Obama/Biden Get Cold Shoulder At Community College

Obama and Biden took a “road trip” to Oakdale, PA to tout a new spending program to expand technical training at community colleges. The clapping was sparse as they continued to blame others for the failed economy and job opportunities.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

An Important Reminder On Good Friday Why Christians Forgive

On the cross, Christ personified ultimate forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Christ is forgiveness incarnate.

Our responsibility to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14) requires us to practice forgiveness. Indeed, the failure to forgive is described by Christ in the most serious of terms. “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Hence the statement by Fyodor Dostoevsky in “The Friend of the Family.” Dostoevsky writes, “I am a Christian; I cannot refuse to forgive.”

Forgiveness may be the ultimate family therapy. In “Light from Heaven” Jan Karon writes, “Love is an act of endless forgiveness.” A marriage without forgiveness will be short.

Through forgiveness, we learn to love; through love, we learn to forgive. George MacDonald, in “The Laird’s Inheritance,” pens, “He who does not need much cannot know much, any more than he who is not forgiven much can love much.”

The resulting comfort is pervasive. For instance, in “A Parchment of Leaves,” Silas House writes, “She could drift off in this peace of being forgiven.” When families function well, forgiveness is ever present and pervasive. In “Le Pere Goriot,” Honoré de Balzac writes, “We two, you know, we’re the only people in the world who’ll always love you enough to forgive you, no matter what. You see? Family feelings are the safest of all.”

Yet, it doesn’t always work the way it should in our families. George MacDonald comments upon this in “The Gentlewoman’s Choice.” He writes, “For a father not to forgive is far worse than for a son to need forgiveness.”

But then again, it goes both ways. In “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde observes, “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

By definition, forgiveness is given, not taken. Although in our society, we often say, “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” In fact, forgiveness is granted, not assumed. The presumption of forgiveness is never justification for our faulty treatment of others.

In “The Axe,” Sigrid Undset writes, “Now it dawned on her that, when she received God’s forgiveness, she would no longer desire to escape her punishment.” The consequences of our errors often outlive forgiveness. The anger can be relinquished, but not all consequences will disappear.

The reality of forgiveness does not eliminate the natural consequences or the need for justice. Naguib Mahfouz, in “Arabian Nights and Days,” suggests, “Justice possesses disparate methods, among them the sword and among them forgiveness. God has His own wisdom.”

Failure to recognize one’s harms and sins prevents a true forgiveness. As Anthony Trollope, in “Can You Forgive Her,” penned, “I think that she may be forgiven, in that she had never brought herself to think lightly of her own fault.”

Without the divine virtue of forgiveness, we are a hopeless people. In her book “The Last Time They Met,” Anita Shreve asks, “What was left but forgiveness? Without it, she was suddenly certain, what there was of her life would be a torture, right down to the death agonies of the nursing home.”

Although Ollie Jones claimed that “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round,” you can also argue that forgiveness keeps it in balance. In “The Shack,” William Young writes, “Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes.”

As we age and mature, we face the realities of pain and suffering, the consequences of sin, and the realities of the human condition. In his popular book “Presumed Innocent,” Scott Turow observes, “To go beyond our old troubles will require a treacherous journey across nearly unspannable chasms to grace and forgiveness.”

The chasm, however, is only unspannable in human terms. As Trollope again writes, “Have you no trust in God’s providence? Cannot you accept what has been done for you?”

Father, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

But Father, please don’t stop there. My forgiving of my debtors is imperfect, incomplete, and finite. Please view my imperfect forgiving of my debtors through the righteousness of Christ.

Trollope sums it up well in “Phineas Redux.” He writes, “When they take my life may He forgive my sins through the merits of my Savior.”

This Easter, and everyday forward, let’s remember that Jesus Christ is forgiveness incarnate.

 

Dr. Gary L. Welton is assistant dean for institutional assessment, professor of psychology at Grove City College, and a contributor to The Center for Vision & Values. He is a recipient of a major research grant from the Templeton Foundation to investigate positive youth development.

Photo credit: Víctor Nuño (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

WATCH The Inspiring Sermon That Fueled The Bundy Protesters’ Courage

During the Revolutionary War, the Black Robe Regiment was the most feared by the British authorities. Pastor Chuck Baldwin, the chaplain of the Bundy Ranch, delivered this sermon to the protesters in that fine tradition.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Hillary Clinton’s Real Legacy. You Won’t Hear This In Mainstream Media

When recently asked what she was most proud of from her time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton replied that the office was like a “relay race.” “When you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton,” she said. Mrs. Clinton was unable to cite any specific achievement, though she did make the rather dubious claim that “I think we really restored American leadership in the best sense.”

Even some of her most ardent admirers couldn’t figure out a good answer to the question about her greatest achievement, during a discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard raised the question of what accomplishments make Hillary the most qualified Democrat to be the next president. John Heilemann said he would wait for her next book to come out to help inform him how to answer that question, while Chuck Todd rambled on about Secretary Clinton’s reticence to get publicly involved in controversial issues, and playing a quieter role, thus preventing her from being able to claim any great achievements.

But the legacy of Hillary Clinton is turning out to be one of incompetence, bungled efforts, chicanery, and outright scandal. Her most famous words have become, “What difference at this point does it make?” referring to how the four brave Americans died in Benghazi in September of 2012. And a number of other scandals have followed her, both from before and during her tenure as Secretary of State. The latest is about $6 billion in contract dollars that the State Department lost track of over the last six years.

According to the Inspector General report:

  •   There was a lack of paperwork: of 115 contracts sampled from the U.S. Mission in Iraq, 33 could not be produced.
  •   There was missing documentation: the Bureau of African Affairs couldn’t provide complete files for any of the eight contracts requested.
  •   There were conflicts of interest: a $52 million contract was awarded to a “company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee performing as a Contract Specialist for the contract.”
  •   Payments were sent when they weren’t supposed to be: $792,782 was sent to a contractor, “even though the contract file did not contain documents to support the payment.”
  •   Contracts were even hidden: “The related contract file was not properly maintained and for a period of time was hidden…This contract was valued at $100 million.”

All in all, this creates “conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file,” according to the IG report.

“One of the reasons our loose money-no-object, budgets-optional approach to debt-fueled government is so dangerous is that it lets high-rolling bureaucrats get lax with the paperwork,” writes John Hayward for Human Events. “The sort of $6 billion error that would annihilate pretty much any private company barely rates media coverage.”

The Washington Post covered this scandal, as they do many Washington, D.C. developments. “[Inspector General Steve] Linick took over the job in late September, after it had been vacant for nearly six years,” they note. What a coincidence that the potential for fraud escalated in the same time frame. And remarkably, but not surprisingly, the Post article never once mentioned the name Clinton, though this largely took place on her watch.

But don’t look to the mainstream media for this story to make headlines or appear on the prime time shows. As a presidential hopeful for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is the media’s current darling, and needs to be shielded from stories like this.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Rahm Emmanuel’s Police Superintendent Caught Faking Low Homicide Rate

Other than hitting the perfect tee shot, nothing is more gratifying than the sight of liberals hoisted by a petard fashioned of their own corruption.

In May of 2011, anti-gun lunatic Garry McCarthy was named Chicago Police Superintendent by mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Though making all of the usual promises about reducing the city’s crime rate, during his first full year–2012–Chicago recorded 507 murders, the most since 2008 and more than in any year since 2003.

Of course, more important than 507 dead was the fact that Emanuel’s approval rate seemed to decline another notch with the discovery of each new corpse.

So in January of 2013, Emanuel had a friendly sit-down with his police superintendent, during which McCarthy was told that a repeat of the 2012 murder statistics would find him packing.

And lo and behold, a miracle occurred. In December of 2013, Emanuel and McCarthy called a joint press conference to inform Chicagoans that the city was on track “…to have its lowest homicide rate since 1967 and its lowest violent crime rate for nearly as long.” “This is not just 2013 against 2012,” said Emanuel. “This is 2013 against the last 40 years. That is what is significant.” Naturally, most of the media pitched in with round the clock praise for the mayor and his police wunderkind.

But not everyone was willing to accept the word of Chicago’s dynamic duo. Except for the spike in murders during 2012, Chicago’s crime rate had fallen dramatically from 2010 to 2013, TOO dramatically.  “Index crimes,” the 8 violent and property crimes that make up the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, had dropped by 59% in the city. And this with 10% fewer police on the street than in 2011. A veteran police sergeant commented that the extraordinary reduction in crime “makes no sense,” continuing with, “and it makes absolutely no sense that people believe it. Yet people believe it.”

But Chicago’s inspector general and the people at Chicago Magazine did NOT believe it. This year, the IG’s office finalized an audit of assault related crimes in the city during 2012. The audit found that “…the department under-counted aggravated assaults and batteries by more than 24 percent, based on the sample cases reviewed.” Chicago Magazine discovered examples of 10 murders, people “…who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents…”

In short, Police Superintendent McCarthy and department higher-ups accomplished their remarkable, 3 year reduction in crime by–to put it charitably–”…changing how certain crimes are categorized.” For example, homicides as initially reported by case officers would be quietly downgraded to non-criminal events.  Chicago Magazine reported that “…many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances in which they were asked or pressured by their superiors to reclassify their incident reports or in which their reports were changed by some invisible hand. One detective refers to the “magic ink:” the power to make a case disappear.”

And unlike news of graft and corruption during the Daley years, this story is being reported. Two weeks ago, Chicago Magazine published the first of a two part article revealing the underhanded crime reporting methods of the CPD.  The Chicago Sun Times revealed lies told by McCarthy, including his having assured a reporter that the department had NOT changed the way it “measures statistics” (that is, reports crimes.)

Garry McCarthy has (probably with the knowledge of Rahm Emanuel) deceived the people of Chicago and done an unforgivable disservice to crime victims and their families. If this story gathers enough steam to damage Rahm Emanuel, McCarthy might well be gone.

And how will Emanuel handle it? If he tosses McCarthy under the bus by claiming to have known nothing about the crime reporting fraud, will McCarthy rat him out?

What fun, as December’s liberal heroes are revealed to be the slimy rats they are.

Photo credit: Viewminder (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom