The Locker Room

March 2, 2011

You might be a progressive if ...

Posted by Jon Sanders at 5:24 PM

... you think an unborn child is absolutely unviable -- except to push environmentalism.

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Worker's rights to collective bargaining

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 5:14 PM

It is a worker's right to ban together with other willing workers for purposes of collective bargaining. It is a similar right of every employer to engage or not engage in such bargaining. This equality of rights thing is a real nuisance, isn't it?

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Global warming causes heavy snows this winter--yeah, right!

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 4:27 PM

According to climate scientists, Jeff Masters and Mark Serreze, corralled by the far left Union of Concerned Scientists, the large amounts of snow this winter are consistent with global warming. Of course their arguments are based on nothing that has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. (Isn’t it nice to be promoting a hypothesis that even contradictory evidence can’t falsify? I think that used to be called religion.) This news story  explains their argument.

The articles below rightfully ridicule the proclamations. One article notes that the Union of Concerned Scientists, “sponsored a workshop on Mt. Washington in 2007 in which they promised ski areas that snow would be hard to come by even in northern areas and they might consider another profession.”  A second article suggests that according to the logic of Masters and Serreze, the reason that before now we haven’t seen snow in Mississippi and Alabama is that it must have been too cold. See here , here , here , and here.

It is quite clear that what the alarmist, eco-left has decided to do is to continuously adjust its story to fit whatever facts are presented to them, while always managing to keep the same tragic ending.

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AFP North Carolina makes case for 'Texas-sized' legal reform

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:30 PM

As N.C. lawmakers consider reforms to North Carolina's medical malpractice laws, Americans for Prosperity North Carolina welcomed several veterans of Texas' lawsuit reform battles to Raleigh to offer their insights.

Click play below to watch the hourlong presentation. Speakers are: Dallas Woodhouse, AFP North Carolina state director; Francis De Luca, Civitas Institute president; Peggy Venable, AFP Texas state director; Sherry Sylvester, Texans for Lawsuit Reform senior adviser; and Joseph Nixon, former Texas House Republican whip.

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New CJO exclusive: Lawmakers push Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:08 PM

David Bass' latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive focuses on new legislation that would force state lawmakers to live with spending limits.

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Driving vs. Invasion of Privacy?

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 1:33 PM

Yes, Americans drove more in 2010 than in the previous couple of years. But I'm wondering if it is so much a sign of economic recovery, as the author of the linked WSJ article suggests, (Where — Really?), or a trade-off to avoid being groped, having nude x-rays on somewhat public display, or having other increasingly invasive airport search procedures forced upon them.

Next up for the air travel public, and coming to you this summer from DHS, will be compulsory cheek swabs for DNA/personal biological data collection. Presumably many or most of us are criminals and potential criminals. We most certainly will be if we resist. It's disgusting, but welcome to the national biological data bank.

If the government had dream-content monitors available, you betcha they'd insist on using those on us as well.

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Shariah law in Tennessee

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 12:53 AM

Tennessee's legislature is considering making following some versions of Shariah law felonies, as reported here. The bills are SB1028/HB1353.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, said the proposal exempts the peaceful practice of Islam but seeks to condemn those "who take Shariah law to the other extreme." He said it would give state and local law enforcement officials "a powerful counterterrorism tool."

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Crony Capitalism, the scourge of free markets

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 12:33 AM

Today's Wall Street Journal op-ed by Charles Koch takes a sobering view of the problem of crony capitalism in America today. In so doing, he defends the defense of free markets that Koch has been criticized for. Koch notes that

"Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want." corrected: dated March 1 online, linked here as well.

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NCSU seeks to add "Degree to Nowhere"

Posted by Jay Schalin at 12:11 AM

Actually, it's a one year master's degree in "Climate Change." It is wrong on so many levels--let me counteth the ways:

1. It is directed toward non-science majors, which means it will be little more than science-lite and opinions (although that's redundant, since it's about climate change).    

2. Graduates of existing climate change programs only get jobs in government and left-wing non-profits. Private sector employers will obviously hesitate before hiring anything so useless. And useless government jobs are on their way out (we hope).

3. It is a prime example of government's ability to pick winners and losers. In this case, it is betting on the need to deal with the economic and environmental effects of an exposed hoax. Kinda like betting on a dead mule to win the Kentucky Derby.
n. Did I mention it's a degree program based on a a body of knowledge that has been shown to be a bleedin' hoax?

n+1. School officials are touting that the $13,500 tuition will pay for the course. So basically, they are bilking gullible students who can't get jobs with their current degrees in political correctness out of another 13-14 grand to get a second politically correct degree that will lead to no job. Much like selling breeding rights to the aforementioned dead mule.

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No One Likes Getting Dumped

Posted by Nicole Fisher at 10:37 AM

Representative Verla Insko, a former Health Program Administrator, asked during a Health and Human Services committee meeting how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would be impacted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). What came after was a series of uncomfortable looks from House and Senate members, as well as the experts, and universal acknowledgement that no one really knows.

Under any North Carolina health insurance exchange, health coverage could be expanded in 2017 to cover companies currently under ERISA. However, this could lead to unpredictable and regrettable consequences for the state, above and beyond those currently being addressed in PPACA (ObamaCare) discussions. A practice commonly known as “dumping” would allow ERISA-participating businesses with high-risk pools of employees to disproportionately drop their health coverage and instead pay a penalty to the government. In many cases the penalty fee would cost far less than the mandatory health care coverage for high-risk employees. In turn, this would pollute the state funded health insurance exchanges with many new high-risk individuals, driving up costs for everyone.

Before the creation of a state health insurance exchange shouldn’t we take the time to evaluate who will be dumped by whom, so we aren’t left with the bill and no one gets their feelings hurt?

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Women's Studies...Men's Studies...Male Studies

Posted by George Leef at 09:52 AM

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call Wendy McElroy takes a look at this progression on college campuses. First, Women's Studies programs emerged, followed by a sympathetic offshoot, "Men's Studies." Now there's a movement to create Male Studies. What is it all about? Advancing scholarship into new fields of knowledge? Or is this simply the balkanization of the curriculum, creating niche courses to keep a few professors happy?

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Gingrich pans Obama's budget plan

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:35 AM

The latest Human Events column from former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich skewers the president's budget proposals:

The 2012 budget proposed by the White House is a totally unserious and insulting continuation of the reckless big spending policies of Obama’s first two years in office.

The talk from the White House sounds fiscally responsible, but the actual numbers show this administration is still in denial about our debt crisis.

The President plans on adding nearly $5 trillion more to the debt held by the American public between now and 2016, bringing the total that we owe to creditors to over $15 trillion dollars.

(For a bit of context, in 1999, the last year I was Speaker, the publicly-held debt was only $3.6 trillion, and we were in the process of paying down nearly $500 billion of our debt by balancing four consecutive budgets. The projected deficit in 2011 is nearly as large as ALL federal spending in 1999.)

Nevertheless, in the press conference where he revealed his budget, the President tried to recast himself as a diligent custodian of the country’s fiscal house. He told reporters:

“What my budget does is to put forward some tough choices, some significant spending cuts, so that by the middle of this decade our annual spending will match our annual revenues. We will not be adding more to the national debt. So, to use a -- sort of an analogy that families are familiar with, we're not going to be running up the credit card anymore.”

This posture from the President is fundamentally dishonest.

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Barone on government shutdowns

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:12 AM

Bill Clinton won the P.R. battle with Newt Gingrich's Republicans over the mid-1990s federal government shutdown.

But Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner article suggests times have changed.

Sometimes you get an idea of the way opinion is headed by the phrases you don't hear. Case in point: In all the discussion and debate these past weeks about a possible government shutdown if Congress and President Obama fail to agree on funding bills, I don't recall having heard the phrase "train wreck."

I think that's significant, because back in the 1990s, when then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich's Republicans and President Clinton failed to reach agreement and the government actually did shut down, "train wreck" was a common term.

And of course a derogatory one. The implication was that a government shutdown was a horrifying mess. In fact, the country weathered the 1990s shutdowns pretty well. And so did Gingrich's House Republicans, who lost only nine seats in the next election -- a lot fewer than the 63 seats Nancy Pelosi's Democrats lost last November.

Which is not to say that voters view a shutdown as an unalloyed positive. But you're not hearing it described as a train wreck, either.

House Republicans passed a stopgap funding bill Tuesday that will keep the government open after a Friday deadline, a measure that Obama and Senate Democrats have signaled they will embrace. But that would just postpone the prospect of a shutdown for two weeks. If the government is shuttered then, who would the public blame?

Both sides equally, say pollsters in surveys taken over the past two weeks.

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In case you missed it …

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:07 AM

WTVD’s I-Team lead story at 5:30 p.m. featured the John Locke Foundation’s critique of former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge’s new job as state stimulus czar.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:00 AM

Karen McMahan's latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive details how North Carolina has used $1 million in stimulus money to identify "green" jobs.

John Hood's Daily Journal explains why public officials should look before they lead.

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