Thursday, June 10, 2021

America Transformed By Ronald J. Pestritto

 

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America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism

By Ronald J. Pestritto

America's premier scholar of the Progressive movement, Ronald J. Pestritto has a new book out this week: America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism: Pestritto, that is "a definitive - and accessible - account of how the rejection of America's founding principles in the name of 'progress' is responsible for the decline of American governance over the last century."

The America of the modern administrative state is not the America of the original Constitution. This transformation comes not only from the ordinary course of historical change and development, but also from a radical, new philosophy of government that was imported into the American political tradition by the Progressives of the late nineteenth century.

The new thinking about the principles of government - and open hostility to the American Constitution - led to a host of concrete changes in American political institutions. Our government today reflects these original Progressive innovations, even if they are often unrecognized as such because they have become ingrained in American political culture.

In America Transformed, you'll learn:

·    How rule by experts today (the pandemic, in particular) is connected to Progressive thought;

·    What the connection of today's Left is to the original Progressives;

·    How Progressives built the administrative state that governs us today;

·    How modern jurisprudence reflects Progressive philosophy; and

·    How Progressives introduced the idea of limitless government into the American political tradition.

America Transformed shows the nature of the changes made by the Progressives, both in principles and in the nuts and bolts of governing. It also shows how progressivism was often at the root of critical developments subsequent to the Progressive Era in more recent American political history - how it was different from the New Deal, the liberalism of the 1960s, and today's liberalism, and also how these subsequent developments could not have transpired without the ground laid by the original Progressives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ronald J. Pestritto ("RJ") is Graduate Dean and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy, American political thought, and American politics, and holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

How to be a Successful Pundit

By Sandy Frazier So you've decided to expand your career by becoming a pundit - an analyst, a commentator expounding on news stories in your chosen area of expertise. Talk radio hosts and producers will be very receptive to you if you stick by a few tried and true principles. Always remember, you're marketing yourself as a BRAND - a trusted source of information. Listen to the guests who frequent talk radio - those who have become household names and have expanded their horizons to become world-renowned authors - famous for what they know. Watch them and learn from them. Stay with what you know and use your experience, your assets and natural talents. For instance, if you're an expert on the economy and finance, don't suddenly decide to start blogging or write a book on theatre in the 21st century and expect it to go anywhere. Stick with what you do best! Your Web Presence:
  • The most important thing today in becoming successful at almost ANYTHING is to develop a great Web presence. Work on it. Do some research by 'Googling' your name and find out what's on the Web about you before you get started, so you can eliminate things you don't want out there and build an image that will take you where you want to go. If you've got several Web sites, consolidate them into one neat professional site.
  • Buy your domain - preferably your name (i.e., http://www.sandyfrazier.com) and point all other Web sites to this main domain. List social networking pages on your main page. Make sure your domain has a blog that is easy for you to work with. If you've got a complicated name that's difficult to spell or pronounce, consider nicknames or alternative wording. 
  • Make sure you've got a clear and concise bio that is not too lengthy or complicated. Your "About" or "Bio" page should consist of your title, a few paragraphs highlighting your accomplishments, your education, books you've published, videos you've posted online (i.e., YouTube) and a great headshot. You can create a separate page if you've got media experience (radio/TV interviews, news clippings, etc.). NEVER include personal information about your spouse, your children or where you live and try not to go on about hobbies or avocations.
  • Work on your image. Get yourself a great headshot (format: hi-res .jpg). You don't have to spend a fortune on professional pictures. Take a digital camera outside on a clear day and have a friend or family member shoot a number of photographs from which you can choose. Use common sense: make sure your teeth are white, your makeup clean, your clothes bright and neat.
  • Social Networking - Use social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to your advantage by keeping your personal postings completely separate from your professional pages. Try to only post items that are relative to your professional goals, and will inspire your followers to seek out your expert advice, follow you online and on the radio.
Your Area of Expertise:
  • Get in the habit of blogging at least once a week on your area of expertise. It'll help you discipline yourself to not only become a better writer, but to really hone in on ways to express yourself in your chosen field.
  • Try to come up with a witty new angle on a topic or news story you're covering. As you do the research for your blog, try to use not only online sources, such as Google and Yahoo! but also print media, books, broadcast, TV reports, and especially life experience.
  • Try not to be too eclectic in your choice of topics - stay on target and blog about what you know best and you'll be invited on talk radio and TV shows on a continuous basis, which will not only build your reputation, but will increase the value of your brand: YOU.
  • In this day and age of self-publishing, everyone is an author, but few turn out quality work. If you decide to write a book, make sure you work HARD on it and do the research necessary to make it something really special - a book with a "hook" - timely information that will be sought after by talk radio and cable network TV producers. Don't assume because you're really knowledgeable about something, you need to write a book. If you choose the self-publishing route, make sure you're not turning out a pamphlet - write a COMPLETE BOOK before you go through all the work involved in trying to get it published or spending the money on self-publishing. And make sure you edit it well and even work with an editor if you can.
Preparing for Interviews:
  • Once you've built your Web site and you're ready to go, you'll start getting offers to be a guest on talk radio. When you receive an invitation, the topic will be your current blog. Before the interview, make sure you're prepared and have some interesting facts/statistics ready to quote. You can even jot down some notes or some humorous or witty anecdotes you'd like to mention in the interview. That's the wonderful thing about phone interviews on talk radio - you can sit in front of your computer and Google as you go!
  • Check the Web site of the radio show prior to the interview so you can familiarize yourself with the host and the show in general. Radio hosts are generally egomaniacs and they love it if you know who they are.
  • Always plug your Web site (main domain) and if you're promoting a book, refer to the book several times throughout. You've decided to be a pundit so you will become a trusted source of information; so make sure your name gets out there and they know how to reach you online.
You'll be a great pundit if you're able to keep a clear head while you're on the air and no matter how argumentative the hosts or callers get, you've done your homework, you know your facts and you're confident! The 21st century is offering us all tremendous opportunities to get our names out there like never before! Take advantage of all the technology that is at your fingertips and you'll be a household name before you know it!

A Dubious Expediency: How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education


A DUBIOUS EXPEDIENCY

How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education

By Gail Heriot & Maimon Schwarzchild

Is higher education on the right road? In the new Encounter book, A Dubious Expediency: How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education, the authors of these eight essays are hardly the first to think not.

In the now-famous Bakke case (1976), the California Supreme Court had to decide whether what some view as the "good kind" of race discrimination - preferential treatment for minorities in college and university admissions - violates the Constitution. To Justice Stanley Mosk, up to then considered by many to be a civil rights hero, the answer was clear. Writing for the majority, he insisted: "To uphold [the University of California's argument for race-preferential admissions] would call for the sacrifice of principle for the sake of dubious expediency and would represent a retreat in the struggle to assure that each man and woman shall be judged on the basis of individual merit alone."

Alas, the university took its case up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Justices fractured into three camps. The result was to open the door to more than a half-century of "diversity" admissions.

In A Dubious Expediency, you'll learn that:

·    These days, ordinary Americans are reluctant to speak out against race-preferential college admissions. They shouldn't be. Race discrimination is wrong no matter who is being discriminated against, and polls dating back to the 1970s show that people know that.

·    Race-preferential admissions have backfired badly. Instead of bringing more African Americans into the economic mainstream, they have made it more difficult for talented African Americans to enter into high-status careers like medicine, engineering and science. 

·    On campuses all over the country, separate dormitories, separate student lounges, and separate graduation ceremonies have become the norm. What's brought this on? Race-preferential admissions policies - which bring students to campus who are not academically prepared for the competition - are a large part of the cause. These policies telegraph to students that what's important about them is their race. 

·    Asian Americans are the special victims of race-preferential admissions. To attend the college of their choice, they have to be better than students of other races. It shouldn't be that way in America. 

These policies have never been popular. When voters get the opportunity to vote them down, they almost always do, beginning with California's Proposition 209 in 1996. In 2020, California voters shocked that state's political and business elite by decisively rejecting an effort by the legislature - known as Proposition 16 - to repeal Proposition 209.

But voters in most states never get that opportunity. At this late date, getting back on the right road - away from group preferences and from the cultural changes they have wreaked on campus - won't be easy. Yet, as the essays in this volume demonstrate, it needs to be done - sooner better than later.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Gail Heriot is a professor of law at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She sits on the board of directors of the American Civil Rights Project, Californians for Equal Rights, the National Association of Scholars, and its state affiliate, the California Association of Scholars. She was co-chair of both the campaign for California's Proposition 209 in 1996 and the successful campaign to prevent its repeal in 2020.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Last Days of New York By Seth Barron

 

THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK

A Reporter's True Tale

By Seth Barron

With a Foreword by Heather Mac Donald

Mayor Bill de Blasio set the stage for the ruin of New York City

Acclaimed New York City reporter and editor, Seth Barron has written a new book - THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK: A Reporter's True Tale. In the future, when people ask how New York City fell to pieces, they can be told - in the words of Hemingway - "gradually, then suddenly." New Yorkers awoke from a slumber of ease and prosperity to discover that their glorious city was not only unprepared for crisis, but that the underpinnings of its fortune had been gutted.

In THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK, Seth Barron brings to life the inner workings of how a corrupted political system hollowed out New York City, leaving it especially vulnerable, all in the name of equity and "fairness." Barron's insightful reporting of New York City politics and culture makes him uniquely qualified to tell the stories that explain why, after decades of declining crime, seemingly overnight, New York is scary again.

In THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK, you'll learn that:

·    de Blasio represents the nexus of corrosive interests that undermined the supports of New York's prosperity and safety;

·    Criminal justice reforms at the level of the city and state have unwound 30 years of progress in making the city safe;

·    The obsession with "inequality" overrides the longstanding attraction of NYC as a place of opportunity and ignores the fact that people come to New York to gain purchase in the American Dream;

·    The city is so deep in its problems that it will be very difficult to dig its way out, because the political system is thoroughly owned by special interests; and

·    de Blasio will go down as the luckiest mayor in the city's history; the next mayor will inherit a huge headache. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio's failure to manage the outbreak of COVID-19 is well-established. But what is less understood is how poorly he managed the city up to the point of the pandemic, and how his mismanagement left New York City vulnerable to the social, economic, and cultural shocks that have leveled its confidence and brought into question its capacity to absorb the creative energies of the world and reflect them back in the form of opportunity and wealth, as it has done for hundreds of years. At a moment when socialist currents are stirring throughout America, Bill de Blasio's term in office in New York City is a demonstration of what those impulses actually produce: debt, decay and bloat.

THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK is a history of New York City - from its recovery from the recession of 2008-2009 through the triple disaster of the pandemic, civil riots, and collapse in revenue of 2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio, now widely known as the WORST mayor in the history of the city, is presented as the instrument of decline: a key symptom of the rot that expedited the city's downfall.

"A propulsive chronicle of failed policy and bad leadership."

-- Heather Mac Donald, New York Times Bestselling Author of "The War on Cops" 

"I have watched NYC fall apart before my eyes, but until I read Seth Barron's book I didn't know how and why. Now I know, and thanks to his unparalleled reporting, it's clear who is to blame... and how to fix it. A must-read."

-- Brian Kilmeade, Host of Fox & Friends

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Seth Barron is a New York City-based reporter and editor who has covered local politics closely for more than ten years. Writer and Managing Editor for The American Mind, a publication of the Claremont Institute, Barron was an Associate editor of urban policy at City Journal, a publication of the Manhattan Institute. Barron is a widely read columnist and reporter on politics and issues in New York City. Barron became intimately familiar with the ins and outs of New York City politics working in City Hall as legislative director for a council member from Queens. His work has appeared in the New York Post, New York Daily News, and Wall Street Journal and he frequently appears on a range of local and national television and radio programs as a commentator.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Six Popes By Monsignor Hilary C. Franco


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SIX POPES

A Son of the Church Remembers

By Monsignor Hilary C. Franco

Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations

 Eyewitness to 60 Years of Catholic History

SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers is Monsignor Hilary C. Franco's engaging memoir and a story only a son can tell - a son not only of the Catholic Church, but also of Italian immigrants. From Belmont, his Bronx neighborhood, Franco rose to work with the highest and most influential figures of the Roman Catholic Church.

From John XXIII to Francis, few clergy can claim the friendships Franco has had with the great Popes of modern times, including Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict. As a young man, he attended Rome's premier seminary, soon after becoming the special assistant to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, America's most influential Catholic and famed television host.

Monsignor Franco will tell you:

·    When he felt the calling to join the priesthood;

·    About his special friendship with Mother Teresa;

·    About his front row seat to major socio-political events such as the civil rights movement, political assassinations, the Cold War, and genocides;

·    Whether there is a characteristic common to the Six Popes;

·    About the biggest challenge facing the Catholic Church; and

·    How he feels about the post-COVID future.

As a priest, Monsignor Franco would travel the world, and he recounts a harrowing experience in the Deep South in the early 1960s, his work at the Vatican Councils that redefined the Church, and his time posted at the Church's diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations. This most formidable churchman reveals his tales of intellectual, pastoral, and diplomatic service to the Catholic Church, enlivened by recollections of the fascinating people he came to know - from U.S. presidents and foreign heads of state, to religious leaders like Padre Pio and Saint Mother Teresa. The title of his current role, Advisor at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, gives little hint of the drama of the times he recollects.

SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers is written from a unique eyewitness vantage on many of the events and movements that shaped our world and the Catholic Church. There is really no other book like it.

"Monsignor Franco is known as an engaging storyteller

of his impactful time in the Church."

TIMOTHY CARDINAL DOLAN ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Monsignor Hilary C. Franco, STD, JCL, MA (SOC) (NEW YORK, NY) is Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Franco was ordained a priest in Rome at 22 and received a doctorate in biblical theology before the age of 24 from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He attended Fordham University in New York, where he earned a master's degree in sociology. Later, he earned another degree in canon law at the Lateran University. He is the author of Bishop Sheen: Mentor and Friend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

We Will Not Be SILENCED By Dr. Erwin Lutzer

 

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We Will Not Be SILENCED

Responding Courageously to Our Culture's

Assault on Christianity

By Dr. Erwin Lutzer

It has been impossible to miss Dr. Erwin Lutzer's urgent message to conservatives as his book We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity has sold more than 135,000 copies since its release. He's also been featured widely on conservative media, reminding those worried about the country's increasing secularism that they are called to be light in a darkening world.

Every day, it seems American society is falling further away from Christian values and common decency and Christians are left unsure of how to respond. In We Will Not Be Silenced, Dr. Lutzer equips readers with the truth of Scripture to help live out their convictions against a growing tide of hostility.

In We Will Not Be Silenced, you'll learn about:

·    A survey of the forces that seek to dismantle the core values that built up America;

·    The strategies being used to delegitimize our Judeo-Christian past in order to make way for a wholly secular and Godless society;

·    How harmful cultured ideologies are keeping the races in perpetual, endless conflict;

·    The growing trend to stifle and shame those who uphold conservative or Christian worldviews;

·    How propaganda is used to shape a population's perception of reality so they will not change their minds even when confronted by compelling counterevidence;

·    How school curricula and popular culture are leading our children into sexual confusion and warped ideas of personal identity;

·    Why socialism is initially attractive yet ultimately leads to failure, and how capitalism can create wealth that furthers Christian work everywhere;

·    Why and how two very different worldviews are willing to set aside their differences to eradicate Christianity and capitalism; and

·    How disagreements today are no longer resolved with mutual respect and civility, but through shaming and outrageous denunciations.

In We Will Not Be Silenced, Dr. Lutzer prepares you to live out your convictions against a growing tide of hostility. Gain a better understanding of nonbelievers' legitimate hurts and concerns regarding issues like racism, sexism, and poverty - and identify the toxic responses secular culture disguises as solutions. In the process, you'll see how you can show compassion and gentleness to those outside of the faith without affirming their beliefs. We Will Not Be Silenced will ready you to move beyond fear and boldly accept the challenge of representing Christ to a watching world that needs Him now more than ever before.

"This book examines every cultural issue we are facing," writes pastor David Jeremiah in the foreword of Lutzer's new book. "Nothing is left out. It addresses diversity issues, racial issues, gender issues, social justice issues, media issues, issues of free speech, and issues rooted in socialism and Marxism. Most importantly, it covers issues related to the church and how it is responding to all of this."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is pastor emeritus of The Moody Church, where he served as the senior pastor for 36 years. He is an award-winning author of One Minute After You Die and Hitler's Cross, as well as the featured speaker on radio programs heard on more than 750 national and international outlets.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Return of the GOD Hypothesis By Stephen C. Meyer

 

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The Return of the GOD Hypothesis:

Three Scientific Discoveries Revealing the Mind Behind the Universe

By Stephen C. Meyer

Philosopher of Science, Stephen C. Meyer, Director of the Center for Science & Culture at the Discovery Institute and New York Times bestselling author of Darwin's Doubt, has written a masterful work revealing evidence on the ultimate mystery of the universe: The Return of the GOD Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe - presenting groundbreaking scientific evidence of the existence of God, based on breakthroughs in physics, cosmology, and biology.

Beginning in the late 19th century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief - that science and belief in God are "at war." Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. Building on the case for the intelligent design of life that he developed in Signature in the Cell and Darwin's Doubt, Meyer demonstrates how discoveries in cosmology and physics coupled with those in biology help to establish the identity of the designing intelligence behind life and the universe. 

Meyer argues that theism - with its affirmation of a transcendent, intelligent and active creator - best explains the evidence we have concerning biological and cosmological origins. Previously, Meyer refrained from attempting to answer questions about "who" might have designed life. Now he provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe. In so doing, he reveals a stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind - but the existence of a personal God. 

In The Return of the GOD Hypothesis, you'll learn:

·    Why Meyer disputes the claims that the new atheists have argued that science, properly understood, undermines belief in God and that science and religion have always been at war.

·    That Meyer appreciates British evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins's perspective that "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."

·      There are three discoveries that reveal the mind behind the universe.

·    How the discovery that the universe had a beginning supports the God hypothesis - and how Albert Einstein figures into the story about the discovery of the beginning.

·    Whether positing God as an explanation for scientific phenomena is a science stopper.

·    Why it is important to think about things like the origin of the universe, the design of living things, and the existence of God.

Key points in The Return of the GOD Hypothesis:

·    SCIENCE AND THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITION: Judeo-Christian ideas provided the inspiration for science during the period of the scientific revolution. Devoutly religious scientists such as Johannes Kepler, Robert Boyle, and Sir Isaac Newton show that science and religion (or Christianity) have not always been at war, contrary to the claims of new atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and others.

·    COSMOS and CREATOR: Recent discoveries in cosmology showing the universe had a beginning have decidedly theistic implications; namely, they point to a transcendent creator as the cause of the origin of the universe.

·    TACKLING THE MULTIVERSE: The book shows why positing one God is a better explanation than the many universes or "multiverse" hypothesis for the fine-tuning of the physical parameters that have made life possible.

·    MASTER PROGRAMMER: The book shows that recent discoveries about DNA point to an intelligent designer or master programmer or designer for life.

·    A UNIVERSE FROM SOMETHING: Physicists such as Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss, who claim to have explained the origin of the universe from nothing but the laws of physics, inadvertently advance ideas that actually support the God hypothesis.

The scientific rediscovery of God provides hope of recovering a sense of ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence, contrary to the claims of new atheists who assert that human life beings are a cosmic accident who lack any ultimate significance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science & Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He has authored The New York Times bestseller Darwin's Doubt and Signature in the Cell, a (London) Times Literary Supplement "Book of the Year."