The World and Everything in It - March 28, 2022
On Legal Docket, a Supreme Court case about legal intervention; on the Monday Moneybeat, China’s bid to make an oil deal; WORLD introduces a news coach; and on History Book, significant events from the past. Plus: the Monday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Who can join in on a lawsuit over a state law? The justices of the US Supreme Court decide.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.
Also today the Monday Moneybeat, I’ll talk with economist David Bahnsen about the emerging relationship between China and Saudi Arabia between oil and petrodollars and how that might change.
Plus the WORLD History Book. Today, the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, March 28th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Time for the news with Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Ukrainian leaders call for more courage, weapons from West » As Russian artillery continues to rain down in Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders are calling on the West to show more courage.
They’re urging NATO leaders to worry less about upsetting Moscow and more about supplying the weapons needed to beat back the Russian army.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova told NBC’s Meet the Press…
MARKAROVA: We need all the support with all the weapons, including the anti-air, including the airplanes, everything, to stop this brutal destruction.
The Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko added…
KLITSCHKO: We need the weapons. We are ready to fight, but we need much more support.
And President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned the backbone of the West. He criticized the—quote—“ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets” and other weapons … while Russian missile attacks kill civilians in the city of Mariupol and elsewhere.
Zelenskyy said he’s in constant contact with the defenders of Mariupol. He said their determination and heroism is astonishing,” and he added—quote—“If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1% of their courage.”
Administration walks back Biden’s Putin remark » Meantime, the White House is working to clean up a remark President Biden made over the weekend.
During a speech in Poland, Biden decried Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and he added…
BIDEN: For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.
The Biden administration quickly scrambled to walk back that comment. U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith …
SMITH: The U.S. does not have a policy of regime change towards Russia, but I think what we all agree on is that President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken also insisted the United States does not have a policy of regime change.
Blinken seeks to reassure Middle Eastern allies about Iran nuclear deal » And Blinken on Sunday turned his attention to the Middle East.
He sat down in Jerusalem with leaders from Israel and four Arab countries to try to set their minds at ease about the possible renewal of the Iran nuclear deal.
BLINKEN: The United States believes that a return to the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best way to put Iran’s nuclear program back in the box that it was in.
Blinken said the United States and Israel “are both committed, both determined that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon.”
The Biden administration has been working to renew the 2015 nuclear deal after the Trump administration withdrew from it in 2018.
Israel and Arab neighbors fear the deal would not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. And they say relief from economic sanctions will allow Iran to step up its terrorist activities in the region.
Firefighters make headway against Colorado wildfire » A wildfire continues to rage near Boulder, Colorado, but firefighters are starting to get the upper hand.
The fire forced nearly 20,000 people to flee, but Boulder Fire-Rescue on Sunday said it has now lifted most of those evacuations. And Incident Commander Mike Smith told reporters they were able to save many homes in the Boulder area, despite flames creeping to within a thousand yards of the houses.
SMITH: Between aggressive initial attack and having the aviation assets, the single engine air tankers being able to put some retardant down in between the homes was a real benefit.
As of Sunday, the fire was about 21 percent contained, and some 18,000 people were able to return to their homes.
CODA wins best picture, Will Smith wins best actor amid real life drama at Oscars » The stars turned out last night for the 94th annual Academy Awards.
After the pandemic altered last year’s awards, the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles was once again packed.
The Best Picture award went to CODA, a story about a teenage girl growing up in a hearing impaired family.
SOUND (Oscars): Thank you to the Academy for letting our Coda make history tonight.
Jessica Chastain won best actress for her role in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
Will Smith, for the first time, accepted the award for best actor … but not before a little real life drama at the Oscars.
Smith cursed at and physically struck comedian Chris Rock on stage … after Rock made a joke about his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
Will Smith won best actor for his role in King Richard, portraying Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
WILL SMITH: Art imitates life just like they said - I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.
Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for West Side Story. Troy Kotsur won best supporting actor for CODA. Jane Campion won best director for The Power of the Dog.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: a question of legal intervention.
Plus, baseball’s first strike.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Monday, March 28th and a brand new work week for The World and Everything in It. Thank you for joining us today! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Lots of news from the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
The Senate wrapped up its confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s first nominee to the high court to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
A vote on that is expected by next Monday.
