Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's Posts

He's an Unjust, Oppressive, Murdering Dictator. But, Aw Shucks, the Liberal Media Just Love the Guy!

Theodore Dalrymple, writes in Front Page Magazine:

Perhaps no tyranny in history has enjoyed such a good press, and for so long, as Cuba under the Castro boys. When it comes to Cuba, restrictions on freedom of opinion, thought and expression, which have been both severe and long-lasting, are suddenly deemed by liberals to be unimportant, of no fundamental significance in their assessment of the regime: though the Brooklyn Museum has only to be prevented from showing pictures of the Virgin Mary surrounded by blobs of elephant dung – without any private institution being prohibited from showing them - for the cry of ‘Intolerable censorship!’ to go up.

Why should the Cuban tyranny be given, even now, such an easy time in at least some sections of the press?...

Want to know what he thinks?

$500 a Seat at the New Yankee Stadium? With Their Pitching!

As the New York Yankees go, so goes America's economy.

Well, okay; that may not be entirely true but this Steven Malanga article (Malanga is an editor for RealClearMarkets and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute) gives you a detailed and insightful picture of how the two are more related than you might think.

Defending Life 2009: Proven Strategies for a Pro-Life America

Jack Yoest over at Reasoned Audacity warns that the horrific dangers represented by passage of the Freedom of Choice Act remain all-too-real.

There are some 670 laws to regulate abortion in the nation. The Freedom of Choice Act or FOCA would eliminate each of these state controls on the abortion industry.

For example, if FOCA was signed into law by President Obama, non-doctors across America could do abortions:

* Any school nurse could do the abortion surgery.
* Any school nurse could do the abortion surgery in the school clinic.
* Any school nurse could do the abortion surgery on any school age girl.
* Any school nurse could do the abortion surgery on any school age girl without mom knowing.
* All abortions done by your school nurse on your little girl will be paid for with your tax dollars.

Therefore, he urges that Americans continue to pray, inform others, and pressure your political representatives regarding this extremist abortion legislation, one which would result in more preborn babies dying and, most definitely, in the moral ruin of our culture.

He also urges pro-life groups and individual pro-life lawyers to get their copy of American United for Life's latest edition of Defending Life 2009: Proven Strategies for a Pro-Life America. This publication is absolutely invaluable in not only fighting back against FOCA and Team Obama's full court press for abortion rights but also in developing proactive measures to better defend the sanctity of life.

Defending Life 2009: Proven Strategies for a Pro-Life America includes:
* In-depth discussions of key life issues and legislative opportunities;
* Model pro-life legislation developed by AUL experts; and
* Specific information on each of the 50 states, including an overall ranking of the states.

"Defending Life emphasizes the importance of life-affirming legislation and contains the necessary building blocks to move us closer to the day when every person is welcomed in life and protected in law," said Denise Burke, AUL's Vice-President of Legal Affairs and editor-in-chief.

Wait! There's More On Obama's 100 Days. (But This Stuff Makes Sense.)

* "The First Hundred Days: FDR He is Not" by Donald Lambro.
...But the vexing problems he came into office to fix not only remain, they have worsened -- and his job-approval polls have been sinking.

Unemployment continues its upward climb and will likely skirt 9 percent next week, and the economy continues to shrink. Mortgage foreclosures are rising, home values are falling, Obama's prescriptions for what ails us will add $9 trillion to the nation's debts, and government accountants say only a relatively small portion of the infrastructure stimulus funds will be spent before this year is over.

Abroad, Al Qaeda in Iraq has begun a new offensive to test Obama's mettle; the Taliban terrorists are resurgent in Afghanistan, threatening that country's tenuous democracy and flexing their muscles in Pakistan where a takeover would put nuclear weapons into their hands. Iran is becoming a threatening nuclear power. North Korea is close to developing medium-range missile capabilities.

Obama went to the economic summit in Europe to ask -- make that beg -- the G-20 industrial powers to pump billions more into their economies and to send combat troops into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. He came home empty-handed on both counts...

* "100 Days of Death" by Jill Stanek (Jill reviews the astonishingly extreme abortion statements, policies and appointments that have marked President Obama's early tenure.)

* "One Hundred Days of Spring Time in America" by Janice Shaw Crouse
The media hype and the “slobbering love” adulation (to use Bernard Goldberg’s term) about President Obama’s first 100 days is almost as distorted as the White House press releases that feed the fire of the frenzy over the new President. The leftwing PR campaigns spare no cliché or hyperbole — including the “hottie” swimsuit photo on the cover of the April Washingtonian magazine (with the bathing suit airbrushed red instead of black) and the gushing efforts to turn the First Lady into a fashion icon as well as fawning over her as a “force-multiplier” whose “symbiosis” with her phenomenal husband produces a “flawless concert” (Tina Brown’s description) that is producing “Springtime in America.”

Few of the political commentators are willing to take off the rose-colored glasses about this president. “The Ethicist” columnist for the New York Times Magazine thinks it’s an “unbelievably great thing” to have a President who is “competent and not insane” (or you can choose your preference among the columnist’s previous dismissive and disdainful labels for former President Bush: a liar, corrupt, immoral or dishonorable). The left is bending over backwards to describe Obama’s policies as “moderate” and to promote his “change” as positive. Even the stimulus package/bailout that passed along party lines was portrayed positively — never mind that it exponentially increases the deficit and will create a multi-trillion-dollar inflationary effect.

This President can do no wrong and cannot be questioned, even when he states obvious distortions and blatant falsehoods. Jed Babbin, in his inimitable way, described the media as “a pack of tail-wagging puppies not infrequently wetting the floor in excitement over their guy.”...

Enough, already. After a 100-day honeymoon, it is past time for everyone to take a cleansing breath of fresh air and taste a bit of reality. According to the Gallup Poll, this president is the second least popular president in 40 years. Even Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon had higher approval ratings at this point in their presidencies.

