I just got around to watching the 1/2 Hour News Hour from last week.
They had a great segment on Kansas Secular University and the welcoming ceremonies for the new year. This would be a great place for you secularists who loathe any sort of expression of faith in public.
The segment featured Joseph Liverton, the university chaplain, offering an invocation:
Oh, nonexistent spirit, we ask that you convey your indifference on all of us who gather here today. We raise our voices as one, to express our lack of gratitude for the totally random series of events that has accidentally resulted in our existence. We recognize that you've had no role in our lives and ask that you continue in that absence. Do not help guide us, and let us serve no purpose in everything we do. Because we know that life has no significance, and that the journey ends in utter meaninglessness when we die. This we ask in no one in particular's name, boo-yah!
How inspiring. This is so much better than letting people pray to God for inspiration, protection and guidance.
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, September 29, 2007
I just got around to watching the 1/2 Hour News Hour from last week.
Anthony C. LoBaido has a piece today at WorldNetDaily on one of my (few) favorite TV shows: Jericho.
For the remnant in "Jericho," it means embracing a sense of community as the great themes of life and history are brought back from theme parks to their rightful place in reality.
"Jericho" features a plot that goes something like this: Nuclear war/terrorism has destroyed a plethora of cities in the U.S. At least two missiles have been launched in retaliation. America has now been broken up into six countries with (count them) six different leaders. There's no Internet. No Paris Hilton. No professional wrestling. No NFL. No eBay. No more "Saturday Night Live." The Northeast of the U.S. has become its own country. Salt has become a priceless commodity. The kids aren't obese because there isn't much food to go around in the wintertime.
It might be said that watching "Jericho" can help us to prepare spiritually for what could actually befall our great nation. (Let's hope not.)
I don't agree with every one of LoBaido's statements about the show, but I'd say he's 90% or more on target.
I remember last summer, before the fall TV season began, as I watched reruns of CSI (I'm a former investigator/detective, so I'm hopelessly drawn in by forensic shows--even if reality does get suspended on a regular basis), I'd occasionally see cryptic commercials for a new show called "Jericho." The commercials didn't reveal a lot, just showed a boy watching a mushroom cloud rise in the distance. Since I grew up in the heated and waning days of the Cold War, I was intrigued and tuned in. I was hooked on the first episode.
The Jericho cast of characters are mysterious, interesting, and intertwined. It takes several episodes to figure out the main character "Jake," a family black sheep who makes a quick return home to Jericho and gets caught by the nuclear blasts on his way out of town. In the first moments of the first episode, as people ask him where he's been the past 5 years, he gives about 5 different answers to 5 different people.
Then there's Hawkins, the man mentioned in LoBaido's piece, who is my favorite character as well. A black man who's a little out of place in the very pale small town of Jericho, Kansas, he and his family say they've just arrived from St. Louis where he was a cop. But you can tell from some of the reactions of his family, and other things, that Hawkins is a man with a lot to hide. Yet from the first episode, as a stranger in town, he's saving the town's bacon time after time.
As questions grew during last season as to whether Hawkins was a good guy or a bad guy, I found myself desperately hoping there was an explanation for the seemingly damning things that were coming to light about him; his character was that likable. By the end of the season, you find that while he was at the center of the cause of the nuclear explosions across America, he is indeed a good guy. And from first episode to last, he's saving the town's bacon.
As LoBaido says, the show has it's PC elements, but there is a goodness and hopefulness in the characters of the show that you seldom see these days.
The second season won't begin until sometime between November-January (CBS isn't saying exactly when) because production is a little behind the curve. CBS actually announced they were going to cancel this outstanding show, but reversed that decision after fans sent 40,000 pounds of nuts to CBS (read LoBaido's piece to find out why).
And in case you're wondering, while there is a bit of a sci-fi element to Jericho, what with the nuclear war and all, it's not one of those cheesy sleazy post-apocalyptic pieces of trash you saw so much of in the 1980s and 1990s. The nuclear war is actually in the background, with good characters and good stories dominating the foreground.
You can go back and watch all of last season's episodes at CBS.com. You won't be disappointed.
A WorldNetDaily article today examines efforts in the pro-life community to directly challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that "legalized" abortion in America.
The basis for the challenge: one that was provided by Justice Harry Blackmun, the chief force behind the Roe decision.
Back then, even in the Roe opinion itself, Blackmun admitted that the "personhood" of the unborn was the Achilles heel of the justification--or the allowance--of abortion. It's a central issue that has for the most part been unexplored by the pro-life community, yet it's the "elephant in the room" that assaults rationality.
