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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, January 03, 2009

Israeli Defense Force Hits the Blogosphere

If you're interested in getting some information about what's going on in Israel and Gaza--you know, beyond the Israel-bashing, "terrorists are victims" crap you get from the "mainstream" media--the Israeli Defense Force has now entered the Web 2.0 age.

The have a blog called IDF Spokesperson where you can catch some of the latest updates about the war against terrorism in the Middle East--specifically as it affects Israel.

The IDF also has a YouTube channel where you can view footage of some of the IDF precision strikes against terrorist strongholds. Unlike the terrorists who intentionally target innocent civilians, the IDF does everything it can to minimize noncombatant casualties.

An interesting post at the IDF blog yesterday points out the number of rockets and mortars fired against Israel since 2005.

In 2007 alone, there were more than 2,500!

Forget for a moment our peaceful relations with Canada and Mexico. Imagine 2,500 rocket and mortar attacks along the U.S. border in the last year.

Imagine rocket and mortar attacks along Washington State, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Imagine the property damage, the fear, the injuries, and the lives lost to these attacks. Since the borders of these states are immensely larger than Israel's borders, imagine these 2,500 attacks spread along the border Vermont.

Or if it's easier to imagine, think of Cuba lobbing 2,500 mortars and rockets at Florida over the past year.

Would we stand idly by and twiddle our thumbs as many demand Israel do? Would we expect our leaders to negotiate with these attackers as many demand Israel do? Would we think of these attackers as "victims" and blame the targets of these attacks as many do Israel?

Or would we do as we did after 911--as any decent and self-respecting nation would do--and retaliate with decisive force to remove the threat and disinvite future attacks?

For too long the West has sought to restrain Israel from defending herself. We are Israel's chief ally; it's time we started acting like it. It's time we got out of their way and let them bring the majority of Middle East terrorism to an end--by boldly demonstrating that it will not be tolerated, and will be met with crippling retaliation.

That is the only way to deal with evil, fanatical forces who are determined to annihilate you. Too many innocent civilians have died in the name of "civility" and "talks" and "negotiations." The job of ending terrorism is long overdue.

Focus on the Family Explains Why Glenn Beck Interview Was Pulled

Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jan. 01 2009 07:15 PM EST

Focus on the Family got to work this week in explaining in detail why it pulled from its website an interview with a Mormon author.

“We intended no insult,” expressed ministry spokesman Gary Schneeberger, in a statement. “[W]e merely miscalculated on how best to feature Glenn [Beck], whom we greatly appreciate.”

Last week, some time before Christmas celebrations, Focus on the Family took down the interview with Beck amid complaints from the evangelical community over the former CNN host’s Mormon ties.

The interview, produced by a freelance reporter in Colorado Springs and not Focus on the Family, focuses on Beck’s recently released book, The Christmas Sweater, which has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for Hardcover Fiction for six consecutive weeks and currently ranks at No. 1.

In the interview, Beck talked about what Christmas means to him, how he came to write the book, and what message he hoped readers will take away from the book.

“Sometimes redemption has been made into a word that people don't understand,” he said. “They need to know it's true, it's real. It's not a word, it's a life-changing force. It's transformed my life, who I was to the very core of my being. If it wasn't for me accepting the gift that the Lord gave to me, I'd be dead today.”

Since the interview was published, a number of Christians throughout the blogosphere raised flags and sounded alarms, concerned that Focus on the Family was compromising central doctrinal truths to win the culture war.

“They use Mr. Beck's story as a way to show that hope can be found in God, which is true enough; the problem is that Mr. Beck's god is not the Triune God of the Bible nor is his Jesus the Jesus of the Bible,” commented Dustin S. Seger, pastor of Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro, N.C., in the co-authored blog “Grace in the Triad.”

Beck, however, maintains that the book's message can be and has been embraced by people of different faiths and should not be “censored” because of his own personal religious views. The book tells the narrative of a boy named Eddie who embarks on a dark and painful journey on the road to manhood.

“The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement,” Beck expressed in a released statement after the interview was pulled from Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink website.

“Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship,” he added.

According to Schneeberger, however, Focus on the Family could not intimate to its evangelical base that the differences in Mormon faith and the historic evangelical faith are inconsequential.

“We can, and do, gladly cooperate with friends outside of the evangelical heritage on common causes; but in no case do we intend to alter our clear distinction as unwaveringly grounded in evangelical theology,” he explained.

But Schneeberger made sure to also distance the ministry from another that had strongly rebuked it for the article’s posting.

