There are 141 counties across the U.S. that have more registered voters than people

VoteForMickey

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) has discovered that there are 141 counties across America that have more registered voters than actual living human beings.

“Corrupted voter rolls provide the perfect environment for voter fraud,” said J. Christian Adams, PILF’s president and general counsel of PILF. “Close elections tainted by voter fraud turned control of the United States Senate in 2009. Too much is at stake in 2016 to allow that to happen again.”

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The Robot Revolution: Union-backed policies destroy human jobs, replacing people with intelligent machines

The Robot Revolution
Union-backed policies destroy human jobs, replacing people with intelligent machines [PDF here]

By Steven J. Allen and Alec Torres

Summary: Labor unions and their left-wing friends are imposing a host of laws and regulations that are dramatically raising the cost of hiring workers. Minimum wage laws, Obamacare requirements, and many other policies are causing businesses to rethink new hires. Even expensive robots and other forms of non-human labor begin to make sense to strapped companies. Who will suffer the most under the new regime? The least skilled and the poorest—the very persons who were supposedly going to benefit from the new laws and regulations created. Call it “the War on Jobs.”

New technology creates jobs. The invention of the lightbulb puts candle makers out of work and the invention of the automobile puts buggy-whip makers out of work, but more jobs are created in the new industries than were lost in the old ones.

Until now, perhaps. The nature of the U.S. economy is changing. To a greater degree than ever before, politicians and bureaucrats and activist groups are working to make it too expensive for businesses to hire people for many jobs.
Who will get those jobs? In many cases, robots.

Mechanical men
The term “robot” comes from Continue reading →

Cuba, implacable enemy of the Free World

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

How did the Soviets, with their pathetic, poverty-creating, “Progressive” economic system, keep fighting the Cold War decade after decade? What kept them in the game long after the U.S. and its Western allies should have won?

The answer: deception. The Soviets systematically deceived the West to make it appear that they were stronger than they really were and that they were interested in peaceful competition with the Free World.

As a result of Soviet deception, the West acted timidly toward the Soviets until the Reagan Era. Indeed, prior to President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher, most Western leaders seemed less interested in defeating the Soviets than in currying favor with them. “We win. They lose,” as Reagan once privately described his Cold War strategy, seems simplistic, but, in fact, it represented a complete turnaround—a change that signaled the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire.

For decades previously, the Soviets often went unmolested as they worked to implement their plan for victory. (There were exceptions: We stood up to them in Vietnam, until we stopped doing so.) The Soviet victory plan included these elements: control of space and opposition to the development of space-based missile defense; a massive, secret program for the development of biological weapons such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague; and domination of the Third World.

Cuba was critical to that last part. The Castro dictatorship, which presented itself to the world as unaligned, was actually the Soviet Union’s partner, its surrogate in its effort to bring the Third World under its control.

Today, in the wake of the Obama administration’s surrender to Cuba, it’s time to take a look at the role played in the Cold War by the murderous dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

In this guest column, Ana Almeida, the Capital Research Center’s Haller intern, looks at one of the Soviets’ techniques that bamboozled the West, the use of Cuba as a surrogate for Soviet involvement in the Third World. – SJA

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“Active measures is the Soviet term for a form of political action aimed at foreign public opinion, political elites, and decision makers.” “The Soviet term active measures describes a wide variety of deceptive techniques to promote Soviet foreign policy goals and undermine those who oppose Soviet actions.” — Richards J. Heuer

The USSR released large-scale strategic deception campaigns against the U.S. sphere of influence throughout the Cold War. The term “active measures” (aktivnyye meropriyatiya) describes a wide variety of deceptive techniques to promote Soviet foreign policy goals and  undermine the enemies of communism. Active measures undertaken by the KGB include agents of influence, propaganda, and disinformation that amplified communist influence and presence internationally. The history of Soviet-Cuban relations reveals that Cuba—as a proxy state for the Soviet Union—fostered the Soviet big strategy of spreading pro-Moscow communism worldwide. Continue reading →

Whitney L. Ball, RIP

whitneyball2We mourn the death of Whitney Ball, who as founder and longtime leader of DonorsTrust was one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs in conservative and libertarian philanthropy. Her long battle with cancer, which never dimmed her passionate spirit or weakened her religious faith, ended this August.

Whitney not only founded DonorsTrust, a sponsor of donor-advised funds for philanthropists committed to liberty, she also helped Kim Dennis, now at the Searle Freedom Trust, to direct the early years of the Philanthropy Roundtable, a network of individual and institutional donors “working to strengthen our free society, uphold donor intent, and protect the freedom to give.” Before that, the West Virginia native and Sweet Briar graduate was a fundraiser for the libertarian Cato Institute and for conservative pundit M. Stanton Evans’ National Journalism Center.

As an Evans’ protégé, Whitney delivered a moving eulogy last year at his memorial service (video available here; Whitney’s talk begins at 19:10). What she said of Stan is just as true of her: neither of them sought fame, and so neither of them was as well known as they deserved to be, yet both of them had an outsized influence in the fight for freedom.

Whitney’s contributions appear in the numerous encomia she has received in death (gathered at this memorial page at the DonorsTrust website). Whitney helped to launch the State Policy Network, the Student Free Press Association, and the Talent Market, for instance. But it’s the aggregate giving of DonorsTrust that best demonstrates how wide her influence has been. As William E. Simon Foundation president James Piereson explains in his tribute to her, Whitney “built DonorsTrust into a formidable force that now distributes approximately $90 million per year to conservative causes, the largest annual pay out of any conservative organization.” During its 16 years of life, Piereson adds, DonorsTrust has donated nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to conservative and free-market organizations.

That explains why Whitney came under scathing attack by the Left, but she never flinched, even as she fought breast cancer for an amazing 14 years. Under her guidance, DonorsTrust battled not only for liberty, but also for an even more rarely defended cause: Donor intent. Countless conservatives have lamented the way fortunes that were built by liberty-loving entrepreneurs have ended up in the hands of those who despise the free-market system which made the wealth they now control possible. But before Whitney, almost no one did anything enduring to change this situation.

With DonorsTrust, she launched an institutional vehicle that would allow donors to escape that fate. As she explained in an interview with CRC vice president Scott Walter for Philanthropy magazine, DonorsTrust allows a funder to open a donor-advised fund and know that the money will never be given to any group that works against “limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.” Donors also have the option to invest in field-of-interest funds that combine multiple donors’ contributions and focus them strategically on the most promising grantees in areas like K-12 education reform.

In that same interview, Whitney offered wisdom on other topics, such as the need for government to keep its regulatory fingers off of donor-advised funds, which typically outperform their private foundation rivals. She also discussed the best ways for donors to pass on the habit of giving to their children. “If you involve your children early in philanthropic decisions, they’ll learn from it,” she advised. “Above all, I think what’s most important is being involved with the kids. Often people who lament the next generation’s decisions were never involved with that generation until it was too late.”

Whitney, by contrast, was involved with so many people. “No one,” Piereson concludes, “knew the landscape of the conservative movement better,” which makes Whitney’s death “a heartbreaking loss.” Our thoughts and prayers go out to her brother, her parents, and her legions of friends.

Terrence Scanlon, president
Capital Research Center

No, they don’t read the studies

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Every day as I read through stacks of dead-tree and virtual newspapers, I come across studies. Lots and lots of studies.

The ones on controversial issues are, in the vast majority of cases, critically misreported, fatally flawed, or downright fraudulent. Either the news story based on the study exaggerates or otherwise misrepresents the results, or the study is broken (it has a logical flaw in its design or execution), or it was never actually done in the first place. (Yes, sometimes researchers just sit there and invent the results.)

Allen’s Law: 95% of studies as reported in the news media are fake. Continue reading →

More Than a Portrait on the Wall: Preserving Donor Intent at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

cargill_margaret

More Than a Portrait on the Wall:
Preserving Donor Intent at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

By Neil Maghami, Foundation Watch, August 2015 (PDF here)

Summary:  The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, an aggregation of three grant-making organization, remains true to the charitable, largely environmental and cultural, objectives of its late benefactor.  While she was alive Cargill made clear what she wanted done with her money and hired people she trusted to carry out her wishes. 

Like many heirs to great American family fortunes, Margaret Anne Cargill (1920-2006) lived quietly and modestly. She was the grand-daughter of William Wallace Cargill, who founded the massive agri-business of the same name. As an adult, Margaret Cargill lived in Southern California and had a life-long interest in arts and crafts, including fiber arts and making jewelry, and travel.

By one estimate, during the last 15 years of her life she donated more than $200 million to various causes such as the American Red Cross and the Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, while exercising a strong preference to remain anonymous in her giving.

Prior to her death in La Jolla, California in 2006, Cargill had made arrangements for the disposition of her assets through what are now known as the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, composed of three organizations located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Together, these organizations represent about $7 billion in net assets. The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies are collectively taking various steps to preserve donor intent, and not only in the immediate term, but in the decades to come. The effort by these three philanthropic bodies to safeguard and embed donor intent in their operations is the focus of this issue of Foundation Watch.

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Philanthropy Notes: August 2015

Through its Iran Project, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been promoting President Obama’s pie-in-the-sky nuclear nonproliferation pact with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bloomberg News reports. The fund, which rushed to provide aid and comfort to America’s enemies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has given around $3.3 million to the San Francisco-based Ploughshares Fund, an anti-American philanthropy devoted to undermining U.S. national security. Ploughshares has spent $4 million in the past five years to push a pact with Iran and coordinated with the so-called peace groups and think tanks on its payroll to support the U.S.-led negotiations. “We’re trying to leverage our investments to play on our strengths,” said Ploughshares president Joseph Cirincione. The deal also obligates the U.S. government to lobby state and local officials to remove policies that prevent state and local governments from investing in companies that have interests in Iran. Florida and California, for example, have laws that prevent state pension funds from investing in corporations that do business with Iran.

Although Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has recently been criticizing Wall Street in scathing terms, the street’s financial masters-of-the-universe keep throwing money at her. Her campaign released a list of 120-plus “Hillblazers,” meaning supporters on Wall Street and in Hollywood who have raised a minimum of $100,000 for her campaign by hosting fundraising events. At least two members of the Democracy Alliance, George Soros’s billionaires’ club, made the list: fashion magnate Susie Tompkins Buell and media tycoon Fred Eychaner. A Washington, D.C. lobbyist for mega-corporations, Steven Elmendorf, also made the list.

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Regarding Ferguson, It’s the Pravda that Counts

Deeption


[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

It’s one of the ideas that Donald Trump gets wrong: He thinks of Political Correctness as an effort to avoid giving offense, one that is taken to such an extreme that it stifles debate. Yes, many people use the term in that sense, but that’s a watering-down of the original concept.

Political Correctness in not an extreme avoidance of offense; it is a form of deception. That’s the type of Political Correctness that today dominates politics, the academic world, and the news and entertainment media.

The term has its origin among Communists, who believed that truth was whatever served the cause of the party and its patron, the Soviet Union. Pravda— Правда, Truth—was, you may recall, the name of the Communist Party’s official newspaper in the Soviet Union. Everyone knew the paper was full of lies, yet, in the Communist sense, it was indeed truthful. It told the tales that advanced The Cause. (In the Islamic world, there’s a similar concept called taqiyya, under which deception is justified if it has a holy purpose such as bamboozling the infidels.)

Today, many people use the term ironically, arching their eyebrows when they say it or marking its use with air-quotes. The Communists didn’t mean it ironically.

