Prager plays and comments on Paul Callan’s change of mind on Trump and others “slamming” of the FBI (REAL CLEAR POLITICS). Apparently, this deep bias wasn’t just in the leaders of these investigations, but in the grand jury.
This was a comment on the latest upload of mine from YouTube (posted on LIVELEAK):
Keep convincing yourself the whole FBI is corrupt and it’s not just Trump. What makes more sense?
The problem is that the evidence is saying something different. If they were as “clean” and “noble” as I have been told, they should have recuse themselves — like Sessions. But by not doing so the cards are being played and the poker faces are melting away…. here is my response:
That the same three or four guys at the FBI (that were getting money directly from the DNC or that had wives working at GPS Fusion and exonerated Hillary and mentioned a “fail-safe” for defeating Trump is he won) are corrupt… that is where the evidence points. No one is saying the W-H-O-L-E FBI. Dumb.
Another comment from my YouTube notes this: “The more CNN squeezes the more the anti-Trump narrative slips from their fingers.” Yep.
“When men get in a fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born [prematurely], but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,….”
What does this verse mean for the Judeo-Christian person in the real world — if we rightly shape our worldview according to God’s Revelation? Wayne Grudem explains with an excerpt from from his book, Politics According to the Bible:
For the question of abortion, perhaps the most significant passage of all is found in the specific laws God gave Moses for the people of Israel during the time of the Mosaic covenant. One particular law spoke of the penalties to be imposed in case the life or health of a pregnant woman or her preborn child was endangered or harmed:
When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exod. 21:22-25). [footnote A]
This law concerns a situation when men are fighting and one of them accidentally hits a pregnant woman. Neither one of them intended to do this, but as they fought they were not careful enough to avoid hitting her. If that happens, there are two possibilities:
1. If this causes a premature birth but there is no harm to the pregnant woman or her preborn child, there is still a penalty: “The one who hit her shall surely be fined” (v. 22). The penalty was for carelessly endangering the life or health of the pregnant woman and her child. We have similar laws in modern society, such as when a person is fined for drunken driving, even though he has hit no one with his car. He recklessly endangered human life and health, and he deserved a fine or other penalty.
2. But “if there is harm” to either the pregnant woman or her child, then the penalties are quite severe: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth …” (vv. 23-24). This means that both the mother and the preborn child are given equal legal protection. The penalty for harming the preborn child is just as great as for harming the mother. Both are treated as persons, and both deserve the full protection of the law. [footnote B]
This law is even more significant when we put it in the context of other laws in the Mosaic covenant. In other cases in the Mosaic law where someone accidentally caused the death of another person, there was no requirement to give “life for life,” no capital punishment. Rather, the person who accidentally caused someone else’s death was required to flee to one of the “cities of refuge” until the death of the high priest (see Num. 35:9-15, 22-29). This was a kind of “house arrest,” although the person had to stay within a city rather than within a house for a limited period of time. It was a far lesser punishment than “life for life.”
This means that God established for Israel a law code that placed a higher value on protecting the life of a pregnant woman and her preborn child than the life of anyone else in Israelite society. Far from treating the death of a preborn child as less significant than the death of others in society, this law treats the death of a preborn child or its mother as more significant and worthy of more severe punishment. And the law does not place any restriction on the number of months the woman was pregnant. Presumably it would apply from a very early stage in pregnancy, whenever it could be known that a miscarriage had occurred and her child or children had died as a result.
Moreover, this law applies to a case of accidental killing of a preborn child. But if accidental killing of a preborn child is so serious in God’s eyes, then surely intentional killing of a preborn child must be an even worse crime.
The conclusion from all of these verses [many are discussed in Grudem’s book] is that the Bible teaches that we should think of the preborn child as a person from the moment of conception, and we should give to the preborn child legal protection at least equal to that of others in the society.
