the Natanz attack knew exactly what they were doing,” he said. Yadlin declined to speculate on foreign reports attributing the sabotage to Israel.

Israel and Iran are engaged in what has become almost open warfare over the past two years. According to foreign reports, Israel and Iran traded cyber jabs in the past two months. Israel has indicated that Iran tried to sabotage a water distribution facility in April, but it has not assumed responsibility for the cyberattack that crippled operations at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port in May.

“In the coming months, tensions are expected to rise,” a Western diplomat who monitors these developments told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It has to do with the fact that Israel and Iran both are preparing for November, for the possibility that President Donald Trump is reelected or that Joe Biden replaces him at the White House. The Iranians are praying for Biden, hoping a Democratic president would sign an amended nuclear agreement, which they would find more favorable. Israel is also gearing up for such a possibility.”

Israel is concerned that Iran is constantly cutting its nuclear “breakout” time, meaning the time required to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear weapon. Western intelligence sources told Al-Monitor that since Trump pulled the United States out of the world powers’ deal with Iran in May 2018, Iran has achieved significant progress toward its goal with the enhanced centrifuges that could speed up the enrichment of fissionable material by as much as six times. These sources add that taking out these faster centrifuges at Natanz significantly sets back the Iranian nuclear program.

Israel has not assumed responsibility for the Natanz explosion nor for the other incidents that took place in recent days in Iran, but a Middle Eastern security source told The New York Times that Israel planted the bomb. The report generated fury in Israel, as succinctly expressed by former Defense Minister and Chair of the hawkish Yisrael Beitenu party, Avigdor Liberman, who urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “to shut [the leaker’s] mouth.” Liberman was apparently referring to Mossad chief Cohen. Nonetheless, Netanyahu is unlikely to silence Cohen and, in any case, even if there was a leak, Netanyahu himself might have authorized it.

The prime minister is under heavy siege given the deep economic crisis besetting Israel. Poll results this week indicate that public confidence in Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis, especially of the economy, has plunged sharply. The only card he has left to play is the security card, and he is going for broke. That means setting back the Iranian nuclear program in order to allow Israel and perhaps the United States to block an Iranian nuclear breakout should Iran abandon its “strategic patience” policy.
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Ben Caspit (@BenCaspit) is a columnist for Al-Monitor's Israel Pulse. He is also a senior columnist and political analyst for Israeli newspapers and has a daily radio show and regular TV shows on politics and Israel.

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Random Thoughts While Not Out ‘Protesting’

by Larry Elder: At a time in America when one’s race has never been less important, the left has taught an entire generation of the most privileged Americans ever to view the world through race-tinted glasses.

There were 13 Baltimore high schools where, in 2017, 0% of students could do math at grade level, and another half-dozen high schools where only 1% were math proficient. Do you really think these students even know enough about Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson to be mad at him?

During the Chicago Father’s Day weekend, when 14 people were shot and killed and over 100 were wounded, how many Confederate generals were spotted leaving the scenes of the crime? Just curious.

Shouldn’t monuments and schools dedicated to Barack Obama come down? After all, Obama’s ancestors on his white mother’s side were slave owners.

In 2017, more than 60,000 cops were assaulted. In recent years, about 50 cops have been shot and killed annually in the line of duty. More cops are killed by suspects in the line of duty each year than unarmed Blacks are killed by cops.

Whoever called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe” never encountered “white guilt.”

Next up on the “cancel culture” docket are movies whose names might be offensive under the new woke standard: “Blackboard Jungle,” fictional characters Boston Blackie and Sam Spade, and all Shirley Temple/Bill Robinson dance scenes.

Can we skip to the part where the “protesters” who burned and looted stores denounce business owners as racist for refusing to rebuild?

House Democrats voted to make D.C. the 51st state. If this new state would likely produce two Republican senators, we wouldn’t be having this conversation — just as our borders would be tighter than a clam’s behind if illegal-aliens-turned-citizens were expected to vote Republican.

“But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.” — Then-Sen. Barack Obama, Father’s Day, June 15, 2008.

San Bernardino County, California, has declared “racism” a “public health crisis.” A 2013 Rasmussen poll asked Blacks, Hispanics and whites whether “most” people, in each of these three groups, are racist. Whites and Blacks ranked Blacks as the group with the most racists. Blacks, according to surveys commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League, are more than twice as likely as white gentiles to be anti-Semitic. Now what?

If the USA is “institutionally racist,” why stop at defunding the police? Why not defund public school education? Or public transportation? Or the military? Or the Federal Reserve System? Or government-funded PBS and NPR? Or government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Or the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority and the federally and state-subsidized Amtrak? Or government agencies like the Social Security Administration; the Internal Revenue Service; the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Labor, etc.?
Mediavine

There are far more bad public school teachers than there are bad cops. And it practically takes an act of Congress to get a bad public school teacher fired. So, when and where can we expect the #DefundPublicEducation rallies?

