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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, June 14, 2019

Hong Kong: Anti-Corruption vs. Pro-Truth

by Newt Gingrich: Over the last several days, more than a million Hong Kong residents have flooded the streets and demonstrated against a proposed law that would let the semi-independent government there turn residents accused of crimes in mainland China over to communist authorities in Beijing.

Proponents of the law claim it would prevent serious criminals hiding in Hong Kong from evading justice. But many others (myself included) see the law as a way for the Chinese Communist Party to further limit Hong Kong’s already shrinking autonomy – and silence anti-communist voices in the democratic city.

The protest has reportedly even grown larger than the 2014 umbrella protests – in which hundreds of thousands in Hong Kong petitioned to be able to elect their own leadership. (These demonstrations ultimately failed. The chief executive of Hong Kong is nominated by a roughly 1,200-member election committee and appointed by a Beijing-controlled state council.)

In response to the current protests, Hong Kong police fired pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tear gas into the crowds. They have beaten countless unarmed civilians with clubs and arrested demonstrators. Hong Kong’s legislature has postponed a discussion of the proposed law, but its leaders have shown no sign that they would scrap the extradition plan altogether.

In fact, The New York Times reported that Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who is an ally of the Chinese Communist Party, “compared the protesters to spoiled children and vowed to keep fighting for the extradition law.”

For those who haven’t studied this historically important, dynamic city, Hong Kong was a former British colony, which had a democratic system (and for a short time, a limited movement toward suffrage had begun). This did not last. Hong Kong was turned back over to China in 1997, but it maintained partial independence from the ruling Chinese Communist Party. According to the city’s constitution, it will maintain its semi-independence until 2047, but China’s leaders have been working to speed up this timeline.

Afterall, Hong Kong is a bastion of relative freedom and democracy sitting right off the coast of a communist, totalitarian dictatorship. There, the internet isn’t censored, the press is relatively free, and businesses aren’t controlled by the state. The Chinese Communist Party does not appreciate Hong Kong’s press (which criticizes China’s leadership), nor does it appreciate its hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of pro-democracy residents (who represent a mortal threat to communism).

The response to these protests shows how much control the Chinese Communist Party already wields in Hong Kong. It also reminds us that General Secretary Xi Jinping is willing to take aggressive steps to stamp out dissent and further consolidate power under the Chinese Communist Party. This is a key part of Xi and the Chinese system that the West has simply misunderstood. (I discussed this further in a recent episode of my Newt’s World podcast).

Those in Hong Kong who are fighting the extradition law do so for very good reason. Within mainland China, Xi has been aggressive about censoring the internet, jailing journalists who aggravate the Party – and in fact arresting virtually anyone who isn’t totally loyal. I have been researching Xi’s consolidation of power for my new book Trump vs. China: America’s Greatest Challenge, which comes out in October.

Like many totalitarians, Xi describes this behavior as part of an anti-corruption campaign. In the short term, this will likely help Xi secure a great deal of power. However, in the long run, I suspect it will create serious problems.

An anti-corruption campaign is not the same as a pro-honesty campaign. Coercive anti-corruption efforts imposed by a totalitarian system will prove destructive. Xi’s coercive police state campaign teaches people to lie and tell the Chinese Communist Party (which is the government) whatever party leaders want to hear.

This (along with many aspects of modern China) mirrors George Orwell’s 1984 – only with modern technology and surveillance capabilities that seem to be beyond even Orwell’s imagination. In this system, truth is erased by fear. Loyalty becomes something that must be proven daily – with every thought, word, and deed. Mark my words: It will end badly.

This is really what the people of Hong Kong are resisting. They see tyranny on their doorsteps.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Hong Kong, Anti-Corruption vs. Pro-Truth To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hollywood's China Connection

by Tony Perkins: Don't be fooled by the Americans behind the camera. In today's Hollywood, there's one director -- and that's China. As important as U.S. audiences are, filmmakers know there's a bigger one. And they're willing to do anything they can to tap into it, even if it means becoming co-conspirators with one of the most evil censorship operations in the world.

It's the biggest partnership no one knows about, and according to some experts, the most dangerous. The majority of Americans probably have no idea when they buy a ticket to the latest blockbuster that the film they're about to see was either partially financed by China or altered because of it. In the last several years, there hasn't been a more powerful influence over Hollywood than the communist regime -- and with Chinese ticket sales set to overtake the U.S., the situation is only going to get worse.

There's a sinister side to all of this, which is that the more Hollywood relies on China's market to make movies, the more those movies are going to cater to the country's demands. The Heritage Foundation's Mike Gonzalez has been tracking the major revolution in filmmaking because of the Chinese market and thinks more Americans need to be paying attention. "Hollywood does all kinds of things to make sure they have a slice of the Chinese pie," he told listeners on "Washington Watch." "And they're quite open about it. They don't hide it. They're quite happy to submit to the censorship of the Chinese Communist Party."

"It goes something like this," he explained. "In order for the U.S. film to crack the Chinese market, certain themes cannot be portrayed, certain products must be taken out, and certain speech must be limited." The process has become so rigorous that a lot of studios are actually flying over these Chinese censors to sit in on filming. In some instances, entire scripts have been changed -- either to conform to the communists' messaging or showcase China in the best possible light. Others try to save themselves the time and money of those overhauls by just co-producing their movies with the Chinese from the start -- including, in 2018, some of the biggest box office successes: Mission Impossible: Fallout, Venom, The MEG, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.

The obvious result of all this, Mike argues, is that "American audiences are being submitted to censorship -- not our own censorship, but a foreign power's censorship -- and a Communist Party censorship. We get shown a very benign view of China, in which China is a normal country, no different from Paris, or Britain, or Germany. That isn't the case obviously. If you speak against the government in Germany, nothing happens to you. If you speak against the government in China, they'll throw you in jail."

By letting China call the shots, these filmmakers have actually become complicit in the attack on free expression -- their expression. Just think about it, Mike said. "How come there's never been a movie about the Tiananmen Square massacre? That was drama there. There were students who were crushed by soldiers. There was blood, there was death, there was scheming. And yet Hollywood has never made a movie about Tiananmen. Why? Because any studio who makes a movie about Tiananmen knows that will be shut out forever from the Chinese box office market."

This is a country with such suffocating strictness that even Winnie the Pooh is banned. Why? Because the government is worried he'll be compared to President Xi Jinping. (Maybe they don't want the world's worst human rights abusers to look soft.) Either way, Hollywood is going along with it, prostituting its voice -- and America's influence -- in the process.

