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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?

 

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Scientific Sponge Bath

The Robbinsdale Radical left a comment today regarding sponges and evolutionary theory.

Genetic material for nerve synapses has been found in sponges, and of course this is believed to be evidence of evolution (just like evidence for global warming can be found whether it's cold or hot or wet or dry or windy or calm, so almost anything can be interpreted as supporting evolution because of the worldview involved).

It just happens that Answers in Genesis (that evil bunch of knuckle-draggers who opened the Creation Museum recently) addresses these sponges today:

Noticeably, whereas the article describes the genes as “very similar,” Oakley states categorically (albeit with some editorial alteration) that the sponges have the human synapse genes. We suspect this is due to Oakley’s (and evolutionists’ in general) view that if two genes are similar in two organisms that share a common ancestor (which, ultimately, are all organisms in the evolutionary worldview), the two genes are presumed to be the same gene, merely mutated in different directions over eons of supposed evolutionary history. Accordingly, the article notes:

The researchers speculate that the sponge genes were recycled over evolutionary time, with small modifications, to create the nervous systems of later animals.

The creationists’ view, by contrast, is to emphasize that similarity can never prove evolution nor disprove creation. Evolutionists explain similarity through their worldview as the inevitable result of shared ancestry across all life. We creationists explain similarity through our worldview as the understandable result of one Designer creating a system of life that shares the same world. Indeed, the only statement in the article that uniquely supports either creation or evolution is the final paragraph:

Other genes would also have had to evolve or to have been co-opted to create complex nervous systems, such as our own. Scientists think an estimated 77 to 1,000 genes are important for human synaptic communication, Oakley said.

Thus, while similarities are easily explained by creation and evolution, the differences are only explained well by the creation model; the evolution model, despite its supposed emphasis on empirical support, has never shown that mutations increase information—such as yielding the hundreds of genes required just for our nervous system—as Darwinian evolution requires. While this is interesting postulation, note that mechanism for the creation of new genes has neither been described, nor demonstrated, but is apparently blindly believed to have taken place.

Now I know there are many out there who automatically dismiss anything that comes from AIG as being unreliable. That's about as logical as suspecting that any arrest made by the police is oppression just because you once received a speeding ticket; just because you don't like what they have to say doesn't mean what they say is wrong. Just stop for a minute and weigh the viability of what they've said before running off in blind faith to a bunch of evolutionary apostles in white lab coats.

Consider this another way: if you examine the code behind two different computer programs, say a spreadsheet program and a word processing program, you'll notice a lot of different code...but you'll also notice some similar elements of code, and maybe even some of the same functions.

This doesn't mean the spreadsheet program evolved from the word processing program or vice versa; it only means that the "creator" simply used some of the same elements, arranged differently.

Finding similar genetic elements in different organisms is no more proof of evolution than finding similar code strings in different programs is proof one program evolved from the other.


Memorial to the Victims of Communism


A congressionally authorized "Memorial to the Victims of Communism" is going up on Tuesday in Washington, DC, according to WorldNetDaily.

According to the article, it will go up at the intersections of Massachusetts and New Jersey Avenues, about two blocks from Union Station and within view of the Capitol.

Many in our own country have for years ignored the oppression of those forced to live under communism, and some, such as Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, have actually been active in fighting our efforts to combat communism and have even aided our communist enemies against us.

Much of the blood of the 100 million victims is on our American hands because of our indifference and because of our treason against freedom. In a sense, the monument is as much an indictment of our moral failure as it is a memorial to those victims.

Yet the U.S and the Western world has a "great moral blind spot" when it comes to understanding the impact and threat of communism, say the organizers of the memorial.

"It is a great moral failing for a free society to misunderstand the extent of communism's atrocities," they say. "While the horrors of Nazism are well known, who knows that the Soviet Union murdered 20 million people? Who knows that China's dictators have slaughtered an estimated 60 million? Who knows that the communist holocaust has exacted a death toll surpassing that of all of the wars of the 20th century combined?"

Inscriptions on the memorial, which was conceived by scholar Lee Edwards and former Ambassador Lev Dobriansky, will read: "To the more than 100 million victims of Communism and to those who love liberty," and "To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and peoples."

Edwards told American Spectator senior editor Quin Hillyer the purpose is not only to memorialize victims of communism but to honor those who resisted it, "real leaders" such as Ronald Reagan, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Harry Truman, Pope John Paul II and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A third purpose is to educate, Edwards said.

"We want to educate people about what a terrible tyranny it was," he told Hillyer. " … There is not the same kind of recognition of the communist holocaust."

My only criticism of this memorial is its location. It should have been right across from the Capital Building.

That way, all the communist sympathizers still in congress, all those who still worship at the temple of Marxism, would have to see this every day. The horrible and inevitable destination of this barbaric philosophy that many even now flirt with might then have a chance to sink into their brains over time, and they might eventually embrace the Judeo-Christian principles of freedom and individual responsibility that spawned our own great nation.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Abortion is Lucrative


From LifeNews.com:

Planned Parenthood's latest annual report reveals it made $902.8 million dollars from 2005-2006 and did 264,943 abortions.

That's a pretty good haul, especially when you consider what they're making off the taxpayers:
The annual report showed that Planned Parenthood reported receiving taxpayer funds totaling $305.3 million -- a whopping $32.6 million (12 percent) more than last year. As a result, taxpayer money now accounts for 34 percent of Planned Parenthood's income.

Abortion is pretty lucrative. I could see why some people who want to make money would want to protect the industry.


Fake vs. Real

From AP:

Republican Newt Gingrich, in a jab at President Bush, warned on Friday that the GOP will lose the White House and Congress in 2008 if the nominee is perceived as a continuation of the Bush presidency.

They'll also lose big in congress if they continue trying to be Democrats-Lite. All the Republican big-spending and derelection on the border/immigration and so on just makes them look like pale imitations of Democrats.

Why would people buy an imitation when they can get the real thing for the same price of a vote?


Confusing the Children

From the Baptist Press, a piece from Russell D. Moore on his recent visit to the new Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Kentucky:

Inside the museum, I was asked by a reporter to respond to the Darwinist protesters' charge that I was "confusing" my children by bringing them into a museum that presents a markedly different view of cosmic history than that found in secular science textbooks. I am dumbfounded that groups with names such as "Free Inquiry" could believe that seeing viewpoints at variance with approved orthodoxy, whether religious or materialist, is "confusing." After all, weren't the Big Bang and natural selection "confusing" to a previous generation of schoolchildren?

It is remarkable that no Christian has ever asked me if I am "confusing" my children by taking them, as I did later that weekend, to the Cincinnati-area aquarium with exhibits everywhere assuming only a Darwinist/naturalist understanding of the origins of aquatic life. Most conservative Christians I know want their children to understand Darwin's account of human evolution, and a fair representation of it, precisely so they will not be mystified by it later.

For the same reason, I've been teaching my daughter about Darwin and evolution for years. She'll know the pros and cons of both creation and evolution.


Democrats Seek to Punish Success

The Washington Post reports Democrats in Congress want to take money from one economic classification and give it to another.

House Democrats looking to spare millions of middle-class families from the expensive bite of the alternative minimum tax are considering adding a surcharge of 4 percent or more to the tax bills of the nation's wealthiest households.

Under one version of the proposal, about 1 million families would be hit with a 4.3 percent surtax on income over $500,000, which would raise enough money to permit Congress to abolish the alternative minimum tax for millions of households earning less than $250,000 a year, according to Democratic aides and others familiar with the plan.

Why not just end the class-warfare AMT, period? Well, that would put Americans, regardless of income, on a footing that was far too equal for these congressional Marxists.


Evolutionists in the Minority


Polls are of dubious value, and definitely aren't a measure of truth, but they can indicate whether a perception is something commonly accepted or if it's a minority or fringe view.

While neither creationists nor evolutionists have proof of their claims, the arrogant assertion by some that belief in creationism is a fringe superstition ascribed to by a handful of knuckle-draggers is, of course, bunk.

From NewsMax on a new USA Today/Gallup poll:

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll has found that two-thirds of Americans say creationism is definitely or probably true.

The poll also found that by a margin of more than 2-to-1 more Americans believe creationism is "definitely true” as opposed to those who believe as strongly in evolution.

Creationists and evolutionists both acknowledge and examine the same evidence, and both approach the study of that evidence with presuppositions about how it came to be. The main difference is that the creationist assumes the evidence was intelligently designed, where the evolutionist believes it came about through random chance. (That, and the fact that evolutionists religiously deny that they have any presuppositions.)

Saying that creationists don't believe in science is like saying that a person who looks at a computer application and assumes that a programmer coded it doesn't believe in computer programming.

That line of reasoning would require you to believe that just because you've never seen the people who built all the software currently running on your computer, that your software formed randomly and spontaneously, and just happened to produce a coherent, functional application.


Socialized Medicine: Can You Wait a Year for Treatment?


Here's what socialists in this country want for YOU.

From the UK Guardian, on England's socialized medicine nightmare called the National Health Service:

A Department of Health analysis of 208,000 people admitted to hospital in March showed 48% were wheeled into the operating theatre within 18 weeks of a GP sending them for hospital diagnosis. But 30% waited more than 30 weeks and 12.4% more than a year.

This problem has been an known issue for years; the quality and the wait-times were a wry joke among the British people when I was there 20 years ago. But has anything happened?
In a key manifesto pledge at the 2005 general election, the government promised that by December next year all patients would be treated within 18 weeks.

As the latest analysis shows, an improvement just didn't happen.

Don't dare let socialists in this country impose this "solution" to our health care problems on us.


Beaming Wireless Electricity

This is exceedingly cool! From the Daily Mail:

The phenomenon, called electromagnetic induction, is used in power transformers and electric motors around the world.

However, the coils in motors and transformers have to be close for power to pass from one to another. Attempting to transfer power over distances is impossible.

The breakthrough came when Dr Soljacic realised there was another way of transferring energy through the air.

Rather than sending power from a transmitter to a receiver as a conventional electromagnetic wave - the same form of radiation as light, radio waves and microwaves - he could use the transmitter to fill a room with a 'non-radiative' electromagnetic field.

Most objects in the room - such as people, desks and carpets - would be unaffected by the electromagnetic field. But any objects designed to resonate with the electromagnetic field would absorb the energy.

The Independent does point out a problem with the effectiveness of the breakthrough:
However, up to 45 per cent of the transmitted power was lost before it reached the lightbulb, and Professor Soljacic said the system needed to be twice as efficient before it would be as effective as chemical batteries.

It's still pretty amazing. I've been thinking for years that something like this should be possible. What an exciting time in which to live!


Herseth Sandlin Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research


Predictably, our congressional representative voted in favor of destroying human embryos for the hope they might someday lead to cures.

From the Argus Leader:

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin voted for the bill and for a similar measure in January. She said the research offers tremendous prospects for new treatment of diseases. Without a coherent federal policy, research will progress inefficiently, slowly or not at all, she said.

While embryonic stem cell research has yet to see a single success story, adult stem cell therapy, which does not involve the destruction of human life, is ALREADY curing people and continues to see a stream of successes and innovations.

Why do liberals turn a blind eye to success, in favor of something that shows no success? Are they just hopelessly bound to the culture of death? Is it something they just can't help? Is it just in their nature to promote things that devalue human life and undermine human dignity?


