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Saturday, March 01, 2008

How about some campaign talk about education?

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

A new study shows the central importance of education in getting ahead in our country today.

In today's knowledge-driven economy, advanced education is essential. Plus, the economic returns on an advanced degree and the penalties for lack of it keep increasing.

According to the study, "Education and Economic Mobility," by Brookings Institution scholar Ron Haskins, the inflation-adjusted median family income for adults ages 30-39 with a graduate degree was 80 percent higher in 2006 than in 1964. For those with a four-year college degree, almost 60 percent higher. But incomes for those with a high-school education or less have remained virtually unchanged over the same period.

Stated otherwise, the gap in real family income between adults with a graduate degree and those with only a high-school diploma is four times greater today than 40 years ago.

The good news is that upward mobility is available to those willing to pursue and complete higher education.

This study, part of a broader initiative called the Economic Mobility Project, shows that only 16 percent of those coming from homes earning in the nation's bottom fifth income ranking remained at this level if they got a college degree. Forty-two percent moved up to earning among the nation's top two-fifths.

However, 45 percent of those without a college degree with parents earning in the bottom fifth remained at this level.

Given that most everyone's economic future is critically hinged to getting an advanced education, it's logical to ask why anyone who cared about earning potential would forgo this.

According to Haskins, "the greatest single influence on school achievement is family background."

There's a destructive circle that runs likes this. The best way to earn more than your low-income-earning parents is to complete higher education. And the most likely predictor that an individual will not get this education is that he or she comes from a low-income family.

According to studies done at Harvard and at the University of Wisconsin, the enrollment of students from poor families in four-year colleges is about a third that of students from wealthier families.

Furthermore, students from low-income families are far less likely to graduate.

Per the Wisconsin study, as reported by Haskins: "Less than 6 percent of students from the bottom income quartile, as compared with over 42 percent of students from the top quartile, actually graduated from college."

My conclusions?

With all the flap about job losses and earning gaps, there should be less discussion about sealing ourselves off from international competition and looking for scapegoats and more focus on the real problem -- educating our own population.

For example, our own U.S.-based high-tech companies cannot find enough qualified Americans to fill their needs, thus they both hire from abroad and also move jobs overseas. Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy notes that, over the last four years, quotas for visas for foreign high-tech workers to work in the United States were filled on the very first day of the year. Two-thirds of graduate students at American universities in technical fields are foreign nationals.

How should we be thinking about getting our own people educated?

To start, be honest about much of the reality of low-income communities. Despite increasingly popular rhetoric that the religious right is too focused on family values and not focused enough on poverty, family breakdown is what overwhelmingly causes and perpetuates poverty. The No. 1 challenge in low-income communities is rebuilding families and discouraging behavior, such as promiscuity, that undermines the family and its future.

Once again. Family breakdown leads to economic breakdown. The children in these families most likely will not get educated and will remain poor.

Second, appreciate that widespread family breakdown is already a problem in low-income communities, so it should be a local, state and national priority to seek every creative avenue for getting children from these families on the right path and educated.

In a powerful survey of educational reform in an article in The Wall Street Journal, Sol Stern of the Manhattan Institute quotes two of the nation's top education scholars as saying that "the best hope for education improvement continues to be a maximum degree of parental choice -- vouchers if possible, but also charter schools and tuition tax credits -- plus merit-pay schemes for teachers and accountability systems that distinguish productive from unproductive school principals."

Poor education drives income stagnation, income gaps and loss of American jobs. Shouldn't our presidential candidates start talking about this real problem and what causes it?

---------------------------------


Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.

Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.


Video: New Non-Lethal Ray Gun

Watch as David Martin gets zapped by a ray gun - a non-lethal weapon that could be used to disperse crowds and could save many lives in war zones. Martin's report airs Sunday, March 2, on 60 Minutes.


Prison Population: When Bad News is Good News

In the past week you've probably heard the news that nearly 1% of all Americans are incarcerated.

This news was greeted by the "mainstream" media with the obligatory grumbling about a "police state," accusations of racism, and veiled comparisons to countries like China and Iran.

But when you get beyond all the bleeding-heart liberal whining from the "mainstream" media, what does it really mean?

Maybe we should take a look at the crime rate to help put this statistic in perspective. A piece from Investors Business Daily does just that.

The piece points out that as the prison population has risen over the past several years, the crime rate has correspondingly dropped. Now that's not a connection that requires rocket science, is it? If criminals are incarcerated, they're not free to commit more crime, are they? Check out the line graph on the IBD article--it tells the story all by itself.

So while having a lot of people incarcerated is not good news, seeing that the American public is more safe and secure in their persons and property IS good news.

For those who shed crocodile tears over the cost of incarceration (while gleefully cheering socialism programs not authorized by our constitution), IBD puts that in perspective, too:

Sure, states spend $49 billion on corrections. But according to more than one study over the past decade, crime costs the U.S. a lot more. One such study, published in 1999 in the University of Chicago's Journal of Law and Economics by economist David Anderson, found a net loss of more than $1.1 trillion a year, or $4,118 per American, due to crime.

Even so, as the article points out, we don't incarcerate criminals because it's cheaper than the damage they cause, or even because it's cheaper than school. We do it because (1) they've committed a crime and justice demands they face a penalty for it, and (2) they've demonstrated that we must protect society from them.

We need programs such as Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship, that ministers to prisoners and tries to help them find spiritual and societal redemption. We cannot make them do this, any more than we can make someone believe something, but we should make the opportunity for real change available to them, rather than denying them a chance at a changed life because we're too afraid of violating a mythical "separation of church and state."

I support such programs as teen court, drug court, and reconciliation programs...as long as they are effective. But even drug court isn't completely effective. An article I did a couple of years ago included statistics which showed that while the recidivism rate for drug court participants is 12 percentage points better than non-participants, 53% of participants are still rearrested. So while such programs help, they are no magic bullet.

Only morality can keep people out of prison. We must teach morality to our children, rather than leaving them to figure out their own moral code.

It must begin at home, with parents who are more interested in the well-being of their children than in their careers or TV shows.

It must continue at school, where educators can teach moral values without fear of violating some mythical "separation of church and state" as the people who founded this nation did.

It must continue in the churches, where pastors and Sunday School teachers teach more than "don't worry, be happy" and teach people about the terrible practical and spiritual consequences of immorality.

It must continue in our media, where we get all the smut and rot out of our television shows, movies and music. We must stop glorifying rampant sex, drugs, rebellion, crime and disrespect for authority.

It must continue in our stores, where we stop selling such products.

In short, we must return to the kind of moral society we used to have...back when our crime rate and incarceration rate were small.

It may have been for this very reason that President George Washington said in his Farewell Address that "religion and morality are indispensable supports" of political prosperity.

Perhaps he and other founders who expressed similar sentiments realized that a nation of people who are unable to control themselves will inevitably need, for the sake of justice and public safety, to be controlled by the state.


Abortion Ban Petition Drive Going Well

From Pastor Steve at Voices Carry, it sounds like the petition drive to get this year's abortion ban on the November ballot is going well.

The Urgency Tour was in Rapid City yesterday, as they tour the state in support of the petition, but unfortunately I was not able to make it. According to the schedule, they should be in Winner today.

Pastor Steve says lots of signatures have come in, and tons more expected this weekend. For a people who are supposedly "tired of hearing about this," South Dakotans sure are interested in protecting the most innocent among us!

