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

Friday, April 26, 2019

Vice President Joe Biden, Kate Smith, and Cisheteronormativity . . .

. . . Why Biden’s Campaign Will Become Hopeless
Vice President Joe Biden
by Newt Gingrich: Vice President Joe Biden is an energetic, intelligent, affable politician with a lifetime of experience and a lifetime of friends.

When Callista and I were with him in Aspen a few years ago, he spoke convincingly of his passionate, personal commitment to accelerate curing cancer – the cause of his son’s death – and the need to save as many people as possible.

During that speech, he referred to me several times in positive, friendly ways and communicated his essential decency and willingness to reach across the aisle with a spirit of bipartisanship. Shortly after his speech, we found ourselves at Mass together in the small local Catholic Church.

At first glance, Joe has a lot going for him.

Unfortunately, after a lifetime in politics, Biden is about to discover how radically his party has changed since he first won a Senate seat in 1972 (47 years ago). For that matter, he’s going to quickly learn just how much Democrats have changed since he last ran for vice president seven years ago.

The Biden of the 1970s was a moderate liberal from a moderate border state, Delaware. There was a big backlash in Wilmington against bussing as a tool of desegregation. As the Washington Examiner headlined, “Joe Biden embraced segregation in 1975, claiming it was a matter of ‘black pride.’” The paper links to a 1975 NPR interview in which Biden explains his views. In September 1975, Biden went on to cosponsor with Republican North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms an anti-busing amendment. Explaining even a temporary alliance with Helms on bussing will be challenging in the increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

Vice President Biden just discovered how difficult it is going to be to move his historic record to a more acceptable liberal rewrite. When he recently called Anita Hill to apologize for his failures as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearings on Supreme Court Nominee (and now Supreme Court Justice) Clarence Thomas in 1991, he was soundly rejected.

The New York Times reported in a headline “Joe Biden Expresses Regret to Anita Hill, but she says ‘I’m sorry’ is not enough.” Hill was quoted saying, “he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”

So, on race, the role of women, and the question of ‘gender violence,’ Biden faces issues which are 40 and 28 years old, respectively.

There will be many more issues that surface. Many of Biden’s decisions, votes, speeches, and interviews – which may have made sense in the context of a different country in a different era – will make no sense to the left-wing of the Democratic Party today.

As a Delaware resident, Vice President Biden would do well to look 29 miles north to Philadelphia and notice that the statue of the singer Kate Smith in front of the Flyers’ arena is missing.

The amazing story of left-wing bigotry and Smith should be a cautionary tale for the former vice president.

Smith was an iconic pop singer with more than 3,000 recordings to her credit.

As the Smithsonian Magazine reported:“‘God Bless America’ was her most iconic hit. In 1938, Smith was reportedly searching for a song to perform on her CBS radio program on the 20th anniversary of Armistice Day. She reached out to composer Irving Berlin to find out if he had anything new to offer, and Berlin decided to finish a song that he had started writing one year earlier. ‘In a short time, the song supplanted ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as the nation’s most popular patriotic song,’ the Times reflected in her 1986 obituary, adding, ‘There were attempts—all unsuccessful—to adopt it formally as the national anthem.’”She was such a symbol of patriotism that, to quote the Smithsonian Magazine again:“In 1982, President Ronald Reagan awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“‘Kate always sang from her heart, and so we always listened with our hearts,’ Reagan remarked. ‘It’s been truly said that one of the most inspiring things our GIs in World War II, Europe and the Pacific, and later in Korea and Vietnam, ever heard was the voice of Kate Smith.’”

Despite decades of patriotically serenading our military – and having sung the most popular patriotic song in American history – Smith could not survive the judgmental hatred of the modern Left.
It turned out that of her 3,000 recordings, two — that’s right, two – recorded in the early 1930s had racist language and themes. Consequently, one of the two had also been sung by a famous African American activist.

As USA Today reported:“It should be noted that the same song was recorded by Paul Robeson, the concert singer and actor who also was a famous lawyer, scholar, and political and civil-rights activist before his death in 1976. And it wasn’t the only song he recorded that might be considered politically incorrect in the 21st century, including Stephen Foster’s plantation songs, such as ‘Old Black Joe.’ One of his records, ‘Plantation Medley,’ features a song called ‘The Little Piccaninny’s Gone to Sleep.’”However, as USA Today concluded, “Robeson was black; Smith was white.”

If two songs out of 3,000 songs recorded 88 years ago can force the Flyers and the New York Yankees to stop playing Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” – and lead the Flyers to take down her statue – how many more things will be found in Biden’s past that will not be allowed to survive the hatred and hostility of today’s totalitarian Left?

For a taste of what he is up against, Biden should study “Cisheteronormativity” as defined by the new Amherst College Common Language Guide.

Amherst teaches us that Cisheteronormativity is “a pervasive system of belief (on an individual, systemic and ideological level) that being cisgender and heterosexual (straight) and associated ways of being in the world (life-path, material desires, family/kinship structures, political/social goals, etc.) are the default and ‘normal.’”

The college quickly retracted the document, saying “prescribing a particular language and point of view is anathema.” Nevertheless, Vice President Biden and his team should study all 40 pages of the document. It would give them a better sense of what they are up against in the modern radical Left.

The Vice President has to recognize that at 76, he potentially personifies the heteropatriarchy, which is close to the worst fear of the modern Left. If he is not careful, he could be seen as a powerful, old, heterosexual, white male.

Look at those five words, and you can begin to understand how big the challenge is for Biden and how much he will threaten the norms of the new, totalitarian Left.

It is going to be fascinating to watch Vice President Joe Biden, as a lifetime practitioner of politics and the art of the possible, collide with the new Left’s definition of politics – and its devotion to rooting out moral inadequacy and destroying or erasing those it deems unworthy.
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) 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. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Vice President Joe Biden, Kate Smith, Cisheteronormativity, Why Biden’s Campaign, Will Become Hopeless 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 Big Month for Economic Development in Arkansas

Governor Asa Hutchinson: Now that I’ve been in office for more than four years, you may have noticed that one of my favorite topics is “economic development.” As we close out April of this year, I’d like to note that this has been a banner month for job creation in Arkansas.

This week alone, we’ve announced two grand openings and an expansion that are projected to produce 781 jobs and investments of $141 million. When you consider the two expansions we announced in the first half of April, the total comes to over 900 new jobs and over $200 million in investment.

April’s first big announcement was that Coca-Cola Consolidated will expand its operations in West Memphis by 60 employees and invest $30 million. This is a significant win for Arkansas because the company chose to expand at its Arkansas facility rather than across the Mississippi River in Memphis. When an iconic American company like Coca-Cola continues to invest in Arkansas, we know we're doing things right.

April’s second big story was Sig Sauer’s announcement that the company would expand its ammunition manufacturing plant in Jacksonville. This should create 75 new jobs and the firm’s investment in Arkansas by $30 million.

Sig Sauer was my administration’s first economic development victory. On my first day in office in 2015, I made a cold call to Sig Sauer’s president. Eighteen months later, Sig Sauer was breaking ground in Jacksonville.

On Tuesday, the president of the Czech firearms company CZ-USA joined me at the capitol to announce his company will build a plant at the Port of Little Rock, its first U.S. plant. Over the next several years, CZ-USA expects to create 565 new jobs and invest $90 million. In addition, Arkansas will be its North American Headquarters.

Our second big announcement was that Aerojet Rocketdyne is enlarging its operations in East Camden. That expansion is expected to create 140 new jobs and attract more than $50 million in investment.

On Thursday, I traveled to Helena-West Helena to help cut the ribbon at Dragon Woodland Sawmill. The reopening of the sawmill, which the company bought in 2018, is expected to create 75 new jobs and attract $10 million in investment. This is great news for Phillips County.

While April was an exceptionally productive month, it accurately represents the kind of economic development we’ve seen in Arkansas over the past four years.

With the leadership of Mike Preston and his team at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, we have signed more than 400 economic development deals, which produced 17,000 jobs, and more than $8 billion in capital investment.
Our total job growth since January 2015 is over 80,000.

This doesn’t happen by accident. I have traveled nearly 90,000 miles and visited eight countries. We have forged solid trust-based relationships with business leaders all over the world.

In June, I will make my third trip to the Paris Air Show, which is the place to meet global leaders of the aerospace and defense industry.

But it’s more than research and reaching out. A sales pitch is worthless unless I have something of value to sell. In Arkansas, we have our natural beauty, our natural resources, and our solid record of economic growth.

But our most important selling point is the people of Arkansas. Without exception, the CEOs who have chosen to do business in Arkansas talk about the strength of our workforce. Arkansans work hard, and over the past four years, many have taken advantage of educational opportunities to learn new skills that are crucial in our rapidly developing high-tech economy.

With our emphasis on computer science and technical careers, we are adding muscle to our workforce. Our workforce, of course, is all of Arkansas. The ultimate goal of economic development is to make Arkansas a better place to live, and we are doing just that.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Big Month, Arkansas, Economic Development To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

220,300 Public School Teachers Physically Attacked by Students

by Terence P. Jeffrey : A record 220,300 public school teachers reported that they were physically attacked by a student during the 2015-2016 school year, according to a report jointly published this month by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The 220,300 public school teachers who said they were physically attacked by a student in 2015-2016 is up from the 197,400 who said they were attacked by a student in 2011-2012 (which is the last school year before 2015-2016 for which teachers were surveyed on the question).

In 1993-94, the first year that public school teachers were surveyed on the question, 112,400 said they were physically attacked by a student.

The 220,300 public school teachers who said they were physically attacked by a student in 2015-16 equaled approximately 5.8 percent of the 3,827,100 public school teachers the NCES estimates there were during that year.

The NCES also estimated that the 197,400 teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student in 2011-12 also equaled 5.8 percent of the total public school teachers working that year.

Prior to that, in the years going back to the 1993-94 survey, the highest percentage of public school teachers who reported they had been physically attacked by a student was 4.4 percent in 1993-94.

The data for 2015-16 comes from the NCES’s National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS). The data for previous school years going back to 1993-94 comes from the NCES’s Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), which the NTPS has now replaced.

The data was published in “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2018,” a report released online this month by NCES and BJS. (The data on the number of school teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student in 2015-16 was also previously published in “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017.")

The questionnaires used in the surveys asked teachers whether in the past 12 months a student had threatened to injure them or had physically attacked them.

“The percentage of public school teachers reporting that they had been physically attacked by a student from their school in 2015-16 (6 percent) was higher than in all previous survey years (around 4 percent in each survey year) except in 2011-12, when the percentage was not measurably different from that in 2015-16,” said the new report.

“Students are not the only victims of intimidation and violence in schools,” the report said. “Teachers are also subject to threats and physical attacks, and students from their schools sometimes commit these offenses.”

The report indicated that female teachers were more likely than male teachers to be physically attacked (but not more likely to be threatened) by a student and that elementary school teachers were more likely to be both threatened and physically attacked by a student than secondary school teachers. (An elementary school, according to the report is one “in which the lowest grade is less than or equal to grade 6 and the highest grade is less than or equal to grade 8.” A secondary school is one “in which the lowest grade is greater than or equal to grade 7 and the highest grade is less than or equal to grade 12.”)

“During the 2015-16 school year, there was no measurable difference between the percentages of male and female public school teachers who reported being threatened with injury by a student (10 percent each…),” said the report. “However, a higher percentage of female public school teachers than male public school teachers reported being physically attacked by a student (6 percent vs. 4 percent).”

“The percentages of public school teachers who reported being threatened with injury or being physically attacked by a student also varied by the instructional level of the teacher,” said the report. “During the 2015-16 school year, a higher percentage of elementary public school teachers than of secondary public school teachers reported being threatened with injury (11 vs. 9 percent) or being physically attacked (9 vs. 2 percent) by a student.

Of the 220,300 teachers the report says were physically attacked by a student in 2015-16, only 35,100 were male teachers while 185,200 were female, the report indicated in Table 5.1.

174,700 of the 220,300 teachers who were physically attacked by a student were elementary school teachers, Table 5.1 indicated, and 45,600 were secondary school teachers.
Terence P. Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of the conservative Previously, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events where he is now an editor at large.

Tags: Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, 220,300 Public School Teachers, Physically Attacked, by Students To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Should Counter North Korea's $2 Million Bill for Otto Warmbier with an Invoice from the American People

Otto Warmbier (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File via PJMedia)
by Claudia Rosett: Are there any limits to the greed, audacity and multivalent evils of North Korea's Kim regime? It now appears that having monstrously abused and mortally injured a visiting American college student, Otto Warmbier, Kim Jong-un's regime then handed the U.S. a bill for Otto's medical care -- as a condition of releasing him, in a vegetative state, to be flown home to die.

