Citizen Leadership

Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership

Nairobi cityscape
Nairobi cityscape - capital city of Kenya

Don’t Forget Africa During Black History Month

A surprising best-seller on the Black History Month table at a downtown book store is Out of America, by Keith B. Richburg, until recently Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post. If you had to find adjectives for the author’s voice as it comes off the pages of this courageous and potentially controversial book, they might include “agonized” and “indignant.” Read More ›

It’s Time to Curb America’s Appetite for Lawsuits

A woman at McDonald’s spills hot coffee in her lap and a jury awards her $2.7 million. Another jury awards a man $4 million from BMW because he wasn’t told that his new car had received a minor paint touch-up before he bought it. Yet another man is awarded $12.3 million, most of it in “punitive” damages,” because he fractured Read More ›

Think tanks Instrumental Weapons in Conservative Arsenal

Polls show that the public primarily blame Republicans in Congress, rather than President Clinton, for the recent (and future?) government shutdown. Those who blame both sides equally think that the battle is merely “political” in the worst sense. At the state level, Referendum 48, the property rights initiative, was soundly defeated earlier this month by a margin of 60-40. Is Read More ›

quebec flag fist
A single raised blue fist in the center in front of the flag of Quebec
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

The Danger of Ethnic Nationalism is Not Unique to Quebec

What do you follow in politics, economics or your heart? The moral discipline of the market or the lure of memory? Your future as an individual or the passions of your group? When Quebec was asked such questions this week, it split almost neatly in two. And so might many of us. Indeed, what Canada faced, and will face, is Read More ›

internet justice hand
Labor Law Lawyer Legal Business Internet Technology Concept
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

Individuals, not Governments, Should Shape Internet’s Future

The Internet is no longer a government network tying computer users together, but a worldwide network of many networks, free and open to all, and increasingly easy to access. There is no monopoly potential to it, so government's excuse to regulate it is almost nil.  Read More ›

Public needn’t fear budgetary ‘train wreck’ rhetoric

The noise you hear coming from Washington, D.C. is not the screeching prelude to a budgetary “train wreck.” It’s only the noise of a rhetoric wreck. There is nothing at all unusual about the failure of Congress and the President to reach agreement on a budget by the formal deadline, October 1 (this Sunday). And the “crisis” over the debt Read More ›

Endless campaign a poor way to choose a president

In the recent dog days of summer, over a hundred people showed up at Seattle’s Washington Institute to meet one of the superficially more improbable candidates for President in 1996, the articulate black Republican, Alan Keyes. A former Reagan Administration official, Keyes believes that the decline of the family is the central problem in society, around which almost all other Read More ›

Seattle’s Future: Forward Thrust or Bust?

The danger in next month’s capital improvements election–with the Seattle Commons, neighborhood ball parks and a big outdoor ballpark for the Mariners on the ballot–is not that voters of Seattle and King County will lack the facts upon which to make a sound judgment. There will be plenty of healthy debate. The real danger, especially for young voters and newcomers, Read More ›

Don’t Kid Yourself, This Was A Biggie

Anti-Democratic feeling was really only anti-incumbent feeling, they declared. In fact, not one Republican incumbent governor or member of Congress lost, only Democrats. A big turnout, if it could be accomplished, would save the Democrats, we were told. But the 39 percent national turnout was two points over average mid-term elections. And in higher turnout states Republicans seem to have made their greatest gains. During the campaign, the actual contents of the "contract" were barely covered by the major media (an oversight now corrected after the election) and were subjected to a negative spin in Democratic television spots. But the "contract" was described in detail over talk radio, computer on-line services and new conservative cable TV programs. Another old political assumption that was dealt a blow is the old Depression-era knock that the Republicans are the party of Wall Street while the Democrats are the party of the little guy. GOP candidates won majorities among working-class voters as well as middle- and upper-economic groups. Big business PAC money, as usual, went overwhelmingly to incumbents and this year that meant Democrats. The first target for a shake-up will be Congress itself, where one of the leaders of reform is Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Bellevue. The House Republican Contract pledged to cut congressional staff by a third, and it should not be hard to do. The Democratic majority typically afforded Republicans only a small share of staff positions. In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for example, Democrats currently have 180 staff posts and Republicans 17. After a well-deserved one-third cut, there will still be plenty of positions open for Republicans to fill, even permitting them to be more generous to the Democrats than the Democrats were to them. Read More ›