The World and Everything in It - June 16, 2022
State legislators are preparing for the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion; the continuing battle in the Donbas; and how a Virginia farmer is celebrating Juneteenth this year. Plus: commentary from Cal Thomas, and the Thursday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
All eyes are on the Supreme Court this month—awaiting the final decision on Dobbs, but what’s happening behind the scenes at the local state level?
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Also the battle for the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Plus, how a man from Virginia is using this year's Juneteenth commemoration to rekindle interest in a once beloved profession.
And Cal Thomas on the real-life danger of violent political rhetoric.
BROWN: It’s Thursday, June 16th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Good morning!
BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Fed announces largest rate hike in three decades » The Federal Reserve just announced its biggest interest rate hike in three decades.
The Fed raised rates by three quarters of a point and it signaled that more increases are on the way.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell explained…
POWELL: We at the Fed understand the hardship that high inflation is causing. We're strongly committed to bringing inflation back down, and we're moving expeditiously to do so.
The move raises the benchmark short-term interest rate to about one-point-five percent or so. This makes borrowing money more expensive, both for consumers and businesses.
Powell suggested that upcoming rate hikes won’t be quite as steep as this one. But rates could hit roughly 3.5 percent by year’s end. That would be the highest level since 2008.
The Fed has struggled to douse raging inflation—which is now at about 8.6 percent.
NATO defense ministers to discuss weapons for Ukraine » President Biden announced Wednesday that the United States will send another $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine. So far, this is the largest single U.S. payment to Ukraine for weapons and equipment.
The announcement comes as the NATO member nations meet in Brussels to discuss more aid to Ukraine. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told U.S. allies…
AUSTIN: We must push ourselves even harder to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself, its citizens, and its territory.
The aid package also provides more than $200 million for things like food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.
World Vision Gaza director terror charges » AUDIO: [Protesters]
Demonstrators gathered outside an Israeli courthouse in Beersheba on Tuesday to protest a ruling, convicting the Gaza director of the Christian charity World Vision on terror charges. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The court convicted Mohammed el-Halabi of carrying a weapon, providing information to a terror group, and participating in militant exercises.
Israeli authorities arrested him in 2016, and have detained him for the past six years. They’ve accused him of funneling tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, dollars they say funded militant activities.
The ruling relies heavily on a supposed confession from el-Halabi that has not been made public, but his lawyer claims that confession came under duress.
World Vision and el-Halabi say he’s done nothing wrong. And they’re not alone. Forensic auditors and dozens of lawyers—including some former assistant U.S. attorneys came to the same conclusion in a 400-page report released in 2017.
Israeli courts have yet to sentence el-Halabi. They say their decision is “confidential and cannot be made public.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher
FDA advisers weigh COVID-19 shots for babies, young children » Should the FDA approve COVID-19 vaccine shots for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers? A group of medical advisers met Wednesday to consider the answer to that question.
FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks commented…
MARKS: We have to be careful that we don’t become numb to pediatric deaths because of the overwhelming number of older deaths here. Every life is important.
More than a million adult Americans have died. Marks said the virus has also killed more than 400 children under the age of 4. He said he believes vaccines could help prevent more deaths among small children.
FDA reviewers said tot-sized doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be safe for children from 6 months to 5 years old. Moderna says its shot in that age group appears to be about 40 to 50 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.
If the FDA and CDC both give the green light, parents who choose to vaccinate young children may have access to the shots next week.
Southern Baptists agree to keep list of accused sex abusers » The Southern Baptist Convention has voted overwhelmingly to create a way to track pastors and other church workers who are credibly accused of sex abuse. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The vote came three weeks after the release of a bombshell report by an outside consultant on the long-simmering scandal. That report revealed that Southern Baptist leaders mishandled abuse cases and stonewalled victims for years.
Thousands of Southern Baptists met in Anaheim this week for their national meeting. They also voted to continue the work of a task force appointed to oversee reforms in the nation’s biggest Protestant denomination.
The SBC elected a new president, Texas pastor Bart Barber. He has called for an “army of peacemakers” to heal divisions over theological differences within the denomination.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I'm Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the battle rages on for control of eastern Ukraine.
Plus, how one man is using this year's Juneteenth commemoration to rekindle interest in a once beloved profession.
