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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, February 02, 2008

John McCain Wants to 'Assuage Conservatives'

I loved this headline from Breitbart: "McCain Tries to Assuage Conservatives."

Here's what the article says:

To assuage conservatives, McCain has rolled out endorsements from leading conservatives and aired a new television ad that mentions Ronald Reagan. He plans to attend a major gathering of conservatives later this month.

The time to "assuage conservatives" was when McCain might have asked himself, "Should I respect the First Amendment, or should I trample it by restricting free speech with my McCain-Feingold bill?"

The time to "assuage conservatives" might have been when the vote came up to deny legal status to illegal aliens convicted of crimes.

The time to "assuage conservatives" might have been when the embryonic Stem Cell Research Act came up for a vote.

The time to "assuage conservatives" might have been when the Federal Marriage Amendment came up for a vote.

The time to "assuage conservatives" might have been when a resolution to define marriage as between one man and one woman came up.

Any one (or more) of these would have been great opportunities to "assuage conservatives," but John McCain passed them up.

Now he wants the vote of conservatives, and he wants to "assuage conservatives" with words.

Is anybody besides me sick and tired of liberals trying to pass themselves off as conservatives in the Republican Party?


Does John McCain Represent Republican Values?

Watch this video, and you tell me...


Dealing with a Nuclear-Intent Iran

I've said since 2002 that dealing with Iraq was a necessary step on the way to deal with the biggest threat to stability and peace from the Middle East: Iran.

Iran, with its oil dollars, has long been the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world. Further, Iran has been pursuing a nuclear program for several years. A nuclear Iran possessed of a terrorist mindset would be lethal to hopes for stability and peace in the Middle East. And since terrorists are not confined by borders or easily identified by military uniforms, this poses a threat not only to Iran's Middle East neighbors, but to Israel, to our allies in Europe, and to the United States itself.

Norman Podhoretz has a lengthy article on the case for military action against Iran at Commentary Magazine.

Perhaps the best encapsulation of why Iran must be dealt with soon and dealt with decisively is in the eighth paragraph:

To begin with, Iran was (as certified even by the doves of the State Department) the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it was therefore reasonable to fear that it would transfer nuclear technology to terrorists who would be only too happy to use it against us. Moreover, since Iran evidently aspired to become the hegemon of the Middle East, its drive for a nuclear capability could result (as, according to the New York Times, no fewer than 21 governments in and around the region were warning) in “a grave and destructive nuclear-arms race.” This meant a nightmarish increase in the chances of a nuclear war. An even greater increase in those chances would result from the power that nuclear weapons—and the missiles capable of delivering them, which Iran was also developing and/or buying—would give the mullahs to realize their evil dream of (in the words of Ahmadinejad) “wiping Israel off the map.”

The piece also points out that while the latest intelligence estimate contradicts the previous one of 2003, in this case claiming, well we don't think Iran is pursuing a military nuclear program, that the distinction really lies in the interpretation of whether the Iranian uranium enrichment program is intended for civilian or military application. When one can fairly easily be applied to the other, this is a dangerous distinction to make.

Yet the world body of nations, looking as usual for an excuse to play the coward and bury it's head in the sand, latched onto the intelligence estimate with a near-collective, "Whew! See, we don't need to do anything!"

The article also points out something interesting about the doctrine that helped keep us from nuclear annihilation during the Cold War: MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction.

For all the coldness of atheistic communism, the Soviets still had enough humanity (or self interest?) not to unleash a flood of nuclear death. But does the typical radical Islamist see life, for himself or others, this way?

Podhorez quotes Bernard Lewis, who he says is the leading contemporary authority on Islamic culture:
MAD, mutual assured destruction, [was effective] right through the cold war. Both sides had nuclear weapons. Neither side used them, because both sides knew the other would retaliate in kind. This will not work with a religious fanatic [like Ahmadinejad]. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already that [the mullahs ruling Iran] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. In the final scenario, and this applies all the more strongly if they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.

Failure to stop Iran from getting nukes may just usher in Armageddon and the end times spoken of in the Bible, with its images of the dead numbering in millions.

We cannot wait on the world body to, like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, find some courage. The vast majority of them lack the moral compass and fortitude to have the will do do what needs to be done. And many of them, while pretending to be our allies, would as soon or rather see the Iranians develop a nuclear weapons program. Nations like Russia and China are not our friends, and may actually be hoping for our demise, and the sooner we wake up to this reality, the better.

Once Iran has nuclear weapons, it will be too late. At that point, there is almost no world leader, in place or on the horizon, who would dare risk opening the Pandora's Box of even a limited nuclear exchange with Iran. They must be stopped NOW.

With the miserable prospects for who will next occupy the White House, it may fall to Israel to do what must be done, simply because unlike us, they do not have the luxury of a two-ocean buffer zone to fall back on.


Lesson 5 - Science: What is True? - Part One

Science, the "systematic study of the natural world," brings to light innumerable evidences of Intelligent Design. But Darwinian theory transforms science from the honest investigation of nature into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy.

Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.



The Truth Project continues this week at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City this Sunday from 8:57 am to 10:15 am. Come and join us for the two-part lesson 5 on science. It could change the way you look at the world, and maybe even be life changing.


Friday, February 01, 2008

RoeGone.org Did Ad on Romney, Now Going After McCain's Record

MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- RoeGone.org, who earlier this week made news by exposing the liberal Romney record, including tax funded abortion on demand, today launches a new ad to expose the McCain record against life, marriage, and free speech.

"McCain and Romney have both called each other a 'liberal'," said RoeGone.org spokesperson Sharon Blakeney. "The truth of the matter is that they're both right and these ads prove it."

"McCain not only favors funding medical experiments on human embryos that destroy their lives, he was one of only seven Republicans to vote against the Marriage Protection Amendment," added Blakeney.

"He then sued Wisconsin Right to Life because they had the audacity to suggest that their members contact their Congressional Representatives during the McCain-Feingold 'no free speech zone' prior to an election."

Here is the transcript of the new television ad on Senator McCain:

Three critical issues: Protecting life. Protecting Free Speech. Protecting marriage.

Senator John McCain favors forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, which the National Right to Life Committee says: "requires killing human embryos."

McCain violated our Free Speech rights with the notorious McCain-Feingold Act, and personally sued Wisconsin Right to Life for communicating with their members prior to an election.

John McCain is one of only seven Republican senators who voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment supported by President Bush.

The homosexual Log Cabin Republicans call him a "Republican hero" for gays and lesbians.

And no wonder…

Chris Matthews asked: "Should gay marriage be allowed?"

McCain: "I think that gay marriage should be allowed if there's a ceremony kind of thing if you want to call it that."

George Stephanopolous asked: "Are you against civil unions for gay couples?"

McCain: "No, I am not."

John McCain: Against protecting life. Against protecting free speech. Against protecting marriage.

Contact Info: Sharon Blakeney 830-816-2222
RoeGone.org, P.O. Box 101, Dania Beach, FL 33004


Ann Coulter: Will Campaign for Hillary if McCain is GOP Nominee

I think Ann Coulter is yanking our chain here.



On Hannity and Colmes, Coulter says Hillary Clinton will prosecute the war on terrorism better than John McCain, lies less than McCain and that at least when the Clinton's get caught lying, they know it, but McCain is "too stupid to know he's been caught."


A Closer Look at the Record of John McCain

You've probably heard a number of conservatives including Rush Limbaugh say that Senator John McCain isn't a good conservative. But is that really true? Are such statements based upon solid evidence, or just some personal animosity toward the man?

Today Human Events has posted a piece by Chris Field examining John McCain's record on some key conservative issues.

The news is not good for John McCain if he'd rather appeal to conservatives than the "mainstream" media types he's been pandering to for the past 10 years or so.

Taxes: Fields points out that not only has McCain established a record of opposing tax cuts, but using class envy language like a good Marxist Democrat. He also won't sign a pledge not to support increases to tax rates.

Judges: He and his "Gang of 14" or "Sellout Seven" undermined his party's leadership in the Senate in ending filibusters of the best judicial nominees. He has also been quoted recently as opposing solid originalist judges like Samuel Alito.

Marriage and Homosexuality: Though he supported the 1996 DOMA, he has repeatedly opposed efforts to get a Federal Marriage Amendment into the Constitution to protect the definition and institution of marriage from activist judges who could "redefine" the fundamental institution of any ordered society.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Though he has a pretty good pro-life record, he supports expanding this research which has produced zero results and destroys human life in the research process.

War on Terrorism: Undermines the effort by joining liberals and other anti-Americans in calling for the closure of terrorist POW camp Club Gitmo. He has also undermined efforts in the war on terrorism by comparing mild U.S. tactics that are rarely used like waterboarding to the cutting, stabbing, slashing, bashing and beheading done by real torturers.

Energy and Environment: Opposes domestic oil exploration in places such as ANWR. Believes in the fantasy of man-made global warming and supports carbon credit trading schemes.

Gun Control: Has supported anti-gun bills that undermine gun ownership and the Second Amendment.

There is more, much more, in Chris Fields' article.

I used to like Senator McCain, but he shifted Left around 1999 or 2000. Maybe he got addicted to love, the love he received from the "mainstream" media when he shifted Left just a little. Maybe it felt so good he just kept doing it.

I suggest you read the whole thing if you're considering supporting John McCain.


Dobson Still Opposes McCain

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, remains opposed to John McCain's presidential bid, according to NewsMax:

Dobson, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christians, declared more than a year ago that he wouldn't support McCain under any circumstances, saying McCain didn't support traditional marriage values.

A Dobson spokesman told the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick Wednesday that he stood by that position, and as a matter of conscience could never vote for the Arizona Senator.

The article mentions other conservatives who are opposed to McCain, such as Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Toomey.

It also mentions a few conservatives who have warmed to McCain. I have to wonder who changed: McCain or them? Or have they simply lowered their expectations?

Admittedly, at this point the only choice left to conservative voters from the GOP field is, "Which of these is the least lousy candidate?" As for me, I have a tough time answering that question.


In the War on Terrorism, the Enemy is Evil

I haven't always agreed with everything George Bush has done; in fact, there's a lot I disagree with him on. But in the war on terrorism, I think that for the most part he gets it. When I say "he gets it," I mean he understands the nature of the enemy, and that they are not just underprivileged or misguided, but evil.

Breitbart.com has two stories out that illustrate this sad reality.

al-Qaida apparently used two women who had Downs Syndrome as suicide bombers to kill 73 people at a couple of markets in Baghdad. The bombings were coordinated about 20 minutes apart in different parts of the city.

It's despicable enough to deliberately target civilians for death, and brings the whole proposition to a new low when they use mentally impaired women.

Aside from the fact that a woman and even a mentally handicapped woman is less likely to arouse suspicion, the act is especially heinous because while most suicide bombers go to their deaths willingly, these women, having Downs Syndrome, certainly didn't understand that they were being used as human missiles.

This Islamofacist enemy has no regard for human dignity, and values human life not in the least. It only knows hate, rage and violence.

The case could probably be made that President Bush did not deal decisively enough with terrorism in Iraq until the surge. But there several in the current field of presidential candidates, both Democrat and Republican, who fundamentally lack even Bush's former understanding of the nature of the enemy we face there...and it's not just one candidate on either side of the political aisle.

We cannot afford to handle terrorism or national security threats with kid gloves. We cannot afford to appease evil; every time it's been tried in the past 100 years, millions have died (just ask Neville Chamberlain).

If we elect a president who is unable or unwilling to deal firmly with the evil that threatens the United States and our allies, 911 may end up looking like a warm up.


Catholic Advocate Network Opposes Pharmacist Conscience Bill


The Catholic Advocate Network out of Sioux Falls has picked up on SB 164, the bill in the South Dakota legislature to take away the right of a pharmacist to exercise their conscience in issuing dangerous drugs and abortifacents.

They have issued a comprehensive fact sheet that outlines the ramifications of this bill, and why it is based on a number of fallacious arguments.

Some of the consequences of SB 164:

- Takes away the right of a pharmacist to exercise his or her conscience in issuing drugs that may cause the abortion of a newly conceived human being

- Indirectly attempts to revise the definition of "unborn child" in South Dakota Codified Law 22-1-2(50A) which defines an unborn child as "an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth"

- Refers to "government intrusions" by "government entities" in such a way that contextually implies that pharmacists are government entities, and that by exercising their conscience, they are imposing a "government intrusion" on a woman seeking contraceptives or abortifacients

- Is written broadly to include "consenting individuals" which may also mean minors could have access to birth control without their parents knowledge or permission

The fact sheet also reveals the fallacious arguments which motivates such a bill:

- That greater access to contraceptives reduces abortion (it doesn't)

- That emergency contraception or Plan B doesn't induce abortions (it can)

- That laws providing greater access to contraceptives for teens reduces teen abortion rates (it doesn't)

Contrary to the odd language of this bill, instead of preventing "government intrusions," this bill would constitute a government intrusion upon the right of pharmacist to follow their conscience when it comes to selling drugs they believe are immoral. We don't really want people who ignore their conscience to be dispensing drugs, do we?

If you're a South Dakota citizen who believes pharmacists should not be robots, but should be able to exercise their conscience when it comes to selling drugs that can cause harm to human beings, and find some of the other effects of this bill undesirable, you may want to contact your legislators and the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before that committee this coming Monday on Feb. 4.


Statement by President Bush on the Economy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, Feb. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by the President on the Economy:

Hallmark Cards, Inc.
10:47 A.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. Thank you for letting me come by to say hello. A couple of observations -- one, you work for a fabulous company of caring people. I appreciate, Don, your hospitality. I am still trying to recover from the kindergarten experience. (Laughter.) I mean, you talk about sapping a person's energy. (Laughter.) But it was a fabulous experience.

I got to see Hallmark cards being made, and the fella kindly made me one that said, "For your daughters." It was sweet, but it just didn't have any warning in there about how to conduct myself for the upcoming wedding. (Laughter.)

I'm here in Kansas City for a couple reasons. One, I do want to spend a little time on the economy. I had breakfast this morning with entrepreneurs, small business owners; I want to find out what's on their mind. I'll tell you that there's a sense of optimism I was pleased to hear. People are confident about the future -- at least, these business owners were -- and they should be. Interest rates are low, inflation is low, productivity is high. But there are certainly some troubling signs. There are serious signs that the economy is weakening and that we got to do something about it.

Today we got such a sign when after 52 consecutive months of job creation, we lost 17,000 jobs. The unemployment rate went down, but nevertheless, a serious matter is that for the first time in 52 months that we didn't create jobs.

And so the question is what do we do about it? Does government have a responsibility and, if so, what is it? I do think government has a responsibility. I think government can take decisive action to help us deal with this period of uncertainty. One such action is to help people stay in their homes. We got some of our citizens purchased mortgages that they can't afford now. Hopefully the reason -- hopefully they didn't get deceived, and if they did, the government has a responsibility to take care of that. In other words, we don't want people buying a mortgage and the person who sold them the mortgage didn't fully disclose the reset inherent in a subprime note.

But we can help people stay in their homes by connecting the borrower with the mortgage industry. Now, what makes it difficult in this day and age is that when I bought a home, I sat down with the saving and loan officer -- and had I gotten in a financial bind, I would have gone back to that same officer and said, you own my note, help me refinance so I can stay in my home. Today, that financial institution probably doesn't own the note anymore. Somebody else owns the note, and therefore we're trying to make sure we connect the borrower with somebody in the mortgage industry that will help them refinance.

And that's why we started what's called the HOPE NOW Alliance. Security Paulson and Secretary Jackson are bringing people together from the private sector, and they couple that with an information campaign, so that people who have a subprime loan know how to refinance and can find somebody to help them refinance. It's been a complicated matter, but nevertheless we're very much engaged in helping people sort through what is definitely a difficult period in their life.

The government can help. The Federal Housing Administration has got the capacity to help refinance homes, and they need to expand the authority of the FHA to do it. And Congress needs to get that bill passed. I mean, this will be a positive step toward helping people stay in homes. And that's what we want to do. See, you notice, I'm not saying we're going to bail out the lenders -- we're going to help the individual person be able to keep their home. It's in the interest of the country we do that.

Secondly, there are bonding authorities, tax-exempt bonding authorities that are now used to help people buy new homes. States and local governments ought to be able to use that money to help people stay in the home they have. And that will be helpful as well. So here are some constructive measures that we can take. There's a cyclicality when it comes to housing interests -- housing industry. But in the meantime, or during this down cycle we want to help individual Americans.

