Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's Posts

Yes, It's Safe to Come Out. Congress Isn't Working This Weekend.

Guess Who Is Criticizing President Obama for His Unconstitutional Power Grab?

That a Senator is criticizing President Obama's audacity isn't necessarily news. After all, Obama is acting with enormous audacity and there are yet a few principled Senators around to call him on it.

But the surprise here was just who was railing at the new President's crooked policy of appointing White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, this Senator complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. The letter said that such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

Oh yes -- the Senator who wrote that letter? Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the cantankerous, devoutly liberal and longest-serving Democrat in the U.S. Senate. Hmm.

Kathleen Sebelius: Another Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Slated for Obama's Cabinet

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius looks like she'll be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, this despite her record as one of the worst of the "Yes, I'm a Catholic but an ardent promoter of abortion on demand" bunch. Here's a quick look at her shameful past.

You'll note the accompanying photo. It shows Sebelius at a party with her friend and supporter, the notorious late-term abortionist, George Tiller.

Are You Joining the Tea Party?

Claire and I are headed down to Omaha's Douglas County Courthouse (16th and Farnam) today at noon for our city's participation in the Tea Party, a nationwide protest of President Obama's and the Democrat Congress' shameful actions of the last month. At least 50 such parties are planned in cities all across the United States today.

In particular, the Tea Party protests the irrational economic policies of the Democrats whose "stimulus" legislation and national budget are both filled with waste, lobbyist-led pork projects, payment for bad behavior (by individuals and government), and socialist-inspired programs that will create irreversible damage to our nation.

Now the attendance for Omaha's event may be a bit sparse -- we're just getting the front edge of what we're told is a big snowstorm here -- but the issues are important enough for us all to pledge ourselves to ongoing action. For instance, I print below a brief essay put together by the folks at Smart Girl Politics which you can use as inspiration for your letters to politicians, editors, etc.

Here it is:

This great country, which I hold so dear, is in trouble. The principles on which our nation was founded seem to be deteriorating daily. Our government, comprised of elected officials sworn to represent us, has abandoned its sovereign duty to the people. Our voices, already muffled by the roar of a liberal media, are falling on the deaf ears of an uncompromising Congress. In an economic crisis created in large part by irresponsible government interference, it seems our government's answer is more of the same. If big government was the cause, how can bigger government be the solution?

In the 1760's the British Government began to use taxation as a tool to suppress prosperity and limit the liberties of its people. Much like our own, the British government abused its power and submitted, not to the citizens, but to the special interests and political gain. On December 16, 1773, American colonists decided, as have we, that enough is enough. In a bold act of protest, the Sons of Liberty filled the Boston Harbor with more than 45 tons of East India Company tea.


The Boston Tea Party put into motion the events that would ultimately lead to the American Revolution and on July 4, 1776, our founding fathers would adopt The Declaration of Independence. This document not only announced our independence from Britain, but it asserted our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition to these, the Declaration of Independence ensures our right to protect ourselves from a government that becomes destructive and to alter, abolish, or recreate a government that has ceased to fulfill the duties for which it was created.


In the shadow of failed bailouts that have been squandered away by greedy CEO's and uncooperative labor unions, our government has passed legislation that will prove to be the largest and most costly expansion of government in history. With trillions of dollars gone and wasted, we have stood and watched the America we love slip away; the America that has flourished in a system of free market capitalism and thrived in a democracy centered around states' rights, it is our duty to act. We will stand by and watch no more.


This Friday, all across this nation, "we the people" will be invoking the spirit of our forefathers and joining our voices in an effort to drown out the chatter of mediocrity. We will have a Tea Party of our own. In fact, we will have many. We will speak out against the infliction of a debt that will cripple future generations. We will protest the use of fear by our leaders to impose upon us their liberal agendas. We will respond to the threat of socialism that intensifies as wealth is seized and redistributed. We will reclaim our exceptionalism that sets up apart and provides every man, woman and child with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream . We will reject the class warfare and victim mentality that eats away at peace and prosperity. And once again, we will empower the people...and the people will prevail.


The President has said that he gets it. Let's make sure that he does. Join us...


As a reminder of what started this whole thing, zip on over to these previous Vital Signs blog post: Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party" and Gasp! A Reporter Injects Opinion Into CNBC News -- And It's Not a Liberal Opinion!

Your Tax Dollars at Work Report #423: Sexual Aberration Campaigns in the Public Schools

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will sponsor TransAction Day in schools across the nation Friday to promote transgenderism and "gender non-conforming" behavior.

For TransAction Day, GLSEN makes available workshops exploring the use of gender-neutral language and terminology. Students are instructed to use pronouns such as "zie" and "hir" instead of "he" or "she" and "his" or "hers." TransAction Day materials also discuss new definitions and concepts, like sexual reassignment surgery and what it means to be a drag queen.


In addition, students are encouraged to advocate for transgender issues in their schools and communities. They are urged to launch campaigns for gender-neutral or multi-gendered bathrooms, and are advised to challenge school policies, such as male-female couples at prom and gender-based colors for graduation gowns. They are also taught how to make their student clubs transgender inclusive...


The rest of Devon Williams' column for Focus on the Family is right here.

Weasel Politics: Senate Votes to Ban "Fairness Doctrine" But Then Votes to Require Radio "Diversity"

The Senate approved an amendment Thursday that would outlaw the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," an off-the-books policy that once required broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints on controversial issues.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's amendment passed by a wide margin of 87-to-11. The South Carolina senator had attached his proposal, called the Broadcaster Freedom Act, to a bill to give the District of Columbia a voting representative in the House.


It's unclear whether the amendment will survive as Congress debates the voting rights bill. But the measure served to effectively put the Senate on record as opposing a revival of the Fairness Doctrine.


However, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin also won approval for an alternate amendment that would order the Federal Communications Commission to encourage radio ownership "diversity."


A DeMint aide said Durbin's measure will "impose the Fairness Doctrine through the back door by trying to break up radio ownership."
The aide called the Durbin proposal "an attempt to break up companies like Clear Channel and hurt their syndications and therefore putting many local radio stations out of business that depend on those syndicated shows for revenue."

The measure passed by a vote of 57-to-41...

(Fox News Politics)

Observing America's Socialist Revolution

David Limbaugh -- Remember when liberals were wringing their hands and accusing President George W. Bush of being a dictator and a king? Of course, that was breathtakingly absurd, but what's really ironic is that these people actually want a king, provided they get to pick him.

As Barack Obama feverishly presses forward with his socialist agenda, one wonders whether any act of executive overreaching might cause the compliant, nay, conspiratorial Democratic congressional majorities to pause or, better yet, to resist.