Hyperleft “activist” Shaun King wants the statues of “white European” Jesus Christ to come down because “they are a form of white supremacy.” There is no shortage of candidates, but is there a bigger idiot in America?

Social justice warriors promise not to rest until there is a complete and total elimination of racism. Really? Elimination? In a country where, 25 years after his death, 8% believed “there is a chance” that Elvis is still alive? Good luck.

Winning an argument is far less important than winning someone over to a new, clearer way of thinking.

“But the truth is, and people are starting to realize this — racism as a system is often more dangerous and destructive. You know, preventing Black people from getting loans, stopping Black kids from getting an equal education, racial disparities in medical treatment. You know, racism is like the corn syrup of society. It’s in everything. So, right now, thanks to this movement, the movement in the streets, we are being forced to look at all of the ways we might be further perpetuating negative ideas that enforce racism in the world.” — Trevor Noah, June 10, 2020.
Mediavine

So says Noah, the immigrant from post-apartheid South Africa, the product of a then-illegal relationship with a white man and raised by his single Black mom. Noah comes to the United States, gets rich and famous in the intensely competitive field of comedy, lives in a Bel Air mansion, which he reportedly bought for $20.5 million — and whines about racism in America!

Because I don’t think of myself as a victim, I’ve been asked, “How many times have you been called a ‘n-word’?” Rarely am I asked, “How many times have you been called an ‘Uncle Tom’/’coon’/’sellout’?” — even though I’ve long since lost count.
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

Tags: Larry Elder, Random Thoughts, While Not Out ‘Protesting’ To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Shot Dead On The Street, Hand In Hand With His Daughter . . .

. . . Scenes From NYC’s Gun Madness!
Surveillance video captures Anthony Robinson crossing Sheridan Avenue, holding the hand
of his 6-year-old daughter, when a gunman shot him dead.
by Post Editorial Board: Anthony Robinson was crossing Sheridan Avenue, holding the hand of his 6-year-old daughter, when a gunman shot him down. Caught on video, his murder shocks the conscience.

The killer in the dark sedan waited until the 29-year-old father had his back turned, then stuck his handgun out the window and opened fire.

Your daddy killed before your eyes, your hand in his. How horrific. How cruel.

That execution came about 6 p.m. Sunday. Another video (both tweeted by NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison) from that night shows two men shot dead and another wounded in an ambush in the hallway of a Bronx apartment building.

Such were three of at least eight murders across the city over the weekend. The rising death toll is scary, but so are the details of every homicide.

Or could’ve-been-homicide: Another NYPD-released video shows a man opening fire as he stands in the entrance of a Brooklyn apartment building about 1 a.m. on Friday — just moments after a child has walked in ahead of him.

If his target had fired back, a stray shot easily could have claimed an innocent life — as could any of the actual gunman’s several shots.

And sometimes children are the targets: Several bullets hit a 14-year-old boy early Monday evening in Queens — one a potentially fatal hit to the neck. Police say two individuals were aiming at the youth.

Last week saw 101 New Yorkers injured or killed by gunfire; the last time that grim number topped 100 was in June 1995.

New York City is rushing back to the days when mothers had their children sleep in the bathtub, for fear of stray bullets.

Do something, Mr. Mayor.
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New York Post Editorial Board.

Tags: Shot Dead, On The Street, Hand In Hand, With His Daughter, Scenes From, NYC’s Gun Madness, New York City, Post Editorial Board 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 Democratic Party Has Been Hijacked’: Leo Terrell Explains Why He’s Voting For Trump

Leo Terrell
by Scott Morefield: Radio host and civil rights attorney Leo Terrell said the reason he and many other black Americans plan to vote for President Donald Trump this year is because “the Democratic Party has been hijacked by black lives.”

Terrell and Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera joined Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer on Thursday afternoon to react to Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio helping to paint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of New York City’s Trump Tower.

“What is the effect of an image like this for the next several months?” Hemmer asked.

“I oppose that sign out there,” Terrell said. “The Black Lives Matter organization does not care about all black lives. They don’t care about police officers who are killed. They don’t care about black on black crime at all. They don’t care about school choice. It is a very extreme organization that really only cares if a police officer is involved in a killing.”

The civil rights attorney called the group’s manifesto “extremist” before building his case for the president based on the First Step Act, support for historically black colleges, and other issues.

“A lot of black Americans such as myself will be voting for Donald Trump this year because the Democratic Party has been hijacked by black lives,” Terrell insisted.

