Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's Posts

Voice Your Concern About Planned Parenthood's Wal-Mart Promotion

"Comrade Klonsky Is No Longer with Us." Yet Another Leftist Is Purged from the Obama Website

Obama's Shameful Naiveté About Cuba

Michelle Obama Promises Homosexual Audience Her Husband's Full Support of Gay Agenda

Public Schools Are Failing Our Kids...And Their Tax-Paying Parents Too

Voice Your Concern About Planned Parenthood's Wal-Mart Promotion

From Katie Walker at American Life League comes this press release:

Washington, DC (26 June 2008) – Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the country, has teamed up with a Wal-Mart Supercenter, an affiliate of the largest retailer in the country, in an effort to supersize their campaign to sell sex to children.

Planned Parenthood will pass out information at the Wal-Mart in Richland, Washington from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 27.

“Planned Parenthood is now in such desperate need of customers it’s willing to do anything – even stand outside shopping centers to lure young people into its clinics,” said Marie Hahnenberg, a researcher for American Life League.

Planned Parenthood, Hahnenberg says, is responsible for the deaths of over 289,700 babies in 2006 alone and also recently was willing to accept donations earmarked specifically for the abortion of black children. The organization faces lawsuits across the country for protecting child rapists and is coming under increasing fire for its use of pornography in tax-subsidized programs, advertisements and literature.

"They’re pushing pornography and contraception onto young children – beginning in kindergarten. Now parents aren’t even safe to go shopping without worrying Planned Parenthood will pressure their kids into promiscuous lifestyles that will increase their bloated birth control and abortion profits,” Hahnenberg said.

American Life League is asking community members to call Wal-Mart at (509) 628-8420 or 1-800-WAL-MART and demand they stop Planned Parenthood from this literature distribution.

"Comrade Klonsky Is No Longer with Us." Yet Another Leftist Is Purged from the Obama Website

Gateway Pundit reports on the latest fellow to be thrown under the Obama bus.

Maoist Mike Klonsky is an Obama pal and supporter, a former best friend of Weatherman terrorist group founders William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who had received a $175,000 grant from the William Ayers/Barack Obama-led Annenberg Challenge to run the Small Schools Workshop. Klonsky was blogging on the official Barack Obama website until a conservatives noticed it and talked about it in cyberspace. Then, in a magical performance already becoming a pattern with Obama's webmaster (remember this story?), Klonsky disappeared without a trace.

Gateway Pundit describes the action:

Oops!...There goes another one! Wright- Pfleger- His white grandmother- Trinity Church- Muslim girls at a rally...Now it's the Maoist hardliner's turn to be airbrushed.

Yesterday, Klonsky was posting a blog on the Obama website:

But, that was yesterday.

Today his blog was removed from the Obama website.

Comrade Klonsky is no longer with us.

Obama's Shameful Naiveté About Cuba

Barack Obama's shameful naiveté about Cuba caused him to be picketed this weekend in Miami by a dedicated and influential group of Cuban-Americans, a group trying to inform the public that Obama has placed among his top advisors two Democrats who played key roles in the sad debacle involving Elian Gonzalez's return to Communist Cuba.

Gregory Craig (top photo), Obama's current go-to guy on Latin America, served Fidel Castro's interests as he played lawyer for Elain's father, while Eric Holder (bottom photo), now chief of Obama's vice-presidential selection team, was a Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno.

“My fear is that those who collaborated with the Cuba's communist government and made a great mistake with a defenseless child,” said Elian's Miami uncle, Delfin Gonzalez, “will make the same mistake again against this nation that is facing danger from terrorism.”

As yet, Obama refuses to even speak about the matter, callously dismissing the entire tragedy as old news. "That was eight years ago. Obviously it was a wrenching situation for the families, but I'm running for president in 2008..."

But the issue isn't one that Cuban-Americans are likely to forget as easily as Obama has -- and that may come back to haunt him. As Humberto Fontova writes in this fine Town Hall piece, "Florida holds 27 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. New Jersey holds 15 electoral votes, and the largest Cuban-American community after Florida. So 16 percent of the 270 electoral votes could depend on a candidates' professed policy towards Stalinist Cuba. Obama knows this and plans to woo a few of these these overwhelmingly Republican voters. Well, he's got his work cut out for himself."

You can, of course, help to increase Senator Obama's workload as you communicate to friends the details of this story. A simple beginning is to forward this post to others on your e-mail list -- a simple matter when you use the button that is located at the end of each Vital Signs post. Let's do what we can to make sure the cause of freedom for Cuba is one shared by all Americans.

FYI -- Humberto Fontova, author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who idolize Him and Fidel; Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, has only recently signed on as a Town Hall columnist. You can review his articles under their banner here. You can also keep abreast of Mr. Fontova at his home page.

Michelle Obama Promises Homosexual Audience Her Husband's Full Support of Gay Agenda

Oh yes; about those Christians who are saying they will vote for Barack Obama in you think they'll be at all bothered by his aggressive support of the homosexual agenda? Or have they pushed the Bible's clear and very serious teachings about homosexuality so far aside that they can applaud Michelle Obama's speech before the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council of the Democratic National Committee last night? A speech, by the way, for which she was given a standing ovation after promising that her husband would do everything he could to fight discrimination and promote equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgendered.

Specifically, Michelle Obama promised her husband would:

* support a complete repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

* support a complete repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward homosexuals in the U.S. military.

* oppose a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

* support full family and adoption rights for homosexual couples.

* oppose any interference by the federal government regarding states who legalize domestic partnerships, civil unions or civil marriage among homosexuals.

* oppose homophobia, especially in the African-American community.

“Nothing we have to do over the next four or eight years is going to be easy," Michelle Obama concluded. "There will be powerful forces who believe that things should stay just as they are, that everything is fine, and that’s where you all come in. Your voices of truth and hope and of possibility have got to drown out the skeptics and the cynics.”

Public Schools Are Failing Our Kids...And Their Tax-Paying Parents Too

...Johnny still can't read in public schools, but 6-year-olds in inner-city parochial schools can. What's wrong with this picture?

New York City is spending $20.9 billion on its failing schools. And though education officials refuse to make effective changes in either their educational philosophy or procedures, it wants more money still. Alicia Colon, writing in the New York Sun, takes a closer look.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's Posts

Speaking the Truth in Love -- About Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

Planned Parenthood Goes "Suburban Chic"

Why Do Some Black Americans Oppose Obama? Because They Know the Answers to These Questions.

What Part of NO! Do EU Bureaucrats Not Understand?

The Democrats Find Religion...But Gee, Up Close It Sure Looks Like The Same Old Secularism

Speaking the Truth in Love -- About Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

With the overwhelming cultural changes of the last 20 years, changes largely effected by an aggressive campaign by the entertainment industry (though given substantial assistance by government, judges, the press, and the valueless sex ed programs now entrenched in the schools), few dare to speak out nowadays against homosexuality. In fact, even those who didn't fear the social stigma of opposing homosexual sex and its corollary political agenda, are now beginning to go silent on these issues for fear of legal penalties of a far more coercive kind.

So what's a Christian to do? How can he or she speak the truth about God's teaching on homosexuality and yet do so with love, with reason, and with a passionate desire for the homosexual's spiritual liberation and forgiveness? In other words, how does a believer be as winsome as possible in his life and preaching and yet not compromise the revelation of a holy God?

Popular author and the Director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Randy Alcorn, has some compelling exhortations to help you answer these pressing questions. His article, "Expressing Our Concerns about Same Sex Marriage in a Pluralistic Culture," is on his always-valuable blog.

Planned Parenthood Goes "Suburban Chic"

In today's edition of Dr. Al Mohler's blog, the Southern Baptist scholar takes a close look at the "new branding" strategy of Planned Parenthood. It's a scheme to go upscale, more suburban chic, if you will, with the most important purposes being 1) a renovation of the organization's image (always a tough task when you push sexual aberration among teens as well as perform more than any other entity the grisly practice of prenatal homicide) and, of course, 2) more money.

Why Do Some Black Americans Oppose Obama? Because They Know the Answers to These Questions.

Larry Elder received a pretty dissin' letter asking him how he could oppose the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama and instead support John McCain. Elder responded with a few incisive questions of his own, questions that reflect a knowledge of history and political reality that every American should already know...except both the education system and the mainstream media have grossly and irresponsibly misreported the issues.

Do you know that Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution -- abolishing slavery, granting citizenship rights to newly freed slaves, and guaranteeing the right to vote (at least on paper) to blacks, respectively? Do you know that most of the politicians who stood for segregation were Southern Democrats? Do you know that the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Democrats, one of whose goals was to stop the spread of the Republican Party? Do you know that, as a percentage of the party, more Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Do you know that inner-city parents want vouchers -- the right to determine where their children go to school? Do you know most Democrats, including Barack Obama, oppose this? Republicans, for the most part, support vouchers. Where vouchers have been tried, kids appear to perform better, with higher parental satisfaction. You tell me, how many things are more important than a child's education?

Do you know that 36 percent of babies aborted are black, while blacks make up 17 percent of live births? Do you know that polls show blacks are more pro-life than are whites? Yet the Democratic Party -- to which over 90 percent of blacks belong -- is the party of Roe v. Wade, requiring states to legalize abortion on demand. Do you know that Margaret Sanger, the founder of the organization that became Planned Parenthood, believed that poor blacks were inferior and that aborting their babies made our society better? Look it up.

Do you know that blacks stand to benefit more than whites through Social Security privatization, a position opposed by Obama but supported by McCain?...

There's more of Larry Elder's fine column so check it out here.

What Part of NO! Do EU Bureaucrats Not Understand?

Theodore Dalrymple explains in the online edition of City Journal that "only the Irish had the guts" to hold a referendum on the proposed European Union Constitution, the latest move of the EU's super-bureaucrats to eliminate all traces of national sovereignty and democracy on the continent (and nearby islands).

"Unfortunately," writes Dalrymple, "the Irish people got the answer wrong. They voted no, despite their political leaders’ urging that they vote yes. No doubt the people will be given an opportunity in the future—or several opportunities, if necessary—to correct their mistake and get the answer right, after which there will be no more referenda."

And indeed those bureaucrats are wasting no time moving ahead with their constitutional schemes. What do they care about Irish voters? Even less than they care about other moves against EU uniformity made previously by Poland, Malta, France, and Holland.

Dalrymple continues, "Anyway, what does it really matter if referendum after referendum, in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland, defeats the proposals of the European political class? The proposals can always be enacted regardless, by other means. What does it matter if two-thirds of Germans regret monetary unification, as do the French and the Italians? What does it matter if prime minister Gordon Brown refused to hold a referendum on the treaty in Britain—having previously promised one—once he realized how roundly voters would reject it? As European Commission president José Manuel Barroso said after the Irish vote: the Lisbon Treaty is not dead, it is living. What the people of Europe want is completely irrelevant."

As I said last week in a post about Ireland's referendum and the EU's crass response, " European Union bureaucrats are like American judges -- they don't care a lick about democracy. They want their way, despite written Constitutions, despite public referenda, despite tradition, scientific fact, or morality. They bluster, boast and bully until their whims be satisfied. And the public citizen? He slides whimperingly away and cedes the field."

The Democrats Find Religion...But Gee, Up Close It Sure Looks Like The Same Old Secularism

George Neumayr's penetrating essay on the Democrat's recent religious affectations is not to be missed. It's right here at the American Spectator. Entitled "Religiosity Without Religion," Neumayr's article is rich in insights which genuine conservatives must learn well and constantly pass on to others.

A few examples:

...Religion in public life, under Obama's thinking, exists not to purify the party's extreme secularism but to advance it.

Examining anew the "connection between religion and politics" means adjusting one's PR, not philosophical positions. All it comes down to is: an annoyingly large number of people practice religion in America and therefore the Dems have no choice but to posture accordingly. But the content of religion is certainly not true; there is no need to re-think the party's moral philosophy, though Obama does hope Democrats will talk a little bit more nicely to pro-lifers in the future...

Indeed, Obama is very proud of his commitment to "people of faith," who enjoy a slot on his campaign web page in the "people section" two down from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community.

He certainly values their votes, but their faith is pretty tiresome, unless it happens to fortify progressive politics...

In the speech, Obama affected to explain how Christianity guides his politics. But the influence is all in reverse: his liberal politics determines the content of his Christianity. The latter is negotiable and hazy for him, while the former represents an organizing, not-to-be-doubted-or-changed truth for society. Liberalism is so obviously true in fact that the traditional understanding of Christianity must give way to it, under Obama's reading...

Secularism, of course, never has to explain itself or prove its claims, a curiously privileged position for an ideology that rests on skepticism and relativism. Apparently everything is unknowable to secularists except the obvious wisdom of their holding a dominant spot in public debates. How we know with certainty that secularism is synonymous with "reason" and religion synonymous with "mere opinion" is never explained...

Good stuff, indeed. Again, the article is here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Today's Posts

Use Extreme Caution: Multi-Taskers Ahead

On Heinz's "Gay Kiss" Commercial and Moral Consumerism

Of Violent Crimes and Vile Cover Ups

When the Term "Troubled Youth" Is No Longer Sufficient

Looking to Get Away?

Green Scares vs Economic Survival

Planned Parenthood's Poisonous Pills

Use Extreme Caution: Multi-Taskers Ahead

One of my pet peeves is this new phenomena of “multi-tasking” but until a few days ago, when a “multi-tasker” came dangerously close to ending my life on a stretch of I-680, I hadn’t given the thing too much attention.

I have now.

And after examining several sources (ranging from business consultants to technocrats to psychologists) I find my that assumptions about multi-tasking, negative as they might have been, turned out to be not negative enough. For multi-tasking turns out to be pretty roundly criticized by experts in all of the above fields as being counter-productive, mentally and emotionally unhealthy, and even dangerous – as when the driver of a double semi-trailer tries to operate his rig at 65 miles an hour on a crowded interstate highway while eating a hamburger with one hand and dipping French fries into the container of ketchup on the dashboard with his right!...

Read the rest of Denny's comments on multi-tasking in this month's Vital Signs Ministries LifeSharer letter on the VSM web site.

