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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, December 01, 2017

Mark Steyn: Steinle Verdict a 'Miscarriage of Justice' in the Profoundest Sense

llegal Alien Drug Dealer:
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate
by Debra Heine: Mark Steyn joined Tucker Carlson Thursday night to react to the stunning not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.

A jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 48-year-old illegal immigrant, not guilty on charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder -- even though he admitted to shooting Steinle.

Zarate, a Mexico native who had been deported multiple times, shot and killed the 32-year-old while she was walking on a San Francisco pier with her father in July 2015.

He was found guilty of felony possession of a firearm, which carries a potential sentence of 16 months to three years.

"It is a miscarriage of justice in the profoundest sense in that Kate Steinle is dead because she went for a walk in a popular destination in her own city and her parents will never see anybody convicted for that crime," Steyn told Carlson.

He pointed out that there is no dispute that Zarate fired the shot that killed Steinle and that he shouldn't have been in the country in the first place.

"Why is one political party, the entire bureaucracy, and two-thirds of the remaining political party fetishizing and sentimentalizing immigrants who can't speak the language, with a grade two education, and setting up competing jurisdictions in this country that protect them at the expense of American citizens?" Steyn asked.

"Well, because they provide lower wages and handy voting blocs for those parties," Carlson answered, adding that the case inspired Kate's Law because authorities had released Zarate from a San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting despite being asked by the feds to hold him for deportation.

"It all adds up to a picture of not just treating illegal immigrants as you would American citizens, but giving them, in effect, better treatment -- special privileges because they're here illegally." He added, "It's very hard to imagine that an American citizen in Zarate's position would have been acquitted on all of these charges."

Steyn explained that the very term "sanctuary city" was designed to shut down debate. "Because who do you give sanctuary to? You give sanctuary to refugees -- to those fleeing injustice. How can there be something called a sanctuary city if it was... a place for criminals to hold up? The very term is designed to shut down the debate."

He said the reason President Trump was elected was in part because "he declined to operate with those constraints." Unlike most of the other Republican candidates, Steyn said, Trump wasn't afraid to speak out against sanctuary city policies.

"I weep for Kate Steinle's parents tonight. I do not know how I could go on living in that city if, God forbid, my daughter were to be shot by someone who should never have been in the country in the first place," Steyn said.
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Debra Heine is a Catholic, mom of six and long time political pundit. She has written for PJ Media and several blogs including her own, Nice Deb!

Tags: Debra Heine, PJ Media, Mark Stein, Kate Steinle, killed by, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, illegal alien, drug dealerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

ISIS Vows to 'Take the Neck Off' of 'Pharaoh' Trump

img via ISIS video
by Bridget Johnson: The Islamic State vowed to behead "pharaoh" President Trump in a new feature-length video claiming that the current "new phase" of jihad is "purification for the believers, destruction for the disbelievers."

ISIS' official al-Hayat Media Foundation teased "Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour" with a trailer distributed extensively Wednesday across many open media platforms including YouTube and Google Drive.

The precursor to the sequel was the September 2014 ISIS movie "Flames of War," which concluded with a mass execution led by a masked man with a North American, maybe Canadian, accent. The FBI circulated a segment of the video online afterward trying to learn more about the man's identity.

The new, nearly hour-long video was released in Arabic and English, with the latter version narrated by an American-accented jihadist who has voiced other ISIS productions.

After showing clips of President Obama talking about the global anti-ISIS coalition, the video introduced Trump as "a new pharaoh even more foolish than his predecessor who believed he could fight fire with fire."

The ISIS filmmakers used footage of Trump saying at a campaign rally in November 2015 that he would "bomb the shit" out of ISIS and interspersed Trump clips with bloody video clips purportedly from residential areas hit by U.S. airstrikes.

"They equated their safety with the destruction of Islam and its people," the narrator said, adding "they failed." The video then showed Trump using the words "radical Islamic terrorism" in his address to Congress.

The video used footage from the October mass shooting in Las Vegas and the July 2016 truck attack in Nice, France. The terror group supplied no evidence to support their continued claim that Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was their own Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki; authorities have maintained they have discovered no terrorist links as a motive remains elusive.

ISIS claimed that now "the jihad enters a new phase: purification for the believers, destruction for the disbelievers," and wrote off defeats as "purifying the camp of the believers with a real shake and removing the mask of the pretenders, the blamers and the abandoners."

Not directly addressing but alluding to ISIS' vast territorial losses in Iraq and Syria, the video showed Palmyra battle scenes while waxing about fighters who didn't give up in the name of Islam and extolling ISIS adherents who "make their jihad worldwide -- not linked to color, race or land."

One English-speaking jihadist with an African accent on the ground in Syria told the filmmaker that "we came here to take over this place, inshallah, and implement the Sharia," vowing that next "we will take the neck off of Trump" and put the ISIS banner on the White House.

The film shifts to battle scenes from Sinai, also referring to Egypt's president as pharaoh and giving instructions to jihadists to "beware of abandoning a single hand span of land until you have made it into an inferno for the criminal kuffar [disbelievers]: ambush them, besiege them, lie in wait for them at every outpost."

"Flames of War II" ends with another mass execution -- making the victims dig their own graves first -- and the same North American jihadist speaking to the camera that the FBI sought after part one.
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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill. She is the Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Tags: ISIS, Vows to, Take the Neck Off, President 'Pharaoh' Trump, Bridget Johnson, PJMedia To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NFL Bankrolls The Resistance To Trump

. . . A $100 million fund to appease America-hating players while sticking the knife in patriotic fans.
by Matthew Vadum: The dying National Football League is choosing its America-hating, national anthem-protesting multimillionaire players over patriotic sports fans by funneling close to $100 million to leftist charities like those founded by admitted communist Van Jones.

The corrosive fairy tale, embraced by professional football, that police use black Americans for target practice is malicious nonsense but it is a useful lie, good for direct-mail campaigns and MoveOn solicitations.

With this new initiative, NFL Commissar Roger Goodell is affirming for the umpteenth time that it is in the business of virtue-signaling and indoctrination, not football. In addition, the NFL is embracing Black Lives Matter and Antifa as partners in the Left’s fundamental transformation of America.

