The Great Texas Freeze of 2021

In February 2021, the temperature in Texas dropped below zero. Not a big deal, right? Texas is the energy state. Just go home, turn on the heat, and hunker down. That’s how it should have gone. But it didn’t. What happened, and why?

SEE MORE AT MY CLIMATE CHANGE PAGE

Some SOFA/Iraq History (RPT FLASHBACK)

What if people have the war in Iraq backwards? What if George W. Bush and the U.S. military won it, and Barack Obama and the Democrats gave it away? Well, we don’t have to wonder what if, because Pete Hegseth, who served in Iraq, explains what happened.

Iraq and the failed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), FLASHBACK (August 2016)

Smack Down Galore!

(Above Video) The caller notes that the narrative is that the Islamic State would have still come to power even if we kept troops in Iraq. Which is true, they would have still come to existence, in Syria. But Iraq would not have lost any cities or territories if we still had a presence in Iraq. The caller mentioned a force of 10,000 troops, it would have been closer to 30,000 troops. And having a base of operations in country would have allowed the administration to deal more effectively with the Islamic State in Syria (flying sorties, and supporting quick reaction [spec-ops] units activity), and the like.

(Above Video) Megyn Kelly Destroys Jen Psaki who can’t get off talking points.

(Above Video) Larry Elder (and Paul Bremer) dismantle older as well as new mantras flying around via our friends on the left. In the interview that is the centerpiece of the segment[s] here via Larry Elder, Erin “Monkey” Burnett gets all of her talking points smacked down. The only thing Miss Burnett accomplished was showing her bias/sarcasm well.

Here Bremer educates Erin with facts she knew, but refuses to deploy in her logic because it would ruin her defense of her Master Obama, “The planning in 2011, leaked very heavily from the Pentagon and the White House was to keep 20 to 30 thousand troops after 2011, the White House leaked that it wanted to only keep 3,000 troops, then they said to al-Maliki not only do we want a Status of Forces Agreement but you have to get it through your Parliament. So for the first time, to my knowledge, since 1945, we have 84 SOFA agreements around the world, we were telling the host government how to they proceed in approving that Status of Forces Agreement. That put al-Maliki in an impossible situation.”

(Read more)


Bombs Over Erbil


Obama is SUCH a joke! HotAir has this:

….A dandy little edit here by the Free Beacon, via Ace. I know I’ve linked it before but the piece you want to read as accompaniment is Iraq hawk turned dove Peter Beinart lamenting all the ways Obama screwed up post-Bush American policy in the country. O wants you to believe at the end of the video here that he pushed hard to keep a residual American force inside Iraq for counterterrorism (i.e. counter-ISIS) operations but it’s simply not true. He didn’t push hard for it; when Maliki initially resisted his demand that U.S. troops be granted immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, O took that as his cue to pull everyone out. And that wasn’t the only time he indulged Maliki’s dumbest impulses. The story of the U.S. vis-a-vis Iraq after 2009, writes Beinart, is a story of disinterest and disengagement:

The decline of U.S. leverage in Iraq simply reinforced the attitude Obama had held since 2009: Let Maliki do whatever he wants so long as he keeps Iraq off the front page.

On December 12, 2011, just days before the final U.S. troops departed Iraq, Maliki visited the White House. According to Nasr, he told Obama that Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, an Iraqiya leader and the highest-ranking Sunni in his government, supported terrorism. Maliki, argues Nasr, was testing Obama, probing to see how the U.S. would react if he began cleansing his government of Sunnis. Obama replied that it was a domestic Iraqi affair. After the meeting, Nasr claims, Maliki told aides, “See! The Americans don’t care.”

In public remarks after the meeting, Obama praised Maliki for leading “Iraq’s most inclusive government yet.” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Saleh al-Mutlaq, another Sunni, told CNN he was “shocked” by the president’s comments. “There will be a day,” he predicted, “whereby the Americans will realize that they were deceived by al-Maliki … and they will regret that.”

And now the day has come. Remember that the next time O walks out to the podium and acts indignant about Maliki clinging to power.

One more bit, this from Dexter Filkins, on just how much of a fight O put up in demanding a residual troop presence:

President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq. For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis—like how many troops they wanted to leave behind—because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” Jeffrey told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ ” At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said…

(read more)


(Still the Lynn University campus debate via WaPo)

  • Romney: “With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,”
  • Obama: “That’s not true,”
  • Romney: “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?”
  • Obama: “No,” … “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

Some other things Mitt got right and “O” didn’t:

An Olympian Should Be Honored to Represent the USA (Fireside Chat)

Folks, this might be the most important Independence Day to celebrate than ever before. It doesn’t (and never did) mean that you agree with every single thing that America has done. But what this country HAS gotten right is a miraculous achievement, and we are all unfathomably lucky beneficiaries. Have a happy and reflective Fourth!

Is The National Anthem Racist? (Prager U Update)

(Updated 7-3-2021)

I figured this recent “Anthem Protest” would be a good update for the post. This comes to me via RIGHT SCOOP:

Gwen Berry explained today why she reacted with such contempt for the National Anthem over the weekend and it’s absolutely ridiculous (video at Twitterclick pic):

Berry claims that “If you know your history, you know the full song of the National Anthem. The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slang and piltered all over the floor. It’s disrespectful and it does not speak for black Americans. It’s obvious. There’s no question.”

I found this explanation unbelievable. But because I don’t know the verse, I went back and read it anyway:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

So it turns out she’s an idiot. Yes, it uses the world ‘slave’, but it doesn’t remotely mean what she claims it means. It’s referring to the British, which is clear from the context. Not American slaves.

Erick Erickson provides us more insight here:

[….]

the third verse of the National Anthem has nothing to do with slave labor. She’s taking language out of context by using a modern day definition and applying it to a 17th century statement. — Kenny Webster

. . . . . .

(Originally Posted Sep 29, 2017)

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

(Above video description: The original file AND description can be found here in full — HOWEVER, the audio was horrible. I tried to raise the DBs but couldn’t get rid of the hiss… but it is a must watch!)


UPDATED VIDEO ADDED


The Star-Spangled Banner, long a treasured symbol of national unity, has suddenly become “one of the most racist, pro-slavery songs” in American culture. Why is this happening? And more importantly, is it true? USA Today columnist James Robbins explores the history of the song and its author to answer these questions.

 

A friend asked a question about a challenge via “The Root” about the National Anthem. This is the “verse” said to be “racist”

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It is said our (yes, OUR) anthem glories in black slaves dying. Here is how it is encapsulated in the NEW YORK TIMES:

The journalist Jon Schwarz, writing in The Intercept, argued yes, denouncing the lyrics, written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, as “a celebration of slavery.” How could black players, Mr. Schwarz asked, be expected to stand for a song whose rarely sung third stanza — which includes the lines “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” — “literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans”?

Here is another sport figure’s comments on the flag:

  • “And stop trying to sweep it under the rug. But, see, as long as you paint that narrative, oh, it’s the Anthem, I can’t — no — anybody that does something to the Anthem — well, we know what the anthem was originally written for and who it was written by, okay? The flag, okay? We understand what the flag? What does it represent? — SHANNON SHARPE

Here, the SMITHSONIAN helps set the scene for us and how the Anthem came to be:

A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated….

THE DAILY CALLER notes (and so does SNOPES) that this verse was in reference to slaves and mercenaries that fought on the British side:

Francis Scott Key wrote the song the morning after the British bombarded Fort McHenry toward the end of the War of 1812, when he saw the American flag still waving. In these lines of the third verse he’s celebrating the death of slaves and mercenaries who opted to fight for the British in exchange for their freedom following the war. 

INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW puts the idea to bullet points:

  • The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence
  • The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812
  • Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity

The U.S. CAPITAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY also comments on the added “fifth verse” by Oliver Wendell Holmes at the start of the Civil War:

Fifty years later, in 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. would write a fifth verse to the National Anthem, reflecting the nation’s strife and looking toward a more peaceable future:

When our land is illum’d with Liberty’s smile,

If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,

Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile

The flag of her stars and the page of her story!

By the millions unchain’d who our birthright have gained

We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave

While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Here, Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation. Today, this verse is not considered an official part of the National Anthem, but during the Civil War, it was printed in song books throughout the northern United States as an extension of Key’s lyrics. In this way, Francis Scott Key and the War of 1812 bequeathed to the nation not just a song, but a step toward the perpetuating of liberty—just as the Revolutionary War and Civil War did.

Again, the Left views complex history through the lens of a historical Marxist view. Something that Howard Zinn tried to do as well, but did so by rewriting history… as the Modern Left still does.

Francis Scott Key, like many during that time, had a varied history on slavery. He fought for slaves to be free in court – pro bono. But, he also fought to return runaway slaves to owners at some point in his life – probably for money. So he was an opportunistic lawyer to pay bills… nothing has changed. WIKI continues with this:

Key publicly criticized slavery’s cruelties, so much that after his death a newspaper editorial stated “So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called ‘The Nigger Lawyer’ …. because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa. Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong.” In June 1842, Key attended the funeral of William Costin, a free, mixed race resident who had challenged Washington’s surety bond laws.

The SMITHSONIAN again notes that Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization, of which the primary goal was to send free African-Americans back to Africa. Keys, even though he abhorred slavery, and fought to free slaves at times, was removed from the board in 1833 as its policies shifted toward abolitionist. The mood of the nation as a whole was shifting. While Keys couldn’t envision a multi-ethnic nation, others could. But Keys position wasn’t necessarily “racist,” as some ex-slaves wanted the same. To recall a portion of the above quote from the Capital Historical Society, “…Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation.”

YOU SEE, people change… as do nations (because they, like corporations, are made up of people). I make  this point in my post on AUGUSTINE, who is often used to support old-earth positions… but little know that later in his life he rejected the old-earth view and wrote quite a bit on the young earth (creationist) viewpoint.

A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey. As do nations.

Likewise, conservatives believe that Robert Byrd may have sincerely changed his formerly racist beliefs. But when Democrats accuse Republicans of racism because they went to Strom Thurmond’s (one of the only major Dixiecrats to change to Republican – watch here and here) funeral and gave him praise, even though he changed his views on race/racism. All we point out is that if praising an ex Dixiecrat at a funeral makes one racist… then what does lauding a KKK Grand Kleagle at his funeral make Democrats?

A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey.

So does a nation.

Here is the rest of the SMITHSONIAN piece I wish to excerpt:

A religious man, Key believed slavery sinful; he campaigned for suppression of the slave trade. “Where else, except in slavery,” he asked, “was ever such a bed of torture prepared?” Yet the same man, who coined the expression “the land of the free,” was himself an owner of slaves who defended in court slaveholders’ rights to own human property.

Key believed that the best solution was for African-Americans to “return” to Africa—although by then most had been born in the United States. He was a founding member of the American Colonization Society, the organization dedicated to that objective; its efforts led to the creation of an independent Liberia on the west coast of Africa in 1847. Although the society’s efforts were directed at the small percentage of free blacks, Key believed that the great majority of slaves would eventually join the exodus. That assumption, of course, proved to be a delusion. “Ultimately,” says historian Egerton, “the proponents of colonization represent a failure of imagination. They simply cannot envision a multiracial society. The concept of moving people around as a solution was widespread and being applied to Indians as well.”

You see, Americans’ belief then was “not merely in themselves [shocker to millennials] but also in their future…. lying just beyond the western horizon” (ibid). And that is key. As Paul Johnson rightly notes in his history book on America:

can a nation rise above the injustices of its origins and, by its moral purpose and performance, atone for them? All nations are born in war, conquest, and crime, usually concealed by the obscurity of a distant past. The United States, from its earliest colonial times, won its title-deeds in the full blaze of recorded history, and the stains on them are there for all to see and censure: the dispossession of a indigenous people, and the securing of self-sufficiency through the sweat and pain of an enslaved race. In the judgmental scales of history, such grievous wrongs must be balanced by the erection of a society dedicated to justice and fairness.”

Paul Johnson, A History of the American People (New York, NY: Harper Perenial, 1997), 3.

John Adams… Ethical Monotheist, Not a Deist

A short excerpt of Dennis Prager’s interview of Brad Thompson, Professor of Political Science at Clemson University. (PragerU’s video on John Adams is here)

Other posts of mine discuss in some way John Adam’s religious views as well as “Deism”:

Is the Constitution and It’s Signers… Secular? (Fraudulent Memes)

A Facebook friend posts a lot of stuff from the Left. And while I could spend all day refuting in similar fashion much of it (like the below), this topic caught my eye. Here is the FB graphic she posted on her wall:

So, let’s deal with these in order, shall we?

