While states have successfully expanded their school choice programs, left-wing critics argue that the programs are an “existential threat” to public education. But experts are pointing out that not only do school choice programs relieve pressure off of the public education sector and provide parents with more schooling options, they are also proving to help students thrive academically and are fueling academic competition and innovation.
On Sunday, National Review reported that Florida has seen an additional 90,000 students enroll in private schools and other “innovative” educational programs in the last year due to the universal school choice bill that was enacted this year, marking a 43% increase in the number of students enrolled in the program, which now totals over 256,000 students. The program allows any Florida family to use state scholarships funded by corporate tax credits and other state funds to send their children to the private school of their choice.
Currently, 10 states have enacted school choice programs similar to Florida’s.
As the programs have expanded nationwide, Democratic lawmakers have almost universally denounced the programs, claiming that they present an “existential threat” to the public school system by redirecting public money away from it. But as observers have noted, the financial shortfall projections that left-leaning organizations have claimed would occur have proven to be wildly inaccurate. The Florida Policy Institute estimated that the state’s school choice program would cost the state $2 billion to fund scholarships in its first year, which was almost 10 times higher than the legislature’s estimate.
“They were grossly over-inflated in their estimates, and that they did so, in my mind, deliberately to stop kids from having the kind of customized, quality education that they deserve, and only for partisan purposes and in defense of their union allies that put the needs and interests of institutions and adults over the needs of children,” said Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R).
Renner went on to tell National Review that “we’ve had Democrat members who have reached out to us, our staff, to find out how their families can benefit from the scholarship, even though they voted against our bill.”
In recent years, public education has seen a remarkable downturn in equipping students with proficiency in basic skills. Reading and math scores are currently at their lowest levels since 1971, and the Associated Press reported in May that “40% of eighth grade students are performing below basic proficiency in history, meaning they likely cannot identify simple historical concepts in primary or secondary sources,” with 31% “performing below basic proficiency in civics.”
At the same time, recent studies have shown that students who are enrolled in school choice programs show more political tolerance than public school students, with “13 studies showing a private-school advantage and only one showing a government-school advantage.” In addition, a study of Milwaukee’s school choice program found that it significantly reduced criminal activity of students, including a 53% reduction in drug convictions, an 86% reduction in property damage convictions, and a 38% reduction in paternity suits.
As Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students, contended, school choice programs will lead to “a lot more growth with very innovative 21st-century learning environments.” He went on to observe that “we’re in a weird place where the people who like to think of themselves as progressives are very, very conservative and traditional. They do not want the innovation and change. When people say, ‘You’re trying to destroy public education,’ what I hear is, ‘You’re trying to destroy my 1950s concept about what public education should be.’ And that’s true, we are trying to move away from a one-size-fits-all industrial model that’s been around really since the 1800s.”
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, concurred, while also arguing that the rise of controversial ideologies on gender, race, and sexuality that have arisen in public schools are a direct threat to Christian families — further highlighting the value of school choice programs and the need for Christian engagement in the educational sector.
“These kinds of dire predictions of ultimate demise are typical fearmongering from the Left,” she told The Washington Stand. “They are afraid of their own demise if they are prevented from indoctrinating a new generation of leftist activists via highly politicized public education. As birth rates decline in the U.S., the fight for the minds and hearts of children will intensify. Christians need to engage in our educational system in every way: churches starting their own schools and Christians running for office or serving as teachers, administrators, or staff. Our witness is desperately needed.”
The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2023-10-18 07:13:072023-10-18 14:21:03As Democrats Disparage School Choice, Experts Say Increased Competition Fuels Innovation
The Florida legislature is now considering a measure that calls for American students to be taught about America.
The bill, in the typically cumbersome language of most proposed laws, is titled “Public Postsecondary Educational Institutions.” Formally introduced as H.B. 999, the bill would give greater power to boards that oversee Florida’s public colleges and eliminate funding for “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs at public universities. But these are not the aspects of the bill that most caught my eye.
H.B. 999 urges higher educational institutions to “(promote) citizenship in a constitutional republic.” It states that when appropriate, Florida college students should be taught “the historical background and philosophical foundation of Western civilization and this nation’s founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments thereto, and the Federalist Papers.”
I am a little tempted to stop there. As an historian and advocate of teaching our youth the facts and philosophies of America’s founding, I’m delighted that tens of thousands of young men and women will actually have to read the texts that contain the ideas and beliefs that began our country. By doing so, the contempt for the United States being taught so aggressively in far too many bastions of liberalism, by which I mean most colleges and universities, might lessen. Appreciation for our remarkable country might increase. Patriotism might mean more than watching almost nude “entertainers” at Super Bowl halftimes.
History should be taught accurately. This means thorough and honest appraisals of our country’s heritage, good and bad. The tentacles of slavery and its appalling effects on African-Americans and all of us should be examined with integrity. Labor exploitation during the Industrial Revolution and the treatment of ethnic minorities are among the other unpleasant themes that should be covered.
But our heritage is not one of relentless ugliness. The darkness in our past is pierced through with bold streams of light. Although we have failed to apply the principles of the Declaration — human equality and God-given rights — with the rigor or justice for which those principles call, we have done so much better than other nations. And our commitment to self-correction is unsurpassed in the world.
At the height of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the promise of American life eloquently. Acknowledging the grim implications of racism, he pointed to a shared future grounded in certain “self-evident” truths. “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God” — black men and women denied the right simply to have coffee at a downtown café — “sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
We should share a common indignation at wrongs done, whether political, social, racial, or economic. Yet should our disappointment over failure surmount thankfulness and even wonder regarding all that is good and right about the United States? When the pursuit of justice becomes a pretext for rage and when problems are so magnified that they obscure the great things we enjoy and presume upon each day — degrees of religious liberty, economic opportunity, and political freedom unknown in all but a handful of other countries — we prove ourselves not only unworthy of self-governance but of those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.
Learning about our Providential history cannot help but inspire appreciation for those who have fought and built and hoped and dreamed in past generations. Imperfection is not the same as ignobility. Elements of our past have been painfully, ashamedly hurtful. Yet the broad course of America’s heritage cannot but inspire a deep sense that despite the many evidences of human fallenness woven into the fabric of our national story, the tapestry itself is nothing less than remarkable.
In 1957, then-Senator John F. Kennedy received a patriotism award from the University of Notre Dame. In his acceptance speech, he challenged the faculty with these words: “the duty of the scholar — particularly in a republic such as ours — is to contribute his objective views and his sense of liberty to the affairs of his state and nation.”
We can hope that Florida’s public universities have such scholars. Governor Ron DeSantis (R) seems to be working to that end, for which all of us can be grateful.
The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2023-04-18 10:17:222023-04-18 10:20:43Teaching American Students to Be Americans
In this terrific book, Dubliner Fr Paul O’Callaghan, a lecturer in the school of theology in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, presents a succinct and insightful analysis of a daunting topic: the interaction of faith and culture.
He sets himself the task of examining how Western culture has been moulded by faith (by which he means faith in the strict sense of revealed religion, and not religion in general) and in particular how this is true of four realities key to contemporary culture: rationality, freedom, equality and (surprisingly) conquest.
