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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, August 04, 2007

Social Engineering Becoming the Norm

Knowing what the birthright of an American should be, the truth of Henry Lamb's WorldNetDaily column breaks my heart:

A substantial number of Americans, perhaps a majority, believe that government should dictate where people live, what their housing structures should look like and how they should be constructed. They believe it is right for government to dictate what curriculum children should study in school. They believe it is right for government to dictate which land should be cultivated and which land should not be touched by humans. They believe it is right for government to dictate the kind of automobiles that are available for people to purchase.

Simply put, a substantial number of Americans believe it is right for government to dictate how people should live. They believe that government should "engineer" society.

How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led Americans into war to defeat the Nazis' efforts to engineer society. How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led our founders to declare that the Creator, not government, endowed people with equal rights to "... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." How different is this modern attitude from the notion that legitimate government is empowered only by the consent of the governed.

Would that we could return to the day when a man could do what he wanted with his life, his home, his car, his land...without worrying about some environmental regulation or some bureaucrat's utopian idea of how he should live.

Would that we could return to the day when American government protected us from foreign enemies, kept the roads up...and that's about it.

Liberalism Tarnished

Star Parker's latest column affirms what I've been saying about the disingenuous term liberals would like to be known by: progressive.

A popular term of left wing spin-meisters these days is "progressive."

Liberalism did not fall from favor like an out of vogue restaurant or some fad. It lost its glow because facts show it doesn't work.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Republicans for Socialized Health Care

As Amy Ridenour points out at the National Center Blog, twarn't (as they used to say Down South) the Democrats we have to blame for the current push to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)--at least not wholly. It was Republicans who opened the door to this socialized medicine by passing SCHIP back in 1997.

Ridenour references a 1998 piece by Sue Blevins that tells the story.

How ironic. When the Democrats controlled Congress in 1993, the Clinton administration was unable to pass its national plan for socialized medicine. Yet with Republicans in charge of Congress, the administration was able to implement its backup plan. According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), previously secret documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force show that a "kids first" strategy which could be implemented through Medicaid was the backup option in case the larger plan failed.

Blevins' piece tells us why Republicans did it and where the pressure came from. It's the same thing you see now, and the same emotional appeal liberals have been giving for a long time: do it for the children.
So why did the Republicans help create the largest federally funded health-entitlement program since 1965? It seems the Republicans merely caved into the Democrats' savvy political strategy, which went something like this: Let's propose a new government program for children and fund it with cigarette taxes. Then, if Republicans oppose "KidCare" we'll charge that they don't care about children and that the only reason they oppose it is because the Republicans get large sums of money from the tobacco industry. This was a brilliant political strategy.

This is why even relatively small incursions of socialism must be resisted. They are only the foot in the door to bigger things.

Conservatives must wake up and learn this if they are ever to bring our country back to greatness and greater freedom. Conservatism's greatest weakness is that it is, to a great extent, a somewhat passive philosophy. It seeks to hold and keep what it currently has, while liberalism is a philosophy on the march, not content to keep what it has but to take everything possible.

What conservatives fail to realize is that remaining besieged behind your castle wall is no way to win a war. Even if you manage to hold onto what you have (which is unlikely, with your resources diminished or cut off), you've done nothing to diminish the enemy's influence in the world at large. You can't win the ideological war while hiding behind your walls, trying to hold onto what you have. You have to be on the move, defeating enemies/arguments and taking new territory.

Another of the great strengths of liberalism is also its willingness to take small gains. This incremental strategy of inches ends up making more progress than the "all or nothing" strategy often embraced by conservatives. Gaining an inch is better than gaining nothing.

