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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Al Gore's Global Warming Consensus That Isn't

According to Al Gore and his acolytes, anthropogenic global warming is "settled science" and the is consensus in the scientific community. You believe that, right?

Think again.

From Thursday's Edmonton Journal in Canada:

EDMONTON - Only about one in three Alberta earth scientists and engineers believe the culprit behind climate change has been identified, a new poll reported today.

The expert jury is divided, with 26 per cent attributing global warming to human activity like burning fossil fuels and 27 per cent blaming other causes such as volcanoes, sunspots, earth crust movements and natural evolution of the planet.

A 99-per-cent majority believes the climate is changing. But 45 per cent blame both human and natural influences, and 68 per cent disagree with the popular statement that "the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled."

The divisions showed up in a canvass of more than 51,000 specialists licensed to practice the highly educated occupations by the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta.

"We're not surprised at all," APEGGA executive director Neil Windsor said today. "There is no clear consensus of scientists that we know of."

I guess this majority of scientists who aren't sold on man-caused global warming will just have to join the thousands of other scientists who aren't sold...that Al Gore and his disciples pretend don't exist.

Couldn't be that star in the middle of our solar system heating things up. Couldn't be a natural climate cycle. No sir. It has to be man-caused because we hate capitalism, and we hate the West, and because we say so.

That's today's "science."


Censoring the Church, Part 3



About the video:

Hate crime laws now threaten free speech and religious liberty nationwide and threaten those who speak out against homosexuality.

"Hate ... all » Crimes Laws:" Censoring the Church and Silencing Christians is a provocative look at this disturbing and threatening legal tool of the homosexual lobby. Hosted by Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, the program features shocking examples of how hate crime laws trample free speech, lead to arrests, and censor speech.

Featured on this 40 minute DVD are Dr. D. James Kennedy; Ake Green, a Swedish pastor arrested for preaching against homosexuality; members of the Philadelphia 11; Christine Sneeringer, an ex-lesbian; Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Pastor Danny Nalliah, of Catch the Fire Ministries (who was prosecuted under hate crimes laws in Australia); and more.

To order the DVD, visit www.frc.org


Foreign Governments Blocking Deportation of Illegals

According to Government Executive, one of the problems we have cleaning up our illegal alien problem is that the home countries of many of those illegals block deportation:

Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said one option would be to deny visas to citizens from countries causing the deportation problem. Specter said eight countries are refusing to accept a total of about 135,000 people who are in the United States illegally. He added that illegal immigrants who have served prison time for committing crimes cannot be held for more than an additional six months in detention facilities, meaning they are released inside the United States if they are not deported. Chertoff said the Chinese government is the worst at taking back its citizens and about 50,000 illegal immigrants are waiting to be returned to China.

I concur with Specter and Nelson: deny visas from offending countries, on a one-for-one basis, or entirely.

I'd also suggest that if the troublesome countries are receiving any aid from us, that we reduce their amount of aid by the cost of enforcement, incarceration and deportation of these illegals.

Maybe this would provide an incentive for these countries to work with us a little better. Especially countries like Mexico, where their government has been known to encourage and assist their citizens in entering our country illegally.


Not Going to Stand For (or in) the Ladies Room

I think it's going to be getting harder and harder for homosexual activists and their other liberal friends to keep claiming they have no radical agenda to turn our society upside down.

Especially with crazy stuff like the co-ed restrooms and showers being pushed in Montgomery County in Maryland. The county recently passed a law allowing men to use women's facilities if they claim they "perceive" themselves as a woman.

Fortunately, a group called Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government has stood up for sanity and has successfully petitioned to take this crazy law to a vote of the people in November.

WorldNetDaily says this about the law:

The law aims to protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and various services.

Isn't it about time the grownups took charge again?

Isn't it about time our society stopped coddling every wacked-out, rebellious trouble-maker and forced people to confront reality head-on?

Isn't it time our society, both for the good of the individual and the good of society, told these so-called "transgendered" people to look between their legs, read the tea leaves or whatever else they find there, and just deal with reality?

What you "perceive" your sex to be counts for little when your DNA and your gonads tell a different story. I might perceive I'm King Tut, but the only thing I'd have in common with him would be a ride up a certain river in Egypt.

If someone claimed they were a duck, or were Napoleon, I think most of us would agree there's something wrong with that person. But somehow when they deny the reality of their genitals, we're supposed to pretend along with them?

Our government and system of order and authority should not contort and humiliate itself by trying to accommodate someone who obviously has some serious mental or attitudinal problems.

At a minimum, if some guy, because he's genuinely screwed up by something that happened as a child or because he's just angry at God, wants to run around in a dress or wear makeup, then he should be prepared to deal with the consequences (not getting that job he wanted, getting strange looks when he goes to the men's room, or getting arrested when he tries to use the ladies room).

Instead of recognizing this type of behavior as a problem and trying to help the individual get their head on straight as we used to, we play along with their insanity, and encourage them in their delusion. And in capitulating to insanity and throwing out reality, we not only do the individual a disservice, we open ourselves up to additional problems, lawsuits, and expose women and children to unnecessary discomfort and danger.

But if good, sane people choose to sit quietly and allow this kind of decay to happen, then we'll get what we deserve.

Let's hope others in Maryland and around the country where this kind of silliness is being promoted join the Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government in saying, "No, the grownups are back in charge, and you're just going to have to deal with your sex!"


Lesson 9 - The State: Whose Law?

The Truth Project continues this weekend on Sunday at 8:57am at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City. Lesson 9 is about government and law.



Of all the social spheres, the state, to which God grants the power of the sword for the punishment of evil and the preservation of the good, has the greatest potential to go awry if it oversteps its authority. The civil magistrate must always remember his place under the sovereignty of God -- otherwise, havoc will ensue.

Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.


Friday, March 07, 2008

How McCain can stay in the news

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

One down, one to go. We now know that John McCain will be the Republican candidate for the presidency.

We also know he'll run against a liberal yet to be determined.

According to Karl Rove, the dragged-out affair in the Democratic Party will hurt McCain.

As the Clinton-Obama saga goes on, debating important topics like who will tax and regulate us the most, who will punish big corporations the most, how to change, after the fact, the realities of the Florida and Michigan primaries, and who is being unfairly dissed by the media, the Republican candidate will sit like an orphan on Page Two.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Here are a few ideas for McCain to keep himself front-page news.

First, he should call Mike Huckabee and invite him to be his running mate.

The move will shore up the large evangelical base and give positive content to a campaign defined primarily by fighting terrorism.

And Huckabee has proven himself to be a natural with the press. He'll play his guitar, take reporters squirrel-hunting, talk about creationism -- and they'll love every minute of it.

It's also probably true that Huckabee spent less on his entire campaign, in which he picked up seven states and 270 delegates, than Hillary Rodham Clinton spends on a weekend with advisers discussing what persona she'll assume for the coming week.

