Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Project 21 Members' Essays Published in New Freedom's Journal Magazine

FreedomsJournalLogo.jpgThe March/April edition of the black-owned Freedom's Journal magazine features three essays from members of the National Center's Project 21 black leadership network.

The issue, which has an overall focus on the problems brought by big government, includes commentary from Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli and members Emery McClendon and R. Dozier Gray.

In the essay "Social Justice: Not What It Used to Be," R. Dozier Gray notes:
Who could possibly be against social justice?...

In one sense, social justice is the basis for a sound and civil society. The struggle for social justice is, in its purest form, the struggle for equality of opportunity over outcome. That's not a problem.

Consider that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in and the 55th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. These were struggles for social justice, and were key to ending the scourge of enforced segregation in our nation.

Abolishing slavery. Women's suffrage. All social justice movements of their time. All good.

But there is a problem in modern times, where social justice is often redefined for progressive political gain. This problem usually comes when social justice is intertwined with a quest for economic justice...

In this new interpretation, social justice can more appropriately be considered "collective retribution" or "restorative justice." The lingering question, however, is to restore what to whom and at what cost. It opens up a Pandora's Box of unsettling possibilities.

Merely suggesting that "justice" needs a qualifier is appalling. To be just or equitable is a simple task: all parties must be treated fairly as reasoned conscience dictates.
In his essay, "What's brewing in America? A Tea Party Revolt!," Emery McClendon notes the non-violent and non-racial underpinnings of the popular tea party movement against big government. McClendon writes:
Since his election, Barack Obama and his supporters have sought to move our nation leftward at breakneck speed. In the process, they've exhibited a blatant disregard for our Constitution, traditions, military and the general rule of law.

Americans accepted it at first, but now their patience is wearing thin.

Young people are being indoctrinated in left-wing politics, personified by figures such as Mao and Bill Ayers - enemies of our nation's founding principles nonetheless admired by members of the Obama Administration.

Those same people also appear bent on taking us further away from our traditional Judeo-Christian morals and values.

It's shocking that a nation with more freedoms and liberties than most others could fall for such garbage. What happened to the hearts and minds of so many Americans? It's clear there's a battle for the soul of America being waged.
Also, Deneen Borelli, in her "Government Climate Claims Will Cost You More Than You Know," notes:
Too bad for the global warming lobby that the facts don't meet the rhetoric. Too bad for the rest of us that, despite this, it is still set on imposing its flawed agenda on our nation...

At its core, cap-and-trade is a tax directed at people who use fossil fuels. The lofty intent is to promote alternative energy sources, but -- seeing as there are not yet such abundant or feasible sources available -- this means virtually everyone will suffer under the tax for the foreseeable future...

And the U.S. would be imposing cap-and-trade unilaterally, without other major nations governments such as India and China imposing similar limitations on themselves. In going it nearly alone, the U.S. risks all of the economic harm while getting none of the alleged environmental gain.

It's a folly the Obama Administration's EPA is walking into with eyes wide open. At a July 2009 hearing, when Senator Inhofe presented EPA administrator Lisa Jackson with the EPA's own data that showed a unilateral cap-and-trade policy would have no effect on global climate, Jackson replied: "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world [carbon dioxide] levels."

With all of these revelations and the state of the economy, it's no surprise support for cap-and-trade is so low. Cap-and-trade was one of the catalysts for the tea parties and for the town halls of 2009. In a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, just 28 percent of those surveyed called global warming a top priority for 2010 -- as opposed to the economy (83 percent), jobs (81 percent) and terrorism (80 percent).
Besides these Project 21 members, the March/April issue of Freedom's Journal also includes essays from Walter Williams, Herman Cain and Ken Blackwell.

To see a sample of this issue, look for the new issue tab on the Freedom's Journal web site after clicking here.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

Labels: , , , , ,

Posted by David W. Almasi at 10:21 PM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Last Supper Obesity Study Looks Like Bunk

A food behavior scientist (I didn't even know foods had behaviors!) and a religious studies professor who happen to be brothers have received international publicity with their theory that the size of the food portions grew over 1,000 years' worth of paintings of the Last Supper, relative to the size of the heads of the disciples.

This is supposed to tell us that people eat larger food portions now than before the Norman invasion.

This study seems like bunk to me.

For one thing, during quite a bit of this time, upper class people -- such as the ones who become artists, or commission them -- typically ate meals of many distinct courses. If you eat an nine-course meal, each of the plates had better be pretty small, unless you intend to take a few days to finish the meal. A typical meat-potatoes-veggie meal today gets served on a single plate. So voila! - a larger plate.

How did the study take into account the medieval practice of serving food on a trencher made of bread? Does it not mess the study up somewhat if the diner, having consumed the meal on the plate, then consumes the plate?

And then there's the common medieval practice of two people sharing a single trencher. How was that accounted for?

Maybe the study took these things and others into account, but none of the news stories I read or heard about said a word about them.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:14 PM

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Meghan McCain: "Revolutions Start with Young People"

The clever bunnies on ABC's "The View" went deep and asked Meghan McCain to comment on the National Tea Party Convention. Miss McCain's response, called "scathing" by, included her observation that "revolutions start with young people."

The average age of a signer of the Declaration of Independence was 45. Vladimir Lenin was 47 at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. Mao Zedong was 57 when the People's Republic of China was established. Ruhollah Khomeini was 77 at the time of the Iranian Revolution. Mahatma Gandhi was 76 when Britain signaled it would quit India. Nelson Mandela was 76 when black South Africans were fully enfranchised and he was elected president.

It is true that Fidel Castro was 33 when he seized power in Cuba, and Maximilien Robespierre in his mid-thirties during key events of the French Revolution.

