Presty the DJ for Jan. 19

The number one single today in 1959:

The number one British single today in 1967:

Today in 1971, selections from the Beatles’ White Album were played in the courtroom at the Sharon Tate murder trial to answer the question of whether any songs could have inspired Charles Manson and his “family” to commit murder.

Manson was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Jan. 19”

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The anti-Obama (and anti-Hillary)

Victor Davis Hanson:

Donald Trump continues to baffle. Never Trump Republicans still struggle to square the circle of quietly agreeing so far with most of his policies, as they loudly insist that his record is already nullified by its supposedly odious author. Or surely it soon will be discredited by the next Trumpian outrage. Or his successes belong to congressional and Cabinet members, while his failures are all his own. Rarely do they seriously reflect on what otherwise over the last year might have been the trajectory of a Clinton administration.

Contrary to popular supposition, the Left loathes Trump not just for what he has done. (It is often too consumed with fury to calibrate carefully the particulars of the Trump agenda.) Rather, it despises him mostly for what he superficially represents.

To many progressives and indeed elites of all persuasions, Trump is also the Prince of Anti-culture: mindlessly naïve American boosterism; conspicuous, 1950s-style unapologetic consumption; repetitive and limited vocabulary; fast-food culinary tastes; Queens accent; herky-jerky mannerisms; ostentatious dress; bulging appearance; poorly disguised facial expressions; embracing rather than sneering at middle-class appetites; a lack of subtlety, nuance, and ambiguity.

In short Trump’s very essence wars with everything that long ago was proven to be noble, just, and correct by Vanity Fair, NPR, The New Yorker, Google, the Upper West Side, and The Daily Show. There is not even a smidgeon of a concession that some of Trump’s policies might offer tens of thousands of forgotten inner-city youth good jobs or revitalize a dead and written-off town in the Midwest, or make the petroleum of the war-torn Persian Gulf strategically irrelevant to an oil-rich United States.

Yet one way of understanding Trump — particularly the momentum of his first year — is through recollection of the last eight years of the Obama administration. In reductionist terms, Trump is the un-Obama. Surprisingly, that is saying quite a lot more than simple reductive negativism. Republicans have not seriously attempted to roll back the administrative state since Reagan. On key issues of climate change, entitlements, illegal immigration, government spending, and globalization, it was sometimes hard to distinguish a Bush initiative from a Clinton policy or a McCain bill from a Biden proposal. There was often a reluctant acceptance of the seemingly inevitable march to the European-style socialist administrative state.

Of course, there were sometimes differences between the two parties, such as the George W. Bush’s tax cuts or the Republicans’ opposition to Obamacare. Yet for the most part, since 1989, we’ve had lots of rhetoric but otherwise no serious effort to prune back the autonomous bureaucracy that grew ever larger. Few Republicans in the executive branch sought to reduce government employment, deregulate, sanction radical expansion of fossil-fuel production, question the economic effects of globalization on Americans between the coasts, address deindustrialization, recalibrate the tax code, rein in the EPA, secure the border, reduce illegal immigration, or question transnational organizations. To do all that would require a president to be largely hated by the Left, demonized by the media, and caricatured in popular culture — and few were willing to endure the commensurate ostracism.

Trump has done all that in a manner perhaps more Reaganesque than Reagan himself. In part, he has been able to make such moves because of the Republican majority (though thin) in Congress and also because of, not despite, his politically incorrect bluntness, his in-your-face talk, innate cunning, reality-TV celebrity status, animalistic energy, and his cynical appraisal that tangible success wins more support than ideology. And, yes, in part the wheeler-dealer Manhattan billionaire developed real sympathy for the forgotten losers of globalization.

Even his critics sometimes concede that his economic and foreign-policy agendas are bringing dividends. In some sense, it is not so much because of innovative policy, but rather that he is simply bullying his way back to basics we’ve forgotten over the past decades.

The wonder was never how to grow the economy at 3 percent (all presidents prior to 2009 had at one time or another done just that), but rather, contrary to “expert” economic opinion, how to discover ways to prevent that organic occurrence.

Obama was the first modern president who apparently figured out how. It took the efforts of a 24/7 redistributionist agenda of tax increases, federalizing health care, massive new debt, layers of more regulation, zero-interest rates, neo-socialist regulatory appointments, expansionary eligibility for entitlements, and constant anti-free-market jawboning that created a psychological atmosphere conducive to real retrenchment, mental holding patterns, and legitimate fears over discernable success. Obama weaponized federal agencies including the IRS, DOJ, and EPA in such a manner as to worry anyone successful, prominent, and conservative enough to come under the federal radar of a vindictive Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, or a FISA court.

Trump has sought to undo all that, point by point. The initial result so far is not rocket science, but rather a natural expression of what happens when millions of Americans believe they have greater freedom and safety to profit and innovate, and trust they will not be punished, materially or psychologically, for the ensuing successful results. The radical upsurge in business and consumer confidence is not revolutionary but almost natural. The Left and Never Trump Right claim that Trump is Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini. In fact, for the first time in eight years, it is highly unlikely that the FBI, IRS, CIA, DOJ, and other alphabet-soup agencies see their tasks as going after the president’s perceived opponents.

The same about-face is true on the foreign-policy front, as the ancient practice of deterrence replaced the modern therapeutic mindset. Obama blurred, deliberately so, the lines between allies and hostiles. America experienced the worst of both worlds: We were rarely respected by our friends, even more rarely feared by our enemies; loud rhetorical muscularity was backed up only by “strategic patience” and “leading from behind.”

On the supposedly friendly side, Europe assumed that the United States would fawn after the virtue-signaling Paris Climate Accord. The Palestinians concluded that there was no shelf life on victimhood and that America simply would not, could not, dare not move its embassy to Jerusalem as the Congress had chronically showboated it would. NATO just knew that endless subsidies were its birthright and prior commitments were debatable. The West apparently lapped up Obama’s Cairo speech: But when even the European Renaissance and Enlightenment were seen as derivatives of Islam, there is not much left to boast about.