Secondly, a concern is whether or not our consumers will lose confidence in our economy. You don't want that to happen at Hallmark -- you want the consumers to still buy your product on a regular basis. And one way to address that issue is to have a temporary, robust tax rebate. And that's what we're working on in Congress. You hear this discussion of a stimulus package -- well, a key component of that package is to give you some of your money back so you can spend it.

And the House of Representatives passed a good package. The administration worked with the House -- it may surprise you that Republicans and Democrats can actually get something done in a constructive fashion, but it happened in this case, for the good of the country. And now the Senate is debating the bill, and it's very important for the Senate to finish their work quickly because the sooner we can get money into our consumers' hands, the more likely it is, is that this economy will get back -- recover from this period of uncertainty.

The fundamentals are strong, we're just in a rough patch, as witnessed by the employment figures today. And I'm confident we can get through this rough patch and one way to do it is for Congress and the administration to work collaboratively and get this deal done.

Now, a key component, as well, of a growth package is to encourage businesses to invest. Why would you do that? Well, if Hallmark buys a new piece of equipment, somebody has to make that equipment. In other words, job creation happens when people make investments. And if you, therefore, stimulate businesses, both large and small, to make investments this year, as quickly as possible, it means somebody is more likely to keep work and the economy will continue to be strong.

So the two key components of this package are, one, enhance consumerism by giving consumers money. It's not like a great gift -- after all, it's your own money, we're just giving it back to you and encouraging businesses to invest. I believe we can get this package done; I know it has to be done quickly. I appreciate the fact that the Senate is trying to work through this as quickly as possible, so I'm just urging them to get it done. Because the sooner this package makes it to my desk, that actually focuses on ways to stimulate growth, the better off our economy is going to be.

Finally, we need to be thinking about how to effect economic growth in the long-term. We'll deal with the short-term issue, but as we do so, we also need to be wise about policy so that we can continue this period of growth that we've had.

A couple points I want to make to you on that. One is it's important for Hallmark to be able to sell your cards overseas. I mean, the more people that are exposed to the Hallmark product, the more likely it is that they'll buy. You just want a chance to compete. And so trade is an important aspect of -- to making sure our economy remains strong. There are some folks who worry about trade. They want to protect America from products from overseas. I am concerned about protectionism, and so should you, because if we end up having trade wars, it's going to be less likely Hallmark products will be sold overseas.

My attitude is, just give us a chance, let's level the playing field. We can compete with anybody, any time. We've got to have confidence in our capacity to compete in the world. And trade is an important aspect for keeping economic vitality alive. Education is important. You've got some awfully smart people working here, but they need to be -- the future of Hallmark depends upon having an educated work force. That's the way it is in most U.S. companies.

And so I'm very much focused on making sure our education system gets it right in the beginning -- "right in the beginning" means teaching kids to read and write and add and subtract. I cannot stand a system that refuses to measure. I think it's an appropriate question to ask, can a child read, and if not, what do you intend to do about it?

Accountability is an integral part of making sure this system doesn't leave people behind. I am passionate on the subject of measuring because I used to be a governor of a state and I knew who got shuffled through the schools: inner-city kids; "These are people too hard to educate, let's just move them through"; parents who -- kids whose parents don't speak English as a first language. It's unacceptable to America not to insist that every child gets a good education. And so I'm going to work with Congress on this No Child Left Behind law, which is a very important part of making sure the workforce of the future is educated and ready to compete in a global economy.

Finally, taxes -- you know, I'm sure you've heard that, well, we need more money in Washington; therefore, we're going to raise your taxes. Of course it's disguised by saying, we're only going to tax rich people -- but that's not the way it works. Rich people tend to hire lawyers and accountants, and you get stuck with the bill. We don't need more money. We need to prioritize your money. We need to be wise about how we spend your money.

Raising taxes in a time of economic uncertainty would be bad for the economy and it would be bad for our people. I believe we ought to trust Americans to spend their money. I mean, the truth of the matter is you can spend it more wisely than the government can. And so in my State of the Union the other day I called upon Congress to make the tax cuts permanent. I want to deal with this aspect of uncertainty. See, if you think your tax bill is fixing to go up -- which it is, unless Congress acts; it will be going up in a couple of years -- it could change your behavior. It could cause people to pull back and not be confident about the future.

And I also called on them to stop this business about putting special projects in legislation without being voted on. That doesn't make any sense. I mean, our process is one where there should be transparency and -- like, if a project is important enough for a member of Congress to slip into what's called a conference report, that project ought to be important enough for there to be a full vote -- members of Congress get to look at and see if it makes any sense.

So I've got an agenda for Congress. I'm looking forward to working with them on how to stimulate the economy in the short-term, but make sure we remain a strong economy in the long-term. And I'm looking forward to working with them. I like the spirit I found up in the halls of Congress. There's still a little politics in Washington, D.C., but that's not to say we can't work for the common good.

I appreciate you all giving me a chance to come by and visit with you. I hope you can tell I'm optimistic about the future of the country, realistic about the issues we face, and have -- got a plan to deal with them. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)


Kooiker and Adelstein to Vie for Dist. 32 Senate?

It's no secret that RINO Stan Adelstein is planning a run against Democrat Tom Katus, the Democrat that Adelstein installed in the District 32 state Senate seat instead of supporting fellow Republican candidate Elli Schwiesow.

Now a Rapid City Weekly News article claims that Senator Tom Katus says he's been told that Republican Rapid City Alderman Sam Kooiker will definitely run for the Dist. 32 Senate seat.

Kooiker ran for mayor last year, and in a contest against Alan Hanks, things got dirty. Though Kooiker tried to run a clean campaign, the Hanks campaign, backed by Adelstein's finances and advice, ended up running a nasty "wingnut" mailer against Kooiker. It came out that Adelstein was behind this dirty flier.

Now Kooiker and Adelstein may go head-to-head for the Dist. 32 Senate seat.

The article indicates a coy reply from Kooiker as to whether he's running, but Kooiker also says that despite Adelstein's huge financial resources, he doesn't think Adelstein is unbeatable. Kooiker points out in the article that Adelstein has city council opposition before to no avail.

Adelstein's wealth is formidable, as his $80,000 in campaign contributions to Democrats (he claims to be a Republican) in 2006 illustrates, but I don't believe he's unbeatable either.

It could be that he's shown what a vindictive, dirty-campaigner he can be, and people might figure they don't want someone like that representing them in the South Dakota legislature. And don't forget his liberal social politics; that doesn't play too well in western South Dakota, either.

It'll be interesting to see what develops in Dist. 32 this year.


Capitalists Who Bash Capitalism

CNS News features an article about Bill Gates complaining that capitalism--what made him worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 billion--is an unfair system that aggravates poverty.

Bill Gates told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week that under pure capitalism, "the great advances in the world have often aggravated the inequities in the world. The least needy see the most improvement, and the most needy see the least."

I suppose my first question of Gates might be, "Does that mean you will be closing Microsoft and moving to North Korea?" After all, if capitalism is such a terrible system, how can a man who feels the plight of the poor so acutely remain involved in it?

If Gates declined to close Microsoft, I would then ask, "So will you be donating all of your personal profits, except $50,000 or so per year, to the poor and needy? You shouldn't need more than that to live on, right?" Somehow I expect the answer would be "no" here, too.

If Gates really cared that much, he could certainly donate more than he already is--considerably more--and still be left with considerably more than $50,000 a year. If he really wanted to.

We will never eradicate poverty (even Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with you"), and we will never completely eradicate inequality in this fallen, sinful world.

But in this fallen world, an economic system of capitalism built upon a governmental system based on morality and integrity is about as good as you're going to get.

The only real alternative, socialism or communism, has been demonstrated over and over again not to work. Look to any country that has tried communism (Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, etc.) and you will find crumbling infrastructure and starving people. Look to any country of any size that has tried socialism and you will find bloated budgets, loss of freedom, and a degradation of human dignity and initiative.

"What I think he's missing there is that capitalism hasn't failed the poorest people in the world - it simply hasn't been tried in the poorest countries in the world," Boas told Cybercast News Service.

"The failure is that poor countries have socialism and corporate fascism and cronyism and central planning - but they haven't tried capitalism, property rights and the rule of law," he added.

