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Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Walking On Water"



My good friend and brother in Christ (and contributor to Dakota Voice), Paul Scates, sent me this video this morning with the following comments. You should know that both Paul and I came to Jesus later in life after rejecting God and His Grace for over many years. So we know what it means to be lost in this world and trying to find our way on our own--and failing is so many ways. I hope that others who are in need of our Lord's love and grace will view this video and see how powerful is this Jesus, who transforms lives. How else to explain Nick's joy and love of the life that God has blessed him with. I, for one, need reminding of this often. God tells us "Fear not, for I am with you."

A.W. Tozer wrote that, of all the shortcomings of modern Christians, the most noticeable one to non-believers is an almost total lack of humility. Humility...how, if we truly understand Who God is and who we were and are...can we forget what filth and selfishness and self-centeredness He had to wade through to reach us...how, then, can we not be filled with humility that He loves us so much He forgives us for all our self-centeredness? Humility, and gratitude, and a desire that others know the joy of His love?

Watch this video. Some people will say this guy has just been brainwashed, or that he has no other choice, etc. But I see the pure joy and serenity of the acute awareness of God's love. If he were 'whole' as you and I are, he'd be like too many of us...distracted by pursuits, pleasures and the 'problems' of normal everyday life. Instead, he can say, even in his affliction, that he knows how much God loves him, and even thank God for making him this way.

This dose of humility, of shame and sorrow at how self-centered and selfish and unloving I still am, even after God patiently pursued me for 46 years until He broke through my arrogant heart and head to reveal His love for even me, a sinner of the first order, is a welcome thing. For when I stray, when I forget what God has done in my life, I NEED to be reminded, and I'm thankful for this humbling I just got from watching this video. (My best friend says Christians need to be reminded more than they need to be taught...and it's certainly true in my case.)

So, if you're ready for a major dose of humility -- which we should ALL retain every day of our lives! -- get out the tissues and watch this. It's about 10 minutes, but it flies by in seconds.

Love,
Paul


Nick shares more here.


For Pope Benedict XVI, Defending the Right to Life is Very Personal

NORTH HAVEN, Conn., April 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- Many people are expecting Pope Benedict XVI to speak out in defense of human life and against abortion during his visit to the United States next week. What few people realize, however, is that the pope knows first hand what happens when a society refuses to defend the most defenseless of its citizens.

As a boy of fourteen, Joseph Ratzinger had a cousin who had been born with Down's Syndrome, only a bit younger than himself. In 1941, German state "therapists" came to the boy's house and probably informed the parents of the government regulation that prohibited mentally handicapped children from remaining in their parents' home. In spite of the family's pleas, the representatives of the Nazi state took the child away. The Ratzinger family never saw him again. Later the family learned that he had "died," most likely murdered, for being merely "undesirable," a blemish in the race, and a drain on the productivity of the nation. This was Joseph Ratzinger's first experience of a murderous philosophy that asserts that some people are disposable.

Author Brennan Pursell heard this horrifying, heart- wrenching story while collecting material for his ground-breaking biography, Benedict of Bavaria (Circle Press, 2008). While most available biographies of the pope are based on Western news coverage, Pursell, who is fluent in German, went to Germany, especially to Bavaria, where the Pope is from and collected his information from what he calls "intimate sources" - the friends, neighbors, colleagues, and co-workers who have known Joseph Ratzinger for years.

As the pope said during his visit to Austria in 2007, the right to life is the first of all human rights. To speak, then, of a "right" to abort an unborn child is a contradiction in terms. This is a truth that, for Pope Benedict, is self-evident. But how will he convey this message in America where the abortion movement is so firmly entrenched? "He will present the Catholic teaching as a positive," Pursell says. "But at the same time he will be unapologetic about it."


Church Officials Go to the IRS Requesting a Church Tax Inquiry

Copeland's Eagle Mountain International Church Takes Unprecedented Step in a Good Faith Effort to Respond to Senator Grassley

DALLAS, April 12 /Christian Newswire/ -- Eagle Mountain International Church/Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) took the unprecedented and historic step of requesting the IRS to undertake an inquiry of the Church. On Monday, April 7th John Copeland the CEO of the Church and KCM, personally delivered a letter to the IRS offices in downtown Dallas.