After Hemmer played the clip of de Blasio speaking at the mural, Rivera accused the New York City mayor of “sticking it to Trump.”

“If he really cared about black lives, playing off of what Leo just said, he would have posters all over New York City of all the slain toddlers, and teenagers and pregnant women who have been killed in the crossfire in the inner-city violence,” Rivera said. “This is not a caring, sincere gesture.”

“That was nothing more than a publicity stunt,” Terrell added. “It means nothing. It doesn’t protect African-Americans or Americans in general. It is a publicity stunt and it means nothing to this guy, not to me at all.”
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Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) writes for The Daily Caller.

Tags: black lives matter, democratic party, Donald Trump, elections 2020, Leo Terrell, Scott Morefield, Daily Caller To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Iran Boasts Of Underground “Missile Cities” Along Gulf Coast, A “Nightmare For Iran’s Enemies”

by Christine Douglass-Williams: Although it is no secret that Iran grandstands, the Islamic regime was enabled to expand its influence and reach under the Obama administration, via the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran deal), along with other backroom appeasement deals by Obama. Tens of billions of dollars flowed into the coffers of Iran, which it used to build its nuclear arsenal and fund its proxies. Now we see more of the fruit of Obama’s investment:The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has touted underground “missile cities,” along the Gulf coastline. Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangisiri announced the construction of new underground “missile cities” Sunday, as he warned that they would be a “nightmare” for Iran’s “enemies.”…“We have missile-launching floating cities which we will display whenever our leaders see fit.”“Iran Boasts of Underground ‘Missile Cities’ Along Persian Gulf Coast,” Breitbart Jerusalem, July 7, 2020:The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has touted underground “missile cities,” along the Gulf coastline.

Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangisiri announced the construction of new underground “missile cities” Sunday, as he warned that they would be a “nightmare” for Iran’s “enemies.”

“We have missile-launching floating cities which we will display whenever our leaders see fit,” Tangsiri told the Sobh-e Sadegh weekly.

Tangsiri also referred to the new missile cities as “underground cities that house vessels and missiles.”

He added that southern Iran’s entire shoreline has weapons.

The weapons, mostly in the hands of the IRGC, include units of Basij and 428 flotillas operating along the coastline and concentrated along the Persian Gulf, according to state media reports.

The boasting comes in the aftermath of a fire Thursday at Iran’s Natanz nuclear complex.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said the incident damaged one of the under-construction sheds at the complex and there were no casualties or damage to current activities at the nuclear facility.

However, the New York Times has reported that since then the government has acknowledged that the incident caused significant damage, which will set back Iran’s nuclear program by months.

Furthermore, the Jerusalem Post cited an Arabic-language daily newspaper, Kuwait’s Al-Jarida, which said an Israeli cyberattack struck Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility on Thursday. According to the the Kuwaiti paper, the explosion and another explosion near Parchin targeted UF6 gas storage used for uranium enrichment and Iran has now lost 80 percent of its stock of this gas.

The touting of “missile cities” also comes after state media reported that Iran successfully test fired short and long-range cruise missiles in a naval exercise in the Oman Sea and northern Indian Ocean last month, hitting targets at a distance of about 174 miles……"
----------------------------
Christine Douglass-Williams writes for Jihad Watch.

Tags: Christine Douglass-Williams, Jihad Watch, Iran Boasts, Underground, Missile Cities Along Gulf Coast, Nightmare, For Iran’s Enemies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Not All Black Lives Matter to Black Lives Matter

by Ben Shapiro: This week, CNN’s Don Lemon, who has spent the last few weeks bashing the supposed thoroughgoing systemic racism of the United States, hosted black actor Terry Crews.

He then proceeded to browbeat Crews, who had committed the great sin of tweeting, “#ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER 9 black CHILDREN killed by violence in Chicago since June 20, 2020.” Lemon specifically objected to Crews’ hashtag.

After Lemon humbly informed Crews that he has skin “as tough as an armadillo,” he then lectured: “The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. … But that’s not what Black Lives Matter is about. It’s not … all-encompassing … The Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that matter, not about what’s happening in black neighborhoods.”

This, of course, is largely false. The Black Lives Matter movement did indeed begin with protests about police brutality but quickly morphed into broader debates over the validity of looting and rioting, tearing down historic statues, slavery reparations, and defunding the police.

And Black Lives Matter, as Crews correctly pointed out, has never restricted its mandate to the question of police violence: It has announced that its focuses also include police brutality, transgender rights, gay rights, disrupting the nuclear family, and freeing Palestine, among other diverse topics.

So why is Lemon so deeply invested in preventing conversations about black lives? Why, in fact, do only some black lives matter, rather than all?

