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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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, August 17, 2018

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

by NRA-ILA: On Thursday, over 300 media outlets joined in a coordinated effort to push back against President Donald Trump. That will hardly come as a shock to many Americans, as it seems mainstream news organizations have done little else throughout his tenure in the White House. Indeed, the stunt was perhaps the most vivid and explicit demonstration to date of the mass groupthink, negative Trump obsession, and narrative of victimhood that characterize the modern media landscape.

The Boston Globe led the campaign, characterizing it as a response to the White House’s “dirty war against the free press.” A senior editor proclaimed: “We are not the enemy of the people.”

On the latter statement, we can at least agree in principle. The Bill of Rights is explicit that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These rights have been broadly interpreted to prohibit government officials and entities of all types from engaging in censorship or suppression of free expression.

Americans should be grateful for those freedoms and protections.

However, the mainstream media has become its own worst enemy by abusing its considerable freedom and squandering whatever goodwill and trust it had with America at large.

In a recent poll of nearly 4,000 Americans, 72% expressed the belief that "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading,” with nearly two-thirds attributing the reporting of fake news to the promotion of an agenda. Democrats polled tended to be significantly more trusting of media, while Republicans or Republican-leaning Independents were significantly less so.

That’s not President Trump’s fault. Americans’ trust in media had been falling long before he took office.

And despite the media’s mass pity party for themselves on Thursday, it’s hard to imagine any administration in history that has been subjected to greater press scrutiny – to say nothing of disrespect and vitriol – than the Trump administration. Any suggestion that Trump’s efforts have somehow cowed or suppressed critical coverage of him would be the ultimate example of “fake news.”

What the media is reacting to is not a “dirty war” against them, but a new landscape in which a few well-established, for-profit corporations who claim the high ground of the First Amendment can no longer co-opt or set the terms of the national debate without expecting their own pushback or scrutiny. Americans have awakened to the fact that the self-proclaimed “guardians of truth” must be viewed with a critical eye, and media watchdogs have more tools than ever before to hold irresponsible journalists accountable and to correct the record.

And, yes, we also have an American president who will use tools of modern communication to bring his messages directly to the people and to aggressively counter the tsunami of negative coverage he faces virtually every minute of every day. For many Americans used to watching their chosen representatives be treated like mute punching bags by a sneering, condescending press loyal to the opposition party, it can be bracing to see one finally standing up for himself.

Gun owners in particular have reason to reject the media’s victimhood narrative. We have seen far too many examples of false and misleading media reporting on firearm and Second Amendment related issues to attribute the phenomenon to mere ignorance or laziness. What follows are just a few of the more egregious examples.

Ironically, the most obvious indictment of the media was their inability to report accurately or insightfully on the biggest political story of the 21st Century to date: the success of Donald J. Trump’s insurgent candidacy for the presidency of the United States. It would be an understatement to say they misjudged the depth of discontent arising from the Obama years, the horror with which many regarded Hillary Clinton, or the desire millions of Americans had for a leader who would unabashedly affirm America’s greatness.

Had gun owners taken reporting on the 2016 election at face value, they might have accepted defeat without even showing up at the polls. Then instead of a pro-gun president, they would have had one who believed the same Supreme Court that declared the right to keep and bear arms a fundamental individual liberty was “wrong on the Second Amendment.” Pro-gun Americans’ ability to trust their own instincts and persevere in the face of what the media suggested were hopeless odds literally changed the course of the nation’s history.

Another monumental falsehood perpetrated by the media is that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the individual right to possess a firearm for self-defense. They did this before the U.S. Supreme Court squarely and conclusively ruled otherwise in 2008 (thereby confirming the prevailing view of the American public), and they’ve continued to do so since then. And to whatever extent they are willing to admit the high court’s precedent makes their own views largely academic, they respond by calling for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment or, more dishonestly, by suggesting that all the gun control they want is completely compatible with it.

But however the media attempt to couch their arguments, they remain nearly unanimous: Congress can and should ban guns, whether that means merely the most popular ones or all of them. Simply put, American gun owners who believe in a robust and meaningful Second Amendment know the mainstream media is and long has been working in the opposite direction. This is a remarkably hypocritical posture for an industry that likes to claim the First Amendment as its mandate and shield.

The third way the media has shown its bias against gun owners is by characterizing them as bad or uncaring people and attacking the NRA in the public square. They have suggested that Americans love their guns more than their own children. They have cast support for gun control (the efficacy of which remains mostly unproven) as a moral imperative. They have called the NRA – and by extension, its millions of law-abiding members – “a terrorist organization” and have accused them of having “blood on their hands” and being responsible for the deaths of innocents. They have advocated for shunning gun owners and the lawful industries that support the Second Amendment, not just in polite society, but through the means of modern commerce. At least one article in the Washington Post even suggested that merely owning a gun makes a person “responsible” for firearm-related violence committed by others.

On top of this are nearly daily examples of reporters’ laughable ignorance, fear-mongering, shady factual claims, and transparently biased “fact-checking” regarding firearms and firearm-related violence in the U.S.

The overall picture is of a media apparatus lacking in judgement, professionalism, trustworthiness, and familiarity with the lives and values of millions of ordinary Americans.

To be sure, there are exceptions, and some reporters work diligently and ethically to report accurate information, even when it goes against the conventional wisdom of their colleagues.

But journalists fretting over their public image have more to fear in the practices of their peers than in any characterizations of their profession coming from the White House. If they want to counter the narrative that they are blindly and single-mindedly focused on hounding a president from office at any cost, openly colluding to scold him for rhetoric that merely mirrors their own contempt may not be the best place to start.
NRA-ILA article.

Tags: Fake Blues, Media’s Worst Enemy, Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves 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 Democrats Have No Idea What Demons They Are Unleashing

by Newt Gingrich: A few weeks ago, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) wrote an article for Vox explaining the movement’s goals – to end capitalism and radically change America.

In normal times, the declarations of a fringe party and ideology in America would not merit much attention. However, these are not normal times. A new Gallup poll shows that more Democrats have a favorable view of socialism than capitalism.

This pattern has been building for a while. Senator Bernie Sanders took socialism mainstream in the party during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Since then, Democratic Party candidates have been increasingly attaching themselves to the ideology. Most notably, a telegenic young member of the Democratic Socialists of America named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated a senior Democrat in New York’s 14th Congressional District and has since been on a whirlwind media tour, spreading the gospel of socialism.

So, the Vox article (or manifesto) is worth taking seriously.

Reading it, I was struck by two things.

First, it was remarkably honest.

The writer, Meagan Day, a member of the East Bay Chapter of DSA, explicitly debunks the apologists in the mainstream media trying to paper over the group’s radicalism. She quotes several prominent news “analysts” who argue that Democratic Socialism is just New Deal liberalism rebranded. She then dumps a bucket of cold water on them, writing, “[i]n the long run, Democratic Socialists want to end capitalism.”

In fact, she writes that the liberal, big government reforms which the movement has chosen to rally behind in partnership with the Democratic Party are simply stepping stones to this eventual goal.

“Social democratic reforms like Medicare-for-all are, in the eyes of DSA, part of the long, uneven process of building that support, and eventually overthrowing capitalism,” she writes.
This explicit goal of ending capitalism makes clear what Ocasio-Cortez meant when she said cryptically in a recent interview, that “[c]apitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world.”

This is a clear threat to the system which has made us prosperous and the envy of the world, but I appreciate the honesty. Ultimately, the United States is a democratic republic. If Day, Ocasio-Cortez, and Senator Bernie Sanders want to try and convince most Americans to end capitalism and embrace a planned, totally redistributionist economy, they are welcome to use the democratic process to do so. It is up to those of us who know better to convince Americans of socialism’s folly (more on that in a later newsletter).

However, the second notable item in Day’s article suggests that Democratic Socialists don’t value democracy all that much. Day also identified herself as a staff writer at a New York-based, socialist magazine called Jacobin. In fact, several members of the Democratic Socialists of America are writers and editors at Jacobin magazine.

A magazine that would enthusiastically embrace this title is signaling that, like socialist movements of the past, the DSA is willing to drop the “democratic” part of their moniker and instead rely on the traditional method for socialist revolution – bloodshed, violence, and tyranny.

The Jacobins were the most violent and radical political group of the French Revolution. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the group responded to a growing backlash against the revolution by executing anyone their so-called Committee of Public Safety deemed insufficiently loyal. The Jacobin clubs located throughout the country were used as a secret police force to root out dissent among politicians and the general populace alike. Historian Timothy Tackett estimates that almost 40,000 people were killed under the Jacobin control of the French government. Many were beheaded by guillotine in a grotesque public spectacle after a show trial, and others were brutally executed with firearms. In the case of one period in the city of Lyon, people were executed en masse by cannon fire. This period of carnage was known as the Reign of Terror.

A few years ago, Callista and I saw Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Washington National Opera. It is a moving, true story of the Carmelite Nuns who refused to denounce Christ at the peak of the Reign of Terror. (The French Revolution was virulently anti-Catholic – many churches were closed and reopened as “Temples of Reason.”) The nuns were beheaded for their unwillingness to denounce their faith. Moments before the guillotine dropped, they displayed the power of God’s love by singing hymns and renewing their vows.

A few years later we visited the Picpus Cemetery in Paris. It holds the graves of the martyred nuns and more than 1,300 victims of the Terror in a six-week period of 1794. It is a very sober reminder of what the Jacobins did during the Reign of Terror. It is not a record for which any American should advocate.

Christopher Hibbert’s The French Revolution contains more vivid details of the horrors the Jacobins inflicted upon the people of France. In one instance, he writes, “a woman was charged with the heinous crime of having wept at the execution of her husband. She was condemned to sit several hours under the suspended blade which shed upon her, drop by drop, the blood of the deceased whose corpse was above her on the scaffold before she was released by death from her agony.”

Make no mistake: This is the history of violent revolution, religious oppression, and dictatorship that Jacobin magazine, the DSA, and opportunistic Democrats are embracing – whether they know it or not. Senator Sanders, and more have recently shared articles from Jacobin magazine on their social media accounts. Representative Keith Ellison once sent a Jacobin piece to everyone in Congress.

It is hard to imagine a modern-day Reign of Terror happening in America. But consider the recent phenomenon of outrage mobs on social media demanding people be fired and ostracized for expressing un-PC points of view. Think about the left-wing activists taking over classrooms to prevent conservative voices from speaking. Think about the rash of people being attacked for wearing MAGA hats. Think about the violence of Antifa.

Perhaps it is not so difficult to imagine.

While I do not know Ocasio-Cortez, I have interacted with Senator Sanders numerous times in my career. He is an earnest guy, and I seriously doubt he would countenance violence in pursuit of his socialist goals.

He should keep in mind, however, that the Jacobins eventually turned on Robespierre (in fact they executed him). So perhaps Senator Sanders and the other Democrats rushing to embrace Democratic Socialism should be a little more careful about the demons they are unleashing to win elections.
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.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Democrats, No Idea, What Demons, Unleashing, Democratic Socialists of America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Cyclists Claimed Evil Was 'Make-Believe,' Killed In Trip Through ISIS Territory

. . . Pray for ther families in their time of bereavement and sorrow .
by Holly Matkin: Americans Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were murdered in an ISIS-claimed attack in Tajikistan on July 29.

Khatlon Oblast, Tajikistan – An idealistic District of Columbia couple, who embarked on a bicycle trip through Africa, Europe and Asia with the belief that evil was “make-believe concept,” was murdered in an ISIS-claimed attack on July 29 (video below).

The attack occurred on day 369 of their journey.

Jay Austin and his girlfriend, Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, were riding with a small group of five other tourists on a rural stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan, The New York Times reported.

Although the U.S. State Department travel advisory for the area was at the lowest level on that day, the predominantly Muslim region borders Afghanistan, which has been designated as a “do not travel” area by the State Department, The Washington Post reported.

The area is generally safe for Western tourists, but is still “very much a dysfunctional state” with many corrupt border officials, a repressive central government, and a severely economically disadvantaged population, Paul Stronski, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told The Washington Post.

A brief cell phone video showed a Daewoo sedan as it passed by the cyclists. The vehicle suddenly made a sharp U-turn, then headed back towards the group before it slammed into them.

After running over the riders and their bikes, the five terrorists jumped out of the vehicle and stabbed the victims before fleeing the scene, CBS News reported.

The remaining three injured cyclists received medial assistance, the New York Post reported.

Tajik authorities blamed the attack on a domestic Islamic separatist group, but ISIS subsequently released a video that showed the purported attackers sitting in front of an ISIS flag as they vowed to kill “disbelievers,” The New York Times reported.

“It shows that these individuals are more than just inspired,” Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism told The New York Times. “They are not necessarily directed by ISIS, but they are clearly more than inspired.”

The Tajik Interior Ministry later released a statement that included photographs of four dead men accused of being involved in the attack. Several other men who were taken into custody were also shown in the statement.

According to their joint blog, Austin and Geoghegan embarked on their journey in July of 2017, after they became disillusioned with their conventional, well-paying jobs and left them behind in order to travel the world.

“There’s magic out there, in this great big beautiful world,” Austin chronicled in the Simply Cycling blog.