Underneath all the media “visuals” that make a compelling story, there is the sobering reality that this president is very divisive and extremely partisan. President Obama’s policies are “socialist,” and it is not just the GOP’s “knuckle-dragging base” that think so...

* "His First 100 Days: Obama's Gaffes & Gimmicks." Compiled by Newsmax and presented in a slide show format.
President Barack Obama has delivered on his promise of real change in at least one respect: The volume of gaffes and miscues sputtering forth from his Oval Office is unprecedented. For those who just can’t wait to hear what the president’s teleprompter will say next, here’s a recap of the Obama gaffe machine’s most remarkable – and disturbing – utterances...

* "100 Days of Reckless Photo-Op Hubris" by Michelle Malkin
Come on, who's surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama. What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless taxpayer-funded stagecraft?

The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities: They were trademarks of the Obama campaign, and they are the tattoos on his governance...

* “All the Hundreds of Days to Follow” by Rory Cooper

* "The Seeds of His Own Destruction: Obama's Hundred Days" by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. While Americans are careful not to consign a presidency they desperately need to succeed to the dustbin of history, the fact is that this president has moved -- on issue after issue -- in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do.

Right now, Obama's ratings must be pleasing to his eye. Voters like him and his wife immensely, and approve of his activism in the face of the economic crisis. While polls show big doubts about what he is doing, the overwhelming sense is to let him have his way and pray that it works.

But beneath this superficial support, Obama's specific policies run afoul of very deeply felt feelings by American voters...

* "100 Days of Obama's Presidency: Serious Questions on National Security Strategies" by Dr. James Jay Carafano
While marking the first hundred days of a new presidency is a tradition that dates back to the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, the focus of media hype and pundit analysis usually focuses on domestic policies--grading how effectively a new leader can shape Washington's agenda. Matters of foreign policy and national security, on the other hand, do not lend themselves readily to a 100-day agenda.

President Obama, however, has presumptively reversed many long-standing national security policies since taking over the White House. The speed and lack of transparent analysis and robust debate on these choices raises serious questions about the prudence and efficacy of national security decision-making in the new White House...

Dr. Carafano then goes on to examine the topics -- Change on Cuba, Dumbing Down Missile Defense, Gutting the Defense Budget, Ho-Hum on Homeland Security, Detainee and Counterterrorism Policy in Disarray, and more.

* "100 Days, 100 Mistakes." Compiled by various writers and published in the New York Post.

* "A Hundred Days of Media Love" by Brent Bozell
There's something very curious -- even laughable -- about watching the media assemble to offer President Obama a grade after the first 100 days. They weren't exactly a team of dispassionate scientists in a lab. They continue to be what they've been all along -- a rolling gaggle of Obama cheerleaders -- only before it was a campaign, and now it's an administration. So now they're assessing whether their awe-inspiring historic candidate still glows with the luster of victory. Hmm ... let's see. They applied the luster, they boasted of the luster, and you can bet your bottom dollar they'll continue doing both...

A Media Research Center study of all 852 stories about the Obama administration on ABC's "World News," "CBS Evening News" and "NBC Nightly News" from Jan. 20 through April 15 found most of the coverage tilted in favor of Obama's liberal agenda, with conservative spokesmen and experts virtually shut out of the debate.

None of the three broadcast networks aired a single story on whether the new president's economic policies were driving America toward European-style socialism. Not a single network news reporter used the term "socialist" to describe how his policies are shifting economic authority to the federal government. On only four occasions was the word "socialist" used on camera at all -- all by outside sources.

Network reporters never called Obama or his agenda even "liberal." NBC and CBS never used the word, and ABC only aired the term twice, citing Republicans using the word "liberal" to describe White House policies. On three of these major economic policies -- his banking bailout, his auto bailout and his plans for socialized medicine -- the networks never had a single soundbite from a conservative expert. After 100 days, the media still look more like the president's advertising team than the people's watchdog.

"If We Fail Each Other, the Rest Won't Really Matter."

Ron Rizzo, a high school classmate, recently sent over the text of a compelling article written by Debbie Reslock and published in the Denver Post. In it she reflects on the tragic loss of human connectedness, but then encourages us that an alert, humane, and responsible lifestyle need not be a thing of the past. Indeed, it's as close as our next door neighbor. Give it a read.

"You Cannot Multiply Wealth By Dividing It.”

Ralph and Linda Aldrich sent over this timely quotation from the late Southern Baptist pastor and preacher, Dr. Adrian Rogers.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives with out working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it”

A Penny's Worth of History

It's been several weeks since Tom Beatty, our old pal who is now ministering as a jail chaplain back in Illinois, sent me this link to Penny Postcards. It's a delightful site, not only for historians but for anyone with a bit of curiosity about what familiar scenes from their lives used to look like.

I checked the postcards showing Omaha, of course, but my primary interest was in those showing what the stomping grounds of my youth looked like...before I ever arrived. Here are a few samples. An old postcard illustrating Red Rocks Amphitheater is at left while the others, in order from top to bottom, are the Coors plant in Golden, Colorado; a view out of Red Rocks Park towards Mt. Morrison; two views of downtown Denver (the second showing the U.S. Mint); Elitch Gardens Theater and Ballroom; and Lakeside Amusement Park.

Neat, huh? So why don't you saunter over and check out what your town once looked like?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today's Posts

The Villainy of Planned Parenthood Caught On Film (Again!)

That latest sting operation showing yet another instance of Planned Parenthood's complicity in covering up underage sex abuse? It got front page coverage on the LA Times. And though the reporters sure try hard to minimize the damage, the salient issues still blaze through.

Score one for the good guys.

...Abortion is not likely to be outlawed any time soon, but [Lila] Rose's work is having an impact, particularly on a local level, where abortion foes are increasingly focusing their efforts.