Even without this money, the financial outlook for left-wing advocacy groups was already sunny, especially after depraved currency speculator George Soros shifted $18 billion of his personal fortune to his Open Society Foundations philanthropy in October. If you’re involved in the world of liberal-progressive nonprofit advocacy, life is good, and getting better by the day.

The money raised by the NFL will go to organizations promoting what ESPN calls “social justice change.” In today’s political climate, that suggests terroristic Black Lives Matter and Antifa-related groups will get a good chunk of the cash. And if somehow you’re still an NFL fan after the league has done everything it can to drive you away, the NFL will put the antisocial donations on your tab.

It is so unnecessary.

The NFL could save everyone a lot of money by simply ordering all teams to burn American flags ritualistically at the beginning of every game. The desired effect on society would be comparably deleterious and the saved money could be used to lower ticket prices for the league’s fan base which at that point would be shrinking at a dramatically accelerated pace.

Instead of doing the right thing, the most politically correct professional sports league since humans began to walk upright is tendering an undisguised bribe designed to appease the ugly protest movement launched last year by the now-unemployed mediocrity of a quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick’s low-information anti-American activism, best exemplified by the taking of a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” helped to accelerate the NFL’s downward slide that was already in progress. The anthem protests are the number one reason viewers have cited for tuning out televised NFL games.

But the corporate world, including the NFL, has never quite grasped the eternal truth that left-wingers cannot be bought off. They can be rented or leased for a time, but leftists always come back with their bullhorns, pussy-hats, and bottles of urine once they identify a deep-pocketed, soft-headed sucker. Rewarding these spoiled-brat subversives who willingly get hit on the head for a living with millions of dollars for their temper tantrums will only embolden them and alienate the league’s remaining fans.

According to ESPN, the deal looks like this:The NFL’s multifaceted offer earmarks at least $89 million over a seven-year period for both national and local projects, according to documents reviewed by ESPN. On the national level, owners this year will allocate $5 million … growing annually and maxing out at $12 million per year from 2021 through 2023. … [O]owners will put up $250,000 annually and expect players to match that amount, totaling $500,000 for each team. … In addition, there would be other fundraising opportunities, including telethons and auctions of jerseys worn in games.This brings to mind an old saying: Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

The NFL plan suggests the league believes undermining the foundations of the republic is a potentially profitable enterprise. They are not mistaken, as Hollywood has been proving for decades. Besides, now that they’re available, Charlie Rose or Matt Lauer could host the telethons free of charge.

Here are more financial details from ESPN:National funding would be allocated accordingly: 25 percent to the United Negro College Fund, 25 percent to Dream Corps and 50 percent to the Players Coalition, which has filed 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) paperwork for nonprofit status as a fiscally sponsored project.Dream Corps was founded by self-described “communist” and “rowdy black nationalist” Van Jones, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what turns out to be another left-wing hate group. It is bankrolled by members of the radical philanthropic establishment, including the Ford Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, and the Energy Foundation.

The donation page on the group’s website – which has the air of a digital shrine to Obama green jobs czar Jones – identifies its priorities using familiar leftist euphemisms:#YesWeCode is working to transform the tech talent pipeline to increase opportunity in the tech sector

#cut50 works across party lines to reduce the number of people in prisons and jails by 50%

Green For All drives green investments into hard-hit communities

The #LoveArmy stands with the vulnerable and fights for an inclusive America
Translated, this appears to indicate Dream Corps agitates for affirmative action in Silicon Valley, letting dangerous criminals run wild, providing massive public subsidies for pie-in-the-sky green jobs scams, and giving Van Jones a blank check to pursue whatever the outrage of the day may be.

The Players Coalition is likely to mirror the giving pattern of the cesspool known as the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), a reliable underwriter of far-left causes and an AFL-CIO affiliate. NFLPA funds the so-called Resistance to President Trump.

NFLPA gives grants to the Center for Community Change, a 501(c)(3) public charity, as well as to its 501(c)(4) social welfare/advocacy arm that spent $3 million last year in a failed to attempt to make Democrat Hillary Clinton president. A Big Labor grant recipient, Working America, blew $4 million on the Benghazi bungler’s candidacy.

Obviously the National Football League has learned nothing from its self-inflicted hemorrhaging of fans and revenue. These people are uneducable. They have a death wish.

Conservatives should hand them the hemlock they need to fulfill their destiny.
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Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, an author at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's FronPage Mag, an award-winning investigative reporter, and author of the book,Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.

Tags: NFL, Bankrolls The Resistance, President Trump, Matthew Vadum, 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!

Denaturalization Sought Against 5 Child Molesters

. . . Naturalization has provided the “keys to the kingdom” to criminals and terrorists.
by Michael Cutler: On November 21, 2017 the Department of Justice issued a press release, “Denaturalization Sought Against Five Child Sexual Abusers in Florida, Illinois and Texas.”

According to the press release, each of the five men had become naturalized United States citizens more than a decade ago and had all engaged in illegal sexual contact with children prior to becoming U.S. citizens. Three of the victims who had been sexually assaulted were merely six years old at the time they were assaulted.

In each case the alien concealed his criminal acts against his victim in filing for citizenship. Such false statements constitutes a felony under the provisions of 18 U.S. Code § 1425 (Procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully) with a potential maximum prison sentence of 10 years in prison. However the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison may be imposed if such fraud was committed in conjunction with terrorism.

However, the statute of limitations of ten years has tolled for each of these individuals. (Most federal felonies have a statute of limitations of 5 years, where naturalization fraud is concerned, however, the statute of limitations is ten years. We will address the reason for this shortly.)

Consequently while these criminals cannot be criminally prosecuted for committing immigration fraud, all were naturalized well over a decade ago, the Justice Department is seeking to have them stripped of their citizenship to set the stage for removing (deporting) them from the United States.

Advocates for immigration reform insist that such aliens will undergo “security checks” that are conducted when aliens file applications for various immigration benefits. Clearly this flawed system failed where these five individuals referenced in the DOJ press release are concerned.

The only thing worse than no security is false security.

Aliens who seek to naturalize are supposed to undergo in-depth background investigations known as Good Moral Character (GMC) investigations.

