Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS PragerU Video: “How Big Government Hurts Women”<p> <span id="m_-3044784699797647348docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a">IWF and PragerU just joined forces (again) to release our new video,&nbsp;</span><strong>&quot;How Big Government Hurts Women.&quot;</strong>&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Women so often hear that bigger government is going to solve all their problems. From Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders touting government-paid-for child care and paid leave, and new regulations in the name of equality, the Left is constantly selling their agenda as necessary for women to thrive.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong><a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1574166647020000&amp;usg=AFQjCNE3maLoWucNIk-RUxFyaW8_GSMKtw" href=";id=ce8c59f254&amp;e=eb4c4cb700" target="_blank"><span id="m_-3044784699797647348docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a">Our video proves that this is simply wrong.</span></a></strong><br /> <br /> <span id="m_-3044784699797647348m_-7804663149322945001gmail-m_-8620124472852525198m_-2001208769771974373docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a">The reality is: These big-government mandates&nbsp;</span>don&rsquo;t help women thrive. They backfire, leading to less opportunity, choice, flexibility, and freedom.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong><span id="m_-3044784699797647348docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a">This video is just one of the many ways IWF is pushing back against the women-as-victims narrative and correcting the record about how policies&nbsp;</span>actually work in practice and principle.</strong><br /> <br /> <span id="m_-3044784699797647348docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a">We are making the case for more freedoms, expanded opportunities, and limited government every day in the media, online, and through our educational, enlightening, and engaging materials. And we invite you to take a look at all we&rsquo;re working on, starting with this thought-provoking video.</span><br /> <br /> <strong><span id="m_-3044784699797647348docs-internal-guid-f860fa6f-7fff-85db-1de5-99cacf893e1a"><a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1574166647020000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFuk-hTb4jKgqJ8oRY1fsa8FZXsTA" href=";id=456dcebc5f&amp;e=eb4c4cb700" target="_blank">Watch our new video, and see for yourself how big government hurts women.&gt;&gt;&gt;&nbsp;</a></span></strong></p> L. LukasWed, 4 Dec 2019 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum3 Reasons to Give Before Midnight: <p> <a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1575499138291000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFGxnbt-ZbQwor5uS_sswGj3p7xCg" href=";id=15ed50c979&amp;e=1fdae18dbf" target="_blank"><strong><span id="m_-5316601781703683660docs-internal-guid-cd7b3883-7fff-36b6-707d-fe453bbd751a">Here are 3 important reasons to give to Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum before tonight&rsquo;s deadline:</span></strong></a></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <span id="m_-5316601781703683660docs-internal-guid-9f02869c-7fff-399c-f41e-8e1c146cf95c"><strong>Freedom:</strong></span>&nbsp;Support our efforts to defend freedom at home and in democracies abroad. Specifically, your investment will support our reporting in battlegrounds like Hong Kong.</li> <li dir="ltr"> <span id="m_-5316601781703683660docs-internal-guid-9f02869c-7fff-399c-f41e-8e1c146cf95c"><strong>Justice:</strong></span>&nbsp;Support our efforts to preserve due process, individual liberty, and freedom of expression, association, and conscience. Specifically, your investment will support our new Independent Women&rsquo;s Law Center.</li> <li dir="ltr"> <strong>Opportunity:</strong>&nbsp;Support our efforts to protect job opportunities and choices, and fight against harmful regulations, restrictions, and red tape. Specifically, your investment will support our new Opportunity Economy center.</li> </ul> <p> We are so close to reaching our&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1575499138291000&amp;usg=AFQjCNH6NubDmGsIOPuGvg5Krb6RuWxmUQ" href=";id=0349752e01&amp;e=1fdae18dbf" target="_blank"><strong>goal of raising $12,000 before midnight</strong></a>, and I really don&rsquo;t want to tell our team that we can&rsquo;t fund some of our most important projects because we fell short of the funding needed. These projects are too important to give up now.<br /> <br /> <span id="m_-5316601781703683660docs-internal-guid-9f02869c-7fff-399c-f41e-8e1c146cf95c">I hope we can count on your generosity today on Giving Tuesday, and hope to see your name on our list when I review it at midnight.&nbsp;</span><br /> <br /> <a data-saferedirecturl=";source=gmail&amp;ust=1575499138291000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHJzCh8SfQdO5RciFCHpByCTBj6Dg" href=";id=39c4eeba4f&amp;e=1fdae18dbf" target="_blank"><strong><span id="m_-5316601781703683660docs-internal-guid-9f02869c-7fff-399c-f41e-8e1c146cf95c">Invest in Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum by 11:59 p.m.</span></strong></a></p> L. LukasTue, 3 Dec 2019 16:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTakeaways: Help Workers Prepare for Leave Time<p> Increasingly, companies are offering workers paid leave and other benefits voluntarily. Policymakers should take care not to disrupt this positive trend, but should embrace reforms to make it easier for workers to prepare for absences from work.</p> <p> <a href=""><font color="#c93b3e" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="background-image: initial; background-position: 0px 0px; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; outline-color: initial; outline-style: initial; font-size: 14px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image: initial;"><img alt="" src="" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; vertical-align: middle; width: 250px; height: 41px;" /></span></font></a></p> L. LukasMon, 25 Nov 2019 10:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumConservative women matter, too<p> The Women&rsquo;s March organizers are bringing their pink &ldquo;kitty&rdquo; hats later this month to host a convention, the latest iteration of the popular marches in Washington, D.C., and around the country in January.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s good news for Detroit, as women from all over will descend on the Motor City. About 2,400 have reportedly signed up so far, and the conference isn&rsquo;t cheap at nearly $300 a ticket.</p> <p> Seeing women come together and demonstrate their power is wonderful, but from the beginning the Women&rsquo;s March has been about one thing: Protesting President Donald Trump. And grief that Hillary Clinton didn&rsquo;t become the first woman in the Oval Office.</p> <p> Fine, except the group claims to be &ldquo;inclusive&rdquo; and for &ldquo;unity.