So conservatives take heed: know your enemy...and learn from him. Before you have nothing left to hold onto.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Poll: Simpsons Movie Inappropriate for Christians

Aug. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- ChristiaNet.com, the world's largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads, asked participants in a recent poll, "Is 'The Simpsons Movie' appropriate for Christians?" The majority of Christians polled had not seen the movie, but based their answers on their opinion of the TV show. According to Bill Cooper, President of ChristiaNet, "It is refreshing to see that the majority of Christians can discern when entertainment is crossing the line." (Full Article)

Another Opportunity Taken to Suggest: Unlike Terri Schiavo Case

By Carrie K. Hutchens

I was reading, "Brain-Injured Man Speaks After 6 Years" by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer, (New York - Aug 1, 2007 -AP) and I just knew somewhere in the article, it was going to suggest that this case was unlike Terri Schiavo's. Had to read almost to the end, but as faithful as the sun coming up every morning and going down every evening -- there it was. "He noted that a similar treatment did not help Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman in a vegetative state whose care triggered national controversy before her death in 2005. That's the typical outcome for electrical brain stimulation in vegetative states, he said." (Full Article)


On the Christian Nation Question

Professor Blanchard at South Dakota Politics responded to Sibby's and my post about Senator Barak Obama's recent statement about whether America is or was a Christian nation.

Though I disagree with Blanchard, I have to give him hearty praise for providing the first reasoned and based-in-reality thesis I've ever seen that contends America is not and never has been a Christian nation. Every other argument I've ever seen that says America was not founded a Christian nation (the arguments that were coherent and had any radio contact with reality, that is) consisted of this fallacious argument: "The founders were deists, and the Constitution doesn't specifically state a Christian foundation, therefore America was not founded a Christian nation."

However, he makes the same mistaken assumption that all the incoherent God-haters do: in simple terms, that America must look like and operate like a church in order to be "Christian."

When we say that America is a Christian nation or was founded a Christian nation, we mean that it was founded predominately by Christians based on the values and principles these Christians gleaned from the Judeo-Christian faith (i.e. the Bible).

The evidence for the genuine Christian faith of the vast majority of the founders, and their belief that those Christian values should influence public policy, is overwhelming and readily available for those who have eyes to see.

The Christian faith of those who founded the first colonies and settled the country is a matter of record from the Mayflower Compact onward through a number of charters and founding documents. The spiritual "Great Awakenings" that came even before the birth of this nation are also a matter of record.

Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, recognizes that the truths realized by the founders came from their Creator, and stated a "firm reliance" on God in order to bring about our independence.

Even our Constitution, while it is a secular document and does not specifically pay homage to God, nevertheless shows the Christian influence upon the values that went into it.

Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who toured America in her youth, noted the Christian flavor and influence in his work "Democracy in America." Even a foreigner coming from a nation that had recently gone through a bloody and secular revolution recognized that the Christian personality of America ran broad and deep.

The affirmations of the Christian heritage and flavor of our nation continue on into the 20th Centry in numerous court decisions and in the quotations of a multitude of American leaders. It is only in the last 50-60 years that secularists have begun attempting to rewrite history and lead people to believe that America's Christian heritage is a myth.

None of this is to say that America cracks open the Bible anytime law is administered; if that were so, then we'd have the "theocracy" secularists already fear has overtaken us.

Being a Christian nation also has nothing to do with the church dictating public policy. Despite the fact that the founders never intended that public policy not be "contaminated" by our Christian values, if the church was calling the shots, then we'd have theocracy.

Finally, being a Christian nation also doesn't mean that everyone in the country is a Christian or must be a Christian. It only means that most are, or at least give assent to Christian values of conduct and morality as the way we want to live.

In short, America doesn't need to "be church" in order to be a Christian nation; we already have The Church, and we don't need another one. America's Christian heritage is not an institutional thing, but a character thing, a flavor thing, a personality thing, a values thing.

Whether America REMAINS a Christian nation is definitely up for debate. Our widespread rejection of God's truth over the past 50-60 years and our embrace of pagan philosophies (Marxism, socialism, humanism, secularism, existentialism, Eastern mysticism, moral relativism, and a host of other isms), provides plenty of foundation from which to make this argument. And the rejection by many who call themselves "Christian" of the Christian truths plainly spelled out in the Bible, in favor of the trendy, politically correct "flavor-of-the-day-'truth'" adds fuel to this argument's fire.

But the absolute reality that, as a matter of record, America was founded by Christians on Christian values is indisputable...if you stick to the historical facts, that is.

Mapping the Lack of Coverage

The South Dakota War College has an enlightenting post on all the places/newspapers that have provided coverage on the Chad Schuldt embezzelmenet story.