Keep in mind that a recent Pew Foundation survey on religion in America reported that 26 percent of Americans are evangelicals. Most of them would be happy to see Huckabee on the ticket. And they will regularly pray for the good health of President McCain. So no worries that VP Huckabee would unexpectedly wind up in the Oval Office.

Which leads to my second idea.

McCain was quite eloquent in his remarks in Texas the other night when he accepted the Republican Party nomination for president.

I was pleased when he talked about "faith in the values and principles that have made us great" and that "I intend to make my stand on those principles."

Many Americans need to be reminded, or perhaps learn for the first time, exactly what those "values and principles" are that have made our country great. We certainly need to hear from McCain what he thinks they are.

The Republican candidate dedicating time for discussion about "values and principles" would be therapeutic for the country. And by the time he's done, McCain might start believing them himself.

McCain and running mate Huckabee could hold national "values and principles" town halls nationwide while Clinton and Barack Obama debate mandatory universal health insurance.

Bill Cosby was a big hit traveling to inner cities around the country and talking about personal responsibility.

Hopefully, the talk will be about faith, family, reverence for life and private property, responsibilities that go with rights, what our Constitution actually says and how all these factors uniquely enable the world's most prosperous and powerful nation.

It is these "values and principles" that, after all, distinguish not just right from wrong in our country today, but also right from left.

In a recent Gallup poll, Democrats, independents and Republicans were asked to list what is most important to them in a presidential candidate: leadership skills/vision, position on issues or experience. Most important to Republicans was issues. Leadership skills/vision was more important to Democrats than issues by 50 percent.

Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus. For Republicans, what's most important is what you say, and then how you say it. For Democrats, it's the reverse by a large margin. Facts are far less important than feeling good.

We're hearing a lot about the enthusiasm of our youth for Obama. But according to a recent survey of 17-year-olds done by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, whereas 97 percent could associate the "I have a dream speech" with the Rev. Martin Luther King, only 82 percent knew that President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, 67 percent knew that protections of freedom of speech and religion are in the Bill of Rights and 43 percent knew that the Civil War occurred between 1850 and 1900.

The McCain/Huckabee "values and principles" tour can keep the Republican candidate in the news and prepare the groundwork for the general election, in which Americans will decide about a future based on faith, tradition and facts or wishful thinking and perhaps eloquently stated fiction.

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


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.


Under Fresh Attack by Courts: In Defense of Home Schooling

Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson

About the program:

A California state appellate court ruled last week that it is illegal for parents in the Golden State to home school their children without the appropriate state teaching credentials. If this ruling stands, home-schooling parents could, in effect, become guilty of a criminal offense. Find out how you can oppose this chilling decision, which Dr. Dobson calls "an unprecedented assault" on parental rights - one that could have nationwide consequences. Joining Dr. Dobson are public policy expert Carrie Gordon Earll, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Roy Hanson of Family Protection Ministries. You'll also hear from a California home-schooling mom whose right to make educational decisions for her children is now under attack.

"At the heart of this case is a distrust of parents." - Michael Farris

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


McCain's Presentation to CNP Conservatives a Hard Sell

As you might have heard, John McCain spoke to some of the leading conservatives of the country in New Orleans today. His campaign was hopeful he could convince the Council for National Policy that the eight or nine years he's spent trashing conservatives are over.

How did he do?

The Washington Times reports he drew applause when he admitted Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 because of the out-of-control spending, and pledged to use the power of the presidency to curb that spending.

But when the day was done, not all was sweetness and light:

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America said she asked him about the nearly 40 percent of women in America who bear children out of wedlock and how he would address that problem.

"His response was to say his pro-life record [in Congress] answered that," Mrs. Crouse said. "Well, I'm proud of his pro-life record, but this is not a pro-life issue but of promoting marriage and the idea that children belong within marriage, so I was not happy with his response."

Crouse said something I've been saying about McCain and other liberal Republican candidates: he'll get most of the conservative vote over Clinton or Obama, but don't expect the kind of enthusiasm and energy that guarantees winning campaigns.

The Times-Picayune had this to add:
But McCain did not back off his avowed determination to explore alternative energy sources, partly as a response to global warming - the very existence of which he acknowledged was a "controversial" position with his audience.

"Suppose I'm wrong and climate change (is) not taking place," he said. "All we've done and given our kids is a greener world."

No, all we've done is waste tremendous amounts of money, cripple our businesses in a highly competitive market, and lower our standard of living...all in pursuit of stopping something that's obviously not caused by human activity in the first place. McCain has obviously been spending too much time with his buddies in the "mainstream" media.

But I suppose if you're a conservative, you can either hold your nose and vote for him, or just give the White House to Clinton or Obama outright. Right now there doesn't look like any other choice.


McGovern Becoming an Economic Conservative?

I don't know what's happened to the ultra-liberal George McGovern, but his column in the Wall Street Journal today sounds like it could have been written by an orthodox conservative.

Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal economics, including calls to regulate subprime mortgages.

He's right. We're seeing more of this nanny-state mentality not only from Democrats, but a lot of Republicans lately, too.

In the subprime lending problem, some of that paternalism has helped cause the very problem we have. The government pushed lenders to be more "liberal" in their lending policies, taking chances on risky loans they might not have, otherwise. Now we have a lot of people who have bitten off more than they can chew with their home loans (along with their two new cars, the boat, the cable TV, etc.). Rather than blame the borrowers for financial irresponsibility, the nanny-staters want to slam the lenders.

McGovern also amazingly attacks the paternalism of the health care industry, though not as directly as I'd like. Still, he points out that rules which make it hard or impossible to find the best plan, often across state lines, is adding to the problem.

He even goes after those who want to over-regulate the payday lending market. Make no doubt about it, rates are high in this market. I know, because several years ago I dug myself a financial hole and relied on these loans to keep rolling over my debt till I could get a handle on it. But it was my decision to pay this high interest rate. No one forced me into it, and no one was threatening physical violence.

I don't know what's gotten into McGovern, but I welcome it. I guess it's better late than never to wake up and smell the coffee. He even seems to realize that in our societal quest to insulate everyone from their own stupidity, we end up retarding and quashing everyone's freedom.

He finishes his piece by summing up why conservatives, beyond protecting the innocent, promote maximum personal freedom and decision-making:
The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.


HT to Free Republic.


Eulogy for Huckabee's Campaign

The Wall Street Journal has what I believe is a fitting eulogy for Mike Huckabee's campaign, now that he's dropped out:

Mr. Huckabee's main weakness was that he seemed to lack any real convictions other than his religious faith. He tried to sound hawkish on security even as he mimicked the liberal critique of the Bush Administration for an "arrogant bunker mentality." On economics, he assailed fellow Republicans for supporting tax cuts for the rich even as he supported a politically implausible national sales tax to replace the federal income and payroll tax. He also did a reversal on immigration.

The translation of this is what I've been saying since about July of last year: Huckabee isn't a solid conservative.


