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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, October 06, 2007

Novak: Wilson Had No Problem with Mention of Wife

According to today's article from The Hill, Joe Wilson wasn't too worried about his wife Valerie Plame being mentioned in Robert Novak's column when Novak talked to him prior to publishing the piece:

“He was not terribly exercised about it,” Novak said.

Instead, Wilson focused on not being portrayed as simply an opponent of the Iraq war. Wilson also stressed that his wife went by his last name, Wilson, rather than Plame, Novak said.

Could his lack of angst over it at the time have anything to do with the fact that, um, Plame wasn't a covert agent and no crime was being committed by mentioning her? Her being mentioned in a Who's Who listing kinda precluded any covert status she might have had, anyway.

Maybe he only got worked up when he or other Democrat operatives saw a chance to get some mileage out of yet another phony accusation?

New Drug Increases Hillary's Chances of Winning

There's a new drug out on the market that will undoubtedly improve Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president next year; this new drug is called Tryphorgetin, from DNC Pharmaceuticals. There have actually been several drugs like it over the past 15 years or so, but this latest development is sorely needed at a time when the ailment of Hillary's past is something she really needs to be unburdened by.

I know a lot of people will definitely take it; in fact, from what I hear, the clinical trials have been pretty widespread and many in the "mainstream" media are already on it.

Below is a commercial to tell you more about the product.

Study: Negative View of Christianity Increasing

Some interesting insights into the culture from the Baptist Press:

Only 16 percent of non-Christians in their late teens and 20s say they have a good impression of Christianity, and one of the most frequent criticisms is that the church has made homosexuality a bigger sin than anything else, according to a recent study by The Barna Group.

I can understand why many might say this; after all, homosexual issues dominate the headlines perhaps more than any other single social issue. Christians will be seen opposing it more often than anything else simply because the agenda is being pushed on more fronts than anything else.

But there is another good reason why the general public might perceive an over-emphasis on homosexuality by Christians, and it bears a strong relationship with the reason mentioned in the last paragraph. Probably no other immoral behavior is defended with such insistence that it is normal, natural and healthy. Even among those who defend the Supreme Court-granted right to abortion, there is still for the most part a recognition that abortion is not a good thing, that it is not an act to be proud of.

Not so with homosexuality. Homosexuality is pushed on society as not a choice, but an innate trait, like skin color or sex. The media works full time to help homosexuals present the image that homosexuals and homosexual couples are no different in any way than heterosexuals or heterosexual couples; in fact, it is said that the "gay" term stands for Good As You.

You will not find any immoral behavior that is defended more broadly, deeply, or vociferously. Can you imagine the same vehement, "normal, natural and healthy," civil-rights language used by homosexuals being applied to: abortion, lying, theft, drunkenness, drug use, prostitution, tax evasion, racial epithets, rudeness, parental disobedience, or ______________ (insert behavior here)? I dare say you can't.

Therefore, the refusal of Christians to give their blessing to that which the Bible makes abundantly clear in both Old and New Testaments to be abhorrent to God, makes Christians stand out from the culture. It makes them appear, well, judgmental. Which brings us to some other findings in the article:
Common negative perceptions that today's youth have, Barna said, are that Christianity is judgmental (87 percent), hypocritical (85 percent), old-fashioned (78 percent) and too involved in politics (75 percent).

The perception of judgmentalism comes directly from what I've just said.

The perception of hypocrisy is also somewhat understandable, given that our culture has for the most part lost it's understanding of Christianity and what it means. Most Christians understand that while we remain flawed creatures who continue to sin in this life, we are called to strive to obey God's rules, and we are called to speak those as truth to the rest of the world.

Our espousal of God's standards in no way means we meet those standards, or even believe that we do (believe me, I am well aware of how far short I fall from full obedience to God's standard).

But the fact that we fall short of that standard in no way alleviates us of the responsibility to aim for it. Would you tell your son or daughter the first--or even second--time they tried to ride a bike, that they must do it perfectly or don't even try? Would you expect your employer at a new job to tell you, "I expect you to do this perfectly and completely the first day, or don't even try." Would you hold a potential policeman to the standard: "If you've ever exceeded the speed limit or run a stop sign, you can't be a cop." (Certainly if one habitually abused the law, he wouldn't deserve the privilege of being a policeman, but I think you get the point).

It is often easier for non-Christians to take the position that since they can't fully obey God, that it's better not even to try (to try and fail might put them in the company of those "Christian hypocrites," after all). This seems to be the default position of liberals in general: better to not promote moral behavior at all, than to promote it and fail to live up to it.

It's unfortunate that our country has so lost touch with it's Christian heritage that so many people no longer understand the things I've just said. But Christians should remember what Jesus told us: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." And "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man." And "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."

Our call is to continue to be the salt and light of the world. If those who view us as judgmental and hypocrites are ever to change and see the truth, we have to hold fast to the truth and keep telling them. If Christians don't tell them the truth, who will?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pro-Life Rally at the Argus Leader

The South Dakota War College has a picture of some Roger Hunt supporters with signs outside the Argus Leader newspaper.

I wonder why pro-lifers would be rallying outside a balanced, objective, unbiased newspaper?

Update on Third Party Reactions

The Kaiser Family Foundation provides an eclectic update on various comments about the threat of values voters to go third-party if Guiliani is nominated by the Republicans.

In the Kaiser update, Mike Huckabee says he would not accept if asked to head a third party bid for the presidency:

"No, I think a third party only helps elect Hillary," Huckabee said, adding, "I don't see that being a good strategy for those who really care about pushing a pro-family, pro-life agenda. If they want to do that, the smart thing to do is coalesce their support around Mike Huckabee. If they do that, I'll become the nominee, I'll win the White House" (O'Keefe, "The Trial," Washington Post, 10/5).

I would agree with Huckabee about a third party helping elect Hillary. However, if the Republican Party nominates Guiliani, the same outcome is virtually assured anyway. Even without this "third party movement," many values voters simply would not hold their nose and vote for Guiliani. And even if most would, a Guiliani candidacy would lack the synergy necessary to get him elected; in other words, too many values voters wouldn't be able to get excited about supporting Guiliani, which equates to money, volunteer time, and positive buzz in the public square. As I've said before, you'd have a replay of the 1996 Bob Dole failed campaign.

Huckabee's invitation to "coalesce" around him is a tempting one, for he's certainly a better choice than many, but I still have serious reservations about Huckabee's values and philosophy. You can read those here and here. Essentially those reservations boil down to the fact that comments he's made make him appear soft (or perhaps "a lack of firm resolve" would be more accurate) on abortion and homosexuality, a reticence to be open about the faith he espouses, and a serious misunderstanding about the role of government in the lives of it's citizens.

UPDATE: Morningstar Ad Rejection

A couple of days ago, I posted on an article from OneNewsNow which stated Morningstar had rejected an ad from Faith Financial Planners on the basis of it's Christian content.

Yesterday, however, I received an email from Morningstar which says no contract ever existed between Morningstar and Faith Financial Planners, and that no one at Morningstar had asked FFP to "eliminate the Christian undertones from their ad."

Here is what Courtney Goethals Dobrow, Director of Media Relations, told me regarding the rejection of the ad:

To give you a better sense of our internal process, our ad sales team evaluates each ad submission on a case-by-case basis, within our stated advertising guidelines. We have limited sponsorship opportunities available for the special offer area of our Web site and often turn down promotional requests based on a number of factors.

