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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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Unto You Is Born This Day

Luke 2: 1-14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

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And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Frustrated by Political Polarization and Division? Take a Lesson from History, and Begin the World Over Again

Thrilled or concerned about the incoming changes in Washington? Worried that the amount of political divisiveness in our country today is, except for the actual Civil War, unprecedented?

Joe Roche has a reminder for all of you – perhaps especially those of you with concerns on either point – that despite what Mrs. Obama says, there is reason for hope. Joe demonstrates with examples from our history that our present divisiveness is actually less than that endured in earlier eras and by some of the most revered names in our history. And he also has encouragement for those who believe the incoming Administration may not share their views, reminding them of a major historical figure who thought the same about a prominent president of his own era, and who nonetheless, because he didn't give up, ended up having a substantial impact upon the course of this nation.

As Joe has not written for this blog recently, a re-introduction may be in order. In the 13th years since this blog's debut, and very many worthy posts from many talented and knowledgable writers we are lucky to have, perhaps none of its writers have had a greater impact in its pages than Joe Roche. His posts here include what I believe is the first blog post ever quoted by a presidential nominee in his or her convention acceptance address (or maybe publicly by a president in any context, I don't actually know) and, as far as I know, the first blog post to be quoted in a Smithsonian Museum exhibit. And, of course, Joe's posts have been quoted in hundreds of newspapers and the media, as many other worthy bloggers have done.

This post heralds a return to our pages by Joe after a considerable absence spent in various endeavors in defense of our country, and is a refreshing message of dedication to our values that is especially timely during Christmas and Hanukkah.

Welcome back, Joe! And now, for his post...

Frustrated by Political Polarization and Division? Take a Lesson from History, and Begin the World Over Again

by Joe Roche

When Henry Clay faced crushing defeat in troubling campaigns for the presidency of the United States, he always turned from those defeats to upholding the quivering pillars of the Republic. That was his main purpose - defending & saving the Republic - so that even when the atrocities of Andrew Jackson were victorious over the Nation, it was Clay who saved the Republic over and over again. In the end Clay was given the greatest honors by the American people, and his legacies today are lasting and permanent, whereas Jackson's are completely gone, and Jackson is actually ridiculed in memory (for example, by being placed on the $20 bill - an ironic disgrace to Jackson's entire Bank War campaign, with Roger Taney as his Treasury Secretary).

Clay was known as Scaevola, for the Roman hero memorialized for dedication to duty regardless of being ostracized and alone in defeat. "I had rather be right than be President," Clay proclaimed in the face of his last, defeated, effort to become president. The Nation honored him by placing his body in state in the Capitol, the first time any American had been so honored - not even a president had been so honored previously.

The presidential campaigns of 1824, 1828 and 1832 were especially brutal, with vicious lies and slander on all sides. It was, in fact, worse than what we just saw in this campaign, and the wife of his nemesis, Andrew Jackson, died because of the attacks on her in the campaign. Is Melania Trump or any Clinton dying now? Yet, a mere four months after the 1832 defeat, in which Jackson had emerged supreme, violating laws, ignoring the Supreme Court, and doing all sorts of tyrant-like things that were unconstitutional, it was Clay who saved the nation over the Nullification Crisis with the Compromise Tariff of 1833.

Abraham Lincoln would speak of Clay as being the foundation for his own "mystic chords of memory" girding conviction in the Union.

Joe Roche and Senator Mitch McConnellJoe Roche with Senator McConnell of Henry Clay's home state

It is notable that, starting from before the revolution of the 1770s all the way to the start of the Progressive Era more than a century later, the American people championed and celebrated DEFENSE attorneys, not prosecutors, as we obsess over today! That says a lot about how protective we were for our freedoms back then, but have now turned to just seeking protection instead. John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and even Abraham Lincoln are examples of defense attorneys. So too was Clay. And in the face of Jackson's monstrous abuses and violations of the law, Clay used his legal defense attorney skills to pursue the causes of liberty, justice, and integrity in the law. In contrast, today "defense attorneys" has almost a negative connotation. What a huge flip we have taken from our founding passions!

Though Jackson and his proteges would dominate for decades, hold the White House most of the time until Lincoln, and dominate many elections for decades, Clay would remain like Scaevola, always dedicated to the ideals, mission, and purpose of the Republic. The great Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall heroically led the Supreme Court through most of its most seminal rulings creating the Republic and defining the Constitution, so much so that while James Madison was called the architect of the Constitution, John Marshall has been known as the definer of the Constitution, the one who really stood-up the principles of the American Republic from mere hopes to actual pillars of institutions. As a consequence of Marshall's focus to erect a lasting union and Republic, his last years were focused on issuing a series of rulings meant to prevent the Jacksonian Democrats from destroying the republic.

This was an abusive, slanderous, and polarizing time, much more so than we see today. Americans forget their own history at their peril when they deceive themselves into thinking things are unprecedentedly bad today. Not so. There is no excuse for giving up now. For example, so polarized was the nation during the entire presidency of John Quincy Adams, the son of a Founding Father who had perhaps the most brilliance and thorough preparations for office of any president in American history, that Congress, dominated by Jacksonian Democrats, refused to work with him on anything, and completely defeated all of his policies, making his a failed presidency.

Jackson's apex of unconstitutional abuses reached several high moments, such as during the Bank War, hailed by his demagogic followers as "the Second Declaration of Independence," while throwing the nation into an unending series of financial panics. Jackson, whose only claim to the presidency was his noble victory in the Battle of New Orleans over a decade earlier (there was nothing to his campaign agenda, unlike the candidates of our just completed election), focused on reversing many of Marshall's key rulings, such as McCulloch v Maryland, which established the Necessary and Proper Clause, and also Marbury v Madison, which established Judicial Review. McCulloch, in fact, was only saved from being overturned by the untimely death of the Jacksonian president William Henry Harrison in 1841. Its reversal would have devastated many of the epic legislative achievements of Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, New Deal, Civil Rights, and the Reagan Revolution. Jackson himself had ignored Marshall's rulings blatantly, such as Worcester v Georgia, when Jackson ordered the unconstitutional and executive power abuses of the Cherokee Indian Removal, resulting in the sad bloody scar on American history of the Trail of Tears. Using a line that would be repeated in the 20th Century by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as he was crushing Eastern Europe, disdaining Winston Churchill's appeals by flaunting the lack of military divisions controlled by the Pope, Jackson would simply say in regard to violating Marshall's Supreme Court rulings, "now let him enforce it!"

