FRIEDMAN FRIDAY The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits by Milton Friedman The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970. Copyright @ 1970 by The New York Times Company.

Free to Choose: Part 1 of 10 The Power of the Market (Featuring Milton Friedman)

Free to Choose Part 2: The Tyranny of Control (Featuring Milton Friedman

Free to Choose Part 4: From Cradle to Grave Featuring Milton Friedman

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits

by Milton FriedmanThe New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970. Copyright @ 1970 by The New York Times Company.

When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the “social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system,” I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free en­terprise when they declaim that business is not concerned “merely” with profit but also with promoting desirable “social” ends; that business has a “social conscience” and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing em­ployment, eliminating discrimination, avoid­ing pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of re­formers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preach­ing pure and unadulterated socialism. Busi­nessmen who talk this way are unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.

The discussions of the “social responsibili­ties of business” are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that “business” has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but “business” as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense. The first step toward clarity in examining the doctrine of the social responsibility of business is to ask precisely what it implies for whom.

Presumably, the individuals who are to be responsible are businessmen, which means in­dividual proprietors or corporate executives. Most of the discussion of social responsibility is directed at corporations, so in what follows I shall mostly neglect the individual proprietors and speak of corporate executives.

In a free-enterprise, private-property sys­tem, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct re­sponsibility to his employers. That responsi­bility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while con­forming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom. Of course, in some cases his employers may have a different objective. A group of persons might establish a corporation for an eleemosynary purpose–for exam­ple, a hospital or a school. The manager of such a corporation will not have money profit as his objective but the rendering of certain services.

In either case, the key point is that, in his capacity as a corporate executive, the manager is the agent of the individuals who own the corporation or establish the eleemosynary institution, and his primary responsibility is to them.

Needless to say, this does not mean that it is easy to judge how well he is performing his task. But at least the criterion of performance is straightforward, and the persons among whom a voluntary contractual arrangement exists are clearly defined.

Of course, the corporate executive is also a person in his own right. As a person, he may have many other responsibilities that he rec­ognizes or assumes voluntarily–to his family, his conscience, his feelings of charity, his church, his clubs, his city, his country. He ma}. feel impelled by these responsibilities to de­vote part of his income to causes he regards as worthy, to refuse to work for particular corpo­rations, even to leave his job, for example, to join his country’s armed forces. Ifwe wish, we may refer to some of these responsibilities as “social responsibilities.” But in these respects he is acting as a principal, not an agent; he is spending his own money or time or energy, not the money of his employers or the time or energy he has contracted to devote to their purposes. If these are “social responsibili­ties,” they are the social responsibilities of in­dividuals, not of business.

What does it mean to say that the corpo­rate executive has a “social responsibility” in his capacity as businessman? If this statement is not pure rhetoric, it must mean that he is to act in some way that is not in the interest of his employers. For example, that he is to refrain from increasing the price of the product in order to contribute to the social objective of preventing inflation, even though a price in crease would be in the best interests of the corporation. Or that he is to make expendi­tures on reducing pollution beyond the amount that is in the best interests of the cor­poration or that is required by law in order to contribute to the social objective of improving the environment. Or that, at the expense of corporate profits, he is to hire “hardcore” un­employed instead of better qualified available workmen to contribute to the social objective of reducing poverty.

In each of these cases, the corporate exec­utive would be spending someone else’s money for a general social interest. Insofar as his actions in accord with his “social responsi­bility” reduce returns to stockholders, he is spending their money. Insofar as his actions raise the price to customers, he is spending the customers’ money. Insofar as his actions lower the wages of some employees, he is spending their money.

The stockholders or the customers or the employees could separately spend their own money on the particular action if they wished to do so. The executive is exercising a distinct “social responsibility,” rather than serving as an agent of the stockholders or the customers or the employees, only if he spends the money in a different way than they would have spent it.

But if he does this, he is in effect imposing taxes, on the one hand, and deciding how the tax proceeds shall be spent, on the other.

This process raises political questions on two levels: principle and consequences. On the level of political principle, the imposition of taxes and the expenditure of tax proceeds are gov­ernmental functions. We have established elab­orate constitutional, parliamentary and judicial provisions to control these functions, to assure that taxes are imposed so far as possible in ac­cordance with the preferences and desires of the public–after all, “taxation without repre­sentation” was one of the battle cries of the American Revolution. We have a system of checks and balances to separate the legisla­tive function of imposing taxes and enacting expenditures from the executive function of collecting taxes and administering expendi­ture programs and from the judicial function of mediating disputes and interpreting the law.

Here the businessman–self-selected or appointed directly or indirectly by stockhold­ers–is to be simultaneously legislator, execu­tive and, jurist. He is to decide whom to tax by how much and for what purpose, and he is to spend the proceeds–all this guided only by general exhortations from on high to restrain inflation, improve the environment, fight poverty and so on and on.

The whole justification for permitting the corporate executive to be selected by the stockholders is that the executive is an agent serving the interests of his principal. This jus­tification disappears when the corporate ex­ecutive imposes taxes and spends the pro­ceeds for “social” purposes. He becomes in effect a public employee, a civil servant, even though he remains in name an employee of a private enterprise. On grounds of political principle, it is intolerable that such civil ser­vants–insofar as their actions in the name of social responsibility are real and not just win­dow-dressing–should be selected as they are now. If they are to be civil servants, then they must be elected through a political process. If they are to impose taxes and make expendi­tures to foster “social” objectives, then politi­cal machinery must be set up to make the as­sessment of taxes and to determine through a political process the objectives to be served.

This is the basic reason why the doctrine of “social responsibility” involves the acceptance of the socialist view that political mechanisms, not market mechanisms, are the appropriate way to determine the allocation of scarce re­sources to alternative uses.

On the grounds of consequences, can the corporate executive in fact discharge his al­leged “social responsibilities?” On the other hand, suppose he could get away with spending the stockholders’ or customers’ or employees’ money. How is he to know how to spend it? He is told that he must contribute to fighting inflation. How is he to know what ac­tion of his will contribute to that end? He is presumably an expert in running his company–in producing a product or selling it or financing it. But nothing about his selection makes him an expert on inflation. Will his hold­ ing down the price of his product reduce infla­tionary pressure? Or, by leaving more spending power in the hands of his customers, simply divert it elsewhere? Or, by forcing him to produce less because of the lower price, will it simply contribute to shortages? Even if he could an­swer these questions, how much cost is he justi­fied in imposing on his stockholders, customers and employees for this social purpose? What is his appropriate share and what is the appropri­ate share of others?

And, whether he wants to or not, can he get away with spending his stockholders’, cus­tomers’ or employees’ money? Will not the stockholders fire him? (Either the present ones or those who take over when his actions in the name of social responsibility have re­duced the corporation’s profits and the price of its stock.) His customers and his employees can desert him for other producers and em­ployers less scrupulous in exercising their so­cial responsibilities.

This facet of “social responsibility” doc­ trine is brought into sharp relief when the doctrine is used to justify wage restraint by trade unions. The conflict of interest is naked and clear when union officials are asked to subordinate the interest of their members to some more general purpose. If the union offi­cials try to enforce wage restraint, the consequence is likely to be wildcat strikes, rank­-and-file revolts and the emergence of strong competitors for their jobs. We thus have the ironic phenomenon that union leaders–at least in the U.S.–have objected to Govern­ment interference with the market far more consistently and courageously than have business leaders.

The difficulty of exercising “social responsibility” illustrates, of course, the great virtue of private competitive enterprise–it forces people to be responsible for their own actions and makes it difficult for them to “exploit” other people for either selfish or unselfish purposes. They can do good–but only at their own expense.

Many a reader who has followed the argu­ment this far may be tempted to remonstrate that it is all well and good to speak of Government’s having the responsibility to im­pose taxes and determine expenditures for such “social” purposes as controlling pollu­tion or training the hard-core unemployed, but that the problems are too urgent to wait on the slow course of political processes, that the exercise of social responsibility by busi­nessmen is a quicker and surer way to solve pressing current problems.

Aside from the question of fact–I share Adam Smith’s skepticism about the benefits that can be expected from “those who affected to trade for the public good”–this argument must be rejected on grounds of principle. What it amounts to is an assertion that those who favor the taxes and expenditures in question have failed to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens to be of like mind and that they are seeking to attain by undemocratic procedures what they cannot attain by democratic proce­dures. In a free society, it is hard for “evil” people to do “evil,” especially since one man’s good is another’s evil.

I have, for simplicity, concentrated on the special case of the corporate executive, ex­cept only for the brief digression on trade unions. But precisely the same argument ap­plies to the newer phenomenon of calling upon stockholders to require corporations to exercise social responsibility (the recent G.M crusade for example). In most of these cases, what is in effect involved is some stockholders trying to get other stockholders (or customers or employees) to contribute against their will to “social” causes favored by the activists. In­sofar as they succeed, they are again imposing taxes and spending the proceeds.

The situation of the individual proprietor is somewhat different. If he acts to reduce the returns of his enterprise in order to exercise his “social responsibility,” he is spending his own money, not someone else’s. If he wishes to spend his money on such purposes, that is his right, and I cannot see that there is any ob­jection to his doing so. In the process, he, too, may impose costs on employees and cus­tomers. However, because he is far less likely than a large corporation or union to have mo­nopolistic power, any such side effects will tend to be minor.

Of course, in practice the doctrine of social responsibility is frequently a cloak for actions that are justified on other grounds rather than a reason for those actions.

To illustrate, it may well be in the long run interest of a corporation that is a major employer in a small community to devote resources to providing amenities to that community or to improving its government. That may make it easier to attract desirable employees, it may reduce the wage bill or lessen losses from pilferage and sabotage or have other worthwhile effects. Or it may be that, given the laws about the deductibility of corporate charitable contributions, the stockholders can contribute more to chari­ties they favor by having the corporation make the gift than by doing it themselves, since they can in that way contribute an amount that would otherwise have been paid as corporate taxes.

In each of these–and many similar–cases, there is a strong temptation to rationalize these actions as an exercise of “social responsibility.” In the present climate of opinion, with its wide spread aversion to “capitalism,” “profits,” the “soulless corporation” and so on, this is one way for a corporation to generate goodwill as a by-product of expenditures that are entirely justified in its own self-interest.

It would be inconsistent of me to call on corporate executives to refrain from this hyp­ocritical window-dressing because it harms the foundations of a free society. That would be to call on them to exercise a “social re­sponsibility”! If our institutions, and the atti­tudes of the public make it in their self-inter­est to cloak their actions in this way, I cannot summon much indignation to denounce them. At the same time, I can express admiration for those individual proprietors or owners of closely held corporations or stockholders of more broadly held corporations who disdain such tactics as approaching fraud.

Whether blameworthy or not, the use of the cloak of social responsibility, and the nonsense spoken in its name by influential and presti­gious businessmen, does clearly harm the foun­dations of a free society. I have been impressed time and again by the schizophrenic character of many businessmen. They are capable of being extremely farsighted and clearheaded in matters that are internal to their businesses. They are incredibly shortsighted and muddle­headed in matters that are outside their businesses but affect the possible survival of busi­ness in general. This shortsightedness is strikingly exemplified in the calls from many businessmen for wage and price guidelines or controls or income policies. There is nothing that could do more in a brief period to destroy a market system and replace it by a centrally con­trolled system than effective governmental con­trol of prices and wages.

The shortsightedness is also exemplified in speeches by businessmen on social respon­sibility. This may gain them kudos in the short run. But it helps to strengthen the already too prevalent view that the pursuit of profits is wicked and immoral and must be curbed and controlled by external forces. Once this view is adopted, the external forces that curb the market will not be the social consciences, however highly developed, of the pontificating executives; it will be the iron fist of Government bureaucrats. Here, as with price and wage controls, businessmen seem to me to reveal a suicidal impulse.

The political principle that underlies the market mechanism is unanimity. In an ideal free market resting on private property, no individual can coerce any other, all coopera­tion is voluntary, all parties to such coopera­tion benefit or they need not participate. There are no values, no “social” responsibilities in any sense other than the shared values and responsibilities of individuals. Society is a collection of individuals and of the various groups they voluntarily form.

The political principle that underlies the political mechanism is conformity. The indi­vidual must serve a more general social inter­est–whether that be determined by a church or a dictator or a majority. The individual may have a vote and say in what is to be done, but if he is overruled, he must conform. It is appropriate for some to require others to contribute to a general social purpose whether they wish to or not.

Unfortunately, unanimity is not always feasi­ble. There are some respects in which conformity appears unavoidable, so I do not see how one can avoid the use of the political mecha­nism altogether.

But the doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Free to Choose Part 5: Created Equal Featuring Milton Friedman

Free to Choose Part 6: What’s Wrong With Our Schools Featuring Milton Friedman

Free to Choose Part 7: Who Protects the Consumer Featuring Milton Friedman

Free to Choose Part 8: Who Protects the Worker Featuring Milton Friedman

Free to Choose Part 10: How to Stay Free Featuring Milton Friedman

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 140 Marvin Minsky Part E (Featured artist is Jo Baer)

 

I have written about Marvin Minsky several times before in this series and today I again look at a letter I wrote to him in the last couple of years. It is my practice in my letters to quote from the works of Adrian Rogers or Francis Schaeffer or both in my letters to these scholars.

Photo

Marvin Minsky in a lab at M.I.T. in 1968. Credit M.I.T.

Marvin Minsky, who combined a scientist’s thirst for knowledge with a philosopher’s quest for truth as a pioneering explorer of artificial intelligence, work that helped inspire the creation of the personal computer and the Internet, died on Sunday night in Boston. He was 88.

His family said the cause was a cerebral hemorrhage.

Well before the advent of the microprocessor and the supercomputer, Professor Minsky, a revered computer science educator at M.I.T., laid the foundation for the field of artificial intelligence by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.

“Marvin was one of the very few people in computing whose visions and perspectives liberated the computer from being a glorified adding machine to start to realize its destiny as one of the most powerful amplifiers for human endeavors in history,” said Alan Kay, a computer scientist and a friend and colleague of Professor Minsky’s.

Fascinated since his undergraduate days at Harvard by the mysteries of human intelligence and thinking, Professor Minsky saw no difference between the thinking processes of humans and those of machines. Beginning in the early 1950s, he worked on computational ideas to characterize human psychological processes and produced theories on how to endow machines with intelligence.

