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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited


The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever.  But how can we escape the snare?



Saturday, February 24, 2007

Inside Bay Area - Cronkite opposes religious influence

Here's a classic example of Marxist double-speak. It's so brazen, it could have come right out of something George Orwell wrote.

From InsideBayArea.com:

Alarmed by what they see as religious groups' growing influence on government policy, a consortium has launched a public awareness campaign to defend the First Amendment's vow that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'

'That cherished freedom is under severe attack,' the Rev. Welton Gaddy said before an audience of about 700 people in San Jose.

Friday's event included an appearance by newsman Walter Cronkite, who endorsed the new national campaign called First Amendment First.

It calls for houses of worship to stop endorsing political candidates and for states' tax dollars not to go to any charity that discriminates in its hiring or requires people hold a certain faith to receive services.

It also says science and health policies should be based on scientific data, "not religious doctrine," and that schools shouldn't promote any religious reference.

Only Marxists and liberals (pretty much the same thing, I know) could come up with the logic of championing something by minimizing it and prohibiting its public expression.

(But then, people would more easily realize what they're really up to if they just came out and said it, right?)

I knew when I saw the title, "Cronkite opposes religious influence," it had to be "good." My first reaction to seeing the title was, "Naw, really?"

Cronkite is a well-known ultra-lib.

Cracker Barrel Today in Rapid City

I'll be leaving shortly for the final Rapid City cracker barrel today at the School of Mines.

I should be able to stay for the whole thing this time. My daughter is skipping ju-jitsu lessons today for a Girl Scout photography outing (it's a pity how cloistered these homeschool kids are, you know :-) )that takes place just a little later.

Will have coverage of the cracker barrel later today or tomorrow, provided there's anything interesting to report.

British study links miscarriages to abortion

The pro-life movement said last year that abortion causes a lot of problems for women, and greater risk of miscarriage with subsequent pregnancies was one of them.

This form One News Now:

The results are from research, conducted by Noreen Maconochie and a team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in which over 12,000 women ages 18-55 were surveyed.

The study found that women who had had an abortion were 60 percent more likely to be at risk of miscarriage. An increased risk of miscarriage was also found to be associated with women who are unmarried and change sexual partners. However, the study revealed that vitamin supplementation and eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily reduce the risk.

An Example of Avoiding the Problem

There's an interesting retort by Doris Marie Strom in the Rapid City Journal today to my column about preschool a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for me, since she illustrates what I said about people not wanting to deal with the root cause of the problem), the writer just pooh-poohs what I said with a scattergun approach to try and discredit it.

Let's look at the first problem:

I object to his assumption that pre-school teachers would be unable or not allowed to adequately supervise the children in their educational environment...Surely our children are educated and protected by caring teachers in public and private school settings as well as by parents in home settings.

She may object all day long, but I think you'd be hard pressed to make a case that the children currently in the education system are adequately supervised. This isn't the fault of the teachers in most cases; rather, the student to teacher ratio is often too high, and our litigious society has tied the hands of teachers so that they can't deal with discipline in a swift, firm manner we did 40-50 years ago.

As for the quality of education, if public school students were receiving the same quality of many homeschool students, then homeschool students wouldn't be outperforming public school students so often. And my daughter wouldn't be several grade levels ahead of her age--she'd be on a par with those in public school.

Here's another glaring fallacy:

Can anyone truly argue that poverty is not a factor in producing broken families?

Can you say, "Oh yeah!" Poverty doesn't cause broken homes; broken homes cause poverty. She has the cart before the horse. The assumption that poverty is the cause of our societal ills is a Marxist, class envy myth. Though I only had 500 words in which to both make the case that preschool isn't a good idea AND point out the root cause of the problem Rounds wants to fix, I think I did a fair job of accomplishing both. This writer is just more comfortable resting on Marxist myths than, as I said, "facing the root causes of our troubled children."

She didn't like my ideas to fix the problem by

"more family support like pre-marital counseling for better marriage choices, reducing divorce, discouraging addictive behaviors, and removing obstacles faced by parents and teachers with instilling discipline and respect.” All this without spending money or having government backing.

I didn't say we had to do it without spending money or government backing (though it would be good if parents and average taxpayers were more involved). In fact, in my Dec. 19 column on education spending I called on "administrators, school board members, lawmakers, and most of all from parents" to give teachers the support they need to educate and maintain a conducive learning environment in the classroom.

The same goes for the family support I mentioned. I'm all for minimum government intervention (that's why I said in the preschool column, "If we’re going to get involved with families..."), but government intervention has largely been the cause of broken families, teaching people to rely on government institutions rather than relying on themselves. It's taught people that if they make stupid decisions, they can fall back on the government to bail them out. It's taught people that if they have sex outside of marriage and get pregnant, the government sugar-daddy will take care of them. It's taught people that if they want a quick divorce because the shiny has worn off their marriage, there'll be no questions asked. Government has taught selfish, misguided people that if their little Johnny is corrected in school, it'll damage his little self-esteem...and government will entertain the putrid arguments of a bunch of lawyers who will sue the school into being afraid to maintain discipline

All this--and more--government intervention has brought us to the sad state of affairs we're in. Unfortunately, it'll probably take reforming our government approach to get us out of it and back to the point where people can start acting like responsible adults and taking care of things themselves and governing themselves like mature people.

I could go on, but I think you get the point...that is, if you're brave enough to get the point.

Here's what I said at the end of that preschool column on Jan. 30:

Do we have the courage to face the root causes of our troubled children? Doing so will require making judgments, even (gasp) moral judgments, and few have the stomach for this. We would have to say that some behaviors are not only wrong; they are counterproductive and place children at a disadvantage. Facing the problem would require us to curtail the choices of parents who engage in self-destructive behaviors that bring their children down with them.

To face the problem, we would likely have to look in the mirror, and there are few of us who are willing to take that bold step. It’s easier to throw money and government at it.

This lady's response proves some do not have the courage to take that step. Her criticism of my supposed inconsistencies is only a veiled plea to maintain the status quo of throwing government money at the symptoms without dealing with the root causes.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Porn for Kids at the Library

Your tax dollars at work, providing porn for children in the Rapid City public library.

From KOTA:

As the mother of a teen girl, Mary Ford found herself turning the pages of a book, unable to believe her eyes.

'There were naked bodies. Naked bodies in sexual positions,' Ford said.

And the more she saw, the angrier she became.

'It looked as if in some cases, they actually were having sex.'

The pictures were contained in a graphic novella of an Asian illustration technique known as Manga, or Anime, inside an expanded comic book format referred to as a graphic novel.

The problem? The book had been checked out and brought home by Mary's 13 year old daughter.

