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

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Marriage That Shaped American Conservatism

Russell & Annette Kirk
by Lee Edwards: Twenty-five years after his death, the legacy of Russell Kirk, the conservative author, historian, and guardian of the Permanent Things, is not just secure but spreading across the country and around the world.

This is so because of the continuing influence of his classic work The Conservative Mind, now in its seventh edition and translated into a dozen languages, as well as the cultural and political insights in his thirty-one other books, especially the widely read The Roots of American Order; the online publication University Bookman, founded by Kirk in 1960 and edited today by author Gerald Russello; a host of Kirk biographies, led by Bradley Birzer’s recent Russell Kirk: American Conservative, winner of ISI’s Conservative Book of the Year Award; the reprinting of such works as Russell Kirk’s Concise Guide to Conservatism and The Essential Russell Kirk; the illuminating essays in Modern Age, the conservative quarterly begun by Kirk in 1957 and still faithful—under its discerning editor Daniel McCarthy—to its founder’s dictum that conservatism is not an ideology but a philosophy; and, far from least, the many programs, conferences, and research of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, led by Annette Kirk, Russell’s indefatigable widow.

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE LEGACY
Yet even someone as prominent as Russell Kirk, who gave the conservative movement its name and is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential American intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century, might with the passage of time be forgotten or given less attention than he deserves.

Annette Kirk is determined that will not happen. The Kirk Center, which she founded in 1995, the year following Russell’s death, is the means to that end.

According to Jeffrey Nelson, vice chairman of the center, since the 1970s more than 5,600 students have attended programs at Piety Hill, Russell’s name for the Kirk home located in the tiny town of Mecosta, Michigan. About 400 scholars have lived there, taking advantage of a 12,000-volume library and staying in one of the six cottages that compose the Kirk campus.

Typical of the grateful scholars is Dr. Ryan Streeter, director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, who first visited Piety Hill as a student in 1993. Five years later, Streeter was “struggling” to finish his doctoral dissertation and arranged to come to Mecosta as a Kirk Center resident fellow. “I was completely unplugged,” he recalls. “It was the perfect setting for a scholarly endeavor.” Today, reports National Review’s John Miller, Kirk alumni work all over the world, including the University of Moscow.

Annette is the primary cause of the expanding Kirk bibliography. She cooperated closely with Birzer on his 2015 Kirk biography and asked author James Person to edit a book of Russell’s correspondence. The result was Imaginative Conservatism: The Letters of Russell Kirk, which includes correspondence with an amazingly eclectic list of names, including T. S. Eliot, William F. Buckley Jr., Ray Bradbury, Richard Weaver, Eric Voegelin, Jacques Barzun, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The letters are “far more than mere ‘ordinary notes,’” Person wrote. “They reveal a thoughtful man critical of America’s drift toward social atomism, materialism, and utilitarianism and away from true community and adherence to wise tradition.” Evidence of Kirk’s universal appeal is the translation of his books into many languages. A new edition of The Conservative Mind sold more than 4,500 copies in South Korea, and a Chinese and even a Turkish edition are forthcoming.

All the while, young men and women come to Mecosta to draw from the deep well of Russell Kirk’s wisdom and appreciation of the “permanent things,” about which he wrote:
There are certain permanent things in society: the health of the family, inherited political institutions that ensure a measure of order and justice and freedom, a life of diversity and independence, a life marked by widespread possession of private property. These permanent things guarantee against arbitrary interference by the state. These are all aspects of conservative thought, which have developed gradually as the debate since the French Revolution has gone on.BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR
It seemed an unlikely marriage—Russell Kirk, the introverted forty-five-year-old confirmed bachelor and humanist, and Annette Courtemanche, the extroverted twenty-three-year-old former department store model, high school teacher, and devout Roman Catholic.

It was love at first sight, however, when Kirk spoke at a New York City conference in February 1960 and could not take his eyes off the beautiful black-haired Molloy College junior in the front row. It took him four years of courtship through letters, tape recordings, and books like The Mind and Heart of Love by Martin D’Arcy to win the “beauteous” young woman and intellectual who, with her brother Regis, would “haunt” Manhattan and Long Island coffee shops on weekends, reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

At last Annette wrote Russell that their union was inevitable. “Like death and taxes?” Russell quipped. According to Annette, they “envisioned marriage as a vocation, an opportunity to serve not only each other and one’s family, but one’s community, one’s culture.” They agreed that theirs was as much a partnership as a marriage, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of what T. S. Eliot called the Permanent Things.

Russell and Annette were married on September 19, 1964, in our Lady of the Skies chapel at John F. Kennedy Airport. (The once-skeptic Russell had been baptized and accepted into the Catholic Church earlier that year, something he had been meaning to do for some time.) Annette the quintessential New Yorker moved to Mecosta, Michigan (population five hundred), to start her new life with Russell in his ancestral home, Piety Hill.

Before marriage, Russell Kirk had been nicknamed the “Monk of Mecosta” by friends. When Annette gave birth in short order to four daughters—Monica, Cecilia, Felicia, and Andrea—a Philadelphia Society colleague remarked, “Some monk!”

ANNETTE
Annette Yvonne Cecile Courtemanche was born on May 20, 1941, in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York, to devout Catholic parents. Her father, Regis Henri Courtemanche, worked in a variety of jobs, from doorman to jewelry designer to bursar of a private school. Her mother, Mary Cullen, instilled in her children a strong interest in conservative politics and community service, especially the improvement of schools. She formed the only bloc of delegates pledged to the presidential candidacy of General Douglas MacArthur at the 1952 Republican National Convention.

Annette attended Molloy College, a Catholic school in the Thomist tradition, where she studied English and was a campus leader, serving as student body president in her junior year. The curriculum was designed to introduce students to first principles, Annette recalls, “to both the life of the mind and the realm of the spirit.” Unlike most of the young men she knew, “Russell enjoyed discussing the essential questions in which I was interested . . . the proofs for the existence of God, the meaning and purpose of life.”

Possessed of seemingly boundless energy, Annette helped start several youth organizations including Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). She was one of half a dozen young women at YAF’s founding meeting at William F. Buckley Jr.’s home in Sharon, Connecticut. She served as secretary, typing what became the Sharon Statement, an iconic declaration of conservative principles.

Following their four-year courtship and “inevitable” marriage, Annette began running the household while Russell produced a mighty flow of books, short stories, essays, newspaper columns, and letters on his manual and later electric typewriter. She became the keeper of the tablets, carefully preserving every bit of Russell’s writing. She organized his lecture and travel plans, sometimes traveling with him. Disdaining most of modernity, especially television, Russell boarded a plane when he had to but left any driving to Annette.

ANNETTE
Annette Yvonne Cecile Courtemanche was born on May 20, 1941, in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York, to devout Catholic parents. Her father, Regis Henri Courtemanche, worked in a variety of jobs, from doorman to jewelry designer to bursar of a private school. Her mother, Mary Cullen, instilled in her children a strong interest in conservative politics and community service, especially the improvement of schools. She formed the only bloc of delegates pledged to the presidential candidacy of General Douglas MacArthur at the 1952 Republican National Convention.

Annette attended Molloy College, a Catholic school in the Thomist tradition, where she studied English and was a campus leader, serving as student body president in her junior year. The curriculum was designed to introduce students to first principles, Annette recalls, “to both the life of the mind and the realm of the spirit.” Unlike most of the young men she knew, “Russell enjoyed discussing the essential questions in which I was interested . . . the proofs for the existence of God, the meaning and purpose of life.”

Possessed of seemingly boundless energy, Annette helped start several youth organizations including Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). She was one of half a dozen young women at YAF’s founding meeting at William F. Buckley Jr.’s home in Sharon, Connecticut. She served as secretary, typing what became the Sharon Statement, an iconic declaration of conservative principles.

Following their four-year courtship and “inevitable” marriage, Annette began running the household while Russell produced a mighty flow of books, short stories, essays, newspaper columns, and letters on his manual and later electric typewriter. She became the keeper of the tablets, carefully preserving every bit of Russell’s writing. She organized his lecture and travel plans, sometimes traveling with him. Disdaining most of modernity, especially television, Russell boarded a plane when he had to but left any driving to Annette.

UNWED MOTHERS, VIETNAMESE FAMILIES, ETHIOPIANS
The doors of their Italianate residence were always open to the poor and the needy, including Vietnamese families, waves of Ethiopians, Poles fleeing martial law, freedom-seeking Croats, students unhappy with their colleges—what Russell called “a diversity of waifs and strays from Progress.” Also welcomed were unwed mothers, a reflection of the Kirks’ strong pro-life beliefs. Sometimes, white-masked, Annette supervised the birth of babies in the local hospital and then arranged adoptions.

Charity began but never seemed to end in their home. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, a Vietnamese military officer and his ten dependents were lodged for three years in a house next to Russell’s library before settling in Southern California. Russell arranged, with the help of friends in the Reagan administration, to “extricate” dissident Rett Ludwikowski, a Polish professor and author, along with his wife and their children. The family lived for two years next to the library, before the father obtained a teaching post at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Unwilling to say no to almost anyone, Russell and Annette were in danger of being eaten out of house and land. It became necessary to sell property, but the Kirks sought consolation and confirmation of their faith in the motto above the entrance to their home: “God helping, work prospers.”

And so it did until almost the last days of conservatism’s master of letters.

When an assistant to Russell asked why he and Annette had such a happy marriage, he replied that it was their agreement on first principles, like the need for limited government and maximum individual responsibility and faith in a beneficent God. There was also a deep mutual respect for each other. They talked ideas daily as Russell described what he was writing and sought Annette’s reaction. Theirs was a marriage of mind, body, and spirit.

ADVENTURES IN POLITICS
The Kirks’ forays into politics included campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964 (Russell ghostwrote a speech for Goldwater that the presidential candidate delivered at Notre Dame); counseling an inquiring President Richard Nixon, mired in Vietnam, to read T. S. Eliot’s “Notes Toward the Definition of Culture”; and Russell serving as general chairman of paleo-conservative Patrick Buchanan’s presidential campaign in the 1992 Michigan Republican primary.

Because Russell was usually on the road, lecturing somewhere in America, the running of the Buchanan campaign was left to Annette, who did not complain—she loved the role. The Kirk kitchen became campaign headquarters, noisy, frenetic, filled with ethnic Catholics and even members of the United Auto Workers union. Despite limited resources, the paleo-conservative Buchanan received 25 percent of the Michigan primary vote, and the Kirks helped give voice to the Middle Americans who, years later, would form the Tea Party.

Like most conservatives, the Kirks celebrated Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential victory, and then Annette, not Russell, got a call from the White House. President Reagan and Education Secretary Terrell Bell created a commission to investigate America’s Deweyite education system. Annette readily agreed to serve on the National Commission on Excellence in Education. When it became clear the commission would not recommend a smaller governmental role in education or endorse reforms like tax credits and vouchers, conservatives pressured Annette to resign or denounce the commission’s liberal recommendations.

Instead, Annette and like-minded commission members adopted a prudential course, working hard to include conservative principles in the final draft. Released in April 1983, the report was titled A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. Highlighted were the words: “Parents are the first and primary educators of their children.” The author of this simple but powerful sentence was Annette Kirk. The commission’s report became one of the most widely read and cited government documents of the Reagan years.

Annette’s participation in the National Commission was not her last foray into the field of education. From 1984 to 1987 she was a member of the Committee on Education within the United States Catholic Conference. She was also a board member of the Education Freedom Fund, dedicated to awarding scholarships to low-income students in Michigan. “Russell and I . . . both hoped to inspire the young to appreciate the ancient ends of education, described by Plato as ‘the acquiring of wisdom and virtue.’”

All of his life, Russell Kirk wrote at a pace that would have exhausted most writers, committed to preserving the fundamental ideas that sustain civilization. He never expected to become the face of a new kind of conservatism, Annette explains. When he wrote The Conservative Mind, he did not think it would do well because there wasn’t at that time a conservative presence of any measure, “let alone a mind.” Yet, she says with quiet satisfaction, with that one book, “he gave the conservative movement its name, its identity, its genealogy.”

NOT GOODBYE, BUT FAREWELL
After forty years of nonstop writing, teaching, and traveling, Russell Kirk was at last forced to slow down because of congestive heart failure. At one of the last gatherings with his daughters, Russell blessed each of the girls, said he would pray for them in heaven, and made them promise to care for Annette. On April 29, 1994, Russell passed away quietly in his own bed while Monica, his oldest daughter, sang the lullabies he had sung to her as a little girl.

A decade later, on the fortieth anniversary of the Philadelphia Society, Annette spoke at the traditional Saturday luncheon about the critical role of the rising generation. She conceded that the challenge of young conservatives to “reclaim the culture, to redeem the time” was great. Yet, she said, “If we, their mentors, teach them to love and desire to defend the permanent things, they will take up this task enthusiastically and perform ably.”

Russell would have led the applause for Annette Kirk, unflagging in her mission to preserve the legacy of Russell Kirk for this generation and generations to come.
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Lee Edwards is the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation and the author or editor of twenty-five books, including Goldwater: The Man Who Made a Revolution, William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement, and his memoir, Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty. The Intercollegiate Review (IR) published by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) which is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous. ISI shared this article with the editor of ARRA News Service.


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1619 or 1776: Which Defined America

by Newt Gingrich: One of the great debates of the 2020 campaign will be whether the key date in defining America is 1619 or 1776.

The Left will assert that America is a terrible country whose defining moment was the introduction of slavery.

Most Americans will see that as a racist definition of history in its own right and will continue to believe in the exceptionalism created in 1776 by the Declaration of Independence and implemented in 1787 by the Constitution.

This debate is being created by The New York Times’ determination to replace its failed crusade about President Trump and Russia with a new effort to define President Trump as a racist – and racism as the greatest problem in America.

The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, in a remarkable townhall meeting with his reporters, admitted that the two-year effort to destroy President Trump through the Russian collusion story had failed. The collapse of the Mueller investigation had closed off that line of attack.

Baquet admitted that, “Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it,’… We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

After the Times’ readers had rebelled over the headline “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism,” it was clear that The New York Times had to pander to its left. As Baquet admitted, “our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden.”

In pursuit of the political passion of their left-wing base, The New York Times has now told everyone it intends to make sure the 2020 campaign is about race and racism. Here is its explanation:

“The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”This is a huge undertaking with deep propaganda purposes. It will require massive networking in much of the entertainment and academic left. The Times will seek to distribute it to schools, so young people can be taught to think of America as defined by slavery. The entertainment world will start making movies and TV series focusing on slavery.

It is a terrific set up for a later demand for reparations.

It is also an obvious follow-on to the two generations of growing anti-American hostility in the education community and in Hollywood.

Nikole Hanna Jones wrote the opening salvo of the 1619 project for The New York Times Magazine. She is a brilliant writer, and her essay is worth reading. For most Americans, a lot of the facts will be sobering and thought-provoking.

Much of the pain of the African American experience has never been communicated to the average American. It is an important part of the American experience and is a significant reminder of how far we have come – and how far we have to go.

However, the 1619 Project is seeking to do much more than educate Americans about the reality of slavery, the tragedy of segregation, the violence against Blacks which enforced segregation, the long slow process of extending civil rights, and enforcing the law against racial discrimination.

The 1619 project feels compelled, in good left-wing standard, to go much further.

Slavery can’t simply be a major part of American history. Slavery must be the central fact of American history. It must be, as The Times wrote, “the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

This is much too great an assertion. We need a debate about the nature of America and the dynamic forces of American history. We do not need left-wing propaganda masquerading as “the truth.”

The fact is: America was defined much more in 1776 and 1787 than in 1619.

The 1776 assertion “we have been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was a universal statement of rights which has resonated across the planet and is having an impact today in Hong Kong, Ukraine, Venezuela, and virtually everywhere.

Jones is just plain wrong when she asserts, “[o]ur democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.”

First, the founding ideals were real, revolutionary, and morally compelling. They set the basic framework for freedom both in America and in much of the world. They were implemented only partially in 1776-1787, but that implementation was real and began moving America toward the exceptional country it has become.

Jones asserts “[f]or the most part, black Americans fought back alone.”

African Americans constituted about 10 percent of the Union Army by the end of the Civil War. That meant some 90 [percent] of the Army fighting to abolish slavery was white. Furthermore, it was the combination of white Republicans and African Americans that sustained the Reconstruction of the South along the democratic lines Jones describes. She admits that when the Republicans were finally exhausted, the African American community could not sustain freedom against the resurgent white southerners.

In the 20th century, there were many white Americans who campaigned for civil rights – and a number who lost their lives going into Mississippi and elsewhere in defiance of the local segregationist power structure.

When Jones writes “[t]he truth is that as much democracy as this nation has today, it has been borne on the backs of black resistance,” she uses a racist measure to eliminate the contributions of millions of non-Blacks who believed in a more just and more open America.

The implicit racism in Jones’s analysis leaps out when she writes: “It is a truly American irony that some Asian-Americans, among the groups able to immigrate to the United States because of the black civil rights struggle, are now suing universities to end programs designed to help the descendants of the enslaved.”

In a long essay, which tells us the goal is to establish civil rights for all Americans, she now critiques Asian Americans who want their civil rights protected.

Her implicit racism is captured even more clearly when she writes: “We were told once, by virtue of our bondage, that we could never be American. But it was by virtue of our bondage that we became the most American of all.”

Isn’t every American entitled to work to be “the most American of all?”

Isn’t the Vietnamese refugee who fled Communism entitled to work hard and study and become “the most American?”

Isn’t the seventh generation German, Irish, or Italian eligible to serve the country, risk his or her life, and become “the most American?”

The debate between the racism implicit in the 1619 project and the exceptionalism growing out of 1776 and 1787 will be a major part of the 2020 campaign.

I believe most Americans will seek exceptionalism and American unity over guilt, divisiveness, and a racial definition of our history.

The New York Times failed with its Trump-Russian project, and now it is going to fail with its “racist America” project.
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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.

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The Road Not Taken: Another FBI Failure Involving The Clintons Surfaces

by John Solomon : August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard: One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.

And this August did not disappoint. Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clinton email case may not really be settled.

A staff memo updating the two senators’ long-running probe discloses that the FBI — the version run in 2016 by the now-disgraced and fired James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok — failed to pursue access to “highly classified” evidence that could have resolved important

The failure to look at the evidence back in 2016 occurred even though the agents believed access to the sensitive evidence was “necessary” to complete the investigation into Clinton’s improper transmission of classified emails — some top-secret — on her unsecure private email server, the memos show.

To make matters worse, the Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) has known about that decision since at least 2018, thanks to the work of the DOJ’s internal watchdog, Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, who provided DOJ leaders and Congress with a classified appendix explaining what happened.

But Johnson and Grassley have been unable to get answers for a year, even from Attorney General William Barr, about whether the FBI intends to look at the critical evidence it skipped back in 2016.

The Senate staff memo succinctly lays out just how egregious the FBI’s decision was in 2016.

