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Patriot Post Wednesday 6-19-2013
Putting the Carrot Ahead of the Stick
"The Alien bill proposed in the Senate is a monster that must forever disgrace its parents." --James Madison
"The Senate on Tuesday voted against tough border security measures that it promised to put in place years ago. Tell us again why we should trust them to secure the borders later after granting amnesty first. ... In 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, requiring 700 miles of double-tiered fencing get built along the Mexican border. ... A year later, Congress quietly passed a law that largely neutered the fence requirement, and today, only 36 miles of it have been built. ... Since the Senate is desperate to get amnesty done as soon as possible, it can't let little inconveniences like securing the border or tracking people coming into the country get in the way. As we've said many times in this space, border security has to come before any effort is made to grant legal status to today's 11 million illegals. For good reason: Failure to do so will only encourage more to cross the border, in the justifiable belief that once here they, too, will get citizenship without having to wait in line. We're already seeing illegal crossings increase even before the law is passed. ... History already proves that putting the carrot ahead of the stick doesn't work. The 1986 immigration law also promised to close gaps in the border in exchange for amnesty. But as soon as soon as Democrats got amnesty on the books, they started putting roadblocks in the way of enforcement. The result was that just three years after the bill's passage, illegal border crossings had actually increased, and today the number in the country illegally has climbed fourfold. A few days ago, [Senator Marco] Rubio said immigration reform had to ensure 'that we will never have another wave of illegal immigration again.' But with the Senate turning down every meaningful border security measure, that's the only thing we can guarantee will happen again if this bill becomes law." --Investor's Business Daily1
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Thank you! Nate Jackson Managing Editor
"The same pre-planned chaos that attends the healthcare bill ... is built into this [immigration] legislation as well. Consider just one aspect of it, namely family reunification. Does anyone seriously believe that once this bill passes, whatever the current definition of 'family' is won't be vastly expanded? Furthermore, an integral part of that reunification is based on the so-called conventional wisdom that America is home to '11 million' illegal aliens. What if it's 25 million? Or 30 million? How can we be certain it's not? Yet far more importantly, how is it that not a single attempt has been made to determine exactly how many illegals are in the country before any legislation is passed? The answer is simple. If the 11 million number is a sham, then the family reunification totals that could reach double that number or more, are equally fraudulent, which brings us to another unpleasant reality for the American public: Are you ready to see a level of legalization that would fundamentally and irrevocably alter the character of the nation?" --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"In the context of a war [in Syria] that has killed some 93,000 people so far, it is not clear why the 150 or so casualties the White House attributes to chemical weapons should make a decisive difference, except that the president threatened 'enormous consequences' in response to any use of such weapons. ... This perceived need to preserve credibility is a key ingredient in any foreign policy quagmire because it discourages second thoughts and dictates stubborn persistence in the face of failure. No matter how misguided in theory or disastrous in practice an intervention is, changing course is always a threat to credibility, a threat that looms larger the farther a president goes down the wrong path. All the more reason to resist what Obama used to call 'a war of choice.'" --columnist Jacob Sullum
"Arab and Muslim peoples have been at war with other nations and each other for centuries. The two major factions of Islam -- Sunni and Shia -- are in constant conflict over which one is Prophet Mohammed's legitimate heir. The 'infidel' West can't help settle any of this and is more likely to unite the warring factions against us, as it has in the past. ... The president wants credit for withdrawing American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, but with Syria he is involving the U.S. in another war that can't be 'won,' at least not in a way that will advance American interests." --columnist Cal Thomas
"President Obama is preparing bilateral negotiations with the Taliban. This the same Taliban that chopped the heads off two young boys, aged 10 and 16, for supposedly accepting food from police in exchange for information. This is the same Taliban that still embraces shariah, and still holds an American soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, captive. ... [T]he U.S.' decision to get involved by backing the very people who slaughtered thousands of Americans on Sept. 11 is more than shortsighted. It is a ground shift in the American government's mentality with regard to the war on terror. For a dozen years, American troops fought to remove the Taliban from power and to cripple al-Qaida. They fought to create safe ground for American allies and hostile ground for American enemies. Thanks to the Obama administration's morally relativistic, ignorant and confused policies with regard to the Middle East, it appears that their blood may have been spilled in vain." --columnist Ben Shapiro
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." --American journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
"We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation." --President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
It's moving, all right: "Across the board, people are feeling like ... America is moving and it's moving in the right direction. ... I'm very proud of the record that we've been able to put together over the last four and half years." --Barack Obama
Government can fix it all! "When people say the whole problem is government, they don't understand. Government can help ... by making smart choices -- by investing in American manufacturing so we're bringing more of our jobs back from overseas; investing in our roads and our bridges and our ports to make sure that we are staying competitive all around the world; educating our children from the earliest years, keeping them safe from gun violence; rethinking our high schools; making college more affordable; making sure we stay at the cutting edge in science and technology; securing our energy future; addressing climate change." --Barack Obama with a list of leftist dreams
Remedial geography needed: "I'm not going to waste taxpayer money on a dumb fence and that's what [Sen. John Thune's] amendment would be. ... A smart fence, which is what Senator [John] McCain and I want to build -- since he's from Arizona, I think he knows more about this than the senator from South Dakota, who only has a border with Canada that is quite different." --Sen. Mary Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (South Dakota does not border Canada, Senator.)
Leftist sacrament: "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about [abortion]. I don't think it should have anything to do with politics." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), despicably hiding behind "faith" to defend the murder of innocents
It's outrageous that babies are sacrificed on the altar of abortion: "Here we go again. Every single year we have to go through the same [abortion debate] nonsense with the same morally presumptuous and morally arrogant attitude that we know better. 'We know better than women and their doctors. We know better about their health care. We know better about their moral choices in very personal decisions.' It is morally outrageous, frankly." --Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Say what? "I'm of the opinion now ... that if you really were to question all [Republicans], that there is a sort of continuity of thought that rape is really not so bad." --Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Mindless gun-grabbing: "[T]he fact that Chicago has quite tough gun control is utterly meaningless, because they all just get in their cars and go outside of the state to neighboring states which don't have strong gun controls. So until you have a federal gun control that stops that happening, this will keep happening in places like Chicago, until they can enforce it properly." --CNN's Piers Morgan
Non Compos Mentis: "Was anyone else bothered by the Father's Day picture4 released by the White House yesterday? The one with the President holding a water gun? I agree with the President's stance on SENSIBLE gun control. But we must also destroy gun culture. President Obama made a mistake this time. Gun culture is promoted through the normalization of violent behavior, language, and imagery. Military style water guns are part of that." --political commentator Marc Lamont Hill
Defamation: "[Newly elected Iranian president Hassan Rowhani] was seen as the most reform-minded of all the candidates who ran this time. That being said, they were all very conservative. In U.S. terms, it was as if all the candidates for the presidency came from the Tea Party." --CBS's Elizabeth Palmer
Civility: "Hey, you remember evil dictator of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? ... Ahmadinejad is retiring. He's going to spend all of his time on his ranch in Crawford, Texas." --CBS's David Letterman
Longest Books Ever Written: "Bad Idea, Mr. President" --The New York Times
We Blame George W. Bush: "Rick Santorum: Why Mitt Romney Didn't Win" --Politico.com
We Blame Global Warming: "Men 'to Blame for the Menopause'" --BBC website
Bottom Story of the Day: "The Booty That Lies Beneath" --The New York Times
It's called the Second Amendment: "What's going on is that these organized special interest groups don't want anything done because it's a big source of their money to terrify people living out in the country that there's this big, conspiratorial federal government trying to take their guns away. I think if you could get a clear-headed vote on the issue standing alone, the overwhelming majority of Americans in every state would be for it." --Bill Clinton
That's racist! "I think that there's a kind of moral panic, a fear of the end of whiteness that we've been seeing a long time in that I think, you know, Obama's ascension as president kind of symbolizes to a certain degree. And so I think this is one response to that sense that there's a decreasing white majority in the country and that women's bodies and white women's bodies in particular are obviously a crucial way of reproducing whiteness, white supremacy, white privilege." --University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor Salamisha Tillet
"Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don't get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit." --Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Obama's upcoming $100 million trip to Africa
Taking credit: "[ObamaCare is] a term, by the way, that I coined and used proudly long before the administration decided it was a good idea." --disgraced New York City mayor hopeful Anthony Weiner
"Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old guy behind this NSA spy scandal, said in an interview that he is not in hiding. Which would have carried a lot more weight if he hadn't made the announcement from an undisclosed secret location." --comedian Jay Leno
"Senator Chuck Schumer said if Immigration Reform passes that illegal immigration will be a thing of the past. It's a contentious bill. Republicans want to put border security first, but they can't think of a polite way to tell construction workers building a two-thousand-mile-long wall to stand on the south side of the wall while they're building it." --comedian Argus Hamilton
"President Obama wants to assure you he is not Dick Cheney ... if anyone was operating under that assumption. You know, they accuse Cheney of a lot of things -- being evil, going to war to increase his profits at Halliburton, being more machine than man, biting the heads off kittens -- but what no one accuses Cheney of is being incompetent. So I think Obama has a long way to go until anyone would realistically mistake him for Dick Cheney." --humorist Frank J. Fleming
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis! Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
The Amnesty Mob vs. America
6/19/2013 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
You can try to put "conservative" lipstick on the lawless amnesty mob. In the end, however, it's still a lawless mob. The big government/big business alliance to protect illegal immigration got a lot of mileage using foolish Republicans Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan as front men. But the true colors of the open-borders grievance-mongers always show through.
After America said no to a pork-filled security-undermining amnesty bill in 2007, the No Illegal Alien Left Behind lobbyists changed their overtly thuggish tactics. They put down their upside-down American flags, stopped wearing their commie Che Guevara T-shirts and cloaked their radical "Aztlan" aspirations in the less divisive rhetoric of "reform" and "opportunity."
It was all just an act, of course. Inevitably, the mask has slipped. Over the weekend, illegal alien protesters descended on the private residence of Kansas Secretary of State and immigration enforcement lawyer Kris Kobach. As Twitchy.com reported on Saturday, 300 amnesty activists marched into Kobach's neighborhood and barged up his driveway and right onto his doorstep. It's how the Alinskyite "community organizers" roll.
Shouting into a bullhorn and waving their fists from his front porch, the property rights-invaders dubbed Kobach "King of Hate" for his work representing border security activists and federal customs enforcement agents who are fighting the systemic sabotage of immigration law. Thankfully, Kobach, his wife and their four young daughters were not home at the time.
But the aggrieved amnesty demanders are not done yet. And Kobach is not the only one in their crosshairs.
After tea party activist turned Kansas state representative Amanda Grosserode condemned the mob action publicly on Facebook, racist insults and threats littered her page. Roberto Medina Ramirez wrote: "I'll give her something to be disgusted about!" Doris Lynn Crouse Gent chimed in: "OMG! Maybe her drive should be next." Matt S. Bashaw echoed the call: "Maybe her house should be next." Facebook user Jude Robinson also ranted on Grosserode's page: "Since Kobach steals taxpayer money spreading hate around the country, he deserves what he gets."
Dennis Paul Romero left this message for Grosserode: "(N)azi kkk and she is proud of it." A user writing as "Paul-says Fckmarkzuck" left death threats under Romero's comment: "Gotta start killing all the Nazis. Politicans (sic), bankers, and priests. Cops, lawyers, and Judges. ASAP." The same user added: "Just another b*tch that needs to die off already."
The radicals of Occupy Kansas posted an inflammatory photo of Grosserode with the race-baiting caption: "Kansas State legislator Amanda Grosserode says she is 'disgusted' by Hispanic protesters." Grosserode wasn't disgusted by their ethnicity. She was disgusted by their actions. No matter. Race/ethnic card: activated.
Gina Long pounced: "(S)he is stupid and doesn't like brown people." So did Diana Bauer: "Ah, poor Ms Grosserode; sorry that you find our Constitution so difficult to stomach. Or is it only whites that have the right to freedom of speech." One Lupe Ramirez left his own message for Grosserode: "We are starting our fundraising and campaign to unseat you. Do you not realize how many Hispanics are in Kansas. You no longer live in Dorothy's Kansas. You cannot represent your state, you don't even know who they are."
Grosserode isn't backing down. She told me Tuesday that she will remain "vigilant" and has given local law enforcement a heads-up. The conservative mom and lawmaker notes sadly that "there are some who would say that when you are in elected office that you should expect this kind of thing. I would disagree. No one deserves threats nor threats to their home and family."
But the amnesty vigilantes have no respect for borders, let alone private front porches, in their quest for another massive federal illegal alien bailout. They have no respect for law-abiding U.S. workers. They have no respect for law-abiding foreigners applying to get into our country the right and proper way.
As they besiege Capitol Hill this month demanding more rights and payoffs, take note: These groups do not stand for the American dream. They are a nightmare conglomeration of George Soros-funded social justice operatives, transnationalists and La Raza militants who detest U.S. sovereignty. National People's Action, which spearheads progressive "direct actions" at the private homes of their political foes and led the march on Kobach's home, is a "community organizing" nonprofit based in -- you guessed it -- Chicago.
NPA's past shakedowns have involved busing in protesters and schoolchildren (using public school buses) to invade the private property of their victims and intimidate their families. They relish their brass knuckles with this anthem:
Who's on your hit list NPA?
Who's on your hit list for today?
Take no prisoner, take no names.
Kick 'em in the (a--) when they play their games.
As I first reported in 2004, NPA is funded by the Tides Foundation, the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, and the MacArthur, Ford and Rockefeller foundations. It's also funded by your tax dollars. My research found that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Education had all given tens of thousands of dollars in grants to NPA members for left-wing activism, identity politics and illegal alien benefits.
Rubio, Ryan and other Republicans who've made common cause with these welfare-state goons have betrayed fundamental principles of limited government and the rule of law. They've allied themselves with the mob. There's nothing, not one thing, "conservative" about mass illegal alien amnesty. It's the complete Chicago-ization of America.
6/19/2013 12:01:00 AM - John Stossel
As Americans obsess over NSA spying, abuse by the IRS and other assaults on our freedom, I can't get my mind off the thousand other ways politicians abuse us.
In their arrogance, they assume that only they solve social problems. They will solve them by banning this and that, subsidizing groups they deem worthy and setting up massive bureaucracies with a mandate to cure, treat and rescue wayward souls.
Their programs fail, and so they pass new laws to address the failures. It's one reason that 22 million people now work for government.
Some of the things they do seem like bigger assaults on our freedom than NSA spying, although we've become accustomed to the older abuses.
Take the drug war.
It's true that some Americans destroy their lives and their families' lives by using drugs. Others struggle with addiction. But if illegal drugs are as horrible and addictive as we've been told, how come the government's own statistics say millions try those drugs but only a small percentage continue using?
Ninety-five percent of those who have tried what we think of as "hard drugs" report not using the substances in the past month.
Columbia University psychology professor Dr. Carl Hart, author of "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery," says "hard" drugs are not as dangerous as the media make them out to be. For 15 years, he's studied the effects of marijuana, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and more on users.
"The data simply shows that the vast majority of people who use these drugs don't go on to become addicted," he said on my show. "In fact, some of these people go on to become president."
He means Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. "All those guys used illegal drugs at some point."
Society has grown more accepting of marijuana, but many people believe crack and meth are far more dangerous and addictive, and that they quickly lead to violent criminal behavior.
"The same thing was said about marijuana in the 1930s," Hart cautions. "People said you use this drug, you go on to commit murder, you go on to use heroin." New drugs always frighten the authorities.
When the panic over meth passes, we may look back on it with amusement, much the way people now look back on the anti-marijuana propaganda film "Reefer Madness."
"That was allowed to happen because few people actually used marijuana," says Hart. The unknown is scarier than the familiar -- like beer.
To learn what drugs really do, Hart advertises for drug users on Craigslist, and then, with government approval, he gives users drugs at his lab at Columbia. He's discovered that drug users' brains react in similar ways to the brains of alcohol consumers.
"The vast majority of people who use drugs like cocaine use it on weekends, monthly or every six months," says Hart. "Most hold jobs. Pay taxes. They do those things, in a similar way that we use drugs like alcohol."
Government's anti-drug crusaders think they protect kids by hyping the threat, but Hart says they actually make it harder for people like him to educate the public about real dangers. After the hype over marijuana, young people no longer trust warnings about other drugs.
Finally, he adds, politicians' futile war kills more people than the forbidden substances themselves.
The gangs of today, like the Crips and the Bloods, are motivated by the absurd profits created when legitimate businesses aren't allowed to sell something -- just as Al Capone's empire and the violence of his turf wars were created by forbidding mainstream businesses to sell alcohol.
In fact, Hart says, the drug war is worse than Prohibition. It costs more, has lasted longer and doesn't just kill people in the U.S.: From Afghanistan to Colombia, American helicopters try to destroy drug crops. Foreigners gain one more reason to hate Yankees.
