I finished teaching my Finance class last Thursday night about 9 pm. As I headed outside our campus building in lower Manhattan, I heard loud beating of propellers from the police helicopter that ominously hovered overhead. There were at least a dozen police vehicles with flashing blue and red lights nearby. I found myself on the edge of a demonstration at the Staten Island Ferry, just across Battery Park from the campus. People were protesting the decision of the grand jury to not indict a New York City policeman in the homicide of Eric Garner.
The media and racial advocates are focused almost exclusively on the facts of a black man's death from a heart attack following a violent struggle with a group of white police. As a white man who has never experienced racial discrimination of the kind faced by black men (e.g., I've never been stopped by police for DWB - driving while black), the racial overtones of the video encounter of this case do not strike me with the same visceral force as they would to a black man.
I am angered however at the senselessness of the whole tragic episode. Why were the police even involved in this confrontation of a man who was bothering nobody? Mr. Garner was engaged in a peaceful act of enterprise (obviously, not free enterprise), trying to earn a little income to live a little better. How does that threaten public safety, in a way that justifies police force? Selling untaxed cigarettes? Really? Does that call forth the power of the police state? Is the state (and the city - according to Mayor Di Blasio, "the law is the law") so offended by this act of defiance to its over-regulating, over-bearing, and over-taxing ways that police force is called for? Were the neighbors offended by his private enterprise, and called in the police? Did his customers complain? more >>
Gov. Mike Huckabee recently retraced the steps of Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan with a group of ministers and faith leaders. After touring Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms, he remarked that both Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill were heavily criticized and often dismissed yet they remained steadfast to name and fight evil.
"During two periods of massive global change," Huckabee argued, "if these world leaders had been ambiguous about evil the world would be quite different."
For Churchill, evil was Nazism and fascism. In 1936 he said of Stanley Baldwin's government, "They go on, in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent." more >>
In a recent interview on CBN News, Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," tried to recount the horrific atrocities Christians in Iraq are suffering at the hands of the Islamic State. After explaining how Christian minorities fled Baghdad to Ninevah when Islamic militants began terrorizing them and bombing their churches, White said:
Then one day, ISIS, the Islamic State, the Islamic caliphate came [to Ninevah] and they hounded all of them [Christians] out. Not some, all of them. And they killed huge numbers. They chopped their children in half; they chopped their heads off.
It should be noted that the targeting of Christian children in Iraq goes back years before the creation of ISIS. For example, in June 2008, a Canadian parliamentary committee heard about how "militant Muslims" were crucifying Christian children: "Since the war began in 2003, about 12 children, many as young as 10, have been kidnapped and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents." more >>
President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress on this day in 1941. Looking stern and resolute, the President wore a black armband, as if to memorialize the thousands of U.S. sailors, Marines, Army and Coast Guard personnel who had been killed and wounded the day before in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
The President stood before the hushed Members of Congress and spoke these words of determination and strength:
Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. more >>
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor who've challenged the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that they cover birth control and abortifacients for their employees.
After arguments were heard by the Denver, Colorado-based 10th Circuit on Monday, Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said she and her order "are not seeking special privileges."
"The government exempts huge corporations, small businesses, and other religious ministries from what they are imposing on us — we are simply asking to carry on our mission to serve the elderly poor as we have always done for 175 years," Maguire said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. more >>
Maybe the country that claims to have the "best healthcare system in the world" can get away with ignoring basic public health strategies that have worked for centuries. Perhaps we can say, "It can't happen here." After all, Ebola seems to have gone away, as epidemics do—sooner or later.
Some apparently even think that we can save the rest of the world by providing a safety valve for hot zones, right into American airports and schools.
Yet we may not be all powerful. Here is the word from top public health officials about some 400,000 cases of chikungunya, which is sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America: "We can only keep our fingers crossed—painful as that might be for many people infected with chikungunya—that the Caribbean epidemic will decline and the virus will depart from the Western Hemisphere." So write David M. Morens, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., of the Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Sept 14, 2014, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Fauci's name is familiar from his pronouncements on Ebola. more >>