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Showing posts with label Heritage Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heritage Foundation. Show all posts

Monday, August 3, 2015

Heritage Foundation Celebrates the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta: Its Enduring Legacy – 1215-2015

Magna Carta – the Great Charter – is one of the foundational documents in Anglo-American legal history. Ironically, it began, not as a statement of principle, like our Declaration of Independence, but as a peace treaty. Signed on June 15, 1215, in a field at Runnymede, England, Magna Carta sought to end the barons’ rebellion against King John by forcing the crown to adhere to the laws and customs of the realm. Magna Carta was initially thought to be a failure because King John repudiated the treaty almost before the ink was dry. But time has been good to the Great Charter. In fact, it is difficult to overstate the importance of Magna Carta in the development of Anglo-American law. English law treats it as “the Bible of the English Constitution.”

The American Framers used the phrases “the law of the land” or “due process of law” in numerous important contemporary legal documents, including statutes passed by colonial assemblies, resolutions enacted by the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, and state constitutions. Magna Carta has come to stand as proof that a written document can make important revisions to the law, fend off tyrannical government officials, restrain even the sovereign’s power, and grant rights to the entire community, not merely to certain favored individuals – an enduring legacy that helped to establish “the rule of law.”

In an event at The Heritage Foundation, recorded above, two esteemed historians reflect on the contributions of the Great Charter from both the British and American perspectives.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Diana West - American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character

In "American Betrayal", Diana West argues that -- current policies today notwithstanding -- America began to abandon its core ideals and march toward Socialism nearly 75 years ago. Starting in the late 1930s, at the time of FDR, the Soviets were already in a position to take advantage of the many communist sympathizers in the U.S. Not only FDR, but also Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and those in their inner circles played roles in enabling the U.S.S.R. as well as concealing the massive Moscow-directed penetration of American society. West shows that the system of spies designed to denigrate the American way of life was deep and extensive.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Heretic at Heritage

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Jason Richwine, the young conservative scholar who co-authored the Heritage Foundation report on the long-term costs of the amnesty bill backed by the “Gang of Eight,” is gone from Heritage.

He was purged after The Washington Post unearthed his doctoral dissertation at the JFK School of Government.

Richwine’s thesis:

IQ tests fairly measure mental ability. The average IQ of immigrants is well below that of white Americans. This difference in IQ is likely to persist through several generations.

And the potential consequences of this?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Heritage President-Elect Jim DeMint on the Future of Conservatism

Jim DeMint officially began his work at The Heritage Foundation today; he will fill the very large shoes of its founding President, Ed Feulner, in April.

Like many South Carolinians, we are sorry to lose the only authentic and faithful representative this state has had in the United States Senate over the past decade.  Nevertheless, we know that his service to freedom and constitutional government will be carried out on a larger stage and from a place where he will have even more opportunity to save America from those intent on destroying her.  We wish Senator DeMint and his gifted and worthy successor, Tim Scott, every success and blessing for the years ahead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An Update on Our Congressional Earmarks Post

We reported yesterday that The Heritage Foundation has published a list of "72 Representatives who have firmly stated to constituents that they will support a continuing ban on Congressional earmarks."  Surprisingly, only one member of our own South Carolina delegation, Representative Tim Scott, was on that list.  We are pleased that Congressmen Mick Mulvaney and Trey Gowdy have now affirmed that they will also oppose any effort to return to the practice of earmarking.

The updated list is here.  The Heritage Foundation site also provides contact information and invites readers to contact their Member of Congress and report their positions back to Heritage.  

Perhaps when other Members of Congress hear from enough of their constituents, they will be able to decide whether or not it is a good idea to continue adding to a debt of $15 trillion.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Crisis of Competence

The only things missing were the sweater and pictures of Amy.

From The Heritage Foundation "Morning Bell"

Nearly 31 years ago, on July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter told the American people from the Oval Office: “Energy will be the immediate test of our ability to unite this nation, and it can also be the standard around which we rally. On the battlefield of energy we can win for our nation a new confidence, and we can seize control again of our common destiny.” Last night the American people heard almost the exact same speech from President Barack Obama: “I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens. … The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs billed the speech as an “inflection point,” where the President’s initial response would be replaced by more decisive action. But this is now day 57. Where has the decisive action been up to this point? The Obama administration has not been working in a coordinated fashion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House, as well as the Coast Guard, have been putting out confusing and contradictory statements since the disaster began.

Federal regulatory red tape has gotten in the way of the cleanup, including: 1) missed opportunities to burn off more of the oil because of overblown air pollution concerns; 2) holdups in the use of dispersants; 3) permit delays in allowing the state of Louisiana to create artificial barriers against the encroaching oil slick; 4) failure to waive reg­ulatory prohibitions against foreign assistance; and 5) failure to approve barges and booms in time to block oil from reaching Alabama’s Magnolia River.

Instead of providing leadership and properly coordinating the response, the Obama administration has chosen to shift blame and politicize the disaster, including: 1) “not-at-all veiled shot[s] at the Bush Administration” for the state of the Minerals and Management Service; 2) vague threats of criminal prosecution from Attorney General Eric Holder; 3) a moratorium on offshore oil drilling which could kill 120,000 jobs in the Gulf alone; and 4) pushing caps on carbon dioxide emissions which have no hope of cleaning up a single drop of oil spilled.

The President spoke of “political courage and candor” last night, yet both were missing from his speech. The President asserted: “Time and again, the path forward has been blocked … by oil industry lobbyists.” But the reality is that BP lobbyists have been pushing for the President’s energy agenda from the beginning. The President claimed: “Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.” But the reality is that China will account for nearly 45% of oil demand growth in the next five years, receives 70% of its energy from coal already, and is projected to nearly triple coal capacity by 2030.

In his 1979 “malaise” speech, President Carter told the American people: “I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy. … The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence.” Carter was wrong. America was not suffering from a crisis of confidence. As the election of President Ronald Reagan would show the next year, it was the Carter administration that was suffering … from a crisis of leadership. Today, our country is in crisis again. The Obama administration’s constant blame shifting, politicization, and lack of organization demonstrate a crisis of competence. To restore America’s faith, the White House should drop irrelevant policy priorities, refrain from making the economic damage worse, end unnecessary bureaucratic delays, and restructure the response and recovery efforts. As MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said following the address: “It was a great speech if you’ve been on another planet for the last 57 days.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Cartel: The True Nature of Teacher Unions

From The Heritage Foundation
By Sarah Torre

The problem of continual academic mediocrity that plagues America’s public school system can be laid at the door of union monopolies. That’s the message of The Cartel, a new documentary that will show this Sunday at 12 pm at the Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival. The film documents the abuses of power exercised by teacher unions, specifically in the state of New Jersey, and the adverse effects such control can have on student achievement and parents’ fight for school choice.

The movie shows scenes of school buildings with new facades and million-dollar football fields juxtaposed with statistics of failing high schools and abysmal reading proficiency scores across the state. New Jersey is known for its extravagant education funding, currently spending over $350,000 per classroom in some of the state’s worst performing school districts. Why should a state with one of the highest public education budgets in the country boast meager academic achievement?

The inability of school districts to fire poorly performing teachers because of union tenure rules, coupled with an expensive and excessive administrative bureaucracy demanded by the same union, leads to an inefficient use of state funds and an ineffective education system. Similarly, when families and communities move to implement voucher programs, teacher unions cry foul, claiming such programs would supposedly drain money from already struggling public schools. What is the motivation for keeping bad teachers in classrooms, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on renovation projects, and denying families the power of school choice?

As a principal who was fired for his request to take action against teachers watching pornography while in school, states in the movie:

You keep quiet if you want this high-paying position; or you take a stance and you’re going to lose your job. And they’ll put your name in the newspaper, which means you’ll never be employed again. Because they play dirty, because there’s so much money involved.

While the movie investigates the power of teachers unions in New Jersey and demonstrates the negative impact such tactics can have on students, the film’s producer, Bob Bowdon, is quick to show support for teachers who care about educating their students:

Those good teachers deserve our respect. Wanting lousy teachers out of the classroom doesn’t mean you’re against all teachers. A point so obvious, I can hardly believe it needs to be made. This absurd idea that you have got to support every teacher, or else you hate all teachers, has been an effective myth put forward by the union for years.

The effects of teachers’ unions on school district governance and student performance is necessary to understanding many of the problems public schools around the country continue to face. Be sure to visit The Cartel website for screenings in the D.C. area and around the country.

Sarah Torre currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heritage Foundation: US No Longer a 'Free' Country

The Heritage Foundation has released the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the various types of fiscal and economic freedoms (such as business freedom, fiscal freedom, free trade and property rights) in 138 countries. For the first time, the United States has fallen from the ranks of "economically free" countries to "mostly free," behind Canada and just above Denmark and Chile.

The nation's preeminent conservative think tank attributes the U.S. decline in freedom to "notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights."

Here is a look at the top 10 most free economies in the world:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Ireland
  6. Switzerland
  7. Canada
  8. United States
  9. Denmark
  10. Chile

Thursday, June 11, 2009

33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age.

The Heritage Foundation has a new documentary that details the length of time it could take ballistic missiles from rogue nations to reach U-S territory. The following is a two-minute trailer for the new film.