Maybe Miss McCain was thinking of the exceptions.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:02 PM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Humor: All the President's Men


Perhaps jumping the gun a little bit, Husband David has designed the book cover for the definitive history of the Obama Administration.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:03 AM

Friday, January 22, 2010

Alan Grayson Inadvertently Reminds Us of the Limits of Stare Decisis on Roe Anniversary

Portrait of Dred ScottDred Scott

Some members of the Project 21 black leadership group were offended by Rep. Alan Grayson's comments comparing yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC to the Dred Scott case, believing Grayson's comparison tends to trivialize Dred Scott. In Dred Scott the Supreme Court, after all, "decided" that black Americans who were, had been, or were descended from slaves could not be U.S. citizens (among other noxious things).

It is breathtaking that a majority of the Supreme Court could take away the citizenship of a huge group of people just like that.

The fact that the Dred Scott decision could ever take place certainly reminds us of the limits of stare decisis, something worth remembering on this anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.

The Project 21 press release can be read here.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:17 AM

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things We Think We Know

The pyramids may not have been built by slaves; clearing Amazon forests can be worthwhile; Neanderthals apparently weren't so Neanderthal.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.


Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:35 PM

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

''The Struggle Does Not Stop Here,'' Say Witnesses, Apparently Seriously

The propaganda in this reminds me of the fictional Nobel Peace Prize-winning left-wing "biography" I, Rigoberto Menchu.

People often believe dumb stuff because they want to believe it. Whether it is accurate is of no account to them.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:21 PM

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Biden Commits Plagiarism Again?

Speaking to the AFL-CIO's 2009 legislative conference in Atlantic City, Vice President Joe Biden said, "When a guy in Minooka is out of work, it's an economic slowdown. When your brother-in-law's out of work, it's a recession. When you're out of work, it's a depression."

Hmm... Sounds a bit familiar.

Didn't Ronald Reagan say on the campaign trail in 1980, "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his"?

I hate it when people remake a classic.

Written by David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:01 AM

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Netanyahu Asks World: "Is This a Lie?"

Netanyahu delivered a terrific speech before the U.N.

He asked the nations that didn't boycott the Iranian dictator's speech, or who didn't walk out during it when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched into an anti-semitic tirade, "...but to those who gave this holocaust denier a hearing... Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

The U.S., fortunately, was one of a little over a dozen that did the right thing. Canada was the best. It didn't wait to hear what was said and boycotted from the outset.

Written by David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

Labels: , ,

Posted by David A. Ridenour at 6:27 PM

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quote of Note: Crybabies

"They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have worked with in my 30 years in Washington."

-Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace, O'Reilly Factor, September 18, 2009, referring to officials of the Obama Administration, who appear to take media criticism personally

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download our book Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:09 PM

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What's Happening Now

Penny Starr: Obama pitched health care to young people in audience before his national speech to students.

Rich Noyes: How media covered HillaryCare. Look familiar?

Michael Barone: The convenient fantasies of President Obama.

Prohibition coming back -- but in Britain? (H/T

When do the hearings begin? (H/T Devon Carlin)

We were wrong, says Commonwealth Foundation.

E-mail comments to [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research on Twitter. | Download our book Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:08 PM

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What's Happening Now

What would John Jay do?

Obama and Kennedy "weren't that close." We could tell from Obama's eulogy.

Laws covering certain major campaign supporters will not be enforced, Obama Labor Department says. Equal justice under law is "the animating ideal of our democracy," says Obama. We aren't feeling animated today.

Ed Morrissey, optimist: "We've spent enough on the UAW, thank you very much." Realist: We'll never stop paying for the UAW.

Moe Lane/RedState: "Sometimes, I miss Tony Blair." Me, too, but I suspect it's because we live here.

Ed Driscoll: "It can't happen here." Or it can.

Nice enough to make you want to be a cave dweller.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:02 AM

Friday, August 14, 2009

What's Happening Now

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions way down in '08.

If PhRMA doesn't want America to think it was bribed by the White House not to oppose government-run health care, it could oppose government-run health care.

Still deadly after all these years.

"Evil mongers"? But this is worse.

Father of cap-and-trade says there's a better way to regulate carbon (if you must). We agree.

Another one bites the dust.

ACLU movie: Big brother looking out for you.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed. Follow on Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:31 AM

Thursday, August 06, 2009

What's Happening Now

Here's who voted which way when the Senate voted to renew Cash for Clunkers. Only 37 Americans in the Senate.

Here's who voted which way when the Senate voted to table Tom Harkin's amendment to limit the car welfare program to individuals earning under $50,000 and couples earning under $75,000. 65 Senators support welfare for the rich. Zero Dems for means testing.

Washington Independent: Cash for Clunkers "steals its funding from a Department of Energy program encouraging the development of renewable energy technologies." Someone thought this bill was about the environment?

John McCain calls Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill "a farce," saying "they bought every industry off - steel mills, agriculture, utilities." More welfare for the rich.

President of the United States or Captain Queeg with his strawberries? Seemingly both.

Searching for swastikas.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow on Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:33 PM

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What's Happening Now

Democrat leaders are exploring using a loophole to get health care reform passed. Others -- like me -- call it cheating.

A picture is worth a thousand words: A metaphor for ObamaCare.

Benjamin Franklin would not have supported government health care.

Will a health care bill pass? Charles Krauthammer's prediction.

Consumer Reports magazine is lobbying for government health care. So much for objectivity!

Government health care may mean waiting in line. You think?

Does a "DUI on a horse" charge mean the rider is drunk - or the horse?

