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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Backyard Police with Barry Fife . . .

. . . WOTUS rule is infringing on private property rights.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, WOTUS, Federal Government, FEC, backyard police, infringing on property rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

General Hayden: U.S. Troops In Iraq "Over-Regulated And Constrained"

Michael Hayden
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: High-level government officials tend to avoid commenting on politics after they leave their posts. That's especially true for high-ranking members of the military who serve in presidential administrations.

But several top Obama administration officials have criticized the president after leaving government. The latest is Air Force four-star general Michael Hayden, who was director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bush and then, for a short time, under President Obama.

Appearing on "Newsmax Prime" with J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan yesterday, Hayden made some extraordinary statements about why our efforts in Iraq are not succeeding.

Hayden argued that we will never be able to defeat ISIS unless we put more boots on the ground and until we let them "do the kinds of things they're capable of doing." Hayden continued:"[U.S. troops in Iraq are] not free to move forward with Iraqi units below the brigade level. They're not free to have tactical air control parties forward in order to bring in precise air power. We don't use our special operation forces very often, although we did have one successful raid about 10 days ago. There are more things we could be doing even with the forces we have, but again, we're over-regulated and constrained. It appears to me that the political control of this military effort is actually incredibly powerful."Hayden added that some military pilots involved in anti-ISIS airstrikes have complained that the rules of engagement are too restrictive and suggested that the order to be cautious may be coming "all the way back here to Pennsylvania Avenue."

With these comments, Hayden repeated what most of the Republican candidates for president (with the notable exception of Rand Paul) have been saying. If Hayden is right, that Obama has chosen a war strategy that allows him to say that we're doing something but is also doomed to fail, then this is a scandal of historic proportions.

It is a wonderful time around the world to be a jihadist. It's a growth industry, and it will continue to be as long as the only country able to stop it is hobbled by a lack of leadership.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, General, Michael Hayden, U.S Troops, Iraq, over-regulated, constrained To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

New Video: "When We Choose"

Washington, DC – Youth advocacy organization Generation Opportunity is out with a new animated video, “When We Choose.” The upbeat, forward-looking video poses a question: what kind of progress can our generation make when the government gets out of the way?

The two-minute, twenty-six-second video points to ridesharing, space-sharing, and food trucks as prime examples of how the government uses burdensome taxes and regulations to intentionally stifle emerging industries that are threatening to disrupt the status quo.

“Government will tell you that these laws are in place to protect us, and [we] get it – we want laws to keep people from [stabbing or stealing],” the narrator says. “But to keep us from finding a ride, renting out our homes, or getting a dang quesadilla from a food truck? It just ain’t right.”

Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg released the following statement:“‘When We Choose’ is about innovation vs. cronyism. Laws promoted by special interests allow protected businesses to grow lazy, discouraging competition, limiting choices, and bumping up prices. But when our generation is able to choose what works best for us, we have the power to reward principled businesses that meet our needs and desires – and shun the ones that don’t.

“Generation Opportunity is laying out a vision for what’s possible when big business and government no longer choose what’s best for us. When we’re able to explore new ways of doing things, our generation – not entrenched interests – will decide what the future holds.”

Tags: Generation Opportunity, Evan Feinbergm video, When We Choose, What's Possible, competition To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Los Angeles Shows Us the Real Reason Why Unions are Pushing for Minimum Wage Increases

by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: Unions like the SEIU have spent millions funding "worker centers" that stage "grassroots," "Fight for $15" minimum wage protests.

In Los Angeles, they scored a win. However, unions want to be exempted from the wage hike:Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.
On the surface it seems odd that labor unions being big proponents of raising the minimum wage would want an exemption.

But it's not when you understand the push isn't about raising workers' wages; it's about boosting union membership, as Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute explains:Although the union-funded Raise the Wage campaigned so vociferously in favor of a $15.25 minimum wage, unions are seeking exemptions from the higher wages for their members. The exemption, or escape clause, would allow them greater strength in organizing workplaces. Unions can tell fast food chains, hotels, and hospitals that if they agree to union representation, their wage bill will be substantially lower. That will persuade employers to allow the unions to move in.There's a reason minimum wage protesters often use the phrase, "Fight for $15 and a union!"

With more union members will come more union dues and bigger budgets, Furchtgott-Roth writes:Once the higher minimum wage bill is signed into law, with the exemption for unions, then organizing becomes a win-win for employers and unions. Unions get initiation fees of about $50 per worker and a stream of dues totaling 2 percent to 4 percent of the workers' paychecks.As a minimum wage increase in the Bay Area has shown, there will be pain. Businesses there have had to cut workers' hours or close because of the additional labor costs.

Unions haven't found a way to reverse the decades-long trend of declining membership. So instead of finding new ways of convincing workers to join unions, they come up with scheme to raise the minimum wage then demanding carve outs for themselves.

It's blatantly obvious these minimum wage campaigns are cynical efforts for expanding union rolls.
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Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and Senior Editor at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Sean Hackbarth, Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, California, real reason, unions pushing minimum wage increase, minimum wage  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Customs Bill, Trade Authority Turn Blind Eye To Pacific Human Rights Abuses

Fairfax, Va. — Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued the following statement urging opposition to the separate customs bill and trade authority facing Congress that will allow human rights abusers to receive favorable economic treatment by the U.S. in international trade:"Congress is looking to whitewash the horrors of mass graves and religious persecution in Trans-Pacific Partnership nations like Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam through passage of a separate customs bill which would allow human rights abusers to get the most favorable economic treatment from the U.S. available in the world. It is this exact kind of legislative maneuvering and chicanery that has caused universal disgust with Congress and Washington, D.C., where both parties engage in cynical deal making to avoid confronting real evil.

"The Senate unanimously indicated concern about religious freedom in an amendment to fast track legislation, and additionally there are provisions barring Malaysia, a slave trafficking regime, from participating in the trade agreement. The upcoming customs bill wipes out these provisions through a simple wave of Obama's pen certifying that the human rights abusers are trying to do better.

"We all know Obama will ignore any language directing him to enforce the trade agreement, proving trade authority will not worth the paper it is printed on. Even if trade authority says no Malaysia, he'll put Malaysia in. Amendments that have no real power over what Obama puts into the Trans-Pacific Partnership or who participates in it, provide political cover with no practical binding impact. If House members are truly concerned about the human rights atrocities of our trading partners they must reject fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"The time to amend the Trans-Pacific Partnership is after Obama submits it when Congress has the real power of two-thirds Senate ratification. Attempts to amend the trade deal through fast track depend upon Obama's good will. If there's one lesson Congress should have learned by now, it's that Obama doesn't care what they think.

Tags: Americans for Limited Government, Press release, custom bill, trade authority, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Human Rights Abuses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Alabama Senate Approves Bill to Abolish Marriage Licensing

In an attempt to prevent probate judges from arbitrarily refusing to sign couples' marriage licenses, the Alabama Senate voted 22-3 in favor of a bill that would allow couples to get married without first having to ask a government official for permission.

Image credit: Tenth Amendment Center
by Barry Donegan: Truth In Media recently reported on Alabama Senate Bill 377, a legislative proposal aimed at solving an internal dispute over same-sex marriage. On May 19, the bill, which would end marriage licensing in the state and replace it with a contract process, passed the Alabama Senate with 22 voting in favor and 3 voting in opposition.

In January of this year, a federal court legalized same-sex marriage in Alabama, temporarily allowing some couples to marry before the Alabama Supreme Court issued an injunction, halting the practice. During the period of time in which same-sex marriages were allowed in the state, some local probate judges were refusing to sign off on same-sex licenses, effectively nullifying some couples’ right to marry.

In an effort to resolve the issue in advance of a potential future in which same-sex marriages may be declared legal once again, Senate Bill 377 would remove the requirement that couples obtain a license from a probate judge and replace it instead with a contract process requiring only a signature by a notary public, clergy member, or attorney. The bill would only allow two adult parties to join in marriage and would prohibit currently-married people from marrying a second time.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center’s blog, bill sponsor State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Range) said, “When you invite the state into those matters of personal or religious import, it creates difficulties… Early twentieth century, if you go back and look and try to find marriage licenses for your grandparents or great grandparents, you won’t find it. What you will find instead is where people have come in and recorded when a marriage has occurred.” Senator Albritton wants to abandon the state’s recent experiment in marriage licensing and instead return to the older system where couples choose who they want to marry without government approval.

The Tenth Amendment Center’s Michael Boldin said in support of the bill, “Licenses are used as a way to stop people from doing things… My personal relationship should not be subject to government permission.”

“The intent or motives behind this bill are a moot point. By removing the state from the equation, no one can force another to accept their marriage, nor can they force another to reject that person’s own beliefs regarding an institution older than government,” wrote Shane Trejo for the Tenth Amendment Center.

Now that Senate Bill 377 has passed through the Alabama Senate, it moves on to the state’s House Judiciary Committee, where it will seek approval for a full vote before the Alabama House of Representatives.
----------------
Barry Donegan (@barrydonegan) is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign.  H/T: Truth in Media

Tags: Alabama, Senate bill, SB377, abolish marriage licensing, Barry Donegan To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Are GOP Lawmakers Surrendering On Federal Spending?

IBD Editorial: Spending: In the 28 months since the budget sequester went into effect, the federal government has added more than $1.7 trillion to the national debt. No wonder lawmakers want out of this fiscal straitjacket.

'Washington is ready to spend." That's the headline in a story that ran at TheHill.com on Tuesday.

Normally this wouldn't be news. Washington is like a ravenous dog when it comes to spending. It always wants more, no matter how much you give it.

But in the current context, it's alarming. The Hill story tells how even Republicans are starting to chafe under spending caps they imposed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the sequester since 2013.

"We're living with just really low numbers without any wiggle room, any flexibility," Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, told The Hill. "It's really difficult."

Democrats can always be counted on to complain about strict spending limits, and President Obama pressured Congress to lift the caps and end the sequester almost as soon as he agreed to them.

But it's distressing to hear such complaints come out of the mouths of GOP lawmakers, just weeks after they approved a budget plan that promised to tighten spending even further.

It also makes no sense. The Budget Control Act did put the brakes on runaway spending. Heritage Foundation visiting fellow and IBD Brain Trust member Stephen Moore calls it "one of the most successful lids on federal spending in modern times."

Total federal outlays have remained relatively stable since 2011, and discretionary spending is down from its Keynesian stimulus peak. But this hardly means that Congress has come anywhere near finishing the job.

On its current trajectory, federal spending is on track to drive the national debt to 100% of the nation's GDP in just 22 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, as deficits dip temporarily over the next couple of years and start climbing again.

Instead of whining about "strict" budget limits, how about focusing on waste first? Just a glance turns up example after example across the federal government.

One report found that half of the government's $80 billion spending on information technology is wasted. Federal agencies spent more than $3 billion on paid administrative leave in just three years.

A new Government Accountability Office report found that officials can't account for the $1.2 billion spent each year on mobile phones for government workers. That's billion with a "b."

Other GAO reports turned up almost $6 billion in fraudulent refund checks the IRS sends out annually, $60 billion that Medicare wastes on improper payments to doctors and hospitals, plus $18 billion in Medicaid waste.

Over the years, the GAO has found 440 duplicative, ineffective and bloated programs that could be cut back or eliminated to save $125 billion. Citizens Against Government Waste has gone much further, putting together a list of easily eliminated programs that would save $648 billion next year alone.

Lawmakers should focus on this before they cry about the lack of "wiggle room" in the federal budget.
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Follow this and other editorials on Investor's Business Daily

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Wave of Islamist Terrorist Attacks Explained in Two Charts

by David Inserra: On the evening of May 3, two men armed with rifles attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. While both shooters were killed before they could get inside the exhibit, this attack is the 68th Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. since 9/11.

The incident has raised significant questions about the way terrorists are being recruited in the United States and what America can do to stop them.

These two infographics tell the story about a spike in Islamist terror activity and their top targets.


--------------
David Inserra specializes in cyber and homeland security policy, including protection of critical infrastructure, as research assistant in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. Article shared by The Daily Signal.