Meanwhile, except for the original 137 words from the Argus Leader that named no suspect, the crickets chirp on at 200 South Minnesota Ave in Sioux Falls...

North to Canada

ABC News is making hay of the increasing number of Americans moving to Canada:

"Those who are coming have the highest level of education — these aren't people who can't get a job in the states," he explains. "They're coming because many of them don't like the politics, the Iraq War and the security situation in the U.S. By comparison, Canada is a tension-free place. People feel safer."

Kertes attributes his motivation to President Bush's opposition to gay marriage, and the tactics employed during the war on terror since 9/11.

My reaction? Bye! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Don't get me wrong. I've vacationed a couple of times in Canada, and it's a great country. If I couldn't live in the United States, Canada would be my next choice.

But they have unfortunately embraced socialism to a much greater degree than here, and they aren't interested in taking a stand against evil and for freedom in the world on any significant scale.

If you want less freedom and more socialism, then by all means move to Canada. More power to you. I believe people ought to live where their values are most closely expressed. There are plenty of socialist enclaves around the world for people who like that sort of thing; socialists should go live there and stop trying to mess up free, God-fearing countries like the United States.

Socialists can go live in Canada, leaving free and independent people to live unencumbered here in America as we defend Canada from threats from other continents.

Gov't Drives Up Cost of Services

CNS News has a story about how federal aid is driving up the cost of a college education:

"College enrollment over the last 20 years has gone dramatically up because of [federal] subsidies," Tim Carney, a columnist for the Washington Examiner, told the conservative Young America's Foundation conference in Washington, D.C.

Carney said colleges have grown accustomed to receiving federal dollars, which he said enables schools to continually raise prices without hurting students' ability to pay.

"Some students will win, all taxpayers will lose and many students will lose as well," he said.

Carney noted that every year since 1982, tuition has increased at a higher rate than inflation, and from 1983 to 2003 federal aid increased more than 500 percent, to $122 billion.

As it happens, this is exactly the same thing that's happening with health care. Since the government subsidizes about half of all health care expenditures (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), more people take advantage of the system, which drives up demand for services, just as with education.

And as with any system involving finances, the system gets used to the free-flowing dollars from the government, which drives up costs for everyone, whether they have insurance or not.

Costs were not so insane before government and insurance blanketed the market. My mother-in-law gave me a copy of the hospital bill for the birth of my wife and her twin sister about 39 years ago. It was something like $68. Yes, sixty-eight dollars. That's about $10,000 less than my last child cost four years ago.

We need to get government OUT of health care and Rep. Joel Dykstra told me recently, get the individual back as the actual health care customer.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Consumer Driven Health Care

An article from the Chicago Tribune points to consumer driven health care plans in the fight against rising health care costs.

Steve Troc, director of human resources at Communications Supply Corp. in Carol Stream, said moving to a consumer-driven plan with a high-deductible has made him stop to think more before heading to the doctor.

"I want to make 100 percent sure we stay in network," he said. "For any aches or pains, we're not just running to the ER, for example."

That philosophy should pay off in savings over time, said David Levitz, executive vice president of GCG. "If you can head off 30 percent of claims, you're making progress," he said.

"We are finding in between 30 percent and 40 percent of cases, just the savings in premiums alone result in enough of a reason to do a high-deductible health plan," Levitz said.

Currently, about 26 percent of midsize Chicago-area employers surveyed offer a consumer-driven health plan, and 27 percent are considering offering one next year, according to the GCG survey.

I understand the attractiveness of a health insurance plan that pays it all, or at least has low deductibles.

But we can't have our cake and eat it too. Having everything for nothing is just a socialist dream we've been sold. And like all things with socialism, it's a highway of bankrupt philosophy paved with broken promises.

We'll never get health care spending under control until we get the individual back as the health care consumer, not government and insurance companies.

HT to the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Men More Aggressive With Salary?

Sundays Washington Post has an interesting article on why women often get paid less than men for doing the same job. Is it sexism? Take another look.

In one early study, Babcock brought 74 volunteers into a laboratory to play a word game called Boggle. The volunteers were told they would be paid anywhere from $3 to $10 for their time. After playing the game, each student was given $3 and asked if the sum was okay. Eight times more men than women asked for more money.