Not all the ignorant kids are American. One in 20 British children believe singer Bob Geldof discovered gravity and that the classic book "Pride and Prejudice" was written by JK Rowling. (H/T Adam Smith blog)

A website now tracks the wit and wisdom of Vice President Joe Biden. (H/T Danny_Glover on Twitter)

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow on Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:48 AM

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Washington Post: Obama Has a "Ready Command of Facts"

In "Polling Helps Obama Frame Message in Health-Care Debate" in Friday's Washington Post, reporter Michael D. Shear writes, "Obama is known for his soaring speeches and his ready command of facts..."

Ready command of facts?

Is he talking about the same President who admitted he was unfamiliar with a critical provision in his own trillion+ dollar health care plan?

Who thinks one of the functions of a living will is to stop extraordinary measures if "brain waves are no longer functioning"?

Who believes carbon dioxide emissions "contaminate the water we drink"?

Who says 14,000 people "every single day" will lose their health insurance unless we follow his advice on health care policy?

Who believes pediatricians remove tonsils?

Who says the health care plan he is backing will "keep government out of health care decisions"?

Who was under the impression that Austrians speak "Austrian"?

Who says with a straight face that his health care plan "will be paid for"?

Who keeps saying the U.S. is importing more oil today than ever before?

Who thought Emperor Hirohito personally surrendered to General MacArthur?

Who says the $1 trillion price tag on his health care bill is less than what we have spent on the war in Iraq?

Who repeatedly asserts that if his health care plan passes, "if you like your health plan, you can keep it, the only thing that will change is that you'll pay less."

The article in which this appeared, by the way, is about how the White House staff uses polls to determine what to put in the President's teleprompter. As one "top advisor" (evidently, his name is top secret), told the Post: "I mean, I'm looking at polling, like, all the time."

Right, dude.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected]. | Subscribe to this blog's feed. | Follow on Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:22 PM

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's Happening Now

Under the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade climate bill, the taxpayers have to give General Electric $200 every time it sells a refrigerator.

Government medicine won't work for little Gunner.

Can you picture in your mind's eye the scene on the Battleship Missouri as Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers? Apparently, President Obama can't.

Who's uninsured -- in pictures.

India questions the science behind the global warming theory. Would James Hansen try the Indian government "for high crimes against humanity and nature"?

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed. Follow on Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:30 AM

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In London...'s the 1970s once again.: ""

It's a shame so many innocent commuters and businesses are going to be hurt by the London Underground (subway) strike.

On a more positive note, perhaps the strike will help bring the world another Margaret Thatcher.

Hat tip: Drudge Report.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:04 AM

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Last Titanic Survivor Has Left Us

Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, has died.

In 1996, I blogged about the death of the last Titanic survivor with a memory of the sinking of the ship. The tragic story of the family of Lillian Asplund has stuck with me ever since.

Miss Dean's father went down with the ship, but her brother and mother survived. She was two months old when the ship sank.

Rest in peace.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.


Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:23 PM

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guess the Date

When was this written?
The ...investigation of the Speaker of the House has been an opportunity to direct public attention to several issues that conservatives have considered key. Among these: the unprecedentedly heavy-handed tactics of the majority in Congress...; the frequently-disastrous self-serving involvement of Members of Congress into foreign affairs...; the leaking of classified information for partisan gain...; the unfair targeting of conservatives only in politically-motivated "ethics" probes.
If you guessed May 22, 1989, you are correct.

It could almost be written today, couldn't it?

The paragraph comes from an in-house report I wrote on May 22, 1989 regarding National Center for Public Policy Research activities to bring public attention to the ethics problems of Speaker of the House Jim Wright of Texas. I found the report while searching some old files for something else entirely and couldn't resist posting part of it after I realized the date was twenty years ago exactly today.


I was amused by the following paragraph:
Our second activity was a "Clean the House" rally "in demand of a full and fair investigation of Speaker Wright" held at the Democratic National Committee on April 20... The Democrats were not pleased. An internal DNC memo circulated to all staff inside the headquarters in advance of the rally instructed DNC staffers to ignore the rally and forbade them from looking out the windows overlooking the rally site. Some staffers disobeyed, however, and threw a large stack of copies of photographs of Republican Members of Congress and leading conservatives (Oliver North, Jerry Falwell) from the DNC roof onto the rally.
I no longer recall, but as we all had carried brooms at the rally, I guess we swept them up.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:37 PM

Friday, May 08, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Erasing England's Religion and Culture

Between 1291 and 1294, twelve "Eleanor Crosses" were erected by the government of England to mark the spot where the funeral cortege of the queen of England, ueen Eleanor of Castile, stopped for each night of its 12-day trip from Lincoln, where she died, to Westminster Abbey, where she was buried.

In 1856, Queen Victoria created the Victoria Cross as Britain's highest recognition for valor in the face of the enemy.

In 1940, King George VI established the George Cross as an award, primarily for civilians, for 'acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger."

In 1969, Queen Elizabeth II created the Trinity Cross to recognize distinguished service in one of Britain's former colonies.

But now, in Britain, the London Times reports that five British law lords have determined that the creation of the Trinity Cross honor, because of its Christian reference, breaches "the right to equality and the right to freedom of conscience and belief."

The British government now is looking into whether this judgement will apply to other British decorations and honors, potentially overthrowing at least 718 years of English religion, tradition and culture.

E-mail any comments to the National Center for Public Policy Research at [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:39 AM

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quote of Note

"'Well, as you just heard Lisa [Sylvester] report, the former vice president claimed that this climate change legislation has the moral significance or equivalence of the civil rights legislation of the '60s and the Marshall Plans,' Dobbs said. 'Well, an interesting note -- Gore's father, Senator Al Gore, Sr., like many southern Democrats at the time voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.'"
-CNN's Lou Dobbs, as quoted by Ed Poor on

Hat tip: CFACT's Climate Depot.

