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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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"Gesture Politics Can Be Environmentally Unfriendly"

Dr. Madsen Pirie has a nicely to-the-point post about recycling on the Adam Smith Institute blog. An excerpt:

Some people seem to suppose that by recycling paper they are saving trees, but the opposite is often true. Paper is mostly made from trees planted for the purpose, and it is young trees that soak up most of the carbon dioxide. If those trees are not planted, that carbon is not soaked up. Nor is it if they are not harvested and replaced. Recycling paper may make people feel good, but gesture politics can be environmentally unfriendly...


Mundane Tasks

A blog new to me,, reprinted on July 15 "The L.A. Times Defends Bush," an excellent article by John McWhorter about today's NAACP.


Lifting blacks up is no longer a matter of getting whites off our necks. We are faced, rather, with the mundane tasks of teaching those "left behind" after the civil rights victory how to succeed in a complex society - one in which there will never be a second civil rights revolution.
Thanks to Broken Masterpieces for the pointer.


Thanks, Rush!

Rush Limbaugh was kind enough to defend Project 21 and other black conservatives on his show Thursday, and has had the transcript of his comments posted on his website.

Rush is a great friend to Project 21. A bit over ten years ago, when Project 21 was new, Rush ran footage of a Project 21 press conference on his TV show two nights running, and played excerpts from the press conference on his radio show. (Shortly thereafter he also featured Project 21 member Star Parker in an issue of The Limbaugh Letter.) Our phones rang off the hook. We literally could not make an outgoing call because of so many people trying to call in, because if we hung up from one call, even if we did it as fast as we possibly could, another person already was on the line. This amazing telephone state of siege lasted, if I recall correctly, for several days.

It was no way to get work done, but it was great.

Project 21 also received a lot of donations at the time because of Rush, even though Rush never once asked people to send Project 21 money. He just talked about Project 21, and that was enough. Project 21 received tens of thousands of dollars from bighearted people all across the United States, nearly all in small gifts accompanied by a note of support. It was spontaneous and wonderful, and a great help to Project 21.

Thanks, Rush.



David Brock's organization seems to be peeved that Project 21 members appear on Fox's Hannity and Colmes so often.

They also don't like member Kevin Martin's comment on the show Tuesday that asking President Bush to speak to the NAACP "would be like asking a Jewish rabbi to go down to a Ku Klux Klan skinhead convention." They call this analogy "comparing" the NAACP to the KKK... a little misleading. Kevin isn't comparing the NAACP to the KKK, he's comparing the relative welcome Bush would get at an NAACP convention to the welcome a Rabbi would get at a skinhead convention. Which is to say, not a very friendly one.

A great line, Kevin. Some folks on Free Republic thought so, too.


R.I.P., Dr. Constantine C. Menges

I just learned of the passing Sunday of Dr. Constantine C. Menges, one of the (largely) unsung heroes of our victory in the Cold War.

It has been perhaps a decade since I last spoke with him, but he was an uncommonly nice man and a great American. We all should be grateful for what he accomplished in this life.


I May Be "Super-Ultra White," But...

The following are excerpts from an article by C. Stone Brown on DiversityInc. (Diversity magazine's website) on July 14 (subscription required -- free trial available):

Although some have criticized Bill Cosby for highly publicized comments he's made about poor African Americans in recent weeks, [NAACP President] Kweisi Mfume drew the line between Cosby's remarks and to those made by white conservatives who have voiced similar remarks critical of African Americans.

'Bill Cosby has legitimacy, that's the one difference... He has legitimacy in the larger black community. In other words [Cosby's] 'been, there, done that,'' said Mfume. 'He has legitimacy that the super-ultra white conservative doesn't. So when he says something, you listen differently. That's opposed to Rush Limbaugh, who has no legitimacy whatsoever in the black community - none, although he thinks he does.'"
Mfume said the NAACP has been working overtime on its voter registration drives.

"Our whole purpose this year has been to go to every nook and cranny of this country and to find people to register them to vote and to teach them how to vote, particularly in states that are going to make a difference. I've just looked at all the other organizations that have come on the scene," he said.

But that is just the first phase of the NAACP voter-registration drive, said Mfume.

"Phase two is for us to go after 'unlikely' voters for the rest of the year because pollsters never count them. It's the 'unlikely' voter that is going to make a real difference in this year's election because it is the 'unlikely' voter that is going to be more motivated to come out to vote than those who think they won something four-years ago."
Since I am "super-ultra white," I probably lack the "legitimacy" (whatever that is) to ask, but isn't the NAACP's President saying in the second excerpt that the NAACP is an openly-political organization trying to "make a difference" in a federal election?


And at 7:32 AM He Slowed, But Did Not Stop, at a Stop Sign...

I think someone should follow Mike Rogers around, write down absolutely everything he does, and put the information on the Internet.

Then we'll see if he still has no respect whsoever for privacy.


Nader Deserves Apology

A Project 21 member is asking Congressman Mevin L. Watt (D-NC) to apologize to Ralph Nader, and is calling upon the Congressional Black Caucus to be a little more tolerant and respectful of others.

Read about it here.


Just That Ole Plantation Thinking

Kweisi Mfume and his allies just can't stand diversity. They believe blacks are allowed to have one point of view -- theirs -- and that any black who deviates must be under the control of white people.

Don't take my word for it. Here's what Mfume said in his opening speech at the ongoing NAACP convention: "When the ultraconservative right-wing attacker has run out of attack strategy, he goes and gets someone that looks like you and me to continue the attacks... They can't deal with the leaders we choose for ourselves, so they manufacture, promote and hire new ones."

It is difficult to imagine a greater insult to black people than to assert -- while claiming to be among black America's chosen leaders, no less (when was that vote?) -- that if conservative blacks even get near white people they lose their ability to think independently.

Some white people are liberal. Some white people are conservative. Some black people are liberal. Some black people are conservative. I suggest that Mr. Mfume should get used to this, because it will never change.

Thursday on C-Span's Washington Journal Project 21's Mychal Massie will rebut Mfume (9:30 AM Eastern) . Other Project 21 members have been addressing these and other insulting remarks from the NAACP leadership as well this week on Fox's Hannity and Colmes, on the Michael Reagan Show, in the Washington Times and elsewhere, including on numerous blogs.

I hope to get a chance later to link to some of these blog discussions and news articles, and also to describe Project 21 (its history, how it works and where it gets its money) in a little more detail. The slanders being thrown by left-wing blacks against Project 21 are a compliment, in a way (Mfume & Co would not bother if they did not feel threatened), but a defense is warranted nonetheless. There are some great folks in Project 21.

Stay tuned.


NAACP Poll Not Anti-Bush -- Group's Leaders Still Are

The NAACP has a poll linked to its main page asking the question: "Is Bush disrespecting the black community by continually refusing to speak at the NAACP convention?"

As of 10:30 PM Eastern, 4,195 votes have been cast. Results: 50.7 percent yes, 47.7 percent no, and 1.6 percent not sure.

Somehow, I doubt the NAACP expected the poll results to be that close.


Mark V. Shaney - Our Imaginary Employee

There's an imaginary guy pixeling about, pretending he's from The National Center.

According to Wikipedia, twenty years ago, some men at the Bell Labs created a program to write and send fake electronic messages. The fake messages their program generated were signed as "Mark V. Shaney."

Lately, either someone using this name, or using the program itself or a similar program, has been generating comments on blogs under the name 1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC. It is a busy little operation. Google shows 2,210 references for "1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC" right now.

If you click on his name on many/most of these comments, you are directed to this website.

Mostly, "Lt. Shaney" just pixels onto someone's blog and posts a comment, mostly without attracting notice. Lt. Shaney, it seems, can't write very well. But in a few cases blog owners have wondered about "him," as they do here, here and here.

So, for the benefit of anyone who wonders: Mark V. Shaney is not an employee of The National Center. We never heard of him or this little computer program before today, and we can't vouch for the accuracy of any of "his" postings. (Please don't cite him as a legitimate source!) Indeed, if his posts are written by a computer program and not by an individual playing a joke, any accuracies in his posts would be accidental at best.

In the meantime, despite Mark V. Shaney's shoddy writing and research, you gotta love an employee who works for no salary and no withholding taxes, and who doesn't even need a desk. Probably means he'll be posting for someone else by next week.


1st Armored Division Heading Home!

Good news for family, friends and fans of Joe Roche and all his fellow soldiers of the 1st Armored Division: They are headed home!

In fact, we've received an e-mail from Joe Roche saying he has made it safely out of Iraq and is now in Kuwait.

Moving a functional military division is no easy process. This article in Stars and Stripes gives some idea of the details involved.

Joe expects to be in Kuwait for a while yet, as he has various duties there. One of the things the soldiers will be doing is washing everything. (Joe says the water pressure on the hoses that are used to wash the vehicles is strong enough to take a person's hand off.) Then everything -- and that means a lot of equipment -- has to be packed to be shipped to the division's home base in Germany.

There are a number of camps for coalition soldiers in Kuwait. One can get an idea of what they look like from these Washington Post "surround" photos (click on the links under the first photo to see others).

During the 1st AD's stay in Iraq its press office sent out a daily newsletter, The Old Ironsides Report. Their final issue (pdf file) from Iraq provides a recap of the Division's accomplishments during its 15 month deployment in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is too brief, and too modest, but worth a read nonetheless.



Others Call It Socialism

The Washington Post calls this "state capitalism."


Periodic Table

I have no idea what this is, but it is neat to be on it.

Addendum, posted July 10: I received an amusing letter on the above post:

Amy Ridenour:

Cute idea. What won't the geek folks get up to next? But I think the table's constructor missed a bet with you. You ought to be Ar, for argon. Argon, incidentally, belongs to the family of noble gases. Make of that what you will.

Best regards,

John Van Laer

Scranton, PA


Only Third-Rate Speakers Should Apply

I'm watching Project 21 member Deroy Murdock do a tremendous job as a guest on Fox's O'Reilly Factor tonight.

