The second Rapid City legislative crackerbarrel of the 2008 South Dakota legislative session was held at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology today from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
On hand were Rep. Gordon Pederson (Dist. 30), Rep Brian Gosch (Dist. 32), Rep. Gordon Howie (Dist. 30), Rep. David Lust (Dist. 34), Senator Dennis Schmidt (Dist. 33), Senator Tom Katus (Dist. 32), Rep. Mark Kirkeby (Dist. 35), Rep. Ed McLaughlin (Dist. 34), Rep. Jeff Haverly (Dist. 35), Senator Bill Napoli (Dist. 35), Rep. Mike Buckingham (Dist. 33), Rep. Don Van Etten (Dist. 33), Rep. Brian Dreyer (Dist. 32), Senator Mac McCracken (Dist. 34), and Senator Jim Lintz (Dist. 30).
Senator Jim Lintz was the first featured speaker of the morning. He talked about efforts to fix problems and inequities with the current agriculture tax system and said HB 1005 addresses this.
Senator Bill Napoli was the second featured speaker. Napoli encouraged attendees to review the brochures about South Dakota license plate changes which were handed out at the crackerbarrel.
Napoli referred to a recent article and political cartoon in the Rapid City Weekly news regarding his position on term limits. He said the article was correct in quoting him stating he wouldn’t serve in the legislature beyond 2010, but the cartoon implied that Napoli wanted to go by 1992 standards, meaning his earlier statement was not true. He was critical of the misleading impression given by this cartoon.
Napoli said he had pushed term limits when it was passed in 1992 and finally went into effect in 1994. He said that more than anything else, the original intent was to include the federal representatives, and when a court challenge knocked that down, it was left only impacting the legislature.
Napoli said it has destroyed the integrity of the system of the legislature. He said it has served to get rid of some of the folks that wouldn’t get out when they needed to, but it got rid of some good folks, too. Napoli said he made a mistake in supporting term limits and he believed it should be fixed.
Napoli said that there are some good legislators that, even though he has opposed them often, they should be allowed to stay and continue serving the people of South Dakota.
Napoli said we need to pass SJR 1 to repeal legislative term limits.
Napoli said while he believes liquor laws are outdated and need to be changed, he doesn’t believe the current bill dealing with this is the right bill to do it.
Rep. Buckingham was the third features speaker, and said South Dakota is 35th in the nation in student funding. Yet the newspaper says we’re 51st in teacher salaries, and that’s true. He said the problem is that the legislature is blamed, but they don’t control teacher salaries; school boards do. He said last year the legislature added $30 million in new spending. Buckingham also said that because of Rep. Van Etten’s tobacco tax increase, additional money was raised for education while keeping property levels stable with no increase, yet there is no recognition of these efforts in favor of education in the media.
Pre-kindergarten is a good program, Buckingham said. He said pre-K programs help prepare kids for kindergarten, but it “isn’t a level playing field.” He said the personal experience he and his wife had illustrated that some programs don’t do enough to help children academically.
He said no rules were defined for last year’s bill when it was submitted, and that’s the reason he opposed it. He said he wants to make sure that religious and private pre-k systems get to participate in any new system. Buckingham said he thought the Department of Education would draft some standards and bring them to the legislature this year, but instead they brought a law that says it’s not mandatory but doesn’t define rules. Buckingham says this means he can’t predict what this will do to good private preschools around the state. He says he will remain opposed until he sees a draft of the standards.
Buckingham encouraged attendees to look beyond the headlines to see what the legislature is doing for education, because the people aren’t getting the whole story.
Rep. Gordon Pederson was the fourth and final featured speaker. He serves on the commerce committee, and said federal funds will be shorter than normal this year. He said too much of federal money is going to “pure pork.”
He said that projects such as the I-90 Exit 61 revamp is paid for first by the state, which is then reimbursed by the federal government, so this requires the state to have reserve funds on hand to pay for this until reimbursed. This has considerably drained the state’s reserve funds.
Pederson said the money which was taken out of the Highway Patrol budget will not affect public safety and emergency response. The Patrol is looking at ways to cut expenses in the way they drive around, and through other administrative considerations.
He also discussed Lintz’s SB 167 to address long trains that block traffic in towns. He said there was a situation in Edgemont where emergency services were blocked from responding to an incident for 45 minutes by a long train.
Q & A Session
A local doctor asked how the legislature is dealing with the problem of uninsured people in South Dakota. The local legislators deferred to Rep. Joel Dykstra, Republican from Canton and U.S. Senate candidate, who was present in the audience, since he served on the Zaniya Health Care Task Force last summer.
Dykstra said the commonly-cited figure of 90,000 uninsured people in South Dakota was based on an extrapolation using national factors that didn’t fit South Dakota’s situation; the South Dakota number is actually about 48,000 people. He said South Dakota has a bigger problem with long-term uninsured people (more than 5 years) than the national average, and a large part of the people in this situation are self-employed people like farmers and ranchers.
Dykstra said there are bills in the legislature this year to increase funding for certain programs like prenatal care and elderly patients. He said the legislature is working with the medical industry to provide more information to the people to make better health care decisions, enabling them to identify facilities that give better care for a better price.
Rep. Van Etten said the 2006 campaign brought up the 90,000 figure several times and he rebutted it several times, stating it was bout 45,000 and the study done by the Zaniya task force proved it. He said “free” medical care or mandatory insurance laws are not the answer. He said even states with mandatory car insurance laws still don’t have universal coverage.
Katus said he was on the Zaniya task force, and he was most disappointed when Gov. Mitt Romney’s task force director said the question of mandatory coverage was not really addressed in the Massachusetts system. He said their system has had good success and their percentages of coverage are quite high. Katus said he had promoted a system to address gaps in coverage, but the governor shot it down.
A question was asked about SB 164, the bill which would remove the right of pharmacists to decline selling birth control to customers based on moral conscience reservations.
Van Etten said the bill just came to his attention yesterday, and though he hasn’t studied it, he “vehemently object[s] to this bill.” He read part of the bill aloud to the audience, and said that this bill purports to address a “government intrusion” into people’s lives, the bill itself is a government intrusion into the lives of pharmacists, and applies not only to contraceptives but other drugs the pharmacist thinks may be dangerous, or may involve dangerous doses. He said most pharmacists going into the field these days have a PhD in pharmacology, and this bill would interfere with their informed and moral choices with regard to how they do their job.
A local resident objected to SB 26, the pre-k bill. She said, “This smacks of communism, socialism and the Soviet Union,” in taking kids out of homes and instructing them by the state. She said kindergarten started as voluntary, but now it’s mandatory. She asked which of the legislators was going up to the hospital to take babies out today (implying that since the state is assuming responsibility for children at a younger and younger age, infants will be next).
Howie said many legislators here today do not support that bill, and reassured her. He said many legislators will stand to defend the rights of parents to raise their children.
Lintz said everyone who has favored this bill in the legislator knew funding would be an issue, and this pre-k bill would cost $25 to $90 million dollars. He said that with teachers’ salaries already a problem this isn’t moving in the right direction.
Buckingham reiterated what he’d said earlier, that he would vote against this in committee if they don’t see a draft of the rules.
Haverly said he doesn’t think he’d vote for it even if he does see the rules. He said there is a big difference between having standards for child care and standards for pre-K. He said pre-k programs now are governed privately and can decide how they are accredited, and it’s “flat wrong for the state to get involved in people’s private business yet again.” He closed by saying he would definitely oppose this bill and speak against it on the House floor.
Napoli said government is supposed to make sense and while we heard the governor say we have no money, we put forward this pre-k proposal that will cost more money, and that doesn’t make sense. He said all the discussion about this so far has been about government, with no discussion about how it will affect families.
Schmidt said he was one of the 11 legislators who voted against this, and he said he’s pro-family all the way. Schmidt also pointed out how on one side, people are saying the state doesn’t have enough money, but on the other, programs like this are being promoted. He said the lack of standards and specifics are disconcerting, as well. Schmidt commended the woman who had asked about SB 26 and said more people need to speak up in defense of their values. He said, “We need to stop being mamby-pamby and stick with what we know is right.”
Katus said he’s one of the ones who voted for this bill. He said he didn't appreciate being called a communist, since he has served in the military and the Peace Corps. He said some families don’t have many options. He said nutrition is important to kids and the headstart program has helped with this.
I had to leave the crackerbarrel about 10:15 am, but my sources tell me the pre-k bill was discussed again throughout the remainder of the event, and most of the legislators remained adamant in their opposition to the bill.
The Gods of Liberalism Revisited
The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever. But how can we escape the snare?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The second Rapid City legislative crackerbarrel of the 2008 South Dakota legislative session was held at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology today from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Teachers boo Ken "The Hutch" Hutcherson who came to speak at his daughter's school about what it's like to grow up as a black man in Alabama
Interview with Newt Gingrich
Don't know about Roe
Click here to listen
Coverage of the 35th March for Life
Congressman Roy Blunt discusses anti-family congressional measures
Abortions declining but RU-486 accounts for 14% of abortions
UK leading the way in loss of religious freedom
Click here to listen
The Truth Project continues this week at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City this Sunday from 8:57 am to 10:15 am. Come and join us for lesson 4. It could change the way you look at the world, and maybe even be life changing.
Eternal life, according to Jesus, is knowing God in an intimate, personal, and relational way. Such knowledge, which is possible only because of divine revelation, transforms us from the inside out as we begin to see ourselves in the light of His majesty and holiness.
Visit www.thetruthproject.org for more information.
BY STAR PARKER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL & EDUCATION
Post-mortems on Fred Thompson's short presidential run focus on how the actor and former senator ran his campaign. Started late, poorly managed, lack of enthusiasm, etc.
But these analyses miss the more fundamental, and instructive, problem -- his message. Touted as the only "real conservative," a careful look shows that this label was pretty dubious. His ideas were devoid of the vision and leadership that fueled Republican ascendancy a quarter-century ago and badly needed today.
On the social agenda, the difference between Thompson and Mike Huckabee was palpable and significant. Huckabee understands that abortion, like the slavery issue years ago, is not a matter of constitutional nuance. It defines our core moral structure as a people and cannot be legal in a nation that exists "under God."
Thompson's take on abortion: It's an issue for the states, not the federal government.
Polls show that public opinion on abortion is moving in the direction of Huckabee. Americans sense the need for moral leadership and it just wasn't there in Thompson's tepid social conservatism.
On the economic front, it's astonishing that the man running as the "real conservative" rolled out a proposal to save our biggest entitlement program -- Social Security.
When Thompson was making his preliminary moves to announce his candidacy, I got interested. I was impressed that he legitimately, and I thought then courageously, pointed out that no candidate was talking about the massive entitlements crisis facing us.
Entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- now account for almost 40 percent of the spending in our federal budget. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says that at the current rate of expenditures, this could rise to 70 percent by 2030. And there is no plan in place to pay for the enormous growing liabilities of these programs. Moody's, the well-known bond-rating service, recently indicated that the current AAA rating of U.S. Treasury bonds could be downgraded.
I thought Thompson was going to revive the important initiative to transform Social Security from a government tax-and-spend program to a program of ownership -- personal retirement accounts.
But instead he unfurled a proposal that could easily have come from Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama. No personal accounts. Just the same system with a lousier deal. Make a technical change in the index used to calculate cost-of-living increases each year and thereby reduce the size of the payment that the government is obligated to make.
The tax increases and benefit reductions that have been made over the years to sustain this nanny-state socialism have already made Social Security a horrible deal.
A young person now entering the work force at age 21 could have twice as much money at retirement by simply putting the 10 percent of his or her pay going to Social Security into a savings account or using it to buy government bonds.
And then there is the moral issue that free people in a free country should not have their income confiscated because politicians have concluded that they can't take care of themselves. Shouldn't you at least have a choice?
Not long ago, when the Republican Party was an exciting place to be (remember the "ownership society"?), transforming Social Security to an ownership system was one of the important pillars of reforms being put forward to address causes rather than symptoms of our nation's growing problems.
But, somehow, after the great success of welfare reform in 1996, the energy seemed to dissipate. It was easier to dredge up a groundswell of enthusiasm to move black women off the dole than to get the government off the backs of black blue-collar and service workers (and everyone else) and allow them to take back the 10 percent of their income being taxed and build wealth through their own retirement savings accounts.
If Republicans are to again capture the high ground in the battle for leadership of this country, it must be understood that the failure of the Thompson candidacy was as much substance as style.
We've got to have candidates who take seriously the agenda of traditional values and limited government and apply it imaginatively and courageously to the many problems facing us today.
Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.
Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Looks like my liberal blogger buddy Cory Heidelberger is busy bashing the Truth Project again (have you attended a Truth Project yet, Cory?). This time, Cory treats us to a link to a piece entitled "The Christian Right Goes Back to Bible Boot Camp" by Alexander Zaitchik at a website called AlterNet.
The Truth Project is a 12-week DVD and discussion course on Biblical worldview, or seeing the world through God's eyes as revealed by the Scriptures. It's led by Dr. Del Tackett, who holds several degrees, served more than 20 years as an officer with the U.S. Air Force, and is an adjunct professor at New Geneva Theological Seminary.
If you look to this liberal cesspool called AlterNet, you'll get what you pay for: a lot of anchor-less liberalism. This article oozes with it.
About the only thing the author was correct on is that not only is our culture woefully ignorant of the Bible and the Christian worldview, so is the church. I sadly couldn't dispute that for a second.
The author says the Truth Project seminar contains "more than a whiff of a Holiday Inn get-rich-quick seminar." Really? I haven't seen a single bit of money-hungry talk, or money talk at all, in the Truth Project. I guess the author just pulled that one out of the air to make it sound bad. He does admit that the Truth Project isn't about "financial independence," but the quick mention is enough (he hopes) to taint the Truth Project in the reader's mind.
He calls Tackett "energetic yet predictably dull." That's odd, since I've always found Tackett and the material he presents to be very exciting. I get pretty worked up by things that are intellectually stimulating, logical, insightful, and increase understanding of life. Maybe those things are just dull to Zaitchik.
The cheap shots continue:
Sitting on stage next to Tackett during the length of the seminar is a serious question of adolescent construction: "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?"