Professor Minsky, in 1959, co-founded the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Project (later the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) with his colleague John McCarthy, who is credited with coining the term “artificial intelligence.”

Beyond its artificial intelligence charter, however, the lab would have a profound impact on the modern computing industry, helping to impassion a culture of computer and software design. It planted the seed for the idea that digital information should be shared freely, a notion that would shape the so-called open-source software movement, and it was a part of the original ARPAnet, the forerunner to the Internet.

Professor Minsky’s scientific accomplishments spanned a variety of disciplines. He designed and built some of the first visual scanners and mechanical hands with tactile sensors, advances that influenced modern robotics. In 1951 he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, which he called Snarc. And in 1956, while at Harvard, he invented and built the first confocal scanning microscope, an optical instrument with superior resolution and image quality still in wide use in the biological sciences.

Photo

Marvin Minsky in an undated photo. Credit Louis Fabian Bachrach

His own intellect was wide-ranging and his interests were eclectic. While earning a degree in mathematics at Harvard he also studied music, and as an accomplished pianist, he would later delight in sitting down at one and improvising complex baroque fugues.

Professor Minsky was lavished with many honors, notably, in 1969, the Turing Award, computer science’s highest prize.

He went on to collaborate, in the early ’70s, with Seymour Papert, the renowned educator and computer scientist, on a theory they called “The Society of Mind,” which combined insights from developmental child psychology and artificial intelligence research.

Professor Minsky’s book “The Society of Mind,” a seminal work published in the mid-1980s, proposed “that intelligence is not the product of any singular mechanism but comes from the managed interaction of a diverse variety of resourceful agents,” as he wrote on his website.

Underlying that hypothesis was his and Professor Papert’s belief that there is no real difference between humans and machines. Humans, they maintained, are actually machines of a kind whose brains are made up of many semiautonomous but unintelligent “agents.” And different tasks, they said, “require fundamentally different mechanisms.”

Their theory revolutionized thinking about how the brain works and how people learn.

“Marvin was one of the people who defined what computing and computing research is all about,” Dr. Kay said. “There were four or five supremely talented characters from back then who were early and comprehensive and put their personality and stamp on the field, and Marvin was among them.”

Marvin Lee Minsky was born on Aug. 9, 1927, in New York City. The precocious son of Dr. Henry Minsky, an eye surgeon who was chief of ophthalmology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Fannie Reiser, a social activist and Zionist.

Fascinated by electronics and science, the young Mr. Minsky attended the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan, a progressive private school from which J. Robert Oppenheimer, who oversaw the creation of the first atomic bomb, had graduated. (Mr. Minsky later attended the affiliated Fieldston School in Riverdale.) He went on to attend the Bronx High School of Science and later Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

After a stint in the Navy during World War II, he studied mathematics at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in math from Princeton, where he met John McCarthy, a fellow graduate student.

Intellectually restless throughout his life, Professor Minsky sought to move on from mathematics once he had earned his doctorate. After ruling out genetics as interesting but not profound, and physics as mildly enticing, he chose to focus on intelligence itself.

“The problem of intelligence seemed hopelessly profound,” he told The New Yorker magazine when it profiled him in 1981. “I can’t remember considering anything else worth doing.”

To further those studies he reunited with Professor McCarthy, who had been awarded a fellowship to M.I.T. in 1956. Professor Minsky, who had been at Harvard by then, arrived at M.I.T. in 1958, joining the staff at its Lincoln Laboratory. A year later, he and Professor McCarthy founded M.I.T.’s AI Project, later to be known as the AI Lab. (Professor McCarthy left for Stanford in 1962.)

Professor Minsky’s courses at M.I.T. — he insisted on holding them in the evenings — became a magnet for several generations of graduate students, many of whom went on to become computer science superstars themselves.

Among them were Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist; Gerald Sussman, a prominent A.I. researcher and professor of electrical engineering at M.I.T.; and Patrick Winston, who went on to run the AI Lab after Professor Minsky stepped aside.

Another of his students, Danny Hillis, an inventor and entrepreneur, co-founded Thinking Machines, a supercomputer maker in the early 1990s.

Mr. Hillis said he had so been taken by Professor Minsky’s intellect and charisma that he found a way to insinuate himself into the AI Lab and get a job there. He ended up living in the Minsky family basement in Brookline, Mass.

“Marvin taught me how to think,” Mr. Hillis said in an interview. “He had a style and a playful curiosity that was a huge influence on me. He always challenged you to question the status quo. He loved it when you argued with him.”

Professor Minsky’s prominence extended well beyond M.I.T. While preparing to make the 1968 science-fiction epic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the director Stanley Kubrick visited him seeking to learn about the state of computer graphics and whether Professor Minsky believed it would be plausible for computers to be able to speak articulately by 2001.

Professor Minsky is survived by his wife, Gloria Rudisch, a physician; two daughters, Margaret and Juliana Minsky; a son, Henry; a sister, Ruth Amster; and four grandchildren.

“In some ways, he treated his children like his students,” Mr. Hillis recalled. “They called him Marvin, and he challenged them and engaged them just as he did with his students.”

In 1989, Professor Minsky joined M.I.T.’s fledgling Media Lab. “He was an icon who attracted the best people,” said Nicholas Negroponte, the Media Lab’s founder and former director.

For Dr. Kay, Professor Minsky’s legacy was his insatiable curiosity. “He used to say, ‘You don’t really understand something if you only understand it one way,’” Dr. Kay said. “He never thought he had anything completely done.”

Correction: January 27, 2016
An obituary on Tuesday about Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, misstated the year he received the Turing Award, computer science’s highest prize. It was 1969, not 1970.

Fourth, letter without CD  on 6-26-14  short letter on Ecclesiastes

 

To Marvin Minsky c/o MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA  From everettehatcher@gmail.com,        6-26-14 Since you are a member of the   Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) I was really hoping to hear from you.        Just the other day I sent you the CD called “Dust in the Wind, Darwin and Disbelief.” I know you may not have time to listen to the CD but on the first 2 1/2 minutes of that CD is the hit song “Dust in the Wind” by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. Would you be kind enough to read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song! Or maybe you agree with Richard Dawkins and other scholars below?

DUST IN THE WIND:

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea

All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy

_________________________________

Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. —Richard Dawkins

______________

The vast majority of people believe there is a design or force in the universe; that it works outside the ordinary mechanics of cause and effect; that it is somehow responsible for both the visible and the moral order of the world. Modern biology has undermined this assumption…But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection… First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose.  (William B. Provine, “The End of Ethics?” in HARD CHOICES ( a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES, Seattle: KCTS-TV, channel 9, University of Washington, 1980, pp. 2-3).

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967). (This quote was also used in the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop.)

Image result for francis schaeffer whatever happened to human race?

In the 1986 debate on the John Ankerberg show between Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) and Norman Geisler, Kurtz reacted to the point Blackham was making by asserting:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.

I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:

Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

________________

Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:

 1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was  writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”

Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”

Artist featured today is Jo Baer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jo Baer
Jo Baer by Billie Savage

Jo Baer (photo 2015)
Born Josephine Gail Kleinberg
August 7, 1929
Seattle, WA
Nationality American
Known for Painting
Movement Minimalism
Website http://www.jobaer.net/

Josephine Gail “Jo” Baer (born August 7, 1929) is an American painter, whose works are associated with minimalist art.[1] She began exhibiting her work at the Fischbach Gallery, New York, and other venues for contemporary art in the mid-1960s.[2] In the mid-1970s, she turned away from non-objective painting. Since then, Baer has fused images, symbols, words, and phrases in a non-narrative manner, a mode of expression she once termed “radical figuration.”[3]

Early life and work, 1929-1960[edit]

She was born Josephine Gail Kleinberg into an upper-middle-class family. Her mother, Hortense Kalisher Kleinberg, a commercial artist, was a fierce proponent of women’s rights and imbued her daughter with a sense of independence. Her father, Lester Kleinberg, was a successful commodities broker in hay and grain. Josephine studied art as a child at the Cornish College of the Arts, but because her mother wanted her to become a medical illustrator, she majored in biology at the University of Washington, Seattle, which she attended from 1946-1949.[4] She dropped out of school in her junior year to marry a fellow-student at the University, Gerard L. Hanauer.

The marriage was over quickly, and in 1950, Baer went to Israel to explore the realities of rural socialism on various kibbutzim for a few months. Returning to New York City, from 1950–53 she did the course work for a master’s degree in psychology at the New School for Social Research.[5] Baer went to school at night, while during the day she was employed by an interior design studio as a draftsman and secretary.

Baer moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and shortly afterwards married Richard Baer, a television writer. Their son, Joshua Baer, who became an art dealer, writer, and consultant, was born in 1955; the couple was divorced in the late 1950s. During this time Baer began to paint and draw for the first time since adolescence, becoming friends with Edward Kienholz and other local artists in the orbit of the Ferus Gallery. She met the painter John Wesley, to whom she was married from 1960-1970. She, Wesley, and Joshua moved to New York in 1960, where Baer lived until 1975. After separating from Wesley, she was in a long-term relationship with the sculptor Robert Lawrance Lobe.[6]

Baer’s work of the late 1950s emulated paintings by members of the New York School, particularly Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko. Rothko, she observed, “gave me permission to work with a format.”[4] Jasper Johns‘s paintings and sculpture also made an immediate impression, because they suggested “how a work should be the thing itself.”[4]

Life and career, 1960-1975[edit]

Paintings and exhibitions[edit]

Right: Korean (1963). Left: Korean(1962).

In 1960 Baer rejected Abstract Expressionism for spare, hard-edge non-objective painting.[7] Two early important paintings in this style were Untitled (Black Star) (1960-1961; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo) and Untitled (White Star) (1960-1961; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo).[5] She then introduced an even more pared-down format: the image was excised and the central area of the canvas became completely white. In 1962 Baer began the Korean series, a group of sixteen canvases. The Koreans were given their name by the art dealer Richard Bellamy, who said that Baer’s paintings were just as unknown as Korean art was to most Westerners.[4][5] The Koreans were composed of a dominant field of densely painted white enclosed by bands of sky blue and black that seem to shimmer and move: this optical illusion underscored Baer’s focus on “the notion of light.”[5] Baer ascribed her inspiration for the Koreans to Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamble, which she was reading at the time. His observations about osmosis and diffusion through membranes influenced her to examine the properties of boundaries between spaces.[4][5] In many works that Baer created between 1964 and 1966, the peripheries and edges of the canvas continued to be marked by two square or rectangular bands of color. The outer, thicker border was black; inside it, a thinner band was painted in another color, such as red, green, lavender, or blue. Baer summed up the artistic concerns of her own work in 1971, writing, “Non-objective painting’s language is rooted, nowadays, in edges and boundaries, contours and gradients, brightness, darkness and color reflections. Its syntax is motion and change.”[8] Baer was accepted as a peer in the burgeoning Minimalist movement by such artists as Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin. In 1964 Flavin organized “Eleven Artists,” an exhibition that was an important step in defining the key figures of Minimalism. He included Baer, along with Judd, Flavin, LeWitt, Ward Jackson, Frank Stella, Irwin Fleminger, Larry Poons, Walter Darby Bannard, Robert Ryman, Leo Valledor, and himself. In 1966 Baer’s first one-person show took place at the Fischbach Gallery, then a center for avant-garde art. That year she was also represented in both “Systemic Painting,” a survey exhibition of contemporary geometric abstraction at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and “10,” a group exhibition at the Virginia Dwan Gallery co-curated by Ad Reinhardt and Robert Smithson that further enshrined its participants as canonical for Minimalism. Besides Baer, Reinhardt, and Smithson, the other artists selected were Carl Andre, Judd, LeWitt, Flavin, Robert Morris, Michael Steiner, and Agnes Martin.[9] Baer’s works shown in these exhibitions, which included vertical and horizontal single, diptych, and triptych paintings, established her avant-garde reputation in the New York art world.

The Old Year (1974-1975)

In the late 1960s, Baer was experimenting with color and shifting the visual focus of her work. While working on the series The Stations of the Spectrum (1967-1969), Baer painted over their white surfaces to make them gray. She then turned them into triptychs because she saw that these paintings had more wall power when they were hung together. Next, as she said, “I wanted to know what happens around a corner – that interested me as an optical thing.”[4] The result was the Wraparound paintings, where-in which Baer painted thick black bands edged by blues, greens, oranges, and lavenders that went around the sides of the canvas – areas that artists customarily ignore, overlook, or cover with a frame. More than ever, the action was at the edges: “Sensation,” Baer wrote, “is the edge of things. Where there are no edges, there are no places—a uniform visual field quickly disappears.”[10] Further challenging the notion of where a painting begins or ends, Baer added sweeping diagonal and curved paths of color that streaked across her once-inviolate white fields and down the sides of the canvas. These canvases bore titles like H. Arcuata (1971; coll. Daimler Corporation, Zurich) and V. Lurida (1971, Levi-Strauss Collection, San Francisco). The titles were orotund flights of fancy – they identified fictitious specious of plants that she extrapolated from a book of botanical Latin she owned. (Baer was cultivating prize-winning orchids in the late 1960s, and became an expert on growing them inside an urban loft.)[11] When translated into English, Baer’s Latinate letters and words have nothing to do with flowers; instead, they are visual descriptions masquerading as scientific diction. “H.” stands for “horizontal” and “V.” for “vertical.”[12] “Arcuata” means curved, and “lurida” means “pale” or “shining.”

Writings[edit]

Baer was an active writer during her years in New York. In letters to editors, articles, and statements in art magazines, she defended the integrity and continuing importance of painting from attacks on it by Minimalist sculptors, who insisted that it had become an irrelevant art form that should be renounced in favor of the production of three-dimensional objects.[13] Because she publicly questioned the tenets of a powerful pantheon of artists that included Judd and Morris, Baer was ostracized by a number of her former colleagues.[4][5]

Among Baer’s most ambitious essays, for she which was able to employ her scientific training, was “Art & Vision: Mach Bands,” published in 1970.[14] She tackled the physics and psychology of visual perception in her discussion of Mach bands, an optical illusion named after Ernest Mach, a nineteenth-century physicist who discovered that light-dark contrasts will intensify when opposing colors are placed next to each other: light areas will appear lighter and dark areas will seem darker. She linked this investigation into subjective sensations of the beholder to how edges, boundaries, and contours are experienced in modern art.

