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

Friday, April 13, 2018

McCabe & Perjury, Left-wing Exhibitionism

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe 
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: BREAKING NEWS - The Justice Department inspector general's report on fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has been released. The report cites "multiple occasions" in which McCabe "lacked candor, including under oath."

Of course, Attorney General Sessions fired McCabe a few weeks ago, but that is the bare minimum that should happen to him. Last time I checked, perjury was still a crime. Let's hope criminal charges are filed soon.

Left-wing Exhibitionism - As I was reviewing some of the headlines over the past 24 hours, I was struck by the bizarre things so-called "progressive" politicians as well as our cultural and media elites are saying -- even when the cameras are rolling. The left just can't stop exposing itself!

Let's start with James Comey.

A Higher Loyalty? Hardly - Comey's book, entitled "A Higher Loyalty," will be released next week, but excerpts are leaking out now. Imagine that -- Comey is still leaking!

I know the director of the FBI is supposed to consult the Constitution. Of course, he also has plenty of lawyers giving him guidance. But in all my years in Washington, I missed the fact that the director was supposed to consult with Gallup.

According to the New York Times' review of his book:

"Mr. Comey acknowledges that he thought Mrs. Clinton would win the presidency and said it is 'entirely possible' that he decided to reveal that the email investigation had started up again 11 days before the election because he was primarily concerned that if he concealed the renewed investigation, it would make her an 'illegitimate president.'"

So, just like Trump-hating FBI agents Strzok and Page, Comey admits the polls affected his handling of the investigation because he didn't want to cripple the incoming Clinton Administration. Well, it wasn't the president he wanted, but he certainly succeeded in damaging the incoming administration.

Comey clearly wanted Clinton to win. He writes that he is "sorry" Hillary is mad at him. It seems his "higher loyalty" was to the polls and to the professional political class.

There is also a bizarre allegation against former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Comey claims he felt obligated to be the public face of the Clinton investigation because Lynch may have been compromised by a "development still unknown to the American public to this day." He adds that the still classified details would have "cast serious doubt on the attorney general's independence in connection with the Clinton investigation."

Comey also describes a scene in the Oval Office with President Obama after the election. When Obama reaffirmed his faith in Comey, the director tearily replied, "Boy, were those words I needed to hear." He then told Obama, "I dread the next four years."

If that really was Comey's outlook, the honorable thing to do would have been to resign.

What emerges from these excerpts is not the picture of a man dedicated to the rule of law, but that of a bureaucrat dedicated to the "Deep State" and to politics as usual in Washington.

By the way, voters are rapidly losing confidence in Robert Mueller's impartiality too.

Media Madness - If you need a marker of the left's derangement, look no further than Joy Behar. On yesterday's airing of ABC's "The View," Behar declared, "We've gotten to the point in this world now where we have to rely on the sanity of Kim Jong Un and Putin over the president of the United States."

When Megan McCain rejected Behar's "moral relativism," Behar interrupted, saying, "You think that Kim Jong Un is less moral than Trump?"

McCain shot back reminding Behar that America wasn't gassing children and that Putin and Kim are complicit in the Assad regime's atrocities, not to mention Kim's own atrocities.

It is shocking every time you hear Behar and other leftists utter something so ignorant. But, sadly, as I have suggested before, there are many on the left who prefer foreign dictators over Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, it seems there is something in the water over at ABC. In a series of tweets yesterday, Matthew Dowd, the network's political analyst, suggested that President Trump and his supporters were doing "More damage than ISIS has ever done to America."

Dowd should be fired for comparing conservatives to terrorists and murderers.

Senate Circus - CIA Director Mike Pompeo was raked over the coals yesterday during his Senate confirmation hearing to be secretary of state. Many of the questions Democrats asked him were absolutely absurd. But Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) really turned the hearings into a circus.

If you were going to ask questions of the next secretary of State, you might want to know his views on the Iranian nuclear deal or Russia or the situation in the Middle East. Perhaps his thoughts on trade or how to contend with China.

Unbelievably, Sen. Booker was more interested in Pompeo's views on same-sex marriage and whether Muslims were fully cooperating with law enforcement in anti-terrorism investigations.

If Booker doesn't believe we have a problem with radical Islam in this country, I suggest he check out some of the mosques in New Jersey. I can provide him a list of other radical imams who have been preaching hatred in mosques across the country.

Booker didn't realize it, but there was an obvious contradiction in his questioning. Plenty of people of every faith oppose men "marrying" other men. The left thinks it is attacking conservative Christians, but they are also attacking many conservative Jews and Muslims.

My friends, I have repeatedly warned that it will not be enough for the left to merely win the policy debates. It is not enough that homosexuals can now legally marry. The left is forcing Christian business owners to participate in same-sex marriages.

It wants to make orthodox Christian beliefs the equivalent of the KKK. If Booker had his way, Christians who believe in the biblical definition of marriage would be barred from government service.

While we're on the subject of radical Islam, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) condemned Israel earlier this week. Referring to the Hamas-led riots along the Gaza/Israeli border, Warren said:

"I am deeply concerned about the deaths and injuries in Gaza. As additional protests are planned for the coming days, the Israel Defense Forces should exercise restraint and respect the rights of Palestinians to peacefully protest."

The left is going off the rails when it comes to Israel. These are not "peaceful protests." Bernie Sanders defended Hamas' rioting during Passover, and now Warren is siding with Hamas too. Has any leading progressive politician condemned Hamas and demanded that the Palestinians show restraint?

If Sanders and Warren cannot distinguish between peaceful protests and what is happening at the Gaza border, it is hard to take them seriously on any other issue.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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

Comey Admits He Didn't Tell Trump Steele Dossier Was Funded by His Political Opponents

Debra Heine
by Debra Heine: In his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, fired FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not inform President Trump that the Steele dossier was funded by the DNC because it “wasn’t necessary for my goal.”

"Did you tell him that the Steele dossier had been financed by his political opponents?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"No. I didn't," Comey replied. "I didn't even think I used the term 'Steele dossier.' I just talked about additional material."

"Did -- but did he have a right to know that?" the host pressed.

"That it had been financed by his political opponents?" the former FBI director replied. "I don't know the answer to that. I -- it wasn't necessary for my goal, which was to alert him that we had this information."
According to Comey, Trump was "obsessed" with the alleged existence of a video depicting Russian prostitutes urinating on the bed in a Moscow hotel room, and asked him to investigate to reassure Melania.

Comey said in the “20/20” interview that he warned the president against ordering a probe into the allegations in the Steele dossier.

“I said to him, ‘Sir that’s up to you but you want to be careful about that because it might create a narrative that we’re investigating you personally and, second, it’s very difficult to prove something didn’t happen,'” Comey said.

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump's campaign in July of 2016.

Asked if he thought the pee tape was real, Comey replied that "it's possible" -- making it abundantly clear that now, as in January of 2017, conniving Comey's only objective was to embarrass and discredit the president.
The entire interview will run Sunday at 10:00 p.m. on ABC's "20/20."

Tags: Comey Admits, He Didn't Tell Trump, Steele Dossier, Funded by His Political Opponents, Debra Heine, 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!

The De-Policing of America

. . . A street cop’s view of the anti-police state.
by Mark Tapson: Following the controversy of the recent fatal police shooting of a black suspect in California, Democrat lawmakers there have proposed a bill that would change the current “reasonable force” standard to one of “necessary force.” This means that police officers potentially faced with imminent serious injury or death in a confrontation with a suspect would be allowed to shoot only if “there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force,” according to the ACLU, which predictably backs the proposal.

Law enforcement officials representing officers who put their lives on the line every day vehemently oppose this change. Modesto police Chief Galen Carroll, for example, told The Sacramento Bee that the proposed legislation “is a knee-jerk, politically feel-good piece that will not solve the very difficult split-second decisions officers make in very high-stress conditions.”

True, but politically feel-good legislation that will not solve difficult problems is the Democrat Party way, particularly where the problems of law enforcement are concerned. Nothing characterizes the Progressive left today quite like an open contempt for law and order. On every issue, from Black Lives Matter to Antifa to sanctuary states to illegal immigration and more, the left always sides with the lawless.

Exacerbating matters is a left-dominated national news media, which perpetuates the hateful myth that racist police officers across the country are willfully gunning down innocent minorities. The anti-cop animus stoked by that mendacious narrative, coupled with the increasing implementation of racial preference policies born of a social justice agenda, have resulted in a hamstrung police force that all too often resorts now to a strategy of self-protection known as de-policing. That is a phenomenon in which cops avoid pro-active patrolling because they know that if a serious situation goes down, they likely won’t have the support of their own superiors or of the city administration – or even worse, their leaders will actively take the side of the officers’ “victims.” The result is rising violent crime in precisely the areas that need the most policing.

Now one retired cop is speaking out about this dire situation in a very readable new book from Post Hill Press titled De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. As a police officer in the very Progressive haven of Seattle, Washington for 22 years, Steve Pomper was frustrated with how “government-sponsored social justice, liberal political indoctrination camouflaged as law enforcement training, and the lack of public education about police work have cops constantly looking over their shoulders.” That reflexive caution means that officers facing a situation that could easily escalate into a career-ending debacle and a public tarring-and-feathering in an unsympathetic news media now pause and ask themselves, “Should I?” The answer, Pomper notes, has increasingly become, “Why should I?”

To pick just one example of what an extreme impact the current anti-cop, politically correct culture has on an officer’s psyche, Pomper relates the story of a female Chicago police officer who was savagely beaten by a suspect high on PCP. She later told her superintendent that “she thought she was going to die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news.”

“De-policing should scare the hell out of every American,” Pomper writes. “Especially at this critical time when our enemies, ISIS and other Islamist terrorists – not to mention our own criminals – are, in the truest sense of the phrase, hunting Americans in the streets.” Why, he asks, “would the left engage in something so suicidal as marginalizing police officers at a time like this? Because ideology and politics trump all.” Bingo.

That politically correct ideology – identity politics – is force-fed even to the cops themselves. In Pomper’s own Seattle, for example, under a Race and Social Justice Initiative established several years ago, officers are required to attend social justice day camps where they are lectured about white privilege, minority victimhood, and “how unconsciously (and consciously) racist and bigoted cops are – especially white cops. Don’t even try to argue; to argue also means you are even more racist. The left isn’t interested in your point of view.” Similar programs have been instituted on other major cities across the country.

An exasperated Pomper asks, from the perspective of an officer of the law, how can such social justice aims be reconciled with Constitutionally-guaranteed equal justice? “Social justice favors the group. Equal justice favors the individual… Are the police to enforce laws based on treating individuals according to their race, ethnicity, and other nonrelevant factors to level some theoretical playing field? Isn’t this in contravention of the Constitution?” Well, yes, but that never stopped leftist ideologues like Barack Obama, who considers the Constitution a “flawed document” that stands in the way of utopian Progressivism.

Speaking of former President Obama, Pomper is understandably not a fan of the man whose legacy is the fanning of racial flames and a murderous animosity toward police officers. “What are cops supposed to think,” Pomper asks rhetorically, “when an American president invites anti-cop, [Black Lives Matter] radicals to the White House? This is the vehemently anti-law enforcement, pro-Marxist, redistributionist, social justice group largely responsible for promulgating the Ferguson, Missouri, ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ myth – you know, The Washington Post’s 2015 Lie of the Year.”

With a wry sense of humor and a pull-no-punches voice of experience, Steve Pomper’s book De-Policing America is an honest, first-hand, Constitutionally-grounded discussion of topics that know-it-all keyboard warriors debate routinely on social media and in the pages of op-eds across the country: gun rights, hate crimes, gun-free zones, zero tolerance policies, federal government overreach, racial politics, police militarization, and many more. The difference is that the keyboard warriors usually aren’t on the front lines facing the real-world consequences of these issues, and Pomper's former brothers and sisters in blue are.

How can this trend in law enforcement be reversed? One suggestion Pomper makes is for police officers themselves to speak out more, albeit thoughtfully, respectfully, and with eyes wide open about the backlash they are likely to receive, which Pomper himself is familiar with, having spoken out against "liberal tyranny" in several forcefully direct articles (included in the book) for the Seattle Guardian in 2010 and 2011 which drew serious flak. Apart from that, “de-policing will not stop until trust is restored,” Pomper concludes. “Trust, but not as the left frames the issue. Not only trust of a community in its cops, but trust by cops in their communities that the people will support them.”
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Mark Tapson is the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Journalism Fellow on Popular Culture, and the Center's Director of Marketing and Media. He shared this article on FrontPage Mag.

Tags: Mark Tapson, FrontPage Mag, De-Policing of America, Crime, law enforcement, War on Police To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Comey Book: Release the Still Secret Comey Memorandums

by Newt Gingrich: My first reaction to fired FBI Director James Comey’s book is to demand that Rod Rosenstein release the still secret Comey memorandums. After seeing hundreds of pages of Comey’s self-serving version of reality, the American people deserve to see what he actually wrote at the time. I suspect it will undermine a lot of his case. In fact, it is hard to understand why Rosenstein is keeping these memos hidden – unless it weakens the deep state’s case against President Trump.

There are two striking things about the initial leaks of the Comey anti-Trump novel.

I call it a novel because it will be amazingly discredited after the elite media is done fawning over Comey and people actually look at what he wrote and how he positioned himself.

Before you believe what is written in Comey’s book, you should watch this video compiled by the Republican National Committee to remember what leading Democrats said about him in 2016.
Immediately after Comey announced that the FBI had reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in late October, virtually every leading Democrat called him a disgrace and said that he should be fired or resign – from Nancy Pelosi to Chuck Schumer to Bernie Sanders to Harry Reid. Then, miraculously – after Trump fired him and Comey began to attack his former boss – Democrats suddenly considered him a saintly, loyal public servant.

Make no mistake, this book is a work of political fiction in which Saint Comey was perfect in his treatment of Hillary Clinton, perfect in his treatment of President Trump, and perfect in his reflection every time he looked in the mirror.

It is, of course, the angry diatribe of an embittered, fired employee. Anyone who has had to fire someone who was convinced they were right and you were wrong can appreciate the intensity of Comey’s anger. That intensity and that bitterness flows throughout the book.

Comey is a man who lied to Congress about never having leaked documents and then admitted a few weeks later that he had given documents to a college professor friend, specifically so this professor could pass the information to the media – in this case, the New York Times. He told Congress he did this so the media could demand a new independent counsel, who Comey was sure would be Robert Mueller.

Comey is a man who took a now totally discredited dossier written by Christopher Steele to the President and was surprised that the President was shaken by some of the viciously dishonest things written about him in it. Comey also had used this phony document to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrant to eavesdrop on Americans involved in the Trump campaign.

I am sure Comey will make a lot of money as anti-Trump media personalities swoon over him and anti-Trump elites rush to buy his book. Sadly, he will have tarnished the FBI and set a terrible precedent for future directors. After this, if you were president, would you confide in an office which could end up writing a vicious version of your conversations a year later?

Comey will go down in history as the most discredited director of the FBI we have ever had.

Remember that when you watch the self-serving interviews and fawning left-wing media reports.
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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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Historic Democrat Obstruction

President Trump’s Nominees Have Faced 86 Cloture Votes In First 2 Years Vs. 24 For Previous 6 Presidents Combined

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Over and over again, we’ve had to file cloture and exhaust floor time on amply-qualified nominees who then soar through their confirmation votes by lopsided margins…. The numbers speak for themselves.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/11/2018)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Democratic obstruction against nominees is nearly total, most notably including a demand for cloture filings … no matter how minor the position. (Editorial, “Running The Schumer Blockade,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/10/2017)


Number of cloture votes taken in the Senate on judicial and executive nominations in the first two years of a president’s term:


(“Cloture Motions,” U.S. Senate Website, Accessed 4/13/2018)

Notes: Includes judicial nominees and failed cloture votes. Excludes cloture motions waived or vitiated.
  1. Trump: Through April 13, 2018; includes 2 cloture votes on the nomination of Justice Gorsuch.
  2. Clinton: Includes a cloture vote on 5 nominees at once (all of whom were subsequently confirmed by voice vote) and 2 failed cloture votes on the nomination of Sam Brown.

2017 FLASHBACK: Democrats Slowed Cabinet Confirmations ‘To A Historic Degree’>

“Senate Democrats … are slow-walking the installation of Trump’s Cabinet to a historic degree…” (“‘The Senate Is Coming Apart,’” Politico, 2/5/2017)
“Trump’s wait for his major Cabinet picks was nearly the longest in 30 years… The Senate confirmed the last of President Trump’s nominees to lead major Cabinet departments on Thursday… Of the five most recent administrations, only Obama has taken longer to fill out his Cabinet, though Trump was only one day shy of tying that mark.” (“Trump’s Wait For His Major Cabinet Picks Was Nearly The Longest In 30 Years,” The Washington Post, 4/27/2017)

Tags: Historic Democrat Obstruction, President Trump’s Nominees, Have Faced 86 Cloture Votes, In First 2 Years, Vs. 24 For Previous 6 Presidents Combined To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Iron Fistbook . . .

. . . Zuckerberg plays dumb during the congressional hearings while his company, Facebook, works to silence conservatives on its social media platform.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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US Government Spending May Exceed 60% of GDP

by Peter Diekmeyer : US federal government spending is expected to bloat to over $4.7 trillion during fiscal 2020, according to Congressional Budget Office data released this week. However, aggressive accounting may be hiding a far worse situation.

Total spending by the Trump Administration this fiscal year may be more than double what the non-partisan CBO admits. Worse, overall US federal, state and local government spending may exceed 60% of GDP.

So calculates a Chicago-based accounting watchdog. “Government budgeting works on a cash basis,” explains Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. “That enables them to leave many of their expenses and liabilities off the books.” Weinberg, a CPA who has testified before Congress and the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, has been calling out shifty government reporting for nearly two decades.

“Truthful accounting is key for citizens, legislators and the press to understand public finances,” says Weinberg. “Without the right information, it’s hard—if not impossible—to make effective decisions about public policy.”

The scale of the laxness that Weinberg has uncovered is staggering. TIA data suggest that total US government debt currently tops $104 trillion when unfunded liabilities are included, nearly five times as high as the official figures suggest.

Weinberg isn’t alone. In Canada, Al Rosen, a forensic accountant and co-author of Easy Prey Investors, has long claimed that private sector investors are being “systematically swindled out of large amounts of retirement savings” due to inadequate reporting standards.

However, according to Laurence Kotlikoff, it’s governments that are setting the pace. Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, calculates that based on fiscal gap accounting, the US government owes $200 trillion more than it admits.

Bill Bergman, Truth in Accounting’s director of research, notes that while unfunded liability totals are whispered about among insiders, few analysts look at the picture from the expense side.

Bergman calculates that the federal government’s unrecorded social security, Medicare and other debts have increased by $4.7 trillion a year on average for the past decade (unfunded liabilities of $101 trillion at September 2017, less $54.2 trillion when calculated on same basis as of end of 2007, divided by 10).

Analyzing average accruals over longer periods (in this case ten years) is more informative than doing so each year, as interest rate changes (which affect the present costs of future pension and other payments) can cause large fluctuations over the short term. That total of $4.7 trillion, if accounted for properly, would be recorded each year as an accrued expense, and thus the government spending total would increase by a similar amount.

“If you take a cruise on your credit card, and pay it off over 48 months, you incur the expense when you spent the money,” says Bergman. “Governments record the amounts when they pay them out. Private sector businesses could never get away with that.”

The implications of Truth in Accounting’s calculations are staggering. For one, adding the $4.7 trillion in un-accrued liabilities to the $4.7 trillion in spending claimed by the Trump Administration brings total government spending at the federal level alone to an estimated $9.4 trillion. In other words, half of the federal government’s spending is kept off the books.

It gets even more interesting.

The $4.7 trillion in unrecorded expenses that Bergman estimates occur each year, equated to nearly 23% of America’s $20.1 trillion US GDP in 2018 (CBO, budget and economic outlook: 2018 to 2028, page 44).

According to the OECD, total US public sector spending as a percentage of GDP hit 37.6% as far back as 2015. If you add Bergman’s unaccrued expenses total to that number (23% of GDP), this suggests that current US public sector spending accounts for more than 60% of GDP.

A US economy in which public sector spending accounts for more than 60% of GDP can hardly be called free market-based in any sense of the word. That’s a higher total than even socialist France, where government spending comes in at 56.7% of GDP, though Bergman cautions that the French total may also be understated.

While shifty accounting practices are preventing the public from assessing the true picture, the facts appear clear. US federal, state and local governments are quietly eating up the lion’s share of the country’s output.

These dang trillions are flying by so fast, they’re hard to see.
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Peter Diekmeyer article was on Wolf Street and shared by Bill Berbman at Truth in Accounting.

Tags: Bill Bergman, Truth in Accounting, Peter Diekmeyer, US Government Spending, May Exceed, 60% of GDP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Black Political Power Means Zilch

Dr. Walter E. Williams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: It’s often thought to be beyond question that black political power is necessary for economic power and enhanced socio-economic welfare. That’s an idea that lends itself to testing and analysis.

Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. Plus, a black man was elected to the presidency twice. Jason Riley, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, tells how this surge in political power has had little beneficial impact on the black community.

In a PragerU video, “Blacks in Power Don’t Empower Blacks”, Riley says the conventional wisdom was based on the notion that only black politicians could understand and address the challenges facing blacks. Therefore, electing more black city councilors, mayors, representatives and senators was deemed critical. Even some liberal social scientists now disagree. Gary Orfield says, “There may be little relationship between the success of … black leaders and the opportunities of typical black families.” Riley says that while many black politicians achieved considerable personal success, many of their constituents did not.

After the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, riots, which followed the killing of Michael Brown after he charged a policeman, much was made of the small number of blacks on the city’s police force. Riley asks: If the racial composition of the police force is so important, how does one explain the Baltimore riots the following year after Freddie Gray died in police custody? Baltimore’s police force is 40 percent black. Its police commissioner is black. Its mayor is black, as is the majority of the City Council. What can be said of black political power in Baltimore can also be said of Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans. In these cities, blacks have been mayors, police chiefs, city councilors and superintendents of schools for decades.

By contrast, when blacks had little political power, they made significant economic progress. During the 1940s and ’50s, black labor force participation rates exceeded those of whites; black incomes grew much faster than white incomes. Between 1940 and 1950, black poverty rates fell by as much as 40 percent. Between 1940 and 1970, the number of blacks in middle-class professions quadrupled. Keep in mind that was before affirmative action programs. Riley says that racial gaps were narrowing without any special treatment for blacks. After the 1960s, the government began pouring trillions of dollars into various social programs. These programs discouraged marriage and also undermined the work ethic through open-ended welfare programs, helping keep poor people poor.

The fact that political success is not a requirement for socio-economic success — and indeed may have an opposite effect — doesn’t apply only to blacks. American Jews, Italians, Germans, Japanese and Chinese attained economic power long before they had political power. By almost any measure of socio-economic success, Japanese and Chinese are at or near the top. Riley asks, “How many prominent Asian politicians can you name?” By contrast, Irish-Americans have long held significant political power yet were the slowest-rising of all immigrant groups.

Riley says that the black experience in the U.S. has been very different from that of other racial groups. Blacks were enslaved. After emancipation, they faced legal and extralegal discrimination and oppression. But none of those difficulties undermines the proposition that human capital, in the forms of skills and education, is far more important than political capital. Riley adds that the formula for prosperity is the same across the human spectrum. Traditional values — such as marriage, stable families, education and hard work — are immeasurably more important than the color of your mayor, police chief, representatives, senators and president.

As Riley argues in his new book — “False Black Power?” — the major barrier to black progress today is not racial discrimination. The challenge for blacks is to better position themselves to take advantage of existing opportunities, and that involves addressing the anti-social, self-defeating behaviors and habits and attitudes endemic to the black underclass.
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Walter Williams  is 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 Williams, commentary, Black Political Power, Means Zilch To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is Trump Standing Down in Syria?

by Patrick Buchanan: Wednesday morning, President Trump jolted the nation with a tweet that contained both threat and taunt:

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Trump was responding to a warning by Russia that she would shoot down U.S. missiles fired at her Syrian allies, and she reserved the right to fire on U.S. warships and bases from which any such missiles were launched.

The “Gas Killing Animal” was Syrian President Bashar Assad.

That afternoon, Defense Secretary James Mattis dialed it down. Had he seen enough evidence to convict Assad of a poison gas attack in Douma, Mattis was asked. His reply: “We are still assessing the intelligence. … We’re still working on this.”

Thursday morning, Trump seemed to walk back his threat: “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”

Is Trump planning a larger attack and silently gathering allies? Is he signaling that a U.S. attack on Syria may not be coming?

Whichever, the relief at his apparent stand down was palpable.

Yet the interlude should cause some sober second thoughts.

Why risk war with Russia in Syria, when, by our own inaction during this seven-year civil war, we have shown we have no vital interest there? And, surely, we have no interest in Syria so crucial as to justify a war with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Trump allowed his revulsion at the awful pictures of dead children, allegedly gassed, to impel him to threaten military action almost certain to result in more dead children.

Emotions should not be allowed to overrule what the president has thought and expressed many times: While the outcome of Syria’s civil war may mean everything to Assad, and much to Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel, it means comparatively little to a USA 5,000 miles away.

We cannot forever fight other peoples’ wars without ending up on the same ash heap of history as the other world powers before us.

And why not talk directly to our adversaries there?

If Trump can talk to Kim Jong Un, who used an anti-aircraft gun to execute his uncle and had his half-brother murdered in a Malaysian airport with a chemical weapon, why cannot we talk to Bashar Assad?

In 1974, Richard Nixon flew to Damascus to establish ties to Assad’s father, the future “Butcher of Hama.” George H.W. Bush enlisted Hafez al-Assad and 4,000 Syrian troops in his Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.

What are America’s limited interests in Syria in 2018?

Containing al-Qaida, exterminating the ISIS caliphate, and effecting the best deal we can for the Kurds who have been loyal and crucial to our campaign against ISIS. Damascus, Moscow and Tehran are not fighting us on these fronts. For al-Qaida and ISIS are their enemies as well.

As for the political future of Syria, it is not vital to us and not ours to determine. And the efforts of others to have us come fight their wars, while understandable, need to be resisted.

All over this city, and across the Middle East, there are people who wish to conscript U.S. wealth and power to advance their goals and achieve their visions. Having let them succeed so often has diminished us as a superpower from what we were at the end of the Cold War.

This should stop, and the nation knows it.

Among the reasons Democrats nominated Barack Obama and America elected him was that his opponents, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, supported the Iraq War Obama opposed.

Among the reasons the Republican Party nominated Trump and the nation elected him was that he promised to take us out and keep us out of wars like this Syrian civil war.

Is it not ironic that today our War Party, which, almost to a man, loathed Trump and rejected his candidacy, is goading and cheering him on, deeper and deeper into the Syrian quagmire?

Trump is heading into a 60-day period that will go far to determine the fate of his presidency and the future of the Middle East.

If investigators determine that Assad’s forces used poison gas on civilians in Douma, Trump will have to decide whether to repeat the strike he made on Syria, a year ago, and, this time, risk war with Russia.

He will have to decide by May 12 whether the U.S. walks away from the Iran nuclear deal. On May 15 comes the formal move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the 70th anniversary of the birth of Israel and of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” of the Palestinians, and the culmination of the Friday protests in Gaza that have turned so bloody.

We and Mr. Trump are heading into interesting times.
--------------------
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, President Trump, Standing Down, Syria To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Procrastination

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: I often say on my radio program that we spend millions of dollars each year in research studies to validate what most mothers already know. That is certainly the case with the studies attempting to explain why certain people procrastinate.

Andrew Santella writes about this in his book, Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, From Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me. He explains “The Real Reason You Procrastinate” in a recent article in Time magazine.

People who procrastinate often postpone projects in order to have a self-serving excuse. If they wait until the last minute, and do a poor job, they can always say they could have done better if they hadn’t run out of time.

Psychologists have a term for this practice. They call it “self-handicapping.” It is a strategy where people are actually sabotaging their own efforts. It is protection against the ego-crushing consequences of failure. It is worth mentioning that self-handicapping can take many other forms, like substance abuse or lousy sleep habits. But it shows up most prominently when people postpone work on a project.

Psychologists have found that self-handicapping shows up in other ways. For example, students are more likely to postpone studying for a test when they are told that it is a meaningful evaluation of their abilities. They did not exhibit the same behavior if they were told the test was meaningless and was being taken only for fun. Consider this contrast. When the test counted, students procrastinated. When it didn’t count, they diligently prepared.

Procrastination appeals to some because it provides a way of controlling life that seems too chaotic and unmanageable. But it is helpful to note that often procrastination adds to the chaos. It is better to buckle down and get started on the project.
--------------
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Procrastination To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Canary in the Coal Mine is Trying to Get Your Attention!

Canary in the Coal Mine
by Stephanie Curry: At the turn of the century, miners brought canaries deep into coal mines as a test for the toxicity of the surrounding air. Canaries are more sensitive to changes in the air than people. If the air was toxic, the canary would show symptoms before the miners. This gave miners an opportunity to get out of the mine fast, before being poisoned themselves. Nowadays, to talk about the “canary in the coal mine” is to refer to a symbol for anything that can be viewed as an early warning sign for things to come.

Politically, we should all have our eyes on the canary in the mine – California. California’s extreme Leftist politics can often be an indicator of where progressive politics is headed over the next decade. If bad policies are accepted in California, they usually start to spread to other states. For years, California has been testing the atmosphere around “sexual identity politics”.

Right now, California has three bills on the table that have stunned observers around the country.

The first bill is California AB 2943.
This bill has the potential to censor Christian resources like books and conference materials, and even the Gospel itself.

If passed, this bill would outlaw any communication that is seen as an attempt to influence someone away from transgenderism or homosexuality –if that communication involves money passing hands.
The second bill is California AB 1779.This bill would ban mental health care providers from providing counseling that would influence an adult away from transgenderism or homosexuality.

This bill targets adults that have guardians or conservators. Yet, we know many adults with severe disabilities should still have complete autonomy to make decisions about their own bodies and their own sexuality. This bill would take away that right.
The third bill is AB 2119.This bill targets another vulnerable population, foster care children.

The bill would prohibit the state and foster care families from providing services that help a child to embrace their biological sex. Instead, the bill requires only services that affirm the beliefs of a child about their gender, pushing them towards transgenderism and medical treatments.
The primary benefit of the canary is that if something is wrong, it propels the people around it into action. Family Policy Alliance – in concert with our allied state organization, California Family Council – is calling Californians to action to oppose these dangerous bills.

If you live in California, please take action today!

If you live in another state, please pass this along to California friends, and be on the alert for similar schemes that will likely be coming to your state.

Together, let’s stand united in support of the freedom to share our beliefs and, ultimately, the Gospel!
--------------
Stephanie Curry, Esq., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance.

Tags: Canary in the Coal Mine, California, extreme Leftist politics, Stephanie Curry, Family Policy Alliance, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

While the Clock Ticks

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Pushing annual federal spending over a trillion bucks into the red?

It has consequences.

“Our debt is growing, and it’s growing fast,” writes Veronique de Rugy at Reason. “Though it’s a shame that lawmakers passed tax cuts without cutting spending to offset short-term losses in revenue, there’s no doubt that Social Security and Medicare deficits are almost entirely to blame for our impending debt crisis.”

Ms. de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, has a typo in the version of her article that I read (it has probably since been corrected): “Based on current trends, the debt held by the public is set to reach $15.7 trillion by the end of this year and continue rising to $28.7 trillion by 2028.” She surely meant “$25.7 trillion,” since the current debt clock figure shows the U.S. public debt at over $21 trillion. Still, $25.7 seems a bit high . . . but at this point we can leave the exact numbers to the professionals.

We just know that the debt’s too damn high.

As de Rugy explains, it has present as well as future cost. And, yes, entitlements are the biggest problem — but even more than Ms. de Rugy suggests. Congress owes the Social Security “trust fund” (in Al Gore’s infamous and non-existent “lock box”) nearly $3 trillion.

Our solons would have to (painfully) switch from revenue deficits to revenue surpluses just to pay off its debt to a much-relied upon institution.

What will happen, though, is surely this: Congress will borrow more from elsewhere to pay what Social Security needs — which all too soon will be a lot more than $3 trillion.

That’s not Common Sense. (But I am 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, While the Clock Ticks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How President Trump Could Shut Hidden ‘backdoor’ Hardware Threats From China Being Installed On Critical Systems

by Robert Romano: The U.S. is vulnerable to installing imported, vulnerable computer hardware from China and elsewhere with hidden backdoors on critical infrastructure, like the power grid, water systems, hospitals, air traffic control, communications and defense-related systems. And the American people may not find out about it until it is too late and things start getting switched off.

Fortunately, President Donald Trump could do something about it by levying a heavy tariff on technology components that include such unsecure backdoors or are from regions known to produce such backdoors.

In 2016, a group of computer engineers at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor hypothesized that a single circuit could be developed out of millions or billions onto a computer chip to create a “backdoor” to the computer’s operating system. Called an “analog” hack, it proved that “a fabrication-time attacker can leverage analog circuits to create a hardware attack that is small (i.e., requires as little as one gate) and stealthy (i.e., requires an unlikely trigger sequence before effecting a chip’s functionality).”

Unfortunately, because chip manufacturers rely on global supply chains for fabrication and then, necessarily, on post-fabrication testing to detect problems, this leaves virtually every chip vulnerable and highly unlikely to be detected: “this type of testing leaves the door open to malicious modifications since attackers can craft attack triggers requiring a sequence of unlikely events, which will never be encountered by even the most diligent tester.”

The core of the problem identified by the engineers is “Outsourcing of chip fabrication opens up hardware to attack,” such that at any point in the fabrication process this “needle in a haystack” circuit could be introduced by a single employee without detection. The proof of concept on an OR1200 chip suggested that “Experimental results show that our attacks work, show that our attacks elude activation by a diverse set of benchmarks, and suggest that our attacks evade known defenses.” In short, the engineers proved it worked.

Militarized, it is easy to conceive that the U.S. could import the technology that will be used against it, with the power grid, potable water and even the critical nuclear offensive and defensive weapons systems potentially being able to be shut off at the flip of a switch. For years it has been speculated that such malicious circuits could be put onto computer chips by intelligence agencies, but with the University of Michigan study, it suddenly appeared quite viable.

A year later, in May 2017, the Michigan engineers’ worst fears were realized when it was publicly revealed that such an exploit had not only already been found on the Intel family of processor chips on the so-called Intel Management Engine, but had been manufactured tens of millions of times over, effectively proliferating all over the world. As described by the UK Register’s Thomas Claburn: “The firmware-level bugs allow logged-in administrators, and malicious or hijacked high-privilege processes, to run code beneath the operating system to spy on or meddle with the computer completely out of sight of other users and admins. The holes can also be exploited by network administrators, or people masquerading as admins, to remotely infect machines with spyware and invisible rootkits, potentially,” or even commandeer applications.

Security patches have since been developed by Microsoft and others to secure affected systems, and Intel developed a detection tool that can be downloaded to alert a user if their system is affected.

At least one group suggested the bug was intentional. A team of researchers at the London-based Positive Technologies on Aug. 28, 2017 published a study outlining a process that disables the Intel Management Engine that it says it found because it used publicly available utilities to take a peek at the code that makes the Intel chip work, finding a line of code called “High Assurance Platform (HAP) enable”. After Googling the term, the team turned up a 2009 paper from the National Security Agency Commercial Solutions Center about these so-called High Assurance Platforms that utilize commercially available technologies with “additional High Assurance Security mechanisms.” The description in the NSA paper states, “The fusion of commercial initiatives plus trusted software create a ‘High Assurance Platform’ (HAP).” Now, that in itself does not actually prove that the Intel Management Engine was compromised on behalf of intelligence agencies in accordance with being such a platform. But, the team was able to engineer a process that would disable the Intel Management Engine.

Officially, the story is that the bug was actually an unintentional design flaw that was only discovered after several millions of units had already shipped and were in use. According to an official statement from Intel in August 2017, “Intel does not and will not design backdoors for access into its products. Recent reports claiming otherwise are misinformed and blatantly false. Intel does not participate in any efforts to decrease security of its technology.”

In many ways it would be better if the design “flaw” was actually an intentional backdoor, since then at least this occurred in a controlled environment with the awareness and cooperation of the manufacturer with the U.S. government to assist in national security endeavors, meaning government systems were unaffected. Unfortunately, officially, the vulnerable Intel hardware was sold everywhere, everyone bought into it and the vulnerability proliferated across the entire planet, and the manufacturer was unaware. And they might have even been installed on critical systems, including those necessary for functioning national security, if the federal government was unaware of the bug.

Or intelligence agencies could have been aware, but did not alert the manufacturer. Therefore, although outsourcing of technology plays a key role with this problem and insourcing will be a means to solving it, foreign supply chains are not the only problem that must be contended with. With the case of Intel, it shows absolutely that not only can foreign manufacturers subversively include such analog hacks on hardware, so could domestic companies accidentally, and even with the knowledge of the government, then they might not help it get fixed.

Once fabricated and eventually exposed, suddenly tens of millions of chips are available all over the world that can be reverse engineered by hostile state and non-state actors to be exploited, replicated or improved upon. The more these types of products are sold commercially, the more likely more they will be fabricated in ways that are even more surreptitious.

There are other examples, in May 2017, the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team confirmed that Hikvision security cameras, a Chinese manufacturer of video surveillance equipment, had come with hidden backdoors installed on them. Think of that, a security camera that the manufacturer may have wanted to be compromised.

These events could be looked at as the digital equivalent of a near-miss from an asteroid. It’s not merely a possibility or even a probability, but a practical certainty that eventually these types of malicious circuits will be included with a chip operating a critical system vital to national security — and the public might be unaware that it has occurred until it is too late. Why? Because today these types of components are being outsourced and not secured at all aspects of the supply chain.

In March, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that his agency will be voting on blocking U.S. subsidies to companies that purchase Chinese technology, pointing to the danger of hidden back doors. Pai stated, “Threats to national security posed by certain communications equipment providers are a matter of bipartisan concern. Hidden ‘back doors’ to our networks in routers, switches — and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment — can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more.”

Similarly, last month Singapore-based Broadcom was blocked from purchasing tech giant Qualcomm by President Trump, to prevent this very thing from happening. Qualcomm makes components for everything including computers, networks and smart phones.

Clearly this is a priority for the Trump administration, but more needs to be done to create a secure domestic supply chain in light of these national security concerns. Restrictions could be placed on the sale of imported devices that do not meet with U.S. cyber security specifications, either in the form of quotas, tariffs or blocking importation altogether.

Similarly, regulations could be enacted requiring that critical systems funded by the federal government only use components made in America under the new specifications, taking the FCC’s proposal a bit further.

Diplomatic talks can be engaged to formulate an international cyber treaty that could govern the rules of the road, outlawing manufacturing backdoors.

To prevent proliferation, safeguards should be taken to ensure that such backdoors are not similarly deployed by U.S. military and intelligence agencies into commercial products for spying since if and when they are discovered, they can be proliferated and reverse-engineered by foreign adversaries and non-state actors to undermine the very system that is supposed to be concerned with security.

What is clear is that without a proper national technology strategy, of which tariffs and other import controls could play a key role, the U.S. remains vulnerable to installing imported, vulnerable computer hardware on critical infrastructure, like the power grid, water systems, air traffic control, communications, hospitals and defense-related systems, and the American people may not be aware of it until the power grid is shut off, the water system is compromised or planes start falling out of the sky.

It is the equivalent of opening the gates and letting the Trojan Horse inside to enable the Greek soldiers to burn Troy to the ground.

What was merely speculative just a few years ago is now fully realized, with multiple examples of compromised hardware both as a proven concept and millions of sales. A single undetected malicious circuit on a chip, installed on the wrong system, could prove to be devastating to national security and even our constitutional system of government, and the Trump administration, Congress and the tech industry need to act before it is too late.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, President Trump, Shut Hidden ‘backdoor’ Hardware Threats, China, Critical Systems To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bank of America Will Save Us All From Gun Violence!

Editor Comment: Remember when Bank of America was issuing credit cards and bank accounts to undocumented (illegal) aliens under an agreement with Mexico. Belew is some interesting "snark" about BOA taking on so called "gun violence."
----------------
by Eric C. Carver: Bank of America will stop lending to manufacturers of military firearms. Go ahead and breathe that sigh of relief.

Deliverance is upon us.

While we were all seeking shelter from the war zone that is the United States, fearing for our lives while dodging bullets and praying for a relief from all of this unending gun violence, somebody at Bank of America decided to do what our politicians have failed to do: save our lives.