E-mail any comments to [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:37 PM

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quote of Note

"No president before has sought to punish his predecessor for policy decisions, no matter how wrong or wrong-headed. Lyndon B. Johnson's management of the Vietnam War was often ham-handed, as anyone who was there could tell you, and his policy makers sometimes verged on criminal incompetence. But Richard Nixon was never tempted to send LBJ or any of those presidential acolytes to prison. Abraham Lincoln, by his lights, would have had ample opportunity to hang Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, but even the rabid Republicans who survived the assassination stopped short of putting Davis in the dock, finally releasing him from imprisonment at Fort Monroe when judgment overcame lust for revenge. Lee was never touched."
-Wesley Pruden, "Steady Descent Into Third World," Washington Times, April 24, 2009

Hat tip: Faultline USA.

E-mail any comments to [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:55 PM

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Outrage of the Day: President Obama Calls Us "A Nation of Citizens"

"We are bound by ideals; a set of values," the President says. I wonder where he believes we got those ideals?

We have a President who does not understand or believe in the most basic principles of the founding of the United States. "Nation of citizens" notwithstanding, God help us.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.

E-mail any comments to [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:13 PM

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Outrage of the Day: The Communique of the G-20

From the Communique of the G-20:
...In particular we agree: to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission; that the FSB should collaborate with the IMF to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them; to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks; to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds; to endorse and implement the FSF's tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms; to take action, once recovery is assured, to improve the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital in the banking system. In future, regulation must prevent excessive leverage and require buffers of resources to be built up in good times; to take action against noncooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens. We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems...
From the Declaration of Independence:
...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it...
Any government we don't vote for has no right to regulate us.

E-mail any comments to [email protected].
Subscribe to this blog's feed.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:34 PM

Sunday, March 29, 2009

CQPolitics Compares Obama Staffing Levels to Bush's, But Spots Obama 34 Days

Pretty much everybody over a certain age remembers the Bush-Gore 2000 presidential election wasn't settled on election night, right?

You might think so, but one of the nation's best-known political journals, Congressional Quarterly, seem to have forgotten it.

A March 27 CQPolitics article by Bart Jansen, "Despite Significant Vacancies, Obama Outpaces Bush in Nominations," begins:

President Obama's pace in making nominations -- rather than occasional Republican opposition -- is responsible for vacancies in key administration posts at a critical time, senators from both parties say. But Obama is still sending the Senate more names and winning confirmations faster than his predecessor...

and continues:

...But the problem may be one of perception. Obama has sent more nominees to the Senate and had more confirmed than George W. Bush had by the same point in his first term as president, according to the White House Transition Project, a nonpartisan effort by scholars, universities and think tanks to smooth transitions.

Of the 385 posts at Cabinet-level agencies that a president must appoint, Obama had sent 100 names to the Senate as of March 24, of which 38 were confirmed. In contrast, Bush had sent 40 and gotten 30 confirmed by the same point in 2001...

The article makes an allowance for the playing field not being quite equal, saying:

...Part of Obama's advantage over Bush in submitting nominations stems from a 2004 intelligence overhaul (PL 108-458) that allowed him to name deputy secretaries and undersecretaries who could be confirmed on the first day of a new administration, in order to hasten the transition...

But no mention is made of the historic nature of the 2000 presidential election, which had no winner until after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore -- a decision not handed down until December 12. Bush was not able to open his transition office until after December 12, while Obama was able to do so immediately after November 8.

The only fair comparison (and even then, only loosely) would be to compare Obama's staffing levels to similar periods in the administrations of other first term presidents who succeeded an incumbent of the opposite party (i.e., Bill Clinton in 1993 and Ronald Reagan in 1981). Even going back as far as Reagan isn't quite fair, because the size and processes of government and the mores of the capital have changed quite a bit since then.

One thing's certain: By March 24 of his first term, George W. Bush had had 34 less days as a president-elect/president than Barack Obama had at the same point in his, making any comparison between them useless.

CQPolitics should have asked its source, the White House Transitition Project, for a more fair comparison: one between Obama's staffing levels and Bill Clinton's at the same point in 1993. The fun of a partisan comparison would have been lost, but at the gain of a more accurate one.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:31 AM

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Never Trust Wikipedia

On the Abigail Adams page, 2/25/09:
A cairn — a mound of rough stones — crowns the nearby Penn Hill from which she and her son, John Quincy, watched the Battle of Bunker Hill and the burning of Charlestown. At that time she was minding the children of Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, who was killed in the battle.
Link from there to the Joseph Warren page, 2/25/09, which says:
At the time of Warren's death, his children were staying with his fiancee, Mercy Scollay.
So where were his kids when hero, patriot and Founding Father Dr. Joseph Warren was killed? Beats me. Teach U.S. History says they were staying with his mother.

P.S. A little freaky. After writing the post above, but before posting it, I ran across this post on the Boston 1775 blog that not only compares the Wikipedia entries for Abigail Adams and Joseph Warren on the question of where the Warren children were staying during the Battle of Bunker Hill, but then also cites Teach U.S. History, as I did. If I hadn't just written the post myself, I'd suspect myself of plagiarism! But my point holds, anyway, as Boston 1775 debunked Wikipedia's Abigail Adams entry vis-a-vis the Warren children on August 2008, and yet, months later, the Wikipedia entries still have this unresolved conflict.

What's even freakier is that I subscribed to the Boston 1775 blog on my Google Reader RSS reader early this morning, having never heard of it before today, yet I didn't find this post about Warren via my RSS reader.

Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:15 PM

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Braking the Stimulus

An e-mail from Joe Roche, writing from Operation Iraqi Freedom:

I'm reading John Steele Gordon's book on an economic history of the US. Great book, and fascinating reading. And it strikes me...

What is missing in countering all the massive "stimulus" spending and legislation is perspective. That is what the Obama campaign and the liberal press succeeded most in doing, the single most important impact of the past several months: the perspective of the American people on the economy has been completely distorted.

In doing this, "we" can be fooled into thinking this is the Great Depression and that it is "unprecedented" and all sorts of baloney like that, thus cornering the Republicans and empowering the Democrats.

Thus, it strikes me that restoring perspective is one tool that would be profoundly effective in putting on the brakes to all this "stimulus." There is no talk about what Reagan faced in 1980, or of how deep the recession was in the '80s. There is no prespective whatsoever of the economic shocks of the '70s. And there is complete historical amnesia about the depressions and economic collapses that happened about every 20 years in our nation's past.

It is very revealing and sobering to re-learn about the economic disasters that hit after Jefferson's presidency, in 1837, in 1857, in 1873, in 1896, the short depression of 1921, and about how all of these were sparked by gov't monopolies and bad monetary policies that all had their roots in liberal populist gov't "solutions." Also, pointing out that the four mega-packages of the New Deal did nothing to aleviate the Great Depression but instead prolonged it instead, is vital to re-teach. Go back to Charles Murray's book on the failure of the Great Society and the War On Poverty.

A short fact sheet accompanying a survey, well foot-noted, would be a great resource for all the nerds out there like me who will pick up on such a report to write about it in their college newspapers and argue on it.

Perspective! This is what is missing. Returning perspective to the American people, I think, is the achillees heal to all this liberal "stimulus" crap. Put it into perspective and then hit them w/ the question: will all this "stimulus" restore the economy? And, "what is really happening with all this stimulus?" Perspective perspective perspective. The GOP is completely inept at doing this. Conservative organizations should be jumping all over this.

Ok, I'll stop ranting.

SGT Joe Roche
More of Joe's e-mailed posts are indexed here.

Labels: , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:26 AM

Thursday, November 27, 2008

From Operation Iraqi Freedom: "We Have Done Something Really Good Here"

From Sgt. Joe Roche, writing from Operation Iraqi Freedom:
This is a special day to be an American soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ninety years ago, hopes for freedom and self-determination sprung up all over the Arab world. After centuries of despotic foreign rule by the Ottoman Empire, European powers angling for survival in World War One's vast killing fields made all sorts of false promises to manipulate Arabs as proxies. Betrayals became the norm.

Despite dreams of self-determination after that war, our world was instead brutalized by the most horrific tyrants and genocide ever witnessed. Fascism, Nazism, Imperialism and Communism not only killed tens of millions and enslaved much of Asia and Europe, but other regions such as the Arab Middle East were gravely traumatized. Much of the fascism witnessed in the Arab world and in Islamic fundamentalism from Egypt to Iraq are largely a consequence from the manipulations by and ferocious ideologies of Europe and Asia.

American idealism for liberty and self-determination was felt here after World War One. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched the King-Crane Commission, which was followed by several other American envoys over decades trying to find ways to achieve self-determination. But the Great Powers of that time had other ideas. Hitler courted a lot of Arabs, particularly Islamist leaders in Jerusalem, bringing Muslims to the front lines with German forces outside Stalingrad, and facilitated a pro-Nazi coup in Baghdad in 1941. Though Israel's creation was a moment of great inspiration and achievement, the Arab world naturally felt it was just another in a long series of betrayals and conspiracies against them.

Because of the Cold War, the Arab people were left to languish for almost six decades under a series of megalomaniac tyrants, as long as stability was ensured. The Soviet Union's efforts at destabilizing the most vulnerable regions coerced surrender and apathy on the part of those who had once dreamt of self-determination in the Arab Middle East. Iraq became tied to the Soviets and was the recipient of Moscow’s largest foreign military aid during the 1970s. The collapse of the Soviet Union did unleash the virtuous spread of American liberty and self-determination in most parts of the world, but the Arab region remained frozen until Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I was part of the initial push in 2003. I had lived in this region before, and Iraq's suffering under repression and tyranny coerced the entire region to be in a constant state of war, paranoia and extremism.

I knew this would take a long time, but I had hope. As an American sharing our country's experience with democracy to Iraqis, I often reflected on how the United States had to discard our first constitution of 11 years after Shay's Rebellion, and yet the resulting constitution still had the institution of slavery. Women couldn't vote for over a century. We had a huge civil war, the effects of which were still violently playing out in the South in the 1960s.

I got to know many Iraqis. They impressed me greatly. I had known some Iraqis in exile before 2003, and I understood they were a very vibrant and strong people. Surviving the terror of Saddam Hussein's regime in a land tortured by centuries of conflict and turmoil, I knew these people could withstand a lot.

My unit in 2004 trained hundreds of Iraqis who served their military forces. They are some of the bravest people I ever met. Their casualty rates in the face of a horrendous terrorist offensive were 20 times worse than anything we faced, yet they kept showing up.

Over the past several months, I've seen those Iraqis we trained take over command of their country as we pull back. For the first time, self-determination is being expressed. Ninety years of betrayal and false promises are finally being corrected.

This is the achievement of America. Yes, there were scenes of protest in opposition to the treaty, but overall this was the remarkable -- and once unimaginable -- process of Iraqis debating the future of their own country. While most news only reported the protests, there were other large demonstrations in support of the US-Iraqi agreement, such as the 5,000 in Hillah last week.

