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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

Remembering the Reason For The Season.
Christ's Birth!

To: All Patriots and Friends,
Merry Christmas 2020!
From: Dr. Bill Smith, Editor & our Contributors
ARRA News Service
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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Are 'Never Trumpers' the Future of the GOP?

by Patrick J. Buchanan: Denouncing the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill as a parsimonious "disgrace" and hinting at an Alamo-style finish on Jan. 6, when Congress votes to declare Joe Biden the next president, Donald Trump is not going to go quietly.

The anti-Trumpers and "Never Trumpers" celebrating at Christmas 2020, in this "dark winter" of Joe Biden's depiction, are assuring each other that Trumpism and Trump are dead and gone for good in four weeks.

The future of the GOP, they suggest, belongs to the Republicans who resisted and renounced Trump through the last five years of his candidacy and presidency.

As for those cowards and collaborators who stood by Trump and refused to repudiate him, they will, in turn, be repudiated by history and the American electorate alike.

The wish, here, is very much the father to the thought.

For if the past is any guide, not only are the reports of the death of Trumpism premature, the probability is that Trumpism has put down roots in our national politics that are not soon, if ever, going to be pulled up.

For those of us of a certain age, a comparable situation arose at Christmas 1964. Barry Goldwater had just been crushed in a 44-state landslide, winning the votes of only 27 million Americans. The senator had carried only five states of the Deep South and his home state of Arizona.

The establishment saw in the crushing of Goldwater the defeat and rout of the "extremist" movement that had produced him. "The Party That Lost Its Head" was the title of a widely hailed post-election book by two Ripon Society Republicans.

The establishment consensus was that Govs. Nelson Rockefeller of New York, William Scranton of Pennsylvania and George Romney of Michigan were the future of the party, if it was to have a future.

What followed?

Richard Nixon, who had stood by Goldwater when the party's liberal elite abandoned him, would lead the GOP to recapture 47 House seats in 1966, take the presidency in 1968, and run up a 49 state landslide in 1972.

Thus began a period of GOP presidential ascendancy, with Nixon, Reagan and Bush I winning five of six elections from 1968 to 1988, until the first baby boomer president, Bill Clinton, arrived on the scene.

And while there are differences between now and then, there are many similarities.

Do the anti-Trumpers or "Never Trumpers" represent the future of the GOP? If so, where is the postwar precedent for this? No Republican who turned his back on Goldwater was ever nominated for president or vice president following Goldwater's defeat.

When President Gerald Ford put Rockefeller on his ticket after taking over from President Nixon, the Kansas City convention of 1976 demanded Rockefeller's removal as the price of party unity.

Rockefeller was sacrificed, as the right had demanded.

Four years after Ford's defeat, Mr. Conservative himself, Ronald Reagan, Goldwater's most effective surrogate in 1964, was nominated and won successive landslides in 1980 and 1984.

Other factors and forces point to the probability that Trumpism has a major role in the party's future.

Where Presidents Truman, Nixon, and George W. Bush left office with approval ratings in the 20s, Trump's approval rating is still in the 40s, where it has been for the duration of his presidency.

Second, the issues that propelled Trump to the nomination and the Oval Office still resonate with the American people.

Among them are mass migration, insecure borders and dependency upon foreign imports for the necessities of our national life.

Moreover, there is shrinking support for a foreign policy that has us tied down militarily in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East, to fight if need be, in the defense of scores of nations, few of which have a direct bearing on the national security of the United States.

Another issue Trump elevated and exploited that is more acute now than in 2016, is a distrust of the media, the "deep state" and the political, cultural and academic establishments that have alienated the 74 million who voted for Trump.

And if the past is prologue, the Republican Party will make a major comeback in 2022.

Consider. Two years after his smashing victory over Goldwater, LBJ and his party lost 47 House seats. Ronald Reagan, after his landslide in 1980, lost 26 House seats in 1982. After routing Bush I in 1992, Bill Clinton lost 54 House seats and the Senate. Two years after winning the presidency, Barack Obama lost both the House and Senate in 2014.

Is it likely Joe Biden will be celebrating his 80th birthday after making history by leading his party to control of Congress in 2022?

For Republicans, the nomination of 2024 is a prize to be sought.

However, if one has spent the last four years trashing Trump, it may be as out of reach as it was for Rocky.
Patrick J. Buchanan blogs and is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." His article was on Rasmussen Reports.
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Pelosi and the Democrat’s priorities seem to be everyone and everything but Americans who are hurting.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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The Real Stakes of the War on Christmas

If only Americans would "listen to the science" and stop believing in “superstitions.”
by Bruce Thornton: This year the annual attacks on Christmas went beyond complaints about holiday salutations or public creches. Blue-state governors and mayors like California’s Gavin Newsom and government clerks like Anthony Fauci have issued diktats forbidding even private celebrations of Christmas by more than one family at a time. These orders follow on this year’s lockdown protocols that made liquor stores, pot dispensaries, and violent protests “essential,” while church services were verboten.

These assaults on faith illustrate how far secularism has infiltrated our culture. And although in some states the Supreme Court has struck down such restrictions on the First Amendment’s freedoms of religion and assembly, this tactical victory will not stop the strategic advances being made by those who want to remove God from public life in order to monopolize the authority to tell us how we should live and what we should believe.

The justifications for these violations of the Bill of Rights reflect another dimension of secularization, the process of removing God and faith from public life. Alleged scientific advances in understanding human nature and motivation have made religion irrelevant, if not dangerous for the ongoing progress toward utopia that will follow once we “listen to the science” and stop believing in irrational “superstitions” and “illusions.”

Yet this past year has shown over and over that the “science” is not quite as reliable or efficacious as its champions claim. The attempt to stop religious services and Christmas celebrations, for example, is based on the notion that severe “lockdowns” will halt the spread of the virus. But extensive data from the U.S. and Europe show that indiscriminate lockdowns, rather than protecting the most vulnerable, at best just postpone the spread. New York’s high rate of mortality occurred amongst some of the most severe restrictions in the country, whereas Florida, with a larger population that includes the most vulnerable elderly, saw fewer people die despite less draconian lockdown restrictions.

Moreover, those calling for lockdowns presumably to save the lives of old people already dying of other ailments seem not to care that the consequences of shutting down schools and the economy fall heavily on the young, whether students, workers, or small business owners, even though 99.95% of people under 70 will not die from the virus. The result of this sledge-hammer approach that harms the least vulnerable to the virus has been an increase in “deaths of despair” like drug overdoses and suicides: “Among 25- to 44-year-olds, the CDC reports a 26% increase in excess all-cause mortality relative to past years, though less than 5% of 2020 deaths have been due to Covid-19,” report Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford’s Medical School, and Sunetra Gupta, a professor of epidemiology at Oxford.

But for decades our technocratic rulers have displayed the same callous myopia in carrying out other policies that allegedly “follow the science.” Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming––rebranded as “Climate Change” once its projections of future warming started being contradicted by empirical evidence––is based on the century-old “greenhouse warming” hypothesis applied to the most complex, non-living natural system on the planet. We as yet do not understand with scientific certainty and precision how all the factors contributing to global climate––which covers 95,000,000 square miles of earth and unfolds over billions of years––actually works.

Yet despite that uncertainty, policies are proposed or put in place for eliminating fossil fuels, the cheapest energy we have, the cost of which policies fall on the most vulnerable, particularly in the developing world that desperately needs cheap electricity to grow their economies and improve their health and well-being.

This technocratic mind-set, this faith put not in a transcendent God but in fallible human sciences, has been the heart of progressivism for over a hundred years. Contrary to the tragic sensibility of both our Classical and Judeo-Christian traditions, progressivism claimed that armed with new “human sciences” like psychology, economics, and sociology, empowered elites could take control of human evolution and improve people until the evils of human existence would be eliminated and all would live in democratic freedom and prosperity: “Democracy,” progressive theorist Herbert Croly claimed, “must stand or fall on a platform of possible human perfectibility.”

Yet if we look for empirical evidence of such improvement, we won’t find it in the century of progressivism’s development. Yes, we have seen remarkable improvements in material life, but who can claim commensurate moral progress in the blood-spattered century of two world wars, the Holocaust, and the political murders of 100 million people based on an ideology, communism, that fancied itself a “science” of history? Or in the decades-long domination of eugenics and “scientific racism” in this country, which disguised in numerical data and technical jargon the ancient, dehumanizing bigotries based on superficial appearance, tribal parochialism, and social disorder shaped by poverty and tyranny?

What that history does show is the truth of Immanuel Kant’s observation: “From the crooked timber of humanity nothing straight can be made.” This means that in the end technocracy is an ideology of power and domination necessary for trying to “improve” a permanently “crooked” human nature. We have witnessed this truth in the unseemly eagerness of progressive governors and mayors to issue arbitrary orders disrupting and damaging the lives of the people whom they allegedly serve and to whom they are supposedly accountable. This petty tyranny reveals what they really think about people who won’t fall in line: they are “deplorables” who don’t “believe in science” and so must be subjected to the stern tutelage of their smarter, more righteous betters.

Finally, the domination by technocrats is politically dangerous. Tyrannies of every sort share a preference for concentrating power and eliminating or co-opting all mediating institutions––family, faith, business, education–– that the tyrant cannot control, or that differ in their foundational beliefs and aims from those of the ruling elite. No one can dispute that a hundred years of progressive-inspired policies and regulatory encroachments have narrowed the scope of freedom for civil society, states, and citizens. The lockdown policies this year have graphically demonstrated this ancient truth of tyranny.

The desire to dominate and control others in order to satisfy one’s own interests and pride is not an anomaly caused by the environment, but is latent in all of us. And power is the instrument of that desire. Yet the lust for power is never sated, but always seeks to expand. The Founders understood this truth, which is why they created a constitutional order that balances and checks its various powers in order to prevent that aggrandizement of control over the lives of others that ends in tyranny.

That’s why progressivism has chafed at that order from the beginning. A technocracy of cognitive elites based on alleged scientific expertise cannot cede authority to any other social institution or principles that can challenge it. We have seen that tendency not just in the response to the coronavirus, but also in the calls to eliminate the Electoral College or make the number of senators proportionate to population. The indistinguishable, anonymous mass of the abstract “people” are easier to control or bribe than are the diverse peoples with their different mores, customs, principles, and faiths.

And that has always been the point of the war on Christmas––keeping faith out of the public square and confined to the realm of the private, where it cannot challenge the power and authority of the technocratic elite. It’s one front in the war that the secular technocracy has been waging for over a century that has witnessed the insidious and incremental erosion of our foundational political liberties.

We are one Senate runoff-election away from finding out if that progressive ambition to control even more of our society––an effort stymied by Donald Trump’s administration––will return and move us to even more erosion of our political liberties. That’s the real stakes of the war on Christmas.
Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Shared on FrontPage Mag.
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Messianic Prophecy

by Kerby Anderson: On this Christmas week, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies that give specific detail about the “anointed one” who is the Messiah. The prophets proclaimed that He would come to save the people.

The Bible is unique in many ways, especially when it comes to fulfilled prophecy. At the time when it was written, 27 percent (1800 verses) of the Bible was prophetic. Large portions of those prophecies have been fulfilled, and that is a powerful argument for the inspiration of the Bible.

What is the probability that these Messianic prophecies could be fulfilled in the life of one person by chance? Peter Stoner, in his book Science Speaks, calculated the probability of just eight Messianic prophecies being fulfilled by chance. These included the prophecy in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Another was Malachi 3:1 that predicted that a messenger would prepare the way for the Messiah. Four of the prophecies were from Zechariah. They predicted that the Messiah would be betrayed: by a friend, for 30 pieces of silver, and it would be used to buy a potter’s field. Another prophecy said that the Messiah would die by being pierced (crucified).

Multiplying all of these probabilities together, Peter Stoner came up with a number of 10 to the 17th power. In other words, the chance that just eight prophecies could be fulfilled by chance is one in one hundred quadrillion. In order to illustrate this, he says imagine we could fill the state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep. Put a red mark on one and then ask a blindfolded person to travel anywhere in the state. The chance that he would pick up the marked silver dollar on the first try would be one in one hundred quadrillion.

The conclusion is simple. Jesus is indeed the Messiah predicted by the prophets.
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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The Birth Of Christ And The Birth Of America Are Linked

Dr. Chuck Baldwin
by Chuck Baldwin: As tomorrow is the day in which we commemorate the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am reminded of a quote by John Quincy Adams. On July 4, 1837, he spoke these words:Why is it that, next to the birth day of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?Adams was exactly right. The United States of America is the only nation in human history established by mostly Christian people, founded upon 2,000 years of Christian thought, Reformation preaching and Biblical Natural Law principles—and dedicated to the purpose of religious and personal liberty and equal justice under the law. This truth is easily observed within America’s earliest history.

America’s forebears first established a written covenant with God as early as November 11, 1620, when they penned The Mayflower Compact. It states in part:In the name of God, Amen. . . . Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant, and combine our selves together into a civil body politick; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, Acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.From the beginning, the sentiments and statements of America’s founders make it clear that this country has enjoyed a love and appreciation for the rights and freedoms recognized in Natural Law that is unique in the annals of human history. No other nation has such a heritage.

The Declaration of Independence states, “[Men] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It also states that these rights are “self-evident” and that they were formed by the “Laws of Nature.”

These principles are also taken directly from the Scriptures—and from Natural Law fathers such as Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Samuel Von Pufendorf, Emer de Vattel and Charles Montesquieu. Furthermore, one cannot read what these men wrote without quickly observing that they formed their writings largely on the Scriptures.

The signers of our Declaration of Independence could have never imagined that individual states would deny their citizens the right to bear arms. They could have never dreamed that the American people would be denied the right to be free from warrantless searches—which takes place every day throughout this country.

I am also confident that America’s founders would be completely repulsed by the way the United States has jumped headlong into welfarism, corporatism and Zionism. At the national level, Democrats and Republicans alike have created a central government so large that it would be unrecognizable to any founding father—even Alexander Hamilton.

Big Business sucks feverishly at the teat of Big Government; the major media has become little more than a propaganda ministry of Big Government; corporate 501c3 churches view Big Government as a god to be worshipped and subjugated by; and America (including and especially its Christians and churches) seems to be drunk on the perpetual wars and entangling alliances of the neocon Warfare State.

