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Thursday, March 31 2011

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Not too long ago, I covered a story on the program about a Muslim math teacher, Safoorah Khan, who had - in the early days of her career - requested that her school let her go on the Hajj (a Muslim pilgrimage) for nearly 4 school weeks (19 days).  The school, quite logically, told her no.  Though this would make sense to anyone living in the world of rationality, Barack Obama's Department of Justice decided to intervene.


 

In their eyes, this was clearly a discriminatory action on the part of the school.  For perspective, let me ask how you think my school would react if I asked to leave for a month's worth of teaching days to go "walk where Jesus walked."  While they might admire my interest and request, it's pretty much a forgone conclusion that the answer would be no.  Do you suppose that Attorney General Eric Holder would have swooped in to defend me against my discriminatory administration?  Exactly.

 

Don't get me wrong, there is a great deal of discriminatory, racially-motivated, and prejudicial activity going on here.  It's just the exact opposite of the way it's being portrayed.  A group of school administrators are being publicly maligned by the U.S. government because of that government's obsession with fanning the flames of racial and religious discord.  The prejudicial ones are the ones bringing the lawsuit - attempting to tarnish people's reputation for their own political purposes.  Disgusting.

 

For proof, simply look at what the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Thomas Perez had to say about why the department took the case:

Thomas Perez said the division was pursuing the case in order to address "a real head wind of intolerance against Muslim communities," and protect "the religious liberty that our forefathers came to this country for."

What a bunch of uninformed, unprincipled, pandering gobbledygook.  The House Judiciary Committee in 1853 did a pretty good job of explaining what our Founders meant when they talked about "religious liberty."  Mr. Meacham reported:

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect [denomination]. Any attempt to level and discard all religion would have been viewed with universal indignation. The object was not to substitute Judaism or Mohammedism, or infidelity, but to prevent rivalry among the [Christian] sects to the exclusion of others. 

Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 6, 8.

So spare me all the pandering nonsense about how our founding documents demanded that Islam be granted special rights and privileges not granted to all other religions in the country simply because they are a minority.


 

But, back to my original point about where the racism/discrimination really exists, notice what Todd Gaziano of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission noticed about Mr. Perez's statement:

"The suit can only serve that purpose if the school board's action was motivated by intolerance against Muslims, but DOJ has provided no evidence of that," Gaziano said. "To publicly defame school board officials as religious bigots without any evidence is a serious abuse and leads credence to the allegation that DOJ's suit was brought merely to pander to a particular political constituency."

Pander indeed.  Call this "slander to pander."  More:

"[H]ere is a case where the DOJ is seeking a religious accommodation (three weeks) that has never been sought before. No court has ever allowed a 19 day leave for a religious accommodation," former Civil Rights attorney J. Christian Adams told TheDC. "What about the ?facts and law' in this case? Everyone knows the answer ? it's pure politics. Holder pushes the boundaries of the law to protect a favored political constituency, Muslims, while placing a thumb on the scale of justice in the other direction to justify the dismissal of a case against black panthers that abandons law abiding white victims. It is rank biased rot."

"Rank biased rot."  Perhaps no words better describe the so-called Justice Department under the leadership of Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 31 2011

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As Spring Break arrives for millions of Americans, it's an opportunity to get away for a week - away from school, away from work, away from the stresses of a staggering economy - and enjoy family, friends and warm weather.

 

So what else would expect at that time of year from the big-government statists of the left than something like this:

A new Congressional Budget Office study says taxing motorists based on the number of miles they drive would be a fair and "efficient" way to charge motorists for the real cost of using the nation's highways. "Vehicle-miles traveled" taxes (or VMT taxes) also would provide a strong incentive for people to drive less.


 

...

 

While raising fuel taxes would bring in more money, the CBO notes that a "fundamental" problem would remain: "By themselves, fuel taxes cannot provide a strong incentive for people to avoid overusing highways," the report said.

 

On the other hand, VMT taxes would have most motorists paying "substantially more than they do now -- perhaps several times more," the report said. "Such a system would maximize the efficiency of highway use by discouraging trips for which costs exceed benefits."

That's right: a proposal that the government needs to start taxing people for how much they drive.  This has been the environmentalist far left's dream for some time now, so it's no surprise to see it being discussed during the administration farther to the left than nearly any other in American history.

 

So how would Big Brother keep track of all your miles?  Would it be the honor system like tips?  No, no - that's not nearly Orwellian or intrusive enough.

As for the costs of establishing and operating a nationwide VMT tax, CBO admitted that its estimates are "rough." Metering equipment would have to be installed in all cars and trucks, perhaps "under a mandate to vehicle manufacturers."

I tell you what: if you want to make the case for a mileage tax by suggesting it is similar to the consumption/sales tax that conservatives favor over income taxes, fair enough.  But before we even start discussing it, you first offer up as a sacrifice all the gasoline taxes, income taxes, and a massive chunk of Congressional discretionary spending.  Then we'll talk.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, March 31 2011

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If I were a vain man - one for whom earthly success and prosperity was all that mattered - I would have become a liberal LONG ago.  Why, you ask?  I could be a star.  I don't mean to be presumptuous or egotistical.  I'm just being realistic.

 

Here's what I mean: if all I cared about was making a ton of money and getting noticed and becoming popular, I would never choose to be a conservative thinker, commentator or writer.  Because as a conservative, I am surrounded by outstanding thinkers and polished, articulate, reasoned minds.  Attempting to find a new angle to approach from, a better way of saying things, a more unique perspective to provide in order to get my thoughts and ideas noticed is an incredibly difficult task. 

 

That's just not the way it is on the left.  I'm not being rude, but I could be a star on the left.  How can I say something like that?  One reason: Ed Schultz. 

 

 

The fact that this man has a syndicated radio program, has a television show and writes op-eds on one of the left's most "prestigious" blogs (Huffington Post), is a clear indication to me that it just can't be that hard for someone of average intelligence, simple wit and modest speaking skills to become a liberal rockstar.

 

Consider the most recent evidence:

Unleashing the bellicosity that's been kept corked since MSNBC put the kibosh on his "Psycho Talk" segments, Ed Schultz has weighed in at The Huffington Post in an op-ed titled "Why I Support President Obama's Decision to Invade Libya."

Psst, Ed -- we haven't invaded Libya, at least not yet.

 

...

 

Schultz writes at HuffPo that after nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan and eight years in Iraq, "I think many of us have war fatigue. I think we all deserve clarity on this issue. However, it's important to note, President Obama explained this won't be a long-term operation. Matter of days, not a matter of weeks. Not even months."

 

...

 

Republicans, Schultz writes, "are hammering the president not because he is not invading the entire Middle East, but because he's not doing it the way they would want to do it.'" (italics in original).

Wow, talk about getting tied up in nots. As for those shadowy Republicans who want to invade "the entire Middle East" -- insert frantic Maddow hand-waving here -- Schultz cites exactly none.

"This president, President Obama, has made his choice," Schultz writes. "And it is his leadership. He inherited Iraq. He inherited Afghanistan. And now, he has made a decision to invade Libya."

The notion of a complex sentence, no less a complex thought is totally lost on this man.  And the fact that a man who opposed our involvement in Iraq could possibly attempt to justify our involvement in Libya (refer to my previous comments on the comparison here), is evidence that Schultz is the worst kind of partisan drone.  But he's a partisan drone that makes a lot of money because, frankly, it's about the best the left has to offer.

 

Think of what I could be if only I didn't care about principles.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 31 2011

In the not-too-distant past, quagmire was the journalist's word du jur. Decisions to intervene militarily in Afghanistan and Iraq were met with derision and opposition. "Quagmire! Quagmire!" the mantra went as images of the Vietnam era were replayed again.

 

Return now to today's world. Suddenly, it has become difficult to find those hippie retreads that were incessantly emblazoned on Big Media news channels a mere handful of years ago. Warnings about a new quagmire have not disappeared altogether, but they are not as persistently popular as before.

 


Perhaps they should be. Follow the basic steps of our evolving involvement in
Vietnam and Southeast Asia under Democrat Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Now compare that with our rapidly escalating involvement in Libya. It is particularly disheartening to note that in both periods of history, America was and is forced into supporting enemies of freedom. Not a pleasant situation, to be sure.

 

It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that as we head into the Libyan quagmire, any notion about transparency in this administration that Mr. Obama declared as a presidential candidate was for campaign purposes only and is not to be taken seriously in the real world.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 30 2011

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Honestly, at this point a lot has been said about our little excursion into Libya.  But I think there's one question that needs to be more thoroughly discussed: why now?  Seriously.  Why did Qaddafi need to go now?  Why not back when he was - without question - far more of a threat to us and a greater enemy of humanity than he is now?

 

I previously referenced that great Mark Steyn piece that asked why we no longer win wars.  In that same column, Steyn made this very point I'm talking about:

Libya, in that sense, is a classic post-nationalist, post-modern military intervention: As in Kosovo, we're do-gooders in a land with no good guys. But, unlike Kosovo, not only is there no strategic national interest in what we're doing, the intended result is likely to be explicitly at odds with U.S. interests. A quarter-century back, Qaddafi was blowing American airliners out of the sky and murdering British policewomen: That was the time to drop a bomb on him. But we didn't. Everyone from the government of Scotland (releasing the "terminally ill" Lockerbie bomber, now miraculously restored to health) to Mariah Carey and Beyoncé (with their million-dollar-a-gig Qaddafi party nights) did deals with the Colonel.

 

 

Now suddenly he's got to go - in favor of "freedom-loving" "democrats" from Benghazi. That would be in eastern Libya - which, according to West Point's Counter Terrorism Center, has sent per capita the highest number of foreign jihadists to Iraq. Perhaps now that so many Libyan jihadists are in Iraq, the Libyans left in Libya are all Swedes in waiting. But perhaps not. If we lack, as we do in Afghanistan, the cultural confidence to wean those we liberate from their less attractive pathologies, we might at least think twice before actively facilitating them.

The answer our current administration seems to be giving to this perplexing question is that it is supporting this spreading movement of "freedom" in the Islamic world (sounds a little George Bushish, don't you think?).  If that's the case, then maybe it's time to realize exactly what kind of message we're sending to the Middle East and other would-be theocratic nuts.

 

Steyn writes brilliantly:

Alternatively, suppose Qaddafi winds up hanging from a lamppost in his favorite party dress. If you're a Third World dictator, what lessons would you draw? Qaddafi was the thug who came in from the cold, the one who (in the wake of Saddam's fall) renounced his nuclear program and was supposedly rehabilitated in the chancelleries of the West. He was "a strong partner in the war on terrorism," according to U.S. diplomats. And what did Washington do? They overthrew him anyway.

 

The blood-soaked butcher next door in Sudan is the first head of state to be charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, but nobody's planning on toppling him. Iran's going nuclear with impunity, but Obama sends fraternal greetings to the "Supreme Leader" of the "Islamic Republic." North Korea is more or less openly trading as the one-stop bargain-basement for all your nuke needs, and we're standing idly by. But the one cooperative dictator's getting million-dollar-a-pop cruise missiles lobbed in his tent all night long. If you were the average Third World loon, which role model makes most sense? Colonel Cooperative in Tripoli? Or Ayatollah Death-to-the-Great-Satan in Tehran? America is teaching the lesson that the best way to avoid the attentions of whimsical "liberal interventionists" is to get yourself an easily affordable nuclear program from Pyongyang or anywhere else as soon as possible.


In other words, if this administration is really in control of what's going on in Libya, we are sending a tragic message to the Middle East.  If, as I suspect, they are mindlessly hacking their way through another foreign policy nightmare, perhaps someone could advise the president to appoint an adult to his war brain trust to point out the incongruity and dangerous consequences our involvement may be breeding.

 

2012 can't get here soon enough.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 30 2011

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I've often said that the reason so many on the left feel as though Fox News has a right-wing bias is because they've never seen the conservative perspective given a hearing before.  When every other news agency covers stories from the left, the inclusion of a conservative view is going to stick out like a sore thumb.


 

Obviously there have been multiple surveys and studies commissioned that prove that Fox's slogan of "we report, you decide" is more accurate for them than any other news agency in the business.  But every so often, there are pieces of anecdotal evidence of that truth that surface that are worth highlighting.

Take Chris Wallace's interview of Newt Gingrich on last Sunday's "Fox News Sunday."  The veteran anchor brought up an issue that you wouldn't think someone in the tank for the right would bring up.  Namely, Gingrich's past marital infidelity. 

 

By comparison, think back on the 2008 presidential campaign when virtually every media outlet in the business categorically refused to vet Barack Obama.  No one would ask him about his radical associations, his pro-socialist writings and statements, his refusal to produce a birth certificate.  Only when the blogosphere forced their hand did they cover the Jeremiah Wright friendship, and even then it was done in a defensive, "we are embarrassed that we even have to ask you this" kind of way.

 

Unlike those shills, Wallace courageously waded into the major issue that will haunt Gingrich should he seriously mount a presidential campaign.  And Gingrich did his best to explain that he'd moved on.  But there's a problem that can't be ignored for Newt.  Carol Platt Liebau correctly identified it:

Gingrich is a brilliant guy -- with plenty of good ideas.  But the problem with his presidential run was exemplified by the interview.  The fact that his cheating (on two wives) needed to be discussed is the precise reason why his presidential campaign is a poor idea.

 

Even setting the morality of his past behavior completely aside, the strategic fact is that every minute spent discussing Gingrich's personal behavior (as Democrats would inevitably do throughout a presidential campaign) is a moment that can't be spent discussing policy, the direction of the country, and President Obama's dismal record.

 

When President Clinton's disgraceful and wrong personal behavior was an issue, at least we were in an era of peace and prosperity, where distractions like serial adultery didn't intrude on discussions of crises, pending and present.  Now they do.

I would add the sad, but true reality that moral failings simply are not as big of a problem for Democrats.  Conservatives who preach traditional, Christian moral values as a benefit to our culture, are harpooned when they fail to live up to those values.  Democrats have found a way around that inconvenient pitfall: simply hold to no moral standards.  In a shocking commentary on the state of our culture, that strategy has been somewhat effective for the left.

 

Liebau went on:

No doubt, as Speaker Gingrich says, he has sought forgiveness and reconciliation for his past wrongdoing.  No doubt he is a bold and original thinker.  Probably, at 67, he has changed his ways (although who can be sure?).

 

But oftentimes, self-indulgence -- even in the past, over-and-done-with -- has a price.  And that price may be that past behavior is simply too much of a distraction in serious times to render one a serious candidate for President.

She's right.  Yes, Newt can seek forgiveness.  And those who he wronged are commanded by Christ to forgive him.  But forgiveness doesn't mean that there aren't still consequences - some devastating - that come from the failing.  Sometimes that's severed relationships.  Sometimes it's the alienation of children.  Sometimes it's jail time.  Sometimes it's loss of money.  And sometimes, it's loss of the presidency.

 

That may seem rash to Newt and to his most ardent supporters.  But it's no one's fault but his own.  After all, if you can willfully deceive and betray the person closest to you - the person you claim to love more than any other - twice, can you be surprised if people assume you could do the same to people you've never met...like voters?

 

Sorry, Newt.  You may be a brilliant guy.  You need to keep leading and sharing ideas.  But you are a fatally flawed presidential candidate.  And yes, liberals...Fox News pointed it out.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 30 2011

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Reading a recent analysis by Tim Graham about the Associated Press' coverage of the abortion debate got me thinking.  Obviously we are seeing that the most significant consequences of the epic big-government overreach of the Obamabots have been the revolutionary changes that have taken place in state legislatures around the country.  While most politicos focused on Congressional changes, the most lasting impact may well be felt in the states.

 

One of those impacts is in the area of the protection of human life.  As Graham reported, the AP isn't thrilled about that, and they lack the journalistic integrity to keep their bias on the sidelines:

A conservative wave election can lead to a wave of conservative legislation, like limitations on abortion. But for the Associated Press (the Abortion Press?), the wave of opinion remains firmly on the left. A David Crary story on Wednesday slanted its quotes 7 to 2 against the conservative position and the "threat" it represents. The Washington Post Express tabloid perfectly expressed the article's tone: "Anti-Abortion Onslaught," it read in large black type. It was "conservatives" vs. a pile of "abortion rights activists."


 

...

 

Crary offered two soundbites to Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee. Speaking against her was seven quotes from Nash, Sussman, Donna Crane of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Stephanie Kunkel and Jill June of Planned Parenthood.

The legacy media must be overcome in this battle just like their masters on the left.  We must rightfully regard them as what they are: modern day defenders of their slave-supporting progenitors of old.  What was once being denied to black Americans on account of their skin color is now being denied to Americans of all colors on account of their "inconvenience." 

 

And just as there were despicable news outlets that trumpeted injustice in old days, calling themselves pro-choice (to own a slave), there are a great number who carry on that pathetic tradition today.  Graham also noted,

In the Post Express story, there were only four abortion advocates quoted from AP, leaving the impression Crary only called one side. But Balch was quoted in a large text box alongside Crary of NARAL. It was the "cover story" on Wednesday, with large capitalized letters of "ROE V. WADE" full of cracks. The subtitle was "A barrage of state legislation is chipping away at abortion rights."

In terms of the cracked "Roe v. Wade" headline, the truth is that even its most tireless defenders have always recognized the incompetence and weakness of Roe.  It has survived only on the back of purely emotional-based politicization, rather than sound legal footing.  But don't miss the subtitle, as it's the most instructive.  Such a statement intentionally assumes the existence of something as nonsensical as "abortion rights."  The truth is that those "rights" only exist in the universe where morality and natural law do not - the same universe where "slave owning rights" exist as well.

 

A new day is coming in America, and the AP is on the wrong side of this issue.  As a consequence, they are going down with a ship that will have them forever remembered as apologists for the deprivation of human rights.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2011

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I've added this column to my list of archived favorites.  The ever-witty Mark Steyn has penned a great piece asking a pointed, but important question: why does the United States no longer win wars?  We fight them.  We spend on them.  We commit large amounts of troops, time and treasure on them.  But we just don't win them anymore.  We don't lose them.  But we don't win them.


 

Instead, we Americans have been subjected to a 60 year pattern of inconclusive outcomes in conflicts that we have engaged.  Steyn writes:

American forces have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for a decade: Doesn't that seem like a long time for a non-colonial power to be spending hacking its way through the worthless terrain of a Third World dump? If the object is to kill terrorists, might there not be some slicker way of doing it? And, if the object is something else entirely, mightn't it be nice to know what it is? 

An uncomfortable, but seemingly pivotal question that deserves an answer, don't you think.  I also appreciate that Steyn explains that while Americans have prided themselves on being a "non-colonial," "non-imperialist" power unlike Britain that used its superpower status years ago to keep peace by maintaining a global empire, we might not want to brag too much:

I use the word "non-colonial" intentionally. I am by temperament and upbringing an old-school imperialist: There are arguments to be made for being on the other side of the world for decades on end if you're claiming it as sovereign territory and rebuilding it in your image, as the British did in India, Belize, Mauritius, the Solomon Islands, you name it. Likewise, there are arguments to be made for saying sorry, we're a constitutional republic, we don't do empire. But there's not a lot to be said for forswearing imperialism and even modest cultural assertiveness, and still spending ten years getting shot up in Afghanistan helping to create, bankroll, and protect a so-called justice system that puts a man on death row for converting to Christianity.

Obama boasts that, "It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally."  That's a bizarre statement at best, remarkably alarming at worst.  Steyn puts it this way:

The United States is responsible for 43 percent of the planet's military spending. So how come it doesn't feel like that? It's not merely that "our military is being volunteered by others," but that Washington has been happy to volunteer it as the de facto expeditionary force for the "international community." Sometimes U.S. troops sail under U.N. colors, sometimes NATO's, and now in Libya even the Arab League's. Either way, it makes little difference: America provides most of the money, men, and materiel. All that changes is the transnational figleaf.


 

But lost along the way is hard-headed, strategic calculation of the national interest. "They won't come back till it's over/Over there!" sang George M. Cohan as the doughboys marched off in 1917. It was all over 20 minutes later and then they came back. Now it's never over over there ? not in Korea, not in Kuwait, not in Kosovo, not in Kandahar. Next stop Kufra? America has swapped The Art of War for the Hotel California: We psychologically check out, but we never leave.

That's perhaps the most astute analysis of our recent military forays than anything I've read or heard.  And it's the fault of both Republican and Democrat administrations.  It seems that America needs to have the courage to address some serious questions:

 

1. Should we use our power to usher in a Pax Americana or to maintain a fierce peacetime isolation? 

 

2. Are we content to let our citizens and interests worldwide be subject to potential disaster or should we station our military strength in every corner of the globe to respond at a minute's notice? 

 

3. Is our military to be used as a monstrous fighting force that decimates its enemies and accomplishes clear goals with a ruthless efficiency, or as a strategic diplomatic agency to enforce international resolutions, extend American goodwill, and when necessary act as a global police force? 

 

Those are questions that people on both sides are currently pretending that everyone else agrees with them on.  And that reality best explains why we don't seem to be in the business of winning wars anymore.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2011

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I really enjoy it when folks on the left characterize individuals or associations I like as "polarizing."  I've always found this to be one of the most inconsequential and ultimately meaningless characterizations in the current American political lexicon. 

 

Obviously if you are someone on the left - say like Katie Couric (or anyone in the mainstream American press), Sarah Palin is going to be "polarizing."  Likewise, if you are Sarah Palin, then someone like Katie Couric would be polarizing.  And why?  Because they hold or espouse views that are polar opposite of yours. 


 

The same goes for "controversial."  Obviously what Chris Matthews finds controversial, is probably something I'm going to agree with.  That reality apparently hasn't set in for folks on the left like Senator Chuck Schumer, who still operates from the perspective that if he characterizes a group as "controversial," he has automatically crippled its legitimacy.  Quite the contrary, he's given it a badge of honor for those who believe Schumer is controversial.

 

Such is the case with his recent declaration that the Family Research Council is "controversial" for their desire to strip Planned Parenthood of their tax subsidies.  He even took it a step farther, labeling them as "right-wing."  Given that he is so far out on the left wing that anything remotely close to the fuselage would look far right, that attack loses its bite as well.

 

In responding to this accusation, FRC's Robert Morrison responded this way:

I'm reminded of the time Heritage President Ed Feulner went to Moscow, right after the collapse of communism.  He was approached by an elderly Russian lady who thanked him for all that the Heritage Foundation had done during the Cold War.  Feulner asked her how she could know anything good about the Heritage Foundation he heads.  The pages of Pravda and Izvestia were controlled by the Communist Party and never contained anything but the most hateful denunciations of that flagship conservative organization.

 

"That's how we knew you were good," the Russian lady said.  "If the party didn't like you, you had to be good."

There's wisdom in her logic.  Getting attacked by Sen. Schumer is actually good news.

The truth is that there are many of us who find Schumer and his ilk quite controversial.  In fact, we believe that their suggestions, beliefs and ideas are far more concerning than our own.  No one should be surprised that we feel that way.  We think he's controversial, he thinks we are.  So what gives? 


 

Well, here's an idea, Chuck: instead of relying on labels and dismissive branding of our opponents to try to win public support, let's state our opposing positions and beliefs in front of the American people and let them decide which is more "controversial" in their eyes.


Is it more controversial to advocate the funding of an organization that kills more than 300,000 American children a year, or to oppose it?

 

Why do I think Chuck will just stick to the label game?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2011

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He writes his column from Ann Landers old desk.  His name, Dan Savage.and he's one pretty messed up dude.  But you wouldn't know that if you watched Yunji de Nies' hype-segment the other night on ABC's Nightline.

 

While de Nies puffed him as a hard-working, if brash, columnist who works to help people make their relationships work, she didn't bother to mention some of the other "details" of his work:

Nightline's Yunji de Nies on Thursday offered a laudatory segment on the sex columnist Dan Savage. She has previouisly fawned on Twitter that the writer/activist was "hilarious." De Nies offered almost no mention of the outrageous statements Savage has made, including referring to Antonin Scalia as a "c-ksucker" and once asserting, "F-k John McCain."


The only hint about the radical nature of Savage came when de Nies explained, "Savage doesn't hide his politics. He famously went after Republican Rick Santorum after the former senator compared homosexuality to bestiality. Savage responded by calling on his fan base to redefine the word Santorum online."

Instead of pressing the syndicated gay columnist about his remarks, she blandly wondered, "Have you had a chance to talk to [Santorum] personally?...Do you have any interest in engaging with him on this?"

 

Amazingly, de Nies didn't even ask Savage about his now infamous 2000 Salon column where he recounted an attempt to "give [then-presidential candidate] Gary Bauer the flu":

 

Naked, feverish and higher than a kite on codeine aspirin, I called the Bauer campaign and volunteered. My plan? Get close enough to Bauer to give him the flu, which, if I am successful, will lay him flat just before the New Hampshire primary. ...

I went from doorknob to doorknob. They were filthy, no doubt, but there wasn't time to find a rag to spit on. My immune system wasn't all it should be ? I was in the grip of the worst flu I had ever had ? but I was on a mission. If for some reason I didn't manage to get a pen from my mouth to Gary's hands, I wanted to seed his office with germs, get as many of his people sick as I could, and hopefully one of them would infect the candidate.
 

When asked on Twitter by the MRC's Tim Graham about Savage telling a Christian "f--k your feelings" or calling their children "bigoted little monsters," de Nies solemnly replied, "He didn't say those things to me - he was quite charming & sincere. Hopefully you can see the intv & judge then."

And this is a man who gets a national television feature?  Do I need to even ask if a conservative columnist who used similar tactics and terminology towards liberals would get similar treatment?


This is the new morality taught by the left and their media minions.  Someone who teaches traditional male-female, nuclear family settings are best for society is a dangerous and controversial radical who must be marginalized for the sake of our children.  But a guy who participates freely in sexual depravity, willingly subjects a child to that lifestyle, uses offensive, sexually explicit language when criticizing his political opponents, demonizes God-fearing Christians with impunity...he's "hilarious," and worthy of a glowing feature on one of America's broadcast television networks.

 

I believe the phrase goes, "Woe to those who call evil good."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

 

They sold us a lemon.  They being the media and the lemon being President Obama.  And they are fully aware of that reality.  That's precisely why they are - like any unscrupulous used car salesman - going out of their way to explain why the machine they got us to buy isn't defective...and why what we REALLY need is to just buy this one more piece of merchandise (elect him one more time) and it will all purr like a kitten.

 

In fact, I propose that Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer all don brown suede pants and a checkered plaid jacket for the upcoming election cycle just to make it feel more realistic.  Not that they are alone in their pathetic attempts to cover over Obama's epic failures with increasingly asinine excuses.


 

Take the National Journal's Ronald Brownstein, who recently took up the difficult task of explaining why Obama looks like a disengaged, egotistical know-nothing on the economy and foreign policy:

Whether he is confronting the turmoil reshaping the Middle East or the escalating budget wars in Washington, Obama most often uses a common set of strategies to pursue his goals. Those strategies have less in common with Kennedy's inspirational, public-oriented leadership than with the muted, indirect, and targeted Eisenhower model that political scientist Fred Greenstein memorably described as a "hidden hand" presidency.

Ah yes, he's been JFK, Reagan, FDR, and Lincoln.let's throw Ike in there too.  All in an effort to avoid the painfully obvious comparison to his real clone: Jimmy Carter.  Brownstein continued:

This approach has allowed Obama to achieve many of his domestic and international aims-from passing the health reform legislation that marked its stormy first anniversary this week to encouraging Egypt's peaceful transfer of power. But, like it did for Eisenhower, this style has exposed Obama to charges of passivity, indecisiveness, and leading from behind. The pattern has left even some of his supporters uncertain whether he is shrewd-or timid.

Correction: Ron, that last sentence should have read this way - "The pattern has left even some of his supporters uncertain how they can spin his timidity and staggering confusion as shrewdness.how am I doing?"  And the answer to that question would have been "poorly, and insanely transparent."


 

Ron saved the best for last:

On most issues, Obama has consciously chosen not to make himself the fulcrum. He has identified broad goals but has generally allowed others to take the public lead, waited until the debate has substantially coalesced, and only then announced a clear, visible stand meant to solidify consensus. He appears to believe he can most often exert maximum leverage toward the end of any process-an implicit rejection of the belief that a president's greatest asset is his ability to define the choices for the country (and the world).

Brownstein lost anyone intellectually serious from the opening sentence.  When has Obama ever tried to avoid making himself the center of attention?  He didn't earn the nickname "narcissist-in-chief" for no reason.  And does anyone honestly think that had George W. Bush limited himself to articulating "broad goals," let others "take the public lead," and only after everyone else coalesced around a conclusion made a decision as to what to do, Brownstein would have defended him as shrewd and thoughtful?

 

Think only of Hurricane Katrina and you have your answer.  Brownstein's valiant effort is nothing but an intellectually vapid pile of manure.  As blogger Rosslyn Smith put it, about the only thing Obama has in common with Eisenhower is the golf.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 28 2011

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We don't have a mission.  We don't want to be considered in charge.  We don't have any real discernable goals.  We don't have an end objective.  We don't have any clear command structure.  But, the President assures us, we are making progress.

