Race, Politics, and Lies By Thomas Sowell

Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri — but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.

Totally ignored was the fact that a black policeman in Alabama fatally shot an unarmed white teenager, and was cleared of any charges, at about the same time that a white policeman was cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

In a world where the truth means so little, and headstrong preconceptions seem to be all that matter, what hope is there for rational words or rational behavior, much less mutual understanding across racial lines?

When the recorded fatal shooting of a fleeing man in South Carolina brought instant condemnation by whites and blacks alike, and by the most conservative as well as the most liberal commentators, that moment of mutual understanding was very fleeting, as if mutual understanding were something to be avoided, as a threat to a vision of “us against them” that was more popular.

That vision is nowhere more clearly expressed than in attempts to automatically depict whatever social problems exist in ghetto communities as being caused by the sins or negligence of whites, whether racism in general or a “legacy of slavery” in particular. Like most emotionally powerful visions, it is seldom, if ever, subjected to the test of evidence.

The “legacy of slavery” argument is not just an excuse for inexcusable behavior in the ghettos. In a larger sense, it is an evasion of responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the prevailing social vision of our times, and the political policies based on that vision, over the past half century.

Anyone who is serious about evidence need only compare black communities as they evolved in the first 100 years after slavery with black communities as they evolved in the first 50 years after the explosive growth of the welfare state, beginning in the 1960s.

You would be hard-pressed to find as many ghetto riots prior to the 1960s as we have seen just in the past year, much less in the 50 years since a wave of such riots swept across the country in 1965.

We are told that such riots are a result of black poverty and white racism. But in fact — for those who still have some respect for facts — black poverty was far worse, and white racism was far worse, prior to 1960. But violent crime within black ghettos was far less.

Murder rates among black males were going down — repeat, DOWN — during the much lamented 1950s, while it went up after the much celebrated 1960s, reaching levels more than double what they had been before. Most black children were raised in two-parent families prior to the 1960s. But today the great majority of black children are raised in one-parent families.

Such trends are not unique to blacks, nor even to the United States. The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period. Just read “Life at the Bottom,” by Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician who worked in a hospital in a white slum neighborhood.

You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Non-judgmental subsidies of counterproductive lifestyles are treating people as if they were livestock, to be fed and tended by others in a welfare state — and yet expecting them to develop as human beings have developed when facing the challenges of life themselves.

One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.

Published  May 5, 2015
Thomas Sowell, a National Humanities Medal winner, is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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A Memorial Day Tribute

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The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age By Albert Mohler

Remarks Delivered Friday, May 15,  2015:

Mister Attorney General, Mr. Sears, and distinguished guests, it is a great honor to accept the Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty. That honor is greatly magnified by the presence of Attorney General Meese and by the fact that this award bears his name. He is one of America’s most courageous defenders of human freedom and the American experiment in ordered liberty.

I am also honored to receive this award from the Alliance Defending Freedom and its President, Alan Sears. I have known Alan for many years, and I know him to be one of the most powerful advocates of virtue and liberty of our age. The work of the Alliance Defending Freedom is essential, singular, and urgently vital. This battalion of defenders fights most of all—and most effectively—for our “first freedom,” religious liberty.

I am deeply, and always aware that I could not be here without the constant support and love of my wife, Mary Mohler.

You will recognize that I borrowed from Sir Winston Churchill for the title of my remarks. In the first volume of his history of World War II, the great statesman looked back at the storm clouds that gathered in the 1930s, when he had bravely warned of a war that would determine the destiny of human dignity and liberty for untold millions of people.

We are not facing the same gathering storm, but we are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.

Speaking thirty years ago, Attorney General Meese warned that “there are ideas which have gained influence in some parts of our society, particularly in some important and sophisticated areas that are opposed to religious freedom and freedom in general. In some areas there are some people that have espoused a hostility to religion that must be recognized for what it is, and expressly countered.”

Those were prophetic words, prescient in their clarity and foresight. The ideas of which Mr. Meese warned have only gained ground in the last thirty years, and now with astounding velocity. A revolution in morality now seeks not only to subvert marriage, but also to redefine it, and thus to undermine an essential foundation of human dignity, flourishing, and freedom.

Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.

A new moral and legal order is ascendant in America, and this new order is only possible, in the arena of American law and jurisprudence, if the original intent and the very words of the Constitution of the United States are twisted beyond recognition.

These are days that will require courage, conviction, and clarity of vision. We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image. Religious liberty is being redefined as mere freedom of worship, but it will not long survive if it is reduced to a private sphere with no public voice. The very freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake, and thus so is the liberty of every American. Human rights and human dignity are temporary abstractions if they are severed from their reality as gifts of the Creator. The eclipse of Christian truth will lead inevitably to a tragic loss of human dignity. If we lose religious liberty, all other liberties will be lost, one by one. I am a Christian, and I believe that salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ and in no other gospel, but I will fight for the religious liberty of all.

There is a gathering storm, and its threat is urgent and real, but there are arguments to be made, principles to be defended, rights to be respected, truths to be cherished, and permanent things to be preserved. We face the danger of a new Dark Age marked by the loss of liberty and the denial of human dignity. Thus, there is a battle to be joined and much work to be done. Together, may we be found faithful to these tasks. As Churchill would remind us, in every gathering storm there is a summons to action.

 

 

 

http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/05/18/the-gathering-storm-the-eclipse-of-religious-liberty-and-the-threat-of-a-new-dark-age/

 

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Why America Was Indispensable to the Allies’ Winning World War II by Victor Davis Hanson

 

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http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/?p=8408#more-8408

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Walker Adopts Sessions’s Hard Line on Immigration, Dividing Himself from the Rest of the Field–By Jim Geraghty

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, the all-but-declared Republican presidential candidate currently leading the polls in Iowa, sounds more like Alabama senator Jeff Sessions when he discusses immigration issues these days.

“The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal-immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages,” Walker told Glenn Beck on April 20. “It is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today, is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages, and we need to have that to be at the forefront of our discussion going forward,” he said, citing Sessions by name as someone with whom he’d discussed the issue.

Two weeks earlier, in a Washington Post op-ed, Sessions had declared, “Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States. In other words, as a matter of federal policy — which can be adjusted at any time — millions of low-wage foreign workers are legally made available to substitute for higher-paid Americans.”

As the 2016 Republican presidential primary takes shape, Walker’s echo of Sessions’s tougher stance sets up proposals to reduce the rate of legal immigration as a party-splitting flashpoint, pitting the Wisconsin governor against other contenders who have emphasized their family ties to legal immigrants — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and, to a lesser extent, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

As the 2016 Republican presidential primary takes shape, Walker’s echo of Sessions’s tougher stance sets up proposals to reduce the rate of legal immigration as a party-splitting flashpoint. Walker and his nascent, not-yet-official campaign are quick to downplay Sessions’s influence on their newly emphasized focus, declaring that while Sessions is a valued voice on the issue, he’s just one of many people Walker has consulted on the subject.

“This is not me embracing any one particular lawmaker,” Walker told the Quad City Times during a trip to Iowa in late April. He added that he had visited border states, and met with employers in Wisconsin and across the country, as well as lawmakers, “Senator Sessions being one of many.”

Governor Walker has talked with a large cross-section of business leaders, academics, immigration attorneys, think-tank leaders, and state and federal elected officials, including the head of the Senate immigration subcommittee,” says AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC.

“Senator Sessions is grateful for the chance to talk to him, and they had a good conversation, but we’re declining to characterize the conversation,” a Sessions staffer says.

No committee chair in the Senate draws a harder line on immigration, legal or illegal, than Sessions. For Walker, a future endorsement or even just praise from the senator would provide some useful political cover with conservatives, who may have doubts about his stance on immigration.

The issue of immigration has given Walker headaches early in the presidential cycle. In a March 1 interview with Chris Wallace, Walker conceded, “my view has changed. I’m flat-out saying it,” when discussing his 2013 support for a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to, “with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet the requirements . . . get citizenship.”

