Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 160 Part DD (It was my privilege to correspond with Charles Darwin’s grandson, the eminent professor Dr. Horace Barlow, Neuroscience, Cambridge, December 8, 1921-July 5, 2020) In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect” (INCLUDES COMPLETE LETTER FROM DR. BARLOW TO ME)

________________

Letter from Dr. Barlow on 11-22-17:

Dear Mrs. Hatcher,

Many thanks for your copious and charmingly expressed correspondence about Charles Darwin’s religious views, and about his descriptions of losing his sense of reverence, awe, and beauty in his old age.

Notice, however, that he clearly did not lose his sense of the value of truth, and of the importance of forever searching it out.

One reason I am interested in this topic is the selfish one that I have never been able to decide how to describe my own religious beliefs. If I declare my an atheist, I cannot help asking myself “Who am I to set at naught a concept that has guided the life of so many people, some of whom I hold the very deepest respect?”

On the other hand, if I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour, as with the current quarrel with Muslim terrorists, and as has been shown by inter-sectal violence within the Christian Church itself. Furthermore, I feel that many religious doctrines, such as Papal Infallibility, are absolutely appalling, and the same goes for many political policies supported by many different religions.

You may ask, “What is to take the place of Religious Belief in helping to understand the world around us? It has order and purpose, which cannot be explained by Blind chance as evolution teaches.” I agree it cannot be explained by Blind chance alone, but Darwin did not claim that this happens, and modern evolutionists agree. We say that chance variations (mutations) occur in the substances (called genes nowadays) that control development and cause son and daughter to resemble father and mother. These genes control the development of the offspring, and and influence their success in life, and in particular they influence the types of mutated genes that are passed on to the next generation. Chance, together with “Survival of the fittest,” thus causes the appearance of apparently purposeful adaptations of the population of genes in a species.

It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…”

Chance mutations increase the diversity present in the population under consideration, and evolutionists naturally think of this as a “good thing,” for without diversity there can be no evolution. This is not often true for religiously determined moral codes, for most Gods are jealous and demand conformity among their followers, often enforced by persecution and extreme cruelty. As an evolutionist, I regard diversity itself as a desirable asset, and I think this improves my judgment when I hear a proposal that I do not initially agree with.

When I have time to spare, I look forward to spending some of it with “Dust, Darwin and Disbelief,” so many thanks for sending me a copy.

With my very best wishes,

Horace Barlow

Tribute to Horace Barlow

Michael J. Prouix @MichaelProuix

Horace Barlow was a giant in the field — his single neuron doctrine will continue to have a big impact on how we try to understand brain function and perception.

And I had no idea he was a great-grandson of Darwin!

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February 2, 2020

Dr. Horace Barlow,  Cambridge CB3 9AX, England
Dear Dr. Barlow,

Richard Dawkins has asserted, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

What are the consequences of that?

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

Listen to the words of the song FINAL SOLUTION by the Punk Band PERE UBU:

Buy me a ticket to a sonic reduction
Guitars gonna sound like a nuclear destruction
Seems I’m a victim of natural selection
Meet me on the other side, another directionDon’t need a cure
Don’t need a cure
Don’t need a cure
Need a final solutionDon’t need a cure
Don’t need a cure
Don’t need a cure
Need a final solution

It appears to me that this punk band considers themselves a “victim of natural selection” which really means that there is no God who created us for a purpose!!!

Dustin Shramek noted:

If one’s destiny is the grave, what ultimate purpose is their for life? The same is true of the universe. If it is doomed to become a forever expanding pile of useless debris, what purpose is there for the universe? To what end is the world or man in existence? There can be no hope, no purpose.

What is true of mankind is true of individuals as well. So there can be no purpose in any individual’s life. My life wouldn’t be qualitatively different than the life of a dog. This thought is expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:19-20).

The universe and man are cosmic accidents. There is no reason for our existence. Man is a cosmic orphan.

Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.[4]

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people like you that without God in the picture you  will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. 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. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short videos  “Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1),“(3 min, 5 sec) and “Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2),” (10 min, 46 sec).

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

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I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link  

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning  Francis Schaeffer discussing Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letterI mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “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.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”

In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,
and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”
In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”
17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible
In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. [#3] 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.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “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.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate. 

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

Horace Barlow pictured below:

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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

Image result for harry kroto

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Horace Basil Barlow FRS was a British visual neuroscientist.

Barlow was the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin), and thus the great-grandson of Charles Darwin (see Darwin — Wedgwood family). He earned an M.D. at Harvard University in 1946.

In 1953 Barlow discovered that the frog brain has neurons which fire in response to specific visual stimuli. This was a precursor to the work of Hubel and Wiesel on visual receptive fields in the visual cortex. He has made a long study of visual inhibition, the process whereby a neuron firing in response to one group of retinal cells can inhibit the firing of another neuron; this allows perception of relative contrast.

In 1961 Barlow wrote a seminal article where he asked what the computational aims of the visual system are. He concluded that one of the main aims of visual processing is the reduction of redundancy. While the brightnesses of neighbouring points in images are usually very similar, the retina reduces this redundancy. His work thus was central to the field of statistics of natural scenes that relates the statistics of images of real world scenes to the properties of the nervous system.

Barlow and his co-workers also did substantial work in the field of factorial codes. The goal was to encode images with statistically redundant components or pixels such that the code components are statistically independent. Such codes are hard to find but highly useful for purposes of image classification etc.

Barlow was a fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and was awarded their Royal Medal in 1993.[1] He received the 1993 Australia Prize for his research into the mechanisms of visual perception and the 2009 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience.

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His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 128th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Interview of Horace Barlow – part 1

Published on Jun 18, 2014

Interviewed and filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 5 March 2012

______________________

Interview of Horace Barlow – part 2

Horace Barlow’s quote taken from interview with Alan Macfarlane:

HAS RELIGION EVER BEEN IMPORTANT TO YOU? IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU? No, it is not important to me. Saying you don’t believe in God is a very foolish thing to say as it doesn’t explain why so many people talk about it, there has got to be more to it than that; also I think one has to respect what some godly people say and some of the things they do; I wish one could make more sense of it but I don’t think the godly people have done a very good job; I was never baptized or confirmed so have never been a practitioner, and I don’t miss it; DO YOU THINK THAT SCIENCE HAS DIS-PROVEN RELIGION AS DAWKINS ARGUES? I think it [science] provides some hope of acting rationally to handle the social and political problems we have to deal with on a personal level and one a worldwide level. Religion is a way of perpetuating a way of thought that might have otherwise been lost, and I imagine that is fine.   

Dr. Barlow’s only three solid claims in this response to Alan Macfarlane is that science is #1 the best help today with our social problems,(which is in the original clip), #2 Saying you don’t believe in God (position of atheism) is foolish, and #3 we need an explanation for why so many people talk about [God.]

My response to #1 is to look at how the secular humanists have messed up so many things in the past and I include Barlow’s personal family friend Margaret Mead in that. My responses to #2 and #3 were both covered in my earlier response to Roald Hoffmann

(Roald Hoffmann is a Nobel Prize winner who I have had the honor of corresponding with in the past. Pictured below)

Image result for Roald Hoffmann.

(This July 1933 photo shows [left to right] anthropologist Gregory Bateson with Margaret Mead)

Image result for margaret mead husband

Horace Barlow’s words  from interview conducted by Alan Macfarlane:

I don’t ever remember going to Bateson’s house in Granchester as a child; William Bateson’s wife was a friend of my mother’s; when Gregory Bateson was out in Bali he met Margaret Mead; Beatrice Bateson, his mother, felt she was too old to go out and inspect her so she sent my mother instead; she flew off in an Imperial Airlines plane and we saw her off from Hendon; that must have been 1937-8; my mother got on very well with Margaret Mead – she was not altogether convinced by her, but very impressed by her breadth of knowledge and energy; she came and stayed with us many times; I was even more sceptical than my mother and thought she was a very impressive person; Gregory was born 1904 and my mother, in 1886, so there was quite a big age difference between them; I never got on close intellectual terms with Gregory even though we were to some extent interested in the same sort of thing, both in cybernetics and psychology, and his ideas were always interesting; however, my model of a scientist was taken from my mother and not from Gregory; my mother was interested in genetics and the paper for which she was famous was on the reproductive system in plants like cowslips; my mother reasoned like a scientist whereas Gregory was a guru – he liked to think things out for himself; he obviously influenced many others too; I saw him once or twice when I went to Berkeley

Postscript:

I was sad to see that Jon Stewart is stepping down from the DAILY SHOW so I wanted to include one of the best clips I have ever seen on his show and it is a short debate between the brilliant scientists  Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and then he threw in a nutball in for laughs,  Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist). Dembski gives several great examples of design and it reminded me of many of the words of Darwin show above in my letter to Horace Barlow.

William Dembski on The Jon Stewart Show

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010

Wednesday September 14, 2005 – Jon Stewart’s “Evolution, Schmevolution” segment with panelists Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist).

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

_________________

___

MUSIC MONDAY Paul McCartney’s song “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”

________

Paul McCartney Uncle Albert Rare Studio Demo

Paul McCartney; Uncle AlbertAdmiral Halsey. (RAM 1971)

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”
Single by Paul and Linda McCartney
from the album Ram
B-side Too Many People
Released 2 August 1971 (US only)
Format 7″
Recorded 6 November 1970
Genre
Length 4:49
Label Apple
Writer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Producer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology
Another Day
(1971)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
(1971)
The Back Seat of My Car
(1971)
Ram track listing
 

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971,[1] but premiering on WLS the previous week (as a “Hit Parade Bound” (HPB)),[2] it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 September 1971,[3][4] making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked it number 22 on its Top Pop Singles of 1971 year-end chart.[5]

Elements and interpretation[edit]

https://youtu.be/XI6C7L66zq8
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is composed of several unfinished song fragments that McCartney stitched together similar to the medleys from the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.[6] The song is noted for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, with rain, heard between the first and second stanza, the sound of a telephone ringing, and a message machine, heard after the second stanza, and a sound of chirping sea birds and wind by the seashore. Linda’s voice is heard in the harmonies as well as the bridge section of the “Admiral Halsey” portion of the song.

McCartney said “Uncle Albert” was based on his uncle. “He’s someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing.”[7] McCartney also said, “As for Admiral Halsey, he’s one of yours, an American admiral”, referring to Fleet Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (1882–1959).[7] McCartney has described the “Uncle Albert” section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation, and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure who ought to be ignored.[8]

Despite the disparate elements that make up the song, author Andrew Grant Jackson discerns a coherent narrative to the lyrics, related to McCartney’s emotions in the aftermath of the Beatles’ breakup.[9] In this interpretation, the song begins with McCartney apologizing to his uncle for getting nothing done, and being easily distracted and perhaps depressed in the lethargic “Uncle Albert” section.[9] Then, after some sound effects reminiscent of “Yellow Submarine,” Admiral Halsey appears to him calling him to action, although McCartney remains more interested in “tea and butter pie.” McCartney stated that he put the butter in the pie so that it would not melt at all.[9] Jackson sees a possible sinister allusion in the use of Admiral Halsey as a character in the song, since Halsey was famous for fighting the Japanese in World War II and claiming that “after the war, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell,” and McCartney’s ex-Beatle partner John Lennon had recently married a Japanese woman, Yoko Ono.[9] The “hands across the water” section which follows could be taken as evocative of the command “All hands on deck!”, rousing McCartney to action, perhaps to compete with Lennon.[9] The song then ends with the “gypsy” section, in which McCartney resolves to get back on the road and perform his music, now that he was on his own without his former bandmates who no longer wanted to tour.[9]

Reception[edit]

Paul McCartney won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971 for the song.[10][11] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[12]

According to Allmusic critic Stewart Mason, fans of Paul McCartney’s music are divided in their opinions of this song.[13] Although some fans praise it as “one of his most playful and inventive songs” others criticize it for being “exactly the kind of cute self-indulgence that they find so annoying about his post-Beatles career.”[13] Mason himself considers it “churlish” to be annoyed by the song, given that song isn’t intended to be completely serious, and praises the “Hands across the water” section as being “lovably giddy.”[13]

On the US charts, the song set a songwriting milestone as the all-time songwriting record (at the time) for the most consecutive calendar years to write a #1 song. This gave McCartney eight consecutive years (starting with “I Want to Hold Your Hand“), leaving behind Lennon with only seven years.

Later release[edit]

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also appears on Wings Greatest from 1978, even though Ram was not a Wings album, and again on the US version of McCartney’s 1987 compilation, All the Best!, as well as the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

Personnel[edit]

Song uses[edit]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[14] 5
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[15] 1
Mexican Singles Chart[16] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 1
West German Media Control Singles Chart[17] 30

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[18] 14
U.S. Billboard Top Pop Singles[16] 22

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ McGee 2003, p. 195.
  2. Jump up^ “89WLS Hit Parade”. 1971-08-02. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. Jump up^ Billboard.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Allmusic: Paul McCartney: Charts & Awards”. allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “Top Pop 100 Singles” Billboard December 25, 1971: TA-36
  6. Jump up^ Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 46, 50. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b McGee 2003, p. 196.
  8. Jump up^ Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Jackson, A.G. (2012). Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles’ Solo Careers. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810882225.
  10. Jump up^ “Past Winners Search”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “1971 Grammy Awards”.
  12. Jump up^ riaa.com
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c Mason, S. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  14. Jump up^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. Jump up^ “Top Singles – Volume 16, No. 5”. RPM. 18 September 1971. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (25 December 1971). Billboard – Talent in Action 1971. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. Jump up^ “Single Search: Paul and Linda McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”” (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  18. Jump up^ “RPM 100 Top Singles of 1971”. RPM. 8 January 1972. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  19. Jump up^ “American single certifications – Paul Mc Cartney – Uncle Albert”. Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

References[edit]

Preceded by
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Bee Gees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
4 September 1971 (one week)
Succeeded by
Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
Preceded by
Sweet Hitch-Hiker” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Canadian “RPM” Singles Chart number-one single
18 September 1971 – 2 October 1971 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
Maggie May” by Rod Stewart

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OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 143 It was precisely the ability of a judge to understand the context of his or her decisions, to know what life was like for a pregnant teen as well as for a Catholic priest, a self-made tycoon as well as an assembly-line worker, the minority as well as the majority, that was the wellspring of objectivity

April 13, 2021

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

It was precisely the ability of a judge to understand the context of his or her decisions, to know what life was like for a pregnant teen as well as for a Catholic priest, a self-made tycoon as well as an assembly-line worker, the minority as well as the majority, that was the wellspring of objectivity.
     There were other considerations that made Sotomayor a compelling choice. She’d be the first Latina—and only the third woman—to serve on the Supreme Court. And she’d already been confirmed twice by the Senate, once unanimously, making it harder for Republicans to argue that she was an unacceptable choice.
     Given my high regard for Kagan and Wood, I was still undecided when Judge Sotomayor came to the Oval Office for a get-to-know-you session. She had a broad, kind face and a ready smile. Her manner was formal and she chose her words carefully, though her years at Ivy League schools and on the federal bench hadn’t sanded away the Bronx accent. I’d been warned by my team not to ask candidates their positions on specific legal controversies like abortion (Republicans on the committee were sure to ask about any conversation between me and a nominee to see if I had applied a “litmus test” in making my choice). Instead, the judge and I talked about her family, her work as a prosecutor, and her broad judicial philosophy.

78% of Pregnant Women Seeing an Ultrasound Reject Abortions

by Sarah Terzo | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/7/13 11:44 AM

Ultrasounds before abortions are routine in some abortion clinics. In others, they are performed only under certain circumstances.

Former Planned Parenthood worker Catherine Anthony Adair said the following in an interview:

At the time I worked for Planned Parenthood ultrasounds were only done if the woman was unsure of the dates of her last menstrual period, or if the doctor ordered one.

Women were not given the option of viewing the ultrasound.

In reality, ultrasounds before abortions are good medical practice. Besides verifying the length of the pregnancy, which determines what technique of abortion and what instruments are used, an ultrasound is one way to verify that a woman does not have a tubal or ectopic pregnancy. A woman may test positive for pregnancy, but really have a situation where the unborn baby is developing in the fallopian tubes and not in the womb. If this is not discovered, the tube can rupture, which is a major medical complication that can end in death. There have been a number of instances over the past several decades of women who have gone to abortion clinics, left thinking they were no longer pregnant, and then later died from a burst ectopic pregnancy. Some victims of this type of tragedy include Gladyss Delanoche Estanislao, 28; Sherry Emry and Yvette Poteat, both 26, and Angela Satterfield, 23. These women all died when abortion providers failed to diagnose their ectopic pregnancies.

In most cases, when ultrasounds are performed, women are not shown the images unless they specifically ask to see them, and sometimes not even then. Numerous former abortion providers have attested to this, including Dr. Joseph Randall, who was quoted saying:

They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn’t want to have an abortion. (1)

The fact that Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups oppose any legislation that would allow a woman the option of seeing the ultrasound screen further attests to this pattern. Even in cases where the law states that the woman does not need to look at the ultrasound but must merely be given the option, Planned Parenthood has been contentious.

One pro-choice author, commenting on a proposed law in Louisiana which required a woman to see an ultrasound image of her baby before aborting it, called the ultrasound a “torture weapon” (2).

Referring to a bill supported by Rick Perry that would allow women who choose a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before going through with an abortion, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the following:

Why is Rick Perry so cruel to women? … Rick Perry is running for president, and if he wins, you can bet he’ll force this dangerous agenda on every woman in every state. If we don’t stand up to him now, women may suffer the consequences for years to come. (3)

In Planned Parenthood’s world, allowing a woman to see an image of her baby on the ultrasound screen is a “dangerous agenda.” Many women who have abortions do not know the truth about fetal development. To quote Catherine Anthony Adair again:

We never discussed fetal development. The baby was referred to as the ”contents of the uterus” or a “clump of cells.” on the rare occasion a woman asked about the size of the baby, I would tell her it was about the size of the tip of my pencil, regardless of how many weeks into her pregnancy she was.

Jewels Green, another former clinic worker, said:

When explaining the abortion, the word ‘baby’ was never used, rather ‘contents of the uterus’, ‘the pregnancy’, or “products of conception” were the preferred terms to refer to the fetus.

The language of abortion counselors is often crafted carefully to avoid any reference to the baby. Even the term “fetus” is not always used. A 2012 NPR radio program interviewed abortion workers at a facility in England. In the interviews, the clinic workers never mention the word “abortion.” Rather, abortions were referred to as “treatments” – e.g., “the treatment room,” “treatment counseling,” etc.

Ultrasounds cut through all this evasive rhetoric. They show the reality of the unborn baby. As for abortion providers’ statements that ultrasounds are “cruel” and “torture weapons,” anyone who has listened to women who regret their abortions has heard, over and over again, “I wish I’d had more information.” “If I’d known what abortion would really do to my baby, I wouldn’t have had one.”

Sometimes a woman who has had a past abortion gets pregnant again and is confronted with a picture of her new baby on an ultrasound screen. Then the lies are exposed, and she has to bear the full brunt of the knowledge of what she has consented to. Abortion providers may be able to avoid the truth when counseling women, but they will not be there to shield the woman from the truth for the rest of her life. Eventually, many of the women who are lied to in abortion clinics will learn the facts about fetal development, and the abortion providers will not be there to help them when this happens. Many times, the experience leads to depression and self-loathing.

So why do abortion providers avoid showing ultrasound images to women? Perhaps this is because up to 78% of women to see an ultrasound of their babies choose not to have abortions (4).

When abortion-minded women see ultrasounds of their babies at crisis pregnancy centers, amazing things happen. Here’s a story from one crisis pregnancy center worker in New Jersey. A woman (we’ll call her Gina) had been in the waiting room of the crisis pregnancy center while several of her friends encouraged her to keep the baby. When she came in for the appointment, however, she said:

No one can change my mind about getting an abortion! Not my friends in the waiting room and not that girl who just came in, and definitely not you.

The worker relates:

“I let Gina know that was not my intention to force her not to abort but rather to present her with her options so she could make the best, most well-informed decision.”

Gina and I met for about an hour and it was such a pleasant time. I got to know her and her family dynamics, life objectives, and relationship with the father of her baby. I reviewed information on abortion with her and invited her to listen as I discussed the options of parenting and adoption so that she could truly make the best decision for herself. She welcomed the opportunity and afterwards thanked me for helping her to think about the pregnancy from other perspectives. But even after our time together, Gina was firm in decision to abort.

Then Gina had an ultrasound, and it was life changing!

Immediately after looking at the monitor, Gina looked at our nurse and me and said, “Yo, that’s it! That’s my baby!” (This was the first time she identified “it” as a baby.) “I can do this!” It was such a turn of events…” (5)

Gina carried the pregnancy to term and kept her child.

The Woman’s Choice Network is a pro-life organization that helps women who are facing unplanned pregnancies and encourages them to choose life.

In 2011, the network assisted more than 1,500 women. Of the 172 who saw their sonogram when considering abortion, 123 continued the pregnancy.

“The sonogram is just the first step. It’s day one of a two-year journey. Most of the work we will do comes after the sonogram,” Ms. Scheuring said, citing baby supplies, mentoring, assistance finding child care and other help.”

“We really leave it up to them, and we do have an occasional woman who doesn’t want to look,” she said. “But almost every woman, most every boyfriend and almost every weepy grandma in the room looks at that screen. They want to see. And the most common response we hear is ‘We had no idea.’” (6)

It should be noted that this pro-life facility, like most pro-life facilities, offers women ongoing help after they decide to continue their pregnancies. This is in contrast to abortion clinics, which take the woman’s money, do the abortion, and send her home.

In another article, a married woman who became pregnant at age 39 after she had already had all the children she wanted weighed abortion and decided she would probably keep the baby. But:

Unfortunately, she says, her maternal instincts did not respond to reason: when a young friend placed her baby in her arms, she found herself looking with distaste into “a little scrunched face inspiring no tenderness, only intense tedium at the thought of tending him. What was I going to do with the baby I couldn’t return to his mother?” ….she was not sure – despite her reservations – what it would cost her emotionally to have an abortion if something were wrong. When told she had as much chance of having a miscarriage from the amniocentesis as she did, at her age, of having a Down syndrome child, she hoped for the miscarriage: “That is until, lying on the table where the procedure was to take place, I saw the ultrasound scan on a television monitor above me reveal the perfectly shaped head of the child I carried. I wanted that baby!” (7)

Pro-life author Randy Alcorn recounts the following story, told to him by pregnancy center workers, in his book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments:

Barb came to Cobb Pregnancy Services Tuesday wanting a verification of pregnancy so she could get an abortion. She was 16 weeks pregnant. Janet, her counselor, put in a video [The Eclipse of Reason] that showed the abortion procedure for a baby of this age. When Janet returned to the room, Barb was looking down and said “I can’t have no baby.”

Janet shared her regret concerning an abortion she’s lived with for more than 25 years. She then got permission to call me to do an ultrasound and show Barb her baby. The little girl was most cooperative to show even her mom’s untrained eye that she was alive, very active and doing well insider. She opened and closed her mouth, had hiccups, laid-back as if in a beach chair, stretching her little legs. She even held up hands so Barb could count her fingers

Barb was visibly touched. When the scan was over, I asked Barb what her plans were. She replied “I am going to have my baby.” I asked if the scan had made a difference, she said, “Big time. I just came in here to get a pregnancy verification so I could go have an abortion.” (8)

A woman who was considering abortion after a pregnancy resulting from rape agreed to a free ultrasound at a pregnancy center:

She was blinking. She was just hanging out, looking around, sucking on her thumb. … It was so realistic, so lifelike. It looks like you can just reach right in there and pick up the baby.

I know they have a heartbeat at 4 to 6 weeks, but it still doesn’t feel as real to you until you see a human. It amazed me.

She kept her baby.

“I never thought I could love or bond with a child [who] was conceived under such horrible circumstances, but that’s where we don’t give God enough credit,” Oliver said. “I look at her, and I don’t even see him. She’s beautiful and perfect.” (9)

Another crisis pregnancy center worker recalls a woman who came running into the pro-life center sobbing after a Planned Parenthood worker accidentally allowed her to see the ultrasound screen before her abortion. Immediately upon seeing her baby on the screen, the woman knew she could not go through with the abortion and sought refuge in the pro-life clinic (10).

On November 2, 2012 the organization 40 Days for Life, which arranges prayer campaigns and protests outside abortion clinics, told the following story:

A woman had made the long drive from another county for an abortion appointment. She was one of the first to arrive that day, walking past the vigil participants and into the building.

As she was leaving, the volunteers noted that she might have been inside long enough for the abortion. They also noted that she was crying, so one of them asked her, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“I couldn’t do it,” the woman said. “They were doing an ultrasound, so I asked if I could see it. At first they refused, telling me ‘you don’t really want to see it.’ But I insisted ‘yeah, I do want to see it, because if I can see it … maybe I won’t do it.’”

She was right. Once she saw her nine week baby on the ultrasound screen, she knew that she couldn’t go through with the abortion. (11)

Ultrasounds are a liability to abortion clinics in another way as well. Clinic staff can be disturbed by the picture of the baby on the ultrasound screen. By now, many people in the pro-life movement have heard the story of Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching the abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby on the ultrasound. A lesser-known story is that of Joan Appleton, who had a similar experience. When talking during a conference in Chicago, Illinois sponsored by the Pro-Life Action League about the reason she left her abortion clinic, she said:

And I too had seen an ultrasound abortion. It was, we did first trimester, this was late first trimester, probably early second trimester, really we could look to 13.7 weeks. Give or take. I can’t remember offhand what the specific problem was, but we wanted to do the abortion by ultrasound, to make sure that we did indeed get the entire, all the baby. The terminology was that we wanted to make sure we had the entire pregnancy. I handled the ultrasound while the doctor performed the procedure, and I directed him while I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. I had seen Silent Scream a number of times, but it didn’t affect me – to me it was just more pro-life propaganda. But I couldn’t deny what I saw on the screen. After that procedure, I was shaking, literally, but managed to pull it together, and continue on with the day.

Unlike Abby Johnson, Appleton did not leave her job immediately – but this incident was pivotal in convincing her that abortion was wrong.

Dr. Stuart Campbell performed abortions for years, but the new, vivid, 3-D ultrasound images changed his mind:

Even a fetus lying there dead doesn’t convey the horror that one experiences seeing a baby moving its arms and legs, opening its mouth, sucking its thumb, and then thinking, gosh, somebody wants to, you know… It looks so vital. It has changed my view. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. (12)

Dr. Campbell no longer performs abortions.