&rdquo; When reading through the convention agenda and looking at confirmed speakers, however, it&rsquo;s clear organizers are shutting out a large swath of American women: conservatives.</p> <p> Ironically, it was women who helped push Trump into office. women voted for him, and of white women did.</p> <p> The convention is dubbed &ldquo;Reclaiming our time.&rdquo; Yet all this resistance comes at a time when women have a lot to celebrate.</p> <p> The list of women in power in and out of the Trump administration is impressive. Kellyanne Conway is counselor to the president; Betsy DeVos of Grand Rapids is Education Secretary; Hope Hicks is White House communications director; Sarah Huckabee Sanders is press secretary; Nikki Haley is ambassador to the United Nations; Ronna McDaniel, also from Michigan, is chairwoman of the Republican National Committee; and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen is on her way to sitting on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.</p> <p> But were any of these successful and influential women invited to speak in Detroit? No way. It&rsquo;s as if women on the left can&rsquo;t bring themselves to acknowledge their right-leaning counterparts. Black conservatives face similar shunning in their community.</p> <p> &ldquo;Liberals paint women into a corner as single issue voters and insist voting against the Democratic Party is going &lsquo;against their own voice,&rsquo; &rdquo; McDaniel said in a statement. &ldquo;The advancement of women is something I care passionately about. The sooner the liberal movement realizes that maybe they don&rsquo;t actually speak for all women and begin to listen to what the other side has to say, the sooner we can start working together to find real solutions that work for everyone.&rdquo;</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></strong></span></span>, which teaches women about personal liberty and free markets, isn&rsquo;t surprised to see the convention&rsquo;s agenda. She says many of the Women&rsquo;s March principles are less about promoting women and more about advancing a far-left agenda.</p> <p> &ldquo;Conservative women or pro-life women are not welcome,&rdquo; Lukas says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a shame.&rdquo;</p> <p> I asked Sumaiya Ahmed Sheikh, who is on the local host committee, whether any conservative or Republican women were invited to speak or be on a panel. She had to check and get back me.</p> <p> Her reply: &ldquo;We have speakers who align with the unity principles of the Women&rsquo;s March. Everyone is welcome.&rdquo;</p> <p> Those principles are: civil rights, reproductive justice, gender justice, anti-violence and immigrant rights.</p> <p> Christen Pollo, executive director of Students for Life of Michigan, was disappointed when it became clear how closed-minded the Women&rsquo;s March was to other views. Pro-life women were explicitly asked not to come to the D.C. march.</p> <p> &ldquo;We were really excited to be a part of it,&rdquo; says Pollo, who describes herself as a feminist. &ldquo;There are a lot of things we can unite on and have in common. But somehow we are less important than feminists who are pro-choice.&rdquo;</p> <p> And the convention is no different. Sponsors of the event include Planned Parenthood and Emily&rsquo;s List (a group that helps elect pro-choice Democratic women).</p> <p> Among the liberal celebrities and activists, the list of speakers highlights politicians U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters and Brenda Lawrence, state Rep. Stephanie Chang, Detroit councilwoman Raquel Casta&ntilde;eda Lopez, and former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib &mdash; all Democrats.</p> <p> &ldquo;This convention is welcome to anyone and everyone,&rdquo; says Ahmed Sheikh. &ldquo;We are engaging and empowering all women.&rdquo;</p> <p> Unless you&rsquo;re a conservative woman.</p> <p> Pollo says she&rsquo;s not planning to go to the convention, given the clear message that her views aren&rsquo;t accepted.</p> <p> &ldquo;They are alienating a lot of women,&rdquo; Pollo says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not too threatened, and it&rsquo;s only going to hurt them in the end.&rdquo;</p> L. LukasWed, 20 Nov 2019 07:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew FBI agents ‘don’t really know what happened’ on 9/11<p> Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has long worried that schools aren&rsquo;t teaching enough American history.</p> <p> In winning an award from the&nbsp;<span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></span></a></strong></span>&nbsp;last week, she noted, for example, that students can&rsquo;t identify the Berlin Wall.</p> <p> Then she added, &ldquo;I recently had a revealing conversation with FBI Director Wray. He told me that many incoming FBI agents are so young, they don&rsquo;t really know what happened on September 11, 2001. &lsquo;Some people did something,&rsquo; we&rsquo;ve heard it said,&rsquo;&rdquo; she quoted him saying.</p> <p> Her comment came during a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">wide-ranging speech</a>&nbsp;as she was addressing the inability by many to pick the schools their children attend, instead leaving it up to chance.</p> <p> &ldquo;I think of the parents who want to free their child from a school that&rsquo;s failing them and are sometimes allowed by &lsquo;the system&rsquo; to enter a lottery for only a few seats in a different school. Thousands of children vie for limited openings. The students are represented as numbered balls in a cage as if children and their futures are a bingo game. Their parents are devastated when their child&rsquo;s number isn&rsquo;t called, and they have no power to do anything about it. They are forced to stay in the school that doesn&rsquo;t work,&rdquo; said the education secretary.</p> <p> &ldquo;Is it any wonder then that there are two out of three students in this country who can&rsquo;t read like they should? Two out of three who can&rsquo;t add, subtract, divide, or multiply like they should. Two out of three who do not know &mdash; let alone understand &mdash; our country&rsquo;s history like they should,&rdquo; said Devos.</p> <p> &ldquo;Appallingly, 55% of high school seniors have what the researchers call a &lsquo;below basic&rsquo; knowledge of American history. In the real world, that means more than half of our young men and women don&rsquo;t know what the Lincoln-Douglas debates were about; they can&rsquo;t identify that a photo labeled &lsquo;Berlin 1989&rsquo; depicts the fall of the Berlin Wall; nor do they understand the significance of those momentous events,&rdquo; she added.</p> <p> After her comment about the FBI, she said, &ldquo;We know that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And doesn&rsquo;t that precisely describe America&rsquo;s antiquated approach to education?&rdquo;</p> L. LukasMon, 18 Nov 2019 09:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDeVos's remarks at IWF are encouraging sign prior to release of Title IX regulations<p> Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos accepted the Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award from the <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span>. At the event, she&nbsp;<a href="">made remarks</a>&nbsp;about Title IX, among other issues, which have been posted on the Department of Education&rsquo;s website. The speech comes as the department is readying the release of the final version of its Title IX regulations, which are expected to include&nbsp;<a href="">welcome changes</a>&nbsp;from the directives issued by the previous administration.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> In describing the previous Title IX regime, DeVos criticized the lack of specific procedural safeguards in many campus disciplinary processes:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p> Whatever evidence is presented may or may not be shown to all parties. Whatever witnesses&mdash;if even allowed to be called&mdash;may or may not be cross-examined. And government dictated that schools must use the lowest standard of proof.</p> </blockquote> <p> This is no exaggeration; FIRE has been sounding the alarm about these problems for years. In fact, our annual&nbsp;<a href="">Spotlight on Due Process report</a>, which rates the due process protections afforded to students at our nation&rsquo;s top 53 universities, explicitly looks for many of the same protections DeVos mentioned. Unfortunately, most colleges abjectly fail to ensure these basic due process protections. To take just one of Secretary DeVos&rsquo; examples, a shocking 90.6 percent of campuses studied provide no guarantee that respondents can meaningfully cross-examine witnesses.&nbsp;</p> <p> DeVos also mentioned the growing phenomenon of campus&nbsp;<a href="">bias response teams</a>&nbsp;&mdash; groups of administrators and others (often including law enforcement officials) who take reports of and &ldquo;address&rdquo; student and faculty speech deemed to fall under a variety of broad definitions of &ldquo;bias.&rdquo; In 2017, FIRE&nbsp;<a href="">published a report</a>&nbsp;on these bias response teams and found, as the secretary mentioned in her speech, that over 200 schools empaneled such groups. Unsurprisingly, FIRE&rsquo;s report discovered many instances wherein these teams reported constitutionally protected speech.&nbsp;</p> <p> Also noteworthy among DeVos&rsquo;s remarks was her criticism of &ldquo;incredible broad definitions of &hellip; harassment.&rdquo; One of FIRE&rsquo;s major critiques of the&nbsp;<a href="">post-2013 Title IX regime</a>&nbsp;was that the Department of Education&rsquo;s Office for Civil Rights was purporting to require schools to adopt an extraordinarily low standard for sexual harassment. That definition &mdash; &ldquo;any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,&rdquo; including &ldquo;verbal conduct&rdquo; &mdash; sent a strong message to colleges that they must adopt clearly unconstitutional speech codes in the form of sexual harassment policies.&nbsp;</p> <p> FIRE has long expressed sentiments much like that of Secretary DeVos when she says, &ldquo;Punishing speech protected by the First Amendment trivializes actual harassment. Harassment codes which trample freedom of speech derail the primary mission of a school&mdash;of learning&hellip; that is, to pursue truth.&rdquo; Colleges&rsquo; responsibilities to defend free speech and academic inquiry and to curb discriminatory harassment need not be in tension. For this reason&nbsp;<a href="">and many more</a>, we&rsquo;ve suggested that the department use the Supreme Court definition of student-on-student sexual harassment from&nbsp;<a href="">Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education</a>. That standard, which strikes an appropriate balance between prohibiting harassment and protecting free expression, appeared in the department&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="">draft regulations</a>&nbsp;last year.&nbsp;<a href="">FIRE&rsquo;s comment to the Department of Education</a>&nbsp;strongly encouraged it to stick to this definition in its final regulations.&nbsp;</p> <p> FIRE is always appreciative when&nbsp;<a href="">leaders bring</a>&nbsp;<a href="">public attention</a>&nbsp;<a href="">to our issues</a>. With the looming release of the new Title IX regulations, we&rsquo;re heartened by the positions signaled in Secretary DeVos&rsquo;s speech</p> L. LukasMon, 18 Nov 2019 07:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEducation Secretary: 200 colleges use 'speech bullies' to prevent 'hurt feelings'<p> The goal of protecting free speech on college and university campuses is being stymied by an army of &ldquo;speech bullies&rdquo; whose role is to block &ldquo;hurt feelings,&rdquo; according to the education secretary.</p> <p> Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday the speech SWAT teams are at 200 schools and interfere with learning and helping students interact with ideas they might not agree with.</p> <p> Referring to the University of Michigan&rsquo;s recent decision to dismantle its Bias Response Team, she said the school still had the Inclusive Campus Corps, and other schools are also policing talk.</p> <p> &ldquo;The school still employs 76 diversity-related administrators who cost taxpayers and students more than $10 million in compensation every year. They focus on every kind of diversity except a diversity of ideas,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p> &ldquo;And the University of Michigan isn&rsquo;t alone. More than 200 other colleges and universities still have teams of speech bullies with the power to punish perpetrators of hurt feelings,&rdquo; said DeVos in a speech to the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span>,</a>&nbsp;which presented her with the Woman of Valor award.</p> <p> The education secretary said that free speech must be protected on campuses, even if it hurts feelings.</p> <p> &ldquo;Feelings are important, but learning isn&rsquo;t about feelings. It&rsquo;s about thinking. And it&rsquo;s a willingness to engage with any and all ideas &mdash; even ones with which you disagree or ones that aren&rsquo;t your own,&rdquo; she said according to a copy of her speech shared with Secrets.</p> <p> &ldquo;This administration won&rsquo;t let students be silenced. We stand with their right to speak and with their right to learn truth. Truth can be pursued, and it can be known. Students of all ages need the freedom to seek it,&rdquo; she added.</p> L. LukasThu, 14 Nov 2019 13:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumColleges Using 'Speech Bullies' to Guard Against 'Hurt Feelings'<p> In a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">speech on freedom in education</a>&nbsp;at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum on Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Betsy DeVos</a>&nbsp;said that &ldquo;200 &hellip; colleges and universities &hellip; have teams of speech bullies with the power to punish perpetrators of hurt feelings.