The inspector general’s “appendix raised a number of serious questions because, as explained on page 154 of the unclassified DOJ IG report, the FBI decided not to seek access to certain highly classified information potentially relevant to the investigation despite members of the FBI case team referring to the review as a ‘necessary’ part of the investigation,” the Senate staff wrote.

“As a result of the findings in that appendix, Senator Grassley wrote a classified letter to DOJ on October 17, 2018, which remains unanswered. On January 15, 2019, at Mr. Barr’s nomination hearing, Senator Grassley asked Mr. Barr if he would answer the letter, if confirmed, to which he attested, ‘Yes, Senator.’ On April 16, 2019, Senators Grassley, Johnson, and Graham sent a letter to Attorney General Barr reiterating the need for a written response to that letter."

The DOJ’s silence on the road that the FBI willfully chose not to take is all the more deafening given what we already know about the Clinton email case.

As I previously wrote, then-FBI Director Comey’s original draft findings in the Clinton case concluded her transmission of classified emails through an unsecure server was “grossly negligent,” the legal standard supporting a felony charge under the Espionage Act.

But the findings were edited and the term changed to “extremely careless,” and Comey chose on his own to announce on July 5, 2016, that he would not seek criminal charges, a decision that the DOJ's IG concluded had wrongly usurped prosecutors’ authority to make charging decisions.

In addition, as I have written, FBI general counsel James Baker believed — almost until the last minute before Comey’s announcement — that Clinton should, in fact, face criminal prosecution, but he was talked out of it.

And in a passage that often gets overlooked by reporters and pundits alike, IG Horowitz concluded in his final report about the Clinton email caper that the anti-Trump biases that FBI agent Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page expressed in text messages may have affected their decisionmaking to focus more urgently on the now disproven Trump-Russia collusion allegations rather than to finish work on the former secretary of State’s email problems, an investigation code-named Midyear.

“In assessing the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead ... we were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the Justice Department's watchdog wrote.

So the FBI’s chief lawyer originally thought Clinton should be indicted, and the bureau wrote a draft supporting the felony standard, but then walked back its decision. And agents focused more on unsubstantiated Trump collusion than Clinton emails in what the IG feared might be a sign of bias.

And now we learn the FBI willfully chose to ignore highly classified evidence in the Clinton email case and has stonewalled Congress for a year on whether it intends to reexamine that evidence.

It’s exactly that sort of behavior that leaves many Americans wondering whether there are two systems of justice inside the FBI — one for the Clintons, and one for the rest of the country.

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John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill.

Tags: The Hill, John Soloman, FBI, Failure, The Clintons To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Records Show Michigan School Required Teachers to Attend Two-Day ‘Islamic Propaganda’ Seminar

by Anthony Gockowski: A Freedom of Information Act request has uncovered evidence of “a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign aimed at teachers in school systems throughout Michigan and several other states.”

According to a Thursday report from the Thomas More Law Center, Michigan’s Novi Community Schools District conducted a two-day mandatory seminar for teachers presented by a paid Muslim consultant.

“We found that the teachers were subjected to two-days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed—all funded by Novi taxpayers,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

The law center didn’t find any evidence that the school district presented seminars on Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion apart from Islam within the last five years.

Huda Essa, a Dearborn-area resident, was paid $5,000 to conduct the two-day seminar, but wasn’t fully vetted beforehand, according to information obtained in the public records request.

According to Essa’s website, her reach extends far beyond the Novi Community Schools District. In Michigan alone, she lists nine schools districts as clients, including Oakland County Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools, Farmington Public Schools, Dearborn Public Schools, Birmingham Public Schools, and Melvindale Public Schools.

The Thomas More Law Center found that Essa compares Islam to Christianity in her seminars, saying they are “mostly similar.” She claims that the biggest difference between the two is that Islam is the “only purely monotheistic religion.”

In her presentations, she accuses America of “cultural genocide,” claims Muslim women are victims of Islamophobia, suggests Christian scriptures are “corrupted,” and argues that the Koran contains the “pure” word of God.

More than 400 teachers were required to attend the two-day workshop, according to the Thomas More Law Center. Additionally, the center’s Freedom of Information Act request found that Essa was given access to data from student and teacher surveys, and that the school district had “no guidelines” for the selection of presenters.

Essa received $5,000 from the public school for her two-day seminar on August 28 and 29, 2017.

“This type of infiltration amounts to an Islamic Trojan horse within our public-school systems,” Thompson said. “No other religion gets this kind of special treatment in our schools.”

The Thomas More Law Center is a national non-profit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its full report can be read here.
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Anthony Gockowski (@AGockowski) is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. H/T The Tennessee Star.

Tags: Anthony Gockowski, Records Show, Michigan School, Required Teachers, to Attend, Two-Day ‘Islamic Propaganda’ Seminar To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Transforming America, Remaking History, Values Voter Summit

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Transforming America
The left is not shy when it comes to telling us what it thinks about America. From Hillary's "basket of deplorables" to progressive declarations that the country was founded on racism and genocide, it's clear that the left just doesn't like America all that much.

Make no mistake about it, my friends. The radical left wants to completely remake America.

They have already made it clear that if they don't get the outcomes they want from the Supreme Court, they will fundamentally transform the court. Another way the left aims to transform the country is by getting rid of the Electoral College.

Earlier this week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced the Electoral College as "a scam." Just to be clear, the Electoral College is part of the Constitution and the Constitution is not "a scam." What else in the Constitution does she consider to be "a scam"?

AOC argued that our system should be "one man one vote." That is a pure democracy and our system is a constitutional republic. She also said that we should get rid of the Electoral College because it gives too much power to "white voters over voters of color."

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa responded by tweeting:

"Actually @AOC, eliminating the Electoral College would silence our voices here in Iowa and in many other states across the country. This is just more evidence of how out of touch the Democrats have become."

Sen. Ernst is right.

As you may know, there is an effort underway to nullify the Electoral College by getting states to award their electors based on the national popular vote, rather than the state's results. But the Democrat governor of Nevada infuriated the left recently when he vetoed a bill to join this movement.

"In cases like this, where Nevada's interests could diverge from the interests of large states, I will always stand up for Nevada," Gov. Sisolak said.

The original purpose of the Electoral College was to provide a check against the "tyranny of the majority" and to ensure that the smaller, more rural states were not dominated by the interests of big cities in national elections. It was one of many great compromises that formed our nation.

At the time, most of those concerns were economic. Today there are still economic differences between the states but there is also a growing ideological divide.