To quickly recap this awful case: Otto Warmbier went to North Korea on a group tour in late December 2015. On Jan. 1, 2016, North Korea arrested him. Kim Jong-un's totalitarian regime accused Otto of trying to steal a political wall banner from his hotel, and paraded him before the cameras to deliver what was clearly a forced "confession," then sentenced him to 15 years at hard labor, then disappeared him into custody, incommunicado. For more than a year North Korea provided not a word on his condition. For most of that time, under President Obama's North Korea "policy" of "strategic patience," the U.S. sidelined Warmbier's case, urging his desperate family to keep quiet. It fell to President Trump, just after taking office in 2017, to launch the push that led to the discovery that Otto while in custody had suffered massive brain damage. In June 2017, Trump dispatched an envoy, Joseph Yun, together with an emergency physician, to fly to Pyongyang -- whether North Korea liked it or not -- and bring Otto home.

On Thursday, Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield broke the story that when Yun arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea presented him with a $2 million bill for Otto's hospital care. According to Fifield, North Korean officials insisted that Yun sign an agreement to pay this bill as a condition of Otto Warmbier's release.

Fifield reports that according to two anonymous people "familiar with the situation," Yun called from Pyongyang to inform then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of this predicament. Tillerson checked with President Trump, and on their instructions, Yun signed the agreement to pay. The bill went to Treasury, and it's "unclear," according to Fifield, whether Treasury ultimately paid. Fox News is now reporting that according to its own anonymous sources, the U.S. never paid -- which I devoutly hope is true. Money being fungible, it's reasonable to regard North Korea's $2 million invoice as a bid to help bankroll such stuff as Kim Jong-un's Rolls-Royce habit, his nuclear missile program, or, for that matter, North Korea's vast apparatus of repression with which Kim grinds down his own people and destroyed Otto Warmbier.

Of course, with all the anonymous sources sloshing around here, it's worth the caveat that by the quaint standards of old-fashioned journalism, none of the reporting on this $2 million North Korean invoice should be taken as rock solid. In the stories to date, there's no clear attribution, no official confirmation, nor have we seen the invoice. In response to my queries about the story, the State Department referred me to a White House statement: "We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration."

All that said, the entire story is quite plausible and sickeningly consistent with the shakedown rackets that North Korea's dynastic Kim regime has employed for decades to befoul civilized norms, exploit free nations, and fill the Kim family coffers. At the pinnacle of power in Pyongyang, it's a signature family tradition to inflict horrible suffering and harm -- and try to cash in on it.

So, on the assumption the reporting is accurate, and before this story devolves into the usual domestic Washington blame game, let's try to keep the focus on the real enemy -- which is Kim Jong-un's North Korea. We can debate whether Kim might have ordered the injury inflicted on Otto Warmbier, or, as Trump suggested in Hanoi, learned about it after the fact.

But it's a sure bet that by the time Yun flew into Pyongyang to be met with a $2 million bill for Otto's "care," Kim -- as monolithic ruler of the world's most perniciously controlled state -- knew exactly what was going on, and had approved the attempted shakedown. Trump had braved the political risks of sending Yun to North Korea, and Yun had braved the personal risks of barnstorming his way into Pyongyang. As is usually the case with North Korea, when the squeeze came, there were no good options. Quite likely the best of the bad options, once North Korea demanded a signed IOU, was for Yun to sign the piece of paper, get Warmbier (and himself, and the emergency physician) out of North Korea's clutches, and for the Trump administration to then refuse to honor a repugnant secret agreement signed under de facto coercion. Which is apparently how it played out.

But is there anything more to be done?

One easy move comes right to mind. How about presenting Kim with an American invoice? Not a North Korean-style jumped-up shakedown for the depraved act of destroying the life of a hostage and keeping it secret for more than a year while providing "care." But a genuine reckoning. Let the true billing begin.

For generations, the costs inflicted on America by North Korea's totalitarian, terror-sponsoring regime have been staggering. Even setting aside the massive cost to non-Americans, including North Koreans themselves -- if we focus only on the direct costs to the U.S. -- the full tally is too enormous, over too many decades, to allow for any simple bottom line. But perhaps one of those ambitious big-data handlers out there might be interested at some stage in providing a ballpark estimate. Maybe the State Department, or National Security Council, should give it a try?

Here are some items to include in the invoice. They vary from colossal to relatively small, and this is just a sampling. A full roster would be much, much longer. But in every case, North Korea's Kim regime bears responsibility:
  • The cost in blood and treasure of the 1950-53 Korean War, triggered by North Korea's surprise invasion of the South -- an attempt to enslave the entire peninsula -- with a toll of more than 33,000 Americans killed in battle, and many more wounded.
  • Add the cost of maintaining tens of thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea since the 1953 Armistice -- 66 years of this to date -- as a basic necessity to deter another invasion by North Korea's hyper-militarized, predatory totalitarian regime.
  • Throw in the more than $1 billion in U.S. humanitarian aid to North Korea from 1995-2008, much of that coopted by North Korea's regime to feed and fuel its military while the intended beneficiaries starved.
  • Add such doo-dads as the multi-million dollar charges that North Korea presented to the Bush administration in 2008 for the Potemkin gesture of blowing up an unnecessary cooling tower at the Yongbyon reactor complex.
  • Factor in the costs of U.S. efforts via Navy patrols, diplomacy and law enforcement, over many years, to try to contain North Korea's rogue weapons programs and trafficking, both conventional and nuclear.
  • Add to that the $501 million owed by North Korea for damages awarded to the Warmbiers last December in a U.S. District Court, for what the judge described as "the torture, hostage taking, and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier, and the injuries to his mother and father, Fred and Cindy Warmbier." Which North Korea has not paid.
That still won't get you to the full, real cost to America of the threats, agonies and abuses inflicted over more than 70 years, down three generations of North Korea's Kim regime. But it would be a start.
Claudia Rosett (@CRosett) writes for PJMedia and is widely recognized as a ground-breaking reporter on corruption at the United Nations. Her investigative reporting skills, drawn from three decades as a journalist covering international affairs.

Tags: Claudia Rosett, PJ, Media, President Trump, Should Counter, North Korea's $2 Million Bill, for Otto Warmbier, with an Invoice, from the American 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!

