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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, July 28, 2007

Views of Mount Rushmore

My family and I went to Mt. Rushmore for breakfast this morning. We used to do that more frequently back in the old days before I seemed so busy, but we still get up there a few times a year.

For those of you who aren't blessed to live within 30 minutes of the Shrine of Democracy, I've uploaded a few pics I took today. Almost everyone has seen pictures of Mt Rushmore, but you seldom see any published from these angles. There's a path you can take that goes below the monument, around the boulder field of debris that was blown off the face of the mountain.

My heart beats a little faster, every time I look at Mt. Rushmore and reflect on how blessed of God I am to live in such a wonderful country...and in such a wonderful place like the Black Hills.

P.S. It was very overcast this morning; that's why the pics seem a little dark.

Finally, Real Info on Hildygate

HT to Bob at South Dakota Moderate for the heads-up on the Rapid City Journal article today about the $100K theft from Hildebrand Tewes:

This is interesting on several levels, first off the RCJ has broken the deafening silence in the South Dakota media on this issue and it also explains why Schuldt hasn’t been charged yet as Hildebrand is saying that they still (after 3 plus weeks) have not decided on whether they will be filing criminal charges.

Given that Hildebrand Tewes consults for a number of public officials and organizations, the decision of whether criminal charges gets filed may be taken out of Chad's employers hands. That remains to be seen.

As Bob said and as I said earlier today, it's "interesting" that while we have a Capitol Hill newspaper 1,000 miles away and a Louisiana newspaper probably about the same distance away, and now the Rapid City Journal 350 miles away...the Argus Leader, which is 6/10 of a mile away from Hildebrand Tewes, is still under radio silence on this story.

To Chad, we've gone at it like cats and dogs on each other's blogs, but despite the crime involved here, my heart goes out to him. Having been a drunk some 15 years ago, I know the power of addictions. Chad has my prayers that he overcomes this gambling one. I believe throwing yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ, with no pride and pretension left, is the best way to get the power to overcome addictions. Over 15 years later, I haven't wanted a drop of alcohol, praise God! I hope Chad has as much success 15 years down the road.

Why the Argus Leader is Most Derelict in Hildygate

The South Dakota Moderate raises the question: why is the Argus Leader catching the most heat for the absence of reporting on the alleged theft of monies from Hildebrand Tewes.

It's a valid question, but I believe I know why (at least why I think so).

Many of the points SDM brings up are valid for consideration.

However, many news outlets name names without criminal charges actually being filed, the Dan Sutton affair being one of those. So while I understand the need and reason for restraint, it's not at all without precedent to name a suspect before the suspect has actually been charged. Especially when the victim is naming the alleged perpetrator.

Also I believe the Argus Leader, as the state's largest newspaper, has the primary obligation to go after the story.

The Argus Leader is also the hometown newspaper where this incident occurred.

The Argus Leader is also about six blocks or 6/10 of a mile from Hildebrand Tewes--yet Roll Call, over 1000 miles away, has given us more information in the last week than the Argus Leader has.

Another consideration: if no criminal charges have been filed, why not? If Hildebrand Tewes is naming names, I would expect charges to be filed. Or at least an investigation underway? If these are not happening, then the absence of those activities is a story the Argus should be investigating and reporting on, at the very least.

When you couple all these factors together with the multitude of past incidents of blatant bias on the part of the Argus, I think the charges of burying the story are very well founded. That may not be the case, but I think such a possibility would do more than just cross the mind of a reasonable person who weighed all the evidence.

Patients Tell of Adult Stem Cell Therapy Successes

From OneNewsNow comes the story of a news conference in Washington D.C. highlighting the successes of adult and umbilical stem cell therapies.

Three weeks after Rice arrived home in Spokane, his injection fraction was at 28 percent. Currently it is at 40 percent and Rice says he is feeling good enough to walk. "I can walk -- trust me, when I'm in DC, I walk a lot," he exclaims.

Here's another success story, this time from umbilical cord blood stem cells:
"Ten years later, here I am standing before you, cured of leukemia," he shared. "For me, it's been quite a trip. It's certainly is a privilege to be one of the very early, early examples of the power of adult stem cells and cord blood," said Sprague.

There is a long list of ALREADY successful adult stem cell treatments, unlike the controversial embryonic stem cell research which has yet to produce a single success. Embryonic stem cell research results in the destruction of a human embryo; human life is more sacred than to be sacrificed on the alter of scientific research.

There is no need to pursue embryonic stem cell research when there is already a line of research which is not only promising, but is already delivering.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Liberals Can't Take Objective Heat

From Breitbart.com:

Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network.

MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

The groups have successfully pressured Democratic presidential candidates not to appear at any debate sponsored by Fox, and are also trying to get Home Depot Inc. to stop advertising there.

I guess one objective news network among the liberal propaganda arms of ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBS and CNN is just intolerable for the Left.

Kinda reminds one of the good ole days back in the Soviet Union where Pravda told the masses all they needed to know.

Global Warming Skeptic Becomes Target of the Left

John McCaslin's TownHall.com column today deals with an investigation by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) who is on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Seems Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) sent a rather nasty letter to Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) because Lewis is a global warming skeptic.

"It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar," Mr. Eckhart wrote. "If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."

More on how this person respects debate and honest disagreement:
He said he would give CEI, which advocates "sound science," 90 days to reverse its "position" on global warming, "or I will take every action I can think of to shut you down," including filing complaints with the Internal Revenue Service "on the basis that CEI is really a lobbyist for the energy industry."

People on the Right are frequently accused of the modern cardinal sin: intolerance. This illustrates that, at the very least, intolerance is just as rampant on the Left. In fact, while conservatives often adamantly disagree with liberals, seldom do you seem them seeking to "destroy" people or shut down other policy groups.

Study: Smoking Pot Increases Risk of Mental Illness

From the UK Daily Mail:

There are great risks in smoking cannabis, a new report has revealed
A single joint of cannabis raises the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent, a disturbing study warns.

The Government-commissioned report has also found that taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness.

Overall, cannabis could be to blame for one in seven cases of schizophrenia and other life-shattering mental illness, the Lancet reports.

I've known a number of people over the years who have smoked pot long-term. There are a few exceptions, but the vast majority only have a passing familiarity with solid reality. Most of them left the real world behind a long time ago, and in all seriousness, I have grave doubts that they'll ever make it back.

Approving this stuff for "medical use" not only makes illegal use more difficult to enforce, but also places "medical users" at additional risk. Better to use other pain medications for their ailments.

The End of America

By John W. Whitehead

“The president of the United States is an internationalist. He’s going to do what he can to create a place where the idea of America is just that—it’s an idea. It’s not an actual place defined by borders.”—Rep. Tom Tancredo

As technology makes it possible for us to travel long distances faster, communicate more easily and cheaply across space and time and stay informed about events happening in even the most far-flung parts of the globe, the world seems to be getting smaller by the minute. (Full Article)

Progressive Bait-And-Switch

Richard Collins' TownHall.com column yesterday echoes what I said earlier this week about Hillary Clinton's statement that "I'm not a liberal, I'm a progressive" was just a bait-and-switch.

What is interesting about her answer is that it is both true and deceptive. It is largely true that liberal used to mean someone who believed in individual rights and freedom. And it is true that in the late twentieth century it was successfully connected to big government and liberal social views.

What Senator Clinton fails to mention is that the reason this occurred is because it was accurate. If you were a liberal in the 60s, 70s, and 80s you were for more government involvement in peoples lives. And when liberals speak of individual freedoms they don’t mean less government, they mean the lack of choice for children’s schools; the right not to pray in school; and gay marriage.

Her preference for the term progressive is equally deceptive. The way she describes it you would think that progressive and liberal are two very different political philosophies. But this is not actually the case. Liberals adopted the term progressive because conservatives had successfully exposed the term for what it was: more government control of people’s lives. Progressive seems like a positive term. Who can be against progress?

Who supports Michael Vick's Dog fighting?

I watched with mixed emotions at Sen. Byrds fit of apoplexy over dogfighting.
He was almost insane with rage against the thought of dogs suffering.

Surely the Democratic Candidates for President(top three) that railed against the Supreme Courts affirmation of the ban on Partial Birth Abortions would love to attend dog fights; or at least, stand up for Vick's right to amuse himself and his friends.

Liberals are gifted at seeing moral equivalence between Bush and Terrorists,
Christians and radical Muslims, abortion and the death penalty. All of these are absurd; but it is not a stretch to say that Partial Birth Abortions are even worse than dogfighting.

Killing babies on their birthdays is so barbaric I can't believe we have stood by and allowed it. Christians believe that all children are created in the image of God if our respect for life spread throughout the culture, dog fighting would be unthinkable.

Civilized human beings must never vote for Partial Birth Abortion or Dogfighting enthusiasts.

Human Life is Sacred; and dogs should be treated kindly.
Pray...Think...Take Action; freedompoet

Chad Schuldt Accusation Reverberates to Louisiana

From the Bayou Buzz:

According to an email sent by James Quinn of the LAGOP, the Executive Director of the Republican Party, “a Washington, D.C. newspaper just reported that a key State Sen. Walter Boasso advisor and national abortion advocate, Hildebrand Tewes, is at the center of an allegedly $100,000.00 embezzlement investigation. The Quinn statement said in, part, “that “Steve Hildebrand, founding partner of the Democratic consulting firm Hildebrand Tewes and key adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential campaign, confirmed Thursday that Chad Schuldt was fired from his firm for allegedly embezzling ‘over $100,000.’