That’s not merely a question asked by conservatives or contrarians. It’s being asked all over the United States by black Americans being left to the predations of criminals, in large part thanks to the woke virtue signaling of many Black Lives Matter leaders and media allies.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser emblazoned the enormous yellow words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on 16th Street. Protesters quickly added “DEFUND THE POLICE.”

One month later, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was shot in the head while heading to a family cookout on July 4. His grandfather, John Ayala, lamented: “We’re protesting for months, for weeks, saying, ‘Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.’ Black lives matter it seems like only when a police officer shoots a black person. What about all the black-on-black crime that’s happening in the community?”

McNeal was just one of the latest victims of a wave of violence gripping America’s major cities.

Last weekend, at least 89 people were shot in Chicago, leaving at least 17 dead. Shootings in Philadelphia have spiked 67%. In the first week of June, Los Angeles saw a shocking 250% increase in murders from the prior week. New York City’s shootings have skyrocketed 44% over last year’s numbers; every person shot there the week of June 29—101—was from a minority community.

It turns out that the agenda of Black Lives Matter, which includes fighting against the prevalence of police—a call taken up by Democratic mayors and city councils around the United States—endangers black lives far more than the presence of police.

Yet these lives don’t particularly matter for Black Lives Matter advocates, apparently. Black lives matter when we’re talking about police brutality. But Lemon has no airtime each night for those who seek to talk about threats to black lives that dwarf in severity problems related to policing—and that are just as newsworthy.

Indeed, the statistical case is unassailable that the daily murder of minority youths in America’s major cities is far more newsworthy than the latest cable panel discussion of “white fragility” or the “power of whiteness.”

But our current Black Lives Matter moment isn’t about Davon McNeal, even if the wages of Black Lives Matter’s recommended policies are death for those left unprotected by law enforcement. All that matters for too many in our elite institutions is the narrative that America’s systems are the greatest obstacle to black Americans. And not all lives lost are equally valuable in promoting that perverse narrative.
------------------------
Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro ) is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. H/T The Daily Signal.

Tags: Ben Shapiro, The Daily Signal, Not All Black lives, matter to Black Lives Matter To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Let's Talk about Black Privilege

by Rich Logis: There are approximately 250 million Americans aged 20 and over. How many don't believe that black lives matter?

I want a number, backed up by evidence — not a dissertation, pontification, polemic, manifesto, or Socratic dialogue. A number.

Not having to provide a fact-based number: black privilege — yes or no?

Take NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who imagined a noose the way the narrator in Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart imagined a droning beating heart. A hysterical black American creates unnecessary panic over a noose found in his garage; draws 15 FBI agents to investigate, at a total of tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money; investigation confirms the black American's story was paranoia; FBI goes home; nothing happens to the black American for making a false accusation and creating unnecessary panic; continues to receive fawning press in the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex). Black privilege — yes or no?

Lincoln County, Ore. exempted from mandatory mask-wearing "[p]eople of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public." Black privilege — yes or no?

Black Americans saying the "N-word" without fear of recrimination of being called racist: black privilege — yes or no?

During the recent George Floyd–related terrorist looting and riots, retired St. Louis, Mo. police captain David Dorn was shot and killed; he was 77. His death was recorded on a phone for the world to see, in a grotesquely grim The Truman Show moment for the nation. Dorn's alleged murderer, a 24-year-old ex-felon named Stephan Cannon, was convicted at 18 for violent felony robbery and was supposed to serve a seven-year sentence. But he never served a day thanks to leniency from the presiding judge. The violent ex-felon subsequently twice violated his probation but, alas, never went to prison. Cannon is black; his two accomplices were also black. So much for gun control.

Cannon is entitled to Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed rights. Our legal system is so "systemically racist" that Cannon will (once again, as a repeat offender) benefit from liberties 39 white guys decided over two centuries ago should be the law of the land.

As a free black ex-felon after committing a violent crime and then violating his probation: black privilege — yes or no?

Sadly, black privilege did not save Dorn's life. Rest in peace, Captain Dorn, who left behind a wife, five children, and ten grandchildren.

When a free black man, with dozens of priors, allegedly kills a white cop, and no one hears about it on CNN or on the pages of The New York Times, was the black man privileged? Such was the case in May, when Officer Cody Holte, of the Grand Forks, North Dakota Police Department, was gunned down. Holte is survived by his wife and infant son.

DMIC blackout of black-on-black crime: black privilege — yes or no?

Do the members of the Congressional Black Caucus have privileges by virtue of their race?

Would a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman as white as the driven snow garner more looks of suspicion in West Baltimore than a black woman? If no, then doesn't the black woman have black privilege?