John Copeland explained to reporters, "We told the IRS in a letter that we welcome them to come and make inquiry of us and we will provide answers to the IRS regarding questions that Senator Grassley has. The Church desires to protect its and all other churches' 1st Amendment rights, and by this action, we believe we are doing just that."

For more than 40 years the Church/KCM has operated with integrity and in compliance with the tax laws and government regulations. KCM has no problem with giving the government the information Senator Grassley has requested, so long as the Church's constitutional rights are respected. It has always been KCM's position that there is a process already in place for the government, through the IRS, to obtain the information Senator Grassley has requested.

The IRS is the appropriate agency to receive this information, subject to processes and procedures set out in the federal tax laws that apply to all churches and to all private taxpayer information. By following these processes and procedures, which Senator Grassley himself helped write, the Church's rights will be protected, but the Senator will still be able to obtain all the information he is demanding by requesting it from the IRS after it has concluded a church tax inquiry.

If the Church is not given the protections from disclosure afforded by the federal tax laws, the Church is concerned that private church documents and information produced to Senator Grassley could be used in a manner that interferes with the Church's religious freedoms. The Church believes that the Senator's demands are inconsistent with longstanding principles that require the separation of Church and State, as well as Supreme Court rulings that hold that the government may not inquire into the very nature of a church's religious beliefs and practices.

To view a copy of the letter delivered to the IRS and other Church responses to Senator Grassley, go to www.kcm.org


Poll Shows Overwhelmingly Positive View of Pope on Eve of His U.S. Visit

Marist Poll Commissioned by Knights of Columbus Released at National Press Club

WASHINGTON, April 12 /Christian Newswire/ -- Americans have an overwhelmingly positive view of Pope Benedict XVI on the eve of his visit to the United States, according to a new poll released today at a Newsmaker event at the National Press Club.

The poll was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion between February 25 and March 5, 2008. The results were announced by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.

By a ratio of four and a half to one (58% to 13%), respondents said that they had a favorable or very favorable view of Pope Benedict. The poll also found that an even higher percentage - 65% - have a favorable view of the Catholic Church, although a higher portion, 28% have a negative view.

Forty-two percent of Americans said that they would like to attend one of the Pope's public appearances while he is in the United States, and 66% of Catholics said they'd like to attend one of the events. Pope Benedict will be celebrating large open-air Masses in Washington, D.C. (at Nationals Stadium) and New York City (Yankee Stadium), and will host several smaller gatherings with Catholic educators, seminarians and leaders of other religious faiths. Anderson also unveiled a special new website (
www.papaltrip.org) that offers detailed information about the Pope's trip, as well as historical material about previous popes and their dealings with the Catholic Church in the United States.

Seventy percent or more want to hear Pope Benedict talk about: allowing God to be a part of their daily lives (73%), finding spiritual fulfillment by sharing their time and talent (71%) and how they can make a positive difference in the world, their state, and communities (70%). Nearly two-thirds (64%) expressed an interest in hearing Pope Benedict talk about how they can have a society where spiritual values play an important role.

"The bottom line," Anderson said, "is that, despite years of very negative stories about the Catholic Church scandals, and dissenting view of the Pope as some sort of "panzercardinal" determined to pursue the unorthodox to the ends of the earth, the American people have a very sensible and balanced view of Benedict and the Church. And they are very open to hearing his views on matters of how they might live their faith and put it into action in their daily lives."

The full results of the poll can be found at the Knights of Columbus website, at
http://www.kofc.org/un/cmf/resources/maristpoll.pdf.


A System Flawed!

I was reading an article that reminds me why I am not impressed by what our court system has become. In theory, the system, as designed, is impressive. But it seems that we have become too bored, too careless, or even too self-absorbed to maintain the balance necessary to assure the system continually functions as intended. As a result, many lives have been detoured into an unforgiving nightmare. The story below is only one of many.