“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” he wrote, according to The New York Times. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”

Instead of using a vehicle, the pair chose to undergo their voyage by bicycle due, in part, to the “vulnerability” they were forced to experience on the bikes.

“With that vulnerability comes immense generosity: good folks who will recognize your helplessness and recognize that you need assistance in one form or another and offer it in spades,” Austin wrote.

The idealistic couple blew off the potential threats to their safety, and said they believed “evil” did not truly exist.

“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” their blog read. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.

“I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own…By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

“No greater revelation has come from our journey than this,” Austin wrote.

You can watch cell phone footage of the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on the cyclists in the video below:
Holly Matkins is a former probation and parole officer. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, Distinctly Montana magazineand Blue Lives Matter.

Tags: cyclists, Jay Austin, Lauren Geoghegan, claimed ISIS, evil, make believe, murdered, ISIS-claimed attack, Tajikistan, Holly Matkins, Blue Lives Matter 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 So Worried, Cuomo's Ticket Out, Denial, Values Voter Summit

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Why So Worried? There have been some curious developments in the investigation into the deep state's meddling in the 2016 election.

Investigative reporter Sara Carter notes that ex-British spy Christopher Steele sent a frantic message to Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr in March 2017 -- just as then-FBI Direct James Comey was about to testify before Congress. Steele's message: "We're a bit apprehensive given scheduled appearance at Congress. . . Hoping that important firewalls will hold."

Yesterday, Fox News reported that congressional investigators also have found this note from Ohr regarding Steele's concerns after Comey was fired: "very concerned (abt) about Comey's firing -- afraid they will be exposed."

Granted, there is considerable context missing here. But Steele and Ohr certainly do not sound like two government officials who are hoping the truth about their work becomes known. What exactly did they do that has them so worried about exposure and firewalls?

Cuomo's Ticket Out - After his remark this week questioning America's greatness, New York GOP officials bought Governor Andrew Cuomo a one-way bus ticket to Canada. Not a bad investment for $55.

I love the impulse. Hopefully, Donald Trump's fighting spirit is beginning to catch on with the rest of the party.

But why Canada? Why not send Cuomo to some place where he could gain a better appreciation for how great America truly is?

How about Cuba, where socialism often leads to shortages . . . of toilet paper among other things.

Or perhaps Venezuela, where the "Maduro Diet" -- that would be starvation as a result of socialism -- is helping to fight the obesity epidemic in the West.

Since he's so concerned about helping women achieve their "full potential," maybe we should send Mr. Cuomo to Iran -- where women are persecuted for refusing to wear the veil.

But I have a better idea. Being an eternal optimist, I think Mr. Cuomo might still be redeemable. (Unlike Hillary and the rest of the intolerant left, I don't want to write-off half the country.)

I suggest we sponsor a guided tour of Arlington National Cemetery. There Mr. Cuomo can see many, many names of men and women who had no doubt about America's greatness when they laid down their lives for our country.

Denial - You may have missed a big story out of England this week. It got some coverage here, but was quickly eclipsed by frenzied reports of secret tapes and a canceled security clearance.

A man in London duplicated the attacks we have seen throughout much of Europe lately when he attempted to drive his car into a crowd of pedestrians and through the barriers that protect the British Houses of Parliament.

Initially our media, including Fox News, reported that "a man" carried out the attack. Some British media reported that a chap "from the Midlands" -- that's like saying the "Midwest" here -- carried out the attack. (Really helpful.)

It took a few days, but we now know that the "man" is named Salih Khater. He is a Sudanese refugee, and he lives in Birmingham -- a hotbed of jihadism.

There is no doubt about what this was, but the denial in the West is getting worse. Unfortunately, the reaction to the attack is just as bizarre.

In gun-controlled London, thugs who can't get guns are using knives. There has been a massive number of knifings. In fact, London's murder rate is worse than New York City's as a result of the "surge of stabbings." Another horrifying trend across England has been acid attacks. They are now happening daily.

But, after this week's terror attack, London Mayor Sadiq Khan had the really "brilliant" idea of . . . banning cars!

The only ban that might actually work would be to ban people on the terrorist watch list. But you should really ignore the word "watch." The list is so large that no government in Europe could possible watch them all.

But let's bring this back to America. Just this week, we have learned that:One of the Muslim extremists at the New Mexico compound has been living in the U.S. illegally for 20 years.

A Texas jury sentenced a Jordanian man to death for the "honor-killing" of his daughter's Christian husband and her best friend.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah "sleeper cells" are operating in the U.S.

An ISIS fighter was arrested in the "sanctuary state" of California. He came to this country as a refugee in 2014. (ISIS told us they were using the refugee system to smuggle fighters into the West. It's a serious problem in Europe too.)
You would think that the arrest of an ISIS fighter who entered the country through the refugee program would be big news. Any of these stories should be big news.

But, of course, Big Media isn't interested because they don't want to admit that President Trump might be right about the need for extreme vetting, border security and serious immigration reform.

Good News: Walmart: Best Economy In Two Decades

100 Manufacturers Expand Thanks To Trump Tax Cuts

China May Be Ready To Talk About Trade

Youth Unemployment Hits 52-Year Low

And my favorite: Senate Confirms 2 More Trump Judges, Stacking Circuit Courts With Conservative Picks

Join Me In D.C. - Join me in our nation's capital September 21st – 23rd for the 2018 Values Voter Summit!

Vice President Mike Pence said, "The Values Voter Summit [is] the greatest gathering of conservative pro-family Americans in the nation." And he is absolutely right!

That is why American Values, my non-profit public policy organization, has been a proud sponsor of the Summit every year.

This year's Summit features an incredible lineup of speakers, including:David & Jason Benham
Dr. Bill Bennett
Gov. Matt Bevin
Brigitte Gabriel
Dr. Sebastian Gorka
Rep. Mark Meadows
Lt. Col. Oliver North
Dr. Everett Piper
Rep. Steve Scalise
And Many More!
There will be educational and informative breakout sessions, as well as a gala dinner honoring my good friend former Congressman Frank Wolf for his years of leadership on religious liberty issues.

American Values will be hosting a special luncheon Saturday, September 22nd.

Seats are going fast, so register today.

I look forward to seeing you there!
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, Why So Worried, Cuomo's Ticket Out, Denial, Values Voter Summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Cuomo's Animus for America's Founding Values

. . . Democrats reject America's greatness because they don't believe in American exceptionalism.
by Thomas Gallatin: “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” declared Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday. His statement, clearly intended as a political jab at President Donald Trump and his popular “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, sparked outrage across the nation. Trump was quick to react, stating, “Can you believe this is the Governor of the Highest Taxed State in the U.S., Andrew Cuomo, having a total meltdown!” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who is currently running for governor of Florida, called Cuomo’s comments “absurd,” arguing, “We’ve done things that no other country has done. I think the country’s a great country.” He added, “I think we are on the right track now more than we were the last eight years. New York is on the wrong track, and people are fleeing his state because of his bad policies.” Fact check: True.