'My son had gone with her to the library and he noticed this book and brought it to me and said, 'Mom, I think you need to see this,' and I looked at it and it was basically cartoon pornography.' Ford said.

Ford promptly took the book back to the library and lodged a complaint with the library administrator, Greta Chapman.

So is the library going to correct this? Think again.

'And she told me she was sorry that I was offended, or that my daughter was offended, but that there was nothing wrong with the book and that there was nothing she could do.'

What's wrong with this picture?

Madeleine Albright on Moral Authority

The chuckles continue. From Newsmax:

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Thursday that through the war in Iraq the United States has lost its moral authority

A former Clinton administration official talking about "moral" authority.

The laugh track just keeps on rollin'...

Legislating Hand Washing

How far is this nanny-state garbage going to go?

From Fox News:

On Thursday, the Illinois House passed a bill, 100-14, from Rep. Mary Flowers, a Democrat from Chicago, that would require Chicago Public School school officials to ensure students wash their hands with antiseptic before meals at school, reported The Chicago Sun Times.

Are they going to make a law requiring teachers to ensure kids, er, clean up adequately after going to the bathroom, too? Are they going to make a law to ensure they wipe their noses after every sniffle?

Encourage schools to send kids to the bathroom prior to lunch time? Sure. Make a law? Gimme a break!

OK for Schools to Promote Homosexuality

Need another reason to take your child out of public school? Well, you have yet another reason. A federal judge ruled today that you, as a parent, have no right to know if the school is teaching your child that homosexuality is normal, natural and healthy.

From One News Now:

In his ruling, Wolf said that, “under the Constitution, public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.”

This case was filed because when a parent in Massachusetts found out his son was being taught about homosexuality. When he approached the school about it, they told him to go fly a kite.

Here is what the school's lawyer argued in court, according to WorldNetDaily:

"Once I have elected to send my child to public school, my fundamental right does not allow me to direct what my child is exposed to in the public school," said the school's lawyer.

If "state interest" and "preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens" are the only criteria for what children are taught in public schools, and they've already demonstrated their creativity in placing homosexuality and transgenderism under this banner, the Lord only knows what other trash your children may be taught.

Let's face it: when your child is in public school, your status as a parent is worth dirt if your school officials don't respect you.

No Global Warming in Hurricanes

Hurricane expert Chris Landsea, the science and operations director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, debunks the mythical connection between hurricanes and global warming. He says in today's Myrtle Beach Online:

Further study continues to show that hurricane activity occurs in cycles of 20 to 45 years, he said. Even though the seasons of 2004, when four hurricanes bashed Florida, and 2005, when Katrina devastated New Orleans and neighboring parts of the Gulf Coast, seemed shocking, they were no more intense than some storms in the early part of the 20th century and in the 1930s, Landsea said.

The 1926-1935 period was worse for hurricanes than the past 10 years and 1900-1905 was almost as bad, he said. So it is not true that there is a trend of more and stronger hurricanes.

'It's not a trend, it's a cycle: 20-45 years quiet, 20-45 years busy,' Landsea said. Scientists currently have no idea what causes the time period.

If you think I'm beating the "global warming is malarkey" drum too much, it's because the Marxist global warming disciples have beat their drum for so long that I'm tired of it.

It's time to let the hot air out of this liberal fantasy.

Is Global Warming Keeping You Up at Night?

From GMTV:

Half of young children are anxious about the effects of global warming, often losing sleep because of their concern, according to a new report today.

A survey of 1,150 youngsters aged between seven and 11 found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change.
Are you doing enough?

One in seven of those questioned by supermarket giant Somerfield said their own parents were not doing enough to improve the environment.

I don't need to watch comedy shows for my daily dose of laughter anymore. All I need do is read a few global warming stories and my funny bone is thoroughly tickled.

Save the Planet: Eliminate Cat Farts

Who said global warming wasn't good for the economy?

From Bloomberg.com:

Sydney-based Easy Being Green says it will mitigate your cat's flatulent contribution to global warming for A$8 ($6).

If you've ever had a cat with this problem (I did, once), it can be a boon not only to the environment, but to your olfactory pleasure, also.

British Friends Defend America

I heard about this video from the World Magazine blog. It's very very good.

In a world overrun by "America-bashing," it's a welcome lesson from our British friends at 18DoughtyStreet.com on what the world might be like without America.

I give our British friends grief over their socialist health care system (and deservedly so), but the British have long been our best friend in the world. I'm very grateful for how they came to our side after 911 and have stayed at our side since then--at great political cost to Tony Blair, no less.

I look back fondly on the three years I spent in England in the late 1980s. While I didn't like a lot of their socialist policies, I met some of the finest people in the world over there, many of whom deeply appreciate all the good America represents. They are fellow patriots in the cause of freedom.

Thanks, 18DoughtyStreet.com, for enriching the fine tradition of Anglo-American friendship!

Director of Human Genome Project Believes in God

There's an interesting article from The Exponent Online about Francis Collins, director of the National Genome Research Institute.

It seems this man of science believes in God.

'It is a satisfying place to be,' he said. 'I can find God in a cathedral and in the laboratory.'

Collins said the conflict between faith and science is one that has escalated in recent years.

'This recent battle is unfortunate and destructive,' he said. 'We cooked it up; it's too bad we've come to this conclusion.'

He cited a recent survey which showed that 40 percent of scientists believe in a personal god, but said some are uneasy about getting involved in the argument.

'How could (science) threaten God if he designed the principles and set them into motion?' Collins said.

Well said.

The article goes on to say that Collins believes in theistic evolution, which is the belief that God created an organism or organisms in one state and allowed them to evolve to the point at which we observe them today.

I disagree with this theory, though I once ascribed to it. The scientific evidence still doesn't support evolution, and it's completely at odds with everything the Bible teaches, not only about our origins, but about the current spiritual state of humans.

But it IS good to hear a respected scientist at least acknowledge the existence of God, and point out that there does not have to be a war between science and faith.

After all, if God created science, then true science (not naturalism) is no "threat" to Him.

Movie Claims Jesus' Body Found

From Ynetnews.com:

The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of the most significant archeological finds in history.

That's the understatement of the millennium. If it were to be proved true, it wouldn't just "shake up the Christian world," it would completely wipe it out.

If Jesus wasn't raised from the dead to ascend into Heaven 40 days later, then Christianity is worthless. That means all the claims and theology of the New Testament are based on lies. Jesus said he'd rise from the dead, and if he didn't then he was a liar and not the Son of God.

The serious claims of this film continue:

The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son - the filmmakers claim).

The Bible also says Jesus never married, and if he never sinned and never married, then he couldn't have a son.

I'm not worried, though. Skeptics have been trying to fool people into believing the resurrection was a hoax since shortly after the event occurred. They've failed for 2000 years and they'll continue to fail. There's far too much evidence that Jesus was who he claimed to be, and that the resurrection did occur.

A former atheist, Josh McDowell, wrote two large books based on his research into the authenticity of Christ's claims...research that brought him from atheist to one of the top Christian apologists of today. Those books, Evidence that Demands a Verdict I & II, have been combined and updated into a new version.

I always seek the truth, even if it leads to the conclusion that I've been wrong. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this to be proved true.

Erase All Traces of Religion from Public View

The anti-religious hysteria is really, REALLY getting old.

WorldNetDaily features a story today of some atheistic wackos who were offended because some Christian school officials in a public school in Florida accidentally left some residue of some prayer oil on a desk after praying in the room--after school hours:

"One of my colleagues said she was told by one of the secretaries it was prayer oil," he told the newspaper. "I was very offended by that because I'm not a Christian."

Where does any law in our land--which was founded by Christians on Judeo-Christian principles and values--give you the right to be free from offense?

Here's how the "incident" happened:

It happened late in the evening on Friday, Feb. 2, after the school was closed for the weekend.

'It was staff members on their own time who said, 'Do you mind if we say some prayers for the kids on the Friday night before FCAT, so the kids would do well?'' LeDoux told the Times.

An American Civil Liberties Union spokeswoman said the actions crossed the line, because Christians were imposing their beliefs on others by leaving prayer oil on the desks for others to see.

'They did leave tangible evidence of their religious activity, and that was troubling to people,' said Rebecca Steele.

Oh my! "Tangible evidence of religious activity!" How despicable!

Some of these same people want to teach children all sorts of perverted sexual behavior (have you seen some of the materials used in health/sex education classes these days), tell students that the scientifically laughable idea of evolution is real, and give them every reason to believe that their faith--if they still have any--is something to be ashamed of and kept compartmentalized on Sunday morning inside a church building.

By the way, these Christians were praying that the students would do well on upcoming tests. With idiots like those complainers teaching our children and running a large segment of our country, kids are going to need all the prayers they can get!

Taxpayer Funded Breast Reduction to Lose Weight

More on abuse of the system under socialized medicine. This from Tamera Weis of Sioux Falls (thanks Tamera):

I am a Registered Nurse (in several states) and have been privileged to work in several Trauma/ED.

Unequivocally, it is my observation, that those who are covered by Medicaid are the MOST likely to show up at the ED with a complaint that could have been easily managed at a clinic earlier in the day or at an Urgent Care.

They are also the most likely to:

DEMAND the medication that they WANT.
Complain about having to wait when other more urgent cases are triaged and seen ahead of them.
Be angry when part of their treatment plan involves being asked not to smoke.
Be uncooperative with modified diet or exercise plans.

Recently, during a health assessment I saw a woman who stated that she had recently had lost ten pounds. When I asked the follow-up questions I discovered that she had recently had a breast reduction surgery.

This is what she told me:

My daughter was having back problems because she is over weight and has large breasts. The doctor explained that a breast reduction (for which he was paid handsomely) would be quicker and easier than trying to diet and would help her with her back pain. She didn’t want to do it by herself so I told the doctor that MY back hurt too. So he did both of us!

“Wow, wasn’t that expensive?” I asked

“Oh no,” she told me. “Medicaid paid for everything!”

Your tax dollars at work!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Skinned Knees at the Emergency Room

This time some feedback on the topic of socialized medicine that sees things the right way, my way :-)

This from Mary Rybak of Kimball, South Dakota:

I totally agree that when our medicine becomes socialized there will be great and grave mis-use. I have listened to friends who are hospital nurses tell about Medicaid qualifiers who make use of the ER for skinned knees, stubbed toes, ingrown toenails, etc. There are also those who have excellent insurance coverage with just a bare minimum co-pay who habituate the doctors' offices and have had antibiotics prescribed so often for non-bacterial conditions that they now suffer from it. It stands to reason that when a thing is perceived to be "free" it will be abused.

More Feedback on Socialized Medicine

Some more feedback on my campaign to oppress the little people (anti-socialized medicine).

This from Erin in Madison, SD:

Bob, do you have some evidence to support your claim that " . . . they'll go [to the ER] anytime they feel the slightest sniffle or headache, just like they do in countries that have a NHS (England, Canada, etc)."

My husband and recently lived in Canada for several months while I was in grad school (at Regent College studying theology). Legally, we had to participate in their provincial health plan, and we never went to the doctor or ER. (Incidentally, we paid less in premiums and extra taxes for our health coverage there than we do here--and we had FAR better coverage in Canada.) I have an American ex-pat friend who has lived in Canada for years and says that despite the waiting period she had for a recent non-emergency surgery, she would take Canada's system over ours any day. In fact, I never encountered a Canadian who would rather replace their system for one like ours. And I didn't know of anyone who abused their system by going to the ER when they didn't need it.


Thanks, Erin. Yes, I do. I have the empirical evidence of my observations when I was in the military (that health care system operates in a similar fashion to that of a national health service), and the years I lived in England and observed the behavior of British citizens. I also have friends in Canada and have observed their behavior as well.

While not everyone will run to the doctor for the sniffles in those settings (I didn't, and know that not everyone does), many will do so--enough to explode costs and bog the system down. Especially when the definition of "needing" medical attention is subjective.

It's not surprising that many Canadians wouldn't trade their system for ours; there is comfort in knowing the nanny state will take care of your every need...even if they do it in a shoddy fashion.

Thanks for writing!

SUVs on Mars!

Now SUVs are causing global warming on Mars!

From Pete Du Pont in yesterdays Opinion Journal:

Many things are contributing to such global temperature changes. Solar radiation is one. Sunspot activity has reached a thousand-year high, according to European astronomy institutions. Solar radiation is reducing Mars's southern icecap, which has been shrinking for three summers despite the absence of SUVS and coal-fired electrical plants anywhere on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, a NASA study reports that solar radiation has increased in each of the past two decades, and environmental scholar Bjorn Lomborg, citing a 1997 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, observes that 'the increase in direct solar irradiation over the past 30 years is responsible for about 40 percent of the observed global warming.'

Statistics suggest that while there has indeed been a slight warming in the past century, much of it was neither human-induced nor geographically uniform. Half of the past century's warming occurred before 1940, when the human population and its industrial base were far smaller than now. And while global temperatures are now slightly up, in some areas they are dramatically down. According to 'Climate Change and Its Impacts,' a study published last spring by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the ice mass in Greenland has grown, and 'average summer temperatures at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet have decreased 4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since the late 1980s.' British environmental analyst Lord Christopher Monckton says that from 1993 through 2003 the Greenland ice sheet 'grew an average extra thickness of 2 inches a year,' and that in the past 30 years the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet has grown as well.

