Tag Archives: Obamacare

St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher

This is the first in FOTM’s new series on the Celestial Army. (Please see my post, “Calling on the Army of Angels and Saints,” for the reason for this series.)

Today, June 22nd, is the Feast Day of St. Thomas More and tomorrow, on June 23rd, is the Feast Day of St. John Fisher — two very brave men who died for the Truth, for their Faith, and for Christ.

Their joint feast day is a timely reminder to Christians in America that we, too, are called to defend our Faith against the Obama administration’s assault on Catholic institutions, under the guise of Obamacare’s contraceptives mandate. Today, it’s Catholics; tomorrow, it will be the Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Evangelicals….

St. Thomas More

Thomas was born in 1478 in England. His father, John, was a barrister and a judge and his mother was Agnes. He received his childhood education at St. Anthony’s school and, at age 13, was received into the household of Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury who was impressed with the lad. Thomas was then sent to Oxford, where he studied at Canterbury College.

Thomas thought he might have a calling to the priesthood and for four years he lived with the London Carthusian monks. However, he did not find a calling to the priesthood. Thomas then studied law and was called to the Bar in 1501 and in 1504 he entered Parliament. In 1505 he married Jane Colt and they had four children, Margaret, Elizabeth, Cecilia and John. Thomas was adamant that his daughters received a scholarly education just like his son. Many religious and learned people of London visited Thomas and his family in their home which was known as a congenial center of learning. In 1510 Jane died, but he later married Alice Middleton, a widow. In 1516, Thomas wrote Utopia, a work of fiction and political philosophy.

Thomas was brought to King Henry VIII’s court and in October of 1529, appointed Lord Chancellor of England, the highest office in England under the King. Thomas became a friend and confidant of Henry VIII, as the King had great respect for Thomas, admiring his intellect, wit, good judgment and holiness.

Henry VIII desired to obtain an annulment from the Pope to his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. Pope Clement VII refused to grant an annulment, finding no valid grounds. Henry was enraged at this denial and forced the English clergy to acknowledge him as “Protector and Supreme Head of the Church of England.”

At this, Thomas resigned as Chancellor; his property confiscated by the King. Thomas and his family became poverty stricken. For 18 months he lived in quiet austerity, engaging himself in writing and with the needs of the household. After King Henry married Anne Boleyn, Thomas refused to attend her coronation.

On March 30, 1534, the Act of Succession provided that the King’s subjects take an oath, which required all English subjects to agree to three clauses: that any heir or offspring of Henry and Anne was a legitimate heir to the throne; that the marriage between Henry and Catherine was null and void; and that the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, had no more authority or power in England than any other bishop. Anyone who refused to sign the oath was guilty of high treason punishable by death.

On April 13, 1534, Thomas and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, were given the oath to sign, but they both refused to sign it because of the latter two clauses. Consequently, on April 17, 1534, both Thomas and Fisher were imprisoned in the Tower of London. During this time, Thomas suffered greatly, separated from his family whom he loved so much. But it was also during his incarceration that Thomas began to write the Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, the best of his spiritual works, and The Sadness of Christ.

Toward the man who put him in prison, Thomas not only prayed daily for Henry, he thanked the King for his imprisonment, which Thomas called “the very greatest” of “all the great benefits” the king “has heaped so thickly upon me.” With prescience, Thomas wrote to his daughter Margaret that “no matter how bad it seems,” great good would come from his death.

On February 1, 1535, the Act of Supremacy came into operation, giving the title of “only supreme head of the Church of England” to the king and made it treason to deny it. Thomas was asked while he was in the Tower his opinion of the Act, but he refused to give his opinion. On June 22nd, now-Cardinal John Fisher was beheaded on Tower Hill. Nine days after, on July 1, 1535, Thomas was indicted and tried in Westminster Hall for opposing the Act of Supremacy, with false testimony from Richard Rich, the Solicitor General of Wales.

