You are here

The Stream

Subscribe to The Stream feed
the thinking everyman’s national daily—championing freedom, smaller government and human dignity.
Updated: 6 hours 28 min ago

Fasting for Body and Soul, Week Two: Time-Restricted Eating

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 18:31

This is the ninth piece in a series on how to develop a fasting lifestyle. Read the entire series here.

In week one of our plan, we dropped the carbs and upped the fats in our diet to switch our bodies from the ups-and-downs of sugar burning to slow-and-steady fat burning. In week two, you'll break the habit of eating at fixed times throughout the day. Instead, you'll restrict the window of time in which you eat. This will make your daily fast longer than it has been.

You Already Fast

Huh? Why did I write "longer than it has been"? Because you've fasted every day of your life. To fast is simply to abstain from food. When you're sleeping, you're not eating. So, if you eat your last meal at 7:00 pm, and don't eat again until 7:00 am the next morning, you've survived a twelve hour fast. Good job! That's why we call our first meal of the day “breakfast.” We're breaking our nightly fast.

We don't think much about this because we're sleeping most of the time. Also, we don't really enter a fasting state until several hours after our last meal. We should thank God that we need to sleep eight hours or so. Otherwise, few of us would ever really fast. And our bodies would be the worse for it.

As long as you’re running mainly on sugar, though, you need to eat early and often. That, in turn, keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels above the range needed for your body to really use its fat stores. And that, in turn, makes true fasting hard to do.

Once you're running mainly on ketones and fatty acids rather than glucose, though, there's no good reason to eat every few hours throughout the day. You can lengthen your usual nightly fast without your brain and body going into panic mode.

Delay Breakfast

You may be thinking, "Oh no. He's going to say I should skip breakfast, isn’t he?" Well, that’s true, sort of. I understand the fear. I preached the gospel of oatmeal and egg white omelets for years. Skipping it, I thought, would slow down my metabolism and cost me lean muscle. But as I noted in an earlier piece, that idea is wrong. When your body first moves into a fasted state, it kicks up its metabolism and boosts growth hormone. That gives you energy, and helps your body save muscle and burn fat.

There's no biological need to eat right after you get up in the morning. Nor do you need to eat in the morning at all. This is a custom, not a necessity.

Strictly speaking, your first meal of the day will be breakfast -- it will break your fast -- no matter when you eat it. So, think of this part of our plan as delaying breakfast. It's called time-restricted eating.

Besides, strictly speaking, your first meal of the day will be breakfast -- it will break your fast -- no matter when you eat it. So, think of this part of our plan as delaying breakfast. It's called time-restricted eating. It has lots of health benefits. For instance, if you’re sticking with the food plan from week one, these time limits will lower your fasting blood sugar and make you more insulin-sensitive. These perks will help you adapt to a fasting lifestyle.

The Sixteen-Hour Fast

I presume you already fast for about eight hours at night and eat over a sixteen-hour period during the day. If so, then for the next few days, just flip that. Pick an eight-hour window in which you eat as much as you did last week (with the same balance of carbs, fat, and protein). For the other sixteen hours, fast from all food. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and sip warm bouillon if you like. You'll need the salt. Just make sure it has very few calories. And check for weird additives.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Of course, unless you've done this before, your body will expect food at fixed times. Your stomach will growl around lunch and dinner time just as surely as Pavlov's dog salivated when he heard the bell ring. You'll have to resist little body signals, such as a gurgling stomach.

But if you've followed the rules from week one, you won't feel desperate for food.

The easiest way to do a sixteen-hour fast is to wait for your first meal of the day. Eat breakfast at 1:00 pm. Then stop eating at 9:00 pm. Or start at noon and end at 8:00 pm. Whatever works best for you.

20 Hours

Once you find that this is not as hard as you thought it would be, extend the fast to twenty hours. In other words, eat all your meals during a four-hour time window. You can try different times or pick the slot that works best for you. 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm works best for me. But some people like to start earlier in the day.

You don't need to restrict calories. In theory, you can eat as much as you were eating before. But in practice, you’ll probably eat less. It's hard to pack three full meals into four hours when you’re eating lots of fat and very few carbs except for green veggies. Don’t force yourself to eat more once you feel full.

Again, don't forget to drink lots of water and perhaps salty bouillon. If you like coffee or tea, that’s fine too. Just don’t add calories to them during the fasting window.

What Do I Do with the Extra Time? Pray!

You'll now be doing a real daily fast, even if you're netting the same amount of food per day. You'll also have extra time in your day, because you'll spend less time eating. What should you do? Isn't it obvious? You should pray. That includes mental prayer, memorized prayers, and written prayers; prayers alone and prayers with your family; praying the divine office; spiritual reading; reading and studying Scripture.

If you're Catholic, you can attend daily Mass or Eucharistic adoration. Protestants can seek out other daily worship services.

Remember, our goal is to adapt to a fasting lifestyle. This includes regular fasting and prayer.

It also includes feasts, which I haven't said much about. I'll do that next.


Jay Richards is the Executive Editor of The Stream and an Assistant Research Professor in the Busch School of Business and Economics at the Catholic University of America. Follow him on Twitter.

Why Christians Support Israel

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 17:47

In speeches to fellow Jews around America, I often point out that many American Jews are experiencing cognitive dissonance. The institution Jews most admire -- the university -- turns out to be the most significant source of Israel hatred in America and the rest of the West. At the same time, the people many Jews most distrust -- Christians (especially evangelical and other conservative Christians) -- turn out to be the Jews’ and Israel’s best friends.

‘Deceptive’ Reasons

Given that these two facts are undeniable, how do many American Jews deal with this dissonance? They largely ignore the Israel hatred on campuses, and they dismiss the authenticity of the Christian support. They dismiss it by denying it is genuine. Christians who support Israel, they (and non-Jews on the left) argue, do so for two deceptive reasons.

One is they seek to convert Jews.

That Christians seek to convert non-Christians is, of course, true. The primary aim of Christianity, after all, is to spread belief in Christ. But why would anyone think supporting Israel will convert Jews? Does anyone think that Christians who support Israel’s enemies are making Muslims convert to Christianity? The fact is there isn’t a shred of evidence that Jews have converted to Christianity, because of Christian support for Israel. Indeed, the Jews who most support Israel are either the most religious or the most strongly identifying secular Jews. Neither is a candidate for conversion.

Another way Christian support for Israel is belittled is by claiming that Christians support Israel in order to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus. But pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in America, has said countless times nothing a Christian can do will hasten the return of Jesus; only God will decide when that happens -- and in His own good time.

Moreover, even if this were the reason Christians support the Jews and Israel, why would it disturb Jews? It would mean that Christians would support them until Jesus returns. What’s wrong with that?

The Support is Genuine

Having spoken at numerous churches’ “Night to Honor Israel” events, I know how genuine this support is. But last week in Nashville, I witnessed a particularly convincing example of the sincerity of this support. I spoke before thousands of Christians at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention when they gathered one evening solely to express their support for Israel. Maybe five Jews were present. Isn’t thousands of Christians devoting an entire evening to express support for Israel -- with essentially no Jews in attendance to witness it -- about as convincing a proof of the authenticity of this support as one could imagine?

So, why do Christians support Israel? They believe in supporting American allies and supporting countries that share their moral values. And, unlike the left, they have moral problems with Islamism, not with Zionism.

But the primary reason virtually every Israel-supporting Christian gives is the biblical verse from Genesis in which God says to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” These Christians believe (as does this Jew) God blesses those who treat the Jews decently and curse those who seek to harm the Jews.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

You don’t have to be a believer in the God of Abraham or the Bible to accept this proposition. All the Jews’ ancient enemies disappeared from history. And look at what happened to Spain after it expelled its Jews in 1492. One of the greatest powers of the world became largely irrelevant to history within a couple of generations. As for Germans, the perpetrators of the Holocaust, they endured a staggering amount of death and suffering as a result of their support for the greatest Jew hater in history; and their country was divided in half for the next half-century. Likewise, the countries today that most curse the Jews -- Arab and other Muslim countries -- are among the most benighted countries in the world. If they were to devote to building their countries the money and energy they devote to attempting to destroy Israel, they would be in far better condition morally, socially, economically and politically.