Pastor Steve's blog post examines the civil rights movement of the 1960s and Martin Luther King Jr's book "Why We Can't Wait." It talks about why the fight was so hard, because so many good people were silent.

I am reminded of a quote attributed to Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Indeed it is.


Lesson 8 - Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?

The Truth Project continues this weekend at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City, this Sunday at 8:57 am. Here is a video previewing this week's lesson:



Is it possible for the infinite, eternal Creator to dwell within the heart of an individual? The implications of this great mystery, which represents the very core of the Christian faith, are explored at length in this examination of the most intimate of the social spheres.

Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.


Friday, February 29, 2008

An Illustration of Liberalism

This new Obamamania video is the epitome of liberalism: mindless, emotional drivel that has no real purpose.

At least one of the gals on here looks like she's been smoking some high-quality organic substance. The video also features plenty of people who obviously have no interest in being Americans, only sucking the best out of the country while doing their own thing like parasites. And several of them are dreaming of things that, frankly, aren't going to happen on this planet until Jesus sets things right--something they don't believe in and wouldn't want to see even if they did.

If you've ever wondered what the heart of liberalism looks like, check out this video.



HT to Blogs for John McCain


Ad Fights Berkeley Council Anti-Americanism

I wish we could move these ungrateful, anti-American slimes in Berkley somewhere outside our country and let them fend for themselves, since they have such contempt for our men and women in uniform.



Television commercial by the pro-troop organization, Move America Forward against the Berkeley City Council.

On January 29, 2008 the Berkeley City Council passed anti-military resolutions, asking for residents to "impede" the work of recruiters and calling the Marines and their recruiting office "uninvited" and "unwelcome intruders."

Sign the petition at www.MoveAmericaForward.org and join the pushback against the anti-military Berkeley City Council.


The Value of Traditional Marriage

James Dobson Family Minute

Author Dr. James Dobson and colleague Dr. Bill Maier remind us that traditional marriage is common to every human society in the world.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


The Verdict: Guns Save Lives

With judicial review of the Washington D.C. gun ban pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, amicus briefs are being submitted to illustrate that not only is the ban unconstitutional, it's simply a bad idea. (Ignoring for a moment the ultimate reason for the Second Amendment: defense against an oppressive government, whether foreign or domestic).

WorldNetDaily features an article highlighting a number of cases that demonstrate how armed citizens can reduce crime without firing a shot.

The brief notes when the Georgia town of Kennesaw decided to require all residents, with exceptions for conscientious objectors, to keep a firearm at home, home burglaries fell from 66 to 26 to 11 in consecutive years.

In Orlando, the deterrence to criminals who simply knew that their victims may have a gun and may know how to use it and may be willing to do just that had a significant impact, because while Orlando's rapes were plummeting, assaults were up 5 percent across the state and 7 percent nationally.

The brief cites a study that discovered, based on interviews with felony prisoners in 11 prisons in 10 states, one third of the felons had been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim," and nearly four in 10 had decided against committing a specific crime because they thought the victim might have a gun.

Consider the effect that publicity for a firearms safety course had in Florida:
When sexual assaults started rising in Orlando, Fla., in 1966, police officers noticed women were arming themselves, so they launched a firearms safety course for them. Over the next 12 months, sexual assaults plummeted by 88 percent, burglaries fell by 25 percent and not one of the 2,500 women who took the course fired a gun in a confrontation.

Interesting that crime dropped without a shot being fired. This reveals a truth, also applicable in national defense, that liberals either can't or won't understand.

Someone who is armed and capable of defending themselves will likely never have to defend themselves because potential aggressors will likely avoid them, instead seeking the easy prey.

Prior to World War II, Adolf Hitler saw that the rest of Europe and America was weak, mostly disarmed and uninclined to counter his aggression. So he ended up taking almost all of Europe.

The Soviets, through much of the Cold War, saw while the West had at least learned enough not to disarm completely in the face of an aggressor, they lacked the spine to stop indirect Soviet aggression. Thus country after country in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and South America began falling to Soviet-backed communist incursions. That is, until Ronald Reagan came on scene, and by the end of this two terms as president, collapse of the Soviet edifice was imminent--and did collapse within two more years.

My ten-year-old daughter has been taking Ju-Jitsu for about a year, and has just earned her orange belt in this martial art. She loves it and we plan to encourage her all the way to black belt, if she so desires. In a few short years, I will teach her firearms safety and how to fire accurately (I was certified "marksman" on several weapons in the military). And I will teach her to, as we joked when I was in law enforcement, "aim center-mass to maim." My daughter will not be a soft target.

The lessons of history, both foreign and domestic, should teach us the value of strength and self defense. If they do not, then we do not deserve to be free--and we won't be.


Zogby: 67 Percent Say Journalism is Out of Touch

A new Zogby poll finds that a huge majority of the American people have a serious confidence problem with the "mainstream" media.

John Zogby is himself a liberal, but his polls have been noted for years for their accuracy and candor.

From the Zogby release:

Two thirds of Americans - 67% - believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news, a new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The survey also found that while most Americans (70%) think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities, two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities.

The release also states that while Republicans (79%) and independents (75%) have the highest levels of dissatisfaction, as we might expect, the survey also found that 50% of Democrats expressed the same concerns.

With the kind of Left wing slant we're used to seeing from the media on issues like abortion and political involvement of Christians, to hit jobs on Republicans, to transparent smear jobs, seldom does a day go by where the "mainstream" media doesn't make a mockery of it's professed "objectivity."

If the "mainstream" media would like to recover some of the confidence the people once had in journalism, they should either dedicate themselves to genuinely being objective in what they cover, what they don't cover, and how they cover what they cover...or just go ahead and admit their bias up front.

If the media would just admit their political leanings up front, at least we'd recognize up front that we're likely to get slant from ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, et al.

How about either living up to your professions of objectivity, or give us some "truth in advertising," guys?


Hillary Clinton and Her Spirit Guide

Sometimes a picture just comes together in ways that are unintended but telling, nevertheless.

Check out this picture of Hillary Clinton and her "spirit guide."

I joke, but when the policies and values a person advocates point toward a particular source, there's more than a small element of truth in the humor.


Families of Victim, Colorado Gunman Speak on Focus on the Family, Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Focus on the Family broadcast I posted yesterday.

Today's program wraps up our series focusing on the tragic events of Dec. 9, 2007, when 24-year-old gunman Matthew Murray took the lives of four young people before ending his own. Dr. Ronald and Loretta Murray, Matthew's parents, describe their emotional meeting with David and Marie Works at New Life Church, where the Works' daughters Stephanie and Rachel were killed. Stephanie's twin sister Laurie joins the studio conversation and expresses her forgiveness not only to Matthew's parents, but Matthew himself. Don't miss this powerful broadcast as our guests explain how God's grace sustained them through the pain and enables them to look with hope to the future.

"Over the years, you learn through life's experiences to forgive, because your only other choice is to be bitter. And I refuse to be bitter." - David Works

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Seal from First Temple Found in Jerusalem

From the Jerusalem Post, a temple seal from the first temple has been uncovered by archaeologists.

The find reveals that by 2,700 years ago, clerks and merchants had already begun to add their names to the seals instead of the symbols that were used in earlier centuries.

The state-run archeological body said the seal, which was discovered near the Gihon Spring in the City of David outside the walls of the Old City, bears the Hebrew name Rephaihu (ben) Shalem, a public official who lived in the Jerusalem neighborhood during this period.