At the trial, Thomas broke his long silence and defended himself with competence, brilliance, and holiness, which intimidated his accusers and judges. He argued that, just as London lacked authority to annul an act of Parliament for the whole of England, so Parliament lacked authority to transfer governance of the Church to the king, since the Church had been entrusted by God to the bishops and the Pope. Thomas noted that this was codified in the Magna Carta 200 years earlier and affirmed in the king’s coronation oath.

Intimidated by King Henry, the jury convicted Thomas of treason. On July 6, 1535, Thomas was taken to be beheaded at Tower Hill. Weak and emaciated, he asked the Lord Lieutenant of the Tower to help him up the steps of the scaffold, but still managed wryly to quip, “As for my coming down, let me shift for myself.” A Paris newsletter published this description by an eye-witness:

“He spoke little before his execution. Only he asked that bystanders to pray for him in this world, and he would pray for them elsewhere.  He then begged them earnestly to pray for the King, that it might please God to give him good counsel, protesting that he dies the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

The husband of Thomas’ daughter, Margaret, recorded that Thomas asked those present “to pray for him, and to bear witness with him that he should now there suffer death, in and for the faith of the Holy Catholic Church.”

400 years after his martyrdom, on May 19, 1935, the bells in St. Peter’s Basilica rang with joy as Thomas More was canonized a saint, along with St. John Fisher. In November of 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed St. Thomas More the patron saint of politicians “for proclaiming the truth in season and out.”

St. John Fisher

John was born in 1469 in Beverly, Yorkshire, the eldest of four children of Robert and Agnes Fisher. Robert Fisher died when John was only 8; his mother remarried and had five more children. John attended Beverly grammar school and later, Cambridge University. He became Proctor of Cambridge in or about 1494, and was appointed Master Debator three years later. On July 5, 1501, he became a doctor of sacred theology; 10 days later, he was elected Vice Chancellor of the University. From 1505 to 1508, John served as the president of Queens’ College: He created scholarships, introduced Greek and Hebrew into the university curriculum, and brought in the world-famous Erasmus as Professor of Divinity and Greek. John was known as a great theologian through his writings in defense of the Sacraments, especially the priesthood and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In 1504, he became both Bishop of Rochester, the poorest diocese in England, as well as Chancellor of Cambridge. As Chancellor, he tutored then Prince Henry, who later became King Henry VIII. John loved his flock in Rochester as they also loved him, tending especially to the poor and the children.

From 1527 on forward, Bishop Fisher resolutely opposed Henry VIII’s divorce proceedings against Queen Catherine. Unlike all of the other bishops, John Fisher refused to take the Oath of Succession for the same reasons as Thomas More. Therefore, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in April of 1534. That very next year while he remained in prison, the Pope made him a Cardinal. Angered by this, Henry VIII retaliated by beheading Cardinal Fisher within a month.

A half hour before his execution on June 22, 1535, Cardinal Fisher opened his New Testament to this passage in the Gospel of John:

“Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God, and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ. I have given You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do. Do you now, Father, give me glory at Your side.” 

Fisher then closed his New Testament and said, “There is enough learning in that to last me the rest of my life.”

William Rastell, Thomas More’s nephew, witnessed the martyrdom of Cardinal Fisher. He said that Fisher in a strong and very loud voice spoke to the large crowd, “Christian people, I am come hither to die for the faith of Christ’s Catholic Church.” He asked for their prayers and prayed, “God save the king and the realm, and hold His holy hand over it, and send the king a good counsel.” He then knelt, said the hymn of praise, Te Deum, and some short prayers, laid his neck upon the block, and was executed.

On May 19, 1935, along with Thomas More, John Fisher was canonized a saint.

In his Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, St. Thomas More urges us to have the courage and conviction to “die for the truth” with Christ.

We live in a time in America of a culture war against Christ and Christianity. The culture war is now a political war because of the Obama administration’s assault on religious autonomy and liberty. Against the tide of false political correctness and the threat of punishment and sanctions, will we stand firm and remain true to Christ and to our Faith?

