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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?



Friday, August 10, 2007

Anti-War Vet Hypocritical on Uniform

If you were watching (not the "mainstream" media) closely last week, you might have seen or heard about the radical Leftist Kos forum on undermining the United States military that was called "The Military and Progressives: Are They Really That Different?"

To summarize, near the end of this forum promoting American military impotence and defeatism, a soldier in uniform challenged the panel by trying to cite some of the progress being made in Iraq.

John Solz, one of the panelists who was a former captain not in uniform, got pretty bent out of shape (retired Gen. Wesley Clark, another panelist, did handle himself with more decorum). The main thing this former captain took issue with was the fact that the challenging soldier was in uniform; Solz believed this Sgt. David Aguina of the 733rd Maintenance Company was using his uniform for political purposes.

I've been out of the military for 12 years, so my memory of some of the regulations you didn't deal with on a daily basis is a little hazy, but I do recall something prohibiting the wear of the uniform for political purposes.

At the same time, I remembered when during the Vietnam war, John Kerry wore his uniform to Capitol Hill to badmouth and malign his country and his fellow soldiers even as they fought communists overseas.

Well, columnist Melanie Morgan now points out not only Kerry's misuse of the military uniform, but also the fact that Solz has a picture of himself in uniform on his advocacy website, VoteVets.org.

Morgan's column also says Solz was confronted by Lt Col Buzz Patterson because Solz was involved in political activism while in the reserves, a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

I guess if you're an anti-war veteran who's committed to to undermining his country's defense (like Solz and Kerry), it's okay to display your uniform. But if you're defending your fellow soldiers' successes and attempting to shore up the morale of our armed forces, that's an improper display of the uniform.

Military Too Important for Trendy Political Causes

As I suspected he might, my e-friend Todd Epp has a problem with my statement that homosexuals should not be serving in the military.

Homosexuality is immoral and unhealthy, regardless of the setting. But homosexuality is even more problematic in many military settings.

For instance, military people frequently are quartered together in the barracks or tents or even foxholes. The military doesn't quarter male and female troops together in these settings, however, because of the problems that come with sexual attraction across the sexes.

Now if you quarter two men or two women together in a room or tent, and one of them is a homosexual, then you're setting yourself up for a lot of problems and conflicts that you just don't need in a military environment. The military is there to fight the bad guys and protect our country; that effort is too precious to waste energy on worrying about some other guy coming on to you, flirting with you, making a move on you, and all that. You wouldn't subject a woman to that kind of environment, so why should you subject a man to it? The troops don't need the distraction and the command staff doesn't need the distraction.

Todd rolls out the tired old civil rights mantra about women and minorities. There's just one key difference: being a woman or a black person isn't immoral, but homosexual acts are. One is a physical or sexual characteristic, in line with the way God created them to be, while the other is a behavior that is immoral and unhealthy.

And from the looks of the photo and caption on Todd's post, we might agree on one thing: those defending our country have more important things to worry about than being subjected to politically correct social engineering schemes.

Hillary Says She Doesn't Want Socialized Medicine

As liberals almost always do, Hillary Clinton is trying to hide her intentions and claim she's been misrepresented.

This time, she's trying to tell us she's not for socialized medicine, despite having made the biggest push for socialized medicine in American history back in the early '90s.

From the Washington Post:

During a forum at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Las Vegas, Clinton was asked why as a candidate for president she is "still insisting" on bringing "socialized medicine" to the United States, when people are "pulling away" from similar systems in Canada and Great Britain. Worse, the questioner said, such systems hurt rather than help poor people.

"That was a string of misrepresentations about me and about the systems in other countries," Clinton started. "Number one, I have never advocated socialized medicine, and I hope all the journalists here heard that loudly and clearly because that has been a right-wing attack on me for 15 years."

If you have a system where the government owns or controls the industry, you have socialism.

Capitalizing on the ignorance of the average American, and the fact that the average American (like the frog) has been in the ever-warming pot for a long time already, then asked
"Do you think Medicare is socialized medicine?" Clinton asked her inquisitor, who did not identify himself.

Can you say "absolutely"? A program mandated by the government and regulated by the government and paid for by the government, even if individuals do have some small say in the whole process, is socialized medicine. You're smoking something--and it isn't medicinal--if you think Medicare is free market health care.

She then made the outrageous claim that health care in countries such as Canada, where you may have to wait 18 weeks for treatment, is better than we have here. They have a fully socialized health care system in Canada, Britain and other countries, yet Clinton thinks it's better than we have here. So she's told us through her admiration of socialized medicine in other countries, even though she denied it above, that this is what she wants.

Nothing has changed. The Clintons still think we're all stupid.

Poll: Media Seen as Biased, Inaccurate

Breitbart.com has an article on a new Pew Research Center poll showing most people see news media as biased and inaccurate.

Among their findings:

- This sentiment was higher among internet users, with 59% saying media is inaccurate and 64% saying they're biased

- Internet users tend to be younger and better educated than the average

The article also noted the change in opinions over the last 20 years:

Two decades ago, public attitudes about how news organizations do their job were less negative. Most people believed that news organizations stood up for America... a majority believed that news organizations got the facts straight," Pew said in a report.

You can thank the rise of the new media (talk radio, internet news, blogs, and other conservative news outlets) for this. Twenty years ago, liberals had a near-total lock on the news with NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times as your only information source.

Now some of the truth is leaking through. Now average Americans can get news without being made to feel that embracing traditional values and loving America is only for provincial, knuckle-dragging rubes who never made it past the third grade...like the liberal media wants you to think.

Dems Want Homosexuals Serving Openly in Military

From CNS News:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the other Democratic presidential hopefuls have told homosexual activists that if elected president, they would scrap the law that bars homosexuals from openly serving in the military.

The question came up Thursday night at a Democratic forum in Los Angeles sponsored by Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group, and Logo, the gay and lesbian cable network.

Even if Democrats manage to get the silly "don't ask, don't tell" policy repealed, there's this thing called the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that they seem to have completely forgotten about. It's the law book of the military, and it's what has always made homosexual acts a military crime--and still does, despite Bill Clinton's silly "let's pretend it isn't happening" policy.

The defense of our nation is far too important to undermine by social engineering. Besides, the military has long had a tradition of striving for a higher moral standard, and that goal isn't furthered by allowing people to serve who have trouble with something as fundamental as correct and incorrect places to put their genitals.

Elvis and the Train to Nowhere

By John W. Whitehead

“Before Elvis, there was nothing.”—John Lennon

The year was 1955, and I had just heard Chuck Berry on the radio singing “Maybelline.” I was electrified. By the time Berry appeared on television, duckwalking across the stage and playing his guitar, there was no turning back. America had its first black rock’n’roll hero, and rock’n’roll had fused with my soul. (Full Article)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why Young Adults Leave Church

OneNewsNow has an article about a LifeWay study on young adults leaving the church.

A new study from LifeWay Research shows that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church in high school will drop out of church for at least a year before their 22nd birthday.

The study says about 2/3 do come back eventually, at least in some capacity:
Many of those who drop out do eventually return. Among church dropouts who are now ages 23-30, 35 percent currently attend church twice a month or more. Another 30 percent attend church more sporadically. Thus, about two-thirds of those who leave do return at some level.

If you're only attending church a couple of times a month, I have to doubt whether it's doing much good, but I suppose it's better than nothing.
Why do some leave the church?
For example, 27 percent of those individuals said they left church because they wanted "a break from church."

Other reasons cited for keeping them from attending church included: the transition to college (25%), increased work responsibilities (23%), "too busy, though still wanted to attend" (22%), moved too far away from the church they had been attending (22%), and wanted to spend more time with friends from outside the church (17%).

I think if we did a better job as parents, and the church did it's job to be relevant, this percentage would be much lower.

