Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s Easter Sermon Controversy.

Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s Easter sermon controversy. Video. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox News, April 2, 2013.

The Bible vs. Heart. By Dennis Prager.

The Bible vs. Heart. By Dennis Prager. Real Clear Politics, April 2, 2013. Also find it here.


I offer the single most politically incorrect statement a modern American – indeed a modern Westerner, period – can make: I first look to the Bible for moral guidance and for wisdom.

I say this even though I am not a Christian (I am a Jew, and a non-Orthodox one at that). And I say this even though I attended an Ivy League graduate school (Columbia), where I learned nothing about the Bible there except that it was irrelevant, outdated and frequently immoral.

I say this because there is nothing – not any religious or secular body of work – that comes close to the Bible in forming the moral bases of Western civilization and therefore of nearly all moral progress in the world.

It was this book that guided every one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, including those described as “deists.” It is the book that formed the foundational values of every major American university. It is the book from which every morally great American from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to the Rev. (yes, “the Reverend,” almost always omitted today in favor of his secular credential, “Dr.”) Martin Luther King, Jr., got his values.

It is this book that gave humanity the Ten Commandments, the greatest moral code ever devised. It not only codified the essential moral rules for society, it announced that the Creator of the universe stands behind them, demands them and judges humans’ compliance with them.

It gave humanity the great moral rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

It taught humanity the unprecedented and unparalleled concept that all human beings are created equal because all human beings – of every race, ethnicity, nationality and both male and female – are created in God’s image.

It taught people not to trust the human heart, but to be guided by moral law even when the heart pulled in a different direction.

This is the book that taught humanity that human sacrifice is an abomination.

This is the book that de-sexualized God – a first in human history.

This is the book that alone launched humanity on the long road to abolishing slavery. It was not only Bible-believers (what we would today call “religious fundamentalists”) who led the only crusade in the world against slavery, it was the Bible itself, thousands of years before, that taught that God abhors slavery. It legislated that one cannot return a slave to his owner and banned kidnapping for slaves in the Ten Commandments.

Stealing people, kidnapping, was the most widespread source of slavery, and “Thou shall not steal” was first a ban on stealing humans and then on stealing property.

It was this book that taught people the wisdom of Job and of Ecclesiastes, unparalleled masterpieces of world wisdom literature.

Without this book, there would not have been Western civilization, or Western science, or Western human rights, or the abolitionist movement, or the United States of America, the freest, most prosperous, most opportunity-giving society ever formed.

For well over a generation, we have been living on “cut-flower ethics.” We have removed ethics from the Bible-based soil that gave them life and think they can survive removed from that soil. Fools and those possessing an arrogance bordering on self-deification think we will long survive as a decent society without teaching the Bible and without consulting it for moral guidance and wisdom.

If not from the Bible, from where should people get their values and morals? The university? The New York Times editorial page? They have been wrong on virtually every great issue of good and evil in our generation.

They mocked Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” More than any other group in the world, Western intellectuals supported Stalin, Mao and other Communist monsters. They are utterly morally confused concerning one of the most morally clear conflicts of our time – the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict. The universities and their media supporters have taught a generation of Americans the idiocy that men and women are basically the same. And they are the institutions that teach that America's founders were essentially moral reprobates – sexist and racist rich white men.

When the current executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, was appointed to that position she announced that “In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion.” The quote spoke volumes about the substitution of elite media for religion and the Bible in shaping contemporary America.

The other modern substitute for the Bible is the heart. We live in the Age of Feelings, and an entire generation of Americans has been raised to consult their heart to determine right and wrong.

If you trust the human heart, you should be delighted with this development. But those of us raised with biblical wisdom do not trust the heart. So when we are told by almost every university, by almost every news source, by almost every entertainment medium that the heart demands what is probably the most radical social transformation since Western civilization began – redefining marriage, society’s most basic institution, in terms of gender – it may be wiser to trust the biblical understanding of marriage rather than the heart’s.

My heart, too, supports same-sex marriage. But relying on the heart alone is a terribly flawed guide to social policy. And it is the Bible that has produced all of the world’s most compassionate societies.

This, then, is the great modern battle: the Bible and the heart vs. the heart alone.

Mark Levin: “I Am Sick And Tired Of My Country Being Attacked From Within.”

Mark Levin: “I Am Sick And Tired Of My Country Being Attacked From Within.” Real Clear Politics, March 29, 2013. Also at The Right Scoop.

How Did the Right Lose on Gay Marriage? By Jennifer Rubin.

How did the right lose on gay marriage? By Jennifer Rubin. Washington Post, March 31, 2013.

Don’t blame gay marriage. By Jennifer Rubin. Washington Post, April 1, 2013.

Marriage Looks Different Now. By Ross Douthat. New York Times, March 30, 2013.

Coming Out Ahead: Why gay marriage is on the way. By Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review, July 28, 2003. Also find it here.