&rdquo;</p> <p> DeVos decried what she described as the overreach of the previous administration on&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Title IX</a>, and the extraordinary expansion of the definition of &lsquo;harassment&rsquo; at many American universities to such an extent that students and faculty regularly face investigation and punishment &ldquo;for only speaking their minds or teaching their classes.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> &quot;[G]overnment is generally not the solution to any problem. It&#39;s generally the problem. Government has never made anything better or cheaper, more effective or more efficient. And nowhere is that more true than in education.&quot; <a href="">@BetsyDeVos</a> at <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#2019AAG</a><br /> <br /> [image <a href="">@ShorelineStrat</a>]</p> &mdash; IWF (@IWF) <a href="">November 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <p> The comments came as DeVos was presented with the &lsquo;Woman of Valor&rsquo; award by the IWF. DeVos said in her speech that while there can be no place for sexual misconduct on campus or anywhere else, &ldquo;We can&rsquo;t ignore bedrock American principles: justice, due process, and the rule of law.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Education Secretary said that &ldquo;Title IX, we know, has become less about equality and more about engineering. It&rsquo;s become less about students and their learning, and more about students and their speech. That&rsquo;s borne out in the effort to enforce ambiguous and incredibly broad definitions of assault and harassment. Too many cases involve students and faculty who faced investigation and punishment for only speaking their minds or teaching their classes. Any perceived offense can become a full-blown Title IX investigation.&rdquo;</p> <p> DeVos then went on to stress that &ldquo;If everything is harassment, then nothing is.</p> <p> &ldquo;Punishing speech protected by the First Amendment trivializes actual harassment. Harassment codes which trample&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">freedom of speech</a>&nbsp;derail the primary mission of a school&mdash;of learning &hellip; that is, to pursue truth. Sadly, students are often told there is no such thing as truth. Acknowledging it means certain feelings or certain ideas could be wrong. Too many institutions of higher learning come down on the wrong side of all that.&rdquo;</p> <p> DeVos said that a so-called &lsquo;Bias Response Team&rsquo; had been established at the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">University of Michigan</a>&mdash;essentially campus cops who had the power to investigate students for incidents of &lsquo;bias&rsquo; and hurt feelings. A circuit court subsequently ordered the team to be disbanded.</p> <p> However, DeVos did not believe the court ruling caused the university to have a change of heart. &ldquo;Although they did eliminate the Bias Response Team,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;in Ann Arbor alone, the school still employs 76 diversity-related administrators who cost taxpayers and students more than 10 million dollars in compensation every year. They focus on every kind of diversity except a diversity of ideas. And the University of Michigan isn&rsquo;t alone. More than 200 other colleges and universities still have teams of speech bullies with the power to punish perpetrators of hurt feelings.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Secretary DeVos at ?<a href="">@IWF</a>?:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;the school still employs 76 diversity-related administrators who cost taxpayers and students more than 10 million dollars in compensation every year. They focus on every kind of diversity except a diversity of ideas.&rdquo; <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Cynthia P Garrett (@cgarrett101) <a href="">November 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &nbsp;</p> L. LukasThu, 14 Nov 2019 09:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolicy Focus: Help Workers Prepare for Leave Time<div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <div> <p> Increasingly, companies are offering workers paid leave and other benefits voluntarily. Policymakers should take care not to disrupt this positive trend, but should embrace reforms to make it easier for workers to prepare for absences from work.</p> <p> First, policymakers should update the outdated Fair Labor Standards Act to give workers the option to be compensated for overtime with time-and-a-half of paid leave. Government workers already enjoy this option, and it would particularly benefit working parents, those caring for elderly parents and those with personal illnesses. Those who anticipate an absence from work and lack sufficient paid leave benefits would then have the ability to seek overtime opportunities so that they can accrue paid leave benefits for future use. This reform would also be particularly important for lower-income workers, who are more likely to be subject to the overtime regulations and are less likely to have access to employer-offered paid leave benefits.</p> <p> Policymakers should also consider expanding health savings accounts (HSAs), both to allow workers to increase their contributions to HSAs so that they can accrue more assets in their accounts and to give them the option to use HSA funds to replace income lost during unpaid leave from work.</p> <p> These policies won&rsquo;t solve the entire challenge of ensuring that all workers have paid time off when they need it, but they are steps in the right direction. They make it easier for workers to help themselves and, importantly, would not disrupt the trend of employers offering paid leave benefits on their own.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p> <a href=""><font face="Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 50px;" /></span></font></a></p> L. LukasTue, 12 Nov 2019 10:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStrong Economy Allows Businesses to Determine Their Own Minimum Wage • Your World with Neil Cavuto L. LukasTue, 5 Nov 2019 11:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCoalition Letter: ATR Leads Coalition Opposed to Pelosi's 95 Percent Drug Tax<p> <a href="" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(201, 56, 46); text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out 0s; outline: 0px; font-family: Atlan, &quot;Open Sans&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 22px;" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; vertical-align: middle; transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out 0s; width: 270px; height: 45px;" /></a></p> <p> Dear Members of Congress:</p> <p> We write in opposition to the prescription drug pricing bill offered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would impose an excise tax of up to a 95 percent on hundreds of prescription medicines.</p> <p> In addition to this new tax, the bill imposes new government price controls that would decimate innovation and distort supply, leading to the same lack of access to the newest and best drugs for patients in other countries that impose these price controls.</p> <p> Under Speaker Pelosi&rsquo;s plan, pharmaceutical manufacturers would face a retroactive tax of up to 95 percent on the total sales of a drug (not net profits). This means that a manufacturer selling a medicine for $100 will owe $95 in tax for every product sold with no allowance for the costs incurred. No deductions would be allowed, and it would be imposed on manufacturers in addition to federal and state income taxes they must pay.</p> <p> The alternative to paying this tax is for the companies to submit to strict government price controls on the medicines they produce. While the Pelosi bill claims this is &ldquo;negotiation,&rdquo; the plan is more akin to theft.</p> <p> If this tax hike plan were signed into law, it would cripple the ability of manufacturers to operate and develop new medicines.</p> <p> It is clear that the Pelosi plan does not represent a good faith attempt to lower drug prices. Rather, it is a proposal that would crush the pharmaceutical industry, deter innovation, and dramatically reduce the ability of patients to access life-saving medicines.</p> <p> We urge you to oppose the Pelosi plan that would impose price controls and a 95 percent medicine tax on the companies that develop and produce these medicines.</p> <p> Sincerely,</p> <p> Grover Norquist<br /> President, Americans For Tax Reform</p> <p> James L. Martin<br /> Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association</p> <p> Saulius &ldquo;Saul&rdquo; Anuzis<br /> President, 60 Plus Association&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Marty Connors<br /> Chair, Alabama Center Right Coalition&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Bob Carlstrom<br /> President, AMAC Action</p> <p> Dick Patten<br /> President, American Business Defense Council</p> <p> Phil Kerpen<br /> President, American Commitment</p> <p> Daniel Schneider<br /> Executive Director, American Conservative Union</p> <p> Steve Pociask<br /> President/CEO, The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research</p> <p> Lisa B. Nelson<br /> CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council</p> <p> Michael Bowman<br /> Vice President of Policy, ALEC Action</p> <p> Dee Stewart<br /> President, Americans for a Balanced Budget</p> <p> Tom Giovanetti???????<br /> President, Americans for a Strong Economy</p> <p> Norm Singleton<br /> President, Campaign for Liberty</p> <p> Ryan Ellis<br /> President, Center for a Free Economy</p> <p> Andrew F. Quinlan???????<br /> President, Center for Freedom &amp; Prosperity</p> <p> Jeffrey Mazzella ???????<br /> President, Center for Individual Freedom</p> <p> Ginevra Joyce-Myers<br /> Executive Director, Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise</p> <p> Peter J. Pitts<br /> President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest</p> <p> Olivia Grady<br /> Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom</p> <p> Chuck Muth ???????<br /> President, Citizen Outreach</p> <p> David McIntosh<br /> President, Club for Growth</p> <p> Curt Levey???????<br /> President, The Committee for Justice</p> <p> Iain Murray<br /> Vice President, Competitive Enterprise Institute</p> <p> James Edwards<br /> Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights</p> <p> Matthew Kandrach???????<br /> President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy</p> <p> Fred Cyrus Roeder???????<br /> Managing Director, Consumer Choice Center</p> <p> Tom Schatz ???????<br /> President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste</p> <p> Katie McAuliffe???????<br /> Executive Director, Digital Liberty</p> <p> Richard Watson<br /> Co-Chair, Florida Center Right Coalition</p> <p> Adam Brandon<br /> President, Freedomworks???????</p> <p> George Landrith ???????<br /> President, Frontiers of Freedom</p> <p> Grace-Marie Turner<br /> President, Galen Institute</p> <p> Naomi Lopez<br /> Director of Healthcare Policy, Goldwater Institute</p> <p> The Honorable Frank Lasee ???????<br /> President, The Heartland Institute</p> <p> Jessica Anderson<br /> Vice President, Heritage Action for America</p> <p> Rodolfo E. Milani ???????<br /> Trustee, Hispanic American Center for Economic Research<br /> Founder, Miami Freedom Forum</p> <p> Mario H. Lopez<br /> President, Hispanic Leadership Fund</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ed425b;">Carrie Lukas</span><br /> <span style="background-color:#ed425b;">President, Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Heather R. Higgins<br /> CEO, Independent Women&rsquo;s Voice</p> <p> Merrill Matthews<br /> Resident Scholar, Institute for Policy Innovation</p> <p> Chris Ingstad???????<br /> President, Iowans for Tax Relief</p> <p> Sal Nuzzo???????<br /> Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute</p> <p> The Honorable Paul R LePage ???????<br /> Governor of Maine 2011-2019</p> <p> Seton Motley<br /> President, Less Government</p> <p> Doug McCullough<br /> Director, Lone Star Policy Institute</p> <p> Mary Adams<br /> Chair, Maine Center Right Coalition</p> <p> Matthew Gagnon???????<br /> CEO, The Maine Heritage Policy Center</p> <p> Victoria Bucklin ???????<br /> President, Maine State Chapter - Parents Involved in Education</p> <p> Charles Sauer ???????<br /> President, Market Institute</p> <p> Jameson Taylor, Ph.D.<br /> Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy</p> <p> The Honorable Tim Jones<br /> Leader, Missouri Center-Right Coalition</p> <p> Brent Mead<br /> CEO, Montana Policy Institute</p> <p> Pete Sepp ???????<br /> President, National Taxpayers Union</p> <p> The Honorable Bill O&#39;Brien<br /> The Honorable Stephen Stepanek???????<br /> Co-chairs, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition</p> <p> The Honorable Beth A. O&rsquo;Connor<br /> Maine House of Representatives</p> <p> The Honorable Niraj J. Antani???????<br /> Ohio State Representative</p> <p> Douglas Kellogg<br /> Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform</p> <p> Honorable Jeff Kropf ???????<br /> Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation</p> <p> Daniel Erspamer ???????<br /> CEO, Pelican Institute for Public Policy</p> <p> Lorenzo Montanari???????<br /> Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance</p> <p> Paul Gessing ???????<br /> President, Rio Grande Foundation</p> <p> James L. Setterlund???????<br /> Executive Director, Shareholder Advocacy Forum</p> <p> Karen Kerrigan<br /> President and CEO, Small Business Entrepreneurship Council</p> <p> David Miller &amp; Brian Shrive<br /> Chairs, Southwest Ohio Center-right Coalition</p> <p> Tim Andrews<br /> Executive Director, Taxpayers Protection Alliance</p> <p> Judson Phillips<br /> President, Tea Party Nation</p> <p> David Balat ???????<br /> Director, Right on Healthcare - Texas Public Policy Foundation</p> <p> Sara Croom ???????<br /> President, Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity</p> <p> Kevin Fuller<br /> Executive Director, Wyoming Liberty Group</p> L. LukasTue, 15 Oct 2019 09:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTwo Truths and a Lie: Female Genital Mutilation<p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker &ldquo;two truths and a lie.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">Let&rsquo;s see what you know about the important, and underreported, problem of Female Genital Mutilation.&nbsp; Can you spot which of the following statements is a lie?</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">A) &nbsp; &nbsp; Female Genital Mutilation has no health benefits.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">B) &nbsp; &nbsp; Female Genital Mutilation is only a problem in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia &ndash; women in America aren&rsquo;t at risk of FGM.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">C) &nbsp; &nbsp; Female Genital Mutilation isn&rsquo;t currently included in the Violence Against Women Act.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">A) True:&nbsp; The World Health Organization</span><a href=""> defines</a> female genital mutilation as the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia for nonmedical reasons, which they detail has no health benefits, and in fact, results in lasting physical injury and can even result in the death of the girls and women who undergo the procedure.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">B) Lie:&nbsp; While FGM is most common in Africa, the Middle East and Asia&mdash;where a jaw dropping 200 million girls and women have undergone the procedure&mdash;young women around the globe are at risk. In fact, according to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated </span><a href="">513,000 women and girls</a> in the U.S. have experienced or are at risk of mutilation.&nbsp; In 2017, three medical practioners in <a href="'s-Prioritize-Protecting-Girls">Michigan</a> faced trial for performing FGM on girls living in America. &nbsp; There are still <a href="">15 states</a> that lack laws against FGM.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">C)&nbsp; True:&nbsp; Currently the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) does not address female genital mutilation.&nbsp; Congress is working to reauthorize VAWA and considering making funding through VAWA available to those working to spread awareness and prevent FGM.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-b899359d-7fff-eb2a-bfcc-c7db407ca2f6">Learn more about this important issue </span><a href="">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> L. LukasTue, 8 Oct 2019 08:10:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumElizabeth Warren’s Family-Leave Plan Would Weaken Family Relationships<p> Senator Elizabeth Warren argues for her sweeping new government child-care program in personal terms. Invoking her days as a young working mom struggling to find reliable, quality child care for her two children, she explains that she wants to spare today&rsquo;s young families similar stress.</p> <p> Her story does reveal the stakes of the child-care debate &mdash; but not in the way she thinks.</p> <p> Warren&rsquo;s tale of unappealing day-care centers and unreliable babysitters has a happy ending. In a recent interview with the lifestyle website&nbsp;<em>Romper</em>, she described how she broke down on the phone while talking to her widowed Aunt Bee from Oklahoma about the challenges of balancing work and family life. Bee gave a life-changing response. &ldquo;She said, &lsquo;Well, I can&rsquo;t get there tomorrow. But I can come on Thursday,&rsquo;&rdquo; recalls the presidential candidate. &ldquo;And she arrived with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy, and stayed for 16 years.&rdquo;</p> <p> Not everyone has a family member like Aunt Bee who can step up, move across the country, and fill child-care needs for more than a decade. But extended families, friends, and neighbors do play a tremendous role in providing care to children around the country. Unfortunately, that&rsquo;s a fact that Senator Warren&rsquo;s child-care plan not only overlooks but would change, by discouraging the use of family caregivers.</p> <p> Warren proposes equal child-care options at qualified day-care centers for all families regardless of income. Those families with higher incomes would pay a subsidized fee, and those with household incomes below about $50,000 would be covered by the federal government. Her plan also would provide subsidies, so that no family spent more than 7 percent of its income on child care.</p> <p> The costs of this proposal are considerable: Economists for Moody&rsquo;s Analytics estimated that it would require $70 billion per year, a sum Warren plans to cover by imposing a wealth tax on households with assets exceeding $50 million. It&rsquo;s tempting to criticize the economics: Enormous subsidies for child care would encourage day-care centers to jack up their prices, such that the burden on taxpayers would continue to grow; a wealth tax would have far-reaching economic impacts as those affected by it moved their assets overseas, depriving the economy of capital; and the effects of less investment would trickle down to harm businesses, customers, and everyday workers.</p> <p> Yet the economic problems aren&rsquo;t the main reason to oppose the plan. Far more important would be its harmful impact on families and communities.&nbsp;</p> <p> By making day-care centers free or very low-cost, Warren&rsquo;s plan would induce more families to rely on formal child-care providers. Currently, while most families with young children have child-care needs, only a minority of them use formal day-care centers. As of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 percent of mothers with children under age six worked outside the home. But Pew Social Trends reported that just shy of half (48 percent) of children under age six with working parents were enrolled in preschool or day care as of 2015. Nearly as many (45 percent) depended on family members other than parents to take care of them, and a nanny or babysitter looked after 16 percent.</p> <p> Many of these extended-family caregivers were likely living in the same home as the young children they were helping to raise. That&rsquo;s an underdiscussed reality of today&rsquo;s family life: Pew Research Center reports that just 12 percent of households were multigenerational in 1980, but that number has risen across all racial groups. Today, an estimated one in five Americans live in a multigenerational household.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> There are many reasons that different generations end up living in the same household, and not all are positive: a parent&rsquo;s addiction problem that leaves grandparents caring for young children; adult children&rsquo;s inability to find employment that enables them to leave home; an elderly family member&rsquo;s disability that requires extensive care. But Warren ought to know firsthand that these multigenerational living situations can also be beneficial, both for young families that benefit from having more caregivers and for the older caregivers, who remain more engaged and engrained in family life than they would be on their own.&nbsp;</p> <p> Such relationships would be undermined by a government program that enabled families to replace family caregivers, whether stay-at-home parents or other relatives, at no cost. If government foots the bill for a day-care program, especially one that&rsquo;s been stamped &ldquo;high quality&rdquo; by a federal agency, then there is no clear reason for Aunt Bee to help out, for Mom or Dad to stay home, or for a grandparent to watch the new baby. Government will have taken over that responsibility from the family.&nbsp;</p> <p> Currently, parents don&rsquo;t rely on family members for child care just because they offer free labor. While cost is certainly a factor, most parents also believe that their children are better off when they are cared for by someone who has a lasting interest in their well-being.&nbsp;</p> <p> In 2014, Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of Americans think it is best for children if at least one parent stays home. The research organization Public Agenda surveyed parents with children five and younger in 2000 and found that nearly two out of three (63 percent) disagreed with the statement &ldquo;A top-notch day care center can provide care as good as what a child would get from a stay-at-home parent.&rdquo; That same research found that four out of five young mothers (ages 18&ndash;29) said they would rather stay home to care for their children than work full-time.&nbsp;</p> <p> But even if many parents believe that kids are generally better off when cared for at home by a loved one, it will be hard for many to resist the temptation to take advantage of a taxpayer-funded child-care service once the government has established it.&nbsp;</p> <p> In Quebec&rsquo;s experience with government child care provides a useful example of what we could expect under Warren&rsquo;s proposal. In 2000, Quebec introduced $5-a-day child care for all children. This dramatic shift in policy &mdash; which led to an increase in child-care use of more than one-third &mdash; provides researchers with rich data to explore.&nbsp;</p> <p> As Steven Rhoads,&nbsp; professor emeritus of politics at the University of Virginia, and I detailed in&nbsp;<em>National Affairs</em>&nbsp;earlier this year, over more than a decade, several well-respected studies have found that Quebec&rsquo;s child-care policy has led to a host of negative outcomes, including increased family stress, increased aggressiveness and anxiety and worse health outcomes among children, worse parenting, reduced mental health and relationship satisfaction among adults, and even a rise in criminality.&nbsp;</p> <p> These studies challenge the popular idea that day care is good for children&rsquo;s social, educational, and other outcomes. In making such claims, media tend to cherry-pick favorable findings while overlooking other research &mdash; much of it more intensive &mdash; suggesting that day care, especially when used long-term and for the youngest children, is associated with negative outcomes. Academics should continue to explore the impact of day care on individual children, families, and communities. Yet the available findings, along with parents&rsquo; stated preferences, ought to discourage lawmakers from enacting policies &mdash; such as the one advanced by Senator Warren &mdash; that would create a tremendous financial incentive to replace family-based care with day care.</p> <p> Opposing Senator Warren&rsquo;s plan to heavily subsidize day-care centers doesn&rsquo;t mean that nothing should be done for families with young children, including those that use day care.&nbsp;</p> <p> Currently, day-care centers are very expensive, and they are often more expensive than they need to be.&nbsp; According to in 2018, a third of families spent 20 percent or more of their total household income on child care. Infant care in a day-care center routinely costs more than $1,000 a month, and in some major cities it can be nearly twice that.</p> <p> One factor contributing to day care&rsquo;s high costs is government regulation. Economists at George Mason University&rsquo;s Mercatus Center conducted an analysis of how regulations affect day-care cost and quality. They found that regulations favored by many governments because compliance is easy to monitor &mdash; such as limiting child&ndash;staff ratios and group sizes &mdash; have failed to improve quality of care but significantly raised costs. The study concludes, &ldquo;Eliminating regulatory standards that do not affect the quality of care while focusing on those that do . . . will improve the quality of child care while making it more affordable to low-income families.&rdquo;</p> <p> Senator Warren should keep this in mind. She refers to &ldquo;high quality&rdquo; day-care centers, but the government has a poor record of adopting rules that actually lead to high-quality environments for children. Rather than layering on regulations, policymakers should eliminate those that aren&rsquo;t useful and that needlessly raise costs.&nbsp;</p> <p> The 2017 tax cut increased child tax credits, but policymakers concerned about the burden on young families could consider increasing them still more. Lawmakers could also target increases for families with children ages five and younger, since those families tend to face the biggest financial strains. Such relief would help all families, regardless of the kind and amount of child care they use.</p> <p> Senator Warren doesn&rsquo;t sound like she regrets that her aunt played such an important role in her family. And I&rsquo;d bet that Aunt Bee, like so many family members who have stepped up to help loved ones with young children, took pride in that contribution and experienced joy in her close relationship with her grand niece and nephew. That&rsquo;s something that government can&rsquo;t replace and shouldn&rsquo;t discourage.</p> L. LukasFri, 27 Sep 2019 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLocation, location, huge mortgage, location<p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas</span></strong></span></span> and her husband, who have five school-age children, pay a huge mortgage for a&nbsp;<a href="">home in a good school district</a>. Three years after they moved in, &ldquo;county officials are&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">debating rewriting school boundaries</a>, so that our house would no longer qualify for Virginia&rsquo;s Langley High School, one of the&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">top rated high schools in the state</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p> Because it&rsquo;s so hard for homeowners to move, public schools essentially have a &ldquo;captive clientele,&rdquo; writes Lukas, who is&nbsp;president of the&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a>. Education doesn&rsquo;t operate like a real marketplace, where the customer can take his or her business elsewhere if service is poor or prices are high.</p> <p> As Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wrote in&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>The Two-Income Trap</em>,</a>&nbsp;our current system &ldquo;drives couples to take on&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">bigger and bigger mortgages</a>, in part to gain access to desirable public schools,&rdquo; writes Lukas.</p> <p> Of course, everyone wants their kids to go to the best schools. &ldquo;Prioritizing those who live close by and pay taxes to support the school makes sense,&rdquo; she writes.</p> <p> However, Lukas wants to see alternatives.</p> <blockquote> <p> For example, giving all parents the right to take even just half of their students&rsquo; per-pupil spending (which is more than&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">$14,000 in my home, Fairfax County, Virginia</a>) and using it for tuition at an alternative school would increase accountability for public schools, give unhappy parents an escape hatch from bad school systems, and loosen the relationship between location and educational opportunities.</p> </blockquote> <p> In Arizona,&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">education savings accounts</a>&nbsp;allow &ldquo;qualifying families to take a portion of the state&rsquo;s allotted spending on their child&rsquo;s education and spend it on any number of individualized options, including private school tuition, online services, educational therapy for special needs and even hiring tutors in the home,&rdquo; writes Lukas.</p> <p> Florida lets as few as&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">five or 10 families</a>, &ldquo;with the same vision but not necessarily the same ZIP code,&rdquo;&nbsp; join or start their own&nbsp;&ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">micro school,</a>&rdquo; she writes.</p> <p> &ldquo;A real education marketplace&rdquo; will help kids learn more, &ldquo;reduce financial pressure on millions of families and make finding a place to call home a little less stressful,&rdquo; concludes Lukas.</p> L. LukasThu, 5 Sep 2019 15:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIs civility a lost cause?<p> It&rsquo;s Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah of summer, so I hope you are currently on a beach with a beer in hand.&nbsp;</p> <p> And while Twitter and politics may be far from your mind, a few events from the week are worth pondering.&nbsp;</p> <p> Calls for civility are frequent, with various politicians and groups raising the alarm over our growing divides.&nbsp;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s hard to be against civility, right? But I wonder how many people, deep down, really want that. Some seem to revel in the division.&nbsp;</p> <p> Take, for instance, a ridiculous social media exchange from last week that took on a life of its own.&nbsp;</p> <p> David Karpf, an associate professor of media at George Washington University, sent out a tweet playing off news that bedbugs had infested The New York Times: &ldquo;The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens.&rdquo;</p> <p> Stephens, if you don&rsquo;t know, is a conservative-leaning columnist at The New York Times &mdash; and formerly of The Wall Street Journal. He&rsquo;s a wonderful writer and a thoughtful observer. And although he must be used to the criticism that all opinion writers receive, he&nbsp;snapped at this insult.</p> <p> <a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href=";" target="_blank">He wrote an email to Karpf</a>, and CC&rsquo;d his boss, the provost, inviting him to come to his house and call him a bedbug to his face.&nbsp;</p> <p> Regardless of whether Stephens handled this in the best way, the uproar his email caused is what caught my attention.&nbsp;</p> <p> The insults and barbs against Stephens started flying, with #BretBug even trending for a while. And if you read through the comments, you&rsquo;ll see these folks were having a gleeful time smearing Stephens.&nbsp;</p> <p> And Karpf is upheld as some sort of hero &mdash; for relating another human being to an insect.</p> <p> I know there is vitriol on both sides of the political aisle, but the left is adept at smugly throwing around what <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span>, calls &ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">progressive privilege</a>,&rdquo; which slams the door on civility.&nbsp;</p> <p> Bias against conservatives is seen all too often, with individuals on the right getting ostracized. This happened in Detroit, when the Women&rsquo;s March&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">held its convention</a>here in 2017. None of the speakers remotely identified as conservative, even though the event claimed to be inclusive of all women.&nbsp;</p> <p> Similarly, a &quot;Take on Hate&quot;&nbsp;rally Thursday at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to &ldquo;address the rise of divisive rhetoric, attacks and hatred&rdquo; was hosted by only Democratic members of Congress from Michigan &mdash; including Reps. Debbie Dingell, Rashida Tlaib and Brenda Lawrence.&nbsp;</p> <p> More:&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">Dearborn gathering takes on &#39;rise of divisive rhetoric&#39;</a></p> <p> By not including at least one Republican host, that struck me as code for an event that would call out President Donald Trump and lump in all his supporters&nbsp;as a major cause of the &ldquo;hate&rdquo; problem.&nbsp;</p> <p> The political dynamic is such that anyone who identifies as a conservative or Republican is too quickly labeled by the left as a &ldquo;racist&rdquo; or &ldquo;white supremacist.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> Stephens, a Never Trumper, got slapped with the &ldquo;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">white nationalist</a>&rdquo; label after he wrote a column earlier in the summer about Democratic presidential candidates&rsquo; extreme ideas on illegal immigration&nbsp;and expanding government programs.&nbsp;</p> <p> Such name calling precludes&nbsp;civil discourse.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Gen.&nbsp;Jim Mattis, former defense secretary,&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">recently observed</a>: &ldquo;We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future, instead of rediscovering our common ground and finding solutions.&rdquo;</p> <p> <cta-atoms-container-inline></cta-atoms-container-inline></p> <p> As tribalism, fueled by social media, trumps civility, we&rsquo;ll&nbsp;start looking more like bedbugs to each other.&nbsp;</p> L. LukasSat, 31 Aug 2019 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum