My question may sound socialistic to some of my fellow conservatives; nonetheless it is a question that must be addressed.¬† ¬†American high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, but the education gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Noble and expensive attempts to close this gap‚ÄĒincluding subsidized preschool and the controversial implementation of the Common Core State Standards‚ÄĒhave largely failed. In the case of Common Core, where wealthy and middle class parents are hiring tutors to compensate for its weaknesses, the ‚Äúreform‚ÄĚ aimed at equalizing the playing field may actually be making the problem worse.
Early in August, I flew from New York to Tel Aviv.¬† I was a part of a faith oriented solidarity trip, with Christians United for Israel, focused on supporting Israel from a prayer and public policy perspective. In my mind this was a humanitarian trip ‚Äď it was made up of a diverse group of 51 ministers representing all 50 states plus Washington, DC. We prayed earnestly for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel. Of special concern to everyone was the protection of women and children of all faiths and ethnicities.
Can you imagine a television program airing in America that portrayed Muhammad as a foul-mouthed pothead? Given that earlier this year ABC canceled¬†Alice in Arabia‚ÄĒa show about an Arab-American who goes to live with her grandparents in Saudi Arabia‚ÄĒbecause CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) complained that the show relied on stereotypes of Muslims, it seems highly unlikely. Yet¬†Black Jesus¬†‚Äďthe latest reminder that Christianity is the only major religion it is universally permissible to denigrate‚ÄĒbegan airing August 7 on Adult Swim.
While most Americans favor the idea of a social safety net, it is a mistake to think that expanding that net to engulf most of the middle class will promote the kind of behavior that leads to greater prosperity. In fact, research demonstrates that greater dependence on government does not encourage the honest hard work necessarily for a thriving economy.
Fifty years after Dylan‚Äôs riveting verses, special interest groups‚Äô claims about both the nature and dynamics of marriage are changing more dramatically than any of the social phenomenon of the‚Äô60‚Äôs. For years, the argument for deeply altering an ancient institution was framed entirely in terms of individual ‚Äúrights.‚ÄĚ We were told homosexuals possessed an inherent right to have their relationships deemed ‚Äúmarriage,‚ÄĚ end of story.
America prides itself on being the land of the free, but over the past four decades our prison population has risen tenfold. We have by far the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and as a consequence, at least 2.7 million children have at least one parent in prison. Some fathers have abandoned their children, but others have been locked away from them.
The Americans who will bear the brunt of the influx of illegal immigrants over our southern border are not the policy makers in Washington or the supposedly compassionate elites in New York or San Francisco. It is mostly Latino communities that will be exposed to communicable diseases and crime as more and more unscreened individuals make their way into the general population.
Every sensible person wants to live in a peaceful country, but there are two fundamentally different views of how to best achieve this. The first holds that war is an inevitable part of the human experience and that the best way to achieve peace is to make one‚Äôs country an unattractive target for would-be attackers. The second view sees war as an anomaly that must have a specific and treatable cause. Eliminate the ‚Äúcause,‚ÄĚ and you can have world peace. The first view is often associated with constantly strengthening one‚Äôs defense capabilities, while the latter may be associated with greater reliance on efforts to appease one‚Äôs enemies.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more parents are going into larger amounts of debt in order to finance their children‚Äôs education. Since 1999, the number of parents taking out loans for their children‚Äôs college has grown 60 percent, while the amount of debt they are incurring (adjusted for inflation) has increased 40 percent. For students who take out their own loans, about 10 percent will default the first year after graduation, according to the Department of Education. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the class of 2012 owes and average of more than $29,000.
Most of the media coverage has understandably focused on the apparent inability of the Nigerian government to rescue the girls, who were students at a Western-style boarding school. But the evil act also shined the light on two horrifying practices: child marriage and polygamy. For those of us who have lived our entire lives in societies that do not tolerate such things, the fact that they are still commonly practiced in some parts of the world is almost unimaginable.