Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.
James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens famously won four gold medals, all at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany. But in the hearts of Americans who know their Olympic history, this African American man did more than win races: he struggled against racism.
At the time of Owens’s death in 1980 at age 66, President Jimmy Carter paid this tribute to him:
Perhaps no athlete better symbolized the human struggle against tyranny, poverty, and racial bigotry. His personal triumphs as a world-class athlete and record holder were the prelude to a career devoted to helping others. His work with young athletes, as an unofficial ambassador overseas, and a spokesman for freedom are a rich legacy to his fellow Americans.
Carter’s words were especially fitting in light of an unfortunate fact in Owens’s life: unforgivably, a previous American president had given him the brush-off.
Born in Alabama in 1913, James Owens at the age of nine moved with his family to the town in Ohio that bore his middle name, Cleveland. His first school teacher there asked him his name. With a deep Southern twang, he replied “J.C. Owens.” She heard “Jesse,” so that’s what she wrote down. The name stuck for the next 57 years.
Jesse could run like the wind and jump like a kangaroo. He broke junior high school records in the high jump and the broad jump. In high school, he won every major track event in which he competed, tying or breaking world records in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes and setting a new world record in the broad jump. Universities showered him with scholarship offers, but he turned them all down and chose Ohio State, which wasn’t extending track scholarships at the time.
Call it a looming clash of the titans, but conservative author, attorney and all-around firebrand Ann Coulter hit back hard at Bill O’Reilly’s characterization of the 14th Amendment, calling out “The O’Reilly Factor” Fox News star as “stupid” in a couple of tweets that followed his interview with Donald Trump.
Trump, in an interview with O’Reilly, insisted his platform of dumping the “anchor baby” provision from U.S. immigration policy would in fact prove both legal and viable. “Anchor baby” is a term used to describe the children of people who enter the country illegally with the purpose of having a son or daughter who would then be granted American citizenship.
O’Reilly, however, cited the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and said otherwise.
“That’s not going to happen because the 14th Amendment says if you’re born here, you’re an American,” O’Reilly said. “And you can’t kick Americans out. The courts would block you at every turn. You must know all that.”
Trump, citing his legal team, said simply: I think I can.
“I think you’re wrong about the 14th Amendment,” Trump said. “And frankly, the whole thing with ‘anchor babies’ and the concept of ‘anchor babies,’ I don’t think you’re right about that.”
But O’Reilly was vehement, ultimately claiming: “I can quote it. You want me to quote you the amendment? If you’re born here, you’re an American. Period. Period.”
The Fox host later added: “You are not going to be able to deport people who have American citizenship now. And the federal courts will never allow mass deportations without due process for each and every one. And do you envision federal police kicking in the doors in barrios around the country, dragging families out?”
But Trump held his ground on the citizenship issue.
“Bill, I don’t think that they have American citizenship,” he said. “And if you speak to some very, very good lawyers — and I know some would disagree, but many of them agree with me — you’re going to find they do not have American citizenship. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell.”
That’s where Coulter kicked in.
In a tweet picked up by Mediaite, she wrote: “Just got off a plane and my email feed is exploding with denunciations of Bill O’Reilly for interview w/ @realDonaldTrump on ‘THE FACTOR.’”
She then followed with this Twitter message: “Sorry for delay. O’Reilly: ‘YOU WANT ME TO QUOTE YOU THE AMT? IF YOU’RE BORN HERE YOU’RE AN AMERICAN. PERIOD! PERIOD!’ #GoodGodHesStupid.”
Coulter followed with a scathing opinion piece posted at WND that pointed to the false narrative that’s been making the media waves, including at Fox News, about the history and intent of the 14th Amendment. In it, she cites her own research on Supreme Court precedence, cited in her recently released “Adios, America” book and concludes: “Our history and our Constitution are being perverted for the sole purpose of dumping immigrants on the country to take American jobs. So far, only Donald Trump is defending black history on the issue of the 14th Amendment. Fox News is using black people as a false flag to keep cheap Third World labor flowing.”
Will workplace automation make the rich richer and doom the poor?
That could happen soon, warns Paul Solman, economics correspondent for PBS NewsHour. He’s talking to Jerry Kaplan, author of a new book that seems to combine Luddism with fears about inequality.
PAUL SOLMAN: And the age-old fear of displaced workers, says Kaplan, is finally, irrevocably upon us.
JERRY KAPLAN: What happens to people who simply can’t acquire or don’t have the skills that are going to be needed in the new economy?
PAUL SOLMAN: Well, what is going to happen to them?
JERRY KAPLAN: We’re going to see much worse income inequality. And unless we take some humanitarian actions, the truth is, they’re going to starve and live in poverty and then die.
PAUL SOLMAN: Kaplan offers that grim prognosis in a new book, Humans Need Not Apply. He knows, of course, that automation has been replacing labor for 200 years or more, for decades, eliminating relatively high-paying factory jobs in America, and that new jobs have more than kept pace, but not anymore, he says.
I haven’t read Kaplan’s book, but you can get a sense of the issue from this video.
The fear is that, unlike the past when displaced workers could learn new skills for a different industry, advanced “thinking machines” will soon fill even highly skilled positions, making it that much harder to find a job that pays a decent wage. And while the Luddite argument assumes that the number of jobs in an economy is fixed, the fear now is that whatever jobs may be created will simply be filled by even smarter machines.
This new spin sounds different, but it’s essentially the same old Lu…
The “automobile” moves itself, but it also moves us. Our cars carry us along the road of human progress not just by making us freer but by making us cleaner, healthier, and better fed.
Does such a claim strike you as strange?
In our own time, cars are seen as causing pollution, as well as making us lazy and fat. Consider how many of us drive our cars to the gym, where we exercise by walking or running, two activities often replaced by driving. But if you think about what the car replaced, it’s easy to see how the car is another example of what Don Boudreaux calls being “cleaned by capitalism.”
How has the car, which is so vilified as a producer of pollution today, made our lives cleaner?
Before the car, transportation required animals, mostly horses. Horses, of course, produce pollutants. What we in the modern, car-centric world easily lose track of is how dirty and smelly a world of horse-driven transportation is. Cities, in particular, were full of horse urine and manure, the stench of which could be overwhelming. Those by-products of transportation were no less polluting than what comes out of the exhaust pipe of a car or truck.
What we in the modern, car-centric world easily lose track of is how dirty and smelly a world of horse-driven transportation is.
To understand the scale of the problem of horse-related pollution, consider historian David Kyvig’s observation:
The idea of self-propelled carriages had long fascinated American inventors, not to mention the carriage-using wealthy classes. Given the problems of highly-polluting horse-drawn vehicles, especially in congested urban areas, a cleaner-running automobile had great appeal. In 1900 in New York City alone, 15,000 horses dropped dead on the streets, while those that lived deposited 2.5 million pounds of manure and…
Soldiers participate in Ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Two women just made history by becoming the first females in U.S. history to successfully complete the Army’s Ranger training program, and they’re set to graduate with their 94 male colleagues later this week at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The school was just opened to women this year, as part of the Obama administration’s goal of incorporating more females in military spots traditionally reserved for men. The two who successfully completed the program haven’t yet been named in the media.
The Army’s Ranger training is known for its vigorous standards. Nineteen women and 381 men began the program on April 20; only 96 ultimately finished it.
“Congratulations to all of our new Rangers,” Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement reported by the Blaze. “Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level. This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential. We ower soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable and we continue to look for ways to select, train and retain the best.”
Part of Ranger training requires participants to go long periods without adequate amounts of food and sleep.
Conservative columnist George Will took to national television to jab billionaire Donald Trump with some political snark, posing the question to voters in America: Is this the guy we really want to control our nuclear weapons?
“Since we are, at the end of this [political primary season] going to elect a president,” Will said, during a “Fox News Sunday” appearance, “people have to say, ‘Do we really want to give nuclear weapons to Donald Trump?’ At which point, I think, things change.”
The comments came after host Chris Wallace pointed to Trump’s surging poll numbers and asked, “What is going on here?”
Will compared Trump to George Wallace, a former Alabama governor who held segreationist views and who was eventually paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after being shot in an assassination attempt.
“Those deemed least qualified to be president are most qualified to do what voters want done today,” Will said, Mediaite reported, “which is to send a message.
Will also drew parallels between Trump and the 1960s-era therapy fad of primary scream therapy, where participants would simply yell as loud as they could in order to feel better.
Of Trump, he said: “He’s a one-trick pony [who says] ‘I’m rich, everybody who disagrees with me is stupid, and all our problems are simple. Put me in power.’”
(Vibe) A video has surfaced of what apparently reveals police brutality against a Miami man. The city’s police department is investigating the events surrounding an Aug. 6 arrest in Liberty Square, where a black officer is captured seemingly punching a handcuffed suspect in the back of his patrol vehicle. The officer has since been relieved of duty, according to Major Delrish Moss.
“We have seen the video and we have launched a full internal affairs investigation into the matter,” he said in a statement. “We take that responsibility very seriously. The officer involved in the incident will be relieved of duty as we investigate.”
The woman who captured the video told Miami news station Local 10 that the officer attempted to snatch her phone while she she recorded. He also reportedly instructed her to “delete the video,” subsequently threatening to take her to jail.
To early 20th-century intellectuals, capitalism looked like anarchy. Why, they wondered, would we trust deliberative, conscious guidance when building a house but not when building an economy?
It was fashionable among these socialist intellectuals to espouse “planning” as a much more rational way to organize economic activity. (F.A. Hayek wrote a famous essay on the phenomenon.) But this emphasis on central planning was utterly confused both conceptually and empirically.
Ludwig von Mises made the most obvious rejoinder, pointing out that there is “planning” in the market economy, too. The difference is that the planning is decentralized in a market, spread out among millions of entrepreneurs and resource owners, including workers. Thus, in the debate between socialism and capitalism, the question isn’t, “Should there be economic planning?” Rather, the question is, “Should we restrict the plan design to a few supposed experts put in place through the political process, or should we throw open the floodgates and receive input from millions of people who may know something vital?”
Planning is decentralized in a market, spread out among millions of entrepreneurs and resource owners, including workers.
This second question came to be known as the “knowledge problem.” Hayek pointed out that in the real world, information is dispersed among myriad individuals. For example, a factory manager in Boise might know very particular facts about the machines on his assembly line, which socialist planners in DC could not possibly take into acco…
Members of Congress and prosecutors in various states have started going after the evidence of possible misbehavior by Planned Parenthood as revealed in a series of undercover videos being released by the Center for Medical Progress.
And the video owners are asking for permission from a California judge who has ordered the evidence collected of the abortion industry’s baby parts trade suppressed for now.
Some argue that no permission is needed, but the CMP has gone to U.S. District Judge William Orrick with the request for clarification of his order, issued July 31 and extended a couple days later, that prevents CMP from releasing undercover videos it made during the National Abortion Federation’s annual meetings.
According to a Courthouse News report, CMP filed a motion asking Orrick to reveal whether the organization can share its information with the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate, which is seeking the details.
Also, the attorney general in Arizona is seeking the details of the sale or purchase of fetal tissue, body parts and even cadavers.
CMP explained, “Materials covered by [Orrick’s suppression order] are responsive to this subpoena. The subpoena indicates that failure to comply could result in legal penalties or contempt.”
The organization, which created a fake company and then sent its undercover investigators into various abortion industry meetings and locations, said it wants to cooperate with the California judge as well as the congressional subpoena.
Orrick has banned CMP from “publishing or otherwise disclosing to any third party any video, audio, photographs, or recordings taken, or any confidential information learned, at any NAF meetings.”
The NAF said CMP investigators committed themselves to confidentiality at the meetings, but CMP says its videos were created in public areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.
The videos have shocked the nation, prompted investigations by multiple states, several congressional committees and others. At least four states have pulled at least some funding from Planned Parenthood already and there is a growing effort in Congress to withhold the more than $500 million in annual federal taxpayer subsidies to the abortion industry behemoth.
The videos, six have been released so far, reveal Planned Parenthood executives callously negotiating payment for the body parts of unborn infants. One talks about the possibility of delivering intact cadavers. Another argues that she doesn’t want to be “low-balled” and also states “I want a Lamborghini,” a $200,000-plus car.
Another California judge also ruled this week StemExpress, a company that worked with Planned Parenthood in its business of salvaging and using body parts of unborn babies, could not gain access to undercover videos that may expose the misdeeds of industry insiders.
In one video already, a former StemExpress worker revealed that often the mothers are not asked for permission, which legally is required, before the bodies of their unborn infants are scavenged.
WND reported legal analysts said even if the courts suppress the evidence, there still are ways for it to become public.
The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal published a commentary on the issue by Hans von Spakovsky, an authority on a wide range of issues including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform, and Elizabeth Slattery, who writes about the rule of law, the role of courts, civil rights and equal protection. They both are with the foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
[An] action that one or both of these congressional committees [investigating Planned Parenthood] should consider taking is immediately to request or subpoena all of the remaining videos from CMP that have not yet been released.
The actions of StemExpress and NAF, who are allies of Planned Parenthood, reveal the tactics that these abortion providers and organ buyers intend to use to prevent or delay the release of these videos: seeking out sympathetic judges who will prevent the further release of videos that severely damage the image of the abortion industry and reveal in gory detail their inner workings.
No federal or state judge has the authority to prevent a congressional committee from holding a hearing at which witnesses – like representatives of CMP – testify about their experiences or where the committee presents evidence it has obtained such as the undercover videos, which could also be posted on the committee’s website.
Such action by Congress may be the only way to ensure that litigation tactics do not prevent the public from seeing the rest of the evidence of Planned Parenthood’s possible violations of federal law, and its hideous practices and procedures.
In an interview with CNN, David Daleiden, president of CMP, explained why he thought StemExpress was so concerned about its statements becoming public.
He said StemExpress is trying to suppress “a specific video recording of a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their lab from the abortion clinics.”
“That,” he said, “could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. That’s why they’re trying to suppress that and they’re very scared of it.”
WND also has reported that as horrific as the videos appear, they should surprise no one, since such practices have been documented for nearly two decades already.
A price list uncovered by a pro-life organization dated June 1998 shows that the price per specimen from a second trimester abortion is $90 fresh and $130 frozen.
Mark Crutcher, whose Life Dynamics organization was a ground-breaker in investigating the abortion behemoth that gets some $500 million annually from U.S. taxpayers, worked on that investigation.
His group reported back in February 2000 how the baby parts market works: “A baby parts ‘wholesaler’ enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly ‘site fee’ to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts.”
He continued: “The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted. … when such orders are received … they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer.”
The documentation was provided at that time to Life Dynamics by a worker who left Comprehensive Health for Women, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.
Among the documents was a “Fee-for-Services” Schedule A, effective June 1998, which outlined a charge of $220 per specimen for first-trimester aspiration abortions and $260 if the baby parts were frozen.
Crutcher’s report, citing Planned Parenthood’s own paperwork, found that one agent sold during February 1996 alone 47 livers, 11 liver fragments, seven brains, 21 eyes, eight thymuses, 23 legs, 14 pancreases, 14 lungs, six arms and one kidney-adrenal gland.
He also sold three orders of blood from the unborn child. The retrieval agent “harvested all of the parts,” the report said, explaining that “in order for the blood of an aborted child to be sold, the dead baby had to be brought to him intact.”
The “specimens,” the report said, would have generated up to about $25,000 in revenue for one month from one retrieval agent at one Planned Parenthood business.
Crutcher reported that the tissue logs reveal that one baby is often chopped up and sold to many buyers.
For example, babies taken from donors 113968 and 114189 were both killed late in their second trimester and cut into nine pieces. By applying the price list, buyers would have been invoiced between $3,510 and $5,070 for these parts, he said.
More than 2,000 years before America’s bailouts and entitlement programs, the ancient Romans experimented with similar schemes. The Roman government rescued failing institutions, canceled personal debts, and spent huge sums on welfare programs. The result wasn’t pretty.
Roman politicians picked winners and losers, generally favoring the politically well connected — a practice that’s central to the welfare state of modern times, too. As numerous writers have noted, these expensive rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul efforts were major factors in bankrupting Roman society. They inevitably led to even more destructive interventions. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the old saying goes — and it took a while to tear it down as well. Eventually, when the republic faded into an imperial autocracy, the emperors attempted to control the entire economy.
Debt forgiveness in ancient Rome was a contentious issue that was enacted multiple times. One of the earliest Roman populist reformers, the tribune Licinius Stolo, passed a bill that was essentially a moratorium on debt around 367 BC, a time of economic uncertainty. The legislation enabled debtors to subtract the interest paid from the principal owed if the remainder was paid off within a three-year window. By 352 BC, the financial situation in Rome was still bleak, and the state treasury paid many defaulted private debts owed to the unfortunate lenders. It was assumed that the debtors would eventually repay the state, but if you think they did, then you probably think Greece is a good credit risk today.
In 357 BC, the maximum permissible interest rate on loans was roughly 8 percent. Ten years later, this was considered insufficient, so Roman administrators lowered the cap to 4 percent. By 342, the successive reductions apparently failed to mollify…
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