Of course, most people probably aren't surprised that Tinseltown would sell its soul to make a few bucks. What they are amazed by is all of the political sanctimony from filmmakers here at home. This is an industry in partnership with the Chinese government, a notoriously brutal regime, who's turning around and telling places like Georgia: We're not doing business with you because you passed pro-life laws.

Unbelievable. Hollywood has no problem climbing down from its moral high horse to sell tickets in China -- where people are being viciously tortured and killed -- but decides it can't possibly ally itself with states that protect their own people. They'd rather be a puppet of the communist state and its nightmarish record on human rights than support a democratic process that saves lives. That's 100-percent hypocrisy no matter what language you speak.

If the entertainment industry wants to wrap itself in the Chinese flag, that's literally their business. Just don't be shocked when the alliance backfires. Because in a world of bad actors, the People's Republic is the worst.
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) 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.

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Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Sanctuary Cities

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
by Elizabeth Koh Fulfilling a key, controversial campaign promise popular with his party’s base, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that will ban sanctuary cities in Florida, though the policy is expected to draw a legal skirmish over its constitutionality as it goes into effect next month.

The bill, SB 168, requires local and state law enforcement officials and entities to honor federal immigration detainer requests, which ask a law enforcement agency to detain someone on probable cause that they are removable under federal immigration laws.

It also prohibits local officials from implementing sanctuary policies, which had previously not been defined in state law. There are no sanctuary cities in Florida.

Joined by ally U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the area, and bill sponsor state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, DeSantis told a packed crowd in the chambers of the Okaloosa County Commission that the bill “is about the rule of law” and “public safety.”

“I said we were going to do certain things, and I’m happy to report after having just one legislative session under our belt we’re delivering on the promises we made to the people of Florida,” he said, to applause. He cast sanctuary cities as “law-free zones” where people could arrive illegally and commit crimes, “and then just walk out the door and continue to do it.”

The controversial proposal had been brought before the Legislature before but passed this year in part thanks to DeSantis’ aggressive support. The former congressman had made banning sanctuary cities a key part of his gubernatorial campaign and met regularly with lawmakers throughout the session to ensure it had the votes to pass.

“Florida has once again stepped up when Washington D.C. has failed by passing the strongest ban of sanctuary cities in the country,” Gruters said. “This law ensures we do not treat non-citizens better than Americans and it will help ensure Floridians are not being victimized by illegal aliens.”

Advocates of the bill had contended that the bill would only affect people who had been charged with a crime and ensure compliance with federal laws.

But opponents, including business and immigrants’ rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the bill would have unintended consequences by splitting immigrant families and hurting minority communities.

The issue drew weeks of impassioned, pained testimony on both sides, as well as protests that stirred the Capitol and even disrupted proceedings on the House floor in the final days of the legislative session.

As DeSantis signed the bill into law Friday, some of those groups criticized what they called “one of the worst anti-immigrant laws in the country.”

“Laws like this are proven to negatively impact people in immigrant communities, who will be less likely to report crime to the police or cooperate with investigations, for fear of immigration enforcement against themselves or their neighbors,” said Scott McCoy, senior policy counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, in a statement. He accused DeSantis and Republican lawmakers of using “racial grievance to drive a wedge between Floridians.”

“It undermines public safety making our towns and cities less safe by requiring local law enforcement to spend less of their time and resources fighting crime in local communities and more on doing the work of federal immigration authorities.”

Andrea Mercado, executive director of the progressive New Florida Majority group, said in a statement that the organization “will back legal challenges to this law.”

Florida is the latest among several states that have taken up or are considering similar policies, including Arkansas, which recently also passed a sanctuary cities ban.

The proposal was a popular issue among DeSantis’ supporters, particularly in the Republican-leaning Panhandle. In rural Okaloosa County, where the bill was signed, interest in DeSantis’ appearance was so high that the event was moved from the county sheriff’s office to the county’s commission chambers in Shalimar, which can hold eight times as many people. Of the county’s 180,000 residents, 6% are Hispanic or Latino.
Elizabeth Koh  is a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. Article shared by Liberty Headlines.

Tags: Florida, illegal immigration, immigrant crime, Matt Gaetz, Ron DeSantis, sanctuary cities To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Not-Inevitable Candidate and His Not-Feasible Pet Project

Biden's Continuous Flip-Flops!
by Michael Barone: Will Joe Biden inevitably win the Democratic nomination for president? A month ago, many psephologists thought so, as national polls within two weeks of his April 25 announcement showed the former vice president with 41 percent of Democratic primary votes.

Four weeks later, that number has fallen to 32 percent, still formidable in a field of 24 candidates but lacking the look of inevitability. His light schedule of campaign events suggests a lack of confidence in the stamina steadiness of a 76-year-old candidate, and his flip-flop on major issues strengthens that impression.

The most important issue on which he's switched is probably China. In May, he downplayed its importance. "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!" he told Iowa Democrats. "They're not competition for us."

He changed his tune in June. "We need to get tough with China," he said, decrying its "abusive behavior," "cheating" and "repression." Quite a turnabout for one with 42 years of experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the National Security Council.

Attracting more attention was his 24-hour renunciation of his 43-year opposition to Medicaid abortions. He argued that recent state laws restricting abortion, if upheld by the courts, would reduce availability of abortions. But Medicaid payments won't open closed clinics or enable banned procedures.

Nor did Biden's abortion flip-flop reflect unanimous Democratic opinion. A June Politico/Morning Consult poll showed Democrats almost evenly split on Medicaid abortions: 45 percent for, 38 percent against.

All of which makes a Biden nomination look less inevitable this month than it did in May. And maybe it was all along. A May YouGov survey reported that only 8 percent of Democrats were for "Joe Biden or bust." The same percentage was "Bernie Sanders or bust," while 67 percent were "considering multiple candidates."

This is a race in which every candidate, well known or not, is standing on quicksand. As former President Barack Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, wrote this week for CNN, "No one is going to hand Biden the Democratic nomination. He'll have to engage fully and fight for it if he is to get the face-off with Trump he is seeking."

And if his flip-flops on China and abortion undercut his supposed advantages of deep experience and settled conviction, his stance on another issue has the capacity to make his priorities seem downright eccentric.

That issue, dear to his heart, is passenger rail. During his 36 years in the Senate, he commuted almost every day to his home in Delaware on Amtrak, a 75-minute commute each way these days on the Acela. A month after the election, his first wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident. The commute enabled him to help raise his two sons. Over many years, it enabled him to keep in closer touch with constituents than almost any other senator.

