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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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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)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017


Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!
The ARRA News Service is not expected to publish articles on Thursday.  There is minimum expectations also for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is time for some R and R and catching up with family and friends!

Below is a Thanksgiving Quiz developed by Kirby Anderson in 2001. Regardless of the passage of time, facts and truth remain timeless. Good items to share with your family. ~ Dr. Bill Smith, Editor


A Thanksgiving Quiz by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: This nation was founded by Christians, and Thanksgiving is a time when we can reflect upon this rich, Christian heritage. But many of us are often ignorant of our country’s origins, so we have put together a Thanksgiving quiz to test your knowledge about this nation’s biblical foundations. We hope that you will not only take this test and pass it on to others, but we also hope that you will be encouraged to study more about the Christian foundations of this country.

1. What group began the tradition of Thanksgiving?
A day of thanksgiving was set aside by the Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony. This colony was the first permanent settlement in New England. The Pilgrims were originally known as the Forefathers or Founders. The term Pilgrim was first used in the writings of colonist William Bradford and is now used to designate them.

2. Why did they celebrate Thanksgiving?
Life was hard in the New World. Out of 103 Pilgrims, 51 of these died in the first terrible winter. After the first harvest was completed, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer. By 1623, a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during their prayers. The custom prevailed in New England and eventually became a national holiday.

3. When did Thanksgiving become a national holiday?
The state of New York adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom in 1817. By the time of the Civil War, many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation for the fourth Thursday of November.

4. Why did the Pilgrims leave Europe?
Among the early Pilgrims was a group of Separatists who were members of a religious movement that broke from the Church of England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1606 William Brewster led a group of Separatists to Leiden (in the Netherlands) to escape religious persecution in England. After living in Leiden for more than ten years, some members of the group voted to emigrate to America. The voyage was financed by a group of London investors who were promised produce from America in exchange for their assistance.

5. How did the Pilgrims emigrate to the New World?
On September 16, 1620, a group numbering 102 men, women, and children left Plymouth, England, for America on the Mayflower. Having been blown off course from their intended landing in Virginia by a terrible storm, the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod on November 11. On December 21, they landed on the site of Plymouth Colony. While still on the ship, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact.

6. What is the Mayflower Compact?
On November 11, 1620, Governor William Bradford and the leaders on the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact before setting foot on land. They wanted to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in their lives and their need to obey Him. The Mayflower Compact was America’s first great constitutional document and is often called “The American Covenant.”

7. What is the significance of the Mayflower Compact?
After suffering years of persecution in England and spending difficult years of exile in the Netherlands, the Pilgrims wanted to establish their colony on the biblical principles they suffered for in Europe. Before they set foot on land, they drew up this covenant with God. They feared launching their colony until there was a recognition of God’s sovereignty and their collective need to obey Him.

8. What does the Mayflower Compact say?
“In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends foresaid, and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have here under subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign Lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland.”

9. Why didn’t the pilgrims sail to the original destination in Virginia?
The Pilgrims were blown off course and landed at Cape Cod in what now appears to be God’s providence. Because their patent did not include this territory, they consulted with the Captain of the Mayflower and resolved to sail southward. But the weather and geography did not allow them to do so. They encountered “dangerous shoals and roaring breakers” and were quickly forced to return to Cape Cod. From there they began scouting expeditions and finally discovered what is now Plymouth. Had they arrived just a few years earlier, they would have been attacked and destroyed by one of the fiercest tribes in the region. However, three years earlier (in 1617), the Patuxet tribe had been wiped out by a plague. The Pilgrims thus landed in one of the few places where they could survive.

10. What role did the lone surviving Indian play in the lives of the Pilgrims?
There was one survivor of the Patuxet tribe: Squanto. He was kidnapped in 1605 by Captain Weymouth and taken to England where he learned English and was eventually able to return to New England. When he found his tribe had been wiped out by the plague, he lived with a neighboring tribe. When Squanto learned that the Pilgrims were at Plymouth, he came to them and showed them how to plant corn and fertilize with fish. He later converted to Christianity. William Bradford said that Squanto “was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

11. What was William Bradford’s proclamation for Thanksgiving?
Three years after their arrival, and two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor Bradford made an official proclamation of a day of Thanksgiving:

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at the meeting house, on the hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November the 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to the pastor and render thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings.

12. Were the colonists dedicated to Christian principles in their lives on days other than Thanksgiving?
The Pilgrims were, and so were the other colonists. Consider this sermon by John Winthrop given while aboard the Arabella in 1630. This is what he said about the Puritans who formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony: “For the persons, we are a Company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ. . . . For the work we have in hand, it is by a mutual consent through a special overruling providence, and a more than an ordinary approbation of the Churches of Christ to seek out a place of Cohabitation and Consortship under a due form of Government both civil and ecclesiastical.” They established a Christian Commonwealth in which every area of their lives both civil and ecclesiastical fell under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

13. How did the Puritans organize their economic activities?
After the first year, the colony foundered because of the collective economic system forced upon them by the merchants in London. All the settlers worked only for the joint partnership and were fed out of the common stores. The land and the houses built on it were the joint property of the merchants and colonists for seven years and then divided equally.

When Deacon Carver died, William Bradford became governor. Seeing the failure of communal farming, he instituted what today would be called free enterprise innovations. Bradford assigned plots of land to each family to work, and the colony began to flourish. Each colonist was challenged to better themselves and their land by working to their fullest capacity. Many Christian historians and economists today point to this fundamental economic change as one of the key reasons for the success of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

14. What has been the significance of the Pilgrims and their legacy of Thanksgiving?
On the bicentennial celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, Daniel Webster on December 22, 1820, declared the following: “Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.”

The legacy of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is the legacy of godly men and women who sought to bring Christian principles to this nation. These spread throughout the nation for centuries.

15. How were Christian principles brought to the founding of this republic?
Most historians will acknowledge that America was born in the midst of a revival. This occurred from approximately 1740-1770 and was known as the First Great Awakening. Two prominent preachers during that time were Jonathan Edwards (best known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”) and George Whitfield. They preached up and down the East Coast and saw revival break out. Churches were planted, schools were built, and lives were changed.

16. How influential were Christian ideas in the Constitution?
While the Constitution does not specifically mention God or the Bible, the influence of Christianity can plainly be seen. Professor M.E. Bradford shows in his book A Worthy Company, that fifty of the fifty-five men who signed the Constitution were church members who endorsed the Christian faith.