Fred L. Smith, founder and president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted that nowhere in his speech did Gates call for poor countries to change their anti-capitalist governments.

I recall the idiocy of liberalism back in the 1980s during the famine in Ethiopia ("We Are The World"). Instead of working to free the people of Ethiopia from their oppressive communist government, liberals in the West raised lots of money for starving Ethiopians...that went into the pockets of the despots running Ethiopia and starving their own people.

It is no coincidence that the most free and prosperous nations around the world are the ones with the most free-market capitalist systems. Sure, some people get very rich in capitalism, but everyone benefits. After all, you don't get rich just from good looks; you have to create a product or service that people will pay for, and you need to hire people to help you create that. This system benefits many.

There will always be room for misuse, abuse and evil in any system (remember how the pigs were "more equal" in "The Animal Farm"--and in communist countries?), but at least in open, free-market systems there is room for initiative and upward mobility for the individual who engages his creativity and drive. And free countries don't have the police powers of the state bearing down on everyone, keeping them in place and locked in as they do in Marxist societies and dictatorships.

Instead of bashing the system that has brought comfort and affluence to more people than any other economic system ("the poor" in capitalist societies usually have it pretty good) why don't liberals try something novel for a change?

Why not work to get us away from dead-end socialist schemes that deny the nature and dignity of man, and encourage everyone in society to be responsible and take charge of their own destiny, encourage them to maximize their initiative and potential?


NewsBusted: Democrats attack, Eddie Murphy's mom, UN gets in showbiz

Some topics in this episode:

--Obama accuses Clinton of saying anything to win

--China shuts down 44,000 porn websites

--Hillary Clinton has trouble taming Bill

--The United Nations starts producing movies

--Madonna has bruises

NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday. Check us out on Myspace at myspace.com slash newsbusted

If you like the show, be sure to subscribe to our videos!


Democratic Debate California 1/31/2008

CNN Democratic Debate from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on January 31, 2008.



This is the entire debate, courtesy of Nate at YouDecide2008.com


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Zogby Poll Indicates Voters Won't Support Atheist for President

NewsMax covers an interesting poll commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted by Zogby.

Three-quarters of the likely voters agree that it is appropriate that every President since George Washington has been sworn into office with a hand on a Bible. Also, about six in ten say that they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who speaks publicly about following the example of admirable leaders from the Bible and who consistently uses the Bible for guidance in both public and personal matters.

The poll also found that 78% considered it a positive thing when candidates cite Scripture (now, if only 78% considered it important that a candidate's worldview lined up with Scripture).

Surprisingly, it found that younger folks (18-29) were more likely than the older generation (50-64) to vote for a candidate who saw public office as a privilege to serve others, with a responsibility to God.

The poll also found that 50% of likely voters wouldn't vote for a presidential candidate who does not believe in God, and only 20% said they would.

This is encouraging news. Now maybe if we could get everyone to go through the Truth Project, those same numbers of voters might start holding elected officials responsible for actually living up to a Biblical worldview.


Speech by President Bush on the War on Terrorism

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 31 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush on the global war on terror:

Emerald at Queensridge
9:30 A.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for the warm welcome. Thank you. So what Ranson didn't tell you is he believes in free speech, and that's what I'm here to give. (Laughter.) I appreciate the invitation. (Laughter.)

Sharon, thank you very much, as well. I'm honored to be here with the Governor. Governor -- the Governor has been a friend of mine for a long time. We served together in Washington. He came back to Nevada -- (laughter) -- to serve the great state. (Applause.) As my wife said, when you get over there don't mispronounce it again. (Laughter.) I learned my lesson. But Governor, thank you for being here. I appreciate all the state and local officials who are here, and I want to thank you for giving me a chance to come by and share some thoughts about the world in which we live.

I do appreciate very much your advocacy of open markets, ownership. I believe the ownership society is necessary for a hopeful America. We want people owning their homes. We want people owning and managing their own health care accounts. We want people managing their pension plans. We ought to trust people. And at my State of the Union, one of the themes at the State of the Union was that government ought to trust people and empower them to make their own decisions about their future. And this Institute does that, and I appreciate it very much. I thank you for being on the forefront of good, optimistic thought.

The world in which we live is a dangerous world, but a world full of great opportunity. We're involved in an ideological struggle -- the likes of which we have seen before in our history. It's an ideological struggle between those of us who love freedom and human rights and human dignity, and those who want to impose their dark vision on how people should live their lives. This is a -- not a political conflict -- I mean, a religious conflict. And I'll tell you why: because one of the tactics, and the main tactic of those enemies of freedom, is to murder the innocent to achieve their objectives. Religious people do not murder the innocent. (Applause.)

And so we're facing this ideological struggle of people who use asymmetrical warfare. What distinguishes this ideological struggle from previous ideological struggles -- those with -- against fascism or communism, is that in this war, individuals use weapons to kill innocent people -- car bombs and suicide vests. And they do so to frighten the West. They do so to create chaos and confusion. They do so with the aim of creating vacuums into which their hateful ideology can flow. And that's why you see the September 11th attacks, in London, in Madrid, in Jordan -- attacks around the world. Some will say these are just isolated moments of -- where all we need is a good, strong law enforcement response. I think they're all part of an ideological struggle.

And the interesting development that is taking place in the beginnings here of the 21st century is, the freedom movement is on the march. I'm not surprised, and you shouldn't be either. I believe there is an Almighty. I believe the gift of that Almighty to every man, woman and child is freedom. I believe that people, if given a chance, will always go to freedom -- and that's what you're beginning to see. (Applause.)

And yet every time freedom tries to advance, these ideologues murder innocent people -- in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Israel, in Palestine. People who can't stand the thought of free societies unleash their hatred by killing innocent people. And the great challenge facing America and the world is, one, will we recognize the challenge? Do we understand the consequences of success and failure? And will the United States be bold and stay in the lead? And my answer is, we have been, we will continue to be, and we must be engaged in making sure we lay the foundation of peace for the sake of our children and grandchildren. (Applause.)

We will prevail. We will prevail in this ideological struggle because liberty is powerful. Liberty is hopeful. The enemy we face can only convince people to join their cause is when they find hopelessness. And so our strategy is threefold: one, protect the homeland; two, stay on the offense against these folks; and three, provide an alternative -- a hopeful alternative to despair and doubt and hopelessness.

So today I want to spend some time on the strategy. The first -- our most important job in government -- whether it be the federal government, state government, or local government -- is to protect you. And remember the lessons of September the 11th: that oceans cannot protect us, that we face cold-blooded killers who, in our case, resorted to mass murder to send a message. We've got -- you know, thankfully there hasn't been an attack on our homeland since then. That's not for the lack of effort by these evil people.

I hope you take heart in knowing there are a lot of really fine people working long, long hours to get the best information possible to protect the homeland. There's a -- unbelievably dedicated folks. And as I said in the State of the Union the other night, we owe these folks a debt of gratitude. And we owe them more -- we owe them the tools necessary to protect the American people.

And one such tool in this different kind of war is to fully understand the intentions, the motives, the plans of people who use suicide and bombs to kill the innocent. If these terrorists and extremists are making phone calls into our country, we need to know why they're calling, what they're thinking, and what they're planning. In order to protect the American people, our professionals need to have the tools necessary to do their job you expect them to do. And one such tool is a surveillance program that guarantees the rights of our citizens, but doesn't extend those same guarantees to those who would do us harm. (Applause.)

Congress passed such a bill last year. They recognized that this tool was important to protect America. And yet, unfortunately, the bill they passed is set to expire tomorrow -- or was set to expire tomorrow. Now, it's an interesting train of logic, isn't it? The tool was necessary six months ago, and yet it was set to expire as if the threat to our country was set to expire. But it's not. There's still ongoing threats.

I will sign today, here in Las Vegas, an extension, 15-day extension to the Protect America Act. This will give people and Congress time to pass a good piece of legislation that makes sure that our professionals have the tools necessary to do their job, and provides liability protection to carriers who it is assumed helped us in protecting the American people. This Protect America Act and its strengthening is essential to the security of the United States of America. I will sign the extension, but I expect members from both political parties to get this work done so our professionals can protect the American people. (Applause.)

