Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today's Posts

Drug Smuggling Music Is Dangerous to Your Health

It's a very grim sign of the times.

40-year old Mexican singer Sergio Vega (known as El Shaka) was murdered just hours after he had denied press reports of his death. Vega was on his way to perform a concert when gunmen in a truck opened fire on his red Cadillac. Vega was hit and crashed the vehicle, leaving him unable to escape the murderers who came and finished him off.

A likely motive for Vega's murder is his popularity as a singer of narcocorrido music, songs which glorify the business of drug smuggling. These songs often give details of real people and real places, making heroes out of selected persons in the trade.

But one man's hero is another man's rival. Therefore, narcocorrido singers are in danger of offending other drug gangs.

And that danger couldn't be more real. Indeed, police confirm that several singers specializing in narcocorrido music have been murdered in the last three years. Before that, in the years between 2006 and 2008, more than a dozen notable Mexican musicians, many of them connected to the genre, were done in.

One hardly needs evidence of this bloody degree to know that drug smuggling is anything but a victimless crime. But just ask the Mexican police how crazed the carnage can get. For that matter, just ask the police of the Southwestern United States who are struggling without adequate federal help against the Mexican drug trade.

And just ask the ghost of El Shaka who now wishes he would have stuck to love songs.

Manute Bol: The Heart of a Giant

Among the best of the obituary columns on Manute Bol is this one by Jon Sheilds in the Wall Street Journal.

...Manute Bol, who died last week at the age of 47, is one player who never achieved redemption in the eyes of sports journalists. His life embodied an older, Christian conception of redemption that has been badly obscured by its current usage.

Bol, a Christian Sudanese immigrant, believed his life was a gift from God to be used in the service of others. As he put it to Sports Illustrated in 2004: "God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back."...

Bol reportedly gave most of his fortune, estimated at $6 million, to aid Sudanese refugees. As one twitter feed aptly put it: "Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals."

When his fortune dried up, Bol raised more money for charity by doing what most athletes would find humiliating: He turned himself into a humorous spectacle. Bol was hired, for example, as a horse jockey, hockey player and celebrity boxer. Some Americans simply found amusement in the absurdity of him on a horse or skates. And who could deny the comic potential of Bol boxing William "the Refrigerator" Perry, the 335-pound former defensive linemen of the Chicago Bears?

Bol agreed to be a clown. But he was not willing to be mocked for his own personal gain as so many reality-television stars are. Bol let himself be ridiculed on behalf of suffering strangers in the Sudan; he was a fool for Christ.

During his final years, Bol suffered more than mere mockery in the service of others. While he was doing relief work in the Sudan, he contracted a painful skin disease that ultimately contributed to his death.

Bol's life and death throws into sharp relief the trivialized manner in which sports journalists employ the concept of redemption. In the world of sports media players are redeemed when they overcome some prior "humiliation" by playing well. Redemption then is deeply connected to personal gain and celebrity. It leads to fatter contracts, shoe endorsements, and adoring women.

Yet as Bol reminds us, the Christian understanding of redemption has always involved lowering and humbling oneself. It leads to suffering and even death...

Ending Travel Ban to Cuba Would Work Against Human Rights

Congressman Tom Rooney, a Republican representing Florida's 16th District, has an excellent article published in The Caller detailing why removing the travel ban to Cuba would be a blow against human rights. Here's a portion of that article:

...According to a 2008 State Department report, Castro’s regime was holding at least 205 political prisoners at the end of that year, and as many as 5,000 citizens served sentences without ever being charged with a specific crime. Just a few months ago, political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after an 86-day hunger strike. And today, American citizen Alan Gross is being held prisoner without charges for his efforts to help the Cuban people use the Internet.

Unfortunately, the bill before the Agriculture Committee, on which I serve, would lift the travel ban on Cuba without any human rights concessions. The bill would open up relations with a regime that routinely imprisons journalists and citizens who disagree with their government. This would send mixed messages about our commitment to the brave pro-democracy movement in Cuba.

Lifting the travel ban would inject millions of dollars into the Cuban government at a time when the Castro regime is on the ropes. Cuba’s foreign trade declined by a third in the last year, the country is several billion dollars in debt to sovereign lenders, and its economic crisis is putting Castro’s rule in jeopardy.

Why would we lift the travel ban and let American tourism dollars prop up the Castro regime? At this juncture, lifting the ban would amount to yet another bailout – only this time, we’d be bailing out a brutal dictatorship on the brink of collapsing.

Every dollar spent by American tourists in Cuba would contribute to the regime’s bottom line, providing resources for Castro’s army, his secret police and his political prisons. The State Department lists Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism and reports that the regime not only has close ties with Iran and North Korea, it also provides safe haven for terrorists from around the world. Opening Cuba to travel would jeopardize national security by allowing American tourism dollars to finance state-sponsored terror and help provide refuge to terrorists...

The Crazy Convolutions of Obama's Immigration Policy

"What should be done with a man who infiltrated the terrorist group Hamas, spied for Israeli intelligence and broke up terror attacks, saving countless Israeli, as well as Palestinian, lives? Most people would say he should be honored. Not the U.S. government, it's trying to deport him."

Read Cal Thomas' fine column about the plight of Mosab Hassan Yousef right here.

There's others too that you'll find of help in understanding how on earth the Obama administration wants to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and yet feels desperate to get a hero like Yousef out of the country.

Here, for instance, is a gripping article co-written by Yousef and Israeli Gonen ben Itzhak.

And this one written by actress and producer Noa Tishby shows up, of all places, at the Huffington Post.

Finally, check out this press release issued by the American Jewish Committee which concludes: "It is, of course, crucial that our immigration laws and the laws with respect to asylum be applied in a fashion consistent with the security of the United States. At the same time, there should be nuance and thoughtfulness in the application of those laws that takes into account special circumstances such as those in play in Mr. Yousef's case. We are concerned that the denial of Mr. Yousef's asylum request could, in addition to the harm that might come to him in his specific case, deter others from taking similarly brave and principled actions in the future."

Mission Re-Directed: The Story of Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael landed on the shores of India in 1895. Soon she and her band of native women, called "The Starry Cluster," began teaching the gospel wherever they could gain an audience. But on a trip to the village of Pannaivilai in 1901, Amy met Preena, a child of seven who had been sold by her mother to the Hindu temple to become a temple prostitute.

It was a life-changing moment for Amy...and Preena too.

And for untold numbers of others.

Read what happened in this brief but inspirational article, "The Reluctant Mother: Amy Carmichael" by Susan Verstraete.

The Press "Sees No Evil, Hears No Evil" with Obama

While it is true that President Obama's dismal performance has been so terribly bad that even some liberal journalists have dared to criticize him, the mainstream press remains solidly in his corner. Yes, the Obama administration is so clutzy, so clueless that the media may not find enough to really champion him. But they can still help him out (and help him out plenty) by simply refusing to give proper coverage to the news.

Call it assistance by omission.

Thus, the media gives but minimal coverage (frequently no coverage at all) to the dire economic numbers, the stunning revelations about what the Democrat health care package really does and what it will cost, the president's abysmal job approval ratings, the connections of Team Obama to the corruption being uncovered in the Blagojevich trial, the increasing criticism of our Chief Executive from abroad, the increased casualties in Afghanistan, the foreign policy fumbles, the remarkable refusal to prosecute the New Black Panthers, the appalling lack of qualifications and philosophical balance of Elena Kagan, the crisis of illegal immigration and the ever-worsening catastrophe of the Gulf oil spill.

All of these stories are (at the very least) under-covered by the old guard media and even when they are mentioned, President Obama is left out of the picture. Thus, the oil spill story that shows up on CBS deals only with BP. The Blago story which makes it onto page 5 of the New York Times fails to mention the Obama connections that surfaced in the trial testimony that day. The blurb on NPR about the president's low ratings is passed off as a temporary phenomena caused by the angry anti-incumbent mood of the tea parties.

But escaping hard scrutiny in these stories, let alone the harsh and endless criticism one would expect from the press if the president were a Republican, is altogether absent.

No, despite the occasional break from precedent we may see in the media, it remains extremely friendly to the leftist ideology of Barack Obama. And so it will continue to help him as much as is possible. By spinning what it can. By covering over and pointing blame elsewhere.

And, most of all, by turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to reality.

Basic Oil Spill "To Do" List: Why Won't Obama Act?

Rory Cooper has one of the must-reads of the day, one that outlines the 10 steps the Obama administration should do right now (71 days have already been wasted) to deal with the oil spill crisis. I print below an excerpt of the article but for the details behind each of the 10 items in the "to do" list you'll have to follow this link to the original piece in The Foundry of the Heritage Foundation.

Also, please use this list in your letters to your political representatives. We have got to get them moving on this!

The oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico gets worse by the day. Oil spews from the broken well, further polluting our water and shores. The clean-up efforts drag on with bureaucratic interference, making matters worse. And what is the Obama administration doing? It continues to push for unrelated responses that will have a disastrous effect on our economy, especially the economy of the Gulf states most affected.

In fact, President Obama summoned a bipartisan group of senators to the White House on Tuesday to discuss his climate change legislation. When Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander suggested that any such energy meeting should include a focus on the oil spill and BP, Obama responded: “that’s just your talking point” and refused to discuss the crisis.

Unfortunately, the American people are not hearing any of this. Day after day, blind allegiance to the president causes his supporters on the left to simply say the government is doing all that it can. The national media, prone to attention deficit disorder when a president they support is in the White House, have already moved on to a myriad of other subjects, offering only sporadic updates on the continuing crisis.

When the president answered questions following the G20 conference, not one reporter asked him about the situation in the Gulf. Not one question. When attention is paid, it is focused on BP, which is only half the story — the other half being government incompetence or an ideological rigidity that prevents commonsense solutions...

Without further delay, here are the first ten actions President Obama can take immediately to help solve the crisis in the Gulf.

1. Waive the Jones Act

2. Accept International Assistance

3. Lift the Moratorium

4. Release the S.S. A-Whale

5. Remove State and Local Roadblocks

6. Allow Sand Berm Dredging

7. Waive or Suspend EPA Regulations

8. Temporarily Loosen Coast Guard Inspections

9. Stop Coast Guard Budget Cuts

10. Halt Climate Change Legislation

Friday, June 25, 2010

Today's Posts

Franky Schaeffer: Still Fighting His Father's Ghost

Hanging Out at "The Corner"

Funeral Protests Blocked by Nebraska Judge

Why Do Journalists Never Apologize?

The Will of the People Be Damned

New Abortion Mill in Northwest Omaha

"We Don't Need No Stinking Geography Lessons"

Franky Schaeffer: Still Fighting His Father's Ghost

The weird deconstruction process that Franky Schaeffer is going through (the Bible simply calls it "apostasy") is an agonizing thing to watch. For like so many others who walk away from the moorings of their faith, Franky has found himself adrift in a sea of irrationality, ego, a lust for acceptance by somebody -- anybody -- petty grievances, and deep anger. Well, okay; he always had that.

But Franky can't escape his past. He is the rebellious son that still lives in his folk's basement so that his ego gets the thrill of telling them every evening at dinner, "I'm my own man!" He has made "I'm not my Dad" the basis of his career and of his whiny inner child.

Like Peter Pan, he won't grow up. But unlike Peter Pan, he's not carefree and happy. He's more of a Roddy McDowell, doomed to play the tortured, rebellious juvenile until, ironically, he dies of old age.

To give you a sample of what Franky Schaeffer has stooped to, check out his latest essay at the Huffington Blog. You won't see any inkling of the intellect of Francis Schaeffer in this piece, let alone the sense of balance, fairness and faith. You won't see sound exegesis of the Scriptures. You won't see an appreciation of how Christian values established Western civilization.

No, you'll only see a petulant kid who is spending his life fighting his father's ghost.

The essay is entitled, "Eradicate Fundamentalism In All Its Forms."

The next great task for the human race is to wean ourselves off literal interpretations of religion. We need to eradicate fundamentalism in all its forms.

Atheism is no help. Human beings are spiritual and look for meaning. Science holds answers but not "THE" answer we look for and long for. Family life and love -- continuity of relationships -- come closest for fulfilling our longing for purpose.

As I argue in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism) the answer to fundamentalism, literal-minded religion and all the horror and absurdity they create is to work on the evolution of religion: reject false certainties rooted in myth and embrace myth as a window into the unknowable.

Clearly the issue for any sane Christian believer (or any believer in not just religion but any human construct, including science) is how to decide what parts of the moral teaching of the Bible (or Koran, or scientific theory) to edit or discard and what to live by.

Those of us who have no problem with celebrating the fact that some people are created gay, or that other people live with a girlfriend or boyfriend because marriage isn't always the best way to relate to a lover, have drawn an admittedly arbitrary circle of what is acceptable to them a bit wider than other believers have.

But the truth is no one (not even the dourest Reconstructionist Christian or Orthodox Jew) takes everything any religion teaches completely seriously, let alone practices it faithfully.

The truth is that interpreting religion is just that: interpreting. All that means is that common sense and compassion are the filters through which we look at religion, as we do with all of life. There is such a thing as freedom of conscience and the right to think!

In that sense everyone is a "liberal" and those who pretend they are consistent to their stated creeds are liars...

Admit it: the Bible is nuts in many places. Who follows this stuff? No one! So why stick it to people for choosing to not follow homophobic nonsense?...

To find the spiritual truth that is hidden within the Bible it must be mentally "edited" by people of goodwill who are informed by the spiritual truth we carry within our evolving ethical selves.

The loyalty of those who wish to live as Christians (as opposed to those who wish to force others to be like them by using Christianity as a weapon), must shift from fidelity to the Bible (or any other text) to seeking the life-affirming message of transcendence buried within the madness, ignorance and fear that we discover not just in the darker portions of all "sacred" texts, but in every human heart.

Of course, what Franky Schaeffer needs to look hard into and then obey is the genuinely sacred Scriptures he has turned his wrath upon. He is a sad case, a demented soul who one could more likely pity were he not so hell bent (pun carefully intended) on spreading his heretical opinions to others.

Franky, it's long past time for you to act like the prodigal son rather than the ever-wayward one. It's time for you to quit playing patsy for the devil and grow up.

Hanging Out at "The Corner"

One of my regular reads is The Corner, one of the fine blogs run by staffers of National Review Online. I've urged you to make that a frequent stop as well for there you'll find such interesting, helpful and well-written memos as these I gathered last night:

* Andy McCarthy on Paul McCartney -- "It seems to me that we found out everything we need to know about Paul McCartney back in 2003, when he switched the credits on a number of Beatles tunes to say: "McCartney & Lennon." Imagine you're a living, fabulously wealthy, much adored half of one of the most famous songwriting duos ever, but that's not good enough for your self-esteem; you are so small you need — after 40 years — to start putting your name first, ahead of your long-deceased partner?"

* Charles Krauthammer's (via Fox) on Team Obama's opposition to the court ruling striking down its moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico: "I'm surprised the administration is digging itself into this hole a lot deeper. It was just handed an out. First of all, the Gulf states are angry as hell over the moratorium because it's destroying the one remaining industry, the oil support industry.

Second, Salazar's own experts that he called in on this have said publicly that they are opposed to a six-month moratorium — actually it endangers safety, because if you cap a well, there’s actually a period of danger, you might as well keep drilling.

And lastly, now they have judicial cover. Now they have a judge [striking down the moratorium]. And they could have walked away.

The fact that Salazar is sticking with this and that they’re going to appeal and they’re going to hang in there on this I think is a measure of how much this administration is in hock to its ecological left.

These people are not going to let him go. They blame the Obama administration for the small opening on drilling, which it did before the Gulf oil disaster, and this is the price that they are exacting. I think it's a big mistake, not just from an engineering perspective or an economic [perspective], I think it's a big political mistake..."

* John Derbyshire on Dr. Bruce Charlton's belief that “Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined.” Very intriguing comments.

* Daniel Foster on the socialistic mish-mash being miscast as "Wall Street Reform."

Funeral Protests Blocked by Nebraska Judge

It hasn't received much press but I thought you should know that Shirley Phelps-Roper, one of the leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church which, among other things, pickets the funeral processions for American soldiers killed in combat, has lost her latest legal action against Nebraska Dave Heinemen and the Nebraska Funeral Picketing Law.

As you may remember, that law was specifically designed to prohibit protests of the kind organized by Westboro Church -- protests that are ugly, sophomoric and remarkably hateful.

District Judge Laurie Smith Camp denied Phelps-Roper's motion for a preliminary injunction of the law. "The Nebraska Funeral Picketing Law is narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, i.e., the protection of family members attending funeral and burial services, and leaves ample alternative channels for Phelps-Roper's communications that are protected by the First Amendment. She has not demonstrated that she is likely to prevail on the merits of her facial or as-applied challenges to the statute, and her motion for preliminary injunctive relief will be denied."

The full case document can be read here.

Why Do Journalists Never Apologize?

Liberal journalists, like liberal politicians, never really apologize for anything. And they get away with it. They can wish someone tortured and dead, they can make cruel and racist jokes, they can smear and slander up a storm -- and in the end, the public is supposed to shrug it off and let things go on as before.

Meaning -- only Republicans are expected to pay a price for ugly behavior.

A case in point is the Washington Post's David Weigel who wrote, "This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire."

Weigel was rightly scorned for this brutal remark and so he wrote a column to say he was sorry. Well, sort of. Like so many whiners, he apologized amid excuses and self-justifications: "I was tired, angry, and hyperbolic" Weigel explained. He also fell back on that tired cliche that he was only talking to friends. Right. On a much-used internet forum.

Plus, when did boorish behavior become acceptable simply because it was shared with buddies? Does Weigel think that, for instance, mocking the skinny freshman in gym class is okay if the mean-spirited barbs are shared in a corner of the locker room?

Weigel's kinda' apology, written in his Post column because he had been stormed by negative responses to his brutal comments, also managed to throw in some blame of others. Yeah, that always underscores one's sincerity. "Okay, I'm sorry but, after all, you made me do it!" And he also used his fake apology to repeat earlier attacks. "Maybe I shouldn't have used this particular word but I stand my ground on this, that and the other."

As I said earlier, liberals never really apologize. They may do a little duck and cover when necessary, but even then they're only reloading for the next shot.

Update: While David Weigel didn't give much of an apology for his actions, somebody at the Post figured he wasn't going to be much good at reporting on the Right (that was Weigel's beat) anymore. So he's gone.

The Will of the People Be Damned

It's often said that Washington, D.C. is a town full of idiots. Heaven knows, I won't dispute that. However, the much greater problem is that Washington, D.C. is a town full of leftist ideologues who are deliberate enemies of both the Constitution and common sense.

Towering examples are yesterday's passing by Congress of the DISCLOSE Act, a clearly unconstitutional abridgment of free speech that brazenly exempted certain special interest groups merely because of their political power. It was one of the most clearly hypocritical, cowardly and contemptible actions this Congress has pulled.

And, with this bunch, that's saying something!

And the second example is the "compromise" deal worked out between a handful of Capitol Hill nabobs that represents Team Obama's latest takeover bid. This time around he wants the U.S. financial system under the federal thumb. And Democrats on the Hill want to give it to him on a platter.

This even though they admit they have little idea of what it all will mean. Cue Democrat Senator Chris Dodd in a line I originally thought must have been made up by a satirically-minded conservative. Nope. Dodd actually said it.

"It's a great moment. I'm proud to have been here," said a teary-eyed Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee led the effort in the Senate. "No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we've done something that has been needed for a long time. It took a crisis to bring us to the point where we could actually get this job done."

Unless we clear the decks of these guys -- and pretty darn quick -- democracy as well as our economy is done for.

New Abortion Mill in Northwest Omaha

Very sad news last night -- Planned Parenthood, the eugenics-based abortion organization that has been exposed as a criminal as well as an immoral outfit of thugs, will be opening an abortion clinic at 93rd and Maple in northwest Omaha.

Christians, we're gonna' need your help in gathering further information, for enlistments in sidewalk counseling for and peaceful protest, and for prayer.

And one more thing, keep spreading the word. Let friends, family, church members and your political representatives know the sinister nature of Planned Parenthood. For details, here's just a few examples:

Planned Parenthood Is Getting Millions Of Your Tax Dollars

Push Button Abortion

Planned Parenthood Caught Lying...Again

Planned Parenthood to Start Selling "At Home" Abortion Kits

Planned Parenthood Finds a Way to Besmirch Valentine's Day

The Religion of Planned Parenthood

"We Don't Need No Stinking Geography Lessons"

I almost feel sorry for this Democrat damsel. After all, her glaring ignorance of basic geography, history and politics is now being shown around the world in this video clip.

However, this gal is, after all, a politician. And she should be called to task for such foolishness, especially since she was trying to persuade the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution against Arizona's common-sense law dealing with illegal immigration. Check it out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today's Posts

Our Prez: "Smooth and Charming He Is Not."

S. E. Cupp, writing in the New York Daily News, bemoans the Embarrassment-In-Chief:

Thanks to a slew of gaffes, blunders, miscalculations and alarming personality revelations, Obama has become a surprising liability where our reputation abroad is concerned - surprising not only because he was elected, in part, to restore our supposedly damaged image overseas, but also because he was touted as a smooth and charming diplomat.

But whatever generosities we afforded the inexperienced junior senator from Illinois, smooth and charming he is not, it turns out. And these rookie mistakes are getting downright embarrassing.

Here's her whole column.

Nickelodeon: Still Promoting Sick Games to Your Kids

Last December I alerted you to the disturbing fact that Nickelodeon, the TV and online "children’s entertainment" conglomerate, is providing video games involving sex play and violence on its popular website,

It even provides direct links to that site from the game pages of, its website designed for kids, AND, its website designed for preschoolers!

So, your five-year old who you last saw doing online coloring books over at, might now be checking out Candy the Naughty Cheerleader, Naughty Supermarket, Celebrity Body Scanner or Foxy Sniper (“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. Fear me, because I am a crack shot! Assassination isn’t just a job; it’s a way of life.”)

Or how about Dark Cut 2 (“More macho surgery! No anesthetic. No antiseptics. Just rusty knives, corn whiskey, and lots of blood!”);

Naughty Classroom (“Hot for teacher?…Here’s your chance to fulfill your ultimate childhood fantasy. Naughty Classroom will leave you begging for more homework.”);

Stick Figure Penalty Chamber 2 (“Small, black, stick figure death can happen in so many different ways! Do you choose shotgun to the face, or acid in the lungs?”);

Bloody Day (”Back alley butchering has never been so much fun...How many kills can you rack?”);

Or the Perry the Sneak series, where gamers take the role of a peeping Tom trying to catch revealing glimpses of scantily clad and naked women?

This is child's play?

Obviously, Nickelodeon has not yet heard from enough Americans who are outraged at these perversions masquerading as children's entertainment. And so they continue.

Please. Don't let this go without your principled protest. Don't just shake your head and think how weird and wicked the world is becoming. Think instead of your responsibility to speak out against such dangerous destruction of childhood innocence.

Take a moment to tell Nickelodeon to stop promoting sexualized and violent video games to young children. You can use the e-mail form on this page to register your protest to Nickelodeon. But better yet, hit the "Report a Concern" link at the bottom of the Nick page itself AND write a real letter to Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom. (Remember too it is Viacom that is about to launch its profane and blasphemous cartoon series about Jesus.) They can be reached at Viacom Inc., 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036-5794.

We really need to act on this. Remember how seriously Jesus takes sins against "little ones." Writing a couple of letters is the least we can do to help protect them.

Also, be sure to let other parents know what Nickelodeon is up to. One easy way is to e-mail this post to friends. You can also post a link to it on your Facebook page. And you can alert your pastor and Sunday school teacher. Ask them to make an announcement about what Nickelodeon is doing, providing contact information as well so people can let the company know what they think about such actions.

Let's get on this.

Elena Kagan Provided "Cover" for Clinton on Partial-Birth Abortion

Elena Kagan would be a disaster on the Supreme Court.

For despite the sneaky moves of the Obama administration to hide her views from the public, more than enough evidence is available to show that Kagan would be a judge with an agenda...and with little respect for the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, we can expect her to use her power on the Court not as a proper jurist at all but as a social engineer, promoting her pet causes of abortion, gun control, homosexual privilege, and a remaking of America into a secularist, socialist state.

As a case in point of particular relevance to pro-life advocates, the leadership of National Right to Life has written a letter to members of the U.S. Senate outlining just how extreme are Elena Kagan's ideas about using the Court to further protect and promote abortion.

Among other matters, the letter shows how Kagan herself actively suppressed information about partial-birth abortion while a part of the Clinton administration's defense of that barbaric procedure. She knew the facts herself but went out of her way to keep the public from knowing just how many such abortions were performed, how monstrous they were, how truly unnecessary for "health reasons" they were, and so on.

Because of the radical nature of her own abortion advocacy, Kagan supported partial-birth abortion even when both the mother and child were entirely healthy.

But she didn't speak of that publicly. Nor would she let the facts speak for themselves. Instead, she provided distorted rhetoric and outright lies to help Bill Clinton and Democrats in Congress have some political cover on the extremely ugly issue.

Read through the NRL letter.

And then use this page to write your own, letting your Senators know just how strongly you feel about the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Team Obama: Crass, Coercive and Clueless

The New Orleans newspaper that first broke the story of the Obama administration's lies about the seven National Academy of Engineering experts who supported a complete moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf (they didn't at all) now has a stinging editorial against Team Obama's ongoing efforts to force that moratorium come hell, high water, or a federal judge.

There are very good arguments made here by the editors of the Times-Picayune, arguments that reveal once again how remarkably tone deaf to reality is the Obama administration.

Read the article in full right here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today's Posts

Why the Pro-Abortion Movement Is Bummed Out

Liberal Columnist: "The President Seems to Stand Foursquare for Nothing Much."

Feds Shut Down Sand Berm Project

Colorado Hispanics Favor Arizona-Type Law for Their State Too

Obama's Failure to Act on Oil Spill "Beyond Comprehension"

Mexican Drug Cartels Invade (And Hold!) American Territory. Obama Does Nothing.

"Mingling" Merits Savagery from Saudi Court

Why the Pro-Abortion Movement Is Bummed Out

Lamenting to pro-abortion (and dying) Newsweek magazine last spring, Nancy Keenan from NARAL admitted that the "thrill is gone" from the pro-abortion movement. In particular, she noted they are losing the young, losing the enthusiasm, and losing the battle against technology.

Of the March for Life in Washington, the 58-year old Keenan jealously pined, "I just thought, my gosh, they are so young, There are so many of them, and they are so young."

Keenan's right. The studies show youth in general (as well as young women) are much more pro-life than the last couple of generations. Also, more than half of these young pro-life Americans consider abortion a "very important" matter when it comes to voting. Only 26% of young pro-abortion voters believe the same.

No wonder the aging feminists are bummed out.

The magazine report also included the concession by pro-abortion leadership that science is against them. Former NARAL president Kate Michelman, for instance, admits that the "window to the womb" created by ultrasound technology has weakened the pro-abortion position. She bemoans that it "has clearly helped to define how people think about a fetus as a full, breathing human being."

Interestingly enough, Newsweek itself, a magazine long on leftist bias and short on journalistic professionalism, was so bothered by the bad news delivered by these aging feminists that it followed up their article with a forum designed to help enlist and equip younger pro-abortionists.

But when you hope to rev up your movement by relying on the likes of a magazine that is nearing extinction itself, you're in pretty deep trouble.

Of course, the abortion lobby is losing the American people. The evidence for the humanity of the preborn child is too overwhelming. And the effects of 4 decades of legal abortion in the United States have proven incredibly tragic: the heartbreak and guilt, the psychological and physiological damage, the ruined relationships, and the coarsening of culture which has led to many other travesties against the sanctity of life.

This is why the pro-abortion movement so desperately needs the activist courts and a Nanny State without humane ethics. For they must force where they cannot persuade.

And this is why a pro-life activist like myself, with all I have to do in the "regular" duties of Vital Signs Ministries, must also dedicate time, effort and prayer to stop the power grab of Barack Obama and the abortion zealots in his administration.

If the designs of tyranny are not checked, it will not matter what science reveals about the humanity of the baby in the womb or how revolting abortion is becoming to the American people. The controversy will be taken out of our hands.

And so we fight on, determined to champion the sanctity of life -- in part, by insuring that the intentions of this radically pro-abortion President are soundly defeated.

Liberal Columnist: "The President Seems to Stand Foursquare for Nothing Much."

When unabashed Democrat stalwarts in the press like Richard Cohen over at the Washington Post write a column like this one, you'd better know Barack Obama is in a world of hurt. Yes, the notoriously naive Cohen still believes that the President is a relatively moderate fellow (as opposed to those "archconservatives" like George W. Bush) and he is sure that Obama is a gifted orator with "a shimmering intellect."

Nevertheless, as much as Cohen wanted his fellow liberal to succeed, he hasn't. Indeed, Obama's aloof, indifferent air towards the perils in which our nation has found itself, Cohen concludes, is turning off the populace but quick.

It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama's foreign policy is no heart at all. It consists instead of a series of challenges -- of problems that need fixing, not wrongs that need to be righted. As Winston Churchill once said of a certain pudding, Obama's approach to foreign affairs lacks theme. So, it seems, does the man himself.

For instance, it's not clear that Obama is appalled by China's appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. He treats the Israelis and their various enemies as pests of equal moral standing. The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much...

Feds Shut Down Sand Berm Project

The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

You're kidding me, right?

I'm afraid not. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is pleading for the work to continue. But the White House won't even return his calls. (Maybe the Prez is out golfing or they've got a party going on. Worse yet, maybe they're busy preparing for the revelations of the Blagojevich trial.)

Says Nungesser, "Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil. Furthermore, with the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, we are being put at an increased risk for devastation to our area from the intrusion of oil."

Colorado Hispanics Favor Arizona-Type Law for Their State Too

Though Colorado Democrats and their pals in the press are trying to downplay (even discredit) a Denver Post poll which asked Coloradans about illegal immigration, the results were compelling. For despite all of the biased reporting the liberal media across the nation has done on the new Arizona law, most citizens of her neighbor to the northeast like very much what Arizona did.

And they'd like it to be the law in Colorado too!

A Denver Post/9News poll conducted in conjunction with The Tribune showed most Colorado voters would like to see the state adopt a similar immigration law to that passed by Arizona.

And note this -- a higher percentage of Hispanic voters (62 %) would support a law similar to the one in Arizona in Colorado than would whites (61 %). Interesting. It shows that most Hispanic-Americans understand the Arizona law isn't about racism or even opposition to immigration. It's about a state trying to curb illegal immigration only.

Also, the breakdown of the poll results showed a majority of Coloradans supporting an Arizona-type law in all categories: Denver residents (58%), younger citizens (58%), college grads (56%), etc.

Of course, the news is out that the Obama administration is going to challenge the Arizona law in court. But as this poll shows, it's just one more example of how the President is not only out of step with American citizens, he flat out doesn't care.

Obama's Failure to Act on Oil Spill "Beyond Comprehension"

Mexican Drug Cartels Invade (And Hold!) American Territory. Obama Does Nothing.

Mexican drug cartels have set up shop on American soil, maintaining lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona from which their scouts can monitor every move made by law enforcement officials, federal agents tell Fox News.

The scouts are supplied by drivers who bring them food, water, batteries for radios -- all the items they need to stay in the wilderness for a long time.

“To say that this area is out of control is an understatement," said an agent who patrols the area and asked not to be named. "We (federal border agents), as well as the Pima County Sheriff Office and the Bureau of Land Management, can attest to that.”

Much of the drug traffic originates in the Menagers Dam area, the Vekol Valley, Stanfield and around the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. It even follows a natural gas pipeline that runs from Mexico into Arizona.

In these areas, which are south and west of Tucson, sources said there are “cartel scouts galore” watching the movements of federal, state and local law enforcement, from the border all the way up to Interstate 8.

“Every night we’re getting beaten like a pinata at a birthday party by drug, alien smugglers," a second federal agent told Fox News by e-mail. "The danger is out there, with all the weapons being found coming northbound…. someone needs to know about this!”

The agents blame part of their plight on new policies from Washington, claiming it has put a majority of the U.S. agents on the border itself. One agent compared it to a short-yardage defense in football, explaining that once the smugglers and drug-runners break through the front line, they're home free...

Read the rest of this infuriating Fox News article here.

"Mingling" Merits Savagery from Saudi Court

Party down in Riyadh nowadays and you're facing barbaric beatings and a stretch in a stinking Saudi Arabian prison. And to suffer this fate, your party doesn't need to have been loud, raucous, or destructive. It only needs to have members of both sexes!

That's right. "Mingling" merits unjust savagery from the strict Islamic courts.

In this case, Abdullah Al-Shiri reports for the Associated Press that the Saudi court has convicted four women and eleven men for mingling at a party and sentenced them to flogging and prison terms. The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each.

But the mercy of Islam was not altogether absent. The fourth woman, who was a minor, was not sent to prison.

She only has to endure 80 lashes.

Remember, 80 lashes not for indecent acts, not for lewd behavior, not for what any sane court could declare as a criminal act.

This young woman will suffer 80 lashes across her back for attending a party.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today's Posts

"The Talking Donkey"

"The Talking Donkey," an exposition of Numbers 22 and a few other Scriptures, was the first sermon in our "Beasts of the Bible" series over at Faith Bible Church.

You can listen to it from the Vital Signs Ministries web site right here.

The Blind Are Seeing -- Thanks to Adult Stem Cell Research

The mainstream press, which has been so enamored with the hyped promises of embryonic stem cell research, has failed to accurately report the dismal failures of that research. Nor have they bothered much to report on the good news stories all around them of the amazing successes already achieved that have come through the use of adult stem cells.

On the rare instance that they do report such stories, they fail to differentiate the source of the treatment, deliberately leaving the impression that the effect was produced by ESCR when it was not.

Again ideology trumps professionalism.

Thus one usually has to read these good news stories in the medical press itself or sometimes in more independent sources like Bloomberg Businessweek. That's where this very exciting story was.

Patients blinded in one or both eyes by chemical burns regained their vision after healthy stem cells were extracted from their eyes and reimplanted, according to a report by Italian researchers at a scientific meeting.

The tissue was drawn from the limbus, an area at the junction of the cornea and white part of the eye. It was grown on a fibrous tissue, then layered onto the damaged eyes. The cells grew into healthy corneal tissue, transforming disfigured, opaque eyes into functioning ones with normal appearance and color, said researchers led by Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

The stem-cell treatment restored sight to more than three- quarters of the 112 patients treated, Pellegrini said yesterday in a presentation at the International Society for Stem Cell Research meeting. She estimated the work may benefit 1,000 to 2,000 patients in Europe whose eyes have been damaged by chemical burns and many more in developing countries where the use of chemicals is less regulated. Her patients were followed for an average of three years and some for as long as a decade.

“The patients, they are happy, even the partial successes,” she said in an interview at the meeting in San Francisco. “We have a couple of patients who were blind in both eyes. Can you imagine for these patients the change in their quality of life?”...

Many of the patients she treated had been blind for years as result of tissue and blood vessels growing over damaged parts of the eye. Some had been through failed surgeries and alternative treatments...

The procedure succeeded after a single transplant in 69 percent of cases. A second procedure was performed on some patients, boosting the success rate to 77 percent, she said. The procedure was deemed a partial success in 13 percent of cases and a failure in 10 percent, she said.

Depending on the depth of the injury, some patients regained sight in as little as two months, Pellegrini said. Others with deeper injuries needed a second procedure and waited a year before sight was restored, she said.

At least one hospital in India, Prasad Eye Hospital in Hyperabad is doing limbus-derived stem cell transplants.

The applications of the work may extend to other organs, Schwab said.
“This is bigger than just the surface of the eye,” he said. “She may be making a model for how to regenerate livers or other organs.”

Wesley J. Smith, who alerted me to this story, writes, "It increasingly seems likely that regenerative medicine will involve mostly involve ethical approaches. As for basic research, the IPSCs are already permitting tailor made, condition specific stem cell lines to be created. No wonder the urgency over ESCR has substantially abated."

Protection Money: $5,000 Per Squirrel

Yes, I too am standing with Arizona in her fight against illegal immigration.

But I draw the line at Arizona's complicity with the federal government in a boondoggle scheme in which $1,250,000 will be spent to try and protect a particular species of squirrel.

ABC News has the story on how the money is to be spent on rope bridges which will span the road going up Mount Graham. You see, about five of these cute little critters become road kill every year. But since there's only about 250 of this particular brand of squirrels left (that they know of), the feds are more than willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to keep them all safe and happy.

$400,000 will thus be spent on 41 "canopy tunnel crossings" with another $160,000 to provide cameras to monitor the bridges. I suppose that leaves more than 2/3 of the funds for Obama-created jobs which can help show how the productivity of our economy is improving.


And one more thing. Call me skeptical but I can't help but wonder how the government is going to train those squirrels to only use those rope bridges. And if one or two still brave the roadway and get killed, will the taxpayers have to fork over yet more money for the next protection scheme? Where does this kind of thing stop?

Now don't get me wrong. I like squirrels. Claire and I feed them, play games with them using Ritz crackers, and I've often endangered my own life trying to preserve the life of a ditzy squirrel who ran onto the road in front of me.

But, let's face it. The founding fathers would never have allowed the federal government to use tax money to keep squirrels from getting squished. They would never even have envisioned it.

And neither should we.

The Next Obama Takeover? The Schools.

"For half a century, the federal government’s role in education has continued to increase significantly with no positive impact on student learning."

And yet here comes Team Obama with a very big stick, forcing state governments to cave in to a massive new federal power grab over local school systems.

Over at The Foundry, Jennifer Marshall has an important warning for Americans as to just what this new scheme means. And she provides plenty of information you can use in your letters and calls to your Congressmen, Senators and Governors to try and stop this thing.

It's not just the auto industry. It's not just the banks. It's not just health care. Obama and the Democrats want the federalization of everything they can get.

Up Time America (Revisited)

Yeah, I know I've posted this before but Kimberly Alyn delivers these common sense exhortations in such a clever, inspirational way that I figure we can't hear her too often.

Once Again, NICE Is Anything But.

It was almost a year ago that I linked to this Chuck Colson BreakPoint article -- an article in which he exposed the cruelty of the British health care system and its "checkbook euthanasia" policies. As Colson explained, the rules for excluding certain patients from receiving medical treatment (like newborn baby Jayden Capewell who died because he was denied proper medical assistance) were written up by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Had little Jayden been born two days later than he was, he would have "qualified" for medical care. But as it was, the NICE rules declared he must survive on his own. Those rules read, "If gestational age is certain and less than [22 weeks] it would be considered in the best interests of the baby, and standard practice, for resuscitation not to be carried out."

The best interests of the baby? To choke to death because the simplest medical care was denied? And merely because he was born two days earlier than the arbitrary date that NICE came up with?

This is "cost containment" carried to its sadistic extreme.

NICE isn't nice at all.

But in a new example of how NICE seems to be working less to insure the best for the nation's citizens and more to simply undermine the morality that has preserved Western civilization for centuries, the loony organization has released its latest guidelines on sex education.

They want all that "negative information" that so often marks sex education (scary warnings against sexually transmitted diseases, the truths about risks of pregnancy, talk about the inevitable heartbreak of premarital promiscuity) to be de-emphasized.

That's right. Though the rates of teen pregnancy continue to soar and STDs are reaching truly epidemic proportions, NICE wants less of this information.

And instead, it suggests sex education should highlight the importance of "mutually rewarding sexual relationships for individual well being."

And they want these new, uplifting, rosy-hued sex education programs to begin at age five.

It seems you can't get more demented, more degraded, more deliberately destructive of invaluable cultural morals...than when you're NICE.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Posts

Morocco Deports U.S. Christians (But Keeps Importing U.S. Foreign Aid!)

Kenya, Obama's Home Country?

Govt's Invisible Fence Costs 1.3 Billion

You Want a Scandal? Look at the Millions Taxpayers Give to Planned Parenthood.

Children Murdered. But Who Notices?

The Flailing Failure That Is Barack Obama

Morocco Deports U.S. Christians (But Keeps Importing U.S. Foreign Aid!)

Morocco, a nation that receives millions of dollars every year from taxpayers in the U.S., is the latest country to force a mass deportation of Christians, over 100 of them Americans. It's an alarming injustice, all the more dramatic because Morocco was supposed to be a "moderate" Islamic government.

The arrogance of Islam is cutting a very wide swath indeed. First it was marginalization of non-Muslims, then active intolerance, and increasingly it is guilty of the boldest and most brutal of persecutions.

Hardly what one should expect from a religion of peace and understanding and intelligence, as we are constantly hearing Islam to be.

What is clear is that Morocco is feeling the pressure of rising Islamic extremism. Seven thousand Muslim religious leaders recently signed a document describing the work of Christians within Morocco as “moral rape” and “religious terrorism,” according to Christianity Today. Some religious-freedom observers believe that outrage against the Christian aid workers was manufactured for political reasons that originated within the Organization of Islamic Conference. The ire of some state members of that Saudi-based religious association was aroused after Morocco expelled Wahhabis and Shiites. In a tacit acknowledgement that the mass deportations were aimed at placating Muslim extremists, the ambassador explained the deportations of the Christians as necessary for maintaining “public order.”

Morocco still likes to boast of being an open, inviting country, unscathed by the extremism and violence that have engulfed other nations in the region. It has been a place where Western tourists and even retirees have been welcome, where law is based on a civil code, where churches and synagogues are allowed to be built and maintained, and where Catholic, evangelical, and Jewish schools have not only been tolerated but popular among the 99 percent of the population of 33 million that are Sunni Malikite Muslims. This reputation for tolerance is waning, though, as the country bends to OIC and other sources of Islamist radicalism. Last Ramadan, police patrolled restaurants and cafes enforcing the Islamic fast for the first time, with coercive methods reminiscent of the Saudi religious police.

Here's Nina Shea with more details.

Kenya, Obama's Home Country?

Yeah, I know, I know. It's tacky, tedious and very politically-incorrect to even bring up the point about Obama's birthplace again. But watching this clip may still give you a few shudders of doubt about the matter.

Govt's Invisible Fence Costs 1.3 Billion

The Department of Homeland Security Reports that it has nothing to show for spending 1.3 Billion during the last five years to build a fence to keep out illegal aliens, the fence along our border with Mexico doesn’t exist and the money is gone.

Apparently, management weakness is an excuse to waste or abscond with 1.3 Billion dollars, in private industry people would be fired and prosecuted; our government seems to think we should give them another billion dollars to see if they can manage the money more efficiently...

(From Flopping Aces, with thanks to Blogs Lucianne Loves)

You Want a Scandal? Look at the Millions Taxpayers Give to Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, at least five nationwide polls have confirmed that a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.

Someone, then, needs to explain to all those people why $2.3 billion in tax dollars have been doled out to an organization that admits to systematically having killed more than 1.8 million pre-born babies between 2002 and 2008 and then reports it only spent $657.1 million in federal dollars.

Read the rest of this superb Washington Times editorial right here.

And then write your Congressmen and Senators. This outrage must stop!

Children Murdered. But Who Notices?

There will be no headlines in the newspapers, no TV camera crews on the scene. But six children were brutally murdered this morning in Bellevue, Nebraska -- less than a mile away from the local police headquarters, almost directly across the street from a church and a school.

But the reason this horrific crime garnered no attention?

The babies were killed by an abortionist.

And in America nowadays, such barbarity rates no press attention, no police action, no public outrage...and very little protest even from the Christian Church.

What has happened to our nation?

The Flailing Failure That Is Barack Obama

As agreed upon by many trusted sources, these are two of today's must-reads. Both concern the furious but flailing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

The first ("World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur") comes Mort Zuckerman, a traditionally liberal commentator who had already been disappointed in Obama's foreign policy mistakes and in his desertion of support for Israel. (See this post from last January.) But Zuckerman's latest strike against the administration is even more impatient because Team Obama's list of failures, errors, and tragically misguided attitudes just continue to endanger the country. Zuckerman's piece, an excerpt of which I print below, is published in the weekend U.S. News & World Report here.

The reviews of Obama's performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America's role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world's leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America's foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one's own tribe while in the lands of others.

Even in Britain, for decades our closest ally, the talk in the press—supported by polls—is about the end of the "special relationship" with America. French President Nicolas Sarkozy openly criticized Obama for months, including a direct attack on his policies at the United Nations. Sarkozy cited the need to recognize the real world, not the virtual world, a clear reference to Obama's speech on nuclear weapons. When the French president is seen as tougher than the American president, you have to know that something is awry...

He speaks as a teacher, as someone imparting values and generalities appropriate for a Sunday morning sermon, not as a tough-minded leader. He urges that things "must be done" and "should be done" and that "it is time" to do them. As the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Les Gelb, put it, there is "the impression that Obama might confuse speeches with policy." Another journalist put it differently when he described Obama as an "NPR [National Public Radio] president who gives wonderful speeches." In other words, he talks the talk but doesn't know how to walk the walk. The Obama presidency has so far been characterized by a well-intentioned but excessive belief in the power of rhetoric with too little appreciation of reality and loyalty...

Les Gelb wrote of Obama, "He is so self-confident that he believes he can make decisions on the most complicated of issues after only hours of discussion." Strategic decisions go well beyond being smart, which Obama certainly is. They must be based on experience that discerns what works, what doesn't—and why. This requires experienced staffing, which Obama and his top appointees simply do not seem to have...

The end result is that a critical mass of influential people in world affairs who once held high hopes for the president have begun to wonder whether they misjudged the man. They are no longer dazzled by his rock star personality and there is a sense that there is something amateurish and even incompetent about how Obama is managing U.S. power. For example, Obama has asserted that America is not at war with the Muslim world. The problem is that parts of the Muslim world are at war with America and the West. Obama feels, fairly enough, that America must be contrite in its dealings with the Muslim world. But he has failed to address the religious intolerance, failing economies, tribalism, and gender apartheid that together contribute to jihadist extremism. This was startling and clear when he chose not to publicly support the Iranians who went to the streets in opposition to their oppressive government, based on a judgment that our support might be counterproductive. Yet, he reaches out instead to the likes of Bashar Assad of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab world, sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it continues to rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon and expands its role in the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance...

America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, "We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends."...

The second piece I link to here ("Obama's Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill") is from the very bright conservative writer, Michael Barone. It is a syndicated column which also appears in the Town Hall catalog. Here's a bit of Barone's fine column:

Thuggery is unattractive. Ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Barack Obama and his administration to BP's gulf oil spill...

Then there is Obama's decision to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the gulf. This penalizes companies with better safety records than BP's and will result in many advanced drilling rigs being sent to offshore oil fields abroad.

The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly "peer reviewed" by "experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering." But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn't include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and "counterproductive" to safety.

This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery...

And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help.

The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: dance with the girl that brung ya.

Or the decision to deny Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to deploy barges to skim oil from the gulf's surface. Can't do that until we see if they've got enough life preservers and fire equipment. That inspired blogger Rand Simberg to write a post he dated June 1, 1940: "The evacuation of British and French troops from the besieged French city of Dunkirk was halted today, over concerns that many of the private vessels that had been deployed for the task were unsafe for troop transport."