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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 14, 2017

Mutilating Little Girls In Michigan’s Little Palestine . . .

. . . A female genital mutilation horror in the Midwest.

by Newt Gingrich: Livonia, Michigan is known as Little Palestine. The Detroit suburb is famous for its anti-Israel meetings. You could go hear Mustafa Barghouthi, Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah without taking a long drive.

It’s also known for its shady doctors.

Dr. Murtaza Hussain was busted for letting unlicensed employees diagnose patients and write prescriptions. Dr. Waseem Alam and Dr. Hatem Ataya pleaded guilty in the nation’s largest Medicare fraud case totaling $712 million in false billings centering on Shahid Tahir, Muhammad Tariq and Manavar Javed’s Livonia medical firms. But what was going on at one Livonia clinic was far worse than the theft of millions. Anyone passing by at the right time could hear the screams of little girls.

We think of horrors like female genital mutilation as a terrible thing that happens over “there.” But as the implacable tide of Muslim immigration swept across Europe, “there” became the United Kingdom.

England recorded 5,700 cases of FGM in less than a year. France has jailed 100 people for FGM. An estimated 50,000 women in Germany have undergone FGM with a 30 percent boost due to the rise of Islamic migration in the last several years. In Sweden, it’s 38,000. And now, as American towns and cities are reshaped by Muslim migration, “there” is now right here. The terrible practice is in America.

Sweden was the first Western country to outlaw FGM. But despite the prevalence of FGM in Sweden, there have only been a handful of convictions. The United States banned FGM in 1997. A Federal report in 2012 warned that 513,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk for FGM.

Now after twenty years of the law’s existence, a Muslim doctor has become the first to be charged.

Operating out of a Livonia clinic, Jumana Fakhruddin Nagarwala abused unknown numbers of little girls. The end came when law enforcement traced calls to her from a Minnesota number. Then they followed the trail to a hotel in Farmington Hills; a Michigan city at the center of an Islamic Center controversy.

It was Friday evening; the holy day of the Islamic week when Muslims are told to “leave off business” and “hasten to the remembrance of Allah.” That is what the two women leading two little girls to be mutilated thought that they were doing. Muslims believe that on Friday, angels stand outside the doors of mosques to record who shows up for prayer. But it was the hotel surveillance cameras that watched and recorded as the two little girls arrived, unaware of the horror that was about to happen to them.

The 7-year-old girl had been told that she was going to Detroit for a “special” girls’ trip. Instead her special trip turned into a nightmare. After the Muslim doctor allegedly mutilated her, she warned the child not to talk about what was done to her.

Then it was back to Minnesota.

The other little girl drew a picture of the room. And she drew an X on the examining room table to show where her blood had spilled. With pain radiating all the way down her body, the Muslim doctor who had abused her told her that she was fine.

And her parents told her not to tell.

It was early February. The temperature on that terrible day in Livonia fell as low as 12 degrees. By the next day, she was back in Minnesota, likely the “Little Mogadishu” in Minneapolis, where temperatures had cratered to 9 degrees. The abused little girl could hardly walk. And in her pain and anguish, she left behind one of her gloves. The glove had her name on it. When the house of horrors in Livonia was finally raided, that solitary child’s glove was still there like a gruesome trophy.

The investigation turned back home to Michigan. Authorities found plenty of girls who had been abused by Jumana. And now she’s under arrest.

But the culture of silence still continues.

The criminal complaint is as circuitous as the entire culture of FGM. It relies heavily on euphemisms. The perpetrators and the girls at risk are referred to only as "members of a particular religious and cultural community". What is this community? It must thereafter remain nameless.

Jumana is a “member of the community”. The family that delivered their little girls to Jumana is "part of the community in Minnesota". What community? As the little girls from that nameless community in Minnesota were told, don’t talk about it. Don’t mention the community.

The full name of the perpetrator, Jumana Fakhruddin Nagarwala, is rarely used. Fakhruddin is far less ambiguous than the rest of her name. It comes from the Arabic and means “Pride in religion.”

That nameless religion practiced by the nameless community.

It isn’t the Swedes or Norwegians of Minnesota who mutilate their daughters. In Minnesota, it’s largely a Somali problem. Back home in Somalia, 98% of little girls have been mutilated. And the Somali Muslims who have migrated here in great numbers do their best to keep up the gruesome practice in America. The Hennepin County Medical Center, a hospital located in a place named after a Franciscan priest, has a special report on dealing with FGM that emphasizes cultural sensitivity.

It defines the “big hurdle” as, "Muslim (Somali) Culture: Value Acquiescence to Allah as supreme authority" and "American Culture: Value the supremacy of the individual".

That’s certainly one way of defining it.

Just as Sweden was the first European country to ban FGM to little avail, Minnesota became the first state to ban FGM, also to little avail. As the Somali Muslims keep pouring in, 44,293 women and girls in the state face the threat of being mutilated. Some of the Somali settlers send their daughters back home to be abused. Others take a shorter trip to Michigan.

Which “community” is it that encompasses an Indian Muslim like Jumana and the likely Somali victims while operating in Little Palestine? It isn’t an ethnic community or even a religious one. It’s Islam.

But the official word is that FGM is a practice that occurs in “certain Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities”. It is certainly unique to list a practice in reverse order of probability.

Stories on FGM occasionally quote some local cleric insisting that the practice has no foundation in Islam. That would come as news to the Hadith which quotes Mohammed as saying, "Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women."

This is the honor of Islam for which women are murdered and mutilated. And to preserve the honor of Islam, we are told to remain silent about it. It’s not only the abusers and the abused girls who maintain the culture of silence. It’s the authorities and the media that carefully step around the obvious. Just as with Islamic terrorism, a refusal to name the problem makes it impossible to solve.

Jumana Fakhruddin Nagarwala made her court appearance wearing “a light-colored, matching dress and khimar, or veil that covered her head, neck and shoulders.”

The term is meaningless to the average American. As it’s meant to be.

The Khimar is a heavier Muslim head covering. The Koranic version that mentions it also casually references castrated male slaves. The drives behind the Khimar and FGM are not far apart. Both stigmatize women and enforce Islamic traditions of repression with brutal violence.

Islam’s honor originates from the repression of the “Other”. That includes non-Muslims and Muslim women. The girls brutalized on Jumana’s exam table were abused as part of an ancient tradition. Jumana took pride in her abuses because, as her name signifies, she takes pride in her religion.

If we truly want to end such abuses, we must take as much pride in our principles and values as monsters like Jumana do in her theirs.
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Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Michigan, Little Palestine, female genital mutilation, little girls, horror To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Supply Crunch Or Oil Glut: Investment Banks Can't Agree

by Tsvetana Paraskova:  In recent years, U.S. shale has thrown in another unknown in the mix of factors driving the price of oil. This year, shale output forecasts combine with OPEC’s production cuts, geopolitical factors, and unexpected outages to further complicate supply/demand and oil price forecasts by Wall Street’s major investment banks.

The biggest banks remain bullish on oil prices, expecting moderate price gains by the end of the year, even after last month WTI prices dropped below $50 for a couple of weeks.

But analyst projections about oil global supply and demand are increasingly diverging, because expectations of the combined effects of OPEC’s cuts, U.S. shale production, new oil discoveries, and new project start-ups also differ a lot.

Goldman Sachs, for example, expects a “material oversupply” in 2018-2019, due to the increase in mega projects production in 2017-19 as a result of the record spending in those projects between 2011 and 2013. Short-cycle shale output will also add to the glut, says Goldman, projecting an additional 1 million bpd to global supply by 2018-2019 coming from the mega projects sanctioned before the oil price crash and from U.S. shale output.

Morgan Stanley, however, begs to differ, and has recently said that “by 2020, we estimate that [around] 1.5 million bpd of demand will need to come from projects that have not been sanctioned yet, but that have break-even oil prices of $70-75 a barrel.

UBS, for its part, expects a 4-million-bpd supply gap by 2020.

Beyond 2017, the impact of a collapse in longer-cycle conventional investment over 2014-16 begins to be felt. 2015 saw just six major upstream projects totaling [some] 0.6 million bpd ... versus the 3-4 million bpd average, and 2016 has seen just one major liquids project sanctioned,” UBS strategist Jon Rigby told Reuters.

Analysts and industry bodies warn of a supply crunch, especially after 2020, when the effect of the significantly lowered investments in conventional projects during the downturn will show. The International Energy Agency (IEA) sees a shortage in oil supply after 2020, “unless new projects are approved soon”. According to the IEA, supply could lag demand in a few years, which could lead to a surge in oil prices.

“In the next few years, oil supply is growing in the United States, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere but this growth could stall by 2020 if the record two-year investment slump of 2015 and 2016 is not reversed. While investments in the US shale play are picking up strongly, early indications of global spending for 2017 are not encouraging,” the IEA said in a report last month.

According to Wood Mackenzie, although projects around the world slated for final investment decisions (FIDs) will double this year compared with 2016, and prospects for 2017 are largely looking good, “the longer-term deepwater pipeline is more challenged.”

The oil price slump has not only deferred some investment decisions, it has also forced companies to scale back exploration spending for conventional oil.

Last year, total global discovered volumes of oil and gas combined hit their lowest since the 1940s, according to Rystad Energy. The Oslo-based consultancy sees exploration activity slowly picking up from 2018.

Although last year’s low discovery volumes won’t have an immediate effect on global supply, they could influence supply a decade or so into the future because of the long lead-time in sanctioning conventional oil developments and actual production start-ups.

Meanwhile, short-cycle U.S. shale is now more flexible in scaling back or resuming production, depending on the price of oil and well economics. This adds another conundrum for investment banks in predicting oil prices - how fast U.S. supply could grow and how many barrels it could add on the global oil market.
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Tsvetana Paraskova authored this article contributed by James Stafford the editor of OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Tsvetana Paraskova, James Stafford, Oilprice.com, Supply Crunch Or Oil Glut, Investment Banks Can't Agree To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Our Three Baby Boomer Presidents

Our Three Baby Boomer Presidents
by Michael Barone: With the inauguration of Donald Trump this year, we have now had, for the first time in our history, three American presidents who were born in the same year. There have been three pairs of presidents born in the same year -- the very dissimilar John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, in 1767; Richard Nixon and his surprise successor, Gerald Ford, in 1913; and Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, in 1924.

Now we've had three presidents who were born in calendar year 1946: Bill Clinton (in August), George W. Bush (in July) and Donald Trump (in June). Note that all three were born just a little more than nine months after V-J Day. (For younger readers, that was the end of World War II.)

The U.S. Census Bureau considers 1946 to be the first year of the baby boom, a remarkable and unpredicted sudden surge in births in the United States and numerous other countries. It continued until 1964, which means Barack Obama, who was born in 1961, is also a part of the baby-boom generation.

The leading edge of the baby-boom generation, the oldest members of an enormous age cohort, has made its mark on American life. Growing up in an era of postwar conformity, they insisted on doing their own thing. They listened to and played rock 'n' roll, the first adolescent music genre. They participated in student riots. Their high-school class of 1964 had the highest test scores in history.

Compared with their parents, they attended college more and served in the military less. All seven presidents born between 1908 and 1924 were, in some form, in the military during World War II. Two of the 1946 presidents never were in the military at all, and one served in the Texas Air National Guard.

Two were the sons of men highly successful in quite different fields. One's father was a mysterious figure who died before he was born. But all three graduated from prestigious universities -- Georgetown University and Yale Law School, Yale University and Harvard Business School, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Of course, each was different. Bill Clinton was a political prodigy, with the capacity to understand public policy and its political implications seemingly off the top of his head. He started his political career early, running the 1972 George McGovern campaign in Texas and almost upsetting a Republican congressman in 1974. In 1976, he was elected Arkansas attorney general, and in 1979, at 32, he became the state's governor.

Clinton had luck, and with his dazzling political skills, he took advantage of it. When his career seemed to be winding down -- he was renominated and re-elected by lackluster margins in 1990 -- he took a chance on running for president against an incumbent who had started the year with 91 percent approval. That guaranteed weak Democratic competition, and Ross Perot's surprise candidacy, which dislodged George H.W. Bush, and surprise (and temporary) withdrawal boosted Clinton.

As president, Clinton had his stumbles and unique disgrace. He was disorganized and undisciplined, but he was also constantly adapting and revising, rewriting State of the Union addresses on his ride to the Capitol. The public mostly approved.

George W. Bush was, in some ways, the opposite. After an unsuccessful House race in 1978, he mostly laid aside politics. After his father lost to Clinton, he seems to have believed that God put him in the way of running for president, and he strove to tutor himself to do the best job possible.

His strength was steadfastness, his weakness (as always, a strength overdone) stubbornness. He was agonizingly slow on midcourse correction, notably on Iraq but also on Social Security reform.