St. Thomas and St. John so loved Jesus, they willingly died for Him. May we find inspiration in their examples as we live our faith with courage, integrity, honor and steadfastness.

We are not servants of Obama or any ruler. We are God’s servants, first and last!



Butler’s Lives of the Saints, edited by Michael Walsh
The King’s Good Servant But God’s First, by James Monti
Catholic Insight
Catholic Online
Catholic Wisdom, edited by John A. Hardon, S.J.

Italian Courts Rule Vaccines Cause Autism

From http://www.HealthImpactNews.com:

Recent Italian Court Decisions on Vaccines and Autism

by Mary Holland J.D.
Age of Autism

On September 23, 2014, an Italian court in Milan award compensation to a boy for vaccine-induced autism. (See the Italian document here.) A childhood vaccine against six childhood diseases caused the boy’s permanent autism and brain damage.

While the Italian press has devoted considerable attention to this decision and its public health implications, the U.S. press has been silent.

Italy’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Like the U.S., Italy has a national vaccine injury compensation program to give some financial support to those people who are injured by compulsory and recommended vaccinations. The Italian infant plaintiff received three doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s Infanrix Hexa, a hexavalent vaccine administered in the first year of life. These doses occurred from March to October 2006. The vaccine is to protect children from polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis and Haemophilus influenza type B. In addition to these antigens, however, the vaccine then contained thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative, aluminum, an adjuvant, as well as other toxic ingredients. The child regressed into autism shortly after receiving the three doses.

When the parents presented their claim for compensation first to the Ministry of Health, as they were required to do, the Ministry rejected it. Therefore, the family sued the Ministry in a court of general jurisdiction, an option which does not exist in the same form in the U.S.

Court Decision: Mercury and Aluminum in Vaccine Caused Autism

Based on expert medical testimony, the court concluded that the child more likely than not suffered autism and brain damage because of the neurotoxic mercury, aluminum and his particular susceptibility from a genetic mutation. The Court also noted that Infanrix Hexa contained thimerosal, now banned in Italy because of its neurotoxicity, “in concentrations greatly exceeding the maximum recommended levels for infants weighing only a few kilograms.”

Presiding Judge Nicola Di Leo considered another piece of damning evidence: a 1271-page confidential GlaxoSmithKline report (now available on the Internet). This industry document provided ample evidence of adverse events from the vaccine, including five known cases of autism resulting from the vaccine’s administration during its clinical trials (see table at page 626, excerpt below).

Italian Government, Not Vaccine Maker, Pays for Vaccine Damages

As in many other developed countries, government, not industry, compensates families in the event of vaccine injury. Thus GSK’s apparent lack of concern for the vaccine’s adverse effects is notable and perhaps not surprising.

In the final assessment, the report states that:

“[t]he benefit/risk profile of Infanrix hexa continues to be favourable,” despite GSK’s acknowledgement that the vaccine causes side effects including “anaemia haemolytic autoimmune,thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, autoimmune thrombocytopenia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, haemolytic anemia, cyanosis, injection site nodule, abcess and injection site abscess, Kawasaki’s disease, important neurological events (including encephalitis and encephalopathy), Henoch-Schonlein purpura, petechiae, purpura, haematochezia, allergic reactions (including anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions),” and death (see page 9).

The Milan decision is sober, informed and well-reasoned. The Ministry of Health has stated that it has appealed the Court’s decision, but that appeal will likely take several years, and its outcome is uncertain.

Rimini: 2012 – Italian Court Rules MMR Vaccine Caused Autism

Two years earlier, on May 23, 2012, Judge Lucio Ardigo of an Italian court in Rimini presided over a similar judgment, finding that a different vaccine, the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR), had caused a child’s autism. As in the Milan case, the Ministry of Health’s compensation program had denied compensation to the family, yet after a presentation of medical evidence, a court granted compensation. There, too, the Italian press covered the story; the U.S. press did not.