The left wants the secular, progressive populations of big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Miami to dominate the rest of the country.

They want big cities to decide national elections in order to use the power of the federal government to force the rest of America to live under the values that prevail in the urban centers.

As you also know, the left does not believe in states' rights. Many of the divisions in the country today could be tolerated if the left was willing to allow the people of Tennessee to have prayer in school even if the people of New York did not want it.

But the left won't do that. Progressives preach tolerance, but have none for conservative values. They will not allow conservatives to live their values anywhere in the entire country.

The radical left wants to force the people who live in 80% of the country to kneel before those who live in the other 20%. This growing intolerance for tens of millions of citizens is not progress. It is a prescription for disaster.

Remaking History
Have you heard about the 1619 Project from the New York Times? They are claiming that the country began in 1619 with the first slave ships and thus the country was evil from the beginning.

Newt Gingrich, Rich Lowry and others are taking it on. And, of course, the critics are being smeared as racists.

This left-wing deconstruction of history is very dangerous. There is no perfect country. But as Tucker Carlson recently noted, no nation can be fairly governed by people who hate it.

Other Headlines
  • Trump is draining the swamp and the bureaucrats aren't happy that they are being forced to move to "flyover country."
  • Apparently the Obamas aren't too concerned about climate change and rising sea levels. Neither is the DNC. Guess it's not such an "existential threat" after all.
  • July was the "hottest month on record." Sounds scary right? Well, kudos to the Associated Press for acknowledging that the records only go back to 1880. The earth was even hotter long before SUVs.
Values Voter Summit
Join me in our nation's capital, October 11th - 13th, for the 2019 Values Voter Summit.

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

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

As always, this year's Summit will feature an incredible lineup of top government officials, opinion makers and faith leaders.

There will be educational and informative breakout sessions, as well as events honoring those who have made significant contributions to the conservative movement.

American Values will be hosting a special luncheon Saturday, October 12th.

Register now at valuesvotersummit.org.

I look forward to seeing you there!
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families 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 Three R’s . . .

. . . The mainstream media, the propaganda arm of the Democrat party, keep throwing fake news stories like Russia collusion, Trump’s a Racist, and now Recession as a way to hurt Trumps 2020 campaign.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: The Three R’s, mainstream media, the propaganda arm, Democrat party, throwing fake news stories, Russia collusion, Trump’s a racist, recession, way hurt, Trumps 2020 campaign 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 End of America's 30-Year Engagement With China?

by Michael Barone: Will the demonstrations in Hong Kong come to be seen as the end of a 30-year period, beginning with the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, of the American-Chinese economic engagement and entanglement christened "Chimerica" by historian Niall Ferguson?

Quite possibly, and without regard to what happens in Hong Kong. President Donald Trump's on-and-off tariff threats to China have shown his willingness to upend U.S.-China economic ties. Unlike his predecessors, he regards imports from China as harmful. They may provide cheap clothes and toys to American consumers, but they also seem to have destroyed more American manufacturing jobs than expected.

In any case, Chinese economic growth has been flagging, and its workforce has essentially stopped growing. Post-Tiananmen annual growth, unparalleled in history, ranged from 8 to 14 percent from 1991 to 2013 but has tailed off, probably below the official 6 percent level.

And, thanks to China's longtime one-child policy, its working-age population has been declining, down 3 percent since 2011. For years, one big question about China was whether it would get old before it got rich. The answer seems to be that it has gotten old about halfway up the path. Poverty is way down, but incomes significantly lag those in North America, Western Europe and East Asia, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, just as the United States once lost low-skill manufacturing jobs, so China is now.

The reasons for an American strategic partnership with China have vanished into the mists of history. Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, noting little-reported skirmishes on the Chinese-Russian border, saw China as a counterweight to the Soviet Union in a three-way Cold War. That vision became obsolete as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

But Deng Xiaoping's decision to kill thousands -- maybe tens of thousands -- in Tiananmen Square showed the permanence of the communist regime, which had already started to spark -- or permit -- economic growth.

George H.W. Bush decided to stabilize the relationship, and his three successors, despite some contrary campaign rhetoric, concurred. A bipartisan congressional majority voted for normal trade relationships in 2000, and U.S. leaders appreciated China's economic stimulus in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

The hope through these years was that a more prosperous China would also become more democratic and tolerant at home, and less aggressive abroad. But as foreign affairs journalist James Mann pointed out in his 2007 book, "The China Fantasy," and as longtime Kissingerian Michael Pillsbury wrote in his 2015 book, "The Hundred-Year Marathon," China's leaders weren't interested in following this script.

On the contrary, Pillsbury argued that they had their own scenario, in which China would embark quietly but steadily on a long-term race to world supremacy by 2049, the 100th anniversary of Mao Zedong's victory over Chiang Kai-shek.

China would use strategy and tactics laid out by Sun Tzu 2,500 years ago and restore the state to the primacy it enjoyed before the civil wars and invasions that started with the Taiping rebellion in 1849 and ended with Mao's death in 1976, costing millions of Chinese lives. Before this strife, China had 40 percent of the world's population and economic production, and an emperor reigning 60 years, who reportedly told the British envoy Lord Macartney in 1793, "Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance" and has "no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians."

Xi Jinping, as he disapprovingly watches peaceful marchers in Hong Kong week after week, perhaps feels similarly. His attempted crackdown on the independent judiciary Hong Kong was promised until 2047, and abolition of his 10-year term limit amounts to jumping the gun on Pillsbury's 100-year-marathon finish line of 2049.

Presumably, Xi has the power to squelch the Hong Kong demonstrators as his predecessors squelched Tiananmen protesters 30 years ago. But not without significant economic cost, which he may be willing to pay. The economic ties symbolized by "Chimerica" are already unraveling. They could be completely split if the Red Army ravages Hong Kong.

The cost would not be just economic. "(I)n defying Beijing," Claudia Rosett, who covered the Tiananmen Square massacre for the Wall Street Journal, writes from Hong Kong, the demonstrators "may be taking on the Goliath of modern tyrannies, but even against terrible odds, they are committed to this contest. That's how much they value freedom."

Brute force may prevail for a time. But the yearning for freedom can still somehow survive.
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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. Images added by ARRA News Service editor.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, The End, America's 30-Year Engagement, With China, Rasmussen Reports To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Greenland: Trump’s MAGA Idea!

Greenland
by Patrick Buchanan: To those of us of who learned our U.S. history from texts in the 1940s and ’50s, President Donald Trump’s brainstorm of acquiring Greenland fits into a venerable tradition of American expansionism.

To those of us of who learned our U.S. history from texts in the 1940s and ’50s, President Donald Trump’s brainstorm of acquiring Greenland fits into a venerable tradition of American expansionism.

The story begins with colonial officer George Washington’s march out toward Fort Duquesne in 1754 and crushing defeat and near death at Fort Necessity, where, according to myth, he fired the first shot of what would become the French and Indian War.

With the British victory, Washington went home to Virginia, only to be called back in 1775 to lead the Continental Army in America’s War of Independence, which lasted six years, until the victory at Yorktown.

With the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the Americans won title to all the land between the Atlantic and Mississippi, from Canada to Florida.

Twenty years later, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison seized Napoleon’s offer and bought for $15 million the vast Louisiana Territory extending from New Orleans into Canada and so far west it virtually doubled the size of the United States.

In 1818, Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, was ordered by President James Monroe to march south to repel the murderous forays by Seminole Indians from Florida into Georgia.

Exceeding his orders, Jackson stormed into Florida, crushed the Seminoles, hanged two British “spies” he found there, put the Spanish governor on a boat to Cuba and came home, a national hero again, after almost igniting another war with the British.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams now coolly confronted the Spanish. If they could not control the Indians, Adams told the Spanish ambassador, we would. And to avoid more visits by General Jackson, the best solution for Madrid was to cede this derelict province to the United States.

Spain capitulated. Florida was ours.

In 1835, American settlers in the Mexican province of Texas, under the leadership of Jackson’s old lieutenant and fellow Indian fighter Sam Houston, seceded. At San Jacinto, they forced General Santa Anna to accept the independence of a new Lone Star Republic.

In his last days in office in 1845, President John Tyler brought Texas into the Union, and his successor, James Polk, sent an army to Texas to ensure that the U.S. border was now the Rio Grande, much farther south than the Mexicans claimed it to be.

In the subsequent 1846-48 war, the U.S. army invaded Mexico and marched to the capital, where Nicholas Trist of the State Department negotiated a peace whereby Mexico ceded half of its country — what became the American Southwest, plus California.

President Ulysses S. Grant, a veteran of that war, would call it the “most unjust war ever fought.” Yet, Mexico would, in the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, sell an area twice the size of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It would become part of the states of New Mexico and Arizona.

The Mexicans even offered to sell Baja California for $10 million. Congress declined the offer, saying we now had quite enough land.

When the Civil War ended, Secretary of State William Seward — who narrowly survived an assassination attempt the night John Wilkes Booth murdered Lincoln — sought to buy the islands of Greenland, Iceland, St. Thomas and the Dominican Republic. He failed, but he bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, putting himself in the history books.

Thus, from the day President John Adams left office, in just 67 years, America had grown to become the world’s second- or third-largest nation.

After the Spanish-American War of 1898, William McKinley would make us an imperial power by annexing Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines, the last in a brutal war that cost 200,000 Filipino lives.

McKinley’s successor, Theodore Roosevelt, would engineer the secession of Panama from Colombia and America’s acquisition of the Canal Zone.

“I took Panama!” boasted T.R.

Ronald Reagan’s opposition to Jimmy Carter’s transfer of the Canal Zone and the canal itself to Panama would prove crucial to Reagan’s 1980 nomination and rout of Carter in a 44-state landslide.

Harry Truman also wanted to acquire Greenland, and in 1946, he offered Denmark $100 million in gold. The Danes declined, though they had sold the Virgin Islands to Woodrow Wilson in 1917.

How, then, did America acquire her vast territory?

By revolution, purchase, invasions, annexations, war, theft and expulsions — of French, British, Mexicans, Spanish and Native Americans. Quite a record.

While Trump’s diplomacy in the Greenland matter was not as deft as Seward’s in acquiring Alaska, the attitude exhibited would not be unfamiliar to many of the great men in our history.

And the cancellation of Trump’s state visit to Copenhagen aside, this issue of Greenland’s future has been tabled. It is not going away.

After all, China, the aspiring superpower of the 21st century, has exhibited an interest in this largest island on Earth, strategically located between Europe and America, amid the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Methinks the Danes are headed for interesting times.
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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.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Greenland, Trump’s MAGA Idea To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrat Dilemma -- Base Disconnected From Front-Runner Biden

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: What could better illustrate the floundering chaos of the Democratic Party than a new national poll showing Joe Biden as the clear front-runner? The party’s got nothing else besides this fumbling faux pas factory.

You know the base doesn’t want Biden, yet he’s leading the party’s polls.

Sen. Kamala Harris decided to challenge Biden in the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates in June, and for a second it appeared to work, as her poll numbers surged, largely at Biden’s expense. But the latest CNN survey shows Harris dropping by 12 points to just 5 percent support and Biden up seven points to 29 percent, comfortably ahead of the pack. The CNN poll is no outlier, as the latest Fox News poll shows Biden at 31 percent. There are just so many empty suits among the field that Biden, despite his abundant weaknesses, remains ahead.

Indeed, the CNN poll shows that Biden has twice as much support as his closest challengers, Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent. The rest of the candidates are in the low- to mid-single digits. If the party has any sense, it might take a hard look at Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who seems far more impressive and authentic than the others — and less radical, which might explain why she only has 2 percent support.

Imagine the predicament Democrats are in. From their perspective, they have an ideal situation. They think they are running against a blundering, loud-mouthed, racist fool whose only support is among racists, rubes and rednecks. They think the best way to beat Trump is to run a candidate who offers the starkest contrast with him.

Yet their leading horse is a blundering, loud-mouthed buffoon who has a long history of racially insensitive remarks.

Trump is a loose cannon on Twitter? Well, Biden is a loose cannon everywhere, especially when he opens his mouth. The Washington Examiner just highlighted six examples in which Biden just flat-out made things up to embellish his record, from tales of his helicopter being forced down near Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Afghanistan, to fables of his ancestors working in the coal mines.

The spooky thing is that these yarns and countless others are not merely gaffes but gratuitous, unforced errors. In every instance, Biden was trying to make himself look more impressive, courageous and noble than he is. It would be bad enough if Biden were trying to hoodwink us, but it seems that he might be a real-life Walter Mitty, actually believing these things happened.

Even when Biden’s weird statements aren’t in the category of puffery, such as his statement that “poor kids are as bright … as white kids,” they reveal that he is a knee-jerk bigot, the exact opposite image Democrats seek in their candidate to maximize their ongoing slander that Trump is a racist.

Democrats want a candidate who will appear mature, stable and sane to highlight Trump’s alleged instability. But the two guys approaching Trump in age are Biden and Sanders, and, well — you get the point. And most of the others are brash extremists bereft of any semblance of realism.

But Biden’s team is clinging to this stability fiction, emphasizing it in his first TV ad. The narrator states that Biden will “restore the soul of a nation battered by an erratic, vicious, bullying president. Strong, steady, stable leadership. Biden. President.” Not only is Biden anything but stable; one wonders how Biden will restore the soul of a nation when, like other Democratic candidates, he favors abortion on demand throughout the term of pregnancy.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is clinging to yet another fantasy: that Biden is conveying a positive, uplifting, “almost Reaganesque” message. Sorry, Joe, but Trump’s record is the most conservative of any other president’s since Reagan, and he is as optimistic and bullish on America’s future as any political leader in decades.

Hopefully, Scarborough’s delusion is shared by his fellow progressives. Not only are Trump and his supporters positive and optimistic about America’s future; grassroots Democrats are also mired in the worst kind of negativity and anti-Americanism we’ve seen since the Vietnam War days. How does Scarborough think an uplifting message will appeal to malcontents?

I’m aware of all the polling that shows Democratic candidates can beat President Trump, but color me an unbeliever. Democrats will not only have to find a viable candidate to run against Trump and his stellar record, though such a human has yet to surface for them; they’re also going to have to reconcile the deep disconnect between their idea of a winning candidate and the makeup of the Democratic base. Their goal is to contrast their candidate with Trump, but so far they are only showing the contrast between their front-runner and their rabid base. How will they ever square that circle?
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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 davidlimbaugh.com.

Tags: David Limbaugh, Democrat Dilemma, Base Disconnected, From Front-Runner Biden To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Brain Doctor: Biden Was 'As Sharp' 31 Years Ago

by Free Press International: The surgeon who treated Joe Biden for brain aneurysms in 1988 said the former vice president “is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago. I haven’t seen any change.”

After his most recent series of gaffes, the question is: How sharp was Biden’s brain 31 years ago?

While campaigning in Iowa on Aug. 20, the 76-year-old Democrat placed two of the 1960s most iconic events — the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King — in the wrong decade.

“When Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King had been assassinated in the 70s, the late 70s when I got engaged,” Biden said.

The 2020 presidential candidate did place iconic 1960s slogans in the correct decade, but stated that the women in his audience wouldn’t remember them.

“Up to that time remember — none of you women would know this, but a couple of men may remember — that was a time, in the early, late 60s and the early 60s and 60s, where it was ‘drop out,’ go to ‘Haight Ashbury,’ ‘don’t get engaged,’ ‘don’t trust anyone over 30,’ ” Biden said.

Biden had twice in recent campaign stops claimed that, while he was vice president, he had met with survivors of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting. The shooting occurred after he left office.

Biden also recently claimed that he supports "truth over facts" and said during a town hall hosted by the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa that "We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids."

Politico reported on Aug. 20 that Dr. Neal Kassell, who previously treated Biden for brain aneurysms and has monitored him for brain damage since his surgeries, said: “I can tell you with absolute certainty that he had no brain damage, either from the hemorrhage or from the operations that he had. There was no damage whatsoever.”

Kassell added that he would vote for the candidate who "I am absolutely certain has a brain that is functioning.”

The Washington Examiner’s Alana Goodman noted that “In 1988, Biden was forced to drop out of the presidential race after he was found to have exaggerated his academic record, plagiarized a law school essay, and used quotes from other politicians in his speeches without attribution.”

Goodman listed six other times Biden was caught embellishing his biography:

1. Biden said his helicopter was “forced down” near Osama bin Laden’s lair in Afghanistan
Biden claimed in multiple speeches in 2008 that he knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding because his helicopter had been “forced down” nearby in the mountains of Afghanistan.

“If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” said Biden. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.” In another speech, he claimed al Qaeda is "in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan … where my helicopter was recently forced down.”
He later referred to “the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down.”

“John McCain wants to know where bin Laden and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where,” said Biden.

The helicopter actually landed to wait out a snowstorm, according to the Associated Press.

Biden, John Kerry, and Chuck Hagel were on a Senate junket in Afghanistan when their helicopter crossed paths with the storm, according to reports. The pilot landed as a precaution, and a U.S. military convoy picked up the senators and took them to the main American airbase.

“Other than getting a little cold, it was fine,” Kerry told the AP when asked about the incident. “We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs,” he joked.

2. Biden said he was a coal miner
While running for president in 2008, Biden told the United Mine Workers that he was a coal miner.

“I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania,” Biden said. “It’s nice to be back in coal country. It’s a different accent [in Virginia], but it’s the same deal. We were taught that our faith and our family was the only really important thing, and our faith and our family informed everything we did.”

The Biden campaign later told the AP that his comment was a “joke.” But it echoed another false claim he had made about coming from a family of coal miners during his 1988 campaign.

In a 1988 speech, Biden referred to “my ancestors, who worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours.” That line was plagiarized from a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock, whose family actually did work in the mines.
In 2004, Biden acknowledged that he did not have family members who worked in mining.

“Hell, I might be president now if it weren't for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn't have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn't work,” he said during an interview with Jon Stewart.

3. Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq
In 2007, Biden claimed he was “shot at” during the Iraq War while visiting the Green Zone, the heavily guarded area in the middle of Baghdad where the United States embassy is based.

“Let’s start telling the truth,” he said. “Number one, you take all the troops out — you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at.”

When asked for details about the shooting, a Biden campaign aide told the Hill that the then-senator was staying at a hotel in the Green Zone when a mortar landed several hundred yards away.

“A soldier came by to explain what happened and said if the mortar fire continued, they would need to proceed to a shelter,” the aide said.

4. Biden said he called Slobodan Milošević a “damn war criminal” to his face
Biden met with Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević in 1993, at the height of the siege of Sarajevo. According to Biden’s book Promises to Keep, when Milošević asked what he thought about him, Biden responded: “I think you’re a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.”

In 2008, Biden aide Ted Kaufman, who was at the meeting and also worked on Biden’s 2008 campaign, told the Washington Post that the account was accurate. However, three other Biden aides who were at the meeting declined to corroborate the story.