President Vows to Veto Embryonic Stem Cell Bill

Opposes destruction of human life in the name of research

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany, June 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is a statement by President Bush:

Today, the United States House of Representatives, with its vote on the embryonic stem cell bill, chose to discard existing protections on human life. This bill puts scientific research and ethical principle into conflict, rather than supporting a balanced approach that advances scientific and medical frontiers without violating moral principles. (Full Story)


Embryonic Stem Cell Bill Passes Congress, Awaits President's Veto

Adult stem cell therapy already curing illnesses

WASHINGTON, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 passed the House with a strong bipartisan vote of 247 to 176 yesterday, and will be sent to the President for his signature.

Speaking in favor of the measure, Pelosi said, "According to scientists, including many Nobel Laureates, embryonic stem cell research could unlock the doors to treatments and cures to cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, and many, many more diseases. If we have a scientific opportunity to treat and cure disease, we have a moral responsibility to support it. (Full Story)


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bush Matches New Poll Low


From NewsMax.com:

Public approval of the job President Bush is doing now matches its all-time low, with widespread discontent over how he is handling the war in Iraq, efforts against terrorism and domestic issues, an AP-Ipsos poll released Thursday said.

Only 32 percent said they were satisfied with how Bush is handling his job, the same low point the measure hit last January.

That's what you get when you sell out your base...especially by making our national borders meaningless.

The "mainstream" media would like you to think Bush's low poll numbers are because he's just not being liberal enough. In fact, the opposite is true. He's spit in the collective face of his base with things like lending credibility to the global warming myth and this travesty of an amnesty bill on immigration. Failure to aggressively prosecute the war on terrorism (allowing our soldiers to be put on trial for defending themselves, not aggressively rooting out terrorists everywhere, and all this "emperors clothes" talk of the "Religion of Peace") hasn't helped the president's numbers, either.

Desert the base, they'll desert you. It ain't rocket science.


Thune Helps Roadblock Amnesty Bill


According to KELO, Senator John Thune voted for an amendment to the amnesty bill which would place a five-year limit on a temporary worker program.

In the complex world of political maneuvering, this amendment is described in an AP story as a "major stumbling block."

From the AP piece:

The reversal dismayed backers of the immigration bill, which is loathed by many conservatives. The measure could sink altogether if proponents fail Thursday to muster the 60 votes needed to scale a procedural hurdle; otherwise, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he will shelve the bill and move on to other matters.

The bill would tighten borders, hike penalties for those who hire illegals and give many of the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status.

The first two provisions mentioned would be great...but not the third, to provide amnesty to those who broke our laws and invaded our country to get here.

There's a simpler solution actually: just allocate money to build a border fence, hire more border patrol...and just enforce the laws we already have.


CBS's "Jericho" Not Cancelled


USA Today and other outlets have announced that the CBS Wednesday night drama "Jericho" won't be cancelled after all.

In an online announcement Wednesday afternoon, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler called the online outcry a "probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series" and said CBS has ordered seven more episodes of the show for mid-season.

If you haven't watched it, here's what it's about:
Jericho is set in a post-apocalyptic Kansas town that survived, through an accident of geography, atomic explosions that lay waste to major cities including Washington, San Francisco, Boston and Denver.

The show centers on the perils that the Green family and other Jericho townspeople face in a world without electricity or a functioning central government. Food is scarce, life is harsh and organized gangs and government thugs (it's difficult to tell which is which) roam the Midwest.

I wasn't sure what the show would be like when I saw ads on it last summer; the little boy watching a mushroom cloud in the distance intrigued me, however.

Anything science fiction interests me, but the show is far more than that (actually the nukes are more of a side-issue). The characters are some of the most realistic I've ever seen in a TV show. There are all sorts of major and personal plot lines playing out over the episodes which keep things very interesting.

And it's not some cheap, B-grade post-apocalyptic piece of trash like some of these movies you see on the Sci-Fi Channel. It's about realistic people struggling with interpersonal issues, the problems they now face in a changed world, and they're still trying to figure out exactly what's going on in the world beyond the borders of their part of Kansas. (In one episode, they came across a huge swath left by migrants heading south for the winter, and in the debris was a bag from...of course, Wall Drug).

My favorite characters are the main guy, Jake, and Rob Hawkins, who you quickly realize is at the center of the cause of the nuclear explosions...but is he a good guy or bad guy? This question appears to have been answered a few episodes ago...but given the twists and turns of the show, I'm not 100% convinced. Regardless, Hawkins has saved the town's bacon several times. But he has issues with an estranged wife and children he hasn't seen much of as he's spent years working undercover...and the danger he's placed his family in through his work.

I believe the network idiots are the ones who screwed up the shows ratings during the winter. They didn't show any new episodes (or even reruns) for something like 2-3 months. (Didn't they think they might lose audience during such a gap? Duh!)

You can watch all the episodes online.

Hopefully the network suits won't do anything stupid like that again, and hopefully people will rally around a great show and keep it around for years to come.


Who's Responsible for Children's "Pranks"?

Jim Kent's column in the Rapid City Journal today is right on.

He examines the recent "pranks" at Central High School in Rapid City involving a false gunman report and the incindiary device that went off in a locker. And Kent examines the question of who's responsible. (This actually sounds a lot like something I said in an earlier post this morning.)

“Back then,” we were coached on the meanings of “responsibility” and “consequences” by everyone around us: parents, neighbors, teachers, the cop on the beat and even complete strangers. It was a time when it was rightly presumed that children weren’t as worldly or wise as adults and needed to be offered guidance whenever they veered off the path of “doing the right thing.” Moreover, anyone who offered guidance was profusely thanked, not criticized, by the child’s parents.

It's an excellent column. It's worth reading the whole thing...and then resolving to do our part to fix things.


Defending Dobson


A couple of items on the recent fuss in the pro-life community over the recent ruling against partial birth abortion; both from WorldNetDaily.

The first is an article by Bob Unruh which lays out the disagreement. As I perceive it, some pro-life groups that are exceptionally eager for the barbaric blood-letting that is abortion to be completely gone say that the ruling really doesn't amount to anything because there are other avenues of killing late-term children that aren't 100% out of their mother's wombs. They have belittled Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson's praise of the ruling.

Tom Minnery, who is senior vice president of Government and Public Policy for Focus on the Family, has an op/ed at WorldNetDaily in defense of Dr. Dobson. I'm not afraid to disagree with Dr. Dobson (I have done so publicly before), but my disagreements are almost non-existent, and never with regard to his sincerity or intent.

And I agree with Dr. Dobson here. While I, too, would like to see an immediate end to the killing of unborn children--especially those killed during a "partial birth abortion" procedure that mocks the laws against murder while standing on a technicality--I believe we should celebrate the ruling for at least closing that avenue of butchery to the abortionists. I also celebrate the brick in the street of precedent it sets that even in our permissive culture, there are some acts of barbarity we won't tolerate.

I stand with Dr. Dobson.


Poll: Most Realize Media Damaging Moral Values

From CNS News:

Sixty-eight percent of Americans say the media have damaged moral values in America, according to a report released Wednesday by the Culture and Media Institute (CMI).

The report also concludes that the more a person watches television, the less likely he or she is to believe that the media are influencing the nation's morals. CMI is a division of the Media Research Center, which is also the parent organization of Cybercast News Service.

I consider it a testament to the intelligence and observation skills of this 68% that they are aware of this, after at least a couple of generations of this assault.

That second paragraph quoted above is a testament to the "frog in boiling water" analogy; the boiling frog would, of course, say, "It's not hot in here."

A couple of other interesting finds:
The more a person watches television, the more permissive his attitudes toward sexual issues like sex outside of marriage, abortion and homosexuality are likely to be.

The more a person watches television, the less likely he is to value religious principles and obedience to God.

We are all responsible for our actions and attitudes, but we should also be working together to promote healthy attitudes in one another. Our culture used to do that: from the home, to the neighborhood, to the police station, to the pulpit...they were working on concert to instill values and accountability.

Now it's every man for himself, and our children (and culture) are the casualties.


More Alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cell Research

From Breitbart.com:

In a big step toward a long-sought goal, three teams of scientists say they've produced the equivalent of embryonic stem cells, at least in mice, without taking the controversial step of destroying embryos.

Their procedure makes ordinary skin cells behave like stem cells. If the same can be done with human cells—a big if—the procedure could lead to breakthrough medical treatments without the contentious ethical and political debates surrounding the use of embryos.

This is a welcome development...but you know what? We already have stem cell breakthroughs that are ALREADY curing people.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Sins of Their Parents

By Ken Korkow


This past Monday morning, I sat down with a friend, business owner and former alcoholic and showed him an e-mail I’d just received regarding the recent resignation of another friend/professional/leader. The e-mail, in an attempt to explain the factors that led to this man’s resignation, noted various characteristics described in Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed. D.

Since I’ve not been an alcoholic, I wanted to get an “expert’s” insight. Problem is, as we worked through each of these characteristics, I had the growing realization that many of them fit me! (Full Story)


Homosexuality Unhealty, Unbiblical? Naahh!

From Breitbart.com:

President Bush's nominee for surgeon general, Kentucky cardiologist Dr. James Holsinger, has come under fire from gay rights groups for, among other things, voting to expel a lesbian pastor from the United Methodist Church and writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.

Imagine the nerve of this guy; wanting to expel someone entrusted to teach people about the Bible who does something God makes clear in the Bible that he doesn't approve of. The nerve of some people!

And just be cause homosexuals...well, it's not really something we can get into right here, but just because of reasons like these and these and these and these and these is no reason to say that homosexual behavior is unhealthy. What are some people thinkin'?


Leftist Groups Undermine Sovereignty

Nothing's ever a surprise from the Left, but here's an article on how the Leftists are undermining our borders and our national security by promoting illegal immigration.

From the Washington Times:

Wealthy philanthropic foundations are helping bankroll the pro-immigration movement, while groups advocating for tighter control of U.S. borders say they take a more grassroots approach to raising money.

The Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and Democratic activist George Soros, among other liberal funders, have donated millions of dollars to pro-immigration groups, as the Senate continues its debate on a contentious bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration policy.


Saddam/al-Qaida Connection


WorldNetDaily features an article listing several people in Saddam's regime who had connections with al-Qaida before and after the 2003 invasion.

While the Bush administration contended there was evidence of a Saddam Hussein/al-Qaida connection before the war, those assertions have come under heavy criticism, especially from Democrats who contend they and others were deceived about the presence of weapons of mass destruction. However, as WND reported last year, pre-war documents posted online by the Pentagon included a letter from a member of Saddam's intelligence apparatus indicating al-Qaida and the Taliban had a relationship with the regime prior to the 9/11 attacks.

A letter by the member of Saddam's Al Mukabarat to a superior, dated Sept. 15, 2001, reported a pre-9/11 conversation between an Iraqi intelligence source and a Taliban Afghani consul.

The information had been released on the orders of National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, and the letter was reviewed by an independent Middle East analyst who concluded it appeared genuine.

Saddam was also paying Palestinian terrorists and their families to blow up innocent Israelis.

There were numerous reasons for the Iraq invasion, and Saddam's terrorist ties and support was just one of them.


