The Locker Room

February 11, 2011

Obama, the Gipper?

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:38 PM

In a send off for Robert Gibbs I just heard Obama refer to himself as "the Gipper"--Yup.

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O'Rourke foresees a corollary to gun control

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:24 PM

The recent Tucson shootings have prompted P.J. O'Rourke to offer Weekly Standard readers a forecast of the next step in liberals' anti-violence endeavors:

Because liberals are opposed to violence, which is very high-minded of them. Guns are a source of violence in America. Guns are not, however, the principal source. Young men are the principal source of violence in America. This is why it’s only a matter of time before liberals—being opposed to violence—propose young man control. This will entail:

• A thoroughgoing background check of criminal record and mental health status to be required before anyone is allowed to be a young man. A national masculine immaturity database will be created.

• A longer young man waiting period. The current waiting period of between 14 and 18 years (varying according to state laws) will be extended and made uniform nationwide so that the young are not legally men until 40. This will help prevent impulsive use of manhood by youths.

• The banning of concealed young men, especially if they are concealed behind Tea Party protest placards or anonymous antigovernment Internet postings. Likewise, sawed-off young men who tend to be more aggressive than their taller contemporaries; rapid-fire young men who talk back to teachers, guidance counselors, and other role model adults, and young men of the “fully automatic” type, who never need to be reminded to study, help with housework, or volunteer in their communities, and who seem so well adjusted until they plant a bomb in their high school.

• The removal from the market of certain varieties of ammunition for young men. For example, the Grand Theft Auto video game and beer.

• Federal registration of all young men. In fact, they already are registered. However, the problem with the current Selective Service system is that if young men are drafted, they’re given a gun.

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For those crying 'Jobs, job, jobs' ...

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:13 PM

... a new column posted at Human Events offers the cautionary tale of California's economic woes. Author Roger Hedgecock reminds us of the incredible negative impact of uncompetitive tax rates, burdensome regulations, and a government with a very low bang for the buck

Businesses have been leaving California for some years now, driven to greener pastures by a growing anti-business atmosphere that has fostered a toxic mix of high (and complicated) taxes, labyrinthine regulations, and crazy jury verdicts.

For a long time after World War II, California's opportunity attracted the best and brightest to a great climate. Government investment in freeways, a statewide water system, good schools, and great universities provided a framework for an explosion of private investment that built on the wartime spending to make California an industrial giant and the most valuable agricultural state in the U.S.

By 2000, dozens of aerospace firms such as General Dynamics, Lockheed, and McDonnell Douglas were practically gone, along with vehicle manufacturing companies including Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Toyota, which are now closed. All the tool and die makers, sheet metal stampers, tire makers, and workers in a myriad of other supply and industrial support businesses have evaporated along with the companies.

Tech and biotech businesses have sprouted in their place: Google, eBay, Intel, Qualcomm, Cisco, PayPal, Genentech, Apple. Yet even these giants that grew from modest beginnings have stopped growing in California, sprouting new plants and thousands of new jobs in other states and other countries around the world.


While international economics pulls these companies to expand outside of California, the state's culture of punishing success is increasingly pushing them out.

Many smaller companies, with little fanfare or notice, have joined the exodus.

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Krauthammer examines the Freedom Agenda

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:01 PM

Events in Egypt influence Charles Krauthammer's latest column posted at Human Events:

Now it seems everyone, even the left, is enthusiastic for Arab democracy. Fine. Fellow travelers are welcome. But simply being in favor of freedom is not enough. With Egypt in turmoil and in the midst of a perilous transition, we need foreign policy principles to ensure democracy for the long run.


As the states of the Arab Middle East throw off decades of dictatorship, their democratic future faces a major threat from the new totalitarianism: Islamism. As in Soviet days, the threat is both internal and external. Iran, a mini-version of the old Soviet Union, has its own allies and satellites -- Syria, Lebanon and Gaza -- and its own Comintern, with agents operating throughout the region to extend Islamist influence and undermine pro-Western secular states. That's precisely why in this revolutionary moment, Iran boasts of an Islamist wave sweeping the Arab world.

We need a foreign policy that not only supports freedom in the abstract but is guided by long-range practical principles to achieve it -- a Freedom Doctrine composed of the following elements:

(1) The United States supports democracy throughout the Middle East. It will use its influence to help democrats everywhere throw off dictatorial rule.

(2) Democracy is more than just elections. It requires a free press, the rule of law, the freedom to organize, the establishment of independent political parties and the peaceful transfer of power. Therefore, the transition to democracy and initial elections must allow time for these institutions, most notably political parties, to establish themselves.

(3) The only U.S. interest in the internal governance of these new democracies is to help protect them against totalitarians, foreign and domestic. The recent Hezbollah coup in Lebanon and the Hamas dictatorship in Gaza dramatically demonstrate how anti-democratic elements that achieve power democratically can destroy the very democracy that empowered them.

(4) Therefore, just as during the Cold War the U.S. helped keep European communist parties out of power (to see them ultimately wither away), it will be U.S. policy to oppose the inclusion of totalitarian parties -- the Muslim Brotherhood or, for that matter, communists -- in any government, whether provisional or elected, in newly liberated Arab states.

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New CJO exclusive: This week's legislative recap

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:07 PM

David Bass' latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive focuses on the key events taking place this week for the N.C. General Assembly.

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Should UNC tuition go up?

Posted by Jane S. Shaw at 09:53 AM

On the Pope Center site today, Jenna Robinson asks readers to weigh in on the proposed tuition hikes for the UNC system this coming academic year.  

While conservatives generally lean toward higher tuition for public universities, there are two reasons to limit increases in this period of austerity. One is that students have been hit hard--tuition went up about 20 percent increase last fall as chancellors took an opportunity to shore up their schools' bank accounts. The second is, "Why feed the beast?" This is a time to make serious cuts that can improve academic quality; tuition increases reduce the pressure to do that.

But let us know what you think. 

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More on the smearing of Prof. DiLorenzo

Posted by George Leef at 08:10 AM

Robert Wenzel writes about the odious Rep. Clay here.

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HB 48: first step toward a better testing program

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:06 AM

HB 48 is a bipartisan bill that would eliminate statewide standardized testing, "except as required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant."

The next step would be to adopt norm-referenced, preferably nationally normed, tests that would allow North Carolinians to compare the performance of our public school students to their counterparts in other states. Yet, this monumental change requires the state to start with a clean slate. HB begins that process.

Kudos to Representatives Holloway, Blackwell, Hilton, Cotham, and the long list of co-sponsors of HB 48.

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How to deal with a witness whose ideas conflict with yours

Posted by George Leef at 08:03 AM

Professor Tom DiLorenzo writes here about his treatment by a Democratic member of Representative Paul's committee. Did he want to hear DiLorenzo's ideas about the Fed and government economic policy? No. He just wanted to smear him.

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This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:05 AM

Regular Locker Room readers have heard George Leef argue that college is oversold. In the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio, he explains why that same assessment is true of law schools.

Daren Bakst will join us to explain the importance of fighting eminent domain abuse in North Carolina, and Joseph Coletti will help assess a recent court case in which the N.C. Revenue Department was ordered to refund more than $1 million in tax penalties assessed against Food Lion’s parent company.

You’ll hear highlights from a recent Benjamin Rush Society debate at Duke University about government’s proper role in American health care, and Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute will discuss government’s role in family issues.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:57 AM

This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with writer and researcher Stella Snyder about her work documenting the alliance between U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms and Russian anti-communist Alexander Solzhenitsyn. 

Daren Bakst's guest Daily Journal discusses two sensible tort reforms.

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