To behold this is amazing. Some might want to just see the negatives, but I'd point out that our own experience with democracy gives us no basis to expect more from the Iraqis less than six years after being liberated by us. There will be further challenges. Ours is the world’s greatest democracy, but we had a shooting, a clubbing and even a sword used in the US Congress. Even one of our great Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, was killed in a duel. The birth of democracy is not a smooth process, but it is inspiring to participate in.

This is a proud moment. As an American soldier having been here at the beginning of this mission, and to be here now again at this moment of self-determination coming to fruition, is awesome. Lafayette came to us when we needed help. We’ve come here and finally reversed 90 years of betrayal. This is good, just and honorable. I’m very happy for Iraq and for our military mission. Out of the ashes of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, we have done something really good here.

For more of Joe's writing from the front and elsewhere, please go here. A profile of his life and army service published by Stars and Stripes in 2004 can be found in this post.

Labels: , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:04 AM

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Slavery Apology and Reparations Debate Neglects Pressing Matters of the Present Day

By David Almasi:
A commentary by Project 21 staff research associate Stephen Roberts about the reaction to a recent congressional apology for slavery was published by The Washington Times this past Saturday.

In his commentary, Roberts discusses the need to get past the slavery issue in order to address present-day problems facing black Americans. Reparations further muddle the pursuit of modern progress. Roberts writes:
With this diversity of outcomes in mind, how are activists and lawmakers dealing with an apology for slavery? They are doing what they do best - playing politics...

In calling it just "a large step," Mr. Cummings skillfully leaves open the door to ask for more - namely, reparations. A Toledo Blade editorial made clear the apology cost nothing, calling it "an empty gesture" of "little use to the victims [it is] meant to make feel better." Quoted in the Final Call, Professor Michael Eric Dyson said: "Reparations are certainly one of the signals that America can send if they are serious about reconstituting American culture..."

The problem with the apology debate - and the ensuing racial backbiting - is the consequent neglect of the pressing matters of the present day. Columnist Christopher Caldwell notes there are no more slave owners or Jim Crow laws. Segments of black America, however, are currently trapped in cyclic poverty. What can be done for them that does not involve historical naval-gazing or polarizing stereotyped groups that no longer technically exist?
The entire commentary can be read by clicking here
This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi. To send comments to the author, write him at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or if you prefer that it be published anonymously.


Labels: , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:51 PM

Friday, July 04, 2008

Washington Post & Other Papers Lose 27th Amendment to the Constitution

Nearly two years ago on Newsbusters, I floated a proposal that newspapers require their editorial and other writers to police themselves for accuracy by requiring them to turn in footnotes with their copy. The process would force writers to check information they think they know that isn't so.

Had editors at the Washington Post, Hartford Courant, Sacramento Bee and Raleigh News & Observer taken my advice, they could have prevented a howler of an error from appearing on their opinion pages this week, in which a writer and fact-checking editors at all four papers apparently forgot the existence of the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In an op-ed titled (in the Washington Post version) "Three Cheers for July 2," writer Andrew Trees writes:
The Bill of Rights as we know it also is not what was initially proposed. The original first two amendments, one of which concerned the number of constituents each member of Congress had and one regarding congressmen's salaries, were never ratified by the states. [Emphasis added] What we think of today as our First Amendment freedoms were actually third on the list.
Mr. Trees and his editors apparently have never heard of the 27th Amendment, proposed by Congress on September 25, 1789 as the second of Congress's first twelve proposed amendments, and ratified 202 years later, on May 7, 1992, when Michigan became the 38th state to ratify it.

The amendment, for those who may be curious, states:
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.
The Washington Post has an extra helping of egg on its face, as it covered the lead up to, adoption, and text of "the first Second Amendment" on February 1, 1987; July 28, 1991; May 14, 1992; May 17, 1992; May 19, 1992; September 12, 1999; January 1, 2001 and April 6, 2008. Had Mr. Trees been required by the Post to footnote his piece before submitting it, he might very well have found it was a Post story that set the record straight for him.

I realize writers don't like bothering with footnotes, but -- as I showed in my original post on this topic in Newsbusters when I noted major errors in a Margaret Carlson column that would easily have been caught by a footnoting process -- accuracy would be improved by requiring them.

(A footnote of my own: I noticed when researching this post that when the first Second Amendment was ratified on May 7, 1992, both the Washington Post and New York Times turned to law professor Walter E. Dellinger III for expert opinion. On May 8, 1992 Richard L. Berke of the Times quoted Mr. Dellinger saying the first second amendment would not automatically take effect, because it had "simply withered and died" after it "failed to be ratified long ago." Ten days later, U.S. Archivist Don W. Wilson formally certified the amendment. Mr. Dellinger is something of an expert on the second Second Amendment, too: He argued for the District of Columbia in the just-decided District of Columbia v. Heller gun-rights case, telling the court in oral arguments that "the Second Amendment... is expressly about the security of the State..." No luck that time, either. His client lost.)

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:09 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Irena Sendler v. Al Gore

Irena Sendler v. Al Gore.

How would you have voted?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 PM

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's Not History, It's HBO

From David Almasi:
The Washington Post's Al Kamen poked fun at the ACLU and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in his April 16 column:
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers are heading an effort to provide legal representation for alleged terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The groups say they've gotten involved in defending the detainees charged under the 2006 Military Commissions Act to ensure that constitutional rights are respected.

They've named their efforts the "John Adams Project," after the second president, who "defended the British soldiers charged with killing Americans in the Boston Massacre, and said that the case was 'one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.'"