Or, as a secular humanist might put it: In your heart of hearts, do you guys honestly buy, or even understand, all this Bible crap?
In case the author or a reader of this post misses the meaning of Tackett's statement, what it means is that if we truly "owned" our beliefs, had such faith in those truths that it was like the faith we exercise when we sit in a chair or drive across a bridge, then we would be acting differently (more boldly, more like Christ) than we actually are. But I understand that such concepts are hard to grasp when one is busy mocking truth.
This might be as close as the author comes to actually forming a coherent criticism rather than crass ad hominem attacks:
This text analysis is often ridiculous, with Tackett probing the possible double meanings of Biblical diction, as if the King James Bible had been transcribed directly from the mouth of God, and was not an artistic creation of a team of 17th-century scholars in Oxford and Cambridge.
If Zaitchik knew anything about the Book for which he holds such disdain, he'd know (like Tackett) that the King James Version wasn't "transcribed directly from the mouth of God," and no serious student of the Bible believes that (though the original Scriptures themselves were inspired by God). He might know that the Old Testament was written thousands of years ago, originally in Hebrew. He might also know that the New Testament was written shortly after Christ ascended into Heaven, and was written in Greek and Aramaic. He might know that many copies of the Scriptures were made in the years after the time of the apostles, many of which were translated into Latin. He might also know that the translators of the King James Version looked back to hundreds of these manuscripts, translating them from their original language into the English of the time. He might also know that since the time of the King James translation in 1611, many more manuscripts have been found, providing even more insight into the original meanings of these ancient languages.
He might know these things...if he took more time to learn and less time to mock God.
Even more striking than the production values, though, is how little knowledge Tackett assumes on the part of his committed born-again audience. Even John 3:16 is reviewed as if for the first time.
Well, if surveys have revealed that only 4% of the American population has a Biblical worldview (meaning they understand what the Bible says, and are trying to apply it to their lives), and if only 9% of born-again Christians hold a Biblical worldview, then I think it is quite in order to assume a broad lack of knowledge and conduct a review of the basics. If the basics were better understood, most Christians would have progressed beyond an elementary, pop-definition of Christianity to the "meat" of Christian theology. But they haven't; as Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 3, they're still stuck on the milk.
Zaitchik is predictably critical of the lesson on "The State," but beyond charges that Tackett "rambl[es]," Zaitchik doesn't explain why he thinks Tackett is wrong here. He doesn't say so, but that seems to be the implication. If Tackett is wrong, why not explain why so from a Biblical basis?
Zaitchik also seems critical that Tackett finds a Biblical basis for contending that our current tax rates are too high (if God only demanded 10%, doesn't 39% to the government seem a little outrageous?), a lack of Biblical justification for the welfare state, and the Bible's clear statements that homosexuality is wrong. Again, if Zaitchik believes Tackett is in error, why doesn't he point out the contrary evidence in the Bible?
The author then attempts the predictable and obligatory effort to rewrite history and claim that America was not founded by Christians on Christian principles:
He also provides an orgy of selective quotation from America's overwhelmingly Deist founding fathers, as well as genuinely Christian revolutionary B-listers like Benjamin Rush and Noah Webster.
This might just be the biggest lie in the whole article (most of the others are couched in ambiguity and veiled insinuations).
While there were a handful of deists among the founders, and Tom Paine did pretty much walk away from the faith later in life (and Benjamin Franklin took him to the woodshed for some of his anti-Christian writings during this time), all the rest were committed Christians beyond a shadow of a doubt. This includes George Washington, John Adams, Patrick Henry, James Madison, and a host of others. Even the lesser-religious ones such as Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin at the very least recognized the Christian religion and worldview as the best one and paid it every respect.
Anyone who says the Founders were not overwhelmingly Christian in their faith and worldview is either profoundly ignorant or a brazen liar.
We also receive the obligatory bashing of business and the free market from Zaitchik:
The Truth Project devotes much energy to warnings about the greedy state becoming a monster, but the modern corporation makes not even the briefest cameo.
As I have endeavored to point out to a number of socialists who never miss an opportunity to bash the free market while singing the praises of the "Government God," the Bible does not condemn business or the free market, and you will find businessmen and entrepreneurs spoken of favorably throughout the Bible--not because they are entrepreneurs, but because they were men of character. God condemns evil business practices, but not business. The Bible does warn about oppressive governments, though. And the Founders, who had a solidly Christian worldview, had much to say about the dangers of powerful government, but little to say about the dangers of business. Maybe because business do not make the law and exercise police authority, but governments do?
The author gets in a jab at opposition to unionism and minimum wage laws. The Bible clearly indicates that God recognizes and honors property rights and authority. When the state forces a business owner to negotiate with a group of workers against his will, or forces him to pay more than the labor may be worth, property rights and authority go out the door. The Bible admonishes bosses to be fair with their employees, but it does not does not advocate using the power of the state to extort property from the business owner. After all, the employee is free to go find another job if the wages aren't to his satisfaction.
Again, Zaitchik somehow misses the opportunity to tell us where Tackett has departed from the Bible in this view of market and state. I wonder why?
You know what I find most humorous (and sad, at the same time) about this writer's tirade, and Cory's apparent embrace of it? He spends 2,141 words telling us he doesn't like the Truth Project. Not a single time does he explain where Tackett and the Truth Project have gone astray theologically or Biblically.
Zaitchik is entitled to his opinion, of course. But if an opinion can't be backed up with some kind of evidence, it's pretty much worthless. And if a theological opinion can't be backed up by Scripture, it's not only worthless, it's heresy, which is dangerous to one's life here on earth and to one's eternal soul.
If I told you I'd been elected King of America, you'd want some evidence before you'd believe me, right? Without evidence to back up my claim, I'm either a monumental liar or a nut. Zaitchik doesn't present any evidence whatsoever that the Truth Project is not in harmony with Biblical teaching. What does that say about him?
Could it be that there is really nothing amiss in Tackett's presentation or the Truth Project itself? It seems that the only thing really wrong with the Truth Project, from Zaitchik's perspective, is that it doesn't fit very well with his secular, socialist worldview.
But that's the whole point of the Truth Project: helping Christians develop the discernment to tell the truth from the lies.
It looks like the author badly needs to sit through the whole Truth Project, with an open mind instead of one struggling to justify his hate of what God has to say. He might need to sit through it a few times in order to get it, but it'd be worth it.
As a wise man once said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (But He was a little more than just a "wise man," wasn't he?)
By Carrie K. Hutchens
Hillary and Bill Clinton may think it is just politics as usual, but some call their behavior insulting and unforgivable. I am one of the some.
It is maddening to have someone do or say something, only for the person to then deny it ever took place, in spite of overwhelming evidence that proves it did. Even more maddening is to have someone lie to your face about you. Like you aren't going to know it is a lie? Oh, but then... that little tactic is most generally, though not always, for the audience. The audience that too often believes people wouldn't dare lie about a person to their face, so the liar must be the one telling the truth. And we have the Clintons.
To Obama's face...
"HILLARY CLINTON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You also talked about the Republicans having ideas over the last ten to 15 years.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't say they were good ones.
CLINTON: Well, you can read the context of it.
OBAMA: Well, I didn't say they were good ones.