Plus, something that’s ahead but not immediately straight ahead.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Thursday, June 16th, 2022. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re glad to have you along today. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
Any day now, the Supreme Court will release a final decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Womens Health case. If the leaked draft of the opinion holds, the matter of abortion would return power to the states to protect the unborn, as it was pre-Roe v Wade.
BROWN: So state legislators on both sides of the abortion debate are gearing up to react to the expected ruling.
WORLD's pro-life beat reporter Leah Savas is keeping an eye on what might be coming down the road.
LEAH SAVAS, REPORTER: John McCravy is a private attorney. But he’s also got a part-time gig as a representative in the South Carolina House. This time of year he’d normally be catching up on cases at his law firm since the normal legislative session ended in May. But right now he has homework.
MCCRAVY: I've got a notebook that's about four or five inches thick, with all of the, with all the bills, proposed legislation that I could find in the whole United States with model legislation, as well, to ban abortion in our state.
Before the session let out, the South Carolina House and Senate passed a resolution calling for lawmakers to reconvene later to take up some legislative matters. Normally, those would only include things like passing a budget or overriding the governor’s vetoes.
But with the looming Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case, abortion legislation is on the agenda.
Representative McCravy chairs the committee in charge of crafting that bill. His state already has a law that protects babies from abortion once they have a detectable heartbeat. It’s currently on hold in court, but he expects it to take effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
MCCRAVY: So, obviously, there are gaps between the heartbeat and conception. And that's the gap that needs to be closed. I think most pro-life people agree with that, that we need to close the gap and ban abortions altogether from the time of conception forward.
Other states are also making plans.
DURAN: I wouldn't be surprised if on both sides, whether it's a pro abortion governor or a pro life governor, who'll call it a special session once the decision is is is made.
That’s Ingrid Duran, director of state legislation for National Right to Life.
DURAN: I mean, they're still in discussion about this. But Wisconsin did mention that they want to go into a special session in order to protect abortion on demand. And so theirs would be starting on June 22. So far, that's the only state that I know for sure is going to do it. Other states are just talking about it.
Wisconsin’s pro-abortion governor wants to repeal a law banning all abortions that’s been around since before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Two of the other states that have also “talked about” special sessions are South Dakota and Nebraska. Pro-life governors Kristi Noem and Pete Ricketts have already said they will call for special sessions—that is, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
South Dakota Right to Life executive director Dale Bartscher says his state is ready.
BARTSCHER: As soon as the court reverses the Roe v. Wade, our trigger law that was passed back in 2005 kicks in, which will simply ban all elective or induced abortions in the state of South Dakota, except to save the life of the mother.
He wouldn’t give specifics about what additional legislation lawmakers might consider in the special session.
BARTSCHER: We are currently visiting with the governor's office and legislators across the state as to what that special session will look like. We anticipate that if that ruling does come down between now and the end of June, or the first part of July, that that special session will take place August, late August, early September. And then we'll go about the process of strengthening our current South Dakota statutes as it comes to protecting innocent human life.
In Nebraska, it’s more obvious what work legislators have ahead of them. Sandy Danek, executive director at Nebraska Right to Life, said her state only has protections for unborn babies after 20 weeks gestation. Pro-life legislators tried to pass a trigger ban last month that would have protected all babies from abortion. It failed.
DANEK: If Roe is indeed overturned, then we will have to go to the legislative process and determine what Nebraska will do. Now whether that's done in a legislative special session, or whether we do it in the normal cycle of sessions, which begins in January, that has not yet been determined. Of course, that is decided by our governor.
Governor Ricketts has expressed interest in a special session, but Danek says deciding to do a special session isn’t that simple. It requires lawmakers to leave their jobs and come back to the capital, sometimes traveling long distances.
DANEK: And of course, it costs the state additional money when you have a special session. So all those things are taken into consideration as well as what is the possible outcome of the vote? How close are we to that, as I said, we fell two votes short on our trigger ban. So see how I say it gets a little complicated?
Back in South Carolina, Representative John McCravy is studying his thick notebook of pro-life legislation. Lisa Van Riper, the president of South Carolina Citizens for Life, is encouraged by the initiative she sees her lawmakers taking on this issue.
VAN RIPER: Now, we would be wasting precious time and putting the lives of precious children and honestly, the lives of women at stake if we waited until January to even begin this discussion. And so we're excited that our speaker of the house here has impaneled this committee, even before the decision has come out. The committee's already been named and said we are not going to wait in South Carolina to see what options are available to us now to offer women a full range of choices.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leah Savas.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The ongoing struggle to fend off Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed Monday that Russia now controls the “vast majority” of Sievierodonetsk. That is—or was—a city of 100,000 people in eastern Ukraine. That represents Russia’s latest victory in its focused offensive aimed at taking full control of the Donbas region.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: So what would it take for Ukraine to repel Russian forces in the Donbas region and beyond?
Here to help answer that question and others is Brent Sadler. He is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and a former senior Defense Department official. Among other roles, he served as Director Maritime Strategy and Policy with U.S. Pacific Command.
REICHARD: Captain Sadler, good morning!
SADLER: Hello! Nice to meet you.
REICHARD: President Zelenskyy this week again called on the west to supply weapons to Ukraine more quickly as Russia presses its offensive in the east.
What does the West need to provide more of right now? And what are Western nations not currently providing that they should?
SADLER: Great question. I think what’s happening right now on the front lines in the Donbas in southern Ukraine is turning into a slow moving war of attrition. And what needs to be most critically sustained is the munitions, small arms, like the machine guns and handguns that the Ukrainian forces are using, but also mortars and artillery rounds. And because they're using those at a very high rate, defending against a very slow moving but persistent Russian onslaught. As far as new weapons, there's really nothing at this stage that's going to create a strategic, rapidly changing strategic outcome of this war. It's probably going to still be slow moving. But that being said, there are longer range weapons, notably anti-ship weapons, and perhaps even mines designed to go after submarines that could open up the waterways in the south, so that Ukraine can regain its economic trade and in grain and fertilizers that the world needs. And to push back the Russian forces there. That'll help them stay in the fight for the long term.
REICHARD: Captain, you wrote an entire piece on this, but I’ll ask you to summarize it. You wrote that Raising the Cost for Russia’s Naval Blockade Can Avert a Prolonged War. How so?
SADLER: Well, Russia’s been blockading Ukraine, I think, with the intent to strangle them economically and the ability to isolate them. If Ukraine can complicate that, then that allows Ukraine to maintain its economic connections overseas, its ability to buy equipment and resupply its forces over the sea, where 70% of its trade was conducted before this war. Of course, they can bring in weapons and munitions across the border, but having a viable economy, especially as this war drags on, from months into perhaps even more years, I mean, that really this started in 2014. But if this offensive right now is to stretch on into years, they need to have a viable economy. So if you can stymie the Russians’ ability to strangle Ukraine's markets, their economy, that just accelerates the isolation and their inability to maintain their forces on the frontline.
REICHARD: We hear a lot about the ground war in Ukraine, but talk a little bit more about the rule of naval warfare in this conflict. What can you tell us about that?
SADLER: It’s largely been a secondary aspect of the war. This is mostly a ground war. But yet it still has the ability to have a significant failure like the Russians’ loss of their flagship—the Moskva cruiser—to have significant loss of face. The Russians also are devoting a large amount of naval forces to conduct bombardments. Their submarines right now are safer, so they're launching cruise missiles to conduct long range attacks into the western part of Ukraine. That allows them not to have to send aircraft into or closer to Ukrainian airspace, which is something the Russian Air Force is still very hesitant to do.
REICHARD: Captain, you also served as a military diplomat in Asia. As you know, many Asian countries are bypassing tough Western sanctions, continuing to do business with Russia. That, of course, undermines the pressure the West is trying to apply. What, if anything, can the United States and its allies do about that?
SADLER: Well, China has been resignaling, with Chinese characteristics, Russian propaganda pretty much throughout Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America uncontested or at least not challenged in an effective manner. So that would be the first thing is to try to get into and speak the language of those regions, of those locals, and to contest that narrative because once you start doing that the seniors will start to take notice. And you might actually see more support for sanctions. And that's something that has to accrue over the long term. It's too late to have an immediate effect. But you've got to play, if you're going to have any hope of having an impact. And we're coming late to that game.
REICHARD: This invasion has not gone as well as Putin envisioned. He’s had to scale back his ambitions. What’s his endgame now? What is he trying to accomplish?