Thank you, Bank of America!

In an attempt to fix the violence that only, ever, in all of human history past and times present happens in the United States, Bank of America (henceforth referred to as BoA, because I require efficiency here) will stop lending money to some makers of military firearms. Some, mind you. Only the ones who are cool enough to kick it with the heroes at BoA will still get loans, I imagine.

I also imagine that this is in response to the surging demonization of the AR-15. Whether that stands for ArmaLite, or assault rifle that fires 15 rounds per second, it matters not. It's a military style murder tool! Thanks to BoA, that murder tool will disappear forever! Finally, a bank that won't lend money to those who support death of innocents.

Tonight, before you go to bed, say a prayer to God (or seek positive energy from the universe, if that's your thing) giving thanks for the courage of BoA being willing to save us from the big, bad, and scary murder tool makers, NRA nutjobs, and especially, the United States of Gun.

Also, while giving thanks, request that they then be granted the courage to stand against knives.
--------------
Eric C. Carver Writes for the The Resurgent.

Tags: Bank of America, saveus, gun violence, snark, Eric C, Carver, The Resugent To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why the Left Is Wrong About Jefferson’s ‘Wall of Separation Between Church and State’

Lathan Watts, the 3rd U.S. president and
author of the Declaration of Independence,
played a vital role in advancing religious liberty.
by Lathan Watts: April 13 marks the 275th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. A renaissance man with a long and accomplished legacy, Jefferson played a major role in the founding of the United States of America—and establishing its strong protections for religious freedom for all.

There can be no better way to celebrate one of America’s greatest statesmen than by reclaiming his legacy of religious liberty and living as boldly as he did in freedom’s defense.

It is sadly ironic that a few select words of Jefferson—the “wall of separation between church and state”—have been abused and distorted today by those seeking to dismantle the foundations of our republic.

Those words appeared in Jefferson’s now infamous letter to the Danbury Baptists, a religious group in Connecticut concerned with its state government’s weak religious liberty protections.

Shortly following his election to the presidency in 1802, Jefferson wrote:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.“Thus building a wall of separation between church and state” is arguably the most abused phrase in American history. This one sentence from Jefferson’s personal correspondence has been uprooted from its original context, used to bludgeon people of faith into civic silence, and even advance government intrusion into the homes of the faithful.

Groups like the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the American Humanist Association, among others have used this phrase as a call to arms in a never-ending litigious assault. Hell bent on exorcising religion from American life, they have no shortage of plaintiffs from sea to shining sea—all faithful congregants at “Our Blessed Mother of the Perpetually Offended.”

Consider a few of the most recent examples in this disturbing trend. These cases are a mere sampling of the hundreds of legal matters First Liberty Institute engages in each year, documented annually in our index on hostility to religion in America, “Undeniable.”

Prayer in Local Government
Two county commissioners—one in Jackson County, Michigan, the other in Rowan County, North Carolina—regularly open their sessions with an invocation led by one of the commissioners. In 2013, an individual activist and the ACLU, respectively, sued the commissioners for supposedly violating the separation of church and state.

Would Jefferson agree with those lawsuits? I doubt it.

As president, Jefferson not only signed bills that appropriated financial support for chaplains in Congress and the military, but he himself attended church services held on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Prayer on the Job
Toni Richardso is an educational technician who works with students with special needs at a public high school in Augusta, Maine. In a conversation at school, she told a co-worker and fellow church member, “I’ll pray for you.”

Her employer, citing the “separation of church and state,” threatened her with disciplinary action up to termination if she continued using such “unprofessional language.”

What would Jefferson think?

While president, Jefferson also served as the chairman of the school board for the District of Columbia, where he authored the first plan of education adopted by the city. His plan used the Bible and Isaac Watts’ hymnal as the principle books to teach reading.

Saying ‘God’ at a Retirement Ceremony
Oscar Rodriguez is a decorated Air Force veteran. While giving a patriotic flag folding speech at a retirement ceremony for fellow airman Chuck Roberson, uniformed airmen assaulted and physically removed Rodriguez from the room because he dared mention the word “God” in his speech.

What was Jefferson’s approach to the role of religion in the military?

In addition to the bills he signed appropriating funds for chaplains in the military, he also signed the Articles of War on April 10, 1806, in which he “earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend divine services.”

A Pioneer for Religious Freedom
In perhaps his most famous written work, the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson exemplified his deep commitment to the divine origin of the rights of each individual in the famous line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In essence, America’s “birth certificate,” as penned by Jefferson, declared that God existed, and that his existence is the basis for all personal, political, and economic rights.

Those who seek to hijack the phrase “separation of church and state” to impose secular humanism on our political life can only do so by willfully turning a blind eye to the volumes of Jefferson’s other writings, as well as his own actions as president. Those actions speak louder than any words.

But even apart from abusing the phrase “separation of church and state,” the left will undoubtedly continue to target people of faith by seeking to undermine their rights of conscience and free exercise of religion.

Jefferson’s victories for religious freedom are our cherished inheritance, and his fight for liberty is now our fight. Now is a time for all Americans—religious or not—to stand up for our first freedom as the bedrock upon which all liberty stands. No better inspiration can be found than Jefferson’s own personal seal, which read, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Those who courageously stand against oppression can do so secure in the knowledge that the author of the Declaration of Independence—and more importantly, the author of our liberty itself—are not neutral in the contest.
--------------
Lathan Watts is director of community relations for First Liberty Institute, a nationwide religious liberty law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty for all.  H/T The Daily Signal.

Tags: Lathan Watts, Thomas Jefferson, Left Is Wrong, Wall of Separation Between Church and StateTo 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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  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
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  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
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  • 10/22/17 - 10/29/17
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  • 11/5/17 - 11/12/17
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  • 11/19/17 - 11/26/17
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  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
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  • 12/31/17 - 1/7/18
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  • 2/18/18 - 2/25/18
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  • 7/22/18 - 7/29/18
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  • 10/21/18 - 10/28/18
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