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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 19, 2019

50 Years Ago, the Eagle Landed

Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. stands next to an
American flag planted on the moon, July 20, 1969. 
by Lee Edwards: Let us pause to celebrate the 50th anniversary this Saturday of a mission once thought impossible: the landing of a man on the moon.

Let us proclaim, without embarrassment, that America, and only America, had the requisite leadership, scientific community, and resources to make it possible for Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong to take that giant leap for mankind.

Let us freely admit we needed a kick to get started. That happened when the Soviet Union put the first satellite known as Sputnik in orbit and pushed ahead of the United States in the space race. The Cold War was red hot, and everything was measured on how it affected that global conflict.

As one commentator wrote, “the United States could not afford [a] slight to its technical expertise and economic strength.”

In a dramatic address in May 1961, President John F. Kennedy tasked NASA with the goal of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” and to do so before the end of the decade. The following year, Kennedy raised the stakes of the Apollo program by calling space “a new frontier” and declaring: “We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because [it is] hard.”

It was far beyond hard, requiring the skill and dedication of 32 astronauts, including Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, who died in a tragic 1967 accident, $25 billion in federal funds—an estimated $115 billion in today’s dollars—and the everyday commitment of the 400,000 workers, military and civilian, of the space program.

Ironically, America got critical help from a German rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, who designed the V-2 rockets that rained down on Britain during World War II.

Von Braun moved to the U.S. and became an American citizen. He and his American team built a U.S. rocket, the Saturn, capable of a lunar landing mission while the Soviets could not.

Russia’s Sputnik was a walk in the park compared to Apollo 11’s unprecedented lunar landing mission.

“I consider a trip to the moon and back,” said Michael Collins, the third member of the Apollo 11 crew, “to be a long and very fragile daisy chain of events.” Twenty-three critical things had to occur “perfectly,” recalled engineer JoAnn Morgan at the Kennedy Space Center.

From the beginning, the moon landing enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress although some members argued that the civilian space program might weaken support of the military budget.

When Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, immediately made the Apollo mission a priority and transformed it into a Kennedy memorial that captured the imagination of Americans.

When Armstrong took his first step on the lunar surface on July 24, 1969—broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience of an estimated 500 million people—he described it, memorably, as “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

He had barely finished speaking and welcoming fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the surface when President Richard Nixon reached them by telephone from the White House.

Nixon emphasized the universal pride in the astronauts’ accomplishment: “For one priceless moment in the whole history of man,” he said, “all the people of this Earth are truly one: one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth.”

The American people greeted the historic flight with an extraordinary outpouring of pride and patriotism. The 1960s had been a tragic decade, marked by the assassination of Kennedy, the murders of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy, the quagmire known as the Vietnam War, racial riots, and mass anti-war demonstrations.

Now, at last, Americans had something to cheer about. Only an exceptional nation like America could have conceived, planned, and executed successfully the lunar landing and safe return of the three crew members of Apollo 11.

The post-landing celebration began at a California banquet hosted by Nixon and California Gov. Ronald Reagan, who recalled thinking that the men and women of NASA had changed forever “our concept of the universe.” Fifteen years later, President Reagan returned to that theme at a White House ceremony on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“The Apollo program,” the president said, “was a noble achievement of the mind, the heart, and spirit—and the most ambitious and complex program ever undertaken in peacetime.”

Of the astronauts, he said, “How our astronauts with their quiet confidence, superb professionalism, and inner strength, lifted our feelings, our spirits, and our feeling of good will.”

He pointed out that the Apollo project had “spawned communications, weather, navigation, and Earth resource satellites, and many new industries like solid-state electronics, medical electronics, and computer sciences.”

Although Apollo was a project of peace, it had a profound effect on the Cold War. In 1970, a few months after the lunar landing, Soviet dissident and Nobel Laureate Andrei Sakharov wrote in an open letter to the Kremlin that America’s ability to put a man on the moon proved the superiority of a democracy.

That the Kremlin agreed with Sakharov can be seen by their ready acceptance of the Strategic Defense Initiative as something that the United States had the technical ability and economic wherewithal to launch.

In the words of the lunar geologist Paul Spudis, “Here is Apollo’s legacy. Any technological challenge American undertakes, it can accomplish.” That includes everyday things such as freeze-dried food, Velcro, scratch-resistant coatings on eye glasses, and the insoles that make sneakers comfortable.

The Apollo astronauts went where no one had gone before and did what no one had done before, changing forever, as Reagan said, our concept of the universe.

Is a man on Mars the next leap? Why not? After all, we are Americans.
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Lee Edwards is the distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation's B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. H/T The Daily Signal.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

National Conservatism’s Time Has Come

by W. James Antle III: Demonstrators protesting at a Colorado Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Colorado—ICE, a rare federal agency progressives would like to abolish—took down the American flag and raised the Mexican flag in its place. Will any of the two dozen or so Democratic presidential candidates condemn them?

It would have been a simple question not just for Bill Clinton, who would have surely recognized a “Sister Souljah” moment in the making, but also Barack Obama. “When I see Mexican flags waved at pro-immigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment,” Obama, then a Democratic senator from Illinois, wrote in his 2006 autobiography The Audacity of Hope.

Contrast this with the message current Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke had for a group of immigrants and refugees while campaigning in Nashville. “This country was founded on white supremacy,” he said. “And every single structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression.” O’Rourke may be an also-ran, but the top-tier Democrats are trying very hard to keep up with the never-ending march leftward—as when Julian Castro, an even lower-polling candidate, got essentially the whole field to endorse an immigration policy that wasn’t quite open borders but a step in that direction.

Even (perhaps especially) sympathetic critics question the usefulness of a movement around the most modest definition of nationalism. If nationalism is really just patriotism fused with a defense of national sovereignty, who is really against that? College professors and clickbait internet polemicists, maybe, but surely no one with a popular following or real stature.