Many Christian parents have either become too busy, or have bought into the world's wisdom that you can just let a child figure out right and wrong for itself. If you do that, they'll pick the world over the church almost every time. Why? The church offers a life of commitment, discipline, striving for selflessness and sacrifice, and hard work...while the world offers a life of no commitment, doing what you want with no guilt, affirms selfishness, a me-centered worldview, little discipline, and the pursuit of whatever you can justify in your own eyes.

Many churches also do a lousy job of demonstrating that they're relevant to everyday life. Either they're too afraid to call for a committed walk with Christ from their young people, or they've sold out to the world's values of sexual permissiveness and non-judgmentalism no standards. If you're a young person and you can choose (1) a life that pretends some level of virtue while holding no real standards, and (2) a life that doesn't hypocritically pretend some standard, while allowing full permissiveness and acceptance of all behaviors...you'd almost be a fool not to choose #2, if you saw those as your only choices.

I came from a background not unlike this, and I walked away from the church for several years after getting out on my own. During that time, I made a wreck of my life and brought more pain on myself than I care to think long about. I'm here to tell you, you don't want to rob your young person of a solid foundation and leave them on track for that kind of destruction.

Parents and churches should decide TODAY: are you serious about the faith you say you hold and do you want your young people to be serious about it...or do you want to continue a life of hypocrisy that your young people can see through from a mile away?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

South Dakota voters fickle when it comes to Senate longevity

By Gordon Garnos

Will Senator Tim Johnson's battle of the blood hemorrhage spell his retirement. His staff has said he is expected to return to his office next month. While they continue to issue glowing reports of his recovery, few South Dakotans are fully aware of what his actual health issues are. We have been told that he still is getting physical and speech therapy. However, no one that we know of has heard him speak since that near-death stroke last December. Will he be fully capable of resuming his duties as before? If not who may be lurking in the wings for a chance at his job? (Full Article)

Editor: Edwards is a 'Big Phony'

Seems the editorial page editor of The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper, isn't buying John Edwards' presidential act. In fact, Brad Warthen calls Edwards a "big phony."

Here's one example why, at a 2003 campaign event:

His face was impassive, slack, bored: Another crowd, another show. Nothing wrong with that — just a professional at work.

But then, I saw the thing that stuck with me: As his introduction reached its climax, he straightened, and turned on a thousand-watt smile as easily and artificially as flipping a switch. He assumed the look of a man who had just, quite unexpectedly, run into a long-lost best friend.

Here's another example from 2004. Edwards did lots of smiling, glad-handing and "It's an honor for me to meet you" type stuff with the common folk where it could make an impression. But where it didn't matter?
he utterly ignored the folks in our customer service department and others who had hoped for a handshake or a word from the Great Man. He had saved all his amiability, all his professionally entertaining energy and talent, for the folks upstairs who would have a say in the paper’s endorsement.

This stuff reminds me of the clip of Bill Clinton at Ron Brown's funeral. He's walking along, joking and laughing with someone and when he sees the camera on him, his face instantly morphs into a mask of grief and somber reflection and he looks down as he is struck with on-cue remorse.

It was a rarely-seen (for the public) and perfect example of what best characterizes liberalism:

symbolism over substance.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Soviet Playbook Re-opened for Iraq

Now here's someone who isn't afraid to call out the Left for what all of it's divisive, pseudo-pacifist Bush-hating is: aiding the enemy.

That someone has a column at the WSJ Opinion Journal today on the subject, and that someone should know what he's talking about: Romanian Lt. Gen. Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc.

Commenting on last week's positive statement by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown about President Bush's leadership in the war on terrorism, Pacepa says

Mr. Brown's statements elicited anger from many of Mr. Bush's domestic detractors, who claim the president concocted the war on terror for personal gain. But as someone who escaped from communist Romania--with two death sentences on his head--in order to become a citizen of this great country, I have a hard time understanding why some of our top political leaders can dare in a time of war to call our commander in chief a "liar," a "deceiver" and a "fraud."

I spent decades scrutinizing the U.S. from Europe, and I learned that international respect for America is directly proportional to America's own respect for its president.