White and Black Privileges
Either we all enjoy some privilege or we have none at all. I happen to consider everyone who lives in America privileged, including blacks — and illegal aliens, which I discuss in my upcoming first book, 10 Warning Signs Your Child Is Becoming a Democrat: How to Make America Grown-Up Again.

Ask a black American about black privilege. If he says none exists, then neither does white privilege. If, however, he concurs that there's black privilege, he will likely immediately pivot from an abstract argument to a quantification argument — that whites have more privilege than blacks. Once he makes this pivot, he has now TKOed himself, because a quantification argument requires a number; the onus and burden of proof is on the black American.

How much more privilege, then, does a white have? The black American will never give a number because:
1. He doesn't know the number.
2. Any number he provides cannot be confirmed by anything other than the outcome he wants to come to.
I want a mathematically determined number — not a Washington Post narrative.

What's frightening and unnerving about most black Democrats is that they actually do believe that they are manacled victims of a multi-century, furtive, surreptitious, systematically racist cabal of the affluent Caucasian patriarchy enacted in 1619 or 1776. If you believe this, you're not going to grow up wondering if your problems have anything to do with your own decisions and actions. Black Democrats are not like affluent white Democrats, who believe none of the balderdash that comes out of their mouths. What I see in Black Lives Matter is a group in pursuit of revenge, not equality. Inequality is the new equality. No matter how much Goebbelsian public relations Black Lives Matter receives from the DMIC, no reasonable American is mistaking the group for those who attended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 or the Selma to Montgomery marches two years later. The conditions where black Americans have it worse — including problems with the police — are in cities run by Democrats for tens of thousands of consecutive days. Machine gun–owning Jeffersonian constitutionalists living in towns whose local diner menus read "breakfast, lunch, dinner" aren't enslaving black Americans, despite what Don Lemon says nightly.

Would it be fair to say all participants of Black Lives Matter are violent? No, but it's not the peaceful ones I'm worried about. When Black Lives Matter colludes to tear down statues and monuments, they're not doing so to rewrite their Democrat history — they don't know anything about history. They destroy and deface because terrorists kill, annihilate, and terrorize just for the sake of it, indiscriminately. What we're discovering about the professional Democrat protest class is that they think quite similarly to Islamic supremacists. The Woodstock generation has produced lite versions of Osama bin Laden — this is the actual legacy of the Democratic Party. Islamic supremacists always recruit the young, the vulnerable, and the ignorant and always seek to expand. The only substantive difference between Democrats and Islamic supremacists is that the latter have just been doing it longer. If some of these Democrat terrorists could obtain suicide vests, I have no doubt some would detonate it in a crowd of women and children. Many don't associate the Democratic Party with Islamic supremacists, Nazis, Soviets, and Maoists because the Democrats don't have genocides associated with their party. But terrorists of similar feathers flock together.

The sympathy well has run dry, black America. You may not want to hear that, but you need to hear it.

Population figure corrected.
------------------------
Rich Logis (@RichLogis) writes for American Thinker and is author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child Is Becoming a Democrat: How to Make America Grown-Up Again.

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Report: In Devastating Blow, Israel Sets Back Iran's Nuke Program Two Years

by P. David Hornik: The last couple of weeks have seen a string of apparent sabotage incidents in Iran. Questions about them abound. Possible answers are intriguing to say the least.

Probably the most significant attack came early Thursday morning at Natanz, when, as the New York Times reported:A fire ripped through a building at Iran’s main nuclear-fuel production site…, causing extensive damage to what appeared to be a factory where the country has boasted of producing a new generation of centrifuges….

A Middle Eastern intelligence official…said the blast was caused by an explosive device planted inside the facility. The explosion, he said, destroyed much of the aboveground parts of the facility where new centrifuges…are balanced before they are put into operation….

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that Iran’s advanced centrifuges posed a threat.

“Iran is also accumulating dangerous knowledge,’’ he said…. “Late last year, Iran announced that its scientists were working on a new centrifuge — the IR-9 — that would allow Tehran to enrich uranium up to 50 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges allowed” under the Obama-era deal.
Israeli military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, for his part, told Radio Farda that “by using the new generation of centrifuges Iran could have acquired a nuclear bomb with staggering speed, within weeks or months.”

Instead, Iran appears to be facing a more dismal prospect. On Monday, Israel’s Channel 12 News said the “attack on the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, credited to Israel, had managed to set back Tehran’s uranium enrichment program by two years, citing Western intelligence estimates.”

Channel 12 also said Israel’s Mossad had “recently foiled planned or attempted Iranian attacks on Israeli diplomatic missions in Europe and elsewhere,” and that “frustration is growing fast in Iran.”