The second part of our strategy is to stay on the offense against these folks -- I mean every day stay on the offense; an unrelenting effort to find them and bring them to justice. It's hard to plot, plan and attack America if you're running and hiding. It's hard to recruit if you're cutting off money. It is hard to spread your poison if other reasonable people join the cause. And so we spend a lot of time doing everything we can to keep the pressure on these folks. And we got some good people working it.

I repeat to you, I know there's some good folks who think this is just simply a law enforcement matter. It is not. This is an effort that requires all assets of the United States, and requires coalitions working together. I mean, we need to be sharing intelligence. We need our military on the hunt. We need to be working with allies to keep the pressure on them, and that's exactly what we're doing. America must not relent. If our most important job is to protect the American people, we have got to stay on the offense, and defeat the enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.)

The third part of our strategy is to spread liberty. I love to tell folks that one of the most unique relationships I had as your President was with the Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Koizumi. He's no longer the Prime Minister, but for a good period of time during my presidency, he was. You might remember, he's the fellow that Laura and I took to Elvis' place in Memphis. (Laughter.) He loved Elvis, and he wanted to go to Elvis' place. (Laughter.) And it was a -- we had a -- it was a remarkable experience. (Laughter.)

Even more remarkable was the fact that the United States had no stronger ally in defeating terror, no stronger ally than understanding the power of freedom to be transformative. I say "no stronger ally" -- Tony Blair was strong; there was a lot. But so was Prime Minister Koizumi. What's ironic about that is that my dad fought the Japanese. Many of your relatives fought the Japanese. They were the sworn enemy of the United States of America. There was unbelievable hatred in our culture toward the Japanese. After all, they attacked us -- the second largest attack on American soil; the first being that on September the 11th, 2001.

And yet 60 years later, the son of a Navy fighter pilot was sitting at the table with the Prime Minister of the former enemy, strategizing on how to win this ideological war. I find it ironic. The summary I've come away with is that liberty is transformative. People want to be free and, if given the chance, will be free, do the hard work necessary to be free. And liberty has got the capacity to transform an enemy to an ally.

And therefore we ought to have confidence in liberty's power to bring the peace we want, and not shy away from helping people realize the great blessings of freedom. We've got to be confident in the transformative powers of liberty, recognizing that deep in everybody's soul is the desire to be free. I recognize that is a -- there are some in the world who dismiss the capacity of liberty to take hold in parts of the world. There used to be a foreign policy that advocated stability as the cornerstone of our policy. But stability just masks the hopelessness that seethed beneath the surface. If you believe this is an ideological struggle like I do, then it's paramount to help people realize a different ideology than that of the enemy. And that's what you're seeing unfold.

And the two most evident places that that's happening right now is in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both those countries are part of the war on terror. These aren't separate, you know, wars; they're part of the same war; different theaters, certainly different circumstances, but the outcome is essential for our security. So I want to spend a little time on Afghanistan and a little time on Iraq.

In Afghanistan -- the interesting lesson on Afghanistan for the world to see is that how the vision of the enemy would be implemented -- in other words, these poor folks had the Taliban as their oppressors. The Taliban also, as you might remember, provided safe haven to those who came and attacked us. But if you lived in Afghanistan in those days and were a mom of a child -- particularly a female child -- you had no hope. These thugs didn't believe in freedoms, they didn't believe in women having equal status, they didn't believe young girls should be educated. And if you dared express your opinion that didn't mesh with theirs, you'd be whipped in the public square or killed. These are brutal people. That's the vision that these folks have for the world. That's what they want. Some Americans probably just missed that and say, oh, that's just a pipe dream, pie in the sky on their part.

I think the United States needs to take that vision seriously. I think it's in our interest to liberate people. I think it's in our interest that when we find human suffering we help deal with it. (Applause.) In Afghanistan I am proud to report that the United States of America, thanks to a brave military, liberated 25 million people and gave them a chance to realize the blessings of liberty. Since liberation from the Taliban and since al Qaeda was routed out of that country, where they no longer had safe havens to plot and plan an attack, the people of Afghanistan voted for a President; they voted for a parliament; girls now go to school; highways are being built; health clinics are being constructed around the country.

Is it a perfect government? No, but neither were we. I would remind our fellow citizens that we believed all men were created equal and for a hundred years had slaves. Afghanistan is working on their -- on democracy. And it's hard work. It's not easy. It doesn't happen overnight. But it's in our interest to help them. It's in our interest to help them because we believe that liberty is transformative. And a part of the world that was once a safe haven for an enemy that attacked us will be a more hopeful place when freedom takes hold.

The other night to the nation I said, we're sending 3,200 Marines in to supplement our troops there. And the reason why is because this enemy is relentless in trying to overthrow this democracy, and it's in our interest to stop them. See, we've got to do the hard work now to make sure that a future generation of Americans can grow up in peace.

Iraq. The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. (Applause.) And so are the Iraqi people. There has been some interesting progress in Iraq. They wrote a constitution. They voted. Imagine a society going from a brutal tyrant to being able to vote in a short period of time.

And yet the enemy -- in this case, al Qaeda, as well as militia, militia fighters, some sponsored by Iran, some of them just pure criminals -- resented the fact that freedom was moving, and in early 2006 began a campaign, and they were looking like they were successful. There was unspeakable violence, and I was concerned about it. I was concerned about it because I understand the consequences of failure for our peace, for the future peace for our children.

I had to make a tough decision. And the decision I made was based on the considered judgment of military people, considered judgment of a lot of folks who were following Iraq. It was not based upon any Gallup poll or focus group. It was based upon what was right for the future of the United States, and that is, as opposed to pulling troops out, send more in. (Applause.) And we went in with a counterinsurgency strategy, all aimed at, of course, helping the Iraqis stand up and do the hard work necessary, but in the meantime making sure that when the enemy was cleaned out of neighborhoods, there was somebody there to provide security for the folks.

Our surge, by the way, was more than just military. We surged diplomats and public service officials, provincial reconstruction teams to make sure that in neighborhoods where an enemy had been routed -- and we have folks there, along with the Iraqis, to provide security -- that there was also a opportunity to improve life for the average citizen. The Iraqis surged. They created 100,000 new soldiers and police. But curiously enough, and I don't know whether a lot of our citizens understand this, 80,000 local citizens stepped up and said, we want to help patrol our own neighborhoods; we're sick and tired of violence and extremists.

I'm not surprised that that happens. I believe Iraqi moms want the same thing that American moms want, and that is for their children to grow up in peace. That's what I believe. (Applause.) I don't believe that people welcome violence. They got sick of it. People want to be free. People want to live in peace, whether you're Methodist or Muslim, whether you're American or Iraqi. And what you're watching play out now is that -- folks are becoming more confident in their capacity to self-govern. They're becoming confident that if they step up and expose these extremists or push these extremists out of their neighborhood, there will be enough muscle to help them.

The surge is working. I know some don't want to admit that, and I understand. But the terrorists understand the surge is working. Al Qaeda knows the surge is working. They thought they could live safely in Anbar province. This was the place from which they were going to launch attacks throughout Iraq and throughout the Middle East. This is a place where they proudly proclaimed, this is our safe haven. They no longer have a safe haven in Anbar province; they're on the run. We're going to keep them on the run, and it's in our interests for our own security to keep them on the run. (Applause.)

As a result of our successes, some of our troops are coming home. A Marine expeditionary unit and one Army brigade came home in December. It's not going back. I don't know whether my fellow citizens understand that or not. We surged, we accomplished missions, the Iraqis are more capable. The commanders on the ground say that now we can do the same job with less troops. So folks came home for Christmas. It is anticipated that five more Army brigades and two Marine battalions will be coming home by July.* That's over 20,000 troops will be coming home -- (applause) -- because we've been successful, that's why.

You know, a lot of folks say, well, what's next, Mr. President? And my answer is, we have come too far in this important theater in this war on terror not to make sure that we succeed. And therefore any further troop reductions will be based upon commanders and conditions. Iraq is important for our security. I will be making decisions based upon success in Iraq. The temptation, of course, is for people to say, well, make sure you do the politically right thing. That's not my nature. That's not exactly what we're going to do. (Applause.)

The fundamental question is whether or not democracy can take hold. In other words, the security situation is improving, and therefore will there be efforts by the Iraqi people to seize the moment? Reconciliation is taking place at the local level. People -- as I told you, the basic instinct of people is to want to live in peace, and one way you do that is you put this horrible past as best you can behind you, and look forward.

