» 2014 » April

Will Piketty’s Book Change the World?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 - by Jean Kaufman

The left is desperate to believe that Capital in the Twenty-First Century will turn America to socialism.

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Ryan: Safety Net, Economic Growth Needed to ‘Lift People Out of Poverty’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 - by Bill Straub

Dem Van Hollen, though, accuses GOP of "false and pernicious stereotype that many of these struggling individuals prefer to rely on these safety nets."

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PJTV’s Trifecta: GOP Embracing Obamacare?!? (Video)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 - by PJTV

Republican Member of Congress Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) stands accused of embracing the inevitability of Obamacare. Should Republicans accept Obamacare and do their best to ease the ills of President Obama’s health care law, or simply reject it in its totality? Find out on the latest edition of Trifecta, with Stephen Green, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle.

PJTV subscribers, click here to watch. An embeddable version is also available on YouTube.

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Can a Down Syndrome Man’s Death Teach Police How to Handle the Disabled?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 - by Bill Straub

“Ethan’s Hearing" implores Congress to get involved.

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‘Christian Britain’? Left Blasts Cameron for Claim

Monday, April 28th, 2014 - by Mike McNally

No one expects the Secularist Inquisition!

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Pentagon Unveils New, Inclusive ‘Human Goals Charter’

Monday, April 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Hagel, Dempsey lead ceremony for document promoting equity regardless of "genetic information" in "an unprecedented era of change."

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Former Russian PM Tells Washington to Hit Putin with Sanctions Where It Hurts

Sunday, April 27th, 2014 - by Rodrigo Sermeño

Putin came to feel that “he got a special ticket issued by the West” that left him free to play with the former Soviet bloc.

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‘Facts’ and ‘Lies’ in an Ohio Free-Speech Case

Sunday, April 27th, 2014 - by Tom Blumer

Can poliicians "let it rip" responsibly?

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FDA Rule Seeks Broad Regulation Over E-Cigarettes Because They Might Make People Want Real Cigarettes

Friday, April 25th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

They don't have research proving harm from the vapor substitutes, but say regulation "essential to protect the health of the public."

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PJTV’s Afterburner with Bill Whittle: ‘Five Alarm Fire’ (Video)

Friday, April 25th, 2014 - by PJTV

Alarms are going off: Millennials are too addicted to their mobile devices, such as iPads. It’s a “Five Alarm Fire,” says Bill Whittle, since children under the age of four are experiencing difficulty lifting and playing with blocks, because their hands are too used to an iPad.

Hear Bill explain why this is an urgent, 911 call for change.

Bill Whittle delivers a masterful mix of intellect and passion in every episode of Afterburner. Now you can enjoy all of his videos — from 2008 to now. Click here to buy the Best of Afterburner video package that’s right for you.

An embeddable version of the above segment of Afterburner is also available on YouTube.

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Could Google Glass Arm Activists in the Digital World?

Friday, April 25th, 2014 - by Rodrigo Sermeño

The high-tech eyewear has privacy and crime concerns, but second-generation iterations aim to transform the grassroots.

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‘A Direct Affront’ to Kerry: With ‘Little Fear’ of Washington, Fatah-Hamas Pact Crushes Peace Process

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

State Department insists Israel shares the blame as Netanyahu's cabinet vows to not negotiate with terrorists.

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Hot Topic: Should It Be Illegal in the U.S. to Burn Aborted Fetuses for Electricity?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by The Editors

A perfectly legal, perfectly gruesome practice.

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Christie: ‘Make a Few People Unhappy So That the Greater Good Can be Achieved’

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by Nicholas Ballasy

Says his home state needs to set a national example by making key cuts.

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PJTV’s Trifecta: Forgotten Newsreel History: Margaret Sanger Declaring ‘No More Babies’

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by PJTV

In this three part series, Trifecta combs through old British Pathé newsreels to bring you forgotten historical footage. In part one, Trifecta unearths a reel of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger arguing for a moratorium on human births. Sound like a hoax? Find out.

PJTV subscribers, click here to watch. An embeddable version of the above segment is also available on YouTube.

Earlier: Ed Driscoll on “Margaret Sanger and the Department of Disastrous Timing.”

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From ‘Prudent’ to ‘Shameful,’ Latest Keystone Delay Irks Both Sides of the Aisle

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by Bill Straub

Despite calls for the shovel-ready jobs and GDP boost to get moving, State Department defends kicking the can.

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It’s Time to Eliminate ‘Hate Crimes’ From the American Legal System

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by Jazz Shaw

There are no compelling arguments to violate the sacred tenet of equal justice under the law.

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A Body Blow to Racial Discrimination

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Roger Kimball

Yes, you read it here: the Supreme Court of the United  States, in a 6-2 decision (Elena Kagan took no part in the case), upheld Michigan’s ban on racial discrimination in college admissions, overturning a lower court’s intervention to reverse a 2006 referendum in which Michigan voters decisively rejected the invidious process.

You’ll be reading a lot about this in the coming weeks, of course, but I suspect that most of the stories you’ll read will use the phrase “affirmative action” in stead of “racial dsicrimination.”  That is understandable, not least because the SCOTUS decision employs the phrase in the headnote to its decision: “SCHUETTE, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MICHIGAN v. COALITION TO DEFEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, INTEGRATION AND IMMIGRATION RIGHTS AND FIGHT FOR EQUALITY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY (BAMN) ET AL.”

“By any means necessary,” forsooth.  Where have you heard that before? If I forbear to employ the mendacious phrase “affirmative action” if is because it is a sterling piece of left-wing Newspeak. “Racial discrimination” doesn’t sound nice to our civilized ears. So we rename it “affirmative action” and it makes us feel better about tearing off the blindfold on the figure of Justice on courts of law and doing the same thing in the admissions offices of our colleges and universities.

G.K. Chesterton once described the “false idea of progress” as “ changing the test instead of trying to pass the test.” That’s what so-called “affirmative  action, i.e., discrimination on the basis of race, or sex, or whatever this weeks favored “victim” category may be.

Right on cue, Justice Sotomayor wheeled out the “centuries of racial discrimination” meme. Guess what, we know there was chattel slavery in this  country (as there was in nearly every other society known to man) and we know, too, that it ended rather late here. But end it did, almost 150 years ago. If you want to know why slavery persisted in parts of the United States, read Gene Dattel’s brilliant Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power.  Are you looking for someone to blame for all that misery?  You might try Eli Whitney and his clever invention for carding cotton. Or maybe you should blame the English, who had a greedy appetite for our cotton.

But I digress. There will, as I say, be a lot of ink spilled about this decision. The New York Times has already weighed in with a piece of sanctimonious handwringing  (“ . . . a fractured decision that revealed deep divisions among the justices over what role the government should play in protecting racial and ethnic minorities.”) Expect more of the same tomorrow.

But let’s step back for a moment and consider that strange phrase “affirmative action.” Where did it come from? Yes, “affirmative action” was first undertaken in the name of equality. But, as always seems to happen, it soon fell prey to the Orwellian logic from which the principle that “All animals are equal” gives birth to the transformative codicil: “but some animals are more equal than others.”

Affirmative action is Orwellian in a linguistic sense, too, since what announces itself as an initiative to promote equality winds up enforcing discrimination precisely on the grounds that it was meant to overcome. Thus we are treated to the delicious, if alarming, contradiction of college applications that declare their commitment to evaluate candidates “without regard to race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or national origin” on page 1 and then helpfully inform you on page 2 that it is to your advantage to mention if you belong to any of the following designated victim groups.

The whole history of affirmative action is instinct with that irony. The original effort to redress legitimate grievances—grievances embodied, for instance, in the discriminatory practices of Jim Crow—have mutated into new forms of discrimination. In 1940, Franklin Roosevelt established the Fair Employment Practices Committee because blacks were openly barred from war factory jobs.

But what began as a Presidential Executive Order in 1961 directing government contractors to take “affirmative action” to assure that people be hired “without regard” for

sex, race, creed, color, etc., has resulted in the creation of vast bureaucracies dedicated to discovering, hiring, and advancing people chiefly on the basis of those qualities. White is black, freedom is slavery, “without regard” comes to mean “with regard for nothing else.”

Had he lived to see the evolution of affirmative action, Alexis  de Tocqueville would have put such developments down as examples of how in democratic societies the passion for equality tends to trump the passion for liberty. The fact that the effort to enforce equality often results in egregious inequalities he would have understood to be part of the “tutelary despotism” that “extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd.” The passion for equality demands “affirmative action,” even though the process of affirmative action depends upon treating people unequally.

The French philosopher Jean-François Revel put it well when he observed, in 1970, that “Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is trying to destroy it.” We should be grateful that the Supreme Court of the Untied States today stood up for genuine equality before the law dealt a significant blow to the rancid culture of racial redress.


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The ‘We Do What We Want, Bleep You’ Administration

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Tom Blumer


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Is Money Being Wasted at Agency Intended to Protect Consumers’ Dime?

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Rodrigo Sermeño

Cost-benefit analysis of CFPB rules, argues one Dem, would just feed GOP's "ideologically-driven regulatory agenda.”

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Earth II?

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Rand Simberg

A broken space telescope continues to expand our view of the universe.

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Everything You Hate About D.C. Is in the Podesta Divorce

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Myra Adams

Five ways the divorce reveals Washington’s corruption.

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Drone Strikes Launched After AQAP Shows They’re Not on the Run

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A mission to save face after new al-Qaeda No. 2's in-your-face PR effort -- featuring a former Gitmo detainee?

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Could Michigan Help the GOP Take Over the U.S. Senate? [Polling update]

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 - by Stephen Green

To six seats—and beyond!

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Congressional Research Service Confirms Decline in Production on Federal Lands Under Obama

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 - by Bill Straub

It is the production increase on private lands that has the U.S. on track to become the world’s largest oil producer.

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