Is America’s Racial Divide Permanent?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Roseanne Barr, star of ABC’s hit show “Roseanne,” there would be no appeal. When her tweet hit, she was gone.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement, is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” declaimed Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment.

Targeting Valerie Jarrett, a confidante and aide of President Barack Obama, Roseanne had tweeted: “muslim brotherhood & the planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

Offensive, juvenile, crude, but was that not pretty much the job description ABC had in mind for the role of Roseanne on the show?

Roseanne also tweeted that George Soros, 87-year-old radical-liberal billionaire, had been a Nazi “who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps and stole their wealth.”

The Soros slur seems far more savage than the dumb racial joke about Jarrett, but it was the latter that got Roseanne canned.

Her firing came the same day that 175,000 employees of 8,000 Starbucks stores were undergoing four hours of instruction to heighten their racial sensitivities.

These training sessions, said the Washington Post, “marked the start of Starbucks’ years-long commitment to new diversity and sensitivity programs after two African-Americans were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks on April 12.”

The Philly Starbucks manager had called the cops when the two black men she took to be loiterers refused to leave.

Rachel Siegel of the Post describes the four-hour session:

At first the employees are prompted to find differences. They watched a video in which (Starbucks head) Howard Schultz talks about his vision for a more inclusive company and country. They reflected what a place of belonging means to them. And they examine their own biases.

Each group viewed a documentary underwritten by Starbucks and directed by Stanley Nelson. In the film people of color talk about experiences of being followed in stores. Footage from the civil rights movement quickly progresses to 21st-century cellphone videos capturing people being dragged off a plane, threatened in a New York deli and choked at a North Carolina Waffle House.

Upon reading this, the terms “Orwellian” and “re-education camp” come to mind.

Earlier in May, the NFL issued a rule saying players who refuse to stand for the national anthem must remain in their locker rooms. If they take a knee on the field this coming season, they can be punished and their teams fined.

Great was the outrage when this ruling came. The First Amendment rights of black players were being brutally trampled upon.

Yet the NFL has always had restrictions on behavior, from evicting players from games for unsportsmanlike conduct to curtailing end-zone dances.

What is the common thread that runs through these social clashes from just this last month?

It is race. Each episode fits neatly into the great media narrative of an irredeemably racist America of white oppressors and black victims.

Had it been two white guys hanging out in that Philly Starbucks who were told by the manager to buy a cup of coffee or get out, the spat would never have become a national story.

These incidents, coming as they do …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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St. Paisios & ‘Shamanistic’ Christianity

By Rod Dreher

St. Paisios of Mount Athos (1924-1994)

I’m re-reading a book that meant a lot to me when I was coming into Orthodox Christianity in 2006, but that I haven’t read since then: The Mountain of Silence, by Kyriacos Markides. It’s an introduction to Orthodox spirituality for laymen, as told by a “Father Maximos,” a monk from Mount Athos (he’s now a bishop: Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, Cyprus). The book was pretty mind-blowing to me back then. Now, after almost 12 years of Orthodoxy, it’s basic stuff, but still really well written.

Markides is a sociologist of religion at the University of Maine, and an Orthodox Christian born in Cyprus. Reading the book, you can tell that he’s coming off of his academic study of shamanic traditions, and is something of a New Ager. It’s very easy, though, to discern between what Father Maximos says, and what the author’s added comments are. I don’t know where Markides stands now on these issues. I do love this book, though.

I want to share with you a passage about the Elder Paisios — now St. Paisios, as he was canonized in 2015, 21 years after his death. He’s a famous contemporary monk of Mount Athos, known for clairvoyance and wonderworking. He is roughly to the Orthodox world what Padre Pio (now St. Pio of Pietrelcina) is to the Catholic world. He had visions of saints and angels fairly frequently. Here’s a passage about him from the Markides book:

In fact, one of the basic forms of training in Athonite spirituality is to learn how to develop diakrisis [discernment], to be able to differentiate that which comes from God from that which comes from Satan, who tries to confuse and disorient the soul aspiring for perfection. Elder Paisios’s experiences with revered spiritual beings [angels and saints — RD], similar to other stories that I had read or heard about on the life of saints and great prophets, would not fall under the category of hallucinations.

Hallucinations are not from God. Individuals who experience hallucinations later come to recognize them as hallucinations. Elder Paisios’s visitations were real and concrete happenings, as concrete as his speaking to ordinary pilgrims and visitors. Hallucinations normally involve confusion and sharp distortions of reality and perception. But Elder Paisios’s experiences, like other such reports, were lucid, orderly, and highly coherent. Hallucinations are furthermore accompanied by anxiety and mental disturbance. That was far from the case with this contemporary anchorite. On the contrary, these extraordinary experiences brought him exquisite feelings of peace and spiritual well being that had a transformative effect on his life.

I remember the reaction of Professor John Rossner after I narrated such stories from Mount Athos at a conference in Montreal on the interface between science and religion. As the moderator, he stood up and with a strong and authoritative voice he made some poignant observations:

“What you said about miraculous happenings on Mount Athos and other monasteries, of the manifestation of dead saints to the living and so on, is …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Samantha Bee’s vile insults against Ivanka Trump, others are liberal media’s late-night business model

By Tim Graham On her show “Full Frontal” on Wednesday night, TBS ranter Samantha Bee called President Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—” and seemed to imply that Ivanka should plead for amnesty for illegal immigrants by seducing her father. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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We Need To Talk About ‘The Americans’

By Rod Dreher

Noah Emmerich as FBI agent Stan Beeman (FX Networks/Shutterstock)

The terrific FX series The Americans ended its six-season run last night. I want to talk about the ending, but I’m going to put it below the jump so as not to inflict spoilers on you without warning. If you haven’t watched the ending, or if you think you might ever want to get into this show — and boy, I hope you do! — then stop reading now.

Seriously, stop.

SPOILERS START RIGHT NOW!

The collective opinion of my Twitter feed is that the final episode was one of the greatest series-enders of all time. I’m willing to grant that as an intellectual matter, for reasons I’ll explain below. But as beautiful as it was, in its way, my heart wasn’t in it.

I wanted justice, and redemption, of a kind. Neither came.

I didn’t have any realistic hope that Philip and Elizabeth both would be redeemed. She’s too hardcore. I figured that Philip, who has been tortured by the cruelty of his spy work, would confess all to Stan in exchange for leniency for Paige (and maybe Henry, though he’s guilty of nothing). I imagined that Elizabeth would be killed or would kill herself with the cyanide pill the KGB gave her. That would have been satisfying, at least to me: justice, and redemption. And Stan, finally, would have been vindicated.

That’s not what happened, obviously. I find it hard to believe that Stan would have let them go — that he would have been more loyal to this friendship than to his country, or even to the memory of his old partner, Amador. Surely he must have thought about the shame that would befall him once the FBI knew that his neighbor and best friend was a KGB agent.

Paige getting off the train at the Canadian border was a stroke of genius. I didn’t see that coming.

The final long scene, with Philip and Elizabeth gazing out over the Moscow skyline, was philosophically interesting to me. Here’s the best case I can make for it being the appropriate ending for the series. They escaped justice back in the US, but are sentenced to … what? They have given up their children, whom they will never seen again. They have given up all the comforts of the life they’ve had for decades, to return to a suffering country where everything — unbeknownst to them — is about to collapse. The Soviet Union, for which they murdered and betrayed and committed all kinds of evil, is about to die, and the country that’s left will fall into a decade of extreme economic pain and turmoil.

They have wasted their lives. But they don’t yet know that. We, however, do. There is nothing noble in their sacrifice, either, because the system they defended was evil. Elizabeth may never be able to face that, but Philip will. He loved his American life. For a television series whose most basic theme is loyalty, the Jenningses gave their all to the Soviet …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Cal Thomas: Ireland makes its decision on abortion

By Cal Thomas Once strongly Catholic Ireland has removed protection for the unborn, at least through the first 12 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, with the repeal of that country’s eighth constitutional amendment. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Samantha Bee hits Ivanka Trump with a filthy sexist attack — The silence on the left is deafening

By Lauren DeBellis Appell In her show “Full Frontal” on TBS Wednesday, Trump-hating left-wing comedian Samantha Bee used an obscene and sexist term in a disgusting attack on President Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka, calling her a “feckless c—.” …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Philadelphia’s Ugly War Against Catholic Social Services

By Liz Wolfe

Not content with simply letting religious organizations serve their communities, the city of Philadelphia recently cracked down on foster care referrals to Catholic Social Services (CSS), threatening to sever its relationship with the charity altogether. Apparently, the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and the Catholic agency’s practice of not allowing gay couples to become foster parents is unacceptable to polite society—despite the 100-plus children helped by the organization annually.

Now, as of May 16, foster families are asking a federal court to stop the city ruling that bars CSS from receiving foster placements. This raises the question: is living out a traditional Catholic faith beyond the pale, according to the government?

Plaintiffs Sharonell Fulton, Cecelia Paul, and Toni Lynn Simms-Busch are all foster parents with CSS, an organization that says it “currently cares for 127 children daily” via referrals from the city. With help from the public interest legal firm the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, CSS and the plaintiffs allege that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment clauses make it so that “government [is prevented] from officially preferring one denomination over another or discriminating against a religious group for its religious beliefs and practices.”

“Defendants are applying their laws in a manner which penalizes Catholic Social Services for its religious beliefs.” says the suit.

The city sees it differently: “As CSS works on the City’s behalf, we cannot allow discrimination against qualified couples…simply because of whom they choose to marry. We would not allow such discrimination against, for example, Catholic couples or ‘mixed-race’ couples, and we cannot allow it with respect to same-sex couples, either.”

Nearly 100 families currently foster through the agency. Around 50 children achieve “permanency” (as they call it) per year, by either being adopted or returning to their biological families. Philadelphia has over 6,000 kids that have either been placed in or are waiting to go to foster families. And the need for these families is dire: just two months ago, the city put out a call claiming they needed over 300 new fosters to adequately deal with the influx of children into the system. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it was the “first major recruitment in a decade.”

There’s certainly a case to make that Catholic teachings on homosexuality—and Catholic Social Services’ adamant adherence to those teachings—negatively impact children who could be cared for by gay couples. Much of the literature on the matter indicates that same-sex parents are not measurably different than heterosexual parents in terms of quality of care.

But Philadelphia is going well beyond mounting a counterargument: they’re trying to limit the good that can be gotten from a religious organization over a disagreement with views they deem backwards rather than putting first the wellbeing of children. As a result, according to Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket, over a dozen foster homes are sitting empty. …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Instead of fighting about NFL kneeling, let’s work together for national healing

By Jeff Kemp The raging controversy over National Football League player protests against racial injustice – and the new NFL rule saying players have to stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room while it is played – has divided fans, the league and players. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Trump Starts an Unnecessary Trade War

By Daniel Larison

Trump is going ahead with imposing steel and aluminum tariffs in another gratuitous swipe at some of our closest allies:

The US is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from allies in Europe and North America.

The US said a 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada will start at midnight.

The move immediately triggered vows of retaliation from Mexico and the EU, which called the tariffs “protectionism, pure and simple”.

Initiating a trade war with many of our major trading partners will harm many more U.S. manufacturers and other businesses than it could conceivably help, and it promises to sour relations with many of our most important allies at a time when those ties have already been strained by other unnecessary and destructive unilateral decisions. Imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum will raise the costs for every American firm that uses these materials, and the retaliatory tariffs from our trade partners will hurt the sales of our exporters. The relative handful of American workers that might benefit will be outnumbered by those Americans who lose jobs or pay more for goods. The tariff increases are a problem because they threaten to start a cycle of retaliation between the U.S. and its neighbors and allies that benefits none of us. The spurious national security justification for the action is perhaps the most dangerous of all, because it encourages other governments to imitate it with their own bogus claims.

Like many other unilateral administration actions, these tariff increases are a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist that threatens to impose real costs on the U.S. and our allies.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Newt Gingrich: Space entrepreneurs will change our lives with advances that are out of this world

By Newt Gingrich Much of American history has been created by entrepreneurial pioneers who kept inventing things. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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