It didn’t take a popular movement for Nike to decide that the Betsy Ross flag, prominently displayed during Obama’s second inaugural, was suddenly unacceptable. A former NFL quarterback who was previously his sport’s most prominent but least effective national anthem protester. Attacks on America’s national symbols are becoming increasingly commonplace while appeals to the unifying principles of the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights fall flat.

Embedded in the immigration debate is the question of whether affluent countries like the United States have any right to enforce their borders at all, especially if such enforcement will have a disparate impact on poor migrants of color. Deportation raids are unpleasant and should not be a country’s primary enforcement mechanism. But some are taking up Mexican flags and, reportedly, Molotov cocktails to protest the removal of people who have received lawful deportation orders.

Without denying the global humanitarian role a country as rich and powerful as ours can play, who does the United States government exist to serve primarily? What of our obligations to our own communities of color, including the descendants of slaves, whose suffering remains a stain on our national soul? Are we not more than an idea or a marketplace, a collection of squabbling factions or identity politics subgroups and unrelated consumers?

These are but a few of the questions we can expect the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. to wrestle with. The speakers come from a variety of perspectives, as one might expect of an event that features both John Bolton and Tucker Carlson as keynote speakers. Organized by the Edmund Burke Foundation—itself chaired by Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of Nationalism—this discussion could not come at a better time.

The very concept of the nation-state as a force for good is under assault. Such are the circumstances under which nationalism as a distinct political movement often comes into being. American nationalism is especially complicated. Demographics matter, but are not everything. Ideas and values matter even more, but the universally accessible cannot completely replace experience and the particular. It is not, and cannot be, white nationalism. Neither is it an embryonic United Nations.

As much as capitalism versus socialism or the size of government, the Right and Left may be separated as much by the question of America’s political inheritance. Both recognize that much of our patrimony is unearned and perhaps undeserved. The Right’s focus will be on preserving the parts that are good, the Left’s on atoning for those that are evil. There will be much debate about whether the two can be separated, and even which is which.

Such a debate is particularly painful in a country whose sins are real and where certain historical grievances are legitimate. Yet those sins and grievances do not discredit the American project as a whole, and this country has much to offer its citizens of all backgrounds. The task of those who would make this case is to rebut globalism without descending into the “otherizing” caricature our opponents—and some soi-disant allies—would draw of us, to make nationalism a unifying force rather than just another source of division.

In other words, a nation, if you can keep it.
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W. James Antle III is the editor of The American Conservative The Intercollegiate Review (IR) is published by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous. ISI shared this article with the editor of ARRA News Service.

Tags: W. James Antie III, National Conservatism, Time Has Come, The American Conservative, Intercollegiate Review, Intercollegiate Studies Institute To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Out of the Mountain of Despair, Hope

“We work around the clock. At 10 p.m., I put my phone on silent so I can sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I have a list of requests from mothers, who say, ‘Mamoud, please help us find our children.’” -- Iraqi Activist
by Tony Perkins: It looks like a primitive N. Five years ago, Navine’s mother carved the makeshift tattoo into her arm in a panic, using a nail and ashes. If they were separated, her mother told her, this would be how she would identify her. Navine was 11 when she was taken. For more than two years, she pretended to be paralyzed so that the fighters wouldn’t take her as a sex slave. “It was so difficult,” she remembers. “Sometimes they were pulling my hair and saying, ‘You have to walk. You have to talk.’ But I wouldn’t answer them.” Even during airstrikes, while everyone else ran for safety, she lived in fear – right where she was.

Today, Navine is in a tent on the side of Mount Sinjar – one of the only children her mother has left. Like 4,000 other Yazidis, some still living under pieces of plastic dropped by the U.S. airlifts five years ago, she feels safer there. Splashes of color still dot the rocks and bushes, Jane Arraf writes, the clothing and belongings left behind by thousands of terrified Yazidis as they climbed higher up the huge mountain in 2014 to escape being killed. Too afraid to come down, the survivors have been waiting for help -- that, until recently, rarely came.

Now, thanks to the Trump administration, Yadizis and Christian activists in the region agree: “Hope is back.” Wednesday, at the State Department’s second Ministerial to Advance International Religious Freedom, Father Thabet Habib Youssef thanked Secretary Mike Pompeo and the president for the infusion of aid and humanitarian relief. “Our greatest fear in the early years was that the world would forget us. This conference tells us we are not forgotten.” Haider Elias, the president of Yazda who spoke at FRC’s Syrian event Tuesday night, was similarly optimistic, telling Breitbart that things are finally starting to change under this administration – that people are finally starting to come back to Sinjar.

A lot of the credit for that belongs to Vice President Mike Pence, who last year announced that the U.S. would stop funneling money through an ineffective U.N. Instead, the Trump administration decided, USAID would cut out the middleman and take full control of relief efforts. Suddenly, more than $25 million in assistance started flowing directly to persecuted families like Navine’s in Northern Iraq. And that’s just a small portion of the $340 million the president pledged to religious minorities in her country alone. Villages that were “part ghost town, part ruins” are coming back to life. The money is helping to rebuild schools, hospitals, power stations and wells – and, most importantly, convincing thousands of Yazidi and Christian families that it’s finally safe to go home.

Wednesday afternoon, I had the chance to help highlight the important work of USAID at a special ministerial panel about faith communities (starting at 25:30 of this video). As I shared with them, one of the areas where every major religion can find common ground is helping people. And what I’ve been thrilled to see – not just through the ministerial, but through USAID – are the partnerships with faith-based organizations. To them, it doesn’t matter what religion you are. We don’t ask, “Are you a Baptist? A Lutheran? Are you Catholic or Muslim?” We serve all people.