Sri Lankan Victims of ISIS Terror Attacks Were Christians

Pastor Darrell Scott
by Darrell Scott: Hundreds of Christians were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday – or, as several leading Democrats put it, some people did something to “tourists and Easter worshipers.”

In a different time, this characterization by Democrats would read as an obvious political hyperbole designed to spin the truth. In today’s America, however, it hardly does enough to encapsulate the left’s hatred of Christianity.

As the death toll from the devastating terrorist attack continued to climb and Sri Lankan authorities worked to identify the perpetrators, Democrats were apparently struggling with a very different question – what to call the victims of this terrible massacre. “Christians” apparently wouldn’t do, presumably for the same reasons that the words “radical Islamic terrorism” have been excised from the liberal vocabulary.

In short, they needed a euphemism that would enable them to express concern for the victims without drawing attention to the fact that hundreds of Christians had just been slaughtered by radical Islamic terrorists.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Julian Castro came to the rescue with a simple answer: “Easter worshipers.”

“The attacks on tourists and Easter worshipers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity,” Obama wrote. “On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”
Not to be outdone, Clinton echoed the former president, saying, “I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshipers and travelers in Sri Lanka.”
In a similar message, Castro also offered his prayers for the victims of the attack, acknowledging that “on a day of redemption and hope, the evil of these attacks on Easter worshipers and tourists in Sri Lanka is deeply saddening.”
Not a single mention of the Islamic extremists who were behind the devastating attack. Not a single mention of the word “Christians.”

Welcome to the new Democrat Party.

Sadly, this bizarre response to the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka isn’t that surprising – it’s just another example of the anti-Christian mentality the Democrats have adopted in the name of “multiculturalism” and “diversity.”

In December, for instance, Democrat Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris ganged up on a U.S. District Court judicial nominee over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization. After disparaging the KofC for its positions on social issues, such as same-sex marriage, the senators asked nominee Brian Buescher whether he would resign from the group “to avoid any appearance of bias” if he were confirmed.

The incident was so egregious that the Senate passed a resolution in January affirming that considering KofC membership a disqualifying factor for judicial nominees would violate the Constitution’s prohibition against using a “religious test” for public office.

Earlier this year, Senator Cory Booker pulled a similar stunt by aggressively questioning a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals about his Christian faith. “Are gay relationships, in your opinion, immoral?” the lawmaker and presidential candidate asked. “…Do you believe they are a sin?”

In the eyes of the radical Democrats, Christians are always the villains and never the victims. According to the liberal narrative, Christians are responsible for virtually all of America’s supposed shortcomings, from slavery and institutionalized racism in the past to bigotry and discrimination against minorities in the present.

Of course, in their eagerness to denigrate the Christian faith, the Democrats are also openly attacking the founding of this nation and the religious tradition that not only cradled it, but has continuously inspired us to keep striving to live up to our founding ideals throughout our country’s history.

Christians may have been involved in the slave trade, for instance, but Christians were also the ones who abolished the practice, which had persisted throughout human history in every corner of the world. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. later appealed to the nation’s Christian sensibilities to explain the injustice of racism and discrimination.

Christians recognize that we, like everyone else on this planet, have individual flaws and shortcomings, but they look to their faith as a guide to help them lead better lives. That’s what those Christians were doing in Sri Lanka when they were attacked by cowardly criminals from ISIS who took it upon themselves to decide that anybody who follows the Christian faith doesn’t deserve any kind of a life at all.

No, some people didn’t just do something to Easter worshipers in Sri Lanka. Islamic terrorists slaughtered hundreds of Christians in cold blood – and it’s about time that the Democrats acknowledged the truth and reality of this war on Christians.
Pastor Darrell Scott is CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump and a member of the Donald J. Trump for President Inc. advisory board.

Tags: Darrell Scott, pastor, ISIS Terror Attacks Sri Lankan Victims, Were Christians To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Media Shocked To Learn NRA Members Back Trump Despite ‘Slump’

by Tom Knighton: President Donald Trump doesn’t have the highest approval numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, it’s been a while since we had a president with particularly good approval ratings, so that’s not precisely groundbreaking at this point.

However, one group still backs the president, and that’s gun owners. While many are upset by the administration’s move to ban bump stocks, gun owners generally back Trump.

The media finds this shocking, especially as Trump is, as they put it, “bad for business.”
In Greenfield, Indiana, Mark Highsmith said he believes firearms are woven into the fabric of the state. He owns a gun shop and told ABC News the NRA remains strong in parts of the country because it’s the only organization on the front lines of gun advocacy.

“They’re really the only lobbying group for the shooting public,” Highsmith told ABC News. But, he added, “I think they need to try and rationalize how they spend their money and try to be more steadfast in the way they do business. I’d like to see them be more supportive of places like me — how are they helping the average member.”

Highsmith is in a unique position as a gun shop owner. While he personally supports Donald Trump, it hurts his business.

“When Trump got in, our business slowed quite a bit — anytime you got a Democrat House and Senate, I really think it makes people alarmed,” he said.

Some gun enthusiasts have labeled that decline in firearm sales the “Trump Slump.” The president’s 2016 campaign, heavily backed by the NRA, helped reassure gun owners, so they bought fewer firearms.

... The NRA also disagreed with the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks following a mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in October 2017 that killed 58 people. That shooter used a bump stock, a device that allows a rifle automatic or semiautomatic firing capability.

Still, the president is expected to receive a warm response today.

“I’m happy he’s coming,” Highsmith added, “and I’m happy he’s a Second Amendment supporter.”
Sorry for the long block quote, but I wanted you to see what ABC News is putting out there.

Yes, President Trump is far from a Second Amendment absolutist. Yes, he’s squishy on guns in a way I’m less than comfortable with. So why do so many NRA members support the President?

That’s easy. He’s better than Hillary Clinton.

Had Clinton been elected and things proceeded otherwise, we’d have gotten a lot more banned than bump stocks. For one, it’s unlikely she would have allowed the ATF to reclassify bump stocks.

“But that would have been a good thing,” some of you are saying, but only if you look at that without remembering the landscape immediately after Las Vegas. Congress was set to pass a bump stock ban. The problem with that ban was that it covered far more than bump stocks. It covered things like binary triggers, competition triggers, and arguably could have made it illegal to oil your trigger group. That would have been far-reaching and had a much bigger impact on the firearms community.