Babcock then ran the experiment a different way. She told a new set of 153 volunteers that they would be paid $3 to $10 but explicitly added that the sum was negotiable. Many more now asked for more money, but the gender gap remained substantial: 58 percent of the women, but 83 percent of the men, asked for more.

Another study quizzed graduating master's degree students who had received job offers about whether they had simply accepted the offered starting salary or had tried to negotiate for more. Four times as many men -- 51 percent of the men vs. 12.5 percent of the women -- said they had pushed for a better deal. Not surprisingly, those who negotiated tended to be rewarded -- they got 7.4 percent more, on average -- compared with those who did not negotiate.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The New World of the New Media

Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily has a great column today on how the "new media" was born.

I think I know the precise day "the New Media revolution" was born – and, no, it was not the date Al Gore invented the Internet.

Specifically, it was Aug. 4, 1987 – 20 years ago this Saturday. And I'll bet there won't be a commemoration anywhere in America or around the world – except maybe at my house.

That day was the day the FCC abolished it's "Fairness Doctrine" rule. Farah also pays tribute to President Ronald Reagan's veto two months earlier of a bill that would have set the FCC "Fairness Doctrine" regulation actually into law.

Why did Reagan do that? Just simply following the Constitution:
In doing so, Reagan said, "The framers of the First Amendment, confident that public debate would be freer and healthier without the kind of interference represented by the 'Fairness Doctrine,' chose to forbid such regulations in the clearest terms: 'Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'"

I was in high school in the early '80s and was on the high school newspaper for four years, and as editor my senior year. Since I really enjoyed writing and had been interested in current events since junior high, I thought long and hard about going into journalism after high school.

It was probably a cowardly decision on my part, but I looked around at the world of media in the mid 1980s and saw only an unending sea of liberalism. I got to meet several NBC journalists for a news special in Memphis, and saw nothing different in person, either. Remember the situation back then? As Farah says,
In 1987, three major broadcast networks presented the semi-official newscasts. You could choose between ABC, CBS and NBC. But there was really no choice at all. All three evening newscasts were remarkably similar – almost as if they were produced by the same team. And indeed it was.

That team was called the New York Times. The front page was show prep for all three network newscasts.

So I chickened out and didn't go that route. Yet somehow, after 10 years in the military and a number of other jobs and pursuits, God seems to have brought me back around to that passion once again, even if I'm only dabbling in it as I try to keep the bills paid and raise a family. Perhaps God can not only redeem the years the locust ate, but redeem chickens as well.

Thank God, our choices are much greater now. Rush Limbaugh came on the scene shortly after the "Fairness Doctrine" went down, and we began to see more conservative newspapers, Fox News, WorldNetDaily, and now the pajama-clad warriors of media accountability: the bloggers.

If you don't remember the bleak outlook for information back in the old days, when liberalism had a lock on the news, read Farah's column and give thanks for what we have today. Thank God for those pioneers who had the courage to carve out a place for the everyday American perspective on the news. Thank God for the media voice that lets you know: no, you aren't crazy for still loving God and country, and America the way she was and was always intended to be.

Liberalism still dominates the media, but at least there is choice now. At least there is now a voice of one crying in the wilderness, where once there was only silence.

Democrat Candidate Admits US Was Christian Nation

It's an indirect acknowledgement, but an acknowledgment nevertheless, from a Democrat presidential candidate that America at least used to be a Christian nation.

From CBN News, Senator Barak Obama:

"Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community."

Even if you accept the contention that we are "no longer" a Christian nation, which could definitely be argued in the present tense, to say that we are "no longer" a Christian nation acknowledges by default that we once were, regardless of how Obama tried to obscure that admission. Something can't be "no longer" unless it "once was."

Despite a tremendous assault for the past 50-60 years on America's Christian heritage, most people still call themselves Christians and believe the Christian Bible is the Word of God.

And contrary to Obama's assertion above, despite being founded on Christian principles, those principles which influenced our laws and our government have never experienced a deficit of accessibility even to people of other faiths. All have been welcome here, all have had the freedom to practice their own beliefs as guaranteed by the First Amendment, and all have agreed on the areas we have set down into law (sacredness of human life, property rights, principles of fairness and justice, etc. ).

