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Friday, December 31 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR from TheOldSalt and everyone at The Liberty Tree.


 

I look forward to bringing you a fresh batch of uncovering liberal inaccuracies and deceit throughout 2011.

 

God bless!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 29 2010

The Indiana legislature is right around the corner, with an official start up date of January 5th. We are starting to review the first of more than 1,200 bills that are typically filed in each session.

 

Here are a few bills that have been made public that we have reviewed which might interest you, and give you an idea of the wide variety of issues considered:


 

Senate Bill 5 (& SB 57) - These bills address the problem of synthetic marijuana, which has been found to be far more dangerous than actual "pot." They define a "synthetic cannabinoid" and makes possessing, dealing in, manufacturing, or delivering it the same criminal penalty as with marijuana or hashish.

 

Senate Bill 29 - This bill concerns the crime of child solicitation in our sex-saturated society. When I first began as an intern in the Indiana House in 1990 there were very few bills addressing criminal sexual misconduct with children. Today, it is not unusual to have a dozen different bills concerning solicitation, "sexting", child porn or what used to be statutory rape, now called sexual misconduct with a minor.

 

Senate Bill 43 - Here is another example of this issue. This bill requires that certain persons convicted of child molesting and violent sex offenders be required to wear a GPS tracking device upon parole.

 

Senate Bill 50 - This bill would require any woman obtaining an elective abortion to have an ultrasound beforehand.

 

House Bill 1028 (& HB 1043)- Those who seem to think that protecting marriage and keeping the importance of both a mother and a father in that institution is a distraction or too controversial to address should consider these bills. HB 1028 and 1043 are "right to work" bills, which prohibit as a condition of employment the requirement that an employee join a union or pay union dues. I personally believe this bill could have economic benefits for Indiana, but the last time this was seriously attempted, over five thousand noisy protesters stormed the capitol building. It was the biggest demonstration I've ever seen at our capitol in my 20 years of experience there. If controversy is an excuse for avoiding an important issue, marriage protection is far less controversial than many other bills we will see this year.

 

House Bill 1042 - This bill concerns the issue of cell phone "sexting" and the illegal dissemination and possession of sexual material. The bill addresses this problem in schools among students. The problem has become so severe and pervasive that many believe charging kids with serious felonies is not a realistic option. I do not necessarily agree. (If kids knew the seriousness of this crime, they might be less inclined to take that risk.) Yet, this bill is an effort to give schools better tools to address this problem.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 06:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 28 2010

About a year and a half ago I called the radio show to offer two dark horse candidates to watch for as potential GOP candidates in 2012.  The first candidate was Sarah Palin.  The fact that she might run wasn't exactly a surprise, but at the time she was still governor and her political future was up in the air after her failed Presidential ticket of 2008.  She has her share of negatives (merited and unmerited) that drops her into long shot status, and thus a dark horse candidate. 

 

The second candidate I mentioned was a lesser known senator from South Dakota, John Thune. 


While it's clear that Sarah Palin remains a potential candidate to toss her name into the hat for a Presidential run, John Thune is one that is on very few radars.  John Thune has the qualities that would make him a very, very dangerous candidate.  He is physically impressive (think John F. Kennedy).  He is well respected.  He is a strong conservative (which appeals to the base) while maintaining a civility about him that maintains dialogue with political opponents (which appeals to moderates).  He has a track record of winning elections with major political ramifications.  Some of you may remember him as the one who defeated former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. 

 

Thune is certainly a figure to watch.  While it is yet to be seen if he will run or not, there is enough speculation to merit monitoring.  If Thune decides to run, challengers better take note.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 27 2010

Do you remember during the Bush years how liberals bristled and puffed at the suggestion that they were unpatriotic for opposing the war?  Cue Hillary Clinton.  It became a mantra of the left that the right was smearing them as unpatriotic.  This fed into their template: conservatives are hate-filled, mean-spirited individuals who engage in the "politics of personal destruction".  It also was a cheap way to score sympathy and political points among voters. 

 

Several years ago I proposed a challenge for any individual to find a prominent Republican political figure who ever accused Democrats generally or specifically of being unpatriotic.  As of yet I have still not been given a single example.  If anything, this has demonstrated a nasty projection on the part of those on the left.  Here are but a few examples of what I'm talking about:


 

Here's Nancy Pelosi calling Republicans un-American for opposing Obamacare, and unpatriotic in 2006 for (try not to laugh) spending too much.  Here's Joe Biden calling opposition to higher taxes unpatriotic.  Here's Harry Reid calling Rush Limbaugh unpatriotic for comments about Jack Murtha. 

 

So what's the latest thing Republicans are unpatriotic for?  According to Atlanta Journal Constitution writer, Cynthia Tucker, Republicans are unpatriotic for opposing START.  So by opposing a treaty that would both reduce our nuclear arsenal and not provide provisions for us to modernize the remaining arms, Republicans are deemed unpatriotic.  I'm curious how it happens that moving to strengthen our national defense is unpatriotic while movement that would leave us more vulnerable is a sign of true patriotism.  Sigh.  Leave it to the left to be case-in-point examples of their own projection.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, December 26 2010

If you're like me, you bristled when you saw a 20 cent jump in the price of gas overnight.   TheOldSalt covered this well earlier, but there's one other factor to throw out, namely China.  During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing we saw a dramatic spike in gas prices.  There wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason but the American people were sure up in arms to see prices rise to historically high levels.  The mantra then was to blame "big oil" for price gouging.  In reality, though, there was another factor in play. 


 

With the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese wanted to make a big splash to the global community.  This was their chance to assert themselves as a major player in world politics.  There was one potentially devastating propaganda nightmare.  For the months and years prior, the talk preceding the Olympics was the fact that environmental conditions were abysmal.  Air quality was so bad in Beijing that Olympic athletes contemplated wearing face masks (a few actually did).  To avert this potentially hazardous (quite literally) situation, China converted their factories from coal based (which emitted tremendous amounts of particulates and smog) to petroleum based.  For a city the size of Beijing and a country the size of China, this translated to a massive transfer of resources.  To make this transition, China purchased enormous quantities of oil.  The market reacted to this run on oil by raising gas prices to unprecedented levels.  After the Olympics, China returned to their much cheaper coal based production.  You may have noticed that gas prices also returned back to earth. 

 

So what's going on now.  I noticed just yesterday an AP report that China has been facing energy shortages from their coal plants.  It is a very real possibility that they are going to return once again to petroleum based production, but this time out of necessity.  The long term implications of this are that gas prices will rise and continue to rise over the not so distant future.  Couple this with inflation and regressive energy policy that has prevented us from increasing our domestic supply and the rise could be dramatic.  I wouldn't even be surprised to see talk of rationing like some previous president we have all come to know and love (Jimmy Carter).  Hold onto your wallets, everyone.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 23 2010

In case you were wondering, the search for ET continues.  Yet, frustration with the lack of aliens popping up continues to mount.  The BBC reports:

The question of whether or not we are alone in the galaxy is one that has fascinated everyone from mathematicians to conspiracy theorists.

 

But, if extra-terrestrial life forms are abundant in the Universe - as some people believe - why have they not been in contact?

The article quotes the father of the S.E.T.I. (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project, Dr. Frank Drake, as saying this issue is as important as it gets.  Really?  I can think of a lot more important issues than whether Starman is really out there.


 

This begs the question, why is it so important to these scientists.  As with understanding anything, you need to recognize the presuppositions of the vast majority of the scientists in question.  They are non-theists...believing the universe is nothing but pure chance and accident.

 

Once you grasp that, it becomes pretty apparent why they're obsessed with finding Marvin the Martian.  As Drake states:

"What does it mean to be a human being? What is our future? Are there other creatures like us? What have they become? What can evolution produce? How far can it go?

 

"It will all come out of learning of extra-terrestrials and this will certainly enrich our lives like nothing else could."

These evolutionary scientists are frantically looking for meaning.  They need answers to the big questions of life (why are we here, what for, etc) that all human beings struggle with.  They have decided that meaning and those answers cannot come from any divine origin and purpose, and so they look for it anywhere they can find it - even if that means little green guys with antennas.

 

And that also explains the sense of desperation they feel in not uncovering any evidence of such extra-terrestrial life.  If they can't, that just adds yet another confirmation to the unique and special design of earth - something fitting quite nicely with a Creationist view of the world, but not so much with the evolutionary view.

 

Perhaps unaware of this reality, the BBC article even stated:

[t]he human race is either an accidental blip in the Universe or we are special and the conditions we evolved in were unique. The Rare Earth hypothesis argues that because of the intricate design and infrastructure of our planet, the amount of coincidences and circumstances that must occur together make life almost impossible.

Obviously, the BBC isn't going to acknowledge the consequences of this reality.  But not finding ET is actually a pretty devastating failure for the evolutionists and their universe model.  Far more devastating than finding ET would be for the Creationist.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 23 2010

As divorce continues to rip our culture apart at its seems, Dennis Prager's column What Do Men Want? (which is the first of two columns he is writing.the next is on what women want.I'm anxious to see if Prager's managed to nail that one down!) does a great job of pointing out an important truth.

 

So often pop culture jokes about how men want one thing: sex.  While no one can, or should, deny the sexual desire amongst men (or women for that matter), this isn't really a good answer to the question.  Men can find cheap sex virtually everywhere they turn, but it doesn't bring them happiness or contentment.  So what do they want?



 

Prager's insightful comments:

What does a man most want? Answer: He most wants to be admired by the woman he loves.

 

One proof is that the most devastating thing a woman can do to her man is to hold him in contempt. That is so devastating to a marriage that, over time, it is often more toxic than an affair. I am fairly certain that more marriages survive an affair, as difficult as that is, than contempt. Of course, this goes in both directions, but when a woman shows contempt toward her man, his very manhood is called into question.

Great stuff.  Prager goes on to give a personal example of this truth that is both touching and instructive:

My father and mother were married 69 years. As my brother and I have heard countless times, "She put me on a pedestal" was the quality my father most often cited in describing what a wonderful wife my mother was. She admired him, and to him that was everything. On the other hand, in describing her love for my father over all those years, my mother never once said, "He put me on a pedestal" (despite the fact that he constantly praised her). Rather, she always spoke of what a "great man" he was, how "brilliant," etc. Of course, this is just one example, but I think it applies to the majority of men and women.

I know watching my Grandma and Grandpa Heck before Grandpa died when I was a freshman in high school, this was something I always noticed.  Grandpa cherished Grandma, and Grandma was just in awe of how great Grandpa was.  It worked.  It was complimentary.  It was how it was intended to be.

 

So what of pop culture's analysis that men just want sex?  They've got it partly right:

So, although the Internet jokes are right about men wanting sex, it isn't sex men most want from their woman. They want to be admired ? and sex is one manifestation of a woman's admiration for her man. When a man is regularly denied sex, in his eyes that means that his wife does not hold him in high esteem. Worse, he actually feels humiliated as a man. That, not the sex per se, is why regular denial devastates a man.

Women, honor your man.  Men, be honorable.  It's a simple formula, but one that is very difficult to attain in this culture.  We should make every effort to attain it though.because the results speak for themselves.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 23 2010

It is an odd twist that what conservative Christians once opposed (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) became something they desperately sought to hold on to.  Logical, but odd.  DADT was a "compromise" position originated by the Clinton administration to appease the sexual anarchists and their crusade for cultural revolution.


Those anarchists had helped get Clinton elected, and they wanted payback.  Clinton knew that he wasn't going to get open homosexuality in the U.S. military through Congress, so he went for a stepping stone bill.  What was most important to him was power - and that meant getting re-elected.



 

What was most important to the anarchists was their agenda.  And now they have scored a major victory.


It is a devastating commentary on the state of the Christian mind in America that so many self-professing Christian lawmakers voted for this repeal.  It is simultaneously discouraging that so many Christian citizens seemed to give their tacit, or at least disinterested, approval.

 

The vote was a payoff to the sexual revolutionaries whose movement has been growing and expanding since their birth in the 1960s.  They have scored legislative and court victories along the way, but this one was a big one over their sworn enemies: the Judeo-Christian crowd.

 

Pat Buchanan writes it this way:

This is a victory in the culture war for the new morality of the social revolution of the 1960s and a defeat for traditional Judeo-Christian values. For only in secularist ideology is it an article of faith that all sexual relations are morally equal and that to declare homosexual acts immoral is bigotry.
   
But while this new morality may be orthodoxy among our elites in the academy, media, culture and the arts, Middle America has never signed on and still regards homosexuality as an aberrant lifestyle, both socially and spiritually ruinous.  To these folks, homosexuality is associated with a high incidence of disease, HIV/AIDS, early death, cultural decadence and civilizational decline. And no sensitivity training at Camp Lejeune is going to change that.
   
Behind these traditionalist beliefs lie the primary sources of moral authority for traditionalist America: the Old and New Testaments, Christian doctrine, natural law. Thomas Jefferson believed homosexuality should be treated with the same severity as rape.
   
And 31 consecutive defeats for same-sex marriage in state referenda testifies that Middle America sees the new morality as the artificial invention of pseudo-intellectuals to put a high gloss on a low lifestyle.
   
Not until recent decades have many in America or the West argued that homosexuality is natural and normal. As late as 1973, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental disorder.  Today, anyone who agrees with that original APA assessment is himself or herself said to be afflicted with a mental disorder: homophobia.
   
The world has turned upside down. What was criminal vice in the 1950s - homosexuality and abortion - is not only constitutionally protected, but a mark of social progress.

The idealist in me says we can get this turned around.  The realist in me says that history teaches a different lesson.  Once you pull your fence posts from the ground, it's hard to throw them back in the soil somewhere else...and it's near impossible to get them back into the holes they came from to begin with.


 

This is a big loss for Christians and for the Judeo-Christian backbone of our country.  Our foundations are being destroyed.  It is crushing to see those who claim to be "on our side" (professing Christians like Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly) actively participate in the war against what we stand for.

 

But as disconcerting and demoralizing as it is, we take heart that this world is not our home, and while here we must never grow weary in doing good.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 22 2010

Fresh off her extraordinarily successful molestation-fest of handicapped grandpas and Catholic nuns at airports, it's nice to see Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano moving on to alleviate yet another serious threat to our citizens: warm temperatures.

 

Nevermind that census data continues to show more and more Americans moving into the Sunbelt to FIND warmer temperatures.  No, Big Sis is there to take active steps to protect us.


 

According to a report at CNSNews, Napolitano announced at an all day White House summit for "environmental justice" that she was creating a new task force to battle the effects of climate change on our security:

Napolitano explained that the task force was charged with "identifying and assessing the impact that climate change could have on the missions and operations of the Department of Homeland Security."

 

According to the former Arizona governor, the task force would address specific questions, including:

 

"How will FEMA work with state and local partners to plan for increased flooding or wildfire or hurricane activity that is more serious than we've seen before? What assistance can the Coast Guard bring to bear to assist remote villages in, for example, Alaska which already have been negatively affected by changes up in the Arctic?"

 

The findings from the Homeland Security Department (DHS) also asked: "(H)ow can we focus on how climate change is going to affect our rural citizenry including those who live along our boarders [sic] both northern and southern?"

What a slap in the face to the Americans along our borders who are being killed by Mexican drug cartels that the leader of the same Dept of Homeland Security who won't address that threat is pretending that she is their savior, delivering them from a bad sunburn.

 

Such is the state of our national defenses under the Obama regime.  Radical Islam not even identified, capitulation to the Russians, prostrating and weak responses to Iran, ignoring the invasion of criminal illegal aliens...but fiercely defending us from melting glaciers.

 

Feel safe?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 22 2010

From Monday's edition of Hardball:

Now to tonight's Big Number.

 

In a new Gallup poll, 40 percent of Americans say they believe in strict creationism, that humans were created by God within the last 10,000 years, as in the Bible.

 

Well, how do you explain all those dinosaur bones, I ask? How do you explain your oldest living relative, our oldest living relative? Don't you love Lucy?! No surprise, that number is higher among Republicans, by the way. How high? Fifty-two percent!

 

A majority of Republicans, more than half the Republicans reject the science behind evolution. Fifty-two percent, tonight's Big Number.

 

Think about that one during the [2012 presidential] primaries.

 

Sure, think about it in the primaries.  Think about it in the Democratic Party primaries as well, given that according to Gallup, 34% of Democrats and independents believe in Creationism as well.

 

On a side note, we could point out Matthews' idiotic pronouncement that Lucy is the "oldest living relative" of humanity.  Living, Chris?  She's living?  And even if he meant "surviving" or "fossilized," that isn't true either.  That distinction has belonged to an ape-fossil named Ardi since 1994.

 

But pointing that out is kind of pointless, isn't it?  What kind of critical thinking can we expect from someone who believes that he shares the same great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandpappy with an oak tree?