Arrogant and ignorant politicians do more harm than the social problems themselves.
Unasked and Unanswered Questions
6/19/2013 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School's racial admissions policy. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority, said the U.S. Constitution "does not prohibit the Law School's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." But what are the educational benefits of a diverse student body?
Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what's the evidence? For example, Japan is a nation bereft of diversity in any activity. Close to 99 percent of its population is of one race. Whose students do you think have higher academic achievement -- theirs or ours? According to the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, the academic performance of U.S. high-school students in reading, math and science pales in comparison with their diversity-starved counterparts in Japan.
Should companies be treated equally? According to a Wall Street Journal op-ed (9/7/2009) by Manhattan Institute's energy expert Robert Bryce, Exxon Mobil pleaded guilty in federal court to killing 85 birds that had come into contact with its pollutants. The company paid $600,000 in fines and fees. A recent Associated Press story (5/14/2013) reported that "more than 573,000 birds are killed by the country's wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin." The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted windmill farms, sometimes called bird Cuisinarts, for killing eagles and other protected bird species. In fact, AP reports that the Obama administration has shielded the industry from liability and has helped keep the scope of the deaths secret. It's interesting that The Associated Press chose to report the story only after the news about its reporters being secretly investigated. That caused the Obama administration to fall a bit out of favor with them. But what the heck, the 14th Amendment's requirement of "equal protection" before the law for everybody can be cast aside in the name of diversity, so why can't it be cast aside in the name of saving the planet? There are politically favored industries just as there are politically favored groups.
What's the difference between a progressive, a liberal and a racist? In some cases, not much. President Woodrow Wilson was a leading progressive who believed in notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He was so enthralled with D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" movie, glorifying the Ku Klux Klan, that he invited various dignitaries to the White House to view it with him. During one private screening, President Wilson exclaimed: "It's like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true." When President Wilson introduced racial segregation to the civil service, the NAACP and the National Independent Political League protested. Wilson vigorously defended it, arguing that segregation was in the interest of Negroes.
Dr. Thomas Sowell, in "Intellectuals and Race," documents other progressives who were advocates of theories of racial inferiority. They included former presidents of Stanford University and MIT, among others. Eventually, the views of progressives fell out of favor. They changed their name to liberals, but in the latter part of the 20th century, the name liberals fell into disrepute. Now they are back to calling themselves progressives.
I'm not arguing that today's progressives are racists like their predecessors, but they share a contempt for liberty, just as President Wilson did. According to Hillsdale College history professor Paul A. Rahe -- author of "Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift" -- in his National Review Online (4/11/13) article "Progressive Racism," Wilson wanted to persuade his compatriots to get "beyond the Declaration of Independence." President Wilson said the document "did not mention the questions" of his day, adding, "It is of no consequence to us." My question is: Why haven't today's progressives disavowed their racist predecessors?
The Loss of Trust
6/18/2013 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
Amid all the heated cross-currents of debate about the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess.
The belated recognition of this administration's contempt for the truth, for the American people and for the Constitution of the United States, has been long overdue.
But what if the NSA program has in fact thwarted terrorists and saved many American lives in ways that cannot be revealed publicly?
Nothing is easier than saying that you still don't want your telephone records collected by the government. But the first time you have to collect the remains of your loved ones, after they have been killed by terrorists, telephone records can suddenly seem like a small price to pay to prevent such things.
The millions of records of phone calls collected every day virtually guarantee that nobody has the time to listen to them all, even if NSA could get a judge to authorize listening to what is said in all these calls, instead of just keeping a record of who called whom.
Moreover, Congressional oversight by members of both political parties limits what Barack Obama or any other president can get away with.
Are these safeguards foolproof? No. Nothing is ever foolproof.
As Edmund Burke said, more than two centuries ago: "Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state."
In other words, we do not have a choice whether to trust or not to trust government officials. Unless we are willing to risk anarchy or terrorism, the most we can do is set up checks and balances within government -- and be a lot more careful in the future than we have been in the past when deciding whom to elect.
Anyone old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when President John F. Kennedy took this country to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, may remember that there was nothing like the distrust and backlash against later presidents, whose controversial decisions risked nothing approaching the cataclysm that President Kennedy's decision could have led to.
Even those of us who were not John F. Kennedy supporters, and who were not dazzled by the glitter and glamour of the Kennedy aura, nevertheless felt that the President of the United States was someone who knew much more than we did about the realities on which all our lives depended.
Whatever happened to that feeling? Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon happened -- and both were shameless liars. They destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility of the office.
Even when Lyndon Johnson told us the truth at a crucial juncture during the Vietnam war -- that the Communist offensive of 1968 was a defeat for them, even as the media depicted it as a defeat for us -- we didn't believe him.
In later years, Communist leaders themselves admitted that they had been devastated on the battlefield. But, by then it was too late. What the Communists lost militarily on the ground in Vietnam they won politically in the American media and in American public opinion.
More than 50,000 Americans lost their lives winning battles on the ground in Vietnam, only to have the war lost politically back home. We seem to be having a similar scenario unfolding today in Iraq, where soldiers won the war, only to have politicians lose the peace, as Iraq now increasingly aligns itself with Iran.
When Barack Obama squanders his own credibility with his glib lies, he is not just injuring himself during his time in office. He is inflicting a lasting wound on the country as a whole.
But we the voters are not blameless. Having chosen an untested man to be president, on the basis of rhetoric, style and symbolism, we have ourselves to blame if we now have only a choice between two potentially tragic fates -- the loss of American lives to terrorism or a further dismantling of our freedoms that has already led many people to ask: "Is this still America?"