What an interesting connection to the past for people of the Jewish and Christian faith!


New Naval Ships Will Use Electromagnetic Systems


From Janes, the premier military magazine, comes a report on the Navy's plans to replace steam power on our warships with new electromagnetic technology.

Construction of the first in a new line of carriers, Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), is due to begin in 2008 and the USD10.5 billion ship will use electricity instead of steam for launching combat aircraft, cooking meals and heating sailors' living quarters.
You might recall from last month that the Navy is testing an electromagnetic railgun which can fire at Mach 7 and hit a target 200 miles away with a speed still as high as Mach 5.

No indications that the new ships will have this technology, at least not right away, but it illustrates some of the new and innovative ways we're exploring to defend America.

Additionally, they will have radar systems that don't have to rotate, reducing wear and tear on the mechanics of the system.

The carriers will also have electromagnetic launch systems for the aircraft which the article says will "push them smoothly aloft" instead of the jolt of the steam powered system currently used.

Some of the enhancements will make things more efficient, reducing the crew size needed by 1,000 to 1,200.


Obama Pledges to Gut Marriage, Family

I suppose it's good at least to know what we're getting from a candidate. So often they obfuscate and dodge, and won't really tell us what they stand for and what they plan to do. Not so for Barak Obama.

Baptist Press reports that Obama has pledged to the homosexual community to use the presidency to undermine marriage, family and the ability of people of faith to speak out about this dangerous and immoral lifestyle.

Of course, Obama couched the pledge in more politically-correct terms, such as allowing homosexuals to "marry," "adopt" and to abolish "hate crimes" (how many people commit crimes against other because of their love and concern for the victim?).

Obama's statement "Equality is a Moral Imperative" can be read on his campaign website here.

Here are some excerpts:

In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

If you run a Bible and book store, will you be forced to hire a drag queen? If you are a church or ministry, will you be forced to hire someone openly living a lifestyle antithetical to your message?
As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.

So Obama believes in robbing children of two natural parents and both sex role models. Don't our children have enough problems facing them already?
I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.

This is why we have pushed for a Federal Marriage Amendment for so long. It's much harder to wipe out part of the constitution than it is a simple law, like DOMA. Obama has declared war on marriage, opening this God-instituted foundation of society to mean anything.

He also seeks to undermine the cohesion, discipline and morality of our Armed Forces.
We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia– that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Obama implies there is an unfair connection between AIDS and homosexuality, yet the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that more than 70% of AIDS cases arise from homosexual activity. Why is Obama denying reality? Do we need a president who denies reality?

Interestingly, the title of Obama's statement is misleading in typical liberal fashion. Are not homosexuals protected by the same murder, theft, assault, etc. laws as everyone else? Are not homosexuals free to marry people of the opposite sex, just as heterosexuals are?

The "equality" bit is somewhat misleading, but of course if you want special rights, you have to portray yourself as disadvantaged, and if you want to pander to such groups, you have to use their same misleading language.

I think the title of Obama's statement should more appropriately be titled "Egalitarianism as an Immoral Imperative."

We don't need a president who will undermine our most basic social institutions. We don't need a president who will expose children to further disorder and chaos in their formative lives. We don't need a president who denies reality. We don't need a president who panders to special interest groups who do not have America's well being at heart.

I hope Americans will remember this, this election season


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 144



Topics in this episode:

--Chelsea Clinton says she isn't planning on living in the White House again

--Americans in polls say they feel better about the country

--A Chicago newspaper devotes an entire section of an edition to Barack Obama. Huh?

--Ted Danson pushes regulations to stop so-called "overfishing"

--A half-naked man keeps visiting Dunkin Donuts

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


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Middle East Scholar: MAD Doctrine Won't Work for Iran

From the World Tribune comes a sober warning to those who are inclined to appease the Iranians in their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

"Iran's leadership comprises a group of extreme fanatical Muslims who believe that their messianic times have arrived," Lewis said. "This is quite dangerous. Though Russia and the U.S. both had nuclear weapons, it was clear that they would never use them because of MAD — mutual assured destruction. Each side knew it would be destroyed if it would attack the other."

"But with these people in Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent factor, but rather an inducement," Lewis said. "They feel that they can hasten the final messianic process. This is an extremely dangerous situation of which it is important to be aware."

The appeasers of the 1930s didn't realize their mistake until the wolf was not only at the door, the wolf was coming through the door.

Will world leaders wake up to the threat from radical Iran before it's too late? It's not looking good, so far.


Planned Parenthood's Racist Roots are Showing

While Planned Parenthood is normally a revered temple of worship for liberals, they've recently stepped in it big-time with some old-fashioned racism.

Conservatives don't like racism any more than liberals do, but liberals have made it a part of their holy creed. In fact, liberals often try to outdo one another with efforts to pander to minorities to prove how "unracist" they are.

Another item high in the Liberal's Creed is unrestricted access to abortion, most often provided at the holy temple of Planned Parenthood.

But what if the Temple of Planned Parenthood is full of racist heresy?

Those who are aware of founder Margaret Sanger's racist, eugenics leanings would not be surprised to hear of racist leanings at Planned Parenthood, but rank and file liberals who unquestioningly accept Leftwing sermons extolling the orthodoxy of Planned Parenthood might be shocked to find that Sanger didn't care much for people of color.

Now word has come out from CNS News and other sources that the pro-life publication, The Advocate, made some calls to Planned Parenthood which revealed the organization's disregard for the welfare of minorities. Seems someone from The Advocate called Planned Parenthood under the pretense of making a donation targeted at reducing the black population through abortion.

Here is part of a transcript from CNS News:

Planned Parenthood: "My name is Lisa Hutton."

O'Keefe: "Lisa, what is your position?"

Planned Parenthood: "Administrative assistant."

O'Keefe: "When I underwrite an abortion, does that apply to minorities too?"

Planned Parenthood: "If you specifically want to underwrite it for a minority person, you can target it that way. You can specify that that's how you want it spent."

O'Keefe: "Okay, yeah, because there's definitely way too may black people in Ohio. So, I'm just trying to do my part."

Planned Parenthood: "Hmm. Okay, whatever."

O'Keefe: "Blacks especially need abortions too. So, that's what I'm trying to do."

Planned Parenthood: "Well, for whatever reason, we'll accept the money."

O'Keefe:"Great, Thank You."

Planned Parenthood:"Mmmm, hmmm."

So Planned Parenthood will accept money for the expressed, specific purpose of reducing the number of black people in Ohio. Okay.

In another call to another Planned Parenthood facility...
She tells the caller it is possible to target African-Americans with their donation. The caller says, "Okay, the abortion ... I can give money specifically for a black baby. That would be the purpose."

Autumn, who apparently is Autumn Kersey, then-director of development at the office, says: "Absolutely. If you wanted to designate that you wanted your gift be used to help an African-American woman in need, then we would certainly make sure that gift was earmarked specifically for that purpose." Listen to Audio

The caller then says, "Good, because I really face trouble with affirmative action and I don't want my kids being disadvantaged, you know, against black kids. I just had a baby. I want to put it in his name, you know." Autumn answers, "Mmmm, absolutely. ... Always, always."

The caller goes on to say: "You know, we just think, the less black kids out there, the better." And Autumn answers: "Understandable, understandable."



So Planned Parenthood thinks it's "understandable" that someone would want to see "less black kids out there."

Any American should find this disgusting, regardless of their own skin color. I'm white, but when I started public school in the first grade (in Mississippi, by the way), one of my two best friends was a black kid. My best man at my wedding was a black guy. My children are schooled each day with black children and play with black children every day. I was raised, as my children are being raised, to understand that skin color does not matter, that it is no more important than the color of our eyes or hair, that we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, with the same standing in God's eyes.

Yet as a conservative, racism is often assumed of me, and a lack of racism is often automatically assumed of liberals. Most conservatives I know care more what a person believes than what their skin color is, while liberals seem fixated on race and racism and quotas. I suppose the stereotypes don't always hold up, whether it be skin color or political persuasion, do they?

Of course, Planned Parenthood has made the obligatory denunciations in order to try and distance themselves from this racist activity. But the roots of the organization tell a different story, one not in keeping with liberal legend.

From WorldNetDaily:
Sanger supported eugenics to cull those she considered unfit from the population. In 1921, she said eugenics is "the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems."

At one point, Sanger lamented "the ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all." Another time, Sanger wrote, "We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."

Sanger was one of these racial purists that have roots in Darwinism (recall that the full title of Charle's Darwin's famous book was "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"). Sanger and her kind embraced eugenics, sterilization, birth control and abortion as ways to get rid of the "inferior races," of which blacks were considered one.

You can find out more information about Sanger's "Negro Project" here.

Planned Parenthood has a long record of despicable behavior, from giving out bad sex advice to teens, to giving out defective condoms, to covering up for child molesters. All that in addition to the millions of unborn children dead at their doorstep.

Now their racist, genocidal roots are showing. Is the facade of Planned Parenthood cracking? Will the American people finally wake up to what a sinister and unAmerican organization they've been funding with their taxpayer dollars?

Only time will tell...


Pulling the Rug From Under Planned Parenthood

If you haven't followed Planned Parenthood very closely, you might not be aware of some of the things they're up to.

In addition to being the nation's biggest abortion provider (taxpayer funded, at that), they've also dispensed a lot of contraceptives to young people, including some condoms with the highest failure rates around.

But they're also giving your teenager sex advice...a lot of it bad advice.

For that reason, according to CNS News, some U.S. House Republicans say it's time to end taxpayer funding for this irresponsible organization.

Planned Parenthood operates a website called teenwire.com which dispenses this bad advice to your children. Here's what CNS News has to say about it:

As Cybercast News Service reported on Feb. 26, teenwire.com recommends viewing "sexy pictures or movies" as a way for young couples to enjoy "safer sex."

The Web site notes that federal law prohibits porn viewing by anyone under 18. "However," it says, "not everyone follows the rules, and you may run across some porn before you turn 18."

It goes on to say that "many people enjoy pornography alone or with a partner as part of sex play. People have different ideas of what is arousing, and there are many different kinds of porn that appeal to people's different interests."

The lawmakers reviewed other content from the site, including graphic illustrations from "Behind the Fig Leaf," a slide show depicting the differing "styles" of male and female genitalia.

In 2005, some controversy arose over some sex ed materials in Sioux Falls schools which included references to teenwire.com. At that time, I examined the website for myself and found, among others, these topics for teens:

- "Communication is key when it comes to oral sex"

- "Yeast Infections 101"

- "Childcare programs to help teen parents stay in school"

- References to pro-homosexual websites like “Outproud” if you have questions or doubts about your sexual orientation

- Sexual arousal

- Losing your virginity

- Masturbation

- Relationships ("My boyfriend wants oral sex all the time, but I hate doing it")


Wholesome, responsible stuff, huh?

Earlier, in 2004, the teenwire.com site was also the subject of controversy in South Dakota when it was discovered that the state library website was linking to the site. The link was subsequently removed over concerns about the appropriateness of the material for teens.

There is simply no reason our hard-earned taxpayer dollars should be going to an organization that murders a quarter of a million children every year, hands out defective condoms, provides cover for child molesters, and seeks to turn our teenagers into sex maniacs.

It's time to push Planned Parenthood away from the public trough and let them pursue their sexual anarchist agenda on their own dime.


Irony in Berkeley




Well, isn’t it amusing to see things come around that once went around?

JBlog Central has a story about Medea Benjamin, repressive leftist, socialist, anti-American, anti-military agitator and leader of Code Pink, the organization that made such a nuisance of themselves out in Berkeley just a few days ago protesting the presence of the United States Marines in their fair city.

It seems Ms. Benjamin was spat upon by a passing motorist and screamed for help. Who do you think she called for?


Situational Irony: Berkeley Protestors Call FOR Marines
In what can only be seen as an ironic twist of fate, Code Pink, and none other than radical leftist Medea Benjamin, found themselves involved in an incident in which they saw the necessity of calling in the Marines for help.

It started at the usual place with the usual suspects involved. Members of Code Pink were barricading the Armed Forces recruiting center in Berkeley, California (where the city still gives them free parking and a free pass to protest uninhibited by normal legal procedures), when a man in a white volvo drove by and 'spat upon Code Pink.'

(Click on link above for full story)


Families of Victim, Colorado Gunman Speak on Focus on the Family

ATTENTION: This program's material may not be suitable for young listeners.

On a cold Sunday morning in December, 2007, Matthew Murray arrived at New Life Church - not to attend services, but to carry out a dark and sinister plan. Murray opened fire in the church parking lot, taking the lives of Stephanie and Rachel Works, 2 teenage sisters, before ending his own with a self-inflicted gun wound. The parents of the victims, David and Marie Works, with Dr. Ronald and Mrs. Loretta Murray, the parents of the shooter come together in a compelling program as they discuss the tragedy and extend to one another a heartfelt expression of God's grace, love and forgiveness.

"[We have been] praying for the day we would be able to meet with the Works family and express our deep sorrow over what happened, and the great loss of their daughters at the hands of my son. And they [have been] gracious enough to extend their hand of friendship, love and forgiveness to our family." - Dr. Ronald Murray

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


More Media Maligning of McCain

Carl Hulse at the New York Times is trying to raise doubts about John McCain's eligibility to be president, based on his birth in the Panama Canal Zone.

The U.S. Constitution does say that "No person except a natural born Citizen...shall be eligible to the Office of President."

While McCain was born outside the boundaries of the United States, he was born to two U.S. citizens. The law does, however, pretty much clear up this question in 8 USC 1401:

(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person

If being born outside the boundaries of the U.S. meant that citizens weren't considered "natural born," there would be a host of children born overseas to U.S. service men and women who were considered ineligible for the presidency. Having been a serviceman who has served overseas for several years, I can tell you that no one considers this to be the case.

The Constitutional provision requiring the president to be "natural born" was intended to prevent foreign-born persons, who might have national or ethnic ties or loyalties, from ascending to the helm of our nation. It was not intended to prohibit children from growing up to become president, who would in every other way than the location of their birth be fully recognized as natural American citizens.

I'm no McCain fan, but this is silly. Our "mainstream" media insults the American people when they put forth misleading stories such as this. It's no wonder that, as the Media Research Center points out, only 24% of people have a favorable opinion of the New York Times.

This is also on the heels of their unfounded piece last week alleging a sex scandal between McCain and a lobbyist. Why don't they improve their accuracy rating by changing their name from the New York Times to the DNC Times?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even journalists. But when the NY Times and other media outlets come out with slanted and misleading articles, why not do us the favor of at least admitting, "We're a liberal outlet." At least then there'd be some "truth in advertising."


Political Intimidation of American Churches Begins Again

Here we go again. Back in the 2006 election season, we saw plenty of people from the Left trying to scare and intimidate people of faith from being active politically and living out their values in the "real world."

Now we see it again in front-page fear-mongering with an article in today's Rapid City Journal by Kevin Woster entitled "Politics can hurt churches’ tax status."

The article plays off another article yesterday on the Catholic churches in Rapid City circulating petitions in favor of South Dakota's latest attempt to ban most abortions in the state.

The article points out this "political activity" by the churches, and hints that it could jeopardize the tax exempt status of churches. The article doesn't make it clear that such threats to tax exempt status have nothing to do with the First Amendment, or any other part of the Constitution, but go back only to the 1950s when Lyndon B. Johnson, who was a senator at that time, pushed through a law restricting nonprofit organizations; he did so to muzzle nonprofit organizations who were speaking out against his liberal policies.

In the ninth paragraph of the article, on the second page of the article (with the heading "Politics: Cross line?"), we finally hear that churches can still engage in some political activities:

Supporting an issue on the ballot is acceptable, however, as long as those “lobbying” activities do not constitute a “substantial part of their total activities, measured by time, effort, expenditure and other relevant factors.”

Cases indicate that line exists somewhere between 5 percent and 15 percent of the organization’s total activities, the bishops council says.

Knowing that the average reader gleans their information from a "sound byte" mentality, the damage is already done by the "Politics can hurt churches’ tax status" headline and the ominous information on the first page. The myth that people of faith should keep their irrelevant rear-ends parked on the pew and leave the "real world" stuff to secularist liberals has been perpetuated.

If you read yesterday's article, you might recognize the name of the only person mentioned in the article that seems to have a problem with the abortion petitions at church: Bernadette Gorszich-Usera.

From yesterday's article:
Borszich-Usera worries about the petitions doing that. She also wonders why the issue is returning, since state voters rejected an abortion ban -- one without the exceptions for health, rape and incest -- in 2006.

"What part of 'no' don't they understand?" she said.

"What part of 'no' don't they understand?" Hmmm. Within the context of South Dakota's abortion debate, I've never heard that uttered by anyone who wasn't in favor of unrestricted abortion. So we have an obviously strongly biased interviewee in this article...but no context in which to place her objections. Nice work, RCJ.

In 2006, liberals were busy intimidating churches into believing they'd lose their tax exempt status if they spoke up for values in the public square. We heard it from ominous IRS press releases, from liberal groups, and from the Leftwing, er, "mainstream" press.

But that same year, Senior Vice President of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), came to South Dakota at the invitation of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, speaking in Sioux Falls, Yankton, Brookings, Aberdeen, Watertown, Mitchell, and Rapid City to assure pastors of their right and the right of their churches to be involved in social policy.

Here is part of what McCaleb said to a gathering of pastors in Rapid City on July 20, 2006:
Today in Rapid City, McCaleb told a filled room of 60 Black Hills area pastors and church leaders, “What they are saying is that you can lose your tax exemption as a church if you speak out on the abortion ban, or the gambling issue if it comes up, or in favor of marriage. I’ve come up from Arizona...to tell you very directly that this is absolutely inaccurate, wrong, false information. If you speak out even directly from your pulpit and tell your people to vote in favor of the marriage amendment, or vote in favor of the abortion ban, that is not going to put your tax exemption at risk.”

McCaleb also said churches may use an “insubstantial portion of your ministry resources to directly lobby on legislative matters like these [marriage and abortion] laws.” He said this is at least 5% of the total ministry value (not just the church budget, but the value of volunteer labor, and all the things that go into the ministry) on direct lobbying; this can involve buying yard signs, advertising, holding public rallies and such to encourage others to support legislation. McCaleb said some courts have said it is permissible to go up to 15-20%, but he advised 5% as a completely safe figure. Churches can also financially support the work of groups like the South Dakota Family Policy Council, VoteYesForLife.com and others, as long as reporting procedures are followed.

McCaleb said, “If anybody tells you differently, find out what they are quoting and give me a call. I guarantee you they are wrong. They are spreading misinformation. They are trying to silence the church.”

McCaleb also said that if a church was acting within the requirements for tax exempt organizations, but had a complaint filed against them, the ADF would represent them against the complaint at no cost.

The primary prohibition for tax exempt organizations is against endorsing candidates, not issues. Pastors can support candidates within their private, personal capacity, but they cannot do so in their official capacity as pastors. Nor can churches favor one candidate over another; they can, however, allow candidates to speak as long as an opportunity for all candidates within that race is provided (i.e a forum).

We also saw this political intimidation from the Left just last month, as the presidential primaries got underway, when liberals tried to intimidate churches from encouraging their congregants to get out and vote (lest they support Mike Huckabee).

Jesus told his followers to be "salt and light" in a world of darkness. If they "hide their light under a bucket," they cannot reveal the truth to a lost world. Any church and any Christian who is not speaking out in some way about the truth of God's word in the public square is derelict in their Christian duty.

Public policy either blesses or oppresses people, and it usually either leads them in the direction of moral choices or leads them in the direction of immoral ones. A church that is not making a contribution in the direction of blessing the people and leading them toward moral acts is useless, and is the "salt that has lost it's saltiness" that Christ said is good for nothing except to be trampled under foot by men.

Finally, while some people may question why fewer and fewer people trust the "mainstream" media, and why that media is hemorrhaging readers, the answer is right in front of them. With the advent of alternative sources of information, people are finding out that they are being lied to, having facts manipulated and misrepresented, and their perceptions about issues twisted by a media that, while claiming to be objective, has a very clear and aggressive bias--almost always toward liberalism.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

West River Bishop Approves Abortion Petition

Last week, Bishop Paul Swain of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese approved the signing and gathering of petition signatures in support of the latest attempt to ban most abortions in South Dakota.

According to the Rapid City Journal, Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City has also given the green light to parishioners in Rapid City, as well.

The article says many Catholics attending Mass this past weekend in western South Dakota found petitions in their lobbies. It also says Bishop Cupich sent a letter to churches explaining the petition and asking people to "pray for the grace of God’s wisdom about your response" to the petition.

The article features a couple of perspectives from parishioners, one in favor of the petition and the other obviously against it. But of course we knew in 2006 that the objections about a lack of exceptions was only an excuse; now that this proposed ban has those exceptions, the huffing and puffing begins anew, but for different, less-defined reasons.

Many good people may be tempted not to support this bill because it does contain exceptions for rape/incest, and the health of the mother. But the exceptions are tightly-worded so as to prevent abuse. And even under those exceptions, according to the latest abortion statistics in South Dakota, this ban would stop 98.1% of the abortions done in South Dakota. While I'd rather save 100%, I'd rather save 98.1% than 0.0%.

I'm told from sources within the petition campaign that efforts to gather the required number of signatures by the April deadline are well on track, but we need to keep signatures coming in to guarantee the nearly 17,000 signatures required to get it on the ballot for November.

I've signed the petition. Have you?


William F. Buckley Dead at 82



Conservative icon William F. Buckley died in his home today after a lengthy illness. Founder and editior of National Review Magazine, Buckley was an articulate spokesman and leader for the conservative movement in post-WWII America.


From the New York Times:

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America. He mobilized the young enthusiasts who helped nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964, and saw his dreams fulfilled when Reagan and the Bushes captured the Oval Office.

To Mr. Buckley’s enormous delight, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the historian, termed him 'the scourge of liberalism.'

In remarks at National Review’s 30th anniversary in 1985, President Reagan joked that he picked up his first issue of the magazine in a plain brown wrapper and still anxiously awaited his biweekly edition — 'without the wrapper.'

'You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism,' Mr. Reagan said.

'And then, as if that weren’t enough,' the president continued, 'you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.


Why Would Removing a 'Blob of Tissue' Be Difficult Emotionally?

A LifeNews article yesterday featured the interesting admission from NARAL Washington director Karen Cooper.

A pro-life blog called Cooper because her group had been contacting Washington state pharmacists to see if they were following Board of Pharmacy rules which required them to sell Plan B emergency contraception. However, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton had already issued an injunction, removing this rule.

During the conversation...

He [blog author Jonathan Bloedow] indicated the blog asked Cooper why a pro-abortion group would promote a drug to reduce abortions if it was okay with abortions being done.

"This was met with a long silence, followed by a nervous confession that, 'abortion is a very hard thing for women emotionally,'" Bloedow wrote. He said Cooper quickly added, "a very hard decision."

As the LifeNews article points out, if abortion is just the removal of a blob of tissue, why would it be such a "hard thing for women emotionally." Is the removal of a tumor a "hard thing for women emotionally?"

Perhaps abortion is difficult emotionally because, despite decades of pro-abortion propaganda telling women the child inside them isn't a child, deep-down they still know that it is, and that they are ending the life of their own child.

Apparently, even pro-abortion people know this...and do their best to ignore that knowledge.


The Normalcy of Brokenness

BreakPoint - Chuck Colson and Mark Earley

The movie "Juno" sends both a good message, and a bad one.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 143




Topics in this show:

--New York Times attacks John McCain but some newspapers refuse to run story

--George Bush 41 endorses McCain

--Barack Obama's wife Michelle causes some controversy for the campaign by saying she's never been proud of America until now

--Lindsay Lohan appears nude in New York magazine

--Tom Cruise at Essence magazine?

--Kirstie Alley leaves Jenny Craig


When Electing a President, Specifics are Unimportant

Vote for him because, well, I like him.



Even Chris Matthews was surprised when the Obama campaign's own surrogates are left utterly stumped when asked to list his legislative accomplishments as a senator.


Monday, February 25, 2008

B-2 Stealth Bomber Crashed in Guam



A B-2 stealth bomber crashed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Saturday.


God's Glory Found in Unlikely Place


One day recently I and Professor Barger went to the faculty dining room for lunch. Being pretty crowded, we were invited to join some other faculty members at a table already occupied. We all were acquainted, but Dr. Salenas and Dr. Wright taught in another department, we were all science faculty with our respective areas of expertise.

The usual conversation at lunch tends to cover subjects such as administration-faculty conflicts, the hassles of student advising and registration, and most importantly the performance of our famous Butler Bulldogs basketball team. For some reason that day, the conversation changed to things more serious and philosophical. I don’t remember how it started, but soon we were discussing intelligent design and expressing our doubts about a purely material universe. We have never had a similar conversation before or since.

Dr. Barger, a neuropharmacologist, and a Methodist, stated that he found the mechanisms of cell receptors, modulators and neurotransmitters unexplainable by random evolutionary processes. Dr. Salenas., a medicinal chemist and Roman Catholic marveled at the molecular structures and bonds and how perfectly they work to provide the intricate interactions between elements and how slight changes of charges can completely change the three-dimensional shape of molecules and thus change completely the interactive characteristics of the molecule. A professor of human physiology and a fundamentalist Christian, I added that the duplication and transcription of DNA and RNA was irrefutable evidence of a Great Designer. There is not so much as a guess as to how these molecules and mechanisms came to be. Dr. Wright, a physical chemist and of no particular religious persuasion was thoughtful and considered each of our points. He quietly munched on his tuna salad sandwich and took it all in hardly acknowledging the conversation to that point. Finally, he spoke. With just a hint of condescension he agreed that cell receptors, chemical bonds and stereochemistry, and DNA were marvelous arguments for design, but he suggested something much simpler and it doesn’t require an advanced degree to comprehend.

Dr. Wright stated that, to his thinking, the most amazing fact in science was so simple and so obvious that we all have witnessed it first hand many times, but most never gave it a thought. After all, it is simply the way it has to be, even though it is contrary to other observations. Any other way and life could not exist on this planet.

Have you ever gone ice skating? How about those ice cubes floating in your ice tea? It is a scientific fact that water has its greatest density at 4° Centigrade and thus ice, at 0°, floats. Every other substance in nature reaches maximum density in solid form and becomes less dense in liquid form and therefore the solid form sinks in the liquid. For instance, frozen ammonia sinks in liquid ammonia, ice sinks in rubbing alcohol, oil floats on water because it is less dense than water.

In fluids molecules come closer together as they are cooled, becoming more dense, until they reach a maximum density (the molecules are as close together as they can get). In all other liquids this occurs at the freezing point. It the case of water maximum density is reached at 4° Centigrade, or just above freezing temperature, 0°. The practical result of this is that ice floats. So who cares if the ice cubes in you adult beverage float or sit on the bottom of the glass? Truth is, in that case it doesn’t matter much.

Well, what about ice in a river or lake? The ice forms on top of the slightly warmer water and helps prevent lower levels from freezing. Also, as the ice melts, the 4° water, being heavier, falls to the bottom and causes the lower, warmer water to rise to the top. This produces a convection current that mixes oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients, necessary for the many form of life living in that body of water.

If water behaved like every other fluid, our lakes and rivers, and even large parts of the ocean would be frozen from the bottom to the surface most of the year. The waters of the earth would not be able to support life as we know it. With most of the water of earth bound up in ice, there would be little rain so most of the land would also be barren.

Our world is so perfectly designed that something as simple as the density of ice reveals God’s power and glory. Wherever we look we see God’s handiwork. And this has been so since Adam. Even as we learn more of our world, new wonders are revealed more marvelous than what our predecessors knew. And it will always be so until the Lord reveals the full manifestation of His glory. Atheists say that belief in God stifles inquiry. They say that we are inclined to think “God did it that way” and be satisfied with that explanation of scientific questions. That is far from the truth. Since the earliest days of scientific discovery men such as Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, etc., all believing Christians, endeavored to discover natural laws, seeing in them the majesty and glory of an omnipotent and loving God and giving thanks and glory to their Creator. Many scientists today pursue knowledge with the same humble sentiment, giving all praise and glory to God the Creator.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
--Romans 2: 18-20


A Crisis in Democracy: Are We Going Bankrupt?

By John W. Whitehead

“Our country is insolvent, and bankruptcy will come.”
—Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.)
I’ve never seen our country in worse shape—culturally, constitutionally or financially. Marriages and families are falling apart, our liberties are being eroded and the U.S. economy is in serious trouble. We are, as author Robert B. Reich noted in a recent New York Times editorial, “totally spent.” All we’re managing to do now is keep our creditors at bay.

The U.S. trade deficit has reached record highs in recent years. Gas prices, which have largely contributed to trade deficit woes, have led to higher prices in transportation and other goods. The bursting of the home price bubble has triggered a crisis in U.S. housing finance. This has led to a sharp spike in foreclosures, as well as heavy losses at major banks, a pull-back in the market for securitized debt and a credit crunch worldwide.

With the value of the dollar plummeting worldwide, America is, in effect, now on sale at discount prices to foreign countries. For example, a record $414 billion was invested by foreigners in the U.S. economy in 2007, with much of it coming from sovereign wealth funds, vast pools of money controlled by anti-democratic governments from China to the Middle East.

The fact that our nation is nearing bankruptcy has become what David Walker, comptroller general of the United States, calls “the dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows.” Most politicians, says Walker, are aware of the impending financial crisis but reluctant to do anything about it. After all, it is not politically expedient to increase taxes or trim spending, but this is exactly what needs to be done.

Walker also argues that health care, a political promise rolling off every candidate’s tongue, is by and large the most prominent issue, five times bigger than Social Security. And Walker calls the 2003 measures that included Medicare prescription drugs “probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s.” This bill, Walker says, was “eight trillions dollars added to what was already a 15 to $20 trillion under-funding.”

Walker, who recently resigned after serving as the government’s chief internal watchdog for a decade, concludes that the nation’s “current standard of living is unsustainable unless some drastic action is taken.” But, as usual, when we leave the problem-solving to the politicians, what we end up with is bigger government, more bureaucracy and a larger federal deficit, which is projected to total $410 billion for 2008. (The national debt, which is the total amount of money owed by the government, is currently estimated to be over $9.2 trillion.)

We are living in a house of cards that’s on the verge of crashing around us, and yet most Americans remain oblivious and continue to spend beyond their means. But, as Reich notes, “That era is now coming to an end. Consumers have run out of ways to keep the spending binge going.”

Hoping to continue the spending a little longer, Congress passed a $168 billion stimulus plan made up of personal tax rebates and business tax cuts. While some Democrats criticized the plan, fiscal conservatives expressed grave doubts that the measure is too little and will reach consumers and businesses too late. Former congressman Jack Kemp asserts that “rebates haven’t worked in the past…and won’t work in the future,” as they reward past production. Other critics have voiced the concern that such a costly measure merely serves to increase the already burgeoning national deficit.

While the nation’s financial woes are grave, a recession will impact more than Americans’ pocketbooks—it will impact our very freedoms. After all, economic security and freedom go hand in hand.

In his book, A Free Nation Deep in Debt, James MacDonald, an investment banker, discusses the relationship between democracy and economic development: “Democracy (even in its most partial and imperfect form), is a system in which the citizens control the state. As long as democratic states borrow from their own citizens, their good credit is simply a reflection of the virtual identity of borrower and lender.”

Unfortunately, as economist James Galbraith explains, “The American citizenry has lost its pride of place as creditor of the American state. Today, financial intermediaries hold about 37 percent of U.S. public debt; Japan and China, along with other countries, now hold about 30 percent. The proportion of U.S. debt owned directly by Americans has fallen to below 10 percent; in 1945 (when the debt was more than twice as large in relation to GDP as now) citizen-creditors just about held it all.” But that is no longer true, and “for all practical purposes, the venerable marriage between public credit and democratic government, so vital a factor in the history of the world, has been dissolved.”

Galbraith concludes: “If MacDonald’s thesis is right, the disappearance of the citizen-creditor forces a question. Can democracy survive when its financial roots have been cut? The scale of public debt is not the issue, but its ownership is. Can a country—whether the United States or any other—be truly democratic if it is in hock to banks and foreigners? ...To put it bluntly, are we still a democracy? And, if not, what would it take to bring democracy back?”

We know what must be done.

First, we need to elect fiscally responsible representatives with the backbone to resist political pressure to spend what is not there. We also need to stop putting ourselves in hock to foreign banks and nations. And we need to put a stop to the financial hemorrhaging related to the Bush Administration’s war on terror. For example, over the past six years, the U.S. has disbursed to the corrupt government of Pakistan about $80 million monthly, or roughly $1 billion a year. Yet according to the Washington Post, few receipts are provided to account for how the money is used or where it ends up. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when one considers that we spend at least $1 billion a week in Iraq on military operations alone. Just imagine how those dollars could be put to use in our own ailing economy.

Second, we need to show some personal discipline. This will mean reining in our binge spending, nationally and individually. It will also mean getting back to work. We need to bring the manufacturing jobs back to the United States and re-inject ourselves into the economy, even if it means Americans taking on jobs that are usually done by illegal immigrants.

Finally, we need to do a better job of protecting our freedoms. This means resisting the government’s attempt to amass greater authority and centralize power in the executive branch. It also means electing representatives who will abide by their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

If we value our freedoms at all, we have to sober up—and fast—or we will certainly find ourselves facing an even more dangerous crisis in democracy. Yet beware: this will not be a sudden coup but a gradual transformation into a more authoritarian regime. As former presidential advisor Bertram Gross points out in his book, Friendly Fascism: “Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties, or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic—as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile.”


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.


A couple of questions about privacy and secrecy in government

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: The campaign to put into law Senate Bill 189 has been brilliantly led by state Senator Nancy Turbak Berry, D-Watertown. However, after passing the Senate the presumption of openness in government bill went before the House State Affairs Committee Feb. 20 where it was voted 7 to 6 to be moved to the 36th day. This means that for all intents and purposes the chance to get a good South Dakota open records law passed this session is at best remote. Its critics were headed by Governor Mike Rounds and some legislators who want a much more conservative type of an open record law.

A COUPLE OF Sundays ago state Senator Nancy Turbak Berry and her husband sat beside us during worship services. All of a sudden it was sermon time. The bulletin said the preaching would be set on two questions, "What If?" and "What Then?" Knowing the senator's passion for open government and her bill about presumption of open government and my strong feelings about the importance of having open government on all levels, I admit my mind strayed from the pulpit. My apologies to Pastor Westgard.

However, in my mind I found myself asking the same questions about open government, open records, both on the local and state levels. "What if" her bill falls by the legislative wayside? "What then" happens to government records? Do we live by today's rules until one can prove a particular record can be seen? That's about what is happening today in city halls, courthouses and, yes, at the South Dakota's capital.

The battle line was drawn when Senator Turbak Berry's bill passed the Senate. Governor Rounds spoke against it almost from the time it came off the press. He said the bill puts privacy at risk. Such a law on the books would open the door too wide to records--some of them likely confidential.

PRIVACY AT RISK? Then, is it not fair to ask where does this put secrecy?
Another question, when did the American ideal, open government, become secret. When did we lose that grip on government that all of a sudden, there are privacy laws keeping us from knowing what is going on in government?

Let's put this another way. During Turbak Berry's testimony before the House State Affairs Committee, she said, "Even here in friendly, decent South Dakota, we find that people who have power don't want to share it, sometimes even with other elected people, and that is a sad day in South Dakota.

Democracy isn't always convenient, but it's always right." Gosh, darn! I wish I would have said it, "Democracy isn't always convenient, but it's always right."

Turbak Berry's bill would have put into state law that all records are presumed open unless their openness could cause "irreparable harm." It would open all state records unless they're specifically protected by state law.

Prior to the bill's defeat, David Bordewyk, head of the South Dakota Newspaper Association, said, "What that bill would give us is a modern, comprehensive open records law that reflects the scope and dynamics of government in South Dakota.

"THE BILL BALANCES our fundamental right to inspect and access government information with our expectations that certain government records must be maintained confidentially...."

However, all the words that have been written and said in support of Turbak Berry's bill obviously has done nothing to convince the governor that such legislation is needed. When he said he doesn't like something a lot of legislators fall in line whether or not they fully agree with him, a legislator of his own party told me recently.

Consequently, with the death of Senate Bill 189 those two questions that were originally asked in church a couple of weeks ago, keep popping up. What if South Dakota doesn't get its records open for scrutiny by the public and, yes, the media? What then? Will things in Pierre just go on as usual? And, we must ask, what then must we do to open the window to see what our government is doing?

THE ARTICLE WRITTEN by my friend, Terry Woster, in that newspaper in that town near Harrisburg the day after the bill's defeat was an excellent one.
It quotes one of the bill's opponents, Rep. Shantel Krebs, R-Sioux Falls, wife of Mitch, who works for the governor. She thought the bill should go back to the open records task force to come up with a better one.

Turbak Berry, a member of that task force, says she plans to keep working on it and "hammering at it," and "it isn't finished by any means."

Perhaps it isn't. But in the meantime, when they talk of privacy, one cannot help but think of secrecy as well and that shouldn't be necessary "...here in friendly, decent South Dakota."....

Gordon Garnos was long-time editor of the Watertown Public Opinion and recently retired after 39 years with that newspaper. Garnos, a lifelong resident of South Dakota except for his military service in the U.S. Air Force, was born and raised in Presho.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Divine Imprint on Social Structure

The following are from my notes taken at Lesson 7 of the Truth Project today entitled "Sociology: The Divine Imprint."

It examines how, just as God's "fingerprints" are all over creation, and that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands," so God's fingerprints are all over the social order He has established for humanity.

In this capacity, the lesson is somewhat linked to Lesson 5 on science, this lesson picks up there by examining a passage from Job 12:7-8 which says

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

As an illustration, Dr. Del Tacket, leader of the Truth Project, examines the simple chicken egg, and how perfectly engineered it is (the pores, the yolk, the albumen, and the little air compartment inside). If any of the facets of the egg were just a little bit off, life would not be possible for the new chickens.

The lesson examines briefly, as it did in more detail in Lesson 5, that ORDER presents a problem for materialists and evolutionists. Even this egg is an example of order. Evolutionists tell us the universe came about through a random, purposeless, mindless chain of events; it would be logical to conclude that a random, purposeless, mindless, chaotic universe should be the result. Yet it isn't.

That's because the universe was engineered by God, who is a God of order, just as Job 25:2 tells us
Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.

And 1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

There are countless systems of order in the universe that testify to God's imprint: the water cycle, DNA, photosynthesis, lunar tides, the chicken egg, blood clotting.

But, as this lesson focuses on, God's genius and order are every bit as magnificently displayed not only in His scientific constructs, but His social constructs. Consider the God-established social systems of marriage, family, church, labor, government, and community.

Yet the world in it's willful blindness is just as ignorant to the genius of God's ordered plan in social constructs as it is to the genius of His scientific handiwork. Remember from Lesson 5 how Darwin said he was disturbed by the apparent design of the peacock's tail? And how Francis Crick stated that evolutionary biologists must work hard to ignore the implications of design in science?

The triune (i.e. Trinity) nature of God is examined in this lesson as the first example of community and social construct. God is one, but manifest in three natures: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three of them perform different roles, yet they are not jealous, working in perfect peace, love and harmony.

The fact that Adam was made first, with no female counterpart, is examined. Tackett theorizes that perhaps God carried on his continuing act of creation during the Creation Week with this "pause" so as to emphasize to humanity the need for community. Otherwise, Adam might have been tempted to say (as men often are today): "I'm self-sufficient. I don't need anybody." Yet Adam saw community and relationships even in the animal world, as God brought the animals to him to be named.

Tackett says he finds it interesting that the threefold or triune concept can be observed in many places in the universe: God himself, states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), the construct of the atom, the primary colors, and even the family (husband, wife, children).

Yet just as the world has come to reject God's authorship of science, so it has come to reject his authorship and authority over social order.

God laid out from the first week of creation the basic foundation of all His social constructs: marriage.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

God made it clear in both the Old and New Testaments that one man and one woman for life was to be his plan, even to the point that He says He hates divorce. While God makes it clear in the Bible that there are a few reasons when divorce is permissible, even the fact that those situations arise by the misconduct of one marital party demonstrates a violation of His design for marriage and the most basic social construct. Can you imagine the Son being divorced from or estranged from the Father? Or the Holy Spirit being divorced or estranged from the Son?

God has also provided us instructions on how husbands and wives are supposed to treat each other.

Yet now we seem to think we can take anything we want and call it marriage: two men, two women, one man and two women, three men and one woman, or whatever.

And children are the natural outcome of a marriage union (provided everything is functioning biologically, and there are no contraceptive measures utilized). Yet we now say it's okay to place children with two men or two women, when their sexual union is not capable even under the best circumstances of producing children. Why? They are using the sexual function of their bodies in a manner for which God did not design it; in fact, they are using it in a way contrary to how God has designed it. Perhaps this is why God makes it so clear in both the Old and New Testaments that He so vehemently disapproves of homosexuality--it turns his creative and social design for human sexuality upside down.

And single parenthood violates God's design. He made it clear that, barring death or divorce beyond one's control, that children should have two parents. This enables the child to have the most stable home life with the basics of life provided for. The child also has both sex roles modeled for him or her, so that the child can see demonstrated in his parents how males and females are supposed to interact socially and in the marriage bond.

And our society has also decided that those children, which are the natural product and outcome of a marital union, can be murdered if they interfere with the financial or career plans of the couple. The parent-child relationship and creation-process can be short-circuited by the self-centered designs of a mother and/or father, and we call that alright.

How do you think God feels when a husband mistreats his wife? How do you think God feels when a wife shows disrespect for her husband? How does God feel when a child is beaten, abused or ignored?

God's social constructs exist not because He is a control-freak. God's social constructs exist not only for order itself, but because our lives are better in an ordered environment. We have peace, security, safety, and our basic needs met. God wants us to live happy, peaceful, productive lives. Besides, what kind of relationship can a person of a disordered, chaotic life have with a God of order? And God wants us to have a close relationship with Him.

When we violate God's design for social order, beginning with marriage and family, we bring about great chaos, disorder, pain and suffering. It shows in the figures we see on teen rebellion, teen suicide, teen substance abuse, teen crime statistics, children struggling in school, and the poverty rates of broken homes which are about seven times higher than intact two-parent homes. We also see children more often abused when boyfriends or new husbands have replaced the father in the home.

We see drastically increased disease rates when we don't save sex for marriage. Disease rates for homosexuals are phenomenally higher in many areas; in AIDS infections alone, over 70% of AIDS cases are due to homosexual behavior. Homosexuals also suffer more anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicide, and reduce lifespans.

No matter how we violate God's design for social order, there is a price to be paid. Too often, it is paid most heavily by those who are innocent and helpless: the children caught in the middle of their parents self-serving games. But everyone suffers.

Just as God's authority over nature is under attack in the modern world, so is His authority over social order. It's no wonder that a world which has embraced hatred of God's influence in science would also hate His influence in the social order.

There is no area of our existence to which God has not spoken. That is a key theme of the Truth Project, and this lesson on sociology is an excellent illustration.


 
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