That would have happened, even with the GOP-controlled Congress.

At least with President Trump, that didn’t happen.

So why do gun store owners, for example, back President Trump if he’s bad for business? That’s a question that ABC News failed to ask, probably because it knew it wouldn’t like the answer.

It’s like how gun manufacturers prefer the “Trump Slump” as opposed to the boom times under Obama. At least now they’re somewhat secure. They don’t feel like their business will be outlawed if the president gets a chance. They’d rather have slower but safer revenue than a massive influx and a constant threat hovering over their heads.
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: Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms, Media Shocked, To Learn, NRA Members Back Trump, Despite ‘Slump’ To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

GDP Up, Getting Tough, Babies vs. Cancer, Buckle Up Joe

by Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: GDP Up
The Trump economy continues to defy expectations. First quarter economic growth came in at 3.2%, beating expectations of 2.5%. According to CNBC, "It was the first time since 2015 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%."

It is also noteworthy because it happened during most of the longest government shutdown in history. As you no doubt recall, we were told over and over that the bureaucrats were so essential to our success that the long shutdown was going to hurt the economy.

Once again, all the pundits and so-called "experts" who were predicting gloom and doom were wrong. Just like Paul Krugman and others who predicted a recession and a stock market crash after Trump's election were wrong.

Getting Tough
President Trump recently said we needed to go in a tougher direction when it comes to illegal immigration. I agree completely. Here are a few encouraging headlines:
  • A Massachusetts judge and another court official were charged yesterday by federal prosecutors with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for helping an illegal alien escape when ICE officers attempted to arrest him at a court hearing.
  • The Florida legislature advanced a bill this week to ban sanctuary cities in the Sunshine State.
  • A recall petition against New Jersey's left-wing governor has been approved. Among the issues driving the recall effort is Gov. Phil Murphy's decision to make New Jersey a sanctuary state and to provide financial aid to illegal immigrants attending New Jersey colleges.
  • The Pentagon is expected to announce new rules "expanding the military's involvement" in border security efforts. Our troops are severely restricted in terms of what they can and cannot do at the border. But if our military exists for anything, it should be the security of our borders!
More Spying?
Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson, chairmen of the Finance and Homeland Security Committees, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether the FBI attempted to spy on members of the Trump transition team after the November 2016 election.

Grassley and Johnson have reportedly discovered new text messages that suggest fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page may have been using transition team intelligence briefings as opportunities to conduct "intelligence gathering operations."

We will keep you posted.

Babies vs. Cancer
If you're meeting young people today with bizarre ideas on everything from America's history to economics, faith and human sexuality, blame the educational establishment. Here's a good example of the confusion that reigns on our college campuses.

A slide from a "top-level biology course" at the University of California San Diego went viral this week. It purported to explain to students the "parallels between fetuses and cancers."

The fetus was described as "a legitimate parasite" that "rapidly grows" and "invades," just like a cancer, which also "rapidly grows" and "invades."

I appreciate that there may be some "parallels." But describing developing babies as "invading parasites" explains why Democrats continually insist that abortion is essential to women's "healthcare." They are treating pregnancy like a disease to be eradicated!

It is ridiculous that so many young Americans are going into debt for this kind of absurd indoctrination. Even worse, socialists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren say it should be "free," meaning they want the rest of us to pay for it.

Buckle Up, Joe!
Can Joe Biden make the argument that he is a traditional, mainstream Democrat and thus best positioned to defeat Donald Trump, while constantly trying to convince the left that he is really one of them?

It's not going to be easy. Within minutes of Biden's announcement, he was already getting whacked by the progressive movement.

Evidently, the former vice president felt the need to seek forgiveness from Anita Hill before running for president. (Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.)

Yesterday, Hill publicly rejected his apology. In an interview with the New York Times, Hill declared that Biden owes an apology "to the other women and to the American public" who have been so "deeply disappointed."

What I want to know is whether Anita Hill has ever apologized to Clarence Thomas!

Meanwhile, Biden is getting slammed for his weakness on Russia during the 2012 election. In the age of Trump, Biden's party has suddenly morphed into Cold Warriors who see nefarious Russian conspiracies behind every corner.

Well, Biden was really soft on Russia seven years ago. Biden mocked Romney, saying, "He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on. . . [The Russians] are working closely with us. . . This is not 1956!"

How is Biden going to thread that needle in today's McCarthyite Democrat Party?

Biden had better buckle up. His past runs for the presidency didn't go well, and I suspect this is going to be the toughest race of his life.

In fact, I wonder if Joe Biden might turn out to be the Jeb Bush of the 2020 campaign -- a big name with a lot of money and establishment support whose time has passed.
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Teacher Rejects President Trump As Subject Of Student’s “hero” Essay . . .

. . . But another student was allowed to write about ex-president Obama.
by Sara Dogan: Sixth grade student Bella Moscato and her family have gone public after the middle schooler’s teacher assigned her class to write an essay on a person they consider a hero—and then rejected Bella’s proposal to write about President Donald Trump.

Bella is a student at Samoset Middle School, part of the Sachem Central School District located in Long Island, New York. According to the 11-year-old, who was interviewed with her parents by a local news channel, the teacher made no secret of her distaste for our current president.

That teacher, says Bella, rejected Trump as a subject of her essay “because he spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women.” According to Bella, this statement was made in front of the whole class as well as another faculty member. Her teacher then told her to pick a different individual to profile in her assignment.

“The thing I didn't get is she was okay with someone doing Barack Obama, but not okay with doing Donald Trump. That's what got me angry and I didn't like that,” Bella explained.

Bella’s parents brought the issue to a local school board meeting.

“My daughter’s hero is the president of our country. I can’t believe that anybody in the school would tell my daughter that that guy can’t be her hero. I’m incensed by this,” her father, Arthur Moscato, declared at the meeting. His comments were met with loud applause.

Her mother, Valarie Moscato, spoke up too: “This was really frustrating to me because you know my daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice…so it was really upsetting to me that [the teacher] was trying to shut her down.”

School superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham attempted to rebut the accusations. “It is not accurate that this student was told that they were not allowed to conduct research or report on any individual for a school assignment, including President Trump,” he claimed in a statement. “To the best of our knowledge, by choice the student is still conducting their project on President Trump.”