California Court Shows Contempt for Parental Rights

A California Appellate Court has effectively made home schooling illegal, further eroding the rights of parents to care for their children in the ways they think most appropriate. Instead, childen will be required to attend government schools, or, at least, have only government approved teachers. This comes only months after the Los Angeles Times reported that “California schools are failing our kids” and a “2005 RAND REPORT SHOWS CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS LAG BEHIND OTHER STATES ON ALMOST EVERY OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT.”

Although home schooling has been abused and misused by a small minority of parents, overall, homeschoolers rank high in most assessments of educational achievement and many top-tiered colleges and universities actively recruit homeschooled students because of the reputation of excellence that many associate with home schooling. –National Home Educational Network
This will surely be appealed to the Supreme Court of California, but some home schooling advocates are anticipating a lengthy fight there and in other jurisdictions.

As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle:

A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.
[…]
'California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,' Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. 'Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws.'
Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.
'A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,' the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.
[…]
The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers' union.


McCain Makes His Pitch to Hard Core Conservatives

Today John McCain will speak before the Council for National Policy meeting in New Orleans.

The Council for National Policy is a group of conservatives primarily interested in social issues, but generally seeking conservative solutions in most areas.

According to today's Washington Times, the impression McCain makes

could turn out to be his make-or-break pitch for support from some of the right's most influential critics of his past positions and policies.

Frankly, I'm skeptical about epiphanies and sudden changes of heart and promises made on the campaign trail, but equally frankly, McCain is going to need the support of conservatives if he's going to have a hope of winning in November. I wonder if he regrets spitting in conservatives faces for the past eight or nine years?

Some are not so optimistic about McCain's speech today, according to the Times article:
The depth of disaffection from Mr. McCain among prominent members of CNP is so strong that some are already questioning the group's bona fides.

"It will say more about the state of the conservative movement than it does McCain," a veteran CNP member said. "If he is accepted at CNP, this will mark the official end of the conservative movement as we knew it."

CNP does not publicize its meetings, speakers or agenda, but the McCain campaign informed the press of his agreement to address the council. As a result, reporters following the McCain campaign deluged the council with requests for coverage.

According to Carl Cameron's Fox News blog, there will be video of McCain's speech available later.

As much as I don't like McCain, I voted for a local McCain delegate last night, in pursuit of a place at the national convention. If I can do that, I guess anything is possible.

Another, more conservative yet viable option could still open up in the time remaining. But if the choice is McCain or Clinton/Obama, while there may be a lack of enthusiasm, most conservative voters will know what to do.


Ron Paul Hangs Up His Spurs

Ron Paul posted this video on his website last night as he threw in the towel and hung up his spurs in his ride for the presidency.



Except for his Libertarian tendencies and MoveOn.org-type opposition to the war in Iraq and the War on Terrorism, I liked him a lot. He has a rare reverence for the Constitution that I wish more politicians had.


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy, 146



Topics in today's show:



--John McCain faces ques... (more)
Added: March 06, 2008
Topics in today's show:

--John McCain faces questions about his eligibility to run for president being born in Panama

--Pictures of Barack Obama incorrectly believed to be dressed in Islamic clothing continue to trouble the Illinois Democrat

--ABC fakes anti-Islamic hatred

--The city of Milwaukee builds a monument to "Happy Days" character Fonzie

--Playboy lanches a new energy drink (seriously)

--Nick Cage gets in trouble w/the IRS

NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.

If you like the show, be sure to subscribe!


Ellsworth B-1 Incident in Guam

From Pacific News Center comes word of an accident involving one of the B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota.

No injuries involved, fortunately. It seems the crew had just exited the aircraft when it rolled into some support vehicles. (Guess they forgot to put it in "Park") :-)

From the PNC article:

Air Force officials are investigating the collision of a B-1 Bomber with emergency vehicles on the taxiway up at Andersen Air Force Base. Air Force Spokesman Capt. Joel Stark confirms that the B-1 Bomber was in transit from Singapore to Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota and had landed at AAFB for an inflight emergency. Capt. Stark couldn't disclose what the emergency was but did say the B-1 Bomber apparently had rolled while on the taxiway and collided into the vehicles just after 12 p.m. Friday.

Having spent 10 years in the Air Force with a fair amount of that time spent on the flightline, I can tell you that somebody just watched their career plans crash when this happened. But thank God no one was hurt.

The article points out that this is the third accident at or near Guam in a short time. A B-2 stealth bomber recently crashed, and a Navy EA-6B prowler from the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk recently crashed in the ocean near Guam.

Our armed forces are very stringent about safety, but accidents are going to happen as our weapons systems age...and as our troops are pushed hard fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while guarding the rest of the world.

We need more spending on defense for new weapons systems and more troops, instead of spending our taxpayer dollars on things that the Constitution doesn't even authorize in the first place.


The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents

GUEST COLUMN

By Dudley Sharp
Justice Matters


Often the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.

Living murderers in prison, after release or escape or after our failures to incarcerate them, are much more likely to harm and murder again than are executed murderers.

This is a truism.

No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.

Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, than it is that an actual innocent will be executed.

That is logically conclusive.

Sixteen recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.

A surprise? No.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don't. Studies which don't find for deterrence don't say no one is deterred, but that they couldn't measure those deterred.

What prospect of a negative outcome doesn't deter some? There isn't one...although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.

However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet the evidence is compelling and unrefuted that death is feared more than life.

"This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death." (1)

" . . . a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life may well compel,rather than forbid, (capital) punishment." (1)

"Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many as eighteen or more murders for each execution." (1)


Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it's a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.

Reality paints a very different picture.

What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.

This is not even remotely in dispute.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

Furthermore, history tells us that "lifers" have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.

In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.

Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 20-25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims that the numbers are significantly higher are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.

Six inmates have been released from death row because of DNA evidence.

The "innocents" deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, the New York Times, has recognized that deception.
"To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row..." (2)

This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 "innocents" from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their "exonerated" or "innocents" list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions--something easily discovered with fact checking.

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can reasonable conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?

Unlikely.


- Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters e-mail sharpjfa(at)aol.com, 713-622-5491 Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
-----------------------
Full report - All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.

Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request

(1) From the Executive Summary of Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs, March 2005Prof. Cass R. Sunstein, Cass_Sunstein(AT)law.uchicago.edu Prof. Adrian Vermeule , avermeule(AT)law.harvard.eduFull report http://aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=1131

(2) "The Death of Innocents': A Reasonable Doubt", New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,national legal correspondent for The NY Times

Pro death penalty sites:
homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx
www.dpinfo.com
www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm
www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
joshmarquis.blogspot.com/
www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm
www.prodeathpenalty.com
www.prodeathpenalty.org/
www.yesdeathpenalty.com/ (Sweden)
www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html

Permission for distribution of this document is approved as long as it is distributed in its entirety, without changes, inclusive of this statement.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

More Intimidation of Churches in Abortion Debate

In modern America, it seems almost everyone is welcome at the political table. Almost any person or group can legitimately enter the arena of ideas, articulate a position and advocate it's adoption. Today's political arena has room for almost every group, except one: Christians.

It's becoming a recurring theme during election season to have everyone from Letter to the Editor writers to columnists to reporters to the IRS itself pronounce ominous concerns when a church or group of Christians speaks in favor of a legislative measure.

We saw this sort of thing in 2006, the year South Dakota geared up to vote on an abortion ban, a marriage protection amendment, and a video lottery ban. The IRS got the ball rolling with several memos warning churches not to get off the plantation. Local "mainstream" newspapers soon followed, continuing the drumbeat of intimidation to keep churches (they hoped) from taking any sort of moral position in the public forum.

The fear-mongering and intimidation got so ridiculous that the South Dakota Family Policy Council invited Senior Vice President of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) to visit several South Dakota cities and inform pastors of exactly what they could and couldn't do, according to IRS rules for tax exempt organizations.

Among the things McCaleb told pastors in Rapid City:

“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 IRS guidelines for tax exempt organizations and a complaint was filed against them, that the ADF would represent them at no cost.

It is, unfortunately, one of the key failings of human beings that we tend to forget. And those who would love to emasculate Christians and prevent them from being effective in the public forum rely on that.

So it began last week with a couple of articles from the Rapid City Journal about petitions in support of a new abortion ban being circulated in some of the Catholic churches in the area (Protestant churches are doing so, too). These articles came complete with intimidating headlines like "Politics can hurt churches’ tax status" and "Politics: Cross line?"

This week the fear campaign continues from Rapid City Weekly News columnist John Tsitrian.

Tsitrian is a Rapid City businessman and a liberal Republican. Tsitrian has written about his disdain for protecting human life before. In addition to supporting a woman's right to abort her child, Tsitrian has written in favor of homosexual rights. He also supports amnesty for illegal aliens.

In Tsitrian's column today, he claims he's being asked "to support a group whose aim is to impose its will on me." His logic is that, since churches are tax exempt, his property taxes would be lower if churches paid taxes, so he is "paying for" them. The logic here is a bit fuzzy, since politicians seldom lower taxes when the revenue stream increases; they usually just find more things on which to waste taxpayer dollars.

Besides, he seems to have no problem with organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign, that want to "impose their will" on us by encouraging the murder of innocents and the legitimization of homosexual behavior--the former with taxpayer funding. Is it only when that "will" is moral that he objects?

The threats to the tax exempt status of churches arrives in the second paragraph with a pronouncement that the latest abortion ban petition
stretches the terms of that exemption to a degree that should be reviewed.

Tsitrian quotes SDCL 10-4-9 as stating "any religious society and used exclusively for religious purposes, is exempt from taxation." This section of South Dakota law actually deals with the sale of property belonging to a "religious society," but okay, I think Tsitrian's emphasis is on the "exclusive" use part, and I don't think it's worth debating the full applicability of SDCL 10-4-9 for the purposes of this discussion.

Tsitrian claims that churches supporting the abortion ban petition constitutes "the activity of a church that rips the veil of that exclusion and works itself into the political and social arena."

Stop and think about the term "political." Can you think of anything in our society today that isn't political? Is marriage political? Are family matters political? Is medical care political? Is the car you drive political? When you think about it, EVERYTHING is political today, due largely to the fact that we've allowed the constitutional design of limited government to fall by the wayside and promoted an all-encompassing federal behemoth that the Founders would have shuddered to see.

But if we are going to prohibit churches from having any say in anything political, then they really have no say in anything at all. Churches have traditionally been the moral conscience of a society, especially in a free country like America which is based on Christian principles. From the time of the American Revolution when they spoke out against King George's abuses and oppression, to the abolitionist movement to end slavery, to the civil rights movement seeking that all people regardless of color would be equal in the eyes of the law (as they already were in the eyes of God)...throughout American history, the church has been involved politically because politics usually involves morality.

In fact, Christ commanded Christians to tell the truth to others, to speak out and try to spread the light of that truth to others in society:
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

What needs light more than the slaughter of innocent unborn children, created in the image of God? With about a million a year killed, the world apparently needs light on this darkness pretty bad.

Tsitrian apparently expects churches and Christians to directly disobey their Lord.

He also seems to favor limits on the church and religious expression that are specifically prohibited by the United States Constitution, the highest law in our country:

According to Tsitrian, you churches can exercise their freedom of speech and expression...but you have to trade servitude to the state in order to obtain that right. That our society has found such an idea repugnant is exactly why churches are NOT subject to taxation.

In fact, churches were not even subject to any rules at all regarding tax exempt organizations until 1954 when when Senator Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through a law restricting nonprofit organizations; he did this to muzzle nonprofit organizations who were criticizing his liberal policies.

Tsitrian tries some ineffectual logic that because many Catholics don't obey church teachings in other areas, that supporting an abortion ban can't be considered "religious activity." Huh?

Catholics and Protestants alike sometimes disobey the teachings of the Bible, going ahead and having sex outside marriage, having abortions, stealing, lying, vandalizing, and so on. If full obedience to church teachings is the standard to consider a subject "religious activity," then I guess there ARE NO religious activities.

In a free society, the church doesn't get to automatically "impose it's will" on anybody. After all, America isn't a theocracy and nobody's advocating one.

But in a free society, whoever works the hardest, organizes the best, and convinces a majority of the voters to see things their way, wins. If individuals and parties and 527s and various interest groups are free to pursue political goals in line with their personal and moral code, why not the church, a group with a charge to promote morality? Why is it okay for everyone else to "impose their morality" on others (if that's what promoting your cause boils down to), but not churches?

By the time this tortured piece of Tsitrian's is over, it is quite obvious that what Tsitrian objects to more than anything is being told that he might hold opinions contrary to the church. It seems to go well beyond even abortion, because he appears to dislike anything from the church that escapes the stained-glass of their windows.

He gets in one more threat in the closing paragraph:
That kind of pressure makes the property a haven for political and social strong-arming. It’s impossible call this a “religious activity” that merits exemption from property taxes. A reconsideration of the tax code is overdue.

I would encourage any pastor, elder, deacon, church leader or Christian to read what I wrote about Gary McCaleb's presentation to pastors in 2006. Also review the guidelines available from the IRS.

Then get out there and be the "salt and light" Christ has commanded you to be.

We cannot allow our opponents to dictate through fear, intimidation and misrepresentation the terms and parameters of the debate to us--especially when those terms and parameters are not nearly as restrictive as our opponents imply.


Hillary Clinton Talks About Jesus

The Brody File at CBN News has a transcript and recording of an interview Hillary Clinton gave to New York Times reporter Michael Luo last year about her faith.

For those who take their Christian faith seriously, you may be interested in some of the quotes Brody features.

Reporter: And, do you believe on the salvation issue -- and this is controversial too -- that belief in Christ is needed for going to heaven?

