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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?

 

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

RC Journal Plays the Polling 'Moral Equivalency' Card

Bill Harlan has a piece on Page 1 of the local section of the Rapid City Journal today entitled "Is this a ‘push poll’ or a ‘message test’?" (I couldn't find it online).

It's about the two "dueling polls" released Thursday by Planned Parenthood and the South Dakota pro-life community.

Harlan tries to point out that there's a difference between a good poll and a bad one, between "push polling" and "testing your message."

He includes the verbiage of the two primary questions from both surveys. Take a look at the two questions and ask yourself: which one more strongly tells the respondent what the "right answer" should be?

Here is the question from the pro-abortion survey:

“All South Dakotans want to reduce the number of abortions, but outlawing abortion is not the answer. We can solve this problem together, without another nasty, divisive campaign. To achieve this, we must work together to address the problem at the root of the issue — preventing unintended pregnancies. South Dakota needs to come together as one (sic) to support better sex education to avoid becoming pregnant, abstinence programs, and increased access to family planning counseling, birth control and other contraception.”

After reading the statement (and checking to see if the respondent was still awake), pollsters asked, “Now, please tell me, do you favor or oppose this approach?”

Here you have a poll question that, rather boldly, tells the respondent--before the question is even asked--what the "right" answer is. It tells the person being questioned that, "Hey, that campaign in 2006, boy it sure was nasty, wasn't it? Boy, that sure did divide us and create a whole lot of bad feelings, didn't it? After all, all reasonable people know that banning abortion isn't the right answer, don't they? We sure don't want to go through that awful thing again, do we. Oh, by the way, do you favor or oppose this better, nicer, smarter approach (as opposed to going through this nasty, divisive thing again)?"

And this is a remotely objective question that doesn't involve "pushing" the respondent toward a certain answer? As I said a few days ago, go pull my other leg, now.

Now I agree that there was a certain element of viewpoint in each of the two polls, but let's look at the pro-life survey question and see if you find any difference.
On the other side, the anti-abortion poll asked:

“Should abortion, if it is being used solely as birth control, be allowed in South Dakota?”

The point of view here is subtle but unmistakable. Have you ever met anyone who was for abortion “solely as birth control”?

Well, if you've ever met someone who has had an abortion, then chances are that, yes, you've met someone who had an abortion solely as birth control, because the 2005 South Dakota abortion statistics show that 79.5% of the women who obtained abortions that year said they did so because they "did not want the child."

Now, for those of you who need be led all the way to the water's edge, why do we use birth control? Right, because we "do not want a child." Ergo, 79.5% of abortions in 2005 were done as retroactive birth control.

In fact, only 1.1% (9 out of our entire state) were for rape/incest, only 2.7% of abortions that year were done to prevent “serious health damage,” and zero were listed to save the life of the mother.

While I might be charitable and grant that there is some point of view in the pro-life survey question, it is a point of view based on a statistical and scientific fact.

Harlan's efforts to play the moral equivalency card here between these two surveys is not only not surprising, it's pretty weak.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Survey shows progress of values agenda among black Americans

BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

A major survey of black American attitudes just released by the Pew Research Center gives reasons for both sobriety and encouragement.

The survey offers an economic snapshot showing that, overall, blacks have moved forward since 1980. In 2006, one in three black households had a median income of more than $50,000, whereas in 1980 less than one in five was in this bracket. (Full Article)


Video: Candidate Duncan Hunter on Border Agents

Rep. Duncan Hunter (the most consistently conservative presidential candidate) discusses Border Patrol agents Ramos & Compean on O'Reilly Factor with Laura Ingraham.


Should Government Forgive Criminals?


Byron York's piece at National Review takes a closer look at Mike Huckabee and many of the areas conservative controversy around Huckabee.

One that I find particularly disturbing is that Huckabee worked for the release of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond...and after Dumond was released from prison, he soon raped and killed another woman.

York sheds additional light on this matter, quoting Dick Morris:

And Huckabee’s actions toward Dumond raise larger questions about his views on crime and punishment. Critics, and some friends, too, say Huckabee’s position was deeply influenced by his Christian faith. “When I first met him, I was going through his positions on issues and I said, ‘You’re a conservative, so I’m sure you oppose granting parole for violent felons,’” says Dick Morris, the campaign consultant who ran Huckabee’s first run for lieutenant governor. “And he said, ‘Oh no, I would never take that position, because the concept of Christian duty requires that there is a possibility of forgiveness. The concept of Christian forgiveness requires that we keep open the process of parole — use it sparingly, but keep it open.’”

Actually, people have a Christian duty to forgive. Governments have a duty to maintain order, administer justice and punish the guilty. Criminals are issued sentences based on what they did and the severity of their offense--in other words, there is (hopefully) an appropriate and commensurate price to be paid for their crime. And there is a big difference between what God has called individuals to do, and what God has commissioned government to do.

Huckabee's misunderstanding of this truth, and perhaps the truth behind it concerning "grace and law," is not only theologically unsound, but as the Dumond case illustrates, it is very dangerous to innocent members of the public.

It is perhaps the highest duty of any government official to protect the public and keep them safe. What good does a good school or access to health care or a tax cut do you if you've been murdered because your leaders wouldn't protect you from dangerous men?

Because Huckabee seems to have a profound misunderstanding of this both theologically and governmentally, I cannot support Mike Huckabee's bid for the Republican nomination.


Loftus: Evidence Points to Iraq WMDs


Intelligence expert John Loftus has a startling piece at FrontPage Magazine today on the mountain of Iraqi documents still being reviewed (only about 10% of what's been obtained has actually been read, so far). Loftus is a former Army officer and DOJ prosecutor.

While his intro says that both those who say there were no WMDs in Iraq, and those who say there were, are both a little right and a little wrong, once you've read through the evidence, I believe the reasonable person can only conclude one thing.

Here is his short-and-sweet lowdown on what happened to the WMD programs in Iraq:

The gist of the new evidence is this: roughly one quarter of Saddam's WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990's. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbors during the mid to late 1990's. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam's nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam’s entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans’ noses.

The entire piece, though lengthy, is very much worth reading all the way through. What we already know is stunning, given how hard the Left and their stooges in the "mainstream" media have worked to pooh-pooh Iraq's WMD programs. What more will come out as we eventually get through all the documents found in Iraq?

Loftus' conclusion:
In view of these newly discovered documents, it can be concluded, more probably than not, that Saddam did have a nuclear weapons program in 2001-2002, and that it is reasonably certain that he would have continued his efforts towards making a nuclear bomb in 2003 had he not been stopped by the Coalition forces. Four years after the war began, we still do not have all the answers, but we have many of them. Ninety percent of the Saddam files have never been read, let alone translated. It is time to utterly reject the conventional wisdom that there were no WMD in Iraq and look to the best evidence: Saddam’s own files on WMD. The truth is what it is, the documents speak for themselves.

WMD programs were only one of many justifications for the Iraq invasion (others: violations of numerous UN resolutions, Saddam's documented support of terrorism, hundreds of firings on U.S. and British warplanes). There have been several finds pointing to WMDs in Iraq since 2003 (chemicals in the Euphrates River, chemical warheads, etc.), but the evidence pointing toward a dangerous and active WMD program in Iraq just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

President Bush was right to eliminate this threat to the Middle East, the United States, and the rest of the world. It's a pity the American Left would rather score political points than get onboard with removing threats to national security.


Part 4 of Islam Seminar in Rapid City

South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City will once again be hosting an Islam seminar Sunday night at 6:30 PM. This one will be part 4 in the series being taught by Dr. Richard Wells, Senior Pastor of South Canyon Baptist. This installment is entitled "Islam: Past and Present."

I have reports and video from Parts 1 and 2 available under the link above, but I was in Washington D.C. when Wells did Part 3, so I have nothing available on it. I plan to video Part 4 Sunday night, but it's always better in person, so I hope to see you there!


Localized Self Loathing


Liberals have long been known for their self-loathing of our American way of life. For decades we've seen the Left loathe anything Christian, anything American, and anything Western for that matter. It seems they're always at the head of the line when it's time to name bad things about Christianity/America/the West, but somehow always find somewhere else to be when it's time to celebrate all the wonderful things about Christianity/America/Western culture.

Now, I think my Left-blogosphere buddy Todd Epp is taking that Leftist self-loathing inclination a little farther even than his national liberal self-loathing brethren. It seems his guilt over being American isn't good enough: he must loathe being South Dakotan, too.

This per his post today "Exhibit 2 in South Dakotans Aren't More Special Than Anyone Else" aka "We Stink, Too" on the recently publicized cases of violence against children. (Exhibit 1 was Ted Klaudt).

Todd has simply taken the typical Leftist moral-equivalency mantra of "See, we're no better than the Soviets" and "See, we're no better than Islamofacists" and "See, we're no better than any other tinpot oppressive group in the world" to a new, local level.

"See, South Dakota is no better than the slums of Chicago or Los Angeles where people hate and hurt and kill each other." Yes, Todd, let's all join hands and loathe ourselves because we have child abusers in our midst.

On a more serious note, though. Our society has come to loathe children, viewing them as little inconveniences that we must not only avoid via birth control, but if that fails, we must kill them before they can get out of the womb and actually look us in the face.

Now for the record, I'm not against contraception, and I'm not a big "kid guy" who just "loooooooooooooves children!" I'm a little too self-centered and self-absorbed to really get happy around a lot of children (though I do love my own children so much it hurts). But I draw the line at treating them like they don't matter, and I definitely draw the line at killing them after they've been conceived. They aren't parakeets and they aren't goldfish you can flush down the toilet when they're too much trouble.

If we as a society view children with such disdain, even such malevolence that we're willing to kill them after they're conceived and before they're born, it may be only a logical extension to view them with hatred and react with violence when they inconvenience us AFTER they get out of the womb. If we react with violence when they bother us IN the womb, why is it so illogical to react with violence when they bother us OUT of the womb? Maybe it's a little tougher when they can look us in the eye, but once indulged, perhaps the inclination is still the same.

I've lived in a number of places around the world, in both large towns and small. I'd take South Dakota (and Rapid City, for that matter) over any other place in the world. South Dakota isn't perfect, but when compared to other places around the country, most folks here are more in touch with traditional values, have a better work ethic, tend to treat each other better, and tend to live a more wholesome lifestyle than most other places. That's something we can be proud of.

How can we make it better? Embrace those traditional values more tightly, let go of lies and embrace the truth, put others before ourselves, and value life ahead of convenience.

If we fail to do these things, then we really aren't any better than the lowest common denominator.

Thanks, Todd, for (inadvertently) pointing out an important truth today. :-)


Waking Up to the Truth About Global Warming

Here's a video by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on what global warming legislation in Congress can do for us.



If you want to line Al Gore's pockets by buying his stupid book and watching his sci-fi "documentaries," go ahead. The rest of us would rather keep our money instead of investing in someone's B-Grade fantasy.


New Charges Against Hillary

I just found out there's a new and compelling reason we must stop Hillary. Watch this video for the startling truth:



HT to Kevin McCullough.


Mexican Immigration Laws

Liberals here in the States want to give illegals drivers licenses, as the Hillary/Spitzer controversy of the last week or so has illustrated.

But do they give illegals a drivers license in Mexico?

From Fox News:

Because of the number of illegal Mexicans residing in the U.S., America's southern neighbor has battled to open the licensing process in all 50 states.

But licensing offices in all of Mexico's 31 states -- and Mexico City -- told The Arizona Republic that proof of citizenship is required.

According to the Constitution Party newsletter which I received yesterday, here are some additional immigration requirements you face in Mexico:

- If you migrate to Mexico, you must speak Spanish

- No unskilled workers are allowed

- No special bilingual programs

- Foreigners can't vote or hold political office

- Foreigners may buy only certain lands

- Foreigners may not protest, wave a foreign flag or organize politically

- If you come to Mexico illegally, you will be hunted down and sent to jail.


Now why is it a third world country can figure this out, but we can't? Maybe because they don't have the Democrat Party (and RINOs) working to destroy their country...


Islam Scholar Calls Abourezk 'Apologist for Terror'

Authority on Islam Robert Spencer has a piece today at Frontpage Magazine on none other than South Dakota's own (maybe I shouldn't say that too loudly) Jim Abourezk. The piece calls Abourezk and the Anti-Discrimination Committee "apologists for terror."

Many on the Left like to play the handy ole moral-equivalency card and say that Christian "fundamentalists" and Islamofacists are peas-in-a-pod, that they are pretty much one and the same. There are certainly examples of "Christians" out there who have committed violence that allow them to feel justified in such a wild comparison.

But Spencer points out a critical difference, and indicts Abourezk for his moral failure:

This is a common canard, but an empty one. Hitler and McVeigh could not and did not point to Christian Scripture to explain their actions. Their actions did not proceed in accord with the teachings of any Christian Church. Islamic jihadists, on the other hand, do make extensive use of Islamic texts and teachings, and every school of Islamic jurisprudence teaches that Muslims must conquer unbelievers and subjugate them under the rule of Islamic law.

Abourezk, meanwhile, went on to blame Islamic terrorism on its victims: “Terrorism does not exist in a vacuum. It does not come from thin air. It is a result of people who believe that their lives cannot be improved by occupation and that there is nothing left for them to do except to commit acts of terrorism.”

Abourezk’s readiness to excuse acts of violence committed by Muslims -- and to dismiss the bloody deeds of Hamas and Hizballah -- while demonizing the resistance to that violence is evidence of a man who has lost his moral compass.


Styling on the Road to Ruin


John Whitehead's recent column on the congressional investigation of several high-profile ministries should be even more disturbing to Christians than non-Christians.

I don't know whether they're guilty of the thing of anything criminal; for the sake of the Gospel's credibility, I hope they're not (I know that the moral failures of human beings does nothing to undermine God's truth, but unfortunately many non-Christians don't understand that).

I'm not familiar with this Creflo Dollar guy, but his lifestyle sounds extravagant, even if he's legally and morally on the up-and-up. Rolls Royces and private jets for a minister just doesn't sound right. I wouldn't begrudge ministry leaders from having nice things or having a comfortable lifestyle; 1 Timothy 5:18 indicates those who minister deserve a living. But Rolls Royces and private jets sound badly out of tune with their Master who "has nowhere to lay His head" (Luke 9:58).

And as for Trinity Broadcasting Network which Whitehead mentioned, they often show some good programs (I sometimes hear about them through press releases and other news sources), but I've watched the network probably less than 10 times in my life. The gaudy sets with all this ornate gold trim and frillies and stuff, to me isn't befitting the humility of Christ and frankly makes me want to puke every time I see it.

I don't think people in ministry need to drive around junker cars and live in slum houses (though I do know a number of pastors with a servant's heart who drive junkers because they minister to small congregations and groups for peanuts in pay). If God is blessing a ministry financially, I don't think there's anything wrong with pastors and staff having a comfortable salary. But a lot of this stuff is way over the top; it would bless others more and lend more credibility to the ministry if more of that abundant wealth were spent expanding the ministry or building up other ministries.

Sometimes God blesses with wealth; after all, Job and Abraham were wealthy men of their time, and so were David and Solomon, and indications are that the apostle John came from wealth. But the Bible makes it clear that for most of us, serving the Lord is more likely to involve hard times than an extravagant lifestyle: 2 Corinthians 1:5-7, Philippians 3:10, Philippians 3:18-19, Luke 9:23-24, 2 Timothy 3:12, Galatians 5:24, Colossians 1:24, 1 Peter 4:1, James 1:2-3 to name a few.

I've known some good-hearted people who have bought into this prosperity gospel business. Sometimes it involves such deep theology as "God wants me to be happy, so..." which is sometimes used to justify behavior that is unBiblical (Biblically groundless divorce?, not honoring other commitments?), and sometimes used to justify an over-emphasis on material gain. Though all believers are responsible for obedience to God, these high-powered prophets of prosperity are even more culpable (James 3:1).

This "gospel of prosperity" stuff is a LIE. God will bless some with wealth and will work through their wealth. God will work great things with many more through their needs, sufferings and trials.

There's nothing wrong with having nice things. But when you're a minister with a Rolls Royce and a private jet, but your Lord didn't even own a donkey of His own, there's something very wrong with that picture.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Terrorist Org Endorses Hillary

From WorldNetDaily:

Hamas believes Sen. Hillary Clinton, if elected president in 2008, will end President Bush's "unlimited military and diplomatic support for Israel" and adapt a more "evenhanded" approach toward the Palestinians, says the group's top political adviser.

When you and your campaign have the support of a terrorist organization, you should really stop and ask yourself if, personally, you're on the right track.


Abortion Poll: Now Pull My Other Leg


KELO says both pro-life and pro-abortion groups came out with polls today.

Pro lifers gathered to show what they say are positive results. The poll found 75 percent of South Dakota voters are against abortions used solely as birth control and 55 percent have an overall pro life approach to the issue.

Interestingly, that means 75% of South Dakotans are against the vast majority of the abortions that occur in South Dakota, because according to the last set of statistics available (2005), 79.5% of the women who had abortions outright admitted the reason was they “did not desire to have the child.” Only 2.7% of abortions in South Dakota were to prevent “serious health damage,” and zero were listed to save the life of the mother.

Of course, Planned Parenthood's poll paints a slightly different picture:
It shows 75 percent would favor more education programs and abstinence programs instead of a ban on abortion.


So 75% of South Dakotans are against abortion, but 75% of South Dakotans don't want to do anything about it? Sure, abstinence and other education programs can help, but for the cases where it doesn't work, you end up with a dead child. What can explain such a disconnect?

Well, the results of a poll can sway widely depending on what questions are asked, the verbiage used, and the tone and emphasis used by the questionnaire (if it's done verbally). If your verbiage and tone tell the respondent that they'd be an idiot to answer with Answer A, many of them will give Answer B, because they want to be thought of as "intelligent and informed."

An interesting detail about this Planned Parenthood poll shows 13% said they were liberals, 42% said they were moderate, and 41% said they were conservative. Since liberals almost always like to call themselves "moderate," that means this poll was more like 55% liberal to 41% conservative...a little unbalanced, ideologically.

Also, this company that did the poll, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, doesn't exactly look like an objective organization. Their U.S. Campaigns page showed a liberal client list (Bill Clinton, Tim Johnson, the Democrat Party, and a host of Democrat congressmen and women. They have also done work for MoveOn.org, EMILY's List, Sierra Club, the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Education Association (NEA), and the infamous South Dakota Campaign for (Un)Healthy Families.

The founder, Stan Greenberg, helped Democrat Chris Dodd get into the Senate in 1980. He has also done other work in support of Democrats and the Democrat Party. Greenberg has also worked on projects with James Carville and Bob Shrum. In the 1990s he joined forces with a couple of leading Democratic strategists: Alan Quinlan and Jeremy Rosner.

So I'm supposed to believe Planned Parenthood's poll is unbiased, objective and accurate? Okay, now go pull my other leg.

Pro-life people aren't going to quit working for what's right, no matter what any poll says. Right and wrong aren't determined by popular opinion.


Explaining Roberts' Endorsement of Giuliani


Fox News has a transcript from Hannity and Colmes last night where Pat Robertson was interviewed about his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani for President. This endorsement has been difficult for most people to understand, given Giuliani's pro-abortion pro-homosexual stance.

ROBERTSON: It really doesn't matter what your belief is if the courts nullify what you do. Whether you're a president or a governor or a state legislator, if it has been ruled a constitutional right to abort a child, then the legislators are powerless.

And so I'm interested in judges. I think in the last election, in my opinion, the three most important issues were judges, judges, and judges. And I think it's still that way in terms of abortion.

COLMES: By the way, as mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani appointed 75 judges to three different courts, the ones the New York Mayor gets the right to appoint, and Democrats outnumbered Republicans eight-to-one.

In fact, one of the judges he appointed was head of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Why would you believe, based on his record of mayor of New York and who he appoint, that he would do anything different as president of the United States?

ROBERTSON: Well, I think he's telling the truth. I mean, you could say, well, he's a liar, but he has assured the American people who his standards are. And he picked a man as one of his chief advisers who was solicitor general of the United States, and he's a staunch conservative, and I think he'll help him in the selection of the judges. But I'm just taking him at his word as to what he's going to do as president.

I think it's very naive to take someone at their word that they'll do a certain thing, when their stated belief and past actions are contrary to what they say they'll do. Remember the story of the frog and the scorpion crossing the river?

Here's how Sean Hannity, who has been a Giuliani supporter for many months, defended Roberts and Giuliani:
HANNITY: Thank you for being with us. I want to point out two things just for clarification points here. On the judges that Rudy did appoint, he did have an advisory council, and this is a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly eight-to-one, and so he chose from a limited number of those.

I'm sorry, I just don't buy this. There were no well qualified Republican candidates Giuliani could have considered? And what happens if President Giuliani has a Democrat congress to deal with? Oh well, I guess Giuliani will have to appoint a cross-dressing judge to the Supreme Court because he has to work with a Democrat congress.

Sorry, that boat don't float.


Praying for Rain


You might recall a week or two ago when Governor Sonny Purdue of Georgia called a day of prayer for rain to relieve that state's drought, he received a lot of mocking and criticism from the God-haters. Our nation has held times of prayer before we achieved independence, and countless times since then. We even have an annual National Day of Prayer to pray for our nation. Atheists don't have to like it, but bellyaching about "separation of church and state" is utter nonsense.

Well, the last laugh is on them as the Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other media sources have reported that rain followed the prayers.

This from Brandon R. Vallorani at American Vision:

Despite the bleak outlook on Tuesday, the weather made a dramatic and unexpected turn on Wednesday. A cold front stretching from Alabama to southern Pennsylvania swept across the east bringing several Thunderstorms and desperately needed rain to the Southeast. Why such a sudden change in the forecast? I believe God was answering a specific and public prayer.

Vallorani recounts what happened when the rain came:
When I heard that the governor had called a prayer vigil for rain, I stayed tuned to the news to watch for any change in the weather. I lifted up a simple prayer to the Lord that evening asking Him to demonstrate His power and to show America that He is sovereign over all. The next morning the radio announcers on 94.9 FM WUBL mentioned that God was answering prayer and rain was now in the forecast. Later that evening we incorporated the WeatherChannel.com into our family worship. I took this rare opportunity to show my children the radar maps and teach them that God answers prayer. While I was teaching, you could hear the rain begin to pound the roof of our house. It was an event that we will never forget.

Can I or anyone prove that this rain came as a result of God answering a prayer? Of course not. But can anyone prove it would have happened without God's intervention? Uh, no they can't.

I believe it was in 2006 that Governor Mike Rounds declared a day (or week?) of prayer for rain in our parched state of South Dakota. And within days the rain began to fall, and the worst drought areas in the state were downgraded and it even began to green up in August out here in the dry West River area (West River is almost NEVER green in August). Brookings got a record 9 inches of rain that month.

God or coincidence, both here and in Georgia? You be the judge for yourself...but my money's on God.


Settled Science Not So Settled

According to Al Gore, the "science is settled" on global warming. There is "consensus." Only flat-earther types disagree with him. Well, not really.

From CNS News comes the story of how the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--the group that's pushing the "global warming" fantasy the hardest--can't even agree themselves.

Of the 54 scientists who completed the survey, less than half said a 1-degree Celsius increase is "flatly undesirable." Sixty-one percent of the respondents said there is no such thing as an "ideal climate."

While as many as 90 percent of respondents said man-made carbon emissions "are driving or helping to drive global climate change," only 20 percent said human activity is the "principle driver of climate change." Sixty-three percent said human activity is a driver but that "natural variability is also important."

And we're supposed to wreck our economy based on this kind of "consensus" from the people pushing this malarky?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Changing the Story on Huckabee's Tax Hikes

Here's a video clip featuring Fox News' Carl Cameron on Mike Huckabee. Huckabee said the reason he had to hike taxes because of a court mandate on education funding. But as Cameron's report points out, well, not really.



Here is a video of Huckabee practically begging the Arkansas legislature to raise taxes, pretty much saying, "Tax this, tax that, tax something, tax anything. It would all be acceptable." He even says, and I quote: "You will have my profound thanks."



I'm sorry. I'd like to support a Christian candidate, but despite being pro-life, Huckabee leaves a LOT to be desired. Especially when Duncan Hunter is pro-life AND a solid conservative across the board. I don't know why so many pro-family leaders are willing to settle for Huckabee. What happened to principle over politics?

HT to the Arkansas Journal for both videos.


Huckabee: As Known by His Enemies

Matta Taibbi has an insighful piece about Mike Huckabee in Rolling Stone. (*Be warned; there is significant profanity in Taibbi's piece).

While there's no doubt Taibbi has no use for Republicans or conservatism or Christianity, his opinion of someone he might see as a political enemy (at one point referring to Huckabee thusly: "full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order") is revealing:

But all the attention on his salesmanship skills obscures the real significance of his rise within the Republican Party. Mike Huckabee represents something that is either tremendously encouraging or deeply disturbing, depending on your point of view: a marriage of Christian fundamentalism with economic populism. Rather than employing the ?patented Bush-Rove tactic of using abortion and gay rights to hoodwink low-?income Christians into supporting patrician, pro-corporate policies, Huckabee is a bigger-government Republican who emphasizes prison reform and poverty relief. In the world of GOP politics, he represents something entirely new — a cross between John Edwards and Jerry Falwell, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher who actually seems to give a *@$! about the working poor.

I have nothing against "poverty relief." At the risk of tooting my own horn, I donate monthly to a number of "poverty relief" efforts, and to quite a few more throughout the year. I do this--in addition to the tax dollars the government robs from me--because I understand that charity is the responsibility of the PRIVATE sector, not government wealth redistribution schemes. Unfortunately, Huckabee, while both a Christian and a Republican who should, doesn't seem to understand this.

Here's more from Taibbi:
As governor of Arkansas, he outraged Republicans with his plan to expand health coverage for children, his embrace of refugees from Katrina and his support for subsidized higher education for the children of illegal immigrants. Worse still, from a Republican standpoint, Huckabee showed little hesitation in raising taxes to pay for such programs — one analysis claims that new taxes initiated during his tenure resulted in a net tax increase of $505 million. Even Max Brantley, editor of the Arkansas Times and one of Huckabee's most ferocious critics, concedes that the candidate's populism isn't an act.


Taibbi says Max Brantley, editor of the Arkansas Times, likens Huckabee to "moderate" Democrats:
"Huckabee's exactly like the Blue Dogs," says Brantley. "They have the same message."

And here's another mixed review of Huckabee:
Because for all his political waffling in other areas — Huckabee has flip-flopped on a host of earthly political issues, from taxes to local control of school boards — he leaves absolutely no doubt about his commitment to religious wackohood.

Taibbi also cites some ethical questions I've read about from other sources as well:
In his first year as governor, Huck used a $60,000 taxpayer fund for personal expenses like dog food, pantyhose and meals at Taco Bell. (One of his sons — also a very heavy man, as his father was — reportedly joked that "there's not a Huckabee alive that can eat at Taco Bell for seven dollars.") The governor also tried to keep $70,000 in furnishings for the governor's mansion supplied by a local cotton grower, and used inaugural funds to pay for clothes for his wife.

I have no idea whether any of this is true, only that I've heard it from more than one source. To me, this means that in addition to someone who's mushy on personal responsibility and pretty liberal in the tax-and-spend big-government department, Huckabee would be a candidate with some unsavory baggage.

I appreciate Huckabee's stand for life and marriage. These are commendable. But when there are much better conservative candidates like Duncan Hunter who understand core Republican values, I just can't get behind Huckabee.

Christians and other Republicans can do better than a "pro-life liberal."

HT to the Arkansas Journal.


All Humans are Persons


The Rocky Mountain News, LifeNews and others are reporting that Colorado efforts to define unborn human beings as "persons" from conception onward received a boost today as the Colorado Supreme Court approved the language of a ballot initiative. The language had been challenged by pro-abortion groups.

It's interesting to note the transparently mocking, disdainful attitude of the "mainstream" media toward this story, referring to the unborn child as simply a "fertilized egg" and headlines such as "Court clears way for egg rights showdown." They are desperate to minimize the humanity of unborn children and hope to divert people from the truth by planting in people's minds images of something they have for breakfast, rather than a human being.

From LifeNews:

The language the board approved defines "the term 'person' to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as 'person' is used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law."

The text of the ballot measure can be read here from The Jurist.

It says:
"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution defining the term “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as “person” is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law?"

Since the unborn child has, from conception, a completely unique set of DNA, distinguishing the child from it's mother, it seems completely reasonable to recognize the unborn child, not as a part of the mother that she can do with as she pleases, but a distinct human being which deserves the dignity and rights afforded to other human beings under the Constitution.

This issue of "personhood" is incidentally the critical distinction identified by pro-abortion jurist Henry Blackmun when he wrote the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion the law of the land. In other words, he admitted from the beginning this "Achilles Heel" of justifying abortion.

From WorldNetDaily on Blackmun's statement:
He concluded: "(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

Our understanding of the science of life and fetal development have expanded tremendously since 1973, as the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion found from expert testimony in 2005. The personhood of the unborn is now more certain than ever.

Next year, South Dakota will also likely be considering a measure to ban abortion. A number of other states are already considering bills to ban abortion, and more will certainly do so next year, as well. The tide of science, human understanding, and justice will eventually overwhelm the argument of convenience against this barbaric practice.


The Census Bureau's Unconstitutional Threats


These intrusive questionnaires from the Census Bureau are back in the news.

From WorldNetDaily:

As WND has reported, the U.S. Census Bureau switched from the surveys once every 10 years, called for in the U.S. Constitution, to annual surveys sent to three million households, to keep the government's data more up-to-date.

The issue arises periodically about the invasion into a family's privacy by the questions, including:


- Does this house, apartment, or mobile home have COMPLETE plumbing facilities; that is, 1) hot and cold piped water, 2) a flush toilet, and 3) a bathtub or shower?

- At any time DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, did anyone in this household receive food stamps? If so, how much?

- Do you have a mortgage and if so, how much is it?

- Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following: learning, dressing, bathing or getting around?

- Has this person given birth in the last year?

- What time did this person go to work?

- How much did this person make in salaries? Interest? Retirement?

Besides being nosy, intrusive and privacy-violating, do you know what they use this information for? Coming up with more ways to give your tax dollars to somebody else. It's used for statistical analysis when they get a bright idea for a new social program, or want to expand an existing one.

The government claims my wife and I have the "privacy" to kill our unborn child if we want, but not privacy regarding how many bathrooms we have or what time I go to work.

Remember the last time they did the census? I was one of the lucky ones picked to fill out one of these huge, intrusive surveys. I kept ignoring their repeated mailings for a while. Finally I printed off a bunch of stuff that showed I was not required by the U.S. Constitution to answer their Big Brother questions, including quotes from a number of officials such as Senator Trent Lott telling people not to bother.

They never bothered me again after I sent them this package of material.


Are Televangelists Fleecing the Flock?

By John W. Whitehead

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”—Jesus

Acting on complaints from the public, Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has launched an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing involving six high-profile televangelists, all of whom run “non-profit” organizations. The allegations involve governing boards that are not independent and which allow exorbitant salaries, housing allowances and luxuries such as private jets and Rolls Royces. (Full Article)


What Happened to Personal Responsibility?


CNS News today examines how the "drive by media" (which usually doesn't look any deeper than the appealing sound bite) in the subprime lending "crisis" ignores personal responsibility in favor of (once again) bashing business:

Major news outlets are largely ignoring personal responsibility in their coverage of a recent increase in loan foreclosures, according a new report from the Business & Media Institute (BMI).

"Everyone who enters into any kind of financial agreement should be expected to read and understand the documents he or she is signing, and if they don't, they shouldn't sign the papers," the report stated. "This was clearly not the position the evening news programs took."

According to the foreclosure tracking organization RealtyTrac, almost 450,000 properties were in various stages of foreclosure in the third quarter of 2007, nearly double the number in the third quarter of 2006. Properties in foreclosure represent just over one-half of 1 percent of U.S. households.

As Cybercast News Service has reported, the subprime lending "crisis" has been a major focus of national elected officials, and Congress and President Bush have clashed over the best way for the government to be involved in trying to help borrowers.

I think the best way for government to help borrowers is to instill and expect personal responsibility. Unfortunately, the liberal wing of our government (including both Democrats and some Republicans) are doing just the opposite: making excuses for every personal failure, and working to make people more dependent.

I worked in the subprime lending market for five years as a collector and a collection manager. I can attest that the figures cited in Star Parker's recent column are accurate: about 80% of customers pay on time, another 10% pay before the loan is 30 days late, and less than 5% move beyond 30-day late status and into more serious credit and legal territory. So it's not the "crisis" the liberals and the "mainstream" media (oh, sorry, one and the same) want you to think it is.

I also recall from countless collection calls as to why many people were delinquent on their loan payment. Certainly there are those who get behind because of a major illness or an unexpected job layoff after many years of reliable employment.

But most of the delinquencies I dealt with were of this variety:

Collector: Why is your payment late?

Customer: Well, I'm still getting used to that new $400 truck payment.

Or this:
Collector: same question.

Customer: Well, I've been laid off about a year now [and no one has busted down my door begging for me to take a job from them].

Or this:
Collector: same question.

Customer: Don't worry about it; you'll get it.

Collector: When can you pay?

Customer: I don't know, but you'll get it.

Collector: When?

Customer: It ain't none of your business! [Click!]

The vast majority of delinquent customers I dealt with as a collector and a manager were delinquent because of financial irresponsibility. They bought expensive cars, motorcycles, jet-skis, cell phones, pagers, big screen TVs, and every other thing you could imagine, other than placing their loan payment as the first priority.

Many also had a lackadaisical attitude about their employment, not appearing very concerned if they were unemployed for long stretches at a time, whether that be out of a job completely or laid off or "seasonal" work that they knew would leave them unemployed during the same "season" every year.

Most loan companies will work with someone who has a genuine problem. The loan company doesn't exist to repossess items or close accounts--neither are good for business for a number of reasons.

But when our society--starting with government--creates a sense of entitlement, creates a sense of victimhood, creates a sense of envy and hatred of business, you end up convincing a certain segment of the public that it pays to be irresponsible.

And in our misguided society, too often it does.


Tancredo Border Control Ad

Here's the new Tom Tancredo ad. It's one of the many reason why we need to get serious about controlling our borders.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The High Price of Free Sex

From Yahoo News:

More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday.

"A new U.S. record," said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More bad news: Gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a "superbug" version resistant to common antibiotics, federal officials said Tuesday.

Syphilis is rising, too. The rate of congenital syphilis — which can deform or kill babies — rose for the first time in 15 years.

Maybe God had a good practical reason to reserve sex for between one man and one woman for life?


How to limit home ownership for the poor

BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION

The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007 has passed out of Chairman Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee. It's now headed to the full House for a vote. In the name of protecting the poor from market predators it will in actuality protect the poor from wealth. (Full Article)


Front Page Foul

From today's Rapid City Journal Letters to the Editor:

Keep sports drivel in section where it belongs; off Page One

It happened again on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The front page is covered with football and in addition there is an article about hockey that continues on most of Page 2.

What is the deal with all the sports stories on the front page?

The Journal has a whole section for sports, so keep these activities off the front page. Not all your subscribers are crazy about sports, and, personally, I never look at that section.

There is an article about Exxon and the Supreme Court back on A3, and an article about the wildfires in California on A5.

It seems to me that these articles are a lot more newsworthy than whether St. Thomas More beats Belle Fourche, or whatever game happens to be played. I don’t care.

You are about to lose a subscriber if this sports drivel on the front page doesn’t stop.

CORRINE DARROW
Rapid City

I'm not as upset over this recent trend as Darrow, but I certainly sympathize. If we were some huckleberry town of 600 people (especially in the South) where the highlight of everyone's lives was the local high school sports team, it might be more understandable...if not more welcome. But Rapid City is a town of over 60,000 people, the second largest city in South Dakota.

Me? I've always had a hard time considering chasing a ball of air around a court or field more important than taxes, crime, and the direction our city/state/nation are headed.


Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Stands Up in 8 Countries


The Chicago Tribune is one of a very few--if any--media outlets to take a look at a study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons which shows a link between abortion and breast cancer:

Using statistical techniques and reliable national health data, the study of eight European countries found, to a statistically significant degree, that the incidence of breast cancer increases with the incidence of earlier abortions.

One really has to scratch one's head that the "mainstream" media hasn't picked up on this more. I mean, the link has been tested in eight countries and it stands up? Yet with global warming we have, "Well, we don't have evidence, but give us time..." and the media is running around screaming and pulling their hair out? Why the difference? Since they're "objective," I'm sure it couldn't have anything to do with one item fitting their liberal agenda and the other one blowing a hole in that agenda.

They wouldn't purposefully leave women at risk, not with information like this:
according to one unchallenged compressive analysis of those studies, they show that a pregnant woman who has never had a child before and aborts in the first term increased her chance of breast cancer by 50 percent.

LifeSite.net points out that the insurance industry is already acting on this data:
More significantly, this research was discussed in the insurance magazine "The Actuary." Insurance actuaries were advised to adjust their insurance premiums and reserves accordingly in order to plan for a 50% increase in breast cancer projected out to 2029.

Malec continued, "The abortion-breast cancer link critics are having a hard time explaining why an insurance magazine would publish a "politically motivated" article discussing the abortion-breast cancer link and advising its readers that this epidemic will be costly for the insurance industry and consumers. Insurance companies, after all, are in the business of making money and pleasing their stock-holders, not in dealing with politically motivated issues."

"For people who don't know who to believe, when the insurance industry starts talking about the issue then we know its a serious problem," Malec concluded.

So do you think that, since South Dakotans will once again be looking at abortion in the coming year, they'd want to know all the facts...or would it be better just to keep our heads buried in the sand and hope for the best?


New Columnist


I spoke with Star Parker's people yesterday and am pleased to announced that Dakota Voice will be adding this outstanding columnist to our lineup.

Star Parker spoke at the FRC Washington Briefing last month, and she was the most animated, exciting speaker there. But not only was she exciting, she was dead-on accurate in her analysis of the issues and society's ills.

Having come out of the world of drugs, crime, abortion and welfare, she is now a born-again woman of Christ, and leaves no doubt that she lives a radically changed life.

She now heads the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), her column is published in over 400 newspapers worldwide, and you can read more about her here.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Hillary Clinton Reveals Her Presidential Homosexual Agenda

This is a video of Hillary Clinton speaking at the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-homosexual group.

Among her statements:

- Expressed her disdain for marriage and the Federal Marriage Amendment

- Tried to pass off special rights for homosexuals as "civil rights"

- Accused Republicans of "politicizing" "intimate issues"

- Lauded the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision legalizing sodomy

- Pledged to pass the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, granting the same benefits to homosexual couples that married couples have

- Spoke in favor of homosexuals being allowed to adopt children

- Applauded expanding "hate crime" legislation

- Spoke in favor of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military, actually claiming it was a "matter of national security"



How Do You Show Support for the Troops?


The Democrat propaganda machine at Badlands Blue has a joke piece up entitled "Support Our Troops: Vote Democratic!" There, they try to blame everything from the Battle of Bull Run to any failure in Iraq on Republicans while painting themselves as ultra-patriotic lovers of the U.S. military.

After I got done laughing at such a transparent attempt to rehabilitate their image, I thought I'd recount how Democrats actually "support our troops:"

- Dick Durbin compares our troops to Nazis and communist thugs

- John Murtha accuses our Marines of being murderers

- Democrat leaders (Pelosi) visit terrorist states like Syria who are supporting terrorists killing our troops

- Democrats make excuses for Iran, which is a leading sponsor of terrorism and which is supplying those who are attacking our troops and innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also try to tie the hands of the president from dealing with this very real threat.

- Democrats crafted a plan to divert intelligence resources to study "global warming"

- Democrats undermine military morale and readiness with plans to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military.

- Democrat Dennis Kucinich and some others undermine our efforts to wipe out terrorism in Iraq and build a stable democracy there by continuing to call our efforts an "illegal occupation"

- Even Australian Prime Minister John Howard recognizes that the continual push by Democrats to engineer a premature troop withdrawal from Iraq brings "comfort to Al-Qaeda insurgents"

- Democrats focus on everything we have NOT achieved, and ignore everything we HAVE achieved...and exploit deficiencies for political gain

- Democrats toy with military readiness by tacking "hate crime" legislation onto a defense spending bill.

- Democrat Chuck Schumer says violence in Anbar has gone down DESPITE the surge, not because of it, and insults the troops by saying they're incapable of protecting civilians from al-Qaida.

- Democrat spin groups call General Petraeus a traitor with their "General Betray-Us" ad, and 25 Senate Democrats (including Clinton, Boxer, Byrd, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Levin, Reid, and Schumer) refuse to condemn it

- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared "the war is lost." (Great move to inspire the troops, Harry)


In fact, all of these examples demonstrate exemplary Democrat "support for the troops," don't they? What's that old saying about having friends like these...


The Freedom Most Sought

I've said this before, but perhaps not with this clarity and broad range.

What is our most important right in today's culture? Hint: it's not found in the United States Constitution.

From WorldNetDaily's piece from David N. Bass:

Do supporters of such policies have any concern for the mental health of six-year-olds being exposed to such salaciousness? Not even a whisper. The ethic of sexual license trumps everything, even the innocence of toddlers.

Likewise, one of the top reasons given for support of abortion-as-birth-control is that it equalizes the sexes by giving women the opportunity to be just as sexually promiscuous as men. Never mind that abortion ends the life of an innocent unborn human child. Sex without consequences is far more important, even more important than protections of life guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

The sex on demand ethic even overcomes public health concerns. Our nation's judiciary will uphold the right to engage in sodomy even though study after study shows that homosexual behavior, along with heterosexual promiscuity, is fueling our epidemic of sexually transmitted disease. In fact, males who practice homosexual behavior account for the greatest percentage of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States, even though they represent only a small percentage of the overall population.

Similarly, a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that 11 percent of U.S. males in 2002 reported having multiple sexual relationships at the same time, a behavior pattern that significantly speeds the transmission of sexually transmitted disease.

Yet we can't pass moral judgment on such behavior without being labeled a hate monger or prig. Why? Because sexual promiscuity is the new inalienable right.

Read the whole piece here.


Tech schools are not stepchildren to South Dakota's educational system

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: Some of the greatest things happening in South Dakota are what our four post-high school technical institutes are doing by providing the needed technicians for today's technical world. The work force they are providing to both South Dakota and the nation is proof of both the need for such training as well as the success stories they are developing on a daily basis. (Full Article)


Hillary Clinton - The Candidate for All Positions



HT to the Arkansas Journal.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day: A Slideshow Tribute

A tribute to United States veterans on Veteran's Day, from photos taken in Washington D.C. in October 2007.



Thanks to all those who are giving and have given military service to the United States, and thanks to those who gave all.


A Young American


After my family and I posted the flag for Veteran's Day a few minutes ago, we started to walk back inside the house. My son Justin, who just turned five, said, "Dad, aren't we going to say the pledge?"

It's never a bad time to Pledge Allegiance to the flag, and an especially good one right after you've posted and saluted it, so we lined back up and I asked him to lead the pledge. So my five year old son led all the way through the Pledge of Allegiance without a bit of help.

It's heartening to see a new generation of patriotic Americans growing up!

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."


 
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