“[W]e do not condone the tone of communications put out from UnderGround Apologetics,” he clarified, referring to the controversial apologetics ministry that spoke out against Focus on the Family last week. “And we can without reservation say that the group's news release had nothing to do with our decision to pull the article from publication."

In their statement three days before Christmas, UnderGround Apologetics called Mormonism a cult and chastised Focus on the Family for “opening the door to false religions.”

“[T]o promote a Mormon as a Christian is not helpful to the cause of Jesus Christ,” it added.

Despite such statements and the recent move by Focus on the Family, Beck, who not long ago left CNN Headline News for a multiyear deal with Fox News, said he is “humbled and grateful” that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read his book and have “appreciated its uplifting message for themselves.”

“At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness,” he stated.

While many Christians today still view the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the official name of the Mormon church) as a cult, more have come to view it as another religion – some going as far as calling Mormonism a fourth Abrahamic religion.

Aside from rejecting the Trinity and their belief in many gods, Mormons believe their prophet, Joseph Smith, was “the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam,” according to the Mormons’ History of the Church.

Formally listed under “cults and sects” by the Southern Baptist Convention, Mormonism was later categorized among “newly developed religions” on the North American Mission Board apologetics page.

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

Rick Warren is no Billy Graham


Last August I wrote a column critical of Rick Warren's decision to host a presidential candidate forum at his Saddleback Church.

My reasoning then was that America's crisis is moral ambiguity. I argued that Pastor Warren would only contribute to this ambiguity by hosting candidates with opposing views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality and presenting himself as a neutral moderator.

Only Barack Obama would gain, I felt, being showcased as an acceptable candidate by one of the nation's best known evangelical pastors. If John McCain had wanted to clarify his social conservative credentials, he didn't need to go to Rick Warren's church with Barack Obama to do it.

Evangelicals and other Christians listened as Rick Warren called Obama and McCain "friends" and "patriots" and watched as Warren winced no more than would have Larry King when Sen. Obama said it was above his "pay grade" to consider if and when an unborn child has human rights.

Evangelicals had already been hearing from Warren, and left-leaning pastors like Jim Wallis, that they should broaden their primary concerns beyond sex and abortion.

In retrospect, I cannot prove that I was right. But I think the evidence powerfully supports my claim.

Barack Obama picked up five percentage points of the evangelical vote over what John Kerry received in 2004. Those five percentage points amounted to about a third of Obama's winning vote margin over John McCain.

Sure, the Saddleback Forum alone does not explain this shift. But the legitimacy Obama gained that night certainly didn't hurt.

The largest shift was among 18-29 year old evangelicals. Obama got 32 percent of their vote -- double what John Kerry had gotten.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after the forum, Warren was oblivious to the vulnerability of this group. The Journal reported, "... as for the notion that younger evangelicals are ready for rebellion against their parents' ideals, Mr. Warren cites polls showing that the younger evangelical generation is even more concerned about abortion than the older one." True. But this was only one part of the picture.

In 2007 the Pew Research Center reported that Republican identification among 18-29 year old white evangelicals had dropped from 55 percent in 2005 to 40 percent.

A survey done by Greenburg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 26 percent of 18-29 year old evangelicals, compared to 9 percent of those over 30, support same-sex marriage.

Now President-elect Obama has invited Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural. The NY Times calls this an "olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals" and many now call Warren this era's Billy Graham.

An olive branch? Rick Warren helped get Obama elected and our President-Elect understands that there is still evangelical gold to be mined in the pastor from Saddleback Church.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright can explain how Barack Obama uses pastors. Obama sat in his church for 20 years and used his words for the title of his best-selling book, then discarded him when he became a political liability.

Regarding the Billy Graham comparison, it challenges even the most creative imagination to picture the Rev. Graham's ever hosting a forum for political candidates.

In an interview, Barack Obama recalled a previous invitation to Saddleback Church. "...I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion." I doubt that Billy Graham would see this in the spirit of his own calling to bring the gospel to all who would listen.

Nor would I see the Rev. Graham signing onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative, as has Rick Warren. This gives Christian cover to the left to raise our energy costs to address still-unsubstantiated environmental claims.

But on global warming, Rick Warren and Barack Obama are on the same page. Perhaps these will be the first post-inaugural chips that our new president will call in.

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, January 02, 2009

Finding a 'New Normal' After Losing Two Daughters to a Shooting

From today's CitizenLink:

On Dec. 9, 2007, teenage sisters Stephanie and Rachel Works were killed outside New Life Church in Colorado Springs. In their new book, "Gone in a Heartbeat," David and Marie Works tell their story of love, loss and an enduring faith in God.