Another Jacksonian follower, Martin Van Buren, later would pack the courts so as to politically bend and shape rulings his way. No, FDR wasn't the first to try this with court-packing during the New Deal era. In fact, most of the abuses we imagine as unprecedented today were begun during this era, such as when states were gerrymandered specifically to remove Federalists from Congress in Virginia! And so politicized were the courts, for example, that the first SIX Supreme Court Chief Justices were all chosen for political partisanship and advocacy, a few of whom either held or ran for political offices while they were on the Supreme Court, including one (Oliver Ellsworth) who was simultaneously a candidate for president! Yes, this includes George Washington's first Chief Justice, who ran for New York governor while presiding over cases in the Supreme Court. Where the myth comes from that the Founding Fathers never allowed politicization of the courts to happen is simply a lack of historical awareness. It's not that there isn't merit to this ideal, but it is certainly not rooted in this Nation's founding.

Nonetheless, Clay also said that, sometimes in order to maturely and effectively move on from past abuses and slanderous times, it is necessary to throw "a veil over the past for the sake of the future." This was necessary for Lincoln and the Reconstruction age when the legacies of Marshall had to be resurrected from Jackson's decades of attacks. Marshall, in fact, had been relegated to obscurity, the famous landmark rulings we know today so well had been ignored and were basically unknown to the nation for many decades after Jackson until Lincoln's followers picked up on Clay's work, and brought back Marshall's legacy in order to promote freedom, voting rights, the end of slavery, and later, with women's suffrage, and many other key American freedom movements.

Were Clay to have given up during the many times he was politically defeated by Jacksonian Democrats and their law-breaking abuses, it would have been impossible for Lincoln, let alone Martin Luther King, or even Sandra Day O'Connor, to have found firm foundations for their causes by citing John Marshall's Supreme Court. The late Antonin Scalia, according to Lee Liberman Otis, one of his law clerks, saw Marshall's ruling in Marbury in particular as "integral to how Justice Scalia saw his job - not as the shaper of the Constitution, but as its servant."

Thomas Paine, the great revolutionary war hero, said that it is the birthright of every American "to begin the world over again," which is what we have today, whether you choose to advocate for the new president and his agenda, or for those in Congress and the courts who hold different views and may find challenge in the coming years. This is what Americans of every generation keep doing, the great birthright of all of us. And no greater practitioner of this was there than Henry Clay. Again, it wasn't in great elective office gains, because despite decades of shaping the United States in many ways in many different offices, he was always defeated bitterly and miserably every time he ran for the presidency.

Yet, it was Clay's ceaseless dedication, like Scaevola, to the Republic and the Constitution, that today inspires my friend, Senator Mitch McConnell, who often speaks of Clay's inspiration for his role as Senate Majority Leader. McConnell has faced great challenges over the past years, and surely will face equally dramatic challenges ahead. But as he has told me many times, from when I lived in Kentucky, to when we've seen each other here in Washington, D.C., that it is the commitment to continue working for the Republic, even when brutally defeated in campaigns, that Clay teaches us is most vital, admirable, and durable in eventual success.

The terrible unconstitutional abuses of Jackson, such as ignoring Worcester for Indian Removal, and many other violations of executive authority, would have become sacred and unassailable precedents for all leaders after him, were it not for Clay, who held Jackson's feet to the fire during Jackson's eight years as president, and then continued holding the metaphorical feet of every subsequent Jacksonian to the fire over the next few decades. By remaining dedicated to the Republic regardless of political calamity, Clay saved the nation over and over again, such as from the Missouri Compromise, to the Compromise of 1850. This is why Lincoln would resurrect Clay's "mystic chords" legacies to heal the wounds of the Civil War - not Andrew Jackson, but Henry Clay's legacies.

Jacksonian abuses reached an apex, for example, when Jackson's former Treasury Secretary and then Supreme Court Chief Justice appointed to replace Marshall, Roger Taney, issued the notorious Dred Scott ruling. Yet, when it was the turn of those seeking justice against such tyranny and abuse, such as when Benjamin R. Curtis resigned from the Supreme Court after issuing his dissent against the Dred Scott ruling - the only Supreme Court justice ever to have had the courage and integrity to resign after the court turned very wrong - or such as when all the poets and thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, or the Christian Second Great Awakening spread across the nation, they found precedent, argument and inspiration in one man, Henry Clay.

Gerard Magliocca, a modern historian of much of this, writes that, "reform leads to resistance, and resistance leads to reform," in which he explained "that is the central theme of the constitutional cycle" of this Nation. To which I ask, what would exist of this cycle were it not for Clay's dedication to always fight for the republic every time he was defeated in campaigns? What if Clay had retreated from politics, given up, and decided he had nothing more to contribute since he was so devastatingly defeated and humiliated in some campaign? I know many of you are tempted to feel this way, but you must not let our Republic lose you all because you have been humbled by the mechanisms under which our Nation operates. We have been conditioned to think things are worse now than ever, that abuses, negativity and polarization are worse than ever before. That isn't true. In fact, much of American history shows that the constant state of polarized division and gridlock since 1796 is also when great things can sometimes be accomplished by those who keep fighting even in defeat. Think of Henry Clay! Follow his example, so that if you are tempted to throw in the towel now, instead realize that the Republic may need you now more than ever before!!! This may be your time to be another Scaevola, either in support of our new president, or in support of the Republic when challenged by the new president. The causes are many, and you have to follow your conscience. But as I have learned watching Senator McConnell over many years, we have a wonderful legacy in Henry Clay that is beckoning YOU a great challenge to get back in the arena, and live Paine's articulation of our birthright "to begin the world over again."


Is Apple Going the Way of the Post Office?

Silver Apple Logo White

Hate to say it, but I think Apple, one of America's premier companies, may have its best days behind it.

Yesterday, I wrote about incompetence at the U.S. Postal Service. Today, it's Apple.

Used to be, you paid more for an Apple computer, but, in exchange, you got hardware that would last and an operating system that was superior, even if you did have to give up on a lot of software options because many developers only made their products for Windows or, showing my age here, MS-DOS.

I speak, obviously, of the Steve Job days, so I concede there was an exception for some years in the 90s (although we stayed loyal, even then).

I went for Apple -- which means the National Center for Public Policy Research went Apple -- in 1985, and we never looked back, despite some concern for the company's politics, and a well-covered contretemps with Tim Cook after we submitted a shareholder proposal examining the company's actual record on environmental issues versus the one the public hears about.

But last week, one of our laptops, purchased in 2015, wouldn't start up. We took it to an authorized Mac repair shop in Severna Park, MD. Bad logic board. Apple sent a replacement. It was bad also. Ever since, we've been trying to get Apple to ship a second replacement logic board to the repair shop. It won't. It says it will, or so we're told, but, every day, it doesn't.

I even called Apple myself to try to find out why it wouldn't ship the part, but got nowhere, because the person at Apple, while cordial, had no idea how to tell if Apple would ship the part and he told me he had no idea how to transfer me to someone at Apple who would know -- even though the repair facility gave me the order number so Apple could pull the record up on its computer system and trace the request.

The guy I'm speaking with at the repair shop tells me he worked for Apple itself for a decade, and he swears Apple has these orders on a computer (of course it does!), but the guy at Apple had no idea how to find us in the system, even with all our data on hand.

Once upon a time, when I needed Apple repairs (rarely) or upgrades (more likely), I actually would go to the back of the shop and watch them work, to learn how to do it myself.

The company in those days seemed organized and well-run, even though everyone swore it couldn't last.

This version of Apple seems to be in chaos.

Logic boards really should last longer than a year, but let's set that aside, and just say this: One ought to be able to get a replacement if it does go out. Apple's not claiming it has a shortage, or a backlog, of logic boards for late-model laptops. It just isn't sending the part after saying it will. Day after day.

How long will this go on?


Yet Another Post Office Story

post office boxThink you can just rent a post office box? Think again!

The news media is running yet another story about a postal worker throwing away the public’s mail — this time, in the woods.

The post office tells the news media that the man who threw the mail away is a part-time employee — as if that matters! He worked for the post office. He threw away the mail. A member of the public noticed; not anyone at the post office.

The country is going to continue to have mail service problems like this as long as the post office remains a monopoly. How many of these incidents are there that the news media never hears about, or hears about but does not report? My guess is that we in the public learn about only a small fraction of these incidents.

Our own institution has MANY post office malfeasance stories. For just one example, last year, we decided to switch over to using a post office box for our incoming mail.

We had to give up on the idea because the post office couldn’t carry it off. We rented a post office box the way everyone else does, but the post office only delivered a fraction of our mail to it. It sent the rest back to the senders. We realized this and did everything we could think of to set matters right, and the post office was unable to point to anything we were doing incorrectly (after all, it was a rented post office box - what is there for us to do wrong?) but the post office kept sending most of our mail back to the senders anyway.

Eventually, we closed the box and went back to using a street address because it was clear that for whatever reason, the post office authorities weren’t going to allow us to have a functioning post office box. I’m not saying they singled us out as ineligible to purchase a service everyone else in the country theoretically can purchase — although, who knows? But you have to assume they could fix the problem had they wanted to do so, and they did not fix it.

So when I see stories like this in the press, I think of one word: privatization.


Want to Buy Lawmakers? Hacker Guccifer 2.0 Releases Notes Purporting to Show It Being Done

The hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" is the source of an intriguing new article in the online publication The Intercept. The article purports to reproduce notes taken by the staff of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the Democratic Party's arm dedicated to electing Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives) following DCCC meetings with various corporations, labor unions and industry and interest groups.

In one respect the document is unremarkable, as meetings like the one chronicled in the notes go on every day in Washington. On the other hand, it is remarkable that meetings go on like this every day in Washington.

DCCC General Electric MeetingSW

The notes for the DCCC's meeting with General Electric, for example, appear to show that GE is supportive of the DCCC's efforts ("GE wants to know how they can be helpful with the business community, messaging about what we are doing"). The notes say GE is pleased that Congressional Democrats have helped to reinstate and re-fund the Export-Import Bank, but GE isn't entirely happy. There are "headwinds" against more contributions because GE is not pleased with some of what Congressional Democrats have done (on federal budget issues) and not done (repeal ObamaCare's medical device tax).

ObamaCare's medical device tax raises health care costs

GE scanner

This organization very much agrees with General Electric that the medical device tax should be repealed (we oppose continuing the Ex-Im Bank).

We express our views on these by expressing our views on these, not by making or pledging donations. We also talked with General Electric, Stryker and Johnson & Johnson, and others, about possible ways to move forward -- without any money changing hands.

People outside of Congress should be able to present their thoughts about policy to elected officials and their staff members without promising them money.

Democrat Members of Congress are ardent backers of funding Planned Parenthood.

In these memos, the head of Planned Parenthood offers to be a surrogate speaker for DCCC-backed candidates "if that would be helpful." The notes show Planned Parenthood reminding the DCCC that it helped with $15 million in campaign contributions during the 2014 election cycle and asking the DCCC who "they should be helping early" with contributions in this cycle.

Coincidence? Perhaps.


People have gone to prison for giving lawmakers gifts. When was it determined that campaign contributions and support are not gifts?

The Ex-Im Bank was on the brink of death not long ago, but is clawing its way back to lending out your tax dollars so people overseas can buy expensive products from large American corporations such as GE and Boeing.

If it does claw its way back, will it be because lawmakers decided, with deep sincerity, that the Ex-Im Bank is good for America?

Or will it be because of campaign donations hinted about in meetings such as these?


Should Abortions Be Federally Funded?

Should taxpayer dollars be used for abortions? On the 9/30/16 episode of RT Network’s “The Big Picture,” one panelist suggested that abortion should be covered by the government through a single-payer system.

Horace Cooper, legal analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research and the co-chair of Project 21, responded: “This is a lesson… of socializing any area or any industry in the government… It is far better, if people are really concerned about what dictates government makes, to privatize areas… so people are free to make their own choices.”

Responding to host Thom Hartmann’s snarky comeback, Horace said, “I haven’t been reading stories about people in the military who are ‘dying like dogs in the dirt’ because they’re not able to have access to a federally-funded abortion. This is mythology on your part…. I think we should do to the abortion industry generally what you guys want to do to Wal-Mart. We should marginalize them, we should push them to the edge of the community, and we should find every regulation that we can to put them out of business.”

Other topics covered in this clip include teen pregnancy rates and raising the minimum wage. Watch below.


Tar Heel Toilets and Terrible Reporting: Setting the Record Straight on North Carolina’s Public Accommodation Law 

Responding to rejoinders that conservatives are racists and bigots, I joined the Thom Hartmann show last week to set the record straight about the federal government’s lawsuit against North Carolina’s public accommodation law.   

