The Nation’s Pulse

The Nation's Pulse

Get Married, Young Woman (and Man)

By 1.20.14

It’s an argument that shouldn’t be controversial, but is: Marriage breakdown is a major cause of modern poverty. So writes former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer in a Wall Street Journal column that has sent anti-traditional family liberals into a tizzy.

Given the sociological evidence, Fleischer’s conclusion should surprise no one. Social scientists, of both liberal and conservative stripes, have long maintained that stable marriages and families increase economic prosperity, particularly for women and the poor. Too often, those results are suppressed or ignored.

But as Fleischer argues, if we’re truly interested in reducing poverty and increasing incomes, we should be interested in marriage. More often than not, the difference between rich and poor in America boils down to the matrimony question:

The Nation's Pulse

Welfare for Snowbirds

By 1.16.14

Today is our lucky day, the day each year my wife and I get to be on the receiving end of multiple doses of federal welfare — gratis money we didn’t ask for and don’t need that will be picked from taxpayers’ pockets in order to lower the price of our breakfast, dinner, travel, and unlimited pours of pinot noir and chardonnay.

As I’m writing this, an Amtrak attendant is driving our ruby red Lexus ES350 up the ramp onto Amtrak's Auto Train in Lorton, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) for our overnight train excursion to Sanford, Fla. (near Orlando).

Before it headed off to the loading area, another Amtrak attendant slowly circled our car with a video camera, carefully filming the condition of every panel so there’ll be clear evidence when we arrive in Florida whether a scratch or dent was a preexisting condition.

The Nation's Pulse

Jerry Brown’s Transgender Bathrooms

By 1.15.14

The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko nicknamed Jerry Brown “Governor Moonbeam” for his flaky politics. Brown’s 1980 campaign slogan was: “protect the earth, serve the people and explore the universe.” But perhaps even Royko didn’t foresee the eccentric politics of 2014 California under Jerry Brown, which could feature, among other oddities, a referendum on whether or not to keep transgender bathrooms in public schools.

Brown signed the transgender-bathroom legislation, authored by the San Francisco radical Tom Ammiano, last fall. The legislation stipulates that students, based on nothing more than their “gender” self-perception, may choose the bathroom, locker facility, and sports team of their choice. (Brown has also signed legislation allowing people to alter birth certificates based on their self-perception.)

“Now, every transgender student in California will be able to get up in the morning knowing that when they go to school as their authentic self they will have the same fair chance at success as their classmates,” Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, told the press.

The Nation's Pulse

Clowns

By 1.10.14

Rappers go to extraordinary lengths to hoodwink the public into buying into their gang-banger bona fides. The Insane Clown Posse (ICP) may be the only hip-hop act waging a public relations campaign aimed at demonstrating that they’re not involved in a criminal enterprise.

The ACLU, ICP, and four Juggalos — face-painted followers prone to spraying cheap sodas on one another and shouting “whoop, whoop” — have sued the FBI for classifying them as a “gang.”

What in the name of Violent J gave the feds the insane idea of calling this posse a “gang”?

A lawyer/Juggalo ridicules law-enforcement’s designation as “the equivalent of placing Phish fans on a terrorist watch list.” But what jam-band gypsy has ever attacked a gay bar patron with a hatchet, killed a state trooper, and kidnapped and murdered a woman on a multi-state crime spree, as Juggalo Jacob Robida did in 2006? The manager of ICP, whose record label goes by the nickname “the hatchet,” maintained in the carnage’s aftermath, “Anyone that knows anything at all about Juggalos knows that in no way, shape, or form would we ever approve of this type of bulls#!+ behavior.”

The Nation's Pulse

Substituting Baby Jesus

By 1.3.14

A liberal United Methodist congregation in Claremont, California provocatively altered its Nativity scene this year to replace Baby Jesus with a bleeding, hoodie wearing Trayvon Martin, stooped over a pool of his own blood.

“He was, in my view, an innocent child like the innocent children killed by King Herod,” the scene’s artistic creator explained to the Los Angeles Times. “I think the Nativity has to be relevant to our time. I think Jesus is a symbol of hope and I think he has to be seen in today's context.”

Responding to complaints, Claremont United Methodist Church explains on its website that the Nativity scene, which remains up until January 5, never intended a “substitution for the image of Christ Jesus born in a manger, contrary to some news reports.” Instead, the display’s purpose is “encourage people's thinking about violence in our world today and how that has not changed much from the time when the baby Jesus was born.”

The Nation's Pulse

A Wedding at Old St. Mary’s

By 1.2.14

Milwaukee may be the best city in America in which to celebrate Christmas. The Germans and Scandinavians know how to make the wintertime warm and inviting indoors and out. Milwaukee has snow, model trains, great food and drink, and Lake Michigan. But a wedding is what took us deep into Packer territory this season.

A beautiful bride married a handsome groom in a lovely church, Old St. Mary’s downtown. Its cornerstone was set in 1846, the year the parish was founded by German immigrants with the help of Bavarian mission societies. The City of Milwaukee was founded that very year. So the Church, the City, and the parish grew up together.

Honestly, the interior of Old St. Mary’s is stunning. It probably looks better than when it was first built. I quote from the wedding program:

Among the artistic treasures of Old Saint Mary is the painting depicting the Annunciation above the High Altar, a personal gift of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.”

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Phil Robertson: American Hero

By 12.31.13

Well, that only took decades.

Who knew that the Leftist Playbook would finally get seriously winged by a duck caller?

By now, as even we holiday partiers have learned, the A&E network has sheepishly backpedaled. In direct response to a fierce public outcry the network un-suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the wildly popular Duck Dynasty series. Robertson had been temporarily banned after an interview in GQ in which he colorfully pronounced his religious views on gays and Jim Crow laws, instantly launching demands from the left-wing Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD) and others that he be canned on the spot.

Huffed GLAAD to Fox News:

The Nation's Pulse

Obamacare Versus Rule of Law

By From the December 2013 issue

The botched roll-out of the Affordable Care Act offers a stunning example of President Obama’s unrelenting attempts to expand executive power—his power—beyond what the Constitution allows. On November 14, the president announced that he was dispensing with a key provision of the law, Section 2702, for a year. That section states that beginning on January 1, 2014, every policy sold in individual and small group markets must include 10 so-called essential benefits.Leave it to the “Washington knows best crowd” to dictate what Americans’ health insurance must cover. The assumption is that we are too stupid to choose insurance for ourselves. It’s like passing a law that the only cars we can buy are four-door sedans. No hatchbacks and no convertibles, because we won’t know when to put the top up.

The Nation's Pulse

The God of No God

By 12.24.13

It’s Christmas. Our atheist friends are out there doing their thing. No to a crèche here, take down that cross over there, absolutely not to the Ten Commandments display somewhere else. And, of course, as the folks at GLAAD have just recently reminded us in the Duck Dynasty contretemps, there’s nothing like being out of the closet as Christophobes.

Christophobes being defined here as those with fear or contempt of Christians or those who believe in God, not to mention those who exhibit behavior based on that feeling of fear and contempt for Christians and believing in God.

It’s time.

Time to recognize that contrary to all the endless PR, atheists and Christophobes in fact have a God. It’s time to demand formal recognition of atheism and Christophobes for what they really are: followers of the religion that worships The God of No God.

As with the Judeo-Christian and Islamic gods, The God of No God is everywhere — both visible and invisible. He — and while The God of No God could be called She or even It, we will settle here for the irritating He — appears in a limitless number of ways.

The Nation's Pulse

Why I Prefer to Say Merry Christmas

By 12.23.13

While the likes of Jon Stewart and others in the liberal intelligentsia might dismiss the idea there is a War on Christmas, the truth of the matter is that with every passing year people are more and more reluctant to wish one another a Merry Christmas. At times, people are expressly forbidden from saying Merry Christmas, as was the case this year at an elementary school deep in the heart of Texas. This is no accident and we are the poorer for it.

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