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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)

Thursday, April 01, 2021

The Totalitarian Left, Baseball & The Border, Biden's Boondoggle

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: The Totalitarian Left
Reverend Patrick Mahoney, of the Christian Defense Coalition, has been working in Washington, D.C., for 30 years. Over that time, he has held many events on Capitol Hill, including prayer vigils on Good Friday.

But Rev. Mahoney's permit to hold a Good Friday prayer vigil on Capitol Hill tomorrow was denied. So, he's suing Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Harris in her capacity as president of the Senate.

Why was his permit denied? The Capitol is not closed. Members of Congress have been showing up for work and casting votes regularly. You can make appointments to see members and visit the leadership in their Capitol Hill offices.

Do they really think Rev. Mahoney is a security threat? There's absolutely no security risk at all. Besides, Congress is out of session for two weeks!

But using January 6th as the excuse, the only thing being banned is the First Amendment – the freedom of assembly and the freedom of religion. And that's very telling.

This is what the left does wherever it gets control. If you live in a left-wing state, you had a more difficult time practicing your faith and peaceably assembling during the entire pandemic. If you lived in a conservative state, you had greater opportunities to exercise your faith and express your views.

The left has a totalitarian impulse, and we see it every time the left controls the levers of power.

Here's another example: The intolerant radicals pushing critical race theory in the Virginia public schools are demanding that every school teacher toe the line or be fired. So much for free speech and academic freedom!

Baseball & The Border
For over a year now, Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci have never hesitated to tell Americans what we can and cannot do. If you confront them, even though they have frequently been wrong, they simply say, "You have to follow the science."

The president of the United States, who still has not found time to go to the southern border, insisted this week that the Texas Rangers were making "a mistake" by allowing full attendance at their opening baseball game. Biden even quoted Dr. Fauci, saying, "They should listen to Dr. Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it's not responsible."

Well, there's no science to show that COVID spreads easily outdoors. Remember the Missouri pool party that caused a complete media meltdown last year? Cellphone data was used to track the attendees due to concerns about the party being a COVID superspreader event. It wasn't because it was an outdoor event.

But it's telling that the really big thing happening in Texas right now isn't opening day of baseball season, but the opening of our southern border.

Dr. Fauci has commented on virtually everything, including the number of masks we should wear. But he can't find his voice on the COVID superspreading venues Joe Biden is opening up all along the border as tens of thousands of people are entering the country.

They're not coming to watch a baseball game, but they're being crammed into facilities with poor ventilation that are operating at 1,500% capacity.

The American people deserve to know where these mostly illegal migrants are being delivered, and whether any COVID spikes develop in their communities. But I seriously doubt the Biden Administration is tracking that data.

By the way, Joe Biden chose opening day to politicize baseball by joining calls to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia because officials there chose to protect the integrity of future elections.

Biden's Boondoggle
President Biden unveiled his $2 trillion infrastructure bill yesterday. Just like the so-called "COVID relief bill," there's a lot in the infrastructure bill that has nothing to do with roads and bridges.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, it's mostly "subsidies for green energy and payouts to unions for the jobs his climate regulation will kill. This is really a plan to build government back bigger than it has ever been."

That said, this bill will be hard to stop. Democrats are also vowing to use the reconciliation process again to jam it through on a purely partisan vote.

Moreover, the American people overwhelmingly want to improve infrastructure. Every poll shows that. They want good roads, safe bridges and modern airports. That's what everybody means by "infrastructure." And if that's what Biden really wanted to do, he would get overwhelming support.

Instead, he's proposing a huge tax increase on American business, which set off celebrations in Beijing, Moscow and Tehran.

As surely as night follows day, these tax increases will lead to job losses and send American businesses searching for more friendly places to invest. The corporate tax rate Joe Biden is proposing to pay for this putrid bill is higher than communist China's!

Booming Growth
There's a lot of encouraging news for the economy, and many economists are predicting booming growth in the weeks and months ahead. In fact, it is possible that tomorrow the Labor Department will report a tremendous number of new jobs, perhaps as many as one million, were created last month.

Unlike the left, which bemoaned and belittled every good economic report under Donald Trump, conservatives will celebrate this news because we love our country and we care about working men and women.

But I want to be clear: There is nothing that Joe Biden did between January 20th and April 2nd that explains whatever job numbers are reported tomorrow. The reason we will likely see months of tremendous job growth is because we are finally beginning to reopen the economy.

In response to COVID, the American left forced a complete shutdown in much of the country, tremendously suppressing economic activity. The more left-wing a state's governor was, the more severe the shutdown was. They did it in the name of COVID, but it destroyed the Trump recovery.

But the tremendous pent-up demand that was created over the course of the past year is now being unleashed because the Trump vaccines were developed in record time and American consumers are now being freed from their lockdowns.

That unleashed demand is going to create an economic miracle. And, predictably, the media will rush to give Joe Biden all the credit. But we know the truth.

Biden's Gaffe
No, this item isn't about Joe, but First Lady Jill Biden.

Dr. Jill Biden was in California yesterday, addressing a group of farm workers on Cesar Chavez Day. For those who may not know, Chavez was a labor activist who founded the United Farm Workers of America.

Dr. Biden attempted to repeat Chavez's famous slogan, "Si se puede," which means "Yes we can." Unfortunately, she said something like, "Si se pwaud-way," which doesn't mean anything.

Something else attracted some attention too. It appeared as though Dr. Biden was standing in front of a large flag featuring the Nazi eagle.

Is Dr. Jill Biden a Nazi? Of course not. The flag is the symbol of the United Farm Workers of America, and Chavez's brother, Richard, designed the flag using the Aztec eagle.

But if Donald Trump or Mike Pence had spoken in front of a flag like that, every left-wing commentator would have set their hair on fire. Remember how USA Today's factcheckers embarrassed themselves over some Trump T-shirts?

By the way, in addition to Cesar Chavez's slogan, there's something else about him that Joe and Jill have seemingly forgotten: He was a staunch opponent of illegal immigration!

Good News
--------------------------
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, The Totalitarian Left, Baseball, The Border, Biden's Boondoggle 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 Defensive Firearm: An Absolute Necessity

Dr. Chuck Baldwin
by Dr. Chuck Baldwin
: I have said repeatedly that it is a fundamental necessity that the American people keep and bear arms. And to “bear arms” means carrying a firearm with you wherever you go. America’s most recent mass shootings serve as additional exclamation points behind that statement.

As an author, columnist, radio talk show host and pastor who is outspoken in my support of the Second Amendment, I often receive inquiries from people asking for my personal preferences regarding firearms. This column is devoted to answering some of those inquiries.

I’m sure this column will not provide anything new for the firearms aficionados out there. However, we are living in a violence-prone society, and more and more people (especially ladies) who never paid much attention to guns before are sensing the need to arm themselves but often don’t know where to start. I hope this column helps these folks.