CLINTON: Well, it certainly came across in the way that it was presented as the Republicans had been standing up against the conventional wisdom with their ideas. I'm just reacting to the fact, yes, they did have ideas, and they were bad ideas. Bad for America and I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago."~Clinton vs. Obama Battle Boils Over (Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - FoxNews)
Tell him he said it. Tell him what you want people to think he said. Then come out with an attack out of the blue to cause the subject to change and leave the distortion hanging out there.
(The allegation thrown out there about Obama and Tony Rezko is also apparently a distortion of the truth.)
What was said...
"I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I mean, I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like, you know, with all the excesses of the 60's and the 70's and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating and he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is, people wanted clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamic and entrepreneurship that had been missing, alright? I think Kennedy, twenty years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times"
"I think we're in one of those times right now. Where people feel like things as they are going aren't working. We're bogged down in the same arguments that we've been having, and they're not useful. And, you know, the Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they're being debated among the Presidential candidates and it's all tax cuts. Well, you know, we've done that, we tried it. That's not really going to solve our energy problems, for example. So, some of it's the times. And some of it's, I think, there's maybe a generation element to this, partly. In the sense that there's a, I didn't did come of age in the battles of the 60's. I'm not as invested in them." Clinton Twists, Obama Flips (January 18, 2008 5:33 PM)
Here is Bill's take of it.
"Clinton then accused Obama of calling conservative darling Reagan a better president than Clinton.
"[Obama] said President Reagan was the engine of innovation and did more, had a more lasting impact on America than I did," Clinton said. "And then the next day he said, 'In the '90s the good ideas came out from the Republicans.' Which it'll be costly maybe down the road for him because it's factually not accurate." ~Bill Clinton comments, EXCLUSIVE: Barack vs. Bill: Obama Hits Ex-Prez Over 'Troubling' Attacks (ABC News - Jan. 21, 2008)
Obama said this when and where?
Then we have Hillary's take...
"I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years," she said. "That's not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years." ~Hillary Clinton (Clinton Twists, Obama Flips (January 18, 2008 5:33 PM)
I don't appreciate being told I'm so stupid that I didn't hear what I know I heard.
I don't appreciate being told I'm so stupid that I didn't see what I know I saw.
But here are the Clintons making all of these outlandish comments and I'm suppose to just doubt my own senses and ability to comprehend and process information, because whatever they say is gospel according to the moment? I don't think so.
If I had ever considered voting for Hillary Clinton, her smug little expressions and willingness to "obviously" lie, would have put an end to that consideration simply on it's own merit and with no need of an opponent.
I saw what Obama said about the Republicans. What Bill and Hillary are saying isn't just a distortion -- it is an outright lie. An outright lie because there is no way this is a mistake. They want the public to believe the distortion as being the truth. And, I'm sure, they are counting on people not bothering to check it out. They are counting on people only remembering the "accusation" and not the "findings" as to what actually transpired.
It is the old dirty politics and the Clintons seem to think we want more of it. They seem to think that playing fair and telling the truth is only what fools and losers do. Whatever it takes, it looks like they are willing to do it to get the nomination. And it seems they are counting on the fact that people are too stupid to see what is going on right in front of them. They seem to think they can run over anyone and everyone. They don't need anyone else. They're the Clinton's after all. That opinion of them was planted more firmly today, when I heard that Ted Kennedy and others wanted Bill to calm it down and he refused. If true, I think that says it all...
The Clintons obviously think they are all-powerful and only what they want and how they see things matters. The rules, apparently don't count for them and they are sure we all agree, except for the misguided and misinformed. Perhaps in the end, it will be the Clintons that have the surprise. Perhaps they will find that they misjudged the American people after all. One can only hope. And I am one of those ones!
This is why HB 1193, and the smokeout of SB 88 in the South Dakota Legislature is so important. It provides sonograms to women who are considering abortions. (Click to enlarge)
Great kudos to the House for passing 1193 out of committee this morning!
Many women realize after they've aborted their unborn children that it was in fact a child, a human being, growing inside them. At this point, it's too late, and all they're left with is guilt, regret, despair and pain.
In practically every area of medical practice, more information is regarded as better. Why should this area be any different, especially when one life is on the line, and the emotional health of another?
Here's a disturbing but sadly not surprising story from ABC News about
Janine Butler, a 28-year-old New Jersey teacher, knows something about out-of-control students.
One girl threw objects, threatened Butler with knives and tried to bite her. Another boy was "just rude, rude, rude," pulling down his pants and swearing at her. The final straw came when another student scratched and hit her.
Butler's students were barely out of diapers — 3- and 4-year-olds — and their public preschool in Trenton was not allowed to expel them.
"No one would do anything," said Butler, who eventually quit. "I felt alone."
Tantrums, aggression, biting and kicking are becoming increasingly common in preschool, according to child development specialists.
Here's a laughable statement from the article:
"Nobody knows why," Gilliam said. "A lot of people blame parents. A lot of people blame the schools or an education system that pushed programs to preschool that are not developmentally appropriate. Now the stakes are higher in preschool."
Hint: it starts at home, and is mostly at home. Doesn't take a rocket science to realize this, just a willingness to consider something other than the philosophy that government can solve anything and do anything.
In case anyone is under the delusion that the public education system is going to be able to wave a magic wand and turn kids like this into well-behaved little angels, you're smoking something pretty powerful. Oh, you may eventually, after a few years, get them down to the point where they're misbehaving "smarter," where it isn't so out in the open and they can get away with it better. But their morals and discipline isn't going to magically become good.
Problems like this begin at HOME, where parents are probably sending children bad messages with their own bad behavior, providing poor supervision and teaching, or aren't teaching the kids anything at all.
God ordained that PARENTS, not public school, teach children the basics, which includes morality and proper behavior.
Want more proof that these so-called "experts" are as blind as a bat when it comes to seeing the causes of this problem? Read this excerpt:
NIEER's review of national research suggests bad behavior may be up for a variety of reasons: poor prenatal care, including drug use; family poverty and "negative parenting practices, such as harsh discipline and maternal insensitivity."
Walk the cat back a little farther, please, and you'll find the real problem: moral failure.
Poor prenatal care isn't the culprit; that has no bearing on the later behavior of the child.
Drug use, of course is what: a moral failure. One that affects the children.
Poverty? That's an insult to good poor people around the country and around the world. There are plenty of poor people who raise their children to behave, have discipline, and behave morally. I grew up dirt poor, the son of a dirt-poor farmer. But my parents taught me and disciplined me. Too many parents today, poor and comfortable alike, just don't bother teaching their children anything.
On the other hand, if the poor home is in this economic condition because of addictions (drug, alcohol, gambling, etc.) or a poor work ethic, then this goes a long way in explaining why the children are having problems. But it goes back to a moral problem, not simply "poverty." Poverty does not automatically dictate bad behavior, but bad behavior often results in poverty.
Harsh discipline? "Harsh" discipline is sometimes necessary, and maybe if there was more of it, these children wouldn't be acting like wild animals. But not the kind of harsh discipline that involves beating, hitting, and yelling profanity at the child. Firm discipline is a loving act to better the child and demonstrate that there are boundaries and requirements for living. Parents would do well to use such "harsh" punishments as firm rules, standards, spankings when needed, and loss of privileges. Beating and yelling because the kid bothered you just illustrates to the child that force is a way of life. Wrong message.
Maybe children would learn better and behave better if we treated them with love, affection and respect as a human being, instead of an unpleasant obligation that we want to push off on someone else at every opportunity. What kind of message does it send our children when we're always sending them somewhere other than the home in which they should be loved, cherished and welcomed?
But now South Dakota wants to bring even more children out of the home and into the preschool environment with SB 26, which passed the state senate three days ago.
In a situation where the budget is already tight, this makes no sense whatsoever.
And with children like the wild ones above, do we really want to take more children out of the home (perhaps ones that have been taught well) and expose them to this kind of peer example? Do we really want to wipe out everything good they've been taught at home by placing them alongside wild banshees all day?
And do so for no real benefit? Studies have shown that any academic benefit realized by preschool dissipates to nothing by about the 4th grade.
So we want to spend more money to take children out of the home where they belong, place them around bad peer influences, and get zero academic benefit out of it?
Sounds like a classic liberal plan, to me. Which means abysmal failure and more suffering.
This is a video of the entire debate in Boca Raton yesterday.
Courtesy of Nate at YouDecide2008.
Democrats slow on judicial confirmations
FRC poll shows 56% wouldn't support universal health care that covers abortion
Washington D.C. employees surf a lot of porn at work
Texas high school kids get lessons in parenting
Click here to listen
Topics in this episode: Liberal groups fail to force a withdrawal from Iraq, Nancy Pelosi's gourmet food, new FAA regulations for pilots, Wesley Snipes, and more! NewsBusted is a comedy webcast about the news of the day, uploaded every Tuesday and every Friday.
A friend sent me this one. It's Diamond Rio doing "In God We Still Trust." We have for nearly 400 years on this continent, and if we don't let the secularists have their way, we'll keep on trusting Him!
What a great way to start your day!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
You have to give these liberal feminists credit: they're nothing if not persistent.
Pharmacists who have moral reservations about selling contraception has been an ongoing discussion in the blogosphere for a few weeks now, initially spurred on by a Montana pharmacist.
It continues with the submission of SB 164 in the South Dakota legislature, which would force pharmacists to dispense contraception regardless of their moral convictions. I've blogged on this and had ongoing cross-blog discussions about it with the DakotaWomen. Jon Schaff at South Dakota Politics blogged on it earlier today, and I followed up with another entry related to his.
My latest entry posed the analogy of whether, in like fashion, we would sanction passing a law to force a Jewish or Muslim grocer to sell pork to customers, since both have religious objections to pork.
Well, here Anna at DakotaWomen has me...or so she thinks.
Anna points to a story from MSNBC that says a Target store in Minneapolis has moved Muslim cashiers who had religious objections about ringing up pork to other jobs in the store.
I think that's great that Target was so accommodating to both their customers and their employees, but there are some key differences here.
First, there are some very significant vocational differences in jobs as cashier and pharmacist. Cashiers require little training (I know, I've worked as one), whereas pharmacists must get a degree in pharmacology, usually have to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam, and be licensed to be a pharmacist. You can't shift a pharmacist to the stock room and keep things on an even par.
More importantly, it's within the employer's discretion what to do with an employee who can't do their job. In the case of Target, they chose to move the employee to another area or another store. If they couldn't perform the work, they might have had to let them go. Me, I wouldn't apply for a job that required me to ring up alcohol sales, because I find that morally objectionable, and while it might be nice if an employer gave me an exception, it's not something I'd expect or demand.
If a pharmacist is employed by a business that believes contraceptives should be dispensed by that pharmacist, then it's the owner's call whether to move him somewhere else in the organization, or let him go. It's the employer's call, no one elses.
But if the pharmacist runs his own shop, as many pharmacists do, it's HIS call whether to sell the product or not.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, I saw no discussion in the article about passing a law to force the Muslim employees to sell pork to customers. And that is probably the most despicable aspect of this discussion, and of SB 164 in particular.
We are not talking about a job requirement outlined by an employer, we are talking about using the power of the law, the force of government, to impose one person's morality on another. SB 164 would use the power of government to force a person to either violate their conscience or walk away from a job they've spent years (and considerable money) training for, getting certified for, and getting licensed for. This is regardless of whether the pharmacist owns his own shop, or whether his employer agrees with him or makes other accommodation for him. The law says YOU WILL sell this product to customers whether you like it or not.
I know liberals have difficulty seeing the difference between government power and obligations, and private decisions and freedoms. But they are very large and distinct, and it's why our nation was founded on the principle of limited government and maximum personal freedom.
In private, free environments, we're all free to make decisions according to our value systems...and we live with the natural consequences. For the pharmacist who owns his own shop and won't sell birth control, he may deal with the consequence of losing the birth control customer's business for that product, and perhaps other products. The pharmacy owner has the freedom to decide whether his establishment will sell contraceptives, and if a pharmacist employee objects to selling birth control, he may need to live with the natural consequences and find another job. But remember: the business OWNER OWNS the business, and it's his call. Government isn't forcing anything on anyone here.
That's where it all changes when the government gets involved. People can and should exercise their freedom to make decisions about their values, and of course there are sometimes natural consequences. But when the government steps in and mandates an action by law, freedom is quashed.
No one is forcing a customer who can't get birth control from a certain pharmacist to do anything or believe anything; nothing is being imposed on the customer, and the customer has lost no freedom, only ACCESS (which they might not have anyway, if the pharmacy was sold out, or if there was no pharmacy within 60 miles). But SB 164 would impose a control, a loss of freedom, and a loss of discretion of conscience upon the pharmacist who has a moral objection to selling this product.
Again, this isn't about providing more freedom to a customer seeking birth control (at best it could provide more ACCESS, but not more freedom), but is instead about imposing a different morality on the objecting pharmacist and restricting his freedom.
Remember here that we're not talking about life-saving medication, it's not needed immediately to prevent death or serious bodily harm, and can be obtained at another pharmacy or through the mail.
So still no dice, Anna, but at least you're thinking. And that's good. Try thinking harder about who's being forced into something here, who's morality is being imposed on whom, and about the implications of forcing someone to violate their conscience. Do we really want doctors, cops, firemen, cashiers, and pharmacists who exercise no moral conscience?
I still wonder why these liberals are so desperate to force someone to bend to their sense of morality (or lack thereof)...
Some strange goings on out in New York, from the Times Union.
Seems that in the town of Schenectady, some "clergy" got together to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the bloodletting started by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. According to the article, the "clergy" called the abortion facility "sacred ground."
Rev. Larry Phillips of Schenectady's Emmanuel-Friedens Church, of the United Church of Christ, Rabbi Matt Cutler of Temple Gates of Heaven , The Rev. Bill Levering, senior pastor of First Reformed Church of Schenectady, and a Rev. Abby Norton-Levering (not sure from where) were listed as the "clergy" present.
Note: I use the quotes around "clergy" because while the secondary definition of "clergy" is "the official or sacerdotal class of a non-Christian religion," the primary definition is "a group ordained to perform pastoral or sacerdotal functions in a Christian church." Accordingly, I find it difficult to call someone who celebrates the deaths of millions of innocent children "clergy." Maybe it's that secondary definition that's in play here, because celebrating death sounds like a pagan practice to me.
