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

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Pathetic Putin-Biden Summit

A U.S. president mangles his first major leadership test on the world stage.
by Joseph Klein: President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16th and came away empty-handed. They agreed to have their minions meet for future talks on cybersecurity and other contentious issues between the two countries.

"Earlier today, President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin finally met for their big summit in Geneva," Jimmy Fallon said on Wednesday's Tonight Show. "When Biden said 'I'll give you my email,' Putin said, 'I already have your email — and password and Venmo, don't worry about it.'" That’s about as good a commentary as any on the insignificance of this summit.

At least prior to former President Donald Trump’s first summit with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator released three American hostages who had been held for months in North Korea’s inhuman labor camps. This time, Putin didn't even release the two former U.S. Marines imprisoned in Russia, Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, as a symbolic gesture to reciprocate for Biden’s waiver of the Nord Stream 2 sanctions. Russia’s release of the American hostages should have been Biden's minimum condition for holding the summit in the first place.

All that Biden’s summit meeting with Putin accomplished was to give Putin a platform on the world stage where he appeared far more energetic and confident than Biden. It's very troublesome -- and embarrassing -- when the leader of the free world takes fewer than half the questions from the press following the summit meeting than Putin took at his separate press conference. And Biden grew testy at his own solo press conference when the last questioner -- from CNN, no less – asked Biden how his meeting with Putin could be characterized as constructive, given Putin’s past behavior and continued denials of any wrongdoing. "If you don't understand that, you're in the wrong business," Biden barked at the reporter, for which he later apologized.

Putin and Biden had some nice words to say about the summit and about each other. However, Putin remained defiant in denying that any Russians were responsible for the cyberattacks launched against government and business sites in the United States. Thinking that the “best defense is a good offense,” Putin used his solo press conference to charge that the United States was responsible for far more malicious cyberattacks.

In addition to waving off criticisms of human rights abuses in Russia at his press conference, Putin also turned the tables on Biden. He mentioned, for example, the Black Lives Matter protests and Guantanamo in his negative portrayal of the United States. As former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo observed, Putin “was allowed to go up there and spout Russian propaganda to create the context for moral equivalence between the United States and Russia on every front.” Bide

n said at his press conference that he provided Putin with a list of “16 specific entities, 16 defined as critical infrastructure,” including the energy sector and water systems, that were considered off limits to cyberattacks. Biden added that he told Putin “we have significant cyber capabilities” and that the U.S. would respond “in a cyber way” if Russia violates “these basic norms.”

Biden’s statements regarding cyberattacks raise at least two questions. What types of “entities” were not included in Biden’s list and thus presumably not considered off limits? And why hadn’t Biden already demonstrated to Putin how he would respond “in a cyber way” to previous Russian cyberattacks, such as SolarWinds and the ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and JBS, the world's largest meat supplier? Actions speak louder than words. Instead, Biden has provided Putin with a potential roadmap of targets for Russia’s hackers to exploit.

Biden speculated that Putin’s Russia could be influenced by whether or not other countries believe Russia’s behavior complies with so-called international norms. “What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world,” Biden told reporters. That is naïve at best. Putin is motivated only by his accumulation, maintenance, and display of raw power. Putin is perfectly happy to consort with other like-minded dictators who share his contempt for Western democratic values.

Biden also told reporters that “all foreign policy is, is a logical extension of personal relationships.” That too is naïve at best. Yes, personal relationships are an ingredient of foreign policy. Good personal relationships help countries’ leaders to interact more smoothly with each other on difficult issues. But individual leaders come and go. The most important driver of foreign policy is each country’s national interest and whether it is compatible or in conflict with other countries’ national interests.

Putin follows a Russia-first foreign policy. China follows a China-first foreign policy. Each U.S. ally follows its own country-first foreign policy. Biden, however, puts America’s national interest behind his desire to be recognized as a full-fledged member of the globalist club.

Germany certainly did not have the free world’s broader interests in mind when it agreed to purchase natural gas from Russia, delivered via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany. Ukraine was left out in the cold. Biden was so anxious to please Germany that he waived sanctions on the company building Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and on its chief executive Matthias Warnig, a Putin ally. Warnig is a former member of Communist East Germany's Stasi secret police. At the very least, the sanctions imposed on Warnig should not have been lifted. But Biden was too afraid of offending Germany.

In his remarks to the press on the tarmac before departing on Air Force One, President Biden inadvertently revealed what is fundamentally wrong with his foreign policy. “You know, one of things that I think, understandably, there was a good deal of skepticism about: would the G7 sign on and give America back it’s, sort of, leadership role,” Biden said. “I think it did.”

The United States does not need the blessing of the G7 or of any other multilateral group to continue leading the free world against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and other aggressive dictatorships. The United States is still the world’s most powerful nation, both militarily and economically. It also remains the world’s beacon of hope for freedom-loving people everywhere. Unfortunately -- and tragically -- American now has a president who is groveling for approval from other countries and globalist gatherings.
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Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam. Shared article in FrontPage Mag.
Tags: Joseph Klein, FrontPage Mag, The Pathetic, Putin-Biden Summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

New Government, New Threats

by Caroline Glick: The day after Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett formed their government, Biden administration officials threw a diplomatic hand grenade at them. Monday administration officials told reporters “unofficially” that President Joe Biden intends to appoint Hady Amr, his Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians to serve as U.S. Consul General to the Palestinians — in Jerusalem.

To deploy Amr to Israel’s capital as consul, the administration will first need to open a consulate in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1996, the Trump administration closed the consulate and turned the building into the Ambassador’s Residence following the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in 2019. And under the Vienna Convention, the U.S. must ask Israel to permit the opening of the consulate and accredit the head of mission.

The administration’s decision to deploy Amr to Jerusalem as ambassador-in-everything-but-name to a hostile, non-Israeli entity is a double assault on Israel. First, the sends the clear message that the Biden administration supports the division of Israel’s capital. Second, by sending Amr specifically to Jerusalem, the administration is making clear that it intends to legitimize and work with Hamas.

Before joining the administration, Amr was a fellow at the Qatar-funded Brookings Institution. He was the founding director of the Brookings Institution in Doha. And from Brookings, Amr wrote and spoke in favor of legitimizing the Iranian-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood terror group. Amr advocated that the U.S. work to integrate Hamas into the PLO.