Meanwhile, the country that has most blessed Israel and the Jews is America. No country in the modern period has treated its Jews as well as America has, and no country has stood by Israel as much as America has. And America has been almost uniquely blessed.

These American Christians know something that the secular and left-wing elites do not: The day America abandons Israel will be the beginning of the end of America as we know it.

These people are not fools.

Their detractors are.


Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of


I Go to a School Where an Attack Was Foiled. Here’s Why I’m Against Limiting Gun Rights.

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 16:30

Police cars surrounded my high school as I walked fast across the street to the science building. Eyes were glancing in many directions. The slight panic -- bordering on hysteria -- was obvious.

Hundreds of students stayed home, but I did not. Why? Because the threat was safely locked away in jail.

Four months before the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, my own school in Cherokee County, Georgia, was under serious threat in October from two 17-year-old students.

Together, the two juniors at Etowah High School planned a Columbine-style attack using explosives, law enforcement authorities said.

But campus police and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office learned about the pair's plans ahead of time through a tip, and reacted immediately to the first report. The two students are charged as adults with attempted murder and other offenses.

If that threat had not been stopped, many people at my school would be dead. It could have been me, my brother, my closest friends, or all of us.

But it was stopped. We are alive.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Having this perspective, my heart was shattered into pieces when I heard the news Feb. 14 about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. I have been praying for all of the students, teachers, and families who are going through hell right now.

"Take away gun rights. Something needs to be done," my friends keep telling me.

Yes, something absolutely does need to be done, but not that way.

Reports and tips need to be taken seriously. Death is an unchangeable thing, and anyone who jokes about it is sick. A threat is not a joke; it is illegal, and it demands an immediate response.

Next, teachers should be trained and armed with guns, if they choose to be. I am constantly hearing friends say that if teachers were armed, they would be too scared to shoot back. That is an offensive statement, and it needs to stop.

A coach at Douglas High died because he ran into the shooting and jumped in front of a bullet. How could anyone say that man would have been afraid to shoot back? He chose to die so his students didn't have to, yet people say teachers would have been hiding if they had guns.

Taking away gun rights isn't going to help the cause. Immediately after our Founding Fathers listed our God-given rights, they decided that every American's right "to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Everyone needs a way to defend himself or herself. I realize that many people simply want to add restrictions to buying a gun for everyone, which I thought seemed reasonable at first until I researched it.

Some of the most infamous shooters were approved to buy a gun because their previous felonies had not been reported to gun shop owners. Those shooters should not have been approved, but they were.

The system of background checks needs to be tightened to include felons and those who courts say are mentally ill.

Taking away Second Amendment rights from everyone is not the solution.


Nicole Martin is a freshman at Etowah High School in Woodstock, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

Military Photo of the Day: Launching 120mm of Trouble Towards the Enemy

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 16:06

U.S. Marines recently fire a 120mm mortar in support of combat operations at Camp Shorab in Afghanistan.

Thank you to these brave Marines for volunteering to serve in a time of war. Stay safe!





Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Is North Korea Open to Giving Up its Nukes? South Korea Says So

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 13:48

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un expressed a willingness to denuclearize in a meeting with South Korean diplomats, Seoul revealed Tuesday.

The rogue regime is apparently offering to not only discuss giving up the nuclear arsenal it has spent decades building, but also halting ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests while negotiations are underway.

"The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize," the South Korean presidential office said in a statement. "It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed."

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

"The North expressed its willingness to hold a heartfelt dialogue with the U.S. on the issues of denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States. It made it clear that while dialogue is continuing, it will not attempt any strategic provocations, such as nuclear and ballistic missile tests," the Blue House further explained.

Furthermore, the North agreed to hold a summit meeting with the South in April. The two sides also agreed to set up a military hotline to reduce tensions on the peninsula.

While North Korea has signaled a willingness to talk to the U.S., Washington remains skeptical of Pyongyang's intentions, asserting that it may be attempting to buy time to complete its nuclear weapons program or reduce the pressure against it.


Follow Ryan on Twitter. Send tips to

Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

Tapper on Farrakhan: ‘Why is it So Hard For Some People to Condemn a Rabid Anti-Semite?’

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 13:35

CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Monday called out Democrats for refusing to denounce Nation of Islam leader and rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Tapper played a clip of Farrakhan's recent speech raging against "the Jews," and noted The Daily Caller News Foundation's exclusive report on Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis's consistent praise for Farrakhan. Tapper also noted Women's March leader Tamika Mallory's support for Farrakhan, despite his anti-Semitism.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

"Why is it so tough for some people to condemn a rabid anti-semite who is also a misogynist and anti-LGBT?" Tapper asked his panel. "It should not be," agreed CNN commentator Jen Psaki, a former Clinton campaign official.

Tapper also noted a recent meeting that Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, had attended with Farrakhan, as well as a newly emerged photo of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama smiling with Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting. The photo was suppressed for 13 years in order to protect Obama's political career.

"So people want the association [with Farrakhan] but they don't want to get dinged for it publicly," Tapper observed.


Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

Why YouTube’s Conflict With Infowars Should Concern Us All

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 13:30

I have never been a fan of Alex Jones and Infowars. I strongly reject some of the conspiracy theories Jones has put forth. But if it is true that his channel could be removed from YouTube, we should not ignore this. It doesn’t matter if we are on the left or right or in between. Especially since The Daily Caller reported that "YouTube is getting help from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center in its effort to identify extremist content."

The SPLC? I would honestly have a hard time coming up with a major organization that I trust less than the SPLC to help YouTube. The SPLC has rightly been branded an anti-Christian hate group.

Writing for, Julia Alexander noted, "Whenever YouTube institutes a tougher moderation stance, a common debate emerges over censorship -- especially from notable conservative voices."

Specifically, she explained,

Questions over YouTube's moderators and the power they hold were raised this week after notable conservative pundits, gun advocates, conspiracy channels and other right-wing voices received community strikes or were locked out of their channels. Creators who are affected by lockouts, strikes and suspensions are referring to it as the “YouTube Purge,” claiming that YouTube is purging all right-wing or pro-gun content. The move follows the company's attempt to clamp down on dangerous content following the Parkland shooting.

To be sure, YouTube must do a careful balancing act. They must remove certain content without infringing on lawful free speech. And some content should be removed. For example, does anyone think someone should have the "right" to post a map to your house with pictures of your family? Replete with false accusations against you and a call to burn your house down? Obviously not.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

But the so-called "YouTube Purge" raises many concerns. Even if Jones has not accurately represented his own situation in every detail.

When The Left and the Right Came Together for Rev. Moon

In the 1980s, a broad coalition from the left and right came together in support of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church. This was after Moon was found guilty on three counts of willfully filing false federal income tax returns and one count of conspiracy.

Among those filing briefs in defense of Moon were the Center for Law and Religious Freedom, the ACLU, and the National Bar Association. Leaders who vocally stood with Moon after he was imprisoned included conservatives like Jerry Falwell, liberals like Joseph Lowery, Harvard professor Harvey Cox, Senator Eugene McCarthy, and many others.

It was quite an unlikely coalition. It was surprising to see evangelicals and liberals rally around Rev. Moon. Both sides had ample reasons to reject him and his cult, but there were larger issues at stake. These leaders recognized that the threat to Moon was a threat to others as well.

Wikipedia notes that

A United States Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, conducted its own investigation into Reverend Moon’s tax case and published its findings in a report which concluded:

“We accused a newcomer to our shores of criminal and intentional wrongdoing for conduct commonly engaged in by a large percentage of our own religious leaders, namely, the holding of church funds in bank accounts in their own names. Catholic priests do it. Baptist ministers do it, and so did Sun Myung Moon.”

Sen. Hatch noted,

I do feel strongly, after my subcommittee has carefully and objectively reviewed this case from both sides, that injustice rather than justice has been served. The Moon case sends a strong signal that if one’s views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate, but to convict. I don’t believe that you or I or anyone else, no matter how innocent, could realistically prevail against the combined forces of our Justice Department and judicial branch in a case such as Reverend Moon’s.

The case was of such concern that Regnery, a leading conservative publisher, released a book by Carlton Sherwood entitled, Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

Hatch's cautionary words can be repeated with regard to Infowars and others today. "If one’s views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate" -- or even "to convict."

