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Belgian Catholics: Euthanasia Laws Used ‘To Kill People Without Consent’

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 22:00

Medical professionals and leaders of the Belgian Catholic Church claimed Belgian officials are abusing euthanasia laws to kill people without reasonable consent.

Jean Kockerols, Auxiliary Bishop of Mechelen-Brussels, claimed that Belgian doctors are euthanizing patients without following proper medical and legal checks, sparking outcry from "not just the church's hierarchy, but doctors and medical professionals as well," according to the Catholic Herald. Belgium's Federal Commission for Monitoring and Evaluation of Euthanasia has violated "both the law and its role" by allowing the euthanization of the mentally handicapped and mentally ill and failing to prosecute doctors who shirk the required safeguards under current euthanasia law, according to a report from Cathobel.

"It's shocking that, 15 years since its creation, this commission has not referred a single file to prosecutors or condemned a single doctor," the report from the Belgian Catholic Church's news agency read.

"It is acting as judge and jury, and not fulfilling its role. It isn't broadening application of the law, but violating it," the report added.

Belgium's Euthanasia Control Commission, led by Dr. Wim Distelmans, has failed to prosecute doctors despite public complaints and ample evidence of malpractice, the report claims, citing the example of a 38-year-old woman who requested euthanasia after her boyfriend broke up with her. The woman was subsequently diagnosed with autism after meeting with three doctors, and euthanized two months later.

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The woman's two sisters claimed the doctors never explored alternative treatments and reported the doctors' violations to the Euthanasia Control Commission. The commission found that the presiding doctor even failed to file the necessary paperwork and record of the euthanasia treatment, but showed grace for his negligence by allowing him to file the paperwork two months later. The commission did not prosecute or otherwise penalize anyone.

A member of the commission also recently resigned over the commission's failure to prosecute a doctor who euthanized a dementia patient without their consent, according to the report. Deaths by euthanasia have increased annually in Belgium by 27 percent since euthanasia's legalization in 2002, health ministry data shows, according to Catholic Herald.

The commission is required to verify that each of those deaths follow the procedures mandated by current euthanasia law, but Kockerols asserted the commission's willful failure to do so is an open secret.

Kockerols told Catholic News Service the church has known for a long time that the commission was "not working as it should" and that it should be investigated and corrected. The church, Kockerols said, will continue to fight euthanasia practices and rally citizens against the moral evils they believe it represents.

"Even if there's little chance for now of legal changes, the church can work on a moral and pastoral level with medical staff and support critical voices," Kockerols told Catholic Herald.


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Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

NYT’s Chozick: 'Cruel Twist' That Hillary's Loss 'Ignited' a Feminist Movement

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 21:18
<p>Bye-bye Hillary? Amy Chozick’s profile on the front of the <em>New York Times</em> Sunday Review featured the headline “Without Her.” It was a regretful (possible) goodbye to Hillary the high-profile feminist heroine, while crediting her with igniting the #MeToo movement, and postponing mention of her inconvenient husband as long as possible: "Hillary Clinton, the first woman who had a real shot at the presidency, has finally set off a national awakening among women. The only catch? She did it by losing."</p>

38 Minutes in Hawaii: My Family and the False Missile Alarm

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 20:48

I woke up abruptly. Overzealous JROTC Cadets ran and yelled on the high school track across the street. I rolled over and grabbed my reading glasses. Time to return to the book which I'd fallen asleep reading. It's Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile by Eugene Sheppard. Thirty minutes later, I faced a tough choice. Should I go down and check on my children? Or watch an old Lomachenko fight on Youtube? Then my wife called up, “Babe, it’s garbage day. Take out the trash!” So I rushed downstairs. My typical Saturday ritual. As I dragged the trash out a bizarre sound boomed from my phone. I read the message:

“Ballistic missile threat inbound. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."

“So it’s today,” I thought. I'm a student of the bloody twentieth century, a hundred years of genocide, democide, and total war.  I've lived on Oahu for almost 30 years, in sight of Pearl Harbor. It's still a key target for surprise attack today. I've long thought that Oahu could be the spot where the next great tragic war begins -- though not where it ends. Decades of thinking on this inspired me to write a book on the subject with John Zmirak, The Race to Save Our Century. I also recently co-authored a white paper outlining a path to abolish city-busting, strategic nuclear weapons.

I’m Just Trying to Save My Children

Whenever someone suggests that I'm some do-gooding humanitarian, I correct them: "No, I’m just trying to save my children." Oahu is a small island. But it's one of the most important strategic locations for the projection of U.S. power to the East, confronting both North Korea and China. Knowing that, you come to accept a grim reality: Oahu is one of the most likely flashpoints for the start of World War III.

So when I saw the alert on my iPhone, I faced it with the same realism that wise Midwesterners greet tornado warnings. And like them I had a plan.

I rushed into the house. "Kids, get in the car. Babe, grab the case of water bottles." They knew the drill, and soon the minivan was fully loaded. I filled water jugs, two mugs of coffee and grabbed my 9mm.

Heading for the Cave Behind the Mountain

I was rushing to shelter my family behind the Waianae mountain range. That might shield us from whatever was about to hit Pearl Harbor. We had 10 minutes, I calculated, to get there, and hide in the Makua Cave.

As we made the turn into the shadow of the mountain, I felt we'd won a small victory. The first missile must have been intercepted. Or else the inept North Koreans had dropped a rocket in the middle of the Pacific. Before the next wave of missiles hit, we would make it to Makua Cave.

Ignoring signs, police and the rules of the road, I gunned the minivan. We raced for the shade of the mountain.

My thoughts were far away, with my daughter and my wife's mother. They both live in Waikiki. Surely I should call them. But tell them ... what? I knew there was no place for them to go. Was that worth calling to tell them? Then the phone rang. Which amazed me. Why were they working? They hadn't in Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001.  I knew because I'd been there.

It was my mother-in-law. She wanted to know what to do. She lives five minutes from Diamondhead Crater. So I told her to drive down into it and hide in its abandoned fallout shelter. Then my daughter called on my son’s phone and asked the same question. I gave the same inadequate answer. As I talked to her, I knew that this might be the last time I heard my daughter’s voice. My wife marked the tears in my eyes.

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This Can’t Be a Hack or a Hoax

As we made the turn into the shadow of the mountain, I felt we'd won a small victory. The first missile must have been intercepted. Or else the inept North Koreans had dropped a rocket in the middle of the Pacific. Before the next wave of missiles hit, we would make it to Makua Cave.

My hopes that this was a false alarm were fading. “If this were a hack or a hoax, the government would have texted us already.” This thought pressed my foot even heavier on the gas pedal. I turned into the empty oncoming lane and passed some 20 cars. A man in a pickup gunned his truck and started to follow me. He was honking his horn, and trying to get my attention.

My first instinct was anger. "This dude wants to fight me for driving like an idiot. He must have his phone off," I thought. He was a big Hawaiian dude, waving at me with animated gestures. So I slowed down and let him pull up next to me. I rolled down the windows.

But he wasn't trying to rebuke my crazy driving. He wanted help. "Bro, what should I do? You seem like you have a plan. Where should I go?"

I took a deep breath, then shouted, "Get to Makua Cave! Put as much mountain as you can between yourself and Pearl Harbor."

The man held up his phone, despair on his face. "I can’t reach my wife! What should I do?"

Oh, man. My wife was right next to me. And most of my kids. I shook my head, and told this poor guy: "There is no time, bro. Drive to Makua Cave!”

He looked at me, then looked at his phone. I watched as he did a U-turn and drove his truck back toward what would probably be Ground Zero. Back toward his wife.

Nothing But Hope

Just as we pulled up to Makua Cave, my cell phone rang and the State of Hawaii finally let us know that this had all been a big mistake.

In 38 minutes I'd gone from rolling out my trash can to loading five of my seven children into our minivan in a desperate attempt to outrun a nuclear missile. I'd heard my oldest daughter’s voice for what I thought was the last time. I'd given her and my mother-in-law a destination I knew offered nothing but hope. And I'd watched a total stranger turn away from safety to go try to save his wife.

So there we were at this ... cave. There was only one thing left to do. Unload the kids and take a photo on Instagram. As we entered, a tourist was there with a walking stick and backpack. “I guess we won’t die today,” I said. He gave me a look of fear and confusion. He hadn't gotten the alert. And he saw a 9 mm gun stuck in my waist. So I told him what had just happened to the whole state of Hawaii. He looked ... relieved.

My Son on Nuking Pyongyang

On the drive home, my ten-year-old son asked me this question: "Dad, why don’t we just nuke North Korea off the face of the earth, so we don’t have to worry about this anymore."

I breathed deep and posed him another question. "Are there children in North Korea?"


"Are they as precious as you?"

"I don’t know"

"Of course they are. Are there fathers in North Korea?"


"Are their lives as precious as your father's?" He didn't answer. So I concluded, "It is better to suffer injustice than to inflict it."