Now, by suggesting legal immigration should be reduced if it would reduce unemployment and increase wages, Walker is drawing a harder line than many of his likely rivals, completing a transition from one-time supporter of the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration-reform plan to one of the only figures in the 2016 field willing to campaign on reducing legal immigration.

For a lot of Republican lawmakers, celebrating legal immigration is a way to defuse accusations that they’re xenophobic or broadly anti-immigrant. But Sessions and his allies point out that even if the country were to effectively eliminate illegal immigration, the country’s existing legal-immigration system would still offer significant challenges to the United States, in terms of wages, job opportunities, and the ability to culturally assimilate new immigrants.

Sessions and others who want to see legal immigration reduced observe that advocates for legal immigration rarely mention specific numbers. Most Americans vastly underestimate the number of legal immigrants who come to the United States, currently around 1 million per year. To Sessions and his allies, such a large figure should dispel any notion that the country is xenophobic or unwelcoming to new citizens.

A call by Walker, or other GOP candidates, to ratchet down the rate of legal immigration would offer a vivid clash with the positions of several of the other candidates. A call by Walker, or other GOP candidates, to ratchet down the rate of legal immigration would offer a vivid clash with the positions of several of the other candidates. Jeb Bush, for example, has suggested immigrants could be the key to revitalizing America’s impoverished inner cities.

“It just seems to me that maybe if you open up our doors in a fair way and unleashed the spirit of peoples’ hard work, Detroit could become in really short order, one of the great American cities again,” Bush said in 2013. “Now it would look different, it wouldn’t be Polish.

But it would be just as powerful, just as exciting, just as dynamic. And that’s what immigration does and to be fearful of this, it just seems bizarre to me.”

And it’s easy to picture a showdown in the early debates between Walker and Rubio, with each young Republican leader contending the other supports a legal-immigration policy that is contrary to the nation’s best interests.

When asked whether the number of legal immigrants should be reduced at the National Review Ideas Summit, Rubio responded that, “The number should be based on what our economic realities are, what they demand, there’s no magic number. . . . If you’re the smartest person in your field, or one of the smartest and most capable, I want you to bring those skills to America. We’ve always benefited from that.”

Rubio went on, “We shouldn’t underestimate how many immigrants truly want to become Americans. If you go to a naturalization ceremony — I went to one about four or five years ago — it’s extraordinary. 1,500, 2,000 people at the Miami Beach Convention Center and I never saw so much patriotism in one room. These are people that were Americans by choice, who wanted to be Americans who are proud to be Americans. It was extraordinarily uplifting.”

Walker’s likely to respond to an uplifting portrait of new Americans with hard numbers on employment and wages. “It’s real simple,” Walker said in a radio interview April 27. “When unemployment is high and labor-participation rates are low, you don’t have very much immigration because you don’t want to flood the market. If, over time, unemployment goes down because they’re working a job, not because they stopped looking for jobs, then you can change things.”

Jim Geraghty writes the Campaign Spot for National Review.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418174/walker-adopts-sessionss-hard-line-immigration-dividing-himself-rest-field-jim

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The Portrait of a Godly Mother

Katherine Wacker:

Happy Mother’s Day!

Originally posted on Katherine's Chronicle:

Children are the pride and joy of their mothers. Just listen to any group of women and you will find that their kids are always a topic of discussion. Every significant event in a child’s life is chronicled for the annals of history by his mother, whether it be through baby books, journals, pictures, or through their memories. Mothers know better than anyone how fast time can fly. Babies once held in their arms grow up and soon have babies of their own. As a result, mothers understand the need to cherish every moment and every memory they have with their children. But think what it would have been like for a mother who was unable to see her baby grow from a child to an adult. We see such a woman in the pages of Scripture. Her name was Hannah.

Hannah lived hundreds of years ago, but at a…

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A Good Reminder on the National Day of Prayer

Daniel 9:3-19 (NASB)
3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.
6 “Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.
8 “Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
9 “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.
11 “Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.
12 “Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.
13 “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth.
14 “Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.
16 “O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us.
17 “So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary.
18 “O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion.
19 “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

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