Don't those SUV-driving Martians realize the damage they're causing their planet?

Daschle Supporting Obama

From KELO:

Former South Dakota US Senator, Tom Daschle is reportedly throwing his support to Senator Barack Obama.

Maybe Obama's next campaign will be as successful as Daschle's last campaign?

Personal Decisions about Personhood

Another interesting quote from the abortion issue.

From the Rapid City Journal today:

Speaking against HB1293, Donna Haukaas of Lake Andes, who is a member of the Indigenous Women’s Political Caucus, told the committee that the bill would create hardships for women on reservations. “Rape in Native American communities is 3.5 times higher than among all other groups,” she said.

She added, “Government legislation has no place in personal decision making.”

So is she saying that government legislation, such as laws that make rape illegal, has no place in the personal decision of the rapist to rape the woman? After all, it IS a personal decision that the rapist made.

But it's different for the decision to rape? Why? Because the woman is a person, of course...implying the unborn child is NOT a person.

This is why the issue of personhood is at the center of the abortion issue.

The rapists right to his "personal decision" is superseded by the woman's right to protection. If the unborn child is indeed a unique human being, then the child's right to protection supersedes the woman's right to have an abortion.

If the unborn child is a person, deserving of constitutional protection (just as the raped woman is deserving of constitutional protection), then abortion should be illegal.

And the science supports the contention that the unborn child is, indeed, a person.

Roe v. Wade is Obsolete

Here's really what it comes down to in the "constitutionality" of bills such as HB 1293, South Dakota's abortion ban that was voted down in senate committee yesterday: the "personhood" of the fetus.

From today's Rapid City Journal:

Schmidt is not a member of the Senate State Affairs Committee, but he led off testimony for the bill, starting with the 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the constitutional right of women to seek an abortion legally. “Every factual assumption made in Roe v. Wade had been proven to be false and incorrect,” he said.

What Schmidt is talking about are the multitude of assumptions that were made in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision--assumptions that assumed the unborn child was not a person deserving of constitutional protection.

Since then, we have learned an incredible amount about fetal development. Some of the things we've learned include the early development of the nervous system so that unborn children likely can feel pain as early as 8-9 weeks development. Genetic research has also shown us that unborn children have completely unique DNA at conception, making them not a part of the mother's tissue, but a separate and distinct human being.

We have also learned a great deal about the devastating physical and psychological effects of abortion on women who have them.

Judge Henry Blackmun, the chief Supreme Court judicial activist behind the Roe v. Wade decision, admitted at the time that if the personhood of the unborn child could be established, the case for abortion "collapses."

That is what the findings of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion determined: that the scientific evidence gathered since 1973 establishes the personhood of the unborn child.

This means the Roe v. Wade decision is definitively unconstitutional.

Fever Blamed on Global Warming

From the Australian Herald Sun:

GLOBAL warming will take a toll on children's health, according to a new report showing hospital admissions for fever soar as days get hotter.

Yeah, and I'm sure the reason I don't have the endurance I had 20 years ago has nothing to do with middle age, but because global warming has made it so much harder to do things.

More Gov't Hostility to Christianity

Here's yet another example of our government's hostility toward the religion upon which our society was founded. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The complaint, filed in federal court Tuesday, says officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside told the boy Oct. 31 that he could not wear his faux crown of thorns or tell others he was dressed as Jesus.

The principal, Patricia Whitmire, told the boy's mother that the costume violated a policy prohibiting the promotion of religion, according to the lawsuit. Whitmire suggested that the fourth-grader, whose costume also included a robe, identify himself as a Roman emperor, the suit states.

While the boy's costume was rejected because of its religious nature, the principal allowed other students to dress up as witches and devils, according to the lawsuit.

A ten year old boy's Jesus costume cannot by any sane stretch of the imagination constitute a state endorsement of Christianity.

If these idiots who are supposed to be teaching our children would read the First Amendment, they'd see that this boy has religious freedom, and the only prohibition in the Constitution regarding religion is that which prevents Congress from passing any laws which respect an establishment of religion.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Natural Family Planning More Effective than the Pill?

Could it be? From Lifesite.net:

The study involving 900 women was published in the journal, Human Reproduction, and found that the correct use of STM to delay pregnancy led to a rate of 0.4 pregnancies per 100 women per year. The lowest pregnancy rate was found among women who abstained from sex during their most fertile period identified through STM.

In contrast, women who used a barrier method, such as a condom, had a pregnancy rate of .6 pregnancies per 100 women per year. Women who had sex (without contraception) during the fertile period had a pregnancy rate of only 7.5 pregnancies per 100 women per year, however researchers noted that this was a quarter of the rate one would usually expect.

Very interesting. Though I doubt the sexual anarchists will have much use for it. After all, it requires people to exercise sexual restraint--one of the most oppressive concepts in the modern world.

No Hostility to Christianity?

So there's no hostility toward Christianity in America today, huh? From Lifesite.net:

The United States Supreme Court yesterday decided not to review a case challenging the constitutionality of a New York City public school policy that expressly permits the display of the Jewish menorah and Islamic star and crescent during their respective religious holidays, but completely bans the display of Nativity scenes during Christmas.

Could there possibly be a valid explanation for allowing Jewish and Islamic religious displays (which I'm perfectly fine with, the way) but refusing a Christian display?

Actually, yes. It's called hostility toward Christianity. It's become vogue for our society to diminish and deny any public expression of Christianity, the religion of the people who founded the United States, the religion upon which our government is based, the religion which gave our society its traditional flavor. Christianity, now banished from public acknowledgment.

More Heterosexist Political Correctness

The latest "sexually correct" (or so this upside down world says) insanity, from LifeSite.net:

The BBC reports that Polish President Lech Kaczynski commented during a state visit to Ireland that the human race “would disappear if homosexuality was freely promoted.” The comments acknowledged a link between natural sexual activity and the birth of children, and have aroused the ire of politicians who were quick to denounce him in the press as “homophobic.”

The president was speculating in the light of the current demographic crisis in a Europe that already has nearly total acceptance of homosexuality, contraception and abortion. “If that kind of approach to sexual life,” he said, “were to be promoted on a grand scale, the human race would disappear.”

He challenged Irish and European politicians to “imagine what grand changes would occur in mores if the traditional links between men and women were set aside.”

As I posted three days ago, this whole sexually politically correct thing is going nuts. It would be hilarious if it weren't so detrimental to society and so misleading to people.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that to acknowledge that man/woman sex is normal would bring such condemnation. If sanity ever returns to this world, they're going to look back on the late 20th/early 21st century with incredulous embarrassment that human beings could indulge in such profound and widespread stupidity.

Sex with Impunity

The hyper-feminists at Feministing.com are cheering news of a potential vaccine for the Sexually Transmitted Disease of chlamydia.

What's interesting about their post today is the transparency about why they like vaccinations against STDs (hint: it isn't to ease suffering):

If the scientific community continues to develop STD vaccines, abstinence-only programs are going to have to resort to their far-weaker arguments about the emotional/moral consequences of sex rather than the straight-up medical risks.

Negative consequences have always been a key factor in reducing negative behavior. Remove the consequences and you get more of that behavior.

We've seen a drastic increase in crime since we became soft in punishing crime, and we've also seen a drastic increase in sex outside of marriage since the modern advent of effective contraception.

As the hyper-feminists noted, if the hazards of STDs are negated, all that remains are (a) moral consequences and (b) emotional/psychological damage from sex outside of marriage.

Our culture has done a pretty good job of pretty much erasing reason (a) for keeping sex within marriage. Emotional/psychological consequences are always much harder to identify and quantify. After all, the reality of STDs are hard to argue when you have the physical symptoms and medical evidence staring you in the face. It's much easier to deny that your depression, anxiety, discontent, etc. is due to having sex outside of marriage; you can blame it on being fed biscuits with a slingshot as a child, or just deny any emotional disturbance altogether.

So what's the goal?

One more step toward a world where there will be NO medical reason to abstain from sex as long as all your shots are in order!

And so what if hearts are ripped to shreds in the process. So what if the family stability that is the bedrock of any civilization crumbles to dust. There's lots of screwing to be done! Nothing must stand in the way of sex with impunity.

I wonder what's wrong with some of these women at Feministing and Coat Hangers (I'm assuming the latter no-name blogger(s)are women). While most healthy women enjoy sex, these hyper-feminists seem maniacally consecrated to unbridled female sexuality.

Are they afraid that if they aren't available on demand to men for sexual purposes, men will have no use for them?

Who was Driving SUVs 400,000 Years Ago?

So who was driving SUVs 400,000 years ago? Somebody must have been, since "greenhouse gasses" were so high back then. From the Washington Times:

We are told today that human activity is causing a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide levels that is responsible for "global warming." While a congressional delegation was visiting the Antarctic expedition in January of 2003 we were shown the results of the Vostok ice-sheet cores where temperatures and CO2 levels were measured as far as 400,000 years ago. At that time, the level of CO2 was 280 parts per million parts of atmosphere (ppm), about what it was 20 years ago. The levels of CO2 and temperature rode up and down in consonance over 400,00 years. "Who," I asked, "was burning the fossil fuels 400,000 years ago?" I was treated as though I was rude.

It has been known for years that most CO2 is dissolved in the oceans. It is called "carbon sinking." The oceans typically contain 60 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere. It is also known that colder waters dissolve more CO2 than warm waters. Which do you think is cause and which is effect? We currently have CO2 levels of about 380 ppm. A recent study completed at UC Davis concluded that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere 300 million years ago was on the order of 2,000 ppm. Then this, "the same increase that experts expect by the end of this century as remaining reserves of fossil fuels are burned." If it is a given that human burning of fossil fuels is what will cause an increase of CO2 levels up to 2,000 ppm in the next 93 years, don't they owe us an explanation as to who burned those fossil fuels 300 million years ago? In fact we are being treated to a modern scientific shell game. The most prevalent and efficient greenhouse gas is not CO2; it is water vapor, which accounts for about 60 percent of the heat-trapping gases while CO2 accounts for about 26 percent. So, why are we being served a daily diet of our destroying the environment with our behavior as it relates to CO2? Because our behavior has little to do with the amount of water vapor, so it is a non-starter when it comes to those whose principal goal is ruling our lives.

Scientists should be offended that this global warming hysteria is called "science."

Episcopalian Reaction to Anglican Ultimatum

From the LA Times, reaction from US Episcopalians on the ultimatum from Anglican leaders for the US branch get its act together and start taking Scripture seriously:

On the other side, the Rev. Praveen Bunyan, whose St. James Church of Newport Beach broke away from the U.S. church in 2004 to join an Anglican province in Uganda, said he was encouraged to see the primates "give the Episcopal Church one last chance to turn around."

However, it's doubtful many of the offending churches will heed the warning:

At Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church, an influential, liberal congregation, the Rev. Ed Bacon said his church would still bless same-sex unions.

"We have many people very concerned about whether All Saints will be intimidated by this, but we will continue our ministry with pastoral care, compassion and justice," Bacon said.

If these churches had any sense of propriety to begin with, they wouldn't be ordaining homosexuals as bishops, etc., and blessing homosexual unions.

By the number of times it's addresses and by the clarity of the language, the Bible is more clear that homosexuality is a sin than it is on rape. Any church or Christian who claims they can't figure that out has some fundamental problems with integrity.

Clintons Lie With Ease

From the Editor and Publisher, on Maureen Dowd's NYT piece today. She quotes former Clinton supporter David Geffen:

"Everybody in politics lies, but they [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it’s troubling," Geffen said.

Again, something most of us know, but it's noteworthy to see it acknowledged in public.

Pro-Life Defensive Mindset

The abortion ban, HB 1293, was shot down in the Senate State Affairs committee this morning, with only one senator having the guts to vote for sending it to the Senate floor.

There are, of course, those who oppose this bill so they can keep abortion on demand as the law of the land. But I don't believe it could have been brought down without the lack of support from the pro-life community.

Seems pro-lifers are still enslaved to the defensive mindset. I'm referring, as I have before, to that mindset which plagues conservatives in general which says fighting aggressively for your values is somehow dirty or wrong.

If it were up to me, would I have waited a year before going for another ban? Maybe. But a good bill was put out, and it should have been defended as it was in the House.

Yeah, I'm tired of the abortion debate, too. Yeah, I'm tired after a tough campaign last year. But tired doesn't bring victory. Incrementalism doesn't bring victory. Always putting off the battle until tomorrow doesn't bring victory.

As long as conservatives and pro-lifers are ashamed of their values and lack the conviction to fight aggressively for them, we'll keep losing. For those of you who have this timid mindset and refused to support this bill, if you're comfortable with losing, keep doing what you're doing.