No wonder he's been a booster of high-speed rail, which makes him a natural ally of freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this year. Her "Green New Deal" proposals include "transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible" and would, according to a staff-drafted FAQ document, require the federal government to "build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops being necessary."

Of course your mileage may vary on what is "necessary." There's no doubt that the not-quite-high-speed Acela is the fastest way to travel the 120 miles from Capitol Hill in Washington to downtown Wilmington. But it's cheaper to drive a car or take a bus, and it would be faster if you could commandeer a helicopter.

The veteran Biden, like the newcomer Ocasio-Cortez, wants the federal government to pay for "the construction of an end-to-end high-speed rail system that will connect the coasts, unlocking new, affordable access for every American."

It's hard to overstate how wacky an idea this is. We already have "affordable access" through commercial airlines and interstate highways. And at distances above 300 miles, high-speed rail can't compete on travel time with airlines and on costs with automobiles. Among the world's much-praised high-speed rail lines, only the 300-mile-long Tokyo-Osaka Shinkansen and the Paris-Lyon TGV have been profitable.

Given the fiasco of California's now-canceled high-speed rail and the longstanding failure to upgrade the Acela line to Shinkansen/TGV standards, it's lunatic to envision -- and start paying for -- a 3,000-mile coast-to-coast passenger rail line. Anyone want to ask Biden about this?
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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Blue Water Navy Vietnam Vets Win . . .

. . . Congress unanimously adopts bill extending presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to those who served on ships
by Robert Romano: Both the House and Senate have unanimously adopted H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which extends the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to Navy veterans who served aboard ships off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Land-based military personnel have been given the same benefit, with the presumption of exposure under “The Agent Orange Act of 1991,” which passed both chambers unanimously.

The Senate action on June 12 came just a week after the Blue Water Navy vets had secured another victory, with the Justice Department foregoing any appeal to the Supreme Court of a January 9-2 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, that awarded the benefits to 90,000 veterans.

The ruling stated, “These statutes cast no doubt on our conclusion that, by using the formal term ‘Republic of Vietnam,’ Congress unambiguously referred, consistent with uniform international law, to both its landmass and its 12-nautical-mile territorial sea.”

That decision overturned a 2009 federal court ruling that had upheld the Department of Veterans Affairs’ interpretation of the statute that service members had to have physically been on the land mass in order to qualify for the benefit, although Congress had made no such stipulation.

But with the Senate action, the issue will forever be settled as the bill proceeds to President Donald Trump for his signature.

This is an issue that hits rather close to home for this author. My father, Anthony, was a boatswain’s mate on the U.S.S. Coral Sea from 1966 to 1968. He found out later that his illnesses could be linked to exposure, including two heart attacks (he had his first heart attack when he was 30), lung cancer that resulted in a lung being removed and diabetes. That was all without any prior family history.

The veterans advocate he spoke to told him he had a trifecta of illnesses that have been linked to exposure and that if he had set foot on Vietnamese soil just once he most certainly would have qualified for the benefits.

It was frustrating for him the past year as the same legislation passed the House unanimously but then stalled in the Senate. He is now greatly heartened by this news and feels a sense of justice.

It’s a shame it took this long. I’m fairly confident if the Navy or the VA had contacted him in 1991 and said that he might have qualified for this benefit, and that potential exposure could result in certain types of illnesses, he would have probably been in to get checked out.

The thing is, we’ll never know if his service resulted in his illnesses. No study could ever prove each individual case. That is why the 1991 legislation passed, because if veterans might have been exposed, and then did in fact get sick, Congress was saying let’s take care of them.

And now Congress has said it again, and President Trump will soon sign the bill into law. We are incredibly grateful to Congress, and to Attorney General William Barr for dropping the case and to the President for hearing these veterans. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Vets have won and I am personally thankful that my father, now 72, lived to see the day.
Robert Romano (@LimitGovt) is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Vets, Win, Congress unanimously adopts bill, extending presumption of exposure, Agent Orange, to those who served on ships To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

. . . Trump turns 73. Happy Birthday Mr. President with a cake complete with fake news candles.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Fascism Coming To America, Says Politician Who Locked Up Filmmaker

by Daniel Greenfield: Hey kids, it's time for another edition of, "Clintons Say the Darnedest Things."
Hillary Clinton warned her audience of the rise of fascism in America during an alumnae event held at Wellesley College.

“I think Madeline [Albright]'s book is really well-named: "Fascism: A Warning," Clinton said. “And the idea that 'oh, it can’t happen here' is just old-fashioned, my friends.”

“The demagoguery, the appeal to the crowd, the very clever use of symbols, the intimidation, verbal and physical,” she listed, “this is a classic pattern. There is nothing new about it, it's just different means of messages being delivered."
Fascism has been coming to America since around 1927.

But Hillary is legitimately an expert on fascism.

1. Her campaign plotted to frame her opponent as a Russian spy, and contrived to have the FBI and other law enforcement organs spy on and entrap his associates.

2. As Secretary of State, she responded to the Benghazi terrorist attack by having a filmmaker locked up over a YouTube video about Mohammed.
Thursday on the Glenn Beck Program, Glenn interviewed Charles Woods whose son Tyrone Woods, a former Navy SEAL, was killed during the attacks on the Libyan embassy in Benghazi.

Woods explained, "I do appreciate her taking the time from her schedule to meet with the four families. While we were in the pod over there with our family she came over shook my hand and I reached out and hugged her shoulder. Her countenance was not good. And she made the statement to me that first of all she was sorry and then she said 'We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.' "

Clinton was referring to a controversial YouTube film that the Obama administration claimed inspired the "spontaneous protests" that led to the attacks.
Hillary knows all about fascism.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist for FrontPage Mag and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

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Censoring Conservatives, How To Respond, Flag Day

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Censoring Conservatives
I've reported in the past on China's social credit rating system. It's George Orwell's Big Brother in real life. And now it's coming to America.

Facebook is reportedly monitoring the off-line behavior of its users in order to determine if they should be categorized as "hate agents." If you speak at an event or say positive things about someone designated as a hate agent, that gets you points for your own hate score.

Some people may shrug and say, "Well, I don't want to be associated with neo-Nazis and closet Klan members." Of course not. But that's not what we're talking about. If those were the only groups being labeled as "hate agents," this might be a useful service.

But as we regularly report to you, this is not the only thing that the leftists who dominate Big Tech and Big Media are labeling as "hate."