If world leaders would start seeing religious communities as force multipliers for service, we could meet the needs that government could. That’s what has been encouraging to me about the work of USAID, especially in the Middle East. They’re linking arms with groups that are on the ground who are motivated out of compassion for their fellow human being. And I think that as more and more governments model that and put an emphasis on the value of people operating from the foundation of their faith, we indirectly address the issue of religious discrimination. In the end, that’s what will help the Navines of the world -- an effort that does more than meet basic needs, but strives to end the hatred and harassment once and for all.
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Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Out of, Mountain of Despair, Hope To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Administration Rains on UN Abortion Parade

by Stefano Gennarini: The celebration of the 25th anniversary of a landmark agreement that enshrined abortion in UN policy, was dulled by the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration this week.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement that over $30 million in funding would be withheld from the UN population agency for the third year in a row as countries gathered in the General Assembly Hall Tuesday morning for a special commemorative meeting of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held at Cairo. The Cairo conference gives the UN agency its marching orders. It famously included abortion in UN policy for the first time but declined to recognize an international right to abortion.

The timing of Pompeo’s announcement could not have been clearer. The current U.S. administration showed contempt for the UN population agency, which openly partners with governments that carry out coercive population control programs and which promotes abortion around the world.

And the official U.S. statement at the General Assembly meeting underscored the magnitude of U.S. bilateral support for maternal health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. The U.S. spends over $8 billion annually in these areas, more than eight times the budged of the UN population agency and is the largest single donor of bilateral assistance for health.

“We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor support the provision, promotion, and referral of abortion in our global health assistance,” said Austin Smith, Acting Representative of the United States to the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the General Assembly meeting.

During the same sparsely attended meeting the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres complained about the “backlash” to women’s rights internationally. Countries from Europe and Latin America also complained about attempts to rollback women’s rights internationally.

Shortly after Smith had made his statement in the General Assembly, U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Alex Azar underscored the pro-life work of his department to stop the United Nations from promoting abortion, sometimes even coercively.

“It has become the norm at too many United Nations agencies to push agendas often at odds with religious faith,” Azar said at the second annual Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington D.C.

Azar denounced how small countries are “intimidated and browbeaten into changing either their laws or their cultural or religious norms that protect the unborn and the family.”

“My Department has spearheaded efforts to fight back,” Azar said proudly. He described efforts of his department at the World Health Organization in May. The World Health Organization is one of the many bodies that make up the UN system. His staff brought together nine countries, representing over 1 billion people, to pushback against UN abortion advocacy.

“Countries have a sovereign right to be respected on these sensitive, fundamental issues,” he underlined.

And it would seem that U.S. efforts are already bearing fruit. Abortion was not a prominent topic of conversation at the General Assembly this week. It only came up in a single group statement delivered by Ireland.
---------------------------
Stefano Gennarini, J.D is the Vice President for Legal Studies at the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam).

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Green New Deal Backers Reveal What Their Sweeping Plan Is Really About

Proponents Call It ‘Social-Democratic Populism’ That’s Really ‘A How-Do-You-Change-The-Entire-Economy Thing’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The most prominent voices in the Democratic Party are openly calling to re-start a big-government assault on fossil fuels and on so many Americans’ livelihoods. We all remember, several months back, when many Democrats embraced an unabashedly socialist proposal called the Green New Deal that would have made the Obama-era War on Coal look like child’s play. Among all its other craziness, it sought to end all production of American oil, coal, and natural gas within a decade. How absurd. Well, we voted on it here in the Senate. And lest we think this was just some extreme view that only the fringe subscribes to, only 4 of 47 Democrats could bring themselves to oppose it. 43 of 47 Democrats couldn’t vote against this thing.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/18/2019)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “The Green New Deal is a manifesto calling for sweeping changes to American society.” (“What’s Actually In The ‘Green New Deal’ From Democrats?,” The Washington Post, 2/11/2019)

Green New Deal Supporters Admit, ‘We Really Think Of It As A How-Do-You-Change-The-Entire-Economy Thing,’ ‘A New, All-Encompassing Domestic Agenda’

SAIKAT CHAKRABARTI, Chief of Staff for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY): “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all…. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” (“AOC’s Chief of Change,” The Washington Post Magazine, 7/10/2019)

“New Consensus aims to be the policy quarterback for the Green New Deal. It wants to combine ideas from dozens of fields—including economics, sociology, ecology, and climate science—to write a new, all-encompassing domestic agenda. It promotes industrial policy, a school of thought that says a country should invest public dollars in its high-tech manufacturing capacity to flourish.” (“The Think Tank Struggling to Write the Green New Deal,” The Atlantic, 6/12/2019)
Vox’s David Roberts, Prominent Green New Deal Proponent: “The [Green New Deal] is, at its heart, a form of social-democratic populism…. Again, the GND is not just climate policy. It’s about transforming the economy … and creating a more muscular, active public sector.” (David Roberts, “The Green New Deal, Explained,” Vox, 3/30/2019)

Naomi Klein, Prominent Green New Deal Proponent: “Now that the [Green New Deal] resolution is out there, however, the onus is on all of us who support it to help make the case for how our overlapping crises are indeed inextricably linked — and can only be overcome with a holistic vision for social and economic transformation.” (Naomi Klein, “The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal,” The Intercept, 2/13/2019)

The Most Prominent Green New Deal Supporters In Congress Just Introduced A New Resolution Declaring The Need For A ‘Massive-Scale’ ‘National, Social, Industrial, And Economic Mobilization’

New resolution introduced by SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT) and REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): “[A] climate emergency … demands a national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor of the United States at a massive-scale …” (Sen. Sanders, Press Release, 7/09/2019)
  • SANDERS & OCASIO-CORTEZ Resolution: “[A]ddressing the climate emergency will require [a] managed phase-out of the use of oil, gas, and coal to keep fossil fuels in the ground …” (Sen. Sanders, Press Release, 7/09/2019)
Democrats On The Green New Deal: ‘You Cannot Go Too Far On The Issue Of Climate Change,’ ‘Give Us Some Of That Socialism’

THE VIEW’S SUNNY HOSTIN: “Does the Green New Deal go too far?”

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “No. You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change.” (“Sanders Says Green New Deal Doesn’t Go Too Far: You Can’t Go ‘Too Far’ on Climate Change,” Mediaite, 3/01/2019)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA), Green New Deal Senate sponsor: “They call the Green New Deal pie in the sky. They call it socialism! … So here’s what I say for wind and solar and all electric vehicles and clean energy: give us some of that socialism …” (Justice Democrats, @justicedems, Twitter, 5/14/2019)

And How Much Would This Fundamental Transformation Of The American Economy Cost?

$1.7 Trillion?
“Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, released a climate change plan on Tuesday that would pour $1.7 trillion of investment into achieving 100% clean energy and net-zero emissions by 2050 …” (“Biden Unveils $1.7 Trillion Climate Plan To End U.S. Carbon Emissions By 2050,” Reuters, 6/4/2019)

$2 Trillion?
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to invest $2 trillion in federal funding in clean energy programs as part of a Green New Deal aimed at confronting global climate change, according to her campaign.” (“Elizabeth Warren Proposes $2 Trillion Clean Energy Plan As Green New Deal Momentum Builds,” The Washington Post, 6/4/2019)

$5 Trillion?
“Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on Monday released a sweeping, $5 trillion plan to combat what he regularly refers to as the ‘greatest threat’ our nation faces: climate change.” (“Beto O'Rourke Releases $5 Trillion Plan To Combat Climate Crisis,” NBC News, 4/29/2019)

$9 Trillion?
“Jay Inslee released a sweeping $9 trillion economic plan Thursday to … rapidly cut planet-warming gases, propelling the Washington governor far out ahead on the Green New Deal at least nine of his rival 2020 presidential candidates vowed to enact.” (“Jay Inslee Unveils $9 Trillion Climate Jobs Plan To Cut Emissions And Bolster Unions,” Huffington Post, 5/16/2019)

$10 Trillion?
“Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that any plan to sufficiently address the climate crisis will need to cost at least $10 trillion. ‘I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,’ the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol. ‘I know it’s a ton,’ she added.” (“Ocasio-Cortez: $10 Trillion Needed For Effective Climate Plan,” The Hill, 6/05/2019)

$80 Trillion Over 10 Years?
“Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, told me that if the United States spent as much fighting climate change today as it did at the peak of World War II—when federal spending came to 40 percent of U.S. GDP—then a Green New Deal could cost as much as $8 trillion per year.” (“The Think Tank Struggling to Write the Green New Deal,” The Atlantic, 6/12/2019)

$93 Trillion Over 10 Years?
“The so-called Green New Deal may tally between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10-years, concludes American Action Forum, which is run by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who directed the non-partisan CBO from 2003 to 2005. That includes between $8.3 trillion and $12.3 trillion to meet the plan’s call to eliminate carbon emissions from the power and transportation sectors and between $42.8 trillion and $80.6 trillion for its economic agenda including providing jobs and health care for all.” (“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Could Cost $93 Trillion, Group Says,” Bloomberg News, 2/25/2019)

Tags: Green New Deal, Backers Reveal, Sweeping 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!

Pence Defends Religious Freedom, More Meaningless Votes, Love It Or Leave It, Trans Parenthood

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Pence Defends Religious Liberty
I was honored to be part of a select group at the State Department today, with representatives of 106 countries, to hear Vice President Mike Pence deliver a powerful defense of religious freedom as a fundamental human right that should be protected in every nation.

Sadly, Pence noted that "a stunning 83% of the world's population lives in nations where religious freedom is threatened or even banned." As a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I can assure you that the challenge is enormous and far worse than most Americans realize.

The vice president called out some of the worst violators, including China, Iran and North Korea. Referring to China, Pence said:

"The United States is engaged in ongoing negotiations and discussions over our trading relations with China and those will continue. But whatever comes of our negotiations with Beijing, you can be assured that the American people will stand in solidarity with the people of all faiths in the People's Republic of China. And we will pray for the day when that they can live out their faith freely without fear of persecution."

The vice president noted that in North Korea possession of a Bible is a capital offense and that regime officials have pledged to "wipe out the seed of Christian reactionaries."

Pence vowed that as the Trump Administration pursues nuclear talks with Kim Jong Un, "the United States will continue to stand for the freedom of religion for all people of all faiths on the Korean peninsula."

You can watch the vice president's speech here.

Yesterday, President Trump met with victims of religious persecution, including Pastor Andrew Brunson, at the White House. You can watch his remarks here.

More Meaningless Votes
According to a recent CNN poll, 74% of Americans said the situation at the border is a crisis. Yet what is Congress doing about it? Nothing.

After wasting time Tuesday debating the president's tweets, House Democrats wasted Wednesday debating impeachment and holding meaningless contempt votes.

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) forced a vote on impeaching President Trump basically because Green doesn't like the president. His impeachment resolution contains the usual list of insults liberals hurl at conservatives, declares Trump to be unfit for office and a general menace to society. (And given Green's past embrace of Louis Farrakhan, he's got a lot of chutzpah introducing this resolution!)

But the resolution is noteworthy for what was missing. There was nothing you might expect about Robert Mueller, nothing about colluding with Russia and no "high crimes" -- the constitutional standard for impeachment -- identified anywhere in Green's resolution.

As a reminder, Bill Clinton was impeached for real crimes -- perjury and obstruction of justice. There was nothing remotely close to that in Green's screed. As a result, the vote to table (or dismiss) the resolution was 332-to-95.

At a rally in North Carolina last night, President Trump described the vote as "a slaughter" and thanked the Democrats who voted against impeachment.

Trump knew exactly what he was doing. He was throwing rocks at the progressive hornet's nest!

The left-wing blogosphere erupted in outrage at Pelosi and her party. One progressive outlet declared that yesterday's vote: "represented yet another failure by the House majority to listen to grassroots demands and take meaningful action against the president."

After brushing off Green's impeachment effort, Democrats wasted more time by voting to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents related to the administration's decision to put a citizenship question on the census.

Keep in mind that:
  • The president had asserted executive privilege over the documents, meaning it wasn't up to Barr and Ross to hand them over.
  • The overwhelming majority of Americans support the administration's position on the citizenship question.
  • And the issue is moot now due to a tortured opinion from the Supreme Court.
So what was the point of yesterday's contempt vote? It's all political theater intended to smear the administration with the taint of scandal.

