THE FOUNDATION"It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute." --James Madison, letter to the Dey of Algiers, 1816
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS47 people were arrested overnight in Ferguson, Missouri, in the latest round of "protests" against the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. The unrest is telling. A new Rasmussen poll finds that "most black Americans (57%) are already convinced that the police officer should be found guilty of murder, a view shared by just 17% of whites and 24% of other minority adults." Part of the problem is with black "role models" like Attorney General Eric Holder, who is in Ferguson overseeing the case. He told residents the Department of Justice will "ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding -- and robust action -- aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve." He added, "[P]olice forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve." In other words, this wouldn't have happened if the police officer was black. Not to be outdone, Missouri Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon said, "A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued." The race-baiting attorney general and governor are clearly more interested in pandering to blacks than due process.
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Spike Lee's 'War on Black Males'Filmmaker Spike Lee never shies away from a racial controversy, and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, is no different. "I just think there's a war on the black male, and it's tearing the country apart, in my opinion," Lee said. "It's not just killing us -- it's [the] educational system, it's the prison system, it's these young black men growing up with no hope. ... It's systematic." Lee is correct that blacks are often stuck in inferior schools, and that blacks are disproportionately represented in prison. However, black fatherlessness contributes to both of those problems, and that problem is exacerbated by Democrat poverty plantation policies. Worse, 90% of black murder victims are killed by black males. So in other words, if there's "a war on the black male," it's being waged by black males and Democrats.
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Obama: Carrying Guns 'Giving in to Anger'While speaking on the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, Barack Obama said carrying a firearm is giving in to anger. During a White House press conference, the president remarked, "While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving in to that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only deserves to raise tensions and stir chaos, it undermines, rather than advancing justice." Obama ignored the story of how shop owners in Ferguson are protecting their property with -- you guessed it -- guns. Are those shop owners giving in to anger? Obama's asinine comments recall his 2008 gaffe, when he claimed his opponents "get bitter [and] they cling to guns or religion." The president should quit giving in to his anger toward gun owners. More...
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Before We Praise Rick PerryThe indictment against Texas Gov. Rick Perry shows the governor has a Texas-sized presence in the field of 2016 presidential hopefuls. But before we all fall behind the politician with enough guts to walk into Travis County courthouse to get booked, we need to note how conservatives in his own state regard him. According to The Washington Examiner, many regard their governor with caution. Katrina Pierson, a Tea Partier who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat, thinks the skeletons from Perry's political career will fall from the closet. "When this goes to trial, are we indeed going to find corruption? I think the answer is yes," Pierson said. Founder of the Grassroots Texan Network Ken Emanuelson said, "I would feel uncomfortable stepping out publicly and saying that I'm confident that there's no reason to think that Rick Perry's been involved in cronyism. I really believe the opposite is true." Perry is a politician -- let the buyer beware. More...
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On Corporate Inversions, The New York Times Misses the ObviousAmerica's high corporate tax rate is prompting some companies to implement a corporate inversion, defined by Investopedia as the process of "[r]e-incorporating a company overseas in order to reduce the tax burden on income earned abroad." Barack Obama has slammed CEOs for using this "unpatriotic" maneuver, while at the same time ignoring calls to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate, the highest in the world. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times argues that solely reforming the corporate tax is meaningless because most U.S. companies don't actually pay the designated rate anyway. Based on a new study by University of Southern California professor Edward D. Kleinbard, Sorkin writes, "Professor Kleinbard contends that most United States multinational companies don't pay anywhere near 35 percent. Companies paid, on average, 12.6 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office, which last measured it in 2010, by deliberately stashing piles of cash abroad." Isn't that, well, kind of the point? As economists Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer point out, "The corporate tax raises $250 billion per year, or 1.5% of GDP, which is one of the lowest tax revenues in the world." Which raises the question: Why do we have this business-stifling tax anyway? More...
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Back-to-School Tuition Woes Highlight Bigger Education Problems
The College Board reports that a "moderate" college budget for an in-state public college for the 2013–2014 academic year averaged $22,826. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $44,750. Of course, these figures represent more than tuition, but they provide a clear picture of what the prospective college student faces. Costs can be reduced if a student is willing to stay at home, attend a nearby state school, take a full load of classes and work part-time during the summer -- or better, all year. In that case, the cost drops to about $9,000 for in-state public schools, most of which can be paid for with the student’s earnings. Best of all, he or she won’t be shouldering a massive burden of debt for the next 20 years.
