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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, April 08, 2016

Moonies for Cruz

Ted Cruz  (artist unknown)
by Ann Coulter: Congratulations to Ted Cruz for winning his fourth primary! Usually Donald Trump wins the primaries -- where you go and vote, like in a real election. Cruz wins the caucuses -- run by the state parties, favored by political operators and cheaters.

Until now, the only primaries Cruz has won are in Texas (his home state), Oklahoma (basically the same state) and Idaho (where Trump never campaigned).

So now, Cruz has finally won an honest-to-goodness primary. This is great news for him, provided: (1) the general election is a caucus, and (2) the national media universally denounce Cruz's Democratic opponent the same way the Wisconsin media denounced Trump.

In that case, Cruz should do fine.

The Cruz-bots don't care. They don't care that they're being used as a cat's-paw by the Never Trump crowd, and that a brokered Republican convention is more likely to end with Bernie as the nominee than Cruz.

The Cruz cultists don't even care about plain honesty, which I always thought was a conservative value. Republicans used to be appalled by guttersnipe, lying political operators like the Clintons. Now they are guttersnipe, lying political operators like the Clintons.

It's all hands on deck to stop the only presidential candidate who wants to save America from the cheap labor plutocrats.

Cruz has flipped to Trump's side on every important political issue of this campaign -- which only ARE issues because of Trump. These are:

-- Quadrupling the number of foreign guest workers to help ranchers and farmers get cheap labor: Cruz was for it, and now is against it.

-- Legalizing illegal aliens: Cruz was for it, and now is against it.

-- The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal: Cruz was for it, and now is against it.

-- Building a wall: Cruz was against it, and now is for it.

These are all positions Cruz has changed since being a senator -- most of them he's flipped on only in the last year. I'm supposed to believe that U.S. senators can sincerely change their minds about policies it was their job to know about, but a New York developer can never change his mind about pop-offs he made more than a decade ago.

Back in 1999 -- 17 years ago -- when Donald Trump was considering a presidential run on the Reform Party ticket, he said this when asked about abortion by Tim Russert on "Meet the Press": "Well, look, I'm very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still -- I just believe in choice."

Russert then asked him specifically if he'd ban partial-birth abortion. Trump said, "No. I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes, but I just hate it."

A year later, Trump wrote in his book "The America We Deserve": "When Tim Russert asked me on 'Meet the Press' if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would indeed support a ban."

Sometime in the intervening 16 years, Trump became fully pro-life.

You can say you don't believe him -- just as you might say you don't believe Cruz has truly changed his mind on amnesty, the wall, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, etc. But to claim Trump is pro-choice today -- present tense -- is what's known as a "lie."

But that's what Cruz says over and over again, including in a campaign ad -- and not one of those "super PAC" ads that count even less than a retweet. A Cruz ad plays the clip from that 1999 interview where Trump says, "I am pro-choice in every respect," repeats it three times, and then cuts to a narrator proclaiming: "For partial-birth abortion, not a conservative."

These are the kinds of lies that used to drive conservatives crazy when the Clintons did it. Not anymore. All's fair in smearing Trump.

Trump has said a million times that he'd scrap Obamacare and replace it with a free market system (which, by the way, he explains a lot more clearly than Washington policy wonks with their think-tank lingo). Merely for Trump saying that we're "not going to let people die, sitting in the middle of a street in any city in this country," Cruz accuses him of supporting "Bernie Sanders-style medicine."

Yes, because Trump is against people dying in the streets, Cruz says that Trump thinks "Obamacare didn't go far enough and we need to expand it to put the government in charge of our health care, in charge of our relationship with our doctors." Over and over again, Cruz has repeated this insane lie, telling Fox's Megyn Kelly: "If you want to see Bernie Sanders-style socialized medicine, Donald Trump is your guy."

Trump's alleged support for the kind of national health care they have in Scotland and Canada is another big fat lie. Trump was issuing his usual effusive praise before he drops the hammer -- "It actually works incredibly well in Scotland. Some people think it really works in Canada." Then he continued, in the very same sentence: "I don't think it would work as well here. What has to happen -- I like the concept of private enterprise coming in. ... You have to create competition."

Cruz and his cult-like followers lie about Trump wanting a health care system akin to Canada's and Scotland's. They lie about his supporting Obamacare. They lie about his supporting partial-birth abortion. They lie about his ever having been a Democrat. They lie about his campaign manager assaulting a female reporter.

I tried being nice after Florida, when it became clear that Trump was the choice of a majority of Republican voters, nearly choking on a column praising Cruz for his admirable flip-flops to Trump's positions on immigration and trade. I censored loads of anti-Cruz retweets. But -- as with the Clintons -- you offer these Cruz-bots an olive branch and they bite off your hand.

The next thing I knew, the Cruz cult was accusing Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of criminal battery for brushing past a female reporter. Anyone who claims this video shows a "battery" is as big a liar as the liberals who lined up to say Clinton did not commit perjury when he denied having "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky.

If James Carville and Paul Begala had a baby, it would be a Cruz supporter.

They lie about my own tweaking of Trump -- I didn't like the Heidi retweet! -- amid a tidal wave of support. Trump is the only presidential candidate in my lifetime who will build a wall, deport illegals and pause the importation of Muslims. He's the only one who cares more about ordinary Americans than he does about globalist plutocrats. Does anyone really think I'm "tiring" of him because of a retweet?

Apparently, for slavishly devoted Cruz-bots, a normal human making a small criticism of her preferred candidate is unfathomable! That fact alone proves how dishonest they are about their own candidate.

I was under the misimpression that I was dealing with adults and not swine like Carville and Begala, willing to twist someone's words to win a momentary political advantage. Mostly, I was under the misimpression that honesty was still a conservative value.
Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council.

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Obama Ignores Violence in His Hometown

by Newt Gingrich: President Obama traveled to his hometown yesterday for a visit to the University of Chicago, where he once taught as a lecturer on constitutional law. The president used the opportunity to lecture once again--his soliloquy now directed at Republicans in the Senate, who are exercising their constitutional right not to consent to his choice for the Supreme Court.

Republicans, the President claimed, have decided that “placating our base is more important than upholding their constitutional and institutional roles in our democracy.”

The accusation of bad faith was typical of President Obama, and it was especially rich on this topic--coming from a president who has struggled to constrain his actions to the limits of the Constitution, and whose past judicial nominees have done the document no favors.

The President may wish that Republicans would rubber-stamp his choice for the Court on the basis of the nominee’s legal qualifications alone. But the Republican Senators--who themselves take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution”--see the addition of another liberal justice to a Court that has far exceeded its rightful powers as a step to which they cannot consent.

Since, as even the President’s own former advisor, David Axelrod, noted, the audience at the University of Chicago Law School is not the one the he must convince, it’s not clear why the President chose to focus on his Court fight--while failing to mention the crisis that’s occurring in that very city, the place that gave birth to his political career.

Already in the first three months of 2016, more than 700 people have been shot in Chicago. That’s an average of more than seven people every single day.

The rash of violence is reaching historic proportions.

As the Chicago Tribune reported:As the first quarter of 2016 nears an end, violence in Chicago has reached levels unseen in years, putting the city on course to top 500 homicides for only the second time since 2008.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, homicides totaled 135, a 71 percent jump over the 79 killings in the same year-earlier period, official Police Department statistics show. That represented the worst first quarter of a year since 136 homicides in 1999, according to the data.

Shootings have jumped by comparable numbers as well. As of Wednesday, at least 727 people had been shot in Chicago so far this year, a 73 percent rise from 422 a year earlier, according to a Tribune analysis of department data.

Worse yet, that jump follows two consecutive years in which shootings rose by double digits, the analysis found. Homicides also rose by about 12.5 percent last year over 2014.
President Obama and the Left have no answer to this problem aside from more gun control in a city that already has among the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Yet at the very time in which Chicago is decaying into more violence, we have vivid proof that practical policies can save thousands of lives. If Chicago had focused on stopping violent crime the way New York did so successfully under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, thousands of people in the city would still be alive. Indeed, contrast the danger in Chicago with this report from New York the same week:New York City saw a significant drop in major crimes in the first quarter of 2016 with the fewest murders and shootings in its recorded history, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced during a Monday press conference.

“We are the safest big city in America. This quarter’s statistics prove it once again,” de Blasio said.

In the first three months of the year, New York City saw a 21 percent drop in murders compared with the same period last year, a statistic de Blasio called “extraordinary.” The city also saw a 14 percent decrease in shootings compared with those months in 2015.
Perversely, much of the Left has spent the past several years attacking police departments and the very policies that have saved thousands of lives in New York and other cities. And President Obama, it must be said, has offered mostly encouraging words for these movements. In doing so, he does nothing to help the violence that is ravaging Chicago.

Next time the President returns home, hopefully he’ll find a few moments amid attacking Republicans to offer an answer for the bloodshed in the streets that doesn’t make the problem worse.
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

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Media Bias Against Israel

Hamas terror operatives in Gaza tunnel (The Jerusalem Post)
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Last night, CBS Evening News ran a story about parkour, which it described as "an extreme sport blending gymnastics with agility training developed for a military obstacle course." The parkour championships were held in Las Vegas last week, but CBS wasn't reporting on the championships.

Instead, it was reporting from Gaza about how the Palestinian parkour team was unable to compete in Las Vegas. The broadcast looked like a propaganda piece produced by Hamas.

At one point the reporter directs the young Palestinian men toward an Israeli watchtower and asks, "What do you want them to think when they see you jumping and running?" One of the men, Hamza, answers, "No matter how much they destroy or kill, I will still dance and have fun."

Once again, the American mainstream media presents Israel as the aggressor and the Palestinians as hapless victims. But the truth is the exact opposite.

Earlier this week, Israel suspended shipments of cement to Gaza because Hamas was diverting building materials from reconstruction projects. What is Hamas doing? It is building terror tunnels instead of homes and hospitals.

Israel Radio reported yesterday that Hamas has more than 1,000 operatives digging tunnels. These are not archaeological expeditions. These tunnels are meant to literally undermine the security of Israel so that Palestinian terrorists can emerge from the ground and slaughter innocent Israelis.

Why isn't CBS reporting that news?
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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$85 Crude Oil By Christmas – An Interview With Mike Rothman

by Nick Cunningham : After a 50 percent rally in oil prices between February and March, crude has retreated a bit as of late. The upcoming OPEC-Russia meeting in Doha looms over the markets, but few expect the outcome to have any material impact on supply and demand. Global supply still exceeds demand, but there are solid signs that the overhang is finally starting to ease. Storage levels are high, but are expected to come down.

Where does that leave us? With so many energy investors unsure of where the markets are heading, decided to get in touch with Mike Rothman at Cornerstone Analytics – a macro energy research firm that has produces some of the most accurate data out there. Oil prices may be gyrating up and down, but Mr. Rothman provided some juicy clues for investors, highlighting some key near-term trends for crude oil.

A few topics covered:• "Missing" IEA oil barrels
• Why oil markets are tighter than people think
• What to expect from the OPEC-Russia meeting in Doha
• Why oil prices could spike
• Where investors should put their money
• Mr. Rothman's prediction for oil prices at the end of 2016 The IEA has been accused of overestimating global supplies. The WSJ says that somewhere around 800,000 barrels per day are unaccounted for, meaning they are not consumed nor have they ended up in storage. Are these "missing" barrels a big deal?