First, let me emphasize that I am not a firearms expert. And I strongly urge you to receive as much instruction and training from a firearms professional as possible. Second, when it comes to a discussion of which firearms are preferable, the suggestions are as varied as the people who proffer them.

Most people who are armed nowadays are carrying concealed. Disgustingly, some states do not allow people to legally carry open. Fortunately, that is not true here in Montana where I live, and I often carry open—as do many people in this great State. However, most of the time, I am carrying concealed, as I think it better that the bad guy not know who among his intended victims is able to shoot back. If you are planning to carry a concealed firearm, you will need to carefully consider the kind of clothing you are wearing and how the firearm will fit in with your attire. For most people, concealed carry requires firearms that are—to one degree or another—somewhat diminutive.

My personal preference for a self-defense handgun is a Glock pistol. Glock pistols are almost as simple as revolvers to operate, reliable and practically indestructible. Plus, they provide increased magazine capacity and are safe. They are also very easy to disassemble and clean. And most importantly, they go "bang" when you pull the trigger. Some ladies might find the Glock grips to be a little bulky for their hands—except for the Glock 42 and 43, which most ladies should find quite comfortable. But most women should be able to safely and confidently shoot the majority of Glock 9mm pistols.

Popular options in Glock pistols include the Glock 42 in .380 ACP; Glock 17, 19, 19X, 26, 43 and 43X in 9mm Luger (also called 9mm Parabellum or 9x19); the Glock 22, 23 and 27 in .40 Smith & Wesson; the Glock 21, 30, 30S, 36 and 41 in .45 ACP; and the Glock 20 and 29 in 10mm Auto.

When I am carrying concealed, I’m usually carrying the Glock 43X. (The older I’ve gotten the lighter my side arms have gotten. Ha. Ha.) But I also sometimes carry the Glock 19 or the Glock 30S. In my younger days, I carried the Colt Combat Commander in .45 ACP, and I still carry one (or a Kimber) when the mood strikes me. (Springfield Armory also makes good 1911s.) Who doesn’t love a 1911? However, I don’t recommend 1911 pistols for beginners.

My wife prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver in the snub-nose, J-frame configuration. This is primarily due to the reduced weight and size of these weapons for carry purposes. Plus, she just prefers a revolver over a semi-auto. And, yes, I sometimes carry a snub-nose as well.

Snub-nose revolvers generally have a poor reputation for accuracy due to their very short barrels. And the reduced 5-shot capacity turns off some people. However, 70% of self-defense fights take place at a distance of 2 yards. As such, a snub-nose is very adequate for the task. In addition, most self-defense fights are settled with 3 shots being fired, so, statistically speaking, 5 shots are normally enough to defend oneself.

I sometimes carry a Glock 42 in .380 ACP (6 shots) as a backup. When I do carry a snub-nose revolver, it is usually a Smith & Wesson 340 M&P or a Ruger LCR, which are built for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special cartridges. And when carrying the snub-nose, I’m usually loaded with .38s. The .38 Special and 9mm Luger are comparable in power.

But, honestly, the best snub-nose revolver on the market these days might be the Kimber K6s. The trigger is sweet (like Smith & Wesson triggers used to be), and it holds 6 rounds instead of 5. The K6s is an all-steel revolver and is, therefore, a little heavier than most snub-nose handguns (23 ounces empty). But the extra weight of the K6s makes shooting the .357 magnum round more comfortable than the lighter weight versions. And shooting the .38 round in the K6s is downright pleasant.

And, yes, for some people, a revolver might still be the preferred handgun. It has no external magazine to worry about losing; it is very dependable and reliable; it is easy to clean; and it is simple to operate. NYPD expert Frank McGee says the typical police gunfight conforms to a “rule of three”: 3 rounds, 3 yards and 3 seconds. So in most real-life situations, the increased firepower of a high-capacity magazine doesn't even come into play.

Of course, if confronted with multiple attackers or a heavily armed would-be mass shooter, those extended magazines in Glock and similar pistols would be much appreciated.

The most important factor in choosing a self-defense handgun is finding the one that you carry and shoot well. I shoot Glock pistols very well; and I find them comfortable to carry, which is why I usually carry them. Find the handgun that YOU shoot well. The caliber is not nearly as important as your ability to put the bullet where you want it to go.

Since I live in dangerous game territory, I will mention the need to defend oneself against a brown bear. In dangerous game territory, you will need the power of a 10mm Auto, .357 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, .45 Long Colt or even a .454 Casull. These calibers are not for the limp-wristed, but when one is facing a brown bear, it is what one will need to survive. (Bear spray is a joke.) Plus, when your life's on the line, you’ll never feel the recoil. When I’m in the woods hiking or hunting, I’m usually carrying a Glock 20 in 10mm or a Smith & Wesson 629 in .44 Magnum with a 3” barrel and the Kimber K6s in .357 Magnum as a backup.

But, truthfully, I would hate to face a brown bear (which includes the Grizzly and Kodiak) with a handgun of any caliber. These creatures are the fiercest and most formidable animals on the North American Continent (along with the Polar Bear, of course). Against a brown bear, I would hope I had a .45-70 Government rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun handy.

But I spoke with a man recently who, sadly, has had to kill several Grizzlies in his line of work, and he swears by the .357 Magnum. So there you go.

But, folks, make no mistake about this: Except against brown bears, semi-automatic rifles are the most essential tool for self-defense, which is why totalitarians in government want to ban them.

For a semiautomatic rifle, I suggest an AR-15 or Ruger Mini-14 in 5.56 NATO (they also fire the .223 Remington cartridge) or a Springfield M1A or AR-10 in .308 Winchester. My personal choice here is the AR-15. Daniel Defense makes some of the best AR rifles in the world, but they are quite pricey. Other good AR brands include Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Windham Weaponry and several others. Most ladies will find that the low recoil of an AR-15 or Mini-14 will make the rifle very pleasant to shoot. No home should be without one of these rifles.

I repeat: NO HOME SHOULD BE WITHOUT ONE—OR MORE—OF THESE RIFLES.

Of course, a 12-gauge shotgun is the premier close-range weapon. Nothing equals it. In a pump shotgun, I prefer a Winchester Model 1300, which is not made anymore. So, you’ll probably have to choose between Mossberg and Remington. In the semi-auto configuration, I prefer Mossberg shotguns. And don’t discount 20-gauge shotguns. The 20-gauge has less recoil than a 12-gauge, and at “bad breath” range (where a shotgun shines anyway), the 20-gauge is just as lethal as a 12-gauge. And for home defense, don’t overlook the double barrel shotgun. And while I often use a .410 gauge shotgun for hunting small game, I do not recommend it for self-defense.

It is also critical that no matter which firearm you decide to purchase to be sure and practice with it. The firearm you purchase is no better or worse than your ability to handle it. And be sure to stock up on ammunition (when you can find it). A gun without ammo is reduced to being either an expensive club or a cumbersome paperweight.

