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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited

 

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is Pickens' Plan Good for US?

Who hasn’t seen T. Boone Pickens on TV promoting his plan for American energy independence? Stating “I’ve been an oil man all my life,” Pickens goes on to claim that he has a plan that will free America from the grip of foreign oil, indeed, from the “addiction” to oil in general. The details are explained at his web site, pickensplan.com.

Pickens plan is simple enough in theory—wind turbines for electrical power and natural gas for vehicles. Natural gas vehicles, you ask? Actually, yes, they do exist. But, it isn’t as simple as it might seem. While natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are definitely cleaner burning than gasoline and natural gas is in abundant supplies in the U.S., there are still problems with increased space requirements for the storage cylinders (resulting in less inside room and trunk space in the cars) and the range between fill-ups is only half of a gasoline-powered car. Finding a place to fill the natural gas cylinders is also a problem. There are suppliers for equipment for producing compressed natural gas at home to fill the tanks of your automobile.

Wind turbine power is a little dicier. Pickens admits that it would take thousands of wind generators to make any significant difference and these would have to be strategically located in areas where the average wind velocities are consistent and predictable. Pickens has been a very successful entrepreneur dealing in such diverse activities as oil and natural gas, municipal water supplies and, surprise, wind turbines.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, David Lazarus had this (T. Boone Pickens could gain from his energy plan, but so might we):


The so-called Pickens Plan would first entail a hefty investment -- more than $1 trillion -- in wind farms on an unusually breezy stretch of countryside extending from Texas to North Dakota.

The wind power would replace the natural gas now used by power plants to generate electricity. The country currently gets about 22% of its juice from natural gas.

All that freed-up natural gas, in turn, would be applied to fueling millions of vehicles that now run on gasoline but would be converted -- it's not clear how, or on whose dime -- to run instead on compressed natural gas.

[…]

[Pickens] and his business partners are investing an estimated $12 billion to build the world's largest wind farm in Texas. That facility, needless to say, would play a pivotal role in meeting the nation's newfound demand for wind power.

Meanwhile, Pickens' more-than-$4-billion hedge fund, BP Capital, is invested in a variety of natural gas companies. He also sits on the board of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., North America's largest provider of vehicular natural gas.

'Mr. Pickens is a very intelligent man,' said Don Martin, vice president of Enmark Energy, a Texas oil and natural gas company. 'People in the oil and natural gas business are rich for a reason. They know where the money is.'


Junkscience.com has done an excellent job parsing Picken's assertions vis-a-vis his television ads (Is T. Boone Pickens 'Swiftboating' America?).
Author Steven Milloy writes, for example
'In 1970, we imported 24 percent of our oil. Today, it's nearly 70 percent and growing,' he intones.

Aside from the fact that the Department of Energy (DOE) puts the import figure at a more moderate 58 percent, Pickens gives the impression that imported oil is scary because it all comes from the unstable Mideast.

His TV commercials feature images of American soldiers fighting in Iraq and he likens the annual $700 billion cost of foreign oil to 'four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.'

But hold the phone. Only 16 percent of our imported oil comes from the Persian Gulf — barely up from 13.6 percent in 1973, according to the DOE. Imports from OPEC countries are actually down — from 47.8 percent in 1973 to 44.5 percent in 2007.

Contrary to Pickens' assertion that oil imports are growing, the DOE expects oil imports to decrease by 10 percent by 2030.

Pickens insists that he is doing all of this “for America” and I have no reason to doubt him. Where is it written that working to help your country isn’t valid unless you end up in the poorhouse? But, when self-interests intersect with national interest it is prudent to examine the plan closely and ask a lot of questions. Many are doing just that and the answers are sometimes self-serving, sometimes patriotic and sometimes a little exagerated, but it appears that Pickens may have a plan that could become a part of a comprehensive energy policy that moves us toward energy independence in the future. And, T. Boone Pickens and his partners could do alright in the process.

Other related stories:

Business Week

Treehugger.com

The Hill


Only a Virtuous People are Capable of Freedom

American Minute from William J. Federer

On JULY 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first U.S. Postmaster General, a position he held prior to the Revolution under the British Crown.

Franklin established a volunteer fire department, a circulating public library, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and a militia. He set up the lighting of city streets and coined the electrical terms "positive" and "negative."

On June 28, 1787, as Governor of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin hosted the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he moved: "That henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning."

Franklin wrote April 17, 1787: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

Benjamin Franklin wrote his epitaph: "THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - Printer. Like the cover of an old book, Its contents torn out, And stripped of its lettering and gilding, Lies here, food for worms; Yet the work itself shall not be lost, For it will (as he believed) appear once more, In a new, And more beautiful edition, Corrected and amended By The AUTHOR."

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.


Video: Are the Needs of Kids or Adults More Important?

"Ten Persuasive Answers to the Question 'Why not gay marriage?'"

Q9: Are the Needs of Kids or Adults More Important?

Point 1: Is same-sex marriage about the needs of children, or the wants of adults?

Point 2:"The history of divorce in our society is replete with unwarranted assumptions that adults have made about children simply because such assumptions are congenial to adult needs and wishes." - Judith Wallerstein, "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce", 2000

Point 3: The man who seeks a trophy wife, and the homosexual couple, are a lot alike: both want what they want, and expect everyone else to make adjustments.

Point 4: No society anywhere has been able to sustain itself with a buffet-like mentality to family



Kumbaya falls flat in Berlin

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

The headline on the website of German magazine Der Spiegel about Barack Obama's speech in Berlin: "Huge Crowds Left with Mixed Feelings."

Two hundred thousand turned out for the speech, but CNN's Candy Crowley reported an "absence of euphoria" at the event.

As Senator Obama went global with "Yes, we can" and "Change we can believe in" he left at least some of the horde in Berlin scratching their heads. Perhaps these Germans, out to hear what all the excitement was about, were looking for leadership and substance rather than kumbaya.

What they got was the global version of "There is not a White America and a Black America and Latino America and Asian American America -- there is the United States of America."

Obama spoke not just as a "proud citizen of the United States but a fellow citizen of the world."

His message: "The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."

At least some of the Germans listening to Obama surely sensed there was something problematic with what he was saying. His analogy of the tearing down of the Berlin wall to tearing down all lines of distinction between nations and religions was obviously fractured. The Berlin wall was a political wall that divided one people. It separated Germans from other Germans, a far cry from distinctions between nations and religions that Obama apparently wants to obliterate.

The German, French and British each have a strong sense of national history and identity.

Efforts for a European Union constitution that would establish links in Europe going beyond economics and extending to politics have thus far failed.

Perhaps the realities of Europe delivered an unanticipated surprise to the slick marketing machine driving the Obama presidential campaign.

Unlike in the United States, where you drive coast to coast and hear one language, where national culture is at least as influential and pervasive as regional differences, Europe consists of different countries. When you get to national borders, languages and cultures change.

For Obama, differences seem to be what cause the world's problems. We endlessly hear the story of his mixed-race background and his translation of his personal history into a message of the meaninglessness of difference.

It may come as a surprise to Obama, but for Christians, for Muslims, and for Jews, their differences do not amount to barriers to a better world but sources of meaning that define themselves and the world.

They want to be Christians, Muslims, and Jews. They just want protection. They want to be able to be who they are and live peacefully and securely. Those disturbing this security are the problem. Not the differences.

Which gets to Obama's very problematic idea about freedom.

He does not seem to grasp that the beauty of freedom is its respect for differences and creation of conditions, legal and political, which allow them to exist, flourish, and provide benefits to all. In fact, politicians with agendas to "unify," who think they know who and what everyone should be, are invariably those who threaten freedom.

Obama used the occasion of this speech to apologize to Europe about his country. "We've made a lot of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions." But, covering his bases, he made a point to follow up and assure the crowd that ". . . I know how much I love America."

What every American should demand from Obama is clarification of what, if anything, he sees unique about the America that he claims to loves so much. For a man whose ideal seems to be the global village, with no barriers or differences, is there anything special about the United States that makes it distinct from other nations -- that defines it as uniquely great?

What is the distinction between the "proud citizen of the United States" and the "fellow citizen of the world." Those in Berlin heard none and many went home legitimately confused.

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, July 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Overturns Homosexual 'Hate Crime' Law



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jul. 25 2008 01:36 PM EDT


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed out language that expanded the state's hate crime law to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

The top state court upheld a November 2007 ruling by the Commonwealth Court, which had struck down the 2002 amendment as unconstitutional because it "did not retain its original purpose as it moved through the enactment process." The Commonwealth Court ruled that the statute violated the state Constitution because it was added to a bill that originally dealt with agricultural crimes.

Eleven members of a Christian evangelist group called Repent America were arrested and charged under the expanded "ethnic intimidation" law in 2004 for picketing at a Philadelphia event for homosexuals.

Although the charges were later dropped, Repent America director Michael Marcavage and six other members challenged the law.

Marcavage praised the Supreme Court's decision.

"Having been arrested, jailed and charged with a 'hate crime' for preaching the Gospel, I am elated that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling in striking down Pennsylvania's expanded 'hate crimes' law," he said in a statement.

Marcavage pledged that his group will remain vigilant as they expect state lawmakers to make another attempt at passing a "hate crimes" law.

"The methods used by the Pennsylvania legislature in passing the 'hate crimes' bill were extremely devious and yet another chilling example as to how far politicians are willing to go to silence Christian speech that they would violate our own state Constitution to do it."

Members of Congress have also considered expanding federal hate crime laws to include "sexual orientation." The House of Representatives passed its version of The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in May 2007. A similar bill was also introduced in the Senate last year.

A large majority of critics of the legislation are pastors and religious leaders who argue that the hate-crime laws would infringe on their freedom of speech and incriminate them for expressing their moral views on issues such as homosexuality.

A pastor who delivered a sermon telling his congregation that homosexuality is a sin could be held accountable for a hate crime if someone commits a crime against a homosexual person after hearing his sermon, religious leaders say.

Since the motive behind a hate crime could only be proved by showing that the suspect had hateful thoughts against a particular group of people when he committed the crime, critics say the legislation would criminalize thoughts.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore of Foundation for Moral Law, which represented the members of Repent America in the case, said he was happy that in this case the court prevented "corrupt politicians" from sneaking the law into the state Constitution.

"Preaching to homosexuals about the sin of sodomy should not be made a 'thought crime' in Pennsylvania or any other state."

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Convicted Murderer Endorses Obama

From the LA Times, convicted murderer Dale Leo Bishop endorsed Barack Obama before being executed for murdering a friend with a claw hammer in 1998.

"For those who oppose the death penalty and want to see it end, our best bet is to vote for Barack Obama because his supporters have been working behind the scenes to end this practice."

With endorsements like this one and ones from terrorist organizations, need I say more?


Hyperion Refinery Opposition Dealt Legal Setback

From KELO, more sanity from the court system (will wonders never cease?).

Circuit Judge Steven Jensen has ruled that the group "Save Union County" has no legal standing in the court effort against the proposed Hyperion refinery near Elk Point.

Circuit Judge Steven Jensen said Save Union County cannot stay in the fray because it owns no land that would be affected by the proposed $10 billion Hyperion Resources refinery.

Ed Cable, who owns land about three miles away, was allowed to proceed with his opposition to a zoning change from agricultural to an industrial use.

I disagree with Cable, but at least he, unlike the radical environmentalist groups themselves, has justification to fight the effort legally. Even his concerns, however, must be grounded in the real world and not just "I don't like that."

Environmental extremist groups have gotten away with this kind of thing for too long. They interfere with projects that will benefit the entire country while hiding behind a do-gooder shield of environmental protection. In the end, their agenda has more to do with opposition to "Big Oil" and capitalism in general than it does concern over the plants and animals.

This Save Union County group is a local group, but they have the backing (or are the puppet of?) of the San Francisco National Refinery Reform Campaign.

Notice that everywhere Save Union County shows, up, The National Refinery Reform Campaign shows up to act as their mouthpiece. Coverage from Omaha.com, KELO, the Sioux City Journal, the Argus Leader and others illustrate this hand-in-hand "cooperation." This piece from the Global Community Monitor also lists the extremist Sierra Club is involved, as well.

If you check out the Refinery Reform Campaign website, apparently there isn't a good or acceptable refinery out there. The name of their group should more appropriately be "National Refinery Opposition Campaign.

From KELO, Denny Larson with the Refinery Reform Campaign claims they would support a "green" refinery, which is what Hyperion says the Elk Point facility will be.
Larson says, "A green refinery is great, we would support that, but it starts with the proper location, and this doesn't appear to be the proper location for this type of project."

Yet you see at Omaha.com that in the eyes of this extremist group, there is no such animal:
"A refinery that processes crude oil cannot be green. It can be greener," he said. "They emit millions of pounds of air pollutants that can pose a serious risk to human health and the environment, and impair the quality of life of nearby communities."

He's talking out of one side of his mouth over here, and the other side over there. A reasonable person would be for a facility that is as clean as possible, so Larson wants to appear "reasonable." Yet he slipped in the Omaha.com quote and revealed that there is no refinery he would support.

They also claim, "Oh, it's just the wrong location." What would be the right location? If we tried to put it in a more industrial area, the objection would surely be: "Oh, that would be too much concentration in an already over-industrialized area."

Nothing will please environmental extremists except successfully impeding progress.

Society's luxury of entertaining these extremists is over. Our $4.00 a gallon gasoline is finally starting to make energy the priority it always should have been.

It's time to push these anti-capitalist extremists out of the way and get about the business of bringing America's energy policy into the 21st Century.


Christopher Laurie, Son of Pastor Greg Laurie, Dead in Car Accident



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jul. 25 2008 09:16 AM EDT


The son of prominent evangelist Greg Laurie died in a car accident Thursday morning.

Christopher Laurie, 33, was killed when his vehicle crashed into the back of a Caltrans truck on the eastbound 91 Freeway near Serfas Club Drive in Corona, Calif. He was on his way to Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside.

"Please pray for Pastor Greg and the Laurie family," says Friday's devotional by Pastor Greg Laurie, who leads Harvest, a 15,000-member church. "Christopher Laurie ... was called home to be with the Lord."

Christopher served as the art director at Harvest for the past three years.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Brittany, daughter, Stella, and his brother, Jonathan. His wife is expecting another daughter in November.

The accident comes just weeks before the well-known evangelist, Greg Laurie, is scheduled to lead his 19th annual Southern California Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium, Aug. 15-17.

Plans for a memorial service have not yet been announced.

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Obama's Media-Packaged Tour of Others' Duty

By Marie Jon'

Presumptive Democrat nominee Barack Obama's trip to Afghanistan, Iraq and Europe is all part and parcel of a full blown media event that most intuitive Americans will view as contrived and overdone; an event to compensate for Sen. Obama's lack of experience and extraordinarily thin political portfolio. The media has helped orchestrate this publicity stunt to attract attention to their chosen candidate. There is no more doubt that they are in the tank for the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee.

Many people have been awestruck by Barack's suave manners and good looks. However, he does not have the stature of a wise and knowing candidate. With a mere three years in the Senate, it is almost laughable that Obama is actually being seriously considered for the most important job in the world. "There is no there there." It truly has been silly season this election year and it is amazing (sadly, not in a good way) what the DNC political machine has accomplished.

Everything about Barack appears to be a continual drama, right down to the his racist bigoted religious mentors, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Father Phleger, and kinship with Rev. Otis Moss, III, of Trinity United Church of Christ. The church is part of a denomination that belongs to the far left National Council of Churches. The NCC is the largest gathering in the religious community with a long record of supporting Communist regimes.

Obama's youth voters are losing enthusiasm for the man who was given rockstar status during the early stages of his campaign. Our youth are very ideological. They know that Obama has not kept his word. In fact, all Americans are beginning to see a very self-centered elitist posing amongst our troops — the same troops he denigrates behind their backs.

Simply put, our military heroes are enjoying the well-deserved attention that comes with Sen. Obama's trip to the Middle East. Obama has no credibility with the military families. People within the armed services are a very tightly-knit community. They see Obama as a phony audacious Chicago street organizer who has risen to power using whatever means were available to him. They do not want Obama as their Commander-In-Chief. His strong disdain for the military is apparent. It really is pathetic that NBC News refers to Obama's trip as a "Tour of Duty."

When Katie Couric interviewed Obama he still insisted that "the surge didn't work." Obama's words reflected his refusal to accept reality because his "friends" at the Daily KOS and MOVEON.ORG won't let him. By his own willingness to undercut the importance of the success of the surge strategy, Obama comes across as just another political partisan hack. What type of military strategy will Obama use in Afghanistan if he can't see the forest from the trees?

Obama voted against funding for the very troops that he claims to support. It's obvious that Obama plans to continue to reject the advice of General David Petraeus. In essence, he is putting his own political expedience, or lack thereof, ahead of victory. Obama lacks the strength to stand up for our troops during a time of war. Our service men and women find this to be disrespectful.

Unfortunately, during this whirlwind trip, our citizenry will not be spared the visuals of Obama in Europe being hailed as their favorite American counterpart socialist. "The socialist connections of Obama and the Democratic Party have certainly not been featured in the Washington Post columns of Harold Meyerson, who happens not only to be a member but a vice-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America" — Cliff Kincaid

Will the same media ever ask Obama what was implied when he mentioned the need for a "Civilian Security Force" in a recent speech? Just as he purged his website concerning the surge in Iraq, there are no longer any references to the "Big Brother" comments.

Excerpts from The American Thinker: "What Barack Obama learned from the Communist Party"

"American voters must make up their minds about what Barack Obama really believes in, if anything. His recent rhetorical concessions to the center further muddy the waters. So we must look to his past teachers and associates for help in understanding the inner Obama.

"In his first series of national campaign commercials since securing the delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential campaign, Barack Obama struggles to re-introduce himself. Images focus on the story of lessons learned from his grandparents and his mother, described in his book Dreams from my Father as "a girl from Kansas.... dab-smack, landlocked center of the country," in towns "too small to warrant boldface on a roadmap." Speaking in Independence, Missouri, Obama tells his audience: "patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy." Full Article

One thing is becoming very obvious about this election year. In spite of his good looks and personality, Obama has a battle on his hands. The polls show that he is in a virtual tie with the older gentlemen, Sen. McCain, who has a huge lead (63%-26%) on the question of who has a better knowledge of world affairs, and a sizable lead (50%-41%) on who is more capable of handling a major crisis.

Obama reaffirmed his sixteen-month deadline to pull our troops out of Iraq. It is plain and clear that he is not interested in what Gen. Petraeus or anyone else of military importance has to say concerning Iraq or Afghanistan. Obama has his own staff of far left political advisors who tell him what to think and say.

David Axelrod is one of Obama's speechwriters. His mother, Myril Axelrod, was a radical leftist to the core. She wrote for the City Journal, whose founder used Communists on his staff to help spread his radical liberal views.

The line of demarcation between the ill-prepared liberal senator known only for his oratorical skills, and the bone fide war hero will be evident. Obama's visit to Iraq will only help to underscore the intelligence and impressive resume of Senator McCain.

The media spotlight of Obama giving speeches in Europe could backfire and lead many American voters to focus on the one man that has been scrutinized, vetted, and approved by veterans and our troops, Senator John McCain. As Obama flies from one place to the next, in essence he is saying "look at me, I'm presidential timber." This media blitz is very reminiscent of Sen. John Kerry showing up at the 2004 Democrat Convention with an elaborate staged entrance and backdrop behind him, and saying "I'm John Kerry, reporting for duty!"

Think long and hard before you decide which man is worthy of becoming President of the United States and Commander-In-Chief of our military.

----------*----------

Marie Jon' is a political/religious-based writer and founder of http://www.drawingclose.org/ — a sister website to RenewAmerica. Marie extends her hand of welcome; visit DrawingClose and receive your free gift of salvation by taking an online Bible study. Join Christians from all over the world by becoming a free member of GO Fellowship. The website is a nondenominational gathering of believers.

Marie's writings have appeared on many sites, including The New Media Journal, ChronWatch, and ABCNews, to name a few. She is a regular columnist for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse, The Daley Times Post, RenewAmerica, The Conservative Voice, Newsbull, GreatAmericanJournal.com, Radiofreewesthartford.com, Conservativecrusader.com, RightSideNews.com and WesternFrontAmerica.com.

Marie brings a refreshing and spirited point of view that is reflected in her writings, as well as genuine and spiritual insights regarding God and his teachings as they pertain to our modern society. Marie is a nurse, a lay student of the Bible, and a patriot. She is an advocate for American troops serving abroad, as well as the Blue and Gold Star Mothers of America and their families. Marie has appeared as a guest with political talk show host Bruce Elliott on WBAL-1090 AM (Saturdays 5AM-9AM EST).

© Copyright 2008 by Marie Jon'


NewsBusted Conservative Comedy 7/25/2008

Topics in this episode:

--U.S. in a recession? Yes according to Barack Obama

--Fox News anchor Chris Wallace slams MSNBC for mixing news and opinion

--A prison reality show?

--Lindsay Lohan designs leggings

--The cop from the Village People goes to the hospital

--"Rock of Love" star Bret Michaels and winner Ambre Lake break up!

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


Three Things to Know About Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Three Things to Know About Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

1) Federal action is needed to restore confidence.
2) The companies are creations of big-government policies.
3) Breaking up the companies is the best long-term fix.



Video: How do we know what kind of families kids need?

"Ten Persuasive Answers to the Question 'Why not gay marriage?'"

Q8: How do we know what kind of families kids need?

Point 1: We know from experience (easy divorce, no-fault divorce, single parenting by choice, cohabitation, the sexual revolution, fatherlessness)

Point 2: No human well-being measure has been elevated by all this experiementation over the past 30 years

Point 3: "It is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support child development." - Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002

3a: How many children in homosexual homes are living with both biological parents?

Point 4: "Most researchers now agree that together these studies support the notion that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents" - Center for Law and Social Policy, May 2003

Point 5: Same-sex families are less than best because they deny children their mother or father


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homosexual Activists Try to Rewrite Law, History

It may come as a surprise to some but I'm in favor of repealing the military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they don't bring their sexual practices to the attention of military authorities.

I'm in favor of returning to following the law, something we haven't done since President Clinton forced this asinine policy on the military in 1993.

You see, the law which says homosexual behavior is incompatible with military service has never been repealed. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been an official policy to ignore the law.

Let me say that again: the President of the United States issued an official policy requiring that the law be ignored.

But those who currently seek to repeal the policy don't want to go back to following the law; they want to change the law and allow homosexuals to serve in the military openly.

Having served 10 years in the military, with some of that under field conditions, I understand first hand the close, intimate quarters in which military members are forced to live. These can range from small rooms with two or more soldiers, open-bay tents, bunkers, foxholes and Humvees for days on end.

The military doesn't quarter male and female soldiers together for the same reason homosexuals shouldn't be quartered with members of the same sex.

When you're living in close, cramped quarters with danger nearby, the last thing you need to worry about is sexual attention or advances from someone--especially from the same sex. This type of stress hurts morale and unit cohesion.

Homosexuality can also lead to security risks, specifically through blackmail and coercion. It is not unknown for enemy agents to blackmail a soldier to provide military secrets in order to keep their sexual proclivities secret.

One might say that allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military would do away with this threat, but this ignores the fact that while someone might feel at liberty to reveal their sexual preference to those serving with them, telling Mom and Dad back home in Kansas might be a different matter.

Homosexuals have health risks which are significantly higher than those faced by heterosexuals. In addition to a higher risk of AIDS (the CDC reports that that 72% of male AIDS cases spring from homosexual activity), homosexuals have higher rates of other STDs, higher rates of anxiety and depression, higher rates of substance abuse, and higher rates of suicide.

The job of the military is to defend the United States and kill bad guys as quickly and efficiently as possible. The ability of the military to do that should not be degraded by unnecessary increases in health problems among service members.

Military service is not a right, like freedom to say what we want or worship as we want; military service is a privilege reserved to those who meet a specific mental, physical, and moral standard. Despite the disparaging comments from some on the Left, military members are usually a cut above the average civilian. There's a good reason for that: their effectiveness can mean life and death for their fellow soldiers, and life and death for this country.

Unfortunately, homosexual activists are not only willing to risk military effectiveness, they are willing to attempt a revision of history to accomplish their goals.

According to the Family Research Council, Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) tried to misrepresent history to further his homosexual advocacy.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) insisted, "We've had gays in the American military from the first unit that was ever formed." Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) echoed this astonishing claim, saying that "gays have served in every conflict, every war" this country has fought.

In fact, Shays was even more specific, noting a patriotic event in his district at which they read the names of "everyone who lost his life in the French and Indian War--some of whom were gay."

That may in fact be true.

Any military at any time will have people within the ranks who do not obey military laws and regulations (just as any society will have citizens who do not obey the laws). Such a fact in no way proves the behavior was approved of or even accepted. There are and always have been adulterers in the military, too, but like homosexuality, adultery is incompatible with military service.

But the worst historical revisionism was committed by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), who all but said that General George Washington would have condoned homosexuality in the military.
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) declared that allowing homosexuals to serve would be an expression of the high value Americans place on the principle of equal opportunity. He even claimed the father of our country, George Washington, as an ally who believed that "the way to the top should be open to everyone." In context, that referred to the respect Washington had for enlisted men in relation to officers--but Sestak apparently would have us believe that Washington felt the same way about equal opportunity for homosexuals.

As the FRC piece points out, this is flatly incorrect. We have records from that period, including military records.

One such record tells us of the court martial of Lt. Frederick Gotthold Enslin "for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier."

It also says General Washington approved of the sentence, which would be what we call "Dishonorable Discharge" today.
"His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return..."

Washington was a committed Christian, a man of prayer and a man of the Bible who would not tolerate vice of any kind--not even profanity. This record is consistent with Washington's record and reputation.

Homosexual activists are determined to have what they want, without regard to the welfare of families or even national defense.

The American people must stand against this decay, both in our society and the bulwark which defends our society--even if our Congress is too spineless to do so.


Chris Lien: What I Learned in ANWR

From Republican U.S. House of Representatives Candidate Chris Lien of Rapid City, South Dakota:
===========================
On July 14th, I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska and tour its North Slope Region. The reason for the trip was in response to hearing so many people in South Dakota ask me the question, "what can we do about the rising costs of gas and fuel?" My answer has been, time and time again, "responsibly increasing the supply to meet the demand." To accomplish this, I believe that we need to take ownership and accountability right here in the United States; ownership of our reserves and accountability to the environment.

Growing up in a family business that extracts natural resources from the ground has taught me the importance of seeing first-hand how any exploration and production operation might be handled. Additionally, I've learned that, to truly find a solution, you must get the facts from every side of the argument.

It is true that I have been in favor of increasing the supply of energy we hold in the United States. It is also true that I was in favor of allowing for the exploration and production on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). However, I've found that merely doing research through the internet and media has never been as accurate as doing it on the ground in the place where it happens. Nothing tells the story better than those who live it every day. Therefore, I made the choice to pay my way and travel to the source with six other congressional challengers last week.



Left: Aerial view of the proposed drilling site, the Coastal Plain

As a bit of context, we were able to fly over the southern portion of ANWR. How absolutely breathtaking it was. After seeing it firsthand, I am pleased to know that this portion (92% of the entire region) will never be open to exploration. However, as we made it further north and dropped down over the Brooks Range, the landscape changed dramatically; from mountains and trees, fields and rivers… to a boggy tundra. That's when we knew we had made it to the Coastal Plain. It was here that we had the great fortune of landing in the native village of Kaktovik (population 250) and were able to speak directly to those who live there. This was precisely why we made the journey; to hear firsthand from those who live the issue.

Left: Chris examining the boggy tundra of ANWR…

Over the course of our three-day journey, we were able to meet with Alaskan natives, oil workers, villagers, proponents, opponents, engineers, environmentalists, wildlife biologists, government officials (including Governor Palin) and people on the street. We were able to stand on the tundra; walk alongside the caribou and run from the mosquitoes. Every preference on the spectrum of this issue was explored throughout Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kaktovik, Prudhoe Bay, and Barrow.

Regardless of the region, we found that nearly 75% of everyone we met was in favor of exploration and production on the Coastal Plain. However, the most impactful testimony I received was from a native in Barrow standing at a community picnic with his family. I was able to ask him directly if he thought this was the right thing for his family and our country. His answer was an unequivocal "yes".

While on the flight home, I had several hours to reflect on the trip. When I got off the airplane in Rapid City, I couldn't help but ask myself, "If the people of Alaska believe it's the right thing to do, why can't congress figure it out?" Then it dawned on me again - that's the reason I chose to take this journey…not only to Alaska, but to Congress as well.

-Chris


Appeals Court Overturns Internet Porn Law



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 24 2008 11:57 AM EDT

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a 1998 law intended to protect children from viewing sexually explicit material online was unconstitutional.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned the Child Online Protection Act, ruling that the law was overly broad and vague. The court, which days ago tossed a fine imposed against CBS for the 2004 Janet Jackson Super Bowl striptease incident, also ruled that the law violated the First Amendment because it would suppress a large amount of material that adults have a constitutional right to receive.

Tuesday's ruling upholds a March 2007 decision by a lower district court that also found the law unconstitutional.

Steven Fitschen, president of National Legal Foundation, which filed a friend-to-the-court brief in the case, said the founders of the Constitution would be "rolling over in their graves" to learn of the ruling.

"The first amendment is not designed to protect pornography," said Fitschen to The Christian Post. "All of this stuff could be banned and criminalized. They have made such a mess of their interpretation of the First Amendment."

He said that Congress for years has made a sincere effort to protect children from online pornography but have often been set back by courts.

The challenge was filed by American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing gay newspapers, sexual health educators and Salon Media Group, against the federal government.

The Child Online Protection Act, passed by Congress but never enacted, would make it a crime for commercial Internet sites to make pornography available to minors. Under the law, violators would be fined up to $50,000 a day.

Attorneys for ACLU have argued that the law restricts free speech and that online content filters would be a more effective way of controlling offensive content from U.S.-based Web sites and abroad.

The government has countered that filters are not a guarantee because only about 50 percent of households have the service. Furthermore, the government has contended the filters would act as the "belt" keeping minors from accessing harmful material on the Web and COPA would provide additional safeguards as the “suspenders.”

The Justice Department said it is reviewing the case before taking the next step.

"We are disappointed that the court of appeals struck down a congressional statute designed to protect our children from exposure to sexually explicit materials on the Internet," said the U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller.

The case could head back up to the Supreme Court for the third time if the federal government appeals. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional but sent the case back to a district court to determine whether "technological developments" have affected the law's constitutionality. Justices, however, were locked in a tight 5-4 vote over the issue.

Fitschen believes it's "possible" that the Supreme Court, which is now comprised of a different group of justices, might rule differently if the case reaches them this time around.

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Homosexual Bishop Refuses Call to Resign, Repent



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 24 2008 10:43 AM EDT


The openly gay bishop at the center of much of the divisions in the Anglican Communion rejected a conservative bishop's call for him to resign in order to restore unity.

"Those calling for my resignation seem to be under the impression that if Gene Robinson went away, that all would go back to being 'like it was,' whatever that was! Does ANYONE think that if I resigned, this issue would go away?!" New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson said Wednesday in his blog.

"We are not going away, as much as some would like us to," Robinson added, referring to gays and lesbians.

On Tuesday, the Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, called for Robinson’s resignation "for the sake of the Church," saying his behavior violated "the norms of the Anglican Communion."

The New Hampshire bishop has lived openly with another man for 20 years and had a civil ceremony in June 2008. The Anglican Communion, meanwhile, rejects homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.

“Three hundred bishops have stayed away from this conference because of Gene Robinson. Shouldn’t Gene Robinson resign to allow the 300 bishops to come back to the house?” the Sudanese archbishop said as he also called for repentance from the American bishops who supported Robinson's consecration in 2003.

Robinson received news of the Sudanese bishop's call just before making an address at the University of Kent's Law School's Centre for the Study of the Law, Gender and Sexuality. He was there as Anglican bishops from around the world were meeting for the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference at the university. Robinson was not invited to attend Lambeth but is in Canterbury on the outskirts of the event.

Although he said in his latest blog that he has decided not to make an official response to the Sudanese archbishop's remark, he reflected on the remark in two long paragraphs.

"Everyone seems to forget that I am not here representing myself, but rather all the people of the Diocese of New Hampshire, with whom it is my privilege to minister in Christ's name," Robinson wrote. "They have called me to minister with them as their Bishop, and suggestions that I resign ignore the vows that I have taken to serve my flock in New Hampshire."

He added that his denied representation at the Lambeth meeting also deprives his entire diocese of "a seat at the table."

The Anglican spiritual head, Dr. Rowan Williams, had withheld invitations from "bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion" when they were sent out last year.

Some U.S. Episcopal bishops are sponsoring "Fringe" events for Anglican bishops and their spouses of the global Communion to meet Robinson during Lambeth. Attendees will hear how he was consecrated and testimonies from bishops who voted for and against his consecration.

Robinson will share his own testimony but he insists the event will not be a "sell job."

"My goal is to talk about my own life and journey in Christ in such a way that those who are listening will perceive that the God I know in my own life is the same God they know in THEIR lives," he said. "Then we can wrestle with the faithful differences we have in interpreting that God's will for us and for God's church."

More than 200 bishops are boycotting the Lambeth Conference mainly in protest of the invitation of bishops who supported Robinson's consecration and the Communion's failure to discipline those who participated in the 2003 event. Conservative bishops contend the U.S. church body along with other is departing from orthodox Christianity on issues of human sexuality, the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The Sudanese archbishop affirmed Tuesday, "We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within the Episcopal Church of Sudan. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.”

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Real Change From a Baseball All-Star



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Josh Kimball
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 24 2008 10:59 AM EDT


The life of Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton has taken another dramatic turn following his record-breaking performance in Major League Baseball's All-Star Home Run Derby last week.

Since he belted 28 home runs in the first round of the home run contest last Monday, the former drug addict has garnered more attention than many could have imagined.

“I didn’t think it would change so fast,” Hamilton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Obviously a lot of people were watching that. Tattoos give me away more than anything,” he added, referring to more than two dozen tattoos covering his body.

A few years ago, all of this would have been even more unimaginable for Hamilton. Though Hamilton was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 at the age of 18, Hamilton’s life took a turn for the worst in 2001, when he took his first drink and snorted cocaine for the first time – on the same night. He would later fall into the depths of drug addiction and find his life spiraling out of control.

"I went down this road where I never seemed to laugh or cry," he told The Associated Press.

His addiction led to eight trips to rehab, 26 tattoos, three years away from baseball, and a heartbroken family. From 2001-2004, Hamilton played in only a few games and was suspended by Major League Baseball for violating their drug policy.

Then, one October night in 2005, a paltry 180-pound Hamilton covered with tattoos of demons without eyes showed up on his grandmother's doorstep and asked if she would take him in.

Saddened by the appearance of a grandson who she could barely recognize, Hamilton’s grandmother challenged him to surrender to God – and, by grace, she got through to him.

From then on, Hamilton began reading the Bible and, with God's help, gave up drugs and alcohol.

After going to rehab and training again in 2006 under heavy watch of the MLB, Hamilton was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, placing him back on track.

"Just watching the transformation that God has made in Josh's life … I mean it's just been so awesome and such a gift from the Lord to see what He's done in him," Hamilton’s wife, Katie, told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

What’s more, in the winter of 2006, Hamilton had a dream – “the kind Joseph of the Bible had,” according to Third Coast Sports, a company that specializes in church marketing and event planning for sports teams.

Hamilton dreamed that he was taking part in a Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium.

"I was at the plate, I saw all the guys sitting around and then I was at the plate walking toward them and actually a lady came up and interviewed me," Hamilton said, according to Third Coast. "I was able to show everybody how I was there, why I was there and that was because of God's grace."

And that’s exactly what happened nearly two years later.

During last Monday’s Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, Hamilton hit 28 home runs in the first round, eclipsing the next closest competitors’ eight. Though Hamilton would eventually lose to Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau in the final round, his record-breaking first round was enough to snag him an interview with ESPN reporter Erin Andrews at the Home Run Derby’s conclusion.

"It's amazing in the past few years what God has done in my life and how quickly He has done it," Josh told Andrews. “I just really want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all of this. I just want to glorify Him.”

Speaking later with the Seattle Mariners’ former All-Star second baseman, Harold Reynolds, Hamilton recalled his dream, noting that he didn’t know how many home runs he hit or if he had won in the dream.

“[A]nd you know why? It’s because God don’t care about all that stuff,” Hamilton said, according to Third Coast. “All He cares about is me being here. In my dream I got to share Christ with people and tonight that’s exactly what I did.”

Hamilton’s hope is to continue sharing his testimony to more people as the platform he stands on becomes larger.

"I pray the more successful I am, the more people will listen," he told a reporter with Gannett News Service.

On Monday, Hamilton hit a three-run homer and became only the fifth player since 2000 to have at least 98 RBI in his team’s first 100 games.

His team is currently third in the American League West division, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 10 wins.

Copyright 2008 The Christian Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Republicans Learn to Play Like Dems

In a rare example of masculine determination Senate Republicans have taken a page or two from the Dem playbook and are forcing a vote on off-shore drilling. Betting that the energy crisis and high-prices are a sure bet for GOP candidates this season, Republican Senate leaders are setting out to claim the issue as their own. Finally. We’ll have to wait and see if they can sustain their position once the New York Times and Washington Post lambastes them for siding with “big oil” and “standing in the way of progress.”

Senate Republicans have threatened to block nearly all other bills pending before the August recess if Democrats refuse to vote with them on expanding offshore drilling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said bills that do not pertain to energy can wait until after the August recess, with gas prices now surpassing $4 per gallon. McConnell and top Republicans indicated Wednesday they would oppose any procedural votes to take up other legislation, which require 60 votes to succeed.

'We think there is nothing more important that we can do right now than to deal with the Number One issue of the country,' McConnell said. 'This is the biggest issue since terrorism right after 9/11. People are pounding on their desks, saying, Why don’t these people get together and do something about this problem?' (The Hill)

Entire Hill article here.


Interest in Arctic Oil Heating Up

You probably heard about the Russian sub that went to the Arctic last year in pursuit of oil reserves.

Bloomberg has more information about the oil potential in the Arctic, along with a link to a U.S. Geological Survey report released yesterday that says the Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of oil.

The Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of oil, more than all the known reserves of Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Mexico combined, and enough to supply U.S. demand for 12 years, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

One-third of the undiscovered oil is in Alaskan territory, the agency found in a study released today. By contrast, a geologic formation beneath the North Pole claimed by Russian scientists last year probably holds just 1.2 percent of the Arctic's crude, the U.S. report showed.

Of course, exploiting that oil in such harsh territory would be an adventure, as would dealing with the international issues at the North Pole.

But claims that we're running out of oil are definitely unfounded. We have a lot of years left before oil gets scarce, meaning liberal plans to force research on alternative fuels premature and unfounded.

Let the market work naturally. Alternative sources of power will come, and they'll do it without jamming the American family with outrageous fuel prices.


Tennessee Statehood

American Minute from William J. Federer

Tennessee's Constitutional Convention composed its State Constitution in 1796. The U.S. Congress accepted it and President George Washington signed the bill admitting Tennessee as the 16th State on June 1, 1796.

The Tennessee Constitution, Article XI, Section III, stated: "All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences."

Though Article XI, Section IV, stated: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State," Article VIII, Section II, stated: "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State."

After the Civil War, Tennessee was the first State readmitted to the Union on JULY 24, 1866. President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to former Confederates on September 7, 1867: "Every person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take the following oath...'I do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support...the Constitution of the United States...So help me God.'"

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.


Voters Tired of Being Bribed With Their Own Money

The out-of-control spending by the federal government has reached new heights of insanity since 911.

Things were turning around after the Republicans got control of congress in 1994. The welfare state was at least caged, if not fully tamed, and some measure of responsibility was returning to Washington.

But in the wake of 911 and the need for increased spending for the War on Terrorism, Republicans who lacked principle (which unfortunately looks like most of them) decided the war was good cover to stuff the budget with all kinds of garbage. But it didn't go unnoticed.

The people, even other Republicans, could see they were spending like the proverbial "drunken sailors" (no insult intended to my retired Navy friends), and in 2006 Republican voters pulled the rug out from under these drunks. Oh, there were other reasons, such as the immoral behavior of some congressmen, and a general bent of liberalism from too many, but the spending was probably the single largest factor in the Republicans' loss of support from the base.

But could this disgust with the taxpayer-funded party be spreading? Could even "moderate" voters be getting tired of being bribed with their own money?

Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth had a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, in which he claims voters want less pork--even in their own district.

We frequently see strong numbers for people who oppose pork...but they usually still want "their guy" to bring home the bacon. Somehow our pork is considered more legitimate than the other guy's pork.

Here's what the Club for Growth poll found:

Conducted in late June, the poll surveyed 800 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%. Likely voters were asked the following question: "All things being equal, for whom would you be more likely to vote for the U.S. Congress: 1) A candidate who wants to cut overall federal spending, even if that includes cutting some money that would come to your district or 2) A candidate who wants to increase overall spending on federal programs, as long as more federal spending and projects come to your district?"

The results were unambiguous. Fifty-four percent of general election voters chose the frugal candidate, compared with only 29% who chose the profligate candidate. Republicans overwhelming favor less federal spending, 72% to 17%, with independents close behind at 61%. Only Democrats prefer more federal spending, but only by a plurality. Thirty-six percent of Democrats chose the more fiscally conservative candidate, with 42% choosing the alternative.

I would be skeptical of these results, if congressional approval ratings weren't so low; the last I heard, they were about 9%.

Maybe the American people are finally starting to slowly wake up to the fact that we can't just keep taxing and spending, and remain a thriving and free nation.

We can only hope the profligates in Washington will soon sit up and take notice. Of course, if they don't, the people can always throw them out--and should.


Alaska Photos from Davison County GOP Chairman

After posting some pictures from Chris Lien's trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska yesterday, I received an email from Allen Lepke, the Chairman of the Davison County Republicans who shared some photos he took on a trip to Prudhoe Bay at a village known as Deadhorse.

The pictures (below) are from late 2003 when Lepke was on a business trip working on telecommunications equipment for a company called ASTAC (Arctic Slope Telecommunications). This company provides all communications in that area, including cell phone coverage for the rigs out in the oil fields.

Says Lepke of this first photo: "When most people think of Alaska if they have not been north, this is what they think of, it is very beautiful in the South, but the further north you get, the only thing there is tundra."




This one is of the Prudhoe Bay General Store:



Here is some of that "pristine land" that environmentalists fawn over, otherwise known as "barren tundra" to the rest of us.



Another picture of the tundra, with some of the oil-producing area in the background



Another shot of the town of Prudhoe Bay. The roads are marked with the orange sticks that are sticking out of the ground.



This is the ASTAC building where Lepke worked while he was in the area



After seeing these photos of how the area looks in the winter months, the place seems even more barren.

Chris Lien told me yesterday that the oil workers have to get most of their work done during the eight months of winter while the ground is frozen and there is ice on the watery areas. Once the few warm months roll around, the Coastal Plain turns into a big marshy area.

Thanks, Allen, for the great pictures!


The Current Practice of Abortion in South Dakota

Dakota Voice is reviewing the Report of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, in light of the upcoming November vote on Initiated Measure 11 to end most abortions in South Dakota.

Pertinent sections of the report will be reviewed each week for the next several weeks which may shed light on Initiated Measure 11.

First week: The Incorrect Assumptions of the Roe v. Wade Decision

Last Week: What Has Been Learned From the Practice of Abortion Since the Roe v. Wade

The following is from Section II.A.3 on the findings of the report:
===================================

Kate Looby, the Director of Planned Parenthood of South Dakota which operates an abortion facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, testified before the Task Force. Dr. Carol E. Ball, who performs abortions there, also testified before the Task Force. Both described how Planned Parenthood counsels women about abortions, what kind of information is disclosed, and the interaction between the abortion physician and the pregnant mother.

Based on their testimony, it is admitted that the Planned Parenthood facility in Sioux Falls does not disclose any information about the unborn child and that it does not disclose to the pregnant mother in any way that the child, the second patient, is already in existence. Planned Parenthood only discloses what the state requires them to disclose by statute. This does not adhere to the common law disclosure requirements discussed by Dr. Seger, Dr. Nathanson, Dr. Davis, and Dr. Ridder.

South Dakota Codified Law 34-23A-10.1(2), which appears as Exhibit B, requires that the abortion facility simply inform the women by telephone that they have the right to review printed material prepared by the state that provides information about fetal development.

Ms. Looby testified that their procedure includes having an assistant speak directly to the women over the phone. She states that in this part of the conversation, the woman has an opportunity to ask questions. However, Planned Parenthood still does not volunteer information about the unborn child.

The state's preprinted information does not make it clear that the procedure will terminate the life of a living human being. It only lists aspects of fetal development.

The South Dakota Department of Health publishes statistics about abortions performed at Planned Parenthood, and elsewhere in the State. The latest statistics, as contained in the 2003 report, were made part of the record.

In 2003, there were 819 abortions performed in South Dakota. The law requires the abortion facility to provide a form for the women to fill out concerning the information given to the women. In 819 forms filled out by these women, only five women requested that the written information be mailed to them. (See, 2003 South Dakota Vital Statistics Report, S.D. Department of Health, P. 71.) That means that 814 of the 819 women (99.4%) received no information about the development of the unborn child except the information required by SDCL 34-23A-10.1(1)(c): "The probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed." In other words, the woman is only told how far along she is in the pregnancy, a fact she most often already knows from the date she missed her last menstrual period.

Further, the 2003 Vital Statistics Report of the South Dakota Department of Health states that:

"The data showed that of the 819 forms received, 813 of the patients reported receiving the medial information described in SDCL section 34-23A-10.1 during a telephone conversation and 6 in person." (Report, P. 71.)

The report indicates that in every instance the physician gave the disclosure concerning gestational age. (Report, P. 71.)

Additionally, according to Ms. Looby's testimony, a message given by the physician is pre-recorded. It is a four-minute recording designed to satisfy the statutory requirement of SDCL 34-23A-10.1 that the information contained in that section be imparted by the physician who will perform the abortion.

To summarize, in 814 out of 819 procedures, the only information given to the pregnant mother about the second patient was simply a gestational age. In 813 cases out of the 819, the physician in a taped statement gave resource information. The women had no way of asking the physician any questions since it is a recording.

Based upon the reporting of the women on the forms reviewed by the Department of Health, and the testimony of Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball, it appears that Planned Parenthood does not voluntarily convey other information about the fetus after women listen to the doctor's taped recording.

In fact, what is communicated to the women is misleading. Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball played a video for the Task Force illustrating what may be communicated to women about the abortion procedure. In this video, reference is made to the contents of the woman's uterus in dehumanizing and misleading language. For instance, the video never mentions that an unborn child, embryo, or fetus is even present. It never refers to the unborn child in any way that would imply the existence of a second patient. The language used in the video simply implies that something is removed but does not identify what it is except to claim it is only "tissue:"

1. "The uterus is then emptied by a gentle suction."

2. "As the uterus is emptied..."

3. "A spoon shaped curette may be used to feel the walls of the uterus to help ensure complete evacuation."

4. "Occasionally the contents of the uterus may not be completely emptied."

5. "To remove the tissue it may be necessary to repeat the vacuum aspiration."

6. "Very infrequently, the early abortion procedure will not end the pregnancy."

7. "If the pregnancy has not been ended, another abortion procedure is recommended."

We find first that Planned Parenthood fails to inform the pregnant mother in any language that her unborn child is in existence. It is impossible for a woman to give informed consent to an abortion if she does not fully understand that her child is in existence and that she is consenting to the termination of the life of her child.

Second, the doctor who in seeking consent to terminate the life of his or her second patient (the child) cannot, in a professional or moral sense, contend that proper authority has been obtained from the mother if she is not fully aware that she is giving such authority.

Dr. Ball and Ms. Looby testified that the women who come to Planned Parenthood sign a "consent" to have an abortion without first speaking to the doctor. These consent forms are filled out before the doctor sees the patient. A person designated as a "counselor" provides whatever information is told to the pregnant mother. However, Ms. Looby admitted that these "counselors" are not licensed and the only training they receive is from Planned Parenthood.

The video played recites:
"If you have not done so already, you will meet privately with a counselor. The counselor reviews your medical history, answers any questions you have about the abortion procedure, provides after-care instructions and talks with you about your birth control needs. The counselor also talks with you about your decision to have an abortion. It is important that this decision is yours and made of your own free will. At the end of the counseling session, you are asked to sign an informed consent indicating that you understand the medical risks of the abortion procedure." (Emphasis added).

Thus, the abortion doctor sees the pregnant mother for the first time in the procedure room, only after the consent form has been signed and the woman has made her commitment to undergo the abortion.

The video, Dr. Ball, and Ms. Looby all verify that the women are told that they may ask questions of the doctor who is to perform the abortion. However, we find that the process which results in the pregnant mother signing the consent form and making her decision before ever seeing or speaking to a abortion doctor is incompatible with the principles of a doctor's duty to see that the patient's decision is informed before she consents to an operative procedure. We find that there is no true physician-patient relationship in this process, and once the decision has been made, the woman is seeing the doctor, not for counseling, consultation, or help in reaching a decision, but rather, to submit to the medical procedure that she has already committed to, whether or not it was informed.

The abortion doctor, therefore, provides no counseling unless the pregnant mother initiates a discussion and asks questions in the procedure room. However, we find that even if a woman has the will to press the doctor for answers to questions, the answers that are given at Planned Parenthood concerning the most critical matters will not be helpful to her.

Following her testimony, Dr. Ball was asked what she would tell a woman who asked her "Is this a human life?" or "At what point in the process does human life begin?" or similar questions. Dr. Ball testified that she would refuse to answer these questions. When pressed on this point, Dr. Ball stated that it is a subjective matter for the woman to decide, and an answer from her is nothing but her subjective personal opinion.

Thus, a woman who goes to Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls is not given scientific and factual information necessary for her to understand that the procedure will terminate the life of a human being, even when the woman asks precisely if the abortion is killing their baby.

We find that Planned Parenthood has confused the objective biological fact that the procedure terminates the life of a live human being with the moral, or value judgment of what respect or value should be placed upon the life of that human being. Under existing law, only the pregnant mother has the right to decide whether she should or should not submit to the abortion. But the pregnant mother can apply her own discrete personal, moral or religious values to her circumstance only after accurate biological facts concerning the existence and nature of her unborn child are disclosed.

By its own admissions, Planned Parenthood makes no such disclosures as required by common medical practice, it uses misleading language such as "contents of the uterus," and it refuses to make accurate disclosure of biological facts even when asked directly about the unborn child.

A policy that requires a patient to research the scientific facts on her own conflicts with all accepted notions of informed consent, and virtually ensures that South Dakota women will submit to a procedure without giving informed consent.

We find that the withholding of the biological information from women has the effect of imposing the personal philosophy of Planned Parenthood and its agents upon these women. To say that a human being, no matter how young or physically immature, is nothing but "tissue" or "contents of the uterus" is to already make and convey the judgment that this human being has less value than others. This precludes the mother from making the decision for herself about whether the life of the human being in question has value.

The testimony of Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball also made it clear that Planned Parenthood does not make accurate disclosures about the risks of abortion. These are discussed more fully in Section II-E. In the Planned Parenthood video referenced in this Report, the following statements were made which we find to be completely inaccurate based on the record and evidence discussed in Section II-E:

1. "Early abortion by vacuum aspiration is one of the safest procedures in all of
medicine."

2. "A legal abortion, as it is performed in the United States today, is a very safe
procedure and complications are rare."

3. "The emotion most women experience after having had an abortion is relief."

4. "Women may have some mixed feelings at this time but emotional problems after abortion are uncommon, and when they happen, they usually go away quickly."

5. "Serious long-term disturbances after abortion appear to be less frequent than after childbirth."

6. "The risk of dying from a full-term pregnancy and childbirth is at least seven times greater than that from early abortion."

Dr. Ball testified that Minnesota is her state of residence and medical practice. Planned Parenthood of South Dakota schedules abortions about six days a month. On each of these six days, Dr. Ball, or one of three other out-of-state physicians, travels to Sioux Falls to perform, on average, twenty abortions per day, and then leaves the state the same day. One of these four out-of-state abortion doctors has hospital privileges in the Sioux Falls area. Dr. Ball testified: "we have a verbal agreement with an Ob/Gyn group in Sioux Falls who will help us with any complications that occur." Therefore, if any woman has complications, local doctors who are strangers to the patient and were in no way involved in the abortion procedure must see her.

The Task Force concludes that there is no traditional or healthy physician-patient relationship between an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood in South Dakota and the pregnant mother. The only time the abortion doctor sees the patient is in the room where the procedure is to be performed, after the woman has already committed to submitting to the abortion by signing the consent form.

Further, we seriously question whether the practices of the doctors who provide abortion services at the Sioux Falls facility meet the standards set by the American College of Surgeons, particularly with respect to its principles concerning the relationship of the surgeon to the patient and its proscription against itinerant surgery.

It must be noted that the information regarding the practice of abortion in South Dakota is based entirely on the practices at Planned Parenthood of South Dakota where almost all abortions are performed. Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of the Department of Health, testified that there are four abortion providers in the state, but South Dakota Codified Law prohibits the disclosure and identification of these providers.

There have been two other significant developments in the past twenty years that have resulted in further understanding about the practice of abortion. First, pregnancy help centers have opened all over the country to offer counseling and support to women in crisis pregnancy situations. Second, women have begun to speak out about their abortion experiences.

The 2005 South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion was created when the South Dakota legislature passed HB 1233 with a bipartisan majority in both houses. The purpose of the task force was "to study abortion and to provide for its composition, scope, and administration." The report was completed in December 2005 after several months of meetings.


Video: Haven't experts said same-sex parenting is fine?

"Ten Persuasive Answers to the Question 'Why not gay marriage?'"

Q7: Haven't experts said same-sex parenting is fine?

Point 1: American Academy of Pediatrics statement that there is no difference for children in homosexual homes than heterosexual homes by a panel of 8 people that came up with the statement and imposed it on the AAP; admits using AAP "as a vehicle for positive change" despite objections from membership

Point 2: Organizations such as this can reach conclusions like this because we have not yet had the experiment.

Point 3: AAP admits in the fine print that research is just beginning, and samples are too small to be confindent in.

Point 4: American Sociological Review: "Thus far, no work has compared children's long term achievement in education, occupation, income and other domains of life."

Point 5: How can they conclude anything when the research is just beginning?




Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Turning Back the Culture of Irresponsibility and Entitlement

American society was once made up of people who took the time to teach children and the younger generation about values, morality and responsibility. When that younger generation disregarded morality and responsibility, the older generation exercised the "tough love" necessary for the younger generation to see the consequences of bad decisions--and learn from them.

Sadly, we lost our way about 50 years ago. We stopped passing on the traditional values that built the greatest nation on earth. We stopped allowing the upcoming generation to deal with and learn from its failures. We started rescuing those who chose immorality and irresponsibility; we rescued them from consequence, and in doing so we ushered in the welfare state, a sense of entitlement, and profound irresponsibility.

How did we fail, and how do we get out of this irresponsible "culture of entitlement?"

The Black Hills Pioneer published a good opinion piece today by Evelyn Leite, as an excerpt from her book “Mending Family Relationships.”

It's advice that applies just as well to society in general as it does to personal relationships--after all, our society is made up of millions of personal relationships.

Self-esteem, boundary setting, detachment and tough love go hand in hand. You cannot have either of the latter three without the first one.

If you have self-esteem, detachment and tough love come fairly easy. You can learn to set boundaries and make decisions that will be good for all. If your self-esteem is shaky you can build it up by learning the skills of boundary setting and tough love.

I wonder if this lack of confidence and self esteem doesn't have a lot to do with why so many people these days are afraid to exercise tough love, afraid to say "No," afraid to confront bad behavior?

We've entered an age of moral relativism where common wisdom claims there is no absolute truth, no transcendent moral values. If this is true (which it isn't, but many people believe it is), then such an environment lends itself to a great degree of uncertainty about what really is right or wrong...and not only for other people, but for you yourself! Such a lack of confidence has to undermine the right kind of self esteem, which in turn renders people unwilling or incapable of standing against immorality or irresponsibility.

How do we turn it around?
Allowing those you love to hurt and hurt desperately while still being available to them emotionally is often the best way to show your love for them even though it may go against everything you believe. Hard as it may be it means drawing a line for yourself that you will not step over and doing it because it is the best thing for the other person. Parents who fight their children’s battles for them, make excuses for negative behavior, or try to buy their love are not doing their children any favors.

Notice that the father of the "prodigal son" in the Bible didn't run after his wayward son, rescuing him from the consequences of his bad decisions and moral failures. He waited until the son had come to his senses, was repentant and ready to change. Once the son reached this point, his father welcomed him back with open arms.

Our Heavenly Father is like that, too. He welcomes us with open arms when we admit we were wrong and turn from our destructive ways. Before that, he exercises that "tough love," allowing us to exercise our free will...and deal with the consequences of our bad choices.

Parents must do their best to teach their children right from wrong, and teach their children about consequences. If the children choose wrong, parents must let them deal with those consequences.

Society must do the same--not just with children, but with adults also who have never learned these lessons. We must promote moral choices and personal responsibility, and make it clear what the consequences of violations will be. And if someone chooses the dark path, we must let them experience the consequences so they can learn from it and hopefully join society as a productive, self-sustaining member.

As long as we shrink from this duty, we'll continue to breed irresponsible brats and a drag on society.


Presbyterians Grieve Over Crisis of Conscience



Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post


By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jul. 23 2008 01:32 PM EDT

Presbyterians grieved by the pro-gay actions of the highest governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plan to converge next month to look for a way forward.

The meeting will provide a forum and analysis for around 200 PC(USA) leaders as they lament votes by the denomination's General Assembly in June that favored homosexuality.

The Assembly's actions "have caused a crisis of conscience within the denomination," said Renee Guth, executive director of the New Wineskins Association of Churches, a network of some 200 conservative Presbyterian churches discontent with the PC(USA).

The Assembly on June 27 approved an "authoritative interpretation" of the church constitution, allowing non-celibate gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object the current standard which requires fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman and chastity in singleness. The governing body also voted to delete the fidelity and chastity requirement – a vote that will go to the denomination's 173 presbyteries for approval – and approved changes to a document of the Reformed Christian faith that would delete "homosexual perversion" from a list of condemned behaviors.

Days after the biennial Assembly meeting, the PC(USA)'s top leaders sent a letter to all of its 11,000 congregations acknowledging the anxiety the Assembly created for some and the "storms" that are to come. The leaders urged congregations to stay together and not "act or react immediately" to the decisions.

But some have already begun acting.

"We have had strong interest from many PC(USA) pastors and elders from across the country for the Atlanta meeting," Guth and co-moderators Gerrit Dawson and Carmen Fowler of the New Wineskins network said in a recent announcement.

New Wineskins will be hosting a meeting for PC(USA) leaders in Atlanta on Aug. 6-7, ahead of their annual convocation.

"We are organizing this event around the needs of those in attendance by placing all options on the table, doing a side by side analysis, and spending more time listening than speaking."

Some of those options include being "in the denomination but not of it," they listed, and various forms of non-geographic presbyteries, among others.

While the conservative network typically holds one gathering each year, addressing both PC(USA) denominational issues and the larger missional vision of the New Wineskins, the group has decided to host two meetings this year with the Atlanta one focusing solely on the denominational issues.

"The Atlanta meeting is for PC(USA) pastors and elders who share our commitment to Essential Tenets, who are grieved by the actions of this past General Assembly, and who are now asking new questions and seeking new answers," the network leaders explained.

Attendees of the Atlanta meeting will also be introduced to the vision of New Wineskins, which consists of congregations that have left the PC(USA) over its liberal direction on theology and those that have remained.

The New Wineskins network, representing about 100,000 Presbyterians, was formed in 2001 after the General Assembly of the PC(USA) would not affirm the singular saving Lordship of Jesus Christ. Conservative Presbyterians began discussing what a church in the 21st century and faithful to Christ would look like as they tried to rediscover their Reformed and Presbyterian roots.

Their fifth convocation is scheduled for November in Baton Rouge, La., where they hope to move away from discussing denominational issues and toward the larger vision of the New Wineskins.

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