SADLER: I still think his focus is the complete subjugation of Ukraine. That doesn’t mean he has to occupy the whole country. Now, that's not a goal that he's going to achieve in the next year or two. But that's still the longer term goal and the history in that region with Russia going back to Imperial Russia is they fought 10 wars over a period of 100 years with the Ottoman Empire then the Turks to basically conquer Crimea—what's Ukraine today—and they went as far south as the border in Bulgaria at one point. So I can see them taking little pieces over a period of time and take their time about it. He took too much, or he tried to take too big of a bite in February, and he learned his lesson and so he re-adjusted his plan. So back to, I think, traditional Russian incremental aggression.
REICHARD: Brent Sadler is a Senior Fellow for Naval Warfare and Advanced Technology at the Heritage Foundation. Captain, thanks so much for your time!
SADLER: Thank you very much for having me.
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BROWN: It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, June 16th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Juneteenth!
Time set aside to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved blacks. June 19th was recognized as a federal holiday last year when President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
BROWN: For many, the celebration begins this weekend with cookouts, family reunions, parades and street fairs. But for one Virginia farmer I recently met, Juneteenth is about planting seeds. Here’s his story.
AUDIO: [MICHAEL WALKING DOWN GRAVEL DRIVEWAY]
MYRNA BROWN CORRESPONDENT: With multiple tools in his hand and an old traditional African hoe over his shoulder, Michael Carter Jr. is still two steps ahead of me. As we make our way down his long, gravel driveway, the pep in his step is obvious. In a few days, he’ll host his first Juneteenth celebration at his farm.
CARTER: Well, it’s more of a commemoration of the United States Colored Troops.
AUDIO: [PLANTING SEEDS AND PULLING WEEDS]
As he pulls weeds from the red clay soil and plants a row of burgundy beans, cousins of the black-eye pea, Carter tells me the story of the United States Colored Troops. It begins with the passing of the Militia Act of 1862. The United States Colored Troops, or the USCT were finally allowed to enlist in the Union Army. Although many had wanted to join the war effort earlier, it was against the law. But after the Act, African Americans made up more than ten percent of the Union Army.
CARTER: It was about 125 African Americans from this area who fought in the United States Colored Troops, including my great-grandfather, fifth power, James Ellis.
The USCT fought some of the most noted campaigns and battles of the Civil War—particularly in Texas.
CARTER: They were not brought into the union as of yet. So the United States Colored Troops journeyed to Texas to fight and ultimately to confront the confederate contingent in Texas.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st,1863. It changed the legal status of African Americans from enslaved to free. But slavery remained unaffected in rebellious states like Texas, until June 19th, 1865. On that day, Union Army General Gordon Grainger arrived in Galveston, read the proclamation, and declared the freedom of all slaves.
CARTER: June 19th was when that proclamation was made, but June 15th was when the United States Colored Troops defeated the Texas Rangers and ultimately made the Emancipation Proclamation legit.
That’s the part of history Carter says most textbooks leave out.
CARTER: They don’t get any credit. It’s like General Grainger came. He read this thing…ba-da-bing...ba-da-boom. To make that proclamation, there had to be a defeat. You’re reading the victory without understanding that there was a battle to get to the victory. You can’t acknowledge the Declaration of Independence without the Revolutionary War and individuals actually winning. They had to fight.
That history lesson is the first seed Carter hopes to plant in the minds of the men, women and children who will sit under the shade trees on his farm this weekend.
CARTER: Most of us didn’t know about Juneteenth until a couple of years ago and its impact because the narrative was, we did not fight for our own freedom. We were just given freedom. And the reality is many of us fought and died.
Setting the record straight is important to Carter, but he says it’s not the only reason he’s opening his family’s 150-acre farm to the public. He also wants to open minds.
CARTER: Jefferson Davis Shirley and Catherine Walker Shirley were both my great-great-grandparents. They purchased this property November 5, 1910 for seven hundred twenty-two dollars and five cents.
The Shirley’s died in the 1920’s and left the acres of rolling hills to their daughter, Mattie Carter—Michael Carter’s great-grandmother. Affectionately known as “Grand,” Carter says he still remembers summers spent inside her“Grand’s”white, two-story, tin-roofed house. It’s still standing, along with the old clothesline and the jet black dinner bell hanging from a wooden pole. It still works.
AUDIO: [BELL RINGING]
In the early days, Carter says his family grew food for themselves and their community. They also raised cattle, hogs and chickens.
CARTER: It was a vibrant community around here of black business owners and black land owners. Where we owned probably six to seven hundred acres of land in this couple of miles area.
Today, you’ll find greenhouses instead of chicken coops on Carter Farms.
CARTER: We’re doing about maybe 50 to 60 different plants. That’s Sorbin..
And tye and dye, African-style shirts and pants have replaced dungarees and overalls. Carter is a 21st century farmer. The college graduate studied Agriculture Economics in school. Lived in Ghana, West Africa for five years. And today grows ethnic, African tropical vegetables.
CARTER: This is Nigerian Spinach. This particular one is Amherst…That’s Millet. Millet is an African grain for breads and other things, gluten-free
Carter is a one-man operation trying to keep his shrinking profession alive.
CARTER: In 1925 we had as many as 52,000 black farmers in the state of Virginia, the most in the country. And now we have about 1,300 and declining black farmers.
Carter says an outdated image is his biggest hurdle.
CARTER: Generally when you talk to African Americans and talk about agriculture, the first thought that comes to mind is slavery. No one wants to get anywhere near it. I know I can recall being told to get your cotton-picking hands off of such and such. Cotton-picking in that reference was not seen as something very honorable.
As a teenager he says he even experienced a season of disdain for his family’s legacy.
CARTER: I wanted to play basketball rather than planting these string beans and watering these plants. It’s 85 degrees outside. As a teenager, I’m not getting up early.
But he says his father saved the work for him. He does the same today for his four sons. He’s also showing them agriculture can still be profitable.
CARTER: I have speaking engagements around the region, speaking to people about agriculture. And I show them my checks. And I take them with me. They are homeschooled and they can actually learn as they go and see the kind of respect and dignity I’m bringing back to the profession.
With close to sixty rows of African crops ready for harvest, Carter is also counting on reaping other seeds of hope sown on Juneteenth.
CARTER: Land is a forever asset. We acquired this land for $722.05 one hundred years ago. There’s not too many purchases that can be made in 1910 that can have the value that this land has presently. I’m planting seeds and when you plant seeds in children, eventually they come back.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Myrna Brown in Unionville, Virginia.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, June 16th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Coming up next, commentator Cal Thomas.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Most people are familiar with the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The incendiary rhetoric that has engulfed our political system has demonstrated that especially violent words can cause hurt—even death—to others.
The most recent example is a California man who showed up last week at the Maryland home of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Police say he had a gun, bullets, zip ties and tape and was intent on assassinating Kavanaugh before calling 911 and claiming he was suicidal. He’s been charged with attempted murder.
Two years ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stood outside the Supreme Court and delivered these fiery words to a crowd of demonstrators opposed to the reversal of Roe v. Wade: “I want to tell you, (Justice Neil) Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer later said, “I shouldn’t have used the words I used.” Too late. The damage had been done.
While Republicans cannot claim purity when it comes to radical rhetoric, members of the Democratic party seem to use harsh words more often and then deny any responsibility for what comes next – from attempted and actual murder, to looting, property damage and violent crime.
Here are a few examples of incendiary rhetoric by Democrats, compiled by The Federalist.com.
In 2018, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California said on MSNBC that if Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller, there would be “widespread civil unrest” as people would “take to the streets.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) urged people to answer a “call to action” to protest at the Capitol. “Please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” should a Minnesota jury acquit former police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd. On another occasion, Waters said about Trump supporters: “You get out and create a crowd. You push back on them. You tell them they are not welcomed anymore or anywhere.”
In 2018, Hillary Clinton said civility was only an option if the Democrats controlled the legislative branch. “You can’t be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for and what you care for.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder quoted Michelle Obama and added his own thought: “Michelle…always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that, in politics, “when you’re in the arena, you have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch … for the children.”
Sen. John Tester (D-MT) went even lower when he encouraged people to “punch Trump in the face.”
When rhetoric gets heated, perhaps the best way to be heard is to speak in a tone Scripture attributes to God – “a still, small voice.” As noted by the writer of Proverbs: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
I’m Cal Thomas.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet is back for Culture Friday. We’ll talk about all sorts of things!
And, we’ll review the new film based on a true story about a couple who discover a lottery loophole and use the money to revive their small town.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Mary Reichard.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
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