Today, Political Correctness is the quote-truth-unquote that advances the cause of the Left. Continue reading →

The Books That Begat ‘Big Green’

Green Watch

The Books That Begat ‘Big Green’
Environmentalists’ War on the Poor is rooted in opposition to growth and modern technology [PDF here]

By Paul Driessen and Ron Arnold with Steven J. Allen

Summary: Environmentalists, it seems, don’t worry about the negative consequences of their doomsday predictions. A handful of doomsaying bestsellers has made possible the vast environmentalist movement that today holds a tight grip on government policy. These books don’t hold up as science or as prophecy, and have seriously hindered economic and technological progress that would have saved the lives of millions of poor people. (This article is adapted from the new book Cracking Big Green.)

For good or evil, books change minds. From the New Testament to The Wealth of Nations, from The Origin of Species to The Communist Manifesto, books have altered the course of history many times.

Big Green—the modern environmental movement, in its current form, scope, and level of power—is rooted in Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The Population Bomb and related books by Paul Ehrlich et al., and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. These books helped lay the foundation for “green” ideology, empowered the world’s privileged elites, and killed millions of poor people. Today, the environmental bureaucracy and the media are dominated Continue reading →

Polls and Debates and Unintended Consequences

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

The world of public policy is full of messes created by government.

During World War II, the federal government imposed wage-and-price controls, which forced businesses that needed to increase employee compensation to do so by providing benefits such as health insurance, which tied people’s healthcare coverage to their jobs, which created a big problem when large numbers of people began changing jobs every few years (creating gaps in their coverage and worsening the “pre-existing condition” problem) and when large companies found themselves liable for the skyrocketing costs of employee and retiree healthcare. Meanwhile, the government forced hospital emergency rooms to treat people who lacked insurance, which encouraged many people to use ERs as their primary source of care. Together, those policies created a supposed crisis that was exploited by advocates of healthcare rationing to bring about a bureaucratic takeover of the healthcare system, which will deny modern healthcare to generations of Americans unless that takeover is reversed.

The federal courts outlawed the use of general intelligence tests to make hiring decisions (claiming that they discriminated based on race), which forced companies to substitute college degrees for IQ tests as a measure of intelligence, which actually increased the disadvantage of disadvantaged groups (they would have done better with the IQ tests), which led to the increasing use of so-called “affirmative” racism in college admissions on the ground that it was the only way to ensure that certain groups got a fair chance at getting the college degrees that would lead to good jobs, with the result that many people now assume that, say, an African-American with a college degree is less smart than a “white” person with the same degree. (See the racist insults that the Left hurls at Justice Clarence Thomas.) Meanwhile, as college degrees became more valuable—as those degrees were being used increasingly as criteria for good jobs—politicians and bureaucrats expanded student loan programs, which removed the main restriction on the cost of a college education (that the cost of a college education couldn’t be so high as to be unaffordable to the typical student). When it came to college tuition and fees, the sky became the limit, so tuition and fees doubled and tripled, trapping young people with huge debts. And when those debts can’t be paid, taxpayers will make up the difference, at least up to the point that the debts for Social Security, Medicare, federal guarantees for corporation pensions, federal guarantees for government pensions, and all the other unfunded or underfunded liabilities come together to bring down the whole system. (See Greece.)

They call such results “unintended consequences,” although any intelligent person could foresee these courses of events. In other words, they shoulda seen it coming. (For the record, I did; I wrote a paper in 1978 predicting what would happen on healthcare and one in 1993 predicting what would happen with the cost of college.)

…which bring us to this week’s Republican presidential debate.

Fox News, sponsor of the first primetime debate of the 2016 campaign, announced months ago that it would limit the debate to the top ten candidates according to national polls. (Candidates who don’t make the cut will participate in a second-tier debate earlier in the day.) This use of polls is silly, of course. Polls at this point in a presidential contest have little value in predicting the most serious contenders. When there are 17 serious or semi-serious candidates, most of the candidates are in single digits, with, typically, seven or eight of them bunched within a range of six or seven points. The standing of a given candidate can swing wildly based on random news events and the random fudge factors that are inherent in polling. Worse, using polls to determine the members of the top tier opens the entire system to manipulation—for example, candidates timing their announcements or making outrageous statements or getting into fights solely for the purpose of getting a short-term bump into the first tier.  Continue reading →