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MUSIC MONDAY:Chynna Phillips is open about her Christian faith

Chynna Phillips is open about her Christian faith jh31

“Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) is a  very popular show.  I have only watched it a little, but I am a big fan of Chynna Phillips. I love a lot of her music.

Dancing With the Stars: Chynna Phillips Speaks Openly About Her Christian Faith

Actress and singer Chynna Phillips has proven to also be a skilled dancer and a faithful Christian on “Dancing with the Stars” as she has openly expressed her faith live on air.

Formerly a member of Wilson Phillips, she is the daughter of The Mamas and the Papas band members John and Michelle Phillips.

Access Hollywood reported Phillips saying, “I think some people will be surprised that I am doing Christian music.”

The 43-year-old is a born-again Christian, and released a Christian album entitled “One Reason” in 2009.

In an interview with the Christian media source Charisma, Phillips explained her transition after her singing group broke up.

“Although I did accomplish a lot of the things I wanted to… as a member of Wilson Phillips, nothing compares to what I’m doing now. Nothing is more gratifying as a Christian believer than being able to thread my faith and love for Jesus into my music.”

The singer has been married to actor Billy Baldwin since 1995, and the couple share three children together. Phillips told Charisma that she noticed something was missing from her life, and thought: “I know there’s more.”

Writing songs about her faith and love for God has given her “true joy, peace, and fulfillment,” said Phillips.

Appearing on season 13 of “DWTS” Phillips has impressed the judges with her graceful dancing as well as positive attitude. During the second week of performances on “DWTS,” Phillips exclaimed on camera, “Sometimes dancing is so hard, there’s nothing you can do BUT curse!”

Frustrated with learning the quickstep, Phillips added, “Sorry Jesus I have to curse!”

Her performance that week earned her a score of 21.

Frequently mentioning her Christian faith and love for Jesus on the show, Phillips also took to her Twitter account ahead of her third performance on “DWTS” Sunday to thank fans as well as Jesus.

“@wallacejnichols love your work! Thank you Jesus for people like you!” Wrote Phillips, who also said, “@jaydozthegreat hilarious!! I’m here! Sweet dreams- take Jesus!”

During Monday’s dance performance on “DWTS” Phillips and her dance partner Tony Dovolani danced to “Hold On” a song of her own which she claims a strong personal connection to. The elegant Rumba earned her a massive 26 points out of 30.

Phillips and her partner will be dancing the encore performance on Tuesday’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” which airs on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8

 

How Should We Then Live? Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture

__________

I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me.

T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION

I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought

A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas) and Post-Impressionism (Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat): appearance and reality.

1. Problem of reality in Impressionism: no universal.

2. Post-Impression seeks the universal behind appearances.

3. Painting expresses an idea in its own terms as a work of art; to discuss the idea in a painting is not to intellectualize art.

4. Parallel search for universal in art and philosophy; Cézanne.

B. Fragmentation.

1. Extremes of ultra-naturalism or abstraction: Wassily Kandinsky.

2. Picasso leads choice for abstraction: relevance of this choice.

3. Failure of Picasso (like Sartre, and for similar reasons) to be fully consistent with his choice.

C. Retreat to absurdity.

1. Dada , and Marcel Duchamp: art as absurd.

2. Art followed philosophy but came sooner to logical end.

3. Chance in his art technique as an art theory impossible to practice: Pollock.

II. Music As a Vehicle of Modern Thought

A. Non-resolution and fragmentation: German and French streams.

1. Influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets.

2. Direction and influence of Debussy.

3. Schoenberg’s non-resolution; contrast with Bach.

4. Stockhausen: electronic music and concern with the element of change.

B. Cage: a case study in confusion.

1. Deliberate chance and confusion in Cage’s music.

2. Cage’s inability to live the philosophy of his music.

C. Contrast of music-by-chance and the world around us.

1. Inconsistency of indulging in expression of chaos when we acknowledge order for practical matters like airplane design.

2. Art as anti-art when it is mere intellectual statement, divorced from reality of who people are and the fullness of what the universe is.

III. General Culture As the Vehicle of Modern Thought

A. Propagation of idea of fragmentation in literature.

1. Effect of Eliot’s Wasteland and Picasso’s Demoiselles d’ Avignon

compared; the drift of general culture.

2. Eliot’s change in his form of writing when he became a Christian.

3. Philosophic popularization by novel: Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir.

B. Cinema as advanced medium of philosophy.

1. Cinema in the 1960s used to express Man’s destruction: e.g. Blow-up.

2. Cinema and the leap into fantasy:

The Hour of the Wolf, Belle de Jour, Juliet of the Spirits, The Last Year at Marienbad.

3. Bergman’s inability to live out his philosophy (see Cage): Silence and The Hour of the Wolf.

IV. Only on Christian Base Can Reality Be Faced Squarely

Questions

1. Explain what “fragmentation” means, as discussed by Dr. Schaeffer. What does it result from? Give examples of it.

2. Apart from the fact that modern printing and recording processes made the art and music of the past more accessible than ever before, do you think that the preference of many people for the art and music of the past is related to the matters discussed by Dr. Schaeffer? If so, how?

3. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds… With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.” Emerson wrote this over a century ago. Debate.

4. How far do you think that the opinion of some Christians that one should have nothing to do with philosophy, art and novels is a manifestation of the very fragmentation which is characteristic of modern secular thought? Discuss.