17. Weren’t many of the founders non-Christians?
Yes, some were. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are good examples of men involved in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence who were influenced by ideas from the Enlightenment. Yet revisionists have attempted to make these men more secular than they really were. Jefferson, for example, wrote to Benjamin Rush that “I am a Christian . . . sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others.” Franklin called for prayer at the Constitutional Convention saying, “God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his notice?” While they were hardly examples of biblical Christianity, they nevertheless believed in God and believed in absolute standards which should be a part of the civil order.

18. How important was Christianity in colonial education in America?
Young colonists’ education usually came from the Bible, the Hornbook, and the New England Primer. The Hornbook consisted of a single piece of parchment attached to a paddle of wood. Usually the alphabet, the Lord’s Prayer, and religious doctrines were written on it. The New England Primer taught a number of lessons and included such things as the names of the Old and New Testament books, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and John Cotton’s “Spiritual Milk for American Babies.” Even when teaching the alphabet, biblical themes were used: “A is for Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B is for Heaven to find, the Bible mind. C is for Christ crucified, for sinners died.”

19. How important was Christianity in colonial higher education?
Most of the major universities were established by Christian denominations. Harvard was a Puritan school. William and Mary was an Anglican school. Yale was Congregational, Princeton was Presbyterian, and Brown was Baptist. The first motto for Harvard was Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae (Truth for Christ and the Church). Students gathered for prayer and readings from the Scriptures every day. Yale was established by Increase Mather and Cotton Mather because Harvard was moving away from its original Calvinist philosophy and eventually drifted to Unitarianism. The founders of Yale said that “every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerable to lead a Godly, sober life.”

20. If Christianity was so important in colonial America, why does the Constitution establish a wall of separation between church and state?
Contrary to what many Americans may think, the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, there is no mention of the words church, state, or separation in the First Amendment or anywhere within the Constitution. The First Amendment does guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.

The phrase is found in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Baptist pastors in Danbry, Connecticut in 1802 in which he gave his opinion of the establishment clause of the First Amendment and then felt that this was “building a wall of separation between church and state.” At best this was a commentary on the First Amendment, from an individual who was in France when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted.
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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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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Conservatives Sound 'Wake-up' Call in Washington

by Star Parker: A group of 44 conservative leaders have sent a letter to all members of Congress that might be called a conservative wake-up call.

The group represents, through their various organizations, a broad array of conservative concerns. But they boil it all down to three areas that all agree need immediate legislative action.

Tax reform, which currently is in the pipeline. Bolstering our defense budget. And getting the federal budget in order through fiscal restraint.

The point these conservatives wish to drive home to Congress is that Donald Trump's election in 2016 was not just an anti-establishment vote. It was a vote to push a crucial agenda, on which he ran, for getting out nation back toward founding principles.

If Congress fails to deliver this essential agenda, say these conservatives, raw dissatisfaction with Washington could well drive unhappy voters apathetically back home, relinquishing power to the left. This might explain Democratic victories in the most recent elections, and particularly the defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for governor in Virginia.

Gallup polls each month ask Americans, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?"

No. 1 on the list for the last several months running is "dissatisfaction with government."

Similarly, a recent study from Harvard Business School focuses on dysfunction in Washington and how it is driving widespread public dissatisfaction.

Pew Research polling, cited in this study, shows that only 20 percent of Americans "trust the federal government always or most of the time." For some perspective on how we've changed, in the early 1960s, more than 70 percent of Americans expressed trust in the federal government.

The Harvard study sums up what is driving disaffection among the voting public. "The real problem is that our political system is no longer designed to serve the public interest, and has been slowly reconfigured to benefit the private interests of gain-seeking private organizations: the political parties and their industry allies."

Hence, the sentiment to elect an "outsider" like Trump to "drain the swamp."

Donald Trump is the fifth American president to never have had held prior elective office. But he is the first to never have served in any public office. Three of the five, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower were generals. Herbert Hoover was a businessman, but he had been head of the U.S. Food Administration and was Secretary of Commerce before being elected president.

Donald Trump is the first American president with zero prior experience in public life. He was elected as a true outsider.

A sense among voters that they have been shut out of their own country, that Washington politics is now a spectator sport, where voters have as much influence on what is happening on the field as they have when they watch an NFL game, helped elect Trump.

Conservative leaders want to convey that the political capital of this dissatisfaction is short lived. Trump voters are looking for the agenda.

Fortunately, the president can still move things forward administratively. And, indeed, the Trump administration is getting high grades for deregulation on a broad front. This is helping to drive the current economic recovery.

But Congress needs to get into the fray.

We still need to fix health care. The Congressional Budget Office notes the dangers of our national debt, which now hovers around 100 percent of our GDP.

With Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership, the House has just passed critically important tax reform. Now Senate leadership must herd the cats and get this passed. This first sweeping tax reform in over 30 years is vital for an economy looking for oxygen.

The election of Donald Trump was a political event without precedent in our nation's history. Conservative leaders are sounding the alarm in Washington, reminding Congress what the 2016 election meant. And that the clock is ticking.
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Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. CURE is a non-profit think tank that addresses issues of race and poverty through principles of faith, freedom and personal responsibility.

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Be Thankful

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Be Thankful

I love Thanksgiving. It's not just a day off work, a day devoted to parades and football, not even to turkeys and pumpkin pies. As the name makes clear, it is about giving thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy.

Thanksgiving traces its origins back to the Pilgrims -- those hardy pioneers who arrived on the shores of North America and, against all odds, carved a nation out of the wilderness. They came to the New World not seeking fortune, but freedom. Specifically, the freedom to worship God as they wished.

Thanking God for His blessings was a routine experience in our early years. The first official National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was issued by the Continental Congress on November 1, 1777, in celebration for the victory against the British at the Battle of Saratoga.

In October of 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued a formal proclamation calling on the country to observe the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." And as America confronted a world at war in 1941, Congress voted to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November.

Continuing that tradition, President Trump issued a formal proclamation declaring this Thursday as a National Day of Thanksgiving. Here are some excerpts from his proclamation:

"On Thanksgiving Day, as we have for nearly four centuries, Americans give thanks to Almighty God for our abundant blessings. We gather with the people we love to show gratitude for our freedom, for our friends and families, and for the prosperous Nation we call home. . .

"Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful and charitable spirit. When we open our hearts and extend our hands to those in need, we show humility for the bountiful gifts we have received. . .

"This Thanksgiving, in addition to rejoicing in precious time spent with loved ones, let us find ways to serve and encourage each other in both word and deed. We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful.

"As one people, we seek God's protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith."

In spite of the challenges we face today, I believe all of us can be thankful to be Americans. We are the descendants of the patriots who declared that "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Tomorrow, when Carol and I celebrate Thanksgiving with our family, we will give thanks for America, for our men and women in uniform and for you – each and every one of our cherished friends and supporters who make our work possible.

We wish you all of God's blessings at this special time of year.
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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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DOJ To Denaturalize Mexican, Colombian And Nigerian Child Molesters

AG Jeff Sessions
by Daniel Greenfield:  Denaturalization is a basic tool. Unfortunately it's used all too rarely to remove the citizenship of people who should never have had it in the first place. Obama Inc. weaponized it, as it did everything else. But Attorney General Sessions is enaturalizing child molesters who failed to disclose their convictions.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday filed lawsuits to revoke the U.S. citizenship of five immigrants who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing minors in incidents determined to have taken place before they became naturalized, Fox News has learned.

“Committing fraud in any immigration matter undermines the integrity of our immigration system, and is a betrayal of the American people’s generosity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “It is especially appalling when it also involves the sexual abuse of children.”

Jorge Luis Alvarado, 56, a native of Mexico. Alvarado became a citizen on March 9, 2000 and pleaded guilty in 2007 to committing indecency with a child by sexual contact. The DOJ says it took place shortly before filing his naturalization application.

Alberto Mario Beleno, 64, a native of Colombia. Beleno became a citizen on Feb. 26, 2001. He pleaded guilty that year to the molestation of a minor in 1993 and 1994.

Eleazar Corral Valenzuela, 49, a native of Mexico. Valenzuela became a citizen on June 15, 2000. The Justice Department said he sexually abused a minor child before he applied for naturalization and pleaded guilty to the charge in 2000.

Moises Herrera-Gonzalez, 55, a native of Mexico. Herrera-Gonzalez became a citizen on Sept. 25, 1999. He pleaded guilty in 2002 of sexually assaulting a six-year-old child in 1996.

Emmanuel Olugbenga Omopariola, 60, a native of Nigeria. Omopariola became a citizen on July 1, 2004. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to unlawful sexual contact with a seven-year-old child before he was naturalized.
Judicial activism has blocked certain traditional uses of denaturalization, for example against Islamic terrorists, and while the DOJ is on safe legal ground here, Obama and Clinton judicial activists have shown a willingness to ignore precedent for the sake of the #resistance. Still, Sessions is betting that few of them will want to protect child molesters. So these make useful test cases.
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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
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Tags: DOJ, Denaturalize, Mexican, Colombian, Nigerian Child Molesters<, Daniel Greenberg, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Grassley Abandons Slip on Judges

by Tony Perkins: Don't say we didn't warn you, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Democrats at a rocky Senate Judiciary meeting last week. When Democrats blew up the 225-year-old judicial confirmation rules in 2013, Grassley said they'd regret it. Now, four years later, the Left is finding out just how right he was.

Sure, clearing the way for a simple majority to rubber-stamp the president's judges seemed like a good idea at the time. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, liberals suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the same process they manipulated. Donald Trump certainly doesn't mind. He's been filling bench vacancies at lightning speed, shattering records set in much less partisan times. Now, left without the only weapon that could stop a confirmation -- the filibuster -- Democrats are grasping for anything to put the brakes on this high-speed train of nominees.

What they've settled on is a century-old tradition born out of common courtesy: the blue slip. Dating back to 1917, if a president nominated someone to the Senate, committee chairmen would send an evaluation form of sorts to the person's home-town senators. They could return it, signaling their willingness to hold a hearing, or withhold it -- usually grinding the progress on that nomination to a halt.

Desperate for leverage, liberal senators like Al Franken (Minn.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), and Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.) have tried to use these blue slips as the obstructionist method du jour. There's just one problem: the practice has never been an official Senate rule. Instead, it's more of a gentlemanly agreement to give deference to the two leaders who may know the person in question best. So while senators have taken to withholding their blue slips in protest, there's nothing stopping Senator Grassley from moving forward without them.

And on Thursday, he promised to do just that. The longtime conservative announced to his colleagues that his patience has officially run out. "As I've said all along, I won't allow the blue slip process to be abused. I won't allow senators to prevent a Committee hearing for political or ideological reasons... The Democrats seriously regret that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they would. But they can't expect to use the blue slip courtesy in its place. That's not what the blue slip is meant for."

The tradition was never created, Grassley went on, to be a home-state veto. And after Thanksgiving, he refuses to treat it like one. When the Senate flies back from turkey day, the Iowa Republican has already announced his plan to move on Eighth and Fifth Circuit Court nominees David Stras and Kyle Duncan. "I'll add that I'm less likely to proceed on a district court nominee who does not have two positive blue slips from home state. But circuit courts cover multiple states. There's less reason to defer to the views of a single state's senator for such nominees."

For President Trump, Grassley has been a perfect partner in accomplishing what most voters agreed was one of their biggest priorities: reshaping the federal judiciary. "When the history books are written about the Trump administration, the legacy will be the men and women confirmed to the trial bench," Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) explained. And when that happens, some of the credit will almost certainly belong to leaders like Chuck Grassley.
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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update an written with the aid of FRC senior writers

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Dumb Sensors, Deadly Consequences

Michelle Malkin
by Michelle Malkin: The circumstances of U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez's death this week remain murkier than the Rio Grande River.

Agent Martinez succumbed to critical head injuries early Sunday morning. An unnamed partner, who came to Martinez's aid after he radioed for help from a remote area of the Big Bend sector in Texas, also suffered serious wounds. Whether by deliberate ambush or accident, one of our border enforcers is dead and the other hospitalized.

This much is clear: Dumb sensors + depleted forces = deadly border disorder.

Agent Martinez had ventured out alone to check on a ground sensor to determine who or what had set it off. He confirmed to his colleagues that human activity had activated the alarm before he died.

Here's the scandal: Our federal government has been squandering billions of dollars on inferior border technology for years. It's a monumental waste of taxpayer funds and a dangerous redistribution of wealth to crony contractors, whose ineffective pet projects are putting our men and women on the front lines at risk.

Nearly 14,000 ground sensors have been littered along the southern border over the past several decades -- some dating back to the Vietnam War era. Untold numbers have simply been buried and lost by federal workers who failed to record where they put them. Twelve years ago, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general's report found that agents couldn't determine the cause of 62 percent of the sensor alerts because they were "unable to respond to the dispatch, or it took the agent too long to get to the sensor location."

Compounding staff shortages are outdated sensors unable to distinguish between humans, vehicles and animals. They can't tell cows from criminals or wild boars from dirty bombers. Thirty-four percent of alerts were confirmed false alarms in the 2005 review. Only 2 percent resulted in apprehensions of immigrants in this country illegally, the feds admitted.

The Arizona Republic reported that "a possible false alarm from a ground sensor, and faulty radio communications, may have contributed to the death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie in a friendly-fire incident" in 2012. "(A)gents didn't detect anyone but each other when they arrived. Ivie, responding separately, apparently mistook the other agents for smugglers and opened fire. One of the agents shot and killed him."

A $1 billion integrated fixed tower project, fronted by Boeing, was supposed to remedy the flaws of the ground sensor system. A surveillance program along the southwest border in Arizona, the IFT systems "are fixed surveillance assets that provide long-range persistent surveillance" using radars that send pictures back to a central hub to monitor illegal crossings and criminal activity.

But the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general reported this summer that the towers had never been properly tested for suitability and operational effectiveness. Its successors haven't fared much better.

On a trip to the Sierra Vista, Arizona, region earlier this summer for my CRTV.com show, "Michelle Malkin Investigates," I talked to ranchers who pointed out fancy new towers with fatal blind spots, out of reach of deep washes and heavy forests where illegal immigrants and drug smugglers travel.

"We have $50 million of infrastructure on this ranch now," fourth-generation Arizona rancher John Ladd told me during a tour of his property, "and none of it has worked. Camera towers, radar, fence, roads, street lights." All the technology in the world is useless, he has long pointed out to politicians and bureaucrats, without boots on the ground. And Border Patrol agents parked in air-conditioned cubicles hours from the border don't count.

"You got 600 (agents) in Tucson" who "take 6 hours to get to the border. Move them down! You got Nogales ... and Naco and Douglas that are within a mile of the border," Ladd points out. "All the rest of them are more than 50 miles north. Why do we have that? What good is that?"

Longtime illegal immigration activist and systems engineer Glenn Spencer, who I first met in California in the 1990s, has lived and worked on the Arizona border for more than decade. He patented and tested a pilot system of seismic detection and ranging on 1.5 miles of his friend John Ladd's property called Seidarm and paired it with a drone, dubbed Hermes, which automatically launches when border activity is detected within 500 feet of the smart sensors. It can be manufactured and built at a fraction of the cost of the big defense contractors' systems. Unlike much of the government's gold-plated technology, Ladd said: "It worked."

"If they had SEIDARM/HERMES installed, they could have checked out the ground sensor without putting the agent in jeopardy," Spencer told me after Agent Martinez's death hit the news this week.

But politicians in both parties have spurned Ladd's pleas and Spencer's proposals. Special interests have raided public coffers to fund border security Kabuki theater and stave off meaningful assessments. Spencer doesn't mince words:

"They don't want to measure it; they don't want to secure the border; they want to make it LOOK like they are."

Beltway business as usual. Another agent's life sacrificed. President Trump, the clock is ticking.
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Michelle Malkin is mother, wife, blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, and author. She shares many of her articles and thoughts at MichelleMalkin.com. Her article was first shared On Towbhall.com.

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Americans, Property Rights and the Supreme Court!

by Ken Blackwell: Kelo v. City of New London stands as the apogee of Supreme Court cases regarding property rights, especially for conservatives. A narrow 5-4 decision recklessly expanded the scope of eminent domain, allowing private developers and the government to collude and forcibly take private property away from citizens for "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Now the Court is faced with another landmark case on property rights that will once again be a defining moment for conservatives.

Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC (Oil States for short) asks the court to decide the scope and power of the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board (PTAB), and whether this unaccountable government agency can extra-constitutionally extinguish "... private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury." The PTAB (which is part of the Patent and Trademark Office) was created to provide another venue for challenging the validity of patents. This extra-judicial system has allowed ideology driven decisions to invalidate pre-existing patents, as in the case of Oil States, in clear violation of the patent holder's property rights.

Last month, dozens of conservative leaders issued a "Memo for the Movement" which called for an innovation and economic competitiveness agenda that included the need for stronger patent protections, including the need to reign in the out-of-control Patent Trail and Appeal Board "... an administrative tribunal created after previous congressional reform and has been labeled a "patent death squad" with the sole purpose of invalidating patents."

Since its inception, the PTAB has become a rogue agency that has tramped on the rights of patent holders, invalidating a very high percentage of patents. Officials have even embraced the moniker f it being a "death squad for patents." Virtually anyone can challenge a patent, multiple times and patent holders have fewer rights to protect them.

I joined with numerous conservatives in an amicus brief in this case, which wrote that the PTAB, may "cancel existing patents irrespective of when they issued, how many times they have been upheld in the courts, or even how many layers and rounds of review they have survived within the Patent Office itself."

While an overzealous regulatory agency may be old news to many of us, the PTAB presents a clear constitutional problem in my view. This agency endangers the court's role in reviewing patent property rights as it can essentially overrule court decisions, upholding patent rights. As we wrote in the Amicus, "Not only does this approach undermine the valuable property rights in patents, it destabilizes the delicate balance between the three branches of government. The administrative state cannot be allowed to extend this far, and the Court should, by reversing the decision below, take the opportunity to set firm limits on Congressional attempts to expand the power of the political branches at the expense of the federal judiciary."

The regulatory uncertainty caused by the ideological driven agendas of entities like PTAB has endangered American innovation and competitiveness. At one time, not long ago, America was the world leader in invention and risk taking, thanks to the very concept of patent rights as property rights being enshrined in our constitution. The idea of ownership of invention and innovation, coupled with the legal rights to that ownership, is unique in the world and gave us a competitive edge. But over time, that edge was eroded by bad policies and court decisions that have eroded our IP protections and have added uncertainty to the very concept of patent and property protections.