And what of the other incidents? The biggest of them, which came on June 26, was a huge blast at Iran’s secret Parchin nuclear complex. Breaking Defense reported that the explosion “destroyed big parts” of the facility andChannel 12 also said Israel’s Mossad had “recently foiled planned or attempted Iranian attacks on Israeli diplomatic missions in Europe and elsewhere,” and that “frustration is growing fast in Iran.”

And what of the other incidents? The biggest of them, which came on June 26, was a huge blast at Iran’s secret Parchin nuclear complex. Breaking Defense reported that the explosion “destroyed big parts” of the facility and
Secretary of State Pompeo has been trying hard to get the arms embargo on Iran, which is rooted in the 2015 nuclear deal and set to expire on October 18, extended — so far with little success. If it does expire, Iran will be much freer to acquire and develop weapons including missiles and rockets. The Parchin attack tells Iran that there are other ways to rein it in.

Other apparent attacks appear to have targeted civilian facilities. They include an explosion on June 30 at a medical center in northwestern Tehran, a huge fire on July 3 in the city of Shiraz, an explosion at a power plant on July 4 in the city of Ahvaz, and — the latest — an explosion today at a factory in Kahrizak south of Tehran. It can’t all be a coincidence — but what’s going on? Why would Israel — or the U.S. — attack civilian sites?

The abovementioned Israeli analyst Ron Ben-Yishai hinted at one possible explanation: “The Islamic Republic has already carried out some of its nuclear activities in civilian institutions and in the heart of residential areas and buildings in Tehran.”

In other words, “civilian” facilities can be put to secret uses. Another possibility is that a domestic anti-regime group is behind those attacks. Right after the Natanz blast, the New York Times reported, staff members of the BBC’s Persian service said theyreceived an email from a previously unknown group, which referred to itself as the Homeland Cheetahs, before news of the fire became public. The group claimed responsibility and said it was composed of dissidents in Iran’s military and security apparatus. They said [their attacks] would target above ground sections of…facilities so that the Iranian government could not cover up the damage.That this outfit would be sophisticated enough to carry out the Natanz and Parchin attacks is not likely. That they’ve launched a domestic campaign of subversion and sabotage — possibly involving some coordination with outside powers — is more plausible.

The ayatollah regime is taking the heat from all sides — foreign and possibly domestic sabotage, sanctions, a steadily worsening COVID-19 crisis, a tottering economy. That even amid such travails the regime keeps investing so much in weaponry and foreign expansionist adventures tells something about the fanaticism of its ideology. But Tehran’s adversaries have it in their power to stop the juggernaut in its tracks.
---------------------------
P. David Hornik, a longtime American immigrant in Israel, is a freelance writer, translator, and copyeditor living in Beersheva. Among his books are Choosing Life in Israel and the novel Beside the Still Waters, which was published by Adelaide Books in 2019.  H/T PJ Media.

Tags: P. David Hornik, Pj Media, Report, In Devastating Blow, Israel Sets Back, Iran's Nuke Program, Two Years To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NYC And Chicago Mayors Must Go

by Bill Donohue: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot share a similar record on their handling of violence, public health and religious liberty. Both are a disgrace.

Over the 4th of July weekend, 19 persons died of COVID-19 in New York City. During that same period, 64 people were shot and 10 were killed. In Chicago, 9 persons died of the virus over those three days; 64 were wounded and 15 were murdered.

It is hard to know where the blame lies in deaths due to coronavirus, but it is not hard to know who bears responsibility for the violence. Both de Blasio and Lightfoot have made the police the enemy, and everyone knows it, especially the shooters.

When it comes to religious liberty, however, these two mayors sing a different tune. To be exact, they have gone out of their way to punish church-goers for not complying with their public health edicts. Worse, they have done nothing about the public health threat posed by protesters, many of whom were violent.

De Blasio not only endorsed the mobs that took to the streets, he gave them immunity from his contact-tracing mandate. New York employees charged with coronavirus contact-tracing were told that they could not ask anyone if he attended a protest. But they sure could ask if he went to church.

In other words, the mayor decided it was more important to guard the anonymity of someone who picked up COVID-19 while demonstrating side-by-side with thousands of others—in illegal marches—than it was to protect an innocent person from being infected by them.

Religious New Yorkers, however, were told to stay out of church, synagogue, mosque and other houses of worship. They were told they were a threat to public health. Then a federal district judge stepped in and put a temporary stop to de Blasio’s game: He accused the mayor (and Gov. Andrew Cuomo) of sending “a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”

Like de Blasio, Lightfoot threw public health concerns to the wind by doing nothing to enforce social distancing among protesters. Church-goers, however, are another story. In May, she threw down the gauntlet. She pledged to fine any church that was open. “This is not playing Russian Roulette. This is playing with a gun that is fully loaded and cocked.”

