Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Tsarnaev family received $100,000 in welfare, food stamps and other benefits

The Boston Herald reports. (H/T Ari)

Excerpt:

The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.

“The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,” said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today.

The state has handed over more than 500 documents to the 11-member House Post Audit and Oversight Committee, which today met for the first time and plans to call in officials from the Department of Transitional Assistance to testify.

Transitional assistance officials also told the Herald tonight that the agency was conducting its own investigation into whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family ever notified the DTA about his extended trip to Russia, and has since expanded its probe to include a full history of the benefits received by the entire Tsarnaev family.

Arthur Brooks has done some work on seeing what makes people happy, and he concluded that “earned success” is much better for an individual than dependency on government, even if the person has the same amount of wealth either way.

Take a look:

It turns out that making everyone equal by handing redistributing wealth from those who work to those who don’t doesn’t really make everyone equally happy. Maybe if the Tsarnaevs had to work to an their success by serving their fellow man in the private sector, they would not be so miserable. It cannot be good for people to be dependent on the government. It doesn’t make them grateful. It doesn’t make them good citizens. It doesn’t make them care about their neighbors. Capitalism and the dignity of labor do that.

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Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a pot-smoker who supported Obama

The Daily Caller reports.

Excerpt:

Chris Barry, who attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev, described him as normal teenager who loved to smoke pot and cigarettes every day.

“He was a pot head, a normal pot head,” said Barry in an interview with Politico. “I couldn’t even imagine him being mad at someone let alone hurting someone.”

Tsarnaev, a Muslim, did not come across as strongly religious, said Barry.

“He never brought it up. It seemed like he could care less,” he said.

Tsarneav’s Twitter account provided clues about the suspected bomber’s political views. On November 6th, he retweeted several statements suggesting a preference for President Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

He retweeted a statement from President Obama’s Organizing for Action account that said: “This happened because of you. Thank you,” in reference to Obama’s victory.

He also retweeted a statement and a picture making fun of Romney. The Tweet said: “WTF Romney is winning ??” and linked to this image.

Not all left-wing people are crazy, but all crazy people are left-wing.

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Surprise, liberal media! Boston bombing suspects are Muslim foreigners

The secular leftist media was really hoping that those responsible for the Boston marathon bombing would be their political opponents.  “This time, Republicans for sure!” they said. “If a person is for lower taxes, less government spending, the right to life, and natural marriage, then they are hateful racist violent bigoted crazies!”

The Daily Caller explains:

The liberal online magazine Salon published an opinion piece Tuesday evening by columnist David Sirota entitled, “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”

Sirota argued that if the perpetrator of Monday’s bombing attack, which left at least three people dead, is identified as a Muslim, then conservative Republicans will use the tragedy to block Obama administration policy goals like immigration reform.

[...]Sirota is not the only liberal media commentator to attempt to politicize Monday’s tragedy. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer speculated on a link between Patriots Day and the motive behind the bombings, while NBC News reporter Luke Russert speculated that the 1993 Waco siege, which occurred on Patriots Day, might have inspired a right-wing terrorist in Boston.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof used the tragedy to attack Republican politicians, tweeting Monday, “Explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment.” Kristof later apologized for the tweet.

Sirota has employed attention-grabbing, race-baiting rhetoric in the past.

Sirota said in December, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that a new profiling system should be established to monitor mentally-ill individuals, but that Republicans would not support that effort because it would mean profiling white men.

Now you might think that’s racism and bigotry, but it’s not, because the mainstream media tells me that racism can never be committed by leftists.

And now let’s see what reality has to say about the speculations and wishing of the radical lefttists in the mainstream media.

Reuters / Yahoo News reports:

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic websites and others calling for Chechen independence on what appears to be his page on a Russian language social networking site.

Abusive comments in Russian and English were flooding onto Tsarnaev’s page on VK, a Russian-language social media site, on Friday after he was identified as a suspect in the bombing of the Boston marathon.

[...]On the site, the younger Tsarnaev identifies himself as a 2011 graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a public school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[...]His “World view” is listed as “Islam” and his “Personal priority” is “career and money”.

He has posted links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts”.

He also has links to pages calling for independence for Chechnya, a region of Russia that lost its bid for secession after two wars in the 1990s.

It seems to me that the liberal media is trying to have it both ways. They want to agree with Kermit Gosnell on abortion, they want to agree with Floyd Lee Corkins III on gay marriage, they want to agree with Hugo Chavez on economics, and they want to sympathize with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on foreign policy. Then they want to believe that pro-family, pro-life, pro-child, free market capitalists are all radical terrorists. Sorry mainstream media, but you are the nutters. You are the crazies. You are the radicals.

See the related posts below for more leftist violence. The reality, which the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know, is that it is far more likely that violence is caused by the radical left. The radical right is too busy getting married, making babies, starting businesses, waking up to go to work, paying our taxes, helping our neighbors and listening to sermons in church. The radical right doesn’t have time for violence, we’re trying to live well and we are good at it.

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Is the point of religious belief just to be sincere or to also be correct?

The Poached Egg linked to this interesting post by Al on the Please Convince Me blog.

Excerpt:

We live in a pluralistic society and so it is fitting, generally speaking, that all beliefs are accorded equal respect. Unfortunately, this mindset seems to have convinced many people today that all beliefs have equally validity. As it relates to matters “spiritual,” the modern skeptic thinks that no religion has the corner on truth (assuming that such a thing as “truth” actually exists). “What works for you is fine, but don’t try imposing those values on me” is a common approach. “All religions basically say the same thing,” they say, “so as long as you are sincere in your beliefs, that’s all that really matters.” What they mean, of course, is that religion has nothing to teach. It is, instead, some sort of placebo and as long as you really “believe in it,” your particular view on eternity is as good as any other.

Christianity, by contrast, does not stake out an ambiguous position. Man is in deep trouble, due to his rebellion against his Creator, and he needs a savior to get him out of the mess he’s in. Without that savior, he’s headed for a bad place, and he can’t help himself. The “good news” is that help is out there, if we are only open to it.

So, which view conforms to the way things really are? Is there one right religion, or should we remain complacent in the belief that a sincere belief will work out just fine at the end of the day?

Perhaps the first place to look for an answer to this question is within nature itself. None of us constructed this universe we happen to find ourselves in, but it certainly appears to be operating under a set of rules. If there is a “rule-maker,” perhaps he has left some clues for us within the structure of his creation, just as an artist might leave a distinctive message within a work of art. But looking to nature provides no support for the skeptic’s view, for nowhere in nature does it appear that a sincerely held, but mistaken, belief can “save” you. I may be convinced that the ledge I am standing on is sturdy, but the force of gravity is not lessened by my belief, if it is mistaken. If I have diabetes and three vials are sitting in front of me – one with water, one with insulin and one with arsenic – the “saving” power of the liquid depends not on what I think it contains, but on what it actually contains. If I mistakenly believe that the pool I am diving into is full of water, I may still suffer permanent paralysis despite the sincerity of my belief.

Take for example submarine officers from the US and Soviet navies. Both were operating nuclear power plants using the same scientific principles and both had confidence that their ships could protect them from radiation. For each officer, this confidence was based on trust that the ship’s “saving” power – its design and safeguards – was adequate to the task. The American sub employed such safeguards while the Soviet navy cut corners. Any particular American officer may have doubted his safety, while his Soviet counterpart may have had total confidence. In the end, what mattered was not the sincerity of the beliefs, but the object in which the belief was placed. And predictably, countless Soviet sailors suffered radiation sickness while their American counterparts did not.

I think there are some places where it’s fine to just belief whatever you want and every belief is valid. For example, when deciding what to eat or what to wear. But there is no reason to think that the project of developing religious beliefs is like that. Religious beliefs are about the world out there,  but preferences about food or clothes are about the person – his or her own internal state.

A good lecture on truth claims and religion

Here’s an audio lecture featuring one of my favorite Christian professors, Dr. Walter Bradley. The title of his lecture is “Truth in Religion”. He tries to make the case that the kind of truth that religion ought to be concerned with is objective truth, not subjective truth.

The MP3 file is here. (31 minutes + Q&A)

Here’s a summary:

  • what is pluralism?
  • what is multiculturalism?
  • what is relativism?
  • some propositions are true culturally – just for certain groups in certain times (cultures)
  • some proposition are true trans-culturally – true independently of what anyone wants or feels
  • Mathematical truth is trans-cultural – it is true regardless of cultural fashions
  • Scientific truth is trans-cultural – it is true regardless of cultural fashions
  • Some truths are not like this – cooking traditions, clothing traditions and greeting traditions
  • These kinds of truths are NOT trans-cultural, they vary by culture
  • The question is – is religion true like math and science, or true depending on the culture
  • Some people think that your religion depends on where you were born or what your family believes
  • Religions make conflicting claims about the way the world really is, so they can’t all be true
  • And these conflicts are at the core of the religions – who God is, how can we be related to him, etc.
  • So if religions convey trans-cultural truth, then either one is true or none are true
  • If they are not trying to convey trans-cultural truth, then they are not like math and science
  • Let’s assume that religion is the same as trans-cultural truth
  • How can we know which religion is true? 1) the laws of logic, 2) empirical testing against reality
  • Logical consistency is needed to make the first cut – self-contradictory claims cannot be true
  • To be true trans-culturally, a proposition must at least NOT break the law of non-contradiction
  • According to Mortimer Adler’s book, only Christianity, Judaism and Islam are not self-contradictory
  • All the others can be excluded on the basis of overt internal contradictions on fundamental questions
  • The others that are self-contradictory can be true culturally, but not trans-culturally
  • The way to proceed forward is to test the three non-contradictory religions against science and history
  • One of these three may be true, or they could all be false
  • We can test the three by evaluating their conflicting truth claims about the historical Jesus
  • Famous skeptics have undertaken studies to undermine the historical Jesus presented in the Bible
  • Lew Wallace, Simon Greenleaf and Frank Morrison assessed the evidence as atheists and became Christians
  • There is a lot of opposition in culture to the idea that one religion might be true
  • But if you take the claims of Jesus at face value, he claims to be the unique revelation of God to mankind
  • Either he was telling the truth about that, or he was lying, or he was crazy
  • So which is it?

You can read papers from Dr. Bradley here.

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UK police knew about Muslim child sex gang but refused to prosecute

First, the facts of the case from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

A sex grooming gang targeted white girls because they were not part of their ‘community or religion’ said a judge as he jailed them for a total of 77 years yesterday.

Detectives are now preparing to make more arrests after they revealed they suspect up to 50 mainly Pakistani-born men took part in the abuse.

But despite the judge’s hard-hitting comments, police in Greater Manchester continued to insist that the men’s race and religion were not factors in their crimes.

Yesterday senior politicians clashed over the case – with one former Labour MP claiming police and social workers ignored complaints because they were ‘petrified of being called racist’.

With experts on paedophilia insisting street grooming by Muslim men was a real problem, Judge Gerald Clinton made it clear he believed religion was a factor.

He jailed the 59-year-old ringleader for 19 years and eight other men for between four and 12 years, telling them they had treated their victims ‘as though they were worthless and beyond all respect’.

He added: ‘I believe one of the factors which led to that is that they were not of your community or religion.’

But he branded outbursts by some of the men claiming the prosecution was racially-motivated ‘nonsense’, telling them they found themselves in the dock because of their ‘lust and greed’.

The gang raped and abused up to 47 girls – some as young as 13 – after plying them with alcohol and luring them to takeaways in Heywood, near Rochdale.

Detective Inspector Michael Sanderson, of Greater Manchester Police, said none of the convicted men had ever shown ‘the slightest bit of remorse’.

The keeping of sex slaves is sanctioned by the Qur’an.

What’s interesting about this case is that the police knew about the ring years before, but refused to prosecute:

A victim of the ring said she was ‘let down’ by police and the Crown Prosecution Service because the issue of Asian gangs grooming young white girls was ‘unheard of’ at the time.

The girl, who was 15 when she was targeted by the gang, reported the abuse to police in August 2008 but the CPS decided not to prosecute because they did not believe a jury would find her ‘credible’.

After reporting the abuse she suffered for four more months at the hands of the gang and continued to be forced into having sex by her ‘friend’ – a teenage girl who was acting as a pimp for the men.

She said the problem got ‘worse’ after telling the police.

‘I felt let down. But I know that they (police) believed me… but… because they said to me at the end that something should have been done but the CPS just would not – what’s the word? – prosecute is it?

‘It’s like, then, in 2008 it weren’t really heard of… Asian men with white girls.

‘It was just unheard of. I’ve never heard of it. Now it’s going on everywhere. You think of Muslim men as religious and family-minded and just nice people. You don’t think… I don’t know… you just don’t think they’d do things like that.’

The girl, now 20, only escaped the gang in December 2008 when she fell pregnant and moved away. She was then made to wait until August 2009 for the CPS to tell her they were not taking the case to trial.

She called the men who abused her ‘evil’ and said she hopes they pay for their crimes.

‘They ripped away all my dignity and all my last bit of self-esteem and by the end of it I had no emotion whatsoever because I was used to being used and abused daily,’ she said.

‘It was just blocked out, it was just like it wasn’t me any more. They just took everything away and I just think hopefully they’ll pay for what they’ve done.’

Under the policies of the UK Labour Party, the police had all been fully trained in multiculturalism and political correctness. Some groups favored by the secular left are above the law and cannot be persecuted, even when they rape little children. We can thank Harriet Harman and her ilk for this. We can even thank her for the immigration policies that created isolated communities that do not respect the laws and values of Western civilization, and Judeo-Christian values in particular.

But that’s not all. Think about what the feminism promoted by the Labour Party achieves. The feminism embraced by the Labour Party under Harriet Harman had one goal. To destroy the institution of marriage and eject men from the home. Men were to be replaced with government handouts and welfare payments. Under the rule of the Labour Party, illegitimacy has skyrocketed while marriage has declined. The UK government literally pays women to have children out of wedlock – children who will grow up fatherless. IVF is taxpayer-funded under the NHS.

When women do not have to care about whether a man is a good provider, they can have sex with any man – which ever one they like, based on the approval of their peers and the standards of the culture. But men who have not been carefully picked by women to be husbands and fathers do not stick around. Who is left,then, to protect the girls who are born without fathers to raise them? No one. This is the end result of feminism’s attempt to destroy the traditional roles that men play in the home: protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader. Government programs, politically correct social workers and welfare checks are not a substitute for a father.

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