Apparently it still is. After all, who else can be blamed? Some folks get downright indignant at the mere thought that Obama would be challenged on this issue. Others dare not question his administration, perhaps for fear of being labeled racists. Others find themselves, as I recently did, engaged in a heated discussion with a brother who insisted (to the point of calling me a liar) that unemployment was far higher under Bush than it is under Obama. I also recall (during the Bush years) one angry young sister in a long line outside a Washington, D.C.-area gas pump when prices were $4 a gallon screaming how it was “all Bush’s fault.”
The economy has been far weaker under President Obama than it was under President Bush, which is why Obama’s disapproval rating on the economy is at 60%. Even after all of the bailing-out and “stimulating” that was supposed to create jobs and bring us back from the brink, we’re at over 9% unemployment nationwide. The unemployment rate for African-Americans stands at 16.2%.
Conservatives aren’t surprised by the economic consequences of Obama’s failed policies. What is surprising is the deafening silence among my counterparts in the press corps. No outrage. No outcry. Not a peep. People aren’t asking the same questions of this president that they asked of Bush. Where are the critical, “non-partisan” voices who spoke out against Bush? Are they calling the DNC and demanding action? Are civil rights leaders blaming “racist” Obama administration policies for not getting black folks out of these dire straits? Where is the equal-opportunity reporting?
It’s no coincidence that the Obama administration has begun to ramp up its so-called “outreach” to black Americans by touting a new African-American White House webpage. It’s not because President Obama has been successful at closing the achievement gap between white and black students, delivering on substantive health parity issues that plague minorities or creating incentives to help jumpstart minority businesses and create jobs. It’s because that’s what Democrats do when it comes time to court minority voters. They pull out the spit and polish to ensure the shoe looks shiny and new. It would behoove black media and GOP hopefuls to pay more attention to the worn-out sole rather than the shine.
Tara Wall is a conservative columnist, former Deputy Editor for The Washington Times and CNN Political Contributor
Have You Considered Jail Ministry?
Many have argued that some prisoners are not deserving of the very compassion that they refused to exhibit to their helpless victims. These, they say, have offended society in horrific and terrifying ways and are beyond the realm of consideration. I say, who are we to oppose God? Was it not Saul of Taurus who was converted and received the gospel amidst “breathing out murderous threats” (Acts 9:1) against Christians and consenting to their deaths and imprisonment? Saul, also named Paul, said after his conversion, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).
Prisoners need regeneration not merely rehabilitation. No amount of jails, prisons, programs, or secular justice can do what Jesus can do, which is renew hearts and minds and eternally transform lives. I have served in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Jail Bureau as a Deputy Sheriff for nearly twelve years, and I have seen nothing give more hope to the hopeless than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The jails are filled with those needing and seeking answers for their failures and shortcomings in life. Chaplains and Christian volunteers are invaluable in offering answers to both the inmates and the jail officers for life’s tough questions. They offer no excuse for sin, but in love, they share the gospel to every soul, just as God commanded.
I consider myself and other Christian deputies’ as partners with the chaplains and churches that frequent our jails. We are all seeking to fulfill our purposes in Christ by being salt and light in the darkest of places. Ministering behind the jail walls has been inexplicably rewarding. Though I have been cursed at and spat on, frustrated and angered, and my patience has been tried on many days, it was through those fiery trials that I have learned to love some pretty unlovable people. I have seen the young and old come through the prison system, some men, some women; many drugged and drunken, suicidal and homicidal; depressed and hopeless . . . many lost.
I could pretend that I have nothing in common with those lawbreakers, but Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). God says that “all the souls are mine . . . the soul who sins shall die” (Ez. 18:4). My soul is plagued with the same sin disease as the prostitute, the drug dealer, and the murderer. Whether prison guard or prisoner, without Christ, no man shall see the Father (John 14:6).
The life changing power of the gospel is amazing. When an inmate receives the gospel message and is truly transformed, that inmate seeks to live a godly life; no longer seeking after the flesh but seeking the Kingdom. Therefore, I thank God for the steadfast service of those volunteers who seek to free people from the bondage of sin, those whom society shuns yet Jesus loves.
Day after day and year after year, they sacrifice their time by visiting our jails, cruising the cellblocks and catwalks, preaching Christ crucified and resurrected because, “God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. So he forgives the sins of those who believe” (Rom 3:25); no matter the crime. I thank God for prison ministry and all those who share in the work.
by Dr. Walter Williams
Dr. Thomas Sowell, in “Dismantling America,” said in reference to President Obama, “That such an administration could be elected in the first place, headed by a man whose only qualifications to be president of the United States at a dangerous time in the history of the world were rhetoric, style and symbolism — and whose animus against the values and institutions of America had been demonstrated repeatedly over a period of decades beforehand — speaks volumes about the inadequacies of our educational system and the degeneration of our culture.” Obama is by no means unique; his characteristics are shared by other Americans, but what is unique is that no other time in our history would such a person been elected president. That says a lot about the degeneration of our culture, values, thinking abilities and acceptance of what’s no less than tyranny. As Sowell says, “Barack Obama is unlike any other President of the United States in having come from a background of decades of associations and alliances with people who resent this country and its people.” In 2008, Americans voted for Obama’s change. Let’s look at some of it.
Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threatened that there would be “zero tolerance” for “misinformation” in response to an insurance company executive who said that ObamaCare would create costs that force up health insurance premiums. That’s not only an attack on our constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights but an official threat against people who express views damaging to the administration.
Not to be outdone by his HHS secretary’s attack on free speech, Obama wants full disclosure of the names of people who were backers of campaign commercials critical of his administration, saying that there has been a “flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests, using front groups with misleading names.” Disclosure would leave administration critics open to government and mob retaliation.
Obama and his congressional and union allies have lectured us that socialized medicine is the cure for the nation’s ills, but I have a question. If socialized medicine, Obamacare, is so great for the nation, why permit anyone to be exempted from it? It turns out that as of the end of November, Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary has issued over 200 waivers to major labor unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union and Transport Workers Union of America and major companies such as McDonald’s and Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Keep in mind that the power to grant waivers is also the power not to grant waivers. Such power can be used to reward administration friends and punish administration critics by saddling them with millions of dollars of health care costs.
Obama’s heath care legislation contains deviousness that has become all too common in Washington. What was sold to the American people as health care reform legislation includes a provision that would more heavily regulate and tax gold coin and bullion transactions. Whether gold and bullion transactions should or should not be more heavily regulated and taxed is not the issue. The administration’s devious inclusion of it as a part of health care reform is.
Fighting government intrusion into our lives is becoming increasingly difficult for at least two reasons. The first reason is that educators at the primary, secondary and university levels have been successful in teaching our youngsters to despise the values of our Constitution and the founders of our nation — “those dead, old, racist white men.” Their success in that arena might explain why educators have been unable to get our youngsters to read, write and compute on a level comparable with other developed nations; they are too busy proselytizing students.
The second reason is we’ve become a nation of thieves, accustomed to living at the expense of one another and to accommodate that we’re obliged to support tyrannical and overreaching government.
Adolf Hitler had it right when he said, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”
Walter E. Williams
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.