Naturalization fraud not only enables criminals to evade detection but has a serious national security component as well.

This vetting process was greatly abbreviated under the Clinton administration and, as I noted in my April 2015 article, How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations has not only enabled terrorists to escape proper scrutiny, they have been able to acquire various immigration benefits that enhance their ability to travel freely and embed themselves.

For terrorists United States citizenship and a U.S. passport is the ultimate “Key to the kingdom” facilitating their travel around the world using both their U.S. passport and the passport of their country of birth to cover their tracks and gain credibility in seeking entry into a series of counties around the world as they travel to receive training, conduct clandestine meetings and carry out attacks.

My article was predicated on a naturalized United States citizen, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud who had immigrated to the U.S. from his native Somali and was subsequently charged with traveling to Syria to fight against members of the U.S. military in the hopes of killing several American soldiers.

He was charged with several crimes including making false statements to the FBI agents who interrogated him but no mention was made of the fact that he had naturalized just one year earlier and had apparently lied on his application for citizenship.

On June 29, 2017 The Justice Department issued a press release, “Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to Terrorists” which laid out all of the charges to which the defendant pleaded guilty. However, the charge of naturalization fraud was not included. It is interesting to note that for one of the crimes, lying to the FBI agents in a matter involving terrorism, Mohamud can be sentenced to a maximum of 8 years in prison. However, naturalization fraud committed in conjunction with terrorism carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and would pave the way for his being stripped of United States citizenship.

There are many other documented cases of naturalized citizens who, intent on carrying out terror attacks seek U.S. citizenship thereby enabling them to obtain a U.S. passport. That strategy that was an integral part of their plans yet, inexplicably, not all of those cases have resulted in the terror suspect being charged with naturalization fraud.

Because of the particular significance of naturalization fraud and its potential nexus to national security and terrorism, while most federal felonies have a statute of limitations of five years, the statute of limitations for naturalization fraud is ten years.

In point of fact, the 9/11 Commission determined that immigration fraud and visa fraud were frequently used by terrorists as a means of entering the United States and embedding themselves in the United States in preparation for the deadly attacks they planned to conduct. This fact prompted me to write about Immigration Fraud - Lies That Kill.

Going back to the press release about the five aliens who face denaturalization, while, as the saying goes, “better late than never,” what is not clear is why it took the federal government more than a decade to uncover the fact that these individuals had lied on their applications for United States citizenship.

This is not simply an issue of the matter of being frustrated that justice delayed is justice denied, and the fact that because of the statute of limitations they escaped the possibility of being prosecuted and sentenced to jail time and a fine. A potentially even more significant issue is the unavoidable fact that each every day these child molesters were present in the United States, moving freely through the towns and cities where they lived that they may have had the opportunity to attack more defenseless children.

Indeed, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that some additional children may have been attacked but that the attacks went unknown and/or unreported.

If the system had worked as it should have worked, these predatory aliens might well have been stripped of their lawful immigrant status and deported from the United States before they even had the opportunity to file for naturalization.

Therefore Attorney General Sessions should consider issuing a directive to find out how the system permitted these five miscreants to slip through the cracks for such a long period of time.

It would be important, for example, to know if any of these criminal aliens had been aided by the anarchistic sanctuary policies of jurisdictions that seek to downgrade the nature of crimes for which aliens stand accused so that these aliens can be shielded from deportation, even where this endangers public safety including the youngest and most vulnerable members of communities across the United States.

Not only does this endanger pubic safety and national security but also undermines the principle of equal protection under the law for United States citizens.

Undoubtedly there are many other aliens who have similarly fallen through the infamous “cracks in the system.”

Every such criminal is a potential ticking time bomb whose presence, each day, poses a threat to the safety to the residents of the communities in which they live.

In the wake of recent mass shootings attention has focused on failures of the system that is supposed to prevent criminals and those suffering from serious mental illness from purchasing and possessing firearms. In the wake of several mass shootings, to everyone’s horror and frustration, it was determined that the shooter should have been barred from possessing firearms but, for various reasons, the system was not provided with relevant information that would have barred the gunmen from owning firearms.

The laws did not fail, the way they were administered, however, did. Vital relevant information was not included in databases undermining the integrity of the background checks.

On November 22, 2017 the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release entitled, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions Directs FBI and ATF to Conduct a Comprehensive Review of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”

It is important to make certain that guns do not fall into the hands of criminals and the severely mentally ill. It is, however, no less important to make certain that no less attention is given to the vetting systems concerning aliens who live in towns and cities across the United States.

As was noted in the official report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel

Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud…

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

Therefore a similar directive needs to be issued that addresses the failings of the process by which aliens seeking immigration benefits are scrutinized, including the impact that “sanctuary” policies may play in undermining this critical system.
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Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is michaelcutler.net. He also writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of theDavid Horowitz Freedom CenterDavid Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, Denaturalization, Sought Against, 5 Child Molesters, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sen. Tom Cotton Has a Plan for Rogue Federal Employees

by Marc Kilmer: Senator Tom Cotton is offering some advice to President Trump in dealing with the dispute over who heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Richard Cordray, the former director of the bureau, stepped down last week. His newly-appointed deputy director, Leandra English, assumed duties as acting director, encouraged by Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren. President Trump contends that he has the power to appoint an acting director. He named Mick Mulvaney to that post. Now the agency has two people attempting to exercise authority over the bureau.

So what should be done? Here’s what Sen. Cotton says:The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a rogue, unconstitutional agency. Leandra English’s lawsuit to install herself as acting director against the president’s explicit direction is just the latest lawless action by the CFPB.

The president should fire her immediately and anyone who disobeys Director Mulvaney’s orders should also be fired summarily. The Constitution and the law must prevail against the supposed resistance.
This is obviously heated rhetoric, but Senator Cotton is onto something.

First, take the issue of who should lead this bureau. The Dodd-Frank Act specifies that the deputy director takes over when the director is absent or unavailable. But there is another federal statute, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, that says the president has the power to appoint an acting director. Some are quibbling with the exact language of the Dodd-Frank Act, trying to say that a resignation is the same thing as the director being absent or unavailable. That is not something that the general counsel for the CFPB buys. The opinion of that lawyer, which should carry some weight with Leandra English (a CFPB employee), is that the president should appoint the acting director.