Mike Rothman: The issue has not been one of the IEA over-estimating supply, but rather under-estimating demand. There are basically two ways to arrive at figures for global oil demand. The IEA methodology is built on an estimate of GDP and an assumed ratio of oil demand growth to GDP growth.

For the emerging markets in particular, that methodology represents a leap of faith since there are >100 countries and close to real time measures for economic activity rank up there with seeing unicorns and leprechauns. Also, in countries where we have better and more timely data for demand and GDP (like the U.S.), we see that oil demand growth to GDP growth ratio fluctuate sharply.

The other way to measure usage (which is what we do at Cornerstone Analytics) is to assess how much physical oil the global system is absorbing. It's called "apparent demand." It presumes global oil production data is close to the mark - which is the evident historical pattern - and that inventory changes in the OECD are the proxy for global storage changes. Basically non-OECD countries use oil on a hand-to-mouth basis with the primary exception really being China -- whose stockpiling has actually been smaller than generally believed. "Missing oil" is the gap that we see between econometrically estimated demand and apparent demand. Historically, bouts of "missing oil" are resolved by the IEA revising up its demand series. The underlying issue is generally an underestimation of oil consumption in the non-OECD countries.

OP: Are oil markets actually much tighter than everyone thinks?

MR: Yes, in the sense that storage is not as high as generally presumed and yes in the sense that OPEC's spare production capacity is much more limited than generally believed. But, to be realistic, because petroleum stocks in the OECD countries (which is the proxy for global stores) are high, there is no real concern in the market about availability, yet. We think this changes starting in the current quarter because we forecast global oil inventories will be drawn down contra-seasonally.

OP: What is Saudi Arabia's position coming into the production freeze? Are they winning the oil war – or are they rather desperate at this moment in time? Data compiled by FGE energy consultancy suggests that Saudi Arabia is losing its leadership position in 9 out of 15 of its major markets.

MR: Our sense is that Saudi Arabia put itself in a position whereby it will wait for global supply/demand to rebalance itself. Most market watchers don't really understand that back in 2014, the Saudi aim was about coercing a handful of OPEC countries to make production cuts to counter what was a collapse in the "financial demand" for oil. While Saudi Arabia has been burning through $12-$15 billion per month from its financial reserves to fund government spending through this period, it seems the policy is that the path to a much higher price (and higher revenue) will come about by allowing for a prolonged low price.

OP: What can we realistically expect from the OPEC/non-OPEC meeting in Doha?

MR: At most, countries may agree to freeze output, which may sound encouraging but in reality is little more than an agreement of the lowest common denominator since they are basically capacity constrained to begin with. To defend a price, OPEC would need to actively take barrels "out of the hands" of refiners – that is, a production cut, the current prospects for which lie somewhere between slim and none.

OP: Do you expect oil to fall back below $30 if Doha turns out to be disappointing?

MR: No, but that's partly because we think the oil balance will be transitioning into a deficit in 2Q and because many will come to realize that a production freeze is not a viable plan to cause the oil balance to tighten.

OP: The oil industry is making massive cuts in investment. Should we be bracing ourselves for a price shock at some point in time? If yes when do you see this occurring?

MR: You cannot cut CAPEX and reduce upstream activity and somehow think future production growth goes unaffected. We forecast non-OPEC supply to contract this year for the first time since 2008. That was a way-out-of-consensus call to make a year-ago when most pundits vigorously argued non-OPEC production would still expand even with the drop in oil prices. What we've communicated to our clients – and those we deal with directly in OPEC – is that the spike down in oil prices is basically setting up an eventual spike up.

OP: Will bankruptcies in the U.S. shale industry do anything to balance the market?

MR: We expect that it will feed into the contraction we forecast for U.S. output. We also see the credit availability issue as likely being a limiting factor moving forward, sort of like what we saw in 1986 and then again in 1999.

OP: Where should investors look if they want to put money in the energy market? What types of companies will perform well over the next year?

MR: Since energy equities basically trade as a proxy for the commodity, it's safe to say all boats rise when the tide comes in. The ‘beta" names typically include the Oil Services sector and E&Ps. The most leveraged play would be the commodity itself (or a vehicle like the USO).

OP: Lenders to the oil and gas industry have been fairly lenient with companies. Do you believe that the banks will start to tighten the screws a bit more as the periodic credit redetermination period finishes up?

MR: The old joke is that bankers are the guys who will lend you an umbrella and then ask to have it returned as soon as it starts to rain. Yes, we think lending will become much more highly scrutinized and financing less readily available.

OP: Can oil break out from $40 per barrel anytime soon?

MR: Sure. All it takes is one outage of consequence. More generally, though, we think oil breaches $40 during 2Q as physical evidence becomes available about inventories drawing down globally.

OP: Where can you see oil heading over the next 3 months, 6 months and 1 year out?

MR: Our target is Brent crude at $85 by the end of 2016.

OP: How do you see the U.S. presidential elections impact U.S. oil and gas policies? What could be the most radical change for oil and gas?

MR: Ask me after the election…

OP: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Mike.
Nick Cunningham is a Vermont-based writer on energy and environmental issues and author of this article which was contributed by James Stafford the editor of, the leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service.

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Heitkamp, Manchin, Bennet & Donnelly Should Stand Up For 2nd Amendment . . .

. . . And reject Obama Supreme Court pick who will overturn Heller.

Fairfax, Va. — Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Michael Bennet and Joe Donnelly to stand by the 2nd Amendment and reject President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland:

"The decisions that these four Democrat Senators make will likely define their legacies in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Justice who replaces Antonin Scalia will determine the balance of power on the Court, and there are no do-overs. President Obama has waged a determined and largely failed campaign against the individual right to keep and bear arms due to the Supreme Court's seminal D.C. v. Heller decision that affirmed that the Second Amendment is indeed a protection of those individual rights. The Garland appointment is Obama's lame duck last chance to overturn Heller and impose some strange collective construct to the clear words written into the Constitution as a primary protection against abusive government that 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

"Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Michael Bennet will not face any other decision more important than the one confronting them with this Obama nominee. There will be no hiding behind press statements decrying Court rulings if they vote to confirm Obama's choice, rather than allowing the upcoming Presidential election to decide the future direction of the Supreme Court and indeed the nation as a whole. Americans for Limited Government urges Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly and Bennet to send a strong message to the entire country that our individual rights are not political play things, that Heller is the law of the land, and that they support allowing the people decide through their votes, the future direction of our nation."

Tags: Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Michael Bennet, Joe Donnelly,  Stand Up For 2nd Amendment, reject Merrick Garland, Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Oh Snap . . .

. . . Northeast cold snap just in time for Bernie Sanders and his enviro-wackos.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Blanco

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Auto Destruct

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Just when you thought it safe to go back into the loan market. . . .

Yes, you guessed it: a bubble may be about to pop.

There are actually several, but here’s one you might not expect: the automobile loan market.

Though less regulated and tampered with than the housing market, auto loans aren’t immune to “moral hazard” and other government-induced dangers. The Fed’s low interest rates are almost certainly stimulating the new car market. “Subprime” car loans are way up and so are delinquencies. Do the bankers making these decreasingly solvent loans expect a bailout?

As Eric Peters notes at his immensely fascinating automobile website, the average car loan is now $32,000, “a record high.” And then there’s the “ever-increasing duration of new cars loans. They are now on average six years long — and seven year loans are becoming pretty common.”

Why? “In order to spread out payments (now averaging almost $500 a month) that have become simply too much to manage for most people.”

But then of course car prices are rising. And not just because of simple inflation. It’s the result of government regulations, mandates, and . . . general craziness. Many buyers now finance used car purchases, too, as Mr. Peters explains. That used to be fairly uncommon. The used-car market has been unduly affected by government insanity as well. Remember Cash for Clunkers? Politicians boasted about their managed destruction of millions of used autos.

What they really achieved was a tighter-than-ever supply of usable older cars.

Cruising toward the auto-destruct of the auto-loan markets.

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

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Mass Deportations

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Many may not realize it but more illegal immigrants have been deported during President Obama’s presidency than ever before. An estimated 2.5 million people have been removed from America since he took office. Some have even referred to him as the “deporter-in-chief.”

The two leading Republican presidential candidates want to continue and even expand what is currently happening. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz want to deport millions more, even though many polls show that Americans oppose mass deportations of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

If these two candidates are serious about mass deportation, then we should count the cost. Doug Holtz-Eakin is the former director of the Congressional Budget Office. Last year he calculated that deporting all of these illegal immigrants would take 20 years and cost the federal government at least $400 billion in extra spending.

Jeff Jacoby, in a recent column, quotes a new study that also calculates the cost in terms of government personnel. Evicting immigrants is a four-step process. They must be apprehended, detained, prosecuted, and transported. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would need more than 90,000 enforcement agents.

There’s more. The government would have to build and maintain additional detention facilities and have to triple the number of immigration courts to adjudicate the removal cases. Instead of the current 1,400 chartered flights, we would need 17,000 flights. The current 2,500 bus trips would explode to 30,000.

Finally, we would lose millions currently in our work force that would result in reduced economic output. Is America ready to pay this price for mass deportation? It is question that needs a good answer in this election cycle.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

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A Note to Conservatives Who Are Secular

. . . The problem with a godless and Judeo-Christian-free America.
by Dennis Prager:The most profound thinkers in America are conservative. There are, of course, bright liberal and leftist thinkers, but I can’t think of one who approaches the depth and wisdom of the best conservative writers and thinkers. What liberal historian, for example, approaches the understanding of life and history that author Paul Johnson has exhibited in his many works of history? Who on the left matches psychiatrist/writer Theodore Dalrymple’s insight into the underclass? What left-wing columnists understand human nature, the state of mankind, or contemporary America as do George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Thomas Sowell, or many of the leading columnists at publications such as National Review, City Journal, Commentary Magazine or the Wall Street Journal?

I write this to make it clear that my admiration for the leading conservative writers, columnists and thinkers is deep and abiding.

There is, however, a “but.”

The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.

Most leading Republicans and most of the wealthy donors to the Republican Party — in addition to virtually all libertarian politicians and think tank scholars — are either uninterested in the death of Judeo-Christian religions and values in America and the West, or they’re OK with it. They think that America can survive the death of God and religion, that fiscal and other forms of conservatism without social conservatism can preserve America.

It shows how effective the secular indoctrination in our schools and media has been, that even the majority of conservative thinkers are not only secular themselves, but seem to have no idea how much of the American civilization rests on religious foundations.

They don’t seem to understand that the only solution to many — perhaps most — of the social problems ailing America and the West is some expression of Judeo-Christian faith. Do the inner-city kids who study the Bible and go to church each week lead wasted lives, join gangs, bear children out of wedlock or commit murder? Other than a religious revival, what do conservatives, with all their superb critiques of disastrous left-wing policies, think will uplift inner-city youths?
And why do secular conservatives think so many affluent and well-educated Americans have adopted left-wing dogmas, such as feminism, socialism, environmentalism and egalitarianism as their religions? Because people want to — have to — believe in something. And if it’s not God and Christianity or Judaism, it’s going to be some form of Leftism. Why are evangelical Protestants, theologically conservative Catholics, Orthodox Jews and practicing Mormons almost all conservative? Because they already have a religion and therefore don’t need the alternate gods of leftist faiths, and also because Judeo-Christian religions have different values than leftist religions.

When these conservatives — people who revere the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence — read the founders’ assertion that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” do they believe what the founders wrote? Or were they just echoing the irrational religious beliefs of their time, as people on the left believe?

When these conservatives see the components of what I call the American Trinity — the words “liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “e pluribus unum” inscribed on every American coin — do they regard “In God We Trust” as no longer necessary?
President John Adams warned: “Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion … our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Do secular conservatives think he was right or wrong?

The problem is not that most leading conservative thinkers are secular; it is that they don’t seem to understand that a godless and Judeo-Christian-free America means the end of America, just as a godless and Judeo-Christian-free Europe has meant the end of Europe.
Dennis Prager is a conservative best-selling author, radio talk show host, columnist and public speaker. He appears regularly on conservative TV shows. He is President of Prager University which offers on-line free five-minute videos on various subjects addressed by noted conservatives. He originally posted on

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Terrorism And The Armed Citizen

Photo credit: Cody Johnson
by Mark Chesnut: Gun-banners who derisively scoff when self-defense proponents make the point that concealed carry by law-abiding gun owners can be a substantive first defense against lone-wolf terrorist attacks have a weaker argument as each day passes.

USA Today has called it the “good guy with a gun myth.” And Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group tries to build on the naysaying fervor by attempting, through a false study, to prove that most mass shootings don’t even occur in gun-free zones. (That study was later proven false; only 8 percent of mass shootings over the period studied occurred where people were permitted to legally carry.)

Details released last week from an FBI terrorism investigation have proven both of those anti-gun contentions wrong. That investigation revealed that an alleged ISIS supporter chose the target where he planned to murder as many innocent Americans as possible based on the fact that he believed no good guys with guns would be present.

The Dearborn Heights, Mich., man admitted to investigators: “I tried to shoot up a church one day. I don’t know the name of it, but it’s close to my job. It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. Yeah, I had it planned out.”

Then he said what gun-banners don’t want to hear. “It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church.”

Proof that a known lone-wolf terrorist planned to purposely target American citizens in a gun-free zone probably won’t change the minds of those who can’t stand armed self-defense. After all, they refuse to look at any facts that don’t jibe with their feelings.

But the husband-and-wife jihadi attack in San Bernardino, Calif.—also in a gun-free zone—has changed the way some city leaders there think about armed self-defense in response to terror.

Robert A. Lovingood, vice chair of the San Bernardino, Calif., County Board of Supervisors, recently penned an editorial for the Victorville Daily Press. His opening statement: “What does it take to stop a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun.”

After the December terrorist attack in his town, Lovingood has concluded that it’s time to make a strategic shift, and “empowering the people to protect themselves is a good place to start.” He encourages law-abiding residents to consider applying for concealed-carry permits: “This is a call for self-defense under the law.”

Lovingood shouldn’t have any trouble selling that initiative to residents—the county reported a ninefold increase in carry applications in the months after the attack, with more than 1,000 new applications pouring in.

Regardless of what the gun-haters say, armed, law-abiding citizens can be an effective defense against terror. If terrorists didn’t believe that, they wouldn’t target places where they believe no guns will be present, except in their own evil hands.
Mark Chesnut is the editor for NRA American's 1st Freedom magazine.

Tags: Terrorism, Armed Citizen, Self-Defense, FBI, Detroit, Dearborn, Michigan, Mark Chesnut, NRA, America's 1st Freedom To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Banking On Hillary

NRA America’s 1st Freedom: If you happen to be looking for even more reasons to dislike Democrat Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate than her complete disdain for the Second Amendment, look no further than her new major financial supporter.

Recent media reports indicate that none other than George Soros has backed Clinton’s campaign, and not in a small way. With a $6 million December donation to a super PAC supporting Clinton’s campaign, the Hungarian-born billionaire gun-hater’s total contributions to the pro-Clinton PAC in 2015 was a whopping $8 million.

According to, Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that received the $6 million, brought in $41 million last year, and still has $36 million in the bank as the presidential campaign begins to heat up. It’s telling when a globalist gun-banner makes up almost 20 percent of donations to any candidate. The fact that Soros backs Clinton tells us all we need to know about her in relation to our right to keep and bear arms.

Speaking of money, in a recent long-winded rant bashing lobbyists, Clinton’s hypocrisy was on full display. You see, Clinton has received more money from lobbyist bundlers than any other candidate in the race.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, George Soros, distain, second amendment, lobbyists, bundlers, Priorities, USA Action, Super PAC, NRA, America’s 1st Freedom 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, April 07, 2016

Washington Politicians Aren’t Telling the Truth About Trade

Auto assembly line in Princeton, Indiana.
(Cropped photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/KRT/Newscom
 via The Daily Signal)
by Bryan Riley: One of the most persistent myths about international trade is that American manufacturing workers can’t compete with foreign workers who are paid much less.

That pessimistic view seemed to be confirmed earlier this year, when Carrier announced plans to move 2,100 jobs from Indianapolis to Mexico. Every time a U.S. manufacturing facility closes, it’s headline news.

But here’s the part of the story many people never hear. Although Indiana is losing 2,100 jobs to Mexico, over 100,000 Hoosiers who work in manufacturing are employed by foreign-owned companies. Toyota is adding 300 jobs to its Princeton plant, Honda is adding 100 new jobs in Greensburg, and Subaru is adding 1,200 new jobs to its facility in Lafayette.

While Carrier has been called “greedy” for moving to Mexico, no one in Indiana is calling Toyota, Honda, or Subaru greedy for choosing to invest in the United States.

In total, over 2 million American manufacturing workers are employed by foreign-owned companies. And while American companies have invested over $700 billion in foreign production facilities since 2000, foreign-owned companies have invested over $1.3 trillion in the U. S. manufacturing operations during the same time frame.

The result: a $614 billion manufacturing investment “surplus” for the United States from 2000 to 2015. U.S. manufacturing output has never been higher, and foreign investment in the United States is a big reason why.

The United States should strive to attract more job-creating investment, not adopt protectionist policies that could scare it off.

Bryan Riley (@BryanGeneRiley) is the "Jay Van Andel Senior Policy Analyst" in Trade Policy at the Center for Trade and Economics (CTE) at The Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation provides state-of-the-art analytical and policy research on the role that free markets, the rule of law, and democratic institutions play in fostering economic growth in countries around the world.

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Obama's Priorities, Sanders' Slander, Black Lives, Blue Lives

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama's Priorities - We all know the anxiety level in the country is sky high. There is tremendous economic insecurity. Obama's foreign policy is failing us. Our alliances are frayed.

Recent polls find that two-thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, nearly as many say their values are under attack, and 57% feel like they are falling further and further behind. There appears to be a war on law enforcement.

But don't worry -- the White House has its priorities. I'm sure you'll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our top officials spent the whole day at the White House yesterday confronting the burning issue of . . . gender stereotyping in the toys our kids play with.

Now, don't you feel better?

Sanders' Slander - Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has run into a buzzsaw of criticism, and he deserves it. During a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Sanders was discussing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians when he repeated ludicrous casualty figures from the 2014 Gaza War.

Sanders claimed that "over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza." He went on to say that "a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed," adding that "Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been." According to the United Nations, not exactly a pro-Israel source, just over 2,100 Palestinians were killed.

Expressing concern for "accuracy and accountability," Jonathan Greenblatt, leader of the Anti-Defamation League, called on Senator Sanders to "correct his misstatements."

Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to the United States, was more pointed. "First of all, he should get his facts right. Secondly, he owes Israel an apology," Oren, now a member of the Israeli Knesset, said. "He accused us of a blood libel. He accused us of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Palestinian civilians. Don't you think that merits an apology?"

Sadly, what Sanders refused to acknowledge is that any civilian casualties in Gaza were caused by the strategy Hamas deliberately deployed. Under international law, the use of human shields constitutes a war crime, and the combatants who are using human shields are responsible for those civilian deaths. Few countries would show the restraint Israel demonstrated in Gaza.

But this is bigger than Bernie Sanders. He is the candidate of the left, the choice of those who think Hillary Clinton is insufficiently liberal. He is the choice of the university campuses, winning Millennial voters by lopsided margins of 80% or more.

Sanders is playing to his crowd. The anti-Israel mindset reflected in his remarks is the worldview of the political left in America. The campuses that joyously welcome Bernie Sanders when he speaks, quickly return to their other favorite activity after he departs -- harassing Jewish students and anyone else who dares to defend Israel.

Do Black Lives REALLY Matter? - That is the question ESPN analyst and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis asked recently.

Noting that homicides in Chicago are up more than 80% this year, Lewis had the courage to challenge the Black Lives Matter movement to focus its concern on Chicago and the scourge of black-on-black crime taking place in America's urban centers.

Here's some of what he said in an emotional video a few days ago:

"While everybody's preparing for the Final Four and March Madness, things in the newspapers have disturbed me. I'm trying to figure out if black lives really matter.

"In Chicago alone the murder rate has soared 72 percent in 2016 -- 88 percent in the first three months of 2016 compared to the last year. I'm trying to ask the question to an organization of black lives, if they really mattered, then why not riot now? . . . I'm trying to figure out in my mind why no one is paying attention to black men killing black men?

"Why do we always find ourselves the victims, and now we have the separation once again that we're being victimized because of one bad white cop, two bad white cops, three bad white cops, killing a young black brother.

"But every day we have black-on-black crime, killing each other. . . The March murder rate rose by 29 percent, but we're not rioting in the streets over black-on-black killing each other. . .

"Brothers, if nobody will scream to you, I will scream to you. I know black lives matter because I'm a black man. But stop killing each other. Man, we have to put these guns down in Chicago. Baltimore. Miami. Man it ain't that hard. You have to be okay with earning a right living. It ain't supposed to be easy. . ."
It was a powerful sermon that should be preached in every inner city church in America. Watch it here.

Blue Lives Matter - Monday I told you about the assassination of Trooper Chad Dermyer, a Marine veteran, who was shot multiple times at point-blank range at a bus station in Richmond, Virginia. Trooper Dermyer's death coincided with new statistics indicating that police deaths by gun fire are up 150% this year. The war on cops is real.

But there is encouraging news, too. America's silent majority is speaking up in support of the men and women on the thin blue line.

Last month, Captain Rance Quinn and Captain George Sims of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department stopped for lunch at Chili's. As they were talking, a family who had just finished got up to leave and walked past them. A teenage girl slipped a napkin with a note on their table as she walked by.

The note read, "Thanks for keeping us safe." Her family also picked up the tab for Captains Quinn and Sims. Captain Quinn said, "When we looked over and she was by the door, I gave her a thumbs up and she gave a little smile," adding, "It was very powerful thing that she did."

They weren't the only ones who showed their support and appreciation that day. You can read more at the Kansas City Police Department's Facebook page.

The next time you see a law enforcement officer, please take a moment to say "Thank you." Let them know how much you value their service.
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, Obama's Priorities, Sanders' Slander, Black Lives, Blue Lives 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 Infinite Wisdom Of The Founders

It Is The Senate’s Constitutional Right To Act As A Check On A President And Withhold Its Consent’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): ‘The Founding Fathers… wanted the Senate, in its infinite wisdom, to be a check—a real check, not a rubberstamp’ “…the longer I am around, the more I respect the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. In their infinite wisdom, they wanted judges to interpret law, not make it; they wanted the Senate, in its infinite wisdom, to be a check—a real check, not a rubberstamp...” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.14096, 11/6/03)

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “…it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a President and withhold its consent.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 3/16/16)

SEN. SCHUMER: ‘The Idea That ‘It's My Way Or No Way’ Is Not Going To Work’
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “The idea that ‘It's my way or no way’ is not going to work. Furthermore, I would argue to my colleagues, it is not what the Founding Fathers wanted. If they wanted the President to appoint judges unilaterally, they would have said so in the Constitution. But they wanted the Senate to have a say. … have judges never been blocked? All the time. One out of every five Supreme Court nominees did not make it to the Supreme Court. That is part of the tradition of this country.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S. 5396, 5/18/2005)

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): “It is difficult to imagine that after four attempts to exclude the President from the selection process [at the Constitutional Convention], the Framers intended anything less than the broadest role for the Senate-in choosing the Court and checking the President in every way.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16308, 6/25/1992)

SEN. LEAHY: ‘The Constitution Expressly Speaks Of The Senate’s … Power To ‘Consent,’ Which Includes The Power To Withhold Such Consent’

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT): ‘The Senate's role in the process is not secondary and is not confined simply to a vote. The Constitution expressly speaks of the Senate's … power to ‘consent,’ which includes the power to withhold such consent’ “The Constitution divides the appointment power between the President and the Senate and expects Senators to advise the President, not just rubber-stamp his choices. In fact, for most of the Constitutional Convention the Founders had assigned the constitutional power to appoint judges exclusively to the Senate. Toward the end of the convention, as part of the system of checks and balances, the appointment power was shared between the Senate and the President. Shortly afterward, William Maclay noted this in his famous journal: ‘Whoever attends strictly to the Constitution of the United States will readily observe that the part assigned to the Senate was an important one - no less than that of being the great check, the regulator and corrector, or, if I may so speak, the balance of this government. ...’ The Senate's role in the process is not secondary and is not confined simply to a vote. The Constitution expressly speaks of the Senate's authority to ‘advise’ as well as the power to ‘consent,’ which includes the power to withhold such consent.” (Sen. Leahy, Remarks At The National Press Club, 6/25/03)
  • LEAHY: “The Constitution, as we know, gives the Senate a central role in the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice. Nothing in our makeup, nothing in the history of this country assumes that the Senate would be a rubber stamp for the President’s nominees. After all, it was the Senate that turned down some nominees of George Washington—the most popular President and the greatest President in this country’s history—because it would not be a rubber stamp. It was an overwhelmingly Democratically controlled Senate at the time of Franklin Roosevelt, and it was that Senate that said to Franklin Roosevelt: You cannot pack the Supreme Court. I have said, also, many times that the Senate should be the conscience of the Nation. After all, we are the only 100 people in this country of 295 million Americans who get a chance to vote on lifetime positions to the Supreme Court—people who will affect our personal rights for decades to come.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.238, 1/27/06)
  • LEAHY: “To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Senate has served its time honored role as a check on the presidential appointment power. The Constitution says advice and consent, not rubber stamp.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.11830, 11/20/04)
SEN. REID: ‘Nowhere In That Document Does It Say The Senate Has A Duty To Give Presidential Nominees A Vote’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “The duties of the United States Senate are set forth in the Constitution of the United States. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give Presidential nominees a vote. It says appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That’s very different than saying every nominee receives a vote.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 5/19/2005; VIDEO Here

SEN. REID:‘There Is Not A Number [Of Hours] In The Universe That Would Be Sufficient’ To Debate Some Nominees

SEN. BOB BENNETT (R-UT): “Mr. President, I ask if any number of hours [for debate on the Priscilla Owen nomination] would be sufficient for the Senator from Nevada.” SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Speaking for the Senator from Nevada, there is not a number in the universe that would be sufficient.” (Sens. Bennett & Reid, Congressional Record, S.4949, 4/8/03)

JOE BIDEN: ‘Stanley Matthews' Supreme Court Nomination Failed Without Getting A Vote’

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): “It is also instructive to look at a few historical examples.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.4359-60, 4/27/05)
  • BIDEN: “In 1881, Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes nominated Stanley Matthews to the Supreme Court. A filibuster was mounted, but the Republican majority in the Senate was unable to break the filibuster, and Stanley Matthews' Supreme Court nomination failed without getting a vote.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.4359-60, 4/27/05)

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Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

by James R. Harrigan: It’s hard to fathom now, but there was a time, a long time actually, when superheroes were the colorful embodiment of the American cause. In the comic book world, from roughly 1938, with the introduction of Superman in Action Comics, until at least 1975, superheroes were invariably drawn as arms of the American state. And although comic books fell out of favor in the mid-’70s, the characters they introduced lived on and even flourished on the small screen. There, too, superheroes worked hand in velvet glove with established political authority. There was, after all, a Bat Phone on Commissioner Gordon’s desk. Batman worked for the Gotham police. Wonder Woman worked for the U.S. Army. The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman were themselves government projects.

Somewhere along the way, things changed.

State authority, once presented as a force for good, is now only a force. And it is a force that runs roughshod over the lives and rights of those it was designed to protect. Superheroes no longer serve as handmaidens to the establishment; they use their powers as much against entrenched political interests as they do against supervillains.

Consider Tony Stark’s assertion that he has “privatized world peace” as he testifies before Congress in Iron Man 2, crossing swords with Garry Shandling’s Senator Stern, a Hydra agent. Or Captain America’s perpetual unease regarding the growing power of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Or Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce in the same film, head of the World Security Council and himself a Hydra agent. Or General Ross in The Incredible Hulk, a military man whose sole goal, it seems, is to harness the power of the Hulk and turn it against America’s enemies, regardless of what that might mean to Bruce Banner.

Everywhere one looks in the superhero universe, one sees only the threat of the unfettered power of government. Even the example of one good man standing athwart the corruption, Gotham district attorney Harvey Dent, yields to darkness as he becomes the maniacal, coin-flipping Two Face. The lesson? Nothing pure can last when it is imbued with governmental authority. As Dent himself said, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

We have come to the point where no self-respecting superhero would align himself with this sort of power. Not by a long shot.

Why? Because the American people themselves are, relatively quickly and in growing numbers, coming to view the government as the enemy.

Pop Culture Imitates Life
With all due respect to Oscar Wilde, who famously asserted that life imitates art, it is pop culture that imitates our shared experience. Recent depictions of the superhero universe on the silver screen reflect the fact that Americans no longer trust their government the way they used to.

A recent Pew Research Center Poll confirms this trend of growing distrust. Today, 27 percent of registered American voters think of the federal government as an enemy. This is up 8 points since 1996. Further, 22 percent express feelings of anger toward the government, while 57 percent express frustration. Only 18 percent say they are content with things as they are. A majority of the people, it seems, don’t think that the American way has a whole lot to do with truth and justice anymore.

This is not exactly a partisan issue, either. While Democrats have remained relatively stable in their outlook, with only 12 percent seeing government as an enemy, 35 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of independents now view the government as an enemy, up from 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in 1996. Most tellingly, only 19 percent of the total electorate thinks the government “is run for the benefit of all the people,” while 76 percent believe it is “run by a few big interests.” Lincoln’s government of, by, and for the people is, in the opinion of the people themselves, a thing of the past.

And is it any surprise? With warrantless NSA searches, anonymous drone strikes abroad that target and kill even American citizens with no due process, police who specialize more in asset forfeiture than in fighting crime, and a host of other abuses and usurpations, it is a wonder this loss of faith took as long as it did.

This is the society reflected in the recent spate of superhero movies. We have come a long way from Superman’s battle with airborne Nazis in the pages of Action Comics in 1941, or Captain America’s punching Hitler on the cover of the first issue in his series. Gone is the moral certitude of a simpler time, when heroes and villains were very clearly defined. In its place we find only postmodern power, which operates on us all but is ultimately tamable by no one man. Not even a superhero.
James R. Harrigan is director of academic programs at Strata, in Logan, Utah. Harrigan's article was provided to the ARRA News Service editor by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Tags: Truth, Justice, the American Way, Pew Research, James R harrigan, 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!

See No Evil . . .

. . . Iran Red Flags – Obama is surprised Iran is violating the spirit of the deal.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: See No Evil, Iran Red Flags, Obama, surprised, Iran, violating the deal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bathroom Bills

Bathroom battles continue in North Carolina. PayPal
cancelling plans to open a new operations center in

North Carolina costing the state  400 new jobs.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman blasted North Carolina
"The new law perpetuates discrimination and it 
violates the values and principles that are at
 the core of PayPal's mission and culture."
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Legislatures and city councils have had a debate for some time about so-called “bathroom bills.” Apparently many gay activists are convinced that the next barrier to discrimination concerns transsexuals who desire to use a public bathroom of their preference rather than their biology. That is why some legislative bodies want to pass bills that would protect woman from predators.

A recent column by Frank Turek provides some insight into the debate in North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” (HB2) that could be useful to others who want to pass similar legislation. He delineates six reasons why North Carolina got it right.

First, all good laws discriminate against behaviors not people. Second, people are equal, but their behaviors are not. Good laws treat all people equally, but do not treat their behaviors equally. The very reason laws exist is because not all behaviors are equal and can have a detrimental impact on individuals and society.

Third, your identity is not your feelings but your biology. Frank Turek laments that he has to say the obvious: the reason we have separate bathrooms is because there are biological differences. Does the NBA, the NFL, or Apple allow men in women’s bathrooms? Why, he asks, do “they think North Carolina is wrongly discriminating when they are doing exactly the same thing in their businesses?”

Fourth, the danger is real from sexual predators in women’s restrooms. If you don’t think so, just watch one of the videos making the rounds that warn us what can happen and what has happened when dangerous men enter women’s restrooms.

Fifth, race and homosexual behavior are not the same. Gay activists equate the two and want to force people to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies and allow men in women’s bathrooms.

Sixth, opposition to harmful behavior is not bigotry. It is wise, and that is why North Carolina got it right.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, North Carolina, bathroom bill, HB2, sexual predators, women's bathrooms, PayPal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Four Powers on the Chopping Block

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: A group of Ohio citizens isn't leaving the maintenance of ethical standards in government to the politicians. Smart. Forming a political committee, "Ethics First-You Decide Ohio," the group filed an initiative to amend the state constitution unsurprisingly called, "Ethics First."

What does the ballot measure do?

"Ethics proposal would cut state lawmaker's pay and power," said the segment on Cleveland's NBC affiliate, WKYC-TV 3.

The initiative limits base pay for the state's part-time legislators to the median household income of full-time Ohioans. Because Ohio is one of only six states in which legislators pay themselves more than median household income, the measure, if in effect today, would mandate cutting legislators' base pay from $60,584 annually to $49,644.

"The purpose is not to cut their pay," explained spokesman Jack Boyle. "The purpose is to make their pay related to what happens to all of us in Ohio. If we're doing well, their pay will go up. If not, it will go down."

What legislative "power" will be cut?

The amendment takes away four powers:
  1. The power of legislators to exempt themselves from laws and taxes other Ohioans must follow and pay,
  2. The currently unlimited power of legislators to raise their own pay,
  3. The power to be a paid lobbyist before the legislature within two years of leaving office as a state legislator, and
  4. The power of legislators to destroy legislative records, including electronic records, within four years.
All the other powers of the legislature remain completely intact.

How would you vote: Yes or No?

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

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Ohio, powers, chopping block 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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