It will be hard for people outside of Hawaii to understand the profound impact of this false alarm. A neighbor child told us how her family hid in the closest and her mother cried for an hour. Another family prayed the rosary and “waited to meet Jesus.” Another friend told me, “I watched TV and hoped it was a mistake.”

As a filmmaker, writer, and activist I have reflected on democide and total war for almost three decades. I've travelled the world from Sudan to Iraq. A year ago this week, I was in eyeshot of ISIS, as I traveled with Yazidi and Kurdish soldiers who fought to defend their families. Those families often fled for safety to ... caves.

And today, I had walked in their shoes.

MSNBC's Rubin Slams GOP Guest As 'Inhumane Beast,' 'Raised by Wolves'

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 20:37
<p>On Sunday's <em>AM Joy </em>on MSNBC, as frequent guest Jennifer Rubin was finally being credited as an "MSNBC political analyst," the alleged "conservative" <em>Washington Post </em>columnist demonstrated that she will continue to use her new MSNBC contributor status to deliver liberal analysis as she demonized a Republican guest by asking her if she is an "inhumane beast" who was "raised by wolves."</p>

Police Chase Greyhound Bus After Illegal Terrorizes Fellow Passengers

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 20:36

WADSWORTH, Ill. (AP) -- Reports of a man armed with a gun and threatening to kill fellow passengers on a Greyhound bus led to a police chase of the vehicle that started in Wisconsin and ended in northern Illinois.

None of the 40 people aboard the bus bound for Chicago from Milwaukee on Friday night was injured and the suspect was taken into custody after authorities, using spike strips to flatten the tires of the bus, forced the vehicle to stop on Interstate 94 near the Illinois community of Wadsworth. Authorities said they began chasing the bus after getting a call from someone who was on board.

Racine County (Wis.) Sheriff Christopher Schmaling identified the suspect at a Saturday afternoon news conference. Schmaling said Margarito Vargas-Rosas, 33, of Chicago was charged with making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. Vargas-Rosas is being held at the Lake County (Ill.) jail.

The suspect also made threats of violence against the arresting officers as well as the investigators at the police station, Schmaling said.

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One passenger, Patrick Dodd, told the Chicago Tribune that the incident began when the man who said he had a gun started to threaten passengers riding in the back of the bus. Dodd said the man pulled something out of his pants that Dodd believed may have been a weapon.

The sheriff stated Saturday that no gun was found on the suspect, but police plan to search the bus for a weapon.

Dodd and other passengers were left shaken by the ordeal and wondering why it took so long for the bus driver to stop after police began their chase. He said passengers in the back of him were yelling at the driver to pull over.

“He didn’t stop after the first spike strip,” Dodd said.

Terrance Williams of New Jersey was in the middle of the bus and initially thought police were escorting the bus, not realizing what was happening in the back. But he too was confused about why it took so long for the driver to stop.

“The law is you see emergency lights you pull over,” Williams said. “(The police) were in front of us, they were in back of us.”

Sheriff Schmaling said the bus driver told authorities that he didn’t stop the bus because he thought the squad cars were following another vehicle.


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

Politico Magazine Ridicules Recently Retired New York Times Publisher

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:56
<p>If recently retired New York Times publisher, Arthur O. "Pinch" Sulzberger, expected to finally receive some respect now that he has turned the keys of his newspaper kingdom over to his son, A.G. Sulzberger, he would be quite disappointed after reading the January 14 <em>Politico Magazine</em> story. Senior Media Writer Jack Shafer ridicules Sulzberger and how he ran the <em>Times</em> during his quarter century reign there until he retired on January 1. The profile of just how out of his depth the elder Sulzberger was is brought to us as part of advice to Sulzberger the Younger in which Shafer suggests that he <em>Sell the New York Times. Now.</em></p>

Watch as ABC ‘Reporters’ Craft Narrative to Pin Policy Failures on GOP

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:51
<p>During their appearance on ABC’s <em>This Week</em> <em>with George Stephanopoulos</em> on Sunday, Mary Bruce and Cecilia Vega, the network’s Congressional and White House correspondents respectively, built narratives using Democratic talking points and designed to place the blame for a failed immigration deal and possible government shutdown solely on the Republicans.</p>

Fusion GPS Confusion and a Dossier Doozy

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:41

Recent days have seen some startling developments in regards to the so-called “Steele dossier” from Fusion GPS. (We might as well stop referring to it as the “Trump Dossier. ” After all, it doesn’t seem at this point to have much to do with Donald Trump.)

To refresh: Hillary Clinton’s campaign gave Fusion GPS millions of dollars to help trash Donald Trump. Fusion GPS hired former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele to put together a dossier on Trump’s alleged Russian connections. “Dossier” is a French word that, in this case means “salacious and unverified.” Steele collated a bunch of tidbits and tales from Russian sources and Putin agents. At some point, this Hillary Clinton work product ended up in the hands of the FBI. And that’s where the tale takes an ominous turn.

Sneezy Dianne Feinstein

But before we get into the gritty, a quick get-well shout out to California’s longtime Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. She’s got a bad cold. Or at least that’s what she’s saying to explain why she ignored an agreement with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley not to release testimony transcripts and dumped on the world the full August testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

(Well, not full. Lots of names are redacted and supporting documents are absent.)

Sen. Feinstein was not at her finest Wednesday. She has released the transcript Tuesday. On Wednesday she said she had been “pressured” to release the transcript. “Pressured by who,” CNN asked. Then she denied being pressured. Then came her regret for releasing the transcript without consulting Sen. Grassley and blaming it on the stuffy sniffles.

Thursday, despite recordings to the contrary, Feinstein denied ever saying she was pressured. “I made no statement to that effect.”

Maybe someday we’ll learn the truth of what really went on. Did she release it to get ahead of more damning info on the dossier? Did she do it to obstruct others from coming forward out of fear their testimony would be released to the world? Did she do it to give upcoming friendly witnesses a head’s up on Simpson’s testimony to avoid contradictions?

Maybe she just sneezed and accidentally hit send. (Actually, given what happened Saturday in Hawaii, perhaps “I hit the wrong button” will be Monday’s excuse.)

Slippery Glenn Simpson

So what did Simpson have to say? Molly Hemingway at The Federalist lists “10 Takeaways from Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS Senate Testimony.” The Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross has 7 Revelations. Great stuff, but we can simplify:

Simpson’s testimony wasn’t under oath. Simpson did not independently verify any of the claims made by Steele in the dossier. Simpson merely accepted Steele’s word: “Chris, as I say, has a sterling reputation as a person who doesn’t exaggerate, doesn’t make things up, doesn’t sell baloney.” (Guess he never heard of the Russian proverb “Trust, but Verify.”) And on the subject of baloney: Simpson acknowledged meeting Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya right before her June meeting with Don Jr. at Trump Tower and right after, and meeting again the day after, but denies it had anything to do with the Trump meeting. Didn’t even come up. (Even though all the Russians in the room had connections to Fusion GPS. Even though he was investigating Trump-Russia ties and there was Trump the Younger meeting with Russians.) Simpson’s lawyer claimed somebody had already been killed as a result of the dossier’s release. (Seems you can’t have Hillary Clinton involved without somebody winding up dead.)

What Simpson didn’t say was that his client was Hillary Clinton and the DNC. He also did not mention he had hired Nellie Ohr -- the wife of a top DOJ official -- to work on the project. It’s a family affair. Even his own wife Mary B. Jacoby -- who, according to Conservative Treehouse has a history of Russia and Trump reporting -- just happened to visit the White House right as Fusion GPS was beginning its Russia effort.

The Steele Trap

So Fusion GPS didn’t independently verify any of the information Steele gave them. Certainly Steele did, right? Well …

Reading the dossier, you’d think Steele had Trump nailed down cold. As Andrew McCarthy reported, “Steele asserted the Trump campaign was engaged in a corrupt scheme with the Putin regime. … that the Trump campaign was actively complicit in Russian hacking of the Democrats.” And that the Russians had set Trump up for blackmail via hotel antics with Russian hookers.

However, when push came to shove, Steele admitted he had nothing nailed down. Or glued. Or taped down. Or weighed down by copies of What Happened. When Steele was sued for libel over the dossier and had to give a deposition under oath, he backpedaled fast. Rowan Scarborough details the backpedaling here. Suddenly the information wasn’t of “huge significance.” It was merely “raw intelligence.” It was “unverified.” Steele just passed it along to the government for them to verify.

McCarthy has an excellent new rundown of how Steele and Simpson used “smoke and mirrors” to sell their Trump Russia narrative.

As Scarborough notes, Steele boasted to Mother Jones that he had ignited the Mueller investigation by convincing FBI agents in 2016 about the credibility of the dossier.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation … or Federal Bureau of Running With Whatever is Given Us

So Fusion GPS didn’t verify the information. Christopher Steele didn’t verify the information. Surely, the Federal Bureau of Investigation verified the information. No. The closest they got was a head’s up from an Australian diplomat, who got a mouthful from low-level short-term Trump campaign adviser George Padaopoulos during a night of “heavy drinking.” Even today there’s no there there. Byron York reported in November that FBI and DOJ officials told congressional investigators that after nearly 18 months of looking “they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.”

What this means, in short: Hillary Clinton oppo research was used by Obama Justice Department to justify spying on the Trump campaign.

So last summer this Steele dossier was sitting at the FBI: Hillary Clinton opposition research. “Salacious and unverified,” James Comey called it.

You’d think the FBI and Obama DOJ would dismiss it, or perhaps keep it around for some light bathroom reading. Instead, they weaponized it.

On Wednesday, Sara Carter confirmed what had long been suspected. The dossier was sold to a FISA court as viable intelligence and used to obtain a FISA warrant for surveillance on Trump campaign figures.

The Dossiers’ Dirty Use

Multiple sources confirmed to Carter “that the dossier was used along with other evidence to obtain the warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as FISC. The sources also stressed that there will be more information in the coming week regarding systemic ‘FISA abuse.'”

What this means, in short: Hillary Clinton oppo research was used by Obama Justice Department to justify spying on the Trump campaign.

So who at the DOJ would be responsible for presenting info to the FISA court? That would be DOJ’s National Security Division. Turns out the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz wanted to have oversight of that division. In 2015, Sally Yates rejected his request. (Yates would go on to became a darling of the Left when she disobeyed Trump’s orders on the original travel ban.)

But IG Horowitz is set to get the last laugh. His year-long investigation into the various FBI/DOJ antics to protect Hillary Clinton and sabotage Donald Trump is expected to conclude any time now. And it’s just the beginning.

First, intel agencies werent supposed to surveil US citizens. But they did. Then they werent supposed to "store" it. But they did. Then they werent supposed to search it. But they did. Then they werent supposed to "unmask" it. But they did. Then they werent supposed to leak it…

— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) January 11, 2018

AP Predictably Botches Reporting on Immigration-DACA 'Negotiating'

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 18:14
<p>One reason a coherent debate about immigration is almost impossible in this country is that the press fails to honestly and accurately report even the most basic facts. A Saturday Associated Press report on the topic by Nicholas Riccardi exemplifies this consistent failure.</p>

Stephanopoulos Exploits Death of US Soldier to Take a Shot at Trump

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:06
<p>ABC Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos stepped up the liberal media’s condemnation of President Trump during Sunday’s <em>This Week</em> by heinously exploiting the heroic death of a U.S. soldier to take a snide shot at the President for his recent immigration comments. As he was wrapping up the show, Stephanopoulos drew attention to the death of Private Emmanuel Mensah. Private Mensah was an immigrant from Ghana who sacrificed himself to save several others from a fire that was consuming the apartment building he was staying at with family while he was on leave.</p>

Cartelera de invitados de Jorge Ramos destaca a artistas anti-Trump

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 16:34
<p>Si alguna vez sintoniza Univisión un domingo en la mañana, probablemente verá por lo menos un artista invitado al programa semanal <em>Al Punto</em> de Jorge Ramos.</p> <p>Y, casi siempre, el artista se unirá a Ramos en un intercambio de insultos a Trump.</p>

Trump-Bashing Entertainers Headline Jorge Ramos Show

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 16:21
<p>If you ever tune in to Univision on a Sunday morning, you are likely to see at least one entertainer make an appearance on Jorge Ramos’ weekly <em>Al Punto</em> show.</p> <p>And almost invariably, that entertainer will join Ramos in an intense round of Trump-bashing.</p> <p><div class="video-filter embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe src="" width="720" height="405" class="video-filter video-mrctv vf-526181 embed-responsive-item" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></div></p> <p> </p>

CNN’s King Slams Trump as a ‘Racist’ With a ‘Horrible Dark Reflex’

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:43
<p>Since Thursday, the liberal media had been having a field day attacking President Trump when it was leaked that he had slammed certain counties for being undesirable places to live. Since then, CNN has been the banner carrier for those eager to pass opinion off as news and call the President a racist with impunity. On Sunday’s <em>Inside Politics</em>, CNN host John King was no different as he led a panel of journalists in anti-Trump smears while claiming to know exactly what racist thoughts were in his head.</p>

A Letter to My Future Children

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:00

We don't know where we come from. We have no idea of the great treasure trove of human experience most simply call "history." We have data, and we have knowledge, but we have no wisdom. I want my future children to be wise.

I have been preparing a curriculum for them of wise words from great men and women throughout history. If our culture cannot supply this wisdom, I will share with them the words of those who can.

My book covers religion, morals, life advice, finances, and every other subject the wise man and woman will need to understand. I include excerpts from the Jews and Christians, the Chinese, the Indians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Medievals, the Renaissance men, the Founders, even the moderns. I've been working on this for years, and there remains much work to do.

An Inspiring Lack of Wisdom

I was inspired to do this because of the ubiquitous lack of wisdom in our time and culture. I personally subscribe to what I call the "Postman Thesis," based on the famous book by Neil Postman entitled Amusing Ourselves to Death. Written in 1985, long before the internet, personal computers, smartphones, the book offers a stark and jarring appraisal of our culture and its degradation. We have become, in brief, disconnected from our roots, awash in mere amusements.

An individual who cannot remember what he learned earlier in his life is in great trouble. Imagine what the consequences are for a society that can’t remember what humanity has learned. Nothing so limits the heart and mind as knowing nothing about who and what came before you, Nothing so atrophies them as never hearing the wisdom that could be gleaned from human experience.

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What will ultimately become "Lessons for my Children" is meant to be a compilation of the greatest wisdom ever uttered by the human race. Here is part of the introduction to the work, addressed to my future children:

My child: This work exists so that you might grow to be greater, stronger, smarter, and wiser than the father who prepared it for you. It exists to ground you in the human experience through the ages, which has so much to give us. Every trend of this age, if you do not actively fight against it, will prevent you from ever even hearing that wisdom. Our age seeks to inculcate a merely narcissistic and delusional prejudice in favor of the present, as if the greatest achievements of mankind arrived only with the vanguardian horde of "progress."

Hold On to This

Only by studying works such as these will you learn how to identify that which should be held on to, perpetuated, and refined. Only that way will you learn to see the nonsense of one's own age, of which each age can claim a significant portion. By placing yourself in the experience, time and place of many ages, you thereby (at least partially) inoculate yourself against the stupidities of your own.

And by placing yourself in the experience, time, and place of many ages, you thereby come to learn that they themselves exemplify a plentiful source of stupidity as well. You will learn of man's greatness and his meanness; of his capacity for beauty and courage, just as much as his capacity for the most irrepressible cruelty and murder. You will learn that he is that creature who both builds Auschwitz and writes the ninth symphony.

You will thus learn to both fear, and respect your species, and thereby yourself. With the help of humanity’s wisdom, you will learn that you are not beyond its vices, nor beneath its virtues, but capable of them all. You will learn that man is at best a dangerous angel, a virtuous devil, and that while he may occasion admiration, God is He alone who is worthy of your worship.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." In this way alone you shall grow to be wise.

AP Reporters Criticize One-Time, Tax Cut-Driven Bonuses As Only a 'Sliver' of 'Windfalls'

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 14:48
<p>It takes a special talent to spin news which is unquestionably positive into something negative. But Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak at the Associated Press were up to the task in a Wednesday afternoon report on bonuses, pay raises, and other benefits which now have been showered on well over 2 million American workers since the December passage of federal tax cuts.</p>

Hawaii Still Rattled After False Missile Alert Causes Panic

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:18

Honolulu (AP) -- The second recent blunder in Hawaii’s planning for a possible North Korean nuclear attack left islanders shaken after an emergency alert warning of an imminent strike sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones.

For nearly 40 minutes people waited. Then came the second mobile alert: someone hit the wrong button, there was no missile.

Some people abandoned cars on the highway and others gathered in the interiors of their homes to wait for what seemed like the inevitable, a blast that would cause widespread death and destruction.

The message sent statewide just after 8 a.m. Saturday read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Vern Miyagi, said he took responsibility for the mistake. He said officials would study the error to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The state adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Joe Logan, said a written report would be prepared. State lawmakers announced they would hold a hearing next Friday. And Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on social media the panel would launch an investigation.

The backlash from lawmakers was swift.

Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki said the system Hawaii residents have been told to rely on failed miserably.

“Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations,” he said in a statement.

Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted the false alarm was “totally inexcusable.”

“There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process,” he wrote.

“This false alert is detrimental to the integrity and trust of the emergency management system,” said state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but that didn’t reach people who aren’t on the social media platform. A mobile alert informing of the false alarm didn’t reach cellphones until about 40 minutes later.

Many people said they are resigned to the fact that there is little they can actually do if a missile was to be launched toward the remote island chain, especially with only about 15 minutes of warning time for a strike from North Korea.

Joseph Kira was home with his kids when the alert came. His wife was at the gym.

“My wife was going ballistic,” he said. “At that point, you just pray and find God, I guess.”

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With the threat of missiles from North Korea on people’s minds, the state reintroduced the Cold War-era warning siren tests last month that drew international attention. But there were problems there, too.

Even though the state says nearly 93 percent of the islands’ 386 sirens worked properly during the December test, 12 mistakenly played an ambulance siren. In the tourist hub of Waikiki, the sirens were barely audible, prompting officials to add more sirens there and reposition ones already in place.

Mary Hirose was with her children at an ice skating arena in Honolulu when the alert came.

“Here, there is nothing you can do,” she said. So, she grabbed her four children held them close, listened to the news and hoped for the best.

She questioned why it took civil defense so long to send out the all-clear and why they tweeted before sending a mobile push alert.

Hawaii officials apologized repeatedly and said the alert was sent when someone hit the live alert button instead of an internal test button during a shift change.

“Today is a day that most of us will never forget,” said Hawaii Gov. David Ige. “A day when many in our community thought that our worst nightmare might actually be happening. A day when many frantically tried to think about the things that they would do if a ballistic missile launch would happen.”

The agency did not have a plan for a false alarm in place, officials said.

Ige called the mistake unacceptable

“I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused,” he said. “I, too, am extremely upset about this.”

On the H-3, a major highway north of Honolulu, vehicles sat empty after panicked drivers ran to a nearby tunnel for shelter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Workers at a golf club huddled in a kitchen fearing the worst.

Professional golfer Colt Knost, staying at Waikiki Beach during a PGA Tour event, said “everyone was panicking” in the lobby of his hotel.

“Everyone was running around like, ‘What do we do?'” he said.

The White House said President Donald Trump, at his private club in Florida, was briefed on the false alert. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it “was purely a state exercise.”


Associated Press writers Jennifer Kelleher and Doug Ferguson in Honolulu; Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska; Jim Anderson in Denver; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, and Tom Strong in Washington contributed to this report.


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

Wages are Ramping Up as Employees Fight for New Hires

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:10

An increasingly competitive labor market is driving wages up while forcing businesses to forgo new opportunities and limit growth due to a lack of new hires, The Washington Post reports.

Employers have ramped up wages, benefits, signing bonuses, and vacation packages. Some have put a new focus on apprenticeship programs while bringing on semi-retired workers to fill contracts. Other businesses have scaled back operations until they can find the manpower to meet demand.

"I've been in this business since 1984, and I've never seen what we're dealing with in terms of hiring people," Ron Sandlin, president of Florida based Patriot Transportation, told WaPo. "Driver pay is going to have to continue to go up, and our customers are going to have to pay for it."

Unemployment remained at 4.1 percent last month, the lowest it has measured in nearly two decades. The Federal Reserve announced in December that long-run normal rate for unemployment should fall between. 4.3 and 5 percent. The current job market is at "full employment," or an acceptable level of unemployment above zero percent.

The below normal unemployment rate has resulted in a dearth of skilled labor for positions in industries such as construction, where some companies have begun offering six-figure salaries to attract industry professionals.

While an unemployment rate below 4.3 percent is unsustainable over the long-term, American Enterprise Institute economist Michael Strain says the job market "still [has] some slack."

"The unemployment rate can continue to fall without sparking a significant increase in inflation," Strain told WaPo.


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Copyright 2018 The Daily Caller News Foundation

As Evangelicals Our Ultimate Allegiance is to the Lord, Not the President

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:48

I don't know why this is so difficult. When the president does the right thing, we commend him and encourage him. When he does the wrong thing, with full respect for his office, we express our differences. Is this really so hard?

That's what I did with President Obama, for whom I didn't vote and with whom I had much more occasion to be critical than to be positive. And that's what I've sought to do with President Trump, for whom I did vote and with whom I've had a lot to be positive about and a fair deal to be negative about.

As followers of Jesus, our ultimate allegiance should be to the Lord, to the truth, to righteousness, to justice, not to a party or a man.

We should be model citizens in terms of our conduct, and we should show honor to whom honor is due, as Paul exhorted in Romans 13. (Remember: Paul wrote Romans when the notorious Nero was the emperor of Rome. Yet as the leader of the empire, he was to be treated with respect.)

But when push comes to shove, we are not Republicans or Democrats or Independents. We are followers of Jesus. And so, when it comes to speaking the truth to power, we are "equal opportunity offenders" (although we need not be offensive in our speech; I'm just using the expression).