Key Events and Persons

Beethoven’s last Quartets: 1825-26

Claude Monet: 1840-1926

Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise: 1885

Paul Cézanne: 1839-1906

The Bathers: c.1905

Claude Debussy: 1862-1918

Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944

Arnold Schoenberg: 1874-1951

Picasso: 1881-1973

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: 1906-7

Marcel Duchamp: 1887-1969

Nude Descending a Staircase: 1912

T.S. Eliot: 1888-1965

The Wasteland: 1922

John Cage: 1912-1992

Music for Marcel Duchamp: 1947

Jackson Pollock: 1912-1956

Karlheinz Stockhausen: 1928-

Sartre’s Nausea: 1938

Beauvoir’s L’Invitée: 1943

Camus’ The Stranger: 1942

Camus’ The Plague: 1947

Resnais’ The Last Year at Marienbad: 1961

Bergman’s The Silence: 1963

Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits: 1965

Antonioni’s Blow-Up: 1966

Bergman’s The Hour of the Wolf: 1967

Buñel’s Belle de Jour: 1967

Further Study

Perhaps you have seen some of the films mentioned. You should try to see them if you haven’t.Watch for them in local art-film festivals, on TV, or in campus film series. They rarely return nowadays to the commercial circuit. The sex and violence which they treated philosophically have now taken over the screen in a more popular and crude form! Easier of access are the philosophic novels of Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir. Read the titles Dr. Schaeffer mentions. Again, for the artwork and music mentioned, consult libraries and record shops. But spend time here—let the visual images and the musical sounds sink in.

Listening patiently to Cage and Webern, for example, will tell you more than volumes of musicology.

T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland (many editions, usually in collections of his verse).

Joseph Machlis, Introduction to Contemporary Music (1961).

H.R. Rookmaaker, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (1970).

Donald J. Drew, Images of Man (1974).

Colin Wilson, The Outsider (1956).

Myth:Conservative Herbert Hoover responsible for Depression?

Myth:Conservative Herbert Hoover responsible for Depression

When I grew up I always heard that the conservative Herbert Hoover was responsible for the depression. Is that true?

The Hoover Myth Marches On

Posted by David Boaz

In the New York Times today,  columnist Joseph Nocera quotes a book published in 1940 on Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression:

Herbert Hoover was “leery of any direct governmental offensive against the Depression,” writes Allen. “So he stood aside and waited for the healing process to assert itself, as according to the hallowed principles of laissez-faire economics it should.”

OK, let’s go to the tape. In a new Cato study economist Steve Horwitz notes what Hoover really did:

  • He almost doubled federal spending from 1929 to 1933.
  • He expanded public works projects to “create jobs.”
  • He pressured businesses not to cut wages, even in the face of deflation.
  • He signed the Davis-Bacon Act and the Norris-LaGuardia acts to prop up unions.
  • He signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff.
  • He created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
  • He proposed and signed the largest peacetime tax increase in
    American history.

And that’s why FDR brains-trusters Rexford Guy Tugwell and Raymond Moley acknowledged later that Hoover “really invented” all the devices of the New Deal. Frederick Lewis Allen might not have recognized that in 1940, but Joseph Nocera should. And if we don’t want to relive the Great Depression, as Nocera worries, then we’d better learn what didn’t work in 1929-33 any better than it worked in 1933-39.

Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1

FREE TO CHOOSE: Anatomy of Crisis
Friedman Delancy Street in New York’s lower east side, hardly one of the city’s best known sites, yet what happened in this street nearly 50 years ago continues to effect all of us today. Wall Street. Most of us know what happened here 50 years ago. Inside the Stock Exchange on October 29, 1929, the market collapsed. It came to be known as Black Thursday. The Wall Street crash was followed by the worst depression in American history. That depression has been blamed on the failure of capitalism. It was no such thing but the myth lives on. What really happened was very different.
Although things looked healthy on the surface, business had begun to turn down in mid 1929. The crash intensified the recession. So did continuing bank failures in the south and Midwest. But the recession only became a crisis when these failures spread to New York and in particular to this building, then the headquarters of the Bank of United States. The failure of this bank had far reaching effects and need never have happened.
It was something of a historical accident that this particular bank played the role it did. Why did it fail? It was a perfectly good bank. Banks that were in far worse financial shape had come under difficulties before it did and had, through the cooperation of other banks, been saved. The reason why it wasn’t saved has to do with its rather special character. First its name, Bank of United States, a name that made immigrants believe it was an official governmental bank although in fact it was an ordinary commercial bank. Second its ownership, Jewish, both its name and the character of its ownership which had so much to do with attracting the large number of depositors from the many Jewish businessmen in the city of New York. Both of them also had the effect of alienating other bankers who did not like the special advantage of the name and did not like the character of the ownership. As a result, other banks were all too ready to spread rumors, to help promote an atmosphere in which runs got started on the bank and which it came into difficulty. And they were less then usually willing to cooperate in the efforts that were made to save it.
Only a few blocks away is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was here that the Bank of United States could have been saved. Indeed, the Federal Reserve System had been set up 17 years earlier precisely to prevent the worst consequences of bank failures.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose directors today meet in this room, devised a plan in cooperation with the superintendent of banking of the State of New York to save the Bank of United States. Their plan called for merging the Bank of United States with several other banks and also providing a guarantee fund to be subscribed to by still other bankers to assure the depositors that the assets of the Bank of United States were safe and sound. The Reserve Bank called meeting after meeting to try to put the plan into effect. It was on again, off again. But finally, after an all night meeting on December 10, 1930, the other bankers, including in particular John Pierpont Morgan, refused to subscribe to the guarantee fund and the plan was off. The next day the Bank of United States closed its doors, never again to open for business. For its depositors who saw their savings tied up and their businesses destroyed, the closing was tragic. Yet when the bank was finally liquidated, in the worst years of the depression, it paid back 92.5 cents on the dollar. Had the other banks cooperated to save it, no one would have lost a penny.
For the other New York banks, they thought closing the Bank of United States would have purely local effects. They were wrong. Partly because it had so many depositors, partly because so many of the depositors were small businessmen, partly because it was the largest bank that had ever been permitted to fail in the United States up to this time, the effects were far reaching. Depositors all over the country were frightened about the safety of their funds and rushed to withdraw them. There were runs. There were failures of banks by the droves. And all the time the Federal Reserve System stood idly by when it had the power and the duty and the responsibility to provide the cash that would have enabled the banks to meet the insistent demands of their depositors without closing their doors.
The way runs on banks can spread and can be stopped is a consequence of the way our bank system works. You may think that when you take some cash to a bank and deposit it, the bank takes that money and sticks it in a vault somewhere to wait until you need it again to turn it back over to you.
Bank teller: Okay, how would you like this? Two tens, one five and five ones. Okay.
Friedman: The bank does no such thing with it. It immediately takes a large part of what you put in and lends it out to somebody else. How do you suppose it earns interest, to pay its expenses, or pay you something for the use of your money? The result is that if all depositors in all the banks tried all at once to convert their deposits into cash, there wouldn’t be anything like enough cash in the banks of the country to meet their demands. In order to prevent such an outcome, in order to cut short a run, it is necessary to have some way either to stop people from asking for it, or to have some additional source from which cash can be obtained. That was intended to be the purpose of the Federal Reserve System. It was to provide the additional cash to meet the demands of the depositors when a run arose.
A classic example of how this system could and did work properly can be found over 2,000 miles from New York near the great Salt Lake in Utah.
In the early 30’s some banks in Salt Lake City and surrounding towns began to get into difficulties. The owners of one them were smart enough to see what had to be done to keep their banks open and courageous enough to do it. When fearful depositors began to clamor to withdraw all their money, one of George Eccles jobs was to brief his cashiers on how to handle the run.