But honestly, Cuomo’s comments are merely par for the course for Democrat Party leaders. They’ve been regularly expressing this sentiment for the better part of 20 years. Hillary Clinton essentially said the same thing when she called half of America a “basket of deplorables” (arguably the remark that best exposed her hatred of America’s foundational values).

A cursory look at the modern Democrat Party’s political platform speaks volumes to its low opinion of America’s greatness. As the Left further cements its takeover of Thomas Jefferson’s party, it ironically acts in opposition to those very values upon which its own party and this great nation were founded — namely Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Democrats’ growing preference for socialism while calling for greater limits on capitalism has fast become the party’s political guiding vision.

The truth is Democrats have been singing this tune for some time now. Who can forget Michelle Obama’s “for the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country” remark upon the election of her husband? Speaking of her husband, Barack Obama’s view of the U.S. was overtly negative, as he often blamed America for causing much of the world’s ills. He rarely seemed to have anything positive to say about our nation’s history or her exceptionalism. In fact, he sought to fundamentally transform the country into a nation that conformed to his leftist ideals, while regularly seeking to subvert the Rule of Law enshrined by the Constitution — often circumventing Congress to do so. To modern leftist Democrats, America is the problem, not the solution. To them, America is not Ronald Reagan’s “shining city upon a hill.”

To be a Democrat today is to oppose the very essence of the values that created this great nation in the first place. That is why they cannot admit that America was ever a great nation, let alone that it continues to be one.
Thomas Gallatin is a Features Editor for The Patriot Post.

Tags: Democrats, socialism, Andrew Cuomo, Donald Trump, Left, Cuomo's Animus. for America, Founding Values To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

New Lawsuit Filed Over Massachusetts Attorney General’s ‘Assault Weapon’ Expansion

by Tom Knighton: The attorney general of a state is supposed to uphold the laws of that state. Their purpose isn’t to create anything, only to enforce the laws on the books to the best of their ability. It doesn’t even matter whether they agree with the law in most cases. They’re supposed to deal with what’s there, not what they wish was there.

In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey has forgotten that little tidbit. Instead, she thinks she has the power to craft law wholesale.

It’s a mistake that has led to a new lawsuit against her and the state.
Baystate Firearms, of Peabody, and Cape Gun Works, of Hyannis, filed their challenge in a Suffolk County court on Wednesday to Healey’s 2016 enforcement action. The shops argue that instead of enforcing the state’s “assault weapon” ban as written, Healey issued an “entirely new interpretation” of the law that deemed some constitutionally protected firearms once considered “Massachusetts compliant” as illegal.

Just over a year after taking office, Healey announced she was ratcheting up enforcement of the state’s assault weapon ban by targeting “copycat” guns whose actions were similar or interchangeable to AR-15s and AK-47s but otherwise met legal requirements by being sold without features such as a flash suppressor, bayonet lug or telescoping stock. She contended as many as 10,000 such rifles were sold in the Commonwealth in 2015.

The lawsuit filed this week argues that the state lawmakers who crafted the current law only allowed a “features test” similar to the now-expired federal assault weapon ban, not a similarity test, which was only added by Healey without legislation or public input.

Although not named as a plaintiff, the lawsuit is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who has argued the new interpretation by Healey compromised the retailers’ livelihoods without increasing public safety. Larry Keane, the organization’s senior vice president and general counsel, said that Healey and her staff “clearly overreached their statutory authority and decided to legislate from that office without the benefit of any public process and in total disregard of 18 years of Massachusetts firearm law, under which firearm retailers operated.”
The issue here is that Healey has basically banned guns by fiat, rather than urging lawmakers to use the correct procedures.

What’s bizarre is that Healey did this in a state where banning guns is almost as popular a pastime as baseball or football. She couldn’t find anti-gun lawmakers who would deal with these supposed copycat firearms?

Of course, she could. It’s not really about the guns for Healey. No, I’d wager that it’s really about making sure people know just how anti-gun she is. She’s likely trying to establish her bona fides before seeking higher office in the future. “As attorney general, Maura Healey fought to crack down on copycat guns meant to skirt common sense gun regulations,” sounds awfully good in a campaign ad in an anti-gun state, right?

The problem is, she doesn’t have the authority to decide other guns are illegal when they actually comply with the law.

This is one lawsuit that needs to be fought, needs to be won, and needs to see Healey smacked down and reminded of what the hell her job actually is.
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia.

Tags: New Lawsuit, Filed, Massachusetts, Attorney General, ,Assault Weapon, Expansion To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Organized Death In The Netherlands

. . . When “the time is right” for assisted suicide.
by Bruce Bawer: Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are becoming legalized – and normalized – in more and more jurisdictions around the world. While originally intended to allow a swift and painless death for patients with terminal illnesses, they're increasingly being used to end the lives of people who are perfectly healthy. What's the difference between these two practices? In euthanasia the doctor takes the lead; in physician-assisted suicide, as the term suggests, the doctor stands by and helps out. Euthanasia, in turn, can be broken down into categories. It can be voluntary or involuntary, passive (withholding treatment) or active (for example, administering a lethal drug). In practice, it's not always easy to draw lines between one of these things and another, and legal definitions vary from one nation to another.

When I wrote about this topic for Front Page in 2014, active euthanasia was allowed in three countries in the world: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Now, it's also permitted in Colombia and Canada, with India allowing passive euthanasia. In several other nations and U.S. jurisdictions – namely Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Washington state, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, California, and the District of Columbia – euthanasia is illegal but physician-assisted suicide is permitted. It should also be pointed out that in many countries with socialized health-care systems, while technically forbidding euthanasia or assisted suicide, have what may fairly be described as death panels, which effectively condemn patients to death by denying them life-saving treatments in cases when the cost to the government is deemed to be too steep in comparison to the benefits accorded to the patient.

There's more. The Netherlands and Belgium don't just allow euthanasia for adults. In those countries, terminally ill persons as young as twelve years old may also choose to be put to death. Then there are the cases of people who aren't physically unwell but are nonetheless considered expendable. In both the Netherlands and Belgium, people whose only illness is psychological are allowed to check out with the help of a doctor. In an article published in March, Cassy Fiano-Chesser wrote about a 29-year-old Dutchwoman named Aurelia Brouwers, who “suffered from anxiety, eating disorders, depression, psychosis, and a history of self-harm.” Brouwers asked to be put to death, and her doctors complied.