 

From the Washington Post:

"We're succeeding in our mission," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address one week after the first foreign bombs and missiles hit the air defenses of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

 

With Gaddafi's troops on the defensive and a no-fly zone firmly in place, the United States is prepared to transfer responsibility for military operations to NATO under the agreement approved by alliance members late Thursday, Obama said.

 

"This is how the international community should work: more nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding peace and security," he said.


What poppycock.  As Rick Moran
explains:

If the "mission" is to try and make NATO responsible for what is clearly a US-led military operation then we are indeed, making good progress toward that goal. What good it will do us is an entirely different question because we won't get any credit if things turn out halfway decently and we will get all the blame if, as is probable, Libya degenerates into the mother of all humanitarian crisis.

 

More to the point, Obama is talking about the vague, contradictory, and confusing goals of the mission. This begs another question; how can you measure "progress" when the endgame isn't even known? As far as Obama knows, we might be light years from making enough "progress" to end the mission.

This actually is a microcosm of the problem that embodies the entire progressive movement.  Any motion, any action, any change, anything is considered progress...even if it's (in the case of our economy) going in the wrong direction or (in the case of Libya) going in no real direction at all.

 

The most progress our civilization would make is by putting conservatives in the driver's seat and consigning these progressives to the backseat.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 28 2011

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Several who are involved in the pro-family cause will be familiar with J. Matt Barber.  Barber is the Director of Cultural Affairs for Liberty Counsel and serves as a Dean at Liberty University.  Barber has been intricately involved in defending the First Amendment and the rights of conscience from those on the left who have declared war on our constitutional and cultural heritage.

On Monday's show, Peter welcomed Mr. Barber onto the program for a discussion about the left's agenda and how it threatens the rights of Christians, as well as his first-hand take on one of the more dangerous organizations in the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 28 2011

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There's about to be a circus hit Washington, D.C.  Honestly, based on what we've seen for the last couple years, that shouldn't come as a surprise.  But this one is especially ridiculous.

 

Following Rep. Peter King's hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America, Senator Dick Durbin has decided it's time for another set of hearings from a slightly different angle:

"Our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion for all Americans," Durbin said.  "During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter's commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights."

 

This sounds pretty good.  We need to watch out for this stuff.  Durbin is undoubtedly referring to Christian businessmen and women who are being denied their right to conscience as our government prosecutes "discrimination" against homosexuals and cross-dressers, right?  Or maybe he's referring to the ongoing intolerance towards Jews?  After all, the Washington Times just reported:

"[I]n 2009, the latest FBI statistics available, anti-Islamic hate crimes accounted for 9.3 percent of the 1,376 religiously motivated hate crimes recorded. That's far less than the 70.1 percent that were anti-Jewish."

So these Durbin hearings will address the real victims of intolerance, right?  Obviously not.  This is going to be a dog-and-pony show where Durbin and the useful idiots of the left will trot out every Muslim victimhood claim they can find and paint a totally skewed picture of reality.  Their purpose is purely political and opportunist.  Their result will be to diminish the very serious concerns that we should be voicing and illuminating:

Muslims are freer in this country than in any other country in the world, and frankly, no one gives a fig what they worship. The problem arose when thousands were slaughtered in the name of Allah and for the glory of jihad.

 

We are entitled to our lives, Mr. Durbin. We are entitled to our security, Mr. Durbin. We are entitled to keep our babies safe, Mr. Durbin.

 

That is all.

The author of those remarks, Pamela Geller has done a great deal of work investigating and unmasking the danger of radical Islam in America.  And she has been labeled, maligned, attacked and threatened repeatedly for her work.  If anyone's rights need to be defended, it's those of people like Geller. 

 

In terms of hearings on Muslim rights, Geller has a suggestion:

Frankly, I might agree with a hearing on "Muslim rights" if it addressed the increasing surrender of secular law to Islamic law, and the assertion of Islamic supremacy over the rights of all others. We need hearings on the Florida circuit court judge who just ruled that a case be decided according to Sharia law. We need hearings on the special rights being afforded Muslims at the expense of everyone else. We need hearings on the Obama Justice Department's suing a school district for not allowing a Muslim woman to take nearly three weeks off during the school year to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

 

We need hearings on taxpayer dollars being used to fund Islamic finance (thereby funding jihad and prohibition on whole American business sectors). We need hearings on the violation of the separation of mosque and state in the public schools, in the workplace, in the courtroom and in foreign policy. We need hearings on the violation of the Constitution in regards to Muslims ? no longer are equal rights sufficient, now it's special rights for a very extra special class, Muslims.

For some reason, I don't think we'll see Mr. Durbin recommending such hearings.  And that says all that needs to be said about his (and the left's) commitment to keeping you, your rights, and your freedoms safe from those who threaten them.  They prefer the self-congratulating, look-how-tolerant-I-am circus routines.  Feel safe?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 27 2011

Sometimes the purpose of this AFA of Indiana weekly email is simply to provide information that I believe is not widely in the media coverage of an issue at hand that week. Tomorrow, I will be at the legislature to observe what the Senate Judiciary Committee decides to do with the Marriage Protection Amendment (HJR 6). Assuming that the measure passes out of committee and on to the full floor for amendments and a final vote, the following perspective may be helpful as the far left rallies against allowing Hoosiers to vote on this measure in 2014.

The news stories I mentioned last week have begun to circulate on blogs and the Internet. A couple of Indiana CEO's opposed to protecting marriage have also signed onto an editorial perpetuating the false notion that House Joint Resolution 6 impacts private corporation policies or Indiana's economic health.


A handful of corporate CEO's in Indiana have hung their hats on defeating the Marriage Protection Amendment (HJR 6) by claiming that the "perception" given by protecting our current marriage law between only a man and a woman with a state amendment would somehow hurt their businesses. In the midst of the worst economy since the 1930's this scare tactic has seemed to hit a nerve with the media and some legislators.

So, in the words of Joe Friday of 1950's TV detective show Dragnet, it is time to say, "Just the facts Ma'am."

Rather than listening to a couple of politically driven corporate executives, why not look to a much broader, less biased, source? Chief Executive.net, the Internet arm of Chief Executive Magazine surveyed not merely five executives with big name companies in Indiana, but 543 CEO's all across the nation. They were asked to evaluate their states on a broad range of issues including workforce quality and living environment, something these business opponents of HJR 6 are quick to bring up.

The Chief Executive Officers ranked their states in terms of best and worst for business environment and job growth. Not one of the top five states has same-sex marriage. In fact, four of the five best business states have passed marriage amendments, with the fifth state's legislature among those currently considering an amendment. The very worst, lowest rated states for job growth and business were states that are far more socially liberal than Indiana such as New York, New Jersey, California and Massachusetts - the first state to allow same-sex marriage.

Three of the five best-rated states by CEO Magazine are also ones which Cummins Engine has corporate operations. Cummins also has filtration plants and parts distribution centers in the two Midwest states with amendments that are exactly identical to HJR 6.

Facts trumping "perception" don't stop with CEO Magazine. A study of the per capita personal income PCPI of all 50 states also finds that not one of the top ten states in personal income growth over the last decade have same-sex marriage or civil unions. The fact that eight of them have marriage amendments also debunks the "creative class" pro-homosexual business arguments. In fact, the two states without amendments, Wyoming and West Virginia, are ones considering marriage protection amendments.

The US Chamber of Commerce also took a look at economic environments of the fifty states from 2000-2007. They used a criterion of Gross State Product (GSP), which involves job growth rates and job income. Three of the Chamber's top five job growth and personal employee income states have Marriage Protection Amendments. None of the top five have embraced same-sex marriage or civil unions.


This may be why the Wall Street Journal described Richard Florida's book, "The Rise of the Creative Class" which began this line of thinking several years ago in corporations as "a New Age theory amounting to economic snake oil."

Let's hope that the Indiana Senate places facts above perceptions and passes HJR 6 just as it has been implemented without legal or private sector business problems in other states. Thankfully, my friend Maggie Gallagher, author and President of the National Organization for Marriage is weighing in with these stats in an outstanding editorial. She has sent it to various state and national media outlets for consideration. I delivered it to the members of the Indiana Senate this morning. You can read Maggie's excellent article here.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 26 2011

On March 22nd, it was day 31 of the legislative walkout at the Indiana House of Representatives. This is significant in that it breaks a record for being the longest state legislative walkout in US history breaking a 30-day Texas record.

It is hardly a record of honor however. The shutdown has impacted hundreds of bills and is threatening even the constitutional requirement of passing a budget and the redrawing of legislative districts. This morning as I entered the State House, hundreds of union workers were once again filing into the capitol with signs, banners, horns and whistles.

The House Republicans are trying to resurrect old laws going back to the reconstruction era that make it a minor crime to leave your elected duties. When asked by the South Bend Tribune for a reaction to this effort to bring back the AWOL House Democrats and to prevent this kind of shutdown from happening again, Minority leader Patrick Bauer said it was a distraction from the issues.


I wonder if the voters will see it as just a distraction in 2012. That seems to be the question many are asking. Will the voters remember the shutdown? If so, will they reward this behavior or hold it accountable with how they vote for State Representative next time around?

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 25 2011

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Beautiful Falmouth, Massachusetts recently added something to its gorgeous topography: a massive wind turbine.  Given that the residents are large proponents of such Obamaesque alternative energy, they chose not to complain at its massive stature and relative eyesorish qualities.

 

But while they accepted the eyesore, the earsore was simply too much:

Wind One is the 400-foot-tall wind turbine owned by the town of Falmouth, on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod.  The residents of Falmouth initially welcomed Wind One as a symbol of green energy and a handy way to keep local taxes down.  Electricity generated by the turbine would be used to power the municipality's infrastructure, thus shaving about $400,000 a year off its utility costs.

Installed in the spring of 2010 at a cost of $5.1 million (with some $3 million derived through grants, government kickbacks, and credits), the huge turbine cranks out 1.65 megawatts of electricity during optimum conditions.

...

 

But as soon as her majesty was switched on, residents began to complain?Wind One was as loud as an old Soviet helicopter.

Neil Anderson lives a quarter of a mile from the turbine.  He's an avid supporter of alternative energy, having owned and operated a passive solar company on Cape Cod for the past 25 years.  "It is dangerous," he told WGBH in Boston.  "Headaches.  Loss of sleep.  And the ringing in my ears never goes away.  I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me . but it's way too close."

So what did these alternative-energy loving folks decide to do?  Sue, of course:

Tired of the constant chopping sound, pained residents decided to lawyer up.  This month a deal was struck with the town to disengage the turbine when winds exceed 23 miles an hour. 

Seems like a fair compromise, right?  The residents don't get headaches from the turbine, but the investment company still gets to save the planet by taking people off of their unholy reliance on fossil fuels, right?  Not so much:

This is problematic because giant windmills such as Wind One operate at optimum efficiency at about 30 miles an hour.

So now Falmouth's investment has taken a hit.  According to Gerald Potamis, who runs the wastewater facility, shutting off the turbine during higher winds will cost the town $173,000 in annual revenue, because now they'll have to rely more on natural gas.

Okay, so let's get this straight: a community invests in a wind turbine to please the environmental gods...in order to maximize efficiency the turbine has to be cranked up in top wind speeds...the residents don't like the sound...they order the turbine slowed...thus, the turbine can't produce the type of energy it was originally built to produce...and the town turns back to fossil fuels with the added bonus of having a giant windmill standing still in high winds.

 

A perfect depiction of the dead end road Mr. Obama and the left want to lead us down in terms of energy.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 25 2011

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On the heals of the Starbucks CEO turning against ObamaCare because of its cumbersome and oppressive requirements on business (hmmm...seems like some folks were pointing that out before the bill was made law if I remember correctly), we now get this news about one of ObamaCare's most vociferous Congressional defenders:

Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City.

 

Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city's special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense. Weiner is one of the health care law's biggest supporters.

Unbelievable.  Remember when Tea Party types were hollering about wanting every Congressman who voted for the bill to be required to live under its mandates and not be exempt?  Well it seems they should have also demanded that all of the friends and associates of Democrats be required to live under its mandates too. 


 

Because there have been over 1,000 waivers granted to Obama's friends.and apparently even the law's most ardent defenders are demanding more.  And maybe the worst part is that they have no shame about it.  Consider what Weiner bragged about:

"The administration needs to make this argument more forcefully," he said. "A lot of people who got waivers were ... people who are our friends."

Precisely!  Those who got these Democrats elected, supported them by smearing Tea Partiers and concerned Americans, and championed their freedom-denying legislation are all getting exempted from their legislative triumph.  Meanwhile, everyone who knew how disastrous the bill was going to be - and tried to get the entire country exempt from its calamitous effects - are the ones being stuck with it.

 

In defending his pursuit of a waiver, Weiner managed to not choke on the irony of his words when he stated,

"I'm just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny."

Control over one's own destiny.  Now there's a novel idea, Mr. Weiner.  Too bad you, Obama, and your cohorts on the left decided to deny that to all of us peons.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 25 2011

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We've been told for months now from the Obama administration that the economy is recovering.  Yet despite this reassurance, you'd be hard pressed to find too many people who say, "Yep, things are looking up again!  My income is starting to grow, we're starting to be able to take risks as well as put some money into savings."  In other words, the recovery may be happening (very slowly) on paper, but most folks are quietly preparing for the second wave of recession.

 

Unemployment remains entirely too high.  Government spending remains astronomically uncontrolled.  And while all that has been grabbing headlines, food prices have risen to all time highs, pinching the family budget even more.


 

But perhaps the most menacing reality of all is what is occurring with gas prices.  Most folks are probably still under the sweet delusion that this is just a temporary spike in prices that will slip back down to reasonable levels once the world crises in Japan, Libya and the Middle East subside.  That's a pipe dream so long as we have this administration.

 

The editors at Human Events explain why:

Our economy is just beginning to feel the choking grasp of soaring fuel prices around its throat. Growth requires motion and motion requires energy. The cost of energy is tied into the cost of virtually everything else. and our dependence on foreign energy sources puts us at the mercy of long, oily tentacles that reach back into the most unstable parts of the world.

This dependence is the predictable result of deliberate policies, from locking private industry out of Alaskan oil fields, to hounding oil rigs away from the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these policies have been pursued in defiance of court orders, so they cannot be dismissed as momentary lapses in judgment.

Indeed they cannot.  And that's what Americans must be made to realize.  The current situations in the world should not be causing the type of increase in pump prices and heating prices that we are experiencing.  The fact that we are isn't the result of greedy oil companies.  It's the result of intentional governmental policies that are using the current crises as a scapegoat to accomplish precisely what they're meant to accomplish.

The Obama Administration is intentionally choking the life out of America's dynamic, highly mobile economy. All of the "alternative energy" fantasies it sustains with taxpayer money share the common feature of reducing choice and freedom. Solar panels produce energy when it's sunny outside. Wind turbines provide power when nature sees fit to provide wind. Electric cars can be driven only short distances, after the owner completes a cumbersome recharging procedure. "High speed rail" is nowhere near as fast or convenient as personal automobile use or air travel.

All of these "alternative solutions" would move America to a lower level of energy, in which citizens would spend a great deal more time waiting instead of doing. This reduced level of activity would be much simpler for statists to manage.

Everything becomes more valuable when its supply is limited. Rationing a limited supply of motion would bring great power to the masters of Big Government. Increasing the price of everything limits the consumption of everything. For both practical and ideological reasons, President Obama and the Democrats see reduced consumption as a virtue, at least for the "little people."

That Mr. Obama is anti-business is a given.  That he is pro-big government is obvious.  Making the connection between those realities and what is occurring at the gas pump is something that liberty loving Americans need to accomplish.  Conservatives within the Republican Party need to lead them to this logical, if frightening conclusion.

 

That's our only hope for making the necessary correction in 2012 that will set our economy on a path to recovery.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 25 2011

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On Friday's show, Peter hosted Indiana State Senator Jim Buck for a conversation about action (or lack thereof) in Indianapolis after the Democrats unprecedented walkout.


 

The two talked about the important pieces of legislation that are in jeopardy because of the stunt, as well as what this temper-tantrum means for the future of the state and the democratic process in general.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, March 24 2011

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There's a long list of names for the Republicans as they begin to anticipate the 2012 presidential primaries.  Amongst the headliners like Romney, Palin and Gingrich, there are the lesser-knowns, but potentially formidable candidates like Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty.


Though I've made my own thoughts on the candidacy of Mitch Daniels pretty well known, I do think it's interesting to consider what kind of strategy could potentially help him make a serious run for the nomination.  Tony Lee has written such an assessment, and I think it's a good one.

 

Of Daniels best hope, he writes:

If Mitch Daniels wanted a truce on social issues, the best way to have done so would have been to say nothing at all.  The toothpaste is out of the tube now, so Daniels has to be careful that he is not perceived by the primary electorate as someone, like John McCain in 2000, who thinks of social conservatives as "agents of intolerance."  Daniels is far from giving off this perception, as he has repeatedly said that the "truce" is just a tactic he thinks is imperative for the GOP to win and conquer the country's mounting debt crisis.


Daniels should take two steps going forward.  First, he should emphasize repeatedly what he means by the "truce" and invoke Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's landslide win in 2009, in which he ran on a campaign centered more on jobs than social issues.

Second, Daniels needs a "red meat" issue, not just for the primary but to ensure the core base of GOP supporters does not stay at home should he run and actually win the nomination.  The best bet for Daniels here would be to embrace an issue that puts him squarely in favor of assimilation and Americanism.  Take a tough stand against the radicalization of Islam.  Or come out in favor of advocating policies that promote English proficiency or cut off funding, in the spirit of reducing the debt, to ethnic studies programs.  Come out firmly against multiculturalism the ways British Prime Minister David Cameron did.  Such issues of "Americanism" also play very well under the surface with the very independent voters that will likely be his core base of supporters.

And Pawlenty?  I thought this was interesting:

Pawlenty is the candidate who least offends any coalition.  He is also the candidate that lacks a fervent group of supporters.  Right now, it seems as if his best shot at the nomination will be if voters find him to be the least offensive candidate to nominate after not getting excited by any other candidate.

There are two paths Pawlenty can take to potentially to break out of the pack.

Pawlenty is trying to establish himself as Mr. Fix-it, someone who can advocate practical conservative solutions to today's problems.  So here's an idea:  Embrace a form of legalized gambling that is partly-regulated (practical and softens up the policy for evangelicals who may be opposed in principle), will allow states to lower their deficits (fiscally conservative), and will appeal to the more libertarian streak of younger voters.  In addition, because of his more than solid credibility among evangelical voters, he can perhaps afford to take such a gamble that others may not be able to.


Or, Pawlenty should ensure that his hard work on the campaign trail is a symbol of the blue-collar, Sam's Club type of person he is.  Up to now, no candidate has done retail politicking and worked as hard on the ground as Pawlenty.  His campaign should somehow make this hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone approach a more broader symbol of his campaign.

I don't have the misgivings about Pawlenty that I do about Daniels.  Admittedly, that could be because I don't know as much about Pawlenty.  The truth is that the country doesn't know much about either...something these well written strategy briefs could help correct if either wants to make a serious run at the White House.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 24 2011

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This has to be one of the most unbelievable calls the President of the United States has made in recent months (and that's saying something).  Take a look at this, reported by Investors Business Daily:

Energy Policy: While leaving U.S. oil and jobs in the ground, our itinerant president tells a South American neighbor that we'll help it develop its offshore resources so we can one day import its oil. WHAT?!?

Yes, you read that correctly.  On all fronts, this statement is an absolute fail.  In fact, it is difficult to comprehend how no one on the president's staff - no adviser, no speechwriter, no press consultant, no janitor - could figure out how appalling of a declaration this would be to those paying attention back home.  It is either woeful detachment from reality or stunning hubris.


Consider:

Now, with a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off of both coasts, on Alaska's continental shelf and in much of the Gulf of Mexico - and a de facto moratorium covering the rest - Obama tells the Brazilians:

 

"We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."

It is honestly difficult to come up with words to describe how mind-boggling of a statement that is.  The only thing missing from this slap across the face of Americans was for him to don a "Drill, Brazil, Drill!" t-shirt while making this announcement.  As IBD explained:

Obama wants to develop Brazilian offshore oil to help the Brazilian economy create jobs for Brazilian workers while Americans are left unemployed in the face of skyrocketing energy prices by an administration that despises fossil fuels as a threat to the environment and wants to increase our dependency on foreign oil.

It's amateur hour at the White House - and we're paying for it...literally.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 24 2011

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Perhaps I'm going to have to rethink some of my disdain for Starbucks.  Don't get me wrong: I don't have any plans to go in and schmooze with the latte sipping liberals who keep their Evian water bottles slightly chilled as they peruse the New York Times and turn their nose up at all the boorish conservatives who prefer taking their kids to the McDonalds playground across the street (can you tell I've got a bit of an attitude problem about Starbucks?).

 

But I do have to applaud their CEO for having the courage to state the obvious about how terrible ObamaCare is for his business:

We have faced double-digit increases for almost five consecutive years with no end in sight.


 

So, when I was invited to the White House prior to health care being reformed, I was very supportive of the president's plan, primarily because I felt it was literally a fracturing of humanity for almost 50 million Americans not to have health insurance.

 

There's no plan that would be a perfect plan, but the intent of the bill and the heartfelt commitment to insure the uninsured is the right approach. I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.

Speaker of the House John Boehner explains it this way: "ObamaCare is a Venti Job-Crusher."  And as annoying as I find the stupid size names they have at Starbucks, I give him credit for the zinger nonetheless.

 

But Boehner wasn't joking about the seriousness of the claim.  He cited two other recent examples to further the case:

A bowling alley operator based in Bethesda, MD "will reduce its number of full-time workers in order to limit" its exposure to ObamaCare's employer mandate.  The fines the company will have to pay will hamper its ability to expand beyond its six bowling allies.  "We can either continue to grow at a fast rate and create an enormous amount of jobs or we can bear the cost of this health care bill and pay for all this insurance," one company official said. "But we cannot do both."

 

A kitchen and bath designer in Fort Lauderdale, FL will "stay below 50 employees no matter what, because that's the threshold where health care reform's employer mandate kicks in."  The company's president told reporters "he won't be able to afford the kind of coverage" required by ObamaCare.

These may be anecdotal, but when added to the emerging titanic list of similar testimonies, they become evidence of exactly what we knew ObamaCare was going to be.  The solution?  Boehner nails it:

Employers shouldn't have to choose between creating jobs that grow our economy and fulfilling mandates that grow the government... Repeal is a chance for us to do better and replace ObamaCare with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect jobs.

There's support for a repeal in Congress.  But not enough.  They need reinforcements in 2012 (as well as a new President to sign repeal into law).

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 24 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

 

Oh boy.  Someone's mouth has gotten them into a bit of a pickle.  When you learn that someone is Vice President Joe Biden, the surprise at such a reality quickly evaporates.  Nevertheless, check out this video.


 

Let me provide the transcript just so you get the full measure of the awkwardness now present in Washington:

And I want to make it clear.  And I made it clear to the President.  That if he takes us into war in Iran without Congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him.  And that's a fact.  That is a fact.  The reason I say it is for all the downsides of Biden, no Republican wonders whether I mean what I say.

How convenient that Barack Obama has provided Mr. Biden the chance to prove - not just to Republicans, but to every American - whether he means what he says.

 

The ball is in your court, Mr. Vice President: are you a man of your word, or a partisan drone?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 24 2011

A recent opinion page in the Kokomo Tribune provided a study in contrasts. One columnist wrote that current health care and pension systems are wasteful. He states that we have been on a "stealth program of socializing medical and retirement benefits, only haphazardly and unfairly." His solution is to openly create the government system which covers everyone's health care and pensions.


 

While this sounds attractive to some, another columnist wrote that it has become too costly for the federal government to fulfill its promises of healthcare coverage to veterans and their families. He suggests that veterans should be required to pay more for these promised benefits. He goes on to suggest that these promised benefits be means tested so that some veterans pay more for them than others. An implication from this is that means testing would eventually lead to the denial of promised benefits to some veterans and their families.  If you are concerned about the erosion of veteran's benefits, I recommend that you contact your Representative and Senators and express your thoughts on the matter.

 

On the one hand, government should be the provider of health care and pensions for every American, but on the other hand, government cannot afford to fulfill its honorable promise to provide health care coverage to veterans and their families. How many citizens will buy into this nonsense before they wake up one morning and discover that the government cannot afford to provide for their promised health care and pension, too? It is exactly this kind of muddled thinking that has gotten America into our current fiscal mess. It is time to apply common sense and return to personal responsibility and sane fiscal policy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 23 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

Apart from the constitutional debate over Obama's authority to act in Libya, there is a credible case that can be made for our action there.  In other words, let's leave aside (for the moment) the question of whether the president should have sought Congressional approval for action (I believe he should have), and just focus on the case for getting involved.

 

Here's the blunt fact: no matter what angle you approach the case for action in Libya, you cannot escape the Obama-credibility-crushing reality that the case is FAR weaker than the case for action in Iraq...something Obama excoriated and based his entire campaign for president on in 2008.

 

 

That to me is a devastating blow to the President.  He has single-handedly destroyed virtually the only ground he stood on in his first campaign.  Think about it.  Mona Charen writes,

Regarding the justifications for war with Iraq, state senator Obama was unpersuaded: "I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. . . . But . . . he poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors."

 

As American forces join the war against Moammar Qaddafi, the nation is entitled to an explanation. How is the case for war against Qaddafi smarter (remember, Obama is only against "dumb" wars) or less "ideological" or more prudent than that for war against Saddam Hussein?

This is what I meant when I said it doesn't matter what angle you approach Obama's case for action from...the case for war in Iraq was stronger.

 

The "threat" angle:

Certainly with an army of only 50,000, Qaddafi represents far less of a threat to his neighbors or to us than did Saddam, who commanded an army estimated at 350,000.

The "humanitarian" angle:

As for humanitarian concerns, what Qaddafi is doing to the rebels in Libya is exactly what Saddam did to his domestic enemies, but on a reduced scale. As Obama himself said, Saddam was "a ruthless man . . . who butchers his own people to secure his power." Yet that didn't justify a war, state senator Obama told us.

The "regional concern" angle:

Senator Obama did not believe that Saddam posed a danger to the United States or to his neighbors ? though he had attacked or invaded three of his neighbors: Iran, Kuwait, and Israel. Yet Qaddafi has hardly ranged beyond his own borders.


The "WMD" angle:

While Obama (like the rest of the world) was convinced that Saddam had "developed chemical and biological weapons" ? and though he knew that Saddam had actually attacked his own people from the air with chemical weapons ? he didn't think that his possession of those weapons warranted war. In Qaddafi's case, there is no threat of WMDs, as the dictator flamboyantly relinquished his WMD program after seeing Saddam's fate.

And then, of course, the "constitutional" angle:

[U]nlike George Bush, who took his case for war to the American people through a vote in the U.S. Congress (with 110 Democrats voting in favor), President Obama has unilaterally put our forces into harm's way based solely on his power as commander-in-chief. (Code Pink, call your office!) If he is relying upon the vote in the United Nations as his mandate for military action, he is establishing a new principle of diminished U.S. sovereignty. American forces can now be ordered into action by the president and the U.N. but without the U.S. Congress?

This is absolutely crushing to President Obama's credibility.  Anyone who bases his entire candidacy - his entire electability - on his opposition to the "dumbness" of the war in Iraq reduces his integrity to a joke by making a case for war in Libya.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 23 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

 

A very amusing thing happened recently that you just can't parody.  After having written a column regarding the fact that homosexual activism is nothing but the most recent manifestation of a larger movement towards breaking down all moral barriers on sexual activity (thus initiating a cultural sexual anarchy), a homosexual activist named Travis Gulbrandson wrote an op-ed to tell everyone how I was wrong:

He [Heck] concludes his column with the warning that when one group seeks to "undefine" (his term) marriage, it will open the door for others and eventually lead to "the legalization of every form of sexual activity, from polygamy to incest to bestiality."

Hogwash.

For starters, the idea that a normal homosexual relationship between two consenting adults could be compared with examples such as these is a grotesque insult to the estimated millions of gay men and women who live in this country. Polygamy, incest and bestiality are all forms of abuse based on the exploitation of a weaker party.


To be honest, I was taken aback at how willing this man was to take such a morally superior position, blasting what he considered the "immorality" of those who practice a different form of sexual expression than himself!  Seems a bit hypocritical, doesn't it?

 

The best part...I wasn't the only one who thought so.  The "Marriage Equality" blog was shocked at his "lack of solidarity," writing:

Is the writer simply uninformed? Many adults have freely consented to and enjoyed polygamous relationships and consanguineous relationships (sometimes, as one in the same), including as marriages. Abuse is not involved.

I believe the word that applies to my original position here is "vindication."

 

Continuing on, the Marriage Equality folks took Gulbrandson to task for his claim that things like polyamory, bestiality and polygamy are "crimes, pure and simple."  They wrote:

In some places, they are. In some places in the US merely a few years ago, same-sex relationships were, too. None of them should be crimes.

Why, oh why, Mr. Gulbrandson, couldn't you have
stood up for full marriage equality and written that child abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence, and rape will still be illegal if we allow adults to marry each other? Instead of throwing other people under the bus, how about calling out the bigots by asking them to explain exactly what is wrong with full marriage equality?

This petition sounds eerily familiar.  Perhaps because in that original column I wrote (that Mr. Gulbrandson thought was so out-of-touch), I argued:

If we remove the current moral guideposts defining marriage as the God-intended union of a man and woman, declaring them to be a violation of the civil rights of those who want to engage in homosexuality, how do we reposition those posts to reject the civil rights claims of polygamists?


 

If we accept the arguments espoused by pop culture homosexual activists like Ellen DeGeneres who plead, "People are gonna be who they're gonna be, and we need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love," how do we rebuff polygamy activists like Marlyne Hammon who say the same?

Despite a great deal of (ironic) moral outrage and pompous posturing on the part of homosexual activists like Mr. Gulbrandson, the answer to that question remains simple: "we don't."   

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 23 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

Additional comments here

 

Sure his foreign policy may be so mangled and garbled he has incurred confused looks and disgusted sighs from allies everywhere, but at least they think it's cool that he's part black!

 

So went a most pathetic piece from the Washington Post on Sunday.  Unable to point to any actual success in "resetting our damaged relations with the rest of the world," the Post decided to go to the race well in a piece called, "Obama's story resonates in racially diverse Brazil."

 

Check out this tidbit:

"In Brazil, we have all kinds of culture, people, and our inner identity comes from black people," said Melo, 47, a drug abuse counselor in City of God, a favela Obama is expected to visit on Sunday. "That's why I think Obama is important for the world, because a poor guy suddenly becomes the most important man in the world." 


Uh...poor?  Perhaps Melo needs to do a little more research into Obama's privileged background.  Interesting and diverse as it may be, it's hardly a rags to riches story.  Nevertheless, the real focus on this piece was how Obama being part black can resonate with the world of people of different skin colors.

 

Actually, that's only possible if those people of the world are as obsessed as the American leftist media with marking success of a leader on the basis of his skin color rather than his accomplishments and merit.  For some reason, I doubt that's the case.  Although there's at least one out there:

T-shirt dealer Dilci Aguiar de Paula, who is black and has worked at the base of Sugar Loaf for 25 years, said she can hardly contain her excitement.

 

"He is a president the whole world likes, a black president," she said. "I would give him a hug. I would tell him he is a good president." 

Black = good.  It's just more of the politics of race from those who supposedly are desirous of a post-racial society.  Hypocrites.  Frauds.

 

The Post's webpage featured a title, "Obama has Brazil swooning over the arrival of a black president."  So we're to be happy because he's got marketable skin pigmentation?  Is that right?

 

And the case for Obama's re-election grows thinner and thinner by the day.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 23 2011

Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)

 

I keep smiling when I hear nervous Democrats criticize the emerging list of Republican presidential hopefuls in 2012.  I smile for a number of reasons, chief among them being that the election of 2012 is going to be - like all presidential reelection campaigns - a national referendum on the incumbent.  That being the case, you understand why I'm smiling.

 

What, pray tell, will the Obama camp be focusing on in this cycle?  His deer-in-the-headlights response to Egypt?  His let's-do-whatever-the-Arab-League-suggests handling of Libya?  Or maybe the what-does-France-think-about-the-nuclear-problems-in-Japan highlight?


 

Ah, so maybe it will be his contributions to domestic policy?  After all, the stimulus really turned things around.  And ObamaCare - the most loved piece of legislation this country's seen since the Alien and Sedition acts!  And let's not even get started on the energy policy.  Even Democratic strategist Doug Schoen sees the problem:

"The combination of rising food and gas prices could pose grave peril to President Obama's re-election," Schoen said in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview. "Not only would it be inflationary, it literally hits people where they live. And we saw with Jimmy Carter in the late '70s the impact of stagflation. If we had a period of stagnant economic growth, inflation and potentially increasing interest rates it could be particularly perilous for our president."

With recent poll numbers showing only 22 percent of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction, there is every reason to believe that the 2012 presidential election will be more competitive than 2008's, said Schoen, a political strategist who has worked for both Clintons.

Sure, Republicans must whittle through their long list of potential nominees and put forth one that is not fatally flawed.  At that point, the biggest enemy Obama will have to face won't be R for Republican, but rather R for reality.  Deprived of hope by foolish policies and bumbling leadership, the American population will likely be ripe for a change.

 

That makes me smile from ear to ear.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 23 2011

David Scheffer, the U.S. ambassador at large for war-crimes issues from 1997-2001, writes:

On Thursday evening the U.N. Security Council hit the right target when it authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as "all necessary measures" against loyalist forces of Moammar Gadhafi... There is little doubt that, in light of his 41-year tyranny and what he has said and done to repress and kill his opponents during the uprising, Gadhafi will commit atrocities against a large portion of the Libyan population if he prevails. His recent pledge to grant amnesty to rebels who disarm is laughable. The same is true if his regime merely survives, crippled but in control of much of Libya. Crimes against humanity, such as extermination, torture, mass rape, enforced disappearances, persecution and other inhumane treatment, probably await the rebels and their families who fall under Gadhafi's power.

Without a doubt, this despotic Libyan ruler is, and has been, a cruel tyrant. Those like Mr. Scheffer who acknowledge this are correct. United Nations (UN) resolutions condemning Gadhafi's tyranny are correct. Gadhafi's (including any of the multiple alternate spellings) tyranny is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.


 

So now head over to the website for the UN Human Rights Council and peruse its listed members. There we find listed as a member of the UN HUMAN RIGHTS Council Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It now has an asterisk in place, which is explained at the bottom of the list: "Suspended by General Assembly Resolution A/65/265 adopted on 1 March 2011."

 

Continue perusing the membership list. Included are Cuba, China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, all without asterisks.

 

Is this a joke!?

 

The "international community" is now ticked off at Gadhafi's antics enough to declare military intervention for the sake of defending its civilian population from atrocities. Columnists and journalists from all sectors of the world are telling us what a terrible tyrant he has been throughout his reign. Yet the UN saw fit to include Libya as one of the members of its HUMAN RIGHTS Council. Moreover, the UN still sees fit to include several other significant tyrannical governments on its HUMAN RIGHTS Council. Pathetic, simply pathetic.

 

The answer to the question is simple and straightforward. Yes, the UN is a joke. A cruel one, to be sure, but a joke nevertheless.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 22 2011

During the 2010 Congressional election cycle, Jackie Walorski became a household names to listeners of the Peter Heck Radio Show.  While her opponent, incumbent Representative Joe Donnelly, has refused to honor his commitment to the listeners of the show and return to the program for a conversation, Jackie is always ready to talk!

 

 

On Tuesday's show, Peter welcomed the former candidate for Congress back into the studio for an exciting announcement about her future plans...she's back!

 

You can hear the audio of the conversation here.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 22 2011

Victor Volsky has written an absolutely marvelous piece at The American Thinker that needs to be read in its entirety.  But for the sake of brevity, let me highlight a couple of key points. 

 

First, Volsky addresses the obvious: the world is going to you-know-where in a hand basket and President Obama seems blissfully content with such an arrangement.  With Japan in crisis, Middle East on fire, skyrocketing debt at home and energy prices escalating rapidly...

Amid all the turmoil,  he discusses an apparently world historical issue of school bullying; honors the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks; delivers a radio address on another all-important subject, "Women's History Month;"  attends a fund-raiser;  goes golfing (that darned weather: it was just too nice for the President to resist the temptation of hitting the links -- for the 61th time in his two plus years in office); yuks it up with the Washington press corps (pronounced "k-o-r", not "k-o-r-p-s," try to remember this, Mr. President) at the annual Gridiron Dinner. And to top it all off, the crowning event in Barack Obama's busy schedule -- drum roll, please! -- videotaping his NCAA tournament bracket picks. (Think about it: Obama discusses basketball with authority, which means that he must be spending a lot of time watching the games and listening to sports commentators. Exactly what he was elected for, wasn't he?) While Rome burned, Nero fiddled. While the world burns, Obama ponders the outcome of a college basketball tournament.


The logical man - one for whom common sense is a virtue - would conclude from all this that Mr. Obama is at best naive and unsure of himself in such an important role.  At worst, he is being totally swallowed up by a job he simply was not prepared to assume.  But neither of those two obvious conclusions fit the establishment media's caricature of Mr. Obama that they believe and expect us to accept.

 

So how do they explain his buffoonish responses?  You'll love it:

And so they explain to one another that Obama's defiant detachment must have some reason too complex for mere mortals to discern; his powerful mind is too intricate and resourceful for anyone to understand or pass judgment on his actions (or inaction, as the case may be). Thus one of the theories gaining favor in their circles: Obama is focused on lofty objectives way beyond the capacity of our meager intelligence to grasp; he sees the deeper truth; he soars to such heights that our earth-bound concerns dwindle into total insignificance.  

Volsky's masterful conclusion weaves together the real life tale of President Obama and the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen of the Emperor who had no clothes.  The reason it's masterful?  Put side by side, it's difficult to tell the tales apart.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 22 2011

Just call them freedom fighters.  The radical homosexual lobby is at it again with their message of tolerance (for everyone who agrees with them and bullying, condemnation and silencing for those who don't).

 

The latest via the Telegraph:

The "gay cure" application, designed to be used on Apple's hand-held devices, was created by and named after Exodus International, a religious organisation which believes in teaching "freedom from homosexuality through prayer and practicing conversion therapy".

 

The app is offered free on Apple's iTunes online shop and was given a "4+" rating by the company, meaning it is not considered to contain objectionable content.


 

A description of the app on the online shop said: "With over 35 years of ministry experience, Exodus is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth."

 

Gay activists quickly gathered more than 37,000 signatures for an online petition persuading Apple to drop the software.

 

The petition on the website change.org said the Christian group was using "scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions" of gay life, and promoting "the use of so-called 'reparative therapy' to 'change' the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of 'therapy' has been rejected by every major professional medical organisation".

Exodus International is a legitimate operation that is fulfilling a need that many practicing the homosexual lifestyle have found helpful.  It offers hope to those who want escape from their homosexual temptations.  If someone truly believed in "live and let live" - as the "gay rights" crowd claims to - why would they oppose Exodus?

 

Maybe the better way of asking it would be, "why are they using scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions" of ex-gay groups like Exodus International to try to bully them into silence?

 

For those keeping score at home, yes that's yet another tally mark on the slate of intolerance for those who champion the cause of tolerance.  It's also an indication of their commitment to freedom for those who don't think like them.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 22 2011

There's a big difference between campaigning and leading.  Barack Obama has been realizing that for the last couple years - and it just got worse:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.

 

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) "all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president's actions" during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.


 

Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq ? only to be blocked by his own leadership ? asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren't impeachable offenses.  Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn't object when President Barack Obama told them of his plan for American participation in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone during a White House Situation Room meeting on Friday, sources told POLITICO.

 

And liberals fumed that Congress hadn't been formally consulted before the attack and expressed concern that it would lead to a third U.S. war in the Muslim world.  While other Democratic lawmakers have publicly backed Obama ? including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and top members of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees ? the objections from a vocal group of anti-war Democrats on Capitol Hill could become a political problem for Obama, especially if "Operation Odyssey Dawn" fails to topple Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, leads to significant American casualties, or provokes a wider conflict in the troubled region of North Africa.

Elsewhere you've had major liberal commentators questioning why people voted for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  It's a fair question: Obama's staunch anti-war positions were what galvanized a left-wing base that carried him over the top in several key primary battles.  But once in office, Obama's words met reality.

 

As a consequence: he's followed the Bush plan in Iraq, he's expanded the war in Afghanistan, and he's now opened up a third military conflict in northern Africa.

 

He was once the "transformational president" who would bring an end to all wars - wars that were merely the projects of conniving and self-interested autocrats who exchanged American blood for oil profits.  Maybe someone should check to see if he's now on the payroll for Halliburton and Cheney, Inc.?

 

For some reason, I'm sure there's a Kucinich staffer somewhere who's already on that...

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 22 2011

Anti-war protestors are making their presence known again. This time, it carries an interesting twist: they are protesting the president they put into office... the president who indicated that he would bring was peaceful solutions to every international conflict.

Hundreds of protesters attended the rally and marched around the White House, but the crowd ? which included many military veterans ? thinned considerably as the U.S. Park Police warned that they'd be arrested if they didn't move. As officers moved in with handcuffs, one protester who clutched the gates outside the White House shouted, "Don't arrest them! Arrest Obama!" and "You're arresting veterans, not war criminals!"

 

Gary Maveal, 57, a law professor from Detroit who was visiting the city for a conference, said he feared the Libyan attacks would become a "quagmire." "We don't have a good record of getting out of anywhere in a hurry," he said.


 

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel , D-N.Y., joined the protesters, saying he was angry that Congress was not consulted before the military strikes. He said he was undecided on whether the military action against Libya was justified. "Our presidents seem to believe that all we have to do is go to the U.N. and we go to war," Rangel said as a large television behind him at the recruiting station showed an advertisement for the Air Force with crews loading missiles onto fighter jets.

 

"Going to war is not a decision that presidents should make," he added.

As presidential candidate, Mr. Obama made several statements and promises to end the wars in which we were already engaged and indicated that we would not enter others.

"When I am commander in chief, I will set a new goal on Day One: I will end this war. - I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. We can responsibly remove one to two combat brigades each month." - Fayetteville, N.C., March 19, 2008

USAToday notes that August 8, 2010 - 19 months - was the designated pullout date for military forces in Iraq. Hasn't quite made that one before getting entangled in the next one.

 

I do not expect every campaign promise made by any candidate to be fulfilled. Reality can rear up and change things. But that does not mean that there is no accountability. The president should be made to explain the disconnect between his previous promises and his current actions.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 21 2011

As the tragedy in Japan continues to unfold, the environmental left is gearing up its hysterics crusade to destroy our economy and send us back to the era of the Pilgrims.  Railing against the hazards of nuclear power is becoming the issue de jure for the far left.

 

If only we would just run our cars off of salt water and power our cities with windmills, everything would be so much better.  Yes, and maybe after that all the children of the world could join hands and sing together in a voice of unity.  Shoot, have the polar bears and endangered desert asps join them as long as we're going to live in the land of make believe.


 

But in the realm of reality, Lachlan Markay reports on a little tidbit that they are overlooking:

The dangers of nuclear power, while serious, need to be put in perspective. To that end, here's an interesting fact you won't be hearing from the mainstream press: wind energy has killed more Americans than nuclear energy.

 

You read that right. According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.

 

The meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 did not kill or injure anyone, since the power plant's cement containment apparatus did its job - the safety measures put in place were effective. Apparently the safety measures associated with wind energy are not adequate to prevent loss of life.

I can hear the left's objections right now: "Oh, but those numbers are skewed!  If we used nuclear power as much as we use wind power, it would have far more incidents and problems!  It's only because we utilize wind power so much more that it makes it look this way!"

 

Or not:

Nuclear accounts for about nine percent of America's energy, according to the Energy Information Administration, and has yet to cause a single fatality here. Wind, on the other hand, provides the United States with only 0.7 percent of its energy, and has been responsible for 35 deaths in the United States alone. So if we're trying to weigh the costs and benefits of each, it seems wind fares far worse than nuclear. Yet no one seems to be discussing plans to halt production of all new wind farms until Americans' safety can be guaranteed.

Obviously, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't be cautious.  Markay even goes on to state that very point:

Of course there are potential dangers to nuclear energy that the nation, thankfully, has not had to endure. But when assessing the dangers of a given technology, it usually helps to look at what has actually happened, not what could maybe, possibly, conceivably happen in the event of a Biblical-scale disaster.


In other words, you can create doomsday scenarios for virtually any new development, risk, or experiment.  But allowing these fantastic "could-happens" prevent us from every new idea or opportunity, we will cease being a world power and we will cease enjoying the comforts and conveniences we have come to take for granted.

 

The truth is that the United States nuclear facilities are the safest in the world.  We should learn from each new concern that develops to continue to ensure our safety.  We should not freak out and start retreating into a cave.  After all, think of what that might do to the ecosystems of cave life!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 21 2011

Running for president is about the moment.  Barack Obama can vouch for this.  In ordinary times, a man so ill-prepared for such serious responsibilities would have never emerged from the primaries.  But being a fresh-faced, obscure, well spoken anti-Bush was what the moment demanded...and it's what Obama delivered.

 

Being president is a different matter, as we have seen.  Yes, the success or failure of a presidency can many times be predicated upon events outside of a president's control.  Think Herbert Hoover.  But President Obama has not had to endure Hoover-style problems.  Yet the procession of problems he has had to endure have buried him.  He has looked clueless, confused and bumbling in the face of both domestic and foreign affairs.

 

As a result, the time is ripe for someone in 2012 who can seize the moment and present the anti-Obama tonic that the country will be looking for.  And if you pay attention to the unfolding events that are providing the recipe for Obama's downfall, you'll notice something interesting about who those events are setting up for success.


 

As reported in the New York Sun:

The call by the Arab League for Western military intervention in an Arab state ? in this case asking that a UN "no-fly zone" be imposed over Libya - is not only without precedent but it puts in formal terms what Governor Palin stated three weeks ago should have been America's response to the political and humanitarian crisis now unfolding there.

 

The former GOP vice presidential candidate was being interviewed on February 23rd on national television by Sean Hannity on a range of issues. On the Libya crisis, she proposed a no-fly-zone to protect the armed and un-armed opposition to the Qaddafi regime. Mrs. Palin's formulation had been blogged about for nearly a week when it was echoed by the man who, before the Iraq war, had led the Iraq democratic movement in exile, Ahmed Chalabi.

That's right.  The same woman that caused so many to vote against John McCain because, "she's too unqualified to be trusted with foreign policy should she have to assume the presidency" (ironically causing them to vote for an even more unqualified man to be the president).the same woman who was criticized for her ignorance on foreign policy with a made-up Tina Fey quote.has spoken more presciently and wisely than the man with a full cadre of foreign policy advisers around him and access to the most detailed intelligence available.

 

And consider what the emerging domestic issue of the moment is apparently becoming: energy.  This is an area where Ms. Palin has always run circles around Mr. Obama:

Mrs. Palin also continues to link America's energy policy ? a realm in which she has experience ? and U.S. foreign and anti-terrorism policies. She recognizes that the ongoing transfer of billions of U.S. petro-dollars to unstable or even hostile Mideast regimes has, since the formation in 1973 of the Organization of Petoleum Exporting Countries, been an drain on U.S. financial resources.

 

In a critique of Mr. Obama's energy policies published yesterday at about the same time the Arab League was adopting her prescription for a Libya no-fly-zone, Mrs. Palin laid out how the president's "war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security." Nor is Gov. Palin's insight into complex international issues limited to areas of her immediate expertise.

And lest you believe that it's only right-wing Palin sycophants who are noticing all this, think again:

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin - certainly no knee-jerk advocate for Sarah Palin - wrote just a few weeks ago that Palin turns out to have been correct in the prediction she made to Barbara Walters, in a much-noted November 2009 interview. Palin stated she was opposed to Obama's opposition to Israel's settlement policies because "[m]ore and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead." Now, as Rubin noted, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics confirms that the pace of immigration to Israel rose 14% to 16,633 from the level in 2009, most coming from Russia or America.


 

Mrs. Palin will be in New Delhi later this week delivering the keynote address to the annual India Today Conclave. She has been asked to speak on "What America Means to Me." She will speak as a crisis is simmering between America and Pakistan, India's nuclear-armed neighbor to the northwest and will be the first high profile trip by a potential Republican contender to South Asia.

 

More broadly, Mrs. Palin's address in India will be another step in the growing outline of what might be called The Palin Doctrine. It contrasts sharply with the foreign policy being conducted, if that is the word, by President Obama, who is perplexing not only the Arab world, to which he reached out in his Cairo speech at the start of his presidency, but even his own supporters in the liberal camp, and many in between, who are upset by what might be called his propensity for inaction. It's an inaction that suggests the Arab League won't be the only institution that might find itself surprised by the logic of the alert Alaskan.

Now, who was the unqualified, ignorant one again?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 21 2011

Is a perilous rise in inflation on the horizon?  Some indicators are suggesting as much:

 

Inflation is finally showing up in the United States, too, at least at the wholesale level; the February producer-price index is up 1.6 percent in a month's time. Food was up 3.9 percent; energy costs up 3.3 percent, largely on gas prices. It was the biggest gain for food since 1974.

You certainly don't have to be an alarmist to be alarmed at what seems to be unfolding around us economically.  Even Harvard professor of economics, Niall Ferguson is expressing concern - not just over the unfolding worries but the failure of leadership that appears incapable of guiding us through it:

In a scenario reminiscent of the "Back to the Future" movie franchise, a Harvard professor says that we're close to being mired in the economic disaster of the 1970s, except that Barack Obama instead of Jimmy Carter is at the wheel as the country roars toward inflation.


Fueled by the oil crisis, government overspending, money printing at the world's central banks, and chaos in the Middle East, inflation is poised to take off, says Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson.

 

The world faces a "pretty inflationary scenario" not seen since the 1970s, he said. How bad did inflation make the '70s? Those who bought houses, or tried to, faced mortgage rates of 17, 18, and 19 percent.
Demand from China and fighting in places such as Libya and perhaps Saudi Arabia will pressure oil prices higher, creating a bearish environment, Ferguson told CNBC.

Add the huge deficits and easy money in the developed world and the result is inescapably "a pretty inflationary scenario," he said.

"Best case, we're about to rerun the 1970s, only with Barack Obama instead of Jimmy Carter in the White House," Ferguson said.

Obama has compared himself or has been compared by his admirers to the greats: Lincoln, Reagan, FDR, JFK.  Not long into Obama's first year in office, jokes started being made about the president being much more like the second-coming of Jimmy Carter.  Shirts were made with Obama's picture with the words "Welcome Back, Carter" over them.  All that was meant to illicit laughs. 

 

No one who is paying attention is laughing now.  What used to be a fun jab is now an all-too-serious assessment.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 21 2011

Some of the headlines appearing in my inbox this weekend:

 

BREAKING NEWS: Fox News Confirms U.K. Missiles Hit Qaddafi's Compound

 

BREAKING NEWS: Obama: U.S. Deploys Firepower Against 'Tyrant' Qaddafi

U.S. launches missile assault on Libyan air defenses

 

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Says Qaddafi Violating Ceasefire

Western military jets hit Gadhafi ground forces near Benghazi: reports

 

Missing from these and other headlines is support action taken by Arab League nations. One of the crowning achievements of the U.N. mish-mash that went into declaring a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace was the support from Arab League nations. Yet, they remain conspicuously absent as military assets from western nations do all the work and pick up the tab.


 

I wrote earlier that the Middle East events represent a tough call for the international community of free nations. We have a vested interest in supporting an international break out of liberty. Unfortunately, a real possibility in this area is that the end result is not liberty. An Islamic theocratic style government is not liberty. If this is what citizens of these nations want to replace current autocracies, fine. I say, "Let them." But western assets should not be expended for them to accomplish their replacement of one regime for a different regime.

 

The absence of Arab League assets raises red flags for me. One piece of the chain of events that led to the rise of al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks on America is the intervention and presence of non-Muslim western forces - especially American - in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Devoted Muslim leaders petitioned the Saudi government to let Muslim defenders deal with Iraq and were angered when they allowed "infidels" to soil their holy ground (see, for instance, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright). Without significant Arab League military involvement, I think that more anti-western sentiment will be fanned into flame by devout leaders of Islam.

 

My son in the Information Technology department of a large corporation is fond of saying that when dealing with significant issues, the best recognition that he and his team can hope for if they successfully deal with a problem is a "C," but that if they are not successful, then they get an "F." I fear that America and other western nations are in a similar situation. If things work out the best way possible, we might achieve a "C." However, if things fall apart, you can bet we'll be handed an "F."

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:27 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 20 2011

Intervention in Libya. In my opinion, this is a tough one to call.

 

I am all for liberty breaking out around the world. I hope that revolutionaries seeking to overthrow despots succeed. We did it once, and we had some outside help. England was not happy with France's intervention. Freedom always produces stable civilizations.

 

Still, I have my reservations about Libya and other Middle Eastern protests. Granted, they are striving to overthrow the yoke of oppressive autocrats. But are they seeking to replace an oppressive government with a free government? That remains the big question.


 

What is it that the free world should be doing? Establishing no-fly zones? Letting the events run their courses? Let reform-minded revolutionaries fail?

 

This is a tough call, and I even feel for the pickle that our President finds himself. But it is a very real part of the job. I will be upset if he fiddles around and just exposes American forces piecemeal with no real determination to secure a victory.

 

I don't think that Afghanistan and Iraq began that way, but they appear to have moved in that direction. There are no clear goals given. However, it is not the complete fault of this and the previous administrations. The reluctance of American liberals to actually win a conflict has thrown plenty of monkey wrenches into what should be done. The lack of a spine among Democrats makes it difficult to do anything worthwhile.

 

Yep, tough call.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 20 2011

On Wednesday, March 30th, there will be a rally from the other side of the education debate in response to the teachers' unions who have helped bring the Indiana House to a standstill.  The 11AM rally will be a demonstration to represent the majority of those who believe that parents should have the right and the ability to choose the best school for their child. Speakers will include Governor Mitch Daniels, Superintendent of Pubic Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, Eric Miller of Advance America and numerous state legislators.


Those wanting to attend and show their support for legislation to help give parents more options should arrive early to make it through the security screening at the Capitol Street entrance.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 19 2011

I could write page after page to correct the media narrative of what happened at yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on HJR 6. House Joint Resolution 6 is the Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment. It is identical to amendment language that has been in place since 2004 in two other states, and substantially similar to several others. Thirty-states have amended their state constitutions to preserve the definition of marriage as common sense has always defined it between a man and a woman. (There is no stopping point once you walk away from the time tested logical boundaries. Any fringe group can then redefine marriage to fit their desire. This is why just five years after Canada defined marriage down they are now considering polygamy.)

Contrary to what one may hear, we do know what HJR 6 will and will not do. Those who point to other states are grasping for scare tactics that in are not substantiated with the actual facts in those states. Though this should be blatantly obvious, they are also pointing at states with different language than HJR 6.


For example, a law professor from IU is widely quoted today talking about harms to domestic partner benefits in Michigan. Those matters were reviewed in a court case following the passage of that state's amendment. Here is what the Detroit Free Press, hardly a conservative publication, said:

"The practical effect of the Michigan Supreme Court ruling on the marriage amendment's effect on same-sex benefits may be next to nothing...The silver lining, if there is one, is that public employers who provided same-sex health benefits have so far found a way around the amendment's strictures by offering benefits more widely than just to same-sex or heterosexual couples; the University of Michigan, for example, now offers employees the chance to extend benefits to any nonrelated designee."

The other angle that opponents of marriage protection are rehashing is the economic threat that these amendments allegedly pose. Yet, not one person testifying could point to any negative effect these amendments have had, other than the supposed "perception" they pose in protecting marriage. Cummins Engine Corporation tried to say that an amendment would harm their business, but when questioned, admitted that they have plants in states that protect marriage all over the US. Cummins recently chose to expand 200 jobs in Nashville, TN over placing the call center in Indianapolis, which was also vying for those jobs. Like most states, Tennessee has a marriage amendment.

The entire hour and 40 minutes of testimony from HJR 6 opponents was filled with contradictions. One person would say that the amendment was not necessary because was have a law. The next person would then testify about how much they wanted to get married to their partner . . . which would take a court overturning that law. In fact, even the ACLU and the plaintiff in the Morrison v. Sadler case attempting to force same sex marriage upon Indiana testified against the amendment, which seemed to only confirm the vulnerability of our statutes.


Perhaps the most perplexing testimony was from the leader of the Jesus Metropolitan Church, who claimed that "Jesus would embrace homosexuality."   Yet, he was not alone in this weird distortion of long held and widely understood Christian teachings. He presented the committee with a letter in support of same-sex marriage signed by 137 Hoosier ministers. He then labeled all those who support traditional marriage and HJR 6 as "haters" and compared us to the Klu Klux Klan of the 1920's. (One of the serious problems with the government's embrace of the homosexual activist's agenda is that all those with traditional values and beliefs are labeled and treated like bigots and racists simply for believing that both mothers and fathers matter to children.)

If there is one thing that has characterized the 2011 Indiana General Assembly it is that the tail is attempting to wag the entire dog. The minority views of a small portion of society have become very loud. The silent majority has been way too silent. There have been large rallies of thousands who make up only 12% of the Indiana workforce. Hundreds of homosexual show up even though they represent only 3% of the population. Hundreds show up to support taxpayer funded abortion, yet polls show that around 70% of Americans disagree with that use of tax dollars. Imagine the positive impacts upon public policy if just the 30% of the population who describe themselves as "evangelical Christians" were fully engaged in calling and emailing their legislators about marriage, life, education and family legislation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on HJR 6 next week. Any efforts to change HJR 6 are based upon false information or an effort to harm the measure because it will cause it to go back to the House, which has become a legislative black hole with the Democrat walkout. You can call your Senator about this issue at 1-800-382-9467.

HJR 6 must not be changed. It is well written existing and tested language. It will have no impact on any private business policies. Senators need to hear from you about the importance of preserving marriage for the next generation of children.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

I've received several emails - some kind, some curious, a few not so nice - asking why I was so embarrassed as a teacher over the recent riots in Wisconsin.  Though I've covered it on the show repeatedly, I think it bears additional repetition.

 

I believe that teachers are professionals.  I chose the profession because it's a noble one.  Besides just the dissemination of information, training young people how to think, and being a sounding board for their ideas and ideals, an educator has the unspoken responsibility to set an example for their students that they may or may not see at home.


 

For those students who have strong examples in their parents, teachers need to reinforce the image of how mature adults behave.  For those students who don't have such examples, teachers must introduce that pivotal concept to them before it's too late.  That's an important task.

 

Union mentality often appeals to tactics that are not becoming of mature adults.  Intimidation, anger, hysterics, dehumanization and sometimes brute force have become hallmarks of union thuggery through the years.  They have no place in the hearts or minds of teachers.  It's why I've always been uncomfortable with union mentality amongst professionals like teachers - it lures us, invites us, tempts us to abandon our rationality and professionalism for the very bullying tactics and selfish attitudes we condemn in our pupils.

 

What occurred on the streets of Madison is confirmation of my worst fears.  But it wasn't just the lying to employers, the violent signs, or the abusive language.  It wasn't just taking children and using them as "human shields," thus exposing them to the gratuitous rabble-rousing.  It's what has continued after the protests were over:

After the vote, screaming demonstrators broke into the Capitol and occupied it until police ousted them Thursday. Republicans returning to vote had to have police protection. Apparently, the civility memos that the Obama Administration and the media sent to peaceful Tea Party activists didn't make it to the union mobs.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating death threats against Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke. Here's an excerpt of an e-mail sent to Fitzgerald as reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

 

"This is how it's going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records. We have all planned to assault (sic) you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. ..."

 

If that isn't "civil" enough, here's the e-mail threat against Kapanke: "We will hunt you down. We will slit your throats. We will drink your blood. I will have your decapitated head on a pike in the Madison town square. This is your last warning."

I have no idea if a teacher was involved in penning one or both of those threats.  God forbid that turn out to be the case. 

 

But I do know that this is the mentality that teachers unions are willingly mingling with.  This is the crowd that they are allying themselves with.  For political purposes they are taking men and women who are to be the most noble among us, and mixing them with the devil.  That's not good for the teachers, their students, or our society.

 

In my book, it goes beyond embarrassment.  It goes beyond concern.

 

Hear Peter's expanded remarks on this topic here.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

The USA Today is hot on the heels of a BIG story.  I mean, real big.  Apparently, there is a church here in the United States that is asking its choir members (some of whom are new to the church) to sign an agreement that acknowledges the doctrinal beliefs of the church before participating.

 

How scandalous!  Luckily, the eagle eye hawks at the USA Today are all over it.  Blaring the headline "Megachurch wants choir to sign anti-gay covenant," the paper ran with an AP report from the Orange County Register:

GARDEN GROVE - Choir members at the financially troubled Crystal Cathedral say they are upset by a covenant they have been asked to sign that places a strong emphasis on them being heterosexual and Christian.

 

The "Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant," recently handed out to members, states that members should commit to being Christians by following the Bible in every way.


 

Former and current choir members say they are particularly offended by a statement in the document that refers to homosexuality. Long-time church members say this is the first time they have seen the cathedral take a firm stand against homosexuality and are disturbed by it.

 

The covenant states: "I understand that in an era where images of family relationship and personal sexuality are often confused, Crystal Cathedral Ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman."

A couple things to note: First, though the opening line of the story intimates that the entire choir is up in arms about this "covenant," the story cites one anonymous individual.  That's hardly an uprising.

 

Second, notice that the covenant only states that the individual "understands" the position of the church on issues of sexual morality.  The real story should be that the church doesn't expect its members to sign a covenant agreeing to necessarily live by those positions!

 

Third, the implication of the piece is that this covenant is "anti-gay."  (Notice that the covenant says nothing about homosexuality, but is merely addressing the Biblical view of sex.  That should tell you something huge.  To the sexual radicals of the left - including those in the media - abiding by and professing the Biblical view of sex is automatically anti-gay.  Any belief that these leftists want to tolerate Christian thought is destroyed by this implication).

 

Fourth, follow this ironic logic: the story implies that if a choir member signs the covenant, they understand the church's position, and that is tantamount to full agreement with bigotry.  But the writers of the story obviously understand the church's position.  So doesn't that necessarily mean that they are in full agreement with bigotry too?  That's how pathetic this piece of journalism is.

 

Fifth, why is this incredibly innocuous non-story getting national attention?  The answer is self-evident.

 

This is all part of the continuing agenda of the left to use their puppets in the mainstream media to convey to a confused culture that those demanding full acceptance from everyone of their sexual expression are really the victims.  And the oppressors?  The church people.  Don't fall for this transparent garbage.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

The plight of the inner cities is well known.  Poverty, violence, gangs, illiteracy and illegitimacy all plague these neighborhoods.  But there's a creeping menace there even more alarming that warrants our attention.

 

On the heels of the Homeland Security committee hearings on the radicalization of Islam in America comes this firsthand account of what is occurring on our streets.  Lee DeCovnick writes of personal experience:

In Doug's neighborhood, the mosques are on the constant lookout for seven to ten year old black boys. Doug often baby-sat Tom, who was a happy 8 year old that lived in the same apartment building as Doug and his mother. Last fall, Tom was invited to play with some mosque kids at the park. Three days later, an elder from the local mosque came to apartment building to talk to Tom's mother. The mosque elder invited Tom to attend the mosque's school full time at no charge. The mosque had also found a better job for Tom's mother. The new job, working in a Muslim food market as a cashier, paid $9,000 a year more than she was currently making.


 

So Tom dropped out of public school and took a bus to the nearby mosque early every morning, seven days a week. Tom soon changed his name to Omar, and was rarely seen on the streets of the neighborhood or at his mother's apartment.

 

Seven or eight months later, Doug ran into Omar and it was a "very nasty" meeting.

 

"You are an infidel, since I saw you go to the Baptist church with your mom," said Omar.

 

"That so Omar? So tell me, what else do they teach at your school?"

 

"I want to be a martyr for Allah, in Lebanon or Miami.

 

"Miami, Florida?"

 

"Yes, that's where many Zionists live."

 

Doug was shaken by these answers, but asked Omar what else he has been doing.

 

Omar replied, "I travel a lot, to other mosques in Ohio, Michigan and Virginia. We are delivering supplies, using a van full of young martyrs like me.

 

"What kind of supplies?"

 

"I don't know, but they are very heavy boxes. We hide the boxes under the seats".

 

Omar turned and walked away. Doug was very upset by the whole conversation, especially since Omar was once the sweet boy who loved to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

This most concerning reality is unmentioned in all our public discussions about Islam, race and the inner cities.  And there is no question that if any public figure dares broach the subject, they will be immediately labeled a racist and bigot.  That concern has been enough for us to allow this disease to grow unabated in our cities for too long already.


We can't wait any longer to start talking about it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

Herman Cain may be a long-shot for the Republican nomination in 2012, but he's one worth paying attention to.  The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has an apparent grasp on common sense that eludes many others in the national spotlight...specifically, on the issue that matters most.

 

While supposed "black leaders" like Barack Obama and Al Sharpton ignore genocide against blacks being carried out in this country, Cain has the moral courage to call it out:

Likely Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain supports ending all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, an abortion business that he said was founded to target African Americans and is continuing that mission.

 

 

"Here's why I support de-funding Planned Parenthood, because you don't hear a lot of people talking about this, when Margaret Sanger - check my history - started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world," Cain told CNSNews.com on Tuesday when speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

 

...

 

"You don't see that talked that much about," said Cain. "It's not Planned Parenthood. No, it's planned genocide. You can quote me on that."

To be sure, Cain wasn't just throwing out catch phrases and slogans.  The reason he says to quote him is because he's confident Planned Parenthood participates in the actual planning of carrying out genocide.  On that count, he's completely correct.

 

Cain explained this point himself when he was asked whether he opposed Planned Parenthood's past or their current activities.  This is a common tactic that the PP folks use to defend their racist foundation.  They argue, "Oh well, that was then.  We can't be held accountable for what Margaret Sanger thought personally.  We do wonderful things and that's what we should be judged on."  Herman Cain laid waste to that nonsense:

Cain said he does not believe there is a great distance between Planned Parenthood's past and present mission.

 

"It's carrying out its original mission," Cain said. "I've talked to young girls who go in there and they don't talk about how you plan parenthood. They don't talk about adoption as an option. They don't say bring your parents in so you we can talk to you before you make this decision."

 

"Talk to some young lady who has gone into some of these centers to see what kind of conversation takes place," said Cain.  "They have basically carried out their original mission. There's not any planning other than to abort the baby."

 

"When they have an objective to put 75 percent [Planned Parenthood facilities] in African American communities, says to me they are targeting blacks," Cain continued. "They are doing the same thing at the other 25 percent, I guess."

I really like this man.  Americans will too if he is able to get some exposure.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered that you are related to President Obama?

 

According to a new study, the president has some newly identified living relatives. The descendents come from Obama's great-great-great-grandfather who left Ireland during the 1850 potato famine.

 

Upon learning this bit of news about her newly identified relative, Dorma Lee Reese responded:

I'm not a Democrat, so I can't say I clapped. I don't appreciate what he's done by any means, but I do appreciate that he holds that office.


Mr. Obama used the occasion to address the controversy about his background:

"Speaking of ancestry, there has been some controversy about my own background," he said to laughter. "Two years into my presidency, some are still bent on peddling rumors about my origins. So today I want to put all those rumours to rest. It is true my great-great-great-grandfather really was from Ireland - Moneygall, to be precise," he added.

Uh, Mr. President, your great-great-great-grandfather was born in Ireland, not you. We don't quite see how this trivial tidbit about your ancestry puts all rumors to rest. We still remain uncertain as to your specific nation of birth.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 17 2011

Once you tear down moral barriers, there's no replacing them.  I've been repeating this refrain over and over again with regard to the most recent demand of the sexual anarchists (homosexuality and transgender "rights").

 

I've challenged listeners to answer this question, with absolutely no takers: if you accept the argument of people like Ellen DeGeneres who say of homosexuality: "We ought to let people love who they want to love," how do you deny the polygamist or the bestiality addict who uses the same logic?

 

In that light, here's Jane Lynch (star of the Fox television program Glee) commenting on rocker Elton John's desire to be on the show:

 

He pitched [show creator] Ryan [Murphy] some potential storylines that he could be a part of. He said the first thing he said, "What I'd like to do is perhaps be your lover, but I end up in bed with Chris."

Homosexuality?  Why should that be a problem?  Will and Grace took care of that taboo fairly effectively.  But Elton's wanting more than that.  Consider that the Chris character is an extremely naïve 16 year old kid (child would be a better description according to those who watch the program regularly).

 

So here's the question: why is there not moral outrage over such a suggestion?  Why do we laugh and roll our eyes at "Sir" Elton wanting to depict the sexual abuse of a minor?  There's nothing funny about a 63 year old man sleeping with a 16 year old boy.  Nothing.

 

But the outrage we should feel at this notion is being worn down by repeated exposure to sexual depravity.  Once we break down moral barriers for one kind of sexual depravity, the next kind doesn't seem quite so bad.

 

The left used to criticize this kind of thinking as paranoid and based on slippery slope speculation.  It isn't speculation any longer.  It's all too real.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 17 2011

It's tough to find words to describe the horrific story out of Gaza (Hamas controlled land): a sleeping Jewish family of 36 year old Udi Fogel, his 35 year old wife Ruth, and their three children, 11 year old Yoav, 2 year old Elad, and 3 month old Hadas had their throats slit as they slept by barbaric Muslims.


 

Slitting the throat of anyone is an appalling act of terror...but children?  An infant?  But if it's possible, this story gets worse:

As the Israeli press reported, jubilant Muslims crowded Gaza's streets, handing out candy and sweets in the wake of the murders. Jennifer Rubin notes that the outpouring of joy over the slitting of an infant's throat was, according to one resident, "a natural response to the harm settlers inflict" on Palestinians.

 

It is a natural response, if you are a monster. If you have been reared in a culture that worships suicide bombers, that dehumanizes Jews as the children of monkeys and pigs, and that insists Israel is not merely the enemy but does not have a right to exist. And these positions, it bears emphasizing, do not represent some fringe Islam of al-Qaeda terrorists who have purportedly hijacked an otherwise peaceful religion. This is mainstream Islam, the sorts of things you would hear in a classroom at al-Azhar University or a television show on al-Jazeera ? the place where, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, people turn for "real news," the place where Muslim Brotherhood guru Yusuf Qaradawi lionizes suicide bombers in his popular weekly program, Sharia and Life.

The Muslim holy books compiled in the Hadith justify these acts of horrific aggression.  It is a common thread woven throughout Islamic doctrine.  It's why Hamas quotes that doctrine freely and often when discussing their "religious duty" to destroy Israel.  And it's why they celebrate vicious acts of terror like this:

In 1979, Smadar Kaiser, her husband Danny, and their two small daughters, four-year-old Einat and two-year-old Yael, were awakened in their northern Israel apartment at midnight by gunfire and exploding grenades. A team of Muslim terrorists was in the neighborhood. While a trembling Smadar hid with Yael in the dark, suffocating crawl space, the terrorists grabbed Danny and Einat and marched them down to a nearby beach. There, one of them shot Danny in front of his daughter so that his death would be the last sight she'd ever see.  Then the ruthless ringleader, Lebanese-born Samir Kuntar, used the butt of his rifle to bash in the four-year-old's skull against a rock. Hours later, upon finally being "rescued" from the crawl space, two-year-old Yael, too, was dead - accidentally smothered by her petrified mother in the effort to keep her quiet as the jihadists searched for more Jews to kill. 

 

The Israelis captured Kuntar, who was sentenced to life in prison. Nevertheless, Palestinian leaders and masses agitated for his release for decades, praising this vicious cretin as a "brave leader" and "model warrior." In 2007, the Israeli government finally capitulated, exchanging Kuntar and other imprisoned terrorists for the remains of two deceased Israeli soldiers. Kuntar was welcomed to the West Bank as a conquering hero. The Palestinian Authority granted him and another released terrorist honorary citizenship "as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic suffering in the occupation's prisons." It was business as usual: In the Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the Muslim world, it is a commonplace to name streets after jihadist killers. Mohammed taught that there was no higher form of service to Allah.

These stories come in the wake of our recent hearings on the growth of radical Islam in the United States.  Maybe it's time we start having an open and frank discussion of why these acts of vicious and unbridled brutality happen with regularity within Islamic culture...and most importantly, why they are celebrated.


 

When we do, we will uncover some uncomfortable realities about the religion of Islam itself - but it would be better to do that sooner rather than later.  Any questions on that point can be referred to the grieving relatives of the Fogel family.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 17 2011

While the Wisconsin melee has subsided, the standoff in Indiana continues.  Democrats remain holed up in Illinois, refusing to do the job they were elected to because they are in the minority.  Without question, it's one of the most juvenile and anti-democratic actions seen by elected lawmakers in decades.

 

And there are consequences:

The Indiana legislative session is scheduled to end April 29, but the Democrats' actions, even if they return in time to let the state legislature pass a budget, could still force unnecessary costs on the state by requiring that a special session be convened after the regular session. Another threat is a government shutdown, which will occur if a budget is not passed by June 30.

Unfortunately for the taxpayers and those that rely on the continued operation of the government, Republicans in Indiana are not given the wiggle room to work without the minority that the Republicans in Wisconsin had.

"We can't do the Madison shuffle that Wisconsin legislators were able to accomplish," Bosma notes, referring to how Badger State Republicans were able to pass a collective-bargaining-limits measure while Democrats were still out of the state, thanks to the fact that non-fiscal legislation in Wisconsin requires fewer members present.


 

Bosma says the Republicans have offered some compromises, but Democrats haven't shown any interest yet. "They seem to be something of a moving target," Bosma remarks. "Every time I develop some optimism that we've reached a near conclusion, the goalposts move significantly. My phone is on, and I've had a number of discussions with the Democrat leader."

 

"We've offered a number of concessions on substitutive matters on issues of concern to the Democrats. What we have not agreed to do is to meet their demand to remove issues" ? including collective-bargaining and education reforms, he says ? "for the remainder of the legislative session in both chambers, which is their continued demand, that these issues just go away, really nullifying the election results of November 2."

And that's just it.  The precedent being set here is that whatever party loses election, they should just flee the state to prevent the winners from passing any legislation.  Obviously, that grinds the operation of government to a halt and could never be interpreted as statesmanship.

 

Our republican forms of government rely on the time honored principle of majority rule with minority rights.  In this case, the Democrats are attempting to destroy that principle, and as such they represent a threat to our democratic processes.  That will eventually dawn on the people of Indiana, and Democrats will have done immense damage to their image.  It may be happening already:

"Right now, Democrats are trying to figure out a way to come home in a way that isn't a total loss and allows them to save face. Politically, it's starting to break badly for them. Major newspapers are coming out against them," he says, also noting that Democrats' absence from their districts has meant they haven't had a chance to explain directly to their constituents why they're acting this way.

Maybe that's because they don't have any decent explanation for this unprecedented juvenile behavior that is the playground equivalent to taking their ball and going home.  The big problem is that the ball belongs to the taxpayers.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, March 17 2011

Not that I would expect anything different, but an incredible case of cluelessness occurred on Jay Leno's program Tuesday night.  Jay's guest was disgusting comedian Wanda Sykes (famous for joking about Rush Limbaugh's kidneys failing...you know, part of the new era of civility the left has called for).

 

On the program, she actually said perhaps the funniest thing in her career:

I just want to know, has the President, has Obama had one relaxing day since he's been in office? Has he had, I mean, just look. Soon as he got in office, just one thing after the other, just, you know, the banks, the housing. Now he's got Boehner coming in his office crying every day. You know, it's just everything. And just like has he had one day where he could just put his feet up and go, "It's good to be me," just - no! Not one day. And I just hope Michelle is growing some weed in that herb garden.

Yes, if only President Obama could take a little more time relaxing.  It's not as though there are pressing issues he needs to deal with.  That Sykes could make this statement right now is only proof of the insular, totally oblivious nature of the "land of make believe" that the left resides in.


 

Consider that in the wake of Japan's horrific natural disaster, Libya's meltdown, and a growing energy crisis resulting from both, President Obama is...going on ESPN to make his NCAA basketball picks.

 

And that's not it.

As ABC's Tahman Bradley reported Saturday:

 

For the second week in a row, the most powerful man in the world stepped away from the White House to hit the golf course.

 

Even as his administration and the U.S. military help Japan recover from a devastating earthquake, and as the world worries about Fukushima's nuclear reactor, the president could not resist taking advantage of the 48-degree weather in the Washington, D.C., area. [...]

 

Last fall, Obama went golfing darn near every weekend.


Okay, golfing isn't kicking your feet up, so Sykes has me on a technicality.  But we're not done:

As CBS's Political Hotsheet reported last August:

 

This is Mr. Obama's 9th vacation since taking office. As of today, he has spent all or part of 38 days on "vacation" away from the White House. He has also made 14 visits to Camp David spanning all or part of 32 days. It brings his total time away to all or part of 70 days.

Let's put in bluntly: if there's one thing that Mr. Obama has not failed in doing since taking office, it's making sure he devotes enough time in his schedule to R&R.  And while every president must make time for such, Obama seems to schedule it at the most tone-deaf, inappropriate times.

 

Had any other president - particularly a Republican - been golfing or picking basketball games while Libya burned and Japan suffered, the media would have been relentlessly hostile.  Such is life in the Era of Obama.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2011

UPDATE: Hear the NEA spokeswoman's remarks here, hear Peter play the audio and comment throughout here.

Besides the embarrassing antics that took place in Wisconsin with teachers unions degrading the professionalism of educators around the country, the National Education Association has once again
demonstrated why they are unworthy of the dues paid to them by so many hard-working teachers around the country who have the best interest of children at heart:

The two-week annual gathering of the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women recently concluded in New York City.
 
Austin Ruse, president of the 
Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), tells OneNewsNow that one of the side events there included a panel discussion where Diane Schneider, a representative with the National Education Association (NEA), said that graphic sex education needs to be taught in the classroom.


Speaking to a panel on combating "homophobia" and "transphobia," Schneider stated: "Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education." According to Ruse, the NEA representative did not stop there.
 
"She went on to say that comprehensive sex education is -- quote - 'the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,'" he reports. "She said that 'gender identity expression' and sexual orientation are a spectrum, and...that those [who are] opposed to homosexuality are stuck -- quote -- 'in a binary box that religion and family create.'"

I have asked repeatedly what justification can be offered by Christian teachers for their continued support of this monstrous association.  I know that question has angered some, but I wonder what about the question is so angering?  Is it because my assessment of the NEA as an anti-Christian, anti-family political juggernaut is wrong?  If so, how do you explain stories like this, and others I have cited?

 

And if that's not what produces the anger, than could it possibly be a jolt of conscience and the uncomfortable nagging of conviction?  If so, I hope that the anger directed my way for blowing the whistle will soon be re-directed to its proper recipient: the left-wing radicals who have usurped the reins at the NEA and transformed it into the aggressively destructive organization that it clearly is.

 

Simply put: if Christian teachers collectively withdrew from the NEA, the association would either change its ways or be decimated.  Judging by their agenda, teachers of conscience should be demanding one or the other.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2011

Simply pointing out that you're the Party of Lincoln and that the Democrats are the Party of Slavery, Segregation and Socialism is not, apparently, going to get the job done for Republicans who are wanting to win the "black vote."  While true, slogans are not going to sell thinking people.  So how about talking policy?  How about explaining why conservative principle is much better for blacks, as they are for all Americans?

 

Thomas Sowell's recent column identifies a few places to start:

Blacks are being forced out of San Francisco ? and out of other communities on the San Francisco peninsula ? by high housing prices.

At one time, housing prices in San Francisco were much like housing prices elsewhere in the country. But the building restrictions ? and outright bans ? resulting from the political crusades of environmentalist zealots sent housing prices skyrocketing in San Francisco, San Jose, and most of the communities in between. Housing prices in these communities soared to about three times the national average.

The black population in three adjacent counties on the San Francisco peninsula is just under 3 percent of the total population in the 39 communities in those counties.


It so happens that these are counties where voters and the officials they elect are virtually all liberal Democrats. You might be hard pressed to find similarly one-sided conservative Republican communities where blacks are such small percentages of the population.

Certainly that would be hard to find in states with a substantial total population of blacks. In California, a substantial black population has simply been forced by economics to vacate many communities near the coast and move farther inland, where the environmental zealots are not yet as strong politically, and where housing prices are therefore not yet as unaffordable.

For some reason, Republicans are not keying in on this obvious inroad.  It's not race-baiting.  Far from it, actually.  It is merely addressing the political consequences of the Democrats political positions.

 

Sowell laments the Republicans failure to state their case:

Although Republicans have a strong case, none of that matters when they don't make the it. The same is true of the effects of minimum-wage laws on the high rate of unemployment among black youths. Again, the facts are undeniable, and the Democrats cannot change their policy, because they are beholden to labor unions that advocate higher minimum wages.

Yet another area in which Democrats are boxed in politically is their making job protection for members of teacher unions more important than improving education for students. No one loses more from this policy than blacks. For many of them, education is their only chance for economic advancement.

 

But none of this matters so long as Republicans who want the black vote think they have to devise earmarked benefits for blacks, instead of explaining how Republicans' general principles, applied to all Americans, can do more for blacks than the Democrats' welfare-state approach.

The slogans may be accurate, but Republicans should abandon an approach built around bumper stickers and focus on the intellectual dissemination (through effective communication) of superior ideas.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2011

There are those that suggest that in the wake of Republican "attacks" on public unions, the labor movement is surging again.  I have my doubts.  The heyday of these entities has come and gone - statistically speaking, logically speaking, and politically speaking.  To be honest, I think the "surge" we are seeing in Wisconsin and other places is the final death throes of the movement.

 

Nonetheless, it is fair to make the argument that Republicans need to continue making their case crystal clear to a public that will agree if they aren't overwhelmed with propaganda from the union activists.  This isn't a tall task, but it is a serious one.

 

How do they do it?  Mona Charen gives a few pointers:

Republicans may need to put greater emphasis on the difference between private- and public-sector unions. In a private-sector company, when unions negotiate with management, there is a limiting factor at work ? the company must remain profitable or everyone is out of a job. In the case of public-sector unions, "management" consists of elected officials, and the city, state, or federal government is the employer. Profit or loss is irrelevant, so there is no limiting factor. If unions receive more and more generous pay and benefits, it's the taxpayers who are on the hook, not "management."

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was as radical as Scott Walker. In 1937, he said "All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management." Former AFL-CIO president George Meany agreed, saying "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government."


Reciting these facts and giving these quotes is a start.  But it's important that conservatives be able to explain the critical "why" when the question comes.  Charen provides it:

During the last election cycle, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) contributed $90 million to Democratic candidates. In 2006, then New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine addressed a rally of 10,000 public employees in Trenton, declaring "We will fight for a fair contract." Corzine was supposed to be management. With whom was he fighting?

 

The answer, as even Democratic governors like Andrew Cuomo and Jerry Brown are discovering is ? other middle-class people, i.e. the taxpayers. The taxpayers are the ones left holding the bag when elected officials team up with public-sector unions. Middle-class taxpayers, only 65 percent of whom have access to retirement plans, are picking up the tab for the 90 percent of government employees who do. Nearly 70 percent of lower-wage government workers receive health benefits, compared with only 38 percent of private-sector workers.

 

Many state workers avail themselves of the option to retire in their early to mid 50s at nearly full pay. If they were New Jersey teachers, they can collect free health benefits for life.

 

The results are clear: New York has a 2012 budget gap of $9 billion; California's is $20 billion; Illinois's is $11 billion. The vast majority of middle-class taxpayers, whose pay and benefits are lower than those of the public-sector workers, must pay in higher taxes or reduced services.

Calmly and rationally explaining these realities to the taxpaying American citizenry (the vast majority of whom are not unionized) will win this battle.  Not only is it common sense and rational, but juxtaposed against the spectacle created by public employees storming statehouses, cussing, screaming, using children, and shoving police down, it will convince the masses.

 

Tea Party Americans should make this their next great cause.  They convinced Americans on the need for balanced budgets.  This is their opportunity to start convincing Americans on one way to move in that direction.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2011

In their ongoing quest to prove to the country how open-minded and unbiased they are (in the midst of a Republican push to defund the left-wing propaganda machine of their taxpayer subsidies) National Public Radio distributed their Fresh Air with Terry Gross program around the U.S.


 

And in perfectly open-minded fashion, they offered up anti-Bible "Bible professor" Jennifer Wright Knust (we discussed her recent appearances on CNN and in the Washington Post not that long ago).

GROSS: As a Bible scholar, ordained Baptist pastor and professor of religion Jennifer Knust says she's tired of watching those who are supposed to care about the Bible reducing it to slogans. For example, she says you can't use the Bible as a straightforward guide to sexual morality because the Bible fails to offer a consistent message regarding sexual morals and God's priorities... What do you find most interesting and maybe most anachronistic about what the Bible has to say about marriage?

 

KNUST: [I]t seems to me that whatever the Bible says regarding homoerotic sexual intimacy is folded within a very large Biblical conversation about sexuality in general. And so to pull out a particular verse and say, oh well this solves our position on, you know, gay marriage, is such a mistake, given that the Bible says a lot of things about sexuality. And many of those things we would reject today, so why we are lifting out gay marriage when we've clearly rejected things like slavery and stoning women who aren't virgins at first marriage.

Oh my.  Where to begin?  First of all, you have to love the framing of the question.  It automatically assumes the Bible is "anachronistic," meaning out of date.  That this assumption is not denied or challenged, but accepted by Knust says all you need to know.  And for the most part, Knust's response is nothing new that we haven't previously dealt with.

 

Knust's refusal to read or analyze the context of Scriptural commands she cites immediately disqualifies her from being taken seriously.  She later goes on to assert that King David was "gay" because of his "love" for King Saul's son, Jonathan.

 

Absolutely butchering the text, Knust claims that David's homosexual relationship with Jonathan (something she assumes given that it is not, obviously, mentioned in the Bible) allowed David to make Jonathan his "wife," thus allowing him access to Saul's throne - something that was rightfully Jonathan's.  And this woman is a Bible professor?

