Posts Tagged ‘Dwight Eisenhower’
1. ‘Hard Times, Fewer Crimes‘, James Q. Wilson, Wall Street Journal/City Journal
Preeminent political and social scientist James Q. Wilson debunks the myth that crime is caused mainly by economic factors. So then, what causes crime to increase or decrease? Wilson has a few provocative proscriptions in this must read piece:
When the FBI announced last week that violent crime in the U.S. had
reached a 40-year low in 2010, many criminologists were perplexed. It
had been a dismal year economically, and the standard view in the
field, echoed for decades by the media, is that unemployment and poverty
are strongly linked to crime. The argument is straightforward: When
less legal work is available, more illegal “work” takes place.
The economist Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, a Nobel
laureate, gave the standard view its classic formulation in the 1960s..
Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the
national unemployment rate doubled from around 5% to nearly 10%, the
property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly. For 2009, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation reported an 8% drop in the nationwide
robbery rate and a 17% reduction in the auto-theft rate from the
previous year. Big-city reports show the same thing. Between 2008 and
2010, New York City experienced a 4% decline in the robbery rate and a
10% fall in the burglary rate. Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles witnessed
2. ‘Give Me That Old Gray Religion – If the New York Times says it, is it the “absolute truth”?‘ – James Taranto, Wall Street Journal
Taranto does here what he does best: offer a scathing critique of poor and dishonest journalism, this time with the New York Times as his target:
It may be the most revealing quote ever published in the New York Times. It appears in a story about the New York Times, and its source is a top editor of the New York Times: Jill Abramson, who will become the top editor of the New York Times in September, when Bill Keller steps down, the New York Times reports:
Ms. Abramson said that as a born-and-raised New Yorker, she considered being named editor of The Times to be like “ascending to Valhalla.”
“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”
The Times has of late acted a great deal like a corrupt religious institution. This column has chronicled its often vicious and dishonest attempts–both on the editorial page and in the news sections, which Abramson will head–to shore up its own authority by trying to tear down its competitors. Examples:
3. ‘Ike, D-Day and the Age of Accountable Leaders‘, Mark Salter, Real Clear Politics
On twitter (@gtpowerpolitics), I often finish my tweets with #whereareourleaders? after I post a link to an article about our sky rocketing debt and seeming inability to tackle major problems. It is in this light that I read this moving piece describing the quietly strong leadership of Dwight Eisenhower during the D-Day invasion of France in 1944:
The heavy burdens of his command were plainly evident in his behavior. Eisenhower drank 15 to 20 cups of coffee and smoked four packs of cigarettes a day. He had high blood pressure and migraines. He suffered from insomnia, so he often worked through the night.
Ike had a bad temper, but he never complained or gave the slightest impression he thought he deserved anyone’s sympathy. He disliked flattery and had no use for the perquisites of high command. He had been given a mansion as his quarters, and rejected it for a modest two-bedroom house in a London suburb. Only to his wife did he write of his loneliness and doubts. “No man can always be right,” he told her. “So the struggle is to do one’s best.”
His statement to his troops was broadcast at every embarkation point, ending confidently with an assurance of success:
“I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
In his shirt pocket, he carried another statement. He had written it alone, and informed no one of its contents:
“Our landings . . . have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
4. ‘Accusation That Voter ID Is Racist Demeans Blacks‘, Mark Prager, Real Clear Politics
In what George W. Bush called the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ there are many people out there, mostly on the Left, that view such policies as showing a photo ID at a polling both, racist toward African Americans. Prager takes those who promote this idea to task for either wallowing in ‘white guilt’ or for using it strictly for political opportunism:
Democrats and others on the left virtually unanimously condemned all Republican attempts in state legislatures to pass legislation requiring voters to show a photo ID. The Democrats labeled it a means of “disenfranchising” blacks. Many Democrats compared it to Jim Crow laws.
“Jim Crow, move over — the Wisconsin Republicans have taken your place,” charged Wisconsin Democratic State Sen. Bob Jauch, referring to his state’s new voter ID law.
It is hard to imagine a more demeaning statement about black America than labeling demands that all voters show a photo ID anti-black.
This is easily demonstrated. Imagine if some Democratic politician had announced that demanding a photo ID at the voting booth was an attempt to keep Jewish Americans from voting. No one would understand what the person was talking about. But why not? Jews vote almost as lopsidedly Democrat as do blacks. So why weren’t Jews included in liberal objections to voter ID laws?
5. ‘No, You Can’t Keep Your Health Insurance‘, Grace-Marie Turner, Wall Street Journal
Despite one President Obama’s major promises during the health care debate, that if you like your plan you can keep, a recent report the highly reputable McKinsey & Company shows a different story:
ObamaCare will lead to a dramatic decline in employer-provided health insurance—with as many as 78 million Americans forced to find other sources of coverage.
This disturbing finding is based on my calculations from a survey by McKinsey & Company. The survey, published this week in the McKinsey Quarterly, found that up to 50% of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health-insurance plan in the years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014. An estimated 156 million non-elderly Americans get their coverage at work, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Before the health law passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only nine million to 10 million people, or about 7% of employees who currently get health insurance at work, would switch to government-subsidized insurance. But the McKinsey survey of 1,300 employers across industries, geographies and employer sizes found “that reform will provoke a much greater response” and concludes that the health overhaul law will lead to a “radical restructuring” of job-based health coverage.