Church Leaders and Politics

Since when we do we lose our voice once we vote for a candidate? Isn't our witness to the nation more important than the favor of a political leader?

As for our relationship with President Trump, it's true that some evangelical leaders have had access to him behind closed doors, and it's proper for them to address their concerns to him in private. That means that, when he says or does something that is highly objectionable, they say to the public, "I understand why there is an uproar over this and I recognize why you are concerned. Be assured that I have spoken to the president about these very matters, and the president gave me a listening ear."

For the rest of us evangelical leaders who do not have access to the White House, if we are going to voice our approval when Mr. Trump does well, we should likewise voice our disapproval when he does poorly. Otherwise, we appear to be flunkies for the president, more committed to opposing the liberal media than for standing for what is right, more interested in political favor than in the smile of God.

Since when we do we lose our voice once we vote for a candidate? Since when do we become yes men once that candidate begins to implement some of our key agenda items? Isn't our witness to the nation more important than the favor of a political leader? So what if liberal Christian leaders often act like flunkies for their candidates. Why should we do the same?

You Don’t Have to be a Yes Man to be Loyal

There is no one on the planet more loyal to me than my wife Nancy, but I would be shocked and disappointed if she didn't tell a colleague when asked, "Yes, I really disagreed with Mike on that one. We had totally opposite perspectives."

That only empowers her to tell my critics, "But you have no idea who he is. You could not be more wrong in your perceptions about my husband."

Her candor when it comes to my mistakes or shortcomings only makes her testimony of my character and strengths all the more believable.

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Why can't do we the same with President Trump? Even those leaders who believed that God was raising him up to be our president likened him to Cyrus in the Bible, a man of whom the Lord said, "I give a name to you, though you do not know Me" (see Isaiah 45:4). In today's terms, we would say, "The Lord is using him, even though he's not one of us."

Why must we always act as if he is 100 percent one of us already, as if he were a mature, exemplary Christian, a seasoned man of God?

One evangelical leader who strongly supports Trump called him "God's Chaos Candidate" and likened him to a divine wrecking ball. Must we defend everything that wrecking ball says and does? Will not there be some collateral damage that we regret? Why must we whitewash the White House to show loyalty or support?

Our First Calling

Nancy voted for Trump with great reluctance, concerned that he would have a divisive, vulgarizing effect on the nation and wondering if that would be too great a price to pay for the good that he might do. (Under no circumstances, of course, was she going to vote for Hillary.)

You could say that her fears have been realized. (Most recently, with the "s—hole" comments, with that objectionable word now plastered everywhere and repeated non-stop). At the same time, she is totally aware of the extraordinary media bias against the president and she does appreciate the good he has done. She also knows it takes a forehead of steel to do the job.

But when it comes to the president's recent comments, why can't we say, "If this is an accurate quote, we reject it wholeheartedly, and we urge the president to clarify what he was saying and to reach out to the offended nations."

Nothing is more important than our witness to a watching world.

We don't need to parse his words, let alone defend them. We need to show integrity. Once we've done that, we can say, "What's amazing is that the media looked the other way when so-and-so said such-and-such," exposing their hypocrisy and agenda. And then we can say, "Where I think the president has a valid point (assuming there is one), is here."

But our first calling is not to defend the president, a man whom I love, pray for, and honor, and a man whose positive actions I deeply appreciate.

Our first calling is to stand as consistent witnesses for our Lord, to be ambassadors of righteousness and truth, and to be jealous for the reputation of Jesus.

Nothing is more important than our witness to a watching world.

ABC Anchor Meditates On How Liberal 'Hearts Soar' Over Robert Mueller

NewsBusters - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:07
<p>ABC<em> Nightline </em>host Dan Harris is promoting a new book called <em>Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics</em>. One way the self-described “unabashed meditation evangelist” pushed his message was a <em>Time</em> magazine essay on “How meditation can help in the era of angry politics.” He wrote about how conservatives seek "liberal tears" and liberals? Their "hearts soar" every time Robert Mueller gets closer to impeaching Trump. </p>

Military Photo of the Day: Rocket Pod on a UH-1E Gunship

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 08:00

“Huey Crew Chief: Sergeant D. Padilla, 21 (Shelby, Michigan), checks the correct seating of a rocket pod on a UH-1E gunship. He is a crew chief with Marine Observation Squadron 2 [VMU-2] (official USMC photo by Gunnery Sergeant Golden Pase).”

From the Jonathan Abel Collection (COLL/3611), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections.


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