Bush's political strategy, designed to keep Texas from being the next California, worked, but it gave him only small electoral vote majorities. When his job approval dropped, between 2006 and 2008, his party took the worst thumpings it'd had in 25 years.

Donald Trump's strategy followed not George W. Bush's but Ross Perot's. He bet that his trademark stands on trade and immigration (different from every president's since Dwight Eisenhower) -- though costing him votes of college graduates in California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia -- would gain him enough votes from non-college-educated people to win.

The bet paid off. Trump did worse than George W. Bush had done in those states, but it cost him zero electoral votes. Swings by non-college-educated whites in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Maine gave him 100 electoral votes twice won by Barack Obama.

Was that shrewd insight or blind luck? Either way, it perhaps owed something to Perot (born in 1930), who helped make each of these boomers president.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
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Michael Barone @MichaelBarone) is Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner, co-author of The Almanac of American Politics and a contributor to Fox News.

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Will Christianity Perish in Its Birthplace?

by Patrick Buchanan: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)” Those are among Jesus’ last words on the Cross that first Good Friday.

It was a cry of agony, but not despair. The dying Christ, to rise again in three days, was repeating the first words of the 22nd Psalm.

And today, in lands where Christ lived and taught and beyond where the Christian faith was born and nourished, the words echo. For it is in the birthplace of Christianity that Christians face the greatest of persecutions and martyrdoms since the time of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

President Donald Trump, outraged by pictures of infants and children who had perished in the nerve gas attack in Syria, ordered missile strikes on the air base from which the war crime came.

Two days later, Palm Sunday, 44 Coptic Christians celebrating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem were martyred in terrorist attacks in Egypt. The first bombing was at St. George’s Church in Tanta, the second at St. Mark’s in Alexandria, where the Coptic Pope Tawadros II was at Mass.

The pope was unhurt, but 100 Christians were injured in the attacks. At St. George’s, one witness described the scene after the bomb exploded near the altar: “I saw pieces of body parts. … There was so much blood everywhere. Some people had half of their bodies missing.”

The Islamic State group claims credit for the murders, and the pictures of dead children from those churches were surely as horrific as the pictures the president saw after the gas attack.

Copts are among the earliest Christians, dating to the first century A.D., when St. Mark, one of the Twelve Apostles, established the first church outside the Holy Land and became bishop of Alexandria.

The Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population. They have been especially targeted for terrorist attacks since the 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, who had been elected president after the ouster of longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.

In the subsequent struggle between Egypt’s Islamists, whose base is in Sinai, and the Cairo regime of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was welcomed to the White House in March, the Copts are seen as soft-target allies of Gen. el-Sissi’s and hated for their faith.

Whatever they did for democracy, the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and the vaunted Arab Spring have proved to be pure hell for Arab Christians.

In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Christians were left alone if they did not interfere in politics. Indeed, they prospered as doctors, lawyers, journalists, academics, engineers, businessmen. A Christian, Tariq Aziz, was Saddam’s foreign minister who negotiated with Secretary of State James Baker to try to prevent what became the Gulf War.

Before 2003, there were still 800,000 Christians in Iraq. But after a decade of church bombings and murders of priests, their numbers have plummeted. When the Islamic State seized a third of Iraq, Christians under the group’s rule had to convert to Islam and pay a tax or face beheading.

On Dec. 26, St. Stephen’s Day, which honors the first martyr, Pope Francis hailed the Iraqi Christians lately liberated from Islamic State rule, noting, “They are our martyrs of today, and there are so many we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries.”

In 2016, an estimated 90,000 more Christians worldwide died for their faith.

Under Syria’s dictator Hafez al-Assad and son Bashar, Christians have been 10 percent of the population and protected by the regime. They thus have sided with Assad against the terrorists of the Islamic State and al-Qaida, whose victory would mean their expulsion or death.

Of the 10 nations deemed by Christianity Today to be the most hateful and hostile toward Christianity, eight are majority-Muslim nations, with the Middle East being the site of the worst of today’s persecutions.

Afghanistan, which we “liberated” in 2001, is listed as the third-most hostile nation toward Christians. The punishment for baptism there is death. A decade ago, a Christian convert had to flee his country to avoid beheading.

Consider. Christianity, whose greatest feast day we celebrate Sunday, is the cradle faith of the culture and the civilization of the West. And in our secularized world, Christianity remains the predominant faith.

A millennium ago, Christendom mounted crusades to ensure that its pilgrims would not lose the right to visit the Holy Land in peace.

Now, a decade and a half after we launched invasions and occupations of the Muslim world in Afghanistan and then Iraq to bring the blessings of democracy, the people there who profess that Christian faith are being persecuted as horribly as they were under the Romans in Nero’s time.

Where are the gains for religious freedom and human rights to justify all the bombings, invasions and wars we have conducted in the lands from Libya to Pakistan — to justify the losses we have endured and the death and suffering we have inflicted?

Truth be told, it is in part because of us that Christianity is on its way to being exterminated in its cradle.

Happy Easter!
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Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

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The Good News!

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: There is plenty of disheartening and worrisome news. Children have been gassed to death in Syria. North Korea is testing nuclear weapons. Christians in Egypt, still reeling from the Palm Sunday massacres at two churches, will not be celebrating this Sunday. Easter festivities have been cancelled in many churches in Egypt.

Around the world, the persecution of Christians is accelerating. A report in January noted, "For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high." Here at home Judeo-Christian values continue to be pushed out of the public square.

But today, on Good Friday, we focus on the perfect Lamb, the truth of scripture and exactly what it is that we as Christians are celebrating. (And it's not chocolate bunnies or marshmallow chicks!)

As a child, when I read the Easter story, there was a part of me that wanted a different ending. If only He had come down from the Cross and destroyed His enemies -- that would have demonstrated His power. That is what I thought then. Of course, I soon learned how wrong that thought was.

Christ had to die so that we might have everlasting life. His sacrifice on the cross saved all who believe in Him. As Charles Wesley's great hymn states: "Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, should die for me?"

Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

While some worship a god who commands men to die for him, we worship a loving God who gave His son to die for us. What a contrast!

But Christ did more than just give up His life. He conquered death and rose from the grave. While Christmas tends to overshadow most holidays, ultimately it is not a birthday that we celebrate -- it is the resurrection. If Christ had not risen from the grave, He would have been forgotten as a common criminal, a rabble-rouser whose birthday would have no significance.