We also frequently turn down ads that we believe make unreasonable or risky promises to investors. The text in this particular ad—"Achieving a double bottom line on your investment – financial and moral!"—raised a red flag with our ad rep. Also, our ad rep was not familiar with the author of the book or the book's contents.

Taking all of these issues into consideration, as well as our advertising guidelines, our ad rep made the judgment call to turn down the promotional offer for this special area of our site.

I have contacted Faith Financial Planners and am awaiting a response from them. I have also contacted OneNewsNow and they are investigating, too.

I will continue to make inquiries to determine the veracity of the claims on both sides and will provide an update as soon as I know something.

The Ground Zero of the Giuliani Campaign

Still another piece on the Guiliani/third party issue, this one from the Dallas Morning News.

Five months ago, Deal Hudson, a leading Catholic conservative, sat in a Washington restaurant and made a prediction.

He said if Rudy Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee for president, there will be a third-party challenge by an anti-abortion candidate.

“Almost a certainty,” he said over lunch at the politically connected Capital Grille. “Which means you’re siphoning off 5 percent, maybe 10 percent, of the vote.”

The result, he predicted darkly, would be the election of President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Contrary to what some say, Giuliani isn't the only candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton; he's just the only one the "country club Republicans" want to beat Hillary Clinton. Almost any of the Republican candidates could beat Hillary, provided they had the backing of the big-money donors and the establishment.

In fact, it's only when the big money/establishment and the base of the party (values voters) go along divergent paths that Republicans lose. Remember the Bob Dole candidacy in 1996? The power brokers backed someone the base just couldn't get excited about. How do you expect it will be if the brokers back someone that the base not only can't get excited about, but they can't even bring themselves to hold their nose and vote for?

Giuliani's camp is busy trying to reassure values voters that at least he'll appoint constructionist judges to the Supreme Court. While this is good, the voters have been lied to before. What's more, as important as it is to appoint Constitutional judges to the Supreme Court, a presidency is even more important than that.

A president is more than just someone who signs bills and appoints judges. A president sets the tone for the country. A president appoints the department heads that run the federal government and set lower-level policy for how that government is run. A president is a powerful shaper of the kind of legislation that comes out of congress (how else would Ronald Reagan have accomplished the great things he did with a Democrat congress?). A president is an advocate for certain values and a specific philosophy--an advocate with congress, culture and the people.

Values voters aren't comfortable with this tone-setter/appointer/shaper/advocate being someone who thinks it's a matter of choice to kill your unborn child, or that people should be forced to recognize homosexuality as normal, natural and healthy.

Values voters are willing to make some compromises (George Bush and 12 years of a mostly dysfunctional Republican control of Congress prove that). But they won't compromise the most foundational of those issues--especially when it's several of those issues all at once. Giuliani's just not their guy on abortion and homosexuality, and values voters just aren't going to say killing unborn children and sodomizing your neighbor is okay.

Giuliani has good leadership credentials and appears solid on national defense. However, he's not the only candidate with leadership ability or a commitment to keeping America safe and strong.

Giuliani supporter Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) draws the same conclusions most of us do in the event of a third party bid:
The Texas congressman is taking that case to the media, from the Christian Broadcast Network to The New York Times. And in doing so, he has drawn the dire consequences of a third-party revolt.

“We have already seen the answer to this, and that was eight years of Bill Clinton,” he said, citing Ross Perot’s third-party challenge in 1992. “It would mean eight years of Hillary Clinton. That is a vast desert for any conservative.”

Unless a lot of middle-of-the-road voters get tired of the status quo and come over to vote third-party, that's what it'll be.

But Sessions and other establishment Republicans shouldn't be naive about whether values voters will bolt in the event of a Giuliani nomination. Whether they form a third party, or they sign onto some other third party candidate (Constitution, Libertarian, Reform, etc.), or they simply stay home, a lot of values voters will not support Giuliani.

And you'll still have a Democrat in '08. The Republican establishment needs to face up to this reality sooner rather than later, and back a candidate that doesn't alienate the Republican base. Otherwise we'll have a replay of 1996.

Another Study Indicates Abortion/Breast Cancer Link

From WorldNetDaily:

A new study shows that abortions can be classified as carcinogens, because the number of breast cancer cases can be predicted reasonably accurately based on the number of abortions in a given population.

The study, "The Breast Cancer Epidemic: Modeling and Forecasts Based on Abortion and Other Risk Factors," was done by Patrick S. Carroll of London-based research institute PAPRI and the results were published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons this week.

It shows, that among risk factors, abortion is the "best predictor of breast cancer." The results show that countries with higher abortions rates, such as England and Wales, higher breast cancer incidence is reported. "Where abortion rates are low (i.e. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic) a smaller increase is expected," the study said.

Carroll used a mathematical model to develop forecasts for the numbers of breast cancers in several countries based on abortion, and found that when matched with the actual numbers of cases later reported, the forecasts were very accurate

"The forecast predicted 100.5 percent of the cancers observed in 2003, and 97.5 percent of those observed in 2004," the study reported.

"It's time for scientists to admit publicly what they already acknowledge privately among themselves – that abortion raises breast cancer risk – and to stop conducting flawed research to protect the medical establishment from massive … lawsuits," Malec said.

Malec has been among those critical of studies that appear to disprove a link between abortion and breast cancer, noting that such studies many times are set up to reveal what those researchers choose to have as results.

The Carroll study concluded that, "The increase in breast cancer incident appears to be best explained by an increase in abortion rates, especially nulliparous abortions, and lower fertility."

The results included that, "The South East of England has more breast cancer than other parts of the British Isles. It also has the highest abortion Rate. Ireland has the lowest reate of breast cancer and the lowest abortion rate."

There have been previous studies which really go into why this link exists, and the link is compelling for those with eyes to see.

Liberals can find a link between your SUV and temperature change across the planet, but they just can't accept this link. Is the abortion/breast cancer link just bad science? Or is it simply hard to accept something that might indicate a need to curtail sexual and feminist freedom?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Nike Native American Shoes

Have you heard about the new Nike Air Native N7 shoe made for Native Americans? Well, apparently word has made it to the International Herald Tribune.

Here's what IHT says:

But along with its trademarked swoosh, the Nike Air Native N7 features feathers and arrowheads, which bloggers have found off-putting.

"If this isn't an example of corporate manipulation of race, I don't know what is," wrote one of about 200 readers commenting online about an article that appeared in The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. There, the response to the article was split.

I remember when I read this a few weeks ago. My first thought was that if I was Native American, I would be profoundly offended by this. In my second thought, I wondered when they were going to come out with the Nike Whitey Whoosh, or a Nike Caucasion Clodhopper, for us palefaces.

Maybe it's just me, but I find racial pandering to any ethnicity to be disgusting. Too many people and organizations are obsessed with that which separates, divides and draws Americans apart. Anyone born in this country is an American; someone who came here from another country and was naturalized could be considered a hyphenated American, but if we were born here, we're native to this country. And incidentally, unless we plan on moving to another country, we should all be pulling for this one and acting like we're on the same team. I don't care what someone's skin color or ancestry is; if we're Americans we're on the same team. Besides, we're all children of God, with equal standing in His eyes.

The Rapid City Journal also sheds this light:
Nike said it is the first time it has designed a shoe for a specific race or ethnicity. It said all profits from the sale of the shoe will be reinvested in health programs for tribal lands, where problems with obesity, diabetes and related conditions are near epidemic levels in some tribes.

This is another of the things I would have found offensive when I read this article. If I was a Native American, I'd probably take it like this: "So Nike thinks I'm such a fat, lazy Twinkie-eating slob that I need a special shoe to motivate me to run a few laps around the res? No thanks!"