As we might imagine, the faith-culture relationship will of necessity be a complex one. They are two very different realities: faith stems from a divine initiative, indeed an “interruption” into human history, while culture is the fruit of human endeavour. And nevertheless as the author points out, the West has developed without either element erasing the other; rather they “seek each other out”, each respecting the contribution of the other (for the most part):
“Christian revelation and grace are not meant to ride roughshod over reality, over the world as we know it, over the lives and dreams and projects of its inhabitants, over the traditions and civilizations consolidated over the centuries…”
And yet we know that Modernity (the period dating from around the 16th or 17th century) has been predicated on an elevation of man accompanied by a diminished view of God and a disregard for the West’s Christian roots — an unfortunate over-correction of the mediaeval world’s bias for the divine over the human.
The effects of the secularising tendency of modernity are apparent in the impoverishing effect on those four key areas of rationality, freedom, equality and conquest, distorting them in the direction of rationalism, licence, reductive egalitarianism and rapine respectively.
The interaction of faith and culture
O’Callaghan discusses briefly a number of core tenets of Western civilisation which have their roots in the Bible, such as the notion of intrinsic human dignity, the centrality of human freedom, and the sanctity of marriage.
He cites the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ most interesting distinction between the Judeo-Christian concept of “righteousness and guilt” and the pagan “honour and shame” culture. The former places man’s intrinsic worth on something interior and not immediately apparent, something at the realm of freedom and conscience, and ultimately a person’s interior relationship with God.
The latter on the other hand looks to the external actions alone, for which a person earns honour or shame from others. Such a culture easily (perhaps excessively) exalts its heroes and unequivocally and even brutally condemns its enemies (think “cancel culture”). Lacking the classic Judeo-Christian distinction between sin and sinner, it equates the sinner with their apparent sins, and so is merciless in shaming (and “cancelling”) offenders.
Many core elements of Western culture come from an “intelligent and practical assimilation of Christian Revelation” which is complex and ongoing. There has never been, nor can there ever be, a “purely Christian culture” (despite the nostalgia of some for a Medieval Golden Age of Christendom): sin is a constant in human existence, and has always been present in human culture. Modernity itself, despite all its secularising tendencies, is a “highly positive phenomenon”. As Pope Benedict has reminded Christians, Modernity’s own intrinsic merits as well as its “material fidelity to Christianity” must be acknowledged.
While the theme of the modern world’s fundamental indebtedness to Christianity has recently been revisited and popularised in Tom Holland’s highly successful Dominion, this is not Holland’s discovery: it has been covered in the past by the likes of Dostoevsky, Guardini, T.S. Eliot, and even Jürgen Habermas (for whom the West’s sense of personal conscience, human rights, equality and democracy is built directly on “the Jewish ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love… All the rest is postmodern chatter.”)
Unfortunately of course, the Christian roots of Western values are increasingly being ignored and forgotten, and it would be, in the words of the Dutch reformed pastor Wim Rietkerk, modern man’s biggest mistake if he thought “that he could keep enjoying the fruits without the roots, without walking humbly with his God. … There is no future for a Western civilisation cut off from its roots.”
The four key tenets
O’Callaghan then focusses his attention on those four concepts so central to the West’s very identity: rationality, freedom, equality, and conquest. The last, “conquest” is an unusual concept, and the author explains it as follows:
We assume that what we obtain, what is at our disposal, we have a right to, as if it were our very own and belonging to no-one else. Whether we are talking about children, or property, or space travel, or instant telematic communication to the other side of the world … we see the world around us as a terrain of conquest, of achievement, of success.
He examines how these four notions as we understand them in the West, are essentially the fruit of Christian revelation.
The first, rationality, was already much prized — as logos — by the Greeks. For them rationality could not be understood without reference to the divine. Nevertheless the Christian conception of reason is even more elevated and optimistic than that of the Greeks, for whom reason was marred by very significant limitations.
Human reason for Christians receives a greater trustworthiness on account of the trustworthiness of its author: God. Nevertheless the secularising tendency of Modernity has lost the vastness of the power of reason as glimpsed by the Greeks, and boldly affirmed by Christianity. It began by reducing reason to a merely “computational and mathematical” power, and even now tends towards a radical scepticism which jettisons all confidence in reason.
O’Callaghan goes on to discuss how much the Western notion of freedom owes to Christianity. For Christianity freedom is essentially the filial freedom of those who are called to become God’s children: it is the “freedom of the glory of the children of God” in the words of St Paul. This is the ultimate goal for freedom to aspire to, a true “freedom for”.
However, this Christian-inspired concept of freedom came gradually to be eclipsed by a reductive “freedom from” — which reduces freedom to the mere capacity to choose one thing over another, without any intrinsic direction or dynamism. This reductive freedom is developed by the likes of Ockham, Bacon, Luther and more recently Foucault. Nevertheless, there has been a recovery of the richer conception of freedom, in particular by the Personalist movement for whom freedom is inseparable from man’s fundamental relatedness to others, and to God.
The notion of the fundamental equality of human beings so central to Western values is equally something stemming from Christian revelation. Man’s social and relational nature is presented throughout the Bible as constitutive of his very being. Against this is a non-Christian understanding of relationality as a sign of weakness, insofar as it implies dependence on others; a lack of the autonomy so valued by Modernity (and to a degree even by the Greeks).
The equal dignity under God of all men receives an unequivocal affirmation throughout the Bible. And yet the manifest inequalities between men are not a scandal for Christianity in the way they are for modern culture (for which all “inequality” must be ultimately stamped out), because the presence of neediness is a divine call to the others to live out the charity which must be at the heart of all social relations.
There follows a most illuminating consideration of the fourth tenet: the idea of conquest (by which we see “the world around us as a terrain of conquest”). What O’Callaghan shows here is that the now dominant “anthropology of the self-made man who designs and constructs himself down to the last detail” has lost sight of the Christian notion of gratitude.
The radical individualism that has developed in the West rejects as “childish”, indebtedness to others. Dignity requires that the self must be “self-made” and autonomous. This produces a great incapacity to receive from others, and with that a systematic ingratitude.
However for the Christian, absolutely everything is a gift from God, and man is a receiver of gifts before anything else. This then allows us in our turn to give and receive from others — there is no shame, nor subjugation in receiving understood in Christian terms.
Modernity, on the other hand, is marked by a systematic rejection of gift and so is marked by a striking ingratitude. What is needed is a return to the sense of gratitude gestured at by Heidegger when he said that “denken ist danken” (“to think is to thank”); that even “thought itself is a grateful receptiveness to the giveness of being”.
And so the ungrateful West is faced with the important task of rediscovering true gratitude, also gratitude towards God. The secular world’s “eclipse of worship” (to coin a phrase from Charles Taylor in his work A Secular Age) means that “humans have stopped recognising God as the source of all good and intelligibility. They have stopped thanking God, they no longer recognise the world they live in as a gift, they no longer live ‘eucharistic’ lives.” And such ingratitude is a serious state of affairs: “the most abominable of sins” for Ignatius of Loyola. The author concludes that:
“This has led many of those influenced by modern culture to a generalised loss of faith and to a pathology of individualism and ingratitude, as they attempt to live out their lives in isolation from their fellows, unprepared to recognise the world they live in and the privileges they enjoy as so many gifts they should be profoundly grateful for.”
The question of the gratitude leads on in the Epilogue to a very interesting discussion on the integration of conservatism and progressive liberalism. O’Callaghan shows that both the conservative and liberal tempers are embraced by Christianity: it is conservative insofar as it is conscious of being the receiver of gifts from God, and handed down by others by tradition; the Christian is by definition a conserver of these gifts.