I know some conservatives cringe at times over the president's Twitter habits. But his instincts are incredible.

CNN's Jake Tapper went on a tweet storm yesterday noting that many House Democrats were furious that they had to defend "the Squad." Others conceded that Trump's fight was "politically brilliant" because it elevated these radicals and made them the public faces of the Democrat Party.

Love It Or Leave It
President Trump got into hot water earlier this week with the liberal media for channeling his inner Merle Haggard and telling left-wing politicians that if they don't love America they are free to leave it. Well, he's not the only one who has expressed similar sentiments.

Remember when Governor Andrew Cuomo told pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment conservatives that "they have no place in the state of New York"? That sounds a lot like "love or leave it," and I don't recall any outrage by the media then or resolutions condemning Cuomo's bigotry.

Remember all the "woke" Hollywood liberals who promised to leave the country if Trump won in 2016? Presumably that meant they would no longer love the country if he won. Well, he did win, and I'm still waiting for them to leave!

By the way, there's been a lot fretting about last night's chants directed at Ilhan Omar. That should not be seen as the president doubling down on his previous tweets suggesting that Omar should go back to Somalia.

The president today clarified that he felt the chants crossed the line, saying, "I wasn't happy with it. . . and I felt a little bit badly about it." But Trump is not backing down either. If anything, he is doubling down on his insistence that we should all love and respect America.

Trans Parenthood?
Yesterday we reported that Dr. Leana Wen had been fired from her position as president of Planned Parenthood after just eight months on the job. Reports indicated that Wen and the board had "philosophical differences over the direction" of the organization.

Evidently those philosophical differences were significant. According to the left-wing outlet BuzzFeed, "Two sources [said] that Wen also refused to use 'trans-inclusive' language."

Maybe Wen was just as confused as I was when Julian Castro endorsed abortions for trans females. Or perhaps she refused to buy into the progressive insanity that "men can get pregnant" and must be permitted access to taxpayer funded abortions.
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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

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Pence Defends Religious Freedom, More Meaningless Votes, Love It Or Leave It, Trans Parenthood To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Wins Big in Emoluments Lawsuits: 2 Down and 1 to Go

Hans von Spakovsky & GianCarlo Canaparo: President Donald Trump has won the second of three lawsuits alleging he violated the Constitution because foreigners and state officials patronize his businesses, such as the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the claim by Maryland and the District of Columbia that Trump was violating the Constitution’s domestic and foreign emoluments clauses.

The foreign emoluments clause reads:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.The domestic emoluments clause reads:The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.In throwing out this latest suit, the 4th Circuit chastised the plaintiffs for wasting the court’s time with a plainly meritless case.

The court also scolded federal Judge Peter Messitte, a Clinton appointee, for not throwing out the case sooner and for refusing to let the president appeal his erroneous rulings.

Messitte’s faulty reasoning “blinks reality,” the court said, and his actions “amounted to a clear abuse of discretion.”

Messitte’s rulings were so erroneous that the 4th Circuit didn’t even wait for an appeal. It accepted the president’s request for writ of mandamus—a rarely granted procedural tool that allows early review of an otherwise nonappealable issue—to take the case away from Messitte, reverse his rulings, and force him to throw the case out for good, without the possibility of further appeal.

The lawsuit alleged that, because government employees and foreign officials pay for services they receive from Trump’s businesses, payment produces a constitutionally forbidden “present” to the president.

The court held that Maryland and the District’s interest in the case was “abstract” and “simply too attenuated” for the case to proceed.

Maryland and the District argued that they are harmed by the alleged constitutional violation because the Trump Hotel “competes” with conference centers and hotels they own. Which, of course, brings up a question not dealt with in the lawsuit: Why are Maryland and D.C. involved in the conference and hospitality industry to begin with and competing with private industry?

Their claims rested on the speculation (accepted at face value by Messitte) that government officials patronize the Trump Hotel because it distributes profits to the president and not for any other reason.

But there are, of course, two equally plausible competing speculations: that some government officials avoid the Trump Hotel because of its association with the president, and that some government officials stay at the Trump Hotel because it’s a nice place to stay.

Regardless, courts don’t decide cases based on speculations.

What’s more, Maryland and the District couldn’t explain how prohibiting the president from earning money from the hotel would stop government officials from going there. In other words, even if they had a viable legal claim, there is no possible remedy.

Assuming that foreign officials were trying to curry the president’s favor by staying at his hotel, the hotel is associated with him and would financially benefit his family even if it didn’t benefit him—and the emoluments clauses have no application to the family members of a federal official.

The 4th Circuit found this a fatal flaw in the plaintiffs’ argument and noted that the lawyer for Maryland and the District was “repeatedly unable to articulate the terms of the injunction” that was being sought to remedy the supposed violation of the Constitution.

As the court expostulated, “when plaintiffs before a court are unable to specify the relief they seek, one must wonder why they came to the court for relief in the first place.”

The only other interest that Maryland or the District had in the case was “a general interest in having the law followed.” And a plaintiff “raising only a generally available grievance about government” has no right to do so in court.

So ended the second of three emoluments clauses cases. The president won the first case in 2017 when a federal court in New York tossed out an almost identical lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal advocacy organization.

One emoluments case remains, this one before federal Judge Emmet Sullivan in the District of Columbia. In that case, Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., personally sued the president for allegedly violating the foreign emoluments clause.

In an order reminiscent of Messitte’s “clearly erroneous” orders, Sullivan simply accepted the speculation—with no supporting evidence—that foreign officials are staying at the Trump Hotel only because it pays the president part of its profits.

Sullivan then went on to say that congressional Democrats have a personal interest in the case because—and now hang on, because this is wild ride—the president, by accepting the alleged foreign payments, has denied Congress, as an institution, the right to vote on these payments.

You might wonder how Sullivan made the logical leap from the Democrats’ personal interest to Congress’ institutional interest. Sullivan answers that question by calling that distinction “relevant … but not dispositive.”

That case is ongoing, and Sullivan is letting the congressional Democrats subpoena the president’s financial information. Additionally, Sullivan recently denied the president’s request to delay the case while he appeals.

Political fights belong in the political arena. As the 4th Circuit said here, the claims made by Maryland and the District were “so attenuated and abstract that the prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts.”

It isn’t. And in light of the 4th Circuit’s opinion, perhaps the president should seek another writ of mandamus in the D.C. Circuit to overrule what is clearly an erroneous decision by Sullivan.
---------------------------------
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans von Spakovsky. GianCarlo Canaparo is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: President Trump, Wins Big, Emoluments Lawsuits 2 Down and 1 to Go, Hans von Spakovsky, GianCarlo Canaparo To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Kamala Harris Lives In One Of The Most Segregated Neighborhoods In Los Angeles

by Daniel Greenfield: Senator Kamala Harris, who lives with her white husband in one of the most segregated neighborhoods in Los Angeles, has come out with a call for busing children to distant schools to fight “segregation”.

That’s great for Kamala, who has no children. Her stepson, Cole, who works at the William Morris Agency, which is about as diverse as his dad and S-Mamala’s Brentwood hood, won’t be bussed to work at more diverse talent agencies, and Ella, won’t be bused from her studies at Parsons School of Design (4% black) to a more diverse design college. Like most politicians, Harris wants to penalize other people.

None of these provisions and solutions to problems that don’t exist will actually apply to her and hers.

If segregation is the mere absence of diversity and requires government intervention, as she insists it does, what is Senator Kamala Harris doing to desegregate her Brentwood neighborhood?

Kamala’s $4.8 million Brentwood home is located in a neighborhood that is 84% white and 1.2% black in Los Angeles, a city that is nearly 10% black.

Senator Harris has come out for busing children to schools that aren’t sufficiently diverse. What about busing some folks from South Central to Brentwood to live across the street from her home?

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me,” Senator Kamala Harris whined.

Because the only way a successful Democrat can run for office is by playing the victim.

The truth is that little girl, the privileged daughter of wealthy foreign grad students, wasn’t bused.

She was flown around the world.

That’s not a “right-wing conspiracy theory”, as the media now describes any account fact-checking Kamala Harris’ imaginary past, it’s right there in the words of her own mother who couldn’t stop bragging about the wealth and power that was Kamala’s birthright by way of family and connections.

“When Kamala was in first grade one of her teachers said to me, ‘You know, your child has a great imagination. Every time we talk about someplace in the world she says, ‘Oh, I’ve been there.’ So I told her, ‘Well, she has been there!’”

“India, England, the Caribbean, Africa—she had been there," Kamala's mother told Modern Luxury magazine.

These days, Kamala actually has a great imagination. She has to work hard to imagine being oppressed.

That’s the actual little girl being displayed on those t-shirts that Kamala Harris For the People (the official and officially laughable name of a campaign funded by California millionaires) is selling for $30 bucks.

"Two decades after Brown v. Board, I was only the second class to integrate at Berkeley public schools. Without that decision, I likely would not have become a lawyer and eventually be elected a Senator from California,” Senator Kamala Harris claimed.

Kamala’s insistence that without busing she wouldn’t have become a lawyer or a senator takes place in an exciting fantasy world in which her wealthy, famous and powerful parents never existed. In the real world, her Brahmin mother, an internationally famous cancer researcher, sending her "Montreal’s tony Westmount" high school probably had a lot more to do with her becoming a lawyer.

Busing certainly didn’t put Kamala Harris on a path to the Senate and the White House. Not unless there were buses running directly to Willie Brown’s house and stopping in a shadowy spot at the back door.

It wasn’t civil rights, but an alleged extramarital affair with a dirty San Francisco city boss that made her.

Forget the trauma of busing. To get to where she was, Kamala, at 29, hooked up with Willie, at 60, and ended up in a Brentwood home with no children, but a Senate seat and a shot at the White House.

“And that little girl was me.”

It’s understandable politically and personally why Kamala would want to invent a past in which she hadn’t used her privilege and connections as a down payment on ruining her life and selling her soul.

Kamala’s story, in which busing took her out of the grim inner cities of Berkeley, where she had to watch three beatnik poets recite bad verse before she got to her bus stop, and opened the world to her, so that one day that little girl in the old creased photo could aspire to be president, is much nobler.

It’s a much more satisfying story than sleeping with a married politician and getting a BMW and a seat on a commission. There are no t-shirts at Kamala’s campaign store showing her old self driving in Willie’s BMW to the job that Willie got her, attending California Medical Assistance Commission meetings twice a month, for over $120,000 in current dollars, while still managing to miss 20% of them.

That not so little girl was her too.

If Kamala had at least allegedly slept with Willie because she was that “little girl” from the ghetto, clawing her way up the ladder, that would have been understandable. But the story is much worse. Kamala didn’t need Willie Brown to get a good job. She needed him to get jobs she didn’t deserve.

Like the one she has now and the one she wants now.

That’s the truly damning thing.

Senator Harris wasn’t a poor little girl from the ghetto. She mingled with the Nob Hill set. Her life was filled with privilege and wealth. It wasn’t desperation. It wasn’t need. It was greed.

Senator Kamala Harris has to reinvent her past because she needs to run as a victim. And because it shifts the social context behind the entire Willie Brown story to make her seem more defensible.

What can you expect from an oppressed little girl from the Berkeley ghetto trying to survive?

It’s not just Kamala rewriting her past. The media is working just as hard to reinvent a woman that the local press had covered thoroughly, while denying all the stories it had written about her in the past.

There’s always been speculation about Obama’s rise in Chicago politicians, but there’s never been much ambiguity about Kamala’s rise in San Francisco politics. We know how it happened and why.

But, now that’s a “right-wing conspiracy theory” even if it appeared in all the big California papers.

Before the media reinvented Kamala Harris as living on a Berkeley plantation with white and colored marijuana dispensaries, the Los Angeles Times had described her as a, “privileged child of foreign grad students”. These days, repeating that will see you accused of spreading right-wing conspiracy theories.

Reality, history and the media’s own stories are all notoriously right-wing conspiracy theories.

But meanwhile “that little girl” lives in one of the most segregated neighborhoods in Los Angeles, without ever saying anything about it, with her entertainment lawyer husband, in a $4.8 million home with a “spa-like” master bedroom, and a kidney-shaped pool. The median income is $112,000.

Kamala has an estimated net worth of $391,000.

Once upon a time, she got a BMW from Willie Brown. These days, it’s unknown what she drives. But, like most wealthy people in Los Angeles, Senator Kamala Harris would never actually take the bus.

Busing is for other people.
--------------
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: Daniel Greedfield,FrontPage Mag, Kamala Harris, Lives In,
Most Segregated, Los Angeles, Neighborhoods
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The Marx Sisters . . .

. . . The Squad,Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), aka the hateful four, out to bite the hand that feeds them, America.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Marx Sisters, The Squad, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Oma, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, hateful four, out to bite, the hand, that feeds them, America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Theistic Evolution

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: How can we resolve the apparent tension between the scientific presentation of evolution and the Bible? Christians attempt to reconcile the two views by saying that evolution is true, and that’s the mechanism God used.

Prominent organizations such as Biologos insist that theistic evolution (sometimes called evolutionary creation) is a superior view because of the evidence for evolutionary theory.

Authors of a new book challenge that assumption based on their scientific understanding and their theological concerns. The book, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, is edited by scientists like Stephen C. Meyer, philosophers like J. P. Moreland, and theologians like Wayne Grudem.

Stephen Meyer was on my radio program to talk about his articles and contributions by other scientists. He said that he feels that many pastors and theologians believe they are under an obligation to accept an evolutionary worldview. Then they feel they have to interpret Scripture through that evolutionary hermeneutic. But the contributors to this book argue that is hardly necessary given the current status of the evolutionary model.

Meyer believes there is a very large disparity between the public presentation of the evolutionary theory by science popularizers and textbook writers and the actual status of the theory as you find it in the peer-reviewed literature. In fact, some leaders in the field are calling for a new theory of evolution and for a new mechanism for evolutionary change.

The book not only raises scientific questions about evolution but also deals with the philosophical and theological questions that arise once you adopt a view of theistic evolution. Where does the fall and human sinfulness fit into an evolutionary narrative? Is Adam a mythological figure or an historical figure? These are important questions raised in this new book that will challenge you to consider what you believe about origins.
----------------
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Theistic Evolution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Truth Squad

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “I hesitate to contribute to this freak show,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night.

I know the feeling.

“I don’t think President Trump is a racist,” added the senator. “I don’t think his original tweet was racist.”

While I haven’t peered into the president’s soul, I didn’t see racism in his tweet, either. But I did catch a whiff of other wrongs.

Xenophobia, for instance.

And nastiness.

I didn’t like Mr. Trump’s attempt to paint “the Squad” — Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — as somehow un-American or illegitimate by tweeting: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All but Rep. Omar were born here, and immigrant Omar is just as much an American citizen as was George Washington.

“Our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion, or with their race,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) rightly said. “It has to do with the content of their policies.”*

Let’s note that only two, AOC and Tlaib, have chosen the socialist label. Reps. Omar and Pressley have not, though their policy positions seem in sync.

It may be, as NBC News reporter Jonathan Allen wrote, that Trump’s tweet was designed to “flip the script,” ending the feud between the Squad and Speaker Pelosi, because “he wants the Democratic Party stuck to its progressive fringe.”

But the ends do not justify the means. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And our politics stinks.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Cheney added (and I concur): “They are wrong when they pursue policies that would steal power from the American people and give that power to the government.”
------------------
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.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Truth Squad To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

President Trump’s Tweets Were Not Racist And Anti-American, But The U.S. Reps’ Statements He Was Responding To May Have Been

by Robert Romano: “Go wherever they want them, or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country. You look at what they’ve said. I have clips right here. The most vile, horrible statements about our country, about Israel, about others. It’s up to them to do what they want. They can leave, they can stay. But they should love our country, and they should work for the good of our country.”

That was President Donald Trump’s response on July 16 to the flap over his tweets blasting U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).

Trump had tweeted on July 12, “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly… and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how… it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

As usual, the response to Trump’s comments is disproportionate and over the top, with unfounded charges of racism and being un-American. While perhaps ill-considered — of the four, only Omar was born overseas in Somalia — but like almost everyone in the U.S. they are the descendants of those who came to America one way or another. What he says was also divisive, but Trump does have a point about some of the divisive statements that have been made by these representatives. Readers can decide which were worse.

On Feb. 10, Omar had tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) calling for Omar and Tlaib to be reprimanded by the House of Representatives for statements against Israel. When asked who she thought was paying off Congress, Omar tweeted, “AIPAC!” in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, suggesting that Jewish money was controlling Congress. That’s pretty anti-Semitic and racist. Omar has since deleted the tweets.

Omar has also joked in 2013 about those who speak of al Qaeda and Hezbollah harshly but do not do so for the U.S. Army, America or England, saying, “But you know, it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with the intensity… But you say these names [Al Qaeda] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to be something.” Al Qaeda and the U.S. Army have no moral equivalence, as if members of Congress were neutral observers of who meets on the battlefield. No, Omar’s job is to provide support to the armed forces. Does she still think al Qaeda and the Army are the same?

At a rally in North Carolina, supporters of President Trump unfortunately chanted “send her back” when Trump brought her up. That’s not going to happen, but it does reflect the perception of Americans who do not appreciate immigrants who do not love this country. She’s got a right to her opinions under the First Amendment and so do they and the President for that matter to respond.

Tlaib in a May 10 podcast of Skullduggery said thinking of the Holocaust gave her a “calming feeling”: “There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”

Those comments are pretty insensitive, anti-Semitic and not even really accurate. Here, Tlaib is romanticizing the tragedy of the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews and 11 million Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and others were murdered. Besides that, Jews have lived in the lands of the current state of Israel for centuries predating the Holocaust. Modern Zionist movements and emigration to Israel also predated the war. During that period and after the war, the creation of Israel was not accepted by the Arabs. The official establishment of Israel in 1948 led to the war of independence and the series of wars that followed in the ensuing decades. Arabs did not create any safe haven for Jews in Israel and to suggest they did is an absurd proposition.