 

So spare us the intellectual condescension, Chris.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 22 2010

With the Congressional repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell now official, it's instructive to note what the major concerns of these social engineering liberals manufacturing the policy were and what were not.

 

Concern: giving the homosexual lobby another milestone victory in their pursuit of eventual sexual anarchy (no rules, no limitations, no moral expectations).

 

Not a Concern: the well-being of our troops.  Marine commandant General James Amos had warned that the kind of distraction posed by open homosexuality within the ranks could cost lives:

"Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines lives...That's the currency of this fight. I don't want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don't want to have any Marines that I'm visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction."


Concern
: the politically manipulated part of the Defense Department report that said there were no legitimate obstacles to overturning the policy.

 

Not a Concern: the objective survey part of the report showing that 40% of combat Marines may walk away from their service if the policy is repealed.

 

Concern: running social experiments with our armed forces.

 

Not a Concern: national security.

 

Yes, we voted many of these folks out of office, thankfully.  But their damage has been inflicted, will largely not be undone, and will have devastating effects on our civilization into the future.  Leftists must never been given control of the government.  This is one perfect indication why.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 22 2010

A new study is out from the Pew Research Center regarding what a majority of Muslims around the world would like to see.  The LA Times has the data:

According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

 

Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of poll respondents in those countries reporting positive views of Islam's influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad.


Further data revealed that a majority of Muslims want to see theocracy installed as the governing system of...wait for it...the world.


Remember that the next time you see Americans United for the Separation of Church and State fretting that Sarah Palin or some other Christian politician believes our laws should reflect the values of the Judeo-Christian ethic.  While AU and their ilk flip out the notion our laws would reflect the principles of Christianity, they turn a blind eye (at best) or approving eye (at worst) towards those whose ultimate objective is the imposition of Islamic religious doctrine on the masses.

 

As Lachlan Markay highlighted:

Ibn Warraq observed a similar trend: "There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate."

 

The word "moderate," when used to describe Muslims, most often refers to the means by which they hope to achieve very extreme ends. Fundamentalist Islam is not moderate, though its followers may opt for moderate means of its imposition - i.e. something short of the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents.

 

But the means don't make the ends any less extreme. And so it is a bit puzzling when pundits refer to people who want adulterers stoned as "moderates." A refusal to take part in or condone terrorism doesn't make medieval (literally) religious practices any less extreme.

Indeed.  We better get our heads screwed on straight with this one.  I'm glad there are Muslims who don't want to blow me up.  That doesn't make them moderate, however.  Why?  Because it isn't "moderate" to want to bring down the United States and impose religious theocratic submission upon everyone.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 21 2010

I have been giving some more thought to the First Lady's nutritional crusade to decrease diabetes and obesity. I think that conservatives should inundate the White House with letters of support and recommendations to further extend her crusade.

 

You read that right. We should get behind her on this one. I know of no better way to diminish public support for these outrageous attempts to run our lives than for it to have a direct impact on those receiving the benefits.

 

Here is what I mean: No longer do American citizens sign up for and receive "Food Stamps." Instead, they are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They receive a card that is loaded with the cash amount of their benefits. Now they look like anyone else using a credit or debit card to pay for their purchases. Less stigma and all that.



 

The key word in the acronym is "Nutrition." Indeed, the USDA website declares:

We help put healthy food on the table for over 40 million people each month.

However, my observation of purchases at a local convenience store made by customers using SNAP cards leaves me wondering about the "nutrition" part of it. The card is used to pay for a lot of packs of soft drinks and packaged snack foods. I can't help but think what a disappointment this must be for our First Lady.

 

It should therefore be our duty to make sure that she is completely aware of this sad state of affairs. Then, we should recommend that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program actually be used to provide the "healthy food" touted by the USDA. I suggest that the card be used to purchase only fruits and vegetables. No more soft drinks, prepared packaged foods, snacks, and other such junk food. This is, after all, a war to end the childhood and adult obesity and diabetes epidemic.

 

What will my suggestion accomplish? One of two results: (1) If the First Lady and her government refuse to address this issue, then they are exposed as frauds; or, (2) If the First Lady and her government do respond and propose to limit the use of SNAP to only nutritional foods, then those receiving this taxpayer largesse will begin to personally experience the price tag that their dependency on government carries. Either way, more light is shined onto this government's assaults on the liberties of American citizens.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 05:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 21 2010

After further review, I'm finding myself agreeing with Ed Schultz on this one.  Tea Partiers should be pretty ticked off...as in livid...as in, "You honestly just betrayed me before you all even took office"...with the Republican Party's overwhelming decision to support Obama's tax rate compromise.

 

National Review's Andrew McCarthy writes it up this way:

?If we've learned anything over the last two years, it's that we cannot spend our way to prosperity." That's what Republican lawmakers proclaimed in their "Pledge to America," the campaign document spelling out their agenda in the 2010 midterm election. They won a historic electoral victory, an endorsement from Americans who trusted them to act on the message: Stop spending money we don't have, that we have to borrow from China, and that our children and their children will have to pay back. And before their new House majority has even been sworn in, Republicans have decided to give spending our way back to prosperity one more try.

 

In the process, they've increased the chance that the most free-spending, anti-prosperity president in American history will be reelected come 2012.

 

 

Had I taken the Republican pledge seriously (I didn't), I'd be crushed. "Crushing," by the way, is the word the pledge used to describe the national debt. That was before GOP lawmakers voted in overwhelming numbers (37 out of 42 in the Senate, 138 out of 174 in the House) to add about $858 billion to it on Thursday.

 

So much for the pledge's inveighing against "trillion-dollar ?stimulus' spending." Republicans have added hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt ? a debt that is already $14 trillion even by Washington math and closer to $130 trillion if we apply the math Washington imposes on everyone else.

McCarthy goes on to lay intellectual waste to the nonsense excuses many Republicans are making right now about why they did what they did.

 

And it is true that the TEA Party moniker is Taxed Enough Already...and this plan does hold the Democrats' proposed tax hikes down for now.

 

But how reassured can true fiscal conservatives and common sense Americans who have been shouting at the top of their lungs for two years (at least) now about the government spending our grandchildren into debt be?  If Republicans can't find the backbone to resist increased government spending in this environment...they never will.

 

McCarthy writes it up this way:

Instead, Republicans have helped Obama take on the veneer of a centrist as he makes a big down payment on his reelection campaign, secure in the knowledge that his prospects have improved and that, if he wins, next time there will be no need to compromise. In the process, the new Republican leadership has harpooned the party's fiscal-responsibility credentials before the reinforcements ? who won by running on fiscal responsibility ? could arrive and make their mark in the new Congress.

 

One more snippet from the pledge: "If our economy remains debt-driven, it will not be in a position to support a lasting economic recovery. Unfortunately, Washington Democrats refuse to listen to the American people and eliminate, restrain, or even budget for their out-of-control spending spree."

 

It ain't just Washington Democrats.

He's right.  Which means, Ed Schultz is right.  Tea Partiers should be ticked off right now.  Republicans don't seem to have gotten the message.  Remember that when those who voted for this mess come looking for re-election next time around

 

Important notice: this is clearly not a suggestion to vote for Democrats...if Republicans have failed us by not standing up to Democrats' spending, voting for Democrats would obviously not solve the problem.  It means we need to keep chucking the Republicans who don't get it.  And clearly, there are still plenty left around.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, December 21 2010

Instructive.  That's the only word to use when things like this occur.  This Week host Christiane Amanpour was on Good Morning America, discussing what host Dan Harris called the "big tax cut law" that doesn't cut taxes, and shared this little jewel:

Well, it's certainly been a busy and an active lame duck session. Obviously, the tax cut law, everybody was watching. It had to be done before the end of the year. And certainly a President doing that and being responsible for giveaways - in other words, tax breaks to people - is going to get the credit. Clearly, of course, the Republicans got what they wanted as well, which was all the tax cuts remaining.

You caught that line, didn't you?  "Giveaways - in other words, tax breaks to people."

 

That's an astounding line, and one that is so revealing if we take the time to point it out.  Clearly Amanpour is a leftist.  She is so far gone that she can't even maintain the illusion of objectivity on the program she hosts.


 

And in the mind of the left - as she has articulated here - when you as a citizen get to keep your money.that is a giveaway.  The only way that makes sense is if you believe that the government owns your money to begin with.  You can't give away what isn't yours.  So in order for lower tax rates (which again, this legislation did not bring you) to be a "giveaway," you have to believe it was the government's to give away in the first place.

 

But it's not.  The conservative - and the correct - view on this is that your money belongs to you.  What this debate was about, was whether or not the government should ramp up its confiscation of people's wealth and property.

 

As a parting shot, why is it that when the government does "give away" the money they have to do useful things to select citizens in the forms of unemployment benefits (pay people not to work - aka, welfare), subsidies (see the farm bill), or other government projects, those are always termed "investments?"

 

Such is the statist mind.  Just something to chew on.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 21 2010

NPR's Nina Totenberg deserves some kind of an award for this one.

 

Yesterday on the radio show, I expressed the prevailing sentiment amongst Christians regarding the so-called "War on Christmas."  If someone doesn't want to celebrate Christmas (remember, some Christians don't celebrate it for a number of reasons), that is their prerogative.

 

The angst many of us feel about the War on Christmas is more about the inherent stupidity in this latest manifestation of political correctness.  People are excluded from things all the time.  I'm excluded from Hanukah celebrations, but I don't mind if people celebrate them.  I'm excluded from fashion shows, but I don't mind if people have them.



 

The attempt to remove Christmas from the Christmas season is absurd and totally unnecessary.  It wars against the intellect to believe that we are somehow more enlightened when we go around pretending that the "holiday" the season is celebrating is not Christmas.  It's just.well.dumb.

 

On the heels of that discussion comes this remarkably idiotic clarification offered by NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on the program Inside Washington:

Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at - forgive the expression - a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this.

Forgive the expression?  What in the world does that mean?  Was it a Christmas party?  If so, it's not an expression...it's what it is.

 

Those who think that the left's obsession with political correctness makes them more sophisticated or intellectual are as batty as they are.  This is about as loony as it gets...forgive the expression.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 21 2010

Congressman "Silent Joe" Donnelly cast his vote in favor of the radical left's policy of allowing open homosexuality in the United States military.

 

It would be nice to hear Joe explain to his constituents how that vote lives up to his promise to do, "what is right for families here in Indiana and across the country."

 

On his website, Joe Donnelly brags that:

I am determined to make sure that our men and women serving both here and abroad have the tools, training, and leadership they need to protect us here at home and to pursue and defeat our adversaries abroad...An important part of that readiness is maintaining a strong and well-equipped military.


Perhaps someone could ask Joe how voting to allow open homosexuality in the military improves their readiness? 

 

Perhaps he could explain why he seems to know better than Marine Commandant General James Amos who has said that repealing the policy will cost us Marine lives?

 

Perhaps someone could ask Joe if he favors allowing women and men to shower together and live in the same barracks.  And if not, how he justifies opposition to such a practice?  Would it be because the sexual tension and aggression such an act would provoke might distract our troops from their primary responsibility?  If so, how does he justify this vote to allow men who practice and prefer homosexuality to shower with and live in the same barracks with men?

 

Joe Donnelly is either being deceitful or he is remarkably ignorant of basic ethical and moral questions that arise from this policy.  So ignorant, the last place he belongs is in Congress.  So which is it, Joe?  Can you defend this vote?

 

It is odd that "Silent Joe" Donnelly boasts that he recognizes how:

We face threats everyday from our enemies who are committed to causing harm to Americans at home and overseas and to our allies.

Yet he has no problem voting for a social engineering project designed to put political correctness ahead of national security.  Someone needs to ask Joe about this shameful vote.

 

I would, but since he knows that he refuses to come on my program.  Our call crusade now stands over 250 straight programs of calling his press secretary's office without even the courtesy of a call back. 

 

What an embarrassment.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 20 2010

Help me out here.  I don't see how this is offensive.  At all.

 

From the AFP:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Friday apologised for saying that gay fans should "refrain from sexual activity" if they go to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

 

...

 

Gay rights activists have reacted furiously after Blatter joked that gay football fans should "refrain" from sex during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

 

Asked about concerns over the treatment of gay fans at the tournament, Blatter responded: "I would say that they should refrain from any sexual activities."


Ummmm...perhaps I'm the only one who doesn't get this, but doesn't this seem to be a thoughtful gesture to point out, "Hey guys, if you want to have sex with other dudes, better wait until the World Cup is held in France again, because doing that in Qatar will get you arrested?"

 

Forget arrested, in Qatar it might be enough to get you executed.

 

Yet, right on cue, the "victimized" sexual anarchists issued their standard line about being outraged by the insensitivity, causing the official to have to prostrate before their un-offendable movement:

"I regret my comment, I didn't want to hurt anyone. We are against discrimination. I apologise for that comment," Blatter told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Club World Cup.

Anyone who fails to see the serious threat the homosexual lobby poses to free speech (and though it doesn't apply in this case, religious expression) is a fool.  It's why the left embraces them: the homosexual crusade is yet another tool to deprive people of their civil liberties.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 20 2010

Pennsylvania Democrat Representative Jason Altmire had a stroke of genius following the midterm elections:

"This was a monumental defeat. And until we realize as a party that the reason we lost those seats is that the voters were unhappy with the legislation that was passed here, we're not going to be able to move forward to correct it."

Yet the leadership of his party is yet to get that memo.  Choosing Nancy Pelosi to continue leading them was the first sign.  The second?  Not realizing how ironic the end to the Pelosi-led Congress truly is.


 

After fighting for years against "tax cuts for the rich," and declaring them to be the sole cause of all our national misfortune...after declaring an end to the era of two different America's brought on by the Bush tax cuts...after building an electoral majority on the back of opposition to the favoritism being shown to the wealthy...

 

After all of that, Nancy Pelosi's final act as Speaker of the House was to push her caucus into accepting the extension of those very tax cuts.  Poetic justice?  Perhaps.  A perfect indication of how out of touch her tenure as Speaker was?  Without question.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 20 2010

I have shared before my hopes that Sarah Palin will take on a role as the new Oprah, leading women and the daytime television crowd back from the precipice of left-wing, new age oblivion.  It is frightening that stay at home moms - the ones we depend upon so desperately to raise their children with strong moral values - are being inundated daily with the backwards postmodernism of Oprah and Ellen.

 

But Palin appears to be on the verge of launching a presidential campaign.  This garners mockery from many on the left who say she's unelectable.  As Mike Potemra pointed out recently, they've said that before:

And check this out, a random example from the past, from Time magazine of March 22, 1976, well into that election year:

 

If the election was held today, Gerald Ford would handily defeat any of the major Democratic contenders.

 

In the contest for his party's nomination, Ford is preferred over Ronald Reagan by a 2-to-1 margin among Republican and independent voters. . . .

 

Ford would beat [Hubert] Humphrey decisively, 52% to 37%, with 11% undecided. This is a marked improvement for Ford over a TIME poll taken last January, when he led Humphrey, 46% to 40%, with 14% undecided.

 

Surprisingly, last week's TIME survey finds that Ford would have a tougher time against Carter than against Humphrey. The President would beat the Georgian, 46% to 38%, with 16% undecided. . . .

 

Good heavens, this Carter guy can't even break 40 against the guy who pardoned Nixon?! He's finished. And as for this two-to-one loser Reagan, he should pack it up for good. No, as I've said here before, the important question is not Can Palin win?-the mood swings of the American people must never be underestimated-but Should she be president?

 

Yet Democrats crow at the thought of Obama vs. Palin, while establishment Republicans cringe.  How foolish. 

 

Honestly, the idea that the American people would reject Palin if she was put up against Obama total bunk.  All the Republicans would have to do is paint the picture of what this country would look like had we been blessed with a President Palin these last couple years rather than Obama.  That's not too tough to do.  Dennis Prager put it this way:

 

This country would be in considerably better shape if Palin were either vice president or president. Palin would have confronted Iran rather than place her faith in negotiations and the United Nations. She would not have sought to impose a peace on Israel (as if peace can ever be imposed by outsiders on any countries, let alone upon those in which one of the parties seeks to annihilate the other). She would not have bought into Keynesian economics and spent nearly a trillion dollars largely to keep overpaid and overcompensated government workers voting Democrat. She would not have expanded the number of government agencies and "czars" to the point that this country may well be governed for the next two years not by congressional laws but by unelected and unaccountable federal agencies. She would not have declared a date by which America will leave Afghanistan and thereby ensured that fewer and fewer Afghans fight alongside America. She would not have signed a 2,000-page bill about anything, let alone health care. She would have expanded oil drilling in America so that we can actually begin the long journey to energy independence, not the imaginary journey to windmills and solar panels. She would never have considered taxing energy, the engine of our economy, on the increasingly absurd claims that human carbon dioxide emissions will bring the planet to ruin.