Sadly, real guns go off every weekend in her city, and she has done nothing about it. Blacks kill blacks by the dozens, turning Chicago streets into a bloodbath. Yet Lightfoot will not condemn the killers with the kind of incendiary language she uses against innocent church-goers.

De Blasio and Lightfoot are a threat to public health, public safety, and religious liberty. How much more must they do to their cities before their residents finally rise up and demand justice?
------------------
Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League.

Tags: Bill Donohue, Catholic League, NYC And Chicago Mayors, Must Go To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

SCOTUS Delivers Wins for Religious Liberty

by Tony Perkins: Wednesday, the Supreme Court delivered two noteworthy victories for religious liberty. In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the court upheld a Trump administration policy protecting conscience and religious freedom in the context of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, the court robustly defined the First Amendment rights of religious schools and institutions to determine who will teach and defend the tenets of their faith.

The first case is a saga that stretches back nearly a decade. Under the ACA, employers had been required to provide "preventative care and screening," which had been interpreted by the Obama administration to include some abortion-causing drugs and services. As a religious organization, the Little Sisters of the Poor raised a conscientious objection to this mandate on the grounds that it contradicted the religious beliefs of the group. Threatened by tens of millions of crushing fines and harassed by those who desired to destroy the right to freely live out one's faith and moral beliefs, the group received a victory in 2017 when the Trump administration decided that it would reverse the oppressive policies of the previous administration and not force entities to cover abortion-causing drugs and related services in violation of their consciences.

As the court observed, "for the past seven years," the Little Sisters, "like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to [this] decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs." Wednesday, the court vindicated their fight.

In the 7-2 opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the majority ruled that, "[...] the plain language of the statute clearly allows" the Trump administration to do this and promulgate protections under "religious and moral exemptions." As FRC's Travis Weber told me on Washington Watch, the "opinion said basically the government had the statutory authority to issue this rule under the Affordable Care Act and related regulations and related laws." Further, the administration properly followed the Administrative Procedure Act. In addition to delivering a substantial win for religious liberty, the fact that seven justices agreed the administration acted properly affirms the legitimacy of the religious freedom policies the administration had advanced here.

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School, the court outlined First Amendment protections for religious liberty that will have important implications in the years ahead. The case arose because a teacher claimed she was improperly fired from a religious school. Yet as the court noted in an opinion joined by seven justices, religious entities must be the ones to determine who transmits their religious beliefs -- the government cannot meddle here. As Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "[s]tate interference in that sphere would obviously violate the free exercise of religion, and any attempt by government to dictate or even to influence such matters would constitute one of the central attributes of an establishment of religion. The First Amendment outlaws such intrusion."

But which employees carry on the faith of such institutions? As Travis observed, rather than just look at their titles, "the court quite rightly digs down deep, more deeply and says you have to look at what the person does, what the employee does for the institution, whether their role is one in which they're entrusted with carrying forth the doctrines of the institution or the school and says, look, if they are, the school can determine or the religious institution can determine to fire them."

Exactly right. More of such protections will be needed in the years ahead. In this case, as well as the first, the Trump administration's policies and positions advanced through the Department of Justice were vindicated at the court. Both of President Trump's appointments to the court were on the right side of the cases, and Justice Gorsuch joined strong concurrences in both cases (one authored by Justice Alito and the other by Justice Thomas). Alarmingly, Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor offered words of disdain and hostility to religious belief and dissented in both cases.

Even in the courts, religious liberty hangs in the balance. For those who say elections don't matter in such cases, they need to think again.
-----------------------
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, SCOTUS, Delivers Wins, for Religious Liberty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sanders Says, At A Tipping Point, Supremes Split

by Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Sanders Says. . .
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ran against the entire Democrat establishment, and he was adamant about it. The avowed socialist was unapologetic about his far-left policies no matter how many times he was called out for his bizarre stands and unaffordable programs.

As we told you yesterday, members of his staff are now helping to craft Joe Biden's policy agenda. In fact, many sections of Biden's so-called "unity platform" appear to be lifted literally word-for-word from Bernie's platform. (I guess Joe still has a plagiarism problem!)

And Sanders can barely hide his glee. He declared that the unity platform, "if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR." And by "progressive" he means socialist. Not surprisingly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is cheering too.

By the way, I'm not sure how many statues there are of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but today's woke mobs would surely tear them all down.

FDR would not recognize today's Democrat Party. He led the nation in prayer during World War II, and many progressives today are extremely hostile to faith. They are also hostile to the country Roosevelt defended, relentlessly attacking our history and institutions.