On Wednesday, Tennessee lawmakers said they would seek to end a $721,000 contract with Planned Parenthood, citing outrage over what they saw in a video Rose had posted two days earlier from a Memphis clinic. She posed there in July as a 14-year-old impregnated by a 31-year-old; a Planned Parenthood staffer says, "Just say you have a boyfriend, 17 years old, whatever."

Last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to suspend a grant worth nearly $300,000 to Planned Parenthood that was earmarked for sex education, not abortions. A conservative Tustin businessman raised the issue with Supervisor John Moorlach after meeting Rose and seeing her videos...

For a lot more, including a video clip of this most recent sting, check out the web site of Live Action.

You've Got To Be Carefully Taught

British school students as young as 11 must be taught about homosexuality and same-sex partnerships (and that includes kids in religious schools too). That's part of the new rules for the national curriculum beginning in 2011.

Here's the story in the Daily Mail.

On Human Personhood

Dr. Arun Angelo Patil, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is not only a top-notch scientist and educator; he is also a writer with profound insights on matters of faith, spirituality and social ethics. I have become acquainted with Dr. Patil in the last couple of years through our common interest in promoting adult stem cell research. He's a very impressive guy.

I recently came across Dr. Patil's brief treatise "Human Personhood" (which I print below) and his provocative website. I recommend both.

Human Personhood

Our humanity is determined by the human life we possess; and not our shape, size, color or abilities. Human life is a life-force within every living human being that forms, directs and sustains our state as a live human being. It does this by directing and coordinating our thoughts, words, actions and physiology. It is, therefore, the life of our whole being and the soul of our humanity. To be a human person, therefore, we must have human life; and each of us became a human person when human life entered our being.

An unfertilized ovum will remain, only an ovum (just like any other cell in our body) until it dies. However, if it is fertilized (which occurs at conception) a new life-force enters the cell; which immediately lays the framework for the entire life of a completely new human being. Furthermore, this life-force initiates, directs and sustains a process that transforms that being from a single cell embryo to a full grown human being with 10 trillion cells; brain with memory capacity equal to 20,000 computers; and abilities to love, forgive, create, perform and think. This life-force, therefore, is not just the life of that cell, but the life of the entire humanity of that being. It is the human life of that being. Since this life entered our being at conception, we became a human person at conception; and human embryos and fetuses are human persons.

Some people may argue that it is acceptable to destroy a human embryo because it does not have brain or intelligence. However, life-force within a human embryo has more intelligence than the most intelligent human brain. This is evident by the fact that, this life-force can transform a single cell embryo into full grown human being with a very complex brain; a fete no human brain has achieved.

In order to understand the role of the life-force in building of a human body let us look at the process of building an extremely complex space station. In order to build the space station and keep it operational, in addition to the blue-print and construction material, an extremely intelligence workforce and director is needed. Similarly, to build a fully grown highly intelligent human being from a one cell embryo and keep him/her operational a highly intelligent life-force, which is human life, is needed. This life-force is different from those found in animals and plants. The difference is that human life-force makes us human; while plant and animal life-forces makes plants and animals, plants and animals respectively.

From the above discussions it is very obvious that human embryos and fetuses are human beings. To kill them, therefore, violates the fourteenth amendment. Furthermore, the declaration of independence of the United States, states that we are all created equal. Since, the time of our creation is at conception; we have equal rights from the moment of our conception. Any law or government that permits or promotes destruction embryo or fetuses, who are the most helpless of all human beings, therefore, shows total lack of moral fabric.

Even if we have an honest doubt about human personhood of embryos and fetuses, in order to protect and respect their rights we must err in favor of them beings human persons just as we always err in favor of an accused person being innocent of a crime until proven otherwise. It is also similar to a situation where we hold our fire during our hunting trip, because others express concern that, what we are about to shoot could be a human being.

Some people justify killing of unborn human beings because they want to protect mother’s right to privacy and choice. However, the right to life, which is the most basic human right, is above all other rights; because without life we can not have any right.

Over two hundred years ago we began a new nation by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that it is acceptable for mothers to have their babies killed in the womb and make human beings in their embryonic stage a commodity by killing them and harvesting their body parts, in "sacred rights of choice, privacy and cure." Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us re-purify it. ... Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. ... If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union: but we shall have saved it, as to make, and keep it, forever worthy of the saving. (Adopted from Lincoln's Peoria speech, October 1855).

"Just Not Acceptable" -- Cardinal Rigali Talks About the Notre Dame Scandal has interviewed Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, producing a commentary on Notre Dame's honoring abortion-zealous Barack Obama that you'll definitely want to read.

Feds Knew Air Force One "Photo Op" Would Cause Panic

Fresh from the "Team Obama, You Gotta' Be Kidding Me" Department (which, by the way, has just filled its first filing cabinet) comes this report sent in by WCBS.

Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and a 747 from the presidential fleet to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.

In a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD, the Federal Aviation Administration's James Johnston said the agency was aware of "the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes" in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out...

Obama's Censorship Czar: Free Speech Has An New Enemy

Barack Obama's nominee for "regulatory czar" has advocated a "Fairness Doctrine" for the Internet that would require opposing opinions be linked and also has suggested angry e-mails should be prevented from being sent by technology that would require a 24-hour cooling off period.

The revelations about Cass Sunstein, Obama's friend from the University of Chicago Law School and nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, come in a new book by Brad O'Leary, "Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech." OIRA will oversee regulation throughout the U.S. government.

Sunstein also has argued in his prolific literary works that the Internet is anti-democratic because of the way users can filter out information of their own choosing.

"A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government," he wrote. "Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom's name."...

Read more from World Net Daily's story here.

Obama's First 100 Days: The Loyal Opposition Weighs In

Evaluating Barack Obama's first 100 days? The MSM has jumped all over this. Indeed, they've been doing it for a couple of weeks already. And, hardly a surprise, they've decided he is not only the best president the country's ever had but probably the best national leader ever. Well, at least, since Moses.

