Heartland Weekly: Heartland President Joseph Bast Explains the Value of Great Books

Published June 20, 2016

If you don’t visit Somewhat Reasonable and the Heartlander digital magazine every day, you’re missing out on some of the best news and commentary on liberty and free markets you can find. But worry not, freedom lovers! The Heartland Weekly Email is here for you every Friday with a highlight show. Subscribe to the email today, and read this week’s edition below.

H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly
Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an anti-carbon-tax resolution – expressing concerns that a tax on carbon, applied to 85 percent of our nation’s energy, would be detrimental to the economy. Reports by the Congressional Budget Office and the National Association of Manufacturers reveals a carbon tax could eliminate 21 million jobs over the next 40 years. Additionally, CBO notes the tax would be highly regressive, harming the poorest American households the most. READ MORE

In the age of short tweets and even shorter attention spans, stressing the importance of preserving our Constitution often falls on deaf ears. On Wednesday, author and attorney David Shestokas came to The Heartland Institute’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center to talk about “Constitutional Soundbites,” his multi-media effort to engender respect and love for the Constitution in the twenty-first century. If you missed the live-stream, you can watch the presentation at Heartland’s YouTube page. READ MORE

Jane Shaw, National Review
Conservative scholar and former Philadelphia Society trustee Jane S. Shaw is impressed by Heartland President Joseph Bast’s description of our new Michael Parry Mazur Library and the enduring importance of books. In a post atNational Review Online, she writes: “Bast observed that the Internet can be manipulated by ‘governments and their allies.’ George Orwell warned in 1949 that ‘totalitarian regimes could exercise control over their citizens by making news of past events and articles about forbidden ideas disappear ‘down the memory hole.'” READ MORE

Recent government audits reveal IRS has refused to take steps to protect taxpayer data from hackers – which comes on top of the agency’s propensity to abuse its powers to threaten and intimidate conservative organizations. U.S. Rep. Pete Roskam (R-IL) joins The Heartland Daily Podcast to talk about the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act. Roskam explains how his bill guards against the abuse of government power and the threat of data breaches, by acknowledging that collecting the identities of donors to private organizations does not promote IRS’ primary function of revenue collection.  LISTEN TO MORE


Heartland Library Book Shelf of the Week – Law
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On Wednesday, June 29, food policy and agriculture writer Julie Kelly will be at The Heartland Institute’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois to discuss how GMOs have helped feed a growing world population and protect the environment. OnThursday, July 7, Cedrick Keith will be here to talk about his 4,000-plus-mile walk through the wilds of the East to help preserve the eastern brook trout. We hope to see you here in Arlington Heights, but if you are unable to attend in person, the events will be live-streamed and archived on Heartland’s YouTube page.SEE UPCOMING EVENTS HERE

Jesse Hathaway, Orange County Register 
A new digital system unveiled by Oklahoma government police is just the latest example of civil asset forfeiture laws encouraging cops to become the robbers they’re supposed to be catching. ERADs, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data systems, allow highway patrolmen to use asset forfeiture laws to seize individuals’ assets stored in bank accounts or on prepaid debit cards at the press of a button. No conviction required. This outrageous and corrupt violation of our civil liberties by government law enforcement agencies needs to stop now. READ MORE

Robert Holland, American Spectator
Education reformers on the right are too often fighting with each other about what they insist are the best paths. Some even lament that the fight against Common Core is a “distraction.” This is not helpful. We must be open to all ideas that can achieve one vital goal: Empowering parents and students and breaking the monopoly of the government school system that is failing on nearly every level. READ MORE

Ben Johnson, The Heartlander 
Learning nothing from the failed single-payer health care system proposed in Vermont, Massachusetts lawmakers are considering two bills that would institute a statewide universal health care system. Opponents of the proposition are already trying to warn citizens of the consequences of such a program – saying it would drive up health care costs, raise taxes, and reduce quality and access to health care. READ MORE

John and Donny continue their exploration of think tanks across the country in Episode #43 of the In The Tank Podcast. Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joins the show to talk about their work on The Jobs and Opportunity Index – an alternative economic measure to the unemployment rate. We also talk about the possibility of an unconditional basic income (UBI), or reverse income tax – a plan that was once endorsed by economist Milton Friedman. UBI would grant to poor citizens a yearly stipend that would replace the complicated maze of welfare bureaucracies we have today.  LISTEN HERE

Isaac Orr, Independent Journal Review  
Heartland Research Fellow Isaac Orr, “The Fracking Guy,” corrects a series of errors he says appears in a recent article in The New York Times titled “The Sand Mines That Ruin Farmland.” Orr writes, “Having grown up on the same farm where my grandfather was born in 1930, nothing makes my heart sink faster than seeing quality farmland disappear. It’s important, however, to understand the reality of the situation: Frac sand, oil, and natural gas must be harvested to meet the needs of our society, and these needs are being met in an environmentally responsible way.”  READ MORE

Joseph L. Bast, Somewhat Reasonable
Many people rely on our profile on Wikipedia to provide an objective description of our mission, programs, and accomplishments. Alas, the profile they find there is afake, filled with lies and libel about our funding, tactics, and the positions we take on controversial issues. Wikipedia refuses to make the changes we request. It even deletes and reverses all the changes made by others who know the profile is unreliable. We need your help! READ MORE

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