 

Prager's right.  Put that in front of the American people, and the man who already has a 40% approval rating could be in big trouble.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 20 2010

After my recent comments regarding the left's inexcusable hatred of the rich, I received an interesting, albeit fairly typical response from an angry Dem.  In a nutshell I was accused of lumping all Democrats in together and painting them all with the same brush.

 

Obviously, as I (and others) have said repeatedly, there are exceptions to every rule.  Generalizations have to be made when you are talking about political movements.  To say that the Democratic Party wants to, and is attempting to move this country leftward does not mean that every person affiliating with the Democratic Party wishes that to be the case.  It simply means what it says - that the Democratic Party as a whole is undeniably pushing the country in a leftward direction.



 

All of this is common knowledge and fairly elementary thinking.  To illustrate my point, I replied to the author of the email and asked if he, as a Democrat, then disagreed with his party's philosophy of demonizing the rich and drumming up class warfare.  I am yet to hear back.

 

In other words, "How dare you paint me with that broad brush and say that all of us Democrats agree with the strategy of demonizing the rich!"  Oh, so you don't?  "Well yes, I do...but there might be some who don't!  How dare you!"

 

The Democratic Party has chosen to take a decidedly left-wing path.  Until they start losing elections consistently and by wide margins, there doesn't appear to be any hope of them turning their ship around in the direction of liberty, personal autonomy, smaller government, constitutional restraint, and traditional moral values.  Therefore, if you believe in those things, you don't vote Democrat.

 

It's amazing to me that people struggle with that conclusion.  To not come to it is na´ve at best, dumb at worst.

 

That doesn't mean that every Republican is worthy of your vote.  It simply means that we can now see clearly what we're going to get from electing Democrats: a decidedly left-wing course hostile to our foundations and destructive to our future.  Broad brush?  Yep.  And amazingly accurate.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, December 19 2010

Sometimes a simple bumper sticker can express a profound thought. Such was the cas yesterday when I read this one:



 

An abortion does not make you unpregnant. It makes you the mother of a dead baby.

 

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, December 18 2010

Just in case no one else has noticed, allow me to point out the obvious: gasoline and diesel prices have been going up lately. This leads me to make a couple of observations.

 

First, what has happened to Big Media? During a previous presidential administration (the one between Democrat regimes), any rise in the price of gasoline was heralded by headlines trumpeting the collusion of Big Oil and government. Price increases were always nothing more than a plot to further line the pockets of Dick Cheney and a certain Texas oilman. Price fluctuations never had anything to do with market forces.


 

So be it. So where are the Big Media headlines today? In the past year, the price of gasoline across the nation has increased 15%. In my local Midwest region, the increase has been 16%. Diesel has seen a 17% price increase.

 

Increases like that should be causing liberal apoplectic seizures across the nation. Yet, they pale in comparison to the price hikes of gasoline and diesel since the beginning of the current administration: 80% increase for the national average price of gasoline; 79% increase in the Midwest; and a 33% hike for diesel. Apparently, Big Media doesn't use gasoline anymore.

 

Second, these prices have gone up in what is normally a lower demand season of the cycle. We normally experience higher gasoline prices during the summer driving season due to higher demand and the more expensive summer blends. This year, though, the current December price beats the average price per gallon in both July and August. What gives?

 

Well, at least a couple of things. Global demand is increasing. Nations that used to be mired in near hopeless economies are emerging (primarily because they are adopting more free market approaches). As they do, demand for all commodities is moving steadily upward. As demand increases, we can expect prices to be moving up, too.

 

The other force affecting gasoline price is government-induced inflation.

 

 

In spite of the Obama-Bernanke minions' denial that there is any inflationary pressure coming from the government buyback of its own debt, there appears to be inflationary pressure on commodities. An economic  reality of life is that when there is more money chasing after goods and services, the price of those goods and services go up. Such is the case before us.

 

The bottom line is that we will likely be feeling the pinch of higher prices for gasoline and other necessary commodities. But don't worry; as long as this president is in office, up is the new down in the world of Big Media.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 17 2010

There was a day when former President Jimmy Carter claimed allegiance to the principles of Christianity.  It's a shame that political expediency and posturing has come to replace that allegiance to truth as his first priority:

 

Watch this video.



 

Dr. Albert Mohler has explained the conservative position on this issue quite well:

The conservative view is that all sexual deviance - homosexuality, polyamory, adultery, bestiality, incest - violates the natural order. Families depend on moral structure: Mom, Dad, kids. When you confound that structure - when Dad sleeps with a man, Dad sleeps with another woman, or Mom sleeps with Grandpa - the family falls apart. Kids need clear roles and relationships. Without this, they get disoriented. Mess with the family, and you mess up the kids.

Carter is smart enough to know that.  Carter was once grounded enough Biblically to know that.  What a shame he has taken the path he has taken.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 17 2010

If there has ever been a verse of Scripture abused and contorted, it's Matthew 7:1:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This statement of Christ has been misconstrued so often, so badly, that it's not surprising that many people don't even have a firm grasp on the type of judgmental soul to which Jesus was referring.  Instead, this verse is ripped from its context and used as a political or social weapon to advance everything from vice to sodomy to anarchy.

 

But rarely do those who throw this phrase around contradict themselves in the same sitting.  When it happens, it's worth noting.


 

MSNBC's pseudo-conservative Joe Scarborough was expressing his frustration with Republican Senators Jon Kyl and and Jim DeMint.  The two conservatives had criticized Senate Majority leader Harry Reid for his threat to hold the Senate in session through Christmas, so that more Democrat legislation could be crammed through before the Republican masses came to town.

 

Kyl and DeMint apparently felt doing so would be sacrilegious.  That was too much for Scarborough:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I'm blown away.  I mean that [Kyl's statement] is offensive. It's offensive that people would use Christianity for political leverage.

. . .

[For Kyl and DeMint] to be self-righteous? I mean, judge not that ye be not judged. Do we want to go through Bible verses?  But questioning Harry Reid's Christianity? Suggesting he's blasphemous?

. . .

I don't usually say this, but I think Sen. DeMint, who I know and like and respect, and Jon Kyl, owe Harry Reid an apology.  And I will say it.  I will go there: it is un-Christlike.  I will go there.  It is un-Christlike to judge another man's faith in the way they have judged Harry Reid's faith--a devout Mormon; a devout Christian.

You caught that, right?  Suggesting that Reid's action were sacrilegious constitutes "judging" someone in contradiction of the Matthew 7:1 warning.  But evidently Scarborough calling people un-Christlike is not the same?

 

Frankly, I don't think either amount to a violation of the principle Jesus was establishing.  Judging a person's actions as inappropriate and wrong (as both of these two incidents do) is not judging the eternal fate and state of someone's soul by a standard the "judger" is unwilling to apply to themselves. 

 

Silliness, but important to note nonetheless.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 17 2010

There's a very interesting piece over at Big Peace regarding the possibility of a major unintended consequence of any repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  The author, Peter Schweizer, highlights a reality that is being ignored by the Democrats:

The Democratic Party is held hostage by its liberal base and desperately needs to repeal DADT to placate them before the new Congress convenes in January. How else could the Democrats ignore the conclusion of a Pentagon report that indicates that almost 40% of combat Marines (and 25% of combat Army) may leave the armed forces if Congress overturns the don't ask, don't tell policy ? and then only seven days later ? have all of its Senate Democrats (with the one exception of Senator Manchin of West Virginia) vote in support of overturning that policy.

 

Only a Democratic party so indifferent to reality could ignore a Pentagon report that projects the hollowing out of our military manpower and breaking of our combat arms during a time of war.

 

In a recent interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton expressed his concern that overturning DADT would "break the infantry elements" of our armed forces.


I am dumbfounded how silent everyone seems to be about this.  Any serious, reasonable, fair debate about this monumental decision would include a discussion about these disturbing survey results.

 

But this isn't a serious debate.  It's a circus.  And the Democrat left are the ring leaders:

Democrats are trying to have it both ways. They trumpet the results of the Pentagon survey they believe support their position and then question, or call "hypothetical," the accuracy of other parts of the Pentagon survey they would just as soon ignore.

So what could this do to our armed forces?  Schweizer spells it out:

Consider the impact these departures could have on the Marines. As of October 31, 2010, there are 202,779 Marines. If up to 40% of this number decided to leave the Marine Corps in the near term as a result of the Congress overturning DADT, it would mean a loss of 81,111 Marines, many of whom are experienced combat veterans.

 

The Marine Corps only recruited 28,000 new Marines last year, and thus would be required to almost triple its annual recruitment goal just to stay at its current  strength.

 

The comparable numbers for the Army are 569,186 as of October 31, 2010. If up to 25% left the service, it would mean a loss of 142,296 Army personnel, in a service that recruited 74,577 last year. The Army would have to double its recruitment goal to stay at current strength.

In a word, this would devastate the readiness and the capabilities of our armed forces.  That liberal Democrats are marching us towards this end with reckless abandon speaks volumes about how much they can be trusted with our national security.

 

So what might come of all of this?  Any sound, rational mind knows where this leads:

And if the hollowing out of the military begins to manifest itself in earnest after an overturning of DADT, the Democratic Party, and the country, may be faced with only one effective answer to maintain effective numbers of military personnel: the resumption of the military draft.

 

Coercion is always the answer of a political class that can't admit it's wrong.

Considering the heyday of liberalism was the anti-war movement precipitated by the draft, it all starts to come full circle, doesn't it?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 17 2010

I believe that I am rich.but not in the sense that we define material wealth in the United States.  In other words, I have no yet attained that level of success that Barack Obama and the Democrat left declare that I am no longer worthy of keeping my money.  I don't make $250,000 a year, or whatever the arbitrary number is that they've drawn today in their endless efforts to inflame class warfare for their own political gain.

 

With that as a disclaimer, allow me to express to you how ticked off I am - and how ticked off all of us should be - with the unbridled hatred so many on the left have for those who have attained wealth.  It's a clinical condition for most of them.  They seethe with hatred for the wealthy.  And I don't get it.



 

Michael Tanner has provided some very interesting facts about these "hated" individuals that if the left had any self-respect, they would pay attention to:

 

Politicians often divide Americans between "the rich" and "working people," implying that the rich don't work for their money. Complaining about the tax deal, Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.) contemptuously referred to the rich as "trust-funders," suggesting that most had done nothing to earn their wealth. But in reality, roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich. They didn't inherit their wealth; they earned it.

 

In fact, several studies indicate that the rich work very hard for their wealth. For example, research by professors Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst found that the working time for upper-income professionals has increased since 1965, while working time for low-skill, low-income workers has decreased. Similarly, according to a study by the economists Peter Kuhn and Fernando Lozano, the number of men in the bottom fifth of the income ladder who work more than 49 hours per week has dropped by half since 1980. But among the top fifth of earners, work weeks in excess of 49 hours have increased by 80 percent. Dalton Conley, chairman of NYU's sociology department, concludes that "higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do."

 

Research by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman showed that those earning more than $100,000 per year spent on average less than 20 percent of their time on leisure activities, compared with more than a third of their time for people who earned less than $20,000 per year. Kahneman concluded that "being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things and more time doing compulsory things."

 

The rich are not sitting by the pool, sipping their cocktails; they are sitting in their offices, working their behinds off.

 

Tanner also does an excellent job of demolishing the foolish lie of the left that the rich need to pay their "fair share."

We also hear constantly that the rich need to "pay their fair share." But the rich already pay a disproportionate share of taxes. The richest 1 percent of Americans earn 20 percent of all income in America but pay 38 percent of income taxes. The top 5 percent earn slightly more than one-third of U.S. income while paying nearly 59 percent of income taxes. One might suggest, therefore, that the wealthy already pay nearly double their "fair share." Of course other taxes, such as payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and the like, tend to be more regressive, mitigating this somewhat. But even if you include all types of federal, state, and local taxes, the wealthy pay a higher proportion of taxes than their share of income would warrant.

 

The rich give back involuntarily through taxes and voluntarily through charity.

 

Households with more than $1 million in income make half of all charitable donations in this country. That totaled more than $150 billion last year.

Tanner goes on to point out the left's contradictory position that: a.) the rich spend their money frivolously (so they don't deserve to keep it) and b.) the rich won't spend their money to stimulate the economy (so they don't deserve to keep it.

 

It's really amazing to observe the vitriol and hatred the left so freely espouses towards a group of Americans that are easily defined as some of the hardest working, most charitable people in the country, whose investment and diligence continues to create jobs and opportunities for those who largely are not working as hard.

 

But such an honest assessment of this group doesn't score you nearly as many political points as playing on people's base emotions of envy and jealousy.  That's more profitable in the ballot box, so that's the way the left plays it.

 

By doing so, they continue their war against individuality, hard work, and the American Dream.  It's the class ant and grasshopper fable.  But unfortunately the left is committed to turning this fable into reality and by punishing success, bring this civilization to its knees.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

Tim Slagle has written a pretty compelling indictment of the left's war on free speech.  In it, he highlights an unbelievable revelation that is now coming out:

We've grown accustomed to hearing about people using police to rectify situations that used to be done with simple human interaction. So we shouldn't be surprised, when a daughter of America's most prominent conservative advances to the finals of a dance contest and some people petition the government for a redress of jitterbug. Though no action was taken by the government, according to a Smoking Gun article there were numerous emails and letters sent to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the move of Bristol into the final round of Dancing With The Stars.

 

This is amazing.  As Slagle points out, this is on par with people who call 911 because McDonald's has run out of McNuggets.  So why would they do this?  Slagle explains:

There have been numerous calls for the FCC to suspend the licenses of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, two entities that do not require FCC licenses. The Party who thinks requiring proof of US citizenship in order to vote qualifies as a constitutional violation wants FCC licenses for Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.

 

Ultimately, what people are complaining about is democracy in its truest form. Rush Limbaugh is on the radio because 21 million people tune in every week. Fox News leads all other cable news channels by a margin wide enough for Michael Moore to slip through (while giving Kirstie Alley a piggyback ride). Bristol might have not been the best dancer, but more people wanted to see her in the final round than Brandy.

 

We all know it isn't always the most talented who succeed. There are comics funnier than Dane Cook and better singers than Katy Perry. Yet both are at the top of their profession because they posses a couple assets that make them irresistible to the public (a similar argument might be made for the 2008 election).

 

For all the talk about the Right Wing being full of fascists, you never really hear the Right trying to censor the Left. If the FCC were inundated with letters every time a left-wing cause was advanced on network TV, one episode of The West Wing would have made FCC desks look like the final courtroom scene in Miracle on 34th Street.

And don't use the NPR argument.  Conservatives oppose NPR being funded with taxpayer dollars.not with the expression of opinion that takes place on those channels.  Conservatives are fine with the free exchange of ideas in the marketplace because we are confident our ideas are better.


What does it say about the confidence liberals have in their own beliefs that they so willingly want to drive all competing ideas from the table?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

If you're wanting an indication of why the vast majority of Americans don't trust the mainstream media anymore, here's a perfect example.

 

Appearing on MSNBC's program Morning Joe, the editors (or in one case former editor) of two major left-leaning, but mainstream mags (Mark Halperin of Time and Jon Meacham of Newsweek) explained that the most ideologically driven president of our time is no liberal ideologue at all.



 

Oh yes, they did:

JON MEACHAM: I think that, I continue to believe--and people don't agree with this--this was never an ideological White House.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Oh you're wrong.

MEACHAM: It just wasn't.  These was not, this were not.

SCARBOROUGH: So what was it?  Because they were the most progressive --

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: They were goal-oriented.

SCARBOROUGH: Despite what [left-wing] bloggers write, they were the most progressive administration since LBJ.

MEACHAM: Within the constraints that we've talked about, which is that the country is essentially center-right, yes they were progressive, but in context.  And I continue to believe that there was a very successful job on the part of the conservative opposition to cast the president as more radical than he was.

SCARBOROUGH: The president I believe is deeply, deeply ideological . . . But that's fascinating: you look at everything the president did over the last two years and you don't think he's ideological.

MEACHAM: I don't think he's a doctrinaire liberal.  I just don't.

When Joe later turned to Halperin, he got a similarly stunning answer.

SCARBOROUGH: You don't think he's ideological either?

MARK HALPERIN: I don't.

Simply astounding.  Meacham actually reveals the reason these men come to such a hair-brained conclusion in the course of his explanation.  It's the same principle as my beef earlier this year with liberal IUK professor Earl Wysong who corrected a student's paper to declare that Nancy Pelosi was a moderate:

 

Liberal progressives want to skew the political spectrum so that what is left is center.  That makes what is really centrist become right leaning.  And what is right becomes radical wingnut stuff.  It's an agenda to redefine American politics by popularly redefining the political spectrum.