Chief Justice John Roberts began last Wednesday’s argument session with this announcement about Justice Clarence Thomas:
ROBERTS: Justice Thomas is unable to be present today but will participate in consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and transcript of oral arguments.
The 73-year-old justice entered Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington on Friday, March 18th. He complained of flu-like symptoms, turns out they were not due to Covid. Justice Thomas received intravenous antibiotics and the hospital discharged him one week later.
The court provided no additional health information on Justice Thomas.
REICHARD: Meanwhile, the high court handed down two decisions last week. The first is an 8-1 ruling in favor of a man on death row who wants his pastor to pray out loud and physically touch him in the execution chamber.
I spoke to John Henry Ramirez in person on death row in February. Here’s what he told me:
RAMIREZ: I want my pastor to be able to pray with me. He's my spiritual adviser. I want to be able to pray with me. I want to be able to talk with God and commune with God, with Him at my last moments. And they said, “no, you’re not going to be able to do that.” So that's when I filed the grievance on that.
The majority justices agreed with him that he’d likely succeed at trial on a claim of violation of his religious exercise rights.
This decision does not spare Ramirez from the death penalty. That was never an issue. But it does establish some guidelines for prisons to follow. Now the case returns to lower court for further proceedings.
EICHER: A second, unanimous ruling says verbal criticism by itself is not censorship.
Here, a man sued the board of directors of the Houston Community College System upon which he also served. The Board censured him for conduct it called reprehensible. For example, he hired a private investigator to surveil one of them and sued the district many times.
The man claimed violation of his freedom of speech. But the opinion noted the censure hadn’t actually chilled the man’s speech. This decision in the case is technical and very narrow: it’s confined to verbal censure of an elected official.
REICHARD: On to our one oral argument for today.
This case seeks to determine whether two legislators in North Carolina have a right to intervene in a lawsuit meant to defend the state’s voter-ID law.
Note this is not about voting rights or ballot access or whether requiring a photo ID at the poll booth is constitutional.
It’s about “intervention” - that is, whether to allow someone who isn’t a party to an existing lawsuit to join in.
EICHER: Here’s the background: The North Carolina legislature in 2018 passed a law to require that voters show a photo ID to cast a ballot.
The state chapter of the NAACP sued to try to overturn the law. The group took the position that requiring photo ID discriminates against racial minorities.
In general, that’s the position of the Democratic party yet the North Carolina attorney general, a Democrat, is defending the photo ID law. That’s typically what a Republican would do.
And state Republican leaders don’t think the attorney general’s heart is in it. Leaders of the state House and Senate, Tim Moore and Phil Berger, want to mount a more vigorous defense.
Their lawyer David Thompson:
THOMPSON: There is no basis in this case for a federal court to second-guess a state’s decision that it needs a representative exclusively focused on vindicating state law.
REICHARD: Thompson went on to argue these legislators are agents of the state, clearly designated as such.
Justice Elena Kagan stopped him there:
KAGAN: But not in replacement of the Attorney General. I mean, it would be different if you said, no, you know, we're tired of the Attorney General, the legislators now represent the state. But you kept the Attorney General going.
Yes, but Thompson’s clients have an interest in the case that is not that same as the attorney general. His is a mere administrative interest, an attempt to parse the law, to just see what parts of the law must be enforced.
That’s why the Republican leadership want someone who is a true champion of voter ID law to defend it.
Lawyer for the NAACP chapter disputed the idea that the AG wouldn’t adequately defend the law. Elizabeth Theodore mentions “petitioners.” She’s referring to the Republican leaders.
THEODORE: …there's just no need for intervention here. Petitioners explicitly seek to assert the state's sovereign interest in enforceability and defense of state law, the exact interest the Attorney General is charged by statute with representing and is telling this Court he is representing. And he's not only representing that interest, but unfortunately for my clients, he's winning.
She said, why complicate matters with multiple voices that draw the federal courts into disputes over state law?
But Chief Justice Roberts had a question about that:
ROBERTS: Counsel, you said right at the outset that there's a federal interest that people on each side of the case speak with a single voice, right? Where did -- where did that come from?
Theodore answered from a stance of common sense: that the federal interest is to have the state tell the federal court what its position really is, in one voice.