Tags: Islamist, terrorist attacks, explained, charts, David Inserra, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Smoking Gun: State Dept Labels Benghazi a Terrorism Event Almost Immediately

ARRA News Service: Would you believe that the State Department labeled Benghazi a "terrorism event" almost IMMEDIATELY?  Despite this, Americans were still lied to by Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice about an internet video. 

Below summarizes some of the info from the latest documents received by Judicial Watch from their FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit. It's becoming clear why Hillary Clinton has deleted her emails.

State Department Counterterrorism Official Complains About Hillary Clinton-tied Request to FBI

Washington, DC – Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents showing the Benghazi attack was called a “terrorism event” almost immediately after the attack took place. Another document suggests that Hillary Clinton tasked an official to contact the FBI, evidently not knowing that the FBI was already on the Benghazi matter under longstanding State Department counterterrorism response protocols. The new documents were forced from the U.S. State Department under court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on June 12, 2014, and subsequently a lawsuit on October 16, 2014, seeking:Any and all activity logs, reports, or other records produced by the Diplomatic Security Command Center between September 10, 2012 and September 13, 2012 regarding, concerning, or related to the attack at the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Classified Annex in Benghazi, Libya.Though the State Department has yet to release to Judicial Watch any documents from Hillary Clinton’s secret email records (or the secret email records of other top State Department officials) as required by law and court order, earlier this month the agency released 49 records totaling over 70 pages.

Less than eight hours after the attacks, around 6 a.m. on September 12, 2012, the State Department Diplomatic Security “Command Center Team Site” sent out a “Benghazi Event Notification” to “ALCON:”The DS Command Center is sharing the following terrorism event information for your situational awareness…

As of 0500 EST the US Mission in Benghazi has been evacuated due to ongoing attacks that resulted in the deaths of 4 Chief of Mission personnel including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and 3 additional COM wounded. At this time everyone has been evacuated to Tripoli and is receiving medical aid and awaiting further movement.

This is initial terrorist incident report from the DS Command Center…[emphasis original]
Among the recipients of this email was the regional security officer for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, who received the email just before a briefing he had with then-Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. At 6:24 a.m., September 12, 2012, the RSO official was given the “terrorism incident report” and responded:It is a tragic day for us.

I expect to speak with Ambassador Susan Rice and the rest of the senior staff about this here at USUN New York in a couple of hours. I would appreciate any details we can know and share in a couple of hours, either here or on my SIPR [Secure Internet Protocol Router] account.

It so happens that the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] will discuss Libya this morning. While the meeting had been previously scheduled, the situation will certainly change the tone and timbre of those deliberations – not to mention the substance.

I will call in around 0800 for the latest as well.
Despite knowing it was an attack, the State Department, including its Security Command Center, continued to falsely tie “demonstrations” to the Benghazi terrorist assault. A prior State Department document production in this lawsuit contains a press release issued by the Diplomatic Security Command Center, on September 12, 2012, that falsely states that “violent demonstrations took place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in damages in both locations and casualties in Benghazi.”

On the evening of the attack, a member of the State Department’s Counterterrorism (CT) Bureau complained about a request to the FBI on behalf of Hillary Clinton:FBI just called me indicating DOS ops center [Redacted](sp?) had called FBI ops center to request FBI assistance, ala evidence response team, investigators, etc. on behalf of Secretary Clinton..

To remind, the State (CT) led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) would include these folks…We should avoid multiple requests for assistance and rely on the comprehensive FEST approach, which had been used for repeated real-world events (including hostage takings) over the past 20 years.
Another State Department document lists 18 Embassy and other State Department sites in the Middle East, Africa, and UK, all but one of which are listed as being targeted by “protests.” Benghazi is the only city that has no listing of “protests,” and lists instead the situation as “Attack on US Consulate.” The document is undated but seems to have been created a few days after the Benghazi attack.

An email on September 11, 2012, from Rebecca Thompson, director of the Bureau of Public Affairs’ Rapid Response Unit, passes along an “intriguing” Internet post suggesting the Germans might have been warned days before the attack “about personalities who were officials in the Qaddafi regime and now work with Al-Qaida affiliated organizations to execute terrorist operations and explosions in Libya and outside of it…”

The following day, Rebecca Brown Thompson reported to the Command Center:Nahla Qader, one of our media analysts, found this tweet: Mohammed Fadel Fahmy@Repent11 in Egypt says “Threat to kill all Americans in Gaza, after Libya/Egypt due to film insulting prophet Mohamed forces UN staff to bunker in and placed on curfew!”

Nahla also reports that some Twitter users in Libya and Egypt are spreading reports that the attacks in Libya may not be related to the infamous film but to the killing of Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, who is Libyan.
This information echoes the Defense Intelligence Agency report released by Judicial Watch last week that immediately tied the Benghazi terrorist attack to retaliation for the death of Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi. The Associated Press reported that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, on September 10, 2011,[U]rged Libyans — al-Libi was born in the north African country — to attack Americans to avenge the late militant’s death, saying his “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders.”Further undermining the false claim that the Benghazi attack arose from a spontaneous protest, a September 12 email with the subject line “Benghazi Killings of USGOV personnel” from an unidentified sender notes the Benghazi “attack was a complex attack including [Redacted].”

Last week, Judicial Watch reported that it had obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense and the Department of State revealing that DOD knew almost immediately that the Benghazi attack was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman, known as the Blind Sheikh, is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts. The new documents also provided the first official confirmation that the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.

“The Obama administration – including Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice – knew immediately that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack. The State Department’s new smoking gun documents put to rest any question about what Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice knew – and when they knew it,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Within minutes of the attack, the administration, specifically Hillary Clinton, began lying to the American people by blaming an obscure Internet video. No wonder Hillary Clinton is the great destroyer of State Department emails. One can assume that Mrs. Clinton would not have stolen and destroyed emails in violation of law and various court orders if she didn’t have something to hide. And it shouldn’t take a federal court order to find out that Hillary Clinton evidently had no clue how the State Department and the FBI responded to terrorist attacks on State Department personnel.”
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Press Release provided by Judicial Watch.

