NEWS AND OPINION:
Well, so much for “Kumbaya” and the idea that America is among the most peaceful nations on Earth, according to the annual Global Peace Index, which has ranked the relative peacefulness of 163 countries for the last 15 years.
The U.S. placed way down at No. 122 when it came to being peaceful in the annual gauge, which determines levels of peacefulness using 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators — from weapons imports to rates of homicide, incarceration and ongoing conflicts.
In contrast, Iceland was named No. 1 — a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand was in second place, followed by Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Czech Republic and Canada — to round out the top 10 most peaceful nations, according to the index, which was released Friday.
Meanwhile, China was ranked ahead of the U.S. this year at 100, while North Korea stood at 151 and Russia at 154. And at 163, Afghanistan was named the least peaceful country in the world for the second year in a row.
In the big picture, this is not the worst rating the U.S. has gotten — or the best. It was ranked at 82 in 2011, 83 in 2009 — but 128 in 2015 and 2019.
“While most countries recorded a fall in interpersonal violence owing to the pandemic, the level of violent crime and homicide did surge in a few countries, most notably the United States,” the report said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated shifts in global peacefulness. Although there was a fall in the level of conflict and terrorism in 2020, political instability and violent demonstrations have increased. The economic fallout from the pandemic will create further uncertainty, especially for countries that were struggling prior to the pandemic,” predicts Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, an Australia-based think tank that developed the peace index, along with other global-minded research.
The organization also developed methods to gauge the economic impact of violence — and in the big picture, a state of peace is generally cheaper.
Curious? This is meticulous research; this year’s index is 97 pages long. Find it at EconomicsandPeace.org under the “Research” section.
YEE-HAH: CPAC, PART TWO
Hear ye, hear ye. Make way, the year’s second Conservative Political Action Convention — better known as CPAC — will soon arrive. The three-day “CPAC 2021: America Uncanceled” opens in Dallas on July 9.
The event features 36 speakers who include former President Donald Trump; Ben Carson; Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty and Rick Scott; and Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Madison Cawthorn, Byron Donalds, Yvette Herrell, Ronny Jackson and Roger Williams. Former Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is on the guest list, along with broadcasters Glenn Beck and Dana Loesch plus Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe.
Matt Schlapp — the indefatigable chairman of the American Conservation Union and his equally indefatigable spouse, Mercedes Schlapp, — also will be on hand.
The big event boasts a “Cattleman’s Ball — featuring “a variety of VIP speakers, programming, auctions — ending with a live band and line dancing,” the organizers say. Find the details at Conservative.org.
WHO’S GOT A BOOK DEAL LAST WEEK
Some news from Broadside Books, the conservative imprint of publishing giant HarperCollins. Jared Kushner is now at work on a memoir focused on his time as a senior adviser to his father-in-law former President Donald Trump. The untitled book will offer “the definitive, thorough recounting of the administration — and the truth about what happened behind closed doors,” according to Publisher’s Weekly, an industry source.
The publisher also said Mr. Kushner — husband of Ivanka Trump — was “the most consequential advisor throughout President Trump’s presidency.”
Broadside Books also counts Ben Shapiro, Newt Gingrich, and Fox News hosts Shannon Bream, Jesse Watters and Pete Hegseth in its stable of authors.
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES
It’s 2016 all over again. Sort of. The aforementioned Donald Trump appears to be in prime campaign mode — though it’s a mystery as to whether he’s campaigning for Republicans running in the 2022 midterm elections or for himself in the presidential election in 2024 — or both. In the meantime, it’s never too early to fire up a campaign.
Mr. Trump will journey to the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26th, marking his first return to the campaign trail since he left it seven months ago.
“Trump rallies are back. This rally will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” Mr. Trump advises in a new message to his fans.
“Who knows — I could even have a special announcement,” Mr. Trump adds.
He’ll be appearing on behalf of Max Miller, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve, as a senior White House aide to the former president — and now is running for Congress in Ohio’s 16th Congressional District.
“Max wants to advance the American First agenda, defend the 2nd Amendment and the Bill of Rights, combat big tech censorship, and safeguard our elections. He will fight to stop illegal immigration, restart construction of the southern border wall, and strongly oppose amnesty,” notes Mr. Miller’s campaign statement.
“Like President Trump, Max Miller is a fighter. He will be a fierce advocate for working families, women, and seniors in this district. And, he will stand up to and battle the liberal radical extremists in Washington,” the advisory says.
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 75% of Republicans get news from a local newspaper or TV station often or sometimes; 68% say they trust the information they get from these sources.
⦁ 63% say this information is “accurate and unbiased.”
⦁ 65% of Republicans get news from conservative news organizations like Fox News, Newsmax or conservative talk radio often or sometimes; 67% say they trust the information they get.
⦁ 63% say this information is “accurate and unbiased.”
⦁ 45% of Republicans get news from national news organizations like the New York Times or network broadcasts often or sometimes; 37% say they trust this information.
⦁ 36% say the information is “accurate and unbiased.”
SOURCE: A News Media Alliance/Echelon Insights survey of 956 Republican and Republican-leaning voters conducted June 4-8.
⦁ Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.