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The Current Crisis

Duke University’s Call to Prayer

By 1.21.15

A few weeks back many Americans were understandably perplexed by Duke University’s decision to allow Muslim students to sound the call for Friday prayer (the adan) from the belfry of its famed Chapel tower. After all the Chapel has its roots in Methodism, Duke having been historically linked to the United Methodist Church. Moreover, you would think that the left-wing professoriate that dominates the Duke campus would raise concerns about an old bugaboo, the separation of church and state. Imagine if Catholic students called on Duke to allow Gregorian Chant to be sung from the belfry or Baptist students called upon Duke to allow a weekly sermon of fire and brimstone.

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A Further Perspective

No-Go Subjects

By 1.21.15

The Arabist historian Bernard Lewis, who is considered safely mainstream by the media, didn’t receive much flak from it for saying several years back that the prospect of Eurabia was real. Lewis predicted that the continent would be majority-Muslim by the end of the century. They “seem to be about to take over Europe,” he said. The only question, he said, is, “Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?”

But the media isn’t interested in hearing such sober points raised these days. In the wake of the Paris attacks, it has been policing discussion of Europe’s obvious Islamic immigration problem. Woe to the politician who dares broach the subject, as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is learning.

CNN has been browbeating him for discussing de facto “no-go” zones in European cities that non-Muslims and police tend to avoid. Jindal’s remarks haven’t been refuted, but the media treats them as unhinged anyways and demands to know when he will “walk them back.” For the media, the existence of such places is of less alarm than that politicians would talk about them.

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Political Hay

Early Presidential Prospects

By 1.21.15

With 2015 just getting under way, the buzz of political activity makes it seem almost as if we are already in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Among the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is honing her message to appeal to the mindset of the left wing of her party, whose support she will need in her second attempt to get the nomination as the Democrats’ presidential candidate in 2016.

The left wing’s true believers would of course prefer Senator Elizabeth Warren, who gives them the dogmas of the left pure and straight, uncontaminated by reality. But she says she is not running.

Maybe she thinks the country is not ready to put another rookie Senator in the White House. After the multiple disasters of Barack Obama, at home and abroad, that self-indulgence should not be habit-forming.

We can certainly hope that the country has learned that lesson — and that Republican rookie Senators get eliminated early in the 2016 primaries, so that we can concentrate on people who have had some serious experience running things — and taking responsibility for the consequences — rather than people whose only accomplishments have been in rhetoric and posturing.

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Main Street U.S.A.

Same-Sex Marriage: Too Big a Job for the Court

By 1.21.15

A grand misconception is embedding itself in the public brain: To wit, the Supreme Court soon will clue us in to the true meaning of marriage.

Nope. No way. Isn’t so. Can’t be so.

This despite the court’s intention, announced last week, to decide whether gays and lesbians merit constitutional entitlement to wed. I am obliged to note the discrepancy between, on the one hand, what commentators blatantly suggest is going on here and, on the other hand, what the most solemn assemblage of judges you ever set eyes on has actual power to do.

The justices of the Supreme Court have no power to recast marriage as something other than civilization, especially the civilization of the West, in which we live and move and have our being, has forever understood it to be. That thing is the union of man and woman, conceived as opposite, yet complementary, beings.

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Amelia's Kitchen

RECIPE: Jeb Bush Chocolate Orange S’mores

By 1.21.15

In this installment of Amelia’s Kitchen, we will take on Jeb Bush. We’ve already had President Bush — twice. I voted for the latter — twice. (I wasn’t old enough to vote for the first, but I would have.)

Have we already kind of had it with President Bushes? Or do we want s’more?


Orange gives this classic dessert a Florida twist. What you’ll need:

• Large Marshmallows
• Skewers
• 3 fresh oranges, or dried orange zest
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup milk

First, let’s make the orange graham crackers:

• Combine flours, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
• In a medium bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and honey.

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Free Market Accountability Project

President Obama’s FCC Overreaches Yet Again

By and 1.20.15

President Obama’s State of the Union Address is tonight. Along with his expected calls for higher taxes on the rich, the president’s agenda for 2015 will also include the expansion of his administration’s regulatory overreach. As President Reagan might say, “There he goes again.”

Lacking support of the people’s representatives, President Obama’s administration has usurped congressional authority and has, effectively, attempted to rule by presidential decree enforced through regulatory agency mandate.

For instance, the EPA has claimed authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions even though Congress has explicitly rejected the regulatory proposals the EPA is trying to implement.

Then there is the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). There are numerous examples of the Obama administration unilaterally changing the statute’s regulations without gaining the necessary and appropriate Congressional authority.

Now, it’s the FCC’s turn to play rogue agency.

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A Further Perspective

‘Diversity’ in Action

By 1.20.15

Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, and European governments’ counter-attacks are more than just a passing news story.

Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites’ Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word “diversity.”

Generations yet unborn will still be paying the price, whether in large or small installments, depending on how long it takes for the West to jettison Utopianism and come to grips with reality.

Meanwhile, in the United States, no one seems to be drawing any lessons about the dangers of importing millions of people from fundamentally different cultures across our open border. In America, “diversity” has still not yet lost its magical ability to stop thought in its tracks and banish facts into the outer darkness.

Perhaps here, as in Europe, that verbal magic can only be washed away in the blood of innocent victims, many of them yet unborn.

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The State of the Union

What’s Wrong With a Little Political Theater?

By 1.20.15

When the State of the Union speech comes upon us each year, someone invariably makes the argument that this ritual should be put out of its misery.

This year it’s Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review Online’s turn to write, “As a matter of basic constitutional propriety, there is something unutterably rotten about the State of the Union.”

Well, not really. Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution begins, “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

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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.

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Selma and LBJ

By 1.20.15

Lyndon Johnson — fireman? Or arsonist? Unintentionally, the movie Selma has highlighted a past that the Democratic Party and LBJ aides would prefer not be understood.

The film Selma has been nominated for two Oscars, best picture and best song. This means, to Al Sharpton and some other liberals, that the story of Martin Luther King and Bloody Sunday — the famous civil rights march that was met by billy-club wielding troopers and deputies dispatched by Democratic Governor of Alabama George Wallace and the local sheriff, also a Democrat — was snubbed. No nominations for best director, best screenplay, or best actor. “The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains,” the Reverend Al says. “The higher you get, the whiter it gets.”

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