The US Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center has been tracking this fade in our global standing. In their most recent International IP Index, the United States dropped from number one globally to number ten when it comes to the protection of "patents, related rights and limitations." For the first time ever, another nation would sit at the top of this ranking. Complacency and ideological agendas have undermined our patent rights, and in doing so, undermined the United States of America. While America's innovation edge has declined, others – including China – has risen.

Once again, the Supreme Court is faced with a case that could vastly change the scope of our property rights as Americans. Just as Kelo granted private developers and local and state governments vast new powers with eminent domain, Oil States has the potential to enshrine the radical expansion of power bureaucratic agencies to undermine patent protections and to undermine the very notion of patents as a fundamental property right. Continuing on this path may guarantee America's decline as the global leader in innovation and property rights.
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Ken Blackwell is a member of the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union. He was a Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, a former ambassador to the U.N., Ohio Secretary of State and mayor of Cincinnati. He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

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The Resistance . . .

. . . Is it appropriate for Democrats, the experts when it comes to abusing women, to criticize Roy Moore?

Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

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A Revolutionary Turn-around

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Donald J. Trump, 45th President under the Constitution of these United States, may be re-establishing some constitutional order.

“The president has the power to veto half-baked legislation,” explains Josh Blackman at the National Review. “If Trump returned a bill to Congress, stating in his message that it failed to include sufficient guidelines, there would be a paradigm shift in Washington, D.C.” And, in recent speeches at the Federalist Society, Blackman notes, administration lawyers appear to be advancing just such a shift:
  • Congress must no longer delegate legislative power to the executive branch;
  • Informal “guidance documents” must no longer be used to deprive people of the due process of law; and
  • The courts’ rubber-stamping of executive diktats must end.
Couple this agenda with Trump’s just-in-office executive order instructing that two old rules be stricken for every new rule concocted, and we could be witnessing an almost-revolutionary turn-around here.

Why is this happening?

Not, I think, because Trump is an originalist or strict constructionist. “Donald Trump did not campaign for president as the guy who would reverse the mostly unbroken, century-old trend of the executive power assuming more and more power in the face of an increasingly self-marginalizing Congress,” Matt Welch reminds us over at Reason.

Maybe it is because Trump has been so roundly scorned and rejected and rebelliously opposed by Democrats in general and the far left in particular — including, especially, most major media figures — that the mogul-turned-politician’s many and obvious left-leaning proclivities have been made . . . politically useless. His opposition on the left has sent him right . . . to good policy.

On this issue, anyway.

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

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Answering the New Atheists

Kerby Anderson, Point of View:: Many of the best selling books over the last decade have been written by the New Atheists. Although you may never meet any of these authors, you will certainly interact with skeptics who use their arguments.

One of the best Christian books to help refute many of the arguments by these New Atheists is the book, Is God Just a Human Invention? written by Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow. They answer eighteen of the most-cited arguments used by the New Atheists against religion and especially against Christianity.

One of those arguments is found in the title of the book, that God is merely a human invention. Sigmund Freud wrote that religious beliefs are “illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind.” In other words, we project the existence of God based on a human need. It is wish fulfillment. We wish there would be a God, so we assume that he exists.

As McDowell and Morrow point out in their book, there are many good reasons to reject this idea. One objection is that Freud’s argument begs the question. In other words, it assumes that there is no God and then merely tries to find an explanation for why someone would believe in God anyway.

The projection theory can also cut both ways. If you argue that humans created God out of a need for security, then you could also just as easily argue that atheists believe there is no God because they want to be free and unencumbered by a Creator who might make moral demands on them.

It is not surprising to read how many prominent atheists in the past have acknowledged just that. They wanted their sexual freedom and found that it required them to reject the idea of God. Paul teaches in the book of Romans (1:18) that fallen individuals “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

The Bible also has a good explanation for why most people believe in a God. The writer of Ecclesiastes (3:11) observes that it is God who has “set eternity in the hearts of men.”
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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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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

President Trump's Historic Impact on the American Judiciary

by Newt Gingrich: As the Congress and President Trump continue to work to pass the most significant tax cuts in more than 30 years, the President is also implementing another enormous conservative reform that will strengthen America for decades.
With the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McCo
nnell, President Trump is restoring the intended purpose of the federal bench – to uphold the rule of law as outlined in the Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers intended for the judicial branch to be an impartial institution with the sole mission of interpreting the law and ensuring it is applied fairly to all Americans.

Under the previous administration, judges instead cast themselves as political activists pursuing a liberal-leaning agenda. Our Founders fully understood the threat that a politically saturated judiciary branch posed to our God-given and legally protected American freedoms.
Fortunately, President Trump does too.

With help from Advisor Leonard Leo, as well as guidance from John Malcolm and others at the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, President Trump has already taken monumental steps to restore the integrity of the federal bench by appointing originalist judicial nominees who will apply the law as it is written, rather than how current political forces desire.

In addition to conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, 13 more of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate as of last Thursday. In comparison, only eight Obama appointees had been confirmed by the end of November 2009 – when the Democrat caucus controlled the Senate with 60 seats.

The numbers alone speak to how tremendously effective President Trump and Leader McConnell have been. Republicans have a slim 53-vote Senate majority (including Vice President Pence’s vote). Imagine what they could get done with 60 reliable votes – a point to keep in mind going into the 2018 midterm elections.

The Left and the media are panicked because they know the large-scale changes President Trump is making will have long-lasting, history-shaping effects.

Federal judicial appointments are for life, and President Trump is selecting relatively young individuals (by federal court standards). This means these conservative judges could potentially occupy these positions for a long time. In fact, Washington Post columnist Ronald A. Klain wrote in July that the average age of President Trump’s Court of Appeals nominees was 48 – seven years younger than the average age of Obama’s nominees. This means, “on average, Trump’s appellate court nominees will sit through nearly two more presidential terms than Obama’s,” Klain wrote.

In addition to serving longer terms, these judges will also bring new experiences and aptitudes into the judicial system. This can be tremendously helpful as cases involving cybercrime, data theft, and malicious use of technology become more common.

The importance of this dramatic reshaping of the entire federal court system cannot be overstated. While it is easy to focus on the U.S. Supreme Court, lower and appellate court judges will make decisions that impact ordinary Americans on a daily basis for decades to come. This Trump transformation in the judiciary could establish the most pro-American, pro-individual rights federal bench in modern American history.

There is no doubt the tax cuts President Trump and Republicans in Congress are working on will do wonders to boost our economy, create jobs, and increase wages; and that the Trump deregulation effort will spur innovation and empower Americans to focus on the work they love.

However, the Trump revolution taking place in the federal court system will help our nation continue to prosper by ensuring that our judges protect our lives, liberty, and core values for decades to come.
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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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What Did She Do, Kudos To Walker, What About Jones

by Gary Bauer: What Did She Do? Remember Lois Lerner? She was the IRS official in charge of ensuring that conservative Tea Party organizations were subjected to extra scrutiny and harassment.

First she admitted that the IRS had engaged in illegal activity and she apologized for it. Then she denied ever doing anything wrong and refused to publicly testify before Congress about what she supposedly didn't do or what she had previously apologized for.

Predictably, the Obama Administration refused to prosecute Lerner for contempt of Congress. What is less clear is why Attorney General Jeff Sessions let her off the hook.

But, while Lerner refused to talk to Congress, she could not refuse to talk to the courts.

When conservative groups sued the IRS, Lerner and her then-deputy, Holly Paz, were put under oath and gave depositions in those cases. As you know, the result of those lawsuits was a recent settlement that included a formal acknowledgment of wrongdoing by the IRS.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, which has covered the legal case, is now asking the court to make Lerner's and Paz' testimony public. The Trump Administration is backing the request. But Lerner and Paz have petitioned the court to permanently seal their depositions.

According to court filings, the women fear physical harm to themselves and their family members if their explanations for what really happened at the IRS are ever revealed.

Excuse me? This legal motion raises all kinds of questions. What exactly did they do that now makes them fear for their safety?

Lois Lerner abused her power as a government bureaucrat for years to harass conservatives. Now she's claiming to be a victim? Give me a break!

It is also ludicrous for Lerner to suggest that violence is coming from the political right. The people being harassed or attacked over the years for their political views are not IRS workers, or liberals going out to dinner or people with Obama hats.

No, the people being attacked for their views and values are kids wearing MAGA hats, conservatives going out to dinner or attempting to attend speeches and rallies.

Kudos To Walker - Football legend Herschel Walker is no fan of the NFL's national anthem protests. During a recent interview, the former Heisman Trophy winner said this:

"I absolutely think the protests are so upsetting, and I blame the commissioner. I know people are going to be angry when I say it, but he should have stopped the protests at the very beginning.

"Our flag is very special, and black lives matter, but what we should do is go to Washington after the season and protest there instead.

"We have young men and women fighting for the flag. And we have to respect the White House. I been working with the military for eight years. I don't care what people say.

"The National Anthem is the United States of America. That's where you live. That's where we get everything we have -- here in the United States. You never protest that."

I couldn't agree more.

The players have every right to protest over issues they care deeply about -- on their own time or after the season ends. But when they are in uniform, they are essentially employees at work.

Once they step onto that field, they do not have a right to insult the paying customers of the NFL -- the fans in the stadiums or those watching at home. No employee at Starbucks or McDonalds has a right to protest on the job. Neither do NFL players.

Walker made the comments during a promotion for the "True American Hero Truck Giveaway." Walker said, "An American hero for me is a military active serviceman or a police officer. Police officers are not getting the credit they deserve -- that's a hero to me."

Walker is absolutely right, and I applaud him for speaking up!

By the way, most Americans agree. A recent poll found that 77% of those surveyed said that football players should stand for the national anthem. Sixty percent disapproved of the way NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the situation and 59% said there should be a rule requiring players to stand.

What About Jones? Virtually all of the attention in the Alabama Senate race has focused on Judge Roy Moore and what may or may not have happened 40 years ago. There is a lot at stake in this race, including tax reform and whether President Trump is able to confirm another Supreme Court nominee.

But let me remind you of what has been missing in all the coverage -- any scrutiny of Moore's opponent: Democrat Doug Jones.

It has been 20 years since a Democrat represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate, and Doug Jones is no Howell Heflin. For one thing, Heflin was pro-life. He once said, "As a former fetus, I'm opposed to abortion."

Doug Jones is a pro-abortion extremist. Jones even opposes limits on late-term abortions.

When Jones talks about the Second Amendment, he talks about its "limitations."

Jones supports the radical transgender agenda and is endorsed by the nation's largest homosexual rights lobbying group.

He opposes President Trump's border wall.

And Jones is endorsed by the left-wing group MoveOn.org, which also supports Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts liberal Elizabeth Warren.

In short, Jones is no moderate. He is being supported by the progressive left and is part of the movement that wants to destroy Donald Trump.

If elected to the Senate, Jones would be a vote against the conservative agenda, against conservative judicial nominees and for the impeachment of President Trump.

That is not what the people of Alabama want. They made that clear last year when 62% of Alabama voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump.

Asked about the Alabama Senate race as he was leaving the White House this afternoon, President Trump stated very simply, "We don't need a liberal Democrat in the seat."
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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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“One Of My Duties While Working For Rep. Conyers Was To Keep A List Of Women"

by Daniel Greenfield: Some say this will be the end of Congressman Conyers. I'm skeptical. CBC members don't quit over mere scandals. They have to be indicted and convicted. And I'm not too sure this will do it. But it does give us a peek into what's behind the curtain at Congress.


One affidavit from a former female employee states that she was tasked with flying in women for the congressman. “One of my duties while working for Rep. Conyers was to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources,” said her affidavit. (A second staffer alleged in an interview that Conyers used taxpayer resources to fly women to him.)

“I am personally aware of several women who have experienced the same or similar sexual advances made towards them by Rep[.] John Conyers,” she said in her affidavit.

A male employee wrote that he witnessed Rep. Conyers rub the legs and other body parts of the complainant “in what appeared to be a sexual manner” and saw the congressman rub and touch other women “in an inappropriate manner.”

Another female employee also attested that she witnessed Conyer’s advances, and said she was asked to transport women to him. “I was asked on multiple occasions to pick up women and bring them to Mr. Conyers[‘] apartment, hotel rooms, etc.”

Another staffer said that Conyers’ reputation made people fearful to speak out against him. Aside from being the longest-serving House member and the ranking member of a powerful committee, Conyers is a civil rights icon. He was lauded by Martin Luther King Jr. and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Your story won’t do shit to him,” said the staffer. “He’s untouchable.”
Pretty much. CBC members have gotten away with a whole lot.

Monica Conyers, his wife, was sent to jail for three years. Mere scandal doesn't do it. Sexual harassment won't do it. Barring expulsion or indictment, Conyers will be in Congress. His voters, despite being a reliable Dem voting bloc, don't care about social justice issues. And couldn't care less about virtue signaling.


In her complaint, the former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room. On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to work out of his room for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.

“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.
The question here is will Dems take actual action against Conyers? I wouldn't count on it. Expect his defense to involve claims of racism.
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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

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Trouble in Transmission

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Weeks ago, students Brandon Albrecht and Tayler Lehmann hosted a weekly program on their university-funded, 225-watt FM station.

But not anymore.

“We have a group here called the Queer Devil Worshippers for a Better Future,” Albrecht told his University of Minnesota-Morris audience. “It’s kind of like our version of Antifa here at Morris.”

“Except they’re nicer,” co-host Tayler Lehmann chimed in. “And less violent.”

“The only reason they’re non-violent is because there are not enough of them. And everybody knows everybody here at Morris,” Albrecht continued. “You see one tranny that’s trying to punch someone . . . I’m not going to dox anybody and name them on air. But you two know if I say ‘the tranny who looks like he’s going to punch someone.’”

A short time later, station manager Carter Young, with a UMM policeman in tow, entered the studio and demanded they leave.

“What happened?” inquired Lehmann.

“You said a couple words that break FCC violations [sic],” she replied.

“What word?” Albrecht asked.

“Specifically, ‘tranny.’ That is a hate slur. Not allowed on the radio. I need you to leave.”

“Did you have to call the police?” inquired a third unidentified student.

“Yes, because this is an FCC violation; you are breaking the law.”

The students’ “Deplorable Radio” program has been permanently suspended.

But KUMM 89.7 now admits that the word “tranny” is not “in violation of FCC community standards.” The station then accused the duo of hosting an earlier show while intoxicated, which they flatly deny. Now a spokesperson claims the issue is “compliance with DJ expectations and station standards.”

Meaning? The publicly-owned station does not like their politics.

You might want to call or email the station . . . while such speech is still permitted.

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

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Why Congress Should Pass Tax Reform Before Christmas

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author:  Unemployment is low, stocks are booming, and business confidence is soaring to record highs. Yet wages for too many Americans are still barely increasing after eight long, flat years of the Obama presidency. The American people deserve a raise, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will deliver one.

Middle class families would see a significant boost in take-home pay if the proposed tax changes take effect in 2018. Under the Senate version, the standard deduction jumps from $13,000 to $24,000 for a married couple and from $6,500 to $12,000 for a single filer. Above the much more generous deduction amount, the rate would be cut to 12 percent all the way up to $77,400 for married couples and $38,700 for singles. The rest of the rates would also be cut, providing tax cuts at every income level – while the share of all federal income taxes paid by millionaires would tick up from 19.2 percent of all revenues to 19.7 percent.

The bill doubles the child credit to $2,000 per child and makes it nearly universal. That has been a top priority of Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida, who argue that making the tax code less punitive toward investment requires recognizing the enormous capital required to raise children.

Perhaps more significant than these direct tax cuts is the impact of the bill's business tax cuts on wage growth. The U.S. is presently uncompetitive internationally, with the highest corporate tax rate in the world and a perverse system that penalizes companies for bringing home the profits of their foreign subsidiaries. An analysis by Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett finds that fixing these problems will raise household incomes $4,000 to $9,000, with around two-thirds of the benefits of business tax reform flowing to labor. While other economists disagree about how much wages will jump if the business tax system is fixed, there is overwhelming empirical and theoretical evidence that wages will rise considerably.

While a lot of attention has focused on the Senate bill fully repealing the deduction for state and local taxes (the House version retained it for property taxes up to $10,000 per year), the vast majority of taxpayers are unaffected by the provision because they either already claim the standard deduction or will at its new much higher levels. For taxpayers who still itemize, the repeal of the alternative minimum tax largely offsets the loss of the state and local deduction, and the other features of the bill likely put them ahead overall.

For most taxpayers, ending the deduction is an implicit tax cut, because it will stop high tax states from exporting their tax burden to the rest of us. A recent example is in New Jersey, where State Senate President Steve Sweeney reacted to the election of a Democratic governor by saying the state's first order of business would be to enact a millionaires tax – only to backtrack, explaining that if federal tax reform passes he would reconsider because New Jersey millionaires would not be able to write off the new tax on their federal returns.

The Senate also added two new crown jewels to the House version: repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate tax and oil drilling in the ANWR area of Alaska.

The individual mandate is the corrupt, hated, beating heart of Obamacare – the idea that people should be required to buy overpriced insurance products they don't want or pay a penalty tax. Obama himself campaigned against it in 2008, saying a mandate would mean "people are being fined for not having purchased healthcare but choose to accept the fine because they still can’t afford it even with the subsidies. They are then worse off. They then have no health care and are paying a fine above and beyond that."

IRS data show that 79 percent of taxpayers who pay the mandate tax make less than $50,000 and 37 percent make less than $25,000. The best argument mandate supporters can muster is that if people are not taxed for opting out of Obamacare, more people will opt out. But it's hard to see how people who might sign up solely to avoid the mandate tax are hurt by having the option to say no. And removing the mandate will set the stage for more sweeping health care changes to lower premiums and give Americans more health care choices next year.

The ANWR provision would be a big boost to American energy production and would help realize a vision of an America that is energy dominant. It would also represent a victory over a multi-decade spin campaign in which the environmental left turned a nearly desolate tundra into the key symbolic battleground for stopping energy development in the name of environmentalism.

It is not often that a piece of legislation holds the promise of slashing the taxes on families, growing their wages, freeing them from a burdensome health care regime, and expanding American energy dominance. It's time to stop handwringing about its minor flaws, see the big picture, and put this bill on President Trump's desk in time to make this a very merry Christmas for American families.
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Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

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Unserious Nation

by Patrick Buchanan:: How stands John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” this Thanksgiving?

How stands the country that was to be “a light unto the nations”?

To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. For consider the issues that have lately convulsed the public discourse of the American republic.

Today’s great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Sen. Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore.

On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines.

And every day for weeks, beginning with Hollywood king Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers nearly number in three digits, actors, media personalities and politicians have been falling like nine pins over allegations and admissions of sexual predation.

What is our civil rights issue, and who are today’s successors to the Freedom Riders of the ‘60s? Millionaire NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem to dishonor the flag of their country to protest racist cops.

And what was the great cultural issue of summer and fall?

An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen.

Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.

But the city that bears Washington’s name is erecting a new statue on Pennsylvania Avenue — to honor the four-term mayor who served time on a cocaine charge: Marion Shepilov Barry.

Whatever side one may take on these questions, can a country so preoccupied and polarized on such pursuits be taken seriously as a claimant to be the “exceptional nation,” a model to which the world should look and aspire?

Contrast the social, cultural and moral morass in which America is steeped with the disciplined proceedings and clarity of purpose, direction and goals of our 21st century rival: Xi Jinping’s China.

Our elites assure us that America today is a far better place than we have ever known, surely better than the old America that existed before the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Yet President Trump ran on a pledge to “Make America Great Again,” implying that while the America he grew up in was great, in the time of Barack Obama it no longer was. And he won.

Certainly, the issues America dealt with half a century ago seem more momentous than what consumes us today.

Consider the matters that riveted America in the summer and fall of 1962, when this columnist began to write editorials for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. What was the civil rights issue of that day?

In September of ‘62, Gov. Ross Barnett decided not to allow Air Force vet James Meredith to become the first black student at Ole Miss. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent U.S. Marshals to escort Meredith in.

Hundreds of demonstrators arrived on campus to join student protests. A riot ensued. Dozens of marshals were injured. A French journalist was shot to death. The Mississippi Guard was federalized. U.S. troops were sent in, just as Ike had sent them into Little Rock when Gov. Orville Faubus refused to desegregate Central High.

U.S. power was being used to enforce a federal court order on a recalcitrant state government, as it would in 1963 at the University of Alabama, where Gov. George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.

As civil rights clashes go, this was the real deal.

That fall, in a surprise attack, Chinese troops poured through the passes in the Himalayas, invading India. China declared a truce in November but kept the territories it had occupied in Jammu and Kashmir.

Then there was the Cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous crisis of the Cold War.

Since August, the Globe-Democrat had been calling for a blockade of Cuba, where Soviet ships were regularly unloading weapons. When President Kennedy declared a “quarantine” after revealing that missiles with nuclear warheads that could reach Washington were being installed, the Globe urged unity behind him, as it had in Oxford, Mississippi.

We seemed a more serious and united nation and people then than we are today, where so much that roils our society and consumes our attention seems unserious and even trivial.

“And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?” wrote the British poet Thomas Macaulay.

Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created the nation should be publicly dishonored. Are we really a better country today than we were then, when all the world looked to America as the land of the future?
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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 adviser 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.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Unserious Nation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Diversity Obsession

Dr. Walter E. Wiliams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: A common feature of our time is the extent to which many in our nation have become preoccupied with diversity. But true diversity obsession, almost a mania, is found at our institutions of higher learning. Rather than have a knee-jerk response for or against diversity, I think we should ask just what is diversity and whether it’s a good thing. How do we tell whether a college, a department or another unit within a college is diverse or not? What exemptions from diversity are permitted?

Seeing as college presidents and provosts are the main diversity pushers, we might start with their vision of diversity. Ask your average college president or provost whether he even bothers promoting political diversity among faculty. I’ll guarantee that if he is honest — and even bothers to answer the question — he will say no. According to a recent study, professors who are registered Democrats outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 12-1 ratio. In some departments, such as history, Democratic professors outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 33-1 ratio.

The fact is that when college presidents and their diversity coterie talk about diversity, they’re talking mostly about pleasing mixtures of race. Years ago, they called their agenda affirmative action, racial preferences or racial quotas. Not only did these terms fall out of favor but also voters approved initiatives banning choosing by race. Courts found some of the choosing by race unconstitutional.

That meant that the race people had to repackage their agenda. That repackaging became known as diversity. Some race people were bold enough to argue that “diversity” produces educational benefits to all students, including white students. Nobody has bothered to scientifically establish what those benefits are. For example, does a racially diverse student body lead to higher scores on graduate admissions tests, such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT? By the way, Israel, Japan and South Korea are among the world’s least racially diverse nations. In terms of academic achievement, their students run circles around diversity-crazed Americans.

There is one area of college life where administrators demonstrate utter contempt for diversity, and that’s in sports. It is by no means unusual to watch a Saturday afternoon college basketball game and see that the starting five on both teams are black. White players, not to mention Asian players, are underrepresented. Similar underrepresentation is practiced in college football. Where you find whites overrepresented in both sports is on the cheerleading squads, which are mostly composed of white women.

If you were to explore this lack of racial diversity in sports with a college president, he might answer, “We look for the best players, and it so happens that blacks dominate.” I would totally agree but ask him whether the same policy of choosing the best applies to the college’s admissions policy. Of course, the honest answer would be a flat-out no.

The most important issue related to college diversity obsession is what happens to black students. Black parents should not allow their sons and daughters to fall victim to the diversity hustle, even if the diversity hustler is a black official of the college. Black parents should not allow their sons and daughters to attend a college where they would not be admitted if they were white. A good rule of thumb is not to allow your children to attend a college where their SAT score is 200 or more points below the average of that college. Keep in mind that students are not qualified or unqualified in any absolute sense. There are more than 4,800 colleges — a college for most anybody.

The bottom-line question for black parents and black people in general is: Which is better, a black student’s being admitted to an elite college and winding up in the bottom of his class or flunking out or being admitted to a less prestigious college and performing just as well as his white peers and graduating? I would opt for the latter. You might ask, “Williams, but how will the nation’s elite colleges fulfill their racial diversity needs?” My answer is that’s their problem.
----------------------
Walter Williams an American economist, social commentator, and author of over 150 publications. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the UCLA and B.A. in economics from California State University. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College. He has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980. Visit his website: walterewilliams.com and view a list of other articles and works.

Tags: Walter E. Williams, Diversity Obsession 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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