As Sen. Cotton alludes to, there is a constitutional question here, too. The Constitution says that the president is head of the executive branch. Even with independent agencies that operate with less oversight from the president, like the CFPB, the president is able to name the directors of those agencies. There is a serious constitutional issue when an agency head names a deputy director then resigns the next day to engineer that deputy’s ascent into the director’s job. This leaves the head of an executive branch bureau with an acting director who was not appointed by the president. This should raise constitutional concerns for anyone, even if they do not like President Trump.

This plays into the larger constitutional questions raised by Sen. Cotton. The editors of National Review explain this issue more fully:The CFPB’s leadership structure, which already has been found unconstitutional by a panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is designed to create a separate power within the federal government, one that is answerable neither to the president, who in the ordinary course of affairs has the power to dismiss and replace officers of executive agencies, nor to Congress — and which is hence outside of ordinary democratic oversight. That is a recipe for abuse, and that abuse is not hypothetical: The bureau already has been obliged to reverse itself when Cordray, with no legal authority, unilaterally increased the fine in a mortgage-insurance case from $6 million to $103 million.As Sen. Cotton points out, this boils down to following the Constitution. The president, by statutory and constitutional authority, has the power to name the CFPB’s acting director. The agency itself needs to be reformed to deal with the serious constitutional problems that it poses. It’s unclear if Mick Mulvaney, once he takes his place as the undisputed head of the agency, will follow Sen. Cotton’s advice and fire anyone who disobeyed his orders in the interim.

The employees of the CFPB, however, should be wary of following the lead of Senators Schumer and Warren on this. These senators are looking to make political points here. CFPB employees should be concerned about following the law and the Constitution.
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Marc Kilmer writes for The Arkansas Project an outreach of the Advance Arkansas Institute.

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Generation Gap . . .

. . . Doug Jones vs Roy Moore has come down to a life or death election. Pro-choice or Pro-Life.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Generation Gap, Doug Jones vs Roy Moore, has come down to, life or death, election, Pro-choice, Pro-Life To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Eugenics and the Court

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Before this year ends, it is worth mentioning the anniversary of a terrible Supreme Court decision that occurred 90 years ago. Eric Metaxas mentioned it in a recent Breakpoint commentary, and I wanted to add some important background to the infamous case known as Buck v. Bell. The high court upheld a Virginia law that allowed them to sterilize Carrie Buck because they felt she was “unfit” to reproduce.

To understand how we got to the court’s decision, you need to go back to Charles Darwin. Most people forget that the complete title of Darwin’s book on evolution was: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life. He believed there were favored races and less favored races. He expanded on this in his later book: The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.

This is the interesting irony. Darwin was a gentleman, a loving father, and a strong opponent of slavery. On the other hand, his writings unleashed a theory that justified racism and eugenics. It is easy to follow the path. Darwin’s half-cousin, Francis Galton formed the first “Eugenics Society.” Galton proposed the idea of instituting “breeding methods” for humans – much like those used for livestock and other animals. Darwin’s son, Leonard, succeeded Galton as head of Eugenics Society.

By the time you get to the 1927 Supreme Court decision, the ideas of eugenics and selective breeding had taken root. That is why in his majority opinion, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that it is better if “society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” His most quotable phrase from the opinion was that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

This is one bad decision that traces its ideas back to one bad idea.
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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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Not Again, Outrage, Hope For America

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Not Again?! -  An unexpected ruling by the Senate parliamentarian last night threw a last-minute glitch into the GOP's tax cut plans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to suspend the "vote-a-rama" as the leadership scrambled to secure support from various holdouts, namely Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Their concern is that government models suggest the plan adds too much to the deficit. The problem is that government models are not very reliable. There were massive tax increases under Obama, and especially in Obamacare, yet Obama ran record deficits year after year.

And if Corker and Flake are so concerned about deficits, the real problem is government spending. But it is not "spending" when Americans get to keep more of their money. It belongs to them. Tax cuts are not welfare or government grants. The people earned that money! It does not belong to Washington.

Several proposed solutions being floated to earn their support don't seem very smart to me, but the leadership understands that they must get this done. They cannot afford another debacle like the failed attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Additional votes are expected later today. We are monitoring the situation in the Senate as it develops.

Outrage - Washington, D.C., and San Francisco are far-left cities. And the verdicts this week in the cases involving Ahmed Abu Khattala, the mastermind of the Benghazi attacks, and Jose Garcia Zarate, Kate Steinle's killer, reflect that sad reality.

In the case of Kate Steinle, the jury had several options to choose from, ranging from second degree murder to manslaughter. Instead, this repeat offender who has crossed the border five times and committed seven prior felonies, was only convicted of illegal weapons possession.

Those who abetted Steinle's murder are the left-wing politicians who advocate for open borders. Once again, an American family is suffering while the illegal immigrant lobby and the Trump haters are celebrating.

While I am pleased to report that the Justice Department is considering additional charges based on illegal reentry, I urge the administration to bring a lawsuit based on violations of Kate Steinle's civil rights. And I urge the Senate to pass Kate's Law immediately, so that previously deported illegal immigrants like Zarate who cross the border again are put in jail.

Flynn Charged - Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn on one count of perjury. According to the indictment, Flynn allegedly misled the FBI during an interview. Reports say Flynn will plead guilty at today's hearing.

Hope For America - I am spending much of the day at the Museum of the Bible, meeting with Josh McDowell and hundreds of his friends. I am also participating in a panel discussion, entitled "Hope For America," and will be talking about morality and ethics in our culture today.

While I am honored to participate in this presentation at the Museum of the Bible, this town increasingly acts like the Bible belongs in a museum. As you can imagine, recent headlines have given me a lot to talk about!
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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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Little Rocket Man’s Risky Game

by Patrick J. Buchanan: In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan.

North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C.

Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be fired with precision, and survive the severe vibrations of re-entry. More tests and more time are needed for that.

Thus, U.S. markets brushed off the news of Kim’s Hwasong-15 missile and roared to record heights on Wednesday and Thursday.

