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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, July 24, 2020

A Choice Movement We Can All Get Behind

by Tony Perkins: President Trump has been trying to make school choice a priority for months. Now, with the virus forcing local districts to scrap their fall plans, he might finally have the opening he's been waiting for.

After an aggressive push to get kids back in the classroom this September, the president -- like a lot of leaders -- has finally had to reckon with the grim realities of the pandemic. With almost every major district reverting back to virtual learning, the White House agreed Thursday that safety has to come first. "Our goal is to protect our teachers and students from the China virus while ensuring that families with high-risk factors can continue to participate from home." But that doesn't mean that Americans shouldn't have options, he insisted. If families don't want to fall into the same distance learning patterns of the spring, they shouldn't have to.

"If schools do not reopen," President Trump said during Thursday briefing, "the funding should go to parents to send their child to [the] public/private, charter, religious or home school of their choice. The keyword," he emphasized, "being choice." "If the school is closed, the money should follow the student so the parents and families are in control of their own decisions. So, we would like the money to go to the parents of the student. This way they can make the decision that's best for them."

That was music to the ears of a lot of parents, who are scrambling to find stable solutions for the fall that not only fits their schedules and their children's needs -- but that won't cost more on top of the taxes they are paying to public education. Of course, Republicans have been trying for years to boost scholarships and tax credits for charter and private schools. Now, in one of the few silver linings of COVID, the virus is giving the administration and Congress an opportunity to get creative. Nothing, Republicans say, should be off the table. Families should be able to use the money for everything from education technology to supplementary curriculum and more.

Before the president even made his pitch, Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) were racing to get a bill called the School Choice Now Act on leaders' desks. "Children in all K-12 schools, public and private, have been affected by COVID-19," Alexander pointed out. "Many schools are choosing not to re-open and many schools are failing to provide high-quality distance learning. The students who will suffer from this experience the most are the children from lower income families. This bill will give families more options for their children's education at a time that school is more important than ever."

The proposal leans heavily on the Education Freedom Scholarships concept that the president mentioned in his State of the Union address. Considering the urgency of the situation, Scott and Alexander are proposing a one-time emergency cash infusion to each state. According to the senators, local leaders could direct the dollars as they see fit, and families would get direct financial assistance for private school tuition or homeschooling expenses.

The sooner the better, as far as private schools are concerned. At least 107 have been forced to permanently close their doors because of pandemic hardships. And that isn't just bad news for suburban parents, but also the huge number of inner-city children they serve. That should bother liberals, who insist they care so much about minority communities. It doesn't. Like so many of their phony crusades, the far-Left doesn't actually want to lift kids out of poverty. If they did, they wouldn't be suing the Department of Education for suggesting that faith-based schools should have some share of the virus relief funds.

Instead, the NAACP, along with the gangsters at SPLC, would rather disenfranchise black and Hispanic families than give them alternatives to failing government schools. Like most liberals, they're desperate to protect government education, which provides them a monopoly for the impressionable minds of children. Late last year, SPLC even launched a campaign to wipe out voucher programs -- keeping low-income kids trapped in their dead-end schools and slamming the door on any chance of future success. (This is the same "social justice" group that tried to destroy the thriving charter school system in Jackson, Mississippi, where minority students were shattering state performance records.)

Hopefully, the Left's war on school choice is going alienate them with a huge swathe of their base -- who's always been as enthusiastically supportive of the idea as conservatives. They need to understand, the Washington Post points out, this is a political winner for Trump. Most parents want options, and now is the time to do what Congress should have done a long time ago and give them some. Maybe, Forbes points out, the "School Choice Now Act could be a place where those from the Right and Left could come together... [and] meet the diverse needs of their communities. If that were the case, it would be a silver lining to the dark cloud of the [recession] and the virus that created it."
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Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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The Viruses With Us Today

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” Plato
by John Green: We are all familiar with COVID-19 virus by now. Our lives are still being impacted by this virus. But there are other viruses out there that can do us harm. These are caused by humans.

For example the “just get along virus”. It has spread all over America. It works like this – People ask why we can’t all just get along? What they really mean is they want to do what they want to do. They don’t want anyone telling them no. In return they won’t judge anyone else’s behavior. Everyone does what they want. The drawback is it creates a society without any values. Everyone just does their own thing. It’s a society that doesn’t believe in God. It’s a society that stands for nothing but self.

We also have the “man in control virus”. If you don’t believe in God, man must be in charge. The Founding Fathers believed in God and drew upon Judeo-Christian values in establishing our values as a people and a nation. Things worked well until we decided these values were old fashioned. Today people are confused about what is right and what is wrong.

Another virus sweeping the nation is the “all different virus”. This is a tricky one because we all are different. No two humans are exactly alike. But they put everyone into a group by race, gender, class or scores of other classifications. And they claim only the people in their group can understand that group’s problems. We are all different, but this virus divides people into groups, and each group cannot be understood by the other groups.

The “all different virus” pulls us apart as a nation. It divides our nation into special interest groups. It’s the exact opposite of what we want.

Look at a US coin – E pluribus unum – out of many one. America is made up of people from all over the world. They come and become Americans – not Italian Americans but Americans, not black or brown Americans, but Americans. We are not made up of special interest groups each looking for special treatment.

Recently the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture published a piece on their website. It lists what they call the signs of “whiteness”. Here are some of the signs – hard work, nuclear family - husband, wife and kids, planning for future, delayed gratification, value of time as a commodity, self-reliance, decision making, politeness. These traits apply to anyone who wants to be successful regardless of race, gender or creed. It can’t be used as an excuse for not getting ahead. These traits are not signs of “whiteness”, They are signs of success/responsibility.

Another serious virus comes from our educators. It’s called “America was never good virus”. It’s not based on fact. It’s used to denigrate the United States of America. It started in the late 1960s. Then in 1980 Howard Zinn rewrote American history with his controversial book “A People's History of the United States”. He saw America as founded by selfish white men who exploited the majority of Americans. It continues to this day with the NYT “1619 Project”. It states slavery in America started in 1619 and is in America’s DNA. This is what our students are being taught today.

Why all this hate America for America? I believe in part it’s jealousy and envy. I believe some see government as the provider for all our needs. It’s the socialism/communist idea that we should all share our things. It’s not equal opportunity they want, it’s equal outcome. Other groups seek power and use chaos as the way to gain that power.

The most serious virus we face is the “no God virus”. When man rejects God and puts himself above God trouble is close by. Just look at what some consider normal in today’s world.
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Check out John Green on Wikipedia.

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Hurting Americans to Beat Trump

William L. Gensert
by William L. Gensert: Democrat governors are not giving up their lockdowns no matter how much they hurt people’s lives. With a total lack of irony, they ignore the real science calling for reopening the economy and schools, while at the same time they label “deniers” anyone who disagrees with fake climate change science.

Science is defined as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”

Samples of science: Don’t wear masks, wear masks; coffee will kill you, coffee is good for you; chocolate will kill you, chocolate is good for you; fatty foods will kill you, carbs will kill you; the world will freeze in a nuclear winter, the oceans will bubble away as “kettle’s on the boil, [when] we’re so easily [led astray].”

Even though science does not always live up to its reputation, a decision must be made and when the preponderance of the science says open, you should open.

Governors, who had no problem sending peoples’ mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers, the highest risk age group, to certain death alone in nursing facilities while preventing their loved ones the opportunity to even say, “Goodbye.” Later, they unabashedly, took a victory lap while bragging to the world how successful they were. Now, they insist on quarantining the least at-risk segment of the population by keeping schools closed.

The risk to school-age children COVID represents is infinitesimal, but they claim schools should stay closed, “for the children.” The median age of those succumbing to the virus is 78 years old. 99.96% are adults. Nothing matters, fulsome Democrats fully plan to keep the economy shut down through November 3, 2020.

Many children who took online classes during the pandemic never even signed onto a computer for classes. It is a function of motivation and just as many adults cannot work effectively from home, so it is with youth. Sitting in your living room with mommy’s laptop is not a situation conducive to learning. In addition, going to school has as much to do with social interaction as it does with acquiring knowledge.

Yet, knowing all this, Democrats are making a conscious decision to hurt our children’s lives and future prospects to gain a presidency. And the left pretends they are on the side of all that is right and just when ironically, they will do anything not right and unjust to get what they want. And they want closures until the election.

One of the worst lessons learned by America’s Democrat mayors and governors through the COVID and the riots, is the enormous, almost unlimited power they have in an emergency. They literally can rule by decree. And not only do they relish the opportunity to be dictators but also are loath to give up their newly acquired power -- especially because it allows them to ratchet up the misery for all those non-elite Americans so it can be used as a cudgel to bludgeon Trump and perhaps cost him the presidency.

That and racism…it is always something and “racism.” The “something” changes depending on what Democrats and media thinks they can sell, but the charge of “racism” remains static.

People think America is a democracy. This is wrong; this country is a republic, and as a republic, it is an agglomeration of 50 variegated states. In reality, we have 50 separate and distinct fiefdoms, ruled by governors who are essentially kings.

They are not giving up the lockdowns and the attendant increased authority. They can dictate which businesses can open and which will remain closed. People can be forced to stay in their homes, and when allowed out, told where they can go and what they are permitted to buy.

The riots were even better for our new royalty, they could simultaneously ignore the large, non-social distancing crowds and all the destruction and violence while forcing healthy constituencies to remain quarantined.

For the first time in the history of plague and pandemic, we decided to quarantine the healthy -- something that would have been unimaginable a short time ago.

The rioting, combined with the damage to lives, careers and wealth done by the lockdowns, all the arson, looting and destruction of property, and the ruination of the economy is meant to give the King of Aphasia, Joe Biden the opportunity to run against Trump’s lousy economy and riots. And now, closed schools as well.

They are refusing to reopen schools even though youth has almost zero risk with COVID -- it might have something to do with mothers and fathers being unable to both go back to work if their children are still stuck at home.

As for all the damage, destruction, and job losses, the Democrat governors are making worse, as Michelle Obama when selling her school lunch program, once was rumored to have said, “Let them eat…nothing!”

Democrats are assuming that with full control of the media, they can convince people that all this is Trump’s fault. And if they can keep the election close enough, they can steal it with illegal voting, illegals voting, and illegally stealing votes -- that’s why they are now questioning, with frightening synchronicity, whether Trump will leave office when he loses, while simultaneously warning that it will take weeks to count the votes (they’re loading their car trunks with “lost ballots” as we speak).

The Democrats have created an agglutination of economy-killing lockdowns; closed schools; property-destroying, sanguinary riots; electoral fraud; and media calumny and lies. All to be used against a president who was virtually guaranteed reelection mere months ago.

Instead of coming up with policies they believe would match or surpass the success President Trump has had with the economy, the stock market, employment, wealth creation, etc., Democrats choose to destroy this country so Americans can suffer for the sin of not electing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and be given the government they deserve, “good and hard.”

It is one thing to ruin the lives of adults over something political but another entirely to do it to children. The saddest part of it all is they just might succeed.
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William L. Gensert (@williamlgensert) also shared this article on The American Thinker.

Tags: William L. Gensert, The American Thinker, Hurting Americans, to Beat Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How Democrats Are Supporting Election Interference by Foreign Companies

. . . Foreign companies who stand to lose if Trump wins are participating in an election interference boycott.
by Daniel Greenfield: If you have Dove soap or Axe deodorant in your bathroom, Lipton tea or Breyers in your kitchen, you're buying Unilever products. The huge British-Dutch multinational made $60 billion last year and is known for its leftist politics. But Unilever may have gone beyond virtue signaling to election interference.

Unilever is one of the biggest foreign companies to join the Facebook boycott by leftist pressure groups.

The boycott’s goal is to suppress conservative speech on social media, especially by President Trump, before a presidential election, by convincing advertisers to withhold ads from Facebook until it complies. While Facebook already censors conservatives, it isn’t enough to satisfy the radicals running the boycott.

Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, one of the leaders of the boycott made that clear in an editorial titled, "Will Zuckerberg dump Trump, or continue to serve him?"

"Facebook also loves its advertisers, and they are increasingly joining the boycott," he boasted. "So who will Zuckerberg choose?"

In an interview with the New York Times, Robinson emphasized that this was about the election.

"Honestly, there is an election and I need to get them to enforce the policies on the books before the fall. I need them to have some real rules around elections and voter suppression posts that actually will apply to Trump and other politicians so he doesn’t do anything dangerous on Election Day or before."

Robinson's examples of the kind of speech by President Trump that he wanted to pressure Facebook into censoring included, "claiming victory early".

The #StopHateForProfit campaign promoted by Color of Change, a radical leftist group, is blatant election interference. And it’s backed by huge foreign multinationals who are interfering in our election.

Unilever's own boycott post blatantly referenced the election, stating, "there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S".

A huge foreign company was pressuring Facebook to interfere in America's presidential election.

And it wasn't alone.

The Body Shop, a British company, also explicitly framed its boycott around the election, complaining that, "when we see the current dialogue in the US around anti-racism and equality, we continue to be concerned by the spread of hateful content and disinformation online, and the potential for this to affect the democratic right of Americans to have access to fair and balanced elections this fall."

Should foreign companies be allowed to intervene in an American election? Especially when that election has a potential impact on their bottom line?

Diageo, a British liquor company whose brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Seagram’s, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, and many others, announced that it would participate in the Facebook boycott while, continuing “to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content."

The Trump administration has been considering new tariffs on European products from the UK, France, and Germany. The foreign firms joining the Facebook election interference boycott are primarily from these three countries. And, As Bloomberg noted, Diageo is one of the companies at risk if Trump strikes.

As is Pernod Ricard, the French company behind Absolut, Beefeater, Glenlivet, and Jameson, and which is also participating in the Facebook election interference boycott.

Some of the foreign companies that joined the #StopHateForProfit election interference campaign have direct or indirect financial interests that have been affected by Trump’s pro-American trade policies.

Honda had announced, “American Honda is withholding its advertising on Facebook and Instagram. We choose to stand with people united against hate and racism.” American Honda is just a subsidiary of the Japanese company. Its CEO, Shinji Aoyama, formerly headed the Asian Honda Motor Co.

The Japanese automaker has a direct financial stake in President Trump’s defeat.

The Trump administration had declared that car imports "threaten to impair the national security of the United States", and threatened to impose potential tariffs of 25%. After a trade deal, it appears that the Section 232 tariffs won't be imposed, but Honda's leadership is aware of the threat. And the Japanese company would be a lot safer if Trump were out of office. So would a lot of foreign companies.

Playstation, a Sony product, has announced its support for the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Another Japanese company, Konica Minolta, has also been listed as participating in the boycott.

Japanese companies should not be interfering in the next American presidential election.

Neither should German companies, especially those with a Nazi past, be lecturing Americans on racism.

Volkswagen, founded as a Nazi state-owned project dictated by Hitler which used slave labor during the war, issued an ultimatum, “Hate speech, discriminating comments and posts containing dangerous false information must not be published uncommented and must have consequences.”

That probably sounded a little less threatening and bellicose in the original German.

Much like Honda, Volkswagen has a stake in Trump’s defeat. President Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on European cars unless the EU drops its tariffs on American lobsters. A 25% tariff on European vehicles would add $10,000 to the cost of every car and hit German car companies really hard.

While VW is calling for “consequences”, the German company may be worrying about consequences.

Adidas and Puma, rival German companies founded by Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, members of the Nazi Party and suppliers to the Hitler Youth, who signed their letters Heil Hitler, joined the boycott.

Puma claimed to be, "part of an overall effort to create positive change and improvement in Facebook's platform by demanding the removal of inaccurate, hostile and harmful conversation," while Adidas called for, "a cosmopolitan and safe environment." VW and Puma had mentioned false or inaccurate comments which are euphemisms for censoring conservative political speech on social media.

Adidas and Puma neglected to sign off with the traditional “Heil Hitler” signature of their founders.

Foreign companies should not be joining a call by American leftist organizations to censor speech.

Henkel, the German company behind Persil, Dial, and Loctite, another former Nazi company that used slave labor, declared that it, "stands for tolerance, diversity and respect", and that it also expects "this attitude from all of our business partners around the world” as its reason for joining the boycott.

Next time you buy some Dial soap, think about where the German company really wants to stick it.

But it’s not just German companies.

The Lego Group, the Danish politically correct toy corporation, jumped on board the boycott, calling for an, "inclusive digital environment free from hate speech, discrimination and misinformation."

Lululemon, a Canadian company which got its name because its founder thought it would be funny to have Japanese people try to say it, and who endorsed child labor, claimed that it was, "actively engaging with Facebook to seek meaningful change." Perhaps it should start engaging with itself instead.

The Facebook ad boycott is election interference and while it’s bad enough that major American companies like Verizon, Best Buy, Target, and Starbucks are participating in this effort to silence their political opponents, foreign companies joining the election interference boycott is unacceptable.

While Democrats have been clamoring about foreign election interference, the participation of foreign companies in a boycott meant to silence Republicans, has their universal approval and support.

"We share the concerns of companies who are speaking up about Facebook's inaction around making meaningful changes that protects our democracy," Biden's spokesman said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went further, boosting the boycott even before it was officially announced.

“Advertisers have tremendous leverage,” she sneered. “I would say to them, know your power.”

Her comments, which came a day before the official election interference boycott, strongly suggest that she had early knowledge and may have been coordinating with the activists involved. The big question was whether Pelosi knew that the activists intended to involve foreign companies in their campaign.

If Pelosi knew, then the highest-ranking elected Democrat official was encouraging foreign election interference. And she should be held accountable for it just the way she wanted Trump to be.

It’s time for Republicans to start asking questions about the foreign election interference campaign.

Whatever Pelosi knew or didn’t know then, everyone now knows that foreign companies are participating in a campaign to shut down President Trump and his political supporters. This disturbing campaign of election interference has not been condemned by Democrats, only praised by them.

A foreign oligarchy has intervened in the 2020 election. The security of our political system must be protected by taking on this foreign election interference by foreign companies, some of whom may hope to profit from President Trump’s defeat, by sanctioning them for their attack on our system.

Any Democrats, who have demanded action against foreign election interference, but block sanctions on those companies should be held accountable for their complicity in foreign election interference.
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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.

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Pompeo Pummels China

. . . Donald Trump and his secretary of state are calling out the lawless communist regime.
by Brian Mark Weber: Since announcing his campaign for the presidency in 2015, Donald Trump has warned of the threats posed by communist China, largely abetted by previous American presidents. Initially, few politicians appeared to be listening — or at least willing to do anything about it. But events since then, in particular Chinese malfeasance regarding the coronavirus, have proven the president right, and he’s taking bold action, some of which is being led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo gave a blistering speech Thursday at the Nixon Library nearly 50 years after President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China to facilitate a reengagement between the two nations. Pompeo struck a much different chord than Nixon, calling out the communist regime as the world’s biggest threat.

