Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Here are the Issues That Will Win the Hearts of College Kids in 2016

Zachary Burns, a babyfaced redhead, has only been on this earth 19 years, yet he knows enough to want to go back to the good old days in America.  “I read in history textbooks that America was once expanding and booming,” said Burns, whose dress shirt and tie clashes with his American flag patterned pants. “Now all I see is gridlock.”

Burns, a student at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, was part of a predominantly college-aged crowd who recently attended the largest conservative conference of the year, eager to have a say in the political process.

In a totally unscientific method, The Daily Signal interviewed multiple college students at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, outside Washington D.C. to find out what issues they care about going into the 2016 presidential race.

The consensus? On the surface, it seems that few of the interviewees want the same things.

Some of the young people, the job seekers, simply want employment when they graduate college, and they hope their (often expensive) education provides them the tools to be competitive. Others, the innovators, crave an economy free of regulations so they can pursue their dreams unimpeded.

And still others, the world weary, just hope to be safe, to feel protected and to see their country use its power to overcome threats.

But though the college students see the world differently, they really want the same thing. They want a leader who can carry out their vision for America, and they came here to find that person.

Burns is clear about what he would like in an ideal world. “I like free enterprise,” said Burns, listing Donald Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as potential Republican presidential candidates who impressed him at CPAC.  “I like innovation. I like straight-forward, to-the-point guys. I don’t care about age. I just want someone who can get the job done.”

NOTE:  Omid Esmaili has advised me that he did not say the things reported below  -- JR

Omid Esmaili is only 21, but he’s achieving just fine in America.  Esmaili, a senior at Stony Brook University University in New York, created his own app, called Colltures, that shows students what’s happening on their college campus at any given moment.

But Esmaili worries his creativity may be crunched by the Obama administration’s adoption of “Net Neutrality” regulations for the Internet, the concept that all online content should be treated equally.

“There shouldn’t be government involvement in how the Internet works,” Esmaili says. “The reason you can create such innovative products is because no one is hovering over you. Speed is such an important part of the experience. If you are messing with speed, and how quickly I can do the service, you are hindering my innovation, literally.”

Esmaili can’t hide his thoughts on which potential 2016 candidate can best keep government out of his life. He wears an “I Stand with Rand” button.  A libertarian, Esmaili supports Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and his father Ron before that, but not purely for selfish reasons. Esmaili thinks Paul is the only GOP candidate who can win — for all Republicans.

“Rand has created a new place to play,” Esmaili says. “Rand has a practical, middle-man approach. It’s a situational, reasonable approach. He connects with different groups. A lot of kids don’t know what libertarianism is. I never knew there was a word for how I felt: that there is social and economic freedom. Rand can explain this in an attractive way to people.”

In the next breath, Esmaili, backed in this opinion by his friend and fellow 21-year-old attendee Mike Battey, argues that Republicans should avoid talking about things that “don’t necessarily matter.” 

Namely, the friends say, that means leaving alone the sensitive issue of same-sex marriage.  “The issue of same-sex marriage is not the most important thing in the universe,” Esmaili says. “The economy is so screwed up, people should be paying attention to that.”

Adds Battey: “Government should be out of marriage because it’s not a legislative function of government. Whoever someone else decides to marry doesn’t impact my life.”

Briana Jamshid, a 20-year-old student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, is ready to fight for what she believes America’s role in the world should be.  Jamshid is enlisted in the Army National Guard. She’s honored to serve her country, but she hopes to do so in the right places.

“ISIS needs to be eliminated,” says Jamshid, who claims to be open-minded about which politician she would support in that mission. “We definitely should be boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria. But we should stay out of the Ukraine conflict.”

Aaron Hass, a 22-year-old student at State University of New York at Oneonta, is similarly concerned about the Middle East.

“The Middle East is vital to our trade,” says Hass, who is a fan of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “It is vital to defend the nation of Israel. They are a minority in the world and they need to know they have a friend. America is the big dog in the world. If you pet the big dog it will be your friend. If not, it will bite.”

Before Audrey Rusnak, 21, can fret about taking on the world, she has a more top-of-mind concern.  “College is too expensive,” says Rusnak, who admirers Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s rags-to-riches story. “I just hope it pays off in landing me a job.”


Common Core: a Major Deciding Factor for Independent Voters in 2016

Putting the brakes on Common Core will be a major campaign issue in 2016

On the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a panel, moderated by Sabrina Schaeffer of the Independent Women’s Forum, met to discuss what’s next for Common Core. Their conclusion: Common Core will be a very important platform stance in the 2016 election. They are completely right.

With public support for Common Core standards steadily declining, and more and more states pulling out of Common Core, in addition to teachers resigning over the federal standards, attitudes towards a single policy have never been more clear and uniform. Teachers hate having their freedom to teach restricted, parents want their children to be taught, not taught how to take a test, and children want to be treated like individuals, not statistics. Recent protests of the standards and walkouts on Common Core testing have indicated that increasing opposition to Common Core will not be silenced, and will not go away.

Many independent voters with their children’s best interests at heart will be looking to 2016 candidates with opposition to Common Core as a major factor in their decision. Voters want a candidate who recognizes that their children and their students have different strengths, learning styles, interests, and abilities. During the panel at CPAC, Emmet McGroarty of the American Principles Project suggested that support of Common Core would be a stance that Hillary Clinton would undoubtedly use against a Republican opponent, making the election extremely difficult to win for the Republican nominee.


Ivory tower hypocrites of the century: Rutgers bans Condoleezza Rice but welcomes Mariela Castro

Rutgers University -- a public school funded by taxpayers -- has invited the daughter of Raul Castro to be the keynote speaker at a conference it is hosting.

Of course, the conference is on Mariela Castro's totally bogus "expertise" on sexuality, especially of the non-heterosexual kind.

Yes, the very same kind of sexuality that her father and uncle identified as criminal and punished with imprisonment and torture in their concentration camps and dungeons.

This invitation is the ultimate in hypocrisy and sheer lunacy.

For starters, inviting the daughter of two of the worst  unrepentant tyrants in modern history to be a keynote speaker on any subject should be considered a horrible mistake by anyone with half a brain and half a soul.

Add to this the fact that inviting the daughter of two tyrants who persecuted non-heterosexuals to be the keynote speaker at a conference on non-heterosexual sexuality should be considered an insult to all who favor LGBTQ rights.

Add to this the fact that this is a university, for God's sakes -- a university, a center of learning -- and this becomes an insult to the intelligence and honor of all who are part of that institution.

Then, to top it all off, add to this the fact that the faculty of this university and many of its students have taken umbrage in the recent past at other speakers they consider unworthy, such as Condoleezza Rice.

Yes, this is the same institution where hundreds of professors asked their president to rescind the former Secretary of State's invitation to their commencement ceremonies.

Here is a brief excerpt from the letter of protest signed by more than 350 Rutgers faculty members:

"The mission of a University is to promote truth and knowledge, including historical knowledge. A commencement speaker is supposed to represent a model of citizenship to graduating students. To have Condoleezza Rice perform this role at Rutgers betrays both our mission and the trust of our students. It dishonors the Board and all of us....

The decision of the Board of Governors to award an honorary Law degree to someone who deceived her country and condoned an attempt to legalize torture dishonors both Rutgers and the law. It is also a slap in the face to the students and their educators....We seem to be saying that both our students and their teachers should ignore history and be indifferent to crimes committed....

We urge the Board of Governors to reverse its shocking and indecent decision."

Really?   Is that so?   You won't let anyone speak at your school who isn't "a model of citizenship"?   Really?

You won't allow anyone to speak at your school who condones torture?  Or anyone who lies to their country?  Really?

Hypocrites. Hyenas. Weasels. Scumbags. Vermin. None of these epithets suffice.

The academics who will welcome Mariela Castro and clap and cheer and pose for photos with her are so vile that no string of epithets -- no matter how long -- could ever serve to describe their villainous hypocrisy and their thirst for repression.

Are they any different from Nazis?  No, not really.

They love to silence those they disagree with, and at the same time love to praise someone like Mariela Castro, with whom they assume that they agree and with whom they feel some solidarity despite all of the despicable crimes that her family has committed, which they have never, ever, repented for, much less paid for.

Will anyone at Rutgers protest this visit?  Northern New Jersey is home for a lot of Cuban exiles, and many of them have attended Rutgers. Many are enrolled right now.  Will these Cubans speak up?  Will anyone listen to them, if they do?  Will anyone else express dismay over this nauseating display of hypocrisy?

Don't count on it.  There are far too many so-called intellectuals at Rutgers eager to kiss Mariela's bloodstained hands.  As long as she doesn't condemn her father's and uncle's actions -- and keeps praising them instead -- the blood they have spilled is on her hands too.


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