The article says "the shoes have an $80 suggested retail price and will be sold to the Native American groups for $42.80." Some $40 shoes seems to make a lot of sense, when reservations like Pine Ridge make up the poorest areas in the nation.

The Supreme Court and Measuring Ignorance

Hold onto your hat as you read these poll results from Rasmussen:

As the Supreme Court begins a new term, 44% of Americans would counsel the justices to base their decisions “strictly upon what is written in the Constitution and legal precedents.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 38% say the Court’s decisions should be primarily guided by a sense of fairness and justice rather than strict constructionism.

So only 44% of Americans think the U.S. Supreme Court should base it's decisions on law? That means 56% of Americans think the most important legal decisions in our country should be made based on something other than the law!

I wondered if they've considered the fact that laws (which are proposed and debated by legislative bodies made up of dozens of people, and are approved by majorities of those bodies, and are signed into law by an executive authority) are a little more vetted than the "sense of fairness and justice" of nine people?

The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure." Do we really want to base our freedom and safety on it, rather than the solid bedrock of law?

Democrats Rush Tantrum Continues

If you're a parent, you've probably seen one of those tantrums where the kid gets so wound up they find it difficult to come down?

From WorldNetDaily, Democrats are continuing their phony temper tantrum over comments Rush Limbaugh never made.

In a prelude to likely efforts to legislate the Fairness Doctrine in 2009, Democratic Party leaders in the Senate, including the party's likely presidential nominee next year, Sen. Hillary Clinton, are turning up the heat on Rush Limbaugh's network, attempting to force him to apologize for maligning anti-war soldiers as phonies – something he didn't say.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter, signed by 41 Democrats, to Clear Channel Chief Executive Officer Mark P. Mays demanding he repudiate Limbaugh's comments and extract an apology from him. Mays responded the same day in a letter to Reid defending Limbaugh's right to express his opinions openly on the airwaves.

This is almost funny, since Limbaugh demonstrably didn't say what liberals claim he said.

At this point, they've already dug their hole, though. They know Rush didn't malign genuine soldiers, but they feel they can't just say, "We were wrong. Sorry."

They're also invested in trying to deflect from some of their own lousy behavior that has maligned and undermined all soldiers, including ones like General Petraeus whom they and their cronies called or agreed with calling "General Betray Us." They're big-time eager to get us to forget about that!
Reid had also made a speech on the Senate floor accusing Limbaugh of making a "hateful" and "unpatriotic" attack on U.S. troops opposed to the war in Iraq.

Such crocodile tears from someone who called our wartime president a "loser," tries to pull funding from under our combat troops, and undermines the troops by announcing publicly that "this war is lost."

Just when you think the hypocrisy from the Left can't get any worse, they always come back with new lows to disappoint you.

How Do We Know Earth is 4.5 Billion Years Old?

Answers in Genesis, those evil people who recently opened a Creation Museum in Kentucky, have an article today on radiometric dating. Radiometric dating is they key piece of evidence supporting the contention that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

What is radiometric dating?

The radioisotope dating clock starts when a rock cools. During the molten state it is assumed that the intense heat will force any gaseous daughter elements like argon to escape. Once the rock cools it is assumed that no more atoms can escape and any daughter element found in a rock will be the result of radioactive decay. The dating process then requires measuring how much daughter element is in a rock sample and knowing the decay rate (i.e., how long it takes the parent element to decay into the daughter element—uranium into lead or potassium into argon).

For rocks we might assume are very old, or at least there are are no recorded observations of the formation of these rocks, we have to make assumptions about how their age will be measured.

There are three critical assumptions upon which radiometric dating is based:
1. The initial conditions of the rock sample are accurately known.

2. The amount of parent or daughter elements in a sample has not been altered by processes other than radioactive decay.

3. The decay rate (or half-life) of the parent isotope has remained constant since the rock was formed.

Sounds good in theory, right? But how often do our ideas survive clashes with reality?

Here's what happened when scientist went out and radiometrically dated newly formed rock samples:
We know that radioisotope dating does not always work because we can test it on rocks of known age. In 1997, a team of eight research scientists known as the RATE group (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) set out to investigate the assumptions commonly made in standard radioisotope dating practices (also referred to as single-sample radioisotope dating). Their findings were significant and directly impact the evolutionary dates of millions of years.

Steve Austin, PhD geology, and member of the RATE team, had a rock from the newly formed 1986 lava dome from Mount St. Helens dated. Using Potassium-Argon dating, the newly formed rocks gave ages between 0.5 and 2.8 million years. These dates show that significant argon (daughter element) was present when the rock solidified (assumption 1 is false).

Mount Ngauruhoe is located on the North Island of New Zealand and is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Eleven samples were taken from solidified lava and dated. These rocks are known to have formed from eruptions in 1949, 1954, and 1975. The rock samples were sent to a respected commercial laboratory (Geochron Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts). The “ages” of the rocks ranged from 0.27 to 3.5 million years old. Because these rocks are known to be less than 70 years old, it is apparent that assumption #1 is again false. When radioisotope dating fails to give accurate dates on rocks of known age, why should we trust it for rocks of unknown age? In each case the ages of the rocks were greatly inflated.

Hmmmm. If rocks that we know are only a few years old are dated at millions of years old, how can we assume rocks that we don't know the age of through observation are in fact millions of years old? Faith?

The article has more information on some different dating methods than those used in the Mt. St. Helens and New Zealand measurements. But the results are essentially the same: no scientifically reliable method for supporting a measurement of millions of years.

Apparently faith comes in pretty handy in the "scientific" world as well...

Dobson Statement on Third Party Options

An op/ed from Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was published in the New York Times today. It was about the "third party" meeting in Salt Lake City this past weekend.

In it, among other things he says

After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can be summarized as follows: If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Those agreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almost unanimous.

The other issue discussed at length concerned the advisability of creating a third party if Democrats and Republicans do indeed abandon the sanctity of human life and other traditional family values. Though there was some support for the proposal, no consensus emerged.

Dobson also makes it clear to any who may doubt the sincerity of values voters in walking away from the major parties:
If the major political parties decide to abandon conservative principles, the cohesion of pro-family advocates will be all too apparent in 2008.

Founder John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, said "...it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." I think implicit in that statement would be that we select not just those who say they are Christians, but those who act like it and hold to Christian values as they relate to public policy.

Rasmussen Measures Third Party Appeal

Rasmussen Reports has a new poll out which looks at the "third party option" if Giuliani receives the nomination for president from the Republican Party.

In case you haven't heard, although Giuliani is solid in a number of areas, his pro-abortion and pro-homosexual positions are unacceptable to many people who hold to traditional values.

Here's what Rasmussen has to say:

If Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination and a third party campaign is backed by Christian conservative leaders, 27% of Republican voters say they’d vote for the third party option rather than Giuliani. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that a three-way race with Hillary Clinton would end up with the former First Lady getting 46% of the vote, Giuliani with 30% and the third-party option picking up 14%.

Remember Ross Perot in the 1992 election? If there'd been no Ross Perot to siphon off those limited-government conservatives (Perot got nearly 19% of the popular vote) who didn't like the first President Bush and his broken "no new taxes" pledge, there would not have been a President Bill Clinton.

The article says that once a potential third party candidate was actually named, that 14% might drop lower due to a variety of factors, and that might be true. But it only takes a couple of percentage points to doom a presidential bid.

Even if it's half or even a third of that 14%, I think it's safe to say that if Giuliani gets the nomination and there's a third party candidate that limited-government values voters find appealing, it's virtually assured that we'll have a Democrat president in 2008--that is, unless an unexpected amount of middle-of-the-road voters also decide they've had enough of the status quo and opt for the third party. But either way, it means no Republican president.

Those who underestimate the sincerity of values voters on this Giuliani/third-party issue do not understand how seriously they take their values, especially on killing unborn children and promoting a sexual perversion that destroys the health of those who practice it and aims to wreck the institution of marriage.

Many values voters and limited-government voters also feel very betrayed by the lack of progress on core Republican values--and government spending like drunken Democrats--during Bush's administration and Republican control of congress. They probably aren't feeling exceptionally loyal to the Republican Party, these days. A Giuliani nomination would tell values voters "we don't give a rip about you" and would be more than enough to push them over the edge.

If some Republicans doubt values voters will pull the trigger on a third-party option in the face of a Giuliani nomination, they're playing Russian roulette...with 5 of the 6 chambers loaded.

(Are you listening, Republican Party establishment?)

Islam Seminar in Rapid City

Dr. Richard Wells and South Canyon Baptist Church will be hosting another seminar on Islam starting this Sunday Oct. 7 at 6:30 PM. The church is at 3333 West Chicago St. on the west side of Rapid City. There will be snacks, admission is free and childcare for small children will be provided.

You may recall that South Canyon did a two or three part seminar on Islam in the early summer this year. Though I consider myself fairly well educated--for a layman--on Byzantine era history (which includes Islam), I found the seminar tremendously informative.

If I understand the intent for the upcoming seminar beginning this Sunday, it will cover some of the same material as the first seminar, but with some new information as well.

With the threat of terrorism, our continued war on terrorism (which is usually fueled by radical Islam), and with Muslim population exploding across Europe and other parts of the world, there hasn't for centuries been a more relevant time to understand Islam.

Dr. Wells holds two PhD degrees and was president of Criswell College in Dallas, Texas before coming to Rapid City to be senior pastor of South Canyon Baptist Church. He was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Black Hills Biblical Institute.

Additionally, he is a friend and associate of Dr. Ergun Caner, a former Muslim who is now the President of Liberty Theological Seminary at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. All this to say that Dr. Wells' knowledge and resources on this subject are extensive.

Check the Dakota Voice events calendar for future seminar information as it becomes available.

Hope to see you there!

Was Israeli Air Strike on Syria a Nuclear Target?

Remember that Israeli air strike in Syria a few weeks ago? Well, if you heard about it at all, you may be like me and not know many of the details about it. Everyone has been uncharacteristically tight-lipped about it. Maybe now we have a better idea why.

From the UK Spectator:

A meticulously planned, brilliantly executed surgical strike by Israeli jets on a nuclear installation in Syria on 6 September may have saved the world from a devastating threat. The only problem is that no one outside a tight-lipped knot of top Israeli and American officials knows precisely what that threat involved.

Even more curious is that far from pushing the Syrians and Israelis to war, both seem determined to put a lid on the affair. One month after the event, the absence of hard information leads inexorably to the conclusion that the implications must have been enormous.

That was confirmed to The Spectator by a very senior British ministerial source: ‘If people had known how close we came to world war three that day there’d have been mass panic. Never mind the floods or foot-and-mouth — Gordon really would have been dealing with the bloody Book of Revelation and Armageddon.’

According to American sources, Israeli intelligence tracked a North Korean vessel carrying a cargo of nuclear material labelled ‘cement’ as it travelled halfway across the world. On 3 September the ship docked at the Syrian port of Tartous and the Israelis continued following the cargo as it was transported to the small town of Dayr as Zawr, near the Turkish border in north-eastern Syria.

The destination was not a complete surprise. It had already been the subject of intense surveillance by an Israeli Ofek spy satellite, and within hours a band of elite Israeli commandos had secretly crossed into Syria and headed for the town. Soil samples and other material they collected there were returned to Israel. Sure enough, they indicated that the cargo was nuclear.

Three days after the North Korean consignment arrived, the final phase of Operation Orchard was launched. With prior approval from Washington, Israeli F151 jets were scrambled and, minutes later, the installation and its newly arrived contents were destroyed.

The article is much longer with much more detail and speculation than the excerpt above; read the whole thing here.

HT to Free Republic.

Wealth Redistribution for the Children

Whizbang and the Politico provide the historical behind-the-scenes perspective on the children's welfare health care program SCHIP.

Seems there was an interesting 1993 memo from Hillary's first socialized medicine debacle that reveals the incremental path of socialism:

Back in 1993, according to an internal White House staff memo, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's staff saw federal coverage of children as a "precursor" to universal coverage.
In a section of the memo titled "Kids First," Clinton's staff laid out backup plans in the event the universal coverage idea failed.

And one of the key options was creating a state-run health plan for children who didn't qualify for Medicaid but were uninsured.

That idea sounds a lot like the current State Children's Health Insurance Program, which was eventually created by the Republican Congress in 1997.

"Under this approach, health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children," the memo says. "Kids First is really a precursor to the new system. It is intended to be freestanding and administratively simple, with states given broad flexibility in its design so that it can be easily folded into existing/future program structures."

"Folded into existing/future program structures." That's exactly what they've been up to. The program wasn't expansive enough, so this whole debate has been about expanding it up to people making $83,000 a year. But even this is just a stepping-stone on the way to nationalized health care.

As has been point out by many people before, you can get almost anything in Washington to pass, if you will just do it "for the children."

That's how things have gotten as bad as they are. Socialists turn up the heat a little bit and we complain at first, but then figure, "Well, that's not so bad I guess." So they turn it up a little more, and we complain a little again before saying, "Well, that's not so bad either." The instructions on this maneuver read: repeat over and over and over until the desired effect is achieved.

Remember the proverbial frog being slowly boiled in the equally proverbial pot? The pot is socialized medicine, being slowly increased in our country, and you're the frog. By the time many people realize what a raw deal socialized medicine is, our collective gooses--or frogs--will already be cooked.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Secession Making a Comeback?

From Yahoo News:

Separated by hundreds of miles and divergent political philosophies, the Middlebury Institute and the League of the South are hosting a two-day Secessionist Convention starting Wednesday in Chattanooga.

They expect to attract supporters from California, Alaska and Hawaii, inviting anyone who wants to dissolve the Union so states can save themselves from an overbearing federal government.

If allowed to go their own way, New Englanders "probably would allow abortion and have gun control," Hill said, while Southerners "would probably crack down on illegal immigration harder than it is being now."

The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly prohibit secession, but few people think it is politically viable.

I agree that it's unlikely to succeed (remember the last attempt some 150 years ago?). But such a strong desire should tell us something: there is deep dissatisfaction all across the country with the way things are going, for a number of often divergent reasons.

There is a solution, though. And while I admit it would also be an uphill battle, it has two things going for it: (1) it would preserve the union and (2) unlike many things that go on today would actually be Constitutional.

It's called "federalism." It's how our country was designed to operate, and it's how we did operate until about 60 years ago when FDR radically expanded the power of the central/federal government.

The serious student of American history knows that for decades after the United States became a nation, the states saw themselves with great autonomy from the government in Washington, D.C. For example, people in Virginia saw themselves as Virginians first, and saw Virginia as their "country." In this, they were not being rebellious or radical, merely reflective of the autonomy guaranteed to the states by our U.S. Constitution.

We see the doctrine of shared powers or co-sovereignty not only in the voluminous writings of the Founders, but in even more concrete pillars of our government.

The Tenth Amendment, after all, states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Sadly, in the last 60 years this has been reinterpreted to essentially say, "The powers not prohibited to the United States by the Constitution, regardless of what the states or the people have to say, are reserved to the federal government."

Consider also that the electoral college, the system by which we elect presidents, as opposed to popular vote, is specifically designed to empower the states. Presidents are not elected by an across-the-board vote of all U.S. citizens, but are elected by blocks of electoral votes that belong specifically to each state based on the state's population. The Founders saw the need for the states to have specific and substantive powers in order for federalism to work...and to provide a check on central government.

Recall, too, that prior to the 17th Amendment, United States senators were NOT elected by a vote of the people, but by the state legislatures. This was yet another instance of sway and co-power between the states and the central (federal) government.

But now the states have no direct influence on the federal legislative body, and some are very eager to do away with the electoral college. Beyond that, the 10th Amendment is so much toilet paper, and federalism has devolved from "shared power" to a situation where the only power the states have is in matters that the federal government doesn't deem worthy of it's magnificent consideration. In other words, the states get the crumbs that fall from the table of the federal government.

A return to federalism would be good, not only to disarm secessionist talk like that cited above, but would restore health to our nation. The Founders saw the grave dangers of a powerful central government and accordingly they set up our system of federalism to combat that danger. But this federalist protection has been short-circuited and disabled, and we are suffering for it.

We get one-size-fits-all solutions imposed from Washington that really don't fit the various states well at all (some are populous, some are sparse, some are urban, some are rural, some are manufacturing states, some are ag states, some are liberal, some are conservative). And we have imperial edicts handed down from Washington that were once decided state by state according to the needs and dispositions of each state.

Do I think it'll be easy to return to federalism? No, not at all; in fact, it's sadly unlikely. But all movements invariably start with a handful of people. And they build as people see the need. If we don't turn back to the way things were supposed to be, we're going to end up with the solidification of the shadow of oligarchy we currently live under. Or we'll end up a fragmented continent, as the secessionists want. Or both in succession.

Vet Cuts Down Foreign Flag over Reno Bar

From WorldNetDaily:

After hearing a Reno bar was flying a Mexican flag above a U.S. flag, an angered U.S. Army veteran took matters into his own hands, drove to the site and cut down the banners in front of a stunned group of Hispanic patrons.

Reno television station KRNV, which was there to document Jim Broussard's act of defiance, noted the U.S. code prohibits raising the flag of any other nations above Old Glory.

I don't normally condone people taking the law into their own hands. Yet for some reason, reading this article makes me keep thinking of the Boston Tea Party.

Cooks Argue over Homosexual Dish

The trouble the so-called "anti-discrimination" homosexual rights bill has encountered in the past day or so is very enlightening--far more so than liberals would like, I'm sure.

What is perhaps at the heart of the "problem" is that Democrats want to pull out the "transgender" protection from the bill, in the hopes that will help it's chances for passage. That's not sitting well with the homosexual community.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Gay rights groups have been waiting for a decade for the bill to pass, and many say a few more months to try to build support for including gender identity would be worth the wait. They say transgender people will have little chance of winning protection from discrimination if they aren't included in this bill.

Pelosi and Frank, however, fear the inclusion of gender identity will kill the overall bill - again denying gays and lesbians protection against job discrimination.

Translation: we realize we've reached too far and have to pull back to something people will be more willing to tolerate.

This of course isn't good enough for the homosexual community, which wants full-fledged acceptance and approval of every perversion they can think up.

And this dissatisfaction has Democrats doing their traditional two-faced flip-flopping dance:
Pelosi, D-San Francisco, issued conflicting statements in reaction to the turmoil. The first, issued Friday, declared her personal support for including transgender people in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act but asserted she would stick by her decision to drop them from the bill to give it a greater chance of passage.

But they're trying to placate their homosexual supporters by throwing them a bone and a promise of "someday."
Frank argued last Thursday in pushing to strip gender identity from the bill that the measure would fail if transgender people were included. Frank issued a four-page statement late Friday defending his decision. He promised hearings on a separate bill banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual identity as a way to educate the public and members about a group he said was only recently added to legislation covering sexual orientation.

Translation: we can't boil the frog this fast (he'll jump out if we turn up the heat too quickly). A guy at work talking about sodomizing his buddy last night, people might put up with that in the name of "anti-discrimination." But a man wearing a dress and makeup as he rings up your groceries, or a man who demands to use the women's restroom because he thinks he's a woman...I don't think we can get that one to pass...yet. But we'll continue to crank up the heat slowly with these "separate bills."

In short, we're getting a rare public glimpse into the kitchen of societal change. We're seeing two "cooks" wrestling over the temperature knob on the stove. One cook says if we turn up the heat too fast, we'll burn the dish. The other cook wants to eat NOW.

Guess who the frog is: our civilization.

Bush Stands for Constitution, Vetoes Gov't Charity

The Democrat Party's blogosphere propaganda arm at Badlands Blue highlights Senator Tim Johnson's angst and their own over President Bush's veto of the children's welfare health care program SCHIP.

I'm glad Bush vetoed it. He did so for a number of reasons, but perhaps the best one is simply that there is no constitutional authority for the program.

Badlands Blue makes this comparison to try and justify the government taking the earnings of one American and giving them to another American:

To put this in perspective, keep in mind that President Bush is busy spending $1 TRILLION on Iraq but says he can't spare $35 billion over the next five years to keep children healthy in this country.

There's just one tiny little problem with that picture: there is constitutional authority for national defense, but there is none for government charity.

(There is also the flawed assumption that without government charity, these children will not be healthy.)

Recall that oft-forgotten document called the United States Constitution? The preamble says the constitution was established to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare." Note that the government is to provide for defense, while it merely promotes the general welfare? There's a big difference.

And if that wasn't clear enough, consider what the Founders said about government charity:

A wise and frugal government...shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated. - Thomas Jefferson

With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. – James Madison

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. – James Madison

(And if he still hasn’t made himself clear…) Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. – James Madison

We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. — Congressman Davy Crockett

The Constitution is the highest law of our land, and it defines the limited powers of our government to protect the people from government oppression (remember why we declared our independence and became a country in the first place?).

The Constitution should not under any circumstances be ignored.

Navel Stud Like a Bullet During Crash

From the UK Times Online:

A student has given warning of the potential dangers of body piercings, after she was almost killed when her belly-button stud tore through her stomach “like a bullet” during a car accident.

Jessica Collins, 19, from Radyr, Cardiff, is recovering from surgery at a hospital in Munich, where the crash happened. The seatbelt she was wearing forced the metal stud through her body almost to her spine, causing serious internal injuries.

Problems with body alteration aren't as rare--or as mild--as some would like to think. Consider this recent case of a girl who nearly died from a tongue piercing:
At the hospital, swelling in Lacey's throat was so bad it had blocked her airway. She stopped breathing on the way to get a CAT scan.

Erhardt, a specialist in head and neck surgery, was urgently paged to the emergency room to treat her.

The infection was spreading rapidly. She was going into septic shock, a dangerous blood infection. They gave her an emergency tracheotomy so she could breathe.

Then, she was rushed into the operating room where Erhardt cut into her neck and chest. All he could see was infection.

"Way far away in her chest there was pus pouring out everywhere," he said. Pockets of infection kept popping up.