Topic: Was President Bush right to tell the Bush-hating leadership of the NAACP that he wouldn't speak to their convention?

Deroy says the President is right, noting that the NAACP leadership has gone far beyond civil discourse in comments -- including some last week -- about Bush and his record. Disagreeing about issues is fine, says Deroy, but the leadership has been claiming (among other things) that Bush wants to bring back legal segregation. That's just not true. But the leadership doesn't seem to care if it is true.

Deroy's debate opponent on the show, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, was ardent in pressing his view, which seems to come down to a belief that if the President isn't talking to the NAACP, he isn't talking to black America. Balderdash. First of all, everytime Bush talks to all Americans, he's talking to black Americans. (We're against segretation, right?) Second, there are many groups other than the NAACP addressing civil rights/racial/urban issues, and Bush speaks to many of them. Third, civil rights/racial/urban issues are addressed in many ways and forums, which the NAACP (if it cares about issues more than itself) should be pleased about.

In my opinion, the NAACP needs to upgrade the quality of its work and the honesty of its discourse. Until then, only third-rate speakers should apply.


Banning Generic Drugs?

David Almasi has a new paper published on the website, "Spurring Lower Prices: FDA Aided America's Rx Drug Companies By Not Banning Authorized Generics."

In it, he argues that the FDA was right to reject a request from generic drug manufacturers that research drug companies should not be permitted to market generic versions of their own drugs.

Concludes David:

Competitive forces have driven growth in the pharmaceutical industry by providing incentives for research-based pharmaceuticals to develop new and better drugs for the patients who need them and enabling generic drug makers to make more copies of those drugs available - sooner.

Just as the rise of generic drugs increased competition in the past, the emergence of "authorized generics" today is a way to deliver access to medicines more cost effectively.

Restricting authorized generics will only benefit generic drug makers intent on producing a copy they want to protect from competition. We should not allow generic companies to pick and choose what kind of competition in the marketplace is available to consumers. The market - not special interests - should be allowed to determine how much competition is "just right."


Post Editor Reveals Bias

Washington Post Associate Editor Robert Kaiser (a powerful guy at the Post), had a rather blunt slam against the Bush family in an online public forum noted by the Patterico's Pontifications blog.

I guess Kaiser doesn't care who knows he doesn't think much of the Bush brothers.

I had a hard time believing the quote was real so I checked the Washington Post's published transcript -- it is not only real, it is in context.

Thanks to the Oh, That Liberal Media blog for the pointer.


Inalienable Versus Unalienable and More About the Declaration

Although we have the Declaration of Independence on this website for those seeking a copy of its text or that of other historical documents, I am still going to recommend this page from another website, In addition to providing the text of the Declaration itself, it contains numerous links for background information on key points, not-so-key points (inalienable versus unalienable) and the name of every signer has a hyperlink to his biography.

As there are several signers about whom I knew little, I clicked their names. Some interesting stories. For example, signer George Wythe of Virginia was murdered after converting from a slaveowner to an abolitionist. When Wythe not only freed his slaves, but provided for them in his will, his other heir, his great-nephew, decided to poison the ex-slaves with arsenic so he could inherit the entire estate himself. Doing so, he also accidentally murdered Wythe, who lasted long enough to take his great-nephew out of his will.

Signer Francis Hopkinson of Pennsylvania was a songwriter. It only seems slightly less interesting when we learn he was a lawyer as well.

There was a signer from Massachusetts with the unlikely name of Robert Treat Paine, who (perhaps considering the state of medical knowledge of the time?) nonetheless chose to be a lawyer, not a doctor. Why he used his middle name in a document destined for posterity is unknown.

Then there is the signer from Georgia with the most imaginative name of all, Button Gwinnett (what do you suppose his parents were thinking?), who despite holding the title of president of the "Council of Safety," challenged his chief political rival to a duel. His rival lived. Button popped off.


"The Ba'ath Regime Were the Nazis of the Second Half of the 20th Century"

The Right Thoughts blog has a very interesting piece by a U.S. Marine, who describes his experiences in Iraq.


If He Says You Are Ugly, Too, Will You Give Him Even More Money?

Would you expect money from someone after you called them a "cracker," or charged them with racism?

Me neither, but it is a fundraising technique that seems to work well for Jesse Jackson.

Project 21 has just issued a condemnation of NASCAR for renewing its support of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

Says Project 21's Reginald Jones: "I think it's a disgrace that NASCAR is once again aligning itself with Jesse Jackson. It's a disgrace to the fans and a disgrace to the sport. As one of NASCAR's most hardcore fans, I'll personally be out there at the races letting NASCAR officials and fans alike know that the sport should not be falling prey to Jackson's politically correct scams."

Jones adds: "Until the NBA starts recruiting more Hispanics, the nation's largest minority and an underrepresented segment of professional basketball players, I don't think NASCAR should be looking to promote anyone but deserving drivers. If Jackson truly wants to integrate NASCAR, he needs to be out raising money for minority drivers instead of shaking down the front office."