I found it especially ironic that a Jewish rabbi would be involved in this, since one of the reasons God had the Israelites drive the Canaanites out of the Promised Land was because of their violent and abhorrent practices that included child sacrifice. Those involved everything from burning children alive to burying infants alive inside the walls of a house to "bless" it. If these "clergy" are blessing this abortuary and calling it "sacred ground," then it definitely sounds more like paganism than the worship of the Judeo-Christian God.
I'm not the only one who saw something wrong with this picture:
Kathleen Gallagher of the New York State Catholic Conference called the blessing hypocritical.
"My gut reaction is that it's two-faced," Gallagher said. "For many years abortion proponents have been saying this is not a religious issue, you should keep religion out of this, and now all of a sudden they turn around and decide to bless an abortion clinic to gain respect for a procedure everybody knows is not worthy of respect."
Don't we hear that all the time from pro-abortionists? If any argument is "tainted" in the slightest bit by a religious conviction, it must therefore be summarily rejected. I guess with the Left, religion is just a tool to justify the ideas of men, rather than a means of finding truth.
I found this part of the article interesting:
The Rev. Bill Levering, senior pastor of First Reformed Church of Schenectady, said the right to privacy is endowed by God.
"There are some decisions that are left to the individual. Even God respects the right of privacy. We make women into children when we say they cannot control their own bodies," Levering said.
God respects women's right of privacy, huh? Does God respect my right of privacy to beat my wife? Does God respect my right of privacy to abuse and kill my 10 year old daughter and my 5 year old son? When a woman aborts her unborn child, she's killing her child, not cutting off a mole or a tumor. A tumor doesn't have a beating heart, nor does it have DNA that is distinct from the woman's. But her unborn child does.
Does God respect my right to have sex with whoever I want under any circumstances? Does God respect my right to get drunk, use drugs and/or mutilate my body? We don't even have an absolute right to our bodies that supersedes God's authority.
Man, this kind of gobbldygook doesn't even pass a layman's smell test, much less someone who should have their act together, theologically!
God has spoken not only to murder, assault, sexual immorality and intoxication, but also to life in the womb, the preciousness of children, and the fact that we are accountable to God for our every action, without regard for privacy. There IS no privacy with God, because he knows and judges every action we take, whether another person sees it or not--whether it even affects another person or not.
I think this is a prime example of what the Bible warned us against when God spoke of wolves in sheep's clothing.
If "clergy" like this don't get their hearts right before they pass into eternity, I suspect there may be a section of Hell reserved for them where the thermostat is turned up a high as it'll go.
The Rapid City Journal reports that the South Dakota Senate approved today a bill (SB 65) that would classify someone who intentionally exposed another person to HIV through sexual intercourse as a sex offender.
I've been a bit undecided on this one.
On one hand, intentionally infecting someone with a deadly disease is one of the most heinous things a person can do. The state of South Dakota already recognizes this by classifying such acts as a Class 3 felony. So why pile on with an additional punishment when it's already a felony?
Then again, the nature of the offense is definitely a sexual one, so that would seem to fit the definition of a "sex offender."
But back on the other hand, typically sex offender registries are to protect the public from violent sexual assaults. While intentionally infecting someone with AIDS is definitely deadly, as long as the sex is consensual, it is not committed through a violent act. So no one would be victimized in the way we typically think of a sex offender hurting someone: grabbing the victim off the street, off the sidewalk, etc.
But back on that other hand again, maybe there is value in having them listed in the sex offender registry. At least this way, a potential sex partner might stumble across them there and be forewarned about having deadly sexual relations with them. Otherwise, how would a potential victim possibly know until it was too late?
I know it may come as a shock to most of you, but I'm a pretty opinionated person. Most matters in life are pretty black and white (unless you're concerned with finding loopholes, that is). It's not that often that I'm divided like this on a matter of morality and criminality.
What do you think? I'd like to hear from folks on both sides of the question, here. Do you have any compelling arguments for or against listing someone as a sex offender if they intentionally infect someone with AIDS?
Jon Schaff at South Dakota Politics provides a good analogy in the debate about SB 164, a bill which would force pharmacists to sell contraception despite any moral objections they might have to doing so.
Schaff paints the picture of a bookstore owner being forced to sell a particular book in his store, regardless of whether he wants to or not. I've made similar analogies on this or another blog at some point in the past. Besides, if having immediate access to contraceptives is such a paramount and fundamental right, will liberals next lobby for taxpayer funding of a birth-control-stocked pharmacy in every town with two or more people?
If the bookstore example doesn't quite stimulate your thought processes enough, consider another. How about a Jewish or Muslim grocery store owner being forced to sell pork. After all, don't we all (Christians, anyway) have a right to get pork without encumbrances, hardships, or even moral judgments? Why should this Jew or Muslim be allowed to force his morality on me? Why should the Jewish or Muslim grocer be allowed to make judgments about my pork consumption? Shouldn't we have unfettered access to pork, especially if there is no other grocery store within miles?
You see, this just doesn't pass the smell test...not even close.
Remember, too, that we're not talking about life-saving medical treatment here. We're talking about a drug that actually prevents the human body from doing something perfectly natural and healthy, something God actually designed the human body to do. We're not talking about a drug that will treat or prevent a disease or illness (and if you're one of these ultra-radical libs who views pregnancy as a disease, then maybe you should get a hysterectomy/vasectomy, because even oral contraceptives sometimes fail).
Schaff really gets down to brass tacks, I think, and gets very near the heart of the matter when he says, "SB 164 suggests that sexual freedom without the consequences of pregnancy is so fundamental to human happiness that it compels violating the integrity of the pharmacist's mind." In fact, this morning during this discussion on another post, I opined that "all the angst over pharmacists being forced to sell contraceptives against their conscience really isn’t so much about ACCESS as it is the attempt to escape exposure to MORAL JUDGEMENT."
If one can get contraceptives from a different pharmacist or through the mail (as I do my allergy medication), then why the push to bulldoze over someone's right of conscience? It is rapidly becoming clear to me, in not only this area of public policy, that in the liberal mind, unfettered sexual license is the paramount, Number One Holy Right, with all other contrary rights and considerations rescinded.
What is particularly strange about SB 164 is that it refers to "government entities," and "government intrusions" somehow preventing immediate access to birth control. Pharmacists aren't "government entities."
Government does have certain obligations that private entities do not, but that's not the case here. Has this liberal-tainted world really turned so upside down that the definition of freedom has been redefined to mean denying one person freedom of conscience in order to provide a product to another person...that can be obtained through other sources, anyway?
On a side note, who do you think authored and pushed this bill? I'm not talking about the co-sponsors and maybe not even the sponsor. I suspect someone outside the legislature was behind this. If you agree, who do you think it is?
Well, it's been at least a few days since I posted anything negative about Mike Huckabee, so I suppose it's time to stoke the fires again.
The Washington Times has a piece today on the chaos Huckabee left in the Republican Party in Arkansas. More specifically, it examines how he was at odds with his party on so many key items.
If you've researched much about Huckabee at all, you may know that, outside of being pro-life and pro-marriage, his record is predominately a liberal record.