So the two things I look for are: one, economic development -- you know, a good economy will lead to a more hopeful future, therefore causing people to be more likely to reconcile; and politics. On the economic front, the interesting thing about Iraq, as opposed to Afghanistan, is that they've got assets and a lot of money. And we, of course, want to help them build the ministries and the bureaucracies necessary to make sure that money gets spent on people. I know that may sound counterintuitive to you, but governments do need the capacity to take a budget and distribute monies throughout the country in an equitable basis in order for people to say, well, this experience in democracy is worthwhile. I just want to make sure the bureaucracy doesn't get too big when you do it. (Applause.)

And so we -- you know, we chart business startups and markets. And all I can tell you is I talk to our ambassador and General Petraeus on a weekly basis, and they report that markets that were once shut down in dismal places as a result of attacks are beginning to come back and flourish, and life is improving dramatically. Baghdad -- the capital of Baghdad is -- which was once subject to unbelievable sectarian violence, is improving, and life is returning -- and that's positive.

So we watched a lot about the inflation rates and unemployment rates -- and they're doing pretty well, they really are, given the fact that they've come from a tyrannical regime that let the infrastructure of the country fall apart.

The other question is politics. One of the lessons of democracy is, a lot of times what happens at the local level informs people at the central government level. And competition is pretty healthy in a democracy. As I told you, the local folks are reconciling; they're getting along better, they understand they have a common future. And the people in Baghdad are beginning to respond. They pass budgets. They're now arguing about their 2008 budget. I'm not sure which government does their budget work better -- ours or theirs. (Laughter.) I can tell you this: We definitely have an issue with earmarks. (Laughter.) I don't know if they do yet or not. (Laughter.)

And by the way, I'm going to do something about earmarks. I signed an executive order the other day, basically saying if you slip these -- slip this spending into bills that don't get debated or voted on, we're not going to spend your money. And this executive order will -- (applause.) Let me rephrase that: The money will be spent, but just not on those projects necessarily. (Laughter.) Not on those projects necessarily. And this executive order goes beyond my presidency.

But they passed budgets. They're sharing oil revenues. They need to pass a law codifying the oil issue there, but they are sharing oil revenues. They've got revenues, namely from oil, and they're distributing those revenues to the provinces. They passed a pension law and a de-Baathification law, which basically is a part of reconciling with the past. They're now in the process of debating a provincial powers law.

And what's important about that is the -- there's a constant debate in free societies -- at least in our free society -- about the relationship between the federal government and state governments. The Governor is most interested in that debate. (Laughter.) We believe to the best extent possible that we ought to devolve power. Of course, we even take it -- this group here, including me -- takes it a step further. We devolve power not only in local government, but more importantly to the individuals, which help define the political landscape of those state and locals. (Applause.)

But this debate is now ongoing in Iraq. Isn't it interesting? I know four years seems like an eternity, particularly in this world of instant news and 24-hour whatever on TV. But it's -- but Saddam is removed -- and now a government elected by the people, debating the proper role between central government and provincial government. And that's an important debate. And it's ongoing in the council of representatives now, and we anticipate them passing that bill.

What I'm telling you is you're watching a democracy evolve. You're watching people become more confident in their ability to self-govern. And it's important that we help them. It's important we help them for our own security, and it's important that we help them as a part of this freedom movement. People have said, freedom can't take hold in the Middle East. I strongly disagree. I believe freedom will take hold in the Middle East, and Iraq is an essential part of this strategy.

We will succeed in Iraq. (Applause.) We will succeed because the Iraqi people want to succeed. And it's in our interest to help them. Success in Iraq will show the world that freedom can take root in the Middle East and inspire others. Success in Iraq will mean that we'll have an ally in this struggle against extremists in the heart of the Middle East.

Success in Iraq will send an interesting message to its neighbor, Iran. Failure in Iraq would cause people to doubt the sincerity of the United States when it comes to keeping commitments. Failure in Iraq would embolden the extremists. Failure in Iraq would say to thugs and killers, the United States is a paper tiger. Failure in Iraq would embolden other extremists in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would embolden Iran. It's in our strategic interests that we succeed. And we will succeed. We have done this kind of work together.

I said in my speech the other day that it is vital for this generation to do the hard work. It is vital for this generation to assume the responsibilities of peace and take the lead, so that when we look back 30 to 40 years from now people will say, thank goodness America didn't lose faith with liberty. Thank goodness they didn't abandon a value system that they believe is universal. And I believe an American President will be sitting down with elected from the Middle East saying the same thing to audiences in Nevada that I said about Prime Minister Koizumi. (Applause.)

I hope that you are inspired by the fact that people are willing to take risks for freedom. I hope these examples of Iraqi citizens who step forward to protect their neighborhoods and their families and children inspire you. They certainly inspire me. I hope you're inspired by political figures who defy killers. They inspire me. And I hope you're inspired by our military.

I want to tell you an interesting story. When I was in Reno, I met a guy -- a family named the Krissoff family. They had lost a son in Iraq. He was a Marine. And one of my duties is to meet with the families of the fallen. I did so last night in Northern California. It's an inspiring experience, by the way. It is a -- you know, in many ways the comforter becomes comforted by the spirit of these -- and pride of these families.

And so I met the Krissoffs. Mr. Krissoff is a 60-year-old guy -- I shouldn't be calling him "mister" because I'm a little older than he is -- (laughter) -- but he's a baby-boomer just like me, and a successful doctor. He said something very interesting to me. He said that he wanted to honor his country and honor his son by joining the military. I looked at the guy and said, yes, okay. (Laughter.) I said, why don't you? He said, well, some of the folks think I'm a little old. (Laughter.) I said, I don't -- with him being a younger fella. (Laughter.) So I helped him.

And in Laura's box at the State of the Union sat Lieutenant Commander Bill Krissoff, serving the United States of America.

Ours is a fabulous country. We are a dedicated, compassionate people, aiming to lay the foundation of peace for generations to come. I told you early, some see the world and tremble. I see the world and see opportunities. And the great opportunity before us is to lay the foundation of peace, and that is exactly what we're doing. God bless. (Applause.)

Thank you all. Okay, I got a little bit of business to do. If you don't mind sitting down for just a second, I am now going to sign this 15-day extension to give members of the House and the Senate time to get this bill to my desk for the sake of our security, and thank you for witnessing this. (Applause.)

(The executive order was signed.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. God bless. (Applause.)

END 10:03 A.M. PST

*It is anticipated that four more Army brigades will be coming home by July. One Army brigade and two Marine battalions have already returned home and will not be replaced.

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Senate Republicans Roll Out 2008 Agenda

From the Washington Times, Senate Republicans are outlining their "2008 Senate Conservative Agenda to Secure America's Future." It sounds like a modernized version of the winning 1994 "Contract With America."

The Contract With America helped catapult the Republicans into control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. And Republicans made good on all but one point in the Contract, passing all the rest within the first 100 days.

I think something like this is the right way to go, and they should have done something like this long ago that clearly outlined a conservative agenda for leadership.

The only problem at this point is that the Republicans have spent the last 7 years showing us what big-spenders they are, and that they don't respect the Constitution, and they're perfectly fine with big government as long as it's "their big government."

Did they learn their lesson from the 2006 election losses? So far I haven't seen a whole lot of evidence.

And after seeing Republicans spend like drunken sailors, voters are probably going to be skeptical about trusting even a good-sounding agenda like this one.

Here's what the Times says the agenda includes:

• Reform the tax code and make permanent President Bush's tax cuts that otherwise expire in 2010;

• Reduce government spending and stop pork-barrel earmarks;

• Expand access to affordable health insurance by addressing unfairness in tax code and allow Americans to buy coverage across state lines;

• Demand United Nations reforms by withholding U.S. dues;

• Increase U.S. competitiveness by cutting the corporate tax rates, increasing energy supplies, and providing regulatory relief for small businesses;

• Secure the U.S. borders;

• Ensure at least 4 percent of the nation's economy is invested in national security;

• Amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget and to limit tax increases;

• Stop spending Social Security surpluses on other government programs;

• Offer states flexibility and give parents more choices under No Child Left Behind Act;

Sounds pretty good, for the most part. Not as ambitious as the Contract With America, but a start.

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Liberal and Conservative Scores of the Presidential Candidates

I knew Obama was liberal, but I don't think I would have believed it until I'd seen it with my own eyes.

National Journal says Barak Obama was the #1 most liberal senator in 2007, while Hillary Clinton came in at a modest 16th. Hillary did improve her liberal score from 2006-2007, coming down from 32nd to 16th. I wonder if Obama will dig Hillary about her low score at the Democratic debate tonight?

The article didn't seem to have a link to the actual 2007 ranking itself, but there was a link to report through 2007.

For 2006, of the congressmen running on the GOP side, it lists Duncan Hunter as most conservative (why wasn't the GOP supporting a real conservative?) at a rating of 84.0, followed by Tom Tancredo at 73.3, then Sam Brownback at 70.3, John McCain lagging far behind at 56.7, and Ron Paul taking up the rear at 39.0.

It was his libertarian views that brought Paul down so low. I appreciate Ron Paul's respect for the Constitution, but libertarianism doesn't equal conservatism, especially with his dangerous position on Iraq and the war on terrorism.

If you look at the lifetime conservative rankings up to 2006, current front runner McCain improves to 71.8, but still considerably below the 82.5 lifetime conservative rating of Duncan Hunter.

McCain's conservative score is interesting to watch. It drops from the 80s in the 1980s to dip a little in most of the 90s, but then around 1998-1999-2000 (when he became a media darling), he dips down into the 60s and 50s and keeps dropping.

McCain's a conservative, huh? Go pull my other leg, now.

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U.S. Navy Testing Hypercannon Railgun

This is exceedingly cool!

According to the Register and several other news sources, the U.S. Navy is testing an electromagnetic railgun or hypercannon.

The article says this railgun can fire at Mach 7 and hit a target 200 miles away with a speed still as high as Mach 5. That's absolutely devastating!

This kind of stuff has been dreamed of in sci-fi for years. They use railguns on the Earth ships in Stargate SG-1 to put a world of hurt on the aliens.

These real-life railguns would offer some distinctive advantages over conventional weaponry. For one thing, they'd arrive on target a lot quicker than a conventional shell. They would also eliminate the need for gunpowder to fire it, making the ships themselves much safer without all that explosive material around.

They do have their drawbacks, such as the barrels which have a hard time standing such tremendous power being channeled through it. But I'm sure we'll get it figured out.

It's reassuring to the the U.S. still on the cutting edge of military hardware. The world is still plenty full of bad guys out there, despite what some think, and we need every advantage to keep the folks at home safe.

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The Sellout of Conservatism

I read about this a few days ago from John Fund, but it was so stunning at the time, and seemed a little lacking in original sourcing, that I held off on saying anything.

But now Robert Novak has come out and said pretty much the same thing.

Here's what Fund said on Jan. 28:

Mr. McCain bruised his standing with conservatives on the issue when in 2005 he became a key player in the so-called gang of 14, which derailed an effort to end Democratic filibusters of Bush judicial nominees. More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because "he wore his conservatism on his sleeve."

McCain, of course, denied this; it doesn't fit well with his new "conservative" motif.

But Novak apparently walked the cat back to a first hand source:
I found what McCain could not remember: a private, informal chat with conservative Republican lawyers shortly after he announced his candidacy in April 2007. I talked to two lawyers who were present whom I have known for years and who have never misled me. One is neutral in the presidential race, and the other recently endorsed Mitt Romney. Both said they were not Fund's source, and neither knew I was talking to the other. They gave me nearly identical accounts, as follows:

"Wouldn't it be great if you get a chance to name somebody like Roberts and Alito?" one lawyer commented. McCain replied, "Well, certainly Roberts." Jaws were described as dropping. My sources cannot remember exactly what McCain said next, but their recollection is that he described Alito as too conservative.

Rush Limbaugh has been making a lot to do the past couple of days about how, though NONE of the remaining GOP contenders are solid conservatives, the state of conservatism is fine and dandy. Limbaugh says so on the basis that all of these guys are claiming to be conservative; in other words, they acknowledge what the GOP standard is, they want to claim that mantle, they acknowledge what they should be...even if they aren't.

There is some validity to Rush's analysis here, but I'm afraid I can't be as optimistic about the state and future of conservatism as he.

What does it say about the GOP and/or conservative voter base if they can be so easily fooled by charlatans like McCain, Huckabee, and even the lately-converted Romney? What does that say about the powers of observation, or the powers of discernment, or the informed status of GOP voters?

To me, it's a sad state of affairs when all the conservatives drop out of the GOP primary first, and with the exception of Giuliani, all the front runners are liberals, suspiciously "recent converts" to conservatism, or, in the case of Ron Paul (who isn't a front-runner, but a hanger-on), so liberal on Iraq and the war on terrorism that he'd be dangerous in the White House.

That tells me either the average GOP voter has lost a few dozen IQ points in recent years, or they're supporting candidates out of blind ignorance, or they are so scared of Hillary Clinton that they'll abandon their principles if that's what it takes to beat her.

If I'm right about any or all of those, it doesn't bode well for the future of conservatism. Conservatism as a philosophy or ideology remains intact and unrefuted, but if the adherents and defenders of conservatism are incapable of defending and propelling the philosophy, it doesn't have much of a future in a culture where the elites and media apparatus have it vastly outgunned.

HT to the American Spectator blog.


Atheists Want to Hide Americas Christian Heritage

America's Christian heritage is a fact beyond question...at least, for those who aren't very ignorant of our history, or so hostile to our Christian heritage that they will attempt to rewrite history itself.

One only has to take a brief look at the writings of the Founders to see that this is true, and that while they intended there be no state religion, they NEVER intended that morality and religious principles be separated from our civil institutions:

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity. – John Adams

Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. – James Wilson, signer of the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court Judge

The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society…We all agree in the obligation of the moral precepts of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses. – Thomas Jefferson

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - Patrick Henry

The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws…All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. – Noah Webser

This is but a handful of the evidences that the Founders of the United States were almost entirely Christians, and serious Christians at that. Further, that they saw the precepts of Christianity as essential to freedom and good government.

So it is particularly disturbing when we see people who not only don't like Christianity (everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it runs contrary to the evidence that Christian precepts have blessed the U.S.), but attempt to erase this key aspect of our national heritage.

From CNS News, some atheists are upset that congress might recognize the Christian heritage of our nation, even though our government has a record of recognizing religions, even ones that are not historically significant to the founding and character of the United States.
A resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that recognizes America's "rich spiritual and religious history" is drawing fire from some of America's most prominent atheists.

The resolution, H.R. 888, resolves to "affirm" the religious traditions that most historians say played a crucial role in America's founding. It calls religious principles and foundations "critical underpinnings" of America's institutions, condemns attempts to remove religion from U.S. history, and designates the first week in May as "American Religious History Week."

The resolution's language has aroused the anger of many atheists who see its provisions as violating the First Amendment of the Constitution and amounting to religious nationalism.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just as everyone is free to be wrong. But that freedom does not extend to allowing history to be rewritten. It does not extend to denying the historical record. It does not extend to sanitizing the public square of the religion that spawned the very freedom we enjoy in the public square.

I hope that Christians and those who are true to history will stand against this type of heinous revisionism, and that all will take the time to learn more about the rich Christian heritage of the United States, whether they share that faith or not.


McCain Advisor was Mexican Government Official

John McCain claims to have learned his lesson on immigration and border control, but you have to wonder when you see stories like this from CNS News:

Juan Hernandez, the man who served in Vicente Fox's cabinet when the latter was president of Mexico, is now advising Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on reaching out to Hispanics during his presidential bid.

Hernandez is the son of a Mexican father and American mother and has dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico.

He has not responded to requests by Cybercast News Service to answer critics who say a man who allegedly took an oath of office to the Mexican government and has been an outspoken advocate for open borders and illegal immigrants should clarify how his views comport with those of McCain, who reportedly has toughened his views on illegal immigration since entering the presidential race.

While I respect McCain's service to our country both as a pilot in Vietnam and as a POW in North Vietnam, he has gone from a good politician to one who seeks the favor of the "mainstream" media far too much.

From failure to respect our borders and the rule of law, to taking a weak position on the confirmation of originalist judges, to trampling on the First Amendment his Campaign Finance Reform (aka Incumbent Protection Act), John McCain is a poor choice for conservatives to support.

This is another example of why you can't believe what politicians tell you on the campaign trail, but should instead look to what their record says about their positions on the issues.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Top 10 Pro-Life States

From Human Events, Americans United for Life (AUL) has released its list of the Top 10 Most Pro-Life States.

To hear some folks around here bellyache about the lack of abortion rights, you’d expect to see South Dakota at the top of the list. Well, while we’re in the top 10, we actually come in at #6

1. Michigan
2007 Ranking: 1

2. Louisiana
2007 Ranking: 2

3. Pennsylvania
2007 Ranking: 5

4. Texas
2007 Ranking: 3

5. Kansas
2007 Ranking: 6

6. South Dakota
2007 Ranking: 4

7. Mississippi
2007 Ranking: 7

8. Arkansas
2007 Ranking: 8

9. Oklahoma
2007 Ranking: 12

10. Virginia
2007 Ranking: 9


Here are the worst 10:

1. Oregon
2007 Ranking: 1

2. California
2007 Ranking: 5

3. Connecticut
2007 Ranking: 6

4. New Jersey
2007 Ranking: 3

5. Vermont
2007 Ranking: 4

6. Hawaii
2007 Ranking: 2

7. New Hampshire
2007 Ranking: 7

8. Iowa
2007 Ranking: 20

9. Alaska
2007 Ranking: 8

10. New Mexico
2007 Ranking: 9

For those of you who love abortion so much, you can move to Oregon or California and abort your heart out. Me? I like living in a state that appreciates the value of human life.

In the Top 10 Most Pro-Life, number 6 out of 50 for South Dakota isn’t too bad. But we can keep working for #1. Maybe if we get the abortion ban passed this year, we’ll get #1 next year!


Bill Guaranteeing Right to Firearms on Campus Gets Support

From the Rapid City Journal, the House State Affairs committee today voted to support a law that would guarantee the right to carry firearms on college campuses:

The State Affairs Committee voted unanimously to pass HB 1261, which would guarantee people the right to carry or possess firearms on college campuses. The schools also would be prevented from expelling students or firing employees for having a gun on campus.

The panel later voted unanimously to kill a competing measure, sponsored by the Board of Regents, which sought to ban guns on campus.

When are politicians going to get it: criminals don't obey laws.

Yeah, you could prosecute a gunman for illegal possession of a firearm on campus after he'd slaughtered several people...but by that time, such a charge would be pretty paltry next to the multiple charges of murder.

Do you think if they'd had a law like HB 1086, banning guns on campus, at Virginia Tech, that would have stopped the gunman? Do lawmakers imagine the gunman might have seen a sign, or remembered the law, and said, "Darn it! I wanted to slaughter some innocent people on campus today, but I can't bring my gun!"

But armed and law-abiding citizens can stop gunmen, as a security guard in Colorado proved recently.

There are always going to be evil people, until God creates a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime, innocent, law-abiding citizens should have a means of defending themselves from evil. A lot of people can be killed before a 911 call can be responded to.

We have some good legislators in South Dakota, but I wish more of them would THINK before submitting bills.


Indiana Senate Passes Pharmacist Conscience Protection Bill

LifeNews is reporting that the Indiana state senate has passed a bill similar to South Dakota's law which protects the right of conscience of a pharmacist who does not want to dispense a drug that violates his conscience.

Sen. Jeff Drozda is the Republican senator who sponsored the bill.

Senate Bill 3 came under fire from some lawmakers who support making sure pharmacists don't have to dispense drugs that cause abortions or kill disabled patients in an assisted suicide, but they didn't want to limit birth control.

Pharmacists would receive protection from any legal discipline and employers would be charged with a crime for penalizing any employee who followed the provisions in the bill.

I believe that's even farther than our South Dakota bill goes because ours does not specify a criminal penalty against an employer who might require a pharmacist employee to fill such a prescription.

SDCL 36-11-70 only says, " No such refusal to dispense medication pursuant to this section may be the basis for any claim for damages against the pharmacist or the pharmacy of the pharmacist or the basis for any disciplinary, recriminatory, or discriminatory action against the pharmacist."

The article indicates that a majority of peole support the right of a pharmacist not to dispense drugs which violate his or her conscience:
The Baraga Interactive polling firm conducted the survey for Pharmacists for Life International and found that a majority of Americans favor pharmacists being able to enjoy freedom of conscience when filling or counseling about drugs.

Sixty-five percent support a pharmacist's right to decline to fill or counsel for prescription drugs which violate their moral or religious views.

Of course, they're trying to dismantle our law here in South Dakota with SB 164 in the South Dakota legislature.

Using the power of government to force someone to go against their conscience is a treacherous proposition.


Dykstra Senate Campaign Cash Mostly From South Dakota

This just in from the Joel Dykstra for Senate campaign:

For Immediate Release – January 30, 2008
Contact Sue Salter, Communications Director

Canton, SD – The number of South Dakotans contributing money to Republican Joel Dykstra’s U.S. Senate campaign increased by about 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The contributions are detailed in Dykstra’s fourth quarter report to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), which will be filed tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

The campaign has expanded its base of support from about 200 individual South Dakota contributors in the third quarter to approximately 300 South Dakotans who made contributions in the fourth quarter. By the end of the fourth quarter, more than 400 people contributed to the campaign. The supporters are from all across the state, indicating a wide foundation of support from which to build the Joel Dykstra for U.S. Senate campaign.

“I am gratified and encouraged by the confidence so many regular South Dakotans are expressing. They realize I will be a new voice for our state and an advocate for real change in Washington. ” Dykstra said. “As we continue to build the base, I know we will be even more successful in the coming months.”

Since announcing his candidacy in July, 2007, Joel and the campaign have received total contributions of $137,953, with $56,080 coming in the fourth quarter of 2007. About 97 percent of the contributions came fromSouth Dakotans.

Dykstra was making the rounds in Rapid City last weekend.

He's going to make a great U.S. senator for South Dakota!


Sonogram Bills Pass, Emphasis on Opponents

The Rapid City Journal features a story today about the sonogram bill that passed both houses in the legislature yesterday. The bills would require a sonogram be offered to women seeking an abortion before the abortion could be performed.

The subheadline on the front page of the Journal raises an interesting question about the so-called "doctor-patient relationship" in an abortion:


That "relationship" with an abortionist (it's hard to call someone in the business of taking human life a "doctor") is usually a farce, as pointed out by Senator Dennis Schmidt, sponsor of the Senate bill SB 88:

"They really don't have contact until the girl is on the table," he said.

Rep. Don Van Etten, a retired doctor, agreed and pointed out that abortionists fly in to Sioux Falls to perform scheduled abortions; they don't even live in the state, so how can they have any meaningful "doctor-patient relationship"?

I guess the Journal didn't like the sonogram bill very much, given this headline:



Wouldn't the headline be more accurate if it said, "Legislators versus abortionists?" or "Pro-abortionists versus informed decisions?"

The bills passed with a majority, yet the emphasis in the headlines seems to be on the claims of the minority opposition (i.e. those in favor of blocking every obstacle to abortion). How "objective" is that?

The article also brings out an important fact on a different issue, still related to abortion:
On the House side, Rep. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, who voted against the House version, HB1193, offered a different medical perspective.

"With my first child, I was told that my child was going to be born without a head, that the ... spinal cord was going to be outside the vertebra in the back," she said.

Peters said she had to undergo many tests.

"I had to do numerous things, and in that situation, you're faced with a life-and-death decision. It's not a decision that's taken lightly."

Peters, who opposes abortion, voted against the sonogram bill. "It's not doing what you think it's doing," she said. "You're going to be torturing women like me who have to make a life-and-death decision, and it's not fair."

(Peters later said she had the baby, who turned out to be a normal, healthy child.)

Some abortion proponents argue that mothers should be allowed to abort children with birth defects. In this case, Peters would have been killing a perfectly healthy child (as if a child with birth defects was less deserving of life).

Pro-abortionists always roll out the "doctor-patient relationship" excuse and the "doctors know best" excuse any time abortion restrictions are discussed. Yet we don't always think "doctors know best" when it comes to euthanizing their patents (well, not EVERY time). We don't always think "doctors know best" when it comes to doctors who molest their patients. We don't always think "doctors know best" when it comes to physician incompetence or medical malpractice.

So the belief that "doctors know best" isn't as monolithic as pro-aborts would have us think.


 
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