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Michael Medved: Black Panther’s Misleading Utopia

Opioid

“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.

 

The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.

 

In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.

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Albert Mohler: Chance of Big Change on America’s Political Landscape

Billy Graham

Can Americans be financially coerced to underwrite labor unions when they are opposed to positions taken by unions?

That was the big issue this week before the nation’s highest court—whether workers can be coerced to financially underwrite and undergird labor unions when the positions taken by the union would be opposed to their own convictions.

The case is known as Janus v. AFSCME—the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—and it challenges Supreme Court precedent that goes back four decades, requiring persons in certain categories of employment to contribute union dues and fees even when they do not want to be members of the union.

Today, with Justice Neil Gorsuch on the court, it is expected that the court will reverse its 40-year-plus precedent.

This may mean a big, big change on America’s political landscape.

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Jerry Bowyer: The Key Question on Trump and Russia

Shooting Florida

Let’s remember what all the Mueller, memo and FBI hubbub is about—the accusation that Trump colluded with Russia to get himself elected. One of the rules for determining who did something is to ask cui bono? Who benefits from the election of Trump?

 

Not Russia, that’s for sure.

 

The Trump trade has been terrible for Russia. We just published analysis at Townhall Finance which shows that Russia was the worst performing of the world’s 40 investible markets during Trumps 1st year in office. Poland—the Russian rival—was one of the best.

 

 

Trump policies have been highly detrimental to Putin’s interests. Most notable is Trump’s pro-energy stance, which Putin mouthpieces like cable outlet RT have been denouncing. If Trump really was elected by Russian money, it’s one of the worst investments any nation has ever made in human history.

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David Davenport: The Lost Art of Political Compromise

Compromise

Among many lost arts in Washington the most problematic is the lost art of compromise.

The dictionary says compromise includes the root word “com” or together with the word promise:  We make promises by coming together.  America learned this early, with the Constitutional Convention full of compromises.

But now members of Congress vote not to find the best solution for the country but the best platform for their next election.   Democrats threatened to shut the entire government over dreamer immigrants, while Trump was willing to see a shutdown over his wall.  And so it goes, politicians standing firm on one issue or another which they believe will get them reelected, and the whole of the federal government is held hostage.

We need more politicians like Ronald Reagan, who told House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “I will take half a loaf today, but I will come back for the other half tomorrow.”

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Albert Mohler: Billy Graham (1918-2018)

Billy Graham

The death of evangelist Billy Graham seems almost unreal.  In our memories, we can still hear his voice, see his smile, and trace his influence. He died on Wednesday—age 99—at his home in North Carolina. From his first crusade to his dying breath he made clear he still believed and always believed what he preached.

 

Billy Graham was a titanic figure on the world stage. He preached in person to more persons than any other preacher in the history of Christianity.  It all began with a crusade in Los Angeles nearly 70 years ago that changed history, and led to the establishment of a global ministry of evangelism and good will.

 

I had the honor of knowing Billy Graham, and he was gracious to speak at my inauguration as president of Southern Seminary and give his name to our evangelism school. He was even greater in person than on the television screen or before a crowd.

 

He has now gone home to his heavenly reward, to be with the God he loved so much and served so well.

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Hugh Hewitt: Agony in the Wake of Florida Shooting

U.S. Senate

How can the slaughter of high school students be so polarizing? It is agonizing beyond any writer’s ability to convey, but a political football to begin another round of pro- and anti-Trump throwdowns?

 

I didn’t see that coming out of the sorrow from the Florida shooting.

 

It was like an instant replay of reactions that we witnessed after the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas and every awful massacre since Columbine.

 

It has left commentary without a purpose. If everyone — always — makes the same demands, nearly instantly; without any room for consideration of the specifics of the murderer’s motivation and history, it’s hard to imagine what “change” will avail.

 

A place to start for us would be hearings.

 

I got the idea from my NBC colleague Chuck Todd. I put it to Education Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions. They both agreed.

 

If hearings occur, we need one more promise: for everyone to actually hear the viewpoints presented.

 

Let’s stop the outrage and just listen.

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Jerry Bowyer: What Should We Expect From the Recent Tax Cuts

Shooting Florida

What should we expect from the recent tax cuts? In a word, “growth.” At Townhall Finance, we recently reviewed the historical data around the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts.

 

What we found is that the economy slowed while waiting for the tax cuts to kick in, and then boomed afterwards. So far—true to form—we’ve seen the economy slow down a bit at the end of 2017 and then show real signs of strong growth this year. The Atlanta Fed, hardly Trump’s home team is forecasting greater than 5 percent growth this year. What would that mean for us? About 400 billion dollars of new wealth this year alone.

 

Let’s say you take your typical tax cut and invest it. Over 30 years it could result in $53k dollar in additional income for your family. We’re talking about real money—the kind of money which can help the Republicans in Congress do much better in the elections than the talking heads are predicting.

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