President Donald Trump took it less well. “Little Rocket Man” is one “sick puppy,” he told an audience in Missouri.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that “if war comes … the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” She then warned Xi Jinping that “if China does not halt the oil shipments” to North Korea, “we can take the oil situation into our own hands.”

Is Haley talking about bombing pipelines in North Korea — or China?

The rage of the president and bluster of Haley reflect a painful reality: As inhumane and ruthless as the 33-year-old dictator of North Korea is, he is playing the highest stakes poker game on the planet, against the world’s superpower, and playing it remarkably well.

Reason: Kim may understand us better than we do him, which is why he seems less hesitant to invite the risks of a war he cannot win.

While a Korean War II might well end with annihilation of the North’s army and Kim’s regime, it would almost surely result in untold thousands of dead South Koreans and Americans.

And Kim knows that the more American lives he can put at risk, with nuclear-tipped missiles, the less likely the Americans are to want to fight him.

His calculation has thus far proven correct.

As long as he does not push the envelope too far, and force Trump to choose war rather than living with a North Korea that could rain nuclear rockets on the U.S., Kim may win the confrontation.

Why? Because the concessions Kim is demanding are not beyond the utterly unacceptable.

What does Kim want?

Initially, he wants a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which he sees as a potential prelude to a surprise attack. He wants an end to sanctions, U.S. recognition of his regime, and acceptance of his status as a nuclear weapons state. Down the road, he wants a U.S. withdrawal of all forces from South Korea and international aid.

Earlier administrations — Clinton, Bush II, Obama — have seen many of these demands as negotiable. And accepting some or even all of them would entail no grave peril to U.S. national security or vital interests.

They would entail, however, a serious loss of face.

Acceptance of such demands by the United States would be a triumph for Kim, validating his risky nuclear strategy, and a diplomatic defeat for the United States.

Little Rocket Man would have bested The Donald.

Moreover, the credibility of the U.S. deterrent would be called into question. South Korea and Japan could be expected to consider their own deterrents, out of fear the U.S. would never truly put its homeland at risk, but would cut a deal at their expense.

We would hear again the cries of “Munich” and the shade of Neville Chamberlain would be called forth for ritual denunciation.

Yet it is a time for truth: Our demand for “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” is not going to be met, absent a U.S. war and occupation of North Korea.

Kim saw how Bush II, when it served U.S. interests, pulled out of our 30-year-old ABM treaty with Moscow. He saw how, after he gave up all his WMD to reach an accommodation with the West, Moammar Gadhafi was attacked by NATO and ended up being lynched.

He can see how much Americans honor nuclear treaties they sign by observing universal GOP howls to kill the Iranian nuclear deal and bring about “regime change” in Tehran, despite Iran letting U.N. inspectors roam the country to show they have no nuclear weapons program.

For America’s post-Cold War enemies, the lesson is clear:

Give up your WMD, and you wind up like Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein. Build nuclear weapons that can threaten Americans, and you get respect.

Kim Jong Un would be a fool to give up his missiles and nukes, and while the man is many things, a fool is not one of them.

We are nearing a point where the choice is between a war with North Korea in which thousands would die, or confirming that the U.S. is not willing to put its homeland at risk to keep Kim from keeping what he already has — nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them.
--------------------
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.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, North Korea, Kim Jong Un, Little Rocket Man, Risky Game, U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Illinois’s Chicken-and-Fish Supreme Court

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: A constitution is the law of the land only to the extent that it’s enforced. And in Illinois, the right of citizen initiative — provided for in the state constitution — is not enforced.

The constitution’s wording is explicit: “Amendments . . . may be proposed by a petition signed by a [specified number of electors]. . . . Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV.”

Does that Article IV discuss the subject of election procedures, including eligibility requirements, thereby opening the door to a citizen-initiated term limits amendment? Yes, it does. Section 2, subsection (c), for example, specifies citizenship, age, and residency requirements.

Yet the Illinois Supreme Court has repeatedly chucked the results of effective petition drives to get a state legislative term limits question on the ballot.

The justices rely on the venerable Fallacy of Tortured Misreading.

Former Illinois legislator Jim Nowlin recently pointed out that in 1976, the court concluded that the wording about how initiative proposals “‘shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects’. . . meant a proposal must make both kinds of changes.” The lone dissenter on the court “opined to the effect: When I see a restaurant sign that says, ‘We have chicken and fish,’ that doesn’t mean you have to order both chicken and fish!”

The right of citizen initiative is a crucial means of reforming government when those in government won’t reform themselves. The citizens of Illinois have that right. But, for now, they also don’t.

That ain’t Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
------------------
Paul Jacob 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, Illinois, Chicken and Fish, Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Finally, A Big International Win For Intellectual Property Rights

TiVo Wins Intellectual
Property Case
by Rick Manning: The United States has long stood as the center for innovation across the globe — even as we ceded other important industries like manufacturing. Thanks to a strong patent system, written into the Constitution, we have long encouraged creativity and invention that has made us the envy of the world.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, that position has become endangered. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual IP index, the U.S. is now number 10 in patent protection after years as number one.

We are on a dangerous path if we allow our patent and Intellectual Property system to continue to weaken. If innovators and patent holders face huge barriers to enforce their rights and protect their property, we will strike a devastating blow to our economy. The key to a functioning innovation cycle is the ability of inventors to benefit from their work and protect it when someone steals it.

Fortunately, a recent decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) sends an important message that patent rights will be protected. In a typical case for the ITC — a U.S. "quasi-judicial" body — the Commission upheld a previous ruling by an administrative law judge against Comcast, determining it violated Tivo's patented technology.

For years, Comcast, like the other cable companies, licensed patented technology from Rovi (now owned by TiVo), which allowed viewers to use their smartphones to control their set top boxes. At the time of renewal, Comcast decided it would no longer pay to license the technology but was still planning to use it — which is effectively stealing from TiVo.

Because the ITC found that Comcast's set top boxes were infringing TiVo's IP and those boxes are manufactured outside of the U.S., the ITC rightly decided to impose an exclusion order preventing Comcast from importing any of the infringing set top boxes into the U.S. To avoid this, Comcast could simply pay the royalty — as it did for years or disable the infringing features. Comcast's boxes would not be subject to ITC jurisdiction, by the way, if they were manufactured in the U.S., although TiVo would have other avenues to protect their rights.

The decision is a critical development for the protection of IP and sends an important message to big companies who think they can get away with stealing someone else's ideas and property. The ITC exists for this very purpose and routinely makes such rulings, which help ensure technology imported into the U.S. follows our IP laws and does not encourage theft.

While the default position of the ITC is to protect IP and issue an exclusion orders unless it is demonstrated that it is against the public interest to exclude the infringing product, Comcast will no doubt criticize the decision and call for delays in its implementation as it has in previous filings. They may even try to get the Trump administration to set aside the ITC decision — which the administration has the ability to do, although it is extremely rare.

In this case, it is clear that the public interest is best served by protecting IP and there would be no reason for the administration to take the extraordinary step of helping the powerful media conglomerate Comcast to allow them to continue taking someone else's property without payment. Likewise calls to appeal the ruling should be rejected as they would only allow them to find new suppliers and reset the entire case — setting back TiVo's ability to protect its property.

After this important ruling, it's time for Comcast to live up to its obligation and comply with the order. They have clearly been using someone else's property — for which they used to pay a fee. They cannot simply decide they no longer want to pay, but continue using the popular feature. After this ruling, they need to either pay the licensing fee or no longer use the technology at issue — or they can't import their boxes into the U.S.

As we fight to strengthen our patent and IP system to encourage inventors and creators to take risks and deliver cutting-edge ideas, we need to ensure that their patent rights are protected from powerful companies and thieves who seek to take their property. Enforcing those IP protections will help ensure that our nation continues to provide the incentives needed to continue leading the world in innovation.
---------------
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is President of Americans for Limited Government. Manning also served on President Trump’s Labor Department transition team. This article also on The Hill.

Tags: Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, intangible assets, interactive television, TiVo, Comcast, technology, economy, United States, patent, intellectual property rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sacrificing Their Own To Get Trump

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
by Cliff Kincaid: The words "national reckoning" are appearing with some regularity in media reports about various sex scandal cases. It's almost as if there is an unseen hand in the media orchestrating or coordinating in advance the presidential race in 2020, a year already being labeled "The Year of the Woman." It's designed to create an opportunity for California Democratic Party Senator and staunch feminist Kamala Harris to run as a presidential candidate. In this culmination of the "national reckoning," she's ready to take on the male power structure and break the glass ceiling. Where Hillary failed, Harris is expected to succeed.

It's as if our whole society is being indicted for the alleged misconduct of a few disciples of the late Hugh Hefner, who happened to be a funder of Democratic Party causes.

It's time for caution, objective reporting, and the truth, rather than partisan political advantage. The proof exists in the cases of Democratic Senator Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers. When evidence exists, such as a photo, documentary evidence of a settlement, or admission of guilt, that's one thing. But charges alone do not convict anyone of anything. That's why the case of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore case is so different. He has denied the charges, and evidence for them seems weak, non-existent, or in dispute. One accuser seems to have relied on a forgery.

Strangely, the cavalcade of allegations and charges has ignored the role of Playboy's liberal founder in exploiting women, polluting the culture, and creating an atmosphere in which sexual exploitation and abuse occurs. Instead, we are being told that we have got to come to grips with America's oppression of women and take the next step toward a Marxist paradise. That means Trump and his backward Christian supporters like Roy Moore must go. America already elected a black man, Barack Hussein Obama, who is still acting like he's president. The logical next step is for a feminist to take the presidency. Her name is Kamala Harris. The plan is already set in motion. This is the script they are writing and following.

Harris is "fast on the rise as a prominent and powerful feminist voice," declared the Washington Post, the liberal tool of Amazon's Jeff Bezos which began the assault on Roy Moore. Aggressively taking on her male colleagues in the Senate, Harris said, "This is not a time for courtesy. This is a time for courage." She can be counted on to lead the effort to expel Moore should he win the Alabama race on December 12. She will attempt to ride this train all the way into the 2020 presidential race.

But without a "national reckoning" about media malpractice and misdeeds, another serious disease in the body politic, there is reason to suspect that the liberal media are sacrificing their own sexist allies in the Democratic Party for "the greater good." The ultimate goal is getting rid of Trump, assuming that "Russia-gate" doesn't do the trick.

This is why the media reluctantly exposed Bill Clinton as a womanizer and Hillary has been thrown overboard.

The stakes are huge. As analyst Trevor Loudon noted at the recent America's Survival conference in Washington, D.C., the Democratic Party and its allies were "freaked out" by Trump's 2016 presidential victory. Loudon suggests the goal is to elect another black president in 2020, possibly a black female such as Senator Kamala Harris. The senator's sister, Maya Harris, is a veteran operative working with Steve Phillips, the author of the Obama-approved "Brown is the New White" strategy of taking power.

With the economy improving and the workers who went for Trump in 2016 probably sticking with him in 2020, the "progressive" strategy has got to be to rile up another segment of the coalition – women. Hence, female potential voters, a majority of the population, are being conditioned to believe that sexism and the capitalist system's "patriarchy" are stacked against them, and that they have no alternative but to make their mark on the political process by voting for the first woman president. With Hillary out of the way, a real radical feminist can be nominated and elected. Harris fits the bill. She's black and female. In addition, there are new Democratic constituency groups – potheads and felons, who can perhaps make up for the white voters sticking with Trump.

The sheer number of sex scandal cases has been enough to convince almost anyone that America is infected with so much moral corruption that it can only be solved by giving a woman the presidency. But the media's adoration of Hugh Hefner, the dirty old man and pervert, demonstrates they could care less about abusing women for the benefit of men. Most liberals still adore him because he put some of his money into causes like abortion and gay rights, drug legalization, and the ACLU. In other words, the liberals took the dirty money and were bought off.

Accused serial sex abuser Bill Cosby was a regular at the Playboy mansion. As the Washington Post put it, Cosby "partied with Hugh Hefner and was a regular at the magazine mogul's Playboy Mansion bacchanals," a term which means "an occasion of wild and drunken revelry." Various news organizations then ran articles quoting Hugh Hefner, aka "Hef," as saying he was shocked – shocked – by allegations that Bill Cosby molested a 15-year-old girl at his Playboy mansion. There was no follow-up investigation into the fact that Playboy, according to researcher Judith Reisman, pioneered the depiction of little girls as sex objects. Dr. Reisman, now a research professor at the Liberty University School of Law and Director of the Child Protection Institute, discovered that deliberate child sexual images were planted in Playboy.

Over the years, in addition to funding the liberal-left, Hefner contributed thousands of dollars to Democratic Party candidates. He even gave then-presidential candidate Barack Obama $2,300 in 2007, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

Hefner, described by one brave feminist as "the ultimate advocate for the objectification of women," may even have inspired the activities of Senator Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers. But "can't touch this" is the approach to beloved "Hef" and his place in American history. Media reports described him after his death as an American icon or a cultural icon. He ruined countless lives.

The cases of abuse we are reading about are terrible. But Hefner was the trailblazer who made it all possible and acceptable through the sexual revolution that brought America record rates of sexually-transmitted disease, including HIV/AIDS. My 1992 book, The Playboy Foundation: A Mirror of the Culture?, noted that Hefner's "Playmates" suffered from venereal diseases, attempted to commit suicide, procured abortions, used illegal drugs, and engaged in orgies to please Hugh Hefner.

But our media did not shed any tears for them. They didn't rush to tell their stories. They didn't demand the records of those who visited the Playboy Mansion.

Hefner and his daughter Christie, a "feminist" active in the Democratic Party, made tens of millions of dollars exploiting women and then passed on some of the obscene profits to the media, in the form of Hugh Hefner "First Amendment Awards." The list of winners and judges is a who's who of the liberal media establishment that includes Michael Moore and Bill Maher. Rep. Maxine Waters served as a judge.

At a recent memorial service in Chicago, where Playboy was originally based, "Hef" was fondly remembered by such liberal icons as Jesse Jackson. It turns out that "It was Jesse who brought Martin Luther King to the mansion in Chicago," Hefner said in a film about Playboy. Like King, Jackson had his share of extramarital affairs. Jackson admitted having sex with a female employee and fathering an illegitimate child.

The adoration for Hefner, after the cultural damage he inflicted, demonstrates that the left is not sincere about holding men "accountable." Instead, they are creating national hysteria over touching and groping for the ultimate purpose of unveiling another accuser or even a series of accusers against Trump. You can bet these women are being prepared and rehearsed even now.
---------------------
Cliff Kincaid is a veteran journalist, media critic, director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and writes for RenewAmerica.

Tags: Cliff Kincaid, Renew Amercia, Democrats, sacrificing their own, to get Trump, Kamala Harris To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

State Still Dealing With Fallout From Bad U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

by Jerry Cox, Contributing Author: According to recent news reports, the State of Arkansas is still dealing with fallout from a bad ruling the U.S. Supreme Court issued last summer.

In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the State of Arkansas must list two “mothers” on a child’s birth certificate if the child’s birth mother is legally married to another woman. The ruling overturned a good decision the Arkansas Supreme Court handed down last December.

The State is currently struggling to come up with a way to amend its laws and comply with the Supreme Court’s order.

As we said last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court is asking Arkansas to ignore basic facts about biology.
Birth certificates exist to record that a child was born and who the child’s biological parents are presumed to be.

As the Arkansas Supreme Court correctly noted last year, no child can have two biological mothers, but the Arkansas Department of Health is being forced to operate as if that is possible.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling treats the names that appear on birth certificates like some sort of marriage benefit. Birth certificates are issued for the sake of children — not for the sake of adults. They are not simply pieces of paper. They are vital records that need to be accurate and deserve respect. We should not let them become mere political ploys in the ongoing debates about marriage.
--------------
Jerry Cox is the founder and president of Family Council and the Education Alliance.

Tags: Jerry Cox, Family Council, Arkansas, Dealing With Fallout, Bad U.S. Supreme Court Ruling To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

House Conservatives Advocate Breaking Caps on Defense Spending

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
by Rachel del Guidice: With government funds running out Dec. 8, House conservatives argue that lawmakers should boost military spending in a new funding bill.

“We are breaking the caps on defense,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Thursday at Conversations with Conservatives, a monthly Q&A with reporters hosted by House conservatives and The Heritage Foundation.

Jordan, along with other conservatives, wants to raise the caps on military spending instituted by the Budget Control Act, passed in 2011. That legislation sought to curb government spending and control the growth of federal programs.

The Budget Control Act currently places caps on military spending for 2018 at $549 billion. Frederico Bartels, a policy analyst for defense budgeting at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that “the consensus is that they will be raised, but how and when still depends on the negotiations.”

Two and a half weeks ago, Jordan told reporters, Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Scott Perry, R-Pa., joined him in unsuccessfully offering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have undone the defense spending caps.

The amendment sought to raise the 2018 defense caps from $549 billion to $634.2 billion, Justin Bogie, Heritage’s senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs, said in an email to The Daily Signal.

Although the amendment failed, Jordan said, he will argue that any government funding legislation should include more defense spending.

“Go ahead and break the caps on defense at that level; obviously we are not there on [breaking caps on] nondefense. And again, that’s not what we campaigned on, that’s not what the voters elected us to do,” Jordan said.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said he agrees.

“If you had to break the caps on something, military is something that I think we are all in agreement on, particularly [with] what is going on with North Korea and the actions they have taken, and I think this is a positive first step,” Norman said.

The current National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress calls for $700 billion for defense spending, well above the amount allotted under the Budget Control Act.

Increasing defense spending will include significant hurdles for President Donald Trump, though, Bartels said.

“If Trump just signs the NDAA and they do not raise the [Budget Control Act] caps, it will trigger sequestration and every account, with the exception of personnel, will be cut by an equal percentage to reach the BCA-cap level,” Bartels said of Congress, adding:
For the defense budget to reach the $700 billion that Trump talks about, either the BCA caps need to be changed or they need to classify a lot of money as emergency spending and funnel it through [Overseas Contingency Operations], which is exempt from the BCA caps.Overseas Contingency Operations is an account for emergency spending originally set up to pursue the global war on terror.