“According to Hildebrand, Schuldt - a Democratic political operative and Hildebrand’s longtime deputy - stole funds that were intended for the Internal Revenue Service to cover Hildebrand Tewes’ payroll taxes.”

Judicial Nominee, War Veteran Leslie Southwick Maligned During Confirmation Process

WASHINGTON, July 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Senate Democrats are blocking the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Rated "unanimously well-qualified" by the American Bar Association, Judge Southwick sought an age waiver to serve in Iraq, requesting to be sent to the most dangerous area. Yet liberal groups have smeared Judge Southwick with unfounded accusations, and a few Democrat senators are repeating them. (Full Article)

Open Letter to Mariott Hotels CEO: Get Rid of the Porn

NEW YORK, July 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, sent the following letter to Marriott Hotels CEO Bill Marriott on July 18, 2007:

Dear Mr. Marriott:

Whenever possible, I avoid staying at Marriott Hotels, despite their quality and affordability, because Marriott Hotels is a major distributor of hardcore pornography on its pay-TV channels. (Full Article)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Judiciary Not Independent When Abortion's In Jeopardy

According to The Politico, one of the chief RINOs in the U.S. Senate, Arlen Spectre (RINO-PA) plans to stick his nose into some of the recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. (What happened to those cries about an "independent judiciary" from the Left?)

Why does Spectre want to do this?

to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation.

What "promises" are those?
Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, who served as chairman during the hearings, said he wants to examine whether Roberts and Alito have "lived up" to their assurances that they would respect legal precedents.

Translation: precedents legalizing abortion.

Also according to The Politico, it is liberal judge Stephen Breyer's tattling that prompted Specter's change of heart on an "independent judiciary."
The idea for a review came to Specter when he said he ran into Justice Stephen G. Breyer at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.

Breyer, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, drew attention last month for suggesting that Roberts and the conservative majority were flouting stare decisis, the legal doctrine that, for the sake of stability, courts should generally leave past decisions undisturbed.

It's funny how liberals are in love with stare decisis once liberal decisions have been carved into stone, but this doctrine is hurled aside with contempt when it stands in the way of liberal priorities such as abortion (Roe v. Wade) and sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas), to name a couple. For that matter, if stare decisis is so holy, perhaps Dred Scott should have remained standing, keeping black people as property.

The simple fact is, some pro-abortion liberals have their underwear all in a bunch at the prospect of seeing the right to life receiving priority over the right to sexual freedom.

If the lives of millions of unborn weren't at stake, it would be nothing short of hilarious to watch these liberals get all in a lather over a return to law.

HT to Pro Life Blogs.

Beholden to Unions

The National Center for Policy Analysis highlights a Wall Street Journal article "Union Doozy" that points to government inefficiency and undue union influence.

An example cited is that in Indiana, state officials moved to work with IBM to deliver welfare benefits to recipients more efficiently than the government could do it, and at a $500 million savings. Gov't employees were even given the option to move over to jobs at IBM.

Not good enough for union heavyweights and their stooges in the Democrat Party. Now they're trying to undo this contract with IBM, throwing away the $500 million savings, plus incurring an additional $100 million cost in reinstituting the bureaucracy.

This is another reason why I despise unions; our government has given them such power and sway that the smartest option often falls by the wayside in appeasement to the unions. (One of the other reasons I despise unions is that, while workers should be able to organize and bargain collectively with employers, employers should not be forced by the government to deal with them; employers should have the right to reject union bargaining if they choose. Also, workers shouldn't be forced to join a union just to get or keep their job. But I digress.)

This is also the kind of lunacy that should dissuade us from even considering allowing the government to have a greater hand in health care.

Bible Back in School.

A school in Chicago has backtracked on its efforts to ban the Bible after the Thomas More Law Center got involved, according to WorldNetDaily.

Here's what happened:

Rhajheem Haymon was silently reading his Bible as his classmates pored over the reading materials of their choice when his substitute teacher informed him that he could not read that particular book in the classroom.

Aware his parents desired that all of the Haymon children read their Bible every day, Rhajheem went home that day and informed them he was no longer allowed to do so.

When Rhajheem's father, Leslie Haymon, followed up with questions to a substitute teacher and other school officials, they confirmed that Rhajheem was not allowed to read the Bible during reading time, as the church and state must remain separate in the classroom.

Given that the school immediately made corrections once they understood the First Amendment, this probably wasn't a case of radical secularism.