The administration’s now all but declared positions on Jerusalem and Hamas in turn strengthen Iran’s position inside Palestinian society. They also legitimize the until now unthinkable scenario in which the U.S. supports a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria. The administration’s deep-seated animosity towards Israeli sovereignty over unified Jerusalem, makes clear as well just how hostile its positions are in relation to Israel’s strategic requirements and national rights to Judea and Samaria.

Although Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas initiated the latest round of war last month, he did not benefit politically or militarily from the onslaught against Israel. Hamas did.

An opinion poll published Tuesday by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 77 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas won the latest round of war. If elections were held today, Mahmoud Abbas would be wiped out. Abbas would receive a mere 27 percent of the vote while Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh would win the leadership with 59 percent of the vote. The only Fatah leader more popular that Haniyeh is convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti, the architect of the 2000-2004 Palestinian terror war. Barghouti is in prison where he serves multiple consecutive life sentences for his direct command of murderous Fatah terror cells.

It is true that the IDF wiped out much of Hamas’s military machine in last month’s mini-war. But even in relation to Israel, Hamas emerged stronger from the last round of fighting than it was before it began its offensive. Israeli Arab imams aligned with Hamas through the Israeli Islamic movement incited pogroms against Israeli Jews throughout the country. Their actions demonstrated Hamas’s long arm of influence inside Israel’s Arab community.

Events surrounding this week’s flag march in Jerusalem made clear Hamas’s strengthened position. Hamas threated to reinstate its assaults on Israel if the government allowed Israeli citizens to parade through the capital carrying Israeli flags. Rather than ignore the warnings, the security establishment, the media and political leaders treated them like strategic threats. For days, Hamas’s threats dominated the discourse at all levels of the ruling class. The obsessive concern over the threats showed that despite the operational damage Israel’s caused Hamas’s military infrastructure, Hamas today is deterring Israel at least publicly far more than Israel is deterring Hamas.

All of this brings us to the new government. Although Naftali Bennett is Prime Minister, the real power in the government is Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Lapid controls 75 percent of the coalition to Bennett’s 20 percent. The last five percent of the 61-seat coalition is controlled by Mansour Abbas, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Islamist Ra’am Party.

In the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry marking Lapid’s entry into office, Israel’s effective leader laid out his priorities. His top three goals are to rebuild Israel’s ties with the Democrat Party; with the progressive U.S. Jewish establishment; and with the European Union.

In regards to Iran, ignoring Republican opposition, Lapid said the U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear agreement as a done deal. Lapid said that Israel’s job is to prepare for the inevitable. The 2015 agreement provides Iran with an open path to a nuclear arsenal and enriches it through sanctions relief while placing certain restrictions on its nuclear activities for a limited period of time.

As for the Palestinians, despite the fact that the Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel for the past 13 years, and in the meantime, Israel made peace with four Arab states and formed an operational alliance with the Sunni Gulf states and Egypt against Iran, Lapid described the Palestinians and their conflict with Israel as the central axis around which all other regional issues rotate. What happens between the Palestinians and Israel, he said, will “define, to a large extent, all the other arenas.”

Lapid’s priorities dictate his policies. The tensions in Israel’s relations with the Democrats, the progressive American Jewish establishment and the EU were never about personalities. They are and always have been about positions. Relations with all three became acrimonious because the Democrats, progressive Jews and the EU embrace policies – the nuclear deal and Palestinian statehood — that most Israelis consider dangerous to the state’s survival. The only way for Lapid to mend Israel’s relations with these groups is to adopt their dangerous policy preferences.

Although Israel has the power to reject a U.S. request to open a consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and certainly has the power to reject pro-Hamas Amr as consul, Lapid’s desire to appease the Democrats will prevent him from doing either.

As for Iran, while Lapid told the Foreign Ministry officials who attended his inaugural speech, “Israel will prevent in every way necessary the possibility that Iran will attain nuclear weapons,” this commitment cannot be aligned with Lapid’s top three priorities.

Haaretz reporter Jonathan Lis wrote this week that in all likelihood, to advance the goals he set for himself, Lapid will seek to implement the diplomatic vision he laid out in a 2018 speech. In that speech, Lapid resonated his claim this week that the Palestinians are the axis around which all other regional issues rotate. In keeping with this view, he called for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians to receive U.S. support on Iran.

In his words, “I believe that a breakthrough on the Iranian issue depends on the Palestinian issue. We need to work to advance a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians, only as part of a regional discussion.”

He went on, “Can we separate the Iranian problem from the Palestinian problem? Without progress vis a vis the Palestinians, can we enlist the [support of] the Saudi public, the U.S. Congress, American Jewry, the European Union and the money from the Gulf states? Netanyahu says we can. I tell you we can’t. Most security officials say we can’t.”

Lapid’s speech didn’t age well. In the months that followed he pronouncement, then President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem and moved the embassy to Israel’s capital. Trump left the nuclear deal and implemented his maximum pressure campaign against the ayatollahs. The Gulf States formalized their operational alliance with Israel through the Abraham Accords. The U.S. recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, acknowledged the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and accepted Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria in the Trump peace plan.

In his speech this week, Lapid made clear that none of these events made the slightest impression on him. The path he intends to embark upon is based on ignoring the significance of everything that has been achieved.

This brings us to the opposition, which while controlling only 53 seats in the Knesset, represents the wishes of the majority of voters who elected 65 right-wing politicians to represent them.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu needs and his colleagues must base their platform for bringing down the Lapid government on a recognition of reality. Hamas’s clear influence over Israeli Arabs brings home the fact that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would foment Israel’s destruction. If the Hamas-state in Gaza can foment anti-Semitic pogroms throughout Israel, a Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem along with Gaza will represent a threat to the country that no government will be able to successfully mount.

The opposition’s platform must begin then, with a full rejection of Palestinian statehood. Instead, Netanyahu and his colleagues should adopt Bennett’s 2013 plan to apply Israeli law throughout all of Area C of Judea and Samaria.

Flowing from that, and from the Biden administration’s effective embrace of Hamas through Amr, the opposition must oppose completely the establishment of a U.S. consulate anywhere within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. It must oppose all freezes in recognition of Jewish property rights in unified Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu’s meeting this week with former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Christians United with Israel leader Pastor John Hagee was widely attacked by the anti-Netanyahu media. But it was a critical move. In his speech, Lapid effectively threw both Republicans and Evangelicals under the bus. It is the duty of the opposition to maintain and strengthen Israel’s ties to both group through frequent meetings and exchanges.

Lapid’s idea of linking U.S. policy towards Iran with the Palestinians flies in the face of a generation of strenuous efforts by successive Israeli governments to avoid linkage at all costs. Israel opposed linkage historically because it makes no sense. As the Abraham Accords and the Arab Spring before them made clear, regional affairs have nothing to do with the Palestinians and pretending they are linked is a recipe for strategic failure on all levels.

Today, given the Biden administration’s single-minded focus on realigning U.S. policy towards Iran and away from Israel and the Sunni Arab states, Lapid’s position is indefensible. There is no nuclear deal the administration will offer Iran that will protect Israel’s strategic interests even partially.

The new government both faces and invites new challenges and threats from Hamas, from Iran and from Washington. If he follows through on them, Lapid’s diplomatic policies will gurantee that his government will fail to meet them. Under the circumstances, the duty of the political opposition is to present a clear alternative approach and use the tools at its disposal to advance it.
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Carolyn Glick article was originally published in Israel Hayom.
Tags: Carolyn Glick, Israel Hayom, New Government, Isael, New Threats To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

New Survey shows Voters want more Choice and Control over their Health Care

by AFP: Americans for Prosperity today released key findings of a national survey on health care measuring voters’ attitudes on:
  • Single payer health care, what supporters call “Medicare for All.”
  • A government-run health care plan to compete with private plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, what supporters call the “public option.”
  • A personal option, a set of sensible health care reforms that focus on giving Americans more choice and control over
Read key findings of the memo survey results

The survey reveals there is not a large appetite among the U.S. electorate for a systemic overhaul of the health care system, no matter how the question is asked.
  • Although voters slightly lean toward believing the health care system is not meeting the needs of most Americans, they strongly (70 percent) believe the health care system is meeting the needs of themselves and their families.
  • A majority of voters (53 percent) believe we should keep what works and fix what is broken rather than trying to overhaul the health care system with a one-size-fits-all government plan (16 percent) or even a government-run health care option offered alongside private insurance (16 percent).
  • Furthermore, just 31 percent say there should be more government control of the health care system, while 69 percent say there should be less control (42 percent) or the same level of control as there is now (27percent).
A personal option for health care is extremely popular, particularly when matched up against both “Medicare for All” and the “public option.”

The specific elements of the personal option also enjoy broad, bipartisan support, particularly tax-free Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements, both of which garner the approval of nine-in-ten voters.

The survey also shows that women, who make the vast majority of family health care decisions, are very supportive of a personal option. In fact, without any prior knowledge, women prefer a personal option over the public option by 14 points and over “Medicare for All” by 16 points.


Pollsters Glen Bolger and Jarrett Lewis sum up the survey this way:Voters love the personal option. They prefer it over both Medicare for All and the Public Option by roughly 40 points. Republicans and Independents strongly prefer a personal option to the two government plans, though even Democrats currently lean towards preferring a personal option. Voters strongly favor the plan’s many attributes that would help make our health care system more accessible, more affordable, and easier to navigate. Perhaps most of all, voters are attracted to the idea of protecting (and in some cases regaining) choice and control over their own health care.The national online survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies from April 27-29, 2021. Results from the survey have a credibility interval of +3.53 percentage points.

Read the full survey results, and download the executive summary slide deck.
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Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips and CEO Emily Seidel
Tags: Americans for Prosperity, New Survey, Voters, want more Choice and Control, over their, Health Care To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Biden's List, The Left's Extremism, Religious Liberty Wins

by Gary Bauer: Biden's List
The Biden/Putin summit was a disaster. Foreign policy experts, national defense professionals and many Americans were scratching their heads yesterday when President Biden said he gave Vladimir Putin a list of 16 critical infrastructure entities that Putin cannot hack.

Biden told reporters that he looked at Putin and said, "How would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?"

I'm glad Biden is in touch with his feelings, but I don't think that holds much weight with Vladimir Putin, a former KGB colonel. This isn't kindergarten!

What immediately came to mind was a quote by that famous philosopher, Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Does anyone think that Putin is confused about whether it was okay to hack our food industry or our energy industry?

If we heard that Biden gave Putin a list of 16 cities he better not nuke, would anyone in any of the cities not on the list sleep comfortably tonight?

And the very idea of a list of things that are off limits immediately suggests that some things are okay to hack. It's like saying to a robber, "If you break into my house, you can take the couch but not the TV."

Of course, the mind runs wild with slightly humorous possibilities. Maybe these were some of things on Biden's list:
  • Don't hack the DNC. (The RNC is okay.)
  • Don't hack Hunter's laptop. (Whoops, too late.)
  • You can hack MAGA, but don't hack BLM.
  • And whatever you do, DO NOT find Hillary's emails!
If I were at Mar-a-Lago, I'd be putting extra security on all the computers now.

Biden Loses It
After Biden finished his opening statement at his press conference yesterday and got ready to take questions, he looked at the reporters and said, "As usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I'm going to call on." And he then proceeded to take questions from the approved reporters on the list that his staff had given him.

As he was leaving, a reporter yelled an unexpected question, and Biden lost it. He stomped back and yelled at her. In that moment it became apparent why the White House refused to allow Biden to do a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin.

At a joint press conference both leaders would have taken turns calling on a reporter, and the reporter gets to pose a question to both leaders. In other words, they couldn't control which reporters Putin would call on, meaning they couldn't guarantee generally easy questions for Biden from loyal Democrats in the press corps.

So, were Biden's handlers worried that Putin would have eaten Biden alive? Of course. But they were also concerned that Biden would have been "in the water without his floaties." And as we saw yesterday, he can't handle it.

In my view, it is obvious that Biden is past his prime, past his ability to handle the presidency. And it is becoming increasingly obvious to more and more Americans.

Perhaps that's why in the middle of the economic recovery and the decline of COVID that his approval ratings are dropping. According to Rasmussen's daily tracking poll, Biden's approval rating is down five points since the end of May. A new poll from Monmouth University finds Biden's approval rating down six points, to 48%, since April.

Speaking of COVID, Biden refused to answer yesterday when asked if he would press Chinese President Xi Jinping on the origins of the virus.

The Left's Extremism
Marxist critical race theory (CRT) is one of the most dangerous and shocking ideas spreading throughout our educational system. The good news is that America still has antibodies against this sickness.

All over the country, Americans of all races are rising up and rushing to school board meetings telling officials, "How dare you do this to my children. Stop it now!"

A new YouGov/Economist poll is cause for optimism and deep concern. A significant percentage of the country (46%) don't know what CRT is. Of those who do, they oppose it by a 20-point margin -- 58% to 38%.

But the breakdown by party affiliation is amazing: 86% of self-identified Democrats have a favorable view of Marxist critical race theory, compared to just 6% of Republicans.

Conservatives often say that the Democrat Party has gone off the rails. Well, you can't come up with better evidence than those numbers!

Now here's the hopeful part: Among Independents, those swing voters we're told Republicans must attract in order to win elections, only 20% have a favorable view of Marxist CRT, while 76% have an unfavorable view.

I guarantee that those figures among Independents are better than anything on the GOP's economic or foreign policy agenda. Yes, values issues do matter!

Religious Liberty Wins
Today was a good day for religious liberty!

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the left-wing bureaucrats and politicians in Philadelphia violated the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom when they demanded that Catholic Social Services violate core tenets of the church's teachings and place adoptive children with same-sex couples.

Three justices – Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch – wanted the court to go further than it did. Justice Alito warned that today's relatively narrow decision may be "short-lived," forcing the court to revisit similar disputes in the near future. He's absolutely right.

In spite of his 2018 Supreme Court "win," Colorado baker Jack Phillips is once again facing persecution from intolerant activists and state bureaucrats.

Nevertheless, the left is not celebrating today's decision, and court observers were stunned that the result was 9-to-0. The entire left thought that it had a reasonable chance to win this case. But all nine justices, even the three liberals, voted with us. That just goes to show how extreme the political left has become when even liberal justices refuse to accept the left's intolerance of faith.

It's worth noting that the Supreme Court has issued a number of unanimous rulings lately, which some see as a warning to Joe Biden and the left that packing the court won't necessarily guarantee the results they are demanding.

Another Dodge
The high court also issued a decision in a case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. Unfortunately, the court dodged the central issues on a technicality. In a 7-to-2 ruling, the justices declared the case was moot for lack of standing.

The case sought to overturn Obamacare on the premise that President Trump's tax reform law repealed the individual mandate. And without the individual mandate tax, the only way Chief Justice Roberts initially upheld Obamacare, the whole law should fall. But that argument was always a longshot because of the doctrine of severability.

The court, however, didn't even evaluate those questions. It declared that because the tax had been repealed, there was no injury involved, and without an injury there is no standing to sue.

While today's Obamacare decision will undoubtedly frustrate many conservatives, there are two main points to keep in mind.

First, the Democrats' smear campaign that Amy Coney Barrett was "guaranteed" to overturn Obamacare (here, here and here) turned out be just another liberal lie.

Second, the political reality is that healthcare consistently ranks at or near the top of voter concerns. But the public overwhelmingly thinks that Republicans don't care about healthcare and don't have any ideas about healthcare.

After repeated GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare, preserving protections for people with pre-existing conditions was THE ISSUE during the 2018 congressional races. Exit polls showed voters sided with the Democrats over the GOP on healthcare by a 22-point margin. Of course, healthcare (COVID) was a major issue in 2020 as well.

Had the Supreme Court declared Obamacare unconstitutional today, healthcare would automatically become THE ISSUE of 2022, handing a huge political gift to the left, and our chances of retaking Congress would likely evaporate.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
Tags: Gary Bauer, Biden's List, The Left's Extremism, Religious Liberty Wins To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Enemies List

AG Garland says white supremacists are the #1 threat to the Homeland while ignoring the left burning down our cities.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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A Chinese Lab Virus? So Now What?

In some way, many Americans are naïvely hopeful that COVID-19 was a one-off, ill-thought-out, gain-of-function laboratory accident. But what if it wasn’t quite so simple?
Victor Davis Hanson
by Victor Davis Hanson
: For over a year, the American establishment and media borg have ostracized anyone who dared to connect the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Chinese military-sponsored, level-4 biosafety Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Then, suddenly and without apologies for their past demagoguery, “journalists” and “experts” concede that the nearby Wuhan lab may well be the most likely genesis.

Why the abrupt change?

Donald Trump is no longer president.

There is now no need for progressives to declare everything Trump once asserted as truth a lie. And that paradox includes Trump’s spring 2020 insistence that the lab, not a wet market of sliced-up bats, was the source of the outbreak.

The recent release of Anthony Fauci’s emails, along with the new information about Dr. Peter Daszak’s gain-of-function research, make it indisputable that both were knowingly channeling U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Chinese for coronavirus research in Wuhan.

So now what?

We are left with a number of lose-lose scenarios about China’s failed efforts to lie about the origins of COVID-19.

One, will China continually deny what is appearing to be undeniable? Perhaps, if we remember it is a country with a Communist Party hierarchy that once killed 60 million under Mao, and whose present apparat has put over 1 million Muslim Uyghurs into camps.

A stonewalling Beijing likely will conclude that the risk of appearing guilty for causing one of the greatest “natural” global disasters in a century is not nearly as destructive to its interests as admitting it.

Will China then wait us out, in O.J. Simpson fashion, denying the obvious facts—until wearied Americans move onto another of their media frenzies?

Or, two, could China confess that its SARS-CoV-2 virus was birthed in the Wuhan lab, but claim its appearance was a “joint” effort with the United States? They would then point to Fauci himself, who approved funds for Wuhan coronavirus enhancement to be channeled by Daszak. The Chinese would further insist their combined efforts were aimed at finding a “cure” for coronavirus epidemics. And thus Beijing should not be blamed—or at least not solely blamed.

Beijing could retort that it, too, was misled by its own sloppy researchers. Or the communist government might even preposterously answer that its prior code of silence was meant to shield the role of U.S. funders of the pandemic disaster.

Americans then would end up wondering to what degree our own doctors and institutions, at the highest levels of the U.S. government and of the global medical establishment, not only lied to us throughout the crisis but, in some bizarro way, may have shared responsibility for the engineering of the Satanic virus itself.

Or three, Chinese officials could privately wink and nod to our intelligence and military communities that their researchers were, in fact, pursuing “legitimate” viral gain-of-function research until a terrible Chernobyl-like accident took place. Such things have also happened, they might unofficially remind our officials, at Bhopal, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. In back channels, Beijing then would regret the resulting global economic catastrophe, the millions dead, the even more millions sickened, the billions of lives harmed by the lockdown, and the apparent 2020-21 American political, economic, social and cultural meltdown.

China additionally would lament its “mistaken” lack of transparency and the “confusion” that accounted for misleading the world. And yet China would still smile, and sort of promise off the record that such an unforeseen disaster would never, ever—or at least almost never—happen again.

Four, we tend to block out the unthinkable. Nonetheless, in a few weeks, more information from within China could leak out that the virus was a joint weaponized creation of civilian virologists and the Chinese military. How the virus escaped would not be clear, but millions the world over would suspect the worst of any involvement of the Chinese military.

In all these scenarios, we are left with the suspicion that an embryonic engineered virus was mysteriously released that did more damage to the Western world than any weapon deliberately employed since World War II. And we will become terrified that, in theory, it could happen again. More importantly, we still have no idea what to do: whether to act in a punitive or deterrent fashion or both or neither.

Washington strategists are no doubt gaming all these rumors and unthinkable.

In some way, many Americans are naïvely hopeful that COVID-19 was a one-off, ill-thought-out, gain-of-function laboratory accident.

But some are most terrified that it was a proto-bioweapon that, regardless of whether it was accidentally released at some point, became a “never let a crisis go to waste” moment—an attitude that not only explained Chinese lying, but also the entire terrible year of 2020, and the near destruction of American society itself.
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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.
Tags: A Chinese Lab Virus?, So Now What?, Victor Davis Hanson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

High Court Rules 9-0 For Religious Liberty

by Bill Donohue: Ruling by the Supreme Court on a seminal religious liberty case!

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Catholic foster care agencies can reject gay couples from adopting children. This is a huge victory for religious liberty and a resounding defeat for LGBTQ activists.

It was these activists who launched a contrived assault on the rights of Catholic social service agencies—no gay or transgender couple had ever complained that they were discriminated against by these Catholic entities—and now their effort to impose their secular beliefs on Catholics has been rejected.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the six members who joined his majority opinion (others offered their own opinions), noted that the Catholic agency named in the lawsuit only sought “an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else (my italics).”

The First Amendment guarantees religious liberty, and that provision means little if it only means the right to worship. The right to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs in the public square is central to religious liberty, and while that right—like all other constitutional rights—is not absolute, it must be seen as presumptively constitutional.

This decision makes it more difficult for LGBTQ activists to argue that sexual orientation and sexual identity are analogous to race. They are not. Race is an ascribed characteristic, and as such it is an amoral attribute. Sexual orientation (at least when it is behaviorally operative) and sexual identity are achieved, and to that extent they are normative, thereby making them legitimate categories for moral judgment.

We await all the anti-Catholic bigots who will maintain that we have too many Catholics on the Supreme Court. Hope they notice that two Jews and one Protestant were on the same side as the Catholic justices.
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Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League.
Tags: Bill Donohue, Catholic League, High Court, rules 9-0 for, religious liberty 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 Anti-Hero

Judd Garrett
by Judd Garrett: When looking for a movie to take my daughter to last weekend, I came across, Cruella, a full-length movie telling the origin story of the villain from, 101 Dalmatians. These type of redemptive villain stories are becoming more mainstream in Hollywood. There have been many examples of this anti-hero archetype over the years, from Butch and Sundance to Bonnie and Clyde, Randle P McMurphy, Vincent Vega, Tony Soprano, Walter White, The Joker. The story of the villain-protagonist for some reason resonates. Ironically, in the age of cancel culture, we are glorifying, humanizing, contextualizing evil characters.

These movies attempt to show the full humanity of the anti-hero, so we will not to judge his bad deeds in a vacuum, and try to understand the underlying reasons why he became who he is, and why he did what he did. But in reality, we can only see these types of characters as sympathetic quasi-heroes on a screen because if we met any of them in real life, we would revile them. Would we allow mafia bosses, drug dealers, bank robbers, rapists, psychopath murderers into our life on any level?

Yet, these extremely flawed men are redeemed on screen not by their deeds, but by their humanity. The protagonists in these anti-hero stories are presented as likeable. They become characters we can identify with, empathize with, root for. Likeability becomes redemptive; likeability is forgiving.

The most famous example is Vito Corleone in the movie, The Godfather. He was an evil crime boss; a thief and a murderer. But we like him, identify with him, understand him because of his commitment to his family. We see him celebrate his daughter’s wedding, and enjoy spaghetti dinner with his family like we do. But he was not simply an imperfect hero, who possessed some of the character flaws the rest of us have. Rather, he was elevated from the traditional villain to a quasi-hero because we can identify with his humanity, and understand the reasons which led to his sinister decisions.

These anti-heroes are often seen as victims of circumstance. The situation dictates their actions, more than their nature. Michael Corleone, Vito’s son, infamously once said, “every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” As if he had no choice in his life decisions. The true hero doesn’t allow himself to be pulled in at all. True heroes don’t succumb to pressure or temptation or convoluted codes of behavior. They stay true to who they are. There is a consistency of character that transcends circumstance.

Walter White, the anti-hero in the TV show, Breaking Bad is humanized because we see the reason why he broke bad, to support and protect his family. But we overlook the many families he destroyed in the process; the young kids he helped put under the ground, and the parents who lost a child because of what he produced and sold. Doing what’s best for himself and his family regardless of how many other people are hurt and destroyed is not heroic; it’s not even forgivable. We should not contextualize his breaking bad because his son has cerebral palsy, and he has cancer.

At the critical jucnture in the anti-hero's journey, he has the chance to become a hero, if only he makes different decisions. A hero faces down dire circumstances and choses to do the right thing even when offered a way out by sacrificing some or all of what he is? The hero holds onto his character regardless of the circumstances? Simply because we can see why he broke bad does not justify him breaking bad and definitely doesn’t make him a hero. William Wallace in the movie, Braveheart, could have avoided an excruciating death by asking for “mercy”, and recanting on his quest for Scotland’s freedom. But he chose to stay true to his cause, to his character, and to who he was. And that inspired the movement to continue the fight beyond his death until Scotland won its freedom.

Too often, irredeemable characters are redeemed to a certain level due to their humanity. These characters are not human, in the sense that they do not possess the basic understandings and emotions that separate humans from other living beings. They lack the capacity for empathy, compassion, forgiveness, or even human love which allows them to act as they do. The more we humanize the evil among us, the less human we become, and the less we’re able to discern the civilized from the uncivilized. Heroes are human, but simply by humanizing evil, does not create a hero.
------------------------------
Judd Garrett writes for Objectivity is the Objective. His most recent non-writing job was as Director of Advanced Scouting with the Dallas Cowboys. He is a frequent contributor on the topics of sports and politics to Real Clear Politics.
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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Biden's Big Day, Trump To The Border, Biden Goes Full Big Brother

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Biden's Big Day
Today is the culmination of President Biden's European trip – his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Of course, the fawning media are hailing Biden as a master of diplomacy, especially compared to that "ogre" Donald Trump.

Let me be absolutely clear about this: The outcomes of such summits are generally settled well before they take place. Little is left to chance. The foreign policy establishment does not like surprises or leaders who think outside the box. That's why Donald Trump so unnerved the foreign policy establishment.

No matter what the photo-ops look like and no matter what the White House spin is after the fact, Putin has already won this round.

Putin won when Biden greenlighted the Russian gas pipeline to Europe, a strategic Russian asset that will give Putin billions of dollars in revenue and make our NATO allies more dependent on Russian energy. Putin won't have to hack European energy companies; he'll just shut off the valve on his new pipeline.

Putin won when Biden declared war on our energy industry, killing thousands of American jobs and undermining one tremendous advantage we have over our enemies, including communist China.

Putin won when Biden submitted a massively bloated budget with unimaginable spending, shattering previous debt records, without providing one additional dollar for defense.

Putin won when he dared Biden to back up his "killer" comments in a live televised debate, knowing full well Biden wasn't up to the challenge and would never accept.

Putin won when Biden, unlike any previous recent president, refused to hold a joint press conference after their summit. Biden told reporters, "This is not a contest about who can do better in front of a press conference or try to embarrass each other." He's right about that -- it wouldn't be a contest at all.

Both men would be expected to aggressively articulate a strong defense of their nation. Putin can do that in his sleep. But Biden can't do that without putting us to sleep.

A CBS News poll found that the American people overwhelmingly want Biden to be tougher with Russia. Don't hold your breath. This president isn't up to the job.

Trump To The Border
While Joe Biden is touring Europe, former President Donald Trump announced that he will tour the "decimated Southern border" with Gov. Greg Abbott at the end of the month. Clearly, our former president cares more about the border crisis than our current "border czar," Kamala Harris, who refuses to visit the border.

As we previously reported, Gov. Abbott announced that Texas will begin building border barriers on state property. I admire his boldness, but it won't be easy to do. Left-wing activists and the Biden Administration will fight him tooth-and-nail.

I couldn't help but notice the irony that Joe Biden has insisted that Russia must understand it cannot cross the border into Ukraine and must respect Ukraine's sovereignty.

So, once again, we're going all out to protect the borders of some other place in the world, while scandalously leaving our own border wide open as people from more than 160 countries pour across it.

By the way, our "America Last" president just shut down an office Donald Trump established to assist the American victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. It is being replaced with an office dedicated to assisting illegal immigrants.

Just one more reason why we must retake Congress and restore some balance and common sense to government!

Biden Goes Full Big Brother
Yesterday, while listening to Attorney General Merrick Garland announce the Biden Administration's new war on domestic terrorism, I felt like I was in Russia.

Garland announced that in the view of our politically biased FBI, the top domestic extremist threat comes from those who advocate white supremacy.

To be clear, no one of any consequence in the United States condones white supremacy. Racism is a sin. It should always be condemned, and violence of any kind should be prosecuted.

And it seems equally clear to me after last year's Antifa/BLM riots -- which killed dozens of people, injured hundreds of police officers and did billions of dollars of damage to public and private property -- that white supremacy is not the greatest domestic threat facing this country, but rather the violent Marxist Left.

Nevertheless, to combat white supremacy, Garland declared that the Biden Administration is working closely with social media companies to suppress "disinformation." So, the leftists in Big Government are working closely with the leftists in Big Tech, who have been routinely censoring conservative speech, to "educate" the American people about what the "truth" really is.

The left has been attacking traditional values for a long time, but now it's very concerned about the family. It's not what you think.

The Biden Administration is developing a special program to make it easy for Americans to report to the government any friend or family member whose behavior may indicate they are being radicalized.

What could that disturbing behavior be? Well, just last week a New York Times editorial board member said it was disturbing to see pickup trucks with American flags.

Some suggest that the iconic Gadsden flag is a sign of white supremacy. Colin Kaepernick said the Betsy Ross flag was a symbol of slavery.

Pro-life activists have been accused of being haters of women. Those who support the border wall have been called "xenophobic bigots." If you're concerned about extremists like Ilhan Omar, you're an "Islamophobe."

Over and over and over again we were told that MAGA hats and the phrase "Make America Great Again" were symbols of white supremacy.

What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, a lot is likely to go wrong.

This is the kind of government surveillance we see in communist China. Every totalitarian regime throughout history has been marked by getting families to spy on their own relatives.

Language Matters
After 9/11 and other terrorist attacks that followed, the media and various government agencies adamantly opposed the term "Islamic terrorism." Every time a Muslim committed a terrorist act, the media and our government leaders were quick to lecture us.

"Don't rush to judgment. This has nothing to do with Islam," they said, insisting that "Islam is a religion of peace."

To counter such spineless nonsense, I started referring to "Islamofascism" and "Islamic supremacism." And, of course, I was condemned by many on the left for smearing an entire faith.

Yet the words "white supremacy" slides off liberal lips as easily as saying, "Good morning." The same left that cautions us against pointing fingers at any Muslim is eager to point fingers at every Caucasian.

This administration and the left-wing media and political establishment are guaranteeing -- short of divine intervention -- that racial discord will get worse in this country with each passing day.

But they're also creating a huge foreign policy and national security problem for the United States.

When pressed by reporters today about threats against dissidents in Russia, Vladimir Putin declared "Black Lives Matter" to condemn the United States. Communist China is already using the words of Biden, Harris and the radical left against the United States.

It is beyond bad when the talking points of our enemies are being written at the DNC, BLM and the White House.
-------------------------
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, Biden's Big Day, Trump To The Border, Biden Goes Full Big Brother To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Biden’s Creeping Police State

by I & I Editorial Board: Most Americans believe in law and order. But they don’t believe that the federal government should suppress their entirely legitimate political beliefs. Which is exactly what the Biden administration’s now doing.

We all count on robust public safety. Every one of us. Unfortunately, taking a page from Critical Race Theory, President Joe Biden seems to think – or, his far-left aides do, anyway – that the only people who need to be watched are non-Democrats and those on the right.

How else to explain his recently released “strategy” for fighting domestic terrorism? In March, Biden’s National Security Council determined “that domestic violent extremism posed a ‘heightened threat’ in 2021.”

“Today’s domestic terrorists espouse a range of violent ideological motivations, including racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred as well as anti-government or anti-authority sentiment,” the document said.

Go through it and you’ll see all of the examples are so-called right-wing militias and even the misguided Jan. 6 demonstrators at our nation’s Capitol.

There are no mentions or even allusions in Biden’s “National Strategy” to the literally hundreds of riots and dozens of killings that accompanied the far-left uprisings in more than 140 cities across our nation over the the last year, perpetrated by Black Lives Matter and Antifa and heartily supported by leftist Democrats.

Those leftist riots cost as much as $2 billion and killed 27 people while injuring more than 2,000 police officers. The Jan. 6 “insurrection,” by contrast, led to $1.5 million in damage and one person dead: military veteran Ashli Babbitt, a protester shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Or maybe not. The name of the shooter is being withheld from the public as if it’s a state secret. Which it is.

The Bidenites are clear who they’re targeting, and it isn’t BLM or Antifa: They call the “two most lethal elements” of domestic terrorism “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate for the superiority of the white race” and “anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, such as militia violent extremists.”

This isn’t just boilerplate. Biden is turning the Department of Justice, FBI and CIA into politicized arms of the state, with huge resources to go after those the White House doesn’t like.

As American Greatness’ Julie Kelly recently tweeted about “Biden’s ‘domestic terrorism’ plan of attack. At least $100 million, she says, will dedicated to the ‘DOJ, FBI, and DHS to ensure that the federal government has the analysts, investigators, prosecutors, and other personnel and resources it needs to thwart domestic terrorism.’ ”

So, yes, this is quite serious. And by the way, Biden and others on the left are ratcheting up their rhetoric against even their political opposition in Congress and a former sitting president of the United States. The danger to our constitutional rights hasn’t been this great since World War I, when Democratic President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act, followed by the Sedition Act.

Those laws, in effect, made it illegal to “incite disloyalty” or even to oppose government policies. They even outlawed “disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language” against symbols of the nation. Anyone convicted for crimes against these laws could be fined heavily or even imprisoned for up to 20 years.

Wilson, a bitter racist who also re-imposed segregation on the nation’s capital, remains a much revered member of the “progressive” pantheon. Is Biden taking a page from him?

As part of his domestic terrorism campaign, Biden now is even encouraging Americans to “report” friends and families whom they think are radicalized. This sounds like the USSR or Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, when citizens were encouraged and even rewarded for giving up their neighbors and family to the government.

But this is America, right? Well, guess what – as we noted recently, Biden’s definitions of “domestic terrorism” fit his own followers far better than those on the other end of the spectrum. So his focus on the right side of the spectrum is highly suspect.

And yet, with supposedly “moderate” Attorney General Merrick Garland as his bulldog, Biden intends to go after those who disagree with him, including those who think there was fraud in the last election.

Just look at Garland’s recent veiled threat that the DOJ will be ” ‘applying scrutiny’ to post-election audits and will offer ‘guidance.’ ” What kind of “scrutiny”? What kind of “guidance”? The states, not the federal government, run elections. Article I, Sec. 4 of the Constitution is clear. Do Biden and Garland agree with congressional Democrats that this is another area that should be taken over by an over-reaching federal government?

And where do the incursions end? Unless it has clear evidence of a federal crime, the DOJ should butt out.

This is no mere policy difference. The Constitution guarantees your right to free speech and free conscience. This makes America special. It does not make the federal government our nannies, supervising our thoughts, beliefs and politics.

Biden’s path leads to an omnipotent ideological police state, and ends in the loss of our most sacred rights.
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Written by I & I Editorial Board.
Tags: Biden, Creeping Police State, I & I Editorial Board To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

House Members Take a Stand for Conservative Values

by Tony Perkins: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) are to be commended for successfully blocking two dangerous yet largely overlooked bills on the floor of the House of Representatives last night. The LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act (H.R. 1443) and the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act (H.R. 239) would have both pushed harmful ideologies through what should have been a routine procedural mechanism for the House to pass uncontroversial bills. While these two destructive bills were blocked last night, by votes of 249-177 and c240-188, an alarming number of Republicans (31 and 22) voted for each.

The LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act would have redefined the term "sex" and included the term "transgender" in the definition of LGBT-owned businesses. The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act would have increased insurance coverage to 100 percent for all FDA-approved forms of contraception for veterans. This includes "emergency contraceptives" like Plan B and Ella, which act as abortifacients by preventing implantation or ending the life of an embryo before implantation. American taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortifacient drugs, but that is exactly what H.R. 239 mandates.

Thankfully, some Republicans -- like Reps. Boebert and Rosendale -- refuse to waver on social issues. Boebert stood up against the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act by asking for a recorded vote so she could know which Republicans are sticking with their principles. Especially during "Pride Month," many Republicans are tempted to think that appeasing the LGBT movement will help attract younger voters to the party. Yet, Boebert understands that no one will be attracted to politicians who abandon their principles in the face of opposition, and they should not be. Though Boebert was cut off when she stood up to oppose H.R. 1443, her bold actions will be remembered by the many conservatives across America who want to see their leaders take a courageous stand.

Rep. Rosendale, meanwhile, helped lead the charge against the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. Like Boebert, Rosendale asked for a recorded vote on the bill, challenging his fellow members of the GOP to consider where they truly stand on social issues.

Rosendale has repeatedly shown his loyalty to the pro-life cause, and recently got over 130 Republicans to sign his letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough asking him to provide assurances that the VA will not change its rules and try to provide abortion or abortion-related services under the new administration.

"The Republican conference embraces, supports, and defends life," Rosendale said of the broad support for his letter among Republicans. "The Democratic Party is the party of death."

We are grateful for elected leaders like Boebert and Rosendale who refuse to conform to the Left's increasingly radical social agenda. Some Republicans may falter, but with courageous leaders like Boebert and Rosendale who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, the GOP will remain the party of social conservatives.
----------------------------------
Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council.
Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, House Members, Take a Stand, Conservative Values To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why The Partisan Divide On Moral Issues?

Bill Donohue comments on the results of a new Gallup poll:

Gallup has been tracking values and beliefs for many years, and its latest survey reveals that Americans continue to be dismayed with the state of moral values. Indeed, more than 84% call them “only fair” or “poor,” and two-thirds believe conditions are getting worse. Interestingly, the way Republicans and Democrats see things are demonstrably different, the former being much more critical than the latter.

A record-high 66% of Republicans say our moral values are “poor” and 92% believe matters are getting worse. Yet only 30% of Democrats think our moral values are “poor” and just 49% say conditions are worsening.

In previous surveys of this nature, such as the one Gallup did in 2007, it asked about specific moral concerns. For example, it asked respondents if they morally approved of such issues as the death penalty, gambling, buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur, doctor-assisted suicide, abortion, homosexual relations, and so on. The latest poll takes a more macro approach, thus making it somewhat more difficult to analyze.

The poll’s results suggest that both Republicans and Democrats are at least somewhat guided in their response by who the White House occupant is. Thus, under Trump Republicans were not as pessimistic as they are now under Biden; the reverse is true for Democrats. However, there may be more in play than just this factor.

It is plausible to assume that among the reasons why Republicans are less happy about the state of our moral values are such issues as crime, race and sexuality. Homicides have risen sharply across the nation, and in some cities they are at record levels; urban riots have also plagued the nation. Critical race theory in the schools, along with the transgender agenda, have generated even more concerns.

To be sure, Democrats are not happy with surging crime rates as well, though it must be said that it is in cities run by left-wing members of their party where the situation is most out of hand. Moreover, critical race theory and the transgender movement are viewed in a mostly positive light.

No doubt there are issues where both sides could come together. Road rage, texting while driving, rudeness, belligerence, self-centeredness—these are just some moral issues where a partisan split is unlikely.

President Biden was elected, in part, because he said unity was his goal. But it is hard to see how this can be achieved when those fomenting division remain largely unaccountable. Perhaps the real question is how much unity really matters.
----------------------------------
Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League.
Tags: Bill Donohue, Catholic League, Why The Partisan Divide, On Moral Issues? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Exposing Michigan's Thuggish Attorney General

A recently revealed email exchange shows just how malicious Michigan’s Dana Nessel can be.
by Douglas Andrews: Marlena Pavlos-Hackney knows statist tyranny when she sees it. As a teenager, she fled Polish communism to start a new life in a foreign land, the United States. That’s in large part why she has more guts, more moxy, and more Liberty-loving spirit than most of her fellow Americans.

It’s also why she was arrested before 6 a.m. on March 19 and taken to jail in ankle shackles and wrist cuffs. She’s the proprietor of a small business — Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria — in the West Michigan town of Holland, and she’d had the nerve to defy the draconian lockdown orders of Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer. Worse yet, she’d decided two days earlier, on March 17, to tell her story of resistance to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.


Hackney’s defiance was clearly too much for the state’s leftist attorney general, Dana Nessel, who, after learning of her plans to appear on Carlson’s show, wrote in a March 12 email to her staff, “Do we know her whereabouts? We should just have her picked up before she goes on. This is outrageous.”

It is outrageous, because Nessel is a purveyor of precisely the kind of authoritarianism that Hackney warns us about. And were it not for a Freedom of Information Act request sought by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, we’d never have known about the AG’s thuggery, even after three months. “Should I be prepared to respond to this?” asked Nessel in an email thread that followed. “I hope she gets the full 93 days [in jail] for this.” And in another exchange, she showed just how obsessed she was with this single private citizen in a state of 10 million: “Does [the Michigan State Police] intend to go find her? Or are they planning to wait until next week?”

Much to Nessel’s chagrin, Hackney was released a few days later. But that’s neither here nor there. Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for Nessel’s office, released the following statement in response to the revelation of her boss’s brutish email exchange:Ms. Pavlos-Hackney willfully violated the state’s food laws, public health orders and orders of the court — a dangerous act that may have exposed dozens of diners and employees to the virus following the discovery that one of Marlena’s customers tested positive for the virus within two days of eating there. Ms. Pavlos-Hackney’s decision to then go on national television and flaunt her noncompliance compromised the state’s ability to protect public safety during a global pandemic and likely emboldened others to break the law.Someone should’ve told Nessel that arbitrary lockdowns and onerous masking requirements don’t work and aren’t legitimate — that all they do is crush law-abiding, Constitution-loving citizens and small business owners like Hackney.

Indeed, there’s a small sign that’s posted on the front window of Hackney’s bistro. It reads, “Welcome. We are a Constitutionally Compliant Business. We are not infringing on anyone’s inalienable rights. By law, we do not follow any of the governor’s, mayor’s, health department’s, or other government agency orders or suggestions pertaining to social distancing or mask-wearing.”

Dana Nessel will claim otherwise, but Hackney was thrown in jail for daring to speak out against what she saw as an oppressive and overreaching government. “This was never going to end with censorship on social media,” Carlson noted recently. “If they can control what you write, why can’t they control what you say and think and do? Why can’t they throw you behind bars if you disagree with them or criticize their policies? They can — and as Dana Nessel proved — they will.”

Leave it to Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, a grateful immigrant who fled communist tyranny and came to our shores as a child, to remind us that we have a Constitution and individual liberties well worth fighting for.
----------------------------------
Douglas Andrews at The Patriot Post addressed "Exposing Michigan's Thuggish Attorney General."
Tags: The Patriot Post, Exposing Michigan, Thuggish Attorney General, Dana Nessel To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lost in Space

Biden is proving not to be equipped mentally to deal with foreign leaders on the world stage.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, Biden, Lost in Space To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page Thanks!

Critics of CRT

by Kerby Anderson: Yesterday I talked about how even some liberal commentators are very concerned about the arguments for Critical Race Theory. It turns out that if you are a critic of Critical Race Theory, you will be labeled as ignorant and racist.

Tom Gilson addresses those charges in a recent commentary. He quotes from a Texas state board of education member who writes that critics “have no idea what critical race theory is, what it does, who the founders are. They’ve never read a book, much less a paragraph on it.” From there she goes on to use language I won’t use on radio or in this commentary.

He also quotes from another article that argued that critics don’t want to talk about racial disparities because they want to normalize the behavior and allow current patterns of behavior to continue. Tom Gilson says that the words “talk” or “talking” showed up eight times in the article. But Critical Race Theory isn’t just about “talking about” racial disparities.

He quotes from a standard source (Understanding Critical Race Theory) written four years ago and hardly the most controversial book on the subject. That book provides the quote that I mentioned yesterday. It explains that “critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

The book also argues that “radical measures are in order” because society is so racist. When it was written, the authors may not have meant “radical” involved riots, protests, and burning cities. But we have seen the natural result of arguing that America is systemically racist, full of white privilege, and in need of a social revolution to overturn the existing order.

I agree with Tom Gilson, He concludes that the critics of Critical Race Theory oppose it not from ignorance but because they truly understand its dangers.
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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.
Tags: Kerby Anderson, Point of View, Critic of CRT, Critical Race Theory 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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