Monday, July 28, 2014

The Real Story of Obama's "Small-Minded" Speech

Uh, about that video clip of a public speech in which Barack Obama insists that "ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs." You know, the clip that is going the rounds of your e-mail and Facebook friends? 

I’m afraid the video clip manipulates Obama’s speech pretty badly. Yes, he did say these things in a speech in Belgium last March, but the context of his remarks shows that he was criticizing this attitude rather than promoting it. The strength of the clip, of course, is that the doctored version may well be what the President believes. But it’s not exactly what he said. The particularly offensive line (“ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign”) is said in reference to Europe’s history of divine monarchs, not to his own opinions.

Here’s the full text of the President’s speech. But I print below the most relevant portion.

“…And it was here in Europe, through centuries of struggle, through war and enlightenment, repression and revolution, that a particular set of ideals began to emerge, the belief that through conscience and free will, each of us has the right to live as we choose, the belief that power is derived from the consent of the governed and that laws and institutions should be established to protect that understanding.

And those ideas eventually inspired a band of colonialists across an ocean, and they wrote them into the founding documents that still guide America today, including the simple truth that all men, and women, are created equal.

But those ideals have also been tested, here in Europe and around the world. Those ideals have often been threatened by an older, more traditional view of power. This alternative vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign. Often this alternative vision roots itself in the notion that by virtue of race or faith or ethnicity, some are inherently superior to others and that individual identity must be defined by us versus them, or that national greatness must flow not by what people stand for, but what they are against…”

Again, what President Obama and his cronies are trying to do ("fundamentally transform" the United States) is certainly sinister. And this speech, even in its actual form, isn't a good one and his version of history, as usual, is wrong. For instance, the ideals of conscience and free will (which Obama himself feels compelled to trample over) did not evolve over centuries but were applications of Christianity. And confusing the initial colonists with the framers of the Declaration of Independence was inexcusably muddled. But I was particularly miffed at his use of the world "colonialists" over the one historically used, "colonists." The former is certainly much more pejorative. Again though, I fear it does reflect Obama's misunderstanding and even disdain for America's philosophic foundations.

Nevertheless, this doctored clip doesn't help us oppose Obama's socialist ideology. Barack Obama's actual words and actions, not distortions of the same, are what we must vigorously and prayerfully oppose.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What's Going Down? Important Reads for the Weekend.

* "What Hamas Planned To Do With The Terror Tunnels" (Jonathan Dahoah Baltimore Jewish Life)

* "Hamas’s Big Plan Disrupted" (Scott Johnson, PowerLine)

* "Planned Parenthood Tells Young Girl to Experiment with 'Getting Spanked, Whipped or Hit'" (Megan Cairns, American Spectator's Blog)

* "Hundreds of Vets Died or Injured Under VA Care, Data Shows: The department is already under fire for delayed wait times and misconduct, and new data reveals a spike in the number of patients who died or were seriously injured in its care" (Patrick Healy and Kelly Goff, KNBC News)

* "How the Obama Administration’s Lawlessness Will Challenge the Next Conservative President" (David French, NRO)

* "Flight MH17 demonstrates Putin’s way of business" (Jillian Kay Melchior, New York Post)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Abortion Hurts...Even the Survivor

The harm performed on a preborn child by an abortionist is cruel, barbaric and, alas, lethal.

But the harm doesn't stop there.

As we tell abortion clients when we sidewalk counsel outside an abortion clinic (giving them the facts about abortion that will be denied them inside the building), the violent, remarkably unnatural act of abortion also creates terrible risks to the woman's health. In both the long and short term, a woman putting her pregnant body in the hands of an abortion profiteer faces a whole host of dangers -- not to mention the grave spiritual consequences of such an act.

These dangers posed by abortion to mothers should never be a mere "side issue" for sidewalk counselors, CPC workers, and other pro-life advocates who hold high the banner for the sanctity of life. This is because we require the mother's change of mind to save her baby's life but also because we are genuinely concerned for her welfare too.

Abortion hurts...even the survivor. That must always be one of our most important messages, shared with true compassion and accompanied by practical ways to help.

