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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, February 01, 2019

More than Just an Indictment

by Newt Gingrich: The recent federal indictments of Chinese telecom giant Huawei and its affiliates lay out a frightening story of a foreign company illicitly manipulating and exploiting loopholes in the American business system.

The first indictment, filed in the Eastern District of New York, outlines 13 charges related to bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and obstruction of justice. During Monday’s press conference about the indictments, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker clearly described Huawei’s lies about its affiliations with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which misled banks into conducting business that is illegal under US law. As Whitaker pointed out, Huawei has been allegedly deceiving and conducting illicit activities against the US government and global financial institutions for at least a decade, and this behavior “goes all the way to the top of the company.”

The second indictment was filed in Washington and details 10 charges related to theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. This indictment describes how Huawei relentlessly attempted to steal the technology behind T-Mobile’s robot mobile phone testing system, Tappy. In this case, Huawei actually created an employee bonus program for those who engaged in stealing valuable and confidential information from their competitors.

These allegations are serious and alarming. Circumventing US sanctions against Iran – whose government chants “Death to America” and supports terrorist activities – undermines our national security interests. Engaging in activities that add to the estimated $225 billion to $600 billion that is lost every year to China through intellectual property theft is an attack on our economic interests.

As I describe in my upcoming book, Trump vs. China: Facing and Fighting America’s Biggest Threat, in order to comprehend the significance of these charges – and the substantial risks that Huawei’s alleged crimes pose to America’s national security and economic interests – we must look at the bigger picture.

Huawei was founded in 1987 by a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army – the Chinese Communist Party’s military arm. Since then, the company has become the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer – and the second largest smartphone maker.

Huawei has benefitted greatly from China’s subjectively discriminatory business policies and has raised significant security concerns among US government officials. In a hearing last February, intelligence officials, including the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the director of national intelligence, all agreed that they would not advise private American citizens to buy Huawei devices or services.

This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that America’s national security and economic security are threatened by “the immense influence that the Chinese government holds over Chinese corporations like Huawei.” According to Wray, “the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government, especially one that doesn’t share our values, to burrow into the American telecommunications market,” would allow “the foreign government the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, to conduct undetected espionage or exert pressure or control.”

It is also important to consider the worldwide rollout of 5G telecommunications infrastructure and Huawei’s current leading position in the development of this new revolutionary technology. A company exhibiting this type of illicit behavior and generating the level of concern that it has within the US intelligence community should not be setting the global standards for the world’s telecommunications industry. Yet, Huawei is currently testing in, has memorandums of understanding with, or is a confirmed network or vendor for at least 80 countries around the world.

The reality is, whoever controls 5G ultimately controls the future. The emergence of this technology will be the cornerstone of the world’s advanced operational capabilities. It will be the key to connected infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, high tech factories, worldwide commerce, aircraft, and even our personal devices. This technology facilitates the ability to control critical infrastructure on a massive scale – which poses extraordinary security risks. It is not in the United States’ interest to have this emerging industry controlled by a foreign company or government which has already raised substantial security concerns.

Lastly, the emergence of 5G and these new connective capabilities will result in a massive influx of data. Already, China has a strict set of laws which force companies to cooperate with government surveillance initiatives. FBI Director Wray asserted that China’s cybersecurity law mandates that “Chinese companies, like Huawei, are required to provide essentially access upon demand [to the Chinese government] with little to no process to challenge that.” The Wall Street Journal reported that companies are “required to help China’s government hunt down criminal suspects and silence political dissent.”

So, imagine for a moment what could happen if companies, such as Huawei, operating in an increasingly surveillance-based state were allowed to dictate the rollout of the world’s global 5G network. What would it mean for Americans overseas, including our military men and women, intelligence operatives, diplomats, tourists, and students? What would happen if the United States did not press charges and allowed Huawei to continue on with their seemingly illegal activities in pursuit of profit and power?

The combined 23 charges in these indictments have made it clear that Huawei has threatened America’s national security and economic interests through illegal means. Our justice system has to fully investigate and prosecute these allegations.

But the fight won’t end there.

Huawei is only one company that is closely connected to China’s communist government – which is fundamentally different from our own. Many others are currently positioning themselves to control the future of our technological world using unethical methods.

This is how America must start thinking about the challenge that the Communist Party of China poses to our national interests – this is not an isolated event. It is a part of a collective strategy where China’s government utilizes all available tools to advance its own agenda.

Therefore, the indictments against Huawei represent more than just the beginning of a legal trial. The United States has sent a bold message to Huawei, China, and to the world. It should continue to do so – especially with China.

Any attempt to cheat to advance an agenda that undermines our American values, security, or interests must not be tolerated. America must not idly watch as a company or government attempts to manipulate, control, and exploit American businesses and citizens for profit and power.

We must continue to actively promote and stand for a world order that is based on freedom, fairness, and honesty.
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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.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, federal indictments, Chinese telecom, Huawei, China To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Radical Freshmen Dems Looking to Throw a Monkey Wrench into Border Security Negotiations

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
by Rick Moran: Four radical House Democratic freshmen have penned a "Dear Colleague" letter as they look to substantially cut funds from the Department of Homeland Security. Their targets include the entire federal government immigration enforcement apparatus -- ICE, CPB, and DHS facilities that house illegal immigrants.

The letter was authored by Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), hereafter referred to as "The Proud Girls." As far right as the Proud Boys are, the Proud Girls match them, idiocy for idiocy, looniness for looniness.