Candace Owens, a black conservative, was penalized by Facebook as a "hate agent." Why? Because she speaks out against what liberalism has done to minority communities.

My friend Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, regularly speaks out against radical Islamism. She has been labeled a hate agent.

Pinterest banned a leading pro-life site as "pornography."

As we have reported, leading progressive politicians are routinely labeling normal conservative views as "hate," beyond the pale of public debate and discourse. The latest example was Kirsten Gillibrand, who compared believing in the sanctity of life to Holocaust denial or the advocacy of slavery.

Virtually no mainstream conservative can speak on university campuses without a social justice mob labeling them a hater and trying to shut them down.

Well guess what? That social justice mob now dominates Big Tech workplaces like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

How To Fight Back
There is a big split among conservatives regarding how best to respond to this situation.

One side takes the traditional libertarian position that conservatives should oppose regulating business. If you don't like Facebook, just get off of Facebook. But more "woke" conservatives, and I include myself in this latter category, argue that more must be done.

We cannot permit these social media giants, which control today's public square, to label normal conservativism as hate and, thereby, banish us from today's public square. If they succeed in censoring us, we've lost the country. And sometime in the not too distant future we may find ourselves subject to more severe penalties like those imposed under China's social credit system.

I believe we must come up with creative means of defending free speech and stopping this censorship of conservative ideas.

For example, social media companies have been given certain legal protections in exchange for being an open public forum for free speech. If they are not going to be an open forum, perhaps they should lose those legal protections when they smear people as haters.

And kudos to Sen. Ted Cruz for his efforts to hold Big Tech accountable for its anti-conservative bias.

Flag Day
Today is Flag Day. Flag Day commemorates the day -- June 14, 1777 -- on which the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution adopting a national flag. Below are some excerpts of President Trump's proclamation recognizing Flag Day.

"On Flag Day . . . we celebrate and honor our Nation's lasting emblem, our great American flag. Since the Second Continental Congress adopted its design more than 200 years ago, the Stars and Stripes has been a powerful symbol of freedom, hope, and opportunity. . .

"The American flag helps us to never forget the values of our Republic, and the valor of the men and women in uniform who have defended it. . . We are reminded of the blood spilled across generations to safeguard liberty.

"We are prompted to reflect with pride on the purity and righteousness of our cause — the same pride that swelled in the hearts of our boys as they took the beaches of Normandy, and as they raised the flag on Iwo Jima. And we are strengthened in our resolve to pursue justice and safeguard the rule of law, so that freedom can march on.

"Today . . . let us recommit ourselves to the principles upon which our country was founded. With grateful hearts, let us reflect upon the price of freedom, and the brave souls who gave their last full measure to preserve it. As we raise our flag, as we stand and salute or place our hands over our hearts, let us renew our sacred pledge that we will forever remain 'one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'"

On this Flag Day, I'd like to express my gratitude to Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, who is in hot water with local bureaucrats in Statesville, North Carolina. Evidently, the flag flying at his business is "too big." He's being fined $50 a day for every day the flag is up.

Lemonis isn't backing down. "As I told the city," he said, "it's not coming down under any circumstances." Fortunately, it appears that the city may be backing down.

By the way, today happens to be President Trump's birthday. Happy birthday, Mr. President!

And it's also the birthday of the U.S. Army!

Speaking Of President Trump. . .
President Trump is scheduled to formally kickoff his 2020 reelection campaign Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.

The campaign is encouraging Trump supporters to host watch parties Tuesday night for his announcement speech and to post comments and pictures on social media. To learn more and to sign up, click here.
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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Russiagate Is No Watergate

by Patrick Buchanan: If the impeachment hearings come, they will be seen for what they are: An attempted coup to overthrow a president by the losers of 2016 who are fearful they could lose again in 2020 and be out of power for four more years.

“History is repeating itself, and with a vengeance,” John Dean told the judiciary committee, drawing a parallel between Watergate, which brought down Richard Nixon, and “Russiagate” which has bedeviled Donald Trump.

But what strikes this veteran of Nixon’s White House is not the similarities but the stark differences.

Watergate began with an actual crime, a midnight break-in at the offices of the DNC in June 1972 to wiretap phones and filch files, followed by a cover-up that spread into the inner circles of the White House.

Three years after FBI Director James Comey began the investigation of Trump, however, the final report of his successor, Robert Mueller, found there had been no conspiracy, no collusion and no underlying crime.

How can Trump be guilty of covering up a crime the special counsel says he did not commit?

And the balance of power today in D.C. is not as lopsided as it was in 1973-1974.

During Watergate, Nixon had little support in a city where the elites, the press, the Democratic Congress and the liberal bureaucracy labored in earnest to destroy him. Nixon had few of what Pat Moynihan called “second and third echelons of advocacy.”

Contrast this with Trump, a massive presence on social media, whose tweets, daily interactions with the national press and rallies keep his enemies constantly responding to his attacks rather than making their case.

Trump interrupts their storytelling. And behind Trump is a host of defenders at Fox News and some of the top radio talk show hosts in America.

There are pro-Trump websites that did not exist in Nixon’s time, home to populist and conservative columnists and commentators full of fight.

Leftists may still dominate mainstream media. But their unconcealed hatred of Trump and the one-sided character of their coverage has cost them much of the credibility they had half a century ago.

The media are seen as militant partisans masquerading as journalists.

Consider the respective calendars.

Two years after the Watergate break-in, Nixon was near the end, about to be impeached by the House with conviction possible in the Senate.

Three years into Russiagate, 3 in 4 House Democrats do not want their caucus to take up impeachment. Many of these Democrats, especially moderates from swing districts, do not want to cast a vote to either bring down or exonerate the president.

Assume the House did take up impeachment. Would all the Democrats vote aye? Does anyone think a Republican Senate would deliver the needed 20 votes to provide a two-thirds majority to convict and remove him?

For a Republican Senate to split asunder and vote to expel its own Republican president who is supported by the vast majority of the party would be suicidal. It could cost the GOP both houses of Congress and the White House in 2020. Why would Republicans not prefer to unite and fight to the end, just as Senate Democrats did during the Clinton impeachment?

Trump’s support in the Republican caucus in the Senate today is rock solid. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is herself opposed to impeachment hearings in the House, considering them ruinous to her party’s hopes of maintaining control in 2020.

When Dean went before the Watergate committee of Sen. Sam Ervin in 1973, all five days of his testimony were carried live on ABC, CBS and NBC.