But here's the bottom line: Joe Biden is no moderate. He's no centrist. And you don't have to take my word for it especially when socialist Bernie Sanders is the one saying so!

At A Tipping Point
The November election is just four months away. And with so much at stake and so much uncertainty, there's a lot of speculation about the state of the presidential contest.

On the one hand, Stony Brook University Professor Helmut Norpoth, who correctly predicted Trump's 2016 victory, says there's a 91% chance the president will be reelected. And perhaps by an even bigger margin than last time. It's worth noting that Norpoth's model has correctly predicted presidential elections in 25 of 27 elections dating back to 1912.

On the other hand, the RealClearPolitics <average of polls shows Biden is leading Trump by 3.5 points in Arizona, 5 points in Florida, 7.5 points in Michigan, 3 points in North Carolina, and 6.5 points in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There is virtually no scenario in which Trump wins the White House without carrying at least four of those six states.

Obviously, either the professor is wrong or these big media polls are wrong.

My point is this: America is at a tipping point and nothing is baked in.

Do not put your faith in models and do not believe the polls!

The election will be decided based on which side brings the most passion, the most organization and the most resources.

That's why we're working long hours here to expose Joe Biden's extreme agenda, to support the Trump/Pence team and to help elect more pro-family, pro-life, pro-Trump conservatives to Congress.

Supremes Split
The Supreme Court ended its term today, and so the justices will soon split town until they reconvene in October. But before they wrapped up the 2019-2020 term, they issued split decisions in two cases involving demands for the president's tax records.

In one case where a New York grand jury had issued a subpoena for Trump's financial records, the justices rejected the president's defense that he had absolute immunity from investigation by state officials. In the second case, the justices rejected a similar demand by House Democrats to subpoena the president's banking records.

There is some logic to the rulings. The court declared that no one is above the law, and if state authorities have reasonable cause to investigate, then even the president must comply or at least go through the same legal process as every other citizen would.

That said, I do not believe that the left-wing bureaucrats in New York have anything remotely close to a reasonable cause for demanding the president's tax records. It is, as he called it, "a political prosecution."

At the same time, the court prevented House Democrats from launching yet another fishing expedition without probable cause. Had they prevailed in that case, it would have set a terrible precedent, subjecting every future president to endless harassment by partisan enemies.

Moreover, if Congress can compel the president to produce personal tax records from when he was a private citizen, then what's to stop the president from demanding the same from every member of Congress?

The short-term result is that no one is likely to see the president's tax records anytime soon as both cases are headed back to lower courts for additional legal wrangling.

Defending Faith
We're still celebrating yesterday's two great Supreme Court decisions on religious liberty. We won three out of our four this term on issues related to school choice, Obamacare's contraception mandate and the right of religious schools to determine their own employment policies.

Of course, we lost a big one related to the definition of sex and gender under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is in its own way a religious liberty issue.

You understand the important nature of these cases because we and others have been educating conservatives for decades about what is at stake in these critical court battles. Sadly, the average American does not understand the issues as well.

For example, the case against the Little Sisters of the Poor was a marker of just how far the left will go to destroy anyone who stands in its way. Progressives were willing to bring the full weight and power of the federal government down on the heads of nuns who care for the poor and the needy.

I have no doubt that most Americans would be outraged if they properly understood that. But that is not what the people are being told. Almost every article in the secular media is describing the case as the Trump Administration authorizing virtually every employer to deny contraception to their female employees. That is a complete lie.

This NBC News headline is a perfect example of the media's deliberate distortion: "Supreme Court Ruling On Birth Control Has Some 'Terrified' About Potential Harm To Women." If that is what most young women think the case is about, it's not hard to understand why there might be a gender gap.

Any fair reporting would have noted that an iconic Catholic organization that serves the poor was saved from being forced to close if nuns did not provide abortifacient drugs. That's an easy case to make in any truly tolerant society.

But the left isn't interested in tolerance. It intends to force you to compromise your deeply held religious values no matter the cost.

Again, you don't have to take my word for it. Joe Biden is vowing to repeal all of Trump's religious liberty protections and fully reimpose Obamacare's onerous contraception mandate. If given the opportunity, Biden will bankrupt the Little Sisters of the Poor, destroying their ministry and thousands of other faith-based ministries in the process.

Those are the stakes, my friends. Remember that in November.
-------------------
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  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, Sanders Says, At A Tipping Point, Supremes Split 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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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
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  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
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  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
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  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
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  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
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  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
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  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
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  • 1/21/18 - 1/28/18
  • 1/28/18 - 2/4/18
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  • 1/5/20 - 1/12/20
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