Oh, I know he's talking a good game now. He makes himself sound a lot like Reagan-reborn most of the time. But how much weight should the talk of a politician on the campaign trail carry when his record says something different--a lot different.
Consider this excerpt from the Times piece:
Almost immediately after taking office from Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, a Democrat who resigned after federal fraud and corruption convictions, Mr. Huckabee campaigned for his first tax increase — one-eighth cent on the sales tax to dedicate to conservation projects. He followed up with both budget cuts and increases, but the net effect was nearly $500 million in new taxes and an accompanying rise in spending.
What followed were clashes over the growth of government and, as the issue heated up nationally, over immigration policy. Republicans and conservative Democrats wanted a crackdown on illegal aliens, but Mr. Huckabee resisted.
The war of words was just as harsh. In 1998, when he faced a primary challenger who said Mr. Huckabee lacked certain conservative principles, the governor replied that his opponents weren't really Republicans, but rather libertarians or independents.
By the end of his tenure, Mr. Huckabee was calling his Republican opponents the "Shi'ites" and they called him a "Christian socialist."
When Republicans are this divided, you know there's something severely lacking in the conservative credentials of one party or the other. And I think Huckabee's record indicates the problem lies with his credentials.
I think "Christian socialist" is a pretty good description; almost as good as "pro-life liberal," as some have called Huckabee.
I don't doubt Huckabee's faith in Christ, but I do believe he fundamentally misunderstands some things about Christian doctrine that leads him to fall woefully short of a Christian worldview.
For one thing, he seems imminently predisposed to use the power of government (and the taxpayers money) to further what he sees as good things: public education, the arts, the humanities, and so on.
As for public education, that institution is so woefully inept and inefficient at this point that it is highly irresponsible, both from a practical and fiscal standpoint, to throw any more money at it without a solid plan for some fundamental changes in it.
And the arts and humanities are great things. But money for them should come from private sources, not from the taxpayers. Especially when they involve things like a crucifix in a jar of urine, or a painting of the Virgin Mary made out of elephant dung.
Huckabee is also dangerously naive when it comes to dealing with foreign nations that are hostile to us. He has been critical of President Bush's steadfast determination in fighting the war on terrorism. He also wants to close the terrorist prison camp at Club Gitmo because, oh my, some countries don't like it.
In fact, I believe Huckabee is fundamentally naive about the nature of evil altogether, as evidenced by his pathetic record on clemency as governor of Arkansas.
During his tenure as governor, he issued more clemency than the six surrounding states--COMBINED! You may have heard about Wayne Dumond, the convicted rapist Huckabee worked to free (who then went on to rape and kill two women), but you may not have heard about some of the other heinous criminals he let go--many of whom went on to pursue their criminal careers after Huckabee let them out of prison early.
He's also weak on immigration and border control (despite his recent tough-talk). He opposed efforts to deny drivers licenses to illegal aliens, and called such efforts "racist" and "bigoted." He opposed immigration raids to round up illegal aliens, and wanted to provide scholarships and in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. He's even said illegal immigration isn't really a problem.
If you're seriously considering supporting Huckabee, you should examine this long and thorough examination of whether Huckabee is actually a conservative, as compiled by someone at Free Republic.
All these things add up to a conclusion that Mike Huckabee does not understand the deceptive and aggressive nature of evil. He also does not understand that it must not be tolerated or coddled, and be dealt with firmly. He does not understand that the state has a God-instituted duty to protect its citizens from evildoers within and outside the country. And he does not understand that the rule of law must be upheld, and when it isn't, it breeds lawlessness and contempt for morality.
As a fellow Christian, I'd like to support Mike Huckabee. After all, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Jay said, "It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
However, I believe that implicit in Jay's statement was that such Christian candidates have a solidly Christian worldview.
Mike Huckabee does not.
Boy, talk about a weak effort to misdirect from the point.
In response to the shallow coverage of the latest abortion statistics released by the South Dakota Department of Health, I wrote a letter to the Rapid City Journal .
My letter was published earlier this month:
The recent Rapid City Journal article about the latest South Dakota abortion statistics and the accompanying Rapid Replies online highlight some important issues.
While many comments focused on women's rights, a woman's right to do with her body ends (ignoring for a moment drug and prostitution laws) where another human being's body begins. Is the unborn child is a human life? Since the unborn child has unique human DNA from the moment of conception, science tells us that the unborn child is indeed a unique human life.
Further, the most stunning part of the abortion statistics has been inexplicably left out of all but one I've read about the report.
The statistics indicate that while the percentage of abortions done for rape was 0.4% and the percentage for health reasons was 1.5% (the two reasons most often cited for rejecting the 2006 abortion ban), the percentage done because "the mother did not desire to have the child" was 84.6%.
So we kept abortion for the 1.9% that a majority of voters said we must have the option to abort, while at least 84.6% were killed for convenience.
Why can't we admit we want abortion for retroactive birth control?
Not only the Journal, but pretty much every other media outlet seemed focused on whether condoms were working or not, rather than how many unborn children were being killed and why. Especially when the statistics boldly pointed out that the vast majority of the abortions in 2006 were conducted purely as retroactive birth control (84.6%), and less than 2% fell within the exceptions that voters insisted must be in any abortion ban that year.
It seemed (and still does) to me that the obviously impactful part of the statistics, the elephant in the room, was being ignored.
Now today comes a letter to the Journal in response to mine. This one comes Helen Crosswait of Spearfish:
Missive misinforms on major biology, marginalizing dads
In a missive from Bob Ellis (Jan. 6), he refers to retroactive birth control. However, one extremely pertinent issue was blatantly omitted from his informative material.
One sentence referring to “the mother who did not desire to have the child” left out the word father (as in: father and mother). There were obviously two people involved here and I feel quite certain Bob Ellis is most certainly aware of that. If he isn’t, some education on how babies are made needs to be forthcoming before any further virgin births take place.
Was there any implication in my letter that men were not involved in the conception of babies, aborted ones or otherwise?
Did you also notice that the word "abortion"--the very object of my letter and the article about which I wrote my letter--was not mentioned once in Crosswait's response. Why was that? Could it have something to do with the same reason the "mainstream" media avoided the issue of abortion (in an article about abortion statistics) and instead focused on sex education?
But here's something that apparently Crosswait doesn't realize: the decision to abort, legally at least, is totally the woman's decision. If a man wants the child to live and the woman wants to kill it, there isn't jack squat he can do to stop that abortion.
It actually says “The mother did not desire to have the child” (Crosswait slighly incorrectly quoted my letter, probably for grammatical flow) on the official state report. That isn't my language; it's what the report says.
Oh, it's true that in reality, many times men (husbands, boyfriends, etc.) coerce women into getting abortions. These men are obviously as morally culpable--or more--than the women in these cases.
But the father has no legal right to protect his child: the affirmative decision to abort the child is completely the woman's.
Maybe I should thank Crosswait for exposing yet another logical and moral inconsistency about abortion. That is, if there are enough people with logical faculties and moral discernment left in our culture to notice.
How's that for equality? Takes two to make the child, only one (as long as it's female) to kill it.