Why Some Scientists Embrace the 'Multiverse'
6/18/2013 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
Last week, in Nice, France, I was privileged to participate, along with 30 scholars, mostly scientists and mathematicians, in a conference on the question of whether the universe was designed, or at least fine-tuned, to make life, especially intelligent life. Participants -- from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Berkeley and Columbia among other American and European universities -- included believers in God, agonistics and atheists.
But it was clear that the scientific consensus was that, at the very least, the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned to allow for the possibility of life. It appears that we live in a "Goldilocks Universe," in which both the arrangement of matter at the cosmic beginning and the values of various physical parameters -- such as the speed of light, the strength of gravitational attraction and the expansion rate of the universe - are just right. And unless one is frightened of the term, it also appears the universe is designed for biogenesis and human life.
Regarding fine-tuning, one could write a book just citing the arguments for it made by some of the most distinguished scientists in the world. Here is just a tiny sample found on the website of physicist Gerald Schroeder, holder of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he later taught physics.
Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab: "The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side."
Paul Davies, professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University: "The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly."
Roger Penrose, the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, writes that the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at its creation is "one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123." That is "a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros."
Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and an anti-religious agnostic, notes that "the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. This means that if the energies of the Big Bang were, in arbitrary units, not: 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000, but instead: 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001, there would be no life of any sort in the entire universe."
Unless one is a closed-minded atheist (there are open-minded atheists), it is not valid on a purely scientific basis to deny that the universe is improbably fine-tuned to create life, let alone intelligent life. Additionally, it is atheistic dogma, not science, to dismiss design as unscientific. The argument that science cannot suggest that intelligence comes from intelligence or design from an intelligent designer is simply a tautology. It is dogma masquerading as science.
And now, many atheist scientists have inadvertently provided logical proof of this.
They have put forward the notion of a multiverse -- the idea that there are many, perhaps an infinite number of, other universes. This idea renders meaningless the fine-tuning and, of course, the design arguments. After all, with an infinite number of universes, a universe with parameters friendly to intelligent life is more likely to arise somewhere by chance.
But there is not a shred of evidence of the existence of these other universes. Nor could there be since contact with another universe is impossible.
Therefore, only one conclusion can be drawn: The fact that atheists have resorted to the multiverse argument constitutes a tacit admission that they have lost the argument about design in this universe. The evidence in this universe for design -- or, if you will, the fine-tuning that cannot be explained by chance or by "enough time" -- is so compelling that the only way around it is to suggest that our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes.
Honest atheists -- scientists and lay people -- must now acknowledge that science itself argues overwhelmingly for a Designing Intelligence. And honest believers must acknowledge that the existence of a Designing Intelligence is not necessarily the same as the existence of benevolent God.
To posit the existence of a Creator requires only reason. To posit the existence of a good God requires faith.
The Unmentionable Injustice
6/18/2013 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
In the weeks before the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the country trembled with anticipation. No such eagerness is evident now -- yet the court is again poised to rattle our world. The case of Fisher v. Texas could upend the system of racial preferences in use throughout American higher education.
The pursuit of racial justice in education has arguably led to some benefits since its inception in the 1960s. But in the two generations that have elapsed since affirmative action began, evidence of its unintended consequences has accumulated -- even as a society-wide taboo has forbidden honest discussion of that evidence.
The vast majority of elite American institutions supports racial preferences. Of 92 briefs filed in the Fisher case, 17 agreed with the plaintiff that racial preferences should be considered unconstitutional, while 73 urged that the current system remain undisturbed (two were in between). The pro-university briefs included submissions by the U.S. government, 17 U.S. senators, 66 members of Congress, 57 of the Fortune 100 companies, numerous education associations, colleges and universities and establishment organs, such as the American Bar Association.
Criticizing affirmative action (which is code for racial preferences) can be a career-endangering step for anyone, particularly for academics or politicians.
Some scholars have nevertheless been willing to follow where the evidence leads and have found that nearly everything we believe about racial preferences is wrong. In their outstanding book "Mismatch," Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. document the paradoxical results of giving large preferences to racial and other minorities.
Sander and Taylor argue persuasively that the trouble with preferences is not the injustice done to people like Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the University of Texas while less qualified black and Hispanic applicants were accepted -- though that is unfair -- but also the harm it does to those to whom such preferences are extended.
Preferences have created a widespread mismatch between minority students and the schools they attend. Minority students at all levels (least so at the very top colleges) tend to wind up at schools for which they are less well prepared than the majority of their classmates. The University of Texas is typical in awarding the equivalent of hundreds of SAT points to minority applicants. This results in minority students (who've been assured that they have what it takes to be successful) plunging to the bottom of the class. Students accepted under the preference regime often experience severe feelings of inferiority, social segregation and much higher dropout rates. Both for affirmative action "beneficiaries" and their classmates mismatch reinforces negative stereotypes. It also causes more African-American students to flee math, science and engineering majors in favor of softer subjects, such as education and sociology. "Black college freshmen are more likely to aspire to science or engineering careers than are white freshmen, but mismatch causes black to abandon these fields at twice the rate of whites."
Yet research has shown that when minority students attend schools for which they are well matched, there is no attrition in demanding fields of study. It isn't that minority students cannot make it as scientists and engineers but simply that they conclude that they cannot succeed when forced to compete with superior classmates. This phenomenon also accounts for the relatively low numbers of minorities who seek academic careers despite (or rather due to) five decades of preferences. It carries lessons for families considering whether to take advantage of "legacies" for their children. The research suggests that academic and career success is more likely when students attend colleges for which they are well matched.
Nor do preferences benefit the disadvantaged. In 1972, more than 50 percent of black freshmen at elite colleges came from families in the bottom half of the socioeconomic distribution. By 1982, that percentage had dropped to one quarter, and by 1992, 67 percent of black freshman came from homes in the top quartile of income. Among blacks attending elite colleges, 92 percent come from families in the top half of income earners.