And always be sure to follow all of the safety rules for your firearm. The last thing any of us wants is an accidental discharge of a firearm that results in the injury or death of a loved one or friend. So, always remember that safety is job one. And rule number one is NEVER point a gun at anyone unless you are doing so in an act of self-defense. And rule number two is ALWAYS assume that a gun is loaded, which takes you back to rule number one. Plus, guns should always be kept away from children before they have been properly taught how to safely handle a firearm—which should be done as soon as possible.

I realize that there are many pastors and Christians who try to impugn the necessity of owning a firearm. These people are famous for saying things such as “God will take care of you; no one needs a gun.” Of course, these same people quickly embrace the idea that police officers should carry guns for self-defense. And should these irresponsible pastors and Christians ever find themselves facing a violent predator, they would quickly call 911 (if they had the chance) and would expect an ARMED policeman to come protect them.

I guess they never thought through the inconsistency of their belief that it’s wrong for them to provide for their own armed defense, but it’s not wrong to pay someone else (a policeman) to rush to their house and provide armed defense for them. And they are also doubtless unaware that under both Natural Law and U.S. jurisprudence, it is NOT the responsibility of policemen to protect the citizenry; it is the responsibility of the citizenry to protect itself.

Plus, I never understood why it is that Christians who are not policemen are supposed to “trust God” to take care of them and not arm themselves, but Christian police officers are somehow exempt from this same spiritual notion.

Beyond that, many pastors teach that Christians are obligated to obey civil authorities who demand that we surrender our firearms. They even try and quote Scripture to prove this preposterous position—Romans 13 most commonly.

Of course, Romans 13 does NOT teach that Christians must submit to a governing authority that would strip from us our means of Natural self-defense.

That would be like pastors and Christians submitting to a governing authority that would tell them to cancel their worship services. Oops!

As you know, Joe Biden and his Stalinesque stooges in Congress are RIGHT NOW proposing legislation to outlaw hundreds of firearms. And this is only the beginning. Their real goal is to completely disarm the American people.

For these reasons, my constitutional attorney son and I collaborated on a book that takes the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to prove that self-defense is not just a right under our Constitution; it is a moral obligation given us by our Creator. In the book, we show that Christians who are unwilling to defend themselves, their families and their communities have actually denied the Christian faith. We show that the Bible nowhere teaches God’s people to remain defenseless or to surrender their means of self-defense to any civil authority.

In the book, we examine the Scriptures that the “no gun” preachers use to support their lunacy and show how unbiblical these positions are. We go through both Testaments and show that our Creator has given us the obligation to defend the life He has given us. We also put to rest many of the distortions of Scripture that anti-gun preachers use to turn Christian men and women—who are created to be providers and protectors—into sheepish slaves of the state and helpless prey for human predators.

The title of our book is To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.

It is not only important to be armed; it is even more important to understand the moral and spiritual underpinnings of WHY we should be armed. And that is exactly what our book attempts to explain.

Christians need to know that keeping and bearing arms is a spiritual DUTY. We disobey Holy Scripture when we neglect our responsibility to be always prepared to defend ourselves, family and community. The Second Amendment does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms; it merely protects the right and duty to keep and bear arms that is given to us by the Natural laws of our Creator.

Defending oneself, family and community is as spiritual as praying or reading the Bible or any other spiritual exercise. From the lives of Abraham and Moses to the Books of Judges and Esther to the lives of Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha to the teaching of Christ in the New Testament, the Bible is replete with examples and admonitions that God’s people must NEVER surrender their means of self-defense, which in the modern world points to the AR-15 style-rifle and Glock-style handgun.

Jesus considered keeping and bearing arms to be so important that one of the last things He told his disciples before going to the Cross was for them to sell their clothes if they had to and purchase those arms. (Luke 22:36) Yes, Jesus placed a higher priority on defensive arms than he did on clothing. So should we.
------------------------------
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.and 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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April Fool, History Repeats

Most of Biden’s infrastructure bill is going more towards Left-wing agenda programs than infrastructure.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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The Resegregation of America

The woke left has largely abandoned the call for colorblindness
 advocated by civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., whose
monument presides over West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.
by Jarrett Stepman: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore a growing, insidious ethos overtaking America’s most powerful institutions.

Individual merit and reasoned debate are out. “Lived experience” and the hierarchy of group grievance are now what matter most.

Even truth is considered meaningless. Narratives are everything.

The concept of fundamental human equality, derived from ideas at the heart of America’s founding and famously rearticulated by civil rights champion Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, is now being replaced by the enforced “equity” of the woke.

The end result, ironically, is the resegregation of America.

This new woke ideology, building on critical race theory, not only rejects the concept that people should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, it increasingly also embraces actual governmental race-based discrimination.

The evidence of this shift is everywhere.

To no one’s surprise, segregation is popular on modern college campuses, where these ideas originally bubbled up. Many schools, such as New York University, have been besieged with demands for racially segregated student housing, despite that being likely illegal.

Columbia University is now offering segregated graduation ceremonies for various racial and gender identity groups. Columbia, an Ivy League school, insists that these segregated ceremonies are all voluntary and in addition to the larger, integrated ceremony, but who’s to say that will continue?

By next year, would it be a surprise to see schools all over the country copy this practice?

Such ideas are coming to corporate America, too.

Proposition 16 in California, which would have officially brought back race-based affirmative action to the state, was rejected by voters. But it was widely supported by a gaggle of corporations, nonprofit groups, and well-connected billionaires.

Voters may balk at race-based discrimination, but woke corporations are seemingly happy to inject racial categories in their business models.

Open up an app for food-delivery services, such as Uber Eats, for instance, and you will likely see a section for “black-owned businesses.”

Are we now going to start choosing our dinner by racial group rather than by cuisine?

Such moves to create a more racialized society would be bad enough if they were only limited to college campuses and the practices of woke businesses, but they are disturbingly being incorporated into government policy, too.

Two Democratic senators recently said that they would no longer vote to confirm “non-diversity” nominees for federal government posts.

“I am a ‘no’ vote on the floor, on all non-diversity nominees,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., “You know, I will vote for racial minorities, and I will vote for LGBTQ, but anybody else, I’m not voting for.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, concurred with Duckworth.

“We’re not just calling for [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders],” Hirono said. “This is not about pitting one diversity group against them. So, I’m happy to vote for a Hispanic or black person and LGBTQ person and AAPI person.”

So, they’d vote to confirm any nominee—as long as he wasn’t straight and white.

Duckworth and Hirono eventually backed down from that stance, but the threat was telling.

Qualifications are irrelevant. Racial discrimination is good, as long as you discriminate against the right people.

The efforts to place identity before all other considerations do not just stop at those who can serve in government.

Several senators have floated legislation to create race-based programs that would direct funding toward specific racial groups. The Biden administration is backing the creation of a commission to investigate the possibility of reparations for slavery.