Tags:  Judicial Watch, press release, Freedom of information lawsuit, Court order, release documents, emails, smoking gun, State Department, labels, Benghazi, terrorism event, almost immediately,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Private #SchoolChoice Works

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Private school choice is “in,” writes Patrick Wolf. “Far from being rare and untested, private school choice policies are an integral part of the fabric of American education policy.”

Now, these “new ideas” really upset some folks. I’m not one of them. School choice is greater freedom.

Freedom works.

Public schooling, on the other hand, is based on very different principles — and principals. It’s no wonder that a system based on compulsion (taxes, attendance, etc.) tends to have so much trouble performing well: it’s not the forced sector of the economy that booms.

Enter school choice. As long as kids must be forced to “attend” a school, I (as a parent) would rather decide which school, for both my sake and my children’s. And if I’m paying taxes, and other kids are getting tax moneys for their education, vouchers are more fair.

Wolf, writing in The Daily Signal, offers evidence that these eminently sensible policies lead to great results. “In Washington, D.C., use of an Opportunity Scholarship increased the likelihood of a student graduating by 71 percent.” Research into the effects of Milwaukee’s program show it “significantly increased the rates of high school graduation, college enrollment and persistence in college for the low-income students. . . .”

Researchers at Brookings Institution and Harvard found similar results for New York City’s “privately funded K-12 scholarship program.”

In his 1859 philosophical polemic, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that parents have a duty to educate their children — and society an interest in seeing these duties met. But that doesn’t entail setting up government schools.

It’s time to catch up with Mill’s 1859 wisdom.

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

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Oklahoma Latest State To Protect Pastors, Churches

by Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow.com (via GOPUSA): Oklahoma legislators are protecting pastors in that state, even as homosexuals are asking them to perform "marriage" ceremonies.

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that protects pastors and churches if they refuse to perform or host same-sex "marriage" ceremonies.

Timothy Tardibono of the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma says the legislation is responding to the current moral and legal fight across the country. He cites religious freedoms that were once taken for granted – but not anymore.

Because of the various cultural forces," he says, "we're having to put those religious freedoms into explicit language in statute."

A landmark decision is coming from the U.S. Supreme Court in June that conservatives fear will erode natural marriage laws across the country.

Homosexual activists, meanwhile, are demanding "marriage equality" while they go after bakeries, florists, photographers, and other wedding vendors.

OneNewsNow reported in recent days that Texas, like Oklahoma, has passed a state law that protects pastors.

Without the state law, says the Family Policy spokesman, there's the potential that same-gender couples could take action to force pastors to violate their religious beliefs.

Citing a non-discrimination policy, a city council in Kansas proposed an ordinance in 2012 that would have forced churches to rent their facilities to same-sex couples.

A retreat property in New Jersey, owned by the United Methodist Church, was forced by a judge to rent its facility to same-sex couples.

There's already a movement among the far-left to remove the tax-exempt status from churches, which some homosexuals tie to churches' stance against homosexual "marriage."

"Churches that lobby to have freedoms and rights taken away from ANYONE should absoutely have their 501(c)3 status revoke!" a Wyoming homosexual activist declared earlier this year in a Facebook post, a conservative website reported.

In 2004, 76 percent of Oklahoma voters declared natural marriage should be preserved as state law. Mirroring the pattern in other states, the state's marriage amendment was challenged in court and a federal appeals court overturned it last year.

Pastors took notice, says Tardibono, especially after their phones began ringing.

"They had three calls from couples asking if they could have a same-sex ceremony at their church, and done by their pastor," Tardibono tells OneNewsNow.

Tags: Oklahoma, protects pastors, churches, natural marriage, traditional marriage, Timothy Tardibono, Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Steamed . . .

. . . 5th Circuit amnesty ruling on Obama’s over reach of power through executive order, didn't go his way.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Background: (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling which found the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, President Obama’s executive amnesty, likely will not survive court scrutiny:
The Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling against President Obama’s executive amnesty, officially known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, is a win for the American people. The federal courts aren’t buying into President Obama’s power grab that rewrites immigration law. It is reassuring to see that the judiciary is still committed, at least in this matter, to abiding by constitutional principles and the rule of law.

While the Fifth Circuit limited its ruling to the question of granting or denying the request to stay the injunction, one need only read the court’s opinion carefully to see that the broader legal outlook for DAPA, and possibly other executive overreaches on amnesty, is stormy, at best.

This ruling is a significant win for Judicial Watch supporters who for years have fought the Obama administration’s blatant abuse of immigration law and presidential authority. Judicial Watch filed three amicus curiae briefs in State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al.
  • opposing the administration’s request for an emergency “stay;”
  • opposing the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the ruling that postponed immigration action in the Fifth Circuit;
  • and on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) in support of Texas and 20 other states that sued the federal government to prevent the Obama administration’s implementation of DAPA.
This victory is important but Americans should know that President Obama’s administration has almost completely stopped deporting illegal aliens and continues to leave our borders open to illegal aliens and terrorists. This lawlessness places the nation’s safety at risk.

Tags: President Obama, Constitution, 5th Circuit Court Appeals, background, Judicial Watch, DAPA, executive amnesty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Labor Pains: Why the Birth Rate Is Down and What That Means

Maria Harrill and family. (Photo: Courtesy Maria Harill)
by Madaline Donnelly: When Maria Harrill was growing up in suburban Maryland in the early 1990s, she kept a journal outlining all the things she’d do when she was a mom.

She attentively monitored her own family of 10 and—more like a discerning social worker stopping by for a visit than the second youngest of a brood of eight—noted things she liked, and disliked, about her household.

Today, the journal reads like a time-capsuled to-do-list for the 26-year-old mother of two: “Always read to your kids,” for example, is scribbled down next to “Never argue in front of the children.”

“I should go back and read it all, see how I’m living up to my own standards,” the former paralegal says with a laugh.

It’s clear that Maria wanted a family of her own from the get-go, and that she’s comfortable owning her choices. It’s also become increasingly clear that her story, of growing up in a big family and wanting to replicate that for herself at an early age, is no longer the norm for a majority of young American men and women.

We see this play out on television and in the movies (think “Girls” or “Wedding Crashers”). We hear it in graduation speeches lauding endless opportunities and paths. And then there’s the data, painting a picture of career-driven millennials who are the slowest to have kids of any generation in U.S. history.

