Thursday, May 31, 2012

When 'minority' is a trick of definition

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
May 27, 2012
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WHEN THE CENSUS BUREAU this month issued a press release headlined "Most Children Younger Than Age 1 are Minorities," the media snapped to attention. News outlets nationwide covered the announcement, hailing it as a "historic demographic milestone" (CNN), as the "dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority" (Washington Post), and as an "important turning point for the nation" (McClatchy) that would "starkly … change the face of America's next generations" (Time).
None of that was true.
None of that was new, either. The Census Bureau keeps dangling commonplace demographic data as if they were a dramatic racial revelation, and the press keeps taking the bait. The stories this month about minority births becoming the majority could have been recycled from a year ago, when the same thing was being reported -- and with the same air of history in the making. "For the first time," an AP story declared in June 2011, "minorities make up a majority of babies in the US, part of a sweeping race change … that could reshape government policies." Three months earlier, The New York Times had told its readers that babies born to minorities were "on the verge" of becoming the majority of all US births.
For years Americans have been hearing about the coming nonwhite majority. With every fresh tranche of census data, the issue is raised anew. "Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042," the Census Bureau forecast in 2008, "with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050." Savor the absurdity of the phrase "54 percent minority." It isn't the only thing about this issue that is irrational.
To begin with, all the ballyhoo about America's impending metamorphosis from white to nonwhite makes sense only if white Hispanics aren't what they say they are. Census Bureau guidelines specify that "Hispanics may be of any race" and that "The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts." In the 2010 US Census, 50.5 million Americans identified themselves as ethnically Hispanic; of those, more than half -- 26.7 million -- were white. The only way to conjure up a looming nonwhite majority is to arbitrarily subtract whites of Hispanic origin from the nation's overall white population.
That "sweeping race change," in other words, is a trick of definition. Maybe you relish the prospect of whites becoming a minority of the American population or maybe you dread it -- or maybe, in an era when more newlyweds than ever are marrying across racial lines, you wonder why anyone is still obsessed with race and color.
But whatever your attitude, there is no point waiting up for The End of White America. It isn't coming. Drill down into the Census Bureau's latest population estimates, for example, and it turns out that of the 3,996,537 babies younger than age 1, nearly 72 percent are white. The only way to shrink that very hefty majority to less than half is to exclude the nearly 900,000 white babies whose ethnic background is Hispanic.

The same is true of the "54 percent minority" scheduled to arrive by 2050. What the data in the bureau's spreadsheets actually project is that white Americans, who now constitute nearly 80 percent of the population, will make up 74 percent by midcentury. Only if tens of millions of white Hispanics aren't counted as white will America in 2050 be anything other than a majority-white nation.
There may be those who simply refuse to regard Hispanics as white, perhaps because of bigotry or ignorance or because they never saw Rita Hayworth, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, or Andy Garcia. But then, there have always been Americans with curious ideas of who could and couldn't be "white." Benjamin Franklin was sure that German immigrants were not only non-white but unassimilable;Henry Cabot Lodge said the same thing about Russians, Poles, and Greeks. There was a time when US immigration policyclassified Irish, Italians, and Jews as non-white, and when state laws required any resident with "one drop of Negro blood" to be listed as black.
To us, looking back, all those distinctions today seem ludicrous. A generation or two down the road, it will doubtless seem just as ludicrous that anyone would ever have thought of Hispanics as anything other than part of the broad, "white," American mainstream. Perhaps by then the very idea of race -- white, black, or anything else -- will finally have been discarded, and children will marvel at the idea that color of skin or shape of eye could ever have mattered so much.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. His website is

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Archeological evidence from time of King David

Evidence of Canaanite Jewish Rituals in Reign of King David

An archaeologist finds spectacular evidence confirming the reign of King David and that non-Jews believed in one Creator.
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By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/8/2012, 4:21 PM

Prof. Yosef Garfinkel with a stone shrine model
Prof. Yosef Garfinkel with a stone shrine model
Israel news photo courtesy of Hebrew U.
A Hebrew University archaeologist has uncovered spectacular evidence confirming the reign of King David and that there were groups who believed in one Creator at the time. Architecture that was uncovered pre-dates the First Temple built by King Solomon.
Prof. Yosef Garfinkel announced on Tuesday the discovery of objects found in the ruins called  Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified border city in the Kingdom of Judah adjacent to the Valley of Elah, less than 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem and five miles west of Gush Etzion.
The archaeologist and colleagues uncovered rich assemblages of pottery, stone and metal tools, and many art and ritual objects. The architecture and discoveries correspond to the biblical description of a local, organized group that observed the second of the 10 Commandments prohibiting belief in graven images.
The absence of cultic images of humans or animals in the shrines provides evidence that the local inhabitants practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines.
This discovery is the first time that shrines from the time of early biblical kings were uncovered. The village of Khirbet apparently existed for only about 40 years and was violently destroyed.
The People of Israel conducted their lives according to a religion different from all other nations of the ancient Near East by being monotheistic and banning human or animal figures. The Bible describes this in detail.
The findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa also indicate that an elaborate architectural style had developed as early as the time of King David. The construction is typical of royal activities and indicates the establishment of a state and of urban life in the region in the days of the early kings of Israel.
“These finds strengthen the historicity of the biblical tradition and its architectural description of the Palace and Temple of Solomon,” Hebrew University stated.
“This is the first time that archaeologists uncovered a fortified city in Judah from the time of King David,” according to Prof. Garfinkel. “Even in Jerusalem we do not have a clear fortified city from his period. Thus, various suggestions that completely deny the biblical tradition regarding King David and argue that he was a mythological figure, or just a leader of a small tribe, are now shown to be wrong.
“Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs. Now we uncovered three cultic rooms… but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggests that the population of Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans – on pork and on graven images – and thus practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines.”
The three shrines are part of larger building complexes,  different from the style of Canaanite or Philistine cults, and Prof. Garfinkel pointed out the Biblical verse in the time of King David:  “He brought the ark of God from a private house in Kyriat Yearim and put it in Jerusalem in a private house” (Chapter 6 in the Second Book of Samuel).
Parts of the structures, such as the doors, help explain obscure technical terms in the description of Solomon’s palace as described in the First Book of Kings 6.
“For the first time in history, we have actual objects from the time of David, which can be related to monuments described in the Bible,” the archaeologist said.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Claims of observed speciation are very common in Evolutionist literature. A survey of such claims by Casey Luskin is found here: It serves as a very useful antidote to the fantasies in the claims.