“My remarks,” he said, “are the fourth set of remarks in a series of China speeches that I asked National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, FBI Director Chris Wray, and the Attorney General Barr to deliver alongside me.” He then explained, “Our goal was to make clear that the threats to Americans that President Trump’s China policy aims to address are clear and our strategy for securing those freedoms established. Ambassador O'Brien spoke about ideology. FBI Director Wray talked about espionage. Attorney General Barr spoke about economics. And now my goal today is to put it all together for the American people and detail what the China threat means for our economy, for our liberty, and indeed for the future of free democracies around the world.”

The secretary spoke of the need for an international coalition to force change in China, saying, “The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.” And he noted that while Chinese President Xi Jinping is a “true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology,” the Chinese Communist Party’s biggest threat might be from within: “The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foe.” Given the way the tyrants in Beijing censor and crush dissent, Pompeo is spot on.

Pompeo didn’t mince words in blaming the ChiComs for exploiting the coronavirus, crushing freedom in Hong Kong, and taking an aggressive stance against neighboring Asian countries. He also urged other countries to “push back” against China.

Earlier this week, Pompeo was in the United Kingdom working to forge a partnership between the two countries to deal with the China menace. It appears that Pompeo has convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take the threat seriously. The Washington Free Beacon’s Jack Beyrer writes, “Britain has started to push back on the Chinese tech company’s expanding influence, electing to expel all Huawei technologies from the country’s 5G network by 2027.”

As Joel Gehrke notes in the Washington Examiner, “Johnson hardened his position on Huawei just months after rebuffing Pompeo’s denunciations of the company, a reversal brought about in part by anger over China’s apparent dishonesty about the coronavirus pandemic — a failure that Pompeo underscored during his visit.”

Thanks to American leadership on the issue, Britain finally seems to be moving in the right direction.

Back to Pompeo’s speech, he hit one of Trump’s repeated themes: “What do the American people have to show now 50 years on from engagement with China?”

Not much. “We opened our arms to Chinese citizens, only to see the Chinese Communist Party exploit our free and open society. China sent propagandists into our press conferences, our research centers, our high-schools, our colleges, and even into our PTA meetings,” Pompeo said. “We gave the Chinese Communist Party and the regime itself special economic treatment, only to see the CCP insist on silence over its human rights abuses as the price of admission for Western companies entering China.”

Just this week, two Chinese nationals suspected of hacking into U.S. companies and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus data and other research were indicted by the Justice Department. The president told us back in May (and many times before that) that China was attempting to steal information from us. But much more than coronavirus research is now at stake. According to The Daily Wire, the duo “launched cyber attacks against businesses, organizations, and tech research facilities in at least 11 countries, including the United States, over the course of a decade.”

In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced a bill allowing the U.S. to impose sanctions on other countries involved in the hacking of American companies.

Meanwhile, members of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston were observed burning documents in metal drums on the rooftop courtyard. What were they trying to hide?

China claimed the rash decision to burn papers came after the United States gave it 72 hours to close the consulate. The Chinese also responded by ordering the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.

On Thursday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) claimed that the consulate in Houston was the “epicenter of China’s espionage.” But the problem isn’t limited to the Houston facility.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “FBI agents have interviewed Chinese researchers suspected of being undeclared members of the People’s Liberation Army in more than 25 cities, according to some U.S. officials. In some instances, staff at Chinese consulates helped instruct some researchers on security, reminding them to delete information from their electronic devices, the officials said.”

Just think of all the damage that’s already been done after decades of Chinese spying and its infiltration of America’s centers of military, medical, and technological research. That’s not to mention the economic malaise and 144,000 dead Americans due to the China Virus.

Fortunately, after years of bipartisan neglect, President Trump and Secretary Pompeo are committed to holding China accountable. Let’s hope it’s not too late.
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Brian Mark Weber writes for The Patriot Post.

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Goodbye, After Nearly Two Centuries, to the National Conventions

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: If things had proceeded according to schedule, we'd be checking the polls this week to see if Joe Biden had gotten a bounce from his acceptance speech in Milwaukee. That's because the Democratic National Convention was originally scheduled for July 13-16.

It has since been postponed, due to COVID-19, to August 17-20, and will evidently be transformed to a mostly virtual event.

This makes obvious, good sense. It's hard to imagine an environment more conducive to spreading this particular virus than a convention floor so crammed with people cheering and chanting that it takes 10 minutes to move 5 feet.

I know what that's like, since I have attended in one way, shape or form, 24 Democratic and Republican national conventions starting in 1968. That's more than one-quarter of the national conventions held by the Democrats since 1832 and the Republicans since 1856.

With so many memories, fond and otherwise, of past conventions, as I've written elsewhere, I feel a certain sadness at their demise, or virtualization.

But it's probably about time. National conventions no longer serve their original purpose, or the uses the parties and the press have made of them in the past half-century.

The national conventions were, for their first 130 years, a unique communications medium. They were the only place and time where party politicians could communicate frankly and bargain personally. They were the only place where people could discover which candidates had genuine support and which just gave lip service.

The conventions' folderol -- eloquent keynote and nomination speeches, hourlong demonstrations, multiple ballots (103 for Democrats in 1924) -- were not just entertainment but ways of working out what parties from dozens of states really stood for.

Two developments in the late 1950s ended the conventions' monopoly over frank communication: direct-dial long-distance telephoning and jet airline travel. Suddenly, politicians in multiple states could constantly speak and frequently meet with one another. It's no coincidence that the last multi-ballot convention and the last nomination determined by a credentials challenge were both in 1952. They were also the first conventions televised to national audiences.

Conventions still had some unscripted moments -- John Kennedy clinching the Democratic nomination on the last state in the alphabetical roll call, Barry Goldwater proclaiming that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Mayor Richard J. Daley booing a speaker who decried "Gestapo tactics" in the streets of Chicago.

But they lost their aura of unpredictability when CBS' Martin Plissner put together the first network delegate count in 1968. Network delegate counts proved their reliability on close roll calls in 1972 and 1976.

I remember being in the hall in Chicago in 1968 keeping track of the roll call, as party rebels beat the convention managers and created the first delegate-selection reform commission. Its rule changes meant that by 1972, most delegates were chosen not in back-room caucuses of party insiders but in primaries -- and, effectively, by candidates, not state and local party leaders.

Since then, conventions have mostly been choreographed by nominees' campaigns, as television ads celebrating the candidate and winding up with a stirring acceptance speech. In the days of three-network TV dominance, audiences were huge, and pollsters recorded massive post-convention bounces.

Only occasionally was the show marred by unrehearsed dissension, as when Edward Kennedy evaded Jimmy Carter's handshake in 1980 (I had a podium pass that year) or Ted Cruz refrained from endorsing Donald Trump in 2016 (I watched from the Texas delegation).

If the parties liked the post-1968 conventions as a campaign tool, the press loved them for the opportunity to schmooze with politicos from across the country, on the convention floor and in elaborate receptions and parties paid for by hugely profitable news media.

But conventions this century have gotten less useful to the parties and the press. With a proliferation of TV choices, conventions no longer have captive audiences. Viewership of acceptance speeches has plateaued around 30 million, even as turnout zoomed from 105 to 137 million, and the dwindling number of movable voters tune them out. Post-convention bounces have become minimal.

As for the press, with media profits down or disappearing, the receptions have become less glittering, while electronic media has made sources routinely available outside convention sites.

President Donald Trump would love to speak to a packed hall, but after his tepid turnout in Tulsa, that's not likely. COVID-19 will apparently give everyone an excuse to discard a traditional ritual that doesn't much serve anyone's purpose.

Still, there's something sad about breaking the links in an unbroken chain going back nearly two centuries. Every four years, my eyes tear up as I watch the workmen clear the balloons and carry the folding chairs off the convention floor after it is adjourned sine die. Not this year.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
----------------------------
Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics H /T Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, Rasmussen Reports, After Nearly Two Centuries, Goodbye, National Conventions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Chicago Cowards Cave To Columbus Haters, Pompeo Takes On China, Chinese Communist Riots

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Chicago Cowards Cave To Columbus Haters
Last night under the cover of darkness, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a crane into Grant Park to remove a beautiful statue of Christopher Columbus that had stood for decades.

Afterwards, the crane was deployed to nearby Arrigo Park to tear down another Columbus statue that had long stood as a monument to America’s beginning.

Here’s why we should care: Earlier this week, a group of hundreds of thugs that police said resembled a military platoon tried to tear down the Grant Park statue.

Drone footage of the attack showed an elaborate command structure with supply lines delivering new projectiles for the assailants to throw at the police, who had encircled the statue to protect it.

The police stood their ground for an hour. Multiple officers suffered concussions; one may lose an eye after being hit by an explosive device. The officers were ordered not to use weapons, so they had to engage in hand-to-hand combat merely to protect themselves.

The police, and civilization, won that battle.

But now, just a few days later, the leftwing political leadership of Chicago – cowards one and all – have caved-in to these leftwing storm-troopers. And they didn’t even have the courage to do it in the light of day.

The political left in America increasingly refuses to defend our country. They won’t defend symbols of our national pride — our national anthem, our Constitution, or our Declaration of Independence.

They won’t defend our borders. And they won’t defend the police who keep us safe.

They want to defund the police and our armed forces. Increasingly, they are neutral at best when confronted by our enemies, especially communist China.

As the Trump Administration takes on the growing danger from communist China, the left instinctively takes our enemy’s side.

Do you think the world is a dangerous place? Of course you do. And yet Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this week led an effort to pass an amendment to drastically cut funding for national security. Thankfully, there are enough patriots left in Congress that the amendment failed.

But there will be other opportunities, especially if Joe Biden becomes president. Sanders did little to help Hillary Clinton after she won the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. But he’s being a team player this time around. Biden’s inner circle is full of former Bernie staffers. And Sanders is advising the former vice president as he develops the party’s policy platform. There’s a good chance defunding the police and defunding our armed forces will be part of that platform.

There are a lot of differences between the left and right in America. But the most fundamental difference has to do with how each side perceives this country, between those who still believe America deserves defending and those who want to tear it down.

This is the battle that will determine America’s future — and indeed whether America has a future.

Pompeo Takes On China
A big part of the battle for America’s future will be waged against communist China. While the left attacks America from within, China continues to build its military power and economic leverage and is increasingly willing to use it to destroy us from without.

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. business community and both party establishments supported granting “Most Favored Nation” trade status to China. They argued that it would be economically beneficial to everyone and would encourage China to become more democratic and change for the better. I said then that trade with China would change the U.S. much more than it would change China.

China has accrued enormous economic benefits from that engagement. They now have the resources to build a huge military. Meanwhile the U.S. lost millions of manufacturing jobs. And what did we receive? Just a bunch of cheap consumer goods we don’t need.

I mention this because the Trump administration has made taking on China a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a major policy speech yesterday at the Nixon Library in California that should be seen as a clarion call for all western democracies to confront China. “What do the American people have to show for 50 years of engagement with China?” Pompeo asked. “The old paradigm of blind engagement with China has failed. We must not continue it. We must not return to it.”

Pompeo is right. Beijing proves every day that we cannot trust anything it says or does — from its unfair trade practices to its horrible human rights abuses to its lies about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. What many westerners don’t seem to understand is that the communist Chinese have a completely different value system than we do. They won’t think twice about lying to our faces if it advances their interests.

Meanwhile, China has ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in retaliation for the Trump Administration closing the Chinese consulate in Houston. The Trump Administration did so after finding evidence that China was attempting to steal trade secrets from us.

Revealingly, a top Communist Party official at the consulate is refusing to leave. This is yet more evidence of the increasingly aggressive posture China is displaying around the world.

Pompeo’s address was the fourth in a series of foreign policy speeches by high-level Trump Administration officials laying out what President Trump believes will be our greatest security and economic threat over the next 50 years.

Pompeo didn’t mince words, comparing the threat posed by communist China to the threat of the Soviet Union that defined the second half of the 20th century.

“President Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of ‘trust but verify,’” Pompeo said. “When it comes to the [Chinese Communist Party], I say: ‘Distrust and verify.’”

Chinese Communist Riots
The American people generally agree with President Trump that the COVID-19 virus is a “Chinese virus.” It originated in China and likely leaked out of a bio-weapons lab. Then the Chinese communists lied to the world about the virus while they expanded their control over emergency supplies that would be needed to fight it.

Now there are rumors and unconfirmed reports that communist China is attacking us again. When the Trump Administration ordered the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston, the official explanation was that the consulate personnel were engaged in stealing U.S. intellectual property.

But Gordon Chang, a well-connected analyst and expert on China, is reporting that the “consulate had links with protest groups in the United States providing financial and logistical support.” That hasn’t been proven yet. But what is proven is that the Chinese Foreign Ministry is engaged in a disinformation campaign that is intentionally stoking racial discord in the United States.

Sometimes it is hard to discern whether China gets its talking points from Pelosi, Biden, Sanders and AOC or whether those politicians get theirs from communist China.
----------------------
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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Stress Test of a Straining Superpower

by Patrick Buchanan: From the protests, riots, rampages and statue-smashing of the last two months, it is apparent that millions of Americans detest our history and heroes. Though nowhere in recorded time have 42 million people of African descent achieved the measures of freedom and prosperity they have in the USA, we are daily admonished that ours is a rotten and sick society whose every institution is shot through with “systemic racism.”

How great a burden can even an unrivaled superpower carry before it buckles and breaks? We may be about to find out.

Rome was the superpower of its time, ruling for centuries almost the entirety of what was then called the civilized world.

Great Britain was a superpower of its day, but she bled, bankrupted and broke herself in the Thirty Years War of the West from 1914-1945.

By Winston Churchill’s death in 1965, the empire had vanished, and Britain was being invaded by a stream of migrants from its former colonies.

America was the real superpower of the 20th century and became sole claimant to that title with the collapse of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991, an event Vladimir Putin called “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.”

Has America’s turn come? Is America breaking under the burdens it has lately assumed and is attempting to carry?

Today, at the presidential library of Richard Nixon, who ushered Mao’s China onto the world stage, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is laying out a strategy of containment and confrontation of a China that is far more the equal of the USA than was the USSR.

Writes Hudson’s Institute’s Arthur Herman:

“In the 1960s, manufacturing made up 25% of U.S. gross domestic product. It’s barely 11% today. More than five million American manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000.”

China controls the production of 97% of the antibiotics upon which the lives of millions of Americans depend. She provides critical components in the production chains of U.S. weapons systems.

Beijing commands more warships than the U.S. Navy and holds a trillion dollars in U.S. debt. Moscow never had this kind of hold on us.

Writes Herman: “Since 2000, America’s defense industry has shed more than 20,000 U.S.-based manufacturing companies. As the work those companies once did domestically has shifted overseas, much of it has gone to China. From rare-earth metals and permanent magnets to high-end electronic components and printed circuit boards, the Pentagon has slowly become dependent on Chinese industrial output. Asia produces 90% of the world’s circuit boards — more than half of them in China. The U.S. share of global circuit-board production has fallen to 5%.”

Decoupling from China and re-industrializing America would be an immense undertaking. But unless and until we do it, we remain vulnerable.

Another decades-long struggle, this time with China, like the Cold War that consumed so much of our attention and wealth from the 1940s to 1991, is not the only challenge America faces.

Through NATO, the U.S. is still the principal protector of almost 30 European nations. And despite Donald Trump’s promise to end our forever wars, 8,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, 5,000 in Iraq, hundreds in Syria, thousands more in Kuwait and Bahrain.

There are other huge new claims on America’s time, attention and resources. Some 145,000 Americans have perished in five months of the coronavirus pandemic, more U.S. dead than all the Americans soldiers lost in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

A thousand Americans are dying every day, a higher daily death toll than in World War II and the Civil War combined.

The U.S. economy has been thrust into something approaching a second Depression. The 2020 deficit runs into the trillions of dollars. Our national debt is now far larger than our GDP and soaring. Tens of millions are unemployed. And the shutdowns are beginning anew.

From the protests, riots, rampages and statue-smashing of the last two months, it is apparent that millions of Americans detest our history and heroes. Though nowhere in recorded time have 42 million people of African descent achieved the measures of freedom and prosperity they have in the USA, we are daily admonished that ours is a rotten and sick society whose every institution is shot through with “systemic racism.”

The racial divisions are almost as ugly as during the riots of the 1960s in Harlem, Watts, Newark and 100 cities that exploded after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

In the numbers of citizens now shot and killed every week, great American cities such as Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago are looking more like Baghdad.

The Democratic Party is promising to take up the issue of racial reparations for our original sin of slavery. The first order of business, we are told, is ending inequality — of income, wealth, educational attainment and health care. The racial disparity in police arrests, prosecutions, incarcerations and school expulsions, must end.

But if the trillions we have spent to address these inequalities since the Great Society days have failed to make greater progress, why should we believe that we even know how to succeed, absent the imposition of a rigid socialist egalitarianism of results?

The Old Republic is facing a stress test unlike any it has known since the Union was threatened with dissolution in the Civil War.
--------------------
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, Stress Test, Straining Superpower 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 New York Times' Dark History of Slave Ownership

Ken Blackwell
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: The radical-left doesn't just want to destroy statues. They want to rewrite history using politically convenient narratives.

Starting in 2019, the New York Times has embraced a false narrative about the founding of America entitled the "1619 Project." Instead of our country beginning with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Times argues it started in 1619 when approximately two dozen slaves were transferred to colonial Virginia.

The 1619 Project is an attempt to look at all American history through the prism of race and slavery.

While embracing the false "alternative history" promoted by many Marxist college professors such as Howard Zinn, the Times proclaims that the American Revolution was all about America's desire to keep their slaves. They believe when the Founders were defending liberty and freedom, they were secretly doing their best to protect slavery. James M. McPherson, the dean of Civil War Historians, historian Gordan Wood, and other scholars, have thoroughly debunked this outrageous claim.

Secondly, the 1619 Project claims that the functioning of American capitalism is predicated on the plantation system. Therefore, they are equating all American entrepreneurs to slave masters.

Why would the New York Times, a once-respected newspaper, embrace such foolish revisionism? Because they want Americans to tie everything in American politics to the original sin of slavery as an excuse to elect more radical progressives and expand welfare state.

The New York Times has done a disservice to black people. The 1619 Project has won the Pulitzer Prize, and major cities like Washington, D.C., and Buffalo, New York have mandated it be taught in all K-12 school curriculum.

The New York Times has targeted businesses, schools, and individuals with past ties to slavery. From Georgetown University, State University of New York, New York Life Insurance, George Washington, James Monroe, and even Catholic nuns are not spared from blistering attacks.

Now, there has been a startling revelation that the family that owns the New York Times was also slave owners. Bertha Levy Ochs mother of Adolph Ochs, the former publisher and owner of The New York Times, supported slavery and the Confederacy during the Civil War. She was caught while smuggling medicine in a baby carriage for the South.

In total, at least three members of the Ochs family fought for slavery.

According to Michael Goodwin, Adolph Och's support of the pro-slavery South was evident in an editorial in 1990 for the Chattanooga Times, which described the Democratic Party, which he supported, as "may justly insist that the evils of negro suffrage were wantonly inflicted on them."

Six years later, the Times published a favorable profile of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on his 100th birthday, while referring to him as "the great Southern leader." Also, Ochs donated to build the same rebel memorials that many cities are eliminating today.

This a disturbing past for the Times, which the paper would like to sweep under the rug.

Is it time to "cancel" The New York Times? If the paper was held to the same standards they hold others to, then they must be.

Sadly, it has actually been the welfare state that is the modern 20th-century plantation system. Generations of black families have been devastated through this cycle of dependency and many once great cities have been turn into killing fields.
------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump/Pence Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the boards of numerous conservative policy organizations. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

Tags: Ken Blackwell, New York Times, Dark History, Slave Ownership 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 Predicament of Liberal American Jews

Caroline Glick
by Caroline Glick: In under a week, two events happened at The New York Times—the arbiter of liberal news and opinion—which highlight the growing precariousness of the American Jewish community’s position in the Democratic Party.

On July 8, the Times published an op-ed by Peter Beinart, a far-left American Jewish writer and self-anointed spokesperson for liberal Jewish opinion on Israel.

Beinart’s article, entitled, “I no longer believe in a Jewish state,” argued that Israel no longer has a right to exist. It should be destroyed and replaced by a non-Jewish state. Beinart ended his article by urging American Jews to get over their Holocaust-induced fear of genocide and join him in his rejection of Jewish national rights.

To be clear, Beinart’s position is anti-Semitic.

The Obama administration adopted the definition of anti-Semitism published in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). IHRA’s definition includes a list of common manifestations of anti-Jewish bigotry. Among those manifestations are, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Beinart’s declaration that he has joined the jackals came as no surprise to those who had been paying attention. For the past decade, Beinart has been arguing that Israel’s right to exist is contingent on its willingness to satisfy his American Jewish preferences. In his Times article, Beinart proclaimed that Israel is not delivering the goods. So as far as he is concerned, Israel needs to stop existing.

Beinart’s advocacy of Israel’s demise is significant not so much for what it says about American Jewish views of Israel (80 percent of American Jews support Israel and two-thirds feel an emotional attachment to the Jewish state), but for what it says about the political Left’s view of Israel—and of Jews.

This is the case because for the better part of the past decade, Beinart has served as a weathervane of leftist opinion on Israel and Jews, and as a fig leaf for leftist anti-Semitism.

In 2012, Beinart began advocating on behalf of the campaign to boycott, divest and sanction Israeli Jewish businesses, institutions and communities in unified Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and products produced by Israeli Jews in those areas. His position earned him a prominent spot as the go-to Jew in the progressive camp.

Beinart’s decision to move from boycotting some Israeli Jews and some parts of Israel to rejecting Israel’s right to exist in any borders was not a function of a shift in liberal Jewish opinion. It was a reflection of the shift in opinion regarding Jews and the Jewish state on the political Left in America.

This is a tragedy for the American Jewish community. According to a 2018 survey by the Jewish Federations of North America, 50 percent of American Jews define themselves as liberals. In 2019, Pew found that 64 percent of American Jews identify with the Democratic Party.

To get a sense of just how inhospitable the political Left and the Democratic Party have become to liberal, pro-Israel American Jews, it is worth considering the source Beinart furnished to present his bigoted view as an expression of progressive opinion in America.

Beinart linked to a survey of U.S. opinion of Israel and the Palestinians conducted in 2018 by Shibley Telhami at the University of Maryland. The survey found that 42 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 support Israel’s destruction and replacement with a non-Jewish state. 55 percent of Democrats (and 19 percent of Republicans) believe the Israeli government has too much influence on U.S. politics and policies.

According to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, “Making…stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective” is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. By asserting that Israel exerts undue influence over U.S. politics and policies, 55 percent of Democrats (and 19 percent of Republicans) were channeling an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. And 42 percent of young Americans have embraced the main pillar of contemporary anti-Semitism: the racist rejection of the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination.

This brings us to the second major event that occurred at The New York Times with dire implications for the American Jewish community: the July 14 resignation of pro-Israel staff op-ed editor and writer Bari Weiss. Among other things, in her letter of resignation, Weiss discussed the anti-Semitic harassment she suffered at the hands of her colleagues.

In her words, “My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.'”

Like Beinart, Weiss has spent the past several years adapting to the Left’s rising hostility to Israel and to Jews. Unlike Beinart, Weiss has not coped by embracing the hatred. Instead, she has sought to negotiate with the Left to secure a space for Jewish rights on the political Left.

Weiss’ bargain was fairly cut and dry. She served as a spokesperson for the allegation that President Donald Trump is the enabler-in-chief of white nationalist anti-Semitism. And in exchange, she sought the right to criticize anti-Semitism on the Left, as she did, to the indignation of progressives, in an August 2017 column describing the anti-Semitism of the leaders of the Women’s March against Trump.

Weiss did her best to uphold the bargain she hoped to make. She distinguished herself as a major voice castigating Trump in the aftermath of the massacre of Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018. Appearing on the “Real Time with Bill Maher” show days after the slaughter, Weiss effectively accused Trump of partial culpability for the massacre, despite the fact that it was carried out by an anti-Trump white nationalist who opposed the president precisely because he is not an anti-Semite.

In her words, Trump was guilty of “inculcating an atmosphere of conspiracy-minded thinking” which, she alleged, incited the murderer to kill elderly Jews.

In 2019, Weiss used the Tree of Life massacre as the basis of a book called, How to Fight Anti-Semitism.

Weiss presented her book as a taxonomy of anti-Semitism in America and a guide for Jews to stand up for themselves. But more than a summation and guide, it was a case study of the liberal Jewish predicament in contemporary America.

Weiss reinstated her attacks on Trump as an enabler of white nationalist anti-Semitism in America. As she put it, “In the nearly three years he has been in office, Donald Trump has trashed—gleefully and shamelessly—the unwritten rules of our society that have kept American Jews, and, therefore, America safe.”

The unfairness of her condemnations of Trump became clear when they were compared to her analysis of anti-Semitism in her own political and ideological camp.

Trump has never had much of anything to do with white nationalist anti-Semites—or any anti-Semites, for that matter. The worst he can be fairly accused of is not always rushing to distance himself from them, and of using indelicate language to describe his admiration for and affinity towards American Jews.

In contrast, former president Barack Obama spent 25 years in the pews of anti-Semitic pastor Jeremiah Wright. During his presidency, Obama had Al Sharpton over to the White House more than 80 times. Obama demonized and attacked Israel and its Jewish supporters while emboldening anti-Semites in the U.S. and worldwide.

But Weiss’ criticism of Obama was rare, apologetic and mild. And she gave a pass to other Democratic leaders. Weiss described progressive anti-Semitism as real and dangerous, but she tread cautiously around the big fish.

Weiss’ rush to present Trump as the enabler-in-chief of white nationalist anti-Semitism and her careful, almost clinical description of anti-Semitism in her own political camp, was an expression of the bargain she sought to strike with the Left.

Weiss’ letter of resignation, replete with its description of the anti-Semitic ostracism she suffered at the hands of her progressive colleagues at the Left’s newspaper of record, makes clear that she had no partner for her bargain. Today, the American Left is not interested in making any deals; not with her, and not with the liberal Jews she emblemizes. The modern American Left is not willing to combat or disavow anti-Semitism of any kind, unless it can be attributed to Donald J. Trump, Public Enemy Number One.

In the current environment, the only Jews who are welcome at the Times—and through it—in the progressive camp and the progressive-dominated Democratic Party are those who maintain a frightened silence, or Jews like Beinart who are willing to promote anti-Semitic positions “as Jews.”
---------------------------
Caroline Glick is contributes to numerous publications including Newsweek and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

Tags: Caroline Glick, The Predicament, Liberal American Jews To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Marxism

by Kerby Anderson: Over the last few weeks, the term “Marxism” has been used quite a bit to describe the philosophy of both individuals and organizations. But what does this term mean? Marxists come in different variations. I saw that when I took a graduate-level class on Marxism with students from different countries who were Marxist.

If there is one central, unifying principle, it is the writings of Karl Marx that are best articulated in The Communist Manifesto. Jon Miltimore reminds us in a recent column that Marx wanted more than the “Abolition of private property.”

He also wanted the “Abolition of the family.” His argument was that the bourgeois family was based on capital and private gain. He predicted the family would vanish once property was abolished.

Marx also believed that individuality was contrary to the equalitarian vision that he had for the world. He believed that individuality was a social construct of a capitalist society and also had to be abolished.

Nations also would be abolished. His argument was that the working man would have no country. As the proletariat grew in power, there would be no need for nations, especially since hostilities between people of different backgrounds would recede.

Marx also rejected the idea of eternal truths. He argues that the “ruling ideas of each age have been the ideas of the ruling class.” He predicted that “Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality.”

Coupled with this idea is a belief that Marxism would abolish the past. Marx saw tradition as a tool of the bourgeoisie. In that society, “the past dominates the present.” Instead, “in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”

Karl Marx wanted to abolish the family, individuality, countries, eternal truths, and the past. That’s quite a list.
----------------
Kerby Anderson @KerbyAnderson) is an author, lecturer, visiting professor and radio host and contributor on nationally syndicated Point of View and the "Probe" radio programs.

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Don’t Let Liberal Billionaires Buy Arkansas

by Rick Manning: As they have in the past, liberal billionaires John and Laura Arnold are once again scheming to throw their money around in other people’s states and cities to produce the far left results that they want. For years, the power couple has been on a mission “to change the country” and make things happen “by whatever means necessary.” This time, their target is Arkansas, and their goal is the passage of a state constitutional amendment to radically transform the state’s primaries and voting system.

Under current law, Arkansas has open primaries; any registered Arkansas voter can vote in either party’s primary. If no primary candidate receives a majority of the vote, then a runoff primary election is held. In the general election, the candidate with the most votes wins – as is the case in 48 other states.

Under the Arnold’s scheme, party primaries would end, and all candidates seeking a particular office would run together in a “jungle primary.” Republicans, Democrats, and Independents would all vote for the same pool of candidates. Out of this field, four candidates would advance to the general election. In that election, voters would rank the candidates according to their preference. If no candidate secured a majority of the vote after the first-choice votes were counted, the candidate with the lowest number of first-choice votes would be eliminated and the votes for that candidate would be reallocated to the remaining candidates based on the voters’ preferences. The vote-counting process would continue until a candidate won a majority.

So far, the Arnolds’ organization, Action Now Initiative, has dumped over $3 million into Arkansas, and these funds have been used to advance this effort as well as to change how Arkansas handles redistricting. In addition to the Arnolds, Hollywood celebrities support the jungle primary/ranked-choice amendment (through the organization Represent.Us).

This new electoral system would create a lot of work for voters to be able to cast an informed vote. With each major election, general election voters could literally have dozens of candidates to sift through: up to four Congressional candidates, up to four U.S. Senate candidates, up to four state representative candidates, up to four state senate candidates, up to four gubernatorial candidates, and up to 24 more candidates for the six other statewide offices. Billionaires, like the Arnolds, might have enough free time to vet dozens of candidates and rank them, but many average citizens do not.

Because some voters might not understand ranked-choice voting, they might continue to vote for their favorite candidate and not rank any of the others. If too many Republicans made this mistake, it could allow a Democrat to sneak into office. Conversely, even if a Republican won, it could be a very moderate one who simply managed to pick up the vast majority of Democrat votes.

If approved, the amendment would take effect next year and quickly require significant changes for local governments. For example, passage of the amendment would force county governments to buy new voting machines and completely overhaul their training for election officials. Unfortunately, these costs would be borne by state taxpayers and not by the out-of-state interests so determined to pass the amendment.

To be sure, it is unclear whether the ranked-choice amendment will make it to the ballot this year. First of all, the Secretary of State ruled that the petitions submitted in support of the amendment were insufficient. Secondly, the Board of Election Commissioners found the proposed ballot title for the amendment to be misleading and voted 5-1 against certifying it.

The current system of open party primaries followed by the general election is well-understood by voters and has worked just fine for Arkansas. There is no need to make a change to a new electoral system – especially not such a radical change as this is. It should be noted that no other state has a system such as the one described in this proposed amendment. So Arkansas would be the Arnolds’ guinea pig.

The Arnolds’ jungle primary/ranked-choice voting amendment is no minor tweak of the current system; it is an extreme, and completely unnecessary, overhaul of state election laws. This scheme is complicated and makes no sense – unless one is trying to confuse voters in hopes of electing liberals. If the measure makes it to the ballot, Arkansans should vote NO on the amendment and send the message to out-of-state billionaires and Hollywood celebrities that Arkansas cannot be bought.
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Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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