On Heinz's "Gay Kiss" Commercial and Moral Consumerism

Though Claire was raised on Heinz Ketchup and prefers its taste to all others, she hasn't bought the stuff for several years. The reason? Claire is a morally-conscious consumer, one who tries to direct her purchasing power towards products and services that will not require a compromise with her basic moral standards.

We do not play "boycott police" with others nor do we use these convictions to create an air of self-righteousness. But we do believe it important to live a consistently Christian ethic, submitting everything we do (including where and how we spend our money) under the Lordship of Christ.

Thus, we invest with the Timothy Plan.

We avoid, whenever possible, purchasing products made in Communist China (an enemy of the United States which brazenly uses slave labor, is guilty of a vicious forced abortion policy, and severely persecutes religious believers and freedom activists).

And we participate in boycotts of companies who aggressively promote such things as abortion and homosexuality. That's why Claire and I do not "do" (among others) McDonald's, WalMart, Marriott and affiliates, Kraft products, Starbucks...and yes, Heinz, the company that most recently gave us the "gay kiss" mayonnaise commercial.

For a few more Vital Signs posts dealing with a morality-based consumer ethic, check out these: The Timothy Plan; McDonald's; companies supporting Planned Parenthood; WalMart; Starbucks; and Kraft.

Of Violent Crimes and Vile Cover Ups

Phyllis Chesler, writing in Front Page Magazine, has a must-read story about the savage beating of a French teenager and what the media's deliberate mis-reporting of the event reveals about an even larger scale injustice.

When the Term "Troubled Youth" Is No Longer Sufficient

It certainly seems that now is a pretty lousy time to be young in Great Britain.

* A recent study from the World Health Organisation revealed that children in England, Wales and Scotland are among the most likely in the entire world to have illegally consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and engaged in various forms of premarital sex.

* Binge drinking is an especially troubling fad.

* 1.25 million young people between 16 and 24 are without sufficient education, employment and training.

* Police reports show increasing social disorder, vandalism, violence, and gang culture among English youth.

* According to Government figures just released, the number of abortions in England, Wales and Scotland during 2007 was the highest ever.

* Not surprisingly, U.K. kids are second in the list of "most stressed out" kids in Europe.

Sigh. It's not a pretty picture of what the "benefits culture" has produced, is it?

Looking to Get Away?

We recently spotted a few signs similar to this one while re-visiting old haunts in Golden, Colorado. The sign is a pointed illustration that trusting government efficiency is always a rather risky proposition.

"Yeah, we've got the bad guys safely tucked away. Well, that is to say, we've got most of them accounted for. Those that we don't...well, that's your affair."

Green Scares vs Economic Survival

When Barack Obama told a Pennsylvania audience this past weekend that "We can't drill our way out of this," he was repeating the same line that Nancy Pelosi used days earlier and that Harry Reid used on Wednesday.

The Big Three Democrats are thus all agreed that their party has given up on bringing down the cost of oil and thus the cost of gas at the pump.

Because demand for oil isn't going to drop due to growth around the globe, the only way to bring the cost of a gallon of gas at the pump down is to increase the supply of oil. The only way to increase the supply of oil for the present is to explore for more oil and then bring it to market. That means drilling.

In the U.S. that means drilling on the outer continental shelf, more than 50 miles from the nearest coastline.

John McCain favors allowing states to do just that. Obama, Pelosi and Reid oppose it. To get the exploration underway a federal ban on such off shore drilling must be lifted, but House Democrats have blocked that move, most recently this very month. They and their presidential candidate would rather see your wallet bleed and American growth deteriorate than cross their political allies and contributors in the environmental movement...

Read the rest of Hugh Hewitt's punchy column, "Obama and The Don't Drill Democrats To America: Don't Drive. Just Shut Up and Sweat In Your Dark House," right here.

Planned Parenthood's Poisonous Pills

Racism, fraud, illegal cover-ups, and manslaughter may sound like an edgy Hollywood script, but at Planned Parenthood, it's all in a day's work. The organization, funded by millions of your hard-earned dollars, has been implicated in the deaths of at least four patients.

In this week's issue of The Journal of Immunology, scientists from the University of Michigan blame the fatalities associated with RU-486 on infections that were caused by "off-label use." In other words, some of the clinics that dispensed the drugs ignored the FDA's instructions and advised women to take the pills vaginally--despite the agency's warning that oral use is much safer. At least eight women have died from bacterial infections after taking RU-486. Four of the eight victims had something in common. They had all visited California's Planned Parenthood clinics that didn't follow FDA protocol for dispensing the pills. It took four fatalities in one week before the nation's largest abortion merchant would consider changing its policy.

Although Planned Parenthood changed its guidelines for dispensing RU-386 in 2006, its defiance of the FDA continues. In addition to altering the suggested dosage, Planned Parenthood urges women to take one of the drugs at home, completely disregarding the FDA's warning that the second portion of the pill regime "should be done in a medical office to monitor women for complications."

Planned Parenthood, which claims to have "done more than any other organization in the United States to improve women's health and safety," shrugged off its carelessness back in 2006. "We don't really know all the circumstances surrounding these women's deaths," a spokeswoman said. Now that we do, what can Americans expect Congress to do about it? Democrats have fully supported investment in Planned Parenthood, despite its abhorrent track record.

The clinics' use of RU-486 has been linked to thousands of complications (many of them serious or life-threatening) and four fatalities, yet taxpayers are still forced to provide the resources for Planned Parenthood's medical negligence. Any institution with such a cavalier attitude toward health and safety shouldn't be trusted with women's lives or federal funding.

(From the Family Research Council's Washington Update)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today's Posts

Which is the Immoral Action? Homosexual"Marriage" or Driving a SUV?

Unless Citizens Act, Tyrants Will Rule

Why Was the Climate Tax Bill Such a Loser?

Global Warming, Earthquakes and Aliens from Outer Space

Now It's the Organization of American States Promoting the Homosexual Agenda

Which is the Immoral Action? Homosexual "Marriage" or Driving a SUV?

If you think you may be affected by the swirling culture and its resultant moral confusion, let Bob Burney bring you back to your senses with this quick, common sense column.

Unless Citizens Act, Tyrants Will Rule

European Union bureaucrats are like American judges -- they don't care a lick about democracy. They want their way, despite written Constitutions, despite public referenda, despite tradition, scientific fact, or morality. They bluster, boast and bully until their whims be satisfied.

And the public citizen? He slides whimperingly away and cedes the field.

Daniel Hannan describes a tragic case in point in this compelling Spectator article as he details what's up and what's next with Ireland's rejection of the EU I mentioned last Tuesday. Check it out.

Why Was the Climate Tax Bill Such a Loser?

The Wall Street Journal aptly noted that environmentalists are “stunned that their global warming agenda is in collapse.” The paper added, “The green groups now look as politically intimidating as the skinny kid on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face.” The paper quoted a political analyst, noting that “this issue is starting to feel like the Hillary health care plan.”

What prompted the above reaction? The defeat of what Senator James Inhofe calls Barbara Boxer's Climate Tax Bill.

