The Press-Dispatch

February 12, 2020

The Press-Dispatch

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B-4 Wednesday, Februar y 12, 2020 The Press-Dispatch OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: or bring in a hard copy: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg I'm not sure about you folks, but it seems anymore when I social- ize with friends and acquaintanc- es, I hear everybody expressing great dismay about the politics in our country. I constantly hear people now avoid listening to the T V and radio news. Am I the only one who feels ill after listening to the news for a few minutes? Seems to me like there is just so much news alert, breaking news, and so much news analysts all talking at the same time — all four or more anchors or guests competing for opinions and in the end I get confused as to who really I should listen to and believe. I sometimes turn to social me- dia for a change, and then there it is again, I see a string of com- mentaries, discussions, blogs ( short for weblog), podcast, tweets, chats, etc, etc. Then when I read the newspaper, there are always many features of the debates, ar- guments, counterarguments and sometimes plain hate- ful accusations. My Lord what has our country done to it- self and where are we headed to? I am not sure how politicians and candi- dates withstand the severe stress of long passionate debates, long discussions, ar- guments, ill will, and hatred. It would be interesting to know how their health is affected, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritu- ally with these nonstop activities. I truly admire their stamina and drive, I'm sure something eventu- ally will catch up and breakdown their body's health, given the tox- ic soup they get immersed in. Or maybe not, because they find great pleasure and accomplishment in engaging in these endeavors. • • • One of the things that puzzles me is how do our elected officials spend so much time away from their prima- ry duties which is tak- ing care of our nation's business. Say if you are a senator or con- gressman or a may- or and you have mat- ters needing to be tak- en care of in your district or your office, how can you make good de- cisions and course of action when your great focus is for re-election or winning a candidacy. I suspect that is when you de- pend and delegate to your trust- ed advisers and assistants to do the important work needing at- tention. Say if I run an office or have a business and I'm away 80 My Point of View By Dr. H. K. Fenol, Jr., M.D. Politics: A strain on body and mind Minority View By Walter E. Williams Economics reality Continued on page 5 Continued on page 5 Continued on page 5 I have been teaching econom- ics since 1967 — 40 years of it at George Mason University in Fair- fax, Virginia. During that interval, economic reality has not changed. Just as Galileo's law about the inde- pendent influence of gravity on fall- ing objects has not changed, nei- ther have the fundamental princi- ples of economics. Economics is fun and simple. It's made compli- cated by some economics profes- sors — fortunately, not by my col- leagues at George Mason Univer- sity. Let's apply some simple tools of economics to reveal outright myths, lies and tricks. Who is punished by tariffs on im- ported goods? Let's go through the steps. The Canadian government imposes high tariffs on Ameri- can dairy imports. That forces Ca- nadians to pay higher prices for dairy products and protects Can- ada's dairy producers from Amer- ican competition. What should be the U.S. government's response to Canada's screwing its citizens? If you were in the Trump administra- tion, you might retaliate by impos- ing stiff tariffs on softwood prod- ucts built from pine, spruce and fir trees used by U.S. homebuilders. In other words, the U.S. should re- taliate against Canada's harm- ing its citizens by forcing them to pay higher dairy product pric- es, by forcing Amer- icans through tariffs to pay higher prices for wood and thereby rais- ing the cost of building homes. Many politicians, pundits and some economists would have us believe that corporations pay tax - es, but do they? Econ- omists distinguish between entities who ultimately bear the tax burden and those upon whom tax is initial- ly levied. Just because a tax is lev- ied on a corporation doesn't mean that the corporation bears its bur- den. Faced with a tax, a corporation can shift the tax burden by raising its product prices, lowering divi- dends or laying off workers. The lesson here is that only people pay taxes, not legal fictions like cor- porations. Corporations are sim- ply tax collectors for the govern- ment. Similarly, no one would fall for a politician telling a homeown- er, "I'm not going to tax you; I'm go- ing to tax your property." I guaran- tee that it will be a person, not the property, writing out the check to the taxing authority. Again, only people pay taxes. Here's a question: Are natural or man-made disas- ters good for the econ- omy? Dr. Larry Sum- mers, top economic adviser to President Obama, said about the Kobe, Japan, earth- quake: "(The disas- ter) may lead to some temporary increments ironically to GDP as a process of rebuild- ing takes place. In the wake of the earlier Kobe earthquake Japan actually gained some economic strength." A fter devastating Florid- ian hurricanes, it's not uncommon to read newspaper headlines such as "Storms create lucrative times," or "Economic growth from hurri- canes could outweigh costs," or "It's a perverse thing ... there's re- al pain, but from an economic point of view, it is a plus." Then there's Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman who wrote in his New York Times col- umn "A fter the Horror," after the 9/11 attack, "Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack — like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression — could do some eco- Pursuit of the Cure By Star Parker Points to Ponder by Rev. Ford Bond It doesn't matter which Democrat wins Local church at crossroads Since the early days of the church, there has been turmoil from within and without. The per- secution from outside the church historically, has made the faithful stronger. Persecution is likened to the fire of a goldsmith. It burns away impurities, and leaves the gold purified. Strife from within weakens the church, and is either a result of her- esy [false teachings], or sin is al- lowed to fester. Scholars suggest across time there is a reoccurring pattern of the church. It is like a cycle, akin to the business cycle of commerce. The church raised to great heights in spirituality, but this "renewal" is not maintained; then it descends into secularism and carnality. The Reformation of the Church was a result of the cycling of the church. The hierarchy of the church had become carnal and sec- ularized to the point that the laity and powerful people within Germa- ny seized the cleansing breeze that swept through the church. The world is on fire! There is conflict across the globe and the old order is slipping away. What will arise from the ashes of this conflict is not known. The church is facing conflicts from within, which are eroding its stability. This is not to mean the church will cease to exist. It means the church, as we know it will splin- ter. One segment will be dissolved into the pages of time; the other will continue the mission of Christ. Jesus told his closest disciples "the gates of hell will not overcome the church! " Therefore, the saints of the "Most High God" have tak- en strength through the ages when adversity from within the ranks of the church has created conflict and division. The apostle Paul wrote the church at Corinth, "I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined to- gether in the same mind and in the same judgment. These words were written with- in 30 years-three decades-of the Lord's resurrection! Therefore, the church has struggled with in- ternal conflict without end. Nev- ertheless, the church thrived and changed the course of history. The 21st century had an omi- nous beginning with the war on terrorism and no end is in sight. The struggles in the Middle East and elsewhere have their founda- tions far in the past; few politicians are willing to discuss why the na- tions are fermenting. The same is found within the church. The culture of our time seems to be a mirror of the church-or may- be it is vice versa. The issue of full inclusion of gays and the redefini- tion of the family and sexuality is the tip of the spear of societal and church change. The real issue within the church is what values and doctrines will define it. The orthodox holds to the historical teachings of the church that has its roots in the ear- ly church fathers through the fifth century AD. The progressive faction holds that God's word across time does not change, but evolves. It requires time for the Holy Spirit to work among His people to change their attitudes. At stake is the direction of the church. For within the progres- sive arm lies High Textual Criti- cism which questions the validity of the scriptures and the resurrec- tion of Jesus. Without the resurrection, Chris- tianity is a powerless clan of good teachings, on par with the Buddha and Confucius. The apostle Paul understood this when he wrote the Church at Corinth, "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrec- tion of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not ris- en, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, The Bulletin of Atomic Scien- tists recently moved its Dooms- day Clock to just two minutes un- til midnight—the closest the clock has come to the destruction of the world since the United States and Soviet Union tested thermonuclear bombs in 1953. Yet how, one could reasonably ask, could the world be more dangerous than it was during the height of the Cold War, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962? Based on any objective view of world events, the Doomsday Clock should be moving backward or at least staying the same. Instead, the clock is being propelled inex- orably forward by the Bulletin's overwhelmingly liberal interpre- tation of world events. The Bulletin used to be com- posed of a balanced group of dis- tinguished nuclear scientists such as Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Those days are long past. Now the group counts former California Gov. Jerry Brown as its executive chair. Its assessment paints the Unit- ed States as the primary driver of destabilization, while ignoring— and in some cases, even oppos- ing—U.S. efforts to halt adver- sary provocations and make the world safer. The Bulletin blames the U.S. with- drawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ( JCPOA) for Iran's efforts to resume uranium en- richment. Howev- er, the JCPOA would have allowed Iran to enrich urani- um without limits or threat of sanc- tions when the sunset clauses in the deal expire. Considering Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and hos- tile actions against the United States and its allies in the Middle East even before the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, an Iran with billions of extra dollars from sanctions relief plus freedom to en- rich uranium would drastically in- crease the chance of military con- flict. Now, the United States can deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weap- on by the threat of punishment while also imposing sanctions that constrain the amount of resources the regime can dedicate to a nu- clear program. As a re- sult of Iran's recent hos- tile actions, it seems the scales have finally begun to fall from the rest of the world's eyes as Iran continues to ex- pose its aggressive in- tentions and behavior. The Bulletin goes on to criticize what it de- scribes as America's "bullying and derisive tone" to- ward its adversaries, leading to an "assault on arms control." But this accusation dismisses Russia's extensive past of violating agree- ments, including the Open Skies Treaty, Conventional Forces in Eu- rope Treaty, and Chemical Weap- ons Convention. Despite its bla- tant violations of the Intermediate- Range Forces Treaty, Russia has accused the United States of be- ing provocative, all while develop- ing destabilizing new weapons sys- tems outside of New START, such as a nuclear-powered cruise mis- sile and an unmanned underwa- Continued on page 5 Continued on page 5 There is poetic justice in the cha- os we've witnessed in Iowa. First, the Des Moines Register pulled its definitive poll, to which everyone turns as the final word be- fore the caucuses, because of "ir- regularities." Then results of the caucuses themselves were hung out to dry because of "inconsistencies." No one ever said that making po- litical sausage is pretty. But it is for this very reason that we should want to minimize the extent to which political sausage- making impacts our lives. But if those who are running for the pres- idency in the Democratic Party get their way, we can only expect more and more of it. We too often make the mistake of thinking that democracy and free- dom are the same thing. This is a big mistake. Democracy is about the process by which we elect government. Freedom is about how big that gov- ernment is and how much of our lives it controls. Democrats will talk to us forev- er about the former but could care less about the latter. The rhetoric from all these Dem- ocrats boils down to how they claim they're going to make our lives bet- ter by increasing government/po- litical power over every decision we make. More government power over health care, education, housing and business. More power in the hands of politicians in general to determine what is fair and not fair. In the end, private citizens will cower in the corner waiting for marching orders about what they're allowed to do. History tells us, as did the found- ers of our country, that the path to corruption is giving politicians more power. It's why they wrote in our Dec- laration of Independence that our freedom comes from God. Govern- ment's job, they wrote, is to protect it. Those who think the main is- sue facing us is how we elect poli- ticians, rather than the power that we give to politicians, need to look at what has happened in Iowa. What divides America today are those who aspire to American ide- als of individual freedom and those who want to crush it and turn our lives over to a governing political class. The growth in government over the last half-century has been about the growth in political pow- er. In 1970, 35% of the federal bud- get consisted of so-called transfer payments, that is, government tak- ing money from taxpayers and re- cycling to others by way of govern- ment programs. Today it's 70 % . And with all the talk about de- mocracy, it's done in a most undem- ocratic way. Instead of raising tax- es so voters know what's happen- ing, the government just borrows the money. It's like turning your credit card over to your neighbor. Now we've got a federal govern- ment debt load the size of our whole economy. Scholars from Stanford University's Hoover Institution es- timated recently that the national debt will soon amount to a quarter million dollars per every American family of four. Unfortunately, after the civil rights movement, A frican Ameri- cans largely bought the lie that gov- ernment would make their lives fre- er and fairer. Government took over large por- tions of their lives — housing, ed- ucation, health care, welfare. The main thing that happened by turn- ing government into a deity is that the real values that free us were pushed aside. Black marriage and families were decimated. And today, black poverty, and the gap between black household income and wealth and the nation- al averages, are not much different from half a century ago. It's why I called one of my books "Uncle Sam's Plantation." The truth is it doesn't mat- ter which Democrat wins in Iowa or elsewhere. They all have the Heritage Viewpoint By Patty-Jane Geller Why the doomsday clock is wrong

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