Why else would we play subjective situational games that defy logic: if the mother wants to kill her baby in the womb, that's her "right;" if someone else does something against the mother's will to kill the child in the womb, then that's "murder." The value and personhood of the unborn child hasn't changed; only the intent of the mother has changed.
Roe determined that "the unborn is not a person within the meaning of the law," he said, and that can be its downfall.
It was the Roe author, Blackmun, who concluded: "(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."
"Thus, the personhood of the preborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns," Becker said.
In the Roe decision, the court said, "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in … medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."
Well, science has reached the point where any reasonable person can look at the evidence and conclude that the unborn are, indeed, persons. Consider the following medical discoveries which were unknown in 1973:
- - The unborn have unique DNA, different from the mother, from the moment of conception
- - Within 4 weeks the brain is formed
- - By the 5th week the heart is formed and the circulatory system is working
- - By the 6th week the skeleton is formed
- - Research indicates the unborn can feel pain as early as 8 weeks development
Were it not for the issues of sexual freedom and the hindrance a baby can be to a woman's self actualization, this issue would be clear. There would be practically no debate whatsoever about the "personhood" of the unborn.
But because a baby can stand between a woman and what she may want for self fulfilment, the personhood of the unborn is attacked. Why? For the same reason Blackmun cited: if the personhood of the unborn is accepted, then that trumps all other considerations.
Life is always the highest and most precious of all human rights.
Someday, maybe not too far away, we're all going to look back on this man-made global warming craze and wonder how in the world so many supposedly-thinking people were so profoundly duped.
A new peer-reviewed scientific study counters a major premise of global warming theory, concluding carbon dioxide did not end the last ice age
The study, led by University of Southern California geologist Lowell Stott, concluded deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before the rise in atmospheric CO2, which would rule out the greenhouse gas as the main agent of the meltdown.
That's not all the bad news for global warming disciples:
Another new study published in Science refutes the "Hockey Stick" temperature graph, used by man-made global warming theorists such as former Vice President Al Gore to argue for a recent spike in average global temperature after centuries of relative stability.
Stott's new study suggests the rise in greenhouse gas likely was a result of warming. It may have accelerated the meltdown, he says, but was not its main cause.
A number of scientists have for some time considered it likely that the inverse of Al Gore's contention--that CO2 has caused temperature rises--is actually the case, in that temperature increases have caused CO2 rises. But you probably didn't hear about that, since it didn't fit the paradigm of the Left's little fantasy.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Below is a video of Rush Limbaugh discussing the attempt by the Left to smear him and his recent comments about "phony soldiers" like Jesse Macbeth--not actual soldiers.
The Left is still stinging from their miscalculation on the "General Betray Us" MoveOn.org ad, and are looking to create the illusion of a little "moral equivalency," one of the reliable tools in the Leftist playbook they use to make their own despicable behavior seem not so bad.
If you're interested in the truth, watch the video. If you're not, just press on and enjoy your Leftist illusion.
You almost (almost) want to be sorry for Democrats. They're so desperate to be taken seriously, so desperate to mask their divisive bilge that when the slightest opportunity to go "See, they do it too!" about Republicans comes up, they jump on it full tilt, regardless of whether there's any substance to their masquerade.
I'm talking about the latest Rush Limbaugh hate parade over comments taken badly out of context, and how desperate they are to de-arm the national disgust over the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad.
The Hill says these self-righteous blame-America-first Democrats have made themselves a letter condemning Limbaugh for allegedly calling anti-war soldiers "phony soldiers."
In a letter prepared Friday by Senate leaders, Democrats continued to blast conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s description of antiwar troops as “phony soldiers,” setting up a parallel to Republican outrage over MoveOn.org’s recent Iraq ad.
During his Wednesday broadcast, Limbaugh responded to a caller who identified himself as an active-duty member of the Army and said troops who criticize the war are not “real soldiers.” Limbaugh responded in agreement, rousing Democrats’ ire.
But it's really nothing but political posturing. The Hill got it wrong. Limbaugh didn't say or agree with a statement that "troops who criticize the war are not 'real soldiers'".
What actually happened is that Limbaugh had done a "Morning Update" prior to the main show where he talked about Jesse Macbeth, who is indeed a "phony soldier." He never completed basic training, yet claimed he had been an Army Ranger, received a Purple Heart, had served in Iraq and committed all the atrocities that put him in the good and proper company of people like John Kerry. And Macbeth isn't alone in making up a phony military record and making up phony "atrocities" (I'm not talking about John Kerry--Kerry actually was in the military--but people like Walter Carlson and others).
Here's a transcript of Limbaugh's conversation in question:
RUSH ARCHIVE: It's not possible intellectually to follow these people.
CALLER: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.
RUSH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER: The phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they're proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they're willing to sacrifice for the country.
RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.
RUSH: It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.
Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse MacBeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse MacBeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."
Now, recently, Jesse MacBeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse MacBeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse MacBeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse MacBeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.
It is clear that Limbaugh is talking about true "phony soldiers," not real soldiers who for whatever reason are dissatisfied with the war.
But this is normal for liberals: they never let the facts get in the way of their agenda.
For those moral equivalency pimps on the Left who see no difference between the United States and terrorists, here is an example of what they refuse to acknowledge.
From ABC News, a story of an Army sergeant who helped a blind girl in Iraq gain her sight:
During his tour of duty in Iraq, Army Sgt. Johnny Kempen thought he'd seen everything, until he met a little girl who saw nothing at all.
Kempen noticed one day, as soldiers threw candy to children in a tense Baghdad neighborhood, a little girl standing out.
"Watching her trying to get the candy and not being able to get it, it was like watching a kitten or something trying to do it," he said. "It was hard to watch."
She was a 7-year-old girl named Zahraa, who was born with painful blistered corneas. After learning about her condition, Kempen decided he wanted to help. So he enlisted help from the tiny town of Crandon, Wis., close to where he grew up.
With terrorists, you have civilians who kill other innocent civilians. With American military, you have warriors who not only defend civilians, but go out of their way to help the least fortunate of people.
I'm proud to be an American.
From the UK Daily Mail comes a story about a baby born in Germany at 25 weeks (a little over 6 months).
When she was born, 15 weeks premature and weighing ten and a half ounces, her father's confidence was about the only thing on Kimberly Mueller's side.
She was just 10.2 inches long and weighed little more than a packet of butter when she arrived in the 25th week of her mother's pregnancy.
Go look at the pictures and remember that some people think it's okay to kill a child like this, as long as it's still inside it's mother's womb.
The Rapid City Weekly News had a revealing article on "homelessness" yesterday.
Take a look at a few excerpts:
Another young man, twitchy and apparently unstable, politely declined to talk. As the team walked away, Stirling said, “Meth.”
The young man’s pupils and mouth sores were a giveaway.
In one motel room, a young woman tended to her three-month-old baby and a puppy and seemed happy to see the team, to have somebody to talk to. She’s here from Nebraska, traveling with her boyfriend, but he is being held in jail, charged with possessing stolen tools. Bond is only $100, but she doesn’t have it.
One of the children was eating Gummy Bears, another sipped a blue slushy drink, and another had a bag of chips. There are convenience stores conveniently located all along East North Street, providing a constant supply of junk food.
Those same convenience stores usually sell bread, lunch meat, canned fruit, milk, etc., too, but that's another story.
Across the parking lot lit by streetlights and a half moon, a man stood unsteady on his feet, hands in his pockets, rocking to the rhythm and singing along to the music coming out the open door of his room
Substance abuse is another problem; in many of these rooms are tables holding open bottles, and some of the people who come to the door smell of booze. Meth, when snorted or injected, doesn’t give off a smell, but judging by some people’s eyes and demeanor, it’s probably overrepresented in this small population.
Many of the motel dwellers are disabled, physically, mentally or both, and SSI won’t cover all conditions, Stirling said. The people might not appear to be mentally ill, but Stirling said they could be cycling on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis or have become skilled at hiding serious symptoms.
Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety — all can contribute to the inability to find a home and keep it, he said.
(Note that many people are living in motels are still classified as "homeless." While this is certainly far less than ideal, it's not like they are completely destitute and living in a car or under a bridge).
You can come away from this article with a lot. However, one of the things most clearly revealed by this article (though I'm certain it wasn't intentional) is that the majority of the people living in these substandard conditions are there because of (1) substance abuse, (2) economic difficulties due to illegal activities, (3) having children outside of marriage, (4) people with mental problems that should be institutionalized, (5) breakdown of the family resulting in a breakdown of the family support system.
How many of these people might be living in normal housing conditions if we eliminated (1) substance abuse, (2) lawbreaking, (3) extramarital sex, (4) turning the mentally troubled loose, and (5) strengthened the family as the standard support system in our society?
It probably wouldn't eliminate all of these "homeless" situations. But how many would it eliminate? 75%? 80%? 90%? Even 95%? I dare say one of those answers is almost certainly the correct one.
Yet those who advocate liberal solutions and liberal social policies for our community and our country are working directly against solving this problem. You can't solve substance abuse problems by legalizing more drugs. You can't reduce lawbreaking by being soft on crime. You can't eliminate extramarital sex by handing out condoms and celebrating sex with no restraints whatsoever. And you can't strengthen the traditional family support system by expanding the role of government as supplier and provider and father and god.
Rather than keep pushing liberal solutions that have provided overwhelming proof that they don't work, why don't we return to traditional values and work to strengthen family and personal responsibility?
As long as we ignore the fact that we've created this problem by departing from the traditional values that are proven solid, the casualties like those in this article will continue to mount. And people will continue to suffer.
From the New York Daily News, Hillary Clinton caught in yet another flip flop, this time on torturing terrorists:
Sen. Hillary Clinton scored with a Democratic audience last night by contradicting her husband's belief that a terrorist could be tortured to foil an imminent plot - but what observers didn't know is she was contradicting herself, too.
"It cannot be American policy, period," Clinton (D-N.Y.) told debate moderator Tim Russert, who asked if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn't know where it was.
When Russert revealed ex-President Bill Clinton advocated such a policy on a recent NBC "Meet the Press" appearance, Hillary Clinton won huge applause from the Dartmouth College audience with a deadpan comeback:
"Well, I'll talk to him later."
She may have to give herself that talk, too.
Last October, Clinton told the Daily News: "If we're going to be preparing for the kind of improbable but possible eventuality, then it has to be done within the rule of law."
She said then the "ticking time bomb" scenario represents a narrow exception to her opposition to torture as morally wrong, ineffective and dangerous to American soldiers.
"In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the President, and the President must be held accountable," she said.
So she wouldn't torture terrorists except when she would. I'm glad we're clear on that.
According to a WorldNetDaily article, a youth services worker was fired because some of the juvenile offenders with whom he worked also attended his church.
Hughes' religious work had not raised an objection from BAYS for a number of years. During his free time he first served as youth pastor, then as assistant pastor, at Calvary Chapel of Tampa.
Then some juveniles under his supervision voluntarily attended church services and sports activities sponsored by the church.
But when one event was held at the University Area Community Center Complex. UACDC, which also manages the community center, objected to the religious content of the Calvary Chapel youth activities, banned the activities from the center and insisted Hughes end his participation.
Since UACDC also funds and manages the Prodigy program, BAYS adopted a policy that juveniles in the program could not attend any event where Hughes was present, even though no problems had ever arisen with the juveniles because of the church events.
BAYS then terminated Hughes, although he had excellent performance reviews, only because he would not agree to either stop attending his church or prohibit juveniles in the program from attending.
Heaven-forbid...oh, sorry, can't get heaven involved...mankind forbid that juvenile offenders attend a church. Who knows, they might end up learning right from wrong and actually make morally correct decisions. As a youth services agency, we certainly wouldn't want kids to learn right from wrong, would we?
This confusion over the First Amendment and outright hostility toward Christianity has passed into the realm of the outright bizarre (and I'm being charitable).
Thursday, September 27, 2007
A rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest and a Baptist minister joined Senate Democrats in making a moral argument for the legislation.
“In St. Luke’s Gospel, we are told that Jesus instructed his disciples to ‘let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them,’” said Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. “We urge Congress and the president to support our bipartisan legislation and let little children have health care.”
How they said this with a straight face, I don't know. After all, the same liberals who push this unAmerican socialism are the usually the ones who want to prevent children from coming to Christ in prayer on public school grounds.
If they were more honest, they'd say, "Let the little children come unto the Government God for all things, and do not hinder them."
Perhaps this rabbi, priest and minster haven't come across these passages in the Bible which speak to how we--not government--are to help one another:
-If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. (Leviticus 25:25)
-Do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit (Exodus 23:3)
-Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. (Leviticus 19:15)
-If a man will not work, he shall not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
-These should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family (1 Timothy 5:4)
-As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list…they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house (1 Timothy 5:13)
-If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. (1 Timothy 5:16)
Expanding socialized medicine only increases the overall cost of health care. It also makes people more dependent on government and less self-reliant, and erodes family ties and responsibility.
The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality has a great interview with Michael Glatze, a former homosexual activist who left homosexuality behind.
But it's not just about his life in "the life," but about how he found "the new life":
M.G. There you go. So I found out I didn’t have this heart condition, and I thanked God. This was the first moment in my entire life when literally every concept that my mind had ever entertained—my whole existence—was completely reevaluated.
J.N. So it was first fear, then gratitude, and then “metanoia”…an awakening to your true identity.
M.G. That was the moment. There was no more doubt. And on a fundamental level, it was the end of an intense war between myself and God.
J.N. You made peace?
M.G. It was instant peace.
J.N. Wonderful. Absolutely fantastic.
M.G. And in that experience, all of a sudden, I kind of rejoined all the other parts of humanity that I had been fighting with.
J.N. You rejoined the living.
M.G. Yes, but at that time, I didn’t fully understand it as such. I just felt I had rejoined something so primal. This gave me a sense of autonomy, so that slowly, I grew to further understand what it all meant.
Though he mentions some Buddhist meditation influence during the interview, he makes it very clear that he gives credit for this great change to Christ. (When I was getting serious about my faith 15 years ago, I was bolstered by some material that I wouldn't really suggest to someone in the same position because part of it contained serious errors--the point being that sometimes God can use unlikely things to bring good).
When I read the passage above, I was struck by how similar it was for me, being "born again." If you're saved when you're young, it might not be so profound, but I suspect that for anyone who is born again when they're older, or if they've "backslidden" and lived the way of the world and then come back, it's a lot like this. The truth of who you are, who God is, and the Ultimate Truth hits you like a ton of bricks...but a sweet ton of bricks that ironically makes you feel set-free instead of crushed.
And the great thing about this new life, this end of the war with God, this peace, is that anyone can have it...if you'll just admit that you need it.
A British medical panel has devised new guidelines regarding the doctor-patient relationship when it comes to children. The General Medical Council says doctors should treat children confidentially, without a parent's involvement, and that the treatment includes counseling regarding abortion.
The GMC has ordered doctors in Britain to respect the privacy rights of minor children and inform them of their ability to be treated without the involvement of Mom or Dad.
Wow! This is definitely a bold new step in state control in Britain. This essentially emancipates children when it comes to medical matters (especially abortion).
This means if the mechanic down the street impregnates your daughter, you have no right to know about it, or the termination of your grandchild.
This means if your daughter's math teacher gets her pregnant and takes her down to the local abortuary to kill your grandchild (and eliminate the proof of his molestation), you have no right to know about it.
This means if your family doctor strikes up a secret relationship with your daughter, gets her pregnant and takes her to an abortuary, you have no right to know about it.
Why? Informing the parents in these situations would violate the privacy of the girl.
Apparently the function of a parent is to provide food, clothing and shelter for the children of the state, nothing more.
And socialists in this country say we need to be like Europe...
The Institute for Marriage and Public Policy features part of a transcript from the New York Times of last night's Democrat debate at Dartmouth College.
In it, two of the three major Democrats (Obama and Edwards) said yes, they would be comfortable having a story about homosexual "marriage" being read to their second grade children in school. Hillary gave implied approval to the idea, though she dodged the question without giving a clear answer, and of course the moderator gave her a pass.
MR. EDWARDS: Yes, absolutely.
SENATOR OBAMA: You know, I feel very similar to John: that -- you know, the fact is, my 9-year-old and my 6-year-old's -- I think, are already aware that there are same-sex couples. And my wife and I have talked about it.
As you consider who to vote for next year and who most closely reflects your values, go read IMAPP's partial transcript or the whole thing at the NY Times.
Today the U.S. Senate voted to approve hate crime legislation to provide special rights to homosexuals.
Senator John Thune voted against the measure and Senator Tim Johnson, who says he will be running for re-election next year, voted for the hate crimes law. This bill was an amendment to a defense spending bill.
You can watch a video of what "hate crime" legislation has wrought in Europe, or read more information about hate crimes here.
By the way, can anybody point me to a love crime (and I'm not talking "crimes of passion," wiseguys)?
From the Argus Leader, Senator Tim Johnson has sent out a fundraising letter in which he states he will definitely run again next year for the senate:
“I am more determined than ever to run for re-election and continue serving the people of South Dakota in the United States Senate,” he wrote in an email sent out by his campaign.
Maybe...but I'm still not completely convinced. Johnson has come a long way since his brain injury last December, and as positive as his recent South Dakota press conference was, it also illustrated that he still has a tough road ahead in his recovery.
If he does decide to run again, that's all fine and well, I'm just saying I'm not 100% convinced he will.
From KOTA, here's how liberals try to push through societal change and special rights for protected groups: just tack it onto something legitimate.
The Senate has attached hate crime legislation to a Pentagon spending bill in an effort to get it passed.
But opponents predict it will fail, either in negotiations with the House or by presidential veto.
South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham says the president won't go along with social legislation on the defense authorization bill.
Texas Republican John Cornyn (KOHR'-nihn) says tacking on the hate-crime measure "hijacks" a bill that includes a pay increase for troops in wartime.
Of course, liberals in their twisted "logic" think they have it covered:
Democrats argue that it's an appropriate add-on to legislation funding the war, because both initiatives are aimed at combating terrorist acts. Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy says "we want to fight terrorism here at home with all of our weapons."
This is an offense to our military folks, and an offense to everyone who's lost a loved one to real terrorism.
Sorry, Mr. Kennedy: blowing up a bus or flying a civilian airliner into a skyscraper is a little different than not wanting to hire a man in drag to work in your bookstore.
These people would rather play games with national defense than be up front about their agenda for societal change...or rather, societal rot.
By John W. Whitehead
In our strange and potentially very dangerous world where science fiction and Charles Darwin often collide, a handful of scientists are racing to be the first to create life. According to a flood of recent reports, this artificial life could be as close as six months away. In fact, Pat Mooney, executive director for the science watchdog organization the ETC Group, states: “For the first time, God has competition.” (Full Article)
By Carrie K. Hutchens
Quoting the now defunct political action committee's website, whether it be Derek Newton or Michael Schiavo that actually posted...
"I say TerriPAC "was" because I've decided to close TerriPAC."
Whomever is writing the material is making it sound as though it is merely time to move on and to do other things. The only hint there might be a "slight" problem is with comments like, "Traveling around the country, making political donations and keeping up with the required legal paperwork takes funds." (Full Article)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
From Fox News:
Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he said he believes homosexual activity is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.
Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring, which he said were misreported.
"Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes," he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon's 2008 war spending request.
"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that was very simply that we should respect those who want to serve the nation, but not through the law of the land condone activity in my upbringing is counter to God's law."
He also points out something that practically never gets mentioned anymore:
Pace noted that the U.S. Military Code of Justice prohibits homosexual activity as well as adultery. Harkin said, "Well, maybe we should change that."
So Senator Tom Harkin wants to put a stamp of approval on adultery, too?
This statement by General Pace echoes what I've often pointed out about Clinton's pathetic "don't ask, don't tell" policy: it did nothing to erase the fact that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) still prohibits these activities. "Don't ask, don't tell" is merely a statement that "Hey, we're just going to ignore the law here and pretend it doesn't exist." This is a dangerous practice in a civilized society.
It almost seems axiomatic that if someone doesn't understand the correct thing to do with their genitals, do we want to trust them to do the correct thing with a gun/tank/ship/airplane?
Military service is a privilege, not a right. During my 10 years in the military, I saw countless people discharged (from basic training to the end of the line) for a multitude of infractions. Civilians might consider many of them frivolous, but when you consider that morale and readiness capabilities are at stake, not to mention the lives of other military people and the civilians they're protecting, you can't afford to let just anyone serve in the military.
Our national defense is too critical to subject it to politically correct social experiments.
Every now and then, you get a comment to the blog that not only illustrates something about the original post, but affords the opportunity to highlight a deeper truth that may not have been explored in the original post. This morning we received such a comment.
This morning, Anonymous sent a comment about my post earlier this month on Rush Limbaugh's parody song "We Hate the USA." (There is a link to the song in the original post; I encourage you to listen for yourself.)
Here is what Anonymous said:
This song is not only retarded but also anti-American. How hypocritical can some people be, to challenge one's patriotism while at the same time produce a song like this and then attribute it to people who never had anything to do with creating it. Its complete bull****, mere propaganda. I am constantly amazed by how stupid people are who listen and agree with Rush Limbaugh. You people are the reason why America has the problems it does. You people are simple intellectual minions, who when they cannot grasp an issue they simple attack other people and their ideas. You people do no serve the interests of America, instead, you keep America from achieving its full potential...
While Anonymous seems to completely miss the point (whether intentionally, or he simply didn't get it?), he (or she) does afford an opportunity to point out a greater truth about this song.
Actually, if this song were serious, Anonymous would be right and it would be anti-American. Instead, this song points out the anti-American sentiment of so many on the Left by repeating the anti-American trash-talk we hear so often. These are the kind of sentiments we see on TV news and read in the papers every day--said by Americans.
Let's be clear about something. There are a lot of people out there who love America, but are simply ignorant (through a lack of study, or because they've allowed themselves to be brainwashed by others) regarding the ideals which are at the very heart of what America is about.
But there are also those who know better, and loathe our country anyway. There are those who are familiar with the ideals upon which the United States was founded (freedom, limited government, personal responsibility, acknowledgment of God's sovereignty, etc.), and simply reject them in favor of a philosophy centered upon human reason and moral autonomy.
And if this latter philosophy describes the type of country the majority of U.S. citizens wants to live in, then there are legal, constitutional methods for creating that kind of nation (i.e. the constitutional process for amending the constitution itself). But that is another subject for another day; the subject at hand is either love or hate for the USA.
I consider it appropriate to challenge someones patriotism when they (1) constantly malign the ideals of this country, (2) constantly try to rewrite the history of this country, (3) constantly portray the founders of this country in a despicable light, (4) treat the Constitution as if it was some irrelevant piece of toilet paper, (5) blame America first for every problem in the world, (6) constantly give aid and comfort to America's enemies by blaming America for standing against their evil, (7) demanding America prostrate itself before its enemies, (8) constantly praise the socialistic tendencies of other countries--which run counter to American ideals of freedom and self-reliance, (9) defend those who love to burn and desecrate our flag, (10), work against defending the integrity of our borders, (11) demand that we embrace every characteristic of every foreigner who comes here, instead of requiring them to assimilate to our way of life, (12) act as if the only way America can be a good place is if it abandons it's most cherished ideals.
I'm sorry, but when someone so clearly and apparently loathes America, I can't help but question their patriotism. If Leftists talked about their wives (or husbands) the way they talk about the United States, I'd wonder why they weren't divorced (and I'm sure they would be, if their spouse heard them talking like that).
If you constantly berated your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband, talking about what an illegitimate background and upbringing they had, claimed his/her father was just a self-centered filthy-rich racist, talking about how all the people who hate your sweetie are right and how your sweetie is always wrong, talking about how your sweetie is always at the heart of every problem going on around you, talking about how your sweetie needs to realign her thinking and forget about everything she ever held dear, if you showed contempt or casual disregard for all her previous hard work and sacrifices, if you demanded she leave her door unlocked and let people come and go in her house as they pleased, if you were only concerned about what she could give you or do for you, if you expected her to wait on you hand and foot while you did nothing for yourself, if you demanded she be like all the other girls, if you flirted with all the other girls and didn't show any loyalty toward her, if you ignored her love letters, if you burned or urinated on her picture (or if you defended the "freedom of speech" of those who did this to her picture)...if you treated your "sweetheart" like this, would it be reasonable to question your love for her? I think the answer is painfully obvious.
America has most of the problems she does because we departed from American ideals under FDR and embraced socialism and big government; we made things worse when we rejected God in the '50s and '60s. America's fullest potential lies with protecting maximum freedom and maximum opportunity, with a "firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence," not in providing maximum handouts and maximum sexual license.
If you believe America's maximum potential can be achieved through socialism, you should go live in one of the socialist countries around the world for a few years and see if you really like it (I lived in one for three years; it's pretty sickening). That is, one of the countries that STILL embraces socialism, since the Soviet Union and many of its satellites have since left socialism behind, realizing what a dead-end street it is.
But as for me (and many remaining old-fashioned patriots), I love America. I am passionately in love with her (I think my wife is okay with me having this one mistress). I love where she comes from. I celebrate her birth and the circumstances surrounding that miraculous event. I love her father(s). I love her tradition of faith. Despite her failings and the fact that she has sometimes failed to live up to her own ideals, I know she still holds allegiance to those greater ideals and is working to see them come to fruition. I love how she stands up for the rights of others, and comes to the aid of her friends. I love her purple mountain majesty and her amber waves of grain; indeed, I think she is the most beautiful "lady" in all the world.
I know her faults, but I also know her great virtue, and am willing to stand up for her and defend her before all detractors. And I will oppose those who would lead her astray from her virtues and ideals. And I pray God's blessing and protection upon her.
This is how I define patriotism. This is how I show my love for the USA.
In a move aimed at preventing a split in the global Anglican Communion, the US Episcopal Church on Tuesday agreed to halt the ordination of gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions.
Church leaders, however, vowed to continue to fight for the recognition of the civil rights of homosexuals.
It's unclear whether this concession of the most egregious violation of the Bible by the US Episcopal Church will be enough to satisfy the worldwide body of Anglicans who had imposed a deadline for the US branch to get back to the Bible they claim to believe in.
The church leaders also pledged "not to authorize or use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion or until (the) General Convention takes further action."