Cities are experimenting with race-based laws, too.

Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, California, announced that the city will be creating a universal basic income program in partnership with a nonprofit organization that will only give money to “black, indigenous, and other people of color,” according to KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in the Bay Area.

The program, which will give $500 a month to 600 low-income families for 18 months, was justified by supporters as based on statistical poverty disparities among racial groups.

The money for the program will come from Blue Meridian Partners, a philanthropic organization.

That opens up a few questions, beyond just its legality.

Will American citizens now need to take a genetic test to qualify for government services?

After all, we live in an age where gender is supposedly “fluid,” but race and culture, we’re told, are absolute.

Also, what exactly does a group disparity or statistic mean to anyone living in poverty who doesn’t qualify as a “person of color”?

You won’t receive aid, but there’s good news: You’re helping the government create more equity by being poor. Congratulations!

As my colleague Mike Gonzalez wrote for City Journal, many of these proposals are likely unconstitutional and illegal violations of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and Titles VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

That clearly won’t stop the woke from pushing them on Americans anyway.

“The woke Left understands that, as written and amended, the Constitution stands in the way of many of the things that it wants to do,” Gonzalez wrote. “This is why the Left has set about to cast the Constitution as illegitimate by, for example, purposely mischaracterizing the three-fifths compromise, pretending that the document perpetuated slavery, or calling it, as Kendi does, a ‘colorblind Constitution for a White-supremacist America.’”

That’s a reference to Ibram X. Kendi, a so-called anti-racist intellectual who has become massively popular in media and in higher-education circles.

Kendi aims to redefine racism as a collective, systemic act, rather than an individual one; denounces the concept of a colorblind society; and argues that racial discrimination can be good—as long as it’s pointed in the right direction.

Whether you’ve heard of Kendi or not, his ideas are now everywhere and are being delivered in a steady and growing dose to Americans and other people throughout the West.

America hasn’t always lived up to the promise of equality laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Slavery and segregation ran alongside our institutions and culture of liberty.

But the founding generation designed our system to bend toward justice and the truth. In time, we have built upon our cornerstone of freedom and corrected our flaws as a nation.

The intellectual vanguards of wokeness and critical race theory demand that the most fundamental aspects of self-government and preservation of individual rights be abandoned to serve the cause of destroying “systemic racism.”

Arguing to the contrary may be racist and, if Kendi gets his way, practically illegal—at least illegal for anyone in a position of power.

So, not only is America to be re-segregated, but unlike in our past—when the American people were persuaded and freely chose to abandon and prohibit race-based policies—this time we will have no choice, and will simply be at the whim of woke apparatchiks.

Today, we may be debating whether our national origin is 1776 or 1619, but if our current course continues, our future will look more like 1917, the year of the communist Russian Revolution. For one group to rise, another must come down.

Race will simply replace class as the prime motivator of the revolution and eventual tyranny.

What we will end up with is misery, recriminations, and segregation now, tomorrow, and forever.
----------------------------------
Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal.
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Radical New Rules for Post-America

Victor Davis Hanson
Americans privately fear these rules, while publicly appearing to accept them.
by Victor Davis Hanson: There are 10 new ideas that are changing America, maybe permanently.

1) Money is a construct. It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much.

Prior presidents ran up huge annual deficits. But at least there were some concessions that the money was real and had to be paid back.

Not now. As we near $30 trillion in national debt and 110 percent of annual GDP, our elites either believe permanent zero interest rates make the cascading obligation irrelevant or the larger the debt, the more likely we will be forced to address needed income redistribution.

2) Laws are not necessarily binding anymore. Joe Biden took an oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But he has willfully rendered federal immigration laws null and void. Some rioters are prosecuted for violating federal laws, others not so much. Arrests, prosecutions, and trials are all fluid. Ideology governs when a law is still considered a law.

Crime rates do not necessarily matter. If someone is carjacked, assaulted, or shot, it can be understood to be as much his fault as the perpetrator’s. Either the victim was too lax, uncaring, and insensitive, or he provoked his attacker. How useful the crime is to the larger agendas of the Left determines whether a victim is really a victim, and the victimizer really a victimized.

3) Racialism is now acceptable. We are defined first by our particular ethnic or religious tribe, only secondarily—if at all—by an American commonality. The unapologetic and explicit exclusion of whites from dorms, graduations, safe spaces, welfare, and federal aid programs is now noncontroversial. It is unspoken payback for perceived past sins, or a type of “good” racism. Falsely being called a racist makes one more guilty than falsely calling someone else a racist.

4) The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen. The newcomer, unlike the host, is not stained by the sins of America’s founding and history. Most citizens currently must follow quarantine rules, social distancing, stay out of school, and obey all the laws. Yet those entering the United States en masse and illegally need not follow such apparently superfluous COVID-19 rules. Their children should be immediately schooled without worry of quarantine. Immigrants need not worry about their illegal entry or residence in America. Our elites believe illegal entrants more resemble the “founders” than do legal citizens, about half of whom they consider irredeemable.

5) Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children. They cannot be asked to provide an ID to vote. “Noble lies” by our elites about COVID-19 rules are necessary to protect “Neanderthals” from themselves.

Americans deserve relief from the stress of grades, standardized testing, and normative rules of school behavior. They still are clueless about why it is good for them to pay far more for their gasoline, heating, and air conditioning.

6) Hypocrisy is passé. Virtue-signaling is alive. Climate change activists fly on private jets. Social justice warriors live in gated communities. Multibillionaire elitists pose as victims of sexism, racism, and homophobia. The elite need these exemptions to help the helpless. It is what you say to lesser others about how to live, not how you yourself live, that matters.

7) Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it. It is more humane for both the homeless and the public that thousands live, eat, defecate, and use drugs on public streets and sidewalks than it is to green-light affordable housing, mandate hospitalization for the mentally ill, and create sufficient public shelter areas.

8) McCarthyism is good. Destroying lives and careers for incorrect thoughts saves more lives and careers. Cancel culture and the Twitter Reign of Terror provide needed deterrence.

Now that Americans know they are one wrong word, act, or look away from losing their jobs or livelihoods, they are more careful and will behave in a more enlightened fashion. The social media guillotine is the humane, scientific tool of the woke.

9) Ignorance is preferable to knowledge. Neither statue-toppling, name-changing, nor the “1619 Project” require any evidence or historical knowledge. Heroes of the past were simple constructs. Undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees reflect credentials, not knowledge. The brand, not what created it, is all that matters.

10) Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity itself. Its priesthood outnumbers the clergy, and exercises far more power. Silicon Valley is the new Vatican, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter the new Gospels.

Americans privately fear these rules, while publicly appearing to accept them.

They still could be transitory and invite a reaction. Or they are already near-permanent and institutionalized.

The answer determines whether a constitutional republic continues as once envisioned, or warps into something never imagined by those who created it.
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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 American Greatness.
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Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, Radical New Rules, Post-American, American Greatness To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Will SCOTUS Eliminate the Fourth Amendment?


A case before the High Court could either solidify or undermine our civil liberties.
by Arnold Ahlert: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” —Amendment IV, U.S. Constitution

Democrats and the Biden administration would like to seize Americans’ firearms, apparently by any means necessary. It remains to be seen if the U.S. Supreme Court will collaborate with them.

On March 24, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in Caniglia v. Strom. The case arises from a 2015 incident in Cranston, Rhode Island, where police were summoned to do a “wellness check” on Edward Caniglia after his wife reported that he might be suicidal. While Caniglia was arguing with her, he put an unloaded gun on the table and told her to “shoot me now and get it over with.” She responded by calling a non-emergency number, and the police arrived in short order. While at the scene, the police disagreed about whether Mr. Caniglia was acting “normal” or “agitated,” but they convinced him to take an ambulance to the local hospital for evaluation. The police did not go with him.

While he was en route, his wife told the police he kept two handguns in the house. Without first obtaining a warrant, police conducted a search of the house — after obtaining Mrs. Caniglia’s permission by lying and saying her husband consented to the search. They found two guns and seized them. Mr. Caniglia sued, asserting police had violated his Fourth Amendment rights as well as his Second Amendment right to own firearms for self-protection.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with police, citing the “community care taking doctrine” that has already been recognized as an exception to the Fourth Amendment by the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Cady v. Dombrowski. In that case, the Court held that police officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they searched the trunk of a car that had been towed following an accident.The Court acknowledged that police cannot search private property without consent or a warrant, “except in certain carefully defined classes of cases.” Yet it further noted that “there is a constitutional difference between houses and cars.”

A host of cases used that ruling to establish the doctrine of “community caretaking,” which Cady had defined as activities “totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute.” In short, if a police officer might reasonably decide a warrantless search could prevent the community from being endangered, that search was constitutional.

That kind of search was related to vehicles. Caniglia v. Strom is about whether or not it can be extended to homes.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals certainly thought so. “At its core,” the court wrote, “the community caretaking doctrine is designed to give police elbow room to take appropriate action when unforeseen circumstances present some transient hazard that requires immediate attention. Understanding the core purpose of the doctrine leads inexorably to the conclusion that it should not be limited to the motor vehicle context. Threats to individual and community safety are not confined to the highways.”

That giving cops such “elbow room” makes an utter mockery of the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”? As Forbes columnist Evan Gerstmann points out, “The community caretaking exception is not limited to circumstances where there is no time to apply for a warrant.”

In other words, “immediate attention” and “transient hazard” are extremely malleable terms. Police can simply decide — at their leisure — that an emergency has come into existence, thereby negating the need for a warrant. Thus, Gerstmann wonders, will police be able “to conduct warrantless searches of political protesters’ homes to make sure they aren’t planning on violent behavior at their next political rally?”

Political protesters, or Americans who disagree with the policies of the Biden administration — or those who simply disagree with progressive dogma?

As were are learning, courtesy of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, political considerations already motivate the U.S. Justice Department. According to the panel, the DOJ abused its power by denying bail to many of the protesters at the January 6 riot, even for misdemeanors, by alleging they were part of a vast conspiracy. As columnist Clarice Feldman so aptly explained, “Keeping in D.C. jails without bail some of the protestors who engaged in no specific violent acts at the Capitol until their cases can be heard was very obviously designed to compel them to plea bargain so they could return home to their families and jobs, and the three-judge panel wasn’t buying it.”

It doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision a scenario where police conduct a warrantless search of someone’s home, find a gun, and subsequently allege that finding to be part of a conspiracy, precipitating the denial of bail — especially when they can conduct an ex post facto search of someone’s social media for what could be deemed “incendiary” statements.

Statements that bring the First Amendment into play as well.

Matt Agorist, an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA, sees the proverbial writing on the wall. “We have already seen tech giants like Facebook hand over the private messages of those who talked about the events of January 6,” he writes. “If [Caniglia v. Strom] is upheld, it could pave the way for cops to raid the home of those who engage in peaceful discourse based solely on the premise that violence might happen.”

The 2002 movie “Minority Report” envisions a future where police have the legal authority to prevent crime before it happens. It was set in the year 2054, and much like George Orwell’s 1984, it was presented as a cautionary tale — not a how-to manual.

Unsurprisingly, the Biden administration and attorneys general from nine states have sided with the police, and as Fox New host Tucker Carlson warns, “The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to approve of this and make it a precedent. They’re asking for permission to search any home they want, without a warrant and take what they want.”

We used to call that “tyranny.” What an increasingly feckless Supreme Court will call it is anyone’s guess.
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Arnold Ahlert writes for The Patriot Post.
Tags: Arnold Ahlert, Patriot Post, SCOTUS, Fourth Amendment, either solidify or undermine, our civil liberties To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Kamala’s Husband Hosts the Virtual Passover From Hell

The Biden administration is ruining everything. So it must ruin Passover.
by Daniel Greenfield: After twenty minutes of dead air, Biden's Virtual Passover got underway. Biden, who can only be counted on to remain coherent for short stretches of time before launching into a random tirade, only showed up briefly. And that was the only good thing about Virtual Passover.

Virtual Passover, like the Biden administration, makes no sense. But the Biden administration can’t be expected to ruin every aspect of our lives, without also ruining Passover.

Kamala Harris had been delegated to take over the border crisis, and so her husband, Brentwood entertainment lawyer, Douglas Emhoff, took over the job of ruining Passover.

Dubbed a “Virtual Passover Celebration”, it was not a celebration, it had nothing to do with Passover, but it was virtual. The one thing that the Biden administration can be relied on is to be virtual. And by being virtual, to offer nothing real. Passover wasn’t going to change that.

Hosted by “Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff”, also known as the father of Kamala’s obnoxious stepchildren, his scripted speeches proved that everything he knows about Judaism he learned from leftist anti-Israel radicals and late night reruns of The Nanny.

Emhoff started out by touting Sharon Brous and IKAR.

Brous is an anti-Israel leftist who heads up IKAR, dubbed by Variety as a "trendy, progressive congregation" whose members include Steven Spielberg. If your synagogue is profiled in Variety, it’s pretty bad: if it’s “trendy and progressive”, it’s even worse. That means IKAR is also exactly the kind of synagogue a Brentwood entertainment lawyer like Emhoff would promote.

Then, Emhoff gave an insider’s wave to his own mention of IKAR.

Brous had delivered the inauguration prayer for Obama and the inaugural prayer for Biden calling for "a justice driven, multiracial democracy.” Now she was back to ruin Passover.

Sharon Brous is a member of the councils of J Street, and the New Israel Fund: because the only clergy with Jewish last names that are allowed at Biden events are anti-Israel.

