Saturday, December 17, 2016

Anthony Rek LeCounte ― 2016: The End of All Things

“Not everything is a god that failed.” –Tristyn K. Bloom

As the votes keep rolling in from Donald Trump’s election, I wound up in an argument with a dear friend about slavery and the Electoral College. Like many of my intelligent and thoughtful liberal friends, this New York transplant has developed a deep frustration a number of established institutions and contemporary trends that underscore substantial partisan divisions in the ways different sets of Americans understand the world we share.

A lot of anti-Trump people from underprivileged backgrounds feel particularly exasperated at the insistence of an notion they consider an insult to injury. Namely, after suffering the indignity of a Trump electoral upset, they are now being pushed (by people like me) to empathize with the plight of voters within the coalition that won control of everything without them. Their irritation is probably quite similar to that of conservatives who chafed at the 2012 autopsy and the perceived defeatism and collaborationism that spawned it and a litany of harsher criticisms.

I hear them, and conservatives certainly ought to do better to reach out and engage the concerns of Blue America, as I hope we will. (I confess he’s not yet off to a great start.) But for today, perhaps the most pertinent takeaway from 2012 is that people really are going crazy, but the world is less crazy and hopeless than it seems to those in despair.

Read more:

Dr. Dambisa Moyo — Why Africa can't depend on aid forever

The 2009 Munk Debates: Be it resolved, foreign aid does more harm than good Dambisa Moyo and Hernando De Soto argue in favour of the motion.

Michael David Cobb Bowen — Is the Axis Still Evil? Thinking of the Bush Doctrine

The Bush Doctrine, whatever it may have been cannot be considered absent the Powell Doctrine which was the military strategy of Desert Storm. The Powell Doctrine was the reaction to the Vietnam Syndrome. In short, the army we had was led by the generals working under the Shock and Awe doctrine of Colin Powell, whose principle was to use overwhelming force, crush the opposition and leave. NOT to hang around and try to rebuild a country you just destroyed.

Saddam Hussein had a million man army, and Powell was insistent, in a voice we haven’t heard since that state actors supporting terrorist networks were a greater threat than mere terrorist cells. It didn’t matter, thus, if Iraq were actually at war with the US, Al Qaeda would inevitably seek support in Iraq against the US.
So when I think of the Bush Doctrine, I think of his declaration of America’s top three enemies ‘The Axis of Evil’ in Iran, Iraq and North Korea, three regimes who were clearly American enemies and who would use their state’s resources to fund terror networks in asymmetrical warfare against the US.
Was Iraq closer than Iran in their race for an Islamic Bomb? I say demonstrably yes, and the Bush Administration, in cooperation with the UN and every nation did its best to keep nuclear inspectors engaged to a degree much higher and much more intrusively than we do today in Iran or North Korea.

John McWhorter — We need an old-school approach to Richard Spencer

No protest, however "inclusive," should wall itself off from what it's arguing against.

(CNN) When I was in college in the early 1980s, one of the more peculiar events in the fall was a visit from "Brother Jed Smock." Smock, a self-styled "confrontational evangelist," would plant himself at some central outdoor location and confidently preach against, well, you name it.

With his wife Cindy and assorted assistants standing nearby as a kind of Greek chorus, Jed would rail against not just alcohol, drugs, fornication and rock 'n' roll (seemingly just about anything that made life truly enjoyable) but also against homosexuals. I recall the old "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" line, and apparently he's still at it today, using the "we can pray the gay away" canard.
To be sure, it was a sport among many students to circle Smock and jeer at him, get into goofy exchanges with him, and even interrupt him as much as possible. I, in fact, learned a lot from watching this -- such as that people like Smock existed, for one thing, but more importantly what the handy arguments against them were. The Gay Alliance, at a time when such organizations were new to college campuses, was memorably articulate, I recall. They didn't tell Smock to shut up or circulate petitions to bar him from campus. His being able to air his views to an extent was part of the educational process, in providing something to respond to amid the lively give and take of actual exchange. There was no notion that human dignity required the campus grounds be a space "safe" from the likes of his speech.
They argued back -- eloquently.