Politicized Awards

The San Francisco Chronicle has a very good article today on the politicization of awards, from the Grammy's to the Nobel Peace Prize:

While the commonness of awards has contributed to diminishing their status, far more damaging is the blatant politicization of the process. Filmmakers, musicians, journalists and statesmen alike are all too often awarded prizes based not on merit but on political affiliation. Invariably, that affiliation tends toward the left side of the political spectrum.

This is something many of us have observed for a long time (with terrorists being nominated for peace prizes and dangerous idiots like Jimmy Carter who has done more to undermine peace), but it's refreshing to see it documented in a large paper like the SF Chronicle.

This article hits the nail squarely on the head.

How to Homeschool

Kiplinger.com has a good article on how to homeschool:

Once considered a fringe group, parents who home-school their children aren't such rarities anymore. Families looking for an alternative to schools with too few challenges or too many distractions, or for a way to tailor the curriculum to a child's needs, have swelled the ranks of home-schooled kids. In 2003 more than a million children were being taught at home, a 30% jump from 1999. Estimates now put the number closer to two million.

The piece goes onto summarize some of the financial challenges and solutions, including creative work schedules for the parents, part time work, and working from home. It also examines curriculum, high school and college considerations and such.

My family homeschools and we absolutely love it. It provides tremendous flexibility for taking family road trips (you can school while you're gone, or catch up when you get back), and other more routine opportunities that arise. It keeps our children a little more isolated from some of the kids that could lead them astray, and helps us ensure our children are learning OUR values, not those of a secularist education system that, even under the best of circumstances, has no choice (thanks to our judicial oligarchy) but to teach children that their faith is something to be marginalized and kept out of "the real world."

And to top off all the practical and value advantages of homeschooling, our children are several years ahead of their grade level without even pushing them.

If you really want to give your children the very best, consider homeschooling. It isn't as hard as you might think.

Health Care and Price Controls

Thomas Sowell discusses price controls today, in the context of health care:

What does the history of thousands of years of price controls tell us?

The first thing undermined or destroyed is self-rationing. When you pay the full price of going to a doctor, you go there when you have a broken leg but not when you have the sniffles or a minor skin rash. When the government makes health care “affordable,” you go there for sniffles and a minor skin rash.

The underlying reality has not changed, however. The doctor’s time is still limited, and the time that you take up with your sniffles or skin rash is time that somebody else with a broken leg — or perhaps cancer — has to wait to get an appointment.

Government-run health-care systems in countries around the world have longer waits — sometimes months — to get medical attention. In other words, the rationing goes on, but more haphazardly, because prices do not force people to ration themselves according to the seriousness of their problem.

This is a fact I pointed out in my recent Rapid City Journal column, and on this blog. Price controls would be an absolute reality in a national health care scenario. It's also quite possible and even probably that they may become a reality even in our hybrid system that is still able to pass itself off as "free market."

I've said before that our current system stinks. But more government intervention will only make things go from bad to worse. If the current trend of socialization continues, in 10-20 years, people will long for the good ole days of 2007.

Instead, we need to find ways to get more people more involved in not only their health care decisions, but more involved in paying for that care.

For the record: I'm not rich, just frugal when it comes to health care spending.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Global Warming Models Don't Match Reality

From Physorg.com:

A new report on climate over the world’s southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.

But I thought this was "settled science?"

Darn it! Liberals must hate it when reality inconveniently refuses to line up with their fantasies.

US Episcopal Church Taken to the Woodshed

From Fox News:

Anglican leaders demanded Monday that the U.S. Episcopal Church unequivocally bar official prayers for gay couples and the consecration of more gay bishops to undo the damage that North Americans have caused the Anglican family.

It is to our shame as Americans that a world Christian body had to speak this fundamental truth to their US branch.

The United States was once a beacon of Christian truth, taking that truth to a world that had never heard it before. Now we've lost our way, embracing trendy ideas and walking the easy way, to the point that we need others to point out our errors.

How shameful for us, but I'm glad the Anglican Church had the courage to plant a stake in the ground for the truth.

Put Out to Health Care Pasture

Another reason to avoid government controlled health care like it was the plague (pardon the pun).

From Science Daily:

The survey found that health professionals generally prioritize spending on the young over the old and on preventive care over curative care.

In other words, in a socialized medicine environment where government controls spending considerations, you could be "managed" out of your life if you're seen as "obsolete."

Rewarding Stupidity (and Greed)

From the U.S. Supreme Court decision on PHILIP MORRIS USA v. WILLIAMS released today:

In this state negligence and deceit lawsuit, a jury found that Jesse Williams’ death was caused by smoking and that petitioner Philip Morris, which manufactured the cigarettes he favored, knowingly and falsely led him to believe that smoking was safe. In respect to deceit, it awarded $821,000 in compensatory damages and $79.5 million in punitive damages to respondent, the personal representative of Williams’ estate.

Thought smoking was safe. Uh huh.

This guy probably sat around in December and April waiting for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too. Who on this planet doesn't know smoking is hazardous to your health? They've only put warning labels on the packs for decades, and I once saw a quote from King James of England who acknowledged that smoking was unhealthy--nearly 400 years ago!

Stuff like this is why you might see a label on your toaster: "Do not use in the bathtub."

We reward stupidity and greed. Why? Not because the plaintiff deserves it, but simply because the defendant can afford it.

Covenant Marrige: The Real Marriage

Oklahoma is considering "covenant marriages," according to a Fox News report:

The voluntary new form of marriage proposed by Rep. John Wright, R-Broken Arrow, would ban 'incompatibility' as grounds for divorce and require the couple to attend marriage counseling at least 15 days before the wedding.

Wright said the new marriage option would lead to a higher level of commitment between partners — and fewer divorces. Couples would choose a covenant marriage as a way to hold themselves up to a higher standard of working through problems without considering divorce first, he said.

'Any couple has trying times in their marriage, but successful couples learn how to work through their problems,' Wright said. 'This eliminates the easy-out mechanism.'

Real marriages like this that require genuine work and commitment from spouses are badly needed. The advent of "no fault divorce" has eroded our society about as much as anything. It breaks people's hearts and leaves broken homes with screwed up children who often end up in prison when they get older. If ever there was a case for government to promote or encourage something, this is it.

What we have now isn't real marriage. Real marriage means keeping that commitment you make at the altar, including the "until death do us part" part. In practical terms, what we have now is "I'll live with you as long as I don't get tired of you, in which case I'm out of here."

The article does point out that in some other states that have covenant marriage, only 5% of couples have chosen the "real marriage."

I don't know whether that's because they just don't know about it (I would venture it's probably not promoted very well), or couples just acknowledge up front that they want an escape hatch from marriage. If they refuse covenant marriage when it's available, that should tell prospective spouses something about one another.

A refusal of a covenant marriage (a real marriage) should tell those who refuse that one or both of them aren't ready to get married.