Homosexual-friendly TV awards
Court forces corrections officials to provide taxpayer-funded abortions
Teachers boo The Hutch when he speaks to students
Checking out porn on the library computers
Click here to listen
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
More than 200 airmen with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing left behind the frigid air of South Dakota and Ellsworth Air Force Base Monday - deploying to the warmer climate of the Middle East.
Of course the Clinton's are lying; they're talking, aren't they? The question is: will the American people hold them accountable for it. From the track record of 8+ years ago, I wouldn't bet on it.
On Hardball with Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz responds to a series of attacks Bill Clinton has leveled at Barack Obama
You don't have to be a brain surgeon to realize that "free" socialized medicine is a BAD idea...but it helps.
Filmmaker Stuart Browning shows the callousness of "single-payer", government-run health care systems as practiced in Canada.
I knew this latest "Bush Lied" so-called report that was going around the internet yesterday was a load of bunk when I saw it.
I didn't have time to research it at the time, though a cursory examination of it was enough to know that it was just another empty smear job like we've seen repeatedly since before the Iraq War even started. Someone beat me to the punch and did a little background research on this so-called report and confirmed what I suspected: it's just more recycled Left-wing garbage.
Warner Todd Huston at the TownHall Publis Forum says the Center for Public Integrity behind it is, you guessed it, funded by none other than billionaire America-hater George Soros and other Leftist groups.
The Fund for Independence in Journalism, the other organization behind this smear-job, is also another Left-wing instrument.
Yet the "mainstream" media, like good little lapdogs, obediently put the story out there as if it was undeniable fact with the usual "nonpartisan" blah blah'ing.
Almost every--if not every--intelligence agency in the world believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs or was working on them in violation of agreements he made at the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
Why not take a look at what some of these Leftists were saying before they decided to try and get some political mileage out of bashing our wartime president:
Notice how they used terms like "no doubt about it," and "unmistakable" and "he certainly has" and "greatest security threat" and "he will rebuild" and "he will use his arsenal again" and "serving on the intelligence committee...briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons..." and "the lessons we learned after 911 is that we can't wait to be attacked again" and so on? Sounds pretty unambiguous to me.
And they can't say Bush was lying to them because many were getting their intel directly from our intelligence agencies, and a lot of this goes back to the Clinton administration that was saying the same thing.
What would these Leftists rather we use against Saddam: harsh language?
In fact, if Saddam didn't have WMDs, when why not let inspectors do their jobs without constant harassment from Saddam? And why risk losing his country and getting executed for his crimes (as he did) if he wasn't hiding anything? Some people (myself included) suspect he moved his WMDs or WMD components out of the country in the 8-month "rush to war" before we invaded, most likely to Syria.
Further, Intelligence expert John Loftus just a few months ago wrote about some rather damning documentary evidence from the minuscule portion of Iraqi documents that have been translated from the mountain of documents we seized after the invasion.
There are also those who suspect that the hushed Israli air raid on a mysterious Syrian target back in September 2007 may have involved an about-to-blossom WMD program. Might Syria have been using material they received from Iraq?
Even if there had been no WMDs, there were still plenty of reasons for invading Iraq:
1. Saddam had failed to comply with something like 17 UN resolutions. As a leading member of the UN, the United States' credibility was on the line in allowing this to pass unpunished.
2. Saddam fired on US warplanes flying the no-fly zone more than 200 times times in the year leading up to the invasion. Each one of those 200 firings was an act of war.
3. Saddam was funding Palestinian terrorists who were killing innocent Israeis, and one of his officials met with Mohammed Atta, one of the 911 terrorists, months before the attack. He may have had other connections with al Qaeda and the Taliban.
4. We needed (and still need) to deal with Iran, the foremost source of funding for terrorism in the world, and we could not do so with our flank exposed in a hostile Iraq.
Why would these Leftist want to malign a sitting president in the middle of a war in Iraq and a global war on terrorism? Many of them live here, their safety is at stake, and they enjoy the fruits of a healthy United States, so why jeopardize all that? Perhaps because they fundamentally misunderstand the nature and reality of evil in the world?
Would true patriotic Americans resort to lies and deception in order to gain political points at the expense of American credibility and national security?
Technorati tags: Bush, Iraq, WMDs, George Soros
Want to see an illustration of how liberals can't comprehend the truth, even after you've made it clear enough for a 5-year old to get?
Go over to DakotaWomen and read Anna's post on my comments yesterday regarding SB 164, the bill that intends to force pharmacists to violate their conscience or lose their job.
Amazingly, not only is the author of this bill completely oblivious to the fact that pharmacists are not "government entities" and therefore cannot commit "government intrusions" into people's private lives, but apparently Anna is equally oblivious.
In fact, in not selling contraception to a customer, pharmacists are not intruding into a customer's private life at all. After all, the customer is the person coming to the pharmacist asking for contraception. If their life is really that private, maybe they shouldn't ask for contraception at all. Government isn't forcing anyone to do anything when a pharmacist exercises his conscience and decides not to sell birth control.
It is, however, a "government intrusion" into the moral conscience of a pharmacists who believes it is immoral to sell contraception, if government tells him he must sell it or get another job.
Pharmacists aren't robots and they aren't dispensing machines. They bring their values and ethics to the job just like the cop, the waitress, the pilot, the doctor, and the computer programmer. Does any customer really want an immoral cop, waitress, doctor...or pharmacist? Not only is it unrealistic to ask a pharmacist to leave their morality at home, it's also a very dangerous proposition for their employers and customers.
But consider again the point Anna is missing here about what is being forced upon whom.
What kind of an upside-down fantasy world do liberals live in where they not only can't grasp the difference between a government entity and a private (i.e. not government) entity, they can't deduce that NOT selling a customer a product isn't forcing any morality on that person (the customer isn't being forced to perform any act, recite any creed, or change any way of thinking)...but FORCING a pharmacist to sell someone something is indeed forcing someone else's morality on that pharmacist, because the pharmacist is being forced to do something that violates his sense of morality in favor of someone else's sense of morality.
Some days when I listen to the liberal chatter in the news and on the blogs, I feel like I'm in a strange dream where reality is all out of whack, or that I woke up in some weird alternate dimension. But I guess that's to be expected in a society where all-too-many people are no longer grounded in absolute truth.
Anna apparently doesn't even recognize proper grammar when she sees it. The only grammar problem is how she combines her comments with a quote from me.
I'm really not trying to be a jerk, here. But if I couldn't do any better than this, I think I'd stay out of the public eye and quit embarrassing myself...
2,500-Year-Old Seal of First Temple Family Mentioned in Nehemiah Discovered in Jerusalem: Teresa Neumann (January 18, 2008)
One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the Biblical source as seen by the archaeological find.
Reported in Biblical Archeology on-line, Jan. 19, 2008.
(Jerusalem)—A 2,500-year-old black stone seal bearing the name "Temech" on it was uncovered during an excavation near Jerusalem’s Dung Gate this week. (Photo: Edwin Trebels courtesy of Dr. Eilat Mazar)
The 7th chapter of the Book of Nehemiah indicates that the Temech family were servants of the First Temple who were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BC. and later returned to Jerusalem.
The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the Biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible. One cannot help being astonished by the credibilityof the Biblical source as seen by the archaeological find." [Copyright 2008, Agape Press: Used By Special Permission]