Restoring the Sacred

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Dr. Charles Rice—His Final Uncut Interview

Dr. Charles Rice (August 7, 1931 – February 25, 2015) in his final uncut interview with Michael Voris of Church

Obama: A Most Disingenuous Quote (even for him)

From "Heard on the Stump," WSJ: February 27, 2016:

Barack Obama speaking in Jacksonville, Florida about "folks who are on the campaign trail"
"They're spending all their time talking down America .  I don't know when it became fashionable to do that."
Herewith a few wild guesses of when "it became fashionable to do that," courtesy of the Heritage Foundation:

(1) Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.  "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

(2) Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.  "Every challenge that we face is more easily met if we tend to our own democratic foundation. This work is never over. That's why, in the United States, we recently ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. That's why we prohibited--without exception or equivocation--the use of torture. All of us have to change. And sometimes change is hard...Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans."

(3) President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
"There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law." 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

FBI Director: The San Bernardino litigation is about the victims and justice.

FBI Director James Comey explained last night, in a blog post at Lawfare, why the FBI is involved in litigation over the cell phone usage of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Here's the whole post:

We Could Not Look the Survivors in the Eye if We Did Not Follow this Lead
By James Comey Sunday, February 21, 2016, 9:03 PM

The San Bernardino litigation isn't about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice. Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law. That's what this is. The American people should expect nothing less from the FBI.
The particular legal issue is actually quite narrow. The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that. Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can't look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don't follow this lead.  
Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other. Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure: privacy and safety. That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living. It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before. We shouldn't drift to a place—or be pushed to a place by the loudest voices—because finding the right place, the right balance, will matter to every American for a very long time.  
So I hope folks will remember what terrorists did to innocent Americans at a San Bernardino office gathering and why the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate that. And in that sober spirit, I also hope all Americans will participate in the long conversation we must have about how to both embrace the technology we love and get the safety we need.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Scalia's Funeral: A Salutary Correction by Fr. Mark Pilon

Fr. Mark Pilon, who serves in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, with Fr. Paul Scalia wrote today at The Catholic Thing in praise of "a certain corrective in the beautiful liturgy at the National Shrine. It was a true liturgy, which means it was focused overwhelmingly on the Lord Jesus Christ and only secondarily on the deceased."

Fr. Pilon gave credit and praise to Fr. Scalia for this return to "a proper funeral liturgy."
Here is the Fr. Pilon essay:
A Salutary Corrective in Scalia’s Funeral
Fr. Mark A. Pilon
I had a Nunc Dimittis moment yesterday, watching the funeral of Judge Scalia. My guess is that I wasn’t alone. I have been waiting for fifty-two years for some corrective to the kind of Catholic funeral liturgy that began to take hold with the Funeral Mass for President Kennedy in 1963. With that particular liturgy, there began the deterioration of Catholic funerals across this land. And now that has received a certain corrective in the beautiful liturgy at the National Shrine. It was a true liturgy, which means it was focused overwhelmingly on the Lord Jesus Christ and only secondarily on the deceased.
The celebrant, Justice Scalia’s son Fr. Paul Scalia, was only a few years old when JFK was assassinated. So he probably wasn’t paying much attention to that funeral at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Washington. But his father was, I suspect, very attuned to what went on that day, as were most of us Catholic adults at the time. It was the beginning of the eulogistic liturgy that has become the norm in many churches today.
The Mass itself was celebrated by Cardinal Cushing in twenty minutes flat, with no homily. At the end of the Mass, the liturgy suddenly became focused on JFK and his accomplishments. Bishop Hannan, a family friend, gave a ten-minute eulogy, which meant it was half as long as the Mass itself.
That eulogy, something completely out of place in the old liturgy, did throw in some biblical passages JFK liked. But the bulk of the eulogy was a reading from his Inaugural Address, which made it about a third as long as the Mass itself. The biblical passages seemed almost arbitrary really, as a lead in to the really important material written by JFK.
Cardinal Cushing, perhaps feeling slighted by Mrs. Kennedy’s inviting Hannan to speak, gave us a taste of the kind of eulogy that would be standard fare in the future. And not only at state funerals, but at ordinary funerals throughout the country. On the day before the funeral, Cushing celebrated a Memorial Mass in Boston, in which he gave the most maudlin and effusive, and almost totally secular eulogy of JFK and his family.
After the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the funeral Mass celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, using the new Mass funeral liturgy, featured a long eulogy by Sen. Ted Kennedy. His eulogy was much more like Cardinal Cushing’s than Bishop Hannan’s. In just five years, the eulogistic funeral now had become an occasion for glorifying men rather than God.
I don’t blame the Kennedys as such, because they couldn’t have done this without clergy cooperation.
Well, all of that received a kind of counter action or corrective at the funeral of Judge Scalia. This liturgy was totally focused on Christ Himself, and only secondarily and derivatively on Scalia. Lest anyone think that I’m disrespecting the judge, the most powerful example of this focus was in the homily given by his son, Fr. Paul Scalia, who writes for The Catholic Thing from time to time. His clever introduction to the homily set the tone and theme of what was to follow.
He spoke about coming together to honor someone whom we all know and love, and then surprised the congregation by saying he was speaking about Jesus Christ. That was it. The corrective. At last. Father Scalia went on to organize the funeral homily around what God had done for his father, the many blessings that God had bestowed upon him and upon the family indirectly through his father. It was fantastic. If I weren’t so old, I would’ve jumped out of my chair and cheered.
Father Scalia, I’m sure, conducted the liturgy and framed his homily according to his own faith, and I was quite sure this is exactly what was going to happen. Quite honestly, I was not surprised at all, and yet I couldn’t help feeling tremendously lifted by his words. Further, he stated that he also was fulfilling what he was certain was the will of his father, whom he told us really despised eulogies if for no other reason than that they tended to deprive the deceased of the prayers he would otherwise benefit from if the focus were not on his virtues.
As his son so adeptly mentioned, while his father was a man of great virtue, he was nonetheless a man like us all, that is, a man whose weaknesses required our prayers and God’s mercy.
The focus of every liturgy, including baptisms, confirmations, marriages, ordinations, consecrations, and even funerals, if they are Catholic, has to be on Jesus Christ. Father Scalia made that clear in his words and in his whole conduct of the liturgy. In doing so, he not only served well his earthly father, but more importantly his Heavenly Father.
I don’t know how much affect this is going to have on the American church, but let’s hope it will have some effect in both public and private. A friend once told me that I don’t have to worry that they would be canonizing someone with a personality like mine at my funeral. I told him that was very comforting. Nonetheless, in my will, I have asked that the celebrant and preacher do for me what father Scalia did so effectively for his dad on Saturday. And just to be safe, I have also arranged for many Masses to be celebrated for the repose of my soul.
With a proper funeral liturgy, I will also get a lot more prayers than with some kind of maudlin ceremony with a meaningless eulogy. I’m sure Judge Scalia is very grateful to his son for the kind of reverent and theologically meaningful funeral liturgy that took place at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday.
May Judge Scalia rest in peace.

Fr. Paul Scalia's Eulogy/Homily for his Father: Antonin Scalia

(photo from USA Today)

It cannot be easy to eulogize your father, especially when you are a priest and the eulogy is the homily you are delivering at the Requiem Mass for your very famous father.  Fr. Paul Scalia did that yesterday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and it could not have been done better.

Here is the transcript, courtesy of USA Today:
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.
Your Eminence Cardinal Wuerl, Your Excellencies, Archbishop Viganò, Bishop Loverde, Bishop Higgins, my brother priests, deacons, distinguished guests, dear friends and faithful gathered:
On behalf of our mother and the entire Scalia family, I want to thank you for your presence here, for your many words of consolation, and even more for the many prayers and Masses you have offered at the death of our father, Antonin Scalia.
In particular I thank Cardinal Wuerl, first for reaching out so quickly and so graciously to console our mother. It was a consolation to her and therefore to us as well. Thank you also for allowing us to have this parish funeral Mass here in this basilica dedicated to Our Lady. What a great privilege and consolation that we were able to bring our father through the holy doors and for him gain the indulgence promised to those who enter in faith.
I thank Bishop Loverde, the bishop of our diocese of Arlington, a bishop our father liked and respected a great deal. Thank you, Bishop Loverde, for your prompt visit to our mother, for your words of consolation, for your prayers.
The family will depart for the private burial immediately after Mass and will not have time to visit, so I want to express our thanks at this time so that you all know our profound appreciation and thanks. You will notice in the program mention of a memorial that will be held on March 1st. We hope to see many of you there. We hope the Lord will repay your great goodness to us.
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.
It is He whom we proclaim. Jesus Christ, son of the father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of him. because of his life, death and resurrection that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of God.
Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect, we look in three directions. To yesterday, in thanksgiving. To today, in petition. And into eternity, with hope.
We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, in thanksgiving for the blessings God bestowed upon Dad. In the past week, many have recounted what Dad did for them. But here today, we recount what God did for Dad, how he blessed him.
We give thanks first of all for the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lord died and rose not only for all of us, but also for each of us. And at this time we look to that yesterday of his death and resurrection, and we give thanks that he died and rose for Dad.
Further, we give thanks that Jesus brought him to new life in baptism, nourished him with the Eucharist, and healed him in the confessional.
We give thanks that Jesus bestowed upon him 55 years of marriage to the woman he loved, a woman who could match him at every step, and even hold him accountable.
God blessed Dad with a deep Catholic faith: The conviction that Christ's presence and power continue in the world today through His body, the Church. He loved the clarity and coherence of the church's teachings. He treasured the church's ceremonies, especially the beauty of her ancient worship. He trusted the power of her sacraments as the means of salvation as Christ working within him for his salvation.
Although one time, one Saturday afternoon, he did scold me for having heard confessions that afternoon, that same day. And I hope that it's some source of consolation, if there are any lawyers present, that the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism.
The issue that evening was not that I had been hearing confessions, but that he had found himself in my confessional line, and he quickly departed it. As he put it later, "Like heck if I'm confessing to you!" The feeling was mutual.
God blessed Dad, as is well known, with a love for his country. He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing, a blessing quickly lost when faith is banned form the public square, or when we refuse to bring it there. So he understood that there is no conflict between loving God and loving one's country, between one's faith and one's public service. Dad understood that the deeper he went in his Catholic faith, the better a citizen and public servant he became. God blessed him with the desire to be the country's good servant because he was God's first.
We Scalias, however, give thanks for a particular blessing God bestowed. God blessed Dad with a love for his family. We have been thrilled to read and hear the many words of praise and admiration for him, for his intellect, his writings, his speeches, his influence and so on.
But more important to us — and to him — is that he was Dad. He was the father that God gave us for the great adventure of family life. Sure he forgot our names at times, or mixed them up, but there are nine of us.
He loved us, and sought to show that love. And sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured. And he gave us one another, to have each other for support. That's the greatest wealth parents can bestow, and right now we are particularly grateful for it.
So we look to the past, to Jesus Christ yesterday. We call to mind all of these blessings, and we give our Lord the honor and glory for them, for they are His work. We look to Jesus today, in petition, to the present moment, here and now, as we mourn the one we love and admire, the one whose absence pains us. Today we pray for him. We pray for the repose of his soul. We thank God for his goodness to Dad as is right and just. But we also know that although dad believed, he did so imperfectly, like the rest of us. He tried to love God and neighbor, but like the rest of us did so imperfectly.
He was a practicing Catholic, "practicing" in the sense that he hadn't perfected it yet. Or rather, Christ was not yet perfected in him. And only those in whom Christ is brought to perfection can enter heaven. We are here, then, to lend our prayers to that perfecting, to that final work of God's grace, in freeing Dad from every encumbrance of sin.
But don't take my word for it. Dad himself, not surprisingly, had something to say on the matter. Writing years ago to a Presbyterian minister whose funeral service he admired, he summarized quite nicely the pitfalls of funerals and why he didn't like eulogies.
He wrote: "Even when the deceased was an admirable person, indeed especially when the deceased was an admirable person, praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for and giving thanks for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner."
Now he would not have exempted himself from that. We are here then, as he would want, to pray for God's inexplicable mercy to a sinner. To this sinner, Antonin Scalia. Let us not show him a false love and allow our admiration to deprive him of our prayers. We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him: That all stain of sin be washed away, that all wounds be healed, that he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace.
Finally we look to Jesus forever, into eternity. Or better, we consider our own place in eternity and whether it will be with the Lord. Even as we pray for Dad to enter swiftly into eternal glory, we should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is between this world and the next, between time and eternity, between the opportunity for conversion and the moment of judgment.
So we cannot depart here unchanged. It makes no sense to celebrate God's goodness and mercy to Dad if we are not attentive and responsive to those realities in our own lives. We must allow this encounter with eternity to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord.
The English Dominican, Father Bede Jarrett, put it beautifully when he prayed, "O strong son of God, while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that we may be with you and with those we love for all eternity."
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
My dear friends, this is also the structure of the Mass, the greatest prayer we can offer for Dad, because it's not our prayer, but the Lord's. The Mass looks to Jesus yesterday. It reaches into the past — reaches to the Last Supper, to the crucifixion, to the resurrection — and it makes those mysteries and their power present here on this altar.
Jesus himself becomes present here today under the form of bread and wine so that we can unite all our prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Christ himself as an offering to the father. And all of this with a view to eternity, stretching towards heaven, where we hope one day to enjoy that perfect union with God himself and to see Dad again and, with him, rejoice in the communion of saints.

(Rev. Paul Scalia is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia and the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sophia SketchPad: Confirmation

What is Sophia SketchPad?

Sophia SketchPad is an innovative video series launched last year as part of Sophia Institute for Teachers. With over 200,000 views, this series has become one of the most popular resources used in Catholic schools and parish catechetical programs.

Sophia Institute for Teachers was launched two years ago to provide Catholic educators with the tools and training they need to catechize their students and prepare them to live out the Catholic Faith.

Since Fall of 2014, we have partnered with 20 dioceses to host nearly 100 teacher formation workshops nationwide, and we are directly engaging 20,000 Catholic school teachers with the tools and training they need to help their students graduate as knowledgeable and practicing Catholics.

Sophia Institute for Teachers is funded 100% through charitable donations, so please consider helping us sustain and grow this important work.

From Crisis

Ben Sasse to President: You and Nominee Must Reject Pen and Phone

From today's Morning Bell at The Heritage Foundation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Matt Walsh: The Progressive Response to the Tragic Death of an Icon

(photo from Wikipedia)

Matt Walsh, writing at The Blaze yesterday, encapsulated exactly the difference between too many Progressives and decent Americans:
Within minutes of the man’s death — and this, by the way, is a man with a wife, nine kids and dozens of grandkids — progressives erupted with applause and jubilation all over social media. Plenty of outlets have compiled some of the celebratory remarks, but that probably isn’t necessary. If you didn’t see it, you can imagine. And keep in mind, these weren’t just a few scattered bad apples, but thousands and thousands of human beings gloating over the still warm corpse of a man so decent and admirable that some of his closest friends belonged to the ideological group now exalting in his demise. And these weren’t merely anonymous trolls on Twitter, but famous folks and folks in media and seemingly regular folks who used their real names and real pictures to post triumphant and sarcastic obituaries. Then, not satisfied with ghoulishly dancing on a freshly dug grave, thousands more began offering their fervent prayers that Clarence Thomas die next...
Liberals celebrating Scalia’s death aren’t just celebrating death, but evil. They aren’t just wrong in what they do and say, but in the reason why they do and say it. They hate a man because he protected the law, justice, human life, marriage and truth. They hate him for his rightness, and they’re happy he’s dead so that wrongness may win. That’s what makes this all so demented.
You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Beautiful Woman: The Most Powerful Pro-Life Video You’ve Ever Seen


A Progressive's Guide to Political Correctness

A Progressive's Guide to Political Correctness: Is there a point where the 'P.C. Police' are satisfied? Are there ever 'enough' rules governing the jokes we tell, the mascots of sports teams, or the symbols on city seals? Or should we want a society as non-offensive as the American college campus? George Will, Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, imagines what an idyllic politically correct universe would look like.

Thanks to Prager U.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Charles Murray: "Trumpism": The Divestment of Our Historic National Identity.

Charles Murray, writing at The Wall Street Journal two days ago, laments the loss of our national identity and posits that the rise of Trumpism is nothing more than a manifestation of that loss.  Here's a clip:
For the eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington, writing in his last book, “Who Are We?” (2004), two components of that national identity stand out. One is our Anglo-Protestant heritage, which has inevitably faded in an America that is now home to many cultural and religious traditions. The other is the very idea of America, something unique to us. As the historian Richard Hofstadter once said, “It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one.”
What does this ideology—Huntington called it the “American creed”—consist of? Its three core values may be summarized as egalitarianism, liberty and individualism. From these flow other familiar aspects of the national creed that observers have long identified: equality before the law, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech and association, self-reliance, limited government, free-market economics, decentralized and devolved political authority.
As recently as 1960, the creed was our national consensus. Running that year for the Democratic nomination, candidates like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey genuinely embraced the creed, differing from Republicans only in how its elements should be realized.
Today, the creed has lost its authority and its substance. What happened? Many of the dynamics of the reversal can be found in developments across the whole of American society: in the emergence of a new upper class and a new lower class, and in the plight of the working class caught in between.
In my 2012 book “Coming Apart,” I discussed these new classes at length. The new upper class consists of the people who shape the country’s economy, politics and culture. The new lower class consists of people who have dropped out of some of the most basic institutions of American civic culture, especially work and marriage. Both of these new classes have repudiated the American creed in practice, whatever lip service they may still pay to it. Trumpism is the voice of a beleaguered working class telling us that it too is falling away...
White working-class males were the archetypal “Reagan Democrats” in the early 1980s and are often described as the core of support for Mr. Trump. But the grievances of this group are often misunderstood. It is a mistake to suggest that they are lashing out irrationally against people who don’t look like themselves. There are certainly elements of racism and xenophobia in Trumpism, as I myself have discovered on Twitter and Facebook after writing critically about Mr. Trump.
But the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s.

You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.

St. Valentine Pray for Us and For the Whole World

                Ora Pro Nobis, S. Valentinie!

Saint Valentine baptizing Saint Lucilla, Jacopo Bassano.

Thanks to St. Peters List (SPL Issue #41)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jason Riley: An Alternative Black History Month

(photo from Wikipedia)

Jason Riley, a senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute, and a WSJ contributor, wrote an Opinion piece, published in today's Journal, in which he posits: Black History Month's sunset might seem long overdue, but the celebration is too useful politically for that to happen anytime soon.  You won't be hearing about the rising black middle class or intact two-parent families of the 1950s.

Here's the full editorial:
An Alternative Black History Month
You won’t be hearing about the rising black middle class or intact two-parent families of the 1950s.
Feb. 9, 2016 7:20 p.m. ET
Black History Month, which began as Negro History Week some 90 Februarys ago, was meant to be temporary. Its founder, historian Carter G. Woodson, envisioned a time when black history would be incorporated with American history and no longer require separate recognition. Woodson’s optimism was warranted.
Americans today are led by a black president in the fourth year of his second term. Martin Luther King’s birthday is a national holiday. The likeness of Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks might soon grace U.S. currency, if the majority of people surveyed prevails. And it has been decades since school curricula excluded black perspectives and accomplishments. Black History Month’s sunset might seem long overdue, but the celebration is too useful politically for that to happen anytime soon.
Woodson died in 1950, a few years before the civil-rights movement found its stride. In the post-1960s era, black leaders turned that movement into a lucrative industry, and Black History Month helps keep them relevant. February is not simply about highlighting the achievements of people like voting-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer or the Buffalo Soldiers who served in the Spanish-American War.
It is also about using racial identity to advance groupthink and to discourage black individuality. It is about presenting the history of blacks as the history of their victimization by whites up to the present day—which explains racial disparities in areas ranging from school achievement and household income to rates of unemployment, incarceration and single-parent homes.
The irony is that black history in the first half of the 20th century is a history of tremendous progress despite overwhelming odds. During a period of legal discrimination and violent hostility to their advancement, blacks managed to make unprecedented gains that have never been repeated. Black poverty fell to 47% from 87% between 1940 and 1960—before the implementation of Great Society programs that receive so much credit for poverty reduction. The percentage of black white-collar workers quadrupled between 1940 and 1970—before the implementation of affirmative-action policies that supposedly produced today’s black middle class.
In New York City, the earnings of black workers tripled between 1940 and 1950, and over the next decade the city saw a 55% increase in the number of black lawyers, a 56% increase in the number of black doctors and a 125% increase in the number of black teachers, according to political scientist Michael Javen Fortner’s new book, “Black Silent Majority.” The number of black nurses, accountants and engineers grew at an even faster clip over the same period. “There are signs that the Negro has begun to develop a large, strong middle class,” wrote Time magazine in 1953.
You don’t hear much about this black history during Black History Month (or any other month, for that matter) because it undercuts the dominant narrative pushed by the political left and accepted uncritically by the media. The Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP have no use for empirical evidence of significant black socioeconomic gains during the Jim Crow era, because they have spent decades insisting that blacks can’t advance until racism has been eliminated. If racism is no longer a significant barrier to black upward mobility and doesn’t explain today’s racial disparities, then blacks may have no use for Mr. Sharpton and the NAACP. The main priority of civil-rights leaders today is self-preservation.
Many factors could plausibly explain black progress in the first part of the 20th century. The post-World War II economy was booming, and blacks were steadily increasing their years of education, which increased their levels of compensation. Mass migration from the South meant that more blacks had access to the higher-paying jobs in the North.
The black family was also more stable during this period. Every census from 1890 to 1940 shows the black marriage rate slightly higher than the white rate. In 1925 five out of six black children in New York City lived with both parents. Nationally, two out of three black children were being raised in two-parent homes as recently as the early 1960s. Today, more than 70% are not.
Black nuclear families used to be the norm. Now they are the exception. Jim Crow did less damage to the black family than well-intentioned Great Society programs that discouraged work and marriage and promised more government checks for having more children. But that black history is also kept largely under wraps by those who have a vested interest in blaming the decimation of the black family on slavery and discrimination.
Much of what ought to be studied, duplicated and celebrated in black history is often played down or willfully ignored. And so long as the media allow civil-rights activists and liberal politicians with their own agendas to speak for all blacks, that won’t change.
Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).

Obama's Budget, Explained in 30 Seconds | The Daily Signal

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Prager U: Are Electric Cars Really Green?

(photo from Wikipedia)

Are Electric Cars Really Green?: Are electric cars greener than conventional gasoline cars? If so, how much greener? What about the CO2 emissions produced during electric cars' production? And where does the electricity that powers electric cars come from? Environmental economist Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, examines how environmentally friendly electric cars really are.

Sen. Ben Sasse on How to Fix Washington | The Daily Signal

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Climate Change: Is it starting to dissipate?

Francis Menton, who blogs at Manhattan Contrarian published some good news recently, in a post in which he offered the following query:  "Is The Mass Hysteria About Climate Change Starting To Dissipate?"

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bishop Steven Lopes: First Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

From: Catholic World Report, February 4, 2016 10:10 EST
By: Catherine Harmon

On Tuesday, February 2, Steven J. Lopes was ordained the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The North American ordinariate, which was established under the norms set out by Pope Benedict XVI in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, is one of three such communities made up those from Anglican traditions who wish to worship in full communion with Rome.

Bishop Lopes worked for several years at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he collaborated with those establishing the ordinariates and with many of the formerly-Anglican clergy who were joining them.

(Above) is a video of Bishop Lopes’ remarks during his ordination Mass (it also offers a taste of the glorious music from the Mass): 
Addressing himself to the priests of the ordinariate, Bishop Lopes explained his episcopal motto, Magna Opera Domini, “Great are the works of the Lord.” He referenced an assembly for ordinariate clergy several years ago:
"It was the first time for me to meet many of you and finally put faces to the spiritual autobiographies that I had been reading in the dossiers you had submitted to Rome. Yours were stories of faith and of courage and of a passion and zeal for the truth and the search for the truth in Sacred Scripture. And they were also often enough stories of sacrifice, suffering, and the anguish of leaving what was familiar and comfortable in order to embark on an unknown and sometimes lonely path toward the fullness of Catholic communion. It was the final Mass on that last day of the assembly and we were sitting together in silence after Holy Communion. I was in my Communion meditation simply looking around the chapel at each of you and moving from face to face, linking that in my own mind to the stories I already knew. … And in that moment, beholding, if you will, before me the great work of communion manifest in that chapel, my heart was moved to only one thought: we did not do this. God did this. This is the work of the Lord and great are the works of the Lord."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Matt Walsh on The Iowa Caucuses

Matt Walsh weighs in on last night's Iowa Caucuses, with his usual low key unassuming manner.  Here are a few excerpts:
This should be the end of Trump’s campaign. It won’t be, sadly, but it should because Trump’s one single solitary selling point was just destroyed. As we’ve covered ad nauseum, Trump is not a conservative, he has no principles, he has no integrity, he has no moral courage, and he lacks the judgment and wisdom to govern this country at such a volatile time, or at any time. But, up until now, he was a winner. He wins. He makes deals. He wins. He always wins. He never loses. He should win because he wins, we were told. That was always bunk considering the great “winner” bankrupted four businesses, destroyed two marriages, and failed spectacularly in many other ventures, sometimes so badly that he’s being investigated for fraud. But that was all in the past, and now after a lifetime of failures, he’d been reborn a perpetual winner. And winners win. Until last night...
Speaking of losers, the Democrat race is supposedly still locked in a tie. Hillary Clinton and Bernies Sanders both took 50 percent, with Martin O’Malley earning the support of his mother and two of his cousins (his dad said he’s really more of a Sanders guy). I say “supposedly” because I have no doubt that Clinton and her minions will do, and have done, whatever they can to steal this win. Six precincts came down to a coin flip (which is a thing in Democrat elections, apparently), and Clinton won all six of them. These kinds of “coincidences” have been happening to the Clintons for 30 years. They must be very lucky...
I won’t, however, celebrate the continued public humiliation of Hillary Clinton until, and if, a Republican president not named Donald Trump is elected president. If Hillary’s all around awfulness makes Sanders the nominee, and if Sanders somehow wins (which I think he will if he’s running against the reality TV show character) then we won’t have any reason to cheer. Hillary and Bernie are both terrible and would, to equal degrees, be disasters for this country. Bernie isn’t a crook and a morally bankrupt cretin like Hillary, but he is a rabid progressive radical who, if elected, would irreversibly complete Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America. Bernie’s ideas are equal parts insane, childish, silly, and dangerous. Worst of all, incredibly, he actually seems to believe them. He would be a catastrophe, and it could be said without exaggeration that America will be officially dead the moment it decides to elect an avowed socialist as president...

You can read the whole post by Matt Walsh at The Blaze by clicking HERE.

Maggie Smith and the Wisdom of Downton Abbey

                                            (photo from Wikipedia)

Today's Notable & Quotable in the Wall Street Journal is more than relevant today given the ongoing political campaigns after which our government will be brought under control or our freedoms will be further dissipated.
Feb. 1, 2016 7:02 p.m. ET
From a recent episode of the television show “Downton Abbey”:
Dowager Countess of Grantham ( Maggie Smith): For years I’ve watched governments take control of our lives, and their argument is always the same—fewer costs, greater efficiency. But the result is the same, too. Less control by the people, more control by the state, until the individual’s own wishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist. . . .
The point of a so-called great family is to protect our freedoms. That is why the barons made King John sign Magna Carta. . . .
​Lady Rosamund (Samantha Bond): Mama, we’re not living in 1215. And the strength of great families like ours is going, that’s just fact.
​Dowager Countess of Grantham: Your great-grandchildren won’t thank you when the state is all-powerful because we didn’t fight.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on MSNBC Defining Conservatism

Monday, February 1, 2016

Crime, Punishment and Foreign Policy

Crime, Punishment and Foreign Policy: Is there a middle ground between the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush Administration and the passive and hesitant foreign policy of the Obama Administration? Yes, and New York City is a model. How so? Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explains how the NYPD's 'broken windows' policy--swiftly and forcefully punishing even petty crimes--can be applied by the United States on a global scale.

Courtesy of Prager U.

JFK : and Today's Democrats

So, how far have the Democrats come since January 20, 1961? Perhaps the better question would be: how far has the country strayed since January 20,1961?   We'll learn the answer to that one in November 2016.