Category Archives: politics

One Nebraska State Senator doesn’t care how the voters of the state voted on Capital Punishment 

The story is here.

Believe it or not, Breakpoint made a fake news list 

Strangely enough, BreakPoint made a list published by Harvard University library. Even stranger is the list itself.
Back in November, Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, published a list called, “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources.” Last week, the list went viral when Harvard University Library linked to it as a helpful guide to “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda.”
Now, there’s no question that there’s a problem with fake news online, especially when it comes to political news. In fact, we’ve talked about this before on BreakPoint and The Point, warning about passing on that news story before fact checking it, simply because it agrees with your bias. And Christians, who are called to be people of truth, have been just as guilty of this as anyone else.
That said, Zimdars’ list is strange, and in a very important way, self-contradictory. While many of the sites she identifies as “conspiracy,” “biased,” “fake,” “clickbait,” or “unreliable” certainly deserve those titles, there is a vastly greater number of conservative and right-leaning sites listed than liberal and left-leaning sites.
For example, all pro-life websites are listed as “biased,” but pro-abortion sites aren’t listed at all. Also missing are sites like Vox, Slate, and BuzzFeed – though the list flags similar sites on the other end of the political spectrum such as Drudge and National Review.
And BreakPoint.org, our website, made the list as “unreliable.”
Now to be fair, Professor Zimdars acknowledges that her analysis is limited, and that the problem of fake news and the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach that dominates journalism today is a problem too big to be solved by her attempt to keep a running tally of media offenders.
But she, like so many other media experts and academics today, seems unaware of her own bias. And she is biased. And well, so are we. It’s what a worldview does, and none of us are exempt. Not you. Not me.
Of course that doesn’t mean that all sites are equal. Some worldviews better reflect reality than others, and no matter our worldview, we do live in the same world of facts. That said, let me take this time to clarify how we at the Colson Center see our responsibility to truth and facts each and every day on BreakPoint.
First, our primary allegiance is to the One who is the Truth– Jesus Christ. So we strive to tell stories truthfully without changing, embellishing, or conveniently omitting facts that matter. In fact, each day on our website, we’ll link to additional sources, including those we may disagree with. Now do we make mistakes on occasion? You bet. And we’re grateful for our listeners who are quick to tell us when we do.
Second, because the One who is the Truth is also the Way and the Life, we will take the world and other worldviews very seriously.
Third, we will strive to be as wise as serpents. We will not allow our commentaries to be dominated by outrage or despair. Christians are to be people of hope, and getting angry is no strategy in and of itself. We also need to think: How might I respond? What is my Christian responsibility?
And of course, our worldview commits us to the inherent dignity of each and every person. Therefore, we must be, as Fr. Robert Sirico said, “brutal with ideas and gentle with people.” People, even those who call our commentaries “unreliable,” are never our enemy. They are among those made in God’s image and for whom Christ died.
Now I’ll conclude by saying that I fully agree with what Professor Zimdars wrote on how to consume the news these days. “The best thing to do,” she writes, “in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media.”
Or as St. John said, “Test everything.” But to evaluate other sources we must be grounded in truth. And so make sure that among your sources is the ultimate source more reliable than any of the others: the revealed Word of God.

Purity, apparently, is what some conservative Republicans are demanding in a health insurance bill, writes Cal Thomas 

Readers of a certain age may recall ads for Ivory Soap, which claimed to be 99 and 44/100ths percent pure. If the soap could have reached 100 percent purity, the company would likely have made the claim.
Purity, apparently, is what some conservative Republicans are demanding in a health insurance bill, which likely will be voted on this week, unless it is held back because Speaker Paul Ryan doesn’t think it has enough votes to pass. Supporters of the evolving House bill emphasize that this is a three-step process designed to get what virtually all conservatives want, a more cost-effective health plan, only they can’t muster enough votes, especially in the Senate. Some conservatives are taking an all-or-nothing approach, which is likely to guarantee they will get nothing.
Cynics (imagine that in Washington), apparently, want Obamacare to collapse so that they can blame Democrats. That might be a political winner for Republicans, but it risks leaving millions of people, especially the poor, in a gap between Medicaid and other health benefits and whatever comes next.
During an interview in his office, Vice President Mike Pence told me, “The president is determined to keep his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.” Due to what he called “the arcane rules of the Senate on budgeting bills, it likely will take two pieces of legislation to do that, and a significant amount of administrative action by (HHS) Secretary Tom Price. We really believe a combination of those efforts by this spring will repeal Obamacare once and for all and replace it with health care reform that gives people the freedom to choose whether to have health insurance that lowers (its) cost for every American and creates a national marketplace where people have the ability to buy health insurance the way they buy car and life insurance, and gives the states the ability to improve Medicaid with state-based innovation and reform.”

( Read the rest of this spot on column by Cal Thomas  PURITY AND POLITICS. Cal is right. Some on the right want everything,or nothing. That kind of attitude will get us nothing, and hurt the cause. The goal to get rid of Obamacare. Yes changes can be made to the current bill , but let’s not have an all, or nothing attitude. Trump, and Ryan at least this time are doing what they should do. )

Children who are members of “Generation Z” are thinking more to the right 

( Below is the Breakpoint commentary for today..)For years, we’ve been hearing that one side of the political aisle is on “the right side of history.” But history doesn’t seem to be cooperating.
For at least a decade, Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, and stuck on social media. While that may not be entirely fair, they are notoriously liberal, overwhelmingly supporting left-leaning candidates and favoring policies like nationalized healthcare and same-sex “marriage.”
But Millennials are also getting old—relatively speaking. The first are now reaching the ripe old age of thirty-five! And sometime between 1995 and 2000, the millennial generation ended, or at least stopped being born, and a new generation began.
Members of “Generation Z” are now beginning to graduate high school, and 2016 was the first time any of them were old enough to vote. At seventy million and counting, they’re also about to outnumber their predecessors.
So, what’s so intriguing about this new brood? Well, according to a growing body of research, they may be, by certain measures, the most conservative generation since World War II—more than Millennials, Generation Xers and even the Baby-Boomers.
Millennials were raised in a time of roaring prosperity, when video cassettes were a bigger influence than digital technology, and many came of age before the age of radical Islamic terror. Gen Z kids, by contrast, are “digital natives.” They’ve never known life without the Internet, and have grown up surrounded by instant access to the world’s harsh realities on their smart phones.
These young people are products of conflict and recession. They can only remember a news cycle “marred by economic stress, rising student debt… and war overseas.” As a result, they’ve taken on what one team of Goldman-Sachs analysts called a “more pragmatic” and conservative outlook on the world.
Of course, generalizations at this stage are very early and very subject to development. But according to polling in the wake of the 2016 election, Gen Z Americans didn’t vote like their Millennial predecessors. Eight out of ten of these kids identify themselves as “fiscally conservative,” and they prefer saving to spending—at rates not seen since the Silent Generation.
And get this: According to one British study conducted by global consultancy firm, The Guild, almost sixty percent of Gen Z respondents in the U.K. described their views on “same-sex marriage, transgender rights and marijuana legalization” as “conservative” or “moderate,” compared with a whopping 83% of Millennials who called themselves “quite” or “very liberal” on these issues. The Gen Z participants were even ten times more likely than Millennials to dislike tattoos and body piercings!
These are good trends, but these students still need discipleship and catechesis. A tendency toward traditional values, by itself, means nothing unless those who believe in revealed Truth, the Gospel, the natural family, and political and religious liberty step forward and train the next generation to articulate and live out these truths.
What is clear from this emerging data about the young is that they don’t fit neatly into rhetoric about the “right side of history.” As Columbia University sociologist, Musa Al-Gharbi writes, trends like this are deeply troubling for those so recently crowing that the future belonged to one political party.
No one knows what the future holds, except the One Who holds the future! And the fact that so many were apparently wrong about the right side of history is just another reminder that He alone is God, Whom the Psalmist called “faithful throughout all generations.”

Tim Kaine’s Son Arrested At Anti-Trump Riot in Minnesota

The story is here.

Town halls might be history,thanks to those who do not know how to engage ( example, “he is not my President”)

Few town halls are on the agendas of Iowa, Nebraska lawmakers; meetings elsewhere in U.S. have been volatile

Does this mean no one came into America today in a non legal way

I am tired of folks fighting for those who are not legal citizens. People who didn’t  go to work should have have consequences from their bosses, and those who did not attend school should face punishments from the schools.

( Cities around the country prepare for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ )

She may save,and change American education by giving poor kids the same chances their rich friends have 

American public school students fall well behind students around the world in math and science proficiency. This is not debatable. According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, both cited in The New York Times in 2012, “Fourth- and eighth-grade students in the United States continue to lag behind students in several East Asian countries and some European nations in math and science, although American fourth-graders are closer to the top performers in reading.”
In California, the number of credentialed math and science teachers is actually declining, reports the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Newly installed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, believes at least two factors have contributed to these and other problems in American education — lack of school choice and the failure of top-down policies dictated by Washington.
During an interview in her office Monday, DeVos cited one example: “This department just invested $7 billion trying to improve failing schools and there were literally no results to show for it.”
A U.S. News and World Report story in 2015 confirms her view that there is little connection between academic achievement and the amount of money spent: “The U.S. spends significantly more on education than other OECD countries. In 2010, the U.S. spent 39 percent more per full-time student for elementary and secondary education than the average for other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.”
DeVos wants to give more power to the states to set their education priorities: “I think the more states and locales are empowered to innovate and create and are unencumbered by unnecessary regulations and sort of beaten into compliance mentally vs. a can-do and results-oriented mentality, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that any type of top-down solution, no matter where you try to employ it in government, it’s not successful.”
While acknowledging that resistance from teachers’ unions and some members of Congress is strong (she notes the hypocrisy of those members who can afford to send their children to private schools, yet oppose allowing poor children and their parents to choose better schools), she believes a growing number of people are getting behind school choice: “We had an example of that in Florida where over 10,000 parents and students marched in Tallahassee against (a) lawsuit that the teachers union had filed, which of course, has been dismissed, thankfully.” The lawsuit tried to block a school voucher program.

( Billy’s thoughts – I for one do not understand why the left is so against giving poor parents the same choice that the rich have when it comes to sending their kids to the best schools. We do not need to save the schools, we need to save the kids including the poor kids. Shame on the left for being against somebody who wants to do that. Read the rest of the above column.)

I thought the customer was always right 

Ivanka Trump Gets Called Out by Gym Owner for Attending Workout Class

Evangelicals should be at the education table, and the focus should be on saving the poor kids not saving  the public schools 

Evangelicals played a large role in getting President Donald Trump to the White House, and now they will shape Trump’s education agenda.
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s beleaguered pick for education secretary, supports taxpayer funding for religious schools and once called education reform a way to “advance God’s kingdom.”
Mike Pence, a leader in the evangelical community, will likely break a tie in the Senate to ensure DeVos’ nomination.
And Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of one the largest evangelical colleges in the nation, Liberty University, will lead an education reform task force focusing on higher education.
“They weren’t even at the table under President (Barack) Obama,” said North Carolina Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, who is connected to the evangelical community. “I think it’s prudent … that those who have a world view of the Bible be able to have a conversation.”

In education circles, a major part of that conversation is an ongoing policy debate on the role of vouchers and taxpayer funding for religious schools. Liberal Democrats have vocally opposed DeVos’ nomination and turned it into a referendum on allowing tax dollars to be spent on scholarships for students to attend religiously affiliated schools.
“I don’t think that religion defines a person, but what we see is a real clear agenda that Trump began,” said Mary Kusler, who is overseeing the National Education Association’s effort to oppose DeVos’ nomination. “We believe that the public school system has largely been a cornerstone of democracy.”

( Billy’s thoughts – Did the media question when the people who wanted  faithless things in education were invited to the table under President Obama. Nope those folks helped put Obama in office. In the same way evangelicals helped get Donald Trump to the White House ,so why should we not be at the table of education. Besides those of us who want choice in education  just want to give poor parents the same choice in education that President Obama made. When Obama had a chance to send his daughters to a public school system that is run down, he picked a private school. Clinton did the same thing with his daughter. I do not fault Clinton, or Obama for sending their kids to private schools. All good  parents want to do what is best for their child. I just wish those on the left would give the same choice to poor parents. Yes there are good teachers in the public schools, but the department of education job should not be about saving the public schools. Instead they should focus on saving the kids including the poor kids who are stuck in schools which are failing them. Read the rest of the above story. )