American Minute from William J. Federer
AUTUMN 1831, Four Indians -3 Nez Perce and 1 Flathead, arrived in St. Louis asking about a "book to heaven." In response, Dr. Marcus Whitman left all and became a missionary to the Indians.
Almost a century later, July 3, 1923, dedicating the Oregon Trail, President Warren Harding told of Dr. Marcus Whitman, clad in buckskin breeches, fur leggings and moccasins, "in the dead of winter 1842, struggled through...blinding storms, 4,000 miles...from Walla Walla...past the Great Salt Lake, to Santa Fe...to St. Louis and finally...to Washington, D.C...It was a race against time. Public opinion was...that Oregon was not worth claiming... Turning to President Tyler, Whitman added...'All I ask is that you will not barter away Oregon or allow English interference until I can lead...settlers across the plains.'"
President Warren Harding continued: "Such was Marcus Whitman, the missionary hero...to plead that the state should acquire...the empire that the churches were gaining for Christianity...Never in the history of the world has there been a finer example of civilization following Christianity. The missionaries led under the banner of the cross and the settlers moved close behind under the star-spangled symbol of the nation."
The State of Washington placed Dr. Marcus Whitman's statue in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.
The Gods of Liberalism Revisited
The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever. But how can we escape the snare?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
American Minute from William J. Federer
Why isn't Barack Obama ready to lead America?
Here are two videos, back to back, that illustrate why.
First, you have Obama's silly tire inflation energy strategy. It's been proven to be full of air. But then, that's the case with almost every promise of liberalism: lots of enthusiasm, little substance. You can't conserve yourself into greater supply.
Then there's national defense and international conflicts. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Eventually I found out that wanting to be an astronaut didn't make me qualified to be one.
And the conflict that just broke out between Russia and Georgia has served to cast a spotlight on someone else's lack of qualifications.
As President of the United States, leader of the most powerful nation on earth, and leader of the free world, your international policy and conflict resolution can't simply consist of scurrying up to a microphone and telling the bad guys to "Knock it off, alright?" before walking away.
How would President Obama instruct our military to fight a war--the military he has, as promised, gutted into ineffectualness?
Is he going to tell soldiers to use their tire gauges on their Humvees? Will President Obama get our (few remaining) combat aircraft mission ready by ensuring their tires are properly inflated? Will he tell soldiers that if they just keep their guns clean, they'll have plenty of bullets with which to shoot the enemy?
Chanting "hope" and "change" may do it for drooling liberals, but it isn't leadership, and it isn't a strategy for keeping the United States a safe and successful nation.
The materialist/naturalist/evolutionist believes that the universe came into being through a random, spontaneous event, and that all that we see today came to be this way through billions of years filled with random, uncontrolled happenings.
Somehow, in this modern faerie tale, this highly complex universe just happened to end up in this high state of complexity.
In other words, all the matter that suddenly sprang into existence from absolutely nothing managed to, over billions of years, start to organize itself into more dense forms of matter (in defiance of the laws of the universe), until stars eventually formed (in defiance of the laws of the universe).
Planets also just happened to form (in defiance of the laws of the universe).
Conditions on earth just happened to end up in a state where the formation of life was at least possible.
Life just happened to form from a random set of elements and circumstances (in defiance of the laws of the universe).
Life also managed to (in defiance of the laws of the universe) organize itself into higher forms until eventually humans came along who were able to understand this incredible modern faerie tale, er, wonder of random events that just happened to work out favorable to humans.
Materialistic scientists have until recently examined our solar system, seen nothing remarkable (just another random set of things that happened to come out in a positive, ordered system), and surmised the rest of the galaxy and universe must just be filled with other beneficial and ordered systems that just happened to work out that way.
But now, according to Science Daily, researchers at Northwestern University have gone and messed up the comfort of that modern faerie tale...and probably all the milk and cookies that came with it.
It seems this ordinary, mundane, seen-one-you've-seen-'em-all solar system in which humans live isn't so ordinary.
You see, unlike ages past, we can now gather data about other solar systems across the cosmos...and that data is telling us our home solar system is pretty special.
Scientists found that if conditions weren't just right, planets could end up plunging into their local sun, or spinning off into the cold of outer space.
The researchers ran more than a hundred simulations, and the results show that the average planetary system's origin was full of violence and drama but that the formation of something like our solar system required conditions to be "just right."
"But we now know that these other planetary systems don't look like the solar system at all," said Frederic A. Rasio, a theoretical astrophysicist and professor of physics and astronomy in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He is senior author of the Science paper.
Since matter doesn't normally organize itself into higher forms, even the formation of a star and accompanying planets is a stretch. But assuming that is spontaneously possible, scientists have found that actually getting a stable--and thus habitable--solar system is a long shot indeed.
Of course, an intelligent designer (say, like the one in the Bible) could explain this unusual and perhaps unique state of order in our solar system.
But then, believing in an intelligent designer would be a stretch, wouldn't it?
BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION
A feature story in this week's New York Times Magazine asks, "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?"
This in the wake of a full week of TV talking heads asking if presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama played the "race card" in his response to John McCain's Obama "celebrity" ads. And an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by black journalist Juan Williams saying "The Race Issue Isn't Going Away."
Williams is right. The race issue isn't going away. And the New York Times feature, which profiles new young black politicians around the nation -- like Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Newark, N.J., mayor Corey Booker, and Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter -- sheds little light on the issue in what it says.
More revealing about the Times piece is what it doesn't say.
The Times reporter never found it relevant to note that every black politician he spoke to is a Democrat. Nor did he see a need to talk to a single black conservative.
It's not like black conservatives have nothing to say here. Hoover Institution scholar Shelby Steele wrote a book about Obama. Tom Sowell has regularly written about him, as have I.
But black conservatives are not considered relevant to these discussions because race is not an issue of ethnicity but an issue of politics. Black politics means liberal politics and hence black conservatives are not black.
When I do media and speak as a conservative, I can expect emails pouring in from blacks calling me a sellout, who cannot conceive that I actually believe what I say, and for whom there is little doubt that I am a paid Republican shill.
Almost a third of blacks surveyed in a recent Wall Street Journal poll responded that race is the most important or one of the most important considerations in their vote.
But practically speaking, it makes no difference. Despite black excitement and pride in the Obama candidacy, the black vote would go for whoever headed the Democratic ticket, white or black. In 2004 John Kerry got 88 percent of the black vote.
The dynamics that the Obama candidacy has interjected is new only in form, not in content.
In the past, the liberal at the top of the heap for whom blacks overwhelmingly voted was white. Now that liberal is black. That's new.
Barack Obama, as Shelby Steele has written, departs from the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton brand of politics in that he is far more sophisticated and subtle in how to play on white guilt and how to intimidate. That's new.
But the liberal content and agenda is not new, and this blacks continue to buy en masse.