Happiness as a Choice

Dennis Prager's column today brings up an interesting point about happiness and how we should feel an obligation not to burden others:

Consider the effects of an unhappy parent on a child. Ask people raised by an unhappy parent if that unhappiness hurt them.

Consider the effects of an unhappy spouse on a marriage.

Consider the effects of unhappy children on their parents. I know a couple that has four middle-aged children of whom three are truly extraordinary people, inordinately well adjusted and decent. The fourth child has been unhappy most of his life and has been a never-ending source of pain to the parents. That one child's unhappiness has always overshadowed the joy that the parents experience from the other three children. Hence the saying that one is no happier than one's least happy child.

Consider the effects of a brooding co-worker on your and your fellow workers' morale -- not to mention the huge difference between working for a happy or a moody employer.

We should regard bad moods as we do offensive body odor. Just as we shower each day so as not to inflict our body odors on others, so we should monitor our bad moods so as not to inflict them on others. We shower partly for ourselves and partly out of obligation to others. The same should hold true vis a vis moods; and just as we avoid those who do not do something about their body odor we should avoid whenever possible those who do nothing about their bad moods.

Counter to what our culture says, the Bible commands us to regulate and control our emotions. Society says you just "fall in love" and "fall out of love," and that you can't force yourself to be thankful or feel positive if it doesn't just come naturally.

But if you're a Christian, that isn't what your Bible says. In it, we are commanded to love (whether we like it or not), to meet our responsibilities whether we feel like it or not, and to be content and give thanks in all things whether we want to or not. We can control our moods; God wouldn't have told us to if it weren't possible.

We obviously can't legislate happiness (darn it, Right wingers love to legislate things that promote personal responsibility, so this is a disappointment), but perhaps it's something we should take on as an obligation--like courtesy and compassion.

Welfare Golf

Thomas Sowell's column today is, on the surface, about something I have no interest in whatsoever: golf courses.

But the issue of government subsidized golf courses in San Francisco points to a greater truth about socialism and the welfare state:

The great allure of government programs in general for many people is that these programs allow decisions to be made without having to worry about the constraints of prices, which confront people at every turn in a free market.

They see prices as just obstacles or nuisances, instead of seeing them as messages conveying underlying realities that are there, whether or not prices are allowed to function.

This truth has a great deal to do with why state control of anything multiplies inefficiencies and out-of-control spending. It also has a lot to do with why socialism and the welfare state are acid to the moral fiber of society: it insulates people from reality and allows them to make stupid and irresponsible, and sometimes morally bankrupt, decisions.

Feedback on the 1/2 Hour News Hour

Received this feedback on the 1/2 Hour News Hour from Horton/Harrison Stevenson of Burch, South Dakota:

It's funny for a while. Reminds me of "That Was the Week That Was." Recall the earth-shaking news that killed that show. With the world situation as it is, ain't nothin' funny. No more.

Be careful what you laugh at.


Okay. :) Gotta laugh at Air America and its 12 listeners. One of the show hosts is jumping ship at the right time to run for the senate. And he was soooooooooo serious in a TV news interview. Mr. Humble Pie. Oh my! This slithery dude doesn't look at what the other hand is doing. He's on a USO tour, entertaining the troops. Then he goes on the air running down the Commander-In-Chief. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

I'm afraid I only have a passing recollection of "The Week That Was." Does anybody know what news killed the show? Horton/Harrison...are you still out there?

Britney Spears Implosion

Parenting isn't important? Oh, I'm sure most people would say it is. But do we really make our children a priority? Do we put their welfare before our own? Do we take the time to teach them--not just the academics, but what it means to be a genuine person? Do we instill in them a sense of self-worth, and a respect for others? Do we take the time to help them find their place in the world? Do we teach them transcendent values?

Or do we take a "nonjudgmental" approach? Do we let the government do our work for us?

While the temptation to snicker is there, Britney Spears is a sad case of a lack of parenting.

From the UK Dail Mail:

Fears were growing for Britney Spears' mental health yesterday after she shaved her head and branded her body with tattoos a day after quitting rehab.

While psychologists speculated that her behaviour was a cry for help, her shorn locks were being auctioned on eBay for $1million. Fears were growing for Britney Spears' mental health yesterday after she shaved her head and branded her body with tattoos a day after quitting rehab.

While psychologists speculated that her behaviour was a cry for help, her shorn locks were being auctioned on eBay for $1million.

She's been imploding for a long, long time. The success and money have kept a lot of it hidden for years, but eventually it becomes impossible to ignore.

The next time you consider putting off the job of being a real parent, the next time you are tempted to think that money and status are the main things in life, remember Britney Spears...and dare to parent.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Build Family Housing = Heterosexist

From LifeSite, the newest bit of homosexual political correctness from my old stomping ground of Cambridge, England:

A former mayor of Cambridge, England, John Hipkin, is demanding an apology and a retraction after being accused publicly of “heterosexism” for suggesting that more homes need to be built to accommodate families.

Hipkin wondered aloud at a planning meeting last fall whether the preference of housing developers for one and two bedroom homes was not “putting huge pressure of a contraceptive nature on this city.”

Hipkin said at the time, “People presumably start off single or young marrieds and have children, don't they? Where are they going to go?”

Now why in the world would we want to build housing that was suitable for families. It's only been the natural order of civilization for thousands of years. What was this homophobe thinking???

Calling the complaint a “slur on his character,” Hipkin said, “Such an allegation runs contrary to all the things I think I am. I have spent my life opposing homophobia, sexism, racism - all forms of discrimination.”

Actually, his mistake was not paying close enough attention to what he was thinking and saying, and he accidentally lapsed into non-politically-correct, real-world thinking. He'd better guard himself more carefully in the future, lest he jeopardize his liberal credentials.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Review: The 1/2 Hour News Hour

I just finished watching the premier episode of the 1/2 Hour News Hour from the Fox News Channel tonight.

There were some good jokes about Iranian holocaust deniers and their nonexistent holocaust denial conference, a potential Hillary Clinton multi-ethnic lesbian cabinet, liberal radio Air America and their 12 listeners, and homosexual penguins.

Some good book reviews: "Harry Potter and the Alternative Lifestyle," socialist children's book "The Little Engine that Couldn't Quite," "James and the Giant Melanoma" (it doesn't have a happy ending), and "Garfield Goes to the Free Clinic."

I also liked the ACLU piece: "Twisting the Constitution since 1920." Also how the ACLU fought for the rights of pregnant women to use cocaine.

There was the OJ-esque continuing coverage of Ed Begley's journey to the studio in his environmentally friendly car that ran on batteries or human waste, but couldn't make it up hills. (He never did make it to the studio).

Crude of me, I know, but I laughed till I cried over the tyrannical t-shirt salesman and his t-shirt featuring the picture of Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the caption underneath: "Shiit happens."

Another segment featured a man who could blame pretty much anything on global warming with his theory: "Six Degrees of Global Warming." He blamed blizzards, higher gas prices, a crime wave in Houston, and even some of Britney Spears' behavioral problems on global warming. This segment was not unlike much of the "real" media.

Some parts were a little stiff, but this was only a pilot episode, and I think the show will only get better with time and experience, and will hit its stride in short order.

I do hope the producers will tone back on some of the crude and risque material. As it was, several parts of it weren't very family friendly. You can be funny without being vulgar, and I hope they figure that out.

I'll be tuning in next week with hopes that they'll make some adjustments and this will be picked up as a regular series.

Typical Garbage from MSM

Here's the latest in the usual shipment of shallow philosophical garbage from Randall Beck and the Argus Leader, as he complains about how tired he is of the abortion debate:

The saddest thing about this mess is that those who expend so much energy and righteous indignation tend to be inexplicably silent on other moral outrages - the teacher who cannot make a living wage; the thousands of South Dakota children who cannot get medical treatment because mom and dad lack insurance; the decisions that force our fellow citizens to breathe second-hand smoke.

Who is forcing these teachers to stay in an occupation where they can't make a living wage? I would dispute that assertion about how much they make, first of all, but tell me: who is holding a gun to their heads or holding their families hostages so that they are unable to make a career change? I was unaware we had a Soviet-style managed economy, or a caste system in America. I must have missed the memo on that change.

Also, name one, just a single one, child who has been denied medical care? Go ahead. Name one. And even if they had (and they haven't), are there no friends, families, churches or charities they could turn to for financial assistance?

I'm also wondering who is holding a gun to people's heads and breathing second-hand smoke down their throats. I consider myself fairly observant, but I've never seen an incident of this nature, either.

Frankly, I'm sick of the debate over liberals trying to socialize everything in sight. I'm sick of the debate over liberals telling employers they have to pay employees a certain amount, whether their work is worth that much or not. I'm weary of government poking its nose into areas where people and the market should be deciding things.

I'm sick of liberals obfuscating about abortion and the scientifically undeniable fact that it kills a human being. I'm sick of liberals demanding the right to murder their children so we can maintain sexual autonomy and avoid the consequences of our actions.

And I'm sick of liberals saying it's immoral when the government doesn't interfere in areas where people could exercise their own preference or take care of their own needs, yet object when government tries to fulfill one of its few legitimate roles: protecting the innocent from death.

I'm tired, too. So why don't you liberals just shut up and let the grownups restore our state and nation to the way it used to be, so we can get back to being a free people under God who respect the sanctity of human life.

Supporting America and the Troops

The LA Times featured a very interesting story today about an anti-war liberal who ended up joining the military and going to Iraq.

It's a little long, but definitely worth the read. I might not agree 100% with this man's motives, but a lot of liberals in Washington--and around the world--could learn a lot from this man.

After the 9/11 attacks, Daily was not convinced that a military response was the best option. In his MySpace essay, he runs through the gamut of reasons he used at one time or another to argue against confronting the Taliban and Saddam Hussein: cultural tolerance, the sanctity of national sovereignty, a suspicion of America's intentions. Weren't we really after their oil? he wondered.

Somewhere along the way, he changed his mind. His family says there was no epiphany. Writings by author and columnist Christopher Hitchens on the moral case for war deeply influenced him. A 2003 phone conversation with a UCLA ROTC officer on the ideals of commitment and service impressed him.

Unlike many liberals in Congress and around the country, he came to a point of understanding where he realized that America and her military are a force for good.

In a 2005 videotape of his officers' commissioning ceremony, Daily told the crowd that the U.S. Army is one of the few militaries in the world that teach not only tactics but also ethics. "I genuinely believe the United States Army is a force of good in this world," he said.

He was not blind to military transgressions and fumed to his father that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib was a failure of leadership. But that was exactly why he needed to get over there, he said. He was going to make sure that his men upheld Army values of integrity and honor.

Liberals who are tearing our country apart should consider this guy's journey and what he learned. Instead of undermining his country, he determined to do his part to ensure that the noble ideals of America were upheld.

The rest of us, liberal and conservative alike, should resolve to do no less.

People Paying Their Own Way

Alan Aker, former state senator and another Rapid City Journal columnist, continues the discussion of socialized medicine in his column today. He further elaborates on what I said earlier in the week--and in previous blog posts--about how socialized medicine brings greater medical spending and lower quality:

Health care tends toward socialism because you’re most likely to need it when you’re least able to earn money to pay for it. It’s also harder to make people pay for health care they’ve already received. You can lose your house if you stop making payments, but not your transplanted kidney.

None of this means that socialism works any better in health care than in any other sector. Everywhere it’s tried, socialized health care is accompanied by either skyrocking costs, rationing, lower quality, or a combination of the three. Costs explode because of human nature: When people don’t have to pay for a thing, they waste it and demand more of it than they otherwise would.

Government inevitably responds to this by rationing, and in a sector such as health care, that’s going to require a lot of subjective, case-by-case decisions by bureaucrats. It would be nice to believe that the kind of person drawn to a job like that has the temperament of Solomon, but the reality is that they’ll be petty tyrants and mendacious weasels.

Alan also includes an endorsement for requiring people to carry health insurance:

We should require universal coverage for the same reason we mandate automobile liability coverage: If you don’t buy insurance, all the rest of us have to pay for your irresponsibility.

When people say they can’t afford health insurance, they often mean they can’t afford a policy that covers every little sniffle and scratch.

But many of them could afford a catastrophic policy. It‘s high time they paid their own way.

I am always very reluctant to endorse any plan where the government forces you to do something or spend something that doesn't affect the safety of others (i.e. seatbelt laws, etc.). I don't like it in the realm of auto insurance as Alan mentions, but that horse is already out of the barn. I don't know if I'd want to see another even bigger horse get out of the barn on this one.

Yet the way our system works, where the other taxpayers get stuck with the bill if someone can't pay, there's probably no better solution than Alan's, provided we don't have the will to seriously turn back the whole system so that someone could pay their own way, even without insurance.

If we do end up going this route, I hope they'll allow some of these Christian "co-ops" for health insurance. If I didn't have such a (relatively) cheap plan through work, I'd be in one of these Christian plans in a New York minute. It's a sharing system where everyone in the group gets together to help pay each other's bills. It's designed off the New Testament model, and helps keep costs and abuse down.

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