At the same time, the Christian doctrine of Original Sin necessitates the liberal dimension since certain elements from the past will of necessity be tainted by sin and in need of reform and purification; not everything merits conservation. But there is need of a delicate balance of these two opposed tendencies: too much conservatism produces a lazy complacency that is fearful of change, while too excessive liberalism fails to appreciate what has been received from predecessors.
It is hard to overestimate the value of this book. O’Callaghan shows how our contemporary culture simply cannot be understood without a deep grasp of its Christian roots. And furthermore, he shows what damage our culture has already suffered because the key tenets of rationality, freedom, equality and conquest have to the degree to which they have become unmoored from their Christian roots.
At the same time, these affirmations are never simplistic; O’Callaghan takes into account the great complexity of the relationship between faith and culture. And even though it is quite a short book, the author does not oversimplify the issues involved. For that reason, parts of the book will be challenging for someone unfamiliar with the issues involved.
Certainly, this book would make a wonderful basic text for a college course on faith and culture. It would also very beneficial for anyone interested in the deeper issues at play in our current “culture wars”, where much of the discussion is unfortunately as heated as it is uninformed by philosophy and theology.
Rev. Gavan Jennings studied philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He is co-editor of the monthly journal Position Papers. He teaches occasional… More by Fr Gavan Jennings
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00MercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexitieshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexities2022-10-19 03:59:392022-10-19 04:05:00Going Beyond The Culture Wars
Monday afternoon, airline passengers whooped and hollered when flight crews informed them the federal mask mandate was finally over. Crews and passengers responded to the news by ripping off masks mid-flight. Most commercial airlines and Amtrak quickly followed suit to drop their masking policies, as did rideshare services Uber and Lyft. Airlines “were urging that the mandate be lifted sooner,” said Dr. Andrew Bostom, clinical trial epidemiologist at Brown University.
The president who promised to shut down the virus has a strange way of showing it. “Had he been smart, Joe Biden could have owned that glee,” notedNational Review‘s Charles Cooke. “Instead, it came in spite of him, courtesy of a Republican-appointed judge.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the decision “disappointing” but when asked why airplane cabins should be subjected to harsher rules than the White House briefing room, she could only retort lamely, “I’m not a doctor. You’re not a doctor.” Who knew advanced medical degrees were required to form opinions on questions of law, justice, and public policy?
Meanwhile on “Washington Watch,” Bostom, who is a doctor, laid out the science. Since 2008, 14 studies (12 for influenza and two for COVID) have used randomized, controlled trials, which are “the gold standard [for] evidence,” to study whether “mass masking is an intervention which works” for airborne viruses. Bostom said the results of those studies are “uniformly negative.” Nevertheless, “public health authorities have managed to push through mandates,” he continued, essentially turning “the whole evidence-based paradigm on its head.”
Other science opposing the mask mandate concerns the airplanes themselves, which are armed with “highly efficient filtration systems” and “biocidal technology to kill a virus,” explained Bostom. For comparison, “in a restaurant, the air may recirculate through a filter about every 15 minutes. In an airplane, that’s every 30 seconds,” said Ken Klukowski, the attorney representing FRC Action in its own lawsuit against the mask mandate. According to a Defense Department study conducted last year, he said, “it would take 54 hours on an airplane to get infected” with COVID — three times longer than the world’s longest flight.
However, the basic question in the judge’s opinion was legal, not scientific. Klukowski explained, “the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)… sets forth the requirements that agencies need to meet when they’re putting legal obligations or restrictions on you and me.” “A broad body of Supreme Court precedent” holds administrative agencies to a standard of “reasoned decision making,” which the judge found was not met. Thus, “forcing people to wear masks on airplanes meets the definition of what the law calls arbitrary and capricious…. The judge did the right thing,” Klukowski concluded.
The mask mandate was soundly thumped by the gavel, but it’s not quite dead yet. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced plans to appeal, “subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health.” Of course, given the CDC’s preference for political science, they may calculate that opposing the overwhelming weight of medical data is worth it to ingratiate the president with his base. The White House’s continued insistence on encouraging mask-wearing is “consistent with their zealotry, but it’s not consistent with the data,” noted Bostom, nor “with the desires, as you can see by the popular reaction, of the vast swath of the population.”
However, the DOJ has avoided requesting a temporary stay on the ruling, an unusual move which allows the judge’s decision to remain in effect for now. That could indicate the DOJ is tired of getting pummeled in court and wants to rest its sore ribs, that they expect to lose on appeal, and that they’re only appealing on their doubly-boosted boss’s orders. So too, the CDC could, as it has done before, stick its finger into the political winds and then “discover” that “the science has changed.”
In the meantime, honest citizens won’t get kicked off a plane because they can’t keep a two-year-old’s mask on, or struggle to read a book that’s half obscured by a cloth mask serving only to virtue-signal. Americans can board their flights with all the comfort their economy-class ticket allows. You are now free to breathe about the country.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2022-04-20 19:12:172022-04-20 19:12:48A 40,000-Foot View of Freedom
George Washington University associate professor Elisabeth Anker criticized the concept of freedom Sunday in comments to CBC Radio regarding the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protest.
"On the far right, [individual freedom] is often translated into somebody who refuses to be bound by norms of equality, treating all people equally or norms to remedy inequality," says Elisabeth Anker, author of Ugly Freedoms.https://t.co/eY8mslpYFy
She said freedom was a “slippery concept,” claiming that “on the far right, [individual freedom] is often translated into somebody who refuses to be bound by norms of equality, treating all people equally or norms to remedy inequality, whether that’s trying to remedy racial discrimination or gender discrimination,” according to CBC.
She called the “far right” version of freedom “violent freedom,” and said it could result in danger and discrimination and potentially be anti-democratic, CBC reported. Anker said it was surprising that Canadians were pushing back against “social interdependence” with the language of individual freedom during the trucker convoy protest.
The CBC article, titled “Why the word ‘freedom’ is such a useful rallying cry for protesters,” cited another “expert,” Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, who complained that freedom is too flexible of a term, linking the concept to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
An opinion article published by The Globe And Mail Feb. 8 also complained that conservatives “appropriated” freedom to oppose vaccine mandates and other COVID-related restrictions.
“For many, it’s a word that has become code for white-identity politics and the far-right’s weapon of choice in the culture wars,” columnist Gary Mason wrote, adding that freedom “has not always been a concept usurped for selfish, malicious purposes.”
Anker and Perry did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Daily Callerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Caller2022-02-15 06:03:352022-02-16 05:37:28‘Freedom Is A Slippery Concept’: George Washington University Prof Says ‘Freedom’ Is A Tool Of The ‘Far-Right’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) leadership throughout the pandemic has brought “pro-freedom conservatives” to the Sunshine State in droves as they flee “tyrannical blue states” in search of freedom, Florida Republican Party Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler said during an interview on Breitbart News Saturday.
From 2008 to the end of Obama’s presidency in 2016, Democrats went from nearly 700,000 more voters than Republicans to a little over 300,000, election data shows. By 2020, Democrats held slightly less than a 100,000-voter lead. Republicans are now roughly 4,000 votes ahead of Democrats — 5,118,357 to 5,114,039, according to data from the Florida Division of Elections.
Ziegler told host Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News’s Washington bureau chief, that the secret to the Florida GOP’s success was leaning into the “Trump/DeSantis wing of the party” and investing “a record amount of money” toward voter registration with the help of the governor.
“We’re excited in Florida, and a lot of that has to do with obviously Donald Trump coming in, people seeing that and starting to switch parties. He brought in a lot of southern Democrats, a lot of moderates, independents over to the Republican Party. And Ron DeSantis keeping businesses and schools open has really accelerated that,” Ziegler said. “His record plus his resources have now really paid off, and now we are a Republican state officially.”
When talking to homebuilders on the ground in South Florida, Ziegler said they mostly report that most people moving to Florida are from California, New York, and Illinois — “deep blue states.”
“You know, the initial worry, which I agree with people, is I do not want people coming from California and New York and Illinois with their voting records, with their voting history and preferences. I do not want blue voters coming to Florida and shaping our state,” Ziegler said. “But, when you take a step back and you really dive into the numbers and you dive into the feedback from the people moving here, what we’re seeing is people are fleeing these tyrannical blue states that have overextended government. They’re shutting down businesses, they’re shutting down schools, and they’re looking around the country and trying to figure out where to relocate.”
Ziegler specifically credited DeSantis’s leadership with bringing in new Florida residents, touting his pandemic policy of following the science, keeping businesses and schools open, and fighting against mask and vaccine mandates.
“So I think that we’re getting the movers, and the movers coming here are actually pro-freedom conservatives that were locked down in blue states, and now they are fleeing to Florida to be free,” he said.
DeSantis, who has championed involvement in local school board elections, is specifically drawing “20,30, 40-year-old females, moms, dads, that have never been involved in politics,” Ziegler said.
“But now they’re waking up and seeing what the school boards are doing locally to their kids. They’re getting frustrated, and they’re realizing that the Republican Party is standing with them in support of freedom,” he continued.
Keeping up that enthusiasm on the ground will be key to driving up further support for the party going into the 2022 midterm elections, in addition to continuing to prioritize voter registration, which Ziegler called “one of their greatest tools.” While Democrats are already rumored to view DeSantis as “unbeatable,” Ziegler said the Florida GOP is planning on giving his campaign “150 percent.” He noted that a Democrat like Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried or party flipper and former Gov. Charlie Crist would “change our state for the worst” overnight.
“Look, Ron DeSantis in my mind — we’re going to make the assumption that he’s ten points down. We’re going to work our tails off and make sure he gets elected. We’ll let the Democrat Party put money in here and decide if they want to waste it. The good thing is, if they waste it in Florida, they don’t have that money in other states that they might actually have a chance in,” he said. “I can guarantee you, there are going to be a lot of liberal dollars that come from liberal blue states from people that may not have ever been to Florida, and they’re going to try to beat Ron DeSantis because they look at him as a potential 2024 candidate or 2028, no matter how that shapes up. As a guy that could be president in the future, they are going to try to take him out early.”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Christian Zieglerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngChristian Ziegler2021-11-29 18:41:382021-11-29 18:47:25PODCAST: Conservatives Fleeing to Florida to Be Free
“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
Today we are hearing about equality, equity, along with the big lies of “Wokeism.” These words are Marxist false flags that force, via government mandate, the elevation of one group over another group for political purposes.
MAKING PEOPLE EQUAL
The goal of Marxism is to make everyone equal as humans, as workers and as a people. The problem is when this is put into practice the individual is replaced by the state. As the powers of the government increase the freedoms of the individual shrink or disappear completely.
History tells us repeatedly that as government grows the individual shrinks. Just look at the former Soviet Union to understand what is now happening in America.
QUESTION: Will Independence Day 2021 go down in history as the day we the people lost our freedom?
The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat. Exactly how many Bolsheviks have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since 1923, when the era of Bonapartism opened, we shall find out when we go through the archives of Stalin’s political police. How many of them remain in the underground will become known when the shipwreck of the bureaucracy begins.
The people are replaced by government bureaucrats. The laws change from defending individual liberties to taking away the individual and replace the people with crushing state mandates, take the Covid pandemic as a recent example.
Covid shifted power from the individual to that state overnight. The pandemic was used by bureaucrats to take away individual freedom to assemble and replaced it with lockdowns and social distancing.
Covid took away the rights of business to remain open and prosper. It took away individual livelihoods and replace it with government hand outs.
These seven crimes are the fundamental laws of Wokeism writ large. When we stop thinking, understanding, caring and find ourselves alone, bored and uninformed then our freedom is lost!
A FREE PEOPLE ARE NOT EQUAL
In a truly free society people are never equal. They are different and do things differently throughout their lives. From birth people are influenced by both nature and nurture. No two people are exactly the same when born. The same is true about people who have different life experiences. Even biological twins do not have the same life experiences.
It is fundamental that society understand that it must create opportunities that encourage and use these natural inequalities for the good of all.
The following sentiments were created by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, who lectured around the United States about industrial relations at the turn of the twentieth century. They are all the truth.
You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
There are those who are hell bent on tearing down big men, weakening the strong, destroying the rich, inciting class hatred and taking away man’s initiative and independence.
The founding fathers understood this and that is why they wrote the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
QUESTION: How many American patriots have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since the 2020 election?
As we Americans approach Independence Day 2021, let us reflect on our freedoms and defend our liberties. If we fail to do so then American, as we have known it, will cease to exist as One Nation Under God and become one nation under big government.
Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren?
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2021-06-24 07:23:342021-10-07 20:24:19INDEPENDENCE DAY TRUTH: Equal People Are Not Free and Free People Are Not Equal
President Trump has our economy booming. Unemployment claims are at an unprecedented 50 year low. There are more jobs available than there are workers to fill them.
And yet, every Democrat presidential candidate is on a mad dash to socialism. If a Democrat is elected president in 2020, we will be thrust back to the depressing days of Obama’s failed economy; record high numbers of Americans on food stamps, unemployment and disability. Democrats are like drug dealers seeking to insidiously addict Americans to government dependency solely to control their lives, behavior and voting loyalty.
From the beginning of the Tea Party movement, I traveled the country on numerous national Tea Party bus tours, speaking and performing my song, “American Tea Party Anthem” at over 500 Tea Party rallies nationwide.
Reflecting back to Obama’s horrible economy, I fondly remember the five dollar lady. After my performance on stage at a rally in Texas, I was approached by a humble woman. She thanked me for what our team of patriots was doing for our country. She explained that Obama’s anti-business policies cost her husband, a trucker, his job. With tears in her eyes, she grabbed my hand with both her hands, giving me a crumpled up five dollar bill for gas for our tour bus. I instinctively knew that five dollars was a huge contribution from her. The five dollar lady drove home the importance of our mission and responsibility to push back against Obama’s plan to transform America into a socialist nation.
Actually, the Tea Party never went away. We matured, working behind the scenes to elect conservatives, becoming less visible. I became Chairman of the Conservative Campaign Committee, traveling the country helping to elect conservatives in House and Senate races.
With their every attempt to remove Trump from office failing, the evil coalition of Democrats, fake news and the deep state have become totally deranged. They seek to create a race war and violence on Trump supporters while arrogantly breaking laws. No sacrifice is too large or scheme too low if it will remove Trump from of the White House.
Democrats’ extreme lawless resistance requires the Tea Party to become highly visible again. The Tea Party is the righteous legal-resistance to Democrats’ deranged, violent and illegal-resistance.
This means despite fake news media’s 24/7 lies, deceptions and distortions about Trump, more Americans are beginning to discern that Trump is good for America. Lets pull formerly duped Americans into our Tea Party fold to rally behind our president.
Please allow me to address Democrats’ and fake news media’s despicable hate-generating lie that says the Tea Party and Trump are racist. I am a proud black American who attended over 500 Tea Party rallies nationwide. I was showered with patriot love and appreciation. Trump has an excellent record of hiring blacks. Blacks are experiencing unprecedented prosperity under Trump; historic low unemployment.
Brother and sister Americans who love our country, lets join together to save America by keeping Trump in the White House. Please sign on to participate in the April 15th, Stop Socialism Choose Freedom Rallies.
Thirty-two year old Todd Beamer was an American passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 which was hijacked as part of the Islamic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Beamer lead a band of courageous fellow passengers in an attempt to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers. During the struggle, control was lost of the aircraft. It crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, saving the hijackers’ intended target which prevented the murder of more Americans. Upon the passengers launching their attack, Beamer said, “Let’s roll.”
Yes, the Tea Party is back! Quoting heroic American Todd Beamer, “Let’s roll.”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Lloyd Marcushttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngLloyd Marcus2019-04-07 16:21:312019-04-12 17:44:34The TEA Party is Back with ‘Stop Socialism Choose Freedom’ Rallies on April 15th!
People tour the nation’s capital to be delighted by symbols of America’s greatness and history. They seek out monuments and museums that pay tribute to the nation state and its works. They want to think about the epic struggles of the past, and how mighty leaders confronted and vanquished enemies at home and abroad.
But what if there was a monument that took a different tack? Instead of celebrating power, it counseled against its abuses. Instead of celebrating the state and its works, it showed how these can become ruses to deceive and destroy. Instead of celebrating nationalist songs, symbols, and stories, it warned that these can be used as tools of division and oppression.
What if this museum was dedicated to memorializing one of history’s most ghastly experiments in imperial conquest, demographic expulsion, and eventual extermination, to help us understand it and never repeat it?
Such a museum does exist. It is the US Holocaust Museum. It is the Beltway’s most libertarian institution, a living rebuke to the worship of power as an end in itself.
I lived in Washington, DC, when the Holocaust Museum was being built, and I vaguely recall when it opened. I never went, though I had the opportunity; I remember having a feeling of dread about the prospect of visiting it. Many people must feel the same way. Surely we already know that mass murder by the state is evil and wrong. Do we really need to visit a museum on such a ghastly subject?
The answer is yes. This institution is a mighty tribute to human rights and human dignity. It provides an intellectual experience more moving and profound than any I can recall having. It takes politics and ideas out of the realm of theory and firmly plants them in real life, in our own history. It shows the consequences of bad ideas in the hands of evil men, and invites you to experience the step-by-step descent into hell in chronological stages.
The transformation the visitor feels is intellectual but also even physical: as you approach the halfway point you notice an increase in your heart rate and even a pit in your stomach.
Let’s dispel a few myths that people who haven’t visited might have about the place.
The museum is not maudlin or manipulative. The narrative it takes you through is fact-based, focused on documentation (film and images), with a text that provides a careful chronology. One might even say it is a bit too dry, too merely factual. But the drama emerges from the contrast between the events and the calm narration.
It is not solely focused on the Jewish victims; indeed, all victims of the National Socialism are discussed, such as the Catholics in Poland. But the history of Jewish persecution is also given great depth and perspective. It is mind boggling to consider how a regime that used antisemitism to manipulate the public and gain power ended up dominating most of Europe and conducting an extermination campaign designed to wipe out an entire people.
The theme of the museum is not that the Holocaust was an inexplicable curse that mysteriously descended on one people at one time; rather the museum attempts to articulate and explain the actual reasons — the motives and ideology — behind the events, beginning with bad ideas that were only later realized in action when conditions made them possible.
The narrative does not attempt to convince the visitor that the Holocaust was plotted from the beginning of Nazi rule; in fact, you discover a very different story. The visitor sees how bad ideas (demographic central planning; scapegoating of minorities; the demonization of others) festered, leading to ever worsening results: boycotts of Jewish-owned business, racial pogroms, legal restrictions on property and religion, internments, ghettoization, concentration camps, killings, and finally a carefully constructed and industrialized machinery of mass death.
The museum does not isolate Germans as solely or uniformly guilty. Tribute is given to the German people, dissenters, and others who also fell victim to Hitler’s regime. As for moral culpability, it unequivocally belongs to the Nazis and their compliant supporters in Germany and throughout Europe. But the free world also bears responsibility for shutting its borders to refugees, trapping Jews in a prison state and, eventually, execution chamber.
The presentation is not rooted in sadness and despair; indeed, the museum tells of heroic efforts to save people from disaster and the resilience of the Jewish people in the face of annihilation. Even the existence of the museum is a tribute to hope because it conveys the conviction that we can learn from history and act in a way that never repeats this terrible past.
The Deeper Roots of the Holocaust
For the last six months, I’ve been steeped in studying and writing about the American experience with eugenics, the “policy science” of creating a master race. The more I’ve read, the more alarmed I’ve become that it was ever a thing, but it was all the rage in the Progressive Era. Eugenics was not a fringe movement; it was at the core of ruling-class politics, education, and culture. It was responsible for many of the early experiments in labor regulation. It was the driving force behind marriage licenses, minimum wages, restrictions on opportunities for women, and immigration quotas and controls.
The more I’ve looked into the subject, the more I’m convinced that it is not possible fully to understand the birth of the 20th century Leviathan without an awareness of eugenics. Eugenics was the original sin of the modern state that knows no limits to its power.
Once a regime decides that it must control human reproduction — to mold the population according to a central plan and divide human beings into those fit to thrive and those deserving extinction — you have the beginning of the end of freedom and civilization. The prophets of eugenics loathed the Jews, but also any peoples that they deemed dangerous to those they considered worthy of propagation. And the means they chose to realize their plans was top-down force.
So far in my reading on the subject, I’ve studied the origin of eugenics until the late 1920s, mostly in the US and the UK. And so, touring the Holocaust Museum was a revelation. It finally dawned on me: what happened in Germany was the extension and intensification of the same core ideas that were preached in the classrooms at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton decades earlier.
Eugenics didn’t go away. It just took on a more violent and vicious form in different political hands. Without meaningful checks on state power, people with eugenic ambitions can find themselves lording over a terror state. It was never realized in the United States, but it happened elsewhere. The stuffy academic conferences of the 1910s, the mutton-chopped faces of the respected professorial class, mutated in one generation to become the camps and commandants of the Nazi killing machine. The distance between eugenics and genocide, from Boston to Buchenwald, is not so great.
There are moments in the tour when this connection is made explicit, as when it is explained how, prior to the Nazis, the United States had set the record for forced sterilizations; how Hitler cited the US case for state planning of human reproduction; how the Nazis were obsessed with racial classification and used American texts on genetics and race as a starting point.
