Special Report

Special Report

The Impossible Job of Child Protective Services

By 2.6.15

Some years ago in Southern California, a 400-pound lesbian decided that life with her 300-pound partner and their three adopted children wasn’t worth living, so she drove into a semi truck, crushing her legs and hips and leaving her in the hospital for months. When she got out, she weighed just 90 pounds, but she was meaner than ever, a tweaker hooked on pain pills who took out her misery on the kids. One day, the youngest had to be airlifted out of the home with a knife in her chest.

“Her story on that changed many times,” an old acquaintance of mine, a lawyer who deals with these kinds of things, wrote me in an email. “The children say tweaker stabbed her. Tweaker says she fell running up the stairs. No CPS problem.” That’s CPS, as in Child Protective Services.

Since the late ’70s, the debate over child protective services has been driven by horror stories that have become a meta-narrative: social workers screw up by missing the telltale signs of abuse, kids get hurt, laws are reformed, and thus more at-risk children are taken out of their homes and given to loving adoptive families.

Special Report

The Great Obama Retreat

By 2.5.15

Just before he was elected president in 2008, Barack Obama declared, “We are just five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He may not succeed in his aim to transform the domestic landscape. Instead his legacy may be a different transformation entirely: a tectonic shift in America’s position in the world, diminishing America’s status abroad to its weakest international profile in more than a century. As the Great Recession became shorthand for the deep, prolonged recession that was triggered by the global financial crisis, so the president’s serial retreats abroad may come collectively to be known as the Great Retreat.

The momentous consequences of the president’s policy of retreat are already manifested as 180-degree reversals in three theaters of conflict: the Mideast, Europe, and the Pacific. That these are well underway is evident. That they can be reversed by a successor administration wishing to reversal the reversals is far from evident. To the contrary, it is highly unlikely.

Special Report

Main Street Challenges Dodd-Frank’s Chipping Away at the Constitution

By 2.2.15

“Wall Street Chips Away at Dodd-Frank,” blared a recent front-page headline in the New York Times about bipartisan measures that have passed the U.S. House of Representatives and/or been signed into law that ever-so-slightly lighten the burden of the so-called financial reform rammed through Congress in 2010. “GOP Pushes More Perks For Wall Street...” reads the home page of the Huffington Post under the picture of establishment pillar Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

Yet, what these articles don’t say is that the firms putting their resources on the line to challenge Dodd-Frank in court are the furthest thing from Wall Street high rollers. They are decades-old firms selling stable, time-tested financial products to everyday consumers.

Special Report

Super Bowls and the Super Rich: A Tale of Two Cities

By 1.30.15

On this Super Bowl weekend, let us pause to consider a stunning example of how games and stadiums were financed in the distant past.

In ancient Athens, the richest citizens often paid for gymnasiums and the staging of athletic events. They also paid for roads, bridges, and theaters, and, in times of peril, they built and donated warships to the city.

These were voluntary contributions — a gift, not a tax or confiscation. They served to maximize freedom, reduce the need for government, and reinforce a powerful sense of Athenian exceptionalism.

In his famous funeral oration in 431 B.C., Pericles departed from the usual practice of praising those who had fallen in battle and lamenting their deaths. Just as Abraham Lincoln would later do in the Gettysburg Address, he turned a mass funeral for war dead into a celebration of the most precious of human values: a paean to liberty.

Special Report

Kerry Urges Clean Elections in Nigeria

By 1.26.15

The situation on the ground in Nigeria is impossible to gauge accurately from the distance and even the well-equipped news organizations such as the AP, AFP, Reuters, or the big Nigerian dailies published in Lagos, such as the Vanguard or the Guardian, are finding it difficult to keep up with the fighting, looting, murdering that has turned the northeast state of Borno into another man-made desert, whose soil is fertilized with the blood of innocents and harvested by psychopaths from the inner circles of Hell.

Special Report

Fifty Years Since Winston’s Death

By 1.24.15

It is a few weeks past 140 years since a boy christened Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was delivered at England’s Blenheim Palace. He survived the trenches of France, political reversals, and even being struck by a New York City driver to lead Britain from its greatest peril in May 1940 to victory over Nazism five years later. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of his death. In the age of radical Islam, can we draw inspiration from his career?

Yes, but only, it seems, from his finest hour. Until his moment arrived in 1940, Churchill was frequently dismissed even within his own party as an imperialist adventurer with baroque ambitions, a throwback to an earlier epoch, an author of military debacles, out of touch with a supposedly emergent world of international comity. In short, he was regarded then as most contemporary liberals might view Ted Cruz or Benjamin Netanyahu today.

Special Report

Reflections on Roe: When Margaret Sanger Spoke to the KKK

By 1.22.15

As liberals excoriate Republican Congressman Steve Scalise for speaking to a group with a reported connection to David Duke, former KKK member, I’m reminded today—on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade—of a moment that liberals will never dare acknowledge: a 1926 speech to the KKK by one of their most revered ideological darlings, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

Unlike Scalise, Sanger did not unwittingly speak to a group with a link (direct or indirect) to the KKK through a member. No, Margaret knowingly went directly to the Real McCoy—straight to the dragon’s mouth. In May 1926, a hopeful spring day, this progressive icon, this liberal hero, this founding mother of one of liberalism’s most sacred organizations, Planned Parenthood, an organization that liberals demand we fund with tax dollars, went directly to a KKK meeting and spoke at length to the faithful.

Special Report

The War for Lake Chad

By 1.20.15

One of the contenders for this year’s foreign film Oscar — the Pulitzer Prize of movies, I am told by a source in Hollywood — is Timbuktu, by the great Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako. The film, which could not be shot on location due to the continuing civil strife in northern Mali, relates the story of a family and a community hit by tragedy. A dispute over a cow that leads to an accidental death would be shattering by itself. It is made worse by the conquest of Timbuktu and the surrounding villages by al-Qaeda-affiliated Tuareg tribesmen, as in fact happened in 2012.

Special Report

Lives Not Worthy to Live

By 1.19.15

“Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings.”
— Leo Alexander, M.D.

Fundamental truths are often forgotten, if not actively obscured in the Kultursmog. This is very much the case with respect to the integrity of the human person and the inalienable right to life. This week the nation observes the “black anniversary” of Roe and Doe, a good time to engage in the process of remembering.

Special Report

The Shirking Man’s Party

By 1.16.15

Rand Paul accuses most recipients of Social Security disability payments of “gaming the system” and calls them “malingerers.”

“What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check,” the Kentucky senator told New Hampshire voters earlier this week. “You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everybody over 40 has a back pain.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley calls the senator’s comments “insulting,” “way out of nowhere,” and evidence of “detachment from reality.” He continued, “Paul is saying that 50 percent of those on disability are committing fraud.”