The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's life;
and the killing of the aggressor...The one is intended, the other is not.
— Saint Thomas Aquinas
Violence is a global problem, which in the context of this article (interpersonal violence), is intentional force against another person or persons with the potential to cause injury or bodily harm, resulting in disability or death. Despite what one has been led to believe, America is not the most violent nation. [Figure 1, right] When it comes to violence, objectively compared to developed nations, the U.S. is in the middle of the pack; when considering the rest of the world, the U.S is far behind Latin America (including Brazil), Africa, and much of Eastern Europe and Eurasia (including Russia).
Nevertheless, we must admit that we have an endemic problem that needs addressing. Violence perpetrated by assailants carrying (or having the opportunity to rapidly be able to pick up and use) a blunt object to attack another person may result in severe bodily harm and/or head injury. In the body, severe blunt trauma may result in long bone fractures and...
We can all feel it. With violent crime dominating the headlines, the pressure to blame gun owners is mounting. Everywhere we look, we see the familiar gun grabbers calling for “universal” background checks, a ban on semi-automatic rifles, and that old saw, restoring funding to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for “firearm research.”
President Barack Obama, gun prohibitionists in Congress and their many friends in major media outlets have done a formidable job of spinning the story of how the CDC lost its funding for gun research. Their version is that back in the 1990s, the CDC was producing valuable public health research on “gun violence,” saving lives and preventing injuries with their policy suggestions.
Then, they contend, because the “gun lobby” didn’t like the results of the research, the National Rifle Association opposed this great advance in public health and—against the great tide of public opinion—persuaded Congress to take away the CDC’s federal funding for all gun research. According to them, there has been no gun research since then, so we have no way to know how to stop gun violence. That’s the bedtime story told...
Symposium — An anti-Christian barrage in the midst of the Middle Georgia Bible Belt? (With apologies to both Plato and Alexander Pope)
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1709
For the past several months an unexpectedly ongoing and curious religious debate has been raging on the Opinion pages of my local newspaper, the Macon Telegraph. I write “unexpectedly” and “curious” because we are supposed to be living in the midst of the Bible Belt here in Middle Georgia, and one would expect, if anything as it relates to the realm of religion, a Judeo-Christian perspective to be promulgated on Sundays for the benefit of the majority faithful. This should be particularly true given the decidedly progressive bent of the paper the rest of the week; instead, we are presented every Sunday with an anti-religious column written by a former priest, Dr. Bill Cummings, who apparently has an ax to grind against Christianity and Western culture, in...
Some time ago, the ACLU threatened to sue to force Los Angeles County to remove the tiny cross from its seal. You can see it if you look very closely. The cross represented the Franciscan missions, an integral part of California history. The mere threat of a suit frightened the county into removing the cross. A group of us filed suit to restore it. We lost, but at least we tried.
As Pastor Niemoeller would say, we spoke up to protest the erasure of part of our history. Only tyrants want to alter the past. So instead of the tiny cross, we have a “mission” that looks like a barn. No cross on the building? Okay. But no bell? Is a bell also a religious symbol, and therefore verboten? Are even indirect, oblique, implied references to religion not allowed?
When anyone refers to the United States as a “Christian country,” the media denounce him, while liberals ridicule him as a bigot. My reaction is a bit different. When I hear this description of America, I think, “What an optimist!” Perhaps my family’s background can explain my attitude.
My mother was born in Czarist Russia. Her most vivid memory of childhood was a pogrom. She and her...
I had a friend with an odd sense of humor. As he greeted guests at the door, he would yell over his shoulder to his wife, "Put more water in the soup!" Of course, there was always more than enough food. It was his way of bringing a smile to his guests' faces. But for some people, putting more water in the soup isn't a joke — it's a fact.
No, I'm not talking about desperately poor people, who must really water down the physical nourishment of their families. I'm talking about well-to-do people who have no need to do so, yet who continually water down the intellectual and spiritual nourishment of their nation and their civilization. I'm talking about people who for decades have been watering down the education, the civic pride, and the religion of everyone's family.
If you start with really rich, thick soup, you can water it down considerably, and it will still be nourishing. Only after an extreme degree of dilution will you reach a point that the soup can no longer sustain life. It's the same with education, civic pride, and religion. If you start with really rich material, it can withstand a good deal of dilution before it is no longer...
There are many ways to assess a civilization. It all depends on your point of view. Some people believe we are advancing. These people point to a woman's "freedom to choose," more "rights" for those accused of crimes, and greater "tolerance." Other people believe we are declining. These people point to nearly a million babies killed every year, up to the time of birth and sometimes even after. They point to increasing reluctance of the law-abiding to rely on the legal system. They point to widespread cheating in schools, in business, in government, and in relationships.
Those who believe we are declining point to the same events as those who believe we are advancing — they just see these events from a different perspective. But are there some ways to assess our civilization that most people might agree on? In an effort to find such methods, I adjourned to the bathroom, where I often do my best thinking, and came upon a possibility.
The toilet-paper index
A few years ago, I'm not sure exactly when, rolls of toilet paper all shrank an inch or two in width. The rolls used to fit snugly into their holders, which had remained the same for many decades. But...
The downing of a Russian jet by a Turkish F-16 fighter plane is a distracting development for the war on ISIS, as well as an event that could have ominous repercussions for the NATO alliance. Turkey says the Russian plane, a Su-24 aircraft, was shot down while violating Turkish airspace. The Russians deny this and affirm that their jet did not stray from Syrian airspace. Turkey, a member of NATO, is supported by the Western alliance that asserts the Turkish claim that the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace, flying over a tongue of land stretching into Syria.
What is lost here is the fact that despite political disagreements about the Syrian government, both the Russian Federation and Turkey should be cooperating on the war on terror and the defeat of ISIS; instead they are responding in a historic and adversarial manner that could lead to a major and potentially catastrophic war in Europe involving not just old historic enemies — i.e., Turkey and Russia — but also NATO and the U.S. with calamitous consequences for Europe. Defiant Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be reconsidering Turkey’s rules of engagement in alleged Turkish...
Inheritance and estate taxes (collectively referred to as the “death tax”) are the taxes one must pay to the government to be able to inherit property or money following the death of loved ones. With inheritance taxes, the beneficiary pays the tax before taking possession of the money or property. With the estate tax, the tax is levied on the decedent’s assets before the beneficiaries may receive their inheritance. Either way, the State (the government) takes its share: The bigger the legacy, the larger the government’s slice of the pie! Despite the alleged fairness, these inordinate taxes are government money-grabbing wealth redistribution schemes fueled by the politics of envy and promoted by progressive politicians usually of the Democratic persuasion. Inordinate estate tax rates are a measure of the level of socialism afflicting a given society. This is so because demagogic politicians pander to the dark side of human nature, eliciting envy to pander to the resentful, eyeing the money they can grab, seeing the votes they can buy, muscling the power they can exert over the masses, and enjoying the perks they can obtain for themselves. It is sold supposedly to the people as a...
If Gerald Posner’s book, Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1993), convinced me that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone, Reclaiming History — The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (2007) removed any possible lingering doubts that I may have had, even subconsciously. Take for instance, the troubling Silvia Odio incident that was not satisfactorily explained in Posner’s book, Bugliosi (photo, left) analyzes it carefully, as he did with all contentious “anomalies” in the JFK assassination, and formulates a more plausible alternative scenario than those propounded by conspiracy theorists.
Presumably three men, two Cuban-Americans and Lee Harvey Oswald (or someone who looked like Oswald), visited the Cuban exiled sisters, Sylvia and Annie Odio, at their home in Dallas on or about September 25, 1963, shortly before Oswald traveled to Mexico. Unlike Posner, Bugliosi believed Odio to be a credible witness and assumes the visit took place as she described. The Odio sisters' father was an anti-communist rebel incarcerated in a Cuban prison since 1962 for anti-Castro activities. According to Sylvia Odio, Oswald...
Source: The Telegraph
I am reproducing this table on cancer survival rates throughout the world in its original form, rather than formatting it to fit the page better. My purpose is to show clearly which nation is at the top in this crucial field. Other aspects of health are affected by many factors, only some of which are within the grasp of health care. But our chances of surviving cancer are very closely related to the care we receive.
Look at the table. Now tell me why, if the American health-care system is “broken,” we have the best cancer-survival statistics for most forms of men’s and women’s cancer. And then tell me why so many “progressives” urge us to emulate the health-care systems of European nations with lower cancer-survival figures. Does this make sense? Is this about improving our health or controlling our people?
But perhaps you prefer a graph.
If the American health-care system is “broken,” what would you call these systems? What is worse than “broken”? Dilapidated? Decrepit? Rattletrap? Moribund? Yet the American Left has nothing but praise for these systems.