There's no excuse whatsoever for this. It's extremely common for people with serious psychiatric issues to either try to off themselves or to ask to be taken out. Responsible doctors don't help them cross the bar; they try to help them get better. But that's apparently an old-fashioned view in the Netherlands, where abetting the self-slaughter of the mentally unstable is a growth industry: in 2012, there were 12 assisted suicides of mentally ill persons; in 2014, 43; in 2016, 64; in 2017, 83. In addition, 169 people in the Netherlands were euthanized last year on the grounds that they were afflicted with dementia, even though most of them were in the early stages of memory loss. In the Netherlands, Fiano-Chesser notes, “people have been euthanized for being autistic, suicidal victims of sexual abuse, or addicts. Other victims have suffered delusions or heard voices.”

Fiano-Chesser quoted a Dutch doctor who had supported the ratification of his country's assisted-suicide law but who changed his mind pronto after seeing how broadly and casually it was implemented. “Supply has created demand,” he warned. “We’re getting used to euthanasia, that is exactly what should not happen. We’re no longer speaking about the exceptional situations that the law was created for, but a gradual process towards organised death.” In response to these gruesome developments in the Netherlands (and in Belgium as well), the American Psychiatric Association has condemned the physician-assisted suicide of mentally ill individuals, with Dr. Mark Komrad, a member of that organization's ethics committee, telling Fiano-Chesser that in every country that allows physician-assisted suicide, the same kind of chilling mission creep has been observed: laws originally intended solely to permit doctors to dispatch the terminally ill have eventually been invoked to justify the snuffing out of people who are in tip-top physical shape, especially psychiatric patients.

It is, indeed, a slippery slope. In January of last year, Fiano-Chesser reported on the case of a 74-year-old Dutch woman with dementia who had supposedly stated at some earlier date that she wanted to undergo assisted suicide when “the time is right” – although she had apparently never signed any document to that effect, or at least not a document that clearly spelled out the conditions under which she would allow herself to be extinguished. Eventually her dementia progressed to the point at which a physician at her nursing home decided that it was time for her to cash in her chips. Her family agreed, even though the woman herself had of late “repeatedly said that she didn't want to die.”

The physician instructed a female colleague to finish the patient off, but the patient herself proved uncooperative, struggling so much when the lady doctor tried to administer the lethal injection that the latter had to ask the patient's family “to hold her down” while she stuck the needle in. An official panel later pronounced that the killer (sorry, the doctor) had acted “in good faith,” but – and here's the one bright spot in this entire litany of horror stories – a regional review committee has now said that she acted unethically and has sent her case on to yet another board. (This, by the way, is how cases of medical abuse or negligence are handled in many countries with socialized medicine: the law doesn't provide you with the option of suing for malpractice, so your fate is in the hands of boards, panels, and committees made up of the defendant's colleagues, who, in a small country, are very likely to consist of his or her friends, ex-professors, or former students.)

In my 2014 article, I pondered the kind of mentality that embraces euthanasia not merely as a dreaded last resort in the grimmest of terminal cases but as an instant solution to a wide range of human ills. “What we are dealing with here,” I wrote,
is people who are certain that they are noble and good. They believe in the cycle of life. They believe in quality of life. They just don't happen to believe in the individual life. In fact, they view the individual life as getting in the way of things they value more....They regard people who focus on the individual life as childlike sentimentalists who don't grasp that every individual life is only part of a larger design, a “bigger picture,” and should be extinguished the moment it becomes burdensome or inconvenient.These people, I was quick to add, would likely deny that they're indifferent to the individual life. They'd say that they just believe that an individual life loses its value when that individual's health or living conditions or other circumstances deviate too far from perfection. What is frightening, of course, is that the degree of deviation that they're willing to permit is steadily shriveling, and the list of afflictions that they consider severe enough to warrant death is growing longer by the year.
Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins. His article was in FrontPage.Mag, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

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Leading Cause of Death for Black Americans?

. . . Not Police, But Abortions
Protect babies -
don't abort them!
by Shawn: If the NFL’s social justice squad wants to kneel for something, maybe they would be better off protesting Planned Parenthood instead of police. Because according to a new report from the University of North Carolina, abortion is responsible for far more death and carnage than American law enforcement officers. Wonder why we don’t hear much about that in the media.

The new study says that abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for a shocking 61% of deaths among African Americans. Using data from 2009, the latest from which all the relevant information is available, the researchers found that abortion accounts for more than one million American deaths each year, putting it far beyond commonly cited causes like heart disease and cancer. Overall, it is responsible for 32.1% of all deaths in the United States. Of course, that figure means nothing to the left, which refuses to see the killing of an unborn baby for what it is. Just meaningless tissue and blood.

The UNC researchers pointed this fact out, saying that abortion-caused deaths are kept out of official mortality rates because of the political/ideological nature of the abortion debate and not for any valid scientific purpose.

“The exclusion of a major cause of death, especially one with large racial and ethnic disparities, should be a major concern to the scientific community and society as a whole,” the researchers wrote. “As a cause of death – the major one for Hispanics and African Americans – abortion would be at the top of the scientific agenda in the U.S., and with a funding priority consistent with its importance.”

Unfortunately, the propaganda is strong on the left when it comes to abortion. They’ve drawn a line in the sand and have decided that this is entirely a “women’s health” issue that has nothing to do with the actual baby growing in the womb. They can’t afford to give any ground whatsoever when it comes to this viewpoint, because the second you recognize that this is a viable, burgeoning life, abortion becomes nothing less than homicide. That defeats all of the Democrat messaging, which tells us this is about free, independent women and has nothing at all to do with murder.

It just shows you the power of nonstop brainwashing that a decent percentage of Americans actually buy into this insanity.
Shawn writes for Fix The Nation.

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John Brennan Voted For A Communist, . . .

... A Party Run By The Russians, Why Don't Russiagaters Care?
by Daniel Greenfield: Russiagate conspiracy theorists are throwing their usual fit over Trump pulling John Brennan's security clearance. Also known as Thursday. Brennan, Obama's CIA boss, had left behind a trail of problematic behavior. But, by his own admission, he should never have had a security clearance in the first place.

Despite the Cold War, Brennan had admitted to voting for a Communist Party candidate. The Communist Party, at the time, was under the control of the Russians.

And yet the Russiagaters, the same people who won't stop seeing Russians under every bed, not only don't care, but back a man who had supported a Russian takeover of the United States.

That is a huge problem.U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Anthony Tata (Ret.) said President Trump was justified in revoking the security clearance of John Brennan, who Tata described as a "clear and present danger" to the nation.

Trump on Wednesday revoked the former CIA director's clearance, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced, saying Brennan "has a history that calls his credibility into question."

Tata questioned Brennan's record as CIA director, on everything from the Iran nuclear deal to ISIS to Russian election meddling.

He also noted that Brennan has repeatedly called for Trump to be removed from office, noting that question 29 on the security clearance form asks, "Have you ever supported overthrowing the U.S. government?"

"I think that John Brennan is a clear and present danger and a threat to this nation," Tata said. "He supports the overthrow of this particular president, and he needed to have his access to information revoked."
Russiagaters claim to be worried about Russian influence, yet they have no problem with Russian influence over Brennan. The contradictions and hypocrisies here are both clear and obvious.
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focuses on Islamic terrorism and the radical left. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

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Defense Audit Provides Improved Accounting For Spending, Inventories

by Jim Garamone, DoD News: The Defense Department audit that is underway will allow leaders in the White House, the Pentagon and Congress to find better ways to account for taxpayers’ dollars, DoD’s chief financial officer said yesterday.

Defense Department Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer David L. Norquist briefs reporters.

In an interview with WGAN radio in Portland, Maine, Pentagon Comptroller David L. Norquist said the audit’s results should be available in the fall.

“We normally have audits of individual programs, but this one is the entire department, so it verifies account, location, condition of our inventory, all the equipment, test for security vulnerabilities and validating personnel records and payments,” he said.

Next year’s fiscal year defense budget, for example, is set at $717 billion. The audit looks at all property, all equipment and all personnel, and it ensures accountability and provides transparency for the American taxpayer, the chief financial officer said.

Annual Audit
Thousands of DoD auditors worldwide are involved in the process, Norquist said, and the department will do this every year. He said the audit invariably will find faults that will need to be corrected. Having an audit allows leaders to make changes and then ensure those changes are doing what is intended, Norquist said.

“One of the things that often happens with audits is the public goes, ‘Well, what became of it?’” he said. “‘What did people do?’” Each year, he said, the public will see what the findings were, what was fixed and what remains to be done. “So it’ll be an annual process, and as I like to say to the workforce, it will go on as long as we both shall live,” Norquist said.

Audits are valuable in that they find challenges, he said. “Often, those are areas where people are doing things manually or the data is not compatible,” he added, “and when you streamline them, you get more efficiencies [and] you get more savings.”

Navy Savings
Already, he said, the Navy saved $65 million by transmitting things in a more automated and complete format. “We expect to see more of that across the organization,” Norquist said.

Another result, he said, is the organization gets better data quality for decision making.

“When getting ready for the audit, the Army identified 39 Black Hawk helicopters that were not properly in its property system,” Norquist said. “Now, the person who had them knew they were there, but if the department was looking across its inventory, it would not have seen [them].”

The audit also is part of implementing the new National Defense Strategy, Norquist said, noting that the strategy shifts DoD’s focus to developing the capabilities needed to prevail in high-end conflicts against China and Russia.

“And so, you’ll see a series of investments that followed in that,” Norquist said, “and this received a great deal of bipartisan support.”
Jim Garamone ( @garamonedodnews) is a Reporter for DoD News which provides news and feature articles for the U.S. Department of Defense's website.

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Has Trump Delivered on His Economic Promises?

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Is President Trump fulfilling candidate Trump's promises?

You can make a case that he is, based on some surprising and widely unexpected economic developments. Vice President Mike Pence, writing in The Des Moines Register, put it succinctly: "The evidence is clear: America is back." He adds, "It's no accident."

Pence and other Trump enthusiasts can point to increasing macroeconomic growth. Growth rose 4.1 percent in the second quarter and is up more than 3 percent for the year. Unemployment was down to 3.9 percent in July. The S&P 500 stock index is up 6 percent since the Trump presidency, while the rest of the world's stock markets are down 6 percent. These are numbers any recent administration would boast about.

More notable are positive trends among subgroups that weren't doing so well before Trump took office. Former Obama administration chief economic adviser Jason Furman, writing for Vox, notes that in the past three years "recent wage growth ... at the low end of the wage scale" is stronger than growth among the higher-paid. Similarly, Bloomberg columnist and portfolio manager Conor Sen makes the point that job growth has been greatest among "goods-producing workers and the least-educated workers."

Both Furman and Sen contrast current trends with those in the 1998-2001 period of torrid economic growth, when income gains were concentrated at the top of the economic spectrum and employment gains were concentrated in office jobs and "meds and eds" -- the government-financed or heavily regulated health care and education sectors.

So maybe growing income inequality isn't inevitable after all. And maybe the economic prospects of groups clustered at the low end of the economic scale are not as dire as has long been assumed.

The unemployment rate among young millennials -- those over 25 -- is only 5.1 percent, according to Sen, the lowest since the government began measuring this in 1994. So much for mom's basement sofa. Black unemployment was down to 5.9 percent in May, and Hispanic unemployment was down to 4.6 percent in June, both the lowest number since the early 1970s, when government began tracking them.

Moreover, the labor force is expanding, with 600,000 entrants in June, notes American University economist Evan Kraft, writing in The Hill. Simultaneously, the disability rolls are decreasing. All of which suggests that incentives to work are returning to Appalachia and other previously forlorn areas where so many idle people have been driven to opioid dependency.

Blue-collar employers have been searching hard to fill job vacancies, ditching educational requirements and following the advice of liberal and conservative politicians to take a chance on former felons who have served their time, as the Manhattan Institute's Aaron Renn reports.

Historically, Democratic candidates have promised to create economic opportunities for those starting off with disadvantages, especially racial minorities and those from non-college households. But recent Democratic presidents, like recent Republican presidents, have seen economic growth concentrated among the affluent, highly educated and well-positioned.

Candidate Trump's call to "Make America Great Again," however unspecific, was taken, and intended to be taken, as a promise to deliver different better results for the downscale. He constantly talked about reopening factories, strengthening manufacturing and encouraging blue-collar job growth.

As an electoral strategy, this seemed to ignore courting minorities and rely on an inevitably shrinking segment of the electorate. But the segment hadn't shrunk enough (and its size was consistently underestimated, as The New York Times' Nate Cohn demonstrated) to prevent Trump from winning 100 Obama electoral votes in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Maine.

Now it looks like Trump is creating the kind of economy he promised, with growth targeted at the downscale (including blacks and Hispanics) rather than the upscale, with lower economic inequality and with growth spreading to regions that have seen little of it for decades. Do you remember any mainstream media or liberal economist who envisioned such results?

Of course you can add caveats. You can say these numbers are just statistical noise, not harbingers or long-term trends. You can argue, as Furman does, that some of these trends started in the late Obama years. You can make the broader point that presidents' policies have only limited economic effects, and that trends like the apparent revival of manufacturing may owe more to exogenous factors rather than to Trump's policies.

So maybe this is not a case of promises kept but just dumb luck. Of course you can say the same thing -- just dumb luck -- about the 100 electoral votes Trump targeted and won. But after a while, you might wonder.
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Trump Delivered, Economic Promises To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Not So Great . . . Again

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “We’re not going to make America great again,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed at a bill-signing ceremony this week. And then, further poking the president, the governor added, to gasps from the audience: “It was never that great.”

America — for all its faults, failings, and wrongdoings — has been a tremendous force for good, for freedom. At the same time, talking about how great we are really seems . . . what’s the word? Boastful.

“We have not reached greatness,” Cuomo went on to clarify. “We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged. We will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone and every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed and every woman is making her full contribution.”

This is pie-in-the-sky stuff. Utopianism. The state government of New York is not going to succeed — or even actually try — to “engage” every citizen “fully.” Neither will the Empire State help “every” female New Yorker to self-actualize . . . while magically wiping out “stereotyping.”

When very real governments fixate on fantasy, they can only fail. Achievable responsibilities — like fixing roads, improving schools, enforcing laws — fall by the wayside.

Both President Trump and Governor Cuomo would do well to concern themselves with running the government. Leave the greatness to the rest of us.

Oh, and the rest of the story?

“I’m Andrew Cuomo, and I work for you,” the governor said in a 2010 video announcing his entry into the gubernatorial race.

“Together,” he went on to declare, “we can make New York great again.”

This is 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. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Double Standard Justice in USA Is Risking the Collapse of the Entire System

by Printus LeBlanc: The political world is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of Paul Manafort’s trial. The former one-time Trump campaign chairman is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for various tax and bank fraud crimes, most of which occurred over a decade ago. Manafort is also facing charges in the District of Columbia for Foreign Agent Registration Act violations. In total, Manafort is looking at more than three centuries behind bars.

Many recall Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian election interference and if the Trump campaign colluded. Yet for some unknown reason, Mueller is vigorously pursuing Manafort even though none of the charges in Virginia or D.C. have nothing to do with Russia or the 2016 election.

Despite being on trial for nothing to do with Russia or the election by someone that is supposed to be investigating Russia and the election, Manafort is likely to spend more time in prison than rapists or murderers. Is that justice?

The mainstream media has reported authorities raided a compound last week in New Mexico and found malnourished children. But what really happened is much more sinister, and the actions of a local judge have called into question what the word “justice” means.

Siraj Wahhaj and his relatives, sisters Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, his partner Jany Leveille, and brother-in-law Lucas Morten were taken into custody with 11 children after law enforcement raided their compound.

The children found to be in horrible living conditions and malnourished. What is more disturbing is according to one of the boys, he was taught to fire a rifle in preparation for a school shooting. The information takes the case well beyond child abuse. The case now takes a turn into possible terrorism.

On top of all that, a child’s remains have been discovered on the compound also. It is believed the body belongs to 3-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, son of Siraj Wahhaj. Siraj is already wanted for kidnapping the child in Georgia.

That makes the other four adults released accessories to that crime. So we have multiple counts of child abuse, possible terrorism charges, and accessories to kidnapping, surely the judge is going to keep the adults behind bars until the situation can be fully investigated.

That didn’t happen. Despite the danger posed to the children and the community, a judge granted bail with only a $20,000 bond. How does this happen?

Another miscarriage of justice took place in California last week. At a free speech rally in Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Unfortunately, like all public gatherings involving Antifa violence broke out. In an effort to suppress speech they disagree with, Antifa members attacked.

One of the violent thugs was a former Diablo Valley College professor, Eric Clanton. Clanton was captured on video smashing an individual on top of the head with a heavy-duty bicycle lock. The kind of lock with sharp edges that bolt cutters cannot cut. The individual struck immediately went down, and blood poured from the wound on his head.

Clanton would assault seven more people in the head and neck regions with the bike lock according to Berkeley police. Make no mistake about it, Clanton committed multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Surely this type of behavior is not tolerated in California, right?

And you would be wrong. It is tolerated, and after the “punishment” handed down, it may encourage more violence. Despite having video evidence, the weapon, and the clothing used in the assaults, Clanton was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor battery, only getting probation. Clanton will have served a whopping four days in jail for multiple attempts to cave people’s skulls in.

How can the Justice Department sit on the sidelines when the State of California is going to allow the violation of civil rights? Yes, beating someone over the head with a deadly weapon to silence them is a violation of that person’s civil rights.

There is a problem with the U.S. justice system. Clearly, politics is playing a role when justice is supposed to be blind. How can someone that attempted to cave multiple people’s skull in and people involved in planning and training school shootings be on the streets, but Paul Manafort is such a danger to society he must be locked up in solitary confinement and potentially sentenced to hundreds of years in prison?

The U.S. justice system must get out of the business of politics before it finds itself completely untrusted by the majority of Americans.
Printus LeBlanc is the Legislative Director at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Double Standard Justice, in USA, Risking the Collapse, Entire System, Printus LeBlanc, Americans for Limited Government, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Enough's Enough

Dr. Walter E. Williams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: During the weekend of Aug. 4-5 (and the preceding Friday night), 12 Chicagoans were shot dead, and 62 others were shot and wounded, the Chicago Tribune reported. Before last week’s mayhem, 1,718 Chicagoans had been shot since the beginning of the year, and 306 had been murdered. Adding to this tragedy is the fact that Chicago’s clearance rate is less than 15 percent. That means that in more than 85 percent of Chicago’s homicides, no suspect is charged.

Chicago is by no means unique in this lawlessness. Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis and some other major cities share high rates of homicides.

It’s not just shootings and homicides that negatively impact the overwhelmingly law-abiding black residents of these cities. In addition, there are sky-high rates of burglaries, rapes and property destruction.

The schools are notoriously bad. City budgets face shortfalls. Residents deal with deteriorating city services. All of this causes mass exoduses from these cities by their most capable people.

Ordinary decency demands that something be done to address the horrible conditions under which so many black Americans live. White liberals, black politicians and sports figures focus most of their attention on what the police do, but how relevant is that to the overall tragedy?

According to Washington Post data, as of July 9, 2017, 626 people had been shot and killed by police this year. Of that number, 114 were black. Last year, 987 people were shot and killed by police, of which 223 were black.

To put police shootings in a bit of perspective, in Chicago alone in 2017, there were 674 homicides, almost 80 percent of whose victims were black. It would appear that if one is truly concerned about black deaths, shootings by police should figure way down on one’s list — which is not to excuse bad behavior by some police officers.

Would getting more blacks and Democrats in political office help? It turns out that of the Chicago City Council’s 50 aldermen, only one is Republican. One is an independent. Forty-eight aldermen are Democrats, and 19 are black. In fact, most of the cities where large segments of their black citizenry live under horrible conditions have been controlled by Democrats for nearly a half-century, and there are many blacks on the instruments of control, such as chiefs of police, superintendents of schools and members of city councils. If Democratic and black control meant anything, these cities would be paradises.

How helpful to these desperate black communities are the efforts of so many black politicians to focus on allegations about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia? The leader of the movement to impeach Trump is Rep. Maxine Waters. Her congressional district suffers from high crime rates and failing schools. She, like most other black politicians, claims that she is helping her constituency by doing all she can to fight to get more taxpayer money to her district.

More money from taxpayers could not fix the problems of these communities. Over the past 50 years, more than $16 trillion has been spent on poverty programs.

The majority of those programs have simply made poverty more comfortable by giving poor people more food, health care, housing, etc. What’s needed most is to get poor people to change their behavior. Chief among the modifications is reducing female-headed households. Female-headed households produce most of our prison inmates, the highest crime rates and disproportionate numbers of high school dropouts and suicides. These devastating factors are far beyond the capacity of Washington to fix.

The only people who can fix these problems are black people themselves. Black athletes could be far more productive by going to schools and community centers to encourage constructive behavior and shaming self-destructive behavior. Support should be given to police to stop criminals from preying on communities. Nongovernmental local groups should be encouraged to play greater roles.

It’s a challenge, but keep in mind that black people had the intestinal fortitude to lead the world’s greatest civil rights movement through some very dark days from 1865 to 1965. I believe that we’re up to the challenge.

If we wait for Washington to solve our problems, we’ll be waiting for a long time.
Walter Williams (@WE_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: and view a list of other articles and works.

Tags: Walter Williams, commentary, Enough's Enough, fix these problems, black people 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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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
  • 3/13/16 - 3/20/16
  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
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  • 4/3/16 - 4/10/16
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  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
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  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
  • 5/29/16 - 6/5/16
  • 6/5/16 - 6/12/16
  • 6/12/16 - 6/19/16
  • 6/19/16 - 6/26/16
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  • 7/3/16 - 7/10/16
  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
  • 7/17/16 - 7/24/16
  • 7/24/16 - 7/31/16
  • 7/31/16 - 8/7/16
  • 8/7/16 - 8/14/16
  • 8/14/16 - 8/21/16
  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
  • 8/28/16 - 9/4/16
  • 9/4/16 - 9/11/16
  • 9/11/16 - 9/18/16
  • 9/18/16 - 9/25/16
  • 9/25/16 - 10/2/16
  • 10/2/16 - 10/9/16
  • 10/9/16 - 10/16/16
  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
  • 11/6/16 - 11/13/16
  • 11/13/16 - 11/20/16
  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
  • 3/12/17 - 3/19/17
  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17
  • 3/26/17 - 4/2/17
  • 4/2/17 - 4/9/17
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  • 4/16/17 - 4/23/17
  • 4/23/17 - 4/30/17
  • 4/30/17 - 5/7/17
  • 5/7/17 - 5/14/17
  • 5/14/17 - 5/21/17
  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
  • 5/28/17 - 6/4/17
  • 6/4/17 - 6/11/17
  • 6/11/17 - 6/18/17
  • 6/18/17 - 6/25/17
  • 6/25/17 - 7/2/17
  • 7/2/17 - 7/9/17
  • 7/9/17 - 7/16/17
  • 7/16/17 - 7/23/17
  • 7/23/17 - 7/30/17
  • 7/30/17 - 8/6/17
  • 8/6/17 - 8/13/17
  • 8/13/17 - 8/20/17
  • 8/20/17 - 8/27/17
  • 8/27/17 - 9/3/17
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  • 9/17/17 - 9/24/17
  • 9/24/17 - 10/1/17
  • 10/1/17 - 10/8/17
  • 10/8/17 - 10/15/17
  • 10/15/17 - 10/22/17
  • 10/22/17 - 10/29/17
  • 10/29/17 - 11/5/17
  • 11/5/17 - 11/12/17
  • 11/12/17 - 11/19/17
  • 11/19/17 - 11/26/17
  • 11/26/17 - 12/3/17
  • 12/3/17 - 12/10/17
  • 12/10/17 - 12/17/17
  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
  • 12/24/17 - 12/31/17
  • 12/31/17 - 1/7/18
  • 1/7/18 - 1/14/18
  • 1/14/18 - 1/21/18
  • 1/21/18 - 1/28/18
  • 1/28/18 - 2/4/18
  • 2/4/18 - 2/11/18
  • 2/11/18 - 2/18/18
  • 2/18/18 - 2/25/18
  • 2/25/18 - 3/4/18
  • 3/4/18 - 3/11/18
  • 3/11/18 - 3/18/18
  • 3/18/18 - 3/25/18
  • 3/25/18 - 4/1/18
  • 4/1/18 - 4/8/18
  • 4/8/18 - 4/15/18
  • 4/15/18 - 4/22/18
  • 4/22/18 - 4/29/18
  • 4/29/18 - 5/6/18
  • 5/6/18 - 5/13/18
  • 5/13/18 - 5/20/18
  • 5/20/18 - 5/27/18
  • 5/27/18 - 6/3/18
  • 6/3/18 - 6/10/18
  • 6/10/18 - 6/17/18
  • 6/17/18 - 6/24/18
  • 6/24/18 - 7/1/18
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  • 7/22/18 - 7/29/18
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  • 9/23/18 - 9/30/18
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  • 10/7/18 - 10/14/18
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  • 10/21/18 - 10/28/18
  • 10/28/18 - 11/4/18
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  • 11/18/18 - 11/25/18
  • 11/25/18 - 12/2/18
  • 12/2/18 - 12/9/18
  • 12/9/18 - 12/16/18
  • 12/16/18 - 12/23/18
  • 12/23/18 - 12/30/18
  • 12/30/18 - 1/6/19
  • 1/6/19 - 1/13/19
  • 1/13/19 - 1/20/19
  • 1/20/19 - 1/27/19
  • 1/27/19 - 2/3/19
  • 2/3/19 - 2/10/19
  • 2/10/19 - 2/17/19
  • 2/17/19 - 2/24/19
  • 2/24/19 - 3/3/19
  • 3/3/19 - 3/10/19
  • 3/10/19 - 3/17/19
  • 3/17/19 - 3/24/19
  • 3/24/19 - 3/31/19
  • 3/31/19 - 4/7/19
  • 4/7/19 - 4/14/19
  • 4/14/19 - 4/21/19
  • 4/21/19 - 4/28/19