What does created equal mean according to Milton Friedman? “Friedman Friday”

What does created equal mean according to Milton Friedman?

In his article “A test for first among equals,” Arkansas News Bureau, September 30, 2011, Matthew Pate asserted:

Among the most familiar passages in the Declaration of Independence is the section reading, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Who am I to dispute one of the key sentiments contained in the great foundational document of our republic?

 

Even so, I’m disputin’ it.

Namely, I have a problem with the idea that we are all created equal. Perhaps in some abstract sense of tabula rasa, we all emerge from the womb with approximately equal potential, but I am dubious of even that.

This said, I readily, wholly and unequivocally believe we should all be treated as though we were equal, but facts being what they are, we are not all equal.

As someone whose job requires the issuance of class grades, I can fully attest that not all snowflakes are special. They all may be unique and valuable, but some are bright white and some appear to have been visited by sled dogs. Like it or not, we are a people of standards, rankings and competitions.

_______-

The answer to this question of what equality is can be found in the first part of the episode “Created Equal” in the film series FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan

Liberals like President Obama (and John Brummett) want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series.

Created Equal [1/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

Uploaded by on May 30, 2010

In this program, Milton Friedman visits India, the U.S., and Britain, examining the question of equality. He points out that our society traditionally has embraced two kinds of equality: equality before God and equality of opportunity. The first of these implies that human beings enjoy a certain dignity simply because they are members of the human community. The second suggests societies should allow the talents and inclinations of individuals to unfold, free from arbitrary barriers. Both of these concepts of equality are consistent with the goal of personal freedom.

In recent years, there has been growing support for a third type of equality, which Dr. Friedman calls “equality of outcome.” This concept of equality assumes that justice demands a more equal distribution of the economic fruits of society. While admitting the good intentions of those supporting the idea of equality of outcome, Dr. Friedman points out that government policies undertaken in support of this objective are inconsistent with the ideal of personal freedom. Advocates of equality of outcome typically argue that consumers must be protected by government from the insensitivities of the free market place.

Dr. Friedman demonstrates that in countries where governments have pursued the goal of equality of outcome, the differences in wealth and well being between the top and the bottom are actually much greater than in countries that have relied on free markets to coordinate economic activity. Indeed, says Dr. Friedman, it is the ordinary citizen who benefits most from the free market system. Dr. Friedman concludes that any society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. But the society that puts freedom before equality will end up with both greater freedom and great equality.

___________________________

FREE TO CHOOSE 5: “Created Equal” (Milton Friedman)
Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 3:58:44 PM by Choose Ye This Day

FREE TO CHOOSE: Created Equal

Friedman: From the Victorian novelists to modern reformers, a favorite device to stir our emotions is to contrast extremes of wealth and of poverty. We are expected to conclude that the rich are responsible for the deprivations of the poor __ that they are rich at the expense of the poor.

Whether it is in the slums of New Delhi or in the affluence of Las Vegas, it simply isn’t fair that there should be any losers. Life is unfair __ there is nothing fair about one man being born blind and another man being born with sight. There is nothing fair about one man being born of a wealthy parent and one of an indigenous parent. There is nothing fair about Mohammed Ali having been born with a skill that enables him to make millions of dollars one night. There is nothing fair about Marleena Detrich having great legs that we all want to watch. There is nothing fair about any of that. But on the other hand, don’t you think a lot of people who like to look at Marleena Detrich’s legs benefited from nature’s unfairness in producing a Marleena Detrich. What kind of a world would it be if everybody was an absolute identical duplicate of anybody else. You might as well destroy the whole world and just keep one specimen left for a museum. In the same way, it’s unfair that Muhammed Ali should be a great fighter and should be able to earn millions. But would it not be even more unfair to the people who like to watch him if you said that in the pursuit of some abstract idea of equality we’re not going to let Muhammed Ali get more for one nights fight than the lowest man on the totem pole can get for a days unskilled work on the docks. You can do that but the result of that would be to deny people the opportunity to watch Mohammad Ali. I doubt very much he would be willing to subject himself to the kind of fights he’s gone through if he were to get the pay of an unskilled docker.

This beautiful estate, its manicured lawns, its trees, its shrubs, was built by men and women who were taken by force in Africa and sold as slaves in America. These kitchen gardens were planted and tended by them to furnish food for themselves and their master, Thomas Jefferson, the Squire of Monticello. It was Jefferson who wrote these words: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words penned by Thomas Jefferson at the age of 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, have served to define a basic ideal of the United States throughout its history.

Much of our history has revolved about the definition and redefinition of the concept of equality, about the intent to translate it into practice. What did Thomas Jefferson mean by the words all men are created equal? He surely did not mean that they were equal and/or identical in what they could do and what they believed. After all, he was himself a most remarkable person. At the age of 26, he designed this beautiful house of Monticello, supervised its construction and indeed is said to have worked on it with his own hands. He was an inventor, a scholar, an author, a statesman, governor of Virginia, President of the United States, minister to France, he helped shape and create the United States. What he meant by the word “equal” can be seen in the phrase “endowed by their creator”. To Thomas Jefferson, all men are equal in the eyes of God. They all must be treated as individuals who have each separately a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course, practice did not conform to the ideals. In Jefferson’s life or in ours as a nation, he agonized repeatedly during his lifetime about the conflict between the institution of slavery and the fine words of the declaration. Yet, during his whole life, he was a slave owner.

This is the City Palace in Jaipur, the capitol of the Indian state of Rajasthan, is just one of the elegant houses that were built here 150 years ago by the prince who ruled this land. There are no more princes, no more Maharajas in India today. All titles were swept away by the government of India in its quest for equality. But as you can see, there are still some people here who live a very privileged life. The descendants of the Maharajas financed this kind of life partly by using other palaces as hotels for tourists __ tourists who come to India to see how the other half lives. This side of India, the exotic glamorous side, is still very real. Everywhere in the world there are gross inequalities of income and wealth. They offend most of us.

A myth has grown up that free market capitalism increases such inequalities, that the rich benefit at the expense of the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, the ordinary man has been able to attain levels of living never dreamed of before. Nowhere is the gap between rich and poor. Nowhere are the rich richer and the poor poorer than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate, whether they be feudal societies where status determines position, or modern, centrally-planned economies where access to government determines position.

Central planning was introduced in India in considerable part in the name of equality. The tragedy is that after 30 years, it is hard to see any significant improvement in the lot of the ordinary person.

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Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

 Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan Liberals like President Obama (and John Brummett) want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. […]

 

Milton Friedman:Republicans are wrong to oppose payroll tax reduction (Part 2 of Friedman interview with John Hawkins)”Friedman Friday”

Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan

John Brummett is critical of Republicans for opposing the payroll tax reduction and I have to agree with him on this.

In an interview shortly after the Bush Tax Cuts passed Milton Friedman was asked:

John Hawkins:Do you think George Bush, with the economy being as it was, did the right thing by cutting taxes?

Milton Friedman: I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, “How do you hold down government spending?” Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.

_______________________

Here is some more of the interview:

Written By : John Hawkins

John Hawkins:I’d like to switch to a different area here. The economy certainly did well in the Clinton years except for the recession that started right at the end of his term. Was that because of Bill Clinton’s policies, a continuation of the success of Ronald Reagan’s policies, or something else?

Milton Friedman:I think it was #1 a continuation of the Reagan policies and #2 an indication of the virtues of a President of one party and a House and Senate of the other. That’s the best combination for economic growth…

John Hawkins:Because they hold down spending?

Milton Friedman:Yes, you have a deadlock. You can’t get any major spending programs through because one party or the other will oppose it. That’s why we have what looks like a paradox. The Clinton administration, in terms of the budget, has one of the best records of holding down spending. Spending went up less under Clinton than almost any other President.

John Hawkins:So do you think if we had Democrats controlling the House and Senate we’d have much less spending from the Bush administration?

Milton Friedman:If the White House were under Bush, and House and Senate were under the Democrats, I do not believe there would be much spending.

John Hawkins:That may be true. Switching directions again, Europe has been moving towards a single currency. Do you think that’s a wise move for all the states, some of them, or none of them? Why so?

Milton Friedman:We’re in the midst of a wonderful natural experiment. You have a really different arrangement with the euro than we’ve ever had historically. We’ve had many cases in which a number of countries have used the same currency. That’s when they’ve used gold or silver as money. But each individual country has been able to control the content of its own money. So while they were using the same commodity as currency, they were always in a position to determine what the terms of exchange were between their own currency and the other currencies.

But the euro is a very different arrangement. For the first time in history, we have essentially an independent central bank for a considerable number of distinct political entities. I, in advance, was very negative about it and have been very negative & pessimistic about it. We’ll see how the Europe plan does on the one hand and on the other, how the other countries of the world, the UK, the United States, Japan, which are linked together by flexible exchange rates, we’ll see how they do.

So we’ll have a really nice, natural experiment just as before the Soviet Union dissolved, we had a natural experiment comparing socialism and capitalism.

John Hawkins:If the euro were to replace the dollar as the medium of exchange, if everyone bought and sold their goods in euros instead of dollars, would that have an impact on the US economy?

Milton Friedman:The success of the United States will depend on how much it can produce at home, how much it can sell abroad, what it buys from abroad. It’s of less importance whether it is denominated in dollars or euros.

John Hawkins:So in the end, that is really not going to make a big difference one way or the other…

Milton Friedman:That’s not going to make a great deal of difference. What’s going to make the difference is the productivity of the different countries. But personally, as I say, I believe the Euroland is going to run into big difficulties. That’s because the different countries have different languages, limited mobility among them, and they’re effected differently by external events.

Right now for example, Ireland and Spain are doing very well, but on the other hand Germany and France are doing very poorly. The question is; “Is the same monetary policy appropriate for all of them?” Germany and France on one hand and Ireland and Spain on the other: it’s very dubious that it is. That’s why you’re having increasing difficulties within the Euroland group. As you probably know Sweden, which had not joined the European Monetary Union, voted down doing so and will keep its own currency.

John Hawkins: It was 56% to 42%so they voted it down by a good margin. Switching gears again here, in your opinion, what caused us to pull out of the Great Depression? Was it Roosevelt’s policies, WW2…

Milton Friedman:Roosevelt’s policies were very destructive. Roosevelt’s policies made the depression longer and worse than it otherwise would have been. What pulled us out of the depression was the natural resilience of the economy + WW2.

You know, it’s a mystery as to why people think Roosevelt’s policies pulled us out of the Depression. The problem was that you had unemployed machines and unemployed people. How do you get them together by forming industrial cartels and keeping prices and wages up? That’s what Roosevelt’s policies in the New Deal amounted to. Essentially, increasing the role of government, enhancing the monopolistic position of labor, and creating as I said before the equivalent of price fixing cartels made things worse. So most of his policies were counterproductive.

John Hawkins:Fast forward to today and there are a lot of Democrats & people on the left out there who say, “Why don’t we just have exorbitant taxes on the rich and minimal taxes on everyone else”? What would that do to the economy?

Milton Friedman:That would eliminate the rich.

John Hawkins:Right. Would it have a negative effect on economy overall?

Milton Friedman:Well, who would provide the funds, the capital, and the entrepreneurship for the new industries? In a world in which there were no rich people, how would you have ever gotten the capital to produce steel mills or automobile plants? You can do it through the state, but the world tried that with the Soviet Union.

It’s an interesting thing. If you ask yourself, “what tax system would be best for the low income group,” it’s the opposite of what they’re saying there. It would be a system with a maximum amount of taxation rather than a minimum. If you look at the taxation system in China for example, which is now doing very, very, well, that’s exactly what it is. In Russia you now have a 20% flat tax which is having the effect of increasing revenues rapidly and also stimulating production. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

John Hawkins:If we don’t “fix” Social Security, what sort of impact is it going to have on the economy in say 10-20 years?

Milton Friedman:Well, Social Security is having a bad effect now through the tax system. But ya know, when Adam Smith was told that the British loss at Yorktown would be the ruination of Britain, Adam Smith replied, “Young man, there’s a deal of ruin in a nation.” So, we’re a very strong country, lots of able people, lots of active entrepreneurs, and so the Social Security system will be a burden, but it won’t destroy the country.

I think it will be changed of course. I think there is a great and growing pressure towards privatizing Social Security, converting it into individual accounts. We’ve been moving that way indirectly through 401ks and the equivalent retirement accounts. I think Mr. Bush will go back to his emphasis on privatizing Social Security. I think there’s a good chance it can be done. It has been done in a considerable number of countries around the world. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be done here.

John Hawkins:Are there any political websites you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Milton Friedman: No, I don’t really follow any political websites. I think they’ll do better reading the Wealth of Nations(laughs)…

John Hawkins:Last but not least, is there anything else you’d like to say or promote?

Milton Friedman:I’d like to promote lots of things. I’d like to promote elimination of drug prohibition. I’d like to promote parental choice in education through vouchers. Those are two things I think are very urgent and important. They’re both more important than the harm which Social Security will do.

I think that our policy with respect to drugs is fundamentally immoral and it’s really disgraceful that we cause thousands of deaths in South America because we cannot enforce our own laws. If we could enforce our own laws against consumption of drugs, there would be no drug cartels in South America. There would be no — nearly a civil war in a place like Columbia.

Similarly, I think the performance of our school systems is disgraceful. I think roughly a quarter of the population never graduates high school. We have a lower level of literacy today than we had a hundred years ago. That’s not despite, but because of the poor schools, particularly in low-income areas.

But I think that’s enough for you. It has been nice to talk to you.

John Hawkins:Thank you for your time Mr. Friedman.

If you’d like to find out more about Mr. Friedman, you can do so at the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation & the Hoover Institution.

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Some poor are guilty of poor choices (Friedman Fridays)

Why can’t we do something about the poor?

I love Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose.” In that film series over and over it is shown that the ability to move from poor to rich is more abundant here than any other country in the world.

Poor Choices

by James A. Dorn

James A. Dorn is professor of economics at Towson University and editor of the Cato Journal.

Added to cato.org on September 27, 2011

This article appeared in The Baltimore Sun on September 27, 2011.

The persistence of poverty in Baltimore is disturbing. It is even more so when one looks deeper into the official data.

The 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that 25.6 percent of Baltimore’s population “for whom poverty status is determined” (602,129 people) are in poverty, as measured by pre-tax income relative to the poverty threshold used by the U.S. Census Bureau. For example, if a two-person family’s pre-tax money income is less than $14,218, it is considered poor; the corresponding figure for a family of four is $22,314.

However, the 25.6 percent figure doesn’t tell the whole story about Baltimore’s poverty.

If latent poverty is to be reduced, Baltimore needs to address the problem of how to improve economic development.

If one looks at the ACS for families, one finds that 28 percent of Baltimore families with children under 18 are living below the poverty level. That figure rises to an astonishing 40.6 percent for female-headed families with no father present. Is it surprising that poverty persists in Baltimore?

Poverty is often blamed on high taxes, onerous regulations, barriers to occupational entry and other economic factors. But poverty is also affected by people’s choices. For individuals who wait to have children, get married and stay married, obtain more education, and stay out of jail, poverty rates diminish greatly.

The poverty rate for married-couple families with related children under 18 in Baltimore is only 7.4 percent (7.5 percent for whites and 6.8 percent for blacks). Educational status is also important: Female-headed households with less than a high school degree have a poverty rate of 44.1 percent; the rate is 11 percent for those with a college degree.

With many dysfunctional families, a culture of crime, and public schools that are frequently ineffective and sometimes dangerous, the cards are stacked against poor people trying to escape poverty in Baltimore.

Government policies can influence one’s choices and the level of responsibility one takes. The growth of the welfare state has eroded personal responsibility and made the poor more dependent. After spending billions on welfare programs since President Lyndon Johnson announced the War on Poverty, the U.S. poverty rate is still about the same as in 1966 (14.7 percent). How can that be?

One answer is that the official poverty statistics mismeasure the actual extent of poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau measures only pre-tax money income and ignores noncash transfer payments in the form of Medicaid (by far the largest welfare program), food stamps, children’s health insurance, and child nutrition and health. If those in-kind transfers were included, the official poverty rate would decrease substantially.

Nevertheless, as Charles Murray pointed out in his landmark book Losing Ground (1984), even if all transfers were included as income and brought many people above the poverty thresholds, “latent poverty” would remain. That is, if welfare payments were taken away, people would return to poverty. Welfare alone cannot create wealth. Economic growth is the only sure way to reduce dependence and poverty.

Just look at China. Since 1978, when it began its march toward the market, China has achieved the world’s highest sustained rate of economic growth and allowed several hundred million people to lift themselves out of absolute poverty.

Counting noncash benefits of those living in poverty in Baltimore would reduce “poverty” but not free people from welfare. A huge underclass has captured politicians for their cause of maintaining and increasing transfers rather than limiting the size and scope of government to make people more responsible and foster economic growth.

No one could say that the poor in Baltimore today are less well-off materially than 50 or 100 years ago. Indeed, if one looks at personal consumption expenditures — a better measure of one’s living standard than pre-tax money income — one finds that official figures significantly overstate the extent of poverty.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2009, consumer expenditures for the lowest fifth of income earners were more than twice as high as before-tax income (which includes cash transfers and food stamps). Average annual consumption expenditures were $21,611 for the lowest quintile, while income was $9,846.

James A. Dorn is professor of economics at Towson University and editor of the Cato Journal.

More by James A. Dorn

This disparity is due to underreporting of income, outside financial assistance, loans and other factors. If poverty is better measured by one’s consumption rather than income, then Baltimore’s 25 percent poverty rate is misleading.

Most “poor” households now have a TV, air conditioning, enough food and medical care. Many have Internet access and a cell phone (subsidized by the federal government). What they don’t have is a safe environment, two parents and choice in education.

If latent poverty is to be reduced, Baltimore needs to address the problem of how to improve economic development. Part of that problem lies in heavy taxes on capital, but part also lies in the rise of government welfare and the decline in morality.

The bulk of Baltimore’s budget is spent on public safety (crime reduction) and education. Government failure is evident in those areas — taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth. Rather than spending more on welfare, perhaps it’s time to think about how to reduce latent poverty and make people more responsible for their choices.

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Bill Clinton condemns class-warfare and engages in it in same speech

President Bill Clinton’s Speech Oct 1, 2011 with Joshua & Anna at Little Rock Arkansas

Uploaded by on Oct 2, 2011

_______________________________

In this speech in Little Rock on October 1, 2011 former President Bill Clinton noted:

There is no example of a country in the fix we are in that can balance the budget without a combination of spending cuts, the people who can afford it paying more and growing the economy.

What was the secret of the Clinton Presidency? Clinton tells us in the same speech:

We decided to stop the politics of pitting one American against another by race…income, by anything else.

_________-

President Obama and other politicians are advocating higher taxes, with a particular emphasis on class-warfare taxes targeting the so-called rich. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video explains why fiscal policy based on hate and envy is fundamentally misguided. For more information please visit our web page: www.freedomandprosperity.org.

I just don’t understand how a politician can say two things in the same speech that cancel each other out? John Brummett and Max Brantley love to try to act like all of our problems would be solved if we could take the money from the rich guy. Below is an article that makes some great points concerning class-warfare:

Soaking the Rich Is Not Fair

by Jeffrey A. Miron

Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at JeffreyMiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z.

Added to cato.org on September 2, 2011

This article appeared on The Huffington Post on September 2, 2011.

What is the “fair” amount of taxation on high-income taxpayers?

To liberals, the answer is always “more.” Liberals view high income — meaning any income that exceeds their own — as the result of luck or anti-social behavior. Hence liberals believe “fairness” justifies government-imposed transfers from the rich to everyone else. Many conservatives accept this view implicitly. They oppose soak-the-rich policies because of concern over growth, but they do not dispute whether such policies are fair.

But high tax rates on the rich are not fair or desirable for any other reason; they are an expression of America’s worst instincts, and their adverse consequences go beyond their negatives for economic growth.

The liberal hatred of the rich is a minority view, not a widely shared American value.

Consider first the view that differences in income result from luck rather than hard work: some people are born with big trust funds or innate skill and talent, and these fortuitous differences explain much of why some people have higher incomes than others.

Never mind that such a characterization is grossly incomplete. Luck undoubtedly explains some income differences, but this is not the whole story. Many trust fund babies have squandered their wealth, and inborn skill or talent means little unless combined with hard work.

But even if all income differences reflect luck, why are government-imposed “corrections” fair? The fact that liberals assert this does not make it true, any more than assertions to the contrary make it false. Fairness is an ill-defined, infinitely malleable concept, readily tailored to suit the ends of those asserting fairness, independent of facts or reason.

Worse, if liberals can assert a right to the wealth of the rich, why cannot others assert the right to similar transfers, such as from blacks to whites, Catholics to Protestants, or Sunni to Shia? Government coercion based on one group’s view of fairness is a first step toward arbitrary transfers of all kinds.

Now consider the claim that income differences result from illegal, unethical, or otherwise inappropriate behavior. This claim has an element of truth: some wealth results from illegal acts, and policies that punish such acts are appropriate.

But most inappropriate wealth accumulations results from bad government policies: those that restrict competition, enable crony capitalism, and hand large tax breaks to politically connected interest groups. These differences in wealth are a social ill, but the right response is removing the policies that promote them, not targeting everyone with high income.

The claim that soaking the rich is fair, therefore, has no basis in logic or in generating desirable outcomes; instead, it represents envy and hatred.

Why do liberals hate the rich? Perhaps because liberals were the “smart” but nerdy and socially awkward kids in high school, the ones who aced the SATs but did not excel at sports and rarely got asked to the prom. Some of their “dumber” classmates, meanwhile, went on to make more money, marry better-looking spouses, and have more fun.

Liberals find all this unjust because it rekindles their emotional insecurities from long ago. They do not have the honesty to accept that those with less SAT smarts might have other skills that the marketplace values. Instead, they resent wealth and convince themselves that large financial gains are ill-gotten.

Jeffrey A. Miron is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron blogs at JeffreyMiron.com and is the author of Libertarianism, from A to Z.

More by Jeffrey A. Miron

The liberal views on fairness and redistribution are far more defensible, of course, when it comes to providing for the truly needy. Reasonable people can criticize the structure of current anti-poverty programs, or argue that the system is overly generous, or suggest that private charity would be more effective at caring for the least vulnerable.

The desire to help the poor, however, represents a generous instinct: giving to those in desperate situations, where bad luck undoubtedly plays a major role. Soaking the rich is a selfish instinct, one that undermines good will generally.

And most Americans share this perspective. They are enthusiastic about public and private attempt to help the poor, but they do not agree that soaking the rich is fair. That is why U.S. policy has rarely embraced punitive income taxation or an aggressive estate tax. Instead, Americans are happy to celebrate well-earned success. The liberal hatred of the rich is a minority view, not a widely shared American value.

For America to restore its economic greatness, it must put aside the liberal hatred of the rich and embrace anew its deeply held respect for success. If it does, America will have enough for everyone.

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Ron Paul’s Pro-life view

Ron Paul’s Pro-life view

Ron Paul’s Pro-Life Speech in Ames, Iowa

Uploaded by on Aug 13, 2011

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08/13/2011–

Ron Paul is America’s leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, sound money, and a pro-America foreign policy.

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Bob Jordan / Associated Press No. 13: Duke ends UNLV’s perfect season Final Four, March 30, 1991 — The Runnin’ Rebs returned four starters from the 1990 champions and rolled through the ’90-91 season. They entered the Final Four 34-0 and faced Duke, a team the Rebs beat by 30 points in the ’90 title […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 3)

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Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 2)

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Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 1)

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A review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris” (Woody Wednesday)

 
 
Not Dove Family Approved

Theatrical Release: 6/10/2011

Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Source: Theater
Writer: Woody Allen
Producer: Letty Aronson
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 100 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kurt Fuller, Kathy Bates

Synopsis:
Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy that follows a family travelling to the city for business. The party includes a young engaged couple that has their lives transformed throughout the journey. The film celebrates a young man’s great love for Paris, and simultaneously explores the illusion people have that a life different from their own is better.

Dove Worldview:
This one has some funny moments for sure. You have to understand the plot to understand the humor though. In this one, Gil Pender is a romantic, a writer who dreams of living in Paris. In fact, he is there on business along with his fiance’, who spends more time with an old boyfriend named Paul then with Gil. She just can’t understand his desire to take walks in the rain and his dream of being a novelist instead of the successful screen writer that he is. She also can’t comprehend his daydreams of 1920s Paris. When he finds himself in a certain part of the city one night and the clock strikes twelve he soon is shocked to learn he has traveled back to his dream time, Paris in the 1920s. He meets Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald as well as Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, and a woman he could fall in love with.

He always winds up back in the present when morning breaks but on one occasion he and the woman he falls for winds up in another time frame, the 1890s. She longs to remain in that time frame but he points out that he might have to get dental work done, and they didn’t have proper pain medication back then!

Owen Wilson is likable in his role as Gil and the movie makes a point that no matter what time one lives in, there are always problems to deal with. Despite the nice themes including being true to one’s self, and the opening sequence which includes shots of the Moulin Rouge, Notre Dame, the Seine River and nice cafes, sadly there is use of strong language and the sex rating hits a three in content, due to some frank sexual comments. It should be noted that there are a few political comments too which some viewers will not appreciate. We are unable to award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Chart & Description

Content ScaleSexLanguageViolenceDrugs & AlcoholNudityOther
SexLanguageViolenceDrugsNudityOther
Rating Descriptions

Sex: Frank sexual comments and a few innuendos; kissing; a woman talks about having moved in with her boyfriend; an unmarried couple live together and the woman admits to having an affair while in Paris with her old boyfriend.
Language: Chr*st-1; JC-1; For Chr*st Sake-1; G/OMG-10; H-3; D-1
Violence: A few disagreements.
Drugs: A lot of drinking scenes including wine and champagne and comments about wine tasting; cigarette smoking; a character admits to being drunk; a few scenes of characters riding in cars including a taxi and drinking; a character takes medicine for panic attacks; a comment about “coke” spoons.
Nudity: Cleavage; some hookers raise up skirts; a nude drawing of a woman nude from the waist up.
Other: Political comments about former President Bush and right wingers who are “air-heads” and “demented” and “fascists”.

Woody Allen films and the issue of guilt (Woody Wednesday)

Woody Allen and the Abandonment of Guilt

Dr. Marc T. Newman : AgapePress

In considering filmmaking as a pure visual art form, Woody Allen would have to be considered a master of the medium. From his humble beginnings as a comedy writer and filmmaker, he has emerged as a major influential force in Hollywood. Actors flock to his projects just to have a chance to work with him. He is funny, creative, and philosophical in his musings about love, life, and death.

Woody Allen is an Oscar award-winning director and screenwriter. His latest film, “Match Point,” has garnered another screenwriting nomination for Allen from the Academy. And while industry buzz is growing behind “Crash” screenwriters Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco to win, Allen’s nomination is not a courtesy nod to an aging dinosaur. Most critics have hailed “Match Point” as Allen’s comeback film – a movie that demonstrates that Allen is still performing at the height of his powers. “Match Point” most closely resembles another of Allen’s Oscar-nominated films – 1990’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Comparing these two critically-acclaimed films shines a light not only on Woody Allen’s dark and cynical writer’s journey, but also on a culture that consistently chooses to honor his work.

Crimes and Misdemeanors – Sin and Struggle

“Crimes and Misdemeanors” is an odd morality tale. Judah Rosenthal is an ophthalmologist who has been carrying on an affair for over two years. When his mistress threatens to call his wife, he contracts to have her killed. Throughout the film, characters attempt to make sense of their moral universe. Judah struggles with his guilt and at one point seems so driven by his belief that he must be punished for his sin that he nearly decides to call the police to turn himself in. He is dissuaded by a veiled threat from his mob-connected brother Jack (who arranged the murder at Judah’s request). As time goes by, Judah finds that he is not punished – not by the secular authorities or by God. After a while, even the guilty feelings fade away. He decides that the idea that evil is always punished is only true in the movies. In real life, people get away with it. Judah pushes aside his guilt, returns to his privileged life and walks off, with his wife, into the sunset.

Allen comes down on the wrong side of the moral equation in “Crimes and Misdemeanors” because he is unwilling, or unable, to take into account the judgment of God in the world to come. His materialist-informed worldview discounts or denies that the reality of eternity is more significant than what happens in this life. What made the film noteworthy was its depiction of the moral struggle that people go through when they sin. What made the film chilling is the knowledge that the rationalism engaged in by Judah in the movie represents more than fiction. Psalms and Proverbs are full of pleas from weary saints who complain to God about the prosperous wicked. We cannot know the mind of God. Some sins are punished swiftly; others apparently are not punished at all in this life. But God declares that one day everything done is darkness will be revealed in the light (1 Corinthians 4-5).

Match Point – No Sin, Just Luck

Fifteen years later, Allen gives audiences “Match Point,” the story of Chris Wilton, a British social-climbing tennis pro who marries for money and prestige, but continues to lust after a poor American actress, Nola Rice, who is dating his future brother-in-law. The affair with Nola begins and ends before Chris’ marriage, but picks up again when Nola returns to England. What begins as animal attraction turns complicated as Nola begins pressuring Chris to leave his wife. Chris is torn between his feelings for Nola and the wealth, power, and privilege that he enjoys by being married to his wife, Chloe. Ultimately he determines that he must be rid of one of them. How best to do it while risking the least for himself? Kill one – but make it look like someone else did it. The audience is left guessing whether he will kill Nola, thereby covering his tracks and keeping his wife, or kill Chloe, inheriting her wealth and gaining the sympathy of her family, and then take up again with Nola. Once the deed is done, there is the crying and terror over the prospect of being found out and punished that must accompany any such act. But when word of the homicide appears in the paper, and the fictional motives that Chris hoped to plant are printed as if they are fact, Chris discovers that he has gotten away with it.

The theme of “Match Point” is hammered into the audience over and over again – the world runs on luck. From Chris’ tennis career, to his marriage to a rich and beautiful woman and into a paternalistic and helpful family, to plot twists involving incriminating evidence, everything just falls his way at crucial moments. And while some characters continue to extol the virtues of hard work and perseverance, Chris recognizes and, in the end, vocalizes that the best attribute to possess is good fortune. There is no justice; there is only the slim divide between being caught and getting away with it. No one is smart enough to cover all the bases, so in the end much of it comes down to luck. Chris has it; his victim did not.

Unlike “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” no great struggle over guilt and sin is played out on the screen. The only scene that looks remotely like remorse occurs right after the act. Beyond that, Chris merely lies to those he knows and stonewalls the police. He is like the boy who kills his parents and then begs the judge for leniency because he is an orphan
– only in this case, he gets off.

“Crimes and Misdemeanors” could be rationalized as a depiction of one side of the sin debate – that sometimes the wicked prosper. The struggle for Judah’s soul is represented by his brothers: the mafia-connected Jack and Judah’s rabbi brother Ben. In this case, Ben loses, but there is, haunting the background, the idea that it could be otherwise. No such spiritual subtext exists in “Match Point.” Audience members can only get out of the film what they bring to it – it is a case brought before us for judgment.. Those who believe in a just God will find Chris to be a calculating killer who rightly needs to be punished. For those who enter the film believing that humans are merely animals seeking to satisfy drives with no true spiritual component; who believe that guilt only exists if you get caught; who believe (whether they know the source or not) that Nietzsche was right when he said that the hallmark of human existence is the will to power – Chris is a kind of hero. He got everything he wanted, succeeded in destroying those who stood in his way, and emerged unscathed because he was favored by a series of uncalculated quirks in the universe. No objection to such assessment is placed in anyone’s way.

The Weaving of Cultural Threads

Thomas Frentz, noted rhetorical critic, argues that by comparing products of our culture over time, we can begin to discern emerging moral patterns. Cultures, Frentz claims, are always moving toward, or away from, some optimal moral end state. If Frentz is right, then looking at these two similar films from Woody Allen can tell us a little about the state of moral struggle. I do not know whether Allen’s film intends to move us, or if it is merely a reflection of the culture as he sees it. Either way, what Allen appears to be saying is that we have moved beyond morals and simply must deal with what is. In his earlier film, Allen asserts that there is no objective moral lens through which to view the world – ignore morality and it will go away. Now he is saying that if you happen to share the world with people who still hold to the “myth” of morality, “hope you are lucky and then you can get away with it.”

But there is yet a ray of hope.

Anyone watching “Match Point” will come to the conclusion that Chris “got away with it.” The concept of “getting away with something” could not exist in a truly amoral world, because the term itself presupposes punishment. If no punishment is objectively due, then there is nothing from which to “get away.” The concept of escape only exists in a world in which something is pursuing. Even conventional laws implicate an overarching moral sensibility of right and wrong. My fear is not that Allen is predicting some evolutionary leap in moral thinking where all codes are abandoned, but that he is rightly illustrating a growing trend – the searing of the western conscience.
Marc T. Newman, PhD (marc@movieministry.com) is the president of MovieMinistry.com – an organization that provides sermon and teaching illustrations from popular film, and helps the Church use movies to reach out to others and connect with people.

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(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am