And with Christ's resurrection, we have confidence.

Confidence in a caring Creator, rather than the chaos of the cosmos.

Confidence in a glorious future, rather than the finality of the grave.

Confidence that sustains us in times of trial and tribulation -- in times such as these.

On Easter morning, we do not gather to remember a martyr. We come together to worship the risen Son of God!

Thank God for the Cross and the empty tomb. Thank God for the Good News of Christ's resurrection.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!
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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

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A+ in Arrogance

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The folks in Congress represent ‘We, the People’ . . . well, theoretically, at least. They’re supposed to work for us. We are their bosses. We pay their salary.

But not U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, the third-term Republican from the rural Second District of Oklahoma. At two recent town hall meetings, the former professional mixed martial arts fighter responded to comments that the people pay his salary and health insurance with a sort of verbal karate-chop.*

“You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap,” he aggressively retorted. “I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.”

Mullin’s taxpayer-funded PR professional, Amy Lawrence, was nice enough to explain the prickly, arrogant ranting of her boss, noting that, “Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”

Which means — yes sirree! — that of course his constituents pay his salary, when they also “contribute” their taxes. The fact that Rep. Mullin pays taxes, too, doesn’t change that fact.

And, though Mullin claims being a member of Congress is not how he makes “his living,” he does, nonetheless, deposit into his bank account a not inconsequential $174,000 a year in congressional salary.

Moreover, as a member of Congress, Mullin also gets to flout the Obamacare law with a special health insurance deal.

A town hall set for Tahlequah was canceled . . . for security reasons.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* His comments in Jay, Oklahoma, are available here; his Okemah comments, here. An entire hour video of his Okemah remarks are here (the portion about his pay begins at 24:48). Prior article on U.S. Rep Markwayne Mullin.
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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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Tax Collections By The States

by Bob Weeks: An interactive visualization of tax collections by state governments.

Each year the United States Census Bureau collects data from the states regarding tax collections in various categories. I present this data starting in 1993, in an interactive visualization.

The values are for tax collections by the state only, not local governmental entities like cities, counties, townships, improvement districts, cemetery districts, library districts, drainage districts, watershed districts, and school districts.

Of particular interest is the “State Total” tab. Here you can select a number of states and compare their tax burdens. (Probably three or four states at a time is the practical limit.)

Data is as collected from the United States Census Bureau, Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections, and not adjusted for inflation.
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Bob Weeks is a conservative activist in Wichita, Kansas and is te editor of Voice for Liberty

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Good Friday

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Today is Good Friday. On this day, believers around the world commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We all understand that. What most of us don’t understand is why this dark day in which Jesus suffered and died is called “Good Friday.” Why isn’t it called Bad Friday or Dark Friday?

Over the years, people have put forward various theories. Some argue that it is called Good Friday because something good came about because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. While that is certainly true theologically, that is not the linguistic origin of the term Good Friday.

Others have suggested that Good Friday came from a shortening of the words God’s Friday. Although you do see that suggestion in some articles on the Internet, there really isn’t any connection between the words god and good. At best, this is mere linguistic speculation.

More likely that term Good Friday comes from an older meaning of the word good. It used to mean holy. So you can think of the term Good Friday as really meaning Holy Friday. This fits with other languages that refer to this day as Sacred Friday or even Passion Friday.

Today we commemorate when the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus. He was sinless, and thus the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He paid the penalty that we deserved to pay. As the song says: “He paid a debt He did not owe” because “I owed a debt I could not pay.”

Good Friday begins the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Because of the death of Jesus, we can receive the free gift of eternal life. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that there is life beyond the grave. That is why this weekend is a cause for great celebration.
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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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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fourth Circuit ‘Lawyers Up’ Against Trump

by John and Andy Schlafly: “Lawyer up” refers to hiring a bunch of lawyers to address an emerging dispute. An example was when President Bill Clinton “lawyered up” to deal with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has just “lawyered up” in order to take on Donald Trump’s second travel ban, Executive Order 13,780, which is on appeal from a federal district court in Maryland. The Fourth Circuit has convened an en banc (full sitting) of its lawyers-turned-judges to consider this standoff between the courts and the President of the United States, in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.

It is nearly unheard of for a court to convene en banc to consider an initial federal appeal. More than 99% of federal appeals are heard by a three-judge panel chosen at random from among the judges who sit on that particular federal appellate court.

But there are several reasons why the Fourth Circuit broke from tradition and insists on all its active judges hearing this case from the get-go. The current composition of this appellate court reveals why.

From its headquarters in Richmond, the Fourth Circuit presides over Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North and South Carolina. Historically the Fourth was the most conservative Circuit in the entire Nation, featuring judges handpicked by Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC).

But today the Fourth is one of the most liberal of the 13 federal circuit courts, stacked with 10 Democrats against only 5 Republicans on active service, and no vacancies. President Obama placed 6 judges on the Fourth Circuit, all in his first term alone.

By insisting on going en banc at the outset, this Democrat-dominated court ensures that Trump will not draw a Republican majority on a three-judge panel, which would have been possible under the ordinary process. Instead, Trump will be looking at a group of judges more liberal on social issues than the voters in California, where Trump lost by 62-32%.

Another likely reason why the Fourth Circuit took this extraordinary step was to muscle up for its stand-off with the commander in chief. It will be easier to rule against the Chief Executive with the support of ten judges than merely with only two or three.

That’s more judges than the entire U.S. Supreme Court, which will almost certainly get the appeal one day. The Fourth Circuit, however, can take as long as it likes with this case, and could easily wait until just before the midterm elections next year before slapping Trump down with another judicial supremacist ruling.

The federal district court ruled that Trump’s executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries was probably a violation of the Establishment Clause, and the court enjoined it on that basis. The lower court said that statements made by candidate Trump reflected an animus towards Muslims, and thus as President he would not be allowed to protect our Nation from possible terrorists with this travel ban.

The district court issued its injunction nationwide, even though it sits only in Maryland. The court insisted that no one would be hurt by the injunction, although people have been hurt and killed by individuals entering our Nation from the designated foreign countries.

At issue is a mere 90-day ban on travel by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, to the United States. One may wonder why foreigners even have a right to challenge an order of the President of the United States concerning entry into our country.

Included among the plaintiffs were American citizens and lawful permanent residents who sponsored relatives living in one of the six designated countries for immigrant visas to the United States. These plaintiffs assert that they will be injured if their relatives cannot visit them here.

But why don’t these plaintiffs travel abroad to visit with their relatives there instead? Or, perhaps better yet, why don’t they seek a waiver as allowed by Trump’s Second Executive Order?

The court found that the waiver process imposes an additional hurdle to “reunification” of these families, and thus the court allowed the relatives here to sue on behalf of their kin there. In addition, the court found that Muslim lawful residents here could sue to overturn the travel ban based on “fear, anxiety, and insecurity” due to Trump’s allegedly anti-Muslim views.

As Phyllis Schlafly observed a decade ago in The Supremacists, “Textbooks still say that we have three balanced branches of government — but textbooks are badly behind the times because one branch has assumed authority over the other two.” This overreaching in power by the judicial branch will not be rectified by appointing a few good judges to the bench.

Instead, Trump’s advisers need to realize that the courts will block Trump and drive down his approval rating again and again. Congress should simply withdraw jurisdiction from the courts over the travel ban, and Trump’s executive branch should decline to enforce unconstitutional court orders that interfere with our national security.
----------------
John and Andy Schlafly at Eagle Forum are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump.

Tags: John Schlafly, Andy Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Fourth Circuit, ‘Lawyers Up’, Against, President Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Drops MOAB, Promises Kept, Tillerson In Russia, Shattered

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Trump Drops MOAB - News broke just after lunch time that U.S. forces dropped a MOAB bomb (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) in Afghanistan. The bomb is also known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" for a reason -- it is the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal. The bomb is so big that it has to be dropped from the back of a C-130 cargo plane.

The use of the bomb comes as U.S. and coalition forces are fighting pitched battles against entrenched Taliban and ISIS jihadists. In fact, Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar was killed Saturday in the same region where the MOAB was dropped today.

According to CNN, today's deployment "is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield." Predictably, the "progressive" left is reacting in horror. One liberal House Democrat is demanding that Congress cut short its recess to return to Washington in order to repeal the authorization of force in Afghanistan.

Gen. John W. Nicholson, the top commander in Afghanistan, said that ISIS is increasingly using "bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense. This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS."

Gen. Nicholson is right. Using the MOAB was the right call to avoid sending our men into booby-trapped, heavily fortified caves. Some might also say it is another example of Donald Trump keeping his promises.

And here's something else to keep in mind. Last week, President Trump put the world's thugs on notice when he launched a massive retaliatory strike against Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against innocent civilians.

Today, Trump sent another message to the dictators in Pyongyang and Tehran, both of whom have massive underground military installations: This president is willing to use America's biggest bunker busting bombs!

Speaking Of Promises Kept . . .  President Trump today signed legislation repealing an Obama regulation mandating state funding of Planned Parenthood. You may recall that the Senate passed the measure only after a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

Another victory for the pro-life cause by the Trump/Pence team!

Tillerson In Russia - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on the job for less than three months, was in Moscow yesterday for meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson reportedly told Putin that relations between the United States and Russia are at "a low point."

President Trump evidently agrees. At a press conference yesterday, he said, "Right now we're not getting along with Russia at all."

Contrary to the bitter lunatics on the left who cling to their conspiracy theories, the relationship is chilly precisely because Trump is not Putin's puppet. That's why he ordered strikes against Russia's Syrian ally.

Putin watched for the past eight years as Obama abandoned America's traditional leadership role in the Middle East. So when Obama refused to act in Syria, Putin moved in. But suddenly Putin is no longer dealing with a weak president eager to demonstrate his flexibility. Instead, this president has a spine and Putin got a black eye in the process for siding with a war criminal.

I'm glad President Trump ordered the strikes against the Assad regime. I am waiting for progressives to admit they were wrong about Trump wanting to appease Russia. They must have had him confused with the last president.

Shattered - A new book on the 2016 presidential race is coming out in the days ahead, but it is already making headlines. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign is not a right-wing hatchet job written by conservatives who are dancing on Hillary's grave. Quite the contrary.

The book is written by former Politico reporter Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the senior White House correspondent for The Hill. Allen and Parnes first teamed up in 2014 to write HRC, which one conservative pilloried as "a notable air-kiss" to Clinton and a "mushy" book in which "reporters lamely compare Hillary to rock star Bono."

Perhaps Allen and Parnes are still "feeling the Bern" because they aren't gushing over Hillary anymore!

The book provides more devastating examples about how despicable Bill and Hillary really are. We've heard it all before -- from former Secret Service agents to former associates in Arkansas. They just aren't nice people. Read this excerpt about Bill and Hillary "chewing out" their campaign staff.

Rush Limbaugh said Shattered is "a fascinating read." And he added, "The book doesn't say one thing about the Russians being responsible" for Hillary's loss or any of her troubles.

By the way, a new Rasmussen poll finds that 55% of voters believe that Trump fairly won last year's presidential election. And in spite of all the left-wing hysteria about "Russian interference," only 33% disagree.
-------------------
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, Trump Drops MOAB, Promises Kept, Tillerson In Russia, Shattered To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

U.S. Drops Largest Bomb Since Nagasaki On ISIS

by Bob Owens: The United States just delivered the largest single bomb it has dropped on an enemy position since BOCKSCAR delivered the Fat Man atomic bomb to Nagasaki on August, 9 1945.

The U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, just days after a Green Beret was killed fighting ISIS there, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News.

The GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb, was dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex in Nangarhar Province.

The MOAB — Massive Ordinance Air Blast — is also known as the “Mother Of All bombs.” It was first tested in 2003, but hadn’t been used in combat before Thursday.

The MOAB is so massive it had to be dropped out of the back of a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane.

“We kicked it out the back door,” one U.S. official told Fox News.

For comparison to the 21,000-pound MOAB, each Tomahawk cruise missile launched at a Syrian military air base last week was 1,000-pounds each.

“As [ISIS’] losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against [ISIS].”
The GBU-43B creates a blast wave that extends a mile in each direction.
I rather strongly doubt that the military will release a bomb damage assessment of the strike, thought I’d like to understand the rationale for dropping an air-burst weapon on a cave complex, when it seems that the 30,000 lbs, GBU-57, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, would be the more obvious choice of giant conventional weapons.
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Bob Owens is the Editor of BearingArms.com. A long-time shooting enthusiast, he began blogging as a North Carolina native in New York. His personal blog is bob-owens.com, and he can be found on Twitter at @bob_owens.

Tags: U.S., Drops Largest Bomb, Since Nagasaki, On ISIS, Bob Owens, BearingArms.com 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 Claimed "All' of Syria's Chemical Weapons Had Been Eliminated . . .

. . . Another Obama lie exposed.
by Larry Elder: The Obama administration claimed that it negotiated with Syria and Russia to eliminate "100 percent" of Syria's chemical weapons. After President Barack Obama's 2012 "red line" warning to Syria about using chemical weapons, Syria launched a chemical attack in August 2013. But U.S. military action was avoided by the alleged Russian/American/Syrian diplomatic accomplishment, achieved without "firing a shot." Here's what we were told:

President Obama, on April 28, 2014: "We're getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., crowed on June 1, 2014: "We're getting the chemical weapons out of Syria." And Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., chimed in July 6: "We should commend the administration for the result that they got."

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry, on July 20, 2014: "We got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out (of Syria)."

President Obama, on Aug. 18, 2014: "Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile."

Kerry on Oct. 31, 2014: "We ... cut the deal that got 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons out of Syria, and people nevertheless have been critical — of one day of bombing versus the virtue of getting 100 percent of the chemical weapons out of Syria."

Kerry reiterated the accomplishment on Feb. 24, 2015, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We got, as you know, last year, all the chemical weapons out of Syria."

True, Bloomberg reported on May 13, 2015: "The U.S. government was informed months ago that an international monitoring body found traces of chemical weapons that President Bashar al-Assad had promised to turn over, including sarin gas — a clear violation of the deal he struck with President Obama after crossing the administration's 'red line' two years ago.

"Officials from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told the Obama administration early this year that its inspectors had found traces of two banned chemical weapons during an inspection of the Syrian government's Scientific Studies and Research Center in the district of Barzeh near Damascus, two administration officials told us. A report by Reuters May 8 said that OPCW inspectors had found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at the site in separate inspections in December and January."

After the Bloomberg story, then-White House press secretary John Earnest initially admitted: "We're aware that the OPCW continues to receive credible allegations that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is still taking place." But a month later, on June 17, 2015, Earnest responded: "(Syria's) declared chemical weapons stockpile that Assad previously denied existed has now been acknowledged, rounded up, removed from the country and destroyed precisely because of the work of this administration and our successful efforts to work with the Russians to accomplish that goal."

But Susan Rice, then Obama's national security adviser, on Jan. 16, 2017, said, "We were able to find a solution that didn't necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. ... We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile."

After last week's chemical weapons attack that left nearly 100 Syrians dead, former Obama advisers now say they always knew that not all of chemical weapons were eliminated — and that turning over all their weapons is not exactly what tyrants tend to do.

Antony J. Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state, recently said, "We always knew we had not gotten everything, that the Syrians had not been fully forthcoming in their declaration."

Michael McFaul, Obama's former ambassador to Russia, said, "For me, this tragedy underscores the dangers of trying to do deals with dictators without a comprehensive, invasive and permanent inspection regime."

Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary of state for human rights under Obama, laments: "The difficult and debatable choice the Obama administration ... made not to use military force when Assad last used nerve gas against his people (in 2013) will shape our thinking about this and similar crises for a long time to come. The lesson I would draw from that experience is that when dealing with mass killing by unconventional or conventional means, deterrence is more effective than disarmament."

This brings us the Obama's Iran deal that allegedly prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Why should we believe that Obama was any less duped here than when he claimed the elimination of "all" of Syria's chemical weapons?

We shouldn't.
--------------------
Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder is an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who calls himself the "Sage of South Central," a district of Los Angeles, California. He is a contributor to FrontPage Mag.

Tags: President Obama,
claimed, "All' of Syria's Chemical Weapons, eliminated, another Obama lie
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‘Climate Change’: It Was Better When the Media Didn’t Pretend to Be Impartial

Hot Off the Paid-For Presses  
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: One of the greatest of the great many scams to be hatched and nurtured during the radical Left revolution of the 1960s - was the notion of “objective journalism.” The radicals created the concept - to advance Leftism under artificial cover.

Prior, most newspapers and other outlets were openly organs for one Party or faction or another. That’s why old school newspapers had and have names like “The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.” Then came the Left’s “journalism” scam.

Walter Cronkite was the CBS Evening News’ anchor for nineteen years – and “The Most Trusted Man in America.” Except he lied about the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive. We won the battle – Cronkite didn’t like the war, so he “reported” we lost. His fake news almost singlehandedly turned public opinion against the War.

Cronkite fully outed himself when he retired as a “journalist” – and became a news “analyst.” Where he was free to share his rote, doctrinaire, pedestrian Leftism. And “journalist” after “journalist” for decades has retired just like Cronkite – and revealed themselves just like Cronkite.

To wit: subsequent CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather. Who got caught reporting fake news about George W. Bush, “retired” – and has spent the last decade-plus as a Cronkite-esque Leftist “analyst.”

A key component of the Leftist “news” scam – is journalism school. Which if you want to be an actual journalist – is totally unnecessary. You just need a pen, a pad of paper – and a desire to report what happened.

But if you want to be a Leftist hack posing as a journalist – J-school is fundamental. These aren’t education facilities – they are indoctrination centers.

And perhaps the premiere such re-education camp – is the Columbia University School of Journalism. Which used to actually teach journalism – but too was warped by the awful 1960s. And is now just another hack joint – cranking out hacks.

Billionaire Oil Family Admits Targeting Exxon Over Climate Change: “The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF)’s David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman admitted several months ago in The New York Review of Books that the family intended all along to bring down Exxon because of its supposed anti-global warming positions.

“‘[W]e paid for a team of independent reporters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism to try to determine what Exxon and other US oil companies had really known about climate science, and when…Such an investigation seemed promising because Exxon, in particular, has been a leader of the movement to deny the facts of climate change.’”

Get that? Leftist “independent” journalists – paid by people with an agreeable, announced agenda. Think that might color the outcome of the “journalism?” Of course it does: “The Columbia School of Journalism…published reports alleging the oil company buried internal research showing rising sea levels were due to man-made global warming.…”

And here’s your Joke of the Day (well, one of them): “(Columbia) continues to insist the contributions it received from the RFF, as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), are independent from its research on climate change.”

Sure they are.

And when Leftists pay Leftists for “news” – you get things like this (okay, THIS is your Joke of the Day):

Report Mocked for Blaming 1989 Exxon Valdez Spill on Global Warming: “The article, ‘The role a melting glacier played in Exxon’s biggest disaster,’ earned a few hat tips from the environmental movement after appearing Thursday in the Los Angeles Times, but the taunting from climate-catastrophe challengers has been merciless.

“‘Blindingly stupid,’ ‘climate change fan fiction,’ ‘irrelevant’ and ‘ridiculous’ were among the insults hurled at the report, written by students from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project.”

In case you don’t remember what actually happened: “Anyone who has ever followed the story knows that the only ice responsible for the Exxon Valdez spill would be the ice cooling the captain’s many cocktails that night….”

And again, this closed circle of Leftist fake news is adamantly insisting that it isn’t a closed circle of Leftist fake news: “A disclosure at the end of the article said that the foundations ‘have no involvement in or influence over the articles produced by project fellows in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times.’”

To paraphrase William Shakespeare – the Leftists doth protest too much, methinks.

And as we have previously pointed out, all of this paid-for fake news was Phase One of the Rockefeller anti-Exxon scam. Phase Two was Leftist state Attorneys General opening fake investigations – predicated upon this paid-for fake news.

And the Sir Alec Guinness of this awful Leftist staged play – is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Who has at this point in his Exxon persecution spent several years chasing several rabbits down several holes. And in oil company parlance (and to mix metaphors) – all of those holes have been dry.

And so desperate has this Rockefeller-Schneiderman-“Journalism” Leftist contingent become – they are dishonestly rewriting well-known, exquisitely-documented 30-year-old history about an oil tanker and its drunk captain.

Virtues of Journalism Are at Stake -- Yeah – that ship has sailed.
----------------
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter   /   Facebook.

Tags: Seton Motley, Less Government, Climate Change, Media, fake news To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sweet Baby Change . . .

. . . Out with Obama’s James Taylor diplomacy and in with Donald Trump America first approach.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco"

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Sweet Baby Change, Obama's James Taylor diplomacy, Donald Trump, America First To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Calling Hatch Home

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Back in 2012, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch pledged that, if elected, his current six-year term would be his last. On Election Day 2018, Hatch will be 84 years old — and have spent more than half his life in Washington.

Still, Utah’s senior senator just announced he intends to run for re-election for an eighth term.

Why? Our newly-elected president, Hatch told a Salt Lake City TV station, “is all over me to run again.” And so is the leadership in the Republican Senate — and even in the House. Or so he says.

But what about the people of Utah? A poll this past January found that 78 percent of Utahans “definitely” or “probably” did not want Hatch to seek re-election — with 58 percent in the “definitely” camp.

“Hatch’s bid for an eighth term is an endorsement of term limits,” argued Richard Davis, a political science professor at Brigham Young University, yesterday in the Deseret News.

“For many years, I opposed term limits because I felt legislators needed the time to gain knowledge and handle the long-standing bureaucracy and the power of interest groups,” Davis wrote. “However, I have concluded that such knowledge can be gained relatively quickly and would become more effective if there were not highly senior politicians, like Hatch, who dominate a legislative body for many years.”

In 1976, Hatch challenged an incumbent with the line: “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”

Today, having spent over 40 years in power, Hatch only wants more . . . and calls Washington home.

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, Senator Orrin Hatch, Utah, elections To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

AG Jeff Sessions Shuts Down Border To Illegal Immigrants . . .

. . . but more needs to be done to undo Obama’s amnesty
Natalia Castro: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a trip to the border to get a firsthand idea of how to solve America’s illegal immigration crisis. As he returned from , Sessions appeared to be bringing with him greater border security, but there remain key issues of contention have still yet to be addressed.

Through a memorandum for all federal prosecutors, Sessions has called for an increase in the enforcement of several notable immigration laws and an increase in penalties for breaking these crimes as well.

To curb the entry and reentry of illegal immigrants, Sessions has asked prosecutors to increase sentencing for bringing in and harboring certain aliens; improper entry by aliens; reentry of removed aliens; aggravated identity theft and fraud or misuse of visas, permits, and other documents; and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. Sessions requested that prosecutors enforce these charges to the fullest extent of the law, following through on the law and order approach President Trump heralded in his presidential campaign.

But the Department of Justice is not just trusting prosecutors to follow through on his vision, as the Sessions memorandum explained, “In furtherance of these objectives, I also direct every District to designate a Border Security Coordinator… These Coordinators will be responsible for overseeing the investigation and prosecution of the offenses listed above; attending training programs with other Coordinators regarding these offenses; providing legal advice and training to AUSAs regarding these offenses; and maintaining and routinely reporting prosecution statistics related to these offenses.”

These coordinators will work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protections and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to connect federal immigration policy to local law enforcement. The Department of Justice is tackling illegal immigration head on at the local, state, and federal level to ensure complete compliance.

As Sessions confronts concerns about illegal entry and reentry to the country, he has also begun attacking the bureaucratic backlog of immigration cases.

During his public address in Arizona, Sessions pledged, “We will put 50 more immigration judges on the bench this year and 75 next year. We can no longer afford to wait 18-24 months to get these new judges on the bench…I have implemented a new, streamlined hiring plan. It requires just as much vetting as before, but reduces the timeline, reflecting the dire need to reduce the backlogs in our immigration courts.”

Sessions also noted that the Department of Justice has already added 25 judges to detention centers along the border.

One topic Sessions neglected to mention during his trip to the Southern border was the status of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides illegal immigrants who enter the country as minors with protection from deportation. There was also Obama’s amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants with U.S. born children that has yet to be addressed.

Despite campaigning against this program, which has granted amnesty to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, both Trump and Session have remained silent on the issue — for now. It may eventually be addressed, but not as of this writing.

As Attorney General, Sessions appears to be making progress in halting the ability for immigrants to enter the country illegally. If he succeeds, his efforts will allow President Trump to check off curbing illegal immigration as an accomplishment during his first 100 days, but this progress must not end. The Obama era of lawlessness and amnesty must finally end; Sessions and Trump must prove they are willing to finish the job and repeal Obama’s harmful policies, including any and all amnesty.
--------------------
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, Shuts Down Border, To Illegal Immigrants, Natalia Castro, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Successful Societies

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: What makes a society successful? With all the talk this last year about trying to Make America Great Again, the focus has been on individual political and economic policies. As important as those are, we need to step back and ask the bigger question about what makes for successful societies.

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson has an answer to that fundamental question. His book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, puts so much in historical context: “For 500 years the West patented six killer applications that set it apart. The first to download them was Japan. Over the last century, one Asian country after another has downloaded these killer apps—competition, modern science, the rule of law and private property rights, modern medicine, the consumer society, and the work ethic. Those six things are the secret sauce of Western civilization.”

Most of these ideas that Ferguson mentions arose in the West because of Christianity. In previous commentaries I have talked about how a Judeo-Christian view gave rise to modern science, legal principles, and even the Protestant work ethic. If these were the killer apps that made for a successful society, then certainly a Christian foundation for society today would nourish and develop these even more effectively than any other cultural or religious foundation.

Of course, here is the problem. Our secular society loves the fruits of Christianity, but is also ready to cut down the tree that provided them. We see attacks on Christianity and attacks on religious liberty. Christian values gave rise to successful societies, so a return to biblical values is an important ingredient some trend watchers have been missing.
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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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‘Skype Seats’ Make White House Press Briefing More Accessible

White House press secretary Sean Spicer takes questions
from reporters calling in via Skype during the daily press
briefing at the White House. (Img via The Daily Signal article)
by Morgan Walker: From the moment he took office in January, President Donald Trump put the establishment media on notice.

Through his tweets and press conferences, Trump isn’t shy about calling out news organizations by name or leveling criticism.

And in the White House press briefing room, the Trump administration is changing the dynamic in a way that gives reporters outside the Beltway unprecedented access.

Journalists, commentators, and bloggers who don’t reside in Washington, D.C., now have the ability to ask White House press secretary Sean Spicer questions during his daily briefings via Skype, a video chat service that displays on the monitors behind Spicer’s podium.

The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room—a place that was once reserved for Washington insiders—is now more accessible than ever under Trump.

The change was among Spicer’s first actions as press secretary. He announced the addition of the “Skype seats” in January.

“This will open up the briefing to journalists who live beyond 50 miles of the Washington, D.C., area and to organizations that don’t currently have a hard pass,” Spicer explained.

But this doesn’t sit well with everyone in Washington.

CNN’s Brian Stelter warned that Skype questions “could be a way to stack the room with pro-Trump media outlets.”

SiriusXM White House correspondent Jared Rizzi called reporters and commentators participating in Skype briefings “Skypeophants.” He suggested it was a way for Spicer to dodge hard questions.
According to Bryan Crabtree, an Atlanta radio host and one of those Skype questioners, Americans don’t feel represented by the reporters who are currently sitting in the White House briefing room.

“They feel like that media is in another elite establishment,” Crabtree told The Daily Signal. “I don’t think this is to reject the elite media; this is to add a component, which certainly makes them feel very threatened, but connects this press briefing room to the communities across America.”

Kim Kalunian of Rhode Island’s WPRI—the first Skype reporter to ask a question—told The Daily Signal the White House is offering “Skype seats” not only to create a more diverse press pool, but also to get a glance of what’s happening to Americans outside of Washington, D.C.

“There have been instances where people comment that a Skype reporter asks questions that are outside the string of topics the press pool has been asking,” Kalunian said. “But that’s the point—to get a fresh perspective.”

For Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman, her goal was to ask questions relevant to the American people, not what the Washington press corps deems important.

“I watch these pressers and for the most part it’s the same question asked a hundred times by the members of the media who are literally just playing gotcha,” Kaufman told The Daily Signal. “You don’t learn anything and I had some real questions that I wanted to ask.”

During Kaufman’s briefing on Feb. 14, the conversation centered around former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation. When Spicer called on Kaufman, she didn’t ask about Flynn, but rather about an issue of importance to her listeners in South Florida.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m approximately 6 miles away from Mar-a-Lago right now, and the president met with Prime Minister Abe from Japan at Mar-a-Lago this weekend. And besides giving us traffic and security nightmares, there were apparently conversations that took place by telephone and with the prime minister that were in a relatively insecure dining area. There is already video of this surfacing. Will there be a [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility] put in place in these dining areas, these public places? And one last question. When he meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu tomorrow, will they be discussing moving the embassy, and settlements?According to Kaufman, Floridians were concerned about Trump’s discussion with Japan’s prime minister and she wanted to bring attention to it because no one else was.

Kaufman’s briefing occurred one day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to arrive in the United States, but it was overshadowed by other events.

“Nobody in there asked a question about Israel. I did,” she explained to The Daily Signal. “It was relevant and it was on people’s minds, especially to my older Jewish listeners who are concerned that he’s not gonna move the embassy. So, now the White House was on notice. Look at this question, they’re already concerned about the embassy. And it came up. That’s relevant.”

Skype reporters bring a different viewpoint to the briefing room. Their questions are far different from the questions typically asked by those in the Washington and New York “media bubbles,” Crabtree noted.

“I think if you’re sitting there in those two bubbles, you don’t really know what’s going on in a true sense in the business world and everyday lives,” he said.

“When you’re on a talk radio show or you’re writing about things from the perspective of living in Atlanta or Texas or wherever these folks are that are doing these Skype seats, then you are able to better ask questions that reflect what the American people really would want to know.”

Because Skype questions differ from those from journalists physically in the briefing room, they’ve invited scrutiny—or suggestions like Rizzi’s that they’re soft balls for Spicer.

“A lot of people have asked me if my question was prescreened,” Kalunian said. “I did not have to tell them the topic of my questions. I worked with my newsroom to come up with different questions. But they were not prescreened.”

Kaufman said she was asked if her question was given to her by the White House.

“My son is a member of the media, but a different style of media, and he texted me right after the presser and said, ‘Was that question handed to you by the Trump people?’ He thought they told me what to ask, which was completely untrue,” Kaufman explained.

“That’s how the mainstream looks at us,” she continued. “Like I wasn’t smart enough to think of that question or they needed that question asked, so that’s how they set it up and that’s not what happened.”

Kentucky newspaper publisher Jeff Jobe said the lack of diversity and excess media bias prompted him to participate.

“I’ve been in news 30 years and it always amazes me there can be 100 newspapers in the room and they come out with the same story. I’ve always thought that instead they ought to come back with 100 different stories,” he said.

Jobe, who asked Spicer about coal restrictions and the economic future of Appalachia, said it gave people in his community the opportunity to have their voices heard and their questions answered.

“There’s a lot of us outside the big cities and we’re covering news, too,” Jobe said.

According to Kaufman, the Skype seats are accomplishing exactly what Spicer intended.

“I let the president know that we have questions, too,” Kaufman said. “More importantly, I let the press know that they’re not the only ones in the game anymore.”
------------
Morgan Walker is a member of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

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