The Press-Dispatch

January 13, 2021

The Press-Dispatch

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B-8 Wednesday, Januar y 13, 2021 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 Race for the Cure By Star Parker Will the real racists in America raise their hands? While sitting in the Delta lounge in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight back to Washington, a white gentleman approached me and struck up a conversation. Politics was on his mind, and see- ing me, a black woman, he was sure that he had found a kindred spirit to share his hopes that Democrats will prevail in both U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia. I politely straightened him out, leaving him a bit in shock that he had incorrectly assumed that see- ing the outside of me was sufficient information to know what is going on inside of me. There is a word for this: stereo- typing. Is this gentleman a bad man? I don't know. But he is proof of the horrible suc- cess of the perception of racism in- dustry that has been damaging our country since the 1960s. The result is today's identity politics, diversity politics and all the politics of the left that promote the notion that what is relevant is the outside of a person, what he or she looks like, not what is going on inside the person. With all the screaming about rac- ism, a huge story of recent months hardly received any attention. May- be because it doesn't fit into the sto- ry that our left-wing media want to report about what they call racism. Several months ago, the Cen- sus Bureau issued its annual report called "Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019." According to the report, real me- dian black household income in 2019 was up 7.9 % — the largest annual in- crease in median black household income in history. This put the in- crease in black household income in 2019 1.1 points higher than the 6.8 % increase for the nation as a whole. Further, for the first time ever, the percentage of high-income black households exceeded the percentage of low-income black households. In 2019, 29.4% of black households had income of $75,000 or more, com- pared with 28.7% of black households that had income of $25,000 or less. In 1967, per the Census Bureau, 9.1% of black households had in- come of $75,000 or more, and 44.5% of black households had income of $25,000 or less. Contrary to what blares out daily from liberal media, A frican Ameri- cans are not getting a raw deal in our country. In fact, as this new data from the Census Bureau shows, A frican Americans are systematically get- ting ahead and improving their lives. One area of enormous improve- ment is in education achievement, which no doubt is a major factor in the improvement in income of black households. According to the Census Bureau, in 2019, the black high school com- pletion rate was 98 % of the national average. Back in 1980, it was about 75% . In 2019, 29.6 % of blacks ages 25 and above completed four years of college. In 1980, this stood at 11.6 % . The rejoinder from the left is yes, but black average incomes still lag behind white average incomes. My answer is that what drives hu- man achievement is the same for ev- eryone. It comes from lofty goals and a sense of each individual that it is up to them, their character and hard work to achieve those goals. Teaching black children that they are living in a racist country and that they have no chance without govern- ment intervention, without diversi- ty politics, without receiving special treatment because of their race de- stroys that child's sense of humani- ty, personal uniqueness and person- al responsibility. We have two competing cultures in America today. One culture says that life is, by nature, hard and that achievement comes from diligence, good character and struggle. The other culture says that life is only hard if it is unfair, and that life can be made fair and easy through politics. The latter is the culture of the left, which damages the very individuals it pretends to help. If we want to build a more perfect union, believe that every person is Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 This past week has been rather tough for me. The first issue is about my mother, popularly known as Sun- shine in the facility she was staying at in Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada . Her original name was Asuncion but because of her ever pleasant dispo- sition, the whole staff changed her name because it was probably easi- er to remember Sunshine. She was 104 years old. She was the oldest in the facility where she was living. I have shared in the past a glimpse of her life, like when she reached her 100 years of life. So ma- ny would ask me, "What was the se- cret to her long life? " Well, I think I know a little bit. Her father passed away at 85 years of age but her mom I think passed away at a younger age. Her siblings passed on mostly when they were in their 70s and 80s. So genetics might have played a role in this. My mom was a school teacher and retired when she was in her mid-fif- ties upon immigrating to Canada. Here's what I think contributed to her longevity. This is my humble opin- ion. I think I know some things about longevity because of the work I did be- fore retirement. My mom as I re- member her was such a kind and a gentle person. She never said a bad word, she was always kind and for- giving, never participated in gos- sip or drama, but did raise her voice when she sensed something was not right, like when as kids we would misbehave. And that was rare, because we had a very strict father who kept all of us in line. When I say strict, he was like a staff sergeant, having been in the military for a short time in his life. So, my mom was always our go-to when we had to seek comfort and safety. My mom was always kind and loving to my dad. She would never cross him. Nev- er raised her voice, and for those who are familiar with the scripture, she followed Ephesians 5:22-24. Mom would always share whatever she could. I remem- ber our house became like a dorm for many of our rela- tives who wanted to study in the schools not available in their hometowns. It was not uncommon for several of my cousins to stay in our house for the duration of their schooling or work. Mom was not prone to over-in- dulge in her eating or buying items she needed. She was always prayer- ful and was very faithful in attending her Sunday obligations. She delight- ed in seeing and bonding with her My Point of View By H. K. Fenol, Jr., M.D. A tribute to my Mom Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 Give Me a Break By John Stossel More good news Eye on the Economy By Stephen Moore Coronavirus for dummies Walking in history's deceptions I was in the Dallas airport on No- vember 22, and I decided to go down- town and walk the scene, again, of John F. Kennedy's assassination. I've been there several times be- fore, acquainting myself with the geography and the geometry of the accursed crime scene. During the depths of the Pandemic lockdown, traffic was so light that it was safe to walk into the street and stand on the two X marks, looking back toward the sixth floor window of the Texas Book Depository, and then ahead to- ward the grassy knoll. I paced the grassy knoll itself, now mostly paved for parking, but retain- ing the same fenceline that rimmed it in 1963. There are obstructions to the view of the two X marks in the street, so it's not difficult to estimate where a shooter would have needed to stand to get off a clear shot at the president, to make his head snap back toward the rear of the car. But that was always during hot weather. I wanted to go back in late November, after trees had dropped their leaves, when there was some bite in the air. I missed an anniversary ceremony by a few hours. It was a small turn- out, and somebody blew Taps on a bu- gle, according to a chatty visitor from Delaware. He comes to the decenni- al observances, and to a few off-year gatherings. He said nearly 10,000 people showed up for the 30 -year an- niversary in 1993, the year after the JFK movie came out. It's hard to imagine an America in which people don't care about the JFK assassination anymore, but no imagination is required. Just look around. We have been outwaited. Kennedy was almost certainly a victim of the Deep State. The FBI botched the investigation so badly, it could not have been accidental. Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald left a note at the FBI office in Dallas for an agent he knew. The Bureau not on- ly destroyed the note, but expunged the FBI agent's name from Oswald's address book before turning a sani- tized "transcript" over to the presi- dential "Warren" Commission. This was consistent with the Bu- reau's marching orders from the Department of Justice, composed just hours after Oswald was gunned down in police custody. Deputy At- torney General Nicholas Katzenbach proposed a clean bill of health from the FBI in a memo he sent to Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers (yes, that Bill Moyers) almost before the corpses were cold. Attorney Gen- eral Bobby Kennedy had apparent- ly lost control of his department, as his subordinates were already acting with great autonomy. "The public must be satisfied," Katzenbach wrote Moyers, "that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial." Check. Katzenbach was al- so the first to propose a blue-ribbon presidential commission to investi- gate and report its findings on the assassination. Declassified documents establish that the CIA directed its officers to withhold active cooperation from the Warren Commission. The Commis- sion never learned, for example, of the CIA's previous contacts with Os- wald. The Commission's own chairman, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, forbade the questioning of witnesses in Mexico who knew Os- wald. The FBI had an informant, future president Gerald Ford, on the in- side. Ford kept the FBI apprised of the Commission's internal delibera- tions, and identified two fellow Com- missioners who doubted that the kill shot was fired from the Texas Book Depository. Warren denied fellow commission- ers access to photographs from the president's autopsy, based on his opinion that they were too disturb- ing. This is especially troubling be- cause Secret Service ruffians men- aced Dallas medical examiner Earl Rose when he insisted, in accordance with Texas law, on conducting an au- topsy on the president's body. There was, therefore, no independent au- topsy, and the federal government's autopsy was never subjected to War- ren Commission scrutiny. Kennedy's body was flown back Lucid Moments By Bart Stinson Islamic terror has been trending down for five years. Some American officials said this would never happen. America has failed to properly fight terrorism, said former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, so it "has spread, gaining countless new ad- herents." Others said fundamentalism's de- mand for religious obedience over individual freedom means "peace is not possible." Muslims will never em- brace Enlightenment ideals like in- dividual freedom and separation of church and state. But Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, of the group Ideas Beyond Borders, calls that view "ignorant." He says Mid- dle Eastern young people are mov- ing away from fundamentalism. Sur- veys do show Middle Eastern youth are becoming less religious and less trusting of religious leaders. Faisal credits the internet. "Face- book, the social media entry to the Middle East, has been kind of revo- lutionary." It introduced young peo- ple to American sitcoms. "Friends" and "Seinfeld," subtitled in Arabic, "show you what good life looks like." Faisal grew up in Iraq and had a very different upbringing. "I was told, 'you cannot hold hands with this woman... cannot listen to that music.'" That leads young people to "develop a lot of re- sentment against the establishment." But until social media was invented, most didn't know about alternatives. A fter Faisal es- caped Iraq and dis- covered the free- doms of America, he started Ideas Beyond Borders, which translates articles and books about individual rights into Arabic. They also make short videos about these ideas. His social media following grew quickly. One of his Facebook pages has 3.5 million likes. "People were searching for it," he says in my new- est video because, "This was the first time the ideas of freedom and liber- ty were available in Arabic." He asks his audience what vid- eos they would like to see and what books "that if you publish yourself, you might get blown up" they would like translated next. "They often say Steven Pinker," he says. "What does Steven Pinker say that deserves being blown up? " I ask. "Enlightenment," he replies. "The values of reason, and science, and separation of church and state, in this case, mosque and state. And freedom of economy. Freedom of movement has really led to a prosperous so- ciety." In the last few years, more young people have pushed back against their countries' repression. "They want indi- vidual rights. They want free- dom of speech," says Al Mu- tar. At those protests, Faisal's volun- teers set up tents and pass out West- ern books like "Lying" by Sam Har- ris and Pinker's "Enlightenment Now." Some of his supporters have been attacked by radicals. One was killed. But Faisal claims young people are winning the war of ideas. I push back. "I've been told opti- mistic things before. Arab Spring was supposed to change everything." Arab Spring was "overblown," he replies. But then the brief rule of ISIS changed the minds of some even very religious people. "Some believed in the concepts that ISIS advocated... establishing a caliphate and establishing religious We are now almost one year from the dark days when the coronavirus first hit these shores. Why are the politicians' making the same policy mistakes today that they made nine months ago? The 300,000 + deaths are an act of nature, but the virus's death and despair have been com- pounded by acts of man — i.e., fool- ish politicians. Haven't we learned anything about how to combat this virus without slamming shut our economy? Yes. And so, in the hopes that these er- rors of government are corrected, I present some well-established truths about how to keep us safe from the virus: No. 1: Yes, COVID-19 is a very dan- gerous disease for those over the age of 70 and for those who are severe- ly overweight or with preexisting health issues. For young and healthy people, the risks remain miniscule. No. 2: Lockdowns have had very limited efficacy in reducing death rates from the virus. I recently ex- amined the correlation between the stringency of business lockdowns in states and their cor- responding death rates. The relation- ship is slightly posi- tive. In other words, strict lockdowns have NOT been a smart strategy to stop the spread of the disease. Se- questering the el- derly and the in- firm is a much more effective strate- gy — something New York, New Jer- sey and Michigan failed to do. No. 3: The factor most associat- ed with death rates from the virus is the population density of an area. Pandemics are primarily urban dis- eases. If you want to minimize your health risks, get out of the big cities like Chicago or New York. No. 4: The only statistically signifi- cant impact of lockdowns is SEVERE and potentially long-term damage to the local and state businesses and workers. Another way to put this is lockdowns do not flatten the curve of the virus, but they do flatten the economy and put millions of Americans in long unemployment lines. No. 5: Almost all of the se- vere lockdowns are in blue states with Democratic gov- ernors, and these are the states with very high unem- ployment rates. Here are the unemployment rates in blue states with severe lockdowns: New Jersey 10 % , Nevada 10.1% , New York 8.4% , Connecticut 8.4% , and Califor- nia 8.2 % . These blue-state unemploy- ment rates are almost twice as high as the rates in states that have mini- mal or no lockdowns: Nebraska 3.1% , South Dakota 3.5% , Iowa 3.6 % , Utah 4.3% , and Alabama 4.4% . No. 6: The blue states of Ameri- ca, led by Democratic governors and mayors, have tragically turned GOOD

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