Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 04 Aug 2021 21:17:06 -0700 Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate d830c8ef85d7688b33b09d3e57b2cc98 The Olympics Monopoly for 07/30/2021 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This is the first time I can remember an Olympic Games with so little media conversation around it. With the exception of the Simone Biles incident, people seem less inclined to pay attention. Advertisers are fretting as well that attention has declined and viewership is down.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">One of the natures of a monopoly is there is very little incentive to provide a great product at a low price.</span> It is a reason government-run entities tend to come in overbudget with a worse product than private sector entities. With no competition, there is no reason to innovate, improve or seek efficiencies.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 30, 2021</p> 31ac2e925479e929d088346efb63b134 In the Land of the Boy Who Cried Wolf for 07/23/2021 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Tucker Carlson has an audience of around 3 million viewers, which is more than any other news program and most other programs generally. It is still only 3 million people out of a nation of 330 million people. In the grand scheme of things, Tucker Carlson is influential in the way many others are &#8212; he has a core fan base that listens to him, generally trusts him, talks to other people and posts on the internet.</p> <p>Nielsen ratings showed Rush Limbaugh had tens of millions of listeners, but the TV networks rarely focused on him. They focused on Carlson and Bill O'Reilly before him, etc. TV news has a way of influencing how people cover the news because the news is covered by people who are on television &#8212; and those who want to be on television. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 23, 2021</p> 18f3c1b7b299510b2d34680cd0790671 Democracy's Last Stand for 07/09/2021 Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Six months ago, former President Donald Trump's supporters went to Washington to protest his defeat. Some of those who went to Washington stormed the United States Capitol. Others, having seen people headed into the Capitol, wandered in, assuming they could be there. Someone planted pipe bombs at both the Republican and Democratic headquarters. Some erected a noose to hang members of Congress. Some went in looking for former Vice President Mike Pence to cause him harm.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Over 75 million people voted for Trump, and the media and Democrats have sought to define them and every other Republican by those who stormed the Capitol.</span> Some have claimed it was worse than 9/11. Others have compared it to a Nazi uprising. Noted political strategist James Carville has insisted Democrats tie all Republicans to that day and to that group that shattered windows, stole objects and tried to break through doors toward fleeing members of Congress.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 09, 2021</p> b1b6ba00c3948a373176586620428b5e Star-Spangled Facts for 07/02/2021 Fri, 02 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key penned "The Star-Spangled Banner." Set to the British tune "To Anacreon in Heaven," "The Star-Spangled Banner" is inarguably one of the most difficult national anthems to sing.</p> <p>The backdrop of the song was the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812. Key had been sent to negotiate a prisoner release and boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant. During the negotiations with British Vice Adm. Alexander Cochrane, Key overheard the war plans. Consequently, the British held Key captive until after the assault on Fort McHenry, forcing him to stay on the HMS Surprise until the attack had been completed on September 14.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 02, 2021</p> 09e753c16f46d5345a2d9672605b265b Twitter Is Not Reality for 06/25/2021 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>H.R. 1, the For the People Act, was a messaging piece of legislation that was never meant to be passed. But Democrats are increasingly held hostage by the wing of the party that believes Twitter is real life. Now, the same forces seem intent on dismantling the Biden Administration.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">First, the Twitter activists of the left bought into the For the People Act rhetoric. The progressive base fully believes the GOP is dismantling democracy.</span> News anchors roared that the GOP couldn't even debate saving democracy or protecting the right to vote.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 25, 2021</p> b788045b38918e45a0e5c4ae86168681 Calm Down for 06/18/2021 Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Ed Litton is the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, or the SBC. Observing some of the commentary online and engaged with a number of friends, one might think the communists just took over the Baptists. The more that one is involved in Republican politics, the more one is likely to think that and therein lies the problem. It is a problem of national importance as some now believe the nation's largest Protestant denomination will break up.</p> <p>Perhaps the Southern Baptist Convention will break apart, but I doubt it. There were four contenders: Randy Adams, Ed Litton, Albert Mohler and Mike Stone. Mohler is who I would have picked if I were a Baptist. The head of the Southern Baptists' most prestigious seminary, Mohler has been a leading conservative in the SBC for decades. He is neither a shrinking violet nor a liberal. He is against critical theory, liberalism and the wokes. He supports the view that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and men and women live in a complementarian relationship.</p> <p>Stone is a Georgia Baptist. He was the graduation speaker at my kids' school this year where he read from the King James Version of the Bible. He is biblically rock-solid. He was backed by the most conservative members of the Southern Baptist Convention &#8212; some who would have backed Mohler, but they were still mad at him for not supporting Donald Trump in 2016, or thought he had not been vocal enough about critical race theory or too kind to people the hardcore bunch opposed. Mohler was rejected not for his views but for his lack of song and dance.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021</p> d10ecf7520dc5dbd23d4051abb10dc54 Calm Down for 06/18/2021 Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Ed Litton is the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, or the SBC. Observing some of the commentary online and engaged with a number of friends, one might think the communists just took over the Baptists. The more that one is involved in Republican politics, the more one is likely to think that and therein lies the problem. It is a problem of national importance as some now believe the nation's largest Protestant denomination will break up.</p> <p>Perhaps the Southern Baptist Convention will break apart, but I doubt it. There were four contenders: Randy Adams, Ed Litton, Albert Mohler and Mike Stone. Mohler is who I would have picked if I were a Baptist. The head of the Southern Baptists' most prestigious seminary, Mohler has been a leading conservative in the SBC for decades. He is neither a shrinking violet nor a liberal. He is against critical theory, liberalism and the wokes. He supports the view that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and men and women live in a complementarian relationship.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021</p> 5d2f8a07dd93718d2186affde8e96475 The Death of Democracy is Overstated for 06/11/2021 Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory, the Democrats' allegations that Republicans are killing democracy is the left's conspiracy. They have convinced themselves that the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion into the Capitol was the worst event since the Civil War.</p> <p>We've recently gone through a week that included discussions about the Tulsa Race Massacre, which was arguably a far worse post-Civil War attack on our democracy. Likewise, more people died on United Airlines Flight 93 to keep terrorists from flying a plane into the Capitol. Two planes brought down the World Trade Center that same day, and another slammed into the Pentagon.</p> <p>In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire inside the United States House of Representatives. There were also various bombings by the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. Those are all arguably worse than what happened on Jan. 6.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 11, 2021</p> ebd238ffa00d0154ab281a8dc6142866 Democrat Kabuki for 06/04/2021 Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"If you elect us, we will repeal Obamacare," Republicans claimed in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Each victory brought a goal post shift. Ultimately, the Republican Party never got rid of the Affordable Care Act. The same happened with Planned Parenthood. Despite Republican control, reconciliation processes that bypass the filibuster and Republican presidents, Planned Parenthood funding remained.</p> <p>Republicans are used to the Kabuki theater that their politicians engage in. The stylized performance, boastfulness on the campaign stage, and campaign ads and mail pieces inevitably lead to impressive speeches and theater in Congress before the inevitable and foreordained failure to keep promises. The epilogue is excuse-making and blame.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 04, 2021</p> 847956fef76d8a02f5b33378a16b8327 The Republican Secret Weapon for 05/28/2021 Fri, 28 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Apoorva Mandavilli is The New York Times' COVID-19 reporter. "Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not yet here," she tweeted &#8212; not last year, but just a couple of days ago. The "lab leak theory" has always been the most likely theory for the release of the virus into the world.</p> <p>Ironically, the alternative theory that Mandavilli seems to think is less racist is Chinese citizens in wet markets eating bats or some such. When Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton raised the lab leak theory last year, he was roundly attacked for racism. Members of the press, helped by some fringe conspiracists on the right, claimed Cotton was claiming an intentional release of a bioweapon, which Cotton never claimed. A year later, it looks like Cotton and former President Donald Trump were right. Intelligence does suggest workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology got infected and accidentally began a global pandemic.</p> <p>Two weeks ago, the Israelis bombed the Associated Press office in Gaza during the Hamas attacks. Journalists were furious. The AP demanded answers. But a little-noticed piece in The Atlantic from Matti Friedman in 2014 documented how the AP had, in fact, been using a building also used by Hamas. Friedman, a former AP reporter, documented how the AP would not cover certain Hamas-related activity because of Hamas harassment in their shared work environment. Concurrent to all of this, it took The New York Times a week to cover a wave of anti-Jewish attacks in New York City. <p>Updated: Fri May 28, 2021</p> 7ca90c8240ce41bb01a772df998637f1 Great Is Artemis of the Ephesians! for 05/21/2021 Fri, 21 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In Scripture, Acts 19 recounts a series of miracles that led to mass conversions of residents of Ephesus. The conversions created an economic problem.</p> <p>Ephesus was, at the time, world-renowned for a temple to the Greek goddess Artemis, one of the wonders of the ancient world. As people began converting en masse to Christianity with St. Paul's preaching, temple visits declined, as did the purchase of idols. According to Luke, the writer of Acts, a silversmith named Demetrius who made silver replicas of Artemis began rallying other men of similar trades to fend off the Christians. </p> <p>"Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship," Demetrius said. (Acts 19:25-27)<p>Updated: Fri May 21, 2021</p> 562fb7f96b31373cffd9e46619054741 The Truth Behind the Cheney Story for 05/14/2021 Fri, 14 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is out as Republican conference chair in the House of Representatives. The story has dominated American news outlets over the past week. Most Americans are probably hard-pressed to care about the story, but to the political press in the United States, the story has mattered deeply.</p> <p>This past Tuesday night, as rockets rained down on Tel Aviv from Gaza, the press was focused on Cheney's pending ouster, which happened Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, while President Joe Biden was holding a press conference about the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, MSNBC was holding a panel discussion about Cheney and the future of the Republican Party. Chris Cillizza, CNN's regurgitator of convention hot takes, wrote, "The maneuvering to get Cheney out on Wednesday bodes very poorly for House Republicans." One would think the House GOP conference chair was an important position. It is not. One would assume Americans care. They do not.<p>Updated: Fri May 14, 2021</p> 9cff3d15b829caa352748c956c04f5f4 Republicans Distracted for 05/07/2021 Fri, 07 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The House Republican Conference stood up for Rep. Liz Cheney just a few short months ago, and suddenly the relationship has gone south. It has gone south at about the same time census numbers have come out giving the GOP a real advantage to taking back the House of Representatives. It also comes as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has made several trips to Florida to engage with and sweet-talk former President Donald Trump. Now, suddenly, McCarthy has been caught on a hot mic at Fox News bashing Cheney.</p> <p>My educated hypothesis is that a great deal of the sudden antagonism toward Cheney has to do with placating Trump in the run-up to the 2022 election cycle. My guess is that it has less to do with Cheney in charge of the House GOP Conference &#8212; something the GOP was perfectly fine to defend, even after her impeachment vote. McCarthy is too savvy to talk with a hot mic. He most likely knew it would get circulated.</p> <p>By any measure not related to Trump, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is a conservative. Her father was the man conservatives went to in the early 2000s to help scuttle scores of liberal initiatives coming out of squishy "big-government conservative" Bush White House employees. Her mother fought the precursor to the woke left for years on the cultural front. Liz Cheney has been pretty strong on defense, a reliable Republican team player and a conservative voter on both fiscal and social issues. She is just having none of the "stolen election" nonsense and has been forcefully, aggressively pushing back on it.<p>Updated: Fri May 07, 2021</p> 061368b7f91a88c68c3516b20afe9e75 The Media's Tucker Carlson Obsession for 04/30/2021 Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Tune into CNN or MSNBC on a daily basis and you will find someone venting about what Tucker Carlson said the night before. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., vent daily about Carlson.</p> <p>Back in the early days of blogging, bloggers would attack bigger names hoping for attention, link "love" and notoriety. It is much the same with the media, but there is more to it.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Increasingly, American media institutions are narrative-based, not fact-based. Narrative-based news requires short stories. Those short stories require plots. Those plots require protagonists and antagonists to move the story along.</span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021</p> a8944d2464ae7e023ab38bab2a2fe0f7 Failures to Distinguish for 04/23/2021 Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>How many people have died unjustly and unseen, out of mind and now forgotten by all but those who love them? It is a question we should ask in light of the Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd situations. It is a reminder that justice would have been denied to both men had there not been video.</p> <p>How many more are out there?<p>Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021</p> e65658525e9ef6ff06a27c30fdec9f12 Tribalism Breaks Our Bond With Truth for 04/16/2021 Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Daunte Wright should still be alive. The 20-year-old, killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, did not have to die. Officer Kim Potter confused her Taser and her gun, yelled, "Taser" at the young man and killed him. Watching the horrific and tragic body camera footage, she really thought she had her Taser. But she had grabbed her gun.</p> <p>The Taser and the gun were similarly shaped. It was a terrible tragedy. Those who call for defunding the police should be mindful that this officer made that mistake with training. We will not get rid of police. Reducing their funding will cause more training issues and lead to more problems.</p> <p>Wright was pulled over driving a car with expired tags and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest related to aggravated armed robbery. Wright would still be alive had Potter not confused her gun and her Taser. Wright would also still be alive had he not struggled with police.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> a44cab89b96e1af17294cfb82d2a1486 Where Is the Hope? for 04/09/2021 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last week, I interviewed the Rev. Tim Keller about his new book, "Hope in Times of Fear." At the beginning of his book, he writes about the word "hope." In common parlance, we tend to use the word hope as a wish. I hope I get a promotion. I hope my kid does well in school. </p> <p>That is not what the Greek word "elpida" means in Scripture. When Paul writes about hope in Romans or the author of Hebrews writes about hope, they are writing about profound certainty. Our hope in the resurrection is our profound certainty in the resurrection, or a belief that gives us courage because we are certain of it.</p> <p>That brings me to an essay in the Claremont Institute's publication The American Mind entitled "'Conservatism' is no Longer Enough." Writer Glenn Ellmers expresses pessimism about the future of the United States. He writes, "Practically speaking, there is almost nothing left to conserve," and, "The U.S. Constitution no longer works." He considers roughly half the country as not American, even though they are citizens, because they are no longer committed to his version of America.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> 0a1214f333e69638e8c84f7bf4e7dc08 A Profound, Unique Event for 04/02/2021 Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Two thousand years ago on planet Earth, there were no civilizations, religions or mythologies that had anything akin to an account of Jesus's resurrection.</p> <p>When atheists and skeptics argue it would have been easy to pull the wool over people's eyes 2,000 years ago, they take a narrow and bigoted view of culture at the time. They believe something for which there is ample evidence to the contrary.</p> <p>N.T. Wright showed in "The Resurrection of the Son of God" that, contrary to claims of today, literally no civilization had anything like what the early Christians claimed. It has all the hallmarks of recorded history, i.e. a recounted real event.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> 5902463de174c182f7c4b8e127a43ae1 Fear Not for 03/26/2021 Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The world seems to have gone nuts. People are seeing unidentified flying objects. The government confirms it. Sen. Marco Rubio claims UFOs are flying over our military installations. Pilots have videos of mysterious objects flying rapidly and making 90 degree turns &#8212; something physically impossible for humans at the speed those objects are flying. They seem to defy the known laws of physics.</p> <p>Over the past summer, Americans watched other Americans burn down cities while reporters stood in front of the burning rubble claiming the protests were peaceful, but your eyes might be racist. In January, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol with some of them having erected a gallows and noose to hang the Vice President. Most of the President's supporters, to this day, blame progressives.</p> <p>The actress Ellen Page has become Elliot Page, and Time magazine tells us Elliot always was. Anyone who points out men cannot become women is considered a bigot. The left demands we believe the mass shootings at Asian-themed spas in Atlanta were part of a pattern of anti-Asian hate, though they were not. Concurrently, the left wants us to believe the shootings were because of Christian sexual ethics.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 26, 2021</p> e1f90563c123b4a1f1fe6b118f5609d3 Secular Indulgences for 03/12/2021 Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In the fall of 1517, theologian Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation in part based on his critique of indulgences offered by the Catholic Church. At the time, a friar named Johann Tetzel had been encouraging the faithful to buy indulgences, which entitled the purchaser to forgiveness for sins. Tetzel had been selling the indulgences to raise money to build St. Peter's Basilica. </p> <p>On Oct. 31, 1517, in the formal tradition of proposing a debate, Luther nailed to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, his now-famous 95 theses. The act slowly began the Reformation. "Why does not the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?" Luther asked in the 86th thesis.</p> <p>The Catholic Church continued the practice, and Luther oversaw the rise of Protestantism and a clear division in faith teachings and practices. Fast-forward to the 20th century and the newest religion on the scene has picked up the practice of offering indulgences.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021</p>