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…)

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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
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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:
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Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 1, 2016
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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.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 29, 2016
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Where do good and evil come from? Some possibilities that have been proposed include evolution, reason, conscience, human nature, and utilitarianism. But as Boston College philosopher Peter Kreeft explains in the video below, none of these can be a source of objective morality.

So where does morality come from? “The very existence of morality proves the existence of something beyond nature and beyond man,” says Kreeft. “Just as a design suggests a designer, moral commands suggest a moral commander. Moral Laws must come from a moral lawgiver.”

FITW_World_Map_nolabels_GF2016_FINAL_940pxA new report shows that global indicators of economic and political freedom declined overall in 2015, with the most serious setbacks in the area of freedom of speech and rule of law. Freedom House, an “independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world,” released its Freedom in the World 2016 Report which included some disturbing statistics and worldwide trends, particulary as it concerns the progress made by women in some regions.

The beginning of the report summarizes the situation:

The world was battered in 2015 by overlapping crises that fueled xenophobic sentiment in democratic countries, undermined the economies of states dependent on the sale of natural resources, and led authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on dissent. These unsettling developments contributed to the 10th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. [emphasis added]

Key findings from the report: (more…)

Enticed by the promise that their children could go to school in America, numerous Guatemalan parents paid to have their children smuggled into the U.S. No one knows how many made it across the border, but some of the children were detained by immigration official and transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Once in the hands of the federal government, the children should have been safe. Instead, the HHS gave at least a dozen children over to human traffickers.

One group of children was sent to Marion, Ohio where they were forced to work at egg farms for six or seven days a week, twelve hours per day. According to a U.S. Senate report, the children were forced to undertake such tasks as de-beaking chickens and cleaning chicken coops.

The minor victims were also forced to live in trailers owned by the traffickers. Some of the housing was found to be “unsanitary and unsafe, with no bed, no heat, no hot water, no working toilets, and vermin.” If the kids didn’t work hard enough, the traffickers would threaten the victims and their family members with physical harm, and even death. One of the traffickers assaulted a boy and then called the victim’s father and threatened to shoot the father in the head if the minor victim did not work.
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