But as Bella’s father Arthur told the crowd assembled at the school board meeting, this statement, not his daughter’s story, is the lie. Addressing Superintendent Graham directly, the father stated, “And I’m incensed that my story was said to be inaccurate, by you. My story is not inaccurate. My daughter didn’t lie. No one should make a child feel that way. And you’re supposed to protect my child.” His statements received further applause from the audience.

The one fact that Superintendent Graham apparently got right is that Bella is still writing her essay on President Trump, despite her teacher’s objections. “Because Donald Trump is my hero,” she explained.

The school board claimed they could not comment on the matter at a public meeting but promised to investigate. At last report, the Moscatos are still waiting for an apology from the teacher and school district.
Sara Dogan is a contributing author at FrontPage Mag

Tags: Teacher, Rejects President Trump, As Subject, Of Student’s “hero” Essay, accepts student essay, about ex-president Obama, Sara Dogan, FrontPage MAg. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Previously Deported Illegal Carlos Zuniga-Aviles Accused of Killing Infant

Carlos Zuniga-Aviles
KAIT-TV - Jonesboro, AR: The man accused of killing an infant boy was previously deported five times, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE officials Jose Agurcia-Avila is an alias name given to Shelby County officials, and the suspect's real name is Carlos Zuniga-Aviles.

He’s accused of killing a four-month-old boy upon learning he was not the child’s father. He faces charges of first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse.

Carlos Zuniga-Aviles faced a judge for the first time Thursday morning.

Investigators say the crime took place at an apartment complex on Court Avenue where the 4-month-old boy’s mother called authorities when the child was unresponsive.

The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

The child had a fractured skull and fractured rib.

Both the mother and her boyfriend, Zuniga-Aviles, said they had no knowledge how the child was hurt.

More than a week later, the mother of the child told police Zuniga-Aviles confessed to hitting the child in the head.

ICE officials said Zuniga-Aviles was in the country illegally and is a Honduras citizen.

ICE had the following statement on the matter:“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has lodged an immigration detainer on unlawfully present Honduran national Carlos Zuniga-Aviles AKA Jose Avila-Agurcia following his arrest for murder in Shelby County, Tennessee. ICE will seek to take him into custody to reinstate his removal order following the resolution of the criminal charges he currently faces. Mr. Zuniga-Aviles has been removed from the U.S. five prior times; his most recent removal by ICE to Honduras took place in December 2016. Mr. Zuniga-Aviles subsequently illegally re-entered the U.S. after removal, which is a felony act under federal law.He was previously deported back to Honduras in February 2010, January 2011, March 2012, November 2015, and December 2016.

Most recently, he was deported by ICE in Salt Lake County, Utah. He’s also been taken by border patrol in Texas twice and once by ICE in Louisiana. ICE officials said he’s used multiple aliases.

"In terms of his line of rhetoric, this is going to be an example that he would pick up and run with," said Michael Nelson, WMC political analyst.

WMC Action News 5 political analyst Michael Nelson says it would not be out of the question for this case to land on the desk of President Donald Trump and find its way into his talking points.

Trump has fought throughout his presidency to try and build a wall on the southern border to stop illegal immigration and even threatened weeks to seal the border weeks ago.

"Donald Trump is going to make hay with both of those things. One, he'll say if we had a wall he wouldn't have been able to get in all those times and meanwhile we should be worrying about people getting in because of what they do," said Nelson.

Zuniga-Aviles is set to be back in court May 1.

The district attorney’s office says they are focused on his murder case and deportation should not be an issue while the case is pending.
Reported by KAIT-TV - Jonesboro, AR

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Why Barr Must Confront the Deep State

AG William Barr
by Lloyd Marcus: Due to her amazing job taking care of our home, 9 birds, 2 cats, one greyhound and me, my wife Mary has not followed the intricate details of the Mueller/deep state silent coup to end Trump's presidency.

Mary asked, “Is Mueller a good guy or a bad guy? To prevent her eyes from glazing over, I kept it simple. Mueller is a bad guy. He could have concluded in two weeks that Trump did not collude with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary Clinton. And yet, Mueller dragged out his bogus investigation for over two years which dramatically harmed Trump's approval numbers and even may have caused Republicans to lose the house.

Then, Mary asked, “Why won't AG William Barr comply with Democrats' demand that he release the Mueller report unredacted?” I explained, redacted means taking a marker and blacking out information unrelated to the investigation. During the course of an FBI investigation, personal information about your life will surface. It is unfair and illegal to go public with your personal information if it has nothing to do with the charges against you.

Therefore, Barr would be breaking the law if he released the Mueller report unredacted. Embarrassing dirt was exposed during the Bill Clinton sex sandals investigation. Democrats wanted to make sure such details would not be made public again. They passed a law that future investigations must be redacted. Now, Democrats are demanding that Barr break their own law.

Fake news media and Democrats know the law prevents Barr from releasing the unredacted Mueller report. And yet, Democrats are absurdly viciously attacking and seeking to destroy Barr, flooding the airwaves with their lies that Barr is illegally protecting Trump. Democrats know they can lie to the American people about Barr because fake news media will cover for them.

The Mueller report found no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia. And yet, Democrats, the deep state and fake news media intend to continue promoting their lie that Trump colluded and obstructed justice all the way to the 2020 presidential election.

Exposing their repulsive arrogance and sense of superiority, John Brennan, James Clapper, Adam Schiff, James Comey and Obama minions are moving full speed ahead with their treasonous quest to remove Trump from office. These evil people are using fake news media to sell their lie that Trump is guilty of obstruction for simply confronting their lie-filled attempts to overthrow his presidency. They expected Trump to behave like a typical wimpy passive Republican and allow them to destroy him.

AG William Barr must follow through with holding them accountable to save Trump's presidency and the rule of law in America. The only thing that is going to stop the deep state's Terminator cyborg focus on removing Trump from the White House is a powerful political punch in the face by Barr.

Bullies are cowards. As a black kid growing up in the mean projects of Baltimore, bullies took my lunch money. Cousin Jimmy confronted them with a threat of personal destruction if they dared to bother me again. They complied. Cousin Jimmy also taught me the power and wisdom of having a strong military. Washington DC is full of cowardly bullies, hellbent on undermining the will and best interest of the American people.

These bad players in the deep state have no fear of punishment for their treason. Barr must push them back on their heels, forcing them to go on defense.

When Barr probes deep into the deep state's outrageous, unprecedented and illegal attempt to reverse the 2016 election, all the cockroaches will run, exposed by the light of truth and justice. That will be a glorious thing to see; a great day for America.
Lloyd Marcus (@LloydMarcus) is an "Unhyphenated American" and an internationally renowned conservative columnist, singer/songwriter and author. He is Chairman of the Conservative Campaign Committee Political Action Committee. He is a prominent voice of the American Tea Party movement and the singer/songwriter of the ”American Tea Party Anthem.” Marcus has been on Fox News, CNN, PJTV and more.

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The Most Successful Presidents Keep to Themselves -- Not Twitter

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: "The Mueller report makes Trump look vain, ignorant, inept, and astonishingly dishonest." So writes my Washington Examiner colleague Quin Hillyer, never an enthusiast of President Donald Trump.

He refers to many passages of the report: one that shows the president ordering his White House counsel to arrange the firing of the special counsel and then ordering the counsel to state in writing he never said that; one suggesting that Trump was dangling pardons to cooperative aides; and others in which Trump vents his rage at the protracted investigation, which eventually, after almost two years, found no evidence that he or his people colluded with Russia.

House Democrats are looking hard to find something a bare majority of House members will find a plausible basis for impeachment. They will ignore the fact that Trump's aides -- notably, former White House counsel Donald McGahn -- refused to carry out his orders or ignored his suggestions. They will call this obstruction of justice, even though it's nothing more than thinking bad thoughts -- out loud.

That's not an offense that will get him removed from office by two-thirds of the Senate. But it is a species of political malpractice, one that may lead the voters to remove him in November 2020.

And it's very different from the modus operandi of the three most successful presidents of the last 90 years, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, who won their second terms with an average of 59 percent of the popular vote.

Donald Trump shares all but his innermost thoughts with us. Moments of irritation and elation prompt instant tweets, full of execration and exultation, respectively.

Not so with Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan. Each of them projected an image of friendliness and cheer. Each seemed to have shared the tastes and gut instincts of ordinary people.

But none of the three had any really close friends, any aides or companions with whom they shared their plans and to whom they revealed their reactions to people and events. Each had gone through a long period of enforced idleness, an enforced hibernation in what are, for most professionals, their peak years -- Roosevelt bedridden with polio, Eisenhower stuck as lieutenant colonel, Reagan with his declining movie career. Each then suddenly gained great fame, Roosevelt and Reagan as governors of the nation's largest states, Eisenhower as commander of the nation's largest military operation.

Each came to the presidency used to great responsibility and accustomed to long loneliness. As president, each kept his strategy and most of his tactics to himself. None seems to have fully trusted or confided in anyone for any extended period. None seems to have wanted the public to know how knowledgeable and well-read he was, and each managed to fool historians on that point as well.

There are some, but only a few, resemblances between these three presidents and Donald Trump. Trump did enjoy success and gain fame early, and perhaps there was a form of enforced hibernation during his near-bankruptcy in the 1990s. He seems to share the tastes and instincts of many ordinary people.

But he has nothing like the self-discipline apparent in the determination of Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan to keep their long-term strategies and as much as possible of their short-term tactics to themselves. Roosevelt cordially disliked some political allies; Eisenhower had a volcanic temper; Reagan had his pet hates -- but they all kept these things secret from the public and, mostly, from their closest aides as well.

The contrast with Donald Trump is obvious. You can get his instant responses to just about any public events or political developments by signing up for his Twitter feed. Former aides, political allies and rank-and-file supporters have all suggested, multiple times, that someone grab and hide the cellphone on which he tweets. No one has done it.

It's obviously foolish for Democrats to follow the advice of Trump haters in the media and impeach Trump for making comments and threats he and his subordinates never acted on. Nor is expressing rage at an investigation evidence of guilt, as CNN's Jeffrey Toobin argues, even after special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion with Russia. Vagrant musings should not be the basis for overturning the result of a presidential election.

But neither is the dismissal of charges evidence that Trump's undisciplined self-exposure is the best way to govern. Maybe he should click off cable news and read a few books to see how his three most successful recent predecessors managed to keep to themselves.
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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Recyclable . . .

. . . Joe Biden is enjoying good poll numbers right after launching his candidacy for President, possibly the same polls Hillary used in 2016.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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A Nation at War With Itself

by Patrick Buchanan: The media are already salivating over the possible removal of a president they have come to loathe more than their great nemeses of the 20th century — Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon. And the media will reward those who echo the call for impeachment…

President Donald Trump has decided to cease cooperating with what he sees, not incorrectly, as a Beltway conspiracy that is out to destroy him.

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump said Wednesday. “These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are out to win in 2020.”

Thus the Treasury Department just breezed by a deadline from the House Ways and Means Committee to deliver Trump’s tax returns.

Thus the White House will invoke executive privilege to deny the House Judiciary Committee access to ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, who spent 30 hours being interrogated by Robert Mueller’s team.

Thus the Justice Department is withholding from the Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents dealing with the decision to include a question on the 2020 Census about citizenship status.

Across the capital, the barricades are going up figuratively as they did physically in the 1960s and ’70s. Once more, it’s us against them.

Cognizant of the new reality, Trump seems to be saying:

These House investigations constitute a massive political assault, in collusion with a hostile media, to destroy my presidency.

We do not intend to cooperate in our own destruction. We are not going to play our assigned role in this scripted farce. We will resist their subpoenas all the way to November 2020. Let the people then decide the fate and future of the Trump presidency — and that of Nancy Pelosi’s House.

In response to Trump’s resort to massive resistance, Rep. Gerald Connolly said: “A respect for the limits of your branch of government, a respect for the role of other branches of government, is sort of the oil that makes the machinery work. … Absent that this breaks down. And I think we’re definitely seeing that.”

Connolly is not wrong. But the requisite mutual respect between the Democratic House and the Republican White House simply does not exist. It broke down a long time ago.

The campaign of 2020 is on. And the stakes are huge. Not only are the first and second branches of government in play, so, too, is the third, the Supreme Court. Many Democrats, refusing to accept the success of the 50-year conservative long march to capture the court, are determined to pack an expanded court with liberal justices to overturn the conservatives’ victory.

With Republicans having won two presidential elections in 20 years, with fewer popular votes, Democrats are also resolved to rewrite the Constitution and abolish the Electoral College.

Not only ex-convicts but felons in prison must now be allowed to vote, says Bernie Sanders, even if that means the Boston Marathon bomber.

Under the Sanders reform, if someone murders you, he is still entitled to an absentee ballot. The right to vote is apparently more sacred than the right to life. Truly, this is the divination of democracy.

Trump’s defiance of House subpoenas will fire up his base, which sees the world as he does and has never cottoned to what President Gerald Ford cherished as “the politics of compromise and consensus.”

Whatever may be said about the “deplorables,” they are not obtuse. They do not believe that people who call them racists, sexists, nativists and bigots are friends and merely colleagues of another party or persuasion.

Trump’s defiance of subpoenas, however, will force the more moderate Democrats to join the militants in calling for hearings on impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee, which is where we are headed.

The media are already salivating over the possible removal of a president they have come to loathe more than their great nemeses of the 20th century — Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon.

And the media will reward those who echo the call for impeachment.

This week, two more Democrats running for president, including Sen. Kamala Harris, came aboard. Soon, the House will capitulate to the clamor and the stampede will be on.

The problem for Democrats?

Attempting to overturn the election of 2016 and remove a president who has the passionate support of a third of the nation will sunder the Democratic Party base as surely as it will unite the Republicans.

Should impeachment succeed, a wound would be inflicted on the American body politic that would take years to heal.

In the longer run, however, the question being raised today goes to the long-term health of the republic itself.

America surely does not lack for diversity. Its diversity — racial, religious, cultural, ethnic, ideological, political — is visible and ever-growing. What is missing is the concomitant of unity.

Moreover, it is the more racially, culturally, religiously, ethnically, and ideologically diverse of the parties, the Democrats, that seems the more splintered than a Republican Party that is supposed to be afflicted with the incurable and fatal disease of Trumpism.

The questions raised by the present state of our politics, which might fairly be described as an American civil war without arms, are these: How does a nation so divided stand united in the world?

And if it cannot stand united in the world, how long does it remain a great nation?
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

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by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Funerals are starting to look very different. An article in the Washington Post predicts that “the funeral as we know it is becoming a relic.” Many of our time-honored rituals are being set aside.

One of the first books I wrote was on the subject of death and dying. I noted then that we were a death-denying culture. The elderly used to die in our homes, but now we’re dying in hospitals and care facilities. And we tried to cover the reality of death with euphemisms like “he passed on” or “she is in a better place.”

Four decades later we see that our secular society is changing the rules about dying. Americans are less likely to spend as much money on somber, embalmed-body funerals. Cost is part of the reason, which may also explain why more than half of all American deaths lead to cremations. That is nearly double the percentage less than two decades ago.

Some of the changes in funerals parallel other changes in major life events. There are more destination weddings than just a few decades ago. Some of the gender-reveal celebrations are becoming theatrical productions. So we shouldn’t be surprised that some funerals look more like retirement parties or even birthday parties.

Concern about the environment probably explains why many are opting for green funerals. The body is placed in a biodegradable coffin or shroud. One state has approved legislation that allows for human composting. There are even businesses to turn one’s ashes into vinyl or jewelry.

Each generation tries to make its peace with the inevitability of death, and we are seeing new trends in that regard. As Christians, we can take comfort that we will be raised from the dead just as Christ was raised from the dead. And we know that death will be the final enemy to be destroyed.
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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Vasily Goloborodko for President?

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Vladimir Putin may not be as powerful as feared.

Not only does he apparently not pull the strings of the much-accused-of/now-cleared-of-collusion “Trump Puppet,” Putin also does not write comic lines for the “acting” president of Ukraine.

You see, a few days ago Ukrainians held a run-off election to choose a new leader, and the man who won — Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky — is, like the U.S. president, a celebrated entertainer.

In 2015, he began playing the role of Vasily Goloborodko in the TV show, Servant of the People. His character is a high-school history teacher who rants in class against government corruption. Soon a video of his extemporaneous tirade goes viral, and, voila, Goloborodko ascends to the presidency!

Zelensky’s actual transit to the real presidency may be less funny but is just as remarkable.

A Kiev teacher quoted by the Los Angeles Times admitted the election was rather crazy. “But at least we have a choice. They don’t have that in Russia.” In the Times’ lede, Putin is identified as “by far the biggest loser of the night.” The anti-Russia trajectory of Ukrainian politics is reported to be steadfast.

The anti-corruption movement, however, may be a bit iffier.

Meanwhile, the eighth season of HBO’s political satire Veep is underway, and I am told it is as chillingly accurate as ever. Last week the anti-heroine Selina Meyer, played by Julia-Luis Dreyfuss, again stumbled her way into political success, this time by “accidentally” “colluding” with the Chinese Government.

Is this meant as a nod to Russiagate or a pointed Hillary Clinton commentary?*

Seems a lot like Ukrainian politics.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Two decades ago the “Chinagatescandal roiled the second term of the Bill & Hillary Clinton Administration.
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) 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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Sibyl’s Ride

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: On April 26, 1777, Sibyl Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British. Her ride was over twice as long as the more famous Paul Revere’s.

On the same day in 1805, United States Marines captured Derne under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, an important event in the First Barbary War. In April 26, 1865, Union cavalry troopers cornered John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, in Virginia, shooting him to death. There was no interrogation.
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) 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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  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
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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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  • 5/15/16 - 5/22/16
  • 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
  • 6/26/16 - 7/3/16
  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 7/16/17 - 7/23/17
  • 7/23/17 - 7/30/17
  • 7/30/17 - 8/6/17
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  • 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
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  • 2/18/18 - 2/25/18
  • 2/25/18 - 3/4/18
  • 3/4/18 - 3/11/18
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  • 3/18/18 - 3/25/18
  • 3/25/18 - 4/1/18
  • 4/1/18 - 4/8/18
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  • 4/15/18 - 4/22/18
  • 4/22/18 - 4/29/18
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  • 5/20/18 - 5/27/18
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  • 6/10/18 - 6/17/18
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  • 7/22/18 - 7/29/18
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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
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  • 2/17/19 - 2/24/19
  • 2/24/19 - 3/3/19
  • 3/3/19 - 3/10/19
  • 3/10/19 - 3/17/19
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  • 3/24/19 - 3/31/19
  • 3/31/19 - 4/7/19
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  • 4/14/19 - 4/21/19
  • 4/21/19 - 4/28/19
  • 4/28/19 - 5/5/19
  • 5/5/19 - 5/12/19
  • 5/12/19 - 5/19/19
  • 5/19/19 - 5/26/19