Dr. Randall, quoted before, testified to the following:

I think the greatest thing that got to us was the ultrasound. At that time, the ultrasound, or soundwave picture which was moving, called a “real-time ultrasound,” showed the baby on TV. The baby really came alive on TV and was moving. And that picture, that picture of the baby on ultrasound bothered me more than anything else[.] … We lost two nurses. They couldn’t take looking[.]

He said this at the “Meet the Abortion Providers” conference sponsored by the Pro-Life Action League.

The phenomenon of abortion clinic workers leaving after seeing ultrasounds has been so prevalent over the past several decades that major medical publications have addressed the problem.

According to an article in ObGyn News:

[Abortion clinic] Staff members also may be affected by sonographic images and may need opportunities for venting their feelings and reconfirming their priorities[.] (13)

Alison Herwitt, NARAL Pro-Choice America’s director of government relations, told a reporter the following while discussing a bill that would allow government grants to crisis pregnancy centers to purchase ultrasound machines:

They don’t want them to go to Planned Parenthood, where they’ll get their full range of options. They just want them to go to crisis pregnancy centers, where women will be exposed to this weapon at taxpayers’ expense. (14)

Perhaps inadvertently, Herwitt has spoken the truth. Ultrasounds are a powerful weapon against the lies and deceit of the abortion industry.

1. “Pro-Choice 1990: Skeletons in the Closet” New Dimensions October 1990
2. Janet Hadley “Abortion: between Freedom and Necessity” (Great Britain: Virago Press, 1996) 150
3. Maggie Haberman “ Richards: Perry ‘so cruel’ to women” Politico, Sept 1, 2011
4. Adam Cohen“The Next Abortion Battleground: Fetal Heartbeats” Time Ideas October 17, 2011
5. Melissa Fischer “Gina’s Decision” Heartbeat Newsletter (First Choice Women’s Resource Centers, New Jersey) Summer 2012, p2
6. Ann Rodgers “Women’s center in Pittsburgh’s North Side welcomes ultrasound machine” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 18, 2012
7. Faith Abbott “a Tale of Two Women” Human Life Review, Spring 1993 in Tamara L Roleff. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego, Greenhaven Press, 1997) 111 to 112
8. Audrey Stout, Marietta Georgia, e-mail to Randy Alcorn February 12, 2000 Randy Alcorn “Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2000) 199
9. Karla Dial “Bringing Good Things to Life”Citizen June 2003
10. Roderick P Murphy. Stopping Abortions at Death’s Door (Southbridge, Massachusetts: Taig Publishing 2009) P194
11. 40 Days For Life Blog http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=3755
12. Stuart Campbell “The Hidden Wonders of New Life” The Tablet October 7 2004
13. ObGyn News, Quoted in Rachel M MacNair, PhD. Achieving Peace in the Abortion War (New York: iUniverse, 2009) page 59
14. Karla Dial “Bringing Good Things to Life

LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. This originally appeared at Live Action News

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

Related posts:

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May 8, 2012 – 1:48 am

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May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

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May 2, 2012 – 1:13 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

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May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

President Obama Speaks at The Ohio State University Commencement Ceremony Published on May 5, 2013 President Obama delivers the commencement address at The Ohio State University. May 5, 2013. You can learn a lot about what President Obama thinks the founding fathers were all about from his recent speech at Ohio State. May 7, 2013, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

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December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

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John Quincy Adams a founding father?

June 29, 2011 – 3:58 pm

I do  not think that John Quincy Adams was a founding father in the same sense that his  father was. However, I do think he was involved in the  early days of our government working with many of the founding fathers. Michele Bachmann got into another history-related tussle on ABC’s “Good  Morning America” today, standing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

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I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Arkansas TimesFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit |Comments (0)

Article from Adrian Rogers, “Bring back the glory”

June 11, 2013 – 12:34 am

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OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 142 IMMIGRATION Dan Mitchell rightly noted, “I’ve always thought far more Americans would be sympathetic to immigration if they could be convinced that people were coming to America for the right reasons – i.e., to earn money rather than mooch off taxpayers”

Milton Friedman in 2004

Portrait of Milton Friedman.jpg

Power of the Market – Immigration

MILTON FRIEDMAN ON IMMIGRATION

MILTON FRIEDMAN ON IMMIGRATION PART 2

April 12, 2021

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

There are several issues raised in your book that I would like to discuss with you such as the minimum wage law, the liberal press, the cause of 2007 financial meltdown, and especially your pro-choice (what I call pro-abortion) view which I strongly object to on both religious and scientific grounds, Two of the most impressive things in your book were your dedication to both the National Prayer Breakfast (which spoke at 8 times and your many visits to the sides of wounded warriors!!

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

WHEN IT CAME to immigration, everyone agreed that the system was broken. The process of immigrating legally to the United States could take a decade or longer, often depending on what country you were coming from and how much money you had.Meanwhile, the economic gulf between us and our southern neighbors drove hundreds of thousands of people to illegally cross the 1,933-mile U.S.-Mexico border each year, searching for work and a better life. Congress had spent billions to harden the border, with fencing, cameras, drones, and an expanded and increasingly militarized border patrol. But rather than stop the flow of immigrants, these steps had spurred an industry of smugglers—coyotes—who made big money transporting human cargo in barbaric and sometimes deadly fashion. And although border crossings by poor Mexican and Central American migrants received most of the attention from politicians and the press, about 40 percent of America’s unauthorized immigrants arrived through airports or other legal ports of entry and then overstayed their visas.
By 2010, an estimated eleven million undocumented persons were living in the United States, in large part thoroughly woven into the fabric of American life.Many were longtime residents, with children who either were U.S. citizens by virtue of having been born on American soil or had been brought to the United States at such an early age that they were American in every respect except for a piece of paper. Entire sectors of the U.S. economy relied on their labor, as undocumented immigrants were often willing to do the toughest, dirtiest work for meager pay—picking the fruits and vegetables that stocked our grocery stores, mopping the floors of offices, washing dishes at restaurants, and providing care to the elderly. But although American consumers benefited from this invisible workforce, many feared that immigrants were taking jobs from citizens, burdening social services programs, and changing the nation’s racial and cultural makeup, which led to demands for the government to crack down on illegal immigration. This sentiment was strongest among Republican constituencies, egged on by an increasingly nativist right-wing press. However, the politics didn’t fall neatly along partisan lines: The traditionally Democratic trade union rank and file, for example, saw the growing presence of undocumented workers on co
    nstruction sites as threatening their livelihoods, while Republican-leaning business groups interested in maintaining a steady supply of cheap labor (or, in the case of Silicon Valley, foreign-born computer programmers and engineers) often took pro-immigration positions.

     Back in 2007, the maverick version of John McCain, along with his sidekick Lindsey Graham, had actually joined Ted Kennedy to put together a comprehensive reform bill that offered citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants while more tightly securing our borders. Despite strong support from President Bush, it had failed to clear the Senate. The bill did, however, receive twelve Republican votes, indicating the real possibility of a future bipartisan accord. I’d pledged during the campaign to resurrect similar legislation once elected, and I’d appointed former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano as head of the Department of Homeland Security—the agency that oversaw U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection—partly because of her knowledge of border issues and her reputation for having previously managed immigration in a way that was both compassionate and tough.
My hopes for a bill had thus far been dashed. With the economy in crisis and Americans losing jobs,few in Congress had any appetite to take on a hot-button issue like immigration. Kennedy was gone. McCain, having been criticized by the right flank for his relatively moderate immigration stance, showed little interest in taking up the banner again. Worse yet, my administration was deporting undocumented workers at an accelerating rate. This wasn’t a result of any directive from me, but rather it stemmed from a 2008 congressional mandate that both expanded ICE’s budget and increased collaboration between ICE and local law enforcement departments in an effort to deport more undocumented immigrants with criminal records. My team and I had made a strategic choice not to immediately try to reverse the policies we’d inherited in large part because we didn’t want to provide ammunition to critics who claimed that Democrats weren’t willing to enforce existing immigration laws—a perception that we thought could torpedo our chances of passing a future reform bill. But by 2010, immigrant-rights and Latino advocacy groups were criticizing our lack of progress..And although I continued to urge Congress to pass immigration reform, I had no realistic path for delivering a new comprehensive law before the midterms.

Milton Friedman wisely noted,  “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state,” 
Is it prudent to allow illegal immigrants (60 percent of whom are high-school dropouts) access to Social Security, Medicare, and, over time, to 60 federal means-tested welfare programs? I don’t think so either!

A Plan for Open Borders that Anti-Amnesty Folks Can Support

August 18, 2016 by Dan Mitchell

As a general rule, I like immigration and I don’t like redistribution.

As such, I share the late Milton Friedman’s concern about the risks of having a welfare state combined with open borders. And based on many conversations all over the country, I think that’s a big reason why many people oppose amnesty (augmented by Republican partisans who fear, probably with some validity, that changing the political landscape of America is the real reason Senator Schumer is a big advocate of amnesty).

So how can we reap the benefits of immigration without the risk of a bigger welfare state?

In part, we should have programsdesigned to attract people with skills and education.

I’m a big advocate and defender, for instance, of the EB-5 program that gives a preference for foreigners who invest in America’s economy and create jobs.

And if you peruse Mark Perry’s chart, we must be doing something right. Look at all these immigrant groups that are boosting per-capita income for the United States (including people from Lebanon, home of the Princess of the Levant).

I’ve always thought far more Americans would be sympathetic to immigration if they could be convinced that people were coming to America for the right reasons – i.e., to earn money rather than mooch off taxpayers.

With that in mind, Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University has aBloomberg column about Denmark that cites the great work of Nima Sanandajiabout how Americans of Nordic descent have much higher incomes than the people remaining in Nordic nations. Tyler’s entire article is worth reading, but I want to focus on a quasi-open-borders proposal that he puts forth in his conclusion.

For all the anti-immigrant sentiment that is circulating at the moment, would it hurt the U.S. to have fully open borders with Denmark? It would boost American gross domestic product and probably also improve American education. History teaches that serious assimilation problems would be unlikely, especially since many Danes already speak English. Open borders wouldn’t attract Danes who want to live off welfare because the benefits are so generous at home. How’s this for a simple rule: Open borders for the residents of any democratic country with more generous transfer payments than Uncle Sam’s.

I can’t think of any reasonable objection to this idea. Everything Tyler says makes sense. People like “Lazy Robert” won’t be lining up to get plane tickets to America. Instead, we’ll get the young and aspirational Danes.

For what it’s worth, I even think he understates the case since the type of people who would migrate to America wouldn’t just boost GDP. They almost surely would do something arguably more important, which is to boost per-capita GDP.

Just think of all the productive entrepreneurs who would take the opportunity to escape over-taxed Denmark and come to the United States. Along with ambitious and skilled people from nations such as ItalyFrance, and Sweden (though our welfare state is very expensive, so I admit I’m just guessing at nations which would be eligible based on Tyler’s rule about “more generous transfer payments”).

By the way, Denmark apparently has learned a lesson about the risks of being a welfare magnet.

story from Spiegel Online has the details.

Denmark’s strict immigration laws have saved the country billions in benefits, a government report has claimed. …The extremely strict laws have dramatically reduced the flow of people into Denmark in recent years, and many government figures are delighted with the outcome. “Now that we can see that it does matter who comes into the country, I have no scruples in further restricting those who one can suspect will be a burden on Denmark,” the center-right liberal integration minister, Søren Pind, told the Jyllands Postennewspaper. Pind was talking after the ministry’s report — initiated by the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party (DPP) — came to the conclusion that by tightening immigration laws, Denmark has saved €6.7 billion ($10 billion) over the last 10 years, money which otherwise would supposedly have been spent on social benefits or housing. According to the figures, migrants from non-Western countries who did manage to come to Denmark have cost the state €2.3 billion, while those from the West have actually contributed €295 million to government coffers.

Sounds like Danish lawmakers don’t want to add even more passengers to the nation’s already-overburdened “party boat.”

And who can blame them. The nation already has a crippling problem of too many people depending on government.

P.S. If you want to enjoy some immigration-related humor, we have a video about Americans migrating to Peru and a story about American leftists escaping to Canada.

P.P.S. For those interested in the issue of birthright citizenship (a.k.a. anchor babies), I’ve shared some interesting analysis from Will Wilkinson and George Will.


Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

Related posts:

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April 10, 2013 – 7:02 am

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. There have […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding FathersPresident Obama | Edit |Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 5, John Hancock)

May 8, 2012 – 1:48 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 4, Elbridge Gerry)

May 7, 2012 – 1:46 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 3, Samuel Adams)

May 4, 2012 – 1:45 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 2, John Quincy Adams)

May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 1, John Adams)

May 2, 2012 – 1:13 am

There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at war with religion in our public life. Lillian Kwon quoted somebody […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

President Obama and the Founding Fathers

May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

President Obama Speaks at The Ohio State University Commencement Ceremony Published on May 5, 2013 President Obama delivers the commencement address at The Ohio State University. May 5, 2013. You can learn a lot about what President Obama thinks the founding fathers were all about from his recent speech at Ohio State. May 7, 2013, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the founding fathers and their belief in inalienable rights

December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

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David Barton: In their words, did the Founding Fathers put their faith in Christ? (Part 4)

May 30, 2012 – 1:35 am

America’s Founding Fathers Deist or Christian? – David Barton 4/6 There have been many articles written by evangelicals like me who fear that our founding fathers would not recognize our country today because secular humanism has rid our nation of spiritual roots. I am deeply troubled by the secular agenda of those who are at […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Tagged governor of connecticutjohn witherspoonjonathan trumbull | Edit | Comments (1)

Were the founding fathers christian?