Justice Samuel Alito probed further:
ALITO: But what if at some point the Attorney General says, “Look, this is costing too much, we should settle.” Or suppose there's an adverse decision and the Attorney General says: “You know, we did our best, but we are not going to take an appeal.” Would intervention be allowed at that point?
She answered yes, intervention would be allowed then.
ALITO: Well, what sense does it make to allow the appeal -- to allow intervention at the appellate level after the Attorney General has made what the legislature regards as an inadequate defense of the statute or an inadequate record? Doesn't that just make things more complicated?
The Chief Justice pursued that line further. I’ve edited the audio to shorten it up.
ROBERTS: …but it does seem a little unfair to me that you're -- you're asking us to let -- to pick your opponents. I'd rather in court, I'd rather have only one person arguing against me rather than two. But I think that's a little bit of a -- a conflict there. I mean, what's -- what are you afraid of? …
THEODORE: Well,... I think what Rule 24 is about is simplifying litigation, and it -- it says we don't add another plaintiff, we don’t add another defendant unless there’s a really good reason…
ROBERTS: Well, you keep saying “we, we.” I mean, …I don't mean this the way it might sound, but I don't know why we're terribly interested in what your views are on that in the first place, because you're the one who's going to benefit if we throw one of your opponents out.
Justice Elena Kagan questioned lawyer for the AG’s office, Sarah Boyce. Listen to this exchange where she restates the petitioners’ argument. Again, the petitioners are the Republican leaders who want to intervene to defend the vote ID law.
KAGAN: They're representing a different interest. They're asserting a different interest. You can't adequately represent an interest that's not your own. So, as long as they were saying we're here as the legislature representing a distinctively legislative interest, all your objections would fall away, is that correct?
BOYCE: I think that's partially correct.
It is important to figure out who can defend our laws.
Still, these partisan battles cost us taxpayers a whole lot of money.
And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: the Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now for our regular conversation on business, markets, and the economy. Financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen is here. Morning, David.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Good morning, Nick. Good to be with you.
EICHER: Interesting Dividend Cafe this week, David. There’s a story you think is being overlooked in all the reporting on Ukraine and Russia and that’s China and Saudi Arabia. The news that China’s president Xi Jinping may be paying a visit to Riyadh and that Saudi Arabia may start oil sales to China, not denominated in what we know as “petro-dollars” but in Chinese currency. What are the implications of that for the global economy, should that start happening?
BAHNSEN: Well, one of the great embedded advantages to the dollar is that the largest commodity in the world - oil - is denominated in dollar terms. It's not 100%, but it's, you know, well, over 80% of what we call ‘Petro dollars’ is basically the requirement that people who are buying oil, whether they're buying it from the U.S., or OPEC, essentially are paying in U.S. dollars. So that gives the U.S. a lot of leverage, because other countries have to convert their currency to dollars to transact in oil markets, and everybody needs oil. And so it is a reinforcement mechanism of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The quid pro quo was, you Middle Eastern countries transact in dollars, and there's an implied security protection. People can agree or disagree with some aspects of US - Middle Eastern policy, but when we put 500,000 U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia in 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, there was a reason, and a good portion of it was part of the kind of policy arrangement that was in place about Petro dollars.
EICHER: This emerging economic relationship between China and Saudi—is this growing out of very recent events or do you see it as having been brewing for awhile?
BAHNSEN: Oh, it's absolutely been brewing for a while, what you have, historically, is a step back in U.S.-Saudi relations after 9/11. But still some maintenance of this civility. And then the U.S. fracking revolution, at the end of that decade, totally changing the economic leverage that Saudi had. And then the U.S. with the Arab Spring, really kind of abandoning allies in Egypt, with the civil war in Syria, basically, not, the U.S. kind of stayed out of it. And Saudi previously would have expected the U.S. to be more supportive of removing the very anti Saudi, who, by the way, was very pro Russia, Syrian forces, right. And then, of course, there was the killing of the journalist there in Saudi Arabia, where the American government officially declared Saudi government to be responsible. So all in just 10 years, you've had all of these things percolate. And ultimately, one of the biggest acts of aggression was what took place in March and April of 2020, that I talked about on this very show with you at the time, where Saudi was complicit in flooding the world oil markets, and helping to completely collapse the oil and energy sector back at the beginning of the pandemic. So, no, I think this has been percolating for quite a while. And I think Saudi has limited cards to play. But forming an alliance with China is one of the most effective cards they could play now.
EICHER: All right, David Bahnsen, financial analyst and advisor. Head of the financial planning firm The Bahnsen Group.
You can catch David’s daily writing at DividendCafe.com. Sign up there for his daily email newsletter on markets and the economy. David, thanks again!
BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It: A new voice.
NICK EICHER, HOST: You know that here at WORLD we provide news for the entire family, that’s why in addition to WORLD Magazine—the daily Sift—and this daily news program among other products, WORLD provides news magazines for young students and teens and daily TV news called WORLD Watch.
But we were missing something.
REICHARD: Right, parents of students were saying, what about us? So we probed for some details and what parents said was we get it that our students need critical thinking, Biblical worldview, and news literacy, but candidly, we feel like we don’t know enough about news and how in particular to help our children in understanding what’s going on in the world. We need help.
EICHER: Well, good news, help is here!
Kelsey Reed, to be precise. Our “news coach” for families of students. She’s working with us now to help you.
Parents, teachers, grandparents, mentors, and ministry workers, if you’re called to engage with children, kids, and teens, Kelsey’s here to engage with you.
Kelsey, good morning and welcome to the WORLD family!
KELSEY REED, NEWS COACH: Good morning. I'm delighted to be here today.
EICHER: Our God’s World News managing editor Rebecca Cochrane wrote out a mission statement for you that I thought really captured it well. I’ll read a bit of it:
Kelsey “will be communicating foundational principles for opening a dialogue with young people about the spiritually and culturally challenging situations presented in the news today. She will help equip other adults with trustworthy factual content and context, sound biblical perspective and application, and ice-breaking and space-creating tips to engage young believers in God-honoring discussion of the news and God’s hand at work in it.”
That sounds great. Practical question: How, Kelsey, is the parent who’s listening now going to be hearing from you?
REED: Well, right now, we've begun by releasing a News Coach column every Monday in our WORLD Teen, WORLD Kids, and God's Big World newsletters that goes specifically to parents. This has content for the adults. It's exhortative, encouraging, and hopefully adding some good tools to begin using as well. On top of that, at GW-News.com, we have a teacher's lounge there. It has a number of resources in it, which include my beginning posts. So the news coach blog is what we're calling it, but it can be found in the teachers lounge tab.
REICHARD: You know Kelsey, last week on Culture Friday we talked about gender confusion and also objectification of women in corporate advertising. That seems to me an excellent example of the kind of “news coaching” you’ll give parents. How do you talk to kids about these hard things?
REED: When I'm at home, this is a big part of our discussion right now, specifically, because social media has been leveraged for identity politics and gender ideology right now. So for my teens, they're at a very just tender age for that input from social media. But in the living room, that day, we had to talk about this crazy set of categories. It just started by defining terms and a developmentally appropriate way. For my youngest who's with me in the studio today, she's gonna be seven in May. Her questions needed to be fielded differently, and with tenderness, starting from just brass tacks of what is male and female, according to the definition we are given by our authority, the one who made us. It can be messy at times, but it's well worth being able to coach them while they're at home, and then send them out into the world.
EICHER: So that’s content, but we also said context. What does that mean, practically speaking?
REED: Context, generally, what we think of in educational theory and practice, we're talking about historical, cultural, social context. Added to that, we have another thing that's very important, the practices of being aware of the climate that we're creating at home for having these discussions. So I would say discussion of the historical context and cultural context, that supplies some of our structures in a healthy environment. We're figuring out what knowledge is important for this topic area? What background do we need to know?
But we're also going to be thinking about the elements of relational support, and how to meet the challenges with a good tension between those three things. That includes thinking about where are we having these conversations? And how ready am I to have the maybe in the car? What is my relational dynamic like towards my children?
EICHER: All right, Kelsey Reed, she's the news coach, working to help bring that content and context to you so that you can come alongside your young person to help explain all of that, Kelsey, it's great to see you. It's great to have you. Thanks so much.
REED: It’s a delight to be here.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, March 28th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Next up: the WORLD History Book. This week marks the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries of events some of us lived through.
EICHER: But first, something we definitely did not: We’ll hear about one of the world’s most famous instances of religious persecution 530 years ago.