First, a little background.  North Carolina passed a law, known as HB2, determining that public restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, including some in educational settings, should be used by individuals based on their biological sex.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has gone to federal court to argue the law should be thrown out because assigning sex by biology constitutes illegal “sex discrimination.”  The DOJ is arguing that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Education Act Amendments and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act, assigning a person a sex based on their physiology constitutes illegal sex discrimination.

Here’s the rub, those laws don’t speak to transgender issues.  Instead, the DOJ is relying, in-part, on its own rewrite of those laws in which it boldly declares that gender identify discrimination is sex discrimination.  

But that’s not how the Founding Fathers set up our system of government.  Congress has the power – and the duty – to write and amend laws.  The executive branch has the duty to faithfully execute those laws.  The executive branch cannot simply rewrite laws.  This would lead to the absurd result of nearly every partisan law changing every time the American people elect a new President who happens to be from a different party than his predecessor.    

As a Constitutional matter, this case is extremely important since it speaks to the very nature of the federal government’s structure.  However, the case caught our attention at the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project for another reason.  More than 60 major American companies joined an amicus brief that, specifically, called for an injunction against HB2’s enforcement and, generally, supported the DOJ’s overall lawsuit.  Over the last few months, I attended that annual shareholder meetings of two of these corporations, Nike and Red Hat, where I confronted corporate executives for supporting the DOJ’s efforts.  

Fast forward to my visit with Hartmann last Monday.  He, like much of the liberal media, seem unwilling to look past the headlines and realize the legal slippery slope that this case might create.  Castigating conservatives far and wide, Hartmann claimed with a straight face that right-of-center Americans “not only seem to hate trans people, they love to beat them up for political gain, which is exactly what [North Carolina Governor] Pat McCrory is doing.  He is shouting out to bigots for purely political reasons.” 

It’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise with Hartmann, but I calmly explained that, McCrory “is standing up for the bedrock principle of this country and that is separation of powers.  That the executive branch does not write laws in this country.” 

Here is the full video of the interview: 

It’s clear that Hartmann – and many others in the liberal media – are trying to contort the issues in the case to fit their preconceived notions.  Unfortunately, it seems that many in corporate America are equally ignorant to the potential fallout of this case.  As I explained in a press release following Nike’s shareholder meeting

Perhaps Nike’s executives remain blind to what the real legal issues are in the HB2 litigation.  The Obama Administration’s Justice Department is pulling a classic bait and switch.  The DOJ is using the siren song of discrimination over the use of public restrooms in North Carolina to try to wrest power away from Congress.  What the DOJ is really seeking is executive authority to rewrite federal law.  Viewed through the correct legal lens, companies such as Nike aren’t combating discrimination, they are supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of expanding executive branch power.

For a list of all 68 companies supporting the Obama Administration’s case against North Carolina, click here

As the case continues, expect the rhetoric regarding bigotry and discrimination from the liberal media to increase.  Just don’t expect it to be accurate.  


"Madam Secretary" Season Debuts With Look at Climate Change and Military Bases

MADAMSECRETARYCLIMATEWWhen the CBS television show “Madam Secretary” premiered in 2014, many conservatives assumed it was simply a propaganda piece for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As I have watched it, however, I have been impressed that the show is not a partisan hack job at all, but rather an intriguing look at foreign affairs and the diplomacy required of employees within the State Department. The fictional Secretary, Elizabeth McCord, navigates international crises with humility, moderation, compromise and thoughtfulness. As such, she does Clinton no favors.

This week, the season premiere of “Madam Secretary” will address the issue of how climate change affects military bases, which my colleague Dr. Bonner Cohen recently discussed in a policy paper. I hope this episode will reflect the thoughtfulness and reasonableness I have come to expect from this show, rather than scare people unnecessarily by making speculations not founded in science.


Joe Hicks, RIP

Joe Hicks at Oxford 2015Joe Hicks at Oxford, 2015

On this Labor Day, a day dedicated to the achievements of American workers, David and I are remembering in particular the contribution of one worker: Joe Hicks, who until his untimely passing from unexpected surgical complications in Los Angeles last Sunday, was one of Project 21's most active, valued, and valuable members.

Project 21 fans and critics alike will remember Joe from his many appearances on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," or from the literally hundreds, if not thousands, of radio and print media interviews Joe completed over the years. What you may not know -- although I tend to think it came through the TV and radio -- is what a gentleman Joe was. Always courteous, always helpful, always willing to go the extra mile.

A few weeks ago, I asked Project 21 members for volunteers to read a 163-page Department of Justice report on the Baltimore Police Department. Being a government report, it wasn't going to be fun reading, and I wanted it done in less than a day. It was Joe who responded.

(As the National Center's Media Director, Judy Kent, said to me after Joe's passing, "He will be sorely missed. I always appreciated working with Joe, always willing to step in at a moments notice to further the cause with his incredible insight and enthusiasm... Such a sad day...")

Time and time again, Joe was willing and able to do the research that leads to useful analysis. He had an open mind and was respectful of other points of view. Importantly, too, he had the ability to summarize the facts he learned and to zero in on and then efficiently communicate the core of an issue.

This is what millions of Americans saw him do in his most recent national TV appearances -- three appearances on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" in August.

Joe pointedly asked a representative of Black Lives Matter where the group was when a nine-year-old was shot in by a black suspect.

Joe's point was that Black Lives Matter is about ideology, not black lives.

Time after time, Joe struck a chord with audiences. His comments just above were not only re-broadcast by "The Kelly File" in a second show the next day, but independently viewed over 1.6 million times on Fox's website.

That's the impact of just one of Joe's appearances, from a lifetime of appearances.

Joe Hicks testifies before U.S. House, 2007Joe Hicks testifies before Congress, 2007

Most of those watching Joe on the Fox News Channel, seeing him quoted by the Associated Press, or hearing him on hundreds, more likely, thousands, of radio programs (including his own show on KFI-AM in Los Angeles) over the years had no idea that Joe was a former liberal, even leftist.

When I said Joe had an open mind, I really meant it.

At one point, Joe was literally a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. He also joined the Black Panther Party, and at one point was communications director of the Los Angeles chapter of the ACLU.

He trained members of Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union in "revolutionary theory."

But something happened along the way. As I said, Joe had an open mind, and 1994 found him engaging in a series of media debates over California's Proposition 187 with conservative Ward Connerly. Connerly favored the proposition, which banned illegal aliens from receiving non-emergency taxpayer benefits. Joe opposed it.

Joe Hicks on the Kelly FileJoe Hicks in one of his very many media appearances

During the debates, and during conversations surrounding them, Joe was impressed by how gentlemanly Ward Connerly was. He realized that although Connerly held the opposite view, he still meant well. He decided to read some books Connerly recommended: Books by Dr. Thomas Sowell, Dr. Walter Williams, and others whose works are well-known to many readers of this blog.

And then, as they say, the rest is history. Joe converted to conservatism, and how.

We'll never know how many he converted with him, but there must have been many. Joe was good. Very good.

I invite you to watch some of Joe's videos, a small selection of which are on the National Center's YouTube page, the memorial statement issued by his employer, the non-profit Community Advocates, Inc. (all Joe's work for Project 21, including hundreds of interviews, dozens of written works, testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives [here and here] and a debate before the Oxford Union, among other contributions, was done on a volunteer basis), an article about Joe in the Los Angeles Times or a tribute to him by PJ Media's Andrew Klavan, among other tributes.

I know you will come away impressed, not just with the quality of Joe's thinking, but by his obvious care for the well-being of his fellow man. For Joe, it wasn't about the right and the left beating each other up, although he never shied away from calling things straight. It was about finding ways to make everyone's lives better. That care for his fellow man shined through, and made him more credible. One can have the best arguments in the world, but they won't be as effective if it doesn't seem like you care.

Joe cared.

I will miss Joe tremendously. Project 21 will miss Joe tremendously. His family will miss him tremendously (not that it is my place to say). But most important of all, the United States of America will miss him tremendously.

I wish we could have kept him longer.


The Sounds of Blackness or A False Narrative?

This is a guest post by Emery McClendon of Project 21

The black community has a big problem. It mainly stems from a lack of teaching morals, values, personal responsibility, and a respect for God, country, and the family. All of these were pillars of the black family prior to the civil rights movement, and affirmative action.

What happened to cause this community to decline?

familyOur kids must be taught to learn and to excel, says Emery McClendon

Black kids are not encouraged to learn or to excel anymore. They are constantly presented with the idea that crime pays, and that money comes in fast and easy, if you are willing to take the risk of illegal activity. You don't need to act white to achieve that goal, they are told.

They watch their parents party, and live in the streets, instead of going to work. Those that do work become targets of harassment, and are ridiculed as being caught up in the system. Those who are educated are called sellouts and are told that they are not "black enough." They are frequently told that they are white, but caught up in a black body!

Many black children are taught that to survive you need to belong to a gang. In the words of Hillary Clinton, "It takes a Village to raise a child" and "if your child must belong to a gang, let it be a positive one."

God and attending church are not a priority. Children see the preachers and church leaders doing the same things or more than the people in the streets. They draw the conclusion that they don't need God. Even when they attend church, they agree that it's no different than going out to a nightclub on a Saturday night. Everything is the same. The music, the dress code, and the atmosphere are all the same.

They are constantly told that the world, and especially whites, are against them, and that they need the government to help them survive. They are never asked to take it upon themselves to make their own lives better by reaching out for the American Dream.

The so-called civil rights and community leaders have sold them out for a few dollars to the progressive Democrat movement. They give them messages of despair instead of hope. They never ask them to strive for a better life, they just keep telling them that you cannot achieve anything without them, or help from the government.

The music that they listen to teaches them to degrade women, themselves, and authority. It glorifies crime and sin. Many sit in the house all day long and listen to its degrading messages and watch disgusting music videos all day long, never lifting a finger to work or to find out what is going on in their community, the nation, or world around them.

They never pay attention to current events or what happens on Wall Street, K Street, in Washington D.C., or local government. They have no idea how the government works, and they place the blame on everyone else but themselves.

They have allowed the progressive Democrats to lead them to the ghettos, make them dependent, and to destroy their communities with destructive polices, such as abortion, that have ruined black families since the days of the New Deal. We could go on and on.

A serious problem that is prevalent today is that most blacks refuse to move on from the 1860s mentality, or the pre-civil rights era. They still place the blame on others, and refuse to look for solutions among themselves. They have accepted the welfare state as the norm.

Having said all of this, I must also say that a lot of blame belongs on the establishment rich and their foundations. They have founded and continue to fund, train, and encourage radical groups to enlist these young people into the movement for the purpose of keeping them down, causing riots, and keeping them enslaved on the new plantation.

This is a multi-phased problem, and it is designed to keep Americans divided against one another.

Abortion and drugs are just a few of the tools that are used to keep the black community in check. They claim that Black lives matter to them, but ignore those in the womb. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community, not police shootings.

So, you might ask, how do we turn the tide and help make these communities better?

Emery McClendonEmery McClendon

First of all, we must strengthen the family unit. Marriage and respect for Godly principles must be taught and practiced. It must be engraved into the minds of those in the black community that all lives matter, because we are all precious in God's sight. They must be taught the truth about Abortion and people like Margaret Sanger.

Members of the community must be taught to respect authority and the police. They need to know the truth behind radical groups such as Black Lives Matter.

They must be educated in civics, how our government was founded, and how it works. This must begin with the parents, and be taught in our schools and churches. We must stress that government is an institution that God has given us to make life better. They must be taught to engage themselves in the process of self-governance and community involvement.

They must also be taught that to show love and respect for one another is not a weakness, but a God-given strength.

These principles must be first taught to those who are active in the community, and to those who have escaped the clutches of the welfare system. They will in turn serve as examples to those looking for a way out. The community needs positive role models.

These are just a few suggestions that merely scratch the surface.

These problems will not be fixed overnight because the progressives have taken years to entrench these negative values into our society. We must purge them one by one. Remembering that, it is not to late to take a stand, or to work together to make our nation better and stronger.

Those who founded this nation had a dream of an America that would include everyone working together to make our nation stronger and stronger as we progressed into the future. We can work to keep that dream alive today, and we can improve upon their goal, because their dream should also be our dream.

America is not a nation of separate communities, but one nation under God. We have held our place in the world because of our values and principles. We will continue to succeed if we continue to work together in unity, building upon the American Dream.

Let's continue to do so, and as we do, may we never forget that national security is a priority. We must always remember those who serve our nation in the military that have died to keep us free. They sacrificed for us all.

The black community has a lot to be proud of when it comes to our military, because many black families have a history of rich military tradition in their family lineage. We need to teach that history to them as well.

Guest posts reflect the views of their authors, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or of the National Center


Department of Justice's Report on Baltimore Police Ignores Importance of Keeping Neighborhoods Safe

ALT TAGHorace Cooper

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper has reviewed the U.S. Department of Justice's report on Baltimore policing, and he's not impressed:

The report should have been subtitled, "criminal lives matter."

Career criminals, who make up the overwhelming number of individuals encountered by Baltimore police, are sanitized in the report and actual victims (the people they prey upon) are not referenced at all.

This 164 page takedown of the Baltimore Police Department focuses on how the Baltimore Police Department could better handle every social ill in the community from mental illness, sex workers, to juvenile delinquency, all the while ignoring the department's main responsibility, keeping neighborhoods safe.

I can guarantee that, if this prescription is embraced, fewer black kids will graduate from high schools, property values in Baltimore will decline and any remaining middle class blacks than can escape (taking with them the success model they demonstrate), leaving poverty and hopelessness in its wake.

Project 21's Joe Hicks also has weighed in on the report, both here and in interviews on the Fox News Channel's The Kelly File (8/10) and on numerous other programs, including What's Up with Terry Lowry (KTXW-AM, Austin, TX), the Mike Schikman Show (Harrisonburg, VA), Chad Groening's show on American Family Radio, Joe Thomas's "Freedom and Prosperity Radio" in Charlottesville, VA, and other programs.


The Role of Gun Laws and Race in the Newest Neighborhood Watch Murder

On August 7, Chad Copley shot and killed 20-year-old Kouren Bernard Thomas outside his home, after a 911 caller (presumably Copley) claimed he was “securing (his) neighborhood” as part of a neighborhood watch program.

On August 10, National Center legal expert and Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper appeared on HLN’s “Dr. Drew” to discuss the case.  

Cooper said Copley “has a misunderstanding about the law. The law will allow you to warn people that you’re carrying a firearm, but you’re actually not allowed, in almost every jurisdiction in the country, to discharge your firearm, even into the ground, unless you’re in a special area where discharges are allowed. So it’s really troubling from that perspective that he was under this impression.”

Later in the program, Cooper caused a firestorm when he challenged the interpretations of his co-panelists about whether race played a part in this murder, and then added these comments:

“Here’s the truth: The CDC lists homicide as the second leading cause of death for black men… There’s no other ethnic group for which homicide is even in the top 10.”

Horace continued:

“Second data point: Most people, when they are murdered, are killed by someone of their own race. When the races are different, it turns out there are more blacks who have killed whites than the other way around.”


The Republican Party Is About White Lives Making Black Lives Matter

A guest post by Ted Hayes, Civil Rights & Homeless Activist for Project 21

Pvt Edward W. Apsngler of York16-year-old Edward W. Spangler of the 130th PA, later a GOP official

Unlike the heritage of other United States citizens, whose white lives are a matter of willing immigration, black lives are of unwilling, chattel slavery.

The agendas of the Republican National Committee based in DC purporting to represent Republican interest contradicts that which was originated in 1854-56, when the Party was established.

As long as this republic shall exist, the vanguard message of the Republican Party is that which first and foremost concerns itself with the matter of black lives.

In moral response to the Democratic Party's holding of black lives in generations-destroying chattel slavery, the radical abolitionist who birthed the Republican Party were white lives-white people-"white citizens," i.e., Caucasians, primarily from northern Union states.

By Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and Union's liberation of the slaves and enactment of the 13th Amendment, the white, Radicals ended the institution, and became the fathers of the Civil Rights movements by the14th and 15th Amendments.

Therefore, the Radical Republicans are actually "blacker" than the 1960's Black Panthers, in that the former are philosophically far more radical, realistic, and yes, better armed for the liberation causes of black lives than the latter.

First black members of House and SenateFirst black Members of U.S. House and Senate

Though their black power philosophies were awash in communist-socialist dogmas of Eastern European, white lives, the Panthers still functioned by the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, particularly the Amendments of the 2nd, 13th , 14th, and 15th.

While utilizing the 2nd Amendment for military self defense, the Panthers had limited access to weaponry, whereas, the Rad-Repubs, though civilians, have Constitutional access to the US military.

Note: According to the 14th Amendment's 1866 Civil Rights Act, Sections 5 and 9, if necessary, for the "equal justice-protection" of black lives, the US military can be utilized.

Ending the chattel slavery was Phase I of the republic's application of belated, Declaration of Independence, GOD endowed, inalienable rights; whereas, fulfilling the 14th and 15th Amendments is Phase II, yet to be completed, as evidenced by the state of black lives today.

The 740,000, innocent, boys and men, of both, the Union and Confederate armies killed in the War over the matter of black lives, including the assassinated Abraham Lincoln, were/are white lives. However, 38,000, young, innocent, black boys and men also perished with them.

The white lives whom led anti-slavery movements, and created the anti-slavery, pro black, Republican Party are historically more concerned about the matter of black lives than everyone in the world, including blacks.

Remember, the Original Republican Party Is White Lives Making Black Lives Matter

This is Ted Hayes for Project 21


Black Lives Matter... When They Can Be Exploited

"Black lives [are] mattering, but only in a political context, when they can be exploited...," says Project 21's Joe Hicks, appearing with radio host Tommy "TJ" Sotomayor on Jamie Glazov's "The Glazov Gang."

Do watch it all.


Military, Police Defended by Project 21's Horace Cooper on CNN's HLN Dr. Drew Show

DrDrewCNNHLNLogo 2016

Project 21's own Horace Cooper was on CNN's HLN (Headline News) Dr. Drew Show last night, defending both the U.S. military and our nation's police officers.

Here's excerpts from the action from Horace's appearance last night, with guest host Roger Lodge, Counterterrorism Expert Aaron Cohen, Clinical Psychologist Judy Ho, Civil Rights Attorney Lisa Bloom, and Criminal Investigator Danine Manette:

LODGE: Let me bring Horace in here. Horace, if we're going to point any fingers here, where should we be pointing them?

HORACE COOPER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, we shouldn't start with mental illness. We shouldn't start with saying when someone does things that I wouldn't do or that I don't comprehend, the best explanation must be mental illness.

How about let's start with hate. It's a fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists the organization that he's a member of as a hate group, a racist, separatist hate group, and these organizations and these individuals are walking among many of us, and they are saying many of the hateful rhetoric that we see in this video. And others say, "Oh, they just have a difference of opinion."

We're going to have to start challenging the hate rhetoric, and we're going to have to start expecting people that they are not going to be able to assimilate into the rest of society while they espouse these hateful concepts.


COOPER: ...Mostly political correctness prevents us from having a serious conversation about the bad behavior and the hate rhetoric.

Too many people have accepted the premise that the only hate and the only racism can from white America and that it should be ignored and it shouldn't be given much consideration.

We all should be looking at Martin Luther King's idea that we're all going to be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. This individual demonstrated the very kinds of commentary postings, et cetera. His name change. Everything he was doing was signaling he was part of the hateful rhetoric that is often associated with a lot of this discussion about police officers...


COOPER: First of all, let's be clear. Just this last week, someone in a well-developed European nation took a truck and killed nearly a hundred people without having to have access to a firearm. The truth of the matter is, hateful activity will allow people to do a number of destructive things.


COOPER: Well, I'm troubled but I'm actually troubled as part of this conversation. I believe that we ought to focus on data points. And it was just said that two shooters who were veterans must imply that there is a problem with our veterans and their likelihood of committing these kinds of dangerous crimes.

There's absolutely the opposite evidence the data shows. The NIH, the V.A., the Department of Justice shows that our veterans are actuallysubstantially less likely to engage in violence when they return than the general population.

So I don't want the conversation to go in this direction that somehow implies that the great people who serve and protect our nation are somehow at risk when they come back. This is similar to the lie that's being put forward about our law enforcement community.


JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, you know, there's certainly a lot of other warning signs about the person, and as human beings, we want to categorize. We want to make sense of things and that's why there are these associations with the fact that he has veteran status with the fact that maybe he is a member of the sovereign state, and something that's more self-proclaimed, but I think we're missing the main issue here.

The main issue is he has really said multiple times in broadcasts such as this one that's playing in the background right now, that he is an independent thinker. These are ideas of his own. And for whatever reason through whatever influences he has, he has come to believe the things he

did that led to these issues. So where were the people to identify these problems in the first place? Where were the people when he was growing, when he was a teenager and he possibly was showing some warning signs?

LODGE: Well here's what the FBI said in the bulletin way back in 2011. "The FBI considers sovereign citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement that scattered across the United States has existed for decades." Horace, are sovereign citizens terrorists, yes or no?

COOPER: Yes. And in fact, I agree with the doctor. We should be looking at the people who've interfaced with this individual. The people that are approving his social media functions. When you're involved in a group like this that's clearly a terrorist organization, people around you should be rejecting that behavior, not either ignoring it or affirming.


LODGE: Baton Rouge cop killer Gavin Long was a veteran of the U.S. Military just like Micah Johnson who shot and killed five officers in Dallas 10 days earlier. Tonight, some are blaming their deadly actions on the lack of mental health care available to our veterans. I'm Roger Lodgeback with Lisa, Aaron, Horace, and Judy.


Horace, could this police killings have been prevented in we took better care of our vets?

COOPER: We should take better care of our vets. We should have a national conversation about the importance of improving our mental health treatment and access, but to simply look at the evil that these men perpetrated and assume that treatment would have addressed this issue, I think takes us off course and does a disservice.

These were also men. Are we to believe that merely being men puts you in the category of being a risk factor for shooting up the community? They were black.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Certainly it does.

COOPER: Does it mean that that's a risk factor?

When you start looking at these simplistic associations, you get away from the reality that there were unique activities that these individuals were exhibiting that were useful for people if they were paying attention. And I don't blame the FBI. I am talking about their neighbors. I am talking

about their employers. I am talking about the people that followed them on social media. Those individuals should have been saying, "This is unacceptable."


COOPER: We don't have enough data points. If we want to have a conversation about the Veteran Affairs Program and PTSD, sign me up because you can look and see the program is broken. That's not the issue. The question is, whether that was a factor here. And we don't have the evidence. In fact, the evidence suggests overwhelmingly that our returning vets are not the likely threat to our community or to our law enforcement officers.


COOPER: Not true. Let me finish. Let me finish.

LODGE: Finish up Horace:

COOPER: Since that's not the case, we ought to be focusing on what the triggers are that led to this problem so that then we can focus on prevention.

LODGE: Lisa, quickly.

BLOOM: Well posted a pretty thorough study that vets who were in combat do have a significantly higher chance of being involved...

COOPER: Not true.

BLOOM: violent crime. Now of course, the majority do not.

COOPER: It is not true.

BLOOM: But we can't ignore -- now, I'm talking. But we can't ignore the data they come home with PTSD and those combat vets who have PTSD are more likely to engage in violent crime. And we all agree we need to give them the mental health services that they are entitled to after going overseas and serving our country an putting our lives at risk. That's the least we can do.

COOPER: Not true.


If I can find a link to the video, I'll post it.

Addendum: Horace Cooper will appear on the Dr. Drew show again on Thursday, July 21 to continue the conversation begun in the show described in this blog post. The show runs from 7-8 PM Eastern.

Project 21's Joe Hicks Puts Black Lives Matter Under the Heat Lamp

Project 21's Joe R. Hicks has been quoted extensively on TV and radio in recent days. Here's an example of an appearance that got a lot of attention - Joe on the Fox News Channel's The Kelly File on July 11.

"Last week -- last week, three people were walking out a liquor store in San Bernardino -- people are familiar with San Bernardino because that's where the massacre took place. Two black men and a 9-year- old boy walking out of a liquor store mowed down by a black suspect. Where was Black Lives Matter? Did you guys mobilize in San Bernardino?"

Joe tells us there's no end in sight for this nation's war on police officers, thanks to "a nearly endless number of black men... [with] victimization fantasies."

"Enough with the false claims of the race-obsessed protesters," Joe says. "It is past the time for truth telling about who the real racists are in this society, and this starts by putting the Black Lives Matter activists under the heat lamp."

Here are Joe's comments at greater length:

This weekend America awoke to three more dead police officers, the latest in the nation's war on cops - a war with no real end in sight. There is no end in sight because there is a nearly endless number of black men residing this nation's black communities who have similar victimization fantasies as Micah Xavier Johnson did, the Dallas cop-killer, or Gavin Eugene Long, a black man who traveled all the way from Kansas City, Missouri, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just to kill as many cops as he could. Like ISIS has inspiring lone-wolf mass killers worldwide, has the Black Lives matter Movement similarly inspired the horrific acts of these black cop-killers? It has also been less than helpful that the nation's president has identified with leftist black street activists and lectured about the rage felt among blacks regarding police in America being justified. Obama has conveniently ignored the fact that both of the recent cop-killers harbored vicious anti-white, ant-police beliefs that has become a demented component of black urban activist culture. This festering culture of dysfunction has been primarily informed by the virulent hateful ideology of the so-called "Black Lives Matter" protesters.


...This dysfunctional rage has been brewing since Treyvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. "Black Lives Matter" has been the chant of leftists all across America. Yet, black-on-black murder rates have skyrocketed across the nation. Milwaukee's murder rate was up 76% between 2014 and 2015, and similar increases were seen in Saint Louis, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington D.C. Seemingly, black lives only matter when a black person is shot by a police officer - most often a cop doing his duty. Also ignored is available data that informs us that blacks commit homicide eight times the rate of whites or Hispanics combined, and overall, more than half of the nation's homicide victims are black, though blacks make up only 13% of the population.

According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 69% of Americans say they race relations is at an all-time low since the 1992 Los Angeles riots. For too long, Americans have submitted themselves to vulgar, ignorant insults coming from activists marching through our cities chanting about imagined American racism and racist cops. Enough with the false claims of the race-obsessed protesters. It is past the time for truth telling about who the real racists are in this society, and this starts by putting the Black Lives Matter activists under the heat lamp.


"President Obama Should Resign and Apologize to Law Enforcement," Says Project 21's Council Nedd

Constable Council NeddConstable Council Nedd

Project 21's Council Nedd, a Pennsylvania State Constable and board member of the Fraternal Order of Constables, says President Obama is "responsible for fostering an environment in which war has openly been declared on America's law enforcement officials, and is calling upon President Obama to resign and to apologize:

President Obama is always quick to take credit for things that he may, or may not, have had anything to do with. Where is President Obama when it is time to take responsibility and pay the piper - when something goes horribly wrong?

President Obama is single-handedly responsible for fostering an environment in which war has openly been declared on America's law enforcement officials. Now, law enforcement officers are being openly hunted, and gunned down in the streets for daring to give to this nation by serving and protecting the residents of this country. President Obama should apologize for placing a bounty on the thin blue line that protects the good from the bad, the law-abiding from the law-breakers, and the sheep from the wolves.

Six days a week, I go out, into often hostile communities, to serve criminal warrants and capture fugitives that judges and public officials have asked me to capture on behalf of the communities that they have victimized. Next week I will be doing a peacekeeping assignment in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention, where tensions will already be heightened. For President Obama to turn his back on law enforcement, in favor of canonizing criminals, is the act of a priggish charlatan and ingrate. He should return his Nobel Peace Prize.

President Obama should resign and apologize to law enforcement for placing us in this position, turning his back on us and making martyrs of countless people who may not have been up to evil, but who were certainly up to no good.

Professionally, Council wears two hats: law enforcement and the ministry. He is an elected state constable in Pennsylvania and bishop and rector of St. Alban's Anglican Church in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania. You can watch him talking about Black Lives Matter on NewsMax TV here, discussing the relationship between the police and the black community on Fox's The Kelly File here, discussing the important role of fathers in families on Fox's the Kelly File here and discussing efforts for positive change in communities on Fox's Hannity here.


Climate Change News: Penn State's Michael Mann Whines Again

A friend brought to my attention that Michael Mann, a 'Distinguished Professor' of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, is whining again that the National Center for Public Policy Research, in 2010, questioned the Obama Administration's decision to send taxpayer dollars his way for economic stimulus purposes.


Mann's complaint is a perfect example of why so many of us are skeptical of his reliability on other matters, such as climate.

Mann complains, in his words,

In mid-January 2010, a group known as the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), which receives funding from the Scaife Foundations, led a campaign to have my NSF grants revoked. The perverse premise was that I was somehow pocketing millions of dollars [emphasis added] of "Obama" stimulus money simply because I was a coinvestigator on several recently funded NSF grants. These absurd distortions were--no surprise--promoted by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and others of similar persuasion.

Perhaps it is unkind of me to point out the truth if a man so enjoys believing he is being persecuted that he's still complaining 6 1/2 years later, but our press release (which did get a lot of coverage) objected to the Administration granting the amount of $541,184 to Mann at Penn State.

How could we be implying he pocketed millions when we said he was granted little more than half a million?

And if we thought he pocketed it, why did we ask Penn State -- not him -- to return it?

The last time I heard from Michael Mann he was tweeting that I supposedly have a "[#KochBrother funded anti-environmental] agenda." I objected via a return Tweet, as neither I nor my employer receives funding from the Koch brothers. (What an "anti-environmental agenda" might be remains unclear.) Rather than issue a correction, he blocked me.


Not the most reliable guy, I think. This is worth remembering when he makes policy recommendations that could cost the taxpayers billions.


Dallas Police Shootings and Black Lives Matter Both Criticized by Project 21's Green

Project 21’s Derryck Green appeared on HLN’s “Dr. Drew” on July 11 to discuss the murder of Dallas police officers by Micah Johnson.

“I don’t care why he did it,” Green said about Johnson’s motive. “A lot of people have a lot of difficult things going on in their lives and they don’t resort to taking their anger or their frustration out by harming innocent people.”

Why is there such a mixed reaction within the black community to the murder of Dallas police officers? “There’s a sense of racial solidarity that exists in the black community that you have to support black people no matter what they say or do, or if you disagree… the criticism has to be minimized,” said Green. “So I think that does a disservice to the integrity of the black community by not standing up and condemning acts of evil or acts of terror when they rightly need to be condemned.”

Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani was criticized for saying the Black Lives Matter movement is racist and that attention should be paid instead to the murder of black Americans by other black Americans. Green responded: “It goes to selective moral outrage. Statistically speaking, he’s correct. We don’t have enough outrage when blacks kill other blacks at the rate we are killing ourselves… This is why Black Lives Matter and those types of organizations don’t have traction, don’t have moral authority outside of their ideological echo chambers, because we are not giving the proper amount of attention to those things that are more important.”


How to Avoid Poverty

I'm not sure which of our pieces referring to Black Lives Matter this gentleman read, but his advice is good regardless:

Dear Sir,

Having just read your piece over BLM as it pertains to the Ferguson case (I realize this is old news and NOT a recent post), I feel compelled to thank you for your HONEST analysis. This is, sadly, missing from today's climate.

I am a school teacher and my mantra is, "It's all about choices." The Brookings Institute just released more research on one of the largest issues facing the Black community. Namely, poverty. In it, it states that if one does NOT want to end up in poverty, DO these three things... 1. Graduate from High School. 2. Get a job and keep a job and don't quit that job until you find a better job. 3. Do NOT have a child out of wedlock.

If one does these things, the chances of ending up in poverty is under 9%.

I hope and pray a voice like yours gets a national spotlight.

Thanks and take care,