But what, if anything, do these changing norms mean for those couples that still choose to start families young? For society at large?
A New Normal

There are many factors potentially at work today discouraging young people from having children that it’s hard to know for sure what’s really behind the dip in America’s birth rate—or to blame for holding off.

Between the Great Recession, the necessity of a college education (and therefore, the magnitude of student loan debt in the U.S.), the price of homeownership, and delayed marriage due to social or financial reasons, it seems more a storm of inhibiting issues than an identifiable trend.

Some younger moms also theorize about the both assumed and realistic social implications of motherhood, and its ability to deter young women from having kids.

“Some of my friends are getting engaged, but they have no plans of having babies until much later on,” says Suzanne Kioko, a 26-year-old registered nurse and mother currently expecting her second child. “They have this notion of life is kind of going to suck as soon as you have kids. And they want to get in all their good times before they [have children].”

Regardless of its cause, we do know that the birth rate drop is meaningful. Just last month, the Urban Institute published a widely circulated paper outlining a 15 percent decrease of American women in their twenties having children. Previously, the birth rate was largely stable for this demographic from the 1980s until around 2007.

Researchers Nan Marie Astone, Steven Martin, and H. Elizabeth Peters authored the study and found that birth rates to women aged 20 to 29 fell, dropping from 1,118 in 1,000 women to 948 in 1,000 women in 2012. Simultaneously, strong immigration rates which would have helped to supplant such a decline dipped, likely because of the struggling economy.

Worth noting, all races experienced a decline in giving birth, with the largest drop being seen among Hispanic women. For white women in particular, the birth rate decline was linked directly to a marital decline.
“Marriage has come a capstone to adulthood, rather than an entryway into adulthood as it has traditionally been,” says Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity. “Today, individuals often wait to marry until they have achieved a level of independence marked by completing college, establishing a career, and perhaps even having already purchased a home.”

It’s too early to tell whether these young women will “match” previous generations by having babies in their 30s or later. Historically speaking, the birth rate also fell in the early 1930s and late 1970s, aligning with other periods of economic struggle, before bouncing back and evening out.

“If these low birth rates to women in their twenties continue without a commensurate increase in birth rates to older women,” the Urban Institute researchers wrote, “the United States might eventually face the type of generational imbalance that currently characterizes Japan and some European countries.”

Much Ado About … Something?
So what do these “warnings” really amount to? According to Jonathan V. Last, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and author of “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” America is facing a “demographic cliff,” or a population replacement rate that simply isn’t sustainable, as he wrote in “The Wall Street Journal.” In his opinion, population-dependent programs like Social Security—along with tax-dependent organizations like the military—could suffer.

“Decline isn’t about whether Democrats or Republicans hold power,” he writes. “It isn’t about political ideology at all. At its most basic, it’s about the sustainability of human capital.”

Last goes on to cite social and economic problems in countries like China, Japan, and Mexico, tracing their origins to things like China’s infamous one-child policy or the overall decline in the marriage rate in Japan.

Anthropologists have also written about the economics of European nations like Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, blaming declining demographics and an inability to develop strong economies. In Russia, the government has offered monetary incentives for having kids, and in Denmark, independent organizations like travel-company Spies Rejser have launched campaigns asking citizens to “Do It for Denmark!”
Recently, 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., along with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, proposed a tax reform plan that included a child tax credit.

In practice, lower birth rates probably don’t make a huge difference in the lives of young American mothers yet, outside of occasionally awkward conversations at work and a more difficult time making friends who are “in the same boat,” as Suzanne says.

“Nowadays, you don’t have a lot of younger moms having babies, so you kind of feel like you’re on your own,” she adds. “Most of your friends are still working and doing their thing, so socially, I think it’s changed.”

Maria agrees: “I remember I was working at a law firm downtown [in Washington, D.C.], and I was still working when I got pregnant. It was definitely weird. It was like a glance, or a look, or a comment, and you could tell that it’s, ‘Oh wow, you just got married and really, you want to start a family already?’”

Kassie Novak, a 26-year-old mother who lives in Chicago with her husband and 18-month-old son, has found that making friends with other mothers takes a significant amount of work because of the age difference.

“I do try to put an effort into meeting other moms. It’s much harder than I would have imagined,” she says. “Just about every mom I have met here is about five to 15 years older than me … I used to joke with my husband that I think the moms at the park or at baby classes think I’m the nanny. But now that my son is older, I am much more comfortable approaching and chatting with other moms.”

Dollars and Sense
Aside from shifting social realities, young families are also making fiscal sacrifices in order to afford a family, reflecting the estimated $250,000 it currently takes to raise a child in America.

And while the share of moms who did not work hit an all-time low in 1999 at 23 percent, it rose to 29 percent by 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. This group includes those who are unable to find work or disabled.

Suzanne, Maria, and Kassie, employed full-time before having their children, are all working in some capacity outside of the home, whether it’s picking up spare shifts at the hospital or selling skin care products in their free time, as is the case with Kassie.

“We’re renting an apartment,” Maria says of her Reston, Va., home. “All of our couple friends have been talking, and it looks like we’ll all be renting … for a while. Houses just cost a lot. Unless you have a really great paying job, it’s a little bit harder.”

Maria and her husband are also sharing one car. “Two would be awesome, but it’s not realistic right now,” she says. “But I’d much rather have another kid as opposed to another car. Kids are around a long time, but cars come and go.”

There are possible benefits for these families, though, including things like more open slots at schools and readily available vaccines. The Urban Institute study, using census data, also suggests a lower birth rate could potentially mean greater social mobility in the future for babies born to millennials.

In contrast, researchers found that among baby boomers and Gen Xers, “single parenthood increased among already disadvantaged groups,” and furthered income inequality between high- and low-income families.

In certain circumstances, a decrease in the birth rate could also mean more stable environments for children.

“As of 2010, the average age at first birth for a college educated woman was about 30, whereas in 1970 it was around 26,” Sheffield says. “Among those with less than a high school education, the average age of motherhood was about 18 in 1970, whereas today it’s around 20.”

For their part, the millennial mothers we spoke with seem content with their decision to start a family young.

“Being a young mom was what I’ve always wanted,” Kassie says. “I believe motherhood to be my calling.”
------------
Maddie Donnelly (@MaddieDon28) is an assistant editor and producer for The Daily Signal.

Tags: Labor Pains, lower number of births, society, future laor forces. changing demographics,Maddie Donnelly, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama vs. The Courts

Supreme Court Justices
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: After the ruling by a federal appeals court striking a blow against President Obama's immigration amnesty plans, the Washington Post noticed that much of Obama's agenda is being challenged in the courts. Citing Obamacare, climate change and other issues, the Post writes that "Obama's legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy."

But betting on the courts is risky for conservatives. After six and a half years of Obama packing the courts with left-wing appointees, the judicial branch has become more radical than it's ever been.

In some cases, Obama has managed to fundamentally transform the ideological balance of key appellate courts. Last week, for example, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to grant a rehearing to Catholic organizations challenging Obamacare's contraception mandate.

Issues that divide the circuit courts, often end up before the Supreme Court. That court is also divided with four center-right justices, four liberals and Justice Anthony Kennedy frequently casting the deciding vote. As a result, we win some decisions 5-to-4 and lose others 5-to-4.

If you need a reason to be actively involved in the 2016 elections, consider this: Four justices of the Supreme Court are 76 years-old or older.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 82.
Justice Antonin Scalia is 79.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is 78.
Justice Stephen Breyer is 76.

The odds are overwhelming that the next president will fundamentally change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court.

If a President Hillary Clinton or Martin O'Malley replaces Scalia or Kennedy, the conservative agenda will be on life support. If a President Walker, Rubio, Cruz, Santorum or another potential conservative replaces Breyer, Ginsburg or Kennedy, we will have a chance to preserve religious liberty and our commonsense values.

If nothing else divided the Democratic and Republican nominees, this issue alone would be worth every effort you can possibly make between now and next November to ensure that we take back the White House.
-------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Supreme Court, Justices To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Full Stream Ahead: Why EPA’s Water Rule Goes Too Far

EPA TYRANTS
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: The Obama administration didn't listen. Instead, it went ahead with its regulatory overreach over America's waters. This worries farmers, ranchers, and other businesses.

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released their final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule--known as the "Clean Water Rule" in EPA lingo--that claims jurisdiction over vast swaths of the country.

In a statement EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy claimed, "This rule will make it easier to identify protected waters." In reality, the rule does this by claiming federal jurisdiction over a huge number of waters.

Inside the 299 pages of regulations, definitions, explanations, and justifications for the rule, "adjacent" waters now under federal regulatory authority "include wetlands, ponds, lakes, oxbows, impoundments, and similar water features" that are "in the 100-year floodplain and that are within 1,500 feet" (five football fields) of a navigable water. The entire body of water is "adjacent" even if only a portion of it falls within the 100-year floodplain or within 1,500 feet of a navigable water.

While EPA and the Army Corps claim that WOTUS clarifies what waters are under federal jurisdiction, in agriculture's case, nothing is clarified. The rule states [emphasis mine]:Waters in which normal farming, ranching, and silviculture activities occur instead will continue to be subject to case-specific review, as they are today.In fact, under this new definition bodies of water or wetlands over three-quarters of a mile from an navigable water could fall under federal jurisdiction if the federal government decides that it significantly affects another body of water [emphasis mine]:[W]aters within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or the ordinary high water mark of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas, impoundments, or covered tributary are subject to case-specific significant nexus determinations.The agencies claim they "do not anticipate that there will be numerous circumstances in which this provision will be utilized," but who is to say the ever-growing Regulatory State won't make this its default tool in its water regulation toolbox. Regulators' best wishes are no guarantee that an agency's power will be limited.

With federal jurisdiction comes costly federal permitting. "Over $1.7 billion is spent each year by the private and public sectors obtaining wetlands permits," wrote the U.S. Chamber and 375 other associations in a comment on WOTUS to EPA and the Army Corps.

William Kovacs, the U.S. Chamber's Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs, said the process the agencies used to write the rule was "fundamentally flawed."Since issuing the proposed rule for public comment in April 2014, the agencies have somehow maintained that the proposal will have no significant regulatory or economic impact, and in fact the agency is simply 'clarifying' the current state of federal jurisdiction over waters. Such statements fly in the face reality.

Despite appeals from constituents and lawmakers across the country; countless business owners, farmers and industry leaders; and the Small Business Administration, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers failed to conduct any meaningful regulatory or economic impact analyses prior to issuing a final rule.

... The Chamber filed lengthy public comments identifying exactly how the proposal could affect businesses of all sizes, including local municipalities, and requested the agencies convene a small business review panel to study and evaluate those impacts. Numerous state, local and business stakeholders and the Small Business Administration (twice) echoed that request, to no avail.
In a blog post prior to WOTUS being released, Kovacs worried that the water rule "would put [EPA] effectively in charge of zoning the entire country."

Kovacs isn't alone in criticizing the rulemaking process. While explaining that WOTUS will expand federal authority, Charles Maresca, Director of Interagency Affairs for the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, told a Senate Committee it was "incorrect" for EPA and the Corps to claim that the regulation won't have "a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses."

It was no holds barred in the administration's defense of its controversial rule. President Obama's top environmental advisor Brian Deese said, "The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water."

Tell that to farmers, ranchers, home builders, and other businesses. They understand that clean water means everything to their customers and their businesses. Federal regulators going over the heads of local and state officials accomplishes little but adding more barriers to job creation and economic development.

With WOTUS, businesses will be up a creek without a paddle.
---------------
Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and Senior Editor at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Sean Hackbarth, EPA, WOTUS, water rule, taking property rights, EPA Tyrants  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 Hillary Enigma

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Does it strike anyone as strange that the only candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next President of the United States is the wife of a former President? There is no historic precedent for this, no way to measure this against how Americans have selected Presidents in the past.

Like most Americans, I first took notice of her when Bill began his campaign to become President. I recall being struck by the fact that in 1969 as a student at Wellesley College, her 92-page senior thesis was devoted to the community organizer, Saul Alinsky’s book. The title of her thesis was “There is Only the Fight…”: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” She would request Wellesley to deny access to it.

Alinsky was a Communist. His twelve rules for radicals, unlike the Ten Commandments, are devoid of a moral message. Instead, the message is “this is how you can win.” Hillary would do well to review Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” She was already old news when she announced her candidacy and it is becoming older with every passing day as she fails to take questions from the media, participating in totally staged events to look like “one of the people.”

She and Bill are not one of the people. They, like the Bushes, are political royalty. They have both been around a very long time.

Hillary, however, despite the millions of words that have been written about and by her remains an enigma. Other than being farther to the Left than Bill, she is a woman whose “achievements” in life have largely been the result of having married Bill. She would spend eight years in the White House as the First Lady and, pursuing her college dreams of political power, they would move to New York State where she ran and won a Senatorial election.

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her. She is said to have worked hard and gotten along well with her colleagues, but her Senate years are a blur in her public life. Then she made a bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2008 and along came Barack Hussein Obama with whom the voters fell in love. When he was elected, he asked her to become his Secretary of State.

With the exception of the Benghazi tragedy on September 11, 2012, a clear failure of judgment and duty, and about which she lied, her years as Secretary of State reflect her years in the Senate; nothing of any significance resulted, no major treaties, no major anything, except for one more scandal.

So the question remains; who is Hillary Rodham Clinton? What are her fundamental principles beyond the acquisition of political power? And money. Lots of it while uttering nonsense such as she and Bill being “dead broke” when they left office?

What are we to make of her deletions of thousands of emails on her private server—something she was not supposed to use as Secretary of State—and her assertion that those we may never see were of no importance? They’re important if, as is widely believed, foreign governments hacked her private email server and thus had access to information about policies affecting themselves and others. She may not have broken a law, but she surely did not obey Obama White House policy regarding the emails.

Alinsky's Rule 1 is “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources—money and people.”

We are told that Hillary has a huge amount of money with which to wage a campaign to become the first woman President. In light of the revelations about the Clinton Foundations, virtual slush funds, and the millions earned by her and Bill to give speeches, there is little doubt of that.

You cannot, however, buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away.

Her die-hard supporters probably know as little about her as the rest of us, but it is their trust she is depending on right now. Should she actually receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, the distrust of independent voters, disaffected Democrats, and of course Republicans, will play a crucial role in who is elected in 2016. It is not likely to be Hillary Clinton.

It is not likely because, as we have already seen, she seems to have reached a point where her political abilities have grown tired and out-of-date. These are not the 1990s. A whole generation has been born since Bill was President.

Like her, the Democratic Party seems tired as well. Can you believe there is not another Democrat, a Governor or Senator who could emerge to represent the Party? How devoid of any real leadership has the Democratic Party become if the only candidate they can offer is a former First Lady? That has been her primary claim to fame despite the two offices she has held since the 1990s.

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs  He is a contribution author on the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Hillary Clinton, Enigma, Saul Alinsky, Alinsky Model To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sen. Rick Santorum Announces As 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

Rick Santorum Announces As 2016
Republican Presidential Candidate
ARRA News Service: Yesterday, in Cabot, Pennsylvania, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum announced his bid as a 2016 republican candidate for President of the United States. Former senator from Pennsylvania in the 2012 Republican primary won eleven states and 250 delegates for the presidential nomination before suspending his campaign.

Santorum served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. He was a member of the "Gang of Seven" that exposed the Congressional Banking and Congressional Post Office scandals. Rick was also an author and floor manager of the landmark Welfare Reform Act of 1996 that has empowered millions of Americans to leave the welfare rolls and enter the workforce.

Santorum wrote and championed legislation that outlawed the heinous procedure known as Partial Birth Abortion as well as the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act," the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," and the "Combating Autism Act" because he believes each and every individual has value and the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected.

His website at RickSantorum.com boldly states, "Rick Santorum is a conservative committed to restoring the American dream for hardworking Americans. He has been a voice for the voiceless – standing up for those struggling in this economy, protecting life at every stage and fighting to ensure that our nation is secure from those who wish to do us harm."

He and his wife Karen, are the parents of seven children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella.

In a clearly defined seven minute speech,  in an upbeat manner, Santorum summarized who is is, what his actions will be on behalf of American people, and what he would do as president.

Below is a video of his announcement speech:

Tags: Rick Santorum, announces, candidate, 2016 Presidential candidate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Political Correctness: Tyranny Of The Mind

by Dr. Chuck Baldwin: In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, dated September 23, 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” By any definition that Jefferson could have envisioned, today’s political correctness can only be regarded as “tyranny over the mind of man.” Forget freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, or freedom of privacy, political correctness demands that we don’t even have freedom of thought or opinion.

If one does not have the freedom to live in good conscience with his own sense of morality, he or she is indeed the most enslaved of creatures. Listen to Jefferson again, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Forcing men to pay taxes “for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors” is indeed sinful and tyrannical enough. But to compel a man to actively PARTICIPATE in ideas he disbelieves and abhors is even more so. And, that, my friends, is exactly what modern political correctness forces us to do -- or at least tries to force us to do. Political correctness attempts to strip us of our own sense of right and wrong. It is not only tyranny of conduct and behavior; it is tyranny of the mind and heart.

For example, if someone says something critical of Israel, they are labeled "anti-Semitic." If they say something critical of the homosexual lifestyle, they are labeled "anti-gay." If they say something critical of the practices and policies of our politicians, they are labeled "anti-government." And if they say something critical of Roman theology, they are labeled "anti-Catholic."

There are only two things that it is politically correct to be "anti" about: it is perfectly acceptable to be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim." Not only is it politically correct to be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim," it is all but REQUIRED that one be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim." One risks personal friendship and professional employment if he or she is NOT "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim."

For the record, I am none of the above. I am not anti-Semitic; I am not anti-gay; I am not anti-government; I am not anti-Catholic; I am not anti-Christian; and I am not anti-Muslim. About the only thing I am "anti" is this: I am "anti-TYRANNY."

And tyranny can come in many shapes and forms. There are tyrannical Jews, tyrannical homosexuals, tyrannical politicians, tyrannical Catholics, tyrannical Muslims, and tyrannical Christians. Because there are those from any of the above groups who are tyrannical doesn't mean that EVERYONE in those groups is tyrannical. When I resist the ACT of tyranny by someone--or a group of someones--of a certain label doesn't mean I am "anti" everyone who wears that same label.

But I absolutely will not be intimidated by name-calling when I resist what is obviously an act of tyranny, regardless of the label the tyrant wraps himself in.

To illustrate: I firmly believe that God has established marriage as being between a man and a woman. That does NOT mean I am against homosexuals having the same civil rights as everyone else, because I believe that ALL Americans enjoy the same protections under the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, all Americans have the right to enter into civil contracts with one another. But civil union is NOT the same as Holy Matrimony, which can be -- and has been--defined ONLY by our Creator. Marriage is defined by both divine and Natural Law.

Any attempt to force me to participate in a so-called "marriage" between same sex couples violates my moral conscience and is, by definition, an act of tyranny. And by Nature, I cannot submit to such an act. I cannot and will not.

I wonder what all of the good Romans 13 pastors across America are going to do as civil authorities attempt to force them to marry same sex couples. This has already happened in one Idaho city. The city of Coeur d’Alene is threatening to incarcerate and heavily fine ministers and others who refuse to officiate over the marriage ceremonies of same sex couples. And as homosexual marriage becomes more and more vogue, Christian ministers across the country are going to be forced to come face to face with their own religious convictions--something many of them have not done for quite a spell. What will they do?

We know what many, if not most, of them will do. They will comply. They are like the pastors of Nazi Germany who taught their flocks to obey the government no matter what and who justified their cowardice and heresy with the misinterpretation of Romans 13. This is the same misinterpretation of that chapter that pastors are regurgitating today.

I highly encourage every reader who attends church to make a point of asking your pastor this Sunday what he will do when the civil authorities of his city or State demand that he marry same sex couples, because this demand is surely coming. Of course, how the pastor responds will then collapse a heavy weight of responsibility on the shoulders of parishioners won’t it (which is why many Christians will simply not bother to even broach the topic with their pastor)?

Do you see how political correctness has become tyrannical?
- Political correctness demands that we accept a Police State in the name of the “war on terror.”
- Political correctness demands that we say NOTHING critical of the state of Israel, even when it attacks a U.S. naval vessel and kills dozens of American sailors and Marines.
- Political correctness demands that we fight unconstitutional wars of aggression against Muslim people who have committed NO act of aggression against us.
- Political correctness demands that we dare not criticize neocon foreign policy in Washington, D.C.
- Political correctness demands that Christianity be held up to every form of ridicule and mockery.
- And now political correctness demands that people violate their own deeply-held religious and moral convictions.
Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America’s founders must be turning over in their graves.

Concerning marriage specifically, in my opinion the state has absolutely no authority or responsibility defining, regulating, or controlling marriage. The state had little or no authority regarding marriage until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For the church to allow itself be joined to the state is the unholiest of unions.

This latest attempt of civil authorities to define and regulate marriage should serve notice to everyone, especially Christians, that it is probably time to completely abandon civil marriages altogether and take it back to the individuals, families, and churches, where it rightly has always belonged.

Political correctness is not merely an expression of opinion: it is the denial of anyone else to hold a differing opinion -- or even personally-held moral and religious convictions. It is exactly what Thomas Jefferson detested and personally opposed: it is “tyranny over the mind of man.”
------------------------
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for " Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Chuck Baldwin is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News.

Tags: Chuck Baldwin, commentary, Political Correctness, Tyranny Of The Mind, Thomas Jefferson 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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  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
  • 11/1/15 - 11/8/15
  • 11/8/15 - 11/15/15
  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
  • 3/13/16 - 3/20/16
  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
  • 3/27/16 - 4/3/16
  • 4/3/16 - 4/10/16
  • 4/10/16 - 4/17/16
  • 4/17/16 - 4/24/16
  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
  • 5/1/16 - 5/8/16
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  • 5/15/16 - 5/22/16
  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
  • 5/29/16 - 6/5/16
  • 6/5/16 - 6/12/16
  • 6/12/16 - 6/19/16
  • 6/19/16 - 6/26/16
  • 6/26/16 - 7/3/16
  • 7/3/16 - 7/10/16
  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
  • 7/17/16 - 7/24/16
  • 7/24/16 - 7/31/16
  • 7/31/16 - 8/7/16
  • 8/7/16 - 8/14/16
  • 8/14/16 - 8/21/16
  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
  • 8/28/16 - 9/4/16
  • 9/4/16 - 9/11/16
  • 9/11/16 - 9/18/16
  • 9/18/16 - 9/25/16
  • 9/25/16 - 10/2/16
  • 10/2/16 - 10/9/16
  • 10/9/16 - 10/16/16
  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
  • 11/6/16 - 11/13/16
  • 11/13/16 - 11/20/16
  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
  • 3/12/17 - 3/19/17
  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17
  • 3/26/17 - 4/2/17
  • 4/2/17 - 4/9/17
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  • 4/16/17 - 4/23/17
  • 4/23/17 - 4/30/17
  • 4/30/17 - 5/7/17
  • 5/7/17 - 5/14/17
  • 5/14/17 - 5/21/17
  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
  • 5/28/17 - 6/4/17
  • 6/4/17 - 6/11/17
  • 6/11/17 - 6/18/17
  • 6/18/17 - 6/25/17
  • 6/25/17 - 7/2/17
  • 7/2/17 - 7/9/17
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  • 7/16/17 - 7/23/17
  • 7/23/17 - 7/30/17
  • 7/30/17 - 8/6/17
  • 8/6/17 - 8/13/17
  • 8/13/17 - 8/20/17
  • 8/20/17 - 8/27/17
  • 8/27/17 - 9/3/17
  • 9/3/17 - 9/10/17
  • 9/10/17 - 9/17/17
  • 9/17/17 - 9/24/17
  • 9/24/17 - 10/1/17
  • 10/1/17 - 10/8/17
  • 10/8/17 - 10/15/17
  • 10/15/17 - 10/22/17