The debt aspect of the issue is perhaps the most difficult to understand. We know there are exceptions, but parents love their children. They’ve sacrificed 18 years to help them mature sufficiently enough to handle the adult world. College is hardly the adult world, but once school’s over, it’s at hand. That’s the very time in their lives when they should be as unencumbered as possible, to be able to direct their lives as they think best, and, yet, every year millions of parents send their child off to school knowing that when it's completed, there’s an ugly reality to face. It almost seems like a perverse game: Get them excited about earning a degree and then hit them with the bill when it’s finished.
The federal aid to college racket -- that’s what it’s become -- has many of the earmarks of failed federal programs. While many students do indeed graduate, most will be making payments on their loans for years. Payments are deferred while students are in college, but once grads pass the golden doors, the first payment is due. And repayment plans can vary tremendously, depending on the program used to obtain the money as well as the actual lender. Whether the grad’s employed or unemployed, the bill comes due every month, and the term can last from 10 to 25 years. The word “term” is most apropos, for the debt is much like a prison sentence.
Some students are their own worst enemies. The dropout rate is rising, and while it’s doubtful the IRS will ever chase them down for what they owe, the system reinforces the negative values of ignoring responsibilities. At the very least, grants should be awarded only to students with a real track record of success. However, banks have a federal gun at their collective heads to lend freely, so without major reform, injudicious lending practices will continue driving the federal loan machine.
This week Barack Obama gave his weekly address on his plans to help ever more young people attend college. Part of that plan involves increased financial aid. Yet he says, "[A]s long as college costs keep rising, we can’t just keep throwing money at the problem." College costs are rising because the federal government keeps throwing money at the problem.
As with any federally dispersed money, corruption -- at least moral corruption -- is part of the game. Universities in the 1950s were modest in appearance and earnest in academic goals. By comparison, the modern mega-versity -- with its multitude of “schools,” monumental buildings that cover a city block, luxurious multi-gender dormitories, plush student lounges and gigantic sports facilities -- resembles more a Roman complex honoring the gods than a place of quiet study, debate and learning.
Furthermore, as more people go to college, the standards fall lower. Many studies have shown that today’s graduates know far less than those of a generation ago. That's little wonder when courses include The Science of Superheroes instead of useful information. Meanwhile, the grade awarded most frequently in college is “A.” That should strike anyone as wrong.
In 1950, only a small percentage of the population went to college. We don’t advocate a return to that time, but, on the other hand, making college a virtual life requirement from birth is excessive. Universities once had strict requirements for admission. Today they admit people without ninth grade skills, setting them up for failure. People with a desire to learn and find a career path right for them should go to community or technical college. Perhaps one of the key answers to the problem of rising tuition is to rethink the popularity of college. All men are created equal, just not guaranteed equal results.
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ISIL Begins War With U.S.
|A jihadi preparing to execute James Foley|
First, a brief recap. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki finally agreed last Thursday to resign, leaving Haider al-Abadi to take the reins of the war-torn country. This perhaps means progress can be made to restore political stability. Still, Abadi, like Maliki, is a Shiite from the State of Law Party, and he spent most of his adult life in exile in Great Britain. Whether Sunnis and Kurds accept him and whether his time out of the nation proves positive or negative remains to be seen.
Secretary of State John Kerry praised Maliki's decision as "important and honorable." He added, "[T]he United States stands ready to partner with a new and inclusive government to counter this threat" from ISIL, which continues to spread its violence throughout much of the country.
Obama prematurely claimed last week that his drive-by bombing in Iraq was a success. “We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety, and we helped save many innocent lives,” the president declared, also announcing the near-immediate withdrawal of the handful of U.S. personnel in the area. But was the mission a success? Not if the fact that thousands of Yazidis remain stranded on the mountain matters.
