Lastmilitary-draft December Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced he would lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat, a move that allows hundreds of thousands of women to serve in front-line positions during wartime. “This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat,” Secretary Carter said at a news conference.

Today, the top officers in the Army and Marine Corps followed that policy to its logical conclusion and told Congress that it is time for women to register for future military drafts.

The would be a radical change since, as the New York Times notes,

Selective Service laws have never required women to subject themselves to the draft and face the prospect of being forced into military service. The current version of the Military Selective Service Act requires that virtually all men in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26 register, most within 30 days of turning 18. That includes non-U.S. citizens living in the United States, such as refugees.

If we are going to have a military draft and women are eligible for combat (an idea I oppose), then it’s only fair that women be forced to serve alongside men. But perhaps it’s time we abolish the idea of military conscription altogether.
(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
By

Political Action and the Primacy of the Good
Daniel J. Mahoney, City Journal

The theological-political reflection of Pierre Manent.

The Rise Of The ‘God Gap’
Anne Pluta, FiveThirtyEight

The best predictor of vote choice, according to work by political scientists Robert Putnam of Harvard and David Campbell of Notre Dame, is religiosity, not religious affiliation; Putnam and Campbell call it the “God gap.”

Don’t be fooled: Iowa evangelicals of media fame do not represent the nation’s evangelicals
Collin Hansen, Washington Post

Another four years have passed. We have an extra day in February. We get to watch the Olympics this summer. And “Iowa evangelicals” have returned to the media spotlight.

“We cannot talk about it”: Factory workers for major fashion labels live confined by guards
Marc Bain, Quartz

Up to 80% of garment workers in Bangalore, India, are believed to be migrant workers. Many don’t speak the local language and struggle to find housing, so garment factories fill the gap by offering company accommodations. The only catch: Some residents are treated like prisoners.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 1, 2016
By

dont-panicToday is the official start of the primary season, which which means it’s also the time when many people officially shift into political panic mode.

A lot of us are in a panic, fearing that Western civilization — or at least America’s future — is at stake and that something must be done quickly to avert disaster. But what Americans really need is to to heed the advice of Greg Forster: Don’t panic.
(more…)

George Soros

George Soros

George Soros just donated another $6 million to Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Super Political Action Committee, raising the total the billionaire has contributed thus far to her 2016 campaign to $7 million. Liberals and progressives who can be counted on to hyperventilate every time the Koch brothers drop a dollar into a Salvation Army drum haven’t made a peep. They’ve also been remarkably silent on other donations to Clinton’s Priorities USA SuperPac, including $5 million from Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl; $2.3 million from Laurie Woods; and $2.5 million from Donald Sussman.

And I shall join the liberals and progressives in their chorus of silence, because, unlike them, your writer prefers intellectual consistency. So, you go, George Soros! And, likewise, Mr. and Ms. Saban, Ms. Woods and Mr. Sussman. Last, but not least, let’s hear it for the Koch brothers! Because each and every one of the above-listed donors are exercising their First Amendment free-speech rights, which were girded by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

However, liberals and progressives don’t see it that way when donations don’t go their way. For example the left-leaning investors affiliated with religious shareholder activists As You Sow seemingly can’t abide corporate donations in the political game when it’s their respective ox that’s gored, namely anyone who disagrees with their views on climate change, social issues, genetically modified organisms and, you guessed it, Citizens United.

Here’s an example from an AYS proxy resolution submitted to DuPont: (more…)

 in-2016-region-map-web-world

The Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal recently released the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom. Despite modest gains in economic freedom worldwide, Americans have, for the eighth time in a decade, lost economic freedom. The global average score is 60.7, “the highest recorded in the 22-year history of the Index” with more than thirty countries including Burma, Vietnam, Poland, and others, received “their highest-ever Index scores.” 74 countries’ ranks declined, but they improved for 97.

The least free countries included North Korea with an abysmal score of 2.3, Cuba (29.8), Venezuela (33.7), and Zimbabwe (38.2).

Index Co-editors, Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim, explain what the Index has proved in its two decades: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 1, 2016
By

Iowa-caucusesTonight the nominating process for the U.S. presidential elections officially begins when voters in Iowa meet for the caucuses. Here are five facts you should know about what has, since 1972, been the first electoral event of each election season:

1. A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party or movement. To participate in the Iowa Caucus, political supporters show up at a one of the 1,681 precincts (church, school gym, community center, etc.) at a specific time (Monday, February 1, starting at 7 p.m. CST).

2. For the Republicans, the process is straightforward: Caucus goers cast a ballot for their preferred candidate, and national convention delegates are awarded proportionally based on the results. For the Democrats, the process is rather complicated. As Rebecca Kaplan explains:
(more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 1, 2016
By

How to make free trade really work
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

As a conservative, I’ve always been a huge believer in free trade. I still am, but the truth is that the protectionists have some things right.

How Long Could the U.S. Go Without Electricity?
A. Barton Hinkle, Reason.com

Ted Koppel’s latest book explores the effects of EMP weapons.

Do Americans Believe Hard Work Still Matters?
Lauren Cassani Davis, The Atlantic

Yes, but they’re more skeptical about whether going to college helps them achieve their goals.

Can America’s Religious Traditions Strengthen Marriage?
Amber Lapp, Family Studies

If religious groups want to support marriage, they must find ways to reach out to those who now feel unwelcome.