In that case, a 15-month old boy received his MMR vaccine on March 26, 2004. He then immediately developed bowel and eating problems and received an autism diagnosis with cognitive delay within a year. The court found that the boy had “been damaged by irreversible complications due to vaccination (with trivalent MMR).” The decision flew in the face of the conventional mainstream medical wisdom that an MMR-autism link has been “debunked.”

Italian Court Decisions Break New Ground in Debate Over Vaccines and Autism

Both these Italian court decisions break new ground in the roiling debate over vaccines and autism. These courts, like all courts, are intended to function as impartial, unbiased decision makers.

The courts’ decisions are striking because they not only find a vaccine-autism causal link, but they also overrule the decisions of Italy’s Ministry of Health. And taken together, the court decisions found that both the MMR and a hexavalent thimerosal- and aluminum-containing vaccine can trigger autism.

Italian Court Rulings Contradict Special U.S. Vaccine Court

These court decisions flatly contradict the decisions from the so-called U.S. vaccine court, the Court of Federal Claim’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. There, from 2007 to 2010, in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, three decision makers, called Special Masters, found that vaccines did not cause autism in any of the six test cases, and one Special Master even went so far as to compare the theory of vaccine-induced autism to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

The Italian court decisions contrast starkly with these U.S. cases based on similar claims.

Read the full story at Age of Autism.

About the Author

Mary Holland is Research Scholar and Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at NYU Law School. She has published articles on vaccine law and policy, and is the co-editor of Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health and Our Children (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012).

Wayne Allyn Root on Celebrating Obama for the New Year!

Wayne Allyn Root

Celebrating Obama for the New Year!
Posted by Wayne Root on January 5, 2015

I am Obama’s college classmate from Columbia University, Class of ’83. Back in 1981 when my Columbia classmates heard my hero President Ronald Reagan had been shot, they erupted in joy. They celebrated by jumping up and down, cheering, hugging, and giving each other high-fives. They screamed, “YES! Reagan is dead. They got the bastard!” I witnessed it all, first hand. My radical leftist classmates thought a conservative legend was dead and this was cause for celebration. I remember thinking, “they are celebrating like it’s New Year’s Eve.” Afterall that’s what you do on New Years- celebrate!

That memory inspired me to write a column celebrating Obama here in the New Year 2015. Let’s not rehash the bad stuff…the disastrous stuff…the tragic stuff…the decline and perhaps even death of America at the hands of a radical Big Brother tyrant. That’s not the way to celebrate New Years. Let’s look at the bright side. You know- the glass is half full.

You might ask “What is the positive side of the Obama presidency?” Well there are a few groups that should celebrate.

For my fellow constitutional and second amendment patriots, Obama is the greatest gun salesman in history. Over 70 million guns have been purchased since Obama took office. This man opens his mouth, reads from the teleprompter, and INSTANTLY Americans are inspired to buy all-time record quantities of guns and ammo. If you’re a fan of the second amendment (or a gun dealer), Obama has been the answer to your prayers.

For my fellow fiscal conservatives and capitalists, Obama is the greatest gold salesman ever. Conservatives love gold. Gold after all is the antidote to a debt crisis and lack of confidence in a reckless or incompetent government. That’s why record sums of gold were bought during the past 6 years. Central bankers worldwide bought more gold in one recent year than in half a century (since 1964). Fiscal conservatives (and gold dealers) rejoice. Obama is a walking billboard for God, guns, and GOLD!

Obama is also the greatest thing to ever happen to print shop owners. While the rest of us are struggling to keep our heads above water, print shop owners can’t keep up with the demand for “Going Out of Business” and “Home For Sale by Bank” signs. And what about all the protest signs funded by communist groups announcing “What Do We Want? DEAD COPS.” Print shop owners Rejoice! You’ve never had it so good.

And then there are “English as a Second Language” teachers. There may be very few good jobs left in Obama’s America, but if you speak both English and Spanish, the sky is the limit. With the border wide open and Obama announcing amnesty for illegals, celebrate if you are a teacher of “English as a Second Language.” You have the most in-demand job in America for decades to come. Unfortunately, demand for prison guards may soon be even more in demand.

Obama is the greatest thing to ever happen to government bureaucrats. The future is bright if your goal is to sit in a windowless office handing out checks for welfare, food stamps, disability and unemployment, while complaining you are overworked and underpaid. With almost 20% of all Americans on food stamps alone, there’s enough work for you to last a lifetime…or at least 20 years, until you retire at age 45 and collect an obscene pension for the next 40 to 50 years for not working.

And what about the boom in basements! With Obama and his socialist cabal in control for another two years, basements are the new hip living space for young adults. At this moment 31% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents. Obama’s high taxes and massive regulations guarantee millions of college graduates will either stay unemployed, or underemployed in low wage jobs, forcing them to live in mommy and daddy’s basement for years to come. Basements are no longer lonely dusty places to store old furniture. In the age of Obama, they are where you store your 30 year old unemployed children.

Pharmaceutical companies are celebrating. A record 30 million Americans are dependent on anti-depressants. There would be many more, except millions of depressed Americans self-medicate with alcohol. If you sell drugs or booze, give a shout out this New Years to Obama, the greatest salesman for your products ever!

And then, of course there are the cop haters who are celebrating. To think you used to be misunderstood, hated pariahs. Today you are in favor- with Obama praising you for hating cops. He encourages you to protest, loot, burn and act like exactly what you are- idiots who have no interest in getting a job. But, no worry, this New Years you can come out of the closet, celebrate, and be openly YOU!

Unfortunately the rest of us are hiding in the closet, because you’re on the streets.

If you’re a radical Muslim terrorist, or just someone who sympathizes with radical Muslims (i.e. a Democrat) – CELEBRATE! Obama is the best thing to ever happened to you. Under Obama America has become a politically correct shell of its former self. Rest easy. No more “enhanced interrogations.” And if you’re caught, you’ll live like a king at Guantanamo, provided with a Koran, prayer rug, religiously approved food, basketball courts, and expensive lawyers. Then once you are rested up, you’ll be released back to the battlefield, ready to again cut off heads and slaughter women and little children. Obama is the best thing that ever happened to you.

If you’re Fidel and Raul Castro, celebrate Obama. By opening relations and trade, Obama saved Cuba from economic collapse and the certain death of communism. He asked for nothing in return. You get to remain a communist nation, jail your political opposition, steal the people’s income, while enjoying the prosperity that comes from doing business with America’s biggest companies. Celebrate Obama- the savior of communism- on New Years Day!

Finally we come to Vladamir Putin. He’s celebrating “like it’s 1999” this New Years. God handed him “the gift of a lifetime” in the form of Barack Obama. Obama pulled off a miracle for Putin and the Russian people. He made your bankrupt, decaying country look like a world power again. Not economically of course…but militarily. The collapse in the price of oil will wreak havoc on Russia’s economy. Even Obama can’t change that. But he made Putin significant, a leader on the world stage. He gave Russia’s demoralized military swagger again. Obama managed to put Mother Russia in the driver’s seat and America in the back seat.

The only question is…is this a coincidence, or was this Obama’s plan all along?

Yes, there’s certainly a lot to celebrate this New Years. Unfortunately it’s the enemies of America, American Exceptionalism, the American Dream, Judeo Christian Values, capitalism and cops who are doing most of the celebrating.

For the rest of us it’s two long years until we can celebrate “Obama-Free America.”


Thanks to fom reader Ken!

Lessons From the Election

Nothing is hopeless. We all have a moral obligation to fight evil and promote good. Keep fighting. And remember this: You… yes, you… reading these words. You’re a hero.

Not all elections are rigged. Sure, vote fraud exists. Sure, Democrats rely on vote fraud and union intimidation to win elections. But this is a big country, a huge country. There are simply too many precincts, too many election officials across the nation for them all to be corrupted.

Polls are useless. Mitch McConnell in the fight of his life. Close races across the board. All of it nonsense.

Some things never change. The spoiled-child response coming from the left, their indications that they will dig in even further and refuse to negotiate with conservatives, as they have all along, despite a mandate from Americans demanding change, shows us all just how out of touch, how unsafe, how dishonest, and how evil these people really are.

Are You Young and Dumb?

Here’s a quick quiz. Please answer A, B, or C, and please
be honest with yourself. (And note that young does not necessarily correspond to chronological age.) Are you:

A) Young and intelligent.

B) Young and misinformed.

C) Young and dumb.

Young and intelligent is weighing all sides of an issue and
then forming a viewpoint based on facts and logic. Most young
and intelligent people began life young and misinformed.

Somewhere along the line, they decided that maybe there were two sides to the stories they were being told, and then went out to investigate for themselves. Approximately 5-10% of the American population is young and intelligent.

Young and misinformed is believing everything you’ve been
told by your college professors and the mainstream media.

There’s no shame in being young and misinformed. 90% of all
Americans were young and misinformed at one time or another, and a good 60% of adult Americans remain in this group.

Someone who is young and misinformed has a distorted view
of reality, but is still intelligent enough to consider
alternative viewpoints. They just have never been exposed to
those alternative viewpoints.

Young and dumb is somebody who is not only young and
misinformed, they are also incapable of considering and judging
any viewpoints other than what they currently believe.

Even worse, the young and dumb don’t want to hear
alternative viewpoints. Their emotional state is so fragile
that to even consider alternative viewpoints is positively
frightening. Therefore, they refuse to look at any evidence
that contradicts their own myopic and misinformed view of the
world. They value opinion and emotions over facts and logic.

30% of all Americans are young and dumb, and they include
some of the most esteemed and educated individuals in our

If you’re wondering where you fit in these three examples, ask yourself this:

Are you aware that aka Barack Obama is a pathological liar and who has broken the law on numerous occasions, including ordering the IRS to attack his opponents?

Are you aware that Michael Brown was videotaped performing a violent strong-arm robbery minutes before he was shot, and most likely assaulted the police officer who did shoot him?

Are you aware the Hillary Clinton left four Americans to die and then later infamously proclaimed, “What difference at this point does it make?”

Are you aware that the mainstream media routinely twists facts and fabricates lies in order to advance a leftist agenda?

Are you aware that most American universities are centers of leftist indoctrination?

If you answered YES to these five questions, then you belong in the first group. You are young and intelligent.

If you were caught off-guard by these questions, and have no idea how to answer them, you belong to the second group, the young and misinformed.

If you denied the reality of these five questions, then, alas, you are a member of the third group, the young and dumb. Please seek help now and at least attempt to educate yourself. The fact that you are on this site and reading this is a good sign and a good start. You’ve taken the first step to becoming young and intelligent.


A Primer on Race by Thomas Sowell

Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience.

“Please do not do any more good in my country,” he said. “We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done.”

That is essentially the message of an outstanding new book by Jason Riley about blacks in America. Its title is “Please Stop Helping Us.” Its theme is that many policies designed to help blacks are in fact harmful, sometimes devastatingly so. These counterproductive policies range from minimum wage laws to “affirmative action” quotas.

This book untangles the controversies, the confusions, and the irresponsible rhetoric in which issues involving minimum wage laws are usually discussed. As someone who has followed minimum wage controversies for decades, I must say that I have never seen the subject explained more clearly or more convincingly.

Black teenage unemployment rates ranging from 20 to 50 percent have been so common over the past 60 years that many people are unaware that this was not true before there were minimum wage laws, or even during years when inflation rendered minimum wage laws ineffective, as in the late 1940s.

Pricing young people out of work deprives them not only of income but also of work experience, which can be even more valuable. Pricing young people out of legal work, when illegal work is always available, is just asking for trouble. So is having large numbers of idle young males hanging out together on the streets.

When it comes to affirmative action, Jason Riley asks the key question: “Do racial preferences work? What is the track record?” Like many other well-meaning and nice-sounding policies, affirmative action cannot survive factual scrutiny.

Some individuals may get jobs they would not get otherwise but many black students who are quite capable of getting a good college education are admitted, under racial quotas, to institutions whose pace alone is enough to make it unlikely that they will graduate.

Studies that show how many artificial failures are created by affirmative action admissions policies are summarized in “Please Stop Helping Us,” in language much easier to understand than in the original studies.

There are many ponderous academic studies of blacks, if you have a few months in which to read them, but there is nothing to match Jason Riley’s book as a primer that will quickly bring you up to speed on the complicated subject of race in a week, or perhaps over a weekend.

As an experienced journalist, rather than an academic, Riley knows how to use plain English to get to the point. He also has the integrity to give it to you straight, instead of in the jargon and euphemisms too often found in discussions of race. The result is a book that provides more knowledge and insight in a couple of hundred pages than are usually found in books twice that length.

Unlike academics who just tell facts, Riley knows which facts are telling.

For example, in response to claims that blacks don’t do well academically because the schools use an approach geared to white students, he points out that blacks from foreign, non-English-speaking countries do better in American schools than black, English-speaking American students.

Asian students do better than whites in schools supposedly geared to whites. In New York City’s three academically elite public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech — there are more than twice as many Asian students as white students in all three institutions.

So much for the theory that non-whites can’t do well in schools supposedly geared to whites.

On issue after issue, “Please Stop Helping Us” cites facts to destroy propaganda and puncture inflated rhetoric. It is impossible to do justice to the wide range of racial issues — from crime to family disintegration — explored in this book. Pick up a copy and open pages at random to see how the author annihilates nonsense.

His brief comments pack a lot of punch. For example, “having a black man in the Oval Office is less important than having one in the home.”

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University

Hope and change: Part-time workers find full-time jobs elusive


Sacramento Bee: Monica Alexander needs a full-time job (Heck, I bet the record number of people out of the workforce just wish they had any kind of job) . A certified nursing assistant, she just started working about 28 hours a week as a home companion in Wake County, N.C. That’s a major improvement over the eight hours she had been clocking each week for six of the past seven months.

Alexander is one of 7.5 million Americans struggling to find full-time work who settle for part-time jobs, amid an atmosphere of stress, depression and low finances. Their numbers remains stubbornly higher in the current economic recovery, compared with the peaks of the recessions over the past three decades.

Indeed, the number of unemployed people is 24 percent higher now than it was in December 2007 when the recession began. But the number of people like Alexander – known as involuntary part-time workers – is 66 percent higher, more than double what it was back then.

One reason is a gap in the kinds of skills needed to find work in an increasingly technological workplace. Many employers also remain uncertain about the economy and hesitant about deeper financial commitments.

And hiring part-time instead full-time employees is one way that some businesses are getting around the costs of a mandate in the health care law that requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide insurance coverage beginning in January.

“The pace of decline in part-time employment is smaller now than what we’ve seen in other recoveries,” said Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “Businesses have been cautious about moving workers from part time to full time.”

Alexander, 43, lives with three of her four children in Zebulon, N.C., population 4,433. They live in Section 8 housing, a type of federally subsidized low-income housing, in the Research Triangle, a region near Raleigh and Durham clustered with universities and high-tech companies. Last year she earned about $7,000.

“It’s been a struggle to keep food in the house, to keep gas in the car,” she said. “My 17-year old was making comments, ‘Well, Mom, do we really have to live like this?’”

Alexander’s monthly grocery bill for four people and their dog, Tiny, runs between $150 and $200, or roughly $12.50 per week per person. She’s reluctant to use her car to apply for jobs for fear that it will be a waste of time and money. The family supplements its income with two disability checks: one for Alexander because she is hearing disabled, and one for a son who has an attention deficit disorder.

Sometimes relatives bring food over for the children, but Alexander’s two ex-husbands pay no child support; one is unemployed and the other is in jail, she said.

Alexander is currently taking college classes to become a certified nurse by the end of next year. The classes are paid for by the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, a federally funded employment agency in Raleigh. Meanwhile, she applied for a full-time job at McDonald’s in July but has not heard back.

“You’re waiting and waiting and waiting,” Alexander said. “In the meantime you could actually starve. That’s what it feels like: ‘Am I going to starve before I get this decent job?’”

Economists stress that the monthly number of part-time workers is a volatile statistic, subject to frequent swings. In March 2010, the number of involuntary part-time workers peaked at 9.2 million. It’s now 7.5 million, five years into the economic recovery that began in 2009. Still, even that lower amount is higher than it was during the recessions of the early 1980s, ’90s and 2000s.

“It’s bad on an individual level and a part of the slow recovery,” said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank in Washington. “People are involuntary part time because they can’t find jobs that meet their needs.”

The number of involuntary part-time workers actually increased in 16 states between 2012 and 2013.

The level in North Carolina ticked up from 51,000 to 63,000 workers during that period, according to the latest annual averages from the Labor Department. South Carolina, Mississippi and Kansas, among others, also increased their part-time workforces.

Dominick Finelle applies for full-time work about five times a week, even though he says he might not be qualified for all of the jobs. A self-described workaholic, Finelle earned a six-figure salary for about 15 years as a freelance illustrator of book covers between the late 1980s and early 2000s. Publishers Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books USA and Time Warner printed his illustrations. Work paid well.

His hours began to steadily decline in 2005 as the publishing industry struggled and book sales declined. Finelle moved to Cary, N.C., in 2006 with his wife, Claudia, and their three children. He has worked 10-15 hours a week for the past four years.

His income fluctuates depending on his freelance work, but he earned roughly $35,000 last year. Claudia is working temporarily full time this summer teaching arts and crafts to children.

Finelle, 51, said he has run through most of his savings: “It’s running out. I’m panicking.” To make ends meet, he has delivered pizzas, worked at the local sports arena and spent last holiday season carrying packages for UPS. Finelle said he and his family can live on the rest of his savings, along with whatever work he and his wife get, for about one more year.

“I put everything into this one career. The plan B wasn’t even in the equation,” said Finelle, later adding: “All I think about is looking for work, and if I can go this month without tapping into savings.”

A skills gap and the duration of part-time employment make full-time employment hard to earn back, said Pat Sturdivant, executive director of the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, which is operated by the Wake County government.

The “I’ll-take-whatever-I-can-get,” approach allows people to survive financially, but it may hurt them when applying for full-time work, Sturdivant said. The development board helps workers obtain jobs and pays for training. The majority of people coming to the centers for employment help are between 35 and 59.

“A lot of cases what we do find is people working part-time jobs in industries that aren’t related to what they did when they were working full time,” said Sturdivant. “That also poses a challenge when you’re trying to help them find full-time work.”

The Affordable Care Act’s impact on part-time employment is harder to discern. Some economists say that the insurance mandate is not influencing the way employers are hiring this year, but one local hiring expert disagrees.

“It drives me nuts when I read these economists’ articles,” said Bruce Clarke, president and CEO of Capital Associated Industries Inc., a human resources management company in Raleigh, “because it doesn’t match at all what I’m seeing.”

Clarke’s company surveys 1,100 companies in North Carolina on salaries, hiring, wages and health care costs, among other topics. Employers already are looking to increase their part-time employment and cheapen costs on full-time workers because of the mandate, he said.

Health care coverage for one of Clarke’s full-time employees costs about $13,000 a year. On top of a salary, the costs create little incentive for employers to hire full-time workers into positions that already have low profitability, said Clarke, who emphasized his views are economically, not politically, driven.

“If I’m going to bring someone in a role that has a low margin (of profit) in it,” he said, “then it makes no economic sense to add $13,000 to the cost of that role.”