A 26-Year-Old Secret Could Free Inmate

By SHARON COHEN (AP National Writer)
From Associated Press
April 12, 2008 1:01 PM EDT

CHICAGO - For nearly 26 years, the affidavit was sealed in an envelope and stored in a locked box, tucked away with the lawyer's passport and will. Sometimes he stashed the box in his bedroom closet, other times under his bed.

It stayed there - year after year, decade after decade.

Then, about two years ago, Dale Coventry, the box's owner, got a call from his former colleague, W. Jamie Kunz. Both were once public defenders. They hadn't talked in a decade.

"We're both getting on in years," Kunz said. "We ought to do something with that affidavit to make sure it's not wasted in case we both leave this good Earth."


To read the rest of the article, go to Earthlink News .


Obama Drama Continues

Speaking just down the road a piece, Barack Obama defended his remarks in which he said that small-town Pennsylvanians are bitter and frustrated and that is the reason that they turn to concerns about religion and immigration:

"I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter," Obama said in Muncie, Indiana. (Reuters)

Speaking at a closed San Francisco fundraiser earlier last week, Obama told the Bay Area elites that:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothings replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." (emphasis mine)

Every time Mr. B. Hussein Obama strays from the teleprompter we learn a little more about who he is and what he thinks. Obama has tried to clarify these remarks but I don’t think Americans, especially those who hold traditional beliefs, will soon forget this example of bigotry. It is not just Pennsylvanians that take offense at Obama’s comment. There are tens of millions of Americans in South Dakota, Indiana, Alabama, Texas and 46 other states who will see that he was talking about us. And he holds an opinion that is elitist and counter to many of the things that we hold dear and that were some of the fundamental principles that founded this God Blessed country.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Shooting Spree Interrupted by Alert Mom?

Mom saw warning signs in son who planned shooting spree

By Scott Zamost and Abbie Boudreau
CNN Special Investigations Unit

GREENCREEK, Idaho (CNN) -- It was just 2½ years ago when Elaine Sonnen found out that her 16-year-old son, Richard, had been planning a Columbine-style attack at his high school.

It would be a fitting payback to his high school classmates who Richard said relentlessly bullied him.

"I always wanted to get back at them," Richard Sonnen said of his classmates. "I always wanted to strangle them. ... I was always mad. I was always angry and I would come home and cry to mom and dad."

Both Richard and Elaine Sonnen spoke to CNN at the 45-acre family farm.

Unlike Columbine and recent school shootings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech, Elaine Sonnen did see the warning signs in her son and was able to stop him.

To read the rest of the article, go to CNN .

Thank goodness that Elaine saw the signs and had the courage to take action! How many lives were saved because she did?


Profiles in education courage

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

Two recent studies show the complexity in assessing educational progress in our nation.

One, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation's education "report card," reported improvement in writing skills of eighth- and 12th-graders by statistically significant amounts over scores the last time these skills were examined, in 2002.

More sobering was a report on high-school graduation rates, sponsored jointly by America's Promise Alliance -- founded by Colin Powell and chaired by his wife, Alma -- and the Gates Foundation.

According to this study, 70 percent of high-school students nationwide are graduating on time. But over 1 million kids are dropping out annually and 17 of the nation's largest cities have graduation rates below 50 percent.

The gaps in dropout rates in suburban schools compared to those in urban schools and between various ethnic groups are huge.

Suburban schools have 75 percent graduation rates compared to 60 percent of those in urban districts. Graduation rates among whites and Asians exceed 75 percent, but among Hispanics it's 58 percent, blacks 53 percent and American Indians 49 percent.

It is one thing to clamp down on the rigor of instruction in schools and measure progress through testing, as No Child Left Behind mandates. But this is not going to keep a child in school.

The idea of post-racial or post-ethnic America may provide a sweet melody for a political campaign, but this has little to do with our realities, as this data shows.

The economic prospects for any child are determined overwhelmingly by the education that child gets. And the picture is clear, given existing realities, that without dramatic change, ethnic economic gaps will persist into the foreseeable future.

Sad is how few leaders we have who are willing to be courageous in pushing for every possible way to address this huge problem.

However, in a recent speaking engagement at the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, I discovered a couple of real heroes that we can look to as role models in this struggle.

No Child Left Behind allows parents to move their child to a performing district public school if the child's school is failing and does not improve for three consecutive years. But this provision is effectively meaningless because rarely is there an available public-school alternative.

The Tulsa and Oklahoma City School Districts have 7,000 students in such failing schools.

Graduation rates in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are 47.5 percent and 50.6 percent, respectively.

Legislation is now moving through the Oklahoma legislature that would allow a 50 percent tax credit to individuals or businesses contributing to a fund that would provide scholarships for low-income kids in failing schools to go to a private school.

The heroes here are two black Democrats -- Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre and Rep. Jabar Shumate. Going against the grain of their party, and against the Oklahoma union and public-school establishments, these brave souls are championing this initiative.

The bill has already passed the Oklahoma Senate, where Eason McIntyre co-sponsored it with a conservative Republican. It's now waiting to be scheduled for a vote in the House.

Tax credits are evolving as the preferred mechanism for school choice because they channel private funds and are less exposed to legal challenge. And, structured as the Oklahoma initiative is, the funds are targeted to low-income kids in failing schools.

The great irony is that, politically, it has been Democrats who have opposed school choice and, despite disproportionate education problems in the black community, black political leadership has been generally opposed, as has the NAACP.

Both Democratic presidential candidates, as they heap criticism on No Child Left Behind, oppose helping get education options into the hands of parents. Barack Obama's two daughters attend private school in Chicago, and Hillary Rodham Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, attended the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington.

It is the simplest logic that an effort to solve a problem cannot be deemed sincere if all options for addressing that problem are not pursued.

Complex social realities, starting with family, create special challenges in getting many black kids, and children of other minorities, educated. We owe it to them to offer options, including private- and church-school alternatives to public schools.

Kudos to Judy Eason McIntyre and Jabar Shumate. We need more like them.

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


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.


Carter Owned by Radical Arabs


Jimmy Carter, former president and continuing national disgrace, has announced his intention to meet with the exiled leader of Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel and the United States. Carter has demonstrated throughout his term in the White House and since his dedication to the cause of the militant Arabs in Palestine, and to the annihilation of Israel. The David Horowitz Freedom Center has produced a slide presentation that summarizes the situation in the Middle East and what Carter has done to help his long-time friends and supporters of the Carter Center. Warning: Some photos depicting the results of President Carter's "peace" efforts are graphic!http://www.terrorismawareness.org/jimmy-carters-war/


Hillary Clinton Lies About Bosnia Sniper Fire: Bill Blames Media

by Carrie K. Hutchens

I woke up to a clip of Bill Clinton blaming the media for what he considers unjust coverage of Hillary's "misstatement" of the 1995 Bosnia trip. Poor Hillary, it was late at night, he claims. Besides the fact that the trip was in 1996, rather than 1995, he had some other facts wrong, too.

Hillary made the sniper fire statement on more than one occasion, contrary to his claim of once and at 11 at night when she was supposedly tired. But, of course, it wasn't his fault he brought it up again, or that Hillary lied in the first place -- it was all the fault of the media.

Speaking of confusing the facts when it is late at night -- if Hillary gets that confused at 11 PM, just how confused is she going to be at 3 AM when that phone rings?

Then we have Bill, who apparently can't get things right in the light of day, yet he has no hesitation blaming the media for worrying about it or reporting it. How dare they? That's unfair coverage according to Clinton it would seem.

The Clintons also suggest that Hillary was the only first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to visit a combat zone. Guess Pat Nixon and Barbara Bush don't count. Maybe the Clintons meant to say the only "Democrat" first lady and it just "slipped their minds" to add that little added description.

Bill did give me an additional chuckle. He suggests when others get to be 60 (which Hillary is) that they might forget something when they are tired at 11 P.M., too. Is he saying, that at 60, people start getting to be feeble-minded and we should over-look their forgetfulness on major issues -- like being shot at? Yep, I want a feeble-minded president that confuses smiles, hand shakes, welcomes and a little girl's poem with sniper fire and need to duck and run immediately to waiting vehicles.

Did I mention that if Hillary gets THAT confused at 11 PM, we might have concern about a 3 AM call? Oh well... never mind, I'm sure if she gets too confused, it will be the media's fault and she can always go talk to Jay Leno about it.

Carrie Hutchens is a former law enforcement officer and a freelance writer who is active in fighting against the death culture movement and the injustices within the judicial and law enforcement systems.


A Few Questions For BO

"20 Questions for Borak Obama"

John Hawkins on Townhall.com asks:

* You've made unifying the American public and putting our political divisions behind us one of the central themes of your campaign. Yet, National Journal ranked you as the single most liberal senator in 2007. So, which liberal beliefs of yours are you willing to give up for unity's sake?

* You've often spoken about what the positive effects of pulling out of Iraq will be, but what do you think the negative consequences of your choice to lose the war in Iraq will be?

* You claimed that you "never saw or approved" an "Illinois voter group's detailed questionnaire" that had you taking some embarrassingly liberal stands "on gun control, the death penalty and abortion." You chalked up those answers on the questionnaire to an overzealous aide. Yet, it turned out that you were blatantly lying and were actually interviewed for the questionnaire and even sent in your own handwritten notes. So, if you're willing to tell such a bald-faced lie to cover up your liberal positions, why should the American people believe you now when you claim, on issue after issue, to have flip flopped to a more moderate position than you held just a few years back?
These are only a sampling from the article that lists questions all Americans should ask about BO before they cast a ballot. Neither John nor I really expect answers, knowing that to believers in "Change We Can Believe In" no further explanation is necessary; and to many of the rest of us, no further explanation is possible.


Carter Meeting with Leader of Hamas?

U.S., Israel Criticize Carter Plans to See Hamas

Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:34 PM

WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it had advised former President Jimmy Carter against meeting the leader of Hamas in Syria next week, saying it went against U.S. policy of isolating the militant group.

Carter plans to visit Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan during a nine-day trip due to start on Sunday but gave no details of specific meetings.

"This is a study mission and our purpose is not to negotiate but to support and provide momentum for current efforts to secure peace in the Middle East," the Carter Center said in a statement.

"Our delegation has considerable experience in the region, and we go there with an open mind and heart to listen and learn from all parties," it said.

To read the rest of the article, go to Newsmax.com .

Jimmy Carter, being a former president, isn't like the average citizen or professor going on these visits. It's going to be viewed differently. It could be considered, simply because he is visiting, a vote of no-confidence in a sitting president and even worse. It could result in a very dangerous situation. I don't like the odds!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Black, Female and Pro-Life. Star Parker Not Welcome at Catholic University!

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, is run by the Catholic Diocese of the Twin Cities. Like many former religious institutions such as Notre Dame, Harvard, and Loyola, to name a few prominent ones, St. Thomas has only tenuous connections to its religious roots and, in fact, seems eager to demonstrate to the world that they have evolved beyond all that nonsense and today grasp the full meaning of diversity—i.e., uniformity of thought and no tolerance for views that deviate from the accepted liberal/socialist orthodoxy.

Such is the case as reported on Life Site News:

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Administrators at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic university and private college in Minnesota, censored the appearance of prominent pro-life and black speaker Star Parker. On April 21, 2008, Star - the best-selling author of numerous books - was slated to speak on campus about the devastating impact abortion has on minority communities. UST Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney nixed the idea entirely, citing "concerns" that the lecture was being underwritten by Young America's Foundation.
Katie Kieffer, a 2005 alumna of St. Thomas and founder of the independent conservative newspaper on campus, the St. Thomas Standard, as well as the non-profit Conservative Student News Inc., was an organizer of the Star Parker lecture. She confronted Canney on her refusal to allow Star on campus.
"Our Catholic university has hosted two decidedly liberal speakers in the past year, Al Franken and Debra Davis, an outspoken transgender woman," Kieffer wrote in the St. Thomas Standard.
Kieffer alleges that Jane Canney told Katie and her sister, Amie Kieffer, a senior at St. Thomas and editor of the St. Thomas Standard, "As long as I am a vice president at St. Thomas, the Young America's Foundation will not be allowed on campus." Canney didn't return the Foundation's phone calls seeking comment.
It saddens me to see once great teaching and research institutions devolving into over-priced diploma mills that demand only money and conformity in exchange for a dubious degree that in many cases qualifies one only for teaching in that same university and department, incestuous as they are, thus perpetuating the graft.

The entire report here.

Jane Canney can be reached at stuaffairs@stthomas.edu.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Dangerous Incident With A Happy Ending!

200 Seniors Rescued From Mich. Blaze

By NATASHA ROBINSON (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
April 09, 2008 4:09 PM EDT

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Firefighters carried senior citizens out of a fire at a three-story independent-living complex Wednesday, and officials said all 200 residents made it to safety.

As they stepped down ladders, rescuers cradled people in their arms as smoke spewed out of the Lillian & Samuel Hechtman Jewish Apartments in West Bloomfield Township, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. Other residents waited on balconies for help.

To read the rest of the article, go to Earthlink News .

A salute to the firefighters that risked their lives to save the residents! Today's bad situation had a happy ending! Way to go!


Most San Franciscans Outclassed by Obama

"Obama Visits Billionaire Row"

Zombie is a resident of the bay area and somehow finds the time and intestinal fortitude to attend rallys, protests, and fairs in and around San Francisco. He then posts his reports complete with accompanying photos on http://zombietime.com/. In the past he has reported on the demonstrations and protests of the Marines in Berkeley, the Folsum Street Fair (Caution! Highly offensive material, but Zombie only photographed what was happening.), anti-war rallies, the “Stop the US-Israeli War” rally, and many other events.

There is a recent post about an Obama event that somehow didn’t receive much press nationally, or in San Francisco for that matter, as Zombie explains:

On April 6, 2008, Barack Obama visited the San Francisco region, zipping from event to event all day long, from one end of the Bay Area to the other.

What? you might ask. How did I miss that? If only I had known, I would have gone to see him.

Well, there's a reason you didn't know about it. Obama didn't want you to know about it. Because the events he was attending weren't for people like you.

They were for people with lots and lots of money, who use that money to gain access and influence with politicians -- especially politicians who might become president.


See the entire story here.


Dems Want Iraqi Oil

The headline on The Drudge Report this morning is “Dems Want Iraqis to Pay Up: With Oil.” This links to an article on My Way that begins:

“Democrats plan to push legislation this spring that would force the Iraqi government to spend its own surplus in oil revenues to rebuild the country, sparing U.S. dollars.”

And, goes on to say,

"...the U.S. military is having to buy its fuel on the open market, paying on average $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month in Iraq on fuel alone." (emphasis mine)


I seem to recall not that long ago that all the lib web sites and blogs were ranting about how the Iraq war was all about oil for Bush and his buddies in the oil industry. Does “No Blood for Oil” ring a bell?

It seems that the Iraqis have done pretty well on their oil since Saddam was overthrown to the tune of about 30 billion dollars, and with the rising cost of crude they stand to profit another 100 billion in the next few years. Now, we have the Democrats screeching that we should be demanding some of that profit from our allies, even before the country has been rebuilt and stabilized. They want their piece of the action NOW!

It seems that it was the Dems casting an envious eye on Iraqi crude all along. It is almost axiomatic that whatever the Dems accuse the Republicans of they are already neck deep in and are only trying to divert attention from their illegal or immoral activities.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More Evidence of MSM "Objectivity"


ABC reports:

Surprising Political Endorsements By U.S. Troops
American Soldiers Speak Out About Their Presidential Endorsements

ABC reporter Martha Raddatz provided this report in which several American service men and women were interviewed as to their preference in the upcoming presidential elections. A total of ten soldiers were quoted in this piece in which four expressed a preference for Obama, one for Hillary and none for McCain. Of the remaining five, one favored Democrat policies though not specifying a particular candidate, one was concerned about “education” and another about the “environment” (usually identified as Democrat issues). Another soldier, just returned from a “rousing” speech by Vice President Cheney, was quick to tell Raddatz that the speech did not cause her to change her political preferences (May we presume that her preference isn’t John McCain?).

In all, none of the soldiers interviewed expressed any preferences that would favor Republicans in general or McCain in particular. This is in contrast to the widely held and generally accurate belief that the military tends overwhelmingly to support conservative candidates and issues. So ABC reports only on those soldiers that hold the party line preferred by the Main Stream Media. Surprising? Hardly.

Newsbusters has more.

PHOTO: Marine Cpl. R. Thomas Hatcher prepares for a night patrol near Falluja, Iraq. When asked by me about this report from ABC he responded "Bravo Sierra!"


Monday, April 07, 2008

Coroner jury rules Diana and her boyfriend unlawfully killed

By ROBERT BARR (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
April 07, 2008 11:45 AM EDT

LONDON - A coroner's jury ruled Monday that Princess Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed through the reckless actions of their driver and the paparazzi in 1997.

The jury had been told that a verdict of unlawful killing would mean that they believed the reckless behavior of driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi amounted to manslaughter. It was the most serious verdict available to them.

The couple died when their speeding car slammed into a concrete pillar in Paris while it was being chased by photographers in cars and on motorbikes.

To read the rest of the article, go to Earthlink News .

The coroner's jury may have ruled, but questions remain.


Hard feelings flowed by the end of legislative session in Pierre

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: It was evident that tempers were ignited during the last legislative session in Pierre, but it has only been recently that we learned that following Governor Mike Rounds' veto messages that the hard feelings created between some of the legislators and the Governor were as serious as they were. Visiting with various legislators painted quite an interesting picture.

IT IS EXPECTED that legislative members who are not part of the governor's political party will go home frustrated, disenchanted and the like, but when legislators from his own party express their hard feelings toward the
governor, this needs further examination. So, a few phone calls explained
what Capital Correspondent Bob Mercer described recently as "...distrust and
frustration which many members of the Legislature openly showed toward Gov. Mike Rounds."

It is a generally accepted axiom that it is easier to blame someone else
than blame one's self and whether or not this cliche has anything to do with
what happened in Pierre is hard to say. However, another saying is when one
points a finger at someone else, there are three pointing back to him. So,
let's take a look at the issues.

There was no question that Senator Gene Abdallah of Sioux Falls was terribly
upset during the session with the Governor for him cutting $2 million from
the highway patrol's budget for next year. But when the vetoes hit the
Legislature, to say there was grumbling would put it mildly.

GOVERNOR ROUNDS virtually won six of his seven vetoes on the last day of the session as they were upheld by both houses of the Legislature. But that
doesn't mean they were happy victories. At the same time four of the upheld
bills where the Governor won were rejected by Rounds because of errors
within the printed bills.

Now just wait a gosh-darn minute! Four of the six bills vetoed by the
Governor had glitches in them? Why weren't these bloopers found before they
went to the Governor's office? The sponsors of a couple of these bills
admitted the errors were their faults as they didn't check them close
enough. At the same time any error in a bill should also have been found by
the legislative professional staff, lobbyists supporting the bills and by
the Governor's staff as well before their final printing, not after.

At the same time, three of the seven vetoed bills were killed by the
Governor simply because he didn't like them, which is his prerogative.

THE SD DEPARTMENT of Health, which is under the Governor's domain, supported a bill on health insurance that sneaked under the watchful eyes of his staff until it was too late. A funding bill for our four tech schools also failed
to get the Governor's signature although it is badly needed. Mercer wrote
that both the Governor and his secretary of education, Rick Melmer, worked
against its passage.

Perhaps what the vetoed bills said or didn't say, is not important here.
What is important are the ways legislative members of his own political
party now feel about our Governor who spent 10 years as a state senator and
this is the sixth legislative session he has dealt with as governor.

The Republican legislators I visited with upheld Mercer's March 22nd column
in some of the daily newspapers in the state where he referred to the
developing "distrust and frustration" they have of the Governor as a result
of his and his administration's antics during the session.

"IN SEVERAL INSTANCES, legislators said directly or implicitly, as part of the official debates on vetoes Monday, that the Governor couldn't be trusted
to do what he promised on the issue in question, or to respect the
Legislature's directive on the matter," Mercer wrote.

Those are very strong words, but the final tally is that Governor Rounds won
most of his battles and while a number of legislators won't be returning to
Pierre next year because of term limits, our Governor still has two
legislative sessions left in his term of office. The opposition party has
pledged to get control of at least one of the legislative houses in the next
General Election and has had a statewide campaign recruiting candidates for
those jobs, several, I understand, will be retreads. It will be interesting
to see what happens to our Legislature. One of those new retread candidates
is a woman who is now in her 80¹s. Yes, it will be interesting....

P.S. Remember when I said last week, "...any shortfall in public university
funding is usually augmented with increases in student tuition and fees,
which are paid for with student loans, the parents and increased cost to
non-traditional students"? Well, the headlines March 28 read, "S.D.
(regents) to raise college tuition 8 %. Tsck, tsck, tsck!....


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, April 06, 2008

Penn out as Clinton senior strategist

Penn out as Clinton senior strategist

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer 13 minutes ago

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Mark Penn, the pollster and senior strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, left the campaign Sunday after it was disclosed he met with representatives of the Colombian government to help promote a free trade agreement Clinton opposes.

"After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton Campaign," campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement released Sunday. "Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign."

To read the rest of the article, go to Yahoo News!


I don't think Penn is having a very good weekend!


Black Gold in the Dakotas

The US Geological Survey is about to release a new report on the Bakken Formation, an oil deposit that spans areas of North and South Dakota and parts of Montana. The report will specify accurate assessments of the oil reserve that is currently estimated to contain up to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil. If true, this will expand the known oil reserves of the U.S. up to ten times the known capacity to date.

The significance of this report will, of course, depend upon the willingness of Americans to drill for this oil. Like reserves in ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico, oil that remains under the surface does little to help us toward energy independence.

Next Energy News puts it this way in their report:

The US imported about 14 million barrels of Oil per day in 2007, which means US consumers sent about $340 Billion Dollars over seas building palaces in Dubai and propping up unfriendly regimes around the World, if 200 billion barrels of oil at $90 a barrel are recovered in the high plains the added wealth to the US economy would be $18 Trillion Dollars which would go a long way in stabilizing the US trade deficit and could cut the cost of oil in half in the long run.

Perhaps the record cost of fuel at the pump will motivate us to begin to exploit the oil in our own back yard. I anticipate a fight with “environmentalists,” however, who no doubt will find the potential environmental impact much too severe to consider a shot at greater energy independence.


Colombia Fires Top Clinton Aide's Firm

Colombia Fires Top Clinton Aide's Firm

Saturday, April 5, 2008 2:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Colombian government said Saturday it has fired Mark Penn's public relations firm after the chief campaign strategist for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for meeting with Colombian officials pushing a trade deal with the U.S.

Colombian officials said they terminated their contract with lobbying and public relations giant Burson-Marsteller in response to a statement released Friday by Penn, the firm's chief executive, calling the meeting an "error in judgment." Clinton opposes the trade deal.

"The Colombian government considers this a lack of respect to Colombians, and finds this response unacceptable," government officials said in a news release. The government will continue its push for a free trade agreement with the United States, they added.

To read the rest of the article, go to Newsmax .


Looks like it didn't work out trying to profit from being on both sides at the same time.


 
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