May 23, 2012 – 7:04 am

3 Of 5 / The Bible’s Influence In America / American Heritage Series / David Barton There were 55 gentlemen who put together the constitution and their church affliation is of public record. Greg Koukl notes: Members of the Constitutional Convention, the most influential group of men shaping the political foundations of our nation, were […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

John Quincy Adams a founding father?

June 29, 2011 – 3:58 pm

I do  not think that John Quincy Adams was a founding father in the same sense that his  father was. However, I do think he was involved in the  early days of our government working with many of the founding fathers. Michele Bachmann got into another history-related tussle on ABC’s “Good  Morning America” today, standing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding Fathers | Edit | Comments (0)

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part E “Moral absolutes and abortion” Francis Schaeffer Quotes part 5(includes the film SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS) (editorial cartoon)

July 6, 2013 – 1:26 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Arkansas TimesFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit |Comments (0)

Article from Adrian Rogers, “Bring back the glory”

June 11, 2013 – 12:34 am

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 […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the possibility that minorities may be mistreated under 51% rule

June 9, 2013 – 1:21 am

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ____________ The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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Daniel Mitchell OF CENTER FOR FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY article The 2nd Amendment and the Individual Right to Gun Ownership

The 2nd Amendment and the Individual Right to Gun Ownership

Back in 2012, I shared a video clip of Ice-T defending the 2nd Amendment, but that video is now dead, so I’m glad to see that Prager University has added his comments as a prologue to this defense of gun rights by Prof. Eugene Volokh.

Ice-T and Prof. Volokh make for a good combination, one dispensing common sense and the other sharing academic analysis.

In the case of Prof. Volokh, he walks through the language of the Constitution and succinctly explains why the 2nd Amendment clearly was designed to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms.

And that’s the view that consistent with the liberty-focused attitude of the Founding Fathers, who correctly saw government as a potential source of tyranny.

But there’s another part of the video that also deserves attention. Shortly before the 4:00 mark of the video, Volokh explains that the Founders gave people – through their legislators – the option of amending the Constitution (the great Thomas Sowell has made the same point).

And that does happen, sometimes with bad consequences.

But there’s been no serious effort to undo the 2nd Amendment for the simple reason that people value their constitutional liberties.

Indeed, states have been taking steps to expand and enshrine gun rights.

P.S. A British writer argued that defending gun rights was akin to defending slavery. In reality, the 2nd Amendment has been especially valuable for blacks.

Gun Control Humor

Time to add to the collection of humor about gun control.

We’ll start with this observation from Ron Swanson (who periodically makes cameo appearances since he was TV’s most famous libertarian) about the relationship between gun laws and crime rates.

Next is a cartoon strip with an amusing twist.

For what it’s worth, I buy t-shirts that already have the right message.

Here’s a hotel employee giving a much-needed wake-up call.

Our next item features a sensible observation from Elizabeth Warren, followed by an equally sensible observation from Dan Gannon.

Next, we have an example of the “slippery slope” in action.

By the way, the above image is real. The United Kingdom has some of the world’s silliest anti-gun policies, which were the gateway drug for absurd anti-knife laws (and even – I’m not joking – anti-teaspoon laws).

I’ve saved the best for last, as usual.

Here’s “Fauxcahontas” getting a clever response from Meme Cat.

Just in case you don’t get the joke, Senator Elizabeth Warren falsely claimed Indian ancestry, even using her fake-minority status to get preferential treatment.

P.S. I also recommend this mockery of Sen. Warren’s approach to class warfare.

—-

Reusable: biden obama gun control speechPresident Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

Is Gun Control Dead?

In recent months, governments released prisoners and announced that some laws wouldn’t be enforced because of the coronavirus. Now, with protests against police misbehavior, we’re seeing governments fail to maintain law and order.

As suggested by this excellent Reason video, these developments bolster the case against gun control.

But does this mean politicians will be more supportive of the 2nd Amendment?

The answer (at least for anyone with an IQ above room temperature)should be yes.

From an economic perspective, one major goal is to change the cost-benefit analysis for criminals. If bad guys have to worry that good guys may be armed, that significantly increases the potential cost of illegal behavior.

A well-functioning system of law enforcement can help, of course, but that’s not a description of how things work in some communities – even in normal times, much less when there’s civil unrest.

But all this evidence and analysis doesn’t seem to matter for Joe Biden. A look at his campaign website shows support for a wide range of gun-control laws from the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

…gun violence is a public health epidemic. …In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again. …As president, Biden will: …Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. …Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. …Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one. …End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. …Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs.

What’s especially discouraging is that Biden apparently hasn’t learned anything about so-called assault weapons since 1994.

In a 2019 column for Reason, Jacob Sullum dissected Biden’s incoherent views on the topic.

Joe Biden…is still proud of the ban on “assault weapons”… Biden argues that it made mass shootings less common…, citing a study reported in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery last January. But that is not what the researchers, led by New York University epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio, actually found.…The study…looked not at the number of mass shootings, as Biden claims, but the number of mass-shooting deaths as a share of all firearm homicides. The difference in total fatalities during the period when the ban was in effect amounted to 15 fewer deaths over a decade, or 1.5 a year on average, including mass shootings that did not involve weapons covered by the ban. …The causal mechanism imagined by Biden is even harder to figure out. He describes “assault weapons” as “military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly.” But they do not fire any faster than any other semi-automatic. …Under the 1994 ban, removing “military-style” features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors, or bayonet mounts transformed forbidden “assault weapons” into legal firearms, even though the compliant models fired the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the ones targeted by the law.

I wonder if Biden understands the policy he’s advocating.

Does he think that “assault weapons” are actual machine guns, capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull on the trigger (a remarkably common misconception among gun-control advocates)?

Or, if he understands that a so-called assault weapon is just like any other gun (firing one round each time the trigger is pulled), then why would he think anything would be achieved by banning some guns and leaving others (that work the same way) legal?

Perhaps most relevant, does he even care what the evidence shows?

The bottom line is that people are “voting with their dollars” for gun ownership for the simple reason that they know it’s unwise to trust government (either to protect them from crime or to respect their rights).

But that doesn’t mean their constitutional freedoms will be secure if Biden wins the 2020 election.

P.S. The good news is that there will be widespread civil disobedience if politicians push for new gun bans.

P.P.S. Another silver lining is that we’ll get more and more clever humor mocking gun control.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

——

Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

—-


Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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February 10, 2012 – 12:09 am

  Aside from its harbor, the only other important resource of Hong Kong is people __ over 4_ million of them. Like America a century ago, Hong Kong in the past few decades has been a haven for people who sought the freedom to make the most of their own abilities. Many of them are […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 1of 7)

February 3, 2012 – 12:07 am

“FREE TO CHOOSE” 1: The Power of the Market (Milton Friedman) Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 4:20:46 PM by Choose Ye This Day FREE TO CHOOSE: The Power of the Market Friedman: Once all of this was a swamp, covered with forest. The Canarce Indians […]

Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 1-5

Debate on Milton Friedman’s cure for inflation

September 29, 2011 – 7:24 am

If you would like to see the first three episodes on inflation in Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” then go to a previous post I did. Ep. 9 – How to Cure Inflation [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Uploaded by investbligurucom on Jun 16, 2010 While many people have a fairly […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in Current Events | Tagged dr friedman, expansion history, income tax brackets, political courage, www youtube | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

April 19, 2013 – 1:14 am

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

February 21, 2013 – 1:01 am

Stearns Speaks on House Floor in Support of Balanced Budget Amendment Uploaded by RepCliffStearns on Nov 18, 2011 Speaking on House floor in support of Balanced Budget Resolution, 11/18/2011 ___________ Below are some of the main proposals of Milton Friedman. I highly respected his work. David J. Theroux said this about Milton Friedman’s view concerning […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

December 7, 2012 – 5:55 am

Milton Friedman: Free To Choose – The Failure Of Socialism With Ronald Reagan (Full) Published on Mar 19, 2012 by NoNationalityNeeded Milton Friedman’s writings affected me greatly when I first discovered them and I wanted to share with you. We must not head down the path of socialism like Greece has done. Abstract: Ronald Reagan […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton FriedmanPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (1)

Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

What a great defense of Milton Friedman!!!!   Defaming Milton Friedman by Johan Norberg This article appeared in Reason Online on September 26, 2008  PRINT PAGE  CITE THIS      Sans Serif      Serif Share with your friends: ShareThis In the future, if you tell a student or a journalist that you favor free markets and limited government, there is […]

OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 138 OBAMA’S VIEW ON MINIMUM WAGE “At every stop I made, in every city and small town, my message was the same. I promised to raise taxes on high-income Americans to pay for vital investments in education, research, and infrastructure. I promised to strengthen unions and raise the minimum wage as well as to deliver universal healthcare”

Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage FREE TO CHOOSE

April 8, 2021

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

There are several issues raised in your book that I would like to discuss with you such as the minimum wage law, the liberal press, the cause of 2007 financial meltdown, and especially your pro-choice (what I call pro-abortion) view which I strongly object to on both religious and scientific grounds, Two of the most impressive things in your book were your dedication to both the National Prayer Breakfast (which spoke at 8 times and your many visits to the sides of wounded warriors!!

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:


     I was campaigning to push the country in the opposite direction. I didn’t think America could roll back automation or sever the global supply chain (though I did think we could negotiate stronger labor and environmental provisions in our trade agreements). But I was certain we could adapt our laws and institutions, just as we’d done in the past, to make sure that folks willing to work could get a fair shake. At every stop I made, in every city and small town, my message was the same. I promised to raise taxes on high-income Americans to pay for vital investments in education, research, and infrastructure. I promised to strengthen unions and raise the minimum wage as well as to deliver universal healthcare and make college more affordable.
     I wanted people to understand that there was a precedent for bold government action. FDR had saved capitalism from itself, laying the foundation for a post–World War II boom.

—-

The minimum wage has hurt young people as they seek to enter the job market and prove themselves and start heading up the financial ladder of opportunity and by cutting the bottom of the ladder off it is difficult for the most unskilled and disadvantaged to compete!


Real-World Examples of How the Minimum Wage Destroys Jobs and Hurts Workers

Politicians can interfere with the laws of supply and demand (and they do, with distressing regularity), but they can’t repeal them.

The minimum wage issue is a tragic example. If lawmakers pass a law mandating wages of $10 per hour, that is going to have a very bad effect on low-skilled workers who can only generate, say, $8 of revenue per hour.

You don’t need to be a libertarian to realize this is a problem.

Catherine Rampell leans to the left, but she warned last year in the Washington Post about the danger of “helping” workers to the unemployment line.

…the left needs to think harder about the unintended consequences of…benevolent-seeming proposals. In isolation, each of these policies has the potential to make workers more costly to hire. Cumulatively, they almost certainly do. Which means that, unless carefully designed,a lefty “pro-labor” platform might actually encourage firms to hire less labor… It’s easier, or perhaps more politically convenient, to assume that “pro-worker” policies never hurt the workers they’re intended to help. Take the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour… raising wages in Seattle to $13 has produced sharp cuts in hours, leaving low-wage workers with smaller paychecks. And that’s in a high-cost city. Imagine what would happen if Congress raised the minimum wage to $15 nationwide. …Why wouldn’t you want to improve the living standards of as many people as possible? The answer: You won’t actually be helping them if making their labor much more expensive, much too quickly, results in their getting fired.

By the way, while I’m glad Ms. Rampell recognizes how big increases in the minimum wage will have an adverse impact, I think she is rather naive to believe that there are “carefully designed” options that wouldn’t be harmful.

Or does she have a cutoff point for acceptable casualties? Maybe she thinks that an increase in the minimum wage is bad if it throws 500,000 people into unemployment, but a small increase that leads to 200,000 fewer jobs is acceptable?

In any event, the voters of DC apparently didn’t read her column and they voted earlier this year to restrict the freedom of employers and employees in the restaurant sector to engage in voluntary exchange.

But then something interesting happened. Workers and owners united together and urged DC’s government to reverse the referendum.

The Wall Street Journal opined on this development.

…last week Washington, D.C.’s Democratic city councillors moved to overturn a mandatory minimum wage for tipped workers after bartenders, waiters and restaurant managers served up a lesson in economics. …The wage hike was billed as a way to give workers financial stability…But tipped workers realized the policy came with serious unintended consequences. …workers pushed for repeal. Though restaurants pay a $3.89 hourly wage to tipped workers, “we choose these jobs because we make far more than the standard minimum wage” from tips, bartender Valerie Graham told the City Council. …“Increasing the base wage for tipped workers who already make well above minimum wage threatens those who do not make tips,” such as cooks, dishwashers and table bussers, Rose’s Luxury bartender Chelsea Silber told the City Council. …Repeal requires a second council vote, but Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser says she agrees. Congratulations on the revolt of the restaurant masses.

Let’s review another example.

There’s now a mandate for a higher minimum wage in New York. Ellie Bufkin explains some of the consequences in a column for the Federalist.