The Daily Beast reports:“Our message is simple: we’re asking that Congress cut, not increase spending on detention facilities, stop using DHS as a slush fund, and include stronger accountability against DHS abuses under Donald Trump’s watch,” Omar told The Daily Beast. “We need to be the moral voice in calling attention to the abuses of ICE and CBP under Donald Trump.”The idea that an entire federal agency is a "slush fund" might be considered kooky by some. But not our Proud Girls. They're just getting warmed up:“DHS must be held accountable, not rewarded, for its actions over the last two years, including family separations, barriers to asylum, and the deaths of two children in Border Patrol custody,” Pressley told The Daily Beast.I'm not sure how cutting DHS spending at a time when our borders are less secure than ever will make the department "accountable." It will certainly make it less effective, which is probably what the Proud Girls want.

As for "barriers to asylum," I guess the Proud Girls want us to take asylum seekers at their word and not investigate their claims. Now, that's real "border security.""We have seen rampant spending on detention facilities for young children. The deal reached by the Conference Committee should not allocate any additional funding to this department or to the ICE and CBP agencies. The upcoming FY 2020 budget process will be a critical opportunity to take up conversations about reforms to the agency. In the meantime, not another dollar."Of course, the Proud Girls are not interested at all in securing anything. And that presents a problem for the Democratic Party. These new congresswomen came to Washington to overturn the established order. They are the vanguard of a "new" Democratic Party -- further left, radical, dismissive of their elders, and far less tolerant of opposition, be it from Democrats or Republicans.

They are loyal to their radical agenda, rather than to party. And they are a gigantic headache for less radical Democrats because they have a huge social media presence and a sycophantic press lovingly recording every word they utter.

Their suggestions won't be taken seriously, nor should they be. But make no mistake: more like them are coming to Congress and they are already changing the Democratic Party.
-----------------
Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker.

Tags: Rick Moran, PJMedia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Radical Freshmen Dems, Monkey Wrench, Border Security Negotiations To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Renewed Focus on an Old Horror

by Tony Perkins: For many, the constant barrage of news in recent days about abortion may seem like a new development. But for the millions of babies killed legally in America for nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade, the current spotlight on America's industry of death can't shine bright enough. The recent celebrations in New York and similar efforts in Virginia show all too clearly that complacency on abortion costs lives. Elections do matter, and we cannot sit idle on the sidelines because lives hang in the balance.

One of the many horrors of abortion is the fact that babies feel pain. And it's not only in late-term abortions. Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Ingrid Skop tells us in FRC's new publication "Top 10 Myths about Abortion," that the notion that unborn babies can't feel pain is a myth. In fact, research shows that unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks, and most likely earlier, often with greater intensity! Yet abortionists administer no anesthesia as they brutally dismember these children.

This week on our Washington Watch radio program, I interviewed Kansas Congressman Roger Marshall (R), a medical doctor who has delivered over 5,000 babies, about his thoughts on what these recent state abortion efforts mean. What he told me should give pause to even the most callous heart:"I recall very vividly a baby being brought into our emergency room without an arm. And there was a mother who had obviously just given birth to this baby, and she was hemorrhaging -- and of course I rushed to take care of the mom, but I said, 'What happened?' And they said she had just had an abortion procedure done and when they pulled the baby's arm off they realized that this baby was way further along than they had guessed. They had never had a sonogram, and once they pulled the arm off of the baby they said, 'We better stop this abortion procedure.' So what they're talking about now is going to become more commonplace. This will be horrible. This is the worst thing that I have heard of in maybe my entire professional life."You can listen to the entire interview with Dr. Marshall here. As you can see from the transcript above, it's not for the faint of heart, but it's an important perspective that needs to be heard as the voices of the abortion industry attempt to downplay the gruesome reality of what really happens in abortion.

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) began the process to get a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311). This bill explicitly requires health care practitioners to treat born-alive abortion survivors with the same life saving care they would provide to any other baby born at the same gestational age and requires that these infants be immediately admitted to a hospital. Additionally, it includes criminal sanctions against any health care practitioner who fails to provide the necessary care to an infant born alive and enforces federal law to hold abortionists accountable for intentionally killing a born alive infant after a failed abortion attempt.

There is no better time to support the passage of this bill. Identical legislation has previously passed the House of Representatives in 2015 and 2018, but has never come to a vote in the Senate. Now is the time to ask senators to be against infanticide and for voters to hold them accountable for their votes. The increasing openness to a radical agenda by pro-abortion politicians must be brought to light. Call your U.S. senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to support S. 311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Renewed Focus, Old Horror To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pentagon Sending Thousands of Troops to the Southern Border

by Jason Hopkins: The Pentagon is sending several thousand more troops to the southwestern border, fulfilling a request made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Currently, there are about 2,300 troops stationed at the southwestern border. Pentagon officials revealed Tuesday that they will be deploying an additional 2,000 troops as part of the DHS’ request for the military to extend its mission there. Originally intended to last until Dec. 15, the military’s mission will now be extended to Sept. 30.

The entire operation is estimated to cost $132 million by the end of January, and over $600 million by the close of the fiscal year in September.

“We are supporting our federal partners on the border, and that mission has been extended until September,” stated Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis. “We are currently sourcing the units involved and there will be an increase of a few thousand troops.”

Beyond maintaining a troop presence, the Pentagon will also aid DHS officials with infrastructure development. Military troops will help set up more concertina wire and expand surveillance capabilities along the border.

“Most recently DHS has asked us to support them in additional concertina wire and then expanded surveillance capability, and we’ve responded with, you know, here’s how many people it would take” Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday.

The expansion of troops comes as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats continue to be at odds over a proposed border wall.

After undergoing the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Trump announced on Friday that he reached a temporary deal to reopen the government until Feb. 15, giving the administration and congressional leaders three weeks to reach a long-term compromise on the border debate.

The president has demanded $5.7 billion in funding to build a 234-mile long wall on the southern border. construction of the wall would fulfill Trump’s biggest campaign pledge in 2016. However, Democratic leadership has maintained their opposition, framing it as immoral and too expensive.
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Jason Hopkins (@thejasonhopkins) is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Tags: Jason Hopkins, Daily Caller News Foundation, Pentagon, Sending, Thousands of Troops, Southern Border To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

MAGA, Shocked & Energized, Normandy Fencing

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: #MAGA - In spite of the media's hair-on-fire coverage that the longest-ever government shutdown would cause a recession, the January jobs report "shattered expectations." More than 300,000 new jobs were created last month.

The labor force participation rate was the highest since 2013. Wages also increased at a 3% annual rate for the sixth month in a row, the fastest wage growth in a decade. Manufacturing is booming again.

Since Donald Trump took office, five million new jobs have been created. Trump's policies are making America great again!

Never forget that the left during the Obama years constantly insisted that we lower our expectations, that sluggish growth was "the new normal" we just had to accept. We were told that manufacturing jobs were gone and never coming back. All those so-called "experts" were wrong.

This is a good time to stop and think about why this economic growth is happening.

For the past two years Republicans controlled the White House and Congress. Taxes were cut. Regulations were rolled back.

Instead of berating entrepreneurs and telling them, "You didn't build that," Donald Trump encouraged them. Instead of waging war on our energy industry, Donald Trump unleashed it.

But this progress is not etched in stone.

The newly-empowered left is constantly putting out proposals to reverse everything Trump has done. They are advocating 90% tax rates. If you are successful, they think they are entitled to take half (and more!) of what you earned over your lifetime when you die. They also want socialized medicine and draconian energy policies, none of which will work.

With ideas like these, all of this growth we are enjoying now would end, and we would be back to the malaise days of the Obama era, watching America decline.

Shocked & Energized - Yesterday, I took part in an off-the-record conference call with many prominent Christian leaders, all of whose names you would instantly recognize. I am not violating any confidentiality by telling you this: They all agreed that the progressive left's embrace of infanticide has shocked and energized the pro-life movement like nothing else in many years.

The way things are going, calling the people in favor of infanticide "progressive" should be replaced with "barbaric." This is not progress.

Last week, we saw New York celebrate an "anything goes" law that allows abortions in the ninth month of pregnancy. They applauded this evil. But that's New York controlled by the left.

This week, Virginians watched in horror as a Democrat state legislator and the so-called "moderate" governor advocated for legislation that would allow a woman in the process of giving birth to abort instead.

In fact, the governor suggested the baby could even be born and, if there's a defect, the mother could have a discussion about whether to let the child live. That's called murder.

For his part, Governor Ralph Northam is doubling down, insisting he has "no regrets" and that this is all about "women's health."

Really? If aborting live babies is the left's idea of "health care," then we should be very afraid of the left's "Medicare for All" plan.

The left claims that late-term abortions are "tragic cases" that rarely happen. That's a lie. As Bethany Mandel notes in today's Washington Post:

"There are more abortions after 20 weeks than gun homicides in the United States, and according to research from the Planned Parenthood-affiliated Guttmacher Institute, 'data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.'"

Given how the left is constantly clamoring for gun control, it seems what we really need is abortion control.

Uniting The Right - It must be noted that this is not just a state issue. Hundreds of congressional Democrats (including several presidential wannabes) have co-sponsored federal legislation that is just as radical in rolling back limits on late-term abortions. (Here and here.)

Moral and policy implications aside, this debate also has political implications. NeverTrumper Matt Walsh recently tweeted, "I'd vote for Trump 50 times if it meant keeping these infanticidal lunatics out of the White House."

I believe there are many Americans, including many blacks and Hispanics, who are inclined to agree with him.

Speaking of President Trump, I am pleased to report that he plans to raise this very issue with the American people in his State of the Union Address next week. Good for him!

Normandy Fencing? Many people, including our friends at Fox News, said recently, "If Trump would only end the government shutdown, Democrats are willing to negotiate with him on the wall." No they aren't. It's Lucy with the football all over again.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, "There will not be any wall money in the legislation." According to the Associated Press, the Democrat offer unveiled yesterday "would not provide money for President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall and [denies] his request for additional border agents."

Some say this is just semantics, that Democrats might accept a "barrier" instead of a "wall." No, it's not just semantics.

Yesterday Pelosi suggested she was open to "Normandy fencing." But as the Allies proved on D-Day, you can walk right around it.

Here's the bottom line, my friends: Progressives do not want to secure the border.

They want to speed up mass migration because it fundamentally changes America and hastens the day when they believe Republicans can never again win another national election. That is the left's agenda.

Meanwhile, progressives are also trying to gut funding for the Department of Homeland Security, and specifically ICE. They not only refuse to secure the border, they are also trying to defund the law enforcement agency responsible for arresting criminal aliens, including drug dealers, rapists and murderers.

By the way, Democrats talk a lot about inequality of all kinds. Well, kudos to Tucker Carlson for pointing out the left's hypocrisy on walls. Perhaps we need a national discussion about "security inequality."

As a result of the left's intransigence, President Trump is reportedly moving forward with plans to secure the border through executive action.

I know this report is read by a lot of people on Capitol Hill, particularly Republican members of the House and Senate. I am putting politicians on notice now: If President Trump is forced to declare a national emergency to secure the border, I will do everything I can to expose any Republican who attacks his decision to put America first.
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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, MAGA, Shocked & Energized, Normandy Fencing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Big Game . . .

. . . Mueller used FBI SWAT tactics when arresting Roger Stone, Some say that is a bit overkill for such a small fish.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Big Game, Muller used, FBI SWAT taxics, arresting, Roger Stone, bit of an overkill, small fish To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

World-Wide Threat Assessment Makes Powerful Case For Border Security

. . . Senate hears from leaders of the intelligence community.
by Michael Cutler: Timing is everything. Congress is currently in the midst of debating the construction of a "border wall" or “border barrier” to protect the dangerous U.S./Mexican border as the clock ticks down to another possible partial shutdown of our government if an agreement cannot be reached.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing on Worldwide Threats that was predicated on a just-released paper, "World-Wide Threat Assessment," that was issued by Daniel Coats, the Director of the Office of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community.

As we will see, elements of that report addressed issues that have a clear nexus to border security and immigration law enforcement.

However, the leaders of the Democratic Party have thus far made it clear that they will oppose any and all efforts to construct a barrier to block the uninspected entry of aliens and cargo into the United States while simultaneously claiming that they don't oppose border security -- even as some Democrats call for disbanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

While the Democratic Party leaders claim that a wall or barrier on the southern border is a waste of money and find all sorts of other absurd excuses to oppose it, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outrageously and infamously claiming that any such structure would be “immoral,” the leaders of the U.S. Border Patrol as well as the leaders of the Border Patrol Council, the union that represents our valiant Border Patrol agents, have publicly and repeatedly stated that a wall or barrier is essential to help them to secure our nation’s borders.

Clearly the Democrats have no interest in actually securing our borders or in the enforcement of our immigration laws.

Now we come to that hearing conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the report that served as the predication for that hearing.

Inasmuch as the report contains material furnished by all of the elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community, the leaders of these agencies were witnesses at the hearing.

This is the Witness List:

Director Daniel Coats
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
ODNI

Director Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI

Director Gina Haspel
Central Intelligence Agency
CIA

Director General Robert Ashley
Defense Intelligence Agency
DIA

Director General Paul Nakasone
National Security Agency
NSA

Director Robert Cardillo
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
NGA

Several areas of concern about national security vulnerabilities addressed in the report have a clear and unmistakable nexus to immigration, border security and related issues.

Page 4 of the report included this paragraph:
Migration is likely to continue to fuel social and interstate tensions globally, while drugs and transnational organized crime take a toll on US public health and safety. Political turbulence is rising in many regions as governance erodes and states confront growing public health and environmental threats.Page 10 included the following excerpt:TERRORISM

Sunni Violent Extremists

Global jihadists in dozens of groups and countries threaten local and regional US interests, despite having experienced some significant setbacks in recent years, and some of these groups will remain intent on striking the US homeland. Prominent jihadist ideologues and media platforms continue to call for and justify efforts to attack the US homeland.
Page 18 of the report focuses on Transnational Criminal Organizations and provided vital information about drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Here is an excerpt of the material provided in this chapter of the report:
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME

Global transnational criminal organizations and networks will threaten US interests and allies by trafficking drugs, exerting malign influence in weak states, threatening critical infrastructure, orchestrating human trafficking, and undermining legitimate economic activity.

Drug Trafficking

The foreign drug threat will pose continued risks to US public health and safety and will present a range of threats to US national security interests in the coming year. Violent Mexican traffickers, such as members of the Sinaloa Cartel and New Generation Jalisco Cartel, remain key to the movement of illicit drugs to the United States, including heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cannabis from Mexico, as well as cocaine from Colombia. Chinese synthetic drug suppliers dominate US-bound movements of so- called designer drugs, including synthetic marijuana, and probably ship the majority of US fentanyl, when adjusted for purity.

Approximately 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, a record high and a 10-percent increase from 2016, although the rate of growth probably slowed in early 2018, based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.

Increased drug fatalities are largely a consequence of surging production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl; in 2017, more than 28,000 Americans died from synthetic opioids other than methadone, including illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The CDC reports synthetic opioid- related deaths rose 846 percent between 2010 and 2017, while DHS reports that US seizures of the drug increased 313 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Other Organized Crime Activities

Transnational criminal organizations and their affiliates are likely to expand their influence over some weak states, collaborate with US adversaries, and possibly threaten critical infrastructure.

Mexican criminals use bribery, intimidation, and violence to protect their drug trafficking, kidnapping-for-ransom, fuel-theft, gunrunning, extortion, and alien-smuggling enterprises.

Gangs based in Central America, such as MS-13, continue to direct some criminal activities beyond the region, including in the United States.

Transnational organized crime almost certainly will continue to inflict human suffering, deplete natural resources, degrade fragile ecosystems, drive migration, and drain income from the productive—and taxable—economy.

Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion annually for illicit actors and governments that engage in forced labor, according to the UN’s International Labor Organization.
This is not the first report or the first hearing to provide clear evidence that the porous U.S./Mexico border creates national security, public safety, and public health vulnerabilities for Americans.

I have written a number of articles about this issue; one of my recent articles took on the bogus claim that technology is better than a wall: "Why Trump’s Wall Is A Must" - And why a “virtual fence” will stop no one.

My May 11, 2018 article, "Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.," was predicated on a hearing conducted by the House Homeland Security Committee.

A failure to stop the flow of illegal alien workers also undermines the U.S. economy, and costs American and lawful immigrant workers jobs and suppresses their wages. That fundamental fact was the basis for my commentary, "OPEN BORDERS FACILITATE AMERICA’S RACE TO THE BOTTOM" - “Cheap labor” is anything but cheap.

As I have noted ever so many times in my articles and in my Congressional testimony, simply securing the problematic border against the illegal (uninspected) entry of aliens won’t end the immigration crisis but would close one of the major holes in what I have come to refer to asnofollow the Immigration Colander. I have come to conceptualize the wall on the U.S./Mexican border as the equivalent of a wing on an airplane. Without a wing the airplane will not fly, but the wing by itself would go nowhere.

The immigration system has never had a meaningful program to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. The need to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States is commonsense and was noted as an important issue by the 9/11 Commission. The dirty secret is that our political leaders understand just how important interior enforcement is but have intentionally never provided the resources to enforce those laws from within the interior. Consider that, in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11 President George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS ) and in so doing, broke the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into multiple components that then blended immigration with other agencies such as Customs.

However, while the leadership of neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have been willing to take the necessary measures to finally save the immigration crisis through effective but fair law enforcement, unhinged members of the Democratic Party are now calling for dismantling ICE altogether. They are calling for immigration anarchy even as yet another hearing, involving the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community, are clear about the nexus between threats confronting America and border security and immigration law enforcement.

Meanwhile cities and states that are controlled by the Democrats have created “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” that shield illegal aliens from detection from ICE including criminals, members of transnational gangs and drug trafficking organizations. These jurisdictions also shield international fugitives and terrorists and, in shielding aliens who were smuggled into the United States, protect the human traffickers who smuggled them here.

If these politicians were really concerned about the plight of trafficked aliens, they could cooperate with ICE and make certain that ICE provides these aliens with visas that are available for aliens who cooperate with investigations into human trafficking and major crimes.

As we have seen with the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, New York City -- the American city with the largest, best-trained and -equipped police department in the United States -- became the hub for the Mexican Sinaloa Drug Cartel that purportedly moved hundreds of tons of drugs including heroin, cocaine, meth, fentanyl, and marijuana into the U.S. across the Mexican border.

The only rational reason that NYC would have been selected as the hub, given the nature and reputation of the NYPD is the fact that NYC is a “Sanctuary City.” This was the focus of my article, "NEW YORK CITY: HUB FOR THE DEADLY DRUG TRADE" - “Sanctuary” policies attract foreign drug traffickers, fugitives and terrorists.

For far too long America has been bleeding red (blood) and green (money). Truly secure borders wold represent a giant step on the road to resolving the immigration crisis. Failure to secure the border costs innocent lives, each and every day.
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Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is michaelcutler.net. He also writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of theDavid Horowitz Freedom CenterDavid Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Michael Cutler, FrontPage Mag, World-Wide Threat Assessment, Makes Powerful Case,  Border Security, border control To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Arkansas Lawmaker Seeks Clarification On Constitutional Carry Law

by Tom Knighton: Arkansas ranks among states that have constitutional carry laws on the books. However, it’s something of a mess. It seems people aren’t sure what’s legal and what isn’t.

Now, a state lawmaker is seeking clarification.
Confusion among gun owners in Arkansas led one legislator to file a House resolution asking for clarity.

State Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, filed HR1013 asking members of the Arkansas House to acknowledge Arkansas as a constitutional carry state that does not require a permit to carry concealed or openly.

“I personally have let my concealed carry permit expire,” Smith said. “I don’t plan on getting another one.”
Smith says an Arkansas Senate colleague will push a similar resolution in that chamber should this one pass.

Now, clarification is a good thing, but I’m not entirely sure that will solve the problem. If the law is unclear, it may make enforcement uneven regardless of what the legislature does regarding resolutions. It seems to me it would make more sense to pass a law that clearly articulates what’s covered and what isn’t.

That said, clarification does at least give prosecutors some guidance in what the law was intended to mean. While it may not make a hill of beans to them, it likely may with the courts which will look at what the law was intended to do. Case law can easily clarify the law for enforcement purposes, and the resolution should make that easier as well.

The problem is that you’re trusting judges to interpret the law, and far too many of them seem inclined to insert their politics into their rulings.

Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a gamble I’d rather not take, either as a lawmaker or an individual looking to carry a firearm concealed.

I’m not the only one who feels that way, either.
“I’m not sure if this passes it really changes the legal landscape, because it’s essentially a commentary by the House on what the existing law is,” said [Law professor Robert] Steinbuch. “Some people believe the law is crystal clear, you can carry at any time. I wouldn’t want to be the guy that tests that case. I would not carry a concealed weapon without a license.”If possible, I’d urge Rep. Smith or someone else in the legislature to draft a new constitutional carry law that will clarify the law beyond a shadow of a doubt. Make it so that those who try to comply with the law have no doubt what the law is and that they are complying with it. While ambiguity in the law should be looked at in such a way that favors the citizen, we all know that’s not how it works. We’re expected to know and follow all laws on the books, even when that’s impossible. Ambiguous laws only make it that much more difficult.

My hope is that Arkansas cleans this up and makes things better for the citizens of their state.
---------------
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.

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Most Hated Man . . .

. . . For now, Howard Schultz has replaced Trump as the most hated man in America simply because he’s running as an Independent rather than a Democrat.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Time for Humility for Davos Elite

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Turnout at Davos was lousy this year. President Trump, preoccupied by the government shutdown, was a no-show at last week's World Economic Forum there. So were British Prime Minister Theresa May (Brexit) and French President Emanuel Macron ("gilets jaunes"). Chinese President Xi Jinping, Davos' 2018 star, and Russian President Vladimir Putin weren't there either. Neither were some of the usual financial and media big names.

From all of this, you might get the impression that the world's political, financial and media elites have lost much of their prestige these days, which, of course, they have.

It's an enormous contrast with elites' sunny confidence, over much of the quarter century after the fall of the Soviet Union, that they could remake the world, that "liberal democracy, market-based economic systems and the rule of law would spread from the West into the post-Communist East as well as the Global South," in Walter Russell Mead's words. That hasn't worked out quite as expected.

Consider Mexico. The NAFTA trade agreement was proposed by the Reagan administration, negotiated by the Bush administration and ratified by the Clinton administration, with plenty of support from both parties, especially Texans (Lloyd Bentsen, the Bushes) close to the border. They hoped to make Mexico more like the United States, and to regularize Mexican immigration.

There has been some convergence, with life in much of Mexico resembling Texas, but also with large parts of California resembling Mexico. Illegal immigration surged up until the 2007 economic crisis.

Even more ambitious was the bipartisan elites' project of bringing China into the world trading system. The hope was that an increasingly prosperous Chinese populace would demand more freedom and democracy. That hasn't happened; instead, Xi Jinping has regressed toward one-man rule.

Meanwhile, serious academic studies have substantiated non-elite charges that Chinese imports have cost America hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. In return, American consumers have been able to buy clothes, toys and gadgets at increasingly low prices. But for many, it is at the cost of the dignity and sense of self-worth achieved by earning a paycheck.

The chief project of European elites, the "ever-closer" European Union, has arguably worked out worse. The Euro currency that was supposed to tie Europe together has instead (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher predicted) widened the rift between the Mediterranean countries and an increasingly dominant Germany. Britain voted for Brexit -- leaving the EU -- in 2016, and elites, despite astonishing contempt for voters, have so far failed to reverse that verdict.

The elites' intentions with respect to Mexico, China and the EU were good, and the results have, by no means, been altogether bad. But they have been disappointing, and there is a common thread through the disappointments.

In each case, these elites have underestimated the force and persistence of national cultures. These "people from nowhere" -- in British author David Goodhart's phrase -- have underestimated the ties that "people from somewhere" have to national traditions and ways of life. You can't just snap your fingers and make Mexicans into Texans, make Chinese state-owned firms behave like American corporations, make Italians obey rules like Germans.

Perhaps the success of American military leaders in transforming post-World War II Germany and Japan turned out to be misleading. Those two countries drew on ethical and parliamentary traditions rooted in those societies and not wholly destroyed by short periods of dominance by Nazi thugs and murderous militarists. Mexico and China have different traditions, and there is no vital tradition of European unity.

Elites are impatient with people they regard as their inferiors. If you question Eurocrats' undemocratic drive for an "ever-closer Union," you are told that without the EU, France and Germany would once again go to war -- obvious nonsense. If you advise more respect for nationalist traditions, you are told that all nationalists are Nazis -- obvious nonsense again.

If you say that competition from low-wage workers in Mexico and China might cause substantial job loss in the United States, you are told what every college grad learns in Economics 101 (but what sounds counterintuitive to non-college grads), that free trade benefits both importers and exporters. You can argue that Mexican immigration and Chinese job competition peaked before 2007, but they still obviously rankle many voters.

So the political, financial and media elites have taken beatings at the ballot box -- Brexit, Trump, anti-establishment European rebellion parties. The 1990s elite projects and policies were not crazy, but their failures to make course corrections and their lack of respect for decent nationalism have been costly. Something to talk about if they slink back to Davos next year.
-----------------------
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.

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Trump vs. the Spy Chiefs: Who’s Right?

by Patrick Buchanan: To manifest his opposition to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, and half of the 14,000 in Afghanistan, Gen. James Mattis went public and resigned as secretary of defense.

Now Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, in public testimony to Congress, has contradicted Trump about the threats that face the nation.

Contrary to what the president believes, Coats says, North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons. ISIS remains a serious threat, even if the caliphate has been rolled up. And there is no evidence that Iran, though hostile and aggressive, is acquiring nuclear weapons.

CIA Director Gina Haspel agreed: Iran remains in compliance with the nuclear treaty that Trump has trashed and abandoned. The treaty is still doing what it was designed to do.

At this perceived public defiance, Trump exploded:

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! … They [the Iranians] are testing Rockets (last week), and more, and are coming very close to the edge. … Be careful of Iran.”

Trump added: “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

Trump then brought up the epochal blunder of U.S. intelligence in backing the Bush II claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (a “slam dunk”), and was a grave threat to the USA.

Born of incompetence and mendacity, that counsel led to the greatest strategic blunder of the 21st century, if not of U.S. history — the second Iraq War. Launched by George W. Bush, this invasion plunged us into the Middle East’s forever war and got the Republican Party ejected from power in 2006 and 2008.

While it’s not unusual for a president and the intel community to diverge on the gravity of threats, what is astonishing is that the intel leaders would declare a president to be flat-out wrong.

Yet the confrontation is not unhealthy, for it reflects reality. On foreign policy, we are divided not only on means but ends.

And the division calls to mind Walter Lippmann’s words, after U.S. political clashes and unpreparedness in FDR’s New Deal decade led to the early disasters at Pearl Harbor, Bataan and Corregidor.

“For nearly fifty years,” wrote the dean of American columnists, “the nation had not had a settled and generally accepted foreign policy. This is a danger to the Republic. For when a people is divided … about the conduct of its foreign relations, it is unable to agree on the determination of its true interest. It is unable to prepare adequately for war or to safeguard successfully its peace.”

We seem to be in just such a situation today.

Indeed, Trump is president because of the foreign policy disasters produced by his predecessors, who leaned on the U.S. intel community, and because Trump, in 2016, appeared to read the nation right.

Yet there is common ground between Trump and the spy chiefs.

Coats and Haspel are correct that the U.S. faces a Russia and China that are closer and more collaborative than they have been since the 1950s, before the Cuban missile crisis, which Mao saw as a Moscow capitulation.

And as we have more in common with Russia, with its historic ties to the West, and Russia appears by far the lesser long-term threat, how do we split Russia off from China? Here, Trump’s instincts are right and the Beltway Russophobes are wrong.

As for Iran, the intelligence community is consistent.

In 2007 and 2011, the CIA declared “with high confidence” that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. Now, with U.N. inspectors crawling all over Tehran’s nuclear facilities under the treaty, the CIA and DNI are still saying the same thing.

What of the contention that Iran is seeking hegemony in the Middle East?

Really? How? Would a nuclear-armed Israel, which has launched 200 strikes on Iran’s allies in Syria, accept that? What would Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO, Egypt, the largest Arab nation, and Saudi Arabia have to say about that?

How could Shiite Iran, whose Persian majority is nearly matched by its Arab, Azeri, Baloch and Kurdish minorities, gain dominance over a Middle East where the vast majority is Sunni Arab? How is Iran a threat to us over here, compared to the threat we pose to Iran over there?

Iran broke out of its isolation for two reasons. First, George W. Bush came in and overthrew its Taliban enemies on its eastern border, and then he overthrew Saddam Hussein, the enemy on its western border.

As Trump contends, ISIS has been defeated and driven from its twin capitals — Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. But it is also true that ISIS and al-Qaida still have tens of thousands of jihadists living among the peoples of the Middle East.

And the great question remains:

Are U.S. troops necessary over there — to prevent terrorists from coming over here? Or are they over here — because we are over there?
--------------------
Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

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Trump Policies Keep Economic Boom Going . . .

. . . As Job Gains of 304,000 Surpass Expectations
by Council of Economic Advisors, The White House: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its first monthly Employment Situation Report of 2019, showing that the United States economy is continuing its historic streak of positive job gains in the new year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 304,000 jobs in January, far surpassing market expectations (165,000) and above the prior 12-month average gain (223,000). January 2019 marks the 100th straight month of positive job growth and the 16th consecutive month of employment growth of at least 100,000 new jobs. Job gains in December were revised down by 90,000 and November jobs were revised up by 20,000 for a cumulative loss to total employment of 70,000 jobs in the previous months. Nevertheless, despite these downward revisions, the 223,000 average monthly jobs created in 2018 remains well above the pace of monthly job creation in 2016 (193,000) and 2017 (179,000).

Numerous sectors experienced job growth in January, including mining and logging (7,000), transportation and warehousing (27,000), construction (52,000), education and health services (55,000), and leisure and hospitality (74,000). The economy has added 4.9 million jobs since January 2017 and 5.3 million jobs since President Donald J. Trump was elected in November 2016.

The report also indicates that wages are continuing to rise. Nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.2 percent over the past 12 months, marking the 6th straight month that year-over-year wage gains were at or above 3 percent. Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3 percent since April 2009. Taking inflation into account, real wages are also growing. Based on the most recent Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data from November, inflation in the past year was 1.8 percent, and based on the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) price data from December, the inflation in the past year was 1.9 percent (the most recently available data).

A separate household survey released by BLS shows that the unemployment rate ticked up by 0.1 percentage point (p.p.) to 4.0 percent in January—but still represents the 11th consecutive month at or below 4 percent. Additionally, the labor force participation rate for prime-age adults (ages 25-54) increased by 0.3 percentage points to 82.6 percent. The last time it was this high was April 2010. Though the unemployment rate edged up, this is largely explained by the 2018-19 partial government shutdown and would otherwise have likely remained unchanged.

While furloughed Federal workers are included in BLS’s establishment survey (they were scheduled to receive back pay and therefore counted in the monthly job number), they were not considered to be employed in the household survey. Furloughed Federal employees who did not work during the household survey’s reference period (January 6-12, 2019) were categorized as being on temporary layoff, a special unemployed category in which individuals are not necessarily looking for a job because they are expecting to return to work. In January, 104,000 Federal workers—an increase of 91,000 Federal workers (not seasonally adjusted)—were counted as being on temporary layoff, contributing to a spike in the overall number of temporarily unemployed individuals (see figure). CEA estimates that had workers not been furloughed the unemployment rate for January would have remained steady over the month at 3.9 percent.

The January employment data depict a strong American economy. With a continued low unemployment rate, historic trends in job gains, and rising wages, this employment report provides further evidence that the Administration’s pro-growth, pro-worker policies are working.

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Arkansas Wins Legal Victory Over Fayetteville Ordinance

Old Main, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Jerry Cox, Contributing Author: This morning the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the City of Fayetteville cannot enforce an ordinance that gives special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The court case stems from a so-called “nondiscrimination” ordinance the City of Fayetteville adopted in 2015 despite a state law effectively preventing cities and counties from creating protected classes that are not found in state laws like the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.

Besides running afoul of state law, the Fayetteville ordinance has a number of significant problems.

Under Fayetteville’s ordinance, a minister could have been penalized for declining to solemnize a same-sex marriage, and people of faith who own catering services, florist shops, and wedding venues could have been penalized for choosing not to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

After more than three years of legal wrangling, the state’s highest court has handed Arkansas citizens a solid victory in this case.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and her office have worked tirelessly to stop the City of Fayetteville from enforcing this unlawful ordinance.

The lawsuit over this ordinance has bounced from court to court in the state, but the A.G.’s team has been very proactive at every turn. I honestly don’t believe any state attorney general’s office does a better job standing up for what’s right than Arkansas.
--------------
Jerry Cox is the founder and president of Family Council and the Education Alliance and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

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Victory & Surrender

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker sums up in a single word the recently announced framework of an agreement between the United States of America and the Taliban: Surrender.

“This current process bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Paris peace talks during the Vietnam War,” writes Crocker in a Washington Post op-ed. “Then, as now, it was clear that by going to the table we were surrendering; we were just negotiating the terms of our surrender.”

He’s not wrong.

It may seem strange that, after successfully toppling the Taliban government, a savage regime that had given safe haven to Al-Qaeda to launch its 911 attacks against us, we would now, nearly two decades later, be anxious to cut a deal with that same Taliban, even possibly bringing them into a power-sharing role.

Anything to get the heck out of Kabul and back to the good ol’ USA. And it is a recognition, right or wrong, that the Afghan government is unsustainable.

The alternative? Keep a significant contingent of U.S. troops in Afghanistan . . . forever. Or until we have fashioned a brand new westernized-Afghanistan that is no possible threat to us.

Yep, forever.

“Winning may not be an available option,” contends a new Rand report, “but losing . . . would be a blow to American credibility, the weakening of deterrence and the value of U.S. reassurance elsewhere, an increased terrorist threat emanating from the Afghan region, and the distinct possibility of a necessary return there under worse conditions.”

The same mistaken reasons we stayed in Vietnam.

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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CBO: Government Shutdown Cost The Economy $3 Billion. It Doesn’t Matter!

by Robert Romano: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the now-ended, month-long partial government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $3 billion of output in the fourth quarter of 2018, and $8 billion of output in the first quarter of 2019, respectively.

It doesn’t matter.

Of the amounts suggested, most of that comes out of $245 million of government contracts a day not paid out during the shutdown. Federal employees who were furloughed during that time have already been awarded back pay, including for the last week of 2018, the output of which has been moved into the first quarter of 2019.

Making no mistake, $8 billion in the first quarter works out to $32 billion annualized. That could take 0.6 percent out of the first quarter GDP’s inflation-adjusted growth rate.

But in terms of growth, it will be made up for in the second quarter and beyond as government contractor spending “grows” by $8 billion back to its normal level. As the report notes, “In subsequent quarters, GDP will be temporarily higher than it would have been in the absence of a shutdown.”

In other words, it’s a wash for the most part.

In addition, about $8 billion out of the $11 billion of lost spending will overall be pushed forward and simply spent later. According to the report, “Although most of the real GDP lost during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 will eventually be recovered, CBO estimates that about $3 billion will not be.”

Meaning the real calculation that should be made is to the annual, inflation-adjusted growth rate. There, the $3 billion for the year is just a fraction, just 0.014 percent off the annual rate. Meaning, if growth would have otherwise been 2.6 percent, it would be reduced to 2.586 percent. It’s less than a rounding error.

It is true that government spending is factored into the overall GDP. What this underscores however is how temporary gains and losses to that figure really are.

So, if you know cutting spending would save money over the long run but one impact would be to output measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to the quarterly GDP, you take that deal because of the long-term benefits to reducing the deficit.

In other words, we do not make public policy decisions solely on how they impact quarterly GDP. Nor should we. Congress should still address budgets on their merits, including whether it meets the nation’s priorities, even if it takes a little while longer to come to a consensus or there’s a temporary shutdown. It’s not, hurry up and make a deal. Get it right.
-------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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Media Call Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods ‘Black’ — But Not Naomi Osaka?

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: When Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., announced her candidacy for the 2020 presidential race, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked a black guest whether Harris is “seen as African-American.” The guest promptly assured a relieved Matthew: “Yes, I think she’s seen as African-American. The fact that she was at Howard University today … when she did her announcement press conference, she’s going to South Carolina in the first week — she’s really planting her feet in the African-American community.” Mother Jones magazine called Harris “a woman of color” who attended Howard University, where she “was inspired by a strong legacy of black achievement.”

Being “African-American” or “black” is an important factor to Democrats, for whom white men need not apply — unless you’re Joe Biden. But Matthews poses an interesting question. Harris was born in Oakland, California. “Kamala” is a Sanskrit name meaning “lotus.” Her mother is from India, her father from Jamaica. The Wall Street Journal describes Harris as “an African-American.” An Oprah Magazine piece, however, updated after Harris’ recent announcement, checked off several race/ethnicity boxes: “(Harris is) currently (California’s) first African-American senator and the country’s first South Asian-American senator. And now, with a 2020 run, she could be our first black female president.” So, she’s African-American, black and South Asian-American.

President Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, has a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas. Obama calls himself, as do the media, “black” or “African-American.” Occasionally, he is referred to as “biracial,” but not often.

So, do the media describe Harris and Obama as black because that’s their preference? Is that the rule, then — that one is racially described the way one wants? If so, explain Tiger Woods.

Woods, like Harris and Obama, is also a blend of races and ethnicities. In 2002, ESPN wrote: “For the record, he is one-quarter Thai, one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Caucasian, one-eighth African American and one-eighth Native American. Woods, however, according to ESPN, refers to himself as “Cablinasian,” a word “he coined to identify who he is, a one-size-fits-all definition of his CAucasian, BLack, American INdian and ASIAN ancestries.”

Woods’ mother, Kultida Woods, says Tiger is “more Asian.” She added, “A mother raises her son, and he had an Asian mother.'” But ESPN quoted Karen Narasaki, the former executive director of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice, who said: “Tiger Woods can call himself what he wants to call himself — to most of America, he’s black. Asian-American groups have thought to give him awards, but as far as I know he hasn’t showed up to pick one up.” In 2016, ESPN, along with other media outlets, ran an Associated Press story that described a book Woods planned to write about “when he broke 20 records and became the first player of black heritage to win a major championship.” So much for Kultida’s perspective, so much for Woods’ preference for “Cablinasian.” “Black” it is.

So if one parent is black, the child may be a blend of races, ethnicities and even nationalities, but he or she is also “black.” Right?

What of tennis star Naomi Osaka, who just won the Australian Open? To ESPN, she is “the first tennis player from Japan to reach No. 1 in the rankings.” USA Today called her “the first Japanese player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam trophy.” Osaka was born in Japan, but she has lived in America since age 3 and has dual Japanese and American citizenship. She says she “grew up in a Haitian household in New York,” where she lived with her grandmother. Her mother is from Japan, her father from Haiti. She moved to Florida at age 9, still lives there, and often visits her grandparents in Long Island, New York. The U.K.’s Telegraph wrote, “Osaka is proud of her Haitian and American heritage but plays under the Japanese flag despite not being able to speak the language fluently.” But one must search very hard for a news article describing Osaka as “black,” despite her Haitian father. Even then, news outlets painstakingly describe her as “half-Haitian” or the daughter of a “Japanese mother” and a “Haitian” or “Haitian-American” father.

The point of all of this, of course, is what difference does it make? Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday we recently celebrated, spoke of his vision of a society where “people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” A black childhood friend of mine married a white woman. “Linda” sought to enroll their son in a well-regarded school that touted its “diversity.” It required an entrance exam, and, if the student scored high enough, an interview with the parents. During the interview, the school admissions administrator looked at the son and asked, “What race is he?” Linda replied, “What do you need?”
--------------
Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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