Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

❝ In the last couple of decades, there had been signs, however modest, that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning might cease to be the most segregated hour in America. “Racial reconciliation” was the talk of conferences and the subject of formal resolutions. Large Christian ministries were dedicated to the aim of integration, and many black Christians decided to join white-majority congregations. Some went as missionaries, called by God to integrate. Others were simply drawn to a different worship style — short, conveniently timed services that emphasized a personal connection to God…

Black congregants — as recounted by people in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Fort Worth and elsewhere — had already grown uneasy in recent years as they watched their white pastors fail to address police shootings of African-Americans. They heard prayers for Paris, for Brussels, for law enforcement; they heard that one should keep one’s eyes on the kingdom, that the church was colorblind, and that talk of racial injustice was divisive, not a matter of the gospel. There was still some hope that this stemmed from an obliviousness rather than some deeper disconnect.

Then white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump by a larger margin than they had voted for any presidential candidate. They cheered the outcome, reassuring uneasy fellow worshipers with talk of abortion and religious liberty, about how politics is the art of compromise rather than the ideal. Christians of color, even those who shared these policy preferences, looked at Mr. Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, his open hostility to N.F.L. players protesting police brutality and his earlier “birther” crusade against President Obama, claiming falsely he was not a United States citizen. In this political deal, many concluded, they were the compromised.

What’s important to many white evangelicals obviously ain’t the words they declare to be holy writ. Politics of religion can be just as opportunist as any other.

Amelia Earhart? Probably.

The fate of Amelia Earhart continues to captivate public and scientific attention. Several hypotheses, some more credible than others, have been advanced about what may have happened to her and her navigator, Fred Noonan, on their ill-fated attempt to fly around the world. One intriguing component of the Earhart mystery involves whether bones found on Nikumaroro Island in 1940 could be her remains, suggesting she died as a castaway on this remote island. This paper will subject this idea to scientific analysis to determine whether the evidence supports the conclusion that the bones belong to Earhart or whether she can be excluded.

The bones in question were found in 1940 when a working party brought to Nikumaroro for the Phoenix Island Settlement Scheme found and buried a human skull. Upon hearing of the discovery, the officer in charge of the settlement scheme, Gerald Gallagher, ordered a more thorough search of the area. The search resulted in additional bones, including a humerus, radius, tibia, fibula, and both femora. The bones were apparently complete, but they had experienced some taphonomic modification. Also found were part of a shoe, judged to have been a woman’s; a sextant box, designed to carry a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant manufactured circa 1918; and a Benedictine bottle. There was suspicion at the time that the bones could be the remains of Amelia Earhart.

Very interesting read. Adventure history from another century. Even more interesting as forensic science advances.

Navarro gets his 15 minutes of fame for Trump tariffs

❝ Peter K. Navarro has been taking a public victory lap to celebrate his success at persuading President Trump to announce tariffs on steel and aluminum imports…

Navarro, the director of the White House’s Trade and Manufacturing Policy office, has become ubiquitous on television since last Thursday, in appearances that have been at turns triumphal and testy. His outspoken bluntness has quickly turned him into one of the biggest lightning rods in Washington.

❝ After getting sidelined and effectively demoted by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly last fall, many advisers might have looked for other jobs. But Navarro had nowhere else he wanted to go. So he stuck it out. Now he’s back in the room where it happens.

Conservative economists, business executives and Republican elites who support free trade hate him for that, and they now speak of Navarro like he is a boogeyman.

Navarro’s years in academia reflect the slogan oldie – “Those who can’t do, teach?” Certainly invalid much of the time, most economists and financial advisors I listen to say it’s spot on in Navarro’s life and work.

Small nations have learned from the Tet Offensive — while the White House hasn’t

❝ The attacks erupted before dawn on Jan. 30, 1968 and escalated to new levels of ferocity the next day. It turned out that tens of thousands of communist soldiers had begun a coordinated series of surprise attacks on more than 100 cities and U.S. bases in South Vietnam, taking the Americans and their local allies by surprise on the lunar new year of Tet.

North Vietnamese Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap had planned the offensive to break the will of the United States and South Vietnam and end a long stalemate in the struggle by the North to reunite with the South under communist rule. And while Giap’s forces were eventually pushed back with huge losses, he did accomplish his wider objective of undermining American and South Vietnamese confidence in the war effort…

❝ The attacks erupted before dawn on Jan. 30, 1968 and escalated to new levels of ferocity the next day. It turned out that tens of thousands of communist soldiers had begun a coordinated series of surprise attacks on more than 100 cities and U.S. bases in South Vietnam, taking the Americans and their local allies by surprise on the lunar new year of Tet.

The lessons of Tet still resonate. “Tet shaped the world within which we live today: In an era when Americans still don’t fully trust government officials to tell them the truth about situations overseas, and don’t have confidence that leaders, for all their bluster, will do the right thing,” writes Princeton historian Julian Zelizer in the current issue of The Atlantic. “Tet is an important reminder that for liberals and conservatives sometimes a little distrust is a good thing. Particularly at a time when we have a president who traffics heavily in falsehoods, Tet showed that blind confidence in leaders can easily lead down dangerous paths.”

Say it again, Julian. Trust in a pathological liar isn’t likely to turn out well.

Home of a Holocaust Historian in Poland Vandalized

…While the Polish government was making it illegal to attribute any collusion by Poles with Nazi Death Camps.

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❝ The home of an Italian tour guide and Holocaust historian was vandalized in the city of Krakow, Poland, on Friday…as tensions rise in Poland following the adoption of a new law restricting speech about the Holocaust.

The guide, Diego Audero, told Polsat Media that he found a Star of David and the slogan “Poland for the Poles” written in Polish on the door of his apartment, and “Auswitz [sic] for Poland guide!!” scrawled in English on the wall. A police investigation is underway…

❝ The current fight in Poland over the history of the Holocaust centers largely around how death camps such as Auschwitz are remembered. In February, Poland enacted a law aimed at making it a crime to call them “Polish death camps” — because they were run by Nazi Germany in occupied Polish territory, and many Poles feel the phrase blames them for the deaths in a war that claimed the lives of 6 million Polish citizens.

But the law is so broadly written that historians, Jewish groups, and the Israeli and US governments worry it could punish anyone who discusses the multiple anti-Semitic acts committed by some Polish citizens during the war.

RTFA. The “Our hands are clean” crowd hasn’t disappeared. The saddest part of this is the government ignores the many courageous Poles who risked all to save the lives of many Jews – especially after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April, 1943.

Trump takes Inauguration Cash Surplus – gives less than $5M to Charity – $26M to Melania’s Buddy

Melania’s buddy Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

President Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday.

The nonprofit group that oversaw Mr. Trump’s inauguration and surrounding events in January 2017, the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, had been under pressure from liberal government watchdog groups to reveal how it spent the record $107 million it had raised largely from wealthy donors and corporations…

…the mandatory tax return it filed with the Internal Revenue Service revealed heavy spending on administrative and logistical expenses associated with planning and executing several days’ worth of events for donors and supporters around Mr. Trump’s inaugural ceremonies…

The company that received the biggest payment — $26 million — was WIS Media Partners of Marina del Rey, Calif. Records show that the firm was created in December 2016, about six weeks before the inauguration, and its founder, according to a person familiar with the firm, was Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a longtime friend of Mrs. Trump…

Trump chumps who continue to be impressed by their fake president truly astound me with their gullibility. If they continue to applaud phony expense, gleefully watch taxpayer dollars hurled around like so much confetti – well, I can give them a lead to shares in a magical bridge in Brooklyn. Real cheap.

Life in an American Small Town – called Guantanamo

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❝ Guantánamo Bay, known for orange jumpsuits and abuse of detainees, has school field trips. Also a McDonald’s, a bowling alley, a kickball league, Monday night flamenco lessons for parents and a pretty good water slide in the center of town. It’s the oddly small-town wholesome Guantánamo you rarely hear about.

A single main street runs through the base. It starts at the gate to Cuba, where diplomats from the two countries hold monthly meetings, and winds along the bay to the ivory-colored, century-old Windward Point Lighthouse, perched on a grassy cliff above rough beaches of crushed coral. Along the road are wharves, piers and warehouses to service ships, but also an outdoor movie theater, an espresso bar and a gift shop selling “GTMO” shot glasses and tank tops.

An enjoyable, informative read. Probably unnoticed by folks like our fake president or even policy wonks in the two political parties we’re allowed.