At one point, Lacey had 16 tubes in her upper body to help drain away the infection. Tests showed the bacteria ravaging her body were types commonly found in the mouth.

The surgery took about two hours. When it was finished, Reedes remembers being told: "You guys need a miracle for her to make it the next 12 to 24 hours."

For weeks, Lacey wavered at the edge of death, kept in a drug-induced coma to give her struggling body every chance to heal. A tube kept her breathing. Operations to cut out the infection were needed nearly every day.

The article also says the medical bills for this girl reached nearly $525,000. That was a pretty costly body alteration.

God says the body is the temple of the Lord and warns us in the Bible not to be hacking, poking and otherwise altering our bodies for cosmetic purposes.

Maybe there are practical considerations behind God's rules? Possible?

The Sun Still Shines Brightly

Yet another study contradicting the "settled science" of anthropogenic global warming.

From WorldNetDaily:

Despite the claim of a heavily publicized recent study, the sun still appears to be the main agent in global climate change, according to new research by Danish scientists.

The study by the Danish National Space Center rebuts a July study by UK scientists who allege there has not been a solar-climate link in the past 20 years.

The Danish researchers, Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen, contend the UK study erroneously relies on surface air temperature, which, they say, "does not respond to the solar cycle."

Over the past 20 years, however, the Danes argue, the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature.

Judge Thomas on Elitism

An opinion piece about Justice Clarence Thomas by Pajama's Media's Richard Miniter provides another example of why I like Judge Thomas so much: he's not into the elitism that characterizes so many people inside the Beltway.

Another thing that bothers him about the court is its fixation on Ivy League pedigrees. He told a story about a woman working her way through American University law school at night. Somehow, she became an intern at the court and asked him for advice. Later, when she was in desperate straits, she applied for a secretarial job at the court. Thomas backed her, but made her promise to finish law school in four years. She did. She went on to clerk for two other federal judges. When she applied to clerk for him, he accepted her. Immediately, court watchers said she was “unqualified.”

Thomas shot his eyebrows up. He is clearly mad at the memory. “Unqualified? They had not seen her work. It was only because she was not a member of their [Ivy League] club.”

The fact that she went to law school at night must really have irked them.

(Note: Thomas is a Yale graduate).

I've long admired Judge Thomas for having the courage to stick by his conservative and Constitutional ideals; this is admirable enough for anyone these days, but especially so for a black American. Black Americans who hold conservative opinions are always characterized as "Uncle Tom's" and such for getting off the plantation owned by race pimps like Je$$ie Jack$on (pun intended).

I also admire him for sticking with the brutal confirmation process he endured in 1991, and seeing it through to a successful confirmation.

I admire him even more for the sound, Constitutional rulings he has made since his appointment to the Supreme Court. Sadly, many of the elitists and race pimps write him off as some sort of stooge or shadow of Judge Scalia, but they are profoundly wrong.

I wrote a letter to Judge Thomas back in the early to mid 1990's thanking him for some of the good judicial opinions he was already rendering back then. He took the time to reply with a brief but personally signed (not printed) note of thanks for my letter. (I still have it).

I look forward to reading his new memoir: "My Grandfather's Son." Judge Thomas is one of the best of the (few) good guys in Washington.

Intellectual Book Burning in a Totalitarian Democracy

By John W. Whitehead

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/ Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.” —Ray Bradbury

In Ray Bradbury’s futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451, the state burned all books in order to hide the truth from the people. In the coda to a 1979 edition of the book, Bradbury wrote: “Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever.” (Full Article)

Fall LifeLight Tour Hits 10 Cities in and Around South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (October 1, 2007) – On October 10, the ten-city fall LifeLight Tour with Stellar Kart, Remedy Drive and The Switch gets under way in Mobridge, S.D. Sponsored by Food for the Hungry, the tour will stop in nine more cities across five states before ending October 21. Tickets and a complete tour schedule are available at http://www.lifelight.org/tours.

Mobridge also happens to be the home town of Stellar Kart lead vocalist, Adam Agee. Who is Stellar Kart? (Full Article)

The Constitutional Pretzel

Ben Shapiro's column today examines the rewriting of the Constitution--how it's supposed to be done, and how it was done by FDR (and others since):

Take the issue of federal spending, for example. During FDR's presidency, the federal government grew exponentially in size. The federal government usurped traditional state power; it regulated minute details of Americans' everyday lives. The American governmental structure changed fundamentally – yet no constitutional amendment justified that change. Instead, FDR claimed authority in the original text of the Constitution. The American people never had to face the fact that by approving FDR's program, they were altering the Constitution. FDR never had to face the political fallout of altering the Constitution.

Whether or not Americans acknowledged FDR's change, however, the change occurred. The constitutional structure fell out of kilter; federal power overrode state power, removing one of the key checks and balances designed to satisfy local communities and prevent federal dominance.

Would FDR's program have passed if he had proposed a constitutional amendment? Perhaps. But at least Americans would have recognized the sea change they were approving. Such recognition provides accountability – it requires politicians to justify changing the greatest founding text ever written.

Anti-Christian Ad Policy at Morningstar

From OneNewsNow:

Faith Financial Planners CEO Stephen Bolt says he had signed a contract with Morningstar and drafted an ad featuring his book and curriculum, Money on Loan From God. The ad was to appear on Morningstar's premiere subscription site; however, his firm's representative was contacted by Morningstar and told that the Christian content of the ad was not acceptable.

"Morningstar declined the ad and would not accept the ad unless we took out any reference to Christianity and even any hints at Christian undertones," states Bolt.

You know, the facade of that myth and lie called "separation of church and state" is crumbling faster and faster these days.

Of course, there IS a separation between church and state, and there should be one: the one outlined in the First Amendment. There is NOT one, however, that says government or it's policies must be purged of any religious references, or that someone who works for the government must leave their faith at the door.

But this latest incident doesn't even involve such considerations (I only included the above paragraph for background). This incident doesn't involve a government concern whatsoever. But it does serve to illustrate the rampant hostility toward Christianity in a nation that once gave thanks to God for it's very existence.

There is a difference between what is allowable for the government and what is allowable for private entities. Should Morningstar have the right to reject this ad by Faith Financial Planners? Absolutely. They, like any individual company, should have freedom of association.

But if they do, then they should be prepared to be recognized as making a specific distinction of what people and groups they will not associate with. And don't forget: freedom of speech and freedom of association do not equate to a "freedom from criticism."

If this is the course Morningstar wants to take, distancing itself from Christians and Christianity, then they're entitled to do that. But they should be prepared to take the heat, if they are.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Taxing the Lawbreakers

I think Democrats are frustrated that despite four years of constant bellyaching--accelerated by their pals in the "mainstream" media--too many people still want us to win in Iraq and the War on Terrorism.

So they've come up with an idea to make the war more unpleasant for us back home here, attacking people where it hurts the worst: the wallet.

From Breitbart.com:

Democrats on Tuesday proposed an income tax surcharge to finance the approximately $150 billion annual cost of operations in Iraq, saying it is unfair to pass the cost of the war onto future generations.

The plan, unveiled by Reps. David Obey, D-Wis., John Murtha, D-Pa., and Jim McGovern, D-Mass., would require low- and middle-income taxpayers to add 2 percent to their tax bill. Wealthier people would pay an additional 12 to 15 percent, Obey said.

I have a different idea. Since national defense (19% of our budget) is constitutional and the plethora of social programs we spend about 60% of our entire budget on are NOT authorized by the constitution, why don't we impose a tax surcharge on all this unconstitutional spending.