John Ritch, a senate aide who attended the Milošević meeting, told the Post he did not recall Biden making such a dramatic pronouncement. “The legend grows,” said Ritch. “But Biden certainly introduced into the conversation the concept that Milošević was a war criminal. Milošević reacted with aplomb.”

5. Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters
In the 1970s and 1980s, Biden regularly claimed to have been an activist in the civil rights movement and said he participated in sit-ins along U.S. Route 40 in Delaware in 1961.

”When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses in my state, and my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of Faubus and Barnett, and my soul raged upon seeing the dogs of Bull Connor,” said Biden in 1983.

Biden also claimed to have organized a boycott of a segregated restaurant in Wilmington called The Pit when he was in high school after the restaurant refused to serve a black member of his football team. “I organized a civil rights boycott because they wouldn’t serve black kids. One of our football players was black and we went there and they said they wouldn’t serve him. And I said to the others, ‘Hey, we can’t go in there.’ So we all left,” said Biden.

The football player contradicted Biden’s account and said Biden was not aware of the incident until later.

“They weren’t aware of what happened,” said the football player in 1987. “I was only 16 then. It was my problem and my battle for me to work out. They were oblivious to it until later.”

When Biden dropped out of the 1988 presidential race amid his plagiarism scandal, he said the extent of his civil rights participation was working at an all-black swimming pool for a summer in college. "During the 1960s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware," he said. "I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. But I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans."

6. Biden said he criticized President George W. Bush during lengthy private meetings in the Oval Office

Biden claimed in 2009 that he spent “a lot of hours alone” with President George W. Bush and bluntly rebuked the president over his foreign policy decisions.

"I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office," Biden told CNN, "'Well, Joe,' he said, 'I'm a leader.' And I said: 'Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one is following.’ ”

Bush aides told Fox News in 2009 that they did not recall Biden ever meeting alone with the president or making such a comment.

"The president would never sit through two hours of Joe Biden," Candida P. Wolff, Bush's White House liaison to Congress, told Fox News. "I don't ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff — there wasn't a reason to bring him in."
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Source: Free Press International News Service

Tags: Brain Doctor, Biden, Was 'As Sharp,' 31 Years Ago, Biden, brain slipping To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Deputy Fired For Invoking the “Billy Graham Rule”

by Chris Woodward: The so-called “Billy Graham Rule” is going to federal court.

Manuel Torres, a former sheriff’s deputy in Lee County, North Carolina, claims he was fired in September 2017 over his religious accommodation requests not to train a new female hire alone.

The 51-year-old Torres is a deacon at East Sanford Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina, and does not think it appropriate to be alone with a female who is not his wife.

The rule is named for Billy Graham because the late evangelist adopted the practice to avoid concerns or claims about sexual impropriety.

Vice President Mike Pence drew national scorn from the Mainstream Media after he told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.

The Charlotte Observer reports Torres first asked for a religious accommodation that would exempt him from the training in July 2017. The request was denied, but Torres tried again repeatedly.

He was fired in September 2017.

University of Toledo Law Professor Howard Friedman told Christianity Today he is unaware of any other court cases involving the “Billy Graham Rule.” However, religious freedom cases have been on the rise, and not just at the U.S. district court level where the Torres case is located, but at the state and municipal level.

Newsweek reports Torres is seeking a combined $315,000 in damages. In addition to suing the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Torres also named the Siler City and Apex police departments defendants, claiming they would not hire him after learning of the situation with his former employer.
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Chris Woodward writes for ToddStarnes.com.

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Election Security

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In previous commentaries, I have explained why we need better election security. But that doesn’t mean Congress should pass just any bill that is supposed to increase election security. The US Senate will consider the Safe Act that was passed by the House. The word “safe” stands for “Securing Americans Federal Elections Act.”

While the legislation has some positive measures, it also contains many provisions that need to be changed. When the bill was considered in Congress, the Republicans offered numerous amendments that were all rejected. So, the bill passed with only one Republican supporting it.

For example, the bill requires that all paper ballots “shall be printed in the United States on recycled paper manufactured in the United States.” The problem with that is some election officials testified that the sensitivity of ballot scanners would give false readings. The attempt to delete this provision was voted down in the House. Having a paper record is a good idea, but that can also be provided by electronic voting machines.

The bill allocates $600 million in the first year to help states upgrade their voting systems. Some members of Congress feared states would see this as free money and wait to upgrade their voting systems. One amendment would have required “a 25% funding march” from states. That was also voted down in the House.

Another amendment was to ban “ballot harvesting,” which is when a third party canvasser goes around collecting absentee ballots. As I have mentioned in previous commentaries, this procedure has already been misused. North Carolina threw out one House election because the procedure was abused.

America needs to do more to make our elections secure. But passing the Safe Act without some common sense amendments is not the way to do so.
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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.

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

U.S. Is Now Largest Oil… And Gas Producer In The World

by Tsvetana Paraskova: Petroleum and natural gas production in the United States jumped by 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively, in 2018, setting new production records and placing the United States as the world’s single largest producer of oil and natural gas, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

The U.S. had already surpassed Russia as the world’s biggest natural gas producer back in 2011.

Last year, the United States beat Saudi Arabia to become the single largest petroleum producer, the EIA said, noting that “Last year’s increase in the United States was one of the largest absolute petroleum and natural gas production increases from a single country in history.”

While Saudi Arabia is bound by the OPEC+ production cut pact and has been curbing its oil production, eager to prop up prices, U.S. shale production has surged over the past two years, also supported by the higher oil prices that the OPEC deal has brought.

Crude oil production in the U.S. jumped by 17 percent in 2018, setting a new production record of almost 11.0 million bpd, with the Permian contributing to most of the production growth, the EIA said.

This year, however, the U.S. shale production has been growing at a slower pace amid lower oil prices as companies scale back drilling plans and budgets as investors clamor for more returns.

U.S. shale producers need to slow down this production growth and focus more on capital discipline in what is an oversupplied market, Continental Resources’ Harold Hamm said last week.

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) earlier this month, the EIA sees U.S. shale’s monthly production growth slowing at least until 2020, averaging 50,000 bpd a month from the fourth quarter of 2019 through the end of 2020, down from average growth of 110,000 bpd a month from August 2018 through July 2019. Despite the growth slowdown, the EIA still expects U.S. crude oil production to set record production levels in 2019 and 2020, at 12.3 million bpd and 13.3 million bpd, respectively.
------------------
Tsvetana Paraskova authored this article contributed by James Stafford the publisher of OilPrice.com, a leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service.

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