Here’s WORLD correspondent Collin Garbarino.
MUSIC: JACOB OBRECHT’S “SALVE REGINA”
COLLIN GARBARINO, CORRESPONDENT: On March 31, 1492, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, issued the Alhambra Decree. The new law stated Jews living in Spain had three months to convert to Christianity or leave the county. The penalty for disobedience? Death. Earlier that year, Spain had finished driving the Muslims from the Iberian peninsula. Ferdinand and Isabella hoped to ensure their new Spain would have one religion for one unified people. Here’s Rabbi Berel Wein explaining the choice faced by Spain’s Jews.
RABBI BEREL WEIN: The expulsion decree of 1492, which drove the Jews out of Spain, affected 500,000 people. They were caught in a terrible vise—whether they should convert, whether they should leave everything—don’t forget, people were there—their families were there for 800 years. They had businesses, they had the language, they had the customs—and just pick up and go. So they split the difference. Half the Jews converted and half of the Jews left.
Thousands of Jewish families fled the country, leaving behind most of the wealth they’d amassed over the centuries. These Sephardic Jews found themselves scattered around the Mediterranean. And many experienced more toleration in Muslim lands than they did in Christian Europe.
But things weren’t always easy for the Jews who stayed behind and converted to Catholicism. Many Catholics distrusted these “conversos,” believing their profession of Christianity to be a false one. Rumors of Crypto-Jews persisted for generations, and these formerly Jewish families became a favorite target of the Spanish Inquisition.
In 1968, the Spanish government formally revoked the Alhambra Decree.
From 500-year-old religious persecution to 50 years of labor disputes.
MUSIC: “TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME”
On April 1st, 1972, Major League Baseball’s players went on strike, kicking off the league’s first labor-related hiatus. Players claimed owners had taken advantage of them, and they asked for better pay and increased pension benefits. Some Americans were shocked that baseball players were demanding more money when the average baseball salary was more than three times the income of the average family. Some players made more than 20 times. New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver tried to explain that it wasn’t about the money.
TOM SEAVER: A lot of ball players—it sounds funny—a lot of ball players would play this game for nothing, and that’s the truth. But those same ball players won’t play the game if they feel like they’re getting cheated or if they feel like they’re not being treated fairly.
But not everyone felt the same. Legendary slugger Mickey Mantle, who had retired a few years earlier, didn’t have much sympathy.
MICKEY MANTLE: Well, I don’t feel like any of the owners ever took advantage of me. I feel like they were very good to me. I guess that maybe some players feel like the owners took advantage of them and probably there has been cases. But whenever you’re getting 200,000 or 150 or 100 thousand dollars a year salary for six months work—I don’t feel like the owners are taking advantage there.
That first players’ strike lasted 13 days—canceling 86 games. And it wouldn’t be the last time owners and players refused to play ball. Less than a year later, the owners locked out the players over salary arbitration. In the last 50 years, Major League Baseball has had nine work stoppages, with the most recent one getting sorted out earlier this month.
From a fight over salary, to a fight over islands in the South Atlantic.
MARGARET THATCHER: We are here because for the first time for many years British sovereign territory has been invaded by a foreign power.
Forty years ago this week, Argentina attempted to annex one of Great Britain’s few remaining colonies, the Falkland Islands. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher condemned the attack and demanded the British government protect its citizens who lived 300 miles off the coast of South America. The Times summed up the patriotic fervor of the British public with the headline “We Are All Falklanders Now.”
THATCHER: I must tell the House that the Falkland Islands and their dependencies remain British territory. No aggression and no invasion can alter that simple fact. It is a government’s objective to see that the islands are free from occupation and are returned to British administration at the earliest possible moment.
The 10-week war proved astonishingly successful for Britain and terribly embarrassing for Argentina. Argentina’s mishandling of the war hastened the demise of its military junta and the restoration of democracy. On the other hand, Thatcher’s popularity in Britain soared, and her Conservative Party won the 1983 elections in a landslide, preserving Ronald Reagan’s staunch ally in the fight against communism.
That’s this week’s WORLD History Book. I’m Collin Garbarino.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: fuel efficiency standards. We’ll tell you why new regulations on gas consumption could lead to more accidents.
And, Ukrainian refugees. We’ll find out how churches across Europe are preparing to help.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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