We could impose a 60% surcharge on the income of senators and congressmen who vote for social spending which isn't authorized by the U.S. Constitution (that would be all of it). We could, being fair-minded people, of course lower the percentage of this surcharge as the percentage of our budget that went to unconstitutional spending was reduced; in other words, as unconstitutional spending was lowered to 40% of the budget, we could lower the congressional member surcharge to a corresponding 40%.

After all, if they really want this stuff so bad they're willing to ignore the Constitution, isn't it fair that they should be the ones to pay for it? Since so many in Congress love class envy, and since they all make considerably north of $100,000 a year from their taxpayer funded salaries, shouldn't they be the ones to give it up for the good of the country? Shouldn't they pay their "fair share?"

I think this is definitely the way to go. Think it'll pass our fair-minded, looking-out-for-the-little-guy, sworn-to-uphold-the-Constitution Congress?

Hating the First Amendment

Alliance Defense Fund president Alan Sears hits the proverbial nail on the head with his column on "hate crime" legislation at TownHall.com:

...what is this "hate crimes" law about?

Primarily, it's about punishing people of traditional faith who dare oppose homosexual behavior.

The full-scale cultural assault just isn't working. For all the constant push for acceptance on television and in the movies, on the cable networks and the evening news programs, in popular magazines and news journals and websites … a significant segment of the American people, like former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace, still declines to embrace homosexual behavior.

So the Christians have to be silenced. That's where this new "hate crimes" law comes in. It is, in effect, a Congressional gag order on anyone voicing meaningful public opposition to homosexual behavior.

Democrats have made that clear. Introducing the bill on March 20, Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) described it as an effort "to provide basic rights and protections for individuals so they are protected from assaults based on their sexual orientation." Since the legislation includes "intimidation" as a form of violence, it could soon be less of a crime to beat up a pregnant woman than it is to criticize homosexual behavior from a pulpit.

Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee tried to head off that travesty by adding an amendment to protect the rights of people of faith. Their amendment, offered by Congressman Mike Pence, R-IN, said "Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the Constitution." Every Democrat voted against that amendment, and it failed.

Sears also provides a little lesson in civics (that could apply to SO MANY laws passed by Congress today):
And make no mistake: this law is unconstitutional. As former Attorney General Edwin Meese recently wrote, "Congress only has express constitutional jurisdiction over three crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy on the high seas. Because the federal government is one of limited and enumerated powers, Congress must find authority in other constitutional clauses to federalize particular crimes."

"Find" authority is probably said tongue-in-cheek; "invent" authority would be more like it.

Courts: Forcing Others to Pay for Your Priorities

This is flat-out wrong.

From Breitbart.com, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by religious groups who object to a New York law requiring them to provide birth control as a part of insurance coverage to their employees.

I have no objection to birth control. I differ with my Catholic and other Baptist brethren (I'm Baptist) that it is "intrinsically evil," and have no problem with two married people using birth control that doesn't result in the abortion of a fetus.

However, it is flat-out wrong for government to force religious groups to violate their conscience. Beyond this central issue itself, here's why.

No one is forcing anyone to work for these organizations. If they don't like not having birth control covered in the insurance provided by these religious employers, they are as free as the wind to go work somewhere else.

Also, to my knowledge, no one is telling these employees that they cannot work there if they use birth control (even if they were, see the previous paragraph). If those who work for these religious organizations want birth control that isn't provided by the insurance, they are as free as the wind to go buy it on their own.

Our society has become far too full of people who use the courts to force their beliefs on others (not just a prohibition against destructive and harmful behavior, which falls within the legitimate use of law, but forcing others to shell out loot). Our society is far too populated with people who use the courts to force other people to fund their own desires and priorities. Really, though, our government has far too many judges who allow this sort of thing to happen.

The American way of life was built on protecting the freedom of the individual to live their life the way they want. That includes employers and business owners. Forcing people and employers to fund that which they find morally objectionable is completely un-American.

But that seems to be the modern trend. Every principle that once made America great is being abandoned in favor of an egalitarian vision built upon complete license.

South Dakota Health Care Final Report Posted

PIERRE, S.D. – Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard announced today that the final report from the Zaniya Project Task Force was delivered to Gov. Mike Rounds, the Health Care Commission, and the South Dakota Legislature. The report, entitled Create Access To Affordable, Comprehensive Health Insurance For All South Dakotans is posted on the Zaniya website at http://www.zaniya.sd.gov/ or click on the Zaniya icon at http://www.state.sd.us/. (Full Article)

Phony War Heroes Against Rush

Michelle Malkin has some vewy intewesting information about Senator Tom Harkin.

Harkin is one of the Democrats bashing Rush Limbaugh in the phony "phony soldiers" controversy:

"Well, I don’t know. Maybe he was just high on his drugs again. I don’t know whether he was or not. If so, he ought to let us know. But that shouldn’t be an excuse."

Well, some of those nasty facts from the past that so often get lost in the ever-flowing river of current events have been rediscovered.

Seems Malkin and Instapundit have some documentation about Harkin's claims to have flown combat air patrols and photo recon missions over Vietnam. Only one problem: there's no documented proof of that in his military records, and later he changed the story, admitting he was a Vietnam era veteran, not a Vietnam veteran.

Now Harkin obviously isn't a "phony soldier," since he was in fact a genuine military member who served on active duty (and made it out of basic training). But it seems there might be a little something phony about some of the claims he's made about his service.


ENDA Spells Enda Freedom in Workplace

From Chuck Colson's column at TownHall.com today:

Imagine you own a small business—let’s say a donut shop—and you have an employee who is late for work everyday and is rude to customers. When you fire him, he claims it is really because he is gay—and sues.

Or imagine you run a daycare center in your church basement. One day a homosexual applies for a job. When you turn him down, he says you broke the law.

Today, both of these stories are simply scenarios. But by the end of the week, they could be reality.

Under intense goading from the gay-rights lobby, the House of Representatives is poised to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, called ENDA. This legislation would add “sexual orientation” to civil rights law. If passed, ENDA would cut deeply into the religious rights and freedoms of all Americans.

President Bush has indicated he will veto this bill, and hopefully he will carry through on that threat if it passes the House.

People should not be discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Cross-dressing and openly sodomizing others is not an inherent physical trait that deserves protection. Religious faith is the glue that holds a civilized society together, but some want that to take a back seat to protecting and promoting perversion.

Rewriting state's liquor license law is bound to stir up hard feelings

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: It was recently announced that the South Dakota Legislature may tackle the rewriting of the state's liquor license law during its next session just a few months away. When it comes to changing laws relating to booze there is bound to be a major squabble. A change in the license law several years ago took away the "bottle clubs" as well as the so-called "3.2" beer joints. And, as I recall, caused quite a rumble. Yes, it probably negatively affected a number of businesses in the state. But, right or wrong, life has gone on since then. (Full Article)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Going to Washington D.C.

In about three weeks I'll be going to Washington, D.C. for the Family Research Council's Washington Briefing. The FRC will be accommodating bloggers, so I will definitely be doing some reports from there, possibly some interviews, and hopefully some video as well. I don't know whether I'll be able to stream the video live (the broadcast function of my webcam is about as reliable as a "moderate" politician right now) , but at least I should be able to upload some clips without too much delay. Be sure to check the blog on October 19 & 20 for updates from the briefing.