 

David was God's intended leader for Israel, as ordained by the prophet Samuel.  Saul, who was the consequence of the impatience of Israel, forfeited his throne due to his disobedience.  But I suppose if you're a liberal "scholar" wanting to rewrite Scripture to give justification to your social/political cause, having David be "gay" with Jonathan is a better story.

 

Later, Knust went on to state:

You know, when I go to church on Sunday, when I teach the little kids Sunday school, which I do... because I read [the Bible] as a document produced by human beings who love God and who are doing the best they can.


Got it?  Knust doesn't believe the Bible is the Word of God.  I think that pretty much explains why she doesn't feel the need to take the text seriously, or consider that any apparent contradictions or confusion over various parts of Scripture might be more about her own preconceived ideas, perceptions and desires than about God arguing with Himself.

 

This is the respect NPR has for Christianity.  And it's the message they continue to disseminate with your tax dollars.  If they want to put out left-wing garbage, it's their right...so long as they are finding a way to pay for it themselves.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

Christians are at it again. In spite of being spread thin from response in other tumultuous areas, Christian denominational and para-church relief ministries have mobilized to provide assistance to ravaged communities in Japan. Alongside the relief ministries, Christians across the land have mobilized to support their efforts with prayer, volunteer assistance, and financial support.


 

As has happened multiple times, recipients of these efforts will experience and witness firsthand the love of Christ at work in the world. And as has happened multiple times, there will be those who will become confessing believers in the eternal salvation given us by the mercy of God through Christ. To every Christian in every denomination providing and expressing support for our missionaries and relief ministry personnel bringing aid to ravaged communities in Japan, I say thank you. Keep up this vital work.

 

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brother... We love because he first loved us" (1 John 3:16, 19).

 

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

Washington Post Staff Writer, John Wagner, wrote a piece not long ago regarding the Maryland legislature acting on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.  The piece, thankfully, included some comments from those opposed to the action, including a spokesman for the Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX).


 

But see if you notice something different about the way Wagner treats these ex-gays in the text:

Greg Quinlan, president of a national group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, was among those at Friday's hearing who asked lawmakers to slow down the process.

 

"I urge you to slow down. I urge you to stop," said Quinlan, who described himself as an "ex-gay."

 

The hearing also drew testimony from many of the advocates from both sides who appeared before a Senate committee this month.

Did you notice the quotations around ex-gay?  Why put them there?  There were no similar quotations for those who define themselves as gay.  This distinction was not lost on the folks at PFOX.


To their credit, the Washington Post ran a letter from Christopher Doyle, board member of PFOX who wrote in to offer the correction:

When Greg Quinlan, president of the board of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, identified himself in the Feb. 26 Metro article "Md. House plans to act fast on gay marriage," you put quotation marks around "ex-gay." But there were no quotation marks in references to gay members of the House of Delegates.

 

Putting "ex-gay" in quotes suggested that such a sexual orientation is not valid, not recognized or both. But thousands of former homosexuals collectively identify themselves as such. The D.C. Superior Court ruled in 2009 that ex-gays are a protected sexual orientation class in the District.

 

Not all persons who experience same-sex attractions choose to live gay lives. Many of us have voluntarily left a homosexual life through therapeutic work or behavioral choice. I did, and I have been happily married to a woman for nearly five years; we have two children. I no longer experience same-sex attraction and have no desire to return to the homosexual life. Please respect this choice.

I have long said that some of the most vilified and mistreated and discriminated against individuals in this country are those who leave the lifestyle of homosexuality.  The reason is pretty obvious: if people can willingly leave homosexuality, it reveals that activity is not an identity but a behavior.  That destroys the "civil rights" façade the homosexual activists have worked so hard to establish and the media has fought so hard to protect.


 

I have hosted Mr. Doyle on the radio show before and have the utmost respect for his organization, PFOX.  It is a group worthy of your support, prayer and financial.  Follow them at their blog.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

A year ago, President Obama told the country that he was going to be presenting all of us with some tough choices in his upcoming budgets.  By doing so, he lectured, he would be "calling the bluff" of all the Republican and Tea Party deficit hawks that were screaming about the outrageous deficit.

 

I predicted this meant he would be introducing tax hikes and then ripping any Republican who opposed them as "unserious" about our unbalanced budget - as though taking in more taxes is the only way to balance a budget.  I was partially right.

 

Others predicted that he would propose massive defense spending cuts and then blast any Republican who opposed it as hypocritical on our debt problem.  They were partially right.
 

But what many didn't expect was for the president to totally ignore the giant elephant in the room: the Big Three entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  Doing so makes any notion that the president is committed to reining in deficits and eliminating debt a total joke.


 

No question this would generate controversy.  But as Charles Krauthammer explains, rather than even bringing up the subject of say, Social Security, the president and his staff have chosen to whistle past the graveyard:

The new line from the White House is: no need to fix it because there is no problem. As Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Jack Lew wrote in USA Today just a few weeks ago, the trust fund is solvent until 2037. Therefore, Social Security is now off the table in debt-reduction talks.

 

This claim is a breathtaking fraud.

 

The pretense is that a flush trust fund will pay retirees for the next 26 years. Lovely, except for one thing: The Social Security trust fund is a fiction.

 

If you don't believe me, listen to the OMB's own explanation (in the Clinton administration budget for fiscal year 2000 under then-director Jack Lew, the very same). The OMB explained that these trust-fund "balances" are nothing more than a "bookkeeping" device. "They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits."

 

In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains ? nothing.

 

Here's why. When your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it's kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest (say, $100) goes to the U.S. Treasury ? and is spent. On roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever ? spent, gone.

 

In return for that $100, the Treasury sends the Social Security Administration a piece of paper that says: IOU $100. There are countless such pieces of paper in the lockbox. They are called "special issue" bonds.

 

Special they are: They are worthless. Bottom line? The OMB again: "The existence of large trust fund balances, therefore, does not, by itself, have any impact on the government's ability to pay benefits." No impact: The lockbox, the balances, the little pieces of paper, amount to nothing.

 

So when Jack Lew tells you that there are trillions in this lockbox that keep the system solvent until 2037, he is perpetrating a fiction certified as such by his own OMB. What happens when you retire? Your Social Security will come out of the taxes and borrowing of that fiscal year.

Simply put, you can't claim to be presenting "tough choices" when you are afraid to even broach the tough topics for fear of losing votes.  We need a leader more than ever.  We don't have one in President Obama.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

A move to defund the United Nations - or at least some of the more appalling practices, agencies and arms of the UN - is underway.  Unsurprisingly given the fact that President Obama and the left continue living in an idealistic fantasyland regarding the UN, the United States is not leading the push.  But Britain is.

 

Apparently, Prime Minister Cameron is fed up with sinking British coin into an organization that is ineffective and corrupt.  This has been the rallying cry from Republicans in this country for a long time, and it's nice to see those cries getting some governmental support - even if it's not our own.


 

If nothing else, it lends credence to the common sense Congressman like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL) have been proclaiming:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is especially keen to cut funding to the UN Human Rights Council, which uses taxpayer money to produce reports praising the human-rights achievements of countries such as ...  Libya

Earlier this year, Ros-Lehtinen declared her desire to "kill all U.S. funding for that beast," which she described as "a rogue's gallery of pariah states."  Supporters of funding for the Human Rights Council say we need to keep forking over cash to maintain our influence.  It's sad that anyone would think the United States, the greatest humanitarian nation in the history of mankind, has to pay for the privilege to speak out on human rights.

The inefficiency and corruption of the United Nations come as no surprise to those who don't allow idealism to prevail over common sense.  Any large organization becomes more corrupt and unaccountable as it moves further from those who provide its revenue stream.  The UN could not be further removed from taxpayers around the world who provide its funding?especially American taxpayers, who cover 22% of the "core" funding and kick in enough "voluntary" spending to get their final invoice over $6 billion per year.

In their analysis, the editors of Human Events expose the reality of what the UN has become:

By giving squalid little dictatorships a seat at the table with enlightened nations, it mixes the delicate china of democratic sensibility with the iron will to power.  The result is a system that spends most of its time lecturing the few nations that will take it seriously, not the ones that most need to be reprimanded.  The fusion of environmentalist religion with UN authority produced a global vacuum cleaner stuffed into the wallets of nations with the best environmental records in the world.

Every oppressed, starving, and wounded victim in the world has learned to shudder at the sight of UN blue helmets.  Hope arrives in the form of the Stars and Stripes, riding on the shoulders of American soldiers.  We're long past the point where we should be wasting billions on global agencies that mostly need to stay out of our way when disaster strikes.  We certainly can't afford to continue allowing an inert Obama administration to subcontract our foreign policy to the UN.  The British have given us a good lead to follow.

This is something that needs to be a campaign issue in 2012.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

A couple weeks ago I started getting quite a few questions from folks about what I thought regarding news that Glenn Beck might be let go at Fox News.  To be honest, I hadn't heard anything about it and it seemed a little hair-brained to think that Fox would get rid of someone who was bringing them in those kind of outrageously high ratings in a 5 pm show.

 

Nevertheless, I did a little looking and found this write-up from Newsmax:

After one of the most amazing runs in modern broadcast history, Fox News host Glenn Beck may be facing a backlash among establishment Republicans and growing concern at his own network that he's no longer a franchise player, according to The New York Times. The paper says Beck's ratings are way down, but admits he still draws huge numbers for a 5 PM off prime show.

The liberal Times claims that Fox officials apparently are concerned that his positions on various issues have become increasingly paranoid and alarmist. Also, GOP intellectuals like William Kristol and David Frum have written that Beck's musings could end up doing serious damage to the GOP as it heads into a presidential election year.


"Fox News officials are willing to say ? anonymously, of course; they don't want to be identified as criticizing the talent ? that they are looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without Mr. Beck," David Carr wrote in Monday's Times.

The story went on to quote Fox as saying that the whole idea was rubbish.  So what prompts these kinds of rumors?  Beck's influence, as well as his passionate following and resistance do.  But nonetheless, there is great desire to see the downfall in popularity of Mr. Beck so much so that they are driving stories that aren't even true.

 

An interesting sidebar to all of this is what CBS News is reporting from the White House:

The White House is ramping up an effort to promote a nationwide competition to decide which high school wins a commencement speech by President Obama.

 

An internal White House memo indicates that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline.

 

The competition was extended from the February 25 deadline until Friday, March 11 after few schools met the original application deadline. CBS News has learned a White House Communications Office internal memo dated February 22 noted "a major issue with the Commencement Challenge."

 

"As of yesterday we had received 14 applications and the deadline is Friday," the memo said. The memo also urged recipients to, "please keep the application number close hold."

 

A follow-up memo on February 28 reported receipt of 68 applications. Noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year, the memo said, "Something isn't working." It called on staffers to ask "friendly congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral offices" to encourage schools to apply.

 

"We should also make sure the Cabinet is pushing the competition out to their lists," the memo said. The note reiterated, "We do not want the actual application number out there (we didn't release the number of applications we received last year until after the submission period)-so folks should not use it in their pitches."

Why isn't this story getting more traction than the Beck story?  After all, what is more important: the miraculous decline in power and popularity of the President of the United States, or the desired decline in power and popularity (that isn't happening) of a self-proclaimed rodeo clown? 

 

I guess there's only one conclusion to draw: Glenn Beck is more influential than President Obama.  Right?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 14 2011

During Friday's quick hits section to open the show, I ran the audio of Rep. Keith Ellison's emotional testimony at the House hearings on the radicalization of Islam in America.  Ellison, a Muslim, expressed outrage at the hearings from the start.  His testimony conveyed the story of a Muslim American who died in the 9/11 attacks as a first-responder named Mohammed Salman Hamdani.

 

I laid out three critical responses to Mr. Ellison's testimony that conservatives need to keep at the forefront of our minds in dealing with comments like his.  You can listen to it in the middle of this segment.

 

As it turns out, Mr. Ellison's testimony was fraudulent.  It was built upon the premise that Hamdani was unfairly labeled a terrorist rather than a hero.  Attempting to smear the hearings, Ellison decided to use Mr. Hamdani's sacrifice as justification for his claim that the hearings were nothing but a bunch of nasty, bigoted attacks on Muslims.


 

Unfortunately, his teachable story was not true:

Does Ellison's account check out with reality?

 

No. It is actually pretty close to the opposite of the truth. In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks ? before Hamdani's remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception ? Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: "Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing." That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.

 

There's little evidence of the "rumors" of which Ellison speaks, either. Poke around yourself. Go to Google and search for Mohammed Salman Hamdani's name, using various time frames from before today's hearings (say, in the week after the September 11 attack). You'll discover two discordant sets of returns: none for sites and news reports accusing Hamdani of being a terrorist, and many thousands of pages honoring him as a hero while claiming that he was "widely accused" of being a terrorist.

 

Web pages that do source the claim that Hamndani was "widely accused" of being a terrorist typically trace back to a single report from the New York Post, dated Oct. 12, 2001, and titled "Missing ? or Hiding? Mystery of NYPD Cadet from Pakistan." The piece has been taken offline, but its content is preserved elsewhere.

After listing the full text of the Post's report, author Matthew Shaffer summarizes it this way:

[T]he Post reported 1) that Hamdani's family believed he died in the WTC attacks, 2) that the FBI asked Hamdani's mother a few background questions after a mistaken sighting, and 3) that an unnamed source felt such questioning implied guilt. No doubt, that was hard on the grieving mother. But frankly, this ? a mistaken sighting, and very preliminary investigations of many people, most of whom turn out to be innocent ? is the kind of thing that inevitably happens after a major terrorist attack.

 

After that questioning, the FBI didn't go farther in a serious investigation, and, a week later, Hamdani was singled out for honors by the United States' executive and legislative branches with those lines in the PATRIOT Act that immortalized his story.

 

Then, he was eulogized by the New York Times, had scholarship funds named after him, was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (both of whom went barefoot to honor Muslim practice) at his funeral, and has been celebrated over and over again by the media.

 

The belief that Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a victim of anti-Muslim bigotry was never based in reality. It was manufactured by the Left as a rhetorical prop, exploited as a bludgeon against people who want to talk seriously about terrorism. If Hamdani was singled out for his faith, it would appear he was singled out for especially high honors. Most 9/11 victims were not half so celebrated as he was. Rather than suffering from apocryphal American anti-Muslim bigotry, Salman Hamdani appears to have benefited from America's eager inclusiveness.

 

Americans have long seen Mohammed Salman Hamdani as a hero. Too bad Representative Ellison saw him only as a prop.

Well said.  If you listen to my audio clip from Friday, you'll hear me point out to Mr. Ellison that if he is truly wanting to end the days where men are categorized and judged on the color of their skin or their ethnic group, he should direct his lecture towards his own political party that obsesses over race.  Apparently, he should direct it towards himself as well.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 14 2011

The Family Research Council is one of the most well respected pro-family organizations operating in the United States today.  On his Monday radio show, Peter spoke to the organization's president, Tony Perkins.


 

The two discussed the state of American culture, the significance of social issues and the silliness of believing a "truce" can be called in the battle over them, and strong Republican candidates in 2012.  Listen to the full audio of the conversation here.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 14 2011

Politico's Darius Dixon may find his antics amusing or unserious, but I'm totally with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky for his recent questioning of Department of Energy deputy assistant secretary on energy efficiency (that's a mouthful of a title...it has to be a government job) Kathleen Hogan.

The Kentucky Republican began making the link between the personal, the political and the plumbing-related when he asked Kathleen Hogan, the DOE deputy assistant secretary on energy efficiency, "I was wondering if you're pro-choice?"

 

"I'm pro-choice of bulbs," Hogan responded.

 

"Actually, that's the point," Paul said, during an appliance efficiency hearing at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


 

"The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and characterize themselves ? and upfront ? as being pro-choice for abortion," he said, "but you're really anti-choice on every other consumer item."

 

Paul continued on a string of attacks against federal regulations and labeled the lighting efficiency standards set by a 2007 energy law as just another government overreach.

 

"Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can't go around your house without being told what to buy," Paul said. "You restrict my purchases. You don't care about my choices. You don't care about the consumer.

 

"Frankly, my toilets don't work in my house, and I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house," Paul said. He added, "I find it insulting.

 

"I'm all for energy conservation but I wish you'd come here to extol me, to cajole me, to encourage," he said. "But you come instead with fines [and] threats of jail."

It's high time somebody pointed this out in a public hearing.  The left has kept up this pretense of being "pro-choice" for nearly four decades, totally ignoring the obvious question that is prompted by such a title: choice to do what?!

 

They ignore this question because the answer is quite telling.  On issue after issue - from light bulbs to retirement to refrigerators to dishwashers to hair care products to trans fats to toilets to college tuition - the left is interested in depriving citizens of their choice.

 

I absolutely love the pathetic weakness of the arguments I'll get from liberals who say things like, "Oh you want all this freedom until it's something you don't like.  You want freedom, but you oppose abortion.  Why should the government be involved in that decision?!"  Uh...maybe because it's depriving a person of their inalienable right to life - something we've understood the government was designed to protect since the Declaration of Independence? 

 

But we should seize on those kind of statements in order to turn the issue around.  In the final analysis, one of the only things they are pro-choice about is the ability to kill an infant in the womb.  What should that tell us?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 13 2011

Even though upheld by the United States Supreme Court, no one I know is pleased that the Westboro folks protest and make an unseemly scene at the funerals of military personnel. In my opinion, the Westboro folks should protest in front of homosexual activist organization offices and other such places.


 

In spite of how much they might be disliked, especially by those on the left, we should remember that these disrespectful, disruptive shenanigans come right out of the liberal's play book. It is the left who has taught us to disrupt college classes with loud protests and sit-ins. It is the left who has taught us to act vulgar and lewdly during march-ins. It is the left who has taught us to burn buildings and cars during international financial meetings.

 

In reality, when compared to the culture of protests created by the left, the Westboro folks are pretty tame. Doesn't mean I like their style, but they learned their lessons well from the left. Thanks a lot, liberals!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 12 2011

Mr. Obama finally recognizes that gasoline price hikes are a problem, so here we go with a typical liberal response: start the witch hunt for price gouging.

President Barack Obama on Friday ordered his attorney general to work with states to monitor for evidence of gasoline-price gouging. At a White House news conference, Obama also said he would tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve "should the situation demand it." As oil futures traded at just above $100 a barrel, Obama said no options are off the table to respond to continued violence in Libya.

Of course blame for higher gasoline prices falls squarely on the businesses that provide it; that affords liberals their convenient cover to duck responsibility for continually wrecking domestic oil production.


 

Mark my words, as talk of increasing domestic oil production gears up, we will hear the same old liberal talking points: "Well, that won't help us now. It'll be years before increased domestic production has any impact on oil prices. We've got to spend, spend, spend on alternate energy sources."

 

Poppycock!

 

This is what they have said in response to EVERY oil crisis. And each time, had we increased domestic oil exploration, drilling, production, and refining, we would not be in as big a mess the next time. Plus, just talk of increasing domestic production, if serious, would ease oil futures concerns.

 

And, we can certainly continue research into alternate energy sources, but let's not do so at the expense of oil production. Petroleum is the energy source that works now. It may be replaced by something else in the future, but that is speculative conjecture for the present.

 

Mr. Obama, we need stable oil supplies, and we need them now. You want prices to come down? Then drill here and drill now!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 12 2011

I have a certain respect for members of the media concerning the important job they perform. I am routinely amazed at how newspaper reporters can write a story under very short deadlines with depth and accuracy. I am also well aware of Benjamin Franklin's warning to never go to war with people who buy ink by the barrel.

Nevertheless, there are times when not mere bias, which is widespread and, pervasive, but intentional misreporting deserves to be denounced. Its not just what some in the media may say, but it is often what they include or leave out, and how they shape a story toward a certain point of view. The trend toward "investigative" sensational advocacy journalism seems to have played a big role in a recent TV story that has some legislators and school leaders upset.

WISH TV 8 in Indianapolis put together a major news story last week, which they promoted on the radio before it aired. The audio clip was of a crying mother upset by the death of her son. Her comments played as the voiceover pointed fingers at the State House as a teaser for tuning in to the special report.

The story was crafted around Senate Bill 538, which was a school bullying bill, a trendy issue in legislatures across America right now. The report covered a tragic situation in Greensburg in which a single mom was interviewed about the suicide of her 15-year-old, bi-racial, son. The report, entitled, "Bullied to Death," told the sad story of the son's mistreatment at school which seemingly led to his suicide.

The mother ran to the store for about fifteen minutes, leaving her "upset son" outside. She returned to find him dead in the barn. The story pointed out that the boy had been an accomplished horse rider and livestock 4-H participant who liked the animals and the outdoors. He was not in sports and allegedly took abuse at school for his interests and was taunted as being homosexual, though he was not.

The story then turned to the Indiana legislature questioning why a bullying bill had recently died in the Senate Education Committee. The report cited the tearful mother encouraging the bill's author, Sen. Tom Wyss, to keep fighting for his legislation.

Toward the end of the emotional report, the storyline turned against the legislators who voted against SB 538, saying: "I-Team 8 has requested for more than a week to speak to each one of the state senators. Our calls began long before the Statehouse standoff when Democrats walked out. We want to talk to the committee. All lawmakers have refused to talk one-on-one or even issue a statement."

As Paul Harvey used to say . . . "And now for the rest of the story."

SB 538 was a bill that AFAIN had been working on behind the scenes with some of the legislators who voted against it. I will explain our concerns and why the bill died later. First, let's take a look at what the Channel 8 report left out of their story.

After the report aired, a leader at the top level of the boy's school contacted one of the education committee members. The school leader was very upset by the coverage of this incident. He alleged that the young man had been a discipline problem since the time he and his mother had moved into the district. The problems even led the school to expel him for bullying other students. Allegedly, things may not have been so great at home either, with this leader's claim that the police had been called to the home for domestic issues more than 50 times. Also, according to this school leader, teachers in the school reported that just a few days before the boy's suicide, his mother was overheard yelling at him and repeatedly using the "F" word against him when she dropped him off at school.

There were two sides to this story. Apparently the side most left out may not have fit so well into the report's agenda.

I spoke to several of the legislators on the committee. They insist that neither they, (nor the other legislators mentioned) were ever contacted by Channel 8. After the report, two of the Senators immediately contacted the station about this falsehood and talked to the producer of the story, who seemed surprised by their complaint.

The report did not inform viewers that six years ago the Indiana General Assembly enacted a bullying law requiring all public schools to have anti-bullying programs and policies. It also ignored the fact that the Senate is still addressing this with the passage of a suicide prevention education bill, which occurred before SB 538 came up in committee.

The main reason that SB 538 died was because the bill's author got upset that conservatives on the committee wanted to amend his bill. (Sen. Wyss' opposition to amendments probably sealed its fate.) Some members were concerned that the homosexual demands groups were trying to hijack this issue, and with good reason. One of the lobbyists testifying for the bill, with Indiana Equality, was sitting right next to Senator Wyss talking to him throughout the hearing.

Other legislators I spoke with were concerned that the issue had been covered and proof that schools are not addressing this problem was never presented. They also had concerns that the federal and state government are putting more and more requirements upon schools and teachers, (many with good intentions). These requirements are crowding out time for covering the basics of education.

AFA of Indiana opposes the act of bullying of all students, regardless of the motives of the bully or the perceived status of the victim. However, many bullying bills and programs have become a Trojan Horse for the homosexual demands groups. There is a danger here in unfairly casting students with traditional values as bullies, silencing legitimate views, or creating specially protected classes of children as opposed to focusing on actual acts of bullying. There is an outstanding web site on this issue that parents, teachers and policy makers should investigate. True Tolerance has information about the problem of bullying as well as the concerns surrounding many of the school programs and the ulterior objectives of some homosexual activists pushing this agenda.

You can visit this very important site on school bullying at: www.truetolerance.org

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:31 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 11 2011

It's interesting to listen to Democrats talk about the "sorry state" of the potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012.  It's hard for me to tell whether that is born out of desire or an honest assessment of what they see.  Regardless of which it is, I find it humorous only because we often fail to see the similarities in our early assessments of such fields in every election cycle, regardless of party.

 

There aren't too many Democrats who won't tell you today that Bill Clinton was a wonderful president.  But think about the Democratic presidential primaries in the 92 election.  Does anyone think Democrats were hoping for much when incumbent Republican president George Bush was going to be challenged by either this unknown, philandering Arkansas Governor or Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, Tom Harkin, or Bob Kerrey?


 

Any time the primaries are beginning to take shape for the party out of power, the party in power mocks the weakness of their opponent's field.  And the party out of power bemoans the state of their options.  It's just what happens.  So I am not dismayed at all - at this point - about the emerging choices for Republicans in 2012.  While I hope for more options than just 08 retreads, I'll keep an open mind as the field develops.

 

Jonah Goldberg has written a pretty good encapsulation of the state of the 2012 Republican crop where he hints at the same point:

And so now we enter the mopey phase of the GOP presidential contest. The gloom takes many forms, but foremost is the fear that the field taking shape might be the one we're stuck with.

 

It's like that feeling you get when you're starving and you go into a restaurant. At first everything on the menu looks great, until you have to make your choice and you realize there's nothing you actually want to eat.

Goldberg then addresses the handwringing of conservatives like George Will who worries that a "weak" candidate like Huckabee or Gingrich will emerge from the process:

Will's sharp pen here is reminiscent of Jesus' "winnowing fork," which he used to "gather his wheat into the barn," leaving the chaff to burn with "unquenchable fire." Those Will would chuck into the flames are the "careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons." His exhibits A and B are Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee. Will's case wasn't hurt by the fact that both had a bad week.

 

...

 

Still, Huckabee and Gingrich's bouts of verbal incontinence notwithstanding, conservatives are united on the core economic and policy issues. That consensus will undoubtedly manifest itself in the primaries.

 

And isn't that what primaries are for? Let the voters use their own winnowing forks. It's not like the GOP has a history of nominating irresponsible firebrands. And the two nominees who were so labeled by the political establishment -- Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan -- are the soul of the GOP today, for "tea partyers" and establishmentarians alike.


And that's the point.  It's too early.  It's fine and it's fun to talk about the options, and it's important to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each, but we are far from having the "chosen one" emerge.  And let's remember something else, amongst all the handwringing:

Ultimately the election will largely be a referendum on Obama and the economy. The desire to order off-menu will abate over time. And Republicans will surely stomach the nominee, if for no other reason than they're ravenous to make Obama a one-termer. And, as the Irish say, hunger is the best sauce.

Yep.  From Palin to Romney to Huckabee to Pawlenty to Gingrich to Barbour to Daniels to Cain to Huntsman...each of them will be an improvement over what we've got now.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, March 11 2011

We know Illinois has been a haven of refuge for Democrat lawmakers uninterested in doing their jobs.  Now comes word that Illinois is a haven for murderers and capital offenders uninterested in facing the just punishment for their crimes:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's signature on legislation getting rid of the death penalty provoked an extraordinary array of emotions Wednesday -- almost all of them intense.

 

...

 

When the abolition law takes effect July 1, Illinois becomes the 16th state without a death penalty.  Most nations, including virtually all of Europe, have abandoned the death penalty.

 

...

 

Quinn's action capped two decades of argument and soul-searching over the possibility that Illinois would wind up executing an innocent person. 


Not to doubt the Governor's sincerity, but that soul-searching, according to the article, included visits by rabidly anti-capital punishment activists Desmund Tutu and Sister Helen Prejean (the same Helen Prejean who, when confronted with the Biblical evidence supporting the death penalty replied that she has decided to get away from "futile" arguments about the Biblical text and simply declare her own beliefs...something known as humanism).

 

Though there hasn't been an execution in Illinois since 1999, as expected, this decision has sparked a great deal of emotional controversy.  The most concerning responses have been from Christians like Charles Simmons who lost three close relatives in a house fire determined to be arson.  Simmons determined that his Christianity prevented him from accepting the death penalty.

 

The reason this is concerning is not that Mr. Simmons (and he's certainly not alone) has a merciful and forgiving side.  Not at all.  The problem is that Mr. Simmons confuses Christianity's expectation for personal mercy and forgiveness for a governmental one.

 

Christ himself never confused forgiveness and mercy with the demands of civil justice.  Remember, he gave the repentant thief on the cross paradise, but He did not release him from his just sentence of death.

 

Nevertheless, great confusion on the issue persists, resulting in us turning to people like Gary Gauger for moral guidance:

Gary Gauger, who was sentenced to die for killing his parents before ultimately being proven innocent, said other states will follow Illinois' example in the long run.  "The death penalty is a throwback to a time when society did not have the ability to hold homicidal maniacs ... for the rest of their lives," Gauger said.

No Gary, the death penalty is a throwback to a time when society recognized that capital punishment is the only punishment suitable for certain heinous crimes that violate the unalienable sanctity of human life made in the image of the Creator.


 

As we have first rejected the authority and now even question the existence of that Creator, it is logical that we are following this confused path.  The story ended with this quote:

Chicago attorney Enrico J. Mirabelli, whose cousin Sheri Coleman and her two young sons were slain in 2009, said he has mixed emotions about Illinois abolishing the death penalty altogether.