And over the last nine months, we have learned that a vast percentage of the American people (including and especially its Christians and churches) are more than willing to submit to the most unconstitutional, tyrannical and devilish dictates imaginable, when they are couched under the guise of medical safety. More than anything else, the phony corona pandemic has proven that a host of Americans are already slaves in their souls.

Surely, our Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves.

Therefore, it behooves us to recommit ourselves to our nation’s founding principles.

Furthermore, let us renew with vigor the fight for freedom before our liberties and heritage disappear altogether.

John Quincy Adams was right. The birth of Christ and the birth of America are indissolubly linked.

Merry Christmas, America.
 Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for " Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Chuck Baldwin is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News Service.
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Why Congress Can't Read

by Paul Jacob: They don’t read.

No one reads the legislation Congress passes, not the staffers and lobbyists who write “the packages” and congress people least of all, as again illustrated by the recent 5,593-page, $2.3 trillion pandemic-relief-plus-kitchen-sink bill just passed by Congress.

They haven’t for decades.

Nor do they care to.

James Bovard, expert reporter on the excesses of the modern individual-stomping state, says the new monster-bill “is another warning that know-nothing, no-fault legislating will be the death of our republic unless Americans can severely reduce Congress’s prerogative to meddle in their lives.”

Correct. Problem is, it’s Congress that must enact reform — on itself. Talk about a conflict of interest! That’s why the citizen initiative process has been so important at the state level. Without democratic checks — initiative, referendum, recall — at the federal level, what major reform is even possible?

All big, necessary reforms hit a roadblock on that issue alone.

That goes for limiting the page-length of bills or requiring legislation be posted online for days if not weeks before a vote.

Same for congressional term limits, which would de-insulate Congress from us.

And, just so, with the late columnist Bob Novak’s proposal of smaller districts, maybe increasing the number of U.S. representative to 2,000. (It wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything more if we cut their pay.) More politicians might be better than fewer by decreasing the power of individual politicians — diminishing marginal power, you might say.

We find ourselves in a trap. These ideas amount to ways to avoid the trap once we are out of it.

But it is getting out of the trap that’s the hard part.

Any ideas? Please advise. You can be sure your good ideas will be read — not by Congress, of course, but by those of us who want a way out.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.
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Trump Threatens to Veto Covid Recovery, Omnibus Bill, Targeting Wasteful Spending and Pushing for More Relief

by Robert Romano: President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the $2.3 trillion spending package that includes $900 billion for Covid economic relief plus the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill for the annual federal budget.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package,” Trump said from the White House on Dec. 22.

Additionally, President Trump said that small businesses were not getting enough out of the bill: “[N]ot enough money is given to small businesses. And in particular, restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously. They were only given a deduction for others to use in business, their restaurant, for two years. This two-year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition. Congress can terminate it at a much later date, but two years is not acceptable. It’s not enough.”

Here, Trump is referring to the a $280 billion renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program that saved as many as 5.2 million small businesses and 50 million jobs last spring. That is a little more than half of what small businesses got in the CARES Act this past spring.

Among the wasteful spending items, President Trump cited,
  • “$85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia,
  • $134 million to Burma,
  • $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment.
  • $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan, $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
  • $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, which is not even open for business.
  • $1 billion for the Smithsonian and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art. Likewise, these facilities are essentially not open.
  • $7 million for reef fish management, $25 billion to combat Asian carp, $2.5 million to count the number of amberjack fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • A provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatcheries,
  • $3 million in poultry production technology,
  • $2 million to research the impact of down trees,
  • 566 million for construction projects at the FBI.
  • The bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.”

    Here, Trump has a good point to make, which is that by combining the annual omnibus spending bill — with its usual litany of wasteful line items — and the Covid relief, which is urgently needed, more than half of the spending in the $2.3 trillion package have almost nothing to do with addressing the Covid pandemic and its economic fallout.

    But the President also has precious little time to do much about it.

    Here, the President can either renegotiate the legislation, veto it now (which would likely be overridden by Congress), or use a rare pocket veto, by simply not signing before the Congressional session ends on Jan. 3, and then, as he said, “the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package…”

    But that potentially means Joe Biden getting a must-pass piece of legislation, that is, government spending plus Covid relief, in his first 100 days in office. Recall, the $150 billion states bailout that was in the bill last month has now been removed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wanted $875 billion to bail out states in her $3 trillion version of Covid relief, and will likely want it revived again if she gets another bite at the apple in January.

    And it is unclear which party will be in charge of the U.S. Senate next year with the Georgia runoffs still ongoing. As Senate Republicans consider the President’s demands, it’s something they would do well to consider.

    So, there are risks involved with the President’s strategy. The question is whether the legislation can get any better right now. It might, but only if the President can successfully renegotiate the legislation before Jan. 3 and pull out the wasteful spending, and provide more needed relief to small businesses and the American people.

    But President Trump has a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to act, and after Jan. 3, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will have very little incentive to do another deal prior to Jan. 20, potentially handing Biden a big opportunity to enact his agenda in January. Stay tuned.
    Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
    Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, Trump Threatens, to Veto Covid Recovery, Omnibus Bill, Targeting Wasteful Spending, and Pushing for More Relief To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

    Americans Said No to Coronavirus Contact Tracing Spy Apps

    by Daniel Greenfield: When the NHS, Britain's socialized medicine system, debuted its contact tracing app, six million eagerly rushed to download it. After a few days, 10 million had downloaded and installed the app, and after a month, around 40% of smartphone users had put a monitoring device on their phones that would trace their social interactions and could tell them to isolate at any moment.

    In October, Governor Cuomo launched a New York contact tracing app based on technology from Google and Apple, and some assistance from Bloomberg’s organization.

    "It’s going to not only bring contact tracing to a new level," Cuomo boasted, while claiming that it wouldn't violate anyone's privacy

    Few New Yorkers seemed to believe him. Despite being available in Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, and, even more unexpectedly, English, the app hasn’t taken off and Cuomo’s regime has refused to reveal the data that would actually show if it’s tracking positive cases. The lack of data transparency has been the second biggest story about Cuomo’s mismanagement of the pandemic, after the deaths of 11,000 nursing home residents when his administration forced nursing homes to accept infected patients. The numbers are likely higher, but the Cuomo administration, in its typical fashion, is refusing to release the data.

    After a month, only 5% of New Yorkers have downloaded Cuomo’s spy app. That’s far short of the 60% that’s needed for contact tracing to work.

    Even Europeans haven’t hit that 60% target. Few outside Communist China have.

    Apple and Google claimed that they needed at least 15%. Only a few states in America hit that bar and they tend to have small populations that lean leftward. Most Americans have opted out.

    Governor Murphy launched his state’s contact tracing app to great fanfare, urging a, “shared sense of personal responsibility to support our contact tracing efforts”. Only 4% of New Jersey residents decided to take up the former Goldman Sachs tycoon on his modest proposal.

    Murphy, like Cuomo, had forced nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients. Some of the state’s deadliest outbreaks had also taken place in state hospitals for veterans.

    Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Richard Levine, debuted their contact tracing app in September.

    “We won’t know who has downloaded the app, who has received notifications and who used symptom check,” Richard (Rachel) Levine, who had taken his mother out of a nursing home and into a hotel, while forcing nursing homes to take in infected patients, assured Pennsylvanians.

    Only 4% of Pennsylavanians were convinced. Richard Levine has begun pleading with 13-year-olds to download the app. If there’s anything that’s bound to reassure state residents, it’s a strange man in a blonde wig urging their children to download an app to monitor them.

    Contact tracing app adoption in America isn’t likely to get much better even with more time.

    Governor Northam rolled out a contact tracing app in Virginia back in August. After half a year, the state has passed Google's 15% bar with an estimated 19% of smartphone owners having installed the app.

    But few people are actually using it.

    Only 553 people submitted their positive results out of 100,000 positive tests in the state.

    While Democrat governors and their European counterparts have brandished download figures, many people download apps and then uninstall them. Or leave them on and then pay no further attention to them. The actual utilization of contact tracing apps is laughably miniscule.

    Virginia’s 800,000 plus downloads figure still only comes out to 553 people submitting results.

    That’s why Governor Cuomo in New York and the NHS in the UK refuse to release their impact numbers. Considering the performance of contact tracing apps in Europe, it’s not hard to guess what they’re hiding.

    Italy's Immuni app was downloaded by 14% of the population, but only had 155 positive results submitted in three months. In France, after 2.3 million downloads, only 72 risk contacts were flagged.

    A lot of people can be badgered into passively downloading an app, but when it comes time to upload their results and have the system notify everyone they’ve been around, they just as passively choose not to do it and the system fails.

    After a year of touting contact tracing as the answer, the assault on privacy has stalled.

    Contact tracing apps have failed miserably in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. California only got around to launching its contact tracing app now. The numbers are worse in much of the rest of the country with only 8 million Americans actually using contact tracing apps.

    Trust is the biggest factor in the adoption of contact tracing apps. And very few Americans trust Big Tech, the government and its public health experts with tracking their lives and the lives of those around them. The NHS app intends to start asking users about their personal lives to "score" their lifestyles for coronavirus risk. It's easy enough to see this sort of thing as not only a privacy violation, but as an echo of China's public surveillance and social credit system.

    In a socialized medicine system where people are already penalized for their risk factors by being denied access to medical care, leaving them with few options except emigration or death where age or obesity can mean a denial of medical care, and where babies can be killed because saving them is not deemed to be the best use of resources, a “score” isn’t just a score.

    Few people want to be denied medical treatment because they failed the social credit system.

    Conservatives are the most likely to see the downside of such calculations and the more conservative parts of the United States have the lowest utilization rates of contract tracing apps.

    Nevada's contact tracing app was only downloaded 70,000 times, as of last month, and zero exposures were registered in September. In Wyoming, its app only managed 5,000 downloads.

    South Carolina’s legislature banned the use of contact tracing apps by government agencies.

    But all of that may be about to change if the Democrats succeed in their plan to place Biden in the White House. Biden's team is filled with Big Tech lobbyists and strongly favors a national contact tracing app infrastructure. While the Trump administration allowed states to define their own policy, the Democrat plan has been to nationalize the crisis and control the response.

    Key to their plans is the creation of a national server that would store information across state lines, and allow national authorities to monitor everyone’s movements even if they leave a state.

    Ten states have already moved their codes to Microsoft’s National Key Server maintained for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Another five are following suit. As of now, virtually every state and area, such as D.C., with a contact tracing app, is on the National Key Server. That includes heavily populated states such as California, New York, and Michigan.

    The hodgepodge of apps and approaches will be replaced by one system to rule them all.

    Scott Becker, the CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, has also been touting Biden’s plans for app contact tracing. A national server will make a national contact tracing app much easier to implement. Google, which is also involved in the national server using its own cloud system, has, along with Apple, rebranded “contact tracing” as “exposure notification”.

    Big Tech decided that people were leery of “contact tracing” so they gave it a new name.

    Meanwhile, Biden’s people have been coordinating with the Rockefeller Foundation on testing plans.

    "Policy makers," the Rockefeller Foundation had urged, must "allow the infection status of most Americans to be accessed and validated in a few required settings and many voluntary ones."

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently warned that the "pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty".

    Despite that, under President Trump, Americans have still enjoyed an oasis of human rights compared to the brutal restrictions and measures in the rest of the world. Red states were able to choose less restrictive and abusive routes for tackling the pandemic, even while blue states relentlessly violated civil rights under the guise of a public health emergency.

    All of that may be coming to an end.

    The near future may be a mandatory national app based either on the existing Apple or Google architecture embedded into virtually every smartphone, or, worse, GPS tracking like Norway’s app which was withdrawn after being panned by Amnesty International, linked to the National Key Server, which will serve as a key element of a national pandemic social credit system.

    Americans rejected contact tracing, but a Biden administration won’t take no for an answer.
    Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and also writes at
    Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Americans Said No, to Coronavirus Contact Tracing, Spy Apps 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 Power of Christmas

    by Cal Thomas: Editor’s note: This is a “classic” Cal Thomas that was originally distributed in 1991 upon the death of newsman Harry Reasoner.

    Of all the great and small events of 1991, the death of CBS News’ “60 Minutes” co-host Harry Reasoner probably rates near the bottom in the amount of attention afforded it by the public.

    Yet when a keen observer and a person of talent and grace leaves the planet, we are all diminished a little. Such gifts are not as easily replaced as they once were when reading, not watching, was thought to better nourish the mind and soul.

    When Harry died, I recalled a commentary he did when he worked for ABC News in the early 1970s. The commentary was an unlikely one for a man of his position. Most people believe that news people, particularly those at the network level, rarely think of much beyond current events and their own careers. But Harry was different, and his easy-going manner allowed him to address subjects others might approach with more difficulty.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, in the midst of growing turmoil over the Watergate scandal, a troubled economy, wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East, and uncertainty over the future of U.S.-Soviet relations, Harry delivered the following commentary:

    “Christmas is such a unique idea that most non-Christians accept it, and I think sometimes envy it. If Christmas is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the Universe in the form of a helpless baby, it’s quite a day. It’s a startling idea, and the theologians, who sometimes love logic more than they love God, find it uncomfortable. But if God did do it, he had a tremendous insight.

    “People are afraid of God and standing in his very bright light. But everyone has seen babies and almost everyone likes them. So, if God wanted to be loved as well as feared, he moved correctly here. And if he wanted to know people, as well as rule them, he moved correctly, because a baby growing up learns all there is to know about people.

    “If God wanted to be intimately a part of man, he moved correctly. For the experience of birth and familyhood is our most intimate and precious experience.

    “So, it comes beyond logic. It’s what a bishop I used to know called a kind of divine insanity. It is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It is the story of the great innocence of God the baby. God in the power of man. And it is such a dramatic shot toward the heart, that if it is not true, for Christians, nothing is true.

    “So even if you did not get your shopping all done, and you were swamped with the commercialism and frenzy, be at peace. And even if you are the deacon having to arrange the extra seating for all the Christmas Christians that you won’t see until Easter, be at peace. The story stands.

    “It’s all right that so many Christians are touched only once a year by this incomparable story. Because some final quiet Christmas morning, the touch will take.”

    Christmas has a power over those who observe it, and those who do not, that is unlike any other holiday or event. The other 364 days of the year we can be caught up in affairs of world-shaking significance, but on Christmas it is as if all systems shut down and we are given a chance to focus on something of greater significance than the headlines or the vacuous babble of television. Perhaps for some this Christmas, the touch will take.
    Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist, author, broadcaster, and speaker with access to world leaders, U.S. presidents, celebrities, educators, and countless other notables.
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    Wednesday, December 23, 2020

    America First, Faith Under Fire

    Gary Bauer
    by Gary Bauer: America First
    Many people exploded in anger yesterday, including me, when we saw what Nancy Pelosi and her left-wing socialist squad threw into the short-term government funding bill, which they attached to the COVID relief bill.

    To add insult to injury, they provided only $600 in "emergency relief" for the many Americans at risk of losing their jobs or homes.

    The virus did not shutdown America. The left has shutdown America! And struggling business owners and workers are supposed to be satisfied with $600.

    I'm not going to ruin your Christmas by repeating all the idiotic things that progressives stuffed into this 5,000+ page monstrosity. But suffice it to say that is exactly why there is so much disdain for the Washington swamp.

    President Trump was furious. He posted a video last night blasting Congress for its absurd and wasteful spending that provided money for gender programs in Pakistan while shortchanging the American people. The president's anger is totally justified.

    But this is what divided government gets you. Nothing can pass the House unless Nancy Pelosi ultimately signs off on it.

    President Trump is demanding that the stimulus checks be raised to $2,000 per person while all the other garbage is taken out, saving hundreds of millions of dollars if not more.

    Once again, President Trump is fighting to put America first.

    President Trump also issued a number of pardons last night. He pardoned George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan, who were prosecuted by Robert Mueller for minor "process crimes."

    He pardoned Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough, four Blackwater contractors who protected a convoy of U.S. diplomats in Iraq. When the convoy was attacked, these heroes did their jobs. Unfortunately, several Iraqi civilians were caught in the crossfire. But their prosecution was a travesty of justice. Thankfully, President Trump corrected it.

    Trump also issued full pardons to Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

    You Okay, Joe?
    Yesterday Joe Biden delivered a broadside against the president as if even Biden thinks he hasn't won the election yet. That's interesting. Maybe he's growing concerned that the left's cheating will be exposed!

    As he was leaving the press conference, a Fox News reporter asked Biden if he still believed the charges against his son Hunter were Russian disinformation. Biden answered, "Yes. Yes. Yes. You're a one horse pony."

    The phrase is "one trick pony."

    So even after Hunter's laptop was discovered and all the information on it was revealed, and even after Hunter admitted he is under investigation, Joe still clings to the conspiracy that it's all Russian disinformation.

    Does he think we're that stupid or is he that stupid?

    And think about this: Joe Biden continues to say that he won't discuss Hunter with a potential attorney general nominee. He's doing what Barack Obama used to do.

    Every time Biden publicly talks about Hunter's case, he dismisses it as Russian disinformation. Those public statements are telling any prospective attorney general exactly what Biden expects him to do – shutdown the "bogus investigation."

    By the way, anyone who thinks a Biden/Harris Administration will bring unity to the country should think again.

    Rep. Maxine Waters, who refuses to forgive black conservatives, wants to see Trump "marched out" of the White House by the military or the Secret Service. And if they don't do it, Nancy Pelosi is threatening to pull Trump out by his hair!

    Speaking Of Investigations. . .
    President Trump yesterday authorized the attorney general to allow Special Counsel John Durham to use classified information as necessary for his review, "including in a grand jury or other proceeding."

    While it's not clear what Durham is doing with the classified information, the presidential memo suggests that Durham may be getting ready to issue new charges as he attempts to get to the bottom of the left's efforts to undo the 2016 election results.

    Stay tuned.

    Faith Under Fire
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan was interviewed on Fox & Friends this morning. He discussed the extreme efforts that the Catholic schools are undertaking to stay open in the face of resistance and hostility from New York officials.

    He also asked about the document from the Secular Democrats of America that I warned you about in yesterday's report. Dolan said he was "very concerned" about threats to religious liberty.

    He warned that a lot of Biden's advisers are pushing an "aggressive secular worldview." He said they want "religion pushed to the side," and they believe that faith should be "very private."

    Dolan said that while "religion is personal" it must not be private, adding that we have a right to bring our faith and deepest convictions "to the public square" for the common good.

    Churches, religious charities and other non-profit ministries do tremendous work that should be encouraged. But they can't do it if the government is persecuting faith-based ministries, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, for adhering to their deepest convictions.
    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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    A Wartime Christmas

    by Newt Gingrich: Christmas in Italy is going to be completely defined by COVID-19.

    When we look back years from now, we will all realize how much our lives have been defined in 2020, and probably the first half of 2021, by the pandemic. The process of recovery will take years – and in some ways, we may never be recovered. Businesses will have failed, loved ones will have been lost, and psychological damage (especially for the young) may take years to heal. Some may never get beyond this year’s isolation, fear, and deprivation.

    The Italian government has announced strict rules from Dec. 24 through Jan. 6. Everything will be closed except pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations. In recognition of the religious culture which pervades Italy (some 900 churches in Rome for example) people will be able to go to church but are encouraged to go to the church nearest them. Churches will follow restrictions on social spacing and capacity per service.

    For all practical purposes, everyone in Italy is locked down for almost two weeks. Restaurants and bars are closed. People are discouraged from being out of their homes unless they have a written medical or work excuse. Hotels will only allow people renting rooms to come in and will only serve food through room service. For the key days, once you check in, you will not be allowed to leave the hotel.

    The Italian lockdown is paralleled in virtually every Western country as government officials desperately try to cope with a new version of the virus which showed up in Britain and apparently spreads much faster (but is not more deadly) than the first strain of COVID-19.

    As I was trying to understand what is happening in Italy, throughout Europe, and the United States in this season of joy and celebration, it hit me that the closest analogy is Christmas in wartime.

    If you accept that COVID-19 is a mortal enemy – and our entire society is being mobilized to fight it and minimize the number of deaths – then the current mess begins to make some sense. This led me to think about various challenging Christmas holidays in American history.

    The most challenging and decisive Christmas in American history was at our beginning. In 1776, Gen. George Washington’s tiny army was on the edge of collapse. It had shrunk from 9,000 men in the Battle of Harlem Heights in September to less than 2,500 by Christmas. One third of the soldiers did not have boots and were marching with their feet wrapped in burlap bags. The independence declared just five months earlier, on July 4, 1776, looked like it might fail.

    To save the Revolution, Washington and his troops spent Christmas Day boarding boats to cross an ice-filled Delaware River and then march through a snowstorm. The next morning, they would surprise roughly 800 professional German mercenary soldiers (called Hessians for the state of Hesse-Cassel from which they came) and bring them back to the Pennsylvania side as prisoners.

    Ironically, the Hessians spent Christmas Day with good food and drink in warm buildings enjoying the holiday. Little did they realize that 12 hours later they would help save the American Revolution by surrendering and becoming prisoners (recruitment for the Continental Army greatly increased after Washington was victorious over the well-trained force).

    Now, imagine the challenge of Christmas, 1865. The Civil War was over, but there were more empty chairs around the family Christmas table than at any other time. The Civil War killed more Americans than all our wars combined up to Vietnam. So, there was joy for those who had survived – but also deep sadness and grief for those who had given the last full measure preserving freedom.

    Maybe the Christmas most like 2020 is the 1918 celebration during the Spanish Flu. Americans were thrilled that World War I had ended in November – and that America had been on the winning side. Furthermore, there was a good bit of spending money around because of the surge of war time production. However, the Spanish Flu was much deadlier than COVID-19, and the science of that era simply did not have the knowledge or tools to develop an effective response (this is brilliantly described in John Barry’s book The Great Influenza).

    The difference between the speed of developing new therapies and new vaccines in 2020 and the haunting lack of tools and knowledge in 1918 justifies every penny we have spent on the National Institutes of Health – and serves as a testament to the amazing entrepreneurial drive, energy, and speed of our pharmaceutical industry. Christmas 1918 was a deadlier time than today, but people were determined to celebrate – even in isolation.

    Another classic war-time moment came during World War II. The Germans had been on offense under cloud cover, which had blocked American and British aircraft from stopping them. Since the Allied forces relied heavily on airpower, the bad weather made the German Army much more formidable, and it had driven a bulge into the Allied lines. Then, on Christmas Day 1944, the clouds disappeared. The winter sun came out, and allied aircraft dominated the battlefield in massive numbers. This began driving the German Army back from its last great effort to win in the West. The day after Christmas, Gen. George Patton’s Third Army broke the siege of Bastogne and saved the American forces who had been surrounded by the German Army.

    I simply wanted to share with you that we have had challenging Christmases before, and we came back better than ever. Someday, we will look back on Christmas 2020 and realize that life got better, and our dreams got bigger as the virus was gradually defeated.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    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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    Target: America

    China is anxious for Trump to leave — so it can return to a global status quo tolerating its myriad abuses that harm the U.S.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping 
    by Victor Davis Hanson: China sounds giddy at the ending of the Trump presidency. Before COVID-19, it was locked in a likely lose/lose trade war with the U.S. The American corporate world was finally starting to complain that its once easy profits in joint-ventures were now being gobbled up by an increasingly voracious China.

    The Left, for all its hatred of Trump, nonetheless after 2017 grew more vocal over the Chinese gulags, the Tibetization of Hong Kong, and Beijing’s Orwellian internal police state. Too many Chinese spies had popped up at the pinnacles of American power, whether erstwhile chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein’s chauffer, or, as we now learn, House Intelligence Committee member Representative Eric Swalwell’s something-or-other frequent associate, or among the Biden, Inc. clique.

    With Trump the disrupter apparently gone for now, China is anxious to return to the prior global status quo — and its exemptions for systematic patent and copyright theft, dumping, currency manipulation, huge trade surpluses, and coerced technology appropriation.

    Or as one prominent Chinese academic, Di Dongsheng, recently conveyed his post-election confidence in the Biden first family and the return of the American establishment to power:I’m going to throw out something maybe a little bit explosive here. It’s just because we have people at the top. We have our old friends who are at the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence.Dongsheng elaborated, “During the U.S.-China trade war, [Wall Street] tried to help, and I know that my friends on the U.S. side told me that they tried to help, but they couldn’t do much. But now we’re seeing Biden was elected, the traditional elite, the political elite, the establishment, they’re very close to Wall Street, so you see that, right?

    Dongsheng summed up “right” with, “Trump has been saying that Biden’s son has some sort of global foundation. Have you noticed that? Who helped [Hunter] build the foundations? Got it? There are a lot of deals inside all these.”

    Substitute “Russia” for “China,” “Trump” for “Biden,” a Russian academic for Dongsheng, and November 2016 for November 2020, and a president-elect Trump would likely have been indicted by such admissions.

    Currently, China is suffering its worst global-popularity ratings in its modern history. Most countries in Europe, the U.S., and its immediate Asian neighbors poll anywhere from 70 to 90 percent disapproval of China. Such negativity is hardly surprising when over 75 million worldwide have been sickened with Wuhan COVID-19 — and perhaps another 500 million untested have had symptoms or at least developed antibodies to it — along with 1.6 million dead.

    Many Western countries have vowed never again to outsource their medical equipment and pharmaceutical industries to China, given their ensuing exposure in times of a Chinese-spawned viral global pandemic. The chief rub for an awakening but recently somnolent Europe and a drowsy U.S. is not whether to reboot with China, but how — given that for decades America siphoned off its technology edge, as it trained tens of thousands of Chinese engineers and scientists, while greenlighting its own students to rack up $1.6 trillion in student loans to master the arts of green, race, class, and gender victimization.

    Brilliant American engineers design battery-operated cars and sophisticated solar panels; elite-glut environmental studies majors fight over how best to bankrupt the American consumer and raise prohibitive power costs for businesses. China prefers to emulate the former, not the latter.

    China tactically wages war against the U.S. all the time, from on-campus espionage to cyber-assault to stealing technology and blueprints of institutions it can replicate. But more importantly, it counts on a sophisticated strategy to subordinate the United States, and thereby remake the entire international order to enhance its own agendas.

    The Parasitic Way
    China sends over a third of a million students each year to enroll in U.S. universities. Again, they are not here, for the most part, to focus on gender studies, pursue peace studies, or become psychology and sociology majors.

    Perhaps one percent (e.g., roughly 3,000) are serious espionage operatives. Far more are the children of Communist Party elites. All know their way is paid for, on the expectation that they are to be debriefed at some point on their American careers.

    Over the last two decades, through students, visiting-faculty exchanges, tourism, growing diplomatic billets, and formal espionage operatives, China has systematically replicated major American institutions. It copies wholesale American graduate-research programs, medical and scientific labs, foundations, and formal government entities, from the Pentagon to the military academies.

    China is parasitic on Western institutions in the manner that imperial Japan was in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, when it sent tens of thousands of engineers, scientists, industrialists, and military attachés to the United Kingdom to master military shipbuilding and naval organization, and to Germany to copy imperial German ground forces and tactics — but without the perceived accompanying Western pollution of parliamentary government.

    Nothing delights China more than hyping climate change, in hopes that the U.S. will emulate Europe in general and in particular Germany. That is, America should junk its nuclear plants, stop hydroelectric construction, shut down coal plants, phase out natural gas, and focus on “wind and solar” and other “green” technologies.

    In the strategic sense, China will continue to use traditional cheaper carbon and nuclear fuels. It will stress that the West should not do the same and instead focus on “climate change.” China will then seek advantage with greater energy reliability and cheaper costs — while waiting to see when or whether Western investment and research in alternative energy should be cheaply harvested.

    Divide and Impera
    Europe has been apologizing for its 19th- and early-20th-century imperialism and neo-colonialism for 75 years. Yet China proudly boasts of its new brand of exploitation, the Belt and Road Initiative, to develop abroad infrastructure, harbors, ports, rails, industry, power grids, and highways.

    The aims of such a vast $8 trillion project are multifarious. Beijing seeks to establish control over the world’s commercial chokepoints (from Suez to the Panama Canal) that will offer an advantage in times of tensions and war.

    It wants to interconnect a vast, Chinese-dominated predatory mercantile system, one, in naked ambition and racialist imperialism, analogous perhaps to the former Japanese “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

    It lends promiscuously to cash-strapped aspiring countries and ossified developed nations, with the aim of leveraging them into “debt traps,” as uncollected loans can be paid back by ever longer and greater Chinese contractual control over infrastructure.

    Divide and conquer is the subtext of the New Silk Road. Israel or Greece will bicker with its American ally over the degree to which billions of dollars in Chinese investment in their ports warps their strategic autonomy. Russia, as another beneficiary of Belt and Road, is no longer a triangular agent to check Chinese power. And it is hard for the EU cohesively to address Chinese asymmetrical trade when Beijing is increasingly controlling the harbor traffic of Antwerp, Genoa, Marseille, and Piraeus.

    China’s once-grand talk of a “Polar Silk Road” to connect with Canada might help to explain why Justin Trudeau invited the Chinese military to conduct winter training in Ontario — apparently against the wishes of its NATO ally next door. The U.S. also includes non-nuclear and mostly disarmed Canada under its nuclear umbrella, which, in nightmarish scenarios of nuclear deterrence, assumes Portland or San Diego are exposed to protect Montreal or Toronto.

    The logic of the new Silk Road is that of the drug dealer: He accommodates his naïve user, who seeks ever more product, goes more deeply into debt and dependency to his smiling supplier, and is only dropped — or worse — for newer junkies when the strung-out’s debts reach unpayable proportions.

    Identity and Race
    China is essentially a monoracial nation, with a terrible record of exploiting those it deems racial inferiors, whether Tibetans or Muslim Uyghurs. Chinese in Africa make the old Cold War-stereotyped Russian brutes abroad seem like saints in comparison.

    Nonetheless, the Chinese strategically piggyback on to the American race industry. And the result is that Western criticism of Beijing’s racism and exploitation is itself deemed “racism.” China can recite chapter-and-verse canned leftist critiques of America, in the manner that Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed Zawahiri once wrote that they were radicalized in part by their American enemies’ failure to embrace U.S. campaign-financing reform and climate-change remedies.

    China encourages the United Nations, and international organizations such as the World Health Organization, to turn its megaphones toward the U.S. — and to indict America for its racial tensions as if inveterately racist China too were a victim of historic white oppression.

    China likes nothing better than to see our cities locked down amid riot, arson, and looting, and our country condemned in international fora. It eggs on authentically illiberal nations to blast America as illiberal.

    The Naifs When American corporations and capitalists see flat growth and fear inert future profits, they look for hope in Communist China. Disney’s post-COVID hopes of revival apparently rest with China. The NBA’s domestic audience is decreasing — as its lucrative franchising in China soars. Michael Bloomberg raised billions in Western capital for Chinese startups. Bill Gates’s Microsoft has had a 20-year relationship with the Chinese government’s spin-off concerns.

    In that context, is it any surprise that Disney movies now “thank” their cooperative Chinese Communist officials when they undertake joint-venture movies in the backyard of Muslim-reeducation camps? Is it a shock that Bloomberg assures us that China is not an authoritarian country? On spec, the NBA’s Steve Kerr blasts American society and offers excuses about Chinese autocracy. Bill Gates unsurprisingly warns us not to underappreciate the valuable role China has played in dealing transparently with the virus and its spread.

    China believes the current U.S. elite is unlike those who won World War II or sent a man into space. In their contempt, they believe instead that our best and brightest have grown naive, flabby, relativist, globalist, easily guilted, eager for repentance, decadent, and greedy — and can continue to be, and do, all that, while still becoming even richer with China.
    Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T National Review
    Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, Target, America, China is anxious, for Trump to leave, return to a global status quo, tolerating, myriad abuses, that harm the U.S. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

    Where Did the New Mad Left Come From?

    Utopianism is age-old, as are its tragic consequences — and we haven’t seen the worst yet.
    Victor Davis Hanson
    by Victor Davis Hanson: Bouts of extreme leftism are frequent in history. Plato’s Apology, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, and Vladimir Lenin’s What Is to Be Done? — all offer us insight into the mind and methods of the hard Left.

    America has experienced surges of mainstream anarchism, socialism, and communism, most profoundly during the late 19th century, amid the Great Depression, during the Soviet-American alliance of World War II and afterward, and in the 1960s. But rarely have these radical movements openly and without apologies made such inroads into and inside government and the establishment as during the past decade.

    We had earlier seen massive rioting, looting, and iconoclasm, similar to the chaos of summer 2020. But seldom did they continue with the de facto approval of mayors who restrained the police and turned their downtowns over to virtual occupiers setting up “autonomous” zones. Nor had we see seen city councils defund police operations. New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio and Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan were not so much hard-Left Democrats or socialists as they were anarchists who ceded control of parts of American cities to other anarchists.

    We cannot recall any district attorney in memory who simply declared that an entire array of crimes no longer existed, and that those convicted of them would be let loose on the public. Yet Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascón recently announced that his office will not be charging anyone arrested for making criminal threats, possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia possession, being publicly intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, loitering to commit prostitution, resisting arrest, or a host of other crimes.

    In essence, Gascón simply overrode the California legislature and his own county statutes. He has made up his own laws in his own private fiefdom of Los Angeles County — a jurisdiction of over 10 million, larger than 40 states.

    Where and how did radical ideas such as the non-enforcement of laws, the Green New Deal, open borders, the -studies curricula of the university, or the political weaponization of professional sports come from?

    What happened to the mainstream liberal, left-wing party of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton that it has been transmogrified into the neo-socialist movement of the Squad, Antifa, BLM, Kamala Harris, Bernie, Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren? When and how did the three-decades-long socialist loudmouth of the Congress, perennially barking at the moon, suddenly become the driving force of the Democratic Party?

    Globalization certainly changed the financial dynamics of the U.S. Big Tech, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street became not multibillion-dollar centers of commerce, but multi-trillion-dollar nexuses as they capitalized on a new 7-billion-person market. This staggering concentration of wealth had a number of profoundly negative effects on the country.

    Many in the new plutocracy were not business people in the traditional sense of making, growing, or transporting things. The old fortunes of timber, farming, railroads, gas and oil, construction, real estate, mining, manufacturing and assembly, and shipping paled in comparison with global finance, communications, media, entertainment, social media, and computer/Internet access. There was a certain grittiness, grounding, and earthy realism to the old money that is completely lacking in the new.

    Once our generation’s multimillionaires reached billionaire status, they turned utopian. They psychologically squared the circle of their own privilege by supporting the sort of left-wing causes that would never have allowed them to make their own money. And they did this always with the understanding that they had enough money and influence to ensure that the consequences of their utopianism did not apply to themselves: Walls on the border are passé; walls around Silicon Valley and Napa estates are necessary; guns should be banned, except for my security detail; big carbon footprints are killing the planet, except those of my own private jet.

    The really big global money now came more quickly and easily, as billionaires were harder left and younger, and discovered that they were exempt — in their tie-dyed T-shirts, flip-flops, and nose rings — from the usual leftist hits on capitalist “parasites.”

    As a result, staggering amounts of penance and indulgence money have poured into left-wing media, foundations, universities, and Democratic-driven activism. The monopolist Mark Zuckerberg’s various fronts invested $350 million to “help” government bureaucracies “oversee” the vote. The piratical George Soros’s giveaway empire explains the rise of city and district attorneys whose radical agenda is to decriminalize much of what we used to call criminality.

    The old “dark money” no longer exists. The once-demonized Koch brothers’ funding of conservative political activism is mostly now apologized for by its original architects — and yet it’s small potatoes compared with the new Democratic slush fund.

    In radical-chic fashion, nothing makes a hip billionaire hipper than to brag at cocktail parties that he funded a local BLM chapter. Corporate boardrooms, enmeshed in vast lucrative partnerships with the Chinese and enjoying global markets, are now among the most powerful forces of radicalism.

    CEOs assume that they have a blank check from the Left to leverage as much Chinese money as they wish, as long as they subsidize the radical agenda. And so they do, as they fund and advertise the entire climate-change, identity-politics, and globalist cause. None of this elite moral preening is completely new, when one remembers the naïve, culotte-wearing aristocrats who joined the Committee of Public Safety during France’s Reign of Terror, or the Russian landed gentry who believed that Lenin would work out for them too, or the mau-mauing flak catchers Tom Wolfe described in his account of late-’60s radical chic.

    Indebted Wannabe Geniuses
    From the 1970s to the 1990s, universities had lots of culture wars. But they were still constrained by budgets from hiring too many nonessential diversity and inclusion czars. Globalist capital had not yet quadrupled college endowments. Nor was there yet $1.6 trillion in federal money to institutionalize the new idea of massive student debt, which posed a moral hazard for the country.

    Students and universities now no longer worry about budgets, inflationary tuition, or cost-to-benefit analysis of the new therapeutic undergraduate curricula.

    The result?

    Today 45 million students are in debt. Many are credentialed but ill-educated, and they lack the means to pay off their compound-interest obligations. They have grown accustomed to the good life on campuses, many of which are Club Med retreats where late teenagers play-act by bullying faculty and administrators with primal screams.

    All too many lecture the country on their superior morality — and then graduate and face the reality that no one cares whether the barista who serves you a beer or the Uber driver who gives you a lift has a degree in environmental studies. Delayed marriage, delayed childbearing, delayed home purchases, delayed everything — all further radicalized youth, who are intrinsically prone to radicalism.

    Again, the most dangerous cohort in history has been the half-educated — the on-and-off university student or upper-middle-class elite who is aggrieved that his youthful genius is neither appreciated nor justly compensated.

    “Elite glut” well describes millions in debt who feel they are owed quite a lot. The nasal-twanged Antifa wannabe Bolshevik is mostly furious that we who watch his psychodramas on television have not extended to him the status and wealth he thinks he has long ago earned.

    Big Tech
    Big Tech, as an original offshoot of university research centers, and geared to self-described young geniuses, became a leftist monopoly. When social media and the Internet began, the naïve assumed these were just delivery systems, not new tools of ideological persuasion.

    But like a virus that alters the DNA of the host, the very ways we now access knowledge, communicate, fathom the news, advertise, buy, and sell are controlled, massaged, politicized, and weaponized by a few thousand prolonged adolescent, thirtysomething techies in Silicon Valley and its spin-offs.

    When an ideology can use its monopolies to Trotskyize the past, cancel a career, depersonalize, censor, and ban — or warp the very ways we retrieve information — then 1984 is already here. We scarcely appreciate Silicon Valley’s power and how it has vastly changed our very language, culture, and politics.

    The Obama Years
    Barack Obama really did, as promised, “fundamentally transform” the country. He destroyed the old pretense of a centrist Democratic Party helmed by Southern twangers like Jimmy Carter (who promised to kick Ted Kennedy’s ass in the 1980 primary and did), Bill Clinton (who used to decry illegal immigration), and an earlier incarnation of Al and Tipper Gore (who used to rail about music-industry-sponsored pornographic lyrics).

    Obama’s chief accomplishment was twofold. One, he ended the idea of affirmative action as a “white” population owing reparatory consideration to a largely African-American population in admissions and hiring as atonement for the wages of slavery, Jim Crow, economic disparity, and what is now known as “systemic racism.”

    Two, Obama mainstreamed “diversity” as the new binary replacement. Anyone with even one drop of nonwhite ethnicity in his ancestry, or who was not male or heterosexual, joined an updated “rainbow coalition” of victims — including even Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill. And the oppressed didn’t need to worry about their own actual ancestry, the historical basis for claims of discrimination, or their own private experiences with prejudice — or lack of same.

    Class mattered not at all. Nor did intermarriage, which under the melting pot had been making race a superficial construct, as the pedigrees of Americans became increasingly multifarious.

    The consequences of this retrograde return to one-drop racialism and the stigmatization of the white male were that suddenly 30 percent of the country — from Oprah to Colin Kaepernick to Lisa Jobs to Pete Buttigieg to Jorge Ramos — was “diverse,” meaning somehow the victims of a toxic majority, which in truth under the new race and gender rules was a minority.

    Barack and Michelle could be worth $100 million, own three mansions, enjoy multimillion-dollar corporate-consulting sinecures — and yet venture out from their enclaves from time to time to lecture the lathe worker in southern Ohio or the insurance salesman in Tennessee on their “systemic racism,” or hijack a funeral encomium to badger the country on the need to get rid of the “Jim Crow” filibuster and the ossified idea of a 50-state United States.

    Residence on a bluff in Martha’s Vineyard was not at all incongruent with the radicalism of kindred souls hitting the streets to protest “systemic racism” and capitalist exploitation. Antifa and BLM were grifters whose criminality in the street, like Roman gangs of the past, could be turned on and off before the election as needed. No such groups would ever march, burn, or loot on Martha’s Vineyard or in Kalorama.

    Once class under the tenets of cultural Marxism was largely ignored, the ranks of the victimized not only swelled and but grew wealthier and more powerful. So influential were they that the nation embraced flagellantism. Qualifying as a victim (however slight the grounds) meant that one could now castigate the entire unprivileged lower-middle working classes as privileged.

    The immigrant CEO from India, the African-American multimillion-dollar media anchor, the Facebook female mover, and shaker — all could now write off the deplorables/clingers/dregs/scum/ugly folk/chumps/irredeemables/smelly and toothless. And they could thereby obtain virtue-signaling tenure, despite their class privileges.

    If globalization and the universities had not bifurcated the nation enough, Obama finished the project by divorcing the authentic history of bias, violence, and institutionalized racism of the African-American experience from the new official ecumenical victimhood.

    The medieval indulgences sacralizing diversity worked for Obama as well. Who could believe that a diversity president really would build cages on the border, weaponize the IRS for his own political agenda, surveil the communications of Associated Press reporters, run guns to the cartels in Mexico, jail a video maker to mask the scandal of Benghazi, offer a quid pro quo on missile defense with Putin to help his own reelection campaign, and discredit the CIA, FBI, and DOJ to destroy an oppositional campaign, transition, and presidency?

    Diversity people just don’t do those things. If they are suspected of unethical behavior, then they must have a good reason for it; any perceived lapses are only a result of their passion for fighting bias, racism, sexism, and other -ologies and -isms.

    Incredibly rich people in a few zip codes, wealthy left-wingers’ thirst for penance, the global accentuation of class and regional differences, the corporatization of the universities along with the pauperization of students, the construct of a new “diversity,” social media and the Internet, and the idea that the affluent can be oppressed on the basis of their appearance, while the poor and lower-middle-class can be privileged on the same grounds — all that has created a radical new/old progressivism.

    And our collective madness is just getting started.
    Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T National Review.
    Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, Where Did, the New Mad Left, Come From?, National Review To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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