There is an impressive list of speakers including:

  • Sean Hannity

  • Gary Bauer

  • Chuck Colson

  • William Bennett

  • Judge Robert Bork

  • Mark Levin

  • Rabbi Daniel Lapin

  • Edwin Meese

  • Newt Gingrich

  • Fr. Frank Pavone

  • Star Parker

  • John Fund

  • Robert Rector

  • Rick Santorum

  • Ben Stein

  • Phyllis Schlafly

  • Bobby Schindler

President Bush and Rush Limbaugh have also been invited, though I don't know if they'll be able to attend.

There will also be several presidential candidates speaking:

  • Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)

  • Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR)

  • Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

  • Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)

  • (Former) Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN)

  • Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)

In fact, for Republicans I think that only leaves Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul not confirmed to be speaking at the event. No Democrats have agreed to come (perhaps they consider homosexuals and Spanish speakers to be more important voting blocks). A straw poll will be held at the event.

Some of the breakout sessions will cover subjects such as how the blogosphere is shaping political discourse, community activism, bioethics, national security, immigration, the impact of the homosexual agenda, and empowering the family.

Saturday evening will be the Family, Faith and Freedom Gala Dinner during which Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family will be honored, and music will be provided by Lee Greenwood ("God Bless the USA").

I will also be sticking around an extra day and a half to do some sightseeing. I should make all the major monuments, and Senator Thune's office has hooked me up with a tour of the White House. Unfortunately I won't be able to take any pictures inside the White House, but I'll pass along any noteworthy impressions verbally on the blog.

I'm also hoping to squeeze in a tour of Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon, if everything works out just right. I should have internet access from the hotel, so I'll post some of the pics on the blog Oct. 21, 22 & 23.

I hate to be away from my family that long (5 days), but it's more or less a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (and pretty spendy) and I should come back with a ton of pictures with which to wow the kiddies. And I'll be going with Dale Bartscher of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, and several other folks from the Rapid City area, so I should have plenty of good company.

American Government

Free Republic cites some quotes from the Patriot Post dealing with the proper (Constitutional?) role of government. With the widespread and profound ignorance over the kind of nation America was to be and was until about 50 years ago, they should be repeated at every opportunity to dispel the lies:

The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration. - Alexander Hamilton remarks to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” - John Adams

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political. - Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1801)

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. ... Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.’ The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.” - Ronald Reagan

We must re-discover and re-embrace these truths so that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

ADF Assures Pastors of Their Constitutional Rights

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Alliance Defense Fund issued a joint educational letter Monday with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the James Madison Center for Free Speech to pastors across the country, equipping them with legal information on how they can speak out on moral issues during the 2008 elections and not jeopardize their churches’ tax-exempt status. (Full Article)

Iraq War in Perspective

First let me clarify something for the obtuse and for liberals who will twist anything to suit their own twisted purposes. I served for 10 years in the United States Armed Forces, and say with great conviction that the loss of even one service member is tragic.

However, the job of American warriors is to go into harm's way and risk danger in pursuit of the nation's military objectives. Deaths, while unfortunate, come with the territory in the military. Military folks know this going in.

Having said that, I find all the crocodile tears by liberals over the deaths of U.S. servicemen pretty disgusting. It's transparent to most of us that there is little sorrow over the loss of these heroes, but their deaths make a great sympathy vehicle for their anti-war blame-America-first aims.

You may have heard some of the comparisons between current military casualties versus historic campaigns (we lost over 1,400 on D Day in WWII alone). But Erick at Redstate points out some information that adds to a reasonable perspective:

Did you know that more members of the military were killed in Jimmy Carter's last year in the White House than in any of the years we've been fighting in Iraq? Think about that. In the peaceful year of 1980, 2,392 servicemen died while on duty defending our country. In 2003, the start of the Iraq War, only 1,228 servicemen and women died. In 2004, the number was 1,874, it went up to 1,942 in 2005, and it dropped to 1,858 in 2006.

As Erick points out, peace can be dangerous...in more ways than one.

Clearing the Muddy Waters

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters has a lengthy and insightful piece on the group by behind the phony story about Rush Limbaugh and "phony soldiers": Media Matters.

Media Matters is a George Soros/Clinton org set up as a Leftist propaganda machine. Leftists had been getting pretty upset over the work of the Media Research Center, that has for a long time been pointing out the stunning bias of our "objective" news media.

I'm sure they weren't too thrilled with the "new media" either; outlets like WorldNetDaily, the Rush Limbaugh Show, and the blogosphere weren't acting like good little lapdogs like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Associated Press, et. al.

In other words, between MRC and the new media, things were becoming far too clear, so Media Matters was launched to get some mud back into the waters again. After all, if you can just confuse the average American and create some doubt about the facts, the average American will just tune out--which benefits the Left almost every time.

Noel Sheppard's piece references a FrontPage Magazine piece by John Perazzo about Hillary's lapdogs, combining to shine the light of truth on the who and why of the recent smear campaign against Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

Read both articles, and watch the water begin to clear instantly.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Liberalism: Afraid to Parent

In Kevin McCollough's column "Why Liberals Make Atrocious Parents" today, I am reminded of a column I wrote for Toogood Reports a few years ago that pointed out the similarities between liberals and children. It is perhaps for that reason that liberals make atrocious parents; they are still mentally and emotionally "children" themselves.

McCollough explore his thesis through the example of John Edward's answer last week to the question of whether he agreed with having second graders read a story about two homosexuals:

But it was John Edwards that summarized for liberals everywhere what they actually believe: "I don’t want to make that decision on behalf of my children. I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information... even in second grade to be exposed to all those possibilities, because I don’t want to impose my view. Nobody made me God."

Edwards gave voice to words that liberals have thought and practiced for years.

Liberals, by the strictest understanding of the definition of the word, believe in lack of restraint, defying of limits, and excess - whether it's taxes, education, or sexual practice. Truth can never be known and all focus must be given to the unknowable.

In and of itself the term "liberal" isn't necessarily a bad one. For instance in the scriptures we are instructed to be liberal with generosity for those in need, forgiveness for those who repent, and mercy for those who suffer. But Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have taken it far beyond that.

Liberals today mean it as an excuse to wipe away other important elements of behavior like self-control, purity, moderation, and even delayed gratification. It's my opinion that the lost virtue of restraint has in fact become one of our nation's most important deficits - so much so that I devoted an entire chapter to the idea in MuscleHead Revolution.

As McCollough points out, with their "I can't impose my values on my children" drivel, they completely abdicate their responsibility as parents.

I remember seeing a Goldie Hawn movie 15-20 years ago which had a scene where she needed some vital information from a neighbor's child. The child was being obstinate and bratty, and the (liberal) parents were sheepishly trying to rationalize the child into giving up the information. Goldie finally said in exasperation, "Oh, for $#%* sake, isn't anyone in charge here?" That to me exemplifies the liberal approach to parenting: non-directional and non-authoritative. But if you're a Christian or at least acknowledge the wisdom of the Christian worldview, that's not how you're supposed to parent.

Contrary to Edwards' assertion that you have to be God in order to teach your children right from wrong, we have been instructed by God to teach our children right from wrong:

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise—"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

2 Timothy 3:15 from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

These verses of wisdom not only illustrate the instruction for parents to teach their children right from wrong, but show that children are incapable of making good decisions without what? Without parental discipline and instruction.

As McCollough points out, we wouldn't hesitate to teach a child not to reach out and touch a hot stove; why do we quibble over teaching a child to reach out and touch extramarital sex, irresponsible behavior, poor work ethic?

Don't go the liberal way. That way is filling up juvenile detention centers and jails across the country. It's also leaving new generations that are incapable of governing themselves or discerning right from wrong.

Dare to parent.

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