Wait a minute. John Adams? Wasn't he also the guy who signed the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, which were intended to suppress opposition to an undeclared naval war with France and provided for fines and imprisonment for publication of "any false, scandalous and malicious writings against the government"? The law that led to imprisonment of a couple of dozen newspaper editors and the closing of their publications?
The mistake is understandable. When the John Adams Project was introduced on April 3, the John Adams miniseries on HBO had only progressed through Adam's inauguration as vice president in 1789. He didn't sign the Alien and Sedition Acts until 1798. That episode didn't air until April 13 (full disclosure: I still need to watch that episode as well!).
To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at [email protected]. David Almasi is executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research.


Labels: , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:45 AM

Friday, April 18, 2008

Washington Post Gets Conservative Concerns About the ANC 20 Years Late, and Almost Too Late Altogether

From David Almasi:
An unsigned house editorial in the April 15 Washington Post is very concerned about post-election unrest in Zimbabwe, where, it seems, President Robert Mugabe is willing to do whatever it takes to remain in power despite indications he lost the popular vote. The twist is that the Post is laying the blame for Mugabe's ability to remain relevant at the feet of South African President Thabo Mbeki.

And they aren't that happy with Mbeki's foreign policy elsewhere, to boot. My, my.

Mbeki is the former president of the African National Congress (ANC), the current South African ruling party that was a terrorist organization mere decades ago. It was the political entity that benefited from the American anti-apartheid protests of the 1980s. Mbeki took over the presidency after Nelson Mandela's retirement.

When I was involved in the South Africa protests of that bygone era, we warned that the ANC was not the moral equivalent of our own Founding Fathers. Mandela, for instance, was a co-founder of the ANC's militant Umkhonto we Sizwe wing. Mbeki was a member. We warned about the ANC's ties and kinship with radical groups and governments across the globe, but we were told we were crazy (and worse).

Now, with the ANC firmly entrenched and South Africa serving on the U.N. Security Council and other U.N. bodies, the chickens are really coming home to roost. In its editorial, Post editors lament:
Since that country began serving a term on the U.N. Security Council last year, the government of President Thabo Mbeki has consistently allied itself with the world's rogue states and against the Western democracies. It has defended Iran's nuclear program and resisted sanctions against it; shielded Sudan and Burma from the sort of pressure the United Nations once directed at the apartheid regime; and enthusiastically supported one-sided condemnations of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council...

Every Western democratic government has condemned Mr. Mugabe's maneuvering, and even many Africans have appeared to lose patience with the 84-year-old strongman. That he remains in office is due mainly to Mr. Mbeki, who has used South Africa's considerable influence and prestige to bolster Mr. Mugabe.
Mbeki is crisscrossing Africa to continue to prop up Mugabe. I don't think I could have written it better than the Post editors have, except I and other conservatives could have told you this would happen 20 years ago.

The one thing the world has in its favor is that the old breed typified by Mbeki is dying out. Democracy has held together. Other, younger ANC leaders are already distancing themselves from Mbeki, including his successor in the ANC and the presidency. Mbeki, like the apartheid government he once fought, is becoming isolated in the world as well as in his own country.

But it's a shame, for the people of Zimbabwe in particular, that the world had to suffer his leadership even one day.

To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at [email protected]


Labels: , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:13 PM

True Emancipation Would Be Something New to Celebrate

From David Almasi:
April 16 is a public holiday unique to the District of Columbia. It's "Emancipation Day" - the commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensation Emancipation Act in 1862. The Act freed the approximately 3,100 slaves in the nation's capital months before the Emancipation Proclamation freed them in Confederate states.

Along with the closure of public offices and the government-run schools, parades and performances mix are sometimes mixed with political action. Most notably, the day is often used as a rallying point for efforts to make the federal district a full-fledged state with two senators and a representative.

But how about using Emancipation Day to call for an emancipation from burdensome government, rather than demanding more of it?

As pointed out in a Washington Times commentary by Project 21 member and new National Center Policy Analyst Casey Lartigue, Jr. on April 16:
The focus was - as it is usually is in D.C. - on political power rather than policies to make citizens freer. Not to take away from the oppression of slavery, but Emancipation Day is more than an opportunity to celebrate the end of the oppression of slavery. It also is a good time to note that lawmakers typically look backward at liberty's advances rather than forward to find ways citizens can enjoy more personal freedom.
For example:
It won't be until a week after Emancipation Day that Americans will observe "Tax Freedom Day," the date when people essentially stop working to pay off their tax obligations and begin working for themselves. According to the Tax Foundation, April 23 is the national average. D.C. residents celebrate their particular Tax Freedom Day last - after all 50 states - on May 3...

Wouldn't it be a pleasant surprise today, Emancipation Day, if Mr. Fenty and the D.C. Council announced cuts in government spending or extended the occasional "tax-free" shopping periods?

Another way city leaders could expand freedom is to extend school choice, at a minimum, to every low-income student living in the District. Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute recently pointed out that when all costs are divided by the number of students, the District of Columbia is spending close to $25,000 per child. The District essentially is providing mediocre public schooling at elite private school prices.
Casey did point out one bright spot on the horizon. Unfortunately, if this happens, this reform will not be by the hands of the District's leadership but rather through a legal mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court:
When D.C. leaders can't be relied on to extend freedom, others may help. The Supreme Court may soon step in to help D.C. residents by ending the city's ban on firearms.