I think not. Every assault Obama inflicts on the budget is met by Congress with: "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"


I realize liberals take umbrage at the pejorative terms "Marxist" and "socialist," but in invoking them, my purpose is neither to exaggerate nor to provoke. If the terms bother you, could you please tell me how Obama would be behaving differently if he were a socialist or Marxist just elected in this country?...


Dick Morris -- President Obama, in his pursuit of liberal big-government spending, has totally neglected the role of the president of the United States in reversing global panic. To the contrary, his every remark and the constant preoccupation of his Cabinet is to heighten the sense of crisis and to escalate the predictions of doom if we do not do as they tell us and raise spending now and taxes later.

Instead of being a firewall, reassuring Main Street even as Wall Street crashed, he has become a conduit of panic, spreading the mood of desperation from the stock exchange floor to kitchen tables across the world...


In addressing this panic, the president of the United States must truly be the leader of the world — showing the way back to confidence.


Instead, Obama has been instrumental in purveying fear and spreading doubt. It is his pronouncements, reinforced by the developments they kindle and catalyze, that are destroying good businesses, bankrupting responsible people and wiping out even conservative financial institutions. Every time he speaks, he sends the markets down and stocks crashing. He doesn’t seem to realize that the rest of the world takes its cue from him. He forgets that he stands at the epicenter of power, not on the fringes campaigning for office. This ain’t Iowa.


Why does Obama preach gloom and doom? Because he is so anxious to cram through every last spending bill, tax increase on the so-called rich, new government regulation, and expansion of healthcare entitlement that he must preserve the atmosphere of crisis as a political necessity. Only by keeping us in a state of panic can he induce us to vote for trillion-dollar deficits and spending packages that send our national debt soaring...


Peter Morici -- "The taxing aspect of this is worse than Robin Hood," said economist Peter Morici, a University of Maryland professor. "He's resurrecting class warfare for political gain."...

"We have learned from hard experience that big government only begets big government and high unemployment," he said. "We have 1970s' solutions for new-age problems, and it's just not going to work. People are going to be happy to get some free healthcare for a while, then it's all going to end in
tears."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today's Posts

Image Adjustment: Updates from the Culture Wars of Great Britain

The latest newsletter from our dear friends working with Great Britain's evangelical pro-life organization, IMAGE, is not yet on their terrific website. But, hold on; it soon will be. In the meanwhile, I've decided to give you a peek at some of the items in their "Latest News" section.

Twenty-one girls under 16 become pregnant each day in Britain. On average, 12 of them have an abortion, according to the Department for Children, Schools and Families. David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, said conception rates for under-16s had remained unchanged while abortion figures had risen. The figures were more evidence that the Government’s efforts to cut teenage pregnancy rates by provision of contraception and the morning-after pill without parents’ knowledge had not worked.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said she does not believe unborn human life has the same value as born human life. For her, she said, the question was not when does human life begin but when does human life really begin to matter, and that could be relative to the woman who was carrying it. The person who made a decision about the future of an unwanted pregnancy should be the person closest to the issue and most affected by it.


At 20 weeks, Leanne Shields was told her baby was not developing properly and would be born with severe disabilities. She decided that whatever happened, her baby would have every chance of life. He was born at 29 weeks weighing 1lb 6oz, spent 10 weeks in hospital, and has just celebrated his first birthday at home in Basildon, Essex – a picture of health.


The Sex Education Forum, which describes itself as the national authority on sex and relationships education, says clinics offering pregnancy tests and the morning-after pill should be available in every secondary school. This is despite its own admission that there is a lack of evidence showing that school-based clinics are effective.


Schools across Wiltshire have introduced drop-in sessions to provide pupils as young as 11 with the morning-after pill, contraceptives and pregnancy tests without parents’ knowledge. Swindon Borough Council officials said nurses would encourage children to talk to family members, but were themselves forbidden to discuss pupils’ visits to the sessions with anyone, including parents or carers. They said young people “have a right” to practise safe sex.


Kai Purdy was diagnosed before birth as having a life-threatening heart condition and Edwards syndrome, a genetic disorder which is normally fatal. His parents, from Scunthorpe, twice refused recommendations to abort him. After birth, he was found not to have Edwards syndrome and the heart condition corrected itself. “I am so glad we stuck by our guns,” said his mother.


In his book Against Physician Assisted Suicide, palliative care specialist Dr David Jeffrey tells of a former Army instructor who had terminal cancer and was determined to commit suicide. After a discussion with a doctor, it emerged that he was missing the Army. He was taken to watch a passing-out parade of young recruits, where a party had been arranged in his honour. “His life was transformed,” said Dr Jeffrey. “He had a purpose and his demeanour completely changed. He died two weeks later, comfortably.
People’s lives always have that potential. Even in the midst of suffering there can be change. “You just don’t know what will happen.”

A film with Julie Walters as Anne Turner, the retired English doctor who committed assisted suicide at a Swiss suicide clinic, was shown on BBC TV the night before a Commons vote on the Coroners and Justice Bill, which could affect the law on assisted suicide. A BBC
spokesman said he was unaware that the BBC scheduled the film to coincide with a parliamentary matter.

GPs are to be paid bonuses for persuading teenagers to have long-lasting contraceptive injections and implants. They are to be paid every time they give a teenager advice on
sexual health, particularly on long-acting contraception. They may do this without parents’ knowledge. The Government says many teenagers fail to take the pill regularly or use condoms properly and that an injection or coil would better prevent teenage pregnancies. Family campaigners said long-lasting contraceptives would promote promiscuity and increase sexually transmitted infections.

The Power of Dreams, The Sharp-Edged Beauty of Life

It is a story (a very real story) of dreams and genius, of courage and love, of the supernatural dignity of every human life. It is the story of one of our times' most gifted and inspirational writers, Christopher Nolan.

Wesley Smith has an entry at Secondhand Smoke dealing with the passing of the remarkably sensitive Irish writer. It shouldn't be missed.

Nor should the fuller article about Nolan which he cites. It comes from Raymond Arroyo and is right here. In fact, the paragraphs below are taken from Arroyo's column. But do read the whole thing. You'll be deeply moved.

This week the world lost a rare writer at the age of 43. He was not a media fixture and certainly not one of those writers making appearances at the literary salons. He was a Dublin homebody. But what an astounding person Christopher Nolan was.


Nolan was born with cerebral palsy, could not speak, nor control his extremities. Confined to a wheelchair, he was the type of person our society looks at with pity or largely ignores. Thankfully, his family never saw him that way. They loved him unconditionally, interacted with him and taught him as one would any child. He would go on to school, though no one fully appreciated his mental acuity.


A drug was discovered that allowed Nolan to move one muscle in his neck. (Bono of U2, who attended school with Nolan wrote the song “Miracle Drug” about the boy). At the age of 11 he was equipped with a “unicorn stick” which was fastened to his head. With it Nolan would peck at a typewriter. His mother had to apply pressure to his chin to stabilize the boy’s head, allowing him to work his art. It was a torturous process, taking him more than 15 minutes to produce one word on the page. And what words they were.


He published his first book at 15, a collection of poems appropriately titled “Dam-burst of Dreams.” His second book won Britain’s prestigious “Whitbread Book of the Year:” in 1988. It was called “Under the Eye of the Clock”...


Nolan was a Catholic, one who was often frustrated by his inability to open his mouth at communion time. But the mark of his faith is evident in his work. In Under the Eye of the Clock he wrote of Christmas: “Bells pealed in all the Dublin churches as midnight nudged home its bashful meaning to all the crazy longing. Christ the God-child now breathed a human breath. The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst man. Manger-cradled the Saviour lay. Midnight Mass marked the moment for Joseph; crested now with knowing, he marvelled at the nobility of the human person.”


His Mother, Bernadette told the Christian Science Monitor in the late 80’s: “``He has shown (people with disabilities) that life is worth living, and it doesn't matter whether you're in a wheelchair or a bed; it's what's going on in your mind and your soul that is important.''...


You can, of course, buy your own copy of Under the Eye of the Clock. And you may also consider Nolan's The Banyan Tree and his book of poems, Dam-Burst of Dreams.

Is There A Bit of "Freedom Fever" Breaking Out in Russia?

Brian Whitmore posted an encouraging article earlier this month, "Russia's Unlikely Rebels," over at The Power Vertical, one of the new blogs hosted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. (The blog features updates on Russian politics and insightful commentary from Mr. Whitmore and Robert Coalson.)

"Russia's Unlikely Rebels" described the trial of political dissident Roman Dobrokhotov (photo at left) stemming from police charges of Dobrokhotov's "provocative behavior" and "public cursing." The charges were outrageously unjust. (Yes, this is Russia.) But the trial itself was anything but business as usual.

Indeed, combining it with a few other hopeful signs, the unexpected outcome of Dobrokhotov's trial leaves Whitmore wondering if perhaps another breath of fresh air (and freedom) may be breezing through Russia.

Here's excerpts from the article:

...On January 31, police detained political activist Roman Dobrokhotov after he staged a silent protest in front of the Russian government headquarters in Moscow. Dobrokhotov, the leader of the opposition group We, stood with several colleagues in front of the White House with their mouths taped shut and holding blank sheets of paper. He was charged with "provocative behavior" and -- despite the tape -- "public cursing."

He was one of dozens of opposition figures detained in the Russian capital following a series of protests dubbed the "Day of Dissent" by organizers.
But when Dobrokhotov's case was brought before Judge Aleksei Bondarev, something remarkable happened. Here's how the weekly "Novaya gazeta" described the proceedings:

"First of all, the session on February 3 lasted until late in the evening, and, as a rule, judges tend not stand on ceremony with political detainees. Second, the judge listened attentively to defense witnesses and said that since the police officers were an interested party, their testimony should not be trusted implicitly (ordinarily, the texts of judicial rulings repeat the police protocols almost word for word). Third, the judge entered into the record a videotape on which it is visible that the opposition figure had conducted himself decently, and recognized his right to free expression as protected by the European Convention. In the end, Aleksei Bondarev set aside the ruling of the Justice of the Peace and freed Roman Dobrokhotov in the courtroom. 'I do not know what will come of all this,' Bondarev said"...


And it isn't just in the courtroom where cracks in Russia's authoritarian structures are beginning to become manifest.
At a press conference on Monday, Igor Yurgens director of the Institute of Contemporary Development and a aide to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said the following, according to a report in "The New York Times": "The social contract consisted of limiting of civil rights in exchange for economic well-being. At the current moment, economic well-being is shrinking. Correspondingly, civil rights should expand. It’s just simple logic."...

This blog has paid a lot of attention to machinations at the very top of Russia's power elite. We've been speculating about whether Medvedev's recent overtures -- like his meeting with "Novaya gazeta" editor Dmitry Muratov or his moves to scuttle a law broadening the definition of treason and espionage -- are signs of a thaw. We've been debating until we're blue in the face whether a split is emerging between Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia's de facto ruler.


But we've also noticed another pattern that is hard to ignore.
The protests over a hike in auto-import tariffs brought people who would never have considered protesting before out on to the streets. Anna Bukovskaya, an activist from the Kremlin youth group "Nashi," came forward to blow the whistle on how the authorities have been infiltrating and spying on opposition groups. Military officers are openly opposing a proposed reform of the armed forces.

These, even when considered together with Judge Bondarev's ruling and Igor Yurgens's frank statements, don't necessarily constitute a trend. At least not yet.
But they do seem to suggest that Russians from various walks of life are beginning to lose their fear of dissent.

A Civics Lesson For Our Time

"The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government."

In case you've forgotten the basics learned in your junior high civics class, this 10-minute video clip will bring them back in a skillful, persuasive way. You'll hear about the different methods of government, the respective dangers and benefits of each, and a little bit of history. And, along the way, you'll see how critically relevant this civics primer is to Obama era politics.

Check it out.




Thanks, James and Melissa, for the heads up about this fine video clip.

Take a Closer Look at the Economy Before You Jump

Victor Davis Hanson doesn't dismiss the economic bad news (401k accounts and stock prices dropping, unemployment climbing, banks and automakers in trouble, etc.) but neither does he join in the MSM/Democrat's whining panic.

I therefore suggest 1) you calmly read this excellent column and then 2) forward it to those friends and neighbors of yours who may have climbed out on the ledge.

...Nearly 93 percent of those Americans in the workforce are still employed. The difference between what the banks pay out in interest on depositors' savings and what they charge borrowers for loans is one of the most profitable in recent memory.


The sudden crash in energy prices may be hurting Iran, the Gulf monarchies, Russia and Venezuela. Yet Americans, who import 60 percent of their transportation fuel, along with natural gas, have been given about a half-trillion-dollar annual reprieve. The reduced price of energy could translate into more than $1,500 in annual savings for the average driver, and hundreds of dollars off the heating and cooling bills for the homeowner.


For the vast majority of Americans with jobs, the fall in prices for almost everything from food to cars has, in real dollars, meant an actual increase in purchasing power. The loss in value of home equity is serious for those who need to relocate for work or want to downsize and move to an apartment or a retirement community. But when averaged over the last decade, real estate still shows a substantial annual increase in value.


Moreover, the vast majority of American homeowners -- well over 90 percent -- meet their mortgage payments. They have no plans to flip their homes for profit. For them, the fact that they have lost paper equity, or even owe more than their homes are currently appraised at, is scary -- but not equivalent to a depression. Most are confident that after a few years their houses will appreciate again. As for now, working young couples have a chance to buy a house that would have been impossible just two years ago.


The same holds true for many retirement accounts whose decline is terrible for those retirees who count on drawing out each month what they put away or must cash out their depleted accounts at vastly reduced value.


But the majority of working Americans are not yet pulling out their sinking retirement funds. Most are still putting away pre-tax money each month, apparently confident that within a few years their portfolios will return to their former value. Some are even consoled that they are now buying mutual funds at rock-bottom prices rather than investing in sky-high investments at the peak of a bull market...


So are we in a depression that justifies a vast redefinition of government and a massive takeover of the private sector? Not quite. What we are a witnessing instead is a sharp downturn from the most affluent era in the history of civilization. For the last two decades, we borrowed and spent as if there were no tomorrow. Now we are living in that tomorrow of cutting back and making do.


In relative terms, it is no longer 2005, but that does not mean it is 1932 either.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today's Posts

A Democrat Duck

Old Blog Posts Never Die: The Enduring Educational Impact of the Internet

One of the most interesting things about running a blog is that your posts never really go away. Though they leave your front page and even your own memory banks, those posts remain there in cyberspace, ready to zoom up on someone's computer screen. At the touch of a keyboard. Anywhere in the world.

All it takes is a reference link or, more likely, a search engine and, VoilĂ  -- there it is again.

A blog thus serves as both a daily newspaper and a library too. Plus it's a library where the "book" you're looking for can always be there.

This is a wonderful thing when you're running a blog designed for education. Case in point -- one of the most popular posts ever appearing on Vital Signs blog is a quick letter I had sent to someone who was questioning the Mirena Loop "birth-control" device. I explained its abortifacient properties and referred to its reputation for creating many adverse health complications. That's a very important service, indeed, for it provides information that can keep a woman from serious health problems as well as the guilt of using a potential abortifacient. It is a life-saving service in more ways than one.

There isn't a week goes by that there haven't been "hits" on that post from people using search engines to learn about Mirena. And yet that post was created on June 29, 2005!

I frequently have thanked God for this enduring educational force presented in our various cyberspace ministries: the Vital Signs Ministries web site, the Vital Signs blog, The Book Den, and the ones we've just recently launched, Exposition 101 and our Russian-language site, VSM Resources. They are all exciting outreaches, particularly when you remember they are global, immediate and timeless.

And, while I'm on the subject, let me cite just one more example of how our internet resources are still making a difference...even long after their original appearance. This example I just discovered yesterday when searching the web about another Mirena matter. I came across the letter I print below which was sent to a forum on Medication.com just last fall. You'll see the writer credits a Vital Signs Ministries publication for helping open her eyes to the way abortions are occurring through drugs and devices. She then passes along the reference to let others in on the illuminating facts.

This is , of course, fantastic...a very encouraging example of the life-changing value of fact-based, faith-embraced information. And to further emphasize the point made earlier about the timelessness of such educational efforts, the interview the letter writer cites was done in 1994! But yet it is available in 2009, 24/7 right here on the Vital Signs Ministries web site.

Here's the young woman's correspondence, unedited and just as it appeared in the Medication.com forum last October:

I had decided about 3 months ago that i wanted to remove my mirena because of the symptoms. I have done alot of research, my husband demanded that i be well informed before assuming that all my side effects were indeed from mirena. I concluded they were.


And along the way i discovered the way birth "control" really works. Mirena in no way stops ovulation. Therefore your body can continually be getting pregnant while on this product. Doesnt make sense you say? the mirena changes the lining in you uterus so the egg that has already been fertilized, now a living thing with all the dna it needs, your baby, is unable to implant to get nutriens from you uterus, thus starving all the while it can attempt to "implant" between 10-14 days, then it is flush out of your system, lifeless.


wonder why lots of mirena users report "i feel pregnant but the ept says no" its too early to detect, yet your body know. Extreme exhaustion, nausa, dizzyness, even tender breast....i am gonna say something bold....but obvious, THE DRUG COMPANIES ARE IN IT JUST FOR THE MONEY. they wont tell the truth.


the american medical association twisted the definetion of "life" as to be after implantation, however before that it was common knowledge that life begins at conception, that bundle of dna is your baby and is its own, not just a part of you.


There are links to birth "control" methods and cancers and such....doesnt that tell us something, its not good.


Go get a tubal, or use condoms until you can make that decision soundly, i am done with hormons and strange things just chilling inside me.


this link to a discussion is very informative:
http://www.vitalsignsministries.org/The%20New%20Abortionists.htm

facts about the pill and other birthcontrol your doctor doesnt tell you:
http://www.prolife.com/BIRTHCNT.html

The Whining Death of Europe

Wes Pruden's analysis of the shameful, cowardly and extremely dangerous way that Europe has treated Geert Wilders is one of the best out there. Read it and weep. Weep for the traditions of free speech that are fast fading away. Weep for the almost complete absence of moral courage in modern statesmen. Weep for not merely the marginalization of Christian values but their eclipse by the brutish doctrines of Islam in European life.

Muslim Author Asma Gull Hasan: ""Many of Us Feel We Have Our First American Muslim President in Barack Hussein Obama."

Muslim author Asma Gull Hasan (politically liberal and a big fan of Barack Obama) has quite a revelation for the American public -- our new President is, in fact, a Muslim. Well, kinda'.

Here, in an op/ed published in Forbes, she makes her disturbing case.

I know President Obama is not Muslim, but I am tempted nevertheless to think that he is, as are most Muslims I know. In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel, just as African-Americans did for the non-black but culturally leaning African-American President Bill Clinton, that we have our first American Muslim president in Barack Hussein Obama.


I know it's odd to say this. At first, I thought I was the only Muslim engaging in this folly, and I am reluctant to express it lest right-wing zealots try to use "Muslim" as a smear and cite my theory as proof of an Islamic traitor in the White House or some such nonsense. But, since Election Day, I have been part of more and more conversations with Muslims in which it was either offhandedly agreed that Obama is Muslim or enthusiastically blurted out. In commenting on our new president, "I have to support my fellow Muslim brother," would slip out of my mouth before I had a chance to think twice.


"Well, I know he's not really Muslim," I would quickly add. But if the person I was talking to was Muslim, they would say, "yes he is." They would cite his open nature and habit of reaching out to critics, reminiscent of the Prophet Muhammad's own approach, and also Obama's middle name, Hussein. Most of the Muslims I know (me included) can't seem to accept that Obama is not Muslim.


Of the few Muslims I polled who said that Obama is not Muslim, even they conceded that he had ties to Islam. These realists said that, although not an avowed and practicing Muslim, Obama's exposure to Islam at a young age (both through his father and his stint in Indonesia) has given him a Muslim sensibility. In my book, that makes you a Muslim--maybe not a card-carrying one, but part of the flock for sure. One realist Muslim ventured that Obama worships at a Unitarian Church because it represents the middle ground between Christianity and Islam, incorporating the religious beliefs of the two faiths Obama feels connected to. Unitarianism could be Obama's way of still being a Muslim. (And let's not forget that the church Obama worshiped at for so many years had a minister who reminds most Muslims of their own raving, excitable ministers. Even if Obama really is Christian, he picked the most Muslim-esque minister out of the bunch to guide him.).


The rationalistic, Western side of me knows that Obama has denied being Muslim, that his father was non-practicing, that he doesn't attend a mosque. Many Muslims simply say back, "my father's not a strict Muslim either, and I haven't been to a mosque in years." Obama even told The New York Times he could recite the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, which the vast majority of Muslims, I would guess, do not know well enough to recite.


I think many of us Muslims see Obama as Muslim, or at least of Muslim heritage, because his background epitomizes one of the major Muslim experiences--a diverse upbringing that eludes any easy classification as specifically one religion or one culture. So many of us Muslims around the world have Islam in common, but an altogether different culture from one another. Many Muslims share a culture with a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist community but not the same religion. When faced with such diversity, there are no hard and fast rules for Muslim identity...

The Power Line Trio on Barack's Big Speech

In case, like I was careful to do, you missed last night's address to the Congress by President Obama (or even if you did), here's three not-to-be-missed responses from that mighty triad of conservative bloggers up in Minneapolis that make up Power Line. Great stuff.

* "He Is My Shepherd" by Scott Johnson

* "Barack's Magical Mystery Tour" by Paul Mirengoff

* "How Did He Do?" John Hinderaker

Obama's Vaunted Rhetoric: Getting Us Nowhere Fast

As if in direct contrast to his soaring oratory, Barack Obama's real-world handling of the presidency has crashed to earth. Indeed, Obama's remarkably odd rhetoric (doom-saying then hopeful, critical then inclusive, bright then banal and bumbling) has been like ice on the wings, at the very least a contributing factor to the failure.

Ralph Alter describes the weird happenings of Obama's first month in a wry piece for American Thinker.

...As he hit the ground talking, our new chief executive was hardly remiss in promoting his appointments and policies. In fact, the Great Leader spent more than a third of his first month (11 days) on the road in an attempt to gin up support for his wobbly opening gambits. Obama emoted by radio address, press conference, town-hall meeting and even a bizarre interview with Al-Arabiya in an attempt to show what he believes is leadership right out of the gate.

Unfortunately, all his locutions just sound like more campaign rhetoric. What else can Obama do? Try to remember that when the only tool you have is a hammer, all of your problems begin to look like nails. What evidence do we have of BHO possessing any other skills relating to his new job? Better buckle in for 4 more years of detached, grandstanding flourish left untethered by an incurious media...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today's Posts

Pro-Life Drama -- "The Program Committee"

Aggies to Get Aggressive in Adult Stem Cell Research: Texas A&M and Governor Rick Perry Doin' the State Proud

John Coleman, One of Those Hard-Science Fellows That Al Gore Wishes Would Go Away

Who Is Really the Coward? What Eric Holder Refuses to Address in His Coversation About Race

Is Barack Obama Providing the "Tipping Point" on Abortion?

Pro-Life Drama -- "The Program Committee"

The scene opens at a kitchen table where five women have been enjoying pastries and coffee. The curtain rises on the planning portion of the meeting just getting underway.

Missy: "Okay, okay, girls! Let's get going, alright?" (She bangs her spoon lightly against her coffee cup.) "The meeting of the Women's Spring Conference Program Committee is officially underway."


"The Program Committee," the skit that follows this innocent opening call, provides an illuminating (and provocative) glimpse into how modern Christians have been affected by secularism, a self-absorbing entertainment culture, and the failure to properly defend the sanctity of life.

It is a skit designed for use by churches, Sunday schools, youth groups, pro-life groups -- if they dare! But you can check it out in safety (it just takes a few minutes to read) right here at the Vital Signs Ministries web site.

Aggies to Get Aggressive in Adult Stem Cell Research: Texas A&M and Governor Rick Perry Doin' the State Proud

Denise Burke over at the Americans United for Life Blog gives the following update of an exciting development in adult stem cell research.

Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that the State will invest $5 million in promising adult stem-cell research. Specifically, the funds will be used to expand and recruit researchers to the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Scott and White. The governor also urged the Texas Legislature to continue to appropriate funds to the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF).

“Commercialization of adult stem cell research will provide much-needed solutions for Texans suffering from various tissue and organ disorders while protecting the unborn from exploitation,” Gov. Perry said. “This investment will promote innovation and commercialization in this evolving biotechnology sector and attract top researchers and outside investment to the Institute of Regenerative Medicine.”


Texas is one of 15 states that have passed legislation or taken other action encouraging the use of adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood for research.


Adult stem cells have a proven record of effective clinical remedies, which cannot be said for embryonic stem cells. No clinical use of human embryonic stem cells has yet been published in the scientific literature. Medical remedies involving embryonic stem cells are still conjectural. In contrast, adult stem cells are being used in numerous therapeutic procedures.


Conversely, proponents of embryonic stem-cell research have created a false impression that these cells have a proven therapeutic use. In fact, embryonic cells have never helped a human patient; any claim that they may someday do so is mere speculation.


Given the lack of medical evidence to support the claims being made by proponents of embryonic stem-cell research and other forms of life-destroying research, bans on such procedures have the indirect benefit of allowing research money and effort to be directed to the already productive field of adult stem-cell transplantation and somatic cell gene therapies. Importantly, these procedures are free of the ethical dilemmas associated with destructive human embryo research.

John Coleman, One of Those Hard-Science Fellows That Al Gore Wishes Would Go Away

John Coleman, the 74-year-old founding father of the Weather Channel who is arguing angrily (and persuasively) that the much ballyhooed climate change is an outrageous, unscientific scam, admits that he watched Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in its entirety -- but “not without screaming.”

Here's an entertaining, very informative look at John Coleman's career, arguments, detractors and more.

Who Is Really the Coward? What Eric Holder Refuses to Address in His Coversation About Race

Regarding Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks last week about the U.S. being a “nation of cowards” for refusing to talk about matters of race, Heather MacDonald over at City Journal asks, "Is he nuts?"

She then goes on to delineate: 1) why Holder's rhetoric is at odds with social reality (specifically on the American electorate, crime, education, and the family) and 2) Holder's commitment to the same socially damaging policies he championed when he worked for Bill Clinton.

It's a fine article -- detailed, well-written and showing a genuine compassion for those struggling to escape from the woefully failed social politics of the left. Here it is.

Also relevant to the matter is Gregory Kane's article, "Will Holder Discuss These Five Racial Issues?" over at DC Examiner.

Is Barack Obama Providing the "Tipping Point" on Abortion?

...President Obama may very well be supplying an "overreach" moment for the right to life movement by attempting to require taxpayers to fully fund abortions in federal programs and the domestic and international abortion industries themselves. This "abortion industry bailout" during a time of acute economic crisis is a dramatic overreach that far outstrips citizens' public opinion...

President Obama promised to forge "common ground" on an issue that has divided the nation since every protection for unborn children was wiped off the books with the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973. Unfortunately, forcing taxpayers to fund the destruction of innocent lives is far, far away from any turf that could be labeled common ground.

The more Americans know of this proposed change in law, the more they will be forced to take sides, that is, in effect to join the pro-life movement. That is the definition of a political tipping point. Every step President Obama takes to advance the abortion bailout agenda puts our nation one step closer to confronting the tragic reality of abortion in America. Obama's overreach gives pro-life human rights advocates in the mold of Susan B. Anthony reason to hope. A turning point for protecting the unborn could well be on the horizon.

(Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, "Hope for Pro-Lifers: Obama Administration Overreaches on Abortion Funding," Human Events, 2/23)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today's Posts


Had Any "Pleasant Valley Sundays" Lately?

It was certainly a "Pleasant Valley Sunday" for us yesterday.

* We had a splendid time of worship at Faith Bible Church. The expository sermon covered Acts 13:1-13 -- the Antioch Church sending Barnabas and Saul on a ground-breaking missionary endeavor; the confrontation with the magician Elymas; and the conversion of Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of Cyprus -- great stuff!

* Then there was a "street picnic" with Claire as we munched Wendy's hamburgers so we could get a great parking spot for the afternoon concert.

* Next? The Omaha Symphony at the Holland Center. The Symphony puts on a free concert every year for season ticket holders and their guests in order to show their appreciation -- and to build excitement for the next season so that we'll continue our subscriptions. It's a terrific idea and yesterday's concert was a dilly: Brahms, Beethoven, Holst, Borodin, a delightful original piece based on Looney Tunes, and more. And there was indeed exciting news about next season that guarantees our staying aboard. Mission accomplished, maestro. Enhancing our enjoyment of the concert were the friends from church who accompanied us (Kathy, Lynette, Paul and Jeanette) and good friends Dick and Jan Loneman who stumbled upon us in the crowd.

* We got home in time to catch the last few holes of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Wow. It was a very tense, very dramatic comeback with our favorite, Phil Mickelson, sinking in a 8-ft par putt for the win.

* Then over to Mom's who is still rehabilitating from a compression fracture in her lower back over at a nearby nursing home. I filled her in on the events of the day and then we spent a couple of hours talking about our memories from the 1960's back in Colorado. You see, I've kicked off a kind of "memory contest" with my siblings: James aka "Highway" in Florida, Sherry in Kansas, Ric in Colorado and Linda in California. I began listing a bunch of events, persons, phrases, places, items, and practices ("stream of consciousness" style) and then sent them to the other kids and asking them to do likewise. Well, they've come back with great lists of their own -- and I hope they'll keep coming! The result is a whole lot of fun for us all. Plus we're keeping in contact (always a good thing) and it provides a charming and important service for my Mom who needs this kind of stimulation for her mind...and her soul. Thanks a bunch, guys.

* The night ended back home where Claire and I had a late dinner, watched an old episode of "Murder, She Wrote" via the magic of Netflix Instant Watch, and then up to the study to finish up the mystery novel I had started the night before.

Ah, if only all Sundays could be so sweet, huh?

Gasp! A Reporter Injects Opinion Into CNBC News -- And It's Not a Liberal Opinion!

Brian Stelter gets a little snitty in the New York Times about CNBC's pride in running the video clip of Rick Santelli's now-famous Chicago Tea Party. (See this previous post.)

Mr. Stelter believes reporters are way out of line to "inject their opinions" into a story -- unless, of course, those opinions are properly and manifestly leftist.

Stelter's story does contain the entertaining news, however, that by Sunday the Santelli video clip "had been viewed nearly 1.7 million times, making it CNBC.com’s most popular video clip ever."

Way to go, Rick. Let's keep that tea party goin' strong.

Even Liberal Economists Hate Obama's "Stimulus" Game

Robert Samuelson, a contributing editor of Newsweek and the Washington Post, is all for a "huge stimulus." He thinks it is imperative "to prevent a devastating downward economic spiral."

But he sure doesn't like the weird, pork-laden thing that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the leering lobbyists and, yes, Barack Obama came up with.

"Judged by his own standards, President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing. For weeks, Obama has described the economy in grim terms. "This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill recession," he said at his Feb. 9 news conference. It's "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." Given these dire warnings, you'd expect the stimulus package to focus almost exclusively on reviving the economy. It doesn't, and for that, Obama bears much of the blame...

Politics cannot be removed from the political process. But here, partisan politics ran roughshod over pragmatic economic policy. Token concessions (including the AMT provision) to some Republicans weakened the package. Obama is gambling that his flawed stimulus will seem to work well enough that he'll receive credit for restarting the economy -- and not blamed for engineering a colossal waste."

Nebraska Pro-Life Congressmen Are Standing Tall

As promised last week, here's a few notable items from the remarks of Nebraska Congressmen Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry at Wednesday's quarterly luncheon of the Business and Professional People for Life.

From Lee Terry's address:

* "Our best chance against FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) is to create a firestorm of opposition that will keep it from being introduced." This is because he believes the Democrats have the votes in both the House and Senate to pass it if it comes to the floor.

* This is a very sad situation, one that proves (as Rep. Terry put it) "It matters who you elect!"

* FOCA is the spear point of the culture of death, representing as it does "the killing of the unborn without restriction." In fact, it is so extreme that Roe v Wade actually stands in the way of the new abortion activists. They are demanding that anything that might impede abortion (waiting periods, parental consent or notification, conscience clauses, etc.) be removed.

* FOCA presents just one battlefield. "The liberals are injecting the culture of death into almost every bill."

* For instance, Rep. Terry explained that the $300 million for more contraception funding that Pelosi and others wanted to pack into the "stimulus" bill was supposedly pulled out after pressure from pro-lifers and even President Obama himself. Well, don't get too happy because they simply played a little "bait and switch,"" shoving the $300 million elsewhere in the bill in a fund to prevent STDs. And, you guessed it. That means condom distribution and sex ed of the sort that Pelosi wanted in the first place. The names are changed; the heat is reduced; they get what they wanted anyway.

* A particular danger Rep. Terry pointed out was the $100 million for a Comparative Medical Research Group which will "oversee" Medicare and other medical spending. This will certainly lead to rationing which, with the economy and the ethos of the times, could even lead to increased euthanasia. He referred listeners to a Cal Thomas column which you can read here.

* Rep. Terry described how the Democrats and liberal journalists regularly distort the issue of abstinence education. For example, only 20% of sex ed allocation has gone for abstinence-only education. The liberals act as if its the whole pie. And they also misreport how dramatically effective abstinence education is, dealing as it does with self-esteem, health, and empowerment. And, of course, they also fail to report just how terrible are the effects of value-less sex ed of the Planned Parenthood variety.

* President Obama has told Planned Parenthood that FOCA is one of his priorities. He even promised it to be part of his first 100 days. However, no bill has been introduced yet. But that doesn't mean he's backed off. It only means he plans to play the same games of "bait and switch," changing labels, and hiding things in the middle of complex legislation. Thus he is able to sneak particular planks of FOCA by the American people.

* Finally, Rep. Terry urged the audience to require of someone like Nebraska's Democrat Senator Ben Nelson a thoroughly pro-life position which would include votes against cloture on FOCA and other pro-abortion legislation.

From Jeff Fortenberry's address:

* Rep. Fortenberry began with commending the courage and persistence of Lee Terry on pro-life, pro-family issues and he then praised the Business and Professional People for Life on the very concept of their organization.

* He then spoke of how secularism (he specifically mentioned materialism and popular entertainment) had severed our nation's tether to the ethics of the founding fathers. Therefore, our efforts to recover those historic values must go beyond political activity and into cultural reformation as well. Rep. Fortenberry explained that it isn't good for conservatives to deny the reality we face. "We are losing and losing very badly."

* FOCA has crystallized pro-life opposition and that's certainly to be appreciated. Letters have been pouring in by amounts he hasn't seen for quite awhile. This is critical to maintain. "You've got to engage the system. You must write letters, make calls, visit and make your voice heard." Rep. Fortenberry emphasized that public opinion greatly encourages pro-life stalwarts to keep fighting hard and even moves the nominally pro-life politicians to do the right thing with more regularity and resolve. And don't forget the power of letters to editors of newspapers and magazines, he said. They are very important.

* The threat of FOCA is severe and very real. And yet, he too told the audience that the liberal's plan involves taking one plank at a time. Already Barack Obama has forced Americans to pay for abortions overseas. He has announced too that the United Nations Population Fund will get our tax money. He will also soon start funding with tax dollars the destruction of human embryos in immoral and unproductive experimentation.

* Rep. Fortenberry concluded his remarks by urging those present to keep praying and keep fighting -- both for the present and for the legacy we leave for the next generation. "We must not concede the next generation. Our efforts can provide a higher vision for them."

There were nearly 100 people present at the BPPFL luncheon, a good crowd who appreciated the straight talk and the helpful counsel they received from Congressmen Terry and Fortenberry. If you'd like to know more about the Business and Professional Persons for Life, please check out their web site and look for the notices there about the next luncheon. See you there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Michael Ramirez Cartoon)


Michael Ramirez' political cartoons (and each one is a gem) can be viewed on this page of the IBD website. Check 'em out.

Yes, WTA. We ARE Looking for a Hero.

In a follow-up to a story from Monday's Vital Signs blog, Haaretz reports that there are steps being taken -- by a few -- to protest the United Arab Emirates' denial of a visa for an Israeli tennis player. However, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has yet to act.

The WTA's new ad campaign (its largest ever) goes under the title of "Looking for a Hero?" Well, wouldn't this be an opportunity to demonstrate in the real world (and not just on the court) what real heroes do?

The Wall Street Journal Europe dropped its sponsorship of the current Dubai tennis tournament after the United Arab Emirates refused to issue a visa to Israel's star tennis player Shahar Peer...

"The Wall Street Journal's editorial philosophy is free markets and free people, and this action runs counter to the Journal's editorial direction," the Wall Street Journal Europe said in a statement Wednesday. The Journal's parent company, Dow Jones & Co, is owned by Rupert Murdoch's international media conglomerate News Corp.


The Tennis Channel has also canceled plans to televise the women's tournament in light of the Peer incident...

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations also called on international tennis authorities to cancel a men's tournament in Dubai next week unless the UAE allows another Israeli player, Andy Ram, to participate...The Jewish umbrella group, which is holding meetings in Jerusalem this week, called the decision to bar Peer from participating offensive, discriminatory and unacceptable.

In an interview, the conference's executive vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein, said his group had been in touch with WTA tour chief Larry Scott and urged him to cancel the women's tournament next year if Dubai did not change its policy. "There has to be some price," he said. "History teaches us if you let a thing like this go, it grows, and if people perceive it as a license to discriminate, there will be no limit."


He said Scott was very responsive but offered no immediate promises. Scott has said he will consider dropping Dubai from the tour's calendar. The WTA is expected to discuss the matter at an upcoming board meeting...


If you'd like to let the WTA know that the very least they should do would be to break their professional relationship with the UAE until the country stops its anti-Semitic manipulations, you can contact them here. (My e-mail to the WTA simply read, "Yes, WTA. We ARE looking for a hero. And with a decision that the WTA will refuse to countenance such despicable, anti-Semitic actions as the UAE's denial of a visa to Shahar Peer, the WTA can be that hero. So please act now to break off all professional association with countries and organizations which promote such intolerance. Thank you.")

(A related story dealing with tennis and Muslim intolerance is in yesterday's Vital Signs blog.)

Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party"

In case you haven't seen it yet, watch this remarkable video clip of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli going off (from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade) on Barack Obama's new plan for American taxpayers to pay off the mortgages of dead beats who fail to do so on their own.

Remember too, this is money above the "stimulus" package that may well be in itself, the ruination of our democracy.

Congratulations, Rick. You may have set off the first charges in a much-needed revolution against our socialist president.

5 Themes of Obama's First Month

Fred Barnes has a first-rate article in the Weekly Standard in which he reviews Barack Obama's strange, turbulent first month as United States President. Barnes' reflections revolve around 5 themes. Excerpts from each are printed below.

1. Campaigning is governing. Does Obama loathe Washington? It sure looks that way. In the midst of an economic crash, he's spent a surprising number of days away from the White House, delivering speeches to stir support for his stimulus and housing programs and, at least once, to denounce Republicans. In his first month, his trips covered 11 days, including four days in his hometown of Chicago. And that's not counting the two days he spent at Camp David and his visit to Springfield, Virginia, to talk up his stimulus bill...

Obama's job is less the shaping of policies than the promoting of them...


2. Obama and Democrats are in sync. This may explain why Obama feels he doesn't need to hang around Washington. Democrats have large majorities in the Senate and House and they aren't likely to deviate from his wishes. They agree on nearly every aspect of big government liberalism. And Republicans can't cause much trouble...


Obama and Democrats should be enormously encouraged by the stimulus vote. It means that Obama/Democratic initiatives on health care, global warming, housing and who knows what else stand a very good chance of passage. One reason is Republicans aren't likely to stay as united in opposition, particularly on any health care or environmental issues. This Congress may enact more of the hard-core liberal agenda than any since 1965. That's scary...


3. Obama the market killer. The Dow opened at 8281.22 on the morning of Obama's inauguration. Today it opens at 7465.95. That's a vote of practically no confidence in Obama's strategy for reviving the economy... Financial markets are a bet on the future. The market's view is that an Obamanomics-driven economy looks grim.


As best one can tell, economic growth isn't Obama's top priority or even in second place. There's no other conclusion, given the absence of any major economic stimulant or tax incentive in the stimulus package. Rather, it concentrates two things. One is to ameliorate the pain of the recession with government-created jobs, more food stamps, Medicaid, and welfare, and extended jobless benefits. The other is the foot in the door for liberal programs that will be hard to uproot by the next Republican Congress or president...


4. Bipartisanship, Obama-style. Who'd have thought bipartisanship in Washington meant that a president need only meet amicably with his opponents in the other party and he'd done his part? At that point, the opponents are obliged to support whatever the president talked to them about. Well, here is Obama's definition of bipartisanship with Republicans: I talk, you capitulate...


5. Obama's straw men. Obama may not be eloquent, but he is glib and clever and at times persuasive. One of his favorite rhetorical devices is setting up a straw man, then knocking it down. He invoked this classic ploy subtly in his inaugural address, crudely in his press conference. "We will restore science to its rightful place," Obama said at his inauguration. Really? Where had science been? "We are ready to lead once more," he said, as if we--America--hadn't been. He may have disapproved of the prior administration's policies in the world, but that doesn't mean it wasn't leading. Also in his inaugural speech, Obama said, "we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders." When we were indifferent? Not in Obama's lifetime...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today's Posts

Did You Miss These Stories?

Time has run out on my blogging allotment for this morning. In fact, I'm already way past my cut-off. Therefore, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to give you a detailed review of what was said by Nebraska Congressmen Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry at yesterday's quarterly luncheon of the Business and Professional People for Life. Really good (though very scary) stuff.

And though I have no time for commentary or even excerpts, I wanted to make sure I at least gave you links so you could follow up with these important stories:

* "Rahm's 'Rent' Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg" (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, New York Post)

* "Free Speech is Dead in England" (James Delingpole, Human Events)

* "For Obama, Its More About Showmanship Than Sunlight" ( Byron York, D.C. Examiner)

* "Incest Victim Sues Planned Parenthood for Rape Cover-Up" (Jill Stanek)

* "The White House's Missing Documents" (Josh Gerstein, Politico)

* "The Truth About The New York Times" (Peter Roff, Fox Forum)

* "Obama's Governing Style" (Tony Blankley, Real Clear Politics)

* "Headless Body in Legless Story" (Mark Steyn, NRO's The Corner)

A Most Dire Sign of the Times: Vladimir Putin Warns Barack Obama About Dangers of Socialism

In my long-ago days as a graduate student in History I studied the Age of Iron. Nowadays, I study the Age of Irony.

For instance, I once read in Michelle Phillips' book about the Mamas and Papas that her husband, John, got so strung out on heroin that Mick Jagger (flattering photo at right) flew in from London to try and straighten him out.

Talk about theater of the absurd.

Brother, you know you've got a serious dope problem when Mick Jagger is your drug counselor!

Well, I couldn't help but think of that situation when I read this headline from The Right Perspective, "Putin Warns U.S. About Socialism." You see the correlation.

Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”


Sounding more like Barry Goldwater than the former head of the KGB, Putin said, “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”


The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling couldn't have come up with a wilder, wackier plot twist.

Flaming Idiots: The Stubborn Senselessness Behind Australia's Bushfire Death Toll

Not only are the wild environmentalists refusing to admit their part in Australia's bushfire horrors, their stupid insistence on maintaining dangerously dumb eco-policies are still keeping people in harm's way.

"Hazard reduction burning" is the careful, scientific-applied safety policy in which prescribed areas of brush and forest are "lightly burned" at intervals of 5-7 years to reduce the build up of highly flammable elements at ground level. It is a process which not only lessens the threat to people, but it is a proven measure to stimulate the healthy growth of the flora and fauna as well.

Miranda Devine writes in the Sydney Morning Herald, "This reduction of fuel loads is expensive, but Australia's pre-eminent bushfire researchers, such as the CSIRO's Phil Cheney and Monash University's David Packam, say it has been proven to reduce the power and intensity of fire. Every bushfire inquiry since the 1939 Stretton royal commission has recommended increased prescribed burning to mitigate the effects of inevitable wildfire.

It is a matter of public record that green groups have long opposed such systematic prescribed burning, as is evident in their submissions to bushfire inquiries from as far back as 1992. They complain of a threat to biodiversity, including to fungi, from "frequent burning" regimes and urge resources be spent on water bombers and early detection, as well as on stopping climate change - good luck with that..."

Devine then goes on to describe how "green activists," even in the wake of the tragic deaths of so many Australians in the bushfires, continue to act against "hazard reduction burning."

Amazing, isn't it? To the pantheistic dolts of the modern green movement, fungi trumps folks.

Teddy Roosevelt is turning over in his grave.

But wait; there's more of this inanity afoot.

Australia's Daily Telegraph reporter, Gemma Jones, describes here the "flaming disgrace" that the government has canceled almost half the burn-offs planned for NSW bushfire zones. This remarkably mindless (and heartless) action keeps thousands of lives in great danger.

...Frustrated volunteer firefighters yesterday lashed out at bureaucrats and greenies for preventing them from protecting communities...


More than 2100 hazard reduction operations planned by the Rural Fire Service were abandoned last year, the organisation's annual report reveals.


Deputy Captain George Bennett said firefighters were so frustrated by bureaucratic hurdles they were finding legal ways to complete small burns "undercover" on private property. He said it took some brigades 12 months to gain approval for hazard reductions. The RFS admitted one burn-off on Mona Vale Rd in Sydney recently took several years to be approved.


"There is very little hazard reduction happening because of the bureaucratic processes, quite often it gets to the stage where brigades don't do it because of the paperwork," Mr Bennett said. "We have got a very, very dangerous situation looming here. There are no areas you could use for fire containment, we have got a situation where there is an enormous build-up of fuel. It will be frightening if we get harsh conditions in October..."


A firefighter from a brigade in northern NSW, who declined to be named, said his firefighters had stopped asking to do burns: "We don't bother doing it any more, it takes up to 12 months, you are only allowed to go and put fires out."


Opposition emergency services spokeswoman Melinda Pavey said "common sense has been lost in NSW land management"...


The RFS admitted yesterday they were sometimes told by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to move their planned burns to avoid disturbing colonies of endangered animals..