Featured Article

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?

 

READ ABOUT IT...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Upcoming: Pennington County Lincoln Day Dinner

I attended the Pennington County Lincoln Day Dinner in Rapid City tonight, and had hoped to post something by now. However, my bandwidth seems slow right now, and I'm in the process of uploading pictures and video that are not going to be ready until long after I want to go to bed.

So check back tomorrow (hopefully tomorrow morning) and I should have a picture slideshow from the dinner, plus a video clip of Senator John Thune speaking tonight.

I also have other clips of Senator Thune, plus Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joel Dykstra and Republican U.S. House candidate Chris Lien speaking which I will add in days to come as they are uploaded and ready for posting.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with one pic of Senator Thune.


Breaking News: Barack Obama Resigns from His Church

This is just coming out, but several media sources are reporting that Barack Obama has resigned from his church of 20 years, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

The New York Times blog has this:

Mr. Obama informed his campaign advisers of his decision today, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the candidate. Mr. Obama is scheduled to explain his decision tonight in South Dakota.

For Mr. Obama, this is the latest effort to distance himself from a church that had repeatedly drawn negative attention to his candidacy. And, in turn, Mr. Obama drew negative attention to the church on Chicago’s South Side, where he was married and his two daughters were baptized.

This seems like a long-overdue step on Obama's part. The hits he's taken due to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American rhetoric were bad enough, but his troubles continued when it recently came out that Catholic priest Michael Pfleger had mocked Hillary Clinton crying and used profanity from the pulpit at the church.

One can only hope that Obama will find a more Bible-based church to attend now...and that Barack Obama's worldview might shift from a Marxist humanist one to a Biblical worldview.


Gordon Howie Running for Dist. 30 Senate

From today's mailbag, some campaign information I received from Rep. Gordon Howie. Rep. Howie is a Republican currently serving Dist. 30 in the South Dakota House. He is running for the single Dist. 30 Senate seat against Republican Rep. Gordon Pederson of Wall for the Republican nod.

I think his flier is one of the most attractive ones I've seen this year.

Howie's material also points out some significant differences between himself and Pederson on the issues, differences also born out on the South Dakota Family Policy Council voter guide.






Climate Change and Solar Cycles

This is an excellent video (below) on climate change.

Greenland isn't very "green" these days, is it? It used to be about 1,000 years ago when Vikings settled there. A few hundred years later, however, they were run out by the freezing temperatures. Could it be that we're now warming again, to the way things were 1,000 years ago (when there were no SUVs)?

The video also discusses climate change in England when the Thames River froze (I lived in England for three years in the late 1980s--it seldom gets really gold there). This time is known as the "Little Ice Age."

These climate cycles go all the way back to around 200 BC, when there was a arming period to around 600 AD. Then there was a cooling period until about 900 AD. Then warming until around 1300 AD. Then the Little Ice Age until 1850 AD. Things have been warming since then (there were no SUVs or power plants in 1850 either).

The most likely culprit for these changes in temperature: the sun. Imagine that: the 870,000 mile in diameter, 27 million degree Fahrenheit star in the middle of our solar system with a mass of 332,946 Earths may actually be warming our planet!


Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland.


Drill Here, Drill Now

Yesterday I believe 100,000 Americans had signed the Drill Here, Drill Now petition, asking Congress to do something proactive and useful about America's energy situation.

It's time to take back our country from environmental extremists and their panderers in Congress. I've signed the petition. Have you?


The Life and Times of Barack Obama

I think they make too much of the "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" thing in this video, but other than that, I think everything covered here is factual and documented.

It paints the striking image of an "empty suit" at best, and at worst (in the White House), a dangerous threat to America.



About the video:
"I Invented The Internet, Episode 1: The Audacity." Lorne Baxter explores the life of Barack Hussein Obama, Jeremiah Wright and the theology behind it. Produced by Illuminati Pictures (www.illuminati.tv). Music by Intelligentzia.


America: Choice Grain in the Wilderness

American Minute from William J. Federer

In his Memorial Day Address, MAY 31, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge said: "Settlers came here from mixed motives...Generally defined, they were seeking a broader freedom. They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance to the principle of self-government...It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness."

Calvin Coolidge continued: "They had a genius for organized society on the foundations of piety, righteousness, liberty, and obedience of the law...Who can fail to see in it the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?"

At the Memorial Day Ceremony, MAY 31, 1993, President Bill Clinton remarked: "The inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier says that he is 'Known only to God.' But that is only partly true. While the soldier's name is known only to God, we know a lot about him. We know he served his country, honored his community, and died for the cause of freedom. And we know that no higher praise can be assigned to any human being than those simple words...In the presence of those buried all around us, we ask the support of all Americans in the aid and blessing of God Almighty."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


City Chooses Booze over Church

Well, at least you know where this city's priorities are.

From WorldNetDaily:

The Planning and Zoning Commission of Yuma, Ariz., denied a use permit to a church because, in part, it worried that the church would cost the city liquor license money.

What a clear modern-day example of
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Jesus)


Calif. Clerks May Refuse Order to Issue Marriage Licenses to Homosexuals

According to WorldNetDaily, several clerks in California may follow the law and refuse to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

The Campaign for Children and Families is urging clerks to follow the law, not the whim of activist judges.

"The judges and the governor are violating the Constitution and the statutes, but county clerks know they have a duty to follow the statutes, which haven't been changed yet. Clerks don't have to issue homosexual 'marriage' licenses, and they shouldn't," he said.

"We're asking that you please decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples unless and until the Legislature changes the marriage statutes, the people change the constitution, and/or all legal options have been exhausted," Gary Kreep, executive director of the USJF wrote to the clerks.

Kreep's organization is offering pro bono legal counsel to clerks who resist the state Supreme Court's recent ruling on same-sex marriages, a ruling he defines as "unconstitutional" itself.

"By doing so, you will follow California law, respect the democratic process, and avoid being drawn into what dissenting California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter called the 'majority's foreclosure of this ordinary democratic process,'" Kreep said.

The organizations this week sent letters to 38 county clerks in California, out of 58, in areas where the man-woman marriage ethic is strongest.

Already several clerks have responded, telling CCF they intend NOT to issue any same-sex 'marriage' licenses," the organizations confirmed today.

Is there a law which repeals or supersedes California law which spells it out that marriage is between a man and a woman? No. And unless the legislature whips one up and passes it pretty quickly, there won't be one, either. The fundamental definition of marriage as between a man and a woman is STILL the law in California.
CCF told the clerks simply, "The court did not and cannot rewrite the statutes to require that you issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

"Separation of powers is a foundational principle of our system of government. The California Constitution expressly prohibits the courts from making laws. Only the legislature and the people, through the initiative process, may change the statutes or the constitution," CCF said.

In other words, the Calif. Supreme Court has zero power to institute the concept of homosexual "marriage." Zilch. Zip. Nada. None.

In calling for it, these four judges on the Supreme Court are essentially doing something illegal, because the law (the state DOMA) says marriage is between a man and a woman. And in calling for officials to grant licenses for such "marriages," these judges are soliciting others to commit illegal activities.

But make no mistake: those who want to re-engineer marriage to mean nothing are the ones in power, and they won't take kindly to government officials who obey the law. They may try to fire these clerks, or even (in this upside-down insane world we've come to live in) try to prosecute them criminally for obeying the law.

It may be time for some good ole-fashioned civil disobedience. In most cases of civil disobedience in the past, the law hadn't caught up to what was right. In this case, however, the fight is simply to obey the law.

Is the fundamental institution of marriage and family worth this high a price to fight for? If it isn't, what is?


Hillary Clinton Attempts to Rule Over New Rules that Replace Original Rules?

By Carrie K. Hutchens

Watching Hillary Clinton in action is simply amazing. Who would have thought we could sink so low, but we have.

It isn't that Hillary is fighting for the nomination, but rather, "how" she fighting that makes for a sad day in American history and politics. She and her campaign have taken us down a path that no one should be proud of, though some seem to think it is some special badge to be bragged about.

I wasn't involved in Florida and Michigan moving up their primaries, nor the decision to punish them for having done so, but Hillary Clinton was. She agreed that they should be punished, until it became clear to her that SHE needed their votes for HER campaign and for any possibility of HER gaining the nomination that SHE once thought was simply HERS.

How do the voters from Michigan and Florida not see that Hillary Clinton's sudden fight for them is self-serving? How indeed? After all, where was Hillary Clinton's concern when she thought she was winning?

It seems that Hillary Clinton is trying to make up the rules as she needs them, but there is a truth standing in the way that needs to be considered. Whether the rules were right or not -- and whether the punishment was appropriate -- those were the rules everyone went into the game under. As a result, those are the rules that everyone should have to live with this time around. If that isn't acceptable -- then it shouldn't have been acceptable before the race got underway. It's plain. It's simple. It's a matter of honor and integrity. It is, but is it how this madness shall play out?

Today the DNC Rules & Bylaw's Committee will meet. It should be a very entertaining and telling event. One that shows the world what standing "honor and integrity" has within the DNC and to what length's Hillary Clinton and her campaign will go to in order for her to get her way. Yes, it should be quite the event as we watch Hillary Clinton try to manipulate the results once again. Will she succeed? The end of the day should tell.


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.


America's generosity is unmatched

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

Americans are hearing so much these days about how bad we are that we're starting to believe it.

In a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent said they are "dissatisfied with the position of the United States in the world today," and 55 percent said they think that the rest of the world views us unfavorably.

However, as I page through a publication called the Index of Global Philanthropy, which is produced annually by the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute in Washington, it becomes obvious that these American feelings of self-deprecation are misguided.

This is the just released third annual edition of this index. It produces a unique snapshot portraying the full extent of American generosity to developing countries, by amount and by source.

Usually when the question of aid to the developing world arises, we think of government funds. But this index shows that, whereas it may be the rule in the rest of the industrialized world that most aid is government aid, in our country this isn't the case. Most of the contributions that Americans make abroad are private and voluntary. And they are large.

In 2006, the latest year for which data is available, the index reports that Americans contributed privately and voluntarily $34.8 billion to individuals and organizations in developing countries.

Philanthropy is distinct from government aid in that it originates with private citizens and is voluntary, but also the recipients are private individuals and organizations, as opposed to governments. Private to private versus government to government.

The $34.8 billion in philanthropy from private Americans exceeded the $23.5 billion in official U.S. government aid abroad by $11.3 billion, or 48 percent.

This private philanthropy is flowing from foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations, universities and colleges, and religious organizations.

Of particular interest in this year's index is the $8.8 billion reported from religious organizations. According to Carol Adelman, who directs this work, the data was produced by commissioning "the first national survey of congregational giving to the developing world" ever done.

The average contribution of congregations was $10,700.

To put this in some kind of perspective, the $8.8 billion in giving from American religious institutions to developing countries was $1.5 billion more than the total giving from all private sources in 30 of the world's major industrialized democratic countries combined.

When consolidating all assistance funds flowing from the United States to developing countries, the total is $129.8 billion. This is the total of government aid, philanthropy, and remittances -- funds sent directly by private individuals to other private parties in developing countries, often family members. A far second in total giving behind the United States is the United Kingdom at $20.7 billion.

There are a couple of important messages here.

First, of course, is the incredible compassion and generosity of Americans. American largesse does not need to be pried or forced by the government. It flows organically from free, civic minded and often religiously motivated citizens. And it comes from citizens of every income strata. The religious giving data shows that whereas the average congregation gives $10,700, the median number is $2,500, indicating that there are many smaller, less wealthy congregations engaged.

The other headline is the central importance of the private sector in both generating prosperity, but also in sharing it.

Bookshelves now strain with studies showing the failures of government-to-government aid.

It is individuals who create wealth. Compassion and personal responsibility reside in the breasts of those same individuals. Neither can be said of government bureaucracies.

Barack Obama spoke at the commencement ceremony at Wesleyan University the other day. He talked about national service and, recalling John F. Kennedy, committed to doubling the size of the Peace Corps if elected president.

From what I see and what the data shows, Americans don't need government to make them care, contribute, and volunteer. If anything, they need less government so they'll retain and keep control of more of what they produce and subsequently share with those in need.

Other countries may have their own motivations for what causes them to view Americans the way they do. But the data is clear. Americans are unmatched in creating prosperity and sharing it.

It's time to pay closer attention to what Americans do rather than what others say.

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


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.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Federal Marriage Amendment Introduced in Congress

I just learned tonight from the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy that on May 22, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) introduced HJR 89, the Marriage Protection Amendment, to the U.S. House.

Section 2 of the bill reads:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Given the recent judicial activism by the California Supreme Court in pursuit of homosexual "marriage," a Federal Marriage Amendment is needed now more than ever.

California has no residency requirement for marriage, so many other states are at risk of lawsuits from homosexuals who may go to California to be "married" and run home to try and force this travesty on other states.

States without constitutional amendments, or even a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in some cases, are particularly vulnerable to this move to hijack marriage.

Even now, ten states are urging California to stay this judicial decision until the people of California have a chance to exercise democracy and speak on the issue in November.

Congress needs to pass HJR 89 with all haste so that states not yet victimized by judicial activism can be protected from assault on society's most fundamental institution: marriage.

Marriage and family are too important to be used as a tool to legitimize an immoral, unnatural and unhealthy sexual practice.


VoteYesForLife.com Campaign Kickoff

I went to the VoteYesForLife.com campaign kick-off for Initiated Measure 11 tonight in Rapid City.

Leslee Unruh said that in addition to the 50,000 or so petition signatures received prior to the deadline back in April, there were another 8,000 that came in but were too late. That makes about 58,000 signatures or more than 3 times what was needed to get the pro-life measure on the ballot in November.

She also said there were only about 11% of them that were rejected, which is considerably lower than the average for petition signatures. Apparently the circulator and other staff did a good job of making sure the "i"'s were dotted and the "t"'s were crossed.

Unruh said a lot of lessons were learned during and after the 2006 campaign for Referred Law 6, and that this year's campaign will be waged much smarter.

Dr Patti Giebink, treasurer of VoteYesForLife.com, also spoke. Geibink is a former abortionist who had a change of heart and now realizes the truth about abortion. She said she can't do anything to bring back the lives she took when she performed abortions, but she is obviously dedicated to working as hard as she can going forward to save as many lives as possible. She is an inspiring example of the redemption possible through Jesus Christ.

It's a long way to November, but he campaign for Initiated Measure 11 is taking nothing for granted, and is already gearing up to do it better and smarter than last time.

I took a few pics at the gathering tonight, in the slideshow below.


Colorado Implements Restroom Chaos

A couple of months ago we learned that Montgomery County in Maryland was going to allow men who supposedly think they're women (or dress like one) to use women's restrooms and locker rooms.

As if that wasn't bad enough, now Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has imposed such a disgrace on the entire state of Colorado.

From WorldNetDaily:

With today's signature on SB200, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, has eliminated gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms statewide, giving woman and girls reason to fear being confronted by predators, cross-dressers "or even a homosexual or heterosexual male," according to a critic.

Don't we have enough sexual antics going on in bathrooms, already?

Does anyone seriously believe perverts won't simply say the "feel like a woman" or dress up as one in order to sneak some peeks in the ladies room or the women's locker room?

Colorado had better be prepared for plenty of lawsuits against state and local government for the harassment (and likely assaults) that are going to happen because of this. From a purely academic perspective, it will be interesting to see which set of rights rules: women's rights, or the rights of perverts to impose their sickness on the rest of society.

Proponents of this lunacy will, of course, try to cite people with rare deformities of the sex organs as justification, but this is at best a transparent case of making the exception become the rule.

Such moves have little or nothing to do with "compassion," "discrimination" or "fairness," but rather the sexual chaos that homosexuals and their "useful idiots" want to impose on society in order to escape value judgments about immoral and unnatural sexual behavior.

It may sound melodramatic, but I honestly cannot imagine a culture surviving for very long when it embraces the insane concept of homosexual "marriage" and adopts this kind of contemptuous attitude toward all sex norms.


South Dakota, Nine Other States Urge Calif. to Delay Homosexual 'Marriage' Ruling

South Dakota is among ten states urging California to delay implementation of it's homosexual "marriage" ruling until after November when the voters will have a say on the matter.

From Newsmax:

The attorneys general say in court documents filed Thursday that they have an interest in the case because they would have to determine if their states would recognize the marriage of gay residents who wed in California.

The Rapid City Journal has more extensive coverage of this development here, including additional information on Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown's brief urging the court not to stay the ruling.

The ten states urging a delay are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

Eight of these states have constitutional amendments to protect marriage, but Florida and New Hampshire only have Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMA), leaving them in a weaker position to fight the hijacking of marriage.

There are five states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island) that have nothing at all to protect marriage from being undermined, though that ship has already sailed in Mass. and obviously the law means nothing to some judges in California.

The South Dakota Constitution specifies in Article XXI Section 9 that "Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. The uniting of two or more persons in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other quasi-marital relationship shall not be valid or recognized in South Dakota."

Of course, homosexual activists aren't going to let silly things like laws and constitutions get in their way of redefining the natural order of marriage, family and human sexuality. Lawsuits are sure to follow, regardless of the law.

The state of California, however, should at least have the common courtesy to allow the democratic process to work before they implement the imperial decree of the California judges and subject the rest of the country to frivolous lawsuits.


Calif. Homosexual 'Marriage' Will Create Lawsuits in Other States

I said recently that the New York governor's decision to play legislator and recognize homosexual "marriages" from other states would be leveraged to force other states to do the same.

Some believe, and I have no doubt they're right, that the recent California decision (where the judiciary also decided to play legislator) will have an even more direct effect in creating lawsuits and chaos across the states.

From WorldNetDaily:

Lawyers who have worked on the case noted during a panel discussion today sponsored by the Family Research Council at the National Press Club that California's court ruling has a distinct difference from the 2004 Massachusetts decision that opens the door for the spread of same-sex marriage across the nation.

Massachusetts does not grant same-sex marriage licenses to non-residents, preventing waves of homosexuals from traveling to the state to marry and then returning home to demand recognition of their status.

California, however, has no such limitation.

Now more than ever, we need a Federal Marriage Amendment to place the institution of marriage above the grasp of homosexual activists.


Mark Kirkeby Running for Re-Election to South Dakota Dist. 35 House of Representatives

From today's mailbag, Mark Kirkeby is one of three Republicans running for one of the two South Dakota Dist. 35 state House seats. Mark was elected to the Dist. 35 seat in 2006 and is seeking re-election. Also running are Don Kopp and Terry Batchelder.




No Peace With the Forces of Evil

American Minute from William J. Federer

Southern women scattered spring flowers on the graves of both the Northern and Southern soldiers who died during the Civil War. This was the origin of Memorial Day, which in 1868 was set on MAY 30.

In 1968, it was moved to the last Monday in May. From the Spanish-American War, to World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, War against Islamic Terror, up through the present, all who gave their lives to preserve America's freedom are honored on Memorial Day.

Beginning in 1921, every President placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The number 21 being the highest salute, the sentry takes 21 steps, faces the tomb for 21 seconds, turns and pauses 21 seconds, then retraces his steps.

Inscribed on the Tomb is the phrase: "HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOW BUT TO GOD."

In his 1923 Memorial Address, President Calvin Coolidge stated: "There can be no peace with the forces of evil. Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good. That way lies through sacrifice...'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


Blame Congress for Fuel Costs

In a post last week I pointed out that "Big Oil" has little to do with the high cost of gas at the pump, netting only about 9.4% profit on their investment overall, or approximately 37 cents out of the $4 per gallon many of us are now paying.

The Wall Steet Journal addressed the situation in a piece yesterday that should be required reading as we approach elections this November.

Blame Congress for High Oil Prices

Gasoline prices are through the roof and Americans are angry. Someone must be to blame and the obvious villain is 'Big Oil' with its alleged ability to gouge consumers and achieve unconscionable, 'windfall' profits. Congress is in a vile mood, and has dragged oil industry executives before its committees for show trials, issuing predictable threats of punishment, e.g. a 'windfall profits tax.'

But if there is a villain in all of this, it is Congress itself. That venerable body has made it impossible for U.S. producers of crude oil to tap significant domestic reserves of oil and gas, and it has foreclosed economically viable alternative sources of energy in favor of unfeasible alternatives such as wind and solar. In addition, Congress has slapped substantial taxes on gasoline. Indeed, as oil industry executives reiterated in their appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, 15% of the cost of gasoline at the pump goes for taxes, while only 4% represents oil company profits.


Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 5/30/2008



Topics in this episode:

--John McCain releases his medical records

--Do Americans want less government and lower taxes?

--Al Franken still in trouble for failing to pay his taxes

--Hillary Clinton hangs on

--American Airlines charges passengers $15 per bag

--Is Angelina Jolie pregnant with twins?


When Anti-American Foreigners Love the Presidential Candidate


If people like a presidential candidate, and those people are from countries that envy America's success and/or hate what the United States stands for, what does that say about the candidate?

According to CNS News, people in socialist enclaves across the world LOVE Barack Obama:

In a survey of some 6,200 people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia, the senator from Illinois received 52 percent of the vote to just 15 percent for Republican Sen. John McCain. Sen. Hillary Clinton was not listed as an option in the YouGov poll, conducted for the London Daily Telegraph 's Internet site.

With friends like these...


Women Voters (Heart) Big Government

John Lott Jr. has a very intriguing piece at Fox News.

Ostensibly, it has to do with the question of whether there is bias against women in politics, brought on by the Clintons claims that Hillary Clinton is the victim of sexism in the presidential race.

However, it examines a much larger and more fundamental question about government: does the advent of women's suffrage (i.e. voting rights) have anything to do with the rise of Big Government in the United States? This is something a number of people (myself included) have wondered about for years.

Lott has some pretty compelling information, especially in his longer full-length paper with Larry Kenny entitled "How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?" which can be found here.

He points out that, except for periods of war, federal government spending consumed 2-3% of GDP before World War I. For comparison, that has been about 20% for the last 10 years or more, and hasn't been below 10% since before World War II.

Lott's piece at Fox News says women are (surprise) on average more liberal than men:

For decades, polls have shown that women as a group vote differently than men. Without the women's vote, Republicans would have swept every presidential race but one between 1968 and 2004.

Lott says a number of factors affect this liberal tendency, ranging from marriage prospects, children, and especially divorce. In the end, all these tendencies end up at the doorstep of the "safety net;" in other words, the more likely women are to believe they may need a government "safety net," the more likely they are to veer Left and vote Big Government. The proliferation of divorce in our culture, especially since the 1960s, has of course fueled this even more.

Lott examined data from several states where women received the right to vote, going back even before the 19th Amendment to see if the trend held true: it did.
Per capita state government spending after accounting for inflation had been flat or falling during the 10 years before women began voting. But state governments started expanding the first year after women voted and continued growing until within 11 years real per capita spending had more than doubled. The increase in government spending and revenue started immediately after women started voting.

I don't think it has to be that way; my wife is as conservative as I am in many ways, maybe more so in some. But apparently it's consistent enough to establish well-documented trends.

Interesting to see my suspicions backed up with some detailed analysis. But what to do about it????

Is that nurture/mothering/feminine instinct to pad the world in Big Government too much to overcome with appeals to logic, reason, the Constitution, and the original design of the Founders for this country?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

New McCain 2008 T-Shirts: Expressing our Conservative Pride

Rusty at the Gribble Report gave me an idea today.

He said he'd been dejected lately about the Republican nominee John McCain, and was thinking of coming up with a t-shirt to express his support for his party's nominee.

I messed around a little bit last year with CafePress where you can customize merchandise, but never did much with it. But Rusty's idea got me thinking: I should come up with my own t-shirt (and perhaps other merchandise) so I can have a little fun with an otherwise depressing presidential race.

So I came up with this logo for some t-shirts which would truly express why I consider John McCain "the" choice for president in 2008:


I made a couple of different shirts, including a couple for the ladies. I may go back later and make some mugs, bumper stickers and such, but this is a start.

I'll soon be sporting my pride at all the events this summer!

If you share my "enthusiasm" for the Republican nominee and would like to purchase a t-shirt to display your pride, you can find them in different colors and styles here.

UPDATE: I now have bumper stickers, mouse pads, buttons, yard signs, hats and mugs available to show your conservative pride!


Scott McClellan Considering Vote for Obama?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ain't that intriguing? Bush administration turncoat Scott McClellan likes what he hears from Obama?

So says the Politico:

Scott McClellan, making the media rounds to promote his book and push back against the ferocious counter-attack by Bush loyalists, declined to come out tonight for John McCain and said he liked what he had heard from Barack Obama.

"I haven't made a decision," McClellan told Katie Couric on CBS's "Evening News," when asked if he was backing the Arizona senator. McClellan paid homage to McCain, saying that the Republican nominee had "governed from the center, and that's where I am."

But without prompting, he said he was "intrigued by Sen. Obama's message."

"It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan said.

Similar to the one Gov. Bush ran on in 2000? Boy, I don't remember being on Mars and having a bad transmission, but I could swear that while Bush's 2000 message in no way brought back memories of Ronald Reagan, it wasn't even in the same solar system with Barack Obama's empty message of "hope," "change," appeasement and celebration of homosexuality.

Are some true colors finally shining through, here?


A Good Reason to Vote for McCain

Since John McCain is so liberal and thumbs his nose at most of the things I consider most important, I'm always having a hard time keeping myself convinced to vote for him come November.

But from the British Telegraph, I just got a good reason that may keep me motivated.

Ultralib Hollywood bigmouth Susan Sarandon says she might just leave the country if McCain gets elected:

"If McCain gets in, it's going to be very, very dangerous," she says.

"It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people. If they prove me wrong, I'll be checking out a move to Italy. Maybe Canada, I don't know. We're at an abyss."

Oh, don't tease me!


Obama: Jimmy Carter Reborn

Time magazine came out with a piece yesterday from Ramesh Ponnuru entitled "In Carter's Shadow."

Ponnuru points out the similarities between that Barack Obama and John McCain have with the presidency of Jimmy Carter, arguably the worst presidency in American history.

While I don't really disagree with any of Ponnuru's descriptions of the McCain/Carter similarities, I think Obama's resemblance to Jimmy Carter is much more direct and and much more striking:

Of the two likely nominees this year, Obama is closest to Carter in background and policy leanings. The parallels between his campaign so far and the one Carter ran in 1976 are striking. Like Carter, Obama had little national experience when he started to run. Neither was given much chance of winning the nomination. Instead of running on a detailed platform, Carter told crowds that what Washington needed was "a government as good as its people"—just as Obama promises "change we can believe in." Carter's message sold well after Richard Nixon's disgrace, and press accounts from the time suggest that people found the born-again Carter to be charismatic. That parallel is a promising one for Obama.

But his Carterish echoes come with two potential dangers. The first is that running as the embodiment of hope can lend itself to a certain self-righteousness—what critics have already started to call elitism. The second danger is that the public will come to see Obama as naive about America's enemies abroad, as it eventually concluded Carter was. Ever since Obama said he was willing to negotiate with those enemies directly and "without precondition," Republicans have been trying to tag him as the son of the Georgia governor.

Many liberals have long put George W. Bush's presidency right down there with Adolf Hitler and Satan (only they don't believe in the latter guy). But either they are too young to remember the Carter years, or have very selective memories.

Carter's socialist policies and gross incompetence led to a sad state of affairs domestically and America becoming a laughing stock around the world. Remember the high unemployment, the double-digit inflation, the interest rates over 20%, the high gas prices, Carter's impotence as a bunch of Iranian radicals took our embassy staff hostage for more than a year, gave up the Panama Canal, left several South American countries to the communist dogs, smooched with the Soviets, and displayed more impotence when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan?

I was still a kid during this time, but I recall it was a pretty sad time to be an American (something that should never be). It was Ronald Reagan's reversal of this state of affairs that made me realize that I was a Republican, despite having come from a family of registered Democrats.

My greatest fear for the near future of America is that if Obama does get elected, we'll have a Carter redux both at home and abroad. And in many ways, the world is a more dangerous place now than it was when Carter was in the White House.


Media Coverage of Rapid City Area Legislative Candidates

The Rapid City Weekly News has some great coverage of the candidates around the Rapid City area.

There's an article about Rapid City Alderman Sam Kooiker and his challenger here.

Republicans running for South Dakota Dist. 30 House here.

Republicans running for Dist. 30 Senate here.

An editorial from Tom Lawrence on the Dist. 32 Senate race here.

Republicans running for Dist. 33 House here.

Republicans running for Dist. 33 Senate here.

Republicans running for Dist. 34 Senate here.

Republicans running for Dist. 35 House here.

Republicans running for Dist. 35 Senate here.

They have some articles on the Democrats running, too, but you'll have to go find those links for yourself.


A Democratic Nation Founded on Christian Ideals

American Minute from William J. Federer

Awarded the Navy's medal of heroism during World War II and the Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage, he was the youngest elected President, serving just over 1,000 days before being shot. This was John F. Kennedy, born MAY 29, 1917.

Kennedy stated in his Inaugural, January 20, 1961: "I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago. The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."

John F. Kennedy continued: "Yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - The belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."

Writing to Brazil's President, Janio da Silva Quadros, January 31, 1961, John F. Kennedy stated: "Once in every 20 years presidential inaugurations in your country and mine occur within days of each other. This year of 1961 is signalized by the happy coincidence. At this time, each of us assumes challenging duties...To each of us is entrusted the heavy responsibility of guiding the affairs of a democratic nation founded on Christian ideals."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


Faith in the Dark

I read a good quote from my daily devotional book this morning:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King Jr.


Obama Still With Rev. Wright on Homosexuality


Apparently Barack Obama hasn't thrown his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright completely under the bus yet; he has a few toes left sticking out.

CNS News reports that Obama still agrees with Rev. Wright when it comes to endorsing a sexual practice that God makes clear in the Bible He doesn't approve of.

In an Apr. 10 interview with The Advocate magazine, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said "homophobic" messages are coming from the pulpits of black churches because blacks attend church more regularly than other people and interpret the Bible more traditionally. In the same interview, Obama praised the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor and long-time spiritual adviser, for being on the right side of the homosexual debate.

"There's plenty of homophobia to go around, but you have a unique perspective into the African-American community," Kerry Eleveld, news editor of The Advocate , a homosexual publication, said to Obama, during the interview.

"I don't think it's worse than in the white community," Obama replied. "I think that the difference has to do with the fact that the African-American community is more churched and most African-American churches are still fairly traditional in their interpretations of Scripture."


What a pity; these black churches are still believing what the Scriptures say, stuck in the Dark Ages.


There may be some in Bible-believing churches who hate or fear homosexuals, but I don't think that's true of most. But homosexual activists have redefined opposition to homosexual behavior for whatever reason as a "phobia."

"The new definition of 'homophobic' means anyone who stands against homosexuality as a sin is homophobic," Rev. Ken Hutcherson, founder and senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Wash., told Cybercast News Service. "That gives two choices to African-American pastors. They can either be Scriptural and demand righteousness from their flock, or they can drop Scripture and righteousness and support homosexuality."

Mychal Massie, chairman of the black conservative think tank Project 21, said following Christ's teaching doesn't make one homophobic.

"The Christian church is called upon to subscribe to and be obedient to the will of God," Massie told Cybercast News Service. "That means there are absolutes. Embracing the homosexual while rejecting the act and immorality of homosexuality is not to be confused with or viewed as traditional or conservative. It is to be viewed as following the very 'Word' of God."


Former football player and pastor Ken "The Hutch" Hutcherson was booed by teachers when he came to speak at his daughter's school class a few months ago. How's that for "tolerance?"

The only way any of us will truly find freedom from our addictive sins is to be "reborn" through Jesus Christ. We can't do that until we admit our sins and our need to be born again.

Churches that excuse and gloss over the sin of homosexuality are guilty of helping keep people captive to their sins. It would be no different if they excused gossip, slander, drunkenness, theft, or any other sin.

Jesus came to set the captives free. If a church isn't willing to join Jesus in that effort, they should just get out of the way and become a night club or something.


New York Plans to Recognize Out-Of-State Homosexual Unions as 'Marriage'

CNS News says New York is planning to recognize homosexual unions declared "marriage" in other states.

This will undoubtedly be used as leverage down the road to force other states to do the same. The cry will be "You homophobic states must catch up with the more enlightened states like New York." And the court system will be pressed to force other states to call this unnatural relationship by the name of the most sacred relationship in human experience: marriage.

An odd thing about this development in New York (odder than the concept of homosexual "marriage" itself) is that such a thing isn't legal in New York.

Gay marriage is not legal in New York, and the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, has said it can only be legalized by the Legislature. But the memo, based on a Feb. 1 New York Appellate Division court ruling, would recognize the marriages of New Yorkers who are legally wed elsewhere.

Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? Recognizing something created elsewhere and brought into your state as "legal" while the creation of that same thing remains ILLEGAL in your own state?

These recent developments in New York and California serve to highlight the urgency for passing a Federal Marriage Amendment Act to prevent marriage from being hijacked and undermined all across the country.

Barack Obama has already gone on record stating he will work to get rid of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) if he is elected to the presidency.

Even if Obama isn't elected, it's only a matter of time before homosexual activists press their activist judge allies in the court system to overturn even state constitutions.

These people have absolutely no respect or regard for law or constitutions. There will be nothing to stop this assault on marriage unless we spell it out in the nation's highest law: the U.S. Constitution.


Argus Covers All Three Republican U.S. Senate Candidates

The Argus Leader today has three stories on the three Republican candidates running for Senator Tim Johnson's U.S. Senate seat, one for each.

The article on stealth-candidate Charles Gonyo of Trent includes this:

According to his Web site, Gonyo's main concern is the "illegal immigration crisis that our country faces."

Gonyo would vote against any amnesty for illegal immigrants. He also would bar federal money to businesses "involved in the practice of aiding or abetting foreign illegal aliens."

He thinks English should be designated as the official language of the United States, and he thinks no federal money should be used to support foreign languages. He does think that schools can teach foreign languages "as individual courses within a school's curriculum."

A second article on Spearfish's Sam Kephart says this:
Kephart, 57, endorses a number of positions embraced by Republicans. He supports a strong military and the Second Amendment. But he thinks the political system is dysfunctional. That dysfunction threatens to leave the next generation with a staggering debt.

"The point is, they're going to inherit the bill - the Visa bill - and all the interest that our dysfunctional government is leaving them," he said.

Case in point is the recent passage of the farm bill. Kephart has no problem with providing disaster relief and a safety net to farmers, but he argues the bill contains too much pork.

To control pork spending, Kephart wants the House and Senate to establish earmark committees, which would review and rank projects.

The article on the South Dakota state representative Joel Dykstra of Canton has this to say:
Dykstra says the U.S. must increase domestic oil production, and he supports opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore areas to drilling.

He faults U.S. policy makers over the past several decades for hobbling the domestic refining and production industries.

"What this really boils down to is 30 years of inaction - 30 years of cheap oil and not providing for this day," he said.

Go and read them all for a quick summary on each of the candidates.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Horror of the 2000 Florida Recount

This is so like liberals: if you can't get reality to conform to your vision of how things ought to be, make a movie about it and retreat into fantasy land.

You may have heard about HBO's exercise in revision called "Recount" about the 2000 Florida hanging, dimpled and belching chads (or whatever) and how the evil Republicans "stole the election" from Al Gore.

This farce is apparently spawning a wave of suffering across the fruited plain, in the form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder, shell-chock and "repressed memories" of police intimidation and thuggery exploding back into the minds of fragile liberals.

As Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now" said, "The horror!"

NewsBusters relates some of these tales from poster called "Lorien" at Democratic Uncerground.

So why haven't we heard of these and other such incidents related by Lorien? An answer is provided:

I was shocked, however, that NONE of these local stories made it into the Orlando Sentinel or any other Florida papers or news outlets. Thousands of affidavits had been signed, but the media didn't give a crap.

...My next door neighbor is the news director for our local PBS station, and even she won't do a story about it because her boss-a repug-won't allow those kinds of stories. Neither she nor her top reporters even knew that these things had happened!

Go pull my other leg, now. Like the "mainstream" media wouldn't have rode that pony till it dropped? Like taxpayer-funded Democrat propaganda arm PBS wouldn't have beat that horse into a pulp?

Maybe even this PBS manager had enough sense to realize when the horse is dead and can never be resurrected.

Without resorting to cheating (more cheating than was already going on), there was no way Gore was ever going to win that recount. The votes he needed JUST. WEREN'T. THERE.

Have you ever noticed how spoiled children just can't let a "No" rest? They always have to keep bringing things up? Just can't live with cold, hard reality?

Notice any parallels with the 2000 Florida vote?


Pot for Medical Use Not Working Well in Calif.

Associated Press brings word of a federal bust of "medical" marijuana sellers in California:

The owner of six Southern California medical marijuana dispensaries, including one store linked to an accident that killed a motorist and paralyzed an officer, are facing federal drug and money laundering charges.

Virgil Grant III, 41, and his wife, Psytra Grant, 33, were arrested Tuesday and appeared in court but neither entered pleas, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office.

Authorities are still searching for employee Stanley Jerome Cole, accused of selling a pound of marijuana to undercover agents for $5,700, said Mrozek.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana for medical use claim it is necessary to help people with the pain of certain ailments, and that only smoking pot can do the job. That justification seems a little weak (as if it didn't before) after this bust.

The Seattle Times points out that marijuana was sold to an undercover agent who had no medical need for the pot:
Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents set up undercover buys at each of the facilities in which an operative with "no serious medical ailments" was sold medicinal marijuana, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

In addition to the possession and sales charges, and the money laundering charges, the sellers were also charged with selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

I thought legalizing the sale of pot was supposed to cause crime to go down, peace and love would break out uncontrollably across the planet and the common cold would be cured. Seems not.

There are alternative pain treatments, even ones that use THC, the substance in pot, that can be used for those with legitimate medical needs, without undermining our current drug enforcement efforts.

And as this incident shows, legalizing pot even for medical use brings MORE problems not less. I'm sure the dead motorist and the paralyzed police officer would agree.


Precepts That Prevent Suffering

American Minute from William J. Federer

He left Yale for four years to fight in the Revolutionary War. After graduation, he became a lawyer and taught school in New York.

Dissatisfied with the children's spelling books, he wrote the famous Blue-Backed Speller, which sold over one hundred million copies.

After twenty-six years of work, he published the first American Dictionary of the English Language. His name was Noah Webster, and he died MAY 28, 1843.

In his 1788 essay, "On the Education of Youth in America," printed in Webster's American Magazine, Noah Webster wrote: "Select passages of Scripture...may be read in schools, to great advantage. In some countries the common people are not permitted to read the Bible at all. In ours, it is as common as a newspaper and in schools is read with nearly the same degree of respect."

Noah Webster continued: "My wish is not to see the Bible excluded from schools but to see it used as a system of religion and morality."

In his book, The History of the United States, published in 1832, Noah Webster wrote: "All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Obama Confused About War, Family Relations

By now you've probably heard about Barack Obama's speech where he told the story of his uncle who was part of the Soviet Army that liberated Auschwitz...well, the uncle was supposedly an American soldier, even though the Soviets liberated Auschwitz...and some are saying that Obama's mother had no brother, and his father is a foreigner.

Just a few minor details out of whack there; it's not like Democrats are traditionally constrained by things like facts anyway.



Now CNS News and others are reporting that the Obama camp is saying it was actually Buchenwald, and it was his great uncle, not his uncle.

Obama's credibility was stretched pretty thin by his protestations that even after attending his church for 20 years, he didn't know about his pastor's racist, anti-American views.

Thinner still by Obama's inability to recognize threats to national security.

Even thinner still from his determination to gut the U.S. military.

I think that credibility is about as thin as cheap toilet paper now.

What's next? Will we hear about Obama being under sniper fire at Disneyland?


An Obamanation

Imagine if this had been Dan Quayle or Dick Cheney or President Bush! In a speech in New Mexico to the Democratic Party faithful, Barrack Hussein Obama said:

On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
Memorial Day is meant to honor those Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen that have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It would seem as though BO doesn’t know this.

Not content with this demonstration of ignorance, Obama went on to address the audience about a little recognized problem in military ranks:

We're going to have hundreds of thousands of new veterans coming in, many of them who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. They are not being diagnosed quickly enough, they're not getting the services that they need quickly enough. And, sadly, the group of veterans that are probably being most neglected in this area are women veterans. We've got to do a better job of creating facilities specifically for women veterans.
(Hundreds of thousands?!)

And what has caused all this stress among our female personnel? Fear of death or rape at the hands of militant Jihadists? Thoughts of beheading and other torture only to be left by the roadside to be discovered like a rotting road kill? No, that’s’ not the problem according to Obama. It is the harassment and sexual abuse that women in uniform suffer at the hands of their male comrades.

God help us if this man is ever Commander in Chief.


Video: IAEA Says Iran Hiding Facts About Nuclear Program


America's Future Depends Upon...

American Minute from William J. Federer

Twentieth-Century Fox made a motion picture in 1955 titled A Man Called Peter, about the life of U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall, born MAY 27, 1902.

Peter Marshall emigrated from Scotland, was ordained a Presbyterian minister, and became a U.S. citizen in 1938.

A novel titled Christy, written by his wife, Catherine, was made into a CBS television series.

His son, Peter Marshall, Jr., is the renowned author of such best-selling books as: The Light and the Glory, From Sea to Shining Sea and Sounding Forth The Trumpet, which chronicle the Providential expansion of liberty throughout American history.

On January 13, 1947, U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall stated: "The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights...The time is come...to hear about responsibilities...America's future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God's government."

Opening a session of the 80th Congress, July 3, 1947, Peter Marshall prayed: "God of our Fathers...may it be ever understood that our Liberty is under God and...to the extent that America honors Thee, wilt Thou bless America."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


Search For Martian Life Continues



Speaking of "the latest science," NASA reported Sunday that the Mars Phoenix Lander had landed in the northern hemisphere of the red planet and was beginning to send new photos of the Martian terrain to expectant scientists.

CNN reports
that

[t]he Phoenix's 90-day mission is to analyze the soils and permafrost of Mars' arctic tundra for signs of past or present life. The lander is equipped with a robotic arm capable of scooping up ice and dirt to look for organic evidence that life once existed there, or even exists now.
It is much too early to expect any new information about life on Mars but a prediction of future findings, and subsequent news reports, is not too difficult to make. I will go on record as predicting that within a few weeks, or months at most, we will see headlines proclaiming the tantalizing discovery of evidence that life once existed on Mars. The evidence will not be conclusive, but will be just enough to merit further research and investigations. That will not keep some “scientists” from making grand pronouncements and predictions of future discoveries of life, never mind that there is little to no evidence for such wild speculation. Only a few years later will research confirm that the early reports of life having been discovered on Mars were exaggerated and unwarranted by the evidence.

How can I be so confident of my predictions? Well, we’ve seen it all before, haven’t we? Beginning with the Mariner 4 mission to Mars in 1965 we were informed that the conditions (low barometric pressure, extreme temperatures, lack of magnetic fields, cosmic radiation, etc.) on the surface were incompatible with life excepting only some types of hardy bacteria. Further studies were needed. In 1976 Viking 1 was sent for the express purpose of investigating the soil for evidence of microorganisms. The presence of small amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia at first suggested the possibility of some bacterial form of life, but that was later disproved even though there have been scientists who maintain that life was indeed discovered by Viking 1. Those data are now being re-examined, but more data are needed.

In 1984 the discovery in Antarctica of ALH84110 piqued the imagination of scientists and lay persons alike with the finding of chains of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons within the rock found on the ice by explorers. It was believed to have been thrown from the surface of Mars millions or even billions of years ago and may have carried life from Mars to the then barren planet that was Earth (see Panspermia). Head lines were replete with giddy, almost hysterical announcements of

"Life on Mars? New Scientific Evidence "(NYT):

Life from Mars: The Discovery

More Evidence that Mars Rock Shows Signs of Life

Evidence of Ancient Martian Life in Meteroite

And then serious scientists began to do what scientists do. They looked closely at the supposed meteorite from Mars and by the turn of the millennium headlines had changed:

After 10 Years, Few Believe Life on Mars

Life on Mars claims disputed” (BBC)

Lodestones, Not Life” (The Economist)

But there remained just enough doubt (and hope) that NASA decided to pursue the elusive grail of life on Mars. And so we have news today of the latest effort, Phoenix Lander. Watch for hopeful NASA press releases and exaggerated headlines.

Though never overtly stated, the irrevocable finding of life on Mars would be, in the minds of many, the crippling blow to “creationists” and their claims of the Bible’s authority and inerrancy especially as relates to Genesis. I haven’t figured out just how they come to that conclusion, but it is clearly their hope. Personally, the finding of life other than on the earth (especially microscopic life) poses no threat at all to my beliefs.

I doubt there will ever be conclusive incontrovertible proof of life on Mars (or anywhere other than the earth) except as described in the BIble, but one thing I am sure of, there will never be enough evidence to the contrary to discourage those searching for extraterrestrial life.


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 5/27/2008



Topics include:
--Reporter Linda Douglass joining the Obama campaign
--Obama upset over Clinton/RFK comments
--Obama and the Decemberists
--The new American Idol
--Charlie Sheen and the new porn tax


For the Bible Tells Me So: The Real Story, Part 4

BY BOB ELLIS
DAKOTA VOICE


This is the fourth installment in a 8-part series examining the DVD "For the Bible Tells Me So."

Introduction - Why the DVD Deserves a Closer Look

Part 1 - Building Sympathy Without Exegisis

Part 2 - The Bible as a 'Truth Buffet'

Part 3 - Understanding the Bible...Or Rewriting It?

After another three minutes examining personal stories, the movie turns to the question of "Is it a choice?" This segment is complete with a cartoon figure called "Christian" who is thoroughly rebuked by "the latest science."

This "latest science" includes a rejection of several conventional theories about how homosexuality develops. FTBTMS doesn’t tell you that these positions were never disproved or refuted scientifically, but were merely rejected in favor of ideas that facilitate a "blameless" natural origin for homosexual behavior.

This "latest science" also attempts to normalize homosexuality as "natural" because the behavior has been observed in several animal species. What the "science" fails to admit in the film is that such behavior is the exception, not the rule. If homosexuality were the norm for pigs or elephants, there would soon be no pigs or elephants left, because they would not reproduce in sufficient numbers to maintain the species.

Sexuality was naturally designed by God for reproduction; when sexuality is expressed between two organisms which cannot reproduce with the physical equipment at hand, it can be said to be "unnatural."

This segment also examines studies of twins which show that in a majority of twins where homosexuality is present, both in the pair are homosexual. Presumably the film is referring to a study done by J. Michael Bailey in which he found a concordance rate of 52 percent. Omitted, however, is that Bailey’s second study reported a rate of only 20-37.5 percent. Bailey also admitted problems with the reliability of his first study.

Another consideration omitted from this segment is that if homosexuality does have an environmental cause, then both twins would most likely be exposed to those causes, and personality differences not withstanding, both would face the same environmental pressures. Further, if homosexuality were genetic, then since twins are practically identical genetically, then 100% of twins should be homosexual--but they aren't.

The next "latest science" we are subjected to claims that, because homosexuality is more prevalent among men who have several older brothers, after having had several boys, the mother's body sees boys as a "foreign object" and becomes more adept at "feminizing" them. I suppose all those heterosexuals who had several older brothers just somehow managed to escape this "feminization."

The cartoon "Christian" proffers the theory that it could be because mothers “baby” the youngest, but this is flatly and coldly rejected by the cartoon narrator: "No, that's not it."

Though this theory is only a couple of years old and has statistical problems (older brothers are not a factor for many homosexuals), FTBTMS is uncharacteristically certain here. In fact, overall, FTBTMS seems to offer lots of uncertain theories and ideas, but one thing is certain beyond all shadow of doubt: homosexuality does NOT have environmental cause or involve moral choice.

Meanwhile, the Bible provides no exception or excuse for not following God’s rules, even if a genetic predisposition for homosexuality did in fact exist. Every human being has inclinations toward some sins; for some, alcohol is a weakness; for others, infidelity; for still others, gambling or gossip. God allows no excuses for inclinations; He expects us to exercise our will toward obedience.

Human beings are created with intelligence and free will; they are not animals who only follow the dictates of instinct. God expects human beings, His creation, to follow His instructions, period. Yet this basic theological precept never receives even the briefest mention in FTBTMS.

Ex-gay ministries are targeted by "the latest science" segment with the statement that efforts to help homosexuals stop this behavior are bad because of the "guilt and shame" they instill.

Is "guilt and shame" appropriate when we've done something wrong? Is "guilt and shame" appropriate when we've cheated on a spouse, stolen something, lied, cheated, or done anything else that is wrong? Guilt and shame are appropriate and useful emotions for motivating us to correct behavior and make healthy changes in our lives.

Jesus says guilt is something all human beings have, and we will be convicted of it one day. Guilt is what we are supposed to feel when we're in the wrong, along with shame, and these emotions exist to point us to the repentance and change we need. We are not to feel good about what is shameful.

As the video recites a number of psychiatric associations that have changed their official positions that homosexuality should no longer be listed as a "disorder," it shies away from the fact that such changes are recent and go against millennia of established opinion.

You don't hear about the intimidation and relentless lobbying from homosexual activists that led to these politically motivated decisions. They also don't tell you that Dr. Robert Spitzer, who chaired the American Psychiatric Association committee responsible for this change, has since revised his thinking and now states that reparative therapies can work for some homosexuals.

FTBTMS asserts ex-gay ministries don't really allow the homosexual to change, that they're "still gay inside." Is the former alcoholic "still a drunk inside," even though they might have been dry for 20 years? Is the former philanderer "still promiscuous inside" even though they've been monogamous and faithful to one spouse for decades? Is the life-changing "new birth" Christ said in John chapter 3 is necessary to go to heaven really just a bad theory--in other words, even though Christ claims to change you, you're "still a sinner inside?"

Are we to surrender to our our lusts, or are we to exercise our free will, claiming even at great effort the freedom from sin that Christ bought for us on the cross?

In Part 5 next week: was the great sin of Sodom mentioned in the Bible homosexuality...or inhospitality?


Memorial Day should be Remembrance Day every day

By Gordon Garnos

AT ISSUE: Memorial Day May 26, 2008, is now history, just like all the other Memorial Days down through this great nation's vita since 1868 when General John Alexander Logan ordered May 30 to be an official day for decorating the graves of those killed in the Civil War. Then it was called Decoration Day and at some point over the years renamed Memorial Day. Most states adopted it as an official holiday. Most states changed it to the last Monday in May, starting in 1971, to follow a Federal schedule for holidays. But all of those Memorial Days were so much more than holidays, including the one last Monday. They are days of observance and remembrance.

WAS LAST MONDAY just another day for you? Memorial Day is a day, I believe, is under appreciated and under celebrated.

When I was growing up, on every Memorial Day, my parents would have previously bought some plastic flowers and, perhaps, some real ones in Chamberlain or Pierre and then head for the cemetery where both sides of my family are buried. We'd plant the flowers in memory of them. Then back to our apartment above our bakery to relax. There may have been a rare picnic and softball game with friends near the White River bridge south of town.

More than likely there was a Memorial Day program that we must have attended that day as well, but that part of the day escapes me. I'm sure there were speeches and, maybe parades in my home town on that day. For sure, there was no taking advantage of the "Great Memorial Day Sales," that we know of today, no working in the bake shop, these ignored the purpose of the day, which was to remember those who died in the many wars that our nation has fought.

UNFORTUNATELY, these days, Memorial Day, along with other holidays, is used for big sales and commercialism, the meaning behind this holiday is being lost, purposely ignored, or just plain forgotten. Do they do not care, or if they even know, about why there is something called Memorial Day?

Viewing speeches and ceremonies during the Memorial Days of my youth obviously didn't sink in very much. Nothing like they did and do since I am a veteran, like my brother and two of my uncles, Otto and Dick, and several cousins.

There were the ceremonies of several yesterdays, a quick look at Google, brought up dozens of them. Newspaper accounts of them made great reading:

"Tens of thousands of Americans flocked to monuments, cemeteries and parades to honor the dead..." "The President laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington..." "The names of 520 Confederate soldiers were recognized for the first time today with a granite marker..."

"FEDERAL AND STATE lawmakers held the first Memorial Day service at Tahoma National Cemetery, the newest in the nation..." "Boy and Girl Scouts decorated every grave in the cemetery with an American flag..." "A Navy band played at the Los Angeles National Cemetery as military personnel passed out snapdragons and lilies..." and "In Texas, crowds were smaller at lakes and state parks, apparently because of the smoke still hanging over the state from Mexican wildfires. Some people chose to go to the movies instead, and showings of 'Godzilla' were sold out in Dallas..."

Nor can we pass over the speeches, hundreds of them. No. Thousands, all the way from that first one by General Logan in 1868 to what was said last Monday across this great nation of ours. But none can compare to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. No. This wasn't a Memorial Day speech as it was given by our President in November 1863, five years before that first Declaration Day address. But Lincoln's speech, written on the back of an envelope, has been restated in vast numbers of those Memorial Day speeches since then.

"Four score and seven years ago..." How many times have we heard or read this?

A PART OF THAT read, "But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate... we cannot consecrate... we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it..." A little further down Lincoln wrote, "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." "Will little note, nor long remember..." Haunting. Will last Monday's Memorial Day speech have little note and not be long remembered? Or, didn't you even hear it?.....

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.


 
Clicky Web Analytics