But it was not clear whether clergy would be allowed to carry out unauthorized blessings of same-sex unions.
My hope is that the Anglican leadership worldwide will hold fast and not compromise Biblical truth, even for the worthy goal of maintaining the relationship with the reprobate American branch. As the Bible tells us, sometimes it's necessary to disassociate with a person or group who is unwilling to follow Scripture, in order to preserve the integrity of the larger group, and in the hopes that the person or group in question will eventually find their way back.
Meanwhile, from the UK Times Online, a high-ranking diocese bishop in the Episcopal church has left the denomination, choosing obedience to God and His Bible over denominational loyalty:
The Bishop of Rio Grande, Jeffrey Steenson, who was educated at Oxford and is in the Anglican Catholic tradition of the Church, said that to remain in his post in the Episcopal Church may lead him "to a place apart from Scripture and tradition”.
In a statement to American bishops meeting in New Orleans in an attempt to avert schism, in which he requested permission to resign both from his post and his orders, the Bishop Steenson said: “I am concerned that if I do not listen to and act in accordance with conscience now, it will become harder and harder to hear God’s voice.”
Perhaps that is why many of the leaders in the Episcopal Church are able to sanction practicing homosexuals for their leaders, and the concept of homosexual "marriage"--they have so long ago abandoned a commitment to following Christ that they can no longer even hear his voice.
However, not all Episcopalians have abandoned obedience to God, as the efforts of the worldwide Anglican leadership and other reports shows.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Wondering why 1/6 of our economy in the United States goes to health care?
Consider this from Scientific American:
The customary annual physical check-up at the doctor's office may not be worth the time or money, researchers said on Monday.
About 63 million U.S. adults visit a doctor annually for a routine medical or gynecological check-up at a total cost of $7.8 billion, according to a study intended to help answer questions about the value of this trip to the doctor's office.
More than 80 percent of preventive care provided by doctors does not take place during this annual check-up, the study showed. And more than $350 million worth of potentially unnecessary medical tests are performed, the researchers said.
And John Edwards wants to force you to waste your time and money on this.
In his column today, Mychal Massie, chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21, rejects the claim that homosexuality is a civil right, and is on a par with one's skin color:
Homosexuals and cross-dressers may in fact be a lot of things, but an oppressed minority they are not. And I, for one, resent their temerity in suggesting that a rejection of their chosen lifestyle is in any way equivalent to what truly oppressed peoples in this country went through for the right to vote, sit at a lunch counter and/or stay in the hotel of their choice.
Massie gives us a glimpse of what we could see if HR 2015 the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) passes Congress:
In layman's terms, said lawyer-speak means, if ENDA becomes law (and I am in no way attempting to inject humor here), the branch manager of your local bank could, without fear of penalty, come to work looking like "Boy George in Liza Minnelli 1980s drag makeup, complete in his working girl commuter-friendly disco sneakers." And there wouldn't be a thing the bank could do or say about it – no matter how offended its customers might be or how uncomfortable it would make the other employees.
Passage of ENDA means that the surgeon scheduled to perform your operation could decide to do same in his blond wig with full mascara and his Playtex plus-size bra, and there wouldn't be a thing the hospital could say or do.
It means that your child's second-grade teacher could decide she was going to dress like a man, complete with makeup to simulate facial hair, and the school would have no recourse. And it goes without saying that the owner of a local Bible bookstore would be powerless to prevent a homosexual employee from holding hands with his or her homosexual lover within the workplace. Any attempt to prevent said behavior would result in immediate litigation.
None of us has the right to display our most depraved lusts and activities for the whole world to see, especially in the workplace. The workplace is a place for getting a certain job done, not broadcasting every sick proclivity that enters our heads.
By Carrie K. Hutchens
Kathy Griffin wants to know if she is the only Catholic left that has a sense of humor?
Sense of humor?
Griffin is reported by WorldNetDaily.com to have said, "'I guess hell froze over. A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this. ... Suck it, Jesus! This award is my god now,' she said. " (Full Article)
Monday, September 24, 2007
By Gordon Garnos
AT ISSUE: Members of the South Dakota Legislature are expected next year to open the door again for more school consolidations. A task force recommended that schools with less than 200 students should be forced to consolidate with another school or close its doors. The Legislature bounced this around quite a bit, but finally settled on the magic number of 100 students are needed to keep a school open. Prior to this legislation, a school's future was primarily based on economic factors, whether or not a school district could get a tax limit opt out passed by the voters. (Full Article)