Regardless of how we've allowed ourselves to get off track, the evidence is overwhelming that America was founded by Christians on Christian principles.

Socialism Eating Us Alive

MSNBC has a sobering article on the outlook for socialist spending in the United States over the next few decades:

Consider the outlook. From 2005 to 2030, the 65-and-over population will nearly double to 71 million; its share of the population will rise to 20 percent from 12 percent. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—programs that serve older people—already exceed 40 percent of the $2.7 trillion federal budget. By 2030, their share could hit 75 percent of the present budget, projects the Congressional Budget Office. The result: a political impasse.

The 2030 projections are daunting. To keep federal spending stable as a share of the economy would mean eliminating all defense spending and most other domestic programs (for research, homeland security, the environment, etc.). To balance the budget with existing programs at their present economic shares would require, depending on assumptions, tax increases of 30 percent to 50 percent—or budget deficits could quadruple. A final possibility: cut retirement benefits by increasing eligibility ages, being less generous to wealthier retirees or trimming all payments.

Stop and think about this for a minute.

Social security, Medicare and Medicaid--three programs that constitutionally should not exist and should make up 0% of our budget--already exceed 40% of our federal budget. And are projected to hit 75% of current levels by 2030. That should stun even the most fervent lover of socialism.

Also consider the statement that in order to maintain the current ratio of federal spending to the economy, you'd have to ELIMINATE all defense spending, including homeland security, and almost every other category of domestic spending--including the environmental programs so dear to Leftists. Remember: there is is a constitutional mandate to defend the country, but there is no provision for for public charity.

Is it any wonder the Founders of the United States knew we shouldn't engage in socialism and do for people what they should be doing for themselves?

Schumer Rues the Day

According to LifeSite.net, Senator Chuck Schumer rues the day Democrats allowed a judicial nominee to be confirmed that held more loyalty to the constitution than to Leftist politics:

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Bush can expect to make no more Supreme Court judicial appointments "except in extraordinary circumstances" according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

"We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance," Schumer said Friday at the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. "We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito."

Schumer and other Democrats fear that another justice like Justice Alito could presage the demise of Roe v. Wade and lead to a decidedly 6-3 conservative court, instead of the current 5-4 court, with Justice Anthony Kennedy often acting as a wild card.

Expect them to wheel in Stevens and Ginsburg on life support, if necessary, to avoid having five judges on the Supreme Court who honor the Constitution.

Contrary to what we saw from the judiciary in the Terri Schiavo incident--and with abortion--we might see the courts develop a newfound appreciation for preserving and extending life.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Thunderous Silence

When the newsworthy doesn't make the news

By Bob Ellis
Dakota Voice

Last week it was revealed that an employee of Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, Inc. in Sioux Falls had stolen $100,000 from the company. Hildebrand Tewes client list includes former Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Robert Byrd, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, the South Dakota Democratic Party, and Senator Barack Obama's Political Action Committee "Hopefund."

Perhaps the most disquieting thing about this story is that the identity of the alleged embezzler wasn't broken by the newspaper in Sioux Falls; bloggers and the Washington D.C. newspaper Roll Call had to do that. (Full Article)

'Rescue Me' TV Show Degrading to Catholics

July 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- In Wednesday's episode of the FX drama "Rescue Me," Denis Leary's character had an exchange with a new firefighter about the Bible. He said the Bible is to Catholics what "The Godfather" is to the Mafia. Continuing, Leary blasted the Catholic Church for being corrupt, maintaining that the 12 years he spent in the Church was effectively like being in prison. The biggest gangster on the face of the planet, he contended, was the pope. (Full Article)

The Man Behind 'Amazing Grace'

DALLAS, July 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The year 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in England. Viewers across America have been moved by the portrayal of parliamentarian William Wilberforce's pivotal role in the crusade against slavery in the recently released film Amazing Grace. The film is named for the famous hymn penned by John Newton, whose character plays a supporting role in the movie. (Full Article)


Poll: Reading Horoscopes Sinful

July 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- ChristiaNet.com, the world's largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads, recently asked, "Is reading a horoscope a sin?" President of ChristiaNet, Bill Cooper, stated, "Christians should avoid all forms of evil especially any forms of witchcraft." (Full Article)

Wall, South Dakota Woman Appointed to Civil Rights Council

Gwen Caldwell, who is a long time family rights advocate and Founder of Voice of Women has been honored this month by being appointed to serve on the National Board of Directors of the United Civil Rights Councils of America. She was selected because of her “experience, activism, writing skills, common sense and geography”. This is not the only recognition Caldwell has received this year for her volunteer work. She was selected to serve on the State Board of Directors for UCRC of A earlier this year and is among Cambridge’s Professional and Business Women’s Who’s Who for 2007/2008 for her ongoing commitment and effectiveness in advocating for family rights. (Full Article)

British PM Affirms Friendship with US

The new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is affirming ties the U.S. and the war on terror.

From the UK Sun:

Mr Brown stunned critics by THANKING President Bush for the fight against Islamic extremism, and insisted the UK-US relationship will be his No1 foreign policy priority.

He said on his first visit to the President’s US retreat at Camp David: “Winston Churchill spoke of the ‘joint inheritance’ of our two countries.”

The PM said that meant “a joint inheritance not just of shared history but shared values founded on a shared destiny”.

He added: “America has shown by the resilience and bravery of its people from September 11 that while buildings can be destroyed, values are indestructable.

“We acknowledge the debt the world owes to the US for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism.”

I certainly hope he follows through on this rhetoric. Invoking Winston Churchill is akin to invoking Reagan for conservatives in the United States.

Winston Churchill was one of the worlds greatest and most visionary leaders, warning the world about the threat of Adolf Hitler long, long before it was politically correct.

Britain and the world needs more of that kind of leadership as the free world faces the global threat of terrorism and Islamic facism.

Lacking Dr. Discipline in South Dakota?

A KXMC article features a report from a group called Public Citizen which says South Dakota has the fourth worse record for doctor discipline in the U.S.:

A report by Public Citizen shows that just four of the two-thousand doctors in South Dakota were disciplined during the two-year period.

The state's disciplinary rate was less than half the national average.

Public Citizen was founded by far-Leftist Ralph Nader, so take analysis of the conclusions with a grain of salt.

Why SCHIP Changes are a Bad Idea

The National Center for Policy Analysis examines a Wall Stree Journal piece "Insurance Folly" by John C. Goodman on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) currently under debate in Congress. Democrats want to expand the program to cover not only poor children but middle class children.

What's the problem?

Why is that bad? One reason is that most SCHIP programs pay doctors at Medicaid rates -- rates so low that Medicaid patients are having increasing difficulty getting access to health care:

Anecdotal evidence suggests that U.S. Medicaid patients already must wait as long for specialist care and hospital surgery as in Canada.

Many doctors won't see Medicaid patients, among those that do, many will not accept new patients.

As a result, children who lose private coverage and enroll in SCHIP are likely to get less care, not more.

Republicans never should have been involved in a socialist program like this in the first place, but now Democrats want to make it worse--both from a philosophical standpoint and from a practical one.

The article also notes some states are already using SCHIP funds to cover adults. Remember that anytime the Left starts talking about "the children," it's just an emotional smokescreen to justify more socialism.

Cover Fire for the Argus Leader

Denise Ross and Todd Epp are claiming the theft of $100,000 by Chad Schuldt from his employer Hildebrand Tewes, a company which worked on former Senator Tom Daschle's campaign, and does work for the South Dakota Democratic Party and Senator Barak Obama, among others, is just political fodder that isn't interesting to the lowly masses. This, they claim, is why the Argus Leader couldn't be bothered to walk half a mile to visit Hildebrand Tewes and cover the story.

If they're not actively working to provide cover for the Argus Leader's dereliction, then their ideological loyalties have them pretty blinded.

I'm expected to buy that this isn't interesting enough to cover, but the Argus' relentless quest for a blanket list of state employee salaries is? I'm supposed to believe the theft of $100,000 by a party political operative from his employer, who works for a number of high profile politicians, isn't interesting to the average person...but the Argus' hell-bent-for-leather pursuit of a list of Governor Mike Rounds' pheasant hunting buddies is?

This while Roll Call, the Bayou Buzz from Louisiana, National Review, and the Rapid City Journal found it interesting enough to cover?