So how does this fit in with our enemy's goals?
Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels. This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels.

And how does this connect to my earlier comments about George McGovern's actions and how they undermined our country?
During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.

The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S.

Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook.

Remember, this isn't some Right-wing Republican Christian zealot saying this; this is a former communist officer.

Pacepa then shoves today's pseudo-pacifists noses into the stinking pile of truth they'd love to ignore:
Now we are again at war. It is not the president's war. It is America's war, authorized by 296 House members and 76 senators. I do not intend to join the armchair experts on the Iraq war. I do not know how we should handle this war, and they don't know either. But I do know that if America's political leaders, Democrat and Republican, join together as they did during World War II, America will win. Otherwise, terrorism will win. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi predicted just before being killed: "We fight today in Iraq, tomorrow in the land of the Holy Places, and after there in the West."

We should never follow our leaders blindly. Such a mindset is not what gave birth to America, and it's not what brought her to greatness.

But to zealously and baselessly undermine our president in wartime for political gain, or to allow ourselves to be duped into joining such an exercise, is irresponsible and unpatriotic.

Thank God for voices of experience and understanding like Pacepa's. Those who loathe our country won't listen to it, however, and neither will those who desire political points more than the good of their country.

But will you?

HT to the World Magazine blog.

Military Service Isn't a Free Pass.

I served 10 years in the military, stateside and overseas, so I appreciate the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women in our armed forces.

However, military service is NOT a free pass for irresponsible behavior that undermines our country or our nations security--even when the irresponsible person "means well" or the behavior is "sincere." Military service does not place a person or their actions above scrutiny or criticism when those actions warrant it.

As Todd Epp points out at SD Watch, George McGovern fought in World War II, flying bombing missions over German targets. I'm grateful for McGovern's military service and his defense of our country and of freedom. But do past acts of service to ones country mean that everything someone does is patriotic? Or even in the best interest of the country?

Benedict Arnold, Aldridge Ames, and Robert Hanssen, to name a few, were all men who served their country and worked in the agencies responsible for defending her. Yet they are not known for all that they did for America, but for what they did against her.

I'm not saying McGovern's actions are on a par with the treason of these men. I'm making the comparison that they all served their country, but it was revealed that some of their actions undermined their country. Should we give them a pass on undermining the country because at some point they served the country? Of course not.

There are any number of people who, for whatever reason, served their country and then ended up going wrong: George McGovern, John Kerry, and even John McCain to a degree.

Where McGovern has gone wrong is in many of the things that Sibby recently pointed out: a host of socialist policies that not only undermine the health and productivity of our nation, they violate both the spirit of the American way (self-determination, freedom, independence and personal responsibility) and the limited-government and limited-power Constitution that is the highest law of our land.

McGovern was also wrong to undermine his country in the war in Vietnam. I understand that socialism is a close-cousin to communism, but the enemy we fought there was brutal, ruthless, and bent on world domination ("We will bury you"). It was not a stupid war, but a war fought to protect our ally from communist bloodshed and oppression, and to stop the communist machine of domination that was rolling over country after country. It was a war America lost not because our military lacked strength or valor, but because weak-willed self-loathers like McGovern put their Leftist agenda ahead of what was right and ahead of our country (just as many are now doing with Iraq). It was fought in a thoroughly screwed-up manner (overly restrained, micro-managed, LBJ's "graduated response" as opposed to our bomb-them-until-they-surrender approach in WWII, without the will to clearly win), but it was a war for the right reasons that needed to be fought--and should have been won.

In the early '70's, McGovern called for reducing our military budget by over 1/3 during a war, and literally giving the taxpayers money away to people. He called for a "guaranteed minimum wage" (which is outright Marxist wealth redistribution of the highest order) and the unnecessary and socially destructive Equal Rights Amendment.

As for his social work against hunger, I suppose you could give him points for intent. But the best way to reduce hunger would be working to set people free from the oppression of totalitarian governments, Marxism and unproductive socialism. The only thing is, since WWII McGovern never wants to tackle totalitarian governments, and works to promote Marxist socialist policies everywhere he goes. So he's fostering what he claims to be fighting.

No wonder that in his 1972 bid for the presidency, McGovern only got 17 electoral votes from the two most liberal enclaves in the country: Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Even his home state of South Dakota rejected his pacifist, socialist agenda.

McGovern's military service is to be respected. But it doesn't give him a free pass for undermining his country during wartime (sorry about my blatant patriotism; I'm just old fashioned like that) and undermining his country by advocating greed, class envy and policies that weaken what has made America great.

Patriotism is an everyday kind of thing. You don't do something once to earn the mantle. You have to keep on loving your country, defending her against all enemies foreign and domestic, and upholding the laws and values that make America the unique wonder she is in order to maintain the title of patriot.

Ignoring the Truth About Global Warming

NewsMax has a piece on the recent Newsweek article about the global warming myth that tries to pass itself off as objective journalism.

One of the fallacies of the Newsweek article pointed out:

Reporter Eve Conant, who interviewed Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, was given all the latest data proving conclusively that it is the proponents of man-made global warming fears that enjoy a monumental funding advantage over the skeptics. (A whopping $50 billion to a paltry $19 million for skeptics — yes, that is billion to million — see below. )

Looks like being "on the payroll of energy companies" doesn't pay very well, compared to being on the payroll of environmental socialists.

Cabela's Update: Vote on Land After All

I admit I'm confused.

Last night, KOTA reported the Black Hills VIC wouldn't be going to Cabela's and the land deal wouldn't require a vote.

But now the Rapid City Journal, while reporting the same VIC details as KOTA, says there will be a special election Sept. 18 on the land deal.

Maybe KOTA left the meeting early? Maybe one of them slipped over into a slightly alternate universe? Maybe the meeting took place in the Twilight Zone?

In any event, I'd go with the RCJ; their report is much more detailed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Cabela's Now Won't House BH Visitor Center

KOTA is reporting that while it looks like Cabela's will keep the 30 acres of land that Rapid City gave them, the Black Hills Visitor Information Center won't be relocating inside the store.

"We listened to the citizens and read several accounts in newspapers, and we believed that it provided an opportunity to really show the citizens that we in fact do listen," said Kevin Rhodes, Cabela's Director of Real Estate. "That it's not just all one-sided. That we understand the concerns that they had voiced as far as leaving the visitor's center where it was."

Besides the fact that the city just seemed to be too much of an eager beaver in getting Cabela's to come to town, and giving away too much of the taxpayer's interest, the Visitor Information Center relocation was my main misgiving about this whole deal.

Moving a relatively new center into a place with less than half the space, and in a situation that was a gamble whether it would get more visibility, just wasn't a smart move in my opinion. I'm glad to see this change...and glad to see that Cabela's is still coming.

According to the article, a special election regarding that 30 acres will no longer be necessary.

Hanks Outspent Kooiker Over 5-1

KOTA reports the campaign finance reports for the Rapid City election are in, and Hanks outspent Kooker more than 5-1.

Alan Hanks spent $53,869 in his successful bid for mayor, $24,500 of which came from his own pocket.

His opponent in the runoff election, Sam Kooiker, spent $9,463.

Somebody wanted to be mayor BAD.

Global Warming Theory Incompatible With Science

NewsMax has a story about a report released by a couple of German scientists who examined the theory of global warming and found it to be incompatible with physics.

They've also proven that there can be no way of accurately measuring average global temperature in the way it is now done. CO2 cannot play the role attributed to it by the supporters of the global warming theory, and the very idea violates the laws of thermodynamics.

It also points out that Al Gore's chief apostles and their theorectical models don't intersect with reality.
The report quotes physicist Freeman J. Dyson about relying on computer modeling to predict climate change: "'The models ... do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in ... It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds.'

The report is 114 pages long and is very technical in many places, but read it for yourself and see if there isn't more science in this report than in Al Gore's science fiction stories.

FDR in the Light of Reality

In "Confessions of a Recovering Democrat," Burt Prelutsky punches through the myth about Franklin D. Roosevelt to say what he really accomplished:

The fact is, Roosevelt simply introduced an American form of Communism, one the country was willing to swallow. There were no gulags or show trials; instead, there was an alphabet soup of new federal departments and bureaucracies, whose sole purpose was to diminish the power of the states and its citizens. FDR tried and pretty much succeeded in turning the federal government into a grotesque, power-crazy, creature that was all mouth and no brain. Compared to Roosevelt, Dr. Frankenstein was small potatoes.

Roosevelt can’t even be credited with leading the country out of the Great Depression. If anything, as others, including Amity Shlaes in her terrific book, “The Forgotten Man,” have pointed out, his economic policies undoubtedly prolonged the nation’s agony. In a move that would have delighted such knuckleheads as John Edwards and George Soros, FDR kept increasing taxes during the 1930s. Only an old time lefty or a modern-day Democrat would ever imagine that the solution to a financial malaise would be to increase the tax burden on businesses and individuals. It took World War II, not Roosevelt’s left-wing machinations, to get America back on its feet.

Like Prelutsky, my folks were registered Democrats, and they also worshipped the ground FDR walked on. That was the spin the elitists put on things, and in that simpler age when good people thought they could trust our institutions, people believed it.

Yet the truth is, FDR's policies exacerbated the Great Depression, and dealt a tremendous blow to the freedom and small government America was intended to operate by. This country has not been the same since FDR's administration...and it has been to our detriment.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Blues in a Baptist Church

I attended the Biker Feed and preceding church services at South Canyon Baptist Church this morning, and it was great.

A couple of guys from the Christian Motorcycle Association, Rich and Bud, spoke at the service, telling about their ministry and how they came to Christ. Bud said he came from a very rough background: alcoholic parents, running wild in the streets of Albuquerque, doing and selling drugs, and all sorts of stuff until God got through to him and changed his life.

They also played, sang and led some very excellent Christian blues. I didn't know there was such a thing, but I enjoyed it very much. So much of the music today is just trash: guitar that sounds like some kid in his basement, male singers that sound like zombies and female singers that whisper or whine their lyrics in a monotone. That goes not only for the secular music, but the Christian music that has sadly followed the style trend.

But blues hasn't been affected by this sickening trend. That's why if I listen to any secular music that's come out in the last 10 years or so, it's more than likely Kenny Wayne Shepherd or something like that. But these guys had some good blues riffs that praised God, got your foot to tapping and hands to clapping. Since it was in a Baptist church, some might have swallowed their snuff (I grew up Baptist, so I can say that), but I think they'll recover. Everyone I saw there seemed to really enjoy it, too.

Afterward, the church had a free lunch for bikers, church members and anyone who wanted to come. Jeff Slathar, the pastry chef at the Colonial House Restaurant, spent most of the past week smoking, seasoning and otherwise preparing some delicious beef brisket (the Rapid City Journal had a big article on these preparations in the Food section of the Wednesday dead-tree edition). And man, was it good! Didn't need them, but I had to have seconds.

So all in all, it was a fairly unconventional Sunday, but a very good, refreshing one. I'm going to have to do some looking around for some Christian blues CDs now!

Argus Leader Fights Information Overflow

Randell Beck at the Argus Leader has finally explained why his paper has had a near-blackout (137 words of coverage, not naming the alleged perpetrator) on the Hildebrand/Schuldt embezzlement story: they're helping us poor unwashed masses fight "information overflow."

Plenty of media outlets across the state (and elsewhere) "outed" the guy, and that's their choice.

It's not ours. Ironically, our attempt to set a standard of fairness has become, to a radical few, evidence of a coverup. And so it goes.

The true believers out on the blogosphere - that strange world in cyberspace where the political and social fringes thrust and parry - can make life miserable for an everyday media elitist like me. Few rules and no standards apply.

Those waves of often-strident opinion, salted with just enough fact to seem credible, wash against us - resolute and seemingly endless, like the sea itself. If good editors - and we are blessed with many of them here - are not on guard, standards can easily be pushed aside.

Yeah, and I've got some ocean front property in Arizona I know you'd be interested in.

At least Mr. Randell Beck has condescended to come down from Mount Olympus and address the grievances of us lowly, ignorant mortals. I suppose we should at least recognize that.

How stupid does Beck think people are? The answer to that could probably be measured by the subscriber numbers of the Argus Leader, I suppose.

At last count, the South Dakota War College had pegged 11 cities, both in and outside South Dakota, with more than a dozen media outlets reporting on this. This list includes Washington D.C.'s Roll Call.

Besides, a lack of information or a lack of charges has never stopped the media (or the Argus Leader) before. Remember Bob Sahr?

HT to Bob Schwartz at the South Dakota Moderate.

Cohabitation Takes the Low Road

The dead-tree edition of the Rapid City Journal featured a column by Dr. Val Farmer on why cohabitation is bad for marriage. I found an online copy at PineAndLakes.com.

Dr. Farmer says that while cohabitation has gone up 1,200% since 1960, there are some serious downsides to it. Here's the typical profile of who you'll be joining if you decide to cohabitate:

Studies show it is generally the poor and less educated, less religious, divorced or those growing up in a home where there has been parental divorce, no father present in the home, or high levels of marital discord.

Do these groups reflect your values, or who you want to be?

Here are some of the negatives:

About half of all cohabiting relationships in this country end within five years

Cohabiters who eventually marry have a higher divorce rate than those who do not live together before marriage.

People who cohabit have a higher risk of suicide, depression, chronic and acute illnesses, accidents and lower productivity.

Among cohabiting couples with no plans to marry, 17 percent report partner abuse. Among cohabiting couples with plans to marry, 14 percent report partner abuse. Only five percent of married couples report partner abuse.

Children are almost 20 times more likely to suffer physical or sexual abuse in these households.

With all these pros for marriage and cons for shacking up, no wonder God said marriage was the way to go.

Tammy Faye's Popularity

When Tammy Faye Bakker Messner died recently, I admit I was a bit puzzled by the positive (sometimes glowing) media coverage she received. After all, usually when a high-profile Christian dies, the media reaction is similar to what they gave Rev. Jerry Falwell: good riddance, you intolerant Bible-thumper!

In the 38 seconds I spent trying to analyze and figure this out (all Tammy Faye's contribution to Christianity warranted, in my opinion), I concluded that since it was so hard to take her seriously with her caked-on makeup, et al, that the media felt it safe to praise her, since she presented no credible threat.

In reading Paul Edwards' TownHall.com column today, I think I was in the ballpark, though (since I've never spent any significant time keeping tabs on Tammy Faye in her Bakker years or post), I had no idea of the details of her "non-threatening" nature. It seems Tammy Faye, despite her clown makeup, was far more trendy these days than I realized:

How Tammy Faye managed to endear herself to the mainstream media is no secret. She was a ubiquitous guest on Larry King Live and King became the major conduit for the re-imaged Tammy Faye post PTL. The American viewing public was frequently reminded that Tammy Faye Messner was not the same Tammy Faye Bakker of televangelism fame. She had changed, without losing her trademark make-up.

No longer was Tammy Faye singing gospel songs and spinning evangelistic yarns in fund-raising efforts for the PTL empire. Tammy Faye had moved to “the good side,” first hosting a television show with the openly gay Jim J. Bullock and later as a regular on the VH1 reality show “The Surreal Life,” where she starred alongside a porn star and a rapper. As CNN reported in its obituary, Tammy Faye became an icon for the gay and lesbian community, embracing them without confronting their sin.

And thus her secret: she extended the love of God without demanding respect for God in return. Hers was a “gospel” of love, peace, unity and harmony—sans repentance. You could be anything and do anything and still be loved by the god of Tammy Faye.

If it were only so, we could do whatever we wanted with no consequences. But it isn't so.

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