Since 1976, ownership of virtually all firearms in the District has been illegal. The gun ban hasn't curtailed gun-related crimes against D.C. residents, but it robs them of the means of self-defense. The Supreme Court is expected to rule by June on a lower court's rejection of the ban.
To see the full version of Casey's commentary, click here.
To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at [email protected]


Labels: , , , , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:23 PM

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reagan No Racist, Says Deroy Murdock

Deroy Murdock has a lot of evidence to back up his contention that Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert are wrong: Ronald Reagan was not a racist.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:30 PM

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wynton C. Hall's Speechwriter Anecdote: Here's Hoping His Source Made It Up

Writing in the Examiner, Wynton C. Hall shares an anecdote that, if true, reveals a breathtaking level of incompetence at the White House, not just in what it says about the staffer in question, but about the hiring process there:
...why can’t this White House get its oratorical act together? One explanation might lie with Bush’s current speechwriters. At a recent social gathering, I spoke to one woman who told me a story that would send a shiver up a speechwriter’s spine.

While chatting with one of Bush’s newly installed speechwriters, the woman said she mentioned how much she loved President Ronald Reagan’s “Pointe du Hoc” speech, delivered on cliffs overlooking Normandy Beach. The young new presidential wordsmith looked at the woman with a quizzical look. The presidential speech writer confessed to being unfamiliar with the speech but was looking forward to reading it.
Indulge me.

Open Letter to Young New Presidential Wordsmith:
Dear Young (may I call you "Young"?),

What fantastic circumstances placed you at the very top of the speechwriting profession while leaving you ignorant of what is most sublime of the profession itself? "I wasn't born then" can be no excuse for mediocrity. Where you born when Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural, or the Gettysburg Address? When Patrick Henry spoke before the Virginia House of Burgesses? The day after the date which shall life in infamy? When Marc Antony ulogized Caesar?

Young, I beg you, learn your craft. If you haven't read or watched those speeches (or what history records of them) and many, many others; if the words "blood, toil, tears and sweat," sound like the name of a rock group to you, take a leave of absence. Learn the history and art of your profession. Learn how Reagan used the imagery of D-Day in his Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach speeches on June 6, 1984 to inspire the allies of that day to persevere in the battle of freedom versus Soviet tyranny. Help our President also evoke our shared history, values and aspirations, as we fight the crusade before us now.

With sincerity,

Amy Ridenour

P.S. The text of the Point du Hoc speech is here; the text of the Omaha Beach speech is here. It's better to watch them as well; the Omaha Beach speech is here; I haven't been able to find a video of the Point du Hoc speech online.
Wynton Hall makes several other points. I agree especially about Bush 41 and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The American people are still owed a big party (something modeled on this, perhaps?) to celebrate the end of the Cold War. Is the Cold War the only major conflict ever concluded without a commemoration party? Possibly. At the very least, we should have an annual day of commemoration (I nominate November 9), preferably without time off work. We best honor our successes by building upon them.

Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:47 AM

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JPMorgan Chase Slavery Apology Criticized

Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli, acting on behalf of the National Legal and Policy Center, will present a shareholder proposal (pdf) at the company's annual meeting Tuesday that is critical of JPMorgan Chase’s apology for slavery.

A National Legal and Policy Center press release explains:
A shareholder proposal critical of the JPMorgan Chase's slavery apology will be considered at the company's annual meeting on Tuesday, May 15, 2007. The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the company's offices at One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York City.

The company unsuccessfully sought to exclude the resolution by appealing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ruled in favor of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), the proponent.

The resolution will be presented by Deneen Borelli, a Fellow of Project 21, on behalf of NLPC.

Deneen Borelli said today, "It's absurd for someone to apologize for the transgressions of others committed hundreds of years ago. Slavery was an abomination and blemish on our Nation's history. JPMorgan Chase's apology for slavery, along with a $5 million donation for a scholarship fund, are the fruits of a shakedown. It is the looting of shareholder assets and sets a terrible precedent."

Peter Flaherty, NLPC President, said today, "If JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon were alive 200 years ago and owned slaves, the apology would be appropriate. Otherwise it is about as cynical and as hollow as you can get."

In a 2005 letter, then-Chairman & CEO William B. Harrison Jr. and then-President & COO Jamie Dimon stated, "We apologize to the African-American community, particularly those who are descendants of slaves, and to the rest of the American public..." This apology was accompanied by a Company pledge to establish a $5 million scholarship fund for African-Americans. Dimon now serves as Executive Chairman and CEO.

The apology and monetary pledge were apparently prompted by a Company-commissioned report produced in response to a municipal ordinance in Chicago, requiring firms doing business with the city to disclose their links to slavery. The report found only the most tenuous connections to slavery over 200 years ago by two banks whose successor banks had been acquired by the Company.

The supporting statement for the resolution points out that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is currently being sued by plaintiffs seeking damages that they characterize as "slave reparations." The statement argues that the bank may be opening itself to lawsuits by the descendents of Irish, Chinese and Native Americans, whose ancestors also suffered injustice. For the complete proposal, supporting statement, and company response, go to

Slavery "apologies" or other expressions of regret have been recently adopted or are being considered by Congress, a number of state legislatures and several cities. Banks that have apologized for alleged links to slavery also include the Bank of America, Wachovia and Lehman Brothers.

NLPC promotes ethics in public life, and sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project. The group has published a monograph titled The Case Against Slave Reparations that may be downloaded as a pdf file at

Labels: , , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Remembering the Doolittle Raid

National Review reminds us that today was the 65th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.

If you have children still at home who don't know what that was, get them this. As a child, I checked it out repeatedly from my grade school library -- it's riveting. Good for upper elementary students through adults. Highly recommended.


Labels: ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:14 PM

On the Eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five

In honor of our forefathers, and an anniversary worth remembering, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride.

If you haven't read it lately, take a moment to read it again. It's worth recalling that the very birth of this nation was a close-run thing. We have much to be thankful for.


Labels: , ,

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:12 PM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research