When Dean appeared Monday, the three cable news networks swiftly dropped coverage of the judiciary committee hearings to report on a helicopter crash in mid-Manhattan. Dean’s testimony could be seen on C-SPAN3.

Much of America is bored by the repetitive, nonstop media attacks on Trump, and look on the back-and-forth between left and right not as a “constitutional crisis” but as a savage battle between parties and partisans.

The impeachers who seek to bring down Trump face other problems.

Now that Mueller has spent two years and found no evidence of a Trump-Putin conspiracy to hack the emails of the DNC and Clinton campaign, questions have arisen as to what the evidence was that caused the FBI to launch its unprecedented investigation of a presidential campaign and a newly elected president.

Did an anti-Trump cabal at the apex of the FBI and U.S. security agencies work with foreign intelligence, including former British spy Christopher Steele, to destroy Trump?

The political dynamic of Trump’s taunts and defiance of the demands of committee chairs in a Democratic House, and the clamor for impeachment from the Democratic and media left are certain to produce more calls for hearings.

But if the impeachment hearings come, they will be seen for what they are: An attempted coup to overthrow a president by the losers of 2016 who are fearful they could lose again in 2020 and be out of power for four more years.

Russiagate is not Watergate, but there is this similarity:

Nixon and Trump are both the objects of a truly great hatred.
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, 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.

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Abortion and Eugenics

SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been criticized for writing the truth about the connection of abortion to eugenics. His 20-page concurring opinion in a case dealing with an Indiana law allowed him to educate us about our history. The law required that fetal remains be disposed of in a respectful manner, but also prohibited abortion solely because of the race, sex, or disability of the baby.

Justice Thomas wrote, “The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause.”

He also pointed to Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” and reminded us that because of abortion, “there are areas of New York City in which black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive, and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area.”

He concludes, “Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”

Those criticizing Justice Thomas do so for one of two reasons. I suspect many don’t know America’s history with eugenics and the history of Planned Parenthood. They believe he is making this up. Others probably know the history and are furious that he is attempting to educate a new generation about the birth control movement and the eugenics movement.

Justice Thomas has provided a service by showing the connection between an Indiana law and our sad history with eugenics.
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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Pet Smart . . .

. . . Stephanopoulos interviews President Trump on a Hypothetical situation involving foreign oppo-research, and now the left is in fake outraged mode again, not having a problem with Hillary’s collusion with Russia and the Steele dossier.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Pet Smart, Stephanopoulos, interviews President Trump, on Hypothetical situation, involving foreign oppo-research, left is in fake outraged, mode again, not having a problem, with Hillary’s collusion, Russia, Steele dossier. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Leftists Will Be Leftists

by David Limbaugh: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s comments on the pro-life cause and its advocates are illustrative of the left’s increasing extremism, militancy and disturbingly intolerant and authoritarian mindset.

Someone asked Gillibrand if having a litmus test for judicial nominees would threaten judicial independence, as she has promised to only appoint justices who would affirm the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, which created — out of whole cloth — a constitutional right to abortion.

“I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable,” said Gillibrand. “Imagine saying that it’s OK to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic … asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America. … I don’t think those are political issues anymore.”

“And we believe in this country in the separation of church and state, and I respect the rights of every American to hold their religious beliefs true to themselves, but our country and our Constitution has always demanded that we have a separation of church and state,” she continued. “And all these efforts by President Trump and other ultra-radical conservative judges and justices to impose their faith on Americans is contrary to our Constitution, and that’s what this is. And so, I believe that for all of these issues, they are not issues that there is a fair other side. There is no moral equivalency when you come to racism, and I do not believe there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom.”

What a treasure trove of otherworldly statements! You have to wonder whether this longer-than-long-shot Democratic presidential fantasist actually believes these things or if she is just desperate to outflank her rivals to the left.

Contemplate the arrogance of asserting that society has reached moral clarity in saying that it is wrong to change laws that deny women reproductive freedom. Polls show that Americans are equally divided on the abortion question, so who does Gillibrand have in mind when she says “society”? Does she live in an impenetrable bubble, or does she have such contempt for those who disagree that she doesn’t consider them valued members of society?

She seems to be saying that the pro-choice half of America has decided that the other half “is not acceptable.” This inference is not a stretch, considering that leftists consider most of us “deplorables,” and that they declare a consensus on other factual and moral questions to discourage further debate. They foreclose, by fiat, debate on climate change and many cultural issues. If you disagree with any of the left’s politically correct pronouncements, even if they have been established for only five minutes, you are not only unquestionably wrong but also irredeemably evil. So absolute is the leftists’ position on these “settled questions” that the questions can’t even be considered political.

This is dangerous thinking, but it is how leftists think. They take a position, grow increasingly entrenched and then declare a societal consensus. Consensus doesn’t mean that almost everyone agrees but that everyone who matters, or who is reasonable, does. This is a neat circular trick. Proclaim, for example, that the pro-life position is so manifestly wrong that anyone who disagrees — even if dissenters equal proponents in number — is unreasonable and immoral.

Next consider her statement that no one who “takes away basic human right of any group of people in America” should be appointed to the court. The basic human right to which she refers is a woman’s “reproductive freedom.” You would expect that a right that constitutes a “basic human right” would at least be clearly stated, rather than shrouded with deceitful euphemism. “Reproductive freedom” in pro-abortion parlance has nothing to do with reproduction. Abortion only occurs when reproduction has already occurred. Reproductive freedom means the right to kill an unborn baby, which is quite the antithesis of reproduction. It is destruction. More important, it ignores the basic human right to life of the unborn baby.

Gillibrand is correct about one thing. There is abundant moral clarity on the abortion issue. With certain exceptions, which are debatable, it is wrong to kill an unborn baby. But unlike the Gillibrand left, conservatives aren’t likely to declare dissenters as societal outcasts or their views beyond debate.

Finally, there is the left’s ongoing misinformation about the so-called separation of church and state. While the Constitution’s First Amendment Establishment Clause prohibits the federal government (and state governments via the incorporation doctrine) from establishing or unduly supporting a national religion, it does not prohibit people from supporting or opposing laws consistent with their faith. I support laws against murder, theft and other things based on my Christian beliefs. Secularists support and oppose laws based on their beliefs. All groups are free to do that without violating the Establishment Clause, and if you deny them the right to advocate for or oppose laws based on their respective worldviews, then you violate their First Amendment right to free speech and possibly the right to the free exercise of religion.

It is ironic that people so confused about basic constitutional issues and fundamental moral questions presume their absolute moral superiority on such questions and declare them beyond debate. But leftists will be leftists.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at

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America Will Always Be ‘Racist’ — If Nirvana Is the Goal

by Larry Elder: In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. predicted that America could elect a black president in 40 years or less. Implicit in King’s prediction is that such an achievement would show that racism was no longer a serious problem in our country. Three years later, King said: “Because of prejudices and narrow-mindedness, Negroes have been held out of the political arena and certainly held out of the presidency. But I do think that the day will come in the not-too-distant future when the Negro vote itself will be powerful enough to be in a coalition with liberals and the white community and thereby elect a Negro president of the United States.”

Today, after the election and reelection of the first black president, white liberals consider racism and discrimination a bigger problem than blacks do. Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University, tracked the opinions of whites by their ideology — liberal, moderate or conservative. Goldberg found that in 1994, according to polling data by the General Social Survey, approximately 20% of “white liberals” disagreed with the following proposition: “Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.” By 2016, the share of white liberals who disagreed increased to more than 45%. In fact, in 2016, white liberals were more likely to disagree than blacks were, at less than 35%. Apparently, white liberals consider racism and discrimination against blacks to be a bigger problem than even blacks do.

Two recent examples highlight the intolerance for anti-black “racism.”

A Baltimore television news anchor lost her job over comments she made following a segment on the resignation of the mayor of Baltimore. After 15 years, WJZ fired Mary Bubala after she said on air: “We’ve had three female African American mayors in a row. They were all passionate public servants. Two resigned, though. Is this a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore City forward?”

About Bubala’s question, the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists said the comment “implies race and gender are qualifiers in one’s ability to lead while also demonizing African-Americans and women as poor leaders.” After the backlash, Bubala tweeted an apology, but it failed to save her job. In a statement, the station said: “Mary Bubala is no longer a WJZ-TV employee. The station apologizes to its viewers for her remarks.”

Meanwhile, a writer lost her deal with a book publisher after the publisher accused her of racism. Jordanian-American writer Natasha Tynes, while traveling on a Washington, D.C., Metro train, noticed a Metro employee, a black female, sitting and eating. Tynes approached her and said that eating on the train violated Metro rules. The employee reportedly replied, “Worry about yourself.” Tynes, however, tweeted: “When you’re on your morning commute & see WMATA employee in UNIFORM eating on the train. I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable.” She also posted a picture of the worker. But the worker broke no rules, according the Metro workers union. Two days earlier, Metro Transit officers had been ordered to cease issuing citations for certain infractions — including eating on the train — and therefore, said the union, the worker was doing no wrong.

Tynes’ tweet prompted angry threatening responses, which included calling her an “anti-black,” “racist,” “Trump-supporting b—-.” Her book publisher, Rare Bird, canceled her deal, saying: “Natasha Tynes … did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer. Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies. We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”

Put aside whether the punishment of the television anchor and the writer fit their “crimes.” The point is how quickly and harshly Bubala and Tynes were dealt with in today’s America. Then-President Barack Obama said that America’s racism is “still part of our DNA.” Contrast Obama’s view with that of Martin Luther King Jr., who said: “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” King’s optimistic view is winning.

Two years after the first black president departed office, the 2020 Democratic candidates fall over themselves promising to combat “white privilege” and to address “systemic” or “institutional” or “structural” racism against blacks. Do these Democrats sincerely believe that anti-black racism in 2019 can stop any black person motivated to get an education and work hard? Apparently, until the whole country hold hands and sings in unison, politicians hustling for black votes will continue to call America “institutionally” racist. Nirvana is the new goal.
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 for list of other articles.

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Gray Lady Commies

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The New York Times has long leaned left. But is it really a stable Pisa-tower lean, at this point? It sure seems that, in recent years, the Gray Lady has gone extreme, abandoning its “respectable” center-left perch.

The change, economist Alex Tabarrok writes for FEE, appears to have happened “around 2010-2014,” when we can see “an inflection point” where phrases and buzzwords like “social justice” and “diversity and inclusion” increased in number in Times editorials and news stories.

Forget, for a moment, the why — is it demand side, with the paper trying to court Millennial readers; or supply side, a result of new hires out of journalism programs and other indoctrination factories; or a mixture of both? — and concern ourselves with how far will the Gray Lady go?

Communism, apparently.

Or, at least, “Automated Luxury Communism,” as identified in what may be the stupidest article to appear in any newspaper in years.

“The plummeting cost of information and advances in technology are providing the ground for a collective future of freedom and luxury for all,” the author asserts, upon the evidence of innovations he has identified as arising . . . in our capitalist mixed economy, chiefly in the market sector: lab-grown burgers and “molecular whiskey.”

It all smacks of a loafer’s Marxism, with robots and AI as the proles. I could explain this better had the author bothered to do any real work on his vision, but, unfortunately (?), he offers nothing but a “wouldn’t it be neat if” blog post.

That the Times’ placed on its front page.

I guess since Democratic pols are now calling themselves socialists, their lead thought organ must seize the advance guard position by going full commie.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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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Who's Really Responsible for Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in New York

by Daniel Greenfield: The 90th Precinct squats in a faded tan building on Union Avenue in Brooklyn. There are dirty windows and protruding air conditioners. During Chanukah, a testament to its presence in one of the densest Jewish neighborhoods in the city, the Williamsburg police precinct puts up a large menorah.

The 90th was also the precinct at the center of multiple hate crime attacks on Jews caught on tape.

But the overall winner for the highest number of hate crime complaints was the 71st Precinct with 18 complaints. Of those, 14 were labeled as "anti-Jewish", another as anti-White, another as anti-gay and two as ambiguous. All but one of the suspects arrested in the attacks in the 71st were black men.

The 71st is located in Crown Heights while the 90th is based out of Williamsburg. Both have some of the largest populations of Chassidic Jews, who dress distinctively and are easily identifiable, in the country.

They’re also at the center of a disturbing rise in hate crimes in New York City.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right,” Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted, in response to numbers showing a 90% rise in anti-Semitic incidents, while denying that anti-Semitism exists on the Left.

In Williamsburg and Crown Heights, populations of Orthodox Jews intersect with African-American and Latino populations, and a new wave of hipsters. All three groups live uncomfortably with each other. None of them host the “white supremacist” movement that De Blasio was blaming for the problem.

The two non-Orthodox groups in Williamsburg and Crown Heights are strongly identified with the Left.

Mayor Bill de Blasio may be under the impression that because Trump won precincts in Williamsburg, the area is a right-wing hub, but the 6 of 8 districts that he won are made up of Chassidic Jews.