The points conservatives have been hammering home for the last 20 years have not been for naught. There is increasing awareness among blacks how family breakdown is driving the social problems of the community.
This is not lost on Obama. His speeches paying credence to the importance and relevance of personal responsibility are well received among blacks, but also play well to the whites he wishes to reach.
But the program behind the words remains comfortably lodged on the far left. Big government answers for everything, redistribution of wealth, use of law as a tool for politics, liberal abortion policies, and legitimization of the gay agenda.
The relevant question is not if Obama means the end of black politics. The issue is will black politics -- black uniform support for liberals -- ever change?
In a Pew Research Center survey of blacks done last year, almost 90 percent said that Oprah Winfrey is a "good influence," but only 50 percent said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and just 31 percent said Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are.
In the same survey, almost 70 percent of blacks said they "almost always/frequently" face discrimination when applying for a job or when renting or buying an apartment or house.
Despite the fact that the survey showed that blacks have traditional and conservative views regarding crime and promiscuity, the sense of vulnerability defines black attitudes and politically trumps everything else. There's a lot of history driving these feelings and liberals will continue to exploit them.
Things won't change until blacks begin to see that these same liberal politics and attitudes are at the root of their problems today.
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, August 08, 2008
The 2nd Appellate District in Los Angeles California today ruled today that homeschooling is permissible in California, laying to rest a question that was opened back in February when a California court declared it a crime for parents without credentials to teach their children.
The juvenile court case that spawned the homeschooling decision was dismissed last month, but the larger issue of the legality of homeschooling wasn't dealt with until the ruling today.
WorldNetDaily indicates the judges left a back door for opponents of homeschooling to threaten homeschooling families, but for now the matter has been decided.
The opinion said the judges were not deciding whether homeschool should be allowed. "That job is for the Legislature," they said.
"Homeschooling was initially expressly permitted in California, when the compulsory education law was enacted in 1903," the court said. "In 1929, however, homeschool was amended out of the law, and children who were not educated in public or private schools could be taught privately only by a credentialed tutor."
However, since then, "subsequent developments in the law call this conclusion into question. Although the Legislature did not amend the statutory scheme so as to expressly permit homeschooling, more recent enactments demonstrate an apparent acceptance by the Legislature of the proposition that homeschooling is taking place in California, with homeschools allowed as private schools," the court ruling said.
"Recent statutes indicate that the Legislature is aware that some parents in California homeschool their children by declaring their homes to be private schools. Moreover, several statutory enactments indicate a legislative approval of homeschooling, by exempting homeschools from requirements otherwise applicable to private schools."
The court said, "it is our view that the proper course of action is to interpret the earlier statutes in light of the later ones, and to recognize, as controlling, the Legislature's apparent acceptance of the proposition that homeschools are permissible in California when conducted as a private school."
Many in the education establishment oppose homeschooling for a number of reasons, and are eager to see it eliminated.
Homeschooling diminishes the number of students enrolled in public schools, which in turn diminishes the amount of taxpayer funds schools receive.
Homeschoolers usually out-perform their public school counterparts, which makes the education establishment look bad. After all, the public education system spends several times as much per student than the homeschooler, yet usually under-performs homeschoolers.
And in California, especially, where the education establishment has a radical social engineering re-education agenda that includes undermining the family and promotion of homosexuality, homeschooled children are falling outside their sphere of indoctrination.
This is good news for today. But unless the California legislature acts definitively to protect homeschoolers, the "Brave New Worlders" will be back another day.
The pro-abortion liberals in the South Dakota blogosphere sure are in a tiff today.
Both the feminist blog DakotaWomen and South DaCola are all mock-indignant that Pastor Hickey at Voices Carry posted about the new Regional Field Director for the South Dakota Campaign for UnHealthy Families, Leslie Stusiak.
They're sputtering and frothing at the mouth that Voices Carry would dare look up and provide any information about this woman who is a leader in a major public policy issue in South Dakota.
These pro-abortion libs are aghast at the "personal information" and "family information", and express mock fears of wiretapping.
I'll admit that it has been a long and busy week for me, but I didn't see anything in the post that couldn't be found on the internet or by simply talking to people who know other people. I didn't see anything sinister or anything that required wiretapping, binoculars, night vision goggles, torture or secret decoder rings.
I have to ask myself where such righteous (excuse the pun) indignation comes from, especially from folks who more often than not ridicule any sort of righteousness.
For people who usually show complete contempt for Christianity, they sure don't waste a second attempting to criticize a Christian based on principles they don't even believe in. I don't know if that fits the definition of hypocrisy or not, but it's got to be something related.
I first wondered if maybe the reason they seem so touchy is that deep down they know abortion is wrong, and that defending the killing of innocent human life is wrong. See, when we feel the realization that we're doing something wrong, there's usually an accompanying impulse to change and do what is right. However, when we're committed to doing wrong because it's more convenient or we refuse to admit we're wrong, often we substitute the closest thing to a moral response that can be mustered under those conditions: a twisted sense of decorum.
In the end, though, I think it's probably because they're simply desperate to do anything, no matter how irrational, illogical or totally unrelated to divert attention from the fact that they are defending the taking of innocent human life.
You tend to see that a lot from the Left. The whole liberal ideology is largely based on emotional responses rather than logical deduction, and the pro-abortion faction of liberalism is no different.
Even science is irrelevant in the face of emotionalism.
You can point out the harm abortion does to women (depression, substance abuse, suicide, breast cancer, increased risk of miscarriage, infertility), and pro-abortion liberals will respond emotionally that you're trying to deny women control of their own bodies.
You can point out the humanity of the unborn child (that the unborn child has human DNA that was unique from the moment of conception, that the child has DNA separate and distinct from the mother's, that by the time most women realize they're pregnant the child already has a beating heart and a forming brain and nervous system), and pro-abortion liberals will respond that it's just a "cytoblast" or inanimate piece of "tissue" that is of no value.
But this touchiness we've seen from the pro-abortion folks lately...they must realize their back is really against the wall this year.
They were hanging out in the wind with no logic during the abortion debate of 2006, hinging all their hopes on the emotional charge that "there were no exceptions" in the 2006 bill, and it was "just too extreme" because of that.
Now, in 2008, there's a bill that contains those exceptions they wailed and gnashed their teeth for...and still they protest.
I think it's becoming obvious to most South Dakota voters that for abortion advocates, there is no undesirable abortion. And the people of South Dakota are starting to see their true colors. And the people are realizing it wasn't pro-lifers who were extreme...but those who insist on being able to wipe out an unborn child for no better reason than "I don't want it."
And it's becoming obvious to the pro-abortion folks that their extremism is becoming obvious to the average voter.
And it's obviously making them a little touchy.
I have been open and honest about my recovery. While my speech continues to improve it is not yet 100 percent and I have not yet reached a point in my rehab where my participation in a debate would accurately reflect my capabilities. Therefore I will not participate in traditional political debates during this campaign.
Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage more than a year and a half ago and has been working hard to come back from this debilitating injury. Despite notable progress, he still faces serious challenges in his mobility and speech.
These difficulties have been the source of speculation for months, over whether Johnson would be able to participate in the usual campaign debates, or would even be able to run for reelection at all.
Recent weeks have seen considerable discussion, especially among South Dakota blogs, over whether Johnson would participate in the upcoming DakotaFest debate later this month and a scheduled October KELO TV debate. Republican challenger Joel Dykstra had already committed to both debates.
This must have been a heartbreaking decision for Senator Johnson and those close to him to reach. Still, Johnson's advisors surely knew this would be an issue during the campaign.
Debates often do not change many minds. But the reality that the incumbent candidate will not be participating will certainly speak loudly to many South Dakotans about Johnson's ability to adequately represent the state in Washington D.C.
The duties of a United States senator include speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, participating in committee hearings, caucuses, behind-the-scenes negotiations, meetings with lobbyists and policy experts, a considerable amount of travel--all in a hectic schedule moving at a grueling pace.
The question on many people's minds will be: if Senator Johnson cannot debate his challenger here at home, will he be able to adequately defend and speak for the interests of South Dakota in the nation's capital?
On a personal level, Johnson's efforts to overcome this tremendous setback have been admirable. But as much as South Dakotans are hoping and praying for his recovery, it's only reasonable for them to weigh whether Johnson can do the job they elect a senator to do.
Topics in today's show:
--Global Warming Delusion, the latest fad disease
--Barack Obama goes back on his pledge to do townhall debates
--Hillary Clinton hosts dinners to pay off campaign debts
--A Missouri woman claims she saw Jesus in a bowl of Cheetos
--Kim Cattrall says she won't get plastic surgery
NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
From The O'Reilly Factor, Earth Wind and Fire are patriots, while a guy who calls 911 because of a sandwich is a pinhead.
Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested last Saturday in Miami, Florida and made a court appearance today for allegedly threatening to assassinate Barack Obama if he is elected in November.
Geisel allegedly called Obama the "N" word and said, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."
According to the Black Christian News, the man was found to be in possession of a 9mm pistol and armor piercing rounds, knives, body armor and other military-type gear.
Looks like he might be an equal opportunity hater, though, because a witness says Geisel hated President Bush and "wanted to put a bullet in the president's head."
So far, he has only been charged with the threat against Obama.
This video is from MSNBC via Black Christian News.
From today's mailbag:
Sioux Falls, S.D. - Republican Senate Candidate Joel Dykstra has accepted the invitation to participate in a formal debate of candidates for U.S. Senate hosted by KELO-LAND TV. The hour-long forum is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21 and will be moderated by News Anchor Angela Kennecke. The debate will be broadcast live on the entire KELO-TV network of stations starting at 7:00 p.m. CT. It will also be broadcast on KCLO-TV at 6:00 p.m. MT.
Dykstra said he is excited to have the chance to address the key issues facing South Dakota and America in front of the kind of statewide audience that KELO-TV can deliver. "The KELO-TV debate provides an excellent forum for both Senator Johnson and me to outline our positions and our vision for the direction our Congress needs to go in the future," he stated.
Dykstra added, "Much is at stake this fall. I hope Senator Johnson's campaign staff will allow him to participate in this important discussion for the benefit of South Dakota voters."
Dykstra said voters deserve a straight-forward debate on the issues. "Senator Johnson and I have different views about serious challenges including energy policy. For more than a year now I have been advocating a comprehensive energy policy that included domestic drilling as well as renewable sources and conservation," he said. Senator Johnson and his national leaders have opposed that. The voters deserve to hear the arguments on both sides.
Dykstra also looks forward to talking about other key issues during the debate such as ways to stabilize the national economy, the high cost of health insurance and access to health care. "South Dakotans have dealt with these core issues for many years, and have been frustrated because they have not been addressed by Congress. It's time for someone to step up and actually offer some solutions," he said.
Newt Gingrich has a very telling note on his website.
When we consider drilling for more oil to increase supply and bring down gas prices, liberals love to wail and moan that we won't have that oil for 10 years. They've been rolling out this same protest for 10 years, so you do the math and figure out whether we'd have more oil now if we'd ignored them as they deserved 10 years ago.
But there's another reason we should move to drill NOW: because it would bring down prices NOW, even though the new oil wouldn't start flowing for several more years.
It's a well-known reality of market forces that new supply on the horizon has an effect on commodity prices NOW. At least it's well known to people who embrace our free market; apparently those who favor a Marxist economic model are spending so much time bashing the free market that they missed this reality.
Professor R. Morris Coats of Nicholls State University in Louisiana submitted a study of this effect to the Energy Journal to demonstrate how it works.
The Energy Journal, however, declined to publish the study. They declined, not because it was flawed or unfounded or bad science, but because it was so obvious.
Professor James Smith at the Energy Journal said that this had already been demonstrated by the 1960s, and that "It is our policy to publish only original research that adds significantly to the body of received knowledge regarding energy markets and policy."
I guess it's like saying we don't need a new study to tell us that finding out help is on the way lifts your spirits now, even before the help actually arrives. It's something pretty much everyone understands.
The report summarizes how this works in the energy market:
Since future prices are expected to be lower, future profits are also lower, so the value of oil not produced now, but held for future sales, is lower, making it more profitable to go ahead and produce and sell now instead of waiting for future profits. Using oil now reduces the amount of oil available for the future, which involves the opportunity cost of forgone future profits, which are sometime called the marginal user costs or scarcity rents.
So you see that not only is the liberal anti-energy policy myopic (as it was 10 years ago), it also passes up an opportunity to lower gas prices today.
And drilling now will also have more substantive and long-lasting effect than any tire inflation strategy.
The Republicans aren't perfect, but they are the ones spending their vacation in the House, demanding a vote on drilling for more oil. They aren't the ones whining, "We can't do anything except penalize someone else. Waaaaaaaaa. Waaa, waaaaaaaa!"
Remember that when you get to the ballot box in November.
HT to Free Republic.
You may remember from my piece on Wal-Mart a few days ago that I'm not a big fan of unions, especially those which engage in political activities with the dues paid by union members.
A couple of days ago, the Wall Street Journal had an update on the "Extracurricular Politics" of the National Education Association (NEA).
You get some crazy stuff coming out of the education establishment these days. You would expect a segment of society that is (ostensibly) dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding to always do the smartest thing possible.
Instead, it seems the education establishment does some of the dumbest things possible, like this lawsuit in South Dakota where you have education groups--and even the schools themselves--trying to sue the state government for more taxpayer money. In other words, you have government using taxpayer money to sue government for more taxpayer money.
Can you say, "Duh"? I knew you could.
But maybe it's not about doing the smart thing; maybe it's about doing the self-interested thing. That's something the NEA knows a lot about.
If you don't already know about the NEA's tactics, it can be an education to find out what this group, ostensibly there to better your child's education, does that may run counter to your own values.
The Wall Street Journal piece points out that the NEA spent $2.3 million in the 2007-08 fiscal year to fight a voucher referendum in Utah. Not only did this educational group fight democracy itself, they did so on an issue that could have improved educational quality and opportunity for the children of Utah. In other words, the NEA isn't interested in the quality of your child's education, just keeping their nest feathered.
The piece says the NEA also spent $20,000 to conduct polling on a state constitutional convention in Hawaii. And $60,000 to oppose a state income tax repeal in Massachusetts (how is taking sides in an income tax issue supposed to improve your child's education?). Or $200,000 to oppose property tax cuts in Florida.
These are just a handful of examples.
Can you say, "The NEA is about feathering its nest at taxpayer expense"? I knew you could.
How could it possibly be summed up better than the way the piece ends:
It's a shame the NEA doesn't spend as much money and effort trying to improve lousy schools as it does trying to keep taxes high.
You didn't really believe Barack Obama when he said if we all inflated our tires to the proper level we could save as much oil as we would gain from offshore drilling, did you?
At least, you probably didn't unless you happen to belong to the same political party as Obama.
You did believe him? Oh, okay.
Well, for the rest of us, his statement probably didn't even make it past the smell test; I know it didn't for me.
And before I could start doing some research yesterday, I came across this piece from the Weekly Standard blog that does run the numbers.
They found that a best-case scenario for tire inflation would save us about 6% of what is already produced from offshore drilling, or about 4/10 of one percent of all the oil we use.
Wow. What energy leadership we see from Barack Obama. Let's just skip the election and coronate him right now as Most Beneficent One.
American Minute from William J. Federer
The largest town in Kentucky had less than 2,000 people, yet 25,000 came to Cane Ridge, Kentucky, AUGUST 7, 1801, from as far away as Ohio and Tennessee, to hear Barton W. Stone and other Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian ministers.
Part of the Second Great Awakening, these "camp meetings" were described by Rev. Moses Hodge: "Nothing that imagination can paint can make a stronger impression...Sinners dropping down on every hand, professors praying, others in raptures of joy!...There can be no question but it is of God, as the subjects...can give a clear and rational account of their conversion."
The revival began in the lawless Kentucky frontier in 1797 when James McGready and his small church agreed to: "bind ourselves to observe the 3rd Saturday of each month for one year as a day of fasting and prayer for the conversion of sinners in Logan County and throughout the world...pleading with God to revive His work."
Previously, in June of 1800, 500 gathered at the Red River and later 8,000 met at the Gaspar River, some from 100 miles away.
Reports stated: "The power of God seemed to shake the whole assembly...the cries of the distressed arose...No person seemed to wish to go home."
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The latest Gallup poll indicates the American people blame congress about equally with price gouging for high gas prices.
The poll says 58% blame gouging and 57% blame lack of action by congress.
You liberals in congress should listen up if you want to hang onto your seat in November...
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is playing planet crusader while allowing vulnerable Democrats (read: Democrats whose constitutents have had enough of $4.00 a gallon gas) to act like they support drilling for more oil.
I'm hearing that if Speaker Pelosi plays this game much longer, she may risk being overthrown as speaker by her own party.
According to a new Gallup Poll publicized on NewsMax, only about 1/3 of voters say most members of congress deserve re-election.
Could this spell trouble for the Democrat-controlled congress?
In the 1994 and 2006 mid-term elections, just 38 percent of registered voters said they would back incumbents for Congress, which resulted in control of the House switching from one party to the other.
You'd never see such a thing coming in the polls, because the "mainstream" media always massages the polls to make it look like Democrats are going to win everything in sight by a landslide.
But remember, they didn't see the Republican Revolution of 1994 coming. They didn't see Bush coming in 2000 and 2004 either.
Could the Republicans get it back in 2008? If they do, I only hope they've learned not to try to be the Democrat-Lite Party.
The South DaCola blog claims today that a recent post at Voices Carry is "misleading" because it points out that the South Dakota Campaign for UnHealthy Families seems to have designed their website to use a very similar color scheme to the VoteYesForLife.com website. (No mention of my post that same day, even earlier than Pastor Steve's--sniffle, sniffle)
South DaCola claims the old UnHealthy Families website had similar colors to the new site, and that it's VoteYesForLife.com that's the copycat.
Sorry, I know that with all the years of "mainstream" liberal media dominance, liberals feel entitled to revise history and facts at will, but there's a "new media" in town now, and that's not going to fly anymore.
Here is the new UnHealthy Families website:
So does the old UnHealth Families website have the same color scheme it has now? Thanks to the Wayback Machine we see that...well...not really.
Their logo/title is missing from the banner up top, because the Wayback Machine doesn't always archive graphics perfectly, but you can plainly see there is little similarity between the old and new site. I see red and brown and green on the old one, and some blue in the banner that is similar, but close to the VoteYesForLife.com colors?
Well, the new UnHealthy Families website is similar to the blues and gold of the VoteYesForLife.com website, but not the old one.
I couldn't get the old VoteYesForLife.com website to come up on the Wayback Machine at all, but you can see from this pic of one of their signs what their colors looked like in 2006 (middle right):
Note the blue "6"? And they had other variations on this, too, but they've stayed with the same general look.
I did manage to pull up one of their old voter guides, and since VoteYesForLife.com was pretty consistent with the same colors, this will give you a better idea than the small sign in the other picture.
Note the blue colors, white lettering and similar font?
As I said before, evil has this thing about masquerading as good.
It knows it has no legitimate merits of its own, and that all too often people will see it for what it is. So it has to confuse people into thinking it's something it's not. It has to look like the good, as best it can.
In the case of the abortion issue, it tries to cover chopped-up children, battered wombs and scarred hearts by veiling the issue in talk of "rights" and "choice" and "freedom." (While pouring contempt on the rights, choice and freedom of the unborn child merely to live).
And apparently, in this case at least, it tries to literally play the chameleon and take on the colors of the good side.
But people are wising up to the misdirection and deception from the pro-abortion crowd. I'm one who woke up to the shallow deception 15 years ago and became pro-life. And more are crossing over all the time.
Just as slavery now rests on the ash heap of history in the United States, so will abortion someday. And that day might come quicker than you think.
There are some in the pro-life community who don't support South Dakota's latest pro-life measure, Initiated Measure 11.
IM 11 is a measure which would ban most abortions in South Dakota. Unlike Referred Law 6 in 2006, IM 11 contains exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother.
The exceptions in IM 11 were carefully written to prevent abuse.
For instance, the health exception requires that the issue must involve "a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system." In making this determination, the abortionist must use "accepted standards of medical practice" which must be documented in the woman's medical records. In other words, the claim to invoke this exception cannot be frivolous and must be medically substantiated.
The exception for rape and incest requires that the incident be reported to law enforcement authorities before the abortion can occur. DNA evidence must be gathered from the woman and the unborn child and turned over to law enforcement authorities for use in prosecuting the perpetrator of the rape. In other words, a fictitious rape cannot be "made up" with no official substantiating testimony to justify an abortion.
According to the latest statistics available from the South Dakota Department of Health, IM 11 would prevent more than 98% of the abortions performed in South Dakota (page 12 of the pdf report).
The sticking point for some in the pro-life community is these exceptions, however small these exceptions may be.
Some pro-lifers rightfully understand that the need to abort a child in order to save the mother from serious bodily harm is rare (official statistics place the rate at 1.5% of all abortions).
These pro-lifers also understand that regardless of the terrible, brutal nature of the crime of rape, the unborn child is nevertheless the child of the mother, is a separate human being with unique human DNA, and that the child has done nothing wrong and does not deserve to be killed for the sins of the child's father. Official statistics state that 0.4% of abortions performed in 2006 were for rape.
These concerns are not inconsequential, and are certainly not overlooked by supporters of IM 11. I can't speak for all supporters of the measure, but I know that I fully supported Referred Law 6 and worked for its passage. I believed then and still do believe that it was the best, most logically consistent bill to protect women and children. And if we hadn't come up with that bill and worked so hard to pass it in 2006, I might have misgivings about Initiated Measure 11.
But we gave it our best shot. We tried to pass the best bill, the right bill, but for whatever reason the voters did not approve it. In having done our best and failed, I have no problems supporting the next best attempt to protect the life and health of unborn children and women: Initiated Measure 11.
IM 11 will save more than 98% of the children currently being aborted in South Dakota. If you saw a burning building and knew that you could save 98% of the occupants by doing something, or 0% by doing nothing, which would you choose? For me, having already tried for 100%, the choice is simple.
But more relevant than my opinion is that of a man from Dell Rapids named Bill Connor.
Bill Connor is a grown man who was himself a child conceived in an act of rape. Bill understands the value and human dignity of the child conceived even in the midst of such a terrible crime against a woman.
Bill supported Referred Law 6 because it obviously respected and reinforced the recognition of his own humanity and value.
But it might surprise you to know that Bill also supports IM 11.
A statement of Bill's support was published at the VoteYesForLife.com blog today.
Here is an excerpt:
I recently learned that the Yes-For-Life organization is supporting a new bill that clearly allows for the rarest of exceptions. And, of course, I immediately said YES. Why, you ask, since I was the product of a rape, can I support this bill? Because, this will allow virtually every passenger on board the “ship of life” to live. And, not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood again stands in opposition. This is real life politics, requiring the inspired to rise and be heard. So don’t be confused, nor discouraged, this debate is contentious and often without reason, but silence is no longer an option.
If you value human life in the womb but have been struggling with whether to support Initiated Measure 11, please go to the blog and read Bill's entire statement.
Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies said in 2006 that really the only reason they opposed Referred Law 6 was the lack of exceptions. Their renewed opposition to IM 11 is exposing them for the liars we knew they were.
But if the pro-life community doesn't come together and support IM 11, the abortionists may win yet again.
And hundreds of South Dakota children will continue to be killed in their mother's wombs.
By Marie Jon'
Soon, college students from all over America will start the fall semester. Freshman orientation will begin and there will be a mad dash to join (some not too wholesome) fraternities and sororities. Why degrade a college tradition? Because a good number of the social frat and sorority houses have become perverted "deprogramming" institutions whose mission is to undo everything that conscientious parents have strived to teach their kids through the years they've lived under their tutelage.
Be aware that college has trappings that include all the rituals of campus life. If you have not had a long heart-to-heart talk with your child who is about to enter a secular college, it could be their undoing. Every possible temptation is laid out before them like a buffet. Most institutions of higher learning are liberal and secular; consequently, they have become ultra-permissive bastions of the MTV lifestyle.
Drinking is just one of the issues with which your student will be confronted. They will also be encouraged to engage in sexual hookups, and with that activity the risk of a myriad of sexually-transmitted diseases. So what are the latest games being played on campuses?
Excerpt from TIME: The War Against Beer Pong
"Beer Pong is a virtual rendition of the popular college drinking game that requires players to toss Ping-Pong balls across a table and into a cup of beer (if your cup is hit, you drink). The game was designed for the popular Nintendo Wii platform, and its maker had planned to release it as the first game in its new Frat Party Games series. But concerned parents began sending angry letters to JV Games and Nintendo — Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal even got in on the action, sending his own missives to the companies — until JV Games agreed to change the title of the game to Pong Toss and fill its pixelated cups with water.
"'We never anticipated such a severe reaction to the word beer,' says Jag Jaegar, co-owner of JV Games, which released Pong Toss on July 28 with a kid-friendly rating of T for teen.
"The controversy isn't entirely surprising. The point of beer pong is to get your friends drunk — and parents and university administrators generally frown on that sort of thing. Last fall, Georgetown University banned beer pong, specially made beer-pong tables and inordinate numbers of Ping-Pong balls and any other alcohol-related paraphernalia in its on-campus dorms — even in the rooms of students of legal drinking age. The University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Tufts University have also banned drinking games. 'We're pleased that Tufts has put this in writing,' says Michelle Bowdler, a health administrator at the school. 'Although we understand that twenty one is the legal drinking age, we don't want our students participating in activities that could do excessive harm to themselves or others."Full Article
Common to the verbiage of campus life these days is a term called "pregaming." Pregaming — risky behavior that involves dorm room or off-campus apartment drinking — is practiced by underage students who cannot legally buy or consume alcohol. Their asinine goal is to drink as much booze as possible before going out to "Party Hardy."
Binge drinking — excess for its own sake — is encouraged by other students. As a result, hospitalization of their peers for acute alcohol poisoning is becoming practically epidemic. It is not unusual for some students to down as many as twenty-two shots of vodka while in a dorm room waiting with their friends to start a weekend of partying. Poisoning resulting from the intake of such massive quantities of alcohol in a short span of time has become widespread on campuses across the nation. Approximately three hundred students die each year.
A few college officials have advocated declaring their campuses dry and shutting down fraternity houses. Others believe that enforcement of the minimum drinking age of twenty-one is the solution. While these would indeed be helpful awareness and more education is the answer to this deadly dilemma.
The alcohol industry perpetuates the myth that the Europeans have the correct approach pertaining to alcoholic-related problems amongst their youth and citizenry. Europe has the same percentage of alcoholism as we have in America. If parents do not drink, it is more likely that neither will their children. Alcohol is a potentially addictive substance that also causes many health problems.
Data from recent surveys shows no evidence that young Europeans drink more responsibly than their counterparts in the U.S. Of 35 European countries, only Turkey reported less alcohol abuse among youth than the U.S.
In 1988, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) successfully lobbied Congress to make it mandatory for all states to mandate a drinking age of twenty-one or risk losing Federal highway funds. All 50 states complied, thus saving many lives. As it stands, three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetimes.
Since alcohol use is thoroughly ingrained in so many cultures, many spiritually-grounded people do not understand the benefits of total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Potential alcoholism and the grave misadventures connected with overindulgence are not the only pitfalls associated with alcohol overuse. Alcohol as a chemical is harmful to every organ in the human body in addition to having the tendency to compromise inhibitions and judgment.
Teach your children well by example and save them from emotional distress or worse, death. Keeping yourself healthy and fit is biblical. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own." (1 Corinthians 6:19)
So what are the latest games being played on campuses? Be aware that college has trappings that include all the rituals of campus life. If you have not had a long heart-to-heart talk with your child who is about to enter a secular college, it could be their undoing. Every possible temptation is laid out before them like a buffet. Most institutions of higher learning are liberal and secular; consequently, they have become ultra-permissive bastions of the MTV lifestyle.
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'
The California Catholic Conference has issued a statement in favor of Proposition 8, California's marriage protection amendment, that I think does a good job of encapsulating the unique value and status of marriage, i.e. as between a man and a woman.
Here is the statement:
A Constitutional Amendment to Restore the Definition of Marriage
"Only the rock of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of acting as a foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings." —Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, May 11, 2006
The issue before us with Proposition 8 is "marriage"—an ancient, yet modern, human institution which pre-exists both Church and government. Marriage, history shows us, is intrinsic to stable, flourishing and hospitable societies. Although cultural differences have occurred, what has never changed is that marriage is the ideal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and the continuation of the human race.
On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the current law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. This radical change in public policy will have many profound effects on our society, because it
- Discounts the biological and organic reality of marriage—and how deeply embedded it is in our culture, our language and our laws and ignores the common understanding of the word marriage; and because it
- Diminishes the word "marriage" to mean only a "partnership"-a purely adult contractual arrangement for individuals over the age of 18. Children—if there are any—are no longer a primary societal rationale for the institution.
As teachers of the faith, we invite our faithful Catholics to carefully form their consciences. We do that by drawing on the revelation of Scripture, the wisdom of Tradition, the experience and insights of holy men and women as well as on what can be known by reason alone.
Crystallizing the teaching on marriage, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1603, 1604) proclaims:
God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written inthe very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.
With all this in mind, we, as bishops, offer counsel to our Catholic people in California in their response to this radical change in California's public policy regarding marriage.
First, same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex unions. The marriage of a man and a woman embraces not only their sexual complementarity as designed by nature but includes their ability to procreate. The ideal for the well being of children is to be born into a traditional marriage and to be raised by both a mother and a father. We recognize that there are parents who are single and we laud them for the great sacrifices they make in raising their children.
Second, we need to recall that marriage mirrors God's relationship with us-and that marriage completes, enriches and perpetuates humanity. When men and women consummate their marriage they offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being. Any other pairing-while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved—is not marriage. We must support traditional marriage as the source of our civilization, the foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings, and the reflection of our relationship with God.
Third, we need to remember that we are all children of God possessed of human dignity and that each of us is created in God's image. Protecting the traditional understanding of marriage should not in any way disparage our brothers and sisters—even if they disagree with us.
Fourth, we must pray and work for a just resolution of this issue which is so important to the well being of the human family.
Fifth, as citizens of California, we need to avail ourselves of the opportunity to overturn this ruling by the California Supreme Court. On the November general election ballot, there will be Proposition 8 which reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." That language simply affirms the historic, logical and reasonable definition of marriage—and does not remove any benefits from other contractual arrangements.
And finally, we strongly encourage Catholics to provide both the financial support and the volunteer efforts needed for the passage of Proposition 8. And—please exercise your citizenship and vote in November.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Living "green" and thinking green and building green and doing green and being green are supposed to save the planet, right?
The National Center for Policy Analysis has a piece by Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment at the Washington Policy Center, which looks at the results from schools in Washington state that were built "green."
Supporters of green schools claimed the schools would save 30-50% in energy costs, reduce absenteeism by 10%, and even bring better test scores (perhaps they were too modest to predict Middle East peace as another result).
So is "building green" the wave of the future and the way to save our fragile, human-pillaged planet? Not really.
- In no case was the green school the most energy-efficient in the district.
- In some cases the green schools were more efficient than the most recently built nongreen school, but the difference between them was often very small.
- In no case were the energy costs for a green school 30 percent less than at comparable schools as supporters had projected.
Apparently the student body was equally unimpressed, since it also didn't do much for absenteeism, either. In three green schools, absenteeism was actually higher than the overall district rate.
The moral of the story: before you spend money for a ticket and jump on the "green" bandwagon, make sure the vehicle is actually going to go somewhere.
Barack Obama made a very slick recovery after failing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a town hall gathering in Berea , Ohio, according to Breitbart.com
The piece said a man wearing press credentials and carrying a professional-looking camera called this omission to Obama's attention.
For a man who's been hammered before for not not wearing a flag lapel pin and not placing his hand over his heart during the national anthem, he covered his faux pas well during this incident.
I think the man would place America in great jeopardy on many levels as president, but you have to hand it to someone when they can recover from a stumble this well.
*Trivia: Does anyone know where Berea, Ohio gets it's name?
This is an Obama ad from pHforAmerica.com.
A couple of months ago, Barack Obama spouted some Marxist drivel wrapped up in some "Christian" wrapping paper and called it "Biblical." He said anyone who didn't agree with his "Christian"-wrapped Marxism hasn't "been readin' the Bible."
As I've said before, and as this ad reiterates, it's Barack Obama who hasn't been readin' his Bible.
From KXMB in Bismark, North Dakota on Operation Dakota Peacekeeper, which increased the number of law enforcement officers on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation which is mostly in South Dakota and partly in North Dakota.
The reservation has had a crime problem, and in two months police have arrested 54 people for drug offenses and another 231 for alcohol crimes
Topics in today's show:
--John McCain's "celebrity" ad
--Obama tries the race card
--Hillary Clinton asks not to be nominated for vice president
--Democrats remove homeless people from Denver convention area
--Los Angeles bans plastic bags from supermarkets
--Britney Spears and ex Kevin Federline reach
NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.
This is from a KEVN report about Senator John McCain's appearance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota yesterday.
The Bangkok Post reports the communist Chinese will restrict access to Tiananmen Square, the site of the Chinese government's massacre of freedom-loving civilians in 1989.
What did we expect from an oppressive Marxist regime?
The Epoch Times reports the communist Chinese will restrict media access to "controversial" internet sites.
What did we expect from an oppressive Marxist regime?
Why did the world body agree to allow an oppressive Marxist regime host the Olympic Games in the first place?
Why does no one in the "mainstream" media seem concerned about either of these developments?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Monica Marti
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Pro-life initiative Measure 11 offers South Dakota voters an opportunity to stand in defense of preborn human life during the November election, and carries the endorsement of Focus on the Family Action in conjunction with the South Dakota Family Policy Council.
Both groups are urging South Dakota voters to vote “yes” on Measure 11, which would prohibit abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life or health of the mother is endangered by the continued pregnancy.
“South Dakota continues to be a driving force in efforts to protect women and the preborn from abortion. Focus on the Family Action is pleased to lend its support to this important ballot effort that will result in saving the lives of preborn children,” said Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Government and Public Policy for the organization.
“South Dakotans know the value of human life and the deep threats against it,” South Dakota Family Policy Council President Chris Hupke said. “Our organization pledges to come alongside this historic effort and the state’s voters to help ensure a November victory for Measure 11.”
Many on the Left feel if you get rid of guns, you get rid of violent crime. They seem to believe if you just pass a law against guns, that the criminally-inclined will be summarily cowed into unquestioning compliance and good behavior.
We've seen the utter fallacy of such nonsense in many places, with perhaps the most illustrious being our nation's capital, Washington D.C.--which has had the distinction of frequently being our nation's "murder capital." This despite one of the most egregious gun bans in the nation.
Now we also see fresh evidence from England that banning guns doesn't really make you more safe.
From the Mirror:
And police figures to be released this morning are expected to show 25,000 stabbings were committed in England and Wales in the last 12 months.
It is the first time the Government has given the go-ahead for such statistics - which will add to the public's fears.
The year's crime figures are also expected to show a total of around one million violent offences including murder, rape and robbery.
When I arrived in 1987 in England at the beginning of a three-year stay in that country, I bought a radio. After listening for several weeks, I noticed a shocking trend.
No, it wasn't just the fact that 98% of music on British radio was rap and hip-hop (as shocking and terrifying as that was). It was that every time the top-of-the-hour news report came on, it was filled with multiple reports of stabbings, slashings and stranglings.
The first news report I heard with all this non-gun violence struck me as noteworth. At first I thought there had been some anomalous breakout of violence. But such reports continued day after day, week after week. Finally I realized: there's a whole lot of violence going on here in Gun Control Land.
What was the solution? Ban kitchen knives? Ban rope, string and even hands? Hardly.
Since guns were outlawed in Britain, I quickly realized that even if you take people's guns away from them, they'll still find a way to kill one another if they have evil in their hearts.
Any benign object can be turned into a killing instrument if the user is determined to do harm.
The human tendency is look for quick and easy solutions; these too often involve banning items that have legitimate and useful purpose. But they don't solve the real problem: evil in the human heart.
If Britain and the United States really want to solve our crime and violence problem, we should start teaching objective moral values at a young age and continue doing so uniformly to and through adulthood. This should include moral training in school which reinforces the moral training that should be going on at home.
We made a conscious decision some 50 years ago to begin removing objective moral training from our education system, and we are reaping the product of that decision: young people caught up in all sorts of crime including violent crime, and a generation of adults all too willing to put their own priorities ahead of the person and property of another.
If we maintain our dogged secularism and rejection of moral truth, we can only expect the problem to get larger with each successive generation.
HT to The Land of the Free.
American Minute from William J. Federer
The first book printed in America was the Bay Psalm Book by John Eliot, who was baptized in England as an infant on AUGUST 5, 1604.
Called "Apostle to the Indians," he sailed to America and preached his first sermon in the Algonquian language in 1646. He translated the Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer and the Bible-the first to be printed in America, in 1663.
In a 1674 census, 4,000 "Praying Indians" were in 14 self-ruling villages with houses, streets, bridges, and their own ministers.
John Eliot wrote: "The Word of God is the perfect System of Laws to guide all moral actions of man."
In A Brief Narrative, July 20, 1670, Eliot wrote: "These Indians being of kin to our Massachusett Indians...received amongst them the light and love of the Truth...On a day of Fasting and Prayer, Elders were ordained...The Teacher of the Praying Indians of Nantucket, with a Brother...who made good Confessions of Jesus Christ...did make report that there be about ninety families who pray unto God in that island, so effectual is the Light of the Gospel."
Sadly, after the death of Pilgrim leader William Bradford and Indian chief Massasoit, tensions led to King Phillip's War in 1675 and hundreds of these Indians died.
This is a statement from Sergeant Major Brian Jones, USA (Ret.) in support of Section 654, Title 10, the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military.
Sergeant Major Jones joined Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, in testifying before Congress last week concerning the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.
This is a video of a statement by Elaine Donnelly, the President of the Center for Military Readiness, to the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel, in support of Section 654, Title 10, the law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military.
The only video clips I had found until now were only smart-allecky segments where homosexual activists and their "useful idiots" berated Ms. Donnelly with emotion-based arguments.
Ms. Donnelly's statement here covers some of the problems caused by homosexual behavior by military members, and why the military has considered such behavior incompatible with military service until Bill Clinton undermined military readiness and respect for the law.
This clip also serves to provide some history and background on the farcical policy implemented by former president Bill Clinton known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Don't Ask, Don't Tell basically amounted to an official policy of "We will ignore the law" from the Commander-in-Chief.
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
Second Week: What Has Been Learned Since the Roe v. Wade
Third Week: The Current Practice of Abortion in South Dakota
Last Week: The Experiences of Women Who Have Had Abortions
The following is from Section II.B.1 on the findings of the report: ===================================
It has been known for the past five decades that human beings are biologically made up of molecular building blocks. The development of these building blocks is controlled by genetic material known as deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and ribonucleic acids (RNA). DNA contains genetic information, and RNA contains instructions for the synthesis of proteins.
The Task Force received a declaration prepared by Dr. David Fu-Chi Mark, who explained the modern developments in molecular biology, the information it has recently revealed, and the significance of that information. Dr. Mark is a nationally celebrated molecular biologist who has patented various polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. In 1986, Dr. Mark was given the award of Inventor of the Year, which is a single award given across all disciplines of science and technology. That particular award was given to Dr. Mark for his work in obtaining a patent for Human Recombinant Interleukin-2 Muteins, which is used to treat cancer of the kidney and skin, and is still marketed internationally. He also obtained a patent for Human Recombinant Cysteine Depleted Interferon - B Muteins, which is a drug that is used to treat Multiple Sclerosis, and is also marketed internationally. These two drugs were developed by employment of new molecular biological techniques: DNA cloning, in vitro modification of DNA, and DNA sequencing.
Dr. Mark observed that until the development of molecular biology and modern molecular biological techniques,
"most scientific knowledge concerning human identity and human development prior to birth was based solely upon gross morphological observations and biochemical studies. Over the past [twenty] years there have been extraordinary scientific, medical and technological advances and discoveries which expose the rather rudimentary level of knowledge and ignorance of science, errors of fact and judgment concerning past scientific understanding of the child's existence as a human being, the child's early development and ability to react to the child's environment and feel pain prior to birth. The new techniques developed through the exploding revolution over the past [twenty years] permits scientists to observe human existence and development at a molecular level, which is applicable in determining genetic uniqueness, genetic diseases and related information through the analysis of human genes well in advance of the old gross, anatomical observation." (Mark Declaration, P. 5, Par. 6.)
Dr. Mark described and explained in technical detail, with full citations to the relevant literature, nine of the many new major molecular biological technologies, and how they have been used to discover information about the unborn child:
1. Use of Restriction Endonuclease Enzymes: a technique discovered early in molecular biology that allowed scientists to use enzymes to cut pieces of DNA so that DNA can be manipulated in a test tube. This technique has had great practical application. (Mark P. 5-7, Par. 7A.)
2. DNA Cloning: a technique first achieved in 1974 which allows a scientist to take a portion of DNA from a single cell, reproduce it, and make copies of it, allowing for the modern study of DNA and its reproduction. It was with the advent of development of DNA cloning in 1974 that molecular biology began in 1974. (Mark, P. 7-8, Par. 7B.)
3. DNA Probe: a technology, first developed in 1979, that allows scientists to determine whether information contained in a certain gene is being expressed; study genome structure and identify sites of cytosine methylation (discussed below); and facilitate the development of DNA fingerprinting technology. (Mark, P. 8-9 Par. 7C.)
4. Southern Blot: a technique that permits the study of a single gene fragment. The importance of Southern Blot is the new ability to visualize the DNA of specific interest to the scientist, and it has led to the discovery and use of DNA fragmentation patterns visualized by Southern Blot as DNA fingerprints. DNA fingerprints, as discussed below, allows for the identification of DNA fragments both specific to the species Homo sapiens, and the specific individual member of the species. (Mark, P. 10, Par. 7D.)
5. Northern Blot: a technique that permits detection of messenger RNA (mRNA) in extremely small quantities of material. The importance of Northern Blot is the new ability of science to determine whether a specific gene is expressed in a particular tissue, which led to an understanding of the role of DNA methylation in regulating gene expression. (Mark, P. 11, Par. 7E.)
6. DNA Mapping: an important technique that allows scientists to determine if there are differences in DNA sequences, which provide science with the ability to detect abnormalities due to mutations in DNA, and to identify sites of DNA methylation. (Mark, P. 11-12, Par. 7F.)
7. DNA Fingerprinting: a technique first discovered in the mid-1980s by Alec Jeffries in Great Britain which gained wide application in the early to mid-1990s being introduced as evidence in American courts. It was learned by DNA mapping and Southern Blot analysis that the human genome contains many repetitive DNA sequences. Jeffries and his colleagues discussed in 1985 that, with the combined use of DNA mapping and Southern Blot, that a highly polymorphic DNA fragmentation pattern can be visualized. It was discovered that the highly variable DNA fragmentation patterns are characteristic of each individual human being, and the same pattern is found in all the cells of an individual. The significance of DNA fingerprinting is that it demonstrates the uniqueness of each human being, even at the first cell stage. (Mark, P.12, Par. 7G.)
8. DNA Sequencing: the currently used rapid sequencing techniques were first developed in 1997. The importance of DNA sequencing is that from the gene code, science can better understand the functioning and development of the human being, including the ability to identify potential sites for DNA methylation. It also helps science determine the difference in genes in order to identify the nature of mutations. (Mark, P. 12-14, Par. 7H.)
9. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): without PCR, DNA could not be analyzed from a single cell. The PCR technique was first invented in 1985 to rapidly amplify a segment of DNA up to a million fold from a very small amount of material. PCR greatly enhanced the ability of science to understand the uniqueness of each human being. (Mark, P. 14, Par. 7I.)
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.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Fox News and others are reporting that the energy "Gang of 10" which includes Senator John Thune have formulated an energy proposal to lower gas prices.
While I'm not totally happy with their plan, this group of Democrats and Republicans seem to have a slightly better understanding of the problem of high gas prices than Democrat Senator Ken Salazar last week.
From Human Events:
McConnell was asking for unanimous consent, so the bill could pass immediately. Try as he might, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Co) objected no matter how high McConnell raised the ante.
$4 a gallon? Salazar objected. $7.50 a gallon? Again, Salazar objected. Finally, McConnell offers a trigger for offshore drilling permission at $10 a gallon gasoline prices. And guess what? Salazar objected.
The Democrats would rather have us under the burden of $10 a gallon gasoline than give permission for offshore oil drilling.
The Democrats are supposedly the party of the common man? Can you say "out of touch?" Can you say, "elitist?" Can you say, "Let them eat cake?" I knew you could.
Here's what the Gang of 10 has in mind, from Fox News:
The plan also would require automobiles to be more fuel efficient and would provide research money for improved batteries to move away from petroleum-products in cars: the plan calls for 85 percent of vehicles to run on non-petroleum-based fuel in 20 years.
Senators said the bill also would promote more renewable energy sources and nuclear energy, as well as carbon capture techniques to reduce greenhouse gas production through tax and other incentives.
"This bill would do more to lower gas prices at the pump" than any other plan, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Any change in production would send a powerful signal to markets" that would ease back on speculation that primarily Democrats have blamed as one reason for sky-high oil prices.
Actually, I can think of a a plan that would do more to lower gas prices at the pump: one that incorporates immediate drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), immediate drilling offshore, streamlining the regulatory and permitting process for new refineries, and streamlining approval and building of new nuclear reactors.
As for the carbon capture and other promotion of faerie tales, the only effect that might have would be to raise energy prices.
I also don't put much stock in the call for most cars to run on non-petroleum energy sources in 20 years. Maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't, but "calling" for it isn't going to conjure it up like a magical spell.
And when you consider that the CAFE standards of times past have "called for" more fuel efficient cars, this increased efficiency has come not so much at the hands of better technology, but cheap, plastic, toy-like cars that are totalled after even a low-speed impact.
And how many people have died from riding around in these plastic death traps? About 46,000 people, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration information published in USA Today.
What will be the unintended consequence of a mandate for "85 percent of vehicles to run on non-petroleum-based fuel in 20 years?" How many lives might it cost if no miracle breakthrough occurs in the next 20 years?
I suppose this plan would be better than the current Democrat plan: do nothing.
Perhaps this is a sign that not enough pressure has been put on our elected representatives yet. Apparently they still don't take $4.00 a gallon gasoline--or our energy needs--seriously.
Let's keep turning up the heat, folks. How many Senate seats lost will it take the Democrats to get the picture: 4? 7? 10?