Get ready for the leftist violence to be unleashed

Franklin-Raff-FranklinintheMorning-600

“Franklin In The Morning” agrees with CRC’s Matthew Vadum that leftist Bernie Sanders doesn’t actually mind that violent acts are being committed in his name against supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (See Vadum’s FrontPageMag article on the topic last week.)

After all, how could Bernie object? He’s a Marxist. Progressive pugilism comes naturally to his ilk.

Things are going to get nasty this election cycle, warns WND’s Franklin Raff (pictured above).

Political violence from Sanders’ radical supporters “is something to be expected,” Raff says.

Occupational licenses in Arizona: lobbyist-controlled bureaucracy blended with conflict of interest

celeste_kelly

Occupational licenses in Arizona:
lobbyist-controlled bureaucracy blended with conflict of interest
By Martin Morse Wooster
Senior Fellow, Capital Research Center

(originally posted at Philanthropy Daily)

There are many consequences to bureaucracy, but one of the worst things bureaucrats can do is block people who want to work and have the skills needed to do good work from entering the labor force because they don’t have a proper license. As I noted last year, even the White House realizes that licenses are a burden that imposes unneeded barriers on people who want to be productive.

Eric Felten, managing editor of the Weekly Standard, does a fine job in showing the ludicrousness of the licensing business in this piece from his magazine about occupational licensing in Arizona. Arizona’s Republican governor, Douglas Ducey, vowed in his annual State of the State address this year that “Arizona requires licenses for too many jobs” and that he’d try to eliminate barriers that create “a maze of bureaucracy for small business people looking to earn an honest living.” Among the professions that Gov. Ducey and his allies in the legislature want to eliminate licenses for are bingo callers and citrus pickers.

As Felten shows, Gov. Ducey has his work cut out for him. He begins with a profile of Celeste Kelly, who wants to make a living giving massages to horses. Not being a horse, I don’t know if such massages are useful, but the horses appear to feel better and if people want to pay for Kelly’s services, why not?

For the past two years, Kelly has been tied up in a battle with the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, who claims she is offering veterinary services without a license. Kelly does not claim to be a vet, and offers no diagnosis or prescriptions. All she does is massage horses. This should be a simple issue between the seller and buyer of her services; if horse owners like what Kelly does, they can hire her again. But the veterinary board wants to put her out of business.

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Green Watch May 2016: The Military’s Top Priority: Global Warming? The Obama administration puts environmentalist ideology over defense needs

The Military’s Top Priority: Global Warming?
The Obama administration puts environmentalist ideology over defense needs [PDF HERE]
By Allen West and David Grantham

Summary: Some believe that the U.S. military should focus its attention on such threats as ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Putin’s Russia. But the Obama administration sees Global Warming/“climate change” as the greatest threat facing the country. Now the armed forces are being instructed to include “green” thinking in every aspect of their operations. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen must go along or be considered derelict in their duty. Feeling safer yet?

The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies. . . . It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy—a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.” . . . The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning.
–Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times, February 7, 2016

Setting our national defense priorities based on the latest liberal problème du jour is bad public policy, significantly impeding the defense of the nation. That is exactly what the Department of Defense is doing with its directive on Global Warming/“climate change.”

The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” originated with Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. [Editor’s note: Kendall, a lawyer and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has served on the boards of directors of Amnesty International, the Tahirih Justice Center, and Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights). Prior to his appointment to his current job at the Defense Department, he was a prominent opponent of the use by the U.S. government and its allies of practices that some consider torture. He traveled to the Guantanamo Bay detention camps as a “human rights monitor” in the case of Al Qaeda paymaster Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi and in other cases. Al Qosi, by the way, entered into a plea bargain in 2010 under which a military jury recommended he serve 14 years in prison. In 2012, the Obama administration sent him back to Sudan. In 2014, Al Qosi reportedly joined AQIP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), and in 2015 he appeared in an AQIP video. —SJA]

The directive requires our defense sector to incorporate “climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in [Click HERE for the rest of the article.]

The overtime rule, women in the workplace, and that 79 percent untruth

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

Old joke: The three biggest lies are “The check is in the mail,” “Of course I’ll respect you in the morning,” and “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Now comes the long-expected “overtime rule,” announced this week by the Labor Department, that will hurt businesses and consumers, employers and employees, but is presented by the Obama administration as something that will help people.

The rule dramatically expands overtime pay eligibility for salaried employees, making salaried employees earning under $47,476 eligible for overtime pay, which is over a 100 percent from the current salary threshold of $23,660. It applies to businesses with at least $500,000 in sales. An estimated 4.2 million new workers will suddenly become overtime eligible.

How will businesses cope? Examining a slightly different version of the overtime rule that was being considered, Trey Kovacs of the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote of the effects of such a rule: “Cutting wages would make up for 80 percent of overtime costs, according to U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Anthony Barkume. Or businesses could hire more part-time employees and hourly workers, limiting workers’ hours to 40 and reducing fringe benefits. Workers will bear the brunt of the harmful impact of the overtime rule and its unintended consequences. Salaried employees now on a management track may have their work status downgraded to hourly, which will have some impact on their long-term career prospects, earnings, and other benefits, like healthcare and a pension.”

The overtime rule will be particularly tough on women. In the December 2014 issue of Labor Watch, Diana Furchtgott-Roth noted that, as the rule was proposed, “employees who receive overtime pay would not be allowed to take time off, or comp time; they would have to receive overtime pay. Some people may prefer overtime pay, but others, especially working mothers, may prefer more leisure. . . . Overtime rules hurt women by reducing flexibility with their employer. Many women with children, particularly young mothers who cannot afford childcare, would prefer flexibility in their schedule rather than extra overtime pay. When overtime hours are allowed to count toward time off instead of pay, women can change their work schedules according to their needs.”

Most liberals claim to care about women in the workplace. Hillary Clinton, for example, makes much of the wage gap between men and women, and says she’ll fix it. It’s part of her effort to get women’s vote despite her history. (That history includes helping her estranged husband get away with his serial abuse of women. It also includes her policies as Secretary of State, which set women in the Middle East back decades, perhaps hundreds of years, and which today threaten the women of Europe with a flood of migrants from a culture in which women are subjugated, sexually abused, often sexually mutilated.)

Clinton’s not the only one who claims to be a champion of women. Take Kathleen Mathews, wife of MSNBC personality Chris Mathews, who recently ran for Congress (unsuccessfully) as the candidate of women. In her TV commercials, she asked: “Why does Congress think it is okay that women get paid 20 percent less than a man for doing the same job?” That question is based on a common but fake belief. It’s true that a median female full-time worker makes 21 percent less than a median male full-time worker, but, as noted by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, “the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the gap is 17 cents when looking at weekly wages. The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages—15 cents—but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers. Annual wage figures do not take into account the fact that teachers—many of whom are women—have a primary job that fills nine months out of the year.”

The more factors you consider, the smaller the gap appears. It turns out that the average woman has less work experience than the average man; the average woman works more weeks part-time rather than full-time, compared to men; and, in Kessler’s words, “women tend to leave the workforce for periods to raise children, seek jobs that may have more flexible hours but lower pay, and choose careers that tend to have lower pay.” Women make up more than 60 percent of college students, which should mean they will make more money, but women are the majority in nine of the 10 lowest-paying majors while men are the majority in nine of the 10 highest-paying majors. And men take the vast majority of jobs that are dangerous or require back-breaking manual labor.

In some circumstances, the gap narrows significantly or disappears. Comparing never-married women to never- married men, the gap is six cents, not 21. And, according to a 2010 study as reported by Time magazine, women under 30 made more than men under 30 in 147 of 150 cities surveyed. “In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more. . . . with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively.”

Nevertheless, “From a political perspective,” Kessler wrote, “the Census Bureau’s 79-cent figure is golden. Unless women stop getting married and having children, and start abandoning careers in childhood education for aerospace engineering, the gap in wages will almost certainly persist. Democrats thus can keep bringing it up every year.”

Leftist Bernie Sanders is fine with violence perpetrated on his behalf

Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum has a provocative column in today’s FrontPageMag:

Bernie

Bernie’s Thug Life: Why Sanders is lying when he says he doesn’t approve of violence perpetrated on his behalf

By Matthew Vadum

The reason Bernie Sanders pointedly refuses to condemn his supporters for throwing chairs and making death threats against Democrat officials at and after the party’s Nevada convention is because he doesn’t actually object to their violent behavior.

Sanders blew off pressure from Democrat leaders to disavow ugly tactics by his supporters at the event Saturday evening, calling the complaints “nonsense” and arguing that his supporters were not treated with “fairness and respect.”

Remember that Sanders is seeking the presidential nomination from a party that officially endorsed the pro-cop-killing Black Lives Matter movement and whose leaders swooned over the even more violent Occupy Wall Street movement. As the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.. and Baltimore showed the nation, these people believe that rioting and looting are legitimate forms of political activism.

The pro-violence radicalism among Sanders supporters comes straight from the top. The Vermont senator vocally supports unrepentant Marxist terrorist Oscar López Rivera whom he describes as “one of the longest-serving political prisoners in history — 34 years, longer than Nelson Mandela.”

Sanders told a town hall meeting in Puerto Rico that if Obama doesn’t release López Rivera, “I will pardon him” if elected president.

Here is what the longtime prisoner did:

“López Rivera conspired to transport explosives with intent to destroy federal government property and committed other related crimes — or that the [Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña terrorist group] was deemed responsible for a reign of terror that killed six people and injured 130 others in at least 114 bombings. They includes the 1975 bombing of historic Fraunces Tavern in the city’s Financial District, which left four people dead and wounded more than 50 others, and a New Year’s Eve 1982 bombing at Police Headquarters that maimed three NYPD cops who tried to defuse the explosives.

“On January 24, 1975, a ten-pound dynamite bomb planted by the FALN at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan exploded, killing his father, 33-year-old Frank Connor. In 2011, Joe Connor attended a parole hearing for López Rivera in Terre Haute, Indiana. He and the other survivors of the FALN’s murder spree offered López Rivera ‘multiple opportunities’ to express remorse. He rebuffed all of them.”

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The Marvin Schwan Foundation and the perpetuity of foundations

MarvinMSchwan

The Marvin Schwan Foundation and the perpetuity of foundations
By Martin Morse Wooster
Senior Fellow, Capital Research Center

(originally posted at Philanthropy Daily)

There are many reasons why foundations shouldn’t be perpetual. Foundations inevitably drift away from the ideals of their founders, usually to be captured by liberals. They engage in causes that their founders would at best dislike and at worst despise.

But whatever my problems with, say, the Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller Foundations, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, I know of no instance where the program officers or executives of these foundations did anything shady. They may be paid ridiculously high salaries, and may do what they can to make their payouts as low as legally possible, but I’ve never heard of any of these foundations launching wholesale raids on their endowments to finance dubious schemes.

But according to reports by Jonathan Ellis in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Argus-Leader, these charges have been made against trustees of the Marvin N. Schwan Charitable Foundation. According to Ellis, two of Marvin Schwan’s sons have charged that Marvin Schwan’s brother, Alfred Schwan, and trustee Lawrence Burgdorf squandered $600 million of the foundation’s assets in highly speculative hotel construction schemes in the Caribbean. The Schwan children charge that Alfred Schwan and Burgdorf decided to invest in a Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas, a Ritz Carlton hotel in the Cayman Islands, and a Four Seasons Resort in Costa Rica, and that, according to legal documents they have filed with the South Dakota Supreme Court, “the trustees funded these offshore investments through an elaborate network of over 100 holding companies, subsidiaries, partnerships, and other related organizations with legal domiciles in the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, the Cayman Islands, and Panama…Speculative by their very nature, each of the trustees’ offshore investments failed in spectacular fashion, causing the foundation to suffer losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Alfred Schwan died in 2011 and Lawrence Burgdorf has agreed to resign from the Schwan Foundation board after the South Dakota Supreme Court makes its decision.

Among the charges the sons of Marvin Schwan have made is that the Schwan Foundation trustees loaned $20 million to an organization that had three of the trustees on its board.

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Osama bin Laden, Climate Change Activist?

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Climate change isn’t just a fixation for liberals in the U.S. It’s also a basis for anti-American extremism abroad.

The idea is that Western countries—the U.S. especially—have become wealthy by unfairly exploiting poor countries, which has changed the climate change to the detriment of these undeveloped regions. That’s why Warmism (aka, “climate change” ideology) is part of the school curriculum in countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam.

The same ideology is also a major part of radical Islamism. Osama bin Laden—killed by U.S. Special Forces in 2011—left behind a letter “to the American people” calling for “a great revolution for freedom.” According to bin Laden, it’s imperative “to free Barack Husayn [Obama] so he can implement the change you seek. It does not only include improvement of your economic situation and ensure your security, but more importantly, helps him in making a rational decision to save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny.” In 2010, he wrote a similar letter claiming that “talk of climate change isn’t extravagant speculation; it is a tangible fact.” Bin Laden has even referred to climate change as a judgement from Allah, an ideology underpinning his assault on the countries that supposedly perpetuate it—the U.S. in particular.

Apparently, that message isn’t falling on deaf ears. A core pillar of Warmism is that developed countries like the United States should pay poor countries reparations for exploiting them. That’s another idea that bin Laden liked, and the Green Climate Fund is projected to collect $100 billion a year in taxpayer money from the developed world by 2020. That money will “help wean the worldwide victims” of climate change, distributing the West’s wealth to poor countries—on the taxpayer’s dime.

If only the U.S. had the same commitment to fighting ISIS and murderous terrorists like bin Laden—who continue to plague the Middle East.

For more, you can read the April edition of “Green Watch” here.

This blog post was adapted from the April edition of Capital Research Center’s “Green Watch,” by Steven J. Allen.

MacArthur’s Thought Police

Marjorie Scardino

A foundation helps Twitter and other social media enforce left-wing ideology

By Lane Davis and Milo Yiannopoulos

Foundation Watch, May 2016 (PDF to come)

Summary: The free speech-averse John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation aspires to leverage social media and educational testing in order to strengthen elite control of all aspects of society and culture. The philanthropy promotes politically correct censorship on popular websites like Twitter and Facebook, but for more insight into the organization, focus on the left-wing MacArthur board chairman who has long been a heavy-hitter in textbook publishing.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation was founded in 1971 by the insurance billionaire John D. MacArthur. It is yet another sad story of a free-market entrepreneur’s fortune being captured by the Left, which cares little for the intentions of donors. (For more of the foundation’s history, see Martin Morse Wooster’s The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of ‘Donor Intent,’ published by the Capital Research Center. Wooster also wrote the Foundation Watch report on MacArthur in September 2005.)

John MacArthur died in 1978, and by 1981, the leftists had taken power at his foundation and ousted the conservatives. With just under $6.5 billion in assets at the end of 2014, it is now the seventeenth-largest private foundation in the country and the largest in Illinois, according to FoundationSearch. The philanthropy has been a major force on the American media landscape for years, with total annual spending of approximately $225 million. In 2013, the foundation spent $79.1 million on U.S. grants, with the lion’s share going to “digital media and learning.”

While its oft-mentioned donations in support of liberal media outlets like NPR and PBS have made the MacArthur brand familiar to many, few Americans know of its larger designs: a stealth campaign to help the Left control the U.S. educational system via digital media assessments and efforts by the foundation’s chairman to foster censorship on social media. The unifying theme of many MacArthur projects is manipulation of America’s “Overton windows” (a term describing the range of acceptable political discourse on a particular topic), either through increasingly antiquated communication channels like radio and television, or through forward-looking technology and education grants.

MacArthur has been interested in global online censorship since 2007, when it teamed up with Harvard’s Berkman Center to track governmental Internet censorship worldwide. Ironically, MacArthur now advocates for censorship of anti-feminist views and other opinions it automatically deems “hate speech.”

To understand its ambitions, the MacArthur Foundation must be examined with a wider purview that also encompasses the powerful educational publisher Pearson, a multibillion-dollar company that is not a household name but is the world’s largest book publisher. Both MacArthur and Pearson have been incestuously related since December 2005, when the CEO of Pearson, Marjorie Scardino, was placed on MacArthur’s board of directors. She wielded influence over both organizations until early 2013, when she stepped down from her 16-year stint as one of the world’s most powerful female executives after multiple high-profile scandals at Pearson were uncovered.

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Intellectual Dishonesty

By Lane Davis

Multiple experts who have had prominent roles in connection with the MacArthur Foundation have made clear that the kind of video games that offend feminists do not actually harm—or render violent—their mostly male users. Constance Steinkuehler, for example, is a well-known academic and former Obama Administration official who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from MacArthur. She told The Capital Times that “the data linking video games to violence is tenuous at best. There just is not an empirical basis for that claim.”

Similarly, Mizuko Ito, who has had multiple books underwritten by MacArthur and who holds the MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at U.C., Irvine, writes in one of those MacArthur-supported books: “Some have accused games of promoting violence and sexism. Despite very little empirical evidence that games lead to antisocial or violent behavior, popular perception persists in painting a picture of the aggressive, isolated, compulsive gamer” (Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media, p. 196).

If Ito is puzzled why that “popular perception” persists, perhaps she could ask some of her MacArthur program officer friends about the millions the foundation has given to Common Sense Media, run by Jim Steyer, the older brother of billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer.

The elder Steyer not only uses harsh rhetoric about the “dangers” of gaming, he helped pass a law in California banning the sale of such games to minors. The law violated First Amendment principles so egregiously that the U.S. Supreme Court threw it out in 2011, with a majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia that was joined by the three furthest-left justices: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Continue reading →

Fight Terrorism or Protect the Environment?

Terror Green

Despite the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the Islamic State’s stranglehold on the Middle East, Western leaders still can’t get their priorities straight.

Actually, they can’t even get the enemy straight. “Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” President Obama declared. Hillary Clinton is just as hesitant to utter the phrase “radical Islam”: “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she recently claimed.

Moreover, many climate change activists see a direct link between global warming and terrorism—arguing that their preferred policies on climate change will result in less terrorism. When asked about the connection, Great Britain’s Prince Charles responded, “We never deal with the underlying root cause [of terrorism] which regrettably is what we’re doing to our natural environment.” Bernie Sanders agrees: “In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism,” he said at a Democratic debate last November. Sanders also believes climate change is the greatest threat to America’s national security.

This kind of thinking explains why President Obama still held his climate summit in Paris, even after terrorist attacks had ravaged the city. The president called it an “act of defiance” against terrorism, even though counterterrorism took a distant backseat to carbon dioxide regulations in the discussions.

It begs the question: Are we more committed to fighting terrorism or to slowing global warming, which even many liberal scientists admit is a non-issue?

For more, you can read the April edition of “Green Watch” here.

This blog post was adapted from the April edition of Capital Research Center’s “Green Watch,” by Steven J. Allen.