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Another Perspective

Killing Innocents—For A Good Reason: Today’s Herod, Caiaphas, and Pilate

By 4.3.15

You have most probably heard the haunting “Coventry Carol” sung principally during the Christmas season. It recounts King Herod the Great’s massacre of all males under the age of two in Bethlehem described in the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-18. Herod had been outwitted by the three Magi who had not returned to Jerusalem, as he had requested, to inform him of the location of the child-king they had been seeking. Herod had told the Magi he wanted to worship the child. In fact, he wanted to kill any pretender to the throne Herod occupied. Human history has been filled with Herods.

The Pursuit of Knowledge

Science, Properly Understood at Heritage

By 4.3.15

One of the most profound things about the move to silence critics of scientific orthodoxy or those open to questioning it publicly is how anti-enlightenment the notion is.

As John G. West, vice president of the Discovery Institute, pointed out last week in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, thinkers such as atheist John Stuart Mill, the 19th-century utilitarian philosopher and author of On Liberty and “Utilitarianism,” argued for the freedom to question science in his day.

Mill’s logic and West’s application of it is one that can be applied not only to the physical sciences, where global warming is sacrosanct under the Obama administration, but also the social sciences, where Keynesian economics reigns supreme in Washington, whenever politicians wave the authority of science over our heads to persuade us to move in the direction of their policy priorities.

After all, the policies could be based on bad science.

West quoted the following passage from Mill’s On Liberty: 

Up In Arms

Ted Cruz’s Mission Improbable

By 4.2.15

SEATTLE — Tom Cruise is seeking box office dominance at theaters with his upcoming Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Ted Cruz is seeking dominance of a difference sort in a campaign to correct a nation gone rogue.

While Tom Cruise’s domestic star was diminished by exuberant couch-jumping and finger-wagging Matt Lauer, Ted Cruz’s star became brighter while lecturing Americans on the virtues of Green Eggs and Ham. Despite their respective astrological trajectories, it is Tom Cruise who likely has the easier task.

Cruz asked the American people to imagine a conservative president correcting the wrongs of the Obama administration, reasserting America’s proper influence in the world, and simplifying an all-too-complex government. Implicit in this exercise was the idea that in order to make it a reality, Cruz would need to be president. He would “stand with” grassroots America, but in the front.

Special Report

The Return of the General

By 4.2.15

In what surely has been the most hotly anticipated vote in an African country in many years, General (ret.) Muhammadu Buhari, who some thirty years ago ruled Nigeria with an iron fist as head of a military regime, decisively defeated the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan. The large and populous (175 million) West African country voted, and expects to see a peaceful transition of power, in difficult conditions — an Islamic terror campaign in the north and an abysmal economic crisis — which should be cause for at least some bitter-sweet satisfaction. The only words from the U.S., however, through the mouth of its highest diplomatic officials, are to the effect it better stay on the free-and-fair straight and narrow, or else. This rather sanctimonious — to put it mildly — attitude is reflected in U.S. press coverage, which has concentrated on General Buhari’s severe 20-month period at the helm in the early 1980s, while largely ignoring the lousy performance of Jonathan’s administration (and practically all its predecessors, democratic or military).

Political Hay

Pistols At Dawn

By 4.2.15

Have you seen it?

The outgoing Senate minority leader Harry Reid, whose pitiful lie about being severely beaten in a vicious attack by an elastic exercise band continues largely unchallenged by our lugubrious mainstream media, said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that he had no regrets about another pitiful lie he told back in 2012.

Asked whether he felt any regret for defaming then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 by accusing him of tax evasion, in no less a venue than the floor of the U.S. Senate where he would be immune from suit, Reid’s answer was haughty and dismissive.

In the interview, Bash asked Reid if it bothered him that his tactics in telling that lie (disproven as it was when Romney later released his tax returns) were reminiscent to some of McCarthyism, Reid said, “They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win, did he?”

The Obama Watch

Justice and Mercy Meet on a Slow Road

By 4.2.15

In commuting the sentences of 22 federal drug offenders Tuesday, President Barack Obama has begun to take the unfettered power of executive clemency embedded in the Constitution to the place where it belongs. “I’ve been a cynic on the Obama administration for a while,” University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Mark Osler told me, but with these commutations, which doubled the president’s total, “it’s hard for me to be cynical about what’s happening today.” Finally, the administration is demonstrating how pardon power should be used, with, as Osler put it, “the most powerful person in the world freeing the least powerful person in the world.”

In a nice personal touch, Obama sent letters to the 22, urging them to act on their “capacity to make good choices” and “prove the doubters wrong.”

Buy the Book

David Limbaugh’s ‘Jesus on Trial’

By 4.2.15

Last year lawyer and columnist David Limbaugh wrote an unusual bestseller. 

As Christians mark Holy Week and Easter, notably this year with Christianity itself under assault by everyone from ISIS to American leftist secularists (hello Indiana), it is both appropriate and important to take note of David Limbaugh’s confronting of Christianity’s critics in his more than appropriately named Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel.

Mr. Limbaugh begins by retelling a conversation with two friends who are “nonbelievers.” He writes of one:

I clearly recall that at one point he announced that he couldn’t understand how any person using his reasoning powers could possibly believe in Christianity.

Economics

A Tale of Two Budgets: Democratic Socialism vs. Capitalist Prosperity

By 4.2.15

Long gone are the days when former Alabama Governor George Wallace could say there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. As their recently budget proposals confirm, the two parties are hurtling in opposite directions at an accelerating pace.

President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year wants to increase federal spending over the next ten years by more than 75 percent, or $2.7 trillion, from $3.5 trillion in 2014 to a record smashing $6.165 trillion by 2025. He proposes to spend an all-time record $50 trillion over those ten years.

The Republican budget proposal developed by new House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price and adopted by the entire Republican House reduces spending growth over the ten years by $5.5 trillion. For the single year of 2025, President Obama actually proposes to spend over a trillion dollars more than Tom Price’s House budget does, and more than $7 trillion more over the next decade.

Ben Stein's Diary

Obama’s Ephemeral Middle Class

By 4.1.15

Tuesday
A few thoughts as I watch my dog, Julie, snore in her sleep in my bed.

Our fearless leader, President Obama, talks a lot about helping the middle class, and about helping Americans who are not middle class get into the middle class.

It is a great goal and I am sure that Mr. Obama’s pollsters and advisers and those of the Democratic Party have reason to believe that “middle class” is a phrase that resonates well with Americans.

So President Obama has various plans and agendas supposedly to help Americans elevate their class status or at least maintain their class perch.

The problem with all of these is that there is literally not a single major thing that the federal government by itself can do to elevate large numbers of Americans’ social status.

A Further Perspective

Onward, Christian Florists

By 4.1.15

“There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook warned Monday in a Washington Post opinion piece against Indiana’s newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It matters not to the corporate big shot that President Bill Clinton signed a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 (which current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported) or that then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama voted for a similar law in 1998.

It was one thing for Democrats to support religious freedom when there was no downside to standing up for the devout. Today there could be a cost. An Indiana baker might refuse to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple and cite the new law if the couple were to sue him or her. Cook believes that such discrimination would be “bad for business.” I agree. Cook also believes that the baker wouldn’t have the right to say no. I do not agree with that.

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