And think of this: when Progressive Era elites began to speak this way, to segment the population according to quality, and to urge policies to prevent “mongrelization,” there was no “slippery slope” to which opponents could point. This whole approach to managing the social order was unprecedented, and so a historical trajectory was pure conjecture. They could not say “Remember! Remember where this leads!”
Now we have exactly that history, and a moral obligation to point to it and learn from it.
What Can We Learn?
My primary takeaway from knitting this history together and observing its horrifying outcome is this: that any ideology, movement, or demagogue that dismisses universal human rights, that disparages the dignity of any person based on group characteristics, that attempts to segment the population into the fit and unfit, or in any way seeks to use the power of the state to put down some in order to uplift others, is courting outcomes that are dangerous to the whole of humanity. It might not happen immediately, but, over time, such rhetoric can lay the foundations for the machinery of death.
And there is also another, perhaps more important lesson: bad ideas have a social and political momentum all their own, regardless of anyone’s initial intentions. If you are not aware of that, you can be led down, step by step, to a very earthly hell.
At the same time, the reverse is also true: good ideas have a momentum that can lead to the flourishing of peace, prosperity, and universal human dignity. It is up to all of us. We must choose wisely, and never forget.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/nazi-death-camp-e1457600562459.jpg384640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2016-03-10 04:03:022016-03-10 04:05:13Why the Holocaust Should Matter to You by Jeffrey Tucker
A comment on my freedom and hypocrisy post reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, from Abraham Lincoln, in his Address at a Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Apr. 18, 1864:
The world has never had a good definition of liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in need of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.
With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among us human creatures, even in the North, and all professing to love liberty. Hence we behold the processes by which thousands are daily passing from under the yoke of bondage, hailed by some as the advance of liberty, and bewailed by others as the destruction of all liberty.
I’ve long found this to be a thought-provoking piece, and a useful reminder that “liberty” in the abstract is not self-defining. Most rhetoric that simply refers to “liberty” — whether in the context of slavery, where Lincoln said this, or abortion rights, or national sovereignty, and so on — rests on the assertion about the proper definition of people’s or institutions’ rights; and it’s that definition that should often be at the heart of the debate.
Of course, this analysis doesn’t itself tell us what the proper result is in any debate (such as the debate about abortion). But it should remind us that many questions can’t be resolved by just talking about “liberty” in the abstract, or “not imposing one’s beliefs on others” in the abstract.
If liberty means freedom to do things that don’t violate the rights of others, the important questions are (1) what constitutes those “rights,” (2) what counts as violation, and (3) in some contexts (e.g., abortion, animal rights, slavery), who counts as “others.”
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/lincoln-memorial-e1451591356436.jpg427640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2015-12-31 14:51:042015-12-31 14:51:04“We All Declare for Liberty, But We Do Not All Mean the Same Thing” by Eugene Volokh
Precarity is a neoliberal term that was unfamiliar until I researched the theme of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference. It means precarious, hazardous, risky, and it focuses mainly on the supposed “evils” of capitalism. Although life’s uncertainties have existed since the beginning of time, these women had come together to discuss the insecurities of living, focusing on the drawbacks of being ill prepared for functioning in today’s workforce. Where previous generations sometimes stayed with a company from hiring to retiring, today’s employees change jobs frequently and must keep up with the ever-changing technology. Thus these women fear the difficulties that arise with a free society, changing economy, other unreliable coworkers, and all that free enterprise has to offer.
Risk is the very essence of freedom and of life, and yet this is their anxiety.
They spurn those gifts bestowed upon us by our Creator and cited in our Declaration of Independence – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, all of which involve risk. It is the freedom to pursue our own happiness along our chosen path that helps us to accept failures and overcome hindrances, and to continue chasing our personal dream. Instead these women are overwhelmed by responsibility, regarding the challenge as simply “misery” generated by capitalism, since they view that the sale of one’s abilities for profit may also result in failure and unemployment. Resistant to change and diversity, they yearn for their vision of a more secure and simpler life of the past, which, of course, is remembered without the discomforts, diseases, poverty and squalor.
Their dreams of the Utopian past erase the men’s long hours of hard labor, the women who were bound to a life of raising more children than they could manage, illnesses that have since been eradicated, few kitchen appliances to ease daily chores, and a labor force of children to help families make ends meet. Blaming capitalism for their current difficulties, the NWSA members want more entitlements and government intervention in exchange for the joys of innovation, growth, and the dignity of achievement. Taught by today’s academia to rely on their feelings and to redefine right and wrong, they wallow in comfortable discomfort and, significantly, decide to boycott Israel, her harvest, inventions and medical innovations. Could it be because Israelis treasure life and produce advantages and benefits not previously known, while the Palestinians desire to acquire Israel without the labor? Arab leaders allowed the barren, sparsely populated, impoverished land to become malaria-ridden over centuries before the Diaspora Jews returned to their historic homeland to cultivate the soil and recreate a flourishing democracy.
Precarity is the cost of living! It is the cost of charting one’s own course with all the possibilities of turning the unsure into opportunities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that “all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience and shall act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” but the new liberalism distorts the vision of brotherhood into a nightmare of sameness, none better or worse; the goal of certainty, no triumphs or failures; and a less educated population reduced by chaos, abortion, sterilization, euthanasia, and incurable diseases. And for political correctness, with their minds distorted and freedom of speech eradicated, these souls will no longer recognize friend from foe, good from evil, excellence from mediocrity, or even female from male.
Amazingly, although we know that eight-one percent of mosques in America advocate violence, and Germany appears to be losing its autonomy to the invaders, and Sweden is losing its heritage, and Belgium went on lock-down, and France is actively closing mosques and eliminating militant imams, the NWSA denounced Israel. Despite the legal documents to verify that Jews, not Arabs, hold rightful title to the land, and under whose direction diverse people within flourish, these women choose Islamo-fascism, where a clear majority of its people favor severe Sharia law and terrorism.
As technology (much of it from Israel) provides us with a front seat to the world, we have seen Muslims destroy 3,000 people in the World Trade Center; Muslims behead or burn Christians alive; Muslims turn their young children into knife-wielding murderers; Muslims kill groups of revelers in arenas and weddings and schoolchildren in classrooms and school buses; Muslims car-attack or knife Jewish pedestrians, but these women are boycotting Israel. Muslims are harming girls with Female Genital Mutilation, followed by enslaving, torturing, and imprisoning women in lifelong domestic/sexual servitude in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, but the NWSA women ignore where they could be truly useful. Islam is overtaking and creating havoc in Europe, and our national intelligence-gathering agencies (FBI and DHS) have long terror-watch lists of dangerous Islamic jihadists, but the NWSA is boycotting Israel.
What the NWSA should know is that the Jewish people have moral, historical, religious and legal claims to the disputed lands in Israel, yet Israel has been willing to forego some claims for the sake of peace. The State of Israel was built on land purchased by Jews, and Jews have been a presence in Jerusalem for 3,000 years, with a majority-Jewish population for more than 250 years. Israel already ceded land to the Palestinians, who, in turn, destroyed prospering businesses and use the land for launching rockets. In truth, the Arabs who took the name “Palestinians” are the occupiers.
Morally, Israelis are first responders who have helped numerous countries, from Albania to Turkey, after floods, fires, earthquakes, bombings, tropical storms, hurricanes and cyclones, providing emergency humanitarian and medical personnel and assistance. Israelis helped Boston after the Marathon Bombing and California with its fires and water shortages. America benefits from this valuable partnership, including intelligence; the UK benefits from Israeli technology in protection, jobs, medicines and more. Israel is a global leader in bio-technology and defense, agriculture, water innovation, medicine, book publishing, and more. Increasingly, Israeli entrepreneurs are attracting more foreign banks’ investments in their innovative technology.
IsraAid, which, in cooperation with Israeli NGOs FIRST and Operation Blessing-Israel, launched a social-worker training program in the new African state of South Sudan, one of the most undeveloped in the world. They are addressing the country’s violent misogynistic culture of rape and forced marriage. The women of NWSA could be involved, but do absolutely nothing.
How will these work-shy, incompetent women defend themselves when the soldiers of Allah fill our streets and execute their many forms of violent jihad on our citizens? Will they crumble into submission when the young Muslim males wreak havoc on the most vulnerable? Will they merely stand by and watch the migrants join forces with their brethren in the terror mosques to create battalions beyond the control of our diminished police and armed forces? These women are either terribly ignorant or filled with a fanatical evil – how else to explain this mindset?
Perhaps it is then that the National Women’s Studies Association will finally achieve its goal.
Their insecurities will be gone because their future will be spelled out to the letter. All the laws of Islam are clearly defined for women in the Qur’an. Independence and security will be as amputated as the limbs of Islam’s thieves. They will be guaranteed of being equal to all other women (devalued by men), and their tomorrow will be precisely as today – that is, of course, unless they are accused of some minor Mohammedan infraction. Then the morrow will not even come into question.
Final note: With all the ignorance shown by NWSA, they also appear to be unaware that Israel boycotts are Illegal. Under corporate law, an organization, including nonprofit, can do only what is permitted under the purposes specified in its charter. Boycott resolutions that are beyond the powers of an organization are void, and individuals can be sued and board members liable for damages.
At this time of the year, all of us at the Foundation for Economic Education take special note of our many friends, both new and old. Though our work is vitally important, we never want to be so absorbed in it that we neglect the people like you who make it possible.
So allow me this moment to express a collective thanks from all of us at FEE to all of you who partner with us as trustees, donors, seminar attendees and alumni, faculty network members, readers of the Freeman and FEE.org, and ambassadors for liberty.
If you’re a past supporter of FEE, I thank you for your generosity and invite you to consider renewing your support.
When you invest in FEE, you invest in life-changing events and publications that will pay dividends for decades.
FEE is focused on cultivating an understanding of the principles of freedom in the minds of young “newcomers” to liberty — particularly those of high school and college age.
Every time I hear a student exclaim “I never heard this before FEE told me about it!” I know we’ve made a difference for the rest of that person’s life.
Why is liberty so important?
Liberty is precious, rare, never guaranteed, and always threatened. It can be lost in a single generation if it’s not advanced and defended.
Liberty follows from human nature: We are unique individuals, not a blob or an army of robots to be programmed by those with power.
To be fully human, all of us must be free to exercise our choices and govern our lives so long as we permit the same of others.
Liberty works. Over and over again, it produces a degree of interpersonal cooperation, innovation, and wealth creation that allows human beings to flourish — nothing else even comes close.
Liberty is the only social, political, or economic arrangement that requires that we live to high standards of conduct and character and rewards us when we do so. This is a crucial difference between liberty and the soul-crushing, paternalistic snares that are offered as alternatives.
Life without liberty is unthinkable. Who wants to live at the end of another’s leash, fearing at every turn what those armed with force and power might do to us, even if they have good intentions?
We wouldn’t expect, even if it were possible, that everyone who supports us will agree with everything they ever see or hear from FEE. We have our own core beliefs, of course, but to a considerable degree we are a forum for differing views among those who broadly share an affinity for liberty.
We don’t take for granted that we’ll earn your support every day, every month or every year. We know we have to earn it all the time. So we are engaged in a non-stop, self-improvement program. We experiment and innovate. Seminar themes, technology, content, and speakers change and improve. We expand and grow what works and drop what doesn’t. We do it all in an effort to be the best-known, most effective “first encounter” for young people with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.
I hope this cause in general — and our work at FEE, in particular — excites you as much as it does every member of the team we’ve assembled. We go to work every day with passion for what we do, and with appreciation for you who support us.
Thank you, too, for being an ambassador for liberty. Because of your sharing on social media and your own engagement with our content, FEE is reaching a wider audience than at any time in our 69-year history.
We are experiencing record levels of applications for our seminars. FEE voices are appearing in the international press. And FEE.org itself is being read by over 500,000 people per month (and rising fast!). This is a level of reach that would have delighted FEE’s founders, and the champions of freedom from time immemorial.
However, without the generosity of individuals like you, FEE would not be able to deliver life-changing moments for countless young people. We need your financial support to continue our work for liberty.
Whether you give a little or become a continuing benefactor in substantial amounts, we appreciate it deeply as a vote of confidence in FEE’s message, mission, and work.
Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.
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Right at the beginning of the book, Murray struggles to give some measure of the extent of increase in government involvement with everyone’s life.
Here’s a passage:
Until the 1930s, the federal government remained tiny. The federal budget of 1928 totalled $38.0 billion, expressed in 2010 dollars. …
Of that total budget in 1928, $9.4 billion went to defense. Of non-defense spending, another $9.4 billion went to repayment of the national debt and $9.0 billion went to pensions and the Veteran Bureau. That left $10.2 billion for everything else — all the expenses associated with the White House, the federal judiciary, and the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Commerce, Labour, Interior, the Post Office, and all the independent agencies of the federal government.
Expressed as per capita spending in constant dollars, that $10.2 billion amounted to 1.0 percent of comparable federal spending in 2013. Think about it: one one-hundredth.
Murray has quite a few similar “facts from the past” that turn out to be rather surprising for the contemporary reader. To me, the most striking thing is how fast government expansion was accomplished. I fear we very often forget that.
In Western countries, most people today think pensions are a most common feature of human life — and yet human beings had compulsory savings and pension systems for a minuscule fraction of their history.
If government grows fast, however, culture changes fast too. The sense of entitlement takes root easily in society.
For one thing, looking back makes us think that big government is not inevitable: after all, government was capricious, tyrannical, arbitrary during most of human history, but it never was this intrusive and expensive.
For the other, it is remarkable how easy we get used — perhaps, we become addicted? — to new government programs, and how strongly they can permeate society and change culture.
Alberto Mingardi is Director General of Istituto Bruno Leoni, Italy’s free-market think tank.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/nationsl-debt-clock-e1443092870182.jpg336640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2015-09-24 07:08:242015-09-24 07:08:24Big Government Is Still Young by Alberto Mingardi
Back in 2009, when I started my radio talk show, I knew that President Obama would be one of the worst presidents this nation has ever had. I also took to heart what Rush Limbaugh said back then about the President. Rush said “I hope he fails.” Lots of people on the left and in the ‘lame stream’ media blasted Rush for that. They took him out of context on purpose so they could label Rush and others who agreed with him as racists.
I, of course, knew exactly what Rush meant back then. I knew if this man succeeded then he would indeed fulfill a promise he made in one of his speeches “To Fundamentally Transform this Nation”. Fast forward some 7 years now and I can honestly say that what Rush wanted, what all true conservatives wanted, did not happen. In fact the complete opposite happened.
President Obama did not fail he has succeeded. In fact, I say that President Obama is the most successful president in our nation’s history at getting his agenda passed and implemented. However, that success has meant failure and decline for this nation. Obama wanted to punish those who were successful and did not tow his line. Indeed we now have the longest high level unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
We have the lowest labor participation rate in nearly 40 years. We have the fewest number of jobs in total compared to the total work force population since the Great Depression. We have had the longest period of the Federal Reserve leaving the base interest rate at 0% in our history. We have the highest number of people on Food Stamp assistance in history. We have nearly 50 million Americans now living at or below the poverty line and that is the highest it has been since the Great Depression.
We have a military that is smaller than what we had at the start of World War II and in some cases; it’s smaller than what we had at the start of World War I and Obama wants to cut it even further. Our influence and respect has declined all over the world and even our allies no longer take us seriously.
We have a government bureaucracy that is bigger than it has ever been and more costly than it has ever been. We have more national debt than we have ever had and that debt as a percentage of our total GDP is the highest it has ever been. We have police officers being targeted for assassination for the first time in our nation and the President is responsible for a good portion of this ill-will. He refuses to stand up for law enforcement, yet he often condones and even congratulates those who challenge authority and even threaten our society and its peace.
In fact, things are so bad in this country today that even the Democratic candidates for President are distancing themselves from Obama. They claim they will not follow in his footsteps yet we know each and every one of them would do so and in fact at least one of them would go even further.
But there is hope because Conservatives are gathering and speaking out. They are voting in larger numbers and they are making an impact on local politics all over the nation. They are turning out liberals, Democrats and Socialists almost everywhere. Even in some of our most liberal of cities, there is an air of conservatism that is creeping in.
People are beginning to understand what President John F Kennedy meant when he said. “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country”. We are spreading the word from coast to coast that conservatism, the rule of law, small government, efficient government, low taxes, and strong national defense has always meant a great America.
Yes, we are starting to re-energize our grass roots. We are starting to believe that America can be great again. We have given our acceptance to the strong, outsider voices for the GOP Presidential nomination race. The polished, well-rehearsed, typical politicians are languishing at the bottom of the polls and at the bottom of the voters’ heart
We are demanding that our President represent what is best about our nation. We want leaders that are not afraid to stand up for what is right no matter how bad the odds of winning may seem and most of all WE WANT OUR FREEDOM BACK. In short, Americans have seen what it is like to be a second rate nation in decline and we don’t like it because we want to be that shining beacon of hope for the world.
With the help of God and the American people, we will be that shining, gleaming city of light and hope on the mountain top because that is where the United States of America belongs forever.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/obama-poster-red-e1442869161956.jpg359640Rod Eccleshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRod Eccles2015-09-21 17:00:172015-09-21 17:01:36Because of You and Your Destructive Policies, We the People want our Nation Back
That’s Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York City, who was elected in 2013 after running unabashedly as the progressive, socially democratic candidate. I find it interesting that people are surprised by the mayor’s illiberal stands on many (though not all) of the major issues he has faced in his short time in office.
One of the latest is his proposal to return cars to Times Square Plaza, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, by razing the outdoor space created by the administration of his Republican predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. You see, Mayor Bill says he doesn’t like the goings-on there, which lately include women soliciting topless on the street and people dressed as Elmo hustling tourists. His solution? We can’t control all the hucksterism, so let’s shut the whole thing down!
Justin Davidson, the author of that New York magazine article, says it well:
If de Blasio really believes that the best way to deal with street performers in Times Square is to tear up the pedestrian plaza, may I suggest he try reducing homelessness by eradicating doorways and subway grates?
My point goes beyond Times Square Plaza, of course, although that controversy is instructive, as are others (such as his recent attempt to rein in Uber).
The approach the mayor takes in this and similar matters is characteristic of any political ideology that views unrestrained political power as a legitimate tool of social change. That includes neoconservatism and other modern political ideologies, including progressivism.
While it’s a caricature to say that what progressives would not forbid, they would make mandatory, they show a pattern of using force to ban what they don’t like and of mandating what they do. If you think that sounds illiberal, you’re right. Progressivism isn’t liberalism, especially of the classical variety. But even the watered-down liberalism of campus radicals of the 1960s paid more heed to the principle of tolerance than progressives today do.
Progressives have a low tolerance for opposing points of view. Unfortunately, so do some libertarians, but for the most part libertarians do not endorse using political power to eradicate what they believe are disagreeable public activities. Libertarians are much closer to genuine liberals than progressives are.
To a genuine liberal, tolerance means more than endorsing a wide range of beliefs and practices. It means allowing nonviolent people to say and do things that we strongly disagree with, disapprove of, or find highly offensive. It means not assuming our own moral superiority over the wickedness or stupidity of our ideological opponents. English writer Beatrice Evelyn Hall captured that liberal spirit when she (and not Voltaire) wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The plaza and the streets it encompasses were, of course, the creation of government, so we’re not talking about the municipality bulldozing private property. But it’s not the government-created structure the mayor is objecting to; it’s the purely voluntary — “unregulated” — activities going on in it that he doesn’t like and wants to wipe out with heavy hands and hammy fists.
Closing the Gap Economy
The activity in Times Square Plaza is related to what I called in a recent column the “gap economy,” which refers to the unregulated, money-making activities that arise in the free spaces left open by government regulation and that complete with businesses that have adapted themselves to the mixed economy. Progressives like Mayor de Blasio seem to fear what they cannot regulate and control. They don’t understand that in the free market, there is regulation and that the regulatory principle is not coercion but persuasion, competition, and reputation.
Progressives profoundly mistrust the spontaneous, especially when it’s the result of people acting out of self-interest. But that’s the hallmark and the essence of urban life. New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman sees it this way:
Time and again, Mr. de Blasio leaves an impression that he understands very little about the dynamics of urbanism and the physical fabric of the city — its parks and plazas, its open spaces, libraries, transit network and streetscape, which all contribute to issues he cares most about, like equity and social mobility.
He doesn’t understand because he probably thinks in terms of specific, static objectives (such as his so-called “Vision Zero,” which I write about in “Um, Scarcity?”) rather than what Kimmelman rightly refers to as “the dynamics of urbanism.” As the urbanist (and libertarian friendly) Jane Jacobs explained, those dynamics are messy and inherently unpredictable.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the mayor that ordinary people have demonstrated their preference for Times Square Plaza by showing up in record numbers, just as it doesn’t matter that ordinary New Yorkers have gained from gap-economy activities such as Uber or Airbnb. What concerns progressives like the mayor is that it’s not happening the way they want it to happen. (In the case of Uber, thank goodness, the truly liberal elements of New York soundly defeated the progressive forces.)
I understand that the mayor doesn’t care for the carnival atmosphere at Times Square — neither do I. But eradicating a pedestrian plaza because you don’t like who’s walking there is like blasting away a beach because you object to bikinis or paving a park because you hate squirrels. It represents such a profound misunderstanding of public space that it makes me question the mayor’s perception of what counts as progressive.
It’s not the mayor Davidson should be questioning so much as the principles that motivate him. De Blasio just happens to illustrate progressivism in a particularly glaring way.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/nyc-mayor-de-blasio.png315630Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2015-09-16 14:03:412015-09-16 14:54:48Progressivism Is Illiberal: Modern Liberalism Is at Odds with Peaceful Interaction by Sandy Ikeda