Deciding who is a member of a historically oppressed minority group also gets trickier with every passing decade. Intermarriage is up.
Immigration complicates matters. A recent study found that 40 percent of African American Ivy League undergrads are first- or second- generation immigrants. A study undertaken by Harvard Law students found that only 30 percent of the African Americans there had four black grandparents. The rest were either of mixed ancestry, foreign students or recent immigrants from the West Indies or Africa.
There is a place for preferences in higher education -- for those who come from poor homes or tough neighborhoods. But there is abundant evidence that awarding preferences based on race and ethnicity is counterproductive, corrupt and profoundly unjust.
A Comprehensive Distrust of Government
June 17, 2013
"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction" --John Witherspoon
For the Record
"As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money ... into his campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. ... He lost his campaign. Today, however, he should be invited to Congress to testify about what happened 10 years later when he was a prosperous lawyer and won the Republican Senate nomination to run against a Democratic congressman named Dick Durbin. In the fall of 1996, at the campaign's climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Elections Commission charges against Salvi's campaign, alleging campaign finance violations. These charges dominated the campaign's closing days. Salvi spoke by telephone with the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: 'Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case.' He was speaking to Lois Lerner. ... When the second of two federal courts held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the lawyer arguing for the FEC was Lois Lerner. ... In 2010, Durbin wrote a letter urging Lerner's IRS division to pay special attention to a political advocacy group supporting conservatives. Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government." --columnist George Will1
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." --author and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)
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Our team of contributors puts together Monday's Brief by sifting through dozens of opinion articles by leading conservative thinkers looking for the best analysis of the issues facing America. You'll find the latest on the multiple scandals engulfing the Obama administration, the immigration debate, and the culture front, as well as comments from our readers and much more!
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Thank you! Nate Jackson Managing Editor
"In response to Mark Alexander's essay, It's the Profiling, Stupid!4, the whole pretense that this form of privacy intrusion is necessary for the public safety is laughable. We have 11 million people living in the United States who are here illegally and the government doesn't even want to acknowledge a problem with them. We take away from our police and TSA inspectors the tool of profiling because it 'intrudes' on people's rights. Yet the government feels free to spy on our own citizens because they hold a different philosophy than those in power. The really sad thing isn't that our current regime can't be trusted, it's that so many people still trust them." --Doug in Venice, Florida
"It is quite clear to me that this intelligence collection is to identify groups that may fit their domestic terrorist definition; you know who you are, anyone who disagrees with our despots in the totalitarian center of this country DC." --Anton in Olympia, Washington
"My family and I came to this country to escape communism. Little did we know that this great nation would descend into the very form of government that we fled. It's a sad state of affairs not only for U.S. citizens but also for the world. Sadder still is that the very people who could protect our freedoms (the American voting public) have largely abandoned their responsibility as citizens in favor of getting what they can from the unconstitutionally functioning U.S. government. Those patriots who still treasure the Constitution are becoming the minority. I count myself with these patriots -- come what may. May God again bless this country." --Stan in Illinois
Re: The Left
"The Democrats pushing immigration reform want the issue, not the reform, and they think a defeat they could hang on the Republicans could give them a shot at keeping the Senate and taking the House next November. Then they could enact a law to give everybody who wants one an American passport. This would guarantee unanimous election results, like those in the squalid places the illegals are fleeing. There's lots for everybody to gag on, which is how Sen. Harry Reid, the Las Vegas bag man in charge of running the charade in the Senate, is determined to preserve as many poison pills as he can. He has to preserve as much of the stink as he can to keep the Republican gag reflex working. The main sticking point continues to be border security, which the Democrats have been promising for decades -- and the border continues to be the sieve they want it to be. The border can be the party's ATM machine, stuffed full of prospective new voters. Once here, the illegals can be put in the Democratic voter bank to be 'withdrawn' once they're legalized. Until then, the Hispanics already here and legal are expected to show their gratitude in the usual way. Passing out citizenship this way is the modern equivalent of the old custom of passing out turkeys on Christmas eve. There's always an appetite for turkey." --Washington Times' editor emeritus Wesley Pruden5
"[E]ven if Mitt Romney had won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, he still would have lost. No Republican presidential candidate in at least 50 years has won even half of the Hispanic vote. In the presidential election immediately after Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote actually declined from 37 percent to 30 percent -- and that was in a landslide election for the GOP. Combined, the two Bush presidents averaged 32.5 percent of the Hispanic vote -- and they have Hispanics in their family Christmas cards. John McCain, the nation's leading amnesty proponent, won only 31 percent of the Hispanic vote, not much more than anti-amnesty Romney's 27 percent. ... The (pro-amnesty) Pew Research Hispanic Center has produced poll after poll showing that Hispanics don't care about amnesty. In a poll last fall, Hispanic voters said they cared more about education, jobs and health care than immigration. They even care more about the federal budget deficit than immigration! ... Hispanic voters are a small portion of the electorate. They don't want amnesty, and they're hopeless Democrats. So Republicans have decided the path to victory is to flood the country with lots more of them!" --columnist Ann Coulter6
Opinion in Brief
"The Obama administration and European leaders, so predictably, are swooning over Iran's newly elected 'pragmatic moderate' president Hassan Rouhani, who is actually a Khomeini disciple and supporter of the current, despicable Khameini regime -- and who (a) would not have been permitted to run without the regime's blessing, (b) enthusiastically supports Iran's nuclear program, (c) called for the execution of 'green revolution' activists in 2009, and (d) ardently backs the Assad regime in Syria because it, like Rouhani himself, is an implacable enemy of Israel. ... A good rule of thumb: when you hear progressives talk about 'moderates' and 'pragmatists,' bear in mind that these are comparative terms. If your baseline is al-Qaeda, then, yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is 'moderate' and 'pragmatic' -- it has the same ideology and the same objectives but is more sophisticated in pursuing its goals and, though quite willing to use terror opportunistically, is more inclined to use methods other than terrorism ... to achieve its goals. But if we are to speak objectively and without comparison to even more extreme actors, these 'pragmatic moderates' are anything but moderate, and their insidious 'pragmatism' -- i.e., their pose as conventional political operatives rather than fire-breathing jihadists -- makes them more dangerous." --National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy7
"To pull off a dictatorship the government in power needs three key ingredients. Ingredient number one is an army of devout followers who are willing to go to any length to advance the party's agenda. ... Ingredient number two is a weak or unwilling opposition. ... The third and final ingredient to a totalitarian state is a large portion of the population that is either apathetic or blissfully ignorant of how their government tramples on their rights. As long as the check arrives, the food stamp card gets updated, the television has over 100 channels and the people invest in media that tell more of popular celebrity activities than the doings of their government, the 'ruling' party will continue to do whatever they wish with impunity. So long as the doings of government leaders don't cut off their access to these shallow entertainments, these people will not take a stand to those 'leaders' who erode their freedoms. ... Unfortunately we have coddled millions to the point that they will play a key role in the loss of the greatest government conceived by man. But these people will never be awakened as long as their exists a weakened opposition unwilling to awaken them." --Patriot Post Grassroots contributor Duane V. Grassell8
"There was a time when bad behavior carried serious consequences; a time when those who exhibited bad behavior suffered socially for their lapses. They lost jobs; they lost marriages; they lost friends. Today, they're rewarded with book contracts and reality TV shows. What happened to doing what's right, instead of doing who's easy? People who grew up with parents who instilled a strong moral code, attended schools that reinforced it and lived in communities that affirmed it, now find that if they question bad behavior today they're considered behind the times, even prudish. With the media portraying all sorts of behavior as acceptable; with politicians in high places getting away with low behavior and in some cases paying little or no penalty, where are the deterrents? Disappointing family used to be the default position for avoiding extramarital entanglements in cases where religious or ethical values did not apply. While each man should be held accountable for his own behavior, the rest of us should consider what we're promoting and tolerating as a nation and the permission it gives others to follow bad examples." --columnist Cal Thomas9
"This is the real task before us: to reassert our commitment as a nation to a law higher than our own, to renew our spiritual strength. Only by building a wall of such spiritual resolve can we, as a free people, hope to protect our own heritage and make it someday the birthright of all men." --Ronald Reagan10
Faith and Family
"[D]espite the barrage of negative messages about dads and men in general, the truth is that both sons and daughters crave your wisdom, attention, and love; and, when you give of them freely, you are guaranteed to become a personal hero to those who need you most. ... Men prove society right by believing in their own ineptitude, furthering the stereotype of the dad whose instincts are all wrong. So many dads hold themselves back. ... Making the problem worse is the growing cultural lie that there's nothing wrong with dad's absence in the parenting role -- after all, mom gives birth and nurses the babies, so clearly she's got the basics covered. In addition, our culture steps gingerly around the skyrocketing numbers of children being born into single parent homes. No one wants to criticize hard-working single moms, but that sensitivity to single moms has mushroomed into a cultural silence on the critical importance of fathers being present and active in their children's lives." --columnist Rebecca Hagelin11
The Last Word
"Why does the government hate us? I know it's a question many conservatives want to avoid, but when you look at our actions you can see we've given the government every reason to lash out at us. We've been invading the government with people who don't belong there -- politicians who don't even like government and want to strip it of power. And basically the Tea Party movement has been a big, violent threat to cut the government. Really, we conservatives have been doing everything we can to make the government hate us, and then we act surprised when it lashes out? That's just the chickens coming home to roost. ... You have to remember that the bureaucrats in government are a fiercely tribal people who base all their beliefs on an extreme ideology of government power. How did we think they'd react when we threatened to tear down all they know over some concept they've never even heard of -- math? Did we think they'd really welcome us as liberators when we tossed them all out into the private sector -- a scary world that demands things they can't even understand, like productivity? No, of course not. Instead they did what seems logical to them: Fight against the invaders threatening them while rallying behind their supreme religious figure, President Obama." --humorist Frank J. Fleming12
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis! Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Two Black Democrats Become Republicans in Louisiana
6/17/2013 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
Anyone who doubts that the Republican Party can attract black voters needs only look south to Louisiana.
At a conference held in Baton Rouge at the end of May, called @Large and aimed to attract black conservatives, black Democrat Elbert Guillary, a member of the state legislature, announced that he was switching party and becoming a Republican.
Less than two weeks later, just up the road in Central City, Louisiana, black Democrat city councilman Ralph Washington – who attended this same @Large conference, made the same announcement – he’s becoming a Republican.
It’s really not such a mystery. The mystery is why this is not happening more often.
I’m asked all the time why, when it is so clear that blacks are damaged by the left wing political agenda, black voters so uniformly and consistently support candidates – Democrats – who advance this agenda.
My answer is that Republicans need to start acting more like the businesspeople they claim to be.
Any businessman convinced that his product is the best doesn't blame customers for not buying it. He doubles down on his efforts to understand these potential customers better and how to sell to them.
There needs to be more appreciation of the differences in the black population.
A Gallup poll done in 2011 showed that whereas 39 percent of whites say they are “very religious,” 53 percent of blacks do. A large percentage of “very religious” blacks are conservative and very different from blacks on the left who identify with the NAACP.
The @Large conference, where I was a speaker, was hosted by pastor C.L. Bryant, who tells his own story about leaving the left-wing black establishment in his new film “Runaway Slave.”
Bryant was president of the NAACP chapter in Garland, Texas, but his relationship with the NAACP soured when he refused to speak at a Planned Parenthood pro-abortion event.