 

"The primitive emotion says an `eye for an eye,'" Mirabelli said. "But when you think about it, whether he dies or spends life in prison doesn't bring my cousin back."

Comments like these are heartbreaking because they reveal we don't have any firm grounding or basis for a discussion on this issue.  The death penalty is not about bringing people back.  It's not about vengeance.  It's not even about protecting society.

 

The question we should be asking is whether or not the death penalty is the only just punishment for violent crimes that destroy the inviolable gift of life.  The answer to that question has always been (according to God in his everlasting covenant made with all Creation following the flood), and always will be yes.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 11 2011

Of all the Orwellian terms being used in the American political lexicon today, the "Employee Free Choice Act" may be the worst.  It is a bill that would destroy the secret ballot choice of workers to decide whether they want to join a union or not, opening up the process of intimidation and threats - the opposite of "free choice." 

 

But running a close second to that phrase would be what MSNBC's Thomas Roberts touted a few days ago as the Republicans' "War on Voting."  At issue were four states - New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Missouri - all controlled by Republican legislatures who are looking to shore up the emerging problems with voter fraud.
 


To anyone who respects the democratic concept of "one person, one vote," the realities that: 1. unqualified individuals are influencing our elections, 2. individuals are voting multiple times, 3. dead people are voting in large numbers in some precincts - would anger and outrage them.  After all, when a legitimate vote is canceled out by an illegitimate one, that democratic principle of free elections is obliterated.

 

And that's what the Republican push for reform laws aimed at tightening residency requirements and voter identification is all about.  Obviously, there can be legitimate concerns aired about making sure the requirements and identification process is not too overbearing or cumbersome, but the concept behind the laws should not be questioned by anyone who believes in the right to vote.

 

Yet MSNBC host Thomas Roberts brought on Heather Smith of the group "Rock the Vote" to talk about how these laws were nothing more than voter suppression: 

"Heather, this has been called the war on voting, whether it's requiring an ID or proof of citizenship at the polls. Explain this for us," Roberts prompted at the beginning of his interview.

Excuse me?  It has been called the war on voting?  By whom?  Once again we see the common liberal tactic of advancing their own left-wing beliefs under the guise of "some say," or "there are those who believe," or in this case, "it has been called."  Further, what kind of twisted logic could conclude that measures intended to protect the sanctity of legal voting rights are tantamount to a "war on voting?"  The kind of logic used by the radical left-wingers at Rock the Vote, apparently:

For example, a form letter Rock the Vote urges Wisconsin residents to send their state legislators laments that:
 

According to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study, 36 percent of young people, including more than 70 percent of African-Americans ages 18 to 24, do not have a driver's license. An estimated 23 percent of people ages 65 and older do not have a Wisconsin driver's license or other photo ID. Under this bill, student IDs, even those issued by a state university, wouldn't be accepted at the polls. Voting is a fundamental, constitutional right that shouldn't be subject to one's ability to get to the DMV or pay for a passport...


 

Yet under the state Senate bill that RTV opposes that would require voter ID, there are provisions for those who cannot afford a state-issued ID...

 

There's even provisions for those who for religious reasons do not wish to be photographed.

 

And as for RTV's complaint about the elderly being disenfranchised (emphasis mine), there are exemptions for invalids and residents of nursing homes or retirement communities.

What's really going on here?  There is a war on voting.  Radical leftists like Rock the Vote know that far-left candidates are benefitting from voter fraud and they are seeking to protect its practice.  They believe the left is entitled to power because the left is morally superior.  Therefore, any tactics that must be used to achieve that power are legitimate - what's cancelling out a few legal conservative votes with a handful of illegal ones if the end result is a better government, they reason.

 

MSNBC is right to discuss a "war on voting."  Too bad they don't have the courage or integrity to turn the tables on the instigators of that war.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, March 11 2011

The country's largest child-killing facility, Planned Parenthood, has decided it's time to fight back against those who want to take it off the public dime.  Actually, it's time to shut the doors of this historically racist organization permanently.  But taking away tax dollars is seen by some as a good start.

 

But those dedicated to killing infants for profit are not going down without a fight: 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America is fighting a congressional attempt to end federal funding for the organization with a nationwide bus tour, dubbed the "Truth Tour."  The organization's bright pink bus advertises various Planned Parenthood statistics and health data, but it does not include the number of abortions the organization has performed.


Now that's interesting.  There is no questioning, looking at funding numbers, that Planned Parenthood's largest money maker is its abortion work.  And there's no questioning that Planned Parenthood regards abortion as a legitimate procedure and not morally improper.  So why not tout the great number of abortions they perform?

 

This is all very instructive.  Abortion rights activists have long told us that abortion saves women's lives, and that it is not only a safe practice, but it is the fulfillment of a woman's autonomy.  So why not put in on the bus?  Why not be proud of the staggering number of abortions they provide to "scared or dying women?"

 

The refusal to do so betrays what we all already know: there's something immoral about the practice.  There's something controversial and wrong about decapitating kids in the womb as a form of birth control.

 

If that is the case, why would we want to fund it with tax dollars?  Why would we want to allow it at all?  Someone should tell Planned Parenthood that is what their bus tour is conveying.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 11 2011

Proudly highlighted in the Kokomo Tribune front page article "Rallying Support: Thousands protest at Statehouse against GOP agenda" is one 11-year-old Devon Short. Wearing a sticker-covered hard hat, he carried a sign that read, "Republicans hate puppies and kids."

 

Really? This is worthy of front page content?

 

I read the entire article. Like prior articles and news reports, this contains no content concerning the issues at hand. Only the typical soundbites: "This is bringing us all together for a common fight [Ooops! Civility language alert!] to save all working people."


 

I look at this hoopla in astonished amazement. The overarching issue is freedom. The Indiana State Legislature has presented a few reform bills that provide greater freedom of choice for its citizens. However, special interest groups are opposing the bills and attempting to bully into submission anyone who supports them. They claim that the institutions impacted by reform bills will suffer because they will not be adequately supported by citizens who are given the choice to participate in them or not. This does not make sense, because they tell us at the same time how vital these institutions are to Indiana citizens. Since they are so valuable, then free citizens making informed choices will logically and naturally support them. In fact, with the freedom of citizens to choose, these vital institutions should come out with even more support than they enjoy today through coercion.

 

The special interest lobbyists go on and on about how their rallies mirror the recent protests in Middle Eastern nations. Again, there is a large disconnect. The Middle Eastern protestors are seeking freedom from their autocracies. The special interest protestors in America are seeking the continuation of government imposed coercion and subjugation. Buried in their class warfare rhetoric is the reality that these special interest groups demand that Indiana citizens shall not be afforded any freedom to choose.

 

History demonstrates repeatedly that at some point the absence of freedom results in tyranny. What is your choice?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2011

One of the basic democratic principles upon which our civilization is based is "majority rule with minority rights."  For the last several weeks, Democrats in Wisconsin have been attempting to destroy that principle.  In an outrageous demonstration of political theater, Wisconsin Senate Democrats fled the state to try to prevent action on Governor Walker's budget proposals from going forward.  They did it as a sign of solidarity with their union masters.

 

But the theater quickly devolved into something far more sinister.  It became an unscrupulous attempt to reverse that core democratic principle and stand it on its head: "minority rule with majority capitulation."  The brashness of their cause was exceeded only by their supporters.

 

 

Getting profound media protection for their antics, Democrats framed this move as a protest of the lack of debate over the bill in question.  Of course, that was exposed as nonsense when Republicans offered to pull portions of the bill, hold hearings and debate the bill on the floor before the vote.all of which the Democrats refused.

 

Seeing the handwriting on the wall and recognizing this power play for what it was, Wisconsin Republicans decided enough was enough and shocked the political world by demonstrating a backbone that has been sorely lacking from their Party:

On Wednesday night, Wisconsin Senate Republicans did what most people thought impossible ? they passed Governor Scott Walker's budget-repair bill virtually intact, without having to split out controversial provisions that limited the ability for government employees to collectively bargain.

 

A letter Democrat Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller sent the governor today, indicating Miller's unwillingness to further negotiate any details of the bill, was what prompted the GOP's decision to take the bill to the floor.

 

"It was like, ?I'm in the minority, and I'm going to dictate to you what your options are,'" said one GOP source about Miller's letter. It was just three days ago that Miller had sent Fitzgerald a letter urging more negotiations, despite the fact that Governor Walker had been negotiating with at least two Democrat senators for nearly a week. "With his recent letter, it became clear that all he wanted to do was stall," said the GOP source.

 

Another action that provoked the GOP senators to act was Democrat Senator Lena Taylor's very public decision to have a spring election absentee ballot sent to her in Illinois. The spring election is scheduled for April 5th, which indicated Taylor's desire to stay out of the state for another month. "That sure didn't help," said one GOP source.

Not long ago I talked on the radio about the Republicans' options in ending the stand off.  We discussed that the Republicans could amend quorum rules to be defined as "having the opportunity to vote either by physical presence, email, or proxy."  I also mentioned that Republicans could start passing a tremendous amount of politically oriented laws (voter ID, birth certificate verification, etc.) that would anger the Democrats, but that would not require the same quorum numbers since they weren't spending bills.

 

What I never thought of was what the Republicans did: simply strip the spending portions of the contested bill from its text and pass it through.  I can only imagine when word reached Illinois that their usurping scheme had failed.


 

Some suggest that Republicans will face steep political consequences for their tough stand.  I appreciate the words of one such Republican when confronted with that possibility:

"Look, from Day One, the [unions] have been threatening physical violence and political recalls," [Republican Senator Randy] Hopper says. "But it's more important for us to do our jobs than keep our jobs. This is not something that we are going to run our next political campaign on. This is something that we are going to tell our grandchildren about, that we fixed the state for them."

Tea Party and common sense Americans in the private sector should rally just as intensely to support the courage of these Republicans.  No doubt the unions will be pulling out all the stops to attempt to undo their undoing.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2011

The cry of many tea partiers was that there is no fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats.  Republicans promised them to prove that notion wrong if they would be given but one more chance to lead.

 

In a development that can only be called unacceptable, House Republican leader Eric Cantor has joined with Democrat whip Steny Hoyer in saying that the federal budget simply can't be balanced anytime soon.

In response to questions from CNSNews.com, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia made clear this week that the American people should not expect either party to balance the federal budget anytime in the next decade.

 

That's right: Neither House Democrats nor House Republicans plan on balancing the budget in the next decade...

 

 

Later on Tuesday, at Cantor's press briefing, CNSNews.com's Dan Joseph similarly noted that Obama's plan does not call for balancing the budget in the next decade. Then he asked, "Will the Republicans pass a budget that balances sometime in the next decade, and if so, what year?"

 

"It is very difficult to balance the budget within 10 years without cutting seniors benefits now," said Cantor. "And as I said before, our vision of entitlement reform will protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement. As I am told, you cannot balance this budget in 10 years without severely impacting the benefits that current seniors and retirees are getting now. So the answer to your question is our budget will balance in the future while we work to protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement and actually move towards reforming the programs for those 54 and younger."

 

Elsewhere in his press briefing, Cantor said, "We have said that those 55 and older will not see any change in their benefits."

 

So here, in a syllogism, is the Republican House leadership's position on the deficit: 1) "You cannot balance this budget in 10 years without severely impacting the benefits current seniors and retirees are getting now," and 2) "We have said that those 55 and older will not see any change in their benefits." Therefore, we will not balance the budget until that time in the future -- beyond 10 years from today -- when doing so will not change the federal entitlement benefits of any American who is 55 or older.

 

But America cannot afford another decade of escalating debt.

First things first: if Cantor believes that Americans will be thrilled that Republicans are promising only 10 more years of living beyond our means while the Democrats are promising 20, he is sorely mistaken.


We have been saying for some time that our economic calamity cannot be avoided without some serious and drastic cuts.  The Republicans talked a lot about that during the campaign.  Democrats are reveling that Republicans are now seeing that just isn't plausible in Washington.  Average Americans, as well as Tea Party types, are likely to be livid at that suggestion.



Yes, Republicans will be torn to shreds politically if they call for drastic cuts that will improve our economic situation.  And it is understandable why they would be getting cold feet.  But this is a chance for leadership - real leadership.  Democrats may be right in their belief that Americans of today will choose their personal comforts and selfishness over the sacrifice necessary to save our republic.  But Republicans were elected to offer us the opportunity to prove them wrong.

 

That Republican leaders seem to now be eliminating that option to preserve the blessings of liberty to our posterity is unimpressive, unconscionable, and unacceptable.  Mr. Cantor and his cohorts would be wise to reconsider their sorry stance.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2011

The left is beside itself right now due to the fact that Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) has held hearings in his House Committee on Homeland Security entitled, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."  Islamic representative Keith Ellison (D, MN) has called them "frightening."  I'm not sure if Islamic representative Andre Carson (D, IN) has had time to respond given his busy schedule of lying about hearing racial epithets hurled at him during the healthcare debate.

 

Nonetheless, the left is in full pompous mode, declaring these hearings xenophobic, bigoted and hate-filled.  Got that?  It's not hate filled or bigoted to suggest that our biggest terror threat comes from pro-life groups or Christian extremists, but to hold hearings about the danger of Islamic terror coming to our shores (as it has infiltrated Europe through the slow process of immigration) is unacceptable.


 

The editors at National Review add some much needed common sense to all this:

The scandal is that they have been so long in coming.

 

The Department of Homeland Security was created in direct response to an act of Islamic terror, an act perpetrated by radical Muslims who lived and worked, planned and plotted inside the United States. Post-9/11, the threat of homegrown jihad is as great or greater. Just yesterday, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a Colorado mother who had converted to Islam, married a suspected Algerian terrorist, and moved with him to Ireland to plot attacks in Europe, pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge. She had previously been in contact with Colleen LaRose ? aka Jihad Jane ? a Pennsylvania woman who herself pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the name of Islam. As we write, Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major of Palestinian descent, who was radicalized in the same Virginia mosque that nourished a number of the 9/11 hijackers and their American-born spiritual leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, sits in jail for the religiously motivated slaughter of 13 at Ft. Hood. He joins Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who will spend the rest of his life in prison after a botched attempt to blow up Times Square for the favor of Allah. Then there are Bryant Neal Vinas, Sharif Mobley, John Walker Lindh, and "the D.C. Five," all American-born converts to radical Islam arrested in the course of waging jihad against the United States.

 

These aren't mere anecdotes. They are constitutive of the brute fact that homegrown terror is an overwhelmingly Islamic phenomenon. And yet a search of the Homeland Security hearings in the 111th yields not one mention of Islamism or jihad. So the cries of religious persecution from groups like CAIR and their allies on the left badly miss the point: It isn't that we have cast a discriminatory eye toward Islam, but that excessive concern with the pieties of multicultural relativism has prevented us from being sufficiently critical of Islamism. A problem cannot be dealt with that is not first faced foursquarely, and, to appropriate a phrase, we have for too long been a nation of cowards when it comes to addressing jihadist radicalism between our shores. Representative King's hearings make an honest first effort to do that.

Amen.  This is an issue that separates those who are truly concerned about national and homeland security from those who see our greatest threat in the breakdown of their multicultural agenda.  What is a Homeland Security committee for if it's not to investigate and hold hearings on these matters?

 

Actually, the Democrats have an answer for that.  Care to see how they spent your time and money on this committee these last couple years?  Here are some of the hearings they held.all to protect you, of course:

"Katrina/Rita FEMA Trailers: Are They Safe or Environmental Time Bombs?" "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and the Federal Workforce." "Online Privacy, Social Networking, and Crime Victimization." "The State of U.S. Coins and Currency." "Diversity and the Department of Homeland Security: Continuing Challenges and New Opportunities." "Civil Rights Services and Diversity Initiatives in the Coast Guard." "Protecting Animal and Public Health: Homeland Security and the Federal Veterinarian Workforce." "The Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2009." "Tribal Police Recruitment, Hiring, Training, and Retention at the Bureau of Indian Affairs." "Organized Retail Crime."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you and your family are not safe under this administration.  The Democrats are not serious about national security, they are not serious about Homeland Security.  That doesn't mean the Republicans are always right or that they always have the best ideas.  It simply means what it says: the Democrats have nothing to offer on the subject because in general, they are disinterested in the topic.

 

That may be the greatest danger of all.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2011

It has to be one of the most glaring flip-flops in modern American political history, and yet the network news is yawning.  Why?  Because they fear what exposing the inconsistency will do to the political future of their beloved chosen one.

 

Here was the Barack Obama campaign leading up to the election of 2008:

Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. Guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for our enemies. The legal framework behind Guantanamo has failed completely, resulting in only one conviction. President Bush's own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, wants to close it. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, wants to close it.

The first step to reclaiming America's standing in the world has to be closing this facility. As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo. He will reject the Military Commissions Act, which allowed the U.S. to circumvent Geneva Conventions in the handling of detainees. He will develop a fair and thorough process based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice to distinguish between those prisoners who should be prosecuted for their crimes, those who can't be prosecuted but who can be held in a manner consistent with the laws.


Because you read blogs like this one, you are now aware that Mr. Obama has done a total reversal on those points.  Besides keeping the wars going, besides continuing the policy of renditions, besides following the Bush strategic plans in Iraq, Mr. Obama has now totally abandoned his pledge to close Guantanamo.

 

Any other president and this would be the lead story for a week or two.  We would have in-depth analysis of the psychological effect this decision is having on inmates and the guards.  We would see foreign policy gurus explaining what this decision does to our standing in the world.  We would be treated to visual transcripts and audio clips of the president on the campaign trail juxtaposed against the new position.  It would go on and on and on.  But not with Mr. Obama.

The three evening newscasts on Monday and the morning shows on Tuesday mostly ignored Barack Obama's abandonment of a campaign pledge to close Guantanamo Bay and end trials of detainees there. NBC's Today, CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America all covered the story only in news briefs. Yet, when President Bush was in the White House, the networks obsessed over the issue.

Today's Ann Curry called the move to resume military trials there a "stunning reversal," but the network allowed just two brief anchor reads during the four hour program. ABC almost completely ignored the development. Monday's World News skipped the topic entirely.

 

On Tuesday's Good Morning America, Juju Chang offered a single mention, explaining, "And an about-face from President Obama on Guantanamo Bay. He is resuming military trials for terrorism suspects held in Cuba, two years after he pledged to close the prison."

 

Chuck Todd on Monday's Nightly News managed to shove the news into the end of a story on another topic. He added, "Now, Brian, I've got one other important note here from the White House. No issue's bedeviled this President more than trying to keep his promise of shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay." Yet, for a problem "bedeviling" the President, NBC didn't seem terribly interested.

CBS's Katie Couric blandly related the development in a news brief.

Make no mistake: Obama made the only decision he could make.  And it is the right decision.  What is unconscionable, however, is his refusal to be man enough to acknowledge he was wrong and participated in the unfair characterization of his predecessor as a maniacal authoritarian who kept Gitmo open only to satisfy his lust for power and vengeance.

 

And it's equally appalling that the networks don't have the integrity to point that out.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2011

I know this is a tad late, but I just ran across it on another website:


I was eating lunch today with my 12 year old grandson when his mom asked him "What is tomorrow?" He said "It's President's Day."  She asked "What does that mean?".... I was waiting for something profound...He said "President's Day is when Obama steps out of the White House and if he sees his shadow, we have 2 more years of unemployment."

Classic!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 09 2011

Add 126 more waivers to ObamaCare approved by the administration during the Friday afternoon document dump (for those unaware, administrations will typically hide controversial or embarrassing maneuvers in a flurry of activity late on Friday afternoons to: 1. avoid the scrutiny that would come during the week given that most people pay less attention to the news on weekends, and 2. hopefully hide the action in the midst of many other actions all announced at once).

 

So what's the grand total up to now?

The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000, according to new numbers disclosed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

...

 

Republican lawmakers have seized on the waivers as proof that the law they want to see repealed is flawed, and they have accused the administration of giving them waivers as gifts to union allies.


Republicans have probably leveled this accusation because the administration is giving waivers as gifts to union allies.  How so?  The demands placed upon health insurance providers calls for the elimination of coverage limits.  This is what sounds so nice to the non-thinking citizen: "We won't let those evil insurance corporations limit how much insurance you can have every year.that's just wrong!  You should be able to have them pay for as much as you need them to pay for!"  Of course, this only works in the world of government - where tax dollars are an endless stream of revenue and deficits are allowed.

 

In the real insurance market, if a company doesn't limit or cap the amount they're willing to pay (which the client knows when he signs on and begins to pay his insurance premiums) every year, they would not be able to keep their business solvent.  It would collapse, and everyone insured would be out of luck.

 

Well, that is, until the crisis provokes big government to step in and be the savior, promising to cover those who have "become uninsured by the short-sighted and corrupt business practices of the greedy insurance companies who were only in it for themselves and left all these poor people without insurance."  If you don't see this coming, you haven't been paying attention.

 

Look at what happened in the housing crisis.  Government made unrealistic demands for mortgage companies to make loans to people who had bad credit and couldn't afford the homes they were "buying."  When they couldn't meet their payments, foreclosures started.and in rushed big government to "solve and save" the problem they created.

 

This is all about eclipsing freedom.  The unintended consequence for Mr. Obama is that his "no-cap" plan is working too well - and is threatening even his allies like unions.  Thus, the waivers. 

 

The question remains unanswered: if this bill is so great, why are all of Mr. Obama's friends and allies getting exemptions - leaving those of us who didn't want it in the first place as the only ones stuck with it?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 09 2011

Proving the incoherent attitude the Obama administration has towards our energy situation, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave an absolutely incredible answer when asked about drilling in ANWR.

CNSNews.com asked Salazar, "Given the rising cost of gasoline why is the administration opposed to drilling in the arctic refuge?"

 

"We don't believe that you need to drill everywhere and we don't believe that the 'drill, baby, drill' program is the way that's going to get us to the energy independence that we need for America or that will power our economy and that's why the President has been so clear from day one and we in the Department of Interior have been so clear that what we need to do is need to have a robust energy program that includes a number of different sources of energy and while yes, we are pushing forward with oil and gas development both offshore and onshore which was the subject of much of the hearing today, we're also moving forward with renewable energy," he told CNSNews.com after testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee about his Department's FY2012 budget.


One must wonder how that oil and gas development both offshore and onshore Mr. Salazar references is affected by the drilling moratoriums - both offshore and onshore.  One must wonder how they are affected by the President's allegiance to the rabid environmental lobby.  One must wonder how they are affected by the President's obsession with unmarketable and supremely inferior solar and wind strategies.  One must wonder how they are affected by a president who doesn't mind $4 a gallon gasoline or an energy secretary who believes we should be paying European levels for gas at the pump ($8 a gallon).

 

This is more song and dance while the nation suffers the increased cost of gas and oil - all at a time when we are sitting on some of the largest deposits of oil, oil shale, coal, and natural gas deposits in the world.

 

Inexcusable.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 09 2011

Something very interesting happened in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.  The editorial board there accidentally corroborated the concerns of conservatives who lament the collective bargaining demands of public unions.  How?  By pointing out that this bargaining has led to exorbitant increases in wages and benefits at a time when the state can ill-afford them.

 

Check it out:

At a time when public school students are being forced into ever more crowded classrooms, and poor families will lose state medical benefits, New York State is paying 10 times more for state employees' pensions than it did just a decade ago.

 

That huge increase is largely because of Albany's outsized generosity to the state's powerful employees' unions in the early years of the last decade, made worse when the recession pushed down pension fund earnings, forcing the state to make up the difference.


 

Although taxpayers are on the hook for the recession's costs, most state employees pay only 3 percent of their salaries to their pensions, half the level of most state employees elsewhere. Their health insurance payments are about half those in the private sector.

 

In all, the salaries and benefits of state employees add up to $18.5 billion, or a fifth of New York's operating budget. Unless those costs are reined in, New York will find itself unable to provide even essential services.

Just to reiterate, this is precisely the concern that conservatives around the country have been expressing regarding the public union entity.  While private unions are bargaining for more of "management's" money - keeping in mind they can't demand too much or they will wreck the business and their own livelihoods - public unions are bargaining for more of taxpayer money.

 

Since it's not theirs, Democrats who got elected largely because of the support and contributions from public unions, continue feeding more and more taxpayer dollars into the public union's mouth.  What does that do?  Sure, it ensures that Democrats get reelected, but it also wrecks the state's financial situation.

 

As shocking as it was to see this in the NYT, it wasn't so shocking to see them quickly realize what they were perhaps inadvertently doing and issue this disclaimer:

To point out these alarming facts is not to be anti- union, or anti-worker. In recent weeks, Republican politicians in the Midwest have distorted what should be a serious discussion about state employees' benefits, cynically using it as a pretext to crush unions.

The only distortion that has been done is that of media outlets like the NYT who fail to note that the very concerns they are predicting for New York are the very realities that are befalling places like Wisconsin.  The suggestion they make to have a "serious conversation" about this problem is what they no longer have time to do in Wisconsin - thus requiring drastic action.

 

They didn't intend to, but the NYT just carried the conservative water.

 

H/T Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 09 2011

Lest there be any confusion, let's be clear: racism is alive and well in the United States of America.  The reality is, however, that there is great distortion about who is perpetrating it, who are the victims, and what must be done to alleviate it.

 

So often, the ones who are keeping racism alive are those who claim to be its opponents.  The race-hustlers on the left have made a living off of the race-industry, and so - as sad as it is - it stands to reason that they have no desire to see racial division come to an end.  That's why you'll see them stoking the fires of racial discord even when it is unmerited, unwarranted and unnecessary.


 

And the biggest targets of their viciousness are racial minorities who have a different political belief than they do.  Truth be told, you will not find more hateful, hate-filled, rancorous racial attacks taking place in the country than those that the left heaps upon conservative minorities.  That's why those of us who truly do believe in Dr. King's dream of a colorblind society must stand with them and call out the race-baiters for who and what they are...something conservative minority writer Michelle Malkin has done:

My fellow Americans, who are "your people"? I ask because U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black, used the phrase "my people" in congressional testimony this week. It was an unmistakably color-coded and exclusionary reference intended to deflect criticism of the Obama Justice Department's selective enforcement policies. It backfired.

 

In pandering to skin-deep identity politics and exacerbating race-consciousness, Holder has given the rest of us a golden opportunity to stand up, identify "our people" and show the liberal poseurs what post-racialism really looks like.

 

Herman Cain is my people. He's my brother-in-arms. I've never met him. But we are family. We are kin because we are unhyphenated Americans who are comfortable in the black, brown and yellow skin we are in. We are growing in numbers ? on college campuses, in elected office, on the Internet, on radio airwaves, everywhere. And that drives liberals mouth-frothing crazy.

 

Cain is the successful Georgia businessman who has wowed audiences across the country with his passion for free markets, free minds and the American Dream. The former president of Godfather's Pizza and forceful tea party speaker happens to be black. So he must pay the price that all minority conservatives in public life must pay. As I noted last week, a cowardly liberal writer recently derided Cain as a "monkey in the window," a "garbage pail kid" and a "minstrel" who performs for his "masters."

 

Race traitors. Whores. Sellouts. House Niggas. Self-haters. I've heard it for nearly 20 years in public life. Every outspoken minority conservative has. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but these spiteful epithets can't enslave us.

Malkin goes on to talk about retired Army lieutenant colonel Allen West as well as American blogger (of Cuban descent) Val Prieto who have taken courageous stands against the race-hustlers of the left.  She also makes special room for Katrina Pierson, whom she calls a "feisty young Texas mom and Dallas tea party activist" for confronting the NAACP's race game with a rousing speech:


"The reality is that we colored people no longer require the assistance from other Negros for advancement," Pierson said. "These groups run to the rescue of distressed brown people only when the media deems it newsworthy. Meanwhile, there are inner city black children who continue to grow up fatherless while sharing a neighborhood with stray bullets, drugs and a plethora of liquor stores on every corner. ...
I don't believe that the true meaning of this nation's creed was to move black people from one form of slavery to another."

Malkin's push for "un-hyphenated" Americans (meaning no more talk about African-American or Asian-American or Latino-American...just American) is a clear sign as to who is honestly and earnestly seeking the dream of Dr. King.  It also reveals who is interested in perpetuating a racial divide and discord that has introduced them to profit, power and preeminence...Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Todd Jealous, are you guys listening?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 08 2011

Here's a shock: a couple Hollywood/entertainment liberals doing and saying stupid things.  Why do I take the time to point that out?  Because sadly, too many of us regard the actions of these hipsters as the standard for what is cool and what is not.

 

As odd as it may be for the rational among us to comprehend, people like famous-for-no-apparent-reason Kim Kardashian and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons (any relation to Richard?) wield great influence over the thinking of many young people and wanna-be entertainment types.

 

So what are they up to now?  The USA Today reports:

Some 300 people gathered in Times Square on Sunday to speak out against a planned congressional hearing on Muslim terrorism, criticizing it as xenophobic and saying that singling out Muslims, rather than extremists, is unfair.

 

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and the imam who had led an effort to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site were among those who addressed the crowd.

This was an event where the entertainers proclaimed themselves to be "Today, I am a Muslim too."  A concept so insane that I can't even begin to add to Mark Steyn's excellent critique:

"Today I Am A Muslim, Too." So, like, you can be a Muslim on a Sunday and something else on a Monday? Hey, that's great! Who knew? Maybe Russell Simmons could pass the good news on to Said Musa? They didn't get the memo on death row in Kabul, where he was imprisoned for converting to Christianity.

 

Kim Kardashian was unable to attend the rally but tweeted her support for it. Maybe Kim could jet in to the village of Soul in Egypt's Helwan Governorate and personally pass on to the locals the exciting news that you can be Muslim just for a photo-op and then move on. I'm sure the girlfriend of Coptic Christian Ashraf Iskander would love to hear that, assuming she's still alive:

 

A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George.

 

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

 

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.

 

The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside...

The truth is that Russell Simmons or Kim Kardashian would be the first targets for stoning if they lived under Muslim law.  That this is apparently lost on them is astounding. 

 

But the fact that they know so very little about the nature of Islam that they would tout being Muslim for a day - not even realizing that if it were truly the case, they wouldn't be allowed to leave, except upon penalty of death! - is frightening.  Particularly when you think of how many impressionable minds full of mush are lapping up their every word.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 08 2011

The Supreme Court has shot down Michael Newdow (the atheist agitator who makes his living off of attacking God in the public square) by announcing that they will not hear his challenge to take "In God We Trust" off of American currency.

 

Newdow's larger purpose was to gain precedent for a removal of all references to God in the public square as "unconstitutional."  The high court refused to hear the case upholding the lower court's ruling.  That lower court ruling is perhaps the biggest story: 

The court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Michael Newdow, who says government references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs.


 

This appeal dealt with the inscription of the national motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins and currency. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco says the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and "has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion."

 

The court refused to hear Newdow's appeal of that decision.

Even the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco shot him down.  That tells you how outrageous of a case this truly was, given that the 9th once agreed with Newdow that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance were an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

 

Though the Supremes later struck down the 9th only on a technicality (they ruled that Newdow, not being the custodial parent of the girl he was representing had no standing to sue), perhaps that professional rebuke led the 9th to think better of their decision this time around.

 

Whatever the case, it's nice to see Mr. Newdow get the cold shoulder for his ludicrous, unnecessary, unproductive and frivolous suits that are an habitual drain on taxpayer resources.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 08 2011

As the Tea Party movement was in its infant stages, many on the left sought to stunt its growth by proclaiming that it was nothing but a creation of the Republican Party.  After all, where were all these deficit hawks when George W. Bush was racking up monstrous debt, they cried.

 

It was a fair point...at the time.

 

Now, however, even some sap who thought Bush's deficits were tolerable would be outraged by what Mr. Obama has managed to do.  And what is that?  Take a look:

The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.

 

That figure tops last February's record of $220.9 billion.

Yes, you read that correctly.  In one month, Barack Obama's fiscal irresponsibility has led us to a $223 billion deficit.  That is the largest monthly deficit in our nation's history - eclipsing the previous record...the preceding February!  


 

This cannot be blamed on what he inherited from Bush any longer.  He owns this economy after two years - particularly when he touts how his fiscal plans saved us from calamity and have us on the rebound.

 

These numbers also come courtesy of the Nancy Pelosi-led Congress and cannot be laid at the feet of Republicans there.  This mess is purely a Democrat mess.  It represents the totality of their economic plans and abilities: tax and spend us into oblivion.

 

Just for reference consider this flashback from the Wall Street Journal in 2007:

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Friday that the U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2007, which ended Sunday, was about $161 billion.

What does this mean?  It means that Barack Obama's runaway spending habits have resulted in us racking up more debt in one month than anything that "irresponsible, failed leader" George W. Bush accumulated in one year.

 

And what do we hear from the left?  Cue the crickets.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 08 2011

More on the Natalie Portman pregnancy front.  After being skewered by the left for praising the glory of motherhood as her, "most important role," Portman took a hit from the right as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee expressed his concern regarding the message it was sending to our culture:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is criticizing Oscar-winner Natalie Portman's pregnancy because she's not married.

 

In an interview with radio talk show host Michael Medved that took place on Monday but that's getting traction today, Huckabee said that Portman's out-of-wedlock pregnancy was "troubling."

 

"It's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea" of having children without being married, Huckabee said on the program.

In other words, Huckabee isn't attacking Portman so much as the glorification of unwed pregnancy.  And, as expected, he is getting the Dan Quayle treatment from the glitterati (though to a lesser degree than the former Vice President got for his comments on Murphy Brown).


 

Agreeing with Huckabee is not hypocritical for those of us who criticized the liberal critique of Portman's remarks.  Why?  Because Huckabee's comments are actually totally consistent with the problems we pointed out about the left's mentality.  The liberal attack on Portman was running down the institution of family.  Huckabee's remarks are building up the institution of family.

 

Consider Huckabee's comments in context:

"You know Michael, one of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ?Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie."

 

"Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing."

He's exactly right.  The glorification of unwed pregnancy may not seem like a big deal to those who are uber-wealthy, but such a lifestyle is ripping our culture apart at its seams everywhere else.  And for conservatives, there should be few issues more important than this.  Why?  Because family is the backbone of our civilization and it touches every other area we deem important.  Economics and debt?  As Huckabee pointed out:

"You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids ? across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering."

Portman is doing the right thing in having the child, and it is refreshing that she seems to grasp the significant responsibility of being a parent.  That should be lauded and praised.  But a careful distinction should be made between praising her response to the pregnancy and the irresponsibility she exhibited in becoming pregnant outside of marriage.  It's not wrong to acknowledge about both.  In fact, it's crucial for our civilization that we do.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 08 2011

They burn the American flag and cheer. They protest moral decency and cheer. They impede national defense efforts and cheer. Whenever rational Americans express offense at such actions, liberals are quick to jeer and pull the vulgarity trigger.

 

So what offends liberals? Try Norman Rockwell.

 

Yes. Even though much contemporary "art" - like a crucifix immersed in urine - is offensive to many Americans, numerous art critics celebrate it. But, toss in a classic Norman Rockwell painting and, well...

 "I can't stand the view of America he presents," claims art critic Blake Gropnick. "I feel it insults a huge number of us non-mainstream folks."


Yep. There you have it. In fact, not only does Mr. Gropnick offended by Rockwell's art, he starkly declares it un-American!

This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

Perhaps, though, Gropnick is offended because Rockwell is too American, which means that America is actually full of - well - Americans! How offensive.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 07 2011

When does the assassination of a government official in charge of minorities not become the lead story of the network broadcast news?  When the official is a Christian and is assassinated by Muslim extremists who loathe religious freedom.  It doesn't fit the narrative, after all.

 

The story comes out of Pakistan and lest you believe it was a relatively inconsequential event, even the New York Times gave it a front page lead:

As many as four men ambushed Shahbaz Bhatti, a 42-year-old Christian, yesterday as he left home without a security escort, Geo television reported, citing a police official, Bin Yamin. Bhatti was dead when brought to the city's Al-Shifa Hospital, the institution's spokesman, Azmatullah Quraishi, said by telephone.


 

Television channels showed leaflets found at the scene in which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for killing Bhatti. They said he was targeted for heading a government- appointed committee to review the blasphemy law, which prescribes the death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

 

Bhatti, a Roman Catholic and former leader of Pakistan's main minority-rights group, was killed eight weeks after Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, was shot to death by one of his bodyguards. Both men had called publicly for changes to the [nation's blasphemy] law.

I guess running this story undermines some of the mainstream media's most sacrosanct principles: Islam is a religion of peace, the Muslim world is just as tolerant and respectful of religious freedom as the West, the greatest enemy to openness and tolerance is the American Christian, Sharia law with its blasphemy statutes is not something to fear, the separation of church and state applies to Christians only.

 

Let's ask this question in reverse and maybe it'll make more sense.  If a Britain's leading Muslim governmental official was ambushed and assassinated by a group of four Christians who were angry about the official not forcing everyone to submit to the religion of Christ, do you think we'd have heard about it?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 07 2011

Haley Barbour has been contradicted by the Associated Press for making the assertion that Barack Obama favors an increase in gasoline prices.  In their piece, the AP acknowledges that Obama's secretary of energy, Steven Chu, is on the record calling for Americans to pay gas prices equal to European levels (think $7 or $8 a gallon), but then corrects Barbour by writing:

Obama has distanced himself from those comments.

Really?  When did that happen?  Why, if that's the case, did Obama himself state the last time gasoline ran up to $4 a gallon,

"I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment."

Preferring a gradual adjustment up to $4 doesn't mean you don't want gas to be $4 a gallon, AP.  It means you would prefer to slowly ease the country into those prices rather than have it happen abruptly. 


 

And let's remember what would cause Obama (or anyone) to favor higher gasoline prices.  It would be some devotion to non-marketable alternative energy sources.  If gas becomes too expensive to buy, Obama and his fellow liberal dreamers hope that will spur some great interest in propelling our cars with windmills or solar panels.

 

Higher gas prices is the great solution to pushing us towards an energy policy that Mr. Obama is on record supporting.  THAT is why Barbour's comments are accurate.  If the AP wants to contradict him they're going to need to confront those realities, not just pathetically dismiss them by saying Obama has "distanced himself" from the idea.

 

Distancing himself means he recognizes the political consequences to the comments - consequences he doesn't want to have to pay.  But Mr. Obama's policies (refusing domestic energy exploration, drilling moratoriums, global warming legislation, etc.) are right in line with an underlying desire to see gas prices rise.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 07 2011

From the start, it was pretty apparent that the political group, "No Labels" was nothing but a classic group of left-leaners attempting to portray themselves as centrists.  This problem is systemic on the left.  They recognize that 2 times as many Americans are conservative as are liberal.  Thus, portraying themselves to be who they are is not a smart political move.  Portraying themselves as "centrists" is much more palatable.

 

Add to that the success the left has had in convincing too many Americans that there is something inherently noble about being "moderate" (while I suppose being moderately wrong is better than being fully wrong, it still isn't as good as being right), and their tireless attempts to redefine the political spectrum where left becomes center, center becomes right, and right becomes radical, and you have the formation of a political strategy.


 

Putting this strategy into practice was this group "No Labels."  The media gave them fawning attention - as they always do when a group of liberals find a new way to try to market themselves.  You might remember the hubbub not long ago.  Since then?  Nothing. 

 

Apparently aware that they are slipping beneath the waters of insignificance, the group's founders have issued a public statement announcing that they are planning a big pow-wow on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program where they hope the Tea Party and MoveOn.org will send representatives to "come together to solve our problems."  Good grief.

 

If anyone honestly believes that this ridiculousness is actually going to solve any problems besides providing a teensy bit of publicity from an increasingly obscure group of liberals-posing-as-moderates, they aren't thinking.  I'm not saying it won't be entertaining television.  Just that it shows how unserious "No Labels" is and always has been.  It will not affect any policy, any lawmaker, or any "public debate."  What will it do?  P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters sums it up this way:

So this will accomplish what other than generate a slight bit of publicity for MSNBC's Morning Joe show? The real message of this No Labels press release seems to be: "Yoo! Hoo! In case you haven't noticed we still exist...at least in our own minds."

If you think about it, the geniuses at "No Labels" should have known their experiment was doomed from the start.  Once the group takes a position on an issue, they are going to earn a label as either supporting the left or right.  Further, the group called themselves "moderate."  That, in and of itself, is a label!

 

So while it comes as no surprise to see the flipping and flailing last gasps of this left-leaning group as they slip into irrelevance, it's an instructive lesson for the left: just be who you are.  You may not win elections, but at least you'd be honest.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 05 2011

It has often been said that the divorce rate in the church is no different than the rest of society. This is not really true. Based upon the best data available, Christians actually do have lower divorce rates than people of no or nominal faith. Due to religion's positive influence upon individual values and behaviors, people who actively practice some type of traditional faith do tend to have lower divorce rates than the rest of society.

Couples who regularly attend weekly religious services, regularly practice religious commitments such as prayer reading the Bible and religious materials and generally take their faith seriously have lower divorce rates. W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, finds that "active conservative Protestants" who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce compared to those who have no religious affiliation.

Interestingly, religion can also be dangerous to your marriage. Some research finds that those who occasionally attend church but do not take their faith very seriously actually do have higher divorce rates than those with no religious affiliation. Wilcox found that nominally attending conservative Protestants are 20 percent more likely to divorce, than secular Americans.

For more information on these studies and this topic, click here to read the article, "The Christian Divorce Rate Myth," by Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 05 2011

Occasionally, in articles and talks I have invoked the famous adage of New York Judge Gideon J. Tucker, who in 1866 observed, "No man's life, liberty or property is safe when the legislature is in session." The judge's quip is generally true, but when it comes to this current shutdown of the Indiana State House, do not be deceived. We are not safer with thirty-seven AWOL Democrat legislators hiding out at a Comfort Inn in Illinois.

I am very worried about the bizarre political events in Indiana and Wisconsin. This is no longer 2010 which could be recorded as the year of the TEA Party.  Make no mistake, the far left has awakened and fully entered the fight in 2011.

While the Indiana House of Representatives has come to a halt and slowed the Senate somewhat, the players who fostered and gave cover to this shutdown have not been resting. During the shutdown, teacher's unions are working direct mail lists of not just teachers but social workers and others they see as ideological big government allies. They also have a statewide radio campaign underway. Big labor unions are busing in members from Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky for this Indiana-specific battle. In the midst of this, abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood are fighting as though the government is bankrupting them, even though the proposed removal of Indiana tax dollars represents a cut of less than 10% of their $18 million budget. (Planned Parenthood's national base is already mobilized from the similar defunding proposal in the US House, authored by Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.)

Fifty years ago, William F. Buckley warned that for a bureaucrat, government spending was like eating. ("One must keep in mind that the expansion of federal activity is a form of eating for politicians." - WFB, National Review, Sept. 8. 1964) People must realize that the recent election results were interpreted by many special interest groups tied to the government as a starvation notice.

These groups see their very livelihood in serious jeopardy right now. Such a view is a very significant motivator. (Whether this is in fact true does not seem to matter. Take for example, the notion that Right to Work is a "union buster" even though every one of the 22 right to work states still have vibrant unions. Indiana's strongest union, the ISTA is an open shop. No teacher has to join the NEA as a condition of employment, and yet the teacher's unions are undeniably strong and have unmatched power over schools and the political landscape. Incidentally, right to work legislation is off the table, yet the protests continue.)

No one should underestimate the strength of the establishment, the political left, big government types, or government funded organizations. What we are witnessing in Indiana should be a wake up call to those who supported smaller government, business freedom, parental rights, the right to life and traditional values. November's election results were not a reprieve of our involvement, it was merely step one if we are ever to stop or even slow the fiscal decline and radical restructuring of America.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 04 2011

I have to admit that I found it strange and a bit disconcerting when I watched the video of the Wisconsin House passing Governor Walker's budget-repair bill (it's the Senate where the Democrats pulled their stall tactic), I could not distinguish between the union protestors and the elected Democrats in the chamber.


 

They had put on the orange shirts, they were shouting and pointing fingers and raising a ruckus that eschewed any notion of civil, rational, dignified debate.

 

Beyond just the spectacle that created, have we paused to consider what it signifies?  Rich Lowry has:

In Wisconsin, it's less that Democrats act to protect a special interest than that they belong to a special interest. A complete identification has long existed among state government, the public-sector unions, and the Democratic party. By seeking to break up this powerful, self-dealing nexus, Walker is "assaulting," in President Barack Obama's formulation, a partisan political machine dependent on the state for its functioning.

 

The fight in Wisconsin has focused on collective-bargaining rights, but that is not the main event. As Daniel DiSalvo of the City College of New York-CUNY notes in a Weekly Standard article, 24 states either don't allow collective bargaining for public workers, or permit it for only a segment of workers. Even if Walker prevails, Wisconsin will allow more wide-ranging collective bargaining than these states.

 

...

 

No, the most important measure at stake in Wisconsin is the governor's proposal for the state to stop deducting union dues from the paychecks of state workers. This practice essentially wields the taxing power of the government on behalf of the institutional interests of the unions. It makes the government an arm of the public-sector unions. It is a priceless favor.

 

Wisconsin doesn't collect dues for Elks lodges or the NRA. What makes these organizations different from public-sector unions is that people freely choose to join them and freely choose to pay their dues. They are truly voluntary organizations that don't rely on the power of the state for their well-being. Walker wants to give members of public-sector unions a measure of this same autonomy.

 

Perhaps some of these members aren't liberal Democrats, so they don't want to pay dues ? roughly $1,000 annually in the case of teachers ? which will overwhelmingly go to funding and organizing for Democratic candidates. Perhaps some of them, regardless of their politics, want to spend that money on their families or other pressing needs. Walker will allow them to exercise a choice now closed to them. In most of 21st-century America, that surely sounds like common sense; for the unions, it sounds like a dire threat.

That is such a hugely important point to understand.  This isn't about protecting workers' rights. 

 


I am saddened that so many teachers are eager to believe that they are being abused or mistreated by the actions of Governor Walker.  His move is about weakening the stranglehold of public union power over workers and the taxpayer.

 

It's about ending the corrupt dollars-for-votes scheme the party of government (Democrats) have worked out with government employees.  It's about ending the massive fundraising racket the Democrats have institutionalized in the state.

 

As Lowry concludes:

Public-sector unions are a creature of government, and the Democrats are the party of government. The two of them have identical interests and worldviews, and both want to leverage government to swell their campaign coffers.

There's been institutional abuse codified in Wisconsin (and other states), and despite the rumors and hysteria generated by union leaders who see their monopoly crumbling, that's what Governor Walker (and others) is seeking to undo.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 04 2011

A monstrously important case has just occurred in the UK that Christians in America might want to pay attention to.  When I talked with homosexuality activist Andrea Ritchie not long ago, I asked her if the homosexual movement could "peacefully coexist" with traditional, Biblical morality.

 

Her response dodged my question, but contained enough morsels of truth to be able to piece together what she really believes to be the answer: they can peacefully coexist if Christians will capitulate.

 

This decision out of the UK is a case study to prove what's coming to America:

A court ruling has found that Christians who want to provide foster care for needy children must promote homosexuality to them and that there is only a "qualified" right to exercise their Christian beliefs.

 

The judgment comes in a claim by a Christian couple that their biblical beliefs in opposition to homosexual behavior were being used by the government to discriminate against them regarding their application to be foster parents.

 

The couple, Eunice and Owen Johns, previously had provided foster care in the United Kingdom and had applied to resume their work, but suddenly became the target of government rejection because they expressed their Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality.


 

According to the Christian Legal Centre, which also posted online the judges' decision in the landmark High Court case, the judges refused to say the Johns should be allowed to provide foster care.

 

"There now appears to be nothing to stop the increasing bar on Christians who wish to adopt or foster children but who are not willing to compromise their beliefs by promoting the practice of homosexuality to small children," the organization said.

So a Christian couple, understanding the fact that homosexuality is a violation of God's moral law, balks at the notion of placing children in the home of practicing homosexuals (just like they would balk at the notion of placing children in the home of those practicing other kinds of sexually deviant behavior). 

 

But rather than be regarded as looking out for the children's best interest, the couple becomes the target of the "tolerance police."  (Of course, this means the new "tolerance" which means accepting anything but being extraordinarily intolerant of those espousing moral absolutes).

 

This is what happens when you elevate behavior to identity.  Rational, moral disapproval of a person's actions becomes legally interpreted as unjust "discrimination."  The problem, as my conversation with Ms. Ritchie illuminated, is that you cannot write any law that is "non-discriminatory" (every law is built upon moral disapproval of an action).

 

What this case shows is yet another example of what we've been seeing in America where Christians of conscience are forced to close orphanages, shut down charities, shutter their businesses and relinquish property if they don't agree to endorse homosexuality.

 

But the most concerning part of the case out of the UK was this:

And the judges went further, declaring that Christianity has no role in the concept of justice in the UK.

 

According to the opinion authored by Lord Justice Munby and Mr. Justice Beatson, "the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form." They said, "the aphorism that 'Christianity is part of the common law of England' is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited ... it has been impossible to contend that it is law."


 

"It is important to realize that reliance upon religious belief, however conscientious the belief and however ancient and respectable the religion, can never of itself immunize the believer from the reach of the secular law. And invocation of religious belief does not necessarily provide a defense to what is otherwise a valid claim," they wrote.

 

The judges noted Article 9 of the European Convention, which explains all have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the related "practice and observance," but they said the "manifestation" of Christianity is subject to "qualifications."

Your religious rights now become "qualified," while your sexual license is open and free.  When the rights of conscience for Christians square off against the sexual preferences of others, the UK High Court had no problem choosing sides:

The ruling continued, "While as between the protected rights concerning religion and sexual orientation there is no hierarchy of rights, there may, as this case shows, be a tension between equality provisions concerning religious discrimination and those concerning sexual orientation.

 

"Where this is so ... the National Minimum Standards for Fostering and the Statutory Guidance indicate that it must be taken into account and in this limited sense the equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence."

This case should obliterate any uninformed notion we have that the homosexual lobby is a passive group.  This is about a transformative change in our cultural foundations.  What is unfolding in the UK is manifesting right here in the USA...and time to correct it is running thin.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 04 2011

So I guess the logical question is, "How did Dick Cheney convince Barack Obama to raise gas prices to benefit his cronies at Halliburton and Big Oil?"  When oil prices spiked a few summers ago, the folks on the left were convinced that's what was going on.  So what's causing it now, I wonder?  I ask that question mainly out of sheer morbid curiosity, wondering if the left will dare to start offering up explanations similar to what conservatives were saying the last time we went through this.

 

Not that they would notice or care about the hypocrisy, I suppose.  The truth is that we have a president who is on record claiming that his energy prices would cause electricity rates to "necessarily skyrocket."  We have a president who is on record claiming that he doesn't mind the thought of $4 a gallon gasoline.  We have a president who is hostile to the very policies necessary to alleviate the pain at the pump, create jobs, and spare millions of family budgets.

 

Consider:

The revolt in Libya has raised serious questions about Libya's ability to export about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day to the world.  Meanwhile, the largest pipeline in America?the trans-Alaska pipeline system or TAPS?is currently using less than one-third of its original capacity, meaning that if our government would allow it, Alaska could send 1.4 million barrels more per day to consumers in the U.S.  Alaska is hugely rich in energy resources, but unfortunately the government owns most of the land and all of the offshore waters, and it won't permit development of new resources.


The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, could produce 1 million barrels a day by itself.  At today's $100 per barrel, ANWR's 10.4 billion barrels of oil are worth over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.  The imports we need to replace the oil the government won't let us put into TAPS means Americans spend more thana $51 billion per year on foreign oil?and on foreign workers?instead of being able to buy American oil and employ American workers with that $51 billion.

 

But ANWR is not the only place we could acquire oil in Alaska.  The Obama administration is holding up a permit for the first oil to be produced from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska?an Indiana-sized area set aside to produce oil.  If Americans can't produce oil from a petroleum reserve, where can we produce it?

But the real sin against America's economic strength and American consumers is what the administration is doing offshore of Alaska, in some of the best oil and gas property in the world.  To the west and north of Alaska lie waters believed to hold the key to sustaining the flow through TAPS.  A recent study showed that, if allowed, the private sector could produce 57,000 jobs annually in the United States for decades.  But the Obama administration is dragging its feet through its various agencies and not only delaying the development of oil and gas supplies that could help American consumers, but also sending a strong signal to those who might want to invest in the United States that they are not wanted. 

Daniel Kish, the author of this piece, goes on to cite multiple current and former Obama administration officials who are deaf to the voice of common sense in regard to energy policy.  From Carol Browner to Cathy Zoi to Van Jones, to the most infuriating of all, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

But the real star of the show remains Ken Salazar.  He is the one who used the tragic oil spill last spring to justify stopping all leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.  He is also the one who has stopped oil shale from being developed, even though America's oil shale reserves are large enough to supply the United States for more than a century without any imports.  His actions in defiance of the law have earned him a contempt citation by a federal judge and should earn him the contempt of all Americans who rely on affordable energy for their jobs or their family's comfort and well-being.

So next time you think about Libya, or the Middle East, or the high price of gas when you fill up, remember, Ken Salazar is doing his job?working hard to fulfill President Obama's promise to make the price of energy "skyrocket."

The benefits of domestic oil exploration are beyond numerous and the case against them has failed.  All that stands in our way is a backwards leadership that is content to destroy family budgets, stunt economic growth and slow our industrial engine to irrelevance.  The correction must be made in 2012.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 04 2011

Offering further proof that acts of terror perpetrated against American soldiers and citizens continues to be coming from totally random, totally unpredictable, totally eclectic groups of people (Catholic nuns one day, World War II vets the next), news out of Germany emerges:

A gunman shouting "Allahu Akbar" opened fire on a bus carrying U.S. airmen in Frankfurt, Germany, killing two and wounding two others before his gun jammed and he was subdued, officials said.

 

...

 

When he opened fire, the gunman, identified as a long-term resident of Germany, shouted "Allahu Akbar," according to sources. He fired nine times, killling two and critically wounding two others before the gun jammed and he was subdued by other passengers. While being wrestled into submission, the suspect shouted either "Jihad Jihad" or "Allahu Akbar," sources said.


See!  Who could have predicted that the terror act would have been carried out by a young Muslim man?  That just doesn't fit any profile of what we've been seeing in recent years.

 

That's precisely why Mr. Obama constantly warns us not to "jump to conclusions" or to "jeopardize our values" by making assumptions.  How nice.  Of course, sometimes rather than jeopardizing our values, making assumptions can save lives.  Sometimes jumping to conclusions is all you can do in life and death situations.  That is, unless you're the president and chairman of a politically correct movement that has declared jihad on common sense.

 

Oops...we're not supposed to use that word anymore, are we?  It, along with "terrorism" and "War on Terror" are presumptive phrases that are unproductive.  "Overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters" are much more palatable for our Obama-era sensibilities.  That is, of course, unless you're talking about something really vile - like opposing unions:

Democrat pollster Mark Mellman worked for Presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and Senator Harry Reid in 2010. He wrote an opinion piece for The Hill entitled Wisconsin governor is waging ?jihad' against unions. The last time a prominent Democrat used the term ?jihad' it was President Obama's top counterterrorism advisor John Brennan lecturing that:

 

"...jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community...


However, Mellman's use of ?jihad' does not fit Brennan's description at all, as he certainly does not mean that Governor Walker is waging self purification at Wisconsin's PEUs. Mellman uses ?jihad' as a negative, as a bad thing, something Mellman goes on to explain that most Americans would oppose!

So Democrats have found a ?jihad' they and the American people can oppose, right there in Wisconsin, engaged in by democratically elected representatives of the people through the legislative process!

How long will we agree to be led by this man-caused disaster known as the Obama administration?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 03 2011

Victor Davis Hanson has written an accurate, but unbelievably frustrating analysis of the current state of our foreign policy under Obama/Clinton.  In it, he takes the position of a casual, outside observer who is merely watching the U.S. reaction to various world events.  The conclusion he draws: we have a schizophrenic approach.

 

Honestly, you could base that assessment solely on our response to Egypt.  As I wrote at the time, President Obama played the part of a confused spectator and unbelievably seemed taken by surprise by the entire episode.  He and Hillary Clinton sent mixed messages that essentially had us running two different foreign policies concurrently.


 

But Hanson goes far beyond just that situation in his analysis.  First, Russia:

Autocratic and dictatorial Russia has become a veritable friend. America will say very little about the Russian government's involvement in the chronic assassination of journalists and dissidents. We don't mind passing along nuclear-weapon information about our British allies to Russia if it furthers better relations with Moscow and results in a treaty. We apparently are more worried about offending Vladimir Putin than about offending our Polish and Czech allies. We eagerly sign an arms treaty that most people believe favors Russia more than ourselves, and we shrug when Russia does not, as promised, help thwart Iranian nuclear proliferation.

Then, Israel:

In the last two years scarcely a week has gone by in which we did not in some way criticize democratic and once allied Israel. Perhaps if the Israeli government had stoned some homosexuals, or assassinated a leading Lebanese reform figure, or bombed its own cities, we might either have kept silent or publicly promised not to meddle in Israeli affairs. Or we might have apologized for something we purportedly did decades ago that offended Israeli sensibilities.

Then, China:

In the last three budget years, we have borrowed $4 trillion, some of it from China, mostly to expand our existing entitlements, almost all of which China does not extend to its own people. We cannot quite assure Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, or the Philippines of past levels of support, since we are worried that our old high military profile would now only provoke Chinese sensibilities. And yet we are depressed when our creditor China in turn seems to resent even the barest mention of its deplorable human-rights violations or its treatment of Tibet.

Then, Cuba and Venezuela:

Left-wing governments that brutalize their people and deny them freedom ? like Cuba's or Venezuela's ? offer interesting opportunities for new relations. The president's mixed heritage, his patrimonial tie to Islam, his exotic nomenclature, his progressive Chicago past ? all that allows him to meet and conduct business with Third World leaders in a way impossible under a white southern conservative like President Bush. That is a rare advantage that we should not squander by mindlessly supporting the removal of such dictators by their own angry people.

Then, the War on Terror:

The Guantanamo Bay detention center is al-Qaeda's chief recruiting tool, and that is precisely why we closed it ? at least virtually. Military tribunals, renditions, preventive detention, and Predator drone attacks during the Bush administration raised "serious" constitutional questions, and that is why we, also virtually, stopped all such problematic protocols. An architect of 9/11, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, is currently facing a virtual civilian trial in Manhattan. Iraq is both our worst disaster and our greatest achievement. As proof that we are withdrawing according to set deadlines from Afghanistan, we are sending thousands more troops there.


And the list keeps going and going.  Read it if you can stomach it.  I say that because keeping us safe is the President's primary obligation.  It's what Americans should have been thinking about when they elected perhaps the single most unprepared man to take on foreign policy that has ever held the office of President of the United States.  Hillary knew it in the campaign, Joe Biden knew it in the campaign, and we should have known it.

 

We do now.  So do our friends...and our enemies.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 03 2011

I don't know a great deal about actress Natalie Portman or her politics.  Based on a brief clip of her I saw on Saturday Night Live a few years ago, I would have assumed she fit in nicely with the philosophical perspective that dominates Hollywood.  But her fellow liberal elites have turned against her.

 

Why?  She apparently committed the unpardonable sin during her Oscar acceptance speech the other night: she praised the idea of motherhood.

 

No, I'm not kidding.  Steven Ertlet reports on LifeNews:

After thanking fellow nominees, her parents, and the directors past and present who guided her career, Portman saved her concluding praise for "my beautiful love," dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied.


 

Then, as if to underscore how the bright and promising career and the accolades she's received up to that very moment paled in comparison, a visibly pregnant Portman thanked Millepied for giving her "the most important role of my life."

 

The comment about becoming a mother likely drew approving smiles from most of the millions of Americans and worldwide viewers tuning into the televised Oscars ceremony, but it was revolting for Slate writer Mary Elizabeth Williams.

How revolting?  And why, you ask?

"At the time, the comment jarred me, as it does every time anyone refers to motherhood as the most important thing a woman can possibly do," she wrote today. "But the reason why didn't hit until I saw the ever razor sharp Lizzie Skurnick comment on Twitter today that, ?Like, my garbageman could give you your greatest role in life, too, lady.'"

 

"When you're pregnant, especially for the first time, there are a lot of amazed and awed moments in between the heartburn and insomnia. But is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?" Williams wondered.

 

To Williams, Portman shouldn't have diminished her role as an actress and the career to which she has aspired in order to make a positive point about her pregnancy and her forthcoming child. In her world, Williams suggests Portman should have merely noted her child and moved on ? as if having children is no life-changing experience ? but a fleeting moment to enjoy at the time and allow to float on the winds of change as one piles up additional trophies to gather dust on a mantle.

 

"Why, at the pinnacle of one's professional career, would a person feel the need to undercut it by announcing that there's something else even more important? Even if you feel that way, why downplay your achievement?" a clearly befuddled Williams writes.

 

"Why compare the two, as if a grueling acting role and being a parent were somehow in competition? And remind me ? when was the last time a male star gave an acceptance speech calling fatherhood his biggest role?" Williams adds, apparently ignoring of the problem of fathers ignoring the importance of their roles and the ways in which fathers have created massive societal problems by abandoning and destroying their families.

Admittedly, I come up for air on this issue - always have.  But beyond my personal thoughts on the topic, I think it's important for average citizens to consider these words in light of their experiences. 

 

Is this antipathy towards family and the glory of motherhood beneficial or good for our culture?  Are these the types of viewpoints we want to embrace as a society?  Do these feelings represent the best interest of our country, or should we do some serious soul-searching about the leftist mindset that promotes them?


 

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America is quoted in this article, and she nails it:

"Hollywood is all about superficiality, and escape from reality that often leads to destroying lives and families," she suggests. "Natalie Portman brought a sense of reality to the Oscars, that children and family are a greater priority and provide deeper significance to life than Hollywood's highest award."

 

"The selflessness of motherhood is the antithesis of Hollywood narcissism. Natalie provides hope that an actress can keep priorities straight and love her child more than her career," she said.

Of course the great irony of this attack on Portman, as Ertelt points out, is that the liberal writer Mary Williams rips the actress for "backhandedly downplay[ing]" her acting success by elevating her coming role as a mother.  In the process, she backhandedly downplays the supreme importance of parenting by proposing that any occupation rises to the level of its significance.

 

Portman didn't trash those who act or those who work.  Indeed, working is a way that almost all parents (at least one of them) provide for their children in ways beyond direct care.  But whether Williams likes it or not, the raising of children is the most important task that any parent undertakes.  It should be that way.  Our culture should recognize it.  And we should praise folks like Portman for speaking to it...and question those like Williams who don't.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 03 2011

In yet another indication that the left's new "era of civility" following the Tucson shooting has ended in a predictable mess of hatred towards the right, Wisconsin Democrat Assemblyman Gordon Hintz has gone ugly.

 

And the astounding silence of the mainstream media is another indication of their complicity with advancing the left's agenda rather than doing their jobs.  If you haven't heard the news yet, don't be surprised:

Despite the following report from the Northwestern at 12:53 PM Monday, no major media outlet other than Fox News has covered this disgusting story:

 

Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, called Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Winneconne, Monday morning to apologize for his comments that Litjens described as containing an obscenity and the words "you're dead." Last week, he accepted responsibility for being issued an ordinance violation for visiting a massage parlor in Appleton that was the subject of a prostitution sting.


 

The Daily Caller's Jeff Poor on Monday linked to the website of Wisconsin's Newsradio 620 WTMJ which judging by the first comment reported as early as 10:43 AM:

Last Friday.... after the Assembly voted to engross the Budget Repair Bill, Hintz turned to a female colleague, Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: "You are F***king dead!"

Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard appropriately commented:

In this post-Gabrielle Giffords world, with calls for a new civility, a man that was just busted in the middle of a prostitution sting says "You are f--king dead" to a woman on the floor of the Wisconsin assembly, and America's media couldn't care less.

 

Despite this being reported no later than 10:43 AM, a Google news search identified that apart from Wisconsin outlets, only Fox and conservative websites thought this was at all newsworthy.


As of 12:30 AM Tuesday, according to LexisNexis, no major news outlets reported this event. Closed-caption records for ABC's "World News," CBS's "Evening News," and NBC's "Night News" also found no coverage of this issue.

 

Imagine for a moment Hintz was a Republican and Litjens a Democrat.

 

This likely would have been the lead story for all three broadcast evening news programs as well as the focus of every hour of reporting on CNN and MSNBC with calls for Hintz's resignation.

 

But much like what happened at ABC's town hall meeting when a survivor of the Giffords shootings said "You are dead" to a Tea Party leader in the audience, our media clearly don't care when liberals publicly threaten conservatives.

 

Now this standard extends to a male Democrat elected official vulgarly assaulting a female Republican on an Assembly floor.

 

Makes one think it's journalism that's bleeping dead!

Indeed.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 03 2011

Right after the 2010 midterm elections, I wrote a column expressing my belief that Mr. Obama was no Bill Clinton.  My point was that unlike Clinton, Obama is first and foremost an ideologue who is not going to shift his politics to the center in an effort to "triangulate" and win reelection.

 

Shortly into 2011, I was receiving emails from several folks taunting me that I was wrong given that Mr. Obama was clearly "moving to the center."  My response at the time was to point out that if pay close attention you will see that Mr. Obama's so-called move is nothing but rhetorical.

 

Though the media is doing all they can to carry the narrative of the comeback kid who has found a rebirth in being a moderate negotiator between the left wing of his party and the conservative Republicans, Obama's policies are still clearly on the left.


And it's nice to see that others recognize that too.  General Electric CEO Jack Welch recently expressed similar sentiments:


President Obama's attempts to move to the political center have been more cosmetic than concrete, author and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch told CNBC.

 

Speaking as the president tries to find common ground with the new Republican-led House of Representatives, Welch said the supposed shift from the president's liberal base hasn't amounted to much as far as policy is concerned.

 

"The tack to the center is verbal, it's not actionable," he said.

 

As an example, he cited Obama's move last month that permitted employees of the Transportation Security Administration to unionize. The directive has come under criticism as further evidence of the president's anti-business position and a further placation of organized labor.

 

"Let's hope he's moving to the center," Welch said. "But from what I see?unionizing 43,000 TSA workers on a Friday and giving a speech (to the US Chamber of Commerce) Monday morning?show me the money."

The strategy for Republicans who want to dethrone Obama in 2012 should be clear.  The more brazen they are in pursuing taxpayer-friendly conservative principles, the more they will put pressure on Obama to portray himself as what he is.  And the sharper that contrast come 2012, the better, not only for Republicans...but for the country.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 02 2011

If you want to know why I've been saying that these union protests in Wisconsin (and extending to other places as well) are not going to end well for the Democrats, consider as one piece of anecdotal evidence what just occurred between Governor Walker and President Obama.


 

Having had campaign footage of him promising to "put on a pair of comfortable shoes" and marching along the picket line as President with workers being denied collective bargaining rights exposed recently, Obama felt obligated to wade back into the controversy.  The move was surely to shore up the frustration many of protestors had with his lack of involvement on their behalf.  Speaking to the nation's governors without specifically identifying the Wisconsin dispute,

President Barack Obama said Monday that "it does no one any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon."

 

Obama, speaking to the nation's governors, said all workers should be prepared to give up something to solve budget challenges, "and I think most public servants agree with that."

The statement is bland enough that Obama can claim he wasn't referring to the Wisconsin battle, but only the willfully deceived would buy such a defense.  The problem for Obama, of course, is that federal workers under his management are denied far more "rights" than Governor Walker is proposing in Wisconsin.  A fact that Walker was quick to highlight in his response:

"I'm sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I'm sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

 

"Furthermore, I'm sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

 

"I'm sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn't acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another."

The President loves to rail against special interests.  But this whole episode is spelling out in plain English to the American people the intense devotion Obama and the entire Democrat Party have to the union bosses.  That will be damaging to the Democrats enough, but when you couple that with the reality that these public unions are pitting the Democrats against the taxpayer interests, it's devastating.

 

Obama feels obligated to defend the public unions even when it's completely contradictory to his own actions, and even when it is against the general interest.  That isn't the kind of leadership Americans are looking for in their Chief Executive.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, March 02 2011

Chris Matthews has tried to separate himself as a serious journalist with a syndicated Sunday morning show that bears his name.  Someone should tell him that lowering the show to the gutter-level humor that characterizes his weekday "Hardball" program is not the way to do it.

 

Via the Daily Caller:

On the Sunday airing of NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," host Chris Matthews thought viewers should be treated to some derogatory attacks on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The MSNBC host with a history of accusations of misogynistic behavior from both the right and the left featured a video from "Funny or Die" and set it up by calling it "an upper."


 

"I think we need an upper right now so before we break, it's the end of February and four weeks ago, The Washington Post great writer Dana Milbank urged his colleagues and his competitors in the news world to give Sarah Palin as a topic a rest for the month of February," Matthews said. "No interviews, no columns - nothing, starvation diet on her. Under the Milbank proposal, how would Palin get through the month? The comedic geniuses at Will Ferrell's website Funny or Die.com imagined how it went up at Palin headquarters in Alaska."

 

The video Matthews aired on his program edited out the worst parts of the "Funny or Die" sketch. However, the full version included the following:

 

- Day 5: A panicked Palin offering to talk to Katie Couric about porn
- Day 6: "Levi Johnston, I f***** him."
- Day 9: Giving a mock interview claiming Trig Palin wasn't hers
- Day 12 and Day 15: Palin with what appears to be a speared baby talking about a "blood libel"
- Day 19: Asking Rush Limbaugh for painkillers and claiming she "can see Russia from her [female private parts]"
- Day 25: Licking on a deer antler
- Day 30: Realizes February only has 28 days

This is low brow to the extreme.  But there was Chris yucking it up.  Can someone explain why misogyny and demeaning women is so chic to the left when it is a conservative woman?  And how do the feminist groups expect to have any credibility when they say nothing about it?

 

If Chris is looking for sick stories to run on his show, maybe instead of turning to trashy fake parodies by Will Ferrell, he should just use the recently declassified, truthful FBI records of liberal darling Ted Kennedy:

Late U.S. senator Ted Kennedy has been accused of renting an entire Chilean brothel and seeking meetings with communists who had left-wing views.

 

The information came to light after a Freedom of Information request by Judicial Watch - the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption - who put pressure on the FBI to release the material.  Their file on the late senator, who died from brain cancer in August 2009, was released but contained a large amount of blacked out information - until now.


 

Kennedy had a high-profile career throughout the sixties, until he died in 2009 from brain cancer, and often accompanied his brother JFK on official duties.  The statements previously withheld include accusations that during a tour of several Latin American countries he 'made arrangements to "rent" a brothel for an entire night, allegedly inviting one of the Embassy's chauffeurs to participate in the night's activities'.

 

In each country he visited he was also said to have 'insisted on interviewing "the angry young men" of the country as well as Communists who had extreme left-wing views'.

 

When he was in Mexico, it is said that his request to have certain left-wingers - one of whom was later linked with a Soviet spy ring - was refused as he was warned not to associate himself with such people.

Plenty of fodder there, Chris.  I'll look for it next week.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 02 2011

Obama has announced that since the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in his eyes, he will no longer defend it.  And that statement is generating all the public attention.  It shouldn't.

 

We can discuss the political wisdom or the morality of Obama's thoughts on the subject.  We can talk about the fallout or realities it will generate.  But our primary focus should be on something else.

 

Columnist Jonah Goldberg highlights what that something is:

[W]hat Obama is doing is flatly outrageous. Carney says that "the president is constitutionally bound to enforce the laws and enforcement of the DOMA will continue."  No, he is not.


 

There's a myth out there that only the Supreme Court determines what is, or is not, constitutional. It's a bipartisan myth. "We can't have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not," Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.) said in a statement. "That is a function of the judicial branch, not the executive."

 

President Bush made a similar, indefensible error when he signed the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill, even though he believed portions of it were unconstitutional (and he was right; the Supreme Court overturned it in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission last year).

 

The problem is that the Constitution doesn't say any such thing (and, no, it's not in Marbury v. Madison either). The president doesn't take an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Supreme Court. He takes an oath to defend the Constitution.

 

Imagine if Congress passed ? hopefully over a presidential veto ? a law that brought back slavery. Such a law would be plainly unconstitutional, and no president worthy of the job would wait for the Supreme Court to tell him as much. More to the point, once the president concluded that the law was unconstitutional, he would be bound by his oath to ignore it, and challenge it in every way possible.

 

President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the "law professor" says he will continue to enforce it.  In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it's cause for eye-rolling, shrugs, and platitudes about the demands of politics.

Goldberg's points should challenge the conventional thinking of conservatives as well as liberals.  Every single one of our federal officials who take an oath to protect the Constitution should do so.  They must answer to it as the final man-made authority in our land.  The excuses some Democrats gave about passing an unconstitutional ObamaCare bill and allowing "the courts to decide whether it's okay or not," should be appalling to us.  That they're not is cause for concern.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 02 2011

I guess the left has decided that its new "Era of Civility" is now over?  I can only come to that conclusion after watching some of the recent activities of leftist activists around the country.

 

Michelle Malkin's excellent new column exposes their shameful behavior:

Sexual vulgarity is a common theme in the Left's self-styled "solidarity" movement. Among the Madison pro-union signs the national media chose not to show you: "Buttholes for Billionaires" (complete with a photo of Walker's head placed in the middle of a graphic photo of someone's posterior) and "If teabaggers are as hot as their Fox News anchors, then I'm here for the gang bang!!!"

 

Last month, GOP lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch was subjected to similar misogyny for her outreach efforts to private businesses. Liberal WTDY radio host John "Sly" Sylvester accused her of performing "fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee" and sneered that she had "pulled a train" (a crude phrase for group sex).


 

At an AFSCME rally in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday, an unhinged pro-union supporter picked an unprovoked fight with a citizen journalist taping the event for public-access TV. His eyes bulging, the brawler yelled: "I'll f**k you in the a**, you faggot!" After several unsuccessful minutes of trying to calm their furious ally down, the solidarity mob finally started chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, union-busting's got to go" to drown out his intimidating vow to follow the cameraman outside the building. Criminal charges are now pending against him. None of the local media who covered the event thought to mention the disruption in their coverage.

 

In Columbus, Ohio, supporters of GOP governor John Kasich's fiscal reforms were confronted with a fulminating union demonstrator who railed: "The Tea Party is a bunch of d**k-sucking corporate butt-lickers who want to crush the working people of this country."

 

In Denver, Colo., Leland Robinson, a gay, black tea-party activist and entrepreneur who criticized teachers' unions at a capitol rally, was told by white labor supporters to "get behind that fence where you belong." They called the 52-year-old limousine driver "son" and subjected him to this ugly, racially charged taunt: "Do you have any children? That you claim?"

 

Tea-party favorite and former Godfather's Pizza president Herman Cain is another outspoken black conservative businessman who has earned the civility mob's lash. Two weeks ago, a cowardly liberal writer derided Cain as a "monkey in the window," a "garbage pail kid," and a "minstrel" who performs for his "masters." Monkey. Parrot. Puppet. Lawn jockey. Uncle Tom. Aunt Thomasina. Oreo. Coconut. Banana. We minority conservatives have heard it all.

 

In Washington, D.C., a multi-union protest at the offices of conservative activist group FreedomWorks resulted in one young female employee, Tabitha Hale, getting smacked with a sign by a barbarian wearing a Communications Workers of America T-shirt ? and another FreedomWorks employee getting yelled at as a "bad Jew" for opposing public-union monopolies and reckless spending.

We have seen the obsession the media had with attempting to find anything to justify their smears of the tea party as racist, bigoted, violent homophobes.  When they found no such evidence, they resorted to making it up.  We're not talking bloggers here...we're talking network journalists from Matt Lauer to Katie Couric to Diane Sawyer to Bob Schieffer to Brian Williams. 

 

Those names have been remarkably silent about these actions Malkin mentions.  That alone is cause for outrage at their double standard.  But given that they are coming just a couple months after Obama lectured the country to engage in, "a more civil and honest public discourse," their silence is an indictment of their scandalous bias.

 

If they won't do their job to report on who is lacking civility, we must.  Spread the word.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 01 2011

After an interesting discussion with University of Wisconsin Professor Russ Castronovo that has generated a great deal of feedback, Peter invited former Teacher of the Year Tracey Bailey onto the show today to discuss the problem with teacher unions.

 

Mr. Bailey is the 1993 National Teacher of the Year for the United States, selected from a field of over 2.7 million public school teachers across the country.  He works with educational leaders nationwide to promote true education reform and an increased professionalism among teachers.  He serves as the Director of Education Policy for the Association of American Educators.



As a science instructor, Mr. Bailey won national recognition for his highly advanced and innovative science programs and the use of technology in his classroom.  In 1998, Mr. Bailey was inducted into the Florida Educators' Hall of Fame. 

 

Mr. Bailey served in the Florida Department of Education for four years as the State Coordinator for Education Reform and Director of Charter Schools under the leadership of former Lt. Governor Frank T. Brogan. 

 

Listen to the full audio of the conversation here.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 01 2011

Why would people ever reject freebies when they're offered?  That question pretty much sums up the electoral strategy of the modern Democrat Party.  The theory goes that if they promise enough people enough things, that guarantees them perpetual rule.  Just pick out a small portion of folks to pay for the goodies of the larger group.  The small group will never vote for you, but the large group will.  That's how you exploit the democratic process, institute dependency and win elections repeatedly.

 

The only problem that could emerge is if those people you're promising goodies to see through your scam and reject the offer.  Democrats have taken a collective gamble on that not happening.  With the rise of the Tea Party movement, they are seeing that gamble start to cost them.


 

Keep in mind that most of the Tea Party folks are not wealthy.  These aren't Wall Street executives in the streets with the homemade signs.  These aren't big league CEOs and investment bankers.  These aren't corporate heads and insurance giants.  No, these are working people from the middle or lower class.  They are the ones who would stand to "benefit" from the Democrats proposal to redistribute the wealth.  But they are adamantly opposed to it.  Why?

 

Simply put: because, in the true spirit of generations of previous Americans, they are putting the general interest ahead of their own self-interest.  That's why the word "patriot" best describes these folks.  It's why the Tea Party moniker fits them so well - they hearken back to the days of the first Tea Partiers who risked a great deal to thwart the oppressive rule of a nanny state.

 

And it's why their actions are confounding and frustrating the Democrat left and their well-laid plans:

It's not supposed to work out that way, say the political scientists and New Deal historians. Politics is supposed to be about who gets how much when, and people with modest incomes should be eager to take as much from the rich as they can get.

 

Moreover, as liberal economists and columnists point out, income levels for middle-class Americans remained stagnant for most of a decade during the George W. Bush presidency and then plunged in the recession. Housing values fell even more.

 

The conservative writer David Frum has made the same point and has said that Republicans must come up with policies that will raise ordinary people's incomes if they hope to win.

 

But the fact is that Republicans did pretty well among whites who did not graduate from college -- the exit poll's best proxy for the white working class -- even in the otherwise dismal year of 2008. John McCain carried non-college whites by a 58 percent to 41 percent margin, more than his 51 percent to 47 percent margin among college whites.

 

Barack Obama won because he carried all other voters 79 percent to 21 percent. But he carried non-college whites in only 14 states and the District of Columbia with 127 electoral votes.

In this piece, Michael Barone dismisses the typical argument the left uses to explain this reality that those uneducated tea party folks have been misled into voting based on cultural issues against their economic interests.  He simply asks if that means that all the rich Park Avenue liberals have been misled by liberals into voting on cultural issues against their economic interests.


 

What Barone's excellent question reveals is this: one of those groups is putting the good of others ahead of their own selfish desires.  Either rich liberals are sacrificing for the good of the masses, or the hard working American middle class tea partier is doing so. 

 

That's a comparison and question I'm willing to take to the bank.  Let's ask Americans around the country whether they think their tea-partying next door neighbor has their back more or less than Arianna Huffington. 
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 01 2011

There are rumblings that the Wisconsin legislative stalemate will continue indefinitely.  Despite the fact that Governor Walker has intimated that without legislative action to provide funds he will be forced to lay off several thousand state workers, the Democrats seem content to let that happen.

 

But maybe it doesn't have to come to that.  Anyone with a basic understanding of the function of legislative bodies knows that the quorum is a requirement to avoid the trickery of the majority.  As columnist Cliff Thier writes of Wisconsin's quorum rules:

The only definitions provided in the Wisconsin Constitution for what is a quorum are the very limited ones setting the number of legislators needed in order for a vote to pass.  The constitution is written so that a majority cannot gather in secret or too quickly for members to have a chance to arrive. The quorum requirement is not a right in itself, but rather a safeguard against trickery. It protects the rights of citizens to be represented. It is not a power granted to a minority to block a vote of a majority. The Wisconsin Constitution does not require an affirmative vote by three-fifths of the elected legislators, but only the opportunity for at least three-fifths of its members to vote.


That's a profound observation, and one with potentially far reaching implications.  Thier actually goes on to make a couple suggestions as to what Republicans could do to effectively end the stalemate post haste:

The Wisconsin Constitution assigns the state legislature the responsibility of crafting rules and definitions governing how voting is to be conducted, i.e., the mechanics of voting. Article IV, Section 7 empowers 51% of the elected legislators in each house of the Wisconsin legislature to do the following:

 

1) Define a quorum to include those legislators who have the ability -- if they choose -- to vote absently, either by electronic means or proxy. This would ensure that no citizens are ever deprived of representation in the state legislature even if their representative is in the hospital or out of town; and/or

 

2) Pass a statute (or legislative rules) that any legislator who refuses or fails to represent his constituents by participating in the deliberations of that body for more than 30 days is to be regarded as having resigned his office. Once again, this would ensure that no citizens are ever deprived of representation in the state legislature even if their representative is in the hospital or out of town or just refuses to show up for work.

There's also a third option that Wisconsin Republicans should consider.  The quorum rules are not as stringent on acts that are not money-related.  This would allow the Republican majority to begin passing a host of laws that are strictly political - laws that Democrats would undoubtedly be livid about - like voter ID laws, redistricting laws, fundraising laws, laws requiring proof of birth certificate to appear on a ballot. 

 

You could certainly say that would be a crass political move.  But does one such move not deserve another? 

 

There's also a part of me that says to let this play out.  Let it continue to portray to the taxpayer how much the Democrats have the back of public employees who are saddling the "working man" with the cost of their perks and benefits.  In my estimation, that will not work out well on election day for the party of government.

 

Different options, but the result could be the same.  This scene in Wisconsin that is spreading to other states is not an encouraging development for the left, no matter how they spin it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 01 2011

One of the most disgraceful and devastating realities regarding abortion in America is the number of "black leaders" who continue defending the practice.  Why the focus on these individuals?  Because as others have observed numerous times, the left has destroyed more black people through the abortionist's needle than the KKK ever dreamed of killing.

 

M. Catharine Evans writing at The American Thinker put it this way:

There's an old African proverb that states "if you want to know the end, look at the beginning." The adage is good advice for African-Americans like Sharpton who still defend Planned Parenthood. The billion dollar international organization has never been a friend to people of color, so it's devastating that civil rights activists as well as the first black president would not do their homework. When confronted with pro-life activist Lila Rose's undercover videos of PP personnel condoning underage sex trafficking, Obama stated that "in the past they did good work."


They did?  The enormity of that statement can not be overlooked.  What is the past of Planned Parenthood that Obama finds so laudable?  Evans recounts the appalling racism at the heart of Planned Parenthood's foundation:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... more African-American babies have been killed by abortion since 1973 than the total number of African-American deaths from cancer, AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, and heart disease combined. Over one-fourth of the total potential black population has been aborted, and African Americans, though they account for 12.3 percent of the population, receive 36 percent of all abortions and are three times as likely as their white contemporaries to have an abortion (US Center for Disease Control, Abortion Surveillance Report)

 

It's not a fluke that most Planned Parenthood clinics operate in urban minority communities. Margaret Sanger set her first birth control clinics in run-down, inner city neighborhoods dispensing information, collecting data and shoring up her future argument for selective breeding and population control.

 

In honor of black history month, Reverend Sharpton and President Obama need to understand what true racial profiling looks like:

 

The birth control movement led to one of Sanger's most audacious projects in 1939. A memorandum "Suggestions for Negro Project" made its way to her desk from Dr. Clarence Gamble. He was the director of the Birth Control Federation of the South. Gamble suggested that they sell eugenics to get rid of blacks by a kind of traveling minstrel show with black preachers and black nurses touting the benefits of family planning. In December 1939 Sanger responded stating, "We do not want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it occurs to the more rebellious members."(Gordon, Linda. Woman's Body, Woman's Right. New York: Grossman Pub., 1976, pp. 332-333)

That is the legacy that Obama finds praiseworthy.  That is the organization that Al Sharpton rallies to support.  Sanger spoke to branches of the KKK.  Her institution is the largest killer of blacks in America.  And America's foremost "black leaders" applaud their work.

 

That's a failure of leadership of titanic proportions.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 01 2011

I must confess to something.  I've had a recent change of heart.  Thus far I've been opposed to the idea of public sector unions.  Something about legislators negotiating with the bodies they received campaign contribution funds rubbed me the wrong way.  Then there's the issue of pubic servants having a monopoly of services and holding the public hostage if they don't get their way.  And then there's the matter of unions holding a special status in negotiations that the general public doesn't hold.  But an idea struck me that's turning things around in my mind. 

 

When you look at the private sector and the way they operate, negotiations with unions are very different.  On the one side you have the business and the other the unions.  With the business what the desire is to maximize profits while reducing expense and their leverage at the bargaining table is the work they offer.  On the union side they desire better working conditions, pay, and benefits and their leverage is the labor they provide. 


 

When you get to the public sector, things change a bit.  From the union perspective, what they demand is the same but the threat of campaign contributions also gets throw into the mix with leverage.  From the legislator's perspective what they demand doesn't change, but what's different is that they are negotiating with money that isn't theirs.  If a business can't afford the demands of the union, they go bankrupt.  If the legislator can't afford union demands, taxes go up to cover the difference. 

 

In light of this raw deal, I've changed my position.  I say we unionize!  Why not?  After all, it's our interests at heart in this equation.  Why should public workers have the only voice at the table.  We deserve a seat at the bargaining table, right?  It is our money.  If we're going to collectively bargain then let's truly collectively bargain.  So let's have a taxpayer's union.  Let's negotiate over what we deem to be fair with regard to taxation.  That's our position.  We demand cost efficient services and our leverage would be out taxes.  We could extend this to any and all legislation.  If the terms are unacceptable we'll just refuse to pay taxes.  We can go on strike too!  So what do you say?  Maybe unions aren't such a bad idea after all.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 01:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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