Monthly Archives: February 2015

Poverty and the Black Family

“In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples in was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades. Just 8% of children raised by married couples live in poverty, compared with 40% of children raised by single mothers.” Jason L. Riley

Still Right on the Black Family After All These Years

The warnings that Daniel Patrick Moynihan sounded 50 years ago have come true. Will liberals ever forgive him?

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon’s assistant for urban affairs in 1969.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon’s assistant for urban affairs in 1969. PHOTO: CORBIS IMAGES

Will liberals ever forgive Daniel Patrick Moynihan for being right?

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the future senator’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. Even worse, writes Harvard’s Paul Peterson in the current issue of the journal Education Next, Moynihan’s “findings were totally ignored by those who designed public policies at the time.” The Great Society architects would go on to expand old programs or formulate new ones that exacerbated the problems Moynihan identified. Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.

“Economists and policy analysts of the day worried about the negative incentives that had been created,” writes Mr. Peterson. “Analysts estimated that in 1975 a household head would have to earn $20,000”—or an inflation-adjusted $88,000 today—“to have more resources than what could be obtained from Great Society programs.” Continue reading

Kayla Mueller

“It turns out the 26-year-old Islamic State hostage [Kayla Mueller] killed last week in Syria wasn’t many of the things her supporters described her as.” Matthew Vadum

The Real Kayla Mueller

Kayla-Ashraf-posterThe presumed Islamic State murder victim Kayla Mueller isn’t quite the saintly martyr that President Obama and the media are trying to make Americans believe.

Family and friends told reporters Mueller was “a deeply idealistic young woman eager to help those less fortunate.” A neighbor of hers, a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran, said Mueller “represented everything good about being an American. In the outgoing battle between good and evil, she represented the best of the good. She took great risks to help other people.”

Fresh from the golf course, President Obama praised Mueller effusively, saying she was “the best of America,” and adding that she “worked with humanitarian organizations in India, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, compelled by her desire to serve others.” Kayla’s “compassion and dedication to assisting those in need shows us that even amongst unconscionable evil, the essential decency of humanity can live on.”

Only someone with Obama’s twisted, pro-Islamist perspective could lie so passionately on Mueller’s behalf.

It turns out the 26-year-old Islamic State hostage killed last week in Syria wasn’t many of the things her supporters described her as. Continue reading

War

“War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 [years] have seen no war…The causes of war are the same as the causes of competition among individuals: acquisitiveness, pugnacity, and pride; the desire for food, land, materials, fuels, mastery. The state has our instincts without our restraints.” Will Durant, The Lessons of History, p. 81

“What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain.” James 4:1, 2

“We should drown ourselves in the ocean of Gibbon’s prose, and pass with him into the somber magic, the scholastic subtlety, and the rural jollity of the Middle Ages, and the pious butchery, the sensuous poetry, and architectural embroidery of Islam.” Will Durant, Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God, p. 148

The Christian Example for Modernizing Islam

Kevin Madigan, The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2015, p. A 11

Violent. Illiberal. Intolerant. Anti-Semitic.   After the tragic, murderous events in Paris earlier this month, these adjectives have been applied not only to murderous jihadists but to Islam itself. Yet these words could just as easily apply to medieval Christianity and to much of Christianity in the 20th century.

Medieval Christians notoriously persecuted, incarcerated and burned religious dissenters. Less well-known is that Protestant Reformers in early modern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, de­spite their differences with the old Western church, agreed that reli­gion was not a matter of private judgment but of deep, communal concern and unitary. Reformers believed that religious orthodoxy must be safeguarded, and almost all agreed that dissidents deserved severe punishment and even death. Calvin’s Geneva was a theocracy; one theologian who doubted the Trinity was burned to death—with Calvin’s approval.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, popes habit­ually fulminated against moder­nity. One reason that popes like Pius XI (1922-39) supported the fascist dictator Mussolini—he once stated that H Duce had been sent by “Providence” to rescue Italy—was that they shared antipathy for parliamentary de­mocracy and for freedom of the press and association. Generally speaking, sacred and secular leaders in Catholic parts of Eu­rope loathed modernity and all it represented: liberal democracy, emancipation, tolerance, separa­tion of church and state and freedom of thought. Continue reading