On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, The Durham County GOP held its Awards Christmas Party at the Parizade Restaurant in Durham, North Carolina. An award was given to Valerie Johnson for her outstanding work as the Chair of the very active Black Republican Committee that is doing excellent work in their outreach to the Black community of Durham. The success in this endeavor of the Durham GOP should hopefully be an example for other Republican groups throughout our country. We all need to work together for successful future elections.
The following photos were taken at the event. Nancy
Ted Hicks, Chairman, Durham County GOP, thanking and recognizing student Macey Bryant for starting a
Republican club at Voyager Academy
Jim and Ann McKenzie
From the left: Vernon Robinson,Campaign Director of National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, Robert Appleby and Linda Arnold, NCFRW VP Capital Region and National Federation Regent Chair
Emmanuel Jarvis, currently Finance Chair, Durham County GOP and candidate for Chairman, Durham County GOP and Valerie Johnson, Black Republican Committee Chair
From the left: Torian Webster, Marlene Waller and Larry Beckler
from the left: Lee Green, Vice Chair, Durham County GOP and Zan Bunn, NC 13th District Chair and President, NCFRW
Dr. Gail Hayes and Matt Arnold, Chairman, NC 4th District
from the left: Velma and Elton Futrell and Nancy Clark, Conservative Women’s Forum and ICON Lecture Series Board member
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: And it isn’t a surprise now in 2014, when Maryland’s Prince George’s County, just outside Washington, D.C., began issuing tax rebates to local churches. As it happens, those tax rebates do require a little something from the churches—a nod to the king, as it were. All the churches need to do to get the rebate is perform a little environmentalist ministry, according to a well-reported story in the Washington Post on November 16. All they need to do is preach a little green.
But precisely what religious Americans should worry about is that churches, of all things, are getting these deals. The nation’s houses of worship are an “untapped resource” for making people “do what is right,” a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency told the Post. And when government officials start telling churches to preach “what is right,” we’ve crossed into a new and very un-American world of sermons for the king’s pleasure.
Speaking truth to power is easy—or easier, anyway, than speaking truth to money. We might resist a sovereign who commands us to preach his favored doctrines. But a sovereign who slips us a little cash on the side, just for a sermon or two on something we maybe don’t really disagree with all that much? Harder. Much, much harder. It was true back in 1717, for example, when Benjamin Hoadly preached a famous Anglican sermon in front of a receptive King George I—a sermon that called for church government to be taken away from the bishops and given directly to the king.
And it isn’t a surprise now in 2014, when Maryland’s Prince George’s County, just outside Washington, D.C., began issuing tax rebates to local churches. As it happens, those tax rebates do require a little something from the churches—a nod to the king, as it were. All the churches need to do to get the rebate is perform a little environmentalist ministry, according to a well-reported story in the Washington Post on November 16. All they need to do is preach a little green.
Maryland has been on a tax spree over the past eight years, as the state government looked desperately for funds with which to support its social programs. An enormous majority of the state’s voters belong to the Democratic party; President Obama carried Maryland by 25 percentage points in 2012, and Democrats have held the governor’s mansion 41 out of the past 45 years. But the piling up of new taxes proved too much even for Maryland, and voters in the very blue state shocked pollsters this fall by electing Republican Larry Hogan their new governor.
The most unpopular of Maryland’s recent tax increases was what unhappy locals dubbed “the rain tax” and the state called its “stormwater remediation fee,” imposed on all property owners whose runoff drained into the Chesapeake Bay. The cost of the environmentalist measure is spread evenly across business properties, private houses, and buildings owned by nonprofits—including churches. And there’s the problem.
Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church, for example, had its rain tax assessed at $744 a year by Prince George’s County, and the church just couldn’t afford it. But we needn’t worry. If, with the county’s help, the church installs rain barrels, plants some trees, and replaces its parking lot tarmac with permeable material, the tax will be reduced to “virtually nothing,” according to the church’s pastor, Nathaniel Thomas.
Or maybe, in fact, we do need to worry, for the church also has to do for the county just a little bit more—just the little bit more that proves its heart is in the right place. The church must also run a “green ministry,” promoting the environmentalist changes to its property. And Pastor Thomas must preach, just now and again, “environmentally focused sermons” to “educate” his congregation. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you bury a teenage girl alive after shooting her? Are you on death row after a string of crimes too gruesome to describe? Or you just a member of Al Qaeda dedicated to destroying America? If so progressives will fight for you. Just dial 1-800-IAM-VICTIM and the left waiting to take your call will insist on your presumption of innocence. Its activists, reporters and lawyers will exploit every pretext to get you off the hook and they will call that justice.
The judicial process, they will say, matters more than public safety, public outrage or the victims.
When the crime wave set loose by their own activism flooded the country they clung to Blackstone’s formulation of “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” As murders, rapes and robberies rose, the value of that formulation went up from ten to ten thousand.
But it had to be the right ten thousand.
Leftist lynch mobs rioting in Ferguson, marching through Manhattan and screaming in Oakland assert that the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to police officers or white Hispanics. Their poses of victimization with their cries of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” disguise what they really are.
They were protesting before the case moved forward. They have continued protesting after the verdict was in. That’s not a call for justice. It’s a lynch mob that knows what the verdict should be and seeks to intimidate the authorities into giving it to them by taking the law into their own hands.
Rolling Stone’s rape story was cooked out of the same ingredients; a presumption of guilt and a lynch mob demanding its own brand of justice. The facts never mattered.
The assistant managing editor at the University of Virginia’s student paper admitted that when she argued, “To let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake.”
It was never about the facts. It was about the narrative. And the narrative was not only the guilt of a few men, but the way that their guilt stood in for the guilt of all men or all white people. The factual question of whether Officer Darren Wilson or a few UVA students committed a crime was a technicality. Read the rest of this entry »
The Senate Intelligence investigators never spoke to us—the leaders of the agency whose policies they are now assailing for partisan reasons.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has released its majority report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation in the wake of 9/11. The following response is from former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general), and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes :
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question. The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation—essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.
Examining how the CIA handled these matters is an important subject of continuing relevance to a nation still at war. In no way would we claim that we did everything perfectly, especially in the emergency and often-chaotic circumstances we confronted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. As in all wars, there were undoubtedly things in our program that should not have happened. When we learned of them, we reported such instances to the CIA inspector general or the Justice Department and sought to take corrective action.
The country and the CIA would have benefited from a more balanced study of these programs and a corresponding set of recommendations. The committee’s report is not that study. It offers not a single recommendation.
Our view on this is shared by the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Republican minority, both of which are releasing rebuttals to the majority’s report. Both critiques are clear-eyed, fact-based assessments that challenge the majority’s contentions in a nonpartisan way.
What is wrong with the committee’s report?
First, its claim that the CIA’s interrogation program was ineffective in producing intelligence that helped us disrupt, capture, or kill terrorists is just not accurate. The program was invaluable in three critical ways:
• It led to the capture of senior al Qaeda operatives, thereby removing them from the battlefield.
• It led to the disruption of terrorist plots and prevented mass casualty attacks, saving American and Allied lives.
• It added enormously to what we knew about al Qaeda as an organization and therefore informed our approaches on how best to attack, thwart and degrade it.
A powerful example of the interrogation program’s importance is the information obtained from Abu Zubaydah, a senior al Qaeda operative, and from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, known as KSM, the 9/11 mastermind. We are convinced that both would not have talked absent the interrogation program.
Information provided by Zubaydah through the interrogation program led to the capture in 2002 of KSM associate and post-9/11 plotter Ramzi Bin al-Shibh. Information from both Zubaydah and al-Shibh led us to KSM. KSM then led us to Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali, East Asia’s chief al Qaeda ally and the perpetrator of the 2002 Bali bombing in Indonesia—in which more than 200 people perished.
The removal of these senior al Qaeda operatives saved thousands of lives because it ended their plotting. KSM, alone, was working on multiple plots when he was captured.
Here’s an example of how the interrogation program actually worked to disrupt terrorist plotting. Without revealing to KSM that Hambali had been captured, we asked him who might take over in the event that Hambali was no longer around. KSM pointed to Hambali’s brother Rusman Gunawan. We then found Gunawan, and information from him resulted in the takedown of a 17-member Southeast Asian cell that Gunawan had recruited for a “second wave,” 9/11-style attack on the U.S. West Coast, in all likelihood using aircraft again to attack buildings. Had that attack occurred, the nightmare of 9/11 would have been repeated.
Once they had become compliant due to the interrogation program, both Abu Zubaydah and KSM turned out to be invaluable sources on the al Qaeda organization. We went back to them multiple times to gain insight into the group. More than one quarter of the nearly 1,700 footnotes in the highly regarded 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 and a significant share of the intelligence in the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on al Qaeda came from detainees in the program, in particular Zubaydah and KSM.
The majority on the Senate Intelligence Committee further claims that the takedown of bin Laden was not facilitated by information from the interrogation program. They are wrong. There is no doubt that information provided by the totality of detainees in CIA custody, those who were subjected to interrogation and those who were not, was essential to bringing bin Laden to justice. The CIA never would have focused on the individual who turned out to be bin Laden’s personal courier without the detention and interrogation program.
Specifically, information developed in the interrogation program piqued the CIA’s interest in the courier, placing him at the top of the list of leads to bin Laden. A detainee subjected to interrogation provided the most specific information on the courier. Additionally, KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi—both subjected to interrogation—lied about the courier at a time when both were providing honest answers to a large number of other critical questions. Since other detainees had already linked the courier to KSM and Abu Faraj, their dissembling about him had great significance.
Khalid Sheikh Muhammed
So the bottom line is this: The interrogation program formed an essential part of the foundation from which the CIA and the U.S. military mounted the bin Laden operation.
The second significant problem with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is its claim that the CIA routinely went beyond the interrogation techniques as authorized by the Justice Department. That claim is wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Smart power’ shouldn’t include shrill lectures for our friends.
By Bret Stephens December 9, 2014
Hillary Clinton is being pilloried by pundits on the right for saying, at a recent speech at Georgetown, that America’s leaders should “empathize” with America’s enemies. But what’s so wrong about that?
“This is what we call smart power,” she said, using the phrase that was supposed to define her tenure as secretary of state. “Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one side on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, [and] empathize with their perspective and point of view.”
As a matter of politics, “empathize” was a lousy word choice, a reminder that Mrs. Clinton is as tin-eared as she is ambitious: Expect a GOP political attack ad if and when she runs for president.
But empathy isn’t sympathy. Understanding an enemy’s point of view does not mean taking their side. Respect is not solidarity. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles,” Sun Tzu teaches in “The Art of War.” “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
It’s good advice. Mrs. Clinton isn’t wrong to adopt it. Her problem is that she appears to be a singularly lousy empathizer.
In April 2005 Vladimir Putin said the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” In 2006 a Russian dissident in London was poisoned by polonium—a nuclear attack in miniature—leading to a breakdown in relations between London and Moscow. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia. That same year, educational manuals for Russian social-studies teachers took the view that Joseph Stalin was “the most successful Soviet leader ever.”
What about the Great Terror of the 1930s, in which millions of Soviet citizens were killed by Stalin’s henchmen? That, according to the manual, happened because Stalin “did not know who would deal the next blow, and for that reason he attacked every known group and movement.” Commenting on the Terror, Mr. Putin allowed that the killing was terrible “but in other countries worse things happened.”
Such was the man Mrs. Clinton had every reason to “understand” when she arrived at the State Department in 2009. What conclusions was she supposed to draw about someone whose core ambition was to restore the reputation, and the former borders, of the old Soviet Union? That the time had come to clink glasses and announce a reset? Read the rest of this entry »
Willing to be endlessly open and hospitable, Britain finds itself at a loss when that hospitality is neither respected nor returned.
It is worth asking why British Muslims should have their scripture represented in the coronation of the new monarch, when many will not even pray in their mosques for the well-being of that monarch. Including passages from the Quran in the coronation is a mistake because of the old problem of reciprocity — and at the same time as no Christian (let alone a Jew) can even set foot in Mecca. Then what about also representing Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and atheists?
In synagogues in the UK, British Jews every week in their service have a prayer for the long life and happiness of the Queen. It is a moving and heartfelt moment, not to mention a clear signal that Jews in Britain are utterly loyal to the state. So why should British mosques not have a similar prayer? Because many Muslims in Britain simply do not share the good Lord Harries’s kindness, tolerance, inclusivity or indeed liberalism.
What is the answer? Perhaps bit more kindness, a bit more generosity, the offering up of a few more of our treasured traditions. That will do it, we think, surely?
The tradition of liberal tolerance, fostered in Britain, was one of the greatest gifts this country gave to the world. That inclusive tradition of John Locke and John Stuart Mill, however, always leaves itself open to abuse by people willing to use liberalism’s flaws — not least its tolerance of intolerance — to end liberalism.
The Church of England, in its time, has often been far from liberal. In the nineteenth century, it ended the careers and livelihoods of liberal theologians as adamantly as did the Church of Rome. But in the twentieth century, the story changed. Partly spurred by the loss of confidence caused by diminishing church attendance, by the late twentieth century the Church of England had dropped its reputation as “the Conservative party at prayer,” and became something more like “the Liberal party at prayer.” No accommodation seemed too extreme. No public expression of doubt seemed too disconcerting. For some years now, the Church of England has been led by its members — not thanks to, but in spite of, the embarrassing public doubts of its leadership.
And here is the liberal dilemma expressed in just one story this week. The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries — a kindly and learned man — used a debate in the House of Lords to suggest that the coronation of the next monarch in Britain should perhaps include some verses from the Quran.
It would be a demonstration of “inclusive hospitality,” he said, should Muslims in Britain have some of their holy scripture read at the crowning of the next head of the Church of England. Cue a certain degree of pandemonium. For courtesies like this have become expected of the Bishops even as, in my experience, they cause despair among their erstwhile flock.
British coronations, then and … now? Left: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Right: Prince Charles, son of Elizabeth and heir to the throne, demonstrating his inclusivity and multicultural credentials during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia — a country not known for “inclusive hospitality,” especially in the realm of religious freedom.
Because of course, the whole gesture is deeply demoralizing for your average British Christian. And of course, it is fraught with errors that must be pointed out. Read the rest of this entry »
Fasten Your Seatbelts, Canada, and Get Ready For the Battle For America
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 07, 2014
BY MARC PATRONE, SUN NEWS
America is on the edge of a second revolutionary war. It may not be bloody like the first one, but it will be hugely important. Some might suggest it’s more a civil war, but with liberty and the constitution hanging in the balance, revolution seems a more appropriate comparison.
There are no British troops or monarchy to fight this time. The ‘shot heard around the world’ wasn’t fired from a musket, it came from the ballot box. Americans have taken a long hard look at the kind of fundamental transformation promised by Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrat party and they want nothing to do with it.
The Republican victory suggests Americans are more than just unhappy with the direction the country is headed. Such was the devastating scope of the electoral debacle for the Democrats that it appears Americans are mobilizing for war against the Obama agenda. They are only now truly beginning to understand the threat to liberty he presents.
What’s so deeply troubling, albeit not entirely unexpected, is the disdain, arrogance and contempt with which this president dismissed the results. “So to everyone who voted, I want you to know I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too,” he said.
Meaning what? He seems to be suggesting that by not voting, the majority of Americans agree with what he’s doing.
Terrifying? You bet.
It’s taken six years, but the ugly truth about Obama’s contemptuous attitudes toward the people who elected him twice is becoming all too evident.
Lame duck? Guess again. The man probably realizes that a chance to remake the U.S. according to his radical far left view of the world may not come around again. His time is running out. Obama’s ‘nuclear’ option is amnesty for millions of illegals. He expects those illegals will become dependents of the state, thus stacking the electoral deck in favour of Democrats by promising the new ‘wards of the state’ a suite of entitlements.
The depth of this destructive agenda is clear, rip off trillions in wealth (which Obama believes was stolen anyway) and give it to those whom he considers ‘victims’ of capitalism. The
beneficiaries will naturally reward the radical left with voter support into perpetuity. Voila, the left-wing dream of a one-party state is realized. Read the rest of this entry »