 

Frankly, I find it a fatally flawed strategy because it merely makes those articulating it look silly.  For evidence, see above.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

One of the drawbacks of waiting in doctor's offices these days is that they almost all have televisions now showing programs that I would otherwise not be watching. Such was the case today when I had the privilege of being subjected to the Ellen DeGeneres show. As much as I tried, I could not completely ignore the injection of her cultural wreck into my personal environment.

 

What continues to be confirmed to me from their self-serving displays of pompous behavior is the overall vulgarity of this culture. The entire basis for her humor appears to be sexual references and innuendoes. And her audience roars with gleeful approval. It is nothing but a bacchanalian bunch of hypothetical adults demanding that the costs of the consequences of their choices be born by someone else. They glamorize all forms of sexual deviance and decadence, and then wander in ignorance as they wonder why so many in contemporary society are impoverished.


 

They are impoverished because too many of us are forced to pay for their debauchery. Children who should have been born into families built upon the commitment of a husband and wife are instead brought into "alternative lifestyles" that typically erode into a single struggling parent. Men who have a hard time making their paycheck stretch to cover the needs of one family are [rightfully] saddled with child support payments to children in one or multiple other families.

 

But in the land of left-believe, none of this exists as the real-life consequence to unabated sexual immorality. In their world, especially in the liberal subset known as entertainment, they can afford to pay others to deal with it. In the real world, though, the carnage left behind from their debauchery is sadly real. Not the least of which is their complicity in the modern form of slavery known as human trafficking for the sex industry.

 

Perhaps if all these overpaid "investigative" journalists were more interested in reporting truth rather than defending their made-up political correctness rules, we would get somewhere once again as a rational, moral society. Sadly, history demonstrates repeatedly that some things require a crisis before they can be repaired.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

A pretty remarkable situation is occurring in Berkeley, IL. 

 

It seems a middle school teacher at Berkeley School District 87, Safoorah Khan, resigned her position a while back because the district denied her request for three weeks of unpaid leave.  She had requested that lengthy time off on the grounds that she is a devout Muslim who wanted to participate in the Hajj (the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca).

 

But the story doesn't end there.  Khan wants her job back, and then some.

In November 2008, Khan filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause that discrimination had occurred and forwarded the matter to the Justice Department.

 

And how has the Obama Justice Department handled this case?  I bet you'd never guess:

The government asked the court to order the school district to adopt policies that reasonably accommodate its employees' religious practices and beliefs, and to reinstate Khan with back pay and also pay her compensatory damages.

It's the position of the Obama Justice Department that the school has violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to provide for and reasonably accommodate the religious traditions of its staff.

 

So here's a hypothetical question for you to consider.  Suppose I requested 3 weeks of unpaid leave to take a trip to Israel to visit the Holy Land.  If my school refused to grant me that time off - given that it is not a negotiated part of the employee contract - would the Obama administration step in on my behalf?

 

The answer is pretty obvious.  And that begs the question: what is special about Ms. Khan?  Or perhaps the better question: what is special about Ms. Khan's religious choice that it gets preferential treatment?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

I said the other day that the critical ruling of U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson regarding the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare's mandate to purchase health insurance would inevitably end up in front of the Supreme Court.


There's no doubt that this is true.  But I also said that such a hearing might well come down to the vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy (the swing vote of the Court's nine members).  As it turns out, that may not be the case after all.

 

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post has dropped a bomb on the debate over ObamaCare with this fascinating revelation:

...here's the tricky part: Justice Elena Kagan, having served in the Obama Justice Department, is surely to recuse herself. With the "liberals" one judge down, even a Kennedy vote to uphold the individual mandate would presumably result in a 4-4 tie. And guess what? If there is a tie, the lower ruling stands. In other words, this is really bad for ObamaCare advocates.


This is a stunning development.

 

Yes, it's true that there should be another step in the appeals process between Judge Hudson and the SCOTUS.  That intermediate step would be the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  But most legal analysts agree that the 4th Circuit is likely to uphold Judge Hudson's ruling.

 

That puts Obama in a no-win situation.  He can let the appeals process take its time and go to the 4th.  That would potentially only strengthen the constitutional case against his landmark bill.  Or he could seek to expedite the process and skip the 4th, requesting the SCOTUS to hear the case immediately.  But the Kagan revelation indicates that might not be the smartest move either.

 

This is a huge game changer, and it exposes the confident smiles of ObamaCare advocates as pure window dressing.  The individual mandate - which is the linchpin holding ObamaCare together - is in big trouble with the courts.  Stay tuned...

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

The Gospel according to John begins:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Even those who do not accept the truth of the birth of Jesus generally believe that Christmas is a unique time to celebrate "peace on earth." In the course of history, even wars have paused on Christmas Eve and Christmas day in order for combatants to celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

 

Leave it to Planned Parenthood to inject its own brand of deadly celebration into this holy time of the year:

Alaska's largest provider of abortions will be selling holiday gift certificates good for services including abortion in a fundraising effort during a Jewish bazaar on Sunday. The certificates are being sold in Anchorage as part of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest's effort to raise funds for their organization.

Nothing like giving the gift that snuffs out life. Perhaps next year they would consider offering these certificates in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day. Merry Christmas, indeed.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

A bright, new day is finally dawning!

 

America, celebrate! You now have a MOTUS (Mother of the United States). First Lady Michelle Obama declares:

"But when our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it's clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well," Mrs. Obama said. "We can't just leave it up to the parents.  I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won't be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway.  I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards."

 

In response, Don Surber offers this alternative perspective:

If kids get more than half their calories at school (and shouldn't schools teach kids instead of feeding them?) and they are fat, then the government ? not parents ? is to blame. Logic would dictate that the government is irresponsible and incompetent when it comes to feeding children.

 

It would be interesting to compare the weights of home-schooled children and the free lunch bunch.

Logic? Who needs stinkin' logic?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

Indiana Senator Richard Lugar appears poised to support allowing open homosexuality in the military in a stand-alone bill. This is the latest tactic by Senator Harry Reid in his obsession to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  (Have you noticed that Liberals never seem to be hampered by distracting debates over fiscal verses social issues?)


 

Please call Senator Lugar's office and let his staff know your view of this issue and how the Senator should vote concerning open homosexuality in the US Military.

 

         Senator Lugar's Washington DC office: (202) 224-4814

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

Stop the presses.  Another Hollywood liberal has called Sarah Palin an idiot.

 

I know, I know, this is beyond the point of monotonous.  So why point out that West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin has gone loco over the former VP candidate shooting a caribou on television? 


 

Because columnist Dennis Prager does such a masterful job turning the tables on Sorkin's confusion, that's why.  After listing all the inane accusations Sorkin leveled against Palin (she tortures animals for fun, she makes snuff films, she's the same as Mike Vick, she murders moose for political gain, she's deranged), Prager does some analysis:

Sorkin admits that he eats meat and wears leather. So while he and almost all of us in the affluent West can eat healthfully without eating any meat, Sorkin chooses to have animals killed solely for his culinary pleasure. In other words, he is morally at peace with paying others to kill animals for what is in fact the "fun" of eating meat. But when Sarah Palin hunts and kills an animal for food, she is a murderer and torturer.

 

And while on the subject of torture, isn't there more torture in the way in which most animals are confined and killed in the slaughter mills of modern society than in the killing of an individual animal while it freely roams in the wild?

 

As for comparing Palin's TV show to a "snuff film," what kind of mind likens the murder of an innocent person on film to hunting a caribou? There is an answer: the Hollywood leftist mind.

 

Likewise Sorkin's use of the word "murdered." Outside of his confused moral universe, humanity has always reserved that word exclusively for describing the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. It has never been used to describe the killing of an animal. By Sorkin's logic, his eating meat renders him a mass murderer.



 

No wonder, then, that Sorkin sees no difference between Palin's shooting a caribou and Michael Vick's using dogs to kill one another in a sadistic sporting event.

 

I return to the question: Does Sorkin really not see a difference between hunting an animal for food, torturing an animal, and murdering a human being ? especially given the fact that he pays people to kill animals for his joy in eating them?

 

If he sees no difference, then it is he ? not Sarah Palin ? who best fits the description of her he gave in his column. The only other explanation would be that he so hates her that he will say anything, in order to insult her, even if he has to turn moral standards upside-down.

The moral universe turned upside down...I can think of no better description for the Hollywood world Sorkin dwells in than that.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

One of my favorite columnists, Mona Charen, has explored what she perceives to be an emerging delusional state on the left.  My first reaction is to question how she can consider it "emerging."  The left's suffering from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) and its uglier cousin PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) has become common knowledge.


But Charen isn't moved by the delusion of the left that leads them to attack conservatives.  She's amazed that it is so pronounced it is causing them to attack the most liberal progressive president we have had in over a generation.



 

After commenting on the outright hostility and bitter anger many liberals are expressing towards President Obama for cutting a "deal" with Republicans, Charen concludes that the left sees the mere extension of our current tax structure as politically and morally wrong.  She thoroughly harpoons both of those ideas:

On the politics, it's hard to see how they reach this conclusion. Speaker Pelosi could have scheduled a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts before the election. That she declined is evidence that a significant number of Democrats feared that a vote to raise taxes on anyone ? even just "the rich" ? might not serve them well back home. Have the angry Democrats who are convinced that this compromise was political poison looked at polls? According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 69 percent of Americans support the compromise package.

 

...

 

As for the moral argument ? that the undeserving rich should be separated from their obscene profits ? well, it isn't moral at all. It isn't motivated by concern for the poor or even for the middle class, because increasing taxes on the rich only decreases their ability to hire the needy... Though it drives Democrats crazy, most Americans seem to have a visceral sense that people are entitled to reap the benefits of their successes, and that fairness requires ensuring equal opportunity, not equal results. And if removing the uncertainty about tax increases boosts the economy's recovery, the primary beneficiaries will not be the rich, but the currently unemployed.

They may be delusional, as Charen suggests, but at least give them this: they are consistent.  That's more than can be said for the likes of Barack Obama.  After spending years telling us that the "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy" were the cause of all of our economic problems, Obama is now in the position of fighting for extending the "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy" so that the middle class can help revive the economy.

 

Somebody's not being honest.  It's enough to make even your biggest fans.well, delusional.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

Michelle Obama used some unfortunate verbiage in explaining her support for the new "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act."  The law, which allows the federal government to regulate the food sold at local schools (including vending machines) for the first time in American history, was passed last summer and has now been signed into effect.

 

It was at the event that Mrs. Obama spoke poorly:

Speaking at Monday's signing ceremony for the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act"-- a law that will subsidize and regulate what children eat before school, at lunch, after school, and during summer vacations in federally funded school-based feeding programs -- First Lady Michelle Obama said of deciding what American children should eat: "We can't just leave it up to the parents."



We can't just leave it up to the parents.  To be fair to Mrs. Obama, if you properly put her comments in context you see that she's saying that parents' efforts at home to instill healthy eating habits can be undone in the myriad hours that students spend at school.  Critics immediately jumped on the line, however, and are using it to tout yet another nanny-state approach of the left.

 

Unfair?  Hardly.  The reason this type of accusation works is because this is not an isolated incident.  This isn't the extent of the Obama-philosophy of running people's lives and stripping people of their individual responsibilities.  And consequently, it becomes yet another arrow in the quiver of those who understand that liberal progressivism is attempting to preside over the death of individuality and personal autonomy.

 

It's true that a proper debate should be held over whether or not the federal government has any business involving itself in the vending machines of local school corporations.  The answer is obviously, "no."  But you can hardly be surprised that this remark has now, once again, opened up a larger discussion of the role of government in our lives.

 

It's a bed of the Obamas' own making...now they get to lay in it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 15 2010

For those who are superbly tired of hearing the left lavish praise upon Katie Couric for her hard-hitting journalism that brought down the rise of Sarah Palin in 2008 and preserved the presidency for Barack Obama (not looking like such a dad burned beautiful idea about now, is it?), take a look at this video.



 

This is a case study in how a rational, well spoken, intelligent conservative mind can obliterate the pettiness of liberal journalists - without being rude, snarky, or condescending.  Condi is just smart.

 

If Couric "proved" Sarah Palin was not ready for prime time, and should instead stick to her fly-fishing in Alaska, this interview is her just desserts.  It "proves" Katie Couric is not ready for prime time journalistic debate, and should instead stick to holiday cooking episodes on the Today Show.

 

Condi demolishes Couric on Saddam, Iraq, WMD.the whole nine yards.  Check it out.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 14 2010

The White House is playing it cool.but no thinking person is buying it.

 

In the first serious court challenge to the individual mandate portion of ObamaCare (which, let's be honest, is the crux of the entire bill), U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that Congress (and by extension, the President) has gone too far, and have violated the constitutional bounds placed on them.


 

And the most damaging part of the ruling is that Hudson uses some of ObamaCare's defense to make his case:

In his 42-page opinion released today, Judge Hudson caught those who drafted the law at their own game: He cited earlier versions of the legislation in both the House and the Senate that explicitly referred to the penalty for not complying by the "politically toxic term ?tax'." But they substituted the term "penalty" for the word "tax" in the individual-mandate section of the final law.

 

"A logical inference can be drawn that the substitution of this critical language was a conscious and deliberate act on the part of Congress," especially since the term "tax" is used in numerous other places in the law regarding taxing medical devices, employer-sponsored health insurance, high-income taxpayers, and indoor tanning services.

 

This "taxing" issue likely will be key to the Florida court decision that will be argued this Thursday. Twenty states and the National Federation of Independent Business are challenging the individual mandate as well as the government's authority to dictate health-coverage expansions to the states.

 

Federal Judge Roger Vinson of Florida declared earlier that "Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an ?Alice-in-Wonderland' tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check."

The judge held that the bill was unconstitutional for two reasons.  One, it exceeded the legitimate constitutional authority to regulate commerce.  And two, the administration is defending it using arguments and positions it explicitly denied and rejected during the authorship of the bill.


 

This is a huge deal.  Yes, there have been other court challenges that have been thrown out by other judges.  But they were, by and large, rejected on the basis of technicalities and "standing" claims.  This is a crucial substantive rejection of ObamaCare on the basis of the Constitution, and it sets the stage for yet another debilitating blow in an upcoming monster challenge out of Florida.

 

For all the brave faces coming out of the administration right now, this was no glancing blow.  This was a big defeat.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 14 2010

On election night 2010, Democrats were reassuring themselves by pointing to Joe Manchin's win in his West Virginia Senate race to replace the deceased Robert Byrd.  Of course, they just ignored the fact that Manchin basically had to promise the people of West Virginia he would oppose virtually everything the Democrats were trying to do in Washington in order to get elected.

 

That's why many of us (myself included) said in post-election analysis that this could be an entertaining seat to watch...particularly since Manchin will have to defend that seat in another two years when Byrd's term would have been up.
 

It appears we were right:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) appeared to take a stand on the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" Thursday, becoming the only Senate Democrat to vote against a procedural motion to move the measure forward. 


 

Don't you love that "appeared to take a stand" part?  Classic.  Here's why it only "appeared" that way:

But after the vote, Manchin blasted out a statement apologizing to anyone angered by his vote and said he believed the policy "probably should be repealed in the near future." 

 

"While I believe the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy will be repealed someday, and probably should be repealed in the near future, I do not support its repeal at this time," Manchin said in the statement. "I truly understand that my position will anger those who believe repeal should happen now and for that I sincerely apologize. While I am very sympathetic to those who passionately support the repeal, as a Senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia."

 

Manchin went on to explain that his 'no' vote Thursday doesn't reflect concerns with repealing the ban on openly gay service members. He said it's "an issue of timing."

He also suggested that President Obama should just leave the Senate out of the equation and take it upon himself to stop the policy, noting in his statement that some believe it's within Obama's power to suspend the military discharges "if he deems it a matter of national security."

 

"If this is correct, and the President was to make such an order, while I may disagree with it, I would respect his authority as President to do so," Manchin said in the statement.

Oh my.  Even attempting to make sense out of that gobbledygook is nearly an impossible task.  This is the dilemma that the left presents the Democratic Party.  America is not on board with progressive liberalism.  Progressive liberals have taken over the Democratic Party, and consequently people like Manchin look like fools.

 

It may not be his fault, but it's pretty apparent, we've got a doozy from West Virginia whose two year two-step is going to fun to watch.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 14 2010

As we've documented numerous times here at The Liberty Tree, to their eternal shame, liberals have destroyed the seriousness of racism in the United States.  By consistently using this appalling mindset as merely a buzzword to smear political opponents, they have rendered the term meaningless.

