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Monday, January 31 2011

It wasn't that long ago that I remember playing the audio of Congressman "Silent Joe" Donnelly (IN-2) running an ad saying how he has consistently voted to keep Social Security "rock solid."

That ad became one of our favorites to play any time another news story came out about Social Security's impending disaster that Joe seems to be oblivious to.  Donnelly and the whole cadre of liberal lawmakers have continued to kick the Social Security can down the road and anytime a Republican has suggested potential fixes to the looming financial nightmare, they have swarmed and used scare tactics to win votes off of it.

As a result, sure lawmakers like Joe Donnelly managed to squeak out election victories, but nothing has been done to fix the problem.  And now comes the news:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that Social Security will effectively run a $45-billion deficit in 2011 and continue to run deficits totaling $547 billion over the coming decade.


The admission comes in the CBO's semi-annual economic review that projects federal spending, debt, and economic growth. In the report, the CBO also examines the impact of projected economic performance on the trust fund that nominally funds Social Security. 


"Excluding interest, surpluses for Social Security become deficits of $45 billion in 2011 and $547 billion over the 2012-2021 period," the CBO reported.


This means that in order to pay benefits Social Security will need $45 billion more than it will collect in payroll taxes this year, and $547 billion more over the next decade.

This is what happens when we elect irresponsible lawmakers like Donnelly.  Rather than deal with the problems that exist, they assure us that everything is "rock solid" and that their opponents attempts to deal with the issue is really some diabolical scheme to take all our money and throw it away.  It may win some votes, but it also endangers the future.


So to Joe and all the others who have engaged this fools''s to hoping your coming re-election bids are as "rock solid" as the financial state of Social Security.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 31 2011

A very interesting story just appeared on MSNBC's LiveScience blog, commenting on what is occurring in biology classrooms across America:

The majority of high school biology teachers don't take a solid stance on evolution with their students, mostly to avoid conflicts, and fewer than 30 percent of teachers take an adamant pro-evolutionary stance on the topic, a new study finds. Also, 13 percent of these teachers advocate creationism in their classrooms.

Now, for those of you who have been told that anyone who knows anything about science obviously believes the Darwinian interpretation of the evidence, don't be confused.  The experts have a perfectly rational explanation for this:

"The survey left space for (the teachers) to share their experiences. That's where we picked up a lot of a sense about how they play to the test and tell students they can figure it out for themselves," Michael Berkman, co-author of the study with Penn State University colleague Eric Plutzer, told Livescience. "Our general sense is they lack the knowledge and confidence to go in there and teach evolution, which makes them risk-averse."

Yes, these ignorant boobs teaching biology class just don't know enough.  They're idiots, really.  And since they don't know their subject at all, they fear that a 9th grader is going to argue them under the table.  That's why they don't defend the Darwinian faith in class.


The story went on and, demonstrating the remarkable bias that we have come to expect from those hijacking the name of science to advance their faith, concocted the false (but typical) dichotomy of faith vs. science:

Creationists broadly believe God created Earth, its inhabitants and the universe, with Christian creationists taking a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis in the Bible. However, scientific evidence says evolutionary theory, the idea that all organisms evolved from some common ancestor, by means of natural selection, explain the planet's diversity of life. Some of the earliest life on Earth dates back to 3.7 billion years ago.

I love that.  "Scientific evidence" says Darwin's theory is right.  Actually no, that's a total fabrication.  It should read, "scientific evidence interpreted through a Darwinian lens says that the evolutionary theory" is right.  We've been over this a number of times, but it bears repeating:


Science tells us that there is a wooden structure on a mountain or a dead, fossilized animal in the rock strata.  From that point we work that "scientific evidence" into a narrative that we've already accepted.  Creationists might say that wooden structure fits with the Biblical flood story.  Darwinists might say that fossil fits in as a missing link rather than a previously unknown species.  But both conclusions, while based on an interpretation of scientific evidence, say more about our faith and presuppositions than science.


It sure would be nice if the "intellectuals" would try some intellectual honesty for a change.  Maybe they could learn a few lessons from those idiot biology teachers?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 31 2011

Lest you believe the "pro-choice to abort" movement and assume that the Kermitt Gosnell Philadelphia horror show (which, by the way, the President of the United States is still yet to address) was an aberration and not the norm in abortion clinics, take a look at this:

Andrew Rutland, a southern California abortion practitioner, has agreed to give up his medical license a second time over a case involving his killing a woman in a botched abortion. Rutland killed an Asian woman in a failed abortion ? as the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled the death of Ying Chen a homicide.


The botched abortion was done in July 2009 at a filthy and ill-equipped acupuncture clinic in San Gabriel that Rutland ran where he also did abortions. Rutland killed Chen by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage. He injected lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in her cervix and the woman began to have an immediate reaction. The abortion practitioner began to perform CPR but state medical board documents say there was a "significant delay" in him calling 911 for emergency medical help for the woman.


Ying was in cardiac arrest when the ambulance arrived and was taken to a hospital, where she died six days later. An autopsy revealed Rutland gave the woman the wrong dosage of the anesthesia.


This is the second time Rutland has surrender his license ? as he did so in 2002 for severing a baby's spinal column during a forceps delivery, then lying to the parents by telling them that their baby suffered a stroke. The baby later died. His license was reinstated in 2007 and Rutland was placed on five years probation with the restriction that he operate only under the supervision of another physician. Rutland's Los Angeles attorney Paul Hittelman would not comment to the newspaper about whether Rutland would pursue a medical license after the three year period is up during which he can't practice medicine.

Oh, but we're not done.  How about
another one:

Maryland lawmakers will consider legislation to ban the sort of interstate abortions performed last year by a New Jersey doctor whose license has since been suspended.


Dr. Steven Brigham operated an abortion clinic in Elkton. New Jersey regulators suspended his license after finding that he was starting late-term abortions in that state, then ferrying patients to Maryland to complete the procedures in an apparent bid to skirt New Jersey's more restrictive abortion laws.




In 1993, he botched two late-term abortions in New York, and his license was revoked for gross negligence. According to public records, a 20-year-old patient had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy, and the other patient had her colon removed.


And in July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered him to close his four clinics in the state, saying he employed unlicensed caregivers.

The butchers abound.  It is senseless that we continue the charade that regards this practice as legitimate, acceptable and legal.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 28 2011

It's getting ridiculous now.  If you want an indication of how good ObamaCare is for anybody who comes into contact with it (including the economy) just look at the list of companies, unions and entities that have - because they know someone - received waivers exempting them from the tragic pitfalls of the terrible law.


We've just seen an addition of 500 more:

While the Democrats continued to extol Obamacare and the president defended the behemoth law during the Date of the Union, HHS was quietly presiding over a massive Obamacare Waiver-mania explosion.


When last we examined the growing list, privileged escapees topped 222.


Now: The list now at 729 - plus 4 states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee).


Among the many new union refugees are 4 new SEIU locals :

-SEIU Health and Welfare fund, 2000 with 161 enrollees

-Service Employees 32BJ North Health Benefit Fund* representing 7,020 enrollees

-SEIU Local 300, Civil Service Forum Employees Welfare Fund representing 2,000 enrollees

-SEIU Health & Welfare Fund representing 1,620


This is in addition to the three other previous SEIU waiver winners: Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees; Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees; and SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees.

182 union waivers have now been issued (hat tip: Rick Moran).


Over 2 million workers have been exempted from the law's requirements thanks to these waivers (hat tip: Michelle Malkin).


And perhaps the biggest kicker:

A snort-worthy new escapee: Obamacare sympathizers at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, whose board of trustees includes Obama health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle.

It's why the Republican sponsored legislation that says all lawmakers will be subject to the laws they write for the rest of us is so important.  People like U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, whose pride causes him to continue to impotently attempt to defend this horrible law, should be asked why it is becoming clear that all the president's friends and cronies are being exempted while the rest of us are being stuck with it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 28 2011

At least someone is saying it.  Sadly, it's a former Senator and not a current one.  But it's a guy that at least is considering running for president:

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who says he is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, says that the second thing the next president should do to deal with the federal debt crisis?after signing legislation to repeal Obamacare?is end Medicaid as a federal entitlement.


Santorum likened his idea of ending Medicaid as a federal entitlement to the landmark legislation he helped push through a Republican-majority Senate in 1996 that ended welfare as a federal entitlement.


"So on Medicaid we need to do the same thing," Santorum said in an Online With Terry Jeffrey interview. "We need to repeal the federal entitlement, which is just a perverse incentive for the states to spend more money. And turn the program back" to the states.


Santorum said that ending Medicaid as a federal entitlement and giving states block grants to run the program themselves, according to state-based designs, could yield positive benefits similar to those that he says followed the 1996 welfare reform bill.


"What we did, we said: Look, welfare is a state issue," said Santorum. "It's something the states basically manage already. It's just a federal entitlement, and the federal government has a very prescriptive program on how the state runs it. But the state runs welfare policy. So what we said is we need to end the federal entitlement. We need to give a block of money to the states. We need to pare back some of these strings attached to this money, and let the states devise their own program.

All the talk in Washington of freezing budgets and "eliminating waste" will get us precisely where we've been.  Only tackling the major entitlement programs like Defense, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid will make any serious impact on our deficit and debt problems.  Hats off to Santorum for acknowledging that and proposing some serious changes that show he's serious about saving the country (something that certainly can't be said for the current occupant of the White House).


By the way, what happened after that welfare reform Santorum was suggesting as a model?

"What happened?" said Santorum. "Welfare rolls decreased by over 50%, poverty levels went down, people who weren't working and were chronically unemployed went back to work, family stability increased--all positive benefits. Why do I say that? Because we need to do the exact same thing for Medicaid."

Pence may be my first choice in 2012, but Santorum is right up there.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 28 2011

Scant media attention (including no attention from the national, mainstream media outlets) has been paid to what otherwise would seem to be a pretty significant insult.  At a recent event honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the South Carolina affiliate of the NAACP decided - for aesthetic reasons, they assure - to box in and cover up a large statue of the nation's first president, George Washington.


Jared Law, writing for News, Issues and Politics, summarized the situation this way:

"The NAACP's hypocrisy, and the double standard of the media, reared their ugly heads yet again. This time, it's South Carolina. The event is the MLK 'King Day at the Dome' hosted by the South Carolina NAACP."


"They literally built a (15-foot wooden) box and covered (all but the backside of) the statue of President George Washington for the duration of their event. ... Naturally, the media are absolutely silent on this matter".


"If a conservative group would have hidden the statue of somebody with a darker skin color, the howls of protest would rend the air for at least a month, the news networks would have made it their leading story on the evening news, the newspaper headlines would blare condemnation, and the history books would decry the racism of the sponsoring organization, and no doubt tie them to Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck. ..."


"So why, then, aren't people making more of a fuss about the man whom most Americans think of as the father of the United States of America being so denigrated, so deeply insulted?"

It's a good question.  Meredith Jessup also wrote a piece on this situation for The Blaze:

The South Carolina NAACP honored Martin Luther King Jr. Monday while simultaneously dishonoring the nation's first president. ... As a number of local and national speakers stepped forward to speak from the Capitol steps, a large bronze statue of George Washington was conspicuously hidden. A large box covered with cloth hid the Father of the Country from view of the rally's guests.

Some NAACP folks have responded saying it was not an intentional insult, but just standard procedure.  Perhaps.but it seems a bit inappropriate even if it is routine, doesn't it?


The legacy of Washington's work provided the background and backdrop for the passionate defense of human rights King put forth.  Had there been no Washington, there could have been no King.  Thus, the two seem to go hand-in-hand.  Hopefully they will either relocate their event or think better of their actions at next year's event.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 28 2011

As the 2012 election cycle gets underway, things are about to get interesting.  Several states are preparing to enact laws that will require any candidate for president who wants to be placed on their ballot to provide official proof of their natural born citizenship status.  This would mean producing the official long-form birth certificate for review.  Ordinarily, this would be a pretty mundane request.


But given the fact that President Barack Obama has reportedly spent thousands of dollars in legal funds to keep his long-form birth certificate from release, and given the fact that Hawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie has reported that no such certificate exists in Hawaii's public health records, this could end up being a monster story.


Arizona appears to be the first in line:

The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors. It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass.


In the House, there are 25 co-sponsors, with the need for only 31 votes for passage, and Burges told WND that there were several chamber members who confirmed they support the plan and will vote for it, but simply didn't wish to be listed as co-sponsors. The proposal, which also is being taken up in a number of other states, is highly specific and directly addresses the questions that have been raised by Barack Obama's occupancy of the White House. It says:


Within ten days after submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate's citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate's age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.

Montana, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas are preparing similar laws for passage.  These requirements will mean that the Hawaiian "Certification of Live Birth" that Obama posted to the White House website in order to "debunk the birthers" will not suffice.  That's because the state of Hawaii issues "Certification of Live Birth" to people who are not born in Hawaii...precisely the reason that these states are understandably demanding the official long-form birth certificate.


His 2012 re-election hopes may end up hinging on his willingness to produce something he has bizarrely fought bitterly to avoid producing.  Get ready.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 27 2011

Listening to and then re-reading Barack Obama's rather boring State of the Union Address, it became clear to me that my interpretation of his so-called "move to the center" is correct: it's all smoke and mirrors because this guy is an ardent leftist.


Obama has certainly toned down the tenacity of his left-wing big government push, but the ideology is still front and center.  It's why I still believe that the next two years offer an unprecedented opportunity for conservatives to show the country the drastic differences between the left and the right's visions for America.  If they do, they will cripple leftism to a greater degree than ever before.


Obama cannot help himself.  In virtually every area his deeply held conviction that government problem solvers are the solution to our problem comes to the forefront.  Even paying lip-service to the inefficiencies of government doesn't stop him from holding that government must be at the heart of our society's movements.


He has learned to call it things like "investing in" this or that, but it's still the same principle: government has a major role to play.  You don't ever hear Obama take the line that government should get the heck out of the way.  It's his core left-wing ideology shining through: people are too stupid, too unpredictable, too unsophisticated to be trusted with their own decision making.  In other words, people are too free.  So instead, government will drive them in the direction they should go.


Michael Tanner spoke to how this philosophy appeared repeatedly in Mr. Obama's speech:

For example, the president wants to spend more on education. That sounds good ? who could be against education? But the federal government has increased education spending by 188 percent in real terms since 1970 without seeing any substantial improvement in test scores.


The president's answer to unemployment is for the government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, "investing" in infrastructure and "green technology." The president sees government as the engine of economic growth, as a force that "creates jobs." He says he wants that job growth to be in the private sector; it's just that he doesn't believe that the private sector can do much unless it acts in "partnership" with the government. Yet from Hoover and Roosevelt during the Great Depression to the anti-recession policies of Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, government efforts to fight unemployment by "creating jobs" have been unsuccessful. And we have the experience of hundreds of billions of dollars spent by President Obama in stimulus programs with little evidence of job creation.




Naturally, the president defended his health-care bill despite all the evidence that it has failed to control medical costs and is actually driving up the price of insurance, limiting consumer choice, and making it more difficult for businesses to hire new workers. The government health plans we have now, Medicare and Medicaid, are spiraling into insolvency even as the quality of care they provide deteriorates. In fact, most of the problems facing our health-care system can be traced to government policies designed to fix it. But the president insists that more government mandates, subsidies, and regulations are the answer.

Obama is not moving to the center.  He's merely dressing up his left-wing big government approach with centrist sounding rhetoric.  The media will dutifully carry his water.  It's up to conservatives in Washington to expose this fraud and reveal the stark differences between our vision and his.  And it's up to conservatives outside of Washington to spread the word.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 27 2011

It wasn't flashy.  It didn't need to be.  It wasn't met with thunderous ovations.  It didn't lend itself to that anyway.  It was more reality than rhetoric.  And that's precisely what made Republican Paul Ryan's response to the State of the Union speech one of the best I have ever seen.


Ryan is an emerging star in the Republican Party, and with good reason.  He is young, he is bright, and has some very grounded conservative principles.  There is no doubt that given his position as the House Budget Committee Chairman, he is in a position to square off against President Obama for the next two years.  His response Tuesday demonstrated he has the chops to do it.


What made his speech so great?  Rather than dance around the harsh realities of where we are as a country right now (see Obama's speech), Ryan laid out the dangerous precipice upon which we stand.  But then offered the branch of hope - being cautious to iterate that it won't be a pleasure cruise.but it is better than the deadly alternative.


Tony Lee writes:

Ryan criticized the last Congress, which was run by Democrats, for an "unprecedented failure" in "choosing not to pass, or even propose a budget."

Due to this failure, "the spending spree continued unchecked," said Ryan. "Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you - to show you how we intend to do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs."

Earlier in the day the House passed a measure to set this year's budget to 2008 spending levels or lower.

Ryan cited the fact that the unemployment rate remains above 9% despite Obama's stimulus programs and said that due to the reckless spending of Obama and the Democrats, "our nation is approaching a tipping point.  We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century."

Ryan warned against a future "in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.  Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked - and it won't work now."

Ryan also made the necessary distinction between the conservative perspective and Obama's reckless pursuit of the status quo:

In a direct contrast from Obama, who essentially urged Congress to double down on the same course of more deficit spending, Ryan said that if Americans did not "chart a new course," the mounting debt "will soon eclipse our entire economy."

"No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country," said Ryan. "Frankly, it's one of my greatest concerns as a parent, and I know many of you feel the same way."

Ryan warned against America going down the path of countries such as "Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe" that "didn't act soon enough, and now their their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody."

In this looming crisis, though, Ryan said that while "some people will back away from this challenge," he saw "this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild."

Stating that "it's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high," Ryan said that "we believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper."

Thanks to Ryan, there was at least one meaningful speech given on Tuesday that needed to be heard and embraced by Americans.  Keep your eyes on Paul Ryan.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 27 2011

To most people, Genghis Khan's brutal slaughter of nearly 40 million people during the 13th and 14th centuries is not admirable.  But that's most people.


As it turns out, the environmentalists have found a silver lining in the mass murder: reduced carbon footprint.  Oh yes, I'm quite serious:

The research on Khan's net effect on the environment was first published in the climate-change journal The Holocene, prompting [enviro-journalist Bryan] Nelson to pen his article titled "Was Genghis Khan History's Greenest Conqueror?"


"So how exactly did Genghis Khan, one of history's cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card?" Nelson writes. "The reality may be a bit difficult for today's environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire - with a high body count."


"Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire," Nelson explains, "about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.


"In other words," Nelson concludes, "one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere."

When you pause to consider the freakish support environmentalists offer for mass birth control, sterilization, forced abortions, infanticide and euthanasia, this all starts to become clear.  This new age religion of earth worship is causing a dangerous reinterpretation of even the evil butchers of our past.

When you read things like:

The research has already been reported widely, not only on Mother Nature News, but also in newspapers around the world and on conservationist websites like Mongabay and Planetsave, the latter of which hailed Khan as "an environmentalist." have to wonder how long it will be until this warped mindset begins praising Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other radical leftists for their mass murder.  They're just making our air more breathable, our water more drinkable, our forests fuller and our skies more clear, after all.


Sick.  Bizarre.  Dangerous.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 27 2011

Indiana Representative Mike Pence had reportedly decided at one point that seeking the Indiana Governorship was most feasible and would be most beneficial in the long run for any future presidential ambitions than making a play for the White House in 2012.


But that was then.  More and more leading conservatives are leaning on Pence to consider a presidential bid.  Without question he has the intellect, the experience and the moral toughness to do it.  But it's his unwavering conservative credentials that are far more battle tested and proven than many of the other Republican hopefuls that attracts many.


A new pro-Pence group called "America's President Committee" launched a petition drive Monday "urging conservatives and tea party members to sign a declaration encouraging Mr. Pence to run for President."


The draft effort is being coordinated by Ralph Benko, a former Reagan administration official, and former Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun, who served alongside Pence until 2006 and was ranked as one of the most conservative members of Congress during five terms in Washington.


Their pitch: That in an underwhelming field of GOP presidential contenders, Pence is the strongest choice to unite the social, economic and national security wings of the Republican Party.


"Grassroots conservatives, Republicans, the Tea Party and populists are looking for a man or woman of principle who can champion and unite the newly energized and engaged citizenry," Benko said in a statement announcing the new group. "Mike Pence is the best choice to lead us into a new era of peace and prosperity."

There's also a school of thought that seeking the presidency is all about the moment.  Barack Obama certainly proved that in 2008.  And after four years of his disastrous tenure, there will be a powerful national craving for someone with clear, convincing conservative perspectives socially, economically and in foreign policy.  There is no one that fits that requested resume better than Mike Pence.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

A victory may be at hand concerning the MTV version of "Skins." As previously mentioned by Peter and me on Liberty Tree, this program is nothing short of child pornography. Even though MTV executives decided to stand by their decision to air this program, advertisers are not thinking it is such a good idea:

MTV's controversial drama "Skins" is losing advertisers faster than some of its characters lose their clothes.


As FOX411 reported, Taco Bell was the first sponsor to withdraw advertising from "Skins," quickly followed by Wrigley, Subway, Foot Locker, L'Oreal and Shick. 

General Motors and H&R Block both issued statements explaining that their ads were aired during the premiere by mistake and would have no further association with the show.

A word of thanks to those advertisers is certainly in order.


It is also reported that the program lost about half its viewers from the pilot episode to the second show.


This is a bit of good news, to be certain, but don't think that these types of issues are going to go away quickly.

MTV, meanwhile, is digging in its heels. The network responded to FOX411's request for comment with this statement: "Skins has earned the loyalty of fans across the globe for its thoughtful and honest portrayal of teen life today. An internationally acclaimed scripted drama, the show has been honored with a long list of prestigious awards.  MTV stands by the US adaptation of Skins and the vision of its creator Bryan Elsley."


"Bryan Elsley was highly skeptical about translating this for the American audience," the MTV insider told FOX411. "He was worried it would get this kind of reaction. It took a lot of wooing and hand-holding from MTV network execs to convince him that it would work in the U.S."

Continuing vigilance will still be the keyword of these times.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

During his visit to America, the Obama administration held a state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. This is one of those fancy diplomatic affairs where everything is supposed to be just right so that no one is offended. After all, wars have been started by offending national leaders. Included on the entertainment venue was pianist Lang Lang. One song in his repertoire was a well known Chinese tune rendered "My Motherland." Turns out that this is the theme song to a Chinese movie about the battle of Shangganling Mountain. John Hayward reveals:

Where's Shangganling Mountain, you ask?  Why, it's in Korea.  It was the site of a bloody battle, fought in late 1952 during the Korean War, in which Chinese forces repulsed a sustained attack from American and South Korean troops.  The movie whose theme Lang tickled out of those ivories is an anti-American propaganda film.  An article in the The Epoch Times points out that the lyrics to its theme song describe American soldiers as "jackals."

Lang Lang contends that he plays this song regularly because he has liked its tune since childhood. Fine. I like some tunes from my childhood that turn out to have horrid lyrics, and I still find myself humming them from time to time.


But this is a state dinner. A fancy diplomatic affair, remember? So why would an American president hosting a Chinese communist president allow a tune to be played that conjures up images of Korean War veterans as "jackals" by those who are familiar with the tune's source and meaning? Why would an American president think that this insult to a segment of American veterans is appropriate?


At the very least, an apology from the White House should be issued to our Korean War veterans. Apologies, after all, are a very vogue thing: white Americans are supposed to apologize to African American slaves, Native Americans, and Japanese Americans for long past atrocities. This, at least, is a current event where an apology could actually be meaningful. The White House response thus far?

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told ABC News that "any suggestion that this was an insult to the United States is just flat wrong.  As Lang Lang has stated before, he plays this song regularly because it is one of his favorite Chinese melodies, which is very widely known and popular in China for its melody.  Lang Lang played the song without lyrics or reference to any political themes during the entertainment portion of the State Dinner. He simply stated the song's title and noted it was well known in China."

If you are offended by this insult to honorable American veterans, then you are "just flat wrong."


Instead of having our back, this Commander-in-Chief is all about stabbing us in the back.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

The revelations of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell's murder horror show in Philadelphia has been - to say the least - an horrific blight for the "pro-choice" crowd.  They are being forced, once again, to attempt to accomplish the impossible: defend an indefensible practice of child killing.


Their best efforts are embarrassing.  Consider abortion defender Michelle Goldberg, writing at the Daily Beast:

"[T]he difference between this gruesome killing machine and a ?safe' clinic is aesthetics, really," wrote Lori Ziganto in "There is no denying the horror of what was found in this ?doctor's' office. But it happens in every abortion clinic across the land."


She's completely wrong. Gosnell's clinic was in no way representative of most abortion facilities, which is why the country's largest organization of abortion providers, the National Abortion Federation, refused him membership and testified against him to the grand jury.

But of course Ziganto is not completely wrong.  Whether other abortion clinics do a better job cleaning up the blood and a tidier job of disposing of mutilated body parts, they still perpetuate the same horrific practice of child murder.


That was Ziganto's point, and one that will bring down the entire abortion complex once Americans find the moral courage to acknowledge it.  It is unsurprising that Goldberg chose to ignore this point, beautifully articulated by Lori Ziganto:

Sticking a scalpel in a baby's neck in utero has the same result as sticking it in the neck with scissors outside the womb: Death.


In this case, people can visualize the actual babies, as they were horrifically kept in jars and bottles. In "safe" clinics, they are hidden away in haz-mat disposals or chopped up into tiny pieces before being sucked out of their mother's womb and disposed of like trash. Hidden away, allowing people to blind themselves to what is actually happening. It is easier to remain blissfully ignorant and ignore the fact that a baby is a baby, in utero or out.

In other words, what was most offensive to Americans' sensibilities wasn't the dirty and filthy state of the clinic.  It was the horrific practice that was going on amidst all that grime.  And that horrific practice is occurring in Planned Parenthood and other "spotless" clinics around the country.


Professor Calvin Freiburger sums it up this way:

The "blood on the floor," the "stench of urine fill[ing] the air," the "cat feces on the stairs," and the "[s]emi-conscious women" waiting "on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets" may be unique horrors, but the other things that make Gosnell's death den seem worse than a "nice, clean" abortion clinic are morally insignificant. If you're stabbing a baby's spinal cord, it doesn't matter where the baby's body is located. It doesn't matter how you store or dispose of the remains. You still killed a child.

That's what Americans should find most appalling.  Because it is.  It is child-killing and it must be stopped today.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

Okay, I didn't really think it would happen.  But it should have.  Everyone keeps telling me that Mr. Obama is starting to think a lot more about getting re-elected than he is about staying true to his ideology.  I have my doubts (I think Obama is trying to appear as though he is moving center while sticking firm to his radical worldview), but for the sake of argument let's suppose that were true.  If President Obama really wanted to get re-elected in 2012, he should have started a chant at his State of the Union Address.


No, not the cheesy, "Yes, We Can!" nonsense of 2008.  But another one from 2008 with much more meaning to a nation of unemployed, over-taxed, and debt ridden people: "Drill, Baby, Drill!"


Sure it would have sent the New York Times into anaphylactic shock.  The Daily Kos would have been beside itself.  But a serious commitment to open up our own oil reserves, as well as calling for exploration and development of our fossil fuel supplies (even if maintaining a continued focus on new energies at the same time), would have solved so many of the crises our nation now finds itself in.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg explains:

The deficit? The oil industry already pays the U.S. treasury more than $95 million a day in taxes, rent, royalties, and the like. If you expand exploration, you expand revenues. According to estimates, if America unlocked its oil and gas reserves, the government could take in somewhere between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in additional revenue over the coming years. And that's not counting the increased revenues from the stimulus of lower fuel and energy costs.


Trade imbalances? Domestic oil and gas is, by definition, not imported. The more we produce here, the less we import, or the more we can sell overseas. Either way, the trade deficit goes down and GDP goes up.


Jobs? You can't drill for American oil or natural gas in China, Saudi Arabia, or anyplace other than America. Oil- and gas-exploration jobs pay more than twice the national average.


Just take a gander at North Dakota, where oil production is up 138 percent since 2008. The boom "has helped make its economy almost recession-proof," writes American Enterprise Institute economist Mark Perry. North Dakota's "jobless rate never exceeded 4.4 percent even during the Great Recession when the U.S. rate hit 10.1 percent." North Dakota, with a $1 billion surplus, and the lowest unemployment rate in the country, has more jobs today than it did when the recession started in 2007. Perversely, as AEI's Steve Hayward notes, if trends continue, North Dakota may well out-produce California and Alaska (it's already zoomed past Oklahoma), not because California and Alaska are running out of oil, but because the feds keep their oil reserves under lock and key.


All in all, the American Petroleum Institute believes we may have 100 billion barrels of untapped oil ? that's 10 million barrels a day for 30 years, or the equivalent of our total imports of foreign oil.


Meanwhile, it's quite possible that the United States could be the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, with an estimated 100-year supply of the stuff, and more being discovered every day.

I don't expect it these next two years, but if nothing else, the 2012 Republican contender needs to be committed to this course of action.  (And Republican candidates not named Sarah Palin should not treat this issue as though it is her position alone.they should join the chant)  The fate of our economy may well depend on it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

How interesting that disgraceful Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer would be called upon by Time magazine to explain whether our rhetoric led to the Tucson killings.  Interesting not because Singer is a clueless radical who champions killing not just preborn humans but infants of a young age (yes, he really did propose a form of "waiting period" to determine whether you want to keep or kill your child).


Interesting because it should be Singer whose speech is on the hot seat right now, rather than having him put ours on the same.  Why?  Because of another massacre that has just recently been revealed.  Daniel Flynn explains:

Dr. Kermit Gosnell faces eight counts of murder. One of Gosnell's patients, a 30-year-old immigrant, is alleged to have died in a botched abortion. Seven babies are alleged to have been birthed only to have their spinal cords snapped with scissors during late-term abortions?like "Fourth Trimester" late.

The grand jury charges that one baby had been outside of the womb for 20 minutes before succumbing to a scissors attack. The district attorney explained, "A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law."

Not according to Singer's law, laid out in Practical Ethics, a textbook whose self-serving morality is foreshadowed in its title. "Parents may, with good reason, regret that a disabled child was ever born," he writes. "In that event the effect that the death of the child will have on its parents can be a reason for, rather than against killing it."

Glibly comparing infants to snails, Singer posits that "beings who cannot see themselves as entities with a future cannot have any preferences about their own future existence." Taking a moralistic tone in favor of evil of the most cardinal sort, Singer preaches in Rethinking Life and Death that "in the case of infanticide, it is our culture that has something to learn from others, especially now that we, like them, are in a situation where we must limit family size."

It is of little consequence to me that Time magazine found a left-winger who has a penchant for calling his political opposition "crazy" to comment on our uncivil dialogue.  Que sera sera.  What is of consequence is that Singer's condemnation of our rhetoric causing Tucson demands condemnation of his rhetoric causing Gosnell's atrocities.and millions others.


Don't hold your breath on Time pointing that out.  So let's do it ourselves.  Spread the word.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 26 2011

Idaho's had enough:

After leading the nation last year in passing a law to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul, Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature now plans to use an obscure 18th century doctrine to declare President Barack Obama's signature bill null and void.

I love the "obscure 18th century doctrine" comment that the AP decides to use to characterize an argument that has been at the heart of our political debates over federalism throughout history.  And it's not as though Idaho is the only kookie state considering such a move.


As the AP notes, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, as well as the ever-independent Texas are consider the same.  But that's not all.  Even the wise and prudent liberal states of Oregon and Maine are mulling nullification laws as well.


Based off of the Thomas Jefferson composed "Kentucky Resolution" of 1799 and the Nullification demands made against the "Tariff of Abominations" 30 years later by John C. Calhoun, these states are done messing around with meaningless "resolutions" that have no teeth.


Yes, the skeptics mock:

David Gray Adler, who directs the University of Idaho's McClure Center for Public Policy Research, said nullification proponents ignore the fact that one Supreme Court decision after another has gone against them.


What they seem to be advocating for, he said, is a return to the state sovereignty that existed under the Articles of Confederation - exactly what the Constitution's framers in 1789 sought to replace because it had failed.


"The premise of their position and the reasoning behind it are severely flawed and have no support in our Constitutional architecture," he said.

That analysis isn't exactly sound or intellectually honest.  The debate would not have loomed so large over American politics for nearly 230 years if there weren't grounds for the claims.  Further, a proper constitutional understanding reveals the states to be the "owners" of the Constitution who have "hired" the federal government to do a job.  So who has more power over a business?  The owner or the manager?


And doubters might want to consider this possibility:

"There are now 27 states that are in on the lawsuit against Obamacare," [Idaho State Sen. Monty] Pearce said. "What if those 27 states do the same thing we do with nullification? It's a killer."

And what happens if even more are added to their number?  Should, say three-fourths of the states enact nullification of this law, what then?  Maybe they'll be contented and pacified by a lecture on their Constitution from Mr. Adler.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 25 2011

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

                        United States Bill of Rights; 1st Amendment


There is a lot of talk about rights today. Talk about the right to work, the right to a fair wage, the right to privacy, the right to life, and on the list goes. Some of these rights are clearly articulated in our Constitution, others, you will notice, are not. In the aftermath of the attempted murder of AZ Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, news outlets have quickly moved from the human tragedy to the political impact. Specifically, the need for additional security for elected representatives has been pushed forward as a possible response to prevent tragedies like this from occurring again. There is no question the security needs of our politicians must be provided for, but punishing all Americans for the sins of one is a fundamental mistake.


A number of commentators immediately began discussing the need to separate our representatives from ordinary citizens, citing the Arizona shootings as evidence for a more separate (and thus safer) political class. It is hard to imagine the need to further disconnect federal politicians from average, ordinary Americans; safety concerns aside. When one reads the first amendment, it is clear there was intent on the part of the founders of this country to connect the citizens to their government - permanently. Town meetings like the one Rep. Giffords and others were attacked are a prime example of how a democracy should function; where the elected and the electorate meet to exchange ideas and strengthen those common bonds that bind us all as citizens.


Any such law that would create obstacles between the public and their representatives should not be embraced. As tragic as the events in Arizona have been, it would be short-sighted to re-order our political mores by eliminating the public square meetings that have forever been a part of the American tradition. Such events are a true and genuine tragedy, but are rare in American political life. The overwhelming majority of the public are dedicated to solving their disagreements through the ballot box - not with violence.  While not the only method for petitioning their government for a redress of grievances, it is hard to imagine a more personal venue for citizens to interact with their government. It is often said that what you have is not appreciated until it is gone. Let us hope we do not lose this aspect of our political life and appreciate and protect what traditions and rights we do have.

Posted by: CJ AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 25 2011

I have written and spoken for a while now that the inevitable results of the homosexual agenda chaos will be to provide traction to those who seek to legitimize adult-child sexual relationships. I am not suggesting that homosexuals are de facto pedophiles. What I emphasize is that the rationale and subsequent political-legal maneuvers that the homosexual movement has used to invade American culture are not lost on those who support the pederasty agenda.


Here is a quick summation of some of my lines of thought: (1) No one would willingly choose this type of behavior; therefore, it must be a trait some are born with. Never mind that this has never been proven. (2) Since it is a born trait, then it is legitimate. Consequently, all attempts to deny pursuit of this behavior is a civil rights infraction. (3) Anyone can choose to do what he or she wants with another consenting adult. (4) At the same time, increased emphasis has been placed on legitimizing the rights of minors. Homosexual organizations have been, and still are, encouraging minors to declare their homosexuality and other forms of sexual confusion. School officials and other adults are increasingly hamstrung from intervening and enforcing any semblance of sexual sanity.


All of these elements, and more, combine to provide the fodder for which organizations like the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) will pursue the same courses of action taken by homosexual advocates. This has already been evident in their documents for some time.


Sadly, it appears that this immoral travesty will be assaulting Americans sooner than later. Witness the furor taking place over the MTV decision to air a teenaged-based drama called "Skins." Peter mentioned this yesterday on Liberty Tree and over the air.


Some groups are demanding that MTV executives be investigated for violating child pornography laws:

"Since it is not necessary for Viacom or MTV to distribute the material in order to be in violation of the law, we call upon your committees to immediately investigate Viacom and MTV for the production of this material," Winter said in the statement. "Furthermore, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to compel the attorney general to mount an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the production of ?Skins' has violated federal law meant to protect minors from exploitation."

At first, this resulted in concern:

According to The New York Times, a series of panicked meetings took place at MTV headquarters in New York on Tuesday, where one executive allegedly even discussed the possibility of criminal charges and jail time. Reportedly, nervous execs forced producers to edit out some of the more explicit content from future episodes.

That concern, however, did not last long:

"We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards," MTV said a statement yesterday.

"We are confident that the episodes of 'Skins' will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.

This is exactly the type of issue for which adult-child sex advocates long. It provides widely distributed entertainment venue through which the boundaries protecting minors can be further weakened, and it may provide the legal environment through which they can begin attacking current child porn laws. Even if this does not all happen quickly, be assured that it will be the start of the foundation from which further assaults on morality and common sense will be pursued.


It is evident that unless Americans express clearly the moral values that we expect to see reflected in our laws and policies, we will soon be cast into complete and utter chaos. Writes Dr. Manny Alvarez:

These days, our society echoes of Sodom and Gomorrah.


The reason that I make such a harsh comparison, that many people will call me crazy for doing -- is because I am a huge advocate for talking to your children about drugs and sex, and monitoring their habits for any warning signs. But these days, accessibility to all forms of media and the messages we are sending to our children under the guise of "entertainment" are making it extremely challenging to be a good parent. And I think that shows like "Skins" just add to the problem of kids jumping on the bandwagon and trying to mimic their favorite television stars.

It is well past the time for responsible Americans to advocate for proper moral behavior and to protect subsequent generations from the machinations of child predators.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 25 2011

It's one thing to accurately point out flaws in the idea of judging the competence of teachers purely based on the test scores of their students.  Legitimate points can be made to explain why even the best teachers cannot force students to learn or make an effort if they don't possess any inkling of self-motivation or parental inspiration.


But the leaders of the major teachers' unions are not interested in focusing their arguments to such meaningful discussion.  No, they are desperate to maintain the status quo - even when that status quo is obviously not what's best for children.  And in the course of doing so, they say stupid things and make all of us involved in education look silly and unprofessional.


For instance, take the comments made by the American Federation of Teachers' (the second largest teachers' union in the country, behind the NEA) president Randi Weingarten.  In an interview with Newsweek, Weingarten responded to a challenge that teachers should be constantly looking to improve by ignorantly comparing public education to an NFL team:

"Football teams do this all the time," Weingarten responded. "They look at the tape after every game. Sometimes they do it during the game. They're constantly deconstructing what is working and what isn't working. And they're jettisoning what isn't working and building up on what is working, and doing it in a teamlike approach."

This is quite an interesting comment given that Weingarten and other union voices fiercely oppose any notion of merit pay and vehemently defend the practice of tenure.  As columnist Kyle Olson explains:

Here's an idea. Let's have the NEA and AFT become the owners of a new NFL franchise. For a lack of a better name, we'll call the new team the Thugs.


Players on the Thugs' roster would receive tenure after two years, like they do in New York City Public Schools. They can play on the Thugs as long as they'd like, regardless of their skill level. And players would be judged not for their ability to score touchdowns or sack quarterbacks, but the number of years they've been in the NFL.


Over time, the Thugs' roster would be filled with 50- and 60-year old players, raking in the big bucks while losing game after game.


Does anyone believe that the hypothetical Thugs, with their incredible job security, would be competitive with the teams that compensate players based on their performance and frequently alter their rosters to maintain an edge?


It would be wonderful if public education would operate more like the NFL, where you get paid for results and released for incompetence. Maybe then American K-12 students would receive the instruction they truly deserve.

This has become my major problem with the teachers' unions.  They exist not to improve education, but to improve the lives of adults working at schools.  Sometimes those two things go hand in hand.  Sometimes they don't.  And it's in those moments when they don't that we get a good picture of what is most important to the unions.  It's not a pretty picture.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 25 2011

Keith Olbermann has left the line-up on MSNBC in a sad whimper.  But whimper is not what his most loyal followers are doing.  They are up in arms, and the humor forthcoming from that reality is too good to miss.


But the objections of the Olbermites serve more purpose than just the amusement of conservatives.  They are actually quite revealing of the far left's mentality and perspective on America.  Remember some of these comments, compiled by the staff at Newsbusters, when you hear the left explain to you how "both sides love America:"

Let's all do one last Woodstock Nation with mostly the sixities folks at the Lincoln Memorial with the real heavyweigh­t music of our time and headline with Keith Olbermann lighting us up with a call to real freedom and show this country what real liberals look like.


He was the anti-Glenn Beck. I really hope Al Jazeera English plans to fill the niche. It seems to be the only news channel in America that tells the truth.


CHOMSKY!!! Now there is a man who should be heard from more.


Keith fought for us for eight years. Now it's up to us.


It is a disgustingly tragic commentary on the state of our "exceptional" country when Glenn Beck continues to defile our airwaves while Olbermann is silenced and the "will of the people" ignored.


Is there no way to organize a serious boycott of Comcast and the FCC and the Justice Department and Genachowski (sp?) and Holder personally? Maybe Firedoglake will start something.

I certainly understand that many of these folks looked up to Keith and his paranoid ponderings every night that were laced with hate and frothing with contempt for anyone who thought differently.


But calling to "boycott the FCC and the Justice Department?"  What does that even mean?


And to say that the "will of the people" was being ignored by Keith being let go ignores the fact that Keith's audience was miniscule by any rational comparison to other nationally broadcast programs.


And the Al Jazeera English comment...well that about says all that needs to be said about this.  Keith always has a right to his opinion, but his disappearance from the airwaves is no loss. 


On a side note, be sure to vote in our online poll of what Keith's next job will be.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 25 2011

Rarely does one show (save The View) produce such a plethora of ignorance in one sitting.  But Bill Maher's Real Time program on HBO had a banner night last Friday evening that is worth noting.


First up came Rachel Maddow, host of her own clueless MSNBC show.  Debating an outnumbered Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal, Rachel explained to the audience how the idea of one missile shooting down another missile is just silly:

MADDOW: You know what? Here's the country, here's the kind of thing you put over like a cake to protect the cake from flies. Missiles don't work that way. That's the whole idea of SDI. We'll protect ourselves by shooting missiles at other missiles. It's never worked in a test. We spent billions on it.


MOORE: It's worked.


MADDOW: And anybody who understands this knows it can never work.


MOORE: If you don't think it works, then why did the Russians not want us to do it?


MADDOW: The Russians were very happy to sign this thing.


MOORE: No they weren't. They didn't want us to do SDI because they knew they didn't want us to blow up their missiles.


MADDOW: You know what? If you think you can shoot the bullet with the other bullet, you can have an awesome life in Annie Oakley's side show, but you should not be in charge of billions of dollars of the defense budget. It's such a hysterical fantasy. I love it.

"Hysterical fantasy."  Roll clip of U.S. Patriot missiles shooting down Saddam's SCUDs during Desert Storm...or the clips of them still being used by others.  Roll clip of interceptors successfully destroying dummy ICBMs.  And this woman is the "smart" one on MSNBC?  Yowza.


But apparently offended that someone else would attempt to say the most buffoonish thing of the night (it is his show, after all), Bill Maher had his own little jewel of idiocy regarding the ObamaCare individual mandate.  Once again, he was arguing with Steve Moore:

STEVE MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The government can't require you to buy health insurance. It's not constitutional. There's nothing in the Constitution that has the government forcing you to buy something. Should they force you to buy, you know.


MAHER: Car insurance? They do.


MOORE: Yeah, but they can't force you to buy a car, right?


MAHER: No, that's not the same thing a car and car insurance. Those are two different things. They can force you to buy car insurance that puts you in, okay. Set that aside.

Good grief.  This nonsense has been debunked a thousand times by now, but apparently it's still cutting edge stuff on "Real Time."  The government does not require you to purchase car insurance unless you CHOOSE to engage in the privilege of driving on the state's roads.  ObamaCare attempts to require you to purchase health insurance as a mandate for being alive.  A tad bit of a difference, no?


This is the state of liberal intelligence in America right now.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 24 2011

President Obama showed how small of a man he truly is by taking time out of his busy presidential schedule to honor a terribly flawed Supreme Court ruling (one that embarrasses even its proponents) that allows certain human beings to be regarded as property and unworthy of their unalienable right to life.


As a black man, it is incredible that the chilling legacy of Dred Scott doesn't echo into his ears as he made his proclamation.  Praise God there were those with far more integrity and moral courage than Barack Obama who chose to stand up for the rights of all men.  And we can pray that when the sad and sorry chapter of Barack Obama's tenure is done, the White House will again be filled with one who appreciates our Declaration of Independence rather than one who excuses trampling it for convenience.


Barack Obama is unworthy of the House he now occupies and his appalling celebration of the 38 year legacy of trampling human rights reemphasizes the urgency we must feel to excuse him from that duty in another 2 years.


Here was the president's disgraceful statement (my additional comments in italics):

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women's health and reproductive freedom (if by "protecting women's health" he means slaughtering over 15 million, and by "reproductive freedom" he means the right to kill another human being), and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters (unless of course you're talking about any other private health decision except abortion.then he's all for it - see ObamaCare).


I am committed to protecting this constitutional right (pay no attention to the fact that after 38 years, none of the nation's brightest legal minds have been able to effectively articulate the constitutional basis for a right to abortion and Roe's most ardent defenders acknowledge as much). I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies (by that he means flooding Planned Parenthood - the nation's largest abortion mill - with tax dollars to supply condoms for kids), support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption (all while protecting the ability to use abortion as a form of birth control).


And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters (the ones we decide not to scald to death in the womb with salt solution) have the same rights (except the right to life), the same freedoms (unless we decide to half deliver them and brutally stab them to death), and the same opportunities as our sons (who by the way will not be allowed to choose to keep their child if their wife or girlfriend decides to abort their child) to fulfill their dreams.

The office is worthy of respect.  The man has redoubled his efforts to prove all over again that he is not.  Americans of previous generations came to recognize that leaders who deny the inalienable rights of man for convenience (think slavery) should be held in contempt, it's time our generation does the same.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 24 2011

No surprise to hear that MTV has taken their trash to an all new level.  But this time they may have gone too far.  The release of the smut-fest called "Skins" has precipitated calls from several quarters for MTV to be reprimanded for violating child pornography laws.  If that sounds pretty serious, that's because Skins is pretty serious filth.


Erin Brown describes it as this:

The scripted show's attempt to portray the real lives of high school students showcases casual sex among minors without consequences, a 16 year-old child purchasing four ounces of marijuana, an adult woman stripping for an underage peeping tom, parental verbal abuse, an overdose on narcotics, and sexual assault of a minor - all in the series premiere.

Finding the most appalling element of this new show is a tall task.  Is it the shameless marketing of dangerous lifestyles to teenagers?  Is it the portrayal that such choices are the norm for teenagers?  Is it the illusion they give that these deadly lifestyle choices can be chosen without any serious consequences?


And yet despite having nothing redeeming whatsoever in this recent foray into kiddie porn, supposed critics still find a silver lining:

Despite the nasty content, one media critic still found a way to praise the show. "?Skins' feels raw and gritty... Only the show's target audience will know how true its portrayal of adolescence is, but it should make many parents pay closer attention to what's going on in their teenagers' lives" wrote Amy Amatangelo of the Boston Herald.

Raw and gritty indeed.  Raw and gritty contempt for social norms, basic morality, and common decency. 

MTV calls itself as "the world's premier youth entertainment brand," and "a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. That's undoubtedly true, if innovation means pornography, underage sex, drug use, peeping toms, vulgarity, grand theft auto and sexual assault.

Indeed.  This is yet another indication of our sorry lapse into moral oblivion, and it's this kind of trash that our culture must thoroughly reject.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 24 2011

The details about the Philadelphia abortionist house of horrors that TheOldSalt discussed here provide yet another opportunity to realize what we have allowed ourselves to become and the voices we have allowed to direct our culture.


Too many people - too many Christians - have become cowards on this most pressing moral question of our day.  A perfect example of this comes in Bronx Democrat Michael Benjamin, recently profiled by National Review as a "pro-life Democrat."  Benjamin is bothered by the fact that so many pregnancies end in abortion.  Yet, as Robert Verbruggen accurately points out:

He just doesn't feel bad enough to change his belief that abortion should be allowed ? that is, his belief that unborn children don't deserve legal protection.

This is exactly where so many people are today.  I can't begin to count the number of folks who have told me that they are "personally opposed to abortion," but yet they still refuse to favor making the practice they "oppose" illegal.  This makes their position on killing infants equivalent to their position perhaps on drinking or smoking: "I don't do it and wouldn't want to, but I'm not going to tell someone else they can't."  Cowards.  This is about life and death, and yet too many people who know better take a total pass.


As Verbruggen explains:

There is an obvious tension between thinking that unborn children are in some sense human lives worth saving, and also thinking that these human beings should have no formal right not to be harmed. But just as troubling is Benjamin's apparent belief that trying to talk pregnant women out of abortions ? while supporting abortion in myriad other ways, including Medicaid funding ? is a good way to attack the problem.

He's not the only person to think that, thanks to a common misconception: the belief that for the most part, abortions happen because sympathetic women ? women who are deeply conflicted about aborting their children ? find themselves in trouble and just need someone to help. We see this in pro-lifers when they insist that while abortion is murder, we shouldn't prosecute women for it (an argument they often make on the grounds that the women are victims, too). We see it in moderate abortion-rights supporters when they claim they hate abortion and want to work with pregnant women to lower the abortion rate, but still want to protect a woman's choice in desperate times.

There is ultimately no reason to oppose the practice of abortion on moral grounds if the child in the womb is not a child.  So for those who do, that recognition of the personhood of the child should then demand that a person believe that child deserves the full protection of the law.  Anything less is uncivilized, unchristian, and outrageously unacceptable.  It's time to lay this revolting chapter of abortion in our nation's story to rest.  It's time for cowards to find their moral courage.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, January 23 2011

My, how times have changed. Charging the President with corporate cronyism every time he spoke about business is now ancient history. Instead, government-corporate favoritism is now the engine that will create jobs. So we are led to believe by this President, the CEO of GE, and compliant Big Media.

"The past two years was about moving our economy back from the brink," Obama said alongside Immelt during an event in Schenectady, New York, home to the birthplace of GE's energy business. "Our job now is putting our economy into overdrive." He said Immelt "understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy."

Funny. According to accusations three or so years ago, everything wrong with the American economy stemmed from corporate America and Wall Street greed. Suddenly, success is back in vogue.


Problem is, this smells of unfair government-corporate play. In 2009, the Washington Post revealed how GE benefited from a TARP loophole:

General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks. At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

Unlike AIG and Goldman Sachs, GE executives can receive unrestricted bonuses and are not bound by the same limitations placed on other TARP recipients. Indeed, shares of GE stock soared last Friday on profit and industrial orders that topped analysts' expectations.

General Electric Co. climbed the most in almost two years after fourth-quarter profit growth topped analysts' estimates, industrial equipment orders rose and sales increased for the first time since September 2008.

Personally, I am a very big fan of a competitive free market system that rewards successful people and their companies. The operative key word is free market. I think that this entire scenario leans toward collusion between the Obama administration and the GE CEO.


At the very least, it should eliminate entirely the myth that it is only the Republican Party that is controlled by Big Business. That false accusation will still persist, though, because the contemporary lapdog media will see that this is downplayed and eliminated as a story of significance.


Well, it is my hope at any rate that this collusion between this administration and Wall Street will bring some heartburn to a lot of those anti-business libs out there. Just because our government is out to shaft its citizens doesn't mean we can't have a little enjoyment in the process.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

If the story was about a Democrat politician being shot (or shot at or even being threatened with being shot) in Philadelphia, what do you think Big Media coverage would be? Rhetorical question, because we know exactly what their coverage would be.


Consider now the coverage given the mass murder committed by a Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell and his crew. Since the murders were conducted under the guise of abortion, there is very little coverage. What coverage has been given these murders has been very tame and clinical, unlike the coverage given to the Tucson shooting.


Michelle Malkin peels back the layers of willful back-turning that allowed Gosnell to carry out his murderous pursuit for years:

Echoing the same kind of dark euphemisms plied by Planned Parenthood propagandists who refer to unborn life as "fetal and uterine material," Gosnell referred to his deadly trade as "ensuring fetal demise." ...[and] described his destruction of babies' spinal cords as "snipping." He rationalized his macabre habit of cutting off dead babies' feet and saving them in rows and rows of specimen jars as "research." His guilt-ridden employees then took photos of some of the victims before dumping them in shoeboxes, paper bags, one-gallon spring-water bottles and glass jars.


They weren't the only ones who adopted a see-no-evil stance:


- The Pennsylvania Department of Health knew of clinic violations dating back decades, but did nothing.


- The Pennsylvania Department of State was "repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell" ? including the clinic's unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street ? "and repeatedly chose to do nothing."


- Philadelphia Department of Public Health officials who regularly visited Gosnell's human waste-clogged offices did nothing.


- Nearby hospital officials who treated some of the pregnant mothers who suffered grave complications from Gosnell's butchery did nothing.


- An unnamed evaluator with the National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell's chamber of horrors was "the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected" ? but did nothing.

At the same time, anyone want to guess who the real enemies are according to our liberal friends? Pro-life advocates, of course!

Meanwhile, the death racketeers have launched a legislative and regulatory assault across the country on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from New York City to Baltimore, Austin and Seattle that offer abortion alternatives, counseling and family services to mostly poor, vulnerable minority women.


Already, left-wing journalists and activists have rushed to explain that these abortion atrocities ignored for four decades by abortion radicals and rationalizers are not really about abortion. A Time magazine writer argued that the Philadelphia Horror was "about poverty, not Roe v. Wade." A University of Minnesota professor declared: "This is not about abortion."

It is about abortion. It is about a culture that has been so acclimated to the pro-abortion culture and their death squads that there is becoming no distinguishable line between us and the culture that gathered at the coliseum to watch slaves and political prisoners be butchered by experienced warriors and wild beasts. As Michelle reminds us:

Deadly indifference to protecting life isn't tangential to the abortion industry's existence ? it's at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It's the logical, bloodcurdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing.

What a sad commentary on our culture.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

Just when you thought the science was settled, more news about faulty studies.  Well, color me surprised.  I guess the world isn't going to incinerate in the next ten years after all.  According to a recent AP report, a study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science was found to be "seriously flawed." 


How flawed do you ask?  According to the study, global temperature was projected to rise 2.4 degrees Celsius over the next decade resulting in global ecological disaster.  The end of the world is near!  But according to climate scientist Rey Weymann, the "study contains a significant error in that it confuses 'equilibrium' temperature rise with 'transient temperature rise."  English please?  The study skewed the results by a ten-fold factor.  Okay, so they were off by over 1,000%.  No big deal.


The fact that global warming alarmists are using this kind of data to substantiate their demand to destroy the economies of the industrialized world is troubling.  But this isn't the most frightening part of the story.  Scientist Osvaldo Canziani was the key advisor on this study.  This is the same Canziani who won a Nobel Prize for his findings in 2007 and whose research has been central for the UN's IPCC reports which have been central to arguments for global warming legislation.  According to the report the lead author, Liliana Hisas, was informed that the results were flawed, yet published the report anyway. 


"The author of the study was told by several of us about this error but she said it was too late to change it," said Weymann.  Scientist Scott Mandia forwarded to AFP an email he said he sent to Hisas ahead of publication explaining why her figures did not add up, and noting that it would take "quite a few decades" to reach a warming level of 2.4 degrees Celsius.


But perhaps we should listen to the alarmists and embrace their march back to the stone ages.  Perhaps then when nothing happens and the world spins on, they can pat themselves on the back for "saving the world". 

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

Economist Walter E. Williams has offered a very intriguing and logical analysis of what is causing us to be so divided in American culture today.  He starts with a pretty simple observation:

Some Americans have strong, sometimes unyielding preferences for Mac computers, while most others have similarly strong preferences for PCs and wouldn't be caught dead using a Mac. Some Americans love classical music and hate rock and roll. Others have opposite preferences, loving rock and roll and consider classical music as hoity-toity junk. Then there are those among us who love football and Western movies, and find golf and cooking shows to be less than manly. Despite these, and many other strong preferences, there's little or no conflict. When's the last time you heard of rock and roll lovers in conflict with classical music lovers, or Mac lovers in conflict with PC lovers, or football lovers in conflict with golf lovers? It seldom if ever happens. When there's market allocation of resources and peaceable, voluntary exchange, people have their preferences satisfied and are able to live in peace with one another.

It's a great point.  The vast majority of the time, we don't get overly passionate or outraged with someone with different preferences than us.  If you added up the amount of disagreements you had with other people, you might be amazed at how different you are from some of your very best friends.  So how can they stay your best friends?  Because you are allowed to do what you like, they are allowed to do what they like.  There isn't some scenario created where only one option is to be available.  And that becomes Williams' impressive thesis: the government is the major source of our hostilities and outrage because they often force a zero-sum game where one side wins and the other side loses.

Think what might be the case if it were a political decision of whether there'd be football or golf watched on TV, whether we used Macs or PCs and whether we listened to classical music or rock and roll. Everyone had to comply with the politically made decision or suffer the pain of fines or imprisonment. Football lovers would be lined up against golf lovers, Mac lovers against PC lovers and rock and rollers against classical music lovers. People who previously lived in peace with one another would now be in conflict.


Why? If, for example, classical music lovers got what they wanted, rock and rollers wouldn't. Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena.


The lesson here is that the prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person's gain is of necessity another person's loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict-enhancing, while market allocation is conflict-reducing. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater the potential for conflict. It would not be unreasonable to predict that if Mac lovers won, and only Macs could be legally used, there would be considerable PC-lover hate toward Mac lovers.

Getting the point?  That is why our political debates are so much more rancorous than our debates in other areas...because one side is going to win and the other is going to lose their preference due to government dictates.

Most of the issues that divide our nation, and give rise to conflict, are those best described as a zero-sum game where one person's or group's gain is of necessity another's loss. Examples are: racial preferences, school prayers, trade restrictions, welfare, Obamacare and a host of other government policies that benefit one American at the expense of another American. That's why political action committees, private donors and companies spend billions of dollars lobbying. Their goal is to get politicians and government officials to use the coercive power of their offices to take what belongs to one American and give it to another or create a favor or special privilege for one American that comes at the expense of some other American.

Think about this the next time you hear our governmental officials fretting about what legislation they can enact to make us all get along better.  The best thing they could do is actually the exact opposite.  Stop with the legislation.  Stop with the solutions.  Stop with choosing the winners and the losers.


As Williams put it:

The best thing the president and Congress can do to reduce the potential for conflict and violence is reduce the impact of government on our lives. Doing so will not only produce a less-divided country and greater economic efficiency, but bear greater faith and allegiance to the vision of America held by our founders ? a country of limited government. Our founders, in the words of Thomas Paine, recognized that, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

This doesn't mean that on issues of natural law and basic human rights the government is to be passive.  But, as Lincoln said, "in all things that people can do for themselves, government ought not to interfere."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

Mark this one down as the worst column of the young year 2011.  In an absolutely dreadful piece published by the Palm Beach Post, Jose Lambiet actually attacked the parents of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' neurosurgeon Michael Lemole.  Why?  Because Lemole's parents are Tea Partiers.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Lemole has been using his skill to help save the life of Ms. Giffords.  By all accounts he has done a spectacular job.  But rather than write about that, this Lambiet guy decides to drudge up the completely unrelated factoid that Lemole's parents have supported Tea Party efforts, and that is somehow a reprehensible reality.

And while Michael is saving the life of the moderate Democratic congresswoman, Gerald and Emily are more into the far, far Right ? including Tea Party goofball Christine O'Donnell!   According to campaign filings, Lemole's parents have showered with thousands in contributions ? $15,700 in 2010 alone ? Tea Party candidates vying for national offices.

Why does this matter?  Why is this a story?  But Lambiet wasn't done with his mudslinging.  He also indicted the life-saving surgeon himself:

Michael Lemole, by the way, last year gave $1,000 to a political action committee that contributes only to Republicans.

This could be a story about how people and professionals transcend any silly political differences when it comes to helping a fellow human being.  It could be about how the human spirit transcends our petty disagreements over politics.  But no, Lambiet decides to make this all about petty disagreements by actually doing the unprofessional and unthinkable...suggesting a correlation between the surgeon's parents and the gunman Jared Loughner:

Ironically: Among their favorites are some of the very people whose controversial rhetoric and campaigns are said to provide a fertile ground for the likes of Jared Loughner, who allegedly injured Giffords and killed six others in Tucson.

This is inexcusable and the Palm Beach Post should be called to the carpet for running this slander.  First, there were absolutely no ties between the Tea Party movement and the shooter.  In fact, evidence that has emerged shows that the Tea Party, Christians, and far-right conservatives are as far removed from the political and ideological background of this murderer as any groups could be.  Secondly, to smear the family of the surgeon who is saving Giffords' life, and "outing" them as conservatives, is neither appropriate or pertinent.and is an affront to the family, Giffords, and the conscience of every one of the Palm Beach Post's readers.


For shame.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

My long standing position on the birth certificate issue has been this: I think Obama was born in Hawaii.  I think he is a natural born American citizen.  I think if he wasn't, he would never have been able to mount the kind of deceptive strategy necessary to keep that secret.  Further, if he wasn't, I think the Clinton machine would have exposed it when he represented such a serious threat to Hillary's ascension.


That being said, I do not and cannot understand why the president will not just show the actual certificate to lay it all to rest.  This isn't a top secret document.  So why the refusal to release it to the public?  Why only release the Certificate of Live Birth which is not an official long-form birth certificate?  I've never understood that.


Perhaps Obama's decision to keep the birth certificate under lock and key is simply a political move to keep the "birther" movement drawing attention - attention that he thinks benefits him.  If that's the plan, this is sure to help:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.


Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii, because the continuing eligibility controversy could hurt the president's chances of re-election in 2012.


Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie's spokeswoman in Honolulu, ignored again today another in a series of repeated requests made by WND for an interview with the governor.   Toward the end of the interview, the newspaper asked Abercrombie: "You stirred up quite a controversy with your comments regarding birthers and your plan to release more information regarding President Barack Obama's birth certificate. How is that coming?"


In his response, Abercrombie acknowledged the birth certificate issue will have "political implications" for the next presidential election "that we simply cannot have." Suggesting he was still intent on producing more birth records on Obama from the Hawaii Department of Health vital records vault, Abercrombie told the newspaper there was a recording of the Obama birth in the state archives that he wants to make public.


Abercrombie did not report to the newspaper that he or the Hawaii Department of Health had found Obama's long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate. The governor only suggested his investigations to date had identified an unspecified listing or notation of Obama's birth that someone had made in the state archives.


"It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down," Abercrombie said.


For seemingly the first time, Abercrombie frankly acknowledged that presidential politics motivated his search for Obama birth records, implying that failure to resolve the questions that remain unanswered about the president's birth and early life may damage his chance for re-election.

The Governor is obviously recognizing that to this point there has been no official certification made public that confirms the president was born in Hawaii.  I'd say that's a potentially large development.  In fact, I find it kind of amazing that he's making such a statement, essentially declaring, "I know we've got the certificate around here somewhere...I'll keep looking."


If Abercrombie was hoping to poor water on the fire of the "birthers," this isn't going to do it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011

John Hayward has a moving piece at Human Events about the heroism of federal judge John Roll, who died at the Tucson massacre while saving the life of a fellow human being.  According to surveillance video analysis:

Here is how investigator Richard Kastigar describes the final moments of Judge John Roll's life:


"Mr. Kastigar said Judge Roll was ?intentionally trying to help [Giffords aide Ronald] Barber,' adding, ?It's very clear to me the judge was thinking of his fellow human more than himself.'


The judge guides Mr. Barber to the ground, shields him with his body, and then tries to push himself and Mr. Barber away from the gunman, who was no more than three to four feet away as he fired, Mr. Kastigar said.


?He pushes Mr. Barber with his right hand and guides him with his left hand. The judge was on top of him and is covering up Mr. Barber, literally lying on top of him, and his back was exposed,' Mr. Kastigar said.


The judge was shot in the back."

This is a remarkably underreported story at this date.  A stunning act of heroism that shows how even in the darkest of moments, the self-sacrifice and altruism of humanity can shine through.  Hayward writes:

It's Judge John Roll who surpasses my understanding.  He's the one we should be trying to figure out.


Civilization is built upon the deeds of men and women who were willing to walk into fire.  Killing to enforce your will is easy.  Self-preservation is instinct.  Thoughtless sacrifice in the face of sudden danger reveals the eternal strength which elevates men over savages and beasts.


On that bloody Saturday in Tucson, a respected 63-year-old jurist with a wife and three adult children, who had received hundreds of his own death threats, invested the last seconds of his life in a desperate bid to preserve another's.  A lifetime could be spent searching for the place in your own heart where such love and courage are stored. 

Finding it would be worth any number of years dedicated to the quest. which John Roll completed in a matter of seconds.


How many lost souls would be saved, if we could transmit the true essence of Roll's spirit?  How much villainy would dissipate if the low creatures of the Earth truly understood the nature of the champions ready to face them?  Perhaps the cynicism of our age would drain away if we knew just how many of those champions walk among us, hidden beneath pleasantly ordinary lives.  For now, we must content ourselves with adding one more jewel to America's fantastic treasury of patriotism, compassion, and valor.  We should speak of that treasure often, and share it with our children.

And then in a powerful conclusion that really spoke to me personally, Hayward wrote:

We spend far too much time gaping at monsters.  We should study our heroes more carefully. 

Hayward is right.  Maybe a little more time spent talking about what it is that causes men to jump on grenades on the battlefield to protect others, leap from bridges into icy water to save those who have slipped under the ice, and run into burning buildings to pull out trapped children would benefit us.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 20 2011

Talking with an automotive union worker friend of mine recently, the discussion turned to ObamaCare.  Having been told how much Obama is a friend to the unions, he is inclined to support everything the president does without question.  This appeared to be the case with his support for the national healthcare monstrosity.  So I posed the following hypothetical to him:


Suppose the president decided that the right to an automobile was fundamental.  Doing so would not be difficult given the logic used by the left.  How can a person function effectively in modern American society without a vehicle?  They can't get to work, they can't get to the store, they can't buy food, they can't effectively hold a job without reliable transportation.  Those without vehicles are clearly at a disadvantage to those with vehicles.  And since the goal of the left is egalitarianism - that is, making all things equal - there should be no questioning that they would embrace any suggestion of a "right to drive."


So if we've established a right to an automobile, that means people are being wronged if they are not allowed access to them.  Now obviously this can't mean junkers for the poor and luxury for the rich.  How disparate!  How unfair!  Keep in mind this is the same argument made about healthcare.why should the rich have "Cadillac healthcare coverage" while the poor can barely afford basic coverage?  We're just taking the "healthcare" part out of the "Cadillac healthcare coverage" argument.  There's simply no excusing a system where the rich can buy Cadillacs while the poor are stuck in clunkers.  Everyone should have access to affordable nice vehicles.


So, in order to make this happen, suppose that President Obama arbitrarily started declaring that cars - even luxury ones - could not be priced over $10,000.  There's simply no reason for the car manufacturers to charge anything over that.  This is legislation to protect the people, after's a right!


I asked my UAW friend how he would react to that.  Needless to say, he thought that was preposterous.  There would be no way that the car companies could survive if the government only allowed them to charge such a low amount for what they were producing.  He started explaining all the costs associated with making a car and having it properly tested and manufactured.


I asked him what would happen to the jobs of all the auto workers if car companies were put under such governmental restriction on the price of their vehicles.  He said they would lose their jobs or have dramatically slashed wages obviously.  I asked him if they dramatically slashed his wages if he would stay at that job.  He said no.


I asked him what would happen to the quality of cars if the government tried something like this.  He said they would inevitably go down the toilet.  Without the incentive of making more money off of better quality, there would be no reason to make better quality.


I asked him what he would think if I started saying he was a profiteer and simply trying to "stick it to the poor" by declaring such support for "corporate greed."  I asked him why he wanted to deprive poor people of nice cars.  I asked him why he believed that in America anyone should be denied a luxury vehicle when some have so much wealth.  I asked him why he was just "in it for profit."


He said he saw where I was going with this.  So I handed him this story:

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors surveyed fear healthcare reform could worsen care for patients, by flooding their offices and hurting income, according to a Thomson Reuters survey released Tuesday.


The survey of more than 2,900 doctors found many predict the legislation will force them to work harder for less money.


"When asked about the quality of healthcare in the U.S. over the next five years, 65 percent of the doctors believed it would deteriorate with only 18 percent predicting it would improve," Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.



The survey found that 65 percent of the doctors predict healthcare quality will decline over the next five years, 18 percent say it will improve and 17 percent believe it will remain the same.


Most ? 74 percent ? believe the changes will make their reimbursement less fair, according to the survey, available here.

My UAW friend now supports repeal of ObamaCare.  This is the formula.  Speak common sense to people and no matter how much they have been bombarded with the lies and deception of the left, the truth will set them free.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 20 2011

Suppose that your 19 year old daughter called home from college worried because a 51 year old man who had undergone a sex change operation was moving in next door in her dormitory.  How would you react?


Surely you would lecture her on her biases and tell her that you raised her better than to be so judgmental, right?  Well this isn't a hypothetical.  It's happening:

Fox News recently reported on the uneasiness among a group of female students at Southwest Texas Junior College when they learned that a 51-year-old man who underwent a supposed sex change wanted to move into their dormitory. The female students said they were afraid because their potential dorm-mate is built like a man and can overpower any of them. On Friday, the school issued a news release saying it has denied his request to live on campus.

Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs at 
Liberty Counsel, says the reaction by the other students in the dorm should be expected.
"The natural and to-be-expected reaction from any reasonable person looking at this situation should be that this guy is creepy," Barber says bluntly. "It is perfectly understandable that these young women are frightened. [It] just boggles the mind."

Boggles the mind and insults our intellects.  Yet this is the exact outworking of the sexual anarchy movement that is plaguing our culture and currently manifesting itself in the form of the "homosexual/transgendered movement."


Barber noted the parallel between this and what is going to soon become commonplace in the U.S. military thanks to the actions of our last Congress:

Barber contends this situation illustrates why it was irresponsible for the lame-duck 111th Congress to repeal the military's homosexual exclusion law last month. "This really is a microcosm of the kinds of situations we can expect going forward as the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] movement makes the kinds of gains they're making under this Obama administration," he laments.

Our continued allegiance to political correctness and sexual anarchy means equals our war against common sense.  The fate of our culture isn't too difficult to discern if we keep going down this path.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 20 2011

A couple years ago, my wife and I took a Saturday and went down to visit the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  I was impressed not only with the fidelity to Scripture the Museum maintained, but also the impressively advanced presentation of its attractions.  It was Disneyesque in its attention to detail.


Naturally then, I was excited to hear that the same folks who put together the museum were working in conjunction with a group of investors to create a life-size replica of Noah's Ark.  The project is explained in detail here, and looks like it will be quite an undertaking. 


Considering the amazing attention and attendance the Creation Museum has generated, I also have thought that the people of Kentucky have to be thrilled with the additional tax revenue this increased tourism will bring to their state.  While that's probably true with most, it's not true with all of them.particularly the left-leaning Kentucky media who have consistently railed against the Ark project.


Why you ask?  Good question.  Mark Looy exposed the most likely reason:

On Sunday, the Louisville Courier-Journal continued its broadside against the Ark. It interviewed people in the theme park industry for their views on the Ark Encounter's attendance projections when it opens in 2014. They are reported to be skeptical about the Ark's future success. Yet since these theme-park people have not conducted any kind of study (to our knowledge) on such an attraction, its location, potential audience, theme, etc., their opinion that the Ark's estimated attendance figures are exaggerated is mere guesswork and not based on any hard data.


The article raises a question: why is the Courier-Journal even concerned with possible attendance at the Ark? If the attraction does not meet its projected figures, the state government and its citizens are not impacted?except positively, in that the attraction will still produce state sales tax to benefit Kentucky and its citizens regardless of the attendance. So why the paper's concern? Where is the story? Ultimately, what is the article's author, an "investigative" reporter, supposedly investigating here? If backers of a tourist attraction like an amusement park with thrill rides would also want to locate in Kentucky and its feasibility study showed 1.6 million guests the first year, would the paper also "investigate"?


If the taxpayers and state government are not at risk with the Ark Encounter, then who in the world does the paper need to alert? The people at risk are the private investors. As a corollary, if the Courier-Journal would predict that its circulation numbers for 2011 will be higher than last year's figure of 159,000, and it turns out that it falls short, is the Kentucky taxpayer affected? Would there be a need for a front-page story with thousands of words to "investigate"? (Actually, the state would be affected?negatively?if the Courier-Journal shrinks in circulation: the state would lose potential sales tax revenue derived from the sale of newspapers.)


We believe, based on previous Ark-related comments made in the newspaper, that the Courier-Journal's opposition to the Ark Encounter has everything to do with the religious content of the project and the editors' dislike for something that wants to show that the Bible is true from the very first verse.  Given the track record of the Courier-Journal, our conclusion is that the paper's editors are trying to discourage people from getting behind the project by employing scare tactics to try to move the Ark Encounter out of state.

Yep.  The only logical reason to oppose this project is that you have a difference of opinion with the message it will convey.  Content based discrimination in other words.  There, once again, is a demonstration of the left's commitment to free speech.  If it's speech they like, it's all good.  If it's speech they don't like, it must be resisted.


Let them build their exhibit and invite guests.  Who is it going to hurt?  The minds of the masses?  Really?  Given that the leftist Darwin-types control all major media outlets, the entire public school system and the halls of academia, their panic about this Ark reveals their overwhelming lack of confidence in the evidence that supports their theory.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, January 20 2011

Well this could explain a few things about the demographic breakdown of the 2008 election.  Wonder why so many college kids were head-over-heals infatuated with Obama?  Consider:

An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn't learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.


Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn't determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

Just keep that in mind every time you see the adoring throngs of young people worshipping at the altar of "The One." 


I've always heard people say how the idealism of youth typically provokes most young people into being liberal in their mindset.  But I've always wondered how critical thinking doesn't somehow counteract that.  Now I know.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 19 2011

We knew this was coming.  We said this was coming.  The Republican Party with a history of jello-spine was going to be hammered once they got to Washington.  There, freshman Republicans were going to be bombarded with the mystique of the Beltway that somehow isolates lawmakers from the mindset and feelings of the American people.


The media would do their part by running interference and sending those lawmakers information from their constituents that was misleading at best, completely fabricated and manufactured at worst.  And right on cue, the media has come out with two polls supposedly showing support for repealing ObamaCare is fading.


And, as expected, that is only half of the story:

Take the AP poll, which shows that 40 percent of adults support Obamacare and 41 percent oppose it. In November, the last time the AP polled this question, 38 percent supported Obamacare and 47 percent opposed it.  But the sample in November was very different: 38 percent Republican and 39 percent Democrat. The sample in January wasn't so balanced, with 42 percent of the responders Democrat and 36 percent Republican.

Even with the skewed demographics, Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, points out that there also remains "a huge difference in intensity," with 30 percent strongly opposing Obamacare compared to 21 percent strongly supporting it.

Conway also notes that wehn asked if they would favor a law "that would require every American to have health insurance, or pay money to the government as a penalty if they do not, unless the person is very poor," 59 percent are opposed.  "When they actually hear what the health care reform is, they're opposed to it," she says.

As for the other poll:

The Marist poll finds that 35 percent of registered voters would like Obamacare changed so that it could do more, 13 percent would like it to do less, and 30 percent would prefer the law be fully repealed. But again, the numbers aren't equal: 35 percent of those polled were Democrat, and 28 percent Republican. Exit polls for the 2010 election found equal numbers of Democrat and Republican voters, both parties represented by about 36 percent of voters respectively.


In addition, a GOP strategist notes that someone who favors buying insurance across state lines or reforming medical malpractice could interpret the Marist poll choices such that he picks the option that he would like Obamacare to do more.


But the pollsters also point out that many voters didn't just want Obamacare repealed ? they also wanted it replaced with a better system, a distinction that they fear these two polls didn't adequately address with their word choices. John McLaughlin, CEO of McLaughlin and Associates, notes that when his firm asked voters in November if they would prefer to leave Obamacare as is, or repeal and replace it, 30 percent preferred that Obamacare be left in place, and 60 percent wanted it repealed and replaced.

We knew this was coming.  It's why we continued to stress the need to elect those with the backbone and the wisdom to overcome it.  We'll soon find out how successful in doing that we were.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 19 2011

I've always felt sorry for Stephen Hawking.  Not just because he suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease.  That's sad, but it's not nearly as sad as watching someone who could have used his inspirational fight to expand his mind and do miraculous things despite his obstacles to bring glory to the God who made it possible, instead use that mind to war against God.


I think of the inspirational stories of Joni Eareckson Tada and Helen Keller, and wish that Hawking could have chosen to be the blessing they chose to be.  But he didn't.  And his most recent book is yet another indication of that which is truly the saddest thing about Hawking's life.


His new book is co-authored by Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow, and is remarkably unimpressive given Hawking's reputation.  Indeed, according to his fellow scientists, it is nothing more than lightweight speculation wrapped up in scientific verbiage:

The book "is a vehicle for putting across lightweight speculation that anybody could imagine," asserts MIT-educated physicist Thomas P. Sheahen in a paper provided to WND.   Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow, a Caltech physicist, claim there was no need for a creator, as the law of gravity assures that the "universe can, and will, create itself from nothing."


"If the author names were reversed, Mlodinow first, everyone would ignore this book," Sheahen writes in "A Physicist Looks at The Grand Design.'" "Only Hawking's fame boosts it to totally undeserved prominence."

I don't even have a science degree and I can see through this one.  The law of gravity is enough to assure that the universe can create itself?  Two problems: 1. Gravity is something, so where did it come from?  How was it created?  2. Gravity has to have something act on to be able to create, doesn't it?  Gravity can pull planets and heavenly bodies, but if there aren't any of those to work with, gravity by itself isn't going to get very far now is it?


Of course, don't take it from me.  E. Calvin Beisner has the credentials...and he says it better (or at least in a more scientific way) than me anyhow:

Published by Bantam Books, the 208-page work posits that this "spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist." "The folly of Hawkings' claim is pretty obvious," E. Calvin Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation in suburban Washington, D.C., told WND. "The law of gravity is, of course, not nothing, and consequently the universe's spontaneous self-creation wouldn't be a creation from nothing anyway."


Beisner argued further that "the law of gravity is a law of physics, affecting the interaction of physical, material things." "There is no law of gravity where there are no physical things," he reasoned.

Hawking may sell some of these books, but he's not providing any answers.  And despite the fact that he continues to defy the odds, the saddest part of all of this is that his time to get it right is growing shorter.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 19 2011

P.J. O'Rourke is a humorist and a writer/columnist who has his moments.  Having read a few of his books, I find myself agreeing with him some of the time, and at other moments just shaking my head.


Count this among the times I agree with him.  In The Weekly Standard, O'Rourke observes what I had alluded to regarding the New York Times' ridiculous reaction to the Arizona shooting: it is provoking a backlash that has destroyed even more of its already weakened credibility.  O'Rourke thinks it may be more than that.  He predicts this is the thrashing final stages of the American left's banner paper.


Already hemorrhaging subscribers, the Times' insane attempts to criminalize the right following the shooting has proven how shallow and insignificant its contributions to our political dialogue have become.  O'Rourke says it won't be long now before the Times dies...and our modern understanding of liberalism with it:

A reaction so disproportionate and immaterial to a news story by a news organization is indicative of trouble in the body politic​-​trouble almost as severe as that which the Times claims the Giffords shooting indicates. I worry that in the tremors and hysteria of the Times we're seeing the sad end of liberalism.


Its passing is to be mourned, perhaps most by true conservatives. -Civilization owes a debt to liberal politics. From the Reform Act and the religious emancipation fight of the British Whigs to the American civil rights movement, liberals have in fact held positions on political high ground (though not during Clinton's exploitation of the Oklahoma City bombing). Liberals have seen government as a force for good, and sometimes it can be. World War II comes to mind. While conservatives have delighted in the free market, liberals have been there to remind us that all freedoms, including market freedoms, entail responsibilities. At the very least it can be said that we conservatives would not be so upright in our ideals if we hadn't been pushing against liberals.


But liberalism, as personified by the New York Times, became a dotty old aunt sometime during the Johnson administration. She's provincial, eccentric, and holds dull, peculiar views about the world. Still, she has our fond regard, and we visit her regularly in her nursing home otherwise known as Arts and Leisure and the Book Review. Or we did until Sunday, January 9, when she began spouting obscenities and exposing herself.


We observe in the Times a bizarre overreaction to people and things that can be construed as "antigovernment." (And all people and most things often can be so construed, e.g., the man who just got a speeding ticket.) The Times has become delusional, going from advocating big government to believing that it is the big government. Americans being somewhat disgruntled with big government, the Times imagines itself under attack from every side, even, no doubt, from within.

Classical liberalism died when modern liberals took the reins and began their death march to political oblivion.  O'Rourke thinks they have arrived.  He may be right.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 19 2011

Those of us who watch Indiana politics have been musing and discussing for some time the reality that the state's long-serving Senator Richard Lugar would have been wise to retire rather than run for re-election in 2012.  The 2010 midterms demonstrated that establishment Republicans were just as endangered as establishment Democrats.  Had Lugar been on the ballot in that election, there is little doubt he would not still be a member of Congress.


Apparently, Lugar believes that he is safe, and that the Tea Party fervor will subside by next election.  But that momentum is not dissipating, and if there was ever a man who fit the description of an "establishment type," it's Dick Lugar.  Perhaps that's why even mainstream, national conservative publications are starting to comment on Lugar's precarious position, including National Review:

A couple of weeks after the 2010 elections, Richard Lugar released a poll to demonstrate his formidability as he seeks a seventh term. It portrayed him as Indiana's most popular politician, putting his favorability rating at 66 percent ? slightly higher than even that of Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is often mentioned as presidential timber. The numbers made the 78-year-old Lugar look like a shoo-in for reelection.

Except that the poll also gave off a whiff of weakness: It tested the popularity of two Indiana Republicans, state senator Mike Delph and state treasurer Richard Mourdock. Their favorability ratings barely registered. Most voters don't know much about them. By including them in his poll, however, Lugar revealed that he's anxious to keep tabs on possible primary foes.

Both men are thinking about running against Lugar for the GOP nomination. "People started calling me about it back in September," says Mourdock. "My response was: ?What did I ever do to you?'" Since then, however, Mourdock has won reelection to his statewide office with 62 percent of the vote. Then Lugar became one of just eight Republican senators to vote against a ban on earmarks. "That vote showed how much he has drifted away from Hoosier values," says Mourdock. "Even Evan Bayh voted the right way ? and he's a Democrat." Bayh is Indiana's retiring junior senator.

Mourdock's comments are spot on, but they only begin to address Lugar's shortcomings as a candidate.  The NR story continued:

The vote on earmarks is not Lugar's only post-election apostasy. During the Senate's lame-duck session, he called for passage of the DREAM Act, which would provide amnesty for illegal aliens who attend college or join the military. More significantly, Lugar used his position as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to crusade for the New START treaty with Russia. Collaborating with the Obama administration, he helped to push the pact through the Senate before a strengthened and skeptical GOP caucus could get its hands on the agreement in 2011.

These endeavors earned Lugar one of those soft profiles that the New York Times likes to lavish on Republicans who defy conservatives: Lugar, wrote reporter Jennifer Steinhauer, "is standing against his party on a number of significant issues at a politically dangerous time to do so." The American Conservative Union gives Lugar a lifetime rating of 77 percent, which makes him one of the GOP's more liberal senators.

State senator Delph says that his serious frustrations with Lugar go back at least as far as the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Lugar was one of five Republicans who voted to confirm her. "She's the most liberal justice of my lifetime," says Delph. "Conservatives should be outraged by her support for partial-birth abortion, but Lugar chose to ignore it."

Dick Lugar stopped representing Hoosiers a long time ago.  Sadly, for too long it didn't matter as we continued sending him back to Washington.  Those days of no accountability have come and gone, however.  And if Lugar refuses to choose retirement, the people of Indiana are poised to choose it for him.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 18 2011

Can you believe it?

How in the world could we have made this mistake?

Really, it was simply an oversight.

I don't know who's at fault, but we're going to get to the bottom of this.

Sometimes these things happen.

That's not to excuse the fact that we omitted all Christian holidays from our calendar.

Muslim holidays were included. 

As were Jewish.

Sikh festivals made it.


As did most Hindu celebrations.

Not to mention Chinese festivals.

Don't let this incident fool you.


Every religion is important to the European Union.

All faiths are mutually accepted and recognized by the EU.

Sometimes people just make mistakes.

The European Commission is terribly sorry about this.

Everyone can just go home now.

Really, there's nothing to see here.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 18 2011

Leave it to Berkeley to put the insanity of liberalism on display.  What puts Berkeley in the news today?  Despite our nation's economic hardships, the city of Berkeley is voting to set aside $20,000 a year for the purposes change operations for city employees.  Yes, taxpayer dollars are going to be set aside so that Jimmy down at city hall can become Jenny on the public's dime.


For those who have any doubts, this incident demonstrates the clash of values that exists in our nation today.  Three of the Left's greatest values are pushed front and center in this ordeal.  First consider the Left's obsession with fairness and equality over liberty.  Consider the following statement by City Councilman Darryl Moore: "We offer all kinds of benefits to our employees. This brings our benefits in line with what's just and fair for the transgender community."  It isn't fair that the insurance providers pick and choose what surgeries are and not covered.  It isn't fair that some individuals get to be the gender that they want while others feel they are a different gender.  We need to make sure that all people are their gender of preference, even if it means taking money from others to do so. 


Second, there is the dogma of secular humanism over traditional Judeo-Christian morality.  To the radical Left, it isn't sufficient that secular values are an alternative to traditional Judeo-Christian values.  They must be accepted.  They must be endorsed.  Consider the words from City Councilman Max Anderson: "We're later than San Francisco (the first city to fund sex change operations for public employees), but we still try to be on the forefront of policies to promote people's understanding of same-sex issues.  It's OK if it's controversial. We're willing to push the envelope a little bit."  According to the secular humanist Left, this is a matter of furthering an agenda.  The public needs to be pushed (i.e. forced) into tolerance and understanding.  So to this end we're going to use their money towards projects we deem appropriate like sex-change operations. 


Third, we see the ever expanding role of government.  Like most cities, the city of Berkeley is facing budgetary difficulties.  Taxes are rising, fees are increasing, and in the fight over finances various departments are struggling to make sure they have necessary funding for the essential roles of government.  Former zoning commissioner Ann Slaby asks, "How come I'm paying for this?  There might be some people who really need this, but right now my street badly needs paving."  I hate to say this, Ann, but your roads are less important to your governmental officials than creating their ideal society.  Why have roads when more important things like gender identity discrimination are to be tackled? 


For those who say religion and morality have no place in public policy, I ask how they can justify secularism and immorality in its stead.  When you combine the social utopian fantasies of the Left with unchecked political power, the result is nonsense like taxpayer funded sex-change operations.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 01:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 18 2011

Local Kokomo (IN) Tribune columnist Scott Smith had a very peculiar piece about the Tucson tragedy that still has me a bit confused.  Smith decided it was wise to set the record straight on what caused Jared Lee Loughner to kill 6 people and wound several others.  I agree with him.  Smith declared that Loughner was a "registered lunatic."  Provided that by lunatic he isn't meaning the "clinical, we're going to put you in an asylum and let you come up for release in a few years ala John Hinckley" kind, I agree with him.


What struck me as odd about Smith's column was that his primary myth he set out to debunk was an odd, hardly mentioned online rumor that Loughner was a registered Democrat.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that this rumor probably existed, and it probably circulated via emails and web postings.  But most enlightened Americans realize you can't trust everything you read on the internet.


Why wasn't Smith worried about the major news organizations, including all three major networks, The New York Times, The New York Daily Post, and a host of other major mainstream media outlets that began circulating the myth that Loughner was inspired by right-wing rhetoric without any facts to substantiate the claim?  To be fair, Smith did give passing mention to, "liberals, who were posting raving indictments of Sarah Palin's 'take back the 20' crosshairs graphic."


But the focus of his concern was, "the political climate created by all of the online nonsense."  Nonsense indeed.  Smith's assertion that, "conservatives were latching onto that made-up tidbit" surely demands some evidence, doesn't it?  Were Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck espousing this view?  Were The Weekly Standard or National Review running pieces on it?  To be honest, I do a fair amount of researching conservative and liberal news sites and blogs in preparation for my show, and had never heard of this rumor until Smith's column.


So what was all this about?  I'm not sure.  Maybe Smith was just doing a public service by reminding us what we already know: that the internet is full of rumors, so be careful that you're getting your online information from reputable sources.  But that seems unlikely as a motivation for writing a piece like this.


My guess is that it was an attempt to demonstrate how both sides do their share of rumor spreading, and so it's not fair to come down too hard on the left for their finger-pointing since the right obviously concocted this "registered Democrat" nonsense.  Sorry...that doesn't fly.


There is simply no comparing some internet gossip that was not even circulated on respected conservative sites (and could have, as Smith even acknowledges, been started by a kid with a computer) with the blood libel that "well-respected," mainstream liberal journalists, lawmakers, and commentators spread regarding Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al.  No comparison.


If Smith is worried about "online lies degrading public discourse," he should be outraged by the intentional deception our mainstream media just perpetrated.  If he worries about the increasing habit of Americans to turn to the internet for their news, he should be outraged at the type of journalistic malpractice that just occurred that is driving Americans to do so.


Outraged enough to write a column about that long before some peripherally-noticed internet drivel.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 18 2011

Paul Krugman is hilarious.  I know he's a hate-baiter.  I know he's an offensive left-winger who struggles with facts and disavows rationality.  But he's funny.


How else can you explain the great bit he performed in his recent column that accused conservatives of waging a war on logic?  In order to fully appreciate this, you have to remember that it was just Krugman who ripped the right for not being civil enough.  It was Krugman who preemptively indicted Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck for causing the Arizona massacre because of their irresponsible vitriol.  Do a quick Google search of Krugman's recent columns to fully appreciate the humor you are about to read.


In a column that was blasting the right for seeking to repeal his cherished ObamaCare (note that Krugman is one of the dramatically shrinking number of liberals willing to defend this monstrosity), Krugman wrote:

The key to understanding the G.O.P. analysis of health reform is that the party's leaders are not, in fact, opposed to reform because they believe it will increase the deficit. Nor are they opposed because they seriously believe that it will be "job-killing" (which it won't be). They're against reform because it would cover the uninsured ? and that's something they just don't want to do.

Classic.  Mr. Civility and Mr. Logic all wrapped into one.  After demanding a new accountability and a new focus on civility in our public dialogue, Krugman writes his next column suggesting that Republicans oppose ObamaCare only because they want uninsured people to suffer.  What a joker.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 18 2011

So how did Chris Matthews choose to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?  By stoking racial tension.  Attaboy, Chris.


First, consider his questions to outgoing RNC Chairman, Michael Steele:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Michael, I watch politics. I'm not an expert on sociology or anything but I'm an expert on watching politics. Like Gene, this what we do. I go to Republican conventions, I go to Democratic and as a white guy one thing I notice about the difference, one thing I notice about black people at different conventions. You go to Democratic a convention with Donna [Edwards] and black folk are hanging together and having a good time. They're smiling, they're enjoying themselves. They feel very much at home. You go to a Republican even you get a feeling that you are told, "Individually now, don't bunch up. Don't, don't, don't get together. Don't get together, don't crowd, you'll scare these people." Is that true in the Republican Party? Is that still true in your party? Did you fear that if you got together with some other African-Americans white guys might get scared of you?


MICHAEL STEELE: No! What are you talking about?!


Steele's reaction couldn't have been more appropriate.  What is this man talking about?  No one can question that amongst politically active blacks, the majority vote Democrat.  But only someone attempting to make underhanded assertions of racism and stoke the fires of racial discord would conclude that is because there is some sense of institutional distrust of blacks in the Republican Party.  That's the sad state of Chris's mind.


As if that wasn't enough, in teasing his upcoming special on Barack Obama, Matthews appeared earlier in the day on MSNBC and said this:

MATTHEWS: It means- it's significant. I think older Americans, older white people still have a problem with this guy.


MATTHEWS: And I think that's a generalization and I'll stick with it. I think younger people do not see race as an obstacle. I don't think- I think, they're much more non-judgmental. In fact, about ethnicity, they just say that's not relevant- In fact, they say it's irrelevant and don't even notice it, whereas older people notice it all the time.

Older white people notice race?  Well, I know at least one who does.  One who is obsessed with it and finds the need to thrust it into our faces on a day that is supposed to be celebrating the legacy of a man who dreamed of the day we wouldn't pay attention to it.  He works at MSNBC.  Any guesses?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

On this day commemorating the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most overlooked realities about his life is that he was a Christian believer who committed his life in service to God. The source of everything that he strove to accomplish came from the God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.


In his 1968 address in Birningham, Alabama, the Rev. Dr. King remarked,

I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land.


Yes, the Rev. Dr. King worked to create justice and equality all Americans regardless of the color of their skin, but he did so because he was compelled by the love of Jesus Christ.


What this also means is that the Rev. Dr. King espoused the same Christian morality of person and family  that has become so despised by liberalism today. Ironically fascinating.


Even so, to Ignore, or to even deny, the motivation behind his drive and actions is to disrespect the man we honor today.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

The law of unintended consequences is once again on full display in California.  The Golden State has done its best to promote what the great economist Thomas Sowell calls "Stage One" thinking.  In the fantasy land of left-believe intentions are all that matters: consequences be darned. 


In California, environmental purity is of primary importance.  Laws and regulations have been piled upon businesses and communities in an effort to create a pristine environment.  A recent study demonstrated that the costs of these regulations have come to the tune of $493 billion, and a net loss of 3.8 million jobs.  But why let a little thing like the health of the state economy get in the way? 


So what's the most recent example of environmental absurdity?  Electric cars.  We've all heard the argument for electric cars.  We need to get off fossil fuel dependency to "save the planet".  Subsidies for electric cars alone topped $2.8 billion last year, and that doesn't include an additional $7,500 charged to taxpayers in order to encourage their purchase. 


Still, electric cars remain a dream for most as the costs of purchasing remains prohibitive.  But where does environmentalism shoot itself in the proverbial foot?  Well, in California, the sheer amount of clean air laws and energy restrictions has made the cost of energy use skyrocket.  Currently the cost of electricity usage in Indiana is 8 cents per kilowatt hour to California's 14.4.  Sadly, this development has killed some of the incentive for potential business owners to purchase electric vehicles.  So now California is truly in a quandary.  How does one promote an electric car while discouraging electricity use?  Perhaps more subsidies and regulations?  They've worked so well thus far.  Why not a little more?

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 01:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

Despite the media blackout on the topic, there is a raging religious war in our world.  Radical Islam has declared war on Christianity, and all the sugar-coating, denials and misdirection in the world isn't going to change that fact.


Clifford May poses an interesting challenge to us:

Imagine if Muslims in Europe were being arrested for nothing more than peacefully practicing their religion. Imagine if Muslims in South America were being sentenced to death for "insulting" Jesus. Imagine if mosques were being bombed and burned by terrorists in a growing list of Christian-majority countries.


Now here's what you don't need to imagine because it is all too real: In recent days, Christian churches have been bombed in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, and the Philippines. In Indonesia a mob of 1,000 Muslims burned down two Christian churches because, according to one commentator, local Islamic authorities determined there were "too many faithful and too many prayers." In Iran, scores of Christians have been arrested. In Pakistan, a Christian woman received the death penalty for the "crime" of insulting Islam; the governor of Punjab promised to pardon her ? and was then assassinated for the "crime" of blasphemy.


I could provide dozens more examples of the persecution and, in many cases, "cleansing" of Christians in what we have come to call the Muslim world. If the situation were reversed, if such a war were being waged against Muslims, it would be the top story in every newspaper, the most urgent item at the U.N., the highest priority of all the big-league human-rights groups.

I am convinced that a majority of Muslims (particularly those living here in the United States) do not want to be at war with the West.  They appreciate the values that come from Christianity even if they don't adhere to the faith personally.


But how can these "tolerant" Muslims possibly be expected to fight and conquer the terrorists in the battle for the direction of Islam when we in the West refuse to take seriously the threat radical Islam poses.  As long as we are silenced by political correctness, they will be silenced by fear.  As May puts it:

We cannot possibly come up with an adequate answer so long as we refuse to look reality in the eye. And the reality is this: Within the Muslim world today are regimes, movements, and individuals convinced that their religion justifies ? and benefits from ? the most heinous atrocities. They are determined, ruthless, and lethal ? as Christians and other minorities across a broad swath of the world have been finding out.


If we in the West fail even to speak up for them, can we really expect moderate Muslims to do more?

We cannot.  It's time for us to acknowledge there is a religious war that is raging - one that we didn't start, don't want, but can no longer ignore.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

We've evidently settled on this phrase "climate of hate" to describe the current state of our politics.  It's interesting...when liberals win elections, they have overcome the "climate of hate."  When conservatives win elections, it's because of the "climate of hate."  Whatever.


But the reality is that for all our hand-wringing and talking head garbage about injecting more civility into our dialogue, the truth is that isn't going to happen.  Not because it shouldn't.  Not because it wouldn't be good.  Not because I'm not all for it.  I have always strived personally to avoid attacking people personally.  I've probably failed that standard at times, but it's a conscious effort.  My disagreements are with the dangerous thoughts people embrace.

But even if those explosively verbose conservatives who use colorful metaphors and inappropriate language chose to make the same effort of leaving aside personal attacks, it is beyond evident that the left will not.  Why?  Because they don't think they need to.  Demonstrating an obliviousness that boggles the mind, the left thinks Obama's lecture was not meant for them.  They think he is on their side in blasting the loons on the right.


And maybe Obama is...maybe he was being totally disingenuous when he spoke of "us."  Maybe he doesn't view this as a problem on the left.  But I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was making a blanket statement for all of us to choose our better angels.  But regardless of what I think he meant, it's clear the left has reacted in a way that demonstrates their belief that these rules of civility don't affect them:

Indeed, the Times editorial from Thursday, following Obama's speech, makes it clear they think he agrees with them, and his call for honest and civil debate was aimed entirely at the Right:


"It was important that Mr. Obama transcend the debate about whose partisanship has been excessive and whose words have sown the most division and dread. This page and many others have identified those voices and called on them to stop demonizing their political opponents. The president's role in Tucson was to comfort and honor, and instill hope."


Do you grasp what they're saying?  They think they were right about the Climate of Hate all along, and Obama was just giving the right-wing hatemongers a relaxing tongue bath in Tucson, to help them calm down.  The Left will not drop the blood libel, because that isn't what they heard Obama tell them to do last night.  The New York Times may be bleeding subscribers, but they're still enormously influential with the rest of the media.  They'll remember Obama's speech the way the Times tells them to.

The left is so convinced of their total innocence that they are now arguing that even responding to their accusations is a hate crime (see their reaction to Palin's response to them accusing her of complicity with murder).


I'd love for the "Climate of Hate" to dissipate.  But it ain't gonna happen.  One, because it is the sad nature of politics (men are not angels), and two, because the ones bearing the most guilt pretend their innocent.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

In Obama's address in Tucson there were many memorable lines.  The "puddles in heaven" illustration was truly moving. 


Then there was the one excoriating us that we have been "far too eager to lay blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently."  Let's give Obama the benefit of the doubt and say that this was truly a genuine plea for rational opinion sharing.


If so, that means his first priority will be to reign in the out-of-control finger pointing that has become the trademark of his political movement.  I'm sorry, there is simply no comparison between the two sides right now. 


There was no conservative lawmaker or pundit who immediately took to the television screen and airwaves and started blaming liberal politics or opinion for what happened in Tucson.  But there was no shortage of liberal lawmakers and pundits who started blaming conservative politics and opinion for the same.  That reality is inescapable.  And it's nothing new.  Michelle Malkin provides the powerful indictment:

In April 2009, a disgruntled, unemployed loser shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers in a horrifying bloodbath. The gunman, Richard Poplawski, was a dropout from the Marines who threw a food tray at a drill sergeant and had beaten his girlfriend. Was this deranged man who pulled the trigger to blame? Nope. Despite evidence that Poplawski's homicidal, racist tendencies manifested themselves years before Obama took office, lefty publications asserted that the real culprit of the spree was the "heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces" (according to mainstream liberal Atlantic Monthly pundit Andrew Sullivan), along with Fox News and Glenn Beck (according to mainstream liberal journalist Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly online).


That same month, a sick, evil man named Jiverly Voong ambushed an immigration center in Binghamton, N.Y. Recently fired from his job, Voong murdered 13 people, critically wounded four others, and then committed suicide. The instant psychologists of the Left knew nothing about the disgruntled man of Vietnamese descent and undetermined political affiliation. But within hours of the shooting, commenters at liberal mega-website Huffington Post had overwhelmingly convicted GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the National Rifle Association, Fox News, Lou Dobbs, and yours truly. Liberal radio host Alan Colmes pointed his finger at the "huge anti-immigrant backlash in this country" ? never mind that tens of millions of legal immigrants and naturalized citizens have coped with hardship, overcome racism, and embraced assimilation without going bloody bonkers.


In June 2009, a depraved, elderly anti-Semite named James von Brunn gunned down a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent and lefty Center for American Progress think-tank fellow Matthew Yglesias immediately invoked the Obama administration's report on right-wing extremism, leading to a wider chorus of condemnations against the Tea Party, talk radio, and the entire GOP. The truth? Von Brunn was an unstable, equal-opportunity hater and 9/11 Truther conspiracy loon who bashed Jews and Christians, George W. Bush and Fox News, and had also threatened the conservative Weekly Standard magazine.


In late August 2009, as lawmakers faced citizen revolts at health-care town halls nationwide, the Colorado Democratic party decried a window-smashing vandalism attack at its Denver headquarters. State Democratic-party chairman Pat Waak singled out tea-party activists and blamed "people opposed to health care" for the attack. The perpetrator, Maurice Schwenkler, turned out to be a far-left transgender activist/single-payer anarchist who had worked for a labor-union-tied political committee and canvassed for a Democratic candidate.

In September 2009, Bill Sparkman, a federal U.S. Census worker, was found dead in a secluded rural Kentucky cemetery with the word "Fed" scrawled on his chest and a rope around his neck. The Atlantic Monthly's Andrew Sullivan rushed to indict "Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts" in an online post titled "No Suicide," which decried the "Kentucky lynching." Liberal author Richard Benjamin blamed "anti-government" bile. New York magazine fingered conservative talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh, "conservative media personalities, websites and even members of Congress." So, who killed Bill Sparkman? Bill Sparkman. He killed himself and deliberately manufactured a hate-crime hoax as part of an insurance scam to benefit his surviving son.


In February 2010, ticking-time-bomb professor Amy Bishop gunned down three of her colleagues at University of Alabama-Huntsville, and suicide pilot Joseph Andrew Stack flew a stolen small plane into an Austin, Texas, office complex that contained an Internal Revenue Service office. Mainstream journalists from Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart to Time magazine reporter Hilary Hylton leaped forward to tie the crimes to tea-party rhetoric. Never mind that Bishop was an Obama-worshiping academic with a lifelong history of violence or that Stack was outraged about everything from George W. Bush to the American medical system to the evils of capitalism to the city of Austin, the Catholic Church, and the airlines.


In May 2010, liberal New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to preemptively pin the Times Square bombing attempt on "someone with a political agenda that doesn't like the health-care bill or something." The culprit was unrepentant Muslim jihadist Faisal Shahzad.


In August 2010, Democratic supporters of Missouri Rep. Russ Carnahan blamed a "firebombing" at the congressman's St. Louis office on tea-party suspects. The real perpetrator? Disgruntled progressive activist Chris Powers, who was enraged over a paycheck dispute.

When it comes to finger-pointing and eagerness to blame those who think differently, the left has no equal.  Recent history speaks for itself.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 17 2011

Times of tragedy are hardly the time for straight-forward, blunt acknowledgements.  They are times of compassion and grieving.  Unfortunately they are also times we tend to lose sight of our senses, and there are always those ready to prey on us.


That's exactly what the liberty stealing control types on the left have sought to do in the wake of Arizona.  They have proposed everything from gun control legislation, Congressional access restrictions, speech regulations, talk radio bans, Fairness Doctrine.and on and on and on.


In light of that, we must respond with bluntness and honesty.  Liberty is dangerous sometimes, and the only alternative to that risk is oppression.  Dr. Alan Keyes explained it this way:

Participation in public life requires courage. Sometimes it means going unarmed as a diplomat into war zones with no protection except a promise of safe conduct that may or may not have reached all the combatants in the field. Sometimes it means plunging into a sea of people as a candidate, despite the nasty missives and barely disguised threats of violence it's hard for most political figures to avoid. Since the earliest era of their independence, true statesmen have counseled the American people against thinking that we can eliminate the danger involved in the political process "by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence" (James Madison, Federalist No. 10). In the affairs of a free people there is no substitute for courage.


As we prayerfully react to the grievous events in Arizona, we should thank God that now, as in the past, among Americans there is no shortage of such courage. From the spiritual courage of the congressional aide who encouraged Rep. Giffords to hold on to life, to the courage of those who tackled and subdued the perpetrator, the extraordinary qualities of America's hardy humanity prevailed against the shroud of death. Will our elected representatives take their cue from such Americans, rather than from the bad counsel of their personal fears or factional ambitions?


No laws, however restrictive, will ever make liberty safe or easy. Leaders who act as if they will are either deceiving themselves about liberty or lying to us about their real intentions. Like other sources of powerful energy (fire, electricity, the atom) freedom has enormous destructive potential. The key to preserving liberty, therefore, lies "not in our stars but in ourselves" (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene ii): that we remain hardy enough to face the risks; brave enough to react against the dangers; and determined despite our fears to live out the expectation of our constitutional heritage, so that by word and deed we teach new generations to do likewise. (But except we restore respect for the authority of the Creator God who made us free, can we really hope to remain so?)

Keyes is exactly right.  We must question the intention of those who would tell us anything different.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, January 16 2011

During my sermon preparations this week, I ran across a pathetic website by the name of "Biblical America Resistance Front." Yes, the acronym is - you got it - BARF.


Here is their side bar description of their organization and purpose:

Biblical America: the social movement that seeks to use the Bible as the sole basis of all governance and social interaction.


BARF: a resource for all who work to monitor and counter the Biblical America movement.


No white flags: Individually or socially, never give in to, nor accommodate, this movement's extremist demands.

Take a close look at their last line. "NEVER GIVE IN!" Does this sound like cooperation and compromise to you? Does this sound like the kind of America our own dear president envisioned just the other day in response to the Tucson violence?


If it is a left-wing organization like this that declares to never give in, just who are we left to surmise is supposed to give in?


Yes, the left loves compromise - when it means dismantling the entire belief structure of their so-called Christian extremists.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 14 2011

As has been noted several times in the history of The Liberty Tree, liberals seek to expand the powers of the judicial branch of the government far beyond Constitutional limits. Every significant public debate, it seems, ends up in a federal court somewhere with the potential of being sent before the Supreme Court. Instead of dealing with cultural issues through public debate, the left has learned how to funnel their dangerous and losing ideology through a few appointed judges.


Is this wise? I think not. Even though these are not federal judges, consider a couple of examples that indicate that even though their intentions are good, a judge can still be rather fallible:

A judge in Scotland went lenient on George McIntosh, 53, who had been convicted of embezzling the equivalent of about $87,000 from two pro golfing organizations. McIntosh claimed that his medication for Parkinson's disease had made him "compulsively" generous so that he needed to embezzle money in order to buy gifts for his friends.

And another:

According to court records cited by The Washington Post in April, Rene Fernandez, 45, will plead guilty to one count of a DUI-caused injury in connection with a 2009 traffic accident in Montgomery County, Md., that severely injured a retired county judge and his wife, both in their 80s. Fernandez and the judge, Edwin Collier, had met previously, in 1998, when Judge Collier pronounced sentence on Fernandez for DUI. At that time, Judge Collier released Fernandez on probation, even though Fernandez had been arrested for DUI twice in the previous three months.

I simply fail to find the prudence in the practice of placing decisions of national and international importance into the hands of a few judges.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 14 2011

What causes bizarre and somewhat sad scenes like the supposed "memorial service" held in Arizona?  What causes such a solemn occasion to take on such a political rally feel rather than a reflective mourning?  Well, to put it bluntly, it's what happens when the man in charge is much more comfortable as a community organizer than a president.


It has become frighteningly evident to anyone paying attention that Barack Obama was not qualified and not prepared to hold the office of President of the United States.  Many knew this and said this before he was elected.  The others are now begrudgingly acknowledging (even if they won't say so publicly) that those voices were right.


Indeed, the man's body of work pretty much consisted of having been a community organizer/agitator in the great legacy of past muckrakers.  Though the title community organizer became well known, no one really knew what it meant.  


Community Organizing 101: A community organizer is one who goes in to a community, rouses up that community by making them feel victimized by one problem or another, convinces them that they are not responsible for solving the problem themselves but rather should demand government action, offers a catchy slogan that people will identify with, prints t-shirts and "organizes" a spirit of "change" to make those demands, and then profits when the protests are pacified with tax dollars.


That's why aides close to our Community-Organizer-in-Chief talked up the Arizona memorial service as a "shining moment" for Obama.  They suggested it would be a "turning point" in his presidency.  Because there he was able to revert to his true calling and use his actual skill.


He went into a community that obviously felt victimized.


He convinces them that "we" must do our part - which will undoubtedly be the impetus behind some federal legislation Obama will support (legislation that will surely restrict the freedoms of individuals and add power to those "in authority).


He suggests to them that they shouldn't tolerate inaction in solving the problem.


He offers a catchy slogan, "Together We Thrive," for people to identify with.


He even prints and distributes t-shirts (perhaps the most bizarre element in any "memorial service" I have ever seen).


And he will be set to profit from both the political fallout and the inevitable transfer of power that will come: whether that is people ceding power over their guns, their actions or their words to those in charge.


Barack Obama has proven he is skilled at convincing people that they need him...that they deserve to have him help them.  It's a disturbing element of reverse psychology that even if he isn't an effective president, Obama has mastered.


I don't think Barack Obama meant to exploit a memorial service for political gain.  I simply think this is his's in his's who he is.  He is a community organizer, not a president.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 14 2011

One of the good things about the New York Times no longer having any credibility is that they don't have to mess with worrying about blatant, sickening inconsistency like this.


The Times recently printed an op-ed piece from defeated Democrat Representative Paul Kanjorski about the need for civility.  Kanjorski piously opined:

We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.


Standing alone, that is a noble suggestion.  But consider that this is the same man that said this about Florida Governor Rick Scott in the Scranton Times back in October:

"Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a d*** crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."

To rational folks, calling to create an atmosphere of civility is somewhat undermined by your call to put a political adversary against a wall and shoot him.  To Democrat Kanjorski and the New York Times, it's no issue apparently.


Anyone want to take a guess whether such a radical statement would have been highlighted a bit more if it had come from the lips of a Republican like, say, Sarah Palin?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 14 2011

James Taranto writing at the Wall Street Journal has reminded us of what the New York Times said following the horrific shooting spree at Fort Hood when an American Muslim (whose parents came from the Middle East) slaughtered innocent Americans:

"In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East."

And then Taranto points out the somewhat different response the Times had to the recent shooting, when drawing prejudicial conclusions seemed to be their primary objective.  Here's what the Times wrote the day after Tucson:

It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman's act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.

The Times discussed this act as one of "political violence" when, as it turns out, it was nothing of the sort.  Nevertheless, the Times has relentlessly pursued this lying angle, giving space to authors like Paul Krugman who suggest that Arizona stemmed from "eliminationist rhetoric" (something he defines as attempting to eliminate your political opposition's arguments by whatever means necessary) proffered "overwhelmingly from the right."

For proof, Krugman can only come up with an example from Michele Bachmann:

It's hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be "armed and dangerous" without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.


This hackneyed journalism is now the hallmark of the New York Times.  Krugman intentionally ripped Bachmann's remark from its proper context (as proven here) to try to prove his point.  In the end, it's just more slander.  And in terms of this type of rhetoric coming "overwhelmingly from the right," consider:

Even before [George W.] Bush was elected president, the kill-Bush talk and imagery started. When Governor Bush was delivering his 2000 convention speech, Craig Kilborn, a CBS talk-show host, showed him on the screen with the words "SNIPERS WANTED." Six years later, Bill Maher, the comedian-pundit, was having a conversation with John Kerry. He asked the senator what he had gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry answered that he had taken her to Vermont. Maher said, "You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone." (New Hampshire is an early primary state, of course.) Kerry said, "Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone." (This is the same Kerry who joked in 1988, "Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they're to shoot Quayle.") Also in 2006, the New York comptroller, Alan Hevesi, spoke to graduating students at Queens College. He said that his fellow Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer, would "put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it."

The media crossed a line in the 2008 presidential campaign.  They made themselves the press wing of the Barack Obama campaign and sought to get him elected at any cost. 


They have now crossed yet another line.  By spreading lies and misinformation about political conservatives while at the same time excusing and ignoring true violent rhetoric coming from the left side of the political aisle, these leftist media types create the very "climate of hate" they condemn.  In fact, they are the climate of hate: seeking to use slander to shame the voices of their opposition into silence, eliminating the free exchange of political ideas, and stirring up the masses (yes, even the deranged elements of those masses) with their irresponsible and untrue ravings.


God forbid someone takes a shot at Sarah Palin, would it not be fair to say that the leftist media will have blood on their hands?  How's that for irony?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 14 2011

In condemning the right, Sheriff Dupnik and his cheerleaders in the media have blasted the vitriol coming from talk radio and our airwaves.  Of course virtually every example they have given is someone on the right.


They've pathetically used Rush Limbaugh's parodies, Glenn Beck's open discussion of the revolutionary Founders, Sarah Palin's use of the same phrases and symbols that every political entity uses, Michele Bachmann's call to "arm ourselves" with information, as evidence of this vitriol.


An honest, outside observer would say, "Really?  That's it?  That's the great vitriol we're hearing about?"  Yep.  They've been unable to produce anything substantive to back up their claims of irresponsibly violent rhetoric.


Maybe that's because they're looking on the wrong side of the aisle?  The Media Research Center has produced a documented list of not just "crosshairs" and talk of "targeted districts," but rather actual death threats made by those on the left:

"I'm waiting for the day when I pick it up, pick up a newspaper or click on the Internet and find out he's choked to death on his own throat fat or a great big wad of saliva or something, you know, whatever. Go away, Rush, you make me sick!" ¡ª Left-wing radio host Mike Malloy on the January 4, 2010 Mike Malloy Show, talking about Rush Limbaugh going to the hospital after suffering chest pains.



MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2009 fantasized about the death of Rush Limbaugh: "Somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp"


Author/humorist P.J. O'Rourke: "It's the twilight of the radio loud-mouth, you know? I knew it from the moment the fat guy-"
Host Bill Maher: "You mean Rush Limbaugh and Sean-"
O'Rourke: "-from the moment the fat guy refused to share his drugs...."
Maher: "You mean the OxyContin that he was on?...Why couldn't he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?" ¡ª HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, February 8, 2008.


MSNBC's Amy Robach in 2006 mildly wondered if "Death of a President" movie depicting the imagined assassination of President Bush was "poor taste or, as some say, thought-provoking?"


On his radio show in 2009, Ed Schultz wished for Dick Cheney's death: "He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country -­ Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you?"


Also on his radio show, in 2010, Schultz shouted: "Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him!"


Then-Air America host Montel Williams in 2009 urged Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to kill herself: "Slit your wrist! Go ahead! I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to ¨C or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone."


Writing on the Huffington Post in 2007, radio host Charles Karel Bouley mocked: "I hear about Tony Snow and I say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you? Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot?"


"I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact." ¡ª Host Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time, March 2, 2007, discussing how a few commenters at a left-wing blog were upset that an attempt to kill Vice President Cheney in Afghanistan had failed.



"Earlier today, a rental truck carried a half a million ballots from Palm Beach to the Florida Supreme Court there in Tallahassee. CNN had live helicopter coverage from the truck making its way up the Florida highway, and for a few brief moments, America held the hope that O.J. Simpson had murdered Katherine Harris." ¡ª Bill Maher on ABC¡¯s Politically Incorrect, November 30, 2000.


Host Tina Gulland: "I don't think I have any Jesse Helms defenders here. Nina?"  NPR's Nina Totenberg: "Not me. I think he ought to be worried about what¡¯s going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." ¡ª Exchange on the July 8, 1995 Inside Washington, after Helms said the government spends too much on AIDS.


"I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person." ¡ª USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994 PBS To the Contrary.


Vitriol anyone?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 13 2011

Governor Mitch Daniels gave his State of the State Address last night with the theme that Indiana cannot wait any longer for the changes he proposes. Early in the speech, the Governor mentioned his numerous fiscal and governmental successes in areas such as reduced property taxes, reduced state spending, fewer government employees, the lowering of Indiana's debt and moving the state into a triple A credit rating. He also laid out his commitment not to raise taxes, to maintain fiscal responsibility and to eliminate budgeting gimmicks.

The Governor then used the remaining 20 minutes of a 30-minute speech to put forth his legislative agenda in an upbeat tone. The agenda items he addressed broke basically into two major areas, reforming township government which received a lukewarm response and an ambitious call to reform education in Indiana.

The Governor's section on education reform was, in my mind, the highlight of his address because he talked about families, parents and children, a topic at the heart of AFA of Indiana's mission. While State of the State addresses are big picture speeches that leave details to legislation, it is clear that the Governor is going to push for better schools and better options for parents. The Governor praised Indiana's teachers, but also noted that only one-in-three Hoosier school children can pass a national math test, and many international tests show students from other countries are far ahead of Indiana's students in the basics. Those parental options will involve statewide school choice, and the Governor said that it should involve non-governmental private schools if parents desire it.

Interestingly, a recent poll by Braun Research surveying 3,400 Hoosier voters finds that 51% say that Indiana's schools are "on the wrong track." Sixty-six percent support school choice via vouchers and the same number support "charter schools. (In Elkhart, Marion, St. Joseph, and Vanderburgh Counties support for school choice ranges between 72 and 76%.) Although the study was touted as a call for school choice by the [Milton] Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, I thought another finding was just as interesting as the support for parental choice. Most Hoosiers underestimate the costs of public education, with a full 40% missing the cost by half. One-in-four thinks the cost to the taxpayer in per pupil spending in Indiana to be only around $4,000 per year. Another 25% guessed higher, but below the actual cost. According to the US Department of Education, and depending upon how it is defined, the per pupil expenditure in Indiana is between $8,867 and $10,164.

A reporter asked me last night if I was surprised that given the new make up of the House and Senate and some national matters, that the Governor didn't address any social issues. Since he never has, I didn't expect it, and said as much to the reporter. However, it was good speech as far as State of the State addresses go.  It will not significantly impact the core goals of AFA-IN in this session of the General Assembly.

You can watch or read the text of the Governor's State of the State Address here:

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 09:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 13 2011

There are many who suggest that Sarah Palin lacks the temperament to be the next president of the United States.  Her well crafted response to both the Tucson massacre and the "blood libel" of leftist media types that followed prove the exact opposite.


Palin was walking a tight-rope.  She had nothing to do with what happened in Arizona, but her political opponents took advantage of tragedy to try to scapegoat her.  They despicably trampled on the graves of those who had died by relieving the guilty madman who took their lives of the full weight of the blame.  Showing no compassion for grieving families, these hate merchants like Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, the New York Times, broadcast news teams, and other desperate media outlets sought to exploit the tragedy to slay the Palin-monster once for all.


Declaring things like "Palin has blood on her hands," or "Palin has created this culture of hate that precipitated the shooting," or "Palin's polarizing politics has brought this about," they jumped to conclusions that they quickly found out were false, but refused to admit were untrue.  Why?  Because their primary concern is not - and never has been - truth.  It's been about political power.


This presented Sarah Palin with a dilemma in responding.  Undoubtedly she could not let these malicious and slanderous accusations go unchecked.  She could not allow herself to be painted as a co-conspirator to mass murder.  At the same time, she knew that any direct response would be used against her ("Why is Sarah Palin using this tragedy to attack the media and not thinking about the suffering families?").


In a masterful response that mourns the loss of the innocent, praises the enduring strength of our democratic system, encourages the continuation of free debate, and rightly rebukes and chastises a wretched media culture that facilitates and spreads the very hate they claim to condemn, Palin proves she is classy and capable.  She proves she has the moxie to handle high office and the criticism that comes with it.  She proves she knows how to navigate through a crisis. 


You need to watch this speech. 


I already liked Sarah Palin.  This has given me newfound respect for her.  There is simply no American politician right now who has weathered more storms and handled them with as much class and dignity as Palin. 


People talk about lacking experience for the presidency, but what kind of "experience" do they mean?  If they mean someone who has been through repeated fires, withstood an onslaught from those who despise her and her values, and through it all has maintained a remarkably visible love of God and country, there's no one as ready to hold that office.

Incidentally, ABC News responded to Palin's speech by outrageously concluding, "Sarah Palin has, once again, found a way to become part of the story."  What weasels.  They made her part of the story.  They put her in a position where she had to defend herself.  Then they criticize her for doing it masterfully and exposing them and their co-conspirators for the frauds and debased hate merchants that they have chosen to be?  When you pick a fight with a pit bull, ABC, don't complain when you come out worse off.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, January 13 2011

It was difficult to stomach Keith Olbermann's feigned outrage a few years ago when the Republicans used images of the 9/11 attacks appropriately at their national convention.  To Keith, this was too was exploiting tragedy for political gain.


When do you suppose we'll hear Keith criticizing this - shall we say, a bit more obvious - exploitation:

There has been no shortage of individuals and institutions that have sought to capitalize on the shootings in Tucson. Add Vermont senator Bernie Sanders to that list.


This afternoon Sanders sent out a fundraising appeal, seeking to raise money to fight Republicans and other "right-wing reactionaries" responsible for the climate that led to the shooting.



He writes:


Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country.  I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at  There is no question but that the Republican Party, big money corporate interests and right-wing organizations will vigorously oppose me.  Your financial support now and in the future is much appreciated.


A staffer in Sanders' campaign office confirmed that the letter went out today.

The left (yes, Sanders is an independent.but that's because the Democrats are not far enough left for him) is simply disgracing itself in unimaginable ways.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 13 2011

It's certainly not one of those cases where I like to be proven right.  Just days before the Arizona shooting, I released a column focusing on the calls to declare a "truce" on social issues in deference to economic ones.


The crux of my thesis was this: such a call is silly because at the heart of all issues: social, economic, security...rests a struggle over morality.  You can read the column here.


I argued that it was a breakdown in our civic virtue and national morality that was the heart of all our struggles, and that debates and disagreements, solutions and problem solving that addressed any issue would be superficial without such an acknowledgement.


Then came the tragedy in Tucson, and what have we seen?  Debate and disagreement over gun control, political dialogue and free speech.  We're seeing proposed solutions that include different treatment of the mentally unbalanced, as well as gun and speech restrictions.  All of those "solutions," just as the discussions themselves, are superficial.


I was ecstatic when I saw former CIA analyst Paul Skousen wrote a piece confirming as much:

The astonishing debate now underway?whether the Arizona shooter was a right-wing fanatic spurred to action by extremist rhetoric or a drug abuser driven by his pagan lifestyle, Mein Kampf and flag burning?is beside the point. Drugs, hatred, politics, guns and demonic voices are all convenient scapegoats. The left's and right's name-calling is just a brush fire across the airwaves, burning bright and attracting attention. Soon it will burn out in favor of a new cause de jour.


The real question is: What happened to America's virtue? Have the former generations been incapable of branding their posterity with this moral value? Unfortunately, virtue cannot be inherited. It must be taught and embraced by each new generation. And there is the ultimate problem.


Should we be surprised that our country suffers from high-profile killings when we've worked so hard to separate ourselves from virtue? Until enough Americans stand up to resist the current tide pulling us from the necessary pillars of self-government?which are acknowledgment of God, acknowledgment of values in the Bible, acknowledgment of serving one another voluntarily and without force?then it's just a matter of time before Arizona's tragic loss of life is repeated again and again, in varying degrees and forms, all across our land.

Couldn't have said it better myself!  It would be nice to be wrong on this.  It would be great if man could operate individually or corporately apart from any moral authority structure.  But this is a fallen world.  Moral Authority is necessary for us to survive.  If Arizona's massacre and the subsequent discussion doesn't prove that, nothing will.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 13 2011

There's much talk right now about limiting the "incendiary speech" that exists and is clearly...CLEARLY...leading to acts of violence.  What kind of speech are we talking here?


Eugene Hovekamp at American Thinker has provided a very informative "Right-Wing Hate Speech" quiz to help us understand.  Some of the questions:

1. Which right-wing, fascist US president said "If they bring a knife, we bring a gun."?
A. Ronald Reagan

B. Barack Hussein Obama                 

C. Thomas Jefferson 

D. Calvin Coolidge


4. Which Hitler-loving, fascist, right-wing actor wanted to stone to death (in the Biblical sense, not with marijuana) a US Congressman?
A. Tom Selleck                       

B. Bruce Willis                        

C. Alec Baldwin                     

D. Charlton Heston


5. Which radio right winger wished that a US Senator and his grandchildren would contract the AIDS virus?
A. Nina Totenberg                 

B. Rush Limbaugh                              

C. Glenn Beck            

D. Sean Hannity


7. Which rabid, right-wing presidential aide once recited the names of some political adversaries, shouting "DEAD!" after each one?
A. Murray Chotiner               

B. H.R. Haldeman                              

C. John Ehrlichman               

D. Rahm Emanuel


8. Which seething, right wing terrorist/presidential friend tried to blow up the Pentagon, was on the FBI's most wanted list, and said later "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."
A. Bill Ayers               

B. Bill Cosby                           

C. Bill Clinton            

D. Will Rogers


10. Which right-wing Congressman once said to one of his constituents "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing down your leg."?
A. Pete Stark              

B. Paul Ryan                          

C. Allen West             

D. Thaddeus McCotter

If you think you did well on those sample questions, take the whole thing here.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

We are continuing to review various pieces of legislation as they become available from the Legislative Services Agency. Here are a few that may be of interest:

Several abortion bills have been filed in the legislature this session now that there is majority leadership in the House that will allow such bills to have a fair hearing and move forward if approved. In the past, the Senate allowed life bills, but it was well known that they would not go anywhere in the Indiana House under Speaker Bauer and Democrat leadership.

Senate Bill 328 authored by Senator Pat Miller is a patient safety bill that requires a physician who performs an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or an adjacent county where the abortion is performed. It also requires the abortionist to notify the patient of the hospital location where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician. Representative Matt Ubelhor has a companion admitting privileges bill in the House, which is HB 1204.

Representative Ubelhor has also authored House Bill 1205 that prohibits the state from giving taxpayer funds to any group, which provides elective abortions. It would also cancel any current contracts with such entities. It has been estimated that as much as $2 million in your state tax dollars may be going to Planned Parenthood each year.

There are a few bills that may drive the ACLU of Indiana up a wall, but they won't bother AFA of Indiana very much. House Bill 1100 by Representative David Yarde would prohibit a convicted sex offender from entering a public library unless it is Election Day and the library is being used as a polling place.

House Bill 1108 authored by Rep. Kathy Richardson prohibits convicted sex offenders from entering a public school under certain circumstances.

Along the same line of thought, I have previously suggested an amendment or legislation which would prohibit convicted sex offenders from entering a sexually oriented business. It seems to me to be a recipe for disaster to allow a rapist or child molester to spend hour after hour at a porn store or strip club and not expect that to be a potential safety risk to a community.

Representative Woody Burton has an interesting bill (HB 1175) that requires retailers other than liquor stores, which already have admittance regulations, to display liquor in a room or partitioned area which minors cannot enter.

Senators Jim Tomes and Dennis Kruse have authored the Marriage Protection Amendment, SJR 13, which is identical to the language passed in the Indiana Senate last year and to the language already in place for several years in some other states. A House version is expected to appear soon as well.

If you would like to contact your Indiana State Representative about any legislation you can call 1-800-382-9842. You can call your State Senator at 1-800-382-9467. There are also several online sites where you can find out who your legislator is and email them. Here is one from the state:

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 08:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

How long will it be before the left begins to target rhetoric like this?

[W]henever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Hopefully many of you readily identify this text from our own American Declaration of Independence.


Following a list of grievances against the king of Great Britain, the colonists' declared:

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states.

Talk about incendiary rhetoric! In this liberal-declared era of muted [conservative] political speech, how long will it be before our friends living in the land of left-believe will move to ban the public reading, hearing, and viewing of this inflammatory document?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

Indiana's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, is reporting 5,580 abortions done in 2010, an increase of more than 2% in the number of chemical and surgical abortions done at its abortion clinics in 2010 as compared to its 5,452 reported abortions for 2009.  The increase amounts to 128 more abortions done in 2010 as compared to 2009.  The numbers are reported in Planned Parenthood's 2010 annual report recently posted on its website.


The increase in abortions is even more alarming in light of the increased ratio of abortions to pregnancy tests done by Planned Parenthood of Indiana in 2010.  According to its annual report, the ratio of abortions to pregnancy tests increased to one abortion per every 3.79 pregnancy tests in 2010 (5,580 abortions vs. 21,156 pregnancy tests) as compared to one abortion per every 4.25 pregnancy tests in 2009 (5,452 abortions vs. 23,151 pregnancy tests).


"Planned Parenthood of Indiana's rise in abortions is a clear indicator that abortion remains at the core of everything this organization is about," says Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  "This abortion rate increase is further evidence that state tax dollars can be better spent elsewhere as opposed to fueling Indiana's largest abortion business."


Planned Parenthood of Indiana is reporting revenue of $15,670,306 in 2010 with $2,008,760 coming from government contracts and grants.  Planned Parenthood of Indiana annually does more than 50% of the total chemical and surgical abortions done in Indiana.


Earlier today, Planned Parenthood of Indiana issued a press advisory touting a total of five adoption placements, making its abortion to adoption placement ratio 1,116 abortions for every 1 adoption placement. 


"Planned Parenthood and abortion go hand-in-hand," says Fichter.  "Indiana will never reduce its abortion rate by funding an organization that has a vested financial interest in doing more and more abortions."

Posted by: IRTL AT 02:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

So liberals want to make a case for limiting some speech, huh?

[S]ome Democratic lawmakers are looking to curb speech they claim creates an "aura of hatred".

Always intriguing that the only speech that "incites hatred" just happens to be that which opposes Democrat Big Government tyranny, isn't it? Never mind that we went through a period in which movies and books openly portrayed the assassination of then-President Bush. Certainly no hatred there.


Anyway, what needs to be pointed out is that the reality of vitriolic speech is commonly found in the lyrics of punk rock, hip hop, and rap and not conservative programs.


Consider the lyrics from "Bodies" by Drowning Pool:

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Beaten why for
Can't take much more

...Push me again
This is the end

...Skin against skin blood and bone
You're all by yourself but you're not alone
You wanted in now you're here
Driven by hate consumed by fear

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

What do these lyrics have to do with the Tucson tragedy? Apparently, the (alleged) gunman was fascinated by them:

Hard-rockers Drowning Pool say they are "devastated" that the band's 2001 single, "Bodies," was featured in a YouTube video posted by Arizona killer Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old who on Saturday (Jan. 8) went on a shooting rampage that killed six people and gravely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. 

In fairness to Drowning Pool, they claim that this song refers to "the brotherhood of the mosh pit." However, there is absolutely nothing in the lyrics that would indicate to the ordinary listener that this is all about mosh pit shenanigans. Still, this is an extremely popular song played by many types of folks. I have heard in these discussions that it is popular with military personnel. Admittedly, TheOldSalt is heretofore unfamiliar with both the song and the group. Nevertheless, TheOldSalt is aware that many lyrics from the punk rock genre is defeatist, anarchist, and nihilistic in nature. And TheOldSalt is aware of the vulgar and violent lyrics found in many rap and hip hop style songs.


What we know: Loughner was very familiar with the group Drowning Pool and listened to their music. What we do not know: Loughner was in any way familiar with or influenced by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Sharron Angle, TEA Parties, and/or any other conservative targeted - yes, targeted - by those living in the land of left-believe.


Logic and common sense would tell us that if anything or anyone is to be the target of government censorship, it should be the genres of what Loughner actually listened to. Now TheOldSalt is not here suggesting that they actually be censored, even though the mindset of these various "artists" are counterproductive to a peaceful, productive society. TheOldSalt is merely suggesting that the logical target of limits on speech be those who actually contributed to the hatred built up in and acted out by this (alleged) gunman.


How would the left take that? We don't have to wonder at all:

"We find it inappropriate to imply that our song or rock music in general is to blame for this tragic event," the band said. "It is premature to make this assumption without having all the facts in the case. 


"Listening to Drowning Pool music does not make you a bad person," the band continued. "Misleading people does."

Well, whadda ya know?
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

The left has unmasked their ceaseless attempt to criminalize conservatism in the days following the Tucson tragedy.  We've covered that in multiple stories - that the left has an unquenchable desire to silence any opinions that dissent from the liberal thought stream.  Certainly this is nothing surprising that has studied the history of leftism.


And in this country consider that it is the left that pursues the Fairness Doctrine (to limit conservative speech), Hate Speech laws (to limit conservative speech), college speech codes (to limit conservative - or any - speech), and now "incendiary" speech restrictions (where "incendiary" obviously refers only to conservative speech).


In that environment, the unnoticed story from Texas takes on a most alarming face.  Former Republican leader Tom DeLay has been sentenced to prison for.well, following the law but being an effective Republican leader.


I have no personal affection for Tom DeLay.  I don't know much about him personally.  But I know enough about this incident to be very concerned about what it says regarding the direction of our politics.  National Review's editors summed it up nicely:

This was a phony prosecution from the very beginning. It took (corrupt and infamous prosecutor Ronnie) Earle three separate attempts before he could get a case that a grand jury or a judge would not throw out. Then he got DeLay indicted for behavior that was perfectly legitimate under campaign-finance laws, identical to the kind of fundraising done by practically every campaign committee and candidate in the country.


DeLay solicited $155,000 in contributions for a political-action committee he headed and contributed $190,000 to the Republican National State Election Committee (RNSEC); the RNSEC then contributed $877,000 to 42 state and local candidates in Texas in the final two months of the 2002 campaign, including seven recommended by DeLay. For this routine act of campaign financing, DeLay was charged with and convicted of criminal money laundering, a crime defined by knowingly using the proceeds of criminal activity. Since these contributions were all legal, the most basic element of this supposed crime could not be met; nonetheless, Earle drove the case forward in one of the most outrageous prosecutorial abuses of criminal law that we have seen in decades. Meanwhile Earle indicted a number of companies, including Sears, that had made perfectly legal contributions to DeLay's PAC, and then sold those companies dismissals in exchange for donations to one of his favorite charities.

In other words, the one who should really be on trial is Ronnie Earle.  But because of the relentless and ceaseless effort to criminalize conservatism, Tom DeLay will quite possibly be going to prison.  This is a chilling development that shouldn't be overlooked.  The repression of political opposition is not a hallmark of free societies.  It is, however, the hallmark of leftist societies.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

It was a bizarre scene to watch so many on the left outraged at the new conservative majority in Washington honor the Constitution by reading its text.  Perhaps the oddest comment came from New York Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler who whined that Republicans were, "reading it like a sacred text."


Uh, yeah.  They were.  Because it is.  Unless you're a liberal, apparently.


This comment is more easily understood when you take the time to peel back the layers of leftist thought:

The demotion of the sacred in general and of sacred texts specifically is at the center of leftist thinking.

The reason is that elevating any standard, any religion, any text to the level of the sacred means that it is above any individual. Therefore, what any one individual or even society believes is of secondary importance to that which is deemed sacred. If, to cite the most obvious example, the Bible is sacred, then I have to revere it more than I revere my own feelings in assessing what is right and wrong.

But for the Left, what is right and wrong is determined by every individual's feelings, not by anything above the individual.


This is a major reason why the Left, since Karl Marx, has been so opposed to Judeo-Christian religion. For Judaism and Christianity, God and the Bible are above the self. Indeed, Western civilization was built on the idea that the individual and society are morally accountable to God and to the moral demands of that book. That was the view, incidentally, of every one of the Founders, including deists such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.


This is entirely unacceptable to the Left. As Marx and Engels said, "Man is God and God is man." Therefore, society must rid itself of the sacred, i.e., God and the Bible. Then each of us (or the society or the party or the judiciary) takes the place of God and the Bible.

This analysis perfectly explains why to the left, all matters of morality are to be left up to individual whims.  Any supposed submission to a Moral Authority doesn't make sense to them because they fundamentally reject the notion of any such authority higher than man.


This is what makes a true leftist so at odds with Biblical Christianity.  While the latter demands submission to a transcendent God, the former eschews it.  That fundamental difference then manifests itself in social issues like abortion and homosexuality.

That is why we must to treat the Constitution as a sacred text. Because the bottom line is this: If it is not regarded as sacred, it is nothing more than what anyone believes about any social issue. Which is precisely what the Left wants it to be ? providing, of course, that the "anyone" is a liberal.  For the Left, there are no sacred texts. There are only sacred (liberal) feelings.

And history is clear: a society based upon feelings and whims of the masses never lasts long, and isn't a pleasant place while it does.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

In the aftermath of the Tucson shooting, Democrats are readying bills to "limit incendiary" speech.  I find it interesting that following 9/11 Democrats were outraged with the Patriot Act.  As I recall, they found it as unnecessarily restrictive of the basic rights of citizens and blamed Bush for using the terror attacks as grounds to "consolidate power."


Yet now they've seemed to have a change of heart:

Several leading House Democrats blamed the inflammatory rhetoric for contributing to the Tucson massacre, while Republicans denounced criticism of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) following the tragedy. 


One lawmaker, Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), has said he would introduce a bill to make it a crime to threaten or incite violence against a federal official.


Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) suggested the Federal Communications Commission was "not working anymore," adding she would look at ways to better police language on the airwaves. A brick was thrown through a window of Slaughter's district office last year.


Slaughter cited Palin's use of gun sights to target Democrats in last year's election and the assertion by Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) that "Second Amendment remedies" might be needed to stop the Democratic agenda.


"There's nothing else to surmise from that than that people should be shot," Slaughter told reporters on a conference call. "I mean, it really is terrible.


"What I'd like to see is if we could all get together on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, and really talk about what we can do to cool down the country," Slaughter said. "Part of that has to be what they're hearing over the airwaves."

Here's the problem: how do these folks define incendiary?  Palin using crosshairs is incendiary, but Democrats doing the same is not.  Conservatives saying it's time to "reload" is incendiary, but Obama saying they must bring a gun to the fight is not.  Tea Partiers railing against Democrat legislation is incendiary, but a Washington Post columnist fantasizing about bashing in the teeth of Tea Partiers is not.  Limbaugh mocking Obama is incendiary, but Wanda Sykes joking about Limbaugh's kidneys failing is not.


We could keep going.  The left is using this tragedy as a momentum builder in their relentless campaign to criminalize opposing (conservative) opinion.  And in the end, history teaches, that is the most incendiary act of all.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, January 12 2011

One of my youthful indiscretions during high school was that I was a somewhat frequent listener of the typically raunchy Bob and Tom syndicated radio show.  One of their regular segments (that wasn't so raunchy) was the news reports from an impersonator of NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw who went by the moniker "Tom Blow-Chow."


I couldn't help but think back on that name as I listened to the verbal vomit the real Tom Brokaw put out on MSNBC's Morning Joe program this week:

Appearing on Monday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw praised Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County, Ariz. for condemning political vitriol, and wished more officials would follow suit. Dupnik, a Democrat, blamed violent political rhetoric in part for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and singled out conservatives Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle for instances of unacceptable hate speech.

Actually, Dupnik went further than that.  He specifically called out Rush Limbaugh as being irresponsible in his rhetoric...but shockingly didn't think to mention Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Mike Malloy, Bill Maher, or any other commentators on the left.  Perhaps that's why Brokaw, the consummate left-winger, was so impressed with him:

Brokaw thought officials have been "timid" in their criticism of violent political speech, in the wake of Saturday's shooting. "The Pima County Sheriff is not," he continued. "He is speaking out, and too few others have because they're worried about retribution."

Brokaw added that officials are hesitant to condemn hate speech because they fear sharp backlash from the public via the internet. The press is partially responsible for that fear mongering, he opined. "They're worried about the internet being lit up against them. And that's something that those of us on this side of the camera also have to be thinking about and not just be feeding that," he preached.

To his credit, Brokaw did at least mention West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin's campaign ad showing Manchin taking dead aim at the Cap and Trade bill with a high-powered rifle.


Nevertheless, it is such a sad commentary on the state of affairs in America that our supposedly dignified and sophisticated elites like Brokaw have no better explanations for what occurred in Tucson than blaming guns and political disagreements (almost entirely those that originate on the conservative side of the aisle, that is). 


We do not need the government to take action to "fix" our political discourse.  It is demonstrating either a complete ignorance of the frightening historical realities of government taking such action that would bring someone to the point where they suggest it like so many are doing right now.  Or if not ignorance, it shows complicity with the Lenin/Stalin style of protecting the masses.  That is a bigger threat than anything else.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

With the 2010 elections behind us and more conservatives in political office, liberals are reviving their out-of-majority mantra. I call them the 3-Cs: common ground, cooperation, and compromise.


Granted, criticizing these ideals makes me sound like a contentious curmudgeon. That's the image liberals want to project to everyone about those who disagree with them.


In reality, the left is full of deceit and hypocrisy every time they attempt to impose the 3-C mantra. They invoke it only when they do not have the power to impose their will upon the American people. For the past two years, conservative voices objecting to the socialist policies of the left were called "obstructionists" and "fearmongers." Now, however, objections to the House majority are from those seeking common ground, cooperation, and compromise. Nice spin.


For a real-time display of liberal deceit and hypocrisy, we need look no further than the recent "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in the military. The DADT policy is a superb example of political compromise: homosexuals could serve in the military without disrupting readiness, discipline, and morale by not openly disclosing their behavior. In spite of its success, compromise was not acceptable to homosexual anarchists. They have not been shy at all about denouncing compromise. Liberals are not interested in common ground, cooperation, and compromise; they are interested in imposing their will upon every American.


Without being mean-spirited, conservatives should firmly eschew liberal deceitfulness and hypocrisy. Returning sane moral and common sense policies to the American people should be the guiding goals of conservatives, not seeking common ground, cooperation, and compromise with those who seek to damage America.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

One issue that has consistently gone without challenge in the debate over gay marriage is the charge "how does allowing gays to marry affect your marriage?"  It's a phrase that is casually thrown out by its proponents with the intent to emotionalize the argument (a common tactic by those on the left).   I have rarely heard anyone counter this emotional ploy with a reasonable response.  But central in this message is the inherent narcissism that exists in those pushing for gay marriage.  Because gay marriage doesn't affect your individual marriage, I'm going to force society to restructure itself to accommodate mine. 


The second issue that rarely gets addressed is the ambiguity and confusion that necessarily results when you go from male/female marriage to any-combination-of-the-above marriage.  We go from speculating with children "Hey Suzy, what kind of guy would you like to marry when you grow up?" to "Are you going to marry a guy or a girl when you grow up?".  The sexual confusion that comes can be devastating on the development of children.  Additionally, if a man or woman is unnecessary in a marriage, why have a dad or mom at all?  Society becomes lost in its own moral confusion.   

Need a practical example?  Take a look at the most recent passport controversy.  According to the state department, "Mother" and "Father" will be removed from passports and be replaced with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2".  In reading this story I couldn't help but laugh at the response.  According to the article Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services Brenda Sprague said "the decision to remove the traditional parenting names was not an act of political correctness."  Two sentences later "Gay rights groups are applauding the decision."   One of these two groups are being genuine, and I'd put my money on the gay rights groups. 

As our society continues down the path of removing distinctions between sexes and genders, we will continue to see examples of the blurring of boundaries.  But maybe I'm overreacting.  It's not like we have gender neutral bathrooms, co-ed dormitories, or incidents of transsexual dress in the workplace. 

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 11:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

As more details from the weekend shooting in Arizona emerges, I have given it more thought.


My first observation is that it appears impossible to find a news story that just conveys the known facts of the events. My google search this morning netted hundreds of articles covering opinion after opinion about the tragedy; however, I failed to find one that simply reported the facts about the event in a professional, unbiased manner. Admittedly, I didn't pore through each and every article, but if objective news was the rule, I could easily find such an article.


Second, from what I have heard concerning the (alleged) gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, it does not seem that it is conservative rhetoric that moved him to violence. If there are events and ideologies in his life that drove him to this action, it would appear to be marijuana use, occultism, and "hard rock" music. Seems as if liberal Big Media is slipping in their rush to find what drove this troubled young man over the edge. There is not indication that he listened to or was influenced by Sarah Palin, conservative talk radio, or TEA parties. There is every indication that he was influenced by marijuana use (common in Arizona, we are told), some form of fascination with occultic symbols, and a particularly troubling music genre.


Mind you, I am not attributing any of these particular things as the cause for Loughner's instability. However, it appears to me that if anything did contribute to his breakdown, it would be those things in which he actually participated and believed, not things with which he had no contact, as Big Media liberals insist.


Third, I have a difficult time comprehending why liberals become emotionally responsive to murders anyway. They are adamant in their belief that the murder of helpless children in the fetal stage of life be sanctioned. They insist that the world is overpopulated which is a contributor to climate change issues. Following the logic chain created by liberals, one would think that they would celebrate the decrease in surplus population and "carbon footprints."


In the end, the basic reason for liberals' concern about this tragedy is that it provides them the forum they seek to issue unwarranted assaults on the Constitutional rights of conservatives and gun ownership. Beyond that reason, any concern is a moot point. As Rush Limbaugh points out, in a few days the "drive-by" media will be off to another location to make up reasons why conservative viewpoints should be muted. Liberals deny and decry this, so let's wait and see whose observations hold up.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

He went from being a media darling to being a political hack in just a matter of hours.  Following the attack in Arizona, Pima County Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik gave the mainstream media and leftist bloggers the story they'd been waiting for.


He proclaimed the Tucson shootings to be the result of "vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business."


There was no confusing who he meant.  No one would confuse liberals as being those "in the radio business."  And certainly the left didn't confuse who he meant.  The blogosphere lit up, and the network news channels had their evening lead.  Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh had caused the Tucson shootings - just like the left had warned us they would.


Or not.


It seems Sheriff Clarence wasn't speaking from any evidence gathered.  He was just expressing a left-leaning Democrat opinion.  If you don't believe that, just ask...well, him:

FOX NEWS MEGYN KELLY: what I'm wondering is do you have reason to believe that this particular suspected killer was taking in information or was in any way influenced by the, the vitriol or the rhetoric that you're referring to that has been, you know, out on the airwaves?


SHERIFF DUPNIK: If your question is specific, I have to be specific and say I don't have that information yet. The investigation is very, in its very initial phases. But my belief, and I've been watching what's been going on in this country for the last 75 years, and I've been a police officer for over 50 years. There's no doubt in my mind that when a number of people night and day try to inflame the public that there's going to be some consequences from doing that. And I think it's irresponsible to do that.

Got that?  No evidence...he just assumes.  Nice to see our mainstream media using assumptions of like-minded Democrats as the basis of their supposedly factual reporting, isn't it?  "Don't let facts get in the way of the story" appears to be the media wonder Palin calls them "lamestream."


But Dupnik wasn't done.  Check out this revealing comment:

KELLY: And, with respect, Sheriff, I know that you are a Democrat, and you ran for office as a Democrat, and I just want to press you on that a little because I'm sure some of our viewers are asking themselves why you are putting a political spin on this when, when they may be asking why you the Sheriff aren't just focused on the facts, on uncovering the facts?


DUPNIK: Well, I think that it's more than just a political spin. I'm not sure that it really has anything to do with politics. You know, I grew up in a country that was totally different from the country that we have today. We didn't have this kind of nonsense going on, and it used to be that politicians from different parties could sit down, forget about their ideology, and work on the country's problems. We don't see that happening today. As a matter of fact, we see exactly the opposite. We see one Party trying to block the attempts of another Party to make this a better country. And I think that it's time that we as a country need to look into our souls and into our hearts and say is what we're doing really in the best interests of this country or is there something better that we can do.

You did catch the line: "We see one Party trying to block the attempts of another Party to make this a better country."  It becomes pretty clear that Sheriff Clarence saw this tragedy as a vehicle for him to advance his own career, get fame, and fan the flames of speculation in a way that he hoped would damage his political opponents.  Just like any good sheriff would do.


When cornered by Kelly about why he is injecting speculative opinion into the case, the Sheriff hypocritically responded:

DUPNIK: Well, I think difference of opinion is what makes the world go round and round.

So difference of opinion is okay for him to share.  But yet his entire opinion is advancing the idea that his political opponents are irresponsible and the cause of grave violence because they shared their opinion.  Unbelievable.


Can I ask the obvious question: don't the folks in Pima County deserve a more reputable man than this as sheriff?  As disgraceful as it is to exploit a massacre for political gain, it is far worse to do so when you are so closely tied to those events and have knowledge that what you're saying isn't supported by facts.  Save the monster who perpetrated the attack (obviously), perhaps no one will emerge as disgraced from this event as Sheriff Dupnik.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

Roger Kimball has offered his own analysis of the political climate emerging after the recent tragedy in Arizona.  What stands out at me about Kimball's piece is his ability to expose a dark truth about those on the left who have been so quick to point accusatory fingers at their political adversaries:

The irony ? or maybe it's just good old-fashioned hypocrisy ? is that while Paul Krugman, Chris Matthews, the Daily Kos, et al., stridently bewail "the culture of hate," their own rhetoric is much more intemperate than that of their opponents. Moreover, as several commentators have pointed out, it takes only a comparative visit to some Tea Party rallies, on the one hand, and some anti-Bush or anti-Palin rallies, on the other, to register a wide discrepancy not only in rhetorical tone but rhetorical substance.


At one you are likely to see signs decrying socialism, big government, Obamacare, high taxes, etc. At the other you are likely to see signs advising you that "Bush = Hitler," proclaiming the imperative "F*** Bush," etc. Really, it is instructive to compare the rhetorical temperature, and general drift, of the two sides. One complains about various policies.  The other complains about "a culture of hate" while at the same time wallowing in it.

Indeed.  That this blatant hypocrisy is so lost on those exhibiting it only demonstrates the arrogance or insular nature of their movement.


As the political left has thus thoroughly humiliated itself the last few days, several who share similar views are trying to distance themselves from their rancor and bitterness.  It will be interesting to watch the mainstream media, who so quickly and excitedly began peddling the anti-conservative, Palin/Beck/Limbaugh "climate of intimidation" propaganda for the left, suddenly begin attempting to retract themselves from the mayhem and spare themselves the inevitable public backlash.


I have been entertained personally by watching the dance of many leftists who have already tried to pretend these vicious voices of hate on their own side of the aisle are not their compatriots.  "Let's be careful how we define left and right," they lecture.  As if they weren't completely fine with the lumping in of all conservatives in the hours just following the Arizona massacre.


But defining terms might not be a bad idea, actually.  As Kimball notes:

What we have here in the tortured left-wing effort to enlist the ghastly Arizona shootings into their anti-Tea Party campaign is yet another example of political correctness on the march. The great irony, as I intimated a moment ago, is that all this vitriol should be marching under a banner called "liberalism." There is nothing liberal, nothing having to do with freedom, about it. It is all about control: power in the hands of a nomenklatura and submission visited upon you and me, my friends. It's the good old strategy of Lenin, dusted off and infused with some new names. It all boils down, however, to what Lenin said politics was all about. Not the control of faction and controlling the power of the state so that individual freedom could flourish. That was the idea of earlier tea partiers such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. No, Lenin's idea, like Krugman's, is "Who/Whom."

Yes, their uncontrolled, hate-filled reaction to the Arizona attack may end up being the worst thing that happened to the left in America.  Call that a silver lining: the true merchants of hate will be exposed.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

The Republicans have a lot of important business to accomplish in the House of Representatives, but perhaps nothing is as crucial as a bill recently introduced by star conservative, Indiana's Mike Pence.


Pence has introduced legislation that would prohibit any abortion provider from receiving federal funds through Title X of the Publich Health Service Act.  Call it the "Planned Parenthood de-funder."  As it stands, Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funds in the country.


Planned Parenthood apologists will say that the money they receive from Title X doesn't go to directly fund abortions and therefore it's okay.  Pence isn't buying it, and neither should we:

"That is only technically true. Current law prohibits the use of Title X family planning funds - quote ?programs where abortion is a method of family planning' closed quote.


"Therein lies the loophole," Pence said. "While Title X money cannot directly be used to fund abortions, common sense says there's no question that taxpayer dollars received by Planned Parenthood are used to cover allowed expenses like overhead operational costs, thus freeing up other money for the clinics that do provide abortion."


"In many of our largest cities, Title X clinics, run by Planned Parenthood, are literally just steps away from abortion clinics operated by Planned Parenthood, many times in the same building," Pence said.


"This legislation would close that loophole that's forced millions of pro-life Americans to subsidize the nation's leading abortion provider; sustaining and underwriting this nefarious trade," Pence said. 

This legislation will be a great test case to once again demonstrate the honesty and character of the dwindling number of so-called "pro-life" Democrats.  Where does Silent Joe Donnelly stand on Pence's bill?  I'd love to ask him, but.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 11 2011

According to a report at the Politico website, the chaos in Tucson had barely ended before:

One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday targeting the high-capacity ammunition clip the gunman used.




My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as tomorrow," McCarthy told POLITICO in a Sunday afternoon phone interview.

Of course this shouldn't be surprising.  Opponents of the 2nd Amendment are notorious for exploiting tragedies to limit the freedoms of law-abiding citizens.  Sadly, even if born of the best of intentions, this legislation is ill-timed, short-sighted, and would only compound the problem.


For proof of the nonsensical nature of McCarthy's efforts, consider this account that has recently emerged from the grocery store slaughter scene:

Geraldo Rivera just interviewed an articulate and eloquent young man of but twenty-four years, Joe Zamudio, who was inside the Safeway to buy cigarettes when he heard the Pop! Pop! Pop! of gunfire outside. Zamudio, legally carrying a firearm himself, obviously a pistol, ran to the sound of the guns where others in the crowd were attempting to overpower the shooter. Zamudio, who appears to be a young man of some physical substance, assisted in that successful effort.

When asked by Geraldo if he thought of shooting the shooter, young Zamudio wisely replied that he did not feel that was the needed course of action since others were already involved in taking down the perpetrator. Zamudio specifically stated that he did not draw his weapon for fear of collateral damage to innocents in the chaotic situation. That is a particularly salient point that should be seized upon by those of us who advocate for the public's right to bear arms. The gun-hating left all too frequently tries to portray us as careless amateurs who have little regard for the consequences of our use of our weapons in a public setting. Their argument is that armed citizens will only contribute to the body count. Zamudio proved them wrong.

Law abiding citizens who are armed make us safer.  Unfortunately there was no Zamudio standing nearby when the attack first began or perhaps it would have ended much quicker.  These thoughts are sadly lost on lawmakers like McCarthy whose personal tragedy has disappointingly (if not understandably) clouded her reason.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 10 2011

Leave it to liberals to never pass up a crisis for the furtherance of their agenda. Case in point: the tragic shooting in Arizona this past weekend. Reports quickly followed the tragedy with blame being directed to the left's favorite targets: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, all TEA Party participants, and others.


Never mind that there are absolutely no links between a deranged gunman and any of these individuals and groups exercising their Constitutional right to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances" (Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution). Nevertheless, those living in the land of left-believe do not need any evidence. Their imagining it is evidence enough: Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blogged at 3:22 p.m. ET Saturday: "We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was."


So be it. However, let us firmly remind American citizens that liberals have instigated a sight many more tumultuous political eras than conservatives. The anarchy that arose throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s came from the left. The left esteems and honors Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers.


In spite of all this, the left now wants to hold honest conservatives and their organizations responsible for one deranged (and alleged, to use their frequent terminology) gunman. Let's stop being held hostage by these liberal loonies.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 10 2011

It's just despicable.  Only hours after Congresswoman Giffords was brutally attacked in a shower of gunfire, her liberal colleague Raul Grijalva tried to exploit her suffering for political gain:

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, told Mother Jones magazine within hours after the rampage that the "political tone and tenor" created by Palin and the tea party movement had set the stage for the shooting.

Grijalva said Palin's "apparatus" had put Giffords' and his own life at risk.

"Both Gabby and I were targeted in the apparatus in that cycle [saying] these people are ?enemies.'" He added: "The Palin express better look at their tone and their tenor."

Sadly, Grijalva was not alone.  The leftists at the New York Times, still desperate to find some evidence of Tea Party violence that they have been so sickly hopeful for, chimed in:

The Times insuated that conservative criticism of President Barack Obama and his policies may have been at the root of this weekend's violence, noting "... it was hard to separate what had happened from the heated nature of the debate that has swirled around Mr. Obama and Democratic policies of the past two years."

The paper even suggested tea party criticisms of  Obama's healthcare plan, the debate over Arizona's new rules on police handling of illegal immigrants and even the fact Giffords was Jewish could have played a role. The Times also claimed that the fact Palin's political action committee had targeted Giffords for defeat may have played a role.

It is outrageous that the same movement that tells us not to "jump to conclusions" about illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists has no problem indicting political conservatives for these acts of violence.  It is even more preposterous given the fact that we already know that the gunman was inspired by radical left-wing works like Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

In case you were wondering, those aren't on the Tea Party reading list.


Some will say this goes both ways, and that conservatives try to do this to liberals.  Really?  Was there a conservative Congressman out just hours after the attack trying to use the tragedy to trash political opponents? 


Not surprisingly, the networks have all attempted to carry forth this foolish, unsubstantiated and slanderous rhetoric about Palin and the Tea Party being to blame.  As usual, they are eschewing responsible journalism and merely picking up the liberal scraps from the Times' table.


Grijalva is a hack and an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.  The New York Times continues to demonstrate why it's lost its credibility and is nothing more than a left-wing National Enquirer.  Shame on both of them.  Shame on all of them.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 10 2011

Brent Bozell has done another outstanding job at depicting the blatant hypocrisy of the leftwing media, this time following the creation of communion/Eucharist mocking ads from Doritos and Pepsi.


Here's what the ad depicted:

One entry, titled "Feed the Flock," [video] crassly, deliberately mocked Christianity and the Holy Eucharist. Instead of offering the Body of Christ, some priests are shown lining up the faithful to receive Doritos and PepsiMax diet cola. Their church was sinking in popularity -  until Jesus was replaced by a snack chip.

Now, whether you believe that the ad is offensive or not isn't the issue.  Or at least, it's not my issue.  The issue is where are all the "phobic" police who patrol our culture for any hint of something that might offend "gays" or Muslims?  As Bozell wrote:

Never in a million years would they ever countenance the idea of similarly insulting Muslims. As one wag joked on Twitter: "I'm sure any day now we'll see a commercial where Muslims turn their prayer mats to point at the new 2011 Lexus LS."


Our national media, so exquisitely attuned to the monitors of "homophobia" and "Islamophobia" find no offense whatsoever in this online "Christophobia."

Bozell goes on to note several other examples where media and entertainment types have mocked communion, the most important and holy practice of Christians worldwide.  But the most compelling part of his column was the all-important comparison to the hysteria that was created last year by Focus on the Family's "pro-life" Tebow ad.  Bozell drops the hammer:

These media hypocrites disgust me. Look at how they twisted themselves into the shape of a tasty Mister Salty Pretzel at the "controversy" regarding what quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam were going to say something in a Super Bowl ad by Focus on the Family against abortion. And here's the controversy: instead of speaking directly of how doctors advised her to abort, Pam Tebow talked about her troubled pregnancy: "I call him my miracle baby. He almost didn't make it into this world. I remember so many times when I almost lost him." The A-word was never used.


Still, the media twisted the story to portray the whole pro-life concept as tasteless. ABC's Dan Harris spoke out for "many sports fans" who found it "a great shame" that our national unity over football "could become yet another day where we are divided over politics and the culture wars."


Where is Dan Harris now?

Where indeed.  As Bozell suggests, he is most likely snacking on Doritos while sipping a Pepsi.  What pathetic and hypocritical shills for left-wing garbage these folks are.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 10 2011

God willing, Rep. Giffords will recover.  Devastatingly, at least six others will not.  Much continues to be uncovered about the seriously disturbed freak, Jared Loughner who perpetrated this gruesome act.  Loughner, like all criminal defendants, is guaranteed his due process rights.  So be it.


But when the trial concludes, and the verdict is rendered, there is but one punishment for this monster.  Death.


This isn't said out of spite.  I don't know him; I know only what he did.  It isn't said out of vengeance.  I don't know his victims; I know only that they were made in the image of God.  It is said appealing only for justice.  It is said because the Biblical text is unequivocal about the role of the civil government to act as God's agent of wrath to bring punishment on the evildoer.  In Romans we read,

For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

The government is not an agent of mercy, nor does it exist to act merciful.  We are called to forgive as individuals when we have been wronged.  The government has no such expectation.  Indeed, from the thief on the cross, we can surmise that Christ never confused the expectation of eternal grace with the demand of civil justice.


We can pray that God will be merciful to Mr. Loughner.  We can pray that Loughner will find redemption and forgiveness for his crimes.  But we must also expect that our government properly execute its role as the punisher of those who dare to destroy any life made in the image of God.  It does so in this case by swiftly executing Jared Loughner.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 07 2011

It was just two years ago that I was invited to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. by the American Family Association and broadcast a couple radio programs for them from the convention hall.


It was a fabulous experience and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I don't expect another invitation from AFA - not because I made them mad, but because AFA no longer attends CPAC.  They made that decision when the American Conservative Union (the group that runs the CPAC show) decided that allowing participation by a homosexuality activist group (GOProud) was somehow not contradictory to conservative values.


I agree with the AFA.  Any group that seeks to obliterate traditional morality and contribute to the breakdown of the family unit (the pillar to any civil society) does not belong at a conservative function.


Evidently, trying to win over the votes of the homosexual lobby (a futile and ridiculous task) appears to be more important to CPAC than maintaining the support of the 1000 times larger Christian contingent of voters...good call:

Other social-issues groups opting to avoid the conference include the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, the Center for Military Readiness, the American Family Association, the American Principles Project, the Liberty Counsel and the National Organization for Marriage. 

All of this is extraordinarily unfortunate, as CPAC had become such an important force within the Republican Party.  Yet, it shows signs of internal corruption - and not just from the GOProud nonsense.


Frank Gaffney, a 30 year stalwart in the conservative movement is blowing the whistle on CPAC's affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood - a group working to bring Shariah Law to America.


It comes as no surprise to those who know Grover Norquist, that he is behind the infiltration of Islamism into CPAC.  Norquist's ties to Muslim groups has been well-documented, but as a board member of the ACU, he has managed to get political activist Suhail Khan a seat at the ACU table.  Khan will be facilitating the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood at this year's CPAC event.


According to a report from World Net Daily:

Paul Sperry, author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington" and "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America," says Khan is running "an influence operation on Capitol Hill that's quite sophisticated and slick."

"Suhail is the firstborn son of the late Mahboob Khan, a founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in America," said Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow. "Suhail has been a consultant to CAIR [The Council on American-Islamic Relations] and served on committees at ISNA [the Islamic Society of North America], both of which the government says are fronts for Hamas and its parent the Muslim Brotherhood."

The Muslim Brotherhood is a radical Islamist revivalist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 to establish Muslim theocracies around the world, by means both violent and non-violent. The group is banned in Egypt, where its members have a long history of political violence capped by the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president who signed a peace agreement with Israel.

Sperry says some members of Congress and their staffs have no idea Khan is "a Muslim activist with direct connections to Muslim Brotherhood groups implicated by the government in a conspiracy to raise millions of dollars for terrorism right here in America."

"The Brotherhood's stated mission," says Gaffney, "is to destroy Western civilization from within. Their agenda for the U.S. and the world is the triumph of Shariah law worldwide under a ruler known as a caliph."

Gaffney describes Norquist, who, ironically also serves on the board of the controversial GOProud, as the enabler for Muslim Brotherhood associates, providing them with access into the highest reaches of the conservative movement and the Republican Party through his many contacts.

What an unmitigated disaster.  It wasn't that long ago that I had a fellow conservative tell me that there's room for everyone under the big tent of conservatism.  I wonder what he says now.


Conservatism is a set of core ideas, a philosophy that plays out in multiple areas of life.  When you begin jettisoning certain areas to try to appeal to those who disagree with conservative principles, it doesn't take too long of that strategy to realize you're no longer conservative.  That's where CPAC is choosing to go, and it's a shame.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 07 2011

Ethel Fenig at The American Thinker provides a most intriguing flashback.  Here was Barack Obama in March of 2006 in his role as junior Senator from Illinois, criticizing President George W. Bush's leadership:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. ... Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

Compare that to
the same Barack Obama in January of 2011 in his role as President of the United States,

asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling, something lawmakers are almost certain to do despite misgivings about the federal debt. The ceiling already has been hiked three times in the past two years, and the House took action earlier this year to raise the ceiling to $13 trillion.Congress has little choice. Failing to raise the cap could lead the nation to default in mid-October, when the debt is expected to exceed its limit, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said. In August, Geithner asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to increase the debt limit as soon as possible.

So why was increasing our debt under President George W. Bush a sign of leadership failure and reckless fiscal policies, but now doing the exact same thing is necessary and prudent?


And why is the media so incredibly silent in reporting this interesting double standard?  Hmmmm.  Quite perplexing, isn't it?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 07 2011

Big news has hit the military world.  China has revealed their much ballyhooed J20 Stealth Fighter.  By all indications it is bigger and faster than what we've got - at least at this point.


Staunch national defense advocates like myself surely find unease in such a development, but Steven Dugger has written a nice blog post focusing on what this all really means.  Yes, we should vigorously fund the development of our new F35 Stealth bomber, but that is actually separate from this concern.


After all, stealths don't fight against each other.  This isn't a case of, "my stealth is bigger than yours so you better make a bigger one."  That type of response is not grounded thinking.  Understanding what we should do next comes from understanding why the Chinese have developed this weapon in the first place.  As Dugger writes,

I deduce that the J20 was designed to penetrate the air defenses of an American Carrier Group and launch missiles that would be powerful enough to cripple or sink the aircraft carrier.  It could also be employed against our E-2 AWAC's aircraft.

Obviously, this could have a fairly detrimental effect on our ability to assist Taiwan against a Chinese "reunification" effort.

So what's the best response?  According to Dugger and other military thinkers, we must continue developing new and better ways to beat stealth technology.  Improve our radar detecting equipment, Aegis, which is already the best in the world:

Aegis will have to be tested against this threat (possibly using F22's as surrogate J20's). Modifications and upgrades to the system will be needed, and should be fully funded by Congress and the President.  Into the future, the United States is going to have to rethink all our air defenses in the face of a brave new world where we no longer enjoy a monopoly on the stealthy killer.

One of the surest lessons of history is that the nation that conquers the next stage of warfare is the country that achieves (or maintains) superpower status.  That's a lesson we have proven to understand in the past.  Hopefully we will prove we still do.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 07 2011

I used to believe talk like this was meant for shock and humor.  After watching her farewell speech as Speaker in the House of Representatives, I'm not so sure.


Pelosi actually said this: "Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us.  It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go."


I'm beside myself.  Every American who is semi-informed should be beside themselves.  This is one of the most ridiculous statements Nancy Pelosi has ever uttered (and considering this is the same woman who said that there would be absolutely no earmarks in the stimulus bill, that ObamaCare would save money, that they were the most ethical Congress in history, that's saying something).


As John Hayward pointed out over at Human Events:

That's just jaw-dropping.  Pelosi presided over the greatest expansion of the national debt in history, and when I say "history," I mean the history of the planet.  Our debt soared from $9 trillion to $14 trillion on her watch.  It swelled by a trillion dollars in just the past seven months.


As for Pay-Go, that ridiculous lie has been debunked so many times that even the press must have been stifling gasps of astonishment.  Does the name "Jim Bunning" ring a bell?  He's the senator from Kentucky who was tarred and feathered for suggesting the Democrats stick to their Pay-Go commitments, when they were bleating that extending unemployment benefits was a super-duper emergency that could not be paid for by cutting a single nickel from our titanic federal budget. 

Precisely.  And please understand I didn't expect much from Ms. Pelosi.  I didn't expect her to actually lament her disastrous policies or recant her positions.  I didn't expect her to announce that the people were obviously not on board with what they did, but that she thought it was what was best.  I didn't expect candor or contriteness.


But good gosh, woman.  Hayward concluded:

This is disturbingly different from the usual spin and rally-the-troops flapdoodle a political leader is expected to shovel out.  Not even the skewed perspective of a Representative-For-Life from a far-left district can explain it.  As John Boehner gently takes the gavel from her hands and backs away slowly, the Democrat minority in the House must face the possibility that their new Minority Leader is insane.

That may not be a joke.  Frightening delusion is clearly a hallmark of Rep. Pelosi.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

How hard is socialism on an economy?  So bad that even the French are starting to see how ruinous it can be.  For decades, there has been a push within our country to adopt an economic model closer to the more socialistic systems in Europe.  While Sweden is often hailed as the utopian ideal, France has been the most strident in implementing socialistic policies. 


They like to tout their ample vacation days (five weeks a year), their workers rights laws (which make it virtually impossible to fire anyone no matter how incompetent they are), their low retirement age (60), and their 35 hour maximum work week.  The American system is just too performance driven, too stressful, and too materialistic.  In other words, the American system is successful. 


While nations like France have enjoyed living off their futures, their economies have consistently lagged behind nations like the United States that have embraced more free market dynamics.  Unfortunately, you can only live off borrowed time so long, and even the French are starting to see that the current economic path is unsustainable. 


Even France's Socialist party is rethinking the 35 hour work week to ease the staggering unemployment rate.  As the social programs are becoming more and more unsustainable, even the French socialists are waking up to the fact that you can't eat if you don't work.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 06:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

Once again our friends at the ACLU along with a willing party in the 9th Court of Appeals continued their march to remove any semblance of our nation's Christian heritage from public consciousness.  The most recent example of idiocy: the Mt. Soledad cross. 


According to the ruling, the presence of this cross at a memorial for war veterans is.wait for establishment of religion.  So, once again the presence of a symbol is interpreted to mean that the government is attempting to force everyone to conform to a Christian dogma.  Right. 


Let's take a quick walk through American history, shall we?


The Anglican Church was the official church of the state of Virginia, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina until 1830, 1846, 1867, 1875, and 1868 respectively.  Likewise, the Congregational Church was the official church of the state of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire until 1833, 1818, and 1877. 


The oath of office for Delaware had the following:


"I _______, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, One God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration."


Pennsylvania had a similar oath. 


Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island required that individuals be member of a denomination of some sort. 


All thirteen colonies had an established state religion or requirement of Christian faith until 1877.  In case you were wondering, the Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788.  This means that either the original thirteen colonies were in violation of the Constitution for eighty-nine years or the understanding of the "establishment clause" in the first amendment has undergone a transformation.  Then again, maybe the same founders who said "Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it" must have meant that a cross at a memorial to fallen soldiers would be a violation of the law of the land. 

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

Who knew that the NFL had so much influence over the American political scene?  The decision of the National Football League to suspend a game a couple weeks ago due to inclement weather in Philadelphia, which prompted Pennsylvania's Democrat Governor Ed Rendell to rip the "wussification" of America, has seemingly instigated a growing discussion over the toughness of our people.


Conservative columnist Dennis Prager tackled the issue recently, suggesting that the NFL decision should not be viewed as stand-alone, but must be considered with other evidence that is mounting that we're no longer the "home of the brave:"

Sadly, this risk-averse/avoid-pain mindset is overtaking America. Anything that entails risk is to be avoided and, when possible, banned. The breast cancer drug Avastin has just been banned by the FDA because of side effect risk to some patients. Yet terminally ill breast cancer patients who understand the risks have begged to be allowed to take the drug (even Europe allows it). Peanuts and peanut butter, particularly good sources of protein for kids (because kids actually like and therefore eat peanuts and peanut butter), are banned in more and more schools because of the risk (which is far less than being killed by lightning) that peanut-allergic students may die in schools that do not ban peanuts. Desperately needed nuclear power plants are shelved because of the infinitesimally small risk of nuclear waste radiation leakage. And now an NFL game is canceled because of the risk that some fans might get into auto accidents in a snowstorm.

Risk aversion is not a hallmark of our country's past.  The Pilgrims were not risk-averse.  The Pioneers were not risk-averse.  The cowboys were not risk-averse.  The suffragettes were not risk-averse.  The states rights' advocates and abolitionists were not risk-averse. 


Our country was built by those who took risks, braved dangers, failed and fell, but persevered.  They were not taken care of, they were not bailed out, they were not given benefits and cushions when they struggled.


But the left has ushered in a new era in America, ingraining it in our national psyche from the courtroom to the schoolroom.  Prager noted this significant point as well:

Needless to say, the liberal Philadelphia Inquirer supported the decision to cancel the football game. And so did some of my callers who think of themselves as conservative. But all those self-identified conservative callers who supported the decision were, I noted on air, under the age of 40.


I explained to them that they have grown up in a different America than I did. The idea of telling an American that a pro football game is canceled because he might drive in bad weather strikes a conservative over 40 as demeaning. But the young have been raised without monkey bars, dodge ball or seesaws, lest they fall and hurt themselves; without "Merry Christmas," lest it offend; protected by parents and schools from experiencing the pain of a loss in sports; being told they are wonderful when they are not; and otherwise weakening them to the point where it seems perfectly natural to cancel a football game because fans may drive in bad weather.

Is this over-thinking a public safety decision to postpone a football game?  Maybe.  But it's hard to argue with Prager's conclusions.  And that doesn't bode well for the land of the free.  Why?  Because without risk, you aren't brave.  And without bravery, you aren't free.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

I'm not sure when Music Television (MTV) stopped playing music.  But at some point, it happened.  That's why flipping by MTV today will land you in the middle of programs like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" - two shows about teenage pregnancy.


Incredibly, those shows are evidently too "life-affirming" for the rabid abortion lobby, who put pressure on MTV to come up with a show that - rather than encourages teens to have their children - demonstrates the normalcy of abortion.


Pro-life columnist Jill Stanek explains the program that emerged from this demand, "No Easy Decision:"

Markai (a teen girl) finds out eight months after having her (first) daughter that she is pregnant again and decides this time to abort. If you haven't watched the special, you can do so on MTV's website.


MTV aired "No Easy Decision" as a half-hour special sans commercials on a Tuesday night at 11:30 p.m., which says how much MTV really wanted to do this. Announcing the special, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "MTV sources say the documentary will tackle all sides of the issue. ..."


So I expected the pro-life position to be fairly represented alongside the pro-abortion position - by educating on the documented harm of abortion to women, describing fetal development at the age of the baby being aborted and offering a counseling session at a pregnancy care center as well as an abortion clinic. I was resigned that Markai would move ahead with her abortion but thought her decision would be fully informed.


None of this came to pass. As it turns out, MTV partnered with the pro-abortion group Exhale to produce the special and linked on its website only to pro-abortion groups like The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Planned Parenthood. Of all the condoms in the world, the show's moderator, Dr. Drew Pinsky (a pro-abortion sex therapist), distributed condoms marketed by Planned Parenthood. Interesting.

Not surprisingly, from Salon to NARAL, the abortion crowd was ecstatic with the show, proclaiming that MTV "nailed it."  Really?


As Stanek went on to point out, what the show really demonstrated to anyone with a conscience was that abortion is something that occurs as the result of desperation, that the abortion movement lies about fetal development and doesn't inform women about everything that occurs with an abortion - including the aftermath, that the contraceptive mentality has proven over 50 years to be a colossal failure.


This makes the abortion crowd happy?  They aren't thinking.  They can't think.  Their minds are too addled and they have taken too many drinks from the poisonous nectar of self-gratifying evil.  They didn't see what everyone else saw, because in the final analysis, Stanek is right.demonstrating just how corrupted they have become,

abortion proponents were simply happy for the kill.


Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

I suppose expecting class from someone as crass as Kathy Griffin.  After all, this is the woman who once told Jesus to "suck it" at an awards show, and who recently got booed by troops when she joked about Bristol Palin being fat.


But this spokeswoman for the supposedly open-minded, tolerant left (and Arbys) has demonstrated how pathetic she really is in a recent story by The Hollywood Reporter:

The comic set a resolution for 2011 -- taking on a new Palin in the new year. "I've already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously," Griffin tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But I think it's Willow's year to go down."


"In 2011 I want to offend a new Palin," she vows.


While the daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is 16, Griffin feels she's fair game, pointing to Palin's widely reported use of homophobic slurs on Facebook in November.


"She's called people a fa---t on Facebook a couple of times," says Griffin. "You don't throw around the f-word without hearing from me about it."

Maybe if Willow would have just offended Christians by telling Jesus to suck it instead of offending those practicing homosexuality by the crude term she used, Kathy would adopt her instead of criticize her.

And that's what becomes the main point here: Willow should not use that kind of language, obviously.  Willow is 16, that's old enough to know better and she should be reprimanded for it.


But how much worse is it for a (reportedly) mature adult woman to make it her personal obsession to attack a 16 year old for verbal indiscretion?  Particularly when that mature adult woman makes a living off of verbal indiscretion!


So is it worth a boycott of Arbys?


I don't like the idea of boycotts because they inevitably hurt people that don't deserve it far more than the people they are designed to hurt (the local Arbys franchise owner and the french fries maker take the brunt while the owner is mainly immune).  But Arbys franchises should be contacted and told that they need to let their corporate offices know that a potty-mouth, childish woman with less maturity than a 16 year old is not a good face for their roast beef.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011

So how do you know when your presidency isn't going well?  When major newspapers are suggesting you make Joe Biden a bigger part of it.  From the Chicago Tribune:

Yet with a new political order in Washington, the success of Obama's presidency hinges more and more on the negotiating skills and political instincts of his No. 2.


Facing a revived Republican Party, the White House is expected to increasingly deploy Biden as a presidential surrogate to find compromises and coax reluctant lawmakers into crossing party lines. Even Biden's penchant for veering off message is being re-evaluated inside the White House as a bridge to ordinary voters who appreciate blunt talk.


The story actually goes on to call Biden an, "all-star player."  This can't be good news for the Obama administration.  Attempting to compile a list of Biden's gaffes and humiliating statements is like trying to number the sands on the seashore.  This man, as others have noted, makes Dan Quayle look like a Rhodes Scholar (with no offense to Mr. Quayle).


So how does the White House attempt to handle what Sarah Palin once called the great crisis feared by the White House - Joe Biden's next speaking engagement?

Inside the White House, aides have developed a special Biden rule. Rather than squirm over the latest Biden gaffe, the administration treats it as plainspoken candor that may appeal to a portion of the electorate that is unmoved by Obama's disciplined, explanatory rhetoric.

Regardless of the brave face and the new strategy of spinning the Veep's embarrassing miscues as pearls of unpolished wisdom, you know that Axelrod, Inc. can't be thrilled that bumbling Joe Biden has become the "linchpin" of the Obama administration.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 05 2011

I recently received an email from a listener who was enraged by my oft-stated hope that Sarah Palin will become the new Oprah.  I should reiterate: I truly believe that Sarah Palin has done an incredible good in transforming our view of the female politician in America.  Prior to Palin, we had the picture of life-destroying malcontents like Hillary, Feinstein, Boxer, et al.  Palin - for all her eccentricities - has inspired a new generation of conservative, family-oriented women to help determine the course of their country's politics.  That's a great thing.


I also believe that Sarah Palin is an incredibly gifted communicator with great charisma.  She can draw in and hold an audience extremely well.  Consider the benefits to a culture where daytime television didn't preach to stay-at-home moms the false teaching of new age spirituality (Oprah) or the acceptability and normalcy of sexual depravity (Ellen), but instead focused on God, Country, Family (Palin).  I'm all for it.


This listener was not:

I can't even imagine having Sarah Palin force her way into my living room on a daily basis.  She can take her goody-two-shoes family back to Nome or wherever and stay where the sun don't shine.  I've had enough of her moralizing and mama grizzly ****.

Very nice.  But more than just a powerfully well-stated analysis, this email made me laugh.  Why, you ask?  For the very reason sarcastically illustrated in this piece by "David Kahane" (the pseudonym used by a conservative writer posing as a liberal to illustrate the absurdity of liberal thought):

But while you're banging away at the wildlife population and then popping their remains in a pot for dinner, you've bequeathed us Bristol, little miss Dancing with the Stars and now the proud owner of some choice Arizona real estate, to carry on the family tradition of driving us nuts.  Listen to me: It's just not right that you Palins are using the trash culture we've so lovingly created against us ? that was meant to inflict Britney Spears on your wingnut families, not to blast us with Bristol. Teenaged unwed mother? Check. Tabloid fodder? Check. Famous for being famous? Check. Normally, we would endorse all those things, just as, in a rational world, we would embrace Mama Grizzly for her "compelling personal narrative," as the Finemans of the media like to call it.


But, of course, we don't. Because we can't. Because to do so would mean the end of our carefully maintained double standard ? and the minute you folks on the right no longer accept your second-class status in the moral pecking order, we are finished.  

I wonder if my emailing friend has ever read the work of Mr. Kahane?  They seem to be cut from the same mold.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 05 2011

It's good to see former MSNBCer David Shuster keeping up the same solid intellectual analysis that predicted Sarah Palin was finished when she resigned from the Alaska governorship.


Shuster, subbing as an overnight radio host on the Jim Bohannon show, made these recent comments:

Shuster claimed "MSNBC will never be as liberal as Fox is conservative," and insisted "MSNBC, CNN, dedicated to a much more sort of basic set of journalistic principles than most of Fox News.".


It's dedicated to a very sharp point of view. Critics of Fox News have pointed out that Fox News does partisan propaganda and there's ample evidence on a daily basis. 

Got it.  Fox News is relentlessly conservative and never offers or allows dissenting opinion from traditional conservative thought be heard (don't tell Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, etc.).


How perfect for Shuster's non-existent credibility that FNC overnight host of Red Eye, Greg Gutfled recently mocked the religious right and other staunch social conservatives on his show: 

They're here, they're queer, and the Family Research Council refuses to get used to it. Nor would the Concerned Women for America, love them. [Laughter] As a result, both groups are refusing to attend the DC-based Conservative Political Action Conference this February, due to the fact the righty group GOProud has been invited, because they're evil sodomites...


Meanwhile, like-minded gay-haters applaud the move. Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality - you know their meetings are shirtless - said 'Shame on CPAC for defending the absurd proposition that one can be 'conservative' while embracing moral surrender." Oddly, he said that while shaving his chest. Yes.


Later, Gutfeld yucked it up with guest Bill Schulz that Christian conservatives "are absolutely gay," themselves, and their self-loathing is what causes them to oppose homosexuality. 


And he kept up the anti-Christian conservative theme with another guest, Fox News Channel's Kimberly Guilfoyle (she used to be married to Gavin Newsome, the hard core leftist mayor of San Fran):

GUTFELD: What should CPAC do about these conservative moralists who just can't believe that gays have a right to be there?


GUILFOYLE: Pretend that they never even made a statement about it, honestly, if they address it, they're giving some kind of validity to their position. I think they're being divisive. It's not helpful. They should participate, if they want their voices to be heard, and actually should show up.

Ignoring the idiocy of Gutfeld's position, do you suppose CNN or MSNBC would have a host who criticized those embracing liberal, progressive thought like Fox has hosts like Gutfeld, Guilfoyle, and others?  Nice work, as always, Mr. Shuster.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 05 2011

The state of California has decided to give Thomas Edison a bit quicker boot than the feds have already done.  From Mercury News:

Similar new standards for traditional 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs will go into effect in California over the next few years, with wattages reduced to 53, 43 and 29 respectively.


As of Saturday, what used to be a 100-watt light bulb manufactured and sold in California will have to use 72 watts or less...Californians can start saying goodbye to traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulbs now that the state has become the first in the country to require a new standard for the screw-base bulbs.


Experts say the new rules, which took effect New Year's Day, will save residents money and energy. California is already the nation's leader in energy-efficiency standards.


Touting that it will provide the "same amount of light" (for some reason I seriously doubt that) and will result in great energy savings for the public,

Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the new regulation "a great thing for consumers."

Here's my guess: the bulbs will be a bust.  They won't provide the same amount of light, and frustrated consumers will end up installing two of the bulbs to replace the light lost from their higher-wattage bulbs. 


That will result in double the amount of energy being spent and the impact this "environmentally friendly" legislation will have on the environment will end up being negative.


But if I'm wrong...if these bulbs really are so wonderful, why wouldn't consumers choose them for themselves?  Why wouldn't the old, inefficient bulbs become obsolete on the market?  Anyone...anyone...Buehler?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 05 2011

The language police are on the loose again, this time protecting the feelings of those who break our immigration laws:

The Diversity Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is undertaking an educational campaign against the term "illegal immigrant," seeking to inform reporters that the term "illegal immigrant" is "offensive" to Latinos...


"SPJ's Diversity Committee met during the 2010 convention in Las Vegas and decided to engage in a yearlong educational campaign designed to inform and sensitize journalists as to the best language to use when writing and reporting on undocumented immigrants," wrote Leo Laurence (SPJ Diversity Committeman).


Now, before you start believing this is yet another example of the left's unrelenting and ceaseless crusade of political correctness, the SPJDC chairman informs us otherwise:

The ?Quill' article also quotes SPJ Diversity Committee chairman George Daniels as saying the move, "is not about being politically correct," but is about aiming to "'minimize harm' when we report."

Got that?  This isn't political correctness and its idiotic commitment to softening our language.  No this is just attempt to minimize harm by softening our language.


Oh, and if you're wondering on what grounds the SPJDC takes this action, it's the Constitution of course:

In his article, Laurence also made a constitutional argument against the term 'illegal immigrant', "One of the most basic of our constitutional rights is that everyone (including non-citizens) is innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law," wrote Laurence. "That's guaranteed under the Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution." 


"Simply put, only a judge, not a journalist, can say that someone is an illegal," Laurence adds.

I would point out to Mr. Laurence that the Constitutional rights against the accused apply in the legal courtroom and not, obviously, the courtroom of public opinion. 


I would point out to him that far from being a defender of Constitutional rights, his commitment to political correctness is destroying the First Amendment's protection of speech and press.


I would tell him that if an immigrant is illegal, the appropriate term is "illegal immigrant." 


I would say all that, but I haven't run it through the Peter Heck Show diversity committee speech guide yet and certainly wouldn't want to cause any undo harm to Mr. Laurence's feelings.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

My immediate reaction to yesterday's headlines about a Navy Commanding Officer making inappropriate videos was, "Why would anyone with such responsibility do anything like this, especially given the current environment of military service and open homosexuality?" I could not imagine any responsible officer making this kind of mistake.


Turns out I was partially right. In spite of the headlines trumpeting otherwise, the videos were made and shown in 2006 and 2007. Current headlines make it sound as if the creation and showing of the videos had just been done.


So the inquisition begins. Policymakers sympathetic to the pro-homosexual agenda are making it extremely clear that they are not going to abolish criticism about homosexuality and homosexuals going forward; as this incident reveals, they are going to seek out past criticism and punish the "offenders."


From what I know of the video in question, I would probably not have enjoyed it. After all, I don't enjoy the expansion of vulgarity into prime time "comedies" and late night talk shows. As an Executive Officer of a nuclear powered carrier, Captain Honors should have been preventing such behavior. Some type of reprimand would have probably been appropriate.


Nevertheless, why is Captain Honors being hounded for vulgar, juvenile humor that we can find on almost any given night on our televisions at home? The answer is obvious: pro-homosexual policymakers are going to create the environment in which every service member will have to acknowledge in some fashion that homosexual behavior is completely legitimate and acceptable. When the final barriers to the military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" are removed, pro-homosexual policymakers will have the forum they need to literally mandate the active acceptance of homosexuality. As I have written previously, I fully expect a total assault upon the military Chaplain Corps over this issue in the very near future. It will probably happen more quickly and more ferociously than I currently imagine.


Once the pro-homosexual policymakers have strong-armed the Armed Forces into purging any opposition to homosexuality, they will have a powerful platform upon which to launch their assault on ordinary citizens who, for whatever the reason, consider homosexuality an improper and even dangerous behavior.
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 04:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

"Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not going to cause any problems in the military."  In case you were convinced by that nonsense, consider this letter, sent from an Army lieutenant colonel recently submitted:

Subject: Request for Relief from Command due to Personal Moral Conflict with New Homosexual Policy

1. I respectfully request to be relieved of Command of XXX Squadron, XXX Cavalry prior to new policy implementation subsequent to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." My personal religious beliefs and moral convictions do not permit me to treat homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, compatible with military service, any more than adultery, illicit drug use, or criminal activity. I believe this lifestyle runs counter to good order and discipline in military units, and I refuse to sacrifice my belief system, protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, in order to fall in line with the command policy that will logically follow. This new policy will undoubtedly include mandatory sensitivity training as well as same-sex partner inclusion in Family Readiness Group activities and integration into the full spectrum of other military benefits, as well as a whole new category of discrimination standards and investigative procedures. I will not, as a commander, put my signature on a training schedule or other document recognizing or legitimizing any of these things that contradict my personal beliefs.

2. I would like to remain in the XXX Army National Guard until I am eligible for retirement (at 20 years and 0 days), which would be in the late summer of 2012, but on grounds of my religious beliefs, I will not attend sensitivity or behavior modification training consequential to this policy change, even if it means disciplinary action. I regret that I cannot continue to serve in the military further, but feel that my efforts would be insincere because my heart will no longer be in it."

Oh, but it's just one backwards, mean-spirited, intolerant officer, right?  I mean the Pentagon "survey" wasn't just a politically coordinated stunt show to help Obama push through a campaign promise to the radical sexual anarchists.  Yeah...

The officer said he's aware of other officers who intend to resign their commissions...


"Very few soldiers are fine with open homosexuals in the service," said the officer. "I cannot believe the numbers jibe with what was published in the previous survey," referring to a study commissioned by the Pentagon to assess whether the military could safely repeal DADT.

It appears that perhaps the only portion of the Pentagon's survey that was worth paying attention to was the portion that Congressional Democrats chose not to pay attention to.  It was the section that outlined potential recruitment and numbers problems for our military following the repeal:

"I think it might not have an immediate, huge impact, but as enlistments expire you'll get people who vote with their feet and leave the service, and I don't believe the recruiting effort is going to offset the amount of people that leave. The military historically attracts a more conservative group of people who have certain principles and beliefs and swear an oath to the Constitution."


As previously reported by WND, some experts predict as many as a quarter of Americans in military service will resign or leave earlier than planned because of the advent of open homosexuality. Nearly half of the Marine Corps respondents to the Pentagon survey said they would consider leaving the service earlier than planned.

Of course this is probably just some loony tune officer, right?  Given time I think we'll see the loony tunes are the ones who decided it was a good idea to conduct social experiments on our military.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:03 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

Wanting to ensure that he ended his disastrous tenure as Governor in one final blaze of incompetence and shame, Governor Schwarzenegger hit the jackpot:

In his final night before leaving office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence of the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez who had pleaded guilty to taking part in the slaying of a college student.


Schwarzenegger announced the move in a batch of eleventh-hour press releases e-mailed to reporters...


...Fabian Nuñez, a Democrat, grew close to the governor while speaker. The two worked together to pass the state's landmark global warming law, which was a signature achievement of Schwarzenegger's time in office. Fabian Nuñez is a business partner of the governor's chief political advisor at the consulting firm Mercury Public Affairs.



"We are totally outraged," said Fred Santos, the father of Luis Santos. "For the governor to wait until the last day in hopes it would fly under the radar is an absolute injustice."


Santos, a software engineer in Concord in Northern California, said Esteban Nuñez "had already gotten lucky once" when prosecutors accepted a plea bargain that allowed him to avoid standing trial on murder charges, which could have led to a life sentence.


He said the family was not warned about the impending commutation and learned about it Sunday from reporters.

I think this is the type of trash that President Obama once called, "politics as usual."  Pretty amazing that the Governator gave a speech at the Republican National Convention back in 2004 in which he referred to Democrats as "girlie men."


Yeah, Arnold, not even having the guts to place a call to the victim's family that you were going to be devastating with your back-scratching sell-out doesn't exactly qualify you as a man's man.


Though Jerry Brown will undoubtedly be a repeat disaster, at least we can say goodbye and good riddance to one of California's worst.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

This is the status of the liberal mind.  If you wonder why the Tea Party rages about fidelity to the Constitution, this is it.  If you wonder why conservatives accuse the left of having no regard for the Constitution, this is it.  If you wonder why those of us on the right oppose the appointment of liberals to the courts of our country, this is it.


Watch the video.


Mainstream liberal columnist Ezra Klein tells us that the Constitution is "over 100 years old" (geez man, try 223) and thus, doesn't make sense anymore.



This is honestly how far gone the left is.  They feel no shame in announcing that they feel no obligation to be governed by the limitations prescribed by the Constitution because, well, they're! 


Yes, some of us recognize that the age of our system actually shows its wisdom.  We find it a remarkable demonstration of the foresight of our Founders that they crafted such an impressive, durable system.  But Klein and his ilk totally miss that.


They see the Constitution as an obstacle and will look for any reason to dismiss it and the limitations it places upon government power - the religion of the left.


Doug Powers notes that Saul Alinsky is over 100 years old, but Klein doesn't seem to have any problem relating to him.  Exactly.  It's not the age of the text, it's the constraint of the text that Klein and the left don't like.


That's how someone like Klein can support the "wisdom" of a 2,000 page healthcare monstrosity that no one legitimately understood and/or yet understands.  But those 7,000 words of the Constitution are just too confusing.  Pathetic.


Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 04 2011

It appears that Republicans are moving forward with their plans (and campaign promise to America) to vote on repealing ObamaCare early in the legislative session.  The Democrats have already prepared their defense. 


Obama will proclaim this to be nothing but a political stunt, and - if he acknowledges the vote at all - will suggest that he is hopeful that the Republicans got that out of their system and are ready to move on with doing the actual business of the people.


The New York Times is already laying the groundwork to carry the left's water in this strategy:

Soon after the 112th Congress convenes Wednesday, Republicans in the House plan to make good on a campaign promise that helped vault many new members to victory: voting to repeal President Obama's health care overhaul.


The vote, which Republican leaders pledged would occur before the president's State of the Union address later this month, is intended both to appeal to the Tea Party-influenced factions of the House Republican base and to emphasize the muscle of the new party in power. But it could also produce an unintended consequence: a chance for Democrats once again to try their case in support of the health care overhaul before the American public.


Democrats, who in many cases looked on the law as a rabid beast best avoided in the fall elections, are reversing course, gearing up for a coordinated all-out effort to preserve and defend it. Under the law, they say, consumers are already receiving tangible benefits that Republicans would snatch away.


House Democrats will get help from allies in the Senate, who can stop any repeal, and at the White House, where officials hope to transform the law from a political liability into an asset, a centerpiece of President Obama's expected bid for re-election.

A centerpiece?  Republicans should welcome this with open arms.  They must confront this strategy head-on by telling Mr. Obama that they are doing the work of the people by voting on undoing his disastrous "centerpiece" that Americans didn't want in the first place.


And they should re-vote, and re-vote, and re-vote...each time picking off wayward Democrats who do not want 58 confirmation votes of the ObamaCare nightmare on their record when 2012 rolls around.


Yes, this first repeal vote will be symbolic because it, most likely, won't clear the Senate, and even if it does is sure to be vetoed.  But repeated votes to repeal, accompanied by the new horrors ObamaCare is producing every week must be the strategy for Republicans.  And as the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate crumbles the foundation of ObamaCare.and 2012 looms larger and larger on the horizon, Democrats will start jumping ship.


All it takes is Republican backbone and persistence - and based on past practice, that may prove to be the biggest question mark.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

The start of a new year is always the time we talk about looking to the future.  And listening to the chattering class, you might be tempted to believe that the future is bleak.  Sure there are significant challenges that face us as a people: our breakdown in morality, the subsequent cultural problems that are facilitated by the demise of the family, debt, recession, conflict. 


Add to that the ceaseless talk about how we have entered "China's century."  The idea that the dominance of the United States has waned and we are on the cusp of becoming a second tier nation surrounds us.  To put it bluntly, though our problems are immense, that fear is bunk.


One of my favorite columnists, Victor Davis Hanson reminds us in a recent piece that we have been hearing this doom and gloom for a century.


First it was the rise of communism that would topple the unfairness of Western capitalism.


When that didn't work out, it was Japan's collective capitalism that would replace the individualism of America.


When that hit the skids it was the rise of the European Union and the socialized democracies that would dominate the less sophisticated cowboys of America.


As that has collapsed before our eyes, we're now hearing all about the economic robustness of China and its massive population base.


Hanson offers the needed sanity:

Amid all this doom and gloom, two factors are constant over the decades. First, America goes through periodic bouts of neurotic self-doubt, only to wake up and snap out of it. Indeed, indebted Americans are already bracing for fiscal restraint and parsimony as an antidote to past profligacy.


Second, decline is relative and does not occur in a vacuum. As Western economic and scientific values ripple out from Europe and the United States, it is understandable that developing countries like China, India, and Brazil can catapult right into the 21st century. But that said, national strength is still measured by the underlying hardiness of the patient ? its demography, culture, and institutions ? rather than by occasional symptoms of ill health.

Maybe it's time to quit the panic and spend our time focusing on what has made us so successful.  As Hanson reminds us:

The American Constitution has been tested over 223 years. In contrast, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea have constitutional pedigrees of not much more than 60 years.


In short, a nation's health is gauged not by bouts of recession and self-doubt, but by the durability of its political, economic, military, and social foundations. A temporarily ill-seeming America is nevertheless still growing, stable, multiethnic, transparent, individualistic, self-critical, and meritocratic; almost all of its apparently healthy rivals, by contrast, are not.

It's a great time to be an American.  Let's see to it that in this new year, that continues well into the future.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

She snuck it in there at the very end.  Katie Couric's recent remarks on her web show about us needing a "Muslim version of The Cosby Show" have to rank up as among the dumbest of 2010.  With her best "I'm a serious thinker" look, Couric lamented:

I also think sort of the chasm, between, or the bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn't enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong -- and so disappointing.

This comment was foolish enough on its own.  The idea that opposition to the Ground Zero mosque was predicated on seething hatred is just stupid.  There's no other word for it, really.  Stupid.


Further, notice that Katie does not appear concerned with the seething hatred so many in the Muslim world feel towards us, or anyone that doesn't share their theocratic designs.  That hatred explodes - literally - in marketplaces, subway stations, and schools around the world.  And it is being preached right here inside the United States.  But Katie is more "disappointed" in the reasonable fear and anger directed towards an ideology that breeds such hatred.


Katie Couric has completely inverted vision.  She sees the world upside down.  But as if this wasn't bad enough, she then proposed her grand solution that is so pathetic it's downright hilarious:

Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.  I know that sounds crazy, I know that sounds crazy. But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don't understand.

Imagining what it must be like to think like Katie Couric and her ilk is a frightening prospect.  So vapid.  So clueless.  So backwards.  So sad.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

One of the most influential conservatives in the country is Brent Bozell, the head of the Media Research Center which has spawned Newsbusters,, and several other conservative media outlets.


Few conservatives have a firmer grasp on the culture war, and thus few are in a better position to declare the winners and losers of that arena in 2010.  Here's a look at some of Bozell's choices:

Winner: Tim Tebow. The quarterback's heart-warming pro-life ad with his mother during the Super Bowl was so winning, and so un-political, you could see why CBS would allow it.

Losers: The radical feminists who protested this ad as a vicious sermon without seeing it. How embarrassing. Let's add Chicago-based sports marketer John Rowady, who sneered Tebow was ruining his career in Advertising Age magazine: "His promotion of his ?belief system' has built a perception throughout the league that he has a long way to mature from a business perspective, especially in the fast lane of the NFL."

On a personal note, this was one of my favorite stories of 2010.  The furor that arose when it became public that Tebow would appear in a pro-life ad sponsored by Focus on the Family was immense.  ESPN radio hosts - shockingly unfamiliar with Focus, calling them nothing less than a "hate group" - blasted Tebow saying it would ruin his image.


The ad was so well done, tasteful and hopeful that the only people it shamed were the ones who should be shamed - the derelicts who find celebrating and protecting the gift of life something to protest.

Winner: Sandra Bullock. Defying the Hollywood odds, she won an Oscar for her heartfelt portrayal of Leigh Ann Touhy, whose Memphis family adopted a black teen named Michael Oher and loved him into college and then a starting job with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Critics hated the film, but America loved it. One reviewer found it "contrived, storybook-sweet, credulity-straining and -- um, true."

Loser: Fox's "Family Guy" is always looking for a new low in sick jokes. They found one when baby Stewie and his dog Brian were accidentally locked in a bank vault. The baby orders the dog to eat the contents of his diaper. When the dog actually eats the baby feces, the baby vomits, and then says "Got some dessert for you." The dog then eats the vomit. The dog also licked the baby's rear end clean, so Stewie could boast to the otherwise empty vault that the dog "French-kissed my bottom clean."

Classy, isn't it?  For years, Hollywood has operated under the assumption that the only humor and entertainment that will sell is that which is disgusting or sex based.  Their own depravity blinds them to what is patently obvious.  As Bozell illustrates:

Studio heads were shocked again by surprise hits like the remake of "The Karate Kid," which grossed more than $175 million. None of the top 15 movies received an "R" rating. Six of the top 15 movies were animated, and at number one in box-office receipts (with more than $415 million) was G-rated "Toy Story 3." A St. Petersburg Times critic suggested it wasn't just the best film of the summer, it could be Best Picture of 2010. Quality doesn't have to equal perversity.

Children are good at nagging and dragging their parents to the cineplex. Someone in Tinseltown should just wake up and smell the popcorn.


I think their sense of smell has been permanently damaged courtesy of the smut they've been surrounding themselves with for a generation.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

One of the most encouraging new faces to see in Washington, D.C. courtesy of the 2010 midterm elections is conservative Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  He's been called the conservative Obama.  Meaning he is young and charismatic, but actually thinks his country is, well...the best. 


For reasons that truly do elude me, so many folks on the left maintain a self-loathing about the United States that causes them to not only feel obligated to apologize for and being embarrassed about our success and prosperity, but also bristle whenever their fellow countrymen laud and heap praise upon America.


Believing the United States is the greatest civilization in the history of the world isn't being's being rational.  It doesn't mean we're means we've been the best at eliminating our faults in pursuit of a more perfect union.


And for those who find it offensive to give the United States the label "greatest ever," Rich Lowry's recent column did a nice job of asking, "then who is?"


Is Spain the greatest ever? It had a nice run a couple of hundred years ago based on plundering the New World of its gold and silver. By 1800, it was one of the poorest countries in Europe. Today, it teeters on bankruptcy.


Is France? Its model of centralizing monarchy in the 17th century was extremely influential, and admirable ? if you like elaborate court ritual, religious persecution and expansionistic wars.



Russia? By the beginning of the 20th century, a decrepit autocracy sat atop a mass of misery. Then, things went south. The communists murdered and enslaved many millions across seven decades. Russia remains an important, if vastly diminished, power, governed by a prickly, grasping kleptocracy.


Lowry's piece is a challenge to those who would downplay or diminish the magnificent and unparalleled contributions made by the United States to the world.  Who is better?


The lesson from this reality isn't to be content in our success and rest on our laurels.  It's to recognize our greatness came from a refusal to do so, and an undying pursuit of freedom tempered by responsibility.  No one has done it better than us...let's celebrate that and then recommit to turning that legacy into a destiny.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:15 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
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