A. The phrase “so that her children come out” is a literal translation of the Hebrew text, which uses the plural of the common Hebrew word yeled, “child,” and another very common word, yātsā’, which means “go out, come out.” The plural “children” is probably the plural of indefiniteness, allowing for the possibility of more than one child. Other translations render this as “so that she gives birth prematurely,” which is very similar in meaning (so NASB, from 1999 editions onward; similarly: NN, TNIV, NET, HCSV, NLT, NKJV).
B. Some translations have adopted an alternative sense of this passage. The NRSV translates it, “When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows …” (RSV is similar, as was NASB before 1999). In this case, causing a miscarriage and the death of a preborn child results only in a fine. Therefore, some have argued, this passage treats the preborn child as less worthy of protection than others in society, for the penalty is less. But the arguments for this translation are not persuasive. The primary argument is that this would make the law similar to a provision in the law code of Hammurabi (about 1760 BC in ancient Babylon). But such a supposed parallel should not override the meanings of the actual words in the Hebrew text of Exodus. The moral and civil laws in the Bible often differed from those of the ancient cultures around Israel. In addition, there is a Hebrew word for a miscarriage (shakal, Gen. 31:38; see also Exod. 23:26; Job 21:20; Hosea 9:14), but that word is not used here, nor is nēphel, another term for “miscarriage” (see Job 3:16; Ps. 58:8; Eccl. 6:3). However, the word that is used, yātsā’, is ordinarily used to refer to the live birth of a child (see Gen. 25:26; 38:29; Jer. 1:5). Finally, even on this (incorrect) translation, a fine is imposed on the person who accidentally caused the death of the preborn child. This implies that accidentally causing such a death is still considered morally wrong. Therefore, intentionally causing the death of a prebom child would be much more wrong, even on this translation.
Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 159-160.
Here is the Dennis Prager interview on this topic:
(Originally posted in February of 2011) In a recent interview by Dinesh D’Souza (President of Kings College at the time, as well as being a favorite author of mine) of physicist Stephen Barr (Professor of Particle Physics at the Bartol Research Institute and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware). What was otherwise a good interview and overview of philosophical naturalism’s metaphysical positions in contradistinction to true science and religion’s metaphysical outlook, took a historical turn for the worse when Augustine was used as defense in the “old-earth/young-earth” debate.
In this next portion you will hear the portion of the interview I wish to weigh in on. We pick up the conversation as it happens coming in from the break:
The problem with Dr. Barr’s summation is that he has failed to take into account that people’s views on matters change over time. (This wasn’t intentional… we are finite beings and cannot know all things to bring to bare in conversation.) For instance, R.C. Sproul (evangelical scholar, professor, and President of Ligonier Ministries) mentioned that through most of his teaching career he accepted the old-age position. However, late in his career he changed his position to that of the young earth creationists.
For most of my teaching career, I considered the framework hypothesis to be a possibility. But I have now changed my mind. I now hold to a literal six-day creation, the fourth alternative and the traditional one. Genesis says that God created the universe and everything in it in six twenty-four–hour periods. According to the Reformation hermeneutic, the first option is to follow the plain sense of the text. One must do a great deal of hermeneutical gymnastics to escape the plain meaning of Genesis 1–2. The confession makes it a point of faith that God created the world in the space of six days. [emphasis in original, indicating these words are part of the Confession] (pp. 127–128).
Similarly, Augustine, early in his life, was very allegorical in his attempt to interpret and define Scripture and events in it. Later however, he changed his position in much the same way Dr. Sproul did. Therefore, to quote Sproul or Augustine as old-earth creationists supporting the views of professor Barr would not do the position justice.
As his theology matured, Augustine abandoned his earlier allegorizations of Genesis that old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists have latched onto in an attempt to justify adding deep time to the Bible. Furthermore, he always believed in a young earth (painting by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480)
An example of Augustine’s allegorical uses comes from the journal Church History by way of Mervin Monroe Deems (Ph.D., past Samuel Harris Lecturer on Literature and Life at Bangor Theological Seminary, Maine) in which he points out Augustine’s use of allegory in interpreting “paradise” in Genesis:
But let us get back to the Paradise of Genesis. As Augustine put it, “. .. some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself”: the four rivers are the four virtues; the trees, all knowledge, and so on. But to Augustine these things are better connected with Christ and his Church. Thus, Paradise is the Church; the four rivers, the four gospels; the fruit-trees, the saints; the tree of life, Christ; and the tree of knowledge, one’s free choice. And he closes the paragraph thus:
These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offense to anyone, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.
To put this closing remark in slightly updated English, it reads as follows:
No one should object to such reflections and others even more appropriate that might be made concerning the allegorical interpretation of the Garden of Eden, so long as we believe in the historical truth manifest in the faithful narrative of these events.
To be clear, Augustine was still holding to the literal meaning in the Genesis narrative even during his use of allegory in rendering extra meaning to the idea of paradise in Genesis. Again, professor Deems:
Augustine’s approach to the scriptures was gradual. At the time that he came across the Hortensius he turned to the Scriptures, only to turn away again, for in his estimation they could not compare with the writings of Cicero. Later at Milan following the advice of Ambrose he started to read Isaiah but found this too difficult and turned to the Psalms. The period of retirement and the months immediately following, which produced the philosophic treatises, were devoted to the classics rather than to the Bible. But increasingly Augustine studied and meditated upon the Scriptures, with the result that his writings are filled with Scriptural quotation and references…. The use of allegory by Augustine was not only a means of making Scripture say something, it was also a technique for bringing Scripture down to date, by forcing ancient words to minister, through prophecy, to the weaving of present patterns of behavior or through the summoning to higher ideals. But it was also dangerous for it came close to making Scripture say what he wanted it to say (through multiplicity of allegories of identical Scripture), and it prepared the way for Catholic or Protestant, later, to find in Scripture what he would.
And this is key, as Professor Benno Zuiddam (Benno Zuiddam is research professor [extraordinary associate] for New Testament Studies, Greek and Church History at the faculty of Divinity at North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa) points out,
As Augustine became older, he gave greater emphasis to the underlying historicity and necessity of a literal interpretation of Scripture. His most important work is De Genesi ad litteram. The title says it: On the Necessity of Taking Genesis Literally. In this later work of his, Augustine says farewell to his earlier allegorical and typological exegesis of parts of Genesis and calls his readers back to the Bible. He even rejected allegory when he deals with the historicity and geographic locality of Paradise on earth.
The professor points out as well that from Augustine’s City of God, we can begin to see this literalism in the evolution of his responses to pagans. Dr. Zuiddam asks:
3) Isn’t it obvious from his City of God (De Civitate Dei) that Augustine believed that God created Man 6000 years ago?
Not quite, but a young earth definitely. Augustine wrote in De Civitate Dei that his view of the chronology of the world and the Bible led him to believe that Creation took place around 5600 BC [Ed. note: he used the somewhat inflated Septuagint chronology—see Biblical chronogenealogies for more information.]. One of the chapters in his City of God bears the title “On the mistaken view of history that ascribes many thousands of years to the age of the earth.” Would you like it clearer? Several pagan philosophers at the time believed that the earth was more or less eternal. Countless ages had preceded us, with many more to come. Augustine said they were wrong. This goes to show that theistic evolutionists who call in Augustine’s support do so totally out of context. All they allow themselves to see is his symbolic use of “day” in Genesis, and a very difficult philosophical doctrine of creation with ideas that develop. “Wonderful!” they think, “Augustine really supports our post-Darwinian theories!” It takes a superficial view of Genesis and Augustine to arrive at such conclusions. His instant creation, his young earth and immediate formation of Adam and Eve rule out Augustine’s application for this purpose.
An example of this can be seen here with Augustine himself saying:
“They are also still being led astray by some false writings according to their claim to the history of the times many thousands of years to take, as we do from the Bible to calculate that since the creation of man, not quite six thousand years have expired ” (XII, 11).
Non-literalist Professor James Barr (Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University and former Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University in England) in a letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984 wrote this:
Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; . . . Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.
As one can see from here and following the links to the larger articles, Dr. Stephen Barr may want to revise his position on some of the church fathers and their views in regards to the age of the earth and hence creation. A good resource for reading their thoughts on the matter — the early church fathers that is — can be FOUND HERE.
 Tas Walker, “Famous evangelical apologist changes his mind: RC Sproul says he is now a six-day, young-earth creationist,” Creation Ministries International, published May 21st, 2008, found at URL:
Allegory is primarily a method of reading a text by assuming that its literal sense conceals a hidden meaning, to be deciphered by using a particular hermeneutical key. In a secondary sense, the word “allegory” is also used to refer to a type of literature that is expressly intended to be read in this nonliteral way. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is a well-known example of allegorical literature, but it is doubtful whether any part of the Bible can be regarded as such. The parables of Jesus come closest, but they are not allegories in the true sense. The apostle Paul actually used the word allegoria, but arguably this was to describe what would nowadays be called “typology” (Gal. 4:24). The difference between typology and allegory is that the former attaches additional meaning to a text that is accepted as having a valid meaning in the “literal” sense, whereas the latter ignores the literal sense and may deny its usefulness altogether. Paul never questioned the historical accuracy of the Genesis accounts of Hagar and Sarah, even though he regarded them as having an additional, spiritual meaning as well. Other interpreters, however, were often embarrassed by anthropomorphic accounts of God in the Bible, and sought to explain away such language by saying that it is purely symbolic, with no literal meaning at all. It is in this latter sense that the word “allegory” is generally used today.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Gen Ed., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), cf. Allegory, 34-35.
 Saint Augustine, City of God (New York, NY: Image Books, 1958), 288; or, Book XIII, 21 (emphasis added).
 Mervin Monroe Deems, “Augustine’s Use of Scripture,” Church History Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sep., 1945), 188-189 (emphasis added).
 Benno Zuiddam, “Augustine: young earth creationist — [How] theistic evolutionists take Church Father out of context,” Creation Ministries International, published October 8th, 2009, found at URL (emphasis added):
May I remind those who may not understand this critique that it [the critique] has nothing to do with said physicists faith. This is merely a challenge to his understanding of a historical figure and where he [Stephen Barr] separates his understanding of Augustine and what Augustine believed. We know Augustine, from his later writings specifically, rejected the spiritualistic aspect he once placed on the Genesis account and accepted the plain understanding as paramount. This critique neither places young-earth creationism as a litmus test for faith or some standard one must reach to be “holier” than thee. One may wish to read myfootnote #18to understand my position on this.
The following comes from a discussion elsewhere on the Web, and should serve as a great reminder to the deleterious effects of larger (more regulatory) government vs. a smaller form of it:
The main point is that one party has people in it that are for small government — people like Ron Paul, Larry Elder, and the late Milton Friedman (a libertarian “god” of sorts). In the other you have people who want to grow government larger, and larger, and larger. California is a microcosm of the effect this has on businesses and regulating people’s lives. However, this drive to regulate people and their lives and to grow government, has, in every case, increased the possibility of government intrusion by force into the lives of ordinary people, which increase the risk (again, this is provable in history) of detention and death.
Which is why most libertarians vote Republican, they want smaller government. A great example is the housing market crisis. Some people are under the impression this was caused due to an easing of regulation. Not true. In fact, it was government-regulating banks to loan to people it would previously not. Why is this? Because the left wants [material] equality, the right wants people to prosper. One offers the most freedom, the other forces one person to pay for another. Here is an a small sampling of 2012 regulations from California that is helping businesses make the choice in moving to other states:
✦In addition to mandatory insurance coverage, eligible female employees can take four months pregnancy disability leave, under provisions of SB 299. ✦The independent contractor law, SB 459, is worth discussing with a legal or h/r expert, because the rules are so tough and potentially expensive. That $5,000 to $25,000 fine is PER INCIDENT. ✦Employees can take up to 30 business days in a year for donating organs or bone marrow. SB 272 clarifies the law a bit. ✦Company dress codes must accommodate transvestites and cross dressers under AB 887. ✦Companies operating in multiple states must offer the same insurance coverage for same-sec couples and domestic partners as they do married couples in California. ✦Five new laws change workers compensation insurance. Check with your insurance carrier.
Everything the growth in government touches (which is typically from the left… or, the right embracing the foundational thinking of the left [like Bush working with Kennedy to increase the size and focus of the Dept of Education]). This regulation causes friction between government and regular people. As more and more regulations are added, the increase in the possibility of armed persons coming to your door increases — like this example of natural foods markets being raided: http://biggovernment.com/reasontv/2011/08/04/reason-tv-rawesome-foods-raided-again/
So persons that *REALLY* want to effect the political spectrum and possibly decrease the size of the government the most would want to vote Republican (like Milton Friedman, Larry Elder, and Rand Paul [Ron Paul’s son]). And this decreases the abrasive aspect of government and the regular Joe meeting. Congress — for instance – should meet for 3-months during the year, and do less of this:
“Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry…” James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martins Griffen; 1994), 1.
“All forms of the liberal agenda interfere with the rational relationship between human action and the conditions of life by disconnecting outcomes from adaptive behavior. Government welfare programs of all kinds disconnect the receipt of material benefits from productive behavior and voluntary exchange, and from those normal developmental processes that lead to adult competence. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal and state welfare programs divorce an individual’s material security and emotional well being from his economic and social connections to his community, and replace them with a marriage to government officials. In particular, welfare programs disconnect the individual’s security and well being from two of his most reliable resources: his own initiative in producing and exchanging with others, and his social bonds to members of his family, church, neighborhood or village. The liberal agenda’s takeover of countless individual and community functions, from early education to care of the elderly, has had the effect of alienating the individual from his community and robbing both of their essential mutuality. In the economic sphere, especially, the liberal agenda’s rules have become strikingly irrational. Countless restrictions dictate what the ordinary businessman and professional may or may not do regarding hiring procedures, sales and purchasing, health insurance plans, retirement plans, safety precautions, transportation policies, racial and ethnic quotas, immigration matters, liability rules, and provisions for the handicapped. Endless paperwork adds to the already crushing burden of confiscatory taxation. Licensure requirements needlessly prevent workers from entering new fields in which they are willing to work hard and risk much in order to make life better for themselves and their families. Unnecessary and unjust restrictions in the freedom with which individuals can run their economic lives are the hallmarks of the liberal agenda. But the social pathology of collectivism extends well beyond the economic realm. While children can be happy in dependent relationships with parents, adults cannot be happy in any mature sense in dependent relationships with government welfare programs, no matter how well intentioned or administered. The reasons for this are developed more thoroughly below and occupy a major portion of this book. Stated briefly, however, the large-scale dependency of the adult citizen on governments is always inherently pathological and always profoundly detrimental to…” Lyle H. Rossiter, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, p. 71.
Cal Watchdog adds to the idea with the most recent businesses leaving:
Waste Connections, a Folsom-based garbage hauling and landfill company, said last week it is busting a move for Texas. Santa Barbara-based Superconductor Technologies Inc., which develops advanced superconducting wire, also confirmed this week it is leaving for the Lone Star State.
After California’s ongoing budget imbroglio, there is arguably no greater crisis facing our once Golden State than the continuing exodus of homegrown companies like Waste Connections and Superconductor Technologies. Yet, lawmakers in Sacramento are doing next to nothing about it.
In fact, Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittlestaedt actually warned state officials back in August that his company was thinking about relocating to another state. Those officials failed to step up and dissuade the Sacramento region’s largest publicly traded company from leaving. Higher Taxes
Mittlestaedt echoed the lament of all too many California CEO’s that the state is inhospitable for business. It “has the highest tax rates in the nation,” he told the Sacramento Bee this week, “and they’re going higher.” And California is not only fiscally broke, he said, but also “structurally.”
By that, he was referring to the state’s hostile regulatory environment. As when the Legislature this year neglected to pass a measure that would have made it easier for Waste Connections and other landfill operators to move trash around the state, while doing no harm to the environment.
Superconductor Technologies CEO Jeff Quiram said in a statement that the company’s goal of becoming “a leader in the superconducting wire industry recently reached the inflection point where it was time to make a move.”
Translation: The cost, the hassle of doing business in California has risen to such a level that aspiring companies like STI cannot grow their businesses the way they can in competing states….
If the Arab Spring was seeded by a liberal insurrection, the Arab Fall has brought a rich harvest for Political Islam. In election after election, parties that embrace various shades of Islamist ideology have spanked liberal rivals. In Tunisia, the first country to hold elections after toppling a long-standing dictator, the Ennahda party won a plurality in the Oct. 23 vote for an assembly that will write a new constitution. A month later, the Justice and Development Party and its allies won a majority in Morocco’s general elections. Now, in perhaps the most important election the Middle East has ever witnessed, Egypt’s Islamist parties are poised to dominate the country’s first freely elected parliament.
In the first of three rounds of voting, two Islamist groups won a clear majority between them: a coalition led by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) got 37% of the vote, while the al-Nour Party won 24.4%. The Egyptian Block, a coalition of mostly liberal parties, was a distant third, with 13.4%. The FJP is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, a mostly moderate Islamist group; al-Nour represents more-hard-line Salafis. With momentum on their side, the Islamists are expected to do even better in the second and third rounds, scheduled for Dec. 14 and Jan. 3. (See pictures of Egyptians flocking to the polls.)
Why have the liberals, leaders of the Arab Spring revolution, fared so poorly in elections? In Cairo, as the votes were being counted, I heard a raft of explanations from disheartened liberals. They were almost identical to the ones I’d heard the previous week, in Tunis. The litany goes like this: The liberals only had eight months to prepare for elections, whereas the Brotherhood has 80 years’ experience in political organization. The Islamists, thanks to their powerful financial backing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, outspent the liberals. The generals currently ruling Egypt, resentful of the liberals for ousting their old boss Hosni Mubarak, fixed the vote in favor of the Islamists. The Brotherhood and the Salafists used religious propaganda — Vote for us or you’re a bad Muslim — to mislead a largely poor, illiterate electorate.
These excuses are all plausible, as far as they go. But they don’t go very far. After all, the Salafis had no political organization until 10 months ago, and they still managed to do well. The liberals were hardly penurious: free-spending telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris is a leading member of the Egyptian Block. Even if you buy the notion that the generals — themselves brought up in strict secular tradition — prefer the Islamists to the liberals, international observers found no evidence of systematic ballot fixing. (See photos of the recent clashes between police and protesters in Cairo.)
And to argue that voters were hoodwinked by the Islamists is to suggest that the majority of the electorate are gullible fools. This tells you something about the attitude of liberal politicians toward their constituency. And that in turn may hold the key to why they fared so badly.
The Islamists, it turns out, understand democracy much better than the liberals do. The Ennahda and the FJP were not just better organized, they also campaigned harder and smarter. Anticipating allegations that they would seek to impose an Iranian-style theocracy in North Africa, the Islamists formed alliances with some secular and leftist parties and very early on announced they would not be seeking the presidency in either country. Like smart retail politicians everywhere, they played to their strengths, capitalizing on goodwill generated by years of providing social services — free hospitals and clinics, soup kitchens — in poor neighborhoods. And they used their piety to assure voters that they would provide clean government, no small consideration for a population fed up with decades of corrupt rule. Even the Salafis, who openly pursue an irredentist agenda and seek a return to Islam’s earliest days, benefited from the perception that they are scrupulously honest….
At a press conference on May 19, Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., announced the release of the names of 32,000 scientists who have signed a strongly worded petition dissenting from the alarmist assertions of Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Fears of catastrophic human-caused global warming, requiring draconian energy rationing, are the basis for policies supported by all three leading Presidential candidates: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.
Al Gore claims that “the debate is over,” and that there are only a “few” remaining “skeptics.”
“In Ph.D. scientist signers alone, the project already includes 15-times more scientists than are seriously involved in the United Nations IPCC project. The very large number of petition signers demonstrates that, if there is a consensus among American scientists, it is in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis rather than in favor of it,” states Robinson. Signers include more than 9,000 Ph.Ds.
Most signatures were obtained by mailing to lists of university professors and a compendium that constitutes a “Who’s Who” of American scientists.
“How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming?” asks Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post 5/17/08). He reviews the history of previous petitions, including the Heidelberg Appeal, which ultimately obtained 4,000 signatures, including 72 Nobel Prize winners. In numbers, the Oregon Petition Project vastly exceeds all others, having gathered some 17,800 signatures in 2001—“all the more astounding because of the unequivocal stand these scientists took.”
“Not only did they dispute that there was convincing evidence of harm from carbon dioxide emissions, they asserted that Kyoto itself would harm the global environment because ‘increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.’”
This is an interesting post MercatorNet has done in that it is supported by all the facts and studies done on this topic of the health to society done via the nuclear family. The Tottenham Riots have only been a recent example of this in a geo-political sense. Domestically it is seen in the Flash Mob mentality of violence and theft here in the States. For instance, commenting on the riots in London, Melanie Phillips says that,
…When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation [i.e., family and hard work], and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.
Left-wing parties all over Europe are losing elections because they are out-of-touch and because their big idea – the welfare state – is outdated. It does not work. Why not? Because it is based on a false view of human nature; it simply does not conform to reality.
It believes that people are basically good, though corrupted by society. These Leftist Utopians read Rousseau and Marx and think they sound like they know what they are talking about when, in fact, they are completely detached from reality. The welfare state ideology assumes that the main problems people face are material in nature, in other words – poverty. “Solve” poverty and we will have a good society, they say. How do they propose to solve poverty? Do they have a way to make people hard-working, educated and productive? No, they propose a short-cut; just take from the rich by redistributive taxation and give to the poor. Problem solved. But moving money from bank account to bank account does not alter human nature. It does not solve depression, sin, pathological behaviour, immaturity, disrespect for the law and lack of care for one’s family.
MercatorNet comes in as well and underlines this idea of family and the deteriative aspect of the welfare system subsidizing failure and violence as it tears apart the marriage ideal… and it is ideal!
It was a traumatic and costly lesson, but the rioting in English cities last weekend has forced “broken Britain” to face where its major social faultlines lie. Without a doubt, family breakdown is one of them, destabilising the welfare class over several decades by robbing children of their fathers and replacing them all too often with their mothers’ transient partners or with the Alpha males who run neighbourhood gangs (Scotland Yard says one in four of the rioters was a gang member).
Of course, as the appearance of the odd grammar school or university graduate in court showed, bad behaviour is not limited to the “underclass”. Neither, as it turns out, is family disintegration. While the attention of the world was riveted on the anarchy in England, two reports were published in the United States warning that family instability is making serious inroads into the working class and lower middle class of that country — as it is in Britain and many others. Both reports are about the erosion of marriage; together they leave no-one, in America at least, with any excuse for ignorance on the subject.
In the first, The Marginalisation of Marriage in Middle America, the problem is outlined by two sociologists: W Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a conservative; and Andrew J Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a liberal. Their views diverge on the importance of marriage, but they agree about two basic things: “that children are more likely to thrive when they reside in stable, two-parent homes,” and “that in America today cohabitation is still largely a short-term arrangement, while marriage remains the setting in which adults seek to maintain long-term bonds.”
Many social commentators are worried about the widening wealth gap in today’s America. More worrying still is the marriage gap that has opened up between the working class — basically, people with not much more than a high school diploma — and the college educated middle class. Indeed, the latter gap is a significant contributor to the first.
Contrary to the impression you might get from reading the New York Times, college educated Americans are not generally engaged in pushing the sexual revolution to new extremes; they are busy creating what Wilcox and Cherlin call a “neotraditional style of family life”. They “may cohabit with their partners, but nearly all of them marry before having their first child. Furthermore, while most wives work outside the home, the divorce rate in this group has declined to levels not seen since the early 1970s.”
Brittle cohabiting unions
In contrast, working class young adults, who comprise half of the population aged 25 to 34, are defaulting on marriage:
“More and more of them are having children in brittle cohabiting unions. Among those who marry, the risk of divorce remains high. Indeed, the families formed recently in working-class communities have begun to look as much like the families of the poor as of the prosperous. The nation’s retreat from marriage, which started in low-income communities in the 1960s and 1970s, has now moved into Middle America.”
Compared to college graduates, moderately educated Americans are more than twice as likely to divorce in the first 10 years of marriage, and women are more than seven times as likely to bear a child outside of marriage. “Indeed the percentage of nonmarital births among the moderately educated (44 percent) was closer to the rate among mothers without high school degrees (54 percent) than to college-educated mothers (6 percent).”
We need to get the seriousness of this: back in 1960 the marriage gap barely existed; now there’s a chasm opening up between the third of Americans with higher education and everyone else — including the large class of ordinary working people that used to be the backbone of family values.
Many will say it doesn’t matter. We are not looking at a boom in single mothers here, but of cohabiting couples having children, which means the kids still have a mother and father under one roof. Cherlin himself inclines to the view that a stable two-parent home is what matters, not marriage as such. The fact is, however, that cohabiting relationships are much less stable than marriage.
US Demographers Sheela Kennedy and Larry Bumpass suggest that 65 per cent of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents part by the time they are 12, compared to 24 per cent of the children of married parents. A British report last December found something similar: unmarried couples accounted for 59 per cent of break-ups affecting children up to the age of five, divorces for 20 per cent, and single parents headed 21 per cent of broken families with young children. Even in Sweden, the fabled home of non-traditional happy families, children born to cohabiting couples are 70 per cent more likely to see parents separate by the age of 15, compared to married parents.
The marriage advantage is a fact
Now, we all come across married families here there is conflict between the parents, where there is poor parenting, where the children are not thriving. Not all married families are healthy. And it may be that the advantage enjoyed by married families on average is due in part to the kinds of people who marry (selection effects). That there is a marriage advantage, however, is beyond dispute. Wilcox and Cherlin note:
“The fact is that children born and raised in intact, married homes typically enjoy higher quality relationships with their parents, are more likely to steer clear of trouble with the law, to graduate from high school and college, to be gainfully employed as adults, and to enjoy stable marriages of their own in adulthood. Women and men who get and stay married are more likely to accrue substantial financial assets and to enjoy good physical and mental health. In fact, married men enjoy a wage premium compared to their single peers that may exceed 10 percent.”
These claims are borne out by data from 250 peer-reviewed journal articles on marriage and family life in the US and around the world which are the basis of the second report mentioned above: Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. Released this week and updating two earlier reports of the same name, Why Marriage Matters is co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions and chaired by Professor Wilcox.
Among its statistics: 66 per cent of 16-year-olds were living with both parents in the early 1980s, compared to just 55 per cent in the early 2000s. Assuming that no responsible or humane person would say that this trend, bringing insecurity and misery to millions of children, does not matter, we have to ask: Why is this happening? And what can be done to change it?