Senator Clinton: That one I’m a little more open to. I think that it is, as we understand our relationship to God as Christians, it is how we see our way forward, and it is the way. But, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve asked every Sunday school teacher I’ve ever had, I asked every theologian I’ve ever talked with, whether that meant that there was no salvation, there was no heaven for people who did not accept Christ. And, you’re well aware that there are a lot of answers to that. There are people who are totally rooted in the fact that, no, that’s why there are missionaries, that’s why you have to try to convert. And, then there are a lot of other people who are deeply faithful and deeply Christ-centered who say, that’s how we understand it and who are we to read God’s mind about such a weighty decision as that.

Hillary must not have talked to too many serious Christians, because God is pretty clear on this issue. Even if she couldn't find any serious Christians, if she really wanted to know, she could crack open the Bible and find out.

Here is what Jesus said in John chapter 3:
Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

When Nicodemus asks him what he means, Jesus again replies
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'

When Nicodemus asks another time for clarification, Jesus says this:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

That sounds pretty clear to me that belief in Jesus is the ONLY way get to heaven.

Jesus says in John 14:6:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Notice that Jesus didn't say, "I am A way, A truth and A life." He said he was THE way, and THE truth and THE life.

Jesus' apostle Paul says in Romans 5:15:
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Notice that reconciliation to God came ONLY through Jesus Christ.

Paul says in Romans 5:17:
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Notice that it doesn't say God's grace comes through a good man, but through "one man, Jesus Christ."

Paul again tells us in 1 Timothy 2:5:
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Paul didn't say Jesus was A mediator, or a good mediator, or even the best mediator; Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man.

In Galatians 1:8-9 when Paul finds out that some people have been teaching that humans can get to heaven through good works (i.e. another gospel), he says
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Paul is pretty clear. That Jesus is the way to heaven is the gospel, or "good news." Paul says adamantly that there is no other "good news" or gospel, other than that Jesus is the way to heaven.

So we don't have to "read God’s mind" when he's spelled it out for us in his Word.

Whether we have a Christian worldview or not dicates how we view the entire world, from religion to science to politics to society to relationships.

The Founders of the United States had a Christian worldview and they established our government based on that view of the world.

Anyone who does not have a Christian worldview cannot lead this country in a manner that is in harmony with how this country was designed to run.

And if someone doesn't believe the claims of the Bible about Jesus, doesn't believe that Jesus is the way by which God established reconciliation between humanity and Himself, then it can hardly be said that they have a Christian worldview.

Something for Christians to keep in mind when voting this year...


The Value of Full-Time Mothers, Part 2

Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson

About the program:

The feminist movement has convinced many women that the only worthwhile occupation is one that involves climbing the workplace ladder. When a woman chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, she often finds herself at odds with friends, neighbors and society at large. Today's broadcast, however, is designed to encourage stay-at-home moms and assure them that their job is just as meaningful and of far more lasting value than any corporate career. Listen in as author and speaker Jill savage talks about how moms should draw their value from God, not from how others might view them.

"God wants to partner with us as we navigate the waters of parenthood and marriage. ... He wants us to know our value in Him, and He wants our self-worth to be based upon His perfect, unchanging, stable love for us, not the imperfect changing lives around us." - Jill Savage

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Racist Homosexual Porn on School Reading List

WASHINGTON, March 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, had assigned the pornographic book "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" to students as required reading. When a group of outraged parents found out, they filed a formal complaint. Now the book has been changed to an "optional title," meaning kids may still select the book for peer study under the direction of a teacher.

The book is replete with profanity, overt racism through multiple uses of the N-word, an explicit description of a sex act involving Mother Theresa and some of the most graphic, vile and vivid depictions of homosexual anal sodomy every put in print. (Link to Excerpts – Warning: Extremely Graphic Sexual Content).

"After almost 15 years of school advocacy and reviewing many objectionable books and curricula, I have never seen anything this vulgar and harmful to students," Lora Sue Hauser, Executive Director of North Shore Student Advocacy (NSSA), told Concerned Women for America (CWA).

NSSA complained to the State Attorney's office of Lake County, Illinois, and they agreed that the book violated Illinois' obscenity statute prohibiting adults from "distributing harmful materials to minors." But, amazingly, Hauser was told by the State's Attorney's office that state and federal obscenity laws exempt school officials from prosecution.

"It takes a lot to shock me," said Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues. "My jaw hit the ground when I read what's in this book. This isn't a First Amendment issue; this is about school officials betraying the community trust. Heads need to roll here. Assigning this racist, pornographic smut to high school kids is nothing short of child abuse. Don't forget, this was required reading until parents complained.

"If Deerfield High School Principal Sue Hebson, Superintendent George Fornero or any of the teachers responsible for this outrage had any sense of responsibility, they would now resign on their own rather than making parents and taxpayers force them from their positions. Shame on them, and shame on Illinois School District 113.

"It's disgraceful for these people, who have been entrusted to help mold the minds of Deerfield's impressionable youth, to have abused those youth by ostensibly violating the very laws intended to protect them. To hide behind some inexplicable exemption is just plain cowardly. Deerfield parents should seriously consider every possible legal option to ensure that these people are held accountable," concluded Barber.

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women’s organization.


A Right and a Wrong Way to Spank

James Dobson Family Minute - Dr. James Dobson

Psychologist colleagues Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Bill Maier tell parents there's a right way and a wrong way to spank.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


How to Reduce Prison Populations

About a week ago came news that America's incarceration rate is at an all-time high, with nearly 1% of Americans in prison.

This figure represents both good news and bad news.

It's bad because that's nearly 1% of all Americans whose life is in serious trouble, and is unable to enjoy the freedoms and blessings of this great nation--and bad for the taxpayers who must pay to incarcerate them.

It's good because as the prison population has gone up in recent years, the crime rate has correspondingly gone down. That means people and property are much safer than they used to be.

As positive as the good news is, it comes at a high price, which I've already touched on in the "bad news." It costs more and more each year to incarcerate so many prisoners, and over time we must build more and more facilities to house all these prisoners.

But a large prison problem is indicative of a larger problem, one we as a secularist-leaning society have become reluctant to deal with: morality.

Sometimes we are tempted to think that morality is "pie in the sky" stuff that has no bearing on "the real world." We consider morality the stuff of church sermons and stuffed shirts. Actually, the opposite is true. Our world, and especially a free society, will not function properly without it.

George Washington may very well have feared what we are seeing today when he said in his Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports

In case you think such a connection was a fluke, why else would John Adams have said
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Adams was clearly stating that a free people cannot remain free without morality and religion. He also said
It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

Even Benjamin Franklin, one of the least overtly religious of the Founders, said
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

Given this wisdom and foresight from those who founded our country, it should be at least mildly surprising that we have achieved such a dubious milestone in our incarceration rate. Yet here we are. How do we fix it?

We could keep going, building more prisons and locking more people up. Or we could turn a blind eye, let people go with softer sentences, not lock them up in the first place, or maybe not even arrest them. Or we could return to the virtue that helped create the most free nation on earth.

Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship ministry is one powerful tool we could make more use of to reduce prison populations.

Prison Fellowship has for years been making a difference in people's lives, helping them understand the need for moral behavior and make real change in their lives.

An article today from the Christian Post reports:
Programs like Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) work with inmates two years before they are released and one year after, helping them to develop a "moral compass so they can live law-abiding lives when they are released," said Nolan. The spiritual and moral formation part of the program is based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

"Character is what you do when no one is looking, and we try to help them make moral choices in all circumstances," he said.

A study of the IFI program in Texas found that only 8 percent of graduates were reincarcerated after two years – a remarkable success rate compared to the national reincarceration rate.

The national reincarceration rate is about 50%, so Prison Fellowship is having tremendous success.

That's because Prison Fellowship programs don't tell prisoners "be good" and give them no tools or training on how to do that. IFI gives them the support they need while in prison to make changes, and helps with support once they get out of prison so that they can make virtuous living a permanent lifestyle.

And since IFI is a voluntary faith-based program, participants have an opportunity to enter a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ--the best possible way to get on the road to living a moral life. This change is so revolutionary that Christ described it as being "born again."

Of course some object to allowing such a thing in prison, despite the record incarceration rate. Their misplaced belief in the myth of "separation of church and state" prevents them from allowing or embracing the one thing that can make a difference in our society.

If we look back 50 years or more, our crime and incarceration rates were only a fraction of what they are now. At that time, we were also a society that embraced Christian values, going all the way back to the Founders and colonists of America.

Would it be so terrible to return out our roots, our heritage, and once again embrace true religion and morality? Or would we rather suffer more crime and pay to build more and more prisons?


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Democrats Would Fret Style of Deck Chairs on the Titanic

This is illustrative of why the Democrat Party shouldn't be in any position of authority, not even assistant dog catcher.

The Washington Times report today that at a meeting before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the Bush administration's record on border security and immigration, Democrats were instead incensed over a "lack of diversity" at the department charged with ensuring our country is safe.

Rep. Robert C. Scott lead off his questions to Mr. Chertoff by demanding the secretary's staff stand up to be scrutinized. Minutes later, during his own questions, Rep. Melvin Watt said the point was to prove that none of the 10 staffers who stood met his definition of diverse.

"You brought 10 staff people with you, all white males. I know this hearing is not about diversity of the staff, but I hope you've got more diversity in your staff than you've reflected here in the people you've brought with you," Mr. Watt, North Carolina Democrat, told the secretary.

Aren't the abilities and qualifications of people in such important positions just a little more important than whether they're the right color? Does anyone seriously think there's a racist, sexist plot at the Department of Homeland Security to oppress and exclude blacks, Hispanics and women?

Why are liberals so hyper-sensitive about race and sex, anyway? Do they have something to feel guilty about?

If liberals ever had the guts to show up at a battle front, I'm sure they'd be running around with clipboards to make sure we had enough blacks and females in the foxholes. This, of course, would be more important than fighting the battle and beating the bad guys.

This silly incident is illustrative of what's wrong with liberalism in general and the whole Democrat Party. America faces serious issues such as defeating terrorism, protecting our people from nuclear-bent tyrannies like Iran and North Korea, and energy independence.

But what are liberals worried about? Do we have the proper blend of rainbow in our Department of Homeland Security. They fret that homosexuals can't serve openly in the Department of Defense. They're worried that the 17% of our budget we spend on defense might not leave enough to pay for health care for illegal aliens. They're concerned that we might disturb a couple of mating caribou or a rabbit if we drill for much-needed oil in Alaska.

Why a sane adult can ever vote for a Democrat, I'll never understand. Maybe the third word in my query provides the answer.


Senator Johnson Spin Machine Already Revved Up

The Democrat Party outlet at Badlands Blue is apparently upset that a little objective reporting slipped through from the Argus Leader.

This morning, Pat Powers at the South Dakota War College pointed out that the Argus Leader's report of a congressional clout ranking was a little (I know, hard to believe from the Argus) biased.

The report shows our South Dakota delegation ranked with Rep. Stephanie Herseth at 287th out of 435 in the House, John Thune at 77th out of 100 in the Senate, and Tim Johnson at 90th out of 100 in the Senate.

Now, none of our delegation really has anything to crow about, but notice what the Argus Leader headline this morning originally said: "Study: Thune, Herseth Sandlin lack power in Congress." What about our Senator Tim Johnson, who's facing re-election this year? The implication by the headline: "Senator Johnson? Him? Oh, he's not 'lacking in power,' oh, not at all! No SIR!"

In fact, you have to read down about three paragraphs into the story to find out, gee, Senator Johnson is, um, a little 'lacking in power' in Congress, too. Maybe the MOST lacking of our three? Hmmm. How could the headline have missed this? Couldn't be that imaginary liberal bias, could it? No, not from the Argus Leader, a newspaper above the reproach of bias accusations.

Perhaps most interestingly of all, later in the day the Argus changed the headline to "S.D. delegation lacks power in congress." Now we finally have an accurate, objective headline...even though you still have to read down three paragraphs to find out where Senator Johnson stands, after you've read past the first paragraph telling us about only two members of our three-member delegation (the two which aren't up for re-election, by the way):

Sen. John Thune and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin wield little power on Capitol Hill, primarily because of their low seniority, according to an annual nonpartisan study.

It's this redo of the headline that has Badlands Blue's underwear in a bunch.

They whine:

Because one right-wing blogger throws a hissy fit? Is that all it takes for the Argus Leader to ditch its journalistic integrity?

Pointing out blatant liberal bias is a "hissy fit?" Using objective wording means "ditch[ing] its journalistic integrity?"

That's usually what you hear from liberals anytime something gets reported accurately (or even close to it), or if a problem in the Democrat Party gets so big that the "mainstream" media can't ignore it anymore. They start whining about "compromising journalistic integrity" (guess what: that train left the station a LONG time ago, headed Left), an imaginary "conservative bias" and try to use any truth that squeezes through as "proof" that there is no liberal bias in the "mainstream" media.

If the Argus Leader would at least acknowledge, "We lean Left, and are going to favor Left," at least we'd getting what was being "advertised." Kudos to the War College and others for holding the "mainstream" media accountable for what they claim to be.

Wouldn't it be nice if liberals and conservatives could just disagree on the issues, without all the misrepresentations and distortions?

Wouldn't it be nice if we really had an objective "mainstream" media, instead of one dominated by liberal mouthpieces for the Democrat Party?


Statement by President Bush on John McCain

WASHINGTON, March 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush with Senator John McCain:

Rose Garden

1:10 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: It's been my honor to welcome my friend, John McCain, as the nominee of the Republican Party. A while back I don't think many people would have thought that John McCain would be here as the nominee of the Republican Party -- except he knew he would be here, and so did his wife, Cindy.

John showed incredible courage and strength of character and perseverance in order to get to this moment. And that's exactly what we need in a President: somebody that can handle the tough decisions; somebody who won't flinch in the face of danger.

We also need somebody with a big heart. I have got to know John well in the last eight years. I've campaigned against him, and I've campaigned with him. Laura and I have spent time in their house. This is a man who deeply loves his family. It's a man who cares a lot about the less fortunate among us. He's a President, and he's going to be the President who will bring determination to defeat an enemy, and a heart big enough to love those who hurt.

And so I welcome you here. I wish you all the best, and I'm proud to be your friend.

SENATOR McCAIN: Thank you, sir. Well, I'm very honored and humbled to have the opportunity to receive the endorsement of the President of the United States, a man who I have great admiration, respect and affection [for]. We -- he and I, as is well known, had a very good competition in the year 2000, and I was privileged and proud to have the opportunity to campaign for his election and reelection to the Presidency of the United States.

I appreciate his endorsement. I appreciate his service to our country. I intend to have as much possible campaigning events together, as it is in keeping with the President's heavy schedule. And I look forward to that opportunity. I look forward to the chance to bring our message to America.

Last night, as you know, both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton called to congratulate me. I pledged at that time, and I pledge again, a respectful campaign -- a respectful campaign based on the issues and based on the stark differences in vision that we have for the future of America.

I hope that the President will find time from his busy schedule to be out on the campaign trail with me, and I will be very privileged to have the opportunity of being again on the campaign trail with him -- only slightly different roles this time. (Laughter.)

I thank you, Mr. President, and it's a pleasure.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we'll answer a couple of questions.

Abramowitz. Sorry you got such a lousy seat back there. (Laughter.)

Q I wanted to ask about the -- the voters, according to a lot of the exit polls, seem to be searching for change this year. And I'd like to ask both of you -- excuse me -- I'd like to ask both of you how the Republican Party, which has been here for eight years, is going to make the case that you're going to provide the change that the voters seem to want, both on Iraq and the economy?

THE PRESIDENT: Let me start off by saying that in 2000 I said, vote for me, I'm an agent of change. In 2004, I said, I'm not interested in change -- I want to continue as President. Every candidate has got to say "change." That's what the American people expect.

And the good news about our candidate is, there will be a new President, a man of character and courage -- but he's not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world, and I understand we better have steadfast leadership who has got the courage and determination to pursue this enemy, so as to protect America.

John McCain will find out, when he takes the oath of office, his most important responsibility is to protect the American people from harm. And there's still an enemy that lurks, an enemy that wants to strike us. And this country better have somebody in that Oval Office who understands the stakes, and John McCain understands those stakes.

SENATOR McCAIN: Thank you, sir. I don't have anything to add. (Laughter.)

Q Can I follow-up, sir? How would you --

THE PRESIDENT: No, you can't follow up. Thank you. (Laughter.)

Q Yes, on --

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, not you. Kelly.

Q Senator McCain, given President Bush's low approval ratings, will this be a negative or a positive for you? And how much do you hope he'll campaign for you on the trail?

SENATOR McCAIN: I hope that he will campaign for me as much as is keeping with his busy schedule. I'll be pleased to have him with me both from raising money and the much needed finances for the campaign, and addressing the challenging issues that face this country. I'm pleased to have him as is -- as it fits into his busy schedule.

Kelly.

Q Mr. President, Senator McCain, sir, how would you counsel Senator McCain to choose a running mate, how quickly? And given the fact that Democrats will field a nominee who will make some kind of history -- a woman, an African America -- should Republicans consider that in selecting a Vice Presidential nominee?

THE PRESIDENT: I'd tell him to be careful about who he names to be the head of the selection committee. (Laughter.) Look, he's got plenty of experience. He knows what he needs to do, which is to have a process that vets candidates, and the person -- somebody he's going to be comfortable with and somebody whose advice he relies upon. And he can answer his own question on that, but --

SENATE McCAIN: Could I just say, Kelly, I didn't think it was appropriate to contemplate this process, as I've discussed before, until after we had secured the nomination of the party. Now we'll begin that process.

Q Should history make a difference with a woman or an African American on the Democratic side?

THE PRESIDENT: People don't vote for Vice Presidents -- as much as I hate to say that for those who have been candidates for Vice President -- they're going to vote for who gets to sit inside that Oval Office and make decisions on how to protect the country and keep taxes low and how to have a culture that respects the dignity of every human being. That's what the race is all about. I know there's going to be a lot of speculation on who the Vice President, this and that, but the speculation is over about who our party is going to nominate.

Liz.

Q Mr. President, do you -- how much do you intend to do for Senator McCain? And do you think, in some cases, that your help could actually hurt him more than help him?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, if it -- if my showing up and endorsing him helps him, or if I'm against him and it helps him -- either way, I want him to win. (Laughter.) You know, look, this is an age-old question that you -- every President has had to answer, and there's an appropriate amount of campaigning for me to do.

But they're not going to be voting for me. I've had my time in the Oval Office. It's been a fabulous experience, by the way. And they're going to be voting for the next person to come in here and make the tough decisions about America -- America's security, America's prosperity, and, you know, America's hopefulness. That's what this race is about, and it's not about me. You know, I've done my bit.

And, by the way, I'm not through, and I'm going to do a lot. And John is right -- I do have a day job to keep, and I plan on keeping it. I've told the people that follow me in this press corps that I'm going to sprint to the finish, and I mean what I say. I've got a lot to do. But I'm going to find ample time to help, and I can help raising money, and if he wants my pretty face standing by his side at one of these rallies, I'll be glad to show up.

But they're going to be looking at him, you know. I'm going to be in Crawford -- (laughter) -- with my feet up. He's going to be sitting in there behind that desk, making the decisions on war and peace, and I'm thankful our party has nominated somebody plenty capable of making those decisions. And when the American people take a hard look, they're going to feel comfortable, like I feel comfortable, in recommending him to take my place.

Listen, we thank you.

Wolf, where's Wolf? No, I'm not calling you. Wolf. No, not you, either. Where's Wolf?

Q Right here.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, ask something, will you? (Laughter.)

Q Where do you think you can be most helpful campaigning for him around the country?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, look -- I mean, if --

Q And Senator McCain, where would you like the President to campaign with you?

THE PRESIDENT: As I told you, you know, if he wants me to show up, I will. If he wants me to say, "You know, I'm not for him," I will. Whatever he wants me to do, I want him to win. And, you know, Wolf, I don't know where. I mean, look --

SENATOR McCAIN: Could I start out with --

THE PRESIDENT: I'm focusing on, you know, protecting America, and succeeding in Iraq, and dealing with the North Korea, and dealing with the Iranian, and dealing with the issues around the world where we're making a difference in terms of keeping peace. I want to get this in as good as a position as possible so that when John McCain is the President -- and he will be -- he can deal with these issues in a way that yields peace.

SENATOR McCAIN: Wolf, could I say -- one state springs to mind: Texas. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: He's not going to need me in Texas. He's going to be a landslide in Texas.

SENATOR McCAIN: Could I just say that I do intend to campaign all across the country. I think that literally every section in this country is at -- in play. And I will be glad to have the President with me, in keeping with his schedule, in any part of America. And we're going to go everywhere in America with this campaign.

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, thank you all very much for coming.

Q Did you talk names for Vice President? (Laughter.)

Q One press conference every week if you're elected, Senator?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. It's been a pleasure to see you. Obviously we've invited some unruly members of the fourth estate here. I'm disappointed in the conduct of some of the people that have come. I told John it would be a nice and polite crowd. Thank you all very much.

END 1:20 P.M. EST


The Value of Full-Time Mothers

Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson

About the program:

So what do stay-at-home moms do all day? Sleep late, watch soap operas and surf the Internet? Hardly! Author and speaker Jill Savage describes how more women today are choosing to forsake the corporate world, why critics don't view parenting as a "real" job and why staying home with her children is often the most fulfilling career choice a woman can make.

"I would like to raise motherhood to a higher level in everyone's mind. I'd like for us all to consider it a valid career choice, and I'd like to call it what it is - a profession." - Jill Savage

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Not My Shower

BreakPoint - Chuck Colson and Mark Earley

When men are allowed to use women's public restrooms and showers.

Click here to listen.

From OnePlace.com


Censoring the Church, Part 2

The tragic murder of Matthew Shepard turns him into an icon for "hate crime" legislation. Ironically, when people in "protected" groups commit "hate crimes," there is no outcry from the same sources.



About the video:

Hate crime laws now threaten free speech and religious liberty nationwide and threaten those who speak out against homosexuality.

"Hate ... all » Crimes Laws:" Censoring the Church and Silencing Christians is a provocative look at this disturbing and threatening legal tool of the homosexual lobby. Hosted by Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, the program features shocking examples of how hate crime laws trample free speech, lead to arrests, and censor speech.

Featured on this 40 minute DVD are Dr. D. James Kennedy; Ake Green, a Swedish pastor arrested for preaching against homosexuality; members of the Philadelphia 11; Christine Sneeringer, an ex-lesbian; Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Pastor Danny Nalliah, of Catch the Fire Ministries (who was prosecuted under hate crimes laws in Australia); and more.

To order the DVD, visit www.frc.org


Gods Made in Our Image: Politicians As Entertainers

By John W. Whitehead

We’ve got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—“Time for a change”—“The mess in Washington”—“More bang for a buck”—punch lines and glamour.— A Face in the Crowd (1957)

We have entered a new age of political discourse in which Americans are content to think in sound bites and elect a president based on who can deliver the best campaign slogans and punch lines. But the campaign rhetoric of the leading presidential contenders tells us absolutely nothing about what the candidates can actually deliver: “Believe,” “Can Do,” “Ready to Lead on Day One.”

The candidates may very well hold substantive positions on critical issues of the day. Yet what we hear are 30-second platitudes, and all we see are airbrushed images and smiling faces. Between the incessant campaign commercials and televised debates, America is being treated to a tightly crafted entertainment spectacle that gives credence to Ronald Reagan’s assertion that “Politics is just like show business.” And the politicians have become the entertainers.

We are, of course, accustomed to being entertained, amused and distracted. Television, after all, is our national pastime. On average, American households watch more than eight hours of television per day, which includes nearly three hours of commercials. “An American who has reached the age of forty will have seen well over one million television commercials in his or her lifetime, and has another million to go before the first Social Security check arrives,” writes professor Neil Postman in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

The candidates understand this. That’s why television, and television advertising in particular, has become such a favored medium for politicians. Television has altered the nature of political power, the means of political discourse and the way in which Americans think about and relate to their government. And television in general is driven by commercials.

The effect of TV ads upon the viewing public has been so successful and pervasive that it is impossible for a politician to wage a successful election campaign without the use of television advertising. Recognizing how powerful and manipulative a tool this can be, certain countries such as France, Germany and the UK actually forbid paid political advertisements on television.

People, it must be remembered, make their gods in their own image. Television politics has added a new wrinkle. “Those who would be gods refashion themselves into images the viewers would have them to be,” notes Postman. Like television commercials, image politics is so much more about charm, good looks, celebrity and personal disclosure than it is about truth.

Yet very little happens in front of the camera that is not pre-planned, strategized and intended to manipulate the viewer’s response. Much like toothpaste, politicians have become products for consumption. Driven by market research, political ads are designed to sell you what you desire, as opposed to actually giving any in-depth information about the candidates themselves. This is an invaluable tool for politicians who can gear their message toward what the voter wants, rather than what the nation needs. In this way, television politics does not attempt to convey who might be best at being president but rather who has the best slogans and can get the best ratings.

There is no such thing as a 60-second solution to the world’s problems. And there’s no way to decide on the best candidate for the White House by watching a heavily scripted debate. Unfortunately, television advertising and our entertainment culture have adapted us to commercial-style content. As a result, Americans are fast losing the ability to think for themselves, let alone think analytically or contextually.

When I was coming of age in the 1960s, Americans had more than a rudimentary understanding of their government and its philosophical underpinnings. The Constitution meant something, as did the freedoms enshrined in it. The Constitution was composed at a time when most free people had access to their communities through leaflets, newspapers or the spoken word. They were literate and eager to share their political ideas with each other in forms and content over which they, as citizens, had control.

Our information environment today is completely different from what it was in 1787. We may have less to fear from government restraints than from television glut. In fact, we have no way of protecting ourselves from information disseminated by corporate America. One reason is that Americans have become nonreaders, due in large part to the fact that television has replaced books.

This does not mean that those who control television limit our access to information. They widen it. Everything possible is done to encourage us to watch continuously. “But what we watch is a medium which presents information in a form that renders it simplistic, nonsubstantive, nonhistorical and noncontextual,” writes Postman.

Some of us worry that our freedoms are being constantly eroded and undermined by a government that amasses more power with every passing day. And yet too often we overlook our own culpability, not just in failing to defend our freedoms but in allowing ourselves to be so distracted by our entertainment culture that we cease to be aware of or even care much about what happens in the world beyond the TV screen.

Two of the greatest prophetic thinkers of the twentieth century were George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. Contrary to common belief, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.

Orwell warned in his novel 1984 of an authoritarian government run by Big Brother that would oppress the people. In Huxley’s vision of the future, no Big Brother would be required to rule the people. People in Huxley’s vision would come to love their oppression and to adore the very technologies that were destroying them. While Orwell feared that books would be banned, Huxley feared, as Postman recognizes, “that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.” While Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information, Huxley feared those who would give us so much information that we would be reduced to “passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.”

Huxley remarks in Brave New World Revisited that civil libertarians, who oppose tyranny, “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” While the government in 1984 controlled people by inflicting pain, in Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. “In short,” as Postman notes, “Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”


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.


 
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