ISIL is still attacking and murdering Yazidis and Christians elsewhere, too. The Daily Signal reports, "Yezidi leaders say more than 100 of their men were executed Friday afternoon by Islamist terrorists in the village of Kocho, located southeast of Sinjar in northern Iraq." According to Reuters, women and children are being buried alive, if they aren't sold as sex slaves. Christians are facing similar torment, being forced from their homes and sometimes killed.
ISIL also beheaded American journalist James Foley, a Christian. He was captured in Syria in 2012. ISIL threatens to do likewise to Steven Sotloff, another freelance American journalist, and taunted America, saying, "[W]e will drown all of you in blood."
But not to worry -- the UN Security Council voted unanimously to level sanctions against six ISIL militants, including travel bans and asset freezes. The Security Council resolution "deplores and condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of ISIL (Islamic State) and its violent extremist ideology, and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law."
So take that.
The U.S. did, however, conduct further airstrikes on Saturday, aiding an Iraqi military operation to regain control of Mosul Dam. That critical piece of infrastructure supplies power to central Iraq, as well as provides fresh water and prevents massive flooding in the area. All told, the U.S. had conducted 68 airstrikes as of Monday, with 35 coming in the weekend assault on the dam. And U.S. officials say more strikes could be in the offing, especially given that ISIL is mounting a counteroffensive to retake the dam.
The Wall Street Journal says this small win is a glimmer of good news, but adds caution, writing, "It's clear there is also growing coordination between the U.S. bombing runs and Kurdish forces on the ground. This means that CIA operatives and U.S. special forces are also in Iraq lending intelligence and other support. Mr. Obama keeps saying the U.S. role will be limited and no American 'combat troops' will return to Iraq, but special forces are combat troops by any definition. That they may not be at the front lines doesn't mean they aren't at war. And rest assured ISIS considers itself at war with the U.S. and will try to kill any Americans it can in Iraq or the U.S. homeland."
It's critical to U.S. interests that ISIL be stopped and defeated. Unfortunately, it may be that Obama doesn't have the stomach for such an effort when his real objective is avoiding at all costs validating George W. Bush.
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TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: The Media's Sharpton Agenda in Ferguson
- Jonah Goldberg: In Ferguson, a Race to Be Wrong
- Ben Shapiro: The Great Racial Disconnect on Police
- Terence Jeffrey: The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare
- Walter E. Williams: Tuition Pays for This
OPINION IN BRIEFFrench lawyer C. L. De Montesquieu (1689-1755): "The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded."
Columnists L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: "The late media critic Edwin Diamond once notably quipped that to the American news media, '10,000 deaths in Nepal equals 100 deaths in Wales equals 10 deaths in West Virginia equals one death next door.' When it comes to race relations, a similar rule applies. 400,000 civilians have been murdered in Darfur, but one death of a black man in Missouri, allegedly due to white police brutality, is infinitely more newsworthy. The national media are currently obsessed with Michael Brown’s killing by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, just as they obsessed over Trayvon Martin’s killing in Sanford, Florida. Our media aren’t in the news business. They’re in the narrative business, and one of their favorite narratives is that America is deeply racist (something that electing a black president twice in no way disproves). In this liberal view, Ferguson is not atypical, but the rule. It’s what white cops do to innocent black folks. ... We do not know if the cop was right to shoot Brown. The investigation should give us the answer. The news media have rendered their judgment. Ignorantly and maliciously."
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Columnist Terence Jeffrey: "109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded 'means-tested programs' ... as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. ... When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs ... were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012. ... How do you put in perspective the 109,631,000 people taking welfare, or the 150,026,000 getting some type of federal benefit other than veterans' benefits? Well, the CIA World Factbook says there are 142,470,272 people in Russia. So, the 150,026,000 people getting non-veterans federal benefits in the United States at the end of 2012 outnumbered all the people in Russia. ... In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, there were 103,087,000 full-time year-round workers in the United States (including 16,606,000 full-time year-round government workers). Thus, the welfare-takers outnumbered full-time year-round workers by 6,544,000."
Comedian Argus Hamilton: "The State Department announced it's giving Ukraine the money to build a border fence to keep the Russians out. How brilliant. It allows President Obama to keep his campaign promise he'd build a border fence without it costing Democrats the Hispanic vote in November."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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