American Minute from William J. Federer
English settlers landed in North America on APRIL 26, 1607, at the site of Cape Henry, named for Prince Henry of Wales.
Their first act was to erect a wooden cross and commence a prayer meeting.
They ascended the James River, named for King James, and settled Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America.
Virginia, so named for the "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth, stated in its Charter, April 10, 1606: "Greatly commending...their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God."
The Second Charter of Virginia, May 23, 1609, stated: "The principal Effect which we can expect or desire of this Action is the Conversion and reduction of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and the Christian Religion."
Virginia's Charter continued: "It shall be necessary for all such our loving Subjects...to live together, in the Fear and true Worship of Almighty God, Christian Peace, and civil Quietness, with each other."
The Gods of Liberalism Revisited
The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever. But how can we escape the snare?
Saturday, April 26, 2008
American Minute from William J. Federer
Friday, April 25, 2008
BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION
It's no surprise, while the Democrats do battle, that John McCain is using the down time to go on an "I'm not George W. Bush" tour around the country.
We've got a very unpopular Republican president and this translates into heavy baggage for Sen. McCain to unload.
The latest Gallup poll reports President Bush's disapproval rating, 69 percent, as the highest presidential disapproval the organization has ever recorded. Even the beleaguered Nixon peaked at 66 percent disapproval in August of 1974 before he resigned.
But I'm straining to see or hear the new market differentiated Republican product as McCain makes his "forgotten places" tour around the country.
The Washington Post has called this Version 2.0 of Bush compassionate conservatism. From what I see so far, they're right.
In Kentucky, Sen. McCain talked about poverty and Lyndon Johnson's expensive and failed war on it. He pointed out that Johnson's mistake was to think that government could provide the answer to poverty. He then proposed his own new government poverty program. Special tax breaks for telecom companies to deliver Internet service to poor communities.
Then on to New Orleans to apologize for the failure of leadership at the "top" during the Katrina debacle.
And the point? To confirm to liberals and blacks that yes, Republicans and conservatives are racists, indifferent to poverty, this explaining what happened during Katrina?
Congress issued a report on Hurricane Katrina called "A Failure of Initiative" showing poor performance at all levels of government -- local, state, and federal. However, the primary responsibility for emergency action is at the local and state level. The abysmal performance of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco during Katrina is well documented.
Rather than disputing the simpleminded charges about what went wrong (remember Spike Lee's footage showing Condoleezza Rice shopping for shoes while New Orleans was sinking?), President Bush gave a televised address from New Orleans paying credence to it all.
So, rather than distinguishing himself from George Bush, John McCain seems to be joining a long tradition of Republicans who think that the way to win the votes of poor and working class Americans is to legitimize liberal distortions.
Whether this comes from a confused and misplaced compassion, or confused and misplaced politics, the result is that the poor get no leadership, stay poor and the poor and blacks vote for Democrats in as large number as ever. The only winners in the whole equation are liberal Democrat politicians.
Along with George Bush's dismal approval ratings, Sen. McCain also has reason to be concerned about the Gallup polling this week on Iraq.
Sixty-three percent of Americans now say that it was a "mistake to have sent troops into Iraq." This almost triples the 23 percent that felt it was a mistake five years ago.
According to Gallup, this is the highest "mistake" rating they have ever recorded for a conflict involving U.S. troops. The highest it every got during the Vietnam War was 61 percent.
Making small talk the other day with a young maintenance man hanging a fixture in my office, he made clear to me that he wasn't much into politics. Then he added that all he cared about was that we get out of the war and that he can afford to put gas in his truck.
My young nephew, my sister's only son, called me the other day to tell me he's on his way to Iraq with his army unit. She's concerned. I'm concerned.
There simply is a disconnect between the kind of pabulum that Sen. McCain served up to Americans this last week and asking them to push on in this difficult and increasingly confusing war.
How can we provide moral leadership abroad, asking our parents and children to make the sacrifices that this demands, if we have a president who will not provide that same moral leadership at home? I'm talking about bold leadership regarding limited government and traditional values.
Simply stated, if John McCain wants to avoid the Bush 3 label, he should establish himself as a conservative.
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.
Evolution News features a piece by David Klinghoffer today on Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."
I think everyone knew the indignation and spin from the pro-evolution camp would be fierce when this film was released. However:
Much more surprising is the sheer flat-out lying done by critics bent on denouncing the movie’s controversial linking of Darwinism and Hitlerism.
Now, I happen to think that the Darwin-Hitler link is pretty darn well established, as I’ve argued on National Review Online, Jewcy, and in this space. The major Hitler biographers agree with me that Hitler in Mein Kampf and elsewhere used transparently Darwinian arguments to motivate fellow Jew-haters to actuate the Final Solution.
I don’t care if somebody insists on disagreeing with my interpretation of the relevant texts – though frankly that would be hard to do if your powers of reading comprehension rise above sixth-grade level. Just please don’t lie in your representation of what I’ve written.
I frequently find myself, when dealing with liberals of almost any bent, going back and forth in wondering whether some are simply ignorant, or simply liars and con artists. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell, given the sorry state of academics and media in America today.
Even a little bit of information and intellectual honesty should quickly prove that Klinghoffer's correlation is pretty obvious. Yet facts such as these, (from Klinghoffer's piece at National Review Online) remain below the radar of some:
The Darwin-Hitler connection is no recent discovery. In her classic 1951 work The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote: “Underlying the Nazis’ belief in race laws as the expression of the law of nature in man, is Darwin’s idea of man as the product of a natural development which does not necessarily stop with the present species of human being.”
The standard biographies of Hitler almost all point to the influence of Darwinism on their subject. In Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Alan Bullock writes: “The basis of Hitler’s political beliefs was a crude Darwinism.” What Hitler found objectionable about Christianity was its rejection of Darwin’s theory: “Its teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest.”
John Toland’s Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography says this of Hitler’s Second Book published in 1928: “An essential of Hitler’s conclusions in this book was the conviction drawn from Darwin that might makes right.”
In his biography, Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris, Ian Kershaw explains that “crude social-Darwinism” gave Hitler “his entire political ‘world-view.’ ” Hitler, like lots of other Europeans and Americans of his day, saw Darwinism as offering a total picture of social reality. This view called “social Darwinism” is a logical extension of Darwinian evolutionary theory and was articulated by Darwin himself.
When we replace the Christian worldview of objective truth with the relativism of evolution theory, the logical moral conclusions mirror the biological contentions: survival of the strongest, with right-and-wrong becoming a plaything to be molded by the hands of the strongest.
Klinghoffer's NRO piece points out this "natural" conclusion from Darwin's Descent of Man:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.
Hitler's "solution" didn't come about overnight. Those ideas and plans had been brewing for 70 years or more. And they were quite logical extensions of the implications of Darwinian evolution.
We don't have to like those conclusions. But the harmony between the aforementioned ideas and actions is impossible to mistake...for the intellectually honest, that is.
The Washington Times reports that the reason the Bush Administration sat on its information on the Syrian nuclear facility bombed by Israeli aircraft in September 2007.
Here is video from CNN which illustrates why intelligence officials believe the Syrian facility was linked to North Korean nuclear efforts (remember that these are two of the "Axis of Evil" countries).
This is video of John Bolton on the strike:
Any chance some of Saddam Hussein's WMD materials made it to Syria before the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
We are often told that "hate crime" legislation is only intended to protect homosexuals (and other "minority" groups).
On principle, "hate crime" legislation is not only unnecessary but un-American.