And during the war, as noted by Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, “the Palestinian leader at the time, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, met with Adolf Hitler and allied with the Nazis,” referring to an article from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum stating, “al-Husayni collaborated with the German and Italian governments by broadcasting pro-Axis, anti-British, and anti-Jewish propaganda via radio to the Arab world; inciting violence against Jews and the British authorities in the Middle East…” To ignore this context is yet more revisionism. And as Klein noted, “she was making this claim in the context of arguing for a one-state solution, the goal of which has always been for Arabs to overwhelm the Jewish population, and then force them as a minority to be governed by the people who are currently launching rockets at them.”

As for Ocasio-Cortez, on June 18 she tweeted, “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis…”

Another absurd proposition, and certainly anti-American, when everybody in federal custody is subject to judicial review but nobody in a concentration camp ever was. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum makes this distinction, stating, “What distinguishes a concentration camp from a prison (in the modern sense) is that it functions outside of a judicial system. The prisoners are not indicted or convicted of any crime by judicial process.” Almost everybody detained in Nazi concentration camps was held without any legal basis, whereas almost everybody detained by the Border Patrol was captured entering the country illegally or to assert an asylum claim, both of which are subject to legal reviews and ultimately judicial review.

Moreover, in federal custody today, whether by the Border Patrol, ICE or prisons, almost everyone lives with mortality rates less than 1 percent with natural causes being the leading cause, whereas in Nazi concentration camps during the war, mortality rates were north of 95 percent or worse, with murder being the leading cause. Upwards of 20 million died in the camps system, the ghettoes and by the mobile killing squads, and less than 500,000 survived when the camps were liberated.

This rhetoric may have even inspired the ICE firebombing attack on July 12 by a member of Antifa, Willem Van Spronsen, who was shot dead by police and whose manifesto ran with Ocasio-Cortez’s ridiculous concentration camp comparison.

We can address conditions in the detention facilities where Congress only provided 52,000 beds and there’s more than 100,000 people being apprehended crossing the border every month (of which about 18 percent are asylum claims of fear in FY 2018 but I suspect that number is rising significantly in FY 2019) and create more deterrents to illegal entry. Congress can do that.

But by my count AOC voted against border security supplementals and the bipartisan $4.6 billion humanitarian bill that just passed to provide aid on the border and to address those conditions at the facilities. A majority of Democrats, 129 to 95, and almost all Republicans supported that bill, but not AOC, and then she wants to complain about the conditions in the overwhelmed, overcrowded facilities. She had her preferred version of that bill, and it was in that context she made the concentration camps comparison, but lawmakers went with the Senate version. Even if the House version had passed, I doubt it would have assuaged Ocasio-Cortez’ views about the concentration camps. You don’t go from Nazi Germany to a humane republic by passing one bill.

And Pressley, on July 13 she suggested at the Netroots Nation conference, “If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.”

It is no understatement to suggest that if a white member of Congress had said “we don’t need white faces that don’t want to be a white voice” it would have been rightly pilloried as racist, and if that representative had been a Republican, he or she would have resigned by now. Yet, today, there are no calls for Pressley’s resignation from members of her own party nor from the media that openly protects racism in the Democratic Party.

And let us be clear: It is racist for a member of Congress to say that, on the basis of race, an individual should represent their race first and not their nation as a whole. It contradicts our national creed: “Out of many, one.”

A quick look at the demographics of Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District that Pressley represents bears this out: 33 percent are White, 26 percent are Black, 22 percent are Hispanic and 11 percent are Asian. Is Pressley suggesting she only represents the 26 percent of her district who are Black? I don’t think that’s the way our representative system was envisioned. James Madison wrote in the Federalist No. 52, “the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description, whether native or adoptive, whether young or old, and without regard to poverty or wealth, or to any particular profession of religious faith.”

I’ll go further. I think it suggests a lack of belief in America as a nation at all. More than anything, we’re founded on the proposition, the idea, that all persons are created with equal rights and liberty. It is also an aspiration. We did not start there originally, but with great leaders and great struggles including the Civil War, we have expanded the franchise and become a stronger nation as a result. We all come from different backgrounds, but we all share this country.

But do we have a country anymore? I think the State of the Union is poor. And I don’t think it’s Trump’s doing. Here is where I agree with Trump the most in his more recent statement. We shouldn’t hate America. We should be working to make it a better place. Tearing it down, comparing it to Nazi Germany — a monstrous lie — saying that we should represent our race before our country, suggesting that Jewish money controls Congress, is destructive. It fuels division. And I, for one, am glad President Trump called it out. It’s about time someone did.

I think most people get it. I don’t think what he said was racist. I know others are disagreeing. I just think there is a context and it’s not like he suggested out of the blue, if you don’t like America, then leave, he’s responding to representatives who are saying pretty hateful things that are frankly dangerous. What they said has context, too, but it is extremely misguided. Antifa just tried to blow up an ICE facility and the bomber who was shot dead was using AOC’s rhetoric. They think we literally live in Nazi Germany and almost nobody but the President is forcefully denouncing that rhetoric.

Let me add I don’t think this overall is his best moment. He can do a lot better than this. But so can they. We have real problems as a nation we must fix and that can only be fixed together.

In his latest statement on July 16, quoted above, Trump was far more conciliatory. His second statement that “Go wherever they want them, or they can stay. But they should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country” acknowledges that the first was indeed divisive. Now I call on the representatives he is rightly criticizing to do better, too.

So, let us all do better and elevate our discourse, and unite this country, not on every issue, but in a determination to represent all Americans and try to solve at least some of these issues.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: President Trump’s Tweets, Not Racist, not Anti-American, U.S. Reps’ Statements, Responding To. May Have Been 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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