For a review of just how abortion hurts women, check out the information provided by the Elliot Institute about both the physical effects and the psychological effects of abortion. It will better equip you to speak life, love and health to those who desperately need to know.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Abortion Coercion

Preborn babies are routinely killed in America. And they are destroyed in the most barbaric ways -- suction machines, curettes and poisons. And all of these methods of abortion pose extremely harmful effects on the babies' mothers as well.

But the state of political affairs in the United States is so tragic and ridiculous that not only are these barbaric actions protected by law, promoted by opinion leaders, and paid for with taxpayer money, they are increasingly being mandated through ObamaCare and other federal and state requirements forced on doctors, nurses, medical students, pharmacists, insurance providers, and so on. Even if a person abhors the medical (and moral) consequences of abortive drugs, devices and procedures, the law is forcing them to participate.

And without effective protection of conscience, what are their choices? Quitting their profession altogether, leaving the field entirely to amoral practitioners. Or reluctant submission.

As we knew it would, the abortion movement has moved steadily from You Can to You Should to You Must.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Big Band Music -- All Week Long!

It's going to be one of those weeks!

After a jam-packed weekend of preaching, heavy lawn work, and hosting two big dinners and book discussions (one involving 10 people, the other involving 15), we're moving into a "relaxed" schedule this week.

Indeed, the only tasks on the agenda are: writing, proofing, printing, stamping and folding this month's LifeSharer letter; joining with friends on two mornings for prayers outside the abortion mill; answering overdue correspondence; doing the regular early morning Panera's meetings on Tuesday and Thursday...

And, oh yes, doing 7 presentations of "When Swing Was King."

(Honey, where did you put the vitamins?)

If you'd like to join us to help visit the residents of the nursing homes and other senior centers where we do the shows, you'll find the schedule right here on the Vital Signs Ministries website.

And if you do come along, we promise you a wonderful slate of big band songs to enjoy. In fact, here is the songlist for the current volume.

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra, “American Patrol.”
2) Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Frank Sinatra, "Dolores."
3) Artie Shaw Orchestra, "Frenesi."
4) Benny Goodman Orchestra with Ella Fitzgerald, "Goodnight, My Love."
5) Jan Garber Orchestra, "I'll See You In My Dreams."
6) Doris Day, "You Oughta' Be In Pictures."
7) Guy Lombardo Orchestra, "Embraceable You."
8) Count Basie Orchestra, "April In Paris."
9) Freddie Martin Orchestra, "Dancing In The Dark."
10) Bing Crosby, "You Belong To My Heart."
12) The Mills Brothers, "Standin' On The Corner."
13) Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, "So Rare."

A relaxed week? Well, no. But mixing in these delightful visits with seniors and bringing them the music they (and we) love -- hey, that will help make it a week of most enjoyable purpose.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Hillary's Book Isn't Doing What It Was Supposed To

Hillary Clinton (and her ghostwriters) came out with a book to launch her run for the presidency. But right from the beginning things looked bad. First of all, the book generated no enthusiasm at all except for die hard Dems. The day it came out (the very day!) both Amazon and Barnes & Noble slashed it’s price 30%.

Second, the book proved to be long and boring, so boring that a study utilizing the data from e-book readers suggests the average page at which readers stop is, get ready, page 33.

Third, the book tour turned out to be one of the most unsuccessful ever. Her remarkable gaffes on the interview circuit gravely disappointed her fans, amused the general public, and vindicated her enemies.

The results? The book dropped out of the Top Ten the first week. It has already fallen behind the sales of the latest anti-Clinton book by Ed Klein. And Hillary’s approval rating (among Democrats, mind you) has fallen 11 points.

Hard Choices? Perhaps. Hard Consequences? Most assuredly.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Remembering Castro's Attack on the "13 de Marzo"

On July 13, 1994, 72 Cubans attempting to leave the island for the United States put out to sea from the port of Havana in the tugboat “13 de Marzo.” When the tug was seven miles from shore, other government boats appeared, equipped with high pressure water hoses, and proceeded to attack the old tug and, in doing so, split the stern. The pleas of the women and children on the tug did nothing to stop the attack. It sank with a toll of 37 dead.

At 3:00 pm on July 13, several advocates for freedom and human rights will join together around the main fountain at Florida International University in a silent call for justice. The event will last 20 minutes, one minute for each year that has passed without justice. They have been doing this at Florida International University since 1995.

For those outside of Florida who yet would like to participate in this event, Claire and I urge you to take some time in prayer on Sunday, July 13th. Pray for the families and friends of those people on the “13 de Marzo” (and so many, many others over the decades) who died because of their yearning for freedom. Pray for the world’s leaders, journalists, clergy, businessmen, and other opinion leaders to awaken to the cruelty, injustice and economic stagnation that has marked the Castro regime. And pray that Cuba will soon be free from the disaster which has been Castro’s brand of Communism.

For more, please see the event FB page.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Honoring and Thanking the U.S. Military (and Ronald Reagan)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Left Is Lying About the Hobby Lobby Decision.

The Democrats are desperate. Therefore, the media is desperate.

Barack Obama and the Democrats have disillusioned, depressed and disgusted most American voters with their outrageous (and innumerable) public policy failures. Thus, the November elections represent a minefield for them. They have no issues — absolutely none — they can run on.

The economy? It’s a shambles. Energy? Gas prices are soaring and it’s going to get worse. Immigration? Just look at the border. Justice? This is the most secretive and scandal-prone administration in history. Foreign affairs? We’re losing face and losing our grip everywhere in the world. Health care? It’s a disaster of unmitigated proportions. Crime? Off the charts.

Everywhere one looks, the Democrat brand is tied to arrogance and incompetence.

They need something. Even if it has to be forced, concocted from half-truths and outright lies. Something like the infamous “war on women” that Democrats love to blame Republicans for. And so, the White House, Hillary Clinton, Pelosi/Reid & Company, and the press are trying to make hay out of the Hobby Lobby decision.

It’s nothing. But it’s all they have. And they will plump it up, puff it out, and push it incessantly from now till November.

Therefore, it’s up to you and me to tell the truth to our friends, family and the editor of the local paper. Tell them plain. Tell them kindly. But tell them over and again. Here’s the basic points.

1) The Hobby Lobby decision did not restrict anyone’s access to contraceptives. It didn’t even restrict anyone’s access to those so-called contraceptives that are actually abortifacients. Yes, I know the media is saying the very opposite but they’re dead wrong. And they know it. For the clear proof can be found by walking into any Walmart and just scanning the shelves. All of those products are right there for purchase by anyone. The Hobby Lobby decision changed nothing in this regard.

So much for restricted access. It's just a lie.

2) The Hobby Lobby decision allowed the company to refuse to pay for 4 particular products in the insurance policies they give to their employees. That's only 4 out of the 16 they did pay for. And they didn’t give objection to paying for those other 12 products. Is the White House mentioning this? Is Hillary or NBC News bothering to tell this to the public? Of course not.  But note again -- the company isn’t involved in restricting anyone’s access even to those 4. They are still right there on the shelves of Walmart and CVS and many local supermarkets. The Court decision only said that Hobby Lobby's insurance doesn't have to pay for them. The Democrats and the media want the public to think that free access means free…period.

As Jonah Goldberg asks the Democrats, “If birth control is ‘not your boss’s business,’ why do you expect him to pay for it?”

3) Hillary Clinton is bursting with manufactured rage at the Hobby Lobby decision because it treats American law (specifically, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which her husband signed) with deference and respect. So why are you so enraged now, Mrs. Clinton? You and your husband applauded that law then and it contained much more generous conscience protections for employers than those of the Hobby Lobby decision. Indeed, the former reads, “Nothing in this title shall be construed to . . . prevent any employer from contributing to the purchase of a standard benefits package which excludes coverage of abortion or other services, if the employer objects to such services on the basis of a religious belief or moral conviction.’

As Ramesh Ponnuru over at NRO quips about Mrs. Clinton’s new position, “Now we’re supposed to believe that favoring a weaker conscience protection makes you the American equivalent of the Taliban.”