If someone murders another person, they have committed an egregious crime worthy of full punishment under the law. Whether the murderer "hated" the victim is irrelevant. Whether the murderer killed the victim based on the victim's race or sexual practices is also irrelevant. Murder is the crime, and it should be prosecuted vigorously, regardless of the underlying motive.
But hate crime legislation isn't only associated with murder. It's applicable to a host of other crimes, and may be applicable to actions which today are not considered crimes--actions which may constitute a judgement or preference.
Criminal law should be based on actions, not opinions. Under the precepts of Christianity--the worldview upon which our American system is based--we face criminal prosecution based on our actions, not our opinions.
God certainly intends that we not hate one another; Jesus made that very clear. But none of us, save God, is able to see the heart and the mind, to know the true motivations and judge them accordingly. The heart is an eternal matter, while God has delegated criminal judgement of the actions to human government.
I would rather that no one hated another person based on their skin color, their ethnicity, or even their sexual practices. But criminal prosecution on the basis of thoughts or opinions is outside the purview of human justice.
If we insist on criminal prosecution based on thought, then we will have opened a Pandora's Box of Orwellian proportions. No one in their right mind should want that.
But there is another danger we face from "hate crime" legislation: the subjugation of the First Amendment.
Though proponents of hate crime laws deny this eventual end, such laws have already been used in other countries to quash freedom. Focus on the Family cannot broadcast radio shows in Canada which discuss homosexuality in a negative light (so much for the concept freedom of speech). Other religious groups in Canada are not able to speak out about religious matters. Foster parents in Great Britain are not allowed to continue caring for children unless they pledge not to speak out against homosexuality; children in the UK have even been placed in harm's way because of fear of being branded a hate criminal. People in England are being harassed by the police for simply expressing opposition to immoral behavior.
Think that can't happen here in the United States?
A principal in a Massachusetts school district with a well-established reputation of promoting homosexuality to students has written to parents to tell them distributing "religious materials" during the school's annual observance of the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence" is not appropriate.
The letter from Michael Jones of Lexington, Mass., High School also confirms "hate speech" is "subject to legal constraints" and messages communicated through slogan T-shirts, buttons or stickers that express "condemnation" are "discouraged." Students with such a message will be counseled by school officials to meet the guidelines of the school handbook, he wrote.
Free speech is not allowed in this public school, but promotion of an immoral and unhealthy lifestyle is considered ok. The message is also clear that speaking negatively of homosexuality can be considered "hate speech."
This type of stance is not only immoral and unconstitutional, it's completely un-American in its philosophy.
Unfortunately we cannot rely on the Constitution as a bulwark to protect us anymore. The Tenth Amendment is only a memory. The Second Amendment has been undermined and under assault for years. John McCain's Incumbent Protection Act, aka Campaign Finance Reform, has blasted a hole in the First Amendment.
When a people--especially it's leaders--no longer respect the authority of the Constitution, that Constitution can no longer be relied on to preserve our freedoms.
If good people do not take the time to fight assaults on our freedoms, those freedoms will soon be a thing of the past.
KELO is reporting that South Dakota State Election Supervisor Kea Warne has stated there have been more than the required 16,776 petition signatures verified to get the pro-life measure on the November ballot.
The pro-life coalition, VoteYesForLife.com turned in 46,333 petition signatures to the state on April 1.
According to the latest statistics available from the South Dakota Department of Health, if approved in November the measure would prevent 98% of the abortions being performed in South Dakota.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
"We humans have transgressed the law of natural selection in the last decades."
'Victims of the Past' was a eugenics film made in 1937, produced by the NS-Rasse und Politisches Amt.
HT to Evolution News.
The Rapid City School District is facing some significant budget cuts, and a lot of people are upset.
About a week ago, according to the Rapid City Journal, some 1,000 people attended a meeting to discuss these cuts. That same article says the district faces at least $2.9 million in program and staffing cuts.
Short-changing our children's education should upset us, especially since we're paying taxes to finance that education. But it seems the greatest angst at the meeting last week was toward plans to cut programs that have nothing to do with academics. The school board is looking at dropping elementary band and orchestra, which would save $161,925. The athletics program was looked at, too.
I have appreciated music since I was a child--listening to it, that is. I grew up too poor and too far out in the country, and not having anyone in the immediate family who played an instrument, I never learned to make music. But I married a beautiful pianist (yes, she's beautiful physically and plays piano beautifully, too), and my daughter is turning into a beautiful pianist (in the same ways as my wife:-).
But when it comes to a choice of academics or music, academics should win out every time. Our world grows more complex every year, and so does the job market along with it. Even more important than the job market is a sound understanding of life and the world around us; we need a good understanding of the world, regardless of where we work.
And while athletics promote physical fitness, teamwork and (hopefully) healthy competition, they're even lower on the scale of important skills.
Jim Kent's column in the Rapid City Journal today is a much-needed dose of perspective.
Let’s get real. School is for an education — it’s not a 12-year sports camp. Start with providing the basics. After that’s been done you can think about how to spend your after-school hours and tax dollars
Unless we want to continue taxing ourselves into greater servitude to the government, we have to draw the line somewhere. Government--including government schools--cannot do everything, and it should not do everything.
Government is grossly inefficient; only a cursory examination proves this to us (I used to work in government, so I've seen it up close). Just look at the school administration building in downtown Rapid City. It's bigger by far than the building in which I attended 7-12th grade. I looked at staffing expenditures in a column for the Rapid City Journal last year and found teachers make up only 50.6 percent of elementary and secondary education staff. That other 49.4 percent constitutes a TREMENDOUS overhead, in my opinion. But that's typical for government.
I admit it: I get a little impatient with complaints about Program X and Program Y being cut from public schools. Why? Because my family homeschools, and though we pay the same taxes as everyone else, we don't get any of the return on those payments that parents of public school children do.
On top of paying the same taxes, we get to buy most of our own books, do our own teaching (including piano), pay for our own field trips, pay for our own testing, and so on. We spend a fraction of the per-child cost of a public school education, and yet homeschool children usually out-perform public school children. But that's another subject for another day.
The point is, the world doesn't come to an end if our children don't get to play sports. It also doesn't come to an end if they don't get to do band or orchestra.
And if we still insist that government (i.e. the taxpayers) should pay for these things, before we raise taxes still higher, we should look at cutting some administrative non-classroom expenses first.
Fiscal responsibility in government has become an alien concept to us, but it's one we must return to, if we want to continue being a free, educated people.
This is classic!
If you've been following developments regarding Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," you may be aware that Yoko Ono, wife of the late hippie Marxist John Lennon, is suing Stein for his use of a clip of Lennon's Marxist fantasy song "Imagine" in Expelled.
While use of the short clip falls within the fair use doctrine, Ono seems pretty possessive of the song...despite the values the song lauds:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
Ono doesn't even want Stein to be able to use a short clip from the song? What happened to "no possessions" and "no need for greed" and "sharing all the world"?
Evolution News points to a release from the producers of Expelled which points to this glaring inconsistency.
Premise did not pursue a license for the song and had no obligation to do so. Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech. The brief clip - consisting of a mere 10 words - was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of EXPELLED.
But the irony of this lawsuit was not lost on the film's star Ben Stein, "So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'? Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free?
Sadly, this kind of double-standard from elitists, especially the Marxist variety, is nothing new. It's the same old kind of "good for thee, not for me" we saw in George Orwell's "Animal Farm," where some animals were "more equal" than others.
It would be the same way if they ever go back to the eugenics and ethnic cleansing we saw across the globe--and even here in the United States--in the 20th Century. While some people will undoubtedly be deemed unfit to breed (and maybe even unfit to consume resources), you can bet for the elites it'll be "good for thee, not for me."