Jordan said he is committed to working to increase funds for national defense before the Dec. 8 deadline and following Senate Republicans’ vote on its tax reform bill, expected Friday.
----------------
Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG) is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

Tags: House, Conservatives, Advocate Breaking Caps, Defense Spending To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ken Blackwell Discusses the Implications of the GOP Tax Bill

ARRA News Service: Contributing ARRA News author, Ken Blackwell Ken Blackwell talks with Neil Cavuto on the implications of the GOP tax bill and the effect it will have on the American economy. Video follows:
------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the board of numerous conservative policy organizations. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

Tags: Ken Blackwell, discusses, implications, GOP Tax Bill, Neil Cavuto To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Dear President Trump & Secretary DeVos, Raise A LAMP

President Donald Trump & Education Sec.Betsy Devos
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Forbes)
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author:  One of the latest shibboleths in education policy is called STEM. That’s an acronym for the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This, of course, is very well intended. As reported by Politico, the president himself, in late September,

... directed at least $200 million a year to technology education grants for women and minorities.

The president signed a memo instructing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to prioritize STEM through existing competitive grant programs that will encourage women and minorities to participate in coding and other computer-based careers — though senior administration officials offered few specifics on how they would fulfill that goal.

"We need to create pathways for all our citizens to get jobs," Trump said at an Oval Office signing ceremony, surrounded by children. "When you get out of school, you're gonna get great jobs."
I get what’s behind this. Writers of software code make good money. Per devcodehack, if you have 4+ years of experience and work in a major tech hub like the San Francisco Bay Area or NYC, you average about $100,000 a year. “Some programmers are even granted stock options or stock units in the company they work for. The first engineering hire for a startup can get up to 5% of the company, and if the startup does well that can turn into millions.” Writing code for Facebook or Google can pay considerably more than, say, teaching elementary school in San Francisco.

Trump hereby is steering some resources toward women and minorities that would guarantee, if they’ve got the chops, a pretty comfortable middle class living. (After tax and with the high cost structure, $100,000 doesn’t go as far as it looks in the Hubs where you can command it.  Still, respectable.)

This is a good thing. One cheer for that!

One? Why not three?

I’m an old school liberal arts major. I received my BA in English with a double major in Religion. With a drift toward the deification of science, something in me has always grieved at the marginalization of the liberal arts. Admittedly, I am prejudiced.

But it also turns out that I am unfashionable yet not quite alone. My constrained enthusiasm might have a legitimate basis.

Susan Etlinger gave a 2016 TED talk, recently reprised on NPR on the TED Radio Hour, How Do We Approach Big Data With A Critical Eye? Etlinger is “an industry analyst with Altimeter Group and a board member of the Big Boulder Initiative, an industry organization dedicated to promoting the successful and ethical use of social data.” She offered many arresting observations, from trenchantly contrasting Aldous Huxley’s and George Orwell’s dueling dystopias and the importance of context in interpreting data, to differences between correlation and causation as well as different ways of addressing autism.

Her show-stopping moment comes at 8’25”:

The challenge is, that, we have this opportunity to make meaning out of it ourselves. Because frankly, data doesn’t create meaning. We do. So, as business people, as consumers, as patients, as citizens, we have a responsibility, I think, to spend more time focusing on our critical thinking skills. Why?  Because at this point in our history, as we’ve heard, many times over, we can process exabytes [a quintillion bytes] of data at lightning speed and we have the potential to make bad decisions far more quickly, efficiently, and with far greater impact than we did in the past.  Great, Right? And so what we need to do instead is spend a little bit more time on things like the humanities and sociology and the social sciences, rhetoric, philosophy, ethics because they give us context that is so important for Big Data and because they help us become better critical thinkers.I recently encountered some of the comparable if more acerbic thoughts of David Rose on this topic. Rose is an author, unlicensed polymath, and, among other things, a virtuoso mycologist. He is a contributing editor of FUNGI. Rose is composing a lexicon, now approaching 1,000 entries, and he has kindly shared his section on STEM, here presented with his permission:STEM, n. Acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, an educational program that has evolved into a monstrous hegemonic conspiracy to abolish the humanities and arts for the single purpose of increasing competitiveness in technology development. STEM is positioned as an alarmist warning and a patriotic indoctrination, marketed in diametrical opposition to education in history, languages, and music; it is ahistorical and anti-historical, focused on the abstract language of cognitive finance, mathematics, and the trade school model of manufacturing tractable posthuman workers with single skills. STEM recruitment centers include all major American colleges and universities, the Boy Scouts, and the Department of Defense. See LAMP.

LAMP, n. Acronym for Language, Art, Music, and Philosophy: the quadrivium of education and foundation of educational reform in the Post-Digital Age. Ultimately derived from the four virtues in Greek philosophy (temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude) and modeled after the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) of Medieval scholarship, education grounded in these fields benefits honest scholars and bewildered STEM educators by imparting at least one essential skill: to speak and write a clear English sentence. LAMP education follows the moral imperative of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite in educational justice to countermand the depredations of Common Core, the test-and-punish folly of the No Child Left Behind Act, and the monomaniacal obsession with so-called STEM education, also known as Newton's Sleep.
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, celebrating the Statue of Liberty, concludes, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Note: lamp. Not stem.

Let me therefore generously suggest that President Trump invite Mr. Rose to the oval office, or Mara-A-Lago, for a long, penetrating, philosophical exploration of the dangers inherent in Newtons Sleep and how these dangers can be averted through LAMP.

Could be historic!

And let me suggest that Secretary DeVos summon Ms. Etlinger to her offices at the US Department of Education to discuss how it is that we “have the potential to make bad decisions far more quickly, efficiently, and with far greater impact than we did in the past” and how best the Secretary can foster “more time on things like the humanities and sociology and the social sciences, rhetoric, philosophy, ethics because they give us context that is so important for Big Data and because they help us become better critical thinkers.”
-----------------
Ralph Benko is an advisor to nonprofit and advocacy organizations, is a member of the Conservative Action Project, a contributor to the contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Forbes, President Trump, Secretary DeVos, STEM, LAMP 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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