As the media noted after the election, “Nearly every election district that Trump won in Brooklyn was in a Jewish neighborhood.”

They’re about the only Trump supporters in the area. And they’re the victims of the violence.

The highest numbers of hate crimes in 2018 took place in the 71st precinct with 18, the 18th with 16, the 24th with 15, the 66th with 14, the 60th with 12, the 6th with 11, and the 90th with 10.

Jews were the single largest group targeted in the 18th, Midtown Manhattan, with 5 incidents, the 24th, the Upper West Side, with 12 incidents, the 66th, Borough Park, with 14 incidents, the 60th, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, with 10, the 6th, Greenwich Village, with 5, and the 90th with 8.

Many of these neighborhoods are heavily associated with Jews, but even in Greenwich Village, the home of Stonewall and the gay rights movement, there were more anti-Semitic incidents than anti-gay ones.

None of them are ideal platforms for a white supremacist movement.

In Borough Park, Trump won 69% of the vote. A New York Times reporter was unable to find a single Hillary voter. And that’s as close as the area gets to any kind of right-wing movement.

Who’s actually carrying out these attacks?

"Forty of the alleged perpetrators were white, 25 were black, two were Hispanic and two were Asian," the JTA claimed last year.

The arrests however represent barely a third of the actual incidents. And the NYPD frequently classifies Hispanic suspects as white. The NYPD’s statistics also list multiple arrests of the same person.

The first quarter hate crimes report shows that six 28-year-old males were arrested for anti-Semitic hate crimes at the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint.

That would be statistically unlikely.

28-year-old Glenn Murto was arrested and charged with 7 hate crimes for spray painting a whole bunch of Nazi graffiti around the area. Murto, not exactly a genius, confined the vandalism to most of the same places. Two cops were waiting when he next began spraying swastikas.

Age is the only useful metric for identifying a repeat offender. And unless there’s a rash of incidents and arrests, it can be very hard to know whether a suspect of the same age is also the same person.

Back in the 90th, four white men and three black men were arrested in anti-Semitic incidents. The white people in Williamsburg are mostly Orthodox Jews and hipsters with a sprinkling of old area holdovers.

In the 66th, 3 black men, 2 white and Hispanic males, and 2 Asians were arrested.

Asians are not known for engaging in anti-Semitic hate crimes. But Borough Park has large Chinese, Bangladeshi and Uzbekistani populations. It seems likelier that the perpetrators may have spoken Bengali or Uzbek than Fujianese. Muslims would have more of an anti-Semitic motive than Buddhists.

Meanwhile in the first quarter of 2019, the 71st has seen four anti-Semitic hate crime complaints and the arrests of 4 black men.

In the 112th and the 114th, three Asian teens were arrested in anti-Semitic incidents. Both precincts are located in Queens. The borough has the highest percentage of Muslims anywhere in the city.

But that’s speculation.

Compstat statistics leave plenty of room for ambiguity. What is reasonably clear though is that the rash of cases, especially the violent assaults, are not about white supremacy. Neo-Nazis in New York City usually limit themselves to some heavy blogging and social media trolling or light vandalism.

One of the fundamental problems with hate crime statistics is that they fail to distinguish between actual violent incidents, vandalism and more nebulous problems like bias intimidation.

The violent assaults on a number of Orthodox men in Williamsburg and Crown Heights are classed together with swastikas drawn on a playground. But it’s much easier to establish that graffiti has a bias motive, because of the physical evidence, than that a violent assault was a hate crime.

Last fall, a Jewish teen walking home from his Yeshiva in Queens was violently assaulted by a gang of teens shouting, “Kill the Jew” outside Masbia, a soup kitchen run by a Jewish religious organization. Even though the teen was hospitalized, the police claimed that there was insufficient evidence for hate crimes charges. But swastika graffiti in Queens this year was treated as a hate crime.

The paradox of hate crime charges is that they’re often useless for dealing with serious problems, like physical violence and arson, but come in handy when dealing with nuisance offenses like graffiti.

New York City’s presentation of statistics blur the line, but it’s clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrong.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right," he insisted at a press conference.

New York City does not have very much of a Right. That doesn’t mean the violence comes from the Left.

The Left is just very good at covering it up.

In response to the rash of anti-Semitic attacks, Martha Ackelsberg and Arielle Korman, two members of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish group, wrote an editorial, claiming that, "policing cannot solve our problems" denounced "zero tolerance policies" and "armed guards", while urging "education" and "restrorative justice, counselling and peer support."

JFREJ's site features a petition that doubles down on the left-wing group's call for the decriminalization of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews by urging "transformative justice processes that focus on challenging and transforming the perspectives of people who do harm in our neighborhoods".

Despite its false claims otherwise, JFREJ is well aware that the perpetrators of anti-Semitism in New York City aren't white nationalists or Trump supporters.

JFREJ knows that better than anyone after the black foster son of one of its members set 7 fires inside synagogues and Jewish schools in Brooklyn, while scrawling, "Jew Better Be Ready" and "Kill All Jews".

The Left isn’t behind the anti-Semitic violence in New York City. But it’s covering for those who are.
Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism. Blogs at Sultan Knish.

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Happy Father’s Day to All of You Real Dads Out There

by Merrie Soltis: Some men seek Dadness. Others have Dadness thrust upon them.

Fathers are an endangered species in our society. Too many men shirk their responsibilities. They decide the burden is too much for them. Others allow themselves to be forced out of their children’s lives by angry women and a hostile court system. Some don’t live long enough to finish the job. Thankfully, we also have a lot of men that step in when the original candidate fails. And what thanks do they get? A constant reminder that they’re not “Real Dads.”

How many times has an ungrateful child uttered the words “You’re not my REAL DAD! You can’t tell me what to do.” The media is no help. Michael Reagan is always referred to as “the adopted son of Ronald Reagan,” as if that distinction needs to be made. I recently read a news story of a man who left his daughter in a hot car to die. Fox referred to him as the “adopted father” at least 3 times in their report. I’m not sure if that was supposed to make the tragedy better or worse. And I can personally testify as an adopted child, people continuously question me about whether I know my “Real Dad.”

I have lacked many things in my life: financial security, a decent metabolism, physical coordination. But I HAD a Real Dad.

My Real Dad was the guy who desperately returned the call of the adoption agency begging to know if they still had the baby girl available.

My Real Dad gave me his last name and his mother’s first name.

