I remember Bob Ellis posting about a Global warming get-to-gether where a participant said something to the effect of it being so cold, it was difficult to think of global warming. Tonight, I would like to second that thought! It is freezing and I don't think warm is planning on coming around in the next week or so, is it?
I do hope I am wrong! My computer hopes I am wrong! My dog and cats hope I am wrong!
Does anyone know when Global Warming will be returning from its vacation to escape the winter temps?
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, December 08, 2007
I remember Bob Ellis posting about a Global warming get-to-gether where a participant said something to the effect of it being so cold, it was difficult to think of global warming. Tonight, I would like to second that thought! It is freezing and I don't think warm is planning on coming around in the next week or so, is it?
Once again the Arkansas Journal has cast the light of public attention on Mike Huckabee's record of being soft on lawbreakers.
In this past week, the story of Huckabee's advocacy of the release of Wayne Dumond, the convicted rapist who raped and murdered at least one woman after we was let out of prison, has gained national attention. Of course Huckabee has been minimizing his role in Dumond's release, despite the testimony of at least one parole board member who said he asked the board to release Dumond, believing Dumond was innocent. Huckabee had long advocated Dumond's release before actually meeting with the board.
The LA Times has a piece today with more background on the Dumond case. It mentions the three parole board members who have already come out saying Huckabee pressured the board to let Dumond go. This piece also mentions a pastor friend of Huckabee's, Jay Cole:
Cole, the minister who befriended DuMond, said: "The governor felt compassion for Wayne. He was sorry for him. So, I asked the governor to help. I asked him if anything could be done. And Mike had a lot of people on his neck trying to get him to get Wayne released."
Did "Mike" feel sorry for and feel compassion for Dumond's victim?
One consideration mentioned for Huckabee's willingness to reduce Dumond's sentence was that Dumond supposedly became a born again Christian while in prison:
"I became his spiritual director," Cole said. "He was a nice fella, and it was hard to believe he could have done what he was accused of doing. And Wayne claimed to be saved. So, we'd sit and talk and pray for two hours, and other times he'd call me on the phone a lot. Collect. He was just wanting to know if I'd made any headway finding people who could help his situation."
I know for a fact that people genuinely get saved while in prison. However, even a genuine conversion should not, and I believe in actuality does not, negate their debt to society for their crimes. And cases like Dumond's, where he went on to rape and murder one and possibly two women after his release demonstrate a practical reason for not commuting the sentence of a born-again prisoner. (Sadly, Christians can be some of the most gullible people on the planet, completely ignoring Jesus' admonition to be "as shrewd as serpents and harmless as doves.")
A 2004 report on Huckabee's incredible record of pardons and commutations also came to light this past week. Did you know that Governor Huckabee granted more pardons and commutations than six other neighboring states...combined (their 624 to his 703)? Even more than "pardongate" Bill Clinton when Clinton was governor of Arkansas.
The Arkansas Journal has highlighted one of those criminals Huckabee thought should be freed (he later changed his mind, after being subjected to repeated protests from victim's relatives, local newspapers and prosecutors): Glen Green.
Here's what the Arkansas Leader printed in 2004 regarding why Green was in prison:
Green, a 22-year-old sergeant, kidnapped Helen Lynette Spencer on Little Rock Air Force Base, where he beat and kicked her as he tried to rape her in a secluded area. She broke loose and ran toward the barracks' parking lot, where he caught up with her and beat her with a pair of nunchucks.
He then stuffed her into the trunk of his car and left her there while he cleaned up. Several hours later, he drove down Graham Road, past Loop Road and stopped near a bridge in Lonoke County. Green told investigators he put her body in the front seat and raped her because her body was still warm.
He dragged Spencer out of his vehicle and put her in front of the car and ran over her several times, going back and forth. He then collected himself long enough to dump her body in Twin Prairie Bayou.
Green was serving a life sentence with no parole for this brutal crime.
According to the article, Green said it was an "accident," and apparently Rev. Johnny Jackson, interim pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Jacksonville, also spoke up for Green...so it seems this must have been good enough for Huckabee...until he was deluged with protests from people who knew better.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he could kill again," warns Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley.
A different article from the Arkansas Leader provides more details from Don Egelhoff, the lead investigator in the case:
"He can be a Christian and God can forgive him and take him to heaven," said Egelhoff, but while on earth, he needs to finish out his sentence.
"Society doesn't have to give up the right to punish him for what he did."
Egelhoff said if Green has new evidence that his confession was coerced, as he claims, he should have a new trial, not a get-out-of-jail-free card.
"We didn't need a confession," Egelhoff says. "We had enough physical evidence and eye witnesses to convict him in a court."
"He had a vintage Thunderbird," he said. "We found hair and blood in the trunk of the car, under the undercarriage of his car. She was still alive when she was run over based on autopsy findings, he said.
She may not have known she was pregnant.
"When I talked with him, he had no remorse. He said he was glad he'd been caught, it had been bothering him."
After Green kicked her off the bridge, he told Egelhoff, he howled at the moon.
Another of the Arkansas Leader's articles tells of another criminal Huckabee apparently considered worthy of clemency:
Huckabee also likes Denver Witham, a fellow musician who plays in the Cummins Prison band and is serving life without parole.
Witham, who was also granted clemency last week, beat his victim with a lead pipe during a robbery in a Saline County cemetery.
Yet another Arkansas Leader article tells of more dirtbags unleashed on society, quoting Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley:
Jegley cites numerous examples of Huckabee's freeing felons who go on committing more crimes and wind up back in prison.
Maurice Clemmons received a 35-year sentence in the early 1990s for armed robbery and theft. His sentence was commuted in May 2000, and he was let out three months later.
The following March, Clemmons committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years. You'd think they'd keep him locked up after that, but no: He was paroled last March and is now wanted for aggravated robbery.
One can hope Huckabee has since wised-up, as he has revised his message on civil unions and done a 180 on illegal aliens.
Unfortunately for the victims of these animals released upon society by Huckabee's "compassion," even if he has come around, it's too late for them.
Here in the Rapid City area, we've heard frequent talk in recent months about Rapid City considering annexation of Rapid Valley or parts of it. Some of it, especially from Alderman Tom Johnson, has been transparent in revealing the simple desire for more tax revenue.
As I've said before on this blog and in other forums, Rapid Valley really has no reason to want annexation, and several reasons not to. Rapid Valley has it's own water/sewer system, a volunteer fire department (which is what serves all but two other communities in South Dakota), two elementary schools, and a Sheriff's Department substation. Other needs such as road maintenance and snow removal are taken care of by Pennington County.
Rapid City doesn't really have anything to offer Rapid Valley in return for higher taxes...except more rules and regulations.
As reports of an impending winter storm came out yesterday, Mayor Hanks made sure everyone knew the "snow police" were watching, and you'd better shovel your sidewalk.
From the Rapid City Journal:
The news release cited Rapid City Code 12.20.070 in noting that property owners who are negligent of clearing sidewalks may be forced to pay for costs incurred by having the city's Public Works Division do it for them.
Do Rapid Valley residents want to be told, among other things, to shovel your sidewalks, or else?
Mitt Romney's "Faith In America" Address
Congressman Duncan Hunter espousing the virtues of a border fence.
Friday, December 07, 2007
From the Baltimore Sun, a federal appeals court has granted an injunction to the Fred Phelps gang, allowing them to rub salt in the wounds of the family of fallen soldiers.
Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit granted Phelps-Roper the injunction, pending a full hearing on the merits of her claim. Typically, an injunction is granted if the petitioner can prove she is likely to prevail on her lawsuit. In this case, the panel found that Missouri’s law was likely unconstitutional because “any interest the state has in protecting funeral mourners from unwanted speech is outweighed by the First Amendment right to free speech.”
The matter will now return to the federal trial court in Kansas City for a full hearing on the merits of Phelps-Roper’s suit. In the meantime, she and members of her church can resume picketing military funerals.
Though their message is despicable, indefensible theologically, and casts a poor light on the Good News of Jesus Christ, I would defend their right to public protest in most public venues.
However, a funeral, even though they usually take place in a public place (church, chapel, etc.) are at their heart deeply personal and private. They are for the grieving of the loved ones of the person who died; no other agenda is welcome there and none should be forced on the grieving.
I hope that when this matter is fully heard, there will be more sanity from the court.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. has an informative piece on The Golden Compass at Baptist Press.
Mohler has read all three of Philip Pullman's books and seen the movie at an advance screening, so he has a very informed analysis.
None of us welcomes an attack on our beliefs or belief systems, especially when those who are led astray by a cleverly packaged lie will end up suffering for it.
But as Mohler points out, this can be an opportunity to explore our worldview with our children, so that they have a better grasp on why we believe what we believe. It can also be an opportunity to talk about how Pullman's worldview has already been tried in various corners around the world in history, and point to its disastrous consequences. Just like the lie going all the way back to the Garden of Eden, this lie always promises freedom and fulfillment, yet always delivers enslavement and suffering.
Read Mohler's entire piece here for some good information, but here's a glimpse into what you can do with that knowledge:
I can only wonder how many parents and grandparents will allow children and young people to see the movie and then buy them the books -- blissfully unaware of what is coming in books two and three.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has enemies; this we know. Christian parents must be informed about His Dark Materials and inform others. We must take the responsibility to use interest in this film to teach our own children to think biblically and to be discerning in their engagement with the media in all forms. We should arm our children to be able to talk about this project with their classmates without fear or rancor.
Philip Pullman has an agenda, but so do we. Our agenda is the Gospel of Christ -- a message infinitely more powerful than that of The Golden Compass. Pullman's worldview of unrestricted human autonomy would be nightmarish if ever achieved. His story promises liberation but would enslave human beings to themselves and destroy all transcendent value.
The biblical story of the Fall is true, after all, and our only rescue is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The curse of sin was not reversed by adolescents playing at sex in a garden, but by the Son of God shedding His blood on a cross.
Has Mike Huckabee "gotten religion" on the illegal alien issue? In contrast to his pro-illegal alien stance as governor of Arkansas where he wanted drivers licenses and in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens, denounced immigration raids, called plans to deny taxpayer benefits to illegals "racist" and "bigoted" and said there was not a real problem with immigration, Huckabee now seems ready to get tough.
From Fox News:
The plan is similar to those put out by his GOP rivals. In it, Huckabee proposes constructing a border fence with surveillance cameras by July 1, 2010. He also suggests increasing the number of border patrol agents and imposing steep penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
The plan also calls for a zero-tolerance policy toward amnesty and states that all illegal immigrants would have a 120-day window to register and leave the country. Under the proposal, those who register and leave will face no penalty, while those who do not, if caught, will be barred from the United States for 10 years.
I think Huckabee's plan sounds great. And it's always good to see converts to the cause, even if late.
But when they come late to the party, especially with an, um, political incentive to say the right thing, I always have to wonder about the gut-level sincerity. I've always put more stock in walking the walk than talking the talk.
But hopefully he means it, because it sounds exactly like the comprehensive strategy we need to fix this mess.
Canada's Financial post has a piece today from Peter Foster called "Road to Bali."
Rarely will you see such candid and accurate discussion of "global warming" in a major newspaper. The opening paragraph sums up the entire motive and effect of global warming hysteria as well as anything I've ever seen:
The real theme of this United Nations gabfest -- like that of its 12 predecessors, and of the hundreds, if not thousands, of related meetings --is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, health and welfare, or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom (who rarely if ever recognize themselves as such) will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium. Any successor to Kyoto will be rooted in hobbling rich economies, increasing the poor world's resentment, unleashing environmental trade warfare, and blanketing the globe with rules and regulations that benefit only rulers and regulators. Bali is not about climate; it symbolizes the continued assault on freedom by those who seek -- or pander to -- political power under the guise of concern for humanity.
Foster points out that, just as humanity was ridding itself of one of the most oppressive lies in history (Marxism) in the Soviet Union, the global warming horde came on the scene and "represented almost the passing of a poisoned baton."
Foster also nails a key characteristic of environmental alarmism and the bigger umbrella under which it falls:
Climate-change alarmism couldn't be presented as simply a new justification for power-seeking, so it had to be cloaked--as social-ism has always been cloaked, both consciously and unconsciously -- in concern for "the poor."
If a "Book of Lies" that looks back over human history is ever compiled someday, "global warming" and Marxism will compete fiercely for Page One.
LifeNews points to an interview of Mitt Romney by Katie Couric of CBS News and says Romney opposes embryonic stem cell research...except when he's for it.
Here's the "against it" part:
"I'm very much in favor of stem cell research, but in a way which I believe is moral and ethical," he said.
That means he opposes "creating new embryos through embryo farming or through cloning" -- which is a practice he finds "unethical ."
Here's the "for it" part:
"So what kind of embryos -- embryos that are created for procreation and then would be discarded? Are those the ones that you feel are perfectly fine from which to cull cells for stem cell research?" Couric asked.
"Yes," Romney responded, "those embryos that are referred to commonly as surplus embryos from in-vitro fertilization."
Romney could still support stem cell research and be completely pro life. Adult stem cell research is ALREADY producing cures, where embryonic stem cell research has yet to yield a single success.
And just a few weeks ago, scientist said they're having success with a procedure that makes adult stem cells become less specialized so that they possess essentially the same scientifically attractive qualities of embryonic stem cells.
There's just really no good reason to destroy human life in the name of research.
About a week ago, I did a post on an op/ed done by Robert Knight about the AIDS epidemic, and how no one seems to want to talk about WHY people get AIDS--they only want to throw more money at it without examining the causes.
Because some liberals gave me (predictable) grief for being so cold-hearted as to say such a thing, a few days later I posted some startling statistics about AIDS spending.
Apparently yesterday a journalist attempted to ask some of these same questions at a White House press briefing, and received a similar "whitewash" treatment from the Bush administration spokesman.
KINSOLVING: "Two domestic questions. The Media Research Center – with the Centers for Disease Control's statistics that HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is still a great deal higher among men who have sex with men …"
PERINO:: "Let's move on to the next question. I'm not even going to dignify…"
PERINO: "I'm not, Les, unless you want to just move on altogether. What's your next question?"
KINSOLVING: "All right. In major cities like Washington, Chicago and San Francisco, there are reports that gay bathhouses facilitate…"
PERINO: "Okay, Keith, go ahead. Les, it's inappropriate…"
KINSOLVING: "AIDS isn't that…"
PERINO: "Just stop it, stop it."
Kinsolving's first question, which he wasn't allowed to finish asking, would have been:
"The Media Research Center – with the Centers for Disease Control's statistics that HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is still a great deal higher among men who have sex with men. Then should any AIDS officials be claiming that all Americans are equally at risk?"
There's a simple, elemental truth in life. If you keep ignoring the cause of a problem, chances are you're going to keep getting more of that problem.