Sorry, that one comes up "no sale" here.

After hundreds of editorials and columns, is there still a book in me?

By Gordon Garnos

IN RETROSPECT: Have you ever been asked to write a book, a book especially about your background, your youth, or the experiences you've had that have made you what you are today? A funny thing happened to me the other day while on my daily jaunt to one of my coffee clutches with the guys. My cell phone rang. At the other end was a woman from one of the communities where my columns appear on a weekly basis. She had just read my column (week of July 16) about the cars that were in my youth. "Why don't you write a book?" she queried. After hundreds, perhaps thousands, of editorials and columns, the question emerged, do I still have a book in me? (Full Article)

Missouri Says: Too Fat to Adopt

By Carrie K. Hutchens

A Kansas City area man and his wife have apparently been denied the right to adopt a relative's child, because he is too fat! Too fat and "might" develop health issues. (Full Article)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rapid City Cabela's Deal Compared to Other Cities

The Rapid City Journal today examines the controversial Cabela's incentive package in Rapid City to several other cities, including Boise, Idaho where the incentive package was a whopping $0.

Read the article here.

I think Cabela's coming to Rapid City is a great thing, and I look forward to it. I also believe government and private business should work together where it makes sense; there has been far too much anti-private enterprise sentiment from government in recent decades.

But I also think government, as the custodian of the taxpayer's money, shouldn't unnecessarily bend over backwards for a business, especially when there's no good reason why that business--which exists to make money--couldn't open a new store on its own.

Environmental Doom in South Dakota

Even before a final decision is made to build a refinery at Elk Point, the war against any such refinery is ratcheting up.

I examined this a few weeks ago in my column at the Rapid City Journal:

The last refinery built in the United States was in Garyville, La., in 1976. Since then, the oil industry has tried a few times to build more, but regulatory hurdles usually make it more trouble than it’s worth . One company, Hampton Roads Energy Corp., tried for nine years before giving up in 1984.

There were about 300 refineries at the peak of the industry in the early 1980s, but about 170 have closed in the meantime. Since then, increased efficiencies have raised production from 6.4 million barrels a day to 8.2 million.

Meanwhile, demand is about 9 million and refineries are near 100 percent capacity already.

Today, the Argus Leader has two articles already poisoning people's minds against the Hyperion refinery.

One article entitled "Is this Elk Point's future?" ostensibly points to a "clean" refinery in Minnesota while it tells us all the bad things that can come with a refinery. It even admits the effect of all these radical environmental regulations:
Those rules have helped force half of all U.S. refineries to close in the past 25 years. The remaining 149 refineries have expanded to offset the vast majority of the lost refining capacity, but tight capacity remains a major driver of today's high gas prices.

That sets up a national dilemma, now playing out in South Dakota: A new refinery could pay off for consumers in the form of lower gas prices, but local residents face most of the environmental costs.

Then there's the shorter "Hyperion's potential use of heavy crude a pollution concern" article that adds to the fear.

Obviously we need to be as clean and as careful as possible, especially for those who live near refineries.

But on the other hand, solar and wind power aren't going to meet our energy needs. And Jimmy Carter-esq ideas like putting on a sweater aren't going to cut it with Americans.

So why can't we work for reasonably clean refineries without painting them as harbingers of doom...and shooting ourselves in the foot while doing so?

Facing Responsibility

As the discussion of Chad Schuldt and Hildygate continues, I wanted to make a point of clarification on the comments I made yesterday regarding addictions.

While, as Todd Epp noted, I have compassion for Chad, knowing how difficult it is to quit something once you've gotten in the habit of doing it. And I think we should have compassion for one another in this regard, on a personal level.

But as Ken Blanchard noted at South Dakota Politics, the trend in our society is to absolve all guilt behind the shield of "addiction."

I hope Chad won't do that. One of the key components to a successful recovery from addiction is to admit personal responsibility, own up to it and deal with both the responsibility for getting there, and for deeds done while there.

That's one of the critical failings of our modern society: we short-circuit a key element that enables someone to get better--and often justice in the process--by confusing personal compassion with the escape of responsibility.

I hope for Chad's sake and for the sake of justice, he and those around him won't go that route.

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