Stephen L. Carter — Christmas in America Means the Usual Lawsuits


Christmas is right around the corner, meaning that the time has come for the usual passel of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits, of bitter division over words and symbols -- in short, of all the usual trimmings of the season.

Let’s do a quick roundup.

In New York City, on the Upper East Side, a lawyer has filed suit against a wealthy neighbor for playing Christmas music too loud outside her townhouse. The music apparently runs from 7 a.m. until midnight, and the plaintiff says he is not against Christmas music as such -- he just wants a break from his neighbor’s loudspeakers.

Read more:

Shirley Bassey - Diamonds Are Forever (HM The Queen's 90th Birthday)

In 2000, Shirley Bassey was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the performing arts. In 1977 she received the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years. Her father is Nigerian, and her mother is English.  Source:

Dr. CHE Sadaphal — Justice and Scripture

                                                 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue,
that you may live and possess the land
which the Lord your God is giving you.[1]
For I, the Lord, love justice.[2]
Justice is a concern that permeates the entire Bible. This concern is found, for example, in the history of Israel being liberated from Egyptian bondage; it is found in the proclamations of the prophets; it is found in the poetry and wisdom literature of the Old Testament; Jesus begins His public ministry by announcing that He is the one to fulfill the prophetic longing to liberate those who are victims of oppression.[3] Justice is integral to God’s character and His resultant plan for civil order and government.[4] Hence, talking about justice is never a social, political, or an economic matter. Rather, justice is primarily a theological concern—the Bible informs us that because God is just, He requires us to do justice.[5] And eschatologically speaking, The Lord will be the one to deliver final and ultimate justice.
Our discussion of justice is highly relevant to the topic at hand for one simple reason … Continue reading.

Dr. Elaina George — The Fix For Our Ailing Healthcare System

The stated intention behind Obamacare was to improve the healthcare system. However, it has become apparent that the changes implemented were based on incorrect assumptions: first, that having health insurance equals access to quality affordable healthcare; second, that central planning via government regulations and mandates could be used to control costs; and third, that the behavior of doctors and patients could be controlled by implementing rigid practice guidelines (i.e., value based medicine, care driven by algorithms instead of physician judgement) and increasingly shifting the cost of healthcare to patients leading them to self-ration by pricing them out respectively.

The end result has been an increase in healthcare costs, decreased competition among insurance companies with monopolies in some states, and a decrease in both primary care and specialist physicians. Whether you like Obamacare or not, an honest assessment would conclude that it is simply not sustainable.

There is a solution which would provide a solution for everyone.
  1. If you like Obamacare you can keep it.
Expand Medicaid and Medicare – Block grant money to the states so they can figure out a solution that works best for their unique needs. This would allow people who can’t afford it to have insurance.
  1. Free everyone from the mandate with the associated fines.
This would allow people who want to buy private insurance to become healthcare consumers and would encourage insurance companies to once again offer insurance products that people actually want and would buy (for example affordable catastrophic high deductible plans). You would likely get young healthy people to buy insurance increasing the pool of healthy people lowering the cost for everyone.

Read more:

Monday, November 28, 2016

John McWhorter —The Evolution of 'Like'

How the ubiquitous, often-reviled word associated with young people and slackers represents the ever-changing English language.

(Atlantic Monthly)

In our mouths or in print, in villages or in cities, in buildings or in caves, a language doesn’t sit still. It can’t. Language change has preceded apace even in places known for preserving a language in amber. You may have heard that Icelanders can still read the ancient sagas written almost a thousand years ago in Old Norse. It is true that written Icelandic is quite similar to Old Norse, but the spoken language is quite different—Old Norse speakers would sound a tad extraterrestrial to modern Icelanders. There have been assorted changes in the grammar, but language has moved on, on that distant isle as everywhere else.

It’s under this view of language—as something becoming rather than being, a film rather than a photo, in motion rather than at rest—that we should consider the way young people use (drum roll, please) like. So deeply reviled, so hard on the ears of so many, so new, and with such an air of the unfinished, of insecurity and even dimness, the new like is hard to, well, love. But it takes on a different aspect when you consider it within this context of language being ever-evolving.

Read more:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Akil Alleyne — Lesson #1 of Trump's Win: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

The morals of the story: Obama's legacy is more or less finished; Ruth Bader Ginsburg had better live at least another 4 years; Democrats are about to fall back in love with the filibuster; and the American voter giveth, and the voter taketh away.

Anthony Rek LeCounte ― It’s Not Racist To Want Respect

The 2016 cycle turned out to be a change election, and the
Clinton campaign did not reflect that.

I watched the cold open for Saturday Night Live’s first post-election show almost on loop. Kate McKinnon’s rendition of Hallelujah is a moving tribute to the recently departed Leonard Cohen, but also a haunting ode simultaneously reflective of Hillary Clinton’s stunning political collapse and evocative of many millennials’ happy, golden college days. In that last capacity, it inspired some of the greatest sadness I’ve felt after the Election Day surprise, and for that moment I suspect I could appreciate the immense sorrow of decent, honest people who voted for Clinton and honestly believed, for whatever reasons, that she would have made a good president.

Going into this cycle, I wanted Hillary Clinton to be defeated, and I wanted Barack Obama’s legacy largely undone. I’m not sorry that such a result came about. But as much as I opposed them politically, I’m compelled to admit I didn’t want them to lose like this—humiliated and broken by a candidate of such marvelous deficiencies that his own voters acknowledged him unfit for the office. I didn’t want that for my friends, whom I dearly love, who invested their hopes and dreams in what they hoped was an election that would be a catalyst for a better world. Clinton and Obama deserved to lose, and their Democratic Party deserved to fall, but in a mildly less cruel world, the falling could have been a softer note of optimism and new hope reminiscent more of 2008 than 2000. But alas, here we are.

Continue reading

Ayo Sogunro ― Hello President Buhari, listen to the judiciary

Last week, in his Independence anniversary speech, President Muhammadu Buhari threw a jab at the Nigerian judiciary. The president said: “In fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law. Not for the first time I am appealing to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption”. These words not only imply that the judiciary supports corruption, it also suggests that the judiciary has been acting outside due process. This is worrisome. Not just because the president’s words demean judicial institutions, but because they also damage the legitimacy of the judiciary.

This type of statement is the usual preface to executive interference in judicial matters.
It is no secret that the president blames the judiciary for the inefficiency of his anti-corruption crusade. He has touted the establishment of tribunals or special courts (likely under executive supervision) to try corruption cases. In fact, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has gone as far as organising a seminar to “guide” judges on sentencing. These may seem proper to a layperson but, frankly, the president’s thinking on these matters is pedestrian at best, malicious at worst. It betrays ignorance of jurisprudence and judicial best practices.

Continue reading

Crystal Wright ― Deplorable liberal media glorify anti-Trump rioters

By far the most grotesque display of the liberal media’s entrenched hatred of the right and our Constitution’s first amendment right, is their collective post-election coverage of Trump protesters.
First published November 11, 2016 in the Toronto Sun

Someone should tell the New York Times that Donald Trump won the election, not Hillary Clinton.

Rather than reporting Trump’s stunning victory and upset, the rigged liberal media machine glorifies the anti-Trump rioters. Emblazoned on the front-page of the New York Times on Thursday was this incendiary headline: “DEMOCRATS, STUDENTS AND FOREIGN ALLIES FACE THE REALITY OF A TRUMP PRESIDENCY.”

Below this the sub headline of the lead article written by Patrick Healy and Jeremy W. Peters was even worse: “Grief and Glee as an Administration Once Unthinkable Takes Shape.” Notice the liberal propaganda is in full effect, referring to a Trump presidency as “unthinkable.” To many conservatives and Democrats, particularly blue-collar union workers who never voted Republican until they voted for Trump, the prospect of a Clinton corrupt presidency was unthinkable.

But the broader point is that in the face of Trump’s historic win, the elite liberal media is shamelessly doubling down on the very bias that helped elect Trump. In brazen fashion, the Times has become a rag of anti-American, leftist trash, ripping Trump in a way that looks like the publication isn’t honoring the results of the election.

Read the full article HERE.

Chidike Okeem ― Donald Trump and the Opening of the Gates of Hades

Checks and balances do sometimes curb basic corruption, but the idea that they have been an impediment to sheer wickedness and evil requires a phantasmagoric rewriting of American political history.

Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States is one of the most monumental calamities in modern world history. The pretense that Trump — despite being the next Leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief of the world’s foremost military — is powerless due to “checks and balances” is wholly insufferable. To hold this absurdist position is to willfully ignore the lion’s share of the American historical record. Donald Trump’s presidency, whether people like it or not, has opened the gates of Hades. White supremacist ideology is ascendant worldwide, and a Donald Trump presidency will likely be some of the darkest years in world history.
The notion that checks and balances can fully constrain Trump’s bigotry is erroneous. When politicians run in democratic elections, they are usually constrained by the fact that they are trying to get as many people as possible to vote for them. During this period, Trump engaged in some of the most overtly xenophobic rhetoric in the modern history of American politics. He launched his campaign with xenophobia and it is the defining element of his political identity. This overtly hateful rhetoric led to over 60 million Americans choosing him to become the next president. If the electoral process could not constrain Trump’s rhetoric, what makes people think attaining the most powerful office in the land will? Even if it is the case that Trump’s rhetoric becomes more measured, it will only be because his actions will speak markedly louder than his words.
Read the full article HERE.

Roger Scruton ― On Trump's Victory

Good analysis, tho' it excludes issues of bigotry/racism.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Akil Alleyn — Rethinking Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is real, but it's not necessarily what its biggest critics say it is.

Here's the article about the incident at UCLA that I mention in the video:

Chidike Okeem — The Black Case Against Voting

 The only obligation of a responsible citizen is to remain informed about the political issues and political candidates. Voting should only occur after acquiring information and seeing a candidate that best represents one’s political and moral worldview.

Quadrennially, blacks are subjected to the tedious and ethnically manipulative fib that voting is obligatory in order to respect black ancestors. The right reason for voting is to elect someone who one believes has the policies and the character worthy of holding higher office. Voting should not be done just to unthinkingly “fulfill a civic duty.” If, after careful deliberation, one finds that there are no candidates that represent one’s politics and morality, then abstaining from voting is a perfectly principled option. It is an utterly puerile conception of civic responsibility to maintain that voting in every election is necessary — especially for black Americans.

It is a scandal that black Americans are inanely guilt-tripped into voting for pitiable, odious presidential candidates under the intellectually flimsy pretense that not doing so is a colossal betrayal of the many black people who “died for black suffrage.” This is not only transparent poppycock, but it is also an immoral twisting of the historical record. Those who push this line of argument operate under the pretense that attaining the right to vote is akin to climbing Everest — a task of mammoth proportions that only the most fastidious and disciplined of athletes can accomplish.

The reason why black suffrage was only realized by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is because American racists presented relentless obstacles to it. Is the right to vote a fundamentally good thing that should be exercised with caution? Certainly. However, the assertion that blacks in America “died for the right to vote” is casuistic drivel. Black people died because racists refused to accept their humanity and ultimately killed them. It is a statement of historical fact that voting was an infinitesimally small part of that denial of black humanity in America. To fail to comprehend, or to deliberately ignore, this bigger picture of American anti-blackness is unacceptably dehumanizing.

Read the full article HERE.

Akil Alleyn — What Was James Comey Thinking?

No, James Comey need not and should not have notified Congress that he was examining newly unearthed Clinton emails so soon before Election Day.

Darrell B. Harrison — So, You Want 'Social Justice'? Be Careful What You Ask For

When it comes to the matter of social justice context is key.

I say this because when one examines closely the current national discourse on this issue, it becomes abundantly clear that significantly more emphasis is placed on the justice aspect than on the social.

This kind of partitioned accentuation, I believe, is the result of our acceptance of a collective assumption that a community wherein justice is consistently and indiscriminately applied to each individual is the ideal societal construct.

It is an ethos that is especially evident relative to the biblical principle of reaping and sowing (Galatians 6:7), particularly with regard to one’s actions and decisions that might prove harmful or detrimental to others.

This mindset, in my estimation, raises a fundamental question:

What is justice?

Read the full article HERE.

Dennis Sanders — A Few Thoughts About Standing Rock

 The Protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline Brings Up Many Questions.

The protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux near Bismark, North Dakota has generated a lot of buzz on social media, mostly against the pipeline and with the tribe. On the surface this looks like evil, greedy oil company against environmentally conscious Native Americans. But there are a lot of issues to considered both pro and con that need to be considered and the costs of building the pipeline and the costs to not build a pipeline.

I don’t pretend that I am an expert on all of this, but these are the things that I am noticing that make issue not so clear cut. Here are few random thoughts.

 Pipelines are infrastructure. It’s important to remember that an oil pipeline is not just about some greedy oil company sending their poison accross the land, pipelines are part of the national infrastructure. Just as our network of highways get goods from one part of the country to another and how the internet makes our connected age possible, pipelines get oil to markets. Like a lot of our national infrastucture, oil pipelines are aging. A good chunk of our pipelines are about 60 years old. Having aging pipelines means those pipelines are more susceptible to spills. Standing Rock isn’t replacing a pipeline, but it is part of the national infrastructure moving goods around.

Read the full article HERE.

Charles Badger — In Trump, the Republican Party’s Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

 I fear this party’s response to Election Day, will resemble less the “12 Steps,” and look more like Kübler-Ross’s 5 stages of bereavement after a loss.


On November 8, there will be a many car pile-up on the exit ramp off the Trump Expressway. Republicans will be stepping all over themselves to Matrix-like erase this election from national memory. Every Republican leader will pretend they don’t know who Trump is.

But, not so fast Republicans. …we have the receipts!

The GOP is an addict. The Republican Party is addicted to whiteness, as Jeet Heer painstakingly documents. The “12 Steps” to recovery from any addiction begin – first and foremost – by admitting you have a problem. There can be no forgiveness, no redemption, without first contrition.

After this election the GOP needs, like post-Apartheid South Africa, to set-up a “Truth & Reconciliation” Commission. A half century of political malpractice must be laid bare on the table, and owned up to. The “12 Steps” call for taking “fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” admitting “to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Recovery requires “making a list of all persons we had harmed,” then making “direct amends…to them all.”

Read the full article HERE.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Lisa Robinson — On conservatives and race: do black lives really matter to the right?

In my last post, I addressed an issue of priorities that drives politically conservative Christians to not only be drawn to the GOP but also feel compelled to endorse it’s candidate to uphold priorities. Specifically, I noted issues of life and traditional values and expressed the following.
These concerns are quite legitimate. We care about the rights of the unborn. And we care about the liberties granted us under the founding principles of this nation, that are to ensure freedom of worship. And so the typical response at elections is who will align with these values.
I confess that I had a particular audience in mind when penning that post, those who insist that the GOP platform is the most compatible with Christian values regardless of who their spokesperson is. For this crowd, these are concerns that are most directly linked to issues of life and morality. It is not lost on me that these priorities draw the conclusion that other concerns Christians care about don’t matter. These would be issues that have been under the lens, particularly with with the emergence of Black Lives Matter–issues of racism, policing, criminal justice, education, and poverty. These are issues of life and morality as well, which weigh heavier on people of color. For this reason, a major criticism of the right, and primarily Republicans, is that there is a disinterest and disregard for the concerns of minorities. Some will even label the Republican Party racist.
I do think there is some validity to this criticism. The elevation of abortion, religious freedom, and same-sex marriage has been a traditional platform of the Christian Right, made prominent in the 1980s with the so-called moral majority. Let’s be honest about who this movement represented: white Protestant America. Continue reading 

Chris Ladd — The Last Jim Crow Generation

White voters born in the same year as Donald Trump would spend much of their lives in a world crafted to reinforce their sense of racial superiority. They came of age protected like a Soviet state-owned factory. Exposed suddenly to competition, some are not thriving. They are experiencing very real trauma as the world they once knew, a world dedicated to their protection, erodes away.

Paul Davis Taylor displays a Confederate flag in front of Little Rock Central High School, 1957. (AP Photo/File)
(Forbes Magazine)

White voters turning 70 this year are among Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic demographic blocs. His support weakens in younger age groups, especially those too young to have been shaped by Jim Crow. Shift to an older demographic in which voters, like former President George H.W. Bush, remember Hitler, and Trump’s support softens.
Oddly, in a nation reaching new heights of prosperity, freedom and international power, many white voters born in 1946 are lathered into a panic, desperate to “Make America Great Again.” Their hysteria defies ready explanation, but clues might be uncovered with a survey of their formative years. This is America’s last generation raised under Jim Crow.
Like Donald Trump, white voters turning 70 this year had already reached adulthood in 1964, the year that the first Civil Rights Act was passed. They started kindergarten in schools that were almost universally white. Most were in third grade when the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. A good number of them would complete their public education in formally segregated schools.
Read the full article HERE.

Michael Bowen — Ku Klux Kops: Statistical Morality Again

Vanity Fair published a whole bunch of statistics about blacks and police. So people think they are doing a lot of thinking about the subject. So here is my simple question. Can you identify racial bias?
I don't want to be too clever here, because I see a very simple way out of this descent into statistical madness, which is to avoid statistical morality in the first place. But when we think about 'racist white cops' and 'unarmed black men' we've already stepped into a pile.
Here's the problem put as simply as I can put it. The racism of 'racist white cops' is not the same as the racism of the KKK. Furthermore the 'profile' of black males is not the same across America. This is a logical assertion that cannot be proven or disproven by statistics, and that is because nobody really disambiguates the racial culpability of the victims, nor of the virulence of the racism of the perpetrators. So the inherent problem is that 'racial bias' could be criminal, or it could be offensive. 
Why are black women not the target of racist white cops? If white racist cops were really out to get black people, wouldn't there be a lot more accusations like those made by Al Sharpton similar to that about Tawana Brawley? Is our press missing that, or is the racism of 'racist white cops' only directed at a certain specific kind of black male?  What about the culpability of black males? If Barack Obama says 'I am Trayvon Martin', does he become that?  Well if you were a KKK member, it wouldn't really matter what Barack Obama says, he's the same as any other black, male or female, ie worthy of being lynched. 
Read the full article HERE.

Alan Keyes ― Debate no. 3: Both candidates ignore the Founders' understanding

As Hillary Clinton and her ilk sap, subvert, and undermine the ground our nation's self-government stands upon, Mr. Trump provides no more substantial opposition than a hologram. The subverting legions pass through his purported position without let or hindrance.


Saul of Tarsus, known to us as St. Paul, is often cited as an example of the way the Lord can transform and use, for His good purposes, people who have egregiously sinned against Him. Some self- professed Christian supporters of Donald Trump have cited St. Paul in their efforts to overcome objections to Mr. Trump's candidacy, raised in light of the anti-Christian tenor of his way of life before he began pursuing his political ambitions. Aside from his self-flaunted reputation as a sexual libertine, Mr. Trump stood solidly in support of so-called "abortion rights," just like Hillary Clinton.

He says that he has changed. But unlike St. Paul, since reportedly accepting the Lord, Donald Trump has not overflowed with truth. There is no evidence that the Holy Spirit impels him to bear courageous witness to God's truth. (Indeed, when he is channeling what Newt Gingrich calls "Little Trump" he seems like one possessed by a spirit decidedly unholy.) In order to attract votes, he has repeatedly stated that he is now "pro-life." But the common-sense logic of the pro-life position apparently had nothing to do his conversion, for he makes no effort to share and defend it. This despite the fact that it is the very logic – of God-endowed unalienable right – that the American people must rely on to justify their claim of self-government, and which they must also use to understand and apply the provisions of the U.S. Constitution intended to establish, preserve, and perpetuate it.

Read the full article HERE.

Christiana A Mbakwe ― How Trump Caused An Identity Crisis For Young Conservatives of Color

Trump’s ascent is making many conservative millennials of color question the Republican party, their place in it, and, ultimately, themselves.

(Complex Magazine)

Leslie Murillo is a political rarity. She’s black, Latina, a millennial, and a Republican. That combination of identities may seem incongruous given voting trends, but Murillo insists they’re not. In fact, Murillo has spent a great deal of time over the past few years explaining to family, friends, and others why she, a young woman of color, feels at home in the Grand Old Party. Those conversations are getting a lot harder this year.

“In the Trump days it’s been very difficult to say out loud that I’m a Republican,” says Murillo, a 31-year-old nurse based in Minnesota. “It has interfered with my identity as a black Republican, which was always challenged, always questioned. I can’t even blame the people who are making these insults [now]—I mean, look at who our candidate is."

Murillo has an admixture of beliefs that come together to put her outside of both major parties ideologically: She’s pro-choice, anti-welfare, pro-Black Lives Matter, and against the Affordable Care Act. It’s a set of positions she says she evolved into. Driven by a sense of duty and possibility, Murillo says she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and watched his inauguration with so much gratitude that she wept. During Obama’s first term, however, she began studying the principles of Democrats and Republicans and thinking deeply about her own values. The more she learned about the conservative tenets of small government, individual freedom and personal responsibility, the more she realized that she was a Republican.

Read the full article HERE.

UChicago study: "boys do especially poorly in broken families"

The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior

Marianne BertrandJessica Pan

Image source:

This paper explores the importance of the home and school environments in explaining the gender gap in disruptive behavior. We document large differences in the gender gap across key features of the home environment - boys do especially poorly in broken families. In contrast, we find little impact of the early school environment on non-cognitive gaps. Differences in endowments explain a small part of boys' non-cognitive deficit in single-mother families. More importantly, non-cognitive returns to parental inputs differ markedly by gender. Broken families are associated with worse parental inputs and boys' non-cognitive development, unlike girls', appears extremely responsive to such inputs.

(National Bureau of Economic Research)

When we look deeper into the reasons as to why boys are doing especially poorly when raised by single mothers, we find evidence suggesting that a small but non-trivial part of their disadvantage might be related to differential inputs, with single mothers investing more in their girls and feeling emotionally closer to them. Nevertheless, these findings are imprecise due in part to the small sample sizes and imperfect input measures available in this dataset. Turning to another dataset, the American Time Use Survey, we find corroborating evidence suggesting that single mothers spend significantly more time on childcare related activities with their girls relative to their boys. In contrast, there is no gender difference in childcare among children residing in two-parent families. These patterns are observed among children below the age of three, suggesting that these differences in parental inputs arise early in a child’s life. 

Read the full study HERE.

David Brooks says conservatism has failed, but he misses the biggest reason: race

“We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism. In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism.” ― Avik Roy


Brooks’s column centers on a history of the modern conservative movement — one in which towering thinkers like William F. Buckley pushed out the fringe crowd and turned the right into a sophisticated intellectual force.

“The Buckley-era establishment self-confidently enforced intellectual and moral standards,” Brooks writes. “It rebuffed the nativists like the John Birch Society, the apocalyptic polemicists who popped up with the New Right, and they exiled conspiracy-mongers and anti-Semites.”

Note that Brooks does not mention this establishment exiling the racists. That’s because the conservative establishment was itself racist.

National Review, William F. Buckley’s magazine, avowedly rejected the civil rights movement. In a 1957 editorial, the publication defended the political disenfranchisement of black people, arguing that “the White community is so entitled [to deny blacks the vote] because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”

Read the full article HERE.

Anthony Rek — The Soft Bigotry of Progressive Intentions

In the heated summer of the 2000 presidential campaign, Texas Gov. George W. Bush went to the NAACP Convention in Baltimore and championed education reform, economic opportunity, and racial equality. In reflecting on demographic achievement gaps, the future president famously declared, to applause, “I will confront another form of bias: the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
This was a callback to a September 1999 speech Bush gave to the Latin Business Association in which he addressed academic underachievement among black and Latino students: “Now some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less—the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
It is a tragic irony of Shakespearean cruelty that, in 2016, the NAACP opposes education reforms that are already helping black children and families. In its hostility to charter school and school choice, the NAACP (along with Black Lives Matter) is fighting against black communities and undermining black progress. Given the chthonic horrors of public education (if the intergenerational afflictions of that socioeconomic Tartarus can be so called) in too many lower-income neighborhoods, it surprises nobody paying attention that black voters in several states overwhelmingly support school choice, including charter schools.

Read the full article HERE.