 

From time to time, examples of their shameful game is so obvious, it deserves special recognition.  Such is the case with the left's standard bearer, MSNBC's resident cantankerous drama queen Keith Olbermann.


 

Brad Wilmouth highlighted Olbermann's recent disgust with Obama's recent compromise on the tax rates:

On Thursday's show, reeling from disappointment that President Obama compromised with Republicans to prevent tax increases, Olbermann celebrated a former Hillary Clinton supporter as a "Nostradamus" because, during the 2008 presidential campaign, he gave a speech warning that President Obama would not fight hard enough against Republicans.

 

But the clip shown also included this Clinton supporter - Tom Buffenbarger of the machinists union - accusing Obama of having his "nose in the air." Buffenbarger also called the then-Senator's supporters "latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies"

Bolstering his frustration by hailing a "Nostradomus" Democrat who commented on Obama's arrogance.  That's interesting.  Because it wasn't that long ago that Olbermann told us conservative Republicans who criticized Obama's arrogance were only doing that because they were flaming racists:

Last January, when a number of white conservatives used words like "arrogant" and "cocky" to refer to President Obama's State of the Union speech, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann asserted that they really meant Obama was an "uppity" black man: "When racist white guys get together and they don't want to be caught using any of the popular epithets in use every day in this country about black people - and there's a chance one of them, or worse still a white guy who doesn't get it might wander in and hear the conversation, when there's a risk even in saying ?uppity' or ?forgetting his place,' the racist white guys revert to euphemisms and code words. And among the code words that they think they're getting away with are ?cocky,' ?flippant,' ?punk,' and especially ?arrogant.'"

It's the sad story of the left: unable to compete on the playing field of ideas, they're content to hurl abominable accusations at their opponents.even when they don't believe the assertion themselves.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 14 2010

Sometimes compromise is necessary.  Sometimes compromise is a noble thing.

 

But sometimes standing on principle is necessary.  Sometimes compromise is evil.

 

David Limbaugh (Rush's brother who is a gifted columnist and Christian thinker) has written a powerful commentary on the difference between the two that is totally worth the read. 

 

Limbaugh's crucial point not to be missed regarding compromise is this:

...it is sometimes necessary for even highly principled politicians to compromise -- in those cases when the compromise is better than the alternative. That is, gridlock is not always better when existing legislation is worse than compromise legislation that could improve on the status quo.


 

This is an excellent point.  The foolishness that says, "the American people just want politicians of both parties to get along and come together to accomplish something" is nonsense.

 

Sometimes - many times - the American people want the politicians of both parties to present their ideas for the direction of the country as best they can, then let the people speak through elections as to who has the best ideas.  That means one side wins, and one side loses.

 

Democrat leftists have realized that they seem to always lose that battle of ideas, and so they have set up this fool's game of demanding compromise from conservatives.  It's their way of getting a piece of the power pie that the American people have denied them on election day.

 

Conservatives are foolish not to realize as much.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 13 2010

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters did a great job pointing out how a recent exchange on Chris Matthews' Hardball program revealed that it really didn't matter how Sarah Palin would have answered Katie Couric's infamous "What do you read" question.  She would have been lampooned no matter what it was.


 

After Palin told Barbara Walters recently that she likes to read C.S. Lewis for divine inspiration as well as Newsmax and the Wall Street Journal, Sheppard provided the evidence in the form of a transcript:

MATTHEWS: But Newsmax. Explain Newsmax, why she would say something like that. That's a digest of conservative to right-wing thinking. You don't have to read. They just tell you the little items you're supposed to know.

 

NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, that's her base. That's exactly her base, is Newsmax, people who read Newsmax, people who watch Newsmax.

 

MATTHEWS: Well, why would you say that's among your reading every day?

Your thoughts about that? Why would you say something like that? It's like I'm getting ingested. I don't read.

 

WOLFFE: It's not reading it for the news in Newsmax, is it?  (CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS: Just looking for one-liners.

No mention of the Wall Street Journal or the other papers Palin listed.  Matthews chose to zero in on a conservative news site as being unacceptable reading.  So Sheppard's point is well taken: Palin could have said anything and it wouldn't have mattered.

 

But the best part of this Palin-criticizing exercise on Hardball actually came when expert Palin-basher Richard Wolffe humiliated himself taking on Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis:

WOLFFE: All "The Chronicles of Narnia." (LAUGHTER)

 

WOLFFE: Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids books? I don't think C.S. Lewis would really want Newsmax in -- (CROSSTALK)

 

MATTHEWS: But I wouldn't put down C.S. Lewis.

 

WOLFFE: No, I'm not putting him down.

 

MATTHEWS: Right.

 

WOLFFE: But divine inspiration? There are things she could have said for divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one. 


How classic is that?  Wolffe is attempting to mock Palin's lack of literary knowledge and depth.  Yet Wolffe is apparently blissfully unaware that Lewis wrote far more than just the children's series "The Chronicles of Narnia" (which, by the way, are profoundly deep allegories to Scriptural truths).


Lewis authored "Mere Christianity," "The Problem of Pain," and "Miracles," and is commonly regarded as one of the greatest Christian apologists and thinkers of all time.  Something Wolffe might have known if he ever read anything outside of the Huffington Post.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 13 2010

Last week there was yet another attempted terrorist attack on our troops right here in the United States.  Not surprisingly, it was another jihadist Muslim targeting our soldiers on our own soil.  His name: Muhammed Hussain.

 

No word yet on whether Attorney General Eric Holder thinks that radical Islam MIGHT have been a motivating factor for him to want to take the kind of actions that he took.  Undoubtedly, Holder is conferring with political correctness gurus before issuing any statements that might hurt the terrorist butchers' feelings.


 

Hussain's plan was to kill soldiers at a Baltimore area recruiting station, then move on to attack Andrews Air Force Base with bombs and hostage killings.  He praised Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan and proclaimed that jihad must come to America to fulfill Allah's wishes.

 

Here's the $64 million question: how much coverage have you heard of this event in the news?  How much outrage have you heard being directed at this evil ideology from the White House?  Exactly. 

 

Columnist Michelle Malkin writes:

If Hussain's targets had been abortion clinics, we'd hear no end of denunciations of the hatred and intimidation. Indeed, when Little Rock jihadist Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad was arrested in June 2009 for the murder of Army Pvt. William A. Long, 23, and the shooting of Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, it took three days for the White House to issue a limp, politically correct statement expressing "sadness" over the attacks, which President Obama opaquely described as a "senseless act of violence" (instead of the intentional, systematic act of Islamic terrorism that it was). In the same week, the Obama administration issued an immediate condemnation and statement of "outrage" over the shooting death of late-term abortionist George Tiller.

 

Some enemies get Obama a little more "wee wee'd up," to borrow his phrase, than others.

If we aren't going to get wee-wee'd up as a people over the Muslim terrorists wanting to kill us on our own soil, our civilization will not survive.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 13 2010

Here is an axiom all of us would be very wise to live by: don't trust those who claim to despise and eschew labels.  I have never encountered such an individual who isn't merely saying that to gain power or rank.  Whether this is the person who claims, "I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious," or "I'm not conservative or liberal, I just want what's best for the country," these folks are total frauds.

 

The latter example is being perfectly manifested by a new group co-founded by former George Bush speechwriter (and professional "conservative" conservative-criticizer) David Frum.


 

Frum and his band of merry men would have you believe that they are merely pragmatists who don't believe in right or left.  They just believe in doing what's right.  Apparently we are supposed to believe that conservative and liberal minded folks have one thing in common: they don't really want to do what is right.they just want to argue.  What nonsense.

 

Jonah Goldberg levels the proper indictment against these swindlers:

What no-labelers really mean is that they don't like inconvenient disagreements that hinder their agenda. And that's what is so troubling, indeed so undemocratic, about this claptrap. When they claim we need to put aside labels to do what's right, what they are really saying is you need to put aside what you believe in and do what they say. When activists say we need to move past the partisan divide, what they mean is: Shut up and get with my program. Have you ever heard anyone say, "We need to get past all of this partisan squabbling and name-calling. That's why I'm going to abandon all my objections and agree with you?" I haven't.

Politics is the process of two sides who passionately believe that their ideas are best, attempting to convince the people that their side is right.  Stripping that from a culture doesn't breed good government.  It breeds dictatorships.

 

Thankfully it appears that more people see through this idiotic fašade than they used to...as evidenced by the fact that despite all its pomp and posturing, according to Goldberg, "No Labels" has only been able to raise a meager one million dollars to this point.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, December 12 2010

Is the Indiana General Assembly positioning itself for a showdown with the federal government? Yesterday afternoon I attended a four-hour presentation at the State House hosted by Senator Mike Delph. The symposium featured one of the nation's foremost Constitutional legal authorities, Professor Herb Titus, a founding Dean of the College of Law and Government at Regent University. Also on the panel was Dr. Paul Jehl, Director of the Plymouth Rock Foundation and an author of curricula on the US Constitution.



A dozen legislators attended the forum on "Interposition." This term concerns the proper roles of various branches and levels of government and the checks and balances set forth by our founding documents. Many legislators had questions about how states in previous generations asserted their rights and how interposition might be practiced today.

 

Each speaker explained the foundations of government and the historic conflicts that have occurred between states and the federal government and conflicts between the three branches of the federal government itself. With all of the required meetings and committee hearings a legislator must attend, it is not often you have legislators voluntarily stay at a four-hour meeting. One thing became obvious - many legislators expect a standoff between Indiana and the Obama administration over the Health Care Reform Act.

 

On April 9th, 2009, the Indiana Senate passed (44-3) Senate Resolution # 42 restating roles and duties under the 10th Amendment and it asked the Federal Government to "cease and desist" with all mandates upon Indiana beyond its defined limits. Indiana may soon have to contend with all the ramifications placed upon state health and welfare agencies stemming from Obamacare. Many of the cost cutting and efficiencies achieved by the Daniels Administration are at risk under a mandatory revamping and expansion of Medicaid that could cost the state billions that we simply do not have.

 

This could be something interesting to watch next year as legal challenges to Obamacare play out in the courts. There may also be efforts from various state legislatures signaling that they will not, or cannot, abide by this new slew of federal mandates.

 

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 04:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, December 12 2010

One of the critical consequences of the elimination of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy and the open inclusion of practicing homosexuals in military service will be the assault upon the military Chaplain Corps. According to Department of the Navy (DON) doctrine, SecNavInst 1730.7d provides this purpose for Navy Chaplains and religious ministry:

 

As advocates of spiritual, moral, and ethical maturity and resiliency, Navy Chaplains are essential to the Department of the Navy's (DON'S) effort to assist Service members, their families, and other authorized personnel in coping with military life.

 

Contained within this same directive are instructions to the Chaplain:

 

[As] a condition of appointment, every RMP (Religious Ministry Professional) must be willing to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment of the military, with tolerance for diverse religious traditions and respect for the rights of individuals to determine their own religious convictions. Chaplains must be willing to support the free exercise of religion by all Service members, their families, and other authorized persons. Chaplains are trained and expected to cooperate with other chaplains and RMPs and work within the specialized environment of the military while not compromising the tenets of their own religious traditions.


 

The following instruction is given to Commanders:

 

Commanders shall not compel chaplains to act in a way that is inconsistent with the tenets of their faith.

 

There are already those who regularly assault the presence of military Chaplains on the basis of "separation of church and state." I have no doubt that they will use the open service of homosexuals in the military as an additional wedge to force their way upon the military. The sequence of events is fairly straightforward: (1) Find the inevitable situation in which one or more Chaplains express opposition to homosexual behavior and lifestyle. This will probably not be difficult, since each of the major faith groups that maintain endorsed Chaplains in military service - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - are guided by scripture that refers to homosexual behavior as sinful. (2) They will argue that such teaching contradicts with Department of Defense (DOD) policy that accepts active homosexuals as full members of the Armed Forces. (3) Any expression that active and open homosexuality is not completely accepted must be eradicated. (4) All military Chaplains must accept active homosexuals and homosexuality as a completely compatible and equal lifestyle and will not teach otherwise. (5) If unable to agree to such a doctrine, then the Chaplain must not be allowed to serve.

 

As advocates of homosexual behavior impose their will upon everyone, they will conveniently ignore an inherent fallacy of their arguments. Chaplains already serve in environments in which the moral imperatives of scripture are at odds with what has become acceptable behavior. One example is adultery. The scriptural teaching of adultery has not changed over the years, but its open acceptance within society at large and its subsequent acceptance within the military has changed. Yet, Chaplains continue to preach and teach the negative consequences of such behavior. At the same time, they work with members of the military who are open about their adultery.

 

Even though some tension would exist, the same would be true concerning the homosexual issue. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that advocates of homosexual behavior will demand complete and full acceptance with no room for any dissent.

 

Once again, I hope that this is a consequence that military and civilian leadership are considering. Should the elimination of the DADT policy result in the elimination of military Chaplains, it will be a significant blow to unit morale and cohesion.

 

My brief series on the DADT issue represent what I consider the significant impact of the elimination of the policy. There are no doubt other consequences that have not crossed my mind. If you think of any, or feel that I'm off base, feel free to add your comments to the discussion.
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 03:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 10 2010

Continuing my thoughts on the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) controversy, I turn my attention to discipline. Most of my comments will probably refer to Navy instructions and doctrine since that is my area of familiarity. I am certain that there is not much variance between branches of service.

 

Each command is charged with preventing sexual harassment. As specified in the Navy's Policy on Sexual Harassment, SecNavInst 5300.26,

The Navy-Marine Corps team must be composed of an optimally integrated group of men and women who are able to work together to accomplish the mission. Each member of the team is entitled to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and must be allowed to work in an environment free of unlawful discrimination. Additionally, each member is expected to abide by the DON Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Sailors, Marines and civilians who model the Core Values do not engage in negative behaviors such as sexual harassment, and do not condone those behaviors in others.


 

The current policy is directed at sexual harassment between men and women. If DADT is dropped, there will have to be modifications that specify harassment between same sex situations. Such modifications can be made, but certain "gray-area" scenarios come to my mind.

 

In this highly charged political climate driven by homosexual advocates, what kind of charges will be made toward service members who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of same sex partners? What if a senior officer introduces a same sex partner at a command's social function, and a junior officer (JO) does not appear to engage in significant conversation? What if the JO does not agree with the homosexual agenda, is cordial and polite to his senior officer and partner, but tries to remain separated from them as much as possible? If the JO is later "taken to task" by the senior officer for ignoring him and his partner, does that constitute an act of sexual harassment?

 

Or if the roles are switched and the JO attends with a same sex partner and other members of the command, both senior and junior, do not interact much with them, can the JO make accusations of sexual harassment?

 

There is also a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article (125) that states:

 

Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

Obviously, this will have to be altered. In spite of any alterations to the UCMJ, though, there still remain policies prohibiting sexual misconduct at military commands. Aboard Navy vessels, for instance, intercourse and other such sexual acts between members of the command or anyone else visiting the command are prohibited. Will homosexual advocates begin opposing the proper prosecution of violations of these policies if same sex members of the command choose to engage in sexual activity aboard ship or at any other command setting?

 

Again, these are significant policy decisions that I hope are being addressed by military and civilian leadership. Since they impact discipline, they also impact unit morale and readiness. They should also, in my opinion, be a part of the current public discourse on the matter. The fact that they are not leads me to believe that there will be a lot of frivolous and unjust accusations made by homosexual advocates if the DADT policy is dropped. More to come.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 08 2010

Within the public debate, the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) controversy revolves around the homosexual advocates' claims for civil rights. There are even more significant issues surrounding DADT that I hope leadership is addressing. I commented on DADT & readiness. We can also consider DADT and benefits.

 

Every military veteran has access to certain Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. These benefits are contingent upon honorable service. If a veteran's discharge from service is other than honorable, benefits are usually negatively impacted.



 

Medical benefits are one such area. According to US Code Title 38,

An injury or disease incurred during active military, naval, or air service will be deemed to have been incurred in line of duty and not the result of the veteran's own misconduct when the person on whose account benefits are claimed was, at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, in active military, naval, or air service, whether on active duty or on authorized leave.

 

The rest of the sentence then reads:

 

.unless such injury or disease was a result of the person's own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.

I remember being told that laying on a beach and getting a debilitating sunburn recreationally would be considered "self inflicted" and that time off for recovery could make one subject to punishment for missing duty. Yes, things can be strict.

 

However, since the Vietnam era,

Venereal disease shall not be presumed to be due to willful misconduct if the person in service complies with the regulations of the appropriate service department requiring the person to report and receive treatment for such disease.

So the question arises: Is HIV/AIDS a venereal disease if contracted through sexual conduct? If so, then treatment will be provided the veteran as a medical benefit. Since the VA medical system is already resource challenged, this will put even more pressure on the system.

 

(Which should give one pause to wonder that if a government medical system designed as a rightful benefit is always struggling for adequate resources how a nationalized healthcare system is ever going to handle the load. Oh well, another topic for another day).

 

If contracting HIV/AIDS through sexual conduct is considered willful misconduct, then we can be certain that homosexual advocates will be attacking the system until it is removed from the misconduct list. Will any consequences of homosexual behavior be considered willful misconduct? In today's climate, one would guess not, but that does not remove the burdensome cost that will be imposed on citizens who are not involved in this immoral conduct.

 

As a P.S., perhaps all government funding for HIV/AIDS treatment be limited to only those who have had military service. In that way, it is at least an earned benefit and not merely another social program that rewards poor decisions. More to come...

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 08 2010

As the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) controversy rages on, I have been giving it some thought. True, I have never had policy-making experience in the military, but I have had military experience in a variety of settings: submarines, surface ships, Chaplain Corps, active duty, and reserves.

 

While the public discourse centers around "acceptance" and "morale issues," I hope that military leadership is considering the even more critical issues of impact. I will share my thoughts on these issues in a brief series.



 

Military service is all about readiness. Whether on active duty or in the reserves, military personnel spend significant time ensuring that they are personally prepared for deployment in accordance with standing regulations. Among other things, this means being medically qualified and fit for duty. During in port periods, submariners are scheduled for dental screening exams. Any problems are addressed. A requirement for deployment is having a clear dental record. Sound trivial? Imagine trying to do your vital job onboard a submarine that will be operating submerged for a 30-90 day period with an infected tooth!

 

One of the issues with homosexual behavior is that it exposes participants to more infectious disease. HIV/AIDS is the headline disease, but there are many others: hepatitis, cancers, and sundry other STDs. Some of these infectious diseases do not actually present themselves for several weeks to months after contraction, even though they can be transmitted. What does this mean? It means that a person may test negative for one or more infectious disease yet still be capable of infecting others.

 

Whether in combat or in the close quarters of normal military life, injuries and accidents happen. During casualty situations, there is often no opportunity to protect oneself against the transmission of blood and/or other body fluid contact. You don't stop to put on surgery room gloves and gowns in the middle of combat or fighting a shipboard fire. You just do what is necessary to save your buddy, yourself, and the equipment.

 

Does the increased presence of active homosexuals in the military increase, decrease, or not impact the hazards? Is readiness, as explained above, impacted? These are issues that have nothing to do with declarations of morality; they have everything to do with the ability of the United States military forces to carry out their mission to protect and defend this nation. I hope that our leadership is taking this into serious consideration.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 08 2010

I have always been a pretty big Disney fan.  Some will assert after reading this, I have to change:

 

Disney movies are aimed at kids. They use children's sense of powerlessness as a key plot device.

Liberals have cultivated that same feeling of powerlessness to the point that it has become an entire narcissistic, victim-centric worldview.

 

In short, like children attracted to Disney movies, liberals have yet to grow up and accept responsibility for their own existences.


 

Author Gregory Oatis goes on to list ten ways in which liberals' view of reality mirrors Disney movies.  Some of them are pretty entertaining, enlightening and accurate like:

 

9) Liberals are powerless; their puny little lives are controlled by big ugly mean monsters or corporations that don't care and want to hurt them.

 

8) Birds and animals and fish and trees can think and feel and talk.

 

7) Transportation can be effected with little or no fuel consumption, via vehicles such as broomsticks, magic carpets and pixie dust. Much like the cute little hybrids and electric cars liberals love.

 

6) There is no God, just an unreasoning faith in some inchoate force you might as well call "The Circle of Life."

 

So does this mean a conservative must give up Disney?  Hardly!  We should train our children that Disney is fantasy.  Life is much different.  Somewhere along the line, it's apparent liberals didn't get that memo.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 08 2010

In his press conference announcing his "compromise" with Republicans, President Obama tried to put down Democrat anger by making a snarky comment about how "cutting" taxes for the wealthy was the "holy grail" for Republicans.  Leaving aside the idiocy of such a remark, it might be more useful to address what he got in the deal: call it Obama's "holy grail:" extending taxpayer funded pay and benefits for those not working.

 

For the most part, the Republicans have only resisted this idea from the stand point of making sure we only spend that money if we take it from some place else.  In other words, their resistance has been about budgeting, not about principle.




That's a shame.  Not just for the taxpayer, but also for those receiving the unemployment benefits.  As Thomas Sowell writes,

 

With unemployment compensation, however, you are in fact giving someone something. "Extending unemployment benefits" always sounds good politically ? especially if you do not ask the basic question: "For how long should they be extended?" A year? Two years? No limit?

 

Studies have shown what common sense should have told us without studies: The longer the unemployment benefits are available, the longer people stay unemployed.

 

If I were fired tomorrow, should I be able to live off the government until I find another job that is exactly the same, making the same or higher pay? What if I am offered another job that uses some of the same skills but doesn't pay quite as much? Should I be allowed to keep on living off the government?

 

With the government making it more expensive for employers to hire workers, and at the same time subsidizing unemployed workers longer and longer, we will have as much unemployment as we are willing to pay for, for as long as we are willing to pay for it.

 

The extenuation of unemployment benefits also raises another danger.  It keeps the outrage off our political leaders for the failed policies they support that lead to the destruction of jobs.  By sending people checks, the masses who should be revolting against job-destroying legislation are pacified, and the job-destroying legislation continues to mount.

 

This isn't calling anyone lazy.  It's acknowledging human nature.  But imagine a leading political figure being so bold as to point those things out and stick by them.  They wouldn't survive the public political flogging.  And that is the greatest danger to our survival as a free republic.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 08 2010

Frankly I have always found the catch and release fishing strategy a bit bizarre if not downright insane.  But it's no skin off my nose what other people do on the lake.

 

Applying this strategy to war, however, should be a big chunk of skin off all of our noses:

 

More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians.



 

And those numbers understate the problem, military officials say. They do not include suspected Taliban fighters held in small combat outposts or other forward operating bases throughout the region who are released before they ever become part of the official detainee population.

 

An Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that President Hamid Karzai's government has personally sought the release of as many as 700 suspected Taliban fighters since July, including some mid-level leaders. "Corruption is not just based on the amount of money that is wasted but wasted lives when Taliban return only to kill more NATO forces and civilians," said the official, who opposes what he considers corruption in the Karzai administration.

 

U.S. Air Force Maj. Karen Davis, a spokeswoman in Kabul, told The Washington Examiner "nearly 500 detainees held in the [detention facility in Parwan] have been released outright or transferred to the [Afghan government] for disposition under Afghan law" so far this year.

 

Obviously there could be extenuating details that will emerge, but on the surface this is inexcusable.  It portends an Afghan situation that is quickly devolving into something that makes our perpetual commitment there inexcusable.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 07 2010

Tim Graham over at NewsBusters has nailed former President Jimmy Carter in.well, there's no other way to say it, really...a lie.  The humble Georgia peanut farmer who built his credibility on the back of his alleged honesty has been derailed for quite some time.  Perhaps then his whopper regarding the Tea Party shouldn't be that surprising.

 

Last week, Carter told NPR host Diane Rehm:


 

You know, I never have criticized the Tea Party movement because, strangely enough, I capitalized on the same kind of situation politically that has made the Tea Party successful -- that is, an extreme dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington.

 

Never criticized the Tea Party?  Hmmm, that's interesting given what Brian Williams reported of Carter on September 14, 2009:

 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: During the interview, we talked about what some see as a heightened climate of racial and other hate speech since the election of President Obama. A certain number of signs and images at last weekend's big tea party march in Washington and at other recent events have featured racial and other violent themes and President Carter today said he is extremely worried by it.

 

CARTER:I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American. I live in the south and I've seen the south come a long way and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the south's attitude toward minority groups, at that time particularly African-Americans, that that racism [unintelligible word] still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people, not just in the south, but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.

 

Ordinarily, calling folks racists would count as criticizing them.  Jimmy Carter apparently doesn't think so. 

 

And ordinarily such an inconsistency would be pointed out by those claiming to be objective journalists.  Diane Rehm and NPR apparently aren't interested.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 07 2010

What's not surprising is a liberal Democrat potentially mocking Jesus and Christians:

 

MCDERMOTT: This is Christmas-time. We talk about Good Samaritans, the poor, the little baby Jesus in the cradle and all this stuff. And then we say to the unemployed we won't give you a check to feed your family.  That's simply wrong.


 

What is surprising (and refreshing) is to see liberal commentator Chris Matthews (who has mocked Creationists and "fundamentalist" Christian in the past like it's his job) to call him out for it:

 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: OK, well Christmas isn't just "that stuff," by the way, just to correct you from my point of view. I don't know what yours is, congressman, but I wouldn't call Christmas just "that stuff."  It happens to be my favorite day of the year for every possible reason, including religion.

Well done, Chris.  And as for Mr. McDermott, if we simply remember his past, this shouldn't be surprising at all.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 07 2010

A great letter to the editor appeared in our local paper, the Kokomo Tribune, yesterday.  We've taken on the idiocy of the humanist/atheist crowd that makes it their mission ever Christmas season to make fools of themselves.  Letter writer Steven A. Matthews hit on this same theme:

The billboard sign posted in New Jersey at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel has a picture of a Christmas Nativity and says, "You know it's a myth. This season celebrates REASON."

 

A number of well-funded, anti-God, anti-Christian groups have marketing campaigns targeting the conversion of Christians to their atheistic trinity of Father Sun, Mother Earth and Lady Luck. Is a mythical viewpoint of Christmas based on "reason?" The answer is no!

 

The Advent or coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ, is documented in the New Testament. New Testament expert Daniel Wallace states, "... Simply put, if we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds we'd have to reject every ancient work of antiquity." New Testament accounts of Jesus Christ were written by eyewitnesses of his death and physical resurrection. Not only did they witness his resurrection, they died terrible deaths proclaiming this fact, knowing they would suffer. Why would anyone die a terrible death for some fact they absolutely knew to be untrue? The fact is they witnessed his physical resurrection and were no longer afraid of death.


 

After an evangelistic appeal that is worth reading, Steven pointed out what is truly "reasonable" to do around this holiday season:

I celebrate "reason" at Christmas by celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe. Those who deny this fact will live in darkness and fear. Those who reason that there is no God are blind fools, as it is written, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God."

 

If you seek him, you will find him and you can receive this Christmas present free of charge. It is the most important decision in life for all of us. Don't be foolish. Celebrate reason and follow the risen Jesus Christ this Christmas.

 

Well said, Steven.  Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, December 07 2010

I stumbled onto a program last Sunday about the extent of sex trafficking in America. I knew some about it since my denomination has ministries nationally and internationally that seek to protect and care for women able to flee sex slavery. Nevertheless, it was sobering to watch the extent to which human trafficking exists in this very nation.

 

In what I term poetic justice, the bulk of the program centered around San Francisco and the attempts of the mayor there to identify and harass sex trade businesses - typically massage parlors - by enforcing various local business codes.

 

I submit that there is an element of poetic justice because we all know that San Francisco has become a center for sexual decadence and depravity - exactly the environment in which the sex-slave trade can flourish because it is so difficult to sort out from the "legitimate" sex businesses.



 

The saddest truth, whether in San Francisco or not, is that this form of slavery exists and persists because so many men indulge in all these forms of commercial sex. As far as they are concerned, the women they deal with do what they do voluntarily. One real consequence of this selfish attitude is the ruined lives of young women and even teens who are pressed into this service. They are held by threat of death to themselves and/or family members. As the documentary demonstrated, the threats are made by seriously dangerous and violent men.

 

It has become popular over the years for liberals to decry any attempts to contain the spread of sexual immorality. "You cannot legislate morality," has been their rallying cry for too long now. If we do not decide that we can legislate morality - and decide soon - then we can be assured that more of us will be impacted by these gangsters who have no problem whatsoever imposing their immorality by simply pointing their guns.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 07 2010

Things are cooling off immensely in the global warming movement.  First, there was the concerning news that while a ticket to the Copenhagen climate summit a year ago was a "hot" item, after ClimateGate and all the revelations of fraud and deceit in the climate change movement over the last year, everyone is trying to avoid this year's trip to Cancun:


Everybody who imagined himself anybody raced to Copenhagen last year for the global-warming summit, renamed "climate change" when the globe began to cool, as it does from time to time. Some 45,000 delegates, "activists," business representatives and the usual retinue of journalists registered for the party in Copenhagen. This year, only 1,234 journalists registered for the Cancun beach party. The only story there is that there's no story there. The U.N. organizers glumly concede that Cancun won't amount to anything, even by U.N. standards.

 

Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, who wrote and sponsored the cap-and-trade legislation last year, says he'll be too busy with congressional business (buying stamps for the Christmas cards and getting a haircut and a shoeshine) even to think about going to Cancun. Last year, he joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and dozens of other congressmen in taking staffers and spouses to the party in Copenhagen. The junket cost taxpayers $400,000, but Copenhagen is a friendly town and a good time was had by all. This year, they're all staying home, learning to live like lame ducks.

 

The Senate's California ladies, cheerleaders for the global-warming scam only yesterday, can't get far enough away from Cancun this year. Dianne Feinstein says she's not even thinking about the weather. "I haven't really thought about [Cancun], to be honest with you," she tells Politico, the Capitol Hill daily. She still loves the scam, but "no - no, no, no, it's just that I'm not on a committee related to it." She's grateful for small blessings.

 

Barbara Boxer, who was proud to make global warming her "signature" issue only last year, obviously regards that signature now to be a forgery. She would like to be in Cancun, but she has to stay home to wash her hair. She's not even sending anyone from her staff, willing as congressional staffers always are to party on the taxpayer dime. "I'm sending a statement to Cancun." (Stop the press for that.)

Then we learned that Al Gore is cutting resources and staff:


 

One of Al Gore's campaigns to save the planet has scaled back its field operations since climate legislation failed earlier this year in Congress.

 

The Alliance for Climate Protection was operating in about 25 states at its peak, including Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But the group now has field offices in just seven states.

 

"We've always believed it's a mobile and nimble operation," said Sean Sarah, the non-profit group's spokesman. "We move to areas where it's most effective. Of course the situation in Congress has changed. So our strategies and tactics have changed along with it."

 

And then even the chic Brits turn against the movement (I guess that happens when you're freezing to death and someone tells you it's the hottest year on record):

A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, 'is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record' - a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 19611990 average.

 

World temperatures, it went on, were locked inexorably into an everrising trend: 'Our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far - 1998.'

 

Met Office officials openly boasted that they hoped by their statements to persuade the Copenhagen gathering to impose new and stringent carbon emission limits - an ambition that was not to be met. 

 

Last week, halfway through yet another giant, 15,000 delegate UN climate jamboree, being held this time in the tropical splendour of Cancun in Mexico, the Met Office was at it again.

 

Never mind that Britain, just as it was last winter and the winter before, was deep in the grip of a cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, and that here 2010 has been the coolest year since 1996.



 

Globally, it insisted, 2010 was still on course to be the warmest or second warmest year since current records began.

 

But buried amid the details of those two Met Office statements 12 months apart lies a remarkable climbdown that has huge implications - not just for the Met Office, but for debate over climate change as a whole.

 

Read carefully with other official data, they conceal a truth that for some, to paraphrase former US VicePresident Al Gore, is really inconvenient: for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped.

The death of this fraud and deceit is a beautiful thing to watch for those of us cast as "deniers" for the last decade.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 06 2010

When your cockamamie theory is collapsing around you, best to take it to a higher power.  Or if that isn't possible, at least take it to a fake jaguar goddess.  The lunacy of the global warming crowd keeps getting better:

 

With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it's no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.

 

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."



Oh, I'd say they've had their creativity down pat for quite some time.  You can't manipulate data and produce fatalistic scenes of New York City being overwhelmed by tidal waves and Yellowstone erupting into volcanic ash without a little creativity.  But the reason part?  I think that went out the window with the prayer to the jaguar:

 

"Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads," said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. "I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel."

 

What remains astounding is the number of self-respecting Democrats who continue lending credibility to these loons.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 06 2010

Most would regard Bristol Palin's work as a spokesperson for Candie's Foundation abstinence crusade as admirable given her background.  She has the ability - as someone who made a poor decision that has had far reaching implications - to reach young girls that someone else simply does not.

 

In fact, you could almost say it's a blessing there are people like Bristol who are willing to acknowledge their mistakes as mistakes rather than parading around accusing others of "judging her."
 

But what most would find admirable, the left finds abominable.  Take Keith Olbermann's pathetic rant that attacked Bristol's work as hypocritical and wrong for example. 

 

 

It is not surprising that Olbermann would attack her.  Anything with the word "Palin" attached to it is enough to make the MSNBC drama queen see red.  But the best part of the story is actually Bristol's response to Keith.

 

Posting on her Facebook page, Bristol Palin wrote:

 

What Mr. Olbermann lacks in originality he makes up for with insincere incredulity. Mr. Olbermann fails to understand that in order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes. Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life. Recovered addicts lecture to others about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse. And yes, a teen mother talks about the benefits of preventing teen pregnancy.

 

I have never claimed to be perfect. If that makes me the "worst person in the world" to Mr. Olbermann, then I must apologize for not being absolutely faultless like he undoubtedly must be.

 

Well said by Ms. Palin.  This type of stupidity from the left is nothing new.  It's the same illogic they use when blasting Christians who have sinned for standing against sin.  To them, rather that attempting to maintain moral standards and failing on occasion to live up to them, it is preferable to simply have no standards at all.  Thus explains the entire persona that is Keith Olbermann.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 06 2010

Well this is lovely, isn't it?

 

Charles Manson on Line One.

 

The murderous cult leader was one of thousands of California inmates busted with a cell phone last year, which he used to call unidentified people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

"It's troubling that he had a cellphone since he's a person who got other people to murder on his behalf," said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections.

 

Ya think?  Nice to know that one of the most notorious killers in the history of the United States is accessing cell phones in prison.  Isn't this sort of thing banned?

 

Cell phones are banned form federal prisons, but the rules are murkier in state institutions, especially California, where overcrowding makes it impractical to punish phone possessors with more time.

 

Ah, okay.  So maybe I should say it's nice to know that the prison is incapable of keeping Charlie Manson from following their rules.  I mean, of all people to spend a little extra time checking up on.....wouldn't Charlie Manson be the guy?  It actually begs another question: if we had executed him when we should have...would we still be dealing with these concerns?  Huh.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 06 2010

Maybe it all comes down to this.  Can someone on the Democrat left explain to me what the magical significance of $250,000 is?  As the New York Times reported,

 

Mr. Obama's plan, approved by the House on Thursday, would have extended the lower rates on income up to $250,000 a year for couples and $200,000 for individuals, but Democrats did not have the 60 votes required under Senate rules to muscle it forward.

 

So why $250,000?  What makes a family whose small business makes $1 over that magical number somehow less worthy of being able to keep the money they have worked hard for than the family whose small business makes $1 less than that magical number?


 

Of course there is no rational answer to this question.  It is inherently unfair.  And that is the point that seems to be dawning on the majority of Americans.  Regardless of the circumstances through which a person came into their money...it's still their money.  And particularly for those who have worked nights and days to achieve that standard of living for their families, it is an outrage that their government would punish them for their efforts by taking more from them.  And do it touting it as "fairness" to boot!

 

Here's what's fair: tax everyone the same percentage of their income.  Anyone want to honestly disagree or argue that point?  Of course not.

 

It's time we wrestle this issue out into the open and put it before a fair-minded public.  Maybe we do it by asking Mr. Obama and every Democrat that thinks this way what is so magical about 250,000.  Then, listen for the crickets.

 

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 03 2010

This is stunning!  Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned those practicing homosexuality that if they don't like the behavior of military personnel who hold traditional moral values, they can find another line of work!  I'm stunned.

 

Admiral Mullen correctly pointed out that in the military it is based on meritocracy.  In other words, it's about "what you do, not who you are."  Homosexual activists who have been trying to up-end two centuries of military protocol on the type of sexual behavior allowed within their ranks have been warned that if they have a problem with people who believe differently than them, they can go get a job at the GAP.

 

Oh wait.  No, no that didn't happen at all.  And can you imagine the outrage if it did?  You can hear now the calls from Hollywood and the left-wing commentariat heaping burning coals onto the Admiral: "How dare you be so narrow-minded!  How judgmental!  How bigoted!"



 

The funny thing is that Admiral Mullen did make these comments.just reversing the target of his bigotry.  And the left - shockingly enough - doesn't find it offensive at all.

 

Fox News reported:

 

Military members who have a problem with a change in policy to allow gays to serve openly may find themselves looking for a new job, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Thursday.

 

Mullen told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the military is based on meritocracy, "what you do, not who you are." He said if Congress changes the don't ask, don't tell policy then the U.S. military will comply. 

.

 

Mullen added that "there is no gray area" in the debate when it comes to standards of conduct in the military.

 

"We treat each other with respect or we find another place to work. Period," he said.

 

The irony of these remarks is so thick, you can cut it with a knife.  For instance:

 

Mullen is right: there has never been any "gray area" when it comes to standards of conduct in the military.  Dating back to General George Washington, those who practice depraved sexual conduct like homosexuality have no place in our fighting ranks.  The military is not a place for social experiments.  But there is "gray area" now thanks to a politically correct carnival that has come to town, of which Admiral Mullen is performing in the center ring.

 

Mullen is right: they treat each other with respect in the military or find other lines of work.  But Mullen sees no need to respect the millions in our armed forces who have moral objections to homosexuality.

 

Mullen is right: the military is based on what you do and not who you are.  And one of the things that has never been acceptable "to do" in the military is engage in homosexual behavior.  But now, because Mullen has given his mind over to the sophistry that defines identity by sexual behavioral preferences, he has blurred and confused those lines.

 

The gravest enemy our military faces is political correctness.  Sad to see the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has raised the white flag in the face of its onslaught.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 03 2010

What do the following have in common: a video of an ant-covered Jesus, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, men posing in an S&M chain scene, naked brothers kissing, and human genitals?

 

If you guessed some crude propaganda from the radical homosexual lobby.you'd be right.

 

If you guessed a display at the Smithsonian underwritten with your tax dollars.you'd also be right.

 

Though it appears the video of ant-covered Jesus has been removed, the rest will remain in an exhibit set to run through the Christmas season at the National Portrait Gallery:


 

A plaque at the entrance to the exhibition says it is "the first major exhibition to examine the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating modern American portraiture" and that it illustrates "how, as outsiders, gay and lesbian artists occupied a position that turned to their advantage, making essential contributions to both the art of portraiture and to the creation of modern American culture."

 

One of the "essential contributions" in the exhibition is a photograph that shows two naked blood brothers kissing each other while one holds a gun to the other's chest.

 

"The image transgresses many dualisms we use to structure society: male versus female, black versus white, ?brotherly love' versus homosexual desire," says a label fixed to the wall of the museum beside the photograph. "And it raises provocative questions surrounding themes of domestic abuse between lovers, perceived violence among black men, and the dangers that come from engaging in an ?illicit' love?whether it be from disease, homophobia, or a lethal combination of the two."

 

Another "essential contribution" featured in the exhibition is a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph of two men in chains.  "In this playful inversion of the classic family photograph, leather-clad Brian Ridley sits in an ornate wingback chair, chained and shackled to his dominant, horsewhip-wielding partner, Lyle Heeter," says the NPG's description of the photo.

 

"Far from submissive, Ridley's wide-legged stance, upright posture, and direct address to the camera indicate that he willingly acts out his chosen sadomasochistic role," says the NPG description. "The machismo of the couple's leather gear is undercut by the flamboyance of their living room?replete with an Oriental rug, pewter vases, sculpted lamp and clock, and grasscloth wall covering. That this homosexual S&M ritual takes place in the context of the couple's ?normal' life (which also includes antique collecting) powerfully challenges what it means to be a ?normal' or ?domestic' couple."

 

Art - whether in literary form like poetry or in another form like painting/photography - is "ultimately measured by its capacity to make better human beings.

 

I'll let you decide whether this experiment in depravity measures up.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 03 2010

Not long ago on the radio program, we were discussing the need for honesty about our current entitlement state.  I was lamenting the fact that no one wants to dare mention the reality that Social Security is insolvent and must be dealt with.  No one wants to mention the fact that it was a bad idea to begin with.government should not be in the business of providing retirement for the masses because government can't predict the future.

 

But even conservative Republicans feel the need to defend the bad scheme because if they don't, Democrats will use it as a wedge issue to scare seniors with mistruths into the voting booth.

 

On the show, I called for a new era of Democrat responsibility on that issue.  If we're going to solve the problem, we can't be jumping to conclusions and twisting words and intent of our political opposition just to get elected.



 

When I saw recent comments from House Democrat leader Steny Hoyer, I had to fight my own temptation to do the same:

 

The second-ranking House Democrat said Monday that President Obama's move to freeze the pay of civilian federal employees should also be extended to military personnel.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said including the military would have increased savings and add "an element of fairness." He made the comments in a statement about he president's announcement of a two-year pay freeze. 

 

My immediate, gut reaction was to jump on this and say, "Here's another example of the Democrats always wanting to gut national security and hurt our military and troops."  But remembering my words about not taking advantage of wedge issues, I read on:

 

"While I appreciate that the president reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years," Hoyer said in a statement, "it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between federal civilian and military personnel ? with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way."

To borrow a line from the President, "let me be clear."  I'm not saying I agree with Hoyer.  I don't even really know what military personnel he's talking about.  Without more specifics it is hard to come to a conclusion about how I feel on his proposal.  But Hoyer was clear that he wasn't intending to defund the troops or cut pay for those in combat.  He and fellow Democrats deserve not to be tarred and feathered for "not supporting our troops" until we at least understand what they're saying.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 03 2010

Ultra-liberal columnist Stephen Dick exposes his complete lack of understanding an issue yet again. He recently wrote in defense of the Federal Reserve's announcement to buy another $600 billion of debt. Mr. Dick blasts anyone who dare suggests that this is a bad idea (in his land of left-believe world, the only opposition comes from the GOP).

 

On an emotional level, Mr. Dick's and Mr. Bernanke's sentiment is admirable: spur economic recovery and get businesses hiring. The sad truth is that in order for this to actually work, all normal economic sense must be suspended.

 

Independent analysts at Weiss Market Research indicate that the Fed's move is not without its cost. Indeed, Larry Edelson calls the Fed's action a "big fat lie:"

 

Here's why:

 

First, because the whole concept of "buying Treasuries" is a smokescreen. What Bernanke is really doing is running the money printing presses, and it's no secret. Even the emperor himself knows he has no clothes.

 

Second, because Bernanke also knows ? all too well ? that he's not truly pumping money INTO the U.S. economy. In reality, the U.S. economy is leaking like a sieve. So for all practical purposes, he's pumping the money OUT OF the U.S. economy ? to countries overseas.

 

Third and most important, the "big number" ? $600 billion ? is meaningless. The Fed says quite bluntly that they will . "regularly review and adjust the program as needed to best foster maximum employment and price stability." In other words, they'll blow right past the $600 billion mark whenever and however they darn please.

 

 

The biggest bottom line is that the Fed's action intentionally devalues the dollar. Saving for the future? Have parents or grandparents living off of their fixed income? Those precious U.S. dollars will be worth less as commodity prices rise.

 

Now liberals like Mr. Dick stampede to ridicule talk of inflation as nothing but made-up mythological apocalyptic crazy-talk from those dastardly Republicans:

 

The congressman from my district, Mike Pence, wants to see Congress strip the Fed's mandate on unemployment and concentrate on inflation. There are a lot of problems with this, but start with the fact inflation is almost nonexistent.

 

 

Then in typical liberal fashion, he immediately contradicts himself as he writes:

 

(I know, anyone who goes to the grocery or to get gas or to a movie might argue with this.)

 

 

There is a reason we "might" argue with this: inflation is real. Although not reflected through the magic of the official government numbers - yet - commodity futures prices have already accelerated upward. Four commodity futures indexes tracked by Bloomberg show that new highs have been reached in late October to early November. Even though they have backed off since then, the uptrend remains in place. Global demand and a devalued dollar will be a bitter pill for the average American to swallow. Martin Weiss offers this sobering conclusion:

 

Recession is actually the LESSER of the evils! Turning to the possible government responses to the problem, the CBO follows Dad's logic almost to the letter, writing that .Bankruptcy ? defaulting on U.S. debt ? would be a disaster, making it extremely difficult for America to borrow for many years to come.

 

Cheating and stealing (e.g., printing money) ? which, as Mike Larson explained on Friday, now seems to be what Fed Chairman Bernanke favors ? would also be a huge mistake, again making it much harder for the U.S. to borrow in the future.

 

In conclusion, the ONLY viable option, says the CBO, is . austerity. Yes, they admit, it would have negative consequences, driving the economy into a deeper recession. But, they say, a deeper recession would be the lesser of the evils.

 

This is the urgent dilemma America faces right now: Do we want to continue playing games with our money . or do we want to treat it with the respect it deserves?

 

If we do the wrong thing, we will doom future generations ? and ourselves ? to impoverishment. If we do the right thing, more economic pain is inevitable. But outside the fantasyland of Washington and Wall Street, it's the only viable option.

 

 

Mr. Dick can believe what he wants, but economic reality will, without doubt, have the final say.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 03 2010

The left continues to hammer away at those bigots in Oklahoma for voting to protect the sanctity of American law and order by banning the use of Shariah/Islamic law in our courts.

 

Liberal progressives continually assure us that there is no reason for such a law because Shariah is not being implemented in America and Muslims make up such a small percentage of the population here.



 

John Bennett thinks otherwise:

 

Sharia law has been applied in U.S. courts. There are at least seventeen instances of Sharia law being applied in eleven states, as Daniel Pipes has noted. Most notably, a NJ court held that a man did not commit rape because according to his belief in Sharia law, a man cannot rape his wife, since the wife serves him. So Sharia law was applied to the mental state element of the crime of rape. An American court actually adopted this barbaric reasoning:


[The defendant] was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.

 

The resulting ruling was that a man was held not responsible for rape, where he would have been convicted without Sharia.

 

It's no comfort to say that a court of appeals overturned the NJ ruling. Judges are open to these arguments, and that is the beginning of Sharia victory if it is not stopped. Liberal judges will become, in their social circles, standard-bearers of enlightenment and cultural sensitivity for embracing the diversity of Sharia law. That is all the incentive they need to continue to use foreign standards to decide what our rights will be. Look no farther than Justice Ginsburg's incredible willingness to latch on to foreign precedents that confirm her preconceived policy preferences. If there is one multicultural lemming in a robe willing to betray our freedoms, that's one too many -- and we can be sure that there are many more who want to.

 

Every day, the news is full of examples of just how far Muslims will push. Take the infamous hijab at the Connecticut roller rink. A Muslim woman named Marisol Rodriguez-Colon -- soak in that cultural enrichment -- was asked to remove her medieval hood at a skating rink. The rink had a policy of no headgear because hats and scarves could cause injury on the floor. She claims that she needed to wear her hijab for "religious reasons." The "religious reasons" argument is the tip of the iceberg. If Muslims get to impose their practices and norms for "religious reasons," then they will reshape Western societies in their own medieval image.

 

Bennett's research proves an alarming point.  Oklahoma's law isn't defending against a Shariah law that might come to the United States.  It's defending against a Shariah law that is already here.  If that's the case, why isn't every state acting to adopt similar statutes?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 02 2010

The furor arising from the Wikileaks release of [previously] classified diplomatic documents has reminded me of another time in America's history when a leak about diplomatic documents would have certainly placed many more American lives in peril. Four years ago, I was prompted to write about the politician I respect the most. The reprint of my article follows. It is longer than normal, but you will gain a new perspective about some of the previously hidden elements of our history and hopefully gain a new appreciation for an unheralded American hero.

Who is your most respected politician? Around Independence Day, I would normally look to those amazing Founders of this great nation to answer that question, but not this year. The politician I most respect is a presidential candidate who was never elected to that highest office.

Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American intelligence agencies - still in their infancy stages of development - were able to begin deciphering the Japanese diplomatic code. They called this code "Magic." Amazingly, the Japanese never changed their diplomatic code throughout the war; consequently, being able to decipher it was of immeasurable help to the Allied war effort. More than once during the course of the war, Allied use of Magic was almost compromised. One of those incidents occurred at the time of the Presidential election in which President Roosevelt was seeking his unprecedented fourth term. Here is where the story of a truly patriotic politician is found.