His eyes began to open and see that his traditional Christian values – protecting the unborn and promoting the traditional family, individual freedom, and dignity – were out of whack with the political agenda blacks were automatically signing onto.
Elbert Guillary is now the first black Republican in the Louisiana state legislature since reconstruction.
Listen to him to understand why a conservative black leaves the Democratic Party.
He called the Democrats “the party of disappointment” and expressed disillusionment with Democratic policies on abortion, gun control, education, and immigration.
Democrats “have moved away from the traditional values of most Americans,” he said. “Their policies have encouraged high teen birth rates, high high school drop-out rates, high incarceration rates, and very high unemployment rates.”
Or listen to now-Republican councilman Washington:
“…the value system I was raised up with, it really doesn’t side with the Democrats...Some of the things I see happening today, with the entitlement programs, we have to change. We can’t continue doing the things we are doing and survive.”
Everyone understands that black American history is unique and complicated.
But wallowing in the past is never an answer to anyone’s personal challenges.
The challenge is clarifying right from wrong and acting accordingly moving forward.
It has always seemed pretty clear to me that traditional values and personal freedom and responsibility must be the agenda moving forward for every American of every background.
Black Americans, like every American, need less taxes taken out of their paychecks, need to be able to choose where to send their children to school, need to be able to pick freely a health care plan that suits their needs, and need to save for retirement instead of paying payroll taxes.
You can’t sum it up any better than what Elbert Guillary and Ralph Washington have said. There are many, many Guillarys and Washingtons out there in black America.
We need more efforts like the @Large conference to reach them.
Other than Obama and Krugman, Is there Anybody Who Still Thinks Bigger Government Is Good for Growth?
6/16/2013 12:01:00 AM Daniel J. Mitchell
I’ve repeatedly explained that Keynesian economics doesn’t work because any money the government spends must first be diverted from the productive sector of the economy, which means either higher taxes or more red ink.
But I never would have thought that there were people at the IMF who would be publicly willing to express the same beliefs. Yet that’s exactly what two economist found in a new study.
Here are some key passages from the abstract.
We quantify the extent to which public-sector employment crowds out private-sector employment using specially assembled datasets for a large cross-section of developing and advanced countries… Regressions of either private-sector employment rates or unemployment rates on two measures of public-sector employment point to full crowding out. This means that high rates of public employment, which incur substantial fiscal costs, have a large negative impact on private employment rates and do not reduce overall unemployment rates.
So even an international bureaucracy now acknowledges that bureaucrats “incur substantial fiscal costs” and “have a large negative impact on private employment.”
Well knock me over with a feather.
Next thing you know, one of these bureaucracies will tell us that government spending, in general, undermines prosperity. Hold on, the European Central Bank and World Bank already have produced such research. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has even explained how welfare spending hurts growth by reducing work incentives.
To be sure, these are the results of research by staff economists, which the political appointees at these bureaucracies routinely ignore.
Nonetheless, it’s good to know that there’s powerful evidence for smaller government, just in case we ever find some politicians who actually want to do the right thing.
Duplicity of the Obama Administration Is Not New
6/16/2013 12:01:00 AM - Michael Youssef
As if the past few weeks of scandals haven’t been enough, now we learn that the American government is spying on us to an astounding degree. And all it takes to be a target is an analyst’s “51 percent confidence” in an individual’s “foreignness.”
The fact that I have an extensive media ministry in the Middle East and—surprise, surprise—have a “foreign” sounding name, places me smack-dab in the middle of the NSA’s target lists.
No doubt, they have monitored my phone calls and emails.
And yet, I’m not concerned about being spied upon. At least, I’m not concerned about myself.
I have nothing to hide; as readers of this column can attest to. In this space, I have expressed my thoughts about our government and the Obama administration, and I have worked to expose its duplicitous behavior from day one. In particular, I have closely watched the administration’s policy in the Middle East.
I have often pointed out how Mr. Obama was quick to call for the deposing of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt—even though he was a friend to the US, kept the peace, helped us confront global terrorism, and brought economic growth to Egypt in excess of 6 percent annually.
Even when Mr. Obama was a guest of President Mubarak, Obama’s administration was secretly negotiating with outlawed Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Talk about acting duplicitous!
But that’s not all.
When the Muslim Brotherhood government crushed its opposition, persecuted minorities, and brought the Egyptian economy to its knees, what did the Obama administration do?
They gave them more than a billion dollars to help them out.
And now we know that while Mr. Obama has claimed to represent all Americans, and has vowed to run the most transparent administration ever, his administration has worked feverishly to harass journalists and destroy its opponents.
But because news of NSA spying, IRS harassment, DOJ oppression, and State Department dishonesty is terrifyingly numbing, I fear that people will throw up their hands in despair. The circling of the wagons will be so intense, that most people, even good people, may simply give up.
It’s not like Obama’s beloved media will try to seek the full truth.
Meanwhile, a major chunk of the unique American experiment in individual freedom will melt away like an iceberg in the middle of summer. Perhaps, a day is coming when I will again experience what I experienced as a boy growing up under a brutal dictatorship.
Operatives in the White House fully grasp the concept of the proverbial frog in the kettle, slowing heating up to a boil. Little by little, they have been turning up the political water temperature on an increasingly careless and self-absorbed citizenry.
When we wake up eventually, I’m afraid we will weep blood. That will be God’s judgment upon us—judgment for rejecting the God of our Founding Fathers.
We will be found guilty of rejecting His enduring character of love, mercy, justice, and biblical morality, and replacing those with the “god” of government protection and its absolute sovereignty over our lives.
When it comes to being spied upon, I sleep well at night. I have nothing to hide from any government entity that is tapping my phones or email.
What I fear is the loss of the history’s greatest experiment: America.