Chapman’s News & Ideas | Page 16

There’s No Place Like Home for Philanthropy

Charity Begins at Home might be the model of the concept of community foundations, as Rep. Hans Zeiger (Puyallup, WA) describes in Philanthropy Today. The thing about localized giving is that the donors tend to be less romantic and more practical. Local needs are obvious, as are the results of local charity. On the other hand, the “needs” of one’s alma mater or various grand foundation programs are more abstract. The odd thing is that big national foundations are among those sponsoring the emphasis on localism. Speaking of a paper prepared for a conference the Aspen Institute, Zeiger writes, “…(T)he Lumina Foundation and the Ford Foundation have undertaken recent new place-based initiatives. The California Endowment, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Read More ›

Putin Clowns Around

It is going to take Russia a long time to get over Vladimir Putin. Because the U.S.put sanctions on many of Putin’s cronies after Russia ran a thinly disguised invasion of Ukraine, Putin retaliated by, among other things, sending inspectors out to find health and safety problems at ………MacDonald’s restaurants. Now, having effectively closed them, his minions are going after the Ronald MacDonald House charity, speculating that its is of money laundering.

Now, it is sad that satire of the Leader is not allowed in Putin’s Russia, for this sort of antic would be a ripe target. But it is more pathetic than sad that the U.S. lacks satirists to take on this subject. Regardless, the attack on on Ronald MacDonald House is laughable.

Unfortunately, the laugh is on ordinary Russians that benefit from Ronald MacDonald House services to families of sick and injured children in hospitals. They are the victims of Mr. Putin’s strange anger. Read More ›

Politics of Education Necessary for Reform

Discovery Institute’s site on our new book on education is up online now: Every School, by Donald P. Nielsen. Don is a successful technology businessman whose volunteer service included the Seattle School Board, where he was President. From that experience and a great deal of study and travel, he has learned enough about what makes reform possible and has encapsulated it in what amounts to a very readable manual for executives, legislators and community leaders. Here is how to get to the new site and, while you are there, listen to my brief interview of Don about this book.

Bruce-&-DonWhat is crucial is to get broad political involvement in reform where it really counts, which, Don found out, is mainly at the state level, rather than at the local or national levels. Every School is published by Discovery Press, and you can be sure we will promote it as much as possible.

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Gilder’s Golden Rhapsody to Bitcoin

Discovery Sr. Fellow George Gilder, whose Knowledge and Power books continues its slow, but steady burn, thinks he has finished a first draft of Bitcoin and Gold, the working title of his next trade book. But already he is the darling of the Bitcoin fan club. He spoke on “Bitcoin and Gold” to an tech investor audience at a Coinagenda conference in Las Vegas last week and is scheduled to do more. He also is doing a monograph just on the gold subject. Earlier in Las Vegas, at this year’s FreedomFest, Gilder told Reason TV the highlights of his enthusiasm. Look here.

Obama Giving Up; Really?

Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense, told Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC that he thinks that Barrack Obama and his White House team have “given up.”

Says Panetta, “…I have a feeling that the leadership and the president have given up on the big issues facing this country whether it’s immigration or a budget deal or infrastructure funding or trade or energy. There is a sense that you can’t deal with that.”

If that is true—that Obama has “given up”–and even if it becomes a widespread opinion, the country is in trouble during the coming two years. At a point when the media and other elites conclude that a leader is no longer interested in his job and is just running the clock (to use a basketball metaphor appropriate to our current Commander in Chief), they start to find fault with everything he does. There is a tipping point, and the November election, if Democrats lose the Senate, could be that point.

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Ebola Coverage Only Slowwwwly Improves

An article in the weekend Wall Street Journal by Scott Gottlieb and Tevi Troy provides sophisticated, knowledgeable advice on what the government should be doing about Ebola. However, the question I raised in a post on Friday (see below) has still not been addressed: where is the new coverage emphasis on finding and promulgating treatments and cures (as well as vaccines)?

Yes, there has been some modest coverage, as in the New York Times story today, in the very last paragraph of a story mostly about medical supplies getting held up in Sierra Leone, Adam Nossitger mentions Rick Sacra, an American aid worker who was successfully treated and released in September after isolation in a Nebraska Medical Center unit: “Sacra received an experimental Tekmira Pharmaceutical drug called TKM-Ebola, as well as two blood transfusions from another American aid worker who recovered from Ebola at an Atlanta hospital.”

So here we have two pregnant news items, badly neglected: 1) an experimental drug has been used and worked, and 2)blood transfusions from patients who have been cured also have been used, apparently with good results. Read More ›

Assignment Editors, Attention: Ebola Story Not Adequately Reported

All the coverage of Ebola seems to be about patients who have come down with the disease and about who else might have become infected. Governments say not to worry. Okay, fine. But where are the reporters following up on the fact that a couple of Americans who caught the disease in Africa came home and were treated–and apparently cured–with new, experimental medications? What are the medications that were used? Who is saying that there isn’t enough time to make new doses of them and who is examining the explanations? What would the cost be to run a crash program to produce the medications? What red tape needs to be cut,and by whom, in order to speed these medications into Read More ›

U.S. Will Split on ISIS

Sadly, there is a circularity to the issue of war since, say, Korea (1950-53). Initially, the public is supportive (“rally ‘round the flag”), but as time and the cost in blood and treasure mount, critics are heard. Eventually, the support disappears. Right now the public wants and demands action against ISIS and other Islamist terror threats. There is new realism that admits—as did not happen in the U.S. Government after 9/11 and especially since Mr. Obama’s ascension—that the threat is from Muslim extremists. But otherwise the script looks distressingly familiar.

Republicans already are taking on their Democratic foes in Congressional races for being uninterested in the terrorism problem until now. That is happening, for example, in North Carolina.

On the other end of the spectrum, left-wingers who couldn’t find a bad thing to say about Barack Obama in 2008 or ’12 are now grumbling about his turnabout on the terrorism issue. Frank Rich, formerly of the New York Times and now of New York Magazine, and a reliable windsock of progressive trends, is furious.

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New Nukes Are Good News

It took a while for the United State Government to turn the nuclear disarmament ship around, but now that seems to have happened. Disarmament was a theme of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, even after it became clear that Russia is not living up to past agreements, China’s military ambitions are growing, and Iran is still not agreeing to step back from developing the bomb.

A failure to stand up to Russia, in particular, is dangerous at this juncture. Not content to threaten Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to cow the Baltics. At present, NATO is woefully unprepared to answer a sophisticated challenge.. At present, NATO is woefully unprepared to answer a sophisticated challenge. The propaganda war and what (before World War II) once was known as “salami tactics” of Russian intimidation have to be answered in a conventional manner, but with updates.

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