statistics on crime

The Great Racial Disconnect on Police

Ben Shapiro

August 22, 2014

     On Monday, Rasmussen released a poll of Americans regarding the guilt or innocence of Officer Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot unarmed 18-year-old black man Michael Brown six times in Ferguson, Missouri. Those polls show that 57 percent of black adults think that Wilson should be found guilty of murder; 56 percent of whites, by contrast, are undecided on the matter.

     The latter position is the correct one. Witnesses, including one Dorian Johnson, claim that Brown was pulled over by Wilson, attacked by him and pulled into the car, ran, stopped when told to freeze by Wilson, held up his hands, and was then shot. Other witnesses — more than a dozen of them, according to local media — say that Brown attacked Wilson, went for Wilson’s gun, fled before being told to stop, then charged Wilson before being shot.

     Here’s what we do know: Despite original media reports labeling Brown a “gentle giant,” Brown and shooting witness Dorian Johnson did participate in a strong-arm robbery of a local convenience store. We know that despite original witness reports suggesting that Brown was shot in the back, he was not. We know that contemporaneous witness accounts caught on tape suggest that Brown charged at Wilson. And we know that a young black man is dead with six bullets in him at the hands of a white cop.

     And to huge segments of the black community, that last fact is the only one that matters. The full facts do not matter to extremists in the black community and to their white leftist enablers, particularly in the media. A full 41 percent of black Americans believe that riots and looting represent “legitimate outrage.” Not protesting — riots and looting. Just 35 percent of blacks think that looters and rioters are criminals taking advantage of the situation.

     There is a pattern here: a widespread belief in the black community that the justice system is rigged against them. That belief is not without basis — there is no question that America has a history of racism within the criminal justice community. By the same token, there is also no question that American law enforcement is the least racist it has ever been, by a long shot, and that racism within the law enforcement community is broadly considered unacceptable and vile.

     But the belief in a racist justice system seems to have maintained its stranglehold inside the black community. That belief, taken to its extreme, means support for black criminality. It is no coincidence that during the O.J. Simpson trial, 60 percent of black Americans did not believe O.J. was guilty. It is also no coincidence that many white Americans perceive black support for murderers like O.J. Simpson and riots in Ferguson as support for lawlessness, and therefore pooh-pooh charges of police racism. When crying racism becomes crying wolf, it is hard to take such charges seriously.

     The solution, however, lays neither in knee-jerk accusations of racism from the black community nor in immediate dismissals of individual accusations by the white community. It lies in continued targeting and prosecution of individual racists in the police community, of course — and far more importantly, it lies in less criminality within the black community. The high levels of crime in the black community contribute to heavier policing, which in turn reinforces perceptions of racial targeting; those perceptions then create resentment against police than ends too often in violent encounters and failure to report crime. And so the cycle starts anew.

     It’s time to break the cycle. The only way to do that is to focus on the fact that police have no excuse to shoot anyone unless those people are committing criminal acts. On that we can all agree. Yes, we must arduously insist that police hold to that standard, and we must prosecute those who do not to the fullest extent of the law. But by the same token, we must insist that criminal acts stop — and to do that, we must move beyond simple anti-police sentiment.

     Ben Shapiro, 30, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “Bullies.” His latest book, “The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration,” will be released on June 10. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.

ColorOfCrime 2005

Major Findings from The Color of Crime 2005

  • Police and the justice system are not biased against minorities.

Crime Rates

  • Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
  • When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
  • Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.
  • The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic.

Interracial Crime

  • Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
  • Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
  • Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
  • Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.

Gangs

  • Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.
  • Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.

Incarceration

  • Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39 million.
  • Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than whites. Hispanics are three times more likely.

Fighting Crime Where the Criminals Are

HEATHER Mac DONALD
June 25, 2010

     THERE was a predictable chorus of criticism from civil rights groups last month when the New York Police Department released its data on stop-and-frisk interactions for 2009. The department made 575,000 pedestrian stops last year. Fifty-five percent involved blacks, even though blacks are only 23 percent of the city’s population. Whites, by contrast, were involved in 10 percent of all stops, though they make up 35 percent of the city’s population.

     According to the department’s critics, that imbalance in stop rates results from officers’ racial bias. The use of these stops, they say, should be sharply curtailed, if not eliminated entirely, and some activists are suing the department to achieve that end.

     Allegations of racial bias, however, ignore the most important factor governing the Police Department’s operations: crime. Trends in criminal acts, not census data, drive everything that the department does, thanks to the statistics-based managerial revolution known as CompStat. Given the patterns of crime in New York, it is inevitable that stop rates will not mirror the city’s ethnic and racial breakdown.

     CompStat embodies the iconoclastic idea that the police can stop violence before it happens. The department analyzes victim reports daily, and deploys additional manpower to the places where crime is increasing. Once at a crime hot spot, officers are expected to look out for, and respond to, suspicious behavior.

     Such stops happen more frequently in minority neighborhoods because that is where the vast majority of violent crime occurs — and thus where police presence is most intense. Based on reports filed by victims, blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crime in New York in 2009, including 80 percent of shootings and 71 percent of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of reported gun assaults. And the vast majority of the victims of violent crime were also members of minority groups.

     Non-Hispanic whites, on the other hand, committed 5 percent of the city’s violent crimes in 2009, 1.4 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.

     Given these facts, the Police Department cannot direct its resources where they are most needed without generating racially disproportionate stop data, even though the department’s tactics themselves are colorblind. The per capita rate of shootings in the 73rd Precinct — which covers Brooklyn’s largely black Ocean Hill and Brownsville neighborhoods — is 81 times higher than in the 68th Precinct in largely white Bay Ridge. Not surprisingly, the per capita stop rate in the 73rd Precinct is 15 times higher than that in the 68th.

    Crime rates are not the only thing that drives police strategy — so do requests for assistance from communities besieged by lawlessness. If residents of an apartment building ask their precinct commander to eliminate the drug dealing on their street, officers will likely question people hanging out around the building and step up their enforcement of quality-of-life laws, resulting in more stops. Requests for crackdowns on street sales come far more frequently from minority neighborhoods, because that is where most open-air drug dealing occurs.

     Some critics charge that the more than half a million stops last year indicate that the department is out of control. But the ratios of stops to population and of stops to total arrests in New York are very close to those in Los Angeles, where last summer a judge lifted a federal consent decree under which the police department had operated for the last eight years. The police stop data in Los Angeles are as racially disproportionate as New York’s, yet the judge deemed them consistent with civil rights.

     For several years, the ratio of stops in New York that resulted in an arrest or summons — about 12 percent of the total — was identical for whites, blacks and Hispanics, suggesting that the police use the same measure of reasonable suspicion in stopping members of different racial and ethnic groups. Just because a stop does not result in an arrest or summons does not mean that it did not interrupt a crime. Someone who is casing a victim or acting as a lookout may not have inculpatory evidence on him on which to base an arrest.

     No public policy change of the last quarter-century has done as much for the city’s poor and minority neighborhoods as CompStat policing. More than 10,000 black and Hispanic males are alive today who would have been killed had homicide rates remained at the levels of the early 1990s.

     Most minority-group members in the city recognize the enormous benefit from CompStat policing. A poll released last month by Quinnipiac University found that 68 percent of black respondents approve of the job Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is doing, suggesting that the city’s civil rights activists do not speak for their purported beneficiaries on this issue.

     The attack on the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk data is based on the false premise that police activity should mirror census data, not crime. If the critics get their way, it would strip police protection from the New Yorkers who need it most.

Heather Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of “Are Cops Racist?”

Blacks Suffer Disproportionate Share of Firearm Homicide Deaths

     Blacks were 55% of shooting homicide victims in 2010, but 13% of the population.

     In 2010, there were 31,672 deaths in the U.S. from firearm injuries, mainly through suicide (19,392) and homicide (11,078), according to CDC compilation of data from death certificates.

     Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks are over-represented among gun homicide victims; blacks were 55% of shooting homicide victims in 2010, but 13% of the population.

     By contrast, whites are underrepresented; whites were 25% of the victims of gun homicide in 2010, but 65% of the population. For Hispanics, the 17% share of gun homicide victims was about equal to their 16% proportion of the total population.

     The black homicide death rate has declined 50% since its peak in 1993, and the number of black homicide deaths fell by more than a third (37%) from 1993 to 2010. The white homicide death rate has declined by 42% over that time, and the number of white homicide deaths declined 39%. The Hispanic shooting homicide rate fell 69% from 1993 to 2000, and the number of deaths declined by 40%.

SDT-2013-05-gun-crime

     From 2000 to 2010, when the overall gun homicide rate decline slowed, the Hispanic rate fell 32%, while the black and white rates declined only 4%.

The Injustice in Ferguson Revisited

   The Injustice in Ferguson Revisited

     Our article, Truth, Justice, and Domestic Tranquility looks at the Preamble to our Constitution as a statement summarizing the Framers’ original intention. Domestic tranquility is enabled by justice for all.
      All the available validated confirmed evidence outlined in the article suggests that the only injustice directly and immediately related to the unfortunate incident in Ferguson was sustained by the law-abiding citizens of Ferguson and surrounding communities. Now spreading across our Nation is injustice like that perpetrated by the rioters and criminals who used the death of a man assaulting a police office as an excuse. In this article, this Committee for the Constitution will attempt to bring forth the truth of the valid as well as the invalid causes that, even now, have energized the race baiters and activists.
     In truth, there is still injustice that all Americans are now facing. In the Framers’, Founders’, and the vast majority of the generations of men and women giving birth to America’s view, we must not tolerate any injustice, particularly those abuses arising from governments. Every citizen is responsible for their government. Discrimination, unequal opportunity, legislative failure, judicial activism, failed public education, etc., coupled with the ever present human failures, have fueled the fires of discontent.
     The fact is that, in this instance, the Ferguson riots were not about profiling, discrimination, or any other racially connected criteria, but were brought about by the liberal media’s lies and deceptions inciting those indoctrinated to believe that there are injustices directed at them by working, law-abiding Americans. The mantra of profiling and discrimination spewing from the liberal media funded by liberal activists, black and white, has been discredited so often and in so many circumstances that these latest unjust efforts must command honest scrutiny. We cannot continue to believe what we want to believe against all fact and truth.
      Is it any surprise that, relative to the Ferguson riots, a full 41 percent of black Americans believe that riots and looting represent “legitimate outrage”, while just 35 percent consider looters and rioters to be criminals taking advantage of the situation? Does it matter that even reverse discrimination – any form of discrimination is unjust, and polarizes creating conflicts and mistrust. Two days after the Ferguson death another unarmed man was shot to death in Utah, and recently a man was savagely beaten in Mississippi, but the media has chosen to totally ignore these. Does it matter that the vast majority of the businesses looted and destroyed were owned by Americans of color? If this were truly about race, why are blacks attacking themselves?
      Looking at the Framers’ intention, described in the Declaration of Independence, “it is [our] duty”, when confronted with “a long train of abuses and usurpations”, to “throw off such Government” that allows them. When juridical activism, as portrayed so egregiously in the Eighth Circuit 11-2780 violating the expressed intention of the Constitution, allows imprisonment for debt as impacts so many working poor, or there is documented abuse of power, losing property without due process such as by unjust impounding practices, with similar injustices repeatedly and continually violating the U.S. Constitution and state Constitutions, are all tolerated without legislative oversight, is it any wonder the those most affected – the poor and disenfranchised, don’t trust government? Perpetuated and accentuated by single parent families without a model of a just and loving father as an authority figure, the police authority representing government that fails to bring justice for all is easily rejected, often without cause or justification when incited by the lies and deceptions of those seeking to destroy all that made America great.
      Equal opportunity, free enterprise, and justice for all enable “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. When those “unalienable Rights” are protected and defended as intended in the original intention of the Constitution, only then can we even hope for and expect “domestic tranquility”. To be considered equal, one must embrace and embody equality. One’s identity should not be accepted or conveyed by dress, language, or any appearance, but, rather by a person’s behavior in relationship to their neighbors and their environment bound by justice for all. Demanding something for nothing and expecting some exemption from righteousness and justice for all, segregates people by their own initiative. Competition on a level playing field bringing the best you have in talents, motivation, etc. should be the only determinants of the winners in life’s races. In failing to socialize and educate children in ways of justice, not teaching lawfulness and righteousness, and not instilling the work ethic ensuring success that made America great, parent[s] leave the ones that they are responsible for bringing into this world lacking or deficient in the tools or energy to succeed and move ahead in any society.
      Beginning over two hundred years ago, those from different lands and cultures assimilated in the “melting pot” that became America. For equality to occur, we must once again all assimilate according to the design envisioned in 1787. In that intention, slavery was to be voluntarily abolished by the states by 1808. Failing to do that until it was forced upon them by a great Civil War, we have moved from bodily enslavement to an enslavement by an out-of-control bureaucracy that we call government. Only by holding all to the order prescribed by “the supreme law of the land” can there be freedom. We are once again involved in a great civil war to determine whether “. . . . this one Nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth”.
I Love Ferguson Signs Everywhere
      The riots which had gripped the national attention for these many days were along three blocks of W. Florissant Road at the extreme border of Ferguson in an economically depressed area with predominately HUD housing. It is an area far removed from and unrepresentative of the majority of the small suburban bedroom community called Ferguson and its main street. The pictures below showing quaint businesses frequented by University of Missouri – St. Louis faculty, staff, and students, and many people coming from economically sound surrounding communities and homes as well, stand in stark contrast to consequences of the chaos and anarchy allowed by the politicians directing law enforcement. In, literally, 90 – 95% of the neighborhoods of this normally quite community, now abounding with “I Love Ferguson” signs, the ~70% non-white majority lives in peace and friendship with their neighbors. They go to the grocery stores together, church together, school together, sing together, cry together, and play together. They are happy with the security and safety of their community. This was all turned upside down in a very small area by those of whom only an estimated 4 – 10% were residents of Ferguson, albeit even those not representing the majority.
The Real Ferguson

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man in peaceful integrated neighborhood caring for his lawn – I Love Ferguson sign

 

 

 

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the real Ferguson – main street

 

 

 

 

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the real Ferguson – main street with police station and stores

 

 

 

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the real Ferguson – another neighborhood

Truth, Justice, and Domestic Tranquility

Truth, Justice, and Domestic Tranquility

      With the horrendous violation of the fundamental, Constitution-protected, civil rights of the citizens of Ferguson by the rioters, looters, and other criminals, at the least encouraged by the liberal media’s reporting of the lies and deceptions always attending injustice, and with that injustice augmented by the mishandling of the anarchy by the liberal politicians adding their voices to that of the media, this Committee for the Constitution felt it imperative to respond with the truth. A member of this Committee “put boots on the ground” to gather the information for this article. It has been corroborated and validated.

Justice is absolutely and critically dependent on truth. Domestic tranquility similarly has as its prime requisite, justice for all. Reading the Preamble to the Constitution, “justice for all” is the primary directive controlling the intention of the Constitution. From and by it all other intentions are enabled. In the Framers understanding, validated by all human history, justice is defined not by the laws of mankind, but the “Creator” of immutable law. Confirmed in the ratification documents of the States, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and every writing of the Framers and Founders, justice has been lost because a satiated public majority duped by the propaganda of the liberal media has enabled the “domestic” enemies in our midst to hold positions of “honor and trust” at every level and in every jurisdiction of government. Aided by the injustice perpetrated by the unauthorized army of the administrative state, America is under attack violating the very original intention of the Constitution that made America great.

At the onset, without one shred of evidence, the liberal media began disseminating the lies of Brown’s accomplice in crime. Fomented by Obama, McCaskill, Clay, Nixon, and other of like ideology encouraging the protestors, anarchy ensued as the police’s hands were tied behind their backs. Rather than enabling law enforcement to control the protestors, criminals were allowed to throw Molotov cocktails committing felonious assault on the police. As the details of the composition of the anarchists has become apparent, only a handful from Ferguson were involved. The law-abiding working citizens of Ferguson were the true victims of these terrorists set upon a 150 year old, peaceful suburban community of St. Louis by those violating their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Missouri.

In stark contrast to the tainted corrupted portrait broadcast to the world, the people of Ferguson responded with a sense of responsibility and justice. With schools, grocery stores, businesses of every description that provide critical needs, services, and supplies for the very basic activities of daily living forced to close because of the uncontrolled looting and destruction, black and white church congregations working together began distributing food and water. Holding joint services together, they prayed for peace and justice. Teachers volunteering their time excluded from the public schools opened classrooms in the Ferguson Public Library. Local citizens of every color contributed to assist Officer Wilson financially and otherwise as he was crucified and vilified by the media. With all the above examples, and untold numbers of others not listed, the citizens of Ferguson responded despite the betrayal of those elected to represent them.

Expanding and reiterating our prior articles, when is the public majority, particularly the black community, going to recognize that even those of like color committing genocide focused on them, enslaving them in the injustice of undeserved welfare, permitting those addicting them to have nearly free access to our borders, taking their jobs, taxing them without representation, and on and on are really their enemy? Tolerating the destruction of the traditional nuclear family, the child without a father’s care and justice rejects all just authority. Shouts of “Kill the cops!” resounded from the mobs.

All that said, the make-up of the mobs, apart from the obvious opportunistic criminals, race baiters, and troublemakers from New York, Chicago, L.A., etc., were made up, in the vast majority, of those with nothing better to do, youth, and so forth. These were people, for the most part, living in HUD housing without regular jobs, and youth not able to attend school. The citizens of Ferguson were under attack from terrorists looting and burning their businesses because the police were instructed by politicians to let it happen. It is no wonder that store owners and businesses were forced to take up arms to defend their property. Where would the innocents impacted by the riots and crimes have been if these same liberals had been able deny or limit their Second Amendment rights?

Addressing the facts involving Michael Brown that precipitated this tragedy, the one thing that is abundantly clear is the overwhelming fact that the truth was not initially heard because of the liberal media and the liberal activists/politicians. In summary, the details of which are included in the attached articles, Brown was tragically shot in a just manner by a police officer justly and correctly preforming his duty. Despite the undeniable proof of Brown’s criminal activity, Officer Wilson was assaulted sustaining multiple facial and head injuries. After initially escaping after the assault, Brown then turned shouting epitaphs and ran toward the officer approaching him within several feet with his head lowered as if intending to head-butt him and continue his assault. Autopsy results and at least twelve witnesses have confirmed the officer’s account.

Here it is necessary to digress from the facts of the shooting of a criminal to look at the facts concerning the validity of the circumstances that are being put forth in an attempt to excuse and erroneously justify the failure to deal appropriately with the unlawful protesters. Unfounded allegations of profiling and the racial disparity of the Ferguson police must be linked to truth, not to what people say without evidence. As to profiling, objections to profiling are always raised by those subject to the alleged profiling to attempt to, in some way, justify their own injustice, or for the innocent fitting the profile to be excluded. Searching 80+ Caucasian females in a wheelchair when Moslem transportation terrorists are almost exclusively male under the age of 40 impacts all travelers but may be necessary. On the positive side, profiling most certainly allows security personnel to more adequately focus their efforts. Similarly, if a crime has been committed by a white female with a specific description, it is ridiculous to include an Oriental male in your focus. In reality, all police departments are required to submit monthly statistics to avoid and prevent unjust profiling. In Ferguson, in such things as traffic stops, law enforcement activity is totally and verifiably consistent with the demographics of the area. Looking at the racial disparity of the police force, there is significant disparity, but the reasons for the uneven distribution must be considered. First, minorities want to find excuses for high incidences of criminal activity in their demographic, even if it is unbiased fact confirming the incidence. If 30% of criminal activity is perpetrated by white females in a community, it is only reasonable to expect correctional institutions or court dockets to reflect the fact. Secondly, because of past injustices, discrimination, the erroneous promulgation of allegations of profiling, socialization in single parent families, etc., law enforcement is not an identity that the majority of the African-Americans are willing to assume. Thirdly, most of the qualified candidates seek the highest paying, most desirable employment. With the scarcity of suitable candidates, disparity is unavoidable if protection is to be afforded. This is the case in Ferguson as confirmed by our research.

Finally, and directing the reader to the facts enumerated in the attached articles, we must also do as the Framers meeting in Independence Hall did over two centuries ago. Fearful of the public majority, they met in secret to study history to 500 years before Christ to learn from the past and give birth to a “Nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. This attack on America must be learned from. Appeasement and the tolerance of injustice never work. Those with Molotov cocktails in their hands should have immediately and summarily dealt with in a manner to protect law enforcement from burning and death. Peace protesters must be allowed to protest in a manner so as not to interfere with any activity of law-abiding citizens. Not allowing citizens safe normal access to their homes, businesses, and any other daily activity should not be permitted.

As any grieving mother wanting to believe the best and innocence of their children might be expected to do in the terrible emotion of such a tragic loss, a police officer, who deserves commendation, who sustained serious injury in the line of duty, was condemned and blamed for her loss. As to any person with authority over the less powerful, there is always going to be injustice and abuse of power. Specifically, police unfit for duty are unfortunately, not infrequently, not dealt with appropriately. Missouri maintains a type of registry where conduct unbecoming is reported. As in any bureaucracy or circumstance, justice unenforced is no justice. Again, as a specific relevant example, a white policeman who unmercifully beat a white male in a holding cell so severely that an investigation by the FBI took place was rehired by a different minority populated St. Louis suburb. Neither the FBI or local authorities prosecuted the man despite the fact that numerous witnesses came forward who were willing to testify as to the repeated multiple instances of violation of their civil rights. Instances of police illegally trespassing and threatening to shoot those challenging their illegal behavior, incidents of police threatening to shoot dogs confronting them on their trespass, unnecessary force, other violations of civil rights, etc. were uncovered. Whether injustice is encountered through judicial activism or police brutality, justice for all is necessary for there to be peace. Unable to recruit qualified police officers, Ferguson is likewise financially unable to afford the placement of dash cameras to record police actions. Perhaps some of the money Obama and Holder spent in providing the guns to kill Americans in “Fast and Furious” would have been better spent on devices to insure the public safety. Criticizing giving surplus military equipment (“militarization”) to law enforcement to protect themselves only adds to these politicians’ failures and lack of credibility.

CftC

 

Ferguson shooting proves wisdom of Solomon

At some point Brown stopped, turned around, and confronted Wilson with angry epithets. And then apparently after taunting Wilson, he charged him.

“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” ~ Proverbs 18:17

 

Bryan Fischer, OneNewsNow.com August 19, 2014

 

    The Bible warns us to be sure we hear from both sides and collect full information before we make up our minds. This ancient wisdom of Solomon has been validated again in Ferguson, Missouri.

    The early narrative, spun by racial grievance mongers, was that Michael Brown, a harmless teddy bear of a boy, was shot by a racist officer because he was black, that he was shot for jaywalking, and that he was shot in the back execution style.

    Riots, mayhem, violence and looting ensued, so unremitting that Gov. Nixon has finally been reduced to calling in the National Guard (after complaining all week about the “militarizing of the police.” (Missouri Democrats, by the way, including Gov. Nixon and Rep. Clay, did not call Eric Holder in to “investigate,” they called him in to “prosecute.”)

    But cracks are starting to appear in the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton/Black Panther narrative.

    A caller to a local talk radio program in St. Louis, who claimed to be a friend of officer Darren Wilson’s significant other, gave what she said was the officer’s version of events. This account goes as follows: Wilson stopped Brown and his friend because they were walking in the street. The officer told them to get on the sidewalk.

    They responded belligerently. The officer tried to exit the vehicle, at which point Brown slammed the door shut to prevent him. Sometime during the stop, Wilson learned via police radio that someone matching Brown’s description was a suspect in an armed robbery at a nearby convenience store, a burglary that had happened just minutes before. He observed what looked like the contraband in Wilson’s hand.

    Now dealing with a criminal suspect, Wilson ordered Brown to stop so he could be detained, at which point apparently Brown stuck the upper half of his body into Wilson’s squad car and lunged for the officer’s gun. In the tussle over the weapon, it was discharged one time inside the vehicle.

    Following the shot and his apparent inability to wrest control of the gun from Wilson, Brown took off. Wilson, as police protocol dictates, pursued him. Officers, of course, cannot simply allow a criminal suspect to run away. With gun drawn, Wilson pursued Brown and ordered him to stop.

    At some point Brown stopped, turned around, and confronted Wilson with angry epithets. And then apparently after taunting Wilson, he charged him. Wilson then fired six rounds, each of which hit Brown, the last of which entered his skull and killed him. According to the radio caller, he fell dead practically at Wilson’s feet.

    This account has been inadvertently corroborated by a conversation between an eyewitness and a bystander, caught on tape by a man using his phone’s video recorder. The eyewitness twice said he saw Brown charging Wilson. He said Brown “doubled back toward him” (that is, toward the officer) and “he kept coming toward him” even though the officer was firing at him in order to get him to stop.

    The account of Wilson’s friend indicates that Wilson thought Brown was hopped up on something, from the way he was charging and the fact that not even five bullets could slow him down. (This will make the toxicology report extremely important, which likely won’t be released for a week or so.)

    Now this woman’s account is a third party account, and obviously requires confirmation. But that evidence is slowly trickling out.

    The first autopsy, for instance, performed on Brown at the direction of his own family, reveals that all six shots that hit his body entered from the front. Not a single entrance wound was found on his back. This destroys the testimony of Brown’s accomplice in the cigar heist who claimed that Brown was shot in the back as he was fleeing.

    The autopsy report is consistent with the accounts that Brown was shot while he was charging the officer at full speed. Even the Brown family’s pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, admitted this morning (Monday) at a press conference that the fatal wound on the top of Brown’s head is consistent with the possibility that he had his head down and was closing on Wilson in an effort to spear him.

    The surveillance video from the store – which Eric Holder did not want the public to see – reveals Brown – all 6’4” and 292 pounds of him – to be aggressive and violent, stealing a batch of cigars and shoving the store owner against a display rack. He was not the “gentle giant” the radical left wanted us to think.

    Holder has ordered a federal autopsy, likely because the family-ordered autopsy does not play into the racist narrative he intends to foster.

    It’s also possible that the grievance mongers had some awareness that the facts might challenge their meme. Not wanting “to let a good crisis go to waste,” they hurried to whip as many people into a frenzy as they could before the facts could challenge their version of events.

    So while at first blush this incident was painted as a racially motivated execution, fresh information reveals that this incident likely had nothing to do with race at all. It was about criminal behavior. It was about strong-armed robbery, assault, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and physically coming after him with violent intent.

    Do we know everything at this point? Of course not. We do not, for instance, yet have Officer Wilson’s official account. But we do have enough evidence to begin thinking that the hyperventilating we have heard from the press (which actually printed a map to Officer Wilson’s home) and from race-baiters is unlikely to be true in any salient point.

    So it turns out the Bible has been right all along. “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

    Good advice for everybody, including the press, Eric Holder, the governor of Missouri and the president of the United States.

 

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts “Focal Point with Bryan Fischer” every weekday on AFR Talk from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Central).

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The Christian Idea of Truth (Law)

One of Seven Ideas that Made America a Success

Stephen McDowell

    America is a unique nation in history; she is exceptional.  No nation has been as free, prosperous, charitable, and virtuous. Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America, “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.”

    American exceptionalism was not a result of some inherent value within the American people, but came from the valuable ideas upon which the nation was founded.  Christianity was the source of these ideas. Noah Webster wrote in the introduction to his dictionary:

   The United States commenced their existence under circumstances wholly novel, and unexampled in the history of nations. They commenced with civilization, with learning, with science, with constitutions of free government, and with the best gift of God to man — the Christian religion.[1]

    These liberating ideas were released in modern history when the Bible began to be printed in the common language of the people during the time of the Protestant Reformation.  The people who settled America carried this truth with them, planted it, and gave birth to this special nation.

    In recent generations America has been rejecting these liberating ideas. To preserve liberty and to advance, America must embrace the seven ideas that made her free and prosperous. For one, she must embrace the Christian idea of truth.[2]

The Christian Idea of Truth (Law)

    How do we know what we know? What is the basis for what we consider true and right? For Christians, the basis of truth is found in God’s Word. It is what the Bible proclaims. Jesus prayed to the Father: “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). His Word is not just true, but it is truth. Truth is what Jesus teaches, and He taught men must obey all the Scripture (Matt. 5:17-19). The Bible is God’s Word and the source of truth to all men. The degree to which men and nations have applied God’s Word to all of life, is the degree to which they have prospered, lived in liberty, and been blessed.

    A Christian worldview proclaims that there is truth, there is right and wrong, there are absolutes that we can know. The secularist has a much different view of “truth.” From a humanistic perspective there is no absolute truth. All so-called truths are relative. The relativist says: “Whatever I want to believe, I may believe. Whatever I think is true is true for me, and whatever you think is true is true for you. If you believe in a God as the source of truth, that’s okay, but I don’t believe in God or absolute truth; and you shouldn’t force your view upon me or upon society.”

    Relativism is the predominant view of those in academia, the media, and western governments. But such a view is completely illogical. When someone says “there is no absolute truth,” a simple question will reveal the absurdity of this position. Merely ask them, “Are you sure?” If they answer no, they have jettisoned their epistemology, acknowledging that they do not know for certain that there are no absolutes. If they answer yes, then they have affirmed the position that there are absolutes.

    After someone admits there are absolutes, the next point to consider is who is the source of those absolutes. For Christians, it is the Bible. For humanists, it is man, either as an individual or corporate man with the state expressing “truth” to society.

    The belief in the certainty of no absolutes is not logical. It contradicts itself. One who believes this is like the man who built his house upon the sand — it cannot stand up under pressure of storms (see Matthew 7:24-27). If a worldview is built on this presupposition, it will fall.

    A Christian worldview teaches there is absolute truth, where God is right about everything, and He reveals the truth that man needs to know in His Word. Relativists will condemn Christians who believe in right and wrong as narrow-minded and bigoted. They say, “You should not see things as right and wrong. It is wrong to do this.”

    What they are really saying is that they do not want to face the reality of the Creator God — Who is the source of all right and wrong — and His standard of righteous living. They want to live life on their own terms. Hence, their theology, or worldview, follows their morality.

    A pagan view of truth has captured the thinking of most of the world. Relativism is the dominant view of Americans today, even those Americans who claim to be Christians, as revealed in a poll conducted by the Barna Group in the spring of 2002. In a survey of adults and teenagers, people were asked if they believed that there are moral absolutes that are unchanging, or that moral truth is relative; 64% of adults said truth is relative to the person and situation. Among teenagers, 83% said moral truth is relative; only 6% said it is absolute. Among born-again Christians 32% of adults and 9% of teens expressed a belief in absolute truth. The number one answer as to what people believe is the basis for moral decisions was doing whatever feels right (believed by 31% of adults and 38% of teens).

    Early Americans, who were mostly Christians, held to the Christian idea of truth. Their laws and constitutions reflected that worldview. They believed fixed law applies to everyone and is always true. God reveals His law in nature (the laws of nature) and by special revelation in the Bible (the laws of nature’s God). The phrase Jefferson used in the Declaration of Independence — “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” — had a well established meaning.[3]

    An early civics textbook, First Lessons in Civil Government (1846) by Andrew Young, reveals the Founders’ Biblical view of law:

   The will of the Creator is the law of nature which men are bound to obey. But mankind in their present imperfect state are not capable of discovering in all cases what the law of nature requires; it has therefore pleased Divine Providence to reveal his will to mankind, to instruct them in their duties to himself and to each other. This will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and is called the law of revelation, or the Divine law.[4]

    This is in great contrast to the secular or socialist view of law, as revealed in the French Declaration of Rights (1794): “the Law . . . is the expression of the general will. . . . [T]he rights of man rests on the national sovereignty. This sovereignty . . . resides essentially in the whole people.”[5] To the humanist, man is the source of law, of right and wrong. But if whatever man declares to be lawful is the standard for society, then everyone’s fundamental rights are threatened, for a majority, or ruling dictator, can declare anyone to be an outlaw. Tyrants have done this throughout history, and tens of millions of people have been killed under this worldview.

    The Christian view of law proclaims that all men have God-given inalienable rights, and the Bible states what those rights are. No man can take them away. All men are subject to God’s higher law, rulers as well as common people. No man is above the law, nor is man the source of law. Hence, the rule of law originated in the western Christian world where the Christian idea of law prevailed. This Christian view of law produced the unique nature of American constitutionalism and law.[6]

[1] Noah Webster, “Introduction,” An American Dictionary of the English Language, New York: S. Converse, 1828, reprinted in facsimile edition by Foundation for American Christian Education, 1980.

[2] To learn all seven ideas see Stephen McDowell, The American Dream, Jamestown and the Planting of the American Christian Republic, Charlottesville, Vir.: Providence Foundation, 2007.

[3] See Stephen McDowell, Building Godly Nations, chapter 11, “The Changing Nature of Law in America,” Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 2004, pp. 183 ff.

[4] Andrew W. Young, First Lessons in Civil Government, Auburn, N.Y.: H. And J.C. Ivison, 1846, p. 16.

[5] Thomas Paine, “Declaration of Rights,” The Writings of Thomas Paine, Collected and edited by Daniel Conway, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Vol.3 , p. 129-130.

[6] See McDowell, Building Godly Nations, Chapter 7, “The Influence of the Bible on the Development of American Constitutionalism.”

The Imperial President

The Imperial President

Most of Government’s Own Watchdogs Say They’re Stonewalled

Melissa Quinn / @MelissaQuinn97/August 07, 2014

    More than half of the federal government’s inspectors general have joined to lodge a formal complaint that the Obama administration places “serious limitations” on their ability to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse.

    A total of 47 of the 73 government watchdogs sent the unprecedented letter to leaders of two congressional committees, Fox News reported.

     In their complaint, the inspectors general say:

    Agency actions that limit, condition, or delay access thus have profoundly negative consequences for our work: they make us less effective, encourage other agencies to take similar actions in the future, and erode the morale of the dedicated professionals that make up our staffs.

    The watchdogs include IGs from the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice. They wrote Tuesday to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    They call on the oversight leaders to reaffirm the commitment of Congress to helping IGs combat waste, fraud, and abuse, and to exert “all available powers to enforce” access to agencies that refuse to comply.

    Government bureaus, the IGs write, typically prevented them from obtaining relevant information by calling it “privileged.” These restrictions, they add, risk “leaving the agencies insulated from scrutiny and unacceptably vulnerable to mismanagement and misconduct — the very problems that our offices were established to review and that the American people expect us to be able to address.”

    Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that the IGs’ letter is both unprecedented and telling:

  This unprecedented complaint by a majority of the federal government’s inspectors general that the Obama administration is obstructing their ability to investigate corruption shows just how far the administration is willing to go to hide its wrongdoing.

    The IGs describe three specific instances in which government agencies would not give them access to records and other information needed to do their oversight work properly:

  The Peace Corps refused to provide records of reported sexual assaults that were needed for an investigation into how the agency handled such cases.

   In a statement to Fox News, a Peace Corps spokeswoman reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to “working with the inspector general to ensure rigorous oversight while protecting the confidentiality and privacy of volunteers who are sexually assaulted.”

The Department of Justice would not produce three separate reviews until officials learned that the documents would be of assistance to the agency’s leadership.

DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon told Fox that the inspector general received all information requested, but that “because the documents at issue included grand jury material, credit reports, and other information whose dissemination is restricted by law, it was necessary to identify exceptions to the law to accommodate the inspector general’s request.”

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board refused to provide requested documents during an investigation.

     House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said of the 47 IGs’ letter:

If there is anyone who should have transparency [from the government], it should be the watchdogs inside the government working for the president.

    Because many IG reports and activities are not public until their completion, Issa said, “some of the best examples of obstruction probably are the ones the IGs don’t want to say in a public format.”

    Inspectors general played a crucial role in investigating allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. They also identified internal weaknesses at the Export-Import Bank.

    Inspectors general for both the IRS and the Export-Import Bank agencies signed the letter.

    Von Spakovsky,  co-author of a book about Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department, said the allegations by the agency’s inspector general are notable. He told The Daily Signal:

   The complaint by the Justice Department’s IG is particularly concerning and very revealing. Eric Holder has no hesitation in abusing his power to prevent the public from finding out about the rank politicization of justice and the attorney general’s corrupt exploitation of his authority as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

    In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Congress in 1978 passed the Inspector General Act establishing the initial 12 IG offices. The law stipulates that each official watchdog has “complete, unfiltered, and timely access to all information and materials available to the agency that relate to that inspector general’s oversight activities, without unreasonable administrative burdens,” the letter to the congressional committees states.

     Issa, saying “there has never been a letter even with a dozen IGs complaining,” called the letter unprecedented. He added:

   This is the majority of all inspectors general saying not just in the examples they gave, but government wide, they see a pattern that is making them unable to do their job.

    The Oversight Committee chairman said he intends to hold hearings to delve into issues raised by the IGs’ letter when lawmakers return to Washington in September.

 The Supreme Court Vs. Eric Holder

John Fund / Hans von Spakovsky / @HvonSpakovsky / July 13, 2014

If Eric Holder were a baseball player, he’d have been benched long ago — if not kicked off the team. His batting average before the Supreme Court is abysmal, losing again and again in his efforts to undermine the Constitution.

This term featured four big strike downs.

First was Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Supremes tossed out ObamaCare’s contraceptive abortion mandate and upheld the First Amendment rights of several family-owned businesses to make their living in conformance with their religious beliefs.

Although the government was not party to another case, Harris v. Quinn, the Justice Department filed an amicus brief on the side of Illinois and the SEIU, arguing that unwilling home health-care workers could be forced into unions (and made to pay compulsory dues) simply because their services are paid for through Medicaid.

Fortunately, the Court ruled against Illinois’s heavy-handed attempt to help bolster its political allies, public sector unions.

On June 26, in National Labor Relations Board v. Canning, all nine Justices ruled that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the NLRB violated the Constitution.

Not only did Obama’s own judicial appointees vote against him (including his former solicitor general), but the majority opinion was written by Stephen Breyer, a liberal stalwart of the Court.

The Administration also lost United State v. Wurie, in which the Holder Justice Department claimed that the police and federal authorities did not need a search warrant to seize all of the information stored in the cellphone of someone who had been arrested.

Once again, the administration lost all nine justices.

The basic invasion of privacy and violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful searches and seizures represented by the administration’s position is in line with its frightening view of governmental power over its citizens.

Canning and Wurie are only the latest losses of the administration in which all nine Supreme Court justices ruled against the government.

In fact, there have been 20 such cases during this administration — and even more if you include cases in which the administration filed an amicus brief, such as in McCullen v. Coakley, the free-speech case that was handed down the same day as the recess appointments case.

The Obama administration filed an amicus brief in that case supporting the Massachusetts law in question and helped argue the case before the Supreme Court.

But all nine justices found the Massachusetts law, which created a 35-foot “buffer” zone around abortion clinics, violated the First Amendment by restricting speech in public areas “that have historically been open to the public for speech activities.”

It is no surprise that the administration supported a law that restricted the voice of pro-life supporters.

That is in accord with its general attack on the political speech and activities of disfavored conservative advocacy organizations through the IRS and other government agencies. The positions taken by this administration in the other 9-to-0 cases are just as overbroad.

In 2012’s Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, DOJ displayed an open hostility to religious freedom by claiming that the federal government had the right, as the Supreme Court termed it, to “interfere” in a church’s employment decisions on the hiring and firing of its ministers and religious teachers.

The Supreme Court was clearly astounded at the arguments being made by the Justice Department and unanimously rejected it.

In Sackett v. EPA, the administration tried to prevent a family from defending itself in court and contesting a punitive order from EPA bureaucrats imposing a fine of $75,000 a day for trying to develop a lot in a residential neighborhood which the EPA considered a wetland. The administration lost.

In US v. Jones, just like in the Riley/Wurie cases, the administration claimed that law enforcement could attach a GPS device to your car without a warrant or even any suspicion of criminal activity.

The Court unanimously rejected this position and, in a concurring opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the administration was trying to invade “privacy interests long afforded, and undoubtedly entitled to, Fourth Amendment protection.”

Typically, the Justice Department does very well before the Supreme Court. Holder has made that a losing record.

That’s because, as legal scholar Ilya Shapiro says, the administration has “relied on outlandish legal theories that pushed a constitutional interpretation of extreme federal power.”

Holder and Obama have argued that we as Americans don’t have the right to free speech, the right to privacy, the right to due process or the freedom of religion.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has become the last defense for those who still believe in those rights.

Originally posted on the New York Post.

IG Access Letter to Congress

One Less U.S. Apology Required

Paul Mirengoff

     In his 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama declared that “in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” Obama clearly intended to convey that the United States shares some of the blame for its longstanding dispute with the current regime.

     In conceding wrongdoing in connection with the overthrow of the government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and the restoration of the Shah, Obama was stating the conventional view of what happened in 1953. In fact, Bill Clinton had already apologized to the mullahs for the overthrow.

     The conventional view also has the imprimatur of Hollywood. The introduction of the hit movie Argo suggests that Iran’s 1979 Revolution was a belated response to the unjust overthrow 26 years earlier. (Scott and I have criticized that introduction.)

And last year, it was reported that the CIA had finally admitted its primary role in overthrowing Mosaddeq. As best I can determine, all the CIA actually did was release old documents in which Kermit Roosevelt Jr. (grandson of TR) boasts about the CIA’s alleged role. The conventional account was reinforced nonetheless.

But Ray Takeyh of the Council of Foreign Affairs, an Iranian-American and a liberal, has powerfully attacked the conventional view of U.S. responsibility for the overthrow of Mosaddeq. Takeyh attacks it most recently in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs.

Previously, he had made his case in the Weekly Standard.

Takeyh argues that Mosaddeq was destined to fall due to the internal opposition produced by the British response to his oil nationalization policy, and that the U.S. played an inconsequential role in his demise. He makes the following points:

  • 1. Mosaddeq, a popularly elected leader, antagonized the British by taking over the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, whose majority shareholder was the British government.
  • 2. Great Britain responded by, among other measures, discouraging European countries from buying Iran’s oil and interdicting Iranian ships that carried oil for export
  • 3. The U.S., under President Truman, tried to mediate the dispute and work out a compromise
  • 4. Mosaddeq wasn’t interested in compromising.
  • 5. Britain’s retaliatory measures dealt a huge blow to the Iranian oil industry, and to Iran’s economy generally.
  • 6. As a result, Mosaddeq became unpopular in Iran.
  • 7. Among those who turned against him were the mullahs — the predecessors of those who excoriate the U.S. for alleging toppling Mosaddeq and restoring the Shah.
  • 8. The Shah, fed up with Mosaddeq, announced he was leaving the country due to unspecified medical concerns
  • 9. Mass demonstrations broke out imploring the Shah to stay. (There is, according to Takeyh, no evidence that the CIA was behind these demonstrations).
  • 10. Mosaddeq responded by dissolving the Iranian legislature and holding a national referendum on this action.
  • 11. The election was rigged, as evidenced by the fact that 99 percent of vote went Mosaddeq’s way.
  • 12. The U.S. government, now led by President Eisenhower, urged Mosaddeq to settle his dispute with Great Britain, but also began considering a British plan further undermine Mosaddeq.
  • 13. The CIA participated with Britain’s M16 in this plan which included paying journalists to write stories critical of the prime minister, charging that he was corrupt and power hungry, and alleging that he was of Jewish descent.
  • 14. With U.S. encouragement, the Shah signed a royal decree dismissing Mosaddeq and appointing General Fazlollah Zahedi as the new prime minister.
  • 15. The Shah sent an emissary to deliver the decree to Mosaddeq, who refused to accept it and promptly arrested the emissary.
  • 16. The Eisenhower administration did not pursue the matter further. Indications are that it was prepared to change direction and “snuggle up” to Mosaddeq (in the words of Bedell Smith, a high level State Department official and the president’s close confidant).
  • 17. General Zahedi, however, did not give up. He published the Shah’s decree.
  • 18. This led to major demonstrations against Mosaddeq throughout the country.
  • 19. The U.S. did not take these demonstrations seriously. The U.S. ambassador cabled Washington to say they would probably prove insignificant.
  • 20. Mosaddeq commanded the military to restore order, but instead many soldiers joined in the demonstrations.
  • 21. The army chief of staff told Mosaddeq he had lost control of many of his troops and of the capital city.
  • 22. Mosaddeq went into hiding, but later turned himself in.
  • 23. The Shah was restored.

If this scenario is accurate, the United States was a bit player in the overthrow of Mosaddeq. The prime minister authored his demise and the Iranians carried it out.

The U.S. did nothing that rose to the level of requiring an apology, much less an apology to brutal theocrats whose predecessors supported the overthrow of Mosaddeq.

Even under the popular version of the events of 1953, it would have been disgraceful for President Obama to come “hat in hand” to the mullahs out of guilt over Mosaddeq’s ouster. If Takeyh’s version is correct, it is doubly disgraceful for Obama to do so.

Not surprisingly, there has been push back against Takeyh’s inconvenient (from a leftist point of view) version. The push back is less than persuasive.

The conventional version seems to rest largely on the self-aggrandizing account of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. As Takeyh shows, that account seems inconsistent with the contemporaneous statements of the U.S. ambassador to Iran and the CIA’s acting director.

Takeyh concludes:

    “As Washington and Tehran struggle to end their protracted enmity, it would help greatly if the United States no longer felt the need to keep implicitly apologizing for its role in Mosaddeq’s ouster.

    As for the Islamic Republic, at a moment when it is dealing with internal divisions and uncertainties about its future, it would likewise help for it to abandon its outdated notions of victimhood and domination by foreigners and acknowledge that it was Iranians themselves who were the principal protagonists in one of the most important turning points in their country’s history.”

 

12 States Sue Obama Administration for Regulatory ‘Overreach’

Natalie Johnson /August 07, 2014

coal power plant

Photo: Richards/Record/Newscom

     Coal country is striking back at the federal government in the latest “war on coal” battle.

     Twelve states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to deter impending restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

     The states filed the lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, accusing the EPA of “overstepping its legal boundaries” under the Clean Air Act.

     West Virginia is leading the lawsuit along with Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming.“This lawsuit represents another effort by our office to invalidate the EPA’s proposed rule that will have devastating effects on West Virginia’s jobs and its economy,” West Virginia Atty. Gen. Patrick Morrisey said in a statement.

One West Virginia company said the EPA’s power-plant regulation jeopardizes 1,100 jobs.

    The state, which heavily relies on coal, has already begun to feel the regulation’s impact. A major coal company, Alpha Natural Resources, announced last week that it might lay off 1,100 West Virginia mining employees, citing the rule as one of the reasons.

Morrisey said his office plans to use “every legal tool available” to defend coal miners and their families from the Obama Administration’s “overreach.”

“We can’t afford to see more announcements like we saw with Alpha Natural Resources,” Morrisey said.

The EPA declined to comment directly on the lawsuit, but responded to Morrisey’s claim that the regulation will destroy the coal industry.

Liz Purchia, an EPA spokeswoman, asserted that the Clean Power Plan proposal gives states “enormous flexibility” in deciding how they would like to meet “pollution reduction goals,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Heritage Foundation economist Nick Loris disagrees.

‘No state is going to escape the economic pain of higher energy costs,’ says @Heritage’s Nick Loris.

     “The EPA is telling states there’s flexibility in this regulation, but the reality is no state is going to escape the economic pain of higher energy costs these regulations will bring,” said Loris, Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow.

The lawsuit alleges that the EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to dictate the regulations, saying that the Clean Air Act prohibits the agency from regulating coal-fired power plants using different sections of the act.

“[The lawsuit] is a positive sign that states are stepping up,” Loris said. “More states should work together to prevent the EPA from limiting Americans’ energy choices.”

Obama Is Bypassing Congress Again. This Time It’s Going to Cost You.

Nicolas Loris / Nicole Rusenko /May 29, 2014

    Next week, the Obama administration is planning to unveil a climate action plan that it intends to implement without legislative approval. It’s a creative approach to governing, not unlike other executive actions  President Obama has taken to bypass Congress.

    When lawmakers refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation, Obama announced there was more than one way to skin the cat. Through climate plans, executive orders and regulatory action, he directed his agencies to find ways to curb the country’s carbon dioxide output and commit to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

     Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is the Environmental Protection Agency, which will release its carbon-dioxide regulations for existing power plants on Monday. The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.

 Our infographic explains what it means for jobs, incomes and the states hurt most.

 climate change scam

Climate Change Is a Fact. But These New Emissions Regulations Won’t Help the Environment.

Nicolas Loris / June 03, 2014

     Draft regulations released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency could cut carbon dioxide from existing power plants by 30 percent. Such a drastic cut will amount to a massive energy tax devoid of any benefit.

     President Obama warned us it was coming, when he said in in 2008 that electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket” under his cap-and-trade proposal.  And when our elected officials rejected that, he said there was more than one way to skin the cat.

But now he’s singing a different tune.  Promoting the regulations, Obama said, “Your electricity bills will shrink as these standards spur investment in energy efficiency, cutting waste, and ultimately, we’re going to be saving money for homes and for businesses.”

     Electricity bills will shrink?  Is that a “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” type of promise?

     To attract state buy-in, the agency’s regulation has different targets for different states and would allow states flexibility in implementation plans. But flexibility would merely shift the costs around, not prevent them from happening. If anything, state and regional implementation plans would protect special interests, which could then pass the costs on to American families.  The president stressed that the regulation “provides a huge incentives for states and consumers to become more energy efficient.”

     Families and businesses don’t need a federal regulation or mandate to save money on energy. That incentive already exists: It’s called saving money.

Businesses and families make energy-saving investments when it makes sense to do so. The myopic view from the feds is that efficiency upgrades always make sense if they save money. And that’s not always the case. When the government forces efficiency choices on people, it takes away choices or overrides them.

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where these regulations drive down electricity bills. More than 80 percent of America’s energy needs are met through carbon-emitting conventional fuels. Last year, coal and natural gas provided 66 percent of U.S. electricity generation.

Whether it is by cap-and-trade, regulation or a straightforward tax, restricting carbon emissions would harm American families and businesses through higher energy costs. Families would pay more to use less electricity. The costs would reverberate throughout the economy as affected industries pass higher costs onto consumers. Simply put, consumers would consume less and producers would produce less, resulting in income cuts, jobs destroyed and lost economic output.

The economic pain stemming from the EPA’s regulation would spread throughout the country, but some would be harmed more than others.  A tax that increases energy prices would hit hardest against America’s poorest families. The median family spends about 5 cents out of every dollar on energy costs, but low-income families spend about 20 cents.

Further, some industries are more energy-intensive and thus hit harder by higher energy prices. Particularly alarming is the damage the EPA regulations would inflict on America’s manufacturing base.

What’s worse is the economic pain comes with no environmental gain.

Obama is right to say climate change is a fact.  A near-universal consensus does exist that manmade emissions have some warming effect; however, the controversy is about whether human activity is the primary driver of climate change and the magnitude of climate change induced by GHG emissions. Most importantly, no matter what one believes regarding climate change, one thing is clear: The regulations would not have any noticeable impact on global temperatures.