My Real Dad was the guy who taught me how to ride a bike. And throw a ball. And drive a car. In HIS CAR. Which was a stick shift. (If I live to be 100 I will always remember him telling me “OK, let’s try that again. And this time LET THE CLUTCH OUT SLOWLY!”)

My real Dad is the man who turned around after a 3 hour car ride and drove back to the motel to retrieve my favorite stuffed animal when I was three years old.

My Real Dad built me a dollhouse out of a kit – a task that took him 8 months to complete.

My Real Dad came to the hospital emergency room after I was in a car accident because my mother was too upset. And he didn’t even say the words “I told you so” after he had warned me about going out that night.

My Real Dad once threatened to be cleaning his shotgun when my date came to pick me up. When I pointed out to him that he didn’t OWN a shotgun, he said “I’m going to GET a shotgun.”

My Real Dad bought me a horse and went riding with me every Sunday afternoon.

My Real Dad kept my mother from killing me when I died my hair blonde.

My real Dad sat through countless ballet recitals, piano recitals and choral concerts.

My Real Dad drove a U-Haul with all my stuff in it through ten states to drop me off at my dream college even though it nearly killed him. And he bought me the plane ticket to come home when I called him crying about how miserable I was.

My Real Dad took me to baseball games, football games, the circus, the movies and the park. The last movie we ever saw together was “Lady and the Tramp.” I was twenty at the time. He looked around the theater and said “We’re the only people here without children” and I replied “Hey, I’m YOUR kid!”

My Real Dad always encouraged me to be a writer.

My Real Dad was always waiting for me at the gate whenever I got off an airplane, back when they used to allow you to do that.

My Real Dad once told me that the second happiest day of my life would be the day I left home. And the happiest day would be the day I came back. He was right on both counts.

My Real Dad didn’t live long enough to see me graduate from college, or get married, or read this column.

I have missed him every single day for the last thirty years.

What makes a Real Dad? It’s certainly not biology. It’s love. And commitment. And hard work. So Happy Father’s Day to all of you Real Dads out there. But a very extra special Happy Father’s Day to all of you men out there that came in as relief pitchers to finish off the game someone else started but couldn’t finish. I hope you get more than just a tie for your efforts.
Merrie Soltis (@ConservaCatGa)is a conservative blogger who lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her 4 Persian cats. Shared at The Resurgent.

Tags: Merrie Soltis,The Resurgent, Happy Father’s Day, to All, Real Dads, Out There To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Recent Agreement With Mexico Will Alleviate Border Crisis, but Further Reforms Needed for Long-Term Solution

Mexico to hold an increased number of 
Central American migrants in Mexico
while  processing their U.S. asylum claims.
by Ana Quintana: After a week of negotiations, the U.S. and Mexico came to a landmark deal on addressing the Central American migration crisis. If implemented correctly, it could usher in a new era of joint action in addressing illegal immigration.

With this new agreement, the U.S. and Mexico now have an operational framework for bilateral and individual measures on reducing migration flows.

Mexico has committed to an expansion of the Migration Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

This means that Mexico has agreed to hold an increased number of Central American migrants in Mexico while they await processing of their U.S. asylum claims.

Previously, Mexico was accepting an average of 250 individuals per day; this number is expected to rise to 1,000 people per day. In addition, Mexico is reportedly open to accepting assistance from the U.S., which would expedite its capabilities.

The Mexican government has also agreed to additional enforcement mechanisms on both its border with the U.S. and more notably on its shared border with Guatemala.

Mexico has committed to a 6,000 Mexican National Guard personnel deployment and sharp uptick in arrests. This component of the deal heralds a decisive shift in Mexico’s approach to its southern border.

Reportedly, Mexican officials have said that this will be “the first time in recent history that Mexico has decided to take operational control of its southern border as a priority.”

Within the agreement, Mexico has vowed to take broader measures individually and alongside the U.S. at addressing the criminal networks involved in human trafficking and smuggling.

This component of the agreement creates a platform for deepened cooperation amongst U.S. intelligence officials and law enforcement and their Mexican counterparts.

The joint declaration and subsequent reports from U.S. and Mexican officials indicate an attempt at creating a regional migration management system with key transit countries in Latin America.

This proposal aims at forming a regional arrangement in which asylum-seekers would apply for sanctuary in the first country they reach.

For both the U.S. and Mexico, there is much to be celebrated.

The challenges posed by the surge of Central American migrants transiting to Mexico en route to the U.S. has become a key issue for Mexican President Lopez Obrador.

The drastic uptick has resulted in a significant financial and resource burden on the Mexican government.

Additionally, the smuggling and trafficking of these migrants is facilitated by organized crime, fueling dangerous organizations within Mexico and the region.

Adopting the proposals in this new framework focused on enforcement measures is a decisive shift from Mexico’s traditional perspective on Central American migration.

The parameters mandated by the agreement compel the government of Mexico to elevate illegal Central American migration as a national security priority.

Should the enforcement measures reduce the burden on both countries as expected, this could lead to a permanent and decisive shift in Mexico’s future policies.

This deal is also the first time there are measurable outcomes the U.S. and Mexico must achieve.

Both countries have also agreed to meet and revisit the agreement in 90 days should the migrant numbers not decline.

Moving forward, the U.S. ought to be mindful that alongside enforcement actions, deepening cooperation with the Northern Triangle’s El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras is the backbone to addressing the border and regional crisis.

Increased enforcement and border controls are important but equal importance must be given to the long-term project of building government capacity, supporting economic development, and rooting out corruption.

Addressing these factors that drive outmigration must remain key pillars of the U.S.’ policy toward the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Should the U.S. and Mexico need to revisit the agreement, the U.S. must seek other negotiating tools besides the threat of tariffs. With Mexico policy, economic penalties must not be linked with migration or other security related matters.

Mexico is the U.S.’ largest trading partner and our integrated economies have made it so that the cost of tariffs on Mexico would be immediately felt by American consumers and businesses. Bilateral engagement occurs on a broad range of issues and there will be diminishing returns to economic coercion.

The bottom line is that the agreement is a positive step forward in curtailing illegal immigration from Central America and relieving the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.’ southern border.

It is also an indicator of the health and durability of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

Both countries must remain committed to their end of the deal and finding long-term solutions to the destabilization in the Northern Triangle.
Ana Quintana (@Ana_R_Quintana) is a policy analyst for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies.

Tags: Ana Quintans, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, U.S., Agreement With Mexico, Will Alleviate Border Crisis, Further Reforms Needed, Long-Term Solution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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