On the unfriendly side, China sensed there was little danger in turning the Spratley Islands into an armed valve of the South China Sea. Russia understood that America was obsequiously “flexible” and ready to push a red plastic reset button in times of crisis.

ISIS assumed that American lawyers were vetoing air-strike targets. Iran guessed rightly that the Obama administration would concede a lot to strike a legacy deal on nonproliferation. It was unsure only about whether the Obama administration’s eagerness to dissimulate about the disadvantageous details were due to a sincere desire to empower revolutionary, Shiite Iran as an antipode to Israel and the Sunni oil monarchies, or arising from a reckless need to leave some sort of foreign-policy signature. Kim Jung-un concluded that the eight years of the Obama administration provided a rare golden moment to vastly expand its nuclear and missile capability — and then announce it as an irrevocable fait accompli after Obama left office.

Again, the common denominator was that the Obama administration, in quite radical fashion, had sought a therapeutic inversion of foreign policy — in a way few other major nations had previously envisioned.

Trump’s appointees almost immediately began undoing all that. There were no more effective avatars of old-style deterrence than James Mattis and H. R. McMaster. Neither was political. Both long ago embraced a realist appraisal of human nature, predicated on two ancient ideas: We all are more likely to behave when we accept that the alternative is far more dangerous to ourselves, and the world is better off when everyone knows the laws in the arena. Just as Obama’s pseudo–red lines in Syria signaled to the Iranians or North Koreans that there were few lines of any sort anywhere; so too the destruction of ISIS suggested to others that there might be far fewer restrictions on an American secretary of defense anywhere

On the cultural side, the Trump team figuratively paused, examined its inheritance from the prior administration, and apparently concluded something like “this is unhinged.” Then it proceeded, to the degree possible, to undo it.

Open borders, illegal immigration, and sanctuary cities are the norms of very few sovereign states. They are aberrations that are unsustainable whether the practitioner is Canada, Mexico, or the United States. Calling a small pond or large puddle on a farm’s low spot an “inland waterway” subject to federal regulation is deranged; undoing that was not radical, but commonsensical.

Trump sought to revive the cultural atmosphere prior to Obama’s assertion that he would fundamentally transform what had already been a great country. In 2008, it would have been inconceivable that NFL multimillionaires would refuse to stand for the National Anthem — much less in suicidal fashion insult their paying fans by insinuating that they deserved such a snub because they were racists and xenophobes. It was Byzantine that a country would enter an iconoclastic frenzy in the dead of night, smashing and defacing statues without legislative or popular democratic sanction.

The Un-Obama agenda was not simply reflexive or easy — given that Obama was the apotheosis of a decades-long progressive dream. After all, in year one, Trump has been demonized in a manner unprecedented in post-war America, given the astonishing statistic that 90 percent of all media coverage of his person and policies has been negative. Obama was a representation of a progressive view of the Constitution that about a quarter of the population holds, but in Obama, that view found a rare megaphone for an otherwise hard sell.

One would have thought that all Republican presidents and presidential candidate would be something like the antitheses to progressivism. In truth, few really were. So given the lateness of the national hour, a President Nobama could prove to be quite a change.

Trump’s (which means Republicans’) biggest triumph might be this list reported by Americans for Tax Reform of the U.S. companies, from A (AAON) to Z (Zions Bancorporation) that have announced “pay raises, bonuses, expansions, 401(k) increases — arising from tax reform.” Giving you back your money (and yes, taxes are your money the government is taking from you) should be the number one priority of any elected official.

And, reports CNBC:

Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law.

The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion “contribution” to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it’s unclear exactly how the company came to that number.

The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.

It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.

Apple also said it will spend over $30 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. About $10 billion in capital expenditures will be investments in U.S. data centers, the company said.

Apple added that it will spend $5 billion as part of an innovation fund, up from the $1 billion CEO Tim Cook announced last year on CNBC’s “Mad Money.”

The job creation will include direct employment and also suppliers and its app business, which it had already planned to grow substantially (app developers earned $26.5 billion in 2017.) The new campus will focus on customer support.

Obama not only didn’t decrease our taxes, he increased our taxes (by allowing the George W. Bush payroll tax cuts to expire). Everyone who considers himself or herself anti-Trump should ask himself or herself whether there is any chance Hillary Clinton would have cut your taxes.

Nor would you be reading this, reported by The Hill:

Who deserves credit for the booming economy? This is not a petty argument. How voters answer the question could well determine whether Democrats retake the House of Representatives come November.

Trump and Obama (and their admirers) are slugging it out, both claiming that it is their policies that have led to the ongoing economic expansion, steady job growth and higher stock prices.

Happily for President Trump, the pros agree with him. A recent survey of economists suggest it is President Trump, and not Obama, who should be taking a bow.

The Wall Street Journal asked 68 business, financial and academic economists who was responsible for the strengthening of the economy, and most “suggested Mr. Trump’s election deserves at least some credit” for the upturn.

A majority said the president had been “somewhat” or “strongly” positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market.

The pros cite the White House’s push for lighter regulation and the recent tax bill as critical to a pro-growth environment; more than 90 percent of the group thought the tax bill would boost GDP expansion over the next two years.

A year ago in the same survey, economists awarded President Obama mixed grades. Most saw his policies as positive for financial stability, but neutral-to-negative for GDP growth and negative for long-term growth. By contrast, Trump was seen as neutral to positive for long-term gains.

Why would Trump rate higher than Obama with this group? Economists point to the upturn in business confidence that accompanied Trump’s election, and tie that to increasing business investment. Spending on capital goods accelerated sharply over the first three quarters of last year, growing at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent.

Such outlays will spur productivity gains and lead to wage hikes, creating a virtuous circle complete with rising consumer confidence and spending. …

Democrats are terrified that the tax cuts will be a pleasant surprise to those who believed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) when she called the bill Armageddon, and when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared it a “kick in the gut to the middle class.”

They are even more terrified of the bonuses and raises being handed out by employers large and small, who credit the tax bill for those unexpected benefits. Democrats are trying to convince voters that those $1,000 bonuses and pay hikes are “crumbs” as multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi recently said.

Maybe $1,000 is “pathetic” to Pelosi, but for a great many Americans, it is a big and welcome windfall.

The policy of this blog (in contrast to the opinions of Trump-worshipers and Trump-haters) is to give any politician, including Trump, credit when credit is due, and criticism when criticism is due.

 

Presty the DJ for Jan. 18

The number one single today in 1960 was written by a one-hit wonder and sung by a different one-hit wonder:

The number 45 45 today in 1964 was this group’s first, but not last:

Today in 1974, members of Free, Mott the Hoople and King Crimson formed Bad Company:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Jan. 18”

Land shouldn’t belong to government

Steve Baldwin:

With President Trump’s recent order to “shrink” two massive federal land grabs in Utah and a shocking turn of events in the Bundy Ranch/BLM controversy, the issue of federal land ownership is back in the news. Both events illustrate how the federal government has used its massive land holdings to control the lives of Americans. And lurking in the background of these events is the constitutionality of federal land ownership, an issue that has been ignored for generations by politicians, the courts, and the media. Indeed, the evidence is fairly clear that our founding fathers did not design the federal government to be America’s largest landowner with all the abuses that entails.

The federal government now has a total of 640 million acres under its control — almost a third of the nation’s land. The majority of land in Nevada, Alaska, Utah, Oregon and Idaho is owned by the feds. In Arizona, California, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, federal ownership exceeds a third. Indeed, if all 11 Western states were combined into one territory, the feds would own nearly 50% of it. This land is primarily administered by the United States Forest Service (USFS), the National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The Department of Defense also owns 20 million acres.

But if liberals had their way, even more land would be seized by the feds. Fortunately, it is unlikely this administration will engage in any state land confiscations. Indeed, Trump’s action to decrease the acreage of the two Utah “monuments” is a good start in rolling back this abuse of federal power. These monuments were created by decree under President’s Clinton and Obama by abusing the narrow intent of the 1906 Antiquities Act. Combined, the two preserves originally encompassed 3.2 million acres, but Trump knocked them down to 1.2 million acres. Not surprisingly, the left went ballistic, but the truth is Trump is the one acting in accord with the Constitution and in the best interest of the people of Utah, and even the environment.

Both of these land grabs were initiated with little or no input from Utah’s civic, political, and business leaders. And, of course, as with most Democrat “environmental” initiatives, cronyism and corruption are evident. For example, Bill Clinton’s Utah land grab — the “Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument” — placed off-limits all energy development, including the world’s largest known deposit of clean burning coal. Not coincidentally, this proviso also quietly benefited the owners of the world’s second-largest deposit of clean burning coal: the Lippo group, owned by the Indonesia-based Riady family and, of course, large donors to the Clinton Foundation (and huge Clinton donors going back decades). In other words, Clinton crippled America’s energy capabilities in order to enrich his friends and himself. As with nearly everything the Clintons do, their operating principle has remained remarkably consistent: “Big donors first; America last.”

The history of federal land management is not a pretty one. Heavy-handed federal land seizures have been ongoing for decades in coordination with radical environmentalist groups and almost always without the support of state leaders, Native American tribes, and the people who work the land such as miners, ranchers, farmers, loggers, etc. Indeed, a report by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), titled Divided Lands: State vs. Federal Management in the West, concluded that “By nearly all accounts, our federal lands are in trouble, both in terms of fiscal performance and environmental stewardship.

The report says that states “produce far greater financial returns from land management than federal land agencies. In fact, the federal government often loses money managing valuable natural resources. States, on the other hand, consistently generate significant amounts of revenue from state trust lands. On average, states earn more revenue per dollar spent than the federal government for each of the natural resources we examined, including timber, grazing, minerals, and recreation.” Incredibly, states “earn an average of $14.51 for every dollar spent on state trust land management,” while the USFS and BLM “generate only 73 cents in return for every dollar spent on federal land management.

That’s a 20-to-1 ratio. In other words, the feds couldn’t responsibly manage a garden, let alone the millions of acres they control. No one should be surprised. That’s why Trump’s action on the Utah monuments will be good for Utah, good for the state’s budget, and good for the environment because Utah will manage that land far more efficiently than will the federal government.

But back to the Constitution. Most Americans have no clue what our founders said about federal land management. The Constitution’s Property Clause (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2) gave Congress the power to dispose of property, but does not mention a power to acquire property. However, under the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18), the federal government was given the power to acquire land but only for the purpose of carrying out its enumerated powers. This would include parcels for military uses, post offices, etc. Nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government the power to retain acreage for unenumerated purposes such as grazing, mineral development, agriculture, forests, or even national parks. This was wisely left up to the prerogative of the states and the people.

Moreover, the Constitution even details what to do with federally owned property inside newly acquired states. It declares that the federal government has a duty to dispose of this land unless it is being used for an enumerated purpose, meaning that all federal land not being used for activities specifically authorized by the Constitution should be transferred back to the states. An in-depth analysis of these clauses by the 10th Amendment Center can be found here.

At no time did America’s founders ever envision a system of land ownership that granted the federal government ownership of almost a third of the nation’s land. And this is totally logical and consistent with everything the founding fathers wrote and said about federal power. They feared federal power so much they divided it into three branches and did everything they could to protect the rights of states. Our founders knew that widespread federal land ownership would be used to blackmail states and compromise their independence.
Indeed, during the federal convention debates of September, 1787, Elbridge Gerry — the future VP under President James Madison — argued that federal ownership of land “might be made use of to enslave any particular State by buying up its territory, and that the strongholds proposed would be a means of awing the State into an undue obedience.” Even the Federalists, who advocated a slightly stronger central government, did not favor federal land ownership outside of the Constitution’s enumerated purposes. We know that because they voted to ratify the Constitution with the aforementioned restrictions on federal land ownership.

It is clear that generations of politicians and even federal judges have ignored the constitutional restrictions on federal land ownership. Over the last 150 years, the federal government, using the BLM, USFS, FWS, NPS and even the Department of Defense, has held on to millions of acres that should have been turned over to the states once they joined the union. And the feds have increased this acreage with various seizures over the years, usually under some type of “environmental” pretense. Then they erected a vast array of outrageous regulatory and land use controls over mining, farming, logging, oil exploration, and so forth, in most cases with no input from local governments or the people affected. This abuse has come at the expense of state governance and is a total rejection of Republicanism and decentralized power as clearly advocated by our founders. This is precisely the type of federal abuse many of the Constitution’s signers feared would occur.

Indeed, in the Western states, clashes between federal land management agencies and those who live and work on or near these land holdings are frequent, but the mainstream media often ignores such stories. However, most readers will remember the Cliven Bundy incident, the Nevada rancher who refused to pay $1.2 million in grazing fees to the BLM on grounds the land belonged to Nevada, not to the feds. When the Bureau threatened to seize the ranch in 2014, hundreds of cowboys and militia members poured in from all over the country to defend the property. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the feds backed down. Many Americans were shocked at the appearance of armed citizens, but the reality is that our founding fathers argued in favor of gun ownership precisely for the purpose of resisting government tyranny.

The Bureau of Land Management’s police-state actions at the ranch were recently exposed, thanks to former BLM Special Agent and whistleblower Larry Wooten, whose shocking report details the agency’s complete disregard for the rights of the Bundy family. In his report, which became public in early December, Wooten wrote that “… the investigation revealed a widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct, as well as likely policy, ethical, and legal violations among senior and supervisory staff at the BLM’s office of Law Enforcement and Security.”

Wooten wrote that the BLM had photos of Cliven Bundy and Eric Parker on its “arrest tracking wall,” but with x’s marked through their faces and bodies, as if they were to be eliminated. He also reported that the Special Agent in Charge, Dan Love, had boasted that his actions in a previous BLM controversy led to a number of people committing suicide. Wooten’s report details outrageous statements by officials such as, “Go out there and kick Cliven Bundy in the mouth (or teeth) and take his cattle.” And the report says that the agents commonly referred to the Bundys and their supporters as “rednecks,” “retards,” and “douche bags.” One agent even boasted about “grinding” a Bundy family member’s face into the gravel.

There were also descriptive titles given to body cam videos taken of the Bundy ranch, such as “Are you f–king people stupid or what,” “Pretty much a shoot first, ask question later,” and “Shoot his f–king dog first.” Indeed, the Wooten report exposes the agency as full of arrogant do-gooders who think they are better than the rural folks they obviously detest, a mentality similar to the attitudes held by some ATF and FBI agents at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Indeed, Wooten wrote that he thought the Bundy ranch confrontation very well could have turned deadly due to the attitude of the BLM agents. One can just envision the thoughts of these agents: Hey, the FBI and ATF got to shoot civilians at Waco, why can’t we?

This report and more were part of a cache of 3,000 documents that Bundy’s attorneys proved to the court were illegally withheld from them by the BLM and the U.S. Attorney’s office. As a result, on December 20, Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case, although Cliven Bundy could be tried again. Two other trials against other Bundy ranch defendants ended in hung juries. Bundy has always maintained that his case was all about Obama’s hatred for those who work the land and by, extension, an out of control BLM that thrives on harassing hard-working Americans. It appears he is correct.

The Wooten report can be read here, but be forewarned: it has descriptions of behavior too obscene to quote here. Trump should not only order the BLM to drop its persecution of Cliven Bundy but, on misconduct grounds alone, he should fire everyone involved with the Bundy case.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the Bundy confrontation was likely about Democrat cronyism and fundraising. Reports appearing in Bloomberg, Breitbart, and Reuters in 2014 indicated that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had teamed up with Chinese billionaire Wang Yusuo in an effort to create a massive 9,000-acre solar energy farm on the same federal land apparently used by Bundy to graze cattle. And Yusuo’s company, the ENN Group, contributed over $40,000 to Reid over the course of three election cycles. One BLM document makes clear that Bundy’s cattle grazing negatively impacted potential solar farm development on this land.

Although the Chinese deal apparently fell through, at the time the BLM was trying to shut down Bundy’s ranch the deal was very much alive. Incidentally, the BLM has to approve any deal allowing a private company to profit off of its land holdings, but not a problem. The BLM director was Neil Kornze, an Obama appointee and Reid’s former senior adviser. The fix was in.

But not to worry. After the Chinese deal fell apart, Reid began working closely with a company called First Solar on a project called the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, which, again, targets the area Bundy’s cattle grazes on. As reported by the Courtwatcherblog that monitors Reid’s shady solar power/public land dealings: “Harry Reid’s interests are clear. He doesn’t care about public lands, but what he stands to profit off of their sale, no matter if it’s sold to China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, or even South Africa… the facts show Harry Reid’s interests in the Bundy men being in jail, make it a lot easier to grab their land…”

First Solar, by the way, was funded in part by Goldman Sachs, a million dollar Obama contributor. Other investors include Obama bundlers Bruce Heyman and David Heller, two Goldman Sachs executives who served on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee. Yet another Obama bundler, Paul Tudor Jones, is a major investor in First Solar and First Solar’s CEO, Michael Ahearn, is also a big Democrat donor.

In other words, the effort to close down the Bundy ranch probably had less to do with grazing fees than with Harry Reid figuring out a way to convert cattle grazing land to a solar farm, thereby rewarding Democrat fat cats who in turn fund Democrat politicians. This is what the BLM has become: an agency that facilitates the creation of projects that financially benefit the Democrats.

Trump’s action to shrink federal land seizures is admirable, but there is much more he could do if he really wants to restore the Constitution’s restrictions on federal land ownership. He should abolish the BLM and all other land-managing federal agencies and transfer all their holdings back to the states, included federal preserves and national parks, with the only exception being land needed specifically for military use and federal offices of various kinds. This action would be on solid constitutional grounds. Moreover, the states already have competent land management agencies that can easily, and more efficiently, manage this land

Certainly there has been litigation over the years involving the constitionality of federal land ownership but most of these cases feature liberal judges turning themselves into pretzels trying to ignore the plain meaning of the constitution. Typically, these judges managed to find phony “rights” that allow the feds to justify its ownership of a third of America’s land. There’s no doubt any effort by Trump to end the federal government’s illegal land ownership regime would be challenged in the courts but such a case would likely end up in the Supreme Court and there’s a good chance the high court would rule in his favor. There is simply no body of writing by the founders that justify federal control of so much acreage that have absolutely zero nexus to the Constitution’s enumerated powers. It’s that simple

Aside from restoring proper constitutional restrictions on federal land ownership, such a massive transfer of federal land would do a number of things. First, it would energize the economy of many states. Over the last 50 years, millions of acres of land with potential oil and gas reserves, timber, mining deposits and so forth were foolishly placed off limits by federal land confiscations created by presidential orders or congressional action. The long-running federal war on cattle, farmers, loggers, ranchers, and miners would largely come to an end as state agencies and politicians would be far more accountable to the people who live off these lands.

Secondly, contrary to the inevitable hysteria of the environmentalists, there is little doubt some of this land would become state preserves as the citizens of each state will want to preserve environmentally sensitive land and historic landmarks. And the states will do a better job managing environmentally important land than would federal agencies that take orders from distant bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. The point is, it will be the citizens of each state who, through their legislatures and state agencies, would make the decisions as to how best to manage their own land. The National Parks may be a special issue. While they also lack a constitutional basis, they could be transferred back to state control on the condition they continue to operate them as parks. Indeed, states wouldn’t have it any other way since there is much money to be made from the national parks in the way of tourism, camping, hiking and so on.

Most Americans have forgotten this, but the shady tactics of federal land management agencies were a big issue in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign. At the time, the movement of those fighting such abuses was called the “Sagebrush Rebellion,” and this issue propelled tens of thousands of voters to support Reagan’s candidacy. To be honest, though, Reagan was unable to carry out any substantial reforms regarding federal land ownership.

If Trump wants to go down in history as a president who restored the federal government to its proper limited role, then he should revitalize this forgotten section of the U.S. Constitution and transfer all non-enumerated federal land back to the states. Such action will allow states to control their own destinies, create better managed parks and preserves, and create tens of thousands of new jobs by energizing natural resource industries such as oil, natural gas, mining, and timber. This is a perfect issue for him. Be bold, Mr. President, and just do it.

That would, by the way, give to the state the 5 percent of land the federal government owns. The feds, the state and counties own 16 percent of Wisconsin land, which means that all of the services property required is paid for by the owners of just five-sixths of Wisconsin land. And that percentage has been going up thanks to the Knowles–Nelson Stewardship Fund, a bipartisan effort to grab land for the state to prescribe only approved activities on that land, which don’t ever involve, for instance, hunting, fishing and motorized sports.

The claim that under the Walker administration is acting less like the Damn Near Russia of Democrat-led DNRs doesn’t mean the state should own any land besides the land on which government facilities sit.

 

 

Presty the DJ for Jan. 17

The number one album today in 1976 was Earth Wind & Fire’s “Gratitude” …

The number one British album today in 1999 was Fatboy Slim’s “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby,” and if you like it you have to praise it like you shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oould:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Jan. 17”

If you think you live in a s—hole and you don’t, does that make you a s—head?

David Blaska writes about his former boss:

Joe Btfsplk, meet Dave Zweifel.

Like Democrats statewide, the emeritus editor of Madison’s voice of progressivism is hell bent on defeating Scott Walker at all costs, even at the price of truth.

Give Dave Zweifel brownie points for creativity. Wisconsin has more Help Wanted signs than orange traffic cones in spring but somehow, Wisconsin is one of those bad places that Donald Trump recently denigrated. The Haiti of the Snowbelt. Why? Because Wisconsin’s economy is creating so many jobs that employers are scrambling for workers!

“When Wisconsin’s name comes up in news stories or is mentioned in a nationally recognized column, it often isn’t in a flattering context,” my old boss writes in the Sunday WI State Journal.

Wisconsin beats out other states to land Foxconn but my old boss can’t bring himself to mention its potential 13,000 jobs. Instead, he fixates on the 26 acres of wetlands that may be filled to accommodate the huge factory. Oh, the humanity!

Yes, “unemployment is down, taxes are flat and there are more jobs,” Dave grouses. (Sometimes the truth is too obvious even for …) But this good news is really bad news for our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances.

“Wisconsin didn’t always need to advertise” for workers, Dave cavils. Humpf! Yes, Wisconsin is waging a $6 million ad campaign to lure workers to Wisconsin. (Come for the jobs, stay because your car won’t start.)

The Democrat(ic) party line reads that Wisconsin must advertise for workers because of:

  • Act 10!!!
  • Because No High-speed Rail (See: California, boondoggle).
  • Because criticizing “the Problem of Whiteness” is “denigrating higher education.”
  • Because women (supposedly) are dying in childbirth. (Dave writes “attacks on women’s health rights” but we think he means “abortion.”)
  • And those 26 acres!

“When Wisconsin’s name comes up in news stories or is mentioned in a nationally recognized column, it often isn’t in a flattering context.” Except, there it is, on the very same day as Dave’s trip to the outhouse: Wisconsin, on page one of the Sunday New York Times, in a most flattering context.

In Dane County, Wis., where the unemployment rate was just 2% in November, demand for workers has grown so intense that manufacturers are taking their recruiting a step further: hiring inmates at full wages to work in factories even while they serve their prison sentences.

[The inmate] got that chance in part because of Dane County’s red-hot labor market. Stoughton Trailers, a family-owned manufacturer that employs about 650 people at its plant in the county, has raised pay, offered referral bonuses and expanded its in-house training program. But it has still struggled to fill dozens of positions.

After his release, the inmate bought a car from his earnings while on work-release.

Now he is thinking bigger. Other jobs in the area pay higher wages, and his freedom has opened up more options. He has been talking to another local company, which is interested in training him to become an estimator — a salaried job that would pay more and offer room for advancement.

Those who abjure objective measurements in favor of partisan, political-campaign talking points, read no further. Yeah, Wisconsin roads ARE bad but we can’t help but think that some projects are needlessly expensive. (Doesn’t the Verona Road project seem over-engineered?) Which is why Walker replaced former DOT secretary Gottlieb with a new guy.

For a dispassionate measure, we turned to the recently released U.S. News and World Report listing of best states, 2018. The survey measures health care, education, crime, infrastructure, opportunity, economy, and government. Overall, the well regarded survey ranks Wisconsin as the 16th best state overall and second-best in the Midwest, behind Minnesota (#3) and Iowa (#6) but comfortable ahead of Indiana #22, Illinois #29, Michigan #33, and Ohio #35. Of those states, another survey listed Wisconsin as the second “greenest,” behind Minnesota. More here.

It’s a fair point that Walker is trying to sell Wisconsin using Madison as its star attraction while simultaneously bad-mouthing its mayor, now a challenger for governor. But the obverse is also true: Liberals are trying to badmouth Wisconsin. State policies are at least equally responsible for Madison’s success. To take one example, Madison bike paths are largely funded with state money. Even Monona Terrace has state money in it.

If state employees, K-12 teachers, and university professors were being ground down as much as Act 10 bitter-enders like Dave Zweifel pretend, wouldn’t Madison more closely resemble Port au Prince?

Dave Btfsplk, look on the bright side: We could be Illinois.

How to put more money in people’s pockets

Facebook Friend Devin has compiled a list of companies, several of which have offices in Wisconsin, that have raised wages or otherwise invested in their employees since the announcement of the federal tax cuts late last year:

Wal-Mart – wages increased and bonuses paid

Southwest Airlines – Bonuses paid

CVS – increased hiring

FedEx- increased hiring

Aflac: $250 million boost in U.S. investments and increased 401(k) benefits, including one-time contribution of $500 to every employee’s retirement savings account.

American Savings Bank: $1,000 bonus to 1,150 employees, nearly the entire workforce, and increase of minimum wage from $12.21 an hour to $15.15.

Aquesta Financial Holdings: $1,000 bonus to all employees, increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Associated Bank: $500 bonus to nearly all employees and increased minimum wage to $15 per hour, up from $10.

AT&T: $1,000 bonus to all 200,000 U.S. workers and $1 billion boost in U.S. investments.

Bank of America: $1,000 bonus for about 145,000 U.S. employees.

Bank of Hawaii: $1,000 bonus for 2,074 employees, or 95 percent of its workforce, and increase of minimum wage from $12 to $15.

BB&T Corp.: $1,200 bonus for almost three-fourths of associates, or 27,000 employees, and increase in minimum wage from $12 to $15.

Boeing: $300 million boost in investments to employee gift-match programs, workforce development, and workplace improvements.

Central Pacific Bank: $1,000 bonus to all 850 nonexecutive employees and increase in minimum wage from $12 to $15.25.

Comcast NBCUniversal: $1,000 bonus for more than 100,000 employees.

Deleware Supermarkets Inc.: $150 bonus to 1,000 nonmanagement employees and $150,000 in new investment in employee training and development programs.

Express Employment Prc: $2,000 bonus to all nonexecutive employees at Oklahoma City headquarters.

Fifth Third Bancorp: $1,000 bonus for all 13,500 employees and increase of minimum wage to $15 for nearly 3,000 workers.

First Hawaiian Bank: $1,500 bonus for all 2,264 employees and increase in minimum wage to $15.

First Horizon National Corp.: $1,000 bonus to employees who do not participate in company-sponsored bonus plans.

Kansas City Southern: $1,000 bonus to employees of subsidiaries in the U.S. and Mexico.

Melaleuca: $100 bonus for every year an employee has worked for the company—an average of $800 for each of 2,000 workers.

National Bank Holdings Corp.: $1,000 bonus to all noncommissioned associates who earn a base salary under $50,000.

Nelnet: $1,000 bonus for nearly all of 4,100 employees.

Nephron Parmaceuticals: wage increase of 5 percent for its 640 employees.

Nexus: wage increase of 5 percent and plans to hire 200 workers in 2018.

OceanFirst Bank: increase in minimum wage from $13.60 to $15, affecting at least 166 employees.

PNC Bank: $1,000 bonus to 47,500 employees and $1,500 increase to existing pension accounts.

Pinnacle Bank: $1,000 bonus for all full-time employees in Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.

Pioneer Credit Recovery: $1,000 bonus to employees.

Rush Enterprises Inc.: $1,000 discretionary bonus to 6,600 U.S. employees.

Sinclair Broadcast: $1,000 bonus to nearly 9,000 employees.

SunTrust: increase of minimum wage to $15, $50 million increase in community grants, 1 percent 401(k) contribution for all employees.

Turning Point Brands, Inc.: $1,000 bonus to 107 employees.

Washington Federal, Inc.: wage increase of 5 percent for employees earning less than $100,000 per year and increased investments in technology infrastructure and community projects.

Wells Fargo: increase in minimum wage from $13.50 to $15, and higher charitable giving by about 40 percent, to $400 million.

Western Alliance: wage increase of 7.5 percent for the lowest-paid 50 percent of employees.

Whether you like this fact or not, that is directly to Trump’s and the Republican Congress’ credit. And …

More broadly, Mark J. Perry observes things for which politicians do not deserve credit:

I posted the charts above on Twitter last Sunday and that Tweet has already had more than 1,000 re-Tweets and hundreds of comments, e.g., here’s a typical one: “This is something to cheer you up, in stark contrast to the daily #media #coverage!” So to help get people even more cheered up, and to counteract the negative news in the media with some positive economic data and facts, here’s a re-post of my 2014 “Carpe Century” post:

Morgan Housel at The Motley Fool lists the 50 reasons we’re living through the greatest period in world history (free registration may be required), and here are 25 of my favorites:

1. U.S. life expectancy at birth was 39 years in 1800, 49 years in 1900, 68 years in 1950, and 79 years today. The average newborn today can expect to live an entire generation longer than his great-grandparents could.

2. In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine made the bold prediction that someday a computer could weigh less than 1 ton. I wrote this sentence on an iPad that weighs 0.73 pounds.

3. The average American now retires at age 62. One hundred years ago, the average American died at age 51. Enjoy your golden years — your ancestors didn’t get any of them.

4. Despite a surge in airline travel, there were half as many fatal plane accidents in 2012 than there were in 1960, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

5. People worry that the U.S. economy will end up stagnant like Japan’s. Next time you hear that, remember that unemployment in Japan hasn’t been above 5.6% in the past 25 years, its government corruption ranking has consistently improved, incomes per capita adjusted for purchasing power have grown at a decent rate, and life expectancy has risen by nearly five years. I can think of worse scenarios.

6. Two percent of American homes had electricity in 1900. J.P Morgan (the man) was one of the first to install electricity in his home, and it required a private power plant on his property. Even by 1950, close to 30% of American homes didn’t have electricity. It wasn’t until the 1970s that virtually all homes were powered. Adjusted for wage growth, electricity cost more than 10 times as much in 1900 as it does today, according to professor Julian Simon.

7. According to the Federal Reserve, the number of lifetime years spent in leisure — retirement plus time off during your working years — rose from 11 years in 1870 to 35 years by 1990. Given the rise in life expectancy, it’s probably close to 40 years today. Which is amazing: The average American spends nearly half his life in leisure. If you had told this to the average American 100 years ago, that person would have considered you wealthy beyond imagination.

8. Median household income adjusted for inflation was around $25,000 per year during the 1950s. It’s nearly double that amount today. We have false nostalgia about the prosperity of the 1950s because our definition of what counts as “middle class” has been inflated — see the 34% rise in the size of the median American home in just the past 25 years. If you dig into how the average “prosperous” American family lived in the 1950s, I think you’ll find a standard of living we’d call “poverty” today.

9. According to the Census Bureau, only one in 10 American homes had air conditioning in 1960. That rose to 49% in 1973, and 89% today — the 11% that don’t are mostly in cold climates. Simple improvements like this have changed our lives in immeasurable ways.

10. Almost no homes had a refrigerator in 1900, according to Frederick Lewis Allan’s The Big Change, let alone a car. Today they sell cars with refrigerators in them.

11. Adjusted for overall inflation, the cost of an average round-trip airline ticket fell 50% from 1978 to 2011, according to Airlines for America.

12. According to the Census Bureau, the average new home now has more bathrooms than occupants.

13. According to the Census Bureau, in 1900 there was one housing unit for every five Americans. Today, there’s one for every three. In 1910 the average home had 1.13 occupants per room. By 1997 it was down to 0.42 occupants per room.

14. Relative to hourly wages, the cost of an average new car has fallen by a factor of four since 1915, according to professor Julian Simon (5,000 hours of work at the average wage in 1915 vs. about 1,200 today).

15. Google Maps is free. If you think about this for a few moments, it’s really astounding. It’s probably the single most useful piece of software ever invented, and it’s free for anyone to use.

16. The average American work week has declined from 66 hours in 1850, to 51 hours in 1909, to 34.8 today, according to the Federal Reserve. Enjoy your weekend.

17. Incomes have grown so much faster than food prices that the average American household now spends less than half as much of its income on food as it did in the 1950s. Relative to wages, the price of food has declined more than 90% since the 19th century, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

18. As of March 2013, there were 8.99 million millionaire households in the U.S., according to the Spectrum Group. Put them together and they would make the largest city in the country, and the 18th largest city in the world, just behind Tokyo. We talk a lot about wealth concentration in the United States, but it’s not just the very top that has done well.

19. In 1900, 44% of all American jobs were in farming. Today, around 2% are. We’ve become so efficient at the basic need of feeding ourselves that nearly half the population can now work on other stuff.

20. U.S. oil production in September was the highest it’s been since 1989, and growth shows no sign of slowing. We produced 57% more oil in America in September 2013 than we did in September 2007. The International Energy Agency projects that America will be the world’s largest oil producer as soon as 2015.

21. The average American car got 13 miles per gallon in 1975, and more than 26 miles per gallon in 2013, according to the Energy Protection Agency. This has an effect identical to cutting the cost of gasoline in half.

22. Annual inflation in the United States hasn’t been above 10% since 1981 and has been below 5% in 77% of years over the past seven decades. When you consider all the hatred directed toward the Federal Reserve, this is astounding.

23. According to AT&T archives and the Dallas Fed, a three-minute phone call from New York to San Francisco cost $341 in 1915, and $12.66 in 1960, adjusted for inflation. Today, Republic Wireless offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $5 a month.

24. You need an annual income of $34,000 a year to be in the richest 1% of the world, according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic’s 2010 book The Haves and the Have-Nots. To be in the top half of the globe you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it’s $5,000 per year. Enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000. America’s poorest are some of the world’s richest.

25. Only 4% of humans get to live in America. Odds are you’re one of them. We’ve got it made. Be thankful.

Diversity, except for this kind

This being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which has become a celebration of diversity, Mike Rowe reportts on an example the kind of diversity liberals do not respect:

Mike Rowe has a habit of dismantling his critics. Perhaps it is his blue-collar demeanor and reputation that make him seem like an easy target. Yet people continue to push, like Rebecca Bright, who labeled Rowe an “anti-education, science doubting, ultra-right wing conservative.” If that wasn’t enough, she suggested he should be fired.

“I love the show How the Universe Works, but I’m lost on how the producers and the Science Channel can allow anti-education, science doubting, ultra-right wing conservative Mike Rowe to narrate the show,” Bright complained. “There are countless scientists that should be hired for that, or actors, if you must, that believe in education and science that would sound great narrating the show, example: Morgan Freeman. Cancel this fools [sic] contract and get any of your scientists so often on the show to narrate it.”

So Rowe responded.

“Well hi there, Rebecca. How’s it going?”

“First of all, I’m glad you like the show. “How the Universe Works” is a terrific documentary series that I’ve had the pleasure of narrating for the last six seasons. I thought this week’s premiere was especially good. It was called, “Are Black Holes Real?” If you didn’t see it, spoiler alert….no one knows!!!

“It’s true. The existence of Black Holes has never been proven. Some cosmologists are now convinced they don’t exist at all, and the race to prove their actuality has become pretty intense. Why? Because so much of what we think we know about the cosmos depends upon them. In other words, the most popular explanations as to how the universe actually works, are based upon the existence of a thing that no one has been able to prove.

“As I’m sure you know, it’s OK to make assumptions based on theories. In fact, it’s critical to progress. But it’s easy these days to confuse theory with fact. Thanks to countless movies and television shows that feature Black Holes as a plot device, and many documentaries that bring them to life with gorgeous CGI effects and dramatic music, a lot of people are under the assumption that Black Holes are every bit as real as the Sun and the Moon. Well, maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t. We just don’t know. That’s why I enjoyed this week’s show so much. It acknowledged the reasons we should question the existence of something that many assume to be “settled science.” It invited us to doubt.

“Oftentimes, on programs like these, I’m asked to re-record a passage that’s suddenly rendered inaccurate by the advent of new information. Sometimes, over the course of just a few days. That’s how fast the information changes. Last year for instance, on an episode called “Galaxies,” the original script – carefully vetted by the best minds in physics – claimed there were approximately one hundred billion galaxies in the known universe. A hundred billion! (Not a typo.) I couldn’t believe it when I read it. I mean, the Milky Way alone has something like 400 billion stars! Andromeda has a trillion! How many stars must there be in a universe, with a hundred billion galaxies? Mind-boggling, right?

“Well, a few weeks later, the best minds in physics came together again, and determined that the total number of galaxies in the universe was NOT in fact, a hundred billion. They were off. Not by a few thousand, or a few million, or few billion, or even a few hundred billion. The were off by two trillion. That’s right…TWO TRILLION!! But here’s the point, Rebecca – when I narrate this program, it doesn’t matter if I’m correct or incorrect – I always sound the same. And guess what? So do the experts.

“When I wrote about this discrepancy, people became upset. They thought I was making fun of science. They thought I was suggesting that because physicists were off by one trillion, nine hundred billion galaxies, all science was suddenly suspect, and no claims could be trusted. In general, people like you accused me of “doubting science.” Which is a curious accusation, since science without doubt isn’t science at all.

“This is an important point. If I said I was skeptical that a supernatural being put us here on Earth, you’d be justified in calling me a “doubter of religion.” But if I said I was skeptical that manmade global warming was going to melt the icecaps, that doesn’t make me a “doubter of science.” Once upon a time, the best minds in science told us the Sun revolved around the Earth. They also told us the Earth was flat, and that a really bad fever could be cured by blood-letting. Happily, those beliefs were questioned by skeptical minds, and we moved forward. Science is a wonderful thing, and a critical thing. But without doubt, science doesn’t advance. Without skepticism, we have no reason to challenge the status quo. Anyway, enough pontificating. Let’s consider for a moment, your very best efforts to have me fired.

“You’ve called me an “ultra-right wing conservative,” who is both “anti-education,” and “science-doubting.” Interestingly, you offer no proof. Odd, for a lover of science. So I challenge you to do so now. Please provide some evidence that I am in fact the person you’ve described. And by evidence, I don’t mean a sentence taken out of context, or a meme that appeared in your newsfeed, or a photo of me standing next to a politician or a talk-show host you don’t like. I mean actual proof of what you claim I am.

“Also, please bear in mind that questioning the cost of a college degree does not make me “anti-education.” Questioning the existence of dark-matter does not make me a “dark-matter denier.” And questioning the wisdom of a universal $15 minimum wage doesn’t make me an “ultra-right wing conservative.” As for Morgan Freeman, I agree. He’s a terrific narrator, and a worthy replacement. But remember, Morgan played God on the big screen. Twice. Moreover, he has publicly claimed to be a “believer.” (gasp!) Should this disqualify him from narrating a series that contradicts the Bible at every turn? If not, why not?

“Anyway, Rebecca, my beef with your post comes down to this – if you go to my boss and ask her to fire me because you can’t stand the sound of my voice, I get it. Narrators with unpleasant voices should probably look for other work anyway, and if enough people share your view, no hard feelings – I’ll make room for Morgan. But if you’re trying to get me fired simply because you don’t like my worldview, well then, I’m going to fight back. Partly because I like my job, and partly because you’re wrong about your assumptions, but mostly because your tactics typify a toxic blend of laziness and group-think that are all too common today – a hot mess of hashtags and intolerance that deepen the chasm currently dividing our country.

“Re-read your own post, and think about your actual position. You’ve publicly asked a network to fire the narrator of a hit show because you might not share his personal beliefs. Don’t you think that’s kind of…extraordinary? Not only are you unwilling to engage with someone you disagree with – you can’t even enjoy a show you claim to love if you suspect the narrator might not share your view of the world! Do you know how insular that makes you sound? How fragile?

“I just visited your page, and read your own description of you. It was revealing. It says, “I stand my ground. I fear no one & nothing. I have & will fight for what’s right.”

“Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think the ground you’re standing on is worth defending. If you truly fear “no one & nothing,” it’s not because you’re brave; it’s because you’re unwilling to expose yourself to ideas that frighten you. And while I can see that you like to fight for what you think is “right” (in this case, getting people fired that you disagree with,) one could easily say the same thing about any other misguided, garden-variety bully.

“In other words, Rebecca, I don’t think you give a damn about science. If I’m wrong, prove it. Take a step back and be skeptical about your own assumptions. Take a moment to doubt your own words, and ask yourself – as any good scientist would – if you’ve got your head up a black hole.

That lack of respect for intellectual diversity or viewpoint diversity is not King’s fault. It is the fault of some of those who consider themselves to be King’s followers, perhaps. It is more the fault of those who worship earthly authority, perhaps in order to get that authority themselves.

 

The quotable King

My favorite Martin Luther King quotes, some of which you may not read or hear on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values — that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.