Do we want to end AIDS, or would we rather continue sticking our heads in the sand?
As much as I respect the United States military, I'm glad I'm not in the military anymore.
Apparently some of these DOD idiots are forming a "diversity task force" for the military.
Gen. Casey appointed Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney, commander of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to head up the task force. He made the announcement at the Army's first senior leadership diversity breakfast Thursday morning.
"The purpose of the task force is to increase awareness and to inform ourselves about how we need to adapt what we're doing so we can sustain awareness and focus on diversity," Gen. Casey said.
When I was in the military, the military worked HARD to break down "diversity" and individuality. While allowing for independent thought, the emphasis was sameness, uniformity (thus we wore the "uniform," all cut our hair short, etc.) and teamwork.
When you're busy defending our nation and fighting the bad guys, you don't have time to run around throwing confetti, celebrating "diversity" all the time. You work as a team to kill the bad guys. That's why they call military groups "units." You work as a unit, a team, not a bunch of diverse, different individuals. What's our military coming to?
Keep in mind, too, that "diversity" is usually a codeword for homosexual inclusion.
OneNewsNow features a former Mormon who sheds some light on Mitt Romney's beliefs and on one of the critical differences between Mormonism and Christianity:
Tricia Erickson is a Christian writer, consultant, and businesswoman who spent her childhood growing up in a Mormon home. According to Erickson, the Mormon Church's beliefs about Christ are completely different than what is found in the Bible. "They negate the virgin birth, first of all," she points out. "Number two, they believe that Jesus was a man who, through his good works, achieved the status of godhood."
Erickson says key to Romney's statement is the portion referencing his church's belief about Christ differing from those of others.
"They kind of talk out of both sides of their mouth," she states. "They always say that they believe that Jesus is the Savior, but yet they believe that they are going to be like him -- 'as God is, man may become' is their motto." She continues: "And through their good works, what they will do is work themselves to death here to do enough good deeds to merit the celestial kingdom so that they can [literally] become god of their own planet."
From The Hill:
House and Senate votes on the 2008 defense authorization bill could be held as early as next week after conferees agreed Thursday to strip from the bill a controversial provision extending hate-crimes protections to gays.
House and Senate negotiators agreed to strip Senate language that extended federal hate-crimes law to cover violence against gays after weeks of wrangling. Earlier this week, GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee said they would not sign the conference report if the provision was included.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
NewsMax says there's a new book out that provides a historical assessment of the 2004 campaign and how vets and the "new media" defeated John Kerry. It's called "To Set the Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry," by Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler.
According to NewsMax, here's a little of what the book contains:
"To Set the Record Straight" also contains:
Conclusive evidence that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth acted independently, and were not a creation of the Bush campaign as their opponents repeatedly claimed.
Detailed analysis of the efforts by the old media to blunt the impact of the anti-Kerry veterans by distorting and misrepresenting their charges
Previously unpublished information on the "war crimes" propaganda effort that Kerry led during the Vietnam War, including material showing how the antiwar movement worked with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong.
New eyewitness perspectives on Kerry's "No Man Left Behind" engagement from a Forward Air Control pilot and the mission's Special Forces commander.
The powerful story of a former member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who testified that Kerry personally pressured him to tell lies about military atrocities and war crimes at the group's 1971 "Winter Soldier" conference.
Mike Huckabee may have flubbed the "civil unions" question with the Concord Monitor last year, but it looks like he's getting his message squared away.
Here's what he told the Concord Monitor last year on the question of whether he supported civil unions:
"I would tend to leave that to the state, as long as they wanted to not call it a marriage. Now if they'd call it a marriage, then I'd have a problem with it, because again, you're redefining an institution, you're not simply allowing people to live," Huckabee said last August. "It's not my chosen lifestyle, cup of tea. But again, that's a whole different discussion than it would be to say we're going to just say you're going to, can have, a same-sex marriage. That's not a marriage. It may be civil union, it may be a same-sex relationship, or a contract."
Not too cool.
But here's what Huckabee told Ross Douthat in an interview with GQ:
Is the strategy shifting because social conservatives are losing on those core issues? Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have gay marriage even in liberal Massachusetts. Now it’s there.
I don’t think the issue’s about being against gay marriage. It’s about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that’s important. You have to have a basic family structure. There’s never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived. So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square. And if you look at states that have had it on the ballot—I know in our state it was a 70-percent-against issue. Most states are similar to that.
But if the younger generation keeps going the way it’s going, it could be 50 percent in ten years.
I just wonder what you’d say to the gay couple who says, “Well, we want to live this way, and my partner can’t come visit me in a nursing home.”
He can with a power of attorney. That’s the fallacy, that this requires some new definition of marriage. It’s simply not the case.
So why can’t you call it a civil union?
Because it really is a precursor toward marriage. Once the government says this relationship is in essence similar to or equal to a marriage—we’re not going to call it that, but that’s what it is—and you grant it the same basic rights as marriage, then you’ve effectively done it.
Apparently Huckabee has figured out that "civil unions" is just "homosexual marriage" by another name. I'm glad to see he's gotten caught up on that one.
Huckabee is pretty liberal in a lot of areas (and this interview explores some of them: global warming, taxes, welfare state, etc.), and he's given a bad response to this question before. Let's hope he means what he says here, this time.
I've been thinking about this for a while now. Last month, Senator Chuck Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee announced an investigation into the finances and spending habits of six large ministries.
Around that time, I published an op/ed by John W. Whitehead on the subject entitled "Are Televangelists Fleecing the Flock?" I also blogged on that column, agreeing with much of what Whitehead said. A lot of these high-powered TV preachers and such really turn me off with their extravagant lifestyle, and I KNOW they turn off unbelievers, driving them further from God's love and truth because of a Christian's unwise lifestyle.
But at the same time, since I first heard of this investigation, the idea of the United States Senate holding hearings on what churches was doing just hasn't sat well with me. Not at all. There are a couple of reasons.
First, the federal government has morphed in the last 60 years (since the time of FDR) from a central government that provided a cohesive organization to the 50 sovereign states that make up the United States, into an all-intrusive, omnipresent force.
Liberal politicians have contempt for our Constitution which was designed to keep central government in check, and protect states and individuals from the heavy hand of big government. These liberal politicians have ignored the lawful manner for changing our government, the Constitutional amendment process, and have, in conjunction with the complicit federal courts, awarded the federal government great powers that are simply and clearly not authorized by the Constitution.
Along with this all-intrusive and over weaning power, the federal government now believes it can do anything and investigate anything it wants, regardless of whether the Constitution grants it that authority.
I have no love for sports, but I have been disgusted at how the federal government holds hearings into baseball, football, and whatever catches it's despotic interest. Why in the world should the federal government of the United States be interested in baseball??? If there is any criminal wrongdoing going on in the sports industry, let law enforcement handle it. That's why law enforcement exists. We don't need the federal government to micro-manage every aspect of American life.
And the same goes for church and religious concerns--with a double-portion thereof. Why a double portion? Because unlike baseball, the United States Constitution specifically prohibits congress from passing laws respecting religion, or interfering in the free exercise thereof. The federal government, even before we allowed it to grow outside it's constitutional confines, has incredible power to build up or tear down. When it starts interfering with the moral conscience of our country, that is a fearful thing, indeed.
Apparently I'm not the only one with concerns.
Gary McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund -- which does not represent any of the ministries involved -- says the inquiry raises many constitutional questions. "For the government to step in and start looking at the internal operation of churches is very problematic," he points out. "Religious organizations that are not identified as churches, that are 501(c)3 non profits ... have fixed accountability standards. I personally find it very curious we have a senator investigating -- instead of the administrative agency, the IRS, that's charged with these things."
Apparently, according to NewsMax, there are two of these preachers that have now told Grassley to go pound sand. Frankly, despite my distaste for some of these extravagant and gaudy ministries, I kinda like that.
If there is criminal wrongdoing on the part of any of these churches, preachers or ministries, law enforcement is more than able to handle it. We don't need a bunch of self-important politicians in Washington meddling where they don't belong. None of them have a badge, and most of them wouldn't have a clue how to properly investigate a case.
And they tread on dangerous territory when they use the power of the central government to interfere with churches. They are not only tampering with the nation's conscience (as susceptible to flaws as IT may be), they are also recklessly monkeying around with the United States Constitution, the highest law of our nation.
Mike Licona at Baptist Press has the second in his three-part series on Mormonism today.
In it, he tells of a time when he discussed Mormonism with a couple of Mormon missionaries and did some extensive research into the origins of Mormonism and their sacred documents, even talking to a couple of Book of Mormon archaeologists at Brigham Young University.
I won't reveal all that he found, but perhaps the most devastating thing Licona discovered during his research concerned a Mormon document called the Book of Abraham, which Mormonism founder Joseph Smith says was written in the same "Reformed Egyptian" language as the golden tablets of the Book of Mormon he said he found, but no one has ever seen.
Smith obtained the papyri in 1835 along with some mummies he bought and said he translated them, just as he did the golden tablets, with the Book of Abraham (supposedly written by the patriarch Abraham) as the outcome.
The papyri for the Book of Abraham were lost for 100 years or more, but turned up again in 1967. John Wilson and Klaus Baer, both professors of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, and Richard Parker, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University, were asked to provide a "fresh" translation of these documents.
Well, it turns out these documents were just a copy of documents commonly buried with the dead--and the practice of including these documents at burial didn't even start until 1000 years after Abraham's time. Even more devastating: their text wasn't even anything remotely like what Joseph Smith claimed.
Licona points out the obvious conclusion:
Therefore, at best, Joseph Smith was mistaken to believe that he had the ability to translate Reformed Egyptian and, therefore, we should render the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham as unreliable. At worst, he was a fraud, and the gold plates he said he found and translated into the Book of Mormon never existed in the first place.
In other words, if Joseph Smith really believed he was divinely given the gift to translate and that the Book of Mormon contains an historical account of real peoples, he was either self-deluded or deceived. The other option is that Joseph Smith knew his claims were false. If this was the case, he was a deceiver. Deceived or deceiver? Either way, it seems pretty clear that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. Accordingly, despite the fact that the Mormon church embraces a few beliefs in line with biblical Christianity it is demonstrably a false religion.
Rev. (why does this anti-God guy insist on calling himself a reverend?) Barry Lynn, the head of a group built on a mythical lie, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is (predictably) all up in arms over Mitt Romney's speech today, according to CNS News.
Anytime someone mentions religious faith in public, Lynn and his minions go into convulsions and start foaming at the mouth, but this time his reason (or one of them, at least), is a little different and at least noteworthy.
One thing that was missing from Romney's speech, according to Lynn, was the acknowledgement of those who don't follow any religion.
"I was also disappointed that Romney doesn't seem to recognize that many Americans are non-believers," said Lynn. "Polls repeatedly show that millions of people have chosen to follow no spiritual path at all. They're good Americans too, and Romney ought to have recognized that fact."
And they're in the least favorable faith-set of any group (yes they do have faith: faith that God isn't real), making up about 12% of the population.
Actually, Romney's speech DID acknowledge those who don't follow any religion and did recognize them, though maybe not directly.
From Romney's speech today:
And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams' words: ``We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. ... Our Constitution,'' he said, ``was made for a moral and religious people.''
Even to the highest law of our land, that's just the kind of country America was meant to be...
I think Mitt Romney's speech today did a pretty good job, from a political standpoint, of dealing with the issue of his Mormon faith in his bid for the presidency.
You can read the text of his speech from the UK Guardian.
I think he did a very good job of the speech. He addressed his Mormon faith, and the fact that most people are very unfamiliar with it. He even came close to addressing specifics of the differing beliefs about Jesus Christ as THE Son of God, but stopped short of getting so specific that people would be turned off when they knew what the Mormon church actually does believe. From a purely objective, political perspective, I think he hit a home run and handled it as well as humanly possible.
Given the amount of ignorance about Mormonism, he seems to have felt this necessary. A Pew poll released today would seem to confirm that ignorance: 51% say they know little or nothing about Mormonism, 52% say Mormons are Christians, and the favorability rating for Mormons is below that of Jews, Catholics and even the much-maligned Evangelicals and is tied with Muslim Americans (and much better than atheists, which came in at the bottom of favorability ratings). Further, 25% say they are LESS likely to vote for a Mormon.
Romney said some important things regarding religious freedom and the religious heritage of America:
There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation's founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams' words: ``We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. ... Our Constitution,'' he said, ``was made for a moral and religious people.''
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
And here's more:
We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It's as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation ``under God'' and in God, we do indeed trust.
We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'
Right on! Home run! Absolutely true! Despite the fact that I disagree with his religious beliefs to the point that I don't believe Mormonism qualifies as "Christian," Romney has my highest praise for pointing out this much-neglected truth about our American religious heritage, and how it works.
Here, he specifically addresses concerns about how his Mormon faith would affect his job as president:
Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.
I'll take him at his word that he will try to keep any particular Mormon beliefs from influencing his presidential decisions. However, no human being can approach matters of right and wrong (and we all face dozens of issues like this every day) without bringing their religious values to the table. Of course EVERY value and belief you hold doesn't come to bear on EVERY issue, but one or more of them are applied to every issue involving decisions that are either right or wrong.
A Baptist president should not try to press his particular beliefs about baptism or such on the American people; that's not the role of an elected official. But elected officials cannot and should not leave behind their religious values when they shed light on what is right and what is wrong with regard to criminal matters and human rights. To do so would make our leaders subject to the whim or political wind of the moment, which can be as dangerous for secularists as it is for religious people, and as dangerous for the law-abiding as for the criminal minded.
We could do much worse than Mitt Romney for president...but I believe we could do better, and I'm about to tell you why I think so.
Beyond the reservations I've already outlined (including uncertainty about his "conversion" to being pro-life), I also have one other important and I believe relevant (as a Christian) reason why I can't get behind Romney for president. It's a reason I addressed on this blog a few days ago:
I also believe America has been blessed because she has largely worshipped and given thanks to God. Mormons clearly believe in a different kind of god than the infinite Jehovah of Jews and Christians, and they have a radically different idea about the nature and origin of Jesus than what the Bible tells us. With a non-Christian president, one who believes in a different god and a different savior, can America expect Jehovah-God to still bless and protect us?
There's no "religious test" involved here, for those of you who have a phobia about religion, just my personal conviction. And while it's one that isn't in law and I don't believe SHOULD be in law, it is nevertheless my right to personally decide for myself what kind of religious beliefs I would like to see in a president. And I will.
These are strange days, indeed, in which we live. I've considered myself a Republican since before I could vote, going back to Ronald Reagan's first term in office.
Of late, however, I find myself repeatedly speaking critically of Republican governors (I did last winter, when Governor Rounds came out with his Leftist-Lite budget agenda of pre-K, HPV, and such...and now with another former governor), and of a Baptist preacher. Hm. Anyway, let's press on.
Thanks to Free Republic, I came across this today.
From the Arkansas Leader in 2004:
Other governors use their clemency power only rarely, while Huckabee has made it routine. As we've told you before, he has issued more than 700 pardons and commutations during his eight years in office – more than 137 this year alone – and more than his three predecessors combined.
Here are the figures for neighboring states since 1996, when Huckabee took office (and keep in mind the population of these states is nearly 20 times ours):
>> Louisiana – 213.
>> Mississippi – 24.
>> Missouri – 79.
>> Oklahoma – 178.
>> Tennessee – 32.
>> Texas – 98 (includes 36 inmates released because they were convicted on drug charges with planted evidence).
Total: 624 vs. Huckabee's 703.
Governors in neighboring states almost never grant killers clemency, while Huckabee has commuted the sentences of a dozen murderers.
"That is extremely rare here," said one corrections official in a neighboring state.
Huckabee even granted more than Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, and Clinton is definitely no stranger to letting criminals off easy (remember Pardon-gate?).
What do other Arkansas public officials think of this?
Is it any wonder that Arkansas prosecutors from both parties are upset with Huckabee, a Republican?
Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld, a long-time critic of Huckabee's clemencies and a Democrat, said, "These facts demonstrate that our governor has an extremely skewed approach to granting executive clemency. He seems to believe that granting clemency to murderers, rapists, drunk drivers and other convicted criminals is a part of the everyday affairs of the governor's office rather than something that he should approach cautiously and selectively. Executive clemency should be rare, and there should be very specific reasons."
Jegley and Herzfeld agree that clemencies are not always wrong, but granting them without restraint makes a mockery of the jury system and invites cynicism.
You kinda expect this sort of behavior from bleeding-heart liberals who always side with criminals, but it's disgusting from a Republican.
When considering this, also consider the Wayne Dumond incident, his weak stand in the War on Terrorism, the wishy-washy answer he gave on civil unions, can't say "no" to illegal aliens, can't say no to tax hikes to support more government spending, can't say no to global warming disciples, can't say no to those who want more socialized medicine...
The evidence that Huckabee lacks the moral fortitude to make tough decisions and be firm where it is called for is getting pretty enormous.
I'm sorry folks. Huckabee may be pro-life, but other than that and some relatively firm support of traditional marriage, he pretty much fits the description of that beast of the field known as the RINO.
Mike Licona at the Baptist Press features the first in a three-part column on Mormonism and the question "Is it Christian?"
In today's piece, he mentions three key beliefs of Mormons that differ from Christians:
-- God was once a human as we are now, and progressed to become God. He is one of many gods.
-- Man has the ability to progress and become a god.
-- Jesus was the first spirit child of God the Father. Subsequent spirit children are angels and humans. Jesus is the son of God and a member of the Godhead, though these are not understood in the sense of biblical Christianity, since in Mormonism they are three individual Gods.
Watch the Baptist Press for the next two installments.
In the meantime, Licona points readers to 4truth.net, an apologetics site for information on and about Christianity, for more information about Mormonism (the site also deals with cults which have some similarities to Christianity).
One of the critical differences between Christianity and Mormonism is outlined like this at the 4truth.net site:
Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin through God's gift of grace. It is provided through Christ's atonement and received by personal faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. (see Rom. 3:20; 10:9- 10; Eph. 2:8-10)
Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith, baptism, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing. "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God-Wherefore, all things are theirs" (D&C, 76:58-59).
These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C, 76).
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family.
4. They will receive a fullness of joy.
5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have - all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
Baptism for the dead provides post-mortem salvation for non-Mormons, and is "by immersion performed by a living person for one who is dead. This ordinance is performed in temples" (GP, p. 375). (See also GP, chapters 18-23.)
This is a video (about 13 minutes long) which makes a good case that Hillary Clinton was involved in illegal fundraising activities. It seems to show video that demonstrates she had firsthand knowledge of fundraising activities that she later denied knowing anything about.
Watch it for yourself and see what you think.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Official: Shooter Identified In Omaha Mall Shooting
Last Edited: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007, 7:06 PM CST
Created: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007, 4:10 PM CST
Associated Press Writer
OMAHA, Neb. -- A man opened fire with a rifle at a busy department store Wednesday, killing eight people before taking his own life, in an attack that made holiday shoppers run screaming through a mall and barricade themselves in dressing rooms. Five more people were wounded, two critically.
The gunman left a suicide note that was found at his home by his mother, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak. TV station KETV reported that the note said he wanted to "go out in style."
Style? Style is the seven year old girl that risked her life to save her mother!
The Huffington Post has a detailed expose on Mike Huckabee's involvement with the release of Wayne Dumond, the convicted rapist who went on to rape and murder another woman after being released from prison.
I would caution any reader of the Huffington Post to take anything there with a minimum of one grain of salt; the Huffington Post is on most days a den of liberal spin.
Having issued that caution, however, and taken that grain of salt (or even a few shakes of the salt shaker, for me), I can say that I've researched this issue fairly well for someone not close to the sources, and I don't see anything here inconsistent with other things I've found. Also, Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator blog says "the writer is a solid journalist and he backs up every single word he writes."
According to the author of the piece, Murray Waas, here are a couple of the salient points of the issue:
- Huckabee supported the release of Dumond on the campaign trail because "he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public"
- Because Huckabee lobbied the state parole board, "Dumond was let out of prison 25 years before his sentence would have ended"
Huckabee says no one could have known that Dumond would be a threat to the public after being released. However, it seems a number of people tried to warn him that Dumond really was guilty, and deserved to be in prison a long, long time.
The Huffington Post also has copies of letters sent to Huckabee's office from another of Dumond's rape victim and her daughter here. These letters are from a woman who says Dumond raped her in 1976 while her 3 year old daughter was in bed with her, but never filed charges because she was too afraid. The HuffPost piece says Dumond told the victim he'd come back and rape and kill her 3 year old daughter if she told anyone.
Of particular note in one of those letters from the victim, she said, after saying that Dumond had a number of previous brushes with the law that he "conned" his way out of, "My greatest fear is that since he was finally caught and sentenced for his crime, the next time he will be more careful not to leave a witness to testify against him." Since Dumond did in fact murder his next rape victim, this victim's fears were realized.
She also points out that before Huckabee came on the scene, the parole board had reviewed Dumond's records three times and denied release each time. She also mentioned that Dumond had made threatening statements that after he was released, things would be different when the "rabbit had the gun."
The HuffPost piece also says information was sent to Huckabee's office including "a police report in which Dumond confessed to the rape." (This would be the 1976 rape for which he was never charged). The piece says Dumond later refused to sign his confession (not that uncommon, speaking as a cop who's seen people realize they've buried themselves after initially making a confession), and since the victim was too afraid to file charges, the case went no further.
Years later Dumond was arrested and found guilty of raping at gunpoint Ashley Stevens, a 17 year old cheerleader in 1984. This is the crime for which he was serving prison time when Huckabee began lobbying for his release. Dumond had been sentenced to life+20 years. In 1992, Governor Jim Guy Tucker reduced Dumond's sentence to sentence to 39.5 years, which made him eligible for parole.
When Huckabee became governor and was talking about releasing Dumond, according to the HuffPost piece
Stevens, her father, and Fletcher Long, the Arkansas state prosecuting attorney who sent Dumond to prison, met with Huckabee to protest.
The piece also says
Twenty women members of the state House of Representatives protested the commutation proposal. The editorial pages of some Arkansas newspapers questioned Huckabee's judgment and suggested he reconsider.
According to the HuffPost piece, despite having received these letters mentioned above from state government records, Huckabee's office has dodged admitting these letters were sent to the governor's office:
"There were no letters sent to the governor's office from any rape victims," Huckabee campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart said on Tuesday when contacted by the Huffington Post.
Subsequently, however, the campaign provided a former senior aide of Huckabee's who did remember reading at least one of the letters.
Murray Waas, the writer of the HuffPost piece, says these letters and other records were given to him in 2002 by a Republican staffer who worked for then-Governor Huckabee. Waas says he didn't go public with the records at the time out of consideration for the rape victims, but now that Huckabee is running for president, he consulted with the victims and decided to make them public.
Waas says that in the information given to Huckabee about Dumond was a letter from a woman who says she was almost raped by Dumond. The letter says Dumond entered her bedroom at night and was about to rape her, but when he saw the woman's boyfriend in the bed, he quickly ran from the house. She said she was talked out of filing charges by the police, who said it would be hard to prove.
These incidents weren't Dumond's only experiences with crime. The HuffPost piece says he was arrested in 1972 for his involvement in a beating death, but he was granted immunity for his testimony against two others involved. Dumond admitted to beating the man, but said he didn't strike the fatal blows.
Dumond was arrested in 1973 for assaulting a teenage girl. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years probation.
RawStory has ABC video of an interview on Good Morning America this morning with Lois Davidson, the mother of Carol Sue Shields, the woman Dumond raped and murdered after being released from prison. The ABC News blog also has further information and a video.
But it appears Carol Sue Shields wasn't Dumond's last victim. Again from the HuffPost piece:
But Dumond's arrest for those crimes in June 2001 came too late for 23-year-old Sara Andrasek of Platte County, Missouri. Dumond allegedly raped and murdered her just one day before his arrest for raping and murdering Shields. Prior to the attack, Andrasek and her husband had learned that she was pregnant with their first child.
Dumond died of natural causes while in prison on September 1, 2005. At the time of his death, Missouri authorities were readying capital murder charges against Dumond for the rape and murder of Andrasek.
The HuffPost piece and others I've read have mentioned a "sympathy factor" that might have played a part in Huckabee's support of Dumond's release. After all, Dumond seems to have been castrated by unknown assailants while awaiting trial for raping Ashley Stevens. However...
Evidence has since come to light indicating that Dumond might not have been attacked but engaged in an act of self-mutilation. A physician who treated Dumond after his alleged attack told police, according to state police records, that Dumond's own wife asked him "if it was possible for Dumond to have inflicted the wound himself." The Forest City Times Herald, which published a series of articles about the Dumond controversy in 1996, quoted experts on sexual predators as saying it was not uncommon for them to engage in acts of self-mutilation to garner sympathy or because they feel guilt for what they have done.
Even if Dumond's story were true, that should still have zero bearing on how his guilt in Stevens' rape is viewed, and in whether Dumond's sentence should have been reduced.
As this story has received increasing attention in the press, Huckabee has tried to minimize his role in Dumond's release, and has said he didn't lobby the parole board for Dumond's release. However, here's what Waas says about that:
four board members -- three of who spoke on the record -- said that Huckabee lobbied and pressured board members on the matter. This included a 1996 executive meeting at which the board's recording secretary -- who ordinarily tapes the entire sessions -- was asked to leave the room. Several board members and members of the state legislator have said the secret session violated state law.
From the HuffPost piece, here's what the woman who was raped with her 3-year old daughter in the bed with her says:
When Huckabee pushed through Dumond's parole, she says, "It was like he believed we were lying and Dumond was telling the truth. I wish he would now say in front of the entire world whether we told the truth or lied. And if he believes we told the truth, explain why he did what he did."
Another very telling piece of information from the HuffPost piece:
Huckabee also wrote in his campaign book that his intervention on Dumond's behalf reflected his broad philosophy that the criminal justice system is too harsh...
My first reaction to this: is Huckabee delusional??? While any system administered by human beings will have its mistakes and flaws, if anything our system is FAR too soft. The Dumond case demonstrates this all the way through, from his 5-year probation for assaulting a teenager in 1973 to his early release for raping Ashley Stevens. And Dumond is only one example. The criminal justice system is FULL of criminals who, when compared to the severity of their crimes, have only received a mild slap on the wrist.
I know I probably sound like a broken record, but this insight into Huckabee's personal opinions and philosophies once again reinforces what I suspected back in July of this year when I heard that Huckabee said he was a "'grace' Christian, not a 'law' Christian."
Law is just as important as grace (it was law/righteousness that demanded Christ die on the cross in the first place, to extend grace to us), but in my experience, most folks who talk in these terms have an immature grasp of the relationship between grace and law, and don't understand that firmness (with a graceful attitude) is often required in dealing with sin, wrong, crime and evil. They don't seem to understand that sometimes the moral thing to do is to say "no," or even knock over some tables from time to time.
This unbalanced misunderstanding doesn't usually stay confined to hypothetical theology, but usually plays out in real life situations such as parenting, how we deal with others, the kind of things we advocate, and for elected officials, how they deal with right and wrong.
This information about Huckabee's statement in his campaign book only reaffirms my belief that he has not yet reached this understanding--which can be bad for any person, but is outright dangerous in an elected official.
There's a LOT of information in the HuffPost piece, and I may have been a little scattered in trying to summarize it here; if so, I apologize. If you're even remotely considering supporting Mike Huckabee, please go read this whole piece.
HT to the American Spectator blog.
Girl, 7, Shot 6 Times While Protecting Mother
Last Edited: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007, 5:43 PM CST
Created: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007, 10:43 AM CST
A Detroit girl who jumped in front of a hail of bullets to protect her mother from an enraged gunman Saturday night is being hailed as an “angel from heaven.”
Alexis Goggins, 7, was hit protecting her mother Selietha Parker, 30, after Parker's ex-boyfriend Calvin Tillie, 29, forced the pair and family friend Aisha Ford to drive to Six Mile Road under threat of death, the Detroit News reported.
(Full Report on Fox News)
A young child with a big, loving heart and the courage of a giant!
Duncan Hunter speaks at the VFW Forum in Houston TX on Aug 28.
For a change, a sane decision out of our court system.
A federal appeals court has ruled that a voluntary faith-based prison program that has proven effective in reducing recidivism by half can move forward at an Iowa prison.
"We are grateful to the Eighth Circuit for refusing to handcuff people of faith who are helping corrections officials turn inmates' lives around," Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley said. "What was at stake here, at its heart, is public safety. The keys to reducing recidivism and protecting the public from repeat offenses are the very kinds of effective rehabilitation and re-entry services provided by the InnerChange Freedom Initiative."
"Prison inmates face daunting odds: statistically, two-thirds of them will be rearrested within three years of their release," said Sen. Fred Thompson, a candidate for the GOP nomination for president. "As a society, we must do something to reduce this number and help returning inmates break the cycle of crime.
It's refreshing to see a court do something RIGHT for a change. Our system is usually obsessed with a host of politically correct consideration, and in the past this has resulted in voluntary faith-based prison ministries being shut down due to the gross misinterpretation of the First Amendment and the myth of "separation of church and state."
Why should it be a novel concept, in a country founded by Christians on Christian principles, that the best way to reduce crime would be to introduce criminals to moral values?
Even Christians sometimes give in and do wrong, but the only way to truly redeem a life--especially one corrupted to the point of crime--is the regeneration that comes from being born again as a follower of Christ.
No one forces this on prisoners, but if they choose to participate in such faith-based prison ministries, they have a chance to learn a better way of living. They have a chance to learn that they are created in the image of God, and possess a dignity greater than what is reflected in a life of crime. And if they truly want it, they can get a new life--both here and for eternity--through these programs.
The only sane alternative to faith-based prison ministries is to lock up violent criminals for a long, long, long time. The public deserves no less than to to be safe. Locking up criminals is costly and essentially a dead-end for a human life; allowing them access to a positive moral code and a regenerated life is much cheaper, and the more humanitarian option.
Let's hope more court decisions clear the way for the better option for our prison system--and our society.
A new video from Rep. Tom Tancredo on why we need to control our borders and get a handle on illegal immigration.
Seems I'm not the only one with a huge lack of confidence in Mike Huckabee's ability to make the "tough choices" required of a president.
Paul at Powerline, who has defended Huckabee on occasion in the past, says Huckabee's problem isn't that he's a moral man, but that he's "moralistic."
My main objection to Huckabee -- the reason why he's my fifth choice out of five -- is that I lack confidence in his ability to fight terrorism. It's not just that he lacks experience in this realm, though that's certainly the case. The real problem is that he's too moralistic (which is not the same thing as moral). My first clue came when he said during an early debate that we need to remain in Iraq because "we broke it." Not because we need to defeat al Qaeda; not because we need to limit Iranian influence or avoid a devastating defeat at the hands of terrorists; but because we injured this formerly peaceful state. Huckabee's exaltation of moralism (in this case dubious) over policy calculation was difficult to miss.
I consider morality very important, but I would have to agree with this distinction between being moral and being moralistic. Moralistic tends to carry the connotation of espousing moral ideals solely for the sake of sounding moral, rather than in pursuit of what is truly the moral and best course of action.
Huckabee seems very concerned with looking like a "nice guy." While being nice is a positive trait, was Jesus "nice" when he called certain people what the were: a den of snakes? Was Jesus being "nice" when he said some people will make it to heaven and some won't? Was Jesus "nice" when he kicked over the tables and drove some people out of the temple with a whip? Was his disciple Stephen "nice" when he called some leaders "stiff-necked people?"
Sometimes it can be tough--and take toughness--to do the moral thing. I don't think Mike Huckabee understands that.
CBS News has picked up the story about Mike Huckabee's "Willie Horton" which involves Wayne Dumond, the convicted rapist that Huckabee worked to free from prison early...and who went on to rape and murder a woman after he was released.
The CBS piece points out that while Huckabee's camp has tried to downplay his involvement in Dumond's release, the Arkansas governor's involvement is "exhaustively detailed" at the Arkansas Times.
From the CBS piece:
DuMond's release was delayed because a number of states did not want to take him in, but he left prison in 1999 and ended up in Missouri. Not long after he arrived, he was arrested again - this time for sexually assaulting and murdering a woman named Carol Sue Shields. DuMond was also the leading suspect in the rape and murder of another woman. He was convicted of murdering Shields and died in prison in 2005.
According to Arkansas Times editor Max Brantley, who has tangled repeatedly with Huckabee over the years, the governor's influence clearly played a role in DuMond's release from prison.
"In the end, he took a series of actions that can be interpreted only one way: That he was an advocate for Wayne DuMond," said Brantley. "And it was bad judgment. And he's never been willing to take responsibility for it."
I believe this incident and others such as his unwillingness to uphold the rule of law in dealing with illegal aliens demonstrates that Huckabee is unwilling or unable to deal firmly with matters involving crime and right and wrong.
That's not a positive characteristic in a candidate for president of the most powerful country on earth, in a world full of hostile and evil people.
Still another study that shows a correlation between abortion and substance abuse.
Young women who have abortions are more likely to drink heavily and abuse hard drugs, the study found. The study of 1,122 young women, born at the Mater hospital in the early 1980's, showed that about one third had an abortion. This one third was three times more likely to have abused methamphetamine, heroin or sniffed glue.
They were twice as likely to be binge drinkers or alcoholics, and 1.5 times more likely to suffer depression.
Substance abuse usually doesn't come about because people are fulfilled and happy, but because they're disturbed about something and/or trying to run from something in their lives (I speak from experience, too).
Ignoring for a moment that abortion ends a human life in the womb, with the kind of evidence piling up that abortion harms women (infertility, depression, substance abuse, breast cancer, etc.) if this was a pill offered by a pharmaceutical company to treat an illness, I'm certain their would be massive public outcry to pull this product from the shelves. I'm also sure the "mainstream" media would be doing plenty of expose's on how dangerous this all was.
But since it's abortion and it involves sexual freedom...when we don't hear the howls of derision from the pro-abortion elites, we just hear the cricks chirping.
As the Baltimore Sun blog points out, the U.S. Senate committee on Environment and Public Works is scheduled to make a historic vote on global warming this week.
This could be the first time a U.S. Senate body has voted on a science-fiction scare. (Didn't we learn anything after the "War of the Worlds" radio program?)
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland is a co-sponsor of the bill. A group of Maryland environmental groups recently wrote a letter to Cardin (see below) urging him to strengthen the bill. They praise the proposal as a good first step, but they want to end the bill's free giveaway of pollution credits to power companies and amend the legislation to create a more aggressive target of an 80 percent cut by 2050.
"This is the first time ever a Senate committee is voting on a global warming bill, and that's historic," said Brad Heavner, director of Environment Maryland. "There is some reasonable expectation that this will get to the floor, but the big question is will it get stronger or weaker?....We think it needs to be stronger."
As this blog reported last month, Europe tried a pollution credit trading system to curb carbon dioxide emissions after it passed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and power companies worked the system to make billions in profits. Electricity customers paid higher bills, thinking they were contributing to a cooler planet. But their money just went into the pockets of the electric companies, which didn't end up actually cutting down on their carbon dioxide emissions.
As this blog has repeatedly pointed out, anthropogenic global warming may just be the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the human race. And this Democrat-controlled Senate committee is poised to penalize American business and the American people based on bad science and fantasy.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Boy Scouts ignore 'pay-up-or-move' ultimatum
Philadelphia threatening $199,999 rent increase or eviction
Posted: December 4, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Officials with the Cradle of Liberty Boy Scouts organization in Philadelphia have ignored a city deadline either to promise to pay a rent hike of $199,999 a year or agree to move out of the organization's historic headquarters.
Officials with the national headquarters for Boy Scouts of America declined comment, telling WND the issue had been left up to Cradle of Liberty organization officials to explain, and they did not return WND requests for a comment.
However, council spokesman Jeff Jubelirer told the Associated Press the group can neither go against a national organization policy, nor can it pay the rent, which the city raised from $1 a year to $200,000.
The city had demanded a decision from the Boy Scouts by Monday on whether they would pay the rent, raised by the city after the organization refused city demands to drop a national policy banning homosexuals as members or Scout leaders.
"If I do not receive an executed lease, signed by the Boy Scouts, to remain as tenants paying a fair market rent, we will begin looking for alternative tenants that can take over the property June 1, 2008," Romulo Diaz, the city solicitor, said earlier. He, according to Philadelphia media reports, is an open homosexual.
Philadelphia should be ashamed of itself, as should the activist involved.
I read an interesting op/ed from the Kentucky Courier-Journal today.
It seems former teacher James K. Willmot is pretty chapped about the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum.
There is a great educational injustice being inflicted upon thousands of children in this country...
he begins, referring to the museum.
I thought liberals were supposed to be open to any and every idea, no matter how insane? This guy sounds pretty intolerant of another viewpoint; he should be careful, lest Ted Kennedy excommunicate him from the Church of Tolerance. He sounds pretty threatened by this center. Could that fear spring from an uncertainty about the accuracy of his own "church's" claims?
Willmot says of AIG's creation museum:
...its new $28 million creation museum in Boone County has become the de facto source of science information to thousands of Christians who are throwing away reason and 500 years of scientific inquiry and replacing it with ignorant dogma.
So believing that the laws of nature were somehow suspended (with nothing existing to cause this suspension), allowing something to be created from nothing, which has never been observed...this isn't "ignorant dogma?"
Believing stars and galaxies can form in complete contravention of the laws of physics isn't "ignorant dogma?"
Believing life can spring from lifelessness, which has never been observed isn't "ignorant dogma?"
Believing a highly ordered universe, from the laws of physics on down to human reproduction and cellular information, has nothing to do with intelligent design...this isn't "ignorant dogma?"
Believing biological mechanisms which, due to irreducible complexity, cannot possibly have evolved from one part to the other without intelligent intervention...this isn't "ignorant dogma?"
Okay, now that we have "ignorant dogma" in context...
Willmot also claims
...a fossil record that clearly shows a progression of simple life forms becoming more complex life forms over billions of years...
when actually it doesn't. Some scientists interpret the fossil record to say this, but no one was around to observe it, and there is no record which confirms this. Another interpretation of the fossil record is that these fossils were laid down and preserved during the global flood of Noah in Genesis, and their order actually makes sense with regard to which animals would have been able to escape the flood and rapid burial longer than others. But of course, this theory takes about as much faith as believing a progression of simple life forms becoming more complex over billions of years. Hmmmm...
Willmot also says
...they are so fervent in their mission to get people to believe (or rather make believe) in their simplistic world view...
Funny, but to me that sounds like a lot of evolutionists and naturalists: so religiously fervent and dogmatic to get people to believe in their worldview of a universe of random chance that, well, they just can't tolerate a little creation museum in Kentucky.
It seems fraudulent to me that the hard work and knowledge of generations of truth-seeking scientists from Galileo to Sagan, from Darwin to Dawkins, is now being hijacked and twisted to teach our children that the sciences of paleontology, evolutionary biology, astronomy, geology, physics, etc., are not to be trusted...
Perhaps it could also be said that it seems fraudulent that the hard work and knowledge of generations of truth-seeking scientists from Galileo (who believed in God) to Copernicus, Kepler, Francis Bacon, Newton, Kelvin, Mendel, Einstein, the Wright brothers, Pascal, Pasteur, and George Washington Carver--all of whom believed in God--has been hijacked and twisted to teach our children that the sciences of paleontology, evolutionary biology, astronomy, geology, physics, etc. can only be interpreted with an atheistic view of science?
I could go on, but I think I've made my point.
I just find it interesting that some of the people who most vehemently preach the religion of tolerance are some of it's greatest heretics.
What's more, science is what it is. Neither evolutionists nor creationists disagree on the evidence; they only disagree on the interpretation of the evidence. Evolutionists refuse to admit it, but their interpretations are just as guided by their worldview (their presuppositions) as those of creationists.
The funny thing is, when you consider that all things are possible with an infinite God, but so many tenets of materialism and evolution are IMPOSSIBLE under the very laws of nature they so revere, in the final analysis, creation better fits available evidence and is a more viable theory within the framework of its own suppositions.
In other words, some of the foundational claims regarding an atheistic, materialistic universe contradict other foundational claims about that same universe. Meanwhile, there is no scientific contradiction within the framework of the universe claimed by creationists.
So which seems more credible: a theory full of self-contradictions, or a theory where all elements contained therein are in harmony?
Following up on my post from last week on Mike Huckabee's attendance at the weekend Mints-For-Terrorists confab, Huckabee says he would close Club Gitmo, the tropical retreat from the stress of jihad.
From the Washington Post:
After the Iowa poll showed that Republican voters like him but found him much less "presidential" and "electable" than Romney, Huckabee sought to build his foreign policy credentials, meeting with a group of retired generals who are in Des Moines to urge the 2008 candidates to commit to opposing torture. After the meeting, Huckabee joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in declaring his opposition to the interrogation procedure known as "waterboarding," and said he would support closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a contrast with the other leading Republicans.
HotAir has video of Huckabee talking about Club Gitmo:
MIKE HUCKABEE: I’ve been to Guantanamo, I was there, I guess it’s been about a year and a half ago. I think the problem with Guantanamo is not in that its facilities are inadequate. It’s the symbol that it represents. It’s clearly become a symbol to the rest of the world as a place that has become problematic for us as a nation. I was quite frankly impressed with the quality of the facilities and even the attention to care that was given to the detainees, but that aside, it doesn’t alter that Guantanamo to the rest of the world is a symbol that is not in our best interests to continue pursuing.
HotAir also links to a story in June where Huckabee was singing a different tune (before he got in the national spotlight?):
The former Arkansas governor, who has visited Guantanamo, said Arkansas prisoners most likely would prefer Guantanamo to incarceration in Arkansas.
“I can tell you most of our prisoners would love to be in a facility more like Guantanamo and less like the state prisons that people are in in the United States,” Huckabee said on a cable news network.
So he admits it's not an evil dungeon of torture, yet he wants to close it? So if Huckabee had been president during World War II, would he have given German POWs some complimentary bottles of shampoo and sent them home in 1943 if the Italians or Japanese had complained?
In the same Fox News article, Huckabee admits the need to keep these prisoners in the war on terrorism locked up where they can't get back in the fight themselves:
“But I tell you if we let somebody out and it turns out that they come and fly an airliner into one of our skyscrapers, we’re going to be asking how come we didn’t stop them, we had them detained,” he said. “If we’re going to make a mistake right now, let’s make it on the side of protecting the American people.”
But now that his improved poll numbers makes him seem more "presidential," suddenly he has a change of heart? Is he now reaching out to the "mushy middle?"
This kind of susceptibility to peer pressure from a bunch of jealous, corrupt countries isn't what makes good presidential material.
Ever wonder why the average American is so screwed up? Maybe it has something to do with how screwed up some of their "idols" and icons are.
For instance, consider this clip of co-hostess Sherri Shepherd, who must have slept through EVERY history class she ever had in school.
I was in one of these groups for smart kids when I was in high school, and I remember debating (informally) about nuclear weapons with one of girls in the group who was a year older than me. (This was in the early to mid 1980s, during Reagan's buildup against the Soviets). She was parroting the typical liberal drivel about guns and bombs and war and war never solving anything and giving peace a chance and all that rotgut.
Well, I finally said something about when we had dropped the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and there was this huge blank look on her face. She'd been arguing about how evil nuclear weapons were, and had no idea they had ever been used. She had no grasp of war, or how force must be used to defeat evil. Most liberals aren't quite as ignorant as this girl was, but they're often missing several key ingredients to the recipe.
At least Shepherd's other 'heads straightened her out in this clip...for the moment. But who will straighten them out when they broadcast a different flavor of ignorance later (as most of the 'heads on this View show are wont to do)?