The Right is Being Censored

Prager U is currently in a legal battle with YouTube. Their web page announcing the lawsuit begins with a quote from former California Governor Pete Wilson:

This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker.

Many others have voiced complaint with YouTube's uneven, censorious policies. On a weekly (or daily) basis, my organization has to request reviews of videos on the AskDrBrown YouTube page after they are flagged as “Not Suitable for Most Advertisers.”

I'm not sure if we have trolls complaining about our videos or if it's just part of YouTube's very flawed system. But something is obviously wrong when YouTube flags and demonetizes videos like "What Made Billy Graham Special," "A Common-Sense Discussion About Guns and Gun Control," and "Overcoming Hatred with Love; and How Christians Can Regain Credibility in America."

It was surprising to see evangelicals and liberals rally around Rev. Moon in the 1908s. Both sides had ample reasons to reject him and his cult, but there were larger issues at stake. These leaders recognized that the threat to Moon was a threat to others as well.

But YouTube allows vile, hate-filled, incendiary videos from the left to proliferate. Some would even argue that they promote such leftist videos. Meanwhile they while demote (or demonetize, block or remove) videos which express a conservative point of view.

Indeed, Jim Hoft on Gateway Pundit is now reporting that "Google-YouTube is shutting down prominent conservative and right-leaning channels" and that "Google-YouTube is also blocking conservative channels -- Like the Official Gateway Pundit channel -- from posting."

Not only so, Hoft claims that "Google is also altering search results to portray far left websites and organizations as conservative. Today [March 4] if [you] search Google for a list of pro-life organizations you get this ... Google lists Planned Parenthood as the top Pro-Life website."

Will You Speak Out?

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is no joke. It is similar to what recently happened to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and others who warn against radical Islamic jihad.

And so, whether you're an Infowars fan or you find their work distasteful, their potential removal from YouTube should concern you. Otherwise, soon enough, we'll have our own version of Martin Niemoller's famous poem, which will now sound something like this:

First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out -- because I found them offensive.

Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out- -- because I found them obnoxious.

Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out -- because I found them opinionated.

Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out -- because I have my own life to live.

Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

What Christians Can Learn From the Left

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:40

Things may get better for Christians, or they may get worse. In either case, we’ll challenge our society in some way. We don’t quite fit anywhere. We never will, because we’re aliens in this world, as the Apostle Peter put it. And we know things the world doesn’t know.

Faithful Christians will always tell the world that it ought to do something it doesn’t want to do. We’ll always be the burr under the saddle, the kid who says the emperor’s naked, the guy who points out the elephant in the room, the teacher who insists we color within the lines. We’ll always be that sign of contradiction that the prophet Simeon saw in Jesus and the Jews speaking to Paul saw in His followers. We will speak as prophets.

Here’s the problem. Being prophets tempts us to act like jerks. It encourages us to do pretty much everything Jesus said not to do. To hate the other guys, for example, or to despair and give up. It’s hard being a dissenter without becoming less Christ-like than we should be. Hard for many of us, anyway.

People experienced in the life of dissent and resistance can tell us something about that life. The political left shares the Christians’ sense of alienation, of speaking truths our society does not want to hear. Todd Gitlin helped found Students for a Democratic Society in the early sixties and was an early leader of the anti-war movement. He now teaches at Columbia. Gitlin described his experience in the book Letters to a Young Activist. We can learn a lot from him.

Gitlin is by no means a religious believer, but he is a reflective and morally serious man. He's in that odd position of having firm and even absolute moral commitments, commitments to which he's given his life, that he cannot ground in any objective understanding of the world. He would save himself some problems and would see deeper into the role of the dissenter were he a Christian, but he still tells Christians much that is useful about the life of public resistance.

Gitlin’s Warnings

Here are five warnings gleaned from Letters to a Young Activist. He also has more positive lessons, which I’ll take up another time.

First, avoid rage even though it feels good. Wickedness should anger us. That anger should move us to action. Remember Jesus cleansing the temple of the money-changers. But anger hits us like an addictive drug and we way too easily start using it for the high.

Gitlin sees this and distinguishes anger from rage. By “rage,” he means the kind of controlling, driving anger that activists can feel against those they've identified as the bad guys. He explains: "I know from experience that something happens to anger when it gets down inside you and stagnates. It congeals into rage, more diffuse and less manageable than anger. ... Roughly, anger has an address, rage is broadcast. Anger wants change while rage demands, above all, punishment."

He warns against rage because it drives others away. "You want to change minds, so you don't burn bridges. Burning bridges is the route of the fundamentalist who prefers the world purified but embattled, each pain a pleasure, each Antichrist a confirmation of Christ." We can easily decide we won’t even deal with the people on the other side, because they’re just too wrong to be bothered with. Jesus never stopped loving His enemies. He didn’t treat them as beneath response.

Jesus’s Rules For Radicals

Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

But Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

-- Taken from Luke 6

Contrarianism and Engagement

Second, do not be a contrarian. People who find themselves opposed on principle to their society will feel the desire to just say no. All the time. It’s easier than keeping up the fight.

You must be "countercyclical," Gitlin says. Move in the opposite direction of the world, move against the flow. But don't do it "in the persnickety sense of the contrarian, who predictably follows orders but in reverse: He is enslaved to no, rebelling for the sake of rebellion. Contrarianism is a perverse submission to power. It refuses initiative."

Third, don’t settle into a bubble, but stay engaged with those you disagree with. Gitlin again speaks from his observation of the political radicals of the sixties. "Persevere, but don't bury yourself in an army of the right-minded," he says. "Beware the perilous rapture of shrinking your world to the tribe of the saved, the cheerleading good guys who brandish the same slogans, curse the same enemies, thrill to the same saints."

He explains what happens when you bury yourself: "When you live in an echo chamber where your cheers boom and cheerleading substitutes for thought, you enclose yourself in a sect, though you may call it a movement. The world of the saved substitutes for the world as it is, full of the unsaved." It's the unsaved that dissenters of every sort need to influence, and they're also the people dissenters tend to forget.

Discouragement and Optimism

Fourth, don't get discouraged, even though you will always be a minority. Gitlin learned this from his own experience. "For most of the sixties," he writes, "the political side was not so fashionable." The Vietnam War he and his peers opposed was popular and stayed popular for years, especially (unexpectedly) on college campuses.

In the end, however, the protesters won and their view of Vietnam and of American power continues to influence the public debate. They were the nerds, the weirdos, the wonks, reading and writing and protesting when the great majority of their peers felt at home in the world and had a good time. Yet they formed the world we now live in. Fifth, don't be optimistic. "Optimism is balm," Gitlin writes. "Certitude, not agnosticism, makes the blood race -- not least in America, which cherishes a victory culture." The feeling "will work on you like a drug." The radicals of the sixties failed, he says, because they kept misreading the world around them and overestimating their chances of success. Their optimism made them excuse every left-wing tyrant as long as he's anti-American, for example, because they could convince themselves that the tyrant represented the liberated future.

"If you believe such things," he writes his young activist, "you are riding for a fall -- not only a moral fall but a practical one, for your cannot possibly win more than a smidgen of popular support for positions that defy common sense. ... Please go on leaving the victory marches and the catch tunes to the tinny bands. The long-distance runner listens to the blues."

The Long Struggle

The political radical and the Christian see problems when others don’t. Gitlin writes, starkly, "Living with the knowledge that our country perpetuates moral abominations is an everyday burden." We will think of abortion, euthanasia, callous disregard for the poor, the suffering, and the powerless, experimentation on embryos.

It'll be a long struggle, and people like Todd Gitlin tell us something useful about the struggle. We know something Gitlin doesn’t know. We know that in the end, God shall wipe away every tear, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain. For the world in which we live as aliens and dissenters will pass away. The long-distance runner listens to the blues, but also, the Christian would add, Mozart.


“What We Can Learn From the Left” is adapted from one of David Mills’ weekly columns for Aleteia. To read others, click here.

Miss. Sen. Thad Cochran Resigning April 1

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:34

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi said Monday he will resign because of health problems -- triggering what could be a chaotic special election to fill the seat he has held for a generation.

Cochran, who turned 80 in December and has been in poor health, has been a sporadic presence on Capitol Hill in recent months. He stayed home for a month last fall, returning to Washington in October to give Republicans the majority they needed to pass a budget plan. He has since kept a low profile and an aide ever present at his side.

“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” Cochran said in a statement. “It has been a great honor to serve the people of Mississippi and our country. I’ve done my best to make decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved state. … My hope is by making this announcement now, a smooth transition can be ensured so their voice will continue to be heard in Washington, D.C.”

Cochran said his resignation is effective April 1, allowing Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint a temporary replacement to fill the seat until a special election Nov. 6. The winner would serve until the end of Cochran’s term in January 2021.

Cochran’s departure sets off a scramble within a state Republican Party already struggling to manage a disaffected conservative faction. The special election is expected to attract several candidates, including the outspoken, tea party-backed state senator who came close to defeating Cochran in a bitter 2014 Republican primary. Republican Chris McDaniel, who said last week he would challenge Mississippi’s other GOP senator, Roger Wicker, said Monday it is “premature” to say whether he will run for the newly open seat.

“I want him to be healthy and happy,” McDaniel said of Cochran. “We disagree politically, but I have nothing but respect for his service.”

Republicans in Washington are hoping to prevent a rough and costly primary season as they struggle to defend their narrow 51-49 hold on the Senate. Some Republicans have doubts about McDaniel’s ability to win a general election. And after Republicans’ bruising loss in Alabama last year, party leaders are eager to block any risky candidates.

Mike Espy, a Democrat who served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of agriculture, said Monday he has a “strong intention” to run for Cochran’s seat. In 1986, Espy became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi.

Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the House. A mild-mannered Southerner, Cochran came to the Senate when it had a far clubbier atmosphere and he played an insider’s game throughout his seven terms -- particularly as a member of the powerful Appropriations panel, which had long been a bipartisan powerhouse and way to funnel taxpayer dollars back home.

Cochran chaired the committee twice and used the post to channel money to Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states for Hurricane Katrina recovery after the 2005 storm.

“Thad knows there’s a big difference between making a fuss and making a difference. And the people of Mississippi -- and our whole nation-- have benefited from his steady determination to do the latter,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

“I’m devastated. I assumed we would serve out our time together here,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Appropriations panel. “We’ve never once had a partisan word between us. And he has always, always, always kept his word -- and I wish to heck some other senators around here would learn to do that.”

But the old-school Cochran has seemed increasingly out of place in a chamber where partisan elbows are sharper.

Explicit earmarks for home-state projects such as roads and bridges, economic development grants, and help for schools such as Cochran’s alma mater, the University of Mississippi, were banned in 2011.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

In 2014, he struggled to win a Republican primary over McDaniel, who received financial support from libertarian-leaning groups that criticized Cochran as a big spender.

McDaniel -- who never conceded his loss to Cochran -- announced last week that he will run this year against Wicker. But moments after making that announcement at a rally in his hometown of Ellisville, McDaniel said he could drop out of the Wicker race and run in the special election if Cochran resigns.

Wicker said Monday he and his campaign haven’t communicated with McDaniel about which seat he’ll seek. Asked if he’s relieved because McDaniel might seek the open seat instead of challenging him, Wicker said, “I don’t know that.” He smiled as he answered the question and told reporters, “I’m smiling because of your persistence.”

The Mississippi race was also being eyed by former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who at one point warned of the challenges to GOP incumbents he felt were insufficiently supportive of Trump.

That effort may have waned, however. Senate Republicans suffered a stunning setback in December when neighboring Alabama elected a Democratic senator, in a special election, for the first time in a generation. Bannon backed Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual impropriety against young women.

Mississippi’s governor has not released names of people he will consider appointing to temporarily fill Cochran’s seat, though there has been widespread speculation that he might appoint Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves or Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who are both Republicans.

Bryant has not said whether he would consider appointing himself to the Senate. He is limited to two terms as governor, and his time in that job ends in January 2020. Bryant campaigned for Trump in 2016, and has been to Washington many times in the past year to meet with the president.

The powerful Appropriations panel hasn’t met in many months, though Cochran used his post to help secure aid for struggling cotton producers in a budget pact last month.

An upcoming $1.3 trillion omnibus spending measure promises to be Cochran’s last hurrah, and he’s likely to use his clout for the benefit of Mississippi’s Ingalls shipyard, where a variety of Navy and Coast Guard vessels are built and refurbished.


Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor and Lisa Mascaro in Washington and Sarah Mearhoff in Jackson contributed to this report.



Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

We are Called to Make a Difference (In Others)

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 21:01

The word "mentoring" does not appear in the Bible. But examples of wise advice and counsel appears throughout. In Exodus we learn how Jethro gave management guidance on delegation and subsidiarity to his son-in-law Moses.

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, [Jethro] said,

What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening? … What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone ... teach them His decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. (Exodus 18:14-20)

In these modern times, how can an elder Jethro mentor a junior Moses?

Luke Burgis and Joshua Miller give us an overview of mentoring and a fresh look at discipleship in their new book, Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person.

“They will know we are Christians by our love,” goes the familiar hymn. Burgis and Miller write a practical guide on how to demonstrate this love by understanding each person's "unique, unrepeatable essence, which bears the fingerprints of God." This is the understanding of human dignity.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Unrepeatable is for more than just parents who want to nurture their children's calling. The authors weave a series of short stories that sports managers (coaches) and business coaches (managers) can use right away -- without fancy specialized training.

Although Miller is a vocational trainer in The Center for Leadership at Franciscan University of Steubenville, this book has an audience outside the traditional classroom. Burgis founded three startups in Silicon Valley and was named one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25" by Business Week. He continues his passion for building new companies with students at The Catholic University of America. The authors’ ethos of mentoring is much like that of NFL great and VP candidate Jack Kemp: "People don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you care."

Make New Mistakes

Esther Dyson, the technologist and venture capitalist, warned us never to repeat our mistakes -- but also to avoid repeating mistakes made by others. Any experienced mentor has been scarred by experience. Jethro says to Moses, Don't make the mistakes I did; make your own and grow and surpass me.

How can our younger Moses safely have this “growth mindset,” to use the term coined by Carol Dweck at Stanford University?

Burgis and Miller explain that in a "loving relationship, [a person] is free to discover, embrace, and fully live out his personal calling." The mature mentor creates this genuine safe space.

Love Is The Answer

Unrepeatable provides more than an emotional response. "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me,” St. Paul writes in Philippians, ” put it into practice."

Burgis and Miller suggest a template for mentoring. It provides support and actionable tasks to encourage individuals to identify their unique, indeed, unrepeatable talents. Both the mentor and mentee should know what the senior can provide for the junior.

Senior mentors perform three functions: contacts, consulting and capital. 

The mentor will have a network of contacts and friends to make introductions. The best elder statesmen have a substantial "rolodex" of friends who "got people" with a track record of getting things done.

The mentee should ask advice and, more important, act on the counsel.

Unrepeatable is for more than just for parents who want to nurture their children's calling. The authors weave a series of short stories that sports managers (coaches) and business coaches (managers) can use immediately.


This is vital in all relationships especially in a training program. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, describes in a conversation she once had with a young woman:

I asked what a mentor meant to her. She explained that it would be someone she spoke to for at least an hour every week. I smiled, thinking, That's not a mentor -- that's a therapist. (Sandberg 2013)

The wise woman or man knows when to be the therapist. The mentee knows to listen and to act.

And finally, the mentor should provide access to capital. That is: time, talent and treasure to assist his charge in launching his career or a business.  

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

The book of Hebrews commands, “And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have, but let us encourage one another.” (10:24-25a)

Encouragement and accountability are key theme in Unrepeatable. For example, in any dangerous undertaking, like swimming, the cliche is to always have a 'swim partner' for safety. But it’s more than a cliche. The US Air Force prescribes a "Wing Man" and the Army a "Ranger Buddy." In any life adventure, we must never be alone.

Burgis and Miller teach that a young Moseses must learn "the kinds of service to God and neighbor they have been designed to give." This is where the mentor and mentee understand their duty to their community. This work is not done in isolation.