From the transcript:
I think the most important thing is that we can find God in the present moment. I know it seems really counterintuitive when bullets are flying, glass is shattering, people are dying, that God is there. It seems like the evil one has really taken control. But that, in our experience, wasn’t the case and hasn’t been the case. And that has made all the difference in the world as evil walks with us every day. As the theologians would say, He is really omnipresent. He doesn’t leave us or forsake us.

The other thing is that He can give us a peace that we never had. And that comes from grace. We use the phrase that “we were carried in the hands of His grace, from the minivan on.” And we felt like we were just being carried along. We were just kind of actors in a play and not really in control of anything, but everything was happening according to some cosmic plan, and everything was working out very well. We have been graced like I can’t even imagine.

It’s a double-edged sword because at the one time, we were feeling so blessed, and the other time there’s this huge hole that is never going away in this life. That part is never going to be resolved until we cross over and are together again. Other than that, God has been incredibly good to us in every way shape or form. We have a wonderful Church family that has been incredibly supportive. The community has been supportive. My employer has been incredible. I don’t know what else you could ask for. It’s kind of amazing, the whole thing.

We feel radically blessed. I have to admit when I look at other situations, it seems that ours has been somewhat easier. And I can’t really explain that. I wish I could promise everyone that the pain isn’t going to be that bad, ‘cause in our case, it hasn’t been that bad if you look at other things. For us, there’s days we still cry. Some days we just don’t feel like doing anything. That’s just life. That’s just the process we’re in.

New Dakota Voice Update

Well, the switch to the new Dakota Voice format and website flew like the proverbial rock.

I had been testing the new site at the new location for several months now. Not a hitch. Working perfectly at that location right up to the minute the CNAME change for www.dakotavoice.com was supposed to switch over to the new location.

And when the new website came up, it looked great...for about 3 minutes before it inexplicably crashed, stating it couldn't connect with the MySQL database. Uh huh.

I couldn't resolve the issue in the limited time I had this morning, so I've had the CNAME switched back.

Will make another run at this tonight and/or over the weekend.

That's IT systems for you: everything works great in test, but roll it out into production and...flop!

Betsy Ross Day

American Minute from William J. Federer

JANUARY 2nd is Betsy Ross Day.

Born a day earlier, January 1, 1752, to a Quaker family in Philadelphia, she was 8th of 17 children.

Apprenticed as a seamstress, she fell in love with upholsterer John Ross, son of an Episcopal rector at Christ Church and nephew of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

As Quakers forbade interdenominational marriage, John and Betsy eloped, being married by New Jersey Governor William Franklin, Ben Franklin's son.

Attending Christ's Church with Jefferson, Hamilton and Franklin, their pew number 12 was near George Washington's.

During the Revolution, John Ross died when a munitions depot he was guarding blew up. Shortly after, in June 1776, General Washington reportedly asked Betsy Ross to sew the American Flag.

In 1777, Betsy married sea captain Joseph Ashburn at the Old Swedes Church. That winter the British forcibly quartered in their home.

Joseph Ashburn sailed to the West Indies to get war supplies, but was captured by the British and sent to Old Mill Prison, where he died in 1782.

Another prisoner there was John Claypoole, who married Betsy in May 1783 at Christ Church and together they had 5 children.

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.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year Brings Changes at Dakota Voice

Tomorrow sometime Dakota Voice will have a new look.

Dr. Theo has been the inspiration for much of this change and has provided key advice at many stages of development.

I'm moving DV completely off the Blogger platform and onto a content management system. There are a few drawbacks to this system, but the gains more than make it worth the switch.

For one thing, the new system will make more efficient use of space, especially "above the fold" space.

I will also be able to place featured articles near the top of the page and even rotate two or three if desired. The old Blogger platform is like a roll of toilet paper; what you pull off the roll just keeps getting farther and farther down. What that means is that if you do an important post, then do two or three quick hits, the important one loses visibility as it streams down the page. The new "featured article" function will allow me to keep a brief excerpt and link to such an important piece near the top, for a couple of days if warranted.

I can also put a short list of the 5 latest posts w/link near the top, and can do the same with the top x number of posts according to what's hit the most.

The new format will also allow me to use a "Read more" function so that on the front page the reader sees the first 2-3 paragraphs of an article and can click "read more" to see the rest. That will allow room for more posts on the front page, as will the 2-column format.

I'll also be using a third-party comments system called Disqus which allows for better moderation control, including blocking a troublesome commenter by username, email or IP address.

