The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for October 19th, 2010

CRP: The small donor trend for Tea Partiers is unprecedented

Posted by iusbvision on October 19, 2010

So much for the “The Tea Party is a corporate rent a mob” bogus narrative from the Democratic leadership.

CBS News:

“The small donor trend for Tea Partiers is unprecedented,” says Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics. Her group analyzed the most recent campaign donation numbers available from the Federal Elections Commission.

Those small donors are helping candidates pay for anti-establishment ads like the one likening political insiders in Washington to dinosaurs.

Typically, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Senate candidates get no more than 20 percent of their funds from small donors. But the latest numbers available from the Federal Elections Commission for some Tea Party favorites show much higher stats.

As of the second quarter, small donors filled about one-third of the campaign chests of Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey (30 percent, $3 million) and Florida’s Marco Rubio (36 percent, $4.6 million). They accounted for nearly half of the funds for Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell (45 percent, $119,000) and Kentucky’s Rand Paul (46 percent, $1.6 million). And they made up more than half of the early donations given to Alaska’s Joe Miller (51 percent, $144,000) and Nevada’s Sharron Angle (58 percent $2.05 million).

 

 

 

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton | 2 Comments »

Tarrant County College Ordered to Pay $240,000 after Losing Battle against the First Amendment

Posted by iusbvision on October 19, 2010

Foolish college administrators messed with FIRE and now they have been burnt. Illegal viewpoint discrimination, illegal “speech codes”, illegal censorship, and then foolishly digging their heels into the ground fighting a lawsuit they had no chance of winning.

 

WWW.THEFIRE.ORG:

Attention, college administrators: Attempting to defend your institution’s unconstitutional speech code in court is very, very expensive. Unfortunately for Texas taxpayers, Tarrant County College (TCC) is the latest school to learn this lesson the hard way. About 240,000 times harder than it needed to be, in fact.

Torch readers will remember that back in March, TCC’s speech code was found unconstitutional as a result of litigation coordinated by FIRE and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU-TX). FIRE and the ACLU-TX worked with Fort Worth attorney Karin Cagle to bring a constitutional challenge to TCC’s speech code on behalf of student Clayton Smith and John Schwertz, members of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus who had repeatedly been forbidden by TCC to hold an “empty holster” protest on campus. Their story is one of those documented in FIRE’s recent video, Empty Holsters.

The lawsuit made an immediate impact. Just two days after the complaint was filed in November 2009, a federal district court judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting TCC from quarantining protected speech to the school’s tiny “free speech zone,” holding that continued operation of the free speech zone would result in “immediate and irreparable injury” to students’ free speech rights. In December, facing obvious defeat, TCC voluntarily dismantled its free speech zone, but also introduced an unconstitutional ban on “cosponsorship,” which forbade students and faculty from holding campus events in association with any “off-campus person or organization.” Smith’s and Schwertz’s suit was amended to challenge this new policy, and in a March 2010 ruling, the district court struck this restriction down, too, stating that “the Court cannot imagine how the provision could have been written more broadly.”

Following the win, Cagle moved for an award of attorneys’ fees, as is customary in civil rights cases. As this week’s judicial order details, TCC disputed Cagle’s intentionally low rate estimates–a tactic which proved costly when, after extensive briefing, the court denied defendants’ motions for still lower rates and awarded Cagle, her fellow counsel David Broiles, and the ACLU-TX a total of over $240,000 in attorney’s fees.

Needless to say, $240,000 is quite a chunk of changeespecially when it’s spent fighting a losing battle in defense of censorship. FIRE often warns schools to spare themselves the embarrassment of fighting against the Bill of Rights. Now that TCC has joined the University of Wyoming ($86,000 spent trying to ban Bill Ayers from campus) and the Georgia Institute of Technology ($203,714 spent paying attorneys’ fees following its violation of students’ freedom of religion)to name only two othersas the newest loser in the misguided fight against the First Amendment, maybe we should start telling schools to spare themselves the expense of fighting against the Bill of Rights, too.

All of this expense could have been happily avoided had TCC heeded FIRE’s first letter, sent way back in April of 2008, which urged the school to respect its students’ rights to free expression and assembly. But TCC wanted to do it the hard way. This decision has now cost the school hundreds of thousands of dollars. Will any administrators lose their jobs for violating students’ rights and wasting taxpayers’ and students’ money?

We hope this pricey defeat prompts other institutions to think twice before they pick a fight with the First Amendment.

 

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Firearms | 1 Comment »

Carter Administration Official Pat Caddell, furious over ‘hypocrites’ in the White House, unloads on Obama. Blasts White House inner circle academics who can’t do anything in real life.

Posted by iusbvision on October 19, 2010

The Daily Caller:

Veteran Democratic operative Pat Caddell is unloading on the White House, saying he’s had enough with the president whose “hypocrisy” on campaign finance “is just mind-blowing.”

President Obama has made a point while campaigning to call out conservative-leaning groups for hurting the integrity of elections by not voluntarily disclosing donors. Caddell says Obama has no room to talk.

“My problem with Obama started the day he blew up public financing of presidential campaigns,” Caddell said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “He’s the man whose done the most to destroy whatever integrity there was in campaign financing.”

Obama declined public funding of his presidential campaign in 2008.

The administration’s attacks, Caddell said, on groups like the Chamber of Commerce and donors like the conservative Koch brothers reek of McCarthyism.“I was the youngest person on Richard Nixon’s enemies list. I take this stuff seriously. What they’re doing is Nixonian – it’s McCarthyite,” he said.

Caddell, who has worked for a number of presidential campaigns, including Joe Biden’s in 1988, said making outside money an election issue is a risky strategy for the Democrats. “You’re 21 days out from an election and this is what you’ve got? That’s it? Nothing about jobs or the economy?”

It won’t be pretty for his party, Caddell says. “Come the morning of November 2, they’re going to have a cold shower. It’s going to be an Arctic temperature.”

Caddell also took a swing at Obama’s inner circle.

“These are naive idiots who’ve come out of academia and have never done anything real in their lives, and they are actually in power,” he said. “These are the people we never let in the room when we had serious business to do. Now they’re running the country.”

Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

Why Leftists Don’t Get the Tea Party Movement

Posted by iusbvision on October 19, 2010

Our universities haven’t taught much political history for decades. No wonder so many progressives have disdain for the principles that animated the Federalist debates.

By PETER BERKOWITZ in the Wall Street Journal:

Highly educated people say the darndest things, these days particularly about the tea party movement. Vast numbers of other highly educated people read and hear these dubious pronouncements, smile knowingly, and nod their heads in agreement. University educations and advanced degrees notwithstanding, they lack a basic understanding of the contours of American constitutional government.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman got the ball rolling in April 2009, just ahead of the first major tea party rallies on April 15, by falsely asserting that “the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass-roots) events.”

Having learned next to nothing in the intervening 16 months about one of the most spectacular grass-roots political movements in American history, fellow Times columnist Frank Rich denied in August of this year that the tea party movement is “spontaneous and leaderless,” insisting instead that it is the instrument of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne criticized the tea party as unrepresentative in two ways. It “constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers,” he asserted last month. This was a step back from his rash prediction five months before that since it “represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics,” the tea party movement “will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections.”

In February, Mr. Dionne argued that the tea party was also unrepresentative because it reflected a political principle that lost out at America’s founding and deserves to be permanently retired: “Anti-statism, a profound mistrust of power in Washington goes all the way back to the Anti-Federalists who opposed the Constitution itself because they saw it concentrating too much authority in the central government.”

Mr. Dionne follows in the footsteps of progressive historian Richard Hofstadter, whose influential 1964 book “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” argued that Barry Goldwater and his supporters displayed a “style of mind” characterized by “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy.” Similarly, the “suspicion of government” that the tea party movement shares with the Anti-Federalists, Mr. Dionne maintained, “is not amenable to ‘facts'” because “opposing government is a matter of principle.”

To be sure, the tea party sports its share of clowns, kooks and creeps. And some of its favored candidates and loudest voices have made embarrassing statements and embraced reckless policies. This, however, does not distinguish the tea party movement from the competition.

Born in response to President Obama’s self-declared desire to fundamentally change America, the tea party movement has made its central goals abundantly clear. Activists and the sizeable swath of voters who sympathize with them want to reduce the massively ballooning national debt, cut runaway federal spending, keep taxes in check, reinvigorate the economy, and block the expansion of the state into citizens’ lives.

In other words, the tea party movement is inspired above all by a commitment to limited government. And that does distinguish it from the competition.

But far from reflecting a recurring pathology in our politics or the losing side in the debate over the Constitution, the devotion to limited government lies at the heart of the American experiment in liberal democracy. The Federalists who won ratification of the Constitution—most notably Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay—shared with their Anti-Federalist opponents the view that centralized power presented a formidable and abiding threat to the individual liberty that it was government’s primary task to secure. They differed over how to deal with the threat.

The Anti-Federalists—including Patrick Henry, Samuel Bryan and Robert Yates—adopted the traditional view that liberty depended on state power exercised in close proximity to the people. The Federalists replied in Federalist 9 that the “science of politics,” which had “received great improvement,” showed that in an extended and properly structured republic liberty could be achieved and with greater security and stability.

This improved science of politics was based not on abstract theory or complex calculations but on what is referred to in Federalist 51 as “inventions of prudence” grounded in the reading of classic and modern authors, broad experience of self-government in the colonies, and acute observations about the imperfections and finer points of human nature. It taught that constitutionally enumerated powers; a separation, balance, and blending of these powers among branches of the federal government; and a distribution of powers between the federal and state governments would operate to leave substantial authority to the states while both preventing abuses by the federal government and providing it with the energy needed to defend liberty.

Whether members have read much or little of The Federalist, the tea party movement’s focus on keeping government within bounds and answerable to the people reflects the devotion to limited government embodied in the Constitution. One reason this is poorly understood among our best educated citizens is that American politics is poorly taught at the universities that credentialed them. Indeed, even as the tea party calls for the return to constitutional basics, our universities neglect The Federalist and its classic exposition of constitutional principles.

For the better part of two generations, the best political science departments have concentrated on equipping students with skills for performing empirical research and teaching mathematical models that purport to describe political affairs. Meanwhile, leading history departments have emphasized social history and issues of race, class and gender at the expense of constitutional history, diplomatic history and military history.

Neither professors of political science nor of history have made a priority of instructing students in the founding principles of American constitutional government. Nor have they taught about the contest between the progressive vision and the conservative vision that has characterized American politics since Woodrow Wilson (then a political scientist at Princeton) helped launch the progressive movement in the late 19th century by arguing that the Constitution had become obsolete and hindered democratic reform.

Then there are the proliferating classes in practical ethics and moral reasoning. These expose students to hypothetical conundrums involving individuals in surreal circumstances suddenly facing life and death decisions, or present contentious public policy questions and explore the range of respectable progressive opinions for resolving them. Such exercises may sharpen students’ ability to argue. They do little to teach about self-government.

They certainly do not teach about the virtues, or qualities of mind and character, that enable citizens to shoulder their political responsibilities and prosper amidst the opportunities and uncertainties that freedom brings. Nor do they teach the beliefs, practices and associations that foster such virtues and those that endanger them.

Those who doubt that the failings of higher education in America have political consequences need only reflect on the quality of progressive commentary on the tea party movement. Our universities have produced two generations of highly educated people who seem unable to recognize the spirited defense of fundamental American principles, even when it takes place for more than a year and a half right in front of their noses.

Mr. Berkowitz is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton | 1 Comment »