The Republican candidate, and my most respected politician, opposing President Roosevelt was Thomas E. Dewey. The Republicans running the Dewey campaign intended to use their knowledge of pre-war intelligence to attempt "to discredit Roosevelt and show that he must have known beforehand about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor." (Lee, p. 244). In other words, the Republicans accused the President of "rushing America to war" by not preventing the Japanese attack and providing the rationale for immersing America into the European conflict on the side of England. The Republicans had no accurate concept of the vital part that Magic was still playing in the war effort. So critical was the need to prevent Magic's compromise that General George C. Marshall wrote to Dewey explaining its significance. Dewey rejected the letter without reading it completely. General Marshall wrote again on September 27, 1944, begging that Dewey "?say nothing during the campaign' about the fact that U.S. government authorities had been reading Japanese codes and ciphers before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Not only was the information true, Marshall tells Dewey, ?but much more important were the facts that (1) the war was still in progress; (2) the Japanese were still using certain of the pre-Pearl Harbor cryptosystems; and (3) the U.S. government was still reading highly secret Japanese messages in those systems, as well as highly secret messages of other governments. Therefore, it was absolutely vital that Governor Dewey not use the top-secret information as political ammunition in his campaign.'" (Lee, p. 245)



The action General Marshall took to implore Dewey not to use this information in his campaign was unprecedented. In his letter, he promised Dewey that only nine other people knew about the letter. President Roosevelt was not one of them. Marshall wrote, "I am persisting in the matter because the military hazards involved are so serious that I feel some action is necessary to protect the interests of our armed forces." He explained that there was no reference to Japanese intentions toward Pearl Harbor until the last message, which did not reach the hands of the U.S. military until December 8. Marshall explained that the Allies were breaking both German and Japanese codes and emphasized: "Our main basis of information regarding Hitler's intentions in Europe is obtained from Baron Oshima's message reporting his interviews with Hitler and other officials to the Japanese government." Marshall spelled out completely to Dewey how Magic won the battle of the Coral Sea, won the battle of Midway, and provided the sinking of Japanese merchant shipping by providing the sailing dates and routes of Japanese convoys. (Lee, pp. 245-246)

Dewey was the first person outside of Roosevelt and the high command to know the full story and importance of Magic. Because of Marshall's letter, Dewey determined that "the Republicans cannot take the risk of losing American lives, or prolonging the war, by revealing the Magic secret." Dewey returned to his campaign and never mentioned the subject. Many Republicans in Congress came to believe that Dewey's sudden failure to make the pre-war intelligence about the Pearl Harbor attack a campaign issue cost them the election, and they determined to seek revenge. "As a result. just before congressional Pearl Harbor hearings open in November 1945, the Republicans on the committee blithely release the news that before and during the war the British and the Americans had broken both the German and Japanese codes. This breach of national security is done after Marshall begs the committee to keep the secret. The committee refuses, publishing Marshall's correspondence with Dewey. Thus, our Congress gives our former enemies the first knowledge that their codes had been broken, to say nothing about breaching America's diplomatic confidence with the British." (Lee, pp. 246-247)

Thomas E. Dewey demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt true political patriotism and earns the distinction of being my most respected politician. Instead of attempting to redefine patriotism, he took so seriously the damage to the war effort and to the military personnel themselves that disclosing information about Magic would cause that he sacrificed a possible successful political campaign against Roosevelt. Given the current climate of political dissension and compromise by media of classified programs successfully tracking down high ranking terrorists, which contemporary politician or reporter can we imagine giving up a political advantage or reporting scoop for the sake of shortening the length of the war and protecting American lives? Given the current debate, I unfortunately have a difficult time imagining even a few, if any, accepting such a patriotic challenge. Sadly, our politicians and reporters today seem intent to follow the damaging self-interest blueprint of the 1945 Republicans in Congress.

Perhaps the Wikileaks document dump will expose this administration and prompt them to take national security seriously, as Peter has written. Nevertheless, I get the chilling feeling that more lives of American personnel and our allies are in peril because of this massive leak.

 

After all, loose lips can still sink ships.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 02 2010

While everyone has been discussing the fact that Democrats are fighting to hit many small business owners with a large tax increase at the start of the year, many have ignored another tax that is about to be hiked:

 

The estate tax  - known as the "death tax" - will rise from 0% to 55% on January 1, 2011. The tax hike will apply to all individuals who die with  total assets valued at  over $1 million.

 

The lame duck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) have not put forth any plans to stop the death tax hike this year. 

 

 The death tax was completely repealed for 2010, but had been a tax rate of 35% in 2009. The death tax hike is not part of the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire on the same date. 


 

That's the Democrats' plan: tax your income when you're alive, tax your dividends that you try to save, and then tax you when you die.  As Emily Miller goes on to explain:

 

The death tax has a particularly detrimental effect on small businesses and family farms.  When assessing the tax bill for an inherited small business or family farm, the assets are included in the value, which have less cash. When the death tax is high, families have been forced to sell their small businesses and family farms to pay the tax bills.

 

Republicans in the House want a total death tax abolishment.  Mitch McConnell has offered a compromise in the Senate where no one worth less than $5 million sees a death tax.those over it will be taxed 35%.

 

The Republicans in the House are right.  Government has no right to that money.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 02 2010

Well, well, well, it seems the Democrats' shameless exploitation of suffering children to advance their political agenda is coming back to bite them.

 

Not only are the Democrats' policies not helping children, they are depriving them of their healthcare.



 

But wait, you say...we were told ObamaCare would be good for the kids!  Of course we were told that.  Anytime the Democrats push their freedom destroying, dependence creating entitlement programs, they play our heartstrings with images of kids suffering if we don't enact their plans.  But what happens when we do?  Take a look:

 

Late last month, the Service Employees International Union informed dues-paying members of its behemoth 1199 affiliate in New York that it was dropping its health-care coverage for children. That's right. A radical, leftist union ? not an evil, Republican corporation ? is abandoning the young 'uns to cut costs.


Over 30,000 low-wage families will be affected, according to the Wall Street Journal. Who's to blame? SEIU 1199 benefits manager Mitra Behroozi singled out oppressive new state and federal regulations, including the much-ballyhooed Obamacare rule forcing insurers to cover dependents well into their 20s.

 

"New federal health-care-reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26," Behroozi explained in an October 22 letter to members. "Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible."

 

It's shameful when the enemies of freedom abroad hide behind children as they war against us.  It's similarly shameless when the enemies of freedom here at home hide behind children as they war against free markets.  In both cases, their cowardice causes innocent young children much suffering.



 

As Michelle Malkin writes,

 

Yes, the union road to hell is paved with workers' own hard-earned dues money. All hail progressivism!

 

There's a lot of egg on a lot of union faces right now.  Anyone taking bets on whether they'll man-up and support ObamaCare's repeal?  It's "for the children," after all.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 02 2010

This is a fabulous idea.  From the Indianapolis Tea Party:

 

We are hosting a 2-day Constitutional Training Seminar for all of Indiana's Congressional members on the state and federal levels.  Former six-term Congressman John Hostettler as President of the newly founded organization Constitution Institute will be teaching the classes. 

 

Though the seminar will cost the Indianapolis Tea Party and its co-sponsors financially, we are offering the opportunity FREE to our elected officials.  The Constitution is the center of the Tea Party movement.  John Hostettler's experience as a twelve-year Congressman and a member of the Judiciary Committee and its sub-committee on the Constitution gives him the ability to teach practical application of the Constitution from a daily legislative perspective.  This should help empower our electors to be more effective legislators.

 

This is a non-partisan event and we are still in the process of finalizing communication with the elected officials and securing more sponsors.


 

It's one thing to say you stand for the Constitution.  It's another to put your money where your mouth is, and the Tea Party of Indianapolis, along with its partner Tea Parties/9-12 Groups are doing just that by funding this seminar.

 

Educating not just the masses, but those who are elected to lead the masses, on the value and sanctity of our Constitution is critical.  Hats off to these Tea Party patriots for their work, and here's to hoping this is the first of many successful seminars to come. 

 

And it would be nice to see some Democrats sign up for this training as well.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 02 2010

Regardless of your feelings on the Wikileaks organization and recent document dump, we have learned some pretty significant facts relating to our national security:

First, many Arab leaders are deathly afraid of the Persians.  The cables indicate Arab officials are privately much more concerned about Iran's nuclear program than they admit publicly. 

One cable asserts King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly asked Washington to "cut off the head of the snake"-a reference to Iran ?" while there is still time."  Another Saudi official warned if Iran is not stopped, Arab states would develop their own nuclear weapons.

...
 

Second, military action against Iran is favored by many Arabs but an Israel-alone success is doubtful.  Back in 2005 Crown Prince Bin Zayed asked whether it would be possible to use air power to "take out" all of Iran's nuclear facilities.  A U.S. official said in a cable that was unlikely, to which the prince responded, "Then it will take ground forces!"



There are other likeminded Arab leaders.  Cables indicate Kuwaiti interior minister Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah told a U.S. official in 2009 Iran "will only be deterred from achieving its objectives-including a nuclear weapons capability-by force."  Bahrain's King Hamad warned Gen. David Petraeus in 2009, "The danger of letting it [Iran's nuclear program] go on is greater than the danger of stopping it."  Earlier this year Saudi King Abdullah encouraged the U.S. national security adviser, retired Gen. James Jones, to use covert ways to weaken Iran

...

 

Third, no one knows for certain when Iran might have an atomic weapon, but the time for action is rapidly drawing to a close.  Crown Prince Bin Zayed expressed a common worry among Arab leaders.  It "is not how much we know about Iran, but how much we don't," Bin Zayed said. 

All of this sheds incredibly concerning light on this administrations tepid and weak stance against Iran's activity.  I will repeat it for the umpteenth time: we are not safe under this administration.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 01 2010

The competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco to be the perfect liberal utopia continues.

 

First, San Fran banned Happy Meals.

 

Then, LA banned plastic bags.

 

Now, San Fran has struck back with yet another freedom-destroying, nanny-state measure sure to bring happiness and contentment to the masses:


 

A new law targeting those who hang out, and lie down, on the sidewalks and streets of San Francisco has some asking whether this city, known for its "love thy neighbor" attitude, has perhaps decided some neighbors aren't welcome.

 

In November, 53% of voters here passed Prop. L, which forbids people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The ordinance is very similar to anti-sit/lie laws in Berkeley, Seattle, and other liberal cities, and received strong support from Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon.

 

Yet another issue where the government definitely needs to involve itself.  Why would anyone not want to live in this paradise?!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 01 2010

I've been saying that the next two years may be even more instructive to the American people than the last two years about the significant differences between the political left and right.

 

Further evidence has emerged to support that contention:

 

The No. 2 House Republican is showing little wiggle room on tax cuts going into a critical meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama.

 

Interviewed on a network news show in advance of Tuesday's talks, House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor says the GOP believes tax rates should not be allowed to go up on anyone, including the wealthy.

 

The Obama administration has opposed continuing tax cuts from the George W. Bush era for individuals making over $250,000 a year. But Cantor said Republicans believe the current rates should be kept intact, particularly at a time when the government is trying to spur private business to create jobs. Cantor said on NBC's "Today" show that Republicans "don't think tax rates should go up."


 

Cantor is saying this while Obama is saying that "we can't afford" to cut taxes for those making $250,000 a year.  A marked distinction in philosophy here:

 

Obama believes "we" (meaning the government) "can't afford" (the money belongs to the government to begin with, not the individual) to cut taxes (not raising taxes means "cutting them").

 

The conservatives like Cantor believe "we" (meaning the people) can't stimulate economic growth by raising taxes (extending the current rates isn't "cutting" any taxes) on anyone.  Further, what is so magical about $250,000?  Why the arbitrary line drawn there?  What makes the person making $249,000 a year more deserving of their money than the person making $250,001?

 

If America keeps their eyes and ears open these next two years, they will be in for the most instructive lesson on the vision conservatives and liberals have for this country.  And 2012 won't be pretty for the liberals.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 01 2010

Well, the president has appointed a "tax negotiation team" which will "study" the best solution for the Bush era tax rates. The president is in a tight spot made tighter by the mid-term elections. His campaign rhetoric requires him to "tax the rich more." In the meantime, the economic recovery is being very uncooperative. While not in a recession at the moment, it remains sluggish.

 

Raising tax rates in a struggling economy is not the strategic move that will help us out.

 

As much as the left loves to harp that tax hikes damaging the economy is a conservative myth, they seem to get it when it comes to their pet projects.



 

Indiana business, government, and citizens have made some big investments in the biofuel industry and now are left wondering its fate if a 45-cent tax credit is allowed to expire. One consulting firm expects thousands of jobs to be lost if the tax credit expires.

 

On the one hand, liberals favor targeted tax manipulations because they well know that lower tax rates stimulate the targeted sectors. On the other hand, liberals deny that keeping the Bush-era tax rates in place will help a struggling economy. As with other areas of our common life, they love to play games. The inconsistency of the left continues to amaze the normal human being.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 01 2010

Another radical Islamist attempted to kill innocent people in Portland.  His plans were foiled because someone tipped off the FBI about his violent tendencies.  Chances are fairly good that the heroic informants were Muslims.  No proof, just a guess.

 

If this is the case, it once again highlights the reality that there are many Muslims who appreciate Western cultural values and are more than content to assimilate into them and embrace them.even defend them against members of their own faith.



 

But the reaction to this case also once again highlights the significant problem we are facing with a leadership so caught up in political correctness that they refuse to recognize the obvious.

 

As Mona Charen writes,

 

If a Christian or a Jew suddenly becomes more devout, there is very little chance that he or she will become violent. Quite the contrary. But religious zeal among Muslims is often expressed with bombs and the blood of innocents. Thousands of imams worldwide preach violent jihad, Islamic schools instill contempt for other faiths, and terrorists actively recruit killers willing to commit massacres for Allah.

 

Yet Attorney General Eric Holder could not bring himself to say, under questioning before Congress, that terrorists might be motivated by "radical Islam." The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security banned the words "jihad" and "mujahideen" from official statements about terrorism. And the president removed the term "Islamic extremism" from the National Security Strategy.

 

Why is it so hard to tell the truth? The truth is that while the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding, there is a powerful strain within the religion that encourages murder and mayhem. Muslims, sooner or later, must deal with this, along with the rest of the world. But to suggest that acknowledging Muslim extremism amounts to bigotry, as this administration seems to, is both dishonest and cowardly.

 

It would be comical if it weren't so frightening that our current administration does a ridiculous dance around acknowledging the obvious problem with Islamic fundamentalists.  They are not like Christian fundamentalists or Jewish fundamentalists.  Those that cling to Christian or Jewish fundamentals are arguably the most peaceful among us.  Those that cling to Islamic fundamentals are taught violent jihad. 

 

So how many "thwarted" terror attacks will it take til one is successful?  And where will it happen?  Your neighborhood mall?  If so, at least we can be thankful our administration didn't hurt anybody's feelings by attempting to stop it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 01 2010

Here's something worth celebrating this Christmas.  It appears that the insane politically correct holiday greeting era may be coming to a close.  Within the last decade, multiple retailers decided that they didn't want to "offend" anyone by saying Merry Christmas around Christmas time.  Of course, they did still want all the money for Christmas gifts being spent by those who celebrate Christmas.

 

So in order to not offend, retailers decided to go out of their way to avoid saying the word "Christmas" in their literature, sales, publicity, etc.  By doing so, they managed to offend the vast majority of Americans - Christians or not - who are sick and tired of the stupidity of political correctness.



 

But this year, this much is clear: the tide has turned.  MSNBC reports:

The War on Christmas may be in its final days.

 

This season, merry Christmas ? not happy holidays or season's greetings ? will dominate retailer's marketing messages. There will be Christmas sales and Christmas trees and Christmas carols galore.

 

...

 

Indeed, retailers that have found themselves the target of boycotts or media and consumer scrutiny have responded swiftly in recent years. Lowe's "Family Trees" were renamed "Christmas Trees," while Walmart's "Holiday Shop" is now a "Christmas Shop." Midway through the 2005 holiday season, Target, facing a boycott, announced its advertising messages would become more specific and include references to Christmas. And last year, Gap responded to a boycott by issuing a press release highlighting the use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" in its upcoming Old Navy ads.

So what is the cause of the change of heart?  Did the Grinch companies hearts grow a few sizes?  It's probably more likely that their retail sales shrank a few sizes.  The MSNBC story cites the work of the American Family Association in informing shoppers which companies seemed to be offended by the Christmas tradition.  And while MSNBC posited that this might amount to "bullying," I don't remember AFA threatening anyone not to go shopping at Target.

 

In fact, the message was pretty simple: here are the companies who are uncomfortable with Christmas.  Seems logical if they are uncomfortable with it, we shouldn't burden them by buying things from their stores to use in our "offensive" traditions. 



 

And that message has apparently sunk in:

"Shoppers vote with their wallets every day," said Ellen Davis, a VP at the National Retail Federation. "[When it comes to boycotts,] retailers realize, 'It could just as easily have been us.' "

 

The NRF does not formally advise retailers on whether they should use the word Christmas, but Ms. Davis said it does provide statistics. This year's NRF/BigResearch survey found that 91 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Christmas, compared with 5% for Hanukkah and 2% for Kwanzaa.

So maybe it was merely a cost/benefit decision made in a boardroom.  No, that might not be a change of heart, but it is a change of policy at least.  That's something worth celebrating.  Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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