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    The seal of the U.S. Department of Justice reads, “Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur”—“Who prosecutes for Lady Justice.” Depictions of Lady Justice are as familiar as they are instructive: she stands blindfolded while holding the scales of justice, representing her unyielding devotion to equal justice under the law. Contrary to this ideal, the DOJ today appears to be increasingly motivated by partisanship. Compounding the problem, it has access to the powers of the modern surveillance state. As someone passionate about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I believe there is no higher priority than addressing this danger. 

    The tragic events of 9/11 marked a turning point in our nation’s recent civil rights history. First the terrorists attacked us—and then, in the name of national security, we began to attack ourselves. It has become almost cliché to say that we live in a surveillance state, but we do. Ever since Congress, on a fully bipartisan basis, enacted the Patriot Act six weeks after the attacks on 9/11, the ever-present eye of the government has been searching for new and creative ways to spy on American citizens. The government has the technology to monitor all of our electronic devices, listen to our phone calls, and read our emails and text messages—all under the auspices of national security. 

     

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    Complaints by veteran soldiers about younger generations who lack discipline and traditional values are as old as war itself. Grizzled veterans in the Greek phalanx, Roman legions, and Napoleon’s elite corps all believed that the failings of the young would be the ruin of their armies. This is not the chief worry of grizzled American veterans today. The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or “woke”) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness.

    Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin in the last two years under the Biden administration—nor will it automatically end if a non-woke administration is elected in 2024. Wokeness in the military has become ingrained. And unless the policies that flow from it are illegal or directly jeopardize readiness, senior military leaders have little alternative but to comply. 

    Woke ideology undermines military readiness in various ways. It undermines cohesiveness by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex. It undermines leadership authority by introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements. It leads to military personnel serving in specialties and areas for which they are not qualified or ready. And it takes time and resources away from training activities and weapons development that contribute to readiness.

    Wokeness in the military also affects relations between the military and society at large. It acts as a disincentive for many young Americans in terms of enlistment. And it undermines wholehearted support for the military by a significant portion of the American public at a time when it is needed the most.


        

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    The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar on February 24, 2022, in Naples, Florida.

    When I was researching my biography of economist Thomas Sowell, I kept coming across Sowell’s own descriptions of scholars he admired, and I was often struck by how well those descriptions applied to Sowell himself.

    For example, after the death of Nobel Prize-winning economist George Stigler, who was one of Sowell’s professors at the University of Chicago, Sowell wrote:

    In a world of self-promoting academics, coining buzzwords and aligning themselves on the side of the angels of the moment, George Stigler epitomized a rare integrity as well as a rare intellect. He jumped on no bandwagons, beat no drums for causes, created no personal cult. He did the work of a scholar and a teacher—both superbly—and found that sufficient. If you wanted to learn, and above all if you wanted to learn how to think—how to avoid the vague words, fuzzy thoughts, or maudlin sentiments that cloud over reality—then Stigler was your man.

    And here is Sowell describing another of his professors at Chicago, Milton Friedman:

    [He] was one of the very few intellectuals with both genius and common sense. He could express himself at the highest analytical levels to his fellow economists in academic publications and still write popular books . . . that could be understood by people who knew nothing about economics.

    I’m hard-pressed to come up with better ways than those to describe Thomas Sowell. When I think about his scholarship, that’s what comes to mind: intellectual integrity, analytical rigor, respect for evidence, skepticism toward the kind of fashionable thinking that comes and goes. And then there’s the clarity. Column after column, book after book, written in plain English for general public consumption.

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    For several years prior to 2020, violent crime in America’s major cities was on the decline. But since the riots that summer following the death of George Floyd, it is heading in the opposite direction.

    Murders nationwide in 2020 rose a stunning 29.4 percent over the previous year, the largest annual increase since the FBI began tracking that data in the 1960s. The number of murders in Chicago climbed even more sharply, rising 55 percent. It was as if a switch had been flipped. At least ten major U.S. cities hit new murder highs in 2021, but Chicago led the way with 797, the city’s highest number in 25 years.

    Chicago’s violent crime epidemic is not limited to murder. The city’s 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021 were up 63 percent over 2019. Expressway shootings in Chicago-Cook County rose even more dramatically, from 51 in 2019 to 130 in 2020 to 273 in 2021. These expressway shootings pushed Chicago’s actual 2021 murder total north of 800.

    Added news   to  , Imprimis

    For several years prior to 2020, violent crime in America’s major cities was on the decline. But since the riots that summer following the death of George Floyd, it is heading in the opposite direction.

    Murders nationwide in 2020 rose a stunning 29.4 percent over the previous year, the largest annual increase since the FBI began tracking that data in the 1960s. The number of murders in Chicago climbed even more sharply, rising 55 percent. It was as if a switch had been flipped. At least ten major U.S. cities hit new murder highs in 2021, but Chicago led the way with 797, the city’s highest number in 25 years.

    Chicago’s violent crime epidemic is not limited to murder. The city’s 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021 were up 63 percent over 2019. Expressway shootings in Chicago-Cook County rose even more dramatically, from 51 in 2019 to 130 in 2020 to 273 in 2021. These expressway shootings pushed Chicago’s actual 2021 murder total north of 800.

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    Money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange for every other commodity, we have a special term for a fall in the price of money: we call it inflation. As the price of money falls, the price of every other commodity must go up.

    And what causes the price of money to fall? The answer is very simple: an increase in the supply of money relative to other goods and services. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman explained, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

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