But there are a few reporters and commentators with different conclusions. Among them are the folks contributing to today's front page stories over at Human Events. I list a few of my favorites, each with a representative passage or two.

* "Judging the First 100 Days" by Congressman Tom Price (Republican from Georgia)
...By any measure, President Obama’s first 100 days have been eye-opening. The President, with a gleeful seal of approval from his liberal allies in Congress, has already managed to bury future generations of Americans beneath a mountain of debt. Sadly, the President’s hallmark policies -- the $787 billion non-stimulus, the meddlesome bailouts, and the budget plan working its way through Congress -- all send a clear signal that attempts at more generational theft will continue for the foreseeable future...

Without a doubt, the President’s big-government plans have already redefined the role of government in everyday life. Those who believe that politicians and bureaucrats are best equipped to spend taxpayer money, run industries, and dictate personal choices will find little to complain about in this agenda. For the rest of us, the policies pursued by our new president in his first 100 days have been disheartening...

* "Obama's First 100 Days" by Herbert London
...The transfer of capital and influence from the private to the public sector has been profound and unprecedented. Americans will be saddled with debt for as long as one can imagine. And, unless I am sadly misguided, governments, including this government, tend to monetize unfunded liability thereby ushering in an inflationary tsunami, notwithstanding elitist arguments that this vicissitude can be managed.

It is also clear that the president has arrogated powers to himself not vouchsafed in the Constitution. For example, he asked for the resignation of the CEO of General Motors, a power in clear violation of Article I Section 8. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is talking about firing bank executives, and the administration is talking openly about taking an ownership interest in GM.

As significant as the assumption of government authority over the economy, is President Obama’s stance on foreign policy. Without any fanfare and almost no news coverage, the president signed a G-20 contract with world leaders for a new world banking system.

This act, The Financial Stability Board (FSB), establishes an economic union with uniform trade regulations and bylaws. It includes the extension of “oversight to all…important financial institutions, instruments and markers…” (my emphasis). The head of FSB, Mario Draghi of Italy said, “every financial institution capable of creating financial risk will be the subject of supervision.” This means that the United States has been inserted into an entangling alliance with Europeans and Asians that compromises national economic independence...

* "Media Sharks No More" by Jed Babbin
...Obama’s future Vice President alerted the media by saying: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” “I mean that’s a storybook, man," Biden added.

From that moment, the mainstream media were bound men (and women and some things in between). They found rapture in Obama’s every word, and for the rest of 2007 and all through the 2008 campaign the Bush-era media sharks were transmogrified into a pack of tail-wagging puppies not infrequently wetting the floor in excitement over their guy...

* "Radicals Run Obamaland" by Robert M. Engstrom
Not surprisingly, Barack Obama, who was the most liberal member of the last Senate, is now filling his administration with dozens of liberal activists, many of whom have been associated with left-wing policies and organizations. Here, in alphabetical order, is a sampling of the most egregious, so far...

(And then Engstrom gives a brief description of Rosa Brooks, Carol Browner, Jonathon Cannon, Steven Chu, Hillary Clinton, Shaun Donovan, Arne Duncan, Rahm Emanuel, Timothy Geithner, David F. Hamilton, Eric Holder, John Holdren, Lisa P. Jackson, Dawn Johnson, Elena Kagan, Gil Kerilkowske, Harold Knox, Harold Koh, Ray LaHood, Jane Lubcheno, Otis Moss Jr., Janet Napolitano, Susan Rice, Ken Salazar, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis, and Thomas Strickland. A suggestion? Grab the Pepto before reading through this rogues gallery.)

* "100 Days of Devastatingly Swift Success" by Newt Gingrich
...But all these successful expansions of government at home and retractions of American leadership abroad are merely a prelude to President Obama’s looming crowning achievement: His 2010 budget which remakes our health care system, remakes our energy system, raises taxes and forecasts an amazing $9 trillion increase in the national debt.

As I write this, Democrats in Congress are fashioning a deal to pass the budget’s provisions on health care by preventing Republicans and moderate Democrats from having a voice in the debate.

Think about that. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi political machine is going to pass legislation that fundamentally affects every single American -- as well as 17 percent of our economy -- by cutting the elected representatives of half of all Americans out of the process.
If they succeed, the budget will be President Obama’s most enduring -- and devastating -- accomplishment.

* And last but not least (by any means) "It Seems a Lot Longer" by Ted Nugent
...With the economy taking a hard turn south due to the Democrats failing to provide any oversight of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac over the years, BO then tries to drive the final stake through the free market's heart by getting the Fedzilla dopes in his party to go along with a trillion dollar stimulus plan and multi-year trillion dollar deficit spending. Every time BO or The Weasel mentions the economy, the stock market tanks another 300 points...

BO then heads to Europe where he blames all of the world’s ills on America. Hate America First is his playbook. European nations go ga-ga over that message so they generously agree to send 17 or so more non-combat troops to Afghanistan. BO claims victory while other Americans hang their head in embarrassment. The writers at Mad Magazine surely howl with delight but can't keep up with the hysterics of BO.

Somewhere along the line BO fires the General Motors Chief Executive. Not a single automobile union worker is canned, proving that the automobile unions, not the stockholders, are in charge of the American automobile companies...

BO then bows to a Christian-hating Saudi prince and claims America is not a Christian nation. He tells Muslims they have nothing to fear from America (apparently BO does not know we have 2,000 pound smart bombs with IQ scores above his), but the Muslim community does not reciprocate and they tell BO that he and America do not have anything to fear from them even though Christians living in Muslim countries are routinely brutalized and killed by peace-loving Muslims.

Department of Homeland Insecurity boss, Janet "The New Queen of Mean" Napolitano, issues a report that says veterans, gun owners, and all conservatives need to be watched extra closely because they do not spread palm leaves in front of BO's limousine as he drives by. While the New Queen of Mean is issuing baseless reports, a couple of hundred thousand Americans protest BO's gigantic spending spree on April 15. David "Axe Man" Axelrod, a BO tough guy in the White House who obviously despises the 1st Amendment (and the Second, among others) says the protests are "unhealthy."

BO leaves the country and finds himself shaking hands with Hugo Chavez, one of the world's most egregious America-haters. Chavez gives BO a book on how to hate America in twelve easy steps. BO smiles.

And all in a 100 day heartbeat. If this is kind of hope and change you wanted, you will get plenty more of it. And then the bill will come and we can all play dumb.

Has it only been 100 days? It seems like years. And just think about this: we’re in for another three years and 265 days of this unless some Republicans get a spinal transplant. Can someone please send them a few thousand bottles of testosterone pills?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Posts

Another Obama Teleprompter Flub

Our teleprompter-addicted Chief Exec suffers a ridiculous moment here.

But note -- unlike Presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush who had the grace, humility and sense of humor to laugh at themselves and admit mistakes, Barack Obama's fear of even acknowledging the presence of the teleprompter makes himself look all the more pompous and unprofessional.

Kathy Ireland Speaks Out About Abortion: Supermodel is Super Role Model for Moms

Among the very elite of our era's "supermodels" is Kathy Ireland. Below are some of her comments on abortion, fetal development, a woman's responsibility, etc. as recently given to FOX News in an interview about her new book, Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity.

"My entire life I was pro-choice — who was I to tell another woman what she could or couldn’t do with her body? But when I was 18, I became a Christian and I dove into the medical books, I dove into science.What I read was astounding and I learned that at the moment of conception a new life comes into being. The complete genetic blueprint is there, the DNA is determined, the blood type is determined, the sex is determined, the unique set of fingerprints that nobody has had or ever will have is already there."...

"I called Planned Parenthood and begged them to give me their best argument and all they could come up with that it is really just a clump of cells and if you get it early enough it doesn’t even look like a baby. Well, we’re all clumps of cells and the unborn does not look like a baby the same way the baby does not look like a teenager, a teenager does not look like a senior citizen. That unborn baby looks exactly the way human beings are supposed to look at that stage of development. It doesn’t suddenly become a human being at a certain point in time," Ireland argued. "I’ve also asked leading scientists across our country to please show me some shred of evidence that the unborn is not a human being. I didn’t want to be pro-life, but this is not a woman’s rights issue but a human rights issue."

Ireland also asserted that she believes "no justification is adequate" (for an abortion) unless another the mother's life is in danger. "In that instant, your intention is not to kill but to save the life of another. If we’re about to demolish a building we make absolute certain there are no human beings in there before we take a wrecking ball to it, but the unborn doesn’t have a voice so it's up to us to speak for them," she added passionately. "If I see someone abusing a child I am going to stand up against that, and that’s how I feel about abortion. Women are not given all the facts, they’re told it is a harmless procedure and now it has turned into such a political football."

(Thanks to Sue Kochanek for alerting me to this story.)

Air Force One and Jet Fighters Buzz Ground Zero -- Oh, No. Not More of the Audacity Thing!

White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera has apologized for any panic caused by that weird, irresponsible photo op in which Air Force One and fighter jets were zooming towards the New York City skyline Monday morning.

A jumbo jet being chased by a F-16 fighter jets buzzed Lower Manhattan this morning, panicking New Yorkers, many of whom were forced to evacuate their office buildings.
It was not a terrorist attack, however, but a photo opportunity for Air Force One, sources told the Post.

President Obama was in Washington at the time, but the low-flying 747 circling the Statue of Liberty was one of the planes used as Air Force One, sources said.

The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified.

Hours after the incident, a furious Bloomberg called the photo-op "insensitive."
"First thing is I'm annoyed - furious is a better word - that I wasn't told," he said. "Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase."

Bloomberg said federal officials notified the NYPD and another city official, whom he declined to identify, of the flight plan.
"Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to," he said. "The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op - with the taxpayers' money."...

The New NIH Guidelines on ESCR: Another Step Down the Slippery Slope

Greg Schleppenbach from the Nebraska Catholic Conference writes to correct a passage in a Vital Signs post from last week. In the post "Have You Signed the Petition Yet?", I wrote of the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research petition, "It's a very important statement, one that quite realistically could make the difference between UNMC creating human embryos for destruction (in the vaunted name of science) or convincing the University Regents that Nebraskans so strongly oppose such immoral and counter-productive policies that they will go no further than the limitations set by the Bush administration."

Greg writes, "Neither under the new federal guidelines nor under state law (LB 606) would UNMC be able to create human embryos for destruction. Both federal law (the Dickey-Wicker amendment) and Nebraska law (LB 606) prohibit using public funds to “harvest” the stem cells (the act which destroys the embryos). Furthermore, the University’s policy (since 2001) and the new draft NIH rules disallow funding of research on embryonic stem cells obtained from embryos produced solely for research purposes. The only expansion of ESCR allowed under current University policy and the new NIH rules would be for stem cells harvested from so-called “leftover” embryos produced with IVF for the purpose of treating infertility. The new NIH rules don’t allow funding of research using stem cells obtained from embryos produced solely for research using IVF or cloning."

Yes. Greg is correct and I should have made it clearer that my concerns are not only for what the NIH guidelines say now but what they point to in the future. For I do believe that if the public takes a principled, forceful stand against embryonic stem cell experimentation right now (including signing the very important NCER petition) that it "quite realistically" will impede future efforts of anti-life scientists who do, in fact, desire to create human embryos for destruction.

National Right to Life Committee's Legislative Director Douglas Johnson agrees.

"The Obama Administration today slides further down the slippery slope of exploiting non-consenting members of the human species - human embryos," stated Johnson on Friday.

Johnson said the "seeming restraint" displayed in the NIH draft guidelines "is part of an incremental strategy intended to desensitize the public to the concept of killing human embryos for research purposes.
Even today, NIH officials assert that they can go much further when they choose to," he said.

Johnson said on Friday that he suspects the draft guidelines were issued as "part of a 'bait-and-switch' strategy, under which Democratic leaders in Congress will suddenly bring up new legislation that they will claim codifies today's NIH action, but which will in fact authorize further expansions involving the deliberate creation of human embryos for use in research, by human cloning and other methods."

Obama Can't Help It; He's Got a Gift. (His Teleprompter?)

Everyone knows President Barack Obama can deliver a great speech, including the president himself, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The paperback version of Reid's book, "The Good Fight," is coming out May 5 with an epilogue called "The Obama Era." Reid said he was impressed when Obama, then a freshman senator from Illinois, delivered a speech about President George W. Bush's war policy.

Reid, D-Nev., writes: "'That speech was phenomenal, Barack,' I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: 'I have a gift, Harry.'"

A copy of the book's 15-page epilogue was provided to The Associated Press. Reid said in an interview he hesitated about citing Obama's comment because he knew it could be interpreted as bragging...

Democrat Congressman: "Cap-and-Trade is a Tax -- and It's a Great Big One."

"Nobody in this country realizes that cap-and-trade is a tax -- and it's a great big one."

(Democrat Congressman John Dingell last Friday.)

Combatting AIDS in Africa: What's Effective and What's Not?

The raucous chorus of liberal voices would have us believe that AIDS is running rampant in Africa because too many Africans are enslaved by the Catholic Church's pronouncements against the use of condoms.

And those would be the same Africans who find it quite easy indeed to reject the Catholic Church's pronouncements against premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexual sex and the use of mind-altering drugs?

You spot a fly in the ointment here?

Cardinal George Pell writes, "To blame Catholic teaching for the spread of HIV/AIDS requires proof that those following the first essential Christian requirement of living chastely within and before marriage are still dying of AIDS. Pigs will fly before that argument does."

Read more here.

Have You Got It Yet?

I haven't mentioned the We Get It campaign since last summer but since they're still in there swinging against the global warming extremists that look to further socialize government, make living more expensive, and enact policies which will be brutal on the world's poor, I want to again draw your attention to their important work.

Here is the We Get It Declaration:

God Said It

God created everything. He made us in His own image, and commanded us to be fruitful and multiply and watch over His creation. Although separated from God by our sin, we are lovingly restored through Jesus Christ, and take responsibility for being good stewards.

We Get It

Our stewardship of creation must be based on Biblical principles and factual evidence. We face important environmental challenges, but must be cautious of claims that our planet is in peril from speculative dangers like man-made global warming.

They Need It

With billions suffering in poverty, environmental policies must not further oppress the world’s poor by denying them basic needs. Instead, we must help people fulfill their God-given potential as producers and stewards.

Let’s Do It

We will follow our Lord Jesus Christ and honor God as we use and share the principles of His Word to care for the poor and tend His creation.

And, if you haven't already signed on to the We Get It Declaration, you still can. Right here.

And there's more about the issue there as well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Even my close friends are generally unaware of this particular chapter in my life, but in comparison with other more tawdry parts of the tale, it does carry some rather unique interest. The time was the fall of 1969; the place was southern Colorado; and I was working as a reporter for the Trinidad Tribune.

No kidding; I was once a journalist!

It was (while it lasted) an exciting and important time in my life, covering stories on the anti-war movement, the first draft lottery, music, and reactions to the summer's most newsworthy events - the Apollo moon landing and the Chappaquiddick tragedy.

For a young man who had wasted much of the early lead given him by parents, teachers and coaches, squandering it away in rebellious acts involving drink, debauchery and other decadence, this post on the Tribune represented a new hope that I could yet redeem myself and begin anew as a productive member of society.

It didn't happen.

You see, the aforementioned Trinidad Tribune was just a student newspaper, the twice-weekly publication of Trinidad State Junior College, a school located in a small, poverty-stricken mining town south of Denver some 250 miles. That was a pretty tough distance when you were hitchhiking it back and forth every weekend.

I had enrolled in September after returning from California (that trip certainly hadn't worked out like I hoped -- insert long, sad story here) but I liked the place. And, though landing a gig on the school newspaper may not seem a big deal to some, it represented a new, very interesting and worthwhile chance for me. It was, in fact, a terrific way to start a comeback and the school seemed more than ready to reward even the tiniest investment of diligence.

But again, that didn't happen. Because even a tiny investment ended up to be more than I could come up with.

So there in Trinidad, with seemingly no place to go but up, and with people available to help me with the climb, I still hurtled downward. Unable to put the brakes on my baser passions, I quickly grew restless again. And within weeks of receiving this brand new chance at making something out of my life, I had quit school and taken off.

In the weeks and months to come, I seemed to throw reason itself away (along with responsibility and self-respect), creating fresh disappointments for my family and plumbing new depths in a dangerously immoral lifestyle. In Alamosa, Colorado: then Pine Bluff, Arkansas; then San Francisco, California; and finally back in Denver, the young reporter-that-might-have-been retreated from real world events and deeper into the "purple haze" of his own delusions.

Logically, it was somewhere about there there that my story should have ended. A thrust of a knife in a fight outside a bar; a car careening over the side of Lookout Mountain after a night of innumerable Schlitz malt liquors; maybe even a pistol shot from a wronged lover - these would certainly have been the most plausible endings for a young thug's career. Anything else would seem too contrived, too escapist. Salvation from such a tragic farce would have required a deus ex machina that Euripdes himself might have thought too far out.

However, the stories which seem so predictable from the easy chairs of earth-bound critics, appear very, very different, when viewed from heaven. And the lives of even the most despicable and weak characters can be instantly, completely, and eternally transformed when the power of the original Author takes a hand!

No, it was not a "machine of the gods" cranked down from the rafters which provided the soteriological climax to this story. It was something more majestic and profound than human genius could ever create. For genuine salvation -- and that was what I found in the gospel message shared with me by caring Christians the following spring -- comes from but one source: the cross on which Jesus gave His life for such wandering, woeful sinners as me.

Think of it! Every ruined story, every tragic tale, every account of sadness and sin and hopelessness can be changed by the nail-scarred hands of the Lord Jesus. No mere editing of one's story will suffice; it must be changed and changed forever into a "miracle play" written by the love of God.

So here I am, just shy of four decades since my budding career as a journalist died (by own own hand) an ignominious death. That's too bad.

But, by Christ's mercy, there was another career waiting in the wings. One that proved to be even more adventurous and useful. One that proved even the most unexpected comebacks can, in fact, occur. And one that will take me into the very splendors of heaven. Thank You, Lord.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today's Posts

Have You Signed the Petition Yet?

Sleepy Summers: Obama's Economic Czar Can Only Take So Much

Iowa City Experiences a Surge of Street Fights

Muslims Urged to Pilgramage to Jerusalem, Demonstrate That It Is a Muslim City

Obama's First Political Crisis?

Poland Equality Minister: Go Peddle Your Che Shirts, Mao Posters, and Lenin Statutes Somewhere Else.

How Deranged and Cruel Can You Get? Apple iPhone's "Baby Shaker" Game

Abortionists Will Have a Friend Running Obama's Health Department

Washington Times' Shocking Exposé of D.C. Paramedic Incompetence

Have You Signed the Petition Yet?

Yesterday afternoon Claire and I took a few minutes to look through the names who have signed the Nebraska Coalition for Life petition that I've promoted here on Vital Signs Blog, first with "Fight Back Against Bad Science. Fight Back Against Obama's ESCR Policies" on March 11 and then with added vigor a couple of days ago, "NU Regents Balk at ESCR Decision. It's Time for Us To Make Our Move."

I was pleased to see many of my friends' names on that petition, including a lot who had just signed up in response to my latest appeal. Way to go, guys.

It's a very important statement, one that quite realistically could make the difference between UNMC creating human embryos for destruction (in the vaunted name of science) or convincing the University Regents that Nebraskans so strongly oppose such immoral and counter-productive policies that they will go no further than the limitations set by the Bush administration.

Again, you can read the petition (and sign on) right here.

And remember, the online petition allows only one person's name to be registered at an e-mail address. So, if your spouse or adult children want to sign the petition, they have to use one of your alternate e-mail addresses (if you have them) OR they have to call or write Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research. Just e-mail them at or call them by telephone at 402-690-2299 and say "Hey. I'm ----- and I'd like my name on the NCER petition against embryonic stem cell research."

Now you realize, of course, that for all the friends we did see that had signed the NCER petition, we were all too aware of way too many that hadn't signed. So, c'mon; before it's too late to register your opinion, please sign up.

We'll be looking for your name this weekend.

Sleepy Summers: Obama's Economic Czar Can Only Take So Much

It seems that the Great Orator isn't always that sizzling. Larry Summers, Team Obama's top economic advisor, just can't help himself from dropping off during yesterday's meeting with leaders of credit card companies.

And yes, of course, the president promised them a bundle of your tax money too. You do still have some, don't you?

TMZ, who came up with the humorous photo, commented "Looks like someone needs a more stimulating stimulus plan."

Iowa City Experiences a Surge of Street Fights

Gangs of men punching people on the street at random. Street fights where bystanders sometimes cheer, and where those who try to intervene sometimes get beaten themselves.

Police in this quintessential college town say there's been a dramatic rise in unprovoked beatings in the downtown area next to the University of Iowa over the last several months. Though the mix of young people and alcohol often leads to fighting, police say the intense violence and random nature of the attacks have them worried...

The good news is that things can't get too far out of hand here.

Iowa City is nuclear free.

Muslims Urged to Pilgramage to Jerusalem, Demonstrate That It Is a Muslim City

Egypt's Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammed Hamdi Zaqzouq urges Muslims to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (by the hundreds of thousands) to demonstrate that it is a Muslim city and the future capital of a Palestinian state.

"Just as Muslims go on Mecca, they should also go to Jerusalem and to the Al-Aksa Mosque by the hundreds of thousands every year. If this proposition is followed through, the whole world, and Israel, will have to accept this reality, which is that Jerusalem is for Muslims and they will not give up on it."

Obama's First Political Crisis?

Hmm. Maybe Obama's idea about prosecuting Bush administration legal advisors on the "torture" issue wasn't the winner he thought it would be. Sure, the MSM will do everything it can to help get him through this mess but he's opened a real can of worms here.

* John Dickerson in the Obama-friendly Slate, "One More Time, Please: The President Is Having Trouble Straightening Out His Position On Torture." The article begins, "It may be time for an Obama do-over speech on the issue of torture. It's a form we've come to recognize—whether on the issue of bonuses for AIG executives or his relationship with his former pastor. He makes a declaration, the issue gets away from him, the political pressure builds, and he must rush in with a new declaration to contain the fallout."

* Ed Rollins on CNN, "Commentary: Obama Waffled on Torture -- and Looks Weak"

* Chris Stirewalt in the Washington Examiner, "Memo Release Puts Obama in Political Bind". President Barack Obama said that while he wanted to see the whole truth come out about what kind of interrogation tactics were used on the Sept. 11 plotters and other terrorists, he did not want to see the matter become “politicized.”

But by releasing four memos from the Bush Justice Department providing CIA agents with guidance on working over the bad guys, Obama has ensured that it will be a dominant political issue for months to come.

It would have been helpful for Obama if the memos were a little more shocking.

As it is, the Left remains convinced that there is more to learn about Dick Cheney’s dark arts. And those on the Right and in the middle are underwhelmed by the revelation of careful techniques being used on men who were trying to slaughter another 3,000 Americans immediately after 9/11.

While the president tries to gather support for polarizing proposals like global warming fees, nationalized medicine and the military buildup in Afghanistan, both the Left and the Right will eye Obama more suspiciously.

Obama may eventually be forced to choose between losing his liberal base or losing credibility with moderates and conservatives who hope the president proves to be serious about defending America.

So far, Obama seems to be leaning toward his base...

* James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal, "Ve Haf Vays of Making You Consent: The Authoritarian Impulse Behind the Push to Prosecute Ex-officials" "Barack Obama's critics have long worried that his placatory attitude would project American weakness, thereby emboldening enemies and making real that impression of weakness. That may happen (or be happening), but what seems to have happened first is that President Obama's own weakness has emboldened his domestic allies on the Angry Left. As a result, the administration seems to be on the verge of a political crisis, and the country is at risk of a constitutional crisis..."

Poland Equality Minister: Go Peddle Your Che Shirts, Mao Posters, and Lenin Statutes Somewhere Else.

Poland's equality minister, Elzbieta Radziszewska, wants to expand a Polish law prohibiting the production of fascist and totalitarian propaganda so that it includes clothing and anything else that could carry an image related to an authoritarian system..

The proposal, which could see the faces of some of the leading lights of communist history such as Lenin and Trotsky [along with Che and Mao] removed from t-shirts and flags, reflects a Polish view on communism far different from the rose-tinted and romantic images often found in the West.

After experiencing 40 hard years of communism, as well as the horrors of Nazi occupation, few Poles have qualms equating under law the inequities of Nazism and communism.

"Communism was a terrible, murderous system that claimed millions of lives," said Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, a leading Polish historian and member of the European parliament.
"It was very similar to National Socialism, and there is no reason to treat those two systems, and their symbols, differently. Their glorification should be prohibited." He added communism had accounted for the slaughter of thousands of Poles in the Katyn Massacre while its gulags had consumed countless millions of victims.

The proposed changes, which have already reached the committee stage in the Polish parliament, also testify to Polish determination to ensure that with the passing of time nobody starts to view the country's communist past with nostalgia...

(The above photo did not accompany the story. It came rather from an old Michelle Malkin page highlighting the photos of Byron Dazey taken at an Illegal Alien Strike in Seattle in the spring of '06. I dropped it in here because of the glaring irony -- for anyone who knows history -- of this guy flashing a peace sign while wearing a shirt with Che Guevera's murderous mug on it.)

How Deranged and Cruel Can You Get? Apple iPhone's "Baby Shaker" Game

This Baby Shaker game was created by a software developer but it was Apple's decision to sell this "iPhone App" at their stores and websites. It's about as sick as you can get.

But be sure to note the response in this short clip of Rand Alexander, an iPhone Application Developer, who obviously isn't too bothered with the dangerous cruelty the "game" represents. He thinks such things might need some kind of rating system (Baby Shaker, he says, could fit under "Mature Comedy") but otherwise he's comfortable with the "free market" deciding these matters.

Shaking a baby until his eyes blink out in death is mature comedy? I think I'm going to be sick.

But before I lose it, I'm writing this memo to Apple and sending it via the form on this page. (I chose Enhancement Request" as the Feedback Type they asked for.)

"We recently were informed by our cell phone provider that they were phasing out of the business by next fall. So we were looking for a new system and, of course, new phones. We were considering an iPhone. However, after learning of your company's allowing the cruel and remarkably deranged Baby Shaker to go on market, we have dropped the iPhone from our consideration. If, in addition to your apology, there is substantial restitution made (say, a hefty donation to groups who combat child abuse) and a pledge to avoid such dangerous and insensitive "games" in the future, we might reconsider."

I encourage you to do the same.

Abortionists Will Have a Friend Running Obama's Health Department

Despite her inexperience, her hypocrisy, her inappropriate financial relationship with an abortionist, and her lies to lawmakers about the money she has received from said abortionist, Kathleen Sebelius appears poised to become our nation's Secretary of Health and Human Services.

To such depths has our republic descended.

Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee Chairman, decided he'd better say something about the matter -- awfully late in the game, Mike -- and, sure enough, this Associated Press report is much more negative of Steele than it is of Sebelius.

Indeed, the press has given Sebelius a free ride. But, in this case, the liberal media has had plenty of help from the Republicans themselves. Sebelius skated through her Finance Committee confirmation hearing earlier this month without a single Republican Senator (several who boast about being pro-life) even once bringing up the issue of abortion.

The AP reporter, Erica Werner, writes, "Republicans had some cover on the issue because Sebelius was supported by both her home-state GOP senators, including Sen. Sam Brownback, a strong abortion opponent."

Warner also reports that "opposition from anti-abortion activists — and pressure on Republican senators — has grown" since those hearings. That's not really correct. The opposition from pro-life activists has been there from the start. In fact, the opposition to Sebelius' cosy relationship with late-term abortionist George Tiller and her shameful apostasy as a pro-abortion "Catholic" was quite strong long before Obama gave her the nod.

Sebelius, like so many other other pseudo-Catholic politicians, insists she is personally opposed to abortion. And yet she has a lengthy record of striking down every pro-life measure that comes her way, even those that simply look out for the health and safety and informed consent of women.

Sebelius is so confidently pro-abortion that just last Thursday, even while her nomination was still in question, she coldly vetoed a measure that would have required Kansas abortionists (like her pal George Tiller) to provide information pertinent to the patient's rights when late-term abortions were performed. Sebelius said such a law might lead to "intimidation" of abortionists.

We certainly can't have that, can we?

And this...ahem...lady is going to be our next HHS chief?

I repeat -- to such depths has our republic descended.