This minimum wage spike has forced several New York City businesses to shutter their doors and will claim many more victims soon. Businesses must meet the $15 wage by the end of 2018, the culmination of mandatory increment increases that began in 2016. …For many businesses, this egregious law is not just an inconvenience,it is simply unaffordable. The most recent victim is long-time staple, The Coffee Shop… In explaining his decision to close following 28 years of high-volume business, owner Charles Milite told the New York Post, “The times have changed in our industry. The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees.” …Of all affected businesses, restaurants are at the greatest risk of losing their ability to operate under the strain of crushing financial demands. They run at the highest day-to-day operational costs of any business, partly because they must employ more people to run efficiently. …Eventually, minimum wage laws and other prohibitive regulations will cause the world-renowned restaurant life in cities like New York, DC, and San Francisco to cease to exist.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think restaurants will “cease to exist” because of mandates for higher minimum wages.

But there will definitely be fewer establishments with fewer workers.

Why? Because business aren’t charities. They hire workers to increase profits, so it’s unavoidable that we get bad results when government mandates result in some workers costing more than the revenue they generate.

Which is what we’re now seeing in Seattle.

I’ll close by recycling this debate clip from a few years ago. I made the point that faster growth is the right way to boost wages.


And I also gave a plug for federalism. If some states want to throw low-skilled workers out of jobs, I think that will be an awful outcome. But it won’t be as bad as a nationwide scheme to increase unemployment (especially for minorities).

P.S. As is so often the case, the “sensible Swiss” have the right perspective.

P.P.S. Here’s a video making the case against government wage mandates. And here’s another interview I did on the topic.


Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

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May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

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December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 366 My January 17, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on the subject being a workaholic in Book of Ecclesiastes based on a message by Mark Henry of Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock (Featured artist is Ahmed Mater)

_

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

REMEMBERING GOD:THE KEY TO A PROFITABLE LIFE

The Futility of Pleasure Seeking

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

Jerry A Collins

SCC

6/16/02

¨ Can anything on the earth really satisfy us?

Is there a difference between satisfaction and fulfillment?

Does God expect us to enjoy ourselves?

This may be hard to swallow but if you have set your heart on getting and enjoying the good life, it’s not worth it! Don’t waste your time dreaming about it or pursuing it. The beer commercials have got it all wrong. The endless commentary about investing on wall street is exhausting. John Gotti just died this week in prison of throat cancer. Princess Di lost her life very young. Hugh Hefner is an old man. Mick Jaggar is now Sir Mick. Brittany Speers has another record. Scotty Bowman just retired. Tiger Woods is playing in another major golf tournament. All of these people and many others are people we would define as living the good life. We idolize drunkenness, investing, power, glamour, sex, popularity, sensuality, success or prestige as evidence of the good life. King Solomon tried to find fulfillment from the good life too. He conducted an experiment to discover if there is anything of this world, to satisfy and fulfill the heart of a person. Before you take another step in this direction, consider the lessons Solomon learned from his experiment and search into personal and pleasure and the good life! He announces the goal and conclusion of his experiment in vss 1-2. Then he describes the means by which he sought and found pleasure himself in vss 3-10. Finally he relates this pursuit to the ultimate value of his accomplishments in vs 11. He begins with his conclusion.

1. PLEASURE HAS LITTLE VALUE 1-2

That it, while it may have some temporary, immediate value like relieving boredom and grief, it does not produce anything permanently or ultimately worthwhile. First, he states in vs 1 that in his quest to find something worthwhile in life he experimented with pleasure. What can I do that will make me happy all of my life? So he said to himself enjoy yourself. And that is what he did. He spent weeks, months and years on this quest. He went after laughter, pleasure, possessions, prosperity, power, prestige and sex. The palace halls were denied nothing, his courtiers and guests had the time of their lives and bountiful feasts according to 1 Kings 4:22-23 each day included 30 measures of fine flour, 60 measures of meal, 10 fat oxen, 20 oxen from pastures, 100 sheep, in addition harts, roebucks, gazelles and fattened fowl. This daily menu is estimated to have been able to feed at least 10 thousand people. Second, he states the result of this expansive search is that it was futile and meaningless. (1) All the laughter he enjoyed in this pursuit he calls madness. Laughter associated with pleasure and the good life is empty. Frivolity is foolish because the laughter deals only with the peripherals of life. there is not solid content to it (Ecc 7:6). It’s useless and a waste of time. (2) Of pleasure he asks What does it accomplish vs 2? What does it contribute to life? It only consumes resources we have worked hard for. The question implies a negative answer. This is the conclusion. It is not the conclusion of our world. Satan wants us to believe that it is better to mortgage our future for the present. How did he pursue pleasure and what did he learn?

2. PURSUING PLEASURE ONLY DELIVERS TEMPORARY SATISFACTION 3-10

First we learn that this experiment was exhaustive. He explored, enlarged, built, planted, made, possessed, collected, provided, did not refuse and exerted himself. No stone was left unturned in this experiment.

Second, it was not a mindless drive into hedonism. Wisdom he says guided him in vss 3 & 9 throughout the endeavor. With deliberateness, not blindly or in uncontrolled excess, he indulged himself. He is testing the effects of pleasure seeking and frivolity to see if it is worthwhile. This is a calculated experiment. with a purpose. He wanted to find out for himself if the things of this world can fill and empty heart vs 3. Life is short and how can we find satisfaction in that short span?

Third, he indulged himself in a variety of things. (1) He stimulated his body with wine v 3. He cheered himself with wine and he embraced folly or a foolish and frivolous lifestyle possibly associated with his wine drinking. Every Coors beer commercial is an example of this. It provides momentary satisfaction until the next weekend. (2) The good life included projects, parks and pools vss4-6. He tried his hand at architecture. His own house took 14 years to build and the Temple 7 years. He built houses for his wives. he engaged in agriculture developing luxuriant gardens and parks planted with orchards, filled with trees. He developed irrigation to provide for all of the landscaping. Building and landscaping provide momentary pleasure but then there are always things to fix, weeds to pull and new endeavors to grab our attention. (3) The good life included ownership and wealth 7-8. He had servants to wait on his every whim. He had ranches to provide diversion and investment in the raising of herds, flocks and livestock. He had bank accounts that provided him with all the money he would ever need. So great was Solomon’s fortune that silver and gold were regarded in Jerusalem as stones 1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chr 1:15. His annual income was over one million dollars in purchasing power. In fact he owned whatever he looked on and his look went everywhere. If it promised a fleeting moment of pleasure he tried it and he bought it. (4) The good life included entertainment and sex 8b-10. He hired his own private orchestra to soothe and entertain him on demand vs 8b. He also accumulated numbers of concubines, playmates all over the palace and in his harem to satisfy his sexual desires. Whatever caught his eye vs 10 he indulged in. If he saw a beautiful woman he added her to his harem. A fine thorobred to his stables. A newer model chariot he bought it. He indulged himself in every way and in everything. And he found pleasure in all of this and that alone was his reward. A momentary enjoyment that faded and passed until the next pleasure fix.

3. THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE IS FUTILE 11

After a close evaluation of this lifestyle and pursuit, though some satisfaction was gained, the real value of what was accomplished was (1) vanity (empty) (2) striving after wind (meaningless) (3) no profit in life (ultimately profitless). We may never have the opportunity fame like this. we may never be a king or have stardom or offered a million dollar signing bonus. But there are lessons here for us.

(1) We can learn from the failure of others while we listen to the wisdom of God’s Word. The good life is really not so good. There is no ultimate profit in it. God says you had your reward I have none to give you. We have to take this by faith.

(2) Achieving, having, experiencing will not deliver significance and worth. That is only find in Christ ritely related to God.

(3) Absolutely nothing this side of grave can fill emptiness deliver full satisfaction.

__________

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

__

In the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

and Brandon Barnard.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Mark Henry.

January 17, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I recently read the article, “Playboy at 60: Hugh Hefner Looks Back,” The legendary publisher looks back on the first 25 years of his culture-changing creation by Scott Huver, and it started off with these words:

Looking back over his 87 years – 60 of which have been defined by his creation, Playboy – Hugh Hefner admits it took being a workaholic during his media empire’s formative years to transform him into an icon of sexual liberation and sophisticated indulgence.

I had been really consumed the first few years on the magazine – I had this phenomenal success on my hands,” Hefner remembers. “And I didn’t want to miss the party that I had created.”

You probably remember that last Sunday I wrote you about the sermon I heard at church from our series on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today’s letter basically comes from this same sermon series because this week’s message from FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH dealt with the issue of work and what King Solomon had to say about it.

(Mark Henry pictured below)

Our teaching pastor Mark Henry in his sermon THE MIRROR OF WORK observed:

When you stare into the mirror of your work then you may ask “I AM SUCCESSFUL THEN WHY AM NOT HAPPY?” Many at the worship service today are very successful but do they still have this gnawing sense of emptiness and lack of satisfaction?  

The main character in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES is King Solomon who is outside of Jesus the wisest man in the Bible. This is a guy who amassed an incredible amount of wealth and power throughout his life and that set him on a journey in search of pleasure and happiness in the maze of life. What he discovered as he went down all of these different paths in search of pleasure and happiness in the maze of life, what he realized is THERE ALL ARE DEAD ENDS {IN LIFE UNDER THE SUN.} They just simply can not satisfy.

The simple message Solomon keeps bringing us back to is “JESUS IS BETTER THAN…”   Anything else we try to fill our lives up with is just going to be less than and that includes our work. 

Ecclesiastes 2:18-26English Standard Version (ESV) 

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[a] in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him[b] who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Solomon is not just talking about our jobs. He is also talking about everything we do in life which includes building a family, parenting kids, pursuing relationships, working on our communities and his  conclusion is that it is all vain toil. What Solomon is doing here is giving us a view of work UNDER THE SUN. It is a view where you see work as frustrating, hard and aggravating.  

Solomon is sitting back and looking at his whole life’s work UNDER THE SUN and he is saying it is just vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:23 “For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.” In other words, our hearts can’t rest because we still haven’t found what we are looking for. We got a six figure salary and it is still not enough. A hundred promotions later we still will be hungry for more. We never achieve a lasting identity.

Your accomplishments will never answer your deepest questions. WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE? DO I MATTER? AM I SIGNIFICANT?  Solomon is saying you will not find those answers on the back of your paycheck.

Madonna in an interview with VOGUE noted: 

“And all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy. I’m always struggling with that fear. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being and then I get to another stage and think I’m mediocre and uninteresting. And I find a way to get myself out of that. Again and again. My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. And that’s always pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become Somebody. I still have to prove that Somebody. My struggle has never ended and it probably never will.”

The need to achieve that Madonna talks about is very common unfortunately in our hearts but in Jesus there is a way out of this performance driven cycle. In Jesus you are here because a loving God created you with his own hands for his glory and your joy. The point of life is knowing God and resting in his perfect love for you. The more we see life from ABOVE THE SUN the more we see that we don’t have to try and get our identity from our work because we already have one [in Christ.]

___

HUGH you have tried looking at life UNDER THE SUN but shouldn’t you now take time to take a long look at the possibility of life ABOVE THE SUN?

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of non-reason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #95)

Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.

The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.

The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).

Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 14th letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject. In this letter I also quoted your good friend Madonna. A little tidbit about Madonna and her former husband Guy Ritchie. They ran around with Prince William and Prince Harry quite often. Just recently in my old hometown of Memphis a girl by the name of Lizzy Wilson was married to the royals’ good friend Guy Pelly and they all came to Memphis for the wedding. Back in the 1980’s I used to get to visit at Hardware Shows with Lizzy’s grandfather Kemmons Wilson who was a founder of HOLIDAY INNS. Actually a relative of mine still works for the Wilson family trust and could have attended the wedding if he had chose to but he was not into royal watching.

Hugh Hefner getting to grips with Madonna at the launch party for the Music album in 2000.

Britain's Prince William, and Prince Harry, follow groom Thomas van Straubenzee

Big day: Prince William and Harry and Guy Pelly attending friend Thomas-van-Straubenzee’s wedding

Royals down South! Prince William and Prince Harry traveled to Memphis, Tenn. the weekend of May 2 for friend Guy Pelly‘s wedding to Lizzy Wilson.

Guy Pelly and Elizabeth Wilson arrive for their wedding rehearsal dinner at the Rendezvous BBQ restaurant

Wearing a country-style checkered shirt, William arrives for dinner with his entourage

Wearing a country-style checkered shirt, William arrives for dinner with his entourage in Memphis

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(Below: The handsome prince arrived at Rendezvous restaurant for a rehearsal dinner)

Wild about Harry: The handsome prince arrived at Rendezvous restaurant for a rehearsal dinner after flying into town from Miami, where he hung our in South Beach

_________

Featured artist is Ahmed Mater

Ahmed Mater was born in 1979 in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, and lives and works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Among the most influential contemporary artists from Saudi Arabia, Mater has been integral to the establishment of the country’s artists on the global scene.

Trained as a medical doctor, Mater has been working primarily in photography and video since 2010. Focused on issues surrounding contemporary Islamic culture and its relationship to globalization and consumerism, his projects have included the documentation of the development of Mecca and abandoned desert cities. In 2003, Mater co-founded the nonprofit enterprise Edge of Arabia, which has become a major platform for international exhibitions of art from Saudi Arabia. Along with his wife, the artist Arwa al-Naemi, Mater runs the Studio Pharan salon in Jeddah.

Links:
Artist’s website
@AhmedMater on Twitter

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Pro-Life Pulitzer-Prize Winning Writer Paul Greenberg Passes Away

Pro-Life Pulitzer-Prize Winning Writer Paul Greenberg Passes Away

NATIONAL

DAVE ANDRUSKO   APR 7, 2021   |   6:21PM    WASHINGTON, DC

It was a very brief mention this morning, and I hope and trust that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will run a lengthy tribute to Mr. Greenberg, who died Tuesday. He was a hugely influential opinion-molder and ought to be recognized as such.

In 1969, Mr. Greenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for the (Pine Bluff) Commercial and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1978 and 1986.

In 1992 he moved to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to be the editorial page editor of the state’s largest and most influential newspaper. Mr. Greenberg was also the beneficiary of many, many other awards for journalistic excellence too numerous to list.

The Chicago Tribune once described Mr. Greenberg as “one of the most respected and honored commentators in America” and “An exceptional craftsman, he gives readers an aesthetic as well as political experience and has evoked comparisons to H.L. Mencken and William Allen White.”

All of that is true, and more.

I have written more than once about Mr. Greenberg, who spoke both at National Right to Life Conventions and the convention of Arkansas Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate. Typically I would be borrowing from one of many extraordinary insights on his part.

For example, “How to Think”, an extraordinary post.  I suspect I am only one of innumerable readers whose ability to reason about abortion and to cut through the pro-abortion fog was heightened by his deft ability to reason.

Another illustration. He once wrote a column which carried the headline, “The root of confusion.” The heart of this opinion piece was to illustrate the pretzel-like shape defenders of sex-selection abortions are forced into when they justify taking a child’s life for one reason and one reason only: she (and it is always a “she”) is the “wrong” sex.

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He used a fellow columnist who tried to have it both ways –be a good “liberal”  concerned for the weak and the powerless– but bow down to Planned Parenthood which always has and always will strongly opposes a ban on sex-selection abortions. The columnist eventually weaseled out, expressing no opinion of his own and asking what his readers thought.

Greenberg let him know what he thought of that:

“It’s the besetting sin of American opinion writing. I’ve lost count of the number of opinion pieces I see that have no opinion. Instead they weave all around some controversial question — like abortion, for example — without ever taking a clear stand.

“Our conflicted columnist’s big problem, his ethical dilemma, was symptomatic of those who don’t go back to first principles and think the abortion issue through. They don’t make the connection between the right to life and all the others subsidiary to it, like the right to equal treatment under the law.”

Greenberg’ works eloquently reinforced that foundational principle: if you “Deprive the most innocent of life”—if you abort them, regardless of reason—“they will never be able to exercise any of the others.”

With relentless precision, he drove home what ought to obvious, but is often overlooked–the quote we began this post with:

“The right to life must come first or all the others can never take root, much less flourish. As in the Declaration of Independence’s order of certain unalienable rights, among them ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Note which one is mentioned first. And for good, logical reason.”

Ronald Reagan once said something I will never forget: “There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

Greenberg adds his own flourish to this insight in his final paragraph of that post:

“Those who think of abortion as an oh-so-complicated question pitting many equal, competing rights against one another don’t see — or maybe just don’t want to see — that a society that can abrogate the right to life can abrogate any right. For if we don’t have a right to life, we have no rights whatsoever.”

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.

Paul Greenberg (journalist) | Wikipedia audio article

On January 20, 2013 I heard Paul Greenberg talk about the words of Thomas Jefferson that we are all “endowed with certain unalienable rights” and the most important one is the right to life. He mentioned this also in this speech below from 2011:

Paul Greenberg Dinner Speech 2011 E-mail
Fall 2011 Issue
Some of you I have read after for years, others I have depended on for years—without ever having met you before this night. Every time a copy of the Human Life Review arrives in its plain brown wrapper, like a division of fresh reinforcements arriving at the front, I am grateful again for Maria McFadden Maffucci and her selfless corps of volunteers; her editors like Anne Conlon, her helpers, her subscribers, Grazi, signora!THANK YOU, all of you, at the Review. Praise the Lord and keep passin’ the ammunition.And Charmaine Yoest—and her people at Americans United for Life—those folks know their material, and keep up with every latest development. No wonder AUL has been described as the most influential group on Capitol Hill. Their numbers may be few, but I know their impact is huge, and not just on Capitol Hill. They’ve demonstrated that, occasionally, even Washington will listen to the voice of reason. Thank you, Charmaine Yoest.

And what a pleasure to finally meet Jack Fowler, through whom I got the rare privilege of actually corresponding with the legendary—if more than a bit reclusive—Florence King about doing a collection of her book reviews, most of which were far superior to the books she was reviewing. She’s a lady who tends to keep her own counsel, which is understandable. Hers is so much better than most people’s.

Each of us followed his own path to meet here tonight. Some came to the cause early; they were present at the creation of the Human Life Review in 1975. Others, like me, the slow learners, arrived late.

When Roe v. Wade was first pronounced from on high, I welcomed it. As a young editorial writer in Pine Bluff, Ark., I believed the court’s assurances that its ruling was not blanket permission for abortion, but a carefully crafted, limited decision applicable only in rare cases. Even Mr. Justice Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion, told us that Roe did not grant blanket license for the killing of the innocents. He seems to have managed to fool even himself. He certainly fooled me. I swallowed the line whole, and regurgitated it regularly in learned editorials. For years. Though it took more and more effort to rationalize it as the years passed. It can be a strain, sophistry. But editorial writers can acquire a certain affinity for it.

The right to life need not be fully respected from conception, I earnestly explained. It grows with each stage of fetal development until a full human being is formed. (As if any of us even now are still not developing as human beings.) I went into all this in an extended debate in the columns of the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Commercial with a fiery young Baptist minister in town named Mike Huckabee. I kept trying to tell the Reverend Huckabee that life is one thing, personhood quite another. He wouldn’t buy it. Though it’s an engaging argument. For a fatal while. As if those of us who would confer personhood on others couldn’t just as easily revoke it. Over the long course of history, whenever we have decided that some category of human beings is less than fully human, and so their rights need not be fully respected, even their right to life, terrible consequences have followed. That we in this time in this country have grown used to the consequences of Roe, that we now pass over them as part of the ordinary backdrop of our lives, does not make those consequences any less terrible. But only more chilling. Call it the banality of evil. It is the oldest of temptations: Eat of the fruit of this tree and you shall be as gods, having the knowledge of good and evil, deciding who shall live and who shall die. Yes, I’d been taught by Mary Warters in her biology and genetics classes at Centenary College in Shreveport that human life was one unbroken continuity from life to death, and the code to its development was present from its very first, microscopic origin. From its conception. But I wanted to believe human rights developed differently, especially the right to life. As if we had not all been endowed with certain unalienable rights. My reasons were compassionate. Who would not want to spare mothers the burden of carrying the deformed? Why not just allow physicians to eliminate the deformity? End of Problem.

I hadn’t yet come across Flannery O’Connor’s warning that tenderness leads to the gas chambers. Then . . . one day . . . I don’t know exactly when . . . Something Happened.

It always does. Eventually. It just takes longer for some of us to catch on. But I couldn’t help noticing after a while that the number of abortions in this country had begun to mount year after year—into the millions. Perfectly healthy babies were being aborted for socio-economic reasons. And among ethnic groups, the highest proportions of abortions were being performed on black women. (Last I checked, something like 37 percent of American abortions were being done on African-American women, though they make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population.) Eugenics was showing its true face again. And it isn’t pretty. No matter how hard a later generation has tried to clean up Margaret Sanger’s image as the sainted founder of Planned Parenthood. The truth has a way of outing. In this case, in her own self-incriminating words. Abortion was also touted as a preventive for poverty. All you had to do was eliminate the poor. Even before they were born. They were, in the phrase of the advanced, Darwinian thinkers of the last century, surplus population. With a little verbal manipulation, any crime can be rationalized, even promoted. Verbicide precedes homicide. First dehumanize the other, then anything is permitted. The trick is to speak of fetuses, not unborn children. So long as the victims are a faceless abstraction, anything can be done to them. Vocabulary remains the decisive turning point. Like the Little Round Top, of every political engagement.

Just don’t look too closely at those sonograms. The way I studied the first pictures of my first grandson. Astounding. We are indeed strangely and wonderfully made.

By now the toll has reached some 50 million of those wondrous creations aborted in America since 1973. That’s not some abstract theory or philosophical argument. It’s a fact, and facts are stubborn things. Some even carry their own imperatives with them. And can be ignored only so long. So I changed my mind, and changed sides.

There is something about the miracle that is life, and the moral imperative to respect that dignity . . . that in the end will not be denied. Whether the issue is civil rights in the middle years of the 20th Century or abortion and euthanasia today, a still small voice keeps asking: Whose side are you on? That of life of or death? And commands: Uvacharta b’chayim. Choose Life. Not just at the beginning but at the end. For beware: You start off opposing abortion and pretty soon you’ll be expressing doubts about infanticide and euthanasia, too. One thing leads to another. One realization, one moment of connection, one little detail in a news story, and the light will come on. Be careful. That’s all it may take.

When Terri Schiavo—that was her name, remember?—when she was denied food and water by order of the court, it took her 13 long, slow, agonizing days to die. Of dehydration. Thirteen days. It would have been kinder to shoot her. But that would have been against the law, and we all know the law is just. Funny how, long after you’ve forgotten everything else about some big story at the time, one detail will stick in your mind. Have you ever sat by the bedside of a dying patient—a father or mother, perhaps, or anyone you loved—and given the patient a little chipped ice? And seen, or at least imagined, the relief and inaudible thank you in the drug-dimmed eyes? After all the futile treatments and the succession of helpless doctors, when grief has come long before death, you sit there with a little cracked ice for her parched mouth and throat, and think . . . Well, dammit, at least I can do this one little thing. At least I’m not totally useless. However much or however little the ice might help the patient, it certainly helps the caregiver. You realize why people go into nursing. Can there be any greater satisfaction than this?

But when the law decreed that one Terri Schiavo was to be given no food or water, it meant no food or water. In any form. That’s what the court, the sheriff’s deputies at the hospital, the whole clanking machinery of the law was there for—to see that the severe decree was carried out. That is what we have come to in this country. That’s what the new science of Bioethics at the dawn of the 21st Century had come down to in the end: No cracked ice for Terri Schiavo. The doctors and nurses who had cared for her for years were now forbidden to give her even a single chip.

Of all that whole long, confused cruel farrago of law and politics and what all else known as the Schiavo Affair, that’s the detail that has stayed with me. Long after I’ve forgotten even what she looked like. This is the point we have reached in our advanced era, or been reduced to. I suspect most Americans didn’t want to think about it all after a while, let alone talk about it. We wanted to Move On. It’s been said before: The evils that befall the world are not nearly so often the product of bad people as they are the result of good people who remain silent when they know they should speak out. Well, tonight we’re speaking out, and we’re not going away. All you people aren’t supposed to be here, you know. “There’s nothing to see here, Move along.” Didn’t you know this issue was settled years ago, decades ago? In a definitive decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is Settled Law. So we are told every time we express a doubt about this pervasive culture of death. Haven’t we heard of Roe v. Wade? Don’t we know we’re fighting for a lost cause? Abortion on demand is the law of the land, and always will be. So we’re told. Just as a different generation of Americans was told that Dred Scott v. Sandford was the law of the land. The slavery question had been settled once and for all. All the states were now going to be slave states. When it came to having any rights, Negro slaves were but chattel—property like any other. Case closed. To paraphrase my favorite line from a Ring Lardner short story: Shut up, they explained.

Those old-time abolitionists and Republicans and Free-Soil Democrats and Antislavery Whigs—whose portraits now adorn the walls of this hall here at the Union League club—were a motley crew, as variegated as we are tonight. They, too, were were fighting for a supposedly hopeless cause, that of freedom. But they understood something the sophisticates of their time didn’t: No good cause is forever lost. Because no cause is forever won. That’s the nature of politics. Of ideas. Of life.

Pro-lifers? We’re supposed to have vanished years ago, you and I.We’re all just antiques, holdovers from the past, cultural artifacts, living fossils. That’s what Arnold J. Toynbee, the great pseudo-historian of the past century, called us Jews. Just the remains of an earlier day, of an archaic way of thinking that once held life sacred. Why, we’re all just a collection of dry bones. Dry bones? These bones live. Reactionaries? You bet we are. We have so many horrors to react against.

Maybe once in a generation a great issue arises—a watershed issue. One that can no longer be put off, compromised, blurred . One that will no longer be denied. But returns again and again. With the obdurate force of a moral conviction. Slavery was such an issue. Civil rights was such an issue, and it led to a Second Reconstruction. If the distinguished jurists of the U.S. Supreme Court thought they could end this discussion, they couldn’t. We have only begun to fight; to speak, to witness, and we will be heard. Will we prevail some day? I have no idea. But allow me to share a secret: It doesn’t matter. Win or lose this case or that case, this election or that election, it doesn’t matter.

Whittaker Chambers, the long hard Cold War was just beginning, was convinced he was leaving the winning side for the losing side of history. As an old party man, he knew the iron Laws of History. Resistance was useless. The Party would win in the end. Big Brother would triumph. Forever and ever. It was inevitable. But it didn’t matter. He would witness.

In 1982, another witness, Walker Percy, M.D. and writer, wrote an imperishable little essay, “A View of Abortion, With Something to Offend Eveybody,” a title that is irresistible to any editorial writer worth his salt. Dr. Percy ended his essay with a few words addressed to the opposition: “To pro-abortionists: According to the opinion polls, it looks as if you may get your way. But you’re not going to have it both ways. You’re going to be told what you’re doing.’’ And that’s what matters. To bear witness.

We’ve become very good at preaching to the converted, we pro-lifers. So good at it we may have forgotten what Martin Luther King Jr. tried to teach us—that we have a hidden ally in the hearts of our opponents. And we must never cease appealing to it. They are not our enemies, but our allies in waiting. They have consciences. They’ll come around. I did.

In another publication, the Book of Daniel, it is recorded that the Hebrew children—Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego—were called before the high king of Babylon, the great and mighty Nebudchadnezzar, and told to bow down before the sacred idol he had made—or they would be flung into the fiery furnace. And “they made him an answer: If it be so, our god whom we served is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O King. “But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up.”

Let us trust that the cause of life will yet prevail. BUT IF NOT . . . we will not bow down before their idol, nor sacrifice our children to it. We will witness, and not grow faint. We will be strong and grow stronger. For we will strengthen one another. As on this night.

L’chaim! To Life!

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I was thinking about the March for Life that is coming up on Jan 20, 2013 in Little Rock and that is why I posted this today. This film really did fire up the pro-life movement worldwide. Whatever Happened to the Human Race? By Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, M.D. (Fleming H. Revell […]

Francis Schaeffer and C. Everette Koop on the Hippocratic oath (March for Life January 20, 2013)

Dr. C. Everett Koop was appointed to the Reagan administration but was held up in the Senate in his confirmation hearings by Ted Kennedy because of his work in pro-life causes. I was thinking about the March for Life that is coming up on Jan 20, 2013  and that is why I posted this today […]

Great pro-life article by Rev. James A. DeCamp of from Presbyterians USA Pro-Life (March for Life Jan 20, 2013)

A young Dr. C. Everett Koop pictured below.   Dr. C. Everett Koop and Dr. Francis Schaeffer both came together to write the book “Whatever Happened to the HumanRace?” and that book probably did more to fire up the pro-life movement than anything else. I was thinking about the March for Life that is coming […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

What Ever Happened to the Human Race?      I learned so much from Francis Schaeffer and as a result I have posted a lot of posts with his film clips and articles. Below are a few. Related posts: Francis Schaeffer: We can’t possess ultimate answers apart from the reference point of the infinite personal […]

Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning civil disobedience

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 3) DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis The 45 minute video above is from the film series created from Francis Schaeffer’s book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” with Dr. C. Everett Koop. This book  really helped develop my political views concerning […]

President Obama should be protecting unborn children!!!! (Part 24)

  These posts are all dealing with issues that President Obama did not help on in his first term. I am hopeful that he will continue to respond to my letters that I have written him and that he will especially reconsider his view on the following import issue. President Obama should be protecting unborn children!!!! […]

Dan Mitchell article on President Biden’s Tax Ideas

Three Reasons to Reject Biden’s Tax Harmonization Scheme for “Global Minimum Taxation”

Way back in 2007, I narrated this video to explain why tax competition is very desirable because politicians are likely to overtax and overspend (“Goldfish Government“) if they think taxpayers have no ability to escape.

The good news is that tax competition has been working.

As explained in the above video, there have been big reductions in personal tax rates and corporate tax rates. Just as important, governments have reduced various forms of double taxation, meaning lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains.

Many governments have also reduced – or even eliminated – death taxes and wealth taxes.

These pro-growth tax reforms didn’t happen because politicians read my columns (I wish!). Instead, they adopted better tax policy because they were afraid of losing jobs and investment to countries with better fiscal policy.

Now for the bad news.

There’s been an ongoing campaign by high-tax governments to replace tax competition with tax harmonization. They’ve even conscripted international bureaucracies such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to launch attacks against low-tax jurisdictions.

And now the United States is definitely on the wrong side of this issue.

Here’s some of what the Biden Administration wants.

The United States can lead the world to end the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates. A minimum tax on U.S. corporations alone is insufficient. …President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged and foreign countries can’t try to get a competitive edge by serving as tax havens. This plan also denies deductions to foreign corporations…if they are based in a country that does not adopt a strong minimum tax. …The United States is now seeking a global agreement on a strong minimum tax through multilateral negotiations. This provision makes our commitment to a global minimum tax clear. The time has come to level the playing field and no longer allow countries to gain a competitive edge by slashing corporate tax rates.

As Charlie Brown would say, “good grief.” Those passages sound like they were written by someone in France, not America

And Heaven forbid that  countries “gain a competitive edge by slashing corporate tax rates.” Quelle horreur!

There are three things to understand about this reprehensible initiative from the Biden Administration.

  1. Tax harmonization means ever-increasing tax rates – It goes without saying that if politicians are able to create a tax cartel, it will merely be a matter of time before they ratchet up the tax rate. Simply stated, they won’t have to worry about an exodus of jobs and investment because all countries will be obliged to have the same bad approach.
  2. Corporate tax harmonization will be followed by harmonization of other taxes – If the scheme for a harmonized corporate tax is imposed, the next step will be harmonized (and higher) tax rates on personal income, dividends, capital gains, and other forms of work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.
  3. Tax harmonization denies poor countries the best path to prosperity – The western world became rich in the 1800s and early 1900s when there was very small government and no income taxes. That’s the path a few sensible jurisdictions want to copy today so they can bring prosperity to their people, but that won’t be possible in a world of tax harmonization.

P.S. If you want more information, here’s a three-part video series on tax havens, and even a video debunking some of Obama’s demagoguery on the topic.

March 16, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Is our country learning from history? California keeps raising their taxes on the wealthy and people keep moving from California to Texas. What does our federal government do? They also have been raising taxes on the wealthy lately. Take a look at this excellent video below and then read a great article by Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute on what is happening in California right now.

Will Higher Tax Rates Balance the Budget?

Published on Apr 11, 2012

As the U.S. debt and deficit grows, some politicians and economist have called for higher tax rates in order to balance the budget. The question becomes: when the government raises taxes, does it actually collect a larger portion of the US economy?

Professor Antony Davies examines 50 years of economic data and finds that regardless of tax rates, the percentage of GDP that the government collects has remained relatively constant. In other words, no matter how high government sets tax rates, the government gets about the same portion. According to Davies, if we’re concerned about balancing the budget, we should worry less about raising tax revenue and more about growing the economy. The recipe for growth? Lower tax rates and a simplified tax code.

Like most people, I’m a sucker for a heartwarming story around the holidays.

Sometimes, you get that nice feeling when good things happen to good people, like you find at the end of a classic movie like “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

But since I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, I also feel all warm and fuzzy when bad things happen to bad people.

That’s why I always smile when I read stories about taxpayers moving across borders, thus preventing greedy tax-hiking politicians from collecting more revenue.

“Where’s our tax revenue?!?”

I’m glad when that happens to French politicians. I’m glad when it happens to Italian politicians. I’m glad when it happens to Illinois politicians. And British politicians. And Spanish politicians. And Maryland politicians. I could continue, but I think you get the point.

I’m even glad when it happens to the politicians in Washington.

I smile because I envision the moment when some budget geek tells these sleazy politicians that projected revenues aren’t materializing and they don’t have more money to spend.

So I wish I could be a fly on the wall when this moment of truth happens to California politicians. They convinced voters in the state to enact Prop 30, a huge tax increase targeting those evil, awful, bad rich people.

Governor Brown and his fellow kleptocrats in Sacramento doubtlessly are salivating at the thought of more money to waste.

But notwithstanding a satirical suggestion from Walter Williams, there aren’t guard towers and barbed-wire fences surrounding the state. Productive people can leave, and that’s happening every day. And they take their taxable income with them.

Usually in ways that don’t attract attention. But sometimes a bunch of them leave at the same times, and that is newsworthy. Here’s an example of that happening, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chevron Corp. will move up to 800 jobs – about a quarter of its current headquarters staff – from the Bay Area to Houston over the next two years but will remain based in San Ramon, the oil company told employees Thursday. …The company already employs far more people in Houston – about 9,000 full-time employees and contractors – than it does in San Ramon.

We don’t know a lot of details, but these were positions at the company’s headquarters and they were “technical positions dealing with information and advanced energy technologies…tied to Chevron’s worldwide oil exploration and production business.”

Let’s assume these highly skilled employees earn an average of $250,000. I imagine that’s a low-ball estimate, but this is just for purposes of a thought experiment. Now multiply that average salary by 800 workers and you get $200 million of income.

And every penny of that $200 million no longer will be subject to tax by the kleptocrats in the state’s capital.

In other words, we’re seeing the Laffer Curve in action.

Politicians can raise tax rates all day long, but that doesn’t automatically translate into more tax revenue. Politicians keep forgetting that taxable income is not a fixed variable.

What’s happening in a big way with Chevron is happening in small ways every single day with investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other “rich’ people.

That’s good for the people escaping. And it also will warm my heart when California’s despicable politicians discover next year that there’s an “unexpected” revenue shortfall.

P.S. It’s just an anecdote that the Chevron jobs are going to Texas. But when you add together a bunch of anecdotes, you get data. And according to the data, Texas is kicking the you-know-what out of California. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned?

__________

___________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

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Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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WOODY WEDNESDAY This film THE STALKER (made in 1979) reminded me of the Bergman films and those of Woody Allen!

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This film THE STALKER (made in 1979) reminded me of the Bergman films and those of Woody Allen!

Andrei Tarkovsky Picture

The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted …Born: April 4, 1932  
Died: December 29, 1986  (age 54)

East-West Church & Ministry Report

Vol. 9, No. 3, Summer 2001, Covering the Former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe


Tarkovsky’s The Stalker: A Christian Allegory Set in the “Evil Empire”

Gregory Halvorsen Schreck

Editor’s Note: For Professor Schreck’s previous article on “Andrei Tarkovsky: The Redemptive Vision of a Soviet Filmmaker” and two additional articles on spiritual insights in film as a witness to post-Soviet intellectuals, see East-West Church & Ministry Report 9 (Winter 2001), 8-13.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s last film made in the Soviet Union, The Stalker (1977), illustrates the difficulty of properly interpreting his work, and rightly understood, underscores his Christian perception of life and struggle. It is a strange movie, starkly conceived with spare images and a slow pace that can make the viewing experience excruciating. Based on the science-fiction novella A Roadside Picnic, the script approved by censors included a clear indictment of the United States and, seemingly, of capitalism. Yet the finished film, with obvious religious overtones, and with a protagonist who looks like a political prisoner right out of the Gulag, infuriated Soviet authorities. The Stalker turned out to be a condemnation of materialism, both East and West, and ultimately caused Tarkovsky to leave the Soviet Union to finish his career in exile.

A Filmmaker Working Out His Faith 
Tarkovsky said his films were “about one thing: the extreme manifestation of faith.” The Stalker seems to be especially close to the artist’s own life of faith. A close reading of Tarkovsky’s diary during its production makes it obvious that the filmmaker was working out his own faith in fear and trembling. He wrote, “The artist seeks to destroy the stability by which society lives, for the sake of drawing closer to the ideal. Society seeks stability, the artist, infinity.”

Near the center of the film, the Stalker recites the story from Luke’s Gospel in which two disciples meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. This occurs in Luke’s narrative three days after Jesus died, on the day he rose from the dead. In the story, neither of the disciples recognizes Jesus when they see him, even though they had been intimate friends for years. In the film, when the Stalker finishes telling the Emmaus story, he asks, “Are you awake?” The question invites the characters and the viewer to reflect on the story. The viewer wonders why Jesus was unrecognized for so long by his disciples. Viewers may also wonder why they too miss Jesus repeatedly.

The Emmaus story suggests the limits of rational reasoning. The process of Christian faith may be aided to a point by patient searching and careful analysis. But ultimately, passion and true recognition are stirred by poetic ritual. The story demonstrates two ways of knowing, from the head and from the heart. Jesus chose to be known by his spiritual substance, rather than by his physical appearance. Like Jesus, Tarkovsky uses the temporal journey of The Stalker to guide the viewer toward sacred symbolism that speaks beyond the spectacle and purely intellectual recognition.

The Stalker was made in Estonia in a ruined, dreary, uninhabited landscape littered with dilapidated military machinery and hauntingly overgrown structures leaking water at every turn. This setting is referred to as “The Zone.” The characters, Writer (representing culture, the arts, emotions) and Professor (representing science, technology, rationalism) come here on a search from an unnamed city in a military industrial wasteland. It is said that in The Zone is a Room where all the desires of those who reach it are satisfied. It is carefully guarded by fences, watchtowers, and military police. Since The Zone is illegal, tricky, and unpredictable, travelers hire guides, called stalkers, to show them the way in and out. The Zone seems to be a region suffering from a nuclear accident, either military or industrial.

The Stalker is not a suspenseful adventure thriller. Packaged as science fiction, the film lacks the slick futuristic appearance one expects from that genre. In fact, it seems to be, rather, a contemporary allegory. This is undoubtedly one of the ambiguities in the film that infuriated Soviet film authorities. As the railroad car stops in The Zone, the film shifts from black and white to color. Three cruciform telephone poles fill the frame, symbolically marking the passage. The characters in The Stalker are approaching God with reverence and humility. To make this understood, the issue remains hidden. The timing of revelation is up to God. In this way God makes the most of the process. In the Emmaus story Jesus conceals his identity to make the most of his presence. The astonishment experienced by the disciples upon recognition deepens the meaning of their encounter. Tarkovsky mimics Jesus’ method here. Instead of quick, efficient movement, the approach is poetic and ritualized. The process in the film, like the process in the Emmaus story, becomes as important as the result. The danger of Writer’s direct approach is that discovery would be merely obvious. The outcome would be trite, even spectacular, but not vital. By contrast, the Stalker’s humble approach allows God to transform characters (and viewers) through the journey.

Near the center of the film the camera focuses on a dark pool of water at the bottom of a well where the Stalker says a prayer: 

May everything come true. May they believe. May they laugh at their passions. For that which they call passion is not really the energy of the soul, but merely friction between the soul and the outer world. But mostly may they have hope and may they become as helpless as children. For weakness is great and strength is worthless.

Faith Couched in Symbols
In the narrative water is symbolic of baptism, cleansing, birth, rebirth, and satisfied thirst. Tarkovsky photographs water and makes its substance present until it lives in a new way. The water alludes to the living water in the Gospel of John and is metaphorical on numerous levels. Under the water the viewer sees gold coins, a hypodermic needle, a rusted machine gun, and a painting of Christ by Jan Van Eyck from the Ghent altarpiece. The underwater objects symbolize the values of modern society: financial wealth, medicine (drugs, anesthesia), military strength (violence), and religion. The signs of worldly security come before the image Christ. However, the water has rendered them useless. The objects are out of circulation, worthless outside their human context. Moreover, the water breaks down even the machine gun’s steel over time and dissolves its substance. All these things will pass away. Tarkovsky connects certainty and security manifest in a definitive, somewhat closed logic, with hardness, with materialism. That which becomes hard is unreceptive to love, to faith, to spiritual realities, to God. The contrasting metaphor to hardness is water, that which is most yielding, most malleable, “softest.”

The soundtrack that overlays the water sequence provides more substance to its meaning. Spare electronic music plays as the voice of Monkey, the Stalker’s daughter, recites a text from Revelation 8:7-11:

The first angel blew his trumpet; and there came hail and fire mingled with blood, and this was hurled upon the earth. A third of the earth was burnt, a third of the trees were burnt, all the green grass was burnt.

The second angel blew his trumpet; and what looked like a great blazing mountain was hurled into the sea. A third of the sea was turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in it died, a third of the ships on it floundered.

The third angel blew his trumpet; and a great star shot from the sky, flaming like a torch; and it fell on a third of the rivers and springs. The name of the star was Wormwood; and a third of the water turned to wormwood, people in great numbers died of the water because it had been poisoned.

The Zone is, at best, the result of an environmental disaster no longer fit for human habitation. Its effects reach deep into the character of the future, mutating imminent possibilities for basic survival. This mutation is symbolized by the Stalker’s daughter, who was born without the capacity to walk as a result of her father’s exposure to The Zone. The text from Revelation, as used by Tarkovsky, hints at the possibility of nuclear disaster. Its coupling with the images of water and Wormwood suggests an unprecedented human perversion of divine metaphors: water has the possibility of losing its ability to nourish and cleanse because of human carelessness. The environmental disaster of The Zone reflects the shadow of an arrogant, blind faith in technology. For the first time the possibility exists for humanity to initiate an apocalypse preempting the natural, divine order.

The scene ends looking down at the water where a fish swims among three pieces of a bomb. Blood covers the surface and fills the frame. The blood and the fish, traditional symbols of Christ, define the room as a Christian space. The water of baptism covers the pieces of a nuclear bomb, offering redemption, even from the hopelessness that the weapon of destruction symbolizes. The Stalker’s wife comes to greet him, comfort him, and finally take him home. Her unconditional love in spite of numerous disappointments takes on a divine character by the end of the film. Like the father in the Prodigal Son narrative, she comes to accept her husband back, forgiving his many failures. This ultimately reflects the character of a loving God and becomes the ultimate divine metaphor in the film.

Gregory Halvorsen Schreck is associate professor of art, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.


Gregory Halvorsen Schreck, “Tarkovsky’s The Stalker: A Christian Allegory Set in the ‘Evil Empire’,” East-West Church & Ministry Report 9 (Summer 2001), 13-14.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of theEast-West Church & Ministry Report.

© 2001 East-West Church and Ministry Report 
ISSN 1069-5664


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Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen Show

Essay on Woody Allen films

Match point Trailer

Match point

Crimes and misdemeanors

Part 2

Part 3

Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris trailer

Letty Aronson, c/o New York, New York 10001

Dear Mrs. Aronson,

My teenage  son came to me the other day and told me he had discovered Igmar Bergman films and that he wanted me to watch them with him. I told  him about the influence that Bergman  had on Woody Allen and now I am going to start on series of posts on my blog that show just that.

I have posted so many reviews on Woody Allen’s latest movie CAFE SOCIETY . I know that Woody doesn’t care about reviews but just for your information some reviewers liked the film and the lavish surroundings in it and some did not.  A serious theme of the afterlife is brought up in this film too. The review of CAFE SOCIETY by A.O. Scott has best line in film: “I accept death, but under protest,” Dad says. “Protest to who?” Mom responds!

Woody Allen got this idea from one of favorite Ingmar Bergman’s movies THE SEVENTH SEAL.

Woody Allen once said:

I’ve made perfectly decent films, but not  (1963), not The Seventh Seal (1957) (“The Seventh Seal”), The 400 Blows (1959) (“The 400 Blows”) or L’avventura (1960) – ones that to me really proclaim cinema as art, on the highest level. If I was the teacher, I’d give myself a B.

Andrew Welch commented on some of Woody Allen’s influences in his article Looking at the (sometimes skewed) morality of Woody Allen’s best films:

In the late ’60s, Woody Allen left the world of stand-up comedy behind for the movies. Since then, he’s become one of American cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers. Sure, he’s had his stinkers and his private life hasn’t been without controversy. But he’s also crafted some of Hollywood’s most thought-provoking comedies. Philosophical, self-deprecating and always more than a tad pessimistic, Allen adds another title to his oeuvre this Friday with Midnight in Paris. Whether it will be remembered as one of his greatest or another flop is too early to say, but its release gives us a chance to look back at some of his most indispensable works.

Love and Death (1975)

Allen’s Love and Death owes a lot to Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the films of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Death himself even makes an appearance, recalling the existential dread of Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. But despite the movie’s many highbrow allusions, Allen is more concerned with simply having a good time. Gags and one-liners abound, making it, if not a comic masterpiece, a pretty good way to spend an hour and a half.


I ran across this article below recently about Billy Graham and Woody Allen conversation concerning sex (which is on You Tube also) and I thought I would share it along with a few words from Adrian Rogers who was my pastor when I was growing up:

A Look at the Long Forgotten Woody Allen Special, with Guest Star Rev. Billy Graham

BY RAMSEY ESS JANUARY 13, 2012

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 120,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

1969 was a big year for Woody Allen. He had just written, directed and starred in the movie Take the Money and Run, he was appearing on Broadway in a play he wrote entitled Play it Again, Sam and to top it all off, on September 21, on CBS, America was treated to The Woody Allen Special, a one-time only oddity that hasn’t been seen since. A very strange combination of elements, The Woody Allen Special was a variety show in every sense of the word.

It opened with Woody doing a stand-up monologue (in which he manages to plug both of his previously mentioned specials). In it, Woody hits all of the topics that we now know him for. Sex and death (“both only come once in my lifetime”), his mother, (“I asked how do I get babies? She thought I said rabies. So, I was bit by a dog”) and cowardice (it’s far too long to quote, but he tells a great story about hiding in the closet from robbers, which turns out to be the TV on in the other room.)

…But in case you don’t want to watch the whole thing, it’s a very respectful conversation between two people who greatly disagree with one another, but are open to listening to what the other person has to say. And I don’t care what it says about me, I think it’s hilarious to hear Woody, in front of one of the most famous religious figures of his day, say that not having premarital sex is like “getting a driver’s license without a learner’s permit.” Or when Woody says that he doesn’t use any type of drug and Graham admits to drinking coffee and says he need’s Woody’s help, Allen can’t resist responding “Yes, if you have faith in me, I will lead you.” It’s one of the strangest pairings in all of television and it makes for some really compelling watching.

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WOODY ALLEN: Are there any questions?

MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE: Mr. Graham I read that you don’t believe in premarital sexual relations. Is this true?

BILLY GRAHAM: It is not a matter of what I believe. It is what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that premarital sexual relations are wrong.

WOODY ALLEN: To me that would be like getting a driver’s license without a learner’s permit first.

BILLY GRAHAM: Let us just see. We have to have rules to live by. What we saying is that we are going to play a baseball game without any rules. We are going to live a moral life without any rules. Well God has laid down certain rules and said if you want the best of life and you want complete happiness and fulfillment then live by these rules. And one of those rules is THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT IMMORALITY.

WOODY ALLEN: Ah but what a minute. Say you are dating a girl, right?

BILLY GRAHAM: Well I don’t intend to date anymore. Let’s choose you.

WOODY ALLEN: Let’s say I am dating a girl and I am going to marry her. She has begged me to marry her. This was after a while or it is even more interesting if I am forced to marry her, but now don’t I want to get some idea of the territory?

BILLY GRAHAM: You see that most sociologists today and most psychologist today would agree with the Bible that there are very serious problems involved. God did not say THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT IMMORALITY BEFORE MARRIAGE  in order to keep you from having a good time or to keep you from having fun.

WOODY ALLEN: Yes he did.

BILLY GRAHAM: He said that to protect you. He said that to protect you psychologically. To protect your body. Today venereal disease is at an all time high and illegitimacy is at an all time high despite of all of our medical science. And in all of these God says I want to make you happy. I want to help you and I have given you some rules to live by and this is the rule.

WOODY ALLEN: Let’s say that I  do marry the girl and I finally get to investigate her carnally and it turns out that she is an absolute YO YO.

BILLY GRAHAM: Well, I don’t think that will happen to you. That is a hypothetical question.

In 1984 Adrian Rogers said in sermon, “Playboy’s Payday,” these words:

(The text for this sermon was the whole chapter of Proverbs 5)

In Sweden, Sweden’s a liberated country, they have open pornography, open prostitution, free love in Sweden.  It’s all accepted. That’s supposed to be the liberated country in the Western world.  The Swedes! Do you know what nation has the highest divorce rate of any nation?  Sweden. .  “God is not mocked.”  I’m telling you there is a disappointment in sin.  The cup of sin is sweet, but the dregs are bitter indeed.

They did an in-depth study at Stanford University. These are not a bunch of preachers, and their conclusion of the in-depth study was this:  that the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance for happiness after marriage.   The try-it-before-you-marry-it idea may sound cute, but it’s not in the Word of God, dear friend.  This idea of living together to see if you’re compatible, the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance of opportunity for satisfaction after marriage. Young people, many of them right now are on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, many of them have gone down there attempting to make it with some girl, to make it with some boy, to jump in bed with somebody. They think that’s the way.   And our young people are being told that so much that they think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!

Sincerely

Everette Hatcher

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The mass media turned Picasso into a celebrity, and the public deprived him of privacy and wanted to know his every step, but his later art was given very little attention and was regarded as no more than the hobby of an aging genius who could do nothing but talk about himself in his pictures. Picasso’s late works are an expression of his final refusal to fit into categories. He did whatever he wanted in art and did not arouse a word of criticism.

With his adaptation of “Las Meninas” by Velászquez and his experiments with Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, was Picasso still trying to discover something new, or was he just laughing at the public, its stupidity and its inability to see the obvious.

A number of elements had become characteristic in his art of this period: Picasso’s use of simplified imagery, the way he let the unpainted canvas shine through, his emphatic use of lines, and the vagueness of the subject. In 1956, the artist would comment, referring to some schoolchildren: “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

In the last years of his life, painting became an obsession with Picasso, and he would date each picture with absolute precision, thus creating a vast amount of similar paintings — as if attempting to crystallize individual moments of time, but knowing that, in the end, everything would be in vain.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliotfound in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘swords, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. Thetwenty-second post looks at King Solomon’s experiment 3000 years that proved that luxuries can’t bring satisfaction to one’s life but we have seen this proven over and over through the ages. Mark Twain lampooned the rich in his book “The Gilded Age” and he discussed  get rich quick fever, but Sam Clemens loved money and the comfort and luxuries it could buy. Likewise Scott Fitzgerald  was very successful in the 1920’s after his publication of THE GREAT GATSBY and lived a lavish lifestyle until his death in 1940 as a result of alcoholism.

In the twenty-third post we look at Mark Twain’s statement that people should either commit suicide or stay drunk if they are “demonstrably wise” and want to “keep their reasoning faculties.” We actually see this play out in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with the character Zelda Fitzgerald. In the twenty-fourthtwenty-fifth and twenty-sixth posts I look at Mark Twain and the issue of racism. In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see the difference between the attitudes concerning race in 1925 Paris and the rest of the world.

The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth posts are summing up Mark Twain. In the 29th post we ask did MIDNIGHT IN PARIS accurately portray Hemingway’s personality and outlook on life? and in the 30th post the life and views of Hemingway are summed up.

In the 31st post we will observe that just like Solomon Picasso slept with many women. Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3), and both men ended their lives bitter against all women and in the 32nd post we look at what happened to these former lovers of Picasso. In the 33rd post we see that Picasso  deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! In the 34th post  we notice that both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

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