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Monday, September 08, 2008

Project 21 in Washington Times

Project 21 members and staff have been published in the Washington Times' op-ed page several times recently. Fans of the group may wish to click on one or more of the following:

"Speed-Limit Myths" - Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie takes on Senator John Warner of Virginia's trial balloon favoring a federal mandate to lower speed limits. After explaining who/what really would benefit from such a policy (hint: not the environment, but it involves something green), Massie suggests that "it might be better if Mr. Warner just drove off into the sunset. If only he could go a little faster."

"History is the Final Judge" - Project 21 member Ak'Bar A. Shabazz asks, "if we disregard the calls for freedom and democracy in places such as Tibet, where are we placing ourselves as it relates to world history?," and quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., saying "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"Property Rights" - Project 21 research associate Reece Epstein examines the government's use of eminent domain power in a predominately black city to take choice land from small businesses in order to sell it to large ones. He says, "Self-professed champions of the poor don't help when they oppose eminent domain reform. Doing so simply allows government to take from one and give to another - at the expense of communities - just to rake in tax dollars."

"Let Them Eat Cake" - Project 21 member Kevin L. Martin calls on Congress to allow more oil drilling, saying "There may be a day when we all have electric cars, but the one I have right now doesn't have a plug, solar panel or hydrogen converter. It takes gasoline. While I don't object to the possibility of alternative energy sources in the future, I know that most Americans own cars that need gas and live in homes that are powered at least in part by coal. When the elites stifle access to plentiful power, the financial burden is a lot smaller for them. They can afford to pay more for a hybrid car and rave about getting better gas mileage. They can also feel better about their indulgences when they buy imaginary 'carbon credits' that give them the moral authority to use more energy than they want to allow the masses. Like Marie Antoinette, they think the rest of America can 'eat cake' like they can. Sadly, we can't."

"The Civil Rights Shakedown: Myth or Reality?" - Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli takes a look at shakedown allegations against Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and describes her own effort to urge a corporate board not to be part of such a process. Deneen wrote, in part, "Frustrated by what appears to me to be a long history of Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton using semi-subtle campaigns to pressure corporations to donate, I spoke up at the JPMorgan shareholder meeting. After Mr. Jackson spoke, I took his place at the microphone and asked Mr. Dimon and his board: 'Will there ever be a day where you will stand up and say 'No' to Mr. Jackson and to his demands and messages of victimization and divisiveness? This is the United States of America, and this is not the 1960s. People should be hired based on their talents and they should be retained based on their results. There should not be color-coded hiring in the United States.' Shareholders clapped. But, unlike Mr. Jackson's, my question went unanswered."

"Gaining Access with Identification" - Project 21 research associate Reece Epstein turns the Voter ID debate into a civil rights issue -- but maybe not in the way you think: "The bottom line is that someone without proper identification is out of step. And those who want to keep them there are out of line."

"Black America is Still Not Free" - Project 21 research associate Reece Epstein reviews the new book "Sweet Release: The Last Step to Black Freedom" by psychologist Dr. James Davidson, Jr.: "...although he criticizes liberals, Davidson is quick to note he is no conservative. He writes: 'My behaviors and ideas [are] anything but conservative. Trying to improve one's social and economic lot by rejecting traditional societal and black community standards for achievement seemed antithetical to [being] conservative.' The apolitical goal of Sweet Release is to create advancers: 'What you seek is simply not in the 'hood. It never has been, and it never will be... We must now move beyond our own remaining chains, beyond the mental barriers that keep so many of us constrained in our thoughts and deeds.'"

"Governance drives this crisis" - Project 21 associate and Initiative for Public Policy Analysis executive director Thompson Ayodele asks, "Hunger is an everyday problem in Africa. What can be done about it?," and answers, in part: "For one thing, a better governmental infrastructure and incentives can stimulate production if done right. Anything that would dampen competition, and thus lower the incentive to produce, should be avoided. When these programs are instituted, they must be administered with professionalism and transparency."

"Too few Watts: 'Segregated News' is Not the Answer" - Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie isn't too thrilled about former GOP Congressman J.C. Watts' plans to create a black news television channel: "...the question begging an answer is what exactly constitutes 'black news.' There are things that happen to black people in black communities that don't really have an impact on the rest of America, but that doesn't mean they should be provincial to black America. News happening in America is American news, and it should be everyone's concern."

"Jesse Jackson Outrage Strategy: No Dough, No Go?" - Project 21 staff director David Almasi and research associate Justin Danhof wonder why Jesse Jackson never challenged XM Satellite Radio for alleged racial insensitivity for a gold tooth ad similar to one run by Toyota which Jackson did protest. They ask: "Remember when Jesse Jackson challenged XM Satellite Radio for its racist advertising? Probably not, since it never happened. Why he didn't is the question." Could it be because Toyota has more money?
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:45 PM

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