THOMAS JEFFERSON

This is the headline at THE JEFFERSON MONTICELLO site: “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man (Spurious Quotation)” — spurious indeed. They follow this with the fuller quote:

This comment on Christianity is a somewhat paraphrased excerpt from the following letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley:

“this was the real ground of all the attacks on you: those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame.” – Jefferson to Priestley, March 21, 18011 (entire letter)

There are other useful links at MONTICELLO’S link to this topic. Even CHECK YOUR FACT has this regarding the Jefferson quote:

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Jefferson ever said or wrote this. His estate at Monticello includes the saying on its list of “spurious quotations.”

Fact Check:

The quote has been frequently attributed to Jefferson on social media, appearing in numerous memes and posts on Facebook.

However, the Daily Caller found no record of Jefferson ever saying or writing this expression. A search of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson returned no results matching the alleged saying. It doesn’t appear in a collection of his quotes and letters either.

His estate at Monticello also includes the statement on its list of “spurious quotations.” The first known appearance in print dates back to 1996, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation…..

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

The fuller quote reads… and note, many say this about their youth as well. I say similar things — as I stayed out of the church as a youth when I could.

  • “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.”

Later in life however, Franklin (and I would say myself) wrestled with religious matters well, and came out on the theistic end of life. Here, for example, is a letter from Benjamin Franklin to the “atheist” Thomas Paine:

TO THOMAS PAINE.
[Date uncertain.]

DEAR SIR,

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion, that, though your reasonings are subtile and may prevail with some readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face.

But, were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous life, without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue, and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations. But think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security. And perhaps you are indebted to her originally, that is, to your religious education, for the habits of virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and thereby obtain a rank with our most distinguished authors. For among us it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it. I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship, and therefore add no professions to it; but subscribe simply yours,

B. Franklin

Other interesting items of Mr. Franklin’s faith in God can be found here: Benjamin Franklin Was Not A Secularist

I start out this upload with a call into the show this week… after a little back-n-forth it ends. BUT, I include a bit of the show Dennis Prager speaks about during the call. That is from late February. A great topic covered well. Here is the creed spoken of:

✦ I believe in one God, the creator of the universe.
✦ That he governs by his providence.
✦ That he ought to be worshipped.
✦ That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children.
✦ That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this.

For a very good discussion of the influence of the Calvinistic tradition on the thinking of Benjamin, see:

  • John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 191-213.

JOHN ADAMS

The fuller quote from Adam’s sheds some light on Calvinism’ influence on the founders. The quote was taken out of context from a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 19 April 1817 (entire letter):

  • Twenty times, in the course of my late Reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible Worlds, if there were no Religion in it”!!! But in this exclamati[on] I Should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell. So far from believing in the total and universal depravity on human Nature; I believe there is no Individual totally depraved. 

A slightly more English friendly version is this:

“Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible Worlds, if there were no Religion in it!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company – I mean hell.” (Charles Francis Adams [ed.], The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. [Boston, 1856], X, p. 254.)

  • Taken from They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions, by Paul F. Boller, Jr. & John George, p. 3.

Adam’s was using the quote as a hyperbolic analogy to make a larger point. The opposite point as displayed in the meme. And the point was the depravity of mankind in a VERY Calvinistic structure. Here, as a way to drive the point home that this topic — that is, religious influences on the founding of America — is a topic I have for seminary studied well. Here is a bibliography of books used for a class. Books that sit on my shelves, I will highlight one in particular I recommend:

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Atkinson, James. The Great Light: Luther and the Reformation (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006).

Barton, David. America’s Godly Heritage (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders Press, 1993).

___________. Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, 3rd ed. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders Press, 2000).

Belloc, Hilaire. The Protestant Reformation (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1928).

___________. Characters of the Reformation: Historical Portraits of 23 Men and Women and Their Place in the Great Religious Revolution of the 16th Century (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1936).

Berman, Harold J. Law and Revolution II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

_____________. Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983).

Eidsmoe, John. Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1987).

Esolen, Anthony. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2008).

Estep, William R. Renaissance and Reformation (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986).

Evans, M. Stanton. The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1994).

George, Timothy. Theology of the Reformers (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1988).

Hannah, John D. Charts of Reformation and Enlightenment Church History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004).

Hillerbrand, Hans J. The Reformation: A Narrative History Related by Contemporary Observances and Participants (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1964).

___________. How the Reformation Happened (New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1968).

Hoffecker, W. Andrew. Revolutions in Worldviews: Understanding the Flow of Western Thought (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2007).

House, Wayne H. Charts of Christian Theology & Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992).

_____________. Charts on Systematic Theology ( Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2006).

Lowenthal, David. No Liberty for License: the Forgotten Logic of the First Amendment (Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing, 1997).

MacCullouch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History (New York, NY: Penguin, 2004).

Marshall, Paul. God and the Constitution: Christianity and American Politics (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).

McGrath, Alister E. Reformation Thought: An Introduction, 3rd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1999).

______________, ed. The Christian Theology Reader (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1995).

Nichols, Stephen J. The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007).

Noll, Mark A. America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).

Olberman, Heiko A. The Dawn of the Reformation: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Reformation Thought (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992).

Parker, G.W.H. The Morning Star: Wycliffe and the Dawn of the Reformation (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006).

Pelikan, Jaroslav, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700), vol. 4 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

Sandoz, Ellis, ed. Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805 (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 1991).

Sharansky, Natan. Defending Identity: It’s Indispensible Role In Protecting Democracy (New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2008).

Skinner, Quentin. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: The Age of Reformation, vol. 2 (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1978).

_____________. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: The Renaissance, vol. 1 (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

_____________. Liberty Before Liberalism (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Spellman, W.M. John Locke and the Problem of Depravity (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988).

Stark, Rodney. The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (, New York, NY: Random House, 2006).

            _____________. For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton university Press, 2004)

Tomkins, Stephen. A Short History of Christianity (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005).

Walton, Robert C. Chronological and Background Charts of Church History: Revised and Expanded (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2005).

Witte, John Jr. Religion and American Constitutional Experiment (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2005).

___________. The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

___________., and Frank s. Alexander, eds. Christianity and Law: An Introduction (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

___________. From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Louisville, KY: WJK, 1997)

___________. God’s Joust, God’s Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006).

___________. Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Woods, Thomas J. Jr. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2004).

Later in life, Adams wrote:

  • “I love and revere the memories of Huss, Wickliff, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melancton, and all the other Reformers, how muchsoever I may differ from them all in many theological metaphysical & philosophical points. As you justly observe, without their great exertions & severe sufferings, the USA had never existed.” — John Adams to F. C. Schaeffer, November 25, 1821, in James Hutson, ed., The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 15–16.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

The quote by our first official President does not even hint at secular thought? The entire letter in fact does not. An excellent site recording the non-secular events surrounding the Constitution, also note the following — to use just one example from the many via Is the Constitution a “Secular Document?”

After being sworn in, George Washington delivered his “Inaugural Address” to a joint session of Congress. In it Washington declared:

[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves . . . .  In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and . . . can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.

[W]e ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained….

    • Messages and Papers of the PresidentsGeorge Washington, Richardson, ed., vol. 1, p.44-45

Following his address, the Annals of Congress reported that:

The President, the Vice-President, the Senate, and House of Representatives, &c., then proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel, where Divine service was performed by the chaplain of Congress.

These people obviously didn’t get the memo about the Constitution creating a secular government…..

More on Washington can be found HERE.

The Churches That Refused to Kneel (Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks)

This week Dennis met with Rob McCoy, the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Godspeak. His church was one of a handful of churches who opened their doors without any COVID restrictions, despite the threat of fines from the local government. Tune into this very moving episode.

“It Was Me…” | The Fallen Soldier

Others have made the ultimate sacrifice so that you could be free. Remember them—today, and always. A moving tribute, written and narrated by former Navy SEAL and author Jocko Willink.


…It Was Them…


While the speeches and cartoons are perfect for this Memorial Day… they do not express the loss persons individually feel that express our Nation’s loss through their pain. Pray for the families of the fallen, always.


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A few of the below are from the same heroes funeral,

a link to the story is in the pictures




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The Myth of Voter Suppression

There must be A LOT of racist black and brown people out there:

Thirty-six states have enacted some form of voter ID law, but those laws would be nullified if the Senate approves H.R. 1, which passed the House on a party-line vote. Critics say H.R. 1 “would force states to allow anyone to vote who simply signs a form saying that they are who they claim they are.

[….]

Support for voter ID laws has actually increased since 2018, when 67% said voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans support voter ID requirements, as do 60% of Democrats and 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

[….]

Democrats have claimed that voter ID laws discriminate against black voters and other minorities, but voters reject that claim by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Sixty percent (60%) say laws requiring photo identification at the polls don’t discriminate, while 31% say voter ID laws do discriminate. Ten percent said they are not sure.

A majority of Democrats (51%) say voter ID laws are discriminatory, while 79% of Republicans and 67% of unaffiliated voters say requiring identification at the polls is not discriminatory.

Majorities of whites (74%), blacks (69%) and other minorities (82%) say voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to vote. Voters under 40 support voter ID laws more than do older voters….

 

(RASMUSSEN)

An AMI HOROWITZ flashback:

POWERLINE has a great way of making important points concisely in their shorter articles. So I will grab their full article as I think it is important:

ASKING FOR ID VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION?

America’s institutions have gone mad, with organizations like Delta and Major League Baseball lining up to oppose sensible election integrity measures, in particular identification requirements that can help prevent voter fraud. Of course, if you pick up tickets at a major league will-call window, you will have to present identification. And no one can board a Delta flight without a driver’s license, passport or other ID. But no one has ever accused liberals of being consistent.

The Babylon Bee is, as InstaPundit puts it, America’s Paper of Record. The Bee takes seriously liberals’ claim that requiring identification is a civil rights violation: “Gun Shop Asks For ID In Clear Case Of 2nd Amendment Suppression.”

MACON, GA—In a clear case of targeted 2nd Amendment suppression, the clerk behind the counter at Yippee Kay Yay Firearms has asked a gun purchaser to show his identification.

“You don’t need to see my identification,” said store patron Willard VonCarlton, who was trying to purchase a shotgun and a revolver. “I’m an American! It’s my God-given right to own a firearm!”

The clerk was unmoved. “Yeah I get all that, I just need to verify you are the same guy written on this paperwork,” he said.

“RACISM!” said VonCarlton. “You assumed I have an ID just from looking at me? Stereotype much? How are you even sure I know how to get an ID?”

“I’ll tell you what this is– SUPPRESSION!” he continued. “You don’t want me to be able to defend myself! My 2nd Amendment will not be infringed! This is a HATE CRIME!”

That argument is at least as good as the ones Delta, MLB and others have made against the Georgia election integrity law. But gun buyers, unlike lefties, are generally sane. Thus:

According to witnesses, the clerk sighed and said: “Please, just show me your driver’s license, sir.”

“OK, fine.”

But leftists have never said “OK, fine” to anything.

JASON RILEY

Do Republicans win elections by preventing minorities from voting? The Left says yes, but the data says no. Jason Riley, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, settles the argument with hard evidence, separating fact from fiction.

LARRY ELDER (GEORGIA)

No evidence whatsoever that these are in fact voting suppression measures!

Wealth Inequality in America – Critiques On Inequality

(UPDATED w/ Armstrong and Getty [3-24-2021])

Armstrong and Getty read from and discuss a bit an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL entitled: The myth of American inequality (https://tinyurl.com/ymy5rjz9). Unfortunately the article is behind a pay-wall… but PECKFORD 42 has it for reading.

(UPDATED April 2014 and Today: 12-27-2020)

The below video is a “pop-culture” challenge to an economic principle that if the free-markets are left to choose (free contractual trade for services between people in the supply-and-demand market) would allow the most people to succeed as the innate abilities of people and the market can bare:

Prager University notes that “INEQUALITY IS GOOD”

What if everything you’ve heard about income inequality is wrong? What if it’s actually a good thing for there to be people who are rich and people who aren’t? John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets, clarifies one of the big misunderstandings of our time.

If you want a quick dealing with this instead of the more thoughtful look below, here is one excellent quickie:

Politicians and reporters often rail about “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.” In fact, the incomes of poor and middle-income Americans are up 32% since the government began keeping track several decades ago (The Distribution of Household Income [CBO] – PDF). Yes, that increase is adjusted for inflation. Another misleading claim, says Stossel, is the idea that the U.S. “no longer has economic mobility.” But a paper in The Quarterly Journal of Economics found that most people born to the richest fifth of Americans fall out of that bracket within 20 years. (Table 2)) Likewise, most born to the poorest fifth climb to a higher quintile. Some climb all the way to the top.

AEI has a good critique of the video challenge at the top, I will follow this by a video response by Lee Doren:

A video titled Wealth Inequality in America has gone viral on the Internet, it’s up to almost four million views on YouTube. It’s not clear who produced it, and it’s not clear what solution is being proposed to the “problem” of wealth inequality identified in the video. What is clear is that it’s another fallacious, static analysis of wealth distribution that focuses only on abstract, statistical brackets at a given point in time, while completely disregarding the most important point: what is happening to actual flesh-and-blood human beings whose income and wealth change all the time and who are moving among the various abstract statistical brackets from year to year.

In the video above titled “What Wasn’t Said in ‘Wealth Inequality In America,’” Steve Horwitz responds to the Wealth Inequality video and reminds us that the most important issue is not what abstract statistical bracket people fall into in a given year, but rather the degree of income or wealth mobility from year to year. It’s an important point, and one that’s completely overlooked in the viral video.

Thomas Sowell has discussed extensively the issues of static versus dynamic analysis of wealth and income distributions, and income and wealth mobility, and here are some of his quotes as an antidote to the limited, static “analysis” of wealth inequality presented in the viral video:

1. Comparing the top income bracket with the bottom income bracket over a period of years tells you nothing about what is happening to the actual flesh-and-blood human beings who are moving between brackets during those years. Following trends among income brackets over the years creates the illusion of following people over time. But the only way to follow people is to follow people.  Source  

2. Sports statistics are kept in a much more rational way than statistics about political issues. Have you ever seen statistics on what percentage of the home runs over the years have been hit by batters hitting in the .320s versus batters hitting in the .280s or the .340s? Not very likely. Such statistics would make no sense, because different batters are in these brackets from one year to the next. You wouldn’t be comparing  people, you would be comparing abstractions and mistaking those abstractions for people.

But, in politics and in commentaries on political issues, people talk incessantly about how “the top one percent” of income earners are  getting more money or how the “bottom 20 percent” are falling behind. Yet the turnover in income brackets over a decade is at least as great  as the turnover in batting average brackets.  Source  

3. Only by focusing on the income brackets, instead of the actual people moving between those brackets, have the intelligentsia been able to verbally create a “problem” for  which a “solution” is necessary. They have created a powerful vision of  “classes” with “disparities” and “inequities” in income, caused by  “barriers” created by “society.” But the routine rise of millions of  people out of the lowest quintile over time makes a mockery of the  “barriers” assumed by many, if not most, of the intelligentsia.” Source 

4. Most people are not even surprised any more when they hear about someone who came here from Korea or Vietnam with very little money, and very little knowledge of English, who nevertheless persevered and rose in American society. Nor are we surprised when their children excel in school and go on to professional careers. Yet, in utter disregard of such plain facts, so-called “social scientists” do studies which conclude that America is no longer a land of opportunity, and that upward mobility is a “myth.” Source 

5. Most working Americans who were initially in the bottom 20 percent of income-earners, rise out of that bottom 20 percent. More of them end up in the top 20 percent than remain in the bottom 20 percent. People who were initially in the bottom 20 percent in income have had the highest rate of increase in their incomes, while those who were initially in the top 20 percent have had the lowest. This is the direct opposite of the pattern found when following income brackets over time, rather than following individual people. Source 

6. Most of the media publicize what is happening to the statistical brackets — especially that “top one percent” — rather than what is happening to individual people. Source 

Here is Lee’s response (Preserved by me!)

Lee Doren has a passion for public speaking, being the youngest speaker to lecture for the Ronald Reagan Political Lecture Series at Oberlin College. He has given speeches in Annapolis, Maryland on the Bill of Rights and at the U.S. Capitol for the 9/12 March on Washington. He has been invited to lecture at The Cato Institute, The Institute for Energy Research, the Young Britons’ Foundation in the United Kingdom, the State Policy Network and Lehigh University. He has also provided commentary for Fox News, CNN, Reuters, PBS and Air America.

I would recommend the following articles for further reading:


  1. YouTube Wealth Inequality Video Fails to Tell the Whole Story (Policy Mic);
  2. Why Inequality Doesn’T Matter: At Least Not Income Inequality (The Federalist);
  3. Inequality Fallacies: The Left Gets The Facts Wrong On Economic And Racial Disparities (National Review Online);
  4. Income Inequality Deception (Forbes);
  5. Dispelling Myths About Income Inequality (Forbes);
  6. The Five Biggest Myths About Income Inequality (Forbes);
  7. The Income-Inequality Myth: Reports Of Skyrocketing Incomes For The Wealthy And Stagnating Wages For The Rest Are Unfounded (National Review Online);
  8. The American Dream of Income Equality Still Lives (Scientific American);
  9. Debunking The Top Three Myths About Income Inequality (CNBC);
  10. Inequality Myths (CATO).
  11. Five Myths About Economic Inequality In America (CATO)

(This portion can also be found in the “Rich Get Richer/Poor Get Poorer” Mantra.) Larry Elder notes when this “widening” happened the most:

Here are some myth busting to help the layman researcher get more facts to respond to the pop-politics we run-across in our social media lifestyle. Investors Business Daily makes some key points that are hard to ignore:

Income Inequality Rose Most Under President Clinton

But it turns out that the rich actually got poorer under President Bush, and the income gap has been climbing under Obama.

What’s more, the biggest increase in income inequality over the past three decades took place when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.

The wealthiest 5% of U.S. households saw incomes fall 7% after inflation in Bush’s eight years in office, according to an IBD analysis of Census Bureau data. A widely used household income inequality measure, the Gini index, was essentially flat over that span. Another inequality gauge, the Theil index, showed a decline.

In contrast, the Gini index rose — slightly — in Obama’s first two years. Another Census measure of inequality shows it’s climbed 5.7% since he took office.

Meanwhile, during Clinton’s eight years, the wealthiest 5% of American households saw their incomes jump 45% vs. 26% under Reagan. The Gini index shot up 6.7% under Clinton, more than any other president since 1980

[….]

As University of Michigan economist Mark Perry notes, while the income gap has grown since 1979, almost the entire increase occurred before the mid-1990s: “There is absolutely no statistical support for the commonly held view that income inequality has been rising recently.”

A similar analysis found that income inequality has fallen among individuals since the early 1990s, but risen among households due to factors such as more marriages of people with similar education levels and earnings potential.

Others argue that income mobility matters more than equality.

One study found that more than half of the families who started in the lowest income bracket in 1996 had moved to a higher one by 2005. At the other end of the spectrum, more than 57% of families fell out of the top 1%.

…read more…

Another smaller post points out nearly the same:

Busting The 1% Vs. 99% Myth

The left says current levels of income inequality echo the late 1920s and the Gilded Age. They’ve zeroed in on the richest 1%, citing Census Bureau data showing these top earners “grabbing” more income than the bottom 90%.

But the census stats are misleading.

For one, they are a snapshot of income distribution at a single point in time. Yet income is not static. It changes over time. Low-paying jobs from early adulthood give way to better-paying jobs later in life.

And income groups in America are not fixed. There’s no caste system here, really no such thing even as a middle “class.” The poor aren’t stuck in poverty. And the rich don’t enjoy lifetime membership in an exclusive club.

A 2007 Treasury Department study bears this out. Nearly 58% of U.S. households in the lowest-income quintile in 1996 moved to a higher level by 2005. The reverse also held true. Of those households that were in the top 1% in income in 1996, more than 57% dropped to a lower-income group by 2005.

Every day in America, the poor join the ranks of the rich, and the rich fall out of comfort.

So even if income equality is increasing, it does not mean income mobility is decreasing. There is still a great deal of movement in and out of the richest and poorest groups in America.

…read more…

No Past, No Future (1619 Project and Destroying Statues)

Can we judge the past by the standards of the present? Many seem intent on proving not only that we can, but that we must. Social critic Douglas Murray doesn’t agree, and he explains why in this thought-provoking video.