Life and career, 1975-present[edit]

In 1975 Baer was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, showcasing her Minimalist work. However, Baer reached an impasse with non-objective painting. Sensing that her format had become a formula, she could go no further with it. Two transitional canvases –- M. Refractarius (1974–75; private collection, Paris) and The Old Year (1974–75; private collection, United States) – record her desire to break away from Minimalism.

Baer needed a distance from New York’s art world, and in June 1975 she moved to Smarmore Castle, a manor and working farm with a Norman keep, in County Louth, Ireland.[15]

In this new environment, the reality of horses, birds and other animals as well as the ways of country people informed her paintings. She began to paint quasi-figuratively, layering fragments of images of animal, human bodies and objects in muted, translucent colors. Baer also drew on erotic images found in early cave paintings, Paleolithic sculptures and fertility objects to create compositions that suggested palimpsests.[5]

Testament of the Powers That Be (Where Trees Turn to Sand, Residual Colours Stain the Lands) (2001)

In 1977 Baer had a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and during the course of it she met the British artist Bruce Robbins. The two lived and worked together from 1978-1984, first in Ireland and then from 1982-1984 in London, creating paintings, drawings, and texts. Their collaborations were shown in eight two-person exhibitions.[16] While in London, Baer wrote one of her best-known articles, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” a manifesto published in Art in America in October 1983.[17] Baer chronicled “abstraction’s demise,” and in characterizing its meaninglessness in a vastly changed world, claimed openness, ambiguity, “metaphor, symbolism, and hierarchical relationships” as necessary building blocks of modern works. Baer announced that she and Robbins were working toward a “radical figuration” based on those constructs.

Dusk (Bands and End-Points) (2012) was part of the exhibition “In the Land of the Giants” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

In 1984, Baer moved by herself to Amsterdam, where she has lived ever since.[18] In the 1990s Baer’s paintings became, in her words, “more declarative,”[4] with richer colors, sharper light-dark contrasts, and more ambitious cultural and social criticism. Disparate images and symbols from American, European, Asian, and classical civilizations are fused with quotations from literature and densely layered allusions to the themes of war, sexuality, the destruction of the natural world, greed, injustice, repression, transience, and death. Two paintings in this style are Shrine of the Piggies (The Pigs Hog it All and Defacate and Piss on Where From They Get It and With Whom They Will Not Share. That s It) (2000) and Testament of the Powers That Be (Where Trees Turn to Sand, Residual Colours Stain the Lands) (2001).[19]

Baer has also painted several autobiographical meditations on the twists and turns of her own life, most notably Altar of the Egos (Through a Glass Darkly), (2004; collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo), Memorial for an Art World Body (Nevermore) (2009; collection of the artist), and a series of 6 works slated for exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 2013, provisionally titled In the Land of the Giants (2011; collection of the artist). Baer’s writings over the years were brought together in Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010,[20] which provide a general commentary on art as well as her own attitudes to her work.

Subsequent surveys of her work have been organized by The Paley Levy Gallery at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia (1993); Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (1993); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1999); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2002-2003); Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, (1986 and 2009); Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2010); and Gagosian Gallery, Geneva (2012).[21] In 2013 two one-person shows were running parallel: “In the Land of the Giants” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and “Jo Baer. Gemälde und Zeichnungen seit 1960 (Drawings and Paintings)” at Ludwig Museum, Cologne.

Texts by Jo Baer[edit]

  • “Statements.” Systemic Painting. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1966.
  • “Letters,” Artforum, NY, Sept 1967. p. 5-6.
  • “Edward Kienholz: A Sentimental Journeyman,” Art International, Lugano. Apr 1968, p. 45-49.
  • “Letters.” Artforum, New York. Apr 1969, p. 4-5.
  • “The Artist and Politics: A Symposium.” Artforum, Sept 1970. p. 35-36.
  • “Mach Bands: Art and Vision” and “Xerography & Mach Bands: Instrumental Model”, Aspen Magazine. Fall-Winter 1970.
  • Fluorescent Light Culture,” American Orchid Society Bulletin, NY, Sept-Oct 1971.
  • “Art and Politics” and “On Painting”. Flash Art, Nov 1972. p. 6-7 .
  • “To and Fro and Back and Forth: A Dialogue With Seamus Coleman,” Art Monthly, London. Mar 1977, p. 6-10.
  • “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery: Statement,” Art-Net, 1977 London. Reprinted in “Galerie,” Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam,’89, p. 39.
  • “On Painting.” Jo Baer Paintings 1962-1975″, Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1977 (catalogue).
  • “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery: Statement #2,” Studio International, London, 1980.
  • “Beyond the Pale,” (with Bruce Robbins), REALLIFE Magazine, NY, Summer 1983, p. 16-17.
  • “Jo Baer: I am no longer an abstract artist.” Art in America, NY. Oct 1983, p. 136-137.
  • “Jo Baer: Red, White and Blue Gelding Falling to its Right (Double-cross Britannicus/Tri-color Hibernicus); `Tis Ill Pudling in the Cockatrice Den (La-Bas); The Rod Reversed (Mixing Memory and Desire),” Catalogue, 1990 Amsterdam.
  • “Jo Baer: Four Drawings,” (with Bruce Robbins), Catalogue, Amsterdam, 1993.
  • “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery,” Art Gallery Exhibiting, De Balie, Amsterdam,1996 p. 42-43.
  • “The Diptych,” The Pursuit of Painting, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 1997, catalogue, p. 52.
  • “The Diptych,” Catalogue, Jo Baer, Paintings, 1960–1998, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1999, p26-27. “I am no longer an Abstract Artist,” Catalogue, 1999, reprint from ’85. pp. 15–19.
  • Revisioning the Parthenon, 1996. A work in progress that first appeared as an appendix in Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010; a fuller version is in preparation.

Baer wrote a number of texts over the years, these are brought together in Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010,[22] which provide a general commentary on art as well as her own attitude to her work.

Collections[edit]

Baer is represented in the following public collections

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Dia Foundation Retrieved October 3, 2009
  2. Jump up^ [1] The Tate, London Retrieved October 3, 2009
  3. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” Art in America 71 (October 1983), pp. 136–137, reprinted in Broadsiders & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965-2010 (Amsterdam: Roma Publications, 2010), pp. 111–112.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Jo Baer, oral history interview with Avis Berman, 2010 Oct. 5-7, Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Judith Stein, “The Adventures of Jo Baer,” Art in America, May 2003, 104-111, 157; reprinted in ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, pp. 13–26.
  6. Jump up^ “Biography,” in ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, p. 9.
  7. Jump up^ Online bio retrieved October 3, 2009
  8. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “On Painting,” Flash Art 37 (November 1972), pp. 6–7, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 70.
  9. Jump up^ Lucy R. Lippard, “Out of the Past: Lucy R. Lippard talks about Eva Hesse with Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson,” Artforum, February 2008, findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_6_46/ai_n31297522/?tag=content;col1 Accessed July 10, 2012; “Jo Baer interviewed by Mark Godfrey,” 2004, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 26.
  10. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “On Seeing,” unpublished text, late 1960s-1970s, printed in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 51.
  11. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “Fluorescent Light Orchid Culture: A New Approach,” American Orchid Society Bulletin 40 (September 1971), pp. 786–790, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 70–71.
  12. Jump up^ Haskell, Barbara. Jo Baer. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1975, unpaged.
  13. Jump up^ See, for example, “Letter to the editor,” Artforum, 6 (September 1967), pp. 5–6, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 42–44.
  14. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “Art & Vision: Mach Bands,” Aspen Magazine, 8 (Fall-Winer 1970), section 9, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 54–63.
  15. Jump up^ Smarmorecastle.com, Accessed July 26, 2012
  16. Jump up^ Jobaer.net Accessed July 10, 2012
  17. Jump up^ Jo Baer, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” Art in America 71 (October 1983), pp. 136–137, reprinted in Broadsiders & Belles Lettres, pp. 111–112.
  18. Jump up^ “Biography,” in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 10.
  19. Jump up^ Galerie Paul Andriesse, “Jo Baer: Flush”; G A L E R I E S.N L Accessed June 1, 2014
  20. Jump up^ Jo Baer, Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, Roma Publications, 2010 ISBN 978-90-77459-49-2
  21. Jump up^ Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 175; jobaer.net Accessed July 10, 2012
  22. Jump up^ ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010’ Roma Publications, 2010 ISBN 978-90-77459-49-2
  23. Jump up^ Tate

Further reading[edit]

  • Jo Baer. Paintings 1962-1975. Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, 1977.
  • Marja Bloem and Marianne Brouwer, Jo Baer: Paintings 1960-1998. Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1999.
  • Lynne Cooke, Jo Baer: The Minimalist Years, 1960-1975. New York: Dia Center for the Arts, 2003.

External links[edit]

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Woody Wednesday All 47 Woody Allen movies – ranked from worst to best Part G

(L-R): Annie Hall, Sleeper and Vicky Christina Barcelona
(L-R): Annie Hall, Sleeper and To Rome With Love

Annie Hall or Bananas? Blue Jasmine or Sleeper? Our critics Robbie Collin and Tim Robey rank all 47 Woody Allen movies

8. Zelig (1983)

Throughout his career, Allen has downplayed the degree of self-portraiture in his work, but perhaps this ingenious spoof documentary, about a once-famous ‘human chameleon’ who lived in the first part of the 20th century and who could alter his personality and appearance to blend in wherever he went, is the quintessential Allen-as-Allen movie. It’s about the horror of conspicuousness when all you want to do is fit in, and the humour bites down on all kinds of personal and political pressure points. (Allen’s chosen time period and Zelig’s Jewish-American heritage are not accidents.) The special effects, in which Allen is seamlessly inserted into vintage newsreels, are still astonishing, and draw out the aching tragicomedy of Zelig’s plight. He’s the original man who wasn’t there.

7. Husbands and Wives (1992)

Husbands and Wives

It opens with one of Allen’s most vividly written, shot and acted scenes ever, as Judy Davis and Sydney Pollack arrive for dinner and announce their separation plans. The way their best friends, Allen and Farrow, respond – shocked, but also offended – turns this into a rapid marvel of four-way characterisation. This is Allen’s most scorching anatomy of marital bonds, a film so bitter, witheringly frank and unsentimental he entirely reinvented his style of shooting and editing for it.

Jump cuts abound, straight-to-camera interviews break up the plot, and Carlo Di Palma’s handheld camera whip-pans all over the place, seeming to reel from one accusation or gossip-bomb to the next as this foursome all experiment separately with new lovers: perfect catch Liam Neeson, aerobics bimbo Lysette Anthony, impressionable student Juliette Lewis. It’s Woody’s last film with Farrow and feels, even more now, like a brutal post-mortem on their whole relationship: he even makes himself the loser.

6. Manhattan (1979)
Manhattan
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Received wisdom has it that Manhattan is a cinematic love letter to New York. But it’s actually the opposite: a thank-you card from New York, via Allen, to cinema – for the alchemical process by which light and shade and music can turn buildings and streets into a miraculous, shared dream of a city. In theory it’s a romantic comedy, though its romance and humour are by turns anxious and wistful, and its characters come weighed down by manifold flaws and neuroses (not least the troublesome May-September romance between Isaac, Allen’s conflicted comedy writer, and Mariel Hemingway’s 17-year-old student).

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5. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
The Purple Rose of Cairo

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Café Society review – Woody Allen on nostalgic form 3/5stars Wendy Ide Sunday 4 September 2016 03.00 EDT

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Café Society review – Woody Allen on nostalgic form 3/5stars Wendy Ide Sunday 4 September 2016 03.00 EDT

I have posted so many reviews on Woody Allen’s latest movie CAFE SOCIETY and I even posted an open letter I wrote to Woody Allen about the film. A serious theme of the afterlife is brought up in this film too. Some reviewers liked the film and the lavish surroundings in it and some did […]

“Woody Wednesday” OPEN LETTER TO WOODY ALLEN about the movie “Café Society”

Café Society Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Movie HD LETTER DATED 8-28-16 The last time I wrote you about the film IRRATIONAL MAN and today I want to give my thoughts on the film CAFE SOCIETY. I was able to catch it in Chicago in July and again I caught […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Cafe Society Woody Allen returns with a 1930s-set tale of Hollywood glamour and New York nightlife By Peter Travers July 13, 2016

Café Society – Official Movie Review Café Society Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Movie HD Cafe Society Woody Allen returns with a 1930s-set tale of Hollywood glamour and New York nightlife Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in ‘Café Society.’ Credit: Sabrina Lantos In a summer of VFX crowdpleasers, it’s a […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Reel Thing The Reel Thing: Woody Allen Formula Fails With ‘Cafe Society’ By RAY COX

Café Society – Official Movie Review Café Society Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Movie HD The Reel Thing The Reel Thing: Woody Allen Formula Fails With ‘Cafe Society’ By RAY COX 23 hrs ago   Woody Allen has been making films for more than 50 years but “Cafe Society” is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Cafe Society Woody Allen’s latest is an unfocused, wistful glance at both old glamour and the afterlife. Alissa Wilkinson/ July 14, 2016

Café Society – Official Movie Review Cafe Society Woody Allen’s latest is an unfocused, wistful glance at both old glamour and the afterlife. Alissa Wilkinson/ July 14, 2016 Cafe Society Amazon Studios 1 of 2 Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in ‘Cafe Society’ Woody Allen has come under concentrated fire in the time since his […]

OPEN LETTER TO WOODY ALLEN on the movie “Café Society”

Café Society – Official Movie Review Café Society Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Movie HD __   ___ ______________ __ Kat Edmonson lives the NYC dream ___ __ __ OPEN LETTER TO WOODY ALLEN DATED 8-28-16 seen below: The last time I wrote you about the film IRRATIONAL MAN and […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Cafe Society review: In Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Allen has found his acting surrogate Christiopher Hooton

_ Cafe Society review: In Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Allen has found his acting surrogate Christiopher Hooton 11 hours  ago But in this movie about making movies, it’s too tangible that a movie is being made I always get excited to watch a new Woody Allen film, not in spite of his prolificness but because of […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Review: ‘Café Society’ is minor, enjoyable Woody Allen Bill Goodykoontz, Gannett4:24 p.m. EDT July 28, 2016

_ Café Society Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Movie HD Review: ‘Café Society’ is minor, enjoyable Woody Allen Bill Goodykoontz, Gannett4:24 p.m. EDT July 28, 2016 (Photo: Amazon Studios) “Café Society” is probably what you’d call a placeholder Woody Allen movie, a small offering between more cerebral offerings, if he’s […]

“Truth Tuesday” Debating Kermit Gosnell Trial, Abortion and infanticide with Ark Times Bloggers Part 9 Owen Strachan: “The Gosnell murders reveal the evil heart that beats in the chest of our society”

C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Francis Schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Founder of the L’Abri community
Born Francis August Schaeffer
January 30, 1912

Died May 15, 1984 (aged 72)

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Dr Francis Schaeffer – Whatever Happened to the Human Race – Episode 1

Published on Oct 14, 2012

more of the insightful Drs. Schaeffer & C. Everett Koop

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture . This time around I have discussed morality with the Ark Times Bloggers and particularly the trial of the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and through that we discuss infanticide, abortion and even partial birth abortion. Here are some of my favorite past posts on the subject of Gosnell: ,Abby Johnson comments on Dr. Gosnell’s guilty verdict, Does President Obama care about Kermit Gosnell verdict?Dr. Gosnell Trial mostly ignored by mediaKermit Gosnell is guilty of same crimes of abortion clinics are says Jennifer MasonDenny Burk: Is Dr. Gosnell the usual case or not?, Pro-life Groups thrilled with Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict,  Reactions to Dr. Gosnell guilty verdict from pro-life leaders,  Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood supporting infanticide?, Owen Strachan on Dr. Gosnell Trial, Al Mohler on Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice, Finally we get justice for Dr. Kermit Gosnell .

In July of 2013 I went back and forth with several bloggers from the Ark Times Blog concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice and his trial which had finished up in the middle of May:

I don’t doubt you for a minute Olphart when you assert that “The genie will not go back into the bottle because women now enjoy reproductive freedom and they’re not about to give it up.”

You may be right on that but then it is showing how SELFISH AND NARCISSIST OUR COUNTRY HAS BECOME!!!!!

Owen Strachan observed:

If you missed it, the story is basically this: after months of complete inattention to the barbaric narrative of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, pro-life folks–including journalist Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Lifesite.com leaders, and Eric Metaxas–decided to do their part to raise a ruckus. Gosnell gives us a window into the gruesome world of killing babies…

But here’s the thing to note: even if these abortions had happened in the tidiest manner possible, with swarms of smiling, bright-eyed attendants working in crystal-clean conditions and a long-established doctor with a warm bedside manner, they would be no less barbaric. Abortion, we are reminded, is barbaric. Strong word, this–barbaric. Yet it fits our society perfectly. We’re drunk on the fumes of our supposedly morally advanced society, our technology with its modern advances, our bright and pampered 21st-century world which seems the apotheosis of social Darwinism. We are the ones human history has been waiting for. We’re brighter, living longer, avoiding cataclysmic world wars, spreading democracy through virtual platforms, humane, tolerant, happy, and whole.

It’s this narrative, you see, that the Gosnell murders destroy. The Gosnell murders reveal the evil heart that beats in the chest of our society. They’re unusually sordid, but the practice at their core–abortion–is pure evil, the perfect flowering of an UNBRIDLED NARCISSISM. We’re patting ourselves on our backs, but our elegantly manicured hands have blood on them.

http://www.breakpoint.org/wvc-digest/featu…

A Twin Lives Through an Abortion – CBN.com

Uploaded on Jan 7, 2011

My name is Claire Culwell, and I am an abortion survivor…

__________

“Everyone needs to hear Claire’s story! Often times at pro-life events or banquets we can forget who is at stake in abortion. Claire’s passion reminds the audience that every life lost due to abortion cannot be taken back but every life saved from abortion is a profound witness of God’s hope and love for every human life. Having seen her speak multiple times, I know that Claire’s story captures an audience at a pregnancy center event like no other story because she is living proof of what we stand for, life!” –Shawn Carney, Co-founder 40 Days for Life, Host of Being Human on EWTN

Claire’s Story:

I found out I was affected by abortion about 3 years ago. This changed my life. I had walked into the Coalition For Life wondering what their organization provided and 5 months later I met my birth mother who told me my life is a miracle.

My birth mother was 13 years old at the time she became pregnant with me. Her mother took her straight to an abortion clinic where she had a surgical abortion. After thinking she had “fixed the problem,” a few weeks later she realized her belly was still growing. Her mother took her back to the abortion clinic where she learned that she had been pregnant with twins…One was aborted; One survived.

My life is a miracle and I would be selfish to keep this GIFT of life to myself. I want to tell everyone what a gift I and even they have been given!! I want to encourage them to seek alternatives to abortion because I would never want any woman/man to go through the grief and the pain that my birth mother went through simply because she didn’t know she had any other option. I also want to be a vessel to offer God’s forgiveness to the men and women who have previously had abortions. I know healing is possible and I have been given the gift of surviving an abortion so that I can tell these men and women that they are forgiven…coming from an aborted child, I hope they know the power of forgiveness and healing through meeting me. My involvement in Coalition For Life transformed me, taught me how to stand up for life on the front lines, and how to share my story in a meaningful way. I have the staff at Coalition For Life to thank for encouraging me to get involved and to share my story not only on the sidewalk but in public (my biggest fear) because God is glorified when I publically proclaim that “I am here not because of anything I did, but ONLY because of God’s mercy and love for me.”

My life is a testimony that there are wonderful alternatives to abortion (such as adoption in my case) and an accident/unwanted child still deserves life…even a child with disabilities. I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighed 3 lbs 2 oz, had dislocated hips and club feet. I had to wear casts on my feet, a harness and eventually a body cast. The abortion still affects me today. All that to say, LIFE IS STILL WORTH IT.If my life can touch just one person who has had an abortion or considering an abortion or adoption, then I am fulfilling my purpose in the pro-life movement.

I will not be silent because each mother and child are in the same place my biological mother, my twin and I were in 22 years ago and I am here to say THERE IS HOPE and there are options!

Traveling and sharing my story was not something that I had planned for myself, but God proved to have better plans for me than I had for myself. Sharing my story is as much of a gift to MYSELF as it is to others.

Related posts:

GBCSUMC on Gosnell: What’s abortion got to do with it? #UMC

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Kermit Gosnell and the irony of the coat hanger back alley argument

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

History’s Jury Is Out: Has Gosnell Rocked Our Conscience?

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Evangelical Blogger Lists Eight Reasons the Media Are Ignoring the Gosnell Murder Trial

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Cornerstone Executive Ashley Pratte on Gosnell Trial Verdict

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Dr. Gosnell Trial ignored for a while by mainstream media

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

ANALYSIS: Will the Kermit Gosnell verdict change the abortion debate?

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

What’s So Bad About Kermit Gosnell?

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Kermit Gosnell and the Gospel

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

VIDEO: Kermit Gosnell killings like ‘weeding your garden’

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Gosnell: The Silence is Deafening

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Five Thoughts on the Gosnell Conviction

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Implications of the Kermit Gosnell Verdict

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Dr. Gosnell Trial has prompted closer look at Albuquerque abortion clinic

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Why won’t President Obama comment on Dr. Gosnell Trial?

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Dr. Alveda King reacts to guilty verdict of Kermit Gosnell

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Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis _____________ Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News Published on May 13, 2013 Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News ________________ Hey Obama, Kermit Gosnell Is What a Real War on Women Looks Like […]

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Do New York late term abortionists need more attention like Dr. Gosnell did?

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Hope for Kermit Gosnell’s repentance?

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The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 5 (Includes videos and Pictures)

The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 2 (Includes videos and Pictures) _________________________________ _____________________ _______________________ __________________________ Tennis – Wimbledon 1974 [ Official Film ] – 05/05 Published on May 1, 2012 John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Bjor Borg, Jimmy Connors, Cris Evert… ___________________ Jimmy Connors Reflects Published on May 13, 2013 Jimmy Connors visits “SportsCenter” to discuss his memoir, […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer, Prolife | Tagged , | Edit | Comments (0)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 106 Chris Hann, Social Anthropologist, “I find extremely interesting but I can’t identify with any of it (religion and spirituality) myself”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

profile image for Prof Chris HannChris Hann (born in Cardiff in 1953) was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent between 1992 and 1999, when he was appointed as one of two founding Directors of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology at Halle/Saale, Germany.He had previously taught anthropology at Cambridge University and had close links with UKC staff even before coming to Kent, especially with Paul Stirling, the first Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, who pioneered the anthropological study of modern Turkey. In addition to his own fieldwork in Anatolia, Hann has worked among Turkic speakers in Central Asia (Xinjiang, North-West China). Earlier projects took him to Hungary and Poland when these countries were still socialist. At the Max Planck Institute he heads a department which specializes in investigations of the postsocialist countries of the former Soviet bloc, and also of those East Asian countries which still describe themselves as socialist. Recent themes have included rural decollectivization, religion after communism, and the transformation of social security and kinship relations in the decentralized economies of “reform socialism”.Hann is an Editor of the European Journal of Sociology, a Fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and Honorary Professor at the Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, and at the University of Leipzig.Professor Hann continues to collaborate with School of Anthropology and Conservation colleagues, particularly Dr Glenn Bowman.

In  the second video below in the 96th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

 

 

Below is my letter responding to Dr. Hann’s quotation:

________

Charles Darwin

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Rock Band KANSAS

July 8, 2016

Dear Dr. Hahn,

Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Last time I talked also about Charles Darwin but today I want to directly respond to a quote you made. I think you have exaggerated  if you truly think that you CAN’T IDENTIFY WITH belief in God. Charles Darwin  also struggled with the same issue.

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Quote from you:

If I take religion seriously nowadays as I do leading a number of recent projects at this institute, it is very much as social scientist interested in what holds the communities together and also in some sense in the spiritual commitments that human beings are capable of, all of that I find extremely interesting but I can’t identify with any of it myself.

Now this quote is why I thought of you when I read the words of Charles Darwin. You talk about the culture where you come from and how hardly anyone believes in God, but that is not the way it is worldwide. THERE IS AN INNER MORAL CONSCIENCE IN EVERY PERSON THAT POINTS THEM TO GOD AND EVERYONE ACTS ON MORAL MOTIONS.

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father (Charles, this book was put together by Francis Darwin) gives the history of his religious views:—

CHARLES DARWIN’S WORDS:

But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that materialistic anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

_________________

Let make 2 points here. First, the Bible teaches that everyone knows in their heart that God exists because of the beauty of God’s creation and the conscience that God has planted in everyone’s heart (Romans 1).

Second, all humans have moral motions.

 Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Now back to my first point, concerning ROMANS CHAPTER ONE. It has been found that when atheists are asked with a polygraph machine if they believe in God and  they so “NO” the polygraph indicates they are lying. Claude Brown actually tested this with over 15,000 job applicants over a long period of time in his trucking line during the 1970’s and most of the 1980’s.   

Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). At the 37 minute mark on the CD that I sent you today Adrian Rogers noted, “”There is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

ROMANS CHAPTER ONE IS RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEEK OUT GOD!!!!

As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too:

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

PS: Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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MUSIC MONDAY Karen Carpenter’s tragic story

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Carpenters Close To You

Karen Carpenter’s velvet voice charmed millions in the 70s… but behind the wholesome image she was in turmoil. Desperate to look slim on stage – and above all desperate to please the domineering mother who preferred her brother – she became the first celebrity victim of anorexia. In a revealing new biography, extracted below, Randy Schmidt tells the full story…
Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter, Paris, 1971. Photograph: Shepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA

The Carpenters were one of the biggest-selling American musical acts of all time. Between 1970 and 1984 brother and sister Richard and Karen Carpenter had 17 top 20 hits, including “Goodbye to Love“, “Yesterday Once More“, “Close to You” and “Rainy Days and Mondays“. They notched up 10 gold singles, nine gold albums, one multi-platinum album and three Grammy awards. Karen’s velvety voice and Richard’s airy melodies and meticulously crafted arrangements stood in direct contrast to the louder, wilder rock dominating the rest of the charts at the time, yet they became immensely popular, selling more than 100m  records.

Richard was the musical driving force but it was Karen’s effortless voice that lay behind the Carpenters’ hits. Promoted from behind the drums to star vocalist, she became one of the decade’s most instantly recognisable female singers.

But there was a tragic discrepancy between her public and private selves. Offstage, away from the spotlight, she felt desperately unloved by her mother, Agnes, who favoured Richard, and struggled with low self-esteem, eventually developing anorexia nervosa from which she never recovered. She died at the age of 32.

carpenters -We’ve Only Just Begun

 

In 1996 journalist Rob Hoerburger powerfully summed up Karen Carpenter’s tribulations in a New York Times Magazine feature: “If anorexia has classically been defined as a young woman’s struggle for control, then Karen was a prime candidate, for the two things she valued most in the world – her voice and her mother’s love – were exclusively the property of her brother Richard. At least she would control the size of her own body.” And control it she did. By September 1975 her weight fell to 6st 7lb (41kg).

Karen’s quest to be thin seems to have begun innocently enough just after high school graduation when she started the Stillman water diet. Although she was never obese, she was what most would consider a chubby 17-year-old at 10st 5lb. (She was 5ft 4in tall.) She levelled off at around 8st 8lb and maintained her weight by eating sensibly but not starving herself. Even so, eating while on tour was problematic for Karen, as she described in 1973: “When you’re on the road it’s hard to eat. Period. On top of that, it’s rough to eat well. We don’t like to eat before a show because I can’t stand singing with a full stomach… You never get to dinner until, like, midnight, and if you eat heavy you’re not going to sleep, and you’re going to be a balloon.”

Karen was shocked when she saw photos from an August 1973 Lake Tahoe concert where an unflattering outfit accentuated her paunch. She hired a personal trainer, who made visits to her home and recommended a diet low in calories but high in carbohydrates. Instead of slimming down as she had hoped, Karen started to put on muscle and bulk up. Watching the Carpenters on a Bob Hope television special that autumn, she remarked that she had put on some extra weight. Richard agreed she looked a bit heavier. She was discouraged and vowed she was going to “do something about it”. She fired her trainer, and immediately set out on a mission to shed the unwanted pounds on her own. She purchased a hip cycle, which she used each morning on her bed, and because it was portable the equipment was packed and taken with her on tour.”She lost around 20lb and she looked fabulous,” recalls Carole Curb, the sister of Karen’s then boyfriend, record executive Mike Curb. “She weighed 110lb [7st 12lb] or so, and looked amazing… If she’d been able to stop there then life would have been beautiful. A lot of us girls in that era went through moments of that. Everybody wanted to be Twiggy. Karen got carried away. She just couldn’t stop.”

Having witnessed Karen’s meticulous routine of counting calories and planning food intake for every meal, Richard complimented her initial weight loss during a break from recording as the two dined at the Au Petit Café, a favourite French bistro on Vine Street near the A&M studios. “You look great,” he told her.

Can’t Smile Without You The Carpenters

“Well, I’m just going to get down to around 105.”

“A hundred and five? You look great now.”

Karen’s response worried Richard. In fact, this was the first time he paused to consider she might be taking the diet too far. Friends and family began to notice extreme changes in Karen’s eating habits, despite her attempts at subtlety. She rearranged and pushed her food around the plate with a fork as she talked, which gave the appearance of eating. Another of her strategies involved offering samples of her food to others around the table. She would rave on about her delicious meal and then insist that everyone try it for themselves. “Here, you have some,” she would say as she enthusiastically scooped heaps on to others’ plates. “Would you like to taste this?” By the time dinner was over, Karen’s plate was clean but she had dispersed her entire meal to everyone else. Her mother, Agnes, caught on to this ploy and began to do the same in return. “Well, this is good, too,” she would say as she put more food on to her daughter’s plate. This infuriated Karen, who realised she would have to find other ways to avoid eating.

By the time Karen’s weight dropped to 6st 6lb, she looked for ways to disguise the weight loss, especially around those she knew would make comments or pester her to eat more. She began to layer her clothing, a strategy her agent Sherwin Bash noticed in the early part of 1975. “She would start with a long-sleeved shirt and then put a blouse over that,” he explains, “and a sweater over that and a jacket over that… With all of it you had no idea of what she had become.”But family friend Evelyn Wallace was shocked when she caught a glimpse of Karen’s gaunt figure as she sunbathed topless in the back garden of the Carpenters’ home in Downey, California, one afternoon. “They put this screen around her so nobody else could see her,” Wallace explains. “She loved to go lay out in the sunshine. I don’t know whether it was to get a tan or get away from her mother. Anyhow, I happened to go out to the kitchen for something and I saw her out there. She just had on her little bathing suit shorts. You couldn’t tell whether it was a girl or a boy. She had absolutely no breasts.”

Karen’s new slim figure required that she purchase a new stage wardrobe, and she opted for a number of low-cut silky gowns, some strapless or even backless. Bash was horrified to see her bony shoulders and ribs. Even her hip bones were visible through the thin layers of fabric. He asked Karen to rethink the wardrobe choices before going on stage. “I talked her into putting a jacket on over the bare back and bare arms,” he said, “but the audience saw it.”

There was often a collective gasp from the audience when Karen would take the stage. In fact, after a few shows, Bash was approached by concerned fans who knew something was terribly wrong but assumed she had cancer or some other disease. Even critics took note of her gaunt appearance. A review for Varietypraised Karen’s emergence from behind the drums to centre stage but commented on her deteriorating appearance. “She is terribly thin, almost a wraith, and should be gowned more becomingly.”

No one really understood why Karen wasn’t eating. To those around her the solution seemed simple: eat. “Anorexia nervosa was so new that I didn’t even know how to pronounce it until 1980,” band member John Bettis said. “From the outside the solution looks so simple. All a person has to do is eat. So we were constantly trying to shove food at Karen… My opinion about anorexia is it’s an attempt to have control – something in your life you can do something about, that you can regiment. That just got out of control with her.”

Band members witnessed her exhaustion. She was lying down between shows, something she had rarely, if ever, done before. They were shocked to see how she could be flat on her back one minute and on stage singing the next. Even when doing back-to-back shows, Karen displayed “a tremendous amount of nervous energy”, said Bash. Unlike her parents, Bash had no qualms about confronting Karen on the issue of anorexia. “The fact that she was anorexic was discussed innumerable times… There was every attempt to get her to seek professional help, but I believe her family was the kind of family where the mother would say, ‘We can take care of ourselves. We don’t need to have someone help. This is a family matter.'”

When Karen dieted, or “overdieted”, Bash explains, there was a rush of attention from the family, especially Agnes. “Karen had never had attention from Agnes before – her mother doted exclusively on Richard – so she liked it. The experts say that one of the things that seems to drive young girls to overdiet is that they were oftentimes the kids that never got attention. It’s a way of getting the love from their family that they never got before.”

By the autumn of 1975 Karen’s failing health could no longer be ignored. In addition to her skeletal appearance, she was mentally and physically exhausted. Although she made it through a series of shows in LasVegas without a major incident, upon returning to Los Angeles she checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where she spent five days while doctors ran tests. “She is suffering a severe case of physical and nervous exhaustion,” said Dr Robert Koblin in a statement to the press. “She had a hectic four-week schedule lined up in Europe but I could not allow her to go through with it. In my opinion it would have been highly dangerous to her long-term health.” Melody Maker reported that the Carpenters’ tour would have been the highest-grossing tour in Britain and that approximately 150,000 people were set to see them during the planned 28-day European trek. Ticket sales for the 50 shows, which sold out in a matter of hours, were refunded. It was reported that the Carpenters may have easily lost upward of $250,000 due to the cancelled concerts.

Under Agnes Carpenter’s close watch, Karen slept 14-16 hours a day. “My mother thought I was dead,” she told biographer Ray Coleman. “I normally manage on four to six hours. It was obvious that for the past two years I’d been running on nervous energy.” Her weight eventually climbed to 7st 6lb.

The Carpenters – Rainy Days And Mondays

Over the next five years Karen continued to struggle with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Meanwhile Richard Carpenter fought and won a battle with Quaalude addiction. Then in June 1980, after an unsuccessful attempt to launch a solo career, Karen announced her engagement to a property developer called Tom Burris.

Thirty-nine-year-old Tom Burris met a number of Karen’s requirements in a potential husband. “He was very attractive, very nice, and he seemed very generous,” said Carole Curb. Two months into their relationship, Burris told Karen he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. The couple’s plan for a year-long engagement was ditched when they announced in July their plans for an August ceremony. The push to be married alarmed Karen’s friends. According to Karen ‘Itchie’ Ramone, Karen’s friend and the wife of producer Phil Ramone, “That’s when everybody’s antennas went up.” Days before the wedding rehearsal Burris dropped a bombshell: he had undergone a vasectomy prior to their meeting. Karen was dumbfounded. He offered to reverse the procedure but their chances at a family would be significantly lessened.

Karen felt betrayed. Burris had lied to her; he had withheld this information for the duration of their courtship and engagement, knowing full well that starting a family was at the top of Karen’s list of priorities. This was a deal breaker. The wedding was off. Karen picked up the phone and called her mother. She cried to Agnes as she explained the deceit that left her with no choice but to cancel the ceremony. But Agnes told her she would do no such thing. Family and friends were travelling from all over the country to attend the event. Moreover, the wedding expenses had already cost what Agnes considered to be a small fortune. “The invitations have gone out. There are reporters and photographers coming. People magazine is going to be there. The wedding is on, and you will walk down that aisle. You made your bed, Karen,” she told her. “Now you’ll have to lay in it.”

Most of Karen’s family and friends had assumed Burris’s lifestyle and net worth were comparable to her own. The expensive cars and other possessions gave him the appearance of a multimillionaire, but what others did not realise was that he was living well beyond his means.

“It wasn’t long after they got married that he started asking her for money,” recalls Evelyn Wallace. “He’d give her some excuse, and she’d give him the money. He’d ask for $35,000 and $50,000 at a time. Finally it got down to the point where all she had left was stocks and bonds.”

As Itchie Ramone recalls, “Tom couldn’t afford the houses, the cars, her wedding ring; he couldn’t pay for anything.” Karen began to share with friends her growing misgivings about Tom, not only concerning his finances but also his lack of feelings for her. He was often impatient, and she admitted being fearful when he would occasionally lose his temper. “He could be very cruel to her,” says Itchie. But Karen’s longing to be a mother proved to be stronger than her desire to leave her husband. At their house in Newport Beach Karen expressed to Burris her desire to get pregnant and start a family. His response was brutal. She was still crying hysterically when she called Itchie Ramone for support. Burris had told her he wouldn’t even consider having children with her and called her “a bag of bones”. According to Itchie, this marriage was “the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have ever happened to her.”

Friends suggested she and Burris seek marital counselling. Instead, the Carpenters prepared to leave for Europe and South America. Itchie went along to keep Karen company. In reality, however, according to Itchie, “Laxatives were her major companion. When we were in Paris we made quite a scene in a pharmacy across the street from our hotel about her needing to buy more laxatives. I suggested natural food groups that might relieve her ‘constipation’ but she always won those arguments.”

Following a brief stop in Amsterdam, the Carpenters arrived at London’s Heathrow airport on Wednesday, 21 October 1981. They made numerous promotional appearances while in London, both in person and on television. On Thursday they taped an interview for Nationwide, a popular news magazine on BBC television. Barely one minute into their visit, host Sue Lawley surprised Karen by casting light on her darkest secret. “There were rumours that you were suffering from the slimmer’s disease anorexia nervosa,” Lawley said. “Is that right?” “No, I was just pooped,” Karen said with an intense frown. “I was tired out.”

“You went down to about six stone in weight, I think, didn’t you?” Lawley asked. “I have no idea what ‘six stone in weight’ is,” Karen replied, becoming noticeably uncomfortable and increasingly agitated. She struggled to fake a laugh, rolling her eyes at the interviewer, who quickly converted the amount to approximately 84lbs. “No,” she said, shaking her head adamantly. “No.”

In actuality her weight was hovering around 5st 10lbs even then. The interviewer’s continued efforts to pinpoint a reason for Karen’s skeletal appearance prompted Richard to come to his sister’s defence. “I don’t really feel that we should be talking about the weight loss,” he told Lawley. “Maybe it’s better to take a pass on the whole thing. It’s really not what we’re here for.”

“I am just asking you the questions people want to know the answers to,” Lawley replied.

Returning to Los Angeles in November 1981, Karen filed for divorce. Leaving behind the pieces of her broken marriage, she set out on a year-long recovery mission, relocating to New York City’s Regency Hotel in January 1982. Manager Jerry Weintraub arranged for Karen and Itchie Ramone to share a two-bedroom suite. Cherry O’Neill, the eldest daughter of singer Pat Boone who had herself recovered from anorexia, had recommended Karen consider coming to the northwest and seeing the doctor who helped her. But in Karen’s world, one name was synonymous with anorexia treatment, and that name was Steven Levenkron. He was a psychotherapist specialising in eating disorders and his successful book The Best Little Girl in the World had become a highly acclaimed television movie, which aired in May 1981. Levenkron agreed to treat her. He received £100 for each hour-long session five days a week, totalling $2,000 a month. “I liked Levenkron, at least in the beginning,” Itchie Ramone says. “No one really knew why someone would get the disorder or how to treat it, so we were really looking to him to ‘save’ her.”

Arriving at Levenkron’s office at 16 East Seventy-Ninth in Manhattan, Karen weighed in at an alarming 5st 8lb. A week into their daily sessions, Karen admitted to Levenkron she was taking a large number of laxative tablets – 80-90 Dulcolax a night. This did not surprise Levenkron. In fact, it was a common practice for many anorexics. “For quite some time, I was taking 60 laxatives at once,” admits Cherry O’Neill. “Mainly because that was how many came in the box… I would ingest the entire contents so as not to leave any evidence.”

What did stun Levenkron was Karen’s next casual disclosure. She was also taking thyroid medication – 10 pills a day. He was shocked, especially when she explained that she had a normal thyroid. Realising she was using the medication to speed up her metabolism, Levenkron confiscated the pills. This was the first case of thyroid medication abuse he had seen in his dozen years in the field.

According to Levenkron’s 1982 book, Treating and Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa, the patient must become totally dependent upon the therapist. Once the patient has transferred their dependence on to him, he tries to teach them how to create their own sense of identity, and he helps them disengage from their dependence on him with new behaviours, habits, and thought patterns.

Karen took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and began a new exercise routine – to and from her sessions with Levenkron – a brisk two-mile round-trip walk. This was yet another method to burn extra calories. Outwardly Karen seemed committed to the idea of therapy, but as evidenced by her daily walking regimen, she was not as committed to making actual changes that would result in real progress. “She was still walking a lot, and she was exercising,” Carole Curb says. “And then she was into throwing up and taking pills that make you lose water-weight. Debilitating things like that.”

Several months into his sessions with Karen, Levenkron began to suspect that she had fallen off the wagon. He invited the Carpenter parents and Richard to a 90-minute family therapy session at his office. “They did come to New York –finally,” Itchie Ramone recalls, “and only after a lot of nudging. By then, Karen seemed to be starting to turn the corner a bit emotionally.”

The stigma surrounding mental illness and a need for therapy was frightening for the family, especially Agnes, who felt Karen was simply going overboard as far as dieting was concerned. If only she would stop being so stubborn and just eat. Over the years the family tried every possible approach to get through to her and make her eat. “Everyone around her did everything that they could have humanly done,” Richard said in 1993. “I tried everything – the heart-to-heart, the cajole, the holler… It can just make you crazy. Obviously it wasn’t about to work, and I was upset.”

Levenkron explained that the family’s attempts to threaten or bribe Karen out of her behaviours would never make them go away. According to his book, “Failure of the family to understand this produces division within the family that in turn results in feelings of anger and guilt. The family atmosphere is chaotic, reinforcing the anorexic’s belief that she and no one else knows what is best for her.” Levenkron suggested to the family that Karen was in need of a more tactile, demonstrative kind of love. Karen cried uncontrollably during the meeting. She told them how sorry she was for having put them in a situation where they felt a need to defend her upbringing, and she went so far as to apologise for ruining their lives. “I think Karen really needs to hear that you love her,” Levenkron told the family.

“Well, of course I love you,” Richard told her unreservedly.

“Agnes?” The therapist tapped the mother’s shoe with his own.

Rather than address her daughter, Agnes explained how she preferred to be called Mrs Carpenter. “Well, I’m from the north,” she continued. “And we just don’t do things that way.”

“Agnes couldn’t do it,” says Itchie Ramone, who discussed the meeting with Karen and Levenkron after the family left. “She couldn’t do it… In therapy you’re basically stark naked. Then your own mother can’t reach out to you? And the way she doted on Richard. Most children would try to dance as fast as they could to make their parents love them, but it was at that point that I think Karen decided it was time to take a step back.”

After the meeting with Levenkron, Richard became angry with the treatment plan, which he thought to be worthless. He was upset that Karen had not checked herself into an inpatient facility as one would do to conquer substance abuse. He and his parents returned to California and chose to keep their distance after this painful encounter. They made no further attempts to contact Karen’s therapist. “What I find interesting,” Levenkron stated in 1993, “is that in the entire time Karen was in New York, I got zero calls from the family. I have never treated anyone with anorexia nervosa whose family didn’t call regularly because they were concerned.” Likewise, Richard claimed to have never received a call from Levenkron.

Karen and Itchie were surprised to learn that Levenkron was not an actual doctor. “We used to call him ‘Dr Levenkron’ all the time,” Itchie explains. “Then we found out that he wasn’t even a real doctor. Any medical issues she had, we had to go see this other doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital.”

According to Evelyn Wallace, “Karen picked the wrong guy to go to. He wasn’t even a doctor. It seemed like Levenkron was simply trying to talk Karen out of having anorexia, but she’d talk to him and she’d go back to the same routine.”

By the autumn of 1982 Karen showed no real signs of progress. In fact, her walks to and from sessions with Levenkron kept her body weight beneath the six stone mark. Itchie Ramone called Levenkron and voiced her concerns. “Look, Karen’s getting thinner and thinner,” she exclaimed. “Plus, it’s obvious she doesn’t have her usual energy anymore. When do you expect this turnaround? She’s just skin and bone.”

The therapist agreed that Karen seemed extra tired and was not responding as quickly as he had hoped, and vowed to try another approach. After her next session with Levenkron, Karen asked Itchie if she could borrow a swimsuit. “What?” Itchie asked. “There’s no pool in the hotel. Besides, it’s cold out!”

“No, I have to wear it tomorrow for Levenkron,” Karen answered. The two stopped by the Ramones’s apartment to pick up a size 2 light green bikini belonging to Itchie. Karen changed into the bikini and emerged smiling. Itchie was mortified and unable to hide her reaction. “What’s the matter?” Karen asked. “It fits.”

“Uh, yeah, it fits,” she said hesitantly. “You can use it tomorrow, I guess.”

Returning to Levenkron the following day, Karen was asked to change into the bikini and stand in front of the office mirror. He urged her to survey and evaluate her body. “She didn’t really see any problem with how she looked,” Itchie recalls. “In fact, she thought she was gaining a little weight. But she was 79lb.”

In mid-September Karen phoned Levenkron and told him her heart was “beating funny”. She was quite upset, anxious, and confused. She complained of dizziness to an extent that she was unable to walk. Despite not being medically qualified, he recognised her symptoms as those of someone suffering extreme dehydration. Karen was admitted to New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital on 20 September 1982 to begin hyperalimentation, or intravenous feeding.

The next morning she went into surgery to have a small-bore catheter implanted within the superior vena cava (right atrium of the heart). An unexpected complication was discovered later that day when she complained to the nurse of excruciating chest pain, and X-rays revealed the doctors had accidentally punctured one of her lungs in their attempts to insert the tube.

As her lung began to heal, Karen’s body quickly responded to the artificial means of feeding. The hyperalimentation process completely replaced all of her nutritional needs, and a precise daily calorie intake was dispensed through the catheter. This loss of control was known to often spark fear in patients, and doctors who oppose hyperalimentation argue that it does not teach the patient to eat properly. However, Karen went along with it and gained 12lb in only a few days. Solid foods were slowly reintroduced as the level of assistance from Karen’s IV lessened, and she continued to gain weight steadily. Unlike many other patients she seemed pleased and excited to show visitors her progress. Richard flew in to visit on 25 October and, like most who saw her there, was shocked and saddened. She was still horribly emaciated and barely identifiable by this stage. “You see how much better I look?” she asked.

Richard nodded in agreement but only to appease his sister. In an attempt to divert the attention away from herself, Karen told him of other patients who were much worse off. But he was not sidetracked. “Karen, this is crap,” he said suddenly. “Don’t you understand? This is crap! You’re going about this all the wrong way. This guy isn’t getting anything accomplished because you’re in a hospital now!”

THE BEST OF : THE CARPENTERS

By November Karen was eating three meals a day at Lenox Hill, and trying to stay positive about the weight gain, by then approaching the 30lb mark. The return of her menstrual cycle, which had ceased during the previous year, seemed to signify an improvement in emotional and physical wellbeing.

On 16 November Karen visited Steven Levenkron for the last time and presented him with a farewell gift, a framed personal message in needlepoint. The large green-threaded words “you win – I gain” served as tangible proof of the long hours Karen had spent alone in the hospital. Learning of her plan to leave, Levenkron reminded Karen she was abandoning the program much too soon, and that treatment takes at least three years. He suggested a therapist in Los Angeles so that she might continue a routine of some sort upon her return home, but she declined. She promised to call him and swore she would not take any more laxatives or diuretics. Agnes and Harold (Karen’s father) met up with her at Levenkron’s office that day. The couple had flown to New York City to bring their daughter and her 22 pieces of luggage home. It was obvious to most that Karen’s treatment was inadequate and ending too soon.

“She tried to get help,” says her longtime friend Frenda Franklin. “She went to New York to try. It just wasn’t the right way to do it. If this had happened in today’s world I think Karen would have lived. I think we would have had a good shot. They know so much more. We were dancing in the dark.”

Karen ate heartily on Thanksgiving Day, much to the delight of her family, and she even called Itchie Ramone that night to tell her of all she had eaten. “She said to me, ‘I ate this and that and all my favourite things,'” she recalls. “She was very proud of herself then. We were all very proud of her. It seemed like progress.”

In the weeks following her return to Los Angeles Karen went back to shopping and socialising without delay. Although others felt she was still quite fragile and thin, Herb Alpert, who had first signed the Carpenters to A&M, saw Karen shortly after the New Year and recalled her looking terrific. She bounced into his office saying, “Hey, look at me, Herbie! What do you think? How do I look?” Alpert agreed that she looked happier and healthier than he had seen her in some time, and felt she appeared to have won the battle. “I am so happy,” she told him.

“I’m ready to record again, and Richard and I have been talking about getting the group together and performing.”

Despite her high spirits, she was taking more naps than usual and sometimes lying down by seven in the evening. Richard did not believe she was well, and he told her so. On Thursday 27 January Florine Elie drove to Century City for her weekly cleaning of Karen’s apartment at Century Towers. There the housekeeper made an unnerving discovery. “When I was working up there I found Karen,” Elie says. “She was lying on the floor of her closet.” She gently shook Karen who awoke but was groggy. “Karen, is there something wrong?” she asked.

“No, I am just so tired,” she replied.

Carpenters in Concert at the New London Theatre – 1976

“Maybe you better go lie on your bed,” she said, helping Karen up and tucking her into bed.

Florine checked on Karen again before leaving. By then she was awake and adamant she was OK.

Tuesday 1 February found Karen dining with her brother, this time at Scandia on Sunset Boulevard. They were joined by stage producer Joe Layton, and the trio discussed plans for the Carpenters’ return to touring. Karen ate with enthusiasm and after dinner returned to Century Towers. This was the last time Richard would see his sister alive.

The next day Karen spoke with Itchie Ramone, who was pregnant with her and Phil’s first child. Karen shared her plans for the week. She would sign the final divorce papers on Friday and then prepare to leave for New York. “That weekend, 6 February, she was going to hop on a plane and be there for the birth,” Itchie recalls.

Shortly after midnight, staying overnight with her parents, Karen went over her to-do list with Frenda Franklin by phone, and finalised plans for the next day. “OK, I am going to drive in. There shouldn’t be a lot of traffic,” she said. According to Frenda, Karen enjoyed keeping up with traffic reports. “Then we’re going to go get the red fingernail polish.” The two had a noon appointment for a manicure in celebration of her divorce.

On Friday morning, 4 February, Karen awoke and went downstairs to the kitchen, where she turned on the coffeepot her mother had prepared the night before. She went back upstairs to get dressed. When the coffee was ready, Agnes dialled the upstairs bedroom phone, but its ring, heard faintly in the distance, went unanswered. Agnes went to the foot of the stairs and called to her daughter but there was no response. Entering the room, Agnes found Karen’s motionless, nude body lying face down on the floor of the walk-in wardrobe. Her eyes were open but rolled back. She was lying in a straight line and did not appear to have fallen. “She had just laid down on the floor and that was it,” Agnes recalled.

The autopsy report listed the cause of death as “emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa.” The finding of emetine cardiotoxicity (ipecac poisoning) revealed that Karen had poisoned herself with ipecac syrup, a well-known emetic commonly recommended to induce vomiting in cases of overdose or poisoning.

Levenkron claimed to know nothing of Karen’s use or abuse of ipecac. In their phone calls she assured him she was maintaining her new 7st 10lb figure and had completely suspended use of all laxatives. He never suspected she was resorting to something much more lethal.

In a radio interview taped shortly after Karen’s death, Levenkron discussed the autopsy findings: “According to the LA coroner, she discovered ipecac… and started taking it every day. There are a lot of women out there who are using ipecac for self-induced vomiting. It creates painful cramps, tastes terrible, and it does another thing that the public isn’t aware of. It slowly dissolves the heart muscle. If you take it day after day, every dose is taking another little piece of that heart muscle apart. Karen, after fighting bravely for a year in therapy, went home and apparently decided that she wouldn’t lose any weight with ipecac, but that she’d make sure she didn’t gain any. I’m sure she thought this was a harmless thing she was doing, but in 60 days she had accidentally killed herself. It was a shocker for all of us who treated her.”

In one of Levenkron’s most recent books, Anatomy of Anorexia, the author boasts of his above-average recovery rate in working with those suffering from eating disorders. “In the last 20 years I have treated nearly 300 anorexics,” he wrote. “I am pleased to state that I have had a 90 per cent recovery rate, though tragically, one fatality.” That was Karen Carpenter.

_

carpenters -We’ve Only Just Begun

The Carpenters – Yesterday Once More (INCLUDES LYRICS)

The Carpenters – There’s a kind of hush

 

The Carpenters – Greatest Hits

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY 22 Quotes to Celebrate Milton Friedman Day Samantha Reinis / @samantha_reinis / August 01, 2015

Free to Choose: Part 1 of 10 The Power of the Market (Featuring Milton Friedman)

Free to Choose Part 2: The Tyranny of Control (Featuring Milton Friedman

Conservative economist Milton Friedman would have been 103 years old if he were still living today. He won a Nobel Prize for his work in economics and served as an advisor to President Nixon. (Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)

July 31 is known as a day to honor conservative economist Milton Friedman, as he would have been 103 years old if he were still living today.

Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in economics, specifically for “his achievements in the field of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy.”

He served as an advisor to President Nixon in the White House and was the president of the American Economic Association before becoming a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Friedman was known for his defense of the free market and call for school choice through a voucher programs.

To honor this great man, here are 22 of his most notable quotes regarding the economy, government, and life.

  1. If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
  2. “The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.”
  3. “Governments never learn. Only people learn.”
  4. “Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”
  5. “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
  6. “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
  7. “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstance and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”
  8. “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
  9. “If all we want are jobs, we can create any number—for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs—jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”
  10. “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
  11. “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction.”
  12. “Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.”
  13. “The lack of balance in governmental activity reflects primarily the failure to separate sharply the question what activities it is appropriate for government to finance from the question what activities it is appropriate for government to administer—a distinction that is important in other areas of government activity as well.”
  14. “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
  15. “Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy.”
  16. “I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse.”
  17. “The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”
  18. “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
  19. “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.”
  20. Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
  21. “Inflation is taxation without legislation.”
  22. “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 139 Marvin Minsky Part D (Featured artist is Karl Otto Götz )

I have written about Marvin Minsky several times before in this series and today I again look at a letter I wrote to him in the last couple of years.

The New Humanists: Science at the Edge New title Edition

When John Brockman’s essay, “The New Humanists” appeared on his popular cutting-edge science website, EDGE (www.edge.org), he received a record number of responses from the intellectuals of the EDGE community. In his essay, Brockman noted that the American intellectual had become proudly or defiantly ignorant of major scientific accomplishments. According to Brockman, intellectual thought was becoming trapped in a “swelling spiral of commentary,” and often ignored the real world. Citing C.P. Snow’s theory of two cultures: the literary intellectual and the scientist, Brockman predicted an “emerging third culture” where scientists and other empirical thinkers, through their work and writing, would redefine who and what we are.

In The New Humanists: Science At the Edge, Brockman has assembled some of the top scientists of today: Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Marvin Minsky, Lee Smolin, and others, and has them discuss the unique contributions each of them is making to the development of modern thought. Some of these thinkers are in sync, others in dissent, but what emerges in The New Humanists is a dialogue that serves as a support to Brockman’s theory and an introduction to some of the best scientific minds of the 21st century.

Marvin Minsky c/o MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA

June 17, 2014

Dear Dr. Minsky,

I noticed that you are on the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and that prompted me to send this material to you today.

A couple of months ago I mailed you a letter that contained correspondence I had with Antony Flew and Carl Sagan and I also included some of the material I had sent them from Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer. Did you have a chance to listen to the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? CD yet? I also wanted to let know some more about about Francis Schaeffer. Ronald Reagan said of Francis Schaeffer, “He will long be remembered as one of the great Christian thinkers of our century, with a childlike faith and a profound compassion toward others. It can rarely be said of an individual that his life touched many others and affected them for the better; it will be said of Francis Schaeffer that his life touched millions of souls and brought them to the truth of their creator.”

Image result for francis schaeffer

Thirty years ago the christian philosopher and author Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) died and on the 10th anniversary of his passing in 1994 I wrote a number of the top evolutionists, humanists and atheistic scholars in the world and sent them a story about Francis Schaeffer in 1930 when he left agnosticism and embraced Christianity. I also sent them  a cassette tape with the title “Four intellectual bridges evolutionists can’t cross” by Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) and some of the top  scholars who corresponded with me since that time include Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).

The truth is that I am an evangelical Christian and I have enjoyed developing relationships with skeptics and humanists over the years. Back in 1996 I took my two sons who were 8  and 10 yrs old back then to New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and we had dinner one night with Herbert A. Tonne, who was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II. The Late Professor John George who has written books for Prometheus Press was my good friend during the last 10 years of his life. (I still miss him today.) We often ate together and were constantly talking on the phone and writing letters to one another.

It is a funny story how I met Dr. George. As an evangelical Christian and a member of the Christian Coalition, I felt obliged to expose a misquote of John Adams’ I found in an article entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings” by the self-avowed atheist Dr. Steven Morris. However, what happened next changed my focus to the use of misquotes, unconfirmed quotes, and misleading attributions by the religious right.

In the process of attempting to correct Morris, I was guilty of using several misquotes myself. Professor John George of the University of Central Oklahoma political science department and coauthor (with Paul Boller Jr.) of the book THEY NEVER SAID IT! set me straight. George pointed out that George Washington never said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. I had cited page 18 of the 1927 edition of HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK. This quote was probably generated by a similar statement that appears in A LIFE OF WASHINGTON by James Paulding. Sadly, no one has been able to verify any of the quotes in Paulding’s book since no footnotes were offered.

After reading THEY NEVER SAID IT! I had a better understanding of how widespread the problem of misquotes is. Furthermore, I discovered that many of these had been used by the leaders of the religious right. I decided to confront some individuals concerning their misquotes. WallBuilders, the publisher of David Barton’s THE MYTH OF SEPARATION, responded by providing me with their “unconfirmed  quote” list which contained a dozen quotes widely used by the religious right.

Sadly some of the top leaders of my own religious right have failed to take my encouragement to stop using these quotes and they have either claimed that their critics were biased skeptics who find the truth offensive or they defended their own method of research and claimed the secondary sources were adequate.

I have enclosed that same CD by Adrian Rogers that I sent 20 years ago although the second half does include a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

In the first 3 minutes of the CD is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” In the letter 20 years ago I gave some of the key points Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

I later learned this book of Ecclesiastes was Richard Dawkins’ favorite book in the Bible. Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” No wonder Ecclesiastes is Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible! 

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.  

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. (E.O.Wilson has marveled at Solomon’s scientific knowledge of ants that was only discovered in the 1800’s.) Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

_______________

You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren‘s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

_____________________________________

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Now on to the other topic I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for one reason. IS THERE A GOOD CHANCE THAT DEEP DOWN IN YOUR CONSCIENCE  you have repressed the belief in your heart that God does exist and IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THIS DEEP BELIEF OF YOURS CAN BE SHOWN THROUGH A LIE-DETECTOR? (Back in the late 1990’s I had the opportunity to correspond with over a dozen members of CSICOP on just this very issue.)

I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERYTIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science. I AM WRITING YOU TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CSICOP.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
______________
Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”
Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTIONS TO ADD TO THESE 7 OBSERVATIONS THAT I GOT 15 YEARS AGO? Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

last name: Götz
first name: Karl Otto
birthday: February 22, 1914
birth-place: Aachen (Germany)

Summary

K.O. Götz – as his name is usually given – is one of the most important and most productive artists of the German Informel style (“Informelle Kunst”, a relative of Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel). His enormous production since the mid 1950s in this style is easy to distinguish from other styles and from the work of other individuals.

In postwar-Germany he is one of the most important

[read more]

Biography

1914 born in Aachen (Germany)
1932-1933 studies at Kunstgewerbeschule Aachen until the Nazis close the school
1934 works a draftsman
1935-1945 not allowed to paint or exhibit by the Nazi state
1936 experiments in abstract film, photo painting, and photogram / abstract compositions and splatter pictures
1939-1945 service in the German Army, radio transmission
1948-1953 editor of the

[read more]

Works

Karl Otto Götz
Density (Documentation)
1962

Karl Otto Götz
Formstudie
1955

Karl Otto Götz
Kapsyl
1962

Karl Otto Götz
Melusine
1960

Karl Otto Götz
Röst
1959

[all 10 entries
Biography Karl Otto Gotz

Karl Otto Götz (born 1914)

Also known as K.O. Götz, he was born in Aachen in 1914 and is considered as the main representative of the German abstract and Informel art. Götz attended the arts college in Aachen and occupied there primarily with the avant-garde painting. His early work was characterized by Expressionism and Surrealism, and was influenced by works of Max Ernst, Juan Gris, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. In the 1950s he increasingly began with the dissolution of forms and figures. Two years later he began to produce works in an Informel style and mixed technique, which made him internationally the most important representative of the Informel and action painting. In his late creative period he is … Displaying 750 of 838 characters.
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Karl Otto Götz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karl Otto Götz
Born 22 February 1914 (age 102)
Aachen, Germany
Occupation Artist

Karl Otto Götz (born 22 February 1914), often simply called K.O. Götz, is a German artist, film maker, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and professor of art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.[1] He is one of the oldest living and active artists who are older than 100 years of age[2] and is known for his explosive and complex abstract forms. His powerful, surrealist-inspired works have earned him international recognition in exhibitions like documenta II in 1959. Götz has never confined himself to one specific style or artistic field. He also explored generated abstract forms through television art.[3] Götz is one of the most important members of the German Art Informel movement.[4] His works and teachings influenced future artists such as Sigmar Polke, Nam June Paik and Gerhard Richter. Currently, he is living and working in Wolfenacker in the Westerwald since 1975.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Aachen, Germany, Götz began painting in secondary school in 1924. In 1930 he began painting abstracts. He attended the School of Applied Arts from 1932 to 1933.[5] His early paintings were characterized by the modernist/avante-garde movements, surrealism and expressionism. Gӧtz was specifically influenced by artists such as Max Ernst, Juan Gris, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.[6] After the takeover of Germany by the Nazi Party, painting became difficult for Gӧtz. He was banned from painting and exhibiting due to the national disapproval of abstract and surrealist art. However, he was able to make a living by creating and selling landscape paintings.[citation needed]

Götz was drafted into the Wehrmacht Air Force when he was twenty-five, shortly before the beginning of World War II. During his military service from 1936 to 1938, Götz was able to continue to experiment with various media such as spray paint, photograms (created without the use of a camera by placing objects on photographic paper exposed then exposing it to light), and abstract cine-films. He moved to Wurzen, Saxony and concentrated on abstract painting, combining geometric and organic elements. In 1945, Gӧtz married Anneli Brauckmeyer. Their marriage ended in 1965 and Görtz remarried, to German artist Rissa, also known as Karin Martin.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Experimentation with Television Art[edit]

Television art can be defined as art made for or with broadcast television. Because of the medium’s electronic makeup, poor resolution, small scale images and various viewing conditions, television art began less related to avant-garde film and more closely related to abstract art. This medium was primarily worked with artists who focused on non-figurative representations in other media.[7]

During the war, Gӧtz worked with many ground-based radars. He began to manipulate these radars electronically in order to create moving abstract forms. His goal of creating the large rastered pictures was to create ‘electron paintings’ imitating the form animated television pictures. Gӧtz’s work and theoretical ideas influenced artist like Nam June Paik,[8] a Korean American artist who is considered the founder of video art.[9] It is said that these experiments have led to Gӧtz making the decision to only create abstract works.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

K. O. Götz, 27.5.1954, 1954

K. O. Götz, Bagatelle II, 1962

Götz’s early post-War work included extensive experimentation with techniques and imagery in prints and drawings that included drawings made using an airpump. He produced woodcuts and watercolours that featured fantastical plant forms and creatures, among them a series of monotype prints of bird-humans.[10] During the late 1940s he continued to producing abstract-figurative monotypes and surrealistic experimental photo works, but his painting became predominantly abstract.

In 1946 he began experimenting with solarization, a process similar to photograms. Gӧtz had his first one-man show in 1947. Two years later in 1949, Gӧtz completely moved away from figurative art altogether. That same year he became the first German to join the European avant-garde movement COBRA. COBRA was an avant-garde movement based in Europe and was active from 1948 to 1951. This group, though together very briefly, put together a series of publications and exhibitions.[11] The work of the COBRA group contributed to the emergence of Art Informel in the period after 1950 as a “universal language” for European artists involved in the development of European abstract expressionism and Tachisme.

In 1952, Gӧtz co-founded the Frankfurt QUADRIGA along with Otto Gries, Heinz Kreutz, and Bernard Schultze. The members in QUADRIGA were pioneers of Art Informel in Germany.[12]These were a group of artists painting in a Tachist style influenced by Wols and Automatism.[13] During the group’s brief existence, before the divergence of its loosely associated members’ artistic development led to its dissolution in 1954, Quadriga played an important pioneer role in introducing Art informel to Germany [14] From then on, Götz became a leading figure in the German Art Informal and was showcased in major shows such as the Venice Biennale of 1958 and Documenta II exhibition in Kassel in 1959. That year, he was appointed professor of art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.[citation needed]

As Götz moved away from clearly defined forms, his approach to painting became more dynamic. In a technique Götz has continued to use throughout his later painting career, the image is developed through a lengthy, intense process, often involving a large number of preliminary sketches and gouaches. Once the preparation is complete, the artist applies dark paint onto a light background with a paintbrush, working in a fast and focused way. The paint is then “raked” – partially removed using a type of spatula known as a “rake” – before the contrast between the light and dark areas of the still-moist surface is softened using a dry paintbrush.[15][16]

Later career[edit]

Starting in 1971, Götz began conducting experiments at the Düsseldorf Academy on visual perception and personality. His research is recognized by international psychologists. From 1995 to 2001, Götz began to create ceramic pieces.[17] Some of these ceramic works, such as his plates and vases, are decorated with his unique gestural and bold brushstrokes. In other instances, these brushstrokes take on three dimensional forms. Several of his low relief sculptures reflect the same fluid and dynamic movement that can be found in his unique painting technique.

K. O. Götz, Lezuk III, 2012

Götz’s contemporary work (2010) features deeply colored abstract collages and hand-painted pieces based on a computer-generated random pixelation process.

In 1997 the KO Götz and Rissa Foundation was founded. Its purpose is to promote art and culture by making the works of KO Götz and Rissa’s work more available to the public. This will be accomplished by presentations of the works by both artists in museums and other art associations. Götz turned 100 in February 2014.[18]

Influence[edit]

Apart from his artistic work, Götz was also successful as a teacher of art. From 1959 to 1979, during his time as a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, a large number of later famous artists were his students. For instance, in 1959, Götz’s first students were Gotthard Graubner,[19][20] HA Schult[21][22] and Kuno Gonschior.[20] From 1961 on, Gerhard Richter andSigmar Polke also studied under Götz.[20] Furthermore, Rissa (Götz’s later wife), Manfred Kuttner and Franz Erhard Walther were among his students.[23]

Recent Exhibitions[24][25][edit]

Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, “KO Götz, A Retrospective on the 100th Birthday”, Traveling exhibition, together with the Küppersmühle, Duisburg, and the Museum Wiesbaden

Duisburg, Küppersmühle, “KO Götz, A Retrospective on the 100th Birthday” , traveling exhibition, together with the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and the Museum Wiesbaden

Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, “KO Götz, A Retrospective on the 100th Birthday”, traveling exhibition, together with the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and the Küppersmühle, Duisburg

Berlin, Art Wolfgang Werner, “Karl Otto Götz: Works 1947-2012”

Kronberg im Taunus, gallery Uwe Oppermann, “Karl Otto Götz: Lithographs 1983-2004”

Aachen, Suermondt Ludwig Museum, “Karl Otto Götz, painting and Byways, An exhibition on the 100th Birthday” Wismar, St. George’s Church, “KO Götz: Lithography”,

Munich, gallery Maulberger, “Karl Otto Götz and the Quadriga A legend is 100”

Saarbrücken, gallery Elitzer, KO Götz 100th – Graphics from its own holdings

Chemnitz, Chemnitz Art Collections, “KO Götz 100th birthday – Paintings and artwork in its own inventory ”

Aachen, Gallery at Elisengarten, “KO Götz – 100th Birthday”,

Kaiserslautern, Volksbank Kaiserslautern-Nordwestpfalz, “Karl Otto Götz’s 100th birthday – works on paper from seven decades”

Aachen, Schürenberg – KUNSTHANDEL, “KO Götz – Retrospective”

Düsseldorf, Museum Kunst Palast, “KO Götz 100th birthday pictures from the Foundation collection Kemp”

Koblenz, Rhine Gorge Museum, “KO Götz – Special Presentation at his 100th birthday, ”

Heidelberg, gallery JULIA Philippi, “KO Götz – THE 100th ANNIVERSARY – lithographs”

Hilden, Cultural Affairs Art Space Business Park South, “100 Years of Karl Otto Götz – the graphic work”

Dresden, Gallery ART EXHIBITION IN A COOL, “KO Götz’s 100th birthday, surreal working group of the ’40s”,

Solingen, construction sites gallery, “KO Götz and his friends” (with Müller-Kraus, Master Man, Dahmen),

King Winter, Siebengebirgsmuseum in cooperation with Atelier monkey, “KO Götz – Retrospective .. 100 works from the collection Hennemann,”

Beaulieu / France, Association culturelle ABBAY DE BEAULIEU – Centre d’Art, “traits … très noirs – Homage to Karl Otto Götz”

Ehingen / Donau, castle Mochental, Galerie Ewald Karl Schrade, Karlsruhe / Mochental, together with Bernard Schultze, “Karl Otto Götz. Bernard

Schultze – Works on Paper 1949-2003 ” King Winter, studio monkey, “Karl Otto Götz. “. Lithographs

Frankfurt, THE GALLERY, “Karl Otto Götz”

Sindelfingen, City Gallery of Sindelfingen, “KO Götz – painters, poets and scientists,”

Kleve, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Götz room on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Koblenz, Galerie Eva Tent

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Götz”. Oxford Art Online. Grove Art Online. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  2. Jump up^ “Nothing looks as if it is spent, worn out, or lost in barren routine. The force with which the work has invented itself over and over again during six or seven decades, and with which the painter even in his biblical age builds great picture architectures in resolute and highly concentrated gestures, is without comparison.” (“Nichts wirkt verbraucht, erschöpft, in öder Routine versunken. Die Kraft, mit der sich das Werk sechs, sieben Jahrzehnte immer wieder neu erfunden hat, mit der der Maler noch im biblischen Alter aus entschlossenen, hoch konzentrierten Malgesten große Bildarchitekturen baut, ist ohne Vergleich.”) See “K.O. Götz – Energie ist gleich Autonomie”, Die Welt, December 12, 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Mehring, Christine (October 2008). “Television Art’s Abstract Start: Europe circa 1944-1969”. MIT Press.
  4. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Götz”. Oxford Art Online. Grove Art Online.
  5. Jump up^ “Götz, Karl-Otto”. Oxford Art Online. Grove Art Online. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Gӧtz”. Samuelis Baumgart Galerie. Samuelis Baumgart Galerie. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  7. Jump up^ Mehring, Christine (2008). “Television Art’s Abstract start: Europe circa 1944-1969”. MIT Press.
  8. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Götz”. Media Art Net. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  9. Jump up^ Judkis, Maura (12 December 2012). “”Father of video art” Nam June Paik gets American Art Museum exhibit (Photos)”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  10. Jump up^ Tate Collection website, accessed 10 February 2011
  11. Jump up^ Stokvis, Willemijn Stokvis. “Cobra”. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  12. Jump up^ “Quadriga”. Oxford Art Online. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  13. Jump up^ “Quadriga”, in “A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art” by Ian Chilvers, pub. by Oxford University Press 1999, reproduced at http://www.encyclopedia.com], accessed 7 February 2011
  14. Jump up^ All-art.org website, History of the 20th Century, Art in the Post-War Era, 1952 – Quadriga, accessed 11 February 2011
  15. Jump up^ Ketterer Kunst website, accessed 7 February 2011
  16. Jump up^ Obvious website, “Karl Otto Götz”, 4 February 2007, accessed 7 February 2011
  17. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Götz”. Kerber. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Maus, Burkhard (2014-02-22). “Karl Otto Götz – 100 Jahre” (in German). ART Das Kunstmagazin. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  19. Jump up^ Kunstakademie Düsseldorf: Hochschulnachrichten: Gotthard Graubner wird 80 Jahre.
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b c Oliver Kornhoff and Barbara Nierhoff, Karl Otto Götz: In Erwartung blitzschneller Wunder, exh. cat., Arp Museum, Remagen (Kerber Christof Verlag, 2010), p. 114.
  21. Jump up^ Christiane Hoffmans, H.A. Schult, der Musen-Sohn, Die Welt, 30 April 2006.
  22. Jump up^ Munzinger Biographie: “HA Schult: deutscher Aktionskünstler”
  23. Jump up^ compart: Karl Otto Götz.
  24. Jump up^ “Karl Otto Gӧtz”. Samuelis Baumgart Galerie. Samuelis Baumgart Galerie. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  25. Jump up^ “Solo Exhibitions”. K.O. Götz. Retrieved 10 March 2015.

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The more you tax of something, the less you get of it!!!

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The more you tax of something, the less you get of it!!!

Milton Friedman: Why soaking the rich won’t work.

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Milton Friedman on taxing the rich to help the poor

 

Back in August, I acknowledged that lifestyle leftists in California won a real victory. They imposed a tax on sugary soft drinks in Berkeley and achieved a reduction in consumption.

But I pointed out that their success actually was an affirmation of supply-side economics, which is simply the common-sense principle that taxes impact behavior. Simply stated, the more you tax of something, the less you get of it.

Which is why I’m constantly trying to get my leftist friends to be intellectually consistent. Even though I don’t think it’s the role of government to dictate our private behavior, I tell them that they are right about higher taxes on tobacco leading to less smoking (also more smuggling, but that’s a separate issue).

Yet these people simultaneously claim that higher tax rates on income (especially on the evil rich!) won’t lead to less work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.

Maybe the disconnect is that leftists think tobacco and sugar are special cases.

So let’s look at another example of a “successful” tax increase.

Oct 4 Home sales in the Vancouver region’s heated housing market fell for the second consecutive month after the province introduced a tax on foreign home ownership, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Tuesday. In a statement, the board said September’s sales were at 2,253 homes, down 32.6 percent on a year-to-year basis and down 9.5 percent from August, the first full month after British Columbia announced a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers.

Hmmm…., a tax gets imposed on X (in this case, housing) and the result in less X. What a shocking outcome!

One week ago, I would have suggested that Hillary Clinton look at this story before moving forward with her plan for more class-warfare tax hikes.

Given the surprising election outcome, I’ll suggest that Donald Trump look at this story before moving forward with his plan to boost the capital gains tax on “carried interest.” And he definitely should use this example to bolster support for the main features of his tax plan, particularly the lower corporate rate and death tax repeal.

P.S. Even Barack Obama has endorsed the core principle of supply-side economics.

 

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Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative should include more private-sector involvement!!!

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Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative should include more private-sector involvement!!!

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society (Q&A)

 

During the election, Donald Trump promised a big package of infrastructure spending, twice as much new spending as Hillary Clinton was proposing.

During his victory speech the night of the election, he doubled down on this approach, promising that more infrastructure spending would be one his first priorities.

This sounds like bad news for advocates of limited government. And it may turn out to be bad news. Though if you look at what the Trump campaign actually proposed, there’s a lot of wiggle room.

I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration: …American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.

In other words, it’s possible that President-Elect Trump might give us an Obama-style stimulus scheme. Or he may take a radically different approach by removing roadblocks that hinder more private-sector involvement.

And my colleague Chris Edwards points out that the private sector already does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to infrastructure spending.

Hillary Clinton says that “we are dramatically underinvesting” in infrastructure and she promises a large increase in federal spending. Donald Trump is promising to spend twice as much as Clinton. …But more federal spending is the wrong way to go.  …let’s look at some data. There is no hard definition of “infrastructure,” but one broad measure is gross fixed investment in the BEA national accounts. …The first thing to note is that private investment at about $3 trillion was six times larger than combined federal, state, and local government nondefense investment of $472 billion. Private investment in pipelines, broadband, refineries, factories, cell towers, and other items greatly exceeds government investment in schools, highways, prisons, and the like. …if policymakers want to boost infrastructure spending, they should reduce barriers to private investment.

This is very helpful and interesting data. And one of the obvious conclusions is that the types of infrastructure that historically are the responsibility of the private sector (pipelines, cell towers, etc) are handled much more efficiently than those (highways, mass transit, etc) that have been monopolized by governments.

Trump presumably intends his infrastructure plan to focus on the latter type of infrastructure, so let’s consider three simple rules to help guide an effective approach for transportation.

1. More private-sector involvement

A key principle for good infrastructure policy is to harness the efficiency of the private sector.

Why? Because, as Lawrence McQuillan of the Independent Institute argues, governments naturally are inefficient and incompetent at building and managing infrastructure.

Government authorities view maintenance solely as a cost, rather than as an investment that can increase future revenues. As a result, roads remain riddled with potholes, bridges crumble, airports are overcrowded, water is contaminated, and we have classrooms with mold and falling ceilings. Moreover, without a profit motive, repairs are seldom done in a timely manner or at lowest cost. Instead of assets being owned and controlled by people who understand the economics of the industry and have the technical knowledge to operate and repair them efficiently, politicians (the majority of whom appear to be lawyers these days) and bureaucrats control them. This guarantees waste, inefficiency and cronyism, such as the greenlighting of white-elephant projects that are driven by politics rather than economics.

But there is some good news.

Chris Edwards explains that the private sector is taking a larger role.

Before the 20th century, for example, more than 2,000 turnpike companies in America built more than 10,000 miles of toll roads. And up until the mid-20th century, most urban rail and bus services were private. With respect to railroads, the federal government subsidized some of the railroads to the West, but most U.S. rail mileage in the 19th century was in the East, and it was generally unsubsidized. The takeover of private infrastructure by governments here and abroad in the 20th century caused many problems. Fortunately, most governments have reversed course in recent decades and started to hand back infrastructure to the private sector. …Short of full privatization, many countries have partly privatized portions of their infrastructure through public-private partnerships (“PPPs” or “P3s”). PPPs differ from traditional government contracting by shifting various elements of financing, management, maintenance, operations, and project risks to the private sector. …Unfortunately, the United States “has lagged behind Australia and Europe in privatization of infrastructure such as roads, bridges and tunnels,” notes the OECD. More than one fifth of infrastructure spending in Britain and Portugal is now through the PPP process, so this has become a normal way of doing business in some countries. Canada is also a leader in using PPP for major infrastructure projects.

2. Less involvement from Washington

To the extent that government must be involved, another important principle is to let state and local governments handle infrastructure.

That’s what I argued back in 2014.

…the Department of Transportation should be dismantled for the simple reason that we’ll get better roads at lower cost with the federalist approach of returning responsibility to state and local governments. …Washington involvement is a recipe for pork and corruption. Lawmakers in Congress – including Republicans – get on the Transportation Committees precisely because they can buy votes and raise campaign cash by diverting taxpayer money to friends and cronies. …the federal budget is mostly a scam where endless streams of money are shifted back and forth in leaky buckets. This scam is great for insiders and bad news for taxpayers. Washington involvement necessarily means another layer of costly bureaucracy. And this is not a trivial issues since the Department of Transportation is infamous for overpaid bureaucrats.

For a more detailed explanation, Professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard has some devastating analysis in an article for City Journal.

The most pressing problem with federal infrastructure spending is that it is hard to keep it from going to the wrong places. We seem to have spent more in the places that already had short commutes and less in the places with the most need. Federal transportation spending follows highway-apportionment formulas that have long favored places with lots of land but not so many people. …Low-density areas are remarkably well-endowed with senators per capita, of course, and they unsurprisingly get a disproportionate share of spending from any nationwide program. Redirecting tax dollars across jurisdictions is rarely fair—and it isn’t right, either, that poorer, lower-density regions should subsidize New York’s subway and airports. Washington’s involvement also distorts infrastructure planning by favoring pet projects. The Recovery Act set aside $8 billion for high-speed rail, for instance, despite the fact that such projects would never be appropriate for most of moderate-density America. California was lured down the high-speed hole with Washington support… Detroit’s infamous People Mover Monorail would never have been built without federal aid. Alaska’s $400 million Gravina Island bridge to nowhere was a particularly notorious example of how Congress abuses transportation investment. As the Office of Management and Budget noted, during the Bush years, highway funding was “not based on need or performance and has been heavily earmarked.”

3. Sensible cost-benefit analysis

Our third principle is that infrastructure should only be built if it makes sense. In other words, do the benefits exceed the costs?

In the private sector, the profit motive automatically generates that type of calculation.

With government, that effort becomes much more challenging.

Professor Michael Boskin at Stanford explains the problem in a column for the Wall Street Journal.

…a huge pot of additional money earmarked for infrastructure, on top of the recently passed $305 billion five-year highway bill, is sure to unleash a mad scramble in Congress to secure funds for the home turf. The logrolling and pork will get ugly without far tighter cost-benefit tests and oversight. …Most federal infrastructure spending is done by sending funds to state and local governments. For highway programs, the ratio is usually 80% federal, 20% state and local. But that means every local district has an incentive to press the federal authorities to fund projects with poor national returns. We all remember Alaska’s infamous “bridge to nowhere.” In other words, if a local government is putting up only 20% of the funds, it needs the benefits to its own citizens to be only 21% of the total national cost. Yet every state and every locality has potential infrastructure needs that it would like the rest of the country to pay for. That leads to the misallocation of federal funds and infrastructure projects that benefit the few at the cost of the many. …taxpayers generally don’t notice all the fiscal cross-hauling, sending their money to Washington to be sent back in leaky buckets to local jurisdictions. Since we all reside in a state and locality, it’s an inefficient negative sum game with complex cross-subsidies. If these local projects are so good, why aren’t citizens willing to finance the projects locally?

And don’t forget government infrastructure always is more expensive – sometimes far more expensive – than politicians first promise. Chris Edwards has the details.

Federal infrastructure projects often suffer from large cost overruns. Highway projects, energy projects, airport projects, and air traffic control projects have ended up costing far more than promised. When both federal and state governments are involved in infrastructure, it reduces accountability. That was one of the problems with the federally backed Big Dig highway project in Boston, which exploded in cost to five times the original estimate. U.S. and foreign studies have found that privately financed infrastructure projects are less likely to have cost overruns.

The challenge, of course, is getting governments to produce honest cost-benefit analysis. Bureaucrats respond to the people who control their jobs and control their pay. So if politicians want to squander more money, it’s quite likely that bureaucrats will concoct the numbers needed to justify the expansion of government.

To cite a high-profile example, I caught the IMF making up numbers to justify infrastructure boondoggles, even though that politically driven analysis contradicted the work of the bureaucracy’s professional economists.

Let’s finish with two additional points.

First, advocates of more infrastructure spending act like there’s some national crisis.

But if this is true, why does the United States get relatively high scores from the World Economic Forum?

Second, let’s consider the example of Japan. That nation has been stuck in a multi-decade period of stagnation, with very little expectation of an economic turnaround. But if infrastructure spending was some sort of elixir, that economy should be booming.

…a look at ailing Japan, which has spent over $6.3 trillion since 1981 on truly impressive bridges and bullet trains, suggests infrastructure isn’t always a cure for economic woes.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump should not follow the business-as-usual approach of simply dumping more money into a system that almost always produces poor results.

P.S. Whoever does the “Redpanels” cartoons is very clever. I’ve already shared ones on the minimum wage, universal basic income, and Keynesian economics. Now, here’s one on federal infrastructure.

P.P.S. I wrote two years ago about the guy in England who built a private road to help drivers avoid lengthy delays caused by poor government planning. We have an even more…um…interesting example from Russia of how the private sector can take over when the government founders.

Gangs smuggling goods into Russia have secretly repaired a road on the Belarussian border in order to boost business, the TASS news agency reported Monday. Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said. The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts.

This is like a libertarian fantasy. The private sector builds a road to help entrepreneurs avoid trade taxes. What’s not to love? And unlike the libertarian sex fantasy or my 1992 debate fantasy, it’s actually true!

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