There will be an opportunity to become a registered user with Dakota Voice. There is no requirement to do so, but in the future registered users will have a few perks and access to some material that average readers will not.

We'll also be able to run ads and ad rotators more efficiently than ever. This isn't something I've placed a high priority on before, but now that it will be so easy, I plan to seek more advertisers in the coming months.

There are still some bugs to work out, including a few that can't be resolved until the DNS is switched tomorrow. Also, there isn't a real seamless system that I've been able to find for archiving posts from Blogger, so posts going back the last three years are going to take some work to get over there to the new location. I have a plan in progress that should work, but it's going to take a lot of manual intervention to get it done.

So please be patient with the transition. I think we're all going to like the new setup much better once we get used to it.

Flight of Endeavor

I sometimes think that NASA is just another bloated federal bureaucracy run by politicians more interested in budgets than blastoffs, but this series of photos sent to me by a doctor friend who was once in charge of the astronaut recovery team still makes me swell with pride and awe. Click here for more photos.

Dropping the Ball

From our friends at Americans for Limited Government.

A Promise to God

American Minute from William J. Federer

Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Portland Chase, reported that September 1862, President Lincoln commented to his Cabinet after the Confederate Army lost the Battle of Antietam: “The time for the annunciation of the emancipation policy can no longer be delayed. Public sentiment will sustain it, many of my warmest friends and supporters demand it, and I have promised God that I will do it.”

When asked about the last statement, Lincoln replied: “I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves.”

The Emancipation Proclamation stated: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief...do, on the FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three...publicly proclaim...that all persons held as slaves...are, and henceforward shall be, free... And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence... and... recommend... they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.”

Lincoln concluded: “And upon this act...I invoke...the gracious favor of Almighty 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.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all from Dakota Voice!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Healthy Son Despite Doctors Advice to Abort

What an incredible illustration of why abortion for alleged fetal anomalies is such a terrible idea!

This story comes from the British Telegraph about little Kai Purdy who, while still in the womb, was alleged by doctors to have several problems and doctors advised terminating him.

Terminate a child because he has some problems. Think of that the next time your toddler or the toddler of someone you know gets sick or has "some problems." Just terminate him?

Doctors said Kai could have a fatal chromosome defect and a life threatening heart condition. Notice they said "could." A heart condition that could require surgery, and Edwards Syndrome--the presence of an 18th chromosome--with a life expectancy of about four months if he survived birth. Twice doctors counseled abortion and twice Kai's parents rejected it.

Though he spent six months in intensive care when he was born prematurely, Kai is doing well. He has had some problems, but as the picture in the article shows, he's doing fine. And at 9 months old, he's beaten the four-month lifespan he was prescribed more than once over again.

Even with our knowledge and instruments available today, doctors cannot and do not know everything.

In a world of disease and imperfection, sometimes children do die, even before leaving the womb. But sometimes God intervenes, and sometimes doctors were wrong to begin with.

Better to leave life and death up to the Author of Life, and not take death into our own hands by killing innocent children.

Atheist: Africa Needs Christ More Than Financial Aid

Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post

By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Dec. 30 2008 04:40 PM EST

The problems in Africa cannot be solved with aid money alone, but Africans need to know God, contends an atheist journalist and former politician.

Religion offers change to the hearts and minds of people – something aid cannot do, argues Matthew Parris, a former conservative British member of parliament, in a column for U.K.-based The Times.

“Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts,” writes Parris, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but now lives in England. “These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do.”

He went on to say, “In Africa, Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”

His seeming epiphany of the positive effects of Christianity on Africa came after a trip to Malawi before Christmas. There, he met with a small British charity that works to install pumps on wells in rural villages to keep the water sealed and clean.

Although the charity, Pump Aid, is secular, he noticed that the most impressive staff members were privately “strong” Christians. While he recalls how none of the charity team members spoke about religion, he says he saw one studying a devotional textbook in the car and another leaving for church at dawn on a Sunday.

“It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work were unconnected with personal faith,” Parris admits. “Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were … influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity has taught.”

Meeting the Christians working with Pump Aid also triggered his memories of missionaries and Christians he met as a boy growing up in Africa.

He recalls how the African converts to Christianity that he met as a boy “were always different.” Their new religion did not confine them, but seemed to liberate and relax them, Parris says.

“There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life,” he recalls. “They stood tall.”

Christianity, he adds, also helps Africans break free from the communal and superstitious mindset that suppresses individuality. Parris criticizes the “rural-traditional mindset” for feeding into the “‘big man’ and gangster politics” in African cities that teach “exaggerated respect” for a “swaggering leader” that has no room for opposition.

But Christianity – post-Reformation and post-Luther – teaches a “direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God” that eliminates mediation by the group or any other human being, Parris notes. It offers a framework of social life for those who want to “cast off a crushing tribal groupthink.”

“That is why and how it liberates,” Parris states.

He concludes by arguing that for Africa to be competitive with other global leaders in the 21st century, it must not only think that materials or knowledge is all it needs for development and change.

“A whole belief system must first be supplanted,” the atheist journalist contends.

He warns that removing Christian evangelism from the “African equation” may “leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.”

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

Time to Downsize Federal Government

A video from the Cato Institute on downsizing government was brought to my attention by my fellow Red County Blogger Steve Dalton.

For liberals out there who have a hard time understanding our foundational and constitutional mandate of limited government in the United States, let me explain something.

For instance, this video focuses on the need to downsize (dare I say "eliminate"?) the Agriculture Department. I grew up on a farm, the son of a farmer who was the son of a farmer, going back generations. I married into a farming family, with my father-in-law as a rancher going back generations. I appreciate the importance of agriculture.

But agriculture does not need to be regulated at a Department level by the federal government. In fact, it should not be, under our constitution. Agriculture will function much better under a private economic environment...and will cost the taxpayers billions less. Market forces have always been and remain the best regulator of practices in the agriculture or any industry. The government needs to end this Soviet-style central farming model and get its paws out of agriculture.

The insanity of government-run agriculture doesn't just extend to bloated bureaucracy and inefficiency. Our system also fosters egregious inequalities.

The Cato Institute video mentions Riceland Foods, an organization that I mentioned in a Rapid City Journal column I did a couple of years ago on agricultural subsidies. Subsidies are typically there to help "the little guy;" you know, the one socialists are so enamored with (my dad and father-in-law are, incidentally, one of those "little guys). So why does the bulk of the largess from the farm bill go to huge farming operations that don't really need help?

From my 2006 RCJ column:

For example, a 2004 Heritage Foundation report says Riceland Foods, an Arkansas co-op, received $110 million in farm subsidies. Yet Hoovers' business information says in 2006 to date, Riceland made $937 million in sales. We need the farm bill for this?

It's time for this to end. Time to send all our rowdy friends home, pick up the beer bottles, clean up the puke and declare that this party is over.

America has flirted and cavorted with socialism for some 60 years or more. The signs of its failure are legion here at home and internationally.

It's time to return to the free market system that made America great.

Terrorists are Victims

How dare the Israelis defend themselves against terrorism! How dare the Israelis defend themselves against rocket attack!

The kind of total and utter lies and revisionism belched out by Diana Buttu are standard operating procedure.

The only thing about this interview that isn't SOP is that it occurred on Fox News, where these revisionist lies were challenged for a change. Most of the "mainstream" media is simply happy to put a sympathetic arm around the terrorist aggressors and wag a finger at bad ole' Israel.

People like Buttu rely on the axiom that if you speak a lie loud enough long enough, people will accept it as the truth.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

American Minute from William J. Federer

On DECEMBER 31, 1955, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led a nonviolent protest by boycotting the city buses of Montgomery, Alabama.

Rev. King stated: "If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, 'There lived a great people...who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.'"

At the end of the year, 1962, President John F. Kennedy stated: "We mark the festival of Christmas which is the most sacred and hopeful day in our civilization. For nearly 2,000 years the message of Christmas, the message of peace and good will towards all men, has been the guiding star of our endeavors...the birthday of the Prince of Peace."

President Kennedy continued: "To the one million men in uniform who will celebrate this Christmas away from their homes...and to all of you I send my very best wishes for a blessed and happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year."

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Congressional Priorities

From our friends at Americans for Limited Government.

At God's Great Judgment Seat

American Minute from William J. Federer

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, And never the twain shall meet, Till earth and sky stand presently, At God's great judgment seat" wrote Rudyard Kipling in Ballad of East and West.

Born DECEMBER 30, 1865, in Bombay, India, he was sent back to England at age 5 for schooling. Poor eyesight ended hopes of a military career, so at age 16 he returned to India as a journalist, winning acclaim for his poems.

He fell in love with his friend's sister, Caroline Balestier, while visiting in America. They married and settled in Vermont, where two of their children were born. There he wrote Captains Courageous and The Jungle Books.

Once back in England, he declined King George V's offer of knighthood, Poet Laureate and Order of Merit, though accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. His works include: Kim, Wee Willie Winkie, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Gunga Din.

President Reagan said, December 13, 1988: "As I prepare to lay down the mantle of office...I cannot help believe that what Rudyard Kipling said of another time and place is true today for America: 'We are at the opening verse of the opening page of the chapter of endless possibilities.' Thank you, and God bless you."

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.

Obama Tops Most Admired Poll

Reprinted by permission of The Christian Post

By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Sun, Dec. 28 2008 10:02 AM EST

For the first time in more than 50 years, a U.S. President-elect topped the Gallup Poll’s list of most admired men living in the world today.

Incoming president Barack Obama is the man Americans admired the most in the world, hands down, according to the new USA Today/ Gallup Poll survey. Nearly one out of three (32 percent) Americans named Obama as their top pick, way ahead of distant No. 2 selection President George W. Bush, who had only five percent.

Former Republican presidential nominee John McCain held the No. 3 spot with three percent, and Pope Benedict XVI, the Rev. Billy Graham, and former President Bill Clinton tied for the fourth slot with two percent, according to the annual list of Most Admired Man.

Obama is the first President-elect since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to top the list. Moreover his remarkable 32 percent is much higher than the support other President-elects usually enjoy.

When George W. Bush was President-elect in 2000, he was picked by only five percent of Americans, ranking fourth in the Gallup Poll list of most admired man in the world. In 1992, then President-elect Bill Clinton ranked second behind outgoing president George H.W. Bush, with 15 percent.

Americans’ high level of respect for Obama is comparable, but not as high as President George W. Bush’s 39 percent following the 9/11 attacks. At that time, Bush’s job approval rating was at a high 86 percent.

Besides the honor of being America’s most admired man in 2008, Obama will also hold the honor of being the first U.S. president to be presented a Bible by the American Bible Society during his inauguration next month.

Other U.S. presidents have been presented an ABS Bible, but none have had the Bible presented to them during their inauguration.

Obama will be given an official King James Version Personalized Presidential Edition Bible by the 193-year-old American institution.

"This is where faith and culture intersect," said Autumn Black, the public relations director of ABS. "We want to be able to personally support President Obama in his faith walk."

Leading up to the inauguration, a large network of Christians – numbering more than 73,000 – have committed to pray for President-elect Obama to be a good leader during the current times of economic and international turmoil. The presidential prayer effort is organized by best-selling Christian author Max Lucado.

While Obama leads the list of most admired men in the world, his former presidential rival and soon-to-be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the top spot for the most admired woman in the world (20 percent) in 2008. Clinton is followed by new political star Alaska governor Sarah Palin, with 11 percent.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (8 percent), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (7 percent), and incoming First Lady Michelle Obama (7 percent) rounded out that top five spots on the most admired woman list.

The survey, conducted Dec. 12-14 by USA Today/Gallup Poll, is based on telephone interviews with 1,008 national adults, aged 18 and older. The results were published on Dec. 26, 2008.

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Meeting to Cut the Budget

This SNL skit on a company holding a meeting about cutting its budget reminds me too much of government attempts (and failures) to force itself to live under restraint.

The similarities: few people seem serious about it, the most serious proposals are the most harmful to the organization, the people being asked for advice are idiots, in the end it never gets done...and sooner or later it's all going to come crashing down.

Now the Abortion Industry Wants In On The Action

As reported by OneNewsNow:

Abortion industry asks Obama for billions in funding
Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 12/29/2008 3:30:00 AM

A major abortion provider wants taxpayers to fork over more money, even while the economy is down.

Over 50 pro-abortion groups have submitted a 55-page wish list called "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration" to the incoming Obama administration. Jim Sedlak of American Life League's (ALL) Stop Planned Parenthood, or Stopp International, has tallied the cost.

'They want unfettered abortion. They want the government paying for all of its programs,' he contends. 'In fact, [if] you total up everything that they've asked Obama for, Planned Parenthood and their friends want the taxpayers to give them $4.6 billion next year.'

And why not? Everyone else is clawing for a place at the public teats. Besides, the abortion industry has never had such opportunity as now with the election of a socialist president and congress.

Religion and History in Washington, D.C.

This is a great Fox News Special on Religion and History in Washington, D.C. Newt Gingrich touched on some of this material when he spoke at the FRC Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. a few months ago.

Every year the fight continues over where nativity scenes and menorahs can be displayed. Join host Newt Gingrich as FOX News uncovers a long-forgotten story of religion in America.

Take Global Warming Hysteria With a Grain of Salt

From our friends at Americans for Limited Government.

Global Warming Model Soon To Be Scrapped


What follows are excerpts from a piece written by Christopher Booker of The Daily Telegraph, London. In 2009, as we face worsening economic conditions world wide, destabilization of the Israeli-Arab conflict and acceleration of Islamic terrorism, we must not exhaust resources chasing after hobgoblins that exist only is some people’s imaginations. Al Gore, et al, have had their say, now let’s get to work on things that matter.

The Daily Telegraph

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.
Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.

Sissy Republicans Run for Cover over 'Barack the Magic Negro' Parody

The liberal are up to their usual kindergarten-level games.

It seems that last week a politically-correct scandal broke over Tennessee GOP leader and RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman's distribution of a CD with a parody song.

The song, "Barack the Magic Negro," was created by Paul Shanklin and made famous on the Rush Limbaugh show in the past year.

But while liberals are predictably up-in-arms that any prominent conservative might further this hilarious song, the term "magic negro" in connection with Barack Obama was actually first used by liberal black columnist David Ehrenstein in his LA Times column March 19, 2007.

This is what Ehrenstein said about Barack the Magic Negro:

But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the "Magic Negro."

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. "He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist," reads the description on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro.

He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

Logically, if someone has a problem with the term "magic negro," that angst should be taken out on, right? But since when has the Left ever been encumbered by logic?

Here are the lyrics to "Barack the Magic Negro" and a video which features the song; note that the song parody's notorious race-bater Al Sharpton as the singer of the song:
Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times, they called him that
‘Cause he’s not authentic like me.
Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper
Said he makes guilty whites feel good
They’ll vote for him, and not for me
‘Cause he’s not from the hood.

See, real black men, like Snoop Dog,
Or me, or Farrakhan
Have talked the talk, and walked the walk.
Not come in late and won!

Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times, they called him that
‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically.
Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times, they called him that
‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically.

Some say Barack’s “articulate”
And bright and new and “clean.”
The media sure loves this guy,
A white interloper’s dream!
But, when you vote for president,
Watch out, and don’t be fooled!
Don’t vote the Magic Negro in –
‘Cause —

’Cause I won’t have nothing after all these years of sacrifice
And I won’t get justice. This is about justice. This isn’t about me, it’s about justice.
It’s about buffet. I don’t have no buffet and there won’t be any church contributions,
And there’ll be no cash in the collection plate.
There ain’t gonna be no cash money, no walkin’ around money, no phoning money.
Now, Barack going to come in here and ........

If one was also interested in the truth of the background of this parody, one might recall that it was Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden who said of Obama that "You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

But it isn't just liberals in the Democrat Party who are having a cat over this parody. Liberals and other sissies in the Republican Party are also running for cover.

If the GOP is this sissified over political correctness, it doesn't bode well for the GOP in the next four years. Sorry, Republicans; in case you missed, the the conservative base of the GOP has low tolerance for PC sissies.

Negro is a perfectly legitimate word to describe people with dark skin and of African descent, unlike the "n word" used to slur people with dark skin.

Is the United Negro College Fund a racist organization? Is the National Council of Negro Women a racist organization? Is the Universal Negro Improvement Association a racist institution? Is the National Association of Negro Musicians?

Or are these organizations merely identifying an ethnic focus?

The author of the column, David Ehrenstein, is himself a liberal. He is also black. But of course who gets the heat for a term he used first? Conservatives, of course. Being liberal, black, and a defender of homosexuality, Ehrenstein is, of course, immune from criticism. Consistency is unknown on the Left; the means to an end supersedes all.

Of course, when black conservatives like Michael Steele or Ken Blackwell call this faux controversy what it is ("hypersensitivity") they are derided as ignorant and considered to certainly meet the definition of an "Uncle Tom" in the playbook of the Left. (Incidentally, I had the honor of having dinner with Ken Blackwell and some other people a few months ago in D.C., and found him to be engaging and witty--not at all the dullard liberals seem to think he is.)

In fact, I think the contrast between the responses of Steele and Blackwell, and the timid response of others in the Republican leadership, separates the men from the boys. I am all-the-more justified in having called for a complete change of leadership in the Republican Party, and for having supported Ken Blackwell for RNC Chairman.

As all-too-usual, Republican leadership is cowering in fear at the prospect of being called names by liberals. Didn't their mama's give them the "sticks and stones" speech when they were little? Weren't they given the "cowboy up" talk at some point?

As usual, ignorance and infantile comprehension reign on the Left. They know they can't best conservatives on the legitimacy and merit of their ideas, so they are left with silly snits like this.

Separation of Church, State Poll

I meant to give the final tally and discuss last week's Dakota Voice poll (or "quiz" for those sensitive about the word "poll") last night, but I picked up a nasty bug sitting in the cold Friday while my children enjoyed some ice skating.

Also had a grueling day yesterday with some unexpected and unpleasant developments that had me running from about 1:30 am for something like 18 hours, with just a few pauses and a couple of cat-naps in there.

The question was:

The phrase that in America there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state appears in:

Most got it right, but there were a few very misinformed answers, especially those who thought it was in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.

Here's how the answers broke out:

George Washington’s Farewell Address (1%)

the Mayflower Compact (4%)

the Constitution (6%)

the Declaration of Independence (3%)

Thomas Jefferson’s letters (84%)

Indeed. "Separation of church and state" appears only in Thomas Jefferson's letters, specifically a letter to some Baptists in Danbury who were concerned about erosion of religious liberty.

Jefferson's letter, dated January 1, 1802, said in part:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Interesting that secularists and God-haters should use a letter intended to assure a group of Christians of religious liberty should be perverted to attack the very religious liberty the letter defended.

Even more interesting (and sad) that the First Amendment, which prohibits government interference in the free exercise of religion, has been perverted to quash free exercise of religion.

All the more proof that free people must be diligent and alert people, if they want to maintain that freedom. In a fallen world, there is never a shortage of evil men on the lookout to diminish freedom.

The new poll/quiz is up: What does the Tenth Amendment provide?

South Dakota Among Lowest Gas Prices in Nation

According to Black Hills Fox and GasBuddy.com, South Dakota has some of the lowest gas prices in the nation.

I know! It's hard to fathom, isn't it? South Dakota gas prices are normally among the highest you'll see in the middle of the country, with Rapid City higher than almost any in the state.

The article says only Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette in Wyoming have lower prices than Rapid City.

Well, when I went GasBuddy this morning, I didn't quite as good a picture as Black Hills Fox did, but South Dakota was still in the better half for the nation. And Pennington County was indeed the lowest in the state of South Dakota. That alone is amazing.

Now, if our leaders would quit pandering to environmental extremists and get serious about a healthy energy policy for the United States, we could be assured of continued reasonable energy prices!

The Message of Hanukkah

American Minute from William J. Federer

The first President to light the National Menorah, Jimmy Carter, speaking of hostages held by Islamic terrorists in Iran, 1979, said: "Commitments to be free are ever present in the hearts of all Americans because 50 of our fellow citizens are not free."

Ronald Reagan, the second President to give a HANUKKAH Message, 1983, remarked: "Whether we be Americans or Israelis, we are all children of Abraham, children of the same God. The bonds between our two peoples are growing stronger, and they must not and will never be broken."

In his 1991 HANUKKAH Message, George H.W. Bush stated: "When Judah Maccabee and his followers prepared to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem, they found...only enough oil to light the menorah for one night. Miraculously, it lasted eight."

Bill Clinton, in his 1993 HANUKKAH Message, said: "The eternal lesson of HANUKKAH-that faith gives us the strength to work miracles and find light in times of darkness."

President George W. Bush said in his 2001 HANUKKAH Message: "For the first time in American history, the HANUKKAH menorah will be lit at the White House residence...America and Israel have been through much together...A better day is coming when this Festival will be celebrated in a world free from terror."

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.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Support for Armenia Born Out of Faith

American Minute from William J. Federer

Armenia was the first nation to become Christian, with its capitol of Ani called the "city of a 1,001 churches."

Muslim Turks began invading in the 11th century, making Christian second-class citizens called "dhimmi" and forcing boys to convert and serve the Muslim army as "Janissaries."

When the Ottoman Empire declined in the 1800's, Greeks, Serbs and Romanians won independence, but Armenians were trapped by Sultan Abdul Hamid, who killed 100,000.

During World War I, "Young Turks" murdered over a million men, women and children in a jihad, marching them into the desert without water, throwing them off cliffs or burning them alive. Armenian cities of Kharpert, Van and Ani were leveled. Russia came to their aid till the Bolshevik revolution began.

Armenia's pleas at the Paris Peace Conference led President Wilson in a failed effort to make Armenia a U.S. protectorate. Woodrow Wilson, who was born DECEMBER 28, 1856, told Congress, May 24, 1920: "The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered... Sympathy for Armenia among our people has sprung from untainted consciences, pure Christian faith and an earnest desire to see Christian people everywhere succored in their time of suffering."

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.

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