When Jews came out against the antisemitic and pro-Farrakhan leaders of the Women’s March, especially Linda Sarsour, Brous falsely claimed that the criticisms were, “a deliberate smear campaign from the far right to delegitimize the march itself.”

“A much greater problem would be if the Jewish community stepped out of activism because we’re afraid that someone on the stage has a position on BDS different than our own,” she complained. To Brous, it would be a “much greater problem” to treat the efforts to destroy the Jewish State as more important than her extremist politics which align her with antisemites.

When Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were barred from entry to Israel, Brous spewed a hateful unhinged rant, falsely claiming that American Jews "have spent years in hive mentality, pouncing on indications of anti-Semitism among Israel’s critics", accused the Jewish State of a "52-year military occupation of millions of Palestinian people" and ranted that American Jews must "hear Palestinian voices and see what the Israeli government is so intent on members of Congress not seeing." A terrorist spokesman couldn’t have said it any better than Brous.

Having Brous attend a Passover celebration is like inviting a medieval blood libeler to a seder.

Literally.

Brous signed on to a letter attacking Israel for banning a JVP BDS activist, a hate group that provided space for antisemites, including activists associated with claims that Jews drink blood.

It’s hard to think of anyone that belongs at a seder less than Brous: except maybe Pharaoh.

But before Brous could spew all over the non-seder, Emhoff began by lecturing attendees at a virtual event about the importance of socially distancing and wearing masks.

Nothing says freedom like telling people what to do.

“Passover,” Emhoff then intoned with the dead smile and lifeless cadence of a late-night infomercial host making an unconvincing pitch for a supplement made out of dried kangaroos, “has always been one of my favorite holidays.” Then he relived memories from Nanny reruns of attending a seder in Brooklyn with “plastic cushion covers” and “gelatinous gefilte fish”.

With the obligatory Jewish stuff out of the way, Emhoff shifted over to the “power of the Passover story” in the fight for justice. Naturally, not in the modern day Israelites trying to keep the aspiring killers of their sons from the Gazan vicinity of Egypt from getting to them.

Emhoff insisted that Passover is about the “search for justice”. It’s not. If he had opened a Bible, or a Haggadah, the traditional text of the Passover seder, he would have noted a lack of calls for social justice, and a lot of praises of G-d for liberating the Jews from bondage through miracles.

But attendees at IKAR can’t be expected to actually know anything about Judaism.

In the theology of Tikkun Olam, every Jewish experience and holiday must be universalized, with the relentlessness of Marxist dogma, into class struggle and identity politics. Passover, like Purim, Chanukah, Yom Kippur, and Thursday must be about the search for justice. Emhoff, whose Judaism consists of distant memories of gefilte fish can’t be expected to know any better.

In his opening address, Emhoff failed to mention G-d, but made Women’s History Month the focus of his talk. He complained that Judaism neglected the “midwives who saved Moses” by refusing to implement Pharaoh’s sex-selective post-partum abortion decree. Had those midwives been in California, Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra would have locked them up.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, had made a special point of targeting Jewish families, had addressed the KKK and counted future Nazi eugenicists among her supporters, warning that if "the sickly and weak" are "allowed to propagate”, they will “produce a race of degenerates.”

Pharaoh couldn’t have said it any better than Kamala’s favorite infanticide organization.

But Emhoff was just reading from talking points prepared by the National Council of Jewish Women which, as I exposed in a previous article, has, like Brous, a history of supporting Sarsour, and other antisemitic leftists. His conclusion is that Passover is about “unsung heroes”, just like “the pandemic”. But there’s just one unsung hero in Emhoff’s speech. G-d.

Douglas Emhoff may not believe in G-d. His daughter’s spokesman has insisted that, “Ella is not Jewish.” But then it might be nice if Doug would spare us all the tales of gefilte fish and plastic seat covers while mangling the beliefs of a religion he has no connection to beyond his last name, and using it to promote some of the worst enemies of the Jewish people.

When Moses first confronts Pharaoh, the Egyptian tyrant declares that he does not know of a G-d. Emhoff doesn’t seem any more aware of the existence of a higher power than Pharaoh.

Then Brous came on, all but screaming at the camera that the mission of the seder was to “imagine a more just and loving world”. But there wasn’t much love on the menu. Passover, the radical cleric insisted, was a “political story”. I doubt that Brous believes that there’s an apolitical story anywhere in the world and, like her ilk, can’t think of religion in other than political terms.

Brous’ religion is politics, her deity is social justice, and her messiah is a community organizer.

And so there followed an extended bout of yelling at the camera about justice and oppression, interspersed with meaningless New Age Obamaisms with an audience of one potted plant.

Not Biden. He hadn’t joined the zoom seder yet.

“We all belong to one another,” Brous declared.

That’s the opposite of Passover which is instead the story of the birth of a particular nation through the belief, not in Emhoff’s “all faiths”, but the faith in a particular G-d.

G-d doesn’t just take the Jews out of slavery, but to bring them to Israel. It’s understandable that Brous seems less interested in addressing that awkward part of the Passover story.

But we can be thankful for one small Passover miracle, at least Brous didn’t repeat her Yom Kippur rant in which she falsely claimed that, “The treatment of the Palestinian people, the restriction of their rights, the daily humiliations and the stubborn expansion of settlements threatens to destroy not only Zionism, but to make a mockery of Judaism.”

The only one making a mockery of Judaism is Brous and her extremist political agenda.

The virtual celebration that celebrated nothing closed with Kamala Harris showing up to thank Brous for “all her work”. It was unclear if she meant her work supporting Sarsour or Omar.

The Passover from Hell echoed everything that Jews had come to expect from Obama’s Jewish events, from the anti-Israel clergy to the exploitation and erasure of Jews from their own religion. From Emhoff to Brous, there’s only ever one message, which is that thousands of years of Jewish religion, history, and thought are reducible to the 19th century ideology of the Left.

Pharaoh had set out to kill the Jews. The Left has done plenty of killing, but it also erases Jews. And, worse still, it makes Jews complicit in that erasure. Pharaoh did not allow the Jews to forget that they were slaves. Their modern enslavers convince many Jews that freedom is slavery, and that slavery is freedom, that survival is death, and that suicide is Jewish morality.

Passover is the celebration of G-d’s redemption of the Jews from slavery to freedom. The Biden virtual seder is a call for the Jews and for all Americans to leave behind freedom for slavery.
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Daniel Greenfield writes for FrontPage Mag.
Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Front PageMag, Kamala’s Husband, Hosts the virtual, Passover From Hell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

President Biden’s American Job Killing Tax Plan

by Newt Gingrich: There is a deep irony in President Joe Biden’s decision to start looking for support for his American Job Killing Tax Plan in Pittsburgh, Penn.

And make no mistake: Biden’s so-called American Jobs Plan is a tax increase bill masquerading as an infrastructure bill – which is in turn masquerading as a jobs bill. It will not create jobs or ultimately improve our infrastructure. It will kill jobs and make infrastructure projects more expensive in time and money.

Roughly 230 years ago, the same area was the central battlefield of the Whiskey Rebellion – in which Americans opposed (violently) an overreaching tax on whiskey imposed by the still new federal government.

After the American Revolution, the states were broke and deeply in debt. Then-Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton concocted a plan for the federal government to take on the debt and to pay for it all via a by-the-gallon tax on whiskey production. President George Washington was skeptical at first, but the various state government leaders assured him this was a good idea.

So, the Whiskey Tax was enacted in 1791. By September of that year, taxpayers in western Pennsylvania got so mad they started ambushing tax collectors, stripping them naked, tying them to trees, and stealing their horses. It was so bad, tax collectors started quitting.

These kinds of things escalated over then next few years and by 1794, angry mobs had burned down the house of a pro-tax landowner in Allegheny County and assembled 7,000 men to march on Pittsburgh. Eventually President Washington had to assemble a 12,000-man federal militia to scare the mobs into submission. At the time, this was not just an issue for Pennsylvania. It was a serious threat to the stability of the new Union.

So, today, we have President Biden, who is calling to immediately raise all domestic corporate taxes by one-third (from 21 percent to 28 percent), set a minimum 21 percent tax rate for multinational US corporations, raise taxes on oil and gas companies (which will cause the costs of gasoline, heating oil, and plastic to skyrocket), and levy a host of other new tax measures across the economy. I go into further detail about the plan on today’s episode of my Newt’s World podcast.

All of these measures will mean that the companies that employ people will have to lay them off. Construction companies will have fewer workers to complete large infrastructure projects – and the projects themselves will have higher price tags because it will cost more to run the machines necessary to do the work.

Only a true-believing leftwing Washington zealot could imagine a reality in which any of these measures will make America better or improve the lives of Americans.

Raising taxes doesn’t create jobs – and it never has. If you need evidence, look at the unemployment rate after passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which enacted much of the job-creating tax cuts President Biden is clumsily trying to destroy). Along with deep deregulation, the tax cuts led Americans to some of the lowest unemployment rates in modern US history (in fact, the lowest ever for Black and Latino Americans).

Even some Democrats are recognizing that calling to raise taxes in the waning days of a global pandemic is just ridiculous.

According to Axios, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey warned “We need to be careful not to do anything that’s too big or too much in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis,” adding that “It’s got to be responsible and both parties need to be at the table. This can’t just be jammed through without input and consideration from the other side.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) also told Axios he wouldn’t support the Biden Tax increases unless tax deductions for millionaires and billionaires in high-tax Democrat-run states (which President Trump capped) were reinstated, saying “I’m not voting for any changes in the tax code unless we reinstate SALT as part of the deal.”

The US Chamber of Commerce – which has been calling for a sweeping infrastructure plan for years – called President Biden’s American Jobs Killing Tax Plan “dangerously misguided.”

US Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said, “We strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration which will slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally – the exact opposite of the goals of the infrastructure plan.”

Hamilton’s and Washington’s decision to levy new taxes on Americans who had just endured a war led to the Whiskey Rebellion. Why does President Biden think levying taxes on Americans who have just endured a pandemic will go over well?

There’s something else President Biden could learn about the Whiskey Rebellion: It didn’t really end with Washington’s militia in Pittsburgh.

The American people’s rejection of this enormous federal overreach – both the widespread tax and the federal response to the people in western Pennsylvania – gave rise to what is now the Republican Party. This ultimately led to the repeal of the Whiskey Tax in 1802 under Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson.

President Biden’s Jobs Killing Tax Plan is a terrible idea. He needs to stop and ask if anyone (outside of the Democratic Party’s extreme left flank) actually wants what he’s proposing.

My guess is that after the COVID-19 crisis, Americans want to rebuild their businesses, get back to work, and recoup their savings – not pay more taxes.
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Newt Gingrich writes for Gingrich360.com.
Tags: Newt Gingrich, President Biden’s, American Job Killing, Tax Plan, Gingtich360 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Three Ways The Pro Act Would Violate Workers’ Rights

by AFP: Supporters of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or the PRO Act, claim that passing this legislation is necessary to protect the rights of Americans workers. They contend that independent contractors, including freelancers and gig workers, are suffering a crisis in the workforce and are being exploited by their clients.

These contentions couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no crisis in independent contracting, but the PRO Act would create one. It would erode many of the rights of workers across the country — principally for the benefit of union leaders — including:
  • The right to provide one’s services as an independent contractor.
  • The right to work free of union coercion.
  • Workers’ privacy and representation rights, both union and non-union.
Here’s how the PRO Act would violate those rights.


The PRO Act violates the right of workers to remain independent
Like California’s Assembly Bill 5, which reclassified countless independent contractors and left many jobless, the PRO Act would use what is called an ABC test, a tool used by regulators to determine whether a worker should be pushed out of independent contracting and forced into a traditional employment arrangement.

The PRO Act’s ABC test would be interpreted by the National Labor Relations Board, in largely arbitrary fashion.

Here’s how it could work:

An independent contractor approaches his client for a contract renewal. With the PRO Act now law, his client worries that, by misclassifying the worker as an independent contractor — a determination subject to the nebulous criteria of the ABC test — his business could incur a massive fine of $50,000 for each violation.

The client would have two choices. He could either:
  1. Hire the worker as an independent contractor, not knowing whether this falls afoul of the ABC test.
  2. Hire the worker as an employee under a W-2 position, if he can afford it.
More than likely, the client will simply decide that the risk of violating federal law, and incurring a huge fine, is too high. He may also find that he can’t afford to place the worker on payroll.

So, the client will likely decide to cut business with the worker entirely. Other companies could similarly blacklist independent contractors.

This is precisely what happened in California. There is no reason to believe the PRO Act couldn’t replicate those results at a national level.

The PRO Act violates the right to work, free of union coercion
Twenty-seven states have right-to-work laws on the books, which maintain that workers should have the free and fair choice to join a union. In other words, these states hold that union membership should be voluntary, not mandatory.

The PRO Act would upend every single right-to-work law, even those laws enshrined in state constitutions. Many workers would no longer have the freedom to join a union. Rather, they would have an obligation to join, and their refusal would mean that they couldn’t work at all.

This is a contraction of workers’ rights.

Moreover, it would hurt workers economically. Right-to-work states usually experience faster manufacturing and overall job growth and higher disposable and overall cost of living adjusted incomes.

Only union leaders, who could then demand dues from their new members, stand to benefit from this policy.

A violation of worker privacy and representation rights, union and non-union alike
The PRO Act would go further in its efforts to push workers into unions. It would force employers to hand over the personal information of their employees — including cellphone numbers and email addresses — to union organizers.

Most people would be hesitant hand out their private information to strangers, but the PRO Act would require it under federal law, exposing countless workers to harassment and intimidation.

The bill wouldn’t be much kinder to union workers. It would strip them of their ability to vote on a union contract when binding arbitration is used and, for workers interested in unionizing, it would potentially rob them of the ability to vote by secret ballot and vote for a new union or non-union representation for an extended period of time.

The PRO Act would harm countless American workers, union and non-union alike. Tell your lawmakers in Congress to reject this unfair bill.
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Americans For Prosperity addresses Three Ways The Pro Act Would Violate Workers’ Rights.
Tags: Americans For Prosperity, Three Ways, The Pro Act, Would Violate, Workers’ Rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Shanghaied in Tallahassee

by Paul Jacob: How to prevent citizen control of government?

The democracy-loathing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not merely wiping out Hong Kong’s civil liberties, but also aggressively undercutting the limited democratic input citizens previously had. You see, in December of 2019, in the last local elections before the pandemic proscribed the city’s protest movement, fledgling pro-democracy candidates won an incredible 87 percent of the seats.

So the Chinazis postponed the next election, just to be safe.*

Never a full-fledged one-person/one-vote democracy, Hongkongers only voted for 35 of the 70 Legislative Council seats. But now the CCP is increasing legislative seats to 90 while reducing to just 20 those that voters choose.**

While tyranny may seem another growth industry where China outpaces us, don’t count out our politicians just yet.

Last November, Florida voters decided four citizen initiatives, passing two and defeating two others — including one to make it tougher to pass constitutional amendments. Such “direct democracy” isn’t easy — almost 900,000 Sunshine State voters must sign. Then to pass, Florida amendments require a 60-percent vote.

Yet for the third consecutive session the unfriendly Florida Legislature, dominated by Republicans, wants to make it even more difficult for regular people to communicate, associate, organize and petition an amendment onto the ballot, bypassing the pols:

♦ House Joint Resolution 61 would hike that 60-percent supermajority for passage to 66.7-percent. Should a measure that receives 66.5 percent of the vote lose?

♦ Senate Bill 1890 would outlaw contributions of greater than $3,000 to the petition phase of the campaign, which usually costs upwards of $5 million. It’s campaign finance “reform” specifically designed to silence citizens by blocking their ability to successfully place an issue before fellow voters.

“[I]t should not be an impossible process,” offered Trish Neely with the League of Women Voters . . .

. . . of Florida, that is. Not Hong Kong.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Not to mention the police arresting aspiring pro-democracy candidates.
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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.
Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Shanghaied in Tallahassee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Washington Should Steer Clear of Tax on Vehicle Miles Traveled

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg,
seen here at an event at an Amtrak station
Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia
by David Ditch: One of the most frequent claims from Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign was that he would only seek tax increases on those earning more than $400,000 per year.

That was always a dubious promise, given his expensive big-government agenda, and now we’re seeing examples of how a tax-and-spend approach can hit everyday Americans.

Setting aside that the $400,000 goal post has been moved from individuals to households, which ropes in millions of additional families, a high-profile Cabinet member has touted a new tax that would necessarily hit anyone who drives a car (which is the vast majority of adults).

Last Friday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised the concept of imposing a nationwide vehicle miles traveled tax in an interview. He said that there likely would be several different tax increases as part of expected infrastructure legislation, which he claims is necessary because “it’s got to be transformative.”

After Buttigieg’s comment went viral, a Transportation Department spokesman and Buttigieg himself stated that a mileage tax was not part of the upcoming infrastructure plan. Nonetheless, key members of Congress have been working to fund mileage tax pilot programs, which is the first step toward making the tax a reality.

The concept of a mileage tax has been around for years. One of the main reasons why the idea has become more prominent is the increasing use of hybrid and electric vehicles, which pay little or nothing in gas taxes. As such, federal gas tax revenue has flattened.

There are two ways of implementing the potential new tax.

One would involve annual odometer readings. That would be vulnerable to rollback devices that can change a car’s mileage readout, and it would be a logistical nightmare to perform on all cars across the country every year.

The other method would use GPS trackers to monitor the distance a car travels. That also has implementation concerns, such as whether older cars would have to have the devices retrofitted in and whether manufacturers would be forced to add them to new cars.

In addition, there are serious privacy concerns regarding whether a vehicle’s GPS data could be used to monitor individual drivers. Any such system would need to have strict rules in place to safeguard civil liberties.

That’s only the beginning of problems with imposing a nationwide mileage tax.

Supporters of the tax regularly claim that it would replace the gas tax. There are good reasons to be skeptical of that promise.

The astonishing size of current spending plans would require as much tax revenue as the federal government can get, meaning that any sort of tax cut is unlikely. Simply not paying for infrastructure spending by adding to the federal debt would be unwise, given the nation’s crumbling finances and growing deficits in the highway fund.

Thus, a mileage tax would almost certainly be layered on top of the gas tax, meaning a tax increase for the vast majority of families. However, even if the gas tax were to be eventually phased out, supporters of a mileage tax are clear that the main goal of the tax is to bring in more revenue than the gas tax currently provides.

Either way, that spells a tax increase, and one that will disproportionately hit blue-collar workers who can’t telecommute.

Another reason to oppose the mileage tax is that it’s based on the idea that we need the federal government to meddle with infrastructure development more than it already does.

The opposite is true.

Federal involvement means that projects take longer to complete, cost more, and are less accountable and transparent than ones funded by the private sector or state and local governments.

If a mileage tax becomes the law of the land, it would cement the federal government’s obsolete and counterproductive role in how we manage our transportation systems. It would also funnel more money to non-highway uses, such as bike paths or bloated compensation for transit workers.

While local officials tend to support federal infrastructure spending because they too often see it as “free money,” this does not change the fact that more federal dollars will make state and local governments more dependent on Washington.

An increasing centralization of political power and control in a single place goes against the founding principles that made America great, and it’s even less desirable as the nation becomes larger and more diverse.

Cheerleaders for an ever-larger federal government should have to explain why it’s a good idea to make the nation more reliant on an increasingly dysfunctional Congress.

A vehicle miles traveled tax would also be vulnerable to bureaucratic micromanagement, especially if it’s done with a GPS system. The federal government could charge different rates per mile, based on location, time of day, or traffic volume, and thus politicize the way we drive by playing favorites.

Those who promote the new tax-and-spend mega-package will insist that the only choices are voting for their progressive grab bag or allowing our roads and bridges to fall apart. That’s a false choice.

Rather than allowing the federal government to take over the funding of roads, bridges, trains, school construction, and water lines, we should reduce federal power and control.

Getting rid of wasteful programs and red tape would mean we get more mileage per dollar spent, and devolving control from Washington would bring decision-making closer to home.

That would be better for America’s roads and democracy alike than placing a new tax burden on hardworking families.
--------------------------------
David Ditch is a research associate specializing in budget and transportation policy The Heritage Foundation.
Tags: David Ditch, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, Should Steer Clear, Tax, Vehicle Miles Traveled 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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