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Articles Posted by reaganaut1

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  • Gay Marriage and the Political Psychology of Disgust

    07/28/2014 9:47:42 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 28 replies
    National Journal ^ | July 28, 2014 | Brian Resnick
    When Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on television to celebrate his successful draft into the NFL, some viewers were disgusted. The charged comments that followed demonstrated that when it comes to public displays of gay affection, some people have a gut reaction to recoil. But why? The answer to that question is not fully known, but scientists are beginning to establish an understanding of how biology and the environment may interact to form such reactions. First, it's important to understand that disgust in humans can be good. We should recoil from the truly gross things that can harm us—festering wounds,...
  • Let Students Discharge College Debts In Bankruptcy? Yes, But...

    07/25/2014 5:42:54 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 46 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 24, 2014 | George Leef
    Ever since the obstreperous Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011, Americans have been getting an earful about the alleged crisis of student loan debt. Sensing a chance to appear both compassionate and pro-education, many lawmakers want to do something to ease the plight of indebted students. Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, is pushing her populist plan of allowing students to refinance their loans at absurdly low interest rates. President Obama recently expanded the touchy-feely repayment system so that students would never have to pay more than ten percent of their discretionary income for 20 years before the rest of the...
  • Hardline Muslims Tried to Impose Islam in British City's Schools: Government Report

    07/22/2014 9:01:16 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 10 replies
    LONDON — A British government inquiry has found that hardline Muslims tried to impose an "intolerant and aggressive" Islamic agenda on some schools in the city of Birmingham, including separation of boys and girls in lessons and banning Christmas celebrations. Some of the majority-Moslem schools invited speakers with known extremist views to assemblies and promoted organizations that would be categorized as 'extremist' under government classifications, according to the report by Peter Clarke, former head of London Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command. Hardline Muslims also tried to force schools to install governors and teachers who would support a conservative Islamic religious...
  • When You Harm Those You Mean To Help, You Should Immediately Stop (book review)

    07/18/2014 10:55:48 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 18, 2014 | George Leef
    For a long time, free-market critics of programs supposedly meant to help struggling people have been pointing out that those programs are usually counterproductive. They actually harm the “beneficiaries.” Sadly, their arguments have almost always either been ignored by key politicians and opinion shapers or dismissed out of hand because those who make them are white or are said to harbor some hidden animosity towards the poor and minorities. So, what will be the reaction to Wall Street Journal writer Jason Riley’s new book, Please Stop Helping Us –How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed? Riley, who is...
  • DHS Tells Senators: $250 to $1,000 Per Day to House Each Immigrant Child

    07/17/2014 1:41:37 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 41 replies
    National Review ^ | July 17, 2014 | Joel Gehrke
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson shocked senators of both parties when he revealed that it costs $250 to $1,000 per day to house each of the immigrant children who have recently arrived at the border. When Johnson reported that figure, “there was an audible gasp, a bipartisan gasp,” Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) told National Review Online. Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) wouldn’t comment on the overall cost of housing so far. “It’s in the president’ request,” she said. President Obama asked Congress to provide $1.8 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services...
  • States Siphon Gas Tax for Other Uses: Makes Them More Reliant on Federal Assistance

    07/17/2014 6:01:10 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 3 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 16, 2014 | DAMIAN PALETTA
    States are allotting a growing share of the funds they raise from gas taxes to debt service and spending unrelated to roads and bridges, making them more reliant on federal assistance to pay for new infrastructure. The shrinking pot of state cash is one reason why governors increasingly are in a panic over a congressional impasse about replenishing the federal Highway Trust Fund. The federal fund, too, is running out of money and will cut disbursements to states in August if Congress doesn't intervene. Texas spends 25% of its fuel-tax revenue on education programs. Kansas has allocated some of its...
  • Australia repeals controversial carbon tax

    07/17/2014 5:26:00 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | July 16, 2014 | KRISTEN GELINEAU
    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it. The Senate voted 39 to 32 to axe the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.60) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by the center-left Labor government in July 2012. Conservative lawmakers burst into applause as the final tally was announced. Prime Minister Tony Abbott's conservative coalition government rose to power last year on the promise of getting rid of the tax, assuring...
  • How The Ruinous "Living Constitution" Idea Took Root

    07/16/2014 8:55:06 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 21 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 15, 2014 | George Leef
    The “living Constitution” theory amounts to saying that Supreme Court justices should be allowed to rewrite the foundation of our government as they see fit, sometimes adding ideas that weren’t included, sometimes ignoring ideas that were. Mostly, “living Constitution” decisions entail the latter, turning a blind eye to the document’s clear limits on governmental power. From their experience with the British crown, the Founders had a deep fear of government and sought to keep its authority strictly limited. But their philosophy on the proper scope of government conflicts with the views of Americans who believe that ever-expanding state power is...
  • 60% Don’t Think Washington Redskins Should Change Their Name

    07/14/2014 12:27:56 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 14 replies
    Rasmussen Reports ^ | June 24, 2014
    The Washington Redskins professional football team is under growing pressure from Native American activists and politicians from President Obama on down to change its name. Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a two-to-one vote canceled the team’s trademark on the grounds that it is “disparaging to Native Americans.” But most Americans nationwide agree with the team's owner Daniel Snyder that a name change is not necessary, and those who follow pro football the most are even more opposed. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 26% of American Adults believe the Washington Redskins should...
  • Law Schools Peer Into The Abyss

    07/10/2014 10:46:47 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 26 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 10, 2014 | George Leef
    Not so long ago, law school was a growth industry, with new schools being created and enrollments going ever higher. No more. There has been a dramatic turn-around over the last ten years. Enrollments of first-year students are back where they were 40 years ago. According to the Law School Admissions Council, in 2004, more than 100,000 students applied for law school, but in 2013, just 59,000 did. Some law schools have had to lay off faculty members and administrators. Four independent law schools have recently had their bonds downgraded to “junk” status by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, reflecting...
  • I Couldn’t Turn My Abortion Into Art

    07/03/2014 10:15:53 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 16 replies
    New York Times ^ | July 2, 2014 | LISA SELIN DAVIS
    ... Or, at least, it stopped the physical pain. The begging cabdriver and the woman on her ninth abortion and the shocking suction in my womb: It was too traumatic for me to make art of. Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t a good enough artist to transform that level of trauma into something that others could learn from and use. I had been taught that a woman’s right to choose was the most important thing to fight for, but I hadn’t known what a brutal choice it was. I took a car service home, too, where my...
  • Fidelity Bans U.S. Investors Overseas From Buying Mutual Funds

    07/02/2014 9:05:47 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 12 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 2, 2014 | Laura Saunders
    Fidelity Investments and other asset managers are telling U.S. clients who live outside the country that they can no longer buy or trade mutual funds in their brokerage accounts. Stephen Austin, a spokesman for the financial-services firm, said the change, effective Aug. 1, was prompted by "today's continually evolving global regulatory environment," but he said it wasn't in response to a specific issue. The change will affect about 50,000 accounts, or less than 0.3% of Fidelity's 20 million accounts, he said. "Customers will not be forced to sell holdings simply because they live in a foreign country," Mr. Austin said....
  • Hobby Lobby And Harris v. Quinn -- A Pretty Good Day For The First Amendment

    07/01/2014 1:29:50 PM PDT · by reaganaut1
    Forbes ^ | July 1, 2014 | George Leef
    On June 30, the Supreme Court released two much-awaited decisions, both involving arguments over the extent of federal power to coerce individuals. Those of us who believe that the federal government already far exceeds its constitutional (or merely proper) authority should applaud both decisions — but not too enthusiastically. I say that because both decisions were defensive victories. By narrow majorities, the Court fended off attacks on the lines holding against further erosion of the First Amendment. Be glad about that, but the forces pushing for ever-increasing political control won’t stop just because two of their offensives were repulsed. I...
  • Who is a "Native American"? (vanity)

    06/30/2014 11:04:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 28 replies
    June 30, 2014 | me
    In our public elementary school, children are required to make a presentation about their "country of origin". I don't think students whose ancestors came from Mongolia should be forced to write about Mongolia -- it's none of the school's business. One child in our daughter's class said her "country of origin" was America, since her ancestors came here more than a hundred years ago. Her teacher said that only "Native Americans" can claim the U.S. as their country of origin. I wonder if the use of the term "Native American" instead of the old "American Indian" is a way to...
  • A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution

    06/30/2014 7:54:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 17 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | June 29, 2014 | CASEY B. MULLIGAN
    ... I met a recruiter—a man whose job it is to find employees for businesses and put unemployed people into new jobs—and he described the trade-off pretty well. Stacey Reece was his name, and he said that in 2009 his clients again had jobs to fill. But he ran into a hurdle he hadn't seen before. People would apply for jobs not with the intention of accepting it, but to demonstrate to the unemployment office that they were looking for work. As Mr. Reece described it, the applicants would use technicalities to avoid accepting a position. The applicants would take...
  • Our Wonderful Politicians -- Why Do They Pass So Many Bad Laws And Repeal So Few?

    06/27/2014 11:58:58 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 18 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 27, 2014 | George Leef
    Why is it that democracies so often generate public policies that are wasteful and unjust? Why do such policies persist over long periods of time, even when they are known to be harmful? Assuming that you’ve pondered those questions, you’d probably also like to understand why, on rare occasions, bad policies do get repealed. If you have entertained those questions, or now see that they are worth entertaining, here is a book you’ll want to read. In Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers, economics professors Wayne Leighton (of Universidad Francisco Marroquin) and Edward Lopez (of Western Carolina University) take readers on...
  • Obama blasts House Republicans over lawsuit threat

    06/27/2014 11:10:51 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 27 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 27, 2014 | ROBERTA RAMPTON
    U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday blasted House Republicans who have threatened to sue him for issuing executive orders to implement policies that would have a hard time passing in the Republican-controlled chamber of Congress. "They don't do anything except block me and call me names," Obama said in an economic speech that concluded a two-day visit to Minnesota. Obama reacted to a threat on Thursday from House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who said he was considering a lawsuit charging the president with overstepping his constitutional boundaries by taking a series of executive actions and other steps. Obama is...
  • Pay $500 more in tuition at DevBootCamp if you are male, white, or Asian

    06/25/2014 8:18:06 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 33 replies
    DevBootCamp ^ | June 25, 2014
    We offer a $500 scholarship if you're female, a veteran of the U.S. Military, or from an ethnic minority group underrepresented in the software engineering field (African American, Chicano/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander).
  • Officials at Ex-Im Bank Face Investigations

    06/24/2014 5:31:43 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 1 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | June 23, 2014 | DAMIAN PALETTA
    The U.S. Export-Import Bank has suspended or removed four officials in recent months amid investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks, as well as attempts to steer federal contracts to favored companies, several people familiar with the matter said. One employee, Johnny Gutierrez, an official in the short-term trade finance division, allegedly accepted cash payments in exchange for trying to help a Florida company obtain U.S. government financing to export construction equipment to Latin America, according to a person familiar with the inquiry. Mr. Gutierrez was escorted from the Ex-Im Bank building in April, said two people familiar with the...
  • For Women in Midlife, Career Gains Slip Away

    06/24/2014 5:13:28 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 21 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 23, 2014 | DIONNE SEARCEY
    Tracy Murphy was managing a nonprofit agency five years ago when her mother became seriously ill with heart problems. She promptly left her job to care for her, a task that has consumed Ms. Murphy ever since. “For me, it was a no-brainer,” said Ms. Murphy, who lives in Syracuse. “When I was growing up she sacrificed for me.” Ms. Murphy, 54, set aside her career aspirations, drained her savings account and eventually sold her gold jewelry to help make ends meet while shuttling her mother, who is 85, to doctors’ appointments and running errands. “I always felt like I...
  • Democratic Lawmakers Propose Lawyers for Immigrant Children

    06/23/2014 1:44:35 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 23, 2014
    WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. lawmakers announced legislation on Monday that would provide lawyers for thousands of undocumented minors streaming across the border into the United States, saying forcing children to face deportation proceedings alone goes against fundamental American values. "It is a fantasy to believe that they have a fair shot in immigration proceedings without counsel," New York U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries told a news conference. Jeffries and the other House of Representatives Democrats introducing the bill said as many as 40 to 50 percent of the undocumented children would have legitimate claims to remain in the United States under...
  • Why So Stingy, Seattle? Government Could Do Much More Than Raise The Minimum Wage!

    06/23/2014 7:07:01 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 6 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 23, 2014 | George Leef
    Seattle recently raised the minimum hourly wage that employers in the city must pay to $15. That puts Seattle out in front in America’s Living Wage Derby – hooray! Mayor Ed Murray boasts that the high minimum wage makes his city “the model for the nation.” Not only that, but the big increase, over Washington state’s minimum wage of $9.32 per hour will, he says, enable the city to “regain economic strength.” Great objectives, Mr. Mayor, but I don’t know why you’re being so stingy. You have at best taken a baby step towards fairness for workers and economic vitality....
  • At School, Turning Good Food Into Perfectly Good Compost

    06/23/2014 5:32:11 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 25 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 22, 2014 | Al Baker
    One by one, the children at Public School 30 on Staten Island dumped their uneaten bananas into a bin in the back of their raucous cafeteria, each greenish-yellow missile landing with a thud. Thud. Thud. John Sullivan, 9, a fourth grader, said bananas “make my stomach hurt.” Julianna Delloso, 6, a first grader, said “they taste funny.” And Joseph Incardone, 7, also in first grade, was almost gleeful as he explained why he, too, had chucked his unpeeled banana. “I didn’t like it,” he said. The sad voyage of fruits and vegetables from lunch lady to landfill has frustrated parents,...
  • Koch Derangement Syndrome Breaks Out After $25 Million Donation To United Negro College Fund

    06/18/2014 11:26:37 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 38 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 18, 2014 | George Leef
    On June 6, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) announced the receipt of the fifth largest donation in its history — $25 million from Charles and David Koch. Had the money come from any other source, we would have smiley faces all around. But because the Koch brothers have been so relentlessly demonized by defenders of the mega-state (Harry Reid denounces them as “un-American” on the Senate floor; others use language much worse than that), the gift has led to spasms of outrage. As we read in the Inside Higher Education story about the Koch gift, Koch haters let fly...
  • It's Liberalism Day -- Real Liberalism, Not The Phony, Authoritarian Kind

    06/17/2014 11:28:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 3 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 16, 2014 | George Leef
    June 16 is Liberalism Day. Your first thought might well be, “Why do we need that? Liberalism is ruining America every day.” Point well taken, but that’s because you have absorbed the idea that “liberalism” means ever-expanding government that takes more and more of our income, spends it on thousands of wasteful special interest programs, and increasingly controls our lives. You think that “liberalism” means living under the heels of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their bureaucratic minions. There certainly is nothing to celebrate in that. But that conception of liberalism is an Orwellian perversion: war is peace, freedom is slavery,...
  • Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution

    06/13/2014 7:13:34 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 28 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | June 12, 2014 | PAUL MCHUGH
    ... You won't hear it from those championing transgender equality, but controlled and follow-up studies reveal fundamental problems with this movement. When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned. We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into "sex-reassignment surgery"—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes...
  • The Spelling Bee: America’s Great Racial Freaks-and-Geeks Show

    06/11/2014 9:28:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 33 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | June 11, 2014 | Sameer Pandya
    ... On television, the bee plays out as pure meritocracy. You spell the word correctly, you move on in the competition. No quibbling about home-field advantage, no refs making questionable calls. In this context, Indian Americans have been perfect winners, affirming the perception of them as model minorities. They are quiet politically, loud academically—characteristics ostensibly emanating from Asian cultural values. They are perceived as geeks, not only in the pejorative sense, but also as studious kids who represent the American ideal. Every time an Indian American wins, one more angel of America gets its wings. Meritocracy and the existence of...
  • U.S. to Provide Lawyers for Children Facing Deportation

    06/06/2014 2:11:29 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 22 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 6, 2014 | Kirk Semple
    The Obama administration said on Friday that it was launching a program to help recruit lawyers for children facing deportation as it scrambles to deal with the soaring number of unaccompanied Central American minors illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Under the plan, the federal government will issue $2 million in grants to enroll about 100 lawyers and paralegals to represent children making their way through the immigration court system. “We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a...
  • Let’s Set Aside Set-Asides (in government contracting)

    06/06/2014 10:23:58 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 10 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | June 16, 2014 | Terry Eastland
    In our episodic “national conversation about race,” perhaps it is time to take notice of Rothe Development Corporation of San Antonio, Texas, which, you could say, has been having its own conversation about race—in the federal courts. Rothe is a government contractor that has now brought two lawsuits challenging racial preferences in federal contracting, winning the first, which was filed in 1998 and decided in 2008, and hoping, of course, to win the second, which was filed in 2012 and could go to the Supreme Court while President Obama is in office. At stake, ultimately, is whether the government will...
  • True Or False: America Desperately Needs More STEM Workers

    06/06/2014 9:38:59 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 23 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 6, 2014 | George Leef
    ... In his recent book Falling Behind: Boom, Bust & the Global Race for Scientific Talent, Michael Teitelbaum (Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School) shows that the U.S. has been through at least five STEM-related cycles since World War II. In each instance, alarms about a perceived shortage of STEM workers led to federal action to stimulate STEM research and education. But after the government’s stimulus ended, we were left with a surfeit of people with STEM degrees but no work commensurate with their training. Far from “falling behind,” Teitelbaum shows that the U.S. currently has a surplus of...
  • Sex Crimes That Shouldn’t Be (not disclosing HIV -- NYT barf alert)

    06/02/2014 5:54:30 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 27 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 1, 2014 | LAURIE SHRAGE
    ... In many jurisdictions, people who know they are H.I.V.-positive are legally required to disclose this status to potential sexual partners, even when they intend to engage in relatively safe and protected sex. Why do our disclosure policies single out this group, and not, for example, people with other incurable, or possibly fatal, infectious diseases? Why do most policies demand transparency between sexual partners in regard to their H.I.V.-status, but not in regard to past behaviors that may have caused a yet undetected H.I.V. infection, such as intravenous drug use or unprotected sex with partners who do not regularly get...
  • Medicare coverage ban on sex-change surgery lifted

    05/30/2014 11:31:31 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 33 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 30, 2014 | Lisa Leff
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex. Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health...
  • How We Pay Government Workers Has Changed Greatly Over Time -- And Why That Matters

    05/30/2014 11:11:31 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 10 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 28, 2014 | George Leef
    Does it matter how we compensate government workers? Not just how much, but how? After all, incentives matter in the private sector; what about in public employment? That is the subject of Against the Profit Motive – The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780 – 1940 by Nicholas Parrillo, a professor of law at Yale. It’s a fascinating and deeply researched book explores what must be among the least examined aspects of American history — the way compensation for public officials has changed over time. That might seem to be a subject of scant interest, but Parrillo demonstrates that the...
  • Property tax a ticking time bomb (in Chicago)

    05/28/2014 2:42:40 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 27 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | May 27, 2014 | MADELEINE DOUBEK
    Chicago residents who are worried about a $250 million property tax hike because of the pension bill Gov. Pat Quinn is weighing don’t know the half of it. Or maybe three-quarters of it. It’s time Chicagoans confront the fact that there’s a nuclear property tax time bomb already set and ticking away here. There’s the potential for another $600 million property tax increase coming in December to fix police and fire pensions. And then maybe another $696 million needed next year for Chicago Public School pensions. Back to police and fire. Public Act 096-1495, passed in 2010, reads, in part,...
  • Where Did the Obamacare Data Go? (enrollment reports discontinued)

    05/23/2014 10:34:42 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 8 replies
    BloombergView | May 21, 2014 | Megan McArdle
    No excerpt from Bloomberg allowed, story here.
  • Ready for H.I.V.'s Sexual Revolution? (Truvada to encourage more sodomy)

    05/23/2014 9:27:40 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 20 replies
    New York Times ^ | MAY 23, 2014 | DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
    Pretend it’s 1960, and the Food and Drug Administration has just done something startling. It has taken a drug it had previously approved for infertility — brand name Enovid — and approved it for the opposite use: birth control. That pill — soon simply the Pill — triggered the sexual revolution. But not overnight. Doctors at first resisted giving it to unmarried women. Women were shy about carrying evidence that they actually planned to have sex. Feminists like Margaret Sanger and Katharine D. McCormick braved vilification to champion it. Madison Avenue chimed in: Ads featured Andromeda, the princess of Greek...
  • Uncovered Papers Show Past Government Efforts to Drive Gays From Jobs

    05/21/2014 11:09:40 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 8 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 20, 2014 | MATT APUZZO
    WASHINGTON — Days after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s election to his first full term, an administration official asked a subordinate to explain the policy on firing gays. In particular, he wondered whether someone with a history of gay liaisons could, through years of marriage, be “rehabilitated” into a trustworthy civil servant. The response came quickly, and in language that would be shocking by today’s standards. Technically, rehabilitated gays could keep their jobs. But John W. Steele, a staff member of the Civil Service Commission, which handled personnel matters for the government, said that seldom happened. “Some feel that ‘once a...
  • Piketty's Book -- Just Another Excuse For Legal Plunder And Expanding The State

    05/21/2014 10:14:37 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 49 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 21, 2014 | George Leef
    Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century is by far the most talked-about book of the year. Liberals who are predisposed to wanting higher taxes to redistribute wealth and expand the scope of government have praised the book to the heavens. On the other hand, conservative critics have often punctured the author’s theory about capital accumulation and the his quantitative case that inequality has been getting “worse.” For example, in the May 15 Wall Street Journal, Harvard professor Martin Feldstein argued that “Piketty’s Numbers Don’t Add Up.” Feldstein shows that Piketty has ignored the effects of tax law changes that...
  • Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift to Prevent AIDS

    05/15/2014 10:28:54 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    New York Times ^ | MAY 14, 2014 | DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
    Federal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it. If broadly followed, the advice could transform AIDS prevention in the United States — from reliance on condoms, which are effective but unpopular with many men, to a regimen that relies on an antiretroviral drug. It would mean a 50-fold increase in the number of prescriptions for the drug, Truvada — to 500,000 a year from fewer than 10,000. The drug costs $13,000 a year, and most insurers...
  • What Is The Worst Agency In Washington, D.C. Today? (EEOC)

    05/15/2014 6:13:13 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 15, 2014 | George Leef
    Government agencies always consume wealth that was produced by taxpayers, often far in excess of any benefits the agencies create. Many are worse than that – not only do they consume wealth, but they also get in the way of the efforts of productive people. Double whammy on society. And some agencies that waste resources and inhibit production do still more reprehensible things, like terrorizing people or acting hypocritically. It’s in the last group that, I submit, we have our contenders for the worst federal agency. One of them is unquestionably the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, whose arrogance and hypocrisy...
  • Orr tells Michigan lawmakers: 'We need your money' (to bail out Detroit)

    05/13/2014 11:08:59 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 24 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 13, 2014
    <p>ANSING, Mich. (AP) — Detroit's emergency manager asked lawmakers Tuesday to quickly approve nearly $195 million in state aid to help the bankrupt city emerge from insolvency, saying frankly, "we need your money" to ensure a compromise on pensions doesn't fall apart.</p>
  • Racism, Again: Why Drug Tests Are Helping Black Americans Get Jobs

    05/13/2014 8:41:35 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 27 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | May 8, 2014 | REBECCA J. ROSEN
    Policies that encourage drug testing potential employees are not, generally speaking, viewed as means for achieving greater racial equality. As the ACLU states on its website (emphasis added), "Not only do these policies constitute a significant and unjustified invasion of privacy, they also single out those living in low-income communities and disproportionately impact people of color." A new study supports this: Drug tests do disproportionately impact people of color, but not in the way the ACLU implies. Rather, economist Abigail K. Wozniak finds, drug testing is actually boosting employment for blacks, particularly those who who are relatively unskilled. How's that?...
  • Our Generous Uncle Sam: Lenient College Debt Rules Encourage Students To Keep Borrowing

    05/09/2014 10:03:47 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 6 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 8, 2014 | George Leef
    People keep talking about the high burden of college debt, which now surpasses credit card debt. And the federal government is doing something to help. Unfortunately, what it is doing makes the problem worse. Student loan debt has risen more than any other category, according to a February report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That’s surprising because college enrollments (and also enrollments in many graduate and professional schools) have been declining. So why is that student debt mountain still growing? Instead of paying their debts down, many graduates are either keeping their loan balances steady or even...
  • Rewriting the First Amendment

    05/07/2014 6:36:36 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | May 6, 2014 | WSJ Editorial Board
    A standard liberal talking point about the Tea Party is that its constitutional designs are "extremist." But you will search in vain for any Tea Party proposal that is anywhere close to as radical as the current drive by mainstream Democrats to rewrite the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowing unions and corporations to donate to independent political groups has driven liberals to such fits that they now want to amend the First Amendment. At a Senate Rules Committee meeting last week, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer announced a proposal to amend the Constitution to empower...
  • On the Brink in Brownsville

    05/02/2014 5:28:04 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 3 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 1, 2014 | MOSI SECRET
    ... Shamir liked watching playground fights, trading blows himself and running back and forth in the melees. Early in the summer, he fought a boy near the track in front of the elementary school. (“Remember that day, bro, when we had that brawl right here?” he told a friend later. “I had him under the car. Like, literally under the car.”) Another time, his group of friends beat up a boy on the other side of the neighborhood. The fights were part of a territorial feud, not over money or drugs but simply turf — one handful of housing developments...
  • Higher Education Has A Strong Leftist Bias -- But Not Enough For One Prof

    05/01/2014 9:32:19 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 1, 2014 | George Leef
    A good many educators take seriously the idea that teaching is a political activity and accordingly feel justified in using their classrooms as platforms for spreading their social, economic, and philosophical beliefs. They want to act as “change agents” who will improve the world. Most of those educators have been imbued with a leftist cast of mind – hostile to capitalism, private property, and anything that stands in the way of their utopian visions of a just society brought about through government power. Instances like the recent ones at UC Santa Barbara (where a professor physically attacked a student who...
  • The White House Joins the War on Men (at college)

    04/30/2014 8:33:26 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 8 replies
    Minding the Campus ^ | April 29, 2014 | KC Johnson
    Two new documents out from the White House--the Vice President's task force recommendations and a question and answer document from the OCR--continue the assault on due process at the expense of males accused of rape or sexual assault on campus. The administration tips its hand quickly with a telltale verbal switch--referring to complainants as "survivors," rather than as accusers. This language, which assumes guilt and the fact of a sexual offense before any hearing, is the terminology of hardline feminists who have the ear of this administration and have made it clear that they want more guilty findings. Yet what...
  • Gay Rights Push Shifts Its Focus South and West

    04/28/2014 5:15:06 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 17 replies
    New York Times ^ | APRIL 27, 2014 | NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and JEREMY W. PETERS
    The country’s leading gay rights groups and donors, after a decade focused on legalizing same-sex marriage, are embarking on a major drive to win more basic civil rights and workplace protections in Southern and Western states where the rapid progress of the movement has largely eluded millions of gay men and lesbians. The effort will shift tens of millions of dollars in the next few years to what advocates described as the final frontier for gay rights: states like Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Texas, where Republicans dominate elected office and traditional cultural views on homosexuality still prevail. The new strategy...
  • Palestinian university students’ trip to Auschwitz causes uproar

    04/24/2014 1:18:08 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 17 replies
    Washington Post ^ | April 12, 2014 | William Booth
    JERUSALEM — Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the former Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp in Poland a few weeks ago as part of a project designed to teach empathy and tolerance. Upon his return, his university disowned the trip, his fellow Palestinians branded him a traitor and friends advised a quick vacation abroad. Dajani said he expected criticism. “I believe a trip like this, for an organized group of Palestinian youth going to visit Auschwitz, is not only rare, but a first,” he said. “I thought there would be some complaints, then it would be...
  • Unofficial Enforcer of Ruling on Race in College Admissions

    04/24/2014 10:01:48 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 8 replies
    New York Times ^ | April 7, 2014 | Adam Liptak
    ... Mr. Blum does not give up easily. He has started a series of websites seeking plaintiffs. “Were you denied admission to the University of North Carolina?” one asks. “It may be because you’re the wrong race.” The site features a picture of a student who appears to be Asian-American. There is a form to fill out and a bit of hand holding. Mr. Blum’s group, the Project on Fair Representation, “covers all expenses,” the site says. “In every similar case during the last 12 years or so, no individual was required to appear or testify in any court or...