However, it IS radical secularism on the part of many that results in this type of misunderstanding. Faith in the public square has been so maligned in the past 50 years that many people naturally assume that it's something to leave behind in the pew when they walk out of church on Sunday morning.

Sad that educators, who teach our children, didn't research this beyond popular perception, though.

Study: School Finance Lawsuits Only Produce Long-Term Tax Increases

WASHINGTON, July 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new, first-of-its-kind study by the Tax Foundation reveals that lawsuits targeting "inequitable" or "inadequate" school funding have failed to produce long-term increases in school spending, but many have produced long-term tax increases. "Lawsuits may be able to build schools, but they haven't proven effective at teaching kids," said study author Chris Atkins. "Higher tax rates appear to be the only enduring result of these school finance lawsuits. This research questions the conventional wisdom that you can sue your way to a better school." (Full Article)

Lindsay Lohan needs Teen Challenge

Lindsay is lost in the swill of degraded fame. She is alone. She needs help.
She needs people to love her as an eternal sister without strings and without judgement.

Lindsay needs freedom from addictions and the desperate hunger that only the tender acceptance of Jesus can satisfy.

There is a place where tough love and prayers and all the support one would need is prevalent. That place can be found all around America and it is called Teen Challenge. Chains fall there and angels sing Freedom.

Teen Challenge has been the answer to a higher percentage of addicts than any other program; and it is based on fundamental Christian Truths like obedience to the Ten Commandments and Trust in Jesus.

Millions of Dollars are given by Christians to help; so the cost is reduced to the public and to the individuals that need help.

Much of the leadership of the left hate Christ much more than addictions. They love power and government more than any "client".

When Jesus healed the blind man...the angry, politically correct didn't believe.

We must help the lost and the addicted in the best possible way for the least amount of expense. This makes sense!

Lindsay can be delivered and teen challenge could help her find Salvation.

May God Bless Lindsay Lohan;

Free Market Needed to Keep Health Care Healthy

Economist Dr. Walter E. Williams' TownHall.com column yesterday points out another important reason why government health care isn't the answer to our medical woes:

There's absolutely no mystery why our greatest complaints are in the arena of government-delivered services and the fewest in market-delivered services. In the market, there are the ruthless forces of profit, loss and bankruptcy that make producers accountable to us. In the arena of government-delivered services, there's no such accountability. For example, government schools can go for decades delivering low-quality services, and what's the result? The people who manage it earn higher pay. It's nearly impossible to fire the incompetents. And, taxpayers, who support the service, are given higher tax bills.

This is something I alluded to Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Brilliant Answer of the Week

From Fox News:

In the debate on Monday night, a question was asked by Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, N.C.: "Is it OK to cite religion as a reason to deny gay rights?"

John Edwards: "I think Rev. Longcrier asks a very important question ... whether it's right for any of our faith beliefs to be imposed on the American people. I do not believe that is right."

If that's the case, then we need to immediately remove from the books laws that prohibit murder, rape, assault, theft, perjury, and pretty much anything else that's covered in the Bible. Because these, along with homosexuality, are condemned by every major religion in the world.

Besides, homosexuals aren't being denied any rights. They have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as heterosexuals enjoy.

Incidentally, in addition to being condemned by all the major religions, homosexuality is an extreme health hazard responsible for increased bodily injury, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, anal cancer, anal fissures, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicide, and a loss of 20 years life expectancy.

And as was reported yesterday, more extreme exercises of this behavior can expose children and other decent people to illicit public sexual acts.

The concept of homosexual "marriage" would also undermine the sanctity and meaning of marriage. For any children caught up in such an arrangement, it would also rob them of the stability that children so badly need, and rob them of parents that comprise both sexes and gender role models.

Defining Choices

The devotional I read in today's Men of Integrity was a good one. The key verse: Those who … keep their promises even when it hurts … such people will stand firm forever (Psalm 15:4, 5).

It tells the story of a boy who got a chance to play in a prestigious little league baseball team. However, to do so would have required him to break his word. What to do?

Yesterday's was good, also. Probably something most if not all parents have wrestled with:

While in line for tickets at a theme park, I suddenly realized, "I'm a liar and I'm teaching my children to lie." That horrible moment of realization came shortly after I told my 11-year-old daughter, "If they ask, tell them you're 10."

It wasn't a huge lie. People do it all the time. It was easily rationalized: She wasn't tall enough to ride all the rides, so we shouldn't have to pay full price for her ticket. Those parks are ridiculously overpriced anyway. And besides, if they cared enough, they'd be more scrupulous about checking age.

Those excuses flooded in but were stopped in an instant by a simple fact: I was being dishonest. Worse, I was modeling dishonesty to my child, and even dragging her into it. Hardly worth a $20 difference in the price of a ticket!

I wish I could say that I pass every test of integrity I encounter, but I don't. Still, we'll pass a lot more of those tests if we (a) acknowledge it is the right thing to do, (b) don't accept excuses to fudge from ourselves or others, and (c) encourage one another toward integrity.

Ohio Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Protection, Domestic Violence

During last year's election, proponents of homosexual "marriage" tried to undermine support in South Dakota for Amendment C with the claim that in other states where marriage protection amendments had been passed, women were losing domestic violence protection against live-in boyfriends who beat them up. Ohio was cited as one example where "people have lost domestic abuse protections."

I pointed out then that while some dirtbags were trying to use the marriage protection amendment to escape justice, that it wasn't going to work (besides, South Dakota law provides even greater protection for women who are shacking up than does Ohio).

Those cases in Ohio have now received a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court, which found that Ohio's marriage protection amendment does NOT negate domestic violence protections for women who are shacking up.

SYLLABUS OF THE COURT The term “person living as a spouse” as defined in R.C. 2919.25 merely identifies a particular class of persons for the purposes of the domestic-violence statutes. It does not create or recognize a legal relationship that approximates the designs, qualities, or significance of marriage, as prohibited by Section 11, Article XV of the Ohio Constitution.

This argument was one of the most powerful in the arsenal of homosexual "marriage" advocates. Despite a full-court press from homosexual activists, apologists and the media for nearly 20 years, most people still understand that for a relationship to constitute "marriage," a man and a woman are required. So homosexual apologists appealed to the self-interest of unmarried heterosexuals by making them believed they were threatened by efforts to protect marriage.

Appealing to the self-interest of unmarried heterosexuals proved very effective, resulting in the lowest-ever passage for a marriage protection amendment of 52% in South Dakota (passage has been in the 80-percentile range in some states), and the failure of a marriage protection amendment in Arizona. People were effectively scared by a scarlet fish into backing away from protecting marriage.

That fear tactic concerning domestic violence protection has now been proven to be the red herring we knew it to be all along. The wind has been taken out of that sail.

Nevertheless, as more marriage protection amendments come before the people next year, expect homosexual "marriage" proponents to exploit other self-interest items such as hospital visits, inheritances, and any other arguments they can come up with. Those committed to protecting marriage from hijacking should be prepared for it.

A battle has been won today, but the war against marriage goes on.

HT to Constitutionally Correct.

Dems Beating Repubs 10-1 in Fundraising

The Politico reports Democrats are beating Republicans 10-1 in fundraising. Dems are ahead in both House and presidential fundraising.

This isn't a big surprise, and doesn't really seem inappropriate. People still aren't seeing anything to get excited about from Republicans on the federal level. They still aren't seeing any leadership from Republicans. They still aren't seeing anything beyond "Democrat-Lite" from Republicans. Why spend your money on a cheap imitation when you can have the real thing for the same price?

Apparently Republicans didn't learn a thing from their trouncing in November 2006. If they want to say in the minority (which it appears they do), they need to just keep doing what they're doing: show no backbone, display no leadership, and act like big-government liberals.

Abortion Clinic is a Pig pen

From the Atlantic City Press:

Blood-stained operating tables and expired drugs were just some of the violations discovered by state officials after an inspection of the Alternatives abortion clinic last month, according to a report released Monday.
The report also cited several sanitary issues, including “what appeared to be dried blood under the leg pads” on the procedure tables. Dust, rust, dirt and debris also were found on some equipment, and floors in the operating room, laboratory and recovery room were “soiled and stained.”

Some of the sterilization problems may have stemmed from the clinic’s lack of hot water. State standards require a licensed clinic to have hot water between 105 and 120 degrees. Based on routine water temperature checks during the past four years, the clinic failed to meet that standard 89 percent of the time, failing every check in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

If abortion were only legal, women wouldn't have to go to places like this to kill their unborn children. Oh, I forgot: abortion is legal. Hmmmm...

HT to Pro Life Blogs.

President Bush Explains the War on Terror In Iraq

WASHINGTON, July 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- the following is the remarks by the President on the global war on terror:

"Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, America remains a nation at war. The terrorist network that attacked us that day is determined to strike our country again, and we must do everything in our power to stop them. A key lesson of September the 11th is that the best way to protect America is to go on the offense, to fight the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home. And that is exactly what our men and women in uniform are doing across the world.

The key theater in this global war is Iraq. Our troops are serving bravely in that country. They're opposing ruthless enemies, and no enemy is more ruthless in Iraq than al Qaeda. They send suicide bombers into crowded markets; they behead innocent captives and they murder American troops. They want to bring down Iraq's democracy so they can use that nation as a terrorist safe haven for attacks against our country. So our troops are standing strong with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a future of peace, and they so for the security of Iraq and the safety of American citizens." (Full Article)

Survey: Most Economists Believe Minimum Wage Hikes Increase Unemployment

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of American labor economists agree that minimum wage hikes are an inefficient way to address the needs of poor families, according to a new national survey of the American Economic Association (AEA). The survey was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center and sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute.

Over 73 percent of AEA labor economists believe that a significant increase will lead to employment losses and 68 percent think these employment losses fall disproportionately on the least skilled. Only 6 percent feel that minimum wage hikes are an efficient way to alleviate poverty. The survey also found: (Full Article)

The Deadline of Innocence

By Carrie K. Hutchens

There should be no statute of limitations, or deadlines without exceptions, when it comes to proof of innocence. No one should be forced to stay in prison or be executed, simply because the innocence issue wasn't resolved in time. How ridiculous to suggest otherwise, especially when we have a judicial system so broken that the rich guilty (and sometimes even poor guilty) can often walk, while many innocent people have been sent behind bars because they didn't have the means to prove their innocence, or were afraid to take a chance on a trial after being told they would face a harsher sentence, if they fought the charges and didn't win. The latter should never be a part of a system supposedly seeking "justice", but sadly it is. (Full Article)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hillary's a Progressive?

Amanda Carpenter's TownHall.com column today looks at Hillary Clinton's claim that she's not a liberal, she's a "progressive."

Clinton lamented that the word "liberal" had been "turned on its head" to be "made to seem as though it’s a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th century."

"I consider myself a modern progressive," Clinton said. "Someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we're working together."

A few of Clinton’s answers, however, sounded like they came from a big, government liberal.

I concur that "liberal" no longer means what it once did. Liberalism originally embraced personal freedom and shunned government intervention in people's lives; many if not most of the founders of the United States could be described as liberals, in the classic sense.

However, modern liberalism is an altogether different animal than it was in the 18th Century. In fact, it's almost completely the opposite of what it once was. Conservatism now embraces the set of values once held by classic liberalism.

Liberalism now rejects the free market, capitalism, and limited government. About the only thing it retains is a perverted form of individualism--one that maximizes personal license (primarily in the area of sexual freedom), so long as government elites approve of this personal license. In other words, as long as it doesn't interfere with wealth-redistribution priorities, modern egalitarianism and the latest social engineering fad.

Freedom from heavy taxation, doing what you want with your own land, private entities determining the value of their own labor, market determination of economic priorities...in modern liberalism, these all get the axe in favor of centralized government control.

Hillary and other liberals may not like the baggage that comes with the term "liberal" and "liberalism," but they have only themselves to blame. It is the essence of what liberalism causes that has produced that baggage. As people see the chaos, loss of efficiency, unfairness and and social decay brought on by liberal policies, reasonable people reject it.

Therefore, liberals don't like to be called liberals. It's why the media can always find "conservatives" and "conservative policies," but you never hear the media mention any "liberal senators" or "liberal policies."

Progressives like to define themselves as being reform-minded and being for "the little guy," but at the end of the day, there is little to distinguish "progressives" from modern big-government liberals.

Mayor Works to Curtail Public Sex

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle is catching a lot of flack for taking on the problem of public homosexual sex in his city, especially in public restrooms.

From the Sun-Sentinel:

Naugle alerted the media that he was holding a news conference that would include "an apology.''

But it wasn't the apology the media expected. Instead of apologizing to homosexuals for working to stop this public sex, he apologized to the community for not previously recognizing how serious the problem was.

From WorldNetDaily:
Naugle pointed to a website about "cruising for sex'' that recommends two city parks and asked "responsible members of the homosexual community'' to help him remove the facilities from the listing, the paper reported.

He also said Broward County leads the nation in new AIDS cases.

When the mayor opened up the conference for question, the first question came from a homosexual journalist asked the Naugle, "Do you apologize in any way to any members of the gay community or their families for the way in which you have identified them with certain forms of behavior, bearing in mind you're talking about a quarter of a million gay men in parks every day and night?"

After asking the reporter what outlet he represented (Gay National Gay News was the response) Naugle responded: "Very good. I apologize for not bringing this problem forward earlier. Maybe some lives could have been saved."

Another reporter asked, sounding disappointed, why they didn't receive the apology they expected. The mayor said, "I'm the guy who gets the call from the little league dads and the soccer moms that complain about when they go to a public restroom they feel very uncomfortable that they have to go inside [before taking their children in] to make sure this kind of activity isn't taking place."

Naugle said he's received lots of emails from responsible members of the homosexual community who agree with him.

There is a video of Mayor Naugle's press conference at the Sun-Sentinel.

Naugle should be commended for doing the right thing. Public sex, homosexual or heterosexual, is unacceptable.

Smarter Health Care Reform

John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, points out some things to avoid in health care reform efforts:

- Do not turn a tax subsidy for health care into an entitlement; Medicare and Medicaid entitlements are already on a course to crowd out every other government program -- we cannot survive creating more health care entitlements.

- Avoid mandated insurance coverage and mandated benefits; proposals to require everyone to have health insurance increase the likelihood that the government subsidy will become an entitlement.

- Don't create perverse incentives for health plans; if people can switch insurance plans annually at premiums that are unrelated to expected costs, the plans will seek out the healthy and avoid the sick.

- Don't encourage people to forgo private coverage by expanding public coverage; there should be no expansion of Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program in a way that encourages people to drop their private coverage in order to get free public coverage.

The NCPA also points to a piece by Allan B. Hubbard entitled "A Tax Cure for Health Care" in today's Wall Street Journal which points out the tax breaks available to people who get health insurance through their employer--that those who have to buy their own just don't get.

The piece says President Bush has a plan to help with this problem:
Under his plan, every family with private health coverage would receive a standard tax deduction of $15,000 -- no matter where they get their health insurance.

This deduction would encourage more people to buy their own health insurance, just like the mortgage interest deduction encourages more people to buy their own homes.

Some have suggested that a flat tax credit could also achieve the president's goal of leveling the playing field and he has signaled that he would be open to that option.

The Breck Dogg: Ya'll Is Po'

From the folks at PatriotPost.us:

[The Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US)]

Gov't Gives 61 South Dakota Workers Payraise

Congratulations to all 61 South Dakota workers who received a state-mandated pay increase today.

It's a shame that in a country that calls itself a "free country" the government determines the value of a person's labor instead of the worker and the employer.

We went through this minimum wage increase exercise here in South Dakota to raise the wage of 61 people, according to an impact study posted at the state's website.

Now that it's a done deal, even the Argus Leader admits this:

The first increase won’t have much of an effect on businesses, Brown said, because most wage earners already earn above minimum wage. During the next few years, South Dakota might see a slight change in unemployment rates, however.

Never Good News for Bush

Without a doubt, there area legitimate things that are bringing down President Bush's approval numbers. But without a doubt, his approval would be much higher if he and events of the nation received fair and balanced coverage.

Consider that the Dow is hitting new, historic highs, closing at 14,000...but the "mainstream" media must do everything possible to pooh-pooh that and throw water on any enthusiasm that might come from good news.

From the Media Research Center:

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric fretted that "even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy." Mason talked with a celebrating stock trader before turning downbeat: "But Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions. While the stock market's been racing ahead, the economy has been slowing down. Housing is mired in a slump."

ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased World News: "Tonight, the Dow moves into uncharted territory, zooming past 13,000 for the first time. But is the economy as hot as the market?"

If Bill Clinton had been president for these record economic numbers and low unemployment, the media would have hailed him "messiah" and declared him King of the Universe (they almost did when he was in office, and every piece of positive news was laid squarely at his majesty's feet).

Nope, there is no Leftist bias in the media. ;-)

Interview with Joel Dykstra

My column in the Rapid City Journal today features an interview I conducted last week with Republican Rep. Joel Dykstra of Canton who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Senator Tim Johnson.

Since Dykstra is on the Zaniya Project Health Care Reform Task Force, one of the things I asked him about was about was health care:

Dykstra said he believes in order to repair our system, the patient must become the customer of the hospital. Right now, government and insurance companies are usually the customer.

"We have to find ways to unleash the force of free enterprise," Dykstra continued. "We have to open up competition to empower consumers to make decisions about their own health care. People have to become real consumers, so they’re making decisions about whether or not to spend that dollar."

Read the full column here.

I had more material from the interview than I had room to include, so I may include some of that here at a later date.

Yesterday I interviewed Sam Kephart, businessman from Spearfish, who is also a Republican, and plan to share some of that in next week's column. Though Kephart is more "moderate" than I on social issues, I found him to be a very likable, positive man with a lot of optimism for our country and life in general. He seems to genuinely want to bridge some of the divide between conservatives and liberals.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Adelstein Estimation

Former state senator Stan Adelstein has made a very generous donation to help digitize historic photos of the Black Hills.

As Todd Epp points out at SD Watch, Adelstein's actions in this regard are commendable and he deserves a pat on the back for them.

In fact, I wish he did more things like this...and fewer things that tear South Dakota apart, especially the political party he says he belongs to.

I've never said, and I don't know of anyone who has said, that Stan Adelstein is a totally evil person who has never done anything good. As Pat Powers has also said at the South Dakota War College, Adelstein has done a number of positive things for his community and for South Dakota.

But no amount of benevolent acts can erase the destructive and divisive things he's done, especially as long as he refuses to acknowledge those wrongs.

The unnecessary partisan attack on Sam Kooiker and his supporters in the recent Rapid City mayoral race, and the "wing nut" mailer in the same campaign that Adelstein was behind, funding multiple candidates to oppose his own party, his vehement support for killing the unborn, and his efforts to undermine marriage...his charitable acts to the community don't make up for this kind of behavior.

I hope someday Adelstein has a change of heart; many of us have, thank God. But only genuine, heart-felt repentance can make up for the bad things we've all done...and only God can accept that repentance and grant absolution. As nice as benevolent acts like this are, they can't buy, excuse or erase acts to the contrary.

Gov't Pays Dead Men to Farm

From the Washington Post:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report.

In a selection of 181 cases from 1999 to 2005, the Government Accountability Office found that officials approved payments without any review 40 percent of the time.

The report cited a 1,900-acre soybean and corn farm in Illinois that collected $400,000 on behalf of an owner who lived in Florida before his death in 1995. The company did not notify the government of the death but certified each year that the dead shareholder, who owned 40 percent of the company, was "actively engaged" in managing the farm.

Paying dead men to farm is about as odd as paying farmers not to grow something. I remember a comedy routine from several years ago by Brian Regan about this: A guy asks a farmer what he does for a living. The farmer replies, "Well, I don't grow corn."

This is just one of the many reasons we need to move away from this government-run Marxist-style farming system and get back to a free market system. The fraud, waste and abuse is staggering.

Democrat Presidential Candidates to Debate on Homosexual Network

WASHINGTON, July 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- On August 9, MTV's homosexual cable network, Logo, is hosting the first-ever presidential debate intended to promote the homosexual and transgender (gender identity disorder) lifestyles. All major presidential candidates have been invited to participate. To date, all Republican presidential candidates have declined, while all major Democratic candidates have accepted. Those candidates who have accepted are Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois), former Sen. John Edwards (D-North Carolina), Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).

Both Joe Solmonese, president of the homosexual "Human Rights Campaign" and lesbian singer/activist Melissa Etheridge have been selected as panelists. (Full Article)

Statement by President Bush on War on Terror

WASHINGTON, July 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is a statement by the President:

Rose Garden

10:42 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Thank you all for coming. I'm joined by veterans and military families who are here to express support for our troops and their mission in Iraq, and I want to thank you all for being here today.

We've just finished a really good meeting. In our discussions, these folks had a message that all of us in Washington need to hear: It is time to rise above partisanship, stand behind our troops in the field, and give them everything they need to succeed. (Full Article)

How Green is My South Dakota?

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: With sincere apologies to film director-author Richard Llewellyn, who wrote "How Green Was My Valley," I ask the question, "How Green is My South Dakota." Llewellyn's book, published in 1939 and later made into an Oscar-winning movie, tells the story of the dreadfully tragic lives in a Welsh mining town of many years ago. Before you think I am comparing those times to South Dakota, I want to make it very clear about the "Green" I am talking about. What I am advocating is looking at what energy conservation (green) methods South Dakota folks are practicing and how a family can save some money and save energy at the same time. (Full Article)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thin Forests Like We Fight Fires

Alan Aker's column in the Rapid City Journal today has some good ideas for thinning forests to stay ahead of these huge wildfires that are growing worse all the time:

It’s time to approach the problem the same way we approach forest fires.

First, don’t let budget limitations turn into limitations on timber thinning. Right now, the forest service asks Congress for a budgeted amount of money to fight forest fires and to thin timber. Even the expenses for preparing timber sales that make the government a profit have to fall within this budget for administering timber thinning. If costs for preparing timber sales and for noncommercial thinning of small trees exceed projections, or if Congress appropriates less than requested, the government simply does less timber thinning.

It works much differently for forest fires. If the cost of fighting forest fires is greater than what’s budgeted, do the firefighters pack up and go home and wait for Congress to appropriate more money? No, they fight the fire and fuss about the money later. So far, year after year, Congress has found the money. No firefighters have gone unpaid.

It could work the same for timber thinning. Each month or each quarter, the forest service could evaluate how many acres of timber were actually thinned. If the goal is to thin 50,000 acres a year in the Black Hills (and it should be), we’d better have 12,500 new acres under contract by April 1 and 25,000 new acres under contract by July 1 and 37,500 acres by October 1.

Alan works in the timber industry and has a number of good ideas in this column.

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