Jim DeMint’s Misfire on Marriage. By David Boaz. Cato Institute, March 27, 2013.

What Do Social Conservatives Want? By David Boaz. Cato Institute, September 20, 2010.

Now, let’s get straight on marriage. By David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch. New York Daily News, March 31, 2013.

Idle threats on gay marriage. By Jennifer Rubin. Washington Post, April 2, 2013.

Is anyone coming out to oppose gay marriage? By Jennifer Rubin. Washington Post, April 2, 2013.

Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America. By Kay Hymowitz, Jason S. Carroll, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Kelleen Kaye. National Marriage Project, March 2013. PDF. Video of panel at Brookings.

When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America. National Marriage Project, 2010. PDF.

The Lessons of Social Conservatism’sSetbacks. By W. James Antle III. The American Conservative, April 4, 2013.

Gay Marriage and Public Opinion. By Jennifer Rubin. NJBR, March 24, 2013.

Sex After Christianity. By Rod Dreher. NJBR, March 27, 2013 with related articles.

Changing of the Guard in the GOP? By Jennifer Rubin.

Changing of the guard in the GOP? By Jennifer Rubin. Washington Post, April 1, 2013.

It Won’t Be Your Father’s GOP. By Jennifer Rubin. NJBR, March 24, 2013. With related articles.

The New Republican Party. By Ronald Reagan.

The New Republican Party. By Ronald Reagan. Speech at the 4th Annual CPAC Convention, February 6, 1977. Reagan 2020.

How Sarah Palin in 2008 Echoes Ronald Reagan in 1977. By Erick Erickson. RedState, November 19, 2008.

The Bloody Company Hollywood and Academia Keep. By Michelle Malkin.

The Bloody Company Hollywood Keeps. By Michelle Malkin. MichelleMalkin.com, March 29, 2013.

Academia hearts the Weather Underground: Kathy Boudin at Columbia and NYU. Michael Malkin. MichelleMalkin.com, April 2, 2013.

This Is Columbia University. By David Horowitz. National Review Online, April 2, 2013.

Columbia’s pet terrorist. By John Podhoretz. New York Post, April 2, 2013.

From perp to professor? Former radical teaching at Columbia. Video with Michelle Malkin. America Live with Megyn Kelly. Fox News, April 2, 2013. Also find it here.

Murder victim’s son “disgusted” by ex-radical’s teaching job. Video. America Live with Megyn Kelly. Fox News, April 4, 2013.

No tears for dead cops. By Michelle Malkin. Townhall.com, December 11, 2002.

Portrait of a Progressive Terrorist. By Greg Yardley. FrontPageMagazine, August 25, 2003.

From Radical Background, a Rhodes Scholar Emerges. By Jodi Wilgoren. New York Times, December 9, 2002.

The Ugly American: A Rhodes Scholar Goes South. By James Kirchick. World Affairs, Fall 2009. Also find it here.

Is Technology Rewiring Children’s Brains?

Is technology rewiring children’s brains? Video with Dr. Keith Ablow. America Live with Megyn Kelly. Fox News, April 2, 2013.

Are MOOCs Really Destroying Education? By Walter Russell Mead.

Are MOOCs Really Destroying Education? By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, April 2, 2013.

MOOCs of Hazard. By Andrew Delbanco. The New Republic, March 31, 2013. Also find it here.

Beware of the High Cost of “Free” Online Courses. By Steve Lohr. New York Times, March 25, 2013.

Are the Costs of “Free” Too High in Online Education? By Michael A. Cusumano. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 56, No. 4 (April 2013). PDF.

Will MOOCs Destroy Academia? By Moshe Y. Vardi. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 55 No. 11 (November 2012). PDF.

MOOCs and Historical Research. By John McNeill. Perspectives on History, Vol. 51, No. 3 (March 2013).

The Professors’ Big Stage. By Thomas L. Friedman. New York Times, March 5, 2013.

The End of the University as We Know It. By Nathan Harden. The American Interest, January/February 2013.

The Culture Wars in Brooklyn: Yuppie Women vs. the Hasidim. By Ruth Rosen.

The Modesty Wars: Women and the Hasidim in Brooklyn. By Ruth Rosen. OpenDemocracy, March 25, 2013. Also at History News Network.

Keeping It Kosher. By Frank Bruni. New York Times, October 7, 2010. Also find it here.

Take Back Our Neighborhood. COLlive, January 22, 2012.

The Orthodox Fringe: Moshiach Oi! Merges Orthodox Judaism and Punk Rock. By John Leland. New York Times, March 9, 2013.

Modesty in Ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn Is Enforced by Secret Squads. By Joseph Berger. New York Times, January 29, 2013.

A Life Apart: Women and Hasidism. Video Clip 4 of 5 from Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust. POV. PBS, August 30, 2005.


In a 2005 Public Broadcast Network documentary of the Hasidim, called “A Life Apart: The Hasidim in America” interviewees explained that women must dress and behave modestly because their greatest spiritual mission is motherhood. Girls, therefore, are educated separately from boys and rarely study beyond high school. Parents arrange marriages, although children may refuse their choices and ask for different matches.  Women often work outside the home, dressed in modest clothing, so that their men may study and pray all day.

The vast majority of Hasidim women however, do not view themselves as second-class citizens. One woman interviewed in the documentary explained why raising and protecting her family is her greatest joy. “Who cares about running Westinghouse?” she asked. “Children are your legacy forever.”  Another woman pointed out that she finds her “spiritual fulfilment in motherhood, in raising children, teaching them values, and thanking God for the breakfast she has laid out for them.”

As the documentary concludes, “The Hasidic rejection of America’s popular culture and education has resulted in goals deeply desired by many Americans: stable families, strong communities and lives infused with meaning. In return, Hasidim pay a price most Americans would find too high: they adhere to strict rules of behavior; they live in a traditional society with clearly defined and prescribed roles for each member; and, within the Hasidic world, individualism is suppressed for the sake of community.”

Being part of this community means that Jewish law, as well as the will of their fathers and husbands, govern women’s entire lives.  But equality is not their goal.  For the most part, Hasidic women—at least the majority who do not leave—are satisfied to live in a stable community, dress modestly, raise their children, and work outside the home. It is in these closed and cohesive communities that they find spiritual fulfilment. It is here that they can avoid a secularized and sexualized America that celebrates individualism, materialism, and consumerism. And it is here, fortified by the Hasidic way of life, that they can avoid the consequences of modern life—social isolation, family instability, lack of community cohesion, and a profound spiritual thirst.

Although it doesn’t provide the freedoms and opportunities enjoyed and valued by modern women, it is – with all its rules and regulations – their spiritual home.

Rick Perry on “Vulture Capitalism” from the 2012 Election Campaign.

Perry: Venture Capitalism Is Good, Vulture Capitalism Is Bad. Real Clear Politics, January 11, 2012.

Perry Says Romney and Bain Capital are Vultures. Crooks and Liars, January 10, 2012.

Perry: Mitt’s company “just vultures” who “eat the carcass” of companies. By Alexander Burns. Politico, January 10, 2012.

Rick Perry Targets Mitt Romney, Defines “Vulture Capitalism.” Fox News Insider, January 11, 2012.

Rick Perry on South Carolina: I’m Here to Win. Fox News Insider, January 12, 2012.

King of Bain: “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.” Official Trailer. Video. NewtTubeWOF, January 7, 2012. YouTube.

When Mitt Romney Came to Town: Full, complete version. Video. MarcinCalifornia, January 11, 2012. YouTube.

Rick Perry in Lexington, South Carolina. January 11, 2012. Part 1. Part 2. Video. YouTube.

Excerpt on vulture capitalism, Part 1 at 17:04:

Listen, I’ve been a governor of a state that has created more jobs than any other state in the nation during the decade of the 2000s. I get it about job creation. I understand the difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism. We need to have more venture capitalism going on in America and less vulture capitalism. The idea that you come in and you destroy people’s lives. The idea that you come in just to make a quick profit; tear these companies apart. I understand restructuring. I understand those types of things. But the idea that we can’t criticize someone for these get- rich-quick schemes is not appropriate from my perspective. I’m about creating jobs, but I’m kind of like that old ad. I believe in doing it the old fashioned way. Working at it; working for it. And I happen to think that companies like Bain Capital could have come in and helped these companies if they truly were venture capitalists. But they’re not. They’re vulture capitalists.

And that’s what I want the people of South Carolina to think about. Do you want somebody who grew up on a farm, who understands the values of hard work. That understands that you got to conserve things. Whether it was the water on the back porch ’cause you didn’t have indoor plumbing, or whether it’s the money that is limited in your life. We need a President of the United States that understands that you can’t spend your way to prosperity.

CPAC 2013: Governor Rick Perry (R-TX). Video. The ACU, March 14, 2013. YouTube.

A Very Nasty Divorce.

Acrimonious: Lorry driver Robin Baker, 45, has publicly vented his feelings towards his estranged wife on a homemade sign on the front of his house.

Face of the furious husband who put up a sign to shame his wife: Now he says he would prefer it was repossessed to stop her getting anything. By Paul Bentley. Daily Mail, April 1, 2013.

Man Shames Wife He’s Divorcing With Angry Sign Hung on House. By Graham Wood. AOL Real Estate, April 1, 2013.

A Christian Catastrophe. By Ralph Peters.

A Christian Catastrophe: Islamist “cleansing” in Mideast. By Ralph Peters. New York Post, March 31, 2013.

Herod the Great: Friend of the Romans and Parthians? By Jason M. Schlude.

Herod the Great: Friend of the Romans and Parthians? By Jason M. Schlude. Bible History Daily, March 29, 2013.