Ben Stein has been receiving a lot of (predictable) criticism for his movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."
Not only has he demonstrated that the evolution establishment is the quintessential "emperor with no clothes," Stein has dared to shed light on the logical implications of Darwinism.
Ideas have consequences. What we think tends to dictate what we do. And what we do produces results in harmony with those actions. And Expelled shows that the logical conclusions of Darwinism and the actions carried out by Adolf Hitler are in harmony.
The high priests of evolution have spun up their engines of apologetics with misdirected statements about this connection. Whether the misdirection is intentional propaganda, or simply the same feeble logic which guards the doctrines of evolution/naturalism/materialism, I'm not sure. But the end result is the same thing: a straw man.
They claim Stein's contention is that because of his harmony, evolution either doesn't exist (huh?), or that Stein is saying anyone who believes in evolution will do the kind of things Hitler did. Neither claim is made by the film.
I know there are some who attempt to harmonize evolution theory and the Bible and have thus come up with a form of "theistic evolution" where God created the world and used evolution as an engine of biological change. However, this relatively small group of evolutionists is irrelevant to most discussions of evolution because (a) the foundational doctrines of Christianity make it impossible to reconcile with evolution, and (b) the dominant thinking on evolution is not theistic in nature.
In examining the dominant, atheistic evolution/naturalism/materialism, the contention and conclusion is that there is no God and no intelligent designer. This means there is no transcendent, objective moral truth. This means there is no fixed, objective standard by which to judge right and wrong, and it also means there is no supernatural being to whom we are accountable--either in this life or an afterlife. Humans are simply highly evolved animals sharing a planet with less evolved animals.
Accepting these moral conclusions, which are only the logical extensions of the scientific doctrine of evolution/naturalism/materialism, human beings are free to establish their own code of morality. And if continuation of a species is the primary purpose of that species, and if weak genetic material in the gene pool undermines that continuation, it makes sense to rid the species of the weak, defective and inferior.
Darwin illustrates this out in his "The Descent of Man," published in 1871 after his 1859 "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."
He points to animal husbandry as the logical model, and says human beings, in preserving the sick and weak among us, are acting in contradiction to the breeding wisdom displayed with livestock:
We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man itself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
Darwin does, in this passage, recognize that human "savages" do not act as "civilised men," but more in line with his evolutionary conclusions.
Despite this realization of the logical conclusions of his own theory, Darwin still couldn't bring himself to totally abandon this "sympathy" within our humanity, calling it "the noblest part of our nature." (He also seems to disregard the fact that hospitals, et. al. spring from a Christian worldview, so he owes the Christian worldview a debt for this "noblest part.")
Darwin also failed to acknowledge the disharmony between the implications of his theory, and this preservation of the weak. With no objective values as a standard, how can we determine that caring for the weak in our species is "noble?" In fact, it is illogical. Why preserve bad genetic material within our gene pool, when it puts survival of the species at risk? Why waste our resources on inferior individuals when those resources could be put to better use somewhere else? After all, we'd only be killing a weak animal, even if it is a highly evolved weak animal. It doesn't have an eternal soul, so when it's dead it won't know the difference. And with no God to be accountable to, what does it matter?
Hitler, Stalin and other disciples of Darwinism did not share Darwin's weakness of "sympathy," and instead carried his ideas forward to their logical conclusion.
Expelled looks at this logical "final solution" prescribed by Hitler, in visiting Dachau and Hadamar, where handicapped people and the Jews that Hitler considered "inferior" were exterminated.
We, with out traditional exposure to Christian values and a Christian worldview, look at what Hitler did as the height of evil. But Hitler was only carrying Darwin to it's logical conclusion. He believed he was doing a positive thing for the Aryan race. He thought he was making his people stronger, and making economic use of the country's resources.
Apostles of evolution are, understandably, upset at having this logical conclusion exposed without the rose-colored filter supplied by the "mainstream" media. They don't want the unsuspecting public to see this dark, sinister underbelly of evolution theory.
As much as the evolutionist hate Stein's exposure of this harmony between Darwinist thought and Hitlerian action, columnist Jack Cashill thinks Expelled "goes easy" on the link. Cashill also implicates Ernst Haeckel (he of the made-up drawings of embryos which supposedly showed a developmental link pointing to evolution) in this chain of thought between Darwin and Hitler.
In one of his few specific references to Haeckel, Hitler spoke of their shared opposition to Christianity. Both resented the faith because it competed with what Gasman calls "a holy conception of nature."
Haeckel had, in fact, inspired Hitler and Hitler's Germany with Darwin's cosmology, the story of the world as told by nature. For Haeckel and Hitler both, Gasman writes, "The great defect of modern Western society was that man was in constant violation of nature."
And as Cashill points out, Hitler wasn't the only one to apply Darwinian logic to practical solutions:
Other totalitarians have taken their cue from Darwin and his most influential fan, Karl Marx. Upon the publication of "On the Origin of Species," Marx wrote to collaborator, Friedrich Engels, "Although it is developed in the crude English style, this is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view."
All of this is completely independent to the question of whether evolution theory is true. It merely examines the moral and societal implications, if it is indeed true.
People are certainly free to believe what they want to with regard to the origins of the universe. But they should have the right to consider the question both unhindered by closed-minded propaganda, and undeluded about the implications of where those ideas might lead.
The 20th Century saw millions murdered at the behest of Darwinian conclusions. If we continue down the road of embracing this unproven and impossible theory, along with its logical companion of moral relativism, then we should be prepared for an even more hellish century in the 21st.
Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's 'Scripture' Quote
By Pete WinnCNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
April 23, 2008
(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fond of quoting a particular passage of Scripture. The quote, however, does not appear in the Bible and is "fictional," according to biblical scholars.
In her April 22 Earth Day news release, Pelosi said, "The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature."
Cybercast News Service repeatedly queried the speaker's office for two days to determine where the alleged Bible quote is found. Thus far, no one has responded.
The American Thinker has an article today that caught my attention as it relates to a vigorous debate here at Dakota Voice last week concerning the movie, EXPELLED, and the intelligent design vs. evolution debate in general. Jonathan David Carlson’s piece, titled “The Left's Theft of the Open Society and the Scientific Method” begins unambiguously, “The Left misappropriates intellectual capital for perverse ends, in order to lend itself a veneer of respectability and befuddle its critics.”
From there Carlson builds his case by examining the Open Society Institute, a George Soros funded organization that claims a direct lineage to the great philosopher Karl Popper who wrote “Open Society and Its Enemies” in 1945. In fact, Soros’ philosophy and that of his Open Society Institute have strayed far from the philosophy espoused by Popper. The Open Society Institute has as much to do with an open society as The Human Rights Campaign has to do with human rights.
Karl Popper is best known for his contribution to the philosophy of science (The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1934), this, in a nut shell, is an outline of logic and principles for scientists to follow to assure that their work is verifiable and credible. When we hear evolutionists claim that intelligent design is not “falsifiable” and therefore “not science,” they are appealing to concepts first laid down by Popper. (The theory that more complex species evolved from less adapted preceding species is equally not “falsifiable,” but that escapes their notice.) Carlson quotes Popper’s "Postscript" to his autobiography Unended Quest:
I know very well that much is wrong in our Western society. But I still have no doubt that it is the best that ever existed. And much that is wrong is due to its ruling religion. I mean the ruling religious belief that the social world that we live in is a kind of hell. This religion is spread by the intellectuals, especially those in the teaching profession and in the news media.
The “ruling religion” Popper alludes to was leftist social theory advanced by Marx, Hegel and others of the era. It seems to some of us that not that much has changed!
Unfortunately, The Logic of Scientific Discovery has been as much stolen by the scientific establishment as The Open Society and Its Enemies has been stolen by George Soros. As Popper recounts in Unended Quest, he created his famous philosophy of science in reaction to Marx, Freud, and Alfred Adler, another psychoanalyst, whose advocates found confirmation of their views in everything that happened, no matter how much it contradicted their theories, much as global warming hysterics find justification in both hot and cold weather and in both floods and droughts. The Left is fond of making predictions, not so fond of checking up on them.
Popper came up with the idea that a scientific theory must be falsifiable to distinguish science and pseudo-science, not to deny the meaningfulness of other modes of thought and expression, such as religion and literature. But the scientific establishment, in true Open Society Institute fashion, holds falsifiability up to the general public long after abandoning it itself. Perhaps it had to. What it did not have to do was to abandon it without telling the general public, which would have also meant abandoning its use against religion and traditional values.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Took place on: January 9th 2008,
Presented at: the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies,
Directed by: Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.,
Hosted by: The Heritage Foundation...
Author: Jonah Goldberg,
Title: "Liberal Fascism",
Subtitle: "The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning"...
"Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers"... conservatives are all too frequently tarred with such insulting labels. It's a way to cast conservative views as being somehow "beyond the political pale." Not only are the slurs unfair, they are historically misplaced as well.
In Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists hailed from the left. An international movement, fascism took on different forms in different countries, reflecting the vagaries of national culture and temperament. Hitler's Nazis were ardent socialists. They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, supported abortion and gun control, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life.
While fascism in Germany found its ultimate expression as genocidal, racist nationalism, in America, it assumed a "friendlier" form. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated many of the movement's policies in the New Deal. If this observation sounds strange to modern ears, Goldberg argues, it's only because most Americans have forgotten the policies and principles that truly define fascism.
Jonah Goldberg is a nationally syndicated columnist and an editor-at-large for the National Review and the National Review Online.
Purchase "Liberal Fascism": (The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning) and read Jonahs Blog at National Review Online Here: http://liberalfascism.nationalreview.
Also visit The Heritage Foundations Totally Rockin' website of Conservative Issues at: http://www.heritage.org/
I saw Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" last night. It was as good as the trailers indicated it would be.
The film starts with black and white scenes of the Berlin Wall going up in Germany, and the analogy is quickly drawn that while on one side you have freedom (e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry, etc.), on the other you have repression.
There is also the analogy of separation--where "science" is on one side, and theism is on the other, and the dominant scientific community refuses to even consider the existence of anything on the other side of the wall.
Expelled makes the case that rather than an environment of open-mindedness and freedom of inquiry, the modern scientific community has become a police state that vehemently denies ideas that don't fit the politically correct paradigm, and ruthlessly punishes transgressions into verboten territory.
Though there are a number of scholars featured in the film who have felt the brutal heel of the academic establishment, the primary case study is that of Richard Sternberg, a journal editor from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Sternberg approved the publication of a pro-intelligent design paper by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute. As a consequence of allowing such a "scientific heresy" to be published, Sternberg was forced to resign from his job and cast into academic outer darkness.
"Questioning Darwinism was a bridge too far for some," Sternberg says. "I was viewed as an intellectual terrorist."
(I had to chuckle at the irony of this, knowing how on one hand the elites tend make excuses for terrorists who blow up innocent people, but on the other hand get so indignation at even considering an idea outside of their politically correct orthodoxy.)
Dr. Caroline Crocker from George Mason University was punished for a passing mention of intelligent design in a couple of slides in a presentation.
Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor was hammered for making the statement that doctors didn’t need to study evolution in order to practice medicine. Tell me: what great medical advance will be missed, or what ill may befall a patient, because a doctor doesn't study evolution?
Were scientists like Newton, Kepler and Galileo the slightest bit impeded in their research by their belief in God? Many scientists who have believed in God considered their faith helpful in their investigation of science; after all, in believing in an intelligent designer, they expected the universe to make sense, to conform to certain behavioral norms, to have intelligent design that could be reverse-engineered.
When Baylor University found out Professor Robert Marks believed in intelligent design, they forced him to shut down his website and return grant money. What was this college professor thinking--that he could just think what he wanted, believe what seemed reasonable to him???
Even journalists who give a fair shake to theories outside the evolution sphere get smacked down. The establishment is thorough and systematic in its intolerance of dissent: from the academy, to the watchdog groups, to the media, to the courts.
When Stein interviewed David Berlinski, Berlinski said the question should be considered: "Is Darwinism theory clear enough that it could be correct?" Berlinski says the theory is muddled and, "It's a mess."
The high priests of evolution disagree. Dawkins says unequivocally in the film: "Evolution is a fact." He says he is an atheist and that there is absolutely no evidence for the Christian God. "Most people who don't believe in evolution are ignorant." (Apparently that includes not only rubes like me, but a lot of PhDs who are "ignorant.")
Expelled also points out that despite the disingenuous contention of some evolutionists that Darwinism wasn't about origin of life--only the evolution of life--the title of his famous book is "On the Origin of Species." It obviously deals with origins. After all, the first organism had to come from somewhere. Where did it come from? How did it come about? What were those circumstances? The contention that we might examine theoretical changes in organisms without considering the origin of organisms is so silly it borders on being lunatic.
In fact, Stein asks in the film how can there be a theory about life without addressing the origin of life? He asks some evolutionists about the origin of life and gets some, uh, interesting answers: maybe lightning struck just the right set of chemicals (without frying them?), maybe it was crystals, maybe aliens seeded life on earth (but where did THEY come from?).
Expelled points out the incredible complexity needed even for the simplest life form: 250 proteins in just the proper order. What are the odds that these could come together on their own? Pretty astronomical, but belief in an intelligent designer is supposedly less rational. Uh huh.
It became obvious through the 90 minutes of the film: the scientific establishment is willing to believe pretty much ANYTHING (crystals, aliens, etc.) as long as the process was NOT intelligently designed. No wonder the subtitle of the film is "No Intelligence Allowed." (I think maybe there's no intelligence allowed in the scientific establishment).
Another thing became clear through this movie: evolutionists are terrified that the intelligent design movement is a disguised effort to "teach creationism in school and get prayer in schools."
Dismissing for a moment that many serious creationists don't have much that's positive to say about intelligent design (some believe it's a cop-out not to consider God as that intelligent designer), this prejudice exposes a bit of the real agenda of the evolutionist establishment. Not only do they adamantly oppose consideration of the idea that God might have created the universe (a contention that has not been disproved or found to be impossible in the slightest degree), it would be even worse if our school children went back to praying, like they used to do back in the dark ages of the 1950s and earlier. In short, the evolution establishment has a deep and profound contempt for God.
The most benevolent sentiments from the evolutionist camp about religion was that religion is "Something fun that people get together and do over the weekend, but it doesn't really affect their lives." (Isn't that what Christianity has become for a large segment of church-goers today?)
There were funny, illustrious clips interspersed throughout the film, most in black and white. One featured the scene from the Planet of the Apes where an intelligent ape uses a fire hose to spray down Charleton Heston's astronaut character in a prison cell. Another illustrated the war between evolution and everything else with a couple of gunslingers; after one shoots the other, the victor spits out in a disgusted tone: "Creationists!" Or the clip of the Wizard of Oz revealed behind the curtain (the revelation that there's nothing remarkable behind evolutionist ideas, maybe?)
If the theory of evolution were really so solid, so sure, so proven as its disciples claim, why the religious indignation displayed any time it is questioned? Why not dismiss those who disagree as we might casually dismiss the flat-earther or UFO-believer today? Why the Stalinist-type academic purge of verboten thought? Could it be a deep insecurity about the soundness of the theory? Could it be that there is something much larger at stake?
A statement made by Richard Dawkins near the beginning of the film was very much correct: "The battle over evolution is only one skirmish in a much larger war."
Dawkins' meaning in this statement is never explicitly elaborated upon, but regardless of what he meant, it is correct because the war in which evolution theory is only one part of the war of worldviews. It is near the center, but it's not the whole thing.
The interpretation of scientific evidence is only one part of what makes up a worldview. Worldview also involves the interpretation of history, philosophy, the arts, work, human nature, government, family and the community.
A worldview is essentially the lens of interpretation through which we view the world. It's a philosophical lens crafted from a set of foundational assumptions.
There are basically two worldviews: (1) belief that God is the Creator of all things, and the orderer of that creation, and (2) belief that the universe is the result of random, unguided happenstance with no design, and with no transcendent or absolute truth, and no moral accountability in this life (and certainly no other, since no afterlife exists).
Right now in Western culture, a battle between these two worldviews has been raging for some time. For most of the last 2,000 years, the West has embraced the creation worldview. Around the turn of the Nineteenth Century, a new worldview began to arise which looked for alternate theories to explain the universe--an explanation that did not involve God. That worldview was propelled into dominance through the widespread acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection--which has, incidentally, been mostly abandoned in its original form even by those who claim to adhere to it.
As one person in the film put it, "It is no longer about science; it's now a religious war." This statement would be abhorrent to evolutionists because they are utterly blind to their religious bias. It is a bias against theistic religion, but a religion nevertheless, in that their belief system meets one of the definitions of religion: "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." The ardor is self-evident, and since there are a number of foundational tenets of evolution/naturalism/materialism which are impossible according to the natural laws of the universe (not to mention that there are no records of evolution taking place, and it has not been observed in the laboratory), then obviously a lot of faith is required to believe in evolution.
William Provine of Cornell provides insight into the religious motivation behind the fervor of evolution apostles: if the worldview claims of evolution are true, there is no God; if there is no God, there are no transcendent moral values. If there are no transcendent moral values, not only are we not eternally accountable for our behavior, we can establish any system of "morality" we find convenient...and we can cast off any tenets of morality we find inconvenient, just as Hitler and Stalin and a host of other Darwinists have done.
When the correlation between Darwinism and communists/facists like these are pointed out, disciples of evolution quickly get into a lather. That's understandable: the harmony is logically undeniable, and it illustrates to the casual observer the danger of this philosophy.
Expelled visits some sites in Germany where not only Jews were systematically exterminated (being one of the "unfavored races" as Darwin put it), but the handicapped as well. When you consider some of the basic tenets of evolution (that there is no transcendent morality, and that evolution can improve a species), it makes perfect sense to rid society of people who have physical defects or other undesirable traits. As the tour guide at Hadamar, the place where the handicapped were exterminated, pointed out, these people were judged to make no no significant contribution to society, were only consuming valuable resources, and polluted the gene pool. So why not get rid of them? Under Darwinism, such a position is PERFECTLY LOGICAL. That's why Hitler, Stalin and many other disciples of evolution murdered millions in the last century--it was logical in their worldview.
But such evolutionary logic didn't just take place overseas; we've had our share of it in America, too. The eugenics movement of the early 20th Century was behind the forced sterilization of many people who were deemed "unfit to breed."
Planned Parenthood's roots with Margaret Sanger are evolutionary and racially elitist. Sanger was very much into eugenics, and believed that things like contraception and abortion could do much to end breeding among the undesirables of society. As the racists leanings of Planned Parenthood have shown recently, this apple hasn't fallen far from Sanger's tree.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the worldview war, Christ's teachings call on us to protect and help the poor, the weak, the needy, the outcasts. This has little to do with their ability to contribute to or improve society or an ethnicity, but because of their inherent human dignity, being created in the image of God Himself.
Stein wraps up the film with the contention that the traditional American values of freedom (freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry) are imperiled today, and only someone invested in prosecuting that war against freedom could reasonably disagree.
But there is hope. "No lie can live forever," Stein says, while images run of the Berlin Wall being bashed down by the citizens of Berlin.
He's right. Expelled is evidence that people are picking up the sledge hammers and moving toward the wall. The fact that a few people are starting to question the monolithic but unproved assertions of the evolution establishment are evidence that the wall may come down.
And perhaps the best indication that the wall may come down is the hysterical terror displayed by those who have a moral and religious investment in the hope that evolution is correct. They know that if it is commonly revealed for the empty house of cards that it really is, the whole framework of moral relativism is imperiled.
The idea that we are morally and eternally accountable for how we treat one another can be scary. For that matter, simply being subject to the power of an almighty being can be terrifying. It's no wonder evolutionists want to avoid a return to widespread acceptance of such a a worldview.
But a little humility before that almighty being Christians know as God can erase that terror, with the realization that He really does love us, and really does want what's best for His created ones.
Hillary Clinton claimed to come under sniper fire in Bosnia. She lied!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Iain Murray has posted a piece on National Review on-line just for festivities today. It is another critique of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth," but makes some novel points, especially regarding Mr. Gore's honesty. After reading this piece would be a good time to take another look at the reviews of Al Gore's movie written after its opening, noting the uncritical praise, admiration and hyperbole of virtually the entire MSM.
25 inconvenient truths for Al Gore.
By Iain Murray
With An Inconvenient Truth, the companion book to former Vice President Al Gore’s global-warming movie, currently number nine in Amazon sales rank, this is a good time to point out that the book, which is a largely pictorial representation of the movie’s graphical presentation, exaggerates the evidence surrounding global warming. Ironically, the former Vice President leaves out many truths that are inconvenient for his argument. Here are just 25 of them.
Read the entire article here.
Randy Rasmussen at the Rapid City Journal has gone and done it now!
He's blasphemed on one of the Left's most holy days: Earth Day.
Rasmussen posted on the Journal's Mount Blogmore blog that it's no coincidence that Earth Day takes place on Vladimir Lenin's birthday.
Whether that's the case or not, I don't know; haven't looked into it. But I do know that the goals and language of both environmental wackos and Marxists are similar. They both hate the West, they both hate the United States, they both hate wealth (unless your one of the privileged elite like Al Gore--but these exceptions for the "more equal animals" is also similar), and they both hate capitalism.
And I believe the pop enviro-doctrine of the day, man-made global warming, is simply a move to stir up hysteria against capitalism and the West. In case you haven't noticed, their planet-saving initiatives such as the Kyoto Treaty gives a pass to some of the biggest polluters on the planet like China (who incidentally are Marxists) while sticking it to countries like the United States.
(Another irony of the enviro-mania is that the United States, which didn't sign onto Kyoto, is doing a better job of controlling emissions than the socialistic European nations that DID sign on.)
The Marxists, er, liberals, er, "progressives" on the Mount are predictably stirred up that Rasmussen would dare speak such unholy blasphemy on the day they've set aside to worship the planet (and advance their agenda).
Even the predictably liberal Democrat mouthpiece blog Badlands Blue is joining the chorus of enviro-indignation by calling for retractions and apologies and supplications and humiliations and beatings.
And while they try to paint holiday founder Senator Gaylord Nelson as some kind of middle-of-the-roader, his record clearly shows he's one of these Malthusian population control environmentalist wackos (maybe that IS middle-of-the-road for Democrats). Nice try.
It sure is fun watching Leftists get in a lather when someone sees through their silliness (like "Expelled").
WASHINGTON, April 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- This Friday, April 25, 2008, the pro-homosexual indoctrination of children in our public schools comes to a boil. Homosexual activists and like-minded liberal educators will be pushing the so-called "Day of Silence" on kids in thousands of schools across the country.
The "Day of Silence" (DOS) is organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the most militant and well-funded of the powerful homosexual pressure groups. DOS purports to confront the alleged systematic harassment and bullying of children who self-identify as homosexual, bisexual or "transgender." (For a sampling of the kinds of things GLSEN teaches children, click here.)
To be sure, bullying and harassment should not be tolerated against anyone, anywhere, for any reason, and those who engage in such activities should be firmly disciplined. However, DOS has very little to do with "bullying" and has everything to do with propaganda.
Matt Barber, Policy Director for Cultural Issues with Concerned Women for America (CWA), said, "During DOS, children and teachers are encouraged to disrupt the school day by refusing to speak, in a show of support to self-described 'gay,' 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' students. Kids are additionally taught that Biblical truth, which holds that human sexuality is a gift from God shared between husband and wife within the bonds of marriage, is 'homophobic,' 'hateful' and 'discriminatory.'
"Our schools are supposed to be places of learning, not places of political indoctrination," continued Barber. "It's the height of impropriety and cynicism for 'gay' activists and school officials to use good-hearted but misguided children as pawns in their attempt to further a deceptive, highly controversial and polarizing political agenda.
"DOS is pure propaganda, and based on the medical science establishing that the homosexual lifestyle is extremely high-risk, it amounts to nothing short of educational malpractice. With liberal school officials in tow, these militant adult activists are brazenly circumventing and abusing parental authority to further this dangerous political agenda," concluded Barber.
Therefore, at DOS-participating schools all over the country, parents are joining with dozens of pro-family organizations, such as CWA, in a "Day of Silence Walkout." They're keeping their kids home from school on DOS as a show of protest. (For more information visit www.missionamerica.com).
CWA additionally urges parents and children to participate in the Alliance Defense Fund's non-disruptive "Day of Truth," which will follow DOS on Monday, April 28, 2008. (For more information visit www.dayoftruth.org).
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
WASHINGTON, April 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- America trusts in the abiding power of prayer and asks for the wisdom to discern God's will in times of joy and of trial. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we recognize our dependence on the Almighty, we thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, and we put our country's future in His hands.
From our Nation's humble beginnings, prayer has guided our leaders and played a vital role in the life and history of the United States. Americans of many different faiths share the profound conviction that God listens to the voice of His children and pours His grace upon those who seek Him in prayer. By surrendering our lives to our loving Father, we learn to serve His eternal purposes, and we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.
On this National Day of Prayer, we ask God's continued blessings on our country. This year's theme, "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield," is taken from Psalm 28:7, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped." On this day, we pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform, for their families, and for the comfort and recovery of those who have been wounded.
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society by recognizing each year a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2008, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Dontcha love it? Earth-worshippers plan a get-together with lots of "global warming" hot air talk, only to be forced to cancel it due to a blizzard.
From the Edmonton Sun:
Vendors and presenters from various eco-friendly groups, including Bullfrog Power, CO2 Reduction Edmonton and the local solar energy society, crammed into a lone tent in Hawrelak Park after a blizzard forced them to abandon their original locations.
I recall similar global warming meetings were cancelled two or three times last year due to cold weather. Kinda puts things into perspective, doesn't it?
Never mind, though. Good liberals won't be dissuaded by something as petty as intrusions of reality, though.
Topics in this episode:
--Barack Obama complains about being asked tough questions by ABC
--Hillary Clinton takes a shot of whiskey in an effort to be a regular person
--Earthquake in the Midwest
--Bruce Springsteen endorses Obama
--Rapper Akon gets embarrassed for faking a criminal past
--Snoop Dogg gets into children's book-writing
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!
Well, it's time for another so-called "Earth Day" today. Today is the day the enviro-idiots take a short break from hugging trees, coming out of the woodwork for the most holy day in their religion of Gaia worship. Even Google, the ever-liberal search engine, is all greened-up with a vegetative logo complete with peaceful (clean) flowing streams.
As a Christian, I take stewardship of our world seriously. God, who created Earth and all that is on it, put humanity in charge of it. Anything God has created deserves a measure of respect, and God had made it clear that when He delegates authority, He expects that duty to be taken seriously.
The natural resources of Earth are ours to use, to make our lives better and more comfortable. As we utilize those resources, we should do so responsibly. We shouldn't take more than we need, and we should harvest those resources in the most efficient, responsible manner possible. If we make a mess in the harvesting of those resources, we should clean it up for the benefit of humanity the rest of creation, and also out of respect for the Creator.
But we should not worship this planet or anything on it.
I fear...no, I'm convinced that many in our culture have moved far beyond an emphasis on responsible use and care of Earth to a position which dabbles with or crosses the line into worship of created things.
We see this unbalanced view manifest across a broad spectrum ranging from an inordinate fear of using natural resources, to an outright worship of Gaia and even the belief by some that humans are a parasite on the planet that must be eradicated (thought I don't see any of them at the head of the line).
Environmental hysteria has become so overweening that we have former vice presidents fabricating sci-fi fantasies of man made "global warming" with unfounded pronouncements of global disaster foisted upon us.
Even Patrick Moore, one of the founders and leaders of Greenpeace, came to a point where he couldn't stomach the environmental insanity anymore and left the organization. He now says of the organization he created: "Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas."
These eco-centric views are not only sacrilegious, they make things unnecessarily difficult for many people who are struggling to get by.
In fact, the economic prosperity which is fueled by the use of those resources is the best vehicle for a balanced environmental management program. Enviro-idiots cannot grasp this concept, but we have seen it played out over and over.
Despite the pronouncements of doom from the America-hating Left, the United States is one of the cleanest countries on the planet. On the other side of the coin, former communist countries (an ideology that most eco-idiots are in love with) were some of the dirtiest, most polluting places ever seen. The environmental damage seen in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern Bloc countries was appalling, once the Iron Curtain came down.
The same scenario has been played out in poor, developing countries around the world. Nations with faltering industry and economies are the dirtiest in the world. As Steven F. Hayward says in his column at Human Events today, "Economic growth turns out to be the prerequisite for environmental protection—a fact that most environmentalists now grudgingly admit."
It seems every time the tree huggers come up with a new idea to save the planet, it ends up causing more problems.
The recycling craze was supposed to save the planet. We were all supposed to buy our 48 different blue recycling bins (and put them where around our house, I'm still unclear about) and spend our massive amounts of free time cleaning out bottles and cans and separating paper, etc. And we are supposed to pay extra for trash pickup, or take our garbage down to a community collection center and ensure it stays separated there, or both. But as a recent article from the Ludwig von Mises Institute points out, this exercise tends to bring other problems like increased vehicle emissions and rat infestations, with reports of increased energy consumption to accomplish the recycling effort. And in the end, it only comes out on the plus side economically when landfill fees become exorbitantly high.
In the last couple of years we've seen a big push to switch from the incandescent light bulbs to the supposedly enviro-friendly florescent spiral bulbs. Though I'm the last guy you'd expect to sign up as an eco-warrior, I replaced all the bulbs in my house through attrition (I wanted to save some money). I then found out that the claims they'll last 5 years are hooey, having had to replace 2 or 3 in the first year. Then we learned that if one of the bulbs breaks, you have to call out a hazmat team to clean up the spilled mercury--the same mercury which they now say will doom the planet if we throw away our bulbs in the landfill.
Remember 20 years or so ago, the plastic bags at the grocery store were supposed to get us away from those evil paper bags and save the planet? Well now the latest enviro-cry is that the plastic bags are evil and are destroying the planet.
Enviro-insanity may have even contributed to the deaths aboard two space shuttles. According to the Heartland Institute and other sources, the O-rings which caused the 1986 Challenger disaster, and the foam which caused the 2003 Columbia disaster, were inferior enviro-friendly substitutes for superior technological methods.
Just like the other so-called scientific voices that can't decide from one day to the next whether something will kill us or cure us, so the environmental movement thrashes about in scientific and theological ignorance, leaving a trail of confusion and more challenging living behind.
God gave humans dominion over the earth and all that is in it. Accordingly, we have a right to use the trees God planted. We have a right to use the oil God put in the earth. We have a right to use the coal God put here. We should use them as responsibly as is feasibly possible, but we should use them without hesitation until a cleaner energy source is devised.
It's time to get back to worshipping the creator rather than created things.
If we'd kept our focus there in the first place, we wouldn't have to contend with all the environmental silliness plaguing our culture today. And we'd likely have a clean environment without paying $4.00 for gas.
By John W. Whitehead
According to the New Jersey ACLU legal director, Marcus Borden has fostered a “destructive environment” for students. What did Borden, a high school football coach in East Brunswick, N.J., and a recipient of the national Caring Coach of the Year award, do to create such a “destructive” environment?
He bowed his head—silently. Sometimes he knelt down on one knee—silently. Coach Borden wasn’t attempting to pray with his football players, nor was he leading them in prayer. He was showing silent respect for their longstanding pre-game tradition by bowing his head.
But the forces of political correctness have gotten so absurd that even the most obscure, non-verbal expressions are targeted for censorship if religion is even remotely involved.
Yet as a student athletic trainer who worked with Borden during his first year as a coach at East Brunswick remarked, “The tradition of student-initiated prayer goes back many, many years. I think with all that is wrong in our schools today, gun violence, bullying, promiscuity, etc., that the energy being spent on Marcus Borden bowing his head and taking a knee is a waste. Here is a man trying to support the youth in his care and be a positive role model and all these administrative yahoos can worry about is his presence in a room with his players while they pray. It is time people stopped obsessing over the positive messages a coach is trying to send and start worrying about the real problems in school today.” Indeed, Borden has been recognized for his efforts to positively impact young people with the Power of Influence Award, given only to deserving high school football coaches for positively impacting their players, schools and communities.
Our schools are in a deplorable state, and our young people are surrounded by dangers on all sides—from premarital sex, school shootings and drug and alcohol abuse to low literacy standards and a lack of understanding about the difference between right and wrong. In light of this, you’d think the schools would be grateful for a teacher who serves as a positive, moral role model for young people. But when religion is involved, even heroes like Borden find themselves under fire.
Pre-game, student-led prayer has been a regular part of football for many years. In fact, East Brunswick High’s practice of player-initiated, pre-game prayer has been in effect for over 25 years, with more than 2,000 former East Brunswick football players opting to voluntarily pray before taking the field on game days. The prayers are a simple, solemn request for safety and honor on the field: “Dear Lord, please guide us today in our quest in our game. Please let us represent our families and our communities well. Lastly, please guide our players and opponents so that they can come out of this game unscathed, no one is hurt.”
But after some parents reportedly complained about a prayer that was offered at a pre-game pasta dinner, the practice became a target for official school censure. Quick to jump on the “thou-shalt-not-offend” bandwagon, school officials passed a policy in October 2005 prohibiting representatives of the school district from participating in student-initiated prayer.
But school officials went so far as to order Borden, who also teaches Spanish, to stand still rather than bending a knee and silently bowing his head while his players recited pre-game prayers. The penalty for disobeying was disciplinary action, including the loss of his job as a coach and tenured teacher. School officials justified their actions by insisting that while student athletes have the constitutionally protected right to pray, that privilege does not extend to coaches, who are public employees and whose participation would violate the so-called “separation of church and state.”
Borden responded by offering his resignation in protest. But after thinking further about the matter, he changed his mind and rescinded his resignation so he could continue coaching. At the same time, believing that he was taking “a stand for every high school football coach in America,” Borden also filed a lawsuit asking the courts to review the school’s prayer policy.
Although school officials in this instance were lacking in common sense, the federal district court was not. In siding with Coach Borden, Judge Dennis Cavanaugh ruled that the school district had violated Borden’s constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of association and academic freedom when they prohibited him from silently bowing his head and “taking a knee” with his players while they engaged in student-initiated, student-led, nonsectarian pre-game prayers.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently overturned Cavanaugh’s decision and ruled that a football coach may not silently bow his head or “take a knee” with his team as a gesture of respect for student-led prayers prior to a game.
Borden’s case is being closely watched by athletic directors across the country who were instructed to cease praying with their players. According to Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, more than 50 percent of high school football coaches nationwide have engaged in team prayer. Furthermore, if this ruling is allowed to stand, it could very well mean that high school teachers across the United States will have no free speech or academic freedom rights.
We have become a politically correct society—one that stands for uniformity, not diversity. If someone might be offended, freedom of speech is erased.
But if all freedoms hang together, then they will fall together, too. And if America continues on its present course, it will mean the end of freedom.
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.
Monday, April 21, 2008
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.
Recent posts be me and Bob Ellis have generated quite a few comments. What follows are a few thoughts that I jotted down as I read some of them.
Atheism (and evolutionism) constitute a religious belief system. It claims to account for an origin of life (without explaining it), it has its inviolable doctrine and to sin against its gods (Darwin, Dawkins, etc.) is sure to bring down fire and brimstone. Redemption is possible, but only by absolutely rejecting Satan and his demons (Demski, Behe, Stein, Sternberg, Hoyle, Hamm, etc.). Atheists worship a jealous and vindictive god. Atheism claims to know what awaits us after death (nothing) and claims to inform our philosophy and behavior while we are here (usually some variant of hedonism). Atheism and the doctrine of evolution epitomize arrogance. Their (atheists') minds alone can conceive the truth.
It is asserted by several commenters that those who question Darwin don’t understand evolution or the philosophy of science. They apparently are claiming that the detractors of Darwin, of which there are many, with PhDs and other advanced degrees are imposters who don’t understand their fields of research and study. This is supreme arrogance, often demonstrated by those having no more understanding than what their high-priests reveal to them.
To claim that evolution is a proven fact, like gravity, is patently absurd. If I throw a ball in the air, I can predict with confidence that it will come down. Can evolution predict anything? What? Most genera and even species of mammals, fish, reptiles and insects that exist today are found in fossils that are claimed to be millions of years old. Yet they exist today unchanged from the fossil record. (The exception to this are some domesticated animals, but we can agree that they had a designer!) Evolutionists rarely bring up the subject of botany for a good reason. Virtually every known species of plant now extant are found in the fossil record dating back to the Cambrian deposits. Apparently plants evolved by different mechanisms than animals, all showing up very early in evolution and then becoming static for the subsequent millions of years. That is why there is not a phylogenetic tree of the plant world that is widely accepted. Most are the products of the imagination with fossil evidence contrary to the supposed evolutionary relationships.
There is no “theory of gravitation.” The fact of gravity remains completely inexplicable. It is a force that is not explained by any of the known forces in physics. In fact, we might call it a miracle!
There is not a single fossil that is accepted by all paleontologists as a transitional form. A few are claimed, but if evolution were true we should be awash with transitional fossils. For every completed, i.e., stable, organism there should be thousands of transitional structures leading up to it. Even Darwin knew this and considered his theory fatally dependent on the the eventual discovery of myriad transitional animals. There are none. Evolutionists cannot show us a single example of the complete evolutionary sequence of transitions leading to a known genus. There is no shortage of postulated sequences that are passed off to the uninformed as true, such as the equine series, which both Gould and Patterson admitted to be a misleading depiction.
For evolutionists to claim that they don’t deal with origins is disingenuous at best and cowardly at least. Evolution is the prima doctrina for atheism and humanism, both philosophies claiming to have essential truth. From the eternity of the universe, to the “big bang,” to the coalescence of gasses to form planets, to the formation of an oxidizing atmosphere and water, to the chance formation of organic molecules, evolutionsists are insistent that there are no insurmountable mysteries that can’t be answered. But when challenged to explain for us mere mortals how LIFE came about, they retreat from the discussion, claiming “evolution doesn’t deal with origins.” How convenient!
I saw EXPELLED last evening with my son, who is a microbiologist, and we both thought it was fair, well-done and compelling. The many negative reviews are based on either ignorance of the subject or a complete bias that prevents an objective viewing. Stein attempts to show that an other than honest and fair hearing of the arguments costs many scientists, researchers and teachers their jobs and reputations. The statements of the many representatives of the Darwinist mafia were enough to make the point. Dawkins sounded like nothing less than an intolerant religious bigot. I didn’t see Mr. Stein holding a gun to his head and forcing him to read a statement. Dawkins’ (and several other’s) spoke their own words, damnable as they were. Dawkins is going to have to expend a lot of ink, not to mention credibility, trying to undo the damage he's done to the one true religious faith, atheism/evolution.
It is now more that 150 years since Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species" (published 1859). Within only a decade or so of its printing his theories were widely accepted by scientists of the day. By the turn of the century no one other than the most committed and ignorant Baptist doubted the validity of evolution and dissenters were dismissed as religious cranks and ignored. Now, since the explosion of information in cell biology and biochemistry, over seventy percent of average adults in America are skeptical of Darwinist evolution, as well as 50% of biology students!
The Evolutionists have lost a great deal of ground in the past few decades and feel the sand slipping away from beneath their feet. No wonder they are frightened, angry and vengeful. (Just look at the recent comments re: posts about the movie EXPELLED, and "Dawkins the Firebreathing Baptist!")
By Gordon Garnos
THE ISSUE: In reference to last week's column about the disappearance of Chaplain Robert J. Gentry, an email from a reader read in part: "...He must have been quite a character..." Well, according to Webster there are more than a dozen definitions of the word. The first one is, "The combination of emotional, intellectual and moral qualities distinguishing one person or group from another." Another is, "An eccentric person." If the author of the email meant the first meaning, yes, Robert J. Gentry had all of these qualities. If he or she meant he was eccentric, he or she could be referring to some of the old timers from my home town.
THE NUMBER OF old time characters in my home town may be no more, or no less than in your home town. Some of mine were Billy Nelson, Bill Hopson, Grant Mowrey and Earl Roberts. Yes. Earl Roberts. And, yes, there's a story about every one of them.
Billy Nelson, at least in his later life, lived in a quonset hut, behind the Al Boe residence. If I'm not mistaken, that quonset hut had a dirt floor and the color of his feet was proof. I remember a few of us playing behind the Boe home when he came out of his hut, barefooted in the dead of winter, to play with us.
But dirty feet or not, Billy was an extraordinary finish carpenter whom my folks hired for their carpentry jobs. Billy never bothered about his dirty feet or the rest of him as well, but whatever fell to his hammer and saw was perfect.
BILL HOPSON, and his paint brush wide mustache or perhaps I should say his 1920s something Dodge four-door car with its wooden spoked wheels were something special to see. I can still see him attempting to steer that boat down the hill on Main Street. Even to the day he and his car straddled a large wind row of snow in the middle of the street in front of the Lyric Theater.
Not realizing what he had done, he stepped out and fell straight down about four or five feet, which I feel was the beginning of the end of this elderly gentle man.
THE MURDER OF Grant Mowry even hit the Police Gazette, a national magazine of the period that was read sort of under the table at the time.
The lonely old man lived in a house kitty-corner across the street from the Lyric Theater. He was probably best known for hosting rather large poker parties and for the size of the rolls of bills he always carried with him.
One dark night, I believe may have been prom night, after a card game, someone entered his house and bludgeoned him to death, then stuck a handkerchief down Mowry's throat.
The night was also the wedding dance of a cousin of mine in Oacoma, which was attended by my parents. The young woman working for my folks in the bakery was also hired that evening to babysit my brother and I. After the news of the murder hit the street, that babysitter was so scared she called her boyfriend to stay with her until my parents returned home.
The murderer took part in the sheriff's search party for the next couple of days until it was discovered that it was his handkerchief down the throat of the murdered bachelor. It was a young man who did the dirty deed and received a life sentence in the state penitentiary for what he did. He died just a few years ago, but a free man following a parole from the governor.
THIS SAGA WOULD NOT be complete if I didn't include Earl Roberts to the list of characters as he lived so many of Webster's definitions. He was the local pharmacist, who always carried a goodly supply of comic books, which we could read until supper time and he made the best root beer floats in South Dakota. His drug store was kitty-corner across Main Street from what is now the home of the Lyman County Herald.
I said he was a character in so many different ways. Besides his professional life as a pharmacist, he directed and played in the local band for many years. And if there was some sort of medicine or another needed, even in the middle of the night, Earl was there to help.
The story I like best about Earl Roberts was the morning after my English bride and I returned home following my military discharge. My parents were still living in the apartment above the bakery overlooking Main Street, or what was left of it after a heavy rain. Saying it was muddy would not be an exaggeration.
I was up early and down to the bakery as I was finally home after four years overseas. My wife slept late and at her first look at Main Street there was Earl on his way to work--with his pants rolled up to his knees and wearing a pink bathing cap.
She prayed, "Dear Lord, please let this be a dream."
So, the next time someone wants to talk characters, let me know. I knew some.....
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 20, 2008
NEW YORK, April 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- On his HBO show last night, Bill Maher apologized for accusing the pope of being a Nazi; he acknowledged that the Catholic League was right when we said that Joseph Ratzinger was forced to join a German youth organization (from which he fled at the first instance). Maher then said that if a CEO were in charge of an institution that housed molesters, he would be fired.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:
"We accept Maher's apology for accusing the pope of being a Nazi. Too bad he didn't stop there. For him to suggest that Pope Benedict XVI was in charge of policing molesters, and failed in doing so, is patently absurd.
"As Pope John Paul II's right-hand man, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's principal job was to make sure that theologians were faithfully presenting the teachings of the Catholic Church. He was, to some extent, the Church's Academic Dean, someone who was charged with enforcing academic standards. He was not the Church's Dean of Students, i.e., he was not discharged with enforcing codes of conduct. Indeed, it wasn't until after the scandal hit the newspapers in 2002 that he was put in charge of dealing with predatory priests, and by all accounts did so effectively.
"Maher has to understand that no one person, including the pope, could possibly be held accountable for the behavior of its employees in a global institution. There are priests from Boston to Bosnia, and it is simply preposterous for any one person to know exactly what is going on everywhere at any given time. Maher would have been better advised to focus on those bishops who proved to be enablers-it is the bishop's job to know what is going on in his diocese, not the pope's.
"The larger issue remains. It would be great if Maher gave up his Catholic-bashing obsession once and for all."
The Catholic League is the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics - lay and clergy alike - to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination.