Why it’s crucial that parents examine college faculties


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SHOCKING IMBALANCE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to a new study out of the National Association of Scholars. This study found that 39 percent of top-tier liberal arts colleges in the United States don’t have any Republicans on their faculties. This study also found that the Democrat to Republican ratio was 10.4:1 among 8,688 Ph.D.-holding professors. The ratio is 12.7:1 when you take away the two military colleges, West Point and Annapolis. The report states that the 51 institutions they accounted for in the study are among the top 66 ranked colleges in the U.S. News and World Report.

DR. REEDER: Let me go ahead and tell everyone: This is not a partisan program whereby we are arguing for more Republicans to be elected and selected for the faculties of top-tier colleges — that’s not what this is. We’re trying to look at this from a world and life view.

LOOK TO THE RESURGENCE OF INTEREST IN COMMUNISM

And can I just ask everyone to navigate back to the previous program at the end of last week, an analysis as to why the Communist Manifesto, as modified and implemented by Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, etc., has proven to be destitute, has proven to actually produce gulags, prisons, famines, etc.

However, now, it’s cool again. The reason it’s cool again with the students is because of the teachers of our students in the colleges. Who are the teachers? Well, in the days of the ‘60s, that eventually promoted the step-child of the Communist Manifesto, socialism, and made cool all the communist dictators such as Castro and Chez Guevara and others.

They were declared to be cool and that was the way to go because of the abolition of private property, get rid of capitalism, etc. All of that proved to be destructive, as you saw what happened in East Germany, and the Soviet Union, what we see happening in places like Venezuela, Cuba, etc.

Therefore, Marx and those statues were torn down but all of those promoters of the Communist Manifesto went into what, today, is the cultural elite that are shaping the minds of young people. They’re in the media, they’re in the entertainment world and they are in the academy. They teach in the universities, which is where the students are getting this view of Marx and Marxism and the Communist Manifesto and it’s all being taught without the historical realities of what it actually has produced wherever it has gone.

WHO IS TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN?

Please, folks, listen to what I’m about to say. We do this program in order to communicate a Gospel-based Christian world and life view. Why do we do that? Because the way that you view life will determine the way you live life and the way you view life is directly related to your teachers.

Here’s what Jesus said: When all is said and done, the pupil will be like the teacher. Here’s what David said in Psalm 1: “Do not walk in the counsel, the teaching, of the ungodly. Do not stand in the path of sinners and do not sit in the seat of the scorner.”

You need to understand who you choose to teach, what you listen to and how you listen to it is of direct importance and, parents, who you choose to teach your child. When you decide to send your child to a university, do you ever take a look at who makes up the faculty of that university? Do you know who’s going to be teaching your child? All of those teachers have a world and life view.

WHY DO WE NEED TO BE WARY OF AN IMBALANCE?

Now, this analysis that was just done that you referred to, Tom, points out that, in the top-tier — now, we’re not talking about offshoot, private, elite colleges, we’re talking about top-tier universities where most of our cultural shapers are being shaped — you are almost 11 times more likely to have a registered Democrat. Why are they registered Democrats?

I was just listening to an interview of Hillary Clinton. It has recently been counted by one social scientist that she has given 42 reasons why she lost the election. One of them was this. Here was the question that was asked of her: “Did you lose because you are too much of a capitalist?” In other words, “Would you have been elected if you had been more of a socialist than you actually were?”

Her answer was basically yes. She said, even in a place like an Iowa primary, if you don’t distance yourself from capitalism, you can’t be elected. The primary is what? That is a party election.

EVEN CLINTON ADMITS THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SKEWED TO REJECT CAPITALISM

What she is saying is, within the Democratic party, we have arrived at a place that, if you are a capitalist, you are not going to win the primary. And, by the way, I was too much of a capitalist to win the election but, when you get to the primary, you’ve got to distance yourself from capitalism.

Well, where you do you go to? You go to socialism, which is leading you to where? Communism. And what is the basic premise of communism? The abolition of private property and, to abolish private property, you’ve got to take private property which means the state controls the property and the state controls the economy.

Even the most communistic state doesn’t have true communism and that’s China. China has a market economy with a communist government. They found out that the communist economic system just doesn’t work and so they’ve tried to amalgamate it, but that’s not what’s being taught in our universities.

In our universities, this redistribution of wealth mantra is to seize property, seize wealth with the power of taxation, the power of the government and redistribute it. That’s what’s being taught in the college. And, many times, we as parents thoughtlessly send our children off thinking we’re sending them to the universities of the ‘40s, the ‘50s, the ‘60s and, in reality, we’re sending them to the universities that the children of the ‘60s now teach in.

PARENTS, RESEARCH YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL AND TEACHERS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Parents also might want to consider what the major will be of their child. The report noted that STEM subjects like chemistry, economics, mathematics and physics have a lower Democrat to Republican ratio than social sciences and humanities.

For example, the report could not find a single Republican with an exclusive appointment to fields like gender studies, Africana studies and peace studies. This is out of the top 66 ranked colleges in the United States.

DR. REEDER: Let’s also make the analysis that, in the survey, in the military academies, it’s almost even, with Democrat identification a little bit higher. You pull out the military academies, now you go from 11 times to 13 times higher.

If your child goes to school and walks into a classroom, it is almost 14 times more likely that there’s going to be someone who embraces, at best, a socialist agenda and, likely, the very principles that undergirded the Communist Manifesto that was written by Karl Marx and funded by Engels.

DON’T FORGET YOUR CHURCH TEACHERS MATTER, TOO

Folks, what we’re trying to tell you is this: Ideas matter. Let me put it this way, you respond to things about the way you feel about things. The way you feel about things is conditioned by the way you think about things and the way you think about things is directly related to your teachers.

Therefore, please choose your teachers well. Get under sound preaching every Lord’s Day, get in a good discipleship group with a good teacher, read the right things and go to the right conferences.

And make sure your children are being taught by teachers who will shape their world and life view according to the principles and precepts of God’s Word with utter reliance upon the power of the Spirit of God with their eyes fixed on Jesus, Who came to save them from their sins and Who is coming again to bring us to a new heavens and a new earth and, until we get there, will teach us how to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Jesus Christ.

COMING UP TUESDAY: LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MAKE SHOCKING DECISIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Tuesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story and, if you thought sanctuary cities was a bad idea, I think you’re going to think this next story is really a bad idea.

HARRY REEDER: Tom, it is interesting to me how either disconnected people are, disinterested people are or apathetic they are in the matter of local government and I mean, directly, city government. Let’s take a look at a premier city in our nation and an unbelievable decision that’s about to be enacted unless the state government puts some type of a restraint on this. It is almost unthinkable.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

11 hours ago

VIDEO: Prisons could be built with COVID-19 funds, Shelby endorses Katie Britt for Senate, Brooks battles with Swalwell as a new poll shows big lead and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Alabama really use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons?

— Does Katie Britt’s entering of the U.S. Senate race shake things up, or has U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) already won this race?

— Can U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) keep the more radical members of the Democratic Party at bay?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by former U.S. Attorney Jay Town to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at those who want to use the illegally acquired tax returns of the uber-wealthy to push for higher taxes. He argues the released returns show that we should implement a flat tax and do away with all deductions.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

15 hours ago

Auburn’s David Housel tackles more than sports in ‘From the Backbooth at Chappy’s’

When David Housel retired from Auburn University in 2006, after a legendary career as athletics director for the Tigers, it wasn’t long before his wife urged him to get busy again – and a deli on Glenn Avenue in Auburn was the beneficiary.

“Susan wanted me to do something to get out of the house,” Housel recalls. “I started going to Chappy’s to drink coffee, read the paper. Pretty soon, Kenny Howard would meet me there, and it just kind of grew from there.”

In short order, friends of Housel began to gather, first a few one day a week and then, just prior to the pandemic, 12-16 people nearly every day of the week.

They meet at Chappy’s, where a plaque commemorates Housel’s booth, and they talk – about sports, of course, but about pretty much anything that’s on their minds.

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Housel began to write essays about those mornings, posting them to Facebook. He’s now compiled more than 100 of those pieces into a new book, “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s: Stories of the South: Football, Politics, Religion, and More.” It’s officially released next week at a series of book signings at Chappy’s in the Auburn area from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day: Tuesday in Auburn, Wednesday in Montgomery and Thursday in Prattville.

“Consider this Housel unleashed,” the author says. “Most of the stuff I’ve written in my life has been about Auburn on an Auburn platform. Even after I retired, I was a representative of Auburn, even though I wasn’t working there. This is not an Auburn book. It’s about football, politics, religion and more.”

“From the Backbooth at Chappy’s,” with a foreword by Auburn graduate and acclaimed journalist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, evolved as Housel’s morning gatherings at Chappy’s evolved, though he began writing the essays fairly early in the process.

“When something is in your mind, in your heart, in your head, if you’re a writer, it just has to come out, and it just comes through your fingers,” Housel says. “Turns out people like to read it, so I got the Facebook page. I shared thoughts and essays and that kind of thing. It was not a planned thing.”

When COVID-19 came along, Housel decided to listen to a few folks who told him his musings would make a good book.

“I had been thinking a lot about it, and it was time to do it,” Housel says.

Housel has written six other books. Most have to do with Auburn sports history, but one, “From the Desk of David Housel,” is similar to “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s.”

“That one was primarily sports, but it had some other things in it,” Housel says. “This one is about the other stuff, but it has some sports in it.”

Though the three topics in his book’s title – football, politics and religion  – are often the subjects people are warned not to bring up if they want to keep the peace, Housel and his friends don’t shy away from any of them. Housel especially gravitates toward religious topics.

“I like the ones that I hope make people think,” he says of his essays. “The good Lord gave us a mind, and we’re supposed to use it. Too few people who call themselves Christians do what the Lord said and use their minds. … Faith has got to be built not on challenging God but questioning God. I think God likes that, because it shows we’re engaged and that we care.”

Now that the pandemic is ending, the Backbooth at Chappy’s events are slowly but surely returning to normal. On Mondays, Housel eats two eggs scrambled, lean bacon and a helium biscuit; on Tuesdays maybe a parfait with granola; on Wednesdays, it’s blueberry pancakes, and Fridays a waffle.

What remains constant is the conversation. And the writing.

“I’m still writing the Backbooth, and since the first of the year, I’ve written a couple I think are book-worthy,” Housel says. “I started out doing maybe one a week, but I’m old enough that I don’t have to meet a self-imposed deadline. When the spirit moves me, I write.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

16 hours ago

State Rep. Pringle pushes to ban critical race theory in public schools — ‘Woke culture indoctrination,’ ‘Needs to be stopped in its tracks’

Last week, Florida’s Board of Education banned so-called “critical race theory” from its public schools, and it is a move State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) hopes to follow in Alabama.

Critical race theory, a belief that racism is ingrained in some of America’s sacred institutions, is widely panned by critics because it distorts and weaponizes history for political gain.

Friday, Pringle discussed his prefiled bill for the Alabama Legislature’s 2022 regular session to prohibit critical race theory from being taught in Alabama’s public schools.

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“It’s simply a bill that says in public education, you can’t teach or indoctrinate our children with critical race theory,” he said. “People are waking up all around the nation to how bad this stuff is. I mean, this is woke cancel culture gone completely amuck. They want to completely disregard our 14th and 15th Amendment rights, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act. If you don’t agree with them — here’s what’s crazy: They want to send you to a reeducation camp. Think about that, a reeducation camp. Don’t they do that in China, Russia and North Korea?  That’s how bad this stuff is. Either you agree with them or you have to be sent off to a reeducation camp.”

“This is just indoctrination — the woke culture indoctrination of our children,” Pringle continued. “That’s all it is and it needs to be stopped in its tracks. I mean, our children need to learn history and we ought to open a frank discussion about history — the good, the bad. But this is not about good or bad. This is teaching our children that our nation is a bad nation, is an evil nation and is not the great country that we live in. We are the safest, freest people in the world and that’s what our children need to learn.”

“Do we have problems? Yeah,” he added. “Have we done bad things? Yeah. But we’re still the greatest nation in the history of the world.”

According to the Mobile County Republican lawmaker, the response to the effort thus far has been positive and supportive.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

19 hours ago

Why Sylacauga marble is known around the world

If you’ve ever visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and stared up at the translucent marble ceiling, you’ve witnessed a piece of Alabama history. The ceiling is made of white marble mined in Talladega County’s Sylacauga (appropriately known as the Marble City).

In addition to lending its natural treasure to some of the nation’s most notable buildings, Sylacauga also holds the title for having the longest deposit of marble in the world. The bed of stone runs 32 miles long, a mile and a half wide, and more than 600 feet deep. The marble found in this quarry is especially desirable for two key characteristics: its purity and its durability. When paired together, these distinct qualities make Alabama marble some of the most desired in the world for large-scale buildings and monuments, as well as homes and sculptures.

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The History of Alabama Marble

sylacauga marble

The Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Marble is formed when limestone is subjected to extreme pressure and heat. In Sylacauga, the conditions are perfect for the formation of metamorphic marble. Sylacauga’s massive deposit was first discovered by Native Americans, but it wasn’t quarried until 1834, 20 years after army surgeon Dr. Edward Gantt stumbled upon the vein while passing through with General Andrew Jackson’s army.

In the years that followed Gantt’s discovery, Sylacauga’s marble business thrived. More quarries popped up, mining the marble for everything from funerary monuments to building projects to sculptures. By the 1960s, the use of the quarried marble shifted toward the utilitarian. Rather than being mined in huge chunks for building material, the marble was being ground down for use in products like cosmetics, diapers, magazine paper, fertilizer, fiberglass, toothpaste, and chewing gum. In 1969, marble was named Alabama’s state rock.

A Timeless Treasure

Sylacauga Quarry (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

Today the charge for Alabama marble is being led by the Swindal family, who own Alabama Marble Mineral & Mining Co. (AM3). AM3’s 50-acre quarry in Sylacauga is the world’s only supplier and leading distributor of Alabama marble. Owner Roy Swindal’s goal is to reintroduce the world to Alabama marble, once again marketing it as a prized material for both commercial and consumer construction. According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, around 30 million tons of marble have been pulled from the ground in Sylacauga since 1900. The Swindals hope to add to that number by continuing and improving upon the state’s tradition for many years to come.

Marble Mania

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Sculptor Enzo Torcoletti at the Sylacauga Marble Festival (Sylacauga Marble Festival/Facebook)

It’s only fitting that a town built on marble pay tribute to the stone that brought its success. For the past 13 years, the city has celebrated its marble mining heritage with the 12-day Magic of Marble Festival. The festival, typically held in April, features several activities and events that are all free and fun for the whole family. Festival participants can take a tour of operational quarries and visit the Gantts/IMERYS Observation Point that overlooks the town’s historic first quarry. The creative side of marble is put on display at Blue Bell Park, where 25 sculptors create original pieces made entirely of marble. On the final day of the festival, the finished pieces are displayed and sold at nearby B.B. Comer Library. Other activities include a 5K run and a scavenger hunt.

If you can’t wait for next year’s festival and you want to see Alabama’s famous white marble in action now, there are several locations around the state to see it put to good use. In Birmingham, try the John Hand Building, Wells Fargo headquarters, City Federal building, or the Chamber of Commerce. If you’re in Montgomery, don’t miss the “Head of Christ” sculpture at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. It was created by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti, who also happens to be the artist behind Birmingham’s Vulcan.

(Courtesy of SoulGrown)

20 hours ago

The economics of paying ransom

The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline by the hacker group DarkSide disrupted gasoline supplies across the Southeast. The company caused a stir by paying a 75 Bitcoin ransom to DarkSide. America historically has been opposed to paying evildoers, as reflected in the slogan, “Millions for defense, but not one cent in tribute,” and President Jefferson sending the Navy and Marines to fight the Barbary Pirates.

Ransomware raises many economic issues. A first question is, do hackers ever give the data back if paid? DarkSide provided Colonial Pipeline a key to decrypt their data. According to Proofpoint, this is the norm: 70% of ransom payers got their data back, 20% never got their data back and 10% received a second ransom demand.

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From an economic perspective, this is not surprising. About two dozen groups, identifying themselves by name and known to insurance companies, carry out most of the sophisticated attacks. Insurers would never recommend payment in the future to a group which has reneged. The hackers must deliver as promised to make money.

Some have suggested making payment of ransom for cyberattacks illegal. If no one ever paid ransom, the hackers could not make money. Refusing to pay ransom though faces two significant economic challenges.

The first is time consistency. Kidnapping illustrates this concept. Before an event, the incentive exists to say, “We will never pay ransom.” If the bad guys believe this, they will never invest the time, effort and expense to stage a kidnapping. Once they hold hostages, however, our incentive changes; negotiating just this one time now makes sense. Our policy to never pay ransom is not credible.

Collective action poses the second challenge. Businesses collectively have an interest in not rewarding cybercrime, yet individual businesses suffer these attacks. A business which does not pay ransom benefits other businesses, creating the challenge. Why should Continental Pipeline suffer losses to make other businesses less likely to be attacked?

Why do businesses pay ransom? Reports mention several factors. A business may face a closure of unknown length and cost. Customers’ personal information will be sold if ransom is not paid, leading to fines and bad publicity. And the hackers might sell proprietary information to competitors.

Good economists know better than to second guess business managers’ decisions. Decisions to pay ransom often involve the business’ executives, its insurance carrier and tech security experts. They know the options and likely costs and should make a good decision, despite the pressure of a crisis.

Insurance companies and government regulations reduce organizations’ vulnerability to hackers, which is good. But what about channeling President Jefferson and going after the hackers? Most of the hacker groups operate in Russia, which provides Safe Haven as long as the hackers do not target Russian companies. Some law enforcement options may exist. Federal prosecutors apparently recovered most of the Bitcoins paid to DarkSide.

Crime is a very costly way to transfer wealth. Stolen merchandise typically sells for one-third (or less) of market value. A criminal might have to steal thousands in property to net $1,000. Ransomware appears much more wasteful than traditional theft. Consider just the value of the time Americans spent searching for gas during the disruption. Remember then that the ransom was about $4.4 million.

Cybercrime makes us poorer. The hackers and defenders at tech security companies are highly skilled computer programmers. But instead of making new apps or games, they are hacking or defending existing computer systems. Add to this the service disruption during cyberattacks, the reduced use of technology for fear of being hacked and the time spent on security training. The costs may be $1 trillion annually, or one percent of global GDP.

We must guard here against comparing the real world to an imagined utopia. We cannot costlessly protect our property from thieves or our computers from malware, or make people no longer willing to steal from others. Economics teaches that there are no perfect solutions in life, only tradeoffs. Vigilance, antivirus programs and backup are the tradeoffs we face with cybercrime.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.