Proverbs 22:6a says parents should "Start children off on the way they should go ..."

Business guru Peter Drucker echoes St. Paul where business becomes family to maximize strengths and minimize weakness.

As Christians, "We are fools for Christ." (1 Corinthians 4:10a.) And how would this faith in action take form? Urie Bronfenbrenner, the acclaimed developmental psychologist might have suggested mentoring, "Someone’s gotta be crazy about the kid."


Jack Yoest is an Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America in The Busch School of Business and Economics, in Washington, DC. He is the author of The Memo: How the Classified Military Document That Helped the U.S. Win WWII Can Help You Succeed in Business.

Jesus Changes Everything. How Often Do We Forget?

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:40

A few weeks ago my church held a celebration weekend, when members get baptized after sharing their testimonies.

They ranged in age from elementary school to middle age. They came from loving homes, difficult backgrounds and party lifestyles. And they all testified how, thanks to Jesus, their lives had changed. They were able to forgive deep hurts. Finally break free of old habits and addictions. Overcome suicidal thoughts. They sometimes wept as they recounted the ways God had been faithful in pursuing them, providing for them, and ultimately bringing them into his Kingdom.

Events like celebration weekend are vital. Not just for the new believers, but for the entire church.


Celebration weekends like the ones at my church are powerful. Not because they are flashy or particularly entertaining. In fact, such services often go long and stomachs start to growl as one new believer after another shares their story and gets baptized. They’re powerful because they remind those of us sitting in the pews just how powerful Jesus is.

Many of the people in the pews are like me. We were saved at such a young age, the Christian life is all we’ve ever known. Others were saved so long ago it feels like another lifetime. As we begin to take Jesus for granted, we become vulnerable to the lukewarm faith we’re warned about in Revelation 3.

When you surrender your life to Jesus, he truly does change everything.

I’ve definitely been guilty of lukewarmness. Of living as if nothing really changed when I surrendered my life to the one who died for me and rose again. But in reality, everything changed.

Instead of being enslaved to my mistakes, I’m now empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome them. Instead of being weighed down by shame, I have been made new and blameless in God’s sight. And instead of eternal damnation when I die, I can look forward to an eternity in the presence of my Lord and Savior.

So why do I get so distracted with things that don’t matter? Why do I neglect to share the life-saving gospel with those in need? How can I forget to be grateful for the best blessing of all: salvation?

Because I fail to remind myself of what Jesus has done for me.

Remind Yourself

Thankfully, the Bible includes multiple verses for combating this forgetfulness. Though they span centuries of events from the Old Testament to the New, their message is simple and consistent: remind yourself.

In Deuteronomy 6, we’re told to constantly remind ourselves of God’s commands:

Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up. Tie them as reminders on your forearm, bind them on your forehead, and write them on door frames of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:7-9

In Psalm 77, the psalmist determines to remember, even in the midst of distress:

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11-12

In 2 Peter 1, the Apostle Peter emphasizes the importance of reminders:

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them are are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder … I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 2 Peter 1:12-15

A Real-Life Picture

I love celebration weekend at my church, because it jolts me out of my routine. When I haven’t done a good job of reminding myself of Jesus’ transforming power, the testimonies of new believers give me a real-life picture.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Their stories of coming out of darkness into light, their heartfelt expressions of gratitude, their declaration of belief as they’re baptized before a congregation of fellow believers all serve as that needed reminder. When you surrender your life to Jesus, he truly does change everything.

Did the Dossier Have to be ‘Verified’ for FBI to Use It for Carter Page FISA?

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:12
"Only documented and verified information" may be used in Department of Justice surveillance applications, according to FBI internal guidelines. The FBI relied on an unverified dossier of opposition research against President Donald Trump to apply for a warrant, according to House Republicans. "Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications [FISA] to the court [FISC]," according to the guidelines.

The FBI's internal guidelines for obtaining secret surveillance warrants against Americans say that "only documented and verified information" may be used in warrant applications.

That would seem to pose a problem for the FBI, since the bureau relied on the infamous and unverified Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

California Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, pointed out the inconsistency between the FBI's guidelines and its reliance on the dossier last week in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Nunes noted a passage in the FBI's Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide which states that "the accuracy of information contained within FISA applications is of utmost importance."

"Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications [FISA] to the court [FISC]," reads an unredacted version of the guide, dated Oct. 15, 2011.

But national security experts and former FBI officials say that verification of each and every fact mentioned in FISA applications is not necessarily required.

"Evidence presented to the court does not have to be rigorously proved or corroborated. But it does have to be plausible and credible -- not just rumor or hearsay," Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The FBI can cite information that the bureau has not fully verified or corroborated as long as the source for the information is made clear and an assessment of the reliability of the information is included in the application.

It is up to one of the judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to decide if the evidence meets the standard of probable cause that a surveillance target is acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director for criminal investigations, said that FBI agents working on FISA cases document all relevant information in a document known as a Woods file, named after former FBI attorney Michael J. Woods, who developed the FISA procedures in April 2001.

"That doesn't mean that they can't have other allegations and statements in the FISA application that aren't yet proven as facts," Hosko told TheDCNF. "As long as they are characterizing it accurately, they are doing their jobs."

In his letter to Sessions, Nunes suggested that the use of the unverified Steele dossier was a "clear violation of FBI protocols." The Republican also suggested that U.S. officials may have broken the law by using the dossier in the FISA applications, the first of which was granted against Page on Oct. 21, 2016.

There seems to be little dispute from the either the FBI or Democratic lawmakers that the dossier, including the parts that contain allegations about Page, are unverified.

In his letter, Nunes said that FBI and DOJ officials "have confirmed to the Committee that unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of the FISA applications related to Carter Page."

And in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray in January, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said that based on a Senate Committee on the Judiciary review, the Page FISA application "appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page."

In lieu of corroboration, the FBI appears to have relied heavily on dossier author Christopher Steele's credibility as a reliable source. The FISA application stated that "based on [Steele's] previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby [Steele] provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes [Steele's] reporting to be credible."

"In short, it appears the FBI relied on admitted uncorroborated information," reads the Grassley-Graham letter.

So if FBI guidelines explicitly state that facts laid out in FISA applications must be verified, how could the bureau still rely on Steele's unverified claims in order to obtain the warrant to snoop on Page?

One former FBI special agent says that the relevant fact that had to be verified was that Steele was a source of the information, not that his allegations were fully accurate.

"If you are including source reporting, you must accurately state that it is source reporting and characterize what the source said," Asha Rangappa, the former agent, said in a recent Twitter exchange with TheDCNF.

"You would typically have a separate source file against which it would be checked. The 'fact' is that it is information reported by a source," she said.


Follow Chuck on Twitter.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

Democratic Congressman Confirms Relationship With Farrakhan, Unbothered by ‘The Jewish Question’

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 16:29

Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis confirmed in an interview Sunday that he has a personal relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite, and said he isn't bothered by Farrakhan's position on "the Jewish question."

Farrakhan has repeatedly denounced Jews as "satanic," praised Hitler as a "very great man" and has said that white people "deserve to die."

Davis previously told The Daily Caller that he considers Farrakhan an "outstanding human being" and said he regularly meets with Farrakhan. Davis's office falsely told the Anti-Defamation League that the congressman had been misquoted.

The congressman wasn't sure why the ADL wrote that he had been misquoted in his praise for the anti-Semite, and said he wasn't sure if someone from his office had told the ADL he was misquoted, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sunday. "I think that was what they wanted to write. Nah, I don't have no problems with Farrakhan, I don't spend a whole lot of my time dealing with those kind of things," Davis said.

The ADL did not immediately return a request for comment.

"I'm a pretty global individual. So I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan -- I know all that, but that's not what I spend all my time focused on," Davis continued, breaking into a laugh. "I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that. I don't have time for that. I deal with it, you know, when it comes but nah, that's not a real part of my focus."

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

"That's just one segment of what goes on in our world. The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that's their thing, but it ain't my thing," he said.

Davis also said that he knows Farrakhan better than Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a former Nation of Islam member who repeatedly attended meetings with Farrakhan during his time in Congress.

