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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 20, 2007

WB: Candidates Overview

I've tried to provide as faithfully as possible the highlights of presidential candidate speeches during the course of the Washington Briefing, and hopefully the videos have turned out and are helpful. But one additional word of advice:

Remember that these speeches are what the candidate wants you to hear. They may or may not have said what you want to hear. Going to a candidate's website, reading their literature, listening to these speeches are good, and each of us should do so.

But this is no replacement for digging into the candidate's record. If they are already an elected official, look up their voting record. All are public figures, so Google them and find out what has been reported about them...and weigh what you find from different sources. It boils down to this: they may talk the talk, but do they walk the walk?

For instance, for instance, there are questions about Mitt Romney's "conversion" to a pro-life position.

Also, Huckabee sounded like a true-blue border controller in his speech this weekend, but that does not match what he has said in the past about immigration control. I found that very, very disappointing; at least Giuliani was pretty up front about areas of disagreement.

It's our duty as voting citizens to be informed, find out if they walk the walk, and vote accordingly. A vote, like a gun, is a powerful thing. Make sure you know how to use it wisely and safely before you pull the trigger.

WB: Afternoon Update

The results of the straw poll will be released soon, but I have something I must go do, so as much as I know you'll hate going elsewhere, you'll have to check somewhere else for those results.

Should be back in a couple of hours for the concluding segment(s) tonight before the ball honoring Dr. James Dobson.

WB: Laura Ingraham

Radio host Laura Ingraham stirred up the crowd with plenty of conservative jokes, cooked up with plenty of red meat for the values voters.

She asked if it was cold in the room, or if Hillary just flew in.

She said she didn't think there was going to be a Reagan-esque candidate riding in on a white steed to save the election.

She said we need to be candid with one another: we need to go home, talk to people and don't fall into the trap of burying your heads in the sand and retreat from politics. "That is what the elites in both parties want," Ingraham said.

She said Christian conservatives will never have more political experience in this election season that they do right now. Jan. 3 is the Iowa caucuses, so this is the moment to stand up for what you believe in. "Right now, you have influence. Once the elites have made their calls and good citizens have decided to do nothing, don't expect to get your phone calls returned."

She said if someone can unite fiscal conservatives, hawks, and social conservatives, along with a few working class Democrats who don't like where their party has taken them, then they will win. Ingraham said if it's just warmed-over Democrats, a lot of people are thinking, "I'm out of this game."

Ingraham said the downward trend for the GOP began in 2005 when President Bush nominated Harriet Meiers for the Supreme Court. She said nothing against Meiers, but the Supreme Court isn't the place for on-the-job training. She said conservatives stood up to this bad move and won.

She asked if the elites understand where the Republican Party was the last time they ran a nominee that wasn't pro-life: out of power.

Ingraham said your values will only be represented by someone who identifies with them. She said you never go wrong by doing the right thing.

She said a lot of people want you (values voters) to go away, but you're smarter than that. The elites have been wrong time after time after time in their compromises. "Do what you know is right; you will once again prove you have more wisdom than they will ever hope to have from their ivory towers."

Ingraham spoke as strongly as anyone at the conference, perhaps the strongest, against putting your principles in the back seat and doing what people want you to do.

WB Day 2 Lunch Update

Will be off for lunch the next two hours, back at 2:00 pm Eastern.

WB: Judge Robert Bork

Judge Bork said one of the supreme issues before us is who is chosen to judge in the courts, because we have come to the point where our judiciary greatly influences our culture. He asked what would happen if our next judges are chosen by Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid.

Bork said a judge is an activist when he announces a decision that has no plausible connection to the Constitution. He said the quintessential activist decision was the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision. He said seven justices wanted a right to abortion, and that was that.

Bork condemned recent rulings by the Supreme Court which have extended American rights and Geneva Convention rights that should be reserved for uniformed combatants to undeclared combatant terrorists.

Bork said he sympathized with values voters who wanted to withhold their support from a nominee who doesn't share their most deeply held values. However, he said the objective should be "the repeal of Roe." He said it's good to stand on principle, but you have to remember the overall objective and sometimes you have to use tactical discretion.

WB: Mike Huckabee

Huckabee received perhaps the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd when his name was announced as the next speaker, and the moderator semi-jokingly asked the delegates from Arkansas to please sit down.

He said to the values voters that he comes not as one who comes to you, but as one who comes from you.

He said some values are non negotiable: freedom, family and faith.

Huckabee said we need to wake up to the threat from radical Islam because they don't care how long it takes, they don't care if your children or grandchildren live at all. He said they would establish a theocracy over the entire the whole earth, and for that to happen, all of us have to disappear. He said the idea that they will leave us alone if we leave them alone will get us killed.

He said border control is a national security issue. He said it was a disgrace that it was more difficult for an American citizen to get on a plane in their hometown than it was for an illegal to get into the country. He said we will say no to amnesty and sanctuary cities, and to ignoring that some of our laws have been broken. He said he doesn't blame people for coming here, but he blames our government for allowing immigration to get out of control.

He condemned outsourcing and importing all our goods and energy from other countries; he said this leaves us vulnerable and unable to deal with threats.

He spoke against threats to our sovereignty.

He said the family is under attack by those who want to redefine marriage. He said we're not against people, we're for marriage. He said we should make it constitutionally clear. He said he was tired of hearing from people who are afraid to change the Constitution but want to change the "holy Word of God" and what it says about marriage and family.

He said it is clear that life begins at conception.

He said it is not someone's responsibility to accommodate someone's risky behavior. He said we don't move God's standards to meet cultural norms, we should move cultural norms to meet God's standards.

He said it was always preferable to be on God's side, even when the other side seems superior and more powerful. He said when you're on God's side, you get to see what God can do with a little faith.

We shouldn't let expediency or electability replace our values. He also said he doesn't spell GOD as GOP, and that our principles are more important than party.

Huckabee said it was time for values voters to pledge our lives, our fortunes and sacred honor for that which is eternal.

UPDATE: The video of Huckabee did not turn out (a few sessions have failed, for some reason).

WB: Panel Discussion on Media Bias

Radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock moderated the panel. On the panel were author Myrna Blyth, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, and Rich Lowry of National Review.

Blythe talked about The View and how women are often strongly influenced by the opinions of other women, they want to agree with their friends. She said a lot of women's discussions on public policy include a fixation on victimhood. She said Elizabeth Hasselbeck shouldn't be the only woman in media to express a different point of view. She also condemned the Danny DeVito interview on the View and how he was drunk during the interview and how he told of disrespectful behavior when he had stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House; Blythe asked why people didn't speak up against this behavior in their White House.

Fund criticised the unstated implication from the "lame-stream, I mean 'mainstream' media" that the election is already over and we know who is going to win. He said our country is one that leans conservative, and when a campaign begins the way the liberal media short circuits the information process is to essentially declare the election over and demoralize the opposition. He also mentioned many of the things this congress has wasted it's time on, such as Harry Reid and other Democrats condemning Rush Limbaugh for something he didn't say...but Limbaugh getting the last laugh by auctioning their letter of condemnation on eBay for $2.1 million dollars (and matching and donating the money to the education of children of Marines and law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty).

Lowry said there are a lot of honorable reporters out there, but the cultural problem is that they live in a liberal culture and don't even see their own biases. He recalls the reaction of a journalist who couldn't understand how Nixon was elected because she knew no one who voted for him. He said he had visited Iraq and that it is a scandal that some people say they support the troops but won't support the work that goes on there on the ground. He said the media is vested into an air of defeat. Lowry said there are alternate means of information now, including talk radio and the blogosphere. He said if the Dan Rather Memogate scandal had happened before the blogosphere he would have gotten away with the fake memo about President Bush's National Guard service. He said we should modify Reagan's statement about the Soviets when it comes to the media: "Don't trust and verify."

Hedgecock asked Blythe how a male candidate appeals to women voters. She said that they need to encourage women to examine the issues. She said right now Clinton is pandering to women and trying to draw them in. You need a tough candidate who forces Clinton to talk about the issues.

Hedgecock asked Fund about the independent voter and what issues Clinton is vulnerable in. Fund said she has campaigned as a "born again moderate." He said the truth is she was far more involved in the radical policies of Bill Clinton's administration than most people realized. He said the Bush tax cuts may disappear in 2010, and the Democrats are looking at that renewed revenue as "manna from Heaven."

Blythe said the media will be pressuring women to vote for Clinton because she is a woman and they are women. Lowry said there is a gender gap, and that men are far less enthusiastic about Clinton.

WB: Mark Levin

Lawyer, writer and radio talk show host Mark Levin said many politicians invoke Reagan but govern like Nelson Rockefeller.

Levin said conservatives really need to get engaged and take back the Republican Party. He said we're in the midst of a quiet civil war for the heart and soul of the nation. He asked if we were going to defend traditional values or accept as inevitable the expansion of government.

Levin said, "The liberal, or the statist to be more accurate, promotes reliance on the state rather than responsibility to your family...they promote multiculturalism...rather than the American culture."

Levin pointed out that the Founders set up a republic rather than the anarchy of a direct democracy. They established an intricate system of checks and balances. Apart from what powers the Constitution conferred on the federal government, it had no powers. He pointed to the amendment process as the correct way to implement any necessary changes to the Constitution, not judges.

On the Bill of Rights: "Federal government was not to intervene ever in the right to religious expression, press, gun ownership and assembly. And we conservatives support all ten...just like we support all Ten Commandments."

"The Constitution serves as an obstacle to their [liberals] agenda, which is why they refer to it as a "living Constitution. To change it's meaning is to destroy the Constitution."

Liberals have created a fourth branch of government: the Administrative Branch. It cannot be influenced at the ballot box. This rules supreme over the rest of the federal government, over the states, and anything else it wants to rule over.

He said we can't reverse all this overnight, but we must begin to educate our fellow Americans about their heritage and our history.

Levin pointed to the differences between liberals and conservatives, such as: they stand for union bosses while we stand for the worker, we stand for the children while they stand for the abortion clinic.

Levin said under socialized medicine, government controls who gets treated and who doesn't, who lives and who dies.

Levin said he calls Hillary Clinton "Her Highness." This because of her love for taxation and powerful government. He reminded the crowd that Hillary recently said she has a million ideas, just no way to pay for them all; Levin said she'd certainly try to find a way.

Levin spoke of stunted, ineffectual responses by liberals to military threats in the past. Of the Clintons and other liberals, Levin said, "We cannot allow these people to run our armed forces.

Levin said he couldn't support a third party candidate under the current circumstances, to which he received some applause. He said we handed the government to the Clintons once, and we can't do that again.

He said the Republican Party has been suffering from neglect since Reagan left office, and it was up to people like us to do something about that.

WB: Michael Steele

Unfortunately I was enaged in doing some other things during most of Steele's presentation. I was in a position to hear most of it, and he said exceptional things that pointed to responsbility, opportunity and courage. He spoke of the nobility of human achievement as opposed to dependence upon others.

I'll post the video below once it's uploaded and processed.

WB: Rudy Giuliani

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he came to speak about "our shared values and shared goals."

"The American people want their elected leaders to reason together," Giuliani said. He admitted he spends as little time here in DC as possible; he's afraid there's something in the air.

Giuliani spoke of the early Christians of America and said it was their values that drew people from around the world to America.

He spoke of both rights and responsibilities, and said that responsibilities should irrevocably come with our rights.

"You have absolutely nothing to fear from me," Giuliani told the crowd. He said he had difficulty understanding those that made him out to be an advocate for liberal causes. He said he would protect the values we share, as he will protect America from the enemies we face.

He said he grew up in an atmosphere where you didn't discuss your faith openly and it wasn't connected to politics, but stressed the authenticity of his beliefs. He said he believed trust was more important than 100% agreement.

Giuliani expressed admiration for Reagan, and said he didn't govern by putting his finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. He said if he just repeats to this group what they believe, he's then a follower, not a leader. He said if he says what's on his heart, then others have a right to agree, disagree or whatever. But he said twisting himself around would cause him to lose his sense of what he is all about.

He spoke about the state of dependence, despair, crime and decay which New York City had fallen into before he became mayor. Times Square had become a haven for drug dealers, prostitutes and pornography.

Giuliani spoke about the right of free speech of those who, like the "artist" who did the Virgin Mary in elephant dung, but said that people of faith have the same right to speak out against such offenses. He also said tax money shouldn't go to pay for garbage like that.

Giuliani said religious people have a right to participate in the political process, and should. He encouraged people to stand up against those who would drive religious expression from the public square. "Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion," Giuliani said.

He said the next president must work to restore the idea that duties and obligations come with our rights. He recounted what he accomplished in New York City, moving 640,000 people off the welfare rolls. He believed this also had the effect of reducing crime, along with good policing practices.

Giuliani said he supports school choice, and parents should be empowered to make decisions about their children's education because they are better able to do so than government.

"Every American should have the right to send their child to the school of their choice, including the right of responsible parents to choose homeschooling," he said. "It takes a family, not a village, to raise a child."

He said he was committed to decrease abortions and increase adoptions.

He said judges are to interpret the law, not create law. Giuliani said he would appoint judges in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, Alito or Roberts.

"Our goal in Iraq should be victory," Giuliani said to an enthusiastic crowd. He said our current struggle is like Reagan's statement about the Cold War: "They lose, we win."

Giuliani said Iran must be prevented from getting nuclear weapons, and we must stand against slaughter like that in Darfur.

He said he feels his faith deeply, but perhaps more privately than some. He said he had made mistakes in his life, and had asked forgiveness. He spoke highly of forgiveness, and said that we don't lose faith in our leaders when they're not perfect, but when they're not honest.

To me, Giuliani seemed a bit subdued, perhaps in recognition and acknowledgement that he was before a crowd that doesn't trust him to represent their values, and would prefer another nominee.

I think he made the best speech and best possible appeal for support that he could, given the crowd he addressed. And I think he was smart enough to know this wasn't just a typical, random crowd that would buy platitudes and cheap talk.

I'll give him points for not trying to shine on the values crowd. I may disagree with him in many areas, and do not think he is the appropriate choice for the Republican nominee, but I admire someone who will be honest with me about what they believe, rather than trying to tickle my ears.

White House Tour

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take my camera on the White House tour. But it was still very much worth it.

It was fantastic being in such a historic place. Dale Bartscher, Dennis Schmidt and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and extend our thanks to Senator John Thune and his outstanding staff for getting us the tour.

We stood in the room where many if not most press conferences are held, the one where you often see the president walk down a hallway to approach a podium. We saw the room where the president holds private briefings and private interviews with individual members of the press. We saw many historic paintings of the presidents. We came out the front of the White House, stood among the columns, and walked out through huge old trees that formed a canopy over a large part of the grounds.

One highlight I recall was seeing the original portrait of George Washington that Dolly Madison whisked from the White House as the British came to burn the place in the War of 1812. It was awe-inspiring to consider what I was looking at, and all the history behind it.

We got to see Marine One land, watch the President and First Lady board, and the helicopter take off again. We only saw from a distance, from inside a hallway inside the White House, and Marine One was only on the ground a few minutes, but it was an unexpected bonus to an unforgettable tour.

WB: Day 2 Update

I was a little late getting back from the White House tour, so unfortunately have missed most of the first speaker of the day: Bill Bennett. Very unfortunate, since what I'm hearing is profound wisdom for our country, especially with regard to national security.

I am finishing reading Vol. 2 of America: The Last Best Hope by Bennett, and both volumes are outstanding history books. Every American should read them.

I'll pick up blog coverage with the next speaker. Sorry for missing Bill Bennett, one the best speakers scheduled for today.

The live feed is here;

Here are the final 7 minutes of Bennett's speech:

Friday, October 19, 2007

WB: Update

I hit more technical difficulties with the Phyllis Schlafly video; it looked like it was working fine, but when I was done it was a teeny file not worth anything. This is my first time streaming video and archiving it like this, so I'm bound to goof some things up, but I'm hoping it's of some use. There are just a few seconds turnaround between one speaker finishing and the next one starting, so you have to move pretty fast.

Have a tour of the White House in the morning, so I need to get to bed. I'll tell W you said, Hi, Todd.

Goodnight, all!

WB: Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer said the media has been for several weeks writing the obituary of the values voters, but he said the fight has only begun and they haven't seen anything yet.

Bauer said the country is facing a grave danger, and everything is up for grabs. He said while we meet here, there are evil men around the world working to bring sorrows to us in the United States. He said it won't matter whether we're still in Iraq or not when the new president comes in, he will be a wartime president because we will still be fighting these evil men.

Bauer said our schools are too busy teaching our children that religion has no place in the public square to tell them about the self-evident truths of our founding documents. He said the right to "life" was included in the Declaration of Independence because the Founders realized that without this right, the rest don't mean much.

Bauer said while President Bush is a good man and he's glad he has been at the helm during these difficult years, the president made a mistake when he said that all the faiths of the world are praying to the same God. He said he did not believe the god of the same people who hate Jews and destroy life is the same God who encouraged his people to "choose life."

He said he is "disgusted and sickened" by many of the Leftists and Leftist groups that have denounced our heroic troops, and he called on Democrat legislators to disavow MoveOn.org and groups like them that say terrible things about our military members. He said anyone who wouldn't condemn this behavior didn't deserve to serve in elected office. (standing ovation)

Bauer said our nation made a mistake when the Supreme Court said in the Dred Scott decision that people were property, that Dred Scott was not a "person" under the Constitution. He said that decision released a poison in our civilization that nearly destroyed the Union, and it still keeps people of different skin colors apart.

He said the court made the same mistake again in 1973 when it decided children were property, like "styrofoam cups." We have had 35 years of destruction of innocent children. We have elevated the destruction of children to a lofty Constitutional right. Bauer asked about the wisdom of saying slavery was a choice.

Bauer said there are disagreements about candidates and strategy, but it doesn't mean we're enemies or that we're falling apart. There has been talk of a third party, and he said that while some might be okay with that, he felt this was not the way to go. He said he wasn't going to turn over the party of Lincoln and Reagan over to those that don't deserve the legacy.

He said we want an America where Roe v. Wade has been discarded to the trashcan of history where it belongs.

Bauer said there is a great reservoir of people who believe in faith and family, and we saw them on 911. He said that on that day we didn't care about political party or skin color, we just helped each other and prayed together.

He paid homage to the heroes of Flight 93 who brought down the hijacked plane over Pennsylvania. He said these hereos planned, then they voted. They voted to fight back. They decided to meet the enemy head on, and spared the rest of us an additional horror like we saw too much of that morning.

He called on values voters to come out and win with love, and keep America the shining city on a hill.

WB: Phyllis Schlafly

Schafly said the next president must stand against attacks on life such as the Freedom of Choice Act. Also embryonic stem cell research and cloning bills should be vetoed.

She said it's not enough for a presidential candidate to say he opposes homosexual "marriage." He must be prepared to stand against revisions in the definition of marriage.

A good candidate must protect parent's rights in public schools in rulings such as those which say the right of parents to determine the upbringing of their children ends at the school door. They should also oppose "nosy" questionnaires and school mental health evaluations, giving contraception to young children, and "diversity" courses.

A good president must appoint only judges that rule by the Constitution as it is written, and that reject notions that the Constitution is "evolving" or is guided by "evolving notions."

Schlafly said a candidate should stop illegal aliens from entering our country. He should never try to fool the American people with amnesty bills. He should also build the 850 mile fence on our southern border, and release the border patrol agents jailed for stopping a drug runner.

She said Republican candidates talk about cutting spending, but people don't believe them because they didn't do that when they had control of congress and the White House.

Schlafly spoke against "Free Trade" because it destroys American jobs. She condemned the way foreign countries discriminate against our products, and said we can't be competetive against Chinese workers who work for 30 cents an hour and no benefits. She said the top tier Republican candidates show no compassion for the many Americans who have lost their jobs to overseas competition.

American sovereignty demands we reject UN treaties because they always invade or sovereignty, setting up a monitoring commission to dicate US domestic law, Schlafly said. She said a presidential candidate must oppose things like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which would undermine parental rights. Schafly also condemned the Law of the Sea Treaty and said President Bush was wrong for cooperating for it's passage.

She also condemned a North American Union, and said we expect a presidential candidate to condemn this.

We expect a candidate to support English as our official language, Schlafly said. We must reject divisive talk about multiculturalism. We want to assimilate immigrants into our language and culture.

She also spoke up for the rights of inventors and pointed out that this right was specified in the Constitution before the amendments.

WB: Ben Stein Expelled

Ben Stein's new movie "Expelled" is on the evolution controversy and the intellectual bigotry that happens on most campuses.

Stein said he felt among family here at the Briefing. He said he wins the lottery every day when we wakes up in America.

We can’t have freedom of inquiry where science is concerned because some people feel it’s too dangerous.

Uh, beyond this I don't have any notes. More technical difficulties, lost internet connection in the middle of Stein's speech. Hopefully the video came out, because it was a good speech.

WB: Mitt Romney

Mass. Governor Mitt Romney said America's future will be determined not just by heads of state, but heads of households.

Romney said there is a societal role for family, which is a building block of society. He cited the benefits of a solid family such as better adjusted kids who are less likely to be involved in crime, teen pregnancy, drug use, etc.

The family is a vital economic unit, he said. Romney said the most important work that goes on in America is in the four walls of the home.

Romney said two parents are the ideal for raising children. He said one of the biggest threats to the family is out of wedlock births; he said as president he would tell people they need to get married before they make babies.

Romney praised Bill Cosby for telling it like it is, with regard to the family.

Romney said his wife Ann would champion the cause of challenging young people not to have children out of wedlock.

He said that fathers should be responsible for the health and welfare of children, regardless of whether they marry the mother.

He also spoke against the marriage tax penalty. He said he would reimplement the Family Impact Statement which examines the impact of legislation on the family.

Romney said he would champion the passage of a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the definition of marriage.

Romney said the MA Supreme Court decision which found a right for homosexuals to "marry" in their state constitution was unfounded and not in the constitution. He said a FMA is the only way to protect marriage from unelected liberal judges.

Romney said he would be a pro-life president, appointing justices that follow the Constitution and don't legislate from the bench. He said he'd oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and partial birth abortion. He said he would work to deny embryonic cloning. He said his record as MA governor was always pro-life. He said that he was a convert to this cause.

He spoke against internet pornography, "especially as it concerns our children." He said he would work to ensure that every computer sold would contain a filter that parents could use to protect their children. And as for predators, "One strike and you're ours. That means long prison sentences,and if you ever get out, it's an ankle bracelet for life."

He said he would work for better schools and school choice. He said we should help homeschoolers with a federal tax credit to help defray the cost of schooling expenses.

Romney said he wanted to defend our religious heritage. He said the anti-religion of secularism has to come to an end, that we are a nation under God.

He said he understood that some people might have a problem with his Mormonism, but that his campaign is about changing Washington to help people.

"We're not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton," Romney said.

WB: Newt Gingrich

Gingrich talked about the need to "defend us and defeat them" when it comes to national defense and fighting the bad guys. Gingrich said a recent survey revealed somewhere around 80% of Americans see it this way.

He also said 89% of the American people believe religion is important to them and their family; he said this might shock many in the "mainstream" media, and cause a sizeable number at the New York Times to migrate to New Zealand.

Gingrich said the results of this survey represents not the America you see on the cover of news magazines, but it does represent the America that reads these magazines.

Gingrich said America is unique in recognizing that freedom comes from God, and that each person inherits that directly from God, not through government. He also said government does not loan us power, we loan it power.

He said he isn't making a theological statement, but a historical statement that we have the right to fire those to whom we have loaned power and who have abused it.

Gingrich talked about the argument that the Founders were deists. He took the crowd on a verbal tour of the monuments in DC. It says "Glory to God" at the top of the Washington Monument. He told of George Washington's faith in God.

He also examined Jefferson and the secularist mythos around him, and examined the "wall of separation between church and state" fallacy. Gingrich said this was to prevent us from being taxed to produce an official state church.

Two days after Jefferson wrote that letter, he went into the US Capitol and went to church in the US House chamber which was used as a church for about century. I have sworn upon the altar of God Almighty eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Which God was Jefferson talking about? Isn't it obvious?

Lincoln Memorial features the Gettysburg Address where Lincoln wrote into the text of his speech "under God." And at Lincoln's second inaugural address, he cited God 14 times and cited the Bible twice in some 700 words.

Gingrich also cited FDR's prayer, leading America in prayer over the D-Day Normandy Invasion on national radio. He prayed for 9.5 minutes and wasn't afraid to say that our enemies were evil and that we needed to defeat them. Gingrich pointed out that even a liberal Democrat could acknowledge this and do this as recently as 60 years ago.

Gingrich pointed to the violence, drugs, and ignorance in schools since prayer was banned and said he didn't think this has improved our schools one bit.

Gingrich received loud applause when he said America should make English our official language.

He said he believes one day all Americans regardless of party and political backgrounds will come together and realize the path liberal judges have put us on is a path that will end America as we know it.

The correct answer for those opposed to what we believe in is to go to the polls, mobilize our friends, defeat them, they go home and write memoirs and America moves in the right direction.

WB: Update

Sorry, folks. Shortly into Paul Weyrich's speech, I developed intermittent Wifi connection problems that eventually came to no connection at all and I had to reboot my laptop.

Unfortunately, I've also missed pretty much all of Bishop Harry Jackson's speech; I got to hear it, but was too distracted with the technical problems to blog, and my video feed went down with the laptop.

Should be about one more speech before supper (5:30-7:30 pm Eastern), then back for the evening session from 7:30-9:30 pm Eastern.

WB: Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said he is proud to be a conservative.

He said we are Americans who believe America was the greatest country in the world from it's inception, not because of it's miltary power, but because of it's ideals. We believe our values and culture are what has made America a magnet for people around the world for centuries. He said our culture is made up of many threads, but it is not "multicultural." He reminded us that we are "E pluribus unum."

Our foundation is faith and our superstructure is freedom. But this is not freedom to do whatever you please, but a freedom tethered to responsibility, a freedom to do what you ought to do.

Santorum said none of the Democrat candidates came to this meeting because not a single Democrat candidate "sees things the way we do."

He said you'll hear things from Senator Clinton's campaign that sound slightly pro-life,slightly pro-marriage, etc...but behind the rhetoric are some radical ideas.

The last time partial birth abortion was debated in the Senate, Clinton stood on the floor and said that pictures of aborted fetuses were misleading because the fetus' had been perfectly formed. In order to be accurate, she said pictures of deformed babies would be needed to show those children with birth defects. Santorum challenged her statement by stating he would be happy to show a child with a disability on the slide presentation, but he didn't see any difference with that child being any less a child, less of a human being. He asked if those who are less than perfect don't deserve to live.

Santorum said social conservatives are the "pebble in the shoe" that many would like to not have to deal with, but they are the conscience of the American ideal.

WB: Impact at the Movies

Making an impact in the movies.

Producer Jonathan Flora of "A Distant Thunder" and his wife Deborah stars in it. It is a movie about abortion.

They said many conservatives are "coming out" in Hollywood. She said Hollywood profoundly impacts culture and our children.

She talked about the movie "Philadelphia" and how it normalized homosexuality and AIDS to the culture. Deborah said TV shows soon began to incorporate homosexual characters. She said the coming thing in TV will be transsexual characters.

Deborah called on people not to abandon Hollywood but to work to change it to make it's impact for good.

Jonathan talked about how war movies he watched as a child inspired him toward courage and honor, and had a part in his joining the military. However, he said movies being made today aren't good like this, because conservatives have abandoned Hollywood or are reluctant to speak up.

Deborah said it's not too late to jump into the culture war, and that we have to do it. She mentioned how the movie A Distant Thunder that she and her husband made was watched by many South Dakotans last year during South Dakota's abortion ban debate.

WB: Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rabbi Lapin spoke of the early connection between Christianity and Judaism, and how America has a Hebrew legacy because of it's Christian foundation.

The famous colonial preacher Increase Mather was named "Increase" because his parents knew the Hebrew meaning of the word. The Hebrew word "Joseph" means "increase."

Lapin said the American division of government came from Isaiah 33:22: For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us

A proposed seal for the United States depicted the Israelites following the pillar of God and said "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." This wasn't adopted but it was considered.

"Politics is nothing more than the practical application of our most deeply held values," Lapin said.

He said that opposition to homosexual "marriage" is legitimate because "The Bible says so."

For those opposed to us voting our values, Lapin said "Welcome to democracy."

Lapin said the study of the Bible is the source of courage and strength.

Lapin said if those who oppose traditional values win, it will only be because they believed the wrong thing with more commitment than we believed the right thing.

As Moses said to Joshua: Be strong and of good courage (Lapin spoke it in the original Hebrew).

WB: Star Parker

Star Parker is founder of CURE Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education and a syndicated columnist in over 400 newspapers.

Parker said she wasn't sure how she was going to vote in the straw poll, but she was sure of one thing: "I'm not going to compromise."

She said that when God found her, she was believing all the lies of the Left. She was in a life of crime, drugs, and was headed toward her fourth abortion when she came to the realization that it was wrong for a mother to kill her unborn child.

Parker said there was a big moral question on the table, and we are in a cultural war. She said the secular worldview is built on the wisdom of man, while the Christian worldview is built on God's wisdom. She also applauded homeschooling and the difference it can make in the worldview our children adopt.

She said in adopting a secular worldview, we end up worshipping the creation, not the Creator. She said she wants a candidate who understands the Christian worldview. She said many children are stuck in an education system that denies this worldview, and they need help getting out.

Parker said that when Jesus saw the poor, he didn't tell his disciples to "take them down to the Department of Health and Human Services."

She also condemned our system of taxes and entitlements where people can envy what someone else has, and hire a politician to go and take it from that other person and give it to them.

She said, as the Bible says, not to remove the ancient landmarks, not to casually disregard the wisdom of the ages.

She lauded fatherhood and abstinence.

She spoke of the war on religion, and the "promotion of sodomy." She said the top problems facing us today stem from sexual immorality: AIDS, abortion, and the welfare state. "The moral decay, the decimation of the family...secularization is an equal opportunity destroyer."

She quoted Samuel Adams: "It doesn't take a majority to prevail, but an irate, tireless minority."

Parker was a firey and inspiring speaker, indeed! She's a woman who's gone from the gates of Hell to the Gates of Heaven--and it shows! She got one of the best ovations.

WB: Alan Sears

Alan Sears heads the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal defense group formed in the early 1990s to defend religious freedom.

Sears talked about sexual role play encouraged by public schools, specifically homosexual role playing. He told of a college girl at Missouri State University who was disturbed by this type of assignment, and simply made up various reactions and turned in a fiction to her unsuspecting professor. Later in the year, her professor gave the class an assignment to advocate to elected representatives to advocate for homosexual policies. This time she talked to her professor and requested an alternative assignment. He stormed out and filed a Level 3 grievance against the student. She had to appear before a board to address these charges, which could result in the denial of her diploma. She was drilled for 2.5 hours about her beliefs as they showed contempt toward her Christian beliefs. Sears said they made a mistake, though, because as outnumbered and timid as she was, she called for help from the ADF after her meeting. The school was sued in federal district court, and the administrators quickly changed their tune. The professor who filed the charge was placed on administrative leave, pending a report that revealed a "toxic environment" at the school for religious students. They recommended the social work program this girl was in be rebuilt from scratch.

Sears said this girl's case illustrated why we have to show up on these issues, and he said that when we show up, we can win.

Sears brought the young woman, Emily Booker, on stage to a thunderous and long standing ovation for her courage in standing up to this unfair treatment.

Sears said this type of climate is contaminating our culture, our churches, our schools and every facet of our society.

Sears said when it comes to standing for Truth in the court rooms across America, for the sancity of human life, for marriage ADF will be there fighting with all of their resources for our religious liberties. (great standing ovation)

WB: Rep. Ron Paul

Rep. Ron Paul said the answer to many of our problems is just to obey the Constitution.

Paul talked about the "pursuit of happiness" the Founders recognized. He said we need to once gain institutionalize the principle that what you work for belongs to YOU and not the government. This would involve the rejection of the income tax and repeal of the 16th Amendment.

He said we need to repeal Roe v. Wade. Paul said we could either wait for Constitional judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court, or we could remove the jurisdiction for this issue from the federal courts by passage of a law.

Paul said the sovereignty of the United States is very important to protect, but it is disappearing. He spoke of the UN and various trade agreements that undermine our sovereignty, and called for the withdrawal from them all, including the UN.

He said our leaders have been too reluctant to enforce our borders, and while the people are behind this, the leaders are going the opposite direction. He said we must eliminate incentives for illegal entry,such as automatic citizenship for children born here, and free benefits. (this received a pretty fair standing ovation)

He said his view of foreign policy is that of the Founders: mind our own business and don't get involved in the affairs of other nations. He said he isn't against war per se, but is against undeclared wars. He said it should be done in the Constitutional way, and not just to enforce UN resolutions.

He said we can't afford our entitlement policies and our foreign policies. He said we tax to the hilt, then borrow to the hilt. He said what is happening to the devaluation of the dollar is a bad sign. Paul said our economic system is based on deficit financing and borrowed money. He said our money should be based on valuable metals and not created from thin air.

Paul said we don't have to sacrifice our liberties to be safe. He said there is no reason for us ever to do this.

He said once we count on government to take care of us, we are far too willing to give up our liberties to get this protection and provision.

On education, Paul said we shouldn't have a Dept. of Education at all. But if we are going to have one, it shouldn't be done by ignoring the Constitution. He said the Constitution is to be modified slowly and according to the proper process, not ignored.

He also condemned the proposal by some that we have mandatory mental health evaluations in public schools. He said when the government gets into the business of health care, etc. there's something wrong with what happens. He said we have permitted the government to become the parents.

Paul said he believes strongly in personal liberty, and believes that we can act more responsibly on our own that the federal bureaucrats. Personal responsibility and self reliance will produce a better society, he said.

He said Republicans and conservatives are often timid to go against Democrats against their entitlement programs because we're afraid they'll say we lack compassion, etc. Paul said we should stick with the Constition, and the result will be that the free market will actually produce more prosperity.

WB: Rep. Duncan Hunter

Hunter talked about the cross at Mt Soledad near San Diego and how the ACLU has attempted to get rid of this public expression of faith, and his efforts to make it a federal memorial to protect it from those who would sanitize the public square of expressions of Christian faith.

He also spoke highly of the "arsenal of democracy" and the manufacturing capabilities of the United States--the capability that enabled the free world to win World War II. He said one reason he is running for president is the loss of our industrial base. He said it is vital to our families who need good jobs, and national defense.

Hunter said China is cheating at trade, and is using our money to build up their military that "go right at America's strength." He said he would stop this and restore the arsenal of democracy.

Hunter said "freedom hangs in the balance" in Iraq, and it is in the interest of the United States to extend freedom around the world. He praised Ronald Reagan for his leadership in the "contra wars" as we helped our South American neighbors resist communism in the 1980s.

He spoke of the progress against terrorism in Iraq and how Harry Reid doesn't want people to know about that. "We are going to leave Iraq in victory," Hunter said to a standing ovation.

He said Iran was walking down the path to nuclear technology. "Iraq has stated they are going to continue...developing nuclear capability. As president, I will never allow Iran to have a nuclear device, period."

Hunter said we will be tested by terrorists in the future with high tech methods, and preemption may be necessary. He commended Israel for their friendship with the United States and said Israel should not have to give back an inch of land (another huge standing ovation).

On our southern border, Hunter says we have a "thin green line" of border patrol agents who are protecting us. He said not only are people coming across for jobs, but our jails are full of illegal alien criminals.

Hunter promised, "As president, I will build all 850 miles of border fence in 6 months." He also said he would see that the border agents who were imprisoned for allegations of hurting a criminal illegal alien...he will see that they are released.

He said he will not appoint someone to the federal bench who does not understand that abortion ends a human life. (another standing ovation)

He said he wants school children to not only know the basics, but that when other countries were hungry, facing disaster, and under attack, Americans came to help them.

He closed with a story about the honor of taking care of friends and family. He said families lift our country up. He said he believes God still loves this nation, and believes we are still a people of faith and courage.

WB: Update

Back from lunch and things will be starting up again in about 12 minutes (2:00 pm Eastern Time).

Speakers this afternoon include Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Star Parker, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Rick Santorum, Paul Weyrich, Bishop Harry Jackson and Newt Gingrich.

Tune in to the live feed at Note that I have to shut it down briefly at the end of each speaker to save an archival video...at least until I get smart enough to accomplish both without doing that.

RedState Washington Briefing Blogging

Be sure to check out the RedState blogging of the FRC Washington Briefing in the Dakota Voice blog feed on the right side of the blog. I'm adding their posts to the feed as they become available.

There are about 30 bloggers here on blogger's row and tons of video cameras from the media.

WB: Panel Discussion on Faith in Politics

"The Role of Faith in Politics"

Rev. Jim Wallis, President of Sojurners versus Dr. Richard Land, President of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Moderated by David Brody.

Brody said both parties believe faith should influence public policy, but the question is how.

I won't be following this point by point on the blog, but will upload the video when it's finished processing.

WB:Former Senator Fred Thompson

"We live in the greatest country in the history of the world," Thompson said. "It is our obligation to keep it that way."

Thompson recounted how the Founders knew both the Scriptures and the earthly wisdom of the ages. They put forth the Declaration of Independence which acknowledged that our rights come from God and not any government.

We were given a Constitution, he said, based on those same principles. The separation of powers was designed to keep too much power from accumulating in one place.

"Our people have shed more blood for the liberation of other people than any other nation in the history of the world," Thompson said.

Thompson said while he was in the U.S. Senate, he had a 100% pro life record and fought for low taxes, a balanced budget and good court nominees.

Thompson said of embryonic stem cell research: "You don't create human life only to destroy it."

Thompson said of abortion that as president, "No legislation will pass my desk that supports this procedure without my veto."

On the Courts: "It is too often our own judicial branch that violates our own rule of law." He said the latest example of this is the same-sex marriage issue, taking something known from the dawn of time as being between a man and a woman and "turning it on it's head."

He said he has proposed a constitutional amendment to stop this type of judicial activism in its tracks.

He said he believed Justice Roberts will go down as one of the best chief justices, and we need more judges like him. "Judge Roberts proved quality will win out in the end."

Thompson said many have not come to terms that we are in a global conflict with radical Islam, and that Iraq is the current front in that conflict. "The will of a people is at least as important as their military might."

Thompson said that while we are a great nation, we must strive to be a good nation.

Thompson mentioned the current controversy over a Maine school giving 11-year-olds contraception, and said that something is seriously wrong when this happens.

Thompson said he will not be afraid to use the pulpit of the presidencey to advocate the right course.

Thompson said the first hour he is president, he will go in the Oval Office, close the door and pray for the wisdom to know what is right. (He received a standing ovation to this).

He said he would also pray for the strength to DO what is right.

WB: Panel Discussion

The "Right" Women of the House

Connie Mackey, Senior VP of FRC Action, led the discussion. Participating were Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH).

I'm taking some time out to catch up on some other stuff, so no specific bloggin on this discussion, but it's running on the live stream here right now:

And I'll upload the video later.

WB: Rep. Tom Tancredo

Tancredo said he didn't need to spend tens of millions of dollars to create an appearance of being a conservative because he already has a solid conservative record.

Tancredo condemned "hyphenated conservativism," specifically "compassionate conservatism." He said hyphenated conservatism is what leads to lost elections.

He mentioned SCHIP and how we're not fighting about whether we should have such a thing, but how far we're going to go with it, specifically how much we're going to spend. He said we should be arguing about why we even have such a thing.

"When conservatives urn on principles, we win. When we run away from principles, we lose," Tancredo said.

He said America is the last, best hope for the world, and that no one is fleeing America for a better life in Pakistan.

Tancredo also quoted Jeremiah that the Lord "knew us in the womb."

He said we need a leader who will enforce our illegal immigration laws, because the first word of this issue is the word "illegal."

"Everything we have, everything we believe in is under attack by jihadism abroad and multiculturalism at home," said Tancredo.

Tancredo was without a doubt the most animated, funny and enthusiastic candidate to speak so far. He generated a lot of laughter and applause.

WB: Senator Sam Brownback

Brownback said that it falls to each generation to pick up the flag of our values and move forward.

He spoke of Wilberforce's two great passions:the abolition of slaver, and the restoration of manners.

Brownback said there are two priorities for us: the end of abortion,and renewing of American culture. He said we would win if we do not stop.

He spoke of the unique and sacred nature of each life, made in the image of God. He said it applies to the child in the womb as well as the person at the end of life. "Each is beautiful and each we will fight for," said Brownback.

Brownback called our attention to over a million abortions each year in the United States and over 4,000 each working day.

He also spoke of the special value of Downs Syndrome children and said that over 90% of them are killed in the womb. HE said if having a Downs Syndrome child was too difficult for the family, we would get them adopted, and mentioned the many people who want to adopt DS kids.

Brownback said that when we stop killing children in the womb here we will be in a better position to encourage other countries to stop killing children.

Brownback said Roe v. Wade was built on lies about Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano.

Brownback said marriage is between a man and a woman, and has been for thousands of years. He mentioned all the research that points to the best environment for children as a home with a husband and wife for life.

He said we need to change the welfare system because when people get married they lose benefits, which provides a dis-incentive to marriage.

"We have to stand for faith in the United States. It isn't a bad thing to be driven out of the public square," Brownback said. "I don't know how you understand America without understanding faith."

How do you understand Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement without understanding faith--he was a preacher, after all.

"The view of government without faith has been tried and failed; it was atheistic communism. It had the idea that somehow man would move himself into a perfected state, and it utterly failed. It didn't look to the transcendent, and didn't pull man out of himself in love," said Brownback.

He clarified he's not for theocracy, for those who might accuse him of that. He said he was talking about a responsible role that allowed faith to thrive in the public square.

He also mentioned the faith-based prison ministry programs and their far superior rate of reducing recidivism.

Brownback said he believed America was a special place, and he believes in American exceptionalism. He said he believed it was our time as Americans, and is our destiny. He said those to whom much is given, much is expected.

WB: Senator John McCain

Senator McCain's time began with his campaign video that included footage of his experiences as a POW in North Vietnam, where as a Navy fighter pilot he was shot down over Hanoi.

McCain said he wouldn't trade his principles to get someone's vote.

"Values are the ideals we hold dear," McCain said. "All people are endowed by their creator with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

McCain pointed out that America faces challenges to her values from those who do not value human life, both at home and abroad.

McCain pointed out how past generations, his included, have been called on to fight evil. "Now we are summoned to fight the evil of radical Islamofacism," McCain said.

"Christianity has not been found tried and wanting, so much as it has been found difficult," McCain said.

McCain called our current struggle a "just war" and said that it was a necessary one.

"We didn't lose the Vietnam war on the battlefield. We lost it in the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C.," said McCain.

He talked of the tortures he and other POWs were subjected to in Hanoi. One of the tortures involved having their limbs tightly bound into painful positions for hours on end. He mentioned a guard who loosened his bonds during his shift, then retightened them before he went off duty. Much later, McCain saw this guard outside and the guard drew a cross in the dirt, left it for a moment, and erased it before walking away. McCain said he wished he could talk to this man again.

McCain spoke highly of the Judge Roberts and Alito Supreme Court appointments. McCain said we didn't need to Constitutionalize issues where we should allow federalism to work; I believe he was referring to a Federal Marriage Amendment here. He did endorse the proper role of marriage and family.

McCain called for the courts to return to their proper role, and said he wouldn't appoint judges who legislate from the bench.

"I am pro-life because I know what it is like to live without human rights," McCain said. "I have a personal obligation to advocate human rights anywhere they are denied." Even in our own country, he said, where the rights of the unborn are not respected.

WB: Tony Perkins, FRC President

First up this morning is Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

He said Americans are realizing our values are too important to entrust to politicians alone. Perkins pointed out that while 2004 was the most recent time when values voters were widely recognized as leaving a mark on the political process, the Founders themselves were the original values voters, who held certain truths to be self-evident, and that our rights come from our Creator.

Perkins said that marriage isn't a partisan issue but a foundational issue. "Man-woman marriage must be enshrined in the Constitution," Perkins said as he pointed out the threats to the meaning of marriage.

Perkins said America can do better than the pornography that pervades the airwaves and even appears in society on t-shirts that some people wear.

"God has blessed our nation with unimaginable wealth and military power. We must use this power wisely," Perkins said. "We must not waiver in our commitment to these values."

"A comfortable life devoid of moral courage...is a life void of purpose," said Perkins.

Webcast Address

Everything's running smoothly, as expected. ;-)

For the moment, I'm broadcasting live video here:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On the Ground in DC

It's been a busy, hectic and fun day getting to and getting around in Washington D.C. today.

We arrived about 4:30 pm local time this afternoon and I got some nice pics as we flew in nearly over the National Mall. On our way to our hotel, our taxi driver was an Ethiopian Christian, a really neat guy. With the way Muslims come down on Christians there, you really have to be serious about your faith to be a Christian.

Got a look at the White House at a distance as we went to a reception where Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was being honored by Maaynei Ha'Yeshua Medical Center from Israel. They gave him a shofar for his commitment to the defense of life.

Below is a pic from the reception (it's a little blurry; the guy taking the pic wasn't used to my camera); from the left you have Mike Causey of Calvary Baptist Church in Rapid City, Senator Dennis Schmidt (Dist. 33 South Dakota), Bob Fischer, Dale Bartscher of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, some guy who's way out of his league, then Dr. Dobson on the right.

We've had several impromptu meetings and discussions about what's coming up in the next few days, and I've met lots of interesting people. I chatted a bit with one of the leaders of the National Right to Life group, and had a good conversation with one of the co-leaders of the Minutemen who are working to secure our borders. And others too.

Well, it's after midnight and it's an early morning to a long day tomorrow. I still don't know the exact logistics of how I'll be blogging, etc.(we registered late), but hopefully that will be worked out at some time in the early morning.

Good night from the nation's capital!

Autistic Hiker Found Alive in W.Va.

Autistic Hiker Found Alive in W.Va.
By TOM BREEN (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
October 18, 2007 8:43 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - An autistic 18-year-old lost in the wilderness for four days was found sleeping under a bush Thursday, weak but apparently fine, and reunited with his family, searchers said.

"To the best of our knowledge, he was just hungry and thirsty and fatigued," Jim Reneau, one of the nine searchers who found Jacob Allen, said at a news conference at the command post near Davis, about 150 miles south of Pittsburgh."

Miracles do happen!

Sometimes the helpless aren't ready to simply give up!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weyrich on the Third Party Option

Paul Weyrich's TownHall.com column today examines the "third party" question recently triggered by values voters who hope to head off a pro-abortion Giuliani nomination as the Republican candidate for president.

Weyrich looks at what he believes would be necessary for a third party initiative to succeed, then concludes:

Could Dobson, himself a major figure, trigger all of the ingredients for a new party if there were a walkout from the GOP? I doubt it. Loyalty is too strong. Maybe Dobson could find multi-millionaires to help but having a major media operation to be sympathetic would be almost impossible. He could try the 1,100 local and national radio talk-show hosts. But managing that in a short time frame would be next to impossible. I am afraid that were Dobson to pull out we would be looking at President Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2009.

Weyrich is widely acknowledged as the "founder of the modern social conservative movement," so he's in a position of expertise in this area. Despite this assessment, Weyrich is quoted in The Hill as stating that many values voters simply will not support Giuliani (with or without a third party move), and said he will not back Giuliani, either.
“You have a whole group of evangelical Christians who will not support him,” said Paul Weyrich, a member of the Arlington Group, in reference to Giuliani. “Absolutely will not.

“I will not back Giuliani,” he added.

Weyrich, a founder of the modern social conservative movement and chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, predicted that in the general election many values-driven Republican voters would stay home if Giuliani is the nominee.

This is why I've been saying that even without a third party movement, Giuliani can't beat Hillary; as with the 1996 Bob Dole candidacy, values voters can't get excited about a candidate who opposes their core issues--and a lot will not vote for such a candidate at all.

Incidentally, the opening paragraph reveals a South Dakota connection to these discussions, one I've been quiet about until now.
Recently there has been considerable talk about a third party, which originated from an informal meeting in Salt Lake City called by Robert K. Fischer, President of Fischer Furniture, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota. The session gathered steam when Dr. James Dobson, perhaps the most influential pro-family leader, stated that he would consider a third party if an unacceptable GOP candidate were nominated for President.

I'll be going to Washington, D.C. with Bob Fischer tomorrow for the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing." I'll be doing some blogging (as much as possible) from the conference, and I'll let you know if there's anything new to report on this subject, as well.

Cop Risks Job in Outing Bad Policing Policies

A San Francisco cop is in hot water for writing a letter to the paper, critical of the mayor's liberal policy of coddling the homeless and criminals.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Lewis' letter, published on The Chronicle's editorial page Aug. 15, questioned the Newsom administration's tactic of sending cops and outreach workers into the park before dawn to steer campers into social programs or, if they refused, cite them for quality-of-life crimes.

Lewis, who has 20 years with the department, wrote that the campers were neither interested in programs nor concerned about being cited, and that the real problem was during the day when drug use, drug dealing, drinking and fights were commonplace.

"Instead of sending a horde of people into the park at 4 a.m., the city should be sending this same horde into the park from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., when the real problems exist," Lewis wrote.

"It's funny," Lewis went on, "every time something is in the paper that makes this administration look bad, they throw a bunch of money at it and hope for the best.

"I won't go into how many officers have been taken off street patrol duties, because people in the city would go nuts," Lewis wrote.

Having worked both within a military and law enforcement sphere, I understand that front-line government employees can't always express their opinion publicly...at least, not if they want to keep their jobs.

But if this cop had already run his concerns up the chain of command (which would be the correct avenue) and got no results, he may have seen the problem as serious enough to risk the hot water.

His indictment of this policy sounds right-on, though. Many liberals mean well, but lack the courage to actually deal with a problem. Throwing money at a problem only serves as a bandage; it doesn't treat the infection or cancer below the surface.

Until that's dealt with, suffering--and societal decay--will continue.

HT to Free Republic.

Values Voters: The Sleeper Awakens?

By Bob Ellis
Dakota Voice

Fears that values voters will walk away from the GOP if a pro-abortion candidate is nominated for president continues to animate election discussions. And it should: if the Republican Party's base of conservative voters isn't with the party during the campaign, America will definitely elect a Democrat president in 2008.

With the stakes so high, and with the negative numbers for Democrat front runner Hillary Clinton so high why is there so much controversy on the Right? (Full Article)

New Evidence of Consciousness in Vegetative Patients

LifeNews.com points to an article in the New Yorker which reveals some very startling information about consciousness in seemingly comatose or brain-dead people.

The LifeNews piece points out something that I, too, have noticed in almost every article on PVS since Terri Schiavo was murdered:

Bobby, Terri Schiavo's brother, has noticed that whatever the condition of the patient whose story is being told, the reports all have a common sub theme--the awakening, comprehension, etc. has nothing to do with Terri, meaning it was right to dehydrate her to death.

It is as these reports, to quote Shakespeare, "doth protest too much," as if there is a subliminal realization that a terrible injustice was done to her.

Notice this statement from the article which, to me, defies rational thought. It references several videos of Terri Schiavo (that few people have seen) clearly showing her responding to stimuli and trying to communicate.
In the video, a man’s voice can be heard praising Schiavo for opening her eyes in response to his instructions, and the neuroscientist told me that he was impressed until he muted the sound. “With the sound off, it is clear that her movements are random,” the neuroscientist said. “But, with the voice-over, it is easy to make a misdiagnosis.”

I find it hard to believe that an educated person could make a statement like this. When you don't observe the stimuli, it would probably be pretty easy to assume any response was "random," especially if that's what you wanted to believe. Such an irrational statement almost certainly indicates a strong unwillingness to be objective.

I fear that some people are so heavily invested in maintaining the fiction that Terri Schiavo was a brain-dead vegetable (because for those who supported the removal of her feeding tube to admit otherwise would be to admit they gave approval to the murder of a disabled woman who couldn't defend herself), that it will be difficult for the truth to come out, even as we learn more about the brain and human consciousness.

I mentioned "startling" information about consciousness earlier. The New Yorker article examines a "tennis experiment:"
Owen’s final experiment was the most ambitious: a test to determine whether vegetative patients who seemed able to comprehend speech could also perform a complex mental task on command. He decided to ask them to imagine playing tennis. (“We chose sports, and tried to find one that involved a lot of upper-body movements and not too much running around,” he said.) First, he took brain scans of thirty-four healthy volunteers who were instructed to picture themselves playing the game for at least thirty seconds. Their brains showed activity in a region of the cerebrum that would be stimulated in an actual match. “This was an extremely robust activation, and it wasn’t difficult to tell whether somebody was imagining tennis or not,” Owen said. He then repeated the experiment using one of the vegetative patients, a woman who had been severely injured in a car accident. The woman had to be able to hear and understand Owen’s instructions, retrieve a memory of tennis—including a conception of forehand and backhand and how the ball and the racquet meet—and focus her attention for at least thirty seconds. To Owen’s astonishment, she passed the test. “Lo and behold, she produced a beautiful activation, indistinguishable from those of the group of normal volunteers,” he said. (Another vegetative patient, a man in his twenties, also passed the test, though Owen, having learned that the man was a soccer fan, asked him to imagine playing that sport instead of tennis.)

Here's the "startling" part:
Doctors can also miss signs of consciousness in vegetative patients, according to the British and American studies. Ten months after Owen and his colleagues completed the tennis experiment with the vegetative woman, she was brought back to the imaging center and placed in an MRI machine. “We were absolutely dismayed, because we scanned her and there was nothing,” Owen recalled. The team tested the woman again the next day. This time, in response to a command to play tennis, her brain showed normal activity in the regions that mediate arm movements. Owen now repeats scans for each patient, conducting them twice a day for three days.

I don't recall the specific details about how many MRIs were run on Terri Schiavo; I seem to recall at least one, early in her illness.

But is it possible, just possible, that someone might have missed signs of consciousness in Terri? Given an objective analysis of those videos of Terri, I would have to conclude that such signs were almost certainly missed...or intentionally ignored. What might additional MRIs, or tests not even devised yet, have revealed about the level of her awareness? The videos show she was able to visually follow a moving object, smile, try to talk, and generate other responses; what else might science have revealed about her awareness, had science been applied to her case?

I have little doubt that rather than science, opinion and agenda were applied to Terri Schiavo's case. The agenda of euthanasia proponents? The agenda of someone who wanted to get an inconvenient wife out of the way? The agenda of those who also want the freedom to get inconvenient relatives out of the way? You'll have to be the judge of that. As for me, I think the evidence points strongly to the accurate conclusion.

The question for the future: will we face up to our agendas and the agendas of others and place the value of human life above them, or will we continue to avoid the truth and our own culpability in a travesty?

5 Reasons Why Homosexual 'Marriage' Bad for Kids

LifeSite.net features an article on Dr. Trayce Hansen's who gives five reasons why homosexual "marriage" is harmful to children:

First, children require mother-love and father- love, both of which are equally important but qualitatively different. Second, children progress through certain developmental stages during which they need a mother, and other stages when they need a father. Third, children require an opposite-sexed parent to help them moderate their own gender-linked inclinations. Fourth, same-sex marriage will increase sexual uncertainty and sexual experimentation by young people. And finally, if same-sex marriage is permitted, then other types of marriages such as polygamous and polyamorous ones also would have to be allowed leading to more confusion in the lives of children.

There are other reasons as well, but this is more than enough justification to protect children from this kind of dangerous social experimentation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Video: The Quran and the Bible

It took a little while (I'm very busy getting ready to go to Washington D.C. later this week), but here's the video from the Islam seminar last Sunday night.

This is Dr. Richard Wells, at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City.

Church Has 'Altar Call' for Obama

For all the witch-hunts the Left likes to pursue when churches of traditional values express a political view, this is certainly interesting.

From the Quad City Times comes the story of a "altar call" for Barak Obama:

The candidate himself wasn't on the bill. But about 50 people showed up to talk about the war, poverty and trying to seize back the moral mantle some in the GOP claim. The night also featured an Obama video and a campaign altar call _ an invitation to become a "congregation contact" and rally support for the candidate.

Don't get me wrong. I think having an "altar call" for a political candidate is a little over the top, but should the church have the freedom to do it without risking their tax exempt status? I'm pretty sure the IRS would NOT be too happy about this, based on what Alliance Defense Fund Senior Vice President Gary McCaleb told churches in South Dakota last year.

I think this hounding of churches for actively speaking out and supporting their own moral viewpoints is unconscionable and un-American. We're overdue for repealing this oppressive tax law.

As you may or may not know, these restrictions on churches have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution or religion, but stem from tax law championed by Lyndon B. Johnson when he was in the U.S. Senate in 1954. Johnson had been criticized by a nonprofit group during his campaign, so Johnson fought for and won passage of a law restricting nonprofit organizations from speaking for or against candidates.

So it's not a matter of right and wrong according to the constitution, but is based 100% on a politician's efforts to shield himself from criticism.

While I find it interesting and hypocritical that more traditional values churches are hounded for this sort of thing than liberal churches, I believe both should have the right to do so. The power to tax is the power to control. And so is the power to rescind a tax exempt status.

I disagree with this church's support of Obama, but I support their Constitutional right to say it.

Prager on Coulter: So What?

Dennis Prager is one of my top three favorite columnists (he's Jewish, so does that surprise you, SouthDakotaMac?).

Prager's column today examines the phony controversy over Ann Coulter's recent comments about Christianity and Judaism.

Prager's entire column is worth reading and should be read. But his closing paragraph was what particularly struck me, since it deals with the danger of these fake charges of bigotry from the Left. It's a danger not only in this instance, but in all cases of race baiting and phony bigotry charges: it desensitizes us to the real thing.

As fate and irony would have it, this past Sunday night I was the keynote speaker at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Since 1981, the church, led by Pastor John Hagee, has had an annual "Night to Honor Israel." Five thousand Christians came to this year's event, where they heard and sang Hebrew songs and watched their pastor give $8 million to various Israeli and Jewish charities.

Those are Ann Coulter's people, and they are, by and large, the best friends the Jewish people have today. And since Judaism teaches that we judge others by their behavior, not their beliefs, this Jew thanks them. And fears those who fear them. One day, God forbid, should there be real anti-Semitism in America, these hysterics will have cried wolf so many times that no one will listen.

Contraception for 11-Year-Olds?

From the Portland Press Herald in Maine:

Students who have parental permission to be treated at King Middle School's health center would be able to get birth control prescriptions under a proposal that the Portland School Committee will consider Wednesday.

The proposal would build on the King Student Health Center's practice of providing condoms as part of its reproductive health program since it opened in 2000, said Lisa Belanger, a nurse practitioner who oversees the city's student health centers.

If the committee approves the King proposal, it would be the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to some students in grades 6 to 8, said Nancy Birkhimer, director of teen health programs for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Most middle schoolers are ages 11-13.

Who could possibly oppose this. Of course 11-year-olds desperately need contraception from their educational institutions. I don't know if 11-year-olds are biologically capable of reproduction, but adults should respect their sexual freedom. (SARCASM ALERT!)

Meanwhile, a guest speaker at some Minnesota schools got in hot water for mentioning abortion and homosexuality in a negative light.

Tina Marie, an actress who is associated with Premiere Speakers and spoke under the auspices of Youth for Christ, "crossed the line" according to Willmar High School Principal Rob Anderson.

From WorldNetDaily:
During her visit to Willmar, she asked students to listen to song lyrics, and consider their message. She also said actors and musicians often won't let their own children watch or listen to the things they are trying to sell to others' children, according to a report in the Morris, Minn., newspaper.

But the report in the Sun-Tribune said Tina Marie told the students one-third of their generation has been aborted, and she suggested boys who wear low-hanging pants may be seen as homosexuals.

How dare someone tell school children that killing unborn children, or engaging in immoral and risky sex, are things they shouldn't do. This egregious imposition of values on the students takes away from time schools might otherwise spend on important things like giving condoms to kids. (SARCASM ALERT!)

And some people wonder why I homeschool???

'Free' Health Care Brings Long Waits, Pulling Own Teeth

The National Center for Policy Analysis points out that despite the huge amounts of money the Canadian government is throwing at socialized medicine, wait times are getting even LONGER:

- The average wait between being referred to a specialist and receiving an elective operation was 18.3 weeks in 2006, up from 17.8 the year previous.

- Ontario had the shortest average surgery wait time, 15 weeks while Saskatchewan had the longest, at 27 weeks.

- The time between being referred by a general practitioner and seeing a specialist grew to 9.2 weeks from 8.8 weeks in 2006, while the second stage of waiting -- between seeing the specialist and getting the operation -- edged up from nine to 9.1 weeks.

- Waits in the internal medicine specialty, gynecology, urology and radiation oncology were all up by varying amounts.

NCPA also points out an article from the UK Independent that asks "What is so wrong with NHS dentistry that people are pulling their own teeth?"
One in 10 – 500 people – said they did not have a dentist at all and almost one in five said they had gone without treatment because of the cost. A patient in Lancashire said he had removed 14 of his own teeth himself. One in Harrow said: "Because I could not afford the treatment cost, I had to extract my own tooth on one occasion." Another in Wiltshire said: "I took most of my teeth out in the shed with pliers. I have one to go."

NHS claims there are more doctors than ever before in the government system, but people still can't get access to them. Those that can afford it go to a private dentist, but with British people paying a stunning amount of taxes to support their socialist system, not many can afford that. What's the problem?
Dentists will often choose private because the pay is better. They also say the higher rates they can charge means that they can spend more time with patients and do better quality work, which is more satisfying.

Many who think "free" health care in the United States is a good idea need to look at other socialist countries and think long and hard about that. Our system is far from perfect, but do you really want to wait more than two months to see a specialist or 4.5 months for surgery? Or would you like to pull your own teeth?

Or should we instead look for some American-style free market solutions and get the government out of health care altogether?

Study: Parental Notification Laws Also Reduce STDs

CNS News features an article on a study which found parental notification laws for teens seeking abortions also had the effect of lowering the gonorrhea transmission rate.

State parental involvement laws are effective in reducing the incidence of risky sexual behavior among teenagers. That's the conclusion of a study to be published in January in the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Florida State University law professor Jonathan Klick said the incidence of at least one sexually transmitted disease (STD) -- teen gonorrhea -- is dramatically reduced in states that have laws requiring minors to first notify a parent or seek permission before having an abortion.

Tracking the incidence of gonorrhea, said Klick, is a good yardstick for measuring risky sexual behavior among teens.

The article also mentions a dramatic drop in the abortion rate of teen girls.
A Heritage Foundation study released in February found that parental involvement laws have been a major factor in a reduction of abortion rates among teen girls over the last 20 years. Since 1985, abortion has dropped by 50 percent among girls between 13 and 17 years of age -- from 13.5 abortions for every 1,000 girls in 1985 to just 6.5 per 1,000 girls in 1999.

Candidates Who Oppose Tax Increases

CNS News questioned Republican candidates on whether they would oppose tax increases as president. There answers can be found here.

Democrats were asked if they'd back a "carbon tax" and their answers can be found here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Huckabee Weak on Illegal Immigration

Have you ever wondered why Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, isn't doing better with Christian voters?

Below is an excerpt from a PBS interview with Mike Huckabee dated Oct. 12:

Now I hear some of the so-called Christian leaders say, "Well, we love Huckabee. He really agrees with us, and he's one of us in terms of views. But, you know, we're looking for somebody that we're confident is going to win." Well, two things. First, a lot of these people if they would get behind me I'd be winning right now, and I think I will ultimately without them. But secondly, if they really are principled, it's not about who might win, it's about who stands with us. And, frankly, it's a little disturbing, if not frightening, that some have forgotten the essence of what Jesus taught, and that is if you gain the whole world but lose your soul what does it profit you?

I couldn't agree more with Huckabee's intent when he says, "...if they would get behind me I'd be winning right now." A candidate will never win if the people who support him don't believe he can win. Bellyaching about how the candidate you like can't win doesn't do anything for you or him--you have to get busy helping him win.

However, there are some other reasons why support for Huckabee among Christian conservatives might be a little lukewarm. I've looked at some of those reasons here and here. But there's even more than that.

Last week I learned that Huckabee opposed legislation that would deny government benefits to illegal aliens, something that should be a no-brainer (if they're here illegally, let's send them home). I read about it from the Arkansas News Bureau and Diggers Realm has an excerpt from a no-longer-available-online article from the Arizona Republic, and OneNewsNow is also talking about it today.
An English language advocate says former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is worse than his GOP opponent Rudy Giuliani when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration. Huckabee even labeled an effort to crack down on illegal aliens in Arkansas as "inflammatory and race-baiting."

Here's part of what the Arizona Republic excerpt says:
Huckabee said the bill, seeking to forbid public assistance and voting rights to undocumented immigrants, "inflames those who are racist and bigots and makes them think there's a real problem. But there's not."

There's not a problem with millions of illegal aliens coming across our border? I beg to differ, and based on the beating the public gave the amnesty effort a few months ago, I don't think I'm alone in seeing a real problem.

Jim Boulet, the English advocate quoted above, expresses my sentiments as to why I have a hard time supporting Huckabee:
"I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says the way God wants us to help the poor is to lobby for the government to spend money on them," says Boulet.

Indeed. Contrary to government helping the poor, the Bible makes it pretty clear that people are to help people, not government. There's no blessing for anyone, no expression of love and concern, no sense of community, and no helping a person permanently out of poverty when all that's involved is a government check.

This is one of those areas where theological imbalances can have "real world" impact. Huckabee's disregard for the rule of law regarding illegal immigration, in addition to constitutional limits on spending and government, may stem from his theologically unbalanced "I'm a 'grace' Christian, not a 'law' Christian" outlook. Grace is ever so important to the Christian (to all of us, whether we realize it or not), but grace without law is license.

For all Huckabee's good points, his theological and Constitutional misunderstandings (which also spills over into other areas of unnecessary and un-Constitutional spending) give me serious pause about supporting him.

If it comes down to Hillary or Huckabee, the choice will be pretty simple for me. But I'm not looking for a candidate who is "better than Hillary;" I'm looking for a candidate who will champion life, the family, the law and the Constitution.

We don't need another big-spending "compassionate conservative." We need a candidate who will respect and abide by the Constitution, and if he's a Christian, he should understand that God called people to help one another, not government. If people look to government to have their needs met, government quickly becomes their god...as it already has for many.

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