Senator Inhofe's column in Human Events ("Dems Running on Empty") is well worth reading. Heres a teaser:

What a difference three years makes: In 2005, I led the charge against a massive global warming cap-and-trade bill. It was a lonely battle with few GOP members willing to join me on the Senate floor to publicly oppose it.

Fast forward to June 2008: Not only was I joined by dozens of GOP Senators, but nearly 30% of the Democratic Senators rebelled against their leadership and opposed the Boxer Climate Tax Bill. In the end, Senator Boxer only had at most 35 Democratic Senators willing to vote for final passage on the largest tax bill in U.S. history. The Boxer Climate Tax Bill was so thoroughly disowned by Democratic Leadership that proponents of climate taxes will now be forced to start from scratch next year.

Republicans were prepared to debate the bill and were ready to offer amendments. But the Democrats did not want to debate, much less vote, on our amendments that were aimed at protecting American families and workers from the devastating economic impacts of this bill. When faced with the inconvenient truth of the bill’s impact on skyrocketing gas prices, it was Democratic Senators who wanted to see this bill die a quick death...

Global Warming, Earthquakes and Aliens from Outer Space

Marc Sheppard, writing in American Thinker, takes a look at just how loopy global warming mania is gettting. For instance, Sheppard gives us the real story on Tom Chalko who claims that global warming has increased the intensity of earthquakes fivefold in the past 20 years. It turns out that Chalko has no sound evidence whatsoever for his theory nor for his previous one about global warming heating up the earth's core so that it explodes!

Oh yes, Chalko also has no evidence for his belief (and I'm not making this up) in the Thiaoouba Prophecy, which preaches that advanced beings from the planet Thiaoouba abduct one Earthling every century and impart unto the chosen-one the true meaning of life. (Is Al Gore the one for this century? Oh, please take him!)

But sheer nuttiness didn't stop CBS News,the Associated Press and, through them, a whole lot of newspapers, websites and local TV stations, from passing along Chalko's wild earthquake claims. Hysteria, when it is of a politically-correct nature, is okay by the press.

Chicken Little lives.

Now It's the Organization of American States Promoting the Homosexual Agenda

So much for Latin "machismo."

The extremely unnatural demands of the homosexual agenda have found important new backers among South American bureaucrats. Brazil's President, Luis Lula (shown here) has been outspoken about “homophobia" and gay marriage to the extent of seeking criminal penalties against those who defend the natural family and who teach basic facts about what homosexual sex costs a culture (i.e.,disease and the breakdown of moral standards). Well, Lula has managed to swing the General Assembly of the Organization of American States into adopting a formal document broadly condemning "human rights violations" based on so-called sexual orientation and gender identity.

Thus, if one teaches a Sunday School class about Romans 1, writes a letter to the editor complaining of cross dressers parading down a city avenue, or makes a speech explaining how the rampant diseases caused by homosexual sex threaten the economic structure of health care -- you might find yourself in trouble from the OAS.

World Congress of Families Global Coordinator Larry Jacobs asks, “Does anti-gay discrimination include laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman or limiting adoption to families with mothers and fathers? Would it require schools to affirm homosexuality and the other unhealthy perversions? Could it lead to ‘hate crimes laws’ and speech codes that criminalize dissent? Once again, a political institution has been co-opted by the international homosexual movement. Once again, a transnational organization has chosen to enlist with one side in the culture war, to the manifest displeasure of majorities in the nations they represent. Latin cultures, in particular, are noted for their traditional, pro-family orientation.”

By the way, note that 20 activists from homosexual groups met with OAS members before the vote but pro-family organizations were not given an opportunity to present any arguments at all against the resolution.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Revisiting the Rockies

Claire and I are en route today to Denver for a few days. Claire's niece is getting married this weekend and then we are going to try and take a couple of days up to get reacquainted with the mountains wherein I misspent my youth. Joining us in our journey is my mom who will be staying with my brother Ric and his wife Ellen.

I'll try and blog while out there but in that heady mountain air, who knows?

Check in tomorrow and see.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today's Posts

Ignition Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers: Do We Want to Save Lives or Play At It?

Sharon Osbourne: An Abortion Was Her Biggest Mistake

Modernizing the Church to Death: The Tragedy Wrought by "Progressive" Anglicans

Skin Color Trumps Principle

Ignition Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers: Do We Want to Save Lives or Play At It?

Because of a dramatic new increase in the number of citizens of Hawaii being killed by drunk drivers, the state finally passed an ignition interlock law. Thankfully, it is the latest in an important trend. Ohio passed such a law this month. Maine did so in March (though a weaker version). Nebraska did so earlier this year.

This means that almost all states now have some kind of interlock device law although the first of its kind wasn't passed until Arizona did it in 2005. The laws still have to get tougher (only 7 states require the devices for first time offenders) but it is a significant change from previous years of indifference to the killers on the road.

Relevant to this critical issue is Mary Klotzbach's fine op/ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle from a few days ago. It's a terrific essay, one which would make good reading for the legislators of your state too. So why not e-mail this post over to them? Here's the op/ed article:

Drunk driving kills heroes, too. My son, Matt, was in his third year at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001 when he was killed while home on leave in Livermore by a drunk driving with a suspended license. Before you sympathize with me for the loss of my son, consider the fact that every Californian faces the threat of drunken driving every time they use our roadways.

According to new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, California's families are sharing the road with 310,971 drunk drivers with three or more DUI convictions, and of those, 44,210 with five or more convictions. In 2006 alone, drunk drivers killed 1,276 of our states citizens.
These numbers show that California's law enforcement agencies are doing their job - finding and arresting drunk drivers. Unfortunately, the rest of the judicial system has failed to protect the public.

Requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install alcohol ignition interlocks in their automobiles would stop the revolving door of repeat offenders. The owners of the chain restaurants represented by the American Beverage Institute (Outback, Chili's, etc) feel differently. They believe that California's drunk-driving laws should not be effectively enforced until the offender is nearly twice the illegal limit of intoxication, and has driven drunk hundreds of times. They appear to be putting their alcohol profits ahead of public safety.

No parent should have to lose their child to the criminal negligence of a drunk driver - especially when technology exists to prevent such tragedy.

Right now, California has the opportunity to make a real difference in this effort.
Proven technology to save lives exists, but is not being used. Alcohol ignition interlock devices prevent a vehicle from starting if a convicted offender demonstrates that they are violating probation by continuing to drink and drive. Interlocks are proven to save lives, yet very few California offenders get the device.

Installing interlocks on the vehicles of all drunk driving offenders has the potential to save hundreds of California lives and at the same time give offenders the ability to drive and not endanger the public. If all states mandated interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, we could save up to 4,000 lives a year. The drunk driver pays for the entire cost of the device, not the taxpayers. Implementation of interlocks will help unclog the courts and the jails of California.

Some say that interlocks don't work. They are wrong. The real issue is not the effectiveness, but the use of interlocks - we need laws to make the interlocks mandatory for all convicted drunk drivers.

Assembly Member Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, has introduced legislation (AB2784) that would require alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time convictions. Unfortunately, before the Assembly voted to approve the measure and send it on to the Senate, amendments supported by the angry wing of the alcohol industry and criminal defense attorneys gutted the bill. The bill as amended by the Appropriations Committee weakens the original bill as to make it completely useless in the fight against drunk driving. MADD is calling upon the Senate Public Safety Committee to change the bill back to its original language.

Some say that interlocks are too severe a punishment for those convicted of drunk driving. Compared to what my family lost on July 29, 2001, when a repeat DUI offender thought he had a right to drive after enjoying a number of beers, an alcohol ignition interlock device is a fairly lenient sanction.

Please contact your legislator about your support for AB2784 in its original language.

Sharon Osbourne: An Abortion Was Her Biggest Mistake

"Everybody has something in the closet, and I reckon the best policy is always to be honest, then it can't come back to haunt you," she says. And she holds her hands up to her own "big mistakes". The biggest brings her to tears. "I had an abortion at 17 and it was the worst thing I ever did. It was the first time I'd had sex, and that was rotten. I'd always thought it was going to be all violins, and it was just awful.

"I was two months gone when I realised. I went to my mum and she said, without pausing for breath: 'You have to get rid of it.'

"She told me where the clinic was, then virtually pushed me off. She was so angry. She said I'd got myself in this mess, now she had to get me out.

"But she didn't come. I went alone. I was terrified. It was full of other young girls, and we were all terrified and looking at each other and nobody was saying a bloody word. I howled my way through it, and it was horrible.

"I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you. When I tried to have children, I lost three - I think it was because something had happened to my cervix during the abortion. After three miscarriages, they had to put a stitch in it.

"In life, whatever it is, you pay somewhere down the line. You have to be accountable."

(Source, reporter Jenny Johnston's story in The Daily Mail, Dec. 20, 2004; an edited version re-posted at the Silent No More website)

Modernizing the Church to Death: The Tragedy Wrought by "Progressive" Anglicans

If you'd like to learn just what's at stake in the current conflict raging in Episcopalian circles over the acceptance of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, ordination of homosexuals, etc., then I suggest reading this excellent summation of the crisis as described by the Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine. Indeed, much of what you read in this report will be of direct relevance to what's happening in the general culture, perhaps even in your own churches.

The Society is devoted to an orthodox theology, one determined by the Holy Scriptures rather than the irresponsible whims of a secularized society. As they describe themselves, the Society is dedicated to the preservation and propagation of the Anglican Faith, as defined by the Anglican Formularies comprised of the Church of England's Articles of Religion, 1662 Book of Common Prayer and Ordinal.

The entire article, "Counterfeit Communion and the Truth that Sets Free" is contained in this 11-page PDF file) but I've printed a few of the most illuminating passages below:

We humbly offer this paper in the conviction that the only adequate response to this crisis is the clear and decisive separation of participating Churches and leaders from the See of Canterbury and the present Anglican Communion to form a new Communion that is truly global in scope and truly Anglican in doctrine.

Anything less will leave faithful Anglicans throughout the world as unwilling collaborators in a counterfeit Communion which makes a virtue out of the toleration of teaching contrary to scripture, is rife and ingrained with such false teaching and is led by an Archbishop of Canterbury who himself so teaches. Freedom from the hegemony of the Anglican Communion’s pretended fellowship, with all the compromises and distractions it entails, is imperative if those Churches of the Communion which have not abandoned the sovereign authority of Scripture are to be free to develop that true communion and fellowship which has at its heart the transforming power of the gospel...

So it should be no surprise that within the Anglican Communion today there exist two different religions – on the one hand, a revisionist Anglicanism which has adopted contemporary Western humanism and its sceptical assumptions about the Bible while retaining a veneer of religiosity; and on the other hand the Anglican reformed catholic faith, wrought in the Church of England during the Protestant Reformation and defined by the Church of England’s Articles of Religion, 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 1662 Ordinal, which has flourished remarkably in the varied cultures to which it was brought during the era of British global expansion....

The aim of Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformers was to reform the Western Catholic tradition, not to found a new form of Christianity, but their vision was nonetheless radical in being built upon the recovery of the conviction that Scripture, as God’s Word written, is true and authoritative for all matters of teaching and conduct. Article XX of the Articles of Religion states that
‘it is not lawful for the Church. to ordain anything contrary to God’s Word written’ and the 1662 Ordinal requires all bishops and priests/presbyters ‘to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word.’ Hence the Church lives under the sovereign authority of Scripture and must not ordain or permit teaching contrary to God’s Word. The guiding principle of the Anglican Reformers was that the Bible must be received on its own terms, as God’s Word written. In a passage of clear contemporary relevance which powerfully illuminates the principle of Article XX and the Ordinal’s requirement of bishops and priests/presbyters, Cranmer recognizes that once the foundations of revealed biblical truth are removed, human speculation will subvert the Church:

‘If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God's Word; and if we be uncertain of God's Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new Church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or in the synagogue of Satan’...

The particular political and social trend which has so painfully laid bare the doctrinal confusion of the Anglican Communion is the movement to win approval of same gender sexual relationships. The abandonment of biblical sexual morality is not a minor ethical aberration, as recently claimed by the Archbishop of York,3 but a growth now visible having been rooted in many years of doctrinal decay....

Then in 2003 the radical rejection of God’s Word was further entrenched when the General Convention not only approved the selection of Gene Robinson to be the Bishop of New Hampshire and the blessing of same sex unions, but also voted down a resolution intended to re-affirm Holy Scripture as the foundation of authority in the Church and that no member of the Church
should be forced to practice anything contrary to the clear meaning of Scripture.6 So no-one should have been surprised when three years later, the 2006 General Convention refused even to consider a resolution affirming salvation through Christ alone.7 Accordingly, there has been no restraint on the growing practice of multi-faith worship, to the extent that the consecration service of the Bishop of Nevada, the Rt. Rev. Dan Thomas Edwards on 5th January 2008, attended by the Presiding Bishop, included blessings by a Hindu chaplain, a Muslim Imam, a Jewish Rabbi, and a Bahai leader....

A survey in 2002 found that a third of the Church's clergy doubted or disbelieved in the
physical resurrection and only half were convinced of the truth of the virgin birth.8 And, as the recent history of North American Anglicanism all too clearly demonstrates, once the creeds have been emptied of shared meaning, biblical morality shares a similar fate....

For Rowan Williams the Bible is not to be relied upon; the Word of God has to be untangled from human misunderstanding and so inevitably the interpreter stands in a superior position to the original writers used by God. Hence, without any trace of embarrassment, Williams can describe the parable of the Unjust Steward as
‘a story which St Luke does not seem to have understood particularly well.’ 10 In fact, he sees all Scripture as potentially ambiguous, describing the human writers as those ‘caught up in the blazing fire of God’s gift who yet struggle with it, misapprehend it, and misread it.’ And this approach to Scripture can only encourage those who think they can improve upon the original, even to the extent of substantially rewriting it. So when John C. Henson’s Good As New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures was published in 2004 it carried an enthusiastic foreword in which Williams, as the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressed the hope that it would spread in ‘epidemic profusion’, notwithstanding that this so-called ‘Bible’ includes the gnostic ‘Gospel of Thomas;’ omits Revelation and seven other books of the New Testament, eliminates the masculinity of God the Father and God the Son, makes the Holy Spirit feminine, removes reference to same gender sexual relationships as sin and refuses to acknowledge the existence of demons...

The Scriptural response to this imminent danger is that there must be a walking apart which mirrors the underlying doctrinal incompatibility. This is not a new principle. Anglican faith must take precedence over Anglican order when the two clash...

All the evidence points to the fact that these painful divisions are not primarily pastoral – in which case there would be an urgent need for reconciliation, nor are they focused on secondary doctrinal issues – in which case patient dialogue of the kind urged by the Windsor Report would be appropriate. At the heart of the struggle within the Anglican Communion is the essential Reformation principle of the sovereign authority of Scripture and therefore the answer to the question of how we know what is Christian and what is not...

To remain in communion is to legitimize, or at least to hold as something indifferent, that which imperils eternal salvation by treating same gender sexual relationships as consecrated – ordaining as priests/presbyters and consecrating as bishops those engaged in such conduct and blessing same sex unions. Many church leaders seem to have lost their capacity to recognize this shocking reversal for what it really is; the exchange of natural sexual relationships for unnatural, is nothing less than the mark of a culture which is under divine judgment because it has radically rejected the Creator God (Romans 1:26). And this is the practice false teachers seek to sanctify...

Skin Color Trumps Principle

Here's sad proof that racial identity trumps biblical principles.

J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma congressman who once was part of the GOP House leadership, said he's thinking of voting for Obama. Watts said he's still a Republican, but he criticizes his party for neglecting the black community. Black Republicans, he said, have to concede that while they might not agree with Democrats on issues, at least that party reaches out to them.

"And Obama highlights that even more," Watts said, adding that he expects Obama to take on issues such as poverty and urban policy. "Republicans often seem indifferent to those things."

Say it can't be, J.C. For not only have the Democrats' answers to poverty and "urban policy" proven absolutely disastrous for black Americans, but Obama's extreme positions on abortion, homosexual marriage, socialism and national defense are dramatically contradictory to the positions you have so ardently advocated in your career. Do those views really mean so little to you, after all?

The United States continues to laud Martin Luther King Jr. But his dream of an America that would judge people on their character rather than their skin color? That dream we utterly disregard -- to our shame and to our peril.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Today's Posts

Okay; Sometimes Panic Is a Reasonable Option

The Rising of the Green: Ireland Rejects EU Treaty

Catholic Bishops Move Against Embryonic Stem Cell Experimentation

Socialized Medicine: Too Dirty for Your Own Good

Who Are You Roped To?

Terrorists Protected (Perhaps Promoted?) by the Supreme Court

Okay; Sometimes Panic Is a Reasonable Option

The Rising of the Green: Ireland Rejects EU Treaty

In your preparations for Father's Day weekend, you just might have missed this remarkable piece of news from last Friday -- the people of Ireland boldly rising boldly to strike a blow for their heritage, their freedom, and their national sovereignty by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty, the latest reach of the European Union to bring the continent under their control.

It's really a big deal.

As the International Herald Tribune wrote, "Although the Irish are less than 1 percent of the EU population of almost 500 million, the repercussions of the vote Thursday - whose results were announced Friday - are enormous. To take effect, the treaty must be ratified by all 27 members of the EU. So the defeat by a single country, even one as tiny as Ireland, has the potential effect of stopping the whole thing cold."

Let's hope so. But it won't come easy. The EU politicians and bureaucrats are already making noises that they'll find some way of getting rid of these pesky Irish (like they want to do with other "troublemakers" like Poland and Malta not to mention France and Holland who previously voted against further EU empowerment.)

...Libertas and other opponents of the treaty capitalized on voters' confusion, their disillusionment with the government and their feelings of alienation from the institutions of Europe, which is the source of about 85 percent of the new laws passed in Europe every year, said Michael Bruter, a senior lecturer in political science at the London School of Economics.

"It's a pro-European country, but they didn't understand the treaty - why it was needed, what it was going to change," Bruter said, speaking of the Irish voters. "They just don't want to give Europe a blank check anymore."...

Catholic Bishops Move Against Embryonic Stem Cell Experimentation

In its first statement devoted exclusively to the issue of embryonic stem cell research, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last week firmly stated the following:

“It now seems undeniable that once we cross the fundamental moral line that prevents us from treating any fellow human being as a mere object of research, there is no stopping point. The only moral stance that affirms the human dignity of all of us is to reject that first step down this path.”

The USCCB urges all Catholics—and others of good will—to join them in reaffirming that “the killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act.”

The statement—overwhelmingly approved by at vote of 191 to 1—is the first of two documents to be released by the USCCB. The second document will be addressed to engaged and married couples in the Catholic Church, educating them on reproductive technologies and the link to embryonic stem cell research...

The entirety of Mailee Smith's report at the Americans United for Life Blog can be found right here.

Socialized Medicine: Too Dirty for Your Own Good

The Telegraph (U.K.) is reporting that a full year after Great Britons became aware that their hospitals were...uh...dirty, they are learning that their hospitals are guessed it...dirty. In fact, 26% didn't make the minimum grades regarding cleanliness, adequate infection control, and/or guidelines on decontaminating reusable equipment.

Furthermore, the commission warns that "even fewer trusts may be deemed to have met all the criteria by the time it finishes spot checks this year." All of this even though £50 million has supposedly been spent by the British government to "clean things up." Yipes.

Socialized medicine just keeps looking uglier all the time.

Here's the story, one that I was alerted to by Secondhand Smoke.

Who Are You Roped To?

For the upward and sometimes exhausting and hazardous climb of the life you're living, are you wearing your steel-spiked crampons? And are you roped to someone you trust to help pull you up closer to Jesus?

Who? Who is climbing beside you and above you and below you, who will stand with you on the summit one day, so together you can behold the face of God?

Randy Alcorn recounts a dramatic tragedy from Tenzing Norgay's autobiography (Tiger of the Snows) and draws some very moving spiritual applications in this blog post from Eternal Perspectives. Check it out.

Terrorists Protected (Perhaps Promoted?) by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling last week means that terrorism detainees captured overseas have the same rights as U.S. citizens facing shoplifting trials at home. This unprecedented expansion of habeas was not a victory, as liberal media smirked, over the President. It was a judicial nullification of procedures crafting by both elected branches of Government of procedures carefully tailored to meet the terrorist threat.

The smallest of majorities is disregarding judicial history and pretending we live in a world where captured deadly enemies can be granted an advantage, without it affecting the likelihood of victory...

Read the rest of former ACLU lawyer Joel J. Sprayregen's compelling piece in American Thinker right here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Today's Posts

Frank Schaeffer -- The Perennial Sophomore Roots for Obama (and Ominously Warns Republicans They Better Fall In Line)

New Adult Stem Cell Research Provides Hope in Fight Against Parkinson's and Other Diseases of Old Age

Israeli Government Invests in the Progress Achieved by Adult Stem Cell Research

The Racism of Abortion

Econ 101: What Barack Obama Will Cost Us

LA Times Article: Bush Didn't Lie; Democrats Being "Cowardly and Dishonest"

Frank Schaeffer -- The Perennial Sophomore Roots for Obama (and Ominously Warns Republicans They Better Fall In Line)

Frank Schaeffer celebrated Father's Day yesterday with yet another shameful example of his whiny, wacky prodigal son act. Gosh, this is getting old.

Specifically, Schaeffer took to the online pages of the Huffington Post with a piece that is even more self-righteous and sophomoric than his usual stuff. And that's going a ways. The article, entitled with Schaeffer's typical schoolyard bluster, "A Warning to My Old Republican Friends: Screw Up The Obama Moment and You're History -- Literally" certainly represents a new low for Schaeffer as well as a new agony for those who remember him before his crack-up.

Read it and weep. Then pray to God you never dishonor your parents (not to mention selling out your Faith) the way Frank Schaeffer has done.

And, oh yes, after reading Schaeffer's eerie article, read through this reasonable refutation over at Red State.

New Adult Stem Cell Research Provides Hope in Fight Against Parkinson's and Other Diseases of Old Age

Bio-engineers at California University have presented evidence that "old" stem cells are still able to perform regenerative functions if they receive appropriate chemical signals. This builds on earlier findings that when adult stem cells derived from "old" tissue are placed in an environment of young blood, the stem cells behave as if they are young again as well.

Because the findings bear on adult stem cells in existing tissue, this approach to rejuvenating degenerating muscle, bypasses medico-ethical complications associated with tissues from embryonic stem cells.

"We are one step closer to having a point of intervention where we can rejuvenate the body's own stem cells so we don't have to suffer from some of the debilitating diseases associated with ageing," said the study's co-author, Morgan Carlson.

The findings of the study were published Sunday in an advanced online issue of the journal Nature.

Meanwhile, in Australia, scientists have discovered that stem cells found in the back of a patient's nose can produce dopamine, the chemical which is missing in people with Parkinson's disease, the affliction endured by such people as Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox.

Parkinson's disease occurs when the brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine stop working. Without dopamine, nerve cells cannot function, leading to muscle problems.

Researchers from Griffith University and the University of Queensland harvested adult stem cells from the noses of Parkinson's disease patients. They found that once the nose cells were cultured and infused into animals with Parkinson's disease, the cells began to produce dopamine.

Professor Peter Silburn from the University of Queensland said it was an important breakthrough, as the cells could be easily harvested from patients. He said the next step was to test the cells in primates, then move to human trials in the next three years.

Israeli Government Invests in the Progress Achieved by Adult Stem Cell Research

"In the past month, we have shown proof of concept of our treatment for Parkinson's disease. We are doing serious and important scientific work, and I'm pleased that the Israeli Government continues to acknowledge this, by funding us for the second year.With G-d's help, this grant will enable us to continue our research in order to translate the proof of concept we have into clinical therapies."

Those comments come from Rami Efrati, CEO of BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., an emerging company developing adult stem cell therapeutic products, derived from autologous (self) bone marrow cells, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Efrati (photo at left) was responding to the news that the company had been awarded a grant for the second consecutive year from Israel's prestigious Chief Scientist Office (CSO). Last year the grant amounted to $340,000; this year, the company's progress was noted as the CSO increased the grant to $870,000 over the remainder of the current fiscal year to fund the continuing development of treatments for ALS and Parkinson's disease.

The Racism of Abortion

The provocative, principled John Piper sermon "When is Abortion Racism?" is well worth reading or listening to. You can do either right here.

Econ 101: What Barack Obama Will Cost Us

The editors of the Detroit News are not very impressed with the economic plans of Barack Obama. Check out below a few of the points made in today's editorial -- points that you should be regularly repeating to friends, family and in letters to the editors of your own local newspapers:

Sen. Barack Obama brings his economic plan to Michigan today, and there's much in it to concern a state desperate for investment and job growth.

The strategy detailed on the presumed Democratic presidential nominee's Web site envisions an economy that gets a strong, guiding hand from government, with big new spending programs to stimulate growth.
But developing jobs with tax dollars is never as good as encouraging them with private-sector incentives, and there's little of that in Obama's proposals...

While giving part of the middle class a break, Obama would wage what could be described as a war on wealth through the tax code. He would restore the tax rates on those earning more than $250,000 a year to pre-2001 levels, remove the cap on payroll taxes for upper-income earners and push the current 15 percent capital gains tax rate to 28 percent.

While soaking the rich might have some political resonance, it's risky to strip investment incentives from those most likely to create jobs. And despite the rhetoric, even with the Bush tax cuts, the top 1 percent of American earners still carry 35.6 percent of the tax burden, compared with 31.6 percent in 1996, according to the Internal Revenue Service...

The senator claims to be a free-trader, but he couches his language on trade in ways designed not to offend voters in industrialized states such as Michigan. He opposes the Central American Free Trade Agreement, a pact that could help America solidify its relationships in a worrisome part of the world, and says he would retool the North American Free Trade Agreement to make it more responsive to American labor concerns.

He should keep in mind that Canada is the largest oil exporter to the United States, and Mexico is not far behind. Reopening NAFTA risks changes that could further raise fuel prices here.

Small businesses, in particular, have reason to be wary of Obama's economic plan. He would raise the minimum wage and then index it to inflation, guaranteeing that labor costs on small firms would rise annually, even if the businesses revenues don't follow suit. Currently, Congress has to vote each time it wants to raise the base wage.

Obama would also extend the Family and Medical Leave Act to smaller employers and says he will advocate for more personal leave for all workers. Those policies have the potential of moving the United States toward a European work force model, with its negative impact on productivity and economic output.

Obama's support of a proposal to allow unions to organize a workplace without a secret ballot election would rob workers of a basic right...

LA Times Article: Bush Didn't Lie; Democrats Being "Cowardly and Dishonest"

James Kirchick, an assistant editor of the New Republic, has written a rather remarkable article for the Los Angeles Times; namely, an article that defends the Bush administration from Democrat charges of deception regarding the Iraq war. George W. Bush may have believed inaccurate information which led to his war decisions, Kirchik asserts, but the Democrats then did the very same thing. Therefore, to blame Bush after the fact the way the Democrats and the press have done has been not only bad for the country and bad for the war effort, but an example of rank hypocrisy.

...Nearly every prominent Democrat in the country has repeated some version of this charge, and the notion that the Bush administration deceived the American people has become the accepted narrative of how we went to war.

Yet in spite of all the accusations of White House "manipulation" -- that it pressured intelligence analysts into connecting Hussein and Al Qaeda and concocted evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- administration critics continually demonstrate an inability to distinguish making claims based on flawed intelligence from knowingly propagating falsehoods.

In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments." The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found "no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

Contrast those conclusions with the Senate Intelligence Committee report issued June 5, the production of which excluded Republican staffers and which only two GOP senators endorsed. In a news release announcing the report, committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV got in this familiar shot: "Sadly, the Bush administration led the nation into war under false pretenses."

Yet Rockefeller's highly partisan report does not substantiate its most explosive claims. Rockefeller, for instance, charges that "top administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and Al Qaeda as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11." Yet what did his report actually find? That Iraq-Al Qaeda links were "substantiated by intelligence information." The same goes for claims about Hussein's possession of biological and chemical weapons, as well as his alleged operation of a nuclear weapons program.

Four years on from the first Senate Intelligence Committee report, war critics, old and newfangled, still don't get that a lie is an act of deliberate, not unwitting, deception. If Democrats wish to contend they were "misled" into war, they should vent their spleen at the CIA...

This may sound like ancient history, but it matters. After Sept. 11, President Bush did not want to risk allowing Hussein, who had twice invaded neighboring nations, murdered more than 1 million Iraqis and stood in violation of 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions, to remain in possession of what he believed were stocks of chemical and biological warheads and a nuclear weapons program. By glossing over this history, the Democrats' lies-led-to-war narrative provides false comfort in a world of significant dangers.

"I no longer believe that it was necessary for us to get involved in South Vietnam to stop communist aggression in Southeast Asia," Romney elaborated in that infamous 1967 interview. That was an intellectually justifiable view then, just as it is intellectually justifiable for erstwhile Iraq war supporters to say -- given the way it's turned out -- that they don't think the effort has been worth it. But predicating such a reversal on the unsubstantiated allegation that one was lied to is cowardly and dishonest...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today's Posts

It's the Weekend. Read Vital Signs Blog and Then Go Somewhere.

Can Obama Win Over Religious Conservatives? He's Certainly Trying.

Doesn't the MSM Want to Get Their Stories Straight?

More Persecution of Kazakhstan's Religious Minorities On the Way

When Do We Get Our Apology?"

Why the High Gas Prices? Ask Al Gore.

It's the Weekend. Read Vital Signs Blog and Then Go Somewhere.

Can Obama Win Over Religious Conservatives? He's Certainly Trying.

Barack Obama is aggressively reaching out to religious conservatives and though he has to hide and distort his record when trying too woo them, his efforts are paying off in positive publicity that no doubt he will further exploit in the coming months.

Below are excerpts and links (David Brody of CBN News and Steve Strang) regarding Obama's recent meeting with such leaders as Franklin Graham and Max Lucado. You'd do well to also look at this Jill Stanek post which not only discusses the meeting with religious conservatives but a more wide-ranging campaign whereby Obama, a fellow who is as abortion-happy as any politician around, is cleverly being re-cast as a pro-lifer!

From David Brody of CBN News:

Folks, I've been telling you for awhile now, the rules of the game have definitely changed during this election. Obama has made religion a very important part of the presidential race. He is reaching out to conservative and liberal religious leaders alike.

The fact that Billy Graham's son, his successor, met with Obama before he met with McCain says a lot about Obama's religious outreach efforts. They are being VERY pro-active.

Look, it's not as if McCain's religious outreach team isn't present. They are working behind the scenes too but Obama has been clear from day one that reaching out to faith voters was going to be a top priority. Obama's team made an important statement when they invited conservative religious leaders who WOULD NOT see eye to eye with Obama...

And a follow-up report by Brody:

More now on Barack Obama's meeting with religious leaders in Chicago this afternoon. As we first reported on The Brody File, Obama is meeting with influential mega-pastor TD Jakes and pro-life Catholic constitutional law professor Doug Kmiec. Read more here on that. That's a big deal. A really big deal. The fact that these two conservative men are meeting with Obama may be a signal that Obama's campaign is ready to break down the traditional wall of separation between conservatives and liberals when it comes to religious talk. Read the discussion parts of the meeting here.

This meeting with Obama is made up of religious leaders from several denominations including Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and Catholics. There are about 30 people there and these are leaders from Chicago and outside Chicago. Some in the meeting have shown their support for him. Others have not. I'm told that the meeting consisted of prayer as well and it lasted two hours. A campaign source tells me that besides Jakes and Kmiec, other religious leaders in the room today include Religious leaders include Rich Cizik with the conservative National Association of Evangelicals, best selling Christian author Max Lucado, Luis Cortes, Paul Corts, Cameron Strang, Bishop Phillip Cousin, Rev Stephen Thurston, Glenn Palmberg and Dr T Dewitt Smith. This campaign source tells me:

"Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama Administration. This is one of several meetings he will have over the coming months with religious leaders."

Folks, this is an important development. It shows that the game has changed. Old rules don't apply. We're in uncharted territory. John McCain's religious outreach team has to now step to the plate and work hard for faith voters. It's not automatic.

From Steve Strang, the founder of Charisma Magazine:

Sen. Obama personally took time to meet each person and shake their hand. He’s not as large a man as I envisioned from seeing him on television. But, he’s warm and personable --- obviously one of the reasons why people like him. He seemed to remember names well. He hugged a couple of the participants—mostly the black preachers who attended. He also seemed to be on top of the issues; and he’s obviously very intelligent.

The questions were mostly “softball” questions in my opinion. I was concerned after three or four general questions that we wouldn’t ask the most important questions. So I raised my hand and he called on me. I said, “Senator, I want to ask a question I'm sure you are expecting regarding your position on abortion. I represent a segment of the church where nearly everyone considers the issue of supporting life to be the most important issue and where nearly everyone would be opposed to abortion. I want to ask what your stand on abortion is and if you believe what I think you believe, how you justify that with your Christian faith and why you think we should vote for you.”

Since his response was “off-the-record,” I can say that the time he took to answer was probably 15 minutes. He came across as thoughtful and much more of a “centrist” than what I would have expected. He did not appear to be the crazy leftist that is being supported by George Soros and his radical leftist friends. Sen. Obama looked me in the eye as he answered my question, almost as if it were a one-on-one interview. I had already read the chapter on “faith” in his book the “Audacity of Hope.” If you want to know how he answered the question, read that chapter. In other words, other than his demeanor and obvious attempt to win over the Christian leaders in the room, he didn’t say anything new.

I knew personally about one-third of the people in the room. I had heard of another third of the invitees. Some of the people from the more liberal part of the church were unknown to me. Those from the evangelical community tended to be more the ones who are interested in global warming and social justice as well as the two issues conservative Christians are known for—pro-life and pro-family...

But, we’re not electing the person we think is the most righteous. We’re voting on the one we think will lead America in the right direction for the next four years. Whether Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton or any of the other Democrats had gotten the nomination, I believe the policies they espouse are dangerous not only to the security of our country if they are weak in the battle against terrorism, but they will hurt businesses if there is more governmental interference. And, on the moral issues such as the sanctity of marriage, it’s absolutely scary to think of what will happen if same sex marriage is allowed in this nation. At the same time, the next president will probably nominate not one but several Supreme Court justices to replace some elderly justices who obviously can’t live forever...

There’s probably a lot more that I could say about the meeting. But the most significant thing is just the fact that the meeting was held and that several dozen prominent leaders took time to meet with Sen. Obama who I believe won over the loyalties of many.

I urge Sen. John McCain to have a similar meeting—or several such meetings. There is a lot of latent support for him in the Christian community. But after being “still armed” by the McCain camp, while being wooed by the Obama camp, this may be the first time a majority of evangelicals will vote for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter, who talked of being “born again” and got many evangelical votes in 1976...