"I don't know that Keith knows Farrakhan as well as I do -- in fact, I know he doesn't," Davis said. "I don't think that Keith is no person who is super engaged with Farrakhan, he just happens to be a movement," he added. “Just like many of the folks who are Christians, they're not super engaged with Jesus, but they say they [are] Christians. Those are all things that come and go, and I take them in stride and keep on stepping. Before I know it, Farrakhan will be dead, Keith will be dead, I'll be dead and the issues will still be going on."

Davis's comments are consistent with what he previously told TheDC: he has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and isn't bothered by his anti-Semitism.

"I personally know [Farrakhan], I've been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him," Davis told TheDC in February. "I don't regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people."

When TheDC asked Davis about Farrakhan's history of anti-Semitic comments, the congressman was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.


Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

How Billy Graham Might Have Responded to George Will

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:07

To the surprise of many, conservative columnist George Will penned an unflattering article about Rev. Billy Graham after he passed away last month. To the chagrin of others, the article, "Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian," was carried by the conservative National Review. How might Rev. Graham have responded to an article like this?

In 1957, as reported by Collin Hansen for Christianity Today, Graham's gospel crusades in New York City met with serious opposition.

Leading the charge against Graham was none other than Reinhold Niebuhr, the venerable professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In an article for Life magazine, Niebuhr vigorously denounced Graham for presenting Jesus as the all-sufficient answer for man’s ills. “Perhaps because these solutions are rather too simple in any age, but particularly so in a nuclear one with its great moral perplexities, such a message is not very convincing to anyone -- Christian or not -- who is aware of the continuing possibilities of good and evil in every advance of civilization, every discipline of culture, and every religious convention,” Niebuhr wrote. “Graham offers Christian evangelism even less complicated answers than it has ever before provided.”

Hansen continues,

Despite repeated requests by Graham, Niebuhr refused to meet with him. So Graham simply complimented Niebuhr and explained away their differences. “I have read nearly everything Mr. Niebuhr has written and I feel inadequate before his brilliant mind and learning,” Graham told reporters. “Occasionally I get a glimmer of what he is talking about. … If I tried to preach as he writes, people would be so bewildered they would walk out.”

This was classic Graham. He responded with humility and wit, but not without making his point. He was called to preach God's Word in simplicity and clarity. From that task he would neither deviate nor apologize.

How, then, might Graham have responded to Will?

Too Popular?

George Will faults Graham for being too popular, for not taking enough controversial social stands, and for not being a serious theologian. (He offers one, hardly-representative quote to prove his last point). In Will's words,

Jesus said “a prophet hath no honor in his own country.” Prophets take adversarial stances toward their times, as did the 20th century's two greatest religious leaders, Martin Luther King and Pope John Paul II. Graham did not. Partly for that reason, his country showered him with honors.

Needless to say, Will's normally-sharp logic seems to have failed him here. Few Americans have been showered with more honors than Dr. King. He even has a holiday named after him. The Catholic Church reveres the memory of John Paul II. Does that disqualify them (or make them less prophetic)? Should their popularity be counted against them?

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Rev. Graham had his large share of detractors. He does to this moment. That includes pastors who have zealously damned him to hell and LGBT activists who celebrated his passing. But like the Lord he followed, he had his large share of supporters. And the honor he received did not come his way because he was a savvy politician (as implied by Will). It was because he was blessed by God. (The more you learn of his origins and background, the more apparent this becomes.)

Methods and Alleged Anti-Semitism

Will is also critical of Graham's message and methods, because of which he is skeptical of the results:

Graham's effects are impossible to quantify. His audiences were exhorted to make a “decision” for Christ, but a moment of volition might be (in theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer's phrase) an exercise in “cheap grace.” Graham's preaching, to large rallies and broadcast audiences, gave comfort to many people and probably improved some.

Yet those who heard Graham preach heard him call for them to renounce their sins. He warned them of the judgment of hell. Hardly ear-tickling words that were an exercise in "cheap grace."

Will, however, reserved some of his strongest judgment for Graham's alleged anti-Semitism. "One can reasonably acquit Graham of anti-Semitism only by convicting him of toadying," he writes.

And it was while reading those words (after looking up "toadying" for myself) that I imagined how Graham might have responded to Will's column. (As for his alleged anti-Semitism, see here.)

A Simple Message, Millions Reached

Perhaps he would have said something like this (similar to his comments about Prof. Niebhur): "I have read much of what Mr. Will has written and I feel inadequate before his brilliant mind and learning. Occasionally I get a glimmer of what he is talking about, but I always need to have a dictionary in hand. Frankly, I'm much more comfortable with a Bible, and I think that with that Bible, I could do more good than with a dictionary."

I for one am glad that Graham kept his Bible in hand, preaching a simple enough message that he could touch hundreds of millions around the world and pack out massive stadiums while his critics pointed out everything he was doing wrong.

Nothing has changed with his passing.

Power Slowly Coming Back 3 Days After Nor’easter

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:19

BOSTON (AP) -- Power is slowly being restored in the hardest-hit areas of the East Coast, days after a destructive nor’easter downed trees and power lines, flooded coastal towns and forced a number of school districts to cancel classes -- all with another storm forecast for midweek.

Residents from Virginia to Massachusetts faced a massive cleanup Monday following the storm, which was blamed for nine deaths, including two children struck by trees. Utility crews worked around the clock to restore power to the affected areas, as nearly 300,000 are struggled without electricity. At the height of the storm, more than 2 million homes and businesses were without electricity. Three days after the storm, some residents were still unsure when they could return to their homes.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

The storm pounded the Eastern Seaboard with a combination of gusting winds, rain and snow, and coastal communities were left to deal with damaging high tide flooding as powerful waves and churning surf pounded shorelines and beachfront homes.

Even as the cleanup is underway, the forecast is for another storm to churn up the coast midweek.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

China’s Dictator Cracks Down, Threatens the West

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:09

Unsettling news has emerged from China. The country’s leader, Xi Jinping, changed China’s constitution. This will firm up his hold on near absolute power. It lets him stay in office for life. The country has also imposed some bizarre new forms of censorship on citizens. So The Stream decided to interview the leading American, Christian expert on China, Steven Mosher. He is author of the powerful new book on that country, Bully of Asia.

You've read the strange, alarming story about the latest changes in China. Before we get into the important stuff, what's with banning the letter "n"?

Stephen Mosher: China's internet censors are becoming more aggressive by the day. For example, the Winnie the Pooh meme is banned in China. Why? Because Xi Jinping's stout figure bears a passing resemblance to the portly bear. It’s used to mock him.

But why in the world ban the letter "N"? The answer lies in Chinese algebra. The letter "N" represents an unknown variable. Where we in West use "X," the Chinese use "N.” When the Chinese Communist Party secretly eliminated the two-term limit for president, the equation "N = ?" (N equals what?) became popular overnight. It meant, "How many terms is Xi Jinping going to serve?" The censors were not happy.

The Chinese people could not be allowed to directly criticize President Xi's plan to stay in power forever. Not even indirectly by sending the letter "N" to each other. That subtly suggests that they oppose an indefinite number of five-year terms for Xi. The ever-alert censors quickly banned the letter "N" from all electronic communications.

No criticism of the new Red Emperor, however subtle, is allowed.

Dictator for Life

In your book, Bully of Asia, you talked about Xi Jinping. Especially his efforts to consolidate his one-man, strongman rule. Can you recount these latest developments in light of what they mean?

In today's China, Xi Jinping is Mr. Everything. President is the least of his titles. He is also the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. And, most importantly, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. He often puts on a military uniform. He struts around as Generalissimo Xi, directly overseeing military maneuvers.

Xi is now, I would argue, as powerful as the late Chairman Mao Zedong at his height. President Xi has even moved into Mao's old palace in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound. This had been converted into a museum upon Mao's death in 1976. The message is unmistakable.

The Secret History of China

Perhaps the most surprising thing about your book for me was its deep look at the dark side of Chinese political culture. We absorbed a very different picture of China in school. We learned its ancient history and some amazing cultural achievements. (Like the invention of printing and gunpowder.) Apart from that, what we were taught about China was that it was a victim. First of Western colonialism. The Opium Wars. Then its carving up by a number of Western powers. And the Boxer Rebellion.

Then the heroic experiment of Sun Yat-Sen in trying to found a modern democracy. But the Chinese were victims again, of the brutal Japanese. When the Japanese finally left, the Chinese were victimized again by the Communists. They imported a brutal, Western ideology that had already killed millions in Russia. It went on to kills many millions more in China. You paint a very different picture of China's relations to the outside world and its neighbors. Can you give us a capsule history, please?

Until about 1820, the Chinese Empire had the largest military, the largest population, and the largest economy in the world. The past 200 years have been an anomaly. In the course of its long history the Chinese imperium has much more often been victimizer of the peoples around its periphery than victim. It started out on the North China Plain hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. The Chinese empire spread east and south, absorbing by military conquest dozens of peoples in the process.

China long ago produced its own high civilization, which it imagined surpassed anything the rest of the world had to offer. It thought that, by reason of its superior culture, it deserved universal deference and submission. That's why the reign of a Chinese emperor was theoretically infinite, spanning the entire globe. In fact, the Chinese empire justified its constant wars of expansion on the grounds that China owed a duty to bring civilization to the lessor peoples around its periphery. The oriental version of the White Man's Burden. But predating it by thousands of years.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Chinese Machiavellis

We mostly learn about the beauty of Confucian philosophy. But you show how it was subverted centuries ago. Co-opted by the "Legalist" apologists for autocracy. Can you explain that, please? Were they forerunners of Machiavelli and modern totalitarianism?

Underneath the silken costume of Confucianism lies the iron framework of Legalism. That’s a brutal bureaucratic totalitarian system of government "Made in China." As I write in Bully of Asia:

China long ago invented totalitarianism -- the total subjugation of the individual to the state -- and still practices this kind of all-embracing political tyranny today.... China's leaders conclude from their long centuries of regional hegemony that they have a natural right to once again bestride the region, and they narcissistically "dream" of a world under their hegemony.

All of the things we associate with "modern" Marxist-Leninism, from a secret police and political commissars in the military, to state ownership of the means of production and a rigorously enforced state ideology. … All were found in China over 2,000 years ago. Sadly, they are still found in China today, in even more exaggerated form. The more China changes, the more it remains the same.

The Chinese people, yesterday and today, have been just as victimized by China's system of governance as China's neighbors.

Is It Still Even Communist?

To what degree is what we see in China still Communism? Or a new kind of dictatorship drawing on native traditions?

With every addition of "thought" to the political theory unpinning CCP rule, the PRC becomes less and less Communist and more and more Chinese. From Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping, to Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents" to Hu Jintao's "Harmonious Socialist Society," and now to Xi Jinping's "Thought." China, in other words, is reverting to type.

The official ideology is no longer Communism. It’s "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The Chinese characteristics in question? An exaggerated view of the superiority of Chinese culture, of China's history, of the Chinese race as a corporate body, and the Chinese state itself. Taken as a whole it can be best summarized not as a Communist system, but as a National Socialist one. What we are dealing with, like it or not, is a Chinese version of fascism.

China’s Growing Military

Please talk about the military threat China poses to the U.S.

China maintains ongoing double-digit increases in military spending. Combine that with its ongoing cybertheft of the plans for various U.S. weapons systems. All that enabled it to become a near-peer competitor with the United States in a record amount of time. We spend a billion dollars developing the F-35 fighter. Then China pilfers the plans and produces a knock-off version for a fraction of the research and development cost.

Unless and until we can can stop China's ongoing cyberwar, we will continue to "gift" China with new weapons systems paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

The Chinese empire justified its constant wars of expansion on the grounds that China owed a duty to bring civilization to the lessor peoples around its periphery. The oriental version of the White Man's Burden. But predating it by thousands of years.

The Bully of Asia, like all bullies, will continue to bully us as long as China's leaders think they can get away with it.

An Economic Siege of the United States

How has China waged economic war against us?

Richard Nixon himself worried that he was "creating a monster." But he decided to play the China card against the Soviet Union in the Seventies. He opened American markets to Chinese goods. He fostered the free flow of capital and technology to backward China. All that enabled Beijing to develop its economy at a double-digit pace.

Allowing China into the World Trade Organization ranks as one of the greatest strategic blunders made by any great power in human history. We aided and abetted a hostile foreign power's rise to geopolitical ascendance. That ascendance now threatens America itself.

The Chinese Communist Party does not operate in good faith in trade arrangements. Or in anything else, for that matter.

China had no intention of playing by the rules of the WTO. Nor by the rules of the existing world order, for that matter. In the view of Chinese strategists, all warfare -- including economic warfare -- is deception. Rules are for fools. The world is an anarchic system in which he who has the most force will ultimately win. Operating on these Machiavellian principles, China pretended to be a weak developing country in order to get favorable terms in the World Trade Organization. Then, as soon as they were admitted, promptly broke all the rules they had just agreed to. Beijing has been behaving in predatory fashion ever since.

China Cheats

By now, it is abundantly clear to nearly everyone -- except perhaps former President Barack Obama -- that China cheats on agreements and ignores international law. It has unilaterally terminated its deal with Great Britain on Hong Kong. It has rejected the International Tribunal at the Hague's ruling condemning China's illegal islands in the South China Sea. Despite repeatedly promising to stop stealing U.S. intellectual property, China makes off with about $600 billion in U.S. intellectual property every year, according to the FBI.

Totalitarianism of the Womb

I met you back in 1988, at the New Orleans meeting of Human Life International. You weren't that long back from China. What did you find there? How did China try to cover it up?

I was the first American social scientist allowed into China in 1979-80. What I found there were horrifying human rights violations being carried out in the name of curbing China’s "population problem." During my time in China, the one-child policy began. Pregnant women were rounded up by the millions and forced to undergo abortions and subsequent sterilizations.

I was present in the operating room. People's Liberation Army doctors operated on women who were 7, 8, and even 9 months pregnant. They first administered lethal injections to kill their unborn children. Then they performed Caesarean sections to remove the now dead or dying babies. The women were, of course, heartbroken. Some went on to end their own lives in protest.

China's "Planned Birth" program continues today. Couples get told by the state how many children they can have. They were originally allowed to have one child. Now they are permitted to have two. Women who become pregnant before marriage, and women who become pregnant with a third child, however, are still routinely aborted.

China’s War on the Churches

Finally, can you please comment on the future of Christianity in China? How has the Holy See’s decision to ally with the Communist party and abandon the underground churches affect Chinese believers in future? Will the Protestant churches be the only ones with credibility?

China is persecuting Christians and tearing down churches. Why? For many reasons. The CCP is officially, militantly atheistic. Corrupt officials are motivated by greed to seize church land. And Xi Jinping is determined to crush any and all resistance to his rule.

But the primary reason that Christians are being targeted? The religion of China is China. Christians, especially Catholics, stand suspect as having divided loyalties.

This is why China, under Xi Jinping's dictatorial rule, is becoming more and more hostile to religious belief and expression. At last October's Party Congress, Xi demanded tighter controls over religious activity. He insisted that the party "exercise overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country."

New regulations banning unauthorized religious activity appeared on February 1. According to a priest of the Underground Church, the new rules state that

all religious sites must be registered, no religious activities can be held beyond registered venues, non-registered clergymen are forbidden to host religious liturgies, and that minors and party members are forbidden from entering churches.... The living space for the Church is getting less and less.

I hope that the Vatican pulls out of its negotiations with a China that is quickly reverting to Maoist type. If the Underground Church is forced into the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party. … It will be slowly strangled to death.

Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan in Limbo as Netanyahu Visits

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:04

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Monday at the White House.

Trump has talked about brokering the “ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians, but his long-awaited peace plan has yet to arrive, even as Palestinians and other critics insist it will be dead on arrival. And although Israel’s government is overjoyed by Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital -- with a U.S. embassy set to open in the holy city in May -- misgivings are percolating under the surface over Iran, where Israel sees Trump’s efforts to date to crack down on Israel’s arch-enemy as lacking.

One major, growing concern: that the United States is acquiescing to Iran’s growing presence in Syria and influence in Lebanon -- two Israeli neighbors.

“If we don’t come up with a strategy against Iran, we’re going to make Israel go to war here pretty soon,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

Swirling legal investigations distracting both leaders at home, and a fall from grace for Trump’s son-in-law and would-be peace negotiator, Jared Kushner, have added to the mix of politics, personalities and historical grievances that have always hindered Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. 

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Netanyahu arrived in the United States over the weekend as Washington was gearing up for the annual conference of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. He planned to hold a meeting and working lunch with Trump on Monday before speaking at the conference later in the week. Top-ranking U.S. officials including Vice President Mike Pence and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will also address the conference.

Netanyahu and his wife were questioned separately by police for hours on Friday before the prime minister left the next day for Washington. Those interviews were part of an investigation into a corruption case involving the country’s telecom giant, and police have recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases as well.

The Trump family has legal problems of its own. Kushner, Trump’s point-man for the Mideast, is under intense scrutiny over his business dealings as special counsel Robert Mueller barrels forward with his Russia probe. Kushner has also been stripped of his top security clearance in another blow to his credibility as an international negotiator.

Kushner’s peace proposal is near completion, U.S. officials have said, but Palestinians have already written off Trump’s administration following his decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. A ribbon-cutting for an interim facility is being planned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, speaking at AIPAC on Sunday, said that the Jewish people will “forever” remember Trump’s decision.

But while the visit may give Trump a chance to bask in Israel’s delight, Netanyahu also comes with serious concerns to raise about the president’s broader approach on the Middle East.

Israel is increasingly worried that Trump is backsliding on a pledge to “fix” or dismantle the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Of particular concern is that Trump may push new restrictions to prevent Iran from developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S., but will allow Iran to keep developing medium-range ballistic missiles that could strike Israel.

The Europeans have balked at the possibility of medium-range missile restrictions, arguing that existing U.N. resolutions on Iran only focus on longer-range projectiles. U.S. officials negotiating with Britain, France and Germany appear to agree with the Europeans, prompting the Israeli concern.

At least publicly, Israel is still giving Trump some political cover, while gently reminding the president that he’s long vowed to scrap the deal if it can’t be sufficiently strengthened.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that this president is willing to walk away,” Dermer said.


AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Will a Fire Inspection Bill Keep Homeschool Kids Safe from Abuse?

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:00

No sane person wants kids to be abused. It's natural to ask how we can prevent it. We all wish the Turpin kids could have enjoyed a better childhood. When one of the children escaped and called 911, authorities found that 13 children and adults were being held captive in horrible conditions. Their captors in Murrieta, CA were their own parents, David and Louise Turpin.

Did the Turpins hide behind California's homeschool laws? Mr. Turpin had registered a private school at the address. Filing a Private School Affidavit (PSA) is one of the three legal methods to homeschool. Any family may register and promise to keep certain records. There is no further oversight. Free to decide, families may tailor lessons and activities to the needs of each student in the family. Many engage in community and church activities, sports, and fine arts. Most are loving and make sacrifices for a parent to stay home.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

But that’s not how local Assemblyman Jose Medina sees it. He was "extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the State of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools." So, he promised to introduce a bill that would "prevent a situation like this from occurring in the future." His bill, AB 2756, removes the exemption for annual fire inspections for private schools with fewer than 5 students. If the law passes, homeschooling families who file a PSA would be subject to a mandatory annual intrusion by a government agent.

Medina's Law is Impractical and Discriminatory

The law is obviously impractical. As it is, fire inspectors in California can't keep up with their workload. I know someone near Murrieta, CA who had a permit to operate a small business out of her home. She was supposed to be inspected regularly by the health department and fire department. The fire department didn't have time, so they just asked her to upload a photo of her fire extinguisher!

The law is also discriminatory. Landlords may refuse to accept tenants who homeschool, knowing the annual fire inspection requirement could result in costly repairs. The poor might also be harmed if fire departments or the state require a fee from homeschoolers to recover their costs. So California, one of the most progressive states, is seeking to potentially deny educational choice to its poorest citizens.

The Fourth Amendment promises that our homes will not be searched unless there is probable cause. Are we saying that 100 percent of homeschoolers are to be presumed likely child abusers?

The Right to Privacy Matters

The law also violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects our freedoms and prevents government overreach. That Amendment promises that our homes will not be searched without probable cause. Laws should not presume that 100 percent of homeschoolers are likely child abusers. There’s no evidence that homeschooling families are more likely to abuse. In fact, most abuse happens to children aged 4 and under. There is far more "probable cause" to legislate that CPS annually visit all homes of infants and preschoolers. Who would tolerate such a law?

Will It Work?

But the most important question is, Will this bill prevent abuse? Parents determined to abuse their children could clean the house and even remove the children from the home before a scheduled fire inspection. Fire inspectors aren’t CPS agents. They’re trained to identify fire hazards, not signs of abuse. Kids who attend public schools, with daily interaction with mandatory reporters, are not protected from abuse. The Turpin kids themselves went to public school in the past and no one addressed their obvious neglect.

The point of our constitution, and the unique nature of our country, is that we have the freedom to be different. The freedom to be left alone. To pursue happiness. Especially a freedom as cherished and basic as the right to privacy.

We should be vigilant in reporting signs of abuse, protecting the abused, and prosecuting abusers. But no, Mr. Medina, it’s not your job to deny our constitutional rights in a futile effort to "prevent situations like this from occurring in the future."


Marni Chediak is a graduate of Stanford University. Before becoming a mom, she worked in various management positions for AT&T and General Mills. She has been homeschooling her 3 children in Southern California for the past 6 years. She is currently an English grammar and writing tutor in her local Classical Conversations community.

Military Photo of the Day: Cruisin’ the Skies Above New York State

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 08:00

A New York Air National Guard pararescueman pilots his canopy after jumping out of an HC-130P aircraft over the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in New York on December 19, 2017.

Have a great week, everyone!





Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Progressive Activists Look to Courts to Undermine the Electoral College

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 06:00

Having failed to generate enough support to abolish the Electoral College through a constitutional amendment, the institution's detractors are now looking to the courts to upend it.

A new lawsuit, spearheaded by Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig and filed in four states, charges that the "winner-take-all" element of how states divvy up their Electoral College votes is unconstitutional.

The District of Columbia and 48 states use this winner-take-all system.

The only exceptions are Maine and Nebraska, which use a proportional allocation of votes.

"Under the winner-take-all system, U.S. citizens have been denied their constitutional right to an equal vote in presidential elections," said David Boies, an attorney who represented former Vice President Al Gore in the contested 2000 election and is leading the current litigation against the electoral college. "This is a clear violation of the principle of one person, one vote."

A number of similar lawsuits have been filed in the past, but all have failed.

According to Ballot Access News, the biggest impediment to overturning the winner-take-all system is Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which says, "Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."

This gives states a great deal of leeway in how they choose their Electoral College process.

It is unfortunate to see yet another attempt to end a presidential election system that has been a model of stability and success for hundreds of years.

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College while losing the national popular vote, there were widespread calls to upend America's two-century-old electoral system.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said "we have to just abolish the Electoral College" in an interview with Real Time host Bill Maher.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >>

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also took aim at the Electoral College, telling a group of students in an interview that it is the one thing she'd change about the Constitution while admitting that it would be hard to do.

National Popular Vote, an organization dedicated to moving America away from the current Electoral College process, has worked toward eliminating the Electoral College through an amendment to the Constitution or a state compact.

But these calls for what would be a radical change are misguided.

The Founders designed the Electoral College to give Americans a stable presidential succession process as well as preserve the principle of federalism.

It ensures that the diverse perspectives of people in states across the nation, not just those living in the most populous ones like California and Texas, have a voice in determining who will be the president.

Though many Americans see pure democracy as an unqualified blessing, the Founding Fathers had reservations. They created our republican system of government with a certain amount of democratic control, but with checks on pure majoritarianism.

As Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky wrote in a paper on the Electoral College: "In creating the basic architecture of the American government, the Founders struggled to satisfy each state's demand for greater representation while attempting to balance popular sovereignty against the risk posed to the minority from majoritarian rule."

Our Electoral College system has become more democratic over time, with all states relying on a popular vote to select electors rather than state legislatures. Yet, we have kept the vital elements of federalism intact.

Despite the constant calls to give the Electoral College the boot, it continues to be a highly successful and useful means of choosing presidents.


Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer