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Confusing the problem with the solution in Charlotte: Protesters who rioted in Charlotte in the wake of another police shooting are doing more harm than good to their goal of reforming police conduct, our editorial argues. No matter what happened in the shooting, and the facts are in dispute, it doesn’t justify looting and more violence. There’s plenty of blame to go around. “It's time for intellectually honest liberals to stop defending and attempting to justify or rationalize lawlessness as an acceptable response to police abuses. For news media — so often the handmaidens of leftist political fantasy — to refer to rioters as ‘protesters’ or ‘demonstrators’ when they are on camera committing violent crimes is disgraceful.” The reaction to the shooting has left one person dead, others injured and millions of dollars in property destroyed. “Most of the nation will look at the state of emergency in North Carolina and will not think better of the cause of police reform. They will, rather, rightly think the rioters contemptible.”
By John Hendrickson
Many who follow politics have heard the slogan that both ideas and elections have consequences. The Founding Fathers stated in the Constitution that sovereignty is left with the people, and one of the most important rights and responsibilities that we can exercise is the right to vote. Elections, regardless if they are local, state, or federal, are important and voters must be informed when they cast their ballot….Unfortunately, our nation suffers from a crisis in civic education, as many Americans are ignorant of our history and the principles which our nation is based upon. This crisis in civic education also impacts people who cast ballots out of ignorance or who do not vote for whatever reason justifies their civic laziness.
The Founding Fathers understood quite well that human nature was flawed and that a virtuous and informed citizenry was required in order for the republic to survive….Calvin Coolidge also understood that human nature was flawed and that people must be especially vigilant when it comes to politics. As a young and emerging politician, Coolidge remarked that politics “like other values it has its counterfeits.”4 “So much emphasis has been put upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service,” stated Coolidge.5 Because politics can become corrupt, Coolidge argued that “the power to think is the most practical thing in the world” when it comes to politics and making political decisions.6
To read Public Interest Institute’s INSTITUTE BRIEF, Calvin Coolidge’s Lesson on Civic Responsibility, please click HERE.
By Dr. Donald P. Racheter
The great virtue of free-market capitalism is that it has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of mankind.1 Throughout history, until the last couple of hundred years, people have suffered under various forms of political despotism and feudal and mercantile systems of economics. Only a very few enjoyed wealth and plenty, while the vast majority were lucky to have barely enough to keep them alive for a short number of years.
Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, chronicled the birth of capitalism, the notion that accumulated capital could purchase machinery that could substitute for human labor and produce “more for less.” The Anglo-American system of “rule of law” and “property rights” allowed capitalists to enjoy the fruits of their enterprise, re-invest in even more labor-saving methods of production, and increase the tempo of the “rising tide which lifts all boats.” Life expectancy grew with increases in income, which allowed for better nutrition, health care, sanitation, etc.
While it is true that new goods and services are generally introduced at high prices and are only affordable for the rich, the real money is to be made in selling thousands of units to the middle- and working-classes, not dozens of units only to the rich. As long as competition is not outlawed, overly regulated, or otherwise hampered by political favoritism (sometimes referred to as “crony capitalism,” but more appropriately labeled “crony socialism”), those who want to get in on the bonanza made possible by the new good or service force down the prices as continual improvements are made in the production and distribution of the new products. Hence the use of the term “industrial capitalism” to describe how the process has changed over time.
To read Public Interest Institute’s INSTITUTE BRIEF, Less for More? please click HERE.
The problem is not that police arrest too many criminals, or that they approach their job too strategically by using "predictive policing software," which BLM curiously wants abolished. The problem is not that suspects are required to post bail as a condition of release pending trial, which BLM also wants scrapped.
The answer to both crime and to those occasions when police step out of line is to strengthen the rule of law, not to weaken it. Black Lives Matter is not seeking arrangements that would improve the condition of black people. It is seeking to undermine and weaken a system which, though badly in need of reform, remains the best hope for protecting a minority community whose members are disproportionately the victims of crime, not just its perpetrators.
Do you want to be punched in the face or the gut? Would you rather be pushed down a flight of stairs or thrown off a garage? Would you rather vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Most Americans have decided who they are voting for, but those who haven’t must wonder if they’re trapped between an island of poisonous snakes and an ocean of sharks when it comes to their choice for president.
Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, power-mad, money-hungry, career climber willing to do or say anything to obtain what she wants. She sells access, influence and anything not nailed down, as long as there’s nothing in writing. She’ll trample anyone, destroy anyone, forsake anyone to win.
Donald Trump is a blowhard narcissist with no core values or principles in the political arena. A man who buys influence and funds anyone if it serves his purposes at the moment. He’s easily distracted and holds a grudge long after victory.
Hillary is married to a serial philanderer; Trump is a serial philanderer. The only difference is Trump’s conquests were willing; some of Bill Clinton’s weren’t.
Hillary smeared and destroyed the lives of women her husband used; Trump dated or married them.
Neither are moral people.
One would ruin the country by continuing the failed progressive policies and animosity toward the Constitution of the past eight years; the other would ruin the country with protectionist economics and constitutional ignorance.
Trump just accepted the Republican nomination in Cleveland –a festive event which should have launched his general election bid and turned the focus to Clinton and the difference between their visions for the future. Instead, less than 12 hours after accepting the nod, he focused on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, taking petty swipes and rehashing smears on his family.
If Donald Trump would learn to ignore his instincts when it comes to settling scores with other Republicans, he could win this thing. But he’s his own worst enemy. You don’t curse at the people in the rear view mirror; you go after the battle ahead.
Yet Trump simply seems incapable of moving past anything. Winning wasn’t enough, accepting the nomination wasn’t enough. Trump lied about Cruz’s speech, saying the senator had ad libbed lines not in the submitted text. But all the words Cruz spoke were in the script and on the teleprompter.
So why tell such an easily disprovable lie about someone you’ve spent that last six months referring to as ‘Lying Ted?’
Hillary, on the other hand, lies not only about things that matter, such as emails and classified material, she also has a history of lying about things that don’t matter. Claiming to have landed in Bosnia under sniper fire, recounting in specific detail how she had to run from the tarmac at the airport, knowing there was video of her smiling, greeted by children and accompanied by her own daughter. Recounting the story of how she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest, even though she was born long before he had set foot on the mountain or become famous.
She’s so weak a candidate that even though she served as secretary of state, she had to choose a running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who could shore up her foreign policy credentials. She couldn’t even trust her longtime bagman and now-governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, to deliver his purple state.
Both candidates inspire fierce loyalty in their die-hard supporters, but neither has demonstrated the ability to reach beyond it. Hillary is a known commodity – the Edsel of candidates – and there’s no polishing that mess. The undecideds have decided they can only vote for her by voting against someone else.
Donald Trump is that someone else. He’s known – he’s been a celebrity since the 1980s – but his political beliefs were (and to a large extent remain a) mystery. The country spent a week trying to unravel that mystery, then the next day he focuses on attacking someone he’d already beaten. Four days of forward-looking talk undone by an obsession on unimportance.
If you told me both were trying to lose, I’d be inclined to believe you.
Barring a major change by one of these two people, November could see extremely low turnout as this election devolves fully from a battle for the future to a race to be the least unpopular.
The fascinating thing about Hillary Clinton's lie that "African-Americans" are disproportionately killed by police is that she continues peddling it after the murders of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, which followed the ambush killings of five officers in Dallas. In both cases, the murderers were black men apparently convinced that the cops were out to get black people and who, therefore, sought to exact revenge.
President Barack Obama, too, talks about the "disparity" that blacks, compared to whites, are more likely to be killed by the police. That Obama -- in lecturing about this so-called disparity -- gets away with ignoring the disproportionate rate at which blacks, especially young blacks, commit violent crime is truly astonishing.
Should blacks, at 13 percent of the population, comprise 13 percent of doctors, 13 percent of lawyers and 13 percent of NBA players? If not, does this mean there is a "disparity" that we must address as a society? According to economist John Lott, teenage black males, compared to teen white males, are nine times more likely to commit murder -- and the murder victim is almost always another young black man. What about that disparity, Mr. President?
It's also interesting to watch the reaction of those who believe Clinton and defend her position, even when they are confronted with the facts. Talk about -- pardon the pun -- shooting the messenger. When I told someone that, according to The Washington Post, of the 965 blacks killed by cops last year, less than 4 percent involved a white cop and unarmed black man, he sniffed, "Why should a cop kill anyone who is unarmed?" Well, take the case for Michael Brown, arguably the white police-black suspect encounter that launched the Black Lives Matter movement and its mantra, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." Eyewitness testimony and physical evidence show that Brown charged the police officer and attempted to get the cop's gun. Unarmed does not mean non-threatening.
It's hard to believe that two Ivy League-educated lawyers, Obama and Clinton, do not understand things like statistics, ratios and how to properly interpret crime data to incorporate the rate at which crime is committed by young black men versus the rate at which crime is committed by young white men.
As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in The Wall Street Journal, "According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15 percent of the population there."
This leads us to but one conclusion: Obama and Clinton are flat-out lying. The goal is obvious -- to retain that monolithic black vote, without which Democrats cannot win at the presidential level.
Obama cannot brag about -- and Clinton cannot run on -- his economic record for blacks. Under his watch, black poverty is up. Net worth is down. The "wealth gap" between blacks and whites is at a 25-year high. And as to the employment of black men, their "labor force participation rate" (the percentage of those 20 years of age and over who are either working or looking for work) hit its lowest rate in December 2013 -- well into Obama's second term and his economic "recovery." That low was the worst since 1972, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping such records. And since December 2010, black men's employment rate every single month to date has seen lower numbers than any month under all other presidents dating back to 1972.
So, what to do? Change the subject, of course. Make the election about "social justice." Prattle on about what Clinton calls the "school-to-prison pipeline." Never mind that this drive to induce paranoia among blacks has real-world consequences. As mentioned, already it has helped inspire murderers to kill officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. But it also causes police officers to be less proactive, fearing that they, too, will be accused of unfairly "profiling" blacks. Cops pull back. This police passivity means crime increases, the victims of which are disproportionately black, the very people Ms. Clinton claims to care so deeply about.
Lies get votes. But they also get people killed.
Political crusades, bureaucratic empires and lucrative personal careers as grievance mongers have been built on the foundation of that assumption, which is almost never tested against any facts.
A recent article in the New York Times saw as a problem the fact that females are greatly under-represented among the highest rated chess players. Innumerable articles, TV stories and political outcries have been based on an "under-representation" of women in Silicon Valley, seen as a problem that needs to be solved.
Are there girls out there dying to play chess, who find the doors slammed shut in their faces? Are there women with Ph.D.s in computer science from M.I.T. and Cal Tech who get turned away when they apply for jobs in Silicon Valley?
Despite what you might have read or heard recently, felons are not permanently barred from voting in Iowa. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding this issue. I hope to clear up some of those.
After completing their sentence, felons can petition the Governor’s Office to have their voting privileges restored by filling out a simple 13-question form. It is not an arduous process. Out of those that correctly filled out the application, 100 percent had their privileges restored.
It is a shame most felons do not even try. I encourage those groups saying more felons should be allowed vote to step up and help felons go through the restoration process.
The media reports criticizing Iowa’s process as “too burdensome” compared to other states are also inaccurate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states like Iowa require action by a governor or court to approve restoration. Many other states require a waiting period and verification process before voting privileges are restored.
I applaud the Iowa Supreme Court for their decision to uphold the Iowa Constitution regarding felons voting. The Constitution is clear: People convicted of an “infamous crime” lose their voting privileges. Infamous crimes have consistently equated to all felonies and the Supreme Court correctly ruled that nothing has changed that definition during the ensuing 159 years. If the court ruled differently, felons behind bars in Iowa would be able to vote.
I am not opposed to felons having their voting privileges restored. However, I believe they should show some effort toward becoming productive members of society before that happens.
Another misconception is that all of a felon’s fees and restitution must be paid before voting privileges can be restored. That is true in many states, but not in Iowa. If felons are up-to-date on their payment plan, their privileges will almost assuredly be restored. Again, 100 percent of those who have tried have succeeded.
Democracy is worth fighting for. It is worth requiring those who have committed infamous crimes to show they are on the path to rehabilitation.
I will continue to encourage all eligible Iowans to participate in the electoral process, and I encourage all felons that care about the process to take the simple steps of getting their privileges restored. If they do that, my office will gladly help them register to vote and encourage them to participate in Iowa’s elections.
Iowa Secretary of State
By Jennifer L. Crull
One has to wonder what our Forefathers were up against in the year 1775. Never in the course of history had a colony ever successfully broken ties with its Mother Country. Everything was leading up to a point of explosion, with the citizens of the colonies being over taxed, no representation in Parliament, their homes entered without warrant, and British troops ruling every aspects of their lives. While the first shot was fired in 1775, it took until June 7, 1776 for our Continental Congress to finally vote and approve the debate of American Independence.
While many delegates to the Continental Congress knew we would never reconcile with England, they were not eager to pursue the idea of independence. In order for the colonies to unite and display one vision for independence, a committee was formed to draft a declaration of independence for the American Colonies. This declaration was submitted on June 28, 1776. Finally, after many hours and days of debate, independence was voted on and approved on July 2, 1776 and then on July 4, 1776 our Declaration of Independence, as we know it, was approved and signed by every member present, except one.
Why have you just received this brief review of a history lesson that we all learned in our eighth grade history class? One word comes to mind: PATRIOTISM. Webster’s dictionary defines patriotism as love of and devotion to one’s own country. Our Forefathers did not secure every right we have today, but without their enormous accomplishments we would not have the rights we know today, such as the end of slavery, freedom of religion, and the right for women to vote.
As we like to complain about all that is wrong in our country, let’s remember all that is right and why we love this country. Being able to complain about what we feel is wrong is a right our Forefathers gave to us. We need to issue a challenge to each and every person in this country to remember their rights, respect their rights, and practice their rights. As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently phrased it in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the rights Jefferson wanted for us. We have gone to war and into conflict many times to defend these rights for ourselves and other countries. Therefore as citizens we have a responsibility to our country to exercise these rights. Voting and civic involvement are the two most important responsibilities.
Voting is a right that few people had as our country was developing, but now everyone over the age of 18 can vote. Countries all over the world are still fighting today for a right that Americans take for granted and don’t usually exercise. But that vote is your say in government, the same government our Forefathers wanted for this great nation. For we have a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Civic involvement is another important responsibility that many people shy away from, saying they are too busy or they don’t have the funds to donate. Whether your town has 200 or 200,000 people, you need to be involved. Civic involvement can take many forms such as running for office, serving on selected committees or boards, or just volunteering your time to a local organization. Communities don’t thrive on a few over-involved people; it takes everyone. Being involved from the local to the national level is one of the great things about our country. The only requirement is the desire to be involved.
Please remember to celebrate our freedom, our independence, and our rights as citizens of the United States of America!
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry.
Jennifer L. Crull, IT Specialist, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site: www.LimitedGovernment.org. Contact her at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org.