Gorilla Project Update

The latest from the Argus Leader:

About 700 miles southeast of Elk Point, plans are under way for a $3.4 billion refinery in southern Illinois that would turn coal into clean-burning fuel.

The plans are strikingly similar to what is known about the mystery development near Elk Point code-named the "Gorilla" project.

The project near Cairo, Ill., would employ up to 2,000 workers and require 2,500 to 3,000 acres, officials there confirmed Tuesday.

And the site is near the confluence of two major rivers - the Mississippi and the Ohio - because it requires enormous amounts of water to cool gases from the coal, a spokesman said.

Read the whole article here.


Cousin He/She/It Helps with Campaign


This has to be the story to which the South Dakota War College referred last night. Bizarre, indeed!

From the Rapid City Journal:

An 18-year-old Rapid City man faces charges of underage consumption and driving under the influence after a traffic stop early Tuesday morning that involved Rapid City alderman Tom Johnson.

Rapid City Police Chief Craig Tieszen said Tuesday evening that a city police officer stopped the vehicle about 1:15 a.m. for erratic driving and malfunctioning tail lights. The driver of Johnson's car "was dressed like and appeared to be a woman" but was eventually identified as a man, Tieszen said.

Tieszen said the driver initially gave a woman's name but then provided a man's name.

"As far as we know, (he) is legally a man," Tieszen said.

The article goes on to say Johnson was given a breathalyzer (which he passed) and released. He said he also didn't know the guy/gal/it was a guy, or that he/she/it was drinking. From the story, it sounds like Johnson just recruited this guy/gal/it off the street to help put out campaign signs, or he/she/it volunteered.

Just when you thought you'd seen it all in a campaign...


Too Broken Not to Fix

By Paul E. Scates

I read today that backers of the compromise immigration bill see the resistance lessening, and believe it will pass this week. Although it’s over 300 pages, the desperate rush to ram through this legislation last week before any senator had the time to read it, let alone reflect on its provisions, was deemed necessary because the current immigration system is “too broken not to fix.” (Full Story)


When the Beatles Were Gods

By John W. Whitehead

“I declare that the Beatles are mutants, prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species.” —Dr. Timothy Leary


The Sixties were much more than a time of hippies, music, drugs and free love. In fact, there were three distinct cultural streams that flavored the 1960s—the Kennedy years, the Beatles and the Vietnam era—each of which insisted on the primacy of youth.

(Full Story)


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Liberal/Conservative Morality Gap


No big surprises here, but it's interesting to see it in numbers in print.

From the Gospel Herald on a recent Gallup poll:

Americans, however, were most closely split down the middle on doctor assisted suicide with 49 percent saying it is morally acceptable and 44 percent saying it's morally wrong, and homosexual relations with 47 percent calling it morally acceptable and 49 percent, morally wrong. The latter issue also had the largest liberal-conservative gap with 83 percent of liberals calling homosexual relations "morally acceptable" compared to only 23 percent of conservatives.

Of the 16 social issues Americans rated, the gap between liberals and conservatives were starkly large on issues around sexuality. According to the poll, 89 percent of liberals call sex between an unmarried man and woman morally acceptable while only 34 percent of conservatives say the same; 83 percent of liberals say it is morally acceptable to have a baby outside of marriage while only 33 percent of conservatives agree.

A significant gap was also seen on the issue of abortion and divorce with 67 percent of liberals calling abortion morally acceptable compared to 24 percent of conservatives, and 87 percent of liberals saying divorce is morally acceptable compared to 49 percent of conservatives.

Liberals like to claim they're moral, too. Maybe compared to the ancient Mayans or pre-Christian Romans, maybe they are. Maybe.


Liberals Never Grew Up


Thomas Sowell examines "Adolescent Intellectuals" today at TownHall.com.

The piece carries a theme I explored a few years ago when I wrote for Toogood Reports. I said that liberals were like children because all they know is their want, their "need," without regard for the wisdom of restraint. In their single-minded pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment, they sound and act very much like petulant, spoiled children.

Just as we get spoiled children who run into trouble when we let our children do what they want, so our society becomes spoiled and problematic when the grownups don't take charge and run things.

Some of the painful consequences of various "liberations" that began in the 1960s have included the disintegration of families, skyrocketing crime rates, falling test scores in school, and record-breaking rates of teenage suicide.

A long downward trend in teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases sharply reversed during the 1960s, starting a new trend of escalating teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases, climaxed later by the AIDS epidemic.

Sometimes bad things happen because of adverse circumstances -- poverty or war, for example. But our post-1960s social disasters occurred during a long period of peace and unprecedented prosperity. Murder rates, for example, were much lower during the Great Depression of the 1930s and during World War II than they became after various "liberating" changes in the 1960s.

Why do we get so many asinine rulings, opinions and pronouncements from the Leftist intelligentsia (which are repeated by their disciples to whom these pearls roll down)? Sowell sums it up well:
Many academics and federal judges are sufficiently insulated from reality by tenure that they never have to grow up.


Mixed Messages from Fred Thompson

While a lot of conservatives are jazzed over the prospect of Fred Thompson entering the race for president, CNS News points out some muddled positions of Thompson's that might cool their jets, including abortion, illegal aliens and campaign finance reform (a.k.a. the Incumbent Protection Act):

He not only voted for, but was a major booster of the campaign finance reform bill that many conservatives believe infringes on free speech. And although he has been a vocal opponent of the Senate's current immigration reform bill, he supported legislation in 1998 to help illegal immigrant farm workers temporarily stay in the U.S.


A Vulgar Culture

Dennis Prager's column at TownHall.com today is about some of the utter vulgarity from the Left. For example, Prager talks about a bumper sticker he's seen frequently these days which says "Buck Fush."

It so happens that on Saturday as I was taking my daughter to ju-jitsu lessons, we were on a 4-lane highway and as a truck in the left lane passed us, my daughter looked over at the message it had on the rear window and asked me what "that word in the middle" of the message meant. I won't repeat it here, but it has four letters and starts with an F.

So, as a father I had the supremely noble honor of being asked by my nine year old daughter what the F-word was. I suppose in the gutter culture we live in today, I should be thankful that she's 9 and still doesn't know the word (you can bet she would if she went to public school).

I just told her it was a very bad word that very stupid people use. She seemed surprised that someone would put such a bad word on their truck. I also told her how when I was young, some people might have used that word in their speech, there was still enough sense of propriety that people wouldn't paste it across their rear window. So, unpleasant as it was, I hopefully turned it into an opportunity to teach her right from wrong...and a lesson on a culture that once honored God and was blessed for it, and has degraded to this kind of behavior.

But it's a lesson I shouldn't have had to teach, if people had any sense of decency anymore.

A civilization sinking to such a level of vulgarity isn't likely to remain a cohesive civilization for much longer.


U.S. Muslim Views on Islamic Radicalism

ON THE CHURCH AND SOCIETY

By Raymond J. Keating


Imagine a major polling firm asking the following question to Christians living in the United States: Can suicide bombing of civilian targets to defend Christianity be justified? The possible answers would be: often, sometimes, rarely or never.

Now, I might be wrong, but it’s hard to imagine any significant percent of Christians responding in any way but “never.” Perhaps a tiny percent could thoughtlessly reply “rarely.”

The story, however, was different with a poll titled “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream” released by the Pew Research Center on May 22, 2007. Chapter 7 of the polling report was titled “Foreign Policy, Terrorism and Concerns About Extremism.” Let’s look at key questions and responses. (Full Story)


Monday, June 04, 2007

Medical Journal: Study Critical of Abortion/Breast Cancer Link Flawed

Says underestimates risk, ideologically based

June 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- An article published on Friday in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons [1] identifies serious flaws in a recent study on the abortion-breast cancer link by Karin Michels and her colleagues at Harvard. (Full Story)


Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) Arrested on Corruption Charges

Charges include bribery, racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice

WASHINGTON, JUNE 4 - United States Congressman William J. Jefferson was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges including bribery and racketeering for allegedly using his office to corruptly solicit bribes and for paying bribes to a foreign official, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today. (Full Story)


Presbyterian Church Votes to Separate from Denomination

Church concerned about denomination's disbelief in biblical authority, acceptance of homosexuality, other issues

PITTSBURGH, Pa., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Memorial Park Presbyterian Church voted today to seek dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA).

At a congregational meeting, 951 members voted in favor of a proposal to seek to separate from the denomination and affiliate with the conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church. A "yes" vote by 761 members, or 52% percent of the 1,450 member congregation, was needed to ratify the secession plan. (Full Story)


'Operation Tarnished Eagle' Thwarts Plot to Overthrow Laotian Government

Conspired to acquire Stinger missiles, other weapons

SACRAMENTO, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A joint investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI, together with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, has successfully interrupted a plot to overthrow the government of Laos by force and violence, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein of the National Security Division, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Michael J. Sullivan and U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott of the Eastern District of California announced today. (Full Story)


More Global Warming Dissenters


From Canada's Financial Post:

A petition organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine between 1999 and 2001 claimed some 17,800 scientists in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. A more recent indicator comes from the U.S.-based National Registry of Environmental Professionals, an accrediting organization whose 12,000 environmental practitioners have standing with U.S. government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. In a November, 2006, survey of its members, it found that only 59% think human activities are largely responsible for the warming that has occurred, and only 39% make their priority the curbing of carbon emissions. And 71% believe the increase in hurricanes is likely natural, not easily attributed to human activities.

This article by Lawrence Solomon also contains links to other profiles he's done on scientists who aren't onboard Al Gore's train to global warming nirvana.


Paying for Poison from our Enemies


Will we finally be forced to face the folly of our decision to engage in unrestricted trade with a backward, despotic, belligerent, communist government that is clearly our enemy?

In addition to financing our enemy, we're now facing short-term problems from buying goods from those who would see us destroyed. U.S. manufacturing jobs can't compete with cheap goods from slave labor in China. Our pets are poisoned by Chinese pet food. Now our people themselves are being poisoned?

From WorldNetDaily:

WASHINGTON – China, the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S., is raising most of its fish products in water contaminated with raw sewage and compensating by using dangerous drugs and chemicals, many of which are banned by the Food and Drug Administration.

The stunning news follows WND's report last week that FDA inspectors report tainted food imports from China are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs.

Are you happy, "free" traders?


New York Times Buries JFK Plot


Ever wonder why there's so much dissatisfaction with the War on Terrorism? I'm not talking about the Leftists; they're never satisfied with anything that makes America safer and stronger. I'm talking about among average people.

Maybe the "mainstream" media's efforts to bury success stories and paint them as unimportant, while putting the spotlights any hint of a setback or impropriety on the part of the United States.

The latest example from NewsMax highlights the New York Times efforts to ignore the JFK plot:

But The New York Times didn’t think the story was so important.

In fact, on Sunday the country’s leading liberal daily carried a simple one-paragraph reference to the story on its first page, buried in the news brief section. The Times brief said the plot posed "no imminent danger.”

What did the Times deem fit to print on its front page? The two featured stories on the page were headlined: "A legal debate in Guantanamo on boy fighters” and "President’s push on immigration tests GOP base.”

Meanwhile, NewsMax highlights this from the New York Post:
Now Monday's New York Post is reporting in a Page-One cover story that this same man is the suspected "invisible hand” behind the plot to bomb a fuel pipeline feeding New York’s JFK airport.

This terrorist is Adnan el-Shukrijumah, the so-called "Fixer" behind the 9/11 attacks.

The Post calls el-Shukrijumah the "so called nuclear-whiz kid” — a "tantalizing terror figure” with a $5 million bounty on his head.

A plot that could have killed thousands and caused untold damage to the nation's air travel industry, with echoes that would undoubtedly reverberate into the national economy...and it's no big deal to the Times. But by golly we've got to investigate even a hint of unfairness to lawbreakers and terrorists.


Invisible Global Warming Skeptics


Since there is no dissent about global warming, I guess former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt doesn't exist.

From Deutsche Welle:

Meanwhile, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called for an end to the "hysteria" over global warming in the lead-up to the summit. The topic is "hysterical, overheated, and that is especially because of the media," Schmidt told Germany's Bild daily.

There has always been climate change on earth, Schmidt said.

"We've had warm- and ice-ages for hundreds of thousands of years," he said, and added that the reasons behind the multiple climate changes have been "inadequately researched for the time being."

To assume that global climate change can be altered by any plans made at the Heiligendamm summit is "idiotic," he said.


Poll: 1/3 Would Vote for Obama if he was Democrat Presidential Nominee

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Barack Obama may not be as well known as Senator Hillary Clinton, but he has been consistently running second to her in the race for the Democratic nomination. When it comes to the final race, just one-third of adults (34%) would vote for Senator Obama if he was the Democratic nominee for President, while two in five (41%) would not vote for him. (Full Story)


Supreme Court Candidates

From ABC New, this article says the White House doesn't expect any vacancies right away, but they want to be prepared in case they're surprised:

With the heated political climate -- and with Bush's approval ratings still low -- advisers believe they cannot afford any missteps with the Supreme Court if a vacancy were to occur, sources said.

To that end, advisers are focusing on possible nominees who are believed to be solid judicial conservatives and would galvanize the base at a time when Bush desperately needs its support.

Conservatives who have grown disillusioned with Bush on Iraq, spending and immigration believe his nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito are the one bright spot of his presidency.

The article seems to indicate the White House would like to fill a vacancy with a minority judge. If the motivation for this is simply to be politically correct, that would be a mistake; one of Reagan's few mistake was Sandra Day O'Connor, and I believe he made it for the novelty of a female judge.

In fairness, however, a couple of the minority candidates mentioned are good choices: Judges Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. I don't have anything against Owen, but I'm a bit more familiar with Rogers Brown, and based on that familiarity, she would be my choice. She seems to have her head on straight and respects the Constitution.

The article indicates Bush doesn't want to further alienate the conservative base with a bad SCOTUS choice, and I hope that's the case. But with his disappointing behavior on the amnesty immigration bill, at this point, I'm not holding my breath.


Episcopal Church Continues to Undermine Marriage

Bishop V. Gene Robinson promotes civil unions

WASHINGTON, June 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed a law on May 31 that makes civil unions for homosexual couples legal; it will take effect in January 2008. The governor stated his belief that the civil unions will not "threaten" marriage. The Episcopal Church's bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, told the press that Episcopal priests in the diocese can bless civil unions: "Just like in marriages, every priest will have the option to bless or not to bless." (Full Story)


With dreams of the future, graduates should look to South Dakota schools

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: A recent blog on the web site of that newspaper in that town near Harrisburg reminded me of a column I try to write about this time most years. That blog wrote, "It's a shame that most high school and college advisors don't inform students of the job potentials for the career paths they choose." The column I write about this time most years is choosing a college in South Dakota. They can prepare our graduating seniors as well as any college or university in the country for wherever their career paths may go. (Full Story)


Homosexual Activists Demands Fail: City Fails Boy Scouts

THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD

By Carrie K. Hutchens

I was reading LifeSiteNews.com's article, "Philly City Council Ends 79-Year Boy Scout Lease Over Refusal to Accept Homosexual Leaders" by Gudrun Schultz (June 1, 2007), and would have shaken my head in utter disbelief, except this behavior seems to be the norm now days. Homosexual activist's are demanding the policies of the Boy Scouts be altered to their liking or that the city remove what they call privileges that were afforded the scouts. Privileges that involve a lease for their headquarters office. A lease (at a nominal rent) the scouts have had since 1928. The defense for the activists' position? "... the Boy Scouts should not be able to use taxpayers' dollars to discriminate against homosexuals." (Full Story)


Love INC Features Financial Freedom Workshop

Is Financial Freedom an Oxymoron? Financial freedom is possible and it is also God’s desire for your life. Love INC of the Black Hills starts another 10-week introductory class on financial management on Thursday, June 21. This course educates, encourages and mentors people into financial freedom. Childcare and dinner are provided. For more information or an application visit www.loveinconline.com or call 718-5683. (Full Story)


Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Threat of Islam and the Hope of Christ


Just got back from Part 2 of the study on Islam at South Canyon Baptist Church tonight. Dr. Richard Wells, when he saw that so much was left uncovered or hastily covered, promised to try and schedule a third installment on this subject sometime this summer.

The main theme tonight was on six threats to the modern Western world from Islam. Wells said he wanted to make it clear that he didn't want to paint all Muslims with the same brush, and that there were moderate Muslims, but these threats were from the dominant forces in Islam today.

1. The nature of Islam itself. Wells said the nature of the teachings of the Qur'an itself are such that it tends to foster the kind of violence we see today. He said that what Osama bin Laden teaches is not inconsistent with the teachings of the Qur'an, and that many in Islam agree with these teachings.

2. It's historical memory. Westerners are terrible with history, Wells said, and we're woefully ignorant of it. Islam, however, has an acute historical consciousness. They haven't even gotten over the Crusades. Wells said it was "interesting" that the second, unsuccessful siege of Vienna ended on September 11, 1683. (What other significant event occurred on September 11?) Wells also said that the fact of Muslim success for their first 1000 years has been equated with divine approval, and this became a part of their worldview. After the failed effort to conquer Vienna, however, the next 300 years brought Islamic decline. Wells said that the Islamic world is made up of about 33 countries and 500 million people, yet their combined economic output is roughly equivalent to Finland. Islam believes it is superior and deserves to dominate the world, so their current state is a bitter pill to swallow.

3. The threat of Qur'anic literalism. Wells said that in Islamic teaching, there is no legitimate translation of the Qur'an into languages other than Arabic. They view the Qur'an as not merely inspired, but believe it was dictated by Allah himself to Mohammed. However, Wells said he's read the Qur'an and, partly because it's surah's or chapters are ordered shortest to longest, without any regard for chronology or topic, it is nearly incomprehensible. Wells also said part of the difficulty in understanding it is cultural, but mainly because it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And despite the different sects of Islam such as the Wahabi Sufi, Shiite Sunni and others, Muslims say the Qur'an isn't open to interpretation.

In this section, Wells also touched on the Five Pillars of Islam: the confession that there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet; the five daily prayers (interestingly, Wells said Mohammed originally called for prayers to be directed toward Jerusalem, until Jews in Medina rejected him, then he switched the direction to Mecca); the haj or pilgrimage to Mecca; the alms, though Wells says it's not the charitable giving we think of with alms, but a tax that has its roots in the Judeo-Christian tithe; and the fifth is the fast of Ramadan, which Wells said bears similarities to the Jewish fast days.

4. The communal identity of Islam. Wells there is almost no concept of individual salvation in Islam. They tend to believe that salvation lies in being a Muslim, rather than ones personal relationship with Allah, as Christians believe. Wells cited a figure from a Pew survey which found 28% of young, U.S.-born Muslims say suicide bombing is an acceptable method of advancing Islam.

5. The Muslim Reformation. Wells said that since the 1800s, this reformation has been building in response to the perceived insults to Islam. Muslims believe their civilization has stagnated because they departed from Qur'anic literalism, so they seek to purify their religion and bring it back to what it was...presumably before the defeat at Vienna in 1683. Wells said actually we Westerners insult Islam just by our existence, and by the fact that we are so obviously superior technologically and economically.

Wells read from the cover of one of the books he used as a reference for this study: The Truth About Mohammed by Robert Spencer, which was written using Islamic sources. An "endorsement" by an Islamic group of Robert Spencer said, "May Allah rip out his spine from his back and split his brains in two, and then put them both back, and then do it over and over again...Amen."

6. The reinterpretation of jihad. Wells said the current phase of "reinterpretation of jihad" started roughly 100 years ago when the Jews started returning to Palestine. At first their efforts were aimed at the Israelis up until the 70s and 80s when it turned to moderate Muslims, such as in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. And in the 90s it turned to Christians and Jews everywhere.

Osama bin Laden took it to the next level in February of 1998 when he issued a fatwa calling for Muslims everywhere to kill infidels by any means available anywhere in the world. Wells said this was especially significant since fatwas are normally issued by mullahs and kalifs, and bin Laden was just a layman. Wells said the plot which was uncovered yesterday to blow up JFK airport and the fuel lines was a response to bin Ladens fatwa.

HOPE

Wells concluded by saying there were five hopeful signs in the face of the current onslaught from militant Islam.

1. The weakening effects of the modern world itself. Basically this means that Muslims who enter the Western world are often attracted to the "American Dream" and the prosperity of it, thus tempering their jihadist inclinations.

2. Weakening effects of totalitarianism itself. He pointed out how often the tighter tyrants make their grip, the more the people slip away from them.

3. The role of women in Islam. Wells said that despite the second-class status of women in the Islamic world, they often have a tempering effect on the cultures around them (remember the female prime minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan?).

4. The existence of moderate Muslims. There are those Muslims who, while holding to some of the basics of their faith, do not follow the Qur'an closely.

5. An awakening Western world. Wells said the influence of radical Muslims and their attacks even against countries who try to appease their way out of the sites of Muslims is causing some to wake up to the danger.

Wells pointed to the reformation that was started in Christianity when God moved in a radical way in the life of Martin Luther, and within 150 years Islam faced its first major defeat. Wells said he hoped God might grant the mercy that the West would again embrace Christianity, to become strong once more in the face of this threat.

The way we'll do that, Wells said, isn't simply through military strength or resolve, but through the example of 2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Watch for more on that third installment of the study of Islam from South Canyon Baptist sometime this summer...


DV Poll Results: Energy Independence

Here are the results of last week's Dakota Voice poll: What's the best way for the US to achieve energy independence?

  • More domestic oil drilling 24.32%
  • More wind farms 8.11%
  • More nuclear power plants 21.62%
  • Better use of solar power 5.41%
  • Use less gas, electricity 40.54%

Nice to know our liberal audience is still with us.

Thanks to all who participated. The new poll is now up, in the upper left corner: Why did President Bush suddenly get involved in cutting "greenhouse gasses"?


Fred Thompson Understands We're Fighting Evil

From the CR Election Tracker:

In a speech at a Virginia state party dinner, the conservative former Tennessee senator and Hollywood actor made only passing reference to his presidential ambitions but took a jab at Democrats while praising limited government and lower taxes.

“There are all kinds of threats out there in America,” Thompson said, citing a disrupted plot at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York as the latest example. He said the United States must send a message to its allies about the dangers of terrorism.

“This is a